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“Her mast hath ta'en an angle with the sky, overcome so far, as to enable their beFrom which it shifts not."
ing delineated correctly on paper or Let her planks desert her ribs ; her
canvass. And, secondly, in viewing
the picture, we have a fainter repetimasts give way; her sails fly to tat
tion of the pleasure we derive from ters; her stays be broken-while the
seeing the objects themselves. In adbillows,
dition to these reasons for preferring “ Curling their ruffian heads,”
the Picturesque in painting, it is to be charge full speed upon her, and break observed, that the regularly Beautiful over her at intervals; and she becomes loses much more of its effect when diat once the very pink of the Picturesque minished. The actual mass seems to
the delight of painters--the horror be necessary, to produce the surprise of underwriters.
which we feel in understanding, and In dress, the most beautiful and ela. arranging at once in the mind, the borate uniform is not picturesque. Why proportions of a mighty but regular is it not so ? Precisely because it is a object. St Paul's Cathedral is nothing uniform ; because one part presup in a picture; and yet it is as pictuposes another. We know it by a sec resque as most modern structures. In tion. Tassel dangles after tassel ; la- such drawings, we know there is no pelle balances lapelle; shoulder-knot difficulty of execution. We cannot copies shoulder-knot;
forget the rule and compasses; and " Skirt nods at skirt ; each button has a
the draughtsman becomes a mere mebrother ;
chanist in our eyes. In colouring, the And half the collar but reflects the other.”
same rules hold good. We may fur
ther observe of colours, that the most Now,“handy-dandy,” change-clothes glaring are perhaps the least pictu-and “ your tattered prodigal, just resque, from their being of unfrequent come from swine-keeping, and eating occurrence, in masses, in naturalscenes. draff and husks”-is the very darling All the colours of a harlequin's jacket, of the Picturesque; and he is so, be however, would not be picturesque is cause his wretchedness is not of a regularly disposed. To be so, they piece, like the other's finery. There is must be thrown together, and interno method in't. The entire stocking mingle, as Nature and the Seasons on this leg does not ensure us against mingle them. Why are autumnal tints a torn one on the other, any more the greatest favourites ? Because they than the rent in this elbow necessarily are the most varied and capricious. presupposes a hole in that. He has no The most complex figures, if we know keeping about him, excepting a sort of them to be regular, are not pictumedium tint of squalidity. There is resque. Nobody would apply the term no fellowship in his patches. They to the flourishes on a bank-note, are various in form and in hue, as though their difficulty defy forgery. - Autumn leaves
But they are only difficult to us. We In Vallombrosa.”
see that, in fact, they are regular, and His rags obey the winds, and them that we need only the key from the only. His unkempt hair, untouched mechanic who cut them, to decipher by powder or curling-iron, is “ of them as easily as an intercepted diswhat colour it pleases God.” It would
patch. puzzle a sanhedrim of tailors to make If we apply the principles here cona fac-simile of him. He is beyond tended for to existing styles of architheir hand-and so they deliver him tecture, they would seem to elucidate over to Mr Somebody, the artist, as the reason of our preferring in a picmaterials for the Picturesque.
ture the Gothic to the Grecian. They It would be useless to add to these explain, indeed, why, in fact, we dwell examples. If difficulty of conception the longest upon a Gothic edifice, and be the source of that pleasure which especially upon its interior. The Gowe take in contemplating picturesque thic is an attempt to include the Picobjects, the reason of our preferring turesque in the Beautitul; and, to a to see such objects delineated in a pic certain extent, it is a successful one. ture is obvious enough. It is, how If we examine the exterior and geneever, twofold in its nature. First, we ral plan of a cathedral, for instance, are glad to see the difficulty of con- we shall find it to be beautifully receiving accurately of irregular objects gular. The details, however, are art
