« PreviousContinue »
the place consisting of the export of tobacco. There are the ruins of a Christian church and of a monastery, but no remains of the ancient fortifications. Batroun was captured with little difficulty by the Allies, on the 15th of September last. Hence to Tripoli, a distance of about fifteen miles, the road runs over the foot of the loftiest mountains of Lebanon, on one of which are seen what still remain of the famous Cedars of Lebanon, a group of about fifteen trees, of vast dimensions and patriarchal age, and numerous others of smaller size. They stand high up the mountain, among the snow, and form a growe of about a mile in circumference. The country to seaward is a vast promontory, the western point bearing the name of Cape Madonna, or Ras-el-Shakaa. the Theouprosopon of antiquity, and then a resort of pirates, who were extirpated by Pompey. The pass over the promontory is very steep and narrow, and at its foot towards Tripoli are found the villages of Callemone and Enzy—the first the ancient Calamos, the second probably occupying the site of Trieris, but a huge pile of ruins in its neighbourhood is described by some travellers as the remains of a Christian church, by others of a heathen temple. High up the mountain at the foot of which Callemone is situated, and overlooking the sea, is a large convent belonging to the Catholic Greeks, called Belmont, founded by one of the Latin counts of Tripoli, and during the Crusades more than once employed as a military post,
as it completely commands the approach to the plain.
of Tripoli from the south. Tripoli, (now called by the inhabitants Tarabolos,) described as one of the best-built and cleanest towns of Syria, stands on a small triangular plain, washed by the sea on the north and south, with a hill, crowned by a Saracenic castle, on the east, and some low sand-hills on the south-west. The town is divided into two portions by the Nahr-Kadesha, which runs by the castle, the part to the north, styled El-Mina, or Marina, being the port. The luxuriant groves of orange, lemon, mulberry, and other fruit-trees, cultivated with the utmost care, which meet the eye in every direction, and the noble poplars and plane-trees, beside various odoriferous shrubs, which abound, give a very pleasing aspect to Tripoli. But it has numerous disadvantages; for its harbour is small and unsafe, and the situation extremely unhealthy, owing in a great measure, it is supposed, to the artificial inundations which are resorted to for the purpose of procuring a second foliage from the mulberry trees, after they have been stripped to feed the silkworms, silk being one of the principal articles of export. The population of Tripoli is estimated at 15,000, a large proportion of them Catholic Greeks, the port being inhabited almost exclusively by them. The name of Tripoli, it is said, was bestowed by the Greeks, upon three settlements formed upon this spot, by Sidon, Tyre, and Aradus, which were afterwards united into one, and then served as a kind of federal city to the various Phoenician states. Three ancient sites are still distinguishable on the promontory,< that on the south, however, being nearly obliterated by sand washed upon the beach. Granite and marble columns are found scattered about in every direction, but particularly along the beach, and on the banks of the river; and of a chain of five square towers”, of Saracenic origin, which extends from the castle to the port, the lower part of each is strengthened with broken columns, piled horizontally. One of these towers is styled the Lion's Tower, as it bears a sculpture of two lions on a
* There were formerly six towers, but one has been recently blown up by the Allied force.
