Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors]

“ Letters, however, are needless in obtaining all the attention and assistance requisite: a respectable appearance is a sufficient recommendation to the nobility and gentry; but towards the cottagers a certain courteousness of approach must be observed, ere you can win them to usefuluess. If you seek information, the tone of interrogation must be conciliatory, not dictatorial; if shelter or protection, throw yoursell at once on their bospitality, and you secure a warm and welcome reception. The most romantic parts of Ireland are little frequented, and travellers unlooked for ; hence it becomes necessary to study the art of pleasing, which is in this case more valuable than house and land.' The poorest peasant will freely 'offer to share bis cabin, and divide bis potatoes with you, though at the same time eyeing you very suspiciously, inasmuch as, being unable to account for your appearance, be usually supposes you belong either to the army or to the excise-two bodies equally disliked by them. Yet their greatest fears never destroy the national spirit of hospitality.

Having bired a car at Lismore, to take us to Fermoy, and wishing to walk part of the way along the banks of the Blackwater, we desired the driver to ineet us at a given point. On arriving there, the man pretended not to have understood we were three in party, and demanded, in consequence, an exorbitant addition to the sum agreed on. Although we were without any other means of conveyance for eight Irish miles, it was resolved not to submit to this imposition, and we accordingly withdrew our luggage, and dismissed the car, intending to seek another amongst a few cabins that appeared at a little distance from the road-side. A bigh dispute arose with the driver, who of course was incensed at this proceeding, and endeavoured to enlist in his cause the few straggling peasants that had collected round us; but having taken refuge, and placed our trunks in the nearest cabin, ourselves and property became sacred, and the disposition to hostility, which had been at first partially expressed, gradually died away. When we began to make inquiries for a borse and car, of any kind, to take us into Fermoy, our endeavours were for some time fruitless. One person bad a car, but no horse. Another, a càr building, which, if Dermot Leary were as good as his word, would be finished next week some time, God willing.' At length we gained intelligence of a horse that was only two miles off, drawing turf. Sure he could be fetched in less than no time. But then, again, that big car of Thady Conner's was too great a load for him entirely. Sure the baste would never draw the car into Fermoy, let alone their honours and the trunks. After some farther consultation, a car was discovered, more adapted to the capabilities of the miserable animal thus called upon to leave work and carry wood;' and though of the commonest kind, we were glad to secure it. By means of our trunks and some straw, we formed a kind of lodgment on the car, which being without springs, and on the worst possible of roads, was not exactly a bed of down. The severe contusions we received, on precipitating into the numerous cavities—though no joke-caused some laughter; on which the driver turned round with a most facetious expression of countenance, suggesting that . May be the motion did not just agree with the lady; but never fear, she would soon get used to it, and be asleep before we were half way to Fermoy.' This prediction, it will readily be supposed, was not fulfilled; and I believe it was three days before we recovered from the bruises of that journey."

The author has carefully abstained from expressing any political sentiments. His style is clear, simple, and unaffected. These Researches are a valuable addition to our sources of information respecting the Irish character; and we sincerely hope that Mr. Crofton will extend his useful labours to other provinces of the Emerald Isle.'

In the Appendix we find an interesting narrative of the occurrences in Wexford and its vicinity, during the late Rebellion. It is drawn up by a lady who witnessed most of the transactions which she records.

BATAVIAN ANTHOLOGY; or Specimens of the Dutch Poets. 12mo. Taylor and Hessey.

The existence of poetic taste seems so incompatible with a sordid love of gain, which has generally been considered the ruling passion of a Dutchman, that we never expected to derive from them any pleasure like that afforded us by this little volume. It presents us with specimens of the Dutch poets from the thirteenth to the seventeenth centuries inclusive; and displays examples of taste and feeling we never could have looked for in a land of frogs and marshes. The translator appears to have discharged his task with ability. He has imitated the style and manner, as well as communicated the ideas, of his original with fidelity. We are pleased with the sweetness and simplicity of Cats, Kamphugzens, and De Decluer; but the sublimity of Vondel, when celebrating the glories of his Creator, fills the mind with awe and veneration. The Chorus of Angels in his tragedy of Lucifer, is replete with images of the most exalted kind; such as cannot fail to excite a devotional feeling bordering on rapture.

