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prevent unreasonaole expectations, and to qualify us for the more correct estimation of works of art. I have noticed visitors, who have evidently expected, when looking at this panorama, the water of the Thames to flow, the boats to move, the smoke from the chimneys to rise in the air, and the carriages, of different kinds, to rumble along the streets : that such persons should not find the panoramic painting of London realize their expectations can be no matter of wonder.
The printed account of the picture sums up almost all its points in the following words :—“From a balustraded gallery, and with a projecting frame beneath it, in exact imitation of the outer dome of St. Paul's Cathedral, the visitor is presented with a picture that cannot fail to create, at once, astonishment and delight; a scene which will inevitably perplex and confuse the eye and mind for some moments, but which, on further examination, will be easily understood.
It presents such a pictorial history of London ; such a faithful display of its myriads of public and private buildings; such an impression of the vastness, wealth, business, pleasure, commerce, and luxury of the English metropolis, as nothing else can effect. Histories, descriptions, maps, and prints are all imperfect and defective, when compared to this immense panorama. They are scraps and mere touches of the pen and pencil : while this imparts at a glance, at one view, a cyclopædia of information ; a concentrated history; a focal topography of the largest and most influential city in the world. The immense area of surface which this picture occupies, measures forty-six thousand square feet, or more than an acre in extent."
This is unquestionably a coloured account; but it
may, I think, with truth be said, that almost all who visit the exhibition are greatly surprised, and abundantly gratified. There are now some twenty or thirty persons in the gallery ; children are climbing up to peep over the rails. Ladies are looking through the perspective glasses, and gentlemen are pointing out such objects as engage their attention. One discovers Westminster Abbey, Hyde Park, and Kensington Gardens. Another finds out Primrose Hill, Chalk Farm, Highgate Archway, and Epping Forest: while a third turns towards the downward course of the river, the Docks, and Greenwich Hospital. Now and then a visitor traces his way to his own dwelling, and regards it with a look of surprise and pleasure, almost expecting to see some one step up and rap at the door.
The two turrets at the western end of St. Paul's Ca. thedral, attract the eyes of all; the boldness, the freedom with which they are painted, produces an admirable effect; and scarcely is the stranger convinced that he is not gazing on a real and tangible pile of beautifully carved stone. The river and shipping are great attractions to the young; while the thoughtful eye of the more sedate and serious roams over the goodly towers and spires of the different churches, and other temples erected to the service of the Most High.
London is a highly-favoured city; for though ignorance and crime are far too prevalent among its numerous population, yet here is the gospel of peace faithfully proclaimed ; and here thousands and tens of thousands find the sabbath to be, indeed, a day of rest. Wealth, and power, and reputation among the nations of the earth are costly things; but they are mutable and perishable. The proudest and the costliest things of time
are as dust compared with those of eternity. Thebes, and Nineveh, and Babylon had power, and wealth, and reputation'; but their transgressions multiplied, and they were swept away from among the kingdoms of the world. The Almighty Ruler of the earth and skies spared them not. Take heed, highly-favoured city, lest he also spare not thee!
There is a youthful group about to ascend the galleries above, and as I am pleased to hear their childish questionings, and to witness their wonderment and delight, I will ascend with them. In this second gallery, and still more so in the one above, the spectator experiences a disappointment. Expecting to see more as he ascends higher, he is scarcely prepared to find his prospect bounded within apparently narrower limits than before. The lower gallery is unquestionably the best and the most agreeable of the three from which to witness the exhibition. One more glance at this shadowy resemblance of the first city, in the first country under heaven, and I take my leave. Ages have heaped together this pile of dwelling-places, temples, and marts of traffic. Again and again have their possessors been swept into eternity. The feeble have sunk into the tomb; and the great, where are they? Yet still undisturbed the game of life goes on, in thoughtless merriment.
“Oh, what is human glory, human pride?
What are man's triumphs, when they brightest seem ?
A vacant fancy, or a passing gale." I have walked round the ball and cross which originally stood on the top of the dome of St. Paul's Cathedral, and am now on the roof of the building, with the Park spread out before me. How grateful is the fresh air! how pleasant the sight of the green trees, and the clear blue heaven above me! The eye took in so maný objects at once, in the painting below, that it now seems, by comparison, to have but little to gaze on. One peep at nature, however, compensates for the loss of much art.
Every time I visit this place, the Park appears more lovely; the trees and shrubs which have hitherto been of diminutive growth, begin now to put forth their strength and verdure. Were there but one tree in the world, we should be struck dumb with admiring wonder at its loveliness and beauty; but now, we pass by a wood without a thought—a forest, without a word in its praise !
If it appears a long way up these winding staircases, when the desire is impatient to behold the picture, no wonder that it should seem a long way down them when that desire has been gratified. The music of prattling tongues, and the footfall of childish feet, have preceded me from the very roof to the door of the ascending room, on the ground floor. Now for another scene!
On entering the saloon, I find public singers, of both sexes, accompanying with their voices the harmonious tones of a well-played pianoforte. The company are gathered around them; the ladies seated, and the gentlemen uncovered; while the vocal and instrumental strains are rising and falling ; now filling the air with swelling cadence, and now dying away into fainter and sweeter sounds. I am stealing on tiptoe from one cast or sculptured statue to another.
A pollo, Jupiter, and Juno strive
I gaze delighted on a Dian's brow. The gigantic figures of Moses, and Melpomene, with the head of Alexander; the cast of the Apollo Belve dere: the Discobolus, or quoit player; the fall of Phaeton; Perseus and Andromeda, and the Dying Gladiator; are all well known to the lovers of sculpture.
The statue whence the head of Jupiter Olympus is taken, was the great work of Phidias, and was 'esteemed as one of the seven wonders of the world. · Though in a sitting posture, the figure of Jupiter was sixty feet high, composed of ivory, and adorned with precious stones.
The head of the Dancing Fawn is from a statue, a chef-d'euvre of the chastest sculptor of Greece. Though there is some doubt whether the figure was executed by Praxiteles, there is none that the head and arms were restored by Michael Angelo. As there were giants in stature, in the ages of old, so were there giants in sculpture in the ancient days of Greece and Rome.
Among the relievos, I notice that of Sir William Jones, surrounded by the learned Pundits, who assisted him in his great undertaking of translating and forming the digest of the Hindoo and Mohammedan laws; Collins the poet contemplating the Bible; Mercy; and an Angel presenting to view the word of God. There are also, among the figures, David, with the head of Goliath. “And David took the head of the Philistine, and brought it to Jerusalem ; but he put his armour in his tent," I Sam. xvii. 54 The death of Abel.
6 And Cain talked with Abel his brother : and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against