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sions of his undigested ambition have, like the baseless fabric
of a vision, left not a wreck behind.' His name is not a light or beacon, but a by-word and an ill omen in art. What he has left behind him in writing on the subject, contains much real feeling and interesting thought.-Mr Fuseli is another distinguished artist who complains that nature puts him out. But his distortions and vagaries are German, and not English: they lie like a night-mare on the breast of our native art. They are too recondite, obscure, and extravagant for us: we only want to get over the ground with large, clumsy strides, as fast as we ean; and do not go out of our way in search of absurdity. We cannot consider his genius as naturalized among us, after the lapse of more than half a century: and if in saying this we do not pay him a compliment, we certainly do not intend it as a very severe censure. Mr Fuseli has wit and words at will; and, though he had never touched a pencil, would be a man of extraordinary pretensions and talents.
Mr Haydon is a young artist of great promise, and much ardour and energy; and has lately painted a picture which has carried away universal admiration. Without wishing to detract from that tribute of deserved applause, we may be allowed to suggest (and with no unfriendly voice) that he has there, in our judgment, laid in the groundwork, and raised the scaffolding, of a noble picture; but no more. There is spirit, conception, force, and effect : but all this is done by the first going over of the canvas. It is the foundation, not the superstructure of a first-rate work of art. It is a rude outline, a striking and masterly sketch. Milton has given us a description of the growth of a plant
- So from the root
More airy ; last the bright consummate flower.' And we think this image might be transferred to the slow and perfect growth of works of imagination. We have in the present instance the rough materials, the solid substance and the glowing spirit of art; and only want the last finishing and patient working up. Does Mr Haydon think this too much to bestow on works designed to breathe the air of immortality, and to shed the fragrance of thought on a distant age? Does he regard it as beneath him to do what Raphael has done ? We repeat it, here are bold contrasts, distinct grouping, a vigorous hand and striking conceptions. What remains then, but that he should add to bold contrasts fine gradations, -to masculine drawing nice inflections,—to vigorous pencilling those softened and trembling hues which hover like air on the canvas,—to massy and prominent grouping the exquisite finishing of every face and figure, nerve and artery, so as to have each part instinct with life and thought and sentiment, and to produce an impression in the spectator not only that he can · touch the actual substance, but that it would shrink from the touch ? In a word, Mr Haydon 'has strength : we would wish him to add to it refinement. Till he does this, he will not remove the common stigma on British art. Nor do we ask impossibilities of him: we only ask him to make that a leading principle in his pictures, which he has followed so happily in parts. Let him take his own Penitent Girl as a model,-paint up to this standard through all the rest of the figures, and we shall be satisfied. His Christ in the present picture we do not like, though in this we have no less an authority against us than Mrs Siddons. Mr Haydon has gone at much length into a description of his idea of this figure in the Catalogue, which is a practice we disapprove: for it deceives the artist himself, and may mislead the public. In the idea he conveys to us from the canvas, there can be no deception. Mr Haydon is a devoted admirer of the Elgin marbles; and he has taken advantage of their breadth and size and masses. We would urge him to follow them also into their details, their involved graces, the texture of the skin, the indication of a vein or muscle, the waving line of beauty, their calm and motionless expression; into all, in which they follow nature. But to do this, he must go to nature and study her more and more, in the greatest and the smallest things. In short, we wish to see this artist paint a picture (he has now every motive to exertion and improvement) which shall not only have a striking and imposing effect in the aggregate, but where the impression of the whole shall be the joint and irresistible effect of the value of every part. This is our notion of fine art, which we offer to him, not by way of disparagement or discouragement, but to do our best to promote the cause of truth and the emulation of the highest excellence.
We had quite forgotten the chief object of Mr Farington's book, Sir Joshua's dispute with the Academy about Mr Bonomi's election; and it is too late to return to it now. We think, however, that Sir Joshua was in the right, and the Academy in the wrong; but we must refer those who require our reasons to Mr Farington's account; who, though he differs from us in his conclusion, has given the facts too fairly to justify any other opinion. He has also some excellent observations on the increasing respectability of artists in society, from which, and from various other passages of his work, we are inclined to infer that, on subjects not relating to the Academy, he would be a sensi. ble, ingenious, and liberal writer.
ART. V. Travels in Nubia ; by the late John Lewis BURCK
HARDT. Published by the Association for promoting the Discovery of the Interior Parts of Africa. With Maps, fc. i Vol. 4to. London, Murray, 1819.
M R LEWIS BURCKHARDT was a young Swiss, employed by the
- African Association to make discoveries in that country. He is recently dead; and the Society are now publishing the result of his labours. Thoroughly aware that a great part of the failures of African discoveries proceeded from their want of previous education in the customs, manners, and languages of The East, Mr Burckhardt prepared himself, by the study of Arabic, by a residence of six years in Syria and Egypt, by journies in Nubia, in Palestine, in Arabia, and in the countries between Egypt and the Red Sea, for his great purpose of penetrating into the heart of Africa. His knowledge of Arabic and the Koran were so great, that after the severest examination by doctors of the Mahometan law, appointed for that ex- , press purpose by Mohammed Ali, Pacha of Egypt, he was pronounced to be not only a real, but a very learned Mahometan. But as his skill in Oriental manners and languages improved, his constitution became more impaired; and he became at last ihe victim of a tour in Arabia ;-dying better qualified than any other traveller hitherto employed by the Association for the purpose of discovery in Africa.
