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ON THE POWERS OF THE HUMAN MIND.
SPECIMEN OF COMPOSITION BY STEAM. manufacturers, and stupified by the united energies of
Persian salrapies, and universal annihilation.
The Patentee begs to solicit the attention of the pubYOUR“ Proposals for an Entire Change in the Nature which the above specimen was composed.
lic to the terms on which he hires out the machine by of Things,” suggested to me a variety in the adaptation of stean, which I consider of the very greatest import. stanza.
Love songs, and poems in the style of Moore, 6d. per ance, and by which the labour of mental exertion will
Waverley novels, 10s. per cwt. be superseded for ever. I have invented, sir, a self-com
Fashionable and sentimental novels, such as “ Treposing steam-engine, which is capable of producing se- maine,
," “ Almack's," “ The Disowned,” &c., by the ven hundred sentences per hour, on any given subject ; hour or piece. and, as a specimen of its efficiency, I have now the plea- Tragedies, 71d. per act. sure of transmitting you a short essay, on a highly inte
Essays on phrenology, gratis. resting and difficult subject, composed by my steam-en- Puffs of all descriptions executed on the shortest nogine, in the unusually short space of two minutes and a tice. half.-I have the honour to be, Sir,
Articles for the Reviews and Magazines on very rcaYour obedient servant,
sonable terms. JAMES Watt, Secundus. Speeches, upon any side of the question, from 2d. to
Liberal discount allowed to Irish Orators, and Mem
bers of Parliament who make it a rule to vote in the SURROUNDED by the fawning puerilities of celestial minority. conglomerations, the human intellect betrays its deto. nating quality by the genial origin of obstetric hyænas. Do we dread the corroding tooth of immoral jointure.
LETTERS FROM OXFORD. houses, or the fanatical vehemence of Indian jugglers,— how easy it is to repose ourselves on the crater of Mount
No. I. Hecla, or amalgamate with the cupidities of thunder. struck archbishops. Away, then, with the iniquities of
MR EDITOR,—The last term at this great seat of despotic washerwomen! Away with the devouring ten- learning has not been productive of much which is likely derness of Black wood's menstrual Magazine! For this to attract your Scottish readers. An English Univers did George the Fourth lead on the Renfrewshire militia sity is so different in its whole form and system from into so many monastic nuisances ? For this did Sir any thing to which they have been accustomed, that Walter Scott rebel against the concatenated vicissitudes they would neither understand nor relish the academic
details which excite interest here. of paper currency, and oppress, with nosological exac
Even of the place tions, the inhabitants of Annandale? Let the timid Wel. and its external aspect they can form but a slight conlington but plant his foot upon the summit of Port Hope- ception, till they have seen it. There is something toun, and the cemeteries of Parisian volcanoes will prove which no other place can give an idea ; and, least
overpoweringly imposing and venerable about it, ut the ablest guarantees of our national expenditure. In sober truth, done but irrational antipodes, or Rosicrucian any of our Scoich Universities, with their onu or two fishmongers, would ever prognosticate the ruin of Semi. Colleges, and the character which they bear upon their ramis, or forebode the downfall of anatomy.
fronts, of being intended entirely for use. At Oxford, But to return to the subject. Granting that the Mo- twenty-four Colleges and Halis, besides the numerous saical stenography exhibits all the turbulence of fashion and splendid University buildings, with their groves and able entities ; granting that an ephemeral eternity can gardens, and avenues of majestic trees, and branches isolate the fragrance of obstreperous parallelograms,
and windings numberless of classic streams, give the does it follow, from such parenthetical premises, that the place an indescribable aspect of lordliness and repos:, crural coincidences must refrigerate the longitudinal vis- and make the town appear as if less intended for the ortas of Turkish Ambassadors ? On the contrary, I ap- with. The same idea which the aspect of the city ex
dinary uses of humanity, than any other you can meet prehend it to be demonstratively interpenetrated, that every peripatetic symposium must coagulate the far- cites is reflected from the appearance of the population, fetched hyperboles that spring from vernal desolation, of which, the most striking feature to a stranger is the of irradiate the centrifugal beauty of Circassian oligarmultitude of strange and obsolete dresses which meet the chies. Who can deny the justness of this conclusion, if eye in all their mystical variety of forms and ornaments, the symmetrical ordinances of clerical contiguity are once
more unintelligible than those contained in “ Aaron's brought into contrast with the Presbyterian stocking- wardrobe, or the old Haman's vestry.” holders, rioting in luxurious contumacy, or irritated by
But I must not entertain you with the picturesque antenuptial fumigations? It has been said by a learned when you ask for the literary.' I fear that you in Scotauthor, that the repertories of Iconoclastical enthusiasm land have rather an exaggerated idea of the general litehad been syncopated by exasperating effluvia, and tri- rature and erudition of Oxford. To say the truth, the turated by epicurean paradoxes; but I contemn this com- Oxonian system of education, viewed merely as a process mentary upon syntactical phenomena, and abominate the of general instruction, abstractedly from its endowments granulating excoriations that converge from terselated and means of learned leisure, is, as the world is beginning renegadoes. As the magniloquent poet has carnivorously of the matter and the manner of education. In regard to
to find out, exceedingly deficien—and that both in respect observed, " Wherever life its varied essence throws,
the former point, there are absolutely not the means in
Oxford of a complete and liberal education, even for those There is satiety when lobsters come; Hydras are swallowed faster than the rose,
who are inclined to make use of them—the only branch of Beauty expires, and artichokes are dumb !"
