Page images
PDF
EPUB

A Dictionary of the English Language ; with an Intro- Select Views of the Principal Cities of Europe. Froin

ductory Dissertation. By N. Webster, LL.D. In Original Paintings. By Lieut.-Colonel Batty, F.R.S. 2 volumes, 4to. Publishing in Parts. Part I. Lon London. Moon, Boys, & Graves. Part I. January, don: Black, Young, and Young. Edinburgh: Tho 1830.-Oporto. Imperial 4to. mas Clark. 1830.

This is one of the most splendid works of art in the This is a work which is held in great estimation in landscape department which has yet appeared in this America, where it originally appeared, under the superin- country. The first Part, now before us, contains six tendence of Dr Webster; and a new edition of it now is different views of the town of Oporto and the surroundabout to be published in this country. Three of its leading ing scenery, engraved in the most rich, clear, and elaboobjects are to exhibit,-Ist, The origin and affinities of rate style, from paintings which, though we have not every English word, as far as they have been ascertained, seen the originals, evidently entitle Colonel Batty to be with its primary signification as now generally establish-ranked along with our Turners and Thomsons. The ed ;-2d, The orthography and the pronunciation of views are all taken from the most advantageous situations, words, as sanctioned by reputable usage, and, where this and include a great variety of remarkable and interesting usage is divided, as determinable by a reference to the points. To identify the views in the recollection of those principle of analogy ;-and 3d, Accurate and discrimi- to whom the places and scenes may be familiar, and, as nating definitions of technical and scientific terms, with far as practicable, to convey a similar pleasing familiarity numerous authorities and illustrations. We can easily to those who have not visited them, the Colonel has given, conceive that a prejudice may exist in this country against in addition, slight etchings of each view, in which the an English Dictionary emanating from America ; but we different objects are numbered, corresponding with margihave every reason to believe that Dr Webster is well qua- | nal references, and which thus serve as keys to the finishlified for the tisk he has undertaken. His Introductory ed engravings. This is an excellent plan, and gives to Dissertation on the origin, history, and connexion of the

on the origin, Distory, and connexion of the the different scenes, independent of the beauty of their languages of Western Asia and of Europe, proves him to execution, quite a panoramic interest. Among the differbe a scholar of no mean attainments; whilst we are aware ent engravers employed for this splendid work, we are from other sources that he is an acute thinker, and a most glad to see the name of Mr William Miller of this city, laborious investigator. We do not doubt that the work, who ranks second to none of his profession. Views of now in course of publication, will be found an important Gibraltar, two of which we have seen, and which are addition to philology.

equally brilliant as those of Oporto, will form the subject of the second Part.

The Life and Voyages of Christopher Columbus. By

Washington Irving. (Abridged by the same.) Being Characteristic Sketches of Animals. Drawn from the Life,

the Family Library, No. XI. London. John Mur and engraved by Thomas Landseer. London. Moon, • ray. 1830.

Boys, & Graves. Parts I. and II. 1830. Royal 4to. MR MURRAY could not have made a more acceptable addition to his Family Library than his present work, Thomas Landseer. from his own drawings, of rare or

This work consists of engravings executed by Mr which is purely and classically written, and is replete

beautiful animals, now existing in the principal collections with interest. As the larger edition of the Life of Ca

of France and England. It is appropriately dedicated to Jumbus has been before the public for some time, and has

the Zoological Society of London. The name of Land. already taken its ground, it would be a work of supere

seer is in itself a tower of strength, and insures the accurogation to enter into any detailed criticism of the con

racy, distinctness, and vigour of the different Sketches. tents.

Neither the natural historian nor the amateur could place

his favourite subject in better hands; and when, in addiAn Account of the Ship Life Boat. By James Mather, tion, we consider the well-written letter-press descriptions

Esq. Second Edition. Edinburgh. Adam Black. which accompany the different engravings, it would be 1830.

| most unfair not to acknowledge that this is a work of Of the various plans for the important object of saving

great utility and value. human life in cases of shipwreck, we regard the one proposed in the ingenious pamphlet before us, as the most

| FINE ARTS-NEW ENGRAVINGS.- The Chelsea Pensioners simple, cheap, and efficacious. The expedient it suggests,

I reading the Gazette after the Batlle of Waterloo. is merely that every ship should carry on board a boat.

