« AnteriorContinuar »
pleasure" productive of a Night's. Migration over Westminster-bridge: Astley's Amphitheatre courted in the dog-days: humour of the horseclown applauded, and the Antipodean posture-master much admired. Only one man horsewhipped by Barry O'Meara, and he the wrong
August.-Appearance of Miss Paton in the Marriage of Figaro : critics for once unanimous. Census of London population: one million souls, exclusive of one female infant sworn by Hannah White to Ex-sheriff Parkins. English players at the Porte St. Martin, in Paris: open with Othello: a wise selection, considering the objection of the French to slaughter on a stage: Moor of Venice damned, and Desdemona hit by a penny piece. The King embarked at Greenwich for Scotland: not a Caledonian visible during his absence, even at the India House; all being, or affecting to be, at the Levee at Holyrood House. "Carle now the King's come:" highly interesting to those who understand it. Lord Portsmouth, frightened at the Advent of Majesty, abruptly quitted Edinburgh. Viscount Newry, aided by his five servants, rowed from Oxford to London in eighteen hours: not a scull in the boat. Fonthill Abbey on sale, and Wanstead House no more remembered: Salisbury plain covered by women eager to gain admission run of the piece stopped by Farquhar's "Stratagem." John Paterson, aged fifty, married at St. Anne's, Soho, to Jane Barclay, aged eighteen no cause assigned for the rash action.
September. Return of the King to London: Scots still insufferable; the swell taking time to abate: plan of erecting a Parthenon on Calton Hill: Auld Reekie to be christened Modern Athens: great demand for fowling-pieces at Mortimer's in Fleet-street: not a cockney, from Savage-gardens to Skinner-street, that did not talk of bagging his three brace. The Lutine Frigate with 200,000l. on board: vessel meant to be weighed by a projector at Lloyd's, but consequences weighed at Amsterdam, and the scheme interdicted. New Marriage Act threatens to annihilate that ceremony. Death of Sir William Herschel, and discovery of a new comet without a tail. Dinner given to Mr. Hume at Aberdeen: nothing on table but Peter's brown loaf: "Thrift, thrift, Horatio." Statement of a civic dinner given at Norwich in 1516 amount of bill 17. 18s. 1d.: uttterly disbelieved by Sir W. Curtis. A man of fashion seen in London, who made no excuse for being there in September: the crowd was immense.
October. Alterations in the interior of Drury-lane theatre-opening address of G. Colman: abolition of stage doors: great shifting of actors from one house to the other: stars changed to comets. Congress at Verona. London still a desert: but junior merchants and clerks in public offices occasionally seen stealing through the streets. The French ministers presented their compliments to Sir Robert Wilson, and requested the favour of his absence from France. His appeal to his constituents, who will probably order the decree to be rescinded. Turkey and Greece: letter from Paris telling the British public all about it. Columbian bonds at a high premium, and the holders lords of Peru and Potosi. Appearance of "The Liberal" from the south so called by the godfather of the Serpentine River, who gave it that name because it was neither serpentine nor a river. Stoppage of Mr. Bowring at Calais, and his removal to Boulogne:
his eulogy as a Russian anthologist. Death of Mrs. Garrick at Hampton: extract from Lee Lewis, proving her to be daughter to the Earl of Burlington, and, consequently, proprietor of the mansion in Piccadilly bearing that name; stated by one journal to have had but a single maid of all work, and by another to have been possessed of a coachman and footman: scramble among the Dilettanti for little David's original Hogarths. Mermaid exhibited in St. James's-street: said by some to have died of the stitch: and by others to have been produced by Mrs. Salmon in Monkey Island. Alderman Wood seen on the Maidstone road, riding between two packsaddles, laden with samples of hops. Marriage Act still much criticised, notwithstanding which seven bachelors were married in one day, at the parish church of St. Andrew's Holborn. A clergyman attended to give the unhappy wretches the last consolations of religion.
