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landscape. To say that he has suc- and vigour with which the principal ceeded in so exquisite a design, is to objects of his picture were representbestow the highest praise which the ed. He lived on the skirts of an old art can receive. The composition of oak forest; and his best pictures are a this picture, also, is more faultless delineation of the different combinathan inost of those which this master tions which its aged forms exhibited. has left behind him; and is free from The vigour of drawing, and power of those weak parts, or unmeaning dis- shading, which the forest scene in tinces, which it often requires the this collection exhibits, cannot be surmagic of his colouring, and the riches passed ; and it affords a valuable exof his foliage, to conceal.
ample of the minute attention which Next in the scale of merit we are these old masters paid to the faithful inclined to place the Fortune by Gui- delineation of the objects in their do; a duplicate of the celebrated pic- paintings, and of the force of shadows ture by the same master in the Vati- which they employed to give them rem can. The Vatican Fortune is more lief. delicately coloured, and exhibits a It is a singular fact, that this collecmore pleasing warmth of tint thau tion contains two pictures by Velasquez, its counterpart in this exhibition ; but an artist of great and deserved celein other repects the two pictures are brity, and the greatest ornament of nearly of equal merit. It is difficult to the Spanish School, but whose works discover what the design of the painter are more rare than those of the Italian in this beautiful composition really masters. The portrait of the Pope was. Perhaps he intended to repre- is as admirable as the head of an old sent Fortune showering her gifts in- ugly inquisitive priest can be; but discriminately upon the world, with the figure of the cavalier on horseLove striving to alter her unfeeling back exhibits to much greater perpurpose. Be that as it may, it is cer- fection the great powers and vigorous tain that this picture exhibits, in his conception of the artist. We have best style, that delicacy in the expres- heard it observed by one of the direcsion of the female form for which tors of the institution, whose skill in Guido was so celebrated, and in the the drawing of animals renders his minuteness and softness of its shading observations of great and deserved furnishes a just reproof to the coarse- weight, that the fore legs and the ness and haste, which is too conspicu. hind legs of the horse in this picture ous in many of our modern portraits. are not in the same action; the for
The Land Storm by Poussin is a mer being in the act of leaping forgrander composition than any other of wards, while the latter are in the the same description by that master attitude of rearing on the same spot, with which we are acquainted. The and that, in consequence, the picture engraving gives no conception of the looks to the greatest advantage, when depth of shade, or of the sublimity of either the one or the other is concealeffect in this admirable picture; and ed. There is much truth in the obit is those only who have seen the servation, and it is, perhaps, in some darkness and horrors of an Italian degree to this circumstance, that the storm, who can appreciate the fidelity rider appears so unnaturally thrown and truth of its imitation. Many forward on the shoulder of his horse. competent judges prefer this picture But,notwithstandingthis circumstance, to Lord Wemyss's Claude ; but we the picture deserves well to be studied, give the preference to the latter, be, both for the freshness of its colours, cause it aims at the expression of a and the power of drawing which it finer and more delighiful scene in exhibits. Nature.
The Sea Storm by Vernet we conThe works of Hobbema are little sider as one of the sublimest pieces of known in this country; and it is this celebrated master. Its materials therefore fortunate that two of his are taken from Italian scenery, the most admirable procluctions are to be round tower on the left hand being met with in this exhibition. Unlike the tower of Cecilia Metellanear Rome, Claude Lorraine, who threw so exqui- and the cliffs beyond it the rocks of site a glow over every object which Terracino. But the fidelity and truth he represented, Hobbema selected, in of its execution, even in the most general, a cold or lowering atmosphere; minute particulars, the delicacy of its ad placed his excellence in the force shading and colouring, the grandeur
of the rocks and the waves, joined to landscape-painting. The vicinity to the superb effect of the sky, render London gives our artists the whole it a school in itself to the artist, as advantages of the encouragement well as an object of the highest admi- which the wealth or the taste of Engration to the ordinary observer. In land can afford; while the sublime the composition it has perhaps some and interesting objects which are so faults; the foreground does not cor- entirely within their reach, furnish respond in dignity to the distant parts both the materials for study, and the of the landscape, and there is too uni- subjects of contemplation. In this form a tint of yellow pervades the respect, they are in a far better posiwhole; but, not withstanding these de- tion than the London artists, who fects, this picture is decidedly superi- are wholly deprived of the means of or to any storm piece by the same habitually studying the scenes of naauthor in the Louvre, or,' indeed, in ture, and who must travel two hunany continental collection with which dred miles, before they can arrive at its we are acquainted.
