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Every collection of interesting objects, of nature or art, brought together for the instruction of the student, or the satisfaction of the curious, is called a museum—a word which originally signified a grotto of the Muses, or a temple of the Muses, and which was first given in the above sense to that part of the royal palace in Alexandria, which Ptolemy Philadelphus assigned for the library. Works of the fine arts, collected in museums, cannot produce the same effect as when in the places for which they were originally intended.— When the images of Hercules, Hermes and Cupid, stood in the gymnasia; when Alcamones' statues of Venus were half hidden by bowers and trees; when the figure of Diana, with her nymphs, were found in lonely forests; Myron's groups of the Nereides, on the seashore; the statues of Apollo, Bacchus and the Muses, in the theatres; the lofty image of Jupiter, at the Olympian games; or, in more recent times, when the picture of the Virgin stood over the altar, surrounded by columns and arches—then the works of art were in their proper places, and produced the effects for which the artist intended them.
But a deluge of barbarism swept over the civilization of ancient times, and the works of ancient art were hurled from their seats. When the light of civilization again dawned upon Europe, it was natural for men to seek with avisity for the relics of ancient art; and, as the changes which had taken place in religion and in social institutions forbade the restoration of them to their old uses, they
were treasured up in collections, as proofs of the existence of a perfection which man
kind had long lost. But this spirit of collecting may be carried, and has been carried to an extreme. In the last century, particularly, the governments of many countries thought themselves authorized to despoil all the provinces of the few works of art which they had preserved, and to crowd them, often without |any taste, incollections into the capitals. Of late, the mode of arranging museums has been greatly improved, the works of art being disposed in situations corresponding to their character. We find the first collection of works of art in the peristyles of ancient temples. Delphi, with itstreasure chambers, divided according to the different tribes of Greece; the temple of the Samian Juno and the Palladian Acropolis at Athens, were very rich in works of art, consisting of consecrated gifts, arranged with taste. The successors of Alexander accumulated all kinds of works of artin the royal seats, in order to carry them about at their triumphs, in long processions. Similar was the fate of foreign works of art in ancient Rome. The captured statues were carried about like slaves, and among the Roman emperors there was more than one imitator of Nero, who ordered five hundred statues to be sent from Delphi, to ornament his “golden house.” The practice of removin works of art from their original localities, h therefore already begun—real museums, however, existed not as yet. The barbarians afterwards broke in upon Rome, and the worksofart No. 10. To
were involved in indiscriminate destruction. The finest marbles were used for building walls —the noblest statues were burned for lime. Hardly a single statue or picture escaped, except those which were buried under the ruins, and thus preserved by the very extent of the surrounding destruction, to kindle in future ages a new love for the fine arts. . In the beginning of the fifteenth century only about five antique statues of marble, and one of bronze, were known to exist in Rome.
In Florence began the dawn of a new day for the fine arts, in the age of the Medici. Cosmo I. collected antiquities, and laid the foundation of the famous Florentine Museum.— Other princes of Italy soon followed the example. Pope Leo X., of the family of Medici, transplanted the love of the fine arts, which distinguished his house, to Rome. The noble families, and by degrees, all ltaly, were inspired with a kindred zeal, and every where commenced excavations, in order to find ornaments for their villas and palaces. Collections of coins were first made. The family of Este made the first collection of gems. Museums now became more and more common, and works were crowded together without taste or convenience. As the erudition of the Alexandrian scholiasts, though valuable, is not of equal worth with the poetry of Homer, so museums, though certainly noble establishments, and necessary to keep alive a taste for the fine arts, are not to be compared with the living activity of art—and it is gratifying to see that the effect of museums at present is to awaken genius to original production, instead of making mere copyists of ancient creations, as was once the case, when modern art seemed to be rather a matter of erudition than the offspring of native inspiration.
A complete museum should be an epitome of nature; it should contain collections of preserved beasts, birds, fishes, reptiles, and in fact, a specimen of every creature that moves on our globe; herbariums containing dried specimens of the vegetable kingdom, as also specimens of minerals; it should be “a representative assembly of all the classes and families of the world; it should also contain collections of ancient records, medals, and coins, which attest and explain laws and customs; also paintings and statues, that, by imitating nature, seem to extend the limits of creation;” as also every thing that can exhibit the manners and customs of men in distant ages and nations.
He that hath light within his own clear breast, May sit in the centre and enjoy bright day; But he thathidesadark soul, and foul thoughts, Benighted walks under the mid-day sun; Himself in his own dungeon.—Milton.
