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TO ASSIST THE ENQUIRING ANIMATE THE STRUGGLING, AND SYMPATHIZE WITH ALL.
WEDNESDAY, JULY 30, 1834.
TO THE PUBLIC.
SUPPLEMENT OF THE LONDON JOURNAL.
As the number of weeks is not always the same in each month, and an irregularity of size, and consequently of price, is thus produced in the monthly sets of a publication like the present, it is proposed in future, that in order to secure five numbers to every set, a Supplement to the London Journal shall appear, whenever requisite. Two numbers of it will be published forth with, for the purpose of completing the back months of April and June, so that no inequality may be found in the first volume. The Supplement will be written by the Editor; and for some months to come, will consist of a BIOGRAPHICAL AND MISCELLANEOUS HISTORY OF THE STREETS OF LONDON, going through them regularly, and noticing whatever memories they contain, interesting to the lover of Books, of Eminent Men, and of the human species.
whatever Mr. Planche may think of the extreme gal-
them, and that they had not the "peaked" beard, nor
COSTUME. MR. PLANCHE's book, besides being sensibly and amusingly written, in a clear, unaffected style, contains more than would be expected from its title. It narrates the military as well as civil history of British costume, giving us not only the softer vicissitudes of silks and satins, but ringing the changes of helms, hauberks, and swords, from the earliest period of the use of armour till the latest; and it will set the public right, for the first time, upon some hitherto mistaken points of character and manners. We have been surprised, for instance, to learn, that our "naked
It is a curious fact, that good taste in costume has by no means been in proportion to an age's refinement in other respects. Mere utility is a better teacher than mere will and power; and fashions in dress have generally been regulated by those who had power, and nothing else. Shakspeare's age was that of ruffs and puffs; Pope's that of the most execrable of all coats, cocked hats, and waistcoats; lumpish, formal, and useless; a miserable affectation of ease with the most ridiculous buckram. And yet the costume of part of George the Third's reign was perhaps worse, for it had not even the garnish; it was the extreme of mechanical dullness; and the women had preposterous tresses of curls and pomatum on their head, by way of setting off the extremity of dull plainness with that of dull caprice. For the hoop, ancestors," (as we supposed them), the ancient possibly, something may be said, not as a dress, not
Britons, were naked only when they went to battle;
as an investment, but as an enclosure. It did not
"Not made to court an amorous looking glass," was a dandy in his dress, and as particular about his wardrobe, and coronation-gear, as George the Fourth. (See the passage at the end of this Article.) This trait in his character is confirmative, we think, of the traditions respecting his deformity, men who are under that disadvantage being remarkable either for a certain nicety and superiority of taste, moral and personal, if their dispositions are good, or for all sorts of mistakes the other way, under the reverse predicament. Two persons of the greatest natural refinement we ever met with, have had a crook in the shoulder. Richard was an usurper, a man of craft and violence; and his jealousy of the respect of his fellow-men took the unhappier and more glaring turn. He thought to overcome them with his fine clothes and colours, as he had done with his tyranny. Richard partook, it seems, of the effeminate voluptuousness of his brother Edward the Fourth, as Edward partook of Richard's cruelty.
Pride, pomp, and circumstance of glorious petticoat;
Mr. Planché justly cautions one generation against Mr. Planche is of opinion, that "the most elegant laughing at the fashions of another. He advises nd picturesque costume ever worn in England," was such ladies as would " scream" at the dresses of that of the reign of Charles the First, commonly the fourteenth or even eighteenth century, to look called the Vandyke dress, from its frequency in the into a fashionable pocket-book or magazine for the portraits of that artist. The dresses of few periods, year 1815 or 20, and then candidly compare notes. we think, in England, surpass those of the Anglo- Appendages or enclosures are one thing; positive Saxon times, and of some of the Norman. (See the clinging disfigurements another. The ugliest female engravings in the book at pages 22, 103, 121, and 127.) dress, in our opinion, without exception, was that Some of the Anglo-Saxon ladies were dressed with which we conceive Mr. Planche to allude to, and almost as elegant a simplicity as the Greeks. But which confounded all ages and shapes by girdling the
SPARROW, PRINTER, CRANE-COURT.
PRICE THREE HALFPENCE.
gown under the arm-pits! and sticking a little pad at the back almost between the shoulders! It reduced all figures to lumps of absurdity. No well-shaped woman, we may be sure, invented it. A history of the real origin of many fashions would be a curious document. We should find infirmity and unsightliness cheating youth and beauty into an imitation of them, and beaux and belles piquing themselves on resembling the worst points about their cunning elders.
As long as a man wears the modern coat, he has no right to despise any dress. What a thing it is, though so often taken for something "exquisite !" What a horse-collar for a collar! What snips at the collar and lapells! What a mechanical and ridiculous cut about the flaps ! What buttons in front that are never meant to button, and yet are no ornament! And what an exquisitely absurd pair of buttons at the back! gravely regarded, nevertheless, and thought as indispensably necessary to every well-conditioned coat, as other bits of metal or bone are to the bodies of savages whom we laugh at. There is absolutely not one iota of sense, grace, or even economy in the modern coat. It is an article as costly as it is ugly, and as ugly as it is useless. In winter it is not enough, and in hot weather it is too much. It is the tailors' remnant and cabbaging of the coats formerly in use, and deserves only to be chucked back to them as an imposition in the bill. It is the old or frock coat cut away in front and at the sides, mounted with a horse-collar, and left with a ridiculous tail. The waistcoat or vest, elongated, and with the addition of sleeves, might supersede it at once, and be quite sufficient in warm weather. A vest reaching to the mid-thigh is a graceful and reasonable habit, and with the addition of a scarf or sash, would make as handsome, or even brilliant a one, as any body could desire. In winter-time, the same cloaks would do for it, as are used now; and there might be lighter cloaks for summer. But the coat, as it now exists, is a mere nuisance and expense, and disgraces every other part of the dress, except the neck-cloth. Even the hat is too good for it; for a hat is good for something, though there is more chimney-top than beauty in it. It furnishes shade to the eyes, and has not always an ill look, if wellproportioned. The coat is a sheer piece of mechanical ugliness. The frock-coat is another matter, except as to the collar, which, in its present rolled or bolstered shape, is always ugly. As to the great coat, it makes a man look either like a man in a sack, or a shorn bear. It is cloth upon cloth, clumsiness made clumsier, sometimes thrice over,-cloth waistcoat, cloth coat, cloth great coat,-a "three piled hyperbole." It is only proper for travellers, coachmen, and others who require to have no drapery in the way. A cloak is the only handsome over-all. The neck-cloth is worthy of the coat. What a heaping of monstrosity on monstrosity! The woollen horse collar is bad enough; yet, as if this were not sufficient, a linen one must be superadded. Men must look as if they were twice seized with symbols of apoplexy, the horse-collar to shorten the neck, and the linen-collar to squeeze it. Some man with a desperately bad throat must have invented the neckcloth, especially as it had a padding, or pudding in it when it first came up. His neck could not have
been fit to be seen. It must have been like a pole, or a withered stalk; or else he was some faded fat dandy, ashamed of his double chin. There can be no objection to people's looking as well as they can contrive, young or old; but it is a little too much to set a fashion, which besides being deformed, is injurious. The man was excusable, because he knew no better; but it is no wonder if painters, and poets, and young Germans, and other romantic personages, have attempted to throw off the nuisance, especially such as have lived in the south. The neck-cloth is ugly, is useless, is dangerous to some, and begets effeminate fear of colds with all. The English, in consequence of their living more în doors than they used, fancy they have too many reasons for muffling themselves up,—not aware that the more they do so, the more they subject themselves hey do som to what they dread; and that it is by a general sense of warmth in the person they are to be made comfortable and secure, and not by filling up every creek and cranny of their dress to the very chin.
But some may tell us they cannot feel that general warmth, without thus muffling themselves up. True, if they accustom themselves to it; but it is the custom itself, which is in fault. They can have the warmth without it, if they please; just as well as they can without muffling up their eyes. "" How can you go with your body naked?" said a not very wise person to an Indian. "How can you go with your face naked?" said the Indian. "I am used to it," replied the man. "Well, and I am used to the other," rejoined the Indian; "I am all face." Now it will not exactly do to be "all face," in a civilized country; the police would object; - Piccadilly is not Paradise. But then it is not necessary to be all muffle.
The ladies in the reign of Edward I. once took to wearing a cloth round their throats and ears, in a way which made a poet exclaim, "Par Dieu! I have often thought in my heart, when I have seen a lady so closely tied up, that her neck-cloth was nailed to her chin." There is figure of her in Mr. Planche's book, p. 115, Now this was the precise appearance of a neck-cloth some years back, when it was worn with a pad or stiffener, and the point of the chin reposed in it: nay, it is so at present, with many. The stock looks even more stiff and apoplectic, especially if there is a red face above it. When dandies faint, the neck-cloth is always the first thing loosed, as the stays are with a lady.
By the way, the dandies wear stays too! We have some regard for these gentlemen, because they have reckoned great names among them in times of old, and have some very clever and amiable ones now, and manly withal too, They may err, we grant, from an excess of sympathy with what is admired, as well as from mere folly or effeminancy. But whatever approximates a man's shape to a woman's is a deformity. We have seen some of them with hips, upon which they should have gone carrying pails, and cried" milk!" And who was it that clapped those monstrous protuberances upon the bosoms of our brave life-guards? No masculine dandy we may be sure. A man's breast should look as if it would take a hundred blows upon it, like a glorious anvil; and not to be deformed with a frightened wadding; still less resemble the bosom that tenderness peculiarly encircles, and that is so beautiful because it is so different from his own.
RICHARD THE THIRD A DANDY!
[From Mr. Planché's “British Costume."]
Richard's wardrobe was at all times magnificently furnished; he and the Duke of Buckingham being notorious for their love of dress, and finery. A mandate still exists among the Harleian MSS. sent from York by Richard to the keeper of his wardrobe in London, August 31st, 1483, wherein he specifies the costly habits in which he was desirous of exhibiting himself to his northern subjects, with a descriptive detail, which, as Mr. Sharon Turner justly remarks, we should rather look for from the fop that annoyed Hotspur, than from the stern and warlike Richard III.
Richard writes for his short gowns of crimson cloth of gold; "that one with droppue, and that other 'with nett, lined with green velvet" gowns of green
velvet and green satin; doublets of purple and tawny satin, lined with a galard cloth and outlined with buskes; "a cloke with a cape of violet ingrained, the both lined with black velvet;" and he had also a long gown of purple cloth of gold, wrought with garters and roses, and lined with white damask, which was the gift of the queen.
The poor young prince, by right King Edward V., usurping uncle a short gown, made of two yards and received for the ceremony of the coronation of his three quarters of crimson cloth of gold, lined with black velvet; a long gown of the same stuff, lined with green damask; a shorter gown, made of two yards and a quarter of purple velvet, lined with green damask; a stomacher and doublet, made of two yards of black satin; besides two footcloths, a bonet of purple velvet, gilt spurs, and magnificent apparel for his henchmen or pages.
nobility cloth of gold and silver, scarlet cloth, and To all the officers of state, and to the principal silks of various colours were given as liveries and perquisites. To "the Duke of Bukks" (Buckingham), who stands first, eight yards of blue cloth of velvet, and twelve yards of crimson velvet were gold, wrought with "droops," eight yards of black delivered as a special gift from the king.
The henchmen or pages of the king and queen velvet, lined with white sarcenet, and black bonnets. wore doublets of green satin, long gowns of crimson The king had also provided for them long gowns of white cloth of gold and doublets of crimson satin.
We might fill pages with similar extracts from this book of the wardrober, but we have extracted as much as is necessary for our present purpose, and refer the curious reader to the document itself, for the description of the horse-furniture, embroideries for banners, pennons, canopies, &c., and all the pomp and circumstance of the gorgeous ceremony amidst which Richard assumed a crown he had no right to wear, and lost, with his life, in twenty-six months from the date of his usurpation.
From Wednesday the 30th July to Tuesday the 5th August.
SAINT SWITHIN began his season this month with a puzzle for the old ladies, for he did not rain. However, the old argument was at hand;-he rained somewhere. Upon the principle of this logic, Saint Swithin's dominion is never at an end; and the punster is no longer so cunning as he took himself to be, when he told a friend, that he would "lend him his umbrella during the whole of the present reign."
Adam had been a courageous bather in the sea when an infant; he therefore jumped in very freely, but began to be frightened at first, because the water took away his breath, and he could not speak without sobbing, all this, however, went off in less than a minute, and he played about as happy as a duck, and tried to dressing, his father told him to bear in mind as long swim. When they came out, and while they wer he lived, that if he wished to be a healthy man, it was necessary that he should be a cleanly one. "Next to kind and endearing manners," said he, "nothing is more pleasing in man or woman than a delicate cleanliness of person. And one of the surest means of being so, is to bathe regularly during the summer months, and in the winter ones as regularly to use the warm bath. There are few people who do not of money, that it would cost to have a warm bath every spend in wine and other luxuries ten times the sum day, all the year round." As Mr. Stock finished speaking, they heard a very low tumbling, like the noise of a heavy cart on an iron road.. Presently they observed from a dark lead-coloured cloud a bright flash, like a fiery snake, dart down upon a distant hill; after waiting for some time, the thunder followed as if it had been the same heavy cart that had fallen, and was afterwards dragged rattling along; then had stopped, then had fallen again, and ended by rumbling till it was out of hearing. The dark cloud all this time was changing its appearance and shape; sometimes it was very ragged at the edges, like wool, pulled or snatched off. Every thing around was quite silent; not even a little bird was heard to whistle. The sheep in the fields huddled their heads together, and bent them down towards the ground. Presently the wind rose all at once with a great roaring, and whirled up the dust of the road in a cloudy pillar; then ceased again, and all was silent. In a few seconds some large drops fell, and immediately after a broad flash burst out of the cloud, followed almost instantaneously by a crashing and tearing, as if houses were being overturned and dashed to pieces; and every now and then there were great bangs heard, like cannon firing off. At the sudden bursting of this thunder clap, some horses in a neighbouring field snorted, started, and galloped away. For a moment or two after the thunder had ceased, there was a dreadful stillness, and then the rain came down in a torrent, driving up the dust of the road, and making a soft noise, as if it fell upon wool, till it was soaked through and beaten down; when it made a quick splashing, and seemed to be lashing the ground.
They had now to run for it, and did not reach home till they were nearly soaked through. The lightning and thunder still continued, and the rain thatched roof of a shed opposite to their home. seemed to smoke along the ground, and upon the Sometimes the thunder sounded very high in the air, as if above the clouds; at others, as if it were down in the road. That which but a few minutes before clouds like snowy rocks that scarcely moved at all, had been a lovely day, with a blue sky, and stately was now one dull, lead-coloured covering. In about an hour it became lighter, and in another hour they had the pleasure to see that stormy cloud sailing away by the light of the golden sun. from them, still looking back, with its edges touched From time to time they heard that the storm had not ceased, though it cloud which had before looked so angry, when over was not so loud; at length it was so far off, that the thunder made only a low surly rumbling; and the and near them, now shone like a snow-covered mountain, with crags and precipices, and deep hollows and caverns. The family all remarked how pleasantly cool the air had become, and how calm and admired the fresh glittering appearance of the the sunshine; and they snuffed up with delight the grass, and the leaves of the trees, and the flowers in smell of the earth after the rain.
Adam asked a multitude of questions about thunder and lightning, of which his father told him it would be extremely difficult at his age to make him understand the explanation. He, however, informed him that thunder was the report of the lightning, as the noise after the flash of a gun was the report of that. Then he wished to know, how it was that it was so long after the flash that they heard the thunder. "Because," said the father, "sound occupies some time in coming to our ear from a distance. Do you not remember, when you once saw a man driving an iron wedge into the root of a tree, that you heard the blow just after you saw him strike? It was because you were at a short distance from him, and the sound was that length of time coming to your ear. Some clever person discovered, that sound flies one thousand one hundred and fifty feet in a second of time. Therefore with a watch you can tell how far off a storm is, by counting the number of seconds between the flash of lightning and the hearing of the thunder. Or you may make a rough guess by counting the beatings of your pulse in your wrist. About seven beats of an ordinary pulse are about equal to one mile that sound will travel. If, therefore, the instant you see a flash of lightning you were to put your finger to your wrist, and count fourteen pulsations before you hear the thunder, you may know
We will extract for our country enjoyments, this week, an excellent description of a Rain-storm from Adam the Gardener, the pleasant children's-book lately written by Mr. Clarke, author of Prose Tales from Chaucer. A children's-book it is; but like all works of that sort, which are well done, is worth a man's perusal. The description before us is full of truth and relish. We will begin at the beginning, because there is also a good description of cattle in hot weather, and some worthy hints about bathing
"Adam," said his father, "I think it will not be many minutes before we have a thunder-storm; the weather is so close, and what little air there is, comes to one's race as if it passed through a bakeunder the mulberry-tree, without a coat and waistAdam said he had been lying on his back coat, and with a wet towel on his face, but that it did not make him any cooler. His father said they would go down the river and bathe. As they walked along, they remarked how very troublesome the flies were, stinging their hands and faces angrily, and as if spitefully. They also noticed how bitterly they tormented some cows, standing half up to their legs in a pond under the shade of some ash-trees. They kept lashing their sides with their long tails to no purpose; the ittle persecutors returned to the same spot the moment the tail passed to the other side. Sometimes they remarked that the animals made all the skin of their bodies to shiver, and this action might the remainder of the swarm stuck fast to the hides of rouse up for an instant one or two timid flies, but the beasts. Now and then a cow would lift up one foreleg and stamp it down again; then, with a hind leg she would kick her belly. Then she would shake one ear, then the other; toss up her head, wink with her eyes, in the corners of which a dozen tormentors were collected. All was to little purpose. "In the hot country of India," said Mr. Stock, "the buffaloes get into the pools in shady spots, and leave no part above the surface of the water but the nose, to allow them to breathe." "If I were one of these cows I would do so too," said Adam. As they were close by the place that was convenient for their bathing, they undressed: the father plunging in first, and shaking
his streaming face and hair, as soon as he arose to the surface.
that the storm is somewhat more or less than two
ON THE RAIN OF THE EVENING OF JUNE 28TH.
supposed that he had no religion! In more than one
Open the window, and let the air
And how the odorous limes are blown!
Not a blink shall burn to night
In my chamber, of sordid light;
Nought will I have, not a window-pane,
ROMANCE OF REAL LIFE.
XXV. A SERIOUS JOKE SERIOUSLY RETURNED.
[From the “Familiar Letters of James Howell, Esq." the first popular writer of that kind in the language. (Omitted in our last.) July 25th, (August 6, O. S.) He was the son of a clergyman in Caermarthanshire, of an ancient family, in Perigord, Fenelon, Archbishop was born about 1596, and was in employment under of Cambray, the author of Telemachus, a marvel of Charles I. and II.] a man, a courtier yet independent, a teacher of WHEN the Duke of Alva was in Brussels, about the royalty who really did teach, a liberal devotee, a beginning of the tumults in the Netherlands, he had saint in polite life. His Telemachus is not a fine sate down before Hulst in Flanders; and there was a poem, as some call it, but it is a beautiful moral provost-marshal in his army who was a favourite of his, and this provost had put some to death by secret novel. He had the courage to advise Louis XIV. commission from the Duke. There was one Captain not to marry the bigotted Madame Maintenon: and Bolea in the army, who was an intimate friend of the such was the respect borne to his character by the provost's; and one evening late he went to the capDuke of Marlborough, and the other allied generals,tain's tent, and brought with him a confessor and an that they expressly exempted his lands at Cambray executioner, as it was his custom. He told the captain he was come to execute his excellency's commisfrom pillage, when in possession of that part of sion and martial law upon him. The captain started Flanders. The utmost fault that could be found up suddenly, his hair standing upright, and being with him was, that perhaps the vanity attributed to struck with amazement, asked him, "Wherein have I offended the duke?" The provost answered, "Sir, Frenchmen found some last means of getting into a I am not to expostulate the business with you, but corner of his nature, in the shape of an over-studito execute my commission, therefore I pray prepare ousness of the feelings of others, and an apostolical yourself, for there are your ghostly father and execuhumility of submission to the religious censures tioner." So he fell on his knees before the priest, and having done, and the hangman going to put the of the Pope! Charming blights, to be sure, in the halter about his neck, the provost threw it away, and character of a Catholic priest! The famous Lord breaking into a laughter, told him, "there was no Peterborough said of him, in his lively manner, "He such thing, and that he had done this to try his couwas a delicious creature. I was obliged to get away rage, how he would bear the terror of death." The captain, looking ghastly at him, said, “then, sir, get you from him, or he would have made me pious."
July 31st, (12th August, O. S.) 1743, at Paris of opulent parents, Anthony Laurence Lavoisier, the celebrated chemist, famous for his discoveries in the elements of fluids. He had the misfortune to be one of the unpopular body of Farmers-General at the French Revolution, and perished in the general sweep of the storm against them. His widow, who had joined in his studies, and was the engraver of some of his plates, married the English economist, Sir Benjamin Thompson, better known by his German title of Count Rumford; but French science was of a more lively nature than that of our AngloGerman, and the parties separated.
August 3d, (15th O. S.) 1599, at Bridgewater, the son of a merchant, Robert Blake, the famous Republican Admiral. He was a disinterested partriot as well as a great commander, and was the first to set that example of putting daring above prudence, which has been found, in naval affairs, to be the most prudent conduct. The poor people of the court of Charles II. dug up his bones at the Restoration, as if to shew that all the great captains, naval as well as military, had been on the other side.
out of my tent, for you have done me a very ill office."
August 4, 1792, at Mayfield Park, Sussex, of an ancient family, Percy Bysshe Shelley. He was not without his errors, especially at the outset of life (who among the speculative and imaginative are apt to be so?); but they originated in an excess of enthusiasm for what he thought just, and in a tendency, otherwise truly philosophical (we mean setting aside the excess) to recur to first principles. His opinions are to be judged from his riper works, the Revolt of Islam, the noble tragedy of the Cenis, &c. and not from an indifferent poem the Queen Mab, which he publicly expressed his regret at having written. Of all men he was the most misconstrued, in its being
brought me by captain Bolea, who stepped forth and
FINE ARTS, MUSIC, &C., GALLERY OF
Some correspondents, whom we much desire to gratify, express a wish for the revival of those articles upon the current Fine Arts, Music, &c. which we commenced under the head of London, and which were discontinued, partly because we could not find matter piquant enough for them every week. For ourselves, we have always regretted, that owing to this circumstance, and to the additional obstacle of being obliged to go to press sooner than is convenient for the notice of immediate publications, we have not
been able to hit upon any plan that should allow us
to indulge our own inclinations in the matter. We will not, however, give up the hope of finding one; and meanwhile we must content ourselves with occasional glances. Perhaps we may be able to get up some brief monthly notice, or catalogue raisonné. There is Mr. Major's Cabinet Gallery, now about to close its beautiful collection in two volumes, the last numbers of which daily reproach us, as we look at them, with not having noticed them publicly. We have also made similar remorseful acquaintance with the National Gallery of Messrs. Jones and Co., another
singularly cheap publication, possessing the advantage of a definite object, for it is confined to the collection known by its title; so that when it is complete, the purchaser will possess, in engravings, all which the public gallery has to show in paintings. These are things worth knowing.
Then there are tickets admitting us to galleries themselves, public and private,-galleries of paintings and gal cries of copies from them,-things we have never seen of Raphael, and Titian, and Correggio, and painted windows (a sort of heaven in our eyes) and a card from Dominic Colnaghi, whose name is here
ditary in the annals of good taste and capital printselling. One of the secret reasons why we do not attend directly to all these attractions is, that we know not how to leave off when we once begin. "Brief notices" are apt to get long; catalogues raisonnes run into a delight beyond reason.
In music too, as if we were compelled to neglect and seem scornful of all we love best, we have works lying by us, that call for notice with every species of sweet voice,-Bijous of Me. Korkell, and Offerings of Purday, and Barnett's Library of Music, and the Musical Library of Knight (making strange discord among musicians by its cheapness), and the Convent Music of Mr. Novello, full of chaunts and masses and other minglements of heaven and earth, rising out of Gregorian chapels, and surmounted with the winged voices of women.
Positively we must have a monthly notice, glance, or catalogue of some sort,-deraisonné, if it must be 50,-unreasonable even for its brevity: for who can say enough in honour of things beautiful? We never, for our parts, can express a twentieth, or a hundredth, or a thousandth part of the love "we bear them; and nature will acquit us for the inability, if critics will not. We should be glad if those gentlemen could find out the process by which Mozart made a beautiful trio, or nature herself makes a peach or a sweet cheek or Shakspeare wrote of it, or Guido painted it. the beautiful mystery of a common apple hanging on a tree, and say if any combination of human words can do it justice. If men could describe such things worthily, the next thing would be to become gods, and make them. And truly such poets as Shakspeare go nigh to something like divinity, and are but " little lower than the angels."
There is another publication, connected with the
Fine Arts, which we have long reproached ourselves with not noticing; but we have been silent from any reason rather than one derogatory. It was not merely that we did not think it required notice, (nor do we suppose now that it does) but for similar reasons to those above mentioned,--the dislike to say any thing without doing it justice, and the not knowing where to stop in our extracts; a peril of which we have given abundant proof, now that we have begun! We allude to the Portrait Gallery, which is issued under the superintendance of the Society for the Diffusion of Knowledge, and from which we have ⚫ taken the following ample and interesting memoir of the Prince of German Literature. This work, as far as, we have seen, is really admirable in all its characteristicks. Its subjects are selected in a truly philosophical spirit, from all nations and parties; the lives are written with a due mixture of zeal and dispassionateness; there is an attractive diversity in the professions and characters which are brought together; the portraits complete our interest in them by adding the charm of a sort of personal intimacy; and the plates are as well engraved, as the lives are well written. Here is a publication worth laying up a man's money to buy. We read, some time back, in one of the Penny Magazines of a journeyman carver and gilder, who having an understanding worthy of the productions which it was often his good luck to make frames for, took to spending his savings upon the lasting enjoyments of etchings and prints, instead of the fugitive ones of the tap-room; and succeeded in getting together a handsome collection. We can easily believe it, especially as a man, with a taste well directed, may often pick up excellent things of this kind for a comparative nothing. The other day, from among a set of penny scraps, in a print-seller's window, we bought a capital little etching after Guercino; which in these days of denarian elegance, has given us some thoughts of getting up a Penny Gallery! (say of any sums calculated in pence, up to eighteen or twenty pence); and if people
knew how much pleasure we have already extracted from our "Guercino," they might admit that it is not every possessor of grander galleries who could beat us in enjoyment, whatever advantages he may have over us in paying more for the reputation of it. One good thing produces a desire for another. We wish it also supplied the means of getting it. Those who began with Penny Galleries, and Magazines, and the Mirror, and Mr. Chambers, should then ascend to Portrait and Cabinet Galleries, to Musical Libraries, and to Convent Music; and at the end of all, they should buy the London Journal or they shall begin with it, if they please (we have no objection), seeing that we have something to tell them about all. We remember, on the first appearance of the Portrait Gallery, how pleased we were to see three such different, yet such interesting men brought together as Dante, Davy, and Kosciusko! a great poet, a scientific discoverer, and an heroic patriot. number before us the contrast is not so obviously striking, but it is considerable too. With all the merits of Vauban the engineer, and King William the Third, Goethe has enough in him to furnish sufficient contrast to both of them, or to any half dozen men of action, in the ordinary sense of the word. And the number which will be publishing when this
notice appears, contains a similar diversity, though the proportion of the active spirit is reversed,Coreggio, Napoleon, and Linnæus !-the very spirit of war between two of the most peaceful of mankind. We proceed to lay before our readers the extract alluded to. It is very long, but we did not know what to leave out; and we trust, for our excuse, to the singular spectacle it presents, for the first time in the history of the world, of a great poet passing a life of prosperity in the circle of a prince. The position was not without its perils, as we have noticed in our remarks in another column; but it had its preferment too, even for the cause of mankind! and for the singularity of it, we might have put it among our Rom.nces of Real Life.
MEMOIR OF GOETHE.
From the Twenty-sixth Number of the "Gallery of
If the opinion of his contemporaries become the
not reach to Paris. The early retirement of Prussia from the league against France restored peace to the north of Germany, and Goethe was at liberty to return to his favourite pursuits. In the prosecution of these he had the happiness soon to connect himself with Schiller, a man ten years younger than himself; of a genius totally opposite to his own, and therefore perhaps best adapted to act in concert with him.
Goethe has, with delighted frankness, related how, exceedingly disliking the 'Robbers,' Schiller's first, worst, and most famous play, and feeling a strong aversion towards the Kantian philosophy, to which Schiller was attached, he had conceived an antipathy towards the offending poet, whom he resolutely shunned. But having once met, the passionate zeal of Schiller in pursuit of their common objects was irresistible. Dislike subsided into tolerance, and was at last converted into warm admiration and love. Memorable consequences followed from their union, and their literary correspondence remains an instructive example of what may be effected by the collision of powerful minds of opposite character. Schiller died in 1804. During the time allotted to their joint exertions, Goethe produced many of his greatest works, and Schiller all the best of his. During the same period Goethe pursued his philosophical studies with the eminent men who then filled professor's chairs at Jena. The metaphysical systems of Fichte and afterwards of Schelling, which succeeded that of Kant, met with some favour in his eyes. At least, though he kept aloof from the controversies of the day, he laboured to connect with philosophical speculations his own particular studies in various branches of natural history and science.
It was after Schiller's death and when Goethe was approaching his sixtieth year, that the storm of war unexpectedly burst upon Weimar and Jena. He did not leave Weimar; but aware of the peril to which he with every one was exposed, on the very day of the battle of Jena, he married a lady with whom he had lived for many years, and at the same time legitimated his only child, a son. During the short period of extreme degradation into which Prussia and Saxony sunk, from 1806 till the fall of Buonaparte in 1813, he withdrew, as much as possible, from political life; he would not suffer newspapers to be brought him, or politics to be discussed in his presence, but fled to the arts and sciences as an asylum against the miserable realities of life. Such had always been his practice. He has said of himself that he never had a disease of the mind which he did not cure by turning it into a poem. In his early youth, having lost a mistress through foolish petulance of temper, he, as a penance, made his own folly the subject of a comedy. And, in after life, while Europe was convulsed, he was absorbed in studies independent of the incidents of the day. Thus varying his pursuits, he kept on his serene course with no other interruptions than such as inevitably befall those who attain old age. It was his lot to survive the associates of his youth. In 1827, he lost his early friend, from whom he had never been estranged, the Grand Duke privation in the death of his son, at Rome. It was of Saxe Weimar. In 1830, he met with a severer feared that this calamity would prove fatal to Goethe, whose strength was sensibly declining; but he surTo these pursuits, on his return to Germany he vived the blow, and enjoyed the best consolation applied as the chief business of his life; and the which could be afforded to him in the exemplary insignificance of the patron as a sovereign tended to care of his amiable and gifted daughter-in-law, and in render the poet more conspicuous, and to encrease his two young grand-children, to whom he was his power over the minds of the Germans. The duke tenderly attached. In the was a general in the Prussian service, and, as a minor cheerful retirement. He possessed an elegant and His last years were spent in power, followed the course of policy pursued by the spacious house in Weimar, but he also had a cottage head of his house, the Elector of Saxony. He could in the park, where he dwelt alone, receiving his not indulge in ambition, and spent his small revenue friends tête-à-tête; and, on particular occasions, more like a private nobleman than a sovereign prince. going into the town to entertain company. He He was desirous to collect a library for the use of retained his faculties to the last, and made a very himself and the students of Weimar. He had mines precise disposition of his property. His extensive on one portion of his small territory. With the other dukes of Saxony he was jointly the possessor collections in natural history and art were directed to be preserved as a museum for twenty years. These of drawing; and the creation of a German theatre, died, March 24, 1832, in the eighty-third year of his of a University, Jena. He wished to found a school were among the objects of his latest solicitude. He
and the collecting of eminent men of all kinds at
"The estate that wits inherit after death."
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe was born of affluent parents, August 28, 1749, at Frankfort on the Main. He attended successively the universities of Leipsig and Strasburg; and, in 1771, took a doctor's degree in jurisprudence; but from his early youth literature was his ruling passion. In his twenty-fourth year, he had already acquired unexampled popularity by his published in 1773. In 1774 he gained a European original and daring tragedy of Goetz von Berlichingen, celebrity by the 'Sorrows of Werter;' and he had already rendered himself an object of admiration to the young, and of terror to the timid, by the publicatiɔn of several pungent satirical writings, when his good genius guided to the vicinity of Frankfort the young Duke of Saxe Weimar, who was about to assume the government on coming of age. In accepting the friendship, and taking up his residence at the court of this prince, Goethe entered on an unvarying career of prosperity. For a few years the young Duke and his friend led a life of gaiety, of which there are many curious anecdotes current in Germany; but, lectual singularly prevailed over the sensual. Even during a joyous and somewhat wild life, the intelduring that course of dissipation, the most important of Goethe's works were commenced, though none of them were published until after his return from Italy. That country he visited in 1786, and to the time which he spent in it he ever after recurred with delight. Though Shakspeare was the individual poet he most prized, and Greek the literature which he held up as the rule of all excellence, Italy was the land of his affections. He remained two winters in Rome. Here he cultivated the studies of archaiology and the fine arts, which he had begun to practice in his youth, but now abandoned for poetry and the study of nature.
The pronunciation of the dyssyllable Goethe varies even with German scholars in this country, according to the diversity of their organs or provincial speech. Some call it Gayte, others Gheute (with a kind of French u), others Gute at once. The middle seems the nearest. The closest hit of all would be made by a rapid but delicate articulation of the o and e, uniting them into a sort of u, and yet intimating their distinction. The name is sometimes written with two dots over the o (Gothe); in which case the e is omitted, the dots supplying its place.
relating his participation in the too famous campaign of 1792, when he, as a non combatant, accompanied the Duke of Saxe Weimer, who served under the Duke of Brunswick in his famous march which did
Goethe's figure was commanding, and his counte nance severely handsome. He appears to have acquired a great ascendancy over his fellow-students at the universities, and to have kept the professors in In after life he was reproached by Bürger and others with haughtiness, and was accused of making his inferiors in station and in genius too sensible of their inferiority; but his powers of captivation were irresistible when he chose to exert them. His social for his own generation and country. To posterity talents were of the hi hest order. Such was Goethe he will live chiefly as a poet. Of his most remarkable works we will now speak, not chronologically, but according to the classes which are recognized by systematic writers.
In epic poetry his pretensions will be derided by those who adhere to the theory of M. Bossu, adopted by Pope. According to this, the common opinion, the Epos' requires supernatural machinery, illustrious actors, and heroic incident, The German
ing, not to say a sanctifying influence of Margaret, a confiding, loving, innocent woman, whose very destruction works on the heart like an act of grace, and prepares the spectator for the promised salvation of her lover.
In the romance as in the drama, Goethe commenced a career which he immediately abandoned. His Werter breathes a spirit of dissatisfaction with the world and its institutions. But by writing that book which infected the rising generation with the same spirit, he cured himself of the disease; and he then became the declared foe of the sentimental, which he attacked in his romantic comedy 'The Triumph of Sentimentality.'
In latter years, when he was become the meditating philosopher, and, at the same time indulged in more cheerful contemplations of life, he produced' Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship,' intended to elucidate problems of psychology. The stage being the symbol of life, his hero is thrown among players, and both the real drama and the drama of life are analyzed, with perpetual illustrations of the one by the other. After an interval of some years, Goethe, in a second part, exhibited his pupil advanced on a sort of journey. Conscious that his problem, like that of Faustus, was insoluble, he has not dared to exhibit Faustus in heaven or Wilhelm as a master. Like the Faustus, Wilhelm Meister is still 'caviare to the million.'
critics, on the contrary, maintain that the essential character of the Homeric poetry lies in the epic style, pot in the subject of the narrative, a style analogous to that of Herodotus, whom they place at the head of the epic historians, and to be found in a very large portion of our own ancient ballads, such as relate to Robin Hood, Chevy Chace, &c. Goethe, on this idea, began a continuation of the Iliad' in his Achilles,' and he threw the graces of his own style over the old fable of 'Reynard the Fox." But it was in 'Herman and Dorethea' that he displayed all his powers: this is both a patriotic and domestic tale; the characters in humble life; the incident, a flight over the Rhine on the invasion of the French. It abounds in maxims of moral wisdom, and in pathos; but it is too national to bear translating.
It is as a lyric poet that Goethe is popular in the fullest sense of the word, and may challenge comparison with the greatest masters of all ages. In the song, he abounds in masterpieces, passionate and gay. His elegy has sometimes the erotic character of Proper tius, (as in the famous 'Roman Elegies') and sometimes emulates the refinement and purity of Petrarch: his ballads are as wild and tender as any that Spain or Scotland have produced. His very numerous epigrams bear more resemblance to the Greek Anthology, than to the pointed style of the Latin writers. Besides these, he has produced a number of allegorical and enigmatical poems on art and philosophy, which cannot be placed under any known class.
Goethe's dramatic works are about twenty in number. There is this peculiarity in his career as a dramatic poet, that though the drama is essentially the most popular branch of poetry, he never wrote for the people: his plays are all experiments, and no two resemble each other; he seems to be unaffectedly indifferent to their reception on the stage. His first juvenile play 'Goetz von Berlichingen, was in prose and unlike anything that had appeared on the German boards. It exhibited in a strong light the manners of the Germans at a romantic period when the petty barons and knights were a sort of privileged freebooters, sometimes generously resisting the oppression of the emperor and the higher nobility, and sometimes plundering the citizens of the free towns. The style was in harmony with the subject, daring in its originality, and all but licentious in its freedom. By audiences accustomed only to pedantic imitations of the French, it was received with tumultuous applause; but the admiration of the more cultivated classes was given to the Iphigenia in Tauris,' an echo, as Schlegel expresses it, of the Greek, yet neither a translation nor a copy. Christian purity of morals harmoniously blending with pagan incident, not a line disturbs the exquisite symmetry of this, the most generally admired of Goethe's dramas.
Not less perfect in style is the anomalous 'Torquato Tasso,' which deserves especial notice, though not as a play adapted to the stage: it is rather a didactic poem in dialogue than a drama. Tasso and the warrior statesman Antonio, exhibit in contrast the poetical character and that of the man of the world. It could secure the attention of an audience only when performed on the duke's private theatre, where the members of the ducal family usually represented the princes of the House of Este, and Goethe himself acted the part of Tasso; and when it was performed as a sort of funeral obsequies on the death of the poet himself.
In a third romance, Elective Affinities,' Goethe treats subtilely of that passion to which Lord Bacon says 'the stage is more beholden than the life of man.' As the chemical title suggests, he shews how the felicity of a married couple is marred by the intrusion of other minds, with which each consort has more affinity than the companion previously chosen.
When Wilhelm Meister' first appeared, the narrative of Wilhelm's childhood was related with such spirit and air of truth, that it was believed to be the author's own personal history; and, in truth, the resemblance between the real and feigned history was soon made manifest by the appearance of Goethe's own memoirs, under the puzzling title From my Life: Fiction and Truth;' so entitled to allow for the unconscious illusions to which we are exposed, when, in advanced life, we try to recollect the occurrences of childhood, and unintentionally confound memory with imagination. These memoirs, including his foreign travels, amount already to nine volumes, and others are to follow; but these earlier volumes treat solely of the author's intellectual life. Concerning much that men are inquisitive about he says nothing. Not a hint is dropped concerning the fortune of his father, or the amount of profit which he himself derived from his writings. His being ennobled was ar incident which he thought too unimportant for notice; and of honours and distinctions conferred on him he seldom condescends to speak.
'Egmont' is an historical play in prose, founded on the real tragedy, by the bloody Alva in Belgium. Its most remarkable feature is the unheroic character of Egmont himself. While William of Orange is the common stage hero patriotic and wise, destined to save his country, Count Egmont is the warm-hearted, sensual, and munificent nobleman, a patriot not from reflexion but impulse, whose love for the humble Clara is much more prominent than his patriotism, and who is therefore doomed to perish. The pathos lies in the dissonance between the man and the nececessities of his position. Goethe, in drawing such a character, probably thought of Hamlet, of whom he makes an analogous remark.
We pass over a number of dramas, all original, all experiments in furtherance of his own studies, and name only Faustus' the unique, the undefinable. Begun in youth, continued at intervals during a long life, and finally left unfinished, it has been called a grotesque tragedy. Who knows not the popular legend of the learned magician who sold his soul to the devil? This coarse tale of vulgar superstition is here used as a vehicle into which the adventurous poet has cast all that
"Perilous stuff that weighs upon the heart." The erring philosopher is attended on the wrong road by a laughing devil, Mephistophiles, who leads him through scenes of the wildest frolic and the most appalling wretchedness. All that is most deplorable, most frightful in human life, is here displayed with the running comment of the dæmon whom omnipotence does not confound; and the most awful problems of divinity and moral philosophy are treated with pathetic sadness by the wretched victim, or with infernal satire by his master slave. These repulsive elements are nevertheless combined with the sooth
deeply injured the poetic character of Calderon, and considered the Protestantism of Shakspeare as a happy accident in the life of that incomparable man. It appears from his memoirs, that Judaism and Chris. tianity had occupied his mind very seriously from his childhood. He delighted in pourtraying the Christian enthusiast in a tone of kindred enthusiasm, as his Confessions of a Beautiful Soul,' of which the ori ginal was a Moravian lady, his friend; and it was only in incidental bursts of sarcasm, especially in his gayer poems, that he alarmed the timid and the scrupulous. In spite of occasional ebullitions of spleen or rash speculation, he was habitually hostile towards the French anti-religious party. He makes his devil in Faustus describe himself as the spirit that always denies, in the same way that Alfieri scornfully terms Voltaire 'Disinventor ed inventor di nulla.' It was this negative, this merely destructive character, to which Goethe was in all things most resolutely opposed.
This sentiment extended to politics. Long before the words 'Conservative' and 'Destructive,' Goethe had made frequently use of them. It was the tendency of his mind to look with indulgence, if not with favour, on whatever he found in the exercise of productive power. Laudo manentem might have been his motto. He saw in the French revolutionists, as in their philosophers, the spirit of destruction, and he clung with affection to institutions under which so many fine arts and rapidly advancing sciences had flourished. With reference to public life, Goethe has been severely reproached on two grounds. He has been accused of wanting patriotism; but before a passion can be generated, an object must be presented. What country had Goethe to love in his youth? A walled city which he could run round before breakfast. The first great political event which he witnessed was the Seven Years' War. His native city was in the possession of the French, whom one party considered as allies and the other as enemies. Goethe's father adhered to Frederick, his grandfather was attached to the Imperial House: at the best he could love but half a nation. Hence Wieland said, 'I have no fellow countrymen'; I have only speech-mates' (sprach-genossen.) Thus, German patriotism could be but a sort of corporation spirit; like the affections of a livery-man confined to the members of his company. It was not till the close of the last war that the common oppression exercised by Buonaparte generated a common hatred towards France, and with it something like patriotism on a great scale. Yet so anomalous is the condition of Germany, that at this moment this sentiment, or the loud avowal of it, is looked on as akin to disloyalty; and, at the universities, students are forbidden to frequent clubs, or to assume denominations which have reference to one general national character. There are few appeals among Goethe's writing to national feeling, and, in truth, his studies led him to be, in sentiment, the fellow-citizen of the great poets and artists of all nations, the contemporary of the great men of all ages. The other reproach is, that being admitted with familiarity to princes, he lost his love of the people, as such. Now, it must be owned, that in this respect he felt pretty much as Milton did, in whom attachment to the aristocracy of talent was a marked quality. Of the people, as such, he seems to have thought lowly: his affections were exercised on the select few,-the nobles of nature, not of the herald's office. That he had no vulgar reverence for persons in authority or for the privileged orders, is amply proved by all he wrote. It may finally be remarked, as the most characteristic feature of his moral speculation, that he had habitually contemplated mankind, not as a moralist, but as a naturalist. There are some thinkers who never consider men but as objects of praise or blame; others, who only study men with a view of making them different from what they are. Such are reformers, the leaders of institutions, philanthropists, who think only in order to act. To neither of these classes did Goethe belong. He took men as he found them; he was content to take society as he found it, with all its complex institutions. He was disposed to make the best of what he found, but seemed reluctant to waste his powers in the vain attempt to make men materially different from what they were before; hence arose an inert or indolent acquiescence in what he found existing. He had early in life laboured to catch a new point of view from which nature might be contemplated on all sides; or a law in conformity with which the manifold operations of nature might be seen as if they were one. He first made this idea known in his 'Metamorphosis of Plants. His botanical studies were continued for many years of his life. He afterwards busied himself with the minute and experimental study of chromatics. He edited a journal of science, and wrote more or less on mineralogy, geology, comparative anatomy, optics and meteorology. A metaphysical spirit runs through all these writings, so alien from the mode of study pursued in other countries, that we do not recollect any notice of them by any English writer, except Professor Lindley, in his 'Introduction to Botany,' who confines his remarks to Goethe's botanical works. The professor represents Goethe as having revived a nearly forgotten doctrine, first promulgated by
Among the studies which partook of Goethe's attention were antiquities and the fine arts. This led to the composition of a masterpiece, his critical characteristic of Winkelman, and an account of Hackert, the landscape painter. The same course of study led him to translate that delightful work, the autiobiography of Benvenuto Cellini, which was first made known to the European public by the Earl of Bristol, late Bishop of Derry, and which is now in the hands of all lovers of the fine arts. On art, in its various branches, Goethe's prose writings are very numerous. As a critic also he has written much, and his criticism is remarkably indulgent and gene
Such being the variety of works in which he has recorded his speculation on man, his powers, his actions, and his productions, it will be naturally asked what were the main features of his philosophy, and to what results did they lead on those great points which unhappily disunite mankind, religion and politics?
Hume has well designated the great varieties of intellect and moral character by the significant scholastic names of the Platonist, the Stoic, the Epicurean, and the Sceptic. According to the classification, it may be said that Goethe was too devotedly attached to the study of nature and actual life to be a Platonist; he loved contemplation too intensely, and was too indolent and self indulgent to be a Stoic; he was too intellectual to be a gross sensualist, or, in the worst sense, an Epicurean; and he had too much imagination to be able to tolerate the modern rational philosophy, a mere system of negatives. In so far he was an enemy of vulgar scepticism; yet blended with the refinement which the poetic mind pre-supposes, he had a large portion of Scepticism and Epicureanism in his nature. Towards the positive religion which he found established in his own country he manifested respect, though he never made any distinction of faith upon doctrinal matters; he conformed, however, to the Lutheran church. On two occasions only do we recollect the expression of any strong feeling as to religion. He early betrayed great contempt towards the German Rationalists, whom he rather despised for their shallowness than reproached for their being mischievous. His love of Rome by no means reconciled him to the Church of Rome, against which he would inveigh with a warmth unusual in him.
He maintained that Catholic superstition had