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bedding, linen, clothing, fuel, victuals, and drink, all in abundance, and of their own providing; good horses, and a houseful of people who have more food than work. Food, furniture, and clothing being all home-made, the difference in these matters between the family and the servants is very small; but there is a perfect distinction kept up. The servants invariably eat, sleep, and sit apart from the family, and have generally a distinct building adjoining to the family house.’
The neighbouring country of Sweden appears to be in a much worse condition, and the people are described as highly immoral and depraved. By the returns from 1830 to 1834, one person in every forty-nine of the inhabitants of the towns, and one in every one hundred and seventy-six of the rural population, had been punished each year for criminal offences. The state of female morals, particularly in the capital of Stockholm, is worse than in any other European state. Yet in Sweden education is widely diffused, and literature is not neglected. The nobility are described by Mr Laing as sunk in debt and poverty; yet the people are vain of idle distinctions, and the order of burgher nobility is as numerous as in some of the German states.
“Every man,” he says, “belongs to a privileged or licensed class or corporation, of which every member is by law entitled to be secured and protected within his own locality from such competition or interference of others in the same calling as would injure his means of living. It is, consequently, not as with us, upon his industry, ability, character, , and moral worth that the employment and daily bread of the tradesman, and the social influence and consideration of the individual, in every rank, even the highest, almost entirely depends; it is here, in the middle and lower classes, upon corporate rights and privileges, or upon license obtained from government; and in the higher, upon birth and court or government favour. Public estimation, gained by character and conduct in the several relations of life, is not a necessary element in the social condition even of the working tradesman. Like soldiers in a regiment, a great proportion of the people under this social system derive their estimation among others, and consequently their own self-esteem, not from their moral worth, but from their professional standing and importance. This evil is inherent in all privileged classes, but is concealed or compensated in the higher, the nobility, military, and clergy, by the sense of honour, of religion, and by education. In the middle and lower walks of life those influences are weaker, while the temptations to immorality are stronger; and the placing a man's livelihood, prosperity, and social consideration in his station upon other grounds than on his own industry and moral worth, is a demoralising evil in the very structure of Swedish society.’
Mr Laing has more recently presented a volume entitled Notes of a Traveller, full of valuable observation and thought.
Travels in Circassia and Krim Tartary, by MR SPENCER, author of a work on “Germany and the Germans, two volumes, 1837, was hailed with peculiar satisfaction, as affording information respecting a brave mountainous tribe who have long warred with Russia to preserve their national independence. They appear to be a simple people, with feudal laws and customs, never intermarrying with any race except their own. Farther information was afforded of the habits of the Circassians by the Journal of a Residence in Circassia during the years 1837, 1838, and 1839, by MR J. S. BELL. This gentleman resided in Circassia in the character of agent or envoy from England, which, however, was partly
assumed. He acted also as physician, and seems generally to have been received with kindness and confidence. The population, according to Mr Bell, is divided into fraternities, like the tithings or hundreds in England during the time of the Saxons.
Criminal offences are punished by fines levied on the |
fraternity, that for homicide being 200 oxen. The guerilla warfare which the Circassians have carried on against Russia, marks their indomitable spirit and love of country, but it must, of course, retard civilisation.
A Winter in the Azores, and a Summer at the Baths of the Furnas, by Joseph BULLAR, M.D. and JoHN BULLAR of Lincoln's Inn, two volumes, 1841, furnish some light agreeable notices of the islands of the Azores, under the dominion of Portugal, from which they are distant about 800 miles. This archipelago contains about 250,000 inhabitants. St Michael's is the largest town, and there is a considerable trade in oranges betwixt it and England. About 120,000 large and small chests of oranges were shipped for England in 1839, and 315 boxes of lemons. These particulars will serve to introduce a passage respecting
[The Cultivation of the Orange, and Gathering the Fruit.]
March 26.-Accompanied Senhor B– to several of his orange gardens in the town. Many of the trees in one garden were a hundred years old, still bearing plentifully a highly-prized thin-skinned orange, full of juice and free from pips. The thinness of the rind of a St Michael's orange, and its freedom from Pips, depend on the age of the tree. The young trees, when in full vigour, bear fruit with a thick pulpy rind and an abundance of seeds; but as the vigour of the plant declines, the peel becomes thinner, and the seeds gradually diminish in number, until they disappear altogether. Thus, the oranges that we esteem the most are the produce of barren trees, and those which we consider the least palatable come from plants in full vigour.
