« PreviousContinue »
1816.j Caernarvon castle is the finest I have
* seen. The guide, who shews it, assured
us, that it was the finest in Great-Britain. Whether he was qualified to make the assertion, I doubt, but I have seen nothing to disprove it. The principal entrance has the statue of Edward the First, high above it. It is said, that the features were perfect, till very lately; when, on the circumstance being noticed by an Englishman, one of the Welsh, in hatred to the memory of their conqueror, took the pains to climb up and deface them. The town of Caernarvon, like that of Conwy, is surrounded by a wall. The inclosed space was not originally intended for its present purpose, but was an area belonging to the castle; and the town is said to have stood half-a-mile higher up the country. When the castle was no longer necessary to keep the Welsh in awe, the town moved its station, and pitched in the castle-yard. The church disdained to follow the town, in its peregrination, and remains near the scite of old Caernarvon. To the Editor of the Monthly Magazine. - SIR, THE friends of peace in this country will be happy to hear, that exertions are making in America for the diffusion of pacific principles. On the first of June, (Saturday last,) I received a packet from Boston, containing some pamphlets on the subject, and a letter from the Rev. W. E. Channing (a copy of which I herewith transmit to you.) The pamphlets (five in number.) consist
of “A Solemn Review of the Custom of
War;” a work which has already been reprinted in this country. Nos. 1, 2, and 3, of a work published quarterly, and called “The Friend of Peace.” And No. 34 of a periodical publication, called, “The Christian Disciple.” There also accompanied these pamphlets a printed statement of “The Constitution
of the Massachusetts' Peace Society,” .
a written copy of which I also send you. No. 1, of The Friend of Peace, containing forty-two pages, consists of, “A
special interview between the President
of the United States and Omar, an officer dismissed for duelling ; Sir letters
Society for preventing Wars.
from Omar to the President ; with a review of the power assumed by rulers over the laws of God and the lives of men in making war;-and Omar's solitary Teflections. The whole reported by Philo-Pacificus, author of “A Solemn Review, &c.” No. 2 contains, “A Review of the Arguments of Lord Kaimes ân favour of War.” No. 3, “The Horrors of Napoleon's Campaign in Russia;” this article is formed of extracts from Porter and Labaume, with some remarks by the editor: it is followed by an “Estimate of human sacrifices in the Russian Campaign.” A paper “On estimating the characters of men who have been concerned in sanguinary customs.” “A Solemn Appeal to the consciences of professed Christians.” And, “A memorable and affecting contrast” between the peaceable conduct of Wm. Penn and the opposite behaviour of some other settlers. In each of these is much that is truly valuable and interesting; and I do hope that some steps may be taken for reprinting and circulating them in this country. In America the “Solemn Review” has gone through three large editions in disferent states. One in Connecticut, one in New-York, and another in Philadelphia; the latter amounting to 12,000 copies for gratuitous distribution. From No. 1, of “The Friend of Peace,” I quote the author's own words.
“The writer has devoted six months to careful and almost incessant inquiries in relation to the. dreadful custom; its origin and popularity among Christians; its causes, principles, and means of support; its tremendous havoc and miseries; its opposition to Christianity; its moral influence on nations and individuals; and the means by which it nay be abolished. The more he has examined, the more he has been astonished, that a custom so horrible has been so long popular among Christians. For he has been more and more convinced, that it is in its nature perfectly hostile to the principles, the precepts, and the spirit of the Christian religion. He is also confident that, such light may be offered on the subject as will bring reflecting Christians of every sect to this alternative---either to renounce Christianity as a vile imposture, inconsistent with the best interests of mankind; or to renounce the custom of war, as indefensible and anti-christian.”
