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been added by one of the modern possessors. The general effect of this once noble edifice must have been exceedingly beautiful when viewed in its perfect state, with its battlements and turrets emerging from the crowding woods. But unfortunately the demense and castle passed from their original possessors into the hands of strangers : they were sold by the Marquess of Wellesley to Colonel Burrows, and by him let to Mr. O'Connor. While in the possession of the latter gentleman it was destroyed by fire, and all that now remains of this once stately pile is a naked and desolate shell. The noble woods, too, which adorned the demense have shared in the general destruction, and all the giants of the sylvan scene have been prostrated beneath the ruthless axe. How different was the appearance it presented when Mr. Trotter visited it in 1814. “From every part of the adjacent country," he writes, “the woods, and frequently the Castle of Dangan were visible. We continued to walk on magic ground :--the varied landscapes of a fine corn-country, always terminated by the widely extended woods of Dangan, could not but please.” Yet even at that time decay and neglect had begun to do their work upon the place, for he also remarks, that, "the improvements and lakes which once highly adorned the demense are lost through neglect, and the fine gardens are uncultivated." This intelligent traveller learnt, while lingering in this neighbourhood, that a cottage, in which the Duke of Wellington had resided in great privacy for two or three years, when the Marquis of Wellesley was proposing to sell Dangan, was to be seen near Trim. If this retreat of the future victor of Waterloo be still in existence, I have not been fortunate enough to see it. Mr. Trotter thus describes his visit in a very animated manner. “We proceeded," says he, “ with much eagerness to this little country-house : we soon saw it buried in trees. We reached the gate of its avenue, which is straight, of modest appearance, and lined with tall ash-trees. The house is perfectly rural, with a small lawn, and pretty shrubberies round-it; but very simple, and just fit for a small domestic family. The apartments are commodious, and all the accommodations good, but on the most modest scale. The garden pleased us most; it is good and quite rural, suiting to the character of the place.” It is not improbable that the duke was residing in this secluded habitation when his great rival, Buonaparte, was pursuing his splendid career in Italy,
I suppose it would be considered a grave offence were I to quit the county Meath without noticing the famous “ Hill of Tara," celebrated by ancient bards and historians for its Teaghmor, or Great House, where, down to the middle of the sixth century, triennial parliaments of the kingdom were held ;—for its sumptuous palace, the residence of a long and illustrious line of monarchs ; and for its college of learned men, where the arts and sciences were cultivated and taught. Keating, O'Halloran, and O'Flaherty, whose poetic histories abound with florid descriptions of the gravdeur and magnificence of the royal residence of Teaghmor, have dwelt with fond delight upon the solemnities of the periodical parliament, at which the kings of Leinster, Ulster, Munster, and Connaught are said to have assisted, in conjunction with the toparchs, dynasts, bards or sennachies, priests, and" men of learning, distinguished by their abilities in all arts and professions," in framing laws, and making wise ordinances for the government of the king
dom. But, alas ! for the past glory of Ireland, there remains no traces now of these stately palaces-not a vestige exists of the proud halls, where “chiefs and ladies bright,” were wont to assemble ; the voice of the bard is hushed—and "the harp," as Moore touchingly sings :
“The harp, that once through Tara's halls
The soul of music shed,
As if that soul were fled.” Unfortunately, however, not even a wall has been left on which a bard's harp or antiquarian's conjecture might be hung. The remains of a few circular earthen entrenchments on the summit of a lofty green hill, rising from the centre of an extensive plain, are all that the most curious eye can now discover of the vanished splendour of the Hill of Tara. Notwithstanding that I differ with those writers, whose heated fancies would invest every object connected with Ireland's ancient history with a halo of gorgeous light, and in their eagerness to vindicate the fallen greatness of their native country, have suffered themselves to wander into the fairy regions of romance; I am far from coinciding with those cold sceptics who deny that civilization had considerably advanced in Ireland before Britain had emerged from the depths of barbarism.
