A Tribute to W. W. Corcoran, of Washington City

A Tribute to W. W. Corcoran, of Washington City  (1874) 
by Mary Elizabeth Parker Bouligny

W W Corcoran.png









No. 822 Chestnut Street.


Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1874, by


In the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington.

King & Baird, Printers,

Nos. 607 and 609 Sansom Street,


In dedicating this little book to Mr. Corcoran, I add but a simple Flower to the already rich and fragrant garland, that gratitude has woven in remembrance of this numerous deeds of charity, his noble citizenship, and his good name.

M. E. P. Bouligny.

Washignton City,

January 19th, 1874.

Chapter I.

IF the history of American statesmen is a pleasing study, and will interest the minds of thousands of people throughout the breadth of our land, we may not be wrong in believing that a biography of the noblest philanthropist of our National Capital, will also find its way to the sincere appreciation of very many hearts. If the deeds of great men who have electrified Senates and ruled the nation, are emblazoned in characters of gold, so should continued acts of philanthropy forever dwell in letters of living fire. Heroes acting in behalf of the common good of our country, gain the proudest plaudits of earth, but the humanitarian, sowing the seed of charity, gathers in even a richer harvest, because his generosity is in imitation of the blessed example of God, Who showereth unstintedly His gifts upon mankind. In this age, when, oftentimes, principle, reputation, and honor are sacrificed on the altar of Mammon, it is commonly agreed that the goods of this world become a primary consideration, and that to guard them jealously is an imperative duty. When this selfish rule is departed from, and a man looks in upon his treasury of wealth, saying, "This I resign for the good of my fellow creatures," he has but walked out of the broad beaten path of avarice and penuriousness, to seek the narrow way that leadeth to righteousness; and such a man, whilst sadly contemplating the weeds and wretched tares that perplex his neighbor, can yet gladly feel that instead of thorns and thistles there have sprung up for himself, violets of love and gratitude.

The subject of our sketch, William Wilson Corcoran, was born on the 27th of December, 1798, in Georgetown, D.C. His father, Thomas Corcoran, a native of Ireland, moving to this country in early youth, first resided in Baltimore, and afterwards settled in Georgetown. By his worthiness and integrity he won the respect and admiration of the community, and held important offices of trust up to the time of his death. For thirty-nine years Wm. Wilson Corcoran continued to reside in his native town, giving his attention, the larger portion of that time, to mercantile affairs. From 1828 to 1836 he had the management of the real estate of the Bank of the United States, in Washington City, and the Bank of Columbia, in Georgetown, and afterwards was engaged in the Exchange business in Penn avenue, up to 1839, when he removed to the building of the old Bank of the Metropolis, F street. Mr. George W. Riggs having become his partner, they purchased, in 1844, the old Bank of the United States, and on the 4th of July of that year (propitious day for a bright destiny), they established themselves, soon making it a bulwark of strength and goodly reputation, and crowning their names with emolument and honor.

In the midst of the grave and momentous trials brought about by the Mexican war, this firm took up the heavy loans made by the government, and with discretion and ability passed through the storm, the anchorage of the national credit being fast and sure under their wise guidance. This was a bold and hazardous undertaking, but what better proof of energy, zeal and generous patriotism? It was but the beginning of that high principle in Mr. Corcoran of doing good and proffering help where necessity and emergency were involved.

In 1835 Mr. Corcoran married Louise Morris, the daughter of Commodore Morris. She was a most estimable woman, possessed of beauty and accomplishments, but this happy union was soon broken by death, the fragile flower fading away at the expiration of five years. She left a son, who died shortly after her decease, and a daughter Louise, whose euology, now that she has also passed to the eternal world, is best told in the beautiful memories that cluster around her name. The life of this only child, reared in the lap of affluence, was like a placid dream, and she drew so much of her inspiration from the lovely things of earth, that the fairest beauty mirrored in her countenance, and in her latter days especially, gave a "saintly meaning to her face."

In 1859 she was married to Hon. Geo. Eustis, a representative in Congress from the State of Louisiana. They resided several years in Paris, whither Mr. Corcoran, with loving solicitude, frequently repaired, to share in the sweet social amenities for which her home was noted. Three interesting children added to her many joys and blessings, yet athwart the glad sunshine came the dark cloud of sickness and threatening dissolution, and in December, 1867, at Cannes, she exchanged the fleeting delights and riches of earth for the priceless inheritance of heaven. It was truly a sorrowful day for the fond father when so dear a link was severed and so bright a jewel taken away to add to the radiance above, but he who had surrendered many worldly possessions in acts of Christian charity, laid this best and fondest treasure, with becoming submission, at the feet of Him who shapeth the lily and coloreth the violet, and plucketh them from earth to shed fragrance in the fair garden of His keeping.

But to return to the career of Mr. Corcoran, we have but to say that he retired from active life in 1854. The citizens of Washington, the representatives of foreign governments, and strangers from all parts of our country will remember with pleasure his princely hospitality, for many years in a home which was of itself a model of elegance and refinement.

Through all the vain attractions and temptations of the gay Capital, he passed unscathed, preserving his moral dignity and a regard for a consistent and honorable life. An open profession of religious faith was made by him a few years since, in the Church of the Ascension of this city, Rev. Wm. Pinckney, D. D., pastor, the rite of baptism being previously administered. There was always a warm affection between Mr. Corcoran and his pastor, and in the library of his residence, among the family portraits, hangs a likeness of this worthy and eloquent man, now the beloved assistant bishop of Maryland. It may safely be said, however, that no special sect of religion nor bigotry of faith could still or silence that instinctive sentiment of Mr. Corcoran, to give wherever there was need, and thus, every denomination has doubtless felt the goodness of his catholic spirit.

If he has aided the impoverished women of the South, he has also befriended the needy widows of other sections; if he gave five thousand dollars to the starving Irish, when famine stalked throughout their land, he also extended a helping, if not welcoming hand to the band of Hungarian exiles, seeking refuge on our friendly shores. Moreover, he has helped to build up the waste places and homes where war left its desolating trail, giving timely charities, or proffering loans which he meant should never be liquidated. Many persons, once in the hey-day of fortune, finding themselves about to be suddenly engulfed in the dark waters of despair, have seen a beacon light, and an ark of safety and retreat set afloat, wherein they have entered and found peace. Thus have families been kept united, that else would have widely scattered―rescued in mercy from the driving and pitiless storms of life.

Those who have been always poor, meet more in quiet patience their hard and weary lot; but when the roses of life turn to the piercing thorns, there are but few spirits in this world to whom the sudden change does not bring an insupportable woe.

These two conditions have, then, interested the sympathy of our benefactor. If he has lifted in part the burden of the "always poor," making their pathway less rugged, he has saved from the darker fate of sudden and heavy misfortune, the delicate and tenderly reared woman, and the noble, high minded man. Forgetting not the loving entreaty of the Saviour of mankind, he has also suffered little children to come unto him, affording them such happy relief, that when in maturer years they shall rest their heaviest burdens in the bosom of Infinite Love, they will still preserve a tender and precious memory of the "good man."

Mr. Corcoran has also taken a very great pride in the advancement of science and literature. In opening or paving the way to that inexhaustible mine of learning, whose riches are more enduring and valuable than gold or precious stones, he has said to the student, "I lay before you the inestimable treasure of books, whose pages, well studied and appreciated, will yield more true glory than any worldly fame to which you may aspire." The Washington and Lee University testifies to this special interest; for there, within its classic walls, the youth of our land owe a debt of gratitude to the donor of that choice library of five thousand volumes, from whose invaluable fund they might make the coming years lustrous with the light of knowledge.

When the blight of war fell upon that time-honored institution of Virginia, William and Mary College, that same generous hand, so prompt and willing, bestowed the first sum of money towards raising her from her ashes. Donations have also been made to the University of Virginia, and the Virginia Military Institute. The Columbian College of Washington, also gives testimony to a most liberal, endowment of landed property. A fine building or hall, inclusive of the site, is one of the gifts, and is used as the medical department of that institution. Its dedication called forth a most eloquent address on the part of the trustees and faculty. Hospitals and asylums have also come in for a goodly share of benefaction and that true and sacred asylum for "the weary and heavy laden," the Church of God, writes the name of Corcoran upon her tablets. It would be impossible to recall in any order the numerous dispensations or favors benefiting both rich and poor. A gloria and thanksgiving of sweet music might be rendered, all conditions of men uniting in the chorus. But the sweetest of all would be the grateful songs of the orphans of this city, who might hold up a roll of fifty thousand dollars or more, saying, "Thus has he relieved our orphanage, and the Lord shall remember him." This same grateful refrain is also chanted elsewhere by other orphans, whom ​distance has not made him lose sight of or forget. Are not all these bright, sunshiny deeds, like a mirror, revealing to us a picture of goodness and benevolence? And does not the life that has been so long fed and sustained by a happy conscience, remind us of the brilliancy and light of the diamond, that rarest gem of earth, or the purity and beauty of the dew drop, whose immaculateness is of heaven? Turning from the perishing things of the world, he also reflected that there cometh to all men that great and important change―the slumber of the grave―and so from his meditations sprung this thought: "I will choose a spot to be made sacred to the dead. Its beauty will lessen the regret of a farewell to life, and for those who shall rest under its sod, may there be unlocked the glories of the world unknown!" Oak Hill Cemetery was then established and endowed. Every year some new beauty is added through the never failing interest of the donor. Situated on the picturesque heights of Georgetown, it overlooks a beautiful region of country, and affords a charming view of the city and the Potomac. Notwithstanding the sad associations, it is always poetic and beautiful, whether under the fall of winter's snow, or wearing the mantle of spring's brightest green, or when summer's sunshine wakes the flowers and tinges the moss with emerald loveliness. It was meet that this generous spirit should cast aside the thought of earth and its vanities, and, remote from the city's sullying breath, select this loveliest spot of nature, embalmed with fragrance, shadowed o'er with luxuriant foliage, within sound of the singing rill and leaping cascade. And it may be well in God’s wisdom that those dearest in his affections should first be laid to rest within the temple's shrine, that he might wander there to glorify Him "Who giveth and taketh away," and Who promiseth in their name, that he shall meet them again. This "come unto me" throws a shadow upon earth, whilst it brightens the portals of the sky! How tender and sad a feeling is kindled in our breasts as we stand amid the peaceful shades of Oak Hill, where so many that in life were noble and good, fair and beautiful, are "sleeping their last sleep!" There seems to flit before our gaze an angelic band, our mental eye straining to catch the last glimpse of the white robes, ere they vanish forever into the heavenly sphere. We see the sweet and gentle maiden, the loveliest flower of the household, going to prepare the way for the loved ones left behind—"the nursling from its mother's arms," a rose-bud to beautify the garden of our Lord—the matron, whose deeds of love on earth are her passport to the mansions of bliss—the young bride exchanging her wreath of orange blossoms for the coronal of heaven—the brave soldier, whose warfare being ended, puts on the armor of righteousness—the learned scholar, giving up the "lettered page" for the heavenly scroll, and countless others with brows bathed in glorious light, and whose wings bear them on to endless joys! With all this beauteous vision, there floats on the ear the soft, low music that was chanted over the remains of our loved ones, as the autumn leaves were being drifted down the vale, and the sun was setting in solemn beauty. "Rest, spirit, rest!" was mournfully echoed, but the thought of immortality has robbed it of its dirge-like cadence. Blest power of memory! Ye hath left an enduring legacy among the flowery walks of Oak Hill, in the costly memorials of granite and marble in the myrtle and blue-eyed periwinkle, creeping over many a grave, as if in humble love; in the faithful ivy entwining the "broken shaft;" and the rare exotics of other lands, wooed into lending their beauty to this consecrated soil Here are to be found rare specimens of South American and Asiatic plants, Australian ferns, &c., but noblest of all the wealth of verdure, are the native forest oaks that stretch their sheltering branches like the strong arm of Divine Love over frail, perishing humanity. To draw any graphic picture of the variety and beauty of art in this cemetery, would occupy too much space; but when the visitor leaves the Corcoran Temple of pure white marble and Doric architecture, he must seek a contrast in the Van Ness Mausoleum of sombre hue and Grecian architecture. Here also in this lovely spot has Mr. Corcoran reserved a lot for the ladies of the "Louise Home"—an institution to which we shall presently allude. What more touching consideration was ever shown—the twilight of age soothed and sustained, and the darkness of death lighted by this last kind and thoughtful provision!

Chapter II.

ONE of the noblest tribtes ever paid to woman was the thought that actuated Mr. Corcoran to erect the "Louise Home." His heart, ever filled with the memories of his precious dead, throbbed in sympathy with the bereaved ones of their sex, whose impoverishment and sorrow he bade them forget in the genuine welcome of a friend and almoner. The ladies admitted to this dwelling are educated and accomplished, having basked in the bright sunshine of comfortable means until the dark day came, and the cloud of misfortune burst ruthlessly upon them.

It entered into the religion of Mr. Corcoran to remember the widow as well as the orphan, and a digression in the mention of the latter is admissibly in that the name of Louise Eustis must ever be cherished by many bereaved children. She was like her father in "good deeds;" so say those faithful women wearing the garb of Sisters of Charity and noble ladies of other denominations. At the St. Vincent's Asylum of this city hangs her portrait, and it invokes the tribute of a tear as the little faces gaze up at its sweetness and beauty.

