« ZurückWeiter »
have concluded, that in this instance in combing its hair, which was long you aimed at being ranked among the and thick, and of which it appeared laughing philosophers, at my expence. proud, and then dropped into the sea, Sensible, however, that this is not the which was level with the abdomen, case, and taking it for granted that from whence it did not re-appear to you are sincere, I shall endeavour to I had a distinct view of its feaanswer your queries, though there is tures, being at no great distance, on an little probability that any testimony eminence above the rock on which it which I can give respecting the Mer- was sitting, and the sun brightly shimaid, will operate towards convincing ning. Immediately before its getting those who have not hitherto been con- into its natural element it seemed to vinced by the repeated testimonies ad- have observed me, as the eyes were duced in support of the existence of directed towards the eminence on such an appearance,
About twelve which I stood. It may be necessary years ago, when I was parochial to remark, that previous to the period schoolmaster at Reay, in the course of I beheld this object, I had heard it my walking on the shore of Sandside frequently reported by several persons, Bay, being a fine warm day in sum- and some of them persons whose veramer, I was induced to extend my walk city I never heard disputed, that they towards Sandside Head, when my at- had seen such a phenomenon as I tention was arrested by the appearance have described, tho? then, like many of a figure, resembling an unclothed others, I was not disposed to credit female, sitting upon a rock extending their testimony on this subject. I into the sea, and apparently in the ac- can say of a truth, that it was only by tion of combing its hair, which flow. seeing the phenomenon I was perfected around its shoulders, and of a light ly convinced of its existence. brown colour. The resemblanco If the above narrative can in any which the figure bore to its prototype, degree be subservient towards estabin all its visible parts, was so striking, lishing the existence of a phenomethat had not the rock on which it was non, hitherto almost incredible to nasitting been dangerous for bathing, I turalists, or to remove the scepticism would have been constrained to have of others who are ready to dispute regarded it as really a human form, and every thing which they cannot fully to any eye unaccustomed to such a si- comprehend, you are welcome to it, tuation, it must have undoubtedly ap- from, dear Sir, your most obliged, and peared as such. The head was cover- most humble servant, ed with the hair of the colour above men. (Signed) William Munro. tioned, and shaded on the crown ; the To Doctor Torrence, Thurso. forehead round, the face plump, the cheeks ruddy, the eyes blue, the mouth and lips of a natural form, resembling those of a man ; the teeth I could not Critical Survey of the new Theatre, discover as the mouth was shut ; the
body ARCHITECTURE is, perhaps, less of the human species; the fingers, correctly understood, as'a fine art, from the action in which the hands than any other branch of taste. With were employed, did not appear to be respect to the skill of the builder, we webbed, but as to this I am not posi- are not inferior to the antients ; but tive. It remained on the rook three in the features of the building we posor four minutes after I observed it, sess neither the powers of expression and was exercised during that period nor of elegance with which they raised
their public edifices. It was the pe- simplicity is necessarily broken, and culiar felicity of the Greeks to impart the parts lose their dignity for want of a portion of mind to whatever they combination. Position is, however, eiexecuted. Their works always spoke; ther the happiness or the misfortune always appeared to be pervaded by of the Architect, who is not to be some particular sentiment. The mo. blamed for the crowded houses and derns, in almost nothing, display a si- narrow streets with which he is surmilar delicacy of discrimination. We rounded : if he can in any manner actalk much about sentiment, and our commodate his design to the place alwriters run through volumes of un- lotted for its erection, he has done all meaning frivolities and fanciful feel- in his power : we have therefore to laings; but the simple and unartificialment that Covent-Garden Theatre manner of imparting ideas, which we will never be seen to advantage : we may perceive in every production of can only regret that we possess so fine nature, is wholly lost; we imitate the an imitation of the Athenian Acropolis external forms of Grecian art, without which we can never behold, and apany reference to their internal mean- plied to a purpose so contrary to the exing; we select and we combine the pression of its exterior. most prominent features of their asto- The Order of Architecture is the nishing designs ; and we apply our he- grandest style of the Doric : the portiterogeneous compilements to any pur- co consists of four pillars of this order pose promiscuously. We have Athe- supporting a pediment: the pillars are nian temples with the porticoes of A. very large and fluted, without bases, siatic palaces, for various public erec- and the portico is elevated upon a flight tions; and an ancient bath with some of steps. It has a simple dignity, trufragments of an amphitheatre, very of- ly admirable ; had it been the entrance ten serves us for a church, We have of the British Senate, we could have before us the principal parts of the felt all the sublimity which seems to Acropolis, or elevated citadel and trea- belong to it; but the portico of a theasury of Athens united, so as to form tre required a magnificence of a less the exterior of a modern playhouse. awful nature. Could we however obe The Acropolis of Athens was seated tain a view of the front at a sufficient on a rock: it could be seen from any distance, we should probably discover part of the city; and the temple at that the Architect has departed from tached to it was dedicated to Minerva, the ancient plan with considerable the tutelary divinity of the Athenians. judgment, and rendered it more suitaImpressive grandeur and awful so- ble to the appearance of a Theatre.--lemnity were its striking characteris- This he seems to have done by breaktics; the safety, the wealth, the su. ing the bold simplicity of the Atheperstition of the people were contain- nian structure with two projecting ed in it ; and its appearance combined, wings, surmounted with the entablature in one view, strength, magnificence, of the portico, which is sustained by
In a modern theatre, we pilasters. In the close view which a do not require such exalted expression; spectator can only obtain from the opand we cannot think that the model posite side of Bow-street, these projechas been judiciously selected by Mr tions seem too abrupt, and the plain Smirke. In a position so confined as part between them and the portico apthe site of Covent-Garden Theatre, pears meagre.
