Imagens das páginas
PDF
ePub

actually obserted positions; and he came to the conclusion, | Instead of having to measure the action of a determinate not merely that there was difficulty and discrepancy in the planet, I have had to begin from irregularities recognised comparison, but that, on grounds of the strictest geometrical in Uranus, to deduce from thence the elements of the orbit Feuioning, none of those known forces were adequate, to of the disturbing planet, to give the position of this planet produce the observed irregularities of the planet's course. in the heavens, and to show that its influence perfectly On this point, viz., the proved incompatibility of the observed accounted for the apparent irregularities of Uranus." positions of the planet, with the supposition of its being In a second paper(Comptes Rendus, August 31, 1846), he under the influence only of known forces, he insists strongly proceeded to fix yet more exactly the place, size, and disas a new and distinct step gained.

tance of the yet unseen planet. Sereral ways had already been suggested of getting rid Such was M. Le Verrier's idea of a planet hitherto unof the difficulty--the resistance of the æther-a vast satel- discovered from the Earth, a body many times the lite of Uranus-some variations in the laws of gravity a

of the Earth, and not much less than Saturn, that enormous distance from the Sun--the shock of a comet and taking more than two centuries to revolve about the --, lastly, an unknown planet. But these were niere Sun, at a distance 33 times greater than the Earth; i.e. 33 vague and unsupported suppositions, which any one might times 95,000,000 miles. That is to say, a person travelling fazard in the uncertainty which surrounded the subject. from the Earth at the rate of 30 miles an hour, would The theory of Uranus had never been treated rigorously, reach it at the end of something over 11,500 years. and the irregularities in its orbit were themselves proble Within one month after M. Le Verrier had thus mimatical; they were now undoubted, and it was time for nutely fixed beforehand the place of this mysterious D'athematics to take the place of guess-work.

body, it was actually seen. On the 23d of September, He then shows that all these suppositions, except the Dr. Galle, of the observatory at Berlin, re

received a last, are inadmissible; and that, if the disturbing force pro letter from M. Le Verrier, urging him to look out tied from an unknown planet, the stranger must be --not sharply for the new star, which possibly might be recog

thin the orbit of Uranus, because, if a large body it would | nised by its disk. That very evening Dr. Galle, on disturb Saturn's orbit, if a small one it would not be comparing Bremiker's excellent map with the heavens, adequate to produce the actual amount of disturbance in observed near the place fixed by Le Verrier a star not that of Uranus: nor, for the same reasons, near on the marked by Bramiker. It was compared three times that outside of the orbit of Uranus ;-but, far enough without night with a known fixed star, and a planetary motion was the orbit of Uranus to act upon it, without acting upon suspected; the following night it was again observed, and that of Saturn, and large enough to act upon Uranus for its motion was confirmed, and agreed quite with Le Verlong and continuous periods of time. According to the law rier's announcement; and on the third night, September of planetary distances that the planets double on one 25, Galle observed it five times, and Encke ten, and the arother in their distances from the Sun, as they are more place of the planet had again changed. Its positions are retote in the system--this new planet ought to be twice as given by Encke, which show that the place agrees within one far from the Sun as Uranus : and this probability becomes

s: and this probability becomes degree, and the retrograde motion shows also that the disa. Ilost a certainty ; for, as its distance cannot be much less, tance is very nearly correct. With such marvellous verifiso it cannot be greater, e.g., treble the distance of Uranus; cations, it is not more wonderful to learn further, that Le because, as in that case it must be of enormous mass, it Verrier's announcement of its size nearly agrees with must act upon Saturn as well as Uranus, and its great dis- | Encke's measurements. tance from both planets would make its influence on each The planet has since been observed repeatedly, both in comparable; whereas there is no trace of any such influence England and abroad. “It is," as the German observers on the orbit of Saturn. Further, such a body acting on the say, "the noblest triumph that theory ever achieved.” Our orbit of Uranus, must be, without doubt, in much the obligations are due to M. Le Verrier, it has been seen, not kane plane as Uranus; i. e., must be looked for nearly in for merely an ingenious conception of a possible disturbing ibe Ecliptic.

