Obrazy na stronie
PDF
ePub

THË

[blocks in formation]

UNDER THE DIRECTION OF THE COMMITTEE OF GENERAL LITERATURE AND EDUCATION,

APPOINTED BY THE SOCIETY FOR PROMOTING CHRISTIAN KNOWLEDGE.

[merged small][graphic][subsumed][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

NATIONAL STATUES. ..

pieces, the parts are so thoroughly, amalgamated by No. VI. STATUE OF H. R. H. THE DUKE OF YORK, bringing the separate portions of metal together into IN CARLTON GARDENS, ST. JAMES'S PARK,

fusion, that they not only form one mass, but even

the discerning eye of the artist himself, when the The Statue of the Duke of York has been erected metal is cleaned off, is unable to discover the junction. at the expense of several of His Royal Highness's This latter process, known only to the moderns, and admirers and friends. The direction of the work was originally vested in a Committee, consisting of ant as it is curious. It reduces the risk in casting;

we believe, exclusively to this country, is as importthe following distinguished persons :

for, in case of a failure in a single jet, it is necessary The late Lord Archbishop of Canterbury; The Right Rev. Dr. to reconstruct the whole mould. By the present Howley, then Bishop of London ; The Lord Bishop of Durham; The Duke of Rutland; The Duke of Wellington ; The Marquis of plan, therefore, which is adopted in large works in Hertford ; The Marquis of Anglesey; The Marquis of London- bronze, the expense is materially diminished. derry; The Earl of Ludlow; The Earl of Rosslyn ; The Earl of

The figure, placed in one of the best situations Aberdeen; The Earl of Verulam; The Earl of Lauderdale; Viscount Cathcart; Viscount Exmouth; Lord Farnborough ; 'Lord which could have been selected in the metropolis for G. H. Cavendish ; Right Hon. Charles Arbuthnot, M.P.; Sir such an object, faces the south; the countenance which Bart.; Sir George Cockburn; Sir Graham 'Moore; Sir Benjamin is somewhat turned round and raised, being towards Hallowell; Alexander Baring, Esq., M.P.; John Pearse, Esq., the south-east. This aspect is judiciously chosen; the M.P.; Lieut.-General Frederick Maitland, Honorary Secretary. front of the statue thus receiving far more light than

The work, to be executed in bronze, was intrusted if it had been placed North, opposite to Waterloo to Richard Westmacott, Esq., R.A., in August, 1831; Place, where it would have been much in the shade. and we must say, after viewing it in a finished state Besides this, which is itself a satisfactory reason, in the Foundry at Pimlico, as well as since it has it may be observed, as a becoming and appropriate been fixed on its lofty pedestal, that we consider it a circumstance, that a Commander-in-Chief and emisplendid specimen of art, worthy of this country, and nent officer should look towards the Horse-Guards, of the eminent artist by whom it was modelled and and to the head-quarters of that great department cast.

over which he so efficiently presided. For it is but In a former volume of this Magazine*, it was common justice to the memory of the Duke, when stated that the height of the York Doric column is adverting to his public character, to observe, that that of Trajan's Pillar at Rome, namely, 124 feet; he conferred extraordinary benefits on the army, and that, the height of the figure being about 14 feet, therefore, on the country. With the heroic story of the whole altitude from the ground-line, at the top Britain's victories, under her matchless Wellington, of the steps which lead to St. James's Park, to the the name of the Duke of York is inseparably consummit of the figure would be 138 feet: if viewed nected. He had been forty-six years a soldier. from the bottom of the steps, the height is 156 feet. When he came into office as Commander-in-Chief, The foundation on which this enormous weight of he declared that he would, as far as it was in his column and statue rests, is in form about two-thirds power, improve the condition of the army. of a pyramid, the base of this pyramidal mass To recount all the advantages rendered by the Duke being a square of 56 feet, and its top a square of of York, in his official capacity, it would be necessary 30 feet.

