Obrázky stránek

ard is a good one. Professor Camper, after measuring

«. These fish are iv'ry—but by Phidias made: and comparing, with a laborious minuteness peculiarly

From want of water only seem they dead.' Dutch, an immense variety of skulls, concludes his la- “ Of the works belonging to the first division, the bours by triumphantly exclaiming, “ Ifit now be asked, Olympian Jupiter, and the Minerva of the Parthenon, what is meant by a fine countenance, we may answer, colossal statues composed of gold and ivory, were the that in which the facial line makes an angle of 100 de most wonderful productions of ancient art. The formgrees with the horizon. The ancient Greeks have, con- er, placed in the Temple at Elis, was sixty feet high, sequently, chosen this angle.” This is going a certain in a reposing attitude, the body naked to the cincture, length, but not far; for the question still remains un- the lower limbs clothed in a robe gemmed with golden answered, Why does the facial line, when at such an flowers; the hair also was of gold, bound with an enaangle, appear more agreeable than any other? Sir melled crown; the eyes of precious stones ; the rest of Joshua Reynolds has attempted to get rid of the diffi- ivory. Notwithstanding the gigantic proportions, every culty in a very ingenious manner. According to him, part was wrought with the most scrupulous delicacy ; “ beauty is the medium or centre of the various forms even the splendid throne was carved with exquisite of the individual;-every species of animal has a fixed nicety. The whole was finished before the artist had and determinate form, towards which nature is conti. obtained the direction of the public works of the Athe. nually inclining, like various lines terminating in a nians, in the 83d Olympiad, after a labour of ten years ; centre, or like pendulums vibrating in different direc- the same date in which Herodotus read the second part tions over one central point ; and as they all cross the of his history, the first regular prose composition that centre, though only one passes through any other point, had been heard at Athens. so it will be found, that perfect beauty is oftener pro- “ About twelve years later was executed the Miner. duced than any one kind of deformity." “ But,” justly va, of inferior dimensions, being only forty feet in altiremarks Charles Bell, in his second Essay on the Anatomy tude, but equal, if not superior, in beauty of workman. of Expression, “ how shall we reconcile this with the ship and richness of material, the nude being of ivory, form of the antique ? Though this theory may account the ornaments of gold. A flowing tunic added grace for the straight line of the ridge of the nose being more to the erect attitude of the goddess ; in one hand was a beautiful than that which is concave or convex, because spear, upon the head a casque ; on the ground a buck. it is the central form, it will not explain the peculiar. ler, exquisitely carved, the concave representing the ity of the form of the nose, brow, and eye, of the an- giants' war, the convex a conflict with the Amazons, tique.” “ The true cause of beauty in the antique," portraits of the artist and of his patron being introduced proceeds the same author, " is the ennobling the form of among the Athenian combatants-one cause of the fu. the head, by increasing those peculiarities of character, ture misfortunes which eavy brought upon the author. -the indication of intellect and the powers of expres. On the golden sandals was also sculptured another fa. sion, which distinguish the human form, and by care- vourite subject, the battle of the Centaurs, praised by fully reversing those proportions which produce a re- historians as a perfect gem of minute art. semblance to the physiognomy of brutes." Completely “Such admiration attached to these two works, that coinciding with this view of the case, we at once dis- they were regarded as having added majesty to the recover one of the greatest causes of our admiration of the ceived religion,' and it was esteemed a mistortune not Greeks, namely, the originality of thought, and scienti. to have been able, once in a lifetiine, to behold them. fic research, thus exhibited by them ; and, even were Yet judged according to the true principles of genuine their brightest efforts to be equalled by modern artists, art, theirs was not a legitimate beauty. It does not ex. still the grand source of our respect and reverence would cité surprise, then, to learn that Phidias himself disremain for the minds that first conceived, and the hands approved of the mixed effect produced by such a comwhich first palpably gave being to, an entirely new ar- bination of different substances, nor will it appear prerangement of forms, yet so aptly mingled, that they may sumption here to condemn these splendid representations. be said to hover betwixt heaven and earth.