cause, but for having demonstrated its nature and position He then states this as the question which he undertakes before it had been detected by human eye. In this reto solve :-“ Is it possible that the inequalities of Uranus

nus spect we believe

we believe his discovery is unprecedented. Dsare due to the influence of a planet, situated in the turbances which affected the return of Halley : comet in

Ecliptic, at a mean distance double that of Uranus? and 1759 led Clairaut to suppose that there was a planet beyond of li so, what is the actual place of the planet? What is its those at that time known, and Uranus was eventually

las What are the elements of the orbit which it de- discovered. Bode's laws of the relative distances of the xrbes? The problems thus enounced, I proceed to planets from the Sun induced a search for a planet between

Mars and Jupiter, which led to the discovery of those Assuming, then, that the supposed planet is to be looked wonderful little bodies, Juno, Vesta, Pallas, Ceres, and for nearly in the Ecliptic, he proceeds to attempt to ascer- lastly Astræa. In all these cases the observer probably lain its longitude. And this he professes to do. He offers deserved more credit than the mathematician : but it was strict geonietrical proof, for which we must refer to his reserved for M. Le Verrier to venture to make an unknown paper itself, that there cannot be two regions of the sky planet the subject of a rigorous mathematical problem, Where it is to be looked for; and fixes its place within the and on matheniatical grounds alone, and with mathemaunits of ten degrees. And he proposes to go on further, tical exactness, to anticipate ana

tical exactness, to anticipate and guide the observer. Caland using the ground which he has thus made good, to nar- culations of the same nature may have been engaging the To* still more the limits of the longitude, and to "correct simultaneous attention of other mathematicians, but M. the duration of its periodic revolution."

Le Verrier's claim to the honour of this achievement must He thus sums up the substance of his paper of June 1: always be paramount, because he first had such confidence " It may be seen, that to ob

that I re- in his theory as to announce it publicly, without qualificaquired, by combining theory with actual observations, I tion, and in the niinutest expression, and to stake his credit have had successively

on its verification. "Ist. To go over afresh the calculation of the perturbations which Jupiter causes on Uranus-to determine those which are produced by Saturn, by pushing the approximations to the squares and products of the masses--a procedure which has introduced remarkable changes in received

As an amusing pendant to the above, we subjoin the

following ingenious squib upon the subject, taken from 20. To reduce nearly 800 meridian observations of the Athenæum.

iesolve rigorously."

theories.

Uranus,

* 3d. To calculate the corresponding heliocentric posi

ASTRONOMICAL POLICE REPORT. tions of this planet, on the supposition that it only obeys the | An ill-looking kind of body, who declined to give any united induence of the Sun, ot Jupiter, and of Saturn ; to name, was brought before the Academy of Sciences, charged atduce thence the geocentric co-ordinates, by the help of | with having assaulted a gentleman of the name of Uranus Tables of the Sun, and thus to prove decisively that there

in the public highway. The prosecutor was a youngish Samirreconcileable difference (incompatibilité) between the

looking person, wrapped up in two or three great coats; paces thus calculated, and the places observed.

and looked chillier than anything imaginable, except the * The distance of a hitherto unknown planet being thus prisoner,--whose teeth actually shook all the time. paced beyond doubt, I have reversed the problem, which Policeman Le Verrier stated that he saw the prosecutor has been hitherto proposed in calculating perturbations. walking along the pavement,--and sometimes turning

sideways and sometimes running up to the railings and author of the Popish Kingdom makes the following allujerking about in a strange way. Calculated that some sion to this festival : body must be pulling his coat, or otherwise assaulting him.

