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different temperatures, was dependent on the ground, and let the grass grow green the qualities of the juices contained in and rank in the depths of the forest? the vessels ; which qualities are imparted Who can trace all the causes that un. by the character of the climate. The derlie what is called habit in those plants unit of life is an atom, and on the atoms which clothe the great central belt of the are written, so to speak, the various laws earth with perpetual green? The ever which give diverse characters and quali-open page of nature satisfies the spirit of ties to plants. Climate settles a great inquiry within certain limits, and if we have many other matters besides the hours of seemed of late years to come near to an work and rest.
interpretation of some of the general laws “From the extremes of climate," says under which the forms of life around us Buffon, “we draw our drugs, perfumes, have changed with our surrounding cirand poisons, and all the plants whose cumstances, let us be careful not to overproperties are in excess. Temperate cli- value our achievements. The ultimate mates, on the contrary, only produce tem-cause of the formative forces of nature, perate things ; the mildest of herbs, the and the mystery of that original impress most wholesome of vegetables, the most which was stamped on the units, or atoms refreshing of fruits, the quietest of ani- of life, by the Former of the Universe, we mals, the most polished of men, are the cannot comprehend. heritage of the mildest climates.”
Mexico is typical of orchids, says the translator of Figuier's “ Vegetable Kingdom ;” but he ought rather to have reversed the saying, since it is the plants
From The Academy. which are the types of the country, repre
THE BRUNSWICK ONYX VASE. senting its climate and characteristics, Dr. FIEDLER, of Wesel, recently adand stamping upon them the “aspects of dressed a letter to the Allgemeine Zeitung, nature," so far as vegetation is concerned. in which he gives an interesting account Consequently, there are plants for all of the Brunswick onyx vase, whose nukinds of sites, saxifrages for the declivi- merous hair-breadth escapes from capture ties of Chimborazo, and palms, bamboos, and destruction might supply materials and arborescent grasses for the plains of capable of adaptation for many a thrilling the Orinocos. Or if we take geographical tale of startling vicissitudes, adventurous space and travel from the equator towards wanderings, and critical turns of fate. the poles, we shall pass from the cocoa- What had been the destiny of this nonpanut and plantain groves of the tropics to reil before the seventeenth century, where the spongy masses of sphagna, or bog-it saw the light, and who fashioned it in mosses, which cover whole countries in all its incomparable beauty, are questions the northern regions of snow and ice. which have hitherto baffled enquiry. All The intermediate space is too wide for us we know is that when, in the year 1630, to attempt to map it out with a descrip- the city of Mantua was captured, after tion of the great nations of vegetables, many months' siege, by the imperialists, within whose boundaries are subordinate Duke Francis Albert of Saxe-Lauenburg, tribes and races, more various and more who commanded an Austrian contingent, distinct than the great races of mankind noticed this now far-famed vase in the that people the kingdoms and principali- hands of one of his soldiers, and purchased ties of the earth. The broad distinctions it for too ducats from the man, who valued between the great families of plants, are it only for the gold of which its foot and as easy to trace as the difference of colour handle were formed. The soldier, when in a negro and a white man; but there questioned about it, related that during are shades of difference in the habit of the three days' plunder to which the city plants which are inherent and obscure in bad been subjected, he and a companion their origin, like the shades of character had made a raid on some of the apartin men. It is easy to say that equatorial ments of the royal palace, and observing vegelation is evergreen, and that the the gold on the vase, he had snatched it up, leaves are shed occasionally instead of and carried it away as part of his share of periodically, because there is no cessation the booty. This palace had been the of growth, and because vegetation is not favourite residence of Vincenzo II., Duke arrested by cold; but who can account of Mantua, and head of the great art-lovfor the anomalies of Australian foliage, ing family of the Gonzagas, whose death the pale green hues of the trees, and their without direct heirs in 1627 bad drawn vertical leaves that cast no shadow on upon the unhappy Mantuans the war which laid waste their fair city, and which , Soon a paper war disturbed the atmosoriginated in the claims advanced by the phere of German academic literature, Emperor Ferdinand II. on the duchy, in which reached its height in an angry reright of his empress the sister of Vincenzo.tort by Eggeling, entitled Abstersio FelFrom the possession of Francis Albert of lerianarum Calumniarum atque acerbissiSaxe-Lauenburg, who was a connoisseur marum Injuriarum (Bremae, 1689); but in art, and recognized in his newly-ac- / which left the question of the real signifiquired treasure a genuine antique, it cance of the bas-reliefs undecided. passed to his widow, who left it by will! The monetary value of the treasure to her sister, the Princess Sophia Eliza- seemed to have been nearly as difficult of beth, wife of August, reigning Duke of determination as the subject of its decoraBrunswick-Lüneburg.
