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Fresco PAINTING. I visited the villa Massimi, where some Germans are engaged painting in fresco three smali rooms, with stories from Dante, Tasso, and Ariosto; cach poet is to be confined to his room. The Germans go back to the old style of Pietro Prugeno, and others who preceded Raphael, under an ingenious notion and theory, that in order to paint like him, it is necessary to begin where he did, and to imitate those masters whom he imitated : that in all the arts there is a rising, a secondary splendour, and a setting: to attain the meridian glory it is not expedient to imitate it, for it leads on, as has ever been the case, to the evening only ; that it is advisable to commence with the morning to study that, and so to take, at least, the chance of a bright sun at iwelve o'clock, or of a decidedly bad day. There is some talent in these works; but the colours are muddy, as if mixed contrary to the neat handed practice of nature, with dirty water. I bere saw clearly the mode of executing frescos, for the work was in progress; they are painted in the fresh plaster, as the name implies; but the whole surface of the wall is not covered at one time, as I had ignorantly supposed; a small piece only is laid, as much as the artist can corer whilst it is moist, some more plaster is then added, either contiguous to the former, or on any part of the wall that is more convenient; and thus by degrees the whole is covered : the joinings of the different portions are distinctly visible, turning in wavy lines, like coasts and rivers on a map; but the painter generally contrives that they should fall in shaded parts, and wherever they will be least visible, and interfere least with the effect of the picture. The design, or drawing upon strong paper, called from that substance the cartoon, is placed against the wall, and the outlines are traced through it with the leg of a pair of compasses, or some such instrument, which pressing hard upon the paper, marks the soft plaster behind it; I have always found, on nearly inspecting a fresco, that the outline was engraven on the wall. --- Hogg's Two Hundred and Nine Days on the Continent.
A Jonas Crab.—During the evening, whilst we were occupied at the woodingplace, a party of natives were observed runving towards us along the beach on the south sile without the port, apparently returning from a hunting excursion, for the woods on the south side of the bay had been on fire for the last two days. As they approached, they retired behind che beach among the trees, and, upon their reaching the opposite side of the entrance, crept upon their
hands and knees behind the bushes, where they remained, as they thought, concealed until the evening. A little before dark they were observed to creep out and range themselves upon the beach, as if meditating upon their plans for the night, but by this time it was so dark that we could not see what they afterwards did; in order to deter them from approaching us, a musket was fired over their heads, and if this had the desired effect, it was a happy circunstance for them, for an immense shark was caught in the middle of the night, which, from the extraordinary capacity of its mouth and maw, could have swallowed one of them with the greatest ease. On opening the animal, we fully expected to discover the limbs of some of the natives, who we assured ourselves had crossed over to our side the water ; but we oniy found a crab, that had been so recently swallowed, that some of our people made no hesitation in eating it for their supper.-- King's Australia.
Dn. Barry's EXPERIMENTS IN CASES OF Poison. At the very time we are writing, Dr. Barry, of Paris, is engaged in a series of experiments, the application of which promises to be immediate, and of high importance. llaving been led by some former experiments to conjecture, that absorption cannot take place in a vacuum, he performed the following experiment, in order to ascertain the fact. He carefully removed the hair from the outer part of a dog's thigh, so as to expose the skin. He then caused a venomous serpent to inflict in immediate succession on this portion of the dog's thigh, two bites. As soon as the wounds were made, he applied a cupping. glass over the part bitten, and retained it there nearly an hour. At the end of that period, the dog rose from the table, and walked with tolerable ease: he continued in perfect health, and not the slightest injury from the bites supervened. A pigeon was bitten by the same serpent about an hour after it had twice bitten the dog : nothing was done to counteract the effects of the wound : the pigeon expired in agony and convulsions, twenty minutes after its infiction. If further experiments confirm the obvious inference suggested by this, there is discovered an easy and certaiu reinedy for the bite of poisonous and rabid animals. Hydrophobia, that horribly, and hitherto incurable disease, will no longer hold in its appalling and destructive course. To put an effectual stop to this frightful malady, it will be necessary only to apply a cuppingglass over the wounded part.--Parliamentary Review for 1825.