The orphans of the Protestant Asylum remember a sad procession wending its way to Oak Hill, and how

The Louise Home.png


their trembling fingers strewed flowers of love upon her coffin. At this beautiful home, named for herself and mother, there are two representative portraits by Guillaume which will hold the spectator spell-bound by their serene loveliness and innocence. The daughter is the reflex of the mother, whose mild blue eyes beam with the light of goodness and amiability, and in the portrait of Mrs. Eustis the typical appeal of the flower Pensez à moi (that she holds in her hand), surely meets with a prompt and affectionate response from every heart.

The ladies established at this retreat have opportunities of entertainment and diversion, now and then tendered by the host, besides other friends and sources, proving that there is in our midst a never failing liberality that leans to the bereaved. Just here might be mentioned Mrs. Benjamin Ogle Tayloe, whose kind deeds are well known, and whose house has always sustained the reputation of lavish hospitality. This lady has recently presented two chairs to the institution, the very attractive work of the Shakers at Lebanon. A well selected library is also furnished for the inmates, and there are some interesting pictures to adorn the walls, the thoughtful host believing not only in the recreation of the mind, but in the exercise and gratification of the eye. Each lady resident has received a handsome Bible as a gift from Mr. Corcoran, and this is a proof that not only has their material comfort been considered, but also their spiritual welfare.

The edifice itself is one of the most beautiful in Washington. The interior is charming in all of its details, being bright and cheerful, besides showing an air of substantiality. There are five stories, the central portion of the building forming a wide open space, with encircling galleries to each tier, upon which the bed rooms open. Every convenience has been provided, bath rooms, elevators, &c. The supporters are bronzed iron columns, and the woodwork is of black walnut. The rooms are all models of neatness, and display in the little ornaments here and there, the refined taste of gentlewomen. The regulations are very precise, and can compare favorably with any government institution, where "order is the first law." The matron, Miss Lucy Hunter, is admirably chosen for her responsible position. Her sweet, expressive face, like the Evangeline of Longfellow, is certainly an acquisition to the Home, whilst her charm of manner is ever present, winning praise from friends and strangers. The dining saloon is on the ground floor, and all of its appointments correspond with the elegance above. We happened once to see a meal spread out, where was abundance and a choice serving.

Besides the reception rooms and ante-chambers, there are fine grounds outside, the green-sward inviting to a promenade for the aged inmates who do not care to seek exercise in the public thoroughfares. Altogether a spirit of comfort and ease pervades the place, and to those who are so happily installed, we do not doubt that the evening of their life will be lit up with an almost hallowed remembrance of the "good deed" by which they were shielded and provided for; and like Judith, who faithful "to the end, walked with the angels in her widow's weeds," they will patiently await the summons to that "Home," not made with hands, "eternal in the heavens." The gratitude of these ladies is frequently shown by some delicate little attention to Mr. Corcoran, viz.: the gift of a beautiful flower, a note of exquisite pathos, &c., which to his appreciative and sensitive nature, are worth more than gold or rubies; for his life is made rich "with that content the world takes not away." During a severe illness of Mr. Corcoran, some gentle hand that had nurtured at the "Home" a lily, pure and spotless as the snow, and therefore the more emblematic of his goodness, sent the flower to him, trusting that its poetic language might convey the many kindly wishes for his restoration to health. How appropriate such gifts to him who hath caused so many flower to spring up in their pathway!

We are permitted to quote the following beautiful letter from the pen of the distinguished Bishop of Alabama.

New York, September 15, 1873

W. W. Corcoran,

My Dear Friend:—I went up to Washington a few days ago, for the express purpose of seeing the "Louise Home." I saw a great many public buildings of the city, and many of the works of Art with which the Metropolis abounds; but I saw nothing upon which the stamp of immortality was set save the "Louise Home." God belss you!—and He will bless you—for this labor of love. And when I looked upon the beautiful face of her whose memory must have inspired you, and whose name is given to "The Home," I could not wonder that it was woman whom you wished to bless with your beneficence. When I gazed upon that beautiful face—and I can never forget it—I could well understand that the heart in which such a woman was enshrined, could never find place for another love. How beautiful are they who are prepared for an early Heaven!

But one thing I missed—Will you pardon me for the seeming presumption?—"the oratory"—the consecrated "House of Prayer." You would not give a denominational character to the Home. That is not necessary. No one is compelled to attend it. Each one is left free to individual choice. But what exception can be justly taken to a real chapel of the church, when all are privileged, but none are required to go to worship? This seemed the only thing lacking, and so beautiful and true a thing should lack nothing.

I feel that, if you agree not with me, you will pardon me for the suggestion. I start in a few days for Mobile. I carry with me no reminiscence so sweet as that of your "Louise Home." Heaven itself must be sweeter to you for being the founder of the "Louise Home."

Most truely,


The control of the "Louise Home" is vested in a board of nine directresses, appointed by Mr. Corcoran, and the following well known names are a sufficient guarantee of their faithful stewardship—Mrs. Benjamin Ogle Tayloe, President; Mrs. James M. Carlisle, Mrs. George W. Riggs (since deceased), Mrs. Richard H. Coolidge, Miss Sarah Coleman, Mrs. Richard T. Merrick, Mrs. John Marbury, Sen.; Mrs. Beverly Kennon, and Mrs. S. P. Hill. The Trustees are Messrs. Carlisle, Riggs, Hall and Hyde. Doctors Busey and Drinkard, have very generously offered their gratuitous services to the institution.

Mr. Corcoran has been the recipient of hundreds of written testimonials of gratitude for the good he has done in various ways, and not only has woman sent the warmest expressions of affection, but there have been acknowledgments from some of the greatest and wisest of men—men who in our national councils stood first in the array of talent and worth. Also the lamented George Peabody, his personal friend and admirer, admitted that in Mr. Corcoran he had found a strong competitor in acts of benevolence. Our country has every right to be proud of two such benefactors, embodying the noblest sentiments and virtues, and who scattered whilst living the fruits of their labors―waiting not for the "convenient season," nor for the time when earth, vanishing from the mortal gaze, makes the riches of a lifetime as dross or chaff, useless and valueless, at least to the possessor. Colton says:―"Posthumous charities are the very essence of selfishness, when bequeathed by those who, when alive, would part with nothing." The true charity is that which waiting not to be weighed, falls like the dew in famishing places, and is not inflated with pride and vanity. There was no truer and fonder tribute paid to Peabody's bier, than when England's poor wept with bitterness. It was far above the honors paid by sovereigns and the nobility, and the requiem of the Atlantic waves, as the convoy bore him sadly back to his native soil!

There is one little sentence of vast meaning contained in the Book of Common Prayer, which strikes upon millions of ears every Sabbath, and yet we venture to assert is but little heeded―"Behold, Lord! the half of my goods I give to the poor." How easily counted are the followers after this, because of the rarity, and how much then does the world owe to the men who have not overlooked it. Apart from the philanthropy that vaunteth itself, craving worldly applause, and independent of the costly edifices, the piled up gold and bonds, are the small charities which have no record, save in the hearts of humble, recipients and in the notice of God. The great ocean, as it sweeps on in its proud defiant course, is so overwhelming a thought in the mind, that the tranquil rivulet, gliding gently on with naught of force or impetus, becomes an insignificant comparison; and yet the influence of one on the other cannot be entirely lost sight of. All the grandeur of the former cannot take away the remembrance of the sparkling stream that slaked our thirst on a weary journey; and so to the poverty-stricken, who have been refreshed in the toiling strife of life, the smallest gifts have been mercies not less dignified, not less valued than the wealth that built the Vatican, or the Escurial. This quiet, unostentatious charity has also belonged to Mr. Corcoran, and after the mighty and limitless sea of his generous impulse, gentle little streams of kindness have flowed here and there to relieve the necessities of the obscure and needy.

About a year ago, a paper of this city recorded the following: "Praying for her benefactor." "There are several poor persons who have been in the habit of calling daily at the office of Mr. W. W. Corcoran, and receiving from him small sums to relieve their necessities. A few days since a feeble old woman entered the office to receive her contribution, but upon learning that Mr. Corcoran was dangerously ill, she showed much feeling, and upon going out fell upon her knees at the street corner by the bank, and prayed fervently for the recovery of her benefactor."

So might we continue to enumerate benefactions, one after another, the list assuming enormous length. But there is one gift not to be named for its value, but rather for the beautiful thought or idea connected with Mr. Corcoran’s love and veneration of the "Father of his Country." Whilst it is the duty and cherished privilege of the Mount Vernon Association to keep in repairs the home of Washington, and beautify the estate, still it occurred to Mr. Corcoran to make a most expressive and emblematical adornment. The slopes of the Potomac where Mount Vernon lies, are planted with evergreens, purchased in Europe. Stone and granite may tell the story of departed worth and excellence, but their crumbling pieces will not convey so eloquently the sad truth of what Death has robbed us, as those waving evergreens, singing a dirge with the fitful breeze.

Chapter III.

AND now we come to that great and important subject, the Fine Arts, which day by day are becoming more appreciated and find a rapid increase of patrons. It is true that there are some who do not regard Art as an essentiality, and who are even indifferent to it as an ornament. Viewed favorably by the masses, in the latter sense, does it not appeal to the mind and heart, and aid in the general education? A love of it was handed down to us from remote ages, when painting, hieroglyphics and signs were the beginning or the alpha of the interesting work. Then it was the weak infant struggling into being—now it is the giant, clothed with power and strength!

We can even go back to the deluge and the years close following, when sculpture was one of the arts, although perverted in the form of idols and graven images. Hundreds of years after, Phidias, the originator of the ideal style, chiselled statues out of ivory and gold, and still later the names of Praxitiles and Scopas tell of perfection in the art. Note the growing affection that has brought these crudities to the perfect image and the faultless painting, and let us give thanks that the brow of the sculptor has been decked with brightest laurel, and that some of the proudest niches in the world's Temple have been filled by soul-inspired artists!

There are many arguments to be made in favor of Art—that glorious handmaid to nature! Let us enter some fine picture gallery and study the various subjects. With what do we find ourselves busied? Geography, History, Mythology, &c., &c. We see the imitative power of the artist in the truthful scenes of nature, and we descry a likeness to our fellow-creatures in the shapely marble and plaster. Face to face we are brought with men whose features, faithful in resemblance make us for the moment forget that they themselves are crumbling into dust, or that their real substance has vanished from earth. If it be a statesman or warrior, a poet or astrologist, some special renown or exploit, romance or spiritualized intelligence will speak eloquently from the canvas. We are suddenly brought to an association with the great spirits of the past; the human mind is made to travel over an immensity of space, glorified by genius and worth, and the bare contemplation through sympathy, awakens us to a moral and intellectual state. Do we wonder at the hush of silence that frequently pervades galleries ᚮf art, not less in New York than in Europe, for are there not impulses at work "playing an old tune upon the heart," or otherwise pleasurably exercising the thoughts? We have seen a sad, lone woman engrossed or held spell-bound by a picture representing "The Dying Child." The scene is painful for the casual observer, but what is it to her weeping eyes and aching heart? The pale, little form is not the figure of her own beloved child, but the sorrowful reminder of a bitter moment when the Angel of Death hovered over her home.

Another scene may be recalled, that made the stout heart of the veteran grow tender. It was "The Last Message," where a wounded soldier, anticipating death, confides to a Sister of Charity his farewell to his family. This representation brought tears, which the situation itself, amid the every-day occurrences of war, may have failed to excite. Such is the sympathetic influence of Art. We have seen sad emotion called forth by the portrayal of a "Bridal Scene"—the fair daughter of a loving circle taking upon herself that holiest of vows! Happiness was the chief element there, but strange as the paradox may seem, it took the part of grief, for the lookers on viewed it through their own parting with an only daughter, whom seas were to divide from their loving caresses. If these then, are some of the sad instances often met with, the cheerful aspect must not be overlooked. We have seen the risibilities of a little child excited, when upon leaving some dark, gloomy canvas, he unexpectedly meets the grinning countenance of a cat, or a monkey perched on high, intent on his work of mischief. The silence adverted to is thus broken, solemnity and poetry are disturbed, but the little one is paying the highest tribute to art by his merry ring of laughter, for so true is the picture that it finds actual existence in his eyes.

When we turn our steps from these delightful places, we have learned a lesson more entertaining than that of books, having been brought into a closer contact, or formed a stronger tie through the pleasures of sight and memory. In the same ratio will the child become more interested in the tempting fruit that he sees in painted form, than the fabled grapes Æsop describes. The would-be traveler, too, gazing upon pictures of the grand mountains, the tumultuous waves of ocean, and the fiery, hissing crater, is far better repaid than by indulging in the most vivid, high-wrought imagination, or the most careful geographical study. Art has also a higher mission than the mere elevation of the mind and the refinement of taste. It tends to worship of the great Author of our being; and, as the worthy Cardinal Wiseman said: "It is the most graceful and natural tribute of homage we can pay to Him for the beauties which He has so lavishly scatterd over creation. Art, then, is a reverend thing; one which must he treated with all nobleness of feeling, and with all the dignity of aim." See what the Divine Hand has lavished upon our broad earth, and what it has cast into the way of the artist to portray! The beautiful mountains, towering to the clouds; the peaceful valleys, lying as if in gentle slumber at their base; the magnificent forests, teeming with verdure; the noble rivers and the grander ocean—and above all these things, man, after His own glorious image! With what a wrapt interest do we stand in the art museums of the old world, before the faces of St. Peter, St. Paul, and others that walked in holiness, in the company of Him who was above all men the most saintly! And besides these sacred personages, the philosopher and sage, and noble women worthy in good deeds to immortalize canvas. In the bright army of His creatures there are names that belong to the golden age of art! Who shall speak the glories of Raphael and Angelo, Murillo and Titian, Thorwaldsen and Canova? If the genius of Europe treats all these spheres of celebrity, our country, still young, does bravely her part, and some few have been prepared to cope with the proudest and best of any age.

