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and a few private collections belonging to the residents, the works which are to be found in all are chiefly of a light and desultory description. Books of instruction and reference are rarely to be purchased or borrowed ; and however anxious young men may be to make themselves acquainted with the natural productions of India, or to study its political history, they must remain destitute of the means, unless they can afford to send to Calcutta or to England for the necessary materials. Had the government established libraries at the head-quarters of every district, a trifling subscription from the temporary residents would have sufficed to keep them up, and the advantage to young men of'a studious turn would have been incalculable :, but there are no facilities given for the acquisition of knowledge, and it must be picked up under the most disadvantageous circumstances. This, with the exception of Mhow, where a library has been established, is the case in every part of the Bengal presidency; and when the extreme youth of the cadets who are sent from school to fill up the vacancies of the Indian army, and their want of opportunities for improvement after their arrival, are taken into consideration, the highly intellectual state of society throughout Hindostan, must excite surprise. A church and a well-furnished library alone are wanting to render Cawnpore as delightful a residence, as an eastern climate and military duties will permit. It has not the reputation of being unhealthy, though in the rainy season it shares with other stations the prevalent diseases of fever and ague; and being the high road to the frontiers, many travellers pause on their journey, after having received the seeds of their disorders in distant places, to lay their remains in the crowded cemetery of Cawnpore. During the hot winds, it is burning, stilling, smothering; but all places liable to this terrible visitation (the simoom and sirocco of travellers' tales) are equally scorching, and in some districts the blasts from the gaseous furnace, from which the plague must emanate, blow all night, whereas at Cawnpore they subside at sunset.
Persons, newly arrived from England or Calcutta, may deem Cawnpore a semi-barbarous place, since wolves stray into the compounds, and there are bungalows in which the doors, destitute of locks or handles, will not shut : but the arrivals from outstations, dwellers in the jungle, companions of bears and boars (biped and quadruped) look upon it as an earthly paradise. It is well-supplied with every article of European manufacture necessary for comfort, or even luxury, though it must be confessed that they are frequently too high-priced to suit subalterns' allowances. The bazaars are second none in India ; beef, mutton, fish, and poultry being of the finest quality : vegetables of all kinds may be purchased by those who have not gardens of their own, there being a sufficient demand to induce the natives to cultivate exotics for the market. In addition to the shops kept by Europeans, there are many warehouses, filled with English and French goods, belonging to Hindoo and Moosulmen merchants; and the jewellers are scarcely inferior to those of Delhi. Cawnpore is celebrated for the manufacture of saddlery, harness, and gloves; though less durable than those of English make, the cheapness and beauty of the two former articles recommend them to the purchaser; and the gloves offer a very respectable substitute for the importations from France. Prints of fashions supply the mantua-makers and tailors with ideas, and as there is no lack of materials, the ladies of Cawnpore are distinguished in the Mofussil for a more accurate imitation of the toilettes of London and Paris, than can be achieved at more remote stations. Indeed, the contrast between the female residents, and their visitants from the surrounding jungles, is often extremely amusing.
The fiver's bank affords some very fine situations for bungalows, and the inequality of the ground offers many advantages to those in the interior of the cantonments. The roads are kept in good order; and as they stretch along thick plantations occasionally relieved by glimpses of European houses, or cross the broad paradegrounds and other open tracts, the bits of native scenery, a small mosque, a pagoda, or a well, peeping from the trees, the long alleys of a bazaar, and the open sheds of numerous artisans, present so many pleasing combinations, that the eye must be dull of perception which cannot find an infinity of beauty in the various drives and rides. Lucknow, the capital of the neighbouring kingdom of Oude, is only a few marches distant from Cawnpore, and forms a fovorite excursion, more especially whenever any particular festivities are going on at the court. In the proper season, huntingparties are also frequently made to look for tigers and wild hogs in the islands of the Ganges, or amid the deep jungles of its oppo site shore.
[From "The Foreign Quarterly Review, No. 19.'']
Art. I. — Den Danske Billedhugger Bertel THORVALDSEN, og
hans Værker. Ved J. M. Tunele, Professor, Secretair ved det Kongeliege Akademie for de skiönne Kunster. Förste Deel, med 81 Kobbertavle. Kiöbenhavn. (The Danish Sculptor THORVALDSEN,* and his Works. By J. M. THIELE, Professor, Secretary to the Royal Academy of the Fine Arts. Vol. I. with 81 Engravings. Copenhagen.) 8vo. 1832.
It does not often fall to our lot to derive from a work sent for our notice, so much gratification as, under various points of view, we have received from this of Professor Thiele. In the first place we greet with pleasure every biographical notice of remarkable men; and in that chapter of the book of Fame which is dedicated to the fine arts, what living name can compete with Thorvaldsen’s! Perhaps we might exchange the epithet “ living” for that of “modern”; for we believe none but Italians now even question the Danish artist's superiority to Canova himself; but we wish to waive for the moment all comparison of those two worthy successors of the great Hellenic masters, inasmuch as such discussion will find a more appropriate place when we shall have gone through the volume before us. To return to the cause of our gratification from the said volume, (or rather volumes, for there is one of letter-press and one of engravings,)
we are highly pleased with the talent displayed by Danish artists in the engravings, which present us with outlines of some of Thorvaldsen's best statues and bas-reliefs; we are delighted with such a proof, as the undertaking itself, and the list of subscribers to it, exhibit, of Danish enthusiasm for compatriot genius; and we rejoice that those lovers of the arts who are not free to roam over Europe in search of the widely dispersed productions of Thorvaldsen, should be afforded some means of estimating his merits and the character of those productions.