A CONVENTUAL KITCHEN AT AMARANTHE.- Previously to quitting the kitchen, wbere such substantial preparations were going forward as fully asserted the claim of its hospitable inmates to the title of bons vivans. Through the centre of the kitchen fiowed a stream of water, grated at both ends, in wbich some tine carp were enjoying themselves, during the short time they had to live. The cooks were all friars of subor. dinate degree, and the effect of seeing these unshod sons of St. Domingo go through the manual exercise of the culinary art, was irresistibly comic. As I mounted my horse, the waiting friar above mentioned stood at the portal, and softly ejaculated, “ Pel’amor de Deos.” The hint was necessary, as I should never have presumed to insult the dignity of the order, by depositing my mite with one of the meanest of its
I slipped a dollar into the friars's hand, received a flood of benedictions, and rode forwards.- Adventures in the Peninsula.
A Roman PREACHER.-At physical existences, even at the Colosseum, one casts a glance, or takes one's good look, and can no more ; but moral existences attract and detain the attention. My regards were soon drawn away from the stone walls, which, however wonderful, are but stone walls, and addressed to a crowd collected by the preaching of a capuchin. I joined in the throng, and listened to his discourse. He spoke most fluently, without pause or stop, and gave a strangely acute accent to the last syllable of every word; the stuff he uttered was pot so bad as might have been expected. He was not in a pulpit, but on a stage, like a mountebank's, upon which he walked backwards and forwards in the manner of a wild beast in its cige at Exeter *Change ; nor did he resemble one of these creatures less in aspect than in his action. A man kept clinking a box of halfpence all the time, as an instrumental accompaniment to the preacher's vocal performance; it was also meant as a gentle hint to the pocket; but the faithful thought it less earthly to be contrite than generous-less painful to grunt than to give; the ghostly father got more groans than halfpence. When the discourse was concluded they knelt down to pray, the monk said a prayer, and the people repeated it after him; they then got up and walked in procession to the several stations, singing and making the same loud and doleful noise that is heard in England in the vicinity of a meeting. house, where the methodists, or other serious persons within are in full operation. A large wooden cross is planted in the middle of the arena; from time to time, women walked up to it and kissed it with a rapturous fervoir; I felt curious to know how far the cross was to be envied, supposing it to be sensible of their caresses; I therefore approached it; and of the many ladies who kissed it, I cannot say that any one was fit to kiss any thing but wood; nevertheless the old ladies may be very lovely—I speak only of the impressions they made upon me.—Hogg's Two Hundred and Nine Days on the Continent.
Honey-Hunting.--At the end of a path we discovered a rude but very ingenious scaffolding made by the Hottentots to obtain honey from the bive. The rock overhung its base so much that very great lahour and skill were required, and risk incurred, in fixing and tying with s rips of bark, the poles and branches of trees. Their reward may literally be said to be sweet. The manner of finding it is very singular, as related to us by one of our party, who had accoinpanied a Hottentot in search of some. The Hottentot went to a place that he thought likely to contain the hives, and immediately whistled with a sort of call that the honey bird or indicator is accustomed to, when the little feathered attendant made its appearance, chirping loudly and hovering about them ; it then flew forward, still chirping and watching to see if they followed. It tried twice to lead them across a kloof, flying back and again forward to entice them to follow ; they, however, not liking to go that way, and the Hottentot contiouing to whistle the call, the bird at length few back, and led another way, still watching and chirping to them to follow him, which they now did, and very soon it hovered over a place in the rock, where, on searching, they found a hive full of honey; the bird immediately perched in a bush over them, and waited patiently till they had taken the honey, when it flew down, and took possession of the nest, and eat what was left for it. The honey-bird is rather larger than a sparow, with brown feathers. The quantity of honey taken every year is immense, and its flavour is very delicious. The bees seldom or never sting if they are not hurt. The Hottentot is very particular in his manner of leaving the honey for the bird, as he says that it will then rememeber him, and lead him another time in preference to any other person. When the bird has Paten-sle tury, the young bees are carefully closed up with stones to prevent the ratel* from taking them out, and as there are always a quantity of flowers, the bees never want nourislament.--Scenes and Occurrences in Cufier Land."
* A kind of badyer.
