Imatges de pÓgina

formation. We must find room, however, for a short extract from Mr. Fazakerley's * journey from Cairo to Mount Sinai, which tends to elucidate a question in natural history as to the distinct races of the camel and the dromedary, on which Buffon, Gibbon, and other writers, seem to have been essentially mistaken.

· I cannot quite satisfy myself about these two animals. Camels are generally said to have two humps on the back, and the dromedary but one; in this country, however, there are none with two humps, and the natives use " camel” and “ dromedary” without reference to any distinction between them but to their comparative size and lightness; a dromedary here bearing the same relation to a camel, that with us a hunter does to a race-horse. In the Northern parts of Asia near the Caspian, and in the Crimea, as well as towards Constantinople, there is, I believe, a breed of camels with two humps; but here, as well as in Egypt, the slow camels that march with heavy loads, and the dromedaries used for purposes of expedition, have neither of them more than one hump. The camel and the dromedary breed together, and it is difficult in their mixed progeny, to say, to which tribe an individual should belong. “ Camel" is occasionally used as a generic term to express all animals of this description. “ Dromedary" is always used to denote a particular class.'

To this passage, the following quotation from the Fauna Orientalis of Forskal, is subjoined by the Editor, and it throws too strong a light over this physical problem, to be omitted.

"" Camelus vulgaris. Djammel. Animal natam ad tolerandos labores et incommoda orbis meridionalis. Os et gingivæ mirâ cartalagine inductæ ne noceant spinæ plantarum deserti, quæ omnes fere armatæ sunt, quasque cetera animalia horrent; quarum vero belluo camelus est. Dromedarius. Hadgin. A camelo non specie, sed propagatione variat; corpore apto et gracili. Cursu equo citatior. Bactrianus. Bócht. Gibbo dorsi duplice. Eroticus, et proceribus tantum inter animalia rariora reservatus.Common Camel. Djammel. An animal framed for labour and to sustain the inconveniences of Southern climates. His mouth and lips are covered with a thick cartilage, to protect them from the plants of the desert, which are for the most part prickly. Dromedary. Hadgin. Varies from the camel, not in species, but in breed; of a light and slender frame, and quicker than the horse. Bócht. Has two humps on his back. An erotic animal, and kept only amongst other rare animals for persons of consequence.'

Mr. Wilkins has communicated to Mr. Walpole's collection, an ingenious dissertation on the Sculptures of the Parthenon. Our article has already reached a somewhat unusual length; but every topic that relates to the noblest monuments of buman genius, has so awakening an interest, that we should not do justice to ourselves, were we hastily or frigidly to dismiss it. The

* M, P, for Lincoln.

Elgin Marbles, as they are called, (we do not enter into the question of their acquisition,) constituie a school of sculpture, of which the models, though ibey, appear little better than mutilated and shapeless fragments, are the most exquisite that have in any period adorned this department of art. It was under the creative bands of Phidias and the protection of Pericles, that sculpture started at once to life and maturity. Of that great artist, the reputation bad bitherto rested on the slender notices of, bistorians. It was reserved to our own time and country, to. have his genius embodied in actual specimens before our eyes, to confirm the truth of history, and to prove, that the revolution of twenty centuries has not only added nothing to this beautiful art, but that even its most triumphant efforts in later times, bave been vain aspirations after an excellence which has perpetually eluded. pursuit; an excellence, the exclusive boast and glory of that splendid era.