Our friend was increasing the number of his trees by layers. These usually take root at the end of two years. They are then cut off from the parent stem, and are vigorous young trees four feet high. The process of raising §. seed is seldom if ever adopted in the Azores, on account of the very slow growth of the trees so raised. Such plants, however, are far | less liable to the inroads of a worm which attacks the roots of the trees raised from layers, and frequently proves very destructive to them. The seed or ‘pip of the acid orange, which we call Seville, with the sweeter kind grafted upon it, is said to produce fruit of the finest flavour. In one small garden eight trees were pointed out which had borne for two successive years a crop of oranges which was sold for thirty pounds. * +
The treatment of orange-trees in Fayal differs from that in St Michael's, where, after they are planted out, they are allowed to grow as they please. In this orange-garden the branches, by means of strings and pegs fixed in the ground, were strained away from the centre into the shape of a cup, or of the ribs of an open umbrella turned upside down. This allows the sun to penetrate, exposes the branches to a free circulation of air, and is said to be of use in ripening the fruit. Certain it is that oranges are exported from Fayal several weeks earlier than they are from St Michael's; and as this cannot be attributed to greater warmth of climate, it may possibly be owing to the plan of spreading the trees to the sun. The same precautions are taken here as in St Michael's to shield them from the winds; high walls are built round all the gardens, and the trees themselves are
planted among rows of fayas, firs, and camphor-trees. If it were not for these precautions, the oranges would be blown down in such numbers as to interfere with or swallow up the profits of the gardens; none of the windfalls or “ground-fruit,’ as the merchants here call them, being exported to England. * *
Suddenly we came upon merry groups of men and boys, all busily engaged in packing oranges, in a square and open plot of ground. They were gathered round a goodly pile of the fresh fruit, sitting on heaps of the dry calyx-leaves of the Indian corn, in which each orange is wrapped before it is placed in the boxes. Near these circles of laughing Azoreans, who sat at their work and kept up a continual cross-fire of rapid repartee as they quickly filled the orange-cases, were a party of children, whose business it was to prepare the husks for the men, who used them in packing. These youngsters, who were playing at their work like the children of a larger growth that sat by their side, were with much difficulty kept in order b an elderly man, who shook his head and a long o: whenever they flagged or idled. + +
A quantity of the leaves being heaped together near the packers, the operation began. A child handed to a workman who squatted by the heap of fruit a prepared husk; this was rapidly snatched from the child, wrapped round the orange by an intermediate workman, passed by the feeder to the next, who (sitting with the chest between his legs) placed it in the orange-box with amazing rapidity, took a second, and a third, and a fourth as fast as his hands could move and the feeders could supply him, until at length the chest was filled to overflowing, and was ready to be nailed up. Two men then handed it to the carpenter, who bent over the orange-chest several thin boards, secured them with the willow band, pressed it with his naked foot as he sawed off the ragged ends of the boards, and finally despatched it to the ass which stood ready for lading. Two chests were slung across his back by means of cords crossed in a figure of eight; both were well secured by straps under his belly, the driver took his goad, pricked his beast, and uttering the never-ending cry ‘Sackaaio,' trudged off to the town.
The orange-trees in this garden cover the sides of a glen or ravine, like that of the Dargle, but somewhat less steep; they are of some age, and have lost the stiff clumpy form of the younger trees. Some idea of the rich beauty of the scene may be formed by imagining the trees of the Dargle to be magnificent shrubs loaded with orange fruit, and mixed with lofty arbutuses—
Groves whose rich fruit, burnished with golden rind,
In one part scores of children were scattered among the branches, gathering fruit into small baskets, hallooing, laughing, practically joking, and finally emptying their gatherings into the larger baskets underneath the trees, which, when filled, were slowly borne away to the packing-place, and bowled out upon the great heap. Many large orange-trees on the steep sides of the glen lay on the ground uprooted, either from their load of fruit, the high winds, or the weight of the boys, four, five, and even six of whom will climb the branches at the same time; and as the soil is very light, and the roots are superficial (and the fall of a tree perhaps not unamusing), down the trees come. They are allowed to lie where they fall; and those which had evidently fallen many years ago were still alive, and bearing good crops. The oranges are not ripe until March or April, nor are they eaten generally by the people here until that time—the boys, however, that pick them are marked exceptions. The young children of Villa Franca are now almost universally of a yellow tint, as if saturated with orange juice.