From “the Christian Disciple,” I trans
cribe, “Facts relating to the Massachusetts' Peace Society;”
“In consequence of an arrangement made
by four individuals, who are now members of the Massachusetts' Peace Society, a meeting
of seventeen persons took place in Boston, on the 18th of December last, to consult on the subject of forming, a Peace Society. It was the wish of the projectors of the plan to form a Society on such principles as would embrace the real friends of peace, without any regard to differnce of opinion on other subjects, whether religious or political. But it was not known how extensively the sentiments in favor of such a society had been embraced, and of course but a few persons were requested to attend. At the first meeting, a committee was chosen to form a Constitution, and the meeting was adjourned to the 28th of the same month, to be held in Chauncey Place, immediately after the Thursday lecture; at which time the committee reported a constitution. This was read, discussed, adopted, and subscribed, by a considerable number of persons. Thé choice of officers was postponed to January 11, 1816, in the hope that the number of subscribers would be increased. The number of subscribers has indeed been increasing, and some of the officers have been chosen, but the list is not completed. We shall therefore defer giving the names of the officers to a future number. But we have the pleasure of stating that, in the list of subscribers may be seen the names of the governor of Massachusetts, the chief justice of the SuPreme Court, the president, and several of the professors of Harvard University; twenty ministers of the gospel, and a considerable number of respectable laymen.”
I have not now time nor room for further extracts from these very interesting publications, and I sincerely regret that I have it not in my power to give greater publicity to them by reprinting; should, however, any persons feel disposed to give their assistance towards the object, I shall be happy to hear from them, and to devote my attention to superintending the press.
W.M. PITT, SCARGILL. Bury St. Edmunds; June 3.
effected in public sentiment, and a more happ state of society introduced. It is evidently the design and tendency of the gospel to subdue the lusts and passions from which wars and fightings originate; and encouragementisgiven that a time will come, when the nations will learn war no more. We believe that a great majority of the people in every civilized country, when free from the delusions of party passions and prejudices, have such an aversion to public hostilities, that they would rejoice if any plan could be devised, which would both secure their rights and absolve them from the burdens and sufferings of war. A late Treaty of Peace has suggested the practicability of such a plan, and given us an admirable lesson on the subject. - We now see, that when two governments are inclined to peace, they can make some friendly power the umpire and last resort for settling points of controversy. . For this ray of pacific light we are grateful, and we hope that it will be like “the shining light, which shineth more and more unto the perfect day.” This hope is strengthened by reflecting on the animating fact, that the horrid custom of private wars, which for ages desolated Europe, was finally abolished by a similar Po esides, it is clear that every popular custom must depend on public opinion; and we also know, from history, that many customs and usages which were formerly considered as honourable, useful, and even o: have since been abolished as inhuman and barbarous, and are now regarded with detestation and horror. To the list of encouraging facts we may add, that by their late dreadful sufferings, the attention of the European nations is unusually excited to the guilt and miseries of war; and with joy we have learned that Peace Societies have been proposed, if not already established, on the other side of the Atlantic. These things not only encourage our hearts and strengthen our hands, but preclude the objection which might arise, that it is dangerous to cultivate the lo. one nation, whilst others retain the spirit of war. ... A co-operation in different countries is joyfully anticipated in this great work of promoting peace on earth and good will among men. But above all other sources of encouragement, we contemplate the benevolent character of our heavenly Father, as displayed in the #. of his beloved Son. We there behold him as “the God of peace,” and we have a cheering hope, that he will own and prosper a society of peace-makers. It is well known that a diversity of sentiment has existed among Christians on the question--whether war be not in all cases prohibited by the gospel. But we intend that this society shall be established on principles so broad, as to embrace the friends of peace who differ on this as well as on other subjects. We wish to promote the cause of peace by methods, which
Constitution of the Massachusetts' Peace Society.
