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the borrower at the expense of the lender. If the latter had received his interest at the day, he would have made compound interest of course by lending it out again. If he does not receive it punctually he is therefore by so much a loser, and is debarred from all compensation for his loss, while the borrower is by so much a gainer. Thus rewarding the defaulter for breach of faith, iniquity, indolence or negligence, punishing the lender for his forbearance, and holding out to him a continual temptation to hard-heartedness and rigour.

From these and other considerations I think it is abundantly manifest that the law which restricts the rate of interest is no exception to the general maxim which inculcates the impolicy of such legislative interferences; that it does not attain the ends it professes to have in view; that many of these ends are not in themselves desirable; that it does no good but a great deal of positive mischief, and that the thanks of every friend to his country will be justly due to the enlightened and public-spirited statesman, who shall erase from the statute-book this along with many other enactments which have so long discouraged the industry and retarded the prosperity of these islands.




To the Editors of the Northern Star. YOUR readers will before this time have discovered that to me, who profess myself an admirer of the manners and usages of “olden times,” the antiquity of any of our popular customs is a most powerful recommendation for its continuance; either from prejudices of my own creation, or those which I may have imbibed from the peculiar course of studies to which my attention has been directed, I entertain a partiality for the manners and learning of the ancients, which nothing I have yet read or seen has been able to remove. No doubt, as your very able and ingenious correspondent V. F. F. has justly remarked, succeeding generations have made great improvements on the knowledge and discoveries of their predecessors, and so far have certainly the advantage; but these improvements, it must not be forgotten, are in the walks of science and art. If we compare the ethics of ancient and modern times, I am afraid the result of the comparison will not be in our favour. We may equal or excel the worthies of Greece and Rome in elegance of language or brilliancy of elocution, we may be better chemists, more subtile logicians, or more accurate reasoners on the phenomena of nature; but when simplicity of manners, sincerity of professions, and disinterested services are taken into consideration, we shall too often be found lamentably inferior : those warm expressions, those friendly offers of assistance which the actual feelings of generosity once dictated, are now improved (if I may use the term), into unmeaning compliments, which the tongue utters though the heart disowns, and, like many of our customs, are only mutilated copies of their manners whom we profess to have surpassed in all that is great and good. Of this description is the drinking of healths, which though now partially disused, and regarded by many as a mark of rusticity, is one of those relics of antiquity the observance of which, even in its imperfect state, I should be sorry to see entirely abolished.

This custom is constantly alluded to both by Greek and Roman authors: from Plutarch we learn that it was usual for the master of the feast to drink to each of his guests according to their rank, and we also find that the most ancient mode of doing this was to take a full cup of wine, saying at the same time Xaipe, your health, together with some short compliment, he to whom it was addressed drinking the same quantity in return. As in Homer

“ Hail to Achilles ! happy are thy guests,
Not those more honoured whom Atreides feasts."

Iliad, 9th In after times, as Athenæus informs us, it was customary to drink part of a cup to the health of any of the company, sending the remainder to the same person, who returned the compliment by drinking the other half: this seems to approach nearest to the modern form of taking a glass of wine with any friend at table.

They also had the same custom as ourselves of drinking round, the toast or health commencing with the master of the feast and passing from him to his right-hand neighbour; to this Virgil has the following reference in the first Æneid :

“ She sip'd the wine and gave to Bitias'hand:

He rose, obedient to the Queen's command,
At once the thirsty Trojan quaff'd the whole,
Sunk the full gold and drain'd the foaming bowl.
Then thro' the peers, with sparkling nectar crown'd,
The goblet circles, aud the health goes round.”

After the health of all present had been drunk, those of absent friends and others whom they might think worthy of remembrance, were then given, allusions to which are made by various writers: thus Horace calls upon

the brother of Megilla to toast his mistress :

" Instapt let yonder youth impart

The tender story of his beart,
By what dear wound he blisful dies,
And whence the gentle arrow flies.”