Such names as West, Powers, Greenough, Bierstadt, Cole, Crawford, Durand, Healy, Rogers, Leutze, Church, Trumbull and Allston, form a brilliant constellation, and a grateful memory survives those who have departed from the scene of their labors. Church's wonderfully true delineation of Niagara Falls, with its fine coloring, and all the force and beauty of the subject, won some of the highest encomiums at the Paris Exposition of 1867; and this is but one of the many works that have been received with favor, not only upon our own shores, where we are prone to lean kindly to our people, but across the sea in classic lands, where "high art" can only be reached by climbing up to the altitude of the stars. There is at the same time with all the excellence referred to, a great deal of the "wild growth" of talent among us; some artists having a fondness for accumulation, rather than a reputation gained by slow and sure means. Prolific art making rapid strides cannot he the offspring of ability, or even energy—it is but a dedication to waste subjects, and not the moral, social and religious truths that form the basis of all true talent. Apropos we are reminded at this juncture of a remark made by a foreign professor to an over-anxious student, intent on making himself an artist at railroad speed. "Ven you can walk den you shall run, my dear high-art student. if you will lofe high art, you must learn to live wyout de rozbif and de portare. Dere is only bread and vater for de student of high art. But hear vat I say. It is all high art if dere is truth and nature in it. I have seen high art no bigger dan my hand. I have seen no art at all in canvas bigger dan dis room." Turn we to the famous Flemish painter, Antoine Wiertz, who studied art from the soul, and whose pecuniary gain was but a grain of sand compared with the golden fruits of his indomitable desire to excel. His works are of surpassing grandeur, and the word insignificance never entered his lofty mind. He was always the earnest student, honest and pure, and so far superior to thousands in his profession, that at his death Belgium lost her brightest star. Wiertz's last moments and thoughts were occupied entirely with one thing—his art—showing that when on the confines of eternity, the grand occupation of his life merged into beautiful visions, typical of heaven and the angels. "Oh! what beautiful horizons! Oh! what lovely faces! Quick, quick, my pallette! my brushes! what a picture I shall make! I will surpass Raphael!" Let then the motto for artists be, "Festina Lente," and like Wiertz approach gently, but surely the empyrean heights of fame. Precipitancy is like the empty bubble that dances awhile in the sunbeam, but is lost by the weight of a single drop of dew. A specialty in talent or an adherence to a particular style, is too frequently disregarded, hence the mediocrity of so many that take up the brush.

Our American artist, George Catlin, who died in Jersey City, at the age of seventy-six, devoted his lifetime we may say, to the study of Indian life and character, in order to give to his country a faithful portraiture of the red men of the forest. He literally pitched his tent among them, and fearless and true to his fond taste, his spirit never drooping through trials and danger, accomplished the ambition of his life. Steadily he worked to leave a monument to that race less favored than ourselves, who, although rude and uncivilized, love nature's haunts and abide in the faith of the "Great Spirit." It is to be hoped that our National Congress will purchase this series of paintings, and not permit any other country to outdo us in appreciation of American fame. There is a word to be said in favor of the encouragement of artists, and especially the young student exhibiting talent. It is the duty of society to foster and reward all such, and not to chill by indifference their noble efforts. Let us draw for ourselves a picture of the birth of talent amid gloom, and follow it up to the sunshine of success. Years agone some poor, lone child is drifted upon the ocean of life without help or means, but possessed of an innate genius that shall one day resolve itself into an almost consuming passion. He buffets the wintry sea. The clouds grow dark above him no; voice of friendship is heard in the storm, nor does the world offer any haven wherein to rest his weary spirit. His bodily pain finding no release nor cure, hungry, rejected, and almost scorned, he would fain die; but child of genius as he is, the fates decree that he must ply his pathless course, lone as the sea-bird, and restless as the waves upon which he is tossed. He is but a speck, an atom on the great deep, and a shadow as it were compared with the brightness of other lives. After awhile the frowning sky changes, the clouds are, and the Star of Hope shines out. Through faith he is promised a bright mission, and his feeble hand grasps the artist's brush. Years of patient toil and endurance bring new vigor to his life, and compensate him with success. His mind is stocked with the beautiful creations with which he will surprise the world, and gain its noblest panegyrics. The hour at last comes when the brow that was pierced by the thorns of poverty wears the wreath of laurel, and the spirit that was crushed through indifference, is buoyant with worldly applause. And to whom shall go his thanks or gratitude? First to the Divine Protector, who saves the tempest-tossed child of faith, and to the few noble ones who helped the impulse, and brought out from the studio the works of his meritorious labor. The opening of the purse occasionally to the progressive student, will stimulate his ambition and give a holiday to his constant work. It is to be regretted that there is not more of this encouragement. That woman especially, to whom riches and opportunity are given, does not think more of the toiling struggling artist. Her mansion is enriched by gorgeous furniture and silverware, her person decked with satins and jewels, and yet sometimes there is not a single picture nor print to adorn the walls. Even her nursery is devoid of some pleasant souvenir of the "cunning hand" that mixes the colors and weaves them into beautiful designs, and surely to the little children of that house these things would prove an attraction, and a most educational pastime. If the toy gives happiness, so may the picture, and there is one thing in which the latter gains the advantage. It suffers not the degradation of a kick, neither falls victim to destructive little fingers, but keeps its place on the wall, and frequently a fretted, wearied child will fall asleep with his eyes lingering on a pretty bunch of flowers, a landscape view, or that more suggestive figure of "little Samuel at prayer." These small beginnings are invaluble auxiliaries, and the expenditure of fifty cents only on a little print or chromo will after awhile invite to the appreciation and purchase of some fine work of art that otherwise would vainly elicit a thought. This is proved by an instance in Paris, where an American lady of fortune was passing by a little girl—a street vender of small wares. The child thrust before her eyes a picture, saying, "Achetez une jolie gravure, s'il vous plaît," but the lady unwilling to be interrupted, continued on her way a few steps, showing a decided air of annoyance. French persuasion and persistency were not to be rebuffed, however, and a pair of sparkling eyes followed up the richly attired dame, and a plead voice reiterated, "Madame, s'il vous plaît, seulement un moment! Regardez cette gravure—un pauvre Savoyard d'ltalie!" Her quick little fingers held up again the picture—the figure of a sad-looking youth, holding the violin, and in whose eyes was a depth of feeling that might have sold the article twice over. A single glance bestowed by the lady effected the purchase. It was not the importunate girl, but rather that little something that so frequently in this world of ours touches a cord in the human heart. A few days later we met this same lady, accompanied by a female friend, in one of the magnificent stores on the Rue de Rivoli. The surroundings were of a character both elegant and attractive, there being a triple range of statuettes, busts, mosaics, and beautiful paintings on canvas and porcelain to charm the eye. Whilst picture after picture was showed by the polite salesman, the following conversation ensued between the ladies:

"Are you in search of any particular thing?"

"No. I was rather beguiled into this place because I happened to think of a little picture I bought a day or two ago on the street—the simplest thing of all my purchases in the space of ten months."

The eager Frenchman, interpreting the meaning, and trusting to the favorable opportunity, presented to their notice an exquisite porcelain type, the subject being a Swiss Lake with snow-capped mountains in the distance, and afterwards an oil painting of Ophelia—so true to the poor distracted girl, that these words involuntarily came to our minds:

"There is a willow grows ascaunt the brook,
That shows his hoar leaves in the glassy stream;
Therewith fantastic garlands did she make
Of Crow-Flowers, Nettles, Daisies, and Long Purples."

"Yes!" continued the interested lady, addressing her friend; "It is strange that I never had before an secial taste for pictures, but since I have made a beginning in an inferior line, the crevices in my trunks will doubtless be filled up with other small gravures, bought on the sidewalks, and I shall find myself sending to America, such a collection as will reduce my purse several thousand francs."

It need only be stated that "Ophelia" was bought, and two other paintings equally as valuable, and we left seeing the salesman’s face aglow, and our countrywoman converted into an admirer of art, from one simple little act of charity, called forth by a street beggar, and mostly by the pitiful sympathy-invoking features of the Savoyard boy. It must then be allowed that art, however simple, performs its part in the work of educating or improving the mind, and that its smallest features are not the cheapest or most unimportant. Magnetism from the tiniest atom, will bring about those magnificent corruscations that blind the eye and thrill the senses; the humblest beginnings have grown or developed into regal acts, and from the blackness of ignorance has sprung the splendor of knowledge. The acknowledged charm in these little objects of art is the pathos that they convey. A strain of fine delicate music will surprise and interest the rude listener, his dormant ear is opened for the first time, and a gentle appeal made to his heart. It is not the blast of power or grandeur that most moves and enthrals us, but rather the mild tone, the faint strain, and to adopt a poetical thought, "the fair imagery of the real essence." We are to reach after the grander and a patient, slow acquaintance, remembering the principles by which the heights of fame were gained. Then we shall have viewed the origin of art, living in the studio, amidst the hopes, fears, and labor of the artist, and understanding the force, eloquence and immensity of this thought—"An atom made the world, a drop the ocean!"

Hillard, whose travels in Italy brought out some very interesting sketches of art galleries, says, very truthfully, "Many persons feel art; some understand it; but few both feel and understand it." Which, then, is the most compensative? To feel is a pleasure made up of exuberance and passion; to understand is the intellectual delight, bringing perhaps less fervor, but more complete satisfaction and the two combined is that happy blending of force and beauty, heart and mind, whereby the natural spontaneity and the cultivated grace are equalized. It is imputed to Raphael that he felt too deeply the power of his last labor of genius, "The Transfiguration." This wonderful picture engrossing all his thoughts, increased his activity, and over-excited his mind. Suddenly, he obeyed the Divine summons, and left unfinished his work. But it was a cherished souvenir of the immortal master, and his last occupation, and therefore at his funeral was placed near his remains, standing out in glowing beauty over the marble-like face and folded hands. Like some bright star that scintillates and. shoots out splendor in the darkness of night, so did the "Transfiguration" steal from the sadness of Raphael's death by its sublimity, and the thought that as long as the world exists would his glorious fame keep brightening.

It is recorded that Sophocles died of joy when his last tragedy was crowned with success. And Raphael too, may have so far imbued his spirit in sympathy with the celestial, that it seemed a fitting time to float away in the very atmosphere that breathed of the Saviour, and was made glorious by His presence. Art, then, hath made votaries the most devoted, and brought its worship up to the dizziest heights of transcendentalism. Oft the subject or the theme inspires to such a great degree that the outside world is forgotten, the very being or existence becomes entranced, and the hand that traces deftly and wondrously, seems almost an unconscious instrument sent from heaven itself to accomplish something grand and noble. It is not all fiction when we hear or read of some worshiping spirit gazing at a beautiful model, and as each moment of inspiration, if not adoration, goes on, a dangerous delight takes possession of the mind. There may bre some hidden influence, some association or link that has either made life beautiful or sad; but the heart is moved, and its tension so exquisitely strained, that to die is but a little thing weighed against the happiness or delirium of the moment.

At the famous Louvre in Paris, they tell of a young girl who day by day wended her way to one of the galleries, where was exhibited a most splendid stature, and after an idolatrous worship, which seemed to sap and weaken with every visit the very springs of life, her soul yielding its all to this fair counterfeit, she finally closed her eyes in death, content to bear off as a last remembrance this beloved image to the invisible land. The marble looked rigidly down on the unconscious form that was assuming a hue as peerless as its own. Like the flowers she bore to wreathe its base, will sweet pansies of thought garland her name, and pay votive tribute to the life that faded away under an influence which the world may not dare to question. A poet in one of his most gifted strains, depicts the history of an artist, who, upon executing the portrait of the woman he had faithfully loved during her brief, sorrowful life, said to the spectre death, in words that rendered not only his art immortal, but the subject:―

"Take me! if I outlived the patriarchs,
I could but paint those features o'er and o'er.
Lo! that is done!"

And thus was finished in a moment of ecstasy, a life crowned resplendently by the twin powers of genius and sentiment. The artist's labor of love had reached its goal on earth, and the heaven lay beyond! The cold and unappreciative world may call these instances exaggerated, and violently inimical to art, since by the spirit succumbing wholly to that indefinable power of blissful emotion, the purpose and work of life are suddenly wrecked. But as the noblest ships are stranded in a single moment, going down in the waters with only a stifled cry, so have the children and worshipers of genius sunk under the weight of emotion with more of a welcome to death than a sigh of regret.

Chapter IV.