shield, the cognizance of the Latin counts; and indeed in no town in Syria do more vestiges of the dominion of the Crusaders exist than here. The town is supplied with water by an aqueduct, which bears the sign of the cross on many of its arches, and is called the Prince's Bridge*; most of the mosques have evidently been Christian churches, and are handsome edifices; the bazaars and khans, also, are the ancient monasteries and nunneries; and several of the streets have on each side arcades of rude Gothic architecture : the castle, too, has much of the distinctive character of the feudal fortress superadded to its original structure. Nothing of any particular importance occurs in history regarding Tripoli until the time of the Crusades. Its emir unsuccessfully assailed the first pilgrims while besieging Arca, (A.D. 1099,) but an accommodation was effected, and they passed on to Jerusalem. In 1104 it was besieged by Raymond of Toulouse, who died before its walls, but it was not captured till 1109, when the victors threw down a strong wall by which the city had been defended on the east, sacked the town, and burnt a valuable library which it contained. The city, with the territory between the Nahr-el-Kelb and the Nahr-el-Kebir, was erected into a county, and bestowed on Bertram, the son of Raymond, and the counts of Tripoli played an important part in the history of the Holy Land. They frequently entered into truces with their Mohammedan neighbours, and were often suspected of favouring them more than their Christian brethren. Count Raymond of Tripoli, for instance, is charged by both Christian and Mohammedan writers with betraying the Christian army at the battle of Tiberias (A.D. l l S7). As the battle was to be fought in his territory, by an old feudal rule he was entitled to choose the spot, and, after communicating with Saladin, he led them into a valley without water, where they were surrounded on all sides by the enemy, and when the battle commenced, he fled, with his retainers, at the first onset. By this policy they preserved themselves in the possession of at least a part of their territories, in spite of the changes which the rest of the country underwent, till at length the Egyptian Mamelukes expelled them, and desolated their city, in 1289, two years before the fall of Acre. From this period Tripoli presents little more than a series of attempts on the part of its Mohammedan governors to render themselves independent of the Porte, which were met by granting the territory to some other pacha, who when successful seldom failed to act like his predecessors. In spite of these disadvantages, however, it has remained a place of considerable trade, especially in silk and sponge, the traffic being for a long time almost exclusively in the hands of the French ; but one of its rulers, Djezzar, afterwards pacha of Acre, expelled them, and they have not since been able to regain their former footing. Under the rule of Mehemet Ali, Tripoli was usually the station of a regiment of cavalry, and another ot infantry, for whose accommodation stone barracks were erected, but upon the appearance of the Allies upon the coast, the garrison, previously reduced in order to reinforce the army in the field, abandoned the town, after a trifling resistance, one of the beforementioned line of towers having been undermined and blown up by the assailants. * The water is brought from one of the mountains, about eight miles distant. The structure near the town crosses the Nahr-Kadesha, and then serves the purpose of a bridge as well as an aqueduct. It
is oved to have been constructed by Baldwin the First of Jerusalern.
Publisuzon Weekly Nunnons, rator on, Penny, and in Monthly Far-s l'Rick Six PKNCI.
SALVATOR ROSA AND HIS WORKS.
IN our last article we followed Salvator to that period of his life when he joined Masaniello in the Neapolitan insurrection.
The death of Masaniello destroyed all the plans of the insurrectionists, and Salvator, with his friend Falcone, returned to Rome, where he wrote a bitter and imaginative poem, called Babilonia, in which he poured forth a torrent of burning and disappointed feelings. Had he ended here all might have been well but his overwhelming love of what he deemed to be liberty induced him imprudently to paint two satirica pictures, in which princes, popes, and cardinals were represented under circumstances humiliating in the greatest degree. An ass was represented decked with orders; a pig wore a mitre; a fox bore a cross; while wolves, vultures, and tigers, were bearing other insignia of power and influence; and it was not difficult to discover the implied meaning. To exhibit two such pictures in the Pantheon at Rome was rather the act of a madman than of a man of sense; and it was only by explaining away, as well as he could, the objectionable parts of the pictures, by a written Apology, that he succeeded in keeping himself out of the hands of the Inquisition. He fortunately possessed the friendship of one of the powerful Medici family, who happened at that time to be in Rome, and, by the advice of that prince, Salvator departed for Florence, where Carlo Dolce, Pietro di Cortona, and other eminent painters, then resided. His reputation had long been high at Florence, although he had never visited that city; and it has been said that “although his departure from Rome was an escape, his arrival at Florence was a triumph." The Grand Duke awarded him a liberal pension, together with a noble price for as many pictures as he chose to paint. He took a large house, furnished it magnificently, and entertained the noble families of the Capponi, the Gerini, the Corsini, the Quadagni, the Falconieri, and others, in a style of extravagance but little suited to a man subject to so much reverse of fortune as painters have usually been.
