« 上一頁繼續 »
he came, shivering with fear, and as pale as death. "I've seen it, mateys," he cried. "Seen what?" we asked. "Why, it. When I was up in the top, presently something came smack agen my cheek," (But I forgot to tell you, that Elrisa had a custom of putting her hand on the skipper's mouth whenever he began to swear.) "Well," as Brown said, "smack agen my cheek it came once more; and so I, thinking 'twas some of you making fun of me, cried out, Belay there with your tricks, and be d-d t'ye! Lord, I'd no sooner got the words out o' my mouth, than bang 'twas closed with a hand all blood, and all cut about the fingers, with never an arm to it, as if it had been cut off at the wrist. You may be sure I didn't wait to see any more; and may I be d-d if ever I go up that 'ere top again !"-" Oh!" said one of the men, "Brown's fallen asleep, and dreamed all this, and has awoke by hitting his head 'gainst the mast, and so believed it all true." He'd hardly spoke, when a voice from the maintop sung out plain enough, "On deck, there!" We were all a little startled at this; but we counted, and found all hands on deck except the skipper, the doctor, and the mate. "On deck, there!" sung out the voice again; and then there was such a hooting, and yelling, and shrieking, as if Davy and his crew had come to anchor in our tops. Well, the skipper, hearing the noise, came upon deck, and then the voice sung out again," On deck, there!"-" Hilloah!" roared the skipper, running for'ard to the mainmast. "Stand from under!" roared the voice. "Let fall, and be d-d t'ye!" said the skipper. Blow me, but it came with a vengeance. Down dropped a bloody hand, and directly it touched the deck, it started up, and fixed itself right on the skipper's lips. He ran up the rigging like a madman into the top, where the yelling still kept up; but he wasn't there a moment before he gives a jump, and goes right overboard; and no sooner did he reach the water than all was silent, and a heavy squall arose that moment, and away flew the hooker like lightning through the waves: And if that isn't what I call a queer yarn, blow me that's all.
every rag we could hoist, either alow or aloft.
Well, he took her up, and flung her out of the window with all his might; but she clung so tight, that he was nearly after her, and there she hung by his neck. I saw him take and tear her arms from round his neck with a madman's fury, and fling them from him; but she caught, with her right hand, the window-beam, and clutched it so tight, that he couldn't make her fingers let go their hold; and there she was, looking up so calmly and sweetly into his face, as if she was content to take even death from his hands. Her love was great. When
he saw he couldn't make her let go, he took up a hatchet, which was lying by chance on the floor, and with one blow severed her hand from her arm. A heavy fall on the water, a stifled shriek, a gurgle of the closing wave, said all was over with her. But there he stood, with the hatchet still uplifted, gazing on the hand which was fixed there convulsively in the death grasp, and all hell seemed to be imprinted on his features, so horrible and ghastly was their expression. However, this didn't last long. He took and cut away the hand by pieces, for its grasp was fixed so firm in death, that he couldn't unloose it. He then flung water over it, to wash out the stains of the blood, and rushed out of the cabin upon deck. I followed him, more dead than alive. "All hands, ahoy!" he sung out; "man the boat there; cut away, every mother's son of ye-Elrisa's flung herself overboard!" You may well suppose she was never found. He pretended to be half mad at her loss; but he couldn't make the men believe but that he knowed more about her than what he said. I crept away to my hammock, shivering with fear. Not a wink of sleep did I get that night, and I was too frightened to say any thing about what I'd seen.
Well, the calm still continued, and there we lay like a log on the water. About the third night after this happened, a young fellow, named Brown, had been skyarking up in the maintop, when, all of a sudden, down
HAVING NOW seen Fanny Kemble in all her characters, and having had a whole fortnight to make up our mind concerning her, we shall state, in very few words, what our matured opinion is. Miss Kemble is not at this moment a great actress. There is, of course, a vagueness in the term, " great actress," and we can explain it only by referring either to Mrs Siddons and Miss O'Neil, or to that correct conception of what "great acting" ought to be, which exists, or may exist, in the mind of every man of cultivated taste. A great actress takes a house by storm,-makes all the passions of their nature leap up within the breasts of her audience, and moves the boards almost like a thing of awe, calling forth at will the loud involuntary plaudits, and the gushing tears, of an assembled multitude. Miss Kemble cannot do this;— she is pleasing, and sometimes affecting, but the impression she produces is not deep, or lasting, or intense. We give her, at the same time, full credit for possessing a more than common share of genius; she has done what few young ladies at her age could have done, and she has all at once, by a sort of coup de main, achieved a popularity never before attained by so young a candidate for histrionic honours, all the brightest ornaments of the profession having previously served a long and tedious apprenticeship. But popularity may soon blow past, and acciden→ tal circumstances may have raised Miss Kemble upon stilts, which may, ere long, walk from under her feet. She must either rapidly improve, or she will soon cease to be an object of so much attraction as she is at present.
