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Unveiling Of The Statue Of Nydia

Unveiling Of The Statue Of Nydia image
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A hirge ivnd fashionable nssembly was coiivoiifd at Young Mïu's Hall last evei íng fo wit.ncss tho unyéiling of t lie statuo of Nydia. The exercisc of tbe eveniiig were introduced bjr mi s. of instrumental musió, folio wud b troduclöiy "address by Prof A. 1). White, on art, ancieüt and iiiodcrn. - Tbc addr'esa was u fflose excellent une, and v;is listened to with thé closest atténtion. At tlie conclusión of Prof. White's address, 1). Bethuuo Daffiuld oanie fcrward and bvïefly told the sti iv of Nydia, tbc blind flower girl, as dèscribed by Hul wèr in bis " Lasl days of Pompvü." - Biilwer says iii liis prefaCo " Foi the exiatouco of dio blind girl I am uidcbted to a casual conversation with " gentleman we'l knowu among the Euglish at Naples fov 'lis general kuowlcdge of the paths of ï i fe. Speaklng of the utter darknesa which accompanied the first ieoorded erüption of Yesuvjua, and the 'ional obshicle it pretsentod to the os cape of the inhabitants, ho observcd, that the blind would bc the most favored in in sucb a moment, and find tbc nasiest deliverance. ïhia remarl originated the crcaïion of Nydia." The bln.d girl is introdacod to the reader at the pórtico of a temple at Ponipeii, with a flower basket on her right arm, and a smal!, thrco-strmged instrument of music in hor haud, to whosc low, soft toncs sha was undulating a wild, Lalf-barbario air. At üvery pause in the munio slie gracefully wavcd lier flower-basket round, ioviting the loitertrs to buy : " Buy ïny Bowere, 0 boy, I pray, T ie büuil sirl cunu-8 frotn afar; II' the ea t'.i be as fair as 1 hear (hem sy i hese flowerg her cbildren are! Po tdey hir beauty keepi are freah from hei lap 1 kuow, Voy I eauüht Ihem fast asleep In her anus an hourago, With the air whicli is her broath - }[or soft and delicate brwtth Over Üiem murmuring low.' Nydia was a Thessalian by birth, born uudcr the shadow of Olympus. She had been sold from her nativo country as if slave to a Porupcian, who had bougbt her not kaowing that she was bünd, foi her eyea were pure and elear, though they had always been sightless. She is rescued from the cruel hag who is her mistress by Glaucus, a noble Grcek. She at once conceives the most tender lova for her savior and protector. ButGlau cus has already set bis affections on a noble Pompeian, Tone, who reciprócate.-: bis passion. Nydia ia made the messen ger bctvjen these two lovers, and is dooined to listen to the most tender tsentiments of love exchanged by them, all the while herself dying with love for Glaucns, who never dreams of such a thing. Julia, the daughter of a proud nobléiuan, becomes jealous of Ioue, and herself desires the favor of Glaucus. In compás; with Nydia she seeks the care of a sorcerer who shall makc her a love potion, which shall cause the oue who tak;s it to love the one who gives. Previously instructed by xrbaces, a rival of Glaucus for the love of Iono, the sorcorer gives her, iustead of the love powder, a mixture which will mako the one who takes it mifd. Nydia, supposing k to be t!ie love potion, watches the opportunity whon Julia sleeps, and, cunningly exchangingthe bottle contaiuing the lovt potion ior another, seeks tho bowcr of Glauous. She ünds him just returned fru'.n gome festival, wearied and thirsty. Ho usks hor to mix him some drink ; this is her opportunity ; she mixes with it what she supposes to be a potion of the love pnrtion, and which is to make liiiu henceforth love only her. But it was poison, he becomes at once a raviug maniac, and rushes wildly out aud through the strects. He comes to the 3pot where Arbaees with the dagger of an assassiu has just struck the brother of loue. (laucus is arrested for the nmrder, thrust into prison, and condemned to fiirht the wild beasts in -tlio ampitheatro. Nydia by overhearing. conversaUon discovers that thore is a witness who saw Arbaees strike tho deadly blow, and overcoming almost insunnountable obstacles-j she finally resouea him from the vault, where he has been eonfincd by Arbaees, and bnngs him to confront them just as they are giving Glaucus to the lions in the arena. The lion had been kept without food for tweuty-four hours when turned into the aren-i, but, to the astonishmeiit of allit refused to touch the Athenian. In the midst of the surprise, the witness of the murder rushes in and accuses Arbaees, who