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136 Review.—Emerson's History of Modern Greece. [Feb. be for the procession of the consecrated But there may be histories modelled boat; but when remote from waters, from his higher merits, and which for gymnastic perforınances.- p. 18. - carefully exclude the pompous struts
The former hypothesis we hold to of his ostentatious style. In this imbe fanciful. The second we think fair, proved form we may see that the stanon account of the following circum- dard and superior work before us is stances. In the Archæologia Ameri executed. It has all Gibbon's admicana, and Hodgson's Letters from rable management of details (which North America, vol. i. p. 430, is arr is his pre-eminent merit), and in the account of several similar avenues narration, that philosophical spirit ap(among the oiher Druidical relics), pears which confers upon it ihe chawhich are presurned to have been racier alone filted to accurate elucida. made for the celebration of games, as tion of action; and which, if united were the Grecian Stadiuin and Ro. with contemporary ideas, is the only man Circus, 10 which they have a re. complele mode of historical composi. semblance. The education of the tion. For there must be shown both Celts chiefly consisted of gymnastics, the motives arising from the common composed of various games, enumie- properties of ihe species, and those of rated in Mr. Fosbroke's Encyclopedia a particular kind which proceed from of Antiquities, (i. p. 383.) Stukeley locality and contemporary ideas and formed a similar idea of the Cursus circunstances. near Stonehenge.
What we admire in ancient Greece We shall end our remarks with ob. is the intellectual perfection exhibited serving, that in Mr. Logan's “ Scottish in its works of literature and art. In Gaël, or Celtic Manners,' ii. p. 6, is a general view, heroisin may be genean account of similar huts in many rated by danger, intellectual acuteness parts of Scotland.
by business and intercourse with man. All antiquaries and students of our kind, and excellence in the arts by ancient history owe an obligation 10 successive improvements, in order that Mr. Rowe for this valuable pamphlet. pre-eminence and, in consequence, We recommend him to compare the patronage may be acquired. As to ground-plan of the British village at heroism, the Greeks were always piSieeple Langford Down, engraved in rates, soldiers, and sailors; and situaSir R. C. Hoare's Moderu Wiltshire, tions of constant peril necessitate union Sect. Branch and Dole, pl. xi. p. 171, and beget fellow feeling. The Greeks because we ihink that these remains had numerous sea-ports, which occamay, in certain respects, illustrate each sioned traffic and business, from which other.
ensue perpetual intercourse and worldly
knowledge. Their excellence in the The History of Modern Greece, from its Con- arts did not only grow out of the cis
quest by the Romans B.C. 146 10 the pre- cumstances hereasier quoted from Mr. sent Time. By James Emerson, Esq. of Emerson, but froin more ignoble Trinity College, Dublin. 2 vols. 8vo. sources, viz. the wealth thus brought
IN History few men have possessed into the country. One eminent slathe taste of Gibbon. Livy might have tue of a deity attracted thousands of been the archetype studied; but the foreign visitors. Many sailed to Cni. merit of the Roman is limited to the dos for the mere purpose of viewing narration. Gibbon is a philosopher as the Venus of Praxiteles; and the Cniwell as historian, and while he judges dians refused the statue 10 King Nicoconcerning incidents with the fine medes, who would have forgiven them season of the former, he moulds de- an iin mense debt in return; * for well tails as the latter ought to do, into pic- did they know that Cnidos without that turesque exhibition. He throws the lion would have sunk into obscurity earth out of the nine, and displays and poverty. Greece is not naturally the ore ; and the difficulıy of writing a rich country, and it required artificial history consists in avoiding tiresome- embellishments to ennoble it. Hostia ness of detail. It is very true that he lity to the theism of Socrates was foundis turgid and roppish; but that is a ed upon the same alarm as that of the manner, and it most certainly contri- silversmith to the oratory of St. Paul. butes to order and method, however The profit of the craft was in danger. finically displayed. Fops and slovens are rarely united characiers.
* Flaxman on Sculpture, 89,- Rev.