Military Theatricals.--I spent a pleasant day or two with Captain whose brigade is quartered at Galleges, a few leagues on the Portuguese side of Ciudad Rodrigo. A large barn in this village has been converted into a temporary theatre, and the company has had the honour, during the winter, of exhibiting a number of pieces to "overflowing and brilliant houses.” Captain is their chief man, stage-manager, and actor of first parts. A few weeks ago he appeared in
Zanga. Lord Wellington and his staff were present. On the next day his Lordhip took the field with his fox-hounds, and in the ardour of the chase, Captain
as thrown from his horse into a river. Lord Wellington witnessed the catastrophe, and asked who it was. “It's only Zanga washing his face, my lord,” said Colonel who was riding by Adventures in the Peninsula.
A GERMAN LITERARY CHARACTER.—Hoffmann could not do without society, without excitement, and now not well without exclusive admiration. His old friends he had not forsaken, for he seldom, and with difficulty, got intimate with a stranger; but their quiet life could not content him: it was clear that the enjoyment he sought was only to be found among gay laughter-loving topers, as a guest at their table, or still better, as their sovereign in the wine-house. « The order of his life, from 1816, downwards," says his Biographer," was this :-On Mondays and Thursdays be passed his forenoon at his post in the Kammergericht; on other days at home, in working; the afternoons he regularly spent in sleep, to which, in summer, perhaps he added walking : the evenings and nights were devoted to the tavern. Even when out in company, while the other guests went home, he retired to the tavern to await the morning, before which time it was next to impossible to bring him home.” Strangers who came to Berlin went to see him in the tavern; the tavern was his study, and his pulpit, and his throne ; here his wit flashed and famed like an Aurora Borealis, and the table was for ever in a roar; and thus, amid tobacco-smoke, and over coarse. earthly liquor, was Hoffmann wasting faculties which might have seasoned the nectar of the gods.
Poor Hoffmann was on the highway to ruin ; and the only wonder is, that with such fatal speed, he did not reach the goal even more balefully and sooner. His official duties were, to the last, punctually and irreproachably performed. He wrote more abundantly than ever; no magazine editor was contented without his contributions; the Nachtstücke (Night-pieces) were published in 1817 ; two years afterwards, Klein Zaches, regarded (it would seem falsely) as a local satire ; and at last, between 1819 and 1821, appeared in four successive volumes, the Serapionsbrüder, containing most of his smaller tales, collected from various fugitive publications, and combined together by dialogues of the Serapion-brethren, a little club of friends, which for some time met weekly in Hoffmann's house. The Prinzessin Brambilla, (1821) is properly another Fantasypiece : The Lebensaussichten des Kater Murr (Tom.cat Murr’s Philosophy of Life), published in 1820 and 1821, was meant by the autbor as his master-work; but the third volume is wanting; and the wild anarchy, musical and moral, said to reign in the first two, may for ever remain unreconciled.
Meanwhile, Hoffmann's tavern orgies continued unabated, and his health at last sank under them. In 1819, he had suffered a renewed attack of gout; from which, however, he had recovered by a journey to the Silesian baths. On his forty-fifth birth-day, tbe 24th of January, 1822, he saw his best and oldest friends, including Hitzig and Hippel, assembled round his table ; but he himself was sick : no longer hurrying to and fro in hospitable assiduity, as was his custom, but confined to his chair, and drinking bath water, while his guests were enjoying wine. It was his death that lay upon him, and a mournful lingering death. The disease was a tabes dorsalis ; limb by limb, from his feet upwards, for five montbs, his body stiffened and died. Hoffınann bore bis sufferings with inconceivable gaiety; so long as his hands had power, he kept writing; afterwards, he dictated to an amanuensis; and four of his tales, the last, Der Fiend (The Enemy,) discontinued only some few days before his death, were composed in tbis melancholy season. He would not believe that he was dying, and he longed for life with inexpressible desire. On the evening of the 24th of June, his whole body to the neck had become stiff and powerless ; no longer feeling pain, he said to his doctor, “ I shall soon be through it now."-"Yes,” said the doctor, “ soon be through it.” Next morning he was evidently dying ; yet about eleven o'clock he awoke from his stupor, cried that he was well, and would go on with dictating the Fiend that night; at the same time calling on his wife to read bim the passage where he had stopt. She spoke to him in kind dissuasion ; he was silent; he motioned to be turned iowards the wall; and scarcely had this been done, when the fatal sound was heard in his throat, and in a few minutes Hoffmann was no more.-Carlisle's Specimens of German Romance.
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