HAVING given a summary of the uses and advantages of art, its stern requirements, as well as its gentle and poetical influences, we are glad to turn to that munificent patron, Mr. Corcoran, who recognizing fully what we have feebly attempted to handle, has presented to our nation an enduring monument to genius, a building dedicated to art, and a superb collection of paintings, statuary, &c. This noble edifice is the highest proof of the grandeur of art influencing the human mind as well as the affections, and it points not less at the generosity of the donor than his cultured taste and enthusiastic appreciation. Not only are the citizens of Washington grateful, but our whole country will honor this patron as the years glide on, adding to the list of admiring thousands. It is not alone in the contemplation of rare works that pleasure is granted, but a love of the beautiful is fostered, and the sentiments of nature are elevated and spiritualized. Such association subdues and reforms our coarse materialism. The realm of nature needs some direct pleasing influence to give it tone and character, truth and virtue, and the atmosphere of art is therefore as important to it as sunlight to earth. Our intellect and fancy must both be fed, for it is not allowed for us to live merely for creature comforts and indulgences. There will come to this intellectual shrine uncounted numbers of men, women and children, in the breasts of some of whom but little of the real Promethean fire or enthusiasm will sparkle; still, even a step toward the object in view is a point gained, and soon the cultivated taste may follow. We know that the ugly, uninteresting root, begrimed with dust, shoots up into the lovely flower, and may not rugged minds also put forth beauty of instruction? To those fully alive to the attractions of art, the Corcoran gallery will be a treasure house, where they must linger long, keenly sensitive to the amount of talent garnered within those stately walls. They will feel around them the breath of genius, which their slightest whispers shall fear to disturb; they will see the canvas graced by a peasant's bright eyes, adding to it the surmise of some grave, perhaps wrinkled face—this last the artist's—and praise and sympathy will go out together from their generous hearts. In a word, their own delicate taste and refinement will find a sister spirit in congeniality, and the meeting will partake of a rhapsody, so full and complete will it be. The works are well chosen, and the colors of some from that classic land across the sea, fair Italy, are like the tints of her wondrous skies, where the roses' crimson dye and the violets' tender blue are blended in sympathy with the purple of the grape and the sunlight's gold. Here is life pictured so true and beauteous that we dream many an hour away in pleasant reveries, and steep our souls in an intoxication of delight, quaffing delicious draughts from that rare and intellectual fount, the communion of spirit with art, and the oblivion of self! If our need of praise goes out abundantly to foreign lands, we are not without our loyal homage to the artists of our own country. If we have bestowed the flowery chaplet beyond these beloved shores, we have still reserved a dainty blossom, with the magic savor of "honor to whom honor is due." This magnificent institution has a frontage of one hundred and four feet on Pennsylvania avenue, and one hundred and twenty-four on Seventeenth street, and is of the Renaissance style of architecture. Many of us have watched with interest the laying of its stones until it was reared into a fitting structure, to meet proudly the bright rays of the midday sun, and the mellowed hues of the twilight heaven. For a time it subserved other purposes than those for which it was destined, but that was at a crisis in our country's history when inexorable war demanded not only public buildings, but the sanctuary of God.

When those dark days were past, Mr. Corcoran inaugurated his splendid gift by a grand ball, given on the anniversary of Washington's birth, its proceeds being devoted to the Washington monument fund. The cost of the entertainment was in accordance with his most liberal and munificent ideas. The time was propitious, the event occurring two years since, during those brilliant days of the carnival, which have left a pleasant memory in the minds of thousands. There had just been celebrated the progress of vast improvements at the National Capital. Our broad and beautiful Pennsylvania avenue had been repaved, and on this grand thoroughfare, vieing with the Champs Elysées, were splendid equipages, gaily caparisoned animals à la Tournament, wheelbarrow and goat racing, and what not, to add to the hilarity of a carnival scene? Nothing was left undone through the generous enterprise of the citizens to make it a complete success, in which they were not disappointed. In conjunction with these efforts of the people, was "the ball" at the Corcoran Art Gallery, which par excellence bore off the palm of the evening, although the masquerading spirit had its share of glory at the National Theatre, the civic at Masonic Hall, and the tournament at Marini's Academy. Besides these brilliant assemblages, all Washington was a blaze of light and beauty with fireworks, transparencies, calcium lights, torches, illuminations, etc., whilst from the proudest edifice of all—the Capitol—streamed the all powerful electric light; worthy, indeed, to lend to the scene its radiant effect. It becomes us now to allude especially to the Corcoran fête, which opened as it were by fairy touch the grand gallery, and gathered together the fairest of women, and bravest of men. They met beneath its roof, a delighted company to pay homage to the host, who stood to receive them with gracious, modest dignity—the peer of nobles, and a true specimen of American chivalry and grace. The event will long be remembered, and the walls that now glow with the artist’s colors, were unadorned save where the draped banners and national flags threw their folds against the white background, unless we except with pride the portraits of three men whose names live fondly in American history—Washington, Jackson and Clay. At the head of the magnificent stairway, covered with crimson velvet tapestry, and flanked with exotics, was also a portrait of Washington, with the words, "Pater Patriæ;" a title so well deserved, that the Old and the New World rejoice at its mention. In the octagon room, the guests were all attracted to the superb painting of Mr. Corcoran by Elliott, that very eminent and worthy artist. Delightful music floated through the saloons, and sweet flowers—the camelia and violet predominating—added a tender charm; the faint notes of canary birds mingled with the clarionet, and the happiness that reigned was like unto their trillings. But now a different scene presents itself. The bright-eyed belle is no longer flushed with the excitement of the dance; the grave men of letters and the statesman are not wondering at the intricacies of Strauss' fascinating waltzes; the military hero who has returned to his tactics, enters these halls with more solemn tread, for he and they stand before some of the grandest productions of genius that tell of the earnest purpose of life, the hours of toil, pleasure and pain. The goddess that ruled that gay and festive scene sits now in dignified repose, for where the bâton waved, is spread out the glory that attaches to art.

Mr. Corcoran has selected as a board of trustees for the gallery some of our most valued citizens, and we recognize in the following names, gentlemen of culture and refinement, and in every way worthy of the calling, to wit: Jas. M. Carlisle (President), who has worn the legal mantle with honor and brilliant success; J. C. Hall (Vice President), the distinguished physician, whose name is a household word with the people of Washington; George W. Riggs (Treasurer), the former partner of Mr. Corcoran, the popular banker and possessor of a princely fortune; Anthony Hyde (Secretary), the intimate friend and confidential agent of Mr. Corcoran, and noted for his high-toned character and genial manners; Henry D. Cooke, former Governor of the District; Charles M. Mathews, an elegant and polished gentleman; Prof. Joseph Henry, the distinguished scientist; Jas. C. McGuire, a patron of the fine arts, and a wealthy and respected citizen; and Mr. Wm. T. Walters, of Baltimore, to whose superior taste and judgment in matters of art the gallery bears evidence. The recent choice selections he was deputized to make in Europe, cannot fail to delight the most fastidious connoiss
eurs. Mr. Wm. MacLeod has been appointed curator, and Dr. Barbarin, assistant, both gentlemen being admirably fitted for their responsible positions. In May, 1870, Congress passed an act of incorporation, and also authorized a liquidation of the indebtedness of the government, for the use of the ground and edifice during the war. The exterior of the building is of fine brick, ornamented with Belleville freestone. There are various designs appertaining to the arts, niches waiting to be appropriately filled, fluted pilasters and columns, the monogram of the donor, and not least the simple yet significant words—"Dedicated to Art." A Mansard roof surmounts the building, adding to the general stateliness. The interior is most admirably planned and reflects great credit upon the New York architect, Jas. Renwick. The ground floor contains the furnaces and storage rooms, and the other two stories are devoted to the exhibition of sculpture and paintings. Facing the grand entrance is a superb staircase of freestone, ten feet wide, with an iron balustrade leading up to the main gallery, and on each side of the stairs are handsome passages, with marble tilings. At the right of the entrance are the apartments of the janitor, and facing these is a large room, richly carpeted and furnished, for the use of the trustees, back of which extends the library. The sculpture gallery on this floor, at the rear of the building, measures in length 96 feet 4 inches, by 25 feet wide, and is lighted by ten windows. Two rooms connect with this gallery, and will be used for a school of design. All the columns about the building are white, with Grecian caps, and the wainscoting, doors, &c., of black walnut. The grand picture gallery above is also at the rear of the edifice, and is 45 feet wide by 96 feet 4 inches long. The skylight produces a beautiful effect upon the paintings, and can be regulated as to quantity, and at night 285 gas jets suddenly flash into brilliancy by means of electricity. The cornices and ceilings of the galleries are ornamented with panels and mouldings, to represent American foliage. The octagon room, with skylight, is appropriated to the Greek Slave, by Powers. The walls are covered with a rich crimson to enhance the purity of the marble, and afford a decided contrast. The other rooms on this floor are of fine proportions, and connect with each other so as to form an unbroken passage. The books or registers of the gallery, are very complete in their several uses, and will furnish the names of visitors, of artists, and their works on exhibition, and of paintings belonging to the gallery, the contributors, &c. The crowning specimen of sculpture is the Greek Slave, and now its value seems to increase tenfold, in that the hand that fashioned it is as cold and pulseless as the marble. The beauty of the following stanzas by Robert S. Chilton, will doubtless lend a new interest to the faultless stone, and invest it with life that else were not thought of in its mute repose:

"A flash of sabres and of scimitars,
Shouts, groans, then silence; and the crescent waves
Victorious o'er the field where in their graves
The vanquished dead will moulder. But such wars
Have woes that stab the Grecian mother's heart
Deeper than death. In far Byzantium's mart
She sees her captive child, naked, forlorn,
Gazed at by pitiless eyes—a thing of scorn.

With face averted and with shackled hands,
Clothed only with her chastity, she stands.
Her heart is full of tears, as any rose
Bending beneath a shower; but pride and scorn,
And that fine feeling of endurance born,
Have strung the delicate fibres of her frame
Till not a tear can fall! Methinks such woes
As thine, pale sufferer, might rend in twain
A heart of sterner stuff, and yet the flame
Of thy pure spirit, like the sacred light
On Hestia's hearth, burns steadily and bright,
Unswayed by sorrow's gusts, unquenched by sorrow's rain.

Thou can'st confront, dumb marble as thou art,
And silence those whose lying lips declare
That virtue springs from circumstance, not God;
The snow that falls where never foot hath trod,
On bleakest mountain heights, is not more pure
Than thy white soul, though thou stands't naked there
Gazed at by those whose lustful passions start
With every heart throb! Long may'st thou endure
To vanquish with thy calm, immaculate brow,
The unholy thoughts of men, as thou dost now!"

The direct history of this statue by Powers (or the circumstances attending the modeling), has been given to the "New York World," by a correspondent abroad. It points to one of our countrymen about thirty years ago, whose domestic sorrows and poverty in a "strange land," were relieved by the faithful love of a daughter, him otherwise than by consenting to become the model for the "Slave." Beauty of form and features fade into insignificance compared with a filial love that even surpassing that of the Roman daughter who nourished her starving father in prison, felt no sacrifice nor duty too great or painful. Why is it that such an incident brings more potently than ever to our minds the truth of the allegory, "no cross—no crown!" for certainly to this faithful child, grief and poverty brought the burden of a cross that many would have sunk under, rather than to have risen from. But faith was the stepping stone, and duty the goal, and through her brave struggle for relief, the sorrow of earth made the promise of heaven the brighter. Mrs. Caroline Lee Hentz has beautifully defined "no cross―no crown!" when she says: "It is the slogan of life," the victor-anthem of death; the chorus of "eternity;" and truly to those who have borne the one, and shall claim the "coronal that endurance wears," the words are singularly adapted. In the Greek Slave there is real poetry of pose, and sweetness of facial expression. In the beautiful and graceful arms there is great symmetry, and in the no less perfect hand, there lies a world of expression. Altogether the extreme purity and chastity would impress one with the ideal style more than the natural. Flaxman makes a distinction between the two, in this wise: The natural is defined thus—"a representation of the human form, according to the distinction of sex and age, in action or repose, expressing the affections of the soul," and the ideal has this addition—"selected from such perfect examples as may excite in our minds a conception of the preternatural." Calmness, gentleness and modesty all speak in this statue, where sorrow, fear and despair might each contend. It is the exemplar too of those heroic qualities of which our sex are capable under distressing circumstances—the same courage and resignation with which martyrs met the flame or tortures the keenest and most cruel in a word, it is spirit prevailing over flesh, and subservient to the decrees of fate. In this same octagon room are also fine marble busts of Shakspeare, the veiled nun (copy), Il Penseroso, by Rinehart, and Bacchante, by Galt. A fine collection of Barye bronzes, numbering 60 pieces, recently purchased in Europe, has been arranged in the library, besides a

Majolica vase of large proportions, elevated on a pedestal; also several exquisite vases from Sèvres, and still another of a rare tint of green from Berlin. Some other rare works of art consist of plates, dishes, vases, cups, &c., and are the reproduction of articles discovered at Hildesheim, Saxony, on the site of a former Roman camp. The workmanship on metal is worth a close study, and the revival of such pleasing designs in these days, would certainly find admirers and purchasers. There are two marble busts of Commodore Morris and Vice President Breckinridge, to add to the attractions, and near the grand stairway in the hall we find a colossal bust of Napoleon, by Canova, and one of Humboldt, by Rauch, of Berlin.

The Corcoran Gallery of Art.png


Chapter V.

