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fecting than to range at will over yard? Whereabout did the out-houses the deserted apartments of some fine commence ? a few bricks only lay as old family mansion. The traces of representatives of that which was so extinct grandeur admit of a better pas- stately and so spacious. sion than envy ; and contemplations Death does not shrink up his huon the great and good, whom we fancy man victim at this rate. The burnt in succession to have been its inhabi- ashes of a man weigh more in their tants, weave for us illusions, incompa- proportion. tible with the bustle of modern occu- Had I seen these brick-and-mortar pancy, and vanities of foolish present knaves their process of destruction, aristocracy. The same difference of at the plucking of every pannel i feeling, I think, attends us between en- should have felt the varlets at my heart. tering an empty and a crowded church. I should have cried out to them to In the latter it is chance but some pre- spare a plank at least out of the cheersent human frailty-an act of inatten- ful store-room, in whose hot windowtion on the part of some of the auditory, seat I used to sit, and read Cowley, or a trait of affectation, or worse, vain- with the grass-plat before, and the hum glory, on that of the preacher-puts us and flappings of that one solitary wasp by our best thoughts, disharmonizing that ever haunted it, about me—it is in the place and the occasion. But mine ears now, as oft as summer rewouldst thou know the beauty of ho- turnsmor a pannel of the yellow liness ?-go alone on some week-day, room. borrowing the keys of good Master Why, every plank and pannel of Sexton, traverse the cool aisles of some that house for me had magic in it. country church-think of the piety The tapestried bed-rooms--tapestry that has kneeled there—the congrega- so much better than painting-not tions, old and young, that have found adorning merely, but peopling the consolation there--the meek pastor wainscots—at which childhood ever the docile parishioner--with no dis- and anon would steal a look, shifting turbing emotions, no cross conflicting its coverlid (replaced as quickly) to comparisons—drink in the tranquillity exercise its tender courage in a moof the place, till thou thyself become as mentary eye-encounter with those fixed and motionless as the marble ef- stern bright visages, staring reciprofigies that kneel and weep around thee. cally-all Ovid on the walls, in co
Journeying northward lately, I lours vivider than his descriptions. could not resist going some few miles Actæon in mid sprout, with the unout of my road, to look upon the re- appeasable prudery of Diana ; and mains of an old great housewith which the still more provoking, and almost I had been impressed in this way in culinary coolness of Dan Phæbus, infancy. I was apprized that the eel-fashion, deliberately divesting of owner of it had lately pulled it down ; Marsyas. still I had a vague notion that it could Then, that haunted
room-in not all have perished, that so much so- which old Mrs. Battle died-wherelidity with magnificence could not have into I have crept, but always in the been crushed all at once into the mere day-time, with a passion of fear; and dust and rubbish which I found it. a sneaking curiosity, terror-tainted, to
The work of ruin had proceeded hold communication with the past.with a swift hand indeed, and the de- How shall they build it up again? molition of a few weeks had reduced it It was an old deserted place, yet to—an antiquity.
not so long deserted but that traces of I was astonished at the indistinction the splendour of past inmates were of every thing. Where had stood the everywhere apparent. Its furniture
SIGHTS OF LONDON.
I PERAMBULATE the streets every hangings, where a flock of shepherds
morning, as you well know, for and shepherdesses are kicking up their the exercise of my body and eye-sight, heels to the edification and amusewith my hands in my breeches pockets, ment of several bullfinches, who are and my legs in a pair of inexpressibles, piping open mouthed within arin's popping my poll into every curiosity- length amidst the chintz evergreens shop that hangs out a good bill of fare of the pattern. Many a time I gazed for a hungry inquisitor. These places, at these mute “tuneful warblers," and you know likewise, are at present gen- the figurantes before them, when I erally dignified with heathen-Greek was a little chubby snubby fellow, compound names, which puzzle a (being always a mischievous ill-conplain Englishman to pronounce,-jaw- ditioned whelp, I was idolized by my breakers, as we term them,—all end- grandmother, and indeed by all the ing in the same word, orama, and all pious old people in the parish,)--and meaning as much as this-Here is a now that I am a man 1 gazed at the great sight, good people! tell out and group in the Panorama with equal ye shall see it. Shillings are not half astonishment if not admiration. The so plentiful with me as shop-keepers' scenery however may be put into the bills, but I have nevertheless spent some other scale ; there is something (as in this way lately, and you shall have we Reviewers say)-redeeming in its the benefit of my experience. Though One likes also to see the relative aptoo mad a fellow to mind any thing past pearance of the volcanic and ante-volor independent, I am the more inclined canic places : a forest of modern trees to do this as you sent me a letter-full of growing on the top of an ancient city! compliments, and five guineas, (by no The hanging gardens of Babylon were means the least agreeable part of your nothing to this. In that part of Pomcorrespondence) for my Peep into peii now at the Strand there is not the Piccadilly Museum.” So much by much excavation to be seen, and whatway of preamble.
