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phical, a totally new species of catastrophe, and one of which it would have been impossible for the ancients to conceive the idea, even if typography had been known to them. It was not, indeed, for want of printers and booksellers that they were ignorant of this avenging publicity, which, by persecuting either vice or folly, may do so much good to society. It appears, on the contrary, that they liked it, for the Roman legislation favoured it so far as to sanction the rule, Peccata nocentium nota esse oportet et expedit; and that amongst the Greeks, Aristophanes employed it with the greatest success. Thus we know from Plin. Hist. Nat. 36, 5, that this intellectual and most mysterious force was then capable of being employed to produce tragical catastrophes: the poet Hipponax killed two artists who had given him offence at a spectacle, simply by means of his satirical verses, the caustic point of which induced them to resort to the suicidal cord. But the ancients knew very well that, in public opinion, they could not obtain a complete victory over their adversaries, except by having the laughers on their side ; and in fact, if ever the literary publication of a reproachable action can answer the purpose of the tragic poignard, it is only by means of ridicule. It is thus that the catastrophe of this romance appears to us ill conceived. The Greek lady, in limiting her vengeance to the publication of her memoirs, has the air of wishing to persuade us that her unfaithful and parsimonious lover is dying of shame and chagrin; but she will not be be lieved, because she does nothing but blacken the character of the Prince in dry colours, the dust of which will not fail to spoil the completion of the amiable painter.
Madame P. however, may urge against us one very specious objection. She may say, perhaps, You have passed judgment upon a romance: but it is a biography which I have published:' and in truth, it assumes that appearance; she has employed all the resources of the poetic art, to persuade us that the author is ingeniously relating the history of her own life. Be it som
--that would induce us to change our sentence, but not our sentiment.— Is it then a romance that Madame P. publishes ? she should have invented better.—Is it the history of her life? she should have lived better.
The city of St. Angelo, in Lombardy, has been the theatre of an event, which ought in reality to be regarded as miraculous. On the 7th of April died Don Vicenzo Bonea, notary, aged 84, whose life was a constant exemplification of all the virtues. When it became necessary to place the body in the coffin, it was remarked with surprise that the face of the defunct, as well as his hands, were covered with a profuse perspiration, and that his eyes were open.
The curate thought proper in consequence to suspend the burial, and caused the body to be meantime placed in a chapel. On the following day, some scientific men examined the body: they found all the limbs in a state of the greatest flexibility, which created fresh surprise. But, what is still more astonishing, a young man of the same city, who had for many years suffered under the affliction of a malady considered incurable, on being bronght into the chapel where the corpse was, had scarcely entered the place, when he was cured. The body was subsequently suffered to be exposed during several days, and during all this time exhaled no disagreeable smell. We are not aware if any other cures as astonishing as those which we have just cited were effected during the exposure of the body.-Gazetta di Napoli, May 8th.
The present is the fifty-sixth Exhibition of native talent under the auspices of this Royal establishment, and if we were to judge of the state of the fine arts in this country, by the specimens here produced, we should feel disposed to acknowledge that the British school had passed its meridian, and was rapidly verging towards its declination ; but the project of another institution in the metropolis, for the encouragement and display of the fine arts, which was so imperatively called for by the abuses or mismanagement at the Royal Academy, has been received with such prompt support, that we believe the parent foundation has found it rather difficult, in the present instance, to collect sufficient materials to form what they might consider a tolerably respectable exhibition. We cannot however help thinking that a very large portion of the specimens, which at present decorate the walls of the Academy, reflect but little credit upon the judgment of the hanging committee, and, indeed, to speak plainly, are a perfect disgrace to the institution.
Besides the general paucity of talent, out of one thousand and thirtyseven subjects, nearly six-hundred are portraits, mostly of persons unknown to the world ; and among the productions of fancy, there are but few gems, certainly no brilliants; we will mention the most striking.
