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instead of places, continent! are to be reached, reason will assure us, and experience confirm it, that sense must be crossed, and the management of ships understood; for "the ocean," to use the elegant language of Dr. Robertson, "though destined to facilitate the communication between distant countries, seems at first view to be formed to check the progress of man, and it was long, we may believe, before they became skilful enough to commit themselves to the mercy of winds and waves, or to quit their native regions in quest of remote and unknown countries." As time has progressively advanced, there is every reason to suppose that the wisdom of one age has been added to that of another, so that arts and sciences have proportionably improved in all their departments; and navigation, perhaps, of all arts, the least esteemed by the ancients, because least understood, has, by the invention of the compass, assumed a far different figure in the annals of modern history. The great and obvious utility of this instrument in the hands of the sailor clearly, and, I think, satisfactorily, demonstrates, that this art, before an invention so important, must have been no lest difficult than dangerous. The regulation of a ship's course by the planets, according to ancient custom, must always have been precarious, and subjected to the variations which these bodies continually experience from different causes. But as soon as the singular properties whieh the magnet possesses, of invariably pointing to the North pole, became known, the application also of this substance to useful purposes was understood, and cannot be better delineated than in the invention of the mariner's compass, his infallible reference and unerring guide in any part of the wide and unfathomable ocean, whether its surface be smooth as the inland lake, or agitated by the storms that are occasionally exhibited in a manner the most terrific, awful, and destructive. Thus we perceive that two events, equally wonderful, origmated in the building of a tower, which some say was constructed with the evil intent of prying into the secrets of heaven; others, that it was for the more probable as Well as rational purpose of directing the builders home to their habitations. • A-few writers have cur
effective expedient to ensure their dispersion over the earth, and repair the damages it had lately sustained from the world of waters that overwhelmed it. This expedient by many, and perhaps by the majority of mankind, is supposed to have been no other than the confounding of tongues at the building of Babel. Proofs, however, we have none, which positively affirm either with satisfaction to our own judgments, or in concurrence with scriptural narrative, that the confined term expressing only the builders of Babel, included also the whole of man kind. From this circumstance, whether real or accidental, various theories have arisen: the most worthy, as well as the most correct, is that of Mr. Bryant, who has made the dispersion here alluded to, a partial one, affecting only the great family of the Cuthites, who were the builders of Babel. In the observations of this writer there is generally, and now particularly, much ingenuity of invention. . His language is clear, and his theory, without departing from the accounts given by the patriarch Moses, possesses much originality of invention; it is equally interesting and explicit; who though he differs from vulgar opinion by making the dispersion partial, has too much good sense to vouch that none at all has occurred. For it is a natural supposition that where men are deprived of the means of talking so as to be understood by their own fraternity, or where the language of one family is incommunicable to the whole tribe, it will be found that the first step they will adopt will be that of voluntary separation from each other. Reasoning like this, furnishes, I think, the following satisfactory conclusion, without the assistance of history or antiquity, "that a dispersion subsequent to, and induced by, the erection of Babel, did actually take place; and as Moses denominates it,, "one not confined to any particular part of the earth, but extended even to its remotest parts. Here, however, a difficulty arises, which, if it was not insurmountable in those times, was scarcely practicable. In what manner were the early migrations of our forefathers performed? Most parts in a continent, it is true, are accessible by land, aud mankind could have easily spread themselves over the whole of Asia, But when,
sorily and scantily treated this subject; they are chiefly those who have written upon mythology, language, or chronology. The facts, however, which are known to Ihe present age, independent of their being much mutilated in their long journeys from one century to another, are few, and mysteriously expressed. The observations 1 have here made, though they will furnish but III tie elucidation to an abstruse subject, may lie considered as a compilation of facts the most authentic, and of opinions either drawn from the facts themselves, or as tliey have been given to the world by men of esteemed learning and penetration. John Poke.
Mr. Urban, July 16.
AS you are particularly conversant with the curiosities of literature, you will not dislike to register in your
fiages a very slight notice of three ittle volumes ot re-printed Poetry, which have just appeared.
The first is limited to 100 copies in small Svo. it is entitled George Witheh's Hymns and Songs of the Church. The first part contains the Canonical hymns, and such parcels of holy scripture as may properly be sung, with some other ancient songs and creeds. The second pirt consists of spiritual songs, appropriated to the several times and occasions observable in the Church of England, reprinted from the edition without date'; but published about 1623.
The second is limited to 61 copies in small 4to. It is entitled Poebis By William Hammond, Esq. of St. Alton's Court, in East Kent, re-printed from the very scarce and only edition of 1655.
