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and diligently explored through the pious feelings of the faithful, offer at the present moment an almost interminable series of open cavities, arranged along the rough and lugubrious walls of this extensive cavern. There are chinks too in several parts of the roof, through which the wind whistles as it passes, and you would sometimes fancy you heard in the distant labyrinth, the monotonous and pious chaunt of the primitive christians, which Echo seemed determined to repeat and to prolong.
"The aspect of ruins and of solitude teaches, even the youthful bosom,
"To taste the joys of meditation."
For myself, I have always experienced a more than common satisfaction in rambling through that portion of the city which is now completely reft of population. There, frequently, amid gardens and vineyards, rise deserted palaces and magnificent churches, sympathetically mingling their uncouth and ruinous architecture with the unshorn beauty of a luxuriant vegetation. While strolling on the Appian way, I was particularly struck with a solitary tower of marble, whose summit is embrasured, from the circumstance of its having been used as a fortress during the dark ages. The Latin inscription pointed it out to be the magnificent tomb which the Triumvir Crassus erected for his wife Cecilia Metella. I entered the tower, and sat myself down upon a stone. Parasitical plants, with their tortuous tendrils, clothed the interior of the monument. I turned my eye to its summit—through the open top the sky appeared. The azure canopy of heaven was there beheld in beautiful contrast with the fleecy clouds; which, driven by the sea-breeze, flitted on toward the horizon, and disappeared in rapid succession—presenting to my mind an affecting image of the destinies of man. This idea, coupled with the aspect of the mausoleum, the silence of which was only broken by the whisper of the wind or the hum of some passing insect—the recollection of Metella, who was as beautiful as she was wretched— all contributed, while sitting in this monument, to impress my mind with a voluntary sadness.
"The mortal remains of the Bard of Goffredo rest in the paltry church of St. Onofrius, situated upon the summit of a little eminence. When my eye caught the rude stone on which is written,
Torquatl Tassi ossa hie jacent,
I instantly exclaimed, Unhappy mortal! After having outlived the frenzy of an unfortunate and incurable passion, and after having suffered during thy sonrowful life the galling chains of an opprobrious prison, why has not the remembrance of this spot, where thou at last found a peaceful asylum, been allowed to perish? or why should a few obscure monks have been permitted to carve thy immortal name upon the modest stone which covers thy unwept ashes? Alas! Is it thus that Italy honours her illustrious sons? Have not poverty and humiliation tormented them sufficiently during life, that they should be pursued, even beyond the grave, by the coward rancour of the envious, and by that fatal mania which has made foes of brothers, and which has torn open the bosom of our common mother Earth? Dante has no tomb in Florence. An expiatory monument does not yet occupy the spot where the infamous funeral pile of Bunfadio and Doleto was lighted. Their shades, with those of Galileo, and a hundred other illustrious unfortunates, will congregate, indignant, around the squalid tomb of Torquato, and will howl forth their anathemas against their ungrateful country!
"But let us discard those ideas—more mournful than even the tombs themselves—and at present follow me to the Pantheon, the largest and the most entire of Roman temples. There, around the wide circular interior, are to be seen the marble busts and the sepul
chral urns of some of the most celebrated artists; and the eye will not fail to settle upon that which is honoured by the name of Sanzio, and on which are inscribed these words:—
Ille hlceat Raphael timuit qui sospite, rinei
"1 The venerable aspect of the Egyptian columns,' says the author of the Nolte Romani, ' the illustrious name of Agrippa, carved upon the front of the vestibule, the dusky hue of the walls, which bear witness to the vapour of ancient incense and to the smoke of the burnt-offering, filled my mind with serious thoughts. It seemed to me as if I yet heard echoing amid the mighty columns the bellowing of the bulls which were brought to the altar; while the grandeur of all that encompassed me so vividly awakened my recollection of Rome's early rites, that methought I again saw them performing before me.'