is to be seen is not much worth seeThe Panorama of Pompeii, in the ing. A Temple of Venus and BacStrand, is not worth climbing up Bow chus appears in comparative shape Steeple to see, but that in Leicester and preservation (Love and Wine we Fields is. They belong to the same know will stand as long as pair of proprietors, were drawn by the mortal.) The twin Panorama in the same draughtsman, I believe, and may Fields is better worth money
and have been painted by the same paint- seeing. Here are the remains of er, provided he was not the same man more old Roman houses than would at the two different performances. This build a city with cock-tail mice (cocmight have been easily managed. For tilibus muris) for all the Lazzaroni in instance, I am the same man that I Naples. There is the groundwork of was when I wrote my Fugitive Po- a huge Theatre remaining in fine form
,” which were published by the and dimensions : Covent Garden and present Sheriff Whittaker, of Avemary, Old Drury might serve as vomitoria, and had vast circulation through all the or entrances to it. What a barbarous, pastry cooks in the city, to the great luxurious, ferocious, refined, brutal, omemolument of no one. The first of the nipotent people were those descendants aforesaid Oramas is, as I hinted, pretty of the shepherd-robbers! Who would enough: there is, indeed, a group of think that Cicero could write, and a dancers on the foreground, designed I gladiator fight within a brick wall of suppose to enliven the dead imagery each other? The Fives-Court is a place around them, which put me in mind of of elegant amusement compared to a the figures on my grandmother's bed- Roman arena. Some of the moun
tain-scenery in this orama reminds me is, I know, enough to set all London of another orama which I will treat of afire ; so I beg leave to recommend presently—the Diorama : it is beauti- this Orama to all those who have ful.
eyes in their heads and shillings in The next curiosity-shop I popped their pockets. One powerful induceinto was
a Glass Exhibition within ment to sight-seeing people to visit a handful of doors of the Strand the Glass Exhibition is this,-every Pompeiiorama. I saw a glass-case one gets at his or her final exit, besides full of poodle-dogs, seventy-fours, lan- the gape-seed and glass-blowing, the daus, handbaskets, and several other full value of his or her admittancegimcracks, nailed to a door-post with money in the manufacture itself. The * only a shílling," on the board beside it. proprietor, at my departure, blew me a Walked in, up, ,on, round, out. By dog,--wrapping him up in cotton, and the bye, this is not a fair account of enclosing him in a shaving-box, all of my peregrinations through the glassery, which I conveyed into my waistcoat
I staid there poring over the brittle pocket. A young friend of mine, to machinery till I was almost cracked whom I presented my new-found-glass myself, and like. Locke's lunatic was dog, in teaching him to give the paw,” afraid to sit down lest I might break broke off one of his legs, but the gentlemyself in pieces. Along with a parcel man aforesaid very politely blew it on of very well-behaved gentlemanly old again. He added, that he should be ladies I beheld the whole operation of happy to blow on a leg for me whenglass-blowing; and I assure you, Edi- ever I wished it. Upon the whole, the tor, in that brief space of time I learn- only thing wanting to this exhibition ed more of this noble art than I shall is an impudent name; modest merit ever attempt to practise. Seriously ; never did at any time, and its scarciit is an exhibition very well worth a ty in the present age has not in any wise man's fooling away a few hours in degree enhanced its reputation. Inseeing. The proprietor, who presides stead of calling his curiosity-shop at the furnace, blew us up several merely what it is,-a Glass Exhibi. times—minikin decanters, wine-glasses, tion, I should advise the proprietor to goblets, and tin cans, in a much shorter call it a Hyalorama (or a Hyalourtime than any one could empty them, geiorama, which looks uglier and betbesides several flower-baskets and false ter): he would by this means infallicurls for the ladies. There was also bly seduce more people from the a glass-wig in a glass-case there (and straight road of the Sirand' into his a balloon in a bottle,) which I con- museum, than if he were to blow up templated with much satisfaction ; ev- a house for every customer that askery hair of it is as fine and elastic as ed him. hair itself. Baldness will no doubt in But the Peristrephic Panorama is a few ages be universally propagated, that which pleased me best,--as well it being for the most part an hereditary by the terrors of its name as of its disease; and there is some consolation subject. Peristrephic Panorama ! in knowing that, in such a deficiency What a world of mysterious magniof hair, we can have glass-wigs and ficence is contained in those two trefrontlets for the price of them. The mendous titles ! how sublime and uncurls are drawn off from the vitreous intelligible ! how agreeably cacophofluid on a wheel,--seven hundred yards nous to the common ear, and how su(I think) of glass hair being wound off per-syllabically sonorous to the lugs in a minute. One great advantage in of learning !