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- The American Goliah - 5/10 -
visible. There is nothing about the figure remaining except what belongs to a man who has lain down alone in solitude and agony to die and has died, and the story of whose death has been preserved by the miraculous agencies of nature.
Second, if designed by man as the representation of man, the head would have been covered with hair, the most beautiful ornament of the human body, yet no trace of hair is found on this subject.
Third, it has been claimed that the material of this figure is gypsum taken from the hills of Onondaga county. The evidence of our most experienced quarrymen is that a block of gypsum of sufficient size to make this figure was never found in this region.
Fourth, if this figure was sculptured from marble or stone, its body, head and limbs would be solid. Yet the orifices in its wasted rectum and other parts of its body, and the resounding noise occasioned by striking upon it proves that it is hollow internally.
Fifth, No statue was ever sculptured in this or a similar position. The position is precisely that which a person would assume who was suffering an agony which was to result in death. The hands pressing opposite sides of the lower part of the body and one leg drawn up and pressed against the other is the effort of expiring humanity to relieve itself from pain. The sculptor's chisel and the painter's brush have often been called upon to represent scenes of death in all its various forms and manifestations. Yet have they never attained the simplicity, the impressiveness, the vivid naturalness of the story told by the figure which lies in yonder clay.
Sixth, It should also be observed that a sculptor who had the genius to form such a figure would naturally keep a proper and harmonious proportion in the different parts of the body, but it will be noticed in this subject that the feet are unusually broad, projecting far beyond the natural lines of the leg, and giving evidence of usage which has caused what is almost a deformity.
Seventh, If a statue, why should one of the eyes differ so much from the other, one of them being open, and one nearly or quite shut?
Eighth, If this figure is a statue, explain how it has been transported and handled to place it in its present position. It is estimated by the best judges that the figure weighs from a ton and a half to two tons. This immense weight could not have been transported by any known means of transportation in the neighborhood of the figure, and it could not have been handled without the aid of machinery.
Ninth, Perhaps the greatest objection to the statue theory is the last on which I shall mention, and that is the majestic simplicity and grandeur of the figure itself. It is not unsafe to affirm that ninety-nine out of every hundred persons who have seen this would have become immediately and instantly impressed with the idea that they were in the presence of an object not made by mortal hand, and that the figure before them once lived and had its being like those who stood around it. This feeling arises from the awful naturalness of the figure and its position. No piece of sculpture of which we have any account ever produced the awe inspired by this blackened form lying among the common and every-day surroundings of a country farm yard.
We see objects of larger size every day, formed from materials which excite our wonder or admiration, and upon which have been bestowed the highest skill of the artist, the sculptor and the painter, but there is in that blackened mass, that worn and impaired as it is by the action of the elements, and repulsive from the nature and color of the material forming it, which inspires an awe and reverence such as the handiwork of a mortal, no matter how gifted, has ever accomplished. I venture to affirm that no living sculptor can be produced who will say this figure was conceived and executed by any human hand. But Mr. Editor I am afraid I have trespassed too far on your attention and space. There is much more to be said on the subject, which at a future time I will say. R.
The present owners of the Giant have engaged Col. J.W. Wood, known all over the country as a popular showman, as their manager. To-night Mr. W. will have a much larger tent (forty feet) over his giantship, so that hereafter many more can be accommodated at a time--whether they can see better we are not sure.
From the Syracuse Journal, October 23d, 1869.
SPEAKING OF THE CARDIFF GIANT. Reports of Committees. Three of us--Tom, Dick and Harry--interviewed the stone wonder on Thursday of this week, and here are our reports. Tom sees everything from a ludicrous point of view, and is nothing if not funny. Dick is a common-sense fellow, who makes up in positiveness what he lacks in education; and I am--Yours, very respectfully, A.C.
TOM'S REPORT. His Majestic Highness was in bed when we reached the royal residence although it was high noon by the dial.