"Follow me, in fine, Erminia! to the banks of the river which, turbid and winding, hides itself 'mid a mass of miserable habitations, and takes refuge, unobserved, in an angle of the city, as if ashamed to call itself the Tiber. There stands an ample building, from whose quadrangular base arises a large circular tower. Its summit is embrasured; and from the openings, which look in every direction, may be seen the destructive mouths of threatening cannon. Within these gloomy walls is the state-prison. This is, in fact, no other than the Castle of St. Angelo; and, strange though it be, know, that this immense and splendid pile was erected by Adrian for his own ashes. Proud mortal! He wished to show his vanity, even beyond the grave. The magnificent columns—the innumerable statues—the precious bronzes—which made this mausoleum one of the wonders of the world, served as weapons of defence in the hands of the various parties who occupied the eternal city during the middle ages. From its walls the soldiers of Belisarius, of Narsete, of Crescenzio, hurled down upon the besiegers the chefs cCauvres of Grecian sculpture. The statues of gods and heroes became, in the hands of these barbarians, the instruments of extermination; while the sepulchre itself, which was only intended for the ashes of one, became, from being the eternal bone of contention, ever and anon, bathed with the blood of hosts of human victims. Unfortunate Italy! Even the monuments of thy ancient greatness have assisted in consummating thy ruin!"
DRAMATIC SKETCHES OF HISTORICAL
No. I.—Cardinal Richelieu.
[scene A Cabinet in the Cardinal's Palace. BariUon, President of the Parliament of Paris, and Counsellors Scarron and Salo, two of the leading Members of Parliament, seated round a table. To them enters Cinq Mars, Master of the Horse. ]
Cinq Mars Ha! Sir President, Scarron, Sale, Good time
of the day, gentlemen. What make you with the Lord Cardinal?
BariUon We have been sent for hither, but we are at a loss
to know upon what subject his Eminence means to consult us.
Cinq Indeed! Can you form no conjecture?
BariUon.—None that will stand the touch of reason; your Lordship, however, I can well perceive, doth know.
Cinq Right. The King, I thank him, trusts myself, and
others of our party, whenever the Cardinal most graciously permits him to walk forth without his leading strings. Yesternight his Majesty to us disburdened his soul. It seems the Cardinal, grown more proud and malapert than ever, by his alliance with the Code, means to wrench entirely from the Parliament the little power now left it—provided that he cannot flatter you, and others, out of it.
Scar He dare not! Paris—no—nor France would ever
Bar.—You little know his Eminence. "Dare not," are words unknown in his vocabulary.
Salo.—Will you submit to have the only right now left us, torn rudely from our grasp? I, at least, for one, shall never do so. No! While there flows a drop of blood within these veins to keep my heart in motion, I will oppose him.
Cinq Well said, good Salo. Be thou and all thy friends but
firm, and thou shall see this base-born villain, who, by nameless tricks, his wheedling and his cozening, has raised himself to be the King of our real King, the tyrant over us, the free-born son, of France, quick hurled down from his proud pinnacle.
Bar But my Lord
Cinq. But me, no buts, Sir President. If you are now content to hug your chains and lick the hand that beats you, so not am I.
Bar.—You do me grievous wrong, my Lord. No man would more rejoice than I myself, to see the Cardinal's downfall ; but, how is it to be accomplished! We want every thing—leaders, soldiers, money and alliances.
Cinq. Fair Sir, I cry your pardon, but, if those be thy ouly
wants and fears, know this—
[Enter the Cardinal from behind an arras.] The Duke of Bouillon, the English Duke of Beaufort, and, hark in your ear, the Duke of Orleans and myself, have banded us together. Twenty thousand of the choicest troops in the Cardinal's pay have been won over to our cause. Spain promises forty thousand more. With this, and abundance of good English angels, sure we may destroy the Cardinal, though even backed by Sathanas and his hosts. Sola But the King?
