Imatges de pÓgina

us we meet with much real fruit, we nerally, and the word style understood fully as often have our teeth set' on in its most general sense, and not, by edge by a cheat in stone, or an imita- any means, as including those peculi, tion in ice.

arities of rythm or versification which Dryden, to a facility equal to that of are more properly classed under the Cowley, in the exhibition of original denomination of mannerism. That and unexpected turns, has added the criticism, which turns back for models most exquisite judgment in using to the works of the early poets, is certhem. He was the first, and is per- tainly most mistaken. The regions of haps the greatest master of that style poetical simplicity are quickly exhaustof writing poetry which, in reality, is ed, and to expect further discoveries almost as far removed from simplicity there, is to expect them in a country as that of Cowley, but in which, by which has been surveyed and mapped the better adaptation of the materials over and over. Another reason for to the subject, the art of the poet is the gradual dereliction of simplicity in either altogether concealed, or else ren- poetry is that general tendency to abdered pleasing by the very way in stract ideas, which civilization and which it is exerted. The world, to be knowledge are always inducing. sure, had seen the two early pieces of The mind, less and less accustomed Milton, L'Allegro, and Il Penseroso; to details, with difficulty condescends but, before the publication of “ Para to the consideration of simple impresdise Lost,” Dryden had written much, sions, however beautiful and however and well. It remains to select a few new, and finds more excitement in the passages, and first, as an instance of bringing together of ideas which are daring simile admirably adapted to the usually apart, and the generalizing of subject, take these couplets.

sensations which are at first naturally “I call'd thee, Nile; the parallel will stand ;

distinct. This evidently leads to what Thy tides of wealth o'erflow the fatten'd land, is called a metaphysical or artificial Yet monsters from thy large increase we find Engender'd on the slime thou leav'st behind.” style of writing. To use the term,

Medal. artificial,” however, as descriptive of The next would be out of taste in a deviation from some fixed standard any thing but a satire.

of style, is to give it a strictness which “In fireworks give him leave to vent his spite,

it has really never borne. There can Those are the only serpents he can write.' hardly be a general or national artifiAbsalom Achitophel.

cial style, in any reasonable meaning The passages that follow are not a

of the word; nor is there any fixed little Cowleian, excepting in the occa- standard of the natural and familiar. sions of their introduction.

Those thoughts which are now far“ The souls of friends, like kings, in progress are fetched must, as the minds of men beStill in their own, though from the palace far: Thus her friend's heart her country dwelling was, come more accustomed to poetical im- A sweet retirement in a coarser place,

ages and expressions, grow gradually Where pomp and ceremonies entered not, Where greatness was shut out, and business well common. Some of our most familiar forgot.”

Eleanora. phrases, which are now trite and vul“ One I beheld, the fairest of her kind, And still the sweet idea charms my mind;

gar, are, in fact, in their elements, True, she was dumb; for Nature gazed so long, highly figurative and poetical, and Pleas'd with her work, that she forgot her tongue; But smiling said, she still shall gain the prize, probably were at first popular for that I only have transferred it to her eyes.".

very reason.

In short, it would apEpistle to Kneller.

pear, that future adventurers in me “ Dim as the borrowed beams of moon and stars To lonely, weary, wand'ring travellers

taphor will be less and less able than Is reason to the soul; and as on high

their predecessors have been, to leave Those rolling fires discover but the sky, Not light us here; so Reason's glimm'ring ray

behind the idioms of common use, and Was lent not to assure our doubtful way,

that the common place has a perpetual But guide us upward to a better day. And as these nightly tapers disappear

tendency to outstrip the artificial. If When day's bright Lord ascends our hemisphere, the principles of criticism, deducible So pale grow's reason at religion's sight, So dies, and so dissolves in supernatural light.".

from the foregoing, were applied to Religio Laici.

living poets, Mr Moore would perhaps Such is the style of Dryden, the be found too much, and Mr Wordsgreat principle of which has, since his worth too little, addicted to the search time, continued, and probably will of originality of point and metaphor. continue, to be that of all successful This, however, is dangerous ground, English poets. This assertion, how- nor are such comparisons within the ever, must of course be taken quite ge- intention of the present remarks.