In forming a society, which, it is hoped, may have an extensive influence, we, the subscribers, deem it proper to make a concise declaration of our motives and objects. ... We have been strongly impressed, by considering the manifold crimes, and tremendous •calamities of public war, and the melancholy insensibility which has been induced, by education and habit, in regard to this most barbarous, destructive, and unchristian, custom. Our earnest wish is, that men may be brought to view war in a just light; to see clearly its baleful influence on the political, moral, , and religious condition of communities, and its opposition to the design and spirit of the gospel. Most earnestly do we desire that men
may be brought to feel that a spirit of conquest
is among the most atrocious of crimes; that the
thirst for military glory is inhuman and ruin
ous, and that the true dignity and happiness of a people result from impartial justice towards all nations, and the spirit and virtues of peace. - Various facts and considerations have con
spired, in exciting a hope that a change may be
all Christians must approve; by exhibiting, .
with all clearness and distinctness, the pacific
the concurrence of the friends of peace in al
nations, and by the gradual illumiñation of the
1816.] Mr. Flairman's Evidence on the Athenian Marbles. 509
till it shall be regarded by all Christians with the same horror with which we now look back on the exploded and barbarous customs of former ages. On these principles, and with these hopes, we adopt the following - Articles. I. The name of this society shall be, “The Massachusetts' Peace Society.” II. The government of thissociety shall consist of aJ. a vice-president, a treasurer, a recording secretary, a corresponding secretary, assistant secretaries, and six trustees, who shall be annually chosen, --three of whom shall constitute a quorum. III. The funds of the society shall be under the direction of the trustees, to be employed for the diffusion of light on the subject of war, and in cultivating the principles and spirit of peace. The trustees shall have power to appoint an executive committee, and counsellors to advise with the corresponding secretary and to make regulations for the dispatch of business. IV. Each subscriber of one dollar annually shall be a member. W. Each subscriber of twenty-five dollars shall be a member for life. WI. All donations to the society shall be recorded; and every donor of fifty dollars, or upwards, shall be an honorary metaber of the society and of the Board of Trustees. VII. Each member of the society shall receive one half his annual subscription in such books or tracts as the trustees shall approve, and at the lowest prices of the society. VIII. The annual meeting of the society shall be on the last Thursday in every year; at which time, reports shall be made by the trustees and the treasurer. IX. This society will encourage the forming of similar societies in this country, and in for reign countries, by the dispersion of tracts, by correspondence, and by other suitable means. They will encourage mutual aid and co-operation among all the friends of peace, of every denomination. X. Should any person become a member of this society whose residence is remote from
Boston, it shall be regarded as honourable for
him to encourage the establishment of a similar society in his own vicinity. XI. No change in the objects of the society shall ever be made; but the articles may be amended, and new articles may be added, as occasion shall require; provided that no alteration be made except at the annual meeting, and by the consent of two thirds of the metabers who may then be present. -o
To the Editor of the Monthly Magazine. SIR,
H AM as great an enemy as Mr. Cas
\ tieden can be to all tyranny, whether exercised by kings or pontiffs, but I wish to see no charges brought against either, but what are founded on truth. In contradiction of a communication from Mir. C. said to be taken from the “Nuremburg Chronicle,” in your Magazine for March last; I beg leave to state the sollowing extract from the admired work of
a very candid writer, who must certainly have been informed of the subject on which he wrote. “The reader will perhaps be surprised to find no account of various observances, of which he has heard or read so much, such as the open stool, the earamination, &c. &c.; but his surprise will cease, or perhaps increase, when he is assured that no such ceremonies exist.”—Eustace's Classical Tour, vol. 4, p. 401, mole.
For the Monthly Magazine.