Cinq. Tush! I know the sentiments of his Majesty. Why,
Sirs, he'd count that man his choicest friend who'd tell him "Richelieu is dead. 'Twas this hand dealt the blow."
Rich.—The villain speaks most true. His Majesty cares e'en too little for his Minister. (Aside, as he advances. J My Lord and Gentlemen, I crave your pardon. It fears me that I must have detained you long.
Cinq.—So long, your Eminence, that I was just about returning to my service on the King.
Rich Thou wer't ever an attentive servant to his Majesty,
my good Lord.
Cinq.—Your Eminence had other matters for mine ear than courtly flatteries, or I mistake.
Rich.—These civilities may have weight with others, though not with thee who art of a more—
Bar.—Bye, my Lord Master. You do not use the CardinalDuke with proper reverence.
Rich. — Nay, think not of it. I know the Master's temper is somewhat over hasty and peremptory. But let that pass. We will at once to business. I've sent for you calmly to consult with me on things of moment to theKing and to the State. Not one of you, my worthy and much esteemed friends, will now dispute with me on this, that, in affairs of governing and commanding, the fewer hands that power is trusted with, the better. To you, Lord Master, as a valiant and experienced commander, I appeal. A general issues orders—his second in command disputes, and then he disobeys them—the soldiery, seeing their commanders differ, differ also—some take one side, some another.
The consequence of which is plainly this, that when the leader goes upon an enterprise, he lubours under disadvantages, which, in all probability, his opponent does not—and he fails.
Cinq. — Your Eminence is in the right. I have met with such grumbling, mutinous curs, more frequently than I desired.
Rich.—In like manner, in the management of a family, and to you, Sirs, Scarron and Salo, I now lay myself open to contradiction if in the wrong. Think ye, if the sons and daughters, yea, the very servants, were laying claim to an equal right with the father to order and arrange, would that house, as the blessed Scripture hath it, abide? Your answer?
*'«.'«.—I agree, though if your Eminence doth mean
Rich.—Nay, hear me out. On precisely similar grounds, when the people, who are his Majesty's family, and sure he rules them more by love paternal, than by power paternal, cavil at and
question, nay, disobey and treat his orders with contempt, there is an end to his authority. We are now verging to this crisis.— That citizen will well deserve the favour of his King, who brings the disobedient family back to duty.
Scar.—By your Eminence's leave, you have taken pains to put the question between the King and his leal Parliament (for 'tis to that, I see, your Eminence refers) in what I'm bound to call a light most false.
Rich How, Sir? (angrily.)
Cinq.—Nay, good Cardinal-Duke; hear Scarron, I beseech you.
Scar.—Your Eminence will note that I do not attempt to tax your argument with errors, so long as the father disburses the monies needful for his house's maintenance; but when the children and servants contribute thereto, I say they have a right to know how 'tis expanded, and if not properly, to check the same in future.
Cinq.—By St. Louis, and that's well argued!
Rich. — Am I to understand, then, that you prefer to aid this foul rebellious Parliament, instead of joining with your Monarch instantly to crush it. The power it claims, it only held by sufferance. His Majesty can, and shall withdraw it instantly.
Bar.—The power is ours, and we shall surely now not part with it without a struggle.
Rich.—What! treason to my face! Insolent traitors, know you in whose presence you now stand?
Cinq.—Yes; in that of a man whom I shall, ere long, see wearing a far less lofty title than that of Cardinal-Duke de Richelieu, First Minister of France.
Rich To you, Sir, I have nothing more to say. Haste to
your armies, if you can find them anywhere; if not, to the society of plotters and hired assassins, whom you so kindly entertain. To you, Sirs, as more amenable to reason, I again apply. Are we friends or foes ?
Salo.—It fears me foes, unless a compromise, quite honourable to both.
Scar Compromise! Not I, for one. I shall listen to no such
terms—none, until the privileges of the Parliament be confirmed —until the King be free—and till Cardinal Richelieu cease to tyrannize o'er France.
