Obrazy na stronie



There must be something, we are inclined to device, in which, at the visitor's pleasure, there imagine, intoxicating in having much to do with fell down showers of artificial rain, which, we flowers and gardens. Possibly a sort of hortiflo- may add, often wetted him through against that ral love may have to be reckoned by the psycholo- will. Water in this place put on the character gist among the passions of the human breast; if of Proteus; it was now jetting up in a full round so, we would set down as one of its first general bore, and, dashing against the roof of the grot, laws, that this sentiment has a great tendency to came tumbling down in millions of sparkles; attain an extravagant height, and to pass all the now it was streaming out into an elegant vase, common boundaries of common sense. Of the brilliant, liquid, inconstant; and now it flew into flower-love, we have the familiar instance of the the form of a great convolvulus, or radiated away Tulipomania as an illustration; and we may into an aster. If we may take the good gossip's learn, in addition, that sober Dutchmen, head- word for it, and we are fully disposed to do so, over-ears in this passion, have been known to nothing but what was magnificent was to be half starve themselves, that they might feed their seen in that paradise.” The gardens of the Vat

- to lose entire days in love-sick gaz-ican, at the same period, were laid out and ing upon a hyacinthine beauty — and to tremble ornamented, and be-whimsied to an extent even for the consequences of a careless stranger surpassing their Borghese rival. They aboundbreathing over a fair auricula. We happen to ed in curious fountains, many of which tossed have known a person in the outskirts of London their water to the clouds. There were also who carried his passion for tulips to such a pitch wonderful grottoes of the most artificial' conof frenzy that he ruined his family, and almost struction, and mimic lakes adorned the scene, broke the heart of his wife. Finally, his house on which floated diminutive men of war; and hold was reduced to a single bedstead; but this there also three bees poured from copper trunks he one day took and placed over a group of tu- three jets of water, under which was written lips, tent-wise, to keep off the too ardent glare of some very witty Latin. the sun; having performed this droll feat, he sat An estimate of the splendor of the Horti Matdown, pipe in hand, and for hours gazed with thại may be obtained from the circumstance, delight on the resplendent tints of his favorites. that, on pain of forfeiture of the inheritance, an Cases of this nature supply us with a strong pre- annual outlay of not less than six thousand sumption that a love for flowers is liable to run crowns was necessary to be expended on them. into monomania. The extravagances of gar- The gardens of Frascati were of wide celebrity: den-makers are at all events curious, and worthy in the centre rose a hill covered with wood, and of notice.

naturally carved into such a fantastic outline, as It was according to rule that the excitable if it had been a work of art. From its summit people of Italy would be among the greatest suf- fell a cascade, which precipitated itself into a ferers by the attacks of this disorder. A modern noble theatre of water, and as it fell, shone with writer on Italy is lost in admiration of the garden an iridescence, when gleaming in the sunshine, doings of some of the cardinals of former days. which might vie even with the rainbow. Here Their riches, their taste, their learning, their was nature. But under the falling waters there leisure, their frugality, all conspired in this one was a grotto upon which vast sums must have object. “ The eminent founder would expend been spent; and in it was a variety of instruthousands upon his garden, but allot only a crown ments, played by the unwilling waters of the for his own dinner!” The garden of the Bor- cascade. There were hydraulic organs; grumghese villa, of all others, was costly, luxurious, bling, uncomfortable, out-of-breath contrivances, and whimsical. We read that from a distance now bellowing away might and main, then, as this garden appeared like a great town, the wall the air-chest got hydrothorocized, sighing out being interrupted here and there with castles, some indistinct notes of nobody knew what; turrets, and banqueting-houses

. “Within,” ex- while a spasmodic Cupid, as leader of the band, claims enthusiastic Evelyn,“ it was an elysium of would twitch his arms and baton in a distressing delight.” It abounded with all kinds of delicious irregularity of time ; and three Titans at the fruits; exotic plants of the rarest description farther end pound with wooden hammers a sham breathed out odors the most pleasing, and spent bit of iron on a sham anvil of deal; and a dance their vegetable lives amid the music of a thou- of skeletons enliven with their monotonous gyrasand fountains and the murmur of countless riv- tions the background of the apparatus. Besides ulets. It contained a grotto of the most rare these, there was a monster to frighten ladies and

little children, by roaring through a terrific horn; | this place of wonders, two sharp-shooting musand finally, the representation of a storm, with queteers took a generally successful aim at the such a fury of wind, rain, and tempest, as one visitor with their water-charges. would imagine the elements might themselves The Dutch gardens were mathematical whimenvy.

