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me with reverence for a personage, towards whom, previously, I had certainly felt but little. The bust of Napoleon is very fine, and must be singularly characteristic~the large, irregular head, and hanging features-one jaw lower and more strongly marked than another-the careless neck-handkerchiet with the chin hanging over it ;-there is nothing of all this in the statue at Apsley House. In that statue, the seatures are idealised almost as much as the limbs, and, when they come to the print, form the mere commonplace Grecian head. I know not where is the original of this bust, or whether it is what it appears, the first real model :—the domestic of Canova, who showed me round, was in his new garb of mourning, and, from grief, too oblivious to explain any thing. He was to me not the least interesting figure in the study-old, and lame, and little, his voice scarce audible as he went over the usual Ci. ceronisms by rote. His thought was with his lost master, and I honoured him for neglecting me.
Here, too, was a cast from the statue at Apsley House :—the band of Canova formed this statue, but not his will; the artist had not forgiven the spoliation of Venice and the Vatican. Of the corresponding one of Maria Louisa, he had altered the features of his cast, not liking them, as my little friend in black observed. The original is at Parma, of a beauty bordering on the Egyptian. One is inclined to suspect a little hidden maliciousness in the artist; the stiff polished features are too like the Memnon's head, and the drapery arranged too priestess-like, not to have been a jot intentional. Here, too, are the Graces of Woburn Abbey, far superior to the famous antiques of the Ruspoli Gallery, that now adorn the new apartment of the Vatican, adorned and filled by the present Pontiff, and called after him Museo Chiaramonte. I saw no cast of the Cupid and Pysche that we so much admire in prints, and can scarce hope ever to see, the group being banished with the rest of the Carbonari to Siberia. Of Canova's two Venuses, Mr. Hope's is beyond comparison the superior—it is the work of the mature artist; that at Florence of one who makes a first essay. In the Pitti Venus, which was intended to supply the place of the Medicean, the obvious comparison seems to have repressed and intimidated Canova’s genius, and he recurred almost wholly to nature, despairing to rival, without servility, the ideal of the Medicean. The Venus of the Pitti is the woman, the mere woman, and is but the essay ; Hope's Venus is the perfection. Indeed, the Grand Duke seems not a little annoyed at having his Venus outshone by an English Signor, and accordingly has shut her up in a closet, where it is by no means easy to get a sight of her. At Florence, too, is the monument to Alfieri, which, travellers assert, does little honour to Canova. Perhaps expensive workmanship was not demanded, and the one figure, notwithstanding the objection of Mr. Hobhouse, representing "the Colossal Cybele of Italy” weeping over the poet, is a universal, national sorrow, simply expressed.
6 All the artists of Rome,” says Forsyth, “ yield the palm to Canova ; yet here he is admired only as the sculptor of the Graces.”—“Some critics limit his powers to the beautiful alone. But will the Hercules and Lychas admit this limitation ? Whatever critics may say of the anatomy, the expression of the group is sublime, and the contrast of passion and suffering is terrific.” This noble group was intended first for Naples, then for Bavaria, but was left in the artist's study till Forlonia
bought it.* The King of Naples preferred adorning his capital with statues of himself; Canova executed one, and surely never was helmet put on the head of such a vulgar-looking Lazzaroni. The group of Mars and Venus, intended for our present Majesty, was finished ere the artist left Rome, and may be said to be the last of his works which he saw perfected. The study is crowded with embryo statues of Nymphs, Fauns, &c., intended all for, one milord or another, on which the workmen were busily employed. Mars and Venus, at least the figure of the former, is a difficult subject, that never has been mastered. Canova's group is as superior to the pretended Mars and Venus in the Campidoglio, as his own falls beneath our ideas. In fact, what is any Mars without bis helmet and armour?-he cannot infringe upon the strength of the Hercules to express his propensity in limb, and, while he is placed regarding a Venus, he can scarce be the god of war in expression of features. In that situation he is no more than any other young gentleman. Canova, however, had a propensity to the delicate, and whenever his subject is not positively terrific, he always inclines to the feminine side of manliness.
