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offices. Indeed this weakness has been too frequently turned to the advantage of the designing, who have not cared to receive a momentary displeasure, when they knew that it would be succeeded by a spirit so subdued and so complaisant, that then was the moment for asking favours, and making encroachments.
Love, which awakens the finest sensibilities, even in the most obdurate bosoms, in him produces the most extravagant and romantic emotions. He catches a glimpse of some fair creature, perhaps at church kneeling at her devotions: her down-cast eye he in vain endeavours to attract. He retires without attaining his object, which he considers one of inestimable importance. Her lovely form is ever present to the eye of his imagination, his nights are sleepless, his time drags on slowly till the returning Sabbath: then he repairs to the same blessed spot: again beholds the idol he came to worship, gazes upon her, their eyes meet, he is confused, he blushes like a girl. He watches her home, trembling at a distance, and looking like a criminal afraid to be detected in the preparation of some guilty deed. Perhaps he es her enter some stately mansion; and when the door is closed
upon her, he feels as if for ever shut out from the society of the only being with whom he could be happy. Then does his ardent fancy engender a world of horrible imaginations. He contrasts his humble style of life with the pomp and magnificence which attend upon her: he conjures before him a legion of admirers, who must needs aspire after one so lovely; he thinks of an ambitious mother, an avaricious father, and hard-hearted brothers, all ready to despise, reject, and ridicule the passion of a man whose fortune is soon told, and whose reputation is yet to be established. Goaded with desparation, he is either urged to zealous exertions for the attainment of fortune and eminence, and cheered with the hope of at length receiving what he conceives a transcendant reward, or he welcomes gloom and hopelessness: becomes negligent of his health and personweary of his life:-he languishes—and sinks into an untimely grave.
AN HIBERNIAN WITTICISM.
Five bright Irish lads of discretion,
They bother'd so tightly,
One might have thought rightly,
But this was the cause, d’you see :-
Their wits 'gan to strive,
Says one,--"Now I'll end all your care;
There's one for you two,
And one for you two,
The active and enterprising Belzoni lives no more, for Science and his Country! He expired at Benin, of dysentry, at the time he was contemplating a journey to Houssa and Tombuctoo, and the prosecution of farther African discoveries. He was also a native of Padua, and the inhabitants of that city some years since caused a medal to be struck, in honour of their scientific countryman. He was tall and of Herculean proportion, and in the earlier part of his life performed the part of Sampson in a religious drama enacted at Lisbon.
The researches which he made in Egypt among those interesting antiquities, the relics of "forty ages," and the discovery that the Pyramid of Cephrenes contained, not the remains of the former monarchs of the country, as Herodotus erroneously imagined, but of an animal venerated as one of their tutelar deities, must for ever endear him to the lovers of historical antiquity, connected as that science is with the study of ancient customs and manners-notices of generations that have long passed away.*
IO BAPT BELZONI
PRIMVS A PERVIT
Here are Two
tues of granite.
SOME mistake has arisen concerning the precise meaning of the word Curfew, which does not only signify a bell to be rung at a certain hour in the evening, for the extinguishing of lights, but an instrument (as its name, Couvre feu, imports) used as an extinguisher. A Mr. Gosling, of Canterbury, had in his possession an utensil, which he said had been in his house from time immemorial, called a Curfew, or Couvre feu, from its use, which is that of putting out fire suddenly. It is of copper, rivetted together, as solder would have been liable to have melted with heat. This utensil is supposed to have been first used in the time of William the Conqueror, to whose orders, about putting out fires and candles, is attributed the rise of the Curfew Bell.
* Belzoni brought from the Pyramid of Cephrenes a bone of an animal, which, on being subjected to the inspection of an eminent surgeon, proved to be the thigh bone of a Cow.
ANCIENT PAINTINGS. Mr. Editor, SEVEN years after the occurrence of the event commemorated by the pisture already described,* another took place of a character totally different, but which was deemed no less deserving of record; and in this, as in the former instance, the Painter was called in, to illustrate and strengthen the memorial of the historian. The two pictures, of which I am now to give some account, relate to the friendly interview between Henry VIII. of England, and Francis I. of France, near Calais, on the 31st of May, 1520. Of a Pageant so splendidly conducted, it cannot be doubted that the most interesting periods for representation would have been the embarkation on the English coast, the landing and procession on the foreign shore, and the interview between the monarchs. The second and last of these periods are combined in one subject, but it is difficult to gness the precise object of the first picture, unless we admit it to have been for the display of the ships, which doubtless might have been shown to more than their present advantage off the port of Dover; and the painter, who has distinctly represented the English fortress from that of Calais, could surely have felt no difficulty in delineating Calais from the heights of Dover, supposing-what is very probable, that he wished to exhibit at one view, the places of embarkation and disembarkation. But it is my business to notice what the painter has done, not what he has left undone, or what, according to our present notions, he should have accomplished.
The place appointed for the meeting of the monarchs was between the small towns of Guisnes and Ardres, on the frontiers, within the English pale, and from the uncommon splendour of the preparations, it was emphatically called the field of the cloth of gold. For ten or twelve days scenes of the most costly and magnificent description took place. Banqueting, balls, and tournaments were successively exhibited; the kings themselves bore away the prizes of valour and dexterity. “In these entertainments, more than in any serious business, did the two kings pass their time till their departure.” Such is the account of the historian. It will be imagined that no expence was spared on the part of either nation, to give effect to this ceremonious and unexampled meeting of their Sovereigns.