study for which there are at all adequate appliances
provided, being the classical department. And even in To conclude, then, I shall simply remark, that never this department the celebrity of Oxford does not seem to did the parietal gastronomy more illustriously salivate depend on any peculiar efficiency
in the mechanism of the apathies of ghastly aldermen than upon that brilliant instruction viewed in itself ; but on the inducements occasion, when all eyes were mystified by convolving held out in the way of distinctions and rawards to pro
ficiency in the first instance, and then to the establish- following topics inmin what respect this branch can be ments which it possesses for the support of a number of ranged in a subordinate class of art ;-and to what ex. individuals, whose sole profession is literature, among
tent the assertion so often repeaicu is just, that portrait whom it were strange if one or two should not be found disqualifies for the attaivment of eminence in the histowho turned out enthusiasts in their profession ; and ha- rical ur grand style of painting. ving nothing else 10 attend to, at length became really With regard to the first subject of investigation ; if profound and erudite scholars. This seems the true the merit, and consequent rauk, of any work of art, is to secret ot'Oxonian erudition__not ibat, as a body, the men be estimatcd by the effect produced upon the mind, it brought up at Oxford are more learned, far less better will admit of question whiciler portraiture be not supeinformed, ilian the men educated at Étlinburgh-out rior to history. Nor is this morle of decision an apthat 0:ford does not, like Edinburghi, let hice choice peal fiom principle, as might be said, to the voice of the scholars go just at the moment when they have got many. It is an appenl fiom the trammels of conven. over the preliminaries, when they have acquired the con- tional criticism,—-rom the mazes of metaphysical taste, mand of their tools-and might, if they were not called to natural feeling and unsophisticated judgment,—to away to active service in lite, begin to explore tlıe ar
common sense, cana, and become initiated into the greater mysteries. Set up a hundred or two fat sinccures in Edinburgh for
Quem penes abitrium est, et jus, et norma. learned men as such, and out of the hundred you will But to obviate entirely, this supposed and only objec. certainly find one or two in a generation, who will turn tion; the feelings addressed in a well-painted portrait these sinecures to their iniended use—the undisturbed are the best and the most rafined of the human heart. The cultivation of erudite research, and acquisition of deep canvass, breathing with those lineaments on which we scholarship. Whether the gain be worilly of the price lave lung with respect and affection—with veneration is another question ; but that is the way, if the Royal and love, presents an object grateful and affecting be. Commission will have it so, to turn Edinburgh into an yond every other that art can exhibit. Oxford let then endow a score or two of rich fellow
“ And while the wings of fancy still are free, ships--and make the passport to them a distinguished
While I can view this mimic show of thee, degree. The examinations for degrees this terin at Ox
Time has but half succeeded in his thett: ford have either been very scarce, or the examinees very ill-prepared. Out of more than a hundred who
Thyself removed-thy power tu sulace left." went up 10 ihe schools, only four have taken a first class, Nor are these partial feelings awakened merely by -a smaller proportion tbau is recollected for many years individual circunstances. When a portrait belongs back. The vacant chair of Oriental languages has been to posterity, the feelings too belong to immortality ; the filled up with a Mr Pusey, fellow of Oriel,-a young pencil then employs an universal language, addressing man of wonderful acquirements as a liguist. He wrote the taste, the energy, the virtue of each succeeding age. an account lately of the German thcology, in which lie Supposing it now possible to recover some master. is profoundly versed, in answer to the work of Mr Rose piece of Grecian art, which single picture would enjoy of Cambridge, on the same subject. This book contains the general preference? We apprehend not a tablet, a vast quantity of valuable information ; but its author enriched even by the cxquisite finish of Zeusis, or the is rather too much Teutonicised to suit an English glowing colours of Parrhasius, or the deep pathos of
Timanthes, or the beauty and grandeur of Apelles him. The only publications of any note wliich have issued sell. The earlier labours in the pæcile would raise the from the Oxford press during the last term are Cramer's general wish; for here Polygnotus had depicted, from Geography of Greece,—a work, like his Italy, of great the living originals, the heroes wlio defended)—the legis. research and minuteness ;—and Mills' Universiiy Ser- lators who enlightened united Greece, during the most mons,-a set of rather learned and ingenious disquisi. glorious period in her moral history. Or to put a case tions on the belief of a future state. The Oriel inen, yet more home-felt: When centuries shall have harmoas you have no doubt heard, are getiing up a review, nised the jarring elements of history into the brief nar. which they intend to pitch aguinst the Quarterly. What rative which will embalın whatever is truly great and their ground of dissatisfaction with the latter is, I do not precious in the events or characiers of these our times know, unless it be, that it is edited by a Scotchuman, and when, it may be, the splendour of art and the light of that it has of late been rather less opposed to innovations liberty have arisen on a new hemisphere, leaving in igthan of old. Blanco White is to be the nominal editor norance and despotism those regions of Europe once in. of the new Review, though the principal manageinent, structed and free, what collection of English art will it is supposed, will belong to Dr Wlately, Principal of then be most regretted ? Would it not be such an ore Alban Hall,-one of the ablest men in 0 tord, whose as is now forming by liis Majesty-a design worthy of defence of Aristoile against the Scoich metaplıysicians, royal munificence and taste—where, as withiin sovie con. by the by, ought to be known in Scotland, and either secrated shrine-a school of future viriue and enterprise answered, or acknowledged to be triumphant.
