Page images
PDF
EPUB

superior manner.” I could make “belts to reduce corpulency and relieve and strengthen abdominal debility;"* in short, I understand the whole art of man-mending, from a padded hip to a complete set of ricket irons. So turning down Conduit-street into Bond-street, without hesitation I engaged for the first "elegant and well-situated shop" that was vacant, which I mean to stock with a complete assortment of every article in the personal line. There the judicious and discriminating world of fashion will be accommodated with the hire of every qualification for genteel society, of which nature or accident may have deprived them, either by the year, quarter, month, week, or single night, and at the most reasonable prices.-Noses of every description, from the Wellington hook to the Apollo Grecian, shall be fitted on in an undiscoverable perfection, and warranted to carry spectacles, and to stand a moderate pull undisturbed.-Eyes of all colours and waters, tastefully matched—the sentimental, the joyous, the leering, the pouting, and the disdainful, in sets, right and left. N. B. Eyes with tears in them for funerals and melodrames. A superiorly constructed calf, in sizes, warranted not to turn in a waltz, nor to change its position in the most complicated quadrille.--Chicken-breasted busts à la Russe, for the use of the army; and female forehands of all calibres. False b-tt-ms let out by the single quarrel, warranted to bear kicking.-Dandies completely made up by the year, at a considerable discount; or by the single night. N. B. There will be a confidential agent at each of the principal watering-places, and on the Chaussée d'Antin at Paris, for the benefit of customers only. The founder of this establishment has likewise engaged one of the first Parisian artists in hair ; whose labours much exceed the products of the most approved dyeing materials, or even the Macassar oil. All quantities of teeth, from a single tooth to a complete set, furnished at half-an-hour's notice.-Particularly recommended to dispeptic aldermen, and sputtering members of parliament, as an infallible remedy for indigestion and imperfect delivery. The projector having imported many thousands of this article from the field of Waterloo in the greatest perfection, will provide sets, warranted from the French guard, for the jacobins and reformers, and real and genuine English, certified upon the spot by affidavit, for the service of the thorough-going John Bulls, and of those renegadoes and ultras who are too well paid for their loyalty to suffer any thing to pass their mouth favourable to Napoleon. This is the more necessary, as we are given to understand, that some of the crowned heads of Europe are, in more senses than one, indebted to the French Emperor for being able to shew their teeth and bite, and not only owe their heads but their jaws also to him and his.—Rouge and white paint shall be obtained at any price from abroad, and supplied by contract at a great saving; and every article connected with this branch of business, shall be kept ready for service in the greatest abundance, and of the first quality. Old heads will be taken in exchange, and a liberal allowance made for second-hand legs and arms.-Thus will a new branch of commerce be opened for the service of the public; and 80 assured is the projector of the success of his plans for improvement, that he doubts not in a short time to be enabled to offer substi

See Advertisements in the Morning Chronicle.

tutes for the more essential viscera no less than the external organs. Mr. Burke assumed, that the old democrats of France wore shreds of parchment and scraps of the rights of man, in place of their usual in. ternals; why, therefore, should I despair of supplying his Majesty's ministers with brains, giving sound hearts to placemen and corruptionists, and a good liver to any reverend clergyman who has a good living to pay for it?

Now, Mr. Editor, as I look upon you to be a man of some intellece. tual courage, and not to be browbeaten from the defence of truth and justice because it may happen to be in a minority, I give you a prefer-, ence over all other periodical artists, by committing this paper to your care, and I trust, that by affording it a good place in your journal, you will shew that I have not mistaken my man. For envy follows merit like its shadow, and I fear you may run some risk in proposing in such times such an overwhelming innovation on our glorious constitution as in church and state established, as that now proposed by your obedient servant, &c. &c. &c.

M.

MUSIC.

It comes it comes upon the gale,

That, pensive voice of days gone by, With early feelings down life's vale,

On Arab airs as odours sigh. Oh! on this far and foreign shore

How doubly blest that song appears, Long days and distance wafting o'er

The sweetness of departed years. The scene around me fades away,

As at the wave of magic wandI see the glens and mountains

grey And wild woods of my native land. The summer bower, the silent 'stream,

The scenes of youth are on the strain ; And peopled is my waking dream

With forms I ne'er shall see again! As on my wanderings when'a child,

That music comes at close of day, Along the dim and distant wild,

And wafis my spirit far away. And o’er the heart as it distils,

Dear as the dew-drop to the leaf, Oh! how the rising bosom thrills

Beneath the mystic joy of grief. So sweet-so hallow'd 'tis to feel

The gentle woe that wakes the sigh,
That e'en in Heaven, methinks, 'twill stcal

Upon the spirit's dream of joy!
But hark !-that soothing strain is o'er,

And broken is the lovely spell:
So fades froni off our native shore

The accents of a Friend's farewell.