“ CHORUS OF ANGELS.

“ Who sits above heaven's height sublime,

Yet fills the grave's profoundest place
Beyond eternity, or time,

Or the vast round of viewless space :
“ Who on Himself alone depends

Immortal-glorious—but unseen;
And in His mighty being blends

What rolls around or flows within.

" Of all we know not-all we know

Prime source and origin—a sea,
Whose waters pour’d on earth below,

Wake blessing's brightest radiancy.
“ His power-love-wisdom, first exalted,

And waken'd from oblivion's birth
Yon starry arch-yon palace vaulted-

Yon heaven of heavens to smile on earth.
“From His resplendent majesty

We shade us 'neath our sheltering wings;
While awe inspir'd and tremblingly,

We praise the glorious King of kings.
“ With sight and sense confused and dim;

O name-describe the Lord of lords,
The seraphs' praise shall hallow Him

Or is the theme too vast for words?

RESPONSE.

" 'Tis God who pours the living glow

Of light, creation's fountain-head:
Forgive the praise-too mean and low

Or from the living or the dead.

“ No tongue thy peerless name hath spoken,

No space can hold that awful name;
The aspiring spirit's wing is broken ;-

Thou wilt be, wert, and art the same!
Language is dumb- Imagination,

Knowledge, and Science, helpless fall;
They are irreverent profanation;

And thou, O God! art all in all.
“ How vain on such a thought to dwell!

Who knows Thee-Thee the All unknown?
Can angels be thy oracle,

Who art-who art Thyself alone?
“ None-none can trace Thy course sublime,

For none can catch a ray from Thee,
The splendour and the source of time-

The Eternal of eternity.
“ Thy light of light out-pour'd conveys

Salvation in its flight Elysian,
Brighter than e'en Thy mercy's rays;

But vainly would our feeble vision
Aspire to Thee. From day to day
Age steals on us—but meets Thee never;
Thy power is life's support and stay-

We praise Theesing Thee, Lord! for erer.
“ Holy-holy-holy!- Praise

Praise be His in every land;
Safety in His presence staysm.

Sacred is His high command !" The following is from the pen of Constantign Huijgens, secretary to three successive princes of the house of Nassau, and father to the philosopher of that name, the correspondent of our immortal Newton, and to whom we owe the invention of the measurement of time by the motion of the pendulum. His intercourse with courts must have enabled him to form correct ideas of kingly state.

“ A KING.
“ He's a crowp'd multitude-his doom is hard;
Servant to each, a slave without reward :
The state's tall roof on which the tempests fall;
The reckoning book that bears the debts of all :
He borrows little, yet is forced to pay
The most usurious interest day by day:
A fetter'd freeman-an imploring lord-
A ruling suppliant-a rhyming word :
A lightning-flash that breaks all bonds asunder,
And spares what yields—a cloud that speaks in thunder ;
A sun in darkness and in day that smites,
A plague that on the whirlwind's storm alights;
A Jesser God-a rudder to impel,
Targe for ingratitude, and flattery's bell :
In fortune prais'd-in-sorrow shunn’d; his lot
To be ador'd -deserted—and forgot.
His wish a thousand hurry to fulfil,
His will is law-his law is all men's will:

[ocr errors]

His breath is chok'd by sweetly sounding lies,
And seeming mirth, and cheating flatteries,
Which ever waft truth's accents from his ear;
And if perchance its music he should hear,
They break its force, and through the crooked way
Of their delusions, flatter and betray.
He knows no love-its smiles are all forbidden;
He has no friend-thus virtue's charms are hidden;
All round is self-the proud no friends possess ;
Life is with them but scorn and heartlessness:
He is a suitor, forced by fear to wed,
And woos the daughter, though the sire he dread, -
In this far less than even the lowest slave
That fells the tree, or cleaves the rising wave.
His friends are foes when tried-corruption flies
O’er his disorder'd country when he dies.
If long success from virtue's paths entice,
They will not blend their honour with his vice,
But rather shed their tears in that swift stream
Against whose might their might is as a dream :
His days are not his own, for smiles and sorrow
Visit him each ; the eventide, the morrow
Deny him rest-sleep's influence steals not o'er him;
Wearied be lives, and joy retreats before him.
Beneath care's sickle all his flowers decay;
His sparkling cup in dulness sinks away.
His son on tiptoe stands to seize the crown,
Which a few years of woes sball tumble down.
O gilded thistle! why should mortals crave thee,
Who art but bitter medicine, when they have thee !
Or why aspire to state ne'er long possest

By dangers ever circled, and no rest!” A second volume is announced, which we hope to find equally commendable as the present.