ART. XVI. 1. Preceptive Illustrations of the Bible. Varty. 2. Lessons on Scripture Prints ; to accompany the Preceptive Illus
trations of the Bible. Varty. 3. Graphic Illustrations of Animals. Varty. 4. Chronological Pictures of English History. Varty. The taste of the present day runs strongly in demand of Pictorial Illustrations, wherever the subject is capable of such lights.
If this be the case with persons of mature years, and even when history or any collection of facts is to be elucidated and impressed upon the mind, not to speak of narratives of every class, surely similar aids and allurements will be with the happiest results set before the eye of youth and of childhood. We have somewhere met with the anecdote, then an intelligent girl, of ten years of age, having been found poring over the “ Pictorial History of England with great avidity for a whole morning, was asked by her mother, why she was applying so long at a time? Her reply was, “Mother, I cannnot help it; the book won't let me leave it.” Now, this attraction occurred where the work is addressed to minds of the most mature growth, and where the subjects for study are often of that more recondite nature, for which childhood's mind cannot be supposed to cherish a particular curiosity, nor to be capable of very soon accquiring such a rudimental knowledge, as will render a fur
ther pursuit lightsome and enticing. Many, for example, of the illustiations in the work just mentioned are of an antiquiarian character; others are archæological, demanding erudition and protracted study, to understand their meaning and appropriateness; and even when the engravings or woodcuts may belong to the department of costume, architecture, remarkable historical scenes, or portraits of eminent persons, one would be ready to suppose that some considerable degree of studious and reading preparation was necessary ere the youthful taste was prompt to pant for more. A fortiori, military tactics, science, mechanical inventions, and other matters of vital importance in a nation's history, must offer fewer attractions to the uninitiated. And yet the speech was, “ Mother, I cannot help it;" for it is through the medium of sight that from infancy upwards the most vivid and permanent impressions are conveyed.
Facts, events, natural scenes, and the whole world of activity and life, are particulary susceptible of pictorial representation. Whatever has been seen may be copied by the artist, and with a force and fidelity which no verbal or written description can reach. But it seems to be indisputable that it is not every subject and object which addresses itself to the senses, that admits with advantage of being thus represented, when the end is instruction, especially the instruction of the infantine mind, and ere the work of abstraction has systematically commenced. Many things, such as material objects, are best studied in their real condition. On the other hand, past and unwitnessed events and personages cannot, any more than the moral of their histories be communicated and stamped upon the imagination, save through the eye or ear, or by both channels at the same moment.
Of all the historical records that exist, and we may be sure that will ever be written, those which the Bible contains are the most susceptible of pictorial representation, and also of being by an artistic method and system made the vehicle of instruction. Where else shall we seek for equal simplicity, truth, majesty of thought, or grandeur of action? Where but in the Bible did the master-painters, whose genius has consecrated their names to all succeeding ages, seek for inspiration and for themes ?
But it is not alone for the highest purposes of art, or the most lasting and delightful exercises of the intellect that Scriptural subjects are chosen. The plainness, authenticity, genuineness, paramount importance, and unction that distinguish them from all others, render them peculiarly suitable for early and abiding instruction. It is said that Doddridge received his first religious impressions from the Scripture subjects represented on the Dutch tiles of his paternal fireside. It must be perfectly manifest that if a series of Scriptural subjects, spiritedly and faithfully treated by the artist, be set before childhood's eye, accompanied by the explanations and additions of a
teacher or parent, who is imbued with the proper feelings and sentiments for the discharge of the interesting duty, the effect will be of the most gratifying kind ; that the manner in which the pupil will follow, nay, outrun the competent teacher will be astonishing. The alacrity, the eagerness, the glistening gladness of the little student will tell you in more pleasing and beautiful fashion than language can utter, that a moralist is before you, that taste and exalted sentiment are receiving their best lessons and starting from grounds not less sound, pure, and broad for the embellishment of this life, than full of promise in respect of preparedness for the next.