November, Commencement of Michaelmas Term: attorneys brandishing their pens: plaintiffs and defendants loitering about Oliver's coffee-house. Reported abduction of Lord Byron to South America: death of Mr. Zea: consequent tumble of Columbian bonds down a precipice of twenty-five per cent. Lords, in reversion, of Potosi and Peru left sprawling in the mire, and many dozens of dry champagne advertised for sale considerably under prime cost. Liberation of Orator Hunt: his procession through London, and radical dinner at the Shepherd and Shepherdess. About the same time Mount Vesuvius began to grumble and in both cases "repeated shocks and internal howlings were heard from the mountain." Congress continued sitting at Verona with closed doors and plugged key-holes: much conjecture consequently afloat. The Opera-house end of Pall Mall was much alarmed by an explosion of gas. Signor Zuchelli's elegance was sadly scorched; and Madame Camporese forcibly driven into two of Madame Ronzi di Begni's characters. Signor Ambrogetti's voice has not been heard of since. The British ambassador's letter-bag was tied up, and much epistolary grumbling consequently confined to the gizzards of the English exiles at Paris. Auxiliary Bible-meeting at the Mansion House: a great pouring out of clergymen and old women down the front steps of that edifice, who were mistaken by the multitude for disorderly people of the night preceding. A committee appointed of twenty males and as many females, "with power to add to their numbers." Lord Portsmouth horsewhipped by his lady, to verify the dictum of Orator Hunt, that all the fair sex are reformers. A million bushels of human bones were landed at Hull from the fields of Dresden and Waterloo human bones best adapted to fertilize land, whence we derive the word man-ure. Galignani's Messenger gave an account of a parting dinner given to Anacreon Moore by the English in Paris. His speech on the occasion was not so well-timed as well-spoken: it implied that there was nothing like England after all: a strange observation in the hearing of those who preferred France before all. Extraordinary effect of galvanism upon the body of an attempt made by the Rev. Mr. Colton to latinize Gray's Elegy. Another new tragedy from Lord Byron, entitled Werner: less obnoxious to church-goers than its predecessor, but more so to criticism. A caution to resurrection-men: one Simon Spade, a body-snatcher, while sounding for subjects in St. Martin's church-yard, dug up his own wife. The poor
man has been inconsolable ever since. Miss F. H. Kelly made her first appearance at Covent-garden theatre in the character of Juliet: if this young lady's object was secrecy, never did any arrow so miss its mark; the whole town has been gazing at her ever since. Several fogs were seen gathering round the Serpentine river and the Paddington Canal. The Royal Humane Society's man, consequently, on the watch: notwithstanding which, the average November quantity of men and women put a period to their existence: the former, as usual, for money, the latter for love.
December.-Great demand for post-horses at Verona in consequence of the abrupt dissolution of the Congress. Lord John Russell's new tragedy, two editions in one week and an Episcopal visitation sermon too weak for one edition. Bethel Watermen's Reform society, Sheriff Thompson in the chair: drag-net to sweep off all aquatic execrations: "damns have had their day:" Bibles in brigs, and prayer-books in punts. Strange monsters imported by Polito, consisting of an intellectual dandy, a civil radical, and an actor without a grievance: also a blue-stocking breeder, and a tortoise-shell tom-cat: the mob nearly overpowered the constables. Sad sameness of Christmas dinners. "Chine nods at chine, each turkey has a brother :" every table-spoon in the house flaming with burnt brandy. Infallible cures for chilblains. Proposals published for a Sub-way Company, to repair London gas and water-pipes without breaking up the pavement: much patronized by Bond-street fashionables, who were naturally desirous of taking a subterraneous walk toward the city, to borrow money, and by so doing to avoid a rencontre with those with whom they had already undergone that ceremony. Kean and Young in Othello; "The Douglas and the Percy both in arms." Dance of actors from both theatres: foot it and hey "contrary sides:" Mr. Liston and Miss Stephens still only under-lined. "The cry is still they come." Diabolical attempt to poison a whole family at breakfast, in Lombard-street, by putting Paine's Age of Reason under the tea-pot: providentially none of the family could read. Growing civility of sweeps, dustmen, and patrols: plainly denoting that the æra of Christmas-boxes is at hand. Boys arm-in-arm and three a-breast, aping manhood along Fleet-street, with Cossack trowsers and bamboo canes. Grave papas, usually seen about without an accompaniment, were met dragging along children in couples, and occasionally stopping to peep into toy-shop windows. Premature twelfth-cakes stealing behind confectioners' counters: striplings of sixteen walking half ashamed arm-in-arm with maiden aunts from whom the family has expectations. Grimaldi and the new pantomime: front rows filled by urchins, who, at every knock-down-blow, fling back their flaxen polls, in delight, into the laps of their chuckling parents on the seat behind. Magnificent prospectuses from divers new Utopian Magazines. Bellman and lamplighter run up the sides of Parnassus. A great issuing of orders to tailors on the 31st of December, for apparel to be sent home the week following, and this to evade re-appearing in the present year's bill. Awful events, which too plainly denote that that Annus Mirabilis, the year 1822, is hastening to the "Tomb of all the Capulets!"
"Lassù non eran mossi i piè nostri anco
DANTE, Purgatorio, Canto 10th.