No. 20, The Cherry-seller, a scene at Turvey, Bedfordshire, by W. Collins, R. A.” is a pretty picture, and displays talent. No. 34, “ Abbeville-a Juggler exhibiting his trick, by G. Jones, R. A. elect,” is clever, but not equal to the preceding. No. 55, “ Arundel Castle, the seat of the Duke of Norfolk, by W. Daniel, R. A.” is a very good picture, both in colouring and effect. No. 72, “ View from the Park at Arundel,” by the same, is by no means so well coloured. No. 95, “Sancho Panza in the apartment of the Duchess, by C. R. Leslie,” is in many parts extremely clever. No. 110, “Smugglers offering run Goods for sale or concealment, and No. 115, “Cottage Toilette, from Allan Ramsay's Gentle Shepherd, by D. Wilkie, R. A.” are by no means equal to his former productions; and No. 113, “ The Widow, by W. Mulready, R. A.”is far from being a good picture, either in design or execution. No. 139, “ Distant View of the Marhatta Country, from the Boa Ghaut between Bombay and Poonah, with military figures, by W. Westall, A.” exhibits very extraordinary scenery, and is very prettily painted. No. 160,“ Rochester from the River below the Bridge, by A. W. Callcott, R. A.” is tolerably good upon the whole, but the middle ground of the picture is too misty for its distance. No. 161, “ Amorett delivered by Britomart from the spell of Busyrane (Spenser's Fairy Queen), by H. Fuseli, R. A.” is the same sort of dirty smear that we have been used to see from this artist. No. 185, “ English Travellers attacked by Banditti, on the road to Rome between Gaeta and Terracina, by D. Dighton,” is a bold, well-conceived subject, but the characters are rather coarsely drawn. No. 251, “ Stage Coach Travellers, by Rippingille,” as far as design goes, is extremely good, but certainly is very indifferently painted. No. 263, “ A Highland Clan escorting the Regalia of Scotland, by D. Dighton," is very flat and dingy. No. 285, “ Lord Patrick Lindesay of the Byres, and Lord William Ruthven, compelling Mary, Queen of Scots, to sign her Abdication, by W. Allan,” has some
tolerable parts, but upon the whole, is tame. No. 350, “Sunset after a Storm, by F. Danby,” is the most extraordinary picture in the collection ; such a peculiar distribution of black, blue, red, and yellow in streaks, certainly never was placed upon canvas before.
No. 361, “ The Barrier and Village of Passey, near Paris, by the Rev. R. H. Lancaster,” wonld have done great credit to a professional artist; as the production of an amateur, it is admirable. No. 375, “ View of the High Street, and Lawn Market, Edinburgh, by A. Naysmith,” is, perhaps, one of the best pictures in the Exhibition; had the fore-ground been something brighter, the effect would have been greatly improved.
There are few other subjects, in the painting department, worthy of notice; we, therefore, proceed to the Architectural :-No. 844, " A Geometrical Elevation of Part of one of the fronts of an Idea (an idea we hope it will always remain) for an Imperial Palace to be built in ten years at £300,000 per annum, by J. Gandy, A.” This is one of the strangest compositions ever put together. No. 970, “ Is a rough Cork Model of a Design for a Church, by the same gentleman,” in which there is certainly some novelty and good effect; we object to Greek churches, but if they are to be built, there are points about this design that may be desirably appropriated;, we do not, however, mean to approve the detached steeple. No. 976, “A Monumental Device, by J. Bacon," is certainly not above mediocrity. No. 983, “ A Bacchante asleep, in marble, by R. W. Sievier:” this is nearly as large as life, and is extremely beautiful; we are really astonished at this young artist; scarcely has three years elapsed since he first took the chisel in hand, and we find him in very respectable competition with Chantrey. No. 1006, “ Statue of the late Dr. Cyril Jackson, Dean of Christ-Church :” No. 1008, “Statue of the late Countess of Liverpool :" No. 1010, “Statue of the late James Watt, by F. Chantrey,” we need only say are executed in his usual style of excellence. No. 1007, “Statue of the infant Son of J. Hope, Esq. by W. Behnes,” is extremely pretty: and 1019, “ The bust of Fuseli, in marble, by E. H. Baily, R. A.” does much credit to the artist.
MR. PERKINS'S STEAM GUN.
The following short account of what led to the invention of the Steam Gun,
which is quite in its infancy, may not be uninteresting.
“ OBSERVING, while experimenting with the generator, that substances, whether metallic or otherwise, when they rose from the bottom of the generator through the tube of the stop-cock, were projected with great velocity; the thought naturally struck me, that with a properly constructed gun, projectiles might be thrown with great power and economy. It also appeared to me, that it would at once settle the important question respecting velocity, as well as power, of high elastic steam. No time was therefore lost in constructing a gun, and on the first experiment my most sanguine hopes were realized, as musket-balls, at the rate of 240 per minute, were projected with a velocity equal to gunpowder. I dare not speculate on the consequences of this discovery, as I feel satisfied, that the power, economy, and simplicity of this agent is such, that one projectile may be found sufficient to force any breach, or sink the largest ship, though it gives me great pleasure to hear the opinion so often repeated, that this power will be to gunpowder, what that has been to the arrow.
