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injuring the sculpture, we preferred to let it remain, to be excavated by ourselves at some future time, or by some future traveller.” Vol. i.
He thus describes another idol :
“The beard is of a curious fashion, and joined to the moustache and hair. The ears are large, though not resembling nature ; the expression is grand; the mouth partly open, and the eye-balls seem starting from their sockets : the intention of the sculptor seems to have been to excite terror. The feet are ornamented with sandals, probably of the skin of some wild animals, in the fashion of the day. The back of this monument contrasts remarkably with the horrible picture in front. It has nothing grotesque, or pertaining to the rude conceits of Indians, but is noticeable for its extreme grace and beauty. In our daily walks, we often stopped to gaze on it, and the more we gazed, the more it grew upon us. Others seemed intended to inspire terror, and with their altars before them, sometimes suggested the idea of a blind, bigoted, and superstitious people, and sacrifices of human victims. This one always left a pleasing impression; and there was a higher interest, --for we considered, that in its medallion tablets, the people, who reared it, had published a record of themselves, through which we might one day hold conference with a perished race, and unveil the mystery that hung over the city.” Vol. i., p. 152.
The idols and altars are all made of a single block of stone, which was cut out of the neighboring mountains. The quarries may still be seen, at the distance of about two miles from the ruins. The stone is of a 'soft griť. How the huge masses were transported over the irregular and broken surface, between the city and the mountains, cannot now be imagined
“ In many places,” says Mr. Stephens, “were blocks which had been quarried out, and rejected for some defect; and one spot, midway in a ravine leading toward the river, was a gigantic block, much larger than any we saw in the city, which was, probably, on its way thither, to be carved and set up as an ornament, when the labours of the work. men were arrested. It remains, a memorial of human plans baffled.”
It is remarkable, that the ornaments of these idols and altars differ from those of all other countries. Battle scenes, warriors and weapons constitute the chief subjects of the sculptor's art. But here, none such are found. Monkeys, crocodiles and serpents, alone decorate, or rather deform these specimens of sculpture. And this entire absence of all
those scenes of warlike glory, with which even the most refined of ancient, as well as modern nations, delight to deck their public structures, induces us to believe the people of this region to have been mild and inoffensive. So far, no specimen has been found of iron, or indeed of any other metal, -no ornaments to explain the manners and customs, nothing which reveals the history of the daily life of this people. Imagination can people the palaces at Uxmal and Palenque, deserted and waste, with invisible, yet potent spirits. But the living, actual man, as he lived, moved, and had his being, it cannot restore, nor conceive. At Copan, neither palace nor private house survives the ruin of its inhabitants. As the cross, that the traveller of the Appenine meets in his way, marks where some wayfarer fel temple of Copan marks the spot where a rich and great people perished.
The ruins of Palenque and Uxmal deserve a more particular notice than we have given them. But our limits do not allow further notice of these volumes ; indeed, no language can, without the aid of engravings, or other copies, convey adequate and correct ideas of these ruins.
Mr. Stephens is of opinion, that the style of architecture common to these ruins, is indigenous, and not derived from any other people. I set out, says the author, with the proposition that they are not Cyclopean, and do not resemble the works of Greek or Roman ; there is nothing in Europe like them. After having compared these ruins with those of India and Egypt, he can discern no resemblances. The lofty columns, the deep and labyrinthine excavations of the Hindoo architecture are wanting. This is the more remarkable as the surface of the country, abounding in mountainous elevations, seems to invite their construction. All the remains now existing, rise from natural or artificial mounds. They are, in truth, the remains of a people skilled in architecture, sculpture, drawing and, doubtless, other cognate but more perishable arts. These, with the refinement and cultivation inseparable from them, grew up wild and beautiful, without models and without masters, in a land far off from the seats of the ancient kingdoms of the world.
Mr. Stephens attributes the construction of these edifices to the people who inhabited the country at the time of its
invasion by the Spaniards. Either they or their not very distant progenitors reared them. Their present ruin and desolation may have been occasioned by these invaders. It is well known, that in the city of Mexico, every house was razed to the ground, - every temple destroyed, -every fort dismantled,-idols overthrown,--palaces burned, and the people and their princes reduced into common slavery. The mournful lament of the good Las Casas, over the distress and misery of the poor defenceless Indian, will be remembered. The people, and the land, suffered a worse scourge than Heaven, in its anger, ever inflicted.
We understand that Mr. Stephens has returned to Mexico, for the purpose of continuing his researches. We hope that his past success is but the 'happy prologue to the swelling act of the imperial theme,'—the discovery of that mysterious city, seen from the topmost range of the Cordilleras, of unconquered, unvisited, and unsought aboriginal inhabitants.