Travels in New Zealand, by ERNEST DIEFFENBAch, M.D. late naturalist to the New Zealand Company (1843), is a valuable history of an interesting country, destined apparently to transmit the English language, arts, and civilisation. Mr Dieffenbach gives a minute account of the language of New Zealand, of which he compiled a grammar and dictionary. He conceives the native population of New Zealand to be fit to receive the benefits of civilisation, and to amalgamate with the British colonists. At the same time he believes in the practice of cannibalism often imputed to the New Zealanders.
Life in Merico, during a Residence of Two Years in that Country, by MADAME CALDERON DE LA BARCA, an English lady, is full of sketches of domestic life, related with spirit and acuteness. In no other work are we presented with such agreeable glimpses of Mexican life and manners. Letters on Paraguay, and Letters on South America, by J. P. and W. P. Rob ERTson, are the works of two brothers who resided twenty-five years in South America.
The Narrative of the Voyages of H.M.S. Adventure and Beagle (1839), by CAPTAINs KING and FitzRoy, and C. DARwin, Esq. naturalist of the Beagle, detail the various incidents which occurred during their examination of the southern shores of South America, and during the Beagle's circumnavigation of the globe. The account of the Patagonians in this work, and that of the natives of Tierra del Fuego, are both novel and interesting, while the geological details supplied by Mr Darwin possess a permanent value.
Notes on the United States during a Phrenological Visit in 1839–40 have been published by MR GEoRGE CoMBE, in three volumes. Though attaching what is apt to appear an undue importance to his views of phrenology, Mr Combe was a sensible traveller. He paid particular attention to schools and all benevolent institutions, which he has described with care and minuteness. Among the matter-of-fact details and sober disquisitions in this work, we meet with the following romantic story. The author had visited the lunatic asylum at Bloomingdale, where he learned this realisation of Cymon . Iphigenia—finer even than the version of Dry
In the course of conversation, a case was mentioned to me as having occurred in the experience of a highly respectable physician, and which was so fully authenticated, that I entertain no doubt of its truth. The physician alluded to had a patient, a young man, who was almost idiotic from the suppression of all his faculties. He never spoke, and never moved voluntarily, but sat habitually with his hand shading his eyes. The physician sent him to walk as a remedial measure. In the neighbourhood, a beautiful young girl of sixteen lived with her parents, and used to see the young man in his walks, and speak kindly to him. For some time he took no notice of her; but after meeting her for several months, he began to look for her, and to feel disappointed if she did not appear. He became so much interested, that he directed his steps voluntarily to her father's cottage, and gave her bouquets of flowers. By degrees he conversed with her through the window. His mental faculties were roused; the dawn of convalescence appeared. The girl was virtuous, intelligent, and lovely, and encouraged his visits when she was told that she was benefiting his mental health. She asked him if he could read and write He answered, No. She wrote some lines to him to induce him to learn. This had the desired effect. He applied himself to study, and soon wrote good and sensible letters to her. He recovered his reason. She was married to a young man from the neighbouring city. Great fears were entertained that this event would undo the good which she had accomplished. The young patient sustained a severe shock, but his mind did not sink under it. He acquiesced in the propriety of her choice, continued to improve, and at last was restored to his family cured. She had a child, and was soon after brought to the same hospital perfectly insane. The young man heard of this event, and was exceedingly anxious to see her; but an interview was denied to him, both on her account and his own. She died. He continued well, and became an active member of society. What a beautiful romance might be founded on this narrative 1
America, Historical, Statistical, and Descriptire, by J. S. BuckINGHAM, is a vast collection of facts and details, few of them novel or striking, but apparently written with truth and candour. The work fatigues from the multiplicity of its small statements, and the want of general views or animated description. In 1842 the author published two additional volumes, describing his tour in the slave states. These are more interesting, because the ground is less hackneyed, and Mr Buckingham feels strongly, as a benevolent and humane man, on the subject of slavery, that curse of the American soil.
