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existence against him the smallest possible of these registers of unhappiness. It was not merely, (if one may make use of such a word to qualify such a thought,) it was not only that he was a gentleman; having God in his soul, woman in his heart, poetry, music, and painting in his imagination, and honor and benevolence in every act of life; but with great feeling he had rare tact, and that intuitive felicity of expression, in word, look, and manner, to which one class of men seem entitled by birth-right inheritance. Nature, indeed, bad admirably seconded his father and mother, and while she gave him a full Roman cast of countenance, in a grand oval outline, had covered his head with flaxen hair, and with deep sea-blue eyes, and a mouth of irresistible sweetness, removed every thing like severity from the reigning character of his face. His hands were such as women long remember, and men are willing to obey; small for his size, with fingers that were well-planted, carefully-jointed, flexible, round, ' fine by degrees, and beautifully less.'
Now, in the left pocket of my friend's waistcoat was every morning placed a well-filled circular snuff-box, the cover of which was not attached to it by any hinge, but according to a fashion that prevailed before every-thing was done in a hurry, was to be first looked at, slightly polished, perhaps, with the coat-sleeve, then gracefully lifted off, and folded under the bottom of the box, to be there held by the inferior fingers of the left hand, while the thumb and fore-finger of the right, in a luxurious yet thoughtful leisure, smoothed and sifted over the surface of the fresh and aromatic mixture, powdering up some adhesive lump of particles that had raised an indecorous head above the mean elevation. Then followed, the gathering; the heaping; the pinch; the motion that threw back the superfluous quantity; the replacing of the lid ; the taste — quick, graceful, elegant, enjoyed by the heart, and by a nose that snuff could never mar; the sigh of pleasure; the eyes were then raised with a deep and refreshed lustre, and the mouth spake.
During the time that was required for this manual of the box, some proposition had been well considered, canvassed, decided upon; and the answer, if unfavorable, had clothed itself with language that was least like a negative in its effects, and though determined, that never sounded like a repulse. Snuff frequently impairs the voice, but it never touched his organs, which it was like the gratification of one's own lungs to hear; and the listener felt as if the rich tones came from his own chest, that had only been echoed there with a vibratory sympathy. So that snuff-taking, which is often half a vice in other men, shone in him like a virtue that had come one way o' the Plantagenets.'
It was not easy to quarrel with such a man, nor to record any thing against him in a book. He was obstinate; in the habit of having his own way; miraculously perverse in his political judgment; and rarely came with any degree of punctuality to dinner, although you had given it expressly for him. But that which would have been a death-blow to all hospitable intercourse with another person, was disregarded as his image rose upon the mind. Every thing favored him. The dinner would not spoil when he was waited for; the very cook seemed in the general conspiracy of attachment toward his
person; and all adverse sensations vanished, and an end was put to the animosity of political discussion, at the moment that he said, 'Come, let us take a pinch of snuff.'
I had intended, when I chose my motto, to have described pathetically his close of life in the interior Brazil, where he had met with a snuff that he preferred to that of Guignon ; but my sketch being already too much extended, I have thought it more polite to leave this part of my subject to the inspiration of the reader. JOHN WATERS.
LETTERS FROM MODERN ROME.
My Dear Longfellow : There would be but little to gain, either for you or for me, were I to attempt to describe all the changes that have taken place in Rome, since we trode its streets together. The ruins of seventeen centuries seem scarcely to have felt the passage of these last twelve years, so full of change for us; and those which the progress of daily excavations has brought to light, although they have added much to the stock of antiquarian lore, have hardly any interest, except for such as can see and study them with their own eyes. The chief value of Rome, as a residence, is in the continuation of those feelings which every one proves, in a greater or less degree, upon first entering its gates : in its serving, as it were, as a daily illustration of classic literature ; in its familiarizing the mind with those ideas of moral grandeur which fill the pages of its history, and are still as fresh as the ivy of its monuments. The incredulous may laugh, if they will, but Cicero and Virgil, and Horace and Livy, no where seem so eloquent and so touching, as amid the scenes which they have hallowed; nor with their volumes before me, can yonder Tiber, as its yellow waves flow onward to the sea, ever seem to my eyes a narrow and insignificant streamlet.
Yet there is one change in Rome upon which I will venture to enlarge, for I well know that your habits and your sympathies will lead you at once to enter into the feelings with which I have followed its progress. You cannot have forgotten the state in which we found American art, when we first came to Italy, for many of our happiest hours were passed with Cooke ard Chapman, in that delightful little circle which the rich and varied conversation of the former drew around him wherever he went. Cole soon followed; and were I to run through the list of American painters, I should find but few, of real merit, who have not studied abroad. Nor can you have forgotten how often, and with how many doubts and misgivings, we attempted to calculate the chances of our countrymen in that sister art, of which no one ever feels the power so deeply as in the halls of the Vatican, and in the studio of Thorwaldsen. GREENOUGH was then but a student, and even as such, unknown to us; nor was it till two years afterward that I met him, in his little room in Florence, with the first sketch of his Cherubs upon his stand. He was then at the beginning of his career, struggling with those obstacles which beset the path of the young artist, under whatever sky he may be born but of none so much as of the artists of our own country. Thank heaven! for him, the day of trial is over. He is known, he is appreciated; and I know no one to whom life should seem sweeter than to him, rich as he is in domestic felicity, and in the exhaustless treasures of his noble profession. At the side of his studio in Florence, you would find that of Mr. Power, a gentleman whom I have not yet had the good fortune to meet, but of whom every one, and Greenough himself, first of all, speaks in the highest terms.
