페이지 이미지
PDF
ePub

bound up

juice of a bunch of grapes from her are various, but the names the same fingers (a rosy wine-press), which - heaps of Rembrandts frowning falls into the mouth of a chubby in- from the darkened walls, Rubens's fant below. But, above all, who glad gorgeous groups, Titians more shall celebrate, in terms of fit praise, rich and rare, Claudes always exhis picture of the shepherds in the quisite, sometimes beyond compare, Vale of Tempe going out in a fine Guido's endless cloying sweetness, morning of the spring, and coming to the learning of Poussin and the Caà tomb with this inscription :-Et racci, and Raphael's princely magEGO IN ARCADIA vIxı! "The eager nificence, crowning all. We read curiosity of some, the expression of certain letters and syllables in the others who start back with fear catalogue, and at the well-known and surprise, the clear breeze play- magic sound, a miracle of skill and ing with the branches of the shadow- beauty starts to view. One would ing trees, “the valleys low, where think that one year's prodigal disthe mild zephyrs use,” the distant, play of such perfection would exhaust uninterrupted, sunny prospect speak the labours of one man's life; but the (and for ever will speak on) of ages next year, and the next to that, we past to ages yet to come!*

find another harvest reaped and gaPictures are a set of chosen images, thered in to the great garner of art, a stream of pleasant thoughts passo by the same immortal handsing through the mind. It is a luxury Old Genius the porter of them was ; to have the walls of our rooms hung He letteth in, he letteth out to wend. round with them, and no less so to Their works seem endless as their rehave such a gallery in the mind, to putation—to be many as they are con over the relics of ancient art complete-- to multiply with the desire

within the book and of the mind to see more and more of volume of the brain, unmixed (if it them; as if there were a living were possible) with baser matter!” power in the breath of Fame, and in A life passed among pictures, in the the very names of the great heirs of study and the love of art, is a happy, glory “there were propagation too!" noiseless dream: or rather, it is to it is something to have a collection dream and to be awake at the same of this sort to look forward to once a time ; for it has all “ the sober cer- year; to have one last, lingering look tainty of waking bliss," with the ro- yet to come. Pictures are scattered mantic voluptuousness of a visionary like stray gifts through the world, and and abstracted being. They are while they remain, earth has yet a the bright consummate essences of little gilding left, not quite rubbed things, and“ he who knows of out, dishonoured and defaced. There these delights to taste and interpose are plenty of standard works still to them oft, is not unwise!” - The be found in this country, in the colOrion, which I have here taken oc- lections at Blenheim, at Burleigh, casion to descant upon, is one of a and in those belonging to Mr. Ancollection of excellent pictures, as gerstein, Lord Grosvenor, the Marthis collection is itself one of a series quis of Stafford and others, to keep from the old masters, which have for up this treat to the lovers of art for some years back embrowned the many years : and it is the inore dewalls of the British Gallery, and en- sirable to reserve a privileged sancriched the public eye. What hues, tuary of this sort, where the eye may (those of nature mellowed by time) doat, and the heart take its fill of breathe around, as we enter! What such pictures as Poussin's Orion, forms are there, woven into the me- since the Louvre is stripped of its mory! What looks, which only the triumphant spoils, and since he, who answering looks of the spectator can collected it, and wore it as a rich. express! What intellectual stores jewel in his Iron Crown, the liunter have been yearly poured forth from of greatness and of glory, is himself the shrine of ancient art! The works a shade!

T.

Poussin has repeated this subject more than once, and appears to have revelled in its witcheries. I have before alluded to it, and may again. It is hard that we should not be allowed to dwell as often as we please on what delights us, when things that are disagrecable recur so often against our will.

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

1

un

[ocr errors]

