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expired at his favourite game of humbug-Double the Northern Island, have been discovered fine plains Dumby-not being permitted by inexorable death even covered with good natural grasses, combined with the to play out his four by honours and mark the game. temperate climate due to the fortieth parallel of lati. It seems likely, however, that the history of the Four tude. Many squatters have already settled on extenKings, like that of monarchy itself, will never be sive sheep-runs on the upland Rua-Taniwha plains, extended to the New World; for Mr Andrew Chatto, and these pastoral colonists will doubtless be followed to whose Facts and ulations upon the Origin and by agriculturists as soon as government succeeds in History of Playing-cards we are mainly indebted for purchasing the extensive alluvial plain at Ahuriri. this paper, assures us that the court-cards of a repub- Those who have read the numerous glowing descrip. lican pack recently (1848) manufactured at New tions of New Zealand, published under the auspices of York, and now in his possession, have no kings at single land-sharks, or combined land-sharking comall: the president of hearts being Washington; of panies, will be surprised to learn that the quantity of diamonds, John Adams; of clubs, Franklin; and of land available for agriculture is extremely small
. spades, Lafayette. One of the queens is Venus- Fully nine-tenths of the surface of the country consists modestly concealing her charms after the American of steep razor-backed hills of white clay, covered with notions of delicacy-and the others are Fortune, Ceres, an impenetrable tangle of rough fern, from three to and Minerva ; while the knaves are aptly represented fifteen feet high, which will not be replaced by useful by four Indian chiefs.
grasses for many ages to come. Small patches of level holm-land are sparsely scattered along the clayey
banks of the rivers ; but the only lands of any extent SOCIAL PROGRESS AT THE ANTIPODES.
adapted for cultivation are the large alluvial plains CONCLUDING ARTICLE.
at the mouths of the rivers, and to these the shrewd The country which Tasman took the liberty of naming Maoris adhere with provoking pertinacity. Where New Zealand, without daring to land and take pos- land has changed hands several times within the session, consists of a comparatively narrow range of memory of man, the last possessors readily consent to lofty mountains, extending about eight hundred miles sell that which they hold only by a usurped and disin length from north to south, and is so placed as to puted claim. Thus the extensive Wairarapa Valley, comprise all the most desirable climates of the earth in near Wellington, and the Wairau plains, near Nelson, rapid gradation, from the almost tropical temperature were easily acquired. But all the persuasive powers of the Bay of Islands and Auckland, to the cold and of the government commissioners fail to effect a purstormy latitudes of Otago and Stewart's Island towards chase where the title to land has been undisturbed for the south. This highly picturesque chain of sharp many generations. In this category the largest and wedge-like ridges, and high volcanic peaks, is inter- finest plain in New Zealand, rich, fertile, and level as sected by Cook Strait and Foveaux Strait; and thus a billiard-table, yet miscalled Poverty Bay by Cook, divided into three islands, of which the Northern because he was not allowed to get supplies of wood and Middle Islands, separated by Cook Strait, are of and water here by the warlike Ngatikahungunus. considerable extent. It is said that the entire surface The maritime alluvial plains of New Zealand have of New Zealand is equal to that of England and some remarkable peculiarities. They are not valleys Scotland; but this must be a very rough approxima- sloping continuously down from the flanks of the tion, based on the marine survey of Captain Cook, for adjacent hills, but almost perfectly level plains, abutno general trigonometrical survey has been undertaken ting against the steep hillsides as abruptly as the yet, although the local government would seem to surface of a deep lake. They are, in fact, most probhave both a strong motive and sufficient means for ably the level bottoms of large lagoons, elevated by doing so, seeing that their principal function is to buy some general upheaval of the country. Some very large blocks of land from the Maoris at about three- perfect examples of raised beaches on the east coast pence per acre, to be retailed to emigrants at five and shew that such upheavals have taken place. Enormous ten shillings, according as it is hilly or level. Among lagoons are still often formed at the mouths of almost the European settlements here, commercial enterprise all New Zealand rivers. The heavy rains of winter, and success seem to increase with the mean tempera- flowing rapidly orer the impermeable clay of the preture. More business is transacted in Auckland than cipitous hills and ravines, cause sudden and powerful in all the other settlements together. One Auckland floods, which rush straight to seaward, and make the store alone, that of Mr Grahame, built of honeycombed mouth of the river in a line with its course near the black lava, from the adjacent volcano, Mount Eden, sea. But when the river is low in summer, the heavy contains more goods than all the stores of Wellington." surf of the great Southern Ocean, especially during
