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MY DEAR EDITOR. I perambulate and shepherdesses are kicking up their the streets every morning, as you heels to the edification and amusewell know, for the exercise of my ment of several bullfinches, who are body and eye-sight, with my hands piping open mouthed within arm's in my breeches pockets, and my legs length amidst the chintz evergreens in a pair of inexpressibles, popping of the pattern. Many a time I gazed my poll into every curiosity-shop at these mute “tuneful warblers," and that hangs out a good bill of fare for the figurantes before them, when I a hungry inquisitor. These places, was a little chubby snubby fellow, you know likewise, are at present (being always a mischievous ill-congenerally dignified with heathen- ditioned whelp, I was idolized by my Greek compound names, which puzzle grandmother, and indeed by all the a plain Englishman to pronounce, pious old people in the parish),—and jaw-breakers, as we term them,--all now that I am a man I gazed at the ending in the same word, orama, and group in the Panorama with equal all meaning as much as this—Here astonishment if not admiration. The is a great sight, good people ! tell scenery however may be put into the out and ye shall see it. Shillings other scale; there is something. (as are not half so plentiful with me as we Reviewers say)-redeeming in it. shop-keepers' bills, but I have never One likes also to see the relative aptheless spent some in this way lately, pearance of the volcanic and ante-voland you shall have the benefit of my canic places: a forest of modern trees experience. Though too mad a fel- growing on the top of an ancient city! low to mind any thing past or im- The hanging gardens of Babylon were pendent, I am the more inclined to nothing to this. In that part of Pomdo this as you sent me a letter-full of peii now at the Strand there is not compliments, and five guineas, (by no much excavation to be seen, and what means the least agreeable part of your is to be seen is not much worth seecorrespondence) for my - Peep into ing. A Temple of Venus and Bacthe Piccadilly Museum.” So much chus appears in comparative shape by way of preamble.
and preservation (Love and Wine we The Panorama of Pompeii, in the know will stand as long as men are Strand, is not worth climbing up Bow mortal). The twin Panorama in the Steeple to see, but that in Leicester Fields is better worth money and Fields is. They belong to the same seeing. Here are the remains of pair of proprietors, were drawn by the more old Roman houses than would same draughtsman, I believe, and may build a city with cock-tail mice (cochave been painted by the same pain- tilibus muris) for all the Lazzaroni in ter, provided he was not the same Naples. There is the groundwork of man at the two different perform- a huge Theatre remaining in fine
This might have been easily form and dimensions : Covent Garmanaged. For instance, I am the den and Old Drury might serve as same man that I was when I wrote vomitoria, or entrances to it. What the “ Peep," but I am not the same a barbarous, luxurious, ferocious, reman that I was when I wrote my fined, brutal, omnipotent people were 6 Fugitive Poems," which were pub- those descendants of the shepherdlished by the present Sheriff Whit- robbers ! Who would think that taker, of Avemary, and had vast cir- Cicero could write, and a gladiator culation through all the pastry cooks fight within a brick wall of each in the city, to the great emolument other? The Fives-Court is a place of no one.
The first of the afore- of elegant amusement compared to a said Oramas is, as I hinted, pretty Roman arena. Some of the mounenough: there is, indeed, a group of tain-scenery in this orama reminds dancers on the foreground, designed me of another orama which I will I suppose to enliven the dead imagery treat of presently—the Diorama: it is around them, which put me in mind of beautiful. the figures on my grandmother's bed The next curiosity-shop I popped hangings, where a flock of shepherds into was a Glass Exhibition within SEPT. 1824.
