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ANCIENT AND MODERN SCULPTURE.
I was in the skilful and temperate exertions of its powers in this noblest province of the art, expression, that ancient sculpture so much excelled the modern. She knew its limits, and bad ascertained them with precision. As far as expression would go hand in hand with grace and beauty, in subjects intended to excite sympathy, she indulged her chisel; but where agony threatened to induce distortion, and obliterate beauty, she wisely set bounds to imitation, remembering, that though it may be moral to pity ugliness and distress, it is more natural to pity beauty in the saine situation ; and that her business was not to give the strongest representation of nature, but the representation which would interest us most. The Greek artists have been accused of having sacrificed character too much to technical proportion. · What is usually called character in a face, is probably excess in some of its parts, and particularly of those which are under the influence of the mind, the leading passions of which mark some features for its own. fectly symmetrical face bears no mark of the influence of either the passions or the understanding, and reminds you of Prometheus's clay, without his fire. On the other hand, the moderns, by sacrificing too liberally those technical proportions, which, when religiously observed, produce beauty, to expression, have generally lost the very point for which they contended. They seemed to think that when a passion was to be expressed, it could not be expressed too strongly; and that sympathy always followed in exact proportion, with the strength of the passion, and the force of its expres. sion. But passions in their extreme, instead of producing sympathy, generally excite feelings diametrically opposite. A vehement and clamorous demand of pity is received with neglect, and sometimes with disgust, whilst a patient and silent acquiescence under the pressure of mental affliction, or severe bodily pain, finds every heart in unison with its sufferings. The ancients knew to what ex. tent expression inay be carried with good effect. The author of the famous Laocoon in the Vatican, knew where to stop, and if the figure had been alone, it would have been perfect; there is exquisite anguish in the countenance, but it is borne in silence, and without distortion of features. Puget thought he could go beyond the author of Laocoon; he gave voice to his Milo; he made him roaring with pain, and lost the sympathy of the spectator,
ON THE LOVE OF WEALTH.
The love of money is the prevailing passion of almost every person—we might say of every nation that ever existed. This passion is so universal, that an exception can scarcely be found in any
situation, or in any period of life. From the prime minister to the sweep-chimney, all are alike eager after this god of their idolatry; Mammon. From the cradle to old age, in all periods we see this passion exerted. Take a view of an infant when it sees a piece of money, stretching forth its little hands for the precious coin, scarcely conscious of what it is doing, or what use it is to be put to. In more advanced life, we see most men eager to make more of what they have, yet careful to spend as little as possible. But old age is the period when every thing is sacrificed to this disgraceful passion. How hateful a character is the old decrepid miser, piling hoards on hoards, merely for the pleasure of doing it, counting every moment the precious store, for the gratification of hearing it chink, while he is depriving himself of the joys almost necessaries of life, and wearing the meanest habiliments, that he may add to his still increasing treasure; oppressing and tyrannizing over every one beneath him, sucking them to the marrow, to squeeze what he can from the poorest and most miserable wretches; and if we look a little farther, we shall perhaps see all this hoard, collected with so much pains, squandered away by the heir. How dreadful is this character ! yet, turn where we will, it is visible somewhere. If a wretch, pining in want and misery, were to apply to such a man for relief, what is the event? He meets with nothing but curses and imprecations and if the hoary Mammon be in power, is most likely sent to the house of correction, there to reflect on his fate, and meditate " e'en to madness.” Shakepeare puts a most pathetic apostrophe on this subject into the mouth of King Lear :
-Take physic, pomp,
Act 3, Scene 3.
at his counter all day, nailed, in appearance, like one of his bad shillings ? From the love of money. What makes the stock-jobber circulate one report this ninute, and contradict it the next, whether it be to the disadvantage, or otherwise, of his country? The love of money. Why does the lawyer sell his conscience, injure his lungs, and say right is wrong? All for the love of money. What induces the apothecary to vend drugs which he despises, kill half his patients, and make the other half cripples for life? The love of money. What makes the prime minister sell his country, barter his conscience, and entail curses and disgrace on his name? Why, the love of money. In short, every action of a inan's life has this darling object in view, and we shall in vain look for any other that produces half its consequences.
But of all European nations, England has the character of being the place where this passion principally exists. The French tell us we are a nation of droning shop-keepers, whose every idea is fixed on the making of money; that we are incapable of any noble action, and that every virtue, every consideration, is sacrificed to the influence of Mammon. In an old French author, there is a very severe passage on England, of which the following is a translation.