To these names I will now add another; that of a person not wholly unknown to you, but of whom circumstances beyond my control have thus far prevented me from giving you a fuller and more satisfactory description. I mean Mr. Thomas CRAWFORD. I will not, however, encroach so far upon the sanctity of private life, as to give you the whole history of a man whose history should be considered as but just beginning. Such sketches may be well meant, but the least that can be said of them is, that they are injudicious : and although I hold that we have a full right to say whatever we choose of an artist's or an author's works, yet as long as there is a heart that can be wounded by our chances of indiscretion, his person and his character should be sacred. I shall simply say, therefore, that Mr. Crawford is a native of New York, about twenty-five years of age ; an interesting companion, full of enthusiasm for his art, patient and assiduous in the cultivation of it, and endowed with an energy of character, which has already borne him out through obstacles of the most depressing nature, and will eventually the sooner or later depends upon others, not upon him – lead him to a very high stand among the sculptors of his day.
The first two years of his life as an artist were passed in the study of Mr. Frazee: and it is gratifying to observe the warmth with which he always speaks of the talents of that gentleman. Almost immediately after his arrival in Rome, he began to study figure, and indulge in original composition; a bold course for a young student, and only safe with the ancients within his reach. His first work was a female figure, of the size of life. The subject is a Bacchant in the wild festivities of the Bacchanalian rites. She has thrown herself upon the ground, in a posture between reclining and sitting. One hand supports her body, and with the vther she holds a bunch of grapes. The head is thrown back, and the eyes cast upward. There is an expression of rapture in the countenance, to which the movement of the figure corresponds in a striking degree. There is a peculiar delicacy, too, in the form and in the face, which please the more, inasmuch as they are evidently derived from the artist's mind rather than from his subject. If you consider this composition as the work of a young man, who had studied but little more than two years, you will be struck with astonishment. It seems impossible that one should have acquired in so short a period so much power of execution, such a facility of expression, such command over his own thoughts ; such a sense of the great laws of composition, unity, harmony of design, and the subservience of the different parts to the leading idea. Mr. Crawford himself now condemns the drapery: complains of a sort of hardness and dryness in the general execution ; and seems to think that the only thing in the figure, worth preserving, is the action. All this may be true, and yet I cannot help thinking that I can trace in it the germ that is now swelling into so rich and brilliant a development.
He next modelled several busts, among which, one of Commodore Hull, and bearing the straight forward, hearty cast of the old hero's character, is the most interesting. Of his Paris, which was executed for Mr. Calhoun, of New Orleans, I am unable to speak, as I never
saw the marble, and he had already condemned the cast before I returned to Rome.
The two most striking works which he now has in his study, are a statue of Orpheus, and a sketch for a statue of Franklin. The latter is, strictly speaking, what I have called it, a sketch, and as such must be judged. He has selected the great philosophical discovery of Franklin, as most worthy of conmemoration in sculpture, and as affording an artist the best opportunity of availing himself of the calm, quiet dignity which is so strongly marked upon his countenance. As a philosopher, he wears the robe of the sages of antiquity, which falling in simple but graceful lines, covers the limbs, without impeding or concealing the action of the figure. The left arm falls by the side, preserving the simplicity of the general movement, which is intended to approach almost to severity. The right rests upon a tablet, on which you see traced an electrical machine. The head is slightly raised, with a grave, natural elevation, and the eye, fixed in close observation, seems to follow the passage of the electric fluid through the clouds. I say nothing about the likeness. An artist who can enter enough into the mind and character of a great man to find a fitting representation of them in the action and arrangement of the figure, will never fail in the secondary details of resemblance. There is a dignified repose, an intellectual grandeur, about this composition, which belongs to none but minds of the highest order. It speaks not to the eye only, but to the conscience and to the heart. It is a form to stand in some square of our populous cities, to arrest the hurried footstep of the passer-by, and by its commanding air, and the eye raised toward heaven, remind him that there is still something beyond this world; that he too has powers intrusted to his keeping, and a destiny to be fulfilled : or to occupy a niche in a hall of some public library, a silent monitor, the genius of the place; calm, still, like its motionless atmosphere, like the volumes ranged around you, the records of ages, breathing lessons,
'Uttered not, yet comprehended;'
voiceless, yet how eloquent !
The Orpheus, old as the subject may seem, has never been treated before: and although one of the most touching passages of the tenderest poet of antiquity has been devoted to a description of this romantic legend, the first to record it in marble is a native of a world of which neither Orpheus nor his poet ever dreamed. Canova, it is true, made two small figures, a group, if you choose, of Orpheus and Eurydice, but they are scarcely known, except as the earliest attempt of his fertile genius. The point chosen by Mr. Crawford, though not the most pathetic, is certainly one of the most interesting in the whole story. It is the first moment of the triumph of Orpheus, and that too in which his courage and bis love are put to the hardest test. Before him you fancy the black jaws of hell; you see him rushing onward through the opening, his face beaming with the passion that steels him to their terrors, and his whole frame glowing with the beauty of his divine origin. Cerberus at his side, has yielded to the powers of his lyre, and the three heads of the monster, drooping in sleep, leave the passage free. He has caught his lyre in his left