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which her Majesty is sovereign"-St. Andrew, St. Patrick, the Bath, and St. George; makes some stanzas upon the union of the rose, shamrock, and thistle; and then discourses on the order of the garter, King Arthur's round table, Windsor Castle, &c. In his fourth canto he makes reflections on Westminster Abbey, and then rhymes on the ceremonials from the recognition and first oblation, down to the crowning, benediction, and enthronisation. In canto the fifth he is somewhat less matter-of-fact, giving us the legend of the “fated stone,” stolen from Scone by Edward 1., and contained in the coronation-chair in Westminster Abbey, and he has rhymed how the Scots believed that this stone was Jacob's pillow on the plain of Bethel. And his last and concluding canto is all about “ the blessings of this present enlightened age," and praise, and gratitude.
Our Italian friend, Vito Maria de Grandis, starts and concludes in a very different manner. He enters upon his subject in a high, imaginative tone, like that in which Dante describes his journey to hell. He figures himself wandering
solo e trista per deserto calle," and wondering how a king could die, and how England would get on with a young queen. Presently some young ladies in embroidered dresses lead him along an avenue, adorned with hundreds of statues and busts. Here our poet gets upon his mettle. After describing Homer, and Aristotle, and Pythagoras, and Sappho, (we follow his own arrangement of these personages,) Camilla, Penthesilea queen of the Amazons, the seven sages, Hesiod, Archilocus, Alceus, Simonides, and Tyrtæus, he gives this striking verse, which surpasses Mr. Wordsworth's feat of putting all the mountains of Cumberland and Westmoreland into rhythm; only, be it said, English is a harder language to play tricks with than Italian.
“ V'ha Tespi, Esopo, Eraclito e Democrito,
V'ba Empedocle, Tucidide ed Ippocrate,
Euripide, Aristofane e Lisimaco.” At the end of the avenue he comes, of course, to a gate and an inscription-Padre Dante again, by all that is holy !
• Mentr' io pascea la vista in varie guise,
Eccoti un arco augusto e trionfale,
Eterna de' gran nomi la memoria.” Beyond the gate he finds a lake with pretty boats skimming all about; and a pilot in one of the boats, who must have read Dante, cries out
“ Vien qua, vien qua scelto drapello.” The poet embarks, and is landed in the twinkling of an eye at the foot of a lofty mount which is crowned by the Temple of Fame, the architecture of which he describes as minutely as his English rival describes the state-coach. On reaching the summit, the first great people he encounters in their glory are his friend Girardot, “ that great painter of History and of portraits in miniature,” Milanollo with his fiddle, Miss Chiara Novello ; Miss Rosalia, daughter of Lanza, the music-master; Pasta, Cinti, Lablache, Tamburini, Rubini, and Paganini; and after these (but at a respectful distance) he falls in with the nine Muses, who sit down in a ring, and begin to sing about everything in the universe except Queen Victoria. Urania leads off with a description of the solar system, with all the planets from Mercury to Urania, omitting, however, somewhat dis. respectfully the Georgium Sidus. All this Cantilena occupies two entire cantos. It is, in short, an elementary treatise on astronomy in rhyme, Vito Maria de Grandis never permitting the graces of poetry to interfere with his first catechism of astronomy. Here is part of his description of the earth; and we can assure the reader that in all the rest Pinnock is versified with equal accuracy.
“ La Terra è un corpo sferico, che ha sopra
Le venticinque mila miglia intorno:
D'altezza, che la Terra abbraccia intera.
Costituisce l'anno : e 'l suo rotare
notti ; e 'l cerchio che suol fare
Poi ch' han la Luna e'l Sol gli eclissi in quella.” When Urania finishes singing “ Del Sole de' Pianeti, e delle Stelle," Clio chants an abridgment of the Bible, describing the Creation, Adam and Eve, the Deluge, Abraham, Moses, Joshua, Melchisedec, Solomon, the Prophets, and many other things which, in reverence, we omit. This being done in one canto, Clio, in the next, sings a précis of the history of all the Roman emperors from Augustus to Theodosius the Great -- e poi tace. Then Calliope “con quelle stesse rime” gives an abridgment of Homer, singing all about the Trojan wars, and stopping at the end of two cantos, because she is out of breath-" E pur non giunse a mezzo ancor la storia !” Then Polyhymnia makes her curtsey, and finishes the Iliad. She even talks about doing the Odyssey, but prudently postpones that operation till another coronation day, or—“Un altro dì di festa."
