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adorned, had fallen, in lapse of time, into the hands of barbarous conquerors, who felt no interest in the monuments of the soil which they invaded, and were totally unaffected by the productions of an art, which a servile nation never yet learned to appreciate. The "sphere of sovereign beauty," to which Phidias led the way," was far above the conception of a race of gross fanatics, who without remorse mutilated the finest statues, and even pounded them for mortar to patch up some miserable house or garden wall. No reasonable man, therefore, can grieve that the most valuable part of what remained has been removed to the British soil, which, amidst all the disorders of modern Europe, has been to the world a friendly asylum, in which persecution, whether as applied to men or to marbles, ceases to exert its power. The fact of the British Parliament having acceded, after mature deliberation, to the purchase in question, is the best exculpation of Lord Elgin's proceedings; and though we should not think it proper to do a little wrong, even with a view of doing a great right, and much less of merely purchasing a gratification; yet upon a review of all the circumstances attending the transaction, we are sincerely glad to see the Phidian marbles deposited on British ground, and forming, as they now do, an unequalled school of art for the rising talent of our native sculptors. We can, however, at the same time indulge with our author the feelings which a traveller must necessarily experience at seeing the Parthenon thus dismantled of its long-cherished

honours.

"Lone are thy pillars now-each passing gale

Sighs o'er them as a spirit's voice, which moan'd
That loneliness, and told the plaintive tale
Of the bright synod once above them throned.
Mourn, graceful ruin! on thy sacred hill,

Thy gods, thy rites, a kindred fate have shared:
Yet art thou honour'd in each fragment still,

That wasting years and barbarous hands had spared;

Each hallow'd stone, from rapine's fury borne,

Shall wake bright dreams of thee in ages yet unborn.”. (P.46.)

That such "bright dreams" will indeed be awakened we have no doubt; and, with all the supposed bad taste that attaches to this country, we are fully convinced that a few years will witness a flourishing school of British sculptors. Nor have we faith in the corrupt opinion that taste and genius, of the highest order, may not be fostered as well in Great Britain, as under serener skies and more glowing suns.

The advantages derived to France from its gallery in the Louvre have been too evident not to excite the attention of other nations. Buonaparte, it is well known, found it expedient to

give no less a sum than 12,000,000 of livres (500,000l. sterling) for the Borghese collection alone; the value affixed to the celebrated Torso of Michael Angelo, in the Louvre, was 300,000 francs (12,000l. sterling); and one single length, measuring six feet, of the frieze of the Parthenon, of which the Elgin collection possesses nearly two hundred and fifty feet, was estimated, in the Paris collection, at more than 3,000l. of English money.

We fully enter into our author's description of these works of art, which is in general correct and spirited, though with an occasional mixture of della crusca lines and thoughts,

We are fully alive to the value of the Elgin marbles, as works designed and directed by the greatest of sculptors, and doubtless executed in part, if not almost every where finished, by his own hand; works which, after being admired and venerated for more than seven hundred years by the ancient world, have survived to us, corroded indeed by time and mutilated by accident, yet still μορφη ἀμιμητα εργα και χαριτι. Their number and extent adds exceedingly to the general effect: we are transported at once into the ruins of a spacious temple, amidst the vast masses brought from the utmost verge of the European continent, and which had for ages adorned a far distant scene. This allusion adds to the whole collection a solemn interest, which cannot be excited by individual specimens, however exquisitely wrought, or connected with whatever local operations. The mind of the spectator invests them with an air of romantic interest, when it is considered that they were sculptured more than two thousand years ago; that they have been exposed not only to the ordinary vicissitudes of nature, but to innumerable casualties of a still more formidable kind; that they constituted a part of the property of men, who, though they knew nothing of their value, yet from feelings of ignorance and jealousy, could not be induced, without a thousand arts and bribes, to suffer their removal; and, if we add to the whole, that even when removed, they were to be carried by manual labour for several miles, from Athens to the Piræus, in a country without roads or machinery, in order to be transported to England; in their way to which one of the vessels was shipwrecked, and for a considerable time its valuable cargo lost, and in the end recovered only by inconceivable labour, and at an overwhelming expense;-with such reflections, it is impossible to view these prodigies of ancient art without deep regard, even independently of that intrinsic merit which rendered their preservation a matter of such anxious importance. Happily, they are now in a situation where they are not likely for ages to meet with the destruction that awaited them under their Turkish possessors; or with that dispersion to which the collections of private individuals are ever liable, and which would have materially

deducted from the value and interest which they possess in conjunction.

But it is not by this general survey, but by minute inspection, that we learn to enter fully into the merits of the Elgin collection. The first effect is indeed imposing, but a patient and elaborate examination can alone convey an adequate conception of the wonderful powers of that copos dougyos, of whom Cicero was accustomed to say, "Phidia simulacris nihil perfectius."

The harmony of the proportions; the exquisite elaboration of the workmanship; the grace and severe dignity of the attitudes; the incomparable rivalship and fine adjustment of the drapery; the concinnity and majesty of the whole design; the spirited seizure of evanescent graces and muscular actions, which perish as soon as they rise, and which, therefore, it is almost impossible to embody in a substantial form,-all these are but parts of those numerous excellencies, which the study of these marbles unfolds.