wilder and more savage productions. The cabinet picture of the Ma- It is in the habitual study of the works donna and Child by Correggio, the pro- of Nature, in her sublimest forms, perty of Miss Alexander, is as beauti- however, that the mind of a great ful as any picture, of the same dimen- landscape painter is formed. We are sions, by that great master, which Italy told that Salvator Rosa studied inceshas to shew. It exhibits his well santly in the mountain scenery beknown delicacy and softness of shad- tween Pompeii and Salerno; and it is ing; and in the countenances of the from the magnificent forms which infants, we see the same expression of Nature there exhibited, that he beheavenly sweetness which so peculi- came so admirable in the delineation arly characterizes his productions. But of savage character. Gaspar Poussin the small pictures by this master give lived at Tivoli during the greater part no idea whatever of the exquisite of the year ; and no one can see his beauty cf his larger works; and beau- pictures without both perceiving the tiful as many parts of this picture traces of the scenery in which his undoubtedly are, we must caution taste was formed, and admiring the those who have not seen his great faithfulness and accuracy of his depictures in Italy against forming lineation. Claude Lorraine spent days their opinion of his merits from the and even weeks in summer, wanderspecimen which it exhibits.
ing through the woods and sunny The limits of this paper forbid us hills of the Alban Mount, without to pursue the agreeable task of dwel- ever taking a pencil in his hand; ling on the excellencies of this de- watching the lights and shadows which lightful collection. Suffice it to say, the different periods of the day exthat there are few collections of equal hibited, and inarking the changes in extent on the Continent of greater the appearance of the sky, and the merit; and that in landscapes in par- colour of the atmosphere, which are ticular, it would be difficult in the expressive of the delight which we same compass to find its equal. feel in the presence of the sun. It
We cannot help, indeed, recom was from this habitual and incessant mending to the directors to do their observation of Nature, in scenes where , utmost in the collection of a fine se- she exhibited her finest combinations, ries of landscapes for this institution. that these great men filled their minds
There may be a considerable difficulty with the splendid conceptions which in collecting a suficient number of have immortalized their names, and achistorical paintings to form a school of quired the means of expressing them painting in that its greatest departs with such truth and vigour; and no ment in this city. But, with respect situation seems better adapted for sito landscape-painting, the materials milar study than the vicinity of Eof excellence are quite within our dinburgh, where the picturesque and reach. Placed on the confines of the the beautiful are so prodigally commountain scenery of Britain, and sur- bined; and where the skies exhibit, rounded on all sides by romantic ob- at different periods, the glow of an jects, Edinburgh is fitted by nature Italian, and the varieties of a northern inore than any other place in the climate, island to become a great school for
strict ourselves to any one model. It
is both more just and more worthy of MR EDITOR,
us to exercise a general, yet discrimiOur literature is now beginning to native, appreciation of all excellence, assume an air of independence. It wherever it may present itself; to rehas in some degree emancipated itself ceive the contributions of Scandinavia from the shackles of classical domina- with as kind, if not as respectful, a tion. We no longer feel constrained welcome as the relics of Greece, and to look up with a superstitious adora- to ransack the arcana of Hindooism tion to the models of antiquity; but at the same time that we are bringing the sincere homage we still willingly into light the treasures of Herculae pay to these, acquires greater worth neum. and consequence from our very asser It has often been a subject of wontion of freedom. It is not now the der with me, that this rage for novel implicit admiration of blind ignorance; beauty which has explored the reit is the disinterested reverence which mains of classical antiquity, which has results from an intelligent apprecia- opened up the East to our view, and tion. Escaping from the cells of scho- carried us back with so much interest lastic drudgery, we venture to look upon our ancient literature, abroad on Nature for ourselves, and, should not have long ago excited us to not content with reflecting the mere dig a little in the rich mine of Sacred films and spectra of ideas, we catch literature;—that even infidel taste them «
living as they rise,” in all should be content to skim superficially their native freshness.