It has long been my custom, when- that the pleasure is partly over with ever I have found a book that I had the chase. It was, indeed, a very never before heard of, warmly, and sensible, well-written, elegant work to all appearance disinterestedly, of the Cardinal's; and, I believe, commended by any writer who has much better adapted to practice himself gained my confidence, not to than the system constructed by Jean rest satisfied till I have seen what it Jacques, or any of the modern school, is that has induced him to give this to all which, if I remember right, circulating letter of credit to another. the judicious critic above-mentioned Thus it was, some years ago, that in prefers it. Yet must it be acknowreading the history of Italian litera- ledged that the “ Emile,” which ture by Tiraboschi, I met with such came to me unsought, and “ commendations of a tractate on the wooed was won," afforded me far subject of education (then, and ever higher entertainment. There is the since, a very interesting one to me), same kind of difference as between as determined me to seize the first Plato's republic, and an essay on the occasion that offered itself of perus- British Constitution; or that which ing it. Many a day passed before. Fuseli has well observed, between the the arrival of this desired moment. Epic and Historic styles in painting, Many a bookseller's catalogue did I that “ the one astonishes, the other turn over, and more than one public informs.” But this is an age that library did I visit, to no purpose, in very sagely has taken “nil admirari" this search. Scarcely can any one for its motto; when our children but an old fisherman, who has been read no fairy tales, and our stateswatching his float through a long men * no metaphysics, except " Locke summer's evening, and seen it, after on the Human Understanding:” and, lying motionless on the surface of the therefore, a brief account of Šadoleti's water, at last making two or three lit- book, that has nothing chimerical in tle ducks and nods, and then drawn it but the conclusion, may not come briskly in a sidelong direction down- amiss. wards, imagine the joy I felt when It is in the form of a dialogue, a one of Mr. Payne's brochures opened favourite one with the writers of that a glimpse of the long-sought treasure time (Leo the Tenth), but more in to my view. It was not in that plea- Cicero's manner than in that of Plato. sant nook near the Mews' gate, where the author represents himself holdI used to angle for such prey in my ing a discourse with a very discreet college days, almost as retired and young man, his nephew, the care of umseen as under the alders in whose education had been entrusted park; but from the spacious reser- to him, and who came every day to voir to which the vivarium has since lecture in Aristotle's ethics, with his been transferred, that I drew my tutor and kinsman. At the request booty to shore. It was “ Sadoletus of Paolo, who comes somewhat earde Liberis recte instituendis” itself. lier than usual, for the sake of makWhether it were from the habit I ing the inquiry, his uncle readily had, when a boy, of throwing my fish, enters on an explanation of what he when caught, immediately into my conceives the best mode of bringing pouch, and not letting them lie on up a young person ; and beginning the bank, lest they should spring from his infancy, gives some prudent back again into the stream, I know directions as to the choice of a nurse, not; but so it was, that the money though he strongly advises that, if was no sooner out of one pocket, possible, that office should be disthan my purchase was in the other. charged by the mother herşelf. Till Reader, thou knowest in what such the reason is capable of acting, dispursuits usually end. Thou knowest cipline, it is observed, is all in all ;

a

* See the Bishop of Winchester's Lifo of Mr. Pitt

near

ence.

son.

the manners and temper are, there writers is the fault of this latter part, fore, to be moulded by assiduous and which, on the whole, is less satisaffectionate care; and every precau- factory than the former. Music is tion is to taken, that no taint of ill relụctantly permitted, and with a example should be suffered to come due caution against the corruption of

Then follow some precepts the art, which had become merely beautifully expressed, as to the ne- a sensual indulgence, instead of the cessity of instilling, as soon as may means of allaying and tempering the be, a sense of piety into the young more violent emotions of the mind; pupil; and the unremitting attention but dancing (that favourite relaxawhich the father of the family must tion of Socrates) is proscribed, as utuse, that every thing in his own car- terly inconsistent with a manly grariage should be as it ought, and that vity and sobriety of manners. The without any appearance of study and severer sciences are now approached; intention, so as to work its effect and last of all, she, to whom they by a silent and imperceptible influ- are but subservient and introduce

If the parent is conscious of tory, Philosophy herself, with her his inability to perform this part, he two great ministers, Aristotle and is to seek out for another, on whom Plato, receives the pupil at the apex he may devolve the charge of his of the mount, and either sends him

back thoroughly furnished and fitted After the usual admonition to pres for whatever walk of active life he serve a due mean between indul- may choose, or, if he wisely prefer gence and severity in the treatment taking up his abode with her, guards of the boy, the writer, breaks out him in bīisful contemplation, into a noble eulogium on Truth, the intermediate link between morals Where bright aërial spirits live insphered and speculative wisdom, which is, I In regions mild of calm and serene air, think, the finest passage in the dia- Far from the smoke and stir of this dim

spot. logue. For the latter part is reserved the course of reading. It is Another eminent Italian, who was recommended, first of all, to encourage a contemporary with Sadoleti, has the child to a love of his book, by left us an extremely pleasing report letting him see others, older than of the manner in which he dedicated himself, caressed and rewarded for his time to the instruction of his two their application. No more knowo sons, in the retirement of his country ledge of grammar is exacted from villa. He, whom I speak of, is Frathe learner than is requisite for en castorio, the physician, to whom the abling him to understand what he palm in Latin verse is usually attrireads, and to express himself readily, buted among the moderns; and as and correctly; and the difficulties of the subject is much more agreeable the art are very judiciously postponed than that of his longer and more ceto a riper age. He is then handed lebrated poem, so has he been quite over to rhetoric and poetry, and put as successful in his manner of handling under the special tuition of Cicero, it. I am not aware that it has ever the idol of that time; after whom been introduced to the English readcome the other orators and poets in er; and a translation of it will form the two learned languages of anti- no unfit accompaniment to the forequity. A leaning to the Roman going remarks.

TO GIOVANNI BATTISTA TORRIANO.

Torriano, if my simple village farm
Could boast more joys a welcome guest to charm,
Or if I thought my friend could better brook
The scant convenience of this rustic nook,
Then should I covet thy dear company
Amidst Incaffi's mountains here with me,
These mountains, where, but that with chirpings shrill
The grasshoppers our lofty woodlands thrill,
I scarce that it were summer-tide could know,
So mildly does the air of July blow.