1831.] Review.-Emerson's History of Modern Greece. 137 For the poetry and literature it is more ter to a perfection which cannot be difficult to account, unless we ascribe surpassed, and, taking it on the whole, it to the successive improvements of not even approached. Our French society and practice. Herodotus was neighbours are very fond of the word a regular narrator of long stories, full glory, but the Greeks really exempliof mythology and wonders. This man. fied it, for even poverty could not sink ner would excite the contempt of well. beneath reputation those who meriled informed men of business and the rank. The sordidness of European world, and ruin the succeeding pro habits has converted this Temple of fessors. The necessity of gratifying an Glory into a mere counting-house, but, educated mind (for the Greek's never disgusting as is the profanation, Mr. neglected education) would therefore Emerson convinces us that Homer and stimulate authors to soar higher and Pindar never drew more heroic chaimprove in taste; for it is noticeable racters than those which still exist that in proportion as education is dif. among the Klephts or Mountaineers * fused and becomes more fastidious, (the Highlanders of this still in some composition is progressive also. Beau. respects fine nation), nor is there an tilul poetry and classical history is, in Achilleau hero, or a knight of chithis couniry and every other, written valry, who has exceeded the inimitaonly for the educated; vulgar ballads ble heroism of George and his brother and dying speeches only for the igno- in the recent warfare. Being moun. rant. In short, we ascribe the pre- taineers, inhabiting a country which eminence of Greece to the necessity they could not turn to commercial ad. imposed upon the inhabitants of bene- vantage, they did not become sordid, filling their country, and in so doing were fixed to the spot for a bare supthemselves, by the utinost practicable port, and retained that bravery which means. Holland, “a mere bog turned philosophers know to have been al. up to dry," will illustrate the exist ways attendant upon the pastoral state ence of such a necessity, and in a more of society, because property in Aocks sordid way show the manner of ils and herds requires perpetual defence, operation upon the natives. Its Celtic and that of agriculture cannot exist and German origin may explain the without laws, and protected appropria. barbarism of its taste and manners, tions of the soil. These, however, are compared with those of Greece, whose extraneous considerations with regard inhabitants had archetypes of mecha. to the Greeks. Their intellectual supenical excellence and the arts in their riority was the Sun of a system ; and oriental neighbours, from whom they we regard it with the same homage as borrowed nearly all their originals. If we do that glorious orb of material naGrecian taste cannot be surpassed (and ture. As to what St. Paul says about it is almost only in sculpture that it them, Montesquieut very justly obcannot be so), it is because that grew serves, that they were great talkers, out of the study of the human form in great disputants, and sophists by nanudity, and had time 10 acquire per ture, who never ceased to create consection. In architecture there is a troversies about religion, indeed about style, viz. the Gothic, fully as fine and every thing. perfect as their orders; and their pairit. What, however, exclusively distin. ing, as seen on their vases, was, in a guishes Greece is, we say again, its modern view, merely elementary. Their almost divine beau ideal, its wonderful divine language owes its sweetness to taste. The following extract will The predominance of vowels and lin show, that to consider works of the quids, and its admirable construction kind as efforts of intellect, not mere to that endless study to improve it, so productions of mechanical skill, is the repeatedly exhibited by Plutarch and grand method of creating the distincothers in their notices of eminent tion in question. Mr. Emerson says, grammarians and tutors. Providence
“It has been a favourite though now alproduces great events by humble
most an exploded theory, to attribute the means, and so far from wishing 10 excellence of the Greeks in works of literadegrade the Greeks, we know that ture or taste, to the influence of their cliamong them (setting aside the superior morals of Revelation) they elevated in See vol. i. c. xi. p. 416 seq. every other respect the human charac + Quoted by our author, i. 337.
GENT. Mag. February, 1831.
