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THE MIRROR OF LITERATURE, AMUSEMENT, AND INSTRUCTION.

VOL. X, NO. 274.] SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 22, 1827. [PRICE 2d.



ARCHITECTURAL ILLUSTRATIONS.

No. II.


[Illustration: THE TEMPLE CHURCH.]


The Temple Church,[1] London, was erected in the twelfth century; but
among antiquarians considerable difference of opinion at various times
prevailed as to who were the original builders of these round churches,
which form the most striking and beautiful specimens of the architectural
skill of our Anglo-Norman ancestors. In England there are four examples of
round churches, almost in perfect preservation, namely, the church of St.
Mary, Temple; St. Sepulchre, Northampton; St. Mary, Cambridge; and that of
Little Maplestead, Essex. It was long thought that they were of Jewish
origin; but through the ingenious and learned essays of Mr. Essex and of
Mr. Britton, this erroneous notion has been entirely removed. Mr. Essex, in
his Essay, observes, in support of his opinion, that "their Temple at
Jerusalem was not of a circular form, neither was the Tabernacle of Moses;
nor do we find the modern Jews affect that figure in building their
synagogues. It has, however, been generally supposed that the round church
at Cambridge, that at Northampton, and some others, were built for
synagogues by the Jews while they were permitted to dwell in those places.
But as no probable reason can be assigned for this supposition, and I think
it is very certain that the Jews who were settled in Cambridge had their
synagogue, and probably dwelled together in a part of the town now called
the Jewry, so we may reasonably conclude the round churches we find in
other parts of this kingdom were not built by the Jews for synagogues,
whatever the places may be called in which they stand." - It has been
generally allowed by these and other writers on archaeology, that the
primitive church of this form was that of the Holy Sepulchre at Jerusalem,
and that the Temple Church at London was built by the Knights' Templars,
whose occupation was the protection of Christian pilgrims against the
Saracens. It has been further urged by a correspondent (Charles Clarke,
Esq. F.S.A.) in the first volume of Britton's "Architectural Antiquities,"
that two of the before-mentioned round churches, namely, Northampton and
Cambridge, were in fact built by "affluent crusaders, in imitation of that
of the Holy Sepulchre;" and in support of his opinion he cites several
historical notices.

[1] The circular part.

The late perfect restoration of the Temple Church ought to be proudly
recorded in our architectural annals. The excellence of the workmanship,
and the native purity of the detail, evince not only scientific skill, but
also a laudable motive of preserving this antique specimen of pure
Anglo-Norman architecture from the ravages of time. Let the architect's
attention be directed to the western doorway, and also to the interior of
the church; and here, in good preservation, he will see excellent specimens
of their mode of ornamenting the moldings by the cable, the lozenge, the
cheveron, the nail-head, the billet, &c. &c., ornaments peculiar to the
_round style_. The circular-headed windows, with their slender columns,
also show, that in the restoration the style has not been tampered with;
but substantial authorities have been quoted to perfect this praiseworthy
attempt of the architect. That part of the church which has been added at a
later date than the circular part, and for the convenience of divine
worship, is lighted by the beautiful proportioned triple lancet-shaped
windows, so justly admired. A writer in the _Gentleman's Magazine_ for May,
1827, after making some judicious remarks, seems to think the crosses on
the ends of the building, "as not in character with the building." Now as
to architectural propriety in the decorations of a Christian church, no
ornament could be better devised; and if we proceed to the antiquity of
such ornament, I would observe, that the adoption would be equally correct,
that being the insignia of the banner under which the Knights' Templars
originally fought.

C. DAVY.

* * * * *


BRIDGET TROT AND TIMOTHY GREEN.

(_For the Mirror_.)

"'Tis a common tale,
An ordinary sorrow of man's life;
A tale of silent sufferings, hardly clothed
In bodily form."

WORDSWORTH.


Miss Bridget _Trot_, a "_wo_"-man was,
Of excellent repute,
Who _kept a stand_ in Leadenhall,
And there disposed of fruit.

And though in features rather _dark_,
No _fairer_ could be found;
For what she sold, like _ringing_ gold,
When _peeled_, was always _sound_!

She had moreover notions _high_,
And thought herself above
The very _low_-ly common way
Of _falling_ into love.