It would certainly the grandeur of the original must be have been better to have continued the totally lost, and in no station can the entablature across these plain parts of eye of the spectator grasp the whole the front, unless the demolition of the front, so that the magnificence of its opposite houses could have afforded a October 1809,
more comprehensive view, in which the with lonic pilasters, in which the staparts would have been compressed into tue of Shakespear meets the eye on a one elegant whole. The niches in the pedestal of yellow marble. The figure wings, and the basso-relievos between of Shakespear is by Rossi, and is in the wings and the portico, would un- the costanie of his age : he holds a roll doubtedly soften the severity of the of paper in his hand, but his air is rather general plan, could they be seen toge- that of a barrister than a poet. We ther. As it is, they take away from cannot account for this deficiency of the simplicity without adding to the expression, which we are sorry to obbeauty: the figures of the basso-relievos serve in the works of Rossi. From the in particular, when seen so distinctly, anti-chamber you come into the lobby have a littleness that is very discordant of the lower tier of boxes: it is in the with the massive grandeur of the Do- same style of Ionic architecture, and is ric pillars. It is much to be regretted divided with arched recesses, the semithat the basso-relievo by Rossi, repre- circular parts of which are filled with senting the Modern Drama, adds ve- paintings from various scenes of Shakery much to this littleness by its want spear painted in relief. The fronts of of unity in the design, or a proper the boxes are elegant, though simple ; combination of the figures in the exe. a gold fretted flower, of antique form, cution. As a distant point of sight runs along each tier, upon a pale cocould not be obtained, great attention loured ground : above and below the should have been paid to the grouping flowers are rows of stars. None of the of petty ornaments.
-The other sides boxes project beyond the others in the of the building are certainly not cor- manner of those usually termed stage rect subjects of criticism : they are boxes; and the fronts are perpendicuplain, and that in Hart-street is elegant, lar, without any of that rotundity which Altogether, the Architect merits great rather hurt than enriched the coup d'ail applause : he has displayed much gran- in the former theatre. Slender pillars, deur of conception, and we earnestly richly gilt, separate the boxes; and wish to see him engaged in some other from a golden bracket, above each pilpublic edifice which may afford his lar, is suspended a chandelier of cut judgment more time to form its de- glass : these chandeliers are novel in signs, and to execute them with all their form. The seats of the boxes the perfection of mature deliberation. are covered with light blue cloth, and Few men either in ancient or modern the seats are more in number than in times could have done what Mr Smirke the boxes of the former theatre. The has performed : in the course of six pit is divided by two passages through months he has adapted one of the most the middle of it, and the seats are much magnificent of the Athenian edifices to elevated above each other. The twomodern purposes, and reared a theatre shilling gallery is more ample than has more elegant and more majestic than been represented, and the slips are veany this nation has hitherto possessed. ry wide and commodious. The most
The interior is elegant, but is scarce- remarkable novelty consists in the conly answerable to the magnificent idea struction of the shilling gallery : lere with which the portico impresses any the architect, to preserve the unformione about to enter the theatre. The ty of his design, has rested the piers of vestibule is grand, and the staircase a- a row of arches which support the roof, scending between two rows of Ionic in such a manner that the gallery is columns, between each of which is sus- divided into five parts, resembling sepiended a beautiful Grecian lamp, has parate boxes. We are at a loss to sura splendid effect. At the head of the mise, in wbat light the Godhead of the ircase is an anti-chamber surrounded Mob will chuse to regard this division
of its heaven; the Márs, Bacchus, and is immediately beneath the two-shilling
by massive and masculine dignity; the The stage is large and well calcula- interior by a tender and well-proported by its depth for the exhibition of tioned delicacy of a feminine cast. processions and extensive scenery.-. Perhaps in neither is there enough of Two very elegant and lofty pilasters that luxuriant brilliancy which anisupport a semi-elliptical arch, over mates while it pleases, and seems to which is the Royal arms. Two figures assimilate with the nature of the draare painted on each side of the arch in ma, the dresses and vivacity of the inrelief; they are females, holding wreaths mates of the boxes, and indeed with of laurel, trumpets, &c. A crimson the general idea of pleasure which fall of drapery in rich folds is painted should reign in a play-house. The within the arch, and covers the sup- portico seems the entrance into the porters of the curtain. The ceiling is temple of the Tragic Music : the inpainted to resemble a cupola, divided terior should be the hall of Thalia : it into square compartments; and sur- is certainly beautiful it is suited to mounted with the figure of an ancient the character of Terence or Menander, lyre.