-are to be assembled the silent, yet eloquent forms, Oxford, Dec. 17, 1823.
representatives of the valour, the learning and patriot. ism, the wisdom and genius, of our native land ?
We need advocate no farther the moraldigniiy ofan art, FINE ARTS.
which inultiplies the eterniiy of that which cannot die which addresses the tenderest and the noblest principles
of our nature. Nor are these emotions, as has been said, ON PORTRAIT PAINTING.
separate and apart from the object that calls them forth. By Dr Memes, Author of the “ Life of Canova," &c.
An historical painting, a group of sculpiure,-every
effort of art capable of touching the feelings, derives “ Blessed be the Art that can immortalize,
this power from association ; and that work is the most The Art that baffies Time's tyrannic claim."
perfect which most cordially sympathises with the as. Among the causes, real or imaginary, assumed as ad- sociated sentiment—which Aings its instant brightness verse to the progress of British art, that most frequent- or gloom over the imagery of memory. ly brought forward is the prevalence of portait painting. Now, in the dignity and legitimacy of the means, the It may prove, then, not altogether uninteresting can- second subject of inquiry, by which its effects are wrought, didly to inquire how far this opinion is well founded. portrait painting is neither interior nor opposed to hisThis examination must necessarily embrace the two tory. Anch io son pittore, may with justice be the boast
0, NATURE ! holy, meek, and mild,
of the artist in either department. The means which imitative art employs are twofold; peculiar to individual modes of imitation, and dependent on the precepts of universal taste. In the first, the colouring, the drawing. the management of light and shaile, the grandeur of the masses, the breadth of parts-all the essentials, in short, of the grand in practical art, a portrait, admi. rable as a work of genius, exhibits the same excellences, and these produced by observance of the same principles, as a piece of history. An opinion opposite to this fact, and which confounils greatness of extent with grandeur of effeci, appears to be ai ilie boitom of much of the irrelevant remark on tlie subject now considered. True grandeur in a work of ari, however, is a principle pure and independent, which must exist, and will be found, in every work of excellence, of whatever maynitude.
In those beauties, again, common to all the modes of imitation, which in all constitute the “ To vadov nao ayafor" of universal art, portrait, in its true excellence, must partake equally with historical works. If intellectuality and expression--the animating, the inforining principles of painting—be regarded, where are these more finely developed, than in the countenance of genius or feeling, when touched by the hand of a master ? Such a picture is the portraiture of the soul..the nearest approach which the material can make to the intellectual world. Here the pencil must be guided by the most exquisite science, and the loftiest enthusiasm. Perhaps even more acute discernment, more refined knowledge, of the human heart, is required, thus to embody the calm habi. tudes of the mind in serenity and repose, than to express the more turbulent effects of passion, the frequent theme of history.
