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SCIENCE AND ART TOPICS-PUGIN-TURNER.
Exhibition of 1851, became, when that exhibi- | by her majesty, and were empowered to detion of "peace” was over, a sad bone of con- vote the surplus derived from the Great tention. Lord John Manners peremptorily Exhibition to the erection of galleries and closed the building at the end of the term, museums for the promotion of arts, manuand the plan of making it a winter-garden factures, and commerce. The money was for London did not excite any very great therefore expended in the purchase of land interest in the mind of the general public. at South Kensington for the new national Many of the trades-people in Piccadilly and Science and Art Galleries. the neighbourhood strongly opposed the idea of retaining the building on its original site, Early in 1852 a name great in art, and of saying that the concourse of visitors blocked even more than national interest, had come the streets and spoiled their trade. Others prominently before the public. The death of urged that, as the building covered nearly | Pugin, the centre, or more than the centre of twenty acres of grass ground and necessitated the great Gothic revival, was interesting as the trampling down of about as much more, well as mournful in various ways which need with a disagreeable pollution of the Serpen- not be dwelt upon now; but Turner, who tine (from which the effluvium was said to be was in a more direct manner a national benevery bad), it was very undesirable on sanitary factor, claims distinct and extended notice. grounds to keep the edifice where it was. In He was, in several respects, a very remarkfact this crystal palace of peace was the sub- able man; perhaps, like Pugin, not altogether ject of more warfare than any human being He was born in Maiden Lane, Covent would have thought possible. It must not be Garden, in 1775, was the son of a barber, supposed that London alone took part in the and received a very poor education. His fray. The provinces joined in it, almost extraordinary natural gift with the pencil every town having a pet scheme of its own- made him noticed by kind and discerning one of these being that the building should friends, and it befell that at twelve years of remain where it was and be made a "centre" age he was exhibiting two drawings at the for the granting of diplomas in art and tech- | Royal Academy. When he was only twentynical knowledge. At public meetings the four years of age he was elected an associate, Duke of Argyll, Lord Shaftesbury, Lord Har- and three years afterwards he received the rowby, Lord Palmerston, Baron Meyer de full honours of an academician. In 1807 he Rothschild, and other distinguished public was elected professor of perspective, but as he men, came forward to support the proposal was vulgarly illiterate and quite incapable of for keeping the palace in Hyde Park. A communicating knowledge this came to noworking-man sent £20 to Lord Shaftesbury thing. When he died, in a small house at in aid of the movement; but the general Chelsea looking on the river, it was found public after all were apathetic, and Lord that he had bequeathed to the nation the John Manners and his colleagues held that magnificent collection of pictures now to be the government were pledged to its removal. seen in the National Gallery, and a fortune of There was at first, a chance of its being laid about £200,000 for founding an asylum for down in Battersea Fields, which might have decayed artists : a scheme which was frustrated been a good conclusion ; but the subsequent owing to some legal technicality. history of the palace is well known. The Turner left more—and more splendid-work noticeable point is that in these discussions in landscape than any artist that ever lived. the idea of technical education on a large and He travelled much, but used to say that the dignified scale, and as a national matter, fol- finest sunsets he ever saw were in the Isle of lowed so easily in the wake of ideas which be- Thanet. During the season he might be seen longed strictly to the original Exhibition itself. on board the Margate boat, eating a coarse
The royal commissioners had been consti- dinner out of a cotton handkerchief, and quite tuted a permanent body by a charter granted | ready to "spell for” a glass of wine of any fellow-passenger. The back-grounds of his over Louis Napoleon's ingratitude. d'Orsay life are not agreeable to contemplate. It is had been a lieutenant in the French army, and bewildering to think of the painter of those notwithstanding the great flaw in his life, rainbow dreams of pictures engaged in coarse, had, like the countess, fine qualities. He is and worse than coarse, orgies at Wapping. very amusingly sketched in Lord Byron's Turner's coffin lies in the crypt of St. Paul's diary at Genoa. “Milord Blessington (MountCathedral, close to that of Sir Joshua Reynolds. joy) and épouse, travelling with a very handWhat Mr. Ruskin did and has done for his some companion in the shape of a French fame is well known, and also Turner's gruff count, who has all the air of a Cupidon déchainé, astonishment at “the young man's” discoveries and one of the few ideal specimens I have seen of his meanings. He was sordidly careful of of a Frenchman before the revolution. Mountinoney, but that he was capable of kind and joy (for the Gardiners are the lineal race of even generous actions is certain.