It is not sufficient that a work of art does produce a Here it is, luxuriating amongst the immortal produc- powerful impression—it is indispensable to its excel. tions of an immortal people, that Dr Memes' pen seems lence that the means employed be in accordance with to bound under his hand like a “steed that knows his the principles and the mode of imitation. Now, in the rider.” Dr Memes has himself visited the country of compositions just described, exposed as they were to the glorious reminiscences, and he speaks with all the ar. dim light of the ancient temple, and from very magni. dour and enthusiasm of one who had lingered amongst tude iinperfectly comprehended, the effects of variously its ruins, and, in the inspiration of the moment, had reflecting surfaces, now gloom, now glowing of uncalled forth the mighty from their tumbling sepulchres, earthly lustre, must have been rendered doubly impoto pass in bright review before him. We cannot follow sing. But this influence, though well calculated to inhim through all his descriptions; but we must give one crease superstitious devotion, or to impress mysterious portrait :

terror on the bewildered sense, was meretricious, alto

gether diverse from the solemn repose, the simple maThis great master, the son of Charmidag, an jesty of form and expression, which constitute the true Athenian citizen, was born about the 720 Olympiad, or

sublimity of sculptural representation.

“ Statuary, or the art of casting in bronze, as the nearly 500 years before our era, and studied under Ela. das. His numerous works belonged to three distinct rivalled perfection. The Amazon, the Minerva, at Lem

term was used by the ancients, Phidias carried to unclasses : Toreutic, or statues of mixed materials, ivory nos, and in the Acropolis, were considered as the masbeing the chief,_statues of bronze,-sculptures in mar. ble. In this enumeration are included only capital per nerva Polias, was of such majestic proportions, that the

terpieces in this department. The last, called the Mi. formances, for exercises in wood, plaster, clay, and mi.

crest and helmet might be discerned above the battlenute labours in carving, are recorded occasionally to

ments of the citadel

at a distance of twenty-five miles, have occupied his attention. The beauty of these mi. pointing home to the Athenian mariner, as he rounded niatures was not inferior to the excellence of his greater the promontory of Sunium. Of these and other works, works; at once sublime and ingenious, he executed grand descriptions alone remain ; we are consequently indebtundertakings with majesty

and force, and the most mi ed for our positive knowledge of his style and principles nute with simplicity and truth.

to the marble sculptures of Phidias, in which depart** Artis Phidiacæ toreuma durum

ment numerous admirable performances of his hand Pisces adspicis; adde aquam, natabunt.'

have also perished; but we have here an advantage in


[ocr errors]

the possession of undoubted originals denied in every first impressions created by these works are thus itreother instance."

sistibly powerful ; but they startle, surprise, astonish

do not soothe, delight, and satisfy the mind. An infiu. The Romans were to the Greeks in sculpture and ar.

ence originating solely in the imagination, and in which ! chitecture what bad engravers are to good painters; they the sensibilities of the heart have little interest, cannot served to multiply heavy and bungled copies of their long retain its power ; the ordinary tone of feeling reworks. There is nothing interesting in the review of turns, and amid the unquiet and aspiring composition Roman art. There is no originality of thought, no ex. seeks for nature and repose. pansion of soul.

“ If the productions and style of Michael Angelo be We pass in silence over the long slumber of art, du- compared with the great standards of excellence and of ring what may well be termed the dark ages, and has- truth in sculpture nature, and the remains of ancient ten to a period when returning genius began to brighten art, he will be found to have deviated widely from both, the horizon of art. Michael Angelo Buonarotti, in him- or rather, perhaps, he has rendered both subservient to self a constellation, rose in 1474 and set in 1564. In his own particular views of each. He has created to whatever light we consider this man, his name has a himself modes of imitation, which should in themselves right to a high place amongst the mighty of the earth; claim a paramount importance, independent of all ar. but we shall not presume to enter the lists with such a chetypes ; while these latter are connected with the oridescription as the following:

ginals of reality, only as an intermediate step to the

realms of fancy. Hence, round a false, though gorgeMICHAEL ANGELO BUONAROTTI.

ous and imposing art, his genius has swept a magic “ For three-fourths of the sixteenth century, this ex- circle, within whose perilous bound no inferior spirit traordinary man presided in the schools, and by his has dared with impunity to tread. Unfortunately, how. style influenced much longer the principles of modern ever, such was the fascination produced in his own age, art. To him, therefore, during the most brilliant pe- when the forcible and imaginative were admired above riod in the annals which we are now feebly endeavour. the simple and the true, that his works became a stand. ing to trace, is the attention chiefly directed. Nor only ard by which the past was to be tried, and the future in one point of view is his genius to be contemplated. directed. As a necessary consequence, a prodigious and He has extended the grasp of a mighty though irregu- | irreparable lapse was prepared for the art. The imita. lar spirit over our whole subject. Sculptor of the Moses, tion of a natural style will ever be productive of good; painter of the Last Judgment, architect of the Cupola it will ultimately lead to no imitation, by conducting to - we behold him in the greatest of the works of art. It the primeval source. The very reverse is the effect of is this, more than any other circumstance, which has in- following a guide such as Buonarotti

