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reality. Allegory had indeed begun to intrude, as we have seen, in the employment of animals during the purer period of Gothic taste. But the recumbent figure was still the actual representative of the real figure as it lay on the last occasion on which it appeared before the eye, and as it was deposited in the grave. Its attitude was real and true-it was the attitude of a dying man in the house of prayer. If spiritual beings were represented kneeling round his pillow, or sitting at his feet, they were angels; and if the niches surrounding the tomb were filled with images. those images represented the relatives and friends of the deceased gathered there to do him honour. But at the approach of heathen art all this vanishes by degrees. As in the Greek comedy, the personages pass first into representatives of classes -as the armed figures round the tombs of Sir Francis Vere and Francis Norris in Westminster Abbey-and then lose not only their individuality only, but their truth.
Not only do the sons and daughters and mourners, who were originally placed in niches on the sides of the altar-tombs, pass into marble allegories of Fame and Time, and other heterodox if not vicious abstractions, who stand or sit in very mournful attitudes about the monument, but a whole flight of little boys unclothed, and with their fingers in their eyes, perch themselves on every available site of cornices, pedestals, and pediment; and on the same nihil velare' principle, the marble allegories themselves seem to have little else to do but to exhibit the admirable muscular power with which the sculptor has contrived to invest them. Of the little boys, indeed, however uncomfortable and dangerous the position which they occupy, some account may be given how they reached their several places: for most of them are furnished with wings-and, it is to be understood, are representatives of angels; though, why angels should take this form of little boys, and why they should lament so deeply for the transition of a good man from earth to heaven, may still be a question. But there are also females (who or what they are it is hard even to imagine), who about this time have contrived to climb up, and lay themselves across the curves of the pediment, wherever one exists; and there hold themselves on, with evident distress, in this painful and alarming posture, one leg loosely dangling down over the side, and the other coiled up to get a purchase to support themselves. This practice of taking repose on a sloping penthouse-roof, at a most break-neck distance from the ground, appears to have been prevalent in the seventeenth century; and we should willingly hope that there was some meaning in it, like that of the pyramid on balls, to represent the instability of human affairs, and to convey strikingly the moral lesson of the proneness of human grandeur to fall. In the meanwhile the principal figure lies in an easy, luxurious attitude of perfect indifference--an attitude which for a living person to assume in the house of God would denote a scandalous irreverence; and in which to be found even in a drawing-room would require some excuse of illness. Neither ladies nor gentlemen are in the babit, when they want repose, of laying themselves along the top of a sarcophagus wine-cooler, like the Duchess of Protector Somerset in Westminster Abbey; and if they are sick and dying, as the monument seems to imply, they do not dress themselves in state babiliments, or lean negligently on their arms, as if in the possession of full health. Sir Cloudesley Shovel did not earn his fame by · reposing himself upon velvet cushions under a canopy of state.' Dr. Busby would assuredly not have liked to have been found by his boys in the posture which he occupies. Dr. South, we suspect, was not in the habit of reading in bed; nor Sir Christopher and Lady Hatton of sleeping upon two inclined planes. Nor would Bishop Hough have liked to exhibit himself as if just frightened out of his sleep, with his episcopal robes thrown round him in much admired disorder. And yet ease and repose, careless ease and indolent repose, are the only characteristics which the artists of these monuments have forcibly impressed upon their works. It is not even repose after toil. There is no expression of manliness, of vigour, of calm, composed dignity, of deep thought, of that stillness and gravity which carries to the mind of the spectator a sense of a superior being placed before him, and which religion so imperatively requires, and sculpture can so admirably exhibit. They have neither the energy of life, nor the repose of death.
lesson # There is a well-known illustration of the religious feeling connected with the erection of these monstrous edifices in the history of the Earl of Cork's monument in St. Patrick's Cathedral, and Archbishop Laud's efforts to obtain its removal from its original position at the back of the altar to its present site. It is one of the most striking specimeris of this stage in sepulchral art; heavy, cumbrous, without uuity or elegance, and rendered still more glaring in its deformity by the restoration of the original colouring and gilding.
