Page images
PDF
EPUB

can command that solitude and ab- of incident and perilous event, and straction from business, so indis. while the present is a conflagrapensible for the author of Junius. tion before our eyes, every moThis argument in ordinary cases, ment approximating, it betrays a would of itself be conclusive, but criminal apathy to turn from the minds of a superiour cast have spectacle, and to grope behind for that elastick bound from business the past, to find some scintillations to letters, and from letters to busi- yet recent in the ashes. When ness, that we have no common the world is in repose, we may ameasure of judgment.

muse ourselves with the amenities The world has been for the of literature ; but it is not a time greater part of a century amused for a summer walk and to observe with the claims of respective can the graces of the planets, when didates, and every one is encom- the hollow wind betokens a tempassed with so many perplexities, pest, and the cloud displays its that it is far better to relinquish all electrick arrows at a distance. further investigation, than to en We have, notwithstanding, hastily deavour any further to satisfy the thrown together these facts to concravings of idle curiosity. The front Mr. Heron ; and our readers, main question is of little import- without further comment, are left ance in itself; but it leads to a de- to judge for themselves whether, velopement of character and tal- if lord Ashburton were the real ents, and conducts us to a nearer author of Jupius, he was not a fitacquaintance with men, the orna ter candidate for a pillory, than ments of the country and the age

a peerage ?

R. they inhabited. Our time is full

For the Anthology.
ORIGINAL LETTERS

From an American Traveller in Europe to his Friends in this Country.

LETTER ELEVENTH. .

Rome, February 2, 1805. lutely made prisoners in their city.

No river in Europe more freMY DEAR FRIEND,

quently or more dangerously overWE are now detained prisoners flows, than the Tiber. When thus in this city by a circumstance, swollen it is a perfect torrent, which rarely occurs in our coun- and, standing on one of the ancient try, but which often interrupts the Roman bridges, you can underintercourse of Italy, at this season stand and admire the description of the year, the overflowing of of our English poet, their rivers. Either from the fille "The fretful Tiber chafing with his ing up of its mouth, or from some flood,' other cause, the Tiber must have altered very much in modern and can realize all the dangers of times, or else the masters of the Cassius and Cæsar, when world must have been not only ex

• The torrent roar'd, and they did buf: tremely incommoded, but abso fet it.'

Some writers have represented For ourselves, we have nothing the Tiber as a diminutive, despi- personally to fear from this extracable rivulet. Such representa- ordinary flood. We have our restions must proceed from a dispo- idence on the side of one of the sition to oppose prevailing and ancient hills of Rome, and should hitherto established opinions. Al not be exposed to danger, even if though all the European rivers three-fourths of the city should be appear small to an American, yet swept away. I can assure you, the Tiber ap Since our return to this city we peared to me to be among the have been occupied in revisiting most respectable of them. It is the objects, which, on our first excertainly a noble stream, and when amination, appeared to deserve raised by the torrents, which de- most attention, or in examining scend from the Appennines, it be- those, which had before escaped comes furious and ungovernable, our notice. carrying destruction and devasta To study the curiosities of tion in its course.

Rome so as to understand them In consequence of this dispo- fully, to know the history of each sition to overflow its banks, and relict of antiquity, to learn to diswith a view to perpetuate as well as criminate the different styles and compare these alarming submer- degrees of merit in statuary, paintsions, about three hundred years ing, and architecture, would resince one of the popes erected quire several years ; but, for what two pillars on the banks of the is here called the usual round of Tiber, which may be called Ti- the antiquary,' it may be accomberometers. Upon these pillars plished in about six weeks. AIhave been marked the dates and though this is as much as most heights of the water during every travellers can afford to devote, yet succeeding flood. By these marks it must be wholly unsatisfactory it appears, that these extraordi- to a scholar, and man of enthusinary rises do not occur. oftener astick taste for letters. What, for than once or twice in a century, example, can one know of the though several streets of the city Vatican and St. Peter's in two or are submerged every year. It is three visits? You cannot even exalso apparent, that the river has amine the outside of the cases, in several times risen thirty feet above which the books are contained ; its ordinary level, and that vessels you cannot wait to hear the names of three hundred tons might have of the fifteen hundred statues in sailed through the principal streets the Museum Picum-Clementiof the city. At this moment it is num ; and the study of the lodges unusually high. The water is and chambers of Raphael would several feet deep in the Corso, require the whole period, which 'which is the most considerable you can devote to all the antiquistreet in the centre of the city, and ties and wonders of this most the pillars of the Pantheon are astonishing city, half covered with the flood. How Among the palaces of the modthe Romans could have submitted ern nobility, which I had not visitto have this Temple of all their ed during my former residence Gods so exposed to injury, or why here, were those of Spada and they erected it in so low a part of Colonna. The former contains a the city, I cannot conjecture. vast number of fine statues and

paintings, of which even a cata- struments of death brought out, in logue would fatigue you, and a de- the representation of that piece, scription would require a volume, without an involuntary sensation which I am sure you would not of horrour. read. The only very interesting Another of the palaces of one of thing, which I shall notice, is the the noble Roman families, which celebrated statue of Pompey, found we have recently visited, is that near the Capitol, and for that rea- of Colonna. The magnificence, son supposed to be the same at grandeur, beauty, and decorations the foot of which Julius Cæsar of this palace, its paintings, statwas murdered. The statue itself, uary, and architecture, perfectly in point of execution, is above me respond to the noble character of diocrity; and viewed merely as the this illustrious family. Why does most perfect statue extant of a dis- it happen, that the Modern as well tinguished Roman, the leader and as the Ancient Romans possess a head of the party who opposed the taste, so much superiour to that of projects of an ambitious dema- any other nation in the world ? If gogue, it would excite considera- it be said, that the Romans did not ble interest. -But when you as- originally possess this taste, that sociate with the character of Poin- they were indebted for it to the pey, the event with which this sta. Greeks, it becomes still more letue is said to have been connected ; markable, that none of the nations when you transport yourself to the of Modern Europe, whose artists ides of March, and fancy the great have been perpetually studying in Cæsar weltering in his blood at the the school of Italy, should have foot of the statue of the man whom caught a larger portion of this his ambition had sacrificed ; when spirit. you fancy yourself in some degree The palace of Colonna is supeconnected with that event by the riour in every respect to any royal presence of an inanimate object, or other edifice in Great-Britain, which was a witness of the scene, and if the palace of Versailles exyou cannot refrain from a high ceeds it in magnificence, it falls far degree of sensibility and interest. short of it in beauty.

This statue of Pompey was to Of its various beauties in the my feelings the most touching different arts I shall not attempt a relict of antiquity, which I have description, because I am not adeseen. Perhaps you will not feel, quate to it; though I cannot avoid from the coldness of my descrip- remarking, that I saw here a painttion, the sentiment I would con- ing of Venus by Carlo Maratti, vey ; but I can assure you, that which may vie with the celebrated the presence of an inanimate ob- statue in Paris called the Venus ject, connected with distant events di Medici. Though they are of either horrible or great, produces a very different nature, yet they a strong and sometimes a violent resemble each other in one point, effect on the human imagination. in responding to those imaginary You may recollect the use, which ideas of beauty, which the poets has been very ably and artfully had taught us to expect in a Vemade of this principle in one of nus. Their merit can only be our modern plays, Speed the judged of by comparing them with Plough ;' and I venture to say, the best attempts made by other that no person ever saw those in artists ; you will then perceive,

that the authors of these two chefs inet, it could not have fallen into d'auvres drew their ideas of the more honourable hands, and there goddess of beauty from their own is certainly no place in Europe sublime imaginations, instead of where it could be displayed to more drawing them from some comely advantage. milkmaid or celebrated courtezan. I could not however help mor

In this palace we were shewn a alizing upon the instability of hucostly cabinet, covered with lapis man affairs, when I saw this cablazuli, emeralds, agates, and other inet, and especially upon the feelprecious stones of uncommon bril- ings of the cardinal duke of York, liancy and prodigious value. The who must often see this relict of, history of this piece of furniture his family's former splendour and interested me, and perhaps may greatness; while its last represenafford you a moment's amusement. tative is now an exile from his It was the property of the unfor country, and dependent on the tunate Charles I. of England ; it bounty of the possessor of the was afterwards sold by Cromwell throne of his ancestors. I do not to cardinal Mazarin, and by an in- know a trait in the history of modtermarriage it has become part of ern princes more honourable or the estate of the family of Colon- more affecting, than this pension na. This family, you know, has granted by the king of Great-Britbeen distinguished both in letters ain to the pretender to his throne, and arms, and as long as the works The house of Stuart, and the house of Petrarch shall be read, they will of Bourbon pensioners to the house never be forgotten. If the unfor- of Hanover !! What would Louis tunate house of Stuart must have XIV.or James I. have said to a been deprived of this beautiful cab- prophecy of such an event ?

For the Anthology

SILVA, No. 33.
Inter silvas Academi quærere verum.

Hor.
ENGLISH AND FRENCH SERMONS. dress themselves exclusively to the

The comparative merit of the understanding ; the French conFrench and English Sermons is sider him as a being, chicfly influstill discussed, nor is it probable enced by his passions, and aim dithat the question will ever be unan- rectly at the heart. The English imously decided, on which side are philosophers ; the French, the superiority lies. The English rhetoricians. You will gain more aim at solid instruction ; the information from the English ; French, at stage-effect. The fault you may receive more pleasure of the English is want of interest; from the French. the fault of the French is want of The French are sometimes unmatter. The English excel in commonly happy in their exordigood sense and sound reason ; the ums. I shall quote one, from MasFrench in arresting attention, and sillon, their most eloquent orator. in interesting the feelings. The In a sermon, preached before English seem to consider man as Louis 14th, from the following a being purely intellectual, and ad- text, Blessed are they that mourn,

verse.

[ocr errors]

for they shall be comforted,' he of the law of God; for he shall thus begins :

possess a territory more duraSire, if the world spoke here ble than the empire of the uniin the place of Jesus Christ, it

Blessed are the meek, for would doubtless hold to your ma- they shall possess the earth.' jesty a very different language. Happy, not he, wlio, raised by

Happy the prince, it would say, the voice of mankind above all the who has never fought but to con- princes that have preceded him, quer ; who has seen so many powa enjoys at leisure his greatness and ers armed against him only to glory ; but he, who, finding nothgive them a more glorious peace, ing on the throne itself worthy of and who has always been superiour his heart, searches for happiness both to danger and victory. here below only in virtue and jus

Happy the prince, who, during tice ; for he shall be satisfied. a long and flourishing reign, enjoys Blessed are they, who hunger at leisure the fruits of his glory, and thirst after righteousness, for the love of his people, the esteem they shall be filled.' of his enemies, the admiration of Happy, not he, to whom manthe world, the advantage of his kind have given the glorious titles conquests, the magnificence of his of great and invincible ; but he, to works, the wisdom of his laws, the whom the unhappy shall give, beaugust hope of a numerous poster- fore Jesus Christ the title of father, ity ; and who has nothing to de- and of merciful ; for he shall be sire but to preserve for a long treated with mercy. Blessed are time, what he possesses.

the merciful, for they shall receive Thus would the world speak, mercy;' But, sire, Jesus Christ does not Happy, in short, not he, who, speak like the world.

always the arbiter of the fate of his Happy, he tells you, is, not the enemies, has given more than man, who is the admiration of his once peace to the world ; but he, age, but he, who directs his who has been able to give it to thoughts to the life to come, and himself, and to banish from his who lives in contempt of himself, heart the vices and irregular affecand of all that passes; for his is the tions, which disturb its tranquillikingdom of heaven. • Blessed are ty ; for he shall be called the child the poor in spirit, for theirs is the of God. Blessed are the peacekingdom of heaven.'

makers, for they shall be called the, Happy, not he, whose reign and children of God.' actions will be immortalized by Such, sire, are those, whom Jehistory in the memory of men ; sus Christ calls happy ; and the but he, whose tears shall have ef. Gospel knows no other happiness faced the history of his sins from on earth, than virtue and innothe memory of God himself; for cence.' he shali be forever consoled. Blessed are they that mourn, for

COMMENTATORS. they shall be comforted.'

How many school boys,' says Happy, not he, who shall have Gibbon, have been whipped for extended by new conquests the misinterpreting passages, which limits of his empire ; but he, who Bentley could not restore, npr Burshall have restrained his desires man explain!' And how prodigal, and passions within the limits it may be added, have been such:

« PreviousContinue »