Изображения страниц

reader of nobody else, will at once recall the Athe-gracious founder, which the sculptor considered on nian sage, and establish the mental parallel. But establishment given by that monarch to the individwas it the sculptor's head, or the sculptor alio uals composing it, and to the state, as an accessory gether, that resembled the philosopher's bust ? the country, without expense to the nation. For

to the government for the improvement of taste in The faces of Socrates and Shakspeare had here the institution of the Royal Academy of Arts is not tofore seemed to us a little unlike each other ; but a public, but private one, founded by the sovereign, we live to learn.

and supported either by the means of the sovereign, At p. 33 Mr. Jones, describing his friend's visit or by its own, if it have or can acquire any. to Rome, has this remark :

Here our perplexity does not diminish. How The villas in the neighborhood he thought ele- could the sculptor have ever made such a blunder gant, and proved that variety in building, if under as to consider the gracious founder an establishthe guidance of good sense and propriety, tends ment? “ The state," “ the government," the much to the beauty of a country.

country,” “the nation,” unite to rebut an asA very abstruse and important deduction. But sumption so perfectly incredible. did the villas prove it, or their admirer ?

Mr. Jones, waxing more and more warm for Another result of the sculptor's visit to Italy is his beloved institution, thus finally sums up its stated at p. 51.

merits and claims : Chantrey believed that all which has been done

The Royal Academy is grateful for the appromay be exceeded when genius and ability are equal bation and esteem evinced by the public, bui it is to the task ; for, as Raphael has surpassed the lay- in no way under public or government control, but figure art of most of his predecessors, so no reason the government may be said to be indebted to the exists why Raphael should not be surpassed.

sovereign for an institution for the promotion of

Fine Art, without being the smallest expense to the Thus we have only to find somebody greater than nation. In all other countries, similar establishRaphael, and Raphael may be surpassed without ments are supported by the state, the monarch, and the least trouble. The students of the Royal private subscription, and generally a small annual Academy will do well to lay profitably to heart payment from the students, whilst the Royal Acadthis maxim recorded by their learned keeper.

emy of England finds for itself the means for the

end, by an annual exhibition of the works of the Upon the subject of the favored institution Mr. members, and of the candidates to become such. Jones enlarges with frequent and natural fervor- From this source, funds arise to support schools, "an institution,” he exclaims,

under competent instructors, for study from the An institution, censured by those individuals, from draped figures, and for architecture, with a

antique, from the life, from pictures by old masters, who are little inclined to doubt their own judgment, valuable library, and practical lectures on peror question their inexperience, and who have self

spective. complacency enough to imagine that they can improve arrangements, which have been under the It is, perhaps, severe to exact a very close conconsideration of its members for seventy-nine years. nectedness of meaning in the heat of such compoBenighted individuals! To think that what a the opening of these breathless and elegant sen

sition as this but if Mr. Jones intends to say, at snug and comfortable party of forty other individuals have been devising for their mutual advantage indebted to the sovereign without being the smallest

tences, that the government may be said to be these seventy and nine years, could be in any manner improved by a hint from the vulgar world expense to the nation, we have only, as loudly as out of doors, who have no advantage in the matter! we can, to protest against an assertion 80 painfully

unwarrantable. At p. 182 Mr. Jones is again speaking of the

An anecdote of Wilkie and Chantrey is told at institution, and of Chantrey's care for it :

With such opinions, it may be supposed that he was a great advocate for its permanency, and in his when finishing

the picture of "The Chelsea Pen

Wilkie's confidence in Chantrey was such that, will bound his trustees to preserve his property. the use of the original establishment-an establish- sioners,” the Duke of Wellington was sitting to ment that probably offers, more than any other in Chantrey for his bust, which induced Wilkie to ask

his friend if he would tell the duke that the sum Europe, the best advantages for the progress of art; a fact proved by nearly all the great artists of the named for the picture would be a very slender recountry having been educated under its roof, and muneration for the time and labor bestowed. Chanwhose members have graced the institution, and trey undertook this delicate office, and obtained for adorned the country.