Evi DENCE of Joh N FLAxMAN, Esq. R. A. before the coat MITTEE of the House of coxs Mons, relative to the sculptures brought from ATIIENs by Lord ELGIN. Al; you well acquainted with the Elgin collection of Marbles!—Yes, I have seen them frequently, and I have drawn from them ; and I have made such enquiries as I thought necessary concerning them respecting my art. In what class do you hold them, as compared with the first works of art which you have seen before ?—The Elgin Marbles are mostly basso-relievos, and the finest works of art I have seen. Those in the Pope's Museum, and the other galleries of Italy, were the Laocoon, the Apollo Belvidere; and the other most celebrated works of antiquity were groupes and statues. These differ in the respect that they are chiefly bassorelievos, and fragments of statuary. With respect to their excellence, they are the most excellent of their kind that I have seen ; and I have every reason to believe that they were executed by Phidias, and those employed under him, or the general design of them given by him at the time the temple was built; as we are informed he was the artist principally employed by Pericles, and his principal scholars, mentioned by Pliny, Alcamenes, and about four others immediately under him; to which he adds a catalogue of seven or eight others, who followed in order; and he mentions their
succeeding Phidias, in the course of
twenty years. I believe they are the works of those artists; and in this respect they are superior almost to any of the works of antiquity, excepting the Laocoon and Toro Farnese; because they are known to have been executed by the artists whose names are recorded by the ancient authors. With respect to the beauty of the basso-relievos, they are as perfect nature as it is possible to put into the compass of the marble in which they are executed, and that of the most elegant kind. There is one statue also which is called a Hercules or Theseus, of the first brder of merit. The fragments are finely executed; but I do not, in my own estimation, think their merit is as great. What fragments do you speak of 7--Several fragments of women; the groups without their heads. You do not mean the Metopes?---No; those statues which were in the east and west pediments originally. In what estimation do you hold the Theseus, as compared with the Apollo Belvidere and the Laocoon :---If you would permit me to compare it with a fragment I will mention, I should esti. mate it before the Torso Belvidere. As compared with the Apollo Belvidere, in what rank do you hold the Theseus —For two reasons, I cannot at this moment very correctly compare them in my own mind. In the first place, the Apollo Belvidere is a divinity of a higher order than the Hercules; and therefore I cannot so well compare the two. I compared the Hercules with a Hercules before, to make the comparison more just. In the next place, the Theseus is _mot only on the surface corroded by the weather; but the head is in that impaired state, that I can scarcely give an opinion Tupon it; and the limbs are mutilated. To answer the question, I should prefer the Apollo Belvidere, certainly, though I believe it is only a copy. Does the Apollo Belvidere partake more of ideal beauty than the Theseus : —In my mind it does decidedly: I have not the least question of it. Do you think that increases its value 2 —Yes, very highly. The highest efforts of art in that class have always been the most difficult to succeed in, both among ancients and moderns, if they have succeeded in it. - Supposing the state of the Theseus to be perfect, would you value it more as a work of art than the Apollo?—No ; I should value the Apollo for the ideal beauty before any male statue I know.
Although you think it is a copy?—I am sure it is a copy; the other is an original and by a first-rate artist. The committee is very anxious to know the reason you have for stating so decidedly your opinion, that the Apollo is a copy?—There are many reasons; and I am afraid it would be troublesome to the committee to go through them. The general appearance of the hair, and the mantle of the Apollo Belvidere, is in the style more of bronze than of marble; and there is mentioned in the Pope's Museum (Pio Clementino) by the Chevalier Wisconti, who illustrated that museum, that there was a statue in Athens,— I do not know whether it was in the city or some particular temple, or whether the place is mentioned,—an Apollo Alexicacos, a driver away of evil, in bronze by Calamis, erected on account of a plague that had been in Athens; from the representation of this statue in bassorelievo, with a bow, it is believed that this figure might be a copy of that. One reason I have given is, that the execution of the hair and cloak resembles bronze. But another thing convinces me of its being a copy: I had a conversation with Visconti and Canova on the spot; and my particular reason is this, a cloak hangs over the left arm, which in bronze it was easy to execute, so that the folds on one side should answer to the folds on the other; the cloak is single, and therefore it is requisite, that the folds on one side should