He appears from his books and letters to have been a modest, laborious, learned, and sensible man; exempt from prejudice; unattached to systems; detailing what he saw plainly and correctly; and of very prudent and discreet conduct. The present publication consists of many of his letters to the Secretary of the African Association and to Sir Joseph Banks, and of the details of two distinct tours; the one from the southern boundaries of Upper Egypt to the north of Dongola; the other from Upper Egypt, in a south-west direction, through Berber, Shendy, Jacha, to Sonahim on the Red Sea, and to Jidda. Mr Burckhardt was two years and a half in Syria; during which period he visited Palmyra, Damascus, the Libanus and Anti-Libanus, and the unexplored country of the Haoman or Amanistis. After his final departure from Aleppo, his head-quarters in Syria, he revisited Damascus and the Haoman; and in his way to Egypt visited Tiberias, Nazareth, the countries to the eastward, south of the Dead Sea ; and from thence across the Desert of El Jyk to Cairo. The first part of this publication contains extracts from his correspondence
during these Syrian tours, and previous to his arrival in Egypt. In one of these letters he says,
Two Persian Dervishes arrived here about two months ago, who had lived upwards of two years at the Wahabi court of Derayeh. I got acquainted with one of them, a young man of twenty-two; the other has gone to Mosul, from whence his companion shortly expects his return. The latter has been in the habit, singular enough for a Mohammedan traveller, of keeping a regular journal of his travels, describing whatever struck his inquisitive mind, and abounding, as I understand, with geographical notices.' p. xxvii.
This is a very remarkable circumstance. A few more such instances, and the African Association might spare themselves the trouble of sending Hornemans and Burckhardts into Africa. The difficulty of getting into Timbuctoo is only to a Christian. If the Mahometans who can easily get there begin to read, write, and observe, the spell that hangs over Africa will soon be broken, and the curiosity of learned men receive the long-delayed gratification.
Among his Arabic exercises, Mr Burckhardt mentions, that he had translated Robinson Crusoe into that language, and given to it the name of Dumel Bahur, the Pearl of the Sea. Some of his small or tentative excursions into different parts of Syria, appear to have been very unfortunate : twice, in spite of solemn bargains with Shekhs and high-blooded Arabs, he is deserted and pillaged in the desert. În one of these instances, the robbers leave him nothing but his breeches. These he thought tolerably secure; but he was not yet sufficiently acquainted with the manners arid customs of the East. A female Arab met him with these breeches; and a very serious conflict for them ensued between the parties. The Association have not stated the result.
We are much struck by the perpetual miseries to which this traveller is subjected. In all his journies, he seems kick'd and cuft'd by the whole party, and subjected to the grossest contempt and derision, for the appearance of poverty he always thought it prudent to assume. His system was, that the less display of wealth a man makes in the East, the safer he is. This may be true enough in general; but when he travelled with a caravan containing merchants who had ten or twelve camels, and twenty or thirty slaves each, he might surely have ventured on the display of one camel, and one or two slaves; for in one journey he travels upon an ass, without a slave; and has in consequence his own wood to cut, his water-skins to fill, and his supper to dress. He receives as much respect, therefore, as a man would do who was to rub down his own horse in England; and is well nigh overpowered by the great and unneces
sary fatigues to which this violent economy subjects him. We do not remember that other travellers in Africa, proceeding with caravans, have found it necessary to affect such an estreme state of pauperism; and Mr Burckhardt himself admits, that Ali Bey, the pretended Arabian, penetrated everywhere in the East by the very opposite system of magnificence and profusion, even though he was suspected not to be a Mussulman by the natives themselves.
What has happened to the celebrated sect of the Wahabees since the publication of this book, we do not know; but the result of Mr Burckhardts intelligence is, that they were nearly crushed by Mohammed Ali, the present Pacha of Egypt. One effect of the power of the Wahabees, while it continued, was to stop the pilgrim caravan to Mecca; an event which diffused the utmost consternation among the religious Mahometans, who were in the habit of exporting great quantities of coffee from the holy city, with considerable profit, to Damascus, Aleppo, and Constantinople. The good English, hearing of this, with their accustomed mercantile alacrity, immediately poured in large quantities of West Indian coffee into Syria, and filled the cups and pockets, and dried the tears of the orthodox Mussulmans. At present, West Indian coffee has entirely supplanted that of Yemen all over Syria, and the Syrian desert.
In his visit to the peninsula of Mount Sinai, Mr Burckhardt meets with a substance which he considers to be the same as the manna mentioned in the Books of Moses.
• A botanist would find a rich harvest in these high regions, in the most elevated parts of which, a variety of sweet scented herbs grow. The Bedouins collect to this day the manna, under the very same circumstances described in the books of Moses. Whenever the rains have been plentiful during the winter, it drops abundantly from the tamarisk in Arabic, Tarfa); a tree very common in the Syrian and Arabian desert.s, but producing, as far as I know, no manna any. where else. They gather it before sunrise, because if left in the sun it melts ; its taste is very sweet, much resembling honey; they use it as we do sugar, principally in their dishes composed of four. When purified over the fire, it keeps for many months; the quantity cola lected is inconsiderable, because it is exclusively the produce of the Tarfa, which tree is met with only in a few valleys at the foot of the highest granite chain. The inhabitants of the Peninsula, amounting to almost four thousand, complain of the want of rain and of pasturage: the state of the country must therefore be much altered from what it was in the time of Moses, when all the tribes of Beni Israel found food here for their cattle.' p. Ixvii.
By this passage the author does not mean, we presume, that this substance is only met with in the peninsula of Mount Sinai,