Wilkie an auginentation of the amount proposed, or

expected by either party. We have heard, in the hanging and quartering The connection between Goodwin Steeple and days, of a man's members gracing the bridges or Tenterden Sands we have often pointed out to Temple bar, but how the great artist's members have been, contrary to the popular notion, close mentioned by Mr. Jones could possibly have graced and reasonable. But how it could ever have folthe institution and adorned the country, passes our lowed as a consequence from “ Wilkie's confidence comprehension altogether.

in Chantrey,” that “the Duke of Wellington was However, Mr. Jones proceeds :

sitting for his bust,” we really cannot undertake · He thought any attempt disloyal to alter the con- / to explain. And as for what “either party". stitution of the Royal Academy, as directed by the proposed, or what either party "expected,"'

. or,

p. 110.

indeed, who “either party” may have been, these when Chantrey replied, “How many persons do also are quite insoluble mysteries to us.

you think were in the room who thought me a fool Another anecdote is given thus at p. 116 :

for not speaking ? and how many would have

thought me a fool if I had spoken ?" When he had executed and erected the statue of The sculptor's jokes with Turner, during the George the Fourth, on the staircase at Windsor, preparation for the exhibition, were continual. He the king good-naturedly patted the sculptor on the heard that the great artist was using some watershoulder, and said, “Chantrey, I have reason to color; he went up to his picture of “ Cologne," be obliged to you, for you have immortalized and drew, with a wet finger, a great cross on the me;''* and this was said with reason, for, in defi- sail of a vessel, when, to his regret and surprise, ance of all difficulties attendant on the representa- he found that he had removed a considerable quantion of royal robes in sculpture, that statue develops tity of glazing color. However, Turner was not an appearance dignified and graceful, without being discomposed, and only laughed at the temerity of encumbered by the decoration of royal habiliments. the sculptor, and repaired the mischief. How does the statue develop the appearance !--it would be curious to know that. And does Mr. unaffectedness of Chantrey compel even Mr. Jones

But occasionally the natural strength and honest Jones mean that Chantrey immortalized his majesty to speak of them in an intelligible way. Thusby disencumbering him of his royal habilimentsor what does he mean? The learned note from Among men of merit, who fell into any peculiHorace fails to light up the text.

arity of manner in their works, he would try to Nevertheless this does not prevent Mr. Jones rally them out of practices that seemed likely to from trying his friend Horace again. After a injure their reputation or their works. He exlapse of some fifty pages our old acquaintance is tended this jocular mode to others if he detected

affected peculiarity in their dress, manner, or once more learnedly produced to illustrate a second habits, and often sought, by a good-natured practianeodote of the monarch :

cal remonstrance, to check this disposition. Among He frequently, with respectful caution, remon- others, whenever he saw a man proud of, or cultistrated with the monarch on some proposed and vating, a superfluous growth of hair, or imitating costly project formed by his majesty, for which the a Raphaelesque appearance, he would with infinite funds were inadequate, and generally succeeded in humor present such a person with a shilling, and convincing the king. The subject was good- his custom. He has been known to send by a

beg that he would encourage some hairdresser by humoredly dismissed, by George the Fourth say, friend to any eccentric character

this practical and ing, “ Well, old gentleman, I suppose you must have your way;" thus proving that honest and ludicrous remonstrance against singularity. judicious advice will be listened to, when offered to And again : those least subject to opposition or control.

On one occasion, at a dinner-party, he was placed It has a solemn effect—but somehow does not nearly opposite his wife at table, at the time when help us on. And this-truth to say—is to be very large and full sleeves were worn, of which remarked of Mr. Jones' intense gravity in general, Lady C. had a very fashionable complement, and and of his Latin and Greek in particular. This the sculptor perceived that a gentleman sitting next must account for our leaving untouched several to her was constrained to confine his arms, and

shrink into the smallest dimensions, lest he should classical profundilies which we had marked for

derange the superfluous attire. Chantrey, observextract.

ing this, addressed him thus : Pray, sir, do not One or two anecdotes derived from Mr. Leslie inconvenience yourself from the fear of spoiling are more intelligibly told—though now and then those sleeves, for that lady is my wife; those sleeves tasting too much of the painter's palette.