M. M.

PLEASURES OF DRAWING. HUNER, they say, will penetrate stone walls: alas, would it were. the only thing that could find its way through brick and mortar ; for then should I not have begun this sentence fourteen times, mended my pen, bitten my nails, scratched my head, and wished the whole race of Tomkisons and Broadwoods at Jericho, because a young lady in the next house has been for three hours fighting the Battle of Prague. There has been as much wire spun at Nuremberg within these latter days, as would reach from here to Jupiter ; and if all this music reaches the other spheres, heaven knows what they must think of their coadjutor in that concert which they are all performing.

Dr. Spurzheim says, that there is a lump of fibrous and cineritious matter in certain brains, allotted to this particular function, and that vain is mortal toil, should some other lump of brain have usurped its place. This may possibly be true of German brains ; but I beg to inform the Doctor, that there is a distinct organ allotted to piano-forte playing, which is universal. How else should all our misses learn the piano-forte, and play on the piano-forte ? how else should pianofortes swarm from John o' Groat's house to the Land's-end, as frogs did erst in Egypt? and how should it be that if you retire from one corner of your house to avoid the “ piano-forte next door," it is only to meet the other piano-forte at the other next door? How should it be clse, that nine, or seven, or six hours of every day, from eight years of age to five-and-twenty, are occupied in thrumming the eternal wires, and drumming the endless keys ? that every daughter of every shoemaker, and innkeeper, and farmer, plays on her“ piano ?" that even the mahogany of Jamaica has not time to grow, and that the dentists of Africa cannot draw elephants' teeth fast enough? These unfortunate beasts complained, ages ago, that the great statue of Phidias (Pheidias, I beg your pardon,) had cost them one hundred and forty sets of teeth ; but what is this to the depredations which are now to find beef and porter for an army of workmen that might have built the Athenian fleet, and claret and carriages for the whole race of Cramers and Kalkbrenners, and noise for all Great Britain ?

Time must be occupied :-true. But as there are dumb bells, why cannot there be dumb piano-fortes ? That indeed would be a meritorious patent. In the mean time, the sampler is thrown to the dogs; the honours of the ancient chair-bottoms are no more ; our shirts are without buttons to the collar ; our kitchens are left to the cook, and our children to the nursery-maid; and after fourteen years of hard labour, and four or fourteen hundred guineas transferred to the fiddler's pocket, besides the finish, which can only be given by the polishing powder of some Ries or Von Esch,--the end is, the Battle of Prague, perchance a Scotch reel, or two sonatas of Clementi, with a set of variations on God save the King, of which two or three must be skipped ; and, among the rest of which, old Carey would be troubled to know his own again.

Life is a good deal too long, I admit. Something must be found to do, or how are we to wear out this long disease? We are all ambitious to be reformers. . Vou want to know my scheme : it is contained in one word-Drawing. This has many advantages. VOL. VIII. NO. XXXIV.

2c

In the first place it makes no noise. In the next, as I shewed at the beginning, you may shut your eyes if you do not like it. In the third, it is not a theatrical acquisition: it does not exbibit a tender female contending in a hot room for the applause of an unknown crowd; her bosom rankling with envy, or swelling with ambition : it does not make our wives and daughters public characters, nor infringe on the sex's first charm, its retiring modesty. Lastly, it does not cost so much money ; and fourthly, as Dogberry says, it does not cost so much time; and seventhly, and to end, its produce is permanent, durable, lasting ; it may

be stored

away for future pleasure, and is not whistled off into thin air, to perish and be forgotten like the taste of turtle, or last year's clouds.

