« ForrigeFortsæt »
The volume must now be left to its triumph, but a parting glance will fall from time to time on some fragment of touching and resistless captivation. What can be more native than the fine naval contempt of the beginning of “ Fight on, my boys” ?
“ Ye rakes and ye beaus, that wear the red clothes,
So fight on, my boys, we shall beat them,” &c.
“ All the world can't shew the like Saint.
No. 43.-" Come, my lads," should stand beside it in the Anthologia. It was written on a Spanish war.
~ Who cares a puff for France and Spain,
Soup maigre in alliance !
We give them bold defiance.
Some pudding would delight them ;
And afterwards we'll fight them." This is incomparably British ; at once brave and benevolent, contemptuous and charitable. The idea of first feeding and then killing, could not have occurred to any other than a great nation, equally beef-eating and belligerent; the
spirit of agriculture and ambition could go no farther.
The praise of beef is, however, a subject at once so national and individual, that we are surprised at the editor's moderation, (to give it no more invidious name,) in limiting the glories of the matchless nutriment of British heroism to a single song. That one is, however, an apotheosis-The renowned “Roast Beef of Old England,” (Leveridge, 1730.) The words have all the grace of fiction, and all the accuracy of history.
“ King Edward the Third, for his courage renown'd,
Oh the roast beef of Old England, &c.
“The Henrys, so famous in story of old,
Oh the roast beef, &c.
Oh the roast beef,” &c. The fortunate celebrity of the song almost prohibits quotation; and the Laus Kitcheneri must close ; yet the ** British Grenadiers" “ detains the spirit still," and the reader shall have the parting delight of a few couplets from a composition whose mythology and music might have given new ardour to the troops of Leonidas, or reversed the fates of Chæronea. It is Greek in the highest degree, and breathes of a scholarship that must have made the author a phenomenon in the Guards.
The British Grenadiers.
« Some talk of Alexander, and some of Hercules,
Chorus-But of all, &c.
None of your ancient heroes e'er saw a cannon-ball,
But our brave, &c.
Whene'er we are commanded to storm the palisades,
We throw them, &c.
And all the Gods celestial, &c.
Then let us crown a bumper, and drink success to those
May they and their commanders,” &c. It is almost superfluous to say, that Nassau, or the innumerable “ God those words are set to the most animated Save the Kings," “ Electors,” Empeand manly melodies. The vigour of the rors," &c.” flooding out yearly from verse implies it. Though excellence of the German school, to our' noble meall music is its appropriateness, no man lody? The old English composers have will suppose that words like these are fully established their claim to distincconveyed to the ears of the earth in Sici- tion; and when Doctor Kitchener, in lianas and affetuosos. But for boldness, the fulness of years, and publication, loftiness, and a direct connexion of shall descend to the elysium of paintenergy of sound, with energy of sense, ers, poets, and musicians, we predict they certainly have no superiors in the that the shades of Blow and Green, whole chronology of music. All the Purcell and Leveridge, will be waiting continent has been labouring to pro- at the entrance, deputed to lead him to duce a God save the King, and all its the softest seat, and overwhelm his efforts have failed. What are the brows with the greenest laurel. Vive Henri Quatre, the Wilhelmus von
“ At dubium est, habitare Deum sub pectore nostro ?
The Exhibition at Somerset-House. In this age of absurd scepticism, it But the execution, partially beautiful, has become the fashion to doubt the is partially embarrassed and unnatuvalue of Exhibitions, as auxiliaries to ral. Phæbus sits in the centre, touchthe progress of the Arts. But we ing his lyre, but with the face of a fat should first doubt the value of com- milkmaid. The Sun is by his side, a petition, of publicity, of purchase, of clumsy reservoir of light; and the the comparison of styles, of public floating gatherers of the radiance seem criticism, and of the assurance of a perplexed between the double service fair trial of merits. An exhibition on of filling their urns, and sailing round the scale of that at Somerset-House their ring. The Sun lies beside Phoecomprehends all those advantages; bus, like a beer-barrel. Light and and to its annual display may be at- the God of Light should not have tributed at once
the increased popular been disjoined. feeling for the Fine Arts, and the in- No. 22.- The Dawn, by Fuseli. creased general excellence of the Bri. The subject is suggested by the lines tish School. Exhibitions do not cre- in Lycidas, ate genius; but they cherish it; they “ L'nder the opening eye-lids of the morn, give it the immediate power of attract- What time the gray fly winds her sultry ing the public eye; they render it su
horn." perior to cabal, and place in the first A youth is asleep on the foreground. rank the man who deserves to stand The air is filled with rolling mists; in the first rank, without delay, and the grass is deep and dewy; a long without difficulty. The English School pyramidal flash of pale purple shoots has now thrown all those of the con- up from the verge of the horizon. tinent altogether out of competition. The youth is profoundly asleep, and The French is learned, accurate, la- the general expression of the picture borious, and meagre; the Italian, dry, is touching and true. loose, and feeble ; the German, a No. 34.-John Knox remonstrating compound of the French and Italian ; with Queen Mary on her intended marthe English, in its vigour and simpli- riage with Darnley. city of conception, its adherence to This is one of the most spirited picnature, and its command of colouring, tures in the room. Knox, with the has had no superior since the days of Bible in his hand, and in an action of Titian.