sicalities. Triangles of orange-trees, ellipses of Every one has heard tell of the famous gar- water, rhomboids of parterres, and parallel lines den of Tivoli. It seems to have been an ex- of groves, were the delight and glory of this taste. quisite place, and it cost altogether nearly a The very fountains partook of the same squaremillion. It was crowded with innumerable stat

set character, and played with a sober steadiness ues, and abounded in stately fountains. One altogether unlike the gambols in which that elelong and broad walk was full of jets d'eau, and ment generally wantons. The garden of St. each fountain represented one of Ovid's meta-Germain was famous for its subterraneous artimorphoses. Its principal lion was a large model | ficial caverns, where scenes of various kinds of the imperial city, when she sat a queen’over were performed by the force of water. Here the kingdoms of the earth. It represented all were mills revolving, men fishing, birds chirrupher amphitheatres, shows, temples, aqueducts, ping, and sundry other devices of curious sort, arches, and streets; and through it wandered a especially an Orpheus, surrounded by dancing little rivulet, the representative of old Tiber, animals. The celebrated gardens of Versailles which gushed out of an urn held by a statue of contained, besides numerous other remarkables, the god. Farther on, a fountain of dragons a series of fountains which represented Æsop's roared out water; and a grotto, by a strange fables. The animals were all of brass, and painted misnomer called the Grotto di Natura, resounded in their proper colors, and cast forth water, in with the melodious wind and water strains of a different forms, out of their mouths. The fox large hydraulic organ. The great Cardinal and the crane were thus personated: upon a Richelieu had also expended an enormous sum rock stood a fox, lapping something from a flat in embellishing the gardens attached to his pal- gilded dish; while the unhappy crane, whose ace at Ruelle. These splendid gardens con- length of bill offered a serious obstacle to its tained a piece of real nature in the midst of joining in the feast, spouted water up into the them, consisting of a corn-field, vineyards, mead- air by way of complaint. There were altogether ows, and groves, which bare corn, and yielded thirty-nine such follies, occupying different walks. grapes, and grew grass and leaves, the same as These gardens cost two hundred millions of francs, an ordinary farm. Here reaping, and harvest and altogether cover two hundred acres of ground. ing, and every agricultural occupation were M. Girardin, who expended a fortune on his served up for the cardinals amusement. But gardens, added to their attractions that of a little he was a great water wit also. In one of the patch, desolate and neglected, which he called walks was a basilisk of copper, near which some his “garden in ruins." He was very vain of the practical joker of a fountaineer was sure to be “ points" about his grounds; and to call proper placed ; and as the visitor was wondering at the attention to them, used to employ a band of metallic monster, he would be suddenly saluted music to wander from spot to spot, so that the with a powerful jet of water from its mouth; eyes of visitors might be drawn in succession to and if he fled, the wily basilisk would set to re the different lions of the place. “ In the ducal volving rapidly, and shooting out its water to an gardens at Gotha,” says the Quarterly, “is a immense distance, so that it was a certain thing ruined castle, which was built complete, and for him to get drenched to the skin. At the then ruined exprès by a few rounds of artillery !” end of another walk was an admirable view of At home, another sort of oddity disfigured our Constantine's arch, painted in oil upon the wall, gardens. This was called the Topiary Art. with the clear blue sky appearing so faithfully, Under the hands of Loudon and Wise, our everthat birds were frequently found dead at its foot, greens underwent metamorphoses more wonderhaving dashed against the wall in the attempt to ful than Ovid's. It was said they left the marks fly through it. Artificial cascades filled the air of their scissors on every plant and bush. The with glittering spray, and sheets of water like ingenious Dr. Plot, in his Natural History of glass gleamed in the summer's sun. There was Oxfordshire, expresses himself in warm terms of a grotto here too, and this was a grotto such as admiration upon these feats of the primary nature never beheld. In the midst of it was a shears. At Hampton Court were some remarkmarble table, all round which a sort of water able animals and castles cut in box, and a mighty banquet was displayed, various jets continually wren's nest, which was sufficiently capacious to playing in the form of crystal goblets, glasses, receive a man on a seat inside. Box-trees were crosses, flowers, and crowns. The roof showered often cut into sun-dials and coats-of-arms, and down an everlasting rain; and in emerging from now and then some venerable mansion gloried