In the language of the turf, Auckland takes southerly gales, combined with the prevailing current the lead; Wellington makes a bad second ; and along the coast, drives up the movable shingle, and the rest are nowhere. This is partly due to the often causes the mouth of the river to travel along the favourable position of Auckland with respect to the beach two or three miles, as at the Wairoa in Hawke's Australian colonies, and partly also to the peculiar Bay, and at Awa-puni in Poverty Bay; the river character of the inhabitants of each settlement. The meanwhile running along a channel at the back of the leaders of those who founded Wellington, and its off beach. After a long drought, a heavy gale in March shoots Nelson and New Plymouth, were chiefly the or April often blocks up the mouth of the river younger sons of the English aristocracy, with a strong entirely. Such awa-punis, or closed rivers, are comhankering after picnics, balls, and champagne suppers, mon all along the east coast. The waters accumulate and no great aptitude for business; while Auckland behind, and much alluvial matter is deposited in the is distinguished by a certain Yankee-like go-ahead lagoon thus formed, before an opening is effected, spirit, chiefly imported from Sydney and Tasmania. either by another great flood, or cut by the natives to The settlements of the Middle Island appear to prevent the overflowing of their kumara grounds, and have fallen into a state of permanent commercial to allow the entrance of kahawai, patiki, and other paralysis. A few years ago, some wealthy Port Phillip fish from the sea. In consequence of this unceasing squatters endeavoured to grow wool on the Canterbury struggle between the sudden floods from the mounplains, which produce a kind of coarse wiry tussock- tains and the powerful swell of the ocean, most of the grass, but were obliged to abandon the attempt on rivers of New Zealand terminate in a large swampy account of the cold wintry winds and the scarcity of lagoon, bounded to seaward by a long shingly beach, pasturage.
through which a narrow opening carries off the waters At Ahuriri, in Hawke's Bay, on the east coast of from the interior. Where these lagoons have been
silted up, plains have been formed, level and fertile as female her shrill, prolonged cry, from which their name a farmer could wish for.
(pu-taugi-taugi) is derived. These fine birds are said The Ahuriri plain is a good type of its kind, and to frequent this district in increased numbers every illustrates well the peculiar process of the formation. season, as the extent of cultivated land increases. Six rivers run through the plain into a common channel, They feed in flocks on grass, corn, and maize, and about twenty miles long, at the back of a beach of partake more of the nature of the goose than of the small movable shingle. The channel leads to a lagoon, duck. about twenty square miles in extent, lying at the back Karaitiana was to meet me at Pukenau, the kaigna of the narrow beach also, and on the side of the plain of Noah; I therefore passed Awa-puni, the kaigna opposite to Cape Kidnapper. An opening, of 150 of Karaitiana, and crossed the channel in a canoe to yards in width, from the lagoon to the sea, at the Pukenau, on the grassy banks of the Ngaruroro river. island pah before mentioned, is the only outlet for all The village contains about twenty houses, snugly hid these rivers in summer; but in winter, each river, amid groups of noble willow-trees, just then opening swollen by the heavy rains, bursts through the beach, their fresh green leaves, in pleasing contrast to numand makes to itself a separate mouth. Notwithstand-bers of peach-trees, blushing all over with the pink ing that the tide rushes through the main opening at the blossoms of early spring. All the villagers were at rate of six or seven knots an hour, the lagoon is rapidly work, some ploughing with horses, others digging with silting up, and mud-flats are appearing wherever there spades, to which they seldom needed to apply the is easy water. A Maori boy having upset his canoe heel, so light is this sandy river-soil. The women and in a high wind, and lost a new iron plough, we swept children were putting in uncut seed-potatoes, while the for it with two boats and a chain, but gave up the patriarch Noah followed, with a hoop of supplejack on attempt to recover it, when we found that an oar, a long handle, with which he filled up and smoothed twenty feet long, could be pushed down with ease out over the furrows. Potatoes, wheat, and Indian corn of sight, into the soft mud at the bottom.