|| The Scottish Wedding. so constructed as to combine the qualities of a life boat

| Alexander Innes, Esq. Provost of Elgin. 1828. and an ordinary long boat. In this case the crew would not be left to the chance of assistance from the shore, as WE have at this moment before us the only etching they are by the inventions of Captains Manby, Greathead, yet in Scotland of an engraving, now in progress, of Wiland Wouldham. Besides, it is evident, that when vessels kie's celebrated painting of the “ Chelsea Pensioners readare driven ashore, the wind and sea must frequently be in- ing the Gazette.” Although by no means in a finished surmountable obstacles in attempting to put out to their state, enough has been done to convince us that the enrelief; while, on the contrary, they must be in an inverse graver, Mr J. Burnet, has been most successful in catchratio favourable to boats from the wreck. In order too ing the spirit of the original, and in preserving that rich that the Life Boat may more easily get clear of the ship individuality of character which distinguishes the different in a stormy sea, a simple and ingenious launching appara- persons introduced, and makes Wilkie the facile princeps tus is proposed to accompany it; and of this, as well as of of this department of painting. The print is of a large the boat itself, a drawing and description are given by size, admitting of minute and distinct detail, and there Mr Mather. The expense of both frame and boat, it can be no doubt that it will obtain a very wide circulation seems does not amount to L. 10, the cost of an ordinary as soon as published.-The engraving of the Scottish long boat. When it is considered that last year there Wedding, an admirable production, which was exhibited were no less than 408 British vessels lost, 54 of which are here at the last Exhibition in the Royal Institution, is supposed to have foundered at sea, and their crews to have not less successful. It has been intrusted to Mr Stuart, perished, it becomes of importance to give the most serious of this city, who was selected for the task by Mr Wilkie attention to any plan which has for its object the preven himself, and is evidently determined to show that the tion of such calamities,

confidence reposed in him was not misplaced. It is im. 162

THE EDINBURGH LITERARY JOURNAL; OR,

possible to judge of the full effect of engravings from the guarding over them here, who has had them all by heart state in which these two specimens at present are, but we since he was ten years of age ; and wbat he wants in can safely say, we never saw any works of the kind which erudition and ability, he has in zeal to keep every innopromised better.

vator in due subordination.

It is true, and no person will attempt to deny, that

some of the verses are antiquated and plain. But that is From Elgin, a copy has reached us of a mezzotint en

one of their chief beauties; because these verses only graving of Alexander Innes, Esq. Provost of that town, and a gentleman held in universal respect and esteem by

occur where the original is equally unpoetical; and to those who know him. The print is executed by Henry

have attempted to have made such verses grand, would Dawe of London, from a painting by D. Alexander, and

only have been a caricature. But wherever the original

is capable of it, how beautifully simple and sublime they reflects much credit upon both artists.

are! Now, as I never opened the Psalms of Tait and Brady save to despise them, and have our old version all

by heart, I shall just open the former by random, and MISCELLANEOUS LITERATURE. compare notes.

Very well. Here is the 65th Psalm, from the beginA LETTER FROM YARROW,

ning : THE SCOTTISH PSALMODY DEFENDED.

“ For thee, O God, our constant praise

In Zion waits thy chosen seat, To the Editor of the Edinburgh Literary Journal.

Our promised altars there we'll raise, [" Who shall decide when doctors disagree?" In common, we

And all our zealous vows complete. doubt not, with many of our readers, we have perused Mr Tennant's O thou who to my humble prayer acute and able criticisms on the different versions of the Psalms with

Didst always lend thy listening ear, the highest pleasure. But if Mr Tennant be entitled to espouse one To thee shall all mankind repair, side of this question, the Ettrick Shepherd is no less entitled to take

And at thy gracious throne appear.” up the other; and, as our pages are at all times open to free and fair discussion, we cannot say that we regret to see two such worthy champions riding a friendly tilt against each other. The subject

There's for you, Mr Tennant ! There's a correct draw) matter is of importance; and there are no two men living more able for you, of which you seem so much enamoured! Listen to do justice to it in all its bearings. -Ed.]

to the thunder of the old Calvinist : Dear Sir_ What the devil does the amiable and inge

“ Praise waits for thee in Zion, Lord, nious Mr Tennant mean by trying to turn our ancient

To thee vows paid shall be ; Scottish psalmody into ridicule, and, in particular, by da

O thou that hearer art of prayer, ring, for his soul, once to compare it with, far less estimate