Rich.—Fools !—fools! Will you so madly rush upon destruction? What is your forces ?—a handful! Who your leaders?
Rash, empty-pated braggarts! Where your English angels?
Safe in my money-chest. What hinders me from crushing you like a nest of hornets ?—your insignificance! Why do I not dispatch you to the dungeons of the Bastille now—even now f
Because I wish it said that Richelieu " can afford to let such paltry traitors live." Begone from my presence ere I spurn you (
Cinq When next we meet, proud Cardinal, your speech shall
be less lofty.
Bar Cardinal Richelieu, be assured of this, that the Paris citizens—
Rich. Pshaw! what care I for all thy greasy burghers.—
Hence, begone, ere I do call a guard. [Exeunt.]
Ha! ba! ha !—Now will these madmen go and do some deed to damn their cause, and then I have them straight in careful keeping.
THE BISKEN BOWER.
'Twas in a bonny birkeu bow'r
I met my Jane at eve;
Our young hearts soon deceive.
With many a sacred vow and sigh,
I press'd her to my breast; We look'd, we lov'd—we knew not why,—
And aye again caress'd.
The silv'ry moon shone through the grove,
As if our love to view;
She modestly withdrew.
And thus we met, and thus we lov'd,
For many a happy hour; And, oh! I never can forget
The bonny birken bow'r.
Org Spectacles were visiting the Assembly Rooms last Saturday, where Mons. Dupuis' Pupils were figuring in Mazourkas and Quadrilles. The dancing Saloon has just been painted, and seems in excellent order for the amusement to be exercised on the 19th. We intend to have an eye and an ear at the approaching assembly, to report to us the fashions and appearance of the ladies. If any thing is out in the preparations or conduct of the affair, we may also be inclined to shew a tooth. In the meantime we recommend that Mons. Dupuis be appointed Master of Ceremonies, as the want of such a person has been frequently experienced on former occasions.
The other day, as a gentleman, very much afflicted with the cholera panic, was travelling from Edinburgh to Glasgow in one of Mr. Rain's coaches, he was alarmed to observe a person sitting opposite to him, staring very closely into his features. Thinking that it must be some prognostication of the disease that drew the stranger's attention so closely, his fears became every moment more overpowering, till at last he exclaimed, 11 For God's sake, Sir, inform me if my face is becoming blue." The stranger apologized for his curiosity, and resolved never to look a person so earnestly in the face, unless when a lady's black eyes compelled him.
BURNING NO NEW CRIME.
That the system of " Burking" is not new, but has been often and long practised, is a very general belief. The following case, which we extract from M'Laurin's Criminal Cases, page 152, shews that it has been practised in Edinburgh about 80 years ago. Few can doubt that, in the intermediate time between this case and the detection of Burke and Hare, it has been frequently practised. The fact of its having been practised and punished, indeed, so long ago as 1752, is a strong additional argument in proof of the necessity of some legislative enactment for supplying schools of anatomy. There is something appalling in the cool nature of the defence offered in this case, that the stealing of a living child only inferred an arbitrary punishment; but that selling a dead one was no crime at all I the murdering for the purpose of selling is passed over as if they expected it would not be proved. The jury and the court seem to have taken the murder for granted, for they do not find it proven:
"February 3d, 1752. "His Majesty's Advocate, u Aoainst Helen Torrance And Jean Waldie.
"They were indicted for stealing and murdering John Dallas, "a boy about eight or nine years of age, son of John Dallas, "chairman in Edinburgh, on the 3d December, 1751.
"The counsel for the prisoners represented, That however the "actual murder might be relevant to infer the pains of death, yet "the stealing the child could only infer an arbitrary punishment. 11 And, as to selling the dead body, it was no crime at all.
"Answered for the Crown—Though the stealing the child, "when alive, when disjoined from the selling it when dead, might "not go so far; yet, when taken together, they were undoubtedly "relevant to infer a capital punishment.
