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No. 1283.-January 2, 1869.
3 17 37
CONTENTS. 1. NATIONAL PORTRAITS,
Contemporary Review, 2. A HOUSE OF CARDS. Part X.,
Tinsley's Magazine, 3. Asses' MILK, .
Once a Week, 4. Tue Country-HOUSE ON THE Ruini. Part VII. By
Berthold Auerbach. Translated from the German
Die Presse, 5. COL. CHESNEY'S WATERLOO LECTURES,
Saturday Review, 6. THE TYRANNY OF UPHOLSTERY,
Spectator, . 7. AT THE CRATER OF VESUVIUS,
Pall Mall Gazette, . 8. THE TUNNEL THROUGH Mont CENIS,
Daily News, 9. THE PRESERVATION OF WINE,
Pall Mall Gazette, . 10. COUNTRY LIFE IN FRANCE,
N. Y. World, . 11. THE BLIND ORGANIST,
Sunday Magazine, 12. NATHANIEL HAWTHORNE'S PRIVATE DIARY,
POETRY. SMOKE IN WINTER,
2 A DECX EPOQUES DE LA VIE, BLESSING IN DISGUISE,
38 47 49 51 53 55 56 57 62
NEW BOOKS : From Claxton, Remsen, and Haffelfinger, Philadelphia. SILVER THREADS. By Harriet B. M'Keever. A Story for Young Persons. CHILDREN WITH THE POETS. Compiled by Harriet B. M'Keever. The very title, Chil
dren with the Poets, held out to us such a vision of delight, that we hastened to procure copies for our own young friends. There are selections from Keble, Hans Christian Andersen, Bishop Doane, Fredrika Bremer, Dr. Hawks, Mrs. Hemans, Tennyson, Jane Taylor, Wordsworth, Alice Carey, Charles Kingsley, Longfellow, Miss Mulock, Leigh Hunt, Mary Howitt, Thomas Hood, William Allingham, N. P. Willis, Jean Ingelow, Mrs. Sigourney, Bloomfield, Scott, George Herbert, J. G. Whittier, Heber, A. C. Coxe, Gerald Massey, T. B. Read, J. R. Lowell, Dr. Holmes, Dr. Chalmers, Adelaide Proctor, Mrs. Browning, and many other writers. There are some sweet pieces anonymous, and the volume closes with several poems by the
compiler. See advertisement in this number. THE PROGRESS OF ARCTIC DISCOVERY. An Address of Dr. Isaac I. Hayes before The
American Geographical and Statistical Society, New York, 12 Nov., 1868.
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SMOKE IN WINTER.
The purple hills were tinged with living ligut,
The grass was waving in the morning breeze, The sluggish smoke curls up from some deep dell, Like sparkling gems the rain-drops of the night The stiffened air exploring in the dawn,
In rainbow showers were glittering from the And making slow acquaintance with the day,
trees. Delaying now upon its heavenward course, In wreathed loiterings dallying with itself,
Then my heart melted too, and the deep gloom With as uncertain purpose and slow deed
Passed like the dreary morning mist away ; As its half-awakened master by the hearth,
The sun shone warm and bright into my room, Whose mind, still slumbering, and sluggish
And I rose up from my dull trance to pray. thoughts Have not yet swept into the onward current Of the new day; —and now it streams afar,
O God, most merciful ! 'tis ever so: The while the chopper goes with step direct,
While thankless man feels but the present pain, The mind intent to wield the early axe.
And lies steeped in the weariness of woe,
Thy step is drawing near to heal again.
Then teach us, Lord, to bow beneath the rod, The earliest, latest pilgrim from his roof,
Even for the chastisement to love the more ; To feel the frosty air, inform the day ;
To trust the mercy of the loving God, And, while he crouches still beside the hearth, And in the very blow His hand adore. Nor musters courage to unbar the door, It has gone down the glen with the light wind, So shall we walk through our life's chequer'd And o'er the plain unfurled its venturous day, wreath,
Safe from its noontide heat, its evening blight, Draped the tree-tops, loitered upon the hill, Till the last hour of gloom shall pass away, And warmed the pinions of the early bird ; And leave us to awake in endless light. And now, perchance, high in the crispy air,
Good Words. Has caught sight of the day o'er the earth's
edge, And greets its master's eye at his low door, As some refulgent cloud in the upper sky.