THE main gallery of paintings we now desire to make a separate theme. On entering the door, the full length figure of Mr. Corcoran—the grand painting by Elliott,—first greets the eye. It seems to extend a cordial welcome to all, and representing the donor of the art treasure aroud, is, therefore, par excellence, entitled No. 1. Nos. 2 and 3, are "The Departure and Return," by Thomas Cole and are most interesting in their inspiration. Although linked by a mutual tie, or their characteristics being similar, they are entirely distinct in the elements of joy and sadness, sunshine and gloom. In the first picture we are to go back to the feudal times, and clothe our imagination with heroism and romance, as we glance at noble cavaliers, richly clad, mounted on splendid horses, and their passions all aglow, bent on some military exploit. We see these spirited knights bearing spears and shields, having just bade farewell to a castle, whose stout walls are the pledge of safety and shelter, to mingle with an uncertain venture, or the warfare that leadeth to victory. Of defeat or death they do not dream; for all nature is smiling, the vernal winds piping in concert with the bugle's martial music. The bright, early morn gives glorious promise—the green-sward begemmed with sparkling dew, meets most kindly the tread of the gay steeds prancing to be off, and even the scarf that is worn about the manly form of the leader, must have been decked with a flowery "God speed" from wife or maiden. We will not follow them through the weary months, when the storm of battle swept o'er many a gallant form, and laid them low like the leaves of the forest; but let us direct our attention to the other delineation, "The Return," and in pensive thought contrast it with the gladness that is past. Autumn has saddened the scene, and the sun is going to her rest, as if willing to hide her face from the remnant of that hopeful band, whose steps once buoyant are now measured in weariness and grief. They follow their leader, borne upon a litter, whose death wound will soon tell a mournful story amidst the requiem of the sighing winds, and the prayers of the monks of yonder abbey. The riderless steed is one of the saddest looking mourners. The artist in choosing subjects that appeal so strongly to the sympathies has given evidence of his elevated taste, and any poetical license that he may have used, is agreeably accepted. His death occurred in 1848, and our country has deeply felt the loss of a genius that had reached the proudest pinnacle of fame. No. 4. Hunters and Game, by Stanley. Successful Nimrods have they been, as the floor of their dwelling is literally covered over; the noblest thing secured being a large stag, which must have died hard in the chase, and is now a disputed prize. No. 5. A small Landscape, by Thomas Doughty, in which is a streamlet of water in the foreground, with ducks swimming on the surface, also a river in the distance, with sailing vessels. It finds its best description in the one little word gem. The works of this artist have always been celebrated for their true feeling for nature. The Boston Athenaeum has one of his landscapes, and several are to be seen at the Philadelphia Academy of Pine Arts. Nos. 6 and 7, are Portraits of General Warren and Mrs. Warren, by J. Singleton Copley and C. W. Peale. The first claims our warm interest, as the memory of the man is identified with the days of the Revolution, and his heroic death at Bunker's Hill. Mrs. Warren is a dignified lady, dressed in the attractive costume of "ye olden time." No. 8. A Battle Scene, on copper, by Breughel. In the distance lies a peaceful country, but the foreground is filled with a heterogeneous mass of beings and cavalry amid great confusion and strife, and yet all the miniature details are wonderfully distinct. No. 9. A Winter Scene, by Regis Gignoux, 1850, is a true delineation of the severity of the ice-king and the cold, cold snow, at the same time shows how rigor can be tempered by the rollicking spirit of youth. Skimming over the frozen water are several skaters enjoying the jovial exercise, but one boy has unluckily lost his equilibrium. The driver of a rude little sledge has trusted to the thickness of the ice, and stopped to look on at the sport. He seems very comfortable in his warm wrappings, as also his horse in a close fitting blue blanket. The wheel of the old mill has stopped its revolutions, and from its icebound sides are pendant icicles. The trees look bare and skeleton-like, with only a fine powdering of snow. No. 10. A Lake Scene, by the same artist, portrays a pleasant and inviting spot, the trees overshadowing the water, and affording agreeable shelter for the groups that sit beneath them—be they sentimental lovers, or happy children resting from their play. No. 11 Mount Washington, by J. F. Kensett, 1851, is painted with that rare finish for which this artist was eminently distinguished. Numberless trees on the plain are comprised within the small limits of the picture, and in the remote back ground rise the towering peaks, white with the "virgin snow," untrodden in that lonely and lofty isolation. This is the original sketch for the large picture engraved at the expense of the American Art Union, some years since. No. 12. The Adoration of the Shepherds, by Raphael Mengs, was brought to the United States by Joseph Bonaparte. It is one of the largest pictures in the gallery, and is considered a chef d'œuvre. The infant Christ wrapped in swaddling clothes, is supported on his humble bed of straw by the Virgin, whose uplifted eyes are filled with an expression of blest content. Her drapery of blue forms the most important coloring in the painting. A beautify silvery light envelops these two figures, and the dawn is breaking in the East with a new glory that shall wake the world to the consciousness that the "Prince of Peace" is born. The shepherds are gathered near, wearing a blended look of rhapsody and awe, and several strive to manifest their joy through that expressive medium—the hands raise aloft, or half clasped. One adorer has dropped his crook, and fallen upon his knees at the feet of the Virgin, with head bent low, whilst the angels in an ecstasy scarcely less demonstrative are hovering within the humble abode—beautiful messengers sent from God with blessings for the "new-born king." The artist was born in Bohemia, and died at Rome in 1779. His works won for him warm admirers in various cities of the old world. At the early age of seventeen, he was appointed court painter, by the King of Poland. Some of his best pieces are preserved in Spain, Italy and England. He was also a writer upon art subjects, and described notable pictures with great ability. Nos.  13 and 14. A View of Venice, and a Seaport, by Canaletti. In the first our thoughts are pleasantly drawn to that interesting city "the Bride of the Sea," with its eighty inlets, numberless canals, beautiful palaces, its fairy-like gondolas "gliding over streets as in a dream," to say nothing of its gorgeously tinted skies, and the many memories, historical and poetical, to add to the potent charm. The second view gives to our American eye, all the attributes of some foreign shore—the high cliffs and castellated buildings, the curiously ornamented vessels, and many oared barges. No. 15. Flowers, by Gustave Couder—one of the valuable selections made by Mr. Walters, of Baltimore. There is a magnificently carved table of large dimensions, which, from its elaborate design and workmanship we suppose to be the property of some palatial residence abroad. Heavy green drapery, with corded fringe, falls gracefully upon the left side, partially covering the table, upon which rests a fallen vase of exquisite roses. Their bloom is not scattered, except by a single leaf or bud, which could not withstand the sudden rude shock of the fall, brought about by nothing less than a big cat. Having mounted in precipitate haste in search of sweets, or what was not her business, she has unawares turned over the vase. "What have I done?" says the cat, in an attitude of amazement and fear—the elevated high back assuming a slinking air, the letting down of the tail, and the gradual descent of the paw (one of which must have done the inglorious work), the drawing back of the ears, a dilation of the eyes, and the wide open mouth showing four long teeth, as a guard to a cavernous entrance so dark seems the way. Puss cannot swallow the flowers, which she would like to do no doubt, to wipe out the traces of the accident and we, who are lookers on at her half sad, half roguish plight, must imagine a second scene, where some fair owner or stern host of the mansion, walks in to discover the damage done. In the roses lies the great merit of the picture, and such perfect roses as would almost shame natural ones. Nearest the mouth of the vase is a delicate tea-rose in very full bloom, wearing the appearance of falling apart, and diffusing its last breath of sweetness. Half way over its frail leaves, bends a superb queenly rival in a wealth of bloom, white and faint pink, tending to a deeper tint as it reaches the heart of the flower; and just above on a noble curving stem is the bud unfolding the rarest beauty. In abject fallen state is a twin-sister, pleading seemingly to be lifted up because of its loveliness. The colors are mingled with a gracious charm, the cloth of gold with the bright pink, the salmon with the crimson, whilst miniature buds and green leaves constitute not a little of the charming feast. Couder,s talent in this line cannot be excelled, and it is not too much to style him a god among the roses, to whom they might pay their sweetest tribute. This artist belongs to France, and if he gives so much satisfaction in the delineation of flowers of that bright land, we would also like him to send us some bunches of grapes; if not fresh from the vine, from his own skilful hand. No. 16. A Swiss Scene, by Seefisch, 1850, pretty and bright with its picturesque cottage, blue water and sunlight. No. 17. Scene in France, by Mr. Bouquet, having all the beauty of those leafy green bowers, where the spirit of valor and gallantry is sometimes met. Lo! here advances a mounted cavalier! The bugle is sounded, and what is to be done worthy of chivalrie France? No. 18. The Sea Coast, by Charles Lanman, a Washington artist and author. This is a small but meritorious picture. The fragments of a wreck blown ashore, tell of the treachery of the sea; and what is more sad to the human eye than such a spectacle, waking up memories of danger and disasters? No. 19. Spring, by Japy, 1873, selected by Mr. W. T. Walters. Greetings to the artist for his faithful delineation! The bright garniture of green that pervades the landscape "tells like a tongue," the joy of the earth, when waking from her frozen spell, she arrays herself with beauty. The sky is clear with patches of blue and creamy fleck, smiling in concert with the brightness below. Such radiant scenes make music in the heart, recalling the glad days of youth, when the stream proved a mirror for the rosy cheek and laughing eye, when nimble feet embedded the bright green moss, or careless fingers pulled at the wayside flowers. Youth makes a glad part of this picture, as near the brook stands a little child gazing into its mother's face, whilst its wee hand grasps a fugitive wild blossom. The adult figure is seated, giving the inference of content and ease. If these are the principal individual features, we may not overlook the animal life in a group of cows that are evidently reveling in high clover, and sniffing in the aroma of spring, not less gratefully than their keeper or the dairy maid. The shadows on the stream from the overhanging trees, and the shooting spires of grass that dot here and there the water, are wonderfully true to nature. The heavy laden boughs of apple blossoms give rich promise, and even the hard old rocks and stones, and some grim battlements at the extreme right, seem to lose half of their sternness in the delicate surroundings that come and go at the will of the Author of the Seasons, His vernal gift to earth being full of loving kindness, and far more beautiful and entrancing than the fairest bride decked out in marriage garments. No. 20. A Western Landscape, by Brewerton, presents to view mostly a wild uncultivated ridge of land, with a little streamlet meandering near the foreground. The Rocky Mountains stretch away in the distance. A long line of wagons is advancing slowly, showing how the tide of emigration is westward bound. No. 21. Shepherd and Sheep, by Robbe, who shows his thorough acquaintance in the art of sketching animals. No. 22. Italian Ox Cart, by A Roviard. This picture was painted at Rome, in 1860. It represents a huge lumbering wagon or cart, drawn by oxen, the driver being seated on high in a fine position to survey the beauties of nature. The road over which they are slowly making their way is in the mountains, and the surrounding elevated peaks are touched with a hue as deep as indigo. The poor lone occupant is in the act of lighting his pipe for company. He wears a Tyrolean hat, and his strong limbs are slashed up to the knees with black bands, after the fashion of his country. Raised to such an altitude, his thoughts, we imagine, must be stamped with loftiness, or he feels the truth of the words, "Who so brave as the mountaineer?" The huge beasts have been doing honest service, yet with all their labor and the oft told look of sadness or weariness in their eyes, they are evidently enjoying more freedom than the two white chickens in the cart which are tied together, and are ignominiously suspended, heads downward. No. 23. A View on the Amazon, by Church, 1854. How truly welcomed is this name among the noblest artists whose works grace the gallery! And this production bears the most critical examination, so delicate and fine is every stroke of the brush. The placid water reflects the shrubbery and houses, also the canoe lying in close proximity to the tropical verdure, and the tall graceful palms. The distant mountain peaks, and the gradual sloping of the range towards the shore, are drawn with marvellous accuracy, whilst the dim purple tone has all the truth of nature. The merit of the painting brought an equivalent price—among the most costly in the gallery. It is also especially admired and appreciated by Mr. Corcoran. No. 24. General Washington's Headquarters on the Hudson, by Cropsey. This little picture enlists our patriotic valuation of that great struggle in American history, when the noble spirit of Washington was striving for our rights. The little lone house in the valley, so very humble beside the towering hills, rises to the importance of some magnificent castle or palace, because associated with him who held judicious counsels there, the impulses of his truly heroic heart vieing with the grandeur of nature. No. 25. A Lake near Lennox, Mass., by Oddie. A beautiful tranquil scene that would make the roughest and most uncouth nature learn something gentle from association therewith; the clear, still water, the green hills, the flat with browsing cattle, the sky with floating, fleecy cloudlet, and the sweet quiet that reigns. No. 26. A Landscape, by Robbe. A line of trees takes up considerable space; several little children are waiting on the movements of some cows which, ere they are driven home, choose to sprinkle their hoofs with the water of the pool. No. 27. Sea-piece, by Joseph Vernuet. This is certainly a gem, and will be duly appreciated by those who have witnessed from the shore the sublimity of a gathering storm. A promontory where rests a castle, is beaten by the lashing surf, that throws high its spray and sets the fishermen to the work of collecting their nets. The sailing vessels thus far, are riding triumphantly on the waves, but the storm cloud is threatening, the sea gulls are on the wing, the wind is tossing and twisting the branches of the trees, and who can tell where the worst fury of the gale shall be spent? No. 28. The Death of Cæser, by Gerome. Selected by Mr. W. T. Walters, and to whom a large vote of thanks is due for having chosen a subject so grandly historical. At the base of Pompey's statue lies the body of the murdered Cæesar. The senate chamber on the fatal ides of March is deserted, the conspirators having first fled from the cruel work of their jealousy and passions. The silent halls, the cold stones, the motionless statues, even seem