are mine, and as I have paid for them, you are al

perfect liberty to risk any injury your personal Constable, in a letter to a friend describing the comfort may cause to those prodigies of fashion." varnishing days previous to the exhibition of 1826, Also, noticing a lady with sleeves “ curiously cut,” writes :_Chantrey loves painting, and is always he affected to think the slashed openings were from up stairs ; he works now and then on my pictures ; economical motives, and said, "What a pity the yesterday he joined our group, and after exhaust- dressmaker should have spoiled your sleeves ! it ing his jokes on my landscape, he took up a dirty was hardly worth while to save such a little bit palette, threw it at me, and was off.

of stuff.” Some years after this, he was seen to glaze the A lady, one of his guests at dinner, wore foreground of Constable's picture of “ Hadleigh cameo brooch of the head of Michael Angelo ; he Castle” with asphaltum ; and the artist, with said to her, “ Always wear that brooch at my house, some anxiety, said, loud enough for Chantrey to for it prevents me from growing conceited;" and hear him, " There goes all my dew.” A bystander he always had a flow of lively and good-natured asked the sculptor if he would allow Constable to trifles that made him agreeable to everybody. use the chisel upon one of his busts; and he re- He united with his apparent roughness and plied, “ Yes.” The cases, however, were not par- abrupt manner the genuine and valuable acts of allel, as the asphaltum could be, as indeed it was, politeness, for, although he has been heard to tell removed by Constable from the picture.

a lady to open the door, and other jocular freedoms, At a public dinner where his health had been he always attended to their comforts, and rarely drunk, Constable told him that he should have omitted going up with the ladies after dinner to made a speech, instead of merely returning thanks ; see that ihe fire, the lights, and the curtains were * Principibus placuisse viris, son ultima laus est.

all adjusted as they should be in the drawing-room, Hor. Epist. lib. i., ep. 17.

for no one better understood these minor acts of t Ibid.

attention than himself; and when he found all



arranged for their comfort, he returned to his guests, a chimney must be tall, and it must be slender; in the dining-room.

and the advice he had given was, that the best

models of antiquity having those qualities should Very pleasant, too, is the subjoined :

be resorted to; but by this time they had reached A friend of Chantrey's being at Lichfield Cathe a spot from which Sir Francis pointed to an obelisk. dral, and looking with others at the monument,

beard There,” he said, “ that is my chimney; it is 180 a spectator observe, “ How admirably the mattress feet high, and of exactly the same proportions as on which the children are lying is represented !” Cleopatra's needle. It is the most beautiful chimbut made no comment on the figures. When Chan-ney in England, and I may say so, as I did not detrey was told of this remark, he observed, " that sign it; but, though I did not design it, at least I he who said so was a sensible, honest man, for he knew where to look for it.” He said he had been spoke of that which he understood, and of nothing consulted about a column of Portland stone, and else."

had been asked whether it would much obstruct

the view in Trafalgar square ? “Why, no,” he The best trails in the book, however, are those said, “I do not think it will obstruct the view much, communicated in an appendix by Sir Henry Rus and, at all events, if it is made of Portland stone, is well, who sat for his bust to the sculptor in 1822. will not obstruct it long.". The idea of durability A characteristeric touch like the following is worth had taken possession of his mind as the first and all Mr. Jones' readings in Quimilian and Cicero.

greatest quality to be sought for in a national monu

As you know," he said, " the tanner is In going from the parlor to the studio, our way always for leather. I have told them that a bronze lay through a passage, on both sides of which there statue of Nelson is what they ought to raise. were shelves covered with his models of busts. In Nothing will destroy a bronze statue but violence. one corner stood a head of Milton's Satan, uiter- Let is be as fine and as large a statue as your money ing, with a scornful expression, his address to the will afford, and you may put it upon a granite pedSun. Sir Francis said, “ That head was the very


On one occasion, speaking of allegory, first thing that I did after I came to London. 1 Chantrey said, “ I hate allegory; it is a clumsy worked at it in a garret, with a paper cap on my way of telling a story. You may put a book on head, and, as I could then afford only one candle, 1 the lap of some female, and call her History ; a stuck that one in my cap, that it might move along pair of compasses in the hand of another, and call with me, and give me light whichever way I her Science; and a trumpet to the mouth of a third, turned."

