Imatges de pàgina

on a new canvas, to paint the portrait of Caliban. A rude draught of a man, the poetical image of an ape.

And be it said in passing, I see but one barrier between the two species, and that is the excessive and perpetual mobility of the ape's ideas ; it seems as if nature had found no way but this to keep him in subjection to us, and that she purposely assails him with a thousand changeful impressions, to hinder him from turning his lively and supple intelligence to any account.

Verily, to keep him from reflecting, from rising higher, she employs a still surer method, namely, to make him even as you are, an imitator ! Now Randal knew well that the ape is not the only one whom that hinders from becoming a man; he thought that a painter ought not to copy nature even, but in so far as seems good to him, that art is the true master, and the other subject to it.

However, he scrupulously copied the ape Caliban. Art is feeble, when it does not exaggerate; but this time he had only to imitate; imagination could find nothing more striking, more fantastic. That face so restless, so expressively grimaceful, on a body which, by a singularity rarely to be found in that turbulent brood, had acquired, I know not where, habits of repose, and, as it were, of gravity ; an ape visage with the deportment of a philosopher; what a precious contrast! Happy chance for a painter !

Our's, accordingly, made a fine thing of it. Every work of art is fine, when it evinces energy and originality in its author ; art is a revelation, and I seek not less in a picture to know the man, than to enjoy his work. This time, Randal experienced (noble effusion of the artist) that the subject was nothing for him, and, as those who, in an imperfect language, express strong and original thoughts, so he transmitted to the eyes, across the deformities of an ape, the expression of a powerful and original genius.

The chief difficulty was, to put the sitter in position; Randal placed himself before him in the attitude which he wished him to take. Caliban understood quite well, and faithfully repeated the posture : but, when he had kept it some time, he required that Randal should take it in his turn. When, after two or three sittings, his portrait was completed, the ape paid no great attention to it: he had already seen himself in a glass; he thought this was one, and took to counterfeiting the satisfied airs of the painter, well-pleased with his work. Good caricature of the selfcomplaisant artist.

This singular portrait was in fine exhibited. It proved striking by an impress of wild spirit, which suited the general effect of the work and its first impression on you, to the character of the original. The abrupt bold touch, the wondrous posture, the design at once firm and easy, every thing, even to the capricious distribution of the light and shadows, accorded happily with the nature of the original.

Caliban was represented slightly bent, and suspended, as it were, on a long stick, which his uplifted arms held aloft along his left side ; one of his legs wound itself at the bottom, like a vine-tendril round its prop. His face showed itself projected between his arms; and, retaining the light for those vivid and fantastic tints which tatooed it like the face of a savage, it shone out amidst the sombre and vigorous hue spread over the body of the ape. It reminded you of those brilliant colours that sparkle on the surface of a palette browned by long use.

But what was captivating for the eye at first view, did not divert it from seeking and seizing in the features of Caliban that expression of almost convulsive life, and alert intelligence, that air of savage and defiant mockery, of curious malignity, and unquiet disdain, which make the ape rival of all that is strangest, most vivacious, and most mischievous in the madman. Faithful to his original, the painter had concentrated in that face the whole ape-nature, half-perverse, half-foolish : and Shakspere, if he had seen that whimsical and wicked face, grimacing on a ground of details fantastic as itself, would have recognised in it some features of his other Caliban.

In brief, nobody had taken heed of the young artist's other works, which nevertheless revealed a true talent. The crowd did, however, gather round the image of the ape; for the crowd is first struck by what is singular, and relishes original men long before the critics, whom novelty affrights and disconcerts. These were not more just towards Randal than heretofore; but, thanks to the sovereignty of the people, from that day was to be dated for him a real and extensive success. Whereupon he fell to thinking that glory and fortune are sometimes singular in their ways, and that it was amusing how an ape should have been caught in America, expressly for the good of a poor artist whom it had made wish himself at the devil.

To artists that happens often : but Randal supported thereafter, with patience, all the freaks of Caliban, who had become, at a large price, his property, his messmate. Besides, it was only to him that Caliban took. He had attached himself to the young painter, preserving all along his independence of character; for he was actually his friend. Now this character of Caliban's distinguished him among his fellows no less by his own altogether original humour, than by the excess of that common to all the kind.