“ Then followeth St. Stephen's day, whereon doth every man It was so dark he could not see; but thought, if he watched the direction in which the next odd move was made, he

His horses jaunt and course abroad, as swiftly as he can, might find out something. When the time came, he set

Until they do extremely sweat, and then they let them blood; Brünnow, a constable in another division of the same force,

For this being done upon this day they say doth do them good, to watch where he told him; and Brünnow caught the

And keeps them from all maladies and sickness through the prisoner lurking about in the very spot,--trying to look as

year, if he was minding his own business. Had suspected for a

As if that Stephen any time took charge of horses here." long time that somebody was lurking about in the neigh

Mr. Douce is of opinion that the custom of bleeding bourhood. Brünnow was then called, and deposed to his catching the prisoner as described.

horses on this day is extremely ancient, and that it was M. Arago.--Was the prosecutor sober ?

brought into this country by the Danes. The Finns, Le Verrier.-Lord, yes, your worship ; no man who had upon this feast, throw a piece of money, or a bit of a drop in him ever looked so cold as he did.

silver, into the trough out of which the horses drink, M. Arago.--Did you see the assault?

under the idea that it “ prospers those who do it." Le Verrier.--I can't say I did; but I told Brünnow ex Within the memory of an aged and respectable native actly how he'd be crouched down,-- just as he was.

of Middleton, in Cork, living in 1827, it was a custom M. Arago (to Brünnow.)- Did you see the assault ?

upon this anniversary for the young men of the vicinity, Brünnow.--No, your worship ; but I caught the pri

in their holiday attire, decorated with gay and variously. soner. M. Arago.-How do you linow there was any assault

coloured ribands in their sleeves and hats, and one of at all?

them carrying a furze-bush, in which a wren was secured, Le Verrier.--I reckoned it couldn't be otherwise, when to parade the town and contiguous villages. Stopping I saw the prosecutor making those odd turns on the pave- | opposite the mansions of the gentry, one of the party ment.

repeated these lines :M. Arago.--You reckon and you calculate! Why, you'll tell me, next, that you policemen may sit at home

“ The wren, the wren, the king of all birds, and find out all that's going on in the streets by arithmetic.

Was caught St. Stephen's day in the furze; Did you ever bring a case of this kind before me till

Although he's little his family's great; now?

Then pray, kind gentlefolks, give him a treat." Le Verrier.-Why, you see, your worship, the police Instantly, in the true spirit of Irish hospitality, open are growing cleverer and cleverer every day. We can't flew the gates, and the little “king of all birds" enter.' help it :-it grows upon us.

ing with his attendants, found the “trate" prepared for M. Arago.--You're getting too clever for me. What does the prosecutor know about the matter?

| him. This usage, it appears, was grounded on the tra i The prosecutor said, all he knew was that he was pulled

dition that follows :-During one of those periods when behind by somebody several times. On being further ex

Ireland “writhed in the agonies of rebellion,” a party of amined, he said that he had seen the prisoner often, but royalists, having been harassed by their enemy and ex: did not know his name, nor how he got his living; but had posed to imminent danger, insomuch that they were understood he was called Neptune. He himself had paid worn out with hardships and incessant watchfulness, rates and taxes a good many years now. Had a family of bivouacked in a secluded valley, which they considered | six,-two of whom got their own living.

a place of safety. They lay stretched upon the turfs in The prisoner, being called on for his defence, said that

deep sleep, and even the sentinel yielded to its influ. it was a quarrel. He had pushed the prosecutor, and the prosecutor had pushed him. They had known each other a

ence. While they lay thus, the enemy, aware of their long time, and were always quarrelling; he did not know

exhausted state, and suspecting the place of their rewhy. It was their nature he supposed. He further said,

treat, were silently bearing down upon them. The that the prosecutor had given a false account of himself? | rebels were within musket-shot of their intended victhat he went about under different names. Sometimes he tims, when a wren tapped with its bill three times upon was called Uranus, sometimes Herschel, and sometimes the drum. The sound startled the sentinel ; he sprang Georgium Sidus, and he had no character for regularity in up, and saw the retiring bird and the advancing the neighbourhood. Indeed, he was sometimes not to be multitude, and alarmed his sleeping comrades to seen for a long time at once.

arms. Rendered desperate by the peril of their siThe prosecutor, on being asked, admitted, after a little hesitation, that he had pushed and pulled the prisoner too.

tuation and the suddenness of their surprise, they In the altercation which followed, it was found very diffi

encountered their confused and disappointed foes, and cult to make out which began ; and the worthy magistrate

conquered. The custom above described has been seemed to think they must have begun together.

long discontinued, but one very like it still exists at M. Arago.---Prisoner, have you any family?