invested with the air of the dreadful deed committed, as all around is a solemnity that would still the pulses and paralyze the senses. Through the mind rushes a host of emotions at the sight of the bleeding corpse, the great man valiant in battle, kingly in intellect, vigorous in body; the invincible Roman cut down in a moment in the zenith of his glory, the keenest blow being that such sovereignty was ended by treachery under the guise of friendship. What is victory, fame or power now? What are temples, altars, and fickle honors worth, in that everything once bright with loyalty and homage is tarnished with falsity the most impious? All the grandeur and pride of the assembled senate, and all the bravery that is conceded to the Roman character, suddenly pales and deteriorates in the thought of Cæesar's assassins being men of dignity, high office and estate. Gerome is the great artist of this grand and difficult subject, and his successful handling of the same would entitle him always to select heroes and princes. He has drawn the figure painfully true to the death struggle, as the body wears the hue of violence, and appears as if the giving up of life were not an easy thing, even under the torture of three and twenty wounds. The toga enwraps the body, and it seems, indeed, worn as a mantle of dignity, the whiteness of which is stained only by the "ruddy drops" that Shakspeare describes most touchingly in the tender words of Brutus to his loving wife Portia. At a little distance from the body is the scroll or schedule of the preconceived assassination, given into the hands of Cæser ere he entered the capital by Artemidorus, who would have saved him from his wretched fate. But no time being vouchsafed to Cæsar, it remained unread, and lay upon the tesselated pavement, an accusation of disgrace upon his countrymen. The chair of state is represented thrown down in the fray, hurled low upon the steps near the feet of its dead occupant. The lonely, awe-inspiring presence of murder is well calculated to call up all the vivid and powerful description of that senate scene by the immortal bard, but these words lie with greatest weight upon the memory: "Stoop, Romans, stoop, and let us bathe our hands in Cæsar's blood up to the elbows, and besmear our swords. Then walk we forth, even to the market place; and waving our red weapons o'er our heads, let's all cry, peace, freedom, and liberty!" No. 29. The Amazon and her Children, by Leutze, 1854, commands particular attention, partly from associating our thoughts with those ancient times when, if we are to believe in tradition, the prowess of female warriors was widely felt and commemorated, and because of the celebrity of the artist. The classic subject is faithfully treated—the Amazon with less of feminine charm than we would ask, reclining upon the ground, every feature being stamped with the undaunted spirit of the race, whilst her love of martial exercises (it is plainly evident) she would instil into her offspring yet of tender years. They crouch affrighted, unwilling to accept the teachings so threatening and daring but to beat a retreat from that ferocious look and heroic mien, will be less easy than to handle the ow and arrow, or to wield the battle axe. No. 30. A Winter Scene, by Emile Breton, 1872. Selected by W. T. Walters. "A thatched Cottage," cold and dreary as it looks, with its covering of snow, can still suggest a thought of "Home," and although in the humblest meaning of the word, doubtless to those who enjoy its shelter "there is no place like it." So says the man standing a few paces off, who will shortly leave the cheerless scene outside, and the occupants of the wagon who are nearing home at the close of day. The moon has risen above the outskirts of the horizon like a fiery globe, as if in disdain of the pure mantle overspreading the ground, the locked up stream, and the bare trees. The gray sky looks as cold as the scene, but for the warm-glowing orb that must gradually mount high up in the vault of heaven, and assume its wonted lustre. The artist has thoroughly understood effect in employing the two extremes, the purity of snow and the "jewel of night," clear-cut in ruby-tinted beauty. No. 31. A View in Holland. 'Tis a moon-lit night in an old Dutch town; the boats are coming up to the quay; the lamps are lighted, throwing out a cheerful glow from the many windows with which the houses of Holland abound. No. 32. Shakspeare and his Friends, by Faed, 1851. This is truly a royal picture in size and merit. There sits the mighty bard with book in hand, at a table overspread with immaculate whiteness, and dignified with several large volumes, an inkstand and hour-glass—fitting accompaniments for those great minds assembled, viz.: Silvester, Camden, Seldon, Earl of Dorset, Beaumont, Fletcher, Bacon, Ben Jonson, Daniel Donne, Sir Walter Raleigh, Earl of Southampton, Sir Robert Cotton, and Dekker. Most of these men are grouped around the table as if in the discussion of a grave matter, requiring deep study and thought. The dross of these courtiers is recognized as belonging to the Elizabethan age—the high-fluted ruffs at the throat, the stock-i-net, gay velvet coats, &c. The saloon is very rich in all of its appointments, such as carvings and drapery. On a stand at a little distance off are a silver pitcher, a wine bottle and glasses, by the side of which have been laid a sword, a mantle of ultramarine blue, and a hat with a white feather. The artist has been very successful in the likeness. Intellect is stamped upon every face; but chief of all is the great Shakspeare, whose high, full forehead is wonderfully indicative of the brains that have conceived and built up a world of knowledge. Upwards of 14,000 engravings have been made of this original picture, and sold in England and the United States, for which Mr. Corcoran most generously gave the copyright. No. 33. Castle Gondolfo, Lake Albano, Italy, by Cranch. A fine large picture, showing a harmonious union of color, and a high order of talent. Nos. 34 and 35. Happy and Unhappy Families, by Fde. Brackaleere, 1852. This artist has admirably dealt with the sunshine and shadow of life. In the former we are imbued with the idea that a Dutch home can be made very jolly. In the poorer ranks the spirit of content The children are to our eye is always very striking. The children are having a high festival over a wooden doll-baby, stiff and ungainly in itself, but with two long strings tied under its arms, and managed by the dexterous hand of a little child, we must imagine it a graceful figure under the inspiration of grandpapa's fiddle. His frow stands by his side and claps her approbation, feeble old woman that she looks! A middle-aged visitor also seems well pleased, and holds his pipe in his hand, waiting to indulge after the frolic is ended. The mother of the little children is about to step forward with some "good cheer," to refresh the "inner man." Naturally enough we might ask, "Where is the sourkrout? The Unhappy Family takes away our smiles and cheerful feeling. A lantern's light, hung from the rafters of a poor dwelling, is the only ray that beams athwart the gloom of ill-fortune. There is an air of despondency in the wearied wife who sits beside her baby in its cradle; the little one, all unconscious of trouble, sleeps soundly, as also the tired, bare-footed boy resting against his mother's knee. But the person upon whose lineaments broods the sorrow of poverty or distress, is the father who, entering the room, has to meet the tender caresses of his other children. His burden seems heavier than ever, his parent heart sympathizing in the woes of all his family. No.  36. A Swiss Landscape with Mill, by C. Tribel, 1849. The eye is never wearied with scenes from nature, should we meet them at every other step. No. 37. A Vase of Flowers, by Jeannin, 1873. One of the most charming selections of W. T. Walters. The artist has combined art and nature with the most pleasing skill. Almost the entire surface of the picture displays a faultless shade of cerulean blue, figured in a pearly white, to represent a rich brocade satin drapery, that conceals, magically as it were, from view, a little stand or table. A rich, white silk scarf or drapery also falls gracefully, and in folds so careless that none but a true artist could depict them. This scarf would be fit apparel for a queen; it has for a border a fine net of lace work, with a design of leaves and flowers, all snowy white; and the heavy white fringe, a quarter of a yard in length, has so much of the soft, flossy appearance of silk, that it seems impossible for it to be a counterfeit. These regal draperies, in conjunction with a superb gilded bronze vase, with the design of two cupids in the act of an embrace, form what one would style art, whilst the contents of the vase, numbering a hundred or more delicate blossoms, all of one kind, yet varying in the hues of lilac, pink, groseille, and white, comprise the natural portion of the picture. The vase has more than brimful measure, as the flowers running over hide the heads of the saucy little "gods of love,"—a charming place to nestle, say they, where the wild blossoms revel in beauty. Some single colored sprays have fallen on the white drapery, serving to make tis purity the more observed, and one green leaf has found a resting place at the foot of a miniature article of vertu—a little gilded figure, set a few inches distant from the vase. the colors in this picture are truly beautiful, and in a powerful light, anything less than a young and strong eye might be pained by their brilliancy. No. 28. The Coquette. Artist unknown. There is some witchery in this picture, and if the personal attractions of the young lady win us over to admiration, we must still admit that some of the fascination is lost in the thought of the delusive spell that binds the lover. A soft, white, little hand steals aside to deliver a billet-doux to a negress hard by, who understands for whom it is meant. The ebony face wears a broad grin at the treachery of fair woman, and we ourselves are wondering at the credulity of man. No. 39. "The Flagellation of Christ," by Van Dyck. Turn we now to this solemn and painful subject, which will not only call forth profound emotion and sorrow for the indignities and sufferings heaped upon the Saviour of mankind, but being the work of one of the most celebrated masters of the Old World, will make us add to that tenderest of all sympathies a silent tribute to the hand that has long since mingled with the dust. No. 40. Life size Figures at the Well, by Vely, 1873, selected by W. T. Walters. "Le puits qui parle" is the pleasant little title that greets the eye, and gives a coquettish interpretation to the charming picture. At the side of an old stone well whose sides are rent, and upon which a tiny vine creeps upward from the base, stands a beautiful peasant girl. She is leaning against a high wall, that allows only a portion of her pretty uncovered head to rise above its gray altitude. How bewitching her costume, with its variety of color, her snowy chemisette blouse giving a softness to the attire, and adding not a little beauty to the bright winsome face! There is a look of sweet surprise and innocence in her eyes as she rests her arm upon the bucket, and listens to a mysterious voice, be it the music of the rill, a fairy whispering out the depths of the well, or a little bird, hidden from view, singing a delicious lovesong. She is entirely unconscious of any one's presence or approach, nor does she stir, herself, for see how firmly her bare feet press the ground! But we, whilst gazing at her "blissful ignorance," observe just beyond the wall the peering face of a gay young cavalier, who has stolen softly nigh with tread as velvety as his grand dress coat. He leans in dangerous proximity to the beauteous maid. She is captured beyond doubt in one sense, for his arm affords a sort of frame to her glossy hair so neatly braided, and his lips are also very near, making the music that has brought her to such a pleasant thraldom. To our eye this is very engaging, and the result should bring about mutual joy, and yet we have a feeling of mistrust and pity. The favorable termination is quite as far off as the castle, which, embowered in trees in the distance, tells of high born hopes and destiny, and has nought to do with the pretty maid, except to lend a voice for the moment to whisper sweet things beside the well. No. 41. Rebecca, by Rossiter. An exceedingly attractive picture of the damsel whom the Bible states was very "fair to look upon." The artist has done justice to the subject, as the maiden possesses great beauty. Her complexion and large lustrous eyes have the true oriental charm; her garments that easy flowing grace peculiar to the women of old. The gladness of her heart is revealed through those wondrous eyes that have seen "the golden ear ring" and the "bracelets of ten shekels weight;" and her amiability is exemplified in the words, "Drink, and I will give thy camels drink also." No. 42. A Small Bouquet, by Couder, 1872, selected by Mr. W. T. Walters. The flowers are carelessly put together in an ordinary glass tumbler, half filled with water, and set upon a medium sized volume, bound in calf skin. The book looks as if it had been hastily laid down, and the bunch of flowers, so perfect in their naturalness (consisting of fine delicate white bloom the wall flower and a crimson blossom), suggests the idea that some fair lady has just gathered them from the garden, and left them in the select and eloquent company of literature. What author would not feel happy in being thus associated with beauty and perfume? No. 43. Child Reading (a copy), by J. G. Meyer. A happy specimen of youthful intelligence. What a charming little store of information is being gathered in, eloquently told in a pair of eyes brimful of merriment Pray tell us the secret of this "battery of bliss," whose light shot off is drawing us into sympathy, the most contagious? No. 44. Milton at Home, by Leutze. Oliver Cromwell and his family are paying a friendly visit to the poet, and listening to his performance on the organ. Seventeen figures are embraced in the group, and upon every countenance is deeply impressed a sense of the power of music when pathetically rendered. The look is earnest and enwrapt, as if there were no other moment than the present, or that all else by the sweet strains were banished from the thoughts. At the instrument, seated low, is the inspired poet and musician, with his face averted from the keys, as if drinking in with spiritual waves of melody the same entrancement that his guests enjoy. Behind him, forming the two central figures of the group, are seated Cromwell and his wife, whilst the grandchildren near by with pensive air, are no less engrossed than the great Protector of England. The youngest girl has cast away her basket of flowers, and lying against the knee of an elder sister, throws her arms upwards as it in intense delight. Cromwell has planted his cane upon the floor, and clasping it with both hands, sits rigidly back in his chair, ready to exclaim, "How sublime!" and his goodly wife folds her hands upon her lap, a true model of motherly dignity. The attitudes of the other figures are equally good, some leaning against the wainscoted walls, and others sitting with eyes glancing upwards, as if in sympathy with the heaven-ascending sound, or lowered, as though in prayerful gratitude. The fair haired damsel by the side of Cromwell has gathered together her hands, and elevated one shoulder so as to leave us no doubt that the thrill had passed even into her finger tips. Another female figure seated beside the organ supports between her knees a little boy, who has stretched out his arms, appearing more like some grave statesman than a buoyant youth. On a high shelf are several books, a bust of Cato, a globe and a clay pipe. An old fashioned tall clock would carry us back to the time of our great, great grandfathers. Let us leave the music by which Milton makes all happy, and sing our own key-note of praise to Leutze. No. 45. Fanny Ellsler as Sylphide, by Begas, {{hwe|dent|President}t of the Berlin Academy. There is a great deal of poetical license in this painting, in that the figure is poised above a wealth of flowers, with Cupid presiding. To employ the most enthusiastic utterance as agreeing with here extraordinary skill as a dansense, we might quote―