and call her Fame, or Victory. But these are im

aginary beings that we have nothing in common with, Some capital opinions of Chantrey's, in refer- and, dress them ont as you will for the eye, they ence to the Nelson Column atrocity, are also judi- can never touch the heart;

all our feelings are ciously reported. The chimaney illustration is with men like ourselves. To produce any real admirable--and final.

effect, we must copy man, we must represent his

actions and display his emotions." “ So,” he said, “we are to have a column for the Nelson Monument; they are all wrong, and I

One more extract--also from Sir Henry Russell have told them so. I do not mean to say that a

-must be our last. column is not a fine thing; in itself it is a very fine The last time that I saw Sir F. Chantrey, a few thing; the taste of ages has proved that it is so, weeks only before his death, he sent for the mode) and any man would be a fool who attempted to of the bust, and said, “Let us now see what Time deny it.

But is it a thing suited to your purpose ? has all this while been doing.” It was then upNow, what is your purpose ? To perpetuate the wards of twenty years since it had been made. memory of a great man. Then durability is the After attentively comparing the bust with the face quality you should look for. Those gimcrack for some time, he applied his finger to his own things, you say you have been to see, of stone and nostrils, and said," Ah, here it is; what was sharp metal combined, will never stand; the stone and in all these edges has now become blunt." Mr. metal will never hold together. Make a column Moore, the poet, came in just after, and another as solid as you will, make it of blocks of stone gentleman with him. Pointing to one among the piled like Dutch cheeses upon one another, still models, Mr. Moore said, " That is the bust of Mr. the stone will crumble, and vegetation will take Pitt.”—“ No," answered Sir Francis, " I see what place in the joints. Besides, columns have got has misled you; but if you look again, you will vulgarized in this country. The steam-chimneys find that there is nothing here of the sauciness of in every smoky manufacturing town supply you Mr. Pitt.” Sir Francis was always judicious in with columns by the dozen. In a country like mitigating the peculiarities of the faces he had to Egypt it is quite a different thing. A column or deal with; adhering to them as long as they served an obelisk is a fine object there ; with a flat all the purpose of characteristics; but taking care to round you, as far as your eye can reach, you are leave them before they fell into caricature. glad of anything to break the uniformity of the long straight line that joins the earth to the sky, and you

The reader will hardly require to be told our can see them fifty miles off; but huddled in such a opinion of this volume alter the extracts we have town as London, a column will be lost. It will exhibited for his delectation. It is somewhat regive you a crick in your neck to look up at it. By- deemed by its sincere and hearty affection for the-by,” he said, " did you ever see my obelisk!” Chantrey—and that is all we can say. Mr. Jones My brother told him he had not.

is an amiable and common-place man, with the your hat,” said he, “and come along with me." They walked together to a short distance, and as

weakness of desiring to be thought a profound and they went, Sir Francis told him that a neighbor of learned one. The failing is coinmun enough : his had consulted him about a chimney for a steam- but is displayed by Mr. Jones with a portentous engine that he was going to build. Now, he said, gravity, and a solemn unconsciousness of its own

" Then put on



absurd exhibition, which is not quite so common being as intelligent, as well indoctrinated in the as not to justify a good-humored protest against it. spirit and letter of our laws, or even as well supWe should be sorry if this volume withheld a

plied with the simplest rudiments of mental edumore competent person from undertaking Chan- republic, ought to be. We have been greatly sur

cation, as all American citizens, and subjects of a trey's biography. The great sculptor-great in prised recently at learning facts that show both the the world of the actual—well deserved a worthy immense extent of this portion of our people, (they record of his genius. He was an honest English now number four millions,) especially in the Middle artist, to whom many of the wide and great de- and Western States, and their backwardness in mesnes of art were closed, but who cultivated that getting Americanized. And on both accounts we which he had chosen with a brave steadiness, a rejoice in the establishment of such a journal as

“ The Spectator at the Potomac,”- -a weekly newg. manly energy, and many true and noble results,

paper in the German language, just started at which should endear his memory wherever the Washington, of which the first number lies before

are cherished, but particularly among his We value it, not so much on account of its countrymen. Mr. Jones as little knows how to political complexion, and because it is to be a suppraise his genius properly, as when to refrain from porter of the present administration, as because we praising it. But even Mr. Jones' style cannot have reasons for believing it will prove an efficient obscure or conceal the hearty independence of promoter of literary culture, sound opinion on genChantrey's moral character, the unaffected honesty ized American-born Germans. It is a striking fact

eral subjects, and pure morality among our naturaland sincerity of his life, the devoted and loving that these persons cling tenaciously to their own attachment of his friends.

