« PreviousContinue »
There sare are damong--hail the wretches state
Frantic--the prison echoes to my crtes;
A spark still lingering by, hopes mournful grapef
Restor'd to honour-live! and blew dur gravet
FROM ANNALS OF THE FINE ARTS.
(Continued from page 48.) His empire o'er ether, old ocean, and land; Apd teach British Artists the place of their birth, Concentrates whatever various on earth; Her wilds and her cultures, her mutable clime, Ennoble her beauty, and stamp her sublime: And hence we may hope that her sons will impart The proudest productions to dignify Art. From this I was drawn by the pow'rful attraction, Of Glover's Cathedral, with great satisfaction ; What radiance of light! what perspective and tone! Atmospherical beauty and truth are here shown; The tints so aerial, so tenderly warm, They heighten each object and double each charm, Whether thrown on the tow'rs that magnificent pise, Or tinging the mountains that melt in the skies. A picture by Chalons, chaste, simple, and trae, Has a richness and breadth which too seldom we view,; And a mixture more happy of sunshine and shade, With figures more natral I never survey!d. . How lovely the lustre which Calcott has thrown, O'er a fine tinted sky, which old Wilson might owp. His magical pencil some art loving sprite, Has dipt in the sun-beams best essence of light; And Hoffland has trayers'd the dale and the mountain, And drawn his best treasures from nature's
pure fountain, In Reinagle's pencil we certainly meet Whatever is digoified, graceful, and sweet: See Barrowdale mountains, rude, simple, and wild, Where the dread hand of nature her barrier has pil'd; And forbade all approach from the world that's below it, Save to children so dear as the painter and poet; Wherever she beckons, 'tis theirs to obey, Regardless how dan'rous, or rugged the way. With the eagle they mount on the rock's craggy steep, With the sea.boy explore the vast wilds of the deep ; Or, stretch'd on the carpet where Flora reposes, Inhale the pure zephyr that breathes o'er her roses , Assurd that the fingers of Fancy, at least, From horror, or beauty, will cull them a feast; Since Fortune, less bounteous, but seldom afforde Substantial enjoyment to visit their boards.
Ah! often I wish, that these pets of creation Could feel less acutely the ills of their station ; Nor struggle with feelings so keenly intense, Gainst the sneers of contempt, and the cravings of seuse.
Oh! 'tis hard that the soul which with seraphs could glow,
ON THE INFLUENCE OF THE GYMNASTIC EXER.
CISES, ON THE MANNERS AND CONSTITUTIONS
Among all the various institutions which owed their origin to Greece, it is not possible to conceive one more pernicious, or more calculated to sabilitate the human species, than the Gymnastic art. Galen has completely demonstrated this in an express treatise on the subject, as weli as by innumere able arguments scattered among his other writings, in which he refutes, in the most convincing manner, all that had been advanced by their defenders, in favour of the athletic exer. cises. Yet there have appeared, among the moderns, some weak writers and feeble critics, who have attempted to justify practices for ever condemned by the greatest physician of antiquity, who spoke of what fell daily under his own observation, tbe minutest circumstances of wbich could not escape his notice; if his opinion may be trusted, these modern authors, who have written in detence of such institutions, are blinded travelers, led astray by the thread of a false and fallacious system.
Those among the ancients who constantly practised the art of boxing, or of wrestling, turned emaciated in the limbs, from the lips down to the feet, while the upper part of their bodies acquired an enormous bulk. Such on the contrary as exercised themselves in running and leaping, grew emaci. ated from the head downwards to the waist, and the lower part of their body and limbs increased to a şize beyond all proportion too great. This is a remark made by Xenophon, and it is agreeable to reason, as it may be easily conceived that the nutricions juices of the body would be most copiously directed to those parts that were exposed to the most violent and long-continued exertions.
