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Vol. i. p. 234
POETRY OF OSSIAN.
particularly that fantastic one in Glen To those who are in the habit of deCroe, called the Cobler; but the north scending mountains, it is well known fide of Ben Lomond itself excites a de. that the best mode (unless in very steep gree of surprise arising almost to terror: parts) is to run down rather rapidly, this mighty mass, which hitherto had in a zig-zag direction; by which means, appeared to be an irregular cone, if the Nipperiness of the ground should placed on a spreading bafe, suddenly make you fall (which happened to me presents itself as an imperfect crater, several times), little danger is to be with one side forcibly torn off, leaving apprehended.” a ftupendous precipice of 2000 feet to the bottom.
“ In such a situation, the most sublime sensations cannot be felt unless “ CONCERNING Ofian as a poet, you are alone. A fingle insulated be- I received in this neighbourhood (Dal. ing, carrying his view over these vast mally) information which appeared to inanimate masses, seems to feel himself me of an interesting nature, from Mr. attached to them, as it were, by a new
Alexander Mac Nab, a farmer, much kind of bond ; his spirit dilates with impressed with the admiration of Gaelic the magnitude, and rejoices in the poetry. I visited him as a traveller beauty of the terrestrial objects; and, dydirous of acquiring, on the spot, the
-“ the near heav'ns their own de.. opinions and feelings of real Highlights impart'."
landers. I was received with the greatest
readiness, and was equally struck with “ A feeling of this kind, which once his unaffected frankness, and intelliabsorbed my whole mind on a moun- gent discourse. Mr. Mac Nab is one tain in Cumberland, will never be blot- of the persons who furnished Dr. Smith, ted from my memory. It was a bright author of the Gaelic Antiquities, with lovely day, and I stood contemplating some of the originals which are there with admiration a beautiful vale, with translated: all the persons concerned its glittering lake, rich woods, and in that work are too respectable to adnumerous buildings. Gradually a thick mit a doubt of their veracity; and we mift rolled like a curtain before it, and muft, therefore, accede to the truth took away every object from my view. of the plain tale which they tell. The I was left alone on the mountain top, real amount of this is fanctioned by far above the clouds of the vale, the the concurrent feeling of all with whom sun shining full upon my head; it I conversed on the subject throughseemed as if I had been suddenly tranf- out the Highlands, as well those who ported into a new state of existence, were wholly unversed in literature, as cut off from every meaner association, persons of a liberal education. It seems and invisibly united with the surround- scarcely to adnit of dispute, that all ing purity and brightness.
thofe perfons are impresled with a be“* I had scarcely time to contem- lief in the great, but uncertain antiplate the view from the summit of Ben quity of parts of these poems; that Lomond, before a heavy shower oblig. from the earliest living memory, they. ed me to descend. The black clouds knew whole poems of the same characcollecting on the north, and rolling in ter to have existed; and, what is of their pitchy mantle the mountains in far the greatest consequence, that the that direction, while the fetting fun manners and circumstances represented gilded those on the west, produced a in them bore the character of those most striking and admirable contrast. given to the public. As I descended, the shower passed of, “ As far as the translations of Mr. and left me at leisure to observe fome Macpherson stand upon this ground, beautiful effects of the sun's rays, they are to be admitted to the same which, long after the lake and its credit with thofe of Dr. Smith; and it fhores were left in shade, sot athwart by the production of ancient manuthe glens, and illumined the mountain scripts, or by any equivalent teftimony, tops, marking the nearest with a bright they shall hereafter be entitled to a orange-green, whilst the more diftant higher claim, it will then be right to died away gradually in the purplish accede to their stronger pretensions. gray haze of evening. I reached the At present it does not appear that there bottom in one hour and ten ininutes. is any reason to believe in the early
existence of Fingal, or Tenora, in the is a manifest distinction between the connected epic form which they now Sgeulachd, or simple ancient tales, and bear; and though they may have so the ur-sgeul, or later corruptions; but come into Mr. Macpherson's hands, it however this may be, as the public feems probable that they had under- possess no test of such a distinction, it gone many changes before they reached would, in all cases, be proper to lay him. To make fuch works the basis the existing facts firft before them, and of an historical system, is surely un then the grounds of criticism. It is, worthy the gravity of a scientific wri- perhaps, owing in fome measure to a ter; and the weakness of the attempts similar canfe, that these poems contain which have been hitherto made to fo little minute description of manners, eftablish such a system, the confusion that the weapons, food, &c. are not of dates, the dubiousness of names, more particularized ; that some ani. and the total