the famous Irish viceroy of that ilk) seems
very good-natured, but is much tamed since I In this first year of the French empire, too, recollect him in all the glory of gems, and died Count d'Orsay, who was something of an suuff-boxes, and uniforms, and theatricals, artist, and held some sort of office under the sitting to Strolling, the painter, to be depicted prince-president, Louis Napoleon, in that as one of the heroes of Agincourt.” capacity. He was the Count Mirabel of Dis- It was arranged that d'Orsay was to be a raeli's love-story of Henrietta Temple; not a fixture in the Mountjoy family by becoming coxcomb in the vulgar sense, but an artisti- the husband of the honourable Harriet Gardically finished man of the world, elegantly ner, his lordship’s daughter by his first wife. epicurean, very clever, and somewhat fas- This young person was summoned accordingly cinating. His relations with the Countess of from school and married at her father's bidding Blessington started from a very high-flavoured to the Cupidon déchainé. The great scandal enpiece of “scandal” which was never forgotten. sued. Lord Blessington died at Paris in 1827, At Gore House, where they presided over the and the title became extinct. His countess behospitalities together, no lady who was in came a fashionable star in the literary firmasociety was ever seen then, but there were ment of England, and Count d'Orsay resumed plenty of brilliant men, including Disraeli (as in London the career of sportsman, exquisite, has been mentioned), and some who were only artist, and general arbiter elegantiarum. Lady notorious, including Louis Napoleon, then an Blessington's literary success was nothing more exile.
than succès de salon. The disappearance of D'Orsay spent his last years in erecting, on these two figures may be said to mark the close a green eminence in the village of Chambourey of the whole business of literary dandyism. beyond St. Germain-en-Laye, where the rustic churchyard joins the estate of the Grammont While various small pageantries were going family, a marble pyramid. In the sepulchral on in Paris by way of preparing for the actual chamber there is a stone sarcophagus on either assumption of the purple by Louis Napoleon, side, each surmounted by a white marble a ludicrous performance in the empire way tablet; that to the left incloses the remains of was taking place in Hayti, a place which Lady Blessington, that to the right contains is memorable in connection with Toussaint the coffin of d'Orsay himself.
L'Ouverture even if Wordsworth had not It was known that Count d'Orsay was commemorated him in one of his greatest bitterly disgusted with the state of French sonnets. Soulouque was to be crowned empolitics after the coup d'état of December, peror. For months, troops, such as they 1851, and disappointed with his old friend's were, had been pouring into “ the capital” treatment of him. It was said in addition from every quarter of the country. that he died (aged about 53) of chagrin, while came, helter-skelter, some with sticks, guns, a the Countess of Blessington broke her heart / great number of the latter without locks; some
In they HAYTI-SOULOUQUE AS “FAUSTIN I.”
with coats only, many without either coats or collar, and imperial cloak of the emperor, after breeches. The soldiers that had been lucky which were blessed the crown, cloak, and ring enough to procure shoes were more fortunate
of the empress.
Then came the president of than their officers. There was a large tent the court of cassation (the supreme court of erected on the “Champ de Mars" capable of Hayti) accompanied by the deputies, and precontaining from ten thousand to twelve thou- sented to Soulouque the constitution of Hayti, sand people. At a distance of four hundred demanding of him to swear not to violate it; yards there was another, erected immediately upon which he placed the crown on his head, behind the government palace, which served and placed the Bible on the pages of the conas a robing-chamber for the imperial family. stitution, and said, “I swear to abide by the On the east-end stood a platform on which constitution, and to maintain the integrity and there was a Catholic altar; the rest of the independence of the empire of Hayti.” Then tent was partitioned off for the deputies, the master of the ceremonies cried aloud, nobles, ladies of honour (black), consuls, and “Long live the great, glorious, and august foreign merchants; the troops assembled and Emperor Faustin the First.” So ended the formed into a square, and a double line was pomp and pageantry of crowning this "nigger" stationed along the route leading to the palace, emperor. The accounts of it caused much in order to protect their majesties from vio- amusement in England, and when Louis Nalence. Then came the senators and deputies, poleon was crowned the occasion was not fordukes, earls, and ladies of honour, who were gotten by caricaturists and jokers. But there led to the place assigned to them by the was more than joking on the subject of the master of the ceremonies. Their majesties French emperor, for it must be remembered were to make their appearance at six o'clock that while Louis Napoleon was challenging a.m., but with true negro punctuality they did the admiration of most of us by his release of not