Rathlee, in the sister island. On Christmas Day, and on The prisoner declined answering that question at present. | the Sunday previous to it, numbers of men and boys He said he thought the police might as well reckon it out turn out with sticks, and, hunting all the fences of the whether he had or not.

fields, and the over-hanging river banks, drive out and M. Arago said he didn't much differ from that opinion. |

kill the wrens amidst great shouting. On the next He then addressed both prosecutor and prisoner; and told

morning the immolators of these pretty winter birds them that if they couldn't settle their differences without quarrelling in the streets, he should certainly commit

parade, in parties, about the streets. In each group is them both next time. In the mean time, he called upon

one man with a large holly-bush (decorated with ribands), both to enter into their own recognizances; and directed

to which hang, perhaps, six or eight dead wrens; and the police to have an eye upon both, observing that the his companions beg at the houses, and petition all perprisoner would be likely to want it a long time, and the sons whom they meet, for “money for the wren," in : prosecutor would be not a hair the worse for it."

curious species of chorus. The origin of this usage is involved in obscurity. A writer in 1811 relates that “ on the feast of St. Stephen large goose pies are made,

all of which they distribute among their needy neighPOPULAR YEAR BOOK.

bours, except one, which is carefully laid up, and not December 26.-- Frast of St. Stepheit.

tasted till the Purification of the Virgin, called Candle“It is owing," writes Brady, “ to St. Stephen having St. Stephen's is popularly known as Boxing-day, be. been the first who suffered for his steady adherence to cause on this festival tradesmen are visited by persons the Faith of Christ, that his anniversary has been fixed in the employment of their customers for a “Christmas immediately following the day held by the Church in box,” and every man and boy who thinks he is qualified commemoration of the Nativity of our Saviour.” The to ask, solicits from those on whom he calculates as

mas."

fine.”

likely to bestow. The Christmas-box was originally a sheet, doubled up in front, so as to form a vast pocket, box containing the money gathered against this season, and then to go along the streets in little bands, calling. that prayers and masses might be offered by the clergy at the doors of the wealthier classes for an expected dole to obtain forgiveness for the debaucheries committed by of oaten bread. Each child gets one “ quadrant" secthe people. Servants had the liberty to collect box- tion of oat-cake (sometimes in the case of particular money, that they, too, might be enabled to pay the favourites improved by an addition of cheese), and this priest for his masses. Hence our modern“ Christmas- is called their hogmanay. In expectation of the large bones.” The practice of making presents at Christmas | demands thus made upon them, the housewives busy appears to have been founded on the pagan custom of themselves, for several days beforehand, in preparing a sending New Year's Gifts, with which it is now blended. / suitable quantity of cakes. The children, on coming to

the door, cry“Hogmanay!" which is in itself a sufficient December 27.-Feast of St. John the Evangelist. announcement of their demands; but there are other

The festival of this saint is said to be celebrated the exclamations which are used for the same purpose. second from that of the Nativity, on account of the pre- | One of these is-

" Hogmanay eminent love of our Saviour towards him. We are told

Trollolay; by Vaogeorgus that it was formerly customary for the

Give us of your white bread, and none of your gray!” clergy to give hallowed wine on this day to their parishioners. He adds :

Another is " And after with the self-same wine are little manchets made,

“ Get up, gudewife, and shake your feathers,

And dinna think that we are beggars ; Against the boisterous winter storms, and sundry such-like

For we are bairns come out to play;
trades;
The nen upon this solemn day do take this holy wine

Get up and gie's our hogmanay!”
To make them strong; so do the maids to make them fair and | A third, and the greatest favourite of all, is-

“ My feet's cauld, my shoon's thin, December 28.-.Feast of the Holy Jnnocents.