tions, and in the inventories of the ducal By this lady it was bequeathed as an pretiosa it fluctuated between 60,000 and inalienable heirloom to her son, Duke 160,000 Reichs-thaler. In the beginning Ferdinand Albert, the Marvellous, whose of the eighteenth century an attempt was zeal in collecting rare and costly works of made by the then possessors (the widow art made him a fitting recipient for such of Duke Ferdinand Albert and her sons) a trust. By his directions a green satin to find a purchaser for the vase, in order case, bound with silver cord, was made to give the Princess Sophia Eleonora of for the vase, wbich was further secured | Brunswick the sixth part of the purchasefrom risk of injury by being enclosed in a money in part payment of her dowry, in padlocked and strongly-made wooden accordance with her father's intentions ; case, covered with silk and gold and sil- but no one presented himself as a comver lace. What is of more interest to us, petitor for the prize, and the onyx cup, he also caused the learned secretary, after a prolonged public but carefully Eggeling of Bremen, to write an explana-guarded exbibition, was restored to its tory treatise in Latin on the goblet, and own iron chest, which was only to be units mode of decoration. From this com- locked in the presence of a high Court position, entitled Mysteria Cereris et official. Bacchi in vasculo ex uno onyche, &c. In 1766, after having been the joint (Bremae, 1682, quarto), we learn that the property of the Brunswick and Bevern vase is fashioned out of a genuine and branches of the family, it became the sole precious gem, known as onyx, or sardonyx, possession of the reigning ducal line, and and provided with a pure and massive thenceforth it followed the chequered forwrought gold cover, spout, handle, and tunes of those princes. After the battle foot. Independently of these metallic of Jena, in 1806, in which Duke Charles additions, the vase measures about 5 3-4 William of Brunswick was mortally inches in length, and about three inches wounded, the onyx vase passed with the in breadth. The ingenious workman who fugitive family from Lübeck to Sweden, prepared the gem for its present adapta- next from Als to Slesvig, and was at length tion has secured strength and cohesion deposited at Glücksburg, whence, howfor the entire mass by passing two hoops ever, from fear of Danish interference of gold around it in connection with the and in imminent peril of being seized by handle and spout, and has thus divided the French, it was conveyed to England the surface into three compartments, in by Colonel Von Nordenféls, whose perils the central one of which the artist has by sea from privateers, and dangers by drawn twelve figures, which are cut into land from hostile armies, would fill a volthe stone in bas relief, and represent a lume. Napoleon was at that very time sacrificial or other ceremonial connected | turning a longing eye on the Mantuan with some religious mysteries. The upper onyx, and in return for its possession le division is decorated with appropriate em- is said to have offered to remit half a blems of fruit, leaves, heads of bulls, &c., million francs of the war indemnity in while the lowermost compartment exhibits which poor Brunswick was mulcted, but goblets, fruit-baskets, torches, serpents, in vain ; the family clung with hereditary and two human heads.
tenacity to their precious treasure, and Eggeling's learned treatise was met by refused to listen to the tempter. On Dea counterblast of rhetoric from Dr. Feller, Icember 23d, 1810, Colonel Nordenfels, Professor of Poetry at Leipzig, and libra- attended by a faithful servant, left Glücksrian to the University, who declared that burg, and after passing through Prussia the figures referred to the Eleusinian and Sweden to disarm suspicion, assuming mysteries, and were not Bacchanalian in disguises of every kind, and having to encharacter, as the secretary had asserted.'dure detention, delays, and interrogations at every turn, he reached London on April
From The Athenærm. 15th, 1811, and had the satisfaction, on THE PETRARCHIAN COMMEMORATION. the same day, of consigning his precious charge to the hands of the widowed
Avignon, July 21. Duchess Augusta of Brunswick.