Accordingly, what fine pranks might I not recount! were it but his ape-quarrels with the ancient dame who took charge of the artist's household. Caliban played her all the tricks he could think of-tricks more than I could tell. When he passed a day without mischief done her, he regarded it as a day lost. Once looking in the pot, where she reckoned on finding her favourite meat, she drew forth (O fury of an old woman!) only the feathered fragments of a magpie, worthy fosterchild of her ancient self: it was Caliban, who, plagued with its babbling, and finding it wrong so to ape the human voice, had plunged the magpie into the vessel, holding down the lid with his foot. Crouched underneath the cage of the victim, he laughed in silence over the duenna's imprecations, then, per force, clasped her in his arms.

There were, also, many grotesque scenes between Caliban and the models that Randal employed. Randal's exaggerated shapes were nothing to the inventions of the ape ; the advantage was always on the ape's side : his gravity alone was proof against the tricks which came into his head, and we all know there is not a more forcible contrast than the gravity of a buffoon.

His failed him only twice, and it is with that that I will conclude. One time was when Randal amused himself in procuring an interview between Caliban and that extraordinary mimic, whom we have seen so well ape the ape. Caliban was not to be deceived : he let the other dislocate himself as much as he pleased; and when he saw that he seemed desirous of vieing with him, suddenly he became again the man-of-thewoods, writhing like a serpent, bounding like a bird : the hardiest swimmer would not have dared to risk himself in the flood as Caliban did in the air. His springs were so agile, you might have taken him for a veil hanging in the wind, furling, rolling, unfolding itself there. The mimic threw away his mask, and Caliban anew quitted that vivacity as unsuitable in our cities,

This vivacity, in fine, he recovered once again, when Randal took him out, one summer, to pass some time in the country. The air of the woods penetrated even to Caliban. He resumed his nature; then he became horribly sad. Instinct soon triumphed over habit; and one day when Randal went alone to the town, he, on his return, no longer found his friend. All search was vain. But after a time, Randal, walking one evening in the forest which surrounded his habitation, heard suddenly footsteps not far from him in the furze. He stops, looks, believes that he recognises, or, rather, he divines. “Caliban,” he cries, “is it thou ?" He advances. No advance towards him, but, also, no retreat. His heart palpitates, -" But after all,” thought he, stopping, “is he not free?" and he turned. “Adieu, Caliban, adieu ! I will always receive thee well, Caliban, I promise thee. Wilt thou come?”—No movement. Randal resumed his walk. The other listens to him some time, hastening away. His eyes glittered in the copse; then, uttering a feeble cry, he flings himself into the thickest part of the wood. O Liberty ! thou art then more precious than a friend !

Author of " The Judgement of the Flood,The Descent into Hell," &c.


ARGUMENT. The Genius of Peace; Domestic Life-Children of Genius-Benjamin West-Episode of Lucretia (Maria Davidson): Genius in Physic; Browne - CaiusLinacre--Mead- Pringle - Armstrong-Akenside-Harvey-Sydenham— Huxham-Cullen-Hunter-Baillie-Jenner-Physiology : Genius in Law; Valour its offspring ; The Origin of Evil--The Progress of Law and Religion-ChinaIndia and Egypt-Minos-Moses—Britain: Eloquence : Demosthenes-Cicero: Law a Science; Sir William Jones-Mansfield-Romilly: Statesmen ; ChathamBurke-Fox-Pitt - Canning :-Trade and Literature ;— Injustice of the Law relative to Copy-right : Address to Poesy ; Wither-Death-Cibber-Roubiliac, Banks, and Flaxman-Blake-Fuseli-Barry: Genius must be associated with Childlike Simplicity.

No more of War, O Muse! the song pursue.
Peace hath her Genius, and her Pleasures too;
So mighty, so delightful, as to yield
The unwilling warrior, alien from the field,

Of bliss domestic an unwonted sense,
Humble yet holy, noiseless but intense.

