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The American residents were, however, exceedingly dissatisfied with this letter, and sent back a protest, of which Captain Finch was the bearer, which has not been published, but purports, as Mr. Stewart understood at Honolulu, that the letter from our Government should have come through the Secretary of State, and not of the Navy; that the Secretary has no right to inform the king that the religion of the · Christian Bible’ is the true religion,' or to recommend the missionaries to his protection and kindness. It denies any ill conduct on the part of any American residents at the Islands, and asserts, that whether their conduct there be good or bad, the Government of the United States has no jurisdiction over it.
It did not become the American residents to protest too strongly against any interference in their concerns and those of the islanders, when they were availing themselves of the assistance of the Government, through Captain Finch, to effect a settlement of their accounts with the chiefs, and obtain payment of the balance due to them; and some of their objections to the letter seem to be quite frivolous, particularly their exception to the insertion of Mr. Stewart's name in it. We cannot but think, however, that the Secretary's letter was a little unguarded in asserting, that a violation of the laws of the Sandwich Islands by American residents was a breach of their duty to their own country; and it might have been well to have expressed the right of our Government to interpose in relation to the conduct of those residents while on the Island, in terms still more qualified. But in determining which of the two parties to countenance, the resident traders or the missionaries, the Government certainly could not hesitate to choose as it did, whether it had regard to the welfare of the islanders themselves, or to the interests of our commerce in the Pacific.
We have omitted many things in these volumes, which would have been interesting to our readers, particularly the visit to the volcano, and the reception of Mr. Stewart at Lahaina, his former station as missionary; and we shall pass over the part of the Journal relating to Canton, Manilla, and the Cape of Good Hope. We have said enough, we trust, to show to those of our readers who have not read this Journal, that it will be a very interesting work to them, and afford them a great deal of information to which no philanthropist or Christian can be indifferent. Though some few of
VOL. XXXIII.-NO. 73.
the topics are hardly worthy of a place in the Journal, and others, if touched at all, should have been more fully treated, and though a rigid revision, had it not been prevented by the domestic griefs of the writer, might have led him to expunge some things, particularly the passage in which he pronounces that a certain person who died in the course of the voyage had made a transition to torments, with a greater confidence than seems to us to be expedient, and more plainness than will be grateful to his relatives and acquaintances who may read the Journal,--yet the work, on the whole, does great credit to the talent, literary taste, intelligence, philanthropic disposition, and piety of the author. The incidents of the voyage, as related by Mr. Stewart, will add to the reputation of the officers with whom he sailed, and all the proceedings of Captain Finch at the Polynesian islands, show that a better selection of a commanding officer for the cruise could not have been made.
Art. VIII.—Exhibition of Pictures at the Atheneum Gallery. Remarks upon the Athenæum Gallery of Paintings for 1831.
8vo. pp. 35. Boston. 1831. It was one of the richest days of autumn; a warm haze filled the air, mitigating and diffusing the splendor of the sun, tinting every object with new colors, and yet appearing rather to dim the very beauty it bestowed. As the sun declined on such a day, a Spanish maiden left her father's castle among the mountains. As she turned from the gate, she looked down on the valley from which came up distant sounds of the rebeck, and saw gay groups of dancers twirling the castanets, and bounding along in the mazes of the bolero. She paused a moment,
-not with a wish to join in their merriment, but to think of one with whom she had often partaken in the same sports, and then slowly sought the higher defiles of the Sierra. The way would have fatigued any but a mountaineer ; but her frame, though delicate by nature, had been expanded by exercise into the full proportions of womanly strength. She trod upwards with an elastic step, until she reached a bank on the border of a little lake, that lay deeply embosomed among the higher peaks of the mountains. It seemed a familiar place. She stopped, as if she had gained the object of her pursuit, threw her beaver on the grass, and shook her long dark tresses in the faint breeze. It was a spot of mingled beauty and grandeur. One red splintered pinnacle of granite soared into the deep blue sky, almost beyond sight; from which forms of gentler undulation led the eye gradually down to the quiet depths of the lake, distinguished from its banks only by the darker reflex of their broken colors. A slender stream, hardly seen, fell into it on the further side, through a chasm which showed it was sometimes a torrent. Trees of fantastic forms, but of stinted proportion, covered its borders in tangled masses, diminishing to shrubs, tufted the higher points of rock, and crept like mere herbage up the clefts of the distant mountain. Over the whole hung a deep veil of invisible vapor, which, absorbing all outline, left nothing but masses of color, light and shade. Regardless of all around her, the maiden sat, looking up with eyes fixed on vacancy, in an attitude between
, repose and action, plucking the
with unconscious fingers, with an expression neither of joy nor of sorrow, neither of hope nor of fear, and yet with traces of all these feelings in her flushed and yet tranquil face. It was the spot where she had parted from her lover, when he joined the chivalry of Spain to drive the Moors from Grenada. She was to meet him here on his return; but that return had been long delayed, and the hope of it had become distant and indefinite. Who that had seen her in this reverie of mingled thought, would not have wished for the pencil of Allston to endow her with immortal youth?' Who that sees the picture of that accomplished artist, which suggested this description, does not wish that he could have seen the living original? It seems impossible that there should not have been, in some undiscovered region of beauty, such a scene and such a being.
To be more plainly critical, the Spanish Girl in Reverie is, in our judgment, one of Allston's very best paintings, both as to composition and execution. In atmospheric effect, we do not believe it has ever been surpassed. To give a much better idea of the subject than can be gathered from our prose, we subjoin a beautiful ballad, which has just been handed to us, written in illustration of it by the artist himself.
THE SPANISH MAID.
Five weary months sweet Inez number'd
From that unfading bitter day
That call'd her Isidor away,
Along the mountain's misty side,
Seems like a rippling feathery tide,
And fancy hurries on to strife,
Mix with the last sad cry of life.
And every gallant bard in Spain
And would not she for such a strain
That grew upon the very bank
The plighted vow-where last she sank
And soon amid the purple haze,
A thousand Loves there meet her gaze,
Before her flits and fills the air ;
In vision Isidor is there.
The coming joy, that in that hour
That seems to arch the ocean o'er,
All fleck'd with foam comes bounding on;
And on its brow the gallant Don
; The flow'ry bank and little lake
Now on his startled vision break
And Inez there.-He's not awake-
Another minute makes it clear.
That bliss like his is only seeming.-WA. ALLSTON. The pleasure of copying these lines tempts us to trespass a little beyond the subject of this notice, and add another poem by the same hand, on a smaller, but still more highly finished picture,—the most highly and beautifully finished of Allston's heads. It is a little Tuscan girl sitting by a fountain. We regret that this gem is not in the exhibition ; but it is still in the hands of the artist. The poem and the picture are twin sisters, and we pretend not to guess which was intended as an illustration of the other.
THE TUSCAN GIRL.
How pleasant and how sad the turning tide
Of Human Life, when side by side
Along the vale of years;
Too young for wo, though not for tears.
The time is mark'd upon her brow;
Their shadows on her face;
Of either were the native place.
Yet now there needs another name
While she the feeling gives;
On e'en the humblest thing that lives.
And sees it sip the flowret nigh;
She grasps the pretty thing;