a handful of doors of the Strand the gape-seed and glass-blowing, the Pompeiiorama. I saw a glass-case full value of his or her admittancefull of poodle-dogs, seventy-fours, money in the manufacture * itself. landaus, handbaskets, and several The proprietor, at my departure, other gimcracks, nailed to a door- blew me a dog',-wrapping him up in post with “only a shilling,” on a cotton, and enclosing him in a shavboard beside it. Walked in, up, on, ing-box, all of which I conveyed round, out. By the bye, this is not into my waistcoat-pocket. A young a fair account of my peregrinations friend of mine, to whom I presented through the glassery. I staid there my new-found-glass dog, in teaching poring over the britile machinery till him to “give the paw," broke off I was almost cracked myself, and one of his legs, but the gentleman like Locke's lunatic was afraid to sit aforesaid very politely blew it on down lest I might break myself in aguin. He added, that he should be pieces. Along with a parcel of very happy to blow on a leg for me whenwell-behaved gentlemanly old ladies ever I wished it. Upon the whole, I beheld the whole operation of glass- the only thing wanting to this exhiblowing; and I assure you, Editor, bition is an impudent name; modest, in that brief space of time I learned merit never did at any time, and its more of this noble art than I shall ever scarcity in the present age has not in attempt to practise. Seriously; it is any degree enhanced its reputation. an exhibition very well worth a wise Instead of calling his curiosity-shop man's fooling away a few hours in merely what it is,-a Glass Exhibiseeing. The proprietor, who pre- tion, I should advise the proprietor sides at the furnace, blew us up se- to call it a Hyalorama (or a Hyalour. veral times—minikin decanters, wine geiorama, which looks uglier and betglasses, goblets, and tin cans, in a ter): he would by this means infallimuch shorter time than any one could bly seduce more people from the empty them, besides several flower straight road of the Strand into his baskets and false curls for the ladies. museum, than if he were to blow up There was also a glass-wig in a glass- a house for every customer that asked case there (and a balloon in a bottle), him. which I contemplated with much sa But the Peristrephic Panorama is tisfaction ; every hair of it is as fine that which pleased me best,-as well and elastic as hair itself. Baldness by the terrors of its name as of its will no doubt in a few ages be uni- subject. Peristrephic Panorama ! versally propagated, it being for the What a world of mysterious magni. most part an hereditary disease; and ficence is contained in those two trethere is some consolation in knowing mendous titles! how sublime and unthat, in such a deficiency of hair, we intelligible ! how agreeably cacophocan have glass-wigs and frontlets for nous to the common ear, and how the price of them. The curls are super-syllabically sonorous to the drawn off from the vitreous fluid, lugs of learning ! -As I strolled one on a wheel, --seven hundred yards (1 evening through the mazes of Spring think) of glass hair being wound off Gardens, I heard the Peristrephic in a minute. One great advantage in music shaking the tiles off the neigha wig of this material would be that bouring houses; (there is a trumpeter it could be melted up into a fresh wig in the band, by the bye, who would whenever one chose it, and moreover blow the cupola off St. Paul's if he could not be easily blown off the head, exerted himself beneath it,-he alexcept when it was actually blowe most blew the roof off my skull with ing. A word from the The LONDON a single blast of his buccina.) The is, I know, enough to set all London uproar proceeding from this curioafire; so I beg leave to recommend sity-shop induced me toenter;—when this Orama to all those who have I was young and innocent I rememeyes in their heads and shillings in ber that I always broke my drum or their pockets. One powerful induce humming-top to see what was inside ment to sight-seeing people to visit of it that made such a noise. The the Glass Exhibition is this,--every same philosophical spirit attends me one gets at his or her final exit, besides to this day. I went into the Peris
+ I beg pardon : this should be ventrifacture, or more accurately pulmonifacture.
