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WE had intended to give a Preface this month to the volume, but so many subts of discussion arose in our mind when writing it, connected with the state of public celing relative to PERIODICAL LITERATURE, that we found it absolutely necessary to desist, but hope to treat all of them fully, and in detail, in regular essays in the body of our Work.
We had resolved not to publish any verses on the late national calamity, for we found it impossible to select from the great number of poems (many of them of much merit) sent to us on that mournful event. We have however broken our resolution. Our readers will find in this Number a beautiful Elegy, by the elegant and accomplished author of "Greece," and "The Restoration of the Works of Art to Italy," two compositions imbued with the genuine spirit of classical poetry.
"On Truth, a Reverie, by an Enthusiast," is received and approved.
"Time's Magic Lanthern, No IV. Lord Bacon and Shakspeare," in our next. We need use but few words to this valued Correspondent.
H. A.'s manly and spirited paper “On the qualifications of a Speaker of the House of
Commons" in our next.
Our Aberdeen Correspondent will be attended to.
What is become of Eremus? Has his muse felt the influence of the late cold weather? Iara probably in our next. We wish to send a private letter to our clever young
What is his address?
J. F. at Paisley has our thanks for his curious communication.
"The Dying Indian" probably in our next. It possesses much vigour.
Our Dundee Correspondent ought to remember, "To R" "is human, to forgive divine."
A. H. D.'s imitation of a certain modern poet is clever, and he will hear from us soon. Our Limehouse Correspondent, G. will be attended to ere long. We often regret being obliged to delay our attention to those for whom we entertain the most friendly feelings. "Memoirs of Roderic Milesius O'Donaghue, late of Tralee, county Kerry, Ireland, first cousin to Ensign and Adjutant Morgan Odoherty," are received, and will follow the life of his illustrious kinsman, which we hope to conclude in a few more Numbers.
We are not in the practice of publishing that which is intended for several journals at the same time, unless when we are apprised of the author's intention. Mr F.'s Report of the Mineralogy of Edinburgh is known here, and, we understand, is incorrect. The public still want a statement from Mr Smith himself.
Our London Correspondent's interesting paper "On the Schools in Newgate" has been
We return our best thanks to G. W. for his friendly hints, and though the plan of our Miscellany may prevent their being adopted, yet they shall not be lost sight of.
Want of room prevents us from acknowledging many other favours.
Poetical Notices will be given in the concluding Number of each volume. Therefore, on the 21st of September, our friends may expect to be addressed in an Irregular Ode, after the manner of Pindar, and probably in Greek, in which case there will be a free translation, with notes, illustrative and explanatory.
TIME'S MAGIC LANTHERN. No II.
Galileo in the Inquisition.
Galileo. So you are come to close the shutters of my window before nightfall. Surely these bars are strong enough. I would fain have the consolation of viewing the heavens after it is dark. My sleep is unquiet and short, for want of exercise; and when I lie awake, the roof of my prison presents nothing but a sable blank. Do not, I beseech you, conceal from me the blue vault, and those hosts of light, upon which I still love to gaze in spite of all my troubles.
Monk. You must not see the stars. It is the stars which have put you wrong. Poor man! to think the earth was turning round.
Galileo. Alas! alas! Is it for this that I have studied?
Monk. Do you suppose, that if the earth had been turning all this while, the sea would not have drowned every living soul? I put this to you, as a simple question, and level with the most ordinary capacity.
Galileo. My good friend, you know that I have recanted these things, and therefore it is needless for me to dispute farther upon the subject.
Monk. Your books were burnt at Rome, which, in my opinion, was an idle business. In a few years they would have turned to smoke of their own accord. 'Tis the way with all new discoveries, for I am an old Christian, and have seen the fashion of the world before now.
Galileo. Do you suppose that glass windows were used in the time of
Monk. No; for the Scripture mentions no such thing. But what then? Galileo. Why then, you must admit that time teaches things which were unknown before.
Monk. That is possible enough. But now things are different; for my head is gray, and I have no faith in new discoveries.
Galileo. We know not what time may bring about. Perhaps the earth may yet be weighed.