Though the ancients have said nothing of the symptoms in:
cident to the discobali, whose exercise it was to heave to a vast distance, quoits of an enormous size, yet we may be cer. tain, that in them the muscular part of the arm must have dilated to a monstrous volume, and the neck so entirely de. prived of its flexibility, that it would become impossible to turn the head to the right or to the left, the vertebræ being too severely compressed, in order to augment the force of the throw.
Above all, nothing could be more pernicious than the ex. travagant races which it was the practice to make children attempt in the Olympic course, and at all the solemn games of Greece. In these, the extraordinary action of the atmosphere upon their tender fibres, must be extremely apt to wound the organs of respiration, and bring or consumptions of the lungs, which the ancients were as incapable of curing, as the moderns,
Should it bé pretended that such exercises might have been useful, had the Greeks known how to keep them within moderate bounds, the answer is obvious. In these moderation was impossible, for they were founded on emulation. It is the nature of emulation to know ueither bounds nor medium; one must either vanquish or be vanquished; one great effort brought on another still more great, and the combatants were cnervated both by defeat and by victory.
Before one champion could become famous, an hundred others_ must have perished in the trials without taking into the account those who would be mutilated to such a degree, as to become equally useless to the state, and burdensome to themselves.
The nervous system of the human frame, is susceptible only of a certain degree of tension. In every exertion beyond' that, what is gained in one part, is inevitably lost in another. In the wrestlers, the bands were strengthened at the expence of the feet, and, in the racers, the feet acquired strength at the expence of the arms. The equilibrium of all the powers of the
body was destroyed by a particular force, which, being purely factitious, soon degenerated into weakness.
Montesquieu asserts, that it was the exercise of wrestling which gained the Thebans the battle of Leuctra; but he forgot that this battle was fought in the 1020 Olympiad, when, for four hundred years, the Lacedomians had practised as well as the Thebans, the exercise of wrestling, which nevertheless could not save them from a total defeat. It was the genius of Epaminondas, combined with particular accidental causes, that rendered the Thebans victorious at Leuca tra. Iho gymnastic art bad ne share in that victory; and soon after, the world beheld these same Thebang vanquished at Cheronæ, reduced into captivity by Alexander, and sold at last to the highest bidder, as slaves in a market, while the plough passed over, and corn grew on the very spot where Thebes had stood. Could a nation which had never practised the gymnastic art, ever experience a more humiliating, fate or terminate its career by a more terrible catastrophe ?
In reading history, it is always more prudent to judge of évents by their consequences, than by causes, which are often covered with an impenetrable veil. To prove the ad, vantages, and the utility of gymnastic wrestling, the author of the spirit of Laws should have demonstrated, that Thebes was never destroyed, and the Thebans name never effaced from the list of nations.
A SINGULAR ANECDOTE OF A MISER.
Avarice, of all other passions, is the least to be accounted for, as it precludes the miser from all pleasure, except that of hoarding; the prodigal, the gamester, the ambitious hava something to plead by way of palliatives for their inordinate affections to their respective objects and pursuits; but the iniser gratifies his passiou at the expence of every con veniency, indulgence or even necessary of life. He is aptly compared to the magpye, who hides, gold wbich he can make no use, of.
M. Vandille, was the most remarkable man in Paris, both on account of his immense riches, and his extreme avarice. He lodged as high up as the roof would admit him, to avoid noise or visits; maintained one poor old woman to attend him in his garret, allowed her only seren sous. per week, or a penny per diem. His usual diet was bread and milk, and for indulgence, some poor sour wine on Sunday, on which day, be constantly gave one farthing to the poor, being one shilling and a penny per annum, which he cast up, and, after his death, his extensive charity amounted to forty-three shillings and fourpence. This prudent æconomist had been a Magistrate, or Officer at Boulogne, from which obscurity he was promoted to Paris for a reputation of his wealth, which he.. lent upon undeniable security to the public funds, not caring to trust individuals with his life and soul. While a Magistrate , at Roulogne, le maintained himself by taking upon to be