In the tenth and last canto of this memorable production, Clio takes upon herself to describe all the great folks that are strolling about the Temple of Fame. The Muse's catalogue is admirable for its arrangement! That, says she, is the Bard of Sulmona—that the Mantuan-that Tully—that Cæsar-that Columbus—that Praxiteles--that Zeuxis—who
“ Pinse un grappel con color sì bei,
Che a dargli più beccate van gli augei.” That is the writer of Orlando Furioso-that the famous chanter of the Holy City-and here her museship shows her nous, by adding,
“ L'arte fe'l Tasso, e la natura Ariosto" Continuing, she points out, seriatim, Galileo, Michel Angelo, Raffaello, Titian, Leonardo da Vinci, Salvator Rosa, Bernini, Canova, Tintoretto, the Veronese, Garofalo, Del Sarto, Canaletto, Caravaggio, the Pesarese, Barocci, Guercino, Domenichino, Montegna, Bronzino, the three Caracci, Ferrari, Fra Bartolomeo, Giulio Romano, Cagnacci, Verrocchio, Gennari, Perrin del Vega, Dossi, Parmegiano, Milton, Shakspeare, “and the famous English, with Schiller, and the most celebrated Germans, and Corneille and Racine, and the great French, and the Spaniards and Dutch, the Swedes and Danes, Prussians, Muscovites, and Americans.” Just as Clio finishes her list, Queen Victoria enters, and is invited to take a chair
“ Al su' apparir quell' alme redivive,
Vien, le dicean, t' assidi in su quel Trono
Then, all talking together, they tell her Majesty to imitate the Empresses Catherine and Maria Theresa, (God forbid that she should !) and the Emperor Titus; to protect arts and letters, which will bring to the banks of the Thames the Golden Ages of Augustus, Leo X., and Louis XIV., (We say again—Non voglia mai Iddio!) and then they all sing“ GOD SAVE THE QUEEN !”
As soon as the Muses have finished the national anthem, Father Jove ises, and turning to the Queen, delivers some very anti-constitutional doctrine, telling her Majesty that princes are gods upon earth, that they do what they like, and have rule and empire over all. This over, he tells her that the sun with rain is a proper model for her Majesty ; and he then nods and takes his leave by assuring her that this is the first, and will be the last, time of his entering the Temple of Fame, which he had now done solely to honour the day of her coronation. Her Majesty returns thanks to Jove: then a planet, bright as the sun, darts into the temple, and shines on the eyes of Signor Vita Maria de Grandis, who wakes and finds (what we had not doubted for some time) that he had been dreaming!
Pictorial Edition of Shakspere. Part I. Two Gentlemen of Verona.
We cannot do a better office by this beautiful and wondrously cheap publication, than by simply describing what it is. The plan, in which there is a great deal of originality and a very lucid arrangement, is fully developed in the monthly part before us; and the publisher's advertisement informs us that each part, like the present, will contain a play with the various notes upon it, and be complete in itself. But this of course is limited to the dramas: the sonnets and other poems, which will occupy about two parts, and a new life of the poet, which will fill about two more, must fall in a different manner, and require a different distribution of note and comment. A description of the part before us will do for the main. In the first place, then, there is an introductory notice, in which the editor discusses the state of the text and chronology of the “ Two Gentlemen of Verona," the supposed source of the plot, the period of the action, manners, the scenes and costume. This occupies only a few pages. Then comes Act the First of the drama, with a few foot-notes explaining obsolete words and other difficulties of language. This is followed by illustrations of Act I., or a series of longer notes, which would have confused and encumbered the page if they had been printed as foot-notes. By this arrangement the text is left exceedingly free, and the beauty of the page is preserved. We then come to Act II., which is followed by its two or three pages of illustrations, and so on, till the end of the play, and the illustrations to Act V., which are followed by a supplementary notice or general criticism on this particular drama.