But he soon found that the titled nobles who visited his banquets, and who delighted in his wit and talents, did not forget that he was a low-born man, and frequently made him feel his inferiority by refusing to greet him in the public places. Salvator was not the man to endure such treatment; but, refusing the society of these nobles, he drew round him a circle of men, distinguished more for their intellectual qualities than their titles to nobility. With these companions he formed an Accademia, or friendly body, which met on stated evenings, for conversation, music, &c., and was always liberally entertained at Salvator's house. The drain upon his purse occasioned by these expenses was supplied by renewed diligence with his pencil during the day. He painted “Heraclitus and Democritus” for Francesco Cordone; “Sage flinging Treasures into the Sea," and “Fortune,” for Marchese Gerini; “Ancient Ruins” for Grisoli; a Grand Landscape for the Marchese Quadagni; as well as numerous battle-pieces, landscapes, sea-ports, marine views, &c., for Ferdinand di Medici.
Salvator never rested long contented in one place. He got tired of the sojourn at the court of the Medici, and accepted an invitation to visit the counts Ugo and Giulio Maffei, at their mansion in Volterra, about twenty miles from Florence,—“a spot,” says Baldinucci, “well worthy of his fine and picturesque genius. Rocks, mountains, torrents, masses of shade, and vistas of brightness, all that is most pictorial, and is scattered over the most distant regions, nature
had here concentrated." Here he indulged himself a good deal in solitary study, and devoted more time and more systematic attention to poetry than he had yet done. He at the same time painted some noble pictures for his guests, such as the “Sacrifice of Abel,” “Queen Esther,” &c. In 1652, Salvator, craving for novelty, took leave of his hospitable friends at Florence, and departed once more for Rome, carrying with him but a small sum out of the liberal payments which he had received for his pictures, for his expenditure appears to have been on an extravagant scale. He took a large mansion on the Monte Picino at Rome, between those occupied by Claude Lorraine and Nicholas Poussin, and furnished it with great taste. Every apartment displayed some luxury of art, except his own paintingroom, which was, and always had been, as plain and simple as possible. He now painted, for Colonna, his “Mercury and the Peasant,” “Moses found by Pharaoh's Daughter,” “St. John in the Wilderness,” and several landscapes; for the king of Denmark, “Jonas preaching at Nineveh ;” for Louis the Fourteenth, a large and splendid “Battle-Piece.” The painting of this last-mentioned picture showed the esti mation in which Salvator was held at that time; for Corsini being chosen nuncio from the Pope to Louis the Fourteenth, and it having been considered what would be the most acceptable offering to the king, a picture from Salvator Rosa was decided on, and this picture was the battle-piece in question, He was always solicitous for the reputation of being a great historical painter, but his purchasers were most anxious for the small landscapes which he produced in such large number. This mortified his pride, and soon after he returned to Rome he refused to paint any small landscapes whatever. About the same time he began to etch some of his own pictures, an art in which he soon acquired a great proficiency. On the occasion of a royal marriage with some of the Medici family, in 1660, Salvator was induced to pay another visit to Florence, where he occasionally employed himself in engraving in aquafortis, but scarcely at all in painting. In 1662 he returned to Rome, and shortly afterwards went on an excursion to Loretto, in which he indulged his taste for romantic scenery by rambling among the precipices and valleys of the Apennines. On his return he exhibited at the Pantheon three fine historical pictures, “Pythagoras on the Sea-shore,” “Pythagoras in the midst of his Pupils,” and “Jeremiah thrown into a Pit by the Princes of Judea." In the following year he produced what he himself considered his best picture, viz., “The Catiline Conspiracy." After the production of this last-mentioned picture, Salvator fell into a state of morbid melancholy, to which indeed he had always been occasionally subject; and from which he was only roused by an inordinate love of distinction which so often impelled him. At an exhibition at Rome, in 1668, where, through powerful influence, a certain coterie of painters were allowed to eclipse their more talented contemporaries, Salvator produced two pictures, “The Triumph of St. George over the Dragon," and “Saul and the Witch of Endor," which brought increased encomiums on him ; but throughout this period he never could obtain permission to paint any picture for the public buildings of Rome: a prohibition which, whether it resulted from the successful enmity of contemporaries, or from any other cause, deeply wounded him. It was not until after this exhibition that he obtained an order to paint an altar-piece for the Chiese de' Fiorentini. He chose the subject of the “Martyrdom of St. Cosmus and St. Damian.'
