« PreviousContinue »
they are Spanish beggars, poetical beggars, and none of your mean paupers
of St. Giles. À Flower Girl. Murillo. In the richest tints of a Spanish brunetta. Her smile ravishing — offering you her roses. The dew is upon the leaves, the buds are opening; the air seems perfumed with their fragrance.
You will see a little · Farm-House,' and you will swear it is yours. In front are five cows — one with a calf. Lucetta is milking. There are also as many sheep and a goat; and in the distance, a whole flock feeding. Nature does not make sheep more naturally than PAUL POTTER.
Rembrandt's Wife. Is not she beautiful ? And so would be any body's wife, from the same pencil.
In the Valley of — (I forget its ugly name,) near Richmond, there is a lake of inky water; a dying beech-tree hanging over it; in places covered with the broad leaves and yellow flowers of the lotus; overshadowed by a forest of huge tufted trees, unvisited by the sun; a gray moss hanging down in massive shawls, thirty feet to the ground from the limbs, or wrapped about an old deadened tree like a shroud; a few streaks of light entering here and there, just enough to throw a melancholy twilight upon the awful and mysterious gloom. A gun fired off, makes an explosion as a blow upon lead, so thick is the solitude! Except the funereal moss, here is the very Valley, to the closest life, by Rysdale. Has the Dutchman been in Virginia, or has Nature stolen her copy from Dulwich ?
The Mother of Rubens,' or rather a piece of his mother, in an arm-chair. There is just enough left of the old lady, to make one weep for what is taken away.
• A Girl' is giving a last look-out, in closing the shutters; by RemBRANT. They say his maid-servant. The Greek used to set out his painted fruit, and the birds pecked at it; so our Xeuxis of the Netherlands used to set out this maid, and the Dutch beaux gathered thick around of an evening, sighing and serenading her. I did not believe this story before seeing the picture.
• Rachel and Jacob' embracing on their knees, in a shepherdly simplicity; (by Murillo.) Rachel very attractive.
Racbel very attractive. A flock is grazing about, straight-eyed and indifferent. Goats of Spain not so inquisitive, squint, and malicious, as in Italy. Transeversa tuentibus.' How refreshing the landscape! One feels cool in looking
A whole-length Mrs. Siddons, representing the Tragic Muse, her eyes on heaven, (by Reynolds,) in some one of Shakspeare's inspired visions. The great globe itself"
i and leave not a wreck !' Your hair will almost stand on end with the contagious inspiration.
Two Dimpling Negroes, by Murillo. One begging a cake from the other. You will be delighted with these cupids of ebony. How in error they, who ascribe the great merit of a picture to its harmony of tints, and organic combination of colors, rather than to our moral affections and human sympathies !
One naturally asks, 'What has this gallery to do five miles from London ? Four hundred pictures! The best of the Rembrandts,
Rubens, Vandykes, and Murillos. Some evil genius certainly presides over the Fine Arts in England. With the means of one of the best galleries of Europe, in number and quality of pictures, she is inferior in this great ornament of a nation to any petty sovereignty of Germany. Her pictures are hung up here and there, as solitary as Achilles in Hyde-Park; almost as scattered as our 'regular troops. One is delighted and surprised to see two in the same battalion. Dine at the Gray House,' Hern Hill, and
will owe me also the obligation of a good dinner.
Affectionately Yours. Sackville-street, No. 7.
It was the custom of the Jews to select the tenth of their sheep after this manner. The lambs were separated from their dams, and enclosed in a sheep-cote, with only one narrow way out; the lambs were at the entrance. On opening the gate, the lambs hastened to join their dams, and a man placed at the entrance, with a rod dipped in ochre, touched every tenth lamb, and so marked it with his rod, saying, 'Let this be holy.' – UNION BIBLE Dictionary.
* And I will cause you to pass under the rod, and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant.'- EZEKIEL,
I saw the young bride, in her beauty and pride,
Bedecked in her snowy array,,
And the future looked blooming and gay:
At the shrine of idolatrous love,
By the chain which her tenderness wove.
