« PreviousContinue »
to thousands, independently of the usual employment of capital in agriculture, manufactures, and trade. What is the reason of all this? It is in order that the rich may employ their capital ; for in a secure and free government no man will suffer any part of it to lie idle; the demand for labour is therefore proportioned to the extent of capital. Industry, we have already observed, knows no other limits. The capitalist who employs a new machine is no doubt the immediate gainer by it; but it is the public who derive from it the greatest and most lasting advantage. It is they who profit by the diminution of the price of the goods fabricated by the machine; and, singular as it may appear, no class of the public receives greater benefit from the introduction of those processes which abridge manual labour, than the working classes, as it is they who are most interested in the cheapness of the goods.' pp. 107–110. Art. IX. Petit Cadeau, à la Jeunesse, ou Fables Nouvelles, en Vers
Français. Composées à Londres. Par M. A. Mejanel, l'rofesseur
de la Langue Française. 24mo. pp. 68. Price ls. Dulau, 1816. THIS THIS little volume is entitled to considerable commendation.
The language is good, and the verse inuch more agreeable than is the general case of French poetry. These Fables are at once entertaining and instructive; and the moral is perfectly correct and just. Its general tendency is to eradicate habits of negligence, to suppress vanity, to incite to diligence, inculcate modesty, and to enforce obedience. The work is chiefly adapted to those who have already made some progress in the language, as the style is rather above the comprehension of younger children; not however that it is obscure or abstruse. The fables in regard to the tales, are suited to young persons of different ages. Some of them are beautifully simple, and are far superior to the general style of children's fables; particularly “Les deux Ecoliers; ;* “ Les deux Chiens; " " La “ Violette & la Tulipe;" and “Le Mensonge."
The name of God occurs twice; that of the devil once. These blemishes, it may be supposed, might escape the notice of a French writer even when children are concerned; to an English eye and ear however, they are exceedingly offensive and objectionable. We hope M. Mejanel, will soon have an opportunity of acknowledging the impropriety by excluding them from a new edition.
Art. X. Infancy, a Poen. By Thomas Brock, A.M. post 8vo.
pp. 52. Price 3s. Whittingham and Arliss. 1816. No person possessed of the least degree of sensibility, will
, after perusing this little poem, be disposed to criticise it with cold and captious severity. It displays no small share of cultivated taste and correct feeling: the sentiments it contains are not merely just, but they are of that cast, of which poetry is the graceful and appropriate medium : and if the versification is not of a splendid character, if there are no brilliant cor
ruscations of thought, still, there is throughout the poem, an equable flow of graceful diction, and the subject to the last maintains its interest.
The poem opens with an apostrophe to Love, 'the great ' actuating principle of good in the beart of man. The Author announces that it is his intention, if time can be spared ' from more serions occupations, to pursue the subject of
Domestic LIFE through its several stages.'
The following extract describes the feelings of maternal bappiness awakened by her new born infant.
• He wakes! and soft expressive murmurs bear
* And now thou turn'st to smile in tender play-
• Oh! blest the parent, whose indulgent cares,
all the avenues to love!
Art. XI. Travels into various Countries of Europe, Asia, and Africa.
By Edward Daniel Clarke, LL.D. Part II. Greece, Egypt, and the Holy Land.
(Continued from p. 42.) DR.
R. Clarke expresses a lively and indignant regret at that
process by which the cupidity of British taste was, at the time of his sojourn, despoiling the temple of Minerva of the last moveable decorations of its ruins. Lusieri was the reluctant director of the operations, and he said that a corresponding dislike to the proceeding, in the Turkish inhabitants, much obstructed his progress in the dilapidation of a 'building which they had been accustomed to regard with religious veneration, and had converted into a mosque.' It is not however pretended that this attachment to the edifice had the slightest possible regard to the beauty of its sculptures. Indeed it is quite certain there could be no such feeling among the generality of the Mahomedans, whether rabble or quality,—if it be worth while to distinguish ranks that are intellectually on a level. The regret and displeasure of these iconoclast reinonstrants probably took but little higher account of the matter, than that so much well coloured, well fitted stone, was taken from the mosque, thereby making its appearance somewhat more ruinous. "As to the Disdur Aga, who, at sight of the accident by which several ma ses of marble were brought down and dashed in pieces, actually took his pipe from his mouth, and, ' letting fall a tear, said in a most emphatical tone of voice,
Témos! positively declaring that nothing should induce him to consent to any further dilapidation of the building,'-if there was in his grief any thing allied to a taste for the fine arts, Dr. C. should have made some inquiry into the history and education of an individual so unaccountably distinguished from the general character. The systematic antipathy of the true believers to pagan imagery, is notoriously so well sustained by a total insensibility to its utmost beauty as a manifestation of genius, that there can be no hazard in affirning that every 'Turk in Athens or in Greece, excepting the said Disdar, would have been gratified at the demolition of these displaced pieces of marble, considered as parts of the sculpture of the temple, though probably more gratified if the sculptures could have been destroyed, and the blocks left in their places on the walls.