The third is a very elegant little volume in 12mo. of which only "forty copies are printed, entitled Nymfha Libethris, or the Citswold Muse, by Clement Barksdale, A.M. of Sudeley, in Gloucestershire, < hap lain to the Lord Chandos. Re-printed from the extra-rare little volume of 1651, which sold for 20 guineas among Longman's collection of old poetry.
This new edition of Wither'* Hymns contains a curious preface, illustrative as well of the state of bookselling in tbose dajs, as of Wither'* life. There is also a great deal of intrinsic merit in the poetry of live volume, as well as
most instructive prose introductions to every poem. They will prove the state of the language in those days to have arrived much nearer to modern polish than is generally suspected.
The volume of Hammond had onlybeen distinguished in its old title by the author's initials. The name is the discovery ol the present Editor.
The Cotswold Muse of Barksdale is a singularly attractive little volume. It is full of interesting notices of families, manners, and habits of that eventful period, more especially of Gloucestershire gentry. A limitation to 40 copies will make it a treasure to any collector wtio shall attain it.
The dedication to each of these reprints has the signature of S. E. B., one not unknown by his enthusiasm for old literature, which has led him to incur the toil, and hazard the expence, of Ihe present volumes.
The shop of Mr. Triphook will, with the intelligence of its owner in this department, probably aid the inquisitive in the procurement of-these rarities.
Your Printer has performed a similar service to Topographers, by the re-publication of elegant limited Editions of " Cullum's Hawsted," and "Warlon's Kidiiinglon." Will he also add "Gough's Pleshy?" O.
Mr. Urban, Arundel, June 20.
THE following inscription is eograven on the corner-stone of the superb room in Arundel castle, called the " Barons' Hall," in which the late Duke of Norfolk gave his magnificent ffite last summer, and which is not generally known.
Yours, &c. Sidney.
CAROLL'S HOWARD, NOn.FOI.ClE DUX,
A. C. MDCCCVI.
J. 7'easdale, Arch.
"Charles Howard, Duke of Norfolk,
Earl of Arundel,
in the year of Christ 1B05,'
in the 60th year of his age,
dedicated this stone
to Liberty, asserted by the Baro.-n
in the reign of John."
Mr. Mr. Urban, July 18.
OX the 3d of July, being; the la»t Wednesday in Trinity Term, the Greshain Professor of Music concluded his annual course of Lectures, by a dissertation on the composition of Glees; and exemplified the subject of his discourse by the performances of the most eminent vocal abilities in the Metropolis.- The Lecturer took occasion to notice a difficulty experienced by professional gentlemen in their historical inquiries, from the circumstance that all new music is undated. It would add materially to the value of a well-established periodical work as a book of reference, if it were to record all Musical publications likely to outlive their respective authors; and 1 hope, Mr. Urban, you will give me leave to hint, that such a brief notice of meritorious compositions in the Gentleman's Magazine, would be more generally useful than the very scientific criticisms which sometimes appear in your pages; unintelligible probably to all except professional gentlemen, and superfluous, it may be presumed, to thosewho are thoroughly masters of the science.
And now, Sir, with all due humility, I would venture to address a few !ines to that redoubtable personage Mr. Bartlemy Birch, who appears in your Number for May, p. 418.
The Literary friend who was in the habit of exclaiming, "Pray, Birch, save me the trouble of going to the Dictionary," would have consulted his Dictionary in vain forthe words* cited by the indignant Pedagogue.
Participles are excluded, surely without reason, even from the Dictionaries and Vocabularies designed especially for young persons, and mere English Scholars, who are thus, in a case of doubt, left completely at a loss for the orthography of those words, which, as your Correspondent acknowledges, have been mistaken by gentlemen of liberal and academic education. Mr. Birch threatens to wield the rod " in the true Busbsan style;''' and I hope the compilers of Dictionaries and Spelling-hooks will be the first parties summoned to hit Literary tribunal.
Yours, &c. A. T.