, who has departvested the character of his genius with a species of aw. ed from nature farther, we will venture to say, than any ful supremacy not to be enquired into : discrimination great name on record, whether in literature or in art. is lost in general admiration ; and to him who thus Irregularities and imperfections in almost every other seems to hear away the palm of universal talent, we are instance of lofty genius, are forgotten amid the deepinclined to concede the foremost rank in each separate thrilling pathos, or soothing loveliness, of natural es. pursuit. His productions, thus dominating among the pression ; but amid the awe-inspiring, the command. labours of man, bewilder the judgment both by their ing, the overpowering representations of the Tuscan, the real and their apparent magnitude. Thus some giant soul languishes for nature. His creations are not of this cliff, rising far above minor elevations, while it serves world, nor does feeling voluntarily respond to the mys. as a landmark to the traveller, misleads his conceptions terious and uncontrollable mastery which they exert of its own distance and immediate relations of site. over it. The cause and progress of this dereliction of

Here it appears the proper, or at least simplest me. nature can also be traced. He had marked the perplexithod, to present such gradual unfolding of the subject ties and constraint under which his predecessors had laas each branch separately may seem to require, reser- boured, in their endeavours to unite the forms and ex. ving a general view for such place as shall give the pressions of living nature with images of ideal beauty, reader full command of the joint influences, bearings, overlooking the productions of classic sculpture, in and consequences of these details.

which this union is so happily accomplished : because “In sculpture, the works of Michael Angelo are di- to his vigorous, rather than refined perceptions, its sim. vided between Rome and Florence. They are not nu. plicity appeared poverty, he fearlessly struck into a line merous, and few are even finished. Impatience of slow. of art, where all was to be new vehement-wonder. ly progressive labour, united with indomitable activity ful.” and unwearied industry--fastidiousness of fancy, and exalted perceptions of excellence, joined with a reckless

If our limits allowed us, we should feel pleasure in daring in execution, form singular distinctions of intel. presenting our readers with several other passages, lectual temperament, Hence have sprung the charac. equally powerful; but we have room for only onea teristic beauties and the besetting errors of his style in descriptive sketch of Thorwaldsen, the most successful sculpture—a style discovering much that is derived and celebrated of all living sculptors : from liberal and enlightened study of the sublime and

THORWALDSEN. graceful in nature, but still more of those qualities which arise from the peculiarities of an individual and “ Since the death of his illustrious contemporary, Ca. erratic, though rich and powerful, imagination. Rarely nova, Thorwaldsen, born at Copenhagen in 1771-2, do his statues exhibit that simplicity and repose essen- bas occupied the public eye as head of the modern tial to beauty in an art-grave, dignified, or even au. school. The character and powers of this master are stere, and possessing means comparatively limited and doubtless of a very clevated rank; but neither in the uniform. Forced and constrained attitude, proportions extent nor excellence of his works, do we apprehend bis exaggerated, expression awful, gloomy, and unearthly, station to be so high as sometimes placed. "The genius forms of unnatural, of superhuman energy—these con of the Danish sculptor is forcible, yet is its energy de. stitute the ideal of his composition. In giving visible rived more from peculiarity than from real excellence. existence to these ideas, his execution is most wonder. His ideal springs less from imitation of the antique, or ful. A force, a fire, an enthusiasm, elsewhere unfelt, of nature, than from the workings of his own individual unknown, give to every limb and lineament a vitality, mind it is the creation of a fancy seeking forcible ef. & movement, resembling more the sudden mandate of fect in singular combinations, rather than in general inspiration, than a laborious and retarded effort. The principles; therefore hardly fitted to excite lasting or