fully complicated into an apparent is the origin of our sense of the Picturegularity. Excepting at one point of resque and Beautiful, are yet applicaview, they are calculated to seem irre- ble to the explanation of other mental gular. The varied tracery- the bun- results. I might stop here-but there dles of slender pillars, the slender is one other subject with which they arches, branching over the lofty roofs appear to me to be intermingled, of so in every direction-the ornamented enticing a nature, that, albeit it be windows the broken lights — the something of a digression, it must be crossing shadows—though in reality ventured. Digression you may haply regular, yet form a composition that call it, gentle reader; but I insist on at first impresses every mind with the its being a true and legitimate corolidea of irregularity. This is the charm lary, legitimately appended to the soof Henry the Seventh's Chapel. We lution of the problem we have been gaze upon it with an unsated delight, puzzling about so long. Could I do which the most admirable simplicity less—it being the grand subject of could never bestow. The eye, com some of the prettiest wranglings that prehending the whole, can yet never ever graced the annals of controversy, enumerate nor store up the exquisitely and which have been bandied by the varied minutiæ of which that whole is prettiest mouths that ever betook themcomposed. It is like the infinite divi- selves to the dry and dusty calling of sibility of matter. We might as well polemics? It is that gentle breeze of attempt to count up the sparkling doctrine which ruffles for a moment atoms in a block of marble- But the silvery surface of female conversathe excitement is inexhaustible. tion, only to make it sparkle the more,
In the reverse of this, we may dis- -the metaphysic of the toilet-the cover a further proof of the truth of stumbling-block of the far-famed “Parthese principles. As Gothic architec- liament of Love,” which defined it not ture, by including apparent disorder the subject which Anthony Count under external regularity, hides the Hamilton has illustrated, but not ex. Picturesque under the Beautiful; so plained- the “arcanum,” which “Cuthere are certain objects, which, con- pid's Casuist,” in the Spectator, failed taining regularity under apparent ir to discover—the desideratum maxiregularity, include the Beautiful un- mum-the physiognomical STANDARD der the Picturesque. This depends OF BEAUTY! upon the distance from which they There is no subject, in the round of are viewed. Many towns are so situ- topics, that has been more dogmatized ated, as to present, when seen from upon than this howsoever many of certain stations, an outline the most these petitiones principii be “ of such picturesque possible. Draw nearer, sweet breath composed,” as might moland this gives way to the beautiful lify even the shades of Acquinas or We are enabled to fill up the outline, Duns Scotus into acquiescence; though and find it in reality to cover objects the “ angelic doctor” himself might of the opposite description-regular yield to something more angelic; and streets and regular houses. This is the subtle logician confess the breath the case with many regular towns of beauty more subtle than the airiest built on uneven ground. From a dis- refinements of the schools.- What is tance we distinguish only the tops of Beauty ?-No question has been put buildings, rising and falling capri- more frequently ; and what do we obciously-chimneys of unequal heights tain by it?-An inventory of a set of -obscure shadows mingling and cross- features which are called “ regular;' ing-the whole presenting the appear, but why they are called regular, or how ance of a dark shapeless mass; and this regularity comes to be Beauty, we this is all. On the spot, we find tiers are not informed. We are referred by of houses, doors and windows, at regu- one to Greek statues; and, by another, lar distances; in short, nothing but to internal feelings. " Then comes smooth mason-work-straight lines, our fit again ;" for we find that the and right angles :- the distant subli- practice of mankind is unanimous neimity of Edinburgh changed into the ther for the statues nor for the feelings. elegance of Bath, or the patent tran- - What is beauty to a European, is descendental neatness of New Lanark. formity to a Negro. Our idea of Beau
I have already stated, that the prin- ty, then, in the abstract, is a prejudice ciples attempted to be established, as rather than a principle ; and, as might
be expected, events are perpetually other presented an inexhaustible field clashing with it. Every day are our for admiring observation. This is the classical tastes shocked by some here: charm of the “ Agreeable, as opposed tofore sensible young man falling in to the Beautiful.” In the one, the mind love with a face that would have given is at once gratified by the most exquiPhidias the spleen. We protest--we site regularity ; in the other, perpetusneer-we storm-and in reply we get ally excited, by ever-varying traits, real from the friends of the forlorn (if he or apparent, (are they ever not real?) of have any) at once, a new view of the qualities in themselves admirable. The subject, and an addition to our phrase- Agreeable in physiognomy, is to the ology,
Beautiful, what the Picturesque in “ The lady, though anything but hand
painting is to the Beautiful. They some, is agreeable.'