over those hallowed tracks, under But it is in vain to dissemble, that, which it cannot but suspect much in asserting our emancipation from our treasure to be hid. former state of pupilage, we have, in The exploring of these mines, inmany instances, rushed with too much deed, belongs more properly to eccleeagerness into the bye-paths of litera- siastical industry, and I doubt not but ture, and have maintained rather too that the fear of encroaching upon the vehement an admiration for all that rights of the church has contributed we can discover to be good, in defi- much to deter curiosity. I am proud ance of Aristotle and the scholastic also to think, that, among us, the Sac code. Our first exhibition of spirit cred books are so hallowed by general was only a little harmless swaggering veneration, that a feeling of delicacy behind the backs of our great mas and reverence withholds the hands of ters, ever ready to humble itself down genius from their wonted freedom. when confronted by their presence,
But, while this delicacy has happily into all the abasement of inferiority; preserved the Sacred writings from but, since we have acquired the power much unworthy abuse, it has someof thinking and acting for ourselves, times, I am convinced, contributed to we have rather abused our liberty, and an abuse more fatal, that of setting have turned our backs on our tutors even their beauties aside with too prem with somewhat of an ungenerous con- cipitate a disregerd, and of consigntempt. Ranging even beyond the ing them to the rapacious hands of boundaries which the mature and mo- dulness, often but to be buried under derated exercise of reason will in the heavy masses of controversy and anend prescribe, we have exulter too notation. much in our lawless rambles, and have Certuinly, while the spiritual applitoo often been content to gorge our cation of Scripture is given up to the excited appetites on the veriest gar- divine, it is wrong in criticism to blind bage of rusticity and antiquarianism. herself to those beauties which come There is soinething of degeneracy and within her own province, and which paltry spirit in our present wild gusto no touch of her's can pervert or dea for oddity, ferocity and turbulence ; stroy. Far, indeed, am I from wishbut we trust the fermentation will ing that the blessed book in which soon subside, and that our Gothic the holy mysteries of our religion are taste will at length shade into Attic contained should ever be made subelegance and propriety.
servient to the mere gratification of But I should be the last to put any our taste; but I hope I am not less violent curb upon this excursive spi- far from that pusillanimous bigotry rit. We are right in ceasing to rea which would curb and repress the risc
ings of admiration excited within us The river overflowing the country, as we journey over that land which soon converted it into a perfect mohas been hallowed by the real pre- rass. These incidents, with the sence of Divinity.
slaughter of the inhabitants, and other In this spirit, I subjoin a specimen disastrous consequences attending the of Hebrew poesy from that passage of taking of the place, were the first steps Isaiah relating to the fall of Babylon, to its ruin. The Persian monarchs which Bishop Lowth pronounces to be kept it down with a jealous eye durthe grandest ode in existence; and ing the period of their supremacy. for my part, I know, no human com Darius Hystapes, in punishment of a position in which is compressed into revolt, depopulated the place, lowerso short a compass so much simple ing its walls, and demolishing its majesty of sentiment, combined with gates. Soon after Xerxes destroyed such a' terrible energy of expression, its temples, and, with the rest, the in which images of brilliant magnifi- most stupendous monument of its cence are so artfully interwoven with ancient glory, the temple of Belus. images of horror."
Every part is The building of Seleucia, on the Tiwrought with consummate skill. The gris, next contributed, by its neighcontrasts are most striking. The op- bourhood, to exhaust and depopulate pressor is introduced; but it is just Babylon. Not long after, a king of at that fatal moment when he is hurl- the Parthiaus carried away into slavery ed from his throne of pride. The a great nuniber of the inhabitants, “ Golden city” rises before us; but and burnt and destroyed the most it is just at the instant when she beautiful parts that remained of the is to be stript of her ornaments. city. In Strabo's time, the greatest Throughout the ode the liberation of part of it was a desert. He states, the Jews from their captivity is the that the Persians had partly destroyed grand theme of exultation; and the it, and that time, and the neglect of Propliet pourtrays in awful colours the the Macedonians, while they were destruction of Babylon, and the down- masters of it, had nearly completed fal of its monarch. When it was writ- its annihilation. In Jerome's time, ten, indeed, the Babylonish empire was it was quite in ruins, the walls servjust rising into grandeur. After this ing only for the enclosure of a park denouncement of its doom, far from for the king's hunting. Modern traexhibiting any symptoms of decay, it vellers have discovered no remains, increased in splendour and power for finding great difficulty even in ascera period of nearly 120 years; and taining the site of it. Babylon in its glory was a mighty This extraordinary desolation may city. It formed a regular square of be thus accounted for. The buildings 45 miles. It was enclosed by a wall of that age and clime were not so well 200 feet high, and 50 broad, in which compacted as ours. They were formwere 100 gates of brass. It boasted ed of brick, or a mixture of clay and a number of stately edifices. The straw dried in the sun. The wali was Temple of Belus ri. from a square constructed by throwing up the earth base, a quarter of a mile in extent, in from a ditch excavated beside it. a tower of eight stories. The palace Hence it was very thick and very of the kings was most sumptuous and high, and at the same time liable to magnificent. Among its other deco- sudden dissolution-to be washed arations are to be noted the famous way and reduced to its original mould, hanging gardens, with an artificial
-as it now is, verifying, with extramountain, raised upon arches, and ordinary precision, the words of the planted with the largest and most prophecy. beautiful trees.