PUBLIC BUILDINGS OF EDINBURGH. EDINBURGH is a city of palaces.- architects I cannot comprehend.-All The imposing natural grandeur of her people, whose taste and genius influsituation has excited a kindred spirit ence and lead public opinion, are as in her architects; the dark huge masses well acquainted with the noble edifices of the old town, and the open and airy of Europe, as they are with the works splendour of the new, associate with of Homer and Virgil--and the tables the surrounding magnificence of na- and shelves of architects are loaded ture, and make “mine own romantic and encumbered with drawings of all town” the wonder of Europe. The the buildings Greece or Italy possess.spirit of public improvement is visibly They accumulate there, till native taste abroad, and national taste seeks to as- is terrified at the contemplation-resociate with its pure and impressive buked as the spirit of the Roman Trium. literature the sister productions of vir was under the eye of Cæsar-till oriarchitecture, painting, and sculpture. ginal talent is frightened into servile To accomplish this, we must be pru- imitation and then the nation is desirdently patient-we cannot create are ed to build the columns of Trajan and chitects like soldiers, by a conscrip- Antonine, as beacons to light the way tion-nor rear splendid edifices by for public taste an expensive mode a spell-nor rob Athens to decorate of instruction, sacrificing ready money, Edinburgh, as Constantine did Rome and originality together for the sake to ornament Byzantium; we must of erecting something that means romaintain the same air of originality in thing, unless accompanied with a our buildings which reigns in our lite- spiral supplemental bas-relief, to rerature, and make the one worthy of the present the deeds it is designed to other. I confess, Mr North, I perused, celebrate.--A Trajan's column will apwith some pain, an article in your last pear in Edinburgh, without its sculpNumber, recommending the restoration tural explanations, with as much proof the Parthenon in the national monu- priety as the female quaker appeared ment, and pressing, its reception at naked in the streets of London as a sign great length and with great learning. to the people !-You will observe the But there is no occasion to array a ancients had always an obvious meanline of eminent uames of ancient na ing in their works.-What is the dife tions, and famous edifices--the ques- ference, for it seems your correspondent tion lies at the very surface, and is has discovered there is one, between decided by the natural good taste which building an exact Parthenon, and caris more or less in the bosom of every ving an exact Apollo,- they are both individual.- I love the warm heartede servile plagiarisms-proofs, perhaps, of ness with which your correspondent delicate hands and degenerate heads; presses the matter; I perfectly agree and the carver is as original as the with him concerning the object ; but mason, and the mason as the carver. we differ widely about the means- I should also think a Parthenon in he reasons wisely—but he reasons Scotch freestone, will still be more from wrong principles.

like the original than the English It is asserted, there is a wide-an Homer of Pope or Cowper is like unapproachable difference betwixt li. the illustrious Greek, and millions terature and art; and Homer and Vir- claim their acquaintance with the digil are pointed out as the well-springs vine poet through that medium of poetical genius, at which the muse alone-I for one a much more queshas refreshed herself through all suc- tionable mode of acquaintance than ceeding generations. --But while we contemplating the Parthenon in draware called upon to imitate those im- ings or models, to which I hope the mortal mento do for Scotland what taste of the country will always keep they did for Greece and Rome-hallow it confined.—That Michael Angelo, her deeds and her heroes, we are not who proudly wrote “ Michael, poet, permitted to adapt their verse to our sculptor, and architect;". studied the achievements, and by a mere alter- Grecian buildings I have no doubtation of names, transfer at once the but he was no servile borrower-in eminent poems of the Heathen into his borrowing he shewed the exuberChristian service.—How this privilege ance of his native riches—he did not is denied to poets and conceded to borrow because of abject poverty-he

did not advise a resurrection of the blance between the Acropolis and the Parthenon

nor accurate copies of tri. Calton-hillthey are both rocky ele umphant columnshe had a prouder, vations--overlook two ancient cities-a nobler aim-and he attained it.-" they are both rivers, look you,” says Your correspondent calls the poverty Fluellen, "and there be salmons in of England in superb structures an both." And this unfortunate resem “ extraordinary problem," and seeks blance must be punished by the into solve it, by saying it is from the fliction of a corresponding edifice; and absence of works of art and so it is. something of the same kind of threat How does he suppose Greece obtained is held darkly forth against the rock of her buildings? There was a time, I Stirling. Can you tell me where Phidare say, when she was poor in these dias sought for a precedent in choosing ornaments—but Greece created them his site and what temple he plunfor herself-she was no importer of dered to ornament it? But it seems the architecture of other nations; her we have quarries capable of being lafootsteps can only be traced in Egypt, boured into any forms which archiand that faintly. In Greece and Italy tects may be driven to borrow, and bethe public money was lavished on pubo cause our native rocks have submitted lic edifices—the noblest modern works to every species of imitation which the in Britain are the result of private carver's chisel can accomplish-because subscription-a demand for grandeur Waterloo-place possesses capitals deliwould soon command the attention of cately carved, exactly resembling some genius--but no demand is made-the Athenian antiques, we must have an public offices of the most powerful imitation on a grander scale; we have nation on earth are like brick-stacks, been but puny thieves of porticos and and our proudest palaces are like barns capitals- hitherto despise these petty and barracks.