uncertainty of events, mals, such as the wolf* and bear, fufficiently betray its absurdity. Still which then abounded in the Highlands, lefs reason is there in denying the pol- are not mentioned; in short, that many fibility of antiquity to these poems. circumstances which might rationally Since the year 1745, a great change be expected to have given a peculiar has been introduced into Highland character and interest to these produc. manners; but we are warranted by tions, have been either loft by the inevery previous testimony in believing, accuracy of tradition, or rejected by that tradition was once to regular and the fatidiousness of the editor. The constant as to preserve such records a style of the transation is, to the English very long while unaltered. Upon the reader, not its least objectionable part; whole, perhaps, we may draw this and in this also Mr. Macpherson has general conclufion; that, in very early found many imitators. The Gaelic times, poems descriptive of the man. idioms predominate so much, and the ners and events of the age were com- ' English, or rather Scottish writers, posed with so much merit as to ensure who are imitated, are themselves fo their permanence in the memory of far from perfection, that the awkwardtheir auditors; that the state of lan- ness of this heterogeneous compound is guage, which is much less changeable by no means surprising. With all thefe in uncivilized than in civilized fociety, defects, the poems of Oslian are highly contributed to their preservation; and valuable; they contain much that is that they reached nearly to modern beautiful, and much that is fubliine; times, with some changes, omissions, and it is a proof at once of their worth and additions, indeed; but ftill no in and antiquity, that many passages in valuable relics of former genius. them have long been proverbial in the
< It is to be lamented that the per Highlands. fon who first gave them an English Among the manuscript poems in dress, was, in fome respects, but ill Mr. Mac Nab's pofleffion were the qualified for such a task. By a want four following: of fidelity, he has afforded a very in 1. Duan an Deirg. The song of adequate idea of the poems, such as Deirg, or Dargo. he found them existing. I have been
2. Ning hin junsa. The unknown assured by a man of learning, who was fair one. acquainted with Mr. Macpherson when 3. Eafs ruaidh. The red waterhe first formed his collection, that he fall. ufed great freedom in expunging the 4. Laoidh a ghabhainne. The song extravagances of fuperftition with of the finiths. which they abounded, and which to “ Thete bave been all collected at this day are to be found in the popular no great distance of time, and writ
: notions of the Highlanders respecting ten down from oral tradition. It the Fions. In this, as a principle of is not probable that there exist any taste, he has been followed by fubfe- ancient Gaelic MSS. of consequence ; quent translators, who allege that there I myself faw at Edinburgh the lo often
* « An author (already quoted) who wrote in 16: ;, fays, 'the wolves are 6 most fierce and noylome unto the heards and Rockes in all parts of Scotland.' And tradition reports, that the latt wolf in Britain was Dain by Sir Ewen Cameron, of Lochiel, in 1680."
quoted Leabhair Dearg, or red book Invention-Epic Subjects: Michael of the Macdonalds. It is a small paper Angelo--Dramatic Subjects: Raphael 12mo. regularly paged, of which there -Hiftoric Subjects : Poussin, &c.-remain the pages from 31 to 311, a
Invention has a Right to adopt Ideas : very few being blank, the reft written in various hands and different inks, Examples--Duplicity of Subje&t and
Moment inadmissible-Transfigurabut all in the Irish character. Many circumstances (such as the monuments
tion of Raphael. at Icolmkill, &c.) prove, that this characer was used very early in Scotland;
EXTRACTS. but the state of manners rendered it
THE CARRACCIS-ALBERT DURER, unnecessary to employ it in perpetu
&c. ating those songs which had a living re.
« TOWARDS the decline of the cord in the memories of men,” Vol. i.
fixteenth century, Lodovico Carracci, p. 275. (To be continued.)
with his cousins Agostino and Annibale, founded at Bologna that ecclectic
school which by selecting the beauties, LIII. Lectures on Painting, delivered defects, and avoiding the extremes of
correcting the faults, supplying the ar the Royal Academy March 1801. the different styles, attempted to form By HENRY FUSELI, P.P. With
a perfect fyftem. But as the mechanic additional Observations and Notes. part was their only object, they did 4to. Pp. 151. 125. Johnson. not perceive that the projected union
was incompatible with the leading
principle of each master. Let us hear LECTURE !. Ancient Art.- this plan from Agostino Carracci hima
Greece the legitimate Parent of self, as it is laid down in his fonnet on the Art: Summary of the local and the ingredients required to form a perpolitical Causes Conjectures on the feet painter, if that may be called a mechanic Process of the Art--Period sonnet, which has more the air of meof Preparation : Polygnolus, Appol- dical prescription. Take,' says Agoflodorus --Period of Establishment: tino, the delign of Rome, Venetian
• motion and shade, the dignified tone Zeuxis, Parrhafius, Timanthes--Period of Refinement: Eupompus,
• of Lombardy's colour, the terrible
• manner of Michael Angelo, the just Apelles, Aristides, Euphranor.