Two remarkable works on Spain have been published by GEong E Borrow, late agent of the British and Foreign Bible Society in Spain. The first of these, in two volumes 12mo, 1841, is entitled The Zincali, or an Account of the Gipsies of Spain. Mr Borrow calculates that there are about forty thousand gipsies in Spain, of which about one-third are to be found in Andalusia. The caste, he says, has diminished of late years. The author's adventures with this singular people are curiously compounded of the ludicrous and romantic, and are presented in the most vivid and dramatic form. Mr Borrow's second work is termed The Bible in Spain, or the Journeys, Adventures, and Imprisonments of an Englishman, in an attempt to circulate the Scriptures in the Peninsula. There are manythings in the book which, as the author acknowledges, have little connexion with religion or religious enterprise. It is, indeed, a series of personal adventures, varied and interesting, with sketches of character and romantic incidents drawn with more power and vivacity than those of most professed novelists.
An account of The Highlands of Ethiopia, by MAJort W. CoRNwa LLIS HARRIs, H. E. I. C. Engineers, three volumes, 1844, also abounds with novel and interesting information. The author was employed to conduct a mission which the British government sent to Sahela Selasse, the king of Shoa, in southern Abyssinia, whose capital, Ankober, was supposed to be about four hundred miles inland from the port of Tajura, on the African coast. The king consented to form a commercial treaty, and Major Harris conceives that a profitable intercourse might be maintained by Great Britain with this productive part of the world.
The Literary Character. The whole of these are now printed in one large volume. In 1841 this author, though labouring under partial blindness, followed up the favourite studies of his youth by another work in three volumes, entitled The Amenities of Literature, consisting, like the Curiosities and Miscellanies, of detached papers and dissertations on literary and historical subjects, written in a pleasant philosophical style, which presents the fruits of antiquarian research and careful study, without their dryness and general want of connexion. In the same style of literary illustration, with more imagination and poetical susceptibility, may be mentioned SIR EGERtoN BRYDGEs, who published the Censura Literaria, 1805-9, in ten volumes; the British Bibliographer, in three volumes; an enlarged edition of Collins's British Peerage; Letters on the Genius of Lord Byron, &c. As principal editor of the Retrospective Review, Sir Egerton Brydges drew public attention to the beauties of many old writers, and extended the feeling of admiration which Charles Lamb, Hazlitt, and others, had awakened for the early masters of the English lyre. In 1835 this veteran author edited an edition of Milton's poetical works in six volumes. A tone of querulous egotism and complaint pervades most of the original works of this author, but his taste and exertions in English literature entitle him to high respect. Joseph Ritson (1752-1803), another zealous literary antiquary and critic, was indefatigable in his labours to illustrate English literature, particularly the neglected ballad strains of the nation. He published in 1783 a valuable collection of English songs; in 1790, Ancient Songs, from the Time of Henry III. to the Revolution; in 1792, Pieces of Ancient Popular Poetry; in 1794, A Collection of Scottish Songs; in 1795, A Collection of all the Ancient Poems, &c. Relating to Robin Hood, &c. Ritson was a faithful and acute editor, profoundly versed in literary antiquities, but of a jealous irritable temper, which kept him in a state of constant warfare with his brother collectors. He was in diet a strict Pythagorean, and wrote a treatise against the use of animal food. Sir Walter Scott, writing to his friend
more. All his vegetable soups and puddings have not been able to avert the evil day, which, I understand, was preceded by madness.’ Scott has borne
Mr Ellis in 1803, remarks—“Poor Ritson is no
ample testimony to the merits of this unhappy |
gleaner in the by-paths of literature.