Ode 27. lib. 1.
And also in the 19th of the third book -

“ Here's a bumper to midnight; to Lana's first shining;

A third to our friend in his post of diviniug." Numerous other proofs of the antiquity of this custom will occur to such of your readers as are familiar with the classical authors. They will also recollect, amongst other particulars, thật on some occasions it was not uncommon to fill as many bumpers as the name toasted contained letters, an usage which some of the moderns would have less repugnance implicitly to follow, than the ancients had care not to toast any but those whom they really wished well to.

It may not be impertinent to remark that the ancients during their feasts were crowned with flowers, and that a rose was usually placed over the table; the reason for this practice is given in a beautiful epigram, with which I shall conclude these desultory observations, and which I shall be glad to see translated by some of your poetical correspondents.

« Est rosa flos veneris, cujus quò facta laterent,

Harpocrati, Matris dona, dicavit Amor.
Inde rosam mensis hospes suspendit amicis,

Conviva ut sub eå dicta, tacenda sciat.”
Wakefield, 9th May, 1818.

S. I. LAW.



THIS sublime composition produces a powerful first impression, and the eye passes from it to Alston's epic conception of the Archangel Uriel, with congenial feelings. Technically considered, even without a reference to the sacred history, it fills the mind with an indescribable sense of elevation. The time, and the scene, are alike equally important. The foreground losing its terminations in appalling darkness, and heaving in the convulsions of an earthquake, is rendered more awful by a reversal of the law of nature in the moment of a stupendous miracle. The aqueducts and august edifices of a magnificent city, ascending above each other in lofty perspective, form an imposing spectacle in the middle ground. These buildings stretch along the bold part of a hill, contrasting the majestic proportions of Grecian and Roman architecture with more ancient and heavy Asiatic structures--they are crowned by a superb temple struck with thunder ; a part of its roofs and front is concealed by a descending cloud, from which the flashing lightnings mark the present manifestations of Divine anger. Behind the city hills rise above hills, topped by the commanding brow and long continued line of a mountain, whose bare head is exposed to the war of the elements above.

Somewhat beyond the centre of the prospect to the left, the bold outline of this mountain descends precipitantly, and a glimpse of the dark bluish sea in the distance, extends to the lurid reflexions which gleam in sullen reddish lines along the horizon. Its shores are skirted by clusters of buildings and villages, dimly illumined, and partly intercepted from view by a mountainous steep abruptly projecting between them and the foreground. The heavens are shaded by portentous clouds rolled into long drawn volumes. Between the black wings of darkness in the sky, an opening beams with the portentous splendour of supernatural illumination. This phænomænic light appears to stream from some object on the brow of the highest mountain, so diminished and dimmed by remote distance, as to be at the first glance scarcely

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discernible. They seem like minute lines; but on a second view, are discovered to be three crosses, upreared in shadow against a pallid glory in the firmament.

From the impressions of this first general view, the mind recovers suficiently to notiee particular objects of grandeur, and mark the vigorous combinations by which its powerful effect is produced. The centre of the foreground is a wide road to a bridge over the brook Kedron ; to the right lies a burial place : to the left its broad masses of rock, mounds of earth and foliage mingle in blackness, and lose their outlines in the dark profound into which a mountain-torrent tumbles immediately beyond. The gloomy depths are undiscernible, and only relieved by a few glimmering touches of foam from the water breaking midway on a projecting rock, and by the white wings of some wild birds screaming over the troubled gulph.

