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returns of the day," will have a crowd round it as dense as that which collected the year before last to see his “Sands at Ramsgate.” Little Alice, the heroine of the piece, is only two years old, and sits in a high chair at a well-covered table, under an arch of leaves and flowers, her health having just been drunk by all the numerous party, a fact to which she is utterly indifferent, all the feeling she is capable of expressing being centred in a large orange, on which her tiny grasp is firmly fixed. But her indifference is not shared by any of those to whom she belongs; the still-beautiful grandmother, the charming mother, and the lovely aunt—a group which is the perfection of feminine sweetness—are gazing intently upon the infant queen of the day; the exulting father and the placid grandfather, who sits a little apart, are equally enjoying the event, and a host of little brothers and sisters (what would one give to own such a family!) are taking the lion's share in the festivities. For composition, colour, expression, distribution of light, air, and breadth of effect, this picture is not to be excelled.
Amongst children too, but children of a different class, how great is Webster! One picture only, but that a very gem! It bears the name of “ Hide and Seek,” but needs no title to tell its story. takes place in a homely cottage, and perfectly develops the ingenious devices of a set of young creatures, bent on deceiving the laughing, joyous searcher, whose moment has just arrived, and who is entering the cottage-door. Behind that door two sweet little, half-frightened girls are making themselves small to escape observation; one bold fellow, with bare legs and red socks exposed, has thrown himself into the baby's cradle ; another, more artful, is crouched down beside the smiling mother and her sleeping infant; a third, cleverer than his brothers, has hidden himself beneath an overturned hamper, but has forgotten to draw in his hand, which lies on the red-bricked floor; and a fourth, a little girl, cleverer still, has taken refuge behind her grandmother's grey cloak, with her face to the wall, from which it hangs, and thinks herself perfectly safe from observation-the young ostrich--because, though her head is concealed, her pretty legs and feet are more manifest to the eye than anything else in the cottage. Such fun as this is only to be seen in Webster's pictures ; we feel the present, hushed enjoyment, and every moment expect the explosive mirth that awaits the impending discoveries. To particularise the qualities of art by which the work is characterised is needless.
Mr. Faed has produced this year a companion to “ The Mitherless Bairn,” to which he has given the name of “Home and the Homeless." It is an exquisite cottage interior, in Scotland of course, and Burns and Wordsworth have combined to furnish him with subjects for illustration. “ Home” is the cotter surrounded by his family; "the homeless” we see in the strangers who claim his hospitality. The master of the house is sitting with “the lisping infant prattling on his knee”—beside him is an elder girl seated on the floor playing with a puppy, and behind his chair, pouting, the late darling of the family, now displaced ; the sonsie To thriftie wifie” is smilingly preparing a bowl of “parritch” (“ a few parritch” would be more locally correct), and a sturdy healthy boy, one of the strangers, is attracted close to the table by the unwonted prospect of a hearty meal; the boy's mother, a woman who has seen better days, miserably poor, but too proud to beg, sits with another wearied child, á girl, close to the “wee bit ingle," the ruddy light from which is
“ blinkin' bonnily” upon her well-formed but attenuated features--the poet of the lakes having filled up what was wanting (for the painter's purpose) in the verses of the Bard of Ayr. The treatment of this subject is full of the best feeling : the details are admirably painted, and here again without any sacrifice of breadth. Mr. Faed has another pieture, consisting of a single figure : “ Highland Mary,” after parting with her poet-lover. She is resting alone, by the hill-side, on her way homeward, after a meeting never to be renewed ; sorrow is on her lovely cheek, and tears swim in her soft blue eyes. How much force and truth there are in this simple subject cannot well be conveyed by written words.
Mr. Solomon's pictures this year are marked by his accustomed beauties. One of these tells a pretty story with slight materials: the inevitable bride has just finished her toilet, and a young dressmaker in sober grey, who is fastening the last knot of ribbons, has been invited by the happy girl to observe the portrait of her bridegroom in the bracelet on her arm, which the humble assistant regards with an air half of sadness and half of pleasure, as if she were thinking of some one to whom she is not yet wedded, though he may be as well loved as the fortunate lover whose portrait is thus cherished. The heads of the two girls make a charming group: the contrasts between the delicate pallor and black glossy tresses of the young workwoman and the brilliant complexion of the golden-haired bride-between pensiveness on the one hand and radiant joy on the other--are exceedingly effective. Mr. Solomon's second picture is a group of three handsome girls, one telling fortunes by cards, the other two listening. The centre figure is a lovely, dark-eyed creature, with an air so serious that even the rallying laughter of her fair companion fails to distract her thoughts from the apprehension of a doubtful future. The story is prettily told, and the actors in it are all models of beauty: the colouring is fresh and bright, and the leafy, sun-touched bower without, all brilliancy, in spite of the passing cloud which seems reflected on the countenance of the thoughtful girl whose attention is riveted on a card. Miss Solomon, whose talents we have so often borne witness to, has made a notable advance, in a picture which tells a touching episode in the Life of a Beadle, in the shape of a pale, fainting mother and her infant, who are ordered off the steps of a church by the Bumble in authority, to make way for a lady of condition and her well-dressed child. Neither of those, however, for whose sake the poor are contemned, enter into the feelings of the truculent official ; there are both shame and compassion in the lady's look, and her pretty boy gazes with surprised interest on the small intruder pressed to its mother's bosom.