in a couple of giant guards, “ clothed in living to the weeping tree. The visit is never regreen,” which kept up a perpetual watch near peated. the gates, looking as natural as branches and After a while we are growing out of these leaves could well look. Listen to Horace Wal- whimsies, and a purer taste is diffusing itself pole. “ The venerable oak, the romantic beech, over our pleasure-grounds; but to this hour the the useful elm, even the aspiring circuit of the Chinese are even more full of them than were lime, the regular round of the chestnut, and the we, or any other nation, at our worst. Macartalmost perfectly-moulded orange-tree, were cor ney says, “it is the excellence of a Chinese rected by such fantastic admirers of symmetry. gardner to conquer nature,” and it must be conThe compass and square were of more use in fessed it is an excellence which is pretty complantations than the nursery-man, Many French nion in China, for by no stretch of the imaginagroves seem green chests set upon poles.” Gi- tion can nature be recognized, excepting in her ants, and monsters of horrible grotesqueness, productions in their gardens. The Chinese were the pride of the day: and the Gog and emperor's pleasure-garden contained, it is said, Magog, which may still be seen in some of our two hundred palaces, and was on a scale of suburban citizens' gardens, are but faint and great magnificence. Artificial rocks rose up out feeble outlines of the colossal stature and fero- of flat plains; canals and serpentizing bridges cious features of their boxen and yew-tree enlivened the scene ; and here the emperor ancestors. We had our water-jokers in England played at agriculture and commerce. A small too. At Euston, in Oxfordshire, in the gardens corn-field was reaped and carried home right of a certain worshipful gentleman, were the under his celestial eyes; and as an amusement most artistic water ingenuities it has been our

for him within doors, shops were erected, and lot to meet a description of as existing in this business done as in the city, with all its minutiæ, country. They even drew down the marked especially with the tricks of trade. Practical approbation of royalty itself. On approaching jokes are still in great vogue, and the walks are the spot, a venerable hermit rose from the ground, broken of purpose into holes and foot-traps, the and after entertaining one with a “neat and fun being to get into them and get out again appropriate” speech, sank down again like a with limping, if not broken limbs. Nice, temptJack-in-a-box. There was a small rocky island ing, green, grassy little plots intersect some of in the midst of a lake, which was full of watery them, on which, if the visitor plant his foot, he tricks. The visitor was politely requested to sinks to his middle in a bog. In these cases, walk up and view this spot; and after satisfying however, the fun must not unfrequently become his curiosity, and proceeding to walk down again, rather serious. the fountaineer would bob down, turn a cock, We might go on almost ad infinitum on this and send, we dare not say how many, jets d'eau | inexhaustible subject: we prefer to stop. Our flying on all sides of the victim, one stream hav- object has been to expose the puerilities with ing for its object his legs, another his loins, and which the childish taste of men has dishonored another his head. After this funny reception, what Lord Bacon declared to be “the purest of he was conducted to look at a spaniel hunting a all human pleasures.” At no time do the inost duck, by the force of water, the automata div- exquisite works of man endure a comparison ing and pursuing each other by turns. Beyond with those of his Maker how much less so was the grotto; a hedge of sparkling jets of when it is a few childish toys, with their babbling water rose from the ground to guard it, mimic and squirting absurdities, which are unnaturally cascades foamed down in tiny cataracts, and united with the exquisite scenery and chaste countless streams shot up, and appeared to lose creations which have proceeded from His hands! themselves by being caught in their return, and

Chambers' Edinburgh Journal. not suffered to fall down again. Here, too, a nightingale discoursed very liquid music, and arched jets of water played with one another, How A REVIEWER MAY AVOID PREJUand now and then with the visitor, all hope of DICE.— In the palmy days of the Edinburgh egress being destroyed by the sudden pouring Review, Sidney Smith happened to call on a down of a heavy rain in the doorway. The colleague, whom he found to his surprise actusport which this caused was thought to be well ally reading a book for the purpose of reviewing worth the wetting. Probably the magnificent it. Having expressed his astonishment in the gardens at Chatsworth are the only places where strongest terms, his friend inquired how he anything at all similar to the above is now to be managed, when performing the critical office ? found. There are some practical wet jokes even “ Oh,” said Sidney Smith, “I never read a here; and country bumpkins, in their native book before reviewing it; it prejudices a man innocence, may be found willing to pay a visit | so.”