please upon the same principles. Re
joice, then, ye who, like me, have someThis, to those who have seen her, times passes for a palliation of the offence : To those who have not, merely as the “ Found Helen's beauty in a brow of best that can be said under the unfor Egypt.” tunate circumstances. The culprit Make no more stumbling, unworthy, himself, however, generally persists in touchstone-like excuseshis unhappy error; and, as the devil
" An ill-favour'd thing, sir; but mine will have it, dies, at a good old age, á stubborn heretic. His derider, haply,
own." marries a beauty, and tires of her in Beat not your brains for Platonic apotwelve months. What is the rationale logies which no one believes; but asof this? The admiration of regularity sert at once, that what the world calls was lessened, not heightened, by Time. discord, is "harmony not understood.” It was comprehended at once, and the Cry “ fupnxa,” and snap your fingers mind had no further employment. The at controversy. Dare, spells of the agreeable face, which was not handsome, Time touched not. Un
-“ as others use,
To sport with Amaryllis in the shade, der the features, “ not according to
Or with the tangles of Neæra's hair.” rule,” were included minor traitsoutward and visible signs of inward If I go on longer at this rate, I shall and spiritual graces, which, varying get taken for Don Juan in disguise. as they must with the occasion-now called forth by one event, now by an
BLUNT'S VESTIGES OF ANCIENT MANNERS AND CUSTOMS,
DISCOVERABLE IN MODERN ITALY AND SICILY.*
It were to be wished, that writers of travels would imitate the author of the present volume, in confining their professions and researches to some one limited end ; nor set up, as they do in general, for exclusive guides and in structors to all the various branches of art and learning, which tempt, and indeed are thrust upon one, in visiting the classic countries of the south. Few inale authors may introduce us to society, and may put together most delightful volumes on manners, etiquette, &c.; but the terms of architecture and antiquities spoil their pretty mouths, and they quote Greek and Latin with
a very ill grace. Even upon the fine arts their opinions are venturous; and although as deep read, perhaps, in Winkelman as De Staël, it is ten to one if they make not as many, if not more blunders than Corinne. Gentlemen, too, should stick to their lasts, as, the more talent they possess, the greater fools they appear out of their places. The learned and acute Forsyth hazards remarks on modern literature that would disgrace a magazine of the year fifty; Mathews discusses the fine arts with the depth of a dandy, calls the Moses of the Strada Pix spirited, and finds we know not what dull fault
• Vestiges of Ancient Manners and Customs, discoverable in Modern Italy and Si. cily. By the Rev. John James Blunt, Fellow of St John's, Cambridge, &c. &c. London, Murray, 1823,
in the Venus ; Lady Morgan-But we « When I witnessed all this," says have not room or time for correcting the author, “ I could not prevent my two quartos of blunders. Suffice it, mind from wandering to the interthat we strongly recommend the prin- views between Diana and Endymion, ciple of division of labour to all vagrant between Bacchus and Ariadne, between pen-men and women.
Venus and Adonis, between Jupiter Mr Blunt, as a clerical and a clase and Apollo ; in short, half the Heasical man, has judiciously turned his then gods, and as many favoured morattention to the similarity of manners tals, whose names afterwards became and customs in ancient and in modern emblazoned on the scrolls of mythoItaly; and it need not be added, that, logy. It is remarkable, too, that the in a country so eminently supersti- sex of the parties is as carefully adtious, manners and customs are either justed in the former as in the latter comprehended in, or closely connected instances.” The comparison is carried with, the religious ceremonies of the farther, in the places and things over people. How far the rites of the Ro- which the gods and the saints have man Catholic Church owed their birth been made to preside-hills, fountains, to those of Paganism, Dr Middleton &c. ; in most cases, the former seem had long since shewn; and the pre- to have bequeathed peaceably their sent volume is for the most part an powers of sanctity to the latter. St appendix to the Doctor's “ Letter,” Quirico now occupies Mount Eryx; save that it is written in a more libe- “ and the old god, thus pushed from ral spirit, and, as is proper, savouring his stool by modern usurpation, may more of the dilettante than the pole- reasonably complain, in the words of mic. The excavations of Pompeii and the poet, Herculaneum, and the numerous pic
Ubi nunc nobis Deus ille magister tures and graphic representations there
Nequicquam memoratus Eryx.' discovered, have opened a new mine to moral antiquaries, which Dr Mid. It may be here regretted, that Mr dleton did not possess; and Mr Blunt, Blunt did not bestow more of his time much as he has drawn, is to be blamed and attention on truly Roman ground, for not having extracted more matter the ancient Latium and Etruria, infrom this interesting and increasing stead of taking his examples from a store.
country like Sicily, overrun, throughThe first subject of Mr Blunt's dis- out all ages, by African, Saracen, and quisitions is the saints, in wliom he Norman, and which consequently must finds “ a wonderful resemblance to have had the stream of ancient habithe gods of old Rome.” He instances tude more corrupted than the counthe enormous number of both, and tries of the peninsula. Still, however, the inconvenience and idleness arising the modern Italian character, or rafrom their festivals ; for which cause ther the Italian character of the midAugustus pushed thirty of the gods dle ages, in all its boldness, supersti. from their stools, though indeed the tion, and ferocity, seems to have reabolition of so small a number of saints treated to Sicily, and there alone to would be but of little relief to the exist, apathy and servility being the Roman calendar. The reputed lives only characteristics now allowed to the of the saints too much resemble those unfortunate Italians. of the ancient deities; the fabulous After tracing the Lares, through all adventures, and earthly passions, at their several divisions, in the images tributed to the Saviour of mankind, at present set up or carried about, the Virgin, and other scriptural cha- the Lares Viales, in the Madonnas, racters, of which Mr Blunt adduces on cross-roads and street-corners—the some examples, and the passionate tutelary images and charms, in the language put into the mouths of them similar, though more decent ones now and their votaries, might well pass for worn-the Dii Cubiculares, in the a fable of Ovid, or of any Heathen bard, never-failing squadron of images at in honour of his Heathen gods. The fol bedsteads, - the author proceeds to lowing inscription is from the altar of assigu the cause of the monstrous the church of Santa Rosa at Viterbo:- usurpation of reverence and worship
Quis tamen laudes recolat, quis hujus by the Madonna.