Mr. H. O'Neil has given himself a very pleasant theme. It is the proclamation by the bellman of a small market town announcing to a crowd of excited rustics, of all ages and conditions, the arrival of a travelling Circus, evidence of which is moreover given by the appearance in the background of the attractive “Hippodrome" van. Here is a smiling farmer (an old and welcome acquaintance) leaning on a hayfork—beside him a wondering friend with a turnpike ticket in his hat--rather more remote a Cheap Jack, praising his own wares unheeded—nearer to the spectator, a barber, who has rushed out to learn what is going on, leaving a well-lathered customer unshaven; a blind man and his hungry dog are prominent in the crowd, and in the centre of the principal group an old woman driving a donkey-cart is a conspicuous figure. It would take
up some space to describe all the personages in this picture so full of character, so we must leave it till it is able to tell its own tale on the 5th of May. Mr. O'Neil has a very pretty smaller picture, called “ An affection of the heart," in which a very modest young lady is taken by her grandmamma to consult the family surgeon on the nature of an inscrutable complaint-quite past her power of discovery. The friendly man of art is feeling the damsel's pulse, and by the shrewdness of his smile and the twinkle of his eye we see that the cause of her malady is no secret to him,—even if a certain narrow pink ribbon, at one end of which is probably a hidden miniature, did not help to enlighten him. The timidity of the charming patient, who evidently fears discovery, is admirable.
Mr. Rankley's picture, “ From the Cradle to the Grave,” is a very clever one. He is an artist whose merit is more and more developed at each succeeding Exhibition. There is a singularly bold effect produced in his present work, which is scarcely understood at a first glance, but which, on examination, is found to be a very truthful one. The subject is a cottage interior by fire-light, where the gradation from infancy to old age in the same family is very originally treated; the grouping is good, and the feeling very pure, with much artistic and careful management.
Mr. Grant also continues to make manifest progress. The first of two pictures which he sends in, “An old soldier telling the story of his campaigns,” is full of truth and tenderness. The young family from The Hall
, of which the veteran and his wife are the lodge-keepers, have paid a visit to the aged couple: two fine boys are listening to the old man, and examining the scars he proudly shows ; a younger brother is taken up with the weapons which hang over the fireplace ; one fair sister stands thoughtfully listening, while a younger one is enjoying the surprise and pleasure of the kind old woinan, once her nurse, to whom she has brought a handsomely-bound Bible. The picture is altogether very delightful. There is great merit, too, in the second work of Mr. Grant, the subject of which is the interference of two Sisters of Mercy to prevent a herd of idle boys from persecuting a poor Jew pedlar.
With the exception of what Mr. Ansdell has done for dogs and deer and their collaterals, we know nothing of the animal painters. He, however, has three pictures, which quite repay us for what we may have missed elsewhere. The first is a Highland girl with setters ; the second, a snow scene, in which a Highland shepherd is carrying off a newly-born lamb to the farm with the old ewe following, and a real shepherd's dog attending; and the third, called “The Browser's halloo," represents a former custom in the New Forest of calling the deer to be fed by the keeper. All these subjects are beautifully treated—the last especiallyand we only regret that our want of space prevents a more detailed notice.
A word or two must not be omitted respecting Mr. Hardy's exquisitely painted interiors; for breadth and finish his Kentish cottage scenes may bear comparison with Ostade and Gerard Douw. We hear of fine portraits, notably those of Mr. Hart and Mr. Desanges—the former limiting the exercise of his art in this direction ; and we have had the good fortune to see some in delicately tinted crayons, the work of Mr. G. F. Browning, the most graceful productions in that particular style which it is possible to imagine. Two of these, the portraits of Miss Gore and Miss Blanche Ainsworth, will rivet the spectator's attention, and dwell, as they deserve, long in his memory.
SUMMER-DAYS AT TENBY.*
TENBY may account itself a happy place in having had Mr. Gosse for its visitor in the summer of 1854. If he goes on writing a book each year in commemoration of the scene of his holiday trip, and thereby attracting custom to the spot, in the shape of eager throngs of nature-wor. shippers and nature-inquisitors, of both sexes and all sorts—fat, fair, and fort-uitous,—if the publication of a popular tome becomes the matter-ofcourse sequent of a June in Devonshire, or a July in Pembrokeshire,— it will soon be a question of importance with all the sea-side and watering-places throughout Great Britain, which of them shall next secure the holiday visitation of so pleasant and eke profitable a guest. He will come to be as much in request as the British Association ; representatives of this rising village, and that aspiring hamlet, will be waiting upon him anon, to prefer, and show cause for, their respective claims to his company; possibly counsel will be retained, and in some cases a retaining-fee be offered sub rosâ to the much-in-request naturalist himself, to make sure of him at once ; a case of Nisi Prius,—that is to say, unless previously engaged. From Cornwall to Caithness, common and uncommon places will be hurrying to book a place in his good books. For a summer book by Mr. Gosse is a standing or stereotyped advertisement in favour of the locale it treats of. Thereby any such local habitation gets a name-supposing it to have none before ; and as good as a new name, if it be already provided—a real and substantial, in addition to its existing “ nominal" value.