are the staple of the Maori farmer. Pakehas—often In order to keep my appointment with Karaitiana, old whalers or refugees from Tasmania-are settled I had to cross this lagoon in a whale-boat, a little along the coast to buy produce from the natives, who voyage which I always undertook with pleasure. There, bring it down the rivers in canoes to the store on large gulls and gannets were soaring aloft, and dashing the coast, and return with supplies of slop-clothing, down headlong into the waters; dark green shags farming-instruments, &c. The merchants in Auckland raised their snake-like necks from the waves, with send schooners and small brigs to drogue' for wheat captured awa or patiki in their bills; the spotted along the coast; and thus the harvest finds its way to crested cormorants were flying to and from their nests market. In many cases, however, the natives them. in the rounded holes of the clay-cliffs; and the graceful selves possess small sea-going craft, which they naviterns were wading along the margins of the shoals. gate with surprising skill and success. The natives There was a spice of danger too, for a strong tide-rip of the Bay of Plenty alone possess eighty-three such was to be encountered, hidden mud-banks and snags vessels. The proceeds of the crops go to buy horses, were to be avoided, and occasionally the ominous back- saddles, clothes, ploughs, &c., for the Maoris pay no fin of a shark would be seen to follow the wake of the rent, and are not troubled with butchers' or bakers
' boat. Indeed, a large shark once attacked us, when bills, since they grow their own food on their own land; fishing kahawai on the lagoon, from an old broken moreover, they are free from all rates and taxes. canoe, with such fury and perseverance, as to make Soon after my arrival, there came two rangitiras on us paddle home in hot haste, to avoid being capsised horseback from Otaki to seek aid in a civil war just and devoured.
arisen about the sale of some land there to government. The influx of settlers into this favoured district has Eleven men and a principal chief had been killed in already raised up at the entrance of the lagoon three a recent skirmish. Though not present at the korero public-houses, where London porter may be had for which ensued, I learned that my farming friends were half-a-crown a bottle, and brandy so plentifully mixed by no means disposed to meddle with the mischief with fiery arrack, as fully to confirm the Maori's salu- which a certain gentleman is said to find 'for idle tary idea of the noxious qualities of wai piro. My hands to do.' Another war about a disputed title to path lay, for several miles beyond these houses, along land, has been carried on for some time past at Taupo, the beach towards Cape Kidnapper. Just where the between the chiefs Tohurangi and Bohipi, in which fierce surf rushes up, hissing and boiling, the ground seventeen have already fallen on one side, and eleven is sandy and compact, and easy walking is practicable, on the other. It is not easy to see how the powerless by hazarding a wet foot now and then. Higher up the local government can interfere advantageously in such beach, the labouring pedestrian sinks to the ankle at cases, and without some effective interference, one of every step among the loose shingle, and walking is the opposing tribes will certainly be annihilated. excessively fatiguing. However, I preferred walking, During my stay here, I was lodged in Noah's house, in order to look for shells and sponges on my way, and which is the first Maori house I have met with that had sent back the horse which had been put at my differs from the universal ancestral type. It has disposal. Large masses of red and white pumice lay two apartments, a but and a ben; a table, windows, scattered around, brought down by floods from the and a high door, a pumice-stone chimney, and a bedvolcanoes inland. Of this light material the settlers place, raised above the ground, not unlike the boxes here build the chimneys of their weather-boarded ihat do the office of bedsteads in the fore-cabin of a houses, cementing the pumice with lime of burnt small steamer, but still a great improvement on sleepshells ; for building-stone and limestone are not ing on the earth. In the evenings, a prolonged tinkling within a convenient distance of Ahuriri. I found a on the head of a hoe summoned all the village to few shells of common types, but not a single specimen karakia, or church, a building nearly covered with of the beautiful Spirula Australis, which I had previously drooping willows, where Noah read prayers in Maori gathered in abundance at Poverty Bay and in the Bay amid profound silence, except when responses were of Plenty. The river-channel behind the beach and required. Before and after all our meals, grace was the neighbouring swamps were covered with flocks of invariably said. A few hundred yards from the little wild ducks (parera). Now and then, a shy little grebe village stood a large native church capable of containwould dive out of sight, or scuttle away into a raupo ing one thousand persons, now gradually falling into bush; or a pair of the large paradise ducks would rise decay, the regular services having been for some time and fly off overhead, the sombre male uttering his usual suspended in consequence of the immoral conduct of deep guttural “gluck, gluck, and the gaudily coloured the European minister.