-As I strolled one evea wig of this material would be that ning through the mazes of Spring it could be melted up into a fresh wig Gardens, I heard the Peristrephic whenever one chose it, and moreover music shaking the tiles off the neighcould not be easily blown off the head, bouring houses ; (there is a trumpetexcept when it was actually blow- er in the band, by the bye, who ing. A word from the THE LONDON would blow the cupola off St. Paul's if
20 ATHENEUM VOL. 2. 2d series.
he exerted himself beneath it,-he al- cry of fear, the groan of death, and most blew the roof off my skull with the shout of victory !- O, if poeta a single blast of his buccina.) The nascitur non fit be not a true maxim, uproar proceeding from this curiosity- that old woman ought to write a far shop induced me to enter ;-when I better epic poem than blind Homer, was young and innocent I remember blind Milton, or Bob Southey himself! that I always broke my drum or -But I am becoming too eloquent. humming-top to see what was inside The last of the Oramas which I of it that made such a poise. The swallowed was the Diorama. The same philosophical spirit attends me difference between the Ptolemic and to this day. I went into the Peris- the Copernican system of the world trephic, where however I found some
may serve to illustrate that between what more internal furniture than the Periorama (thus let us abridge ever I heard of in a humming-top:- the Peristrephic) and the Diorama. unless this huge round world turning But the superiority of the Copernican on its invisible spindle may be consid- system above the other is someered one.
I saw the Battle of Water- what less problematical than that of loo: all he great men, Buonaparte, the dioramatic principle above the Wellington, Blucher, Brunswick, Gen- perioramatic. The earth revolving eral Picton, and Corporal Shaw, paint- on its own axis saves the sun, moon, ed to the life or death as it happened : and stars, a great deal of unnecessary cuirassiers, voltigeurs, Scotch sans- trouble in performing their several culottes, Blues, Greys, Body-Guards, diurnal circles according to the old all in fine coats and confusion : char- system ; but except the giddy delight ges of cavalry and discharges of infan- of participating in the vertiginous try, great guns, thunder-bombs, flying motion of the dioramatic platform, a artillery, lying troops, and dying sol- spectator posted there is not immedidiers: the Marquis of Anglesea up to ately aware that he reaps any peculiar his belt in blood-red trowsers, and the advantage. Whether the scene peDuke down to his heels in a blue rambulates about the spectator, or the wrap-rascal. O’twas a glorious sight! spectator about the scene ; whether Like Don Quixote and the puppets the object moves past the eye, or the I longed to attack the peristrephic eye past the object, is, philosophicalpeople sword in hand, and kill a few ly considered, quite insignificant. Exdozen Frenchmen on canvas. What
cept, indeed, the spectator have a would I now give to be the old wom- fancy for orbicular progression, --if he an who remained the whole time have any inclination for a circular in the farm-house which stood in the jaunt, I would strenuously recommend very midst of the field of battle ! him a turn or so on the horizontal What a sublime situation for an old wheel of the Diorama. Indeed I woman to be in ! How I should have have heard many people express their felt had I been there! When heaven entire approbation of this new kind and earth were coming together, to of merry-go-round and its unaccomsit smoking (as she did perhaps) panying scenery. The effect of this amidst the war of elements, or to ingenious but hasty piece of mechan56 stand secure amidst a falling world” ism however was—that throughout with