What though my shed be lowly! yet if pure
From sordid stain, from éddying dust secure;
Yet if no sound unwelcome break my rest,
No guilt alarm me, and no care molest;
So peace throughout, and deep-felt quiet reign,
With Ease that brings the Muses in his train;
And the long slumber of the silent night:
Nought moves it me, though other eyes delight
Iu vermeil hues that on their ceilings shine;
Content to see the chimney-sinoke on mine.

If round my walls no giant forms thou spy,
Hurld by Jove's lightning from the starry sky,
No life-impassion'd figures, that may claim
A deathless guerdon for Romano's name ;
Boon liberty awaits thee; she, who loves
Above all haunts the sylvan wild, and roves
With easy footstep, unconcern'd and gay,
Where chance impels, or fancy leads the

way.
Some nicer rules if thou shouldst here offend,
Loll with too careless freedom on a friend,
Or haply from thy grasp the platter slip,
Or the press'd goblet sound beneath thy lip;
None marks thee. Sit or walk thou mayst at will,
Be grave or merry, fast or take thy fill.
In this retreat how circling days I spend,
What recreation with what studies blend,
Thou haply wouldst inquire ; and on the view
Award of praise or blame the impartial due.
The dawn appears. Enchanted, I survey
In the broad east the kindling wheels of day,
That in no clime with state more radiant rise,
And woods, and rocks, and many-colour'd skies ;
Then turn to clear Benacus' brimming lake,
Toward whose ample breast their progress take
A hundred streams, which green-hair'd Naiads pour
To swell the mighty father's crystal store.
Next from the breezy height I pleas'd discern
Up to the woods the lowing oxen turn,
And scatter'd o'er their pasture range the goats :
The master of the flock his beard denotes,
Shagged and crisp, and locks depending low;
Stalking before the rest with measur'd pace and slow:
The goatherd damsel waves her wand behind,
A bunch of flax about her girdle twined,
That streams and flutters in the passing wind.
Meanwhile my sons, whom diligent I train
To venerate then

powers that rule the plain,
I beckon to the shatle: they straight obey
The call, with books to charm an hour away:
These on the grassy couch at random thrown,
Studious we con; or seated on a stone,
Where his rough arms the broad-leaved chestnut bends,
And charged with oily mast the beech impends;
The boughs on every side and thickets round,
With sport and song of feather’d warblers sound.

Sometimes the more to vary the delight,
Green alleys and the yielding turf invite
Amid the forest ways our feet to roam,
Till sharpen'd appetite reminds of home :
Then wearied and athirst the boys complain
Return too long delay'd ; nor tuneful strain,

Pan, nor Lycæus with its umbrage hoar
Of whispering pine-trees can detain them more,
But on they speed with busy haste before ;
With laughing wine the glass transpicuous fill,
And limpid waters sparkling from the rill;
In order due each ready vessel place,
And, mingling flowers between, the banquet grace.
I come: the orchard first supplies the board
With tender figs, or the dark mulberry stored ;
The garden and the court the rest afford.
With frequent stroke meanwhile the granary rings :
Rebounding light the crackling harvest springs;
The heavy flail descending smites amain
The floor alternate and the sparkling grain ;
Echoes the glen ; the neighbouring rocks reply ;
And the light chaff floats upward in the sky.
Indulgent, on the sturdy thresher's toils,
Glad Ceres downward looks from heaven, and smiles.

Books, exercise, and slumber wing with down
Our following hours, whilst Procyon fires the town:
But at their close, when up Olympus' height
Emerging Hesper leads the host of night,
On the tall cliff I take my custom'd stand,
Point to their eager gaze the radiant band,
With love of its celestial home inspire
The youthful soul, and feed the sacred fire ;
Wond'ring they learn to spell each shining star,
Cepheus, and Arctos, and Boötes' car.

And canst thou doubt, for this our calmer life,
To quit awhile the jarring city's strife ?
To solitude and ease thy thoughts resign,
And change thy loftier pursuits for mine?

Our cell e'en great Naugero once adorn'd;
Nor Battus, favorite of the muses, scorn'd,
What time his harp first taught the list'ning groves
Their guardian Pan and Tellus ancient loves :
Here also I, whom healing arts engage
In these last moments of my waning age,
Once more the Nine regarding, point my song
At the mad follies of the vulgar throng.

Lest these light numbers meet Ghiberti's glance, Beware: except at Bubulo, perchance, On the green bank he nurse some milder mood, Where rolls smooth Tartarus his tranquil flood. For oft his gracious audience entertains The gladden'd muse, nor slights her rustic strains. But when his soul into herself retires, (Whether to realms of light her wing aspires, Or meekly ministrant on rites divine Duteous she bends before the hallow'd shrine,) Then holds he sweet communion with the skies : Nor lighter themes attract his awful eyes, To whom the life, that angels lead, is given On earth, to know, and antedate his heaven.

« 이전계속 »