to go through many particulars connected with points The laborious and responsible task of raising the of discipline; regulations respecting military schools; statue to its present position, was safely performed personal attention to the conduct of individuals; the on Tuesday, the 8th of April, 1834. A vast quantity enforcement of order and punctuality. It is, indeed, of scaffolding had been fixed round the pillar, and to allowed, even by those who as impartial chroniclers some height above it: strong cordage and chains have deemed it just to touch upon his faults, that, as were fastened under the arms, and about the body a public man, he identified himself with the welfare of the statue. It was then gradually elevated by of the service; and by unceasing diligence in his ropes which went round pulleys at the top, and were situation, gave to the common soldier comfort and worked by four machines below, on the principle of respectability. It is not too much to say, that his the windlass; but as the ascent, which occupied exertions contributed towards forming those armies from ten in the morning till six in the evening, that trampled down our country's enemies; while took place between the column and the scaffolding, by their state of discipline, a point to which he had little could be seen by those who were drawn together directed his great care, they generally gained the good by the rarity of such a spectacle. Indeed, the mode will even of foreign lands. in which this operation was executed, had nothing in it particularly worthy of remark. The statue, on reaching the top of the column, was powerfully secured ON THE ART OF CASTING FIGURES by bars. Strong iron cramps, which had been fixed

IN METAL. throughout the body, and projected to some length The casting of bronze statues is a nice and difficult from each heel, were let into holes prepared to art, requiring long experience, and the careful receive them, and were there firmly soldered. We are now enabled to furnish a correct descrip- times, bronze is generally composed of two-thirds of

management of a large plan of works. In modern tion of the Statue. The height is 13 feet 9 inches. copper and one-third of brass; and sometimes small The greatest width from the right hand, which leans quantities of lead and zinc are added : these latter upon the sword, is 8 feet. The Duke is represented, make together an inferior metal called composition as he should be, in the modern costume, with a metal. The union of the various substances makes cuirass and military boots. Over his left shoulder is the whole more fusible than when separate.

The thrown an ample mantle, on which is emblazoned ancient Greek and Roman bronzes were evidently the Order of the Garter. The weight of the figure is compounded in proportions different from these, about seven tons. It is cast hollow, gradually varying being, in most instances, nearly two-thirds of brass, in its thickness from the lower part; and at a mean, and one-third of copper, with the addition of tin may be taken at three-fourths of an inch. Though not cast entirely at one jet, but in separate cimens preserved to these days, which are probably

and small portions of silver and lead. The spe* Vol. II., p. 42.

some of the best the respective artists executed,

furnish ample proof of the perfection of art, in the | about to be executed, he exclaimed, “ Alas, poor Benvenuto, " high and palmy" periods of Greece and Rome. your work is spoiled, and the misfortune admits of no remedy.'

We believe the following account of the process at No sooner had I heard the words of this messenger of present adopted will be found generally accurate. An evil, but I cried out so loud that my voice might be heard exact model is made in clay, or plaster, of the figure dress,' and giving plenty of kicks and cuffs to the maid

to the skies, and I got out of bed. I began immediately to to be cast, and coated over with wax not less than servants and the boys, as they offered to help me, I coman inch thick, on which the artist works the impression plained bitterly, O you envious and treacherous wretches, meant to be taken. A mould is then formed, con This is a piece of villany contrived for the purpose: but I sisting of several hollow pieces of wood, or other will sift it to the bottom, and before I die, give such proofs resisting substance, filled with a mixture of clay and who I am, as shall not fail to astonish the whole world." fine sand, which is applied soft to the model, that its he hastened into the shop, where all was confusion and outline may be received. The mould having become astonishment. The attendants thought their master dying; perfectly dry, and strongly fastened together by iron but he, losing not an instant, examined the furnace, found, bands, is pierced by various channels; and the melted to his dismay, the metal clogged, and sent for a load of metal, which is discharged from a furnace by means of young dry oak, and then filling the grate, he soon observed these into the interior, produces the cast. Where with delight, the clogged metal brighten and glitter. the cast is intended to be hollow, as in the statue of Then I caused a mass of pewter, about sixty pounds, to be

“This," says he, “made every man work enough for three. the Duke of York, described above, and in almost all thrown upon the metal in the furnace, which was speedily large masses, a core or body, formed of clay, is put dissolved. Finding that I had effected this, I recovered my within the mould, to take up such room as is required vigour to such a degree, that I no longer perceived that to be left vacant: when the cast is made and become I had any fever, nor had I the least idea of death. Suddenly cold, this is picked out piece-meal. On the mould a loud and frightful noise was heard, and a glittering of fire being taken off, the statue appears as if covered thunder-bolt. The cover of the furnace had burst and with spikes, which are the channels filled with metal : flown off, so that the bronze began to run! I immediately they are removed by saws, files, and chisels; and caused the mouths of my mould to be opened, but finding any imperfections on the surface having been cor the metal did not run with its usual velocity, I ordered all rected, the whole is finished. It is the beauty of the my dishes and porringers, about two hundred, to be placed forin and the delicacy of workmanship by which into the furnace, all about me obeying my orders with joy

one by one before my tubes, and part of them to be thrown bronzes must be estimated, and not the colour, as the shade of dark green, which sometimes approaches sometimes in another, &c."

