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extraordinary attire, she replied, that she was on the point of being married to the gardener,—that they were going to a neighbouring village for that purpose, and that Mark was waiting for her, at the end of the garden, with a horse and tax-cart to convey her to church. Mr. Thornton told her, that he of course could have no objection to their marriage, though he remonstrated against the secrecy of the proceeding; and desired her to wait a few moments till his return, as he was desirous of speaking to Mark previously to their setting off. Her master did not delay a moment in hastening to the garden: his mind much misdoubted the good intentions of the paramour, and he was not a little struck with the coincidence of his dream, and the preparations that he witnessed. He first went to the bottom of the gardento the spot mentioned by the maid-servant, as the place in which Mark was waiting for her coming.–All was still. There was no Mark ; no horse; no chaise. He then proceeded to the place marked out to him by the vision. Here he was destined to behold an object of a very doubtful character. Working with an indefatigable and hurried hand, and with his back turned towards him, Mr. Thornton perceived a man digging in a pit. As he stood at his labour in the pit, it appeared to be about three feet and a half deep-it was about as many in width, and about six feet in length; it had all the character of a grave. Mr. Thornton approached silently, and laid his hand with a sudden and violent grasp on the man's shoulder.-Mark turned his eyes upon his master, shuddered and fainted.-Were the indications of that dream the suggestions of a lying spirit ?
SKETCHES IN PARIS.
“ AND this is Paris !"-as Sterne says, or does not say—this is the “ ville de bruit, de fumée et de boue," as Rousseau does say—“ the head-quarters of prog,” according to Moore-the “ demoralized metropolis" of my Lord Castlereagh. It is each and all of these and I doubt not one might ring the changes ad infinitum on what Paris is—for what is it not? It is “ all things to all men;"—that is, every man may make it to himself whatever he chooses it to be. I do not pretend to have discovered all this during the two days I have been within the barriers; but who is there to whom the name of Paris is not “ familiar as household words ?” Who is there who has not read, heard, and talked of Paris all his life, till the Rue St. Honoré is as familiar to his ear as Bond-street-the Tuileries as Carlton House, and the Place de Louis XV. as but no, we have nothing in London which we can put in parallel with that. It is, I think, the finest thing of the kind I ever saw. Its appearance of extent in particular struck me; for it has the advantage of seeming to be even larger than it really is. In entering it from the Rue de Rivoli, the river is unseen,
look over it to the Palace of the Chamber of Deputies, the beautiful façade of which terminates the view most strikingly on that side. It wants much, however, a monument of some kind in the centre. The statue of Louis XV., which was destroyed in the revolution, has not been replaced. The pillar in the Place Vendôme would show, I think, to much greater advantage here than in the more confined situation where it now stands. It is, certainly, a noble column; but I think it must derive more of its interest with the French
from moral association than from external beauty. There is a print of it, with some militaires contemplating it, and exclaiming “ Qu'on est fier d'être Français quand on regarde la colonne !" It is, indeed, great food for pride to see so fine a monument in the middle of one's capital, formed out of the cannon of a conquered enemy.
But if Paris has points and buildings of a beauty and magnificence unknown to London-London, as a whole, has measureless superiority. The general appearance of our streets is infinitely above that of the streets of Paris. Here, with scarcely any exception, they are dark, dingy, and unclean ; they have none of that airy, cheerful aspect, so common, I may say so general, in London ; and the universal absence of trottoirs is very disagreeable not only to English eyes, but to English feet also.
I have been to-day to the Louvre: it is indeed a thing for the French to be proud of, and for us to envy. Their throwing it open, too, to the public—their permitting and encouraging artists to come to make copies—the style of magnificence which pervades the whole management-how different from the way in which we conduct our few comparatively insignificant institutions in England! What must the Louvre have been in the days of its glory!-when still, did we not know that “such things were,” and now are not, we should consider it to be complete and perfect.
The statue galleries are extensive and noble; but statues, unless they be very fine indeed, do not very much interest me: they have the beauty of forin alone, and that does not content me—there is no colouring, which is one of the highest beauties in every thing, and above all in the human figure. It may be objected, that if a statue were to be coloured, it would be tawdry and ab
surd, and I grant it would be so, because we have always been accustomed to see them white; but I question if this force of habit did not exist, whether a coloured statue would not be the nearest possible resemblance of the human figure. If the art of colouring statues had been as much studied and perfected as those of painting and sculpture as they now stand, I do think that it would far surpass them both. It would give the accuracy of form which nothing but a statue can possess, and the colour of living flesh, which is now confined to painting. Be this, however, as it may, it is certain that a statue presents none of the colouring of the human figure, and in that, I think, it loses one of its very greatest beauties. What can compensate, also, for the absence of the eye from the human countenance ? Can that be called a likeness of any face from which the noblest of features is excluded? The expression of the eye, in thought-in anger-in fondness, is always the most living reality of a picture. It makes us fancy that the figure before us returns our gaze. All, I am sure, must have experienced this effect in looking on a fine picture,—and every thing of this kind is totally lost in sculpture. In the stead of this, we are presented with a colourless, unsightly ball, which gives to the countenance the expression, if not of death, at least of blindness—and this cold bald look is rendered still more striking by the perfect chiselling of the features. This is a deficiency in the art, which does, I confess, very materially diminish my pleasure in even the finest statues.
The Fighting Gladiator is still here, and a noble statue it is. I was struck with its vast superiority to all the imitations and casts which I have seen of it. They were, or seemed to be, all much larger than the statue itself, which is very little beyond the size of a powerful
man, and is by far the most graceful representation of great strength I ever saw. It has, in a word, more of the strength of symmetry, and less of the strength of bulk.
When I went up stairs to the pictures, at the moment I came to the end of the gallery, and it opened upon me in its full length, I literally stopped short and started. I had no expectation—no idea of such wonderful extent. I am almost afraid to say so, but I should, from the appearance of the vista, and the extreme diminution of the figures at the end of it, conceive the full length of the gallery to be not less than a quarter of a mile. This immense extent is lined in its whole length with the most beautiful pictures, French, Flemish, and Italian. Amid this multitude of beauties one is almost bewildered, and scarcely knows whither to turn first. I went to the extremity of the gallery, and began my examination there. This is the division appropriated to the works of the Italian masters; but, as far as I can rely on my own judgment, it does not seem to be so richly stocked as that of the Dutch school. It contains, however, some pictures eminently beautiful. Above all, I admired one, which in the catalogue was simply recorded as “ La tête d'un jeune homme:”—but if ever there was a picture which bore the stamp of a master's hand, it is that. I scarcely know how to describe its peculiar fascination :—the drawing—the colouring, the character, taken singly, might not, perhaps, be cited as remarkable. Its magical beauty consists in the intense reality of the whole. It is the living presentment of youthful genius. Need I say that it is by Raphael ?-Among many beautiful pieces by Guido, there is one precisely what Sterne describes as common in his works—a head, “pale, meek, and penetrating.” It wanted but a cowl to give you the Monk of Calais.