• symmetry of Raphael, Titiano's truth LECTURE II. Art of the Moderns.- of nature, and the sovereign purity Introduction : different Direction of of Correggio's style: add to these the the Art-Preparative Style : Masac-decorum and folidity of Tibaldi, the cio, Lionardo da Vinci---Style of learned invention of Primaticcio, and Establishment: Michael Angelo, Ra- a little of Parmegiano's grace: but phael, Titiano, Correggio-style of to save so much ftudy, such weary Refinement and Depravation
labour, apply your imitation to the
I works which our dear Nicolo has left Schools : of Tuscany, Rome, Venice, Lombardy--The Ecclectic School- between the tone of regular breeding
' us here.' Of such advice, balanced Machinists-. The Geroian School : and the cant of an empiric, what could Albert Durer- The Flemish School: be the result? excellence or medioRubens—The Dutch School: Rem- crity? who ever imagined that a mulbrant-Observations on Art in Swit- titude of diffimilar threads could comzerland - The French School—The pose an uniform texture, that diffeSpanish School England-Conclu- mination of spots would make masses, fion.--Lecture Ill. Invention.
or a little of many thing's produce a Introduction Discrimination of legitimate whole? Indiscriminate imiPoetry and Painting-General Idea tation must end in the extinction of
character, and that in mediocrity, the of Invention : its Right to select a cipher of art.” P. 80. Subject from Nature itself-Vifiones, “The heterogeneous principle of the Theon, Agafias : Cartoon of Pisa, ecclectic school soon operated its own Incendio del Borgo-Specific Idea of diffolution: the great talents which
the Carracci had tutored, foon found nefs of chiaroscuro, and intrepidity of their own bias, and abandoned them- hand. selves to their own peculiar tafte. “ Such was the state of art, when Barto. Schidone, Guido Reni, Giovan- the spirit of machinery, in submiffion ni Lanfranco, Francesco Albani, Do- to the vanities and upstart pride of menico Zampieri, and Francesco Bar- papal nepotism, destroyed what yet bieri, called Guercino, differed as much was left of meaning; when equilibra. in their objects of imitation as their tion, contrast, grouping, engrolied names. Schidone, all of whose mind composition, and poured a deluge of was in his eye, embraced, and often gay common-place over the platfonds, to meaner subjects applied the har- pannels, and cupolas of palaces and mony and colour of Correggio, whilst temples. Those who could not conLanfranco ftrove, but strove without ceive a figure singly, scattered multifuccess, to follow him through the ex- tudes; to count was to be poor. The panse of his creation and mastes. Grace rainbow and the seasons were ranfacked attracted Guido, but it was the studied for their hues, and every eye became grace of theatres: his female forms are the tributary of the great, but abused abftracts of antique beauty, attended talents of Pietro da Cortona, and the by, languishing attitudes, arrayed by fascinating but debauched and empty voluptuous fashions. His male forms, facility of Luca Giordano *. transcripts of models, such as are found “ The same revolution of mind that in a genial climate, are sometimes had organized the arts of Italy, spread, highly
characteristic of dignified man without visible communication, to Ger. hood' or apoftolic fervour, like his many; and towards the decline of the Peter and Paul, formerly in the Zam- fifteenth century, the uncouth essays pieri at Bologna: sometimes stately, of Martin Schön, Michael Wolgemuth, courteous, infipid, like his Paris at- and Albrecht Altorfer, were succeeded tending Helen, more with the air of by the finer polish and the more dexan ambassador, by proxy, than carry- terous method of Albert Durer. The ing her off with a lover's fervour. His indiscriminate use of the words genius Aurora deserved to precede a more and talent has, perhaps, no where majestic sun, and hours less clumsy: caused more confusion than in the his colour varies with his style, fome- classification of artists. Albert Durer times bland and harmonious, fome- was, in my opinion, a man of great times vigorous and stern, sometimes ingenuity, without being a genius. flat and infipid. Albani, chiefly at- He studied, and, as far as his penetratracted by soft mythologic conceits, tion reached, established certain proformed nereids and oreads on plump portions of the human frame, but he Venetian models, and contrasted their did not invent a style: every work of pearly