His head of Washington is fine—how could it be otherwise ?—and the figure, to an artist, elegant, but is it appropriate? The American patriot looks more as if he were drawing a landscape, than creating an empire independent. The statue of the Princess Esterhazy, is to me the most beautiful and most graceful from the hand of Canova; the attitude, strange to say, ot' the beautiful princess, is little different from that of Washington. The Perseus of the Vatican is too fine, too delicate, for a warrior ; but, considering that the steed he bestrode was Pegasus, and that the enemy he vanquished was the owner of the beautiful head he holds, the form was, perhaps, strong enough for the purpose ; but there is no meaning in the pretty little Grecian profile he presents. The first impulse of an Englishman, on beholding those two marble gentlemen, Creugas and Damossenus, the pugilists, in the same cabinet with the Perseus, is to laugh outright. Be they classic or not, as boxers they are ridiculous. One holds his fist clenched, and resting on the top of his head; the other has his right hand open, with the fingers straight, in act to leap upon his antagonist, and claw him like a tiger; the furious faces have the same tiger-like expression, more like a woman scolding than a man combating-lips, eyes, and veins protrude. How different the figure of two real pugilists, calm, determined, and vigilant in features, limbs firm, yet at ease ;-Canova's pair are like two windmills about to engage. “This posture," says Forsyth, “open for the blow, accords with Pausanias, and suited Canova.lt developes the whole figure, which your scientific wards would tend to collect, and pinch, and stiffen.” Mr. Forsyth had no fancy; that art neither pinches nor stiffens, nor can there be finer, freer, or more open attitudes in the world, than those presented by our pugilists. The boxers in the Florentine gallery would answer us, but that we disdain
Mr. Forsyth praises the statue, but abuses the possessor—Why? It surely ill becomes an Englishman to abuse a foreigner, who is in every respect a gentleman, especially in his attention to the English, merely because he has made his fortune by banking. What would many of our Dukes and Lords think of an Italian tourist visiting them, and then inquiring, and publishing to the world, who were their sires and grandsires, and how they became men of rank
to strike a man when down. Is it not a wonder that some of our noble amateurs do not join a love of art to a love of fancy, and adorn theirgalleries with a series of English pugilists? Their profession forms a national amusement, with all the manliness, and little of the horrors, of the ancient gladiator's show: to immortalize this by the sculptor's aid, would be more to our honour than cramming rooms with those by-gone figures of exhausted mythology.
Canova has left a bust of himself, from his own chisel : it is expres. sive looking upwards, the mouth open with earnestness—it speaks the artist's goodness and genius, his heart and head. Canova was a second “ Man of Ross ;' his charities were immense. Even before he received the Marquisate of Ischia from the Pope, a revenue of about a thousand pounds a year, his charity was extensive ; and this addition to his fortune he is said to have wholly expended upon the young and aged of his profession, educating the one, and allowing stipends to the other. He also, for a long time, supported his step-father, whose cruelty towards him in infancy was great.
Canova was never married : he has left two brothers, sons of his mother, by her second husband. One is an ecclesiastic; the other, an architect, is supposed to succeed to his study and fortune.—Who shall inherit his fame?
LINES WRITTEN BY T. CAMPBELL,
And inscribed on the Monument lately finished by Mr. CAANTREY, which has been erected by the Widow of Admiral Sir G. CAMPBELL, K. C. B.
to the memory of her husband.
To him, whose loyal, brave, and gentle heart,
From friends, an ample and an ardent throng,
On her who mourns him most, and bears his name,
ON PUNS AND PUNSTERS.
“ The gravest beast is an ass; the gravest bird is an owl; the gravest fish is an oyster ; and the gravest man a fool."
JOE MILLER. GRAVITY, says Lord Bolingbroke, is the very essence of imposture. A quack or a pretender is generally a very grave and reverend signior; and though I would not venture to assert that the converse of this proposition is invariably true, I must confess, that as I am apt to doubt the virtue of an obtrusive Puritan and rigourist, so am I marvellously prone to suspect the wisdom of your serious and solemn Precisian. While the shallow pedant endeavours to impose upon the world by a serious and pompous deportment, minds of a superior order will be often found abandoning themselves to playfulness and puerility. Plato, after discoursing philosophy with his disciples upon the promontory of Sunium, frequently indulged the gaiety of his heart by relaxing into a vein of the most trivial jocoseness; but onç: seeing a grave formalist approach in the midst of their trifling, he exclaimed, “Silence, my friends! let us be wise now; here is a fool coming." This man's race is not extinct. Reader! hast thou not sometimes encountered a starched looking quiz who seemed to have steeped his countenance in vinegar to preserve it from the infection of laughter?–a personage of whom it might be pronounced, as Butler said of the Duke of Buckingham, that he endures pleasures with less patience than other men do their pains ?-a staid, important, dogged, square-rigged, mathematicalminded sort of an animal? Question him, and I will lay my head to yours (for I like to take the odds), that whatever tolerance he may brought to admit for other deviations from the right line of gravity, he will profess a truculent and implacable hatred of that most kind-hearted, sociable, and urbane witticism termed— A PUN.