arrive till nine. They were announced the grand old Algerian chief Abd-el-Kader by the discharge of artillery, music, and loud on parole, he was endeavouring to spread his and long vivas from the spectators, and none nets all over Europe with an eye to political shouted more lustily than the foreign mer- conspirators. Lord Malmesbury, our foreign chants, while at the same time they inwardly minister, nicknamed M. le Comte de Malmescursed Soulouque and his government for ruin- bury and much laughed at about “my French ing the conımerce of the country. Their majes- cook,” introduced into the Upper House an ties were preceded by the vicar-general. Her alarming bill for the extradition of “offenders,” majesty first made her appearance, attended including Englishmen, in favour of France. by her ladies of honour, under a canopy like It is enough to say that his lordship had to that which is seen at Roman Catholic cere- withdraw the measure, but it looked at one monies on the occasion of the procession of the time very near to getting passed. holy sacrament. She wore on her head a tiara, and was robed in the most costly apparel. At the time of which we are now speaking Before her husband was elected president she there was considerable excitement in relation had been a vender of fish. Soulouque him- to Arctic enterprise, more particularly as to self then followed, accompanied by all the the fate of Sir John Franklin and the crews distinguished nobility, under a similar canopy, of the Erebus and Terror, which had sailed in wearing a crown that, it is said, cost thirty search of the north-west passage in 1845 and dollars, and having in his band two sceptres.
had not since been heard of. From 1847 onTheir majesties were led to the prie-dieu, wards, expeditions, both by land and sea, had where they first said their prayers, and they been despatched in search of the missing were then conducted to the throne. The ships, at a cost of about a million sterling to ceremonies then commenced by the vicar pro- the country. In the spring of 1852 the brig nouncing a solemn benediction on the crown, Renovation, of North Shields, came home sword, sword of justice, sceptre, cloak, ring, with a report that the captain and men had
first." "But I will not accept your resig- | great privacy and retirement in the vale of nation." "Then if you do not you may let it alone, but I will not arrest young Meagher." The magistrate gave it up as a bad case, and rode immediately to another station in search of police. Meantime the Irish chief of police set out for the mines, as he thought he could make more money in digging gold than in arresting his Irish friends. Meagher waited for six hours after the time, in order not to give the British authorities any excuse for saying he had violated his pledge. He was accompanied and assisted by three young English settlers, who supplied him with horses and had horses themselves. They proposed to wait till the police came and to kill them. Meagher thought it unnecessary to shed blood, but stayed till the police came, and kept his friends waiting at a short distance. The moment the police entered the house he passed out at another door, and, mounting his horse, came round to the front of the building within pistol-shot of them, and told them to arrest him if they could. In the next moment he put spurs to his horse, and with his friends was soon out of sight. They travelled over 180 miles without halt, having relays of horses on the way. They at length reached unmolested a lonely spot upon the sea-coast, where, according to previous arrangements, a whale-boat was in waiting, and bore Meagher off in safety. He of course fled to America. When it became known in New York that he was there, detachments of the Irish militia regiments, accompanied by their bands, marched up to his residence in succession and serenaded him. But this was only a part of the "demonstrations" that ensued. The event is particularly interesting at the present time because it is certain that the presence of Meagher and Mitchell had much influence in the formation of the antiEnglish party among the Irish in America.
A very short time before the escape of Meagher, one of the exiles of the year of insurgence had written to a friend in Galway an amusing account of the then condition of "Smith O'Brine, of royal line," and "Meagher of the Sword." "Smith O'Brien, since his acceptance of a ticket-of-leave, has lived in
Avoca, having, in order to employ his highly cultivated mind, condescended to become tutor to the young sons of an eminent Irish physician who resides in that retired locality. His constant and dignified demeanour has procured him the respect of all, even of those most opposed to him in principles and politics. He is now, I am informed, in very bad health, so much that he has been obliged to give up the employment he had accepted, and has got permission to reside in a different locality. Mitchell has been joined by his wife and family; and with such a family, and with the society of his old and excellent friend Mr. John Martin, he must be as happy as it is possible for an exiled rebel to be. O'Meagher still resides in his solitary domicile at Lake Sorell, save that the solitude is now somewhat disturbed by the presence of his amiable and beautiful bride."