beneficial influence upon the age. Simplicity and im- denying precepts ? If I am told, “ 'Twere to consider posing expression seem to have hitherto formed the too curiously to consider so," I answer, “ Not a jot.” principal objects of his pursuit ; but the distinction be. Easter-Monday sent forth its crowds, anxious for tween the simple and rude, the powerful and the exag- amusement, and the theatres put forth their dazzling gerated, is not always observed in the labours of the announcements to attract them. Covent Garden speDane. His simplicity is sometimes without grace ; the culated upon the popular taste for horrors, and “ The impressive—austere, and without due refinement. The Devil's Elixir, or the Shadowless Man," seemed to lend air and contours of his heads, except, as in the Mer- an appearance of unwonted gloom and grandeur to its cury- an excellent example both of the beauties and de. bills. Drury-Lane resorted to the treasures of fairy fects of the artist's style when immediately derived legend, and “ Thierne-na-Oge, or the Prince of the from antiquity, though grand and vigorous, seldom har. Lakes," operated powerfully upon the wondering optics monize in the principles of these efforts with the majes- of the sight-seeking spectators. Aştley's proclaimed lic regularity of general nature. The forms, again, are - The Storming of Seringapatam.” The Surrey min. not unfrequently poor, without vigorous rendering of gled “ John Orery the Miser," and a pantomime called, the parts, and destitute at times of their just roundness. Love in a Humble Shed ;” and the renowned Coburg These defects may in some measure have arisen from the turned " The Money Diggers," a story of Washington early and more frequent practice of the artist in relievos. Irving's, into minor theatre dialogue, and managed to In this department, Thorwaldsen is unexceptionably to give the audience terrible satisfaction. It is unneces. be admired. The Triumph of Alexander, originally in- sary to spend much critical gravity upon these sublime tended for the frieze of the government palace at Milan, doings. The Covent-Garden novelty was good in little notwithstanding an occasional poverty in the materials except its scenery. A disobedient shadow occasioned of thought, is, as a whole, one of the grandest compo- much mirth, by obstinately persisting in its determina. sitions in the world; while the delicacy of execution, tion to act independently of the substance. Weekes and poetic feeling, in the two exquisite pieces of Night played Dan O'Reilly, the chief acting part in the Druryand Aurora, leave scarcely a wish here ungratified. But Lane piece, and acquitted himself greatly to the satisin statues, Thorwaldsen excels only where the forms and faction of the audience. sentiment admit of uncontrolled imagination, or in which I have visited Pandemonium, as represented in Mr no immediate recourse can be had to fixed standards of Burford's panorama in Leicester-square. The subject taste, and to the simple effects of nature. Hence, of all of the painting. is taken from Milton's description of the his works, as admiting of unconfined expression, infernal empire, as embellished by the agency of Satan and grand peculiarity of composition, the statues and his angels. Martin is palpably imitated in every of the Apostles, considered in themselves, are the part of the piece.' The exhibition is certainly worth most excellent. Thorwaldsen, in fine, possesses singur inspection, and the cits seem wondrously delighted with lar, but in some respects erratic genius. His ideas of it. But a view of Sydney in the same building detain. composition are irregular ; bis powers of fancy surpassed me much longer, and gratified me much more. It those of execution ; his conceptions seem to lose a por. is executed with great delicacy; and the romantic cha. tion of their value and freshness in the act of realize-racter of the scenery almost made me wish myself of the ment. As an individual artist, he will command deser- number of those vedly a high rank among the names that shall go down “ Doom'd the far isles of Sydney Cove to see." to posterity. As a sculptor, who will influence, or has Tam O'Shanter and Souter Johnny have arrived here, extended the principles of the art, his pretensions are not and have received the approbation of some highly com. great ; or, should this influence and these claims not be petent metropolitan authorities. A group of statues in thus limited, the standard of genuine and universal ex- marble by Mr Carew, who is patronised by the Earl of cellence must be depreciated in a like degree."

Egremont, is now open to the public. In my opinion, We shall proceed to the consideration of Painting they indicate an acquaintance with art more than the next week.

possession of genius,



Exlract of a letter from the Ettrick Shepherd. Yo. IX.