I ought to date this letter, perhaps, Like many other fugitives of note, the from Vaucluse, because it was there that Mantuan onyx remained in London till the picture was most effectively, if not 1814, when it returned to Brunswick with most fervidly, coloured, and that the story the long exiled princes of the duchy. of the poet's life and passion told itself For a time it seemed as if nothing moremost eloquently. The only obstacle to a could now threaten the peaceful rest of really poetical sympathy with the occasion the wanderer; but in 1830, when the was the inordinate crush of visitors from reigning Duke Charles heard his people every district of the South, all pretending clamouring for his downfall, and saw his to an interest in Petrarch's reputation, palace in flames, he bethought him of his yet generally absorbed in picnicking beMantuan treasure before he sought safety neath the shadow of those trees which in flight, and having sent a confidential they affect to fancy hallowed. Ten thoufriend to remove it from the ducal mu- sand was the least estimate formed of the seum. he carried it away with him. number of persons who arrived by the Thenceforth nothing was known of it. trains on Monday alone. But, before No one ever saw it during the lifetime of noticing the special Vauclusian celebrathe eccentric Diamond Duke ; and when
tion, I may as well remark, in brief, upon the city of Geneva, in conformity with his the commemoration at Avignon itself. testamentary wishes, claimed as his uni- | This must have been programmed - if versal residuary legatee all his works of such an Americanism be permissible art, a fruitless search was made for the by some persons who scarcely knew long vanished onyx vase. At length, after whether the lover of Laura was an aërooft-repeated examination of the ducal | naut, a gladiator, a soldier, or an actor ; treasures, it was noticed that a shred of for nothing could be more incongruous flannel protruded from the base of a me- / than the arrangements, including, as they tallic vase which appeared to be of very did, a bull-fight, a boat-race, an illuminalittle value. On a closer inspection this tion, and a military procession by torch
od to be split lengthways, Ilight. Nevertheless, both Avignon and and to be excessively heavy when coin | Vaucluse put on an appearance for the pared with another vase of identical form ceremony such as, I imagine, they never and external appearance with which it put on before – brilliant with colour by seemed to form a pair. On separating day, ablaze with Chinese lanterns by the split surfaces the onyx came to view night ; and, at both seasons, resonint perfectly intact and uninjured, and thus with martial music. It is a grand city the mystery of its supposed disappearance this, of mingled sarcerdotal and knightly was at once explained. Genevan art-architecture : its old walls still frowning : lovers were overjoyed at the discovery, its round towers still stately; its gates but their hopes of calling the peerless I looking as if no enemy could expect to pass beauty their own were shattered by the unless after an armed defiance from the claim set up by the reigning Duke of turrets ; half-decayed palaces ; churches Brunswick for the Mantuan onyx as an in which the tombs and tablets bear indeinalienable heirloom of his family; and cipherable inscriptions; and streets of a now, after a second separation of thirty- most mediæval appearance. In one refour years, the gem is restored to the spect, however, a majority of the pilgrims ducal museum of Brunswick. Since its were disappointed. Tradition had taught unexpected resuscitation, various draw-them to believe that the tomb of Laura. ings and photographs have appeared of it identified in 1533, when Francis the First in Germany, and among these the best is visited Avignon, and became poetical a water-colour sketch by Professor A upon the subject, remained, an extant Gnauth, which gives a very correct repre. relic of the Petrarchian period, a centre sentation of the figures with which it is of interest in the church of St. Clare. decorated.