The broad middle space of the foreground is a stony and earthy grey tint, which seems to give more force to the surrounding masses of darkness. Its level is only diversified by a small hollow with a plash of water, and the earth thrown up beside it. Its centre is occupied by three figures ; two old men in loose drapery are in conversation; one, in a hack view, points with his extended arm towards the preternatural light and cross in the distant mountain (Calvary), intently remarking upon them. A young female, covered with a browpish yellow mantle, and wearing a white under garment, kneels near them, devoutly bending her head in awe and thanksgiv. ing. A chasm in the earth is seen immediately before her; and from this to the right edge of the pieture, the terrifie effects of the subterraneous convulsions are visible. Loosened elumps of wooded earth, rifted stones and shattered tombs are heaving in shadowy confusion. The lines of these broken objects take an accidental direction towards an immense breach or sepulchral opening, in the huge projecting steeps which overhang the place of graves

. The jagged fissures in the rock above and below this opening, give it a threatening appearanee; it comes upon the eye with all its dismal eireum stances of time and place, as the extended jaws of a devouring abyss, whose black throat fills the mind with fearful imaginings from another world. A cold murky vapour of a dark bluish cast, issues slowly from this unknown passage. At a little distance in front the “ grave gives up its dead," and a horrible form is seen ascending. An extension of the arms in dread astonishment is indicated through the cearments of this visionary appearance, its shadowy and evanescent forms delude the eye, and melt insensibly into the surrounding darkness.

The moment which the painter has chosen is that of the rending of the veil of the temple by the thunder. In the middle distance, the resurrection of the dead on the foreground, and the struggle between the preternatural light from the cross and the dun obscurity occasioned by the eclipse of the sun, There is a sense of grandeur in the whole conception, a magnificence in the composition and devotional sublimity in the sentiment, to which I regret I have not leisure to do justice. I conterplate it with awe and admiration, as one of the noblest inventions in historical lan ape which ever issued from the British pencil.

Mary-la-bonne-street, April 4th, 1818.

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To the Editors of the Northern Star. THE following Anecdotes of eminent Artists, which I have transcribed from my common-place book, may, if admitted into your instructive Repository, come to the knowledge of many persons with the charm of novelty.

Yours, &c. Deal, 6th May, 1818.

H. BASDEN. FRANCESCO FRANCIA, a painter of Bologna, struck with the fame of Raphael conceived a violent desire of seeing some of the works of that oelebrated artist. His great age prevented him from undertaking a journey to Rome; he resolved therefore to write to Raphael, and to inform him how great an esteem he entertained for his talents, after the character which had been given of him. Reciprocal marks of friendship passed between these two artists, and they carried on a regular correspondence by letter. Raphael having about that time finished his celebrated painting of St. Cecilia, for the church of Bologna, he sent it to his friend, begging him to put it in its

proper place, and to correct whatever faults he might find in it. The artist of Bologna, transported with joy at seeing the work of Raphael, began to consider it with attention; but he had no sooner cast his eyes upon it than he perceived the great inferiority of his own talents to those of Raphael; melancholy took possession of his heart, he fell into a deep despondency, and died of grief, because he found that he had attained only to mediocrity in his art, after all his labour.

MICHAEL ANGELO was a man of great abilities: he wrote excellent verses with much facility, and his replies were generally bold and witty. The Emperor, Charles Ý, having asked him one day what 'he thought of Albert Durer, an eminent German painter and a man of letters, Angelo is said to have replied thus :- I esteem him so much, that if I were not Michael Angelo I would much rather be Albert Durer than Charles the Fifth."

Michael was in love with the oelebrated Marchioness of Pescara, yet he never suffered his pleasures to interfere materially with his more serious pursuits. He was one day pressed to marriage by a friend of his, who, amongst other topios, told him that he might then have children to whom he might leave his great works in art: “ I have already, replied he, “ a wife that harasses me; that is, 'my art, and my works are my

children." He had so great a fondness for those statues that are seen at Rome in the court of the Belvidere, that he went once a day to survey them, and when old age prevented him from walking, he made himself be carried to the place where they were. Though he became totally blind towards the close of his life, he never omitted these visits. He would feel for several hours those antique statues which he could not contemplate, and he never quitted them until he had tenderly embraced them.

Titian painted the portrait of Charles V. three times, which made the Emperor say that he had thrice received immortality from the hands of Titian. This artist having finished a large picture representing all the illustrious characters of the house of Austria, Charles V. begged of him that

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