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Revisits Europe.-Ill health.-Return.—Mental quality.
determined to accompany his friend. To accomplish this was difficult, for the time was short; but his many warm friends interested themselves-a few commissions were obtained, and all necessary arrangements made.
Mr. Ver Bryck was married on the eve of sailing, and the party, after a favourable voyage, reached England the latter part of May. As far as health would permit. Mr. Ver Bryck enjoyed the scenery of the Isle of Wight and of England exceedingly the cathedrals, castles, abbeys, and galleries filled his mind with delight; but, alas! neither the beauties of nature nor the charms of art could check the inroads of disease, and even the ever-hopeful eye of affection could perceive in him no change for the better, and with his wife he returned to New York in the autumn; but the air of his native country had no healing balm for him-he lingered through the winter, suffering much, but at times cheated into hope by the deceitful slumberings of his disease, until, on the 31st of May, 1844, his soul, which had been blessed and purified through religion, was freed from its mortal tenement.
It would almost seem, that the higher the intellectual qualities possessed by a man, the less fitted he is for encountering with success the stormy passage of life; that he whose mind is cast in nature's most finished mould-the mould of genius and taste is least capable of withstanding the asperities of actual life, and we frequently find that the possessors of these fatal gifts become early tenants of the tomb. Of this class was Mr. Ver Bryck the flame burned too brightly, to burn long. Endowed with the keenest sensibilities, his heart responded to every call. The love of the beautiful was the law of his being; the beautiful in nature and art his chief joy. He felt a keen delight in natural scenery; a sight of the mountains
Poetic temperament.-Taste for music.
moved him with unutterable thoughts, and he could truly say:
"To me, the meanest flower that blows, can give
Himself of poetic temperament, his taste for poetry was exquisite; but he loved most those ancient songs wherein simplicity of sentiment and style were combined with the mystic grandeur of olden time. He had a deep reverence for antiquity; and what poetical mind has not ?—for it clothes the dim and shadowy forms of the past with drapery of its own.
Music was a passion with him; his voice was low but sweet, and he accompanied his songs on the guitar with great taste; and in his hours of quietness and solitude many a plaintive song of Ver Bryck's steals like an Eolian strain on the mind's ear of the writer of this memoir. Speaking, in a letter written during his last visit to England, of the pleasure he enjoyed in visiting Winchester cathedral, he says:
"We remained and heard the service chanted. To me it seemed very impressive-the sweet, plaintive tones of the boysthat long-drawn 'Amen,' so often repeated in rich harmonythe touching words of the psalm-' Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I am in trouble; mine eye is consumed for very heavinessyea, my soul and my body.' I thought I had never heard true church music before." Alas! he could too well feel the words of the Psalmist, for disease was then consuming him.
With all his artistic feeling and enthusiasm for art, the productions of Mr. Ver Bryck's pencil were not numerous; and perhaps when we consider the obstacles that rose in his path, there will be little reason for surprise at this.
His landscapes, which were simple productions, views, or com
High qualities of his works.-Hope and Memory.
positions, exhibiting nature in her tranquil aspects—as well as his historical pictures, too frequently remained without a purchaser. The high qualities of his works, which ought to have brought him encouragement and profit, were passed unnoticed by the multitude, and the coarse scenes of the tavern could frequently find purchasers, while the chaste works of Ver Bryck had no attractions. The hand of the artist is palsied if he once feels that his works produce no glow of sympathy in the minds of beholders. "Hope deferred maketh the heart sick," and this Ver Bryck had often felt.
Illustrative of the tone of his mind is a passage in one of his letters: "They may say what they will, of Hope and her pleasures. Oh oft has she cheated me; but Memory-I love her, she is kind-doth she not make the pleasant seem more pleasant, the good better, the beautiful still more lovely? And even our past sorrows, she hath a way of softening them till they are almost sources of joy. A ruin, a pile of stones and mortar, are unsightly; but Time covers it with moss and ivy, and it is beautiful."
In another letter, he says: "I believe I am getting old, for my pleasures are more of Memory than of Hope."
But as the sands of life wasted away, the flame of Hope burned more brightly in his bosom, and lifted by religious faith above this shadowy vale of tears, his eye caught glimpses of a glorious future which made the past seem dim, and he longed to depart.
His mortal remains rest in Greenwood cemetery, in a spot chosen by himself, in a quiet dell, beneath the shade of trees, and when he was interred, flowers, which he loved so much, were growing near the grave; and as has been said of another spot where rests a child of genius, cut off also in the early promise
Place of burial.
"It might make one in love with Death, to think
of his years,
It is ours to regret that disease and death should so soon have checked the development of powers which seem to have been of the highest order.
"Peace! peace! he is not dead, he doth not sleep,
'Tis we, who lost in stormy visions, keep
With phantoms an unprofitable strife."
SCULPTURE was practised at a very early period. The most common materials are marble, metals, wood, ivory, clay, and
The first information we have of sculpture is in the time of Laban, who had images of his domestic gods. It probably preceded painting, and even drawing, which is a more abstract idea; the first essays being of the rudest possible character. The progressive advances in the art are evident from the remains still to be found in Egypt. At first they were mere outlines cut in the rock, next figures in very low relief, then more prominent, and at length detached and entire. From these crude attempts, among the learned and refined Greeks, even verging into supernatural beauty, sculpture reached its acme of perfection; when the whole circle of the sciences, especially anatomy, geometry, and mechanics, contributed to the development of the laws of motion and balance, and taught the proper play of the muscles.
Sculpture, of all the arts, requires the most scrupulous finish, and is scarcely excellent except when of the highest order. In painting, beauty of colour and well-conceived contrasts may atone for faults of design, even for distortions, if they are not in full view. But in sculpture, simplicity is the characteristic feature, and the slightest error is at once discoverable, and obtrudes itself