4< The court pronounced the usual interlocutor.
"The jury brought in the following verdict:—' Find, That "< the pannels are both guilty, art and part, of stealing John Dal"' las, a living child, and son of John Dallas, chairman in Edin- "< burgh, from his father's house, at the time and in the manner "' libelled; and of carrying him to the house of Jean Waldie, one "* of the pannels; and, soon thereafter, on the evening of the day "< libelled, of selling and delivering his body, then dead, to some "' surgeons and students of physics'
'< The court adjudged both prisoners to be hanged."
LITERARY INTELLIGENCE. Selections from the Prose Works of Mr. Robert Southey, chiefly for the use of schools and young persons, are announced, to consist of extracts from the History of Brazil, Life of Nelson, Espriella's Letters, Book of the Church, &c.
Dr. Weatherhead has in the press an Account of the Beulah Saline Spring at. Norwood.
From our London Correspondent. I Have not thought it necessary to write you for some days ; the fact is, there was really nothing worth communicating. It seems now to be understood, that Lord F. Lkvkson Goweu's tragedy of Catherine of Cleves, will not be brought forward this season. It is surmised that the delay has arisen from a want of confidence on the part of the regulators of Covent Garden, as to its success. As a quid pro quo it is again asserted that Miss Fanny Kemble's historical play of Francis the First will be immediately brought upon the stage.
The Christmas Pantomime at Covent Garden has turned out remarkably well. The pit and the galleries have been almost invariably filled, and when that is the case, the proprietors cannot be losers. It is now almost certain that Mr. Charles Kemule will retire from the management next season, and that new parties will enter upon the speculation; the Theatre will then be let at an annual rent, like any other house, and a gentleman called Anstruther has been named in many circles as the expected tenant. All the matters in dispute between Mr. C. Kemble and Mr. Harris have been amicably arranged.
Every day shows more and more, how very ill advised the Patent Theatres have been in their recent attack upon Minor Dramatic Establishments. It is now understood that they do not mean to proceed farther in the prosecution. Enough has, however, been done to induce the proprietors and parties interested in Minor Theatres to continue the agitation of the question until some alteration of the existing law has been made, so that they may no longer be at the mercy either of the Patent Theatres or of ordinary informers.
A new farce called " The First day of the Term" has come out at Drury Lane. It seems however merely to have been got up for the sake of a pictorial exhibition, bySTANFiELD, of London from Berkeley Square to Westminster Hall. It is to be hoped that the Town will not much longer remain satisfied with such sorts of substitutes for the " Legitimate Drama," which the great Theatres cannot act with profit, and which they will not permit the other houses to attempt. London must have an alteration in the law, and that immediately, if it wishes to preserve its i in all the parity of the last century.
NOTICES TO CORRESPONDENTS.
I. W. L. 's poetical contributions have been received, and will be submitted to the first meeting of our Board. Our poetical friends are, however, sadly numerous, and as we have resolved to put nothing in our Poet's Corner at all akin to the rhyming Balaam of a common newspaper, our friends must pardon us if the lucubrations they send us do not always meet their gaze in our columns. They must remember, that what may be very good for a lady's album, is far under the bright standard of the " Day."
"Plan for Arresting the Progress of Vulgarity on Blytbeswood Hill" will appear in the course of a few days.
*' The Confessions of a Barker, No. 2," will appear to-morrow.
"Apollo's Lyre" will not suit us. Tertia must quaff deeper of the waters of Helicon, before a claim to our attention can be obtained.
A MORNING JOURNAL OF LITERATURE, FINE ARTS, FASHION, &c
GLASGOW, FRIDAY, JANUARY 13, 1832.
CONFESSIONS OF A BURKER. No. II. ,-' Communicated by a Medical Practitioner. J
Aye, Heaven and Earth do cry Impossible
On placing myself by the bed-side of " The Vulture," I again recommended him to send for some person who would be able to administer that consolation which he appeared so much to require, and proposed to go myself for the parish minister. "Parish fiddlestick!!" he exclaimed, with a look in which the impious scorn of the infidel seemed to struggle with the despairing agony of the fiend—" first hear my tale, Dr.