So much for what Miss Kemble is. The next enquiry must be-What is she likely to become? This is a question more easily asked than answered, At the
same time, we hesitate not to say, that we have excellent hopes of her. She is a girl of genius, else she could not have made the progress she has already made. When she becomes more like a woman, and when her face and figure consequently acquire more power and expression,when she can throw a greater volume of sound into her voice, and send forth more passion from her eye,-when she can make her audience feel that she has ceased to be merely a young lady in her teens, and that, in the full possession of every feminine endowment, her own bosom may have been agitated, in the various relations of life, even as is painted in the mimic scene,-we are inclined to hope that then Miss Kemble will, with propriety and grace, take her station at the very head of her profession. On one condition alone, however, do we think this like ly that she concentrate all her powers on that department of the art to which the natural bent of her own genius led her originally, and in which she is much more calculated to shine than in any other. No great performer ever rose to equal eminence in both tragedy and comedy. Who talks of Mrs Siddons or Miss O'Neil except as tragedians? Let Miss Kemble beware of frit-lated to astonish a crowd-she has nothing of the dash, tering down her mind by attempting to represent the and less of the rant, which calls down the clamorous apmere elegancies and trifling distresses of genteel comedy. plause of the galleries—and her personal appearance is She has no turn for it. We have seen her both in Lady prepossessing only from its simple modesty. To what Townly and in Portia, the only parts of the kind she has cause, then, are we to ascribe the crowded houses which yet played since her first debut, and she is very inferior she draws, and the unbounded applause with which she in both. Her face and figure tell much more against has been night after night received? To her genius, unher in comedy than in tragedy; her upper row of teeth, questionably—to that admirable conception of her part in in particular, which are unfortunately a great deal too which she excels every actress we have seen, and to the large and conspicuous, are enough of themselves to ruin severity of judgment which makes her anxious to be, raany Lady Townly. But in truth, genius and cleverness ther than ambitious to act, her characters. I have often are too different things, and Miss Kemble, we trust, has heard mere declamation better given, but I never have too much of the former to make a good depicter of fashion- seen a character sustained throughout with more truth able life. It is to tragedy that she owes her reputation, and dignity than by Miss Fanny Kemble; and wherever and let her stick to tragedy, for it is the steed that must the poet has given occasion, either in situation or sentibear her on to the mountain's top, if she is ever to reach ment, for nice developement of character or for genuine it. If she gives up tragedy, she takes her seat on an passion, her action, every tone of her voice, every feature ambling pony, and may canter smoothly enough on in of her countenance, become eloquent, and speak directly the train of Miss Ellen Tree and Miss Mordaunt; but to the heart. This is the evidence and the triumph of her ambition should be made "of sterner stuff." true genius. Perhaps in none of her characters has she displayed this power more strikingly than in her Isabella. Your own " CERBERUS" has done justice to one noble part of her acting; but the whole character is one of the very finest conception and most felicitous execution; and you will readily acknowledge how much it owes to the genius of the actress, when you remember that the poet is indeed rich in situation, but exceedingly meagre in the filling up of his characters, and that even of his heroine he has merely sketched a happy outline. Miss Kemble is, perhaps, the only actress at present on the stage whose mimic grief fairly cheats us into sympathy. For my own part—and I know my case is far from being singu lar-I have often bestowed on Mrs H. Siddons and Miss Jarman, my warm and most sincere applause, but Miss Fanny Kemble alone has commanded my tears. Were this young lady merely a very clever actress she might draw crowds and create a sensation for a season, nay, perhaps she might even obtain the favourable suffrages of the critics, and, after all, sink into that neglect which very clever actresses have sometimes experienced. But this is not her character. She has already, by the mere force of high intellectual endowments, attained a more elevated station than any of her contemporaries; but she has much to learn: she must learn much before she can take her place by the side of the Mrs Siddons, and she will learn it all. Even now, she possesses all the essentials of greatness, but art must yet be called upon to contribute its share; in many minor points, she is still unschooled, but she already betrays the possession of those noble powers which are beyond the reach of art. And, after all, her partial deficiency in these minor and easily-attainable graces seems to be the principal reason for that caution with which our critics have spoken of Miss Kemble. They are, forsooth, afraid of committing themselves by vell
Whilst we thus estimate Miss Kemble's present powers, and talk of her future prospects, it is but fair to confess that there are some others, and men of good judgment too, who are disposed to go considerably farther in the praise of this young lady. Their arguments do not alter our opinions, yet it is proper that they should be heard; and as the Literary Journal offers "freedom to him that would write," we have the editor's assurance, that he willingly gives a place to the following communication, which is at once temperately and ably expressed:
MISS FANNY KEMBLE.