And when it is remembered that to build up these piles of marble in our cathedrals, in almost every instance some portion of the edifice has been disfigured, a window blocked up, a pillar undermined, or some rich canopy or tracery pared off; that the inscriptions, like the tombs themselves, contain little but a record of family pride; that almost all devotional feeling evaporates from the figure ; that pagan emblems, such as inverted torches, begin to make their appearance; that a gaudy mixture of colouring and gilding prevails in most ; and that the whole erection resembles inore the facade of a house of many stories for the living, than a receptacle for the body of the dead ;* we can scarcely lament that
their enormous expense soon led to the disuse of them; and that as Grecian taste became more defecated from its mixture with the remains of Gothic, we arrive about the end of the seventeenth century at the next stage of our sepulchral monuments, which may be called the doorway style, or two pillars supporting an architrave, and enclosing either a tablet, or sometimes still a figure. Whether this form was borrowed from the triumphal arch, or was the natural residuum of the former architectural storied structure, when purified of its semi-Gothic excrescences, may be doubted. There is or was a monument of the kind in the Jesuits' Church at Rouen, which transferred the former notion to the inscription :— Non est bic tumulus, sed arcus triumphalis virtutum, cujus basis fides et scientia, columnæ justitia et prudentia, ornamenta timor Dei et pietas, coronamentum charitas. Many of these in themselves are beautiful in their proportions ; but their total inconsistency with the buildings in which they are placed, and their unmeaning character, except as an elaborate and expensive frame for very long and therefore very bad epitaphs, render them perhaps the greatest disfigurement to our old churches. The monuments of Elizabeth and James do possess richness. variety, and intricacy, which in some degree interest the eye, and blend with the grotesqueness of Gothic architecture. But the doorways have nothing of the kind. And yet even these are ill exchanged for the huge slabs of pyramids sliced upon the wall, and exposing only a plain surface of variegated marble, which, as executors became more economical, and the dead less cared for, soon after usurped their places. From these the transition is easy to the mural monuments of the present day; those blots upon the walls of our churches—which either affect no duty but to act as a family register of names and dates--or, if they do indulge in any flight of imagination, rarely venture beyond the weeping lady hanging over an urn and standing under a willow; the inverted torch, emblem of the light of life extinct, intimating that the dead man died without a belief in immortality; the mourner that cannot be consoled blaspheming against the command not to sorrow as men without hope.' And the epitaphs—but this is a subject not briefly to be touched on-and our space is come to an end.
One part of this subject we have left untouched, because it has been alluded to by us before, and deserves a more full examination than we can give it at present. We mean the character of our national monuments in Westminster Abbey and St. Paul's. Private follies and extravagancies are of comparatively little moment; but when the government of a great and Christian nation could find no better mode of commemorating the dead than by re-erecting images of Neptune, and Mars, and Fame,
and Victory, mixed up with dragoons and drummers, catapults and cannons, men without clothes in a field of battle, or English generals in Roman togas, and all the trash of the poorest pedant; and when a Christian Church in a Christian metropolis is selected as the fittest depository for these outrages, without regard to the ecclesiastical or religious character of those whom the State thus chooses to honour, there must have been something most unsound in the tone and manners of the
age. We laugh at the anachronisms of King John's barons in the Antijacobin, armed with blunderbusses and pocket-pistols, and rushing upon the stage with Knights Templars and Prussian grenadiers, Quintus Curtius and Marcus Curius Dentatus, the Roman legion and the battering-ram, to attack a convent; but is there anything more ludicrous here than in the account of the actual monuments raised in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries by the British people in their metropolitan Cathedrals? To use the words of the guide-books, not our own
General Wolfe is represented (naked) in his last agonies, pressing his hand upon the wound in his breast which caused his death, and supported on the hip of a grenadier, who with one hand gently raises his commander's falling arm, and with the other points to the figure of Glory descending from heaven to crown him with laurel. Upon the pyramid, in relief, a Highland sergeant is introduced, standing with folded hands, and thus silently contemplating the wreck of youth and valour.' (By Wilton, cost 30001.)