, and then you will be satisfied that no man dares to
hold out a single glimpse of hope to a being who has placed himself so far beyond the pale of mercy as I— therefore do not farther tantalize a wretch that must soon be called hence, to answer for his horrible enormities." I was silent, and he thus proceeded :—" Had I been a common criminal, I would have imputed my falling away from the path of rectitude to thecontamination I was exposed to, by coming in contact with the despicable characters my limited circumstances compelled me to associate with. But the deep depravity of a heart callous to all the feelings of humanity, and naturally prone to revel in the disgusting details of the chartiel-house, rendered me better qualified to play the master-spirit among them, than likely to inhale any moral infection from their presence. It was not a
love of science, Dr. , that prompted me to drag
the pale remains of decaying mortality from their dreary abode. No; I was perfectly regardless of advancing in the knowledge of the profession I affected to study; a diseased appetite for prowling like a vampire at midnight among the receptacles of the dead, had taken possession of my mind, engendered, no doubt, by the applause bestowed upon me on account of the successful issue of the ingenious schemes of which I had been the too fortunate inventor. So indifferent, in short, was I to the study of physiology, that, while I had the character of being the most expert in obtaining possession of a subject, I was, without doubt, the most ignorant with regard to its internal construction—and how could it be otherwise? The moment I placed a corpse in the receiving room, all interest regarding it was then, on my part, at an end. Nature seemed to have marked me for a body-snatcher, and I at last determined to follow the bent of my inclination. With this view, I intimated to the Professor, that unless I received from him the regular price paid for subjects to the snatchers, I must seek for it elsewhere. Indignant at what he termed my meanness of spirit, he let me understand, that if I intended to maintain myself by such practices, he must expel me from the class, as he would permit no paid snatcher to hold the rank of a student. We therefore agreed on the price I was to receive, and I submitted to the degradation.
"At the time I effected this arrangement, I was three pounds ten shillings in arrears to the people I lodged with, a simple well-meaning couple, who had been
married about eighteen months, and had, during my stay with them, treated me always with the greatest indulgence. This conduct gave them no doubt, a claim to such gratitude, as it fiend like me was capable of entertaining towards them. They had one little child, a lovely cherub, the first pledge of their affection, which, about this time, happened to be seized by one of those complaints incident to infancy. Their medical adviser was called in, and he prescribed such medicines as would soon have restored it in health to its distressed parents, had I not found means secretly to tamper with his prescriptions."
"Infamous villain," I exclaimed.
"The Vulture" gave a horrible grin and proceeded. "The devoted innocent, after lingering in great pain from the deleterious mixtures, expired in the arms of its distressed mother, and both the unhappy parents abandoned themselves to the excess of their affliction. As the mind of the father was unfit for attending to the duties incident to the occasion, I assisted him in writing the funeral letters, making the arrangements necessary for the interment, and nightly joined him in his devotional exercises."
"Monster of impiety" I again exclaimed. But "The Vulture" continued unmoved.