MONUMENTAL INSCRIPTION.

Inscription on a Tomb in Berkeley church-yard, Gloucestershire.

Here lyeth Thomas Peierce, whom no man taught,
Yet he in iron, brasse, and silver wrought.
He jacks and clocks, and watches (with art) made,
And mended too, when others' work did fade.
Of Berkeley five tymes maior this artist was,
And yet this major, this artist was but grasse :
When his owne watch was downe on the last day,
He that made watches had not made a key
To wind it up, but uselesse it must lie

Until he rise again no more to die, Near the middle of the same church-yard formerly stood a tomb, inscribed to Dieky Pierce the Jester. Its shattered remains were wholly removed about five years ago, and it is shortly to be renewed by subscription. The Jester's epitaph was composed by Dean Swift.

FINE ARTS.

The Exhibition of the works of living Artists at the British Institution opened last week. We are not inclined to find fault, but we cannot help, on this occasion, falling in with the general opinion respecting the poverty of talent displayed in this collection of pictures, which amounts to 387. There are a few beautiful specimens, the most meritorious of which are by youthful artists, and shew the advancement they have made since last year. To these we shall presently turn our attention. Their productions stand conspicuous amidst the trash of aged practitioners who, judging from their works now exhibited, are moving backward rather than forward in their profession. That artists should paint badly is not surprising, but that their performances of this description should be crowded together for the public inspection and patronage, is indeed astonishing. We deem it not unreasonable to expect that the choicest productions of the age should be collected at the British Institution; instead of which, the vilest daubs are offered, and readily admitted. Old unsaleable pictures meet the eye in every direction. Of this description are 46, Salisbury Cathedral, and 138, The Inthronization of his Majesty George IV. Considering the rank and professed taste of the noblemen and gentlemen who govern this Institution, it is wonderful that so bad a system, or rather a total want of system, should reign in their councils. We will not at present be more explicit, or take the full advantage of our information on the internal management of this Society, but will only add, that till some better regulations than those now in practice are established, the Fine Arts will not derive the benefit proposed by the Institution. As it is clear, from the specimen already named, that Mr. Nash will not advance his reputation by his paintings, we earnestly recommend him to lay aside his palette, and to perform on paper rather than on canvass. The town has been inundated with views of the Coronation, and Mr. Nash's attempt might as well have been spared. The drawing part of his picture is not without defects, but the colouring is without merit ; the misty shadows are of a greenish blue, and the strongest lights of a greenish yellow. The figure intended to represent his Majesty is distinguished by a wig of more curls than any worn by King Charles the Second. Mr. Dewint occasionally displeases the public with a picture. We are charmed with some of the water-colour performances of this artist, but his paintings are heavy, monotonous, and destitute of good effect. No. 213, Felpham Mill (which has been repeatedly gazed at and forgotten by the public), combines these characters. These remarks may with equal aptitude be applied to No. 314, Peverel Castle and Peak, by Mr. Hofland. Since we last recognised this picture, the artist has taken some pains to gild the castle and rocks; we however doubt whether the same subject in more skilful hands could be rendered more interesting. The drawing and colouring of No. 277, Christ healing the impotent Man, are so extremely faulty, that we know not how to express the sentiments we felt on examining it. This picture really must have been admitted in ridicule of the public taste; it is a bad caricature of a most solemn suba ject, and in its least offensive character, is a specimen of the low state to which it is possible to reduce art. Another specimen, and we turn from these miserable paintings to the few pictures that are capable of affording gratification. The landscape of Syrinx, No. 238, seems to be interspersed

« AnteriorContinuar »