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as large as life, of the Emperor Charles V., and his imperious son, the second Philip, accompanied by those of their unhappy consorts, and ill-fated children. My sensations of dread and dreariness were not diminished upon finding myself alone in such company, for Roxas had left me to deliver some letters to his Right Reverence the Prior, which were to open to us all the arcana of this terrific edifice-at once a temple, a palace, a convent, and a tomb.
• Presently my amiable friend returned, and with him a tall old monk with an ash-coloured forbidding countenance, and staring eyes, the expression of which was the farthest removed possible from any thing like cordiality. This was the mystagogue of the place, the prior in propriâ personâ, the representative of St. Jerome, as far as this monastery and its domain is concerned, and a disciplinarian of celebrated rigidness. He began examining me from head to foot, and, after what I thought rather a strange scrutiny, asked me, in broad Spanish, what I wished particularly to see; then turning to Roxas, said, loud enough for me to hear him, “ He is very young-does he understand what I say to him? But as I am peremptorily commanded to show him about, I suppose I must comply, though I am quite unused to the office of explaining our curiosities. However, if it must be it must, so let us begin and not dally. I have no time to spare, you well know, and I have quite enough to do in the choir and the convent."
• After this not very gracious exordium, we set forth on our tour. First, we visited some apartments with vaulted roofs, painted in arabesque, in the finest style of the sixteenth century; and then a vast hall, which had been used for the celebration of mass whilst the great church was building, where I saw the Perla in all its purity—the most delicately finished work of Raphael-and the Pesce, with its divine angel, graceful infant, and devout young Tobit, breathing the very soul of pious unaffected simplicity. My attention was next attracted by that most profoundly pathetic of pictures-Jacob weeping over the bloody garment of his son—the loftiest proof in existence of the extraordinary powers of Velasquez in the noblest walk of art.
These three pictures so absorbed my admiration, that I had little left for a host of glorious performances by Titian and the highest masters, which cover the plain, massive walls of these conventual rooms with a paradise of glowing colours. So I passed along, almost as rapidly as my grumbling cicerone could desire, and followed him up several flights of stairs, and through many and many an arched passage and vestibule, all of the sternest Doric, into the choir, which is placed over the grand western entrance, right opposite, at the distance of more than two hundred feet, to the high altar and its solemn accompaniments. No regal chamber I ever beheld can be compared, in point of sober harmonious majesty, to this apartment, which looks more as if it belonged to a palace than a church,
• The series of stalls, designed in a severer taste than was common in the sixteenth century, are carved out of the most precious woods
the Indies could furnish. At the extremity of this striking perspective of onyx-coloured seats, columns, and canopies, appears, suspended upon a black velvet pall, that revered image of the crucified Saviour, formed of the purest ivory, which Cellini seems to have sculptured in moments of devout rapture and inspiration. It is by far his finest work: his Perseus at Florence is tame and laboured in comparison.
• In a long narrow corridor, which runs behind the stalls, pannelled all over like an inlaid cabinet, I was shown a beautiful little organ in a richly-chased silver case, which accompanied Charles V, in his African expedition, and must often have gently beguiled the cares of empire ; for he played on it, tradition says, almost every evening. That it is worth playing upon even now, I can safely vouch, for I never touched any instrument with a tone of more delicious siveetness; and touch it I did, though my austere conductor, the sour-visaged prior, looked doubly forbidding on the occasion.
• If the stalls I have just mentioned are less exuberantly ornamented than those I have seen at Pavia, and many other monasteries, the space above them,—the ceiling, in short, of this noblest of choirs, displays the most gorgeous of spectacles; the heavens, and all the powers therein. Imagination can scarcely conceive the pomp and prodigality of pencil with which Luca Giordano has treated this subject, and filled every corner of the vast space it covers with well-rounded forms, that seem actually starting from the glowing clouds with which they are environed.—" Is not this fine ?” said the monk; nothing like it in your country.