But, after all, what is historical painting? Is it not portraiture ? and are not its merits in proportion to the Lidelity of the delineation in the manners, the characters, the general spirit of the times to wbich it belongs ? Does fancy claim the subject ? still the constituents are portraits of nature, and the whole is combined by the laws of this very imitation. Here, intleed, in the composition and arrangement of his materials, the historical painter exerts a greater latitude of creative power. This, however, arises from the greater variety, not the superior excellence, of materials or of his principles. Grace more frequenily bounds the simple composition of the porirait. Both, however, are essentially the same art--the art of representing nature ; and each attains this, its scope and aim, as this initation is accomplished. And it is more immediate intercourse with this, the sole and primitive source of all beauty and truth, which renders the science of portrait painting the most valuable corrective of all conventional art_ihe best preparative for the loftiest exercises of imagination. This the whole history of art evinces. The only approaches to nature, in the arts of Egypt, are to be found in the colossal heads-as that of Memnon—which there is every reason to believe were portraits. In Greece, their theory of the ideal, and their canons of proportion, were deduced from the study of individual nature, as in portraits. Sculpture, in fact, began to advance with ease and certainty only after the introduction of Iconic statues, or portraits. The Roman school attained originality, and came in contact with truth and beauty, only in portraits. In modern times, with the exception of Michael Angelo, the best portrait have been the best liistorical painters. Raphael's Transfiguration belongs not more to the grand style of art, than his portrait of Julius. In the schools, now, of France and Italy, we find every thing which theory and the antique can give-fine drawing, correct proportion -but that which portrait could give, feeling and the graces of natural expression are wanting. In the Eng. lish school there is feeling—there is truth-character all the inexpressible charms of nature. Let patrons do the rest, and we shall have historical paintings, like our portrnits, superior to every thing in living art.
Or lead me forth o'er dales and meads,
Or, when the sun sinks, and the bright
I feel thy presence and thy power,
THE HOUR OF SLEEP.
By John Malcolm, Esq.
Far over mount and sea,
Her lonely walks with thee ;-
By whispering woods and silvery streams, Upon the calm and shadowy shore
That rises on my dreams.
With thee my spirit strays,
Of long-lost yesterdays-
And left a desert gap around-
And mourn'd as lost-are found.
And there, thy sad sweet smile still glows,
And doth thy cheek illume, That wcars the image of the rose,
Now blench'd within the tomb ; And thy soft voice, to silence long
Gone down from earth, my spirit hearsLike the sweet memory of a song,
Echoed from other years.
Oh, why are dreams so blissful given
To charm the hours of sleep To soothe us with a gleam of Heaven,
Then leave to wake and weep? Why is the lost one's memory dear,
If it but haunts the heart in vainIf friends by death are sever'd here,
Never to meet again?
THE VALE OF PEACE! and it was Sabbath-morn! And at my side, pausing whene'er I paused, And moving on whene'er I moved, a Spirit Lovelier than Nymph or Goddess of the Dawn, Created in his sleep by some young Greek, Beside that famous fount of Castaly Stretched in day-dreams beneath the olive shade O! lovelier far that Spirit! For her face, Composed of mortal beauty, seemed immortal! So felt her father, as the holy light Of that still Sabbath-morn, so sad and sweet, Visited her eyes, her cheeks, her brow, her hair, And, to my heart, seemed all reflected back On the green earth, and on the blue profound Of God's own gracious skies !
« THE VALE OF PEACE!" Breathed she, with that low voice so musical, That voice of hers, so like an echo brought From far,-yet as familiarly distinct As words ot' fancy-fraught soliloquy By wandering poet murmured in the woods To his own ear, none other by to hear The fragments of his song, but forest-birds, The rustling robin redbreast near his nest, In spring and summer shy of human life By the sweet ingrate through the snows beloved ! Or cushat moaning, is it joy or grief?) Hid in some yew-tree many centuries old! “ The Vale of Peace !" my rose-lipped Margaret
breathed Once more, so close unto my heart I felt The fine faint fragrant sigh from Paradise ; Nor ever floated up and down the air, In sunshine shivering to the zephyr's wing, Rose-leaves more lightly, in their balminess, Than did the tones of her repeated voice, Rising and falling,wavering and away, Each time more eloquent of innocent bliss ! On a soft sofa of the unhewn rock We sat us down, within a natural niche, O'ergrown with emerald velvet, such a depth Of moss had gathered there from year to year, While overhead, and but few yards aside, Kept dinning ceaseless in the solitude, The tiny cataract of a lucid rill Breathed from a clear loch, up among the braes,Whose spray, like pearls in mist, empurpled bright The flowers, on which tbe mountain-bees hung mute Amid that watery murmur,—or at once Capriciously forsaking their sweet prisons In the many-celled foxglove, boomed away, Through sunshine, like to fairy humming-birds, To their ground hives, or other balmier wilds.
With her, the loved, the good, the beautiful,
She gazed and gazed,
THE VALE OF PEACE.
A SABBATH SCENE.
By Professor Wilson.
THE VALE OF PEACE! A tranquillizing sound !
Not many tears, and they were tears of joy,
With the descending lark her soul return'd
“ Yes, my dear child!
Long, long ago, still held with dance and song,
I ceased, and a low sobbing by my side
I laid my arm around my daughter's neck,
“Look, Margaret, towards the sun-the joyous cast !