By this ingenious arrangement the numerous wood-cuts are nicely distributed, each illustration finding a proper place, and what we may call the more material kind being kept apart from Shakspere, and ranged by the side of the annotator, who uses them as means of conveying information which could scarcely be given by words. Thus, in the introductory notice, under the head of costume, we have four cuts from artists of the sixteenth century, representing the general costume of the noblemen and gentlemen of Italy at that period : in the illustrations of Act. I. it was necessary to explain the word “ducat:" here engravings of the Venetian ducat are introduced, taken from coins in the British Museum. In the same way the old English coin, called the “ tester,” is explained to the eye by two cuts, in which both faces of the coin are accurately delineated. In the same act the poet mentions the torture of the boots; and this pro
Nov. 1838.-VOL. XXIII.-NO. xct.
cess is shown-80 as words could not show it-by a cut from Millæus's Praxis criminis persequendi, a rare book printed at Paris about the middle of the sixteenth century. In Act II. Shakspere makes a beautiful allusion to pilgrimages to distant shrines. Here the note, in the illustrations, at the end of the act, is helped out by a view of the shrine of Loretto, taken from an old print. In the same act Julia asks for “ such weeds as may beseem a page;" and here a page, on duty, is copied from a print after Paul Veronese. In Act III. the curious expression-" the cover of the salt hides the salt ”—is made perfectly intelligible by the representation of a saltcellar of Shakspere's time—a much more complicated piece of machinery than our modern housewives ever dreamed of! In Act IV. the poet speaks of those obsolete punishments, the stocks and the pillory; and here, in the illustrations, we have an antique pillory and antique stocks, with patients, or impatients, in them. We mention only a few of these happy aids, by which the sense of the poet is made out by means of a little block of wood, far more clearly than by those blockheads the commentators; but we have mentioned enough to give a notion of this peculiar, pictorial mode of illustrating our poet; and what we have said will also show the propriety of keeping these things apart from Shakspere's text, and giving them a corner to themselves.
The only engravings introduced in the acts of the play are a head-piece and a tailpiece, which are, for the most part, representations of the localities of the drama. For example: at the head of Act I., which opens in a public place in Verona, we have a view of the piazza or square of the Brà, as it was in Shakspere's time, copied from an old print in the British Museum ; and at the end of the act we have a view of a Veronese garden on the Brenta. In Act II., when the scene is transferred to Milan, we have a view of a street in Milan, taken from an Italian print of the fifteenth century, and the interior of an apartment in the ducal palace. In some instances, where there are no positive localities assigned in the drama, the engravings to the acts give some object or picture in keeping with the thought of the text, or, running, as it were, in the same tune. For example: at the head of Act IV., where the outlaws take the field, there is an engraving from one of the banditti scenes of Salvator Rosa. There is little or nothing after the manner of the Boydell Gallery, or any of the numerous illustrated editions of Shakspere, wherein the artists have treated scenes and groups, or single characters, according to their imagination, or their own conception of the poet's intention, or according to the mode in which great actors have interpreted him, and marshalled his characters on the stage. Between such works and the present there can be neither comparison nor rivalry; but it will be admitted that each may attain to excellence, though the paths they follow lie far asunder, The only merely fanciful thing, in the present part, is a vignette on the fly-page by Mr. Harvey, the matchless illustrator of the “ Tales of a Thousand and One Nights." It is worthy of him: the personages of the drama are drawn up in an ascending group, (not exactly the Caracci Pyramid,) and over the heads of all, proudly pre-eminent, that king of clowns, Launce, waves his cap in the air with one arm, and hugs his dog Crab with the other, in a state and attitude of ecstasy or apotheosis. Crab, who is not the least interesting character in the drama, is one of the best figures in the group. Shaggy, coarse, and surly, he looks the dog unfit for the company of “ gentleman-like dogs”--the very cur that would do “the thing you wot of," and take liberties with a gentlewoman's farthingale This and most of the other cuts are admirably executed by Jackson The type is clear and beautiful, the paper excellent-things by no means to be overlooked. The text which the editor has followed is that of the first folio. Horne Tooke was the first to declare that the old folio was the only edition worth regarding ; but the opinion is now general among all persons of taste who have studied the poet. This pub
lication would be highly valuable if it had no other merit than that of getting rid of the impious intermeddling of editors and commentators, who would not follow what they had before their eyes, but must, forsooth, correct the old text by what they called “common sense and the laws of metre"-laws which they wholly and most miserably misunderstood. They made a pretty mist and pother while their power lasted, but their crutch is broken !