Domestic bliss! all charities are thine:
Home is their temple, and the hearth their shrine;
The social board their altar is, where they
To Heaven and Love due sacrifices pay-
For Love inspires, and, as relation grows,
The moral Law in wider circles flows.

Lovel holiest Power! from thee all Order springs,
All forms of being, all degrees of things.
From thee proceed, and to one centre tend,
The names of husband, father, brother, friend-
All civic sympathies commence with thee;
The world thou makest but one great family.

How pleasing, Genius ! in the world of home,
Should be thy presence, when thou deignest to come-
For here the heart might feel, and here be set
Upon its treasures, free from all regret;
Affection mend what Taste might not approve,
Love the sole mentor, the sole critic Love.
Yet oft, alas, the prophet, owned elsewhere,
(Too oft for peace), is felt no prophet here.
But these laments to other harps belong-
Not of thy pains, O Genius! is my song-
And by thy pleasures evermore obscured,
Well may they rest unsung, and be endured.

Thus gentle White in secret proved his art,
And found no refuge-save his mother's heart.
But happier some find in both parents taste,
To know how much by genius they are graced,
And to their child, in aid and counsel, be
thou, and

are to me.
- Thus daring West, by Nature taught alone,
Blest in his parents' love, to boyhood grown,
Stood mid the Sacred Circle to attend
What spirit on that Council might descend :
Then faithful Friends addressed the Boy inspired,
Whom in the Wilderness remote, retired,
Art, with the Cherokee, had visited,
And laid the hand on his devoted head.

- What thoughts were his, then, in that solemn time?
How teemed his heart with feelings, pure, sublime !
Already had that mystic Wind which blows
Even where it lists, and freely comes and goes,
Breathed on his soul high energy sedate,
And taught him what to love, and what to hate ;
Already there the seeds were sown that soon
Expanded into beauty, at life's noon,
When only he had painter's skill to tell,
How Wolfe, while gazed the warrior Indian, fell!

But then most sweetly art thou manifest,
When, Genius! thou inspirest the female breast.

-Thou wert, Lucretia, beautifully fair,
With thy black swimming eye and raven hair ;
Shy of thy beauty, of thy genius shy,
For Merit still consorts with Modesty!
On the precocious spirit of the child,
The Muses in their fatal fondness smiled.
She - lisped in nuinbers" to admiring ears,
Or, mis-suspected, shed indignant tears.
And as she grew, she read at leisure hours,
And gathered honey both from weeds and flowers ;
Or watched the passing storm-clouds one by one,
The fading rainbow and the setting sun.
But while on dreams her fancy loved to muse,
Her anxious heart still paid its filial dues ;
For by her parents fostered and caressed,
It met their wishes ever ere expressed.

How judged the world ? From peril not exempt,
They watched her progress with suppressed contempt.
And Prudence whispered that her parents' part,
Was to restrain, not urge, the love of art.
To love of art what evils still belong!
And chief to one so lovely and so young!
These friendly warnings must her parents hear,
But will not wound therewith Lucretia's ear-
Yet heard by chance, in secret she resigned,
And gave to vacancy her taskless mind,
Employed her hands in household work the more,
And read not, thought not, wrote not, as before,
-But Exercise to minds like her's is health ;
How her's declined her mother saw, by stealth.
-"You have not written lately"—then she wept,
And told the secret she for months had kept.
Thus to her tasks remanded, like a bow
Restrung, returned her vigour; and the glow
Of seeming health once more bemocked her cheek,
And flushed her forehead with a lightning streak.

Fixed in her window for her own delight,
She loved to read, to meditate, and write,
To the wild wind-harp's murmurs, late and long,
And thought she heard a spirit's holy song.
O! Music laid a spell upon her soul,
And, at the twilight hour, possessed it whole,
For then her sister, by her tears reproved,
While silence listened, sang the song she loved.
And thus was fed the fever which consumed
Her nature, while her spirit it illumed.

Smit with the passion for immortal fame,
Athirst for knowledge with a generous flame,
She of the Tree partook, whose fruit was—Death !

-I twine these verses for her funeral wreath. Happy! ere seventeen summers passed away, Transformed to spirit, and dissolved in day

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