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EDINBURGH LITERARY MISCELLANY,
FOR MARCH 1812.
Description of Largo House.
T THIS elegant mansion is situated guished of its members was Mr
in the parish of Largo, and James Durham, brother of Sir county of Fife. It lies on the west Alexander Durham of Largo, who, side of Largo Law, at the distance from being Captain of dragoons, of a mile from the sea, and com
became one of the leading supormands one of the finest and most ters of presbytery, in the reign of extensive prospects in Scotland. Charles I. He was minister of the A little to the north are the re- high church of Glasgow, and was mains of the old house, which con- also appointed chaplain at court. sist almost solely of a single round When Oliver Cromwell was at Glastower.
gow, Mr Durham had the boldness, The barony of Largo has been in preaching before him, to animadrepeatedly possessed by persons vert severely on his conduct in the distinguished in the history of their invasion of Scotland. country. During the reign of In the town of Largo, was born James III. it was held in tack by Alexander Selkirk, whose singular Sir Andrew Wood, the brave and story is well known to have sug. faithful commander of the Scottish gested to Defòe the idea of his ammy. In consideration of two popular romance of Robinson Crusignal victories obtained by this soe, An original document, and officer, James IV. conferred upon some other particulars relative to him the final property. So entirely this noted personage, will be found was this eminent person devoted in our Number for Sept. 1805. to the habits of a seafaring life, that In the middle of a plain near he formed a canal between his Largo house, there are three rehouse and the church, to which he markable stones, standing upright, a
and measuring six feet above the Largo came afterwards into the ground, and, as is supposed, as many family of Durham, by whom it is in depth. There are also fragstill held. One of the most distin- ments of a fourth stone, of similar
sailed in a barge.
dimensions. They are without little more force to keep pace with inscriptions ; but, according to tra- the middle ground; but this defect dition, are the grave stones of some we would rather ascribe to the maDanish chiefs, who fell in a battle terials, than to the artist. fought near this place.
2. The Baths of Caracalla.-- This picture, though not so interesting with respect to subject, as the pre
ceding, is equally great in regard Observations on Mr Wilson's Exhibi- to execution; the luxuriant glow of a tion of Drawings in Water Colours. brilliantsetting sun, which diffuses it
self over the picture, produces an imE now proceed, according to pression on the spéctator extremely
the intention announced in pleasing, and disposes him to conour last, to make some remarks on
sider the instability of all human the principal pieces in this very greatness, in contemplating the meritorious collection.
ruins of these monuments of Roman 1. A view of Tivoli.- This splendid luxury and grandeur. The forelandscape which exhibits a view of ground is most beautifully composperhaps the most picturesque spot ed, and at the same time kept down in the world, seemed during the to aid the brilliancy of the great exhibition of Mr Wilson's draw- luminary which is still more supings, to draw the principal atten- ported by the opposition of two tion of the public, which we do not dark pines on the foreground; and wonder at, considering that the the impression of freshness, as well scene from which the drawing is as warmth, is extremely well expainted, has attracted the attention pressed by the cool tones of the of all the great landscape painters distant part of the sky, which are from the Poussins to the present most beautifully broken and blended day. The point of view is admir- with the warmer tones of the thin ably adapted to give a correct idea clouds catching a small portion of of the situation of Tivoli, and the the sun's rays. In comparing this effect of light is, we believe, pro- drawing with the preceding, we perly adapted to such a subject. should hesitate in giving the preWe should suppose him a poor ar- ference to either. tist indeed, who could not produce 3. View of Rome. - What we a pleasing picture of Tivoli ; but to have said of the preceding drawchuse the best point of view, and ings, may in every respect be apbest effect at the same time, is that plied to this picture. We believe which distinguishes the man of ge- that its situation in the room, ade nius from the herd of view-takers. it appear to great disadvantage, The luminous appearance of the and we have no doubt that the heasky, and the gradations of the tones viness which appeared in some of colour from the distance to the parts of it would entirely disappear, middle grounds are exquisite; and had it been placed in a stronger the artist-like manner of distribut- light. This drawing, and No. 1, ing the light and shadow over the are to be engraved by that excelbuildings, is certainly inferior to no- lent artist Mr Turner of London, thing that any painter has attemp- who, we have no doubt, will do them ted on the subject. The foreground both ample justice. is extremely well composed, and we 4. St Giovanni in Laterani. In the have only to regret the want of a drawings before mentioned, Mr
Wilson has presented us with the within their bounds to make a colrepresentation of the more simple lection at the doors of their
respeceffects of nature: in the one, how- tive churches, for carrying on this ever, at present under considera- building ; and, on Sunday the 8th tion, he has shewn that he can of March last, . a collection was move with equal success in the made, at the doors of many places higher department of landscape of public worship in the city of painting, where mediocrity has no Edinburgh, for this necessary and place, and want of complete suc- benevolent purpose. This intendcess implies total failure. The ed collection was intimated from uninterrupted breath of light and the pulpits, on Sunday the 1st shadow, produce an effect equally March ; and many of the clergy regrand and pleasing, and the artist commended this charitable esta. has judiciously avoided entering too blishment to their congregations in much into minutiæ, which, how- the strongest terms. We are in ever proper in the picturesque style, formed, that one respectable clerwould be altogether out of place gyman, after reading the represenhere: the only detect which struck tation from the Managers of the us in looking at this drawing, was asylum, addressed his hearers nearrather a want of dignity in the ly in the following wordsgroup of trees which pervades the My Dear Friends—I shall not rest of the picture.
detain you at present with any te-, We believe we have mentioned dious exhortation.
It is one great the principal drawings that were object of the instructions which you exhibited, although there were hear from your established pastors, many others worthy of the artist's re- to form you to that charity which putation, and we looked with great is the fulfilling of the law, and the delight upon the few studies from bond of perfectness ;' and your connature that were shewn at the same duct hitherto hath given us no cause time with the furnished drawings, to complain that we have run in which shewed that the artist looks vain, and laboured in vain.' at nature with the real feeling of a
“. The institution for which I master,
plead at present is intended to alleEdinburgh,
viate and remedy a species of di
Timon. March 26, 1812.
stress, the most deplorable to which
in this imperfect state we are liable. A Short Account of the Progress while I look around this numerous
“ I appeal to your own hearts, made in building the Edinburgh assembly; I ask you all in succesLunatic Asylum.
sion, Whether, excepting the miseThe building of two of the wings ry which arises from conscious guilt
, , Edinburgh is now far advanced; which you would more earnestly inand, there is reason to hope, that treat the Almighty to avert from those parts of this extensive build yourselves, and from all who are ing will be opened for the reception dear to you. of unfortunate maniacs in less than “ I need not wait for a reply. I , twelve months.
know it is your earnest prayer, that, Some time ago, the Presbytery whatever else may befal you, wheof Edinburgh unanimously agreed ther poverty or pain, or sickness or to recommend it to all the ministers death, it may please the Lord, even