trephic, where however I found some. the superiority of the Copernican syswhat more internal furniture than tem above the other is somewhat less ever I heard of in a humming-top:- problematical than that of the dioraunless this huge round world turning matic principle above the perioramaon its invisible spindle may be consi- tic. The earth revolving on its own dered one. I saw the Battle of Wa- axis saves the sun, moon, and stars, a terloo: all the great men, Buona- great deal of unnecessary trouble in parte, Wellington, Blucher, Brums- performing their several diurnal cirwick, General Picton, and Corporal cles according to the old system; but Shaw, painted to the life or death as except the giddy delight of particiit happened: cuirassiers, voltigeurs, pating in the vertiginous motion of Scotch sans-culottes, Blues, Greys, the dioramatic platform, a spectator Body-guards, all in fine coats and posted there is not immediately aware confusion: charges of cavalry and that he reaps any peculiar advandischarges of infantry, great guns, tage. Whether the scene perambuthunder-bombs, flying artillery, lying lates about the spectator, or the spectroops, and dying soldiers: the Mar- tator about the scene; whether the quis of Anglesea up to his belt in object moves past the eye, or the eye blood-red trowsers, and the Duke past the object, is, philosophically down to his heels in a blue wrap-ras- considered, quite insignificant. Excal. O 'twas a glorious sight ! Like cept, indeed, the spectator have a Don Quixote and the puppets I fancy for orbicular progression,-if longed to attack the peristrephic he have any inclination for a circular people sword in hand, and kill a few jaunt, I would strenuously recomdozen Frenchmen on canvas. What mend him a turn or so on the horiwould I now give to be the old zontal wheel of the Diorama. Indeed woman who remained the whole time I have heard many people express in the farm-house which stood in the their entire approbation of this new very midst of the field of battle! kind of merry-go-round and its unWhat a sublime situation for an old accompanying scenery. The effect of woman to be in! How I should this ingenious but hasty piece of mehave felt had I been there! When chanism however was--that throughheaven and eart were coming toge- out the whole « little world of man” ther, to sit smoking (as she did per- there was propagated a species of haps) amidst the war of elements, or awkward sensation which might be to" stand secure amidst a falling denominated by help of a solecisma world” with my hands in my pockets, terrestrial sea-sickness. This, though as the drowned Dutchman was found amounting to but a trifling quantity, after shipwreck! Only conceive her detracted somewhat from the pleasure (blind of one eye possibly) looking of my excursion round the inner wall out through a cranny with the other, of the Dioramatic establishment. and beholding two hundred thousand The wheel I speak of is the only men engaged in mutual massacre, thing about that curiosity-shop which and two hundred pieces of cannon has the hue of a humbug. I advise bellowing, bursting, and ball-playing the proprietor of the Diorama (which around her! blood streaming, smoke appears to intend itself for a perma. wreathing, dust flying, the scream of nent exhibition) to divert the enthuagony, the cry of fear, the groan of siasm of his steam-engine, or whatdeath, and the shout of victory !-0, ever “old mole” it is that works beif poeta nascitur non fit be not a true neath his platform, from disarranging maxim, that old woman ought to write the stomach of his visiters, to the less a far better epic poem than blind ambitious purpose of moving his Homer, blind Milton, or Bob Southey scenery around them. Unless there himself !—But I am becoming too be some better reason than the mere eloquent.
novelty of the thing, for operating The last of the Oramas which I upon the spectators instead of the swallowed was the Diorama.--The scenes, the innovation had better be difference between the Ptolemaic and reformed back again to its ancient the Copernican system of the world model—the Periorama. may serve to illustrate that between Trinity Chapel and the Valley of the Periorama (thus let us abridge the Sarnen have been carried about the Peristrephic) and the Diorama. But town these two months by the billa
stickers, proclaiming every week to titor. He would see his native hills be the « last week of their exist- in the misty pinnacles, and the green ence. I don't know if they are dead dwelling of his fathers in the deepyet; but it is no harm to afford them bosomed glen of the Alpine illusion a little posthumous praise if they are before him. He would, moreover,
The first of these scenes was a perhaps acknowledge himself largely complete deception; I expected every indebted to the faithful transcriber of moment the dean and chapter to the Valley of Sarnen for the sight of make their appearance. In this re a phenomenon which he had never spect it is the best of the two, which the good fortune to witness in his however is more owing to the nature own country. Two lofty hills rise on of the subject than the felicity of the the back ground, one immediately painter; it is much easier to repre- behind the other. The hindermost is sent in successful perspective a cha a sugar-loaf piercing into the skies pel, however large, on a sheet of can- far above the penetration of his vas, than a whole country like the round-shouldered brother. Now the Valley of Sarnen. The imagination phenomenon in the picture and, of can readily allow the one, but the course, in the living scene) is this: reason strongly rejects the other. the lower and nearer of these hills is At all events I confess Trinity Chapel covered with snow, whilst the higher fairly took me in. In my golden sim- and more distant is green to the apex. plicity of mind I thought, when I saw I am not sufficiently natural philosoit, that “the play hadn't begun," pher to account for this extraordinary and that I was merely contemplating appearance, but suppose it to arise one of those multitudinous specimens from a different mode of snowing they of plaster-work and architectury have amongst the Alps from what we which are scattered over the West usually see here amidst our humble End and Regent's Park, to the utter hillocks. To accomplish the aforediscountenance of brown brick and said phenomenon it is only necessary comfortability. The beauty of the that it snow horizontally in Switzerstructure was the first thing that land, by which means a mountain brought back my senses, this being a may with every facility be snowed up quality which seldom obtrudes itself as far as the shoulders, and yet preupon the eye of the western itinerant.* serve his head as green and as flouBy narrowly watching the direction rishing as ever. Notwithstanding the of the shadows and finding them to strangeness to a plain-going English be permanent I was at length con eye of the above stroke of nature, vinced that the artist had befooled the view of the Valley of Sarnen was This is real praise !