Next morning, a large canoe, about forty feet long, special entertainment, an expensive luxury in which well laden with provisions, several hundreds of sharp- the frugal Maoris rarely indulge, their usual food being ended stakes and poles, and a mallet, for our survey, potatoes, kumaras, rice, melons, and fish. Karaitiana together with a plough and other farming utensils, was indicated the site of the town, and ranged the long despatched up the river under the active superintend- poles in straight lines. An intelligent young Maori ence of Mrs Karaitiana, assisted by a stout boy, and assisted me in the actual survey, and the canoe-boy accompanied by her adopted tamaiti (little son). In drove in the stakes that defined the limits of each shallow water, the canoe is always propelled by a long allotment. We had to force our way through a tangled manuka pole, but in deep water by the paddle. The mass of harsh fern, a yard high on the plain, and four Maori women do every kind of work that the men or five feet high wherever the good soil had lodged in
do, except fighting. They are gentle, patient, and the hollows. My assistants worked with good will, industrious, with soft voices of a silvery sweetness. and soon shewed a perfect comprehension of the nature The old crones are excessively ugly, especially on of the business in hand. Indeed, the Maori intellect great occasions when en grande tenue, with their hair is decidedly of the mathematical order, as is shewn by frizzed out into a frightful shock. The younger their universal fondness for arithmetic, draughts, &c. women are seldom remarkable for beauty, and seem On the day after the completion of our labours, very deficient in the art of feminine adornment. Their Karaitiana conducted me home on horseback across dress is a cotton gown tied only at the neck, with a the plain, by a route which lay through the pahs of his silk handkerchief on the head; or with the jet-black friends, Tarehah and Paoro. In both places, the people hair uncovered, plaited neatly, and forming a large were busy thrashing wheat, men and women maniknot behind, or projecting in front, like a penthouse, pulating light flails, in strokes regulated with matheas if combed over something. They have, however, matical precision by the stanzas of a song chanted without exception, fine regular white teeth, in spite of by a single leader, as on board ship, and the refrain the frequent use of the cutty-pipe, and large, full, taken up joyously by the whole body. These people lustrous, dark eyes ; and realise fully the somewhat are sober, intelligent, frugal, and industrious, and as coarse description of a certain English rustic beauty in farmers, are evidently formidable competitors of the Gay's third pastoral :
European emigrant. They have all the elements of Her blubbered lip by smutty pipe is worn,
permanence in greater abundance than any other
native race, and appear destined to form a brilliant And in her breath tobacco whiffs are born.
exception to the general decay of the aboriginal races, Though Clurusili's may boast a whiter dye, Yet the black sloe turns in my rolling eye;
wherever the white man plants his foot. And fairest blossoms drop with every blast,
Should the Ahuriri tribes continue to co-operate But the brown beauty will like hollies last.