And we hope that a mother tongue, and are otherwise so clannish in writer will yet be found, with a competent knowl-their affinities and associations as to render them less edge of the subject, and a reasonable command of open to our liberal ideas, and slower in becoming English, to commemorate such talents and virtues. assimilated to our free government, than is desir

Meanwhile, Mr. Jones must comfort himself able. It is no unusual thing to find Germans in with the reflection that it is better to have been a from the emigrant, speaking the German as per

Pennsylvania, of the third or fourth generation good friend than to be even the best of biographers. fectly as a citizen of Leipsic. We know descendOf the honorable distinction of having been Chan- ants of persons who came over early in the eighteenth trey's chosen associate and adviser through life, century that now use the unadulterated language Rothing-not even his own mode of recording it of their ancestors. Hence the evident importance can deprive him.

of circulating among them publications in the same tongue, but thoroughly American, as well as thor

oughly Christian, in their doctrine and spirit. From the Christian Register.

There is already a democratic German paper THE SPECTATOR AT THE POTOMAC. issued from Washington. It is well known that a

very large proportion of our German voters, wheth

er from a deliberate preference, or from associNew tokens are constantly appearing that we ations with the name democracy that they bring are a mixed people. How various are not only the with them from the old countries, where it stands natural elements of which we are composed, but the in simple and marked opposition to monopoly and influences under which we are growing! What a aristocracy, and denotes the popular tendency-vote singularly diversified nurture is that under which the democratic ticket. the American character is being ripened, the

Der Tuschaner am Potomac will contribute effectAmerican nationality consolidated, the American ually to raise the character of the class for which it Future evolved!

is designed, and every reader of German who can Here is another sign that continental as well as afford it will do well to subscribe for it, on account insular Europe is exporting itself to the Western of its intellectual and moral aims and capabilities. world, and that the improvidence, mendacity, and The first number contains full reports of the doings general unsteadiness of the Irish Catholics among and debates in Congress, a list of the members of us are to have some favorable offset, even within both houses, intelligence from the several states, the limits of emigration itself, in the thrift, pa- editorial articles, foreign and local news, a sumtience, and obstinate perseverance of the Germans. mary of last year's events, a pictorial plan of the We do not mean to cast an unqualified reproach at house of representatives and senate chamber, and the present generation of Ireland. We have not other matter suitable to a national paper, all well the least sympathy with that narrow and bigoted printed, prejudice that would exclude them from the circle We have taken this favorable notice of “ The of our charities when they come, fainting fugitives Spectator” the more readily, because we have had from the Old World's misgovernment, debilitated an agreeable acquaintance with the editor, Rev. by its hereditary diseases, and starving with its Friedrich Schmidt, as a German Lutheran preacher unresisted famine, to our shores. Could the Irish in the south part of this city, and know him to be a emigrant point to such a father-land, with such man of superior powers, as well as an accominstitutions as the German, he would be a different plished scholar, creature certainly from what he is. We only congratulate the country that it receives some of the Gun COTTON IN WARFARE.—It is stated that gun better products of European civilization along with cotton was used, for the first time, in actual warthe superstition and immorality which are the fruit fare, at the storming of Mooltan, in the Punjab. of its barbarism.

The brilliance and breadth of the flash from the But our German population is very far from guns are described as of great intensity.


[ocr errors]

From the Spectator. fered with the labor of the planters, and to that EIGHT YEARS IN BRITISH GUIANA.* extent this country is bound to grant compensa

tion, but no further. Parliament is not bound to This book professes to be the journal of a protect men against the exhaustion or inferiority planter in Guiana, kept during eight years suc- of soil, or against the consequences of improvident ceeding emancipation ; the object of the work speculations. Mr. Premium says that there are being to show the inevitable ruin to which the col- not twenty plantations in British Guiana whose ony was doomed by the acts of the British gov- soils are not inferior or exhausted. He describes eroment and Parliament. Mr. Barton Premium the mode of planting in the olden times as one paints himself as an English gentleman, without certain to end in difficulties, if not ruin, on the prejudices, possessing foresight, and with available first check.