and alacrity: I, for my part, was sometimes in one place, to black, máy, in a great degree, be regulated by the After expressing his gratitude for the change that had taste of the artist afterwards.

taken place in the appearance of things, “I took," he adds, The account given by the clever, gossiping, Ben- “a plate of meat which stood upon a little bench, and ate venuto Cellini *, of the execution of his figure of with a great appetite ; I then drank with all my journeyPerseus in bronze, at a single jet, conveys a striking to bed, and rested as well as if I had been troubled with

men and assistants, and went joyful and in good health idea of the difficulties as well as of the triumph of the

no manner of disorder. When I arose, which was not till art: and it is at the same time a curious picture of about noon the next day, my good house-keeper, who, withthe manners of the times. We see, as it were, the out my having given any orders, had provided a young enthusiastic artist in his studio at Florence, watching capon for my dinner, said, merrily, : Is this the man that with anxious eye, every symptom in the progress of thought himself dying? I firmly believe that the cuff's and his favourite work. Under many difficulties, without kicks you gave us last night frightened away your fever.'. money, discouraged by an uncertain patron, and procured earthen vessels to supply the place of the pewter frequently called away to court trifles, he still pro- | dishes and porringers, and we all dined together very ceeded; and, with that warmth of temper which cheerfully; indeed I do not remember having ever in my marked his character, and too often hurried him into life eaten a meal with greater satisfaction, or a better apacts of criminal violence, employed all imaginable petite. I also thought it allowable to boast a little of my means to procure a successful result. After pre- knowledge and skill in this fine art of casting: and, pulling paring his furnace, carefully letting down the mould out my purse, I satisfied all my workmen for their labour. of the statue to the bottom, and adopting measures

The conclusion of the story of the Perseus may be which he describes in his memoirs with amusing easily guessed. It came out beautifully; the right precision;

foot, indeed, which supports the figure, was, as Ben

venuto had told Duke Cosmo would be the case, • Then" says he, “ I excited my men to lay on the pine- defective, but it was easily supplied; and this charmwood, which because of the oiliness of its resinous matter, and that my furnace was admirably well made, burned at ing and memorable statue is, at the present day, one such a rate, that I was continually obliged to run to and of the greatest ornaments of that rich treasure-house fro, which greatly fatigued me. To add to my misfortune, of the arts, the City of Florence. The young hero the shop took fire, and we were all afraid that the roof is represented with the head of the Medusa in his would fall in and crush us. From another quarter, the hand, just after he has severed it from the body. sky poured in so much rain and wind that it cooled my furnace! Thus did I struggle with these cross accidents + Benvenuto toiled partly for the support of six orphan nieces. for several hours, and excited myself to such a degree, that my constitution though robust, could no longer bear such severe hardship. Suddenly attacked by a most Murmur at nothing: if our ills are reparable, it is ungrateviolent intermittent fever, I was so ill that I was obliged to ful; if remediless, it is vain. But a Christian builds his lie down upon my bed."

fortitude on a better foundation than stoicism; he is please] He, however, gave his directions in this state, and, to with every thing that happens, because he knows it could keep up the spirits of his assistants, ordered meat and not happen, unless it had first pleased God, and that which drink into the shop for all the men.

pleases Him must be the best. He is assured that no new “In this manner did I continue for two hours in a violent thing can befall him, and that he is in the hands of a fever, incessantly crying out, 'I am dying, I am dying.' Father who will prove him with no afiliction that resignaIn the midst of my deep affliction, I saw a man enter the tion cannot conquer, or that death cannot cure.--C. room, who in his person appeared to be as crooked and distorted as the letter s. In a tone of voice as dismal and The Emperor Augustus was advised by a friend, not to melancholy as those who exhort and pray with culprits grieve for the death of a person whom he loved, because

A celebrated sculptor and engraver of Florence, who was born his grief could not fetch him back again. It is for that in 1500, and died in 1570.

very reason, said the Emperor, that I grieve.

[merged small][graphic][graphic][ocr errors]

THE RENEWED TREE.