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ART. VIII.-A Narrative of the Briton's Voyage to Pitcairn's
Island; including an interesting Sketch of the present State of the
Brazils, and of Spanish South America. By Lieut. J. Shillibeer,
R. M. 8vo. pp. 180. Law and Whittaker. London, 1817.
THE

HE curiosity which is excited by the descriptions of newly-discovered and distant countries seems never to wear itself out. Where manners and habits differ widely from our own, we are interested by the novelty and discrepancy of these superficial circumstances; and where we trace in our fellow-men, separated from us by wide intervals, the radical resemblance which belongs to our common lot, we are still interested, and it may be, humbled, by discoveries which denote an universal partnership in sorrow, sensuality, and crime. Every science is best understood upon a wide scale of observation; and it certainly is so in respect to the study of man himself; but in this study it is so, not because by extended and accumulated observation, our knowledge increases in variety and multiplicity of particulars, but because from the variety of particulars we derive accumulated confirmation of the great characteristic sameness which pervades the moral constitution of our fallen species. Now and then, however, we meet with a narrow space in which man is seen with some recovered graces of his primæval character, under circumstances more than ordinarily favourable; and it is to these little spots, so green and refreshing, that, in the perusal of distant travels, we turn with peculiar delight. The author of this book

of

of

gives some account of one of these tranquil sojourns; and his account is very pleasing. He is not a man of any pretensions: his preface, as to all literary merit, is written in a humble strain of disavowal; and, to be sure, if there be any kind of book in which a simple, unlearned, uncoloured statement has its peculiar advantages, it is such a one as that which we have now before us. The medium through which we look at man almost in a state of nature, should be as neutral, and as devoid of all complexional tinge, as possible. We want, in such a case, to see man as he is,-not a picturesque, but a real being, in all the actuality of his simple condition. In this view we think we can recommend this short account given us by Mr. Shillibeer to the perusal of our readers; the principal entertainment from which will be found in the details which it gives of the short but recent intercourse of our countrymen with the islanders of the southern Pacific Ocean, especially with the little happy colony of Britons and Otaheitans so singularly established in the island of Pitcairn.

The Briton, under the command of Sir Thomas Staines, set sail in company with the Tagus, commanded by Capt. Pipon, at the latter end of December 1813. After refitting at the port of Funchall, in the island of Madeira, they steered their course to Brazil, and arrived at Rio de Janeiro on the evening of March 20th, of which Mr. Shillibeer gives the following account.

"The city of San Sebastian, the capital of the Portuguese dominions in South America, and residence of the Prince Regent, is situated on the south side of an extensive harbour, whose entrance is so exceed. ingly narrow and well fortified by nature, that with the smallest assistance of art it could be rendered impregnable against any attack from the sea. The fort of Santa Cruz, and a very remarkable mountain, from its shape bearing the name of the Sugar Loaf, form the entrance at the distance of about a mile. There is a bar which runs across, but the water is at all times sufficiently deep to allow the largest ship to pass. Santa Cruz may be considered the principal fortification, and is, with the exception of two small islands commanding the channel, the only one in a tolerable state of defence. At the foot of the sugar loaf mountain, is a battery of considerable extent, but so neglected, like several others along the shore, that it is almost become useless.

"The city derives but little protection from its immediate fortifications, and the island of Cobrus, notwithstanding its contiguity, is now but little calculated to render it any.

"There are wharfs and stairs for the purpose of landing at, but the most convenient is at the great square, in which the Prince resides. The palace was originally the mansion of a merchant: it is extensive, but has nothing particularly magnificent in its appearance, to indicate its being the royal residence of the illustrious house of Braganza.

"At the bottom of this square, is a very good fountain, which is

supplied with water from the adjacent mountains, and conveyed some distance by the means of an aqueduct.

"The water is not good, and on first using it, causes a swelling accompanied with pain in the abdomen. Ships may be supplied with considerable expedition."

"It is almost impossible for a person possessing the least reflection, to pass this spot without being struck by the contrast which must necessarily present itself to him.-On the one hand, he may contemplate the palace of a voluptuous prince, surrounded by courtiers and wallowing in luxury; on the other, slavery in its most refined and horrible

state.

66

Leaving the square, you enter a street of considerable length and width, in which the custom house, the residence of the British consul, &c. &c. are situated.

"The houses are generally well built, some of the streets are good, and all exceedingly filthy. The shops are well supplied with British as well as other wares, and whether the vender be English or Portuguese, he is equally unconscionable in his demand. Most of the streets are designated by the trades which occupy them.-As in Shoe-street, you will find shoe makers; in Tin-street, tin-men; in Gold-street, goldsmiths, lapidaries, &c.-Gold-street is the chief attraction, and is generally the resort of strangers, who are anxious to supply themselves with jewellery or precious stones natural to the country: but it is not always they are fortunate enough to succeed in getting them real, for since it has become the royal residence, it has drawn such a host of English, Irish, and Scotch adventurers, and the Portuguese being such apt scholars in knavery, that among them it is ten to one you are offered a piece of paste for a diamond,-among the former it is but seldom otherwise. The Inns, although better than in many places, can boast of no excellence.

"This city possesses a considerable number of churches, but they are by no means splendid, and excepting in the Chapel Royal, which is adjoining the palace, I observed nothing worthy of notice. Here may be seen a few good portraits of the Apostles. The altar piece is modern, and contains the full length figures of the prince and family kneeling before the holy virgin.

"The theatre and opera are attached also to the palace, but possess no particular elegance. The market is well supplied with every article, and is in so eligible a situation, that with a comparatively small portion of trouble, it might be kept in fine order: but the people are idolaters to filthiness, and not less slaves to it than to superstition.

it

"The laws of this place seem to be y deficient; without money very is impossible to obtain justice, and with it you can prevent its being administered. The murder of a lay-subject is scarcely ever punished; the least insult to the church, most rigorously.

"The trade with this port is very considerable, and from various countries. There is a Chinese warehouse of great extent, and at certain periods, articles from China may be procured at a low rate. This establishment is propagating with the greatest assiduity the Tea-plant, and from the progress they have already made, I am authorised in

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