The agency of pictures for the purposes of instruction might be rendered so powerful and embracing that it is matter of wonder the means should have been so much overlooked. We
observe that the ordinary and old fashioned method of teaching the young, and training the opening mind, has been through the medium of words merely, for the most part without conveying anything like idea, if an idea at all; whereas pictures in a vast number of cases may be characterised as things made distinct to the visual sense. No doubt, just in proportion to the vividness of the medium, is it necessary that the representation should be truthful and most scrupulously correct. Of course those demands occur with unapproachable force where passages in Scriptural history are to be represented, and religious sentiments awakened, inculcated, and sublimated. The projectors and proprietors of the “ Preceptive Illustrations” before us, have unquestionably been deeply sensible of their duty and responsibility in these respects; while the artistic conception and execution of the prints have admirably fulfilled the plan of the entire series, which, so far as we are aware, is not merely quite original, but finished in a style far surpassing any attempt of the sort that has yet been made.
Ii is not easy to convey anything like an adequate idea of the strikingness, if we may coin the term, of these prints. First of all we have to state that they are forty in number ; half of the subjects being taken from the Old, and half from the New Testament. The size is upon a scale sufficiently large for the exhibition of minute details and for illustrative precision. The coloured sets we would particularly recommend,—and the price of each print is trifling,—for the engravings, although meritorious in every way, are made to speak not only more forcibly, but amply and informingly, by the aid of colours, which, by the bye have been laid on with skill and pains. Throughout the utmost attention has been paid to costume, to character, to national scenery and circumstances, and every available accessary which modern discovery and scholarship have furnished. In these exacting respects the Illustrations appear to us to have very high merit.
We cannot do better when wishing to give publicity to the character and features of the Series than to cite what we find said explanatorily
of the design of the work, and points particularly observed in carrying it out. After recognizing the great importance of pictures in early education, and especially on religious subjects, of attending most scrupulously to correctness and truth, and also that they be executed so as to raise the tone of feeling, and produce holy and pious associations, we meet with this statement :-" In preparing the prints now presented to the public, great pains have been taken to accomplish these object; there has been a zealous care to keep literally to the text of Scripture, and never to sacrifice truth in any degree to pictorial effect. Great attention has also been paid to the minor details, that no anachronism, no incorrectness in the costume, architecture, or in the features of the landscape, should be found; whilst, at the same time, the subjects have been selected simply in reference to the important lessons they are to convey to infant minds. At the head of each engraving, the precept or truth it is intended to inculcate is stated, and the interest in the picture concentrated to that point, in order to direct teachers, in all their instruction, to present some prominent feature, to avoid that common error of bringing before children a variety of ideas at one time, which prevents any from being well and permanently fixed."
We never became more strongly convinced at a single glance taken of any undertaking or work, that it was fitted in an eminent degree to serve the ends intended and professed, than when first casting our eyes over this series of prints. We believe they have already been of great use in Infant Schools.' But we are also fully certain that they are not nearly so extensively known as they deserve; and that it has not entered into the minds of multitudes of teachers and parents that the collection may be of incalculable use where the pupils are farther advanced than is understood when the terms infancy and childhood are employed. Many persons of mature years would find impressions renewed, and others greatly strengthened and vivifyed by a study of these illustrations. And by a very simple and ingenious arrangement, the whole series may not only be most conveniently and to the adornment of a room, always at hand, but studied progressively and with a daily variety. A frame, with a glass, deep enough to contain the whole forty prints, has been contrived. The prints are reversed against the glass, by a door at the back, so that one subject only is exhibited at a time, but which can be changed as often as required by merely shifting the foremost print.
The “Preceptive Illustrations of the Bible” have been, we understand, used with excellent effect and results in the Infant Model School in Gray's Inn Road. Miss Mayo, the author of “Lessons on Objects," and a number of other educational works, has in fact prepared and published the small volume named second in the list at the head of our paper : being intended to “accompany” the series and