AN OLD OAK, IN ITS DECAYED STATE. That some old trees have a power of renewal, which measuring, at six feet from the ground, thirty-six feet seems scarcely consistent with the usual operations round. It is now protected from injury, and nature seems of nature, is a circumstance that has been sometimes its exposure to the attacks of man and beast have produced.

to be doing her best towards repairing the damage which observed, and the following remarks extracted from It must once have been almost hollow, but the vacuum, a little book, entitled, A Week at Christmas, may be has been nearly filled up. One might almost fancy that relied upon as a fact. The trees there mentioned, liquid wood, which had afterwards hardened, had been are still growing on the Banks of the Wear, a few poured into the tree. The twistings and distortions of this miles from Durham, and the annexed drawings were huge substance have a curious and striking effect, and one made by a lady, who had frequent opportunities of might almost imagine them to have been produced by a examining these trees in various stages of their extraneous substance, but the surface is smooth, hard, and

convulsive throe of nature. There is no bark on this growth. That, in its decayed state, is done chiefly without any appearance of decay, from the recollection of what it was fifty years ago : There are two magnificent old oaks near Cranbourne Lodge the renewed tree, as it appeared last summer (1833). in Windsor Great Park,—one of them is just within the This old oak is always the first in the neighbourhood park paling and about 300 yards from the Lodge, and the to put forth its leaves, and it remains green in other stands at the point of the road leading up to it. The the autumn, after all others are either brown and former, at six feet from the ground, measures thirty-eight withered, or even entirely stripped of their foliage.

feet round. The venerable appearance of this fine old

oak, his high top bald with dry antiquity,'—the size and I will relate some curious circumstances respecting the expanse of its branches-the gnarled and rugged appeargrowth of trees that have fallen under my own eyes. I ance of its portly trunk, and the large projecting roots recollect when a child, an old oak that grew in a hedge which emanate from it, fill the mind at once with adminear my father's house: it was decayed and quite hollow ration and astonishment. within. Many a time my sisters and I used to climb to The other tree nearer to Cranbourne Lodge, is thirty-six the top of the hollow, to examine a nest that a little bird feet in circumference at four feet from the ground, and had built there, and where she reared her young family. may be considered as almost coeval with the one I have

In time, this hollow was filled up with sound wood, and just been attempting to describe. Departing from her when I was last at my father's house, instead of our old usual practice, Nature, in this instance, seems only in hollow oak, I saw a fine sound tree, with just a scar some respects to have resumed her vigour. This may be remaining up one side, where the latest growth had taken seen by a number of little feathering branches which place.

have been thrown out of the stem. Another old pollard, Some years ago, I remarked an old alder that seemed not far from it, has only one live branch left; a branch to have been decayed and hollow for a great length of time, which seems to flourish amidst decay. Hollies, thorns, and I observed from a flourishing branch in the upper part and here and there a stunted hornbeam, look as if they of the tree, a sort of roots coming down, as if in search of might have been placed there for the purpose of keeping the earth for nourishment. Mr. Nicholson and I have off any unhallowed intruders on the retirement of these frequently visited it, and found that the roots crept down venerable patriarchs, who, in return, seem to stretch forth the hollow amongst the decayed wood, till they reached the the horizontal twistings of their large extended branches, ground; and there deriving nourishment, swelled, united, to afford protection and shelter to their more humble and became as the bole of the tree, filling up the great brethren of the forest. cavity, and displacing all the mouldering wood, till the The most interesting tree, however, at Windsor, for whole is now nearly a solid tree.

T. J. there can be little doubt of its identity, is the celebrated

Herne's oak. In following the footpath which leads from Mr. Jesse, also, thus speaks of some fine old trees the Windsor road to Queen Adelaide's Lodge, in the Little in Windsor Forest :

Park, about half way on the right, a dead tree may be

seen close to an avenue of elms. This is what is pointed It is impossible to view some of these Sires of the out as Herne's Oak. I can almost fancy it the very Forest,' without feeling a mixture of admiration and picture of death. Not a leaf-not a particle of vitality wonder. The size of some of them is enormous; one appears about it. The hunter must have blasted it.' It. beech-tree near Sawyer's Lodge in Windsor Great Park, stretches out its bare and sapless branches, like the

[ocr errors]

skeleton arms of some enormous giant, and is almost

ON WILLS. No. I. fearful in its decay. None of the delightful associations connected with it have however vanished. Among many § 1. ON THE DIFFICULTY OF MAKING A WILL. appropriate passages which it brought to my recollection was the following:

THERE are some acts for which people think themthere want not many that do fear

selves qualified by Nature, and that Common Sense In deep of night to walk by this Herne's Oak.

is a sufficient guide, without any necessity for Its spectral branches might indeed deter many from Learning. The making a Will is one of these acts. coming near it twixt twelve and one.'