Here we close our citations, which, though strung together as carelessly as possible, must, we think, produce altogether a powerful impression of the strength, the grace, and the varied animation of the author's manner. We risk nothing in predicting that Mr. Beckford's Travels will henceforth be classed among the most elegant productions of modern literature: they will be forthwith translated into every language of the Continent-and will keep his name alive, centuries after all the brass and marble he ever piled together have ceased to vibrate with the echoes of Modenhas.
you can have
Art. VIII.—Excursions in the North of Europe, through parts of
Russia, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, and Norway, in the years
1830 und 1833. By John Barrow, Junior. London. 1834. FOREIGNERS are apt to complain of the supercilious pre
ference which Englishmen give to their own country, but at least they cannot say that it is sans connoissance de cause. The great majority of those French writers who assure their readers that France is the finest country in the world--the most polished
the most social—the most fertile-the most prolific—the most picturesque—the most favoured, in short, by God, and the most ornamented by man, of all terrestrial tracts—have a sure and certain basis for at least the sincerity (if not the abstract truth) of their assertions: they have taken the preliminary precaution of seeing no other. The Englishman, on the other hand, is never very loud in general encomiums on his own country; and although it is evident, that, on the whole, he prefers it, in all its moral, and in many of its natural, aspects, to other regions, he does not give his opinion without having at least endeavoured to form an accurate idea of his neighbours by personal inspection and comparison. In all countries there have been a few-pauci quos equus umavit Jupiter—who have sought knowledge of this kind by actual travel; Denmark is proud of Niebuhr and Spor, Prussia of her Humboldt, Russia of Pallas—and France quotes her Choiseul, her Volney, and her Chateaubriand; but every Englishman is a kind of Anarcharsis—ay, and not Englishmen alone, but English women and English youths are to be found in every—(the most distant and desolate, as well as more accessible and inviting) region of the world. A Frenchman, young, rich, and titled,if he had been snitten by so extraordinary a mania as the love of nature and the pursuit of science-would have attained a great reputation by studying, as Buffon did, the natural world in the Jardin des Plantes, and the moral world in the Bibliothèque Royale. If he had thought, like our Sir Joseph Banks, of visiting, in person, the Arctic regions, and then making a voyage round the World, his friends would have moderated his enthusiasm by a lettre de cachet, and limited his travels to Charenton, or at least to a maison de santé. But, on the other hand, no Englishman thinks his education perfect, till, after the usual course of domestic instruction, he studies mankind—not through the spectacles of books, but with his own eyes; and strives to improve his intellect by the same course in which the wisest hero of antiquity (though somewhat against his will) earned his wisdom :
Qui mores hominum multorum vidit et urbes,' The little work before us suggests, by its very title-page, such considerations as these. The elder Mr. Barrow was known to the public-before he attained the important situation he has so long and so usefully filled as an extensive traveller; and now we see the same spirit of laudable curiosity reproduced in his son, who, it seems, has employed the scanty vacations of his subordinate official year, not in the ordinary relaxation of a country excursion, or of a visit to a watering-place, but in visiting Gottenburgh and Moscow-St. Petersburg and Dronthiem-the steppes of Russia, and the mountains of Finland. If the work were less meritorious than it is, we should still have applauded the spirit of the undertaking; but, in fact, the execution is fully equal to the purpose, and we have seldom read a more amusing narrative than this young gentleman has composed under circumstances where most men would, if they had undertaken such a journey at all, have · travelled from Dan to Beersheba, and found all barren.' But nothing is barren to an inquisitive and candid traveller : he, like the studier of nature in a narrower sphere,
* Finds tongues in trees-books in the running brooks
Sermons in stones—and good in every thing ! • But our readers are not to imagine that Mr. Barrow sermonises, or fatigues us with dissertations. He contents himself with relating what he sees and feels, and whatever occasions his statements may afford for moral or political considerations, he very properly leaves them-for the most part at least to his readers’ own ingenuity, content on his part to supply, in a plain and unaffected narrative, practical materials for theoretical disquisition. His youth, and that modesty which ought always to accompany youth, forbid his obtruding his own opinions; and-as some of his predecessors on the same ground have rather rashly done, drawing general conclusions from insulated facts, and information necessarily imperfect. He that reads Mr. Barrow will find compagnon
voyage, and not a lecturer; a traveller who shows us what is to be seen, but does not, like poor Smollett, decide that all the women of a district are red-haired scolds, because he happened to meet with one landlady whose complexion was rather too fair, while her language was rather too coarse.