larcenies--make a bold grasp, and be But it seems this is the golden mo- come the greatest and most unlimited ment to introduce this piece of bor- architectural thieves of the age. But rowed dignity--the only period when then, this will enable Edinburgh to an edifice of precisely the same de have a school of architecture-to bescription, and destined to exactly the come the centre of taste, and the mis. same purpose, as the Parthenon of tress of chaste design--and you canAthens,” can be obtained ; public en- not imagine what wonderful things couragement calls loudly for some- Scottish genius may accomplish, by thing, and must, it seems, be gratified placing a Parthenon before it. It

-must have a stolen morsel put into may teach us to be honest, but we beits mouth till something better can gin basely-it may instruct architects be made ready. Your correspondent in the honourable feeling of the genius calls out, like the cook at Camacho's of one land to another---to abandon wedding to the impatient Sancho, their predatory inroads on broken down “ Here friend, comfort thyself with nations—but it sets a bad example; and this scum till the pot boils ;" but a instead of holding up a wise and salutemple in honour of Minerva is one tary lesson, it will be hailed as a prething, and a monument in honour of cedent, not as a warning; and there Christian glory another. Why not ad- will no end to the importation of vise at once a triumphal arch? a struc. ancient temples, while folly has a ture quite in point-ready madeno pound in her pocket, or Seotland an cost for invention-can, like the Par- acre of rock for a foundation. thenon, be taken, “cut and dry," from Your correspondent, however, conthe architect's portfolio, and will form fesses a kind of lurking suspicion, a grand entrance through which the that, inasmuch as a poem equal in titled men of the south can approach beauty to the Æneid, a statue as peer“old Lady Edinburgh on her throne less as the Apollo, and a work as subof rock.” These were erections which lime as the Principia, might be proages and great names have consecrated; duced in a few years, so might an edibut their time has passed away—they fice be imagined, rivalling the wonders stund memorials of ancient usage and of the Parthenon; but he has far less a Christian people have found out a faith in the genius of architects than better way of acknowledging the prow in the imagination of poets and sculptection of providence. But a traveller, tors and lest some lucky creation of it seems, has discovered some resem- the kind should occur-some gifted VOL. VI.

3 A

architect arise-le calls loudly to "lay great names without being wholly orithe vile clutch of restoration on the ginal. I think there is a French criParthenon," and occupy this classical tic, who proves the Æneid to be a rock-this Caledonian Acropolis, before mere cento from Homer and others, native and original genius can come and yet who denies the charm which modestly forward with her proposal of the great Roman has diffused over that a rival edifice. But Marcus Aurelius tender and beautiful poem? His poem and Trajan repaired to Athens, to the is not an Iliad in a less lofty language, foot of the Acropolis, to do what mil- as your Caledonian Parthenon would lions did, and what millions do, ad- only be a Greek Parthenon, dégraded mire the grandeur of the Parthenon, in a baser material. Eminence in arand to borrow-not the whole edifice, chitecture, according to your correslike our Caledonian admirer-- but con- pondent, can easily be obtained ; there ceptions worthy of the imperial digni- is no need of study to create-no waste ty. This was rational and wise-just of thought wanted ; - he thinks best to the majesty of Rome and the digni- who never thinks at all.” You have ty of Greece; these illustrious men only to put forth your hand and steal did not distrust national taste like-only steal what is valuable, and steal your correspondent, and though ages extensively. Why then, if to be orihad passed away, and universal ad- ginal is a hopeless matter, seek you to miration was warm and unabated, establish a school for architecture, and though the worshippers of Minerva purchase a model for forty thousand still thronged her porch, this admi- pounds ? Acts of depredation may be ration was not seized on as a pre- committed without the extravagance text for transferring the building to of such an establishment. But then, one of the seven hills. But Dante, it' the power of choosing well among seems, and Petrarch, admired the an- the remains of ancient art seems, to cients so much, that they rather sought your correspondent, almost as rare a to restore their works to their original gift as the faculty of original concepsplendour and purity, than publish tion. But a structure decidedly origitheir own productions. Had they li- nal in its conception and detail is not mited their genius to this generous la- desired, perhaps ought not to be exbour, their names would have been si- pected ; yet I should suspect that the lent to-day-they would not have fi Doric order is capable of assuming gured in your correspondent's list of many beautiful arrangements equally eminent men.