138 Review.-Emerson's History of Modern Greece. (Feb. mate and their soil; that of Italy was equally tional edifices, arose the anıbition of indivisalubrious and pure, and yet the one has duals to contribute to their support, and proved the grave, whilst the other was the public ostentation was not unfrequently gra. cradle of Genius. It is true that art is in- tified by private munificence. At the same debted for its second birth to Italy, but it time, this universal appreciation, this fine was under a different constitution that it and polished taste in works of design, enrevived; when its professors were rendered sured to those of its professors, to whom it honourable, instead of heing branded as in was essential, an adequate compensation for famous, and their works were looked upon their labours, as often as they were offered as efforts of intellect, and not regarded as for disposal. Hence the artist, conscious mere productions of mechanical skill.
that his productions were to be duly es“ The inventive excellence of the Greeks teemed and worthily remunerated, sought in works of taste has been attributed to va only to render thein excellent, be the pains rious and united causes, but principally to or the time devoted to them ever so arduous the scope afforded to imagination by the or protracted; and the united lives of sevesublimities of their mythology, and the ral individuals were in some instances desplendour attendant upon the celebration of voted to the completion of one mastertheir national games.' But let their origin piece of genius. The groupe of the Laobe as it may, their ultimate perfection is coon is said to have occupied the entire solely attributable to the honours heaped life-time of the individuals whose name it on those who practised them, and the high bears.”-i. 186–190. rewards conferred by their countrymen on
The Romans had a Gothic feeling distinguished artists. Whilst the mercu. rial spirit of the Athenians and the other
towards the arts. In the greatest states was involving them in continual wars,
chef-d'œuvres, they could their slaves and menials were occupied in - Trace vo unwonted developement of the exercise of the mechanical and domestic thought, and perceive no superior effort of arts at home. But during their intervals of creative mind; they looked upon them as peace, when the haughty soldier returned
mere matters of convenience, not as objects flushed with triumph, he disdained to share of respectful admiration. Even Virgil himwith his servants and dependants the prac self does not hesitate to stigmatize as betice of these humbler professions. It was neath the dignity of a Roman the elegant then, that to find encouragement for these accomplishments of the Greek.”-pp. 193 turbulent warriors or restless citizens, the decree was passed which forbade the exer We have indeed works of the Rocise of sculpture or design to slaves, rendered man school unrivalled in execution, the liberal arts the province of freemen
such as are some imperial busts; but alone, and dignified them for ever in the
Mr. Emerson justly says, this has only eyes of the Athenians.
proceeded from consummate skill « Thus confined exclusively to the exalted portion of the state, riches or aggrandise.
growing out of continued practice, ment became in a short time a secondary
and was purely mechanical. object with the sculptor or the painter; “But at the same time this perfection and a laurel crown or a public decree was was attained only by the sacrifice of more considered a higher gratification than the exalted branches of the art ; and it has been gold of individuals, or the most costly gains well observed, that although Lysippus himof the artist. The crowd, dazzled with self could not have produced a bust superior maguificence, bestowed a species of worship to that of Caracalla, still the artist who deon those whose talents had adorned their signed it would have been equally incapable cities; and they in turn became intoxi- of rivalling a work of Lysippus.”—p. 227. cated with the glorious pride arising from their elevation. The most distinguished
We have elsewhere noted that the individuals did not disdain to use the chisel Cyclopean construction of the Treaor the pallet; the labour as well as the de- sury of Atreus at Mlycenæ is similar sign equally embodied genius ; and the to ibat of our old church-spires, and boldest conception was expressed in the we have no doubt hut that the primi. most graceful execution. Honours and re- tive and simple method below described wards rapidly swelled the number of candi- was that of ihe ancient architects. Le dates for national distinction, and on every
Roy in 1753, saw the play executed by public occasion the productions of nume
a Greek builder, and Mr. Eton says, rons artists were exhibited for the selection of the state. Nor was patronage corrupted
“In some parts of Asia, I have seen cuby an abandonment to the rich and the polas of a considerable size built without powerful, but entrusted to the assembled any kind of timber support. They fix firmly nation, whose united voices directed its con- in the middle a post about the height of the ferment. With the increasing passion of perpendicular wall, more or less as the cu. the people for the adornment of their na pola is to be a larger or a smaller portion of
1831.) REVIEW.- Emerson's History of Modern Greece. 139 a sphere ; to the top of this is fastened a opinion was not altogether without supstrong pole, so as to move in all directions, porters at Constantinople. The features, and the end of it describes the outer part of figures, and expression, attributed by both the cupola; lower down is fixed to the post to the Saviour, are precisely those which another pole, which reaches to the top of on the restoration of painting served as mothe inner part of the perpendicular wall, and dels to the works of Guido of Sienna, Cidescribes the inside of the cupola, giving the mabue, Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, and thickness of the masonry at top anj bottom, Michael Angelo. So that to the Italian and every intermediate part, with the great followers of Gregory, Ambrose, and Augusest possible exactness. As they build their tine, we are indebted for the portraits of cupolas with bricks, and instead of lime use Jesus at present in use ; nor is it necessary gypsum, finishing one layer all round before to add, that their forms are imaginary, and they begin another, only scaffolding for the that their authenticity is supported neither workmea is required to close the cupola at by sacred authority, nor attested by motop."-ii. 220.