No such thing. Both the church and the grave have vanished. Therefore, a doubt arises why the fifth centenary of Pe. trarch's death should have been commemorated here. He was not born here, but Tin Arezzo, in Tuscany; he did not die
here, but at Arqua, among the Enganean it was so historically mediæval, so perhills ; nor did he generally live here. fectly studied, so true to truth, if I may Nevertheless, Avignon claims him as its thus express myself. The trumpeters, own while conceding to Vaucluse a large the archers, the heralds, might have been proportion of the honour. It is at Vau- approved by Sir Walter Scott himself. cluse that the column in honour of his The chariots, of course, were fanciful, as memory was erected just seventy-four | were the effigies of Don Quixote and his years ago, on the anniversary of his birth. Squire ; but the reproduction, from auThis monument is precisely equal in 'thorities, of the pomp that accompanied height to the famous cascade, - situated the crowning of Petrarch at Rome was a where the most tender of the sonnets are wonderful reflection from descriptions believed to have been composed ; con- five centuries old. This, of course, was fronted by a prodigious rock, round, pol- the most fascinating of the demonstraished, and white ; and around it cluster tions, although a little bizarre to modern the true memories of Petrarch. But eyes. First rode the ha!berdiers, in threatAvignon will not have it so, and insistediening panoply; then succeeded "the upon a magnificent ceremony in its own chariot of war," resplendent in blood-colname. So distinguished a celebration our and gold ; after this, in a strange conhas certainly not been held within the trast, the innocent fishermen, net-makers, present, and probably not during the past, gondoliers, and harvest-men, with whom century. Peculiarly foreign in its fea- were goldsmiths, tailors, merchants, painttures, it nevertheless possessed a charac-ers, and money-changers. Industry and ter and an interest essentially its own. Commerce succeeded, in a sort of golden The gathering of the Provençal min- state, but they attracted comparatively strels, to meet the French and Italian little attention, for the ancient genius of poets at the railway station on Saturday (France was coming into sight, whiteevening, was, for example, a unique spec-plumed and steel-helmeted, mounted tacle; while the wonderful apparition of trumpeters, mounted musketeers again, mounted heralds all over the town, look- mounted lansquenets, mounted Knights ing as though they had just started from of Malta, and challengers of all descripout the pages of Froissart, confused your tions. In the next place, a train of ideas of time. Then came the Roman ghosts, in their manner as they lived, effect of the poet's bust, laurelled and superbly horsed and mounted – Azzo da borne on high, and saluted by indescriba- Correggio, Lord of Parma; Malavacina, able — possibly, inexplicable — acclama- Lord of Messina; the Counts Annibaldi, tions ; and such a march took place as Savelli, Montenera, and Cafarelli, whose must have warmed, unless, indeed, it em- figures are so familiar in Italian history; bittered, the heart of living literature. the Colonna, the Carrara, and Jourdain Around this marble head, and around the des Ursins, as the French prograinme statue of Crillon at the same time, burst calls him, the terrible Governor of Rome. forth a variegated radiance exceedingly / They made up a cavalcade of unrivalled beautiful, amid the thousand reflections picturesqueness, at the very strangeness of which arose a loud song in the poet's and even grotesqueness of which nobody honour written in Provençal. The pupils seemed inclined to so much as smile. It of the Avignonese Conservatoire sang it was all in honour of Petrarch, and Peremarkably well, and merited the applause trarch here is the presiding spirit of the they obtained. Then torches flamed, and day. Nothing could be more evident everybody was escorted home, with im- than when his particular chariot, on partial respect, in their lurid light. Sun- gilded wheels, and drawn by eight milkday opened with an open-air mass in the white palfreys, came along, himself ensquare over which the antique palace of throned, and around him standing Bocthe Popes still casts its irregular shadow, caccio, Pietro Alighieri, Jacopo Dandolo, partly as a monastery, partly as a bar Ugolino da Rosci, Cancelleri, and the rack; and at this ceremony it appeared painter Memmi. The Southern enthuas if everything and everybody, including siasm at this moment took fire, and every the prizes won and the heretics present, one went into ecstacies, as though Franwere ostentatiously blessed, besides be- cesco Petrarca, dead precisely tive huning overpowered by military music. Next dred years ago, had been his intimate came the grand event of the celebration personal friend. No doubt a great deal - the “ Grande Cavalcade