The Illustrations of Shakspeare, published in 1807 |
by MR FRANCIs Douce, and the British Monachism,
1802, and Encyclopædia of Antiquities, 1824, by |
the REv. T. D. FosbBookE, are works of great research and value as repositories of curious information. Works of this kind illustrate the pages of our poets and historians, besides conveying pictures of national manners now faded into oblivion. A taste for natural history gained ground about the same time with this study of antiquities. Thoxias PENNANT (1726-1798), by the publication of his works on zoology, and his Tours in Scotland, excited public curiosity; and in 1789 the Rev. GILBERT WHITE (1720-1793) published a series of letters addressed by him to Pennant and Daines Barring- | ton, descriptive of the natural objects and appearances of the parish of Selborne in Hampshire. White was rector of this parish, and had spent in it the greater part of his life, engaged in literary occupations and the study of nature. His minute and interesting facts, the entire devotion of the amiable author to his subject, and the ea y elegance and simplicity of his style, render White's history a universal favourite—something like Izaak Walton's book on angling, which all admire. and hundreds | have endeavoured to copy. The retired naturalist was too full of facts and observations to have room for sentimental writing, yet in sentences like the following (however humble be the theme), we may trace no common power of picturesque painting:—
The evening proceedings and manoeuvres of the rooks are curious and amusing in the autumn. Just before dusk they return in long strings from the foraging of the day, and rendezvous by thousands over Selborne-down, where they wheel round in the air, and sport and dive in a playful manner, all the while exerting their voices, and making a loud cawing, which, being blended and softened by the distance that we at the village are below them, becomes a confused noise or chiding; or rather a pleasing murmur, very engaging to the imagination, and not unlike the cry of a pack of hounds in hollow echoing
woods, or the rushing of the wind in tall trees, or the
tumbling of the tide upon a pebbly shore. When this ceremony is over, with the last gleam of day they retire for the night to the deep beechen woods of Tisted and Ropley. We remember a little girl, who, as she was going to bed, used to remark on such an occurrence, in the true spirit of physico-theology, that the rooks were saying their prayers; and yet this child was much too young to be aware that the Scriptures have said of the Deity—that “he feedeth the ravens who call upon him.’
The migration of the swallows, the instincts of animals, the blossoming of flowers and plants, and the humblest phenomena of ever-changing nature, are recorded by Gilbert White in the same earnest and unassuming manner.
REV. WILLIAM GILPIN–SIR UVEDALE PRICE.
Among works on the subject of taste and beauty, in which philosophical analysis and metaphysics are happily blended with the graces of refined thought and composition, a high place must be assigned to the writings of the REv. WILLIAM GILPIN (1724-1804) and SIR UvedaLE PRICE. The former was author of Remarks on Forest Scenery, and Observations on Picturesque Beauty, as connected with the English lakes and the Scottish Highlands. As vicar of Boldre, in the New Forest, Hampshire, Mr Gilpin was familiar with the characteristics of
forest scenery, and his work on this subject (1791)
chilling metaphysics of the schools.’
is equally pleasing and profound—a storehouse of images and illustrations of external nature, remarkable for their fidelity and beauty, and an analysis ‘patient and comprehensive, with no feature of the His “Remarks on Forest Scenery' consist of a description of the various kinds of trees. “It is no exaggerated praise,’ he says, “to call a tree the grandest and most beautiful of all the productions of the earth. In the former of these epithets nothing contends with it, for we consider rocks and mountains as part of the earth itself. And though among inferior plants, shrubs, and flowers, there is great beauty, yet when we consider that these minuter productions are chiefly beautiful as individuals, and are not adapted to form the arrangement of composition in landscape, nor to receive the effect of light and shade, they must give place in point of beauty—of picturesque beauty at least—to the form, and foliage, and ramification of the tree. Thus the splendid tints of the insect, however beautiful, must yield to the elegance and proportion of animals which range in a higher class.’ Having described trees as individuals, he considers them under their various combinations, as clumps, park scenery, the copse, glen, grove, the forest, &c. Their permanent and incidental beauties in storm and sunshine, and through
all the seasons, are afterwards delineated in the choicest language, and with frequent illustration from the kindred pages of the poets; and the work concludes with an account of the English forests and their accompaniments—lawns, heaths, forest distances, and sea-coast views; with their proper appendages, as wild horses, deer, eagles, and other picturesque inhabitants. As a specimen of Gilpin's manner (though a very inadequate one), we subjoin his account of the effects of the sun, “an illustrious family of tints,’ as fertile sources of incidental beauty among the woods of the forest:
[Sunrise and Sunset in the Woods.]