Ne sutor ultra crepidam-" No man beyond his last," said I to myself, as, visiting the galleries and palaces of Rome, I felt an itching to put my Gothicisms on paper. What has a fellow like me to do writing about the arts, who sat in the tribune of the Florentine gallery without experiencing any extraordinary delight? There were the boasts of sculpture, the Medicean Venus, the Boxers, the Faun, the Apollinoall very natural, in features and attitude as expressive as marble can be; but they gave me no pleasure. They excited not one noble feeling, recalled no glory of the past, and foretold none of the future;-the massy blocks of Tarquin's cloaca and Romulus's brazen wolf were more eloquent to me. Certainly a higher idea is afterwards conceived by comparing these chef-d'œuvres of art with all others, and finding them so superior: this speaks difficulty vanquished-speaks talent. But why admire a thing that pleases only because it shows talent? Here the argument comes home we of the pen can admire, and sometimes do admire most voluminously, poems and prose that are seccature" to the multitude, merely because we espy genius therein; and the unfortunate wight is scouted, who declares in most rational paradox, that he can see no beauty in such things. The fact is, we must give and take; and while we are as yet but learners in the school of connoisseurship, we must adopt either much taciturnity or much pretension.
The former would be most advisable, but to preserve it at this moment is impossible :-Canova is no more, the great artist, the amiable, the virtuous man. To visit his study was a pleasure I had long deferred, principally wishing to await his return from Venice, that I might enjoy the interest of the place, heightened by the presence of its celebrated master. October is with the Romans a continued holiday, a kind of yearly vacation, and Canova, like the rest of his fellow citizens, was accustomed to leave Rome in that month on some journey of recreation. Latterly he always went to Venice, his native country, and there, at the age of sixty-four, the stroke of death surprised him, originating, some say, in a cold caught while surveying the new church, which was building under his directions at Passagno, after the model of the Parthenon. This village, a town not far from Venice, was the birth-place of Canova, and this church will possess his remains, to the great regret of Rome.
A few days after the melancholy tidings had arrived, I went to visit the study of the celebrated artist, not without a fear that it was for ever closed. It was open, and the chisels of the numerous workmen as busy as ever. The first figure that struck me on entering was a colossal statue of the late Pope Braschi, intended for his monument in
St. Peter's. The etiquette of Rome forbids the monument of a pope to be erected in the life-time of his successor, during which interval a modest slab marks his remains. As soon, however, as Pius the Seventh shall be gathered to his forefathers, this monument, one of the last works of Canova, will be erected to Pius the Sixth, near to the great altar, where lies the body of St. Peter; for it seems that Pope Braschi was peculiarly devoted to this apostle, so much so, as to remain on his knees for hours without stirring beneath his bronze statue in the cathedral. The figure of Pius is little more than a copy of that of Rezzonico in St. Peter's, on the monument that Canova never equalled. The earnest kneeling figure of Rezzonico, with the apostolic crown laid aside in the hour of prayer, the humility of the attitude, increased by preserving the defect of the supplicant (Rezzonico being hump-backed), form a striking contrast with the monuments of the more ancient pontiffs, who are represented with mitre on head and menacing attitude, the true church militant here on earth. Every separate figure on the tomb of Rezzonico is a chef-d'œuvre :—the unequalled lions, the Religion, that ideal being which words cannot describe, is personified in a lovely yet awful figure,—the genius of Death, so unlike the ghastly skeletons under which he was typified in a coward age, so graceful and beautiful-it reminds one of Mr. Cornwall's poem with the same title. I can scarce judge of the monument to the sister of the Emperor of Austria; but the weeping train that ascends to her pyramid can never equal the deposit of Rezzonico. That to the Cardinal of York and the Stuarts in St. Peter's is not admired; it however preserves the features of James the third and his sons, monarchs whose effigies are not preserved on our national coin. Another of Canova's monuments is that to Ganganelli in the Santi Apostoli; it is in the old tomb-taste of Rome, and little suited to the character of Ganganelli; but the weeping figure beneath, abandoned to grief, even in feet and hands and drapery is worthy of Canova. In the portico of the same church is a little tablet from the hand of the same artist, to the memory of Volputo: it speaks little more than his friendly heart. Among Canova's designs unexecuted is one for a monument to Nelson in St. Paul's, from its round figure evidently intended to be placed over the body in the middle of the great aisle. I know not whether fear of exciting the jealousy of native artists, or an after-thought of good taste, occasioned the counter-order. Both were sufficient causes. The design is not very beautiful in itself: to have been any thing, it must have been large, and if large, it would certainly have spoiled the church.
The next thing that struck me in the studio was a cast of Hercules and the Centaur, the original of which had just set off for Vienna. Numerous casts of recumbent nymphs lay around, upon some of which a monk was expatiating with his eyes and fingers in more taste than beseemed his snuff-coloured garb. I remarked an exquisite little St. John the Baptist, as an infant, the original belonging either to Lord Bentinck or Lord Cawdor, I forget which. Among the numerous busts, that of the Emperor of Austria* is one, a countenance truly noble; it inspired
This is our correspondent's opinion of the Emperor of Austria's countenance in marble. The Editor has seen the original imperial head, and thought it one of the most unpromising in intellectual expression that he ever looked upon