Au flesh shall come to thee." it below, the cold, miserable, correct feeling of Tait and Brady? Tait and Brady, forsooth! Lord help the man!! I declare my old band shakes as I write this, though Has he so lost all taste for the ancient ardour and simpli- it was merely by random that I opened the book. Where city of the primitive fathers of the Scottish Church, as to is the preponderance there, Mr Tennant? On which side degrade their touching and sublime strains with those of is the pith, the beauty, and the sublimity? Why, the any modern sacred lyrist, far less with the most common one is just like a cold winter sky, and the other a rainplace of them all? It is certainly the strongest dereliction bow ; and such is the model you would introduce into from good taste that I ever lamented over in a man whom our church! No, no, Mr Tennant ! Believe me, the simI have always esteemed as one of true genuine feeling. plicity and energy of our primitive psalms suit exactly Indeed, in such estimation do I hold our ancient Scottish our worship, for which they were framed. They are mom psalmody, that Mr Tennant's lucubrations have rung | dels of one an'other, even to their blemishes ; and sorry in my ears as blasphemy. For my part, I never read would my heart be to see them corrected out of your eleany poetry in my life that affected my heart half so much gant Tait and Brady! I might well then sing the old as those sublime strains of Zion, sung in what I con- | song, ceived to be the pure spirit of their ancient simplicity; and the antiquated rhymes and Scotticisms at which Mr

“ Scotlande pe a' turn'd England now." Tennant jeers so much, are to me quite endearing qualities. Suppose, for a further experiment, without turning the Does he really suppose that the Scottish language, as leaf, we try another first verse : spoken or written in the days of James the Sixth, should be conformable to the rules of Lindley Murray?

“ Lord, thee my God I'll early seek:

Fie, fie, Mr Tennant! And, moreover, many of the rhymes

My soul doth thirst for thee. which he picks out to turn to ridicule are legitimate

My flesh longs in a dry parch'd land, rhymes to this day-vide Sir Walter Scott. And does

Wherein no waters be.” he make no allowances for the great difference in the pro “ O God, my gracious God, to thee nunciation of two centuries? If he take the old readings, My morning pray'r shall offer'd be ; he will find that the very worst rhymes he quotes are For thee my thirsty soul doth pant; quite correct. Does he not know that, even within these My fainting flesh implores thy grace, fifty years, the word imperfect was always sounded imper Within this dry and barren place, file ; and he will hear every old countryman use it, in his Where I refreshing waters want.” common discourse, to this day. Where, then, lay the monstrum horrendum of this rhyme ?-High was always pro

How do you like this for a change, Mr Tennant ? nounced hee; bow, boo; eye, ee; reign, ring ; so that all

| Why,notwithstanding that wee antiquated word be, which the rhymes are strictly correct. You had better take care,

you carp so beautifully at, the one verse is worth fifty of the Mr Tennant, Touch not, taste not, handle not. What

other. Why should any man take a forehammer to break would Sir Walter Scott or Mr Surtees say of a fellow

an egg with, when he can do it with a penknife ? who would pull down an ancient and beautiful structure,

Suppose we now turn to a single verse, a particular because some of the shapes of the panes of glass were gone

one, which is generally sung at a death-bed in Scotland a out of fashion ? I can tell you what they would say

“ Into thine hands I do commit That the fellow ought to be hanged. Perhaps you are

My soul, for thou art he, engaged in correcting our ancient psalmody; but again I

And thou, JEHOVAH, God of truth, say, take care. These Psalms have an old watchman

That hast redeemed me."

Many a time have I seen the souls of both old and the two openings of the 137th; the whole of the 139th; young sighed away with those sweet words quivering —and, by the by, I wish you would read the 13th verse of last on the lips. Now, really, I have not the face to quote this psalm over again, and tell me what the fellows mean the Tait and Brady lines against these, but they are well by the threads in the loom there mentioned. What threads enough known to Mr Tennant, for often has he presented in what loom? Or where did they pick up the idea, far them two lines at a time, and sung them with the dying less the expression ? wives about Dollar ; and I am sure, if he liked to tell the But enough of this carping and foolery, from which truth, he would confess that they gave every one of them I have been unable to refrain ; for my veneration of our the hiccup.