"The night previous to the funeral arrived, and the lid of the coffin was screwed down, amid the sobs and tears of the agonized pair who listened, in seeming patience, to the religious consolation which some of their sympathizing relatives felt it their duty to impress upon them. The company at last departed, and the inmates of this house of mourning retired to bed. I threw myself down to wait for that silence which was necessary for carrying my farther designs into execution. I at last heard the chimes strike the quarter past twelve. I then rose slowly, and put on my cloth shoes over those I usually wore. I then glided in silence from my room, and I had just touched the handle of the door of the apartment where the corpse was placed, when my progress was stopped by hearing a deep drawn sigh, I listened, and heard the groans of the father mingling with the convulsive sobs of the mother, as the miserable pair wept on each other's bosoms over the memory of the little firstling of their love. I instantly retired to my lair, where I lay couched for two hours, when I again rose, and taking the pillow in my hand, slipped in silence to my former station. I listened and found the two had, at last, wept themselves asleep. All was now silent—not a sound reached my ear save the beatings of my own fiendish heart, which seemed to throb with a more violent pulsation at the prospect of completing a scheme of atrocity, more heinous and novel, than any it had hitherto conceived. The night was one of intense frost, and the moon shone bright through the casement, throwing a silvery radiance round the coffin, which enabled me tounscrew and takeoff thecoverwith the greatest ease. In raising the corpse, as I am a living man I saw, or conceived I saw a smile of ineffable sweetness, break over the face of the babe—it shot like a burning dagger to my heart—I started, and had nearly dropped the corpse on the floor, but, suddenly clasping it close to my breast, I calmed my agitation and proceeded with my work of infamy. I laid the little one on a chair, and taking up the pillow, I pressed it into the coffin to make up the weight, and then screwed it down as I bad found it. I now stole, in silence, from the house, and, at the bottom of the stair, pulled off my cloth shoes and hastened, with the speed of a blood-hound, to place my prize in the receiving room, of which I had the privilege of a pass key. With the same cautious speed which I left the house I returned, and glided to bed without incurring the slightest suspicion of my absence. I had not, however, been there above an hour, before I heard a slight noise in the plundered room. I rose gently to reconnoitre; the door was open, and my blood began to creep in my veins, as I beheld, in a flood of moonlight, a human figure, arrayed in white, bending over the coffin; my terror, however, was momentary; I instantly perceived that the object before me was the wretched mother, who had stolen from the side of her sleeping helpmate, to indulge her sorrows in secret, and vent the long and last farewell throb of affection o'er the remains of her child. My hellish heart laughed inwardly at the delusion, and I slunk back to bed." ( To be continued. J
Gallery or Society Of Painters In Water Colours. Tilt & Co. London, 1832. Ir ever there were a period, more than another, in which a knowledge of the Fine Arts was likely to be generally diffused throughout Great Britain, it is the present. The spirited publishers Tilt and others, and the beautiful art of engraving, have no inconsiderable share in furnishing us with the means whereby our tastes may be cultivated, and our improvement advanced to the utmost extent of which our faculties are susceptible. However much we may be inclined to yield the palm to the great masters of former days in painting and sculpture, we are prepared, not only to dispute their claim to superiority in engraving, but positively to pronounce, that we are equal in all and greatly superior to them in many departments of that fascinating art. There is no picture, however extensive or complicated, but what the Burin of the present day can easily imitate, and fac-similies of every meritorious work are placed before us in an incredibly short time after their appearance, as well as all the most celebrated paintings of the old masters, one-fourth of which could never, by any other means, come within the observation of even the most opulent individuals. Hence we have an opportunity of seeing and studying works of art of every description, and thereby acquiring a knowledge which could not possibly be obtained by any other means. We are, perhaps, not prepared to extend the powers of engraving so far, as a late ingenious writer in the " Day," did those of painting, but, if its contemplation will not produce the cure of insanity, we are certain that it will, at least, perform a perfect cure for blue devils, ennui and many other of those "ills which flesh is heir to."
Looking in t'other night, upon Mr. David Robertson, our facetious Bibliopole, to see if we could find relief from some of the above horrors, he, with his usual humorous and accommodating manners, knowing us to be not only epicures but gormandizers in art, placed before us, by way of treat, the first number of a new work entitled, "Gallery of the Society of Painters in Water Colours." "There," says he, "look at that, and then tell us what you think of the water colour lads, so much slighted by your oil and gumption connoisseurs."
We had before heard of the work, and, of course, were not altogether unprepared for it. We have always been advocates for the encouragement of this most masterly, beautiful, and, we may add, national style of painting, and that from its being exclusively English, at least in the present most effective and splendid state at which it has arrived.