"When she stood up for dancing, her steps were so complete,
The music nearly killed itself to listen to her feet."

The artist has robed her in gossamer, and shaped her with unexceptionable grace. Her light footfall is among the sweetest roses and lilies, and the young god of love with all his cunning art has won the smile that thousands pleaded for in the days that have fled. No. 46. Scene in the Catskill, by Paul Weber, 1858. A beautiful little picture, combining mountain and valley. A soft haze overspreads the peaks, but the light that falls upon the trees near the lowland brings out their vivid green, affording a decided contrast with the gray and brown of the rocks and stones. The moss on the rock wears a half red, half chromo tint. A tiny struggling streamlet is visible, such as is often seen in nature where embedded heaps of stone break up at varied distances the regular water course. No. 47. A Waterfall, by Robbe, after Achenback. As truly meritorious as are all of his productions. No. 48. The Lost Logs, by Von Thoren, 1873. Selected by Mr. W. T. Walters. This picture is so truthful that we might imagine ourselves glancing at the actual scene, lonely and bleak, the ground covered with snow. Nought is seen nor heard save these dogs and their piteous howls of distress. Description hath always failed to give an adequate idea of the dismal and sorrowful situation of the "lost," whether of human kind or the brute. Probably in the pathetic tale of the "Babes in the Wood," our eyes have moistened, and we have felt some of the woe that wrung their little hearts and brought them to an untimely end. But how vastly different is the real sorrow itself, borne amid darkness and solitude, the abandonment of hope and the murmurings of despair! In this representation the distress of that unfortunate state is dolorously marked. One of the dogs lifts his head towards the sky as though invoking the pity of Him who noteth even the fall of the sparrow, and the other leans wearied, sore and feeble against his companion, with no more wild cry across the snow. No. 49. Norma, by Louis Lang. It is before such subjects as this that the heart is stirred to compassion. In this woman's breast the emotions of anger and revenge are contending, as o'er her troubled mind comes the memory of her faithless spouse, Pollio. Strange indeed, that her innocent children are to be made victims of her wounded pride; that with eyes aflame with the spirit of murder, her breast heaving with the cruel purpose her arm nerved with the treacherous dagger, and her feet lighted through the darkest of crime, she goes thus to relieve her stricken heart. And listen to her words a moment after when she gains their couch: "Now, while they slumber; so the hand that strikes them they will not see. Courage! now! Ah! my limbs refuse their office—my brain is dizzy—and horror shakes my very soul. Murder my children—slay my own sweet darlings—they who have been all my delight, all my consolation amidst the deep remorse and anguish that assail me; and shall I shed their blood? How are they guilty? They are his children! That condemns them! Yes! I will tear their image from out my bosom, and be there
grief never to equal his! Now then! [About to strike.] Ah! no—they are my children! Ho! there, Clotida!" And a mother's love spaces them, after which her own impending doom is hastened―the burning pyre with Pollio to share her painful death. No. 50. The Village Doctor, by Venneman, 1850. A choice little piece admirably well executed. The nervous patient who is being manipulated for some ill of the flesh, near the region of the eye, is an object rather of merriment than condolence in the regard of the jolly lookers on. It very forcibly illustrates the truth of the saying, "We are not physically hurt ourselves, when laughing at the expense of others." No. 51. Virgin and Child, by Murillo. The tone of this picture is decidedly mellow, whether from age or after the subdued style of the artist, it matters not, but there is a character and a dignity given to the subject, which impresses and grows upon the spectator more than would be produced by the brilliant tints so generally employed. The face of the Madonna, with dark eyes and hair, is of a melancholy type, but its sweetness cannot be denied. Floating as it were in circuambient air are the angels, and although more than half enveloped in cloud, they impart that cherubic influence which the old masters rarely lose sight of in works of this description. No. 52. The Portrait of Napoleon Bonaparte, 1815. This is very valuable, having been painted from life. How much interest clings to the name of the great hero who held nations in his grasp, and upon whose banner victory was writ in never fading characters! No. 58. Sunset, by Emile Breton, 1869. Selected by Mr. W. T. Walters. We behold a landscape whereupon no adverse criticism could rest. Here is nature in her dark green livery, deepened almost into gloom by the strong contract of the lurid sky, and the brilliant orb of day sinking away in crimson splendor. Involuntarily to our minds come these beautiful lines―

"Something gave the dying sunset
An intenser glow,

And enriched the cup of rapture
Filled to overflow!"

Or again another stanza―

"Our west horizon circular,
From time the sun be set,

Is all with rubies, as it were,
Or roses red o'erfret."