ancient psalmody is such, that to see an innovation in But turn to any thing pathetic, beautiful, or sublime it would almost break my heart. The venerable Prin.. in the whole psalmody, I care not where it be,—nay, letcipal Baird sent me a special invitation to his house one any person do it, however prejudiced, and say candidly, evening, many years ago, and in his own name, and those which is the most simply beautiful, and closest to the ori of his brethren, presented a request to me to new versify ginal. Remember there is a great deal lies in that; for a part of the Psalms. I answered, that he might as well is it not a glorious idea that we should be worshipping propose to me to burn my Bible, or renounce my religion. the same God, in the very same strains that were hymned The reverend father looked astonished, and asked an exto him by his chosen servants in the Tabernacle 3000 | planation. I said, “it was because these verses, modelled as years ago ? But in the modern English version I will they were now, had long, long been the penates of Scotland. defy any man to trace the same strain of thought that Every peasant in Scotland had them by heart, and could runs through the prose translation. In ours, they are li-repeat any part by day or by night, as suited his or her terally the same. Therefore, the less that Messrs Brady family's circumstances. The shepherd recites them to his and Tait-(by the by, I do not know if that is the English son on the lonely hill, the mother to the child in her boway of spelling the latter gentleman's name—Is it, Mr som. They are the first springs of religion in the peaTennant ? I know it is spelled that way in the song of sant's soul, mingled with all his thoughts and acts of de“ Jock Tait;")—I say, I think the seldomer they measure votion through life, and hymned on the cradle of death; weapons “ wi auld Geordie Buchanan, young man," the and to make any innovation there, would be with a reck. better for them. Or if there is to be a modification, let less hand to puddle and freeze up the pure springs of rethe ancient and original spirit of ours be installed into ligion in the hearts of the most virtuous and most devout theirs, which would be an incalculable advantage. As I part of our community. No, no, Dr Baird; for the love said, read any truly poetical part of the psalms in both of God and your fellow-men, have no hand in such an exversions. Read the 8th, the 23d, the 84th, the 116th; periment! Our country communities would be less shocked, and in thus turning over my borrowed psalmody, I can and their religious rites less degenerated, by the introducnot help comparing the opening lines of each version of tion of the liturgy at once, than by a new psalmody. I the latter sweet psalm :

will versify as much of the other parts of Scripture as you

want or desire, but never shall I alter, or consent to the “ My soul with grateful thoughts of love

alteration of, a single verse of our old psalmody, for they Entirely is possest,

are hallowed round the shepherd's hearth." Because the Lord vouchsafed to hear

So say I to Mr Tennant. I respect him, nay, I love The voice of my request.

him as a brother ; but, for the household gods of the Scots Since he has now his ear inclined,

tish peasant,
I never will despair,
But still in all the straits of life

« As long as I can wield a sword,
To him address my pray’r.”

I'll fight with heart and hand.” That is very respectable, is it not, Mr Tennant ? Is it And if there is really to be an edition of the Psalms from really esteemed as a literal and energetic opening this at Dollar, if you, my dear Editor, will grant me the first the Dollar Academy ? Alas! hear how our antiquated reviewing of them, they shall be an edition of dolour to reformer has it :

somebody. I am, dear sir, yours ever,
“ I love the Lord, because my voice

James Hogg.
And prayers he did hear;
I while I live will call on him,

SIR WILLIAM WALLACE AND
Who bow'd to me his ear."

THE TORWOOD OAK. Now turn to the prose translation. The Scottish ver- We are always anxious to rescue from oblivion any sion is literal; it is the same, verbatim : the other is quite circumstances connected with the ancient days and forthe reverse. Observe, Messrs Tait and Brady do not mer glories of our native land. We are, therefore, happy love the Lord because he has heard their prayer. But to avail ourselves of some documents wbich have lately they have some grateful thoughts of loving him some time been placed in our hands, with the view of throwing light for doing it—nay, their souls are entirely possessed by this upon the history of that old and famous tree, which, not laudable resolve. There is no such idea expressed by the less entitled to our admiration than the Royal oak of divine Psalmist, in “ I love the Lord.” And in the se- Sherwood Forest, afforded shelter and protection to the cond verse, they say they are determined never more to good Sir William Wallace. despair, now that the Lord has once inclined his ear to Trees are at all times objects of interest, and none them. Where did they pick up that sentiment about de more so than the majestic oak, which sees the growth and spair ? Not from the words of the son of Jesse. And the decay of surrounding woods, and which is still flounote farther. They are only going to address their prayers rishing and strong when the castle it beheld built in forto him in the straits of life! no other time. Now, that mer centuries is now a mouldering ruin. Of all the oaks is hardly fair in Dr Brady and Mr Tait, and quite ab which Scotland has produced, not one ever attracted more stract from the sentiments of gratitude expressed by Da- | attention than that which grew in Torwood, formerly an vid. But it is ever thus. The English versifier is con extensive forest in the parish of Dunipace, in Stirlingstantly going about the bush, and, like a preacher who shire. This forest was a favourite haunt of Sir William has very few ideas, wants to blow up the few he has Wallace when but a young man, and in his wanderings with as many large swelling words as he can press into through it he formed an intimacy, if we may so speak, the sentence. In the same spirit every one must read with one tree in particular, with which subsequent events