Remarks on the Monumental Bust of Shakespeare, at -Stratford-uponAvon. Written by J. Britton, F. S. A. to accompany a Portrait engraved by W. Ward, A. R. A. I Fagenuine port rait of Alexander.tif Homer, or of Alfred, be regarded as a desideratum in the history of art, and in the history of man, so is that of Shakspeare; for though The English Poet is comparatively a modern, yet it is as difficult and doubtful to substantiate the authenticity of a por(trait of him, as of the ancient Grecian hero, or poet, or of the more estimable English monarch.- There is neither proof nor intimation that Shakspeare ever sat for a picture; and it must be admitted that the whole host of presumed portraits "come in such questionable shapes," and with such equivocal pedigrees, that suspicion or disbelief attach to all. Not so the Monumental Bust at Stratford: this appeals to our eyes and understandings with all the force of truth. We view it as a family record; as a memorial raised by the affection and esteem of his relatives, to keep alive contemporary admiration, and to excite the glow of enthusiasm in posterity. This invaluable "effigy" is attested by tradition, consecrated by time, and preserved in the inviolability of its own simplicity and •acred station. . It was evidently executed immediately after the poet's decease; and probably under the superintendance of his soti-iu-law, Dr. Ual), and his daughter; the latter of whom, according to her epitaph, was " Witty above her sexe," and therein like her father. Leonard Digges, in a poem praising the works and worth of Shakspeare, and published within seven, years after his death, speaks of the Stratford monument as a well-known > object. Dugdale, in his " Antiquities of Warwickshire," 1656, gives a plate' of the monument, but <tr.iwn and engraved in a truly tasteless and inaccurate style; and observes in the text, that the poet was famous, and thus, entitled to such (list nclion. Langrbaine, in his "Account of English Dramatic Poets," 1691, pronounces the Stratford Bust Shakspeare's" true effigies."—The*e are decided proof*
* With the exception of synonyme and bigoted. The other words are sometimes introduced by our great Lexicographer in his quotations, but variously spelled accruing to tbe taste of the original authors. '■ •" •>■' '"'H
Gem. Mao. July, 1816.
of its antiquity; and we may safely conclude that it was intended to be a faithful portrait of the poet. In the age this was executed, it was customary to pqurt ray the heads aud figures of illustrious aud eminent persons by monumental statues and busts. (See Gough's "Sepulchral Monuments," vol. 11.) Many were cut in alabaster, and in white marble, and others were formed of stone. In the reigns of Henry VI. VII. and VIII. some of the English monumental sculpture is remarkable for a fine style > combining the essentials of breadth, simplicity, and nature. During Elizabeth's reign it gradually degenerated; aud under the sway of James we find a still greater debasement. Still we have reason to believe that some of the artists studiously endeavoured to perpetuate portraits, or true effigies, of the persons commemorated. Indeed it is quite clear that they aimed rather at likeness than tasteful composition. This is evinced in the statue of Queen Elizabeth, in Westminster Abbey Church; in the bust of Camden, in the same church ; the statue of Lord Bacon, at St. Albans; and in several others that might be adduced. All these show that the artists had their prototypes in nature; either by modelling the respective persons while living, or by taking casts after death. It has been deemed advisable to offer these remarks relating to the Stratford Bust; because this has been hitherto wholly neglected by biographers and critics, or treated slightly and superciliously. In Dugda'c's Warwickshire, Bell's edition of our poet, in the splendid one of Boydell, in Ire
land's Tour of the Avon, and in Wbejer's pleasing History, &c. of Stratford, it has been published ; but in no one of these works has it been correctly delineated. In the two former, indeed, it is done in a vulgar and contemptible manner. The Bust is the size of life; it is formed out of a block of soft stone; and was originally painted over in imitation of nature. The hands and face were of flesh colour, the eyes of a light hazle, and the hair and beard, auburn; the doublet, or coat, was scarlet, aud covered with a loose black gown, or tabard, without sleeves; the upper part of the cushion was green, the under half crimson, and the tassels gilt*. Such appear to have been the original features of this important, but neglected or insulted bust. After remaining in this state above one hundred and twenty years, Mr. John Ward, grandfather to Mrs. Siddons and Mr. Kenible, caused it to be " repaired, and the original colours preserved +," in 1148, from the profits of the representation of Othello. This was a generous, and apparently judicious act; and therefore very unlike the next alteration it was subjected to in 1793. In that year, Mr. Malone caused the bust to be covered over with one or more coats of white paint; and thus at once destroyed its original character, and greatly injured the expression of the face:}:. Having absurdly characterized this expression for " pertness," and therefore "differing from that placid composure and thoughtful gravity so perceptible in his original portrait, and his best prints," Mr. Malone could have few scruples about injuring, or destroying it. In this very act, and in this line of comment, our zealous annotator has passed an irrevocable sentence on his own judgment. If the opinions of some of the best sculptors and painters of the metropolis are entitled to respect and confidence on such a subject, that of Mr. Malone is at once false and absurd. They justly remark, that the face indicates cheerfulness, good humour, suavity, benignity, and intelligence. These characteristics are developed by the mouth and its muscles—by the cheeks — eye-brows—forehead — and skull; and hence they rationally infer, that the face is worked from nature. Again, Mr. Maloite talks strangely of "his original portrait, and of his best printer" as if there was one authenticated and acknowledged picture, and that, out of the multitude of prints, miscalled portraits of Shakspeare, any of them were good and genuine. It would not be difficult to show, to the satisfaction of every impartial reader, that there is nothing like proof, nor scarcely probability in the genuineness of any of the paintings or prints that have come before the public, as portraits of our unrivalled Bard. That by Droeshout cannot be like any human face, for it is evidently ill drawn in all the features, and a bad artist can never make a good likeness. On such a print Ben Jonson's lines are futile and unworthy of credit. From the time of the publication of that print up to the present, we have been insulted and trifled with by numerous things called portraits of Shakspeare; most, if not all of which are as palpable forgeries as the notorious Ireland manuscripts.
