« PredošláPokračovať »
is a perfect original. You seldom see a cigar out of his mouth; and when he offers you one, (for he generally supplies the whole club), he hands you his hat, which he makes his cigar-case, and which at the commencement of every evening is half full. He never dines till nine, or thereabouts; at which hour, on our entering, we generally behold him partaking of a roast fowl and cauliflower, a pint of stout, and a quill tooth-pick.
Sparkle's merriment is unbounded—his fancy felicitous—his ridicule poignant, pungent and harmless; - and his talk a compound of nonsense vivacity — originality and oddity. 'Tis difficult to induce him into controversy, and when you do, he is evidently abroad. He is always straining after some jocular antithesis, which he jostles in on every possible occasion, frequently to involve himself with such as do not understand him. However he hath his hobbies in discourse, upon which he can adduce a moderate quantum of words and reasonings in almost eloquent array :-these are Music and the Drama. Nobody could display a freer scope of tongue or greater rush of language if Malibran,-(Alas, poor Malibran!) Tamburini or Macready were the theme; dramatic literature surfacely discussed, or the Opera' bare mentioned. But when Politics hold the throne-when the spotless Funds become vilified—when lengthy stories reciprocate—when the incongenial weather is discuss'd—when the corn-laws and crops are wantonly examined, or the Spanish cut-and-thrust-one-anotherical contentions reprobated with humane horror, or vindicated with god-like plausibility—you may then observe him waiting his opportunity, like a cat at a mouse hole, ready to pounce, and when he makes his dart, not unfrequently he converts controversy to a jest, or changes the steady look of consequence to the grinning mobility of noisy laughter.
Bellcor is a West Indian studying phrenology in London for the benefit of the blacks. Like most of these South Islanders, he's a thorough-paced Conservative, as we shall find by-and-by, when he comes in contact with old Burnchurch. Unlike the latter when roused he shows the Tropic in his wrath-wrath as fiery and impetuous as a Trinidad sun—but as sudden in its declination. He loves Ireland for her orators—(her past ones) Tom Moore, and her funny sons. He hates Calvin and John Knox among the ancients—Spring Rice, Lord John Russell and Buckstone among the moderns. He joins Sparkle in his absurdities, and sets him on whenever he requires urging. That 's not often. He makes puns—good, bad, and indifferent-and excellent rum toddy. He's a politician on a red-hot scale. He hates the Whigs more than the Radicals, and the Radicals beyond any thing existing. Pitt is his Juggernaut-Wellington his Camillus-and Sir Francis Burdett his Mary Magdalen. He reads all Peel's speeches, with every word of which he agrees-when
he's of the same opinion : and O'Connell's, which he despises— save when the Goliah of Erin, with the sledge-hammer of his ire macadamizes the flinty ministry. These be his copious points.
Tristram is the Hyena of bookstalls—the prowler for the relicts of the dead; and like that animal he preferreth the putrid corse to the fresh subject. Give him a book bearing date somewhere before-I mean after-the year of printing-invention, it hath more virtue in his eyes than the philosopher's stone, or Fortunatus's wishing cap. You shall meet him in the streets, having both his coat pockets stuff'd out with some lettered godsends of the Elizabethan era, or he stumbles over you
while abstractedly perusing the first-born edition of Paracelsus or Cardan. He quotes King Arthur by the page, but no one listens to him; and Shelley and Paul de Kock are his ever-enduring oracula. He tries to superinduce an argument by extracts from Bacon and Spinosa ; but none of us know who Spinosa is, and few of us care for Bacon, --excepting Burly, who is very fond of fat pork. He's a musician-a real one-at heart. He's eternally (when anybody else is speaking) humming an air from "Guillaume Tell," or a bit of “Mendelssohn!" but he speaks with some effect in musical discussion. His coolness gives him a decided advantage in such contests over Sparkle, whose music is all love, not judgment.
My outlines are now concluded, and it remains to say but a word or two on a subject,“ on which,” as Lord Byron observes, "all men are supposed to be fluent and none agreeable”-self. In the club they have christened me Dumby. I am a thinking person, but rather inclined to taciturnity. I can sit a whole evening listening to the varied and stirring rattle noising round me; the vociferating earnestness of Burly--the rapturous face of Bonitas, eloquent with delight—the crimson nose of the landlord adding richness to the landscape the flashing eye of Sparkle, or his echoing laugh—the countenance of Burnchurch, hesitating between gravity and jocoseness—the bronze cheek of Bellcor fushing from wine and mirth--the pinch'd lips of Tristram whistling " Dove vai”-or my little friend, Bantam, dripping from his chair—"albeit, unused to the sleeping mood”—and never join in the wordy warfare, or intermeddle in their joyous contributions. Now and then, rather from good feeling to have me noticed than any sinister motive, Sparkle makes a sly allusion to my disturbing the company, and offers a bet that I own the handsomest arm in the room. This, the parlous dog knows to be my weak point; and if it be any way pleasing to the members, † make no objection to taking off my coat, tucking up my sleeves, and directing their observation to the beautiful development of certain muscles, &c. With this exception, and a question rarely hazarded, I am quite a mute in the Club; and this after all, has given me a better opportunity of catching the peculiarities, &c. of each of
my friends; which, doubtless, one who entered heart and soul into their loose conversation, could be hardly expected to record in his brain. He that looks on, can generally see the best move at chess, and so it is with me. But while I talk of myself, I detain my readers from my friends; so like an experienced captain, I make a sudden retreat.