But do not suppose that I mean by drawing, the manufacture of three pair of fire-screens and two card-racks, or a gentle swain making love to a shepherdess under the cover of Cupid and a bundle of painted and twisted matches ; or that I intend, by drawing, a landscape framed and glazed and gilded ; combed and brushed and sponged and plastered by the fair pupil and Mr. Glover in partnership, splendent in all such colours as never were seen but in the colour-box: the first, the last, the only one that ever is to result from the expenditure of three years, and ten or thirty times as many guineas. Unless, indeed, the fair should become ambitious to “ sketch from Nature," and should, after a tour to “the Lakes," or to Loch Caterine, return with an exquisitely bound marble and morocco book, filled with “sketches from Nature," which unhappy Nature would be at a loss to recognize, and where we only know that a house is not a mountain, because it has a door and a chimney; and that it cannot be a cabbage which we are contemplating, because cabbages have no branches ; nor a pole, because poles do not bear leaves.

It is however a popular and absurd prejudice that the art of drawing is difficult or unattainable, that it requires genius, as the vulgar phrase it, and that it is fruitless, for those who have no genius, to attempt it. A young lady, or a young gentleman, for it is all the same, tries once or twice, or perhaps half-a-dozen times, to produce a drawing, the copy generally of some bad print; and because they do not at once rival Claude or Raphael, it is determined that they have no genius, and the pencil is thrown aside for ever. As if this art was to be attained without effort or study, and by inspiration; when a shoemaker must serve his years of apprenticeship, and even the genius of a chimney-sweeper is not elicited till his knees and elbows have acquired half a dozen new integuments.

I am not going to theorize on this matter so absurdly, as to say, that mere labour will make a great artist; or that all mankind may become painters by practice alone. But there is a great deal in all its inferior branches which may be attained in this manner, without much superiority of intellect, and by ordinary minds. Even in a professional point of view, this is true ; far more, where amusement or mere utility is in view, where it may become the general pursuit of the people, as literature or general science is. Much of painting is merely imitative. In these inferior parts, all may attain a mediocrity which is valuable, or which may be a source of pleasure. But of all these branches, there

It may

is none, of a general nature at least, so attainable as landscape, and in which the produce is always, in some way, amusing.

It is a popular mistake also, that the education in this art is difficult, or tedious, or expensive. It bears no proportion to music in this respect, even where pursued in the most extravagant manner. be made expensive; as it is, as every thing is in England, where the trade of education is a lucrative one, where it is therefore rendered, as far as possible, a mystery, and where parents have agreed to shift off from themselves the labour of education, in every thing ; where that which ought to be a pleasure has become a burden and a task, and all the duties of parentage are to be commuted for money. But all this is unnecessary. Children, generally, shew a desire to draw, and, when permitted, acquire it to a certain extent, with far less toil than they learn to write: doing the one, in fact, with pleasure, because they see the immediate results, and labouring unwillingly on that of which they cannot yet foresee the value. Habits can thus be acquired by them, with very little superintendence, and without expensive masters—without any masters indeed ; and, even at a more advanced stage, it is almost sufficient to give them to copy good models, which cost little.

Even in advanced age, it is a great mistake which supposes that the. art of drawing cannot be acquired : that, if not commenced in youth, it is too late to begin, It is never too late for any thing, unless where, as in music, muscles are to be taught habits which their rigidity or want of early training prevents them from acquiring late in life. This is not the case with drawing, which lies more in the eye and the mind than in the hand.

In a country like ours, where every one looks at pictures, and buys pictures, and talks of pictures, and travels in pursuit of the picturesque ; and where every one reads every thing and talks of every thing; and where our ladies write reviews and treatises on political economy, and attend the Royal Institution, and make experiments, and study their ologies, nothing but such a prejudice could have prevented them at least from studying the art of drawing, as they do that of music. Why the gentlemen do not, or why drawing is not, for them, considered a branch of liberal education, I do not know ; unless that they are too much occupied in driving barouches, corrupting Cornish boroughs, attending Newmarket, reading newspapers, and practising divinity, law, physic, and fox-hunting ; while all the knowledge of art which is required for talking about it, may be acquired in a few hours, by reading Pilkington and Mr. Haydon's criticisms on the British Gallery.

Aristotle says of this art, “ It ought to form a branch of education ; not that it may prevent its possessors from being cheated in the purchase of pictures, but because it teaches them the art of contemplating and understanding beautiful forms."

To come nearer home, Lord Arundel says, that a man who cannot draw cannot be an honest man. Shakspeare has said pretty much the same about music: and the axiom came from a warm heart at least, in both. Castiglione, too, is not a very bad authority in matters that concern a liberal education ; and certainly his view of the nature and education of a courtier, differed somewhat from that of my Lord Ches

« PreviousContinue »