sits neut ia the assembly to witness tho doath of Glaucus. The vengeanco of tho multitude veuts itself on Arbaces. " ïo tlie Hoi), to the lion with Arbaces !" He riscs to defend himself Just at this time all oyes areturned toward Vesuvius. A vast vapor ics seen to shoot up from its-'summit in the form of a gigantio pine tree ; the truiik blackncss, he branches lire ; that shifted and wavered in its hues with every moment, now fiercely luminous, now of a dull, dying red, then again blazing forth with intolerable glare. It moved slowly onward toward the city, and in its track feil a Bhowor of ashes and lava and stones. - The erowd longer thought of justice to Arbaces, their sole thought was of Eafety to theuiselves. The cloud which had scattered a deep murkiness over the day had now settled into a solid ;uid impenetrable niass. The denseRt darkñess settled upon the city. Through thia awful scène the Atlionian weuded his way aoooiupaniud by lone and the blind girl. Suddeulv a riush of huiidreds, in their path to'the sea. whither crovrds werc tending to save themselves ou shipboard, BWept by thcm. Nydia was torn froui the side of Glaucas, who, with Ione, was borne rapidly forvvard; and wheu tbc crowd, wliosu fornis they SKff not, 80 thick was the glooi, woi-e gone, Nydia was stil! siipurated froni thcir sidft. Glaueus shouted hor ñamo. No auswor came; - ïhey rctracod their stops in vain - tlioy could not discover her. Their l'riend, thoir preserver was lost, and hitherto, Nydia had been their guide. Her llinditess rendcred to her alone the toe JU familiar, Accr.stomed throughout a perpetual night to tlireail the wiadings of the city, she led them uuetritigly to the sea-shore by which they had resolved to hazard an escape. Meaawhile Nydia, when separated from Glaucue and Ione, had in vain endiavored to regain them. In vaiu slie raised thut plaintive cry, so peculiar to tho blind. It was lost amid a thousand shrieks of more sclfisb terror. - Again and again she had returned to the spot whoro iboy had been divided, to find hor companions gone, to seize every fugitive and iii'juiro of Glaucus, to be dasbed asidc in the impatience of dis traction. G uiding her steps by the statf wlvieh she always carried, she continued, with incredible dexterity, to avoid the ïuasses of ruin tliat incumbered the path, to thread the streets, ad unerringly - 30 blessed now was that aceustomed dark ness so afflicting in ordinary lifo - to take the nearest direction to the sea-side. Poor girl ! her courrage was beautii'ul to beliold ! and fate seemed to favor one ko helploss. The boiling torrents touehed her not, save by the general ruin which aceompanied thera ; the liuge fragmenta of seoria shivered the pavement before her aud besido her, but ! sp;ircl her frail fortri ; and when the losser ushes feil over Iilm-, sha shook tliem away with ;i sligbt tremor, and dauntlessly resumcd her coursc. Weak, ex: isi d, vet l'earless, support) ■ by Imt o:e wish. slio was the vltv emüem of Psyche in her wauderingsi of Hope, walking tli o igh the valley i f tl.c shadow ofdqath a veïy eniblem of t!ie. bou! itself, lone but comforted, ámid the diingers and tbo guares of life." This is fcJie conception of the sculptor, 11e represents the beau; tiful Nyiliii us f1ie seeks hor lever amid . the urasli of lulling temples and the dostruetion of all things eutirely. At the conclusión of the story the ypil was removed frotn the statue, and it was lirst reveuleil to ]m'i 'ie gazo amidst tlióndera èf spplause. lt is useless to attempt any deSCnptiOD of lt, or to poiüt out :.ny of its bcautie.s, ab all ourcitizens, of wil] visit it and study it for theniselves It presented a very üue appearanee upon the stage, though, of eourse, the expression of tlie counte aauoo and the more delicate beauties of Bculpture could not be seen at so great a distince. It tieeds to be seen agaiu and again, and to be studied at leisure. After anothor pieco of excellent music, Dr. Tappan made a few reinarks on the eonneetiou between sculpture, poetry, music, architecture, &e., and the uses of thosc eunobling and soul purifying srts. lie contended that it was not for the petty, the grovoling, tho sensual things of Lis uarth that we are placed here, but to train our souls, and fill tbem with concoptions of truth, goodness, and beauty. At tho conclusión of Dr. Tappan's remarles the audienee vperc pennitted to pass in froat of the statue, aud observo it frouj a uearer view,


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