Our anticipations of biographical enjoyment, however, we must confess, Professor Thiele has not fully realized. With the exception of the artist's genealogy and a few anecdotes of his boyish days, the life consists of little more than an account of his works, and the order in which they were undertaken and executed. We learn nothing of his manners, of his domestic and daily habits; and almost the only trait of character occurs in the Preface, when the author explains
* The Germans and French write Thorvaldsen; we prefer to follow the Danish orthography. VOL. I. - NO. I.
how he came to write his book. We will not however waste our pages with complaints of what we think wanting in the Professor's volume, - a deficiency which, by the way, the second volume may perhaps supply, — but proceed to give our readers a brief abstract of what it does contain.
Professor Thiele, as he tells us in his Preface, was a constant frequenter of Thorvaldsen's studio during a visit to Rome. At length he was about to return home, and
says: “ One of my last days at Rome I passed in the little garden which is surrounded by Thorvaldsen's three lesser studios, in order to enrich my book of recollections with the image of a place so dear to me. pectedly the artist stood behind me, and of his own accord led the conversation to the object then nearest my heart. I regret,' said Thorvaldsen, ‘that no one has yet thought of my biography. And at these words I was seized with the idea, which, for the six following years, pursued me amidst dearest labors. I declared that I would gladly devote the requisite time, and such abilities as were given me, to the fulfilling in some measure of his and my own wish, upon condition, however, of bis frank communication and assistance to my work. But here difficulties already met me. He averred that he knew but little, the occupations of his later life having year by year drawn the veil closer over the unimportant occurrences of his quiet youth ; neither could his now engaged thoughts busy themselves with such matters; but I might apply to the friends of his youth.”
From that source, the archives of the Copenhagen Academy, and what could be in any way extorted from Thorvaldsen himself, Professor Thiele has concocted the short account, of which we are about to extract the pith and marrow.
From an annexed genealogical table, it appears that Thorvaldsen descends by females from the royal blood of Scandinavia. His family had long been settled in Iceland, and in that Ultima Thule his ancestors had gradually sunk lower and lower in circumstances, until his father, Gotskalk Thorvaldsen, emigrated or immigrated to Copenhagen, where he earned his livelihood by carving in wood, and that not in the highest style. He appears to have been chiefly employed by shipwrights, and not to have ventured to attempt the figures that usually ornament a vessel's head, until his son was able to assist him by correcting his blunders. But despite this his lowly condition, Gotskalk married the daughter of a clergyman, who, on the 19th of November, 1770, bore him a son christened Bertel, the Scandinavian form of Albert.
The boy early discovered a turn for sketching and modelling, in consequence of which he was admitted as a student into the Copenhagen Royal Academy of Fine Arts. His progress through the different schools was rapid. His father, as we have said, rose in his occupation by his son's aid ; and in the year 1787 Bertel won the lowest prize of the Academy, the small silver medal. At this period he was preparing for the church ceremony of confirmation, and, engrossed by his professional pursuits, had perhaps not devoted much time or thought to religious duties.
“ According to his own account, he sat low down amongst the poorer boys, and did not particularly distinguish himself by his knowledge. But, as it happened, ihe examining clergyman was brother to the Secretary of the Academy. Upon hearing the boy's name, he became attentive, asked, “ Are you a brother of him who won the silver medal ? ' - and when Thorvaldsen replied, “That was myself!' the clergyman was so surprised at the answer, that he placed him above the other boys, and thenceforward called him Monsieur Thorvaldsen."
In 1789 our young student won the larger silver medal, and in 1791 the small gold medal, upon which occasion we have a striking instance of his innate modesty. Notwithstanding his previous success, the idea of the contest for this gold medal, given for the best historical bas-relief, so alarmed Thorvaldsen, that not only did it require the utmost importunity of his friends and companions to induce him to present himself' amongst the competitors, but even after the subject was given out, and the candidates were separately locked up to prepare their sketches, he attempted to make his escape, and was only prevented by accidentally meeting one of his masters. In 1793 he similarly, but without compulsion, won the larger gold medal, in a contest of the same kind. The three prize bas-reliefs, which are still preserved at Copenhagen, are given amongst the engravings, and even in these early efforts we may perceive the germ of future excellence. The subjects are boldly conceived, and the stories well told.
The successful candidate for these prizes was further entitled to be sent for three years to Rome at the Academy's expense. But for this invaluable boon our young artist had to wait until the student, then enjoying the allowance, should have completed his term; and in the interval he continued to study hard, whilst he earned his livelihood by teaching drawing and taking likenesses.
Thorvaldsen had proposed to visit Dresden and Vienna in his way, as if to prepare himself gradually for the miracles of art awaiting him at Rome. But the disturbed state of the continent in 1796, when he was to set forth, together with his own delicate health, induced his friends to recommend a sea voyage in preference. He embarked in a Danish frigate, and after a (to him) tedious cruize, landed at Naples, without having set foot in Germany. A fact which we notice merely to correct a mistake made by Madame de Staël in her Allemagne, where she enriches wealthy Germany at the expense of humbler Denmark. These are her expressions, and we insert the whole passage to remind our readers of the high estimate formed of Thorvaldsen by so able a judge:
“ A Dane, Thorvaldsen, educated in Germany, now rivals Canova at Rome ; and bis Jason resembles him whom Pindar describes as the bandsomest of men; a fleece ( why not the fleece ? ) is on his left arm, he holds a spear in his hand, and repose and force characterize the hero."
Thorvaldsen reached the Eternal City on the Sth of March, 1797, and ever afterwards, when asked for his birth-day, named that day as the epoch of his real entrance into existence. As such it was