my hands in my pockets, as the the whole 6 little world of man" drowned Dutchman was found after there was propagated a species of shipwreck! Only conceive her (blind awkward sensation which might be of one eye possibly) looking out denominated by help of a solecismthrough a cranny with the other, and a terrestrial sea-sickness. This, though beholding two hundred thousand men amounting to but a trifling quantiengaged in mutual massacre, and two ty, detracted somewhat from the hundred pieces of cannon bellowing, pleasure of my excursion round the bursting, and ball-playing around her! inner wall of the Dioramatic estabblood streaming, smoke wreathing, lishment. The wheel I speak of is dust flying, the scream of agony, the the only thing about that curiosity
shop which has the hue of a humbug. the artist had befooled me. This is I advise the proprietor of the Diora- real praise. ma (which appears to intend itself
The view of the Valley of Sarnen for a permanent exhibition) to divertwas, however, the chief attraction. the enthusiasm of his steam-engine, Thé felicity of the execution surprisor whatever “ old mole” it is that ed less, but the beauty of its scenery works beneath his platform, from dis- gratified more. The interior of a arranging the stomach of his visiters, chapel, unless of the very richest orto the less ambitious purpose of mov- der of magnificence, cannot be as ining his scenery around them.
teresting to the spectator as a green Trinity Chapel and the Valley of woodland, a mountain prospect, or a Sarnen have been carried about the pastoral vale. He may happen also town these two months by the bill to be one of those sad dogs like mystickers, proclaiming every week to self who have been compelled by be the last week” of their existence. their follies to exchange a romantic I don't know if they are dead yet ; home for the close squares and crookbut it is no harm to afford them a lit- ed alleys of this populous wilderness tle posthumous praise if they are so. -London : if so, the Valley would The first of these scenes was a com- possess in his mind a double advantage plete deception ; I expected every over its competitor. He would see moment the dean and chapter to make his native hills in the misty pinnacles, their appearance. In this respect it and the green dwelling of his fathers is the best of the two, which however in the deep-bosomed glen of the Alis more owing to the nature of the sub- pine illusion before him. He would, ject than the felicity of the painter; it is moreover, perhaps acknowledge himmuch easier to represent in successful self largely indebted to the faithful perspective a chapel, however large, transcriber of the Valley of Sarnen on a sheet of canvas, than a whole for the sight of a phenomenon which country like the Valley of Sarnen. he had never the good fortune to The imagination can readily allow witness in his own country. Two the one, but the reason strongly re- lofty hills rise on the back ground, jects the other. At all events I con- one immediately behind the other. fess Trinity Chapel fairly took me in. The bindermost is a sugar-loaf piercIn my golden simplicity of mind I ing into the skies far above the penethought, when I saw it, that the tration of his round-shouldered brothplay hadn't begun,” and that I was
Now the phenomenon in the picmerely contemplating one of those ture (and, of course in the living multitudinous specimens of plaster- scene) is this: the lower and nearer work and architectury which are of these hills is covered with snow, scattered over the West End and Re- whilst the higher and more distant is gent's Park, to the utter discounte
green to the
I am not suffnance of brown brick and comforta- ciently natural philosopher to account bility. The beauty of the structure for this extraordinary appearance, but was the first thing that brought back suppose it to arise from a different my senses, this being a quality which mode of snowing they have amongst seldom obtrudes itself upon the eye the Alps from what we ususally see of the western itinerant.* By narrow- here amidst our humble hillocks. ly watching the direction of the shad- To accomplish the aforesaid phenomows and finding them to be perma- enon it is only necessary that it nent I was at length convinced that snow horizontally in Switzerland, by
which means a mountain may with * I beg leave to direct the attention of all admirers of genuine gothic to a string of every facility be snowed up as far as towers in wooden bonnets, at the other side the shoulders, and yet preserve his of the park froin the Diorama. They may head as green and as flourishing as afford to the romantic and imaginative a
ever. Notwithstanding the strangetolerable idea of a row of giants standing
ness to a plain-going English eye of asleep in their bedgowns and white cotton night-caps.
the above stroke of nature, the view