Another time I chanced to be on a week's visit to In these “ No Popery and Pro-Popery" days, I a kind friend, a farmer in Eskdale-muir, who thought marvel that the adherents of the Catholic Church omit. meet to have a party every day at dinner, and mostly ted one argument, which could not fail of operating the same party. Our libations were certainly carried powerfully on the motley citizenship of this overgrown rather to an extremity, but our merriment corresponded metropolis. The argument I refer to is comprised in therewith. There was one morning, indeed, that seve. the astonishing pantomimes, gorgeous spectacles, and ral of the gentlemen were considerably hurt, and there unaccountable sights, that surprise the eyes and glad were marks of blood on the plaster, but no one could den the hearts of all the men, women, and children, tell what had happened. It appeared that there had who sally forth in quest of civic entertainment during been a quarrel, but none of us knew what about, or who the holidays. For these we are indubitably indebted to it was that fought. the Lady of Babylon ; and were the fact generally un. But the most amusing part of the ploy (and a very derstood, it would serve her cause better in London than amusing part it was) regarded a half hogshead of ale, all the bulls, brazen or golden, that ever left their pad. that was standing in the lobby to clear for bottling. On dock in the Vatican. Had it not been for the attach- the very first forenoon, our thirst was so excessive, that ment of Old Mother Church to fasts and festivals, the farmer contrived to insert a spigot into this huge cask, saints and sain:-days, and her diligent housewifery and really such a treasure I think was hardly ever opentouching the outside of her cups and platters, the Cocked to a set of poor thirsty spirits. Morning, noon, and ney fry, young and old, might have sighed in vain for night, we were running with jugs to this rich fountain, a pantomime at Christmas, or a melodramatic spectacle and handing the delicious beverage about to lips that at Easter. And “why might not the imagination trace" | glowed with fervour and delight. In a few days, how. the agile Harlequin to a monk of the order of St Domi. ever, it wore so low, that before any would come, one nic, and his faithful Columbine to the secluded sister of was always obliged to hold it up behind ; and, finally, it a convent, matchless in the exact observance of self can dry.

On the very morning after that, the farmer came in

WORKS IN TRE PRESS. The following works will, we und with a wild raised look. “Gentlemen," said he, "get stand, be published speedily by Messrs Oliver and Boyd :your hatshaste ye-an' let us gang an' tak a lang wauk, Tales of Field and Flood, with Sketches of Life at Home, for my mother an' the lasses are on a-scrubbing a whole John Malcolm, Author of "Scenes of War," “ Reminiscences floorfu'o' bottles ; an'as I cam by, I heard her speaking a Campaign in the Pyrenees and South of France," &e. Small 8v. about getting the ale bottled the day."

Biographical Sketches and Authentic Anecdotes of Dogs, ex hibiting remarkable Instances of the Instinct, Sagacity, and socia Disposition of this faithful Animal: illustrated by Representation

of the most striking Varieties, and by correct Portraits of cele ORIGINAL PUETRY,

brated or remarkable Dogs, from Drawings chiefly Original. Also a Historical Introduction; and a copious Appendix on the Breed

ing, Feeding, Training, Diseases, and Medical Treatment of Dogs: IT IS NOT LOVE.

together with a Treatise on the Game Laws of Great Britain. By (From an unpublished Romance.)

Captain Thomas Brown, F.R.S.E., &c. Royal 18mo.

The Cook and Housewife's Manual, by Mrs Margaret Dods, of By Thomas Atkinson.

the Cleikum Inn, St Ronan's Fourth edition, thoroughly reviseul It is not love-whate'er you say,

and greatly improved. A thick 12mo.

Stories from the History of Scotland, in the manner of Stories Whate'er perhaps I hope too well;

selected from the History of England, by the Rev. Alex. Stewart. 0! I have watch'd for many a day,

Second edition, very greatly enlarged; with a Frontispiece and For looks such gladsome news to tell :

Vignette designed by Stothard, and engraved by James Stewart.

Thick 18mo, half-bound. But, as the fire of feeling flash'd

An Epitome of the Game of Whist; consisting of an IntroducAcross a face that's more than fair,

tion to the Mode of Playing and Scoring; the Laws of the Game I felt my inmost pride abashid,

essentially reformed; and Maxims for Playing, arranged on a new For, 0, there was no passion there !

and simple Plan, calculated to give rapid Proficiency to a Player

of the dullest Perception and worst Memory. By E. M, Arnaud ; I know not if he e'er hath read

with a Frontispiece on Wood by Branston, 18mo. The meaning of my trembling true,

DINNER OF THE Scottish ACADEMY.—About a hundred pers

sonu sat down to a sumptuous entertaininent, given, on MonThat, when I hear his lightsome tread,

day last, by the directors and members of the Scottish Academy Hath tell-tale been, I fear, to you.

of Sculpture, Painting, and Architecture, in their Exhibition I seek the shade when he is by,

Rooms. The evening was spent in much intellectual and social Lest looks I cannot all control,

enjoyment; and we are happy to inform our readers, that one of

the many well-known literary gentlemen who were present has Or wishes breathed in but a sigh,

furnished us with an interesting paper, which will speedily appear Should tell the secret of my soul.

in the Journal, on the Progress of the Fine Arts in Scotland, sug

gested partly by this occasion. Yet still I doubt he almost fears

BONAPARTE.-A recent French writer says, " Before the Re. How dear his presence is to me :

rolution, Frenchmen chattered everywhere, and about everyHe asks not now why wandering tears

thing: but Bonaparte said, 'Silence, gentlemen,' and France was

hushed." Steal to my eyes in hours of glee!