indissolubly linked his name. This was an oak of a very • Read also Psalm 73d, from the 24th verse,

venerable and striking character, the trunk of which, even in its last days, measured in one place, forty-two has grown up on the same spot a young oak, which is feet in circumference, and in another was about twelve now about a foot in diameter, and, as if conscious of its feetin diameter. There was in this oak an immense hereditary honours, is already the tallest in the wood. We cavity, in which not only Wallace himself, but occasion cannot, however, state that it grew out of the old stock ; ally some of his friends sought and found refuge from for such is the kingly nature of the oak, that one plant the pursuit of their enemies in the dangerous and trou- | never assumes the ground that has been previously occublous times in which they lived. That the openings pied by another, until every part is consumed and disin this tree were all hollow as far back as the twelfth placed by the proper vegetable mould. Yet it is to be century, proves it to have been of great age even then, hoped that the new oak will not disgrace the reputation and it was, indeed, generally believed to be a Druidical of its predecessor; and though it may never shelter a hero tree, and that it had been consecrated at a very remote like Wallace, it may perhaps come to perform lesser feats, period to religious purposes. This is rendered more pro- as its prototype did not disdain to do. It is, for example, bable by the fact, that some vestiges of stone-work were a tradition of Stirlingshire, that nine queys having on one discernible, which surrounded it in a circular form. It occasion gone amissing, all search proved fruitless, until stood upon a slight elevation, but upon swampy ground, they were at length accidentally discovered pleasantly and rude causeways were afterwards formed leading to it pent up in the interior of the far-famed tree! in different directions; for, associated as it was with the It is a curious circumstance, and deserving of notice, names of Wallace and of Freedom, it was visited in later that in the year 1788, the iron bead of an ancient Scottimes almost as a holy shrine, at which the Scottish pea tish spear was found in the Torwood, about a foot below sant might re-animate his patriotism.

the surface, and about thirty feet west from Wallace's We regret to state, that although a part of the trunk Tree. It was presented, in the same year, to the Society of this venerable tree existed till about the end of the last of Antiquaries, in whose possession it now is, by Mr Alexcentury, no traces of it now remain. In the words of ander Kincaid, stationer. We have seen this relic of the Rev. Mr Stirling, in his edition of Nimmo's History former days, and it is impossible to look at it, without of Stirlingshire, “ this august vegetable is now invisible." | allowing the imagination to form many fanciful conjecIts destruction was much precipitated by the pilgrims who tures as to its probable history and possessor. This is, resorted to it, all of whom were anxious to carry off pieces | indeed, the chief advantage enjoyed by the antiquarian, of the wood, which were afterwards converted into va that pegs are continually presenting themselves to him rious memorials of Wallace. The oak, however, long upon which to hang a thousand conjectures. The spot survived all its less hardy brethren. “In this ancient | upon which stood the Tree of Wallace, must for ever be Torwood,” says Dr John Walker, in his Essays on Na- sacred ground; and every thing that tends to throw light tural History, “it stands in a manner alone ; for there upon its localities, must be interesting in the eyes of a are no trees, nor any ruin of a tree, to be seen, that is Scotchman. nearly coeval. Compared to it, even the oldest of them is of a very modern date." Even after it had fallen into

REMINISCENCES OF THE LATE ROBERT almost total decay, a peculiar sort of renovation, which sometimes occurs in an old tree, happened to this. In

ANDERSON, M.D. several places, a young bark shot upwards from the root, To the Editor of the Edinburgh Literary Journal. and formed one or two fresh branches towards the top of the old trunk. As late as the year 1789, the trunk was

Sır,—My excellent friend, Robert Anderson, M.D. twenty-four feet in height, and was still in vegetation.