His morbid temperament now affected his health
With whatever dignity those histories are presented to us in the language of Scripture, this style of painting possesses the same power of inspiring sentiments of grandeur and sublimity, and is able to communicate them to subjects which appear by no means adapted to receive them. A ladder against the sky has no very promising appearance of possessing a capacity to excite any heroic ideas; and the ark, in the hands of a second-rate master, would have little more effect than a common waggon on the highway. Yet those subjetts are so poetically treated throughout, -the parts have such a correspondence with each other, and the whole and every part of the scene is so visionary, that it is impossible to look at them without feeling in some measure the enthusiasm which seems to have inspired the painters. Salvator Rosa's pictures are to be found in almost every country in Europe, particularly in Great Britain, where specimens are (or were a few years ago) to be found in the collections of Earl Grosvenor, Earl of Miltown, Earl of Derby, Duke of Devonshire, Earl qf Besborough, Duke of Beaufort, Earl Cowper, lord Townshend, Marquis of Lansdowne, Earl of Durham, (who is said to have given two thousand guineas for one of Rosa's pictures,) Earl Darnley, Earl de Grey, Marquis of Abercorn, Earl of Radnor, Earl of Pembroke, Duke of Sutherland, Mr. Beckford, Mr. Watts Russell, Earl of Ashburnham, Duke of Buckingham, Lord Holland, Earl of Warwick, Lord Radstock, Earl Harcourt, Mr. Hope, and numerous other noblemen and gentlemen. Petersburgh, Paris, Brussels, Dusseldorf, Rome, Florence, Genoa, Naples, Milan, and other European capitals, also possess specimens of Salvator's talent. Bryan, speaking of Rosa as an engraver, says:— “This ingenious artist has left us about ninety etchings, executed in a spirited and masterly style. They are distinguished by an intelligent management of the chiar-oscuro, and there is an uncoin mon vivacity and expression in the heads.” Among these plates were the following : “Fall of the Giants,” “Death of Regulus,” “Finding of GEdipus,” Democritus meditating,” “Execution of Polycrates,” “ Glaucus and Sylla,” “Jason charming the Dragon,” “Alexander with Apelles,” “Alexander and Diogenes,” “Diogenes throwing away his Bowl,” “Plato discoursing with his Disciples,” “Apollo and a Nymph,” “Allegorical Subject,” together with about sixty prints of bauditti, soldiers, groups, &c. All these were taken from his own pictures, and numerous other paintings by him have been engraved from by others.
NOTICE OF SOME REMARKABLE
THE class of zoophytes (animated plants), to which we
These animated plants, or, more properly speaking, plant-like animals, occupy the lowest station in the scale of organization, and can exist only in a liquid element. The sub-class, to which we more particularly refer, consists of living gelatinous matter which is to be met with in almost every part of the ocean, in floating masses, or attached to rocks, varying considerably in form, and having little appearance of belonging to the animal kingdom. They have been named Acalepha, (a Greek word signifying nettles,) and many of the species, on account of the disagreeable sensation experienced on touching them, have obtained the name of sea-nettles. They are divided into three families; the first of which comprises the FIXED ACALEPH AE.