A rich page in the history of Art lies unrolled in the chieftain's breast. Hear the Saga : and deciphered before us! Thorwaldsen has “Oluf Paa built a larger and more beautiful lived! His life was a continued triumph: for banquetting-hall than was ever seen before. On tune and victory waited on him, and art was the walls and ceiling were painted celebrated recognized and reverenced in his person. The events from the old Sagas; and they were so life of this happy one - this triumphal march finely executed, that the hall was far more may be painted in words, as with colors. To beautiful than if it had been hung with tapestry. represent the whole in painting, we should When the hall was finished, Oluf Paa gave a sketch three scenes. The first is a Danish great banquet, to which the bard Ulfa Uggason beech-forest, where the king stands before an came, who composed a poem upon Oluf Paa and altar of rude stone blocks, surrounded by the the Sagas which were pictured on the walls. priests, with a thick gold circlet on his head. This poem was called 'Hunsdrapa.'” This is the King of Denmark, Harald Hildetand. A likeness in intellectual peculiarities, as well His eye sparkles — his head is proudly raised - as in features and manners, may be preserved for the mighty gods have sworn to him that, after through many generations; and those of Oluf many centuries, one of his descendants shall Paa, elevated and heightened, shone forth in our stretch out his sceptre from the North Cape to Thorwaldsen. the southernmost point of Europe — far towards At Copenhagen, on the 19th of November, east and west — and his name shall be recorded 1770, Karen Grönland, the daughter of a Jutin the book of nations. See the next scene! land preacher, and the wife of the image-carver, Centuries have rolled by, and it is our own age; Gottschalk Thorwaldsen, bore her husband a a poor bəy, with a little red cap on his golden son, who at his baptism received the name of hair, carries an earthen pitcher, slung by a cord, Bertel. The father had come over from Iceland, through one of the narrow streets of Copenha- and was in needy circumstances; the couple gen – he is bringing dinner to his father, who dwelt in the small Grünstrasse, not far from the works in the dockyard, carving rude figure-heads Academy of Arts. The moon looked often into for the ships. But observe this child! he is the the poor chamber - she has told us of it heryoungest of King Harald Hildetand's race, and self: _* in him the promise shall be fulfilled. But how? “ Father and mother were sleeping; but the The third scene will show. The boy has become little son slept not. I saw," said the moon, “ the a man — the yellow hair white — but it hangs flowered chintz bed-curtains move — the child upon his powerful shoulders in a rich profusion; looked out. I thought at first he was watching around stand noble marble forms - Jason with the clock, it was painted so gaily in red and the golden fleece, the Graces, the Holy Apostles; green. A cuckoo sat above it - there were it is the King of Artists whom we see the scion beavy weights - and the pendulum, with its of Harald Hildetand - the poor boy, who now shining brass-plate, went backwards and foras a man stretches his sceptre in the realm of wards, tick, tick. But it was not that he looked Art, over the countries of Europe - it is Bertel at: no! it was his mother's spinning-wheel. Thorwaldsen.

This stood exactly under the clock, and it was It is not the imagination of a poet - it is real- the boy's favorite piece of furniture; but he ity – which has furnished the subject for each dared not touch it, else he should get a slap on picture. Iceland has preserved for the northern his finger. He could sit whole hours, when his nations their ancient language, mythology, and mother spun, watching the humming spool, and history. Their genealogies may be found accu- circling wheel; and he had his own thoughts rately in the Sagas ; and thus we have Thorwald- then. Ah! could he but spin upon the wheel ! sen's.

Father and mother slept: he looked at them The family is descended from the Danish he looked at the wheel - and soon after one king, Harald Hildetand; from Denmark it fled little naked foot peeped out of bed, and then to Norway, and afterwards to Iceland. We another little naked foot, then came two little read in the Saga of the Laxdölern, that one of legs — he stood upon the floor! He turned back this stock, Oluf Paa, was a powerful chief, whose once, to see if father and mother were asleep, taste for works of art is celebrated in the songs and then he went softly — quite softly — in of the bards. Bertel Thorwaldsen's spirit stirred *“ Picture-book without Pictures." 24th Evening.