No. 54. Dutch School by De Block. Oh! ye who have taught the "young idea how to shoot," pray sympathize with the taskmaker who sits forward in his high arm chair, holding a book whose teachings are being slowly hammered into a half dozen or more rock-like craniums. The master is a man of years, and one might study arithmetic, or at least a sum of addition from the accumulated wrinkles in his face. One little culprit has been called to take his place, but his recitation is doubtless as weak as his knees, or he may be in the act of contrition "bowed down with weight of woe." Another has just passed ingloriously from the same ordeal, for his book is opened to learn his lesson over again. Two boys lean up against the desk, one of whom is grinning because he is in the rear, and his time has not yet come. Several more are on their knees clustered around the teacher's chair, which we suppose is a "stool of repentance" for their ignorance. But in the distance, and not overlooked by any means, is a poor little fellow, his bag of books, strapped to his side. His slow dragging footsteps give evidence of the hard road he has to travel, whilst he wipes his eyes, and is just about to boo hoo, wishing he had never been born. From all appearances these boys will never make sages, or they show us that the application to study is like a sharp stinging briar in the pathway of youth. Nos. 55 and 56. Cabinet Interiors, by Demarne. These are diminutive pictures, but are very highly valued. Their finish is simply exquisite. In one there are ten figures, several of whom are enjoying some social sport "making merry" after the French style. In the other they have settled down to a parlance, in which even the dogs seem to take part. No. 57. Count Eberhard of Wirtemburg weeping over the Dead Body of his Son, by Ary Scheffer. Selected by Mr. W. T. Walters. This is really a chef d'œuvre, embodying all the expressive mournfulness of its title―an emotional scene, appealing most strongly to the heart, for whilst it has the cold and rigid gloom of death, it as well portrays the extreme anguish of the living. We behold the strong man bent with sorrow not that stony obdurate grief, but the tender love of the parent heart welling out in tears that gush like fountains, and cannot, will not be held back. Mark the strange contrast between this spontaneous betrayal of emotion (not less restrained than if a weak, feeble woman) and the powerful martial bearing of the man, clad in armor, who under other circumstances would be as stern and unyielding as the iron of the cannon! See also, the humility with which the hands are folded (across the heaving breast) that had boldly wielded the sword and braved the issues of war! The pitiless shot had mowed down many, the banners were streaked with the blood of the slain, but now a death wound has cut deep into the neck of his beloved son―a youth delicate and fair, and a "shining mark." Thus death befallen this dear treasure has dashed pride, glory and victory aside. The grievous thought of the great crimson tide flowing from the breasts of unnumbered slain is forgotten in the few trickling drops from the wounded child, showing how strong can be the ties of love, and how cruel the decrees of fate. Sad, indeed, that remorse adds a sting to the sorrow of the Count! It is told that his son Ulrich had previously lost a battle and been wounded, and when he met his distinguished sire at the dinner table, the wrath of the parent was so great on hearing of the disaster that befell their arms, that he sized upon a knife and cut the table cloth between them. This act so ignoble and harsh to a brave young spirit was so keenly felt, that the youth, anxious to retrieve his wounded pride and honor, rushed into the next battle, gaining victory, but losing his own life. The coloring of this picture is truly wonderful in its ardent depth, richness and substantiality. Scheffer has won imperishable renown; nearly all of his great works partaking of sadness and sorrow. No. }58. Emigration, by A. Fisher. Here is the solemn spectacle of an Indian band driven forth from their hunting grounds in obedience to the demands of civilization a true portraiture of the words, "The old order changeth, yielding place to new."" The day is darkening o'er the beautiful valley where they have stopped in their march to look back on what is lost to them, and as they catch a gleam of the distant camp fires, where the white men gather, content in their new possessions, we can almost hear (in imagination) the sad echoes of their farewell answering from the hills, or read upon their troubled faces the unhappy destiny—"Wanderers forever! where shall our wigwams remain unmolested?" The landscape adds to the sadness by being tinged with autumnal hues. No. 59. Twilight, by Japy, 1878. Selected by Mr. W. T. Walters. A river is visible in the distance, over which the pale crescent risen high sheds her faint light. The firmament wears mingled tints of purple and blue, and the western sky dips its rosy trail towards the earth, lighting up a little inland pool of water, from which a white horse has turned away. The foremost engrossing feature of the landscape is a group of trees, growing in such shape as to form a pleasant bower of green, and not far off is a feeble curl of smoke from some burning brushwood, wherefrom several figures are seen retreating. If in the picture of Spring by the same artist there is all the emphatic impulse and energy of a bright sunshiny day, this Twilight scene possesses not less the opposite in the stillness and sombreness that accompanies the decline of day; for it is not the hour when nature grows dreamy and hushed, when the birds seek their nests, and the only sound is that of the insect's hum, and the croak of the frogs? It is the hour besides that renders home sweet and welcome to the tired laborer, for then God throws the veil of darkness over the beauty of the world, that men may slumber and view in visions the greater light of His mercy and love. No. 60. A Landscape, by George Inness. This gives a view of some hills and verdure, a brook and a roadway—the man on horseback (followed by a boy), riding along leisurely. No. 61. A small Flemish Picture, by Laboria, 1619. Interesting on account of its ancient appearance, and the uncommon subject, viz.: a young warrior wearing all the martial accoutrements, and urged by Time to leave his lady love and hasten on to war. Old father Time displays a large extent of wing as well as a huge scythe; and his hour glass with its falling sands gives mournful sign of the flight of precious moments. No. 62. The Pets, by E. Johnson, 1856. Surely will this picture elicit praise, not only from juveniles, but adults who have not quite forgotten the days when some household treasure in the form of a dog or kitten, lay claim to affectionate regard. A young maiden sits in quiet contemplation of her several pets—a parrot, cat, gold fish, and Guinea keats. Her hands are folded, and she occupies an arm chair, that looks as though it had been made for some gouty old gentleman. All of Barnum's museum has not as much value in the eyes of this little girl as her miniature possessions. No. 63. Dog and Parrots, by F. Lachenwitez, 1847. The birds have left the imprisonment of wires, and seem to be in a sort of chatty ire with the dog, who has laid down facing the open door of the cage, looking very much like an august owner or dictator. Their talking and barking therefore leave us no voice to settle the dispute, and we pass on to No. 64. Return from Market, by W. Brown. This English artist has represented a country inn with an old fashioned door, over whose slanting canopy is hung as an advertising sign, a picture of the mighty bard, entitled "The Shakspeare Inn." There are three on horseback, one of the men (doubtless the proprietor) bringing with him a heaping basket of supplies which he hands over to a woman of the house. The love of newspaper intelligence is shown by the eager individual who has siezed upon a "daily," and is devouring the contents. Let us note his dress and attitude!—a low dumped hat, light coat, shrunken bottle-green breeches, and feet turned out at an alarming degree; (in short, his legs describe a parenthesis,) and his face puckered as if under the influence of persimmons. We wonder if he ever had a sweetheart, or if he will not be brought up in a divorce suit should he marry? There are two dogs, one a specimen of fierce energy, and the other looking lazy enough to have been asleep a hundred years. The horses are spirited enough to have us stroke their manes and say a kind word to them. No. 65. Great Falls of the Potomac, from the Virginia Side, by Wm. MacLeod, 1873. This sketch possesses a local interest, independent of the praise which must accrue to the artist for his fidelity and skill. It is welcome to the many persons familiar with that wild, romantic scenery, and to us particularly, who have viewed it on a bright summer's day, when the sparkling water dashed over the rocks, forming numerous eddies and a trailing line of foam. At a time too, when nature all around wore the beautiful imprint of June, and merry voices kept up the pic-nic glee, it proves a most grateful remembrance of happy hours. It is not an exaggeration to state that Mr. MacLeod approximates the style of Church in the truly natural tint of the water, the easy flow, &c. No. 66. Moonlight in Italy, by Tuvernier, 1849. There is a pleasant shadow of green thrown over the scene, diffed with the mild radiance of the moon, and somehow in the mysterious light so peculiar to the clime, we are taught to think of peace, love, and other kindly emotions. There is poetry also in the conception. Under the umbrageous trees is a fountain, whose waters glimmer with the silver sheen, and offer besides grateful refreshment. A peasant woman approaches with a jug on her head, and several persons have dismounted from their horses. No. 67. Gen. Andrew Jackson, by Sully. An admirable work of art, and a faithful likeness. it is both graceful and noble of the great hero of Hew Orleans. He stands within sight of the lurid fire and smoke of battle, and the troops marching on, yet near his tent and a mounted cannon. He wears his long military cloak, and is in the act of writing down some important order, using in his haste his chapeau as a support for the paper. One gauntlet has dropped at his feet. His countenance stamped with a thoughtful expression and inspired with hope, is a tell-tale of the glory and fate of our nation. No. 68. Portrait of Lasleyrie. A pleasant, intelligent old face, and the original likeness of this distinguished French economist and author; the first who formed a general museum of specimens of natural history and art to contain every article useful to man, either in its natural state, or its artificial preparation. Author of works on the merino sheep, cotton, &e. Painted in wax, at Paris, by Rembrandt Peale, for the Philadelphia Museum. No. 69. Portrait of Thomas Sully—painted by himself. Successful with others, he has also proved a good artist for his own physiognomy. No. 70. Iris (copy). Charming Goddess of the Rainbow! What is so beautiful or poetical as the arch of colors that sometimes suddenly fixes our gaze upon the heavens, and upon which we look almost amid tears, the rain drops lessening after the profuse shower? And what more appropriate to grace the name and thought of a rainbow than a lovely female form, with a spiritual glance and an air of beauty in the figure floating upwards to the sky. Iris is represented as rising from the landscape below, where is the outline of a cave with a tiny streamlet. The faint curve of the rainbow is encircling her limbs, and tending in the direction of her flight. The tinge of light in the colors is in accord with her floating tresses of gold, and the etherial like drapery sporting with the breeze. The beautiful arms of the figure are raised far above the head, as if in the high attainment of bearing aloft the golden flagon, and the pressure of one hand keeps afloat a cloud-like veil sweeping gently backwards, scorning to hide a face so fair. That face is turned toward the golden rays beaming in glad welcome to her approach. No. 71. The Drought in Egypt, by F. Portaels, 1873. Selected by Mr. W. T. Walters. ("How he had wrought His signs in Egypt, and His wonders in the field of Zoan: And had turned their rivers into blood and their floods, that they could not drink."—Psalm lxxviii, v. 43, 44.) This sad group of sixteen figures makes us at a single glance appreciate the nature of the woe that Egypt felt when her children were perishing from the drought. The dreary surroundings where no green thing is seen save two stunted withering palms in the distance, and the one conspicuous feature—the empty well, are noticed jointly with the poor sufferers gathered around the dried-up fount—nature sympathizing with humanity. The massive stone cover to the well has been thrust aside, and eager eyes have looked strainedly into its depths for one crystal drop of consolation. The tall figure of the priest with patriarchal beard, and all the dignity of his holy calling, looms up centrally, and resting his head upon one hand, looks down on the sorrow of the people, impotent to relieve, and silent through despair. At his feet one poor mother sits, and having just seen her child die, raises her eyes imploringly to heaven. The struggle past and suffering ended for the little one, it lies extended across her knees, with one hand still clutching at her bosom, and the other receiving the tender clasp of the agonized parent. The eyes of the child show the heaviness of intense suffering, and the blueness of death settling around the mouth, tells most painfully those baby lips must have famished for a single drop, which neither nature nor maternal love could yield. Another mother, clad in white garments, clinging closely to her form, has passed through the same sorrow, and with the last strength of anguish has gained a standing position, holding above her head the little dead babe. In her face we read her surrender to the God who hath the right to claim, and yet we seem to hear the wail of the blackest sorrow that has ever fallen upon her soul. By her side are three figures resting against some stone masonry. One head is nearly lost to view, being bent in tribulation. The next, a beautiful young girl, with perhaps more trust and hope in her countenance, holds a water vessel, set upright in the palm of her hand, and the other, a youth in shadow, drops his head in a somnolent attitude. Filling up the circular space nearest the well are two women, both clasping their flagons. One seems shut off and alone in her gloom, so absorbed is her look, and so deep are her thoughts. The contraction of the brow describes the pang at her heart. The other, with sweet, mild submission, bends her head on her hand, a large, pearly tear-drop escaping from her eye. The come the two foremost figures on a line with the well. A graceful female is one, enveloped in beautiful drapery, leaving bare her arms and feet. She sits on the ground, gazing steadily at the stones of the well. The other woman in the death-throes has sunk down exhausted, her weight being partially supported by a slave, who has removed from the dying figure some valuable ornaments, and is holding them up as an offering to heaven or oblation to bring unto them―Water! Water! Still another dark figure crouches down in prayer, and far off in the elevated background are two more sorrowful ones at an empty well, bearing jugs wherewith to be disappointed. This painting received the special gold medal at the Crystal Palace Exhibition, England. No. 72. Portrait of Baron Von Humboldt from the life, by Madame Richards. The dark crimson background brings out most clearly a face, which though marked with the lines of age, has preserved its purity and softness of complexion, and the mild blue eye is directed at the spectator with all the earnestness with which he undertook the mighty labors of his life. It is a remarkable countenance, yet gentle as a woman's, the broad high forehead whereupon the light falls gloriously, and the full snowy locks enhancing the glow upon the cheeks, whilst the pleasant mobile expression of the mouth suggests speech not less eloquent than the language of his eyes. The high old fashioned stock, with the slightest approach to a standing collar, supports in quiet majesty the head, and just below the throat left side, a medallion, star-shaped, gleams out from his simple black attire. Humboldt must have found a warm admirer in Madame Richards, from the evident care with which the portrait is executed; and as the work of woman's hand, it deserves the highest commendation. No. 73. Portrait of Bernard St. Pierre (author of Paul and Virginia), by R. Peale, 1818. Donation from George W. Riggs, Esq. Who that has read the interesting history above mentioned, will not dwell upon the benignant and intelligent features of this distinguished writer with true admiration and friendliness? No. 74. A Portrait of Henry Clay, by H. Inman. A good likeness of our great and favorite statesman, upon whom we must ever look with pride. No. 75. Portrait of a Lady (unknown), by Sir Peter Lely. Goodness more than beauty in this instance might attract. No. 76. Portrait of President George Washington, by Miss Stuart, daughter of Gilbert Stuart, of Rhode Island. This is a copy of her father's celebrated picture of Washington. He is represented with all the benignity of moral worth, and all the attributes of high station. The sword in his left hand, speaks like an oracle of how bravely he battled for our independence. Two large volumes resting against the table are entitled "Statues of Va.," and "Constitution of the U.S." No. 77. The Huguenot's Daughter, by W. D. Washington, 1854. We view the interior of a Catholic chapel, at the altar of which two religious faiths are to be cemented in the love that springs from true and faithful hearts. The maiden is fair and lovely, and the cavalier at her side brave and manly. The priests, delegated to their sacred office, are about to seal the happy union, when suddenly the solemnity of the scene is invaded by the entrance of the bride's menacing parent and his followers. There is wild fury in their glances, disappointment and despair on the faces of the betrothed, and terror and agitation on the countenances of the priests. The censer has been overthrown in the confusion. "The tapers that light and odor gave, are changed to burning sighs," and heaven's blessing that was nigh, is lost in a father's curse. No. 78. On Catskill Creek, by W. B. Boggs. A work of fine finish, and particularly in the foliage that lines the banks of the swift current. No. 79. On the Coast of Calabria (artist unknown). A small chapel on a slight eminence overlooks the water, which is as blue as the azure of the sky. The cliffs along the border are bathed in the same hue, yet a single peep from the early moon has invaded this exquisite color, and cast a delicate trail of light on the mirrory surface of the sea. A stone bridge leads to the chapel, in front of which, at a little distance off, is a tall cross, where the pilgrim might bend his knee and say an "Ave Maria," ere entering the holy precincts. The lamps are lighted at the entrance of the shrine, and two of the monks or priests stand outside. Peasant women are lolling on the bridge, and some of the men are still busy with their fishing poles. Curving ledges of rock that assimilate the opening to a grotto, form a sort of bower to the pretty view, and stont sides are overrun with a delicate vine, making up something of the poetry and beauty of foreign scenery. No. 79. Moonrise in Madeira, by Hildebrandt. This title can convey to the reader no other idea than the usual light that streams from the gentle orb of night, but the rare tone of coloring in this picture might have been dipped from the tropics in its fiery splendor and glowing beauty. Some few strips of the island are jutting out into the water, whose every ripple is lighted up with burnished gold, whilst the horizon has a warmth so intense as to make the wings of the sea-gulls appear blood-stained. On the shore a group of natives are sitting by some lighted brushwood, and the effect produced by these few firebrands is quite brilliant. Several boats lay at anchor. The artist enjoyed the intimate regard of Baron Humboldt, through whose instrumentality the picture was painted for Mr. Corcoran. No. 81. A Female Figure from the Bath (oval) unknown. No. 82. Child and Nurse, by Begas (copy). Here is beautiful youth in a natural state, as the fair complexioned, golden haired child has just undergone an ablution, and is pleased to return the compliment of the nurse's services by sponging the face of "dear old black mammy," who, alas! cannot be made white as snow. In a vine-clad recess near the boudoir are some baskets of flowers, and a little fountain splashing water, as though in company with baby's fingers in the miniature bath. No. 83. Duck Shooting, by W. Ranney, 1850. Several sportsmen are surveying the successful result of their expedition. A sagacious dog is holding a fine duck by the wing, and looks as if he were wishing them to admit that some praise is due to his exertions. The sky wears the autumnal dark, the gray and purple shades. No. 84. Ball Flaying among the Sioux Indians, by Captain Seth Eastman, U. S. A. In this game may not the red man be more happy than when he flourishes his tomahawk in quest of scalps? If such amusements could the more frequently fill up the hours of these brothers of the forest, many a misguided thought of passion and evil deed might be checked. No. 85. Farm House by George Moreland. This rustic scene must be studied in all of its excellent points, as the work of one of the most celebrated painters of the English school. How happy looks the old countryman who returns home well provisioned, but the brightest reward for him is the welcoming smile upon the faces of his family. Who can dispute that a cottage sometimes ranks above a palace in the content that reigns undisturbed? No. 86. Leisure and Labor, by F. B. Mayer, 1853. Here we see the interior of a blacksmith shop. The owner is busy at his work shoeing a fine looking horse, and leisurely leaning against the doorway is a tall sapling-like fellow, wearing a broad brimmed hat, various colored clothing, and characteristically thrusting his hands in his pockets. His graceful greyhound at his side is very erect, and looks with as much wonder as his master at mechanical industry. On the outside of the shop is a comical sign with a cadaverous figure of old Time, making long strides with his skeleton limbs, and these explanatory words as a libel on orthography—stop thiefh. No. 87. Out-door Concert, by E. T. Eckhout. A lady in rich costume is sitting with her feet on a cushion, and her poodle near by, whilst a courtly group of admirers are rendering homage through the sweet influence of music. No. 88. Mercy's Dream by D. Huntington, 1850. Illustrative of a scene in Bunyan's Pilgrim Progress. The landscape lies chiefly in shadow, except where the distant hills are tipped with the sunset's ruby and gold. By the margin of a stream reposes in a half recumbent posture, a female figure, representing Mercy. She has closed her eyes, and an almost saintly peace enwraps her features. Her attitude so gently drawn is in unison with her mild, benevolent spirit, that is harmonizing all things, making earth seem a part of heaven. One hand is laid upon her breast, the other composedly rests upon the turf, as if in support of the upper erect portion of the body. The golden hair is half concealed by a sweeping veil of blue, and her garments are of white, gold and rose color. An angel has descended holding a crown, surmounted with tiny crosses, one of which is lit up with the divine glory of the sky. The seraph points to the heavenly realm, whose immaculate light is tinging drapery and wings. With face bent towards Mercy, he is about to bestow the glittering reward. This is perfect, and full of the sublimity which the subject demands. No. 89. The Letter, by H. Helmick, 1868. A beautiful picture, showing the interior of an humble French home. The old people are listening to the perusal of a letter from America, addressed to their daughter. The contents we may not know, but there is something wonderfully interesting, the father having stopped his smoking, and the mother her domestic work. No. 90. The Blonde Brunette and Medium, by T. P. Rossiter. The types are faithfully executed, and we will not say to whom shall go our chief praise. No. 91. Autumn on the Hudson, by Thomas Doughty. "Charming!" will be the exclamation when this picture is viewed in its faultless beauty. It makes us feel more than ever that the noble Hudson has a high claim upon our admiration—the rich autumnal tints coloring the trees in contrast with those yet untouched, and the sunshine falling here and there with brightest glow. Such a scene seems to have been laid out for an enthusiastic and finished artist, and it need ask no higher renown than to have won the admiring eye of Doughty. No. 92. Beggar Girl, by Begasse. How plaintive the air of this child! Although not having yet felt the pinching want that so often reduces the frame and thins the visage of many of her class, still, in her eyes one can read the sad knowledge that with all the plenty of this world, there are some who can only feed upon the husks. She wears a tidy garb, her pretty face and glossy dark hair being set off by a white handkerchief tied under the chin. Her right hand is extended for charity, which may not be slow or stinted when beauty is the petitioner. No. 93. Allegro and Penseroso, by J. G. Brown. These are small figures but will certainly challenge the closest examination in their remarkably fine drawing. Each face represents admirably the emotion for which it is named.

On the 19th of January, the gallery was opened for the first time, invitations having been extended to the President, Governor of the District, Cabinet Officers, the Senate and House of Representatives, the Judiciary and Diplomatic Corps. The President arrived at 10 a. m., accompanied by Ex-Secretary Borie. There was a constant stream of visitors during the day and evening, the ladies in rich toilettes enhancing the brilliancy of the scene. Mr. Corcoran occupied a seat, and bore remarkably well the fatigue of receiving unnumbered congratulations. The wish was universal, that he might long live to enjoy the beautiful shrine of Art. Many of the visitors were interested in a valuable old English Bible of six immense volumes, printed and illustrated in 1800, and dedicated to His Royal Majesty, George III., the Queen and Prince of Wales; and also some interesting Italian works, "descriptive of the Vatican," &c. The library is daily receiving valuable additions. In a few years with all the accumulating and varied treasure, this, the substantial foundation, will have grown into a monument, not to be surpassed by any in the country.

And now we bid farewell to Mr. Corcoran and the evidences of his noble philanthropy. Having pictured him mostly as an active and zealous man, amid his charities and the outside haunts, we see him last under his own roof, happy and blessed, daily receiving tokens of the gratitude of the people, thus reaping a reward that any might envy. The brightest picture, more to be valued than all the wealth of the gallery, is this beautiful mansion, the owner surrounded by three lovely grandchildren (two boys, and a fair, golden-haired little girl, named Louise), whose company and tender warmth of affection make up the overflowing drop to the cup of happiness. Miss Eustis, the sister of their deceased father, is also an ever watchful and devoted guardian, her presence adding to the delights of a home over which may the brightest sunshine ever dwell, and the blessings of heaven ne'er be denied!


This work was published before January 1, 1926, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.