Gic's a piece and let's rin!" This anniversary, which is also called CHILDERMAS

“It is no unpleasing scene,” says the author before Dar, has been celebrated from the primitive times of

| mentioned, “during the forenoon, to see the children Christianity in commemoration of the slaughter of the

going laden home, each with his large apron bellying infants of Bethlehem. In the middle ages it was usual

out before him, stuffed full of cakes, and perhaps scarcely to "whip up" the children upon the morning of the holi

able to waddle under the load. Such a mass of oaten day, “ that the memory of Herod's murder of the Inno.

alms is no inconsiderable addition to the comfort of the cents might stick the closer, and in a moderate propor- |

poor man's household, and tends to make the season tion to act over the cruelty again in kind.” Childermas

still more worthy of its jocular title." day was also deemed of especial bad omen; no one married upon it; and our forefathers considered it unlucky to put on a new suit of clothes, pare their nails,

THE ORIGINAL ARTIST.I or begin anything of importance on this festival.

As I was lounging one fair and very warm morning December 31.-Pew Year's Eve.

on the Levee at New Orleans, I chanced to observe a

gentleman whose dress and other accompaniments The last day of the year was spent among our greatly attracted my attention. I wheeled about, and " labouring ancestors” in festivity and frolic among the followed him for a short space, when, judging by everymen; and the young women carried from door to door thing about him that he was a true original, I accostesl a wassail-bowl of spiced ale, “which,” says Hone, “they | him. But here, kind reader, let me give you some idea offered to the inhabitants of every house they stopped of his exterior. His head was covered by a straw hat, at, singing rude congratulatory verses, and hoping for the brim of which might cope with those worn by the small presents." Young men and women also exchanged fair sex in 1830; his neck was exposed to the weather; clothes, which was termed mumming, or disguising ; | the broad frill of a shirt, then fashionable, flapped about and when thus dressed in each other's garments, they his breast; whilst an extraordinary collar, carefully went from one neighbour's cottage to another, singing, arranged, fell over the top of his coat. The latter was dancing, and partaking of good cheer.

of a light green colour, harmonizing well with a pair of Hutchinson, in his History of Cumberland, speaking flowing yellow nankeen trowsers, and a pink waistcoat, of the parish of Muncaster, remarks : “ On the eve of | from the bosom of which, amidst a large bunch of the the new year the children go from house to house sing. I splendid flowers of the Magnolia, protruded part of a ing a ditty which craves the bounty 'they were wont to young alligator, which seemed more anxious to glide have in old King Edward's days.' There is no tradition through the muddy waters of some retired swamp, than Whence this custom rose; the donation is twopence, or to spend its life swinging to and fro among folds of the a pie at every house."

finest lawn. The gentleman held in one hand a cage full The great moralist, Dr. Johnson, in his Journey to of richly-plumed nonpareils, whilst in the other he the Western Islands of Scotland, says, that a gentleman | sported a silk umbrella, on which I could plainly read, informed him that, at New Year's Eve, in the hall or “Stolen from I," these words being painted in large castle of the laird, where on festivals there is supposed white characters. He walked as if conscious of his own

be a very numerous company, one man dresses him- | importance, that is, with a good deal of pomposity, singIf in a cow-hide, on which other men beat with sticks; ing, “My love she's but a lassie yet," and that with such ne runs with all this noise round the house, which all thorough imitation of the Scotch emphasis, that had not the company quits in a counterfeited fright; the door is his physiognomy brought to my mind a denial of his then shut, and no re-admission obtained after their pre- being from “within a mile of Edinburgh,” I should have tended terror but by the repetition of a verse of poetry, put him down in my journal for a true Scot. But no :with which those acquainted with the custom are pro | his tournure, nay, the very shape of his visage, provided. The author of the Traditions of Edinburgh nounced him an American, from the farthest parts of states, that in Scotland the last day of the year is uni our eastern Atlantic shores. Versally styled Hogmanay, and observed as a high fes All this raised my curiosity to such a height, that I

11, both by old and young, but especially by the latter.accosted him with, « Pray, Sir, will you allow me to exis still customary, he tells us, in retired and primitive amine the birds you have in that cage ?" The gentleman towns, for the children of the poorer class of people to fet themselves on that morning swaddled up in a great ! (1) From Audubon's Ornithological Biography.

stopped, straightened his body, almost closed his left | piece, the artist took aim again, and fired. The bullet eye, then spread his legs apart, and, with a look alto- this time had accomplished its object, for it had paseed gether quizzical, answered, “ Birds, Sir, did you say through the aperture, and hit the wall behind. “Jr. birds?" | nodded, and he continued, “What do you know ring the bell and close the windows,” said the painter; about birds, Sir !"