picturesque and delightful --and if The view of the Valley of Sarnen it is not gone it is so still. The Swiss was, however, the chief attraction. cottage, the mountain road, the flock The felicity of the execution sur- of sheep feeding in a sequestered prised less, but the beauty of its nook, gave a kind of lonely animascenery gratified more. The inte- tion to the scene; the deep verdure rior of a chapel, unless of the very of the glades and slopes, contrasted richest order of magnificence, cannot with the blue surface of the lake into be as interesting to the spectator as a which they decline, and the vapoury green woodland, a mountain pros- magnificence of the surrounding hills, pect, or a pastoral vale. He may combined to throw a most romantic happen also to be one of those sad air over this beautiful picture. I dogs like myself who have been com- sighed for home when I saw it. A pelled by their follies to exchange a runnel of living water bestowed romantic home for the close squares reality on the scene, and was so conand crooked alleys of this populous trived as to flow down the canvas as wilderness-London : if so the Val- naturally as if it was painted there, ley would possess in his mind a not spoiling the eye for the artificial double advantage over its compe- part of the scene. This is a good
* I beg leave to direct the attention of all admirers of genuine gothic to a string of towers in wooden bonnets, at the other side of the park from the Diorama. They may afford to the romantic and imaginative a tolerable idea of a row of giants standing asleep in their bedgowns and white cotton night-caps.
test of the merits of the painting ; Pandemoniopanorama, being an exact the works of nature when set beside View of Hell, intended chiefly, I supthose of art generally put the latter pose, for the patronage of those who out of countenance. I hope the intend emigrating thither. It has Valley of Sarnen will remain in the been painted from drawings taken by Regent's Park,—or that it may be Padre B— who visited the prereplaced by something as beautiful. mises, and has been since restored
There is likewise the Cosmorama, to life by Prince Hohenlohe. But I and the Myrior ama, and many others must defer the account of these to a not mentionable. I hear also that future opportunity. At present—"I there is one in preparation, which is
(as we say in a trato be perfectly ecliptic of all its pre- gedy). Vale! decessors, and is to be called the
can no more
THERE was a light bark on the raging wave
Toss'd by the tempest,—and the billow curld
Above her bending mast, and she was hursd
Midway 'twixt heaven and earth :—and there was one
Stood smiling in that dreadful hour—alone
Curl'd the blue wave and fill’d her snowy sail;
The world unconquer’d, he could not despair,
BURCHELL'S TRAVELS IN SOUTHERN AFRICA.* It is a part of our plan to present design, from causes which he had no occasionally to our readers, an ab- power to control, he has yet offered stract of such works, as contribute to to our perusal, an amusing and inthrow a new and useful light on the structive narration, from which the science of geography. With this view general reader, as well as the lover we take up the Travels of Mr. Bur- of natural history, may draw much chell in Southern Africa, not only as interesting and satisfactory intelliaffording an accession to our know- gence. ledge of distant regions, but as ex On the 26th of November, 1810, hibiting a proof of individual and Mr. Burchell first landed at the Cape, liberal enterprise,
with those intense feelings of curiohappy to have an opportunity of sity and expectation, which the ascommending. The writer appears to pect of the country is calculated to have been well qualified for his task, awaken, in a mind devoted to sciby his acquirements and spirit; and ence, and alive to the beauties of nathough he necessarily failed in the ture. After passing through the usual full accomplishment of his original ceremonies of introduction, he re
* Travels in the Interior of Southern Africa, by William J. Burchell, Esq. Vols. I. and II. quarto. London, 1822–1824.