“ Whence does all this proceed ? Per. Numen Olympi ?
haps it is only to be accounted for by the nature of the religion of ancient Rome. It cidence of the monks begging for the may be remarked, that Gentilism compre- Madonna, as it was an ancient practice hended a vast variety of female deities, to beg for the Mother of the Gods. some of which were not less powerful, nor Aristoxenus is applauded for an answer placed in a lower rank in the scale of divi.
which he once made to one of these apnity, than the greatest of the gods of the
plications. “I feed not the Mother of other sex. On the contrary, the superio- , rity of females was established in Egypt as
the Gods, whom the Gods theinselves a civil and religious institution; and the support.” And it is a striking circumsame order is observed in Plutarch's trea- stance, that a law is mentioned in Ci. tise of Isis and Osiris. A precedence thus cero, allowing persons in the service of given to the female deities in Egypt, would Cybele, the exclusive privilege of colprobably have its operation in Italy also- lecting alms. The next coincidence à proposition of which no person will en mentioned, is, the use of the Galli in tertain much doubt, who has observed the the worship of Cybele, and the use of a proportion which the gods of the Nile bear,
similar class of people in the Church in every museum of Italian antiquities, to
of Italy. those of Greece and Rome. Indeed, when Isis and Serapis were united in one temple “ There is yet another coincidence equal. in the capital of Italy, priority of place was · ly singular. 'Our Lady-Day, or the Day assumed by the queen. It is natural, there of the Blessed Virgin of the Roman Catho. fore, to suppose, that mankind, long retain.
lics, was heretofore dedicated to Cybele. It ing a propensity to relapse into idolatry,
was called • Hilaria,' says Macrobius, on ac. would endeavour to find some substitute
count of the joy occasioned by the arrival for an important class of beings, which had
of the Equinox, when the light was about for so many years exercised undisputed
to exceed the darkness in duration ; and empire over the minds and passions of men,
from the same author, as well as from Lamwho, from climate and temperament, were
pridius, it appears that it was a festival of perhaps peculiarly disposed to render the ihe Mater Deum. Moreover, in a Greek fair portion of the inhabitants of Heaven a
commentary upon Dionysius, cited by chivalrous obedience. The religion of Chris
Dempster in his Roman Antiquities, it is tianity, however, as it was taught by our
asserted that the Hilaria was a festival in Saviour and his immediate followers, af
honour of the Mother of the Gods, which forded no stock on which this part of Hca
was proper to the Romans.” then mythology could bē grafted. None of the three Persons of the Trinity could,
The pipers that play before the imwithout much effort, be moulded into the
ages of the Virgin in Italy, might also form of a goddess; and the circumstance,
have been mentioned as a parallel obthat some ancient heretics actually did maintain the Holy Ghost to be a female,
servance with that used towards the only serves to shew the reluctance with
Mother of the Gods. which mankind bade adieu to that sex as
“ Ante Deùm matrem cornu Tibicen adobjects of worship.”
unco It was but natural to expect, that the Virgin would be fixed upon to suc
Cum canit, exiguæ quis stipis aera neget ?" ceed all those favoured female deities And the author of Roma Moderna, in receiving worship and bestowing quoted by Middleton, boasts of the infavour; and as early as the fourth cen- genuity of the faithful, in dedicating to tury, mention is made of a sect named the Virgin Mary the Temple of the Colyridians, “who offered cakes to the Bona Dea. Without attributing any Virgin Mary as a goddess, and the very heinous intentions of idolatry or Queen of Heaven." Her being called backsliding towards Paganism, to those
80Toxoş and Mater Dei—the proprie- old Christian priests, who lived in those ty of which was, after a long contro- ages when Paganism was blending with versy, allowed in a great public coun. Christianity, we may accuse the dull cil-must also have contributed to rogues with having been too much given blend the mother of our Saviour with to punning and barbarous jokes. For to the heathen deities; especially with so innocent a species of pedantry, is no Cybele, to whom these epithets had doubt to be attributed this mighty seembeen generally applied. And that the ing adoption of Pagan rites and names, Madonna has succeeded Cybele, and for which our divines pour upon them become identified with her in tradi- the heavy phial of their wrath. Thus, tional rites and modes of reverence, a a church built on the site of Apollo's great many curious proofs are adduced Temple, is dedicated to St Apollinaris; in this volume. The first is, the coin- on an ancient Temple of Mars stands