“I have found that forty atmospheres' pressure is equal to gunpowder: viz. an ounce ball discharged against an iron target from a six-foot barrel about one-thirty-second part smaller than the ball, was flattened to 24 inches in diameter; and at 45 atmospheres, its blow against the target liquified the lead. An ounce ball discharged from a musket with powder, with the common field charge, at the same distance, did not shew more effect. It is said, with great plausibility, that there must be some fallacy in this experiment, for as it takes from 500 to 1000 atmospheres' pressure to propel a ball with proper effect with powder, it is asked how can it take but 40 or 50 atmospheres of steam to do the same? Having the fact before me, I think I can find the reason, which I have no doubt is the same as that, why fulminating powder, although infinitely stronger than gunpowder, will not (though it bursts the gun), throw the ball one-twentieth part so far, the power being too instantaneous for projectiles ; gunpowder being less so, gives greater effect, although the mechanical pressure is much less. acting with constant pressure on the ball until it leaves the gun, in consequence of the non-diminishing generation of it, is, I believe the cause of the increased effect.”
THE HISTORY OF THE DEAD.
These are the generations of the dead,
A long, dark, drear, and melancholy race,
Nor left on earth one solitary trace !
And to the living shall the sound be heard :-
In war, in ruin, and in deeds abhorr'd.
He comes, with millions prostrate at his feet,
With unknown myriads, in his presence meet.
Fleet as the winds that rock the billowy surge,
Where Death's imperious mandates onward urge.
Ye gaudy mimics, fluttering for a day,
And unborn millions shall attest his sway.
Where the bright spirits that have struck the lyre?
The Roman eagle, with a conq'ror's fire ?
Since first Death came, with all his train of woe?
And mad Ambition roll'd in blood below?
Of strength and beauty here no wrecks remain;
During the past month our attention has been repeatedly drawn to the interesting and valuable collection of paintings, recently purchased by the nation from the executors of the late Mr. Angerstein, and now laid open to public inspection in Pall Mall. The well-known purity of Mr. Angerstein's taste, and his good fortune in having redeemed from the obscurity of a foreign country some of the most precious treasures of genius, had long established the celebrity of his Picture Gallery among the lovers of the arts; but notwithstanding the liberality of that gentleman's mind allowed the readiest access to his collection, we ourselves had never taken an opportunity of visiting it: it did not come under the public view in any shape --it formed one only of the numerous rich private collections which the taste and individual spirit of some of our distinguished 'countrymen have brought together in England, and we forbore to notice it, and many others under similar circumstances, from a feeling of vain regret that this country, vast as is its wealth and unbounded its public spirit, should possess no one public establishment connected with the arts and sciences, at all worthy of the genius and character of its inhabitants : and from this sweeping, but not indiscriminate censure, we do not except even the British Museum ; for the lustre shed on that collection by the Elgin Marbles, and its Library, we think insufficient to redeem it from the character of a mere “jumbling heap of auld nick-nackets." We repeat that we felt deep regret on this subject. The paintings of what are called the old masters are among the noblest monuments of human art; and we have always thonght it above all things desirable that the opportunity of seeing them should be universally extended; for by showing what has been done by patient and humble genius, they point out what may be done again, and are thus at once the incen. tives and the guides to future excellence.
Until lately, however, they have in too many instances been guarded from view, with the most jealous rigidity; and the circle of the mighty magicians has been contracted, and their influence lessened by this monopoly, though England is perhaps richer in genuine original paintings, than any other country in Europe. The first step, however, (for we would fain consider it merely a first step) is now taken to remedy this evil: we were surprised that our government allowed the magnificent Houghton Collection to be purchased by the Emperor of Russia, and it was with no ordinary interest, therefore, that we received the gratifying information that the purchase of Mr. Angerstein's small, but select gallery, had been made, and at the comparatively low price of fifty thousand pounds. We congratulate the nation on this measure, as an auspicious proof of the growing discernment and good taste of those who are charged with the administration of public affairs; we believe that we are indebted for it more immediately to the express wish of his Majesty, and that the suggestion originated with that munificent patron of the arts, Sir Charles Long; and we do think that in future ages, when this institution shall be as distinguished for the number as for the quality of the paintings it contains, and when our own artists shall produce pictures worthy of being ranked with those of the elder schools ;-we do think, we say, that the establishment of the National Gallery will then reflect more honour on the reign of George the Fourth, and the nineteenth