And the chain had been severed in two,
And her bloom for the paleness of wo!
And wiping the tears from her eyes,
And fastened it firm to the skies;
I saw the young mother in tenderness bend
O'er the couch of her slumbering boy,
While the dreamer lay smiling in joy.
When its fragrance is flung on the air,
As he lay in his innocence there!
Pale as marble, and silent, and cold,
And the tale of her sorrow was told :
And taken her treasure away,
And the mourner will sweetly obey!
I saw when a father and mother had leaned
On the arms of a dear cherished son,
As they saw the proud place he had won;
And its pathway grew smooth to their feet,
And the whispers of fancy were sweet;
Where their hearts' dearest hope had been laid,
And the joy from their bosoms had fled :
And he led them with tenderest care,
'T was their star shining brilliantly there!
'I love thee, I love thee! — pass under the rod.' Charleston, July 4th, 1840.
THE CRAYON PAPERS.
THE EARLY EXPERIENCES OF RALPH RINGWOOD.
NOTED DOWN FROM HIS CONVERSATIONS: BY GEOFFREY CRAYON, GENT.
'I am a Kentuckian by residence and choice, but a Virginian by birth. The cause of my first leaving the Ancient Dominion,' and emigrating to Kentucky, was a jackass ! You stare, but have a little patience, and I'll soon show you how it came to pass. My father, who was of one of the old Virginian families, resided in Richmond. He was a widower, and his domestic affairs were managed by a house-keeper of the old school, such as used to administer the concerns of opulent Virginian households. She was a dignitary that almost rivalled my father in importance, and seemed to think every thing belonged to her; in fact she was so considerate in her economy, and so careful of expense, as sometimes to vex my father ; who would swear she was disgracing him by her meanness. She always appeared with that ancient insignia of house-keeping trust and authority, a great bunch of keys jingling at her girdle. She superintended the arrangement of the table at every meal, and saw that the dishes were all placed according to her primitive notions of symmetry. In the evening she took her stand and served out tea with a mingled respectfulness and pride of station, truly exemplary. Her great ambition was to have every thing in order, and that the establishment under her sway should be cited as a model of good housekeeping. If any thing went wrong, poor old Barbara would take it
Ralph Ringwood, though a fictitious name, is a real personage: the worthy original is now living, and flourishing in honorable station. I have given some anecdotes of his early and eccentric career in, as nearly as I can recollect, the very words in which he related them. They certainly afforded strong temptations to the embellishments of fiction; but I thought them so strikingly characteristic of the individual, and of the scenes and society into which his peculiar humors carried him, that I preferred giving them in their original simplicity.
to beart, and sit in her room and cry; until a few chapters in the Bible would quiet her spirits, and make all calm again. The Bible, in fact, was her constant resort in time of trouble. She opened it indiscriminately, and whether she chanced among the Lamentations of Jeremiah, the Canticles of Solomon, or the rough enumeration of the tribes in Deuteronomy, a chapter was a chapter, and operated like balm to her soul. Such was our good old house-keeper Barbara ; who was destined, unwittingly, to have a most important effect upon my destiny.
"It came to pass, during the days of my juvenility, while I was yet what is termed an unlucky boy,' that a gentleman of our neighborhood, a great advocate for experiments and improvements of all kinds, took it into his head that it would be an immense public advantage to introduce a breed of mules, and accordingly imported three jacks to stock the neighborhood. This in a part of the country where the people cared for nothing but blood horses! Why, Sir! they would have considered their mares disgraced, and their whole stud dishopored, by such a misalliance. The whole matter was, a town-talk, and a town scandal. The worthy amalgamator of quadrupeds found himself in a dismal scrape : so he backed out in time, abjured the whole doctrine of amalgamation, and turned his jacks loose to shift for themselves upon the town common. There they used to run about and lead an idle, good-for-nothing, holiday life, the happiest animals in the country.