died on the 20th of February, at a quarter before four The following vignette, which is from a drawing made

o'clock in the afternoon, having attained to the venerable in that year by the late Mr A. Kincaid, and which we age of eighty years. Few men will be more regretted know to be entirely authentic, conveys an accurate idea of

among us. His amiable and gentlemanlike manners, his the shape and appearance it then had : *

prodigious store of information, and the heartfelt willing-
ness with which he imparted it, will ever be remembered
by those who knew his worth, and enjoyed the pleasure
of his conversation. He has been long known to the
world as an author. His judgment and taste are happi-
ly displayed in his edition of the British Poets, a work
which has now become scarce. He was more or less con-
nected with various other publications; and among others
I may mention the Bee, concerning which, and its excel-
lent editor, the amiable Dr Blacklock thus speaks, in a
poetical epistle addressed to Burns :

“ Anon to my business I wish to proceed,
Dr Anderson guides, and provokes me to speed,
A man of integrity, genius, and worth,

Who soon a performance intends to set forth;
It will be observed, in the above cut, that the tree has

A work, miscellaneous, extensive, and free, separated in the middle, and that the one-half has moul

Which will weekly appear by the name of the Bee : dered almost entirely away. Yet, even in this condition,

Of this from himself I enclose you a plan, the wood was so hard as to admit of a high polish. To

And hope you will give what assistance you can." us, there is something more than commonly interesting in its antique and worn-out appearance, as if it still clung Literature owes to Dr Anderson much more than his to its natale solum with a feeling of pride, and with a con own actual labours. His acute understanding first dissciousness that it had been instrumental in protecting the covered and encouraged the genius of the author of “ The liberties, and adding to the glories, of old Scotland. We Pleasures of Hope," and Mr Campbell, with great probelieve it was blown down some years after this, for we priety, inscribed that splended production to his friend. cannot bring ourselves to suppose that any proprietor The ingenious and erudite author of " Anster Fair” long would voluntarily remove it. We are glad, also, to know, enjoyed the pleasure of his correspondence, previous to his that although this patriarchal tree no longer exists, there personal acquaintance. In short, many of the most emi

nent men of our country were his friends. I may, in par• We are indebted for this cut to the Proprietors of Constable's

ticular, mention, in reference to Burns, about whom so Miscellany, who procured it for their forthcoming Life of Wallace, work likely to contain much curious and interesting information. much has been said of late, that the Edinburgh public

[graphic]

MONZA.

were first made acquainted with his poems through Dr had the most perfect respect, and to deplore that my acAnderson. I owe it to the memory of my excellent quaintance with him only existed for a few short years friend to state what passed between us on that subject of the latter part of his life. His friendship for me and only a few days previous to his death, and to claim for mine I shall cherish among the most valuable records of him that priority of the notice of Burns's poetry, which my heart. I regret exceedingly that I am so little quaMr Lockhart has assigned to Mr Mackenzie. The lified to do any thing like adequate justice to his memory Doctor did not write the article I am about to allude to, and worth; nevertheless, I trust, but to him is due the praise of first pointing out the me

“ Unblamed may the accents of gratitude rise.” rits of the Ayrshire ploughman, and causing them to be more extensively known. The circumstances are as fol

I am, Sir, &c. lows :

P. MAXWELL. On a journey to Alnwick, Dr Anderson had, for a 5, Archibald Place, Edinburgh, fellow traveller in the coach, a Mr Cummings, an Ayr

9th March, 1830. shire gentleman. They had much conversation together, and, among many other things, Mr Cummings enquired

LETTER FROM PISA. if the Doctor had seen Burns's Poems, the Kilmarnock

THE FINE ARTS-PROFESSOR ROSINI-AN ENGLISH LITERARY edition of which had just been published about that time. The Doctor replied he had not, nor had he ever heard of

JOURNAL-LITERARY PROPERTY IN ITALY—THE NUN OF the name; and did not feel inclined to pursue the enquiry, conceiving that the volume was probably the production

