Imágenes de páginas

And brings thee to thy dear retreat,
Beneath the eternal mercy-seat :
There be it thine to seek thy rest,
And there remain for ever blest.'

“ The Biblical Keepsake” comprises the first eight numbers of the Landscape Illustrations of the Bible, the first two parts of which were reviewed with approbation in our Number for May last. The volume contains two and thirty plates, the subjects of which are taken from scenes in the Holy Land, with the exception of the following: Ararat ; Palmyra ; Philæ ; Thebes ; Temple of Isis at Ghertasher; Babylon ; Assos ; Pergamos; and Syracuse. There are four views of modern Jerusalem, but, unfortunately, only one of them illustrates the fixed features of the sacred locality. We are not, however, just now in critical humour, and will not even quarrel with the Via Dolorosa, given as an illustration of Mark xv. 1, though we should have liked to see introduced a portrait, by Landseer, of the cock that crowed in the ears of Peter, after his denial of his Lord, in order to authenticate the scene. Taken altogether, however, it is a delightful volume; and the magic wand' of Turner, and the not less skilful pencil of Callcott, have been adequately and beautifully expressed by the graver of the Findens. It is surprisingly cheap.

The Forget-me-not ought this year to have appeared in mourning, if flowers could mourn when the hand which planted them is cold in death. Since the publication of the previous volume, the enterprising Publisher, to whom the whole tribe of Annuals in English literature owe their existence, has terminated his honourable career. An appropriate and elegant tribute to his memory, closes the present volume. Mr. Ackermann was much esteemed for his benevolence; and to his spirited exertions on behalf of the famishing population of extensive districts of Germany, in 1813, laid waste by the desolating sword, the extraordinary exertions of British liberality owed their impulse.

As secretary to the Western Committee, the principal portion of the labour attending this subscription fell upon him. The conduct of the correspondence, and the arrangement of the claims of the sufferers, occupied his day, and frequently the greater part of the night; but he had the satisfaction to know that his exertions were instrumental in saving thousands of his fellow-creatures from destruction.'

• Thine the task, from Britain's shore,
Charity's rich stream to pour;
Till thy country's wounds were balmed,
Till the sweeping storm was calmed ;

the German plain
Life's rich sunshine beamed again.'

Among the very miscellaneous contents of this pleasing volume, we find nothing more suitable to our pages than

THE PROTESTANT BURIAL GROUND AT ROME. * There is something extremely picturesque in the pyramid of Caius Cestus, the best preserved monument at Rome; and the most splendid piece of ancient sepulchral building there. It is to the ostentation of one individual that we owe this magnificent relic of antiquity. “A stranger amongst strangers, it has stood there until the language around it has changed." The idea of eternity is attached to the form of a pyramid, and although the wild plants have taken root and flourish among the enormous stones of that of Caius Cestus, it does not appear that its beauty has yet suffered any injury. It has a character of impressive grandeur that is very striking. Built of marble, it is more than one hundred feet high ; and though time has changed its colour to grey, yet as that grey outline is marked against the bright blue sky, and gay coloured flowers hang in festoons from its crevices, it is a thousand times more beautiful in the eye of the painter and the poet than it could ever have been in its former state of magnificence. This ruin adjoins the walls of Rome. The Emperor Aurelian, fearful that the pyramid might serve as a fortress for attacking the city, caused it to be enclosed in the ancient walls, which still exist as the walls of modern Rome. At the base of the pyramid stand two marble columns, which were found underground, and which have been set up again by one of the Popes.—And before the pyramid lay the Prati del Populo Romano, now meadows covered with verdure and wild flowers, and having here and there a large tree growing in unrestrained beauty............. It was on a beautiful summer's evening, about sixteen years ago, that I went to see this monument of Caius Cestus. I lingered long about the ruined walls of the city. The verdure of the surrounding meadows, and of the fine large trees formed a contrast in colour with the sombre ruins, as the long shadows of evening fell, and the soft blue sky was streaked with the vivid tints of an Italian sunset. A flock of sheep were grazing under the stately trees, and the shepherd and his large dog at his feet, were peacefully seated near. A look of tranquillity and repose not to be described hung over every object around. I inquired the meaning of some huge stones that were rudely placed near the trees where the sheep where grazing; and was answered, “ There the protestants who die at Rome are interred.” On examining them, I found some tombstones for Prussians and Germans, and a few for my own country-people, who had died at Rome, having probably during the war come to Italy in search of that health which their own climate denied them. The names, rudely inscribed on the stones, were half effaced, and the whole had an air of studied neglect, so as to render them as little conspicuous as possible; for Europe had not been long at peace at that time, and Protestant and Heathen were then synonymous terms. There was something in these neglected graves, in these rudelycarved stones, in these half effaced inscriptions, in the tranquil look of the scenery, that forcibly brought to my mind those beautiful lines of Pope's perhaps the most beautiful he ever wrote: - No friend's complaint, no kind domestic tear,” &c. &c.