dels.”—ii. 268. Le Roy's description shows that the Portraits of God the Father were pole was elevated upwards to point out
first devised by the Latins; but those The successive decreasing circles of the which were common in our old dome, till it arrived at the perpendicu.
churches, and are still to be seen in lar, when the arch was closed by a key,
illuminations and the woodcuts of the stone. See p. 219.
Golden Legend, are a Greek improveMr. Emerson (ii. 279) observes, that inent. Mr. Emerson says, though the modern Greeks have lost “ It was with extreme awe and hesitabe excellence of their ancestors. they tion, that the Greeks seem to have venstill preserve their modes of working,
tured on a delineation of the Almighty. and practice painting frescoes and en
Down to the eleventh century they conticaustic with wax, ihe colours being
nued to represent his presence by the symfixed by heat, as formerly. The latter
bol of a hand extended from a cloud, an
idea borrowed most probably from the figuhas, with regard to facility, very cousi
rative words of Jeremiah (c. i. v.9, c. xxvii. derable advantages over the oil paint
v. 5), and Ezekiel (c. ii. v. 9.) It was only ing now in use.
when an example had been set to them by Isaiah describes our Saviour as “ have the artists of the west, that they presumed ing no form nor comeliness;" but Da- to paint him in a human form. Some mivid makes him “fairer than the chil. niatures of the ninth century executed in dren of men.” This discrepancy pro. France, as decorations for a Bible, still preduced two opposite opinions concern- served at Paris, afford the first speciinens of ing the person of Christ. A French this kind with which we are acquainted, and proverb compares a lean or meagre depict the Creator under the figure of a person to “un crucifix des Grecs;"
beardless youth, a golden cloud encompass
be ·and it seems that the Greeks so de
Dan ing his head, clad in an azure robe, and graded the subject, because “their ia.
bearing a sceptre in his hand. The Greeks,
improving upon this conception, adopted Tents were unequal to the expression of for their model the ancient of days' in agony and passion, united to majesty Daniel (vii. 9, 10,) and painted him as an and grace; and their only resource old man of venerable aspect, full of majesty was by increasing the deformity of the aud goodness, seated amidst rolling clouds, subject to add to its disagreeable effect dividing chaos by his look, and calling forth on the nerves of its spectators.”-ii. p. light from the midst of darkness. These 266.
splendid imaginings, though rudely expressThe Roman painters, however, had ed, seemed to have been never either 'abanalmost from the earliest periods coin- doned or surpassed ; and in the lofty decided with the majoriy of the fathers signs of Michael Angelo and Raphael, the in asserting the beauiy and grace of spectator will recognize the first bold conour Saviour's form. Mr. Emerson ceptions of the Greeks."--p. 269. thus explains the origin of our present
Mr. Emerson throws much light portraits:
upon the bad drawing of the human • The letter of Lentulus, whose promul- figure during the iniddle ages, in the gation dates between the ninth and four following passages : teenth centuries, serves to show that the “ The use of undraped figures had perideas of Hadrian I. and St. Bernard, relative petuated in some degree the knowledge of to the beauty of Jesus, had then become anatomy and figure ; the severity of historiprevalent in the West, and the description cal design now demanded the introduction of Nicephorus Xanthopulus, which agrees of costume, and anatomical correctness was with it, seems to indicate that the same for ever lost to the Greeks,”-i. 267.