* Admiral Holmes is represented as a Roman warrior, resting his head on a cannon mounted on its carriage. An anchor, flag-staff, and other naval emblems, diversify the background.'
• Admiral Watson, robed in the Roman loga, is introduced amidst a grwe of palm-trees. On the one side is a personification of the goddess or genius of Calcutta prostrate; and, on the other, a similar emblem of Chandernagore, which is to be distinguished by the chains with which it appears bound.'
‘Sir Charles Wager :-upon a neatly wrought double pedestal sits a figure of Fame, holding a portrait of the deceased, which is supported by an infant Hercules. The background is sheltered by a pyramid, under the apex of which is placed a coat of arms. The lower pedestal is occupied by a piece of alto relievo, descriptive of the capture of the Spanish galleons.
* Earl Stanhope, clad as an ancient warrior, is introduced in a recumbent posture, clasping a truncheon in his right, and a scroll in his left hand; at his feet stands an urchin leaning against a shield. A statetent protects his person ; on the crown of which is seated an armed Pallas, with a javelin in one hand and a scroli in the other: a pyramid conceals the background.'
'Lord Robert Manners and Captains Blair and Bayne (by Nollekens) :--the background is composed of a pyramid, before which is
placed a rostral column, surmounted by a statue of Fame, who elevates a wreath of laurel for the purpose of crowning three medallions, which a winged boy is attaching to the front of the column. In the foreground
-Neptune, reposing on a sea-horse, addresses himself to Britannia, who appears guarded by a lion.' (Cost 40001.)
"Lord Rodney (by Rossi, at the cost of 6000 guineas)—stands on a pedestal, on one side of which is seated a figure, meant for a personification of History, listening to Fame, on the other side, who is expatiating upon the merits of Rodney.'
Major-General Bowes, by Chantrey' [in the House of the God of Peace and Love.] – A scene admirably chiselled from life. Bowes was slain in the breach at the storming of Salamanca; and the actual circumstances of his death are here excellently portrayed. The shattered wall, the beaten enemy tumbling headlong with his colours, the charging British, and the victorious general falling, on the foreground, into the arms of a comrade, are all faithfully preserved and vividly exhibited.'
Sir W. Myers :—Hercules and Minerra, or, as some suppose, Wisdom and Valour, meet before a tomb, and shake hands.'
Sir W. Ponsonby:-his horse is introduced faintly sinking ; while the rider, a naked figure, is placed on the foreground, in a strained kneeling attitude, for the purpose of receiving a wreath of laurel from the hands of a statue of Victory.'
* Mr. Pitt-habited in the robes of Chancellor of the Exchequer, and in the act of addressing the House of Commons, while History, a female, catching his portrait, is seated on one side, and a man naked and bound with chains, supposed to represent Anarchy, is on the other.' (63001.!)
• Major-General Hay (by Hopper):—The deceased, habited in his regimentals, appears sinking into the arms of an athletic (undressed) attendant ; a sentinel stands by in an attitude of grief; and in the background a guard is seen marching its round.'
• Sir Thomas Picton (by Gahagan) :-Genius, personified in the statue of a winged youth, leans on the shoulder of an ancient warrior, who is designed to represent Valour, and stands in the act of receiving a wreath of laurel from the hands of Victory.'
• Mr. Perceval (by Westmacott) :-His effigy is introduced upon a mattress, with a statue of Power indicated by the fasces, weeping over him; and figures of Truth and Temperance, the one distinguished by a bridle, and the other by a mirror, erect at his feet. Along the background runs an animated scene in basso relievo, descriptive of the lobby of the House of Commons at the moment of his fall.' (52501.)
Sir John Moore :-Valour and Victory are seen lowering the general into a grave with a wreath of laurel, while the Genius of Spain plants the standard of conquest over his grave.'
Chantrey, the lamented Chantrey, has, we hope, exploded Neptune and Mars, and Glory, and the Goddess of Calcutta, and the Genius of Spain, and the rest of the Pantheon, for ever.