* Although the practice of painting statues and busts to imitate nature, is repugnant to good taste, and must be stigmatized as vulgar, and hostile to every principle of art, yet when an effigy is thus coloured and transmitted to us, as illustrative of a particular age or people, and as a record of fashion and costume, it becomes an interesting relic, and should be preserved with as much care as an Etruscan vase, or an early specimen of Raffael's painting; and the man who deliberately defaces or destroys either, will ever be regarded as a criminal in the high court of -criticism and taste. From an absence of this feeling, many truly curious, and to us important subjects \\nve. been destroyed. Among which is to be noticed a vast monument of antiquity on Marlbrough Downs, in Wiltshire; and which, though once the most stupendous work of human labour and skill in Great Britain, is now nearly demolished.
f Whelur's " Guide to Stratford-upon-Avon." 12mo. 1814. X Mr. Wlieler, in his interesting Topographical Vade Mecum, relating to Stratford, has given publicity to the following stanzas, which were written in the Album, at Stratford Church, by one of the visitors to Shakspeare's tomb. "Stranger, to whom this monument is shown, Invoke the Poet's curses on Malone; Whose meddling zeal his barbarous taste displays, And daubs his tomb stone, as he mari'd his plays I"
Mr. Urban, Malvern, July 11.
IF I rightly recollect, in some of the numbers of your valuable Miscellany, a Correspondent deplored, in common with other admirers of what is- improperly called the Gothic Architecture, that one of the most beautiful specimens of it, Great Malvern Abbey Church, should have fallen, as to the interior, into utter neglect and decay'. It is gratifying, therefore, to have an opportunity of recording, through you, what the zeal of an individual, the influence of example, and the rational appropriation of mo
• See vol. LXX1I. p. 923; vol. LXXV. p. 895.
ney, have effected within the short 'pace of four months, for the renovation of a structure so ornamental to the county of Worcester. To those who remember Malvern Church in •its former state, when the Bat made her nest within its sacred walls, and the crumbling roof dropped upon the uplifted eye of devotion—a short representation of the alterations and improvements which have been made, with a view to restore it to something like its pristine character of dignity and magnificence, must be highly satisfactory.
■ On entering the Church, the first object that now meets the eye, in consequence of the removal of two old screens, is the window at the end of the North aile, which is completely filled up with ancient stained glass. In the approach to the Nave, the two circular ends of the Church, composed of richly glazed tiles, upon which are the armorial bearings of different great families, cannot fail to arrest the attention. The pavement is of stone; and the two sides of the chancel are now occupied with the decorated stalls of the "white-robed Monks," the seats of which are lined with handsome crimson cloth, corresponding with the Communion-table, the Pulpit, and the state Pews of Earl Beauchamp, and Mr. Foley ofStoke, Patron of the Living; which Pews, from their size, and costly mode of fitting up, make an imposing appearance. The West now rivals the East window in richness and beauty of colours. The Organ is sufficiently enlarged; and, though it has evidently been the great object to keep an uniformity of design throughout, yet the front of the Organ gallery is so conspicuously beautiful, that this alone will attract admiration with many. Still there is nothing in it that can violate the general aspect of antiquity which pervades the Church, for a due regard to the style of the building has been strictly observed in the wholeof the ornamental parts. In short, nothing of modern beautification is to bediscerned. Such are the principal improvements in this magnificent structure (which is a hundred and seventy-one feet in length, and sixty-three feet in breadth, with an embattled and pinnacled tower, rising from the centre to the height of a hundred and twenty-four feet); and so judiciously have