140 Review.--Nicolas's Refutation of Mr. Palgrave's “Remarks.” [Feb
The other cause was the introduc- clude in his “ Observations” on the tion of armour :
Record Commission the subject of the «« The Greeks and Romans, accustomed Society of Antiquaries. He had alto contend chiefly on foot, and with such ready repeated his strictures upon that defensive arms alone, as protected the body body too often to make any further and left the limbs at liberty, afforded the impression. His advice when a mempurest models of manly strength and grace- ber had been rejected, and his subseful action. Charlemagne, in increasing the quent censures disregarded ; and if so, use of cavalry, first adopted the practice of why trouble himself again? In the encasing the person of the rider in iron ;
case of that society those circumstances and though the custom was slow in gaining
do not exist, which so often afford, to ground, it eventually prevailed throughout
self-devoting patriotism, a plea for its almost every country of Europe. In the
interference with the economy of pubdelineations of these shapeless warriors, the
lic institutions. It is neither endowed artist required no anatomical skill; and grace and attitude were effectually excluded
by the munificence of deceased benefrom the persons 'of his inanimate por
factors, nor supported at the public traits."-ii. 273.
expense. Nor even is a man obliged This work will place Mr. Emerson
to join it, in order to take a degree or
to obtain a certificate. The profession among the first of our authors.
of historian, or any other, may be prac
tised without its license. In short, it Refutation of Mr. Palgrave's - Remarks in is purely a matter of voluntary choice
Reply to · Observations on the State of to come or go, to join the Society or Historical Literature.'” Additional Facts to leave it: and the members themrelative to the Record Commission, and selves provide its means. In such a Record Offices. Addressed to the Secretary case, if the members are themselves of Slate for the Home Department, by Ni- satisfied with the management, they cholas Harris Nicolas, Esq. 8vo. pp. 228. may be justified in judging for them. Pickering.
selves, and in disregarding objections IN the article on this subject in our from without last number we willingly acceded to When the Society publishes its Mr. Nicolas's principal arguments, works, they are undoubtedly as amenand which can alone lead to any useful able to criticism as the productions of result, that the management of the individual authors. Mr. Nicolas has offices of Records might be remodelled frequently had such opportunities for with advantage, and that the new Ke- giving his opinions, and it is clear they cord Commission ought to be suffici- have not escaped him; nor has he been ently furnished with practical men; too strictly confined by that wellnor could we either dispute or defend known law, which enjoins the literary. the undeniably enormous expenses of critic that, however a book may be the late Record Commission. But the abused, the author must be spared. author of the “Observations " had in. We are convinced that, on this occatroduced other topics, which have been sion, to repeat bis objections was usemade of undue importance, and which less, because, from the irritation he we much lament should ever have ob- had previously excited, they were sure structed the course of this gentleman's to make but little impression; and inuseful and public-spirited exertions. judicious, because he thus afforded to At the period of their discussion such his Record Commissiou antagonists a matters are apt to be magnified in the
neutral position, in which to fight their view of the parties concerned; and, battle in advance of their own terribecause we deprecated what we con- tories. sidered as more likely to promote pri
With regard to Mr. Nicolas's reclavate animosities than public benefits,
mation against us, we can in most reour pages were no sooner before the
spects bear his discontent with equaniauthor, than he hastily wrole three
mily. He blames, as might be expected, pages of complaint against us, which i
the multifariousness of our antiquarian are appended as a Postscript to the pre
taste ; forgetting that we have more sent Pamphlet. On this Postscript we shall have a very few words to say
readers to please than even the Society
of Antiquaries. hereafter.
It is to be regretted that Mr. Nicolas Floriferis ut apes in saltibus omnia libant, should have thought it necessary to in Omnia nos.