Such being our impressions, we cannot suppress our regret at observing, that Mr. Wilkins begins bis disquisition with a remark which considerably derogates from the transcendent merit of these beautiful remains. We were aware, indeed, that this gentleman, in bis evidence, before the Committee of the House of Commons, had unluckily adopted an hypothesis, of which we had hoped that Mr. Payne Knight, who first started it, would remain the exclusive proprietor ; that Phidias never worked in stove, and consequently, that the sculptures lately in the Parthenon, and now, transferred to England, were the work of ipferior artists and assistants. But this extraordinary potion bas been so triumpbantly refuted by M. Visconti *, that we can hardly persuade ourselves that Mr. Wilkins still adheres to it. Yet, what conclusion are we to draw from the position with which he begins bis paper ?—that the sligbt notice taken by Pausanias of the sculptures of the two pediments of the Partbenon, justifies the inference, that, however estimable they

appear in the eyes of modern criticism, they excited no strong ! sensation in the inind of the writer accustomed to the contem

plation of works of higher pretensions.' We concede, however, to Mr. Wilkins, that it is somewhat singular, that so minute a chronicler as Pausanias generally was of these watters, should bave made so slight a mention of the great ornaments of the Parthenon. Tbere might, in our opinion, be various reasons for this circumstance.

The very celebrity of the great works of the Parthenon, which every successive traveller had described, which every person who had sojourned in Athens had seen, and of

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* “ Lettre du Chev. Canova, et deux Memoires lus à l'Institut Royal de France, sur les Ouvrages de Sculpture, &c. &c. &c. Par le Chev. Viconti." Londres, 1818.

which there were, to doubt, already in existence when Pausanias travelled, delineations even to satiety, might in all probability induce that laborious geographer to satisfy himself with an abbreviated account of the Parthenon. It is a common circumstance with writers, to forget that it is a part of their duty to supply posterity with materials for history, and that matters of vulgar notoriety in their own age, become in the progression of time, dark and obscure. But if the seholars and assistants of Callicrates and Ictinus, to whom Mr. Payne Kniglit attributes these miracles of art, were the sculptors of the Parthenon, that faet, by reason of its minuteness and particularity, is not likely to have been passed unnoticed by Pausanias. The well known fact, that they were the chef d'awores of Phidias and bis most distinguished disciples, precisely by reason of its generality, such a writer would think it superfluous to record. We are, indeed, by no means prepared to assert, that these stupendous works were all executed by the hand of that great master. Considering their number and magnitude, it is scarcely possible that a single artist should have had a greater share in the ornamental parts of the temple, than that of designing them and superintending their execution. But with these admissions, there remains ample reason to infer that they are as much the works of Phidias, as any great mass of sculpture could be said to be the work of a single artist. It is well known, that Alcamenes, the ablest scholar of Phidias, executed the pediments of the temple of Jupiter at Elis, and that they were touched by the Promethean liand of his master. A similar presumption with regard to the works of the Parthenon, is by no means irrational.

But we have better testimony; the applause of the senses, echoed by the heart. Who is there, that has seen those exquisite forms of ideal beauty, forming as it were a mystic chain that unites the external world to the world of imagination and intelJect; who is there, that can contemplate the life, the activity, the grace expanded over the matchless representation of the Panathenaid Procession, and breathing in every figure of its diversified groupes, without the highest species of intellectual gratification? Even the mutilated and imperfect figures of the T'heseus and Ilyssus, destitute as they are of that personal character which delights and interests us in the Apollo or the Laocoon, and therefore less calculated to awake moral associations, than those statues, where the design of the artist is so visibly displayed ;-even these models bespeak the elevation of the genius by which they were imagined, and attest the sovereignty of the hand by which they were fashioned in a language sufficiently intelligible to all who pretend to purity of taste or accuraoy of judgeinent.

Upon the remaining parts of Mr. Wilkius's dissertation, we unbesitatingly pronounce a less qualified panegyric. Pausanias says, that the pediment of the front or edifice represented the birth of Minerva ; and that of the back, the contest of Minerva

and Neptune for Attica.' The Acropolis being entered from the West, and the East end of the temple having been from a comparatively early modern period built round with Turkishi houses, it happened that travellers mistook the west for the front, and the east for the back (oro); and they applied, therefore, what Pausanias bad said of the one, to the other. Having once adopted this error, they persevered in adapting to it the groupes of the several pediments; in short, torturing the birth of Minerva into the contest for Attica. Mr. Wilkins has ably exposed the glaring absurdities of Wheler and Spon, too iinplicitly followed by Chandler and Stuart on this subject. For ourselves, We had already received our impressions relative to this singular question, from the able work of Viconti ; but the reasonings of Mr. Wilkins are learned and ingenious, and we refer the general reader or the virtuoso to his paper, which well deserves the place assigned to it in Mr. Walpole's valuable miscellany.