ROBESPIERRE has come unexpectedly before the world as a poet. The following pretty lines in
his handwriting have been found among the paBLESSING IN DISGUISE.
pers of a deceased old lawyer of Toulouse. The
Messager du Sud-Ouest, of Agen, inserts them, MINE eyes were stiffened with the last night's through favour of a friend :
tears, And my brow ached too heavily to weep,
A DEUX époques de la vie Opprest with sorrow past and future fears,
L'homme prononce, en bégayant, Too weary to awake — too sad to sleep.
Deux mots dont la douce harmonie
A je ne sais quoi de touchant : With listless hand I drew away the blind
L'un est Maman, et l'autre J'aime; To look where lay the morning dull and grey; L'un est créé par un enfant, I heard no whisper of the cold night wind,
Et l'autre arrive de lui-même I saw no gleam to chase the gloom away.
Du cour aux lévres d’un amant.
Quand le premier se fait entendre, Spread like a morning veil on every hill
Soudain une mère y répond. Hung cheerless mist, through which the dark La jeune fille devient tendre dawn crept;
Quand son cour entend le second. The rain-drops on the trees lay cold and still,
Ah, jeune Lise, prends bien garde ; Like tears of one who in his sleep hath wept. Le mot J'aime est plein de douceur,
Et souvent tel qui le hasarde Sadly I turned and laid me down again
N'en connut jamais la valeur. Till sorrow's leaden trance my sense did steal, Il faut une prudence extrême As those who lulled by very strength of pain
Pour bien distinguer un amant. Forget their pain awhile and cease to feel.
Celui qui mieux dit “ Je vous aime!”
Est plus souvent celui qui ment; So passed the hours away, and I awoke;
Qui ne sent rien parle à merveille. But while I slept the world had travelled Crains un amant rempli d'esprit.
C'est ton cour, et non ton oreille, The damp mist rolled away, the morning broke, Qui doit entendre ce qu'il dit. And, pouring radiance forth, uprose the sun.
From The Contemporary Review. likeness of Richard II., “throned in royal NATIONAL PORTRAITS.
robes, wearing jewelled crown,” with a
* globe in the right hand and a sceptre in An old country like England, proud of the left,” formerly hung in Westminster her ancient families, long in pedigree, has Abbey, above the Lord Chancellor's pew. naturally abundant treasure of historic por- The work was in the Manchester - Art traits. The English, indeed, have been, Treasures,” and has since appeared twice from time immemorial, a portrait-loving at Kensington : first, under the disguise of people, the characters they revere in mem- daubed restorations, and then, for a second ory they desire still to look upon in person; time, with face washed and drapery clean. and it seems to matter little, though the Mr. Scharf published an elaborate paper art be bad, provided the likeness remain in elucidation of the work and the vicissigood. At Kensington most of us have had tudes it has undergone, in the Fine Arts the rare advantage, during three successive Quarterly Review. The painting, as it now years, of gazing along a vista of historic stands, is in quality noway inferior to the portraits, stretching across five centuries. contemporary products of the school of There is scarcely an event, whether it be Giotto: there is no more notable picture of the overthrow of an old dynasty, the found- king or commoner in the country. ing of a new science, or the writing of a The Kings of England, from the reign great poem, that has not been made patent of Henry VII., downwards, are known, through the portraits collected. “ The beyond doubt, by their portraits. Henry National Portraits ” exhibited at Kensing- VII. has appeared in six pictures at Kenton in 1866, 1867, and 1868, numbered sington; and the burly face and portderous 2,841 works; the “ Portrait Miniatures on person of “ bluff King Hal” were reproloan” in 1865 were 3,081. Thus, within duced sixteen times. Evidence of identity, the last four years, have been collected however, is painfully conflicting when we 5,922 pictures. No country destitute of a come to the heads of Mary Queen of Scots history could make such a show; indeed, it and Lady Jane Grey. A comparison of the may be questioned whether there has ever reputed but contradictory portraits of these been a kingdom either in ancient or modern two characters, of whom the public are ever times which could summon from the tomb naturally eager to learn more, does not enso many of its subjects.