(To be continued.)
Flowers will fade and die away,
The leaves will fall when autumns past ;
And yield their verdure to the blast.
But they revive when spring appears,
And look more gay, more green and fair ;
Heedless alike of joy or care.
Yet man must die, to be no more ;
He sinks to what he came from, clay!
And in times space appears a day.
Sudden and unprepared must he die,
Leaving no monument behind, save
And a cold stone to deck his grave.
He must pass away and be forgot ;
After years no tongue will speak his name ;
W. H. T.
The Exhibition of this Institution opened for the second time at its new abode, waggishly called “ the Wilkins,” by some young gentlemen connected with the fine arts; and displays a larger show of fine pictures than we remember for many years, excepting, perhaps, the exhibition of 1836, the last at the late abode of the Royal Academy; and certainly the most meagre show of sculpture that comes within our recollection. Without making further comment upon the exhibition generally, we shall proceed to draw our reader's attention to those we deem most worthy of notice.
No. 9. Cicero's Tomb, near Mola di Gaetra—Sir A. W. CALLCOTT, R. A. An ardent admirer might almost imagine himself standing in Italy with only the tomb of the immortal Cicero between him and the setting sun, so beautiful is this landscape; the hue that pervades the whole, the serenity, the repose, bring to the mind, with vivid truth, the sweet land of the south. We can only regret that, walking round the rooms, all this gentleman's performances strike us as being remarkably similar; there is a sun-set in all, a repose in all, and a lake in all; and although each is beautiful, when looked at together, they almost appear copies one from the other. Of all, however, in the present exhibition, the one above named is the finest—the effect is striking and well managed; the sun being concealed by the tomb of Cicero,
rays are thrown over the whole scene with great judgment; the trees, the water, and the figures, all partake of the golden tinge, and form a picture remarkably beautiful.
No. 16. A Bivouac of Cupid and his Company W. Etty, R. A. A fine picture with a very curious title. The grouping of the figures is judiciously managed, and the colouring, although mellow, is rather too gaudy to please us. There are others of this gentleman's performances that appear remarkably slovenly, as though he painted with spirit to a certain stage, and then becoming tired, hastened to a premature finish, without considering the consequence. We shall notice them as we proceed.
No. 21. “ The Life's in the Old Dog yet”—E. LANDSEER, R.A. The subject of this picture is exceedingly well told. The fawn has evidently leaped, in its headlong and frightened course, down a ravine, whither the old dog has followed it, intent upon its prey; and the man having been let down, by means of a rope, is in the act of calling to his companions above-"The life's in the old dog yet.” We admire this picture more than we usually do such subjects; the animals are faultless, and the depth of the
ravine is well depicted by the deep shadows that pervade the whole.
No. 27. Chasse Marée, off the Gull Stream Light--the Downs in the distance-C. STANFIELD, R. A. This gentleman is certainly an extraordinary painter; when we look at the water in this picture, we find it impossible to say it is paint, so near does it arrive at the truth.
No. 60. Our Sovereign, the Queen Victoria, presiding at the Council, upon Her Majesty's Accession to the Throne, on the 20th of June, 1837-Sir D. WILKIE. Strike out the figure of our beloved Queen and this picture is a fine composition, but that single figure spoils the whole. The artist has not done justice to her; the expression of the face is silly, the attitude stiff. We are astonished that Şir D. Wilkie should have made so egregious an error; it is hardly possible to look at this and the picture above it, No. 61, and imagine they are portraits of the same beloved Queen, as is the tasteful and beautiful bust by Mr. Weekes, No. 1252. The Duke of Wellington, too, is pushed too forward, and the Duke of Sussex is too consequential. We shall take another opportunity of speaking of this picture.
No. 122. “ All the World's a Stage"—W. MULREADY, R. A.
No. 127. “ Wellington at Waterloo"-A. COOPER, R. A. Mr.
-W.Hilton, R. A. It is some time since this estimable gentleman favoured the public with one of his performances, but this one makes ample amends. It is impossible to conceive a subject better told; the expression of horror depicted on the female face, is strikingly contrasted to the ferocity of the murderer, and the alarm of the devoted infant. Were there many pictures as correctly drawn and naturally coloured as this, we should have occasion to speak more frequently with the same enthusiasm; but that is not the case, and amid the host, our eye rests upon this, as a specimen of painting rarely equalled. The delicacy of the female and infant, the coarse flesh of the ruffian, tell remarkably well; the anxiety of the mother, too, to save her offspring, whilst the very act is but snatching it from one ruffian to give it to another, is displayed with truth and skill; and the whole, although a subject frightful in itself, the artist has formed into a picture of supreme beauty.
No. 329. Portrait of a Child—Miss M. FAULKNER. We feel the greatest pleasure in noticing this sweet picture—the expression of the child's face possesses a most natural beauty, and the light and shade is broad and skilfully managed—the colour mellow and harmonious.
We regret that our limits force us to close this article, but we will resume it in our next.