great force, bends towards the Queen. In the present Exhibition, there His countenance is remonstrative and are about a thousand pictures. The imperious. At the opposite side of great majority are portraits. These the picture stands Erskine, leaning are, of course, almost beyond observa- over Mary in an attitude of conciliation. Of the others, I mention only tion. Mary sits at a table, with her those which catch the general eye.
head supported by her hand. She is No. 21.-The Solar System, by in tears, and the youthful freshness of Howard. This artist has distinguish- her countenance forms a striking coned himself by the study of the more trast to the withered and acrid phyfanciful parts of fable, ancient and siognomy of her persecutor. But modern. His Pleiades, a delicious Mary's face is the chief failure of the composition, first brought him into picture. altogether wants the ronotice; and he seems never to have mantic and lofty beauty that tradition exceeded that early effort. His Solar has given to the Queen. The breadth System represents the planets by male of the cheek is rustic and heavy, and and female figures, floating in a circle the colour is neither the flush' of inround Phæbus, and drawing light in dignation,
nor the floridness of early urns from the Sun. The conception beauty.* The details of the furniture is from Milton,
and architecture are minute and ac6 Hither, as to their fountain, other stars curate ; but the subject is, on the Repairing, in their golden urns draw light.” whole, repulsive. Mary's sufferings
* Such is our correspondent's opinion, and much may be said on both sides. Our own opinion is, that Alan is right throughout--that he has made her cheek-bones broad, because she was a Scottish Beauty, and because coins (better authority than vague tradition) give Mary the characteristic outlines of her country's physiognomy-and that Allan has not painted the Queen as in the full glow of natural passion, simply because
had adopted Dr M‘Crie's belief, that, throughout the whole of this scene with Knox, € was acting a part. The picture of Archbishop Sharpe's death, however, is still the st that has been painted from the History of Scotland. C. N.
are less forgotten than her errors, if Enchanter is offering the cup, the lashe had any errors beyond those of dy shrinks from him, and a whole inexperience, and the natural im- host of farıns and satyrs are gambolpulses of a confiding and loving heart. ling round them both. This picture is
The Scotch Novels have made the inferior to the Una of the same artist, Covenanters distasteful to the multi- though the manner is remarkably and tude, and, sincere as they might have injudiciously similar. The lady is a been in their conventicles, the art- feeble and heavy figure, with a counteist should look to other times and nance totally the reverse of captivamen for the most popular exercise of ting. Comus is colossal, and thrown his genius. The days of Scottish mag- into an attitude of awkwardness and disnificence and chivalry, her court ce
tortion. But the surrounding groups lebrations, her huntings through her are highly animated, their general copicturesque and mountainous districts, louring luxuriant, and the depths and the adventures of the Bruce, the Wal- green alleys of the forest painted with lace, and the Montrose, offer a suc- a rich and verdurous beauty. cession of subjects of the richest cha- No. 261.-L'Improvisatrice, by Picracter to an aspiring national artist. kersgill ;- A rising artist who seems to The world are weary of the bitter mix- possess a peculiarly fine conception of ture of politics and religion.
female loveliness, one of the rarest faNo. 78.-Portrait of the Duke of culties of painting. The poetess is York, by Phillips. The Duke is young and handsome, her dress is Itapainted in the full robes of knight- lian, her hand is resting on a guitar, hood, the likeness is striking, and the and her large eye and glowing countearrangement of the robes at once state- nance, fixed upon a brilliant southern ly and graceful. Phillips is one of our sky, are full of inspiration. first colourists, and he has exhibited No. 272.-Shakespeare's Jubilee ; all his powers on this picture. with portraits of the performers of Co
No. 131.- Portrait of the Duke of vent-Garden, by Sharp.—This picYork, by Wilkie. This picture is of ture represents its groups forming a the Cabinet size. The Duke is look- procession to the temple of Shakeing over some papers. The light is speare. The arrangement is tasteful. thrown from a window behind the fi- But the merit of a work of this kind gure, and the Duke's costume, and the is to be looked for in the fidelity of the furniture of the apartment, are admi- likenesses ; and here lies the weakness rably treated. But the face has es- of the picture. The portraits are tracecaped Wilkie, and the resemblance is able in general with difficulty, and in lost in a mass of a heavy and feature- some instances they completely evade less shade.