The present editor brings to his task that genial spirit, that “proud and affectionate reverence for the name of William Shakspere, which the great Coleridge laid down as the first essential quality for such a task. This is full security that we shall have none of the wretched carpings and desperately dull moralisings (all morally wrong) which have filled so many pages in most former editions of any pretension. He has col. lected the finest things said of the poet by native and foreign writers, particularly by the proper-minded Germans, adding, not obtrusively, his own reflections, which are evidently those of one who can think for himself, and who has been in love with Shakspere all the days of his life. Keenness and quickness he has, but this is employed in detecting beauties rather than imaginary blemishes; in setting his predecessors right, and not in mending the great original. The following theory is new and startling : we have, however, no doubt in our own minds but that it may be reduced to almost the positiveness of a fact. A recent writer, Mr. Charles Armytage Brown, (his work is made honourable mention of in the pages under our eye,) not knowing what to make of Shakspere during several years of his early life, by a bold supposition makes him a lawyer's clerk. We think it is much more probable that he was learning and exercising his art as a dramatic poet ; and everybody but a commentator can surely conceive the possibility of a man's writing comedies and tragedies before he is twenty-six or twenty-seven years old !
“ It is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to fix a precise date to many of Shakspere's plays; and the reasons which Malone, Chalmers, and Drake, have given for the determining of an exact chronological order (in which they each differ,) are, to our minds, in most instances unsatisfactory. In the instance before us, Malone originally ascribed the play to the year 1595, because the lines which we shall have occasion afterwards to notice,
"• Some, to the wars to try their fortunes there,
he thought bad reference to Elizabeth's military aid to Henry IV., and to Raleigh's expedition to Guiana. He has subsequently fixed the date of its being written as 1591, because there was an expedition to France under Essex in that year.
The truth is, as we shall sbow, that the excitements of military adventure, and of maritime discovery, had become the most familiar objects of ambition, from the period of Shakspere's first arrival in London to nearly the end of the century. The other arguments of Malone for placing the date of this play in 1591, appear to us as little to be regarded. They are, that the incident of Valentine joining the outlaws has a resemblance to a passage in Sidney's Arcadia, wbich was not published till 1590 ;that there are two allusions to the story of Hero and Leander, which he thinks were suggested by Marlowe's poem on that subject; and that there is also an allusion to the story of Phaeton, which Steevens thinks Shakspere derived from the old play of King John, printed in 1591. All this is really very feeble conjecture, and it is absolutely all that is brought to show an exact date for this play. The incident of Valentine is scarcely a coiucidence, compared with the story in the Arcadia ; and if Shakspere knew nothing of the classical fables from direct sources, (which is always the delight of the commentators to suppose,) every palace and mansion was filled with Tapestry, in which the subjects of Hero and Leander, and of Pbaeton, were constantly to be found. Malone, for these and for no other reasons, thinks the Two Gentlemen of Verona was produced in 1591, when its author was twenty-sevem. years of age. But he thinks, at the same time, that it was Sbakspere's first play and, looking to its entire character as a composition, we are inclined to agree with