Pisa, February 6, 1830. of some common-place rhymster. Mr Cummings, how I took up the pen to give you some account of the preever, reverted again and again to the subject with great sent state of the arts at Pisa, but it would be as dull and enthusiasm, which so far excited the Doctor's curiosity uninteresting to yourself as to your readers, were I to as to induce him to request Mr Cummings to repeat enumerate a few obscure painters and sculptors whose any of the verses he could recollect. Mr Cummings | fame has not yet, and never is likely to extend beyond complied, and Doctor Anderson then heard for the the Alps. Suffice it to say, that though the Pisans had first time the Stanzas to a Mouse. This riveted his the glory of reviving the fine arts after their long slumattention, and he eagerly enquired where he could pro- ber during the dark ages, and of first diffusing a taste for cure a sight of the volume. Mr Cummings referred him them in their ancient Grecian simplicity and beauty, to a Mr Brown, a jeweller in Edinburgh, who had a copy there is now no city in the Peninsula where they are less of the work; and, as soon as the Doctor reached home, cultivated, or, more properly speaking, absolutely neglected, he got it, and perused it, as may readily be conceived, than this in the present day. with the greatest delight. He instantly set off to Mr The renowned Campo Santo is no longer a public ceSibbald, to show him the treasure he had got; and his metery, being now converted into one for the ashes of the partner, Mr Stewart, wrote that article, with extracts illustrious dead only, and a repository of Etruscan, Grefrom the poems, which appeared in the number of the cian, and Roman antiquities. It may be termed a museum Edinburgh Magazine, or Literary Miscellany, for Oc- in itself, as its walls are covered with frescoes by the old tober, 1786, and added farther extracts in the No-masters, and lined with urns, bas-reliefs, and sarcophagi, vember number. In the December number, Mr Mac- to which have been recently added a few splendid pieces kenzie's elegant article from the Lounger is inserted, of modern sculpture, such as those that ornament the and thus prefaced :—“ In the Magazine for October tombs of Pignotti, by Ricci-a distinguished scholar of and November, our readers (many of them, we believe, Canova—and of Vacca, the friend of Byron, by Thorfor the first time) were made acquainted with the name waldzen. of the poet Burns; and, by the specimens which we There is no public gallery, and only two private collecthen took the liberty to insert, were enabled, in some tions of pictures here worth looking at—those of Count degree, to form an opinion of his extraordinary talents. Agostino, containing 300 or 400 pictures, three or four of His fame is spreading rapidly, and the merit of his which are certainly originals of good masters; and the works is acknowledged by all who have had an opportu- splendid little collection of cabinet pictures belonging to nity of seeing them. We hope, however, that few will Signor Rosini, Professor of Belles Lettres at this Unibe displeased with us for giving a place to the following versity, who has displayed his well-known taste and elegant critical Essay, in which our Scottish Bard is in- judgment in their selection. This highly-gifted person, troduced to the readers of the Lounger ; more especially who, in literature, may be termed the Magnus Apollo of as the paper has received some corrections since its first Tuscany, in conjunction with some of his brother professpublication on the 9th December."

ors, conducts a literary journal, published monthly, in Burns was made known first through these very spe the vernacular tongue ; not satisfied with which, an Engcimens to Mr Miller of Dalswinton, his worthy landlord, lish periodical, called the Ausonian, has just appeared. who was so delighted with them, that, thinking the poet | Do not imagine from this circumstance, that the English was some needy ploughman, he sent the sum of five who reside at Pisa are men of such literary taste or atpounds to Mr Sibbald to be given to the bard. This cir- tainments as either to require or encourage a monthly cumstance is slightly hinted at in Dr Currie's Life, page paper for their amusement; by no means they com191, G. B.'s edition.

prise very few intellectual persons; for it may be said In conclusion, I may add, that the portrait, an engra- that the animal predominates among them. There are, ving from which is about to be published by Messrs Con however, some honourable exceptions, at the head of whom stable and Co., Doctor Anderson thought very highly of stands pre-eminent our gallant countryman Lord Lyneindeed. At first, however, he was not much inclined to doch, the distinguished veteran whose valiant deeds in the look upon the likeness as being favourable, having his mind field have shed a lustre on old Scotland. prepossessed, or rather pre-occupied, with Beugo's print ; To give you a slight idea of the new literary journal, but, upon farther examination, as memory brought back I prefer analyzing its contents, rather than sending it to the living likeness, he allowed that there was more of the you, for I daresay you would not thank me for putting immortal original in this painting than in any thing he you to the expense of postage, which it is really not worth. had ever seen. A specimen, which was sent to him, of The editor is a German, I believe, who is well acquainted Mr Horsburgh's engraving, highly pleased him, and he with English and Italian, which he speaks and writes deemed it fortunate that the portrait had fallen into such pretty correctly. I have before me the prospectus, dated able hands.

so far back as September, 1828, in which he professes to Thus, sir, have I to mourn the loss of one for whom I treat the public with original essays, relating chiefly to

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »