Textbook Notes (368,418)
Canada (161,876)
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ENGB30 (11)
Chapter

drowne's wooden image

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Department
English
Course
ENGB30
Professor
Laura Jane Wey
Semester
Fall

Description
DROWNES WOODEN IMAGEThursday September 22 2011907 PMOne sunshiny morning in the good old times of the town of Bostona young carver in wood well known by the name of Drownestood contemplating a large oaken log which it was his purposeto convert into the figurehead of a vessel And while he discussedwithin his own mind what sort of shape or similitude itwere well to bestow upon this excellent piece of timber therecame into Drownes workshop a certain Captain Hunnewell ownerand commander of the good brig called the Cynosure which hadjust returned from her first voyage to FayalAh that will do Drowne that will do cried the jolly captaintapping the log with his rattan I bespeak this very pieceof oak for the figurehead of the Cynosure She has shown herselfthe sweetest craft that ever floated and I mean to decorateher prow with the handsomest image that the skill of man can cutout of timber And Drowne you are the fellow to execute itYou give me more credit than I deserve Captain Hunnewellsaid the carver modestly yet as one conscious of eminence inhis art But for the sake of the good brig I stand ready to domy best And which of these designs do you prefer Herepointing to a staring half length figure in a white wig and scarletcoathere is an excellent model the likeness of our graciousking Here is the valiant Admiral Vernon Or if you prefera female figure what say you to Britannia with the tridentAll very fine Drowne all very fine answered the marinerPage 060 Page imagelink to external site this link will open in a new windowlink to external site this link will open in a new windowexternal linkPage 060 But as nothing like the brig ever swam the ocean so I am determinedshe shall have such a figurehead as old Neptune neversaw in his life And what is more as there is a secret in thematter you must pledge your credit not to betray itCertainly said Drowne marvelling however what possiblemystery there could be in reference to an affair so open of necessityto the inspection of all the world as the figurehead of a vesselYou may depend captain on my being as secret as thenature of the case will permitCaptain Hunnewell then took Drowne by the button and communicatedhis wishes in so low a tone that it would be unmannerlyto repeat what was evidently intended for the carvers privateear We shall therefore take the opportunity to give thereader a few desirable particulars about Drowne himselfHe was the first American who is known to have attemptedin a very humble line it is truethat art in which we can nowreckon so many names already distinguished or rising to distinctionFrom his earliest boyhood he had exhibited a knackforit would be too proud a word to call it geniusa knack thereforefor the imitation of the human figure in whatever material camemost readily to hand The snows of a New England winter hadoften supplied him with a species of marble as dazzlingly whiteat least as the Parian or the Carrara and if less durable yetsufficiently so to correspond with any claims to permanent existencepossessed by the boys frozen statues Yet they won admirationfrom maturer judges than his schoolfellows and wereindeed remarkably clever though destitute of the native warmththat might have made the snow melt beneath his hand As he Cde Souza ENGB30H3 Page 1
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