Oh the Anti-risible rogue! Oh the jesticide—the Hilarifuge! the extinguisher of “quips and cranks and wanton wiles ;" —the queller of quirks, quiddets, quibbles, equivocation, and quizzing! the gagger of gigglers ! the Herod of witlings, and Procrustes of full-grown Punsters! Look at his atrabilarious complexion; it is the same that Cæsar feared in Brutus and Cassius; such a fellow is indeed fit for treasons, stratagems, and plots; he has no music in his soul, for he will not let us even play upon words. Will nothing but pure wit serve thy turn, most sapient Sir ? Well then, set us the example
"Jay on, Macduff, And damn'd be he that first cries Hold! enough!" How,-dumb-founded ? Not quite ;-methinks I hear him quoting Dr. Johnson's stale hyperbole—“Sir, the man that would commit a pun would pick a pocket;" to which I would oppose an equally valid dictum of an illustrious quibbler—" Sir, no man ever condemned a good pun who was able to make one." I known not a more aggrieved and unjustly proscribed character in the present day than the poor painstaking punster. He is the Paria of the dining-table; it is the fashion to run him down, and as every dull ass thinks he may have a kick at the prostrate witling, may I be condemned to pass a whole week without punning, (a fearful adjuration :) if I do not show that the
Vol. V. No. 25.-1823.
greatest sages, poets, and philosophers of all ages, have been enrolled upon this proscribed list !
Even in Holy Writ, whatever might have been the intention of the speaker, there is authority for a play upon words equivalent to a pun. When Simon Bar-Jona, for his superior faith, received the name of Peter, (which in Greek signifies a stone or rock,) the divine bestower of that appellation exclaimed, “I say unto thee, that thou art Peter, and upon this rock will I build my church,” &c.—Homer has made the wily Ulysses save his life by means of a pun. In the ninth book of the Odyssey that hero informs the Cyclops that his name is Noman; and when the monster, after having had his eye put out in his sleep, awakes in agony, he thus roars to his companions for assistance :
“ Friends ! No-man kills me. No-man in the hour
Of sleep oppresses me with fraudsul power.-
The brethren cried, and instant strode away." It will be observed that Pope has preserved the equivoque in his translation, which attests his respect for this most ancient jeu-de-mots ; while Ulysses is described as hurrying away in high glee, “ pleased with the effect of conduct and of art,” which is an evidence that Homer felicitated himself upon the happiness of the thought. This passage exhibits a very rude and primitive state of the art; for had any modern Cyclopes been invoked to aid their comrade under similar circumstances they would have seen through so flimsy a trick even with one eye.
Later Greek writers were by no means slow in following so notable an example. Plutarch has preserved several of these Pteroenta, or flying words, particularly King Philip's celebrated pun to the physician who attended him when his collar-bone was broken; and Diogenes the Cynic made so happy an equivoque upon a damsel's eye, which the profligate Didymus undertook to cure, that Scaliger said he would rather have been author of it than King of Navarre. From the comic authors a whole galaxy of similar jokes might be collected; but I reserve the specification for a new edition of Hierodes, the Joe Miller of Alexandria, which I am preparing for the press in ten volumes quarto.
The Romans, who imitated the Greeks in every thing, were not likely to forget their puns, verbaque apta joco. Cicero informs us that Cæsar was a celebrated performer in this way. Horace in his seventh satire, giving an account of the quarrel between Persius and Rupilius Rex, before Brutus the Prætor, makes the former exclaim,
Per magnos, Brute, Deos te oro, qui reges consuéris tollere, cur non hunc Regem jugulas ?"; thus playing upon the names of both parties. Martial was an accomplished punster; and Ovid not only quibbled upon words, but metamorphosed them into a thousand phantasies and vagaries.
The same valuable privilege formed the staple commodity of the ancient Oracles; for if the presiding deities had not been shrewd punsters, or able to inspire the Pythoness with ready equivoques, the whole establishment must speedily have been declared bankrupt. Sometimes indeed they only dabbled in accentuation, and accomplished their prophecies by the transposition of a stop, as in the well-known