but the warmth and vivacity of ShakeThis, however, wants shadow to spear demand a richer degree of decogive it the appearance of concavity ; ration. without that imitation of natural shadow it looks flat and deformed. The shape of the house before the curtain is that of a rounded horse-shoe, wide Description of the SWEDISH Mines of at the heel. This shape is continued DUNAMORA, SALA, and FAHLUN. from the bottom to the top of the house
From Travels, by Robert Ker Porter, with unbroken uniformity, and by
(2 vols. 4to. London, 1809.)
AVING visited all above ground, width of the firoscenium is sufficiently we now proposed to explore the ample to present all the scenery to the nether regions ; and accordingly set view of those in the sides of the pit, or forth for Dunamora, the nearest mine, the side boxes. The private boxes in- and particularly celebrated for its iron clude the whole of the third tier, which and furnaces. Its depth is above eigh
ty fathoms. The distance being little labours of the workmen, A steammore than four Swedish miles from engine was constructed to draw off the Upsal, we soon arrived at this interest waters so far as to enable the men to ing spot.
dig the ore. The water is drawn As we drove along and approached from the bottom by a wheel twentythe vicinity of the mine, we were en- two yards in diameter, and is aftertertained by the picturesque effects of wards conveyed, along an aqueduct the villages inhabited by the miners, two thousand five hundred yards in the forges and furnaces for working length. By these means ten fathoms and smelting the iron when brought of water being annually discharged, above the surface of the earth. These in the course of two years they will are on a very extensive scale, and em- be able again to work in its ancient ploy daily about three hundred per- bottom.
On arriving at the mouth of I think I never beheld so sublime a this entrance to Hades, I found the sight as struck my eyes when, midmonarch of the scene, the director, way suspended between the upper and more than civil; the introduction of nether world, I looked towards the disa our archiepiscopal friend produced us tant sky, or downwards into regions of a the most polite attention ; and having lurid night. The miners, with light, examined all around, our intelligent ed torches, attended us through the va. conductor attended us to view the won- rious excavations and dark caverns ders of the abyss.
which yawned from all quarters of the The descent is not like that usually abyss. During our exploring walk found, the opening being of a large we were suddenly arrested by a most extent, instead of the well-like perfo- tremendous sound, which, for a moration of common mines. The mode ment, struck us with undescribable of passage is in casks, fixed to large horror; the earth shook under our feet; cables, which are raised and lowered and we looked, I cannot tell how; but by means of horses. When they are our conductor smiled, and told us, it filled with
ore, the workmen, standing was only the men blasting the rocks upon the edges of the vehicle, and ha- for the ore. As he spoke, the noise ving their arms clasped round the rope, roared along the black avenues of the ascend with the greatest composure. mine, re-echoing through the higher I occupied one half of the bucket ap- vaults like the loud bellowings of thunpointed for my carriage, and the di- der. To afford a shelter for the rector the other, carrying bundles of workmen during this hazardous part wood in order to light us through the of their duty, a small retreat is con
Mr FS descended in structed of thick beams; and here they a second' machine of the same sort. retire in safety to await the expected
The depth from the mouth to the explosion, which hurls the rent fragsurface of the water, now congealed, ments with furious violence in every at the bottom, is sixty-five fathoms; direction. the further depth through the ice to The extent of the mine is about the old base, is twenty more. I was eighteen hundred feet. Large as it is, surprised at such a subterraneous mass the pre-eminence it bears in the eye of of waters, when my conductor explain- taste, arises from a peculiarity differing ed the circumstance, by informing me, entirely from all others in the kingthat about twelve or fourteen years a- dom. The whole of the mine is laid . go a neighbouring. lake rose to so open to the sky, having more the apgreat a height as to inundate that part pearance of a gigantic cleft in the of the country, and overflow the mine. earth made by some convulsion of na"The accident, for a time, stopped the ture, than an effect of the industry of