Theatrical Gossip.-In London, the Easter spectacles have been His kindness hath a pitying air ;

drawing to the theatres the spectacle-loving part of the commuAt last adieu, he wore his glove!

nity.-In Edinburgh, T. P. Cooke has been playing his favour0! if 'twould make him shun me, ne'er

ite parts to respectably filled houses. Miss Clarke has performed May he suspect how deep I love!

the part of Diana Vernon once or twice, but not in a style which induces us to hope for very rapid improvement. Other theatri

cal matters are in statu quo. LITERARY CHIT-CHAT AND VARIETIES.


April 18–24. It is said that Mr Allan Cunningham's “ Anniversary" is not to be published as an Annual any longer, but is to appear in

SAT, Rob Roy, Rosina. monthly numbers, with beautiful engravings, the first of which Mon. Protean Massaroni, Little Jockey, 4 The Pilot, will come out in July. We hope this report is not correct; for Tues. Rob Roy, & Luke the Labourer.. the alteration would be decidedly to the worse.-Mr T. Hood is Wed. Presumption, of The Pilot. not to edit " The Gem" for 1830.

THUR. Gordon the Gipsy, The Purse, & Rosina. We understand that 6000 copies of the first volume of Mr Mur. FRL. Gordon the Gipsy, Little Jockey, & Luke the Labourer. ray's Family Library were subscribed for the first day, and a second edition is already in the press. One nobleman has subscribed for twenty copies of the whole series, with a view to distribution

TO OUR READERS. in that part of Ireland where his estates are situated.

In a few weeks, the first Volume of The EDINBUROR LITEThe publication of the second part of Mr Atherstone's Fall of RARY JOURNAL will be completed, and our readers will be glad to Nineveh is postponed till the beginning of next publishing sea- learn that an entirely new font of types is preparing for the second son.

Volume, which, with one or two other improvements, will give An enlarged edition of Boswell's Life of Johnson, with copious the Journal a conspicuously elegant appearance. A Title-page notes, is preparing for the press, by the Right Honourable J. W. and Index will be delivered with the last Number of the present Croker. The work will extend to five volumes, and will appear

Volume. before next Christmas. The Life of Archbishop Cranmer is nearly ready, from the pen

of Todd, the editor of Johnson's Dictionary.
A new monthly publication, on the plan of the English Maga- from " Wallenstein's Camp," and " A Real Love Sang," by the

Want of room obliges us to delay till next week the Scene
zines, has recently been started in Paris. Casimir, Delavigne, Ettrick Shepherd.
Scribe, Veron, Rossini, and others, are to contribute to it.
Mrs Hofland has in the press, Beatrice, a Tale, founded on

We are requested to state that the lines, signed “W. A.' men

tioned as “not suiting us in our last, were not by William Anfacts.

derson.-The verses entitled, “ The Noble Duellist," have too CLIMATH OF ST PETERSBURG.-In the streets of the Russian much of a political tendency for our pages. The book sent us by Metropolis, it is no unusual thing for one gentleman to accost “Q." has been lying for him at our Publishers for a week.-W. another thus:-"Sir, I beg to inform you that your nose is fro regret that the verses by "J. R. F.," "T. P." and "C.M" will

not suit us. zen;" while the other politely replies, "Sir, I was about to warn " Moral and Miscellaneous Essays," No. V., on the "Character you that symptoms of mortification have appeared on yours." of Robert Burns," is unavoidably postponed.