answer to the folds on the other; there is no duplication of drapery; in bronze that was easy to execute, but in marble it was not : therefore, I presume, the copyist preferred copying the folds in front, but the folds did not answer to each other on one side and the other; those on the back appear to have been calculated for strength in the marble, and those in front to represent the bronze, from which I apprehend they were copied. There is another reason, which is, that the most celebrated figure of antiquity is mentioned by Pliny and its sculptor, the Venus of Cnidus by Praxiteles; and he mentions it in a remarkable manner, for he says, the works of Praxiteles in the Ceramicus, not only excel those of all other sculptors, but his own; and this Venus excels all that he ever did. Now it seems inconceivable, that so fine a statue as the Apollo could have been executed without its name being brought down to us, either by Pliny or Pausanius, if it had been esteemed the first statue in the world. Do you think it of great consequence to the progress of art in Britain, that this collection should become the property of the public?—Of the greatest importance, I think; and I always have thought so as an individual. Do you conceive practically, that any improvement has taken place in the state of the arts in this country, since this collection has been open to the public?— Within these last twenty years, I think sculpture has improved in a very great degree, and I believe my opinion is not singular; but unless I was to take time to reflect upon the several causes, of which that has been the consequence, I Cannot pretend to answer the question : I think works of such prime importance could not remain in the country without improving the public taste and the taste of the artists. In what class do you hold the Metopes as compared with the Frieze —I should think, from a parity of reasoning adopted between the Metopes and the flat basso-relievos with that adopted between the Apollo Belvidere and the Theseus or Hercules, the Metopes are preferable to the flat basso-relievos, inasmuch as the heroic style is preferable to that of common nature. Should you have judged the Metopes to be of very high antiquity, if you had seen them, not knowing from what temple they were brought?—I should certainly have taken them to be of the age to which they are attributed, the age of Phidias. What characteristic marks do you ob. serve of high antiquity, as compared with the other works of antiquity ?—In the first place, I observe a particular classification of the parts of the body; and I have adverted to the medical writer of that age, Hippocrates, and find that the distinctions of the body, when they have been taken from the finest nature in the highest state of exercise, and in the best condition, in all respects, which might be expected from those who possessed great personal beauty and cultivated habits of
1816.] Mr. Flairman's Evidence on the Athenian Marbles. 51E
living, most likely to produce it, and who
were accustomed to see it frequently in public exercises; this classification, which they appeared to prefer, is conformable to the distinctions in the statues. It is well known, that in the writings of Hippocrates a great deal of attention is paid to the economy of the human body and its interior parts, but that its exteriors are not described as our modern anatomists describe them, but in a simpler manner, by a general classification of parts and muscles. What I would particularly say on the subject is this: Hippocrates describes the edges of the ribs as forming a semi-circle at the bottom of the upper thorax; he describes, with some accuracy. the meeting and form of the upper part of the scapula and acromion with the collar bone: that partis particularly marked in these figures. He describes the knee-pan as a single bone; and that was their manner of making the knee in the statues of that time; and, if I remember right, also he describes the upper part of the basin bone, which is particularly marked in the antique statues. In a few words, the form of the body has a classification of a simple kind in a few parts, such as I find in the ancient anatomists, and such as are common in the outlines of the painted Greek vases; besides, as far as I can judge from our documents of antiquity, the painted Greek vases for example, those that come nearer to the time in which these marbles are believed to be produced, are conceived in the same character, and drawn in the same manner,
Did not that classification continue much later than the time of Pericles 2–
Yes, it did continue later, but it became
more complicated, and in -some cases more geometrical. Does the anatomy of these figures agree with the anatomy of the Laocoon, or of the Toro Farnese ?—They agree most with the Toro Farnese. I cannot judge very accurately of that at this time, for it was about to be removed from Rome at the time I was there, and it is very much broken. In respect to the Laocoon, f believe it to be a very posterior work, done after a time when considerable discoveries had been made in anatomy in the Alexandrian school; which I think had