ISRAEL'S SONG OF TRIUMPH. The history of the demolition of this splendid metropolis comports exactly "Επεσεν, "επεσε Βαβυλών ή μεγάλη. with the tenor of the prediction before When Israel returns to her Sion again, us. Cyrus diverted from their course
From Babylon's bondage in triumph rethe waters of the Euphrates, which
stored ; ran through the city, and insinuating The lightning of vengeance will breathe in his army under the walls by the chan the strain nel of that river during the night, at She shall pour on the ruin of Babylon's once made himself master of the place. Lord.
How impotent now the oppressor is laid ! The earth-worms are gathering their slime How nerveless his arm, by a mightier
for thy bed, checked !
And weave their long folds for a coverAnd how is the City of Gold all decayed,
ing o'er thee. In her spoils of exaction and cruelty Oh! how art thou fallin from thy splendecked !
dour on high, The treacherous staff of the wicked hath
All-radiant Lucifer, son of the morn. failed,
ing! For the words of his anger Jehovah Thou dread of the nations! to earth from
hath spoken ; The sceptre, whose sway hath 50 proudly
Art thou cast, and no morrow shall greet prevailed,
thy returning. The sceptre of rulers and princes is bro « Thou didst say in thine heari," I shall ken.
rise into Heaven ;
My throne shall be set o'er the stars of The tyrant, whose iron heart knew not to
the Lord; spare,
On the mount, where Jehovah's dread preWho blasted the world with the rod of
sence is given, his wrath,
Will I sit all sublimely, exaltedIs hurried along to the Den of Despair,
adored. And no tear of pity is dropt on his path. His holy recesses my step shall explore ; The earth from her terror reposes again, There enthroned his own glories shall And her howlings of anguish and agony bathe and surround me; cease ;
Above his enveloping cloud will I soar, Joy comes with her smiles to the dwellings And gather the might of omnipotence of men,
round me. And sings in her bowers to the angel of
Ah! vaunt not so proudly, for crushed peace.
and subdued, The fir-tree rejoices, and waves his proud To the dust shall thy head be dashed, bough;
bound in its glory ; In triumph the eedars of Lebanon bend; And deep in the gulf, by the fire-stream For the death-fiend has THEE in his dun pursued, geon, and now
Shall thy carcase be cast away, mangled No feller comes ruthless their glories to rend.
The men who behold thee, transported From her dismalest chambers, Hell moves
with wonder, on to meet thee;
Shall suddenly pause, and intent on thy
state, The graves yawn—the dead, in their vestments that glow,
In the deep mood of thought will they si. Come forth, waving torches of vengeance
lently ponder ;
Ah! thus hath the tyrant-blasphemer to greet thee,
his fate? The tyrant, who sent them from light into woe.
Is this then the man, at whose nod, from
her station And grinning around thee the chiefs of the
The shuddering earth reeled, made a earth
waste by his sword; Present thee the chalice of venomed de Her cities, a rude heap of drear desolation, spair ;
To his home the poor captive who never And to welcome thee, now but the theme
restored ? of their mirth,
The kings of the nations, when aged and Each king haih arisen from his canopied
Are laid by their sires, where their cyAh! thus is the proud and the mighty And, wept by their children, embalmed in
press-tree grows; o'erthrown,
their glory, Is the brow of thy glory thus shrouded in gloom;
In the pomp of their sepulchres richly
repose. And com'st thou, who haughtily held thee alone,
But thou from thy tomb must dishonoured To be fettered with us in the realms of
be driven, the tomb ?
Like the murderer's death-stake, all
loathsome, abhorred, Now quenched is thy pride ʼmid the wrecks 'Mid carcases, tainting the sweet breath of the dead,
of Heaven, And the sweet sound of viols that chaunts There mould’ring in blood, rudely gashed before thee;
ed by the sword.