And pray, what works sublime and simple as the Parthenon. did they restore ? That they studied No one is called on to invent new orthe ancient poets, there is evidence in ders-much merit lies in making use their works, but they reared perman- of created things in a new and beautient structures of their own; and the ful manner. As an order of architeeture Inferno, as far as I can judge from an may be degraded by applying it to a imperfect translation, is one of the mean purpose or injudiciously, so may most original works that ever issued it be elevated and honoured in being from the mind of man. All that can

dedicated to a noble purpose, and apbe quoted from tale or history—which plied in a masterly and unborrowed poetry can give, or tradition supply- manner. This principle of tasteful sem and all the illustrious names that can lection and judicious admiration of be ranked together, and the example other people's productions I never of eminent nations added to the whole, heard questioned or contradicted till I go only to prove, that one man of ge- saw it in your Miscellany. That an nius admired another, and sought to architect wishes for edifices that cost rival not to plunder him. The want no study, may be natural enough to of variety in the forms and combina- those who are more alive to money tions of architecture is complained of, than fame-who have no noble ambi. and the reproach of copyism endea- tion within them and who think that voured to be mitigated by the assur- the glories of a nation are transferable ance, that originality is a most diffi- things, mere matters to let--and the cult thing--a beanty

of rare emergence plunderer can inherit, with honour and among architects. All that is very renown, the spoils he has snatched. I true, and nothing to the purpose-ori- should as soon think of monopolizing ginality of any kind is a great rarity, the glory of Marathon or Salamis and thousands of men have acquired laying claim at once to the retreat of the ten thousand, as I would to the "Each alley has its brother, fame of the Parthenon; and I am sure " And half the platform just reflects the the world would concede me the first other," as soon as the last. That many build has been felt by every admirer of ings in Edinburgh are copies from the Edinburgh. I certainly think that Greeks shall not serve your correspon- the want of originality in some of the dent's turn, though he is willing buildings which your correspondent enough to forget that, when he is call, mentions, is a great drawback on their ing out for an example one grand ex- fame. But he forgets the fame of ample, to instruct and elevate the gro. Scotland whenever he thinks of the velling intellects of the Caledonian Greeks he loves a Doric portico betarchitects. That the county-hall of ter than he loves his country, and the Edinburgh is copied from the Eryc- dust of Athens, or the cinders of Hertheum of Athens--that something else culaneum have more of his reverence has been stolen from the Temple of than the dust of all the Douglasses. Neptune, and another building, on He considers that the keystone in the which admiration has been lavished, arch of Scottish renown is not in its is a fac simile of the Temple of Ce place till a successful inroad has been res, proves nothing but the unblushing made on the Doric-he contemplates servility of the whole race of architects, former thefts with a rapture he seeks and which nothing can equal but the not to suppress-still his joy is not imprudent fortitude with which the perfect--nobody, has stolen an entire restoration of the Parthenon has been Doric temple-how blind we have proposed and pressed. What copy has been to our own greatness ! To select ever equalled the original ? or what with taste, to single out an object copy is and has any pretension to share worthy of being stolen, is the greatest in the fame of the first maker. Take proof, in his eyes, of good taste and one example among ten thousand-a genius, and as no person has ventured Christ in the Garden, supposed by so fearlessly and far as himself, he many, and asserted by some, to be the hopes to outstrip all former achievedivine work of that name by Corregio, ments, and eclipse all other renown. was sold in London for a prodigious I come now to an important matter, sum ; but when Lord Wellington cap- a view of the Parthenon, which your tured the real Corregio among the correspondent has not taken, or rather baggage of the French at Vittoria, the carefully avoided. Perhaps he prefers false Corregio lost all his lustre, and it plundered of its brightest jewels, and all his value. This glorious achieve- robbed by time and the hand of man of ment of an uninstructed man, who its chief attractions, to what it was in studied in no school save that of nạ its proudest hour, when its pediments ture, and who was indebted to his own and friezes spoke audibly in sculpture hand and head alone for his fame, is as with a tongue, and the divine stanow in Apsley-house, and is worth tue of Minerva seemed by its awful going an hundred miles to see. I am majesty to justify the superstition of sorry, for the sake of your correspon- the Athenians. He has been silent dent, that I cannot name the lucky about the sculpture, without which holder of the copy. In walking through his Parthenon would be a crown deEdinburgh, a person, acquainted with prived of its gems, or a nocturnal other architecture, has his recollection firmament without stars. He exultcontinually exercised, and there is little ingly tells us of the crowds which its time for admiration, in apportioning fame collected, but it never entered to each nation the bits of borrowed his head that the half of their delight lustre which arise before him in all arose from contemplating the matchshapes—from a simple portico to an less sculptures which filled the pedientire edifice. Like Constantine, your ments and the tops, and the exterior correspondent, in the haste to make and interior friezes. All their admihis city great, consents to plunder what ration is set down to the stately Dom he has not leisure to create; the same- ric-but had the friezes been empness of the buildings of Constantinople tied of their historical processions, and has been often censured, and the mo- the pediments of their majestic figures, notony of Prince's-street and George's which represented great and momenstreet, where

tous events the crowds of gazers

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