The first dawn of day exhibits a beautiful obscurity. When the east begins just to brighten with the reflections only of effulgence, a pleasing progressive light, dubious and amusing, is thrown over the face of things. A single ray is able to assist the picturesque eye, which by such slender aid creates a thousand imaginary forms, if the scene be unknown, and as the light steals gradually on, is amused by correcting its vague ideas by the real objects. What in the confusion of twilight perhaps seemed a stretch of rising ground, broken into various parts, becomes now vast masses of wood and an extent of forest.
As the sun begins to appear above the horizon, another change takes place. . What was before only form, being now enlightened, begins to receive effect. This effect depends on two circumstances—the catching lights which touch the summits of every object, and the mistiness in which the rising orb is commonly enveloped.
The effect is often pleasing when the sun rises in unsullied brightness, diffusing its ruddy light over the upper parts of objects, which is contrasted by the deeper shadows below; yet the effect is then only transcendent when he rises accompanied by a train of vapours in a misty atmosphere. Among lakes and mountains this happy accompaniment often forms the most astonishing visions, and yet in the forest it is nearly as great. With what delightful effect do we sometimes see the sun's disk just appear above a woody hill, or, in Shakspeare's language,
Stand tiptoe on the misty mountain's top,
and dart his diverging rays through the rising vapour. The radiance, catching the tops of the trees as they hang midway upon the shaggy steep, and touching here and there a few other prominent objects, imperceptibly mixes its ruddy tint with the surrounding mists, setting on fire, as it were, their upper parts, while their lower skirts are lost in a dark mass of varied confusion, in which trees, and ground, and radiance, and obscurity are all blended together. When the eye is fortunate enough to catch the glowing instant (for it is always a vanishing scene), it furnishes an idea worth treasuring among the choicest appearances of nature. Mistiness alone, we have observed, occasions a confusion in objects which is often picturesque; but the glory of the vision depends on the glowing lights which are mingled with it. Landscape painters, in general, pay too little attention to the discriminations of morning and evening. We are often at a loss to distinguish in pictures the rising from the setting sun, though their characters are very different both in the lights and shadows. The ruddy lights, indeed, of the evening are more easily distinguished, but it is not perhaps always sufficiently observed that the shadows of the evening are much less opaque than those of the morning. They may be brightened perhaps by the numberless rays floating in the atmosphere, which are incessantly reverberated in every direction, and may continue in action after the sun is set; whereas in the morning the rays of the receding day having subsided, no object receives any ight but from the immediate lustre of the sun. Whatever becomes of the theory, the fact I believe is well ascertained. The incidental beauties which the meridian sun exhibits are much fewer than those of the rising sun. In summer, when he rides high at noon, and sheds his perpendicular ray, all is illumination; there is no shadow to balance such a glare of light, no contrast to oppose it. The judicious artist, therefore, rarely represents his objects under a vertical sun. And yet no species of landscape bears it so well as the scenes of the forest. The tuftings of the trees, the recesses among them, and the lighter foliage hanging over the darker, may all have an effect under a meridian sun. I speak chiefly, however, of the internal scenes of the forest, which bear such total brightness better than any other, as in them there is generally a natural gloom to balance it. The light obstructed by close intervening trees will rarely predominate; hence the effect is often fine. A strong sunshine striking a wood through some fortunate chasm, and reposing on the tuftings of a clump, just removed from the eye, and strengthened by the deep shadows of the trees behind, appears to great advantage; especially if some noble tree, standing on the foreground in deep shadow, flings athwart the sky its dark branches, here and there illumined with a splendid touch of light. In an open country, the most fortunate circumstance that attends a meridian sun is cloudy weather, which occasions partial lights. Then it is that the distant forest scene is spread with lengthened gleams, while the other parts of the landscape are in shadow; the tuftings of trees are particularly adapted to catch this effect with advantage; there is a richness in them from the strong opposition of light and shade, which is wonderfully fine. A distant forest thus illumined wants only a foreground to make it highly }. As the sun descends, the effect of its illumination becomes stronger. It is a doubt whether the rising or the setting sun is more picturesque. The great beauty of both depends on