And therefore when to her his _suit_
A _Snip_ did often press
With vows of love, she _cut_ him _short_
At _length_, without _re-dress_.

Yet nothing odd was there in this
One case, it must be said;
For who that wish'd a _perfect_ man
Could with a _ninth part_ wed?

Not she for one, whatever he
Might do to make him _smart_,
And howsoe'er her saying "Nay"
Might add it to his heart.

'Tis very strange, (yet so it is,)
That vows should go for naught.
But she who _strove_ to 'scape love's _toils_
Quite unawares was caught!

For though so _hard_ to Snip _at first_,
_At last_ it chanced that she
A sort of soft emotion felt
Towards one Timothy,

A butcher - _Green_ by name, but _red_
In face, as was his cap,
And though he seldom tasted _wine_,
A _port_-ly sort of chap.

This man one day in passing by,
In taste for what she'd got,
Saw Biddy's stall - and 'twas her _fate_
To sell to him a _lot!_

She thought his manners very sweet,
He gave so fond a gaze;
(But dashing _blades_ of such like trades
Have ever _killing_ ways!)

And whilst he paid the _coppers_ down,
He had the _brass_ to say
Her _fruit_ was sweet, but sweeter still
The _apple_ of her eye.

Besides all this, he looked so neat
Whilst shouldering his tray;
So what with _steel, et cetera,_
Her heart was _stole_ away!

Lo! _shortly after_ both agreed,
They fixed the wedding day,
But _long before_ that day arriv'd
He took to stop away!

From that same time her peace of mind
And comfort were at _steak_ -
She did so _lean_ to Mr. Green,
Her heart was like to break!

At last she went one morn to see
What he could be about,
And hoped, alone, to find him _in_,
But he had just popt _out_.

She ax'd, "Is Mr. Green at home?"
Of one who, with a laugh,
Replied, "He's not! but if you please
I'll fetch _his better half_."

"His what?" scarce _uttered_ Bridget out,
With _utter_most dismay;
And _there_ she stopt, she could no more,
And nearly swoon'd _away!_

But when at length she was herself,
And saw her faithless clown.
She straightway went to blow him _up_,
But got a good set _down_!

"Oh, cold and faithless Tim," quoth she,
"You vowed you couldn't _smother_
Your _burning_ love for me, but now
You're married to another!"

"Is this the way you treat me, sir?
Too _cheaply_ was I bought!
I loved you _dearly_, but it seems
That that _all went for naught_."

She sighed, and gave one parting look,
Then tore herself away
From her false swain and Mrs. Green,
For ever and a day!

And _very_ soon got _very_ ill,
And _very_ quick did die,
And _very_ truly _veri_fied
Her love for Timothy!

W.R.H.

* * * * *



GREAT BELL OF GLASGOW.

(_For the Mirror_.)


In the steeple of Glasgow is a great bell, which is twelve feet one inch in
circumference, and has a grave and deep tone. In 1789, it was accidentally
cracked by some persons who got admission to the steeple. It was,
therefore, sent to London, and cast anew. On the outside of it is the
following inscription: -

In the year of grace
1594,
Marcus Knox,
a merchant of Glasgow,
zealous for the interests of the reformed religion,
caused me to be fabricated in Holland
for the use of his fellow citizens in Glasgow,
and placed me with solemnity
in the tower of their cathedral.
My function
was to announce, by the impress on my bosom,
(Me audito venias doctrinam sanctam ut discas;[2])
and
I was taught to proclaim the hours of unheeded time.
195 years had I sounded these awful warnings,
when I was broken
by the hands of inconsiderate and
unskilful men.
In the year 1790,
I was cast into the furnace,
refounded at London,
and returned to my sacred vocation.
Reader,
thou also shall know a resurrection,
may it be to eternal life.

MALVINA.

[2] Come, that ye may learn holy doctrine.


* * * * *

FANCY.

(_For the Mirror_.)


_Me_, oft hath Fancy, in her fitful dream,
Seated within a far sequestered dell,
What time upon the noiseless waters fell,
Mingled with length'ning leafy shade, a gleam
Of the departing sun's environ'd beam;
While all was hush'd, save that the lone death-bell
Would seem to beat, and pensive smite mine ear
Like spirit's wail, now distant far, now near:
Then the night-breeze would seem to chill my cheek,
And viewless beings flitting round, to _speak!_
And then, a throng of mournful thoughts would press
On this, my wild-ideal loneliness.