/ and turning to me, continued, “Sir, I will show you Reader, this answer brought a blush into my face. I the ne plus ultra of shooting.” I was quite amazed, and felt as if caught in a trap, for I wis struck by the force yet so delighted, that I bowed my assent. A serrant of the gentleman's question; which, by the way, was not having appeared, a lighted candle was ordered. When | much in discordance with a not unusual mode of grant- it arrived, the artist placed it in a proper position, and ing an answer in the United States. Sure enough, retiring some yards, put out the light with a bullet. thought I, little or perhaps nothing do I know of the When light was restored, I observed the uneasiness of nature of those beautiful denizens of the air; but the the poor little alligator, as it strove to effect its escape next moment vanity gave me a pinch, and urged me to from the artist's waistcoat. I mentioned this to him. conceive that I knew at least as much about birds as the “ True, true,” he replied, “I had quite forgot the repaugust personage in my presence. “Sir," I replied, “I tile, he shall have a dram;" and unbuttoning his vest, am a student of nature, and admire her works, from the unclasped a small chain, and placed the alligator in the noblest figure of man to the crawling reptile which you basin of water on the table. have in your bosom.” “Ah !" replied he, “a-a-a natu- Perfectly satisfied with the acquaintance I had formed ralist, I presume !" "Just so, my good Sir," was my with this renowned artist, I wished to withdraw, fearing answer. The gentleman gave me the cage; and I ob- I might inconvenience him by my presence. But my served from the corner of one of my eyes, that his were time was not yet come. He bade me sit down, and parcunningly inspecting my face. I examined the pretty ing no more attention to the young pupils in the room! finches as long as I wished, returned the cage, made a than if they had been a couple of cabbages, said, “ If low bow, and was about to proceed on my walk, when you have leisure and will stay awhile, I will show you this odd sort of being asked me a question quite accor- how I paint, and will relate to you an incident of my dant with my desire of knowing more of him. “Will you life, which will prove to you how sadly situated an arti! come with me, Sir ? If you will, you shall see some more is at times." In full expectation that more eccentrici! curious birds, some of which are from different parts of ties were to be witnessed, or that the story would prov ! the world. I keep quite a collection." I assured him I a valuable one, even to a naturalist, who is seldom a should feel gratified, and accompanied him to his painter, I seated myself at his side, and observed with 1, lodging.

interest how adroitly he transferred the colours from his We entered a long room ; there, to my surprise, the glistening pallet to the canvass before him. I was about first objects that attracted my attention were a large to compliment him on his facility of touch, when he easel, with a full-length unfinished portrait upon it, a spoke as follows:table with pallets and pencil, and a number of pictures “This is, Sir, or, I ought to say rather, this will be the of various sizes placed along the walls. Several cages / portrait of one of our best navy officers, a man as braver containing birds were hung near the windows, and two sa Cæsar, and as good a sailor as ever walked the deck , young gentlemen were busily engaged in copying some of a seventy-four. Do you paint, Sir !" I replied, “Not i finished portraits. I was delighted with all I saw. Each yet.”—“Not yet! What do you mean?"_“I mean what I picture spoke for itself; the drawing, the colouring, the say: I intend to paint as soon as I can draw better than handling, the composition, and the keeping--all proved, I do at present.”—“ Good," said he, “you are quite right; ! that, whoever was the artist, he certainly was possessed to draw is the first object; but, Sir, if you should ever ) of superior talents.