the contrast between splendour and obscurity. But this contrast is produced by these different incidents in different ways. The grandest effects of the rising sun are produced by the vapours which envelope it—the setting sun rests its glory on the gloom which often accompanies its parting rays. A depth of shadow hanging over the eastern hemisphere gives the beams of the setting sun such powerful effect, that although in fact they are by no means equal to the splendour of a meridian sun, yet through force of contrast they appear superior. A distant forest scene under this brightened gloom is particularly rich, and glows with double splendour. The verdure of the summer leaf, and the varied tints of the autumnal one, are all lighted up with the most resplendent colours. The internal parts of the forest are not so happily disposed to catch the effects of a setting sun. The meridian ray, we have seen, may dart through the openings at the top, and produce a picture, but the flanks of the forest are generally too well guarded against its horizontal beams. Sometimes a recess fronting the west may receive a beautiful light, spreading in a lengthened gleam amidst the gloom of the woods which surround it; but this can only be had in the outskirts of the forest. Sometimes also we find in its internal parts, though hardly in its deep recesses, splendid lights here and there catching the foliage, which though in nature generally too scattered to produce an effect, yet, if judiciously collected, may be beautiful on canvass. We sometimes also see in a woody scene coruscations like a bright star, occasioned by a sunbeam darting through an eyelet hole among the leaves.
Many painters, and especially Rubens, have been fond
of introducing this radiant spot in their landscapes. But in painting, it is one of those trifles which produces no effect, nor can this radiance be given. In poetry, indeed, it may produce a pleasing image. Shakspeare hath introduced it beautifully, where, speaking of the force of truth entering a guilty conscience, he compares it to the sun, which
Fires the proud tops of the eastern pines, And darts his light through every guilty hole.
It is one of those circumstances which poetry may offer to the imagination, but the pencil cannot well produce to the eye.
The Essays on the Picturesque, by Sir Uvedale
Price, were designed by their accomplished author
to explain and enforce the reasons for studying the
works of eminent landscape painters, and the principles of their art, with a view to the improvement of real scenery, and to promote the cultivation of what has been termed landscape gardening. examined the leading features of modern gardening, in its more extended sense, on the general principles of painting, and showed how much the character of the picturesque has been neglected, or sacrificed to a false idea of beauty. The best edition of these essays, improved by the author, is that of 1810; but Sir Thomas Dick Lauder has published editions of both Gilpin and Price—the latter a very handsome volume, 1842—with a great deal of additional matter. Besides his ‘Essays on the Picturesque." Sir Uvedale has written essays on artificial water, on house decorations, architecture, and buildi
all branches of his original subject, and treated with the same taste and elegance. The theory of the author is, that the picturesque in nature has a cha
racter separate from the sublime and the beautiful;
and in enforcing and maintaining this, he attacked the style of ornamental gardening which Mason the poet had recommended, and Kent and Brown, the great landscape improvers, had reduced to practice.
Some of Price's positions have been overturned by
Dugald Stewart in his Philosophical Essays; but the exquisite beauty of his descriptions must ever render his work interesting, independently altogether of its metaphysical or philosophical distinctions. His criticism of painters and paintings is equally able and discriminating; and by his works we consider Sir Uvedale Price has been highly instrumental in diffusing those just sentiments on matters of taste, and that improved style of landscape gardening, which so eminently distinguish the English aristocracy of the present times.
WILLIAM Cobbet. T.
WILLIAM Cobb ETT (1762-1835), by his Rural Rides, his Cottage Economy, his works on America, and various parts of his Political Register, is justly entitled to be remembered among the miscellaneous writers of England. He was a native of Farnham in Surrey, and brought up as an agricultural labourer. He afterwards served as a soldier in British America, and rose to be sergeant-major. He first attracted notice as a political writer by publishing a series of pamphlets under the name of Peter Porcupine. . He was then a decided loyalist and high churchman; but having, as is supposed, received some slight from Mr Pitt, he attacked his ministry with great bitterness in his Register. After the passing of the Reform Bill, he was returned to parliament for the borough of Oldham, but he was not successful as a public speaker. He was apparently destitute of the faculty of generalising his information and details, and evolving from them