[ocr errors]

nothing but his little short shirt, to the spinning “ Is it your brother who has won the silver wheel, and began to spin. The band flew off, medal ?” asked the pastor. and the wheel turned quickly. At the same " It is I myself," said Bertel. The clergyman instant the mother awoke - the curtain moved looked at him benignantly, placed him above

she looked out, and thought it was a Kobold the other boys, and called him henceforth or some other little sprite.

" Monsieur Thorwaldsen.” Oh, how this word "" In Jesus' name !' said she, and touched her vibrated through his heart! he has often since husband timidly."

said it sounded greater than any title kings “ He opened his eyes, rubbed them, and could bestow; he never forgot it. looked at the busy little creature."

In a little house in “ Aabenraa," the street “That is Bertel !' said he."

where Holberg places the dwelling of his poor What the moon relates is here the first picture poet, Bertel Thorwaldsen lived with his parents, in Thorwaldsen's Life Gallery -for it is a real and divided his time between art and his labors scene. Thorwaldsen himself, in familiar con- for his father. The small gold medal of the versation with the author, at Nysö, has related, Academy was to be given as a prize for sculpalmost word for word, wbat he has made the ture. Thorwaldsen was twenty years of age. moon say

in his poem. It was one of Tborwald- His friends knew his powers better than himself, sen's earliest remembrances — how he sat in his and they obliged him to undertake the proposed little short shirt in the moonshine, spinning at subject — “ Heliodorus driven from the Temhis mother's wheel, and how the dear mother ple.” took him for a little sprite.

We are at Charlottenburg, * but the little Some years ago there was still living an old room where Thorwaldsen sat a few minutes beship-carpenter, who remembered the little fair fore, completing his sketch, is empty, and he is blue-eyed Bertel, who used to come to his father hurrying down the narrow back stairs, chased in the carving-house of the dockyard. He was by the demons of fear and distrust, to return no to learn his father's trade ; and as the latter felt more. In the life of a great genius nothing is the disadvantage of not being able to draw, the accidental ; the hand of Providence guides the boy at eleven years of age was sent to the free apparent trifle. Thorwaldsen was destined to school of the Academy of Arts, where he made fulfil bis task. Who is it that stops him on the rapid progress. Two years later, Bertel could dark back stairs ? One of the professors is just help his father, and even improve his work. coming that way — speaks to him, questions him, See the ship heaving in the dock! the Danish exhorts him ; he returns, and in four hours the flag is waving — the workmen sit in the shade sketch is completed, and the small gold medal round their simple breakfast; but in the front This was on the 15th of August, 1791. stands the principal figure in this picture; it is a The minister of state, Count Ditlew von Rewboy, who boldly carves the features of the entlow, saw the young artist's work, and became wooden image at the ship's prow. It is its guar- his patron. He procured him employment, and dian spirit; and shall wander through the wide placed his own name at the head of a subscripworld as the work of Bertel Thorwaldsen's hand. tion, which gained him freer opportunity of deThe ever-heaving sea shall baptize it with its wa- voting himself to his studies. Two years afterters, and wreathe garlands of sea-plants round it! wards, the large gold medal was won, and with

Our next picture represents a later period. it a sum of money for the expenses of travelling; Unobserved amongst the other boys, he has fre- but before his departure, his education was to be quented the school of the Academy for six years, attended to. A year passed; he read and studwhere he stands silent and sparing of words ied; the Academy countenanced him, and he before his drawing-board. His answers are yes advanced in knowledge. We will glance upon or no- a nod or shake of the head; but gentle- an object dear to him at this time. We find it ness beams in his countenance, and kindliness at his feet in those pleasant evening scenes, when in every gesture. The picture shows us Bertel he sat in the merry club, with men like Rahbek at his confirmation. He is seventeen years old and Steffens, a silent looker-on; we find it in a — no very early age to acknowledge bis baptis- corner behind the large stove; at home in the mal obligations; he is placed before the pastor shabby room, which contrasted strongly with the in the lowest rank, his knowledge not entitling well-dressed gentlemen who visited it; we see it him to a higher. A short time before, the fastened by a string behind the door of the newspapers had announced that the pupil Thor: theatre, where Thorwaldsen has to speak two waldsen had received the small silver medal replies in his little part in the “ Barber of Sefrom the Academy.*

ville;” it is his favorite dog, who is connected * The bas-relief which gained the prize, represents a sleeping Cupid.

* A royal palace in New Market.


« PoprzedniaDalej »