hues with the rofy tints of loves, his is a proof that he wanted the power the juicy brown of fauns and fatyrs, of imitation, of concluding from what and rich marine, or fylvan scenery. he saw, to what he did not fee, that Domenichino, more obedient than the he copied rather than selected the reft to his masters, aimed at the beauty forms that surrounded him, and fans of the antique, the expression of Ra- remorse tacked deformity and meagrephael, the vigour of Annibale, the co ness to fulness, and sometimes to lour of Lodovico, and mixing fome- beauty. Such is his design; in comthing of each, fell short of all; whilst position copious without tafte, anxiGuercino broke like a torrent over all ously precise in parts, and unmindful academic rules, and with an ungovern- of the whole, he has rather shown us able itch of copying whatever lay in what to avoid than what to follow. his way, sacrificed mind, form, and He fometimes had a glimpse of the costume, to effects of colour, fierce- sublime, but it was only a glimpse:
*“ Pietro Berretini, of Cortona, the painter of the ceiling in the Barberini hall, and of the gallery in the leffer Pamphili palace; the vernal suavity of whose fresco-tints no pencil ever equalled, died at Rome in 1669, aged seventythree. Luca Giordano, nicknamed Fa-presto, or Dispatch, from the rapidity of his execution, the greatest machinist of his time, died in 1705, aged seventyfix.”
the expanded agony of Chrift on the LIV. Ellis's Specimens of the early
mount of Olives, and the mystic con English Poets. (Concluded from een beption of his figure of Melancholy,
REIGN OF EDWARD VI-A DRINKING
cholars, nor was imitated by the Ger- made with success: and though Sternman artists of his or the fucceeding hold did not possess the talents of century. That the exportation of his Marot, his industry has been rewarded works to Italy should have effected a 'by ftill more permanent popularity. It temporary change in the principles of is rather whimsical that the first verfome Tuscans who had studied Michael fions of the Psalms were made, in both Angelo, of Andrea del Sarto, and countries, by laymen and court poets; Jacopo da Pontormo, is a fact which and they translated nearly an equal proves that minds, at certain periods, number: Marot fifty, and Sternhold may be subject to epidemic influence fifty-one. Sternhold died in 1549;
and his Psalms were printed in the "Lucas of Leyden was the Dutch fame year, by Edward Whitchurch. caricature of Albert; but the forms of “ John Hopkins, a clergyman and Aldegraver, Sebald Beheim, and George schoolmaster in Suffolk, rather a better Pentă, appear to have been the result poet than Sternhold, added fifty-eight of careful inspection of Marc Antonio's Pfalms to the lift. Of the other contriprints from Raphael, of whom Pentz butors, the chief, in point of rank and was a scholar; and ere long the style learning, was William Whyttingham, of Michael Angelo, as adopted by
dean of Durham, whose transations are Pelegrino Tibaldi, and spread by the marked with the initials of his name. staver of Giorgio Mantuano, provoked Thomas Norton, a barrister, and nathose caravans of German, Dutch, and tive of Sharpenhoe, in Bedfordshire, Plemish students, who on their return who affifted Sackville in composing the from Italy, at the courts of Prague tragedy of Gorboduc, wrote twentyand Munich, in Flanders and the Ne- feven. The entire collection was at therlands, introduced that prepofte- length published, by John Day, in Tous manner, the bloated excrescence 1562. of Swampy brains, which in the form “ It certainly is not easy to discover of man left nothing human, distorted the grand features of Hebrew poetry, altion and gefture with infanity of af- through the muddy, medium of this feftation, and dressed the gewgaws of translation ; but it is a curious reperchildren in coloffal Shapes; the ftyle tory, and highly characteriftic of the of Golzius and Spranger, Heynz and time in which it was written. Metre Ab Ach: but though content to feed was the universal vehicle of devotion. on the busks of Tuscan design, they Our posts were inspired with a real imbibed the colour of Venice, and and fervent enthusiasm ; and though (pread the elements of that excellence the tameness and infipidity of the lan. which dißinguished the succeeding guage in which they vented this inIchools of Flanders and of Holland. Ipiration, may surprise and disgust a
modern reader, it was probably once Vol. V.-No. XLVIII.
as well as bodies.