But the obliging janitor was convinced, by a single glance at the cards we presented, that it would not do to refuse us admission. We found the Noble Duke divested of wearing apparel and enjoying his morning ablution, which was administered by a valet de chambre, who stood on a platform above His Excellency, and held him down with a ten foot pole. The countenance of the great man expressed composure and serenity. His eyes were closed and his general appearance and attitude were limp and cadaverous, causing us to fear, for a moment, that His Mightiness might be dead instead of sleeping.
Our apprehensions were allayed, however, when the irreverent attendant punched his Sublime Majesty in the head and chest, and elicited an impatient, cavernous, responsive "ugh!"
Having feasted our eyes on the unveiled grandeur of the stupendous Knight, we begged permission of his keeper to get into the Imperial bed and embrace the gigantic feet. We begged in vain. Let us then grasp that autocratic right hand, which reminds us so touchingly of the dear, fat, fried-cake hands Bridget used to mould for us in our infancy. Our request was declined with emphasis. May we not breathe an affectionate word into that dexter ear, which seems placed far down towards his shoulder as if on purpose to receive our tender message? "He's deaf," said the heartless man with the pole. Let us at least give him one-- just one--kiss for his mother. "He never had no mother," responded the inexorable valet, and we turned sadly away from the Kingly presence of the sweet, sleeping orphan.
As we wended our homeward way we gave ourself up to meditation, while our companions gave themselves up to sandwiches and boiled eggs.
We called to mind the striking resemblance in form and features, which the vast monarch bears to the Stoneman family, and we rejoiced that a gallant General of our army could trace his ancestry to one who stood so high in the community.
From appearances we should judge the seraphic Emperor to be a man of property--worth at least fifty thousand dollars.
Whether he were so or not, we certainly were petrified-- with astonishment.
Yours for the right, THOMAS.
There's no use talking; that fellow was once a living and breathing human being. In my opinion he walked these hills and valleys, just the same as we do, thousands and thousands of years ago. We read of the sons of Anak, but this chap was the father of Anak. It is beyond the art of man to carve so perfect a human being out of stone. Anybody who could sculp like that could have made his fortune, without hiding his work away and letting it be discovered by accident in after ages. And who ever saw a piece of statuary in such a position, and without hair on?
The man that says that this petrified man is nothing but a graven image, proves that he is a little soft in the upper story. There is no shadow of doubt that this is a genuine petrifaction. I would take my oath of it. Dr. Boynton writes a long rigmarole to show that he is a statue made by the Jesuits; but in my opinion the Dr. is just laying low so that he can buy the curiosity and make his pile on him. Why, you can see the very cords in his legs, where the flesh has decayed off; and the matter running out of his right eye has turned to stone. Would the Jesuits have been likely to carve cords and tears? The idea is too absurd to be thought of. This is my report, and I don't care what anybody else says. RICHARD.
Whether the colossal figure be a petrifaction or a piece of statuary, it is a mystery and a success. Who carved it?. When was it made? Whom does it represent? What is its lesson? Why was it hidden? How happens it that tradition is silent about it? These are puzzling questions, which at present are solved only by conjecture.
Let no one imagine that he has an adequate conception of this wonder till he has seen it, with his own eyes. Description seems to be no aid whatever; ocular inspection is positively necessary.
He who fails to see the curiosity in its present locality and position, will have reason to regret this neglect or misfortune all his life time.
I was not permitted to make a careful and thorough examination.
"Hands off," was the imperative order of the proprietor, and I bowed to the decreer. I craved permission to apply a drop of acid in order to determine certainly whether the material was gypsum or ordinary limestone, but my request was denied. If on the application of acid there had been no effervescence, the inference would be that the specimen was not limestone, the material of which petrifactions are usually composed. But although chemical tests and manipulations were prohibited, there seemed to be no disposition to forbid the use of our eyes--at a respectful distance. And the proprietor very kindly refrained from exacting a promise that we would not express an opinion, if we should have
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