| paint, and paint portraits, you will often meet with dif I did not know if my companion was the painter of | ficulties. For instance, the brave commodore of whom the picture, but, as we say in America, I strongly this is the portrait, although an excellent man at every guessed, and, without waiting any longer, paid him the thing else, is the worst sitter I ever saw; and the inci. í compliments which I thought he fairly deserved. dent I promised to relate to you, as one curious enough, ! “ Ave," said he, “the world is pleased with my work; I is connected with this bad mode of sitting. Sir, I forgot wish I were so too, but time and industry are required to ask if you would take any refreshment-a glass of as well as talents, to make a good artist. If you will wine, or --," I assured him I needed nothing more examine the birds, I'll to my labour." So saying, thn than his agreeable company, and he proceeded :-"Well, artist took up his pallet, and was searching for a rest | Sir, the first morning that the commodore came to sit, stick, but not finding the one with which he usually sup- | he was in full uniform, and with his sword at his side. ported his hand, he drew the rod of a gun, and was After a few moments of conversation, and when all was about to sit, when he suddenly threw down his imple-ready on my part, I bade him ascend this throne, place ments on the table, and, taking the gun, walked to me, himselfin the attitude which I contemplated, and assume and asked me “if I had ever seen a percussion-lock.” Ian air becoming an officer of the navy. He mounted, had not. for that improvement was not yet in vogue. I placed himself as I had desired, but merely looked at He not only explained the superiority of the lock in me as if I had been a block of stone. I waited a fer question, but undertook to prove that it was capable of minutes, when, observing no change on his placid coun. acting effectually under water. The bell was rung, a tenance, I ran the chalk over the canvass to form a rough flat basin of water was produced, the gun was charged | outline. This done, I looked up to his face again, and with powder, and the lock fairly immersed. The report opened a conversation, which I thought would warm his terrified the birds, causing them to beat against the warlike nature ; but in vain. I waited and waited, gilded walls of their prisons. I remarked this to the talked and talked, until my patience-Sir, you must artist. He replied, “Hang the birds !--more of them know I am not overburdened with phleri-being in the market; why, Sir, I wish to show you that I am almost run out, I rose, threw my palate and brushes a marksman as well as a painter.” The easel was cleared on the floor, stamped, walking to and fro about of the large picture, rolled to the further end of the room, the room, and vociferated such calumnies against our and placed against the wall. The gun was loaded in a nary, that I startled the good commodore." He still trice, and the painter counting ten steps from the easel, looked at me with a placid countenance, and as he has and taking aim at the supporting pin on the left, fired; | told me since, thought I had lost my senses. But I obthe bullet struck the head of the wooden pin fairly, and served him all the while, and, fully as determined to sent the splinters in all directions. A bad shot, Sir," | carry my point as he would be to carry off an enemy's said this extraordinary person; “the ball ought to have ship, I gave my oaths additional emphasis, addressed driven the pin farther into the hole, but it struck on one him as a representative of the navy, and, steering some. side : I'll try at the hole itself !” After reloading his / what clear of personal insult, played off my batteries

zainst the craft. The commodore walked up to me, I ples of the chiaro-scuro, Guido's genius enabled placed his hand on the hilt of his sword, and told me, him to practise it with success. He bestowed much in a resolute manner, that if I intended to insult the labour on his pictures, which were highly finished: nary, he would instantly cut off my ears. His features | but he generally gave some bold touches to his exhibited all the spirit and animation of his noble works in order ih

te works, in order that it might not be supposed that nature; and as I had now succeeded in rousing the lion, I judged it time to retreat. So, changing my tune, I

he had devoted so much time to them. begged his pardon, and told him he now looked precisely

Guido's demeanour when in his painting-room as I wished to represent him. He laughed, and return

was very haughty, and he exacted the utmost reing to his seat, assumed a bold countenance. And now,

spect from his pupils. He never removed his cap Sir, see the picture."

from his head in the presence of his visitors, how

ever elevated their rank might be; but in society Biographical Sketches of Eminent Painters.

he was courteous and modest.