harmoniously in founding their town, they will insert
the thin end of the wedge of social amelioration ; for Of all the Maori kotiros (girls), the daughter of Noah emulation is largely developed in the Maori character. was certainly the prettiest and the most graceful. A When one Maori gets a horse, every other Maori in rich vermilion glowed through the brown beauty' of the district tries to compass the purchase of a horse her cheeks. She was, of course, the cynosure of likewise. If one tribe succeeds, perhaps with the neighbouring eyes at Ahuriri ; and was not the less judicious aid of a small loan from government, in interesting to a home-sick wandering Pakeha for obtaining a joint-stock schooner, or a water-mill, other rejoicing in the euphonious name of Wikitoria! The tribes become restless and dissatisfied until they can weather assuming a threatening appearance, Karai- do the same. In consequence of this strong spirit of tiana, with the ever-ready Maori taihoa, which may emulation, the success of the new town of Ko Rauru be rendered by and by,' wait a little,' deferred our would be a powerful incentive, and a sure prelude to departure until the next day. In the meantime, a the construction of similar towns all over the country. coloured ground-plan of the new town, shewing equal allotments of land for 104 families, disposed in two parallel lines along the banks of the river, each allot
SUB-AQUEOUS RAILWAYS. ment separated from the rest by a wide roadway; A RAILWAY system, to be complete, must embrace the
and the plans and elevations of the proposed new means of a continuous passage between the termini of houses, were inspected and studied with general each individual line. Mountains, if need be, must be interest. The new town is to be called Ko Rauru, bored through, and rivers bridged over ; hills levelled, which is the name of the traditional Solomon of the and hollows filled up; and these objects are in general Maori people—a man who seems to have been dis- attained at present most effectually. There is, howtinguished as much by his conscientious truthfulness ever, an obstacle which may and does occur, in the and faithful adherence to his promise, as by his shape of navigable rivers or estuaries lying between low general wisdom, for he is always referred to as banks, and for the overcoming of which, none of the
* Rauru-ki-tahi'-one-worded Rauru'). It is cer- means above enumerated can be employed. The only tainly significant of the moral change that has taken principle on which this can be done is by passing place among these descendants of warlike kidnappers beneath the water; and the great tunnel under the and cannibals, that they should spontaneously choose Thames suggests the means of effecting this. Unforto live under the shadow of the name of this Maori tunately, or perhaps fortunately, as the case may be, Confucius, rather than of that of some of their most that great experiment does more than shew how possible noted warriors of the olden time. The civilised it is to tunnel under tidal and navigable rivers : it Pakehas, on the contrary, honour warriors more than also proves that this can only be done at an enormous moral philosophers, as is testified by the Nelson and expense, and at such a depth below the surface of the Wellington that vegetate on the opposite shores of soil composing the actual bed of the river, as to render Cook Strait.
the work practically inapplicable, even for ordinary At length we started for the head-quarters of our traffic of wheeled vehicles, by reason of the difficulty survey, Tane-nui-o-rangi, a sort of country-house of of approach ; and worst of all for railways, the very Karaitiana's, on the side of the river opposite to the nature of which precludes the possibility of their devinew town. The house was half filled with sacks of ating, except very slightly, from the surface-level. wheat, potatoes, spades, &c., apparently doing duty It might appear as if the depth of a tunnel would as a barn when the family were in town. Here the signify little to a railway approaching the river at commissariat department was managed by Madame right angles, as the gradient might begin at a conKaraitiana, who had brought a fine ham for my siderable distance at either side. This is certainly
true in theory; but when we consider that rivers from Calais to Dover as a mere trifle ; while a subnecessarily flow on the lowest levels, and that the marine tunnel, although a heavy job' in itself, is course of a railway approaching a tidal river at right talked of as only an ordinary and legitimate developangles, would be chiefly along the plateaux which rise ment of our present railway system. above the river-valley on either side, it is evident There can be little doubt that there are many that, in a general way, the depression of the line to situations in which the plan proposed by Mr Holcomb a raised causeway and bridge-were this latter allow. will be found to be both practicable and highly able in the case—would be quite as much as could advantageous. consist with the maintenance of a proper level for railway purposes ; while the additional dip into a tunnel, far below not only the level of a bridge, but of
ZEROTES. the bottom of the water itself, would be either alto
ZEROTES is a man of stone, gether impracticable, or practicable at a cost and
He lives but for himself alone; labour quite prohibitory.
No wife's endearments soothe his cares, Granting, then, that the ordinary tunnel is inadmis
Nor sweet small footsteps on the stairs ; sible in such cases, and that the low level of the banks
Nephew or niece he hates the name, renders the example of the magnificent Britannia
No place in hall or heart for them : Bridge equally inapplicable, the great problem appears
For no one in the world cares he, to be, whether any other mode of passing a train,
And yet he fain beloved would be. either over or under navigable rivers, is to be found in the resources of modern engineering.
Grave views of life Zerotes takes, The answer to this question is given by a Mr
He shuns all holidays and wakes; Holcomb, an engineer of experience and reputation;
A merry laugh provokes his frown, and it is our purpose now to introduce to our readers
He sternly puts all nonsense down. the plan which he proposes to adopt, and which seems
When through the village runs the jest,
He stands unmoved amidst the rest. highly creditable to his ingenuity and skill. Mr Holcomb of course proposes a tunnel, but such
A kill-joy hated much is he,
Yet fain Zerotes loved would be. a one as, while it affords all the requisite qualities, will be free from the objections which we have alluded
Of noble, thoughtful, generous, bold, to above as fatal to the adoption of the boring principle.