Let the greatest villain
He'll find a welcome. For the honour of old England we hope this is not true, or at least to such an extent as the writer quoted here imagines.
In your miscellany for April, 1803, there is a very judicious paper
“ on the ridiculous consequence assumed from superiority of places of residence.” If we examine into the bottom of this, it will be found that it actually proceeds from the possession, or otherwise, of wealth ; as it is supposed, in London, that he who is in possession of this material article, will not live in Whitechapel, if he can afford to do it in Lombard Street or Cornhill; or in St. Giles's, if he can in Oxford Street; or in Bond Street, if he can in Grosvenor Square. It is just the same in a house,-if a man can pay for the first floor, it is supposed he would not live in the second, and so on up to the attic story.
If you think this short essay worthy of insertion, perhaps I may trouble you again on the same subject.
SENSIBILITY AND FEROCITY.
MONSIEUR DE Bertrand, a knight of Malta, was brought at midnight, on the third of September 1792, before the dreadful tribunal in the prison of the abbaye. He was a man of great coolness and firmness of mind, which was of infinite service to him in this emnergency. When he was questioned, he answered with an undisturbed voice and countenance, “that he had not the least idea of what he had been arrested for, that those who arrested him could not inform him, that nobody had informed him since, and that he was convinced he had been taken up by mistake.”
Struck with the cool and undaunted manner in which he addressed them, the judges ordered him to be released. Two men covered with blood, who had been employed in killing the prisoners, seemed surprised but not displeased at the unusual order.
They conducted him through the court of the abbaye, and on the way asked if he had any relation to whose house he wished to go. He answered, that he had a sister-in-law, to whom he intended to go directly.
“How very much surprised and delighted must she be to see you," said they—“I am persuaded she will,” replied Mr. Bertrand.
One of them asked the other if he should not be glad to be present at this meeting, to which he eagerly said he should; and both declared that they had a curiosity to be witnesses to the joyful meeting.
The gentleman was astonished and embarrassed : he represented that his relation being a delicate woman, their appearance might very much alarm her; that he could not think of giving thein such trouble.
They urged they would wait in the parlour till he had advertised the lady of their being in the house, to prevent her being alarmed : that so far from being a trouble, it would give them great pleasure to accompany him, that they wished to have relaxation from the work they had been so long employed in.
M. Bertrand did not think it prudent to refuse such petitioners any longer. They accompanied him to the house. He sent the servant, who opened the door at the sound of his voice, to advertise the lady that he was arrived and well. He afterwards went himself, and informed her of the fancy of the two men. Every body in the family had flocked around him with expressions of joy. The two men were admitted, and were witnesses to the happiness that all manifested: they seemed much gratified and affected at the sight; it formed the strongest contrast with those they had so lately seen. M. Bertrand offered them money, which they would on no account accept, declaring that they were already paid for accompanying him in the only way they desired. After remaining a considerable time, they took their leave, wishing the lady and M. Bertrand all happiness.
I know no theory by which can be explained the dispositions of sensibility and ferocity, which,' from this narrative, appear in the same individuals. I repeat the facts as I have them from authority. They form a new instance of the astonishing variety, and even opposition of character to be found in that wonderful crea
FALSE HAIR AND BAG WIGS.
The Greeks and Romans used false hair, and had likewise a kind of hair-powder. Hannibal wore false hair. Lampridius gives a description of the Emperor Commodus's wig, which was powdered with gold dust, and anointed with ointments of an agreeable odour, that the dust might adhere to it. In 1518, John Duke of Tuscany ordered his head bailiff, at Cobourg, to procure for him from Numberg a handsome false head of hair,---- But secretly," wrote he, " that it may not be known that it is for us; and let it be curled, and so contrived, that it may be put on the head without being observed." The first who wore a peruke was an abbé named La Riviere, so loaded with hair, and so long, it hung down to the waist. A person of a lean visage was quite hid in this cloud of hair. The fore part of the wig was then worn very high. In France this was called devant a la Fontagne, from the Marquis of that name, who first appeared in them. A certain Ervais found out the art of frizzing hair, by which means a wig appeared to have more hair in it. Bag-wigs came into fashion during the regency of the Duke of Orleans, and thence obtained the names of Peruques à la Regencé. The Emperor Charles VI. would allow no one to be admitted into his presence without a wig of two tails. Of a more modern date than wigs is our present hair powder. In the reign of Louis XIV. it was not in general use, and that king, at first, disliked the fashion of wearing it.