de Charité," of excitement was due to the effectivein two pageants. It was really worth this ness of the pageant itself. Every detail, thousand miles' journey to witness ; for 'it was obvious, had been carefully and even learnedly studied ; down to the col- this volume of the year in which Hearne our, cut, variety of armour and arms proved his Jacobitism and his distaste for worn; so that we had, so far as was pos- Hanover and the Whigs. His Jacobitism sible, a faithful reproduction of a scene was of a rough and often vulgar sort; but in Petrarch's time. It mattered little he seems to have corresponded with men that, at Vaucluse, instead of being wholly who were adversaries, at least in politics. sentimental, we lunched with the learned | Their letters, too often prosy, contain, as societies beneath the shade of trees de- we have said, traits of life and manners clared to have been consecrated by the worth noting. In 1706, Elias Smith writes poet ; that we marched, on our return, to him, — “Tom Tuddal, Organist of S. along the newly-named Petrarch Street, | John's, talking in company abt ye Bur. to the sound of various melodies; or that ghess of Hartford presenting his adress & we afterwards supped, without stint or being refus'd by ye Q., “Ay,' sd he, “if melancholy, at the Hôtel de Ville, with | Dr. Burgess had presented ye Q. would cordial speeches from ihe Mayor, and M. have receivd it.' Ye Chancellor D. SomMezieres, of the French Academy; or erset heard of it, & has wrott a pressing that we witnessed with pleasure the letter to have him expell’d. This you bright red and golden illumination which may tell abt to bid them have a care of made the half-dilapidated Papal palatial punning in Oxford.” A letter from John ruins vivid in the evening. The spirit of Hudson leads us to folk-lore. He writes Petrarch self-evolved or communicated, from Theddlethorpe, and, alluding to the was, notwithstanding, for a few hours, at Drumming Well, says, “ I was told by my any rate, supreme, and gave dignity and obliging Landlord, who was ye best & a poetry to the city of Avignon, which most knowing man in ye town, yt he heard none present could fail to appreciate. it beat on ye very day we had ye great My next will be an exclusively Vauclu- overthrow in Spain." All the town said sian letter.
the same, and Hudson had no doubt on the matter. Hudson's letters are by far the raciest in this collection. He rides to York, like Turpin, but not at such a
brisk rate, and his notes by the way are From The Athenæum. THE HEARNE LETTERS.*
amusing. At Peterborough, he says,
“As I went into the Ch. just as ye EvenThe letters contained in this volume ing Prayers wr ended, I mett ye Bishop, (printed uniformly with the small quartos & beg'd his blessing; I told him yt I was of the Camden Series) come from the a Traveller yt came from Oxon, & yt my Rawlinson MSS. in the Bodleian Library name was He reply'd a very good There are fifty-five of them, and, speaking name, & so went his way." Subsequently, generally, they are of little interest. Nev- the prelate encountering Hudson in the ertheless, he who reads them honestly I Cathedral, showed him over it. “He through, will find here and there curious then.” says Hudson, "invited me to drink a illustrations of life and manners, which glass of wine or ale wth him in his House. will repay perusal. The dates extend... Wn I went in he offerr'd me my from 1705 to 1730. At the earlier date choice of wine or Ale : I told him wch Hearne was twenty-seven years of age. į his Lordship pleas'd ; & then there came He went to Oxford in 1696, after, it is a tankard of excellt drink such as Hed. said, having been in some sort a pupil of dington cannot afford.” Hudson, howpious Henry Dodwell. He began by col
te began by col.ever, was disgusted that the Bishop did lecting Biblical MSS. for Mill and Grabe, ! not invite him (a stranger) to dinner. 61 and, having taken his degree of M. A., he fancy," he maliciously adds, 6 ye reason was successively assistant and second was, yt all his daughters wr dispos'd of." librarian in the Bodleian ; and, in 1715, John ́Hudson loved good liquor. Bound architypographer and esquire bedel of the for Cambridge, the heat caused him to civil law. He gave up all, sturdy as he
put up “in ye edge of yt County," where, was, rather than take the oaths of alle- he says, “ í mett wth such incomparable giance to George the First; but he con- liquor
liquor, as would have stop't you from tinued to work as a scholar in the Uni-reaching the University that night." versity, where he died in 1735.
When he arrived there at last, Dr. BentIt is curious that there are no letters in ley received him “wth a sort of haughty
civility, such as it seems is natural to Letters Addressed to Thomas Hearne, M.A., of him Edmund Hall. Edited by Frederick Ouvry. (Pri- ni
him." After which, Hudson rode northvately printed.)
I ward, but did not reach Lynn as early as