No. 151.--Arthur Lord Capel de- No. 135.-The Parish Beadle, by fending Colchester, in 1648, by Coo- Wilkie.-The Beadle is arresting, an per:- This artist has obtained repu- Italian boy with a monkey ; the whole tation by painting battle-pieces of ca- family of adventurers are following valry. He has spirit and general fi- him in great indignation ; the father, delity to nature and costume. But if a pale, nervous, strong-featured gipsy, he be emulous of the fame of Wou- is on the point of attacking the Beadle; vermans, he must follow him in the the mother is in the full tide of scold. selection of a noble and generous classing. A youth behind leads their bear ; of the horse. Cooper's horses are, al- two boys of the rabble hooting at the most without exception, the rudest Italians, complete the group. Wilkie models of their kind; the short hack- has done nothing since his Rent-day, ney, or the rough and crabbed moun- superior to this picture. The story is tain horse, with more vice than blood, told with perfect clearness, the characand more hair than sinew. His hea- ters are fully sustained, and the covier chargers are mere dray-horses. In louring is probably the happiest effort this picture his knights are stately, of his pencil. though clumsily mounted, and the at- Canova's Danzatrice is the princitempt to express the stirring business pal sculpture, and is unworthy of his of the time is nearly a failure. His name; it curiously combines the vulbattle has the composure and gravity garity of a rustic, and the affectation of a pageant.
of an opera girl. No. 196.—Comus, with the Lady in the enchanted chair, by Hilton.--The Haydon's misfortunes have been VOL. XIV.
made so public, that there is no inde- mathematician's. The countenance in licacy in the topic. It directly arose which the first painters in the world from two things: his idle scorn of fol. had given their finest impression of lowing the common courses of his pro- the united nature of God and man, fession, and his determination to paint and which had become by habit idenonly Scripture-pieces, and those on the tified with the name, was profaned ; most colossal and hazardous scale. and a heavy and repulsive physiognoMuch may be forgiven to the errors of my substituted for the features of an ambitious spirit, resolved on free- manly beauty and celestial virtue. ing itself from what had been, however This palpable fault degraded his picchildishly, called the degradation of its ture of the Entry into Jerusalem, a
But cooler sense would have work of great design, and vigorous taught him, that exclusively to paint execution. The physiognomy of the subjects, for which none but cathe- principal figure was fatal to the popudrals and churches could be purcha- larity of the powerful groups that sers, and which, from the custom of the filled the canvas; and piety and taste country, neither would purchase, was
alike turned away. a hazardous speculation. The mere If Haudon had selected the Old Tessize of his pictures puts them beyond tament, he might have found the conall hope of admission into private col- genial field for his boldness, originalilections ; for what could be done with ty, and breadth of design. The Hethree or four hundred square feet of brew kings and warriors, the gorgecanvas, covered with whatever majes- ous ceremonials of the Hebrew rituals, ty of prophet or apostle ? Even if he the mighty events of a history illusmust paint Scripture-pieces, his choice trated by human pomps and divine of subjects was injudicious. The New glories, the united crownings and conTestament was his selected field. But secrations, the magnificence of Perthe character of the New Testament is sia, Egypt, and India, in the midst of beyond the power of painting. The the scenery of Palestine, the perpetual highest grandeur clothed in the most miracles, the intercourse of men and extreme simplicity; prophets and apos- angels, the ascent to heaven, have all tles wearing the aspect of fishermen formed the most sublime efforts of and peasants. All magnificence of mind the pencil. They all address the eye. under all humility of body, even a Dei- Where there is grandeur of purpose, ty veiling himself under the semblance there is grandeur of person. Acts worof a harassed and outcast man, are all thy of kings and prophets are done in beyond the reach of an art which speaks palaces, or in the presence of classes only to the eye. No force of the
pen- and companies of magnificent shapes, cil can make, or ought to make, those mortal or immortal, that relieve the beings look otherwise than men, whom mind from all doubt of the nobleness we yet know to be more.
of the agent, and invest him with a the painting is to probability, the far- magnificence suitable to the minister ther it is from reality. The little ar- of God, or the ruler of nations. tifices of haloes and glories round saint- Haydon has petitioned the House ly and divine heads, are at once repul- of Commons to extend its patronage sive to truth, and evidences of the con- to History-painting. One of the obscious inability of painting. Yet these jects of this petition may have been unconquerable disadvantages Haydon to bring his case before the country, undertook to combat, and to combat It is to be hoped that this object will with the addition of a difficulty en- not be disappointed, and that a man tirely his own. He conceived for him- of his ability will not be suffered to self a head of the Saviour, repugnant linger under the depression of hopeto all those fine imaginations of the less ill fortune. But when Haydon Italian school which had already esta- shall re-appear, he must altogether blished the countenance. The result change his conception of the way to was total, undeniable failure. For the fame. He must be undone, or listen combined loftiness and suavity, the to the advice which tells him, that no mild superiority, and the dignified individual can triumph by resisting sorrow, that alternately predominated the taste of a civilized age ; that if he in the pictures of Raphael, Corregio, expect to sell his pictures, he must reand Guido, he gave us a head' model- strict them to the size of sale ; that if led on some fantastic conception of he will live by the public favour, lie craniology, and a visage as dull as a must consult the public taste in the