Under what privations and miseries did not these foreigners end their days—far from friends and the comforts of home! And there was a humility in these stones which strongly contrasted with the magnificence of the monument near, and struck me as a type of that Protestant religion in which they had died. ...... .... From these reflections I was roused by the bells of the churches of Rome, which, as evening fell suddenly, as it does in a southern climate, burst forth at Ave Maria," and the sound of the bells in the distance seem to pity and bewail the day that is lost and past. The result of my musings was a strong wish to be interred under the trees near the pyramid of Caius Cestus, if I should die abroad, a wish I never ceased referring to, in illness or in health......... Being at Rome in the summer of 1832, I again visited the spot that had so powerfully laid hold of my imagination in my younger years. I found it totally altered. The English had become a colony at Rome; and out of the crowds who had come thither, some in the pursuit of health, some of pleasure, and some of forgetfulness, many had found a grave under her ancient walls. Pope Pius VII., and his minister, Cardinal Gonsalvi, being both partial to the English nation, and full of gratitude to their King and government, had granted permission for two enclosures to be made, so as to form a proper Christian burial-ground for Protestants. These walls had in some degree spoiled the picturesque beauty of the place, which was now divided into a higher and lower burial-ground; the lower ground being the spot where the first tombs were situated in front of the pyramid of Caius Cestus; the upper, on a sloping hill near and immediately under the massy walls of ancient Rome. Both are exceedingly interesting, independently of their picturesque beauty.

To begin with the lower burial-ground. It is on a flat space before the pyramid, and close under the trees. Cypresses and stonepines have been planted there, and they are now of great size and beauty; while the aloe and the rose grow close round the graves : some of them are highly interesting .......

The higher burial-ground is in a sloping direction from the ruined walls of ancient Rome; walls now decorated for the stranger's remains with roses, the leaves of which fell in luxuriant showers and strewed the tombs. Entering the large iron gates of the enclosure, gates wide enough to admit a funeral procession, a walk rises gradually to these walls: the walk is between rows of aloes and rose-trees, and rosem

emary hedges. The tombs at present occupy only the highest part of the enclosure, and several of the graves are dressed out with little edges of violets and low-growing flowers, or white roses ; and some are entirely neglected, undecked, and unheeded. Many of the graves evince the care of friends, in the way that the flowers are placed and cultivated. From the high ground is a lovely view of Rome, with the dome of St. Peter's and the cypresses of the Villa Millini on the horizon. Between this rich outline of distance and the burial-ground lie verdant meadows, and the large trees which I had viewed with admiration many years before.

• I passed many hours of a beautiful summer day looking at the tombs, and then sat down upon part of the ancient ruined wall close to Shelley's tomb-stone. What a scene for reflection-past, present, and to come!

• Close by were the gates of the greatest city of ancient times, and near were its finest monuments; and before me, in the distance, the dome of St. Peter's, and that beautiful and graceful outline of ruins and of more modern buildings, beautiful as Rome only can show. At my feet were the graves of many whom I had known, of its and scoffers, of the learned, the beautiful, and the gay-all gone to answer for their follies, and for those very sins which caused them in this world to be sought, followed, worshipped !