Me, oft hath Fancy too, in musing hour
Seated (what time the blithesome summer-day
Was burning 'neath the fierce meridian ray)
Within that self-same lonely woodland bow'r
So sultry and still; but _then_, the tower,
The hamlet tow'r, sent forth a roundelay;
I seem'd to hear, till feelings o'er me stole
Faintly and sweet, enwrapping all my soul,
Joy, grief, were strangely blended in the sound.
The light, warm sigh of summer, was around,
But ne'er may speech, _such_ thoughts, _such_ visions tell,
Then, perfect most, when _indescribable!_

M.L.B.


* * * * *



FINE ARTS

* * * * *


THE PROGRESS OF PAINTING IN FRANCE.

(_For the Mirror_.)


Whether the French were first indebted to the Roman school for their
knowledge of the art of painting is a matter of some doubt; indeed, several
celebrated French writers affirm, that they first had recourse to the
Florentine and Lombard schools; while others very strenuously declare, on
the other hand, that the Venetian artists were alone resorted to, on
account of the remarkable splendour of their colouring. A late author,
however, observes, that the French do not appear to have imitated any
school whatever, but to have adopted a style peculiar to themselves, which
though perhaps not a noble one, is nevertheless pleasing. Though it is
acknowledged that the French have a particular style, (i.e. a style of
their own,) yet their progress in the arts has been exceedingly fluctuating
and uncertain, so that it is actually impossible to ascertain who was the
first reputable artist amongst them. Cousin was a painter on glass, and
certainly obtained a good reputation amongst his countrymen. But he in fact
possessed very little merit, and his name would not doubtless have been
known to posterity had he not lived in a barbarous age, when the people
knew not how to discriminate his errors and defects. He was supposed to be
the best artist of his day, and consequently gained a reputation as such,
though his works are far beneath mediocrity.

Francis I. was a great encourager of the fine arts, and the artists
themselves were liberally paid for their productions, until that king was
unfortunately taken prisoner at the battle of Pavia, in the year 1525.
After the death of Francis, the kingdom was distracted with civil wars, so
that painting was entirely neglected by his immediate successors. In the
year 1610, however, Louis XIII. recovered the arts from their languid
state. In his reign, Jaques Blanchard was the most flourishing painter;
although Francis Perier, Simon Voüet, C.A. Du Fresnoy, and Peter Mignard,
were equally gifted.

Of Charles Alphonse Du Fresnoy, author of a Latin poem, entitled _De Arte
Graphica_, I shall attempt a little account. This painter was born at Paris
in the year 1611. His father, intending him for the profession of physic,
sent him to the university of Paris, where he made great progress in his
studies, and obtained several prizes in poetry. He had a great inclination
for painting as well as for poetry, and, though much against his father's
desire, resolved to leave off the study of physic, and commence that of
drawing. The force of his inclination subduing every measure adopted to
suppress it, he took every opportunity of cultivating his favourite study.
Leaving college, he placed himself under Francis Perier, from whom he
learned the art of designing. He afterwards thought fit to travel into
Italy, where he arrived in 1633. Being abandoned by his parents, who were
highly incensed at his having rejected the study of physic, he was reduced
to the utmost distress on his arrival at Rome, and was compelled to paint
trifling pieces for his daily subsistence. After two years of extreme toil
and difficulty, he was relieved by the arrival of Mignard, the artist, who
had formerly been the companion of his studies. Mignard evinced the warmest
regard for his friend, and they were afterwards known in Rome by the name
of the _inseparables_, for they lived in the same house, worked together,
and united the produce of their labours. They were employed to copy all the
best pictures in the Farnese Palace, and every evening attended an academy
of drawing. Mignard was superior in practice, while Fresnoy was perfect
master of the rules, history, and theory of his profession. They
communicated their sentiments to each other, Fresnoy furnishing his friend
with noble ideas, and the latter instructing the former to paint with more
ease and dispatch. Fresnoy painted several fine pictures in Rome, and, in
1653, he left that city, in company with his friend, travelled to Venice,
and then to Lombardy. Here the two friends parted,[3] Mignard returning to
Rome, and Fresnoy to his native city. After his arrival in Paris, he
painted some beautiful historical pictures, which established his
reputation. He perfectly understood architecture, and drew designs for many
elegant mansions in Paris. During his travels in Italy, he planned and
composed his _De Arte Graphica_, an excellent poem, full of valuable
information, and containing unerring rules for the painter. This poem was
twenty years in hand, and was not published until three years[4] after the
author's death, which took place in 1665. It has been observed, that
Fresnoy possessed the genius requisite for forming a great master; and had
he applied himself more strictly to painting, and educated pupils, he would
doubtless have proved one of the greatest painters France ever produced.
But, possessing high literary talents, he chose to lay down _precepts_ for
his countrymen, rather than to present them with _examples_ of his art. He
adhered too closely to the theory of painting, neglecting the more
essential part - practice.

[3] When Mignard returned to Paris in 1658, he again went to reside
with his friend.

[4] It appeared at Paris, in 12mo., with a French translation by
Mons. Du Piles, 1668.

In the reign of Louis XIV., Nicholas Poussin distinguished himself as a
painter, by displaying exquisite knowledge and great skill in composition.
He generally painted ancient ruins, landscapes, and historical figures. He
was likewise well acquainted with the manners and customs of the ancients;
and, though he educated no pupils, and never had any imitators, his
pictures are universally admired in every European country. Charles le
Brun[5] established the French school, - an undertaking which Voüet had
previously attempted. Le Brun drew well, had a ready conception, and a
fertile imagination. His compositions are vast, but, in various instances,
they may justly be termed _outre_. He possessed the animation, but not the
inspiration of Raphael; and his design is not so pure as that of
Domenichino, nor so lively as that of Annibale Caracci. Eustache le Seur,
Le Brun's rival, possessed remarkable dignity, and wonderful correctness of
style. Indeed, by some he has been called the Raphael of France. Had he
lived longer, (for he died at the age of thirty-eight,) the French school,
under his direction, would most probably have adopted a manner which might
have been imitated, and which might have established the arts on an
eminence to vie with even imperial Rome. But, by the concurrence of
extraordinary circumstances, Le Brun was the fashionable painter of the
time, and it therefore became necessary to imitate _his_ manner, rather
than the more simple and more refined one of his rival. As Le Brun's
imitators wanted his genius, his faults not only became current, but more
glaring and deformed.

[5] Le Brun was the pupil of Simon Voüet, and afterwards of Poussin.

After Le Brun's death, which took place in 1690, the French artists
degenerated greatly, their productions being decorated in a gaudy and
theatrical way, without due regard to taste or decorum. Their school, some
years ago, altered its principles, under the auspices of the spirited Count
de Caylus, who possessed considerable merit as an artist. The count, by his
high rank and fortune, had the means of encouraging the imitators of the
ancients, and of procuring the best models in Italy for study. He, in
conjunction with Monsieur Vien, first formed the design of restoring a pure
taste in France; and if his countrymen had followed the path thus marked
out for them, they would now have been equal to the greatest of the Greek
painters. But it appears that they are incapable of rising to any very
extraordinary height in the arts, for, with the exception of Le Seur, and
one or two others, they have ever wanted that elevation of mind which so
eminently distinguished the Romans. Though De Caylus greatly purified
painting in his time, yet his precepts and examples had little or no weight
after his death, for the art again retrograded into its original state - a
state from which the French professors, as before observed, seem incapable
of rising.

In our own days some few French artists have distinguished themselves,
particularly Lefevre, who was the chief painter to Napoleon. A full-length
portrait of the emperor in his coronation robes, for which Lefevre received
the sum of five thousand Napoleons, and which I have lately had the
pleasure of seeing, is very correct in drawing, and extremely rich and
harmonious in colour; but it wants freedom and boldness of execution.

To conclude - the French are acknowledged to do pretty well within the
precincts of their own country, though few of their pictures will stand in
competition with those of the Italians, or with those produced in our own
school.

G.W.N.

* * * * *



MANNERS & CUSTOMS OF ALL NATIONS.

No. XIII.

* * * * *


SINGULAR JEWISH CUSTOM.


Burckhardt, in his "Travels through Syria," &c. informs us, that at
Tiberias, one of the four holy cities of the Talmud, the Jews observe a
singular custom in praying. While the rabbin recites the Psalms of David,
or the prayers extracted from them, the congregation frequently imitate, by
their voice or gestures, the meaning of some remarkable passages; for
example, when the rabbin pronounces the words, "Praise the Lord with the
sound of the trumpet," they imitate the sound of the trumpet through their
closed fists. When "a horrible tempest" occurs, they puff and blow to
represent a storm; or should he mention "the cries of the righteous in
distress," they all set up a loud screaming; and it not unfrequently
happens, that while some are still blowing the storm, others have already
begun the cries of the righteous, thus forming a concert which it is
difficult for any but a zealous Hebrew to hear with gravity.


CHARACTER OF THE KARPIANS, (ARABS.)


They are such consummate thieves and rogues, that, according to an ancient
tradition still current among them, they once tricked the devil himself.
The story is as follows: - The devil had acquired a right to their fields,
on which they agreed with him, that when their crops were ripe, they should
retain the upper part and the devil should have the lower. They sowed all
their lands with wheat, and the devil of course had nothing but the straw
for his share. Next year the old gentleman, fully determined not to be
again so bamboozled, stipulated that the upper part should belong to him
and the lower to the Karpians; but then they sowed all their grounds with
beet, turnips, and other esculent roots, and so the devil got nothing but
the green tops for his portion.

_Memoirs of Artemi._


THE MODERN WELSH.


The people of the principality are clean and industrious; there is,
however, in the nature of a Welshman such a hurriness of manner and want of
method, that he does nothing well; for his mind is over anxious, diverted
from one labour to another, and hence every thing is incomplete, and leaves
the appearance of confusion and negligence. The common exercises of the
Welsh are running, leaping, swimming, wrestling, throwing the bar,
dancing, hunting, fishing, and playing at fives against the church or
tower; and they constitute the joy of youth, and the admiration of old age.
The convivial amusements are singing and versification. In these favourite
exercises the performers are of humble merit; the singing is mere roar and
squeak; and the poetical effusions are nonsense, vested in the rags of
language; and always slanderous, because the mind of the bard is not
fertile in the production of topics. The Welsh character is the echo of
natural feeling, and acts from instantaneous motives. The fine arts are
strangers to the principality; and the Welshman seldom professes the
buskin, or the use of the mallet, the graver, or the chisel; but although
deficient in taste, he excels in duties and in intellect.

_Jones's History of Wales._


ITALIAN WOMEN.


Italy and England are undoubtedly possessed of a greater share of female
beauty than any other country in Europe. But the English and Italian
beauties, although both interesting, are very different from one another.
The former are unrivalled for the delicacy and bloom of their complexions,
the smoothness and mild expression of their features, their modest
carriage, and the cleanliness of their persons and dress; these are
qualities which strike every foreigner at his landing. On my first arrival
in England, I was asked by a friend how I liked the English women; to which
I replied that I thought them all handsome. This is the first impression
they produce. There is an air of calmness and pensiveness about them, which
surprises and interests particularly a native of the south. They seem to
look, if I may apply to them the fine lines of one of their living poets -

"With eyes so pure, that from the ray
Dark vice would turn abash'd away;

* * * * *

Yet fill'd with all youth's sweet desires,
Mingling the meek and vestal fires
Of other worlds, with all the bliss
The fond weak tenderness of this."

The Italian beauties are of a different kind. Their features are more
regular, more animated; their complexions bear the marks of a warmer sun,
and their eyes seem to participate of its fires; their carriage is graceful
and noble; they have generally good figures; they are not indeed angelic
forms, but they are earthly Venuses. It has been supposed by some, that the
habitual view of those models of ideal beauty, the Greek statues, with
which Italy abounds, may be an indirect cause conducing to the general
beauty of the sex; be that as it may, I think the fine features and
beautiful forms of the Italian fair have a great influence upon the minds
of young artists, and this is perhaps one of the principal reasons why
Italy has so long excelled in figure painters. A handsome female
countenance, animated by the expression of the soul, is among the finest
works of nature; the sight of it elevates the mind, and kindles the sparks


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Online LibraryVariousThe Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction Volume 10, No. 274, September 22, 1827 → online text (page 1 of 4)