To the Editor of the Edinburgh Literary Journal. Puff. O, dear ma'am, you must start a great deal more than that 'Sdeath and fury! Gadslife! sir! madam! if you go out without the parting look, you might as well dance out.
Dangle. You will not easily persuade me that there is no credit or importance in being at the head of a band of critics, who take upon them to decide for the whole town. The Critic. MR EDITOR,-In my theatrical experience, which I confess to be rather limited, I have observed that the heroes of the stage, like those of real life, form two distinct classes, viz. those who have souls, and those who have none. Among the latter will frequently be found individuals of respectable talents and considerable attainments, who have risen to some eminence by patient industry, by personal attractions, and a happy art of profiting by accidental circumstances, and sometimes by the real merit of their performances, and a distinguished cleverness of execution; but to the former class belong exclusively the higher orders of intellect. In estimating Miss Fanny Kemble's merits as an actress, I think our Edinburgh critics have not sufficiently attended to this
distinction between genius and mere talent, however successfully cultivated,-between delicate perception and clever performance,-in short, between the genuine elements of first-rate excellence, and the most finished execution of second-rate acting. The newspaper press of Edinburgh conveys an impression upon the whole unfavourable to the professional reputation which Miss Kemble acquired in London; but the objections which have been urged do not warrant this arbitrary reversal of the judgment awarded by our southern neighbours. One critic does indeed find out that the lady is too young for many of her characters--another discovers that she wants dignity of stature-a third quarrels with her face-and a fourth is greatly scandalized with her pronunciation of the vowel o; now, all these criticisms may be perfectly just without much affecting the only question in which the public at large is greatly interested, viz. is Miss Kemble, as a dramatic character, of first-rate genius, or is she only a very clever actress?
The truth is, Miss Kemble is not, properly speaking, clever at all. Her style of acting is not, in itself, calcu
above communication makes to us, we hope he will allow that we have to-day spoken out pretty decidedly. We were unwilling to do so before, lest it should be premature. In some things "Ctesiphon " and we are at one. We both think that Miss Kemble possesses genius, and has a right to know that the eyes of the country are upon her, in the expectation that she will become a great actress. But we do not think with "Ctesiphon," that she already "towers above her contemporaries," and is "decidedly the ablest actress on the stage." Mrs Henry Siddons and Miss Jarman are, in many respects, her equals in tragedy; and Mrs Henry Siddons, Miss Jarman, Miss Ellen Tree, and others, are much her superiors in comedy. Old Cerberus.
turing any decided opinion on the merits of a Bucephalus till they have seen him exhibit his paces at Astley's! Such conduct may be prudent, but it is not magnanimous -it is not just; and even putting Miss Kemble's claims out of the question, it is not honourable to the critic himself, nor fair towards the public. Crowded audiences of the best society in Edinburgh, including some of the most distinguished literary characters in Europe, have, night after night, honoured this wonderful creature with their presence, and still more, by their plaudits and their tears; and yet, were I to hint that these have a right to expect that their sentiments should be echoed aloud by the press, I suppose your critic would complain that I wished to interfere with his independence. Such is not my wish.
My quarrel with your contemporaries is not that they think less highly of Miss Fanny Kemble's histrionic powers than I do; I know not exactly whether they do or not or if they do, they may be right; at all events, it need be no ground of quarrel between us. What I blame in them is, that they do not give us that full, discriminating, and decided opinion of her character which the interest excited, even in our remote provincial towns, with regard to the merits of this young candidate for theatrical honours, seems to call for. If they are honestly of opinion that Miss Kemble does not possess the capacity of a first-rate actress, let them say so at once; if, again, they think that her powers require only to be matured by a little cultivation and experience, let them point out her faults and deficiencies; but, at the same time, let the public have a hint both of her present excellence, and of what we have a right to expect in future from so highlygifted a mind. Ingenious strictures on a questionable emphasis, or petty sin against orthoepy, are somewhat mistimed at present, when the theatrical world is engaged in deciding whether or not this new candidate for fame is entitled to assume at once the very highest place in her profession. Even your own CERBERUS," and my favourite "ACRIS," have not done their duty in this case. It may, indeed must, be inferred from what they have said, that they consider this young lady as belonging to a much higher order of intellect than the common run of heroines; still this is only to be inferred-they have not fairly spoken out; and I have no doubt that many who, like myself, would be prepared to receive the decided opinion of these critics with respect, shrink with dissatisfaction from the task of analysing, balancing, and guessing at ambiguous expressions. Perhaps Miss Kemble does not come up to some high standard of dramatic excellence which they may have formed in their own mind, and therefore they think themselves bound to qualify their praise; but this, though an intelligible, is a very unfair, canon of criticism. When does human exertion realise ideal excellence? and even when we adopt a more rational standard, and look back upon the triumphs of Siddons and O'Neil, we must remember that they come to us mellowed by distance, and aggravated by the sweet delusion which ever attends the retrospect of pleasures which are lost to us for ever. Let us compare Miss Kemble with her own contemporaries; but here is no room for comparison,-she towers above them all as mach in kind as in degree of merit: let us then judge of her by herself-by what we hear, and see, and feel, when the distress of Mrs Beverley, the girlish passion of Juliet, or the love-sick grief of Isabella, stands personified before us,-is she not a glorious creature-the very child of genius? "Jam nova progenies calo dimittitur alto," worthy of the highly-gifted family of Kemble. She is even now decidedly the ablest actress on the stage. She has already achieved more than ever actress did at her age, and on so short probation; and we are fairly entitled to expect that she will add another living name to the splendid trio, Pritchard, Siddons, and O'Neill. Sir,
In reference to the allusion which the author of the
Dost thou kneel down and pray to God for me?
O! then thou lov'st me! if thy thoughts do dwell In heaven for one so little worthy thee,
Thou lov'st me more than thou dost care to tell, And I am happier than I hoped to be!-Thrice happy! that each morn and eve there rise
Thy gentle prayers to great Creation's throne; For if to thine no seraph's voice replies,
To me there comes an echo of thine own. And in the gold of morn, and when the light
Falls grey and sober o'er the far-spread scene, I feel within my heart thy spirit's might,
And half become what I have never been ;— More full of high resolves, and firmer faith,
And deeper trust in the eternal law That leads to life through the dark gates of death, Where dwell the sights which holiest prophets saw. And this it is to love that there doth glow
Within my breast a spirit caught from thee, And at the hour that thy wing'd wishes go
Up to the stars, there resteth tranquilly A deep devotion that surpasseth show
A light, by thee call'd down from heaven, on me! H. G. B.
ROBERT THE BRUCE.
By William Wilson.
He sat alone on a mossy cairn,
And leant on his bloody brand,
While his look grew vengeful, dark, and stern,
He marshall'd at morning tide?
To the hills of his native home, In mountain shepherd's lowly guise, Through the wilderness to roam.
"Oh, for the sword of the Wallace now, With its lightning flash of doom,
When the battle flush was on his brow,
And victory on his plume! When, like the tornado's wrathful sweep, He rush'd to the deadly fray,
While the foe fell round him, heap on heap,
And back, like frighten'd deer, they fled,
THE Cabinet Album, in a handsome volume, (containing pieces selected from the popular fugitive literature of the day, is nearly ready.
A work, entitled Norrington, or the Memoirs of a Peer, is in the press.
Dr Nares' laborious and useful undertaking, a Life of Lord Burghley, the first volume of which was published in 1828, is now completed.
Mr Britton has announced a Dictionary of the Architecture of the Middle Ages, including the words used by old and modern authors, in treating of Architectural and other Antiquities.