• It so happened, that my way to school lay across this common. The first time that I saw one of these animals, it set up a braying and frightened me confoundedly. However, I soon got over my fright, and seeing that it had something of a horse look, my Virginian love for any thing of the equestrian species predominated, and I determined to back it. I accordingly applied at a grocer's shop, procured a cord that had been round a loaf of sugar, and made a kind of halter; then suminoning some of my school-fellows, we drove master Jack about the common until we hemmed him in an angle of a 'worm fence. After some difficulty, we fixed the halter round his muzzle, and I mounted. Up flew his heels, away I went over his head, and off he scampered. However, I was on my legs in a twinkling, gave chase, caught him and remounted. By dint of repeated tumbles, I soon learned to stick to his back, so that he could no more cast me than he could his own skin. From that time, master Jack and his companions had a scampering life of it, for we all rode them between school hours, and on holiday afternoons; and you may be sure school boys' nags are never permitted to suffer the grass to grow under their feet. They soon became so knowing, that they took to their heels at the very sight of a school-boy; and we were generally much longer in chasing than we were in riding them.
"Sunday approached, on which I projected an equestrian excursion on one of these long-eared steeds. As I knew the jacks would be in great demand on Sunday morning, I secured one over night, and conducted him home, to be ready for an early outset. But where was I to quarter him for the night ? I could not put him in the stable: our old black groom George was as absolute in that domain as Barbara was within doors, and would have thought his stable, his
horses, and himself disgraced, by the introduction of a jackass. I recollected the smoke-house ; an out-building appended to all Virginian establishments for the smoking of hams, and other kinds of meat. So I got the key, put master Jack in, locked the door, returned the key to its place, and went to bed, intending to release my prisoner at an early hour, before any of the family were awake. I was so tired, however, by the exertions I had made in catching the donkey, that I fell into a sound sleep, and the morning broke without my awaking.
* Not so with dame Barbara, the house-keeper. As usual, to use her own phrase,' she was up before the crow put his shoes on,' and bustled about to get things in order for breakfast. Her first resort was to the smoke-house. Scarce had she opened the door, when master Jack, tired of his confinement, and glad to be released from darkness, gave a loud bray, and rushed forth. Down dropped old Barbara; the animal trampled over her, and made off for the com
Poor Barbara ! She had never before seen a donkey, and having read in the Bible that the Devil went about like a roaring lion seeking whom he might devour, she took it for granted that this was Beelzebub himself. The kitchen was soon in a hubbub; the servants hurried to the spot. There lay old Barbara in fits; as fast as she got out of one, the thoughts of the devil came over her, and she fell into another, for the good soul was devoutly superstitious.
* As ill luck would have it, among those attracted by the noise, was a little cursed fidgetty, crabbed uncle of mine ; one of those uneasy spirits, that cannot rest quietly in their beds in the morning, but must be up early, to bother the household. He was only a kind of halfuncle, after all, for he had married my father's sister : yet he assumed great authority on the strength of this left-handed relationship, and was a universal intermeddler, and family pest. This prying little busy-body soon ferreted out the truth of the story, and discovered, by hook and by crook, that I was at the bottom of the affair, and had locked up the donkey in the smoke-house. He stopped to inquire no farther, for he was one of those testy curmudgeons, with whom unlucky boys are always in the wrong. Leaving old Barbara to wrestle in imagination with the Devil, he made for my bed-chamber, where I still lay wrapped in rosy slumbers, little dreaming of the mischief I had done, and the storm about to break over me.
• In an instant, I was awakened by a shower of thwacks, and started up in wild amazement. I demanded the meaning of this attack, but received no other reply than that I had murdered the house-keeper; while my uncle continued whacking away during my confusion. I seized a poker, and put myself on the defensive. I was a stout boy for my years, while my uncle was a little wiffet of a man; one that in Kentucky we would not call even an individual;' nothing more than a remote circumstance. I soon, therefore, brought him to a parley, and learned the whole extent of the charge brought against me. I confessed to the donkey and the smoke-house, but pleaded not guilty of the murder of the house-keeper. I soon found out that old Barbara was still alive. She continued under the doctor's hands, however, for several days; and whenever she had an ill turn, my uncle would seek to give me another flogging. I appealed