Monk. Go on-you shall receive no interruption from me. You perceive that I only smile gently and goodnaturedly when you talk in this man
Galileo. What is the matter? what makes you look so wise?
Monk. Never mind. Go on.
Galileo. What is the meaning of this extraordinary look of tenderness and benignity, which you are attempting to throw into your features.
Monk. When I consider what is your real condition, it moves my pity. For my part, when the Cardinals made so much ado about your writings, I always thought they were trifling with their office.
Galileo. I wish you would convince them of that; for all I desire is, to have the privilege of looking through my telescopes, and to live quietly without doing harm to any man. pray you, allow the window to remain open; for darkness is gathering, and Jupiter already blazes yonder through the twilight. So pure a sky!—and to be debarred from my optical contrivances.
Monk. Study the Scriptures, my son, with care and diligence, and you will have no need of optical contriv
Galileo. I am well acquainted with the Scriptures; but as I do not suppose they were meant to instruct mankind in astronomy, I think there is no sacrilege in attempting to discover more of the nature of the universe than what is revealed in them.
Monk. So you believe yourself capable of succeeding in the attempt ? Galileo. Perhaps I do.
Monk. Would not your time be better employed, my son, in perusing some rational book of devotion? Do not allow yourself to be led away by the idle suggestions of self-conceit. What is there to be seen about you, which should enable you to penetrate farther into the secrets of the universe than me or the rest of mankind? I do not ask this question with a view to wound your pride, but with a sincere wish for your good.
Galileo. Upon my word, you are too kind to me. Pray, father, is there any book of devotion which you would recommend in particular?
Monk. Recommend in particular!There is a book which it would not become me to but no-recommend in particular!-Hum-I know
Galileo. Something trembles at your tongue's end. Have you yourself written any book of devotion?
Monk. Far be it from me to speak of my own writings. Of all books of devotion, my own was the remotest from my thoughts. But since you desire to see it
Galileo. What are the subjects treated of in it?
Monk. Life, death, and immortality. There is also a treatise upon the habitations of good men after death, and the delights to be found there.
Galileo. Your notions concerning these subjects must be in a great measure fanciful.
Monk. By no means. Good reasons are given for every tittle that is advanced.
Galileo. And where do you suppose the habitations of good men to be? Monk. Why, in heaven, to be sure. Galileo. Is it not possible that their abode may be situated in some of the constellations? When gazing, as I was wont to do, at midnight, upon Arcturus, or the brilliant orbs of Orion, I have sometimes thought, that in the blue depths there might exist worlds
suitable for the habitation of an immortal spirit.
Monk. My son, my son, beware of futile conjectures! You know not upon what ground you are treading.
Galileo. Does not the galaxy shed forth a glorious light? How gorgeous is its throng of constellations!—To me it seems like a procession of innumerable worlds, passing in review be◄ fore their Creator.
Monk. If the galaxy moves, why may not the sun?
Galileo. My judgment is, that they may both move, for aught I know, although at a very slow pace.
Monk. Now you speak sense. knew I should bring you round; for, to say the truth (and I say it between you and me), if it had not been for my enemies, whom Heaven pardon, I should have been wearing a red hat before now. Good night: and I shall immediately bring the book, which will help to put your thoughts in a proper train again.
No III. Rembrandt's Work-shop. Rembrandt solus. Too much light here still. I must deepen the shadows even more, until the figures begin to shine out as they ought. And now for Pharoah's Baker, whose dream is not yet interpreted; so that he looks up earnestly in the face of Joseph, and receives a strong gleam through the iron bars. So-and again-so. Now for the shadows again. To talk to me of Guido, with his shallow, gray, and trivial open-lights! Ah ha! 'tis I who am Rembrandt-and there is no other. (a knock at the door.) Heaven send a purchaser! Come in.
Dutch Trader. Good morrow, friend. I wish to have a picture of yours to leave to my wife, before I go to sail the salt seas again.
Rem. Would you have your own face painted?
Trader. My face has seen both fair and foul, in its time, and belike it may not do for a canvass, for I am no fresh water pippin-cheek.
