« AnteriorContinuar »
on a small scale, generally of one, sometimes of two stories; the principal apartments are always bebind, enclosing a court with a portico round it, and a marble cistern in the middle; two had glass windows, in the others shutters only were used. The pavements are all mosaic, and the walls are stained with mild colours. The decorations are basso relievos in stucco, and paintings in medallions. Marble seems to have been common. On the whole, Pompeii, in all the circumstances which I have mentioned, bears a strong resemblance to modern Italian towns, with this only difference, that in point of general appearance the latter have, I think, the advantage. It must, however, be remembered, that Pompeii had already been damaged by an earthquake, * that the roofs and upper parts of the houses have been borne down by the weight of ashes and pumice-stones upon them; and, in short, that as not more than a quarter of the town has been hitherto explored, buildings of greater magnificence may still remain buried.
Stripped as it is of almost all its moveable ornaments, Pompeii possesses a secret power that captivates and fixes, I had almost said, melts the soul. In other times, and in other places, one single edifice, a temple, a theatre, a tomb, that had escaped the wreck of ages would have enchanted us; nay, an arch, the remnant of a wall, even one solitary column was beheld with veneration; but to discover a single ancient house, the abode of a Roman in his priFacy, the scene of his domestic hours, was an object of fond but hopeless longing. Here not a temple, nor a theatre, nor a column, mor a house, but a whole city rises before us untouched, unaltered, the very same as it was eighteen hundred years ago, when inhabited by Romans. We range through the same streets, tread the Fery same pavement, behold the same walls, enter the same doors, and repose in the same apartments. We are surrounded by the same objects, and out of the same windows contemplate the same scenery. While you are wandering through the abandoned rooms, you may, without any great effort of imagination, expect to meet some of the former inhabitants, or perhaps the master of the house himself, and almost feel like intruders who dread the appearance of any of the family. In the streets you are afraid of turning a corner lest you should jostle a passenger; and on entering a house, the least sound startles, as if the proprietor was coming out of the back apartments. The traveller may long indulge the illusion, for not a voice is heard, not even the sound of a foot to disturb the loneliness of the place, or interrupt his reflections. All around is silence, not the silence of solitude and repose, but of death and devastation, the silence of a great city without one single inhabitant.
Horror ubique animos, simul ipsa silentia terrent. Æn. 11.
Motu terriz celebre Campaniæ oppidum Pompeii corruit. Tuc. Ann. XV. 22.
Immediately above the buildings, the ground rises, not into a cliff casting gloom, as the sides of a grave, on the hollow below, but as a gentle swell formed by nature to shelter the houses at its base. It is clothed with corn, poplars, mulberries, and vines, in their most luxuriant graces, waving from tree to tree, still covering the greater part of the city with vegetation, and forming with the dark brown masses half buried below, a singular and most affecting contrast. This scene of a city, raised as it were from the grave, where it had lain forgotten during the long night of eighteen centuries, when once beheld, must remain forever pictured on the imagination, and whenever it presents itself to the fancy, it comes, like the recollection of an awful apparition, accompanied by thoughts and emotions solemn and melancholy.
· FURTHER ANECDOTES OF SIR JOSHUA REYNOLDS.
(From his Memoirs by Mr. Northcote, recently published in England.] “ JAMES MAC ARDELL, the mezzotino engraver, having taken a very good print from the portrait of Rubens, came with it one morning to Sir Joshua Reynolds, to inquire if he could inform hiin particularly of the many titles to which Rubens had a right, in order to inscribe them properly under his print; saying, he believed that Rubens had been knighted by the kings of France, Spain and England; was secretary of state to Flanders, and to the privy council in Spain; and had been employed in a ministerial capacity from the court of Madrid to the court of London, to negotiate a treaty of peace between the crowns, and that he was also a magistrate of Antwerp, &c.
“ Dr. Johnson happened to be in the room with Sir Joshua at the time, and understanding Mac Ardell's inquiry, interfered ra. ther abruptly, saying, 'pooh! pooh! put his name under the print, Peter Paul Rubens; that is full sufficient, and more than all the resti
“ This advice of the doctor's was accordingly followed."
“When Goldsmith's comedy of She Stoops to Conquer, was to be brought out on the stage, on the 15th of March in this year, he was at a loss what name to give it till the very last moment, and then in great haste called it “She Stoops to Conquer, or the Mistakes of a Night.' Sir Joshua, who disliked this name for a play, offered a much better to him, saying, "You ought to call it the Belle's Stratagem, and if you do not, I will damn it.' However, Goldsmith chose to name it himself, as above; and Mrs. Cowley has since given that name to one of her comedies.
« Goldsmith was in great anxiety about its success; he was much distressed in his finances at the time, and all his hopes hung on the event; and at the dinner preceding the representation of his play, bis mouth became so parched and dry, from the agitation of his mind, that he was unable to swallow a single mouthful. The actors themselves had great doubts of its success; but, contrary to their expectations, the play was received with great applause; Sir Joshua and a large party of friends going for the purpose of sup: porting it, if necessary. The dinner party which took place at The Shakspeare is handsomely described by Cumberland. Dr. Johnson took the head of the table, and there were present the Burkes, Caleb Whiteford, Major Mills,” &c.
