« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »
fore, pass by the living, and enumerate a few.only of the memorable dead. Here are to be seen Oliver Cromwell, Cardinal Wolsey, Joan of Arc, Knox, Calvin, Luther, and John Wesley, with Pitt and Fox, Vol. taire, Baron Swedenborg, Shakspeare, Byron, Walter Scott, Talleyrand, and Paganini.
After walking round the room, I have stood motionless for a few moments, and more than one visitor has regarded me as an effigy. The figure of Madame Tassaud in the exhibition used to be frequently mistaken for Madame herself; but revolving years, which have scarcely affected the figure, have not fled without leaving their impress on its owner.
Such as are fond of the terrible, may do as I have just done, they may visit the separate room where, in addition to the casts of the faces of Burke, Stewart and his wife, Greenacre, Courvoisier, Gould, Collins, Good, Francis, John Ward, and Fieschi, all of infamous memory, they may behold the fearful features of the butchers—the term is scarcely too strong for themof the French revolution, Marat, Mirabeau, Robespierre, Carrier, Tuiville, and Hebert, with Ravaillac, the as. sassin of Henry iv. of France.
What a variety of character does this exhibition present for the mind to muse upon! The pageantry of princes, and the policy of statesmen, may here be calmly reviewed, with the influential acts of those who have called forth the applause, or deserved the execration of mankind. The beauty of Mary Queen of Scots, how useless! the ambition of Buonaparte, how vain! the bitter infidelity of Voltaire, how weak and wicked! and the dark deeds of those who have ruthlessly shed human blood, how diabolical and execrable! From these reflections on others, it will be well to come back to some reflections on ourselves, for how soon shall we be numbered with those who are mouldering in the grave!
“The busy tribes of flesh and blood,
With all their cares and fears,
And lost in following years,
Bears all its sons away ;
Dies at the opening day.
Our hope for years to come ;
And our perpetual home.”
MODEL OF ST. PETER'S AT ROME.
I have visited this place with the hope of seeing an exhibition here, which I now find has been for some time removed. These little disappointments are not without their advantages, they prepare, or at least ought to do so, our tempers for greater trials.
But though the exhibition I came to see is not here, there is another well worth my attention. On arriying at the door of the room at the top of the staircase, a foreigner with a cap on his head addressed me in Italian, a language of which I know but little more than I do of Arabic ; a second foreigner then came forward, and at last a third, all with caps on their heads, and all speaking Italian. At last I found out that one or two of them spoke French, and being just enabled to carry on a conversation in that language, we have proceeded with very little difficulty. I have been formely introduced to
Signor Andrea Gambassini, the talented and persever. ing artist whose wonder-working hands executed the splendid model before me, and am now the only visitor present examining, with curious admiration, the goodly pile.
The model of St. Peter's, reduced to a hundredth part of the size of the real building, is beautifully executed in Indian oriental wood and ivory. The white marble figures and architecture of the original edifice are well imitated on ivory in the model, while the different-coloured marbles are represented by wood of various kinds. Colonnades, obelisks, porticoes and pillars, domes, roofs, pavements, pediments, statues, and painted windows, are all copied with the greatest care; and as the model is made to open, the internal as well as external part of the cathedral is exposed to the spectator.
Signor Andrea Gambassini appears very well pleased with my admiration of his workmanship, and with the compliment that I have just ventured to pay him. The undertaking of the model was a bold one, and the execution of it is such as to entitle him to deserved praise. Like me, the Signor has some years graven on his brows, and it behoves us both to be looking forward to a fairer edifice than this is, even to a “ building of God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens," 2 Cor. v. 1.
Amid all the goodly glory of St. Peter's, I cannot but remember that it is one of the strong holds of Poperya temple wherein the mummeries of the Romish religion are practised with a high hand. Would that a purer faith and simpler religious ceremonies prevailed within its decorated walls, and that the Lord of life were
there worshipped in simplicity and truth, for “thine, O Lord, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O Lord, and thou art exalted as head above all,” 1 Chron. xxix. 11.
I have admired, by turns, the grand colonnade, by Bernini, of two hundred statues, and two hundred and eighty-four pillars, the portico entrances, the statues of St. Peter, St. Paul, the apostles, and the Saviour, the grand vestibule, the marble pavement, the chapels, the great altar, and the grand cupola, with a vast variety of other interesting details, and the shades of evening are now beginning to prevail. When will the worshippers of St. Peter's, worship God in simplicity and truth!
SHOPS AND SHOP WINDOWS.
What a bounteous banquet of costly viands is before an ardent-minded, grateful-spirited perambulator! Not more certain is the bee to find honey in the сир
of every flower, than he to find interest in every object which engages his attention. The goodly earth on which he treads, and the glorious canopy of the skies above his head, are kaleidoscopes, of ever-changing beauty and delight:
What a wide spread page is London for him to gaze upon! and how full of absorbing interest and instruction! Human life is there depicted ; its glare and its gloom, its sunshiny joys, and its shadowy griefs. A word on shops and shop windows.
Here is a grocer's shop, but the profusion, the absolute prodigality of the scene oppresses me. There seems enough of grocery in the window to supply the neighbourhood. The fresh, fragrant, and delectable teas in the finely-formed wooden bowls are enticing ; to say nothing of the ample chests, lined with lead, and ornamented by Chinese artists, whose contempt of perspective is so well known. How significantly the mandarins bow their heads, and beckon with their hands ! what beautifully painted canisters! what stores of coffee, chocolate, and cocoa ! · what boxes of figs, and loaves of refined sugar!
And the raisins and currants, the spices and the candied lemon-peel! Oh, how the Christmas times of
my youth burst upon me the very sight of them!
Days of my youth, the long pass'd years.
or childhood round me rise;
That start into my eyes.
When thoughtless, young, and wild,
Again I am a child.
Well do I remember (who does not remember ?) the scenes of far-famed Christmas in days gone by. A dozeń of us, light-hearted, laughter-loving, giggling boys and girls are seated at a supper table whence the older guests have just retired. Roast beef, and turkey, and cold fowls, and ham, and tarts, and custards, and jellies are before us; with mince pies in abundance. We are roving like bees from one sweet to another. Present, past, and future, all is happiness. Turn the