As an example of this family, we may cite the Actiniae, a tribe of animals which present a striking
resemblance in form to many of our compound flowers; and accordingly the particular species are named after these resemblances, the sea-anemone, the seacarnation, the sea-marygold, the daisy, the sun-flower, &c. These animals are to be seen in great numbers on many shores, and are, in general, permanently fixed to rocks or shells. By referring to the figure it will be observed, that the form of the Actinia is that of a short cylinder, seated on a plain flat base; the open end of the cylinder constitutes the mouth of the animal, and is surrounded by numerous tentacula, or fibres, disposed like the petals of an anemone or marygold; and in many cases, rivalling, by their brilliancy and beauty, the lively hues of those flowers. The interior of the Actinia is, in its state of rest, filled with water; but when touched or alarmed, the animal has the power of ejecting the water through its tentacula to a considerable height; and when emptied, it becomes like a piece of blubber, covering the rock. In fine weather, when the sea is calm, it rapidly expands and retracts its many-coloured tentacula, seizes with avidity whatever prey may come within its reach, and as rapidly collapses into a round mass when it receives the slightest injury. Fig. I re. presents the Actinia in its contracted state; fig. 2, its appearance when the tentacula are fully expanded. Fig. 2.
consists of the FREE AcALEPHAE. These are not attached to any object, but are always found floating about in the water. The Medusae belong to this family, and are especially remarkable for the lumimous appearance which many of their species are supposed to communicate to the sea. This subject has already been treated of in our pages", so that we need only remark of the Medusae in general, that they are of a hemispherical, or bell-shaped form, with a marginal membrane, extending loosely down from the circumference; that they have a central pedicle, somewhat like the stalk of a mushroom, with fringed processes or tentacula. Their whole substance is semi-transparent and gelatinous; elastic, and possessing contractile power; so that the animal can raise or depress the margin of its hemispherical body, and the flap which descends from it, in a manner which has been likened to the opening and shutting of a parasol. This pulsatory movement is stated to take place about fifteen times in every minute with great regularity: the animal is sustained at the surface by the reaction of the water; but it has the power of performing a slow lateral movement, and can also descend to a small depth by contracting its dimensions in every direction. Sometimes, in order to hasten the rapidity of its descent, it turns itself over, so that the convex part is uppermost. Medusae are of various sizes: the form of the larger species may be imagined by the representation of Medusa pelluscens, given in the first of three articles on the “Luminous Appearance of the Sea," already referred to ; but there are immense numbers of minute, and even microscopic species, in every part of the ocean, equally perfect and wonderful. In the Northern Seas the waves are tinged for hundreds of miles with the colour of these animals, and
* + jories Masario, Wol. W., p 204, and Vol.
p. 159, 174, XIV.,
One morning, while pouring out some sea-water for the actinia, I saw two small objects which I thought were young of that animal, and as quickly as possible took them with a spoon out of the basin, and placed them in a tumbler. They resembled tiny bell-glasses, with four transverse rays, and a minute red ball with four white arms forming a cross, suspended in the centre; and around the edge of the bell appeared a white fringe, which was lengthened or shortened at the pleasure of the animal. The contraction was sometimes so considerable as to give to the fringe the appearance of being knotted up to the edge of the bell or disc. It was highly interesting to watch their motions in the water as they ascended from the bottom; the bell, or disc, continually performing movements of contraction and dilatation. This motion was particularly conspicuous at the edge of the disc, and the fringe, or tentacula, became shortened as they rose; but when they descended, the tentacula lengthened again, sometimes to a great degree, and then they sank gradually, and apparently without effort. At the end of a fortnight one of my pets turned itself inside out, and remained in this state some time, when it died, and left only a few flocculent particles at the bottom of the vessel. The other lived more than two months in captivity, and even bore a voyage to Bath in a closed phial of seawater, and remained active and vigorous three weeks afterwards, when it also shrunk, died, and disappeared like the former, but without the previous eversion.
This medusa belongs to the genus Cyanaea, Cuvier; and as a species is thus characterized by Dr. Davis. Cyanaea coccinea, minute, campanulate, translucent, with four rays. In the centre a red ball, with four white arms, forming a cross. At the margin numerous tentacula, being sometimes as long as the bell itself, at others shortened as if knotted up to the margin of the bell. (See figure A natural size; B magnified, with the tentacula expanded; c ditto, with the tentacula contracted.)
Having thus moticed the medusae as belonging to the second division, or free acalephae, it remains to