able us to reduce conjectured authenticity Portrait-painting began with kings before to certitude. No such perplexity touches it descended to the level of commoners. the identity of the royal sisters Elizabeth The art of sculpture, as usual, was first in and Mary. Portraits by Holbein, Antonio the field, as seen in carved figures of our More, and Streete, enable us to read, as in kings and queens, not only on the tombs of minute and unflattering biographies, the Westminster Abbey, but upon the west thoughts and motives of two queens whom fronts of the Cathedrals of Lichfield, Lin- to have seen was not to love. We shall, coln, and Exeter. Yet, in these early days, in the sequel, observe on the pictorial phases loyalty was content to get from painting or of other monarchs, from Charles I., adorned sculpture merely a suggestive effigy – cer- by Vandyke, to George IV., caricatured by tainly some of the oldest works exhibited Wilkie. at Kensington, such as pictures bearing the The survey we propose will be best made names of William Wallace or Edward III., on a historic basis. Thus portrait-painting have no claim to be accounted authentic in England may naturally be distributed in likenesses. However, when we come down chronological sequence, as follows: the to the second half of the fourteenth century, eras of Holbein and of Antonio More, the at least one trustworthy work is encountered period of Vandyke, the school of Van in the contemporary portrait of Richard II. Somer and Honthorst, the epoch of Lely That art was then sufficiently advanced in and Kneller, the rise of a native school unItaly, at all events, to hazard a portrait we der Reynolds and Gainsborough, and, know by well-accredited heads of Cimabue, lastly, the aspect of the art in our own Giotto, Dante, and Petrarch. This life-size times.
Portrait-painting in England dates from artist.” In return for this portrait Holbein Holbein, who was born, 1495, and died, carried back the pen-and-ink sketch, still 1543. This is rather late, as may be judged in the gallery at Basle, of that most imfrom the fact that our National Gallery con-pressive composition, “ The Family of Sir tains a portrait by Van Eyck, which bears Thomas More.” The replica at Kensingas its date the year 1433, also a head of ton was by an inferior hand. The ChanMasaccio by bimself, which could not have cellor, it is well known, received guests of been painted later than 1429. It was not a high order. Erasmus himself had been till 1526 that Holbein came to England. a visitor at Chelsea; King Harry, too, was These dates at once illustrate the historic accustomed to look in upon the family in a truth that arts born in the fertile soil of the free and friendly way while this famous South were long in taking root in our cold picture was on the easel. The King, northern clime. It is strange and unfor- pleased with the work, gave the painter an tunate that the National Gallery does not apartment in his palace, with a stipend of contain a single work by Holbein. All the £30 a year. In the history of art we meet more interest, then, did the painter's sixty- with few more interesting incidents ; seldom, three reputed portraits excite when exhib- indeed, is a picture encircled with more ited at Kensington — an interest which be- thrilling associations. Well had it been for came further intensified by the discussion the King and his painter bad they cherished which ensued on the publication of Mr. the high tone of mind which fellowship with Wornum's critical and elaborate “Life of More and Erasmus favoured. King and Holbein.” The question was at once court painter alike went to the bad ; inraised, how many of these sixty-three por- dulgence told sadly on Henry VIII., as traits could, with authority, be ascribed to later portraits of the English Caligula inthe master at all. The recent discovery of dicate. Wordsworth, with his usual rectiHolbein's Will cut away, at one blow, tude of moral sense, when in the presence eleven years of the painter's life, and “re- of the monarch's grotesque effigy, wrote duced,” says Mr. Wornum, “the nnmber these severely descriptive lines : of genuine known Holbeins in this country to very few.” In accordance with this ex
“ The imperial stature, the colossal stride, terminating dictum, Mr. Wornum struck
Are yet before me; yet do I behold
The broad full visage, chest of ample mould, out from sixty-three portraits some forty or
The vestments ’broidered with barbaric pride." forty-five as spurious! We have to observe however, that Holbein was hard at work in England for a period of seventeen years.
“ 'Mid the surrounding worthies, haughty king, The "
We rather think, with grateful mind sedate, very few” works, then, which our
How Providence educeth, from the spring greatest authority is willing to ascribe to
Of lawless will, unlooked-for streams of good, the court painter of Henry VIII., will, in
Which neither force shall check nor time all probability, on still further investigation,
abate.” have to be considerably augmented. The celebrated Windsor drawings of the Court Holbein had few scruples and little conof Henry VIII., upwards of sixty in num- science; the wives and other court followber, can scarcely be impugned.