For some years the influence of Dr. J. H. Newman had been increasingly felt in religious circles, and from the Oratory at Birmingham and otherwise he made damaging attacks on what may be called show or shop Protestantism. This led at last to the longdrawn Achilli business, which ended in one of the most memorable trials of the century, that of "The Queen versus J. H. Newman, in the matter of Giovanni Giacinti Achilli.” It took place in the Court of Queen's Bench before Lord Campbell and a special jury, Sir Alexander Cockburn leading the case for the defence. The court was crowded, and the scenes which occurred when the women, some of them Italians, were in the box, as witnesses against Achilli, were most dramatic. Achilli himself was a very dark, firmly-built Italian, with deep-set brown eyes, great self-possession, and large mouth and jaw. He wore a shorthaired black wig, and in dress and bearing looked a curious mixture of Romanist and Protestant Evangelical.
This Dr. Achilli is almost forgotten now by the general public, but he was then a great celebrity as a "converted Catholic" lecturer, making capital out of what he had seen, or said he had seen, in the Roman
EFFECTS OF AUSTRALIAN GOLD.
London, and he directed the police to check tion type had been written by Mr. Phillips or stop them. These were largely Sunday when young, and this unsavoury work—The meetings of artisans to discuss politics and Loves of Celestine and St. Aubert-was dug up religion, and were almost entirely "officered," and brought into public notice for the purpose so to speak, by republicans and atheists. But of showing the inconsistency of the author; whatever power the law gives its adminis- while his defence of Courvoisier was made trators in such cases, it would have been the most of against him. Those personalities wiser for the new Tory government to “let are, however, a trifle. The important fact is, things slide,” than to interfere in a way which that the Liberal papers all over England, inthey were not prepared to follow up, and cluding some religious papers like the Monconwhich was sure to provoke an outcry. Prac- formist of Mr. Edward Miall, took up the tically, their interference did only harm, and case, and made it the text of an argument for had to be given up; though the police re permitting others than Quakers and Separatreated in due order; and the Sunday “orat- tists to “affirm." From this time forward the ing" in Bonner's Fields, beyond Bethnal Green, subject assumed a prominence that it neverlost. went on again finely.
In this connection may be noticed the rapid The gold discoveries in Australia were havincrease among the working-classes of the ing many startling effects both at home and in party now known as Secularists. For some the colonies, the derangement of the currency time previously Mr. Holyoake, who had led the and a rise in prices being among them. This anti-Christian and anti-theistic party, had felt was expected; but no human being was prethat it was a bad thing for them to be called pared for the escape of “Meagher of the "atheists,” and he succeeded in organizing the Sword,” one of the Irish patriots whom we had party of Secularism, and in establishing that sent to Australia for his share in the rising as the current name of the anti-religious of 1818. Mr. Meagher had the partial liberty body whose chief apostle he was. The point of a ticket-of-leave at the time of his escape, of the change of style lay in this, that a but did not violate its literal conditions. It man might adopt the formula of secularism ran as follows:-“I undertake not to escape without being an atheist, though, we may from the colony so long as I hold this ticketadd, it was exceedingly improbable that of-leave.” Having made previous preparations he should, and secularism utterly ignores all for his flight, with a horse saddled in his stable, questions of God and a future life.
and being armed with pistols, he addressed a Just at this time it happened that Mr. letter to the magistrate of Ross, about twenty Holyoake appeared as the “bail” in a bank- miles distant, and a township of the district ruptcy case before Mr. Commissioner Phillips out of which he was not permitted to go. The -of Courvoisier celebrity-and declined to place in which he resided was the wild bush. take the usual oath. Being asked if he did In his letter he returned his ticket-of-leave not believe in a God, he replied that he was and said he would remain at his house that “not prepared to answer the question with day till twelve o'clock, when the leave expired, the brevity the court would require.” To the in order to give the authorities an opportunity question what he called himself he answered of arresting him if they could. When the that if he must take a name he should call magistrate read the letter he was astounded, himself a Secularist. After a little more and he immediately ordered the chief of twaddle on both sides Mr. Commissioner police, who happened to be present, to proceed Phillips dismissed him with ungrammatical at once to arrest Meagher. The chief of police abuse: “Go and attend to your secularism, sir.” replied he would not do any such thing, as
Now Mr. Holyoake was an able man and a he was an Irishman, and that young gentlejournalist, and bad friends and allies, so the man was an Irishman. ““But you must do case made a great noise. An immoral and it,” retorted the magistrate. “Faith, I will irreligious novel of the worst French-revolu- | not,” replied the Irishman; “I will resign