Our Author adverts repeatedly, and with great severity of censure, to Lord Elgin's proceedings. There is much force in his observations on some particulars of this affair; especially on the removal of the admired Horse's head. He states that it was found impracticable to detach it without destroying the previously uninjured angle of the pediment; at which very serious cost therefore to what may be called its native situation, it will display its fire and power in our national Museum. But he justly observes also, that much of that expression of energy must be lost, when the head is beheld withdrawn from all the advantages of the position, adapted, with the unrivalled artist's wonted skill, to give it effect in the view of a beholder from below.
• The head of this animal had been so judiciously placed by Phidias, that to a spectator below, it seemed to be rising from an abyss, foaming and struggling to burst from its confined situation, with a degree of energy suited to the greatness and dignity of its character. All the perspective of the sculpture (if such an expression be admissible,) and certainly all the harmony and fitness of its proportions, and all the effect of attitude and force of composition, depended upon the work being viewed precisely at the distance in which Phidias designed that it should be seen. Its removal, therefore, from its situation, amounted to nothing less than its destruction: -take it down, and all the aim of the sculptor is instantly frustrated! Could any one believe that this was actually done and that it was done coo in the name of a nation vain of its distinction in the Fine Arts! Nay more, that in doing this, finding the removal of this piece of sculpture could not be effected without destroying the entire angle of the pediment, the work of destruction was allowed to proceed even to this extent also.'
It would not be easy to give a plausible colour to this part of the process. But regarding the proceeding generally, we should think the question of its justification in the court of Taste, is now reduced to a very small compass. In which of two situations --left entirely and finally at once to the operation of the elements, and in the power of the most incorrigible barbarians, detesting the beautiful imagery, and gladly knocking the most exquisite forms in pieces to make lime, - or placed and preserved with the utmost care in the national repository of the most civilized people now in the world-in which of these two situations have these graceful relics the better chance for duration, and for contributing to the improvement of correct taste and elegant art? There seems no possibility of hesitating as to the reply; at least when the fact is added, that with small exception, it was only from absolute ruins that they were taken, so that no original violation was committed by their removal.
Dr. C. availing himself of the apparatus of the artists at the Parthenon, ascended to all the higher parts of the ruin, and examined the sculpture with the ininutest attention.
That on the metopes, representing the combats of the Centaurs and Lapithæ, is in such bold relief that the figures are all of them statues. Upon coming close to the work, and examining the state of the marble, it was evident that a very principal cause of the injuries it had sustained was owing, not, as it has been asserted, [by Dr. C. himself in a former publication] 'to “ the zeal of the early Christians, the barbarism of the Turks, or to the explosions which took place when the temple was used as a powder magazine," but to the decomposition of the stone itself in consequence of the action of the atmosphere for so many ages. The mischief has originated in the sort of marble which was used for the building; this, not being entirely homogeneous, is characterized by a tendency to exfoliate, when long exposed to air and moisture. Any person may be convinced of this, who will examine the specimens of sculpture which have been since removed to this country
from the Parthenon ; although being expressly selected as the most perfect examples of the work, they do not exhibit this decomposition so visibly as the remaining parts of the building. But throughout the metopes, and in all the exquisite sculpture of the frieze which surrounded the outside of the cell of the temple, this may be observed: a person putting his hand behind the figures, or upon the plinth, where the parts have been less exposed to the atmosphere, may perceive the polished surface, as it was left when the work was finished, still preserving a high degree of smoothness; but the exterior parts of the stone have been altered by weathering ; and where veins of schistus in the marble have been affected by decomposition, considerable parts have fallen off.'
It is the Pentelican marble, of which, exclusively, the Parthenon was constructed, that has this fault of being traversed by veins of extraneous substances, in consequence of which all ancient works finished in that material have suffered in some degree by decomposition; and many so much as to exhibit a surface as earthy and as rude as common limestone; whereas the works executed in Parian marble, retain, with all the delicate softness of wax, the mild lustre even of their original polish.' Of the marble of Paros are the Medicean Venus, the Bel
videre Apollo, the Antinous, and many other celebrated works.' That of Mount Pentelicus was preferred in the splendid age of Athenian architecture and sculpture, on account of its being whiter, as well as nearer at banil. By the nature of the case, the only complete test of the comparative merits of the two substances, was out of reach; a long series of ages alone could give the proof.
In spite of all that a homely plain judgement of the utility of things, or a high and austere morality, can say and remonstrate, there seems to be in these efflorescences of heathen genius, even in their faded state, some inexterminable power of infection on the imagination of susceptible and bighly cultivated spirits, which we must consent to admit as absolving them from the ordinary sobrieties of language. As witness our Author: 'A
sight of the splendid solemnity of the whole Panathénaic ' Festival, represented by the best artists of Ancient Greece, in
one continued picture above three feet in height, and originally six hundred feet in length, of which a very considerable portion