ART. IX.-CRITICAL NOTICES.
1. — On International Copyright, in a Letter to the Hon. William
C. Preston, Senator of the United States. Suum Cuique. By
It is rather late in the day to notice Professor Lieber's pamphlet, but the importance of the subject, which has not yet been acted upon by our government as it should have been, will justify us, we trust, in the eyes of our readers.
It is scarcely necessary to say, that the author of this pamphlet is not a Professor of Rhetoric and Belles Letters, and that a little more attention to the rules of Blair, and of other elementary works on composition, would make him a better writer than he now is. His style is friged, jejune, angular, thorny and indigestible. His sentences march into the columns they occupy, one after another, like undisciplined militia-men, without grace or order, and arrayed in as checkered a costume as Fallstaff's men on "a training day.' We might par. don those characteristics of style which are inseparable from the constitution of mind and general tone of thinking, if our Professor, who has condescended to enlighten the reading public of England and America on the subject of books and bookmaking, only wrote English, the language he has selected as the vehicle of his speculations. We are sorry, owing to the position he occupies as a Professor in one of our Colleges, that we cannot award to him this measure of literary excellence. We have no doubt that Professor Lieber, since he has been in our country, has used every possible exertion to learn our language, and it is exceedingly unfortunate, as he is ambitious of literary laurels, that he should have failed in the effort, unless he regards as laurels, such phrases as the following: "That law which springs up spontaneously from out the intercourse of the people.' p. 14. We have never heard of a spontaneous law before, and that may account for our ignorance of the fact, that any law springs from out the intercourse of the people. We are not ignorant, however, that the following sentence has more force in it than tasteful embellishment: • Whatever a man righteously or lawfully produces by his own hands, and with his own sweat, is his.” p. 15. This is true. No one can doubt that the pamphlet before us is Professor Lieber's, even though the perspiration might not have stood on his forehead in the course of his elaboration of it. It is righteously' his, and 'lawfully' too, if the law would only give it to him, which, as the law, it seems, has a will of its own, it may be persuaded to do without great reluctance, under the circumstances. *There is no other meaning to the word of owning." p. 16. Of and
owning are two words in our language, the one a preposition, and the other a participle, and to blend them together and make one word of them, is obviously a confounding of the parts of speech. Again : “ If there exists any species of property, not made by government, but existing by its own spontaneous right, and which requires to be acknowledged by way of protection on the part of government, it is literary property.” p. 17. If there exists : It is a rule of grammar,—to say nothing of rhetoric,—that the subjunctive mode should follow the conjunction, if. “If,” then, “ there exist;" but we fancy there does not exist “any species of property existing by its own spontaneous right." It must be first proved, that there is such a thing as a spontaneous right. Where shall we look for it in rerum natura ? Where shall we find it, either in the world or out of it? It is a spontaneous thought, we imagine, of Professor Lieber's genius. If there be a spontaneous right, and a spontaneous law too, as our Professor insists, then let the right and the law, of their own accord, and by their own sovereign will and pleasure, settle this great question about literary property, wherever and when ever they choose to do so. Why trouble the American Congress about the matter? And why perplex the pamphlet buyers in Paternoster Row respecting a thing, in which they have no possible manner of concern ? If law and right are free agents, and will not attend to their duty, let Professor Lieber address his arguments to them ; perhaps they may be convinced; let him touch their consciences; perhaps they may be awakened to a sense of their wrong doings, and, like penitent sinners, may try to do better in future. Again : “Does the author, who asks protection against such injury, claim any thing more but what every human being has a right to claim ?" p. 52. Once more: “Is this a state of things, as two gentlemen would like to exist between them ?" p. 53. We think that is such a sentence as they would not like to utter, in conversation or print, if they had ever read Lowth.
We had sincerely hoped that these, and such like phrases, which occur in the Professor's pamphlet, were typographical blunders, and looked, but in vain, to see them corrected in a table of errata. The pamphlet is printed in the very best style of the American press, and, as far as the mechanical execution is concerned, it could not have been better done. We do not deny that it contains some well written sentences, and even paragraphs, but these, we are compelled to say, are exceptions to the general character of the composition.
Professor Lieber quotes from the Austrian publishers, whom, we suppose, he translated, as follows:
< " The book is no intellectual, independent thing .... it is a piece of manufacture upon paper, with signs of thoughts printed upon it. It contains no thoughts”(sic!); “these must be presumed to be in the head of the intelligent reader.
It is an article of trade, which we obtain for money ; every government, however, has the duty to stem the unavoidable export of national capital,” (here VOL. I.—NO. 1.