ers of his royal patron he painted with a To Holbein's faithful and unflattering moral indifference truly artistic; he fell pencil we owe one of the most interesting into debt, and when the plague came and portrait pictures in the world, “ The House- carried him off, two illegitimate children rehold of Sir Thomas More.” Holbein had mained to be provided for. There is, income to England with a letter of introduc- deed, a painful discrepancy between the tion from his friend Erasmus, addressed to life of the painter and his art. When we the Chancellor, then living at Chelsea. look upon the portraits of More and ErasHolbein brought with him a portrait, still mus; of William Warham, Archbishop of extant, of his friend Erasmus in testimony Canterbury; of Sir William Butt, the King's of his skill. “Your painter, my dear physician; of Lady Butt, and Sir Henry Erasmus," writes More, “is an admirable Guildford, we seem as in the presence of a painter, honest, truthseeking, and signal with the fifteen examples of his style at for rectitude. Holbein was without the ex- Kensington. Some of these works might cuse which many painters plead of fervent be spurious, others had suffered as a matter and unruly imagination. His genius did of course from time, or, what is worse, not blaze into wild fire; such light as was from the restorer's hand.
But really genin bim smouldered in ashes; the truth he uine pictures by More, such as those of uttered was literal and hard. His portraits Queen Mary, Walter Devereux, Queen are brief and prosaic as a parish register, Elizabeth, and Sir Thomas Gresham, every they just record name, age, pedigree, and painter will approach as master-works. The no more; they are without circumlocution, art of portrait painting may here be studied colouring of passion, or flower of rbetoric. at a pitch little short of perfection. In No fancy plays across the brow, no fire Gresham we recognise the artist's vigour kindles within the eye, no wit curls the lip, and fling of execution; in Queen Elizabeth no gust of emotion inflates the nostril. as Princess, a conscientious, truthful, unaThe heads are absolutely monumental for dorned style of manipulation solid yet transimmobility; they stir not a feature, they parent; in Devereux, Earl of Essex, firmspeak not a word. Holbein was a plain, ness of hand, precision of drawing, round, plodding German; his office was to record bold modelling; in Queen Mary, like firmfacts simply as he found them; his art had ness, precision, detail, with more of life nothing of the largeness, breadth, and gen- and bumanity than other painters have eralization common to Italian schools. Yet known how to infuse into features, the symbis portraits, after their kind, remain un- bols of narrow intellect, and of will or consurpassed; . if they are not in utterance science consolidated into obstinacy and eloquent or ardent, they certainly declare bigotry. Antonio More never lost his way nothing in violation of truth; within their in a face, a cross purpose never throws the limits his pictures are right and just. Per- features into confusion; he read a charachaps it may be said that they are deficient ter in its consistency, even when that conin transparency of paint as in translucency sistency might involve the features in conof soul; that the skin is as parchment, with tradiction. A clear, searching intellect is out blood in the veins or life in the tissues; implied in the portraiture of, More. Emothat the spirit lies in ambush, concealed be- tional, however, his pictures are not, though hind the outer mask. Such, indeed, is the his colour has gained ardour by contact painter's manner -a manner, perhaps, bet- with the passion of the South. Imagination ter suited to our ancestors than to our con- as yet is not permitted to play across the temporaries, to mediævalism than to mod-canvas; fancy does not obtain out-look ern times. Yet these portraits certainly over tree or field; not even the convenhave permanence in paint and panel, and tionality of a column, a balcony, or a curas chroniclers of the period, the pages of tain disturbs the erect stature of figures history are not more trustworthy.
which emulate the senatorial dignity of The portraits of Antonio More stand in Titian. Yet whatever may have been the style as a transition between the prosaic shortcomings of Antonio More, it
well German or Flemish school and the large, be questioned whether the whole of Europe imaginative manner of the Italian ; they oc- in the present day can show so great a porcupy a position midway between Van Eyck trait painter. and Holbein on the one side, and Titian In the history of England there has never and Moroni on the other. More, having been lack of painters of some sort, more or obtained favour of Charles V., was sent to less competent to throw the leading characEngland to paint Queen Mary; the result ters of the times upon canvas. It is indeed is seen in a portrait of rare beauty and ex- a comfort when we consider that few of the cellence at Kensington. That More was noble men whose names we fondly cherish the first portrait painter of his time, that are lost to us wholly in their outward lineahis talents and opportunities won for him a ments; the eye still may rest with affection handsome fortune, no one can wonder who on the forms which in life were loved and bad the pleasure of making acquaintance | honoured. Yet it must be confessed that