Every man conceives himself able to make his own The footpath which leads across the park is stated to Will; it is as easy as writing a letter; any man may have passed in former times close to Herne's oak. The express his mind, without calling in a lawyer to help path is now at a little distance from it, and was probably him. Yet the disputes which arise out of Wills, and altered in order to protect the tree from injury.

The last acorn I believe which was found on Herne's the numerous law-suits they occasion, seem to prove, Oak, was given to the late Sir David Dundas of Richmond, that the task is not really an easy one, and that in and was planted by him on his estate in Wales, where it general it is very badly performed. now flourishes, and has a suitable inscription near it. I If it were to be proposed in Parliament, that no have reason to think that Sir David Dundas never enter- | Will should be considered valid, which was not tained a doubt of the tree I have referred to, being Herne's prepared by a lawyer, what a job in favour of the Oak, and lie had the best opportunities of ascertaining it.

What a In digging holes near the tree lately, for the purpose of legal profession would it be thought! fixing the present fence round it, several old coins were

harvest it would be supposed to promise to counsel found, as if they had been deposited there as future memo

and attornies ! We, on the contrary, believe that rials of the interest this tree had excited.

such an Act would be one of the most unfortunate for those learned bodies that could well be passed. Whether it would be good or bad for the Public, we do not pretend to decide; but there is little doubt that it would tend to ruin the lawyers.

The greatest gains of lawyers are not made out of the Wills which are prepared by themselves : such Wills, in comparison with others, are but seldom questioned. The lawyer gets his fee for drawing the document, and that is all he gets out of it. The ejectments at law, the never-ending suits in chancery, the issues, the trials, the hearings, the re-hearings, the appeals, which form his profit, arise, nine times out of ten, out of a Will drawn by the testator him. self, according to (what he would call) the dictates of Common Sense.

To a certain extent, however, the advocates of Common Sense are right. Common Sense would be sufficient for making a Will, if the testator had enough of it, and used it properly. It is not a man's ignorance of law that generally stands in the way of his making a good Will, so much as his want of Common Sense and Reflection, or his not being in the habit of applying his Common Sense and Reflection to such subjects. The courts for the most part construe Wills according to Common Sense, and will give effect to a testator's wishes, if they can be discovered, in however unlawyerlike language they may be expressed. The difficulty is in discovering what

the intentions of the testator really are. HERNE's OAK, IN WINDSOR PARK.

Strange as it may seem, by far the greater number A little further on, to the left, where the ground some

of the disputes which arise out of Wills, are caused what rises, is a fine old pollard, which still flourishes; there being only one dead branch, which projects from by the deceased having expressed himself so carethe centre of the foliage. It is a fine specimen of old age lessly, or so doubtfully, that, laying all law out of in a tree. It measures twenty-seven feet round the middle the question, no two sensible men can agree in of the trunk.

saying with certainty what his real meaning was. [Gleanings in Natural History, Second Series.]

His relations are sharpened by interest to scan every

word of the instrument, and will thus often find a The inhabitants of the country over which we hunted are

clause capable of two meanings, both of which may all Arabs. They live, like their brethren in other parts, be supported by plausible arguments. almost entirely on camels' milk and dates. Their care

In fact, it often happens that a man, who is not appears limited to the preservation of the animal and the accustomed to deep reflection, and who regards propagation of the tree, which yield what they account the making a Will as an easier task than it really is, has best of this world's luxuries; and these not only furnish not clearly made up his own mind at the very time this iively race of men with food, but with almost all the when he is professing to reduce his intentions to metaphors in which their language abounds. Of this we had an amusing instance: amongst others who accompanied writing. He provides only for those events which the Ambassador on a sporting expedition, was a young he thinks likely to happen; he does not consider how officer, who measured six feet seven inches; he, like others, differently things may possibly turn up; and the conhad lain down to take an hour's repose, between our morning sequence perhaps is, that a state of things occurs and evening hunt. An old Arab who was desired to awake after his death, for which he has made no provision, him, smiling, said to his servant, “ Entreat your date-tree and for which you must try to guess what provision to rise." We had a hearty laugh at our friend, who was not at first quite reconciled to this comparison of his he would have made, if he had foreseen it. Lawyers commanding stature to the pride of the desert. Sketches make better Wills than other people, not so much of Persia.

« PoprzedniaDalej »