“ There is a remarkably fine allegorical picture painted by Sir Joshua, representing the portrait of Dr. James Beattie. The doctor is in his university dress as doctor of laws, with his volume on the Immutability of Truth under his arm. The angel of truth is going before him, and beating down the vices, envy, falsehood, &c. which are represented by a group of figures falling at his approach, and the principal head in this group is made an exact likeness of Voltaire. When Dr. Goldsmith called on Sir Joshua and saw this picture, he was very indignant at it, and remonstrated with him, saying, “It very ill becomes a man of your eminence and character, Sir Joshua, to condescend to be a mean flatterer, or to wish to degrade so high a genius as Voltaire before so mean a writer as Dr. Beattie: for Dr. Beattie and his book together, will, in the space of ten years, not be known ever to have been in existence, but your allegorical picture, and the fame of Voltaire, will live forever to your disgrace as a flatterer.'
“Soon after Goldsmith's death, some people dining with Sir Joshua were commenting rather freely on some part of his works, which in their opinion neither discovered talent nor originality. To this Dr. Johnson listened in his usual growling manner for some time; when at length his patience being exhausted, he rose with great dignity, looked them full in the face, and exclaimed, “If nobody was suffered to abuse poor Goldy, but those who could write as well, he would have few censors.
"I once hambly endeavoured to persuade Sir Joshua to abandon those fleeting colours, lake and carmine, which it was his practice to use in painting his flesh, and to adopt vermilion in their stead, as infinitely more durable, although not so exactly true to nature as the former. I remember he looked op his hand and said I can see no vermilion in flesh.' I replied, but did not Sir Godfrey Kneller always use vermilion in his flesh colour? when Sir Joshua answered rather sharply, What signifies what a man used who could not colour. But you may use it if
will.' “One day at dinner with Sir Joshua and his sister, Miss ReyVol. III. Nen Series.
nolds, I remarked to her that I had never seen any picture by Jervas, which was rather extraordinary, as he was a fashionable painter in his day; she said, “Nor. I either; I wonder how that should be. I do not know that I ever saw one;' then addressing Sir Joshua, she said, 'Brother, how happens it that we never meet with any pictures by Jervas the painter?' When he answered very briskly, “because they are all up in the garret.'”
“ When Richardson was a very young man, in the course of his practice, he painted the portrait of a very old lady, who, in conversation at the time of her sitting to him, happened to mention, that when she was a girl about sixteen years of age, she sat to Vandyke for her portrait. This immediately raised the curiosity of Richardson, who asked a hundred questions, many of them unimportant: however, the circumstance which seemed to him as a painter to be of the most consequence in the information he gained, was this: she said she well remembered, that at the time when she sat to Vandyke for her portrait, and saw his pictures in his gallery, they appeared to have a white and raw look in comparison with the mellow and rich hue which we now see in them, and which time alone must have given them, adding much to their excellence.""
“ It was one of Sir Joshua's favourite maxims, that all the gestures of children are graceful, and that the reign of distortion and unnatural attitude commences with the introduction of the dancing master. He delighted much in marking the dawning traits of the youthful mind, and the actions and bodily movements even of infants; and it was by these means that he acquired the ability which enabled hiin to portray children with such exquisite happiness, truth, and variety. A circumstance, as related by himself, occurs to my remembrance, which may serve to prove the truth of the above observation, as well as to show how watchful his mind was to catch instruction wherever it was to be gained.
“ Sir Joshua being in company with a party of ladies and gentlemen, who were viewing a nobleman's house, they passed through a gallery of portraits, when a little girl, who belonged to one of the party, attracted the particular attention of Sir Joshua by her vivacity, and the sensible drollery of her observations ; for whenever the company made a stand, to look at each portrait in particular, the child, unconscious of being observed by any one, imitated, by her actions, the air of the head, and sometimes awkward effect of the ill-disposed position of the limbs in each picture ; and this she did with so much innocence and true feeling, that it was the most just and incontrovertible criticism that could be made on the picture.”
For the Analectic Magasine.
THE BATTLE OF ERIE.
AVAST, honest Jack! now before you get mellov, Come tip us that stave just, my hearty old fellow, 'Bout the young commodore, and his fresh-water crew, Who keelhal'd the Britons, and captur'd a few. “ 'Twas just at sunrise, and a glorious day, Our squadron at anchor snug in Put-in-Bay, When we saw the bold Britons, and clear for a bout, Instead of put in, by the Lord we put out. “ Up went Union Jack, never up there before, . Don't give up the ship,' was the motto it bore; And as soon as that motto our gallant men saw, They thought of their Lawrence, and shouted huzza ! “0! then 'twould have rais'd your hat three inches higher, To see how we dash'd in among them like fire! The Lawrence went first, and the rest as they could, And a long time the brunt of the battle she stood. “'Twas peppering work-fire, fury, and smoke, And groans that from wounded lads spite of 'em broke. The water grew red round our ship as she lay, Though 'twas never before so, till that bloody day, “ They fell all around me like spars in a gale, The shot made a sieve of each rag of a sail, And out of our crew scarce a dozen remain'd, But these gallant tars still the battle maintain'd. “ 'Twas then our commander, God bless his young heart, Thought it best from his well pepperd ship to depart, And bring up the rest who were tugging behind, For why-they were sadly in want of a wind. • So to Yarnall he gave the command of the ship, And set out like a lark on this desperate trip In a small open yawl, right through their whole fleet, Who with many a broadside our cockboat did groet, “ I steer'd her, and damme, if every inch Of these timbers of mine at each crack didn't Alinch; But our tight little commodore, cool and serene, To stir de'er a muscle by any was seen. “ Whole volleys of muskets were leveli'd at him, But the devil a one ever graz'd e'en a limb, Though he stood up aloft in the stern of the boat, Till the crew pulld him down by the skirts of his coat. “ At last through heav’n’s mercy we reach'd t'other ship, And the wind springiag up, we gave her the whip,