• All was a warning !--the dead at our feet--the ruins within view -death in every flower! All was a warning! Here were youth and beauty cut off in their gayest career, without one little moment for reflection; and manhood's prime, and talent and genius mis-employed, and age and infancy both helpless alike !....

.Twilight came on, and while I sat musing, a distant chant was heard in the direction of S. Paolo fuori della mura. a dirge for the dead, and a funeral procession passed near enough for me to see the light the rches flashing through the branches of the trees. The chant was low-toned, solemn, slow, feebly sung by the old monks. A moment passed and the sounds died away. I rose, and ... followed the procession.'

It was

Among the contributors to the volume whose names appear, are, H. Ď. Inglis, Miss Landon, Charles Swain, T. K. Hervey, Mrs. Lee, Miss Agnes Strickland, Mary and William Howitt, H. F. Chorley, Mrs. C. Gore, Mrs. C. B. Wilson, Miss Isabel Hill, Captain M‘Naghten, Captain Calder Campbell, N. Michell, G. A. Hansard, the Rev. R. Polwhele, and W. L. Stone, of New York. The last named gentleman has furnished a very humorous American story, • Uncle Zim.' In short, the volume is full of amusement, if not of instruction, and the above catalogue of names will vouch for its varied merit and interest. We must make room for a poetical specimen, and we take the very pleasing lines



In soldier's coat of British red,
In chains, like captive warrior led,
A dog thy war-horse, and thy pride
A sabre dangling from thy side;
Dost ever think of distant Ind,
Thy balmy groves of tamarind,
Where once thou wert a joyous brute,
Feasting in those bowers of fruit,
Now with munching, now with leaping,
Dance and revel hourly keeping ? -
Say, dost ever ponder now
On the citron's spicy bough,

Gambols in the palmy shade,
Stealthy jaunts at even made
To the guava's juicy crop,
To the mango's golden top,
Where once thou wert a pilferer free
With thine old fraternity ?-
Have not drum and viol drowned
Every airy, leafy sound?
Pleasures of the mart and street,
Weaned thee from thy green retreat ?
Pageantry and plaudit vain,
Puffing up thy witless brain,
To a counterfeit grimace
Altered e'en thy mimic face ? -
· Yet, methinks, the zany's art
Is to thee no painless part.
Let them mask her as they will,
Nature masked is Nature still.
Nay, beneath thy showy vest,
There's a sorrow at thy breast,
And a rebel wish to be,
As thou wert, a rover free.
There's a sense of suffered wrong
Sharper than thy master's thong.
These will haunt thee to thy grave,

Gay, dissembling, hapless slave!
There are ten plates. An Interior of Milan Cathedral, by
Prout, and Madeira, by W. Westall, are gems. Mabel Grey,
by Cattermole, is good. Eulione is a fright, begging Sir Thomas
Lawrence's pardon. The other engravings require no notice.

The Keepsake maintains its aristocratic character. Among the contributors we find one Countess, three Ladies of birth, two Lords, two Baronets, two M.P.s, an Hon. Mrs., and an Archdeacon. Now, considering the intellectual disadvantages under which such persons labour, we cannot but deem their contributing to such a volume as this, a meritorious effort, and one which the public ought to take kindly. We de not agree with Hannah More, that it is as well de ne rien faire as faire des riens. Des riens are sometimes very pretty somethings; and composing them is doing something. As to the quality of the quality productions, we must honestly say, that they exhibit an approach to plebeian cleverness. Of the poetry, we cannot speak very highly, though we think Lady Emmeline improves, and the Hon. Mrs. Norton's versification is always elegant and melodious.

· The Sledge, and The Well of Beauty,' are clever and well turned jeux d'esprit. But the staple of the volume is the Tales. Mr. Bernal reminds us of Miss Mitford, and they would make an

« AnteriorContinuar »