It is a matter of surprise to all who visit Cerigo, that, in the times of heathen mythology, such an island should have been fixed upon as the residence of the goddess of beauty; since there is nothing beautiful in its appearance. It is rocky and barren, except in the interior, where there are a few fertile valleys, and a small quantity of fine pasture. It is the farthest south of all the Ionian states, a few leagues from the Morea, and at the entrance of the Grecian Archipelago; and is about twenty leagues in circumference, being about seven in length and five in breadth. There is one port, called Saint Nicolo, and the roadstead of Capsali; but this is not always safe. On the left of this roadstead, upon a rock two hundred feet above the sea, is the fortress of Cerigo, as represented by the above cut. Here four or five thousand people have taken up their residence. There are about twenty small villages in all the island, and the entire population is about eight thousand souls. Another fort was built by the Venetians in 1725, which is capable of defending St. Nicolo, and protecting the anchorage of Antemone, called Saint Francis. There are no remarkable relics of antiquity in the ancient Cythera; though so much has been said by heathen writers of the worship paid to Venus on this spot. It is here that it is said Paris and Helen repaired when flying from the court of Menelaus; and here other fugitives have found refuge. A grotto, cut out of the rock, under the fortress, is stated to have been atone time the residence of Saint John the Divine. This traditionary story induces the inhabitants often to visit the spot. The Monks of the convent of Saint John, of the grotto especially, repair often to it, for purposes of devotion. How easily is the mind of man imposed upon . In the island on which the writer of this note
dwells is a grotto, which he has seen, cut out of a rock by a Monk with whom he has con. versed, and who has a piece of board on a frame, upon which he says was the picture of the Virgin Mary, found under the rockBut what was more curious, the writer saw him extract from the soft rock, which was on the top of the excavated room, some shells of fish, and the spot is two or three miles from the sea. This monk had collected, by begging, eight thousand dollars to build a convent here.— And perhaps at Cerigo, the cavern of St. John might have been thus begun in days long past; and superstitious people may have fancied that St. John visited the spot from Patmos, which is not many leagues distant. Between Cerigo and Candia, the ancient Crete, is a small island, now called Cerigotto, the ancient Egilia. Thirty-four families dwell here, in a state of poverty. This place has been the resort of pirates in past days. Though it is the day of small things with the Ionian isles, in regard to scriptural Christianity, yet the seeds of truth are sown.
To seek the hope thy record gave,
And the strong chain and bloody #.
Our fathers, in the days gone by,
In the sweet morning's hour of prime,
Word of the holy and the just 1 To leave thee pure our fathers bled; Thou art to us a sacred trust, . A relic of the martyr dead : Among the vallies where they fell, The ashes of our fathers sleep! May we, who round them safely dwell, Pure as themselves the record keep .
Lamp of our feet! which, day by day,
THE DEED OF SEP A R ATION. by Mrs. ABDY.
Emma Wilmot, a blooming, sprightly girl of eighteen, was reading the newspaper to her mother and uncle in the boudoir of the former, and had just finished the account of an alarming fire in London. “Uncle,” she said, “I think there are very few sights that you have not seen; pray were you ever present at a tremendous fire 4"
“Yes, Emma,” replied Major Hervey; “I was once present at a fire tremendous enough even to gratify a young lady's taste for horrors; it was the most awful description of fire, because it was the work of an incendiary, and combustibles had been laid to give its progress artificial rapidity; it was not a London fire either, where the spring of a watchman's rattle acts as the wave of an enchanter's wand in procuring engines and assistance from every quarter, it took place in a retired
county situation, ten miles from any town, and, to sum up the horrors, it was at the house
|of my most dear and valued friends.”
“Will you tell me the particulars, uncle!” said Emma; “that is if it will not make you sad to do so.” “It will not make me sad, Emma, for that fire is connected with the most pleasurable event in my life, and most happy am I, for the sake of my friends, that it took place.” “Perhaps your friends were poor,” said Emma; “had insured their house much beyond its value, and were glad of the additional money.” “No, Emma, you are wrong; the house of my friend was certainly insured, but the insurance was beneath its value, and they lost many little articles of use and ornament endeared to them by circumstances, and which no money could replace; however, they found an article more precious than any they had lost.” “Oh! now I guess the mystery—they discovered a concealed treasure in the ruins.” “You are at once right and wrong; they certainly gained a treasure, or rather regained it, for they had possessed it once, and wantonly cast it away.” “Now, uncle, you speakin riddles: do pray tell me the story.” Major Hervey looked at Lady Wilmot, who gave a nod and smile of assent, and he began his narrative. “About twenty years ago, Emma, I went to pay a visit to a young married couple, for whom I had a sincere regard; they lived in a beautiful country house, surrounded by spacious grounds. It was spring; the whole neighborhood seemed one sheet of blossoms, and the clustering branches of the lilac and labarnum gave beauty and fragrance to my walk through the avenue leading to the residence of § Edgar and Lady Falkland.— They were young, handsome, wealthy, intellectual, and yet my visit to them was of a melancholy nature. They did not live happily together. They had decided on a separation, and the purpose of my journey was to inspect, o witness a ...] of separate maintenance.” “How very shocking!” said Emma; “nothing can justify the separation of a married couple” “I do not agree with youthere, my dear,” said her uncle; “there may be circumstances which justify this painful measure; such, however, was not the circumstances of my friends; the moral conduct of each was unimpeachable, and they were free from extravagance and dissipation; but they were unfortunately too much alike in respects where it would have been most desirable that they should have differed; they were both haughty, exacting, irritable, 244
..? Deed of Separation.