Art. IV. Remarks on the Present State of Ireland ; with Hints for

ameliorating the Condition, and promoting the Education and Moral Improvement of the Peasantry of that Country. By Robert

Steven. 8vo. pp. 90. London. 1822. IR RELAND already lies under important obligations to the phi

lanthropic Author of this forcible appeal on the subject of her present critical situation. His inquiry into the abuses of the Chartered Schools, * was the means of bringing to light the most flagrant delinquencies, while it afforded a fresh illustration of the mismanagement which, as by a fatality, has hitherto ąttached to the administration of all Irish affairs. At that period, the Hibernian Society, of which this gentleman is a zealous and most effective member, had but very recently been instituted. Tbe importance of its achievements even then, however, was such as to present a most striking contrast to the inefficiency of the Chartered Society, and to awake the most pleasing anticipations as to the results of its progressive exertions.

The present publication is a report of the present moral and social condition of the Island, drawn up from personal observation during a residence of many months, which were entirely devoted to the objects of benevolence. These objects were more particularly, • to examine the schools connected with the London Hibernian Society, and others, as they came in my way ; to promote an in

* See Eclectic Review, N. S. Vol. IX. p. 119.

Creased circulation of the Holy Scriptures ; and to endeavour to awaken a greater interest among the resident nobility, clergy, and Sentry of that country, in favour of the education of the poor. Inthis service, I visited nearly four fifths of the counties of Ireland, and spent the whole of the summer and autumn of 1821.'

It will, probably, awake surprise, that the general cast of the pamphlet is comparatively pleasing and encouraging. At a time ihat the daily papers are filled with details of outrages and insurrections in Ireland, when a vulgar and besotted party-spirit is found still reigning in its capital, and when bigotry has just been celebrating the secession of two archbishops from the Hibernian Bible Society as a glorious event in the annals of the Irish Establishment,*-it is a most agreeable relief to turn to some of the statements contained in these pages.

With regard to the political disorders of this ill-fated country, the tumult and insurrection of which we bear, though serious and justly alarming, are, as might be expected, partial and re. ferrible to no mysterious or equivocal origin. That they mainly arise from distress, will not be denied by any person acquainted with the real state of Ireland. The state of the country is, indeed, becoming in this respect so: critical, that the Writer lias felt justified in addressing himself in the strongest language to the Absentee landlords, at whose door much of the evil must be laid. The late visit of Royalty has proved far from a solid benefit. It has swelled the Customs and the Excise returns for the year; but it has done this at the expense of a year's incoine lo some of the poorer gentry; nor will the money squandered at. Dublin ever find its way to that class among whom its circulation, would diffuse prosperity.

• I lament,' says Mr. Steven, the foul stains which are cast on Ire.' Jand, by the barbarous murders and excesses which have been per. petrated of late, and I shall rejoice in seeing order restored to ibat unhappy country. But, unless there is a change of system, it is in vain to expect it. There is a crisis, beyond which suffering cannot pass without danger. That crisis, I fear, the Sister Ísland has reached. In a country circumstanced as Ireland is, groaning under a heavy load of grievances, whatever produces a local irritation on the minds, of the poor, is in danger, even after the evil complained of is remov

* See the British Critic and the Christian Remembrancer of December 1. It was attempted to make it generally believed, that the British and Foreign Bible Society had been deserted by some of its episcopal patrons. The fact is, that the seceding primates were never in any way connected with that society : that the Hibernian Bible' Society is not, strictly speaking, an auxiliary to the English institution; and that the two archbishops who have so long patronised thelatter (Cashel and Tuan), remain its firm friends.

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