Zerotes lists not to be told; It strikes us that the simplest way of explaining the
Tell him of those who do amiss, matter to ordinary readers, is to say, that it is now
And suffer for 't, you give him bliss. proposed to place a tube, like the Britannia Bridge,
Speak of the reckless and absurd, under the water, and pass the trains through it as
He echoes each detractive word. if it was suspended above.
No gentle commentator he, The advantages of this plan are manifest. The iron
And yet he fain beloved would be. sides of the tube will afford fully as ample protection to the traveller as the native rock or the cemented
Cold, timid, buttoned up, and grim, brick lining of a tunnel; it may therefore be placed
Few e'er have been obliged to him ; in the water, if deep, or slightly beneath it, if shallow;
Yet while he does so little good, and it may be made with a certain slope from either
He talks of men's ingratitudeside towards the middle, which arrangement will have
Ungrateful, you may well believe,
For favours that they ne'er receivethe advantage of allowing a deep passage in midchannel for the shipping, as well as affording vastly
Yet though a misanthrope is he,
Zerotes fain beloved would be. increased facilities for the entrance of the railway; every foot gained in this matter of level at the entrance,
Self-love, oh, what a witch thou art, necessarily representing a vast economy of cutting in
What tricks thou playest with the heart ! the approaches. Thus, with only a trifling depression
To keep this wisest of mankind of the line, the train may glide into the archway
To one small piece of wisdom blind; -removed one hundred feet from the river-which
In cheerless life, day after day, constitutes the mouth of the tunnel.
To make him waste himself away, Such are the principal features of Mr Holcomb's plan.
Seeing not what a child can see, The tube is to be made of a square form, and the
The unloving ne'er beloved can be ! sides of corrugated iron. The vast and almost miraculous increase of power given to sheet-metal by this E. Hickey. Amidst the host of the followers of Tennyson and
(From an elegant volume, entitled Poetic Trifles, by Thomas form, seems to insure two essential points : one, Longfellow, we hail with much pleasure one who appears more strength in resisting pressure; and the other, econ
inclined to cultivate the common-sense muse, now too much omy in labour and material. In future, there will neglected.—ED.] be no use whatever in employing heavy flat plates of metal to sustain a certain strain, where much lighter
THE CAT-TRADE. ones will do at least as well, if corrugated.
The cat-trade is becoming quite a branch of commerce The tube itself is to rest on a row of piles, driven in New York. Recently, a cat-merchant in New York sent firmly into the bottom, and afterwards cut off to the for a cargo of cats to the island of Malta. On the returnrequired length by machinery of Mr Holcomb's inven- voyage, a violent storm sprung up, and an old salt swore tion. Thus, the railway will be rendered independent that the cats were devils, and would send the schooner of the inequalities of the ground, whether as to and all to Davy Jones's locker. This was enough for strength or level. Upon these piles, the tube must be the superstitious crew; and the cats were immediately ballasted down; for, notwithstanding the weight of the demanded of the captain, given up, and drowned. By a metal employed, it will still displace so much water as singular coincidence, the storm abated. The owner of the to possess considerable buoyancy.
cats has now sued the owners of the vessel for damages, We are very far from being sanguine enough to laying the value of the cats at 50 dollars apiece, or 2560 suppose that this system can ever be applied on a
dollars.-- Canadian Free Press. grand scale; and it has little or nothing in common, speaking in an engineering sense, with those wild Printed and Published by, W. and R. CHAMBERS, 47 Paterprojects with which the public have been amused from
noster Row, Loxvox, and 339 High Street, EDINBURGH,
sold by WILLIAM ROBERTSON, 23 Upper Sackville Street, DUBLIX, time to time, and which speak of a submarine tube and all Booksellers.
Science and rt s.
CONDUCTED BY WILLIAM AND ROBERT CHAMBERS.