From such a work, which avoids equally all flights of eloquence, all depths of disquisition, and all the papillonage of sentiment, it is obvious that extracts cannot be easily selected, so as to give any idea of its aggregate merit. But with this preparatory caution, we shall lay before our readers a few passages, as specimens of the style and spirit in which it is written.
We pass over the voyage by steam to St. Petersburg-though it gives occasion for some sensible observations on the facility and certainty which that power has conferred on modern travellers_and the land journey to Moscow—which affords some curious sketches of the state of society along the road which separates, rather than unites, the two capitals--to arrive at the following description of a principal portion of Moscow :
• Immediately without the sacred gate of the Kremlin is the “ Beautiful Place,” or square. Most of the buildings that enclose it are modern, and some of them recent. It contains the best shops in Moscow. An arcade extends the whole distance along one side of
the square, under which is a bazaar, consisting of one continued line of shops, or rather stalls, for they are deserving of no better name, where jewellery, books, wearing apparel, and every article that can be thought of, may be purchased just as in the Palais Royal of Paris, but in a much humbler style. We were here assailed on all sides by a crowd of long-bearded, dirty-looking persons, who pressed round us anxiously endeavouring to induce us to purchase their goods—só urgent that we found it difficult to shake them off. One has heard of bowing a person out of a room, but here the danger was to be bowed in; for in going along we were frequently either actually pushed into their shops with all possible civility, or obliged to walk into them in order to avoid coming in too close contact with their beards, of which I felt a kind of horror, for they were very much akin to a Jew's beard. But the greatest difficulty we had was to get past one of the shops in which
quass . At the outside of each of these gin-shops are invariably stationed two or three young men, or big boys, drest up in a pink-coloured coat which folds over the breast, and is tied in with a sash at the waist; and loose blue trowsers, which are tucked into a clumsy pair of boots. They wear their hair very long, reaching on each side more than halfway down the arm, and divided in the centre. When any one passes near one of these shops, these decoy-ducks plant themselves directly in his way, and commence a series of salutations, bowing almost to the ground-their hair falling down like a horse's tail each time, and en. tirely covering the face. The appearance and the manner of these youths were truly ludicrous.'-Pp. 109, 110.
From this visit to Moscow, Mr. Barrow returned to St. Petersburg, and; proceeding to Abo, crossed the Gulf of Bothnia to Stockholm, and thence returned by Copenhagen to Travemunde and Hamburgh.
The ease and expedition of travelling in Finland are greater than we were prepared to expect:
• A great part of the road to Abo is kept in beautiful order; and the posting is remarkably cheap, averaging from about three halfpence to twopence a mile for each horse. Our light waggon hurried along at a great rate, sometimes with a rapidity that rendered it, as we thought, dangerous : on one occasion, in particular, we were driven by a little boy not more than eleven or twelve years old, who drove the poor horses at a full gallop for a whole stage over a road which twisted and turned among rocks in every possible direction. We had to pass several small wooden bridges, over brooks rippling down the valleys, and here our young driver appeared to take great delight in galloping at a tremendous rate down the hill and across these bridges, by which such an impetus was given to the vehicle, that we were at the top of the next on the other side in a moment. The three horses were always harnessed abreast, and the third was