A man with 5,0001. undertook a task means over and above his West Indian property ; that required 20,0001.; embarking in business but, finding his income falling off, he determines with three fourths of his capital borrowed, besides to quit England, reside on his own plantation the business entanglements that followed his with his family, and attend to its management. debts. As long as rivalry was forbidden, the soil A little colonial observation and experience unexhausted, and labor at command, such a pro convinces him of the up-hill if not hopeless ceeding might so far answer that the interest could task that is before him, and he resolves to keep be paid ; but the first misfortune must throw the a journal for the information of his descend- borrower on his back. Such a course of action ants, and as a kind of justification of himself for could only succeed with a very parsimonious borthe loss of their patrimony which he sees im- rower, who annually paid off a portion of his debt pending. This journal was not designed for print, out of his high profits ; but theory requires those but it accidentally fell into the hands of a friend, high profits to continue, and practice shows that and he urges the publication.

so extensive a trading on borrowed capital rarely This rather operose framework is not a bad in- succeeds even with the most thrifty. dication of the character of the book. The mat

We do not allege these things as any excuse ter and spirit bear no proportion to the form and for the breach of faith towards the West Indians words. The mind of the writer is not sufficiently on the part of ministers, Parliament, and people ; comprehensive for fiction; and his facts fail of but as an example of the angry and illogical mind producing their full effect, because their form is of Mr. Premium. The true case of the West general whilst their true nature is singular. They Indians is quite strong enough without resorting are also encumbered with other things, which are to topics that prove nothing. But this disposition quite proper to the picture of a planter's life, but

to exaggerate seems a type of the protectionist do not prove the argument of the book. The mind all the world over. great drawback, however, as regards attraction, is

The plan of the book, had it been put before that the writer is in a measure dealing with mat- the reader with more breadth and animation, is ters that are past, or he proposes a plan which well enough designed. Descriptions of the esstands no chance of being carried the purchase tate and its management, the domestic life of the of slaves in Africa for manumission in the West planters, the characters of the negroes, and some Indies. Had Mr. Premium possessed a Defoe- incidents of a class appropriate to fiction, vary the like power, this fault would not have affected the political economy. The author also has a praetiinterest of his book; for life, character, and man- cal knowledge of Guiana and its cultivation; but ners would have been dominant, and the reader the incongruities we have spoken of—the mixture have swallowed the political economy in the guise of pamphlet and novel without the powers of a of fiction. As it is, we have the purpose of a novelist-militate against the purpose of the avpamphlet thrown into the form of a novel ; the thor, and somewhat flatten the effect of his book. economical questions that are the real object of

One point, which Mr. Premium works rather the author being continually lost sight of, in those successfully, is an answer to the charge that the topics which are appropriate to a picture of daily planters have made no experiments and not enlife in Guiana.

deavored to introduce substitutes for manual labor. It may also be said that Mr. Premium, like the This is his account of the plough ; but it should protectionists at home, is somewhat addicted to be borne in mind that the cultivation of Guiana is making out too strong a case ; ascribing to partic- peculiar, owing to the manner in which the low ular events an influence that singly they could not lands are intersected by streams and the dikes have, and exhibiting the sugar interest in such a

necessary for drainage. plight that if all he says incidentally were true,

The greatest efforts have been making since the nothing could have saved it. For purposes of

year 1833 to find substitutes for manual labor. sentimental gratification, this country has inter- The plough, above all other means, has been tried

* Eight Years in British Guiana ; being the Journal of perseveringly, I may say on nearly every plantaa Residence in that Province from 1840 10 1848, inclusive. tion ; but in no one instance has it been found to With Anecdotes and Incidents illustrating the Social suit so well as to supersede the shovel and hoe. Condition of its Inhabitants ; and the Opinions of the Our soil being a stiff clay, causes the operation to Writer on the State and Prospects of our Sugar Colonies be exceedingly severe on cattle; and the small ince. Edited by his friend. Published by Longman & drains, which are at a distance of only thirty-seven Co.

feet from cach other, and two feet deep by two

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »