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so I find myself called upon to exert posal serves, however, to show in what what little ability I possess, in perpe- high estimation he was held. But the tuating somewhat of the image, or life so bright and beautiful was not rather the shadow, of that which is, destined to prove of long duration, in fact, the universal country of all Raphael's last and greatest producChristians, and at one time was so ele- tion was the grand picture of the "Transvated and so powerful that mankind figuration,” which he undertook at the began to believe that it was raised desire of the Cardinal de Medici, Archbeyond the efforts of fortune, and des- bishop of Narbonne. It was designed tined to perpetual duration. Hence it for the altar-piece of the Cathedral of would seem that Time, envious of the Narbonne. At that time there were glory of mortals, but not fully confiding two parties in Rome, one in favour of in his own strengh had combined with Michael Angelo, and the other adhering fortune, and with the profane and un- to Raphael ; -not that there was ever sparing barbarians, that to his corroding any open rivalry between these two file and consuming tooth they might add great artists. The stern and haughty their destructive fury; and by fire, by Florentine was still evidently anxious sword, and every other mode of devasta- not to be outdone. He, therefore
, emtion might complete the ruin of Rome.” ployed a Venetian painter, named Se
The artist then proceeds to lament bastian del Piombo, to invest his own the indifference and neglect with which energetic designs with the graces of atthe modern Romans had treated these tractive and brilliant colouring. Whilst noble monuments of their former glory, Raphael was engaged upon the “Transsuffering them to be left to ruin and figuration,” Sebastian commenced bis decay, or even with sacrilegious hand, celebrated picture of the Raising of employing them in the construction Lazarus,” for which it was generally of their dwellings. He adds-—" It ought understood that Buonaroti not only not, therefore, holy father, to be the supplied the cartoon, but sketched some last object of your attention, to take of the figures upon the panel. The rival care that the little which now remains pictures were afterwards exhibited togeof this, the ancient mother of Italian ther in the chambers of the Consistory, glory and magnificence, be not, by means and although the work of the Venetian of the ignorant and the malicious, obtained due praise the palm was unaniwholly extirpated and destroyed; but mously awarded to that of Raphael. may be preserved as a testimony of the This chef d'oeuvre is divided into two worth and excellence of those divine parts. The lower represents a demoniac minds, by whose example we of the brought for cure to the Redeemer's dispresent day are incited to great and ciples, by his distressed friends. The laudable undertakings."
upper portion displays Mount Tabor ; Raphael was justly distinguished for and the transfigured Christ above, bright the excellence of his portraits, which with ideal grace, and divine in majesty, were, of course, earnestly sought after. Moses and Elias on each side, and the Among the most striking are those of three disciples prostrate on the ground, Bindo Altoviti, of Joanna of Aragon, shading their eyes from the dazzling of Leo X., with the Cardinals Rossi, light of the ineffable glory. But before and Giulio de Medici, and the picture the artist had quite completed this of “ La Fornarina,” supposed to be the dream of beauty, death intervened, and portrait of a beautiful Roman girl, to Raffaello Sanzio, the world-renowned, whom the artist was attached.
il divin pittore," died on the anniverAt this period we behold Raphael at sary of his birth-day, Good Friday, 1520, the very summit of his greatness and at the comparatively early age of thirtyfelicity, living in the midst of splendour seven years. During his illness, the and of luxury; the companion and the Pope had sent to his residence daily, friend of princes; beloved by his dis- with the kindest inquiries; and he ciples, esteemed and admired by all. joined in the universal sorrow, when it The Cardinal Bibbiena offered him his was announced that the beloved artist niece in marriage, with a rich dowry; was no more. The mortal remains of but the lady's death took place before Raphael were laid in state, in his studio
, the completion of the arrangements. It beneath his last glorious work; and does not appear that the artist was at hither came crowds of rich and poor, the all desirous of this marriage; the pro- haughty noble and the loving disciple,
to render to the painter's memory the lence. He may not have Michael Anhomage of their tears.
gelo's mastery over the terrible and the They came to give a last fareweil,
sublime; but he greatly excels the The young, the glad, the gay,
Florentine in dignity and grace. His To him, who low before them there In pale cold silence lay.
Madonnas may not possess the deep He rested calm with clasped hands,
spiritual beauty of those of the earlier With rich disparted hair ;
painters; nevertheless, they are “exAnd though the loving glance was gone, ceeding fair,” and wear upon their brows The beauty still was there.
the light of a “tender human love." And thus they met-a princely bandThe rich, the great, the proud;
His colouring may not be characterized The scholar, and the patron high,
by the brilliancy and richness which Alike in homage bowed.
distinguished the school of Venice: but With solemn steps, and downcast eyes, his design is by far more pure and lofty
With hushed and reverent breath; In the awful presence-room
than that of the Venetians. Others Of the majesty of death.
might approach him in one particular And“ pictured dreams” were bright around, department; but, in completeness and
But chief among them rose, That grand transfigured form that shone versatility, he was without a rival. In most divine repose.
The genius_ of Raphael was highly The likeness of the victor Christ,
dramatic. Every sentiment that can When unto earth was given
sway the heart, every passion that can Glimpse of the glory that he wore, Among the thrones of heaven.
convulse the soul, has found a true Ah! it was well that they should place and ready exponent in the creations of The cold and lifeless clay,
his pencil. The impress of poetic feelBeneath the image of the truth, The life, the light, the way!
ing is stamped upon all his productions; Of him, the holy priest, to whom
and perhaps no painter has ever posa The Father God had given
sessed more just claims to the proud The mastery over death and hell,
title of the Shakspere of Modern Art. The fairest crown in heaven.
He rarely repeats himself; in the grace And he who pictured that bright scene, Lay still in child-like rest;
of his compositions, in the beauty, digThe wreath unheeded on his brow, nity, and character of his heads, he is The purple on his breast.
alike eloquent and alone. He might not hear if nations rose
We have no written record of RaTo greet him with acclaim ; He might not hear the voice of love phael's inner life; of his thought and That lowly breathed his name,
sentiment, of his loves and his sympaThey gazed upon the life-like forms, thies, of his woes, joys, faith, and
His hand had loved to trace, And on the marble, pure and still,
aspirations. The pictured halls of the of his placid, sleeping face.
Vatican compose the fair temple, wherein His genius bright with hues of heaven,
his life-intellectual is enshrined; and, Still“ skied them overhead;"
in truth, we could scarcely ask for more. And 'mid that flush of power and light, They scarce could deem him dead.
It is a revelation of power and majesty And hearts that never felt before,
and beauty, and tells us sufficient, if Were touched and bleeding then;
not all we should like to know of the And sighs were breathed, and tears were in character of the inspiring genius; a eyes of lofty men.
genius, we should imagine, with wide Then slowly moved the reverent crowd, And left the sacred spot;
and unchained sympathies, rejoicing in But that hushed room and that pale corse, the glory and loveliness of nature, reThey never more forgot!
garding life as a beauty and a blessing, The remains of Raphael were fol- and working out the poem of existence lowed to the grave by a long and stately with the faith of a Tofty soul and the funeral procession, amid the deep heart- love of a generous heart. Were it otherregrets of an assembled multitude. His wise, indeed, there would be no existent tomb is in the Church of the Pantheon, harmony between genius and its pronear that of his betrothed wife, Maria ductions, and from these productions de Bibbiena The Pope requested Car- the true spiritual essence of mental chadinal Bembo to compose his epitaph. racter is best shadowed forth. It will His loss was deplored throughout Italy be said that base and unworthy men as a national calamity.
have often thought and acted aright. Raphael is generally placed first in Yes; but not uniformly. The works of the catalogue of painters. No other such may be brilliant with coruscations artist of modern times has ever united of genius, but they will assuredly be in himself so great a variety of excel- deficient in that stedfast, shining light,
which can alone exist when the whole a circumstance which almost proves of being moves in sweet concert with the itself that he could not have employed universal harmonies.
his short life otherwise than well, the Some accusations have been brought writer continues : “ As Raphael carried against the moral character of Raphael. to the highest perfection the union of We believe them to be utterly un- those faculties of head and hand which founded; and, in support of our own constitute the complete artist, so this opinion, we are happy to addụce a tes- harmony pervaded his whole being, and timony from the elegant pen of Mrs. nothing deformed or discordant could Jameson : “ There was a vulgar idea at enter there. In all the portraits which one time prevalent, that Raphael was a exist of him, from infancy to manhood, man of vicious and dissipated habits, there is a divine sweetness and repose ; and even died a victim to his excesses. the little cherub face of three years old This slander has been silenced for ever, is not more serene and angelic than the by indisputable evidence to the contrary. same features at thirty. The child whom And now we may reflect with pleasure, father and mother, tutor and stepmother that nothing rests on surer evidence caressed and idolized in his loving inthan the admirable qualities of Raphael, nocence, was the same being whom we that no earthly renown was ever so un- see in the pride of manhood subduing sullied by reproach, so justified by and reigning over all hearts; so that, merit, so confirmed by concurrent opi- to borrow the words of a contemporary, nion, so established by time.”
not only all men, but the very brutes After adverting to the painter's ex. loved him ;' the only very distinguished traordinary industry (for he left behind man of whom we read, who lived and him, when he died, at thirty-seven years died without an enemy or a detractor.” of age, 287 pictures and 576 drawings),
JOHN KEATS. "To the poet, if to any man, it may | passion and a premature death.” As justly be conceded to be estimated by men die so they walk among posterity, what he has written rather than by and our impression of Keats is that of what he has done, and to be judged by an earnest, highly susceptible nature, the productions of his genius rather perseveringly testing its own powers, than by the circumstances of his out- and striving ever towards a realization ward life. For although the choice and of its high ideal of perfection ; of a treatment of a subject may enable us manly heart bravely surmounting and to contemplate the mind of the his- profiting by its own hard experiencetorian, the novelist, or the philosopher, and of an imagination glowing with all yet our observation will be more or less the brilliant hues of romance and allelimited and obscured by the sequence gory, ready to inundate the world, yet of events, the forms of manners, or the learning to flow within regulated chanexigences of theory, and the personality nels, and endeavouring to abate its vioof the writer must be frequently lost; | lence without decreasing its power. while the poet, if his utterances be deep Ever improving in his art, be gave and true, can hardly hide himself even no reason to believe that his marvellous beneath the epic or dramatic veil, and faculty partook of the nature of that often makes of the rough public ear, a facility of rhyming which in many men confessional into which to pour the has been the outlet of their ardent feelrichest treasures and holiest secrets of ings in youth and early manhood, but his soul. His life is in his writings, which as the cares of the world have and his poems are his works indeed. pressed more heavily upon them have The biography, therefore, of a poet subsided into morbidness of feeling or can be little more than a comment on have disappeared altogether. In him his poems, though his life may be of no one doubts that a true genius was long duration, and chequered by strange suddenly arrested, and they who will not and various adventures but these allow him to have won a place in the first pages concern one whose whole life may ranks of English Literature, will not be summed up in three volumes of deny the promise of his candidature. poems, some earnest friendships, one The interest which attaches to the
family of every remarkable individual, ears: and after his mother's death has failed in discovering in that of Keats which occurred in 1810, he hid himmore than that his childhood was sur- self for several days in a nook by the rounded by virtuous and honourable master's desk, indulging in one long influences. His father, a man of ex- agony of grief, refusing consolation cellent understanding, and of a lively alike from master or from friend. energetic countenance, was employed The sense of humour which so frein the establishment of Jennings, the quently accompanies a strong sensiproprietor of large livery stables in bility, abounded in him.
He ever Moorfields, opposite the entrance to delighted in displays of grotesque origiFinsbury Circus. He married his mas- nality or wild pranks, and he appeared ter's daughter, but was perfectly free from to prize these next to his favourite any taint of affectation or vulgarity on quality—physical courage. His perfect account of his prosperous alliance. He indifference to be thought well of as was killed in 1804 by a fall from his “a good boy,” was as remarkable as the horse at the early age of thirty-four. peculiar facility with which he mastered Mrs. Keats, a lively intelligent woman, his tasks, which never seemed to occupy had four children. John,
the subject his attention, but in which he was ever of this memoir, was born 29th of Octo- equal to his companions. His skill in ber, 1795. Of his two brothers, George all manly exercises, combined to the was the older than himself—Thomas extreme generosity of his disposition younger, and his sister considerably made him highly popular. “He comyounger. John resembled his father in bined,” writes one of his schoolfellows feature, stature, and manner, and was “a terrier-like resoluteness of character, possessed of warm affectionate feelings; with the most noble placability;" and which are evident from the following little another mentions that his extraordinary anecdote. On occasion of his mother's ill-energy, animation and ability, imness, the doctor having ordered her not pressed them all with the conviction of to be disturbed for some time—John his future greatness, “but rather in a kept sentinel at the door for three hours, military or some such active sphere of guarding the entrance with an old life, than in the peaceful arena of sword he had picked up, and allowing literature.” (Mr. E Holmes, author of no one to enter the room. At this time 'Life of Mozart.) "His eyes then, as he was about four years old. Some ever, were large and sensitive, flashing years later he was sent to Mr. Clarke's with strong emotions, or suffused with school at Enfield, then in high repute. tender sympathies, and more distinctly
A maternal uncle of young Keats, reflected the varying impulses of his had been an officer in Duncan's Ship nature, than when under the selfoff Camberdown. This naval uncle was control of maturer years; his hair hung the ideal of the boys, and inspired them in thick brown ringlets round a head, with the desire when they went to diminutive for the breadth of shoulders school of keeping up the family's repu- below it, while the smallness of the tation for bravery. This was mani- lower limbs, which in later life marred fested in the elder brother_by cool the proportion of his person, was not manliness, but in John and Tom by a then apparent, but at the time only fierce pugnacity of disposition; John completed such an impression as the was always fighting, he selected for his ancients had of Achilles, joyous and companions those who excelled in war-glorious youth-everlastingly striving.' like accomplishments. Nor were the It was only after remaining at school brothers backward in exercising their a considerable time, that his intellectual mettle on each other; this disposition ambition developed itself; he deterwas however combined with great ten- mined to carry off all the first prizes derness of feeling, and in John with a in literature, and he succeeded. He passionate sensibility, which exhibited obtained them after arduous study, and itself in strange contrasts, he would at the expense of his amusements and frequently pass suddenly from a wild favourite exercises. Even on holidays, fit of laughter, to an equally violent when all the boys were out at play, he flood of tears. In giving way to his would remain translating his Virgil or impulses he regarded not consequences; Fenelon, and when his master would he once attacked an usher violently, oblige him to go out for the sake of who had been boxing his brother's his health, he would walk about with
a book in his hand. The quantity of of nothing but Spenser. A new world translations he made on paper during of beauty and enchantment seemed the last two years of his school-life, opened to him: He ramped through was astonishing. The twelve books of the the scenes of the romance,” writes Mr. Æneid were a portion of it, though he Clarke, “like a young horse turned into does not appear to have been acquain- a spring meadow,"—he revelled in the ted with much other Latin poetry, nor gorgeousness of the imagery as in the to have commenced learning. Greek. pleasures of a newly-discovered sense; Yet Took's “Pantheon,” Spence's“Poly- the expressiveness and felicity of an metis” and Lemprière's Dictionary, were epithet (such, for example, as “The sufficient fully to introduce his imagi- sea-shouldering Whale"), would illunation to the enchantment of Mytho- mine his countenance with ecstacy, and logy, with which at once he became some fine description would strike on the intimately acquainted; and a mind secret chords of his soul and awaken eagerly alive to the beauties of classic countless harmonies. His earliest literature, led the way to that won- known verses are those in imitation of derful reconstruction of Grecian feeling Spenser, beginingand fancy, for which he was so pecu
Now morning from her orient chamber came. liarly adapted. He does not at this time seem to have been a sedulous Nor will the just critic fail in discoreader of other books, but “Robinson vering that much in the early poems Crusoe” and Marmontel's Incas of which, at first, appears strained and Peru” appear to have impressed him fantastical may be traced to an indisstrongly. He must have met with criminate and blind reverence for a Shakespere, for he told one of his com- great, though unequal model. In the panions “he thought no one could dare scanty records which remain of the to read ‘Macbeth' alone in a house, at adolescent years, in which Keats betwo o'clock in the mo morning.”
came a poet, a sonnet on Spenser illuOn the death of their remaining pa- strates this viewrent, in 1810, the young Keats's were
Spenser! a jealous honorer of thine, consigned to the guardianship of Mr. A forester deep in thy midmost trees, Abbey, a merchant; about £8,000 were
Did last eve ask my promise to refine
Some English, that might serve thine ear left to be divided among the four chil- to please. dren. John, on leaving school, in 1810,
But Elfin poet ! 'tis impossible
For an inhabitant of wintry earth was apprenticed for five years to Mr.
To rise like Phæbug with a golden quill, Hammond, a surgeon of considerable Firewinged, and make a morning in his eminence, at Edmonton. From its
It is impossible to 'scape from toil vicinity to Enfield he was enabled to
O the sudden, and receive thy spiriting: keep up his acquaintance with the fa- The flower must drink the nature of the mily of Mr. Clarke, where he was ever Before it can put forth its blossoming: welcomed with much kindness. His Be with me in the summer days, and I talents and energy strongly recom
Will for thine honour and his pleasure try. mended him to his preceptor, and his Few memorials remain of his other affectionate feelings found a response studies—Chaucer evidently gave him in the heart of the son. In Charles the greatest pleasure—he felt in reading Cowden Clarke he found a friend, capable it nothing but the pure breath of nature of sympathizing in all his highest tastes in the early dawn of English literature. and purest feelings, and in this genial The strange tragedy of the unhappy atmosphere, his noble powers gradually fate of Chatterton, “the marvellous expanded. Yet so little opinion was boy, the sleepless soul that perished in formed of the direction his genius would its pride,” is a frequent subject of allu-. take that when, in 1812, he asked for sion in Keats's letters and poems. The the loan of Spenser's “ Faerie Queene,” impressible nature of Keats would nait was supposed, he merely desired from turally incline him to erratic composition, a boyish ambition, to become acquainted but his early love verses are remarkably with so illustrious a poem. The effect deficient in beauty and pathos. The produced by this wonderful work of the world of personal emotion was to him imagination was electrical. He was in far less familiar than that of the imagithe habit of walking over to Enfield nation, and indeed it appears to have once a week to talk over his reading been long ere he descended from the with his friend, and now he would talk heights of poetry and romance, to the