It is melancholy to relate that the latter days of

this great painter were rendered miserable by his GUIDO RENI.

unhappy inclination for gambling. In other reGuido RENI. generally called Guido, was born spects his life was irreproachable; but this deploat Bologna in 1574, and was the son of Daniel rable propensity not only reduced him to indigence, Reni, an excellent musician of that city.

| but deprived him of his friends, and ruined the Guido received his first instruction in painting

energies of his mind. In his declining years he from Denis Calvart, a highly esteemed Flemish was absolutely compelled to work for his daily artist; but he soon quitted him, and became a dis- subsistence, and this gave him a habit of painting ciple of the Caracci, whose style he studied with in a hurried and negligent manner, which was so much attention.

different from his former careful and finished style. He then visited Rome; and although the works

He died in the year 1612, aged sixty-eight. of Raphael inspired him with the greatest enthu

In the church of St. Philip Neri, at Fano, there siasm, he was dazzled by the surprising effect of is a grand altar-piece by Guido, representing our Caravaggio's painting, and imitated his manner Saviour delivering the keys to St. Peter. At Milan for a time, but afterwards abandoned it, by the is a St. John, which is beautiful in respect of colouradvice of Annibal Caracci, who was then employed | ing and grace of design, at Rome.

In the palazzo Tanaro, at Bologna, is an excelGuido now evinced that genius which has ren

| lent picture of the Infant Jesus, the Virgin Mary, dered him so justly celebrated, and he adopted a

and St. John. The heads and the draperies are in style which was at once grand, elegant, and grace

that graceful and noble style for which Guido was ful. Giuseppe Cæsar d'Arpino-better known by

so celebrated. the appellation of Gioseppino Cavaliere—who was

The martyrdom of St. Peter was considered to the formidable rival of Caravaggio, took great plea

be one of the finest altar-pieces in Rome. It was sure in extolling the new manner of Guido, in painted by Guido when he was anxious to adopt order to excite the envy of his antagonist. This

the manner of Caravaggio, and he is said to have drew upon Guido the resentment of the imperious

imitated him most successfully in this composition. Caravaggio, who depreciated his works wherever

According to tradition, St. Peter was condemned he went, and even added threats to injury. Guido | to be crucified about the year of our Lord 68, in conducted himself with the greatest moderation, the reign of Nero; but, considering himself unworbut it is supposed that he hastened his return to thy of suffering the same death as our blessed Bologna in consequence of the hostile behaviour of Saviour, he obtained permission to be crucified Caravaggio.

with his head downwards. His fame, however, continued to increase, and This picture is now in the Vatican. It is painted he was recalled to Rome by Pope Paul V., who on wood, and is about nine feet and a half high, employed and rewarded him liberally.

and seven wide. A fine copy of it, in mosaic, may Among the celebrated painters of that period be seen in the church of St. Peter at Rome. who were opposed to Guido was Domenichino, with whom he entered into competition to paint the martyrdom of St. Andrew. Guido was eminently

Poetry. successful on this occasion, though Annibal Caracci did not give him his suffrage. Indeed, some good In Original Poetry, the Name, real or assumed, of the Author, is judges have declared that Guido's paintings are printed in Small Capitals under the title; in Selections, it is not always so true to nature as those of Domeni- | printed in Italics at the end. chino; but in delicacy of idea, elegance of design, freedom of pencil, and general effect, Guido has

. “LOVE NOT,” REBUKED. rarely been surpassed. Tender, pathetic, and de

E. 1. B. | vout subjects were those in which he particularly

“Love not; the earth is filled with woe, excelled.

And he that lives on love below, His heads are remarkable for grace, and an

Must soon his brightest hopes forego." engaging propriety of expression, worthy of the

Nay, traitor, 'tis love's best employ pencil of Raphael himself. The form and air of

To heal this evil world's annoy, bis figures are extremely beautiful, whilst the

And turn its bitter things to joy. general arrangement of his objects, and his asto

“Love is a frail and stayless shoot ; mishingly clear and pure colouring, deserre the

Ye deem 'twill bear you golden fruit, highest praise. His draperies are always disposed

Nor wist 'tis rotten at the root." With singular taste and judgment; they are noble

False prophet, in a soil that's kind and elegant, without the least stiftness or affectation.

No plant a firmer hold can find, Though deficient in the knowledge of the princi- |

Or spread more freely to the wind.

[ocr errors]
« AnteriorContinuar »