Rem. Bear a good heart. Your face is of the kind I like. There is no room for tricks of the pencil upon too smooth a skin.
Trader. By this hand, I know nc
thing of these things; but my wife shall have a picture.
Rem. A large hat would serve to shadow your eyes; and there should be no light till we come down to the point of your nose, which would be the only sharp in the picture. Nothing but brownness and darkness every where else. Pray you, sit down here, and try on this great hat.
Trader. Nay, by your leave, I will look at these pictures on the wall first. What is this?
Rem. It is a Turk whom I have seen in the streets of Amsterdam. I like to paint a good beard; and you see how angrily this man's beard is
Trader. A stout Pagan, and a good fighter, I warrant you. I feel as if I could fetch him a cut over the crown; for my ship was once near being run down by an Algerine.
Rem. Look at the next. 'Tis the inside of a farmer's kitchen.
Trader. Nay, I could have told you that myself; for these pails of milk might be drunk; and there is an old grandam twirling her spindle. When next I go to live at my brother Lucas's farm, I shall persuade him to buy this picture. It shews the fat and plenteous life which he lives, when I am sailing the salt seas.
Rem. Here is a sea-piece. Trader. Why, that is good also; but this sail should have been lashed to the binnacle; for, d'ye see, when a vessel is spooning against a swell, she pitches, and it is necessary to
Rem. You are right; I must have it altered. How does this landscape please you?
Trader. Why, it is a good flat country; but exhibits none of those great rocks which I have seen in foreign parts. I have seen burning mountains, which would have made the brush drop from your hand. I have sailed round the world, and seen the waves rising to the height of Haerlem steeple, and nothing but cannibals on shore to make signals to.
Rem. Well-and which of the pictures will you have? you shall have your choice of them for forty ducats.
Trader. Nay, now you are joking. Who will give you forty ducats? When at dinner with the burgo-master lately, I heard a collector putting prices on your works. He said, if we would wait, your market would cer
tainly fall, for you had too many on hand.
Rem. My market shall not fall. I will see this collector at the bottom of the ocean first. But come now, let us be reasonable together. I will paint your portrait for thirty. Take your seat.
Trader. Not so fast. My wife must be conferred with, and, if she approves, perhaps I may come back. Meanwhile, good morning. (Exit.)
Rem. A curse on these picturedealing babblers. How shall I be revenged on them? My pictures are as good as the oldest extant, and, if I were dead, every piece would sell for as much gold as would cover it. But I see what must be done. Come hither, wife, and receive a commission. Go straight to the joiners, and order him to prepare for my funeral.
Rembrandt's Wife. What is the meaning of this? Are your wits turned?
Rem. My wits are turned towards money-making. I must counterfeit myself dead, to raise the price of my works, which will be valued as jewels, when there is no expectation of any
Wife. Now I perceive your drift. Was there ever such a contrivance! You mean to conceal yourself, and have a mock funeral? *
Rem. Yes; and when my walls are unloaded I shall appear again. So that after the picture dealers have been brought to canonize me for a dead painter, and when they have fairly ventured out their praise and their money, they shall see me come and lay my hands upon both.
Wife. How will it be possible for me to cry sufficiently, when there is no real death?
Rem. Make good use of the present occasion to perfect yourself in your part, for you may one day have to repeat it.
And she is gone-the royal and the young!
Wake from that breast one sympathy again:
Oh! many a bright existence we have seen
Cropt ere its leaves were breath'd upon by time.
Yet there is one who loved thee-and whose soul,
With mild affections nature formed to melt; His mind hath bowed beneath the stern control Of many a grief-but this shall be unfelt! Years have gone by-and given his honoured head
A diadem of snow-his eye is dimAround him Heaven a solemn cloud hath spread
The past, the future, are a dream to him!
The Chastener's hand is on us-we may weep,
Her voice hath been th' awakener, and her
The gathering word of nations, in her might,
Hath guided Europe thro' her darkest hour. -Away, vain dreams of glory-in the dust Be humbled, Ocean Queen! and own thy sentence just!