The first subject that presented itself was a View of Venice, after Prout, and, on beholding it, we felt somewhat akin to that which Acres tells us of his courage, away flew our ennui, and all our disagreeable dreams began to ooze even out at our finger ends. To speak seriously, our mind was tranquillized and our pleasure
complete. This is one of those subjects, in the execution of which the painter has no rival, and is said to be one of the happiest efforts of his pencil. The design is good, as it gives the best possible idea of the splendour and magnificence of the far-famed palace, as well as some very interesting objects which surround it. The other appendages are characteristic aud appropriate. This print is charmingly engraved both in the details and broad masses; but we, who saw the original drawing, are of opinion that the print suffers for want of the gorgeous colouring with which the artist has invested the drawing. Prout's style and taste, as many of our readers well know, are peculiarly adapted for scenes of this description; of course we do not wonder at the complete success which has attended his present pictoral effort.
The next print is " The Gamekeeper," by Hunt. The name is associated with many disagreeable feelings, but with that we have nothing to do at present. The design is extremely simple; it is no other than a gamekeeper just returned from a fatiguing ramble, which so many consider the highest acme of enjoyment; but which, when pursued as a profession, is by no means so captivating; this latter feeling is strongly depicted throughout the entire figure. He is beheld refreshing himself with a glass of prime home-brewed; but extreme lassitude, unaccompanied with any appearance of pleasure in his employment, is strongly pourtrayed over all his frame; his faithful helpmate slumbers at his feet, while the sole reward of all their labour seems to be a couple of unlucky birds, sleeping on the table the sleep that knows no waking. That the picture was drawn from the life, we have no hesitation in saying. The proofs are unequivocal, although we will not say that it is the most graceful or pleasing attitude that might have been selected for the occasion. With ideal form it has no connection—nor ought it; but it is powerfully characteristic, well drawn, and placed under a judicious effect of light and shadow. It is likewise a pleasing variety and contrast to the preceding plate.
The third print, which fills up the number, is after the wellknown Stephenoff, "Rembrandt in his Study." This subject is beautifully engraved, but it also loses for want of the colour in the original drawing, nor do we think the distribution of light the best that might have been adopted for the subject. It looks spotty, and what is meant for the great mass of light, is too much in the corner of the picture to be pleasing or effective. On the whole, however, though the composition be scattered and uninteresting, still its mechanical excellence, both in the engraving and the original picture, is not surpassed by any painting in oil or engraving we have seen of the modern school. From the superior manner which this number of the work alluded to is got up, and the knowledge we happen to have of the pictures which are to follow, we may confidently assure the subscribers that they may anticipate such a series of interesting and varied specimens of exquisite art, as will prove to them a rich recompense for the small sum they may lay out in the purchase of this deserving publication. Tilt & Co. are also bringing out landscape illustrations of Byron's works, by the justly celebrated Stanfield, and others, which are reported to be cliffs d'eeuvres. From such subjects and such artists, we may fairly anticipate a sumptuous feast.
WEST OF SCOTLAND EXHIBITION, We rejoice, not only because we have it in our power to present our readers, with a catalogue of sales, effected by our enthusiastic friends of the Dilettanti Society, of the pictures recently exhibited in the Fourth West of Scotland Exhibition, but we also are glad to perceive that, notwithstanding the public mind is at present agitated, by interests so important, as entirely to absorb its attention, the sales of the Society have this year been so numerous. We are aware, that nothing but the greatest personal exertions of the members of the Society could have accomplished this in the present circumstances of our city and neighbourhood ; and, we are sure, that the contributions of the Artists, when another opportunity of exhibiting occurs, will shew they appreciate the services of its members in their behalf.
We understand that New Rooms, in a very favourable and fashionable part of the city, have been secured, for future exhibitions; and as we trust the present louring of the political storm will pass away, and serenity and peace will soon bless our beloved