The painter has in part supplied the deficiencies of the historian : he has afforded us a competent idea of the beauty and magnificence of the squadron, which appears to have consisted of five ships, though twice that number are to be seen. The port of Calais is distinguished by a fort flanked with two circular bastions, whose battlements are furnished with guns, and occupied by armed men and spectators. In the distance appears Dover Castle, or rather a building intended to point out the relative situation of that fortress. It is elevated on white cliffs, which together with the building on their crest, were entirely the invention of the artist. The ships are huge structures, carrying three masts, unencumbered with sails; they are very lofty at the stem and stern, and are splendidly adorned with armorial bearings. The king's ship is only distinguished from the rest by its situation, and by the royal arms and supporters on its stern. Boats are passing to and fro, from the different vessels, one laden with persons of the king's suite,
* See page 158.
has four banners flying, and displaying the Tudor badges. It is probable the painter chose rather to represent the close, than the commencement of de barkment, because in the next picture he exhibited the procession on its way from the shore, which is seen in the landscape. An exact repetition of the figures is thus avoided. Arranged in its proper order, the grand cavalcade pursues a serpentine course through the country, and enters the gates of Guisnes, a little town defended by a strong fortress, whose guns announced the approach of the English Monarch and his court. In the foreground appears Henry the Vuii. mounted on a white charger, whose prancing attitude bespeaks the pride which the animal seems to share with his high-spirited rider. The king is attired in crimson, but his dress is nearly covered with a loose flowing mantle of gold, splendidly embroidered; his face is turned towards his right shoulder, consequently its features are fully displayed; he wears a flat hat or cap of black velvet, with a white feather, and the character of the whole figure is so striking, that we may pronounce it to be a portrait of the monarch, and perhaps as faithful a portrait as any in existence. The king is preceded by the sword-bearer, on horseback, the Heralds wearing their tabards, and various other officers. On his left hand is Cardinal Wolsey, seated on an ass. The procession is Janked by Halberdiers on foot. The mingled groups of spectators add greatly to the merit of the picture they are scattered agreeably to the fancy of the artist, and are clothed in finery or rags by the same power. In one place we observe careless loungers in their holiday finery, in another spruce beaux, and their fair companions; here strolling musicians, and old women, regardless of every thing but gossip and liquor, of which they are jointly partaking in the gipsy attitude. A sumptuous building occupies a conspicuous situation in this picture : before it is a large conduit, and over its gate-way are displayed the arms of England, the red and white roses, and festoons of flowers. In the landscape are crowded together subsequent scenes of the pageants. As no distance obscured the prospect of an object, when our forefathers deemed its presence necessary, the town of Ardres is brought into view. The field of the cloth of gold lies before it, the dazzling splendour of which has been faithfully represented on the canvas. The two kings are seen mutually embracing each other at the door of the principal tent, which is entirely surrounded by smaller tents, occupied by spectators, as is also all the neighbouring ground.
This presented a noble subject for a separate picture, and as it was the object of the pageant, deserved to be more particularly exhibited to view; but the painter, perhaps mistrusting his skill for executing a tent scene, has, by showing at one time, the same personages under two distinct circumstances, fallen into a very displeasing inconsistency. The places prepared for the various kinds of sports and spectacles, are also delineated in this corner of the picture, and probably occupy their relative situations, of course granting the usually large quantum of liberty exercised by ancient artists. All the preparations, as they are delineated in the picture before us, bear the appearance of unlimited expence and splendour, and seem to justify the remark of Hume, namely, that the nobility of both nations vied with each other in pomp and expence; many of them involved themselves in great debts, and were not able, by the penury of their whole lives, to repair the vain splendour of a few days.” A flying dragon of considerable size, in the upper part of this picture, has given rise to various conjectures, but its meaning has never yet been satisfactorily interpreted.
If it had any important relation to the subject with which it is associated, it would not have been omitted by the sculpture which, in commemoration of these remarkable events, was placed on the interior of the cathedral at Rouen, by order of the French King: perhaps it was a faney of the painter, and if so, is utterly incapable of further elucidation.
This curious specimen of the art would now have been in the possession of the French, but for the ingenious contrivance of a patriotic person, who wished to preserve it to the country to which it properly belonged. The name of this person, though it deserved to be remembered, is nevertheless forgotten. He carefully cut out the head of king Henry, which of course so greatly reduced the value of the picture, that the foreigner refused to attempt it on the terms to which he had before agreed. The picture remained in this mutilated condition till all thoughts of parting with it were at an end, when the head was restored, and replaced with so much neatness, that the mark of the knife is only visible from certain positions. The head of a warrior in the picture of the Battle of the Spurs appears to have been cut ont in a similar manner, but I never heard that this valuable painting was saved by such an artifice, though it is not unlikely to have been the case.
It only remains to offer a few remarks on the picture of Henry the VIII. and his family. The king is seated under a canopy of superb workmanship. On his left hand is his queen, and on his right the young prince, whose costume is neither inferior in richness, nor very different in character, to that of his father, who wears a low crowned velvet hat, and a coat of ample dimensions, with sack sleeves; the whole of cloth and gold, splendidly embroidered. The queen's elegantly attired. She is repre sented as youthful and handsome. The canopy and pillars which support it, are sumptuously ornamented, and the floor is covered with a carpet of the richest pattern. An open door in one corner of the picture, exposes the zany who seems prepared to act his fooleries. The execution of the picture is elaborate beyond description. It is literally a mass of ornament, which is detailed with the greatest exactness in every part. Gold and silver glitter alike in the shade and in the sun. The artist left nothing to the imagination; he had few faults to hide, and if the defects of his outline had been ever so glaring, he wanted the skill to conceal them by a confused mixture of colours, and the random touches of his pencil.
FROM THE FRENCH.
I shall die in the height of despair,
Should my Celia persist to deny ;
But smile on my love, and comply.
How can I then cease to lament,
Since the fate of my passion is sure,
At once of the evil and cure.