Three or four years ago, Tenby had been recommended to our author, by his friend and fellow-savant, Mr. Bowerbank, as “the prince of places for a naturalist.” Thither he wended in June, 1854 ; and ecce signum ! in the shape of the enthusiastic, eloquent, healthy-toned, grave and
gay, very graphic and sometimes garrulous volume now before us, with its four-and-twenty beautifully finished and often curiously novel illustrations, which form a complete study of themselves-a sort of private Aquarium for the reader's own library-table--for the book is not at all a book to be shelved, and that is saying a good deal for a book in these over-productive times. The nearly forty letters it contains are occupied with a detailed record of Mr. Gosse's summer doings at Tenby; almost every day's engagement being set down, he tells us, just as it occurred ; tide-pool explorations, cavern searchings, microscopic examinations, scenery huntings, road-side pryings,—here they all are, he says, making up a faithful narrative of how he was engaged for about six weeks at that "prince of places” for the like of him. Little fear is there of the book's being accepted, according to the hope he expresses in its behalf, as another Lesson from a popular and recognised public Teacher in the important art of How and What to Observe.
As usual, he purveys pabulum of varied sorts for varied tastes ; pièces de résistance for men of science, whose grinders and digestive organs are capable of making way with such fare; and kickshaws, or quelques choses, lightsome and supplementary, for weaker stomachs, which turn" at technical nomenclature, and must either be indulged with less ponder
• Tenby: a Sea-side Holiday. By Philip Henry Gosse, A.L.S. London: Van Voorst. 1856.
ous diet, or (what an entertainer of Mr. Gosse's “means” of entertainment could never allow) be sent empty away.
The scientific will consult with interest his descriptions, for example, of the Great Rhizostome, that most gigantic of all the Medusa that swim the European seas-a specimen of which, some two feet in height, having been pushed or towed to the quay-steps in front of Mr. Gosse's lodgings, was secured by him, deposited in a large bath filled with sea-water, wherein it could float side-wise, and carry out its pulmonic contractions, though without room enough to turn itself,—and there examined by him as minutely as he, and more so than the Great Rhizostome itself (however susceptible to flattering attentions) could possibly desire ;-or again, the Stag's Horn Polype, as he calls a curious branching sponge-like creature, to be found in plenty near Tenby,—and the Clavelina, a social Mollusk, like a little crystal pitcher in form, with a transparent body oth of an inch long, and thoth wide, and the disputed race Pedicellariæ, which Mr. Gosse is perfectly satisfied are in fact essential organs of the Echinoderm. The microscope shows the base of the stem of each Pedicellaria to be evidently continuous with the common integument that invests the spine, and organically united to it, (without any the slightest trace of suture, or perceptible difference of structure. He cut off with a razor a thin transverse slice of a living ray, and immediately Jaid it, covered with sea-water, on the stage of the microscope ; when he found the Pedicellariæ quite motionless, and evidently dead, like the suckers with which they were associated—a result opposing, by its instantaneous character, the notion of the former being parasitic animals. Equally certain is Mr. Gosse, in spite of what Professor Agassiz calls the absurdity of the notion, that the “ fine vibratile cilia” which cover the suckers of the sea-urchin, are organs of locomotion. “When Professor Agassiz says this notion is absurd, one is almost tempted to think that he never saw an Echinus in progression. I have been accustomed to take up my specimens, dragging them from their moorings (even at the risk of tearing asunder these delicate organs, as often happened), when I wished to institute some special examination, and hold them against the glass side of the Aquarium for a few seconds, when invariably the suckers were one by one appressed to the glass, and presently adhered, so that I could fearlessly let it go. Immediately more and more were put forth, and stretched to their utmost extent, firmly mooring the animal at all points. Here it would occasionally rest motionless, except for the continual waving to and fro of the free suckers and the spines ; but now and then it would set out on a march, and advance deliberately, but still tolerably fast, all round the glass sides. Certainly Professor Agassiz would not say that the spine-tops alone could enable an Echinus to march securely along a perpendicular plate of glass. Besides, it needs but a glance to see that it is the suckers that really carry the body along." The ingenious conjecture broached by Agassiz, that the Pedicellariæ may be the infant Echini, “which after their exclusion affix themselves on the skin of their mother,” is another point on which our author confronts, and many will agree confutes, the learned professor. If the Pedicellaria were embryonic forms, would they, Mr. "Gosse asks, be always present, and stationary, as they confessedly are—no one having yet found a seaurchin without them? But he can, furthermore, appeal with assurance to the recent researches of Prof. J. Mueller on the embryology of the