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 19, 1857.
the princely Borghese villa, manifest, on the other PICTURES IN STONE.
hand, a degree of artistic merit, carefulness, and finish, Thick inlaid with patines of bright gold.
which might almost challenge comparison with some Merchant of Venice.
of the modern works at St Peter's, or the medallions The art of working in mosaic is the almost exclusive that decorate with riches fineless' the magnificent property of modern Italy, having descended to the aisles of the new basilica of St Paul's beyond the skilful artists of Rome and Florence from their Walls. The heads are full of spirit, the grouping ancestors, who adorned in classic time the palaces of admirable, and the anatomy surprisingly accurate. the Cæsars, and devoted themselves during the era of The latter specimen is especially valuable on account early Christian art to the decoration of the cathedral of the costumes introduced, and the particulars of the of St Mark. With an amazing patience mastering combat there represented. Lions, tigers, buffaloes, his passionate southern blood--with a conscientious oxen, and even ostriches, are seen to have been the fidelity that perpetuates to this day the earnest victims of the arena, and some of the men are spirit of Giotto and Masaccio—with a steady pro- designated by name in rude mosaic lettering. This gressiveness of execution that has come in time to work is supposed to date from the third century, and, rival the very touches of the flexile brush, the Italian together with the Battle of Centaurs, and the great mosaicist has gone on from century to century trans- pavement of the Athletæ now laid down in a large lating painting into marbles and precious stones, piling hall near the Christian Museum at the Lateran, is up the labour of his unrecorded life upon imperish- perhaps the finest and least injured of old Roman able tablets, and transmitting with his work and his mosaics now extant. improvements an inheritance of fresh patience, fresh With the revival of art in the middle ages, a new love, and fresh ambition to his successors.
sort of mosaic came into fashion, whereof the material It has been our good-fortune of late to follow the was a species of composition, variously coloured, and development of this admirable art throughout all the glazed, to represent enamel. In imitation of the stages of its progress, from the tesselated pavements religious pictures of the period, these medieval mosaics and fallen ceilings of the imperial ruins, down to the were generally relieved by a gilded background, and, marvellous reproductions of Titian and Correggio in being necessarily and at all times harder than painting, the papal workshops at the Vatican. Briefly to detail exaggerated the defects without exhibiting much of the results of these observations, and to convey at the the excellence of the contemporary pictorial art. The same time some notion of the laborious method by famous Navicella, representing St Peter walking on which pictures in stone are pieced and perfected, is the sea, executed by Giotto in 1293, is probably the therefore the object of the present paper.
finest medieval work of this kind in existence. The Mosaic art naturally divides itself into three periods mosaics of Cavallini and his contemporaries, as well -the antique, the medieval, and the modern. Of as those which decorate the vestibules and baptistery these, the antique is the boldest and least mannered; of the cathedral of St Mark, are, on the contrary, the medieval, the most defective and meagre; the more curious than beautiful; and, being treated modern, both for elaboration of colour and workman- after the stiff and literal manner which has latterly ship, the best. The early Roman mosaics are formed obtained the name of pre-Raphaellesque, occasionally of coloured marbles, with an occasional intermingling provoke a smile where they are intended to awake of burnt clay for the warmest reds. These pieces, or devotion. Thus, in an exterior mosaic over one tessela, consist of small cubic blocks about the size of the doors facing the piazza, we are shewn how of dice, and are now and then found to vary in magni- the body of St Mark was passed, concealed in a tude as the delicacy or vastness of the design may hamper, through the custom-house of Alexandria. require. Thus the ingenious patterns in giallo, rosso, The ludicrous anxiety of the Venetian conspirators, and verde antico, and the gigantic dragons in black and the unmistakable expression of a Mussulman and white marble which are lying open to the air and inspector who turns away from the obnoxious basket, sun, but still undefaced, amid the ruins of the baths with his nose between his thumb and forefinger, tell of Caracalla, are but roughly shapen, and exhibit a tale partaking less of tragedy than comedy, and gaping interstices filled up with cement. The famous testifying, at all events, that the smuggled saint had pavement of the Battle of the Centaurs and Lapithæ, not only died in the odour of sanctity,' but continued preserved in the circular hall at the Vatican, and the to exhale it for nearly eight hundred years after exquisite mosaic of gladiators and animals found at his decease. The more modern mosaics, and, above Vermicino, and now laid down in the great hall of all, that fine one of St Mark, in pontifical robes,