impatient of slights, and nervously perceptible of slights, where no one else would have descried them. I think the faults were as nearly as possible equal on each side. The lady complained of the want of the attentions of a lover in her husband, and the gentleman complained that his wife would not condescend to dress, sing, or smile for his gratification alone, as she was wont to do in the days of courtship. They became contradictory, peevish, and sullen, and a fatal want of confidence ensued on every affair of life, whether trifling or imrtant.” “How different from my dear father and mother,” said Emma, “who can never keep anything a moment from each other?” “The confidence which they withheld from each other,” pursued Major Hervey, “they reposed in various quarters, and several of the friends thus injudiciously distinguished made use of the idle and common-place phrase, “When married people cannot live happily together, it is best for them to separate."— This advice had an effect which sounder advice often fails in having. It was accepted by each of the parties and carried into execution. An eminent lawyer was directed to prepare a deed of separation, and, when once signed and witnessed, Lady Falkland was to quit the residence of her husband, and to return to that of her parents. My friends, as ou may imagine, were not sitting together. was shown into the study of Sir Edgar, and I spared no pains or arguments to prevail on him to reconsider his determination, and to endeavor to bear with the little imperfections of his wife, and to persuade her to bear with his own. He would not, however, admit that he had given her any provocation; he seemed thoroughly convinced of her coldness and want of attachment to him. After some crossuuestioning, I succeeded in getting him to allow that he was occasionally a little irritable; but such irritability, he said, would soon disappear, were it not kept alive by the provoking and taunting remarks of his wife.” “He should have been married to such a woman as my dear mamma,” said Emma; “she is so mild and patient, that she would soften the most irritable temper in the world.” “Do not praise your mother quite so enthusiastically, my love,” said Lady Wilmot, smiling; “it is almost as bad as praising yourself.” “When I found,” continued Major Hervey, “that all my persuasions were in vain, l was obliged tacitly to consent to the introduction of Mr. Chambers, the lawyer, with the deed of separation; he produced this document out of a tin box, which appeared to me more fatal than the box of Pandora, since Hope could not be supposed to repose at the bottom of it. When the deed, however, was read to me, I could
not but do justice to the liberality of Sir Edgar; the fortune brought to him by his wife was small, and had been settled on herself for pinmoney, but the allowance he proposed making to her was large, even in proportion to his extensive incolne. He expressed every wish for her comfort and happiness. Her father and mother were to come to the hall on the ensuing day to witness the deed of separation, and to take their daughter to their home. He asked me whether I thought they would be satisfied with the liberality of his provision for her, and I unhesitatingly answered in the affirmative; although, knowing their kind, tender, and feeling natures, my heart was wrong at the anticipation of their visit. I proceeded from Sir Edgar's apartment to that of Lady Falkland, and vainly hoped that I might be more successful with her than I had been with her husband. I had known and loved her from her earliest youth; I had stood by the altar when her hand was joined with that of Sir Edgar, and deep was my sorrow to think that aught but death should dissolve that holy union. I could not, however, bend or soften her haughty spirit. “She was undervalued,” she said—“she was despised by her husband; she had always met with fondness and affection under the roof of her parents, and thither she would return.' I wished her to request a private interview with Sir Edgar; this she declined. She had not, she said, for many weeks seen him, except in the presence of a third person; but she promised me that, in honor of my arrival, she would dine at the table that day. It was a formal and melancholy dinner, and Mr. Chambers, who made the fourth of our little party, was the only unembarrassed person among us.” “O that terrible lawyer!” said Emma, “how I should have detested the sight of him " “Then you would have felt very unjustly, my dear girl,” said Major Hervey; “he was a worthy and upright man; he could not refuse to draw up the deed in question when required to do so, and as he was only professionally acquainted with Sir Edgar and Lady Falkland, and not a private friend of either party, it would have been unreasonable to expect that he should look very unhappy about the matter. We are apt to exact too much from lawyers and medical men; we should reflect that long familiarity with scenes of distress, if it fail to harden the feelings, will at all events subdue the outward expression of them. They grieve like other men for the misfortunes of their friends and relatives; but if they gave a tribute of ardent sympathy to the sufferings of every client or patient, they would be living in a state of perpetual excitement, highly unfavorable to the cool de
liberate self-possession so requisite in each of their professions. Lady Falkland quitted