[blocks in formation]


consequently, the demand upon the domestic stores of Guatemala becomes greater, a new impetus will be given to the spirit of industry. Under its genial influence,

manufactures must flourish, and science will find ample Narrative of an Official Visit to Guatemala from scope for its operations. Nor are these conclusions de

Mexico. By G. A. Thompson, Esq., late Secretary duced from unwarrantable premises. They rest not to his Britannic Majesty's Mexican Commission, and upon the success of conquest. Spain originally trusted Commissioner to report to his Majesty's Government to conquest in effecting her settlements ; and what was on the State of the Central Republic. London. the result? The Spanish invaders, enervated by luxury, John Murray. 1829.

made no endeavours to improve the victory which they

had achieved. On the contrary, they exercised the GUATEMALA occupies a central position between the most intolerant despotism, by reducing the inhabitants Columbian and Mexican Republics. In consequence to bondage, and desolating their territories. In this of the extraordinary variety of its soil and temperature, manner the flame of civil dissension was kindled, the it yields almost all the productions of the frigid, tem consequences of which were necessarily destructive to perate, and torrid zones. It might have been expected, the stability of the Spanish power. Under no circumthat the importance of such a country, covering a sur, stances, therefore, can conquests be defended, unless in face of nearly seventeen thousand square leagues, and so far as they tend to ameliorate the situation of those lying in the midst of those vast relations which now over whom they have been obtained. Keeping this exist, and may hereafter be opened, between the Old and great principle steadily in view, and making those pro. New Worlds, would at once have been fully apprecia- posals which it becomes a humane and liberal nation to ted; and that a description of its natural curiosities, offer, and which it would be justifiable in a free and in. political institutions, and commercial superiority, would dependent people to accept, Great Britain may, by estahave held a prominent place in the Journals of our Ame. blishing a permanent intercourse with Guatemala, en. rican topographers. But the

peculiar advantages which large her national wealth, and more effectually sccurs Guatemala presents to the British government, from its her possessions in the American States. contiguity to that part of the Honduras shore, consti. The great number of works on America which have tating the colony of Belize, have, somewhat unaccount been already published, might appear to render the preably, been either altogether overlooked, or sadly under sent “ Narrative” superfluous. Dir Thompson, howvalued, by our capitalists. There might be some pre- ever, was induced to lay it before the public, for the text for such indifference, if these advantages were un, purpose of furnishing additional information in regard certain_if they could only prove comparatively limited to a portion of these countries which has been least in their effects-or if the acquisition of them would in- known or visited by Europeans. After having nego. terfere with the internal policy of the Guatemalian Re- tiated the Treaty of Mexico, he set off for Guatemala, public, and would consequently excite an antipathy on in order to report to his Majesty's government on the its part, detrimental alike to present security and ulti- state of affairs in that republic. The style of Nir mate aggrandizement. But why might not Guatemala Thompson's narrative is extremely perspicuous, and, become as valuable a colony as Buenos Ayres ? The what is of more consequence, it bears the impress of population of both republics is equal

. Even the most truth. There are no inflated recitals of “ hair-breadth insignificant district in Guatemala is capable of cultiva. 'scapes,” calculated to delight a modern Dido or Desdetion. In its numerous towns and villages the resources of mona. 'We meet with no pedantic detail of geographical trade are rapidly augmenting-a circumstance that would positions, or of mere latitudes and longitudes. His deseem to augur favourably for the introduction of the scriptions of scenery, without being tediously minute, more polished arts. Several navigable rivers intersect are generally spirited. If he se!dom displays much the country, which is also fertilized and ornamented scientific research, there is considerable ability in his with large lakes. If the proposed establishment of a delineations of American customs and manners. Be. water communication between the Pacific and Atlantic ing merely an agreeable narrator of incidents which Oceans, by means of the lake of Nicaragua and the actually occurred, and of scenes which were actually river St Juan, be accomplished, the traffic of Guatemala witnessed, he almost entirely avoids original reasoning, must improve. Viewing its financial affairs, even at and advances no political theories which deserve the title the present moment, it will be found that they may of novelty. In the absence of such qualities, however, safely bear a comparison with those of Mexico and the his book is instructive, as being almost the only work neighbouring republics. In short, a finer field cannot illustrative of that part of America through which he be afforded for British enterprise. Lord Bacon, in his travelled. In particular, his Historical and Statistical Novum Organum, compares society to a pillar composed Sketch of Guatemala will be perused with interest. of four parts : agriculture manufactures--commerce Though such is our general opinion of Mr Thompand science. In Guatemala, the basement of this pillar son's narrative, we occasionally observe passages which has in some measure been laid. When the market with are sufficiently frivolous in themselves, and assuredly Great Britain is more extensively opened, and when, | impart little knowledge concerning the South American

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]
« PředchozíPokračovat »