Among other novelties announced for immediate publication are the following:-1. Southennan, a novel, by John Galt, Esq. the author of "Lawrie Todd, or the Settlers in the Woods," &c.-2. Travels to the Seat of War in the East, through Russia and the Crimea in 1829, with Sketches of the Imperial Fleet and Army, &c. by J. E. Alexander, K. L.S., 16th Lancers, M.R.A.S. &c.-3. The Turf, a Satirical Novel, 2 vols.-4. The Revolt of the Angels, by the author of "Cain the Wanderer," &c.-An octavo edition, considerably improved, with numerous illustrations, of Travels in Sicily, Greece, and Albania, by the Rev. T. S. Hughes, B.D. of Emmanuel College, Cambridge.-And, 6. Clarence, a Tale of our Own Times, 3 vols.
NEW MEZZOTINTO STYLE OF DRAWING.-We have examined a number of very beautiful drawings executed by Mr and Mrs Cruikshank, exhibiting the Mezzotinto style which has recently been introduced into this city by these ingenious artists. One characteristic feature of this style of drawing, is its remarkable softness, which, in sea-pieces and landscape designs, has a more pleasing effect than the pencil alone could accomplish. We recommend this accomplishment to the attention of those of our freaders who patronise the Fine Arts; and we may add, that we are given to understand it may be learned with great facility.
THE ETTRICK SHEPHERD versus TYTLER AND THE QUARTERLY REVIEWERS.-The Ettrick Shepherd wonders how his esteemed friend, Peter Tytler, or rather, perhaps, the Quarterly Reviewer, should have explained the fine ancient verse on the death of Alexander the Third so incorrectly:-Le or lee, in lyrical phrase, is not law, but affection returned; sonce, is from soncy, cheerful, good-humoured; and unsoncy, ill-natured, dangerous; sonce of ale and bread therefore means, the good cheer of ale and bread. Wax should have been aiks, a Scottish term for night revels or merry-makings till this day. Stad does not simply mean placed, but stabled, tied up in a #tall of perplexity, sta'd-The lines, thus explained, will read as follows:
When Alexander our King was dead,
Of wine and waiks, of game and glee. Our gold is turned into lead;
Christ born into virginitye, Succour poor Scotland with remeid, That sta'd is in perplexity.
His house was sta'd, his bed was made, His sheits were spread in luve and lee.
GREENSHIELD'S JOLLY BEGGARS.-This collection of Statues is now exhibiting in Edinburgh. We have seen them, and shall give an impartial opinion concerning them next week. They are eight in number, representing the ballad-singer and his two Deborahs, the Caird, Tinker, and the fair Helen for whom they contend, and the old Soldier and his doxy.
THE SCOTTISH ACADEMY.-We regret to observe that some inWe judicious individuals are still wrangling about this Institution. said some time ago that we thought the late differences among the Academicians too much of a personal nature to be brought before the public. We think so still. The matter regards the internal regulations of that body; and discussions of this kind do not seem to us particularly calculated to diffuse either a knowledge or a taste for art. We abandoned the subject to those who take a peculiar interest in angry controversy, and, whatever blunders they may make, we still incline to leave it in their hands.
EDINBURGH JOURNAL OF NATURAL AND GEOGRAPHICAL SCIENCE-This publication, the commencement of which we noticed some time ago, has now reached its Fourth Number, and we are happy to have it in our power to state, that we think there is a progressive improvement visible in each. In No. IV. there is a communication from the pen of the able ornithologist, Sir William JarWith the sedine, together with several spiritedly written reviews. vere castigation, however, bestowed upon Mr Hugh Murray's work on America, we cannot agree; and in reference to the paper on the Edinburgh College Museum, we take this opportunity of stating, that it is our intention to offer, shortly, a few remarks of our own upon that subject.
AN ACROSTIC.-The following lines were written on the occasion
Forgets! ay! and pardons your shrines basely slighted;
In such union alone, well assured there come blended
LETTER CONCERNING SIR WALTER SCOTT'S TRAGEDY OF "THE HOUSE OF ASPEN."
ing to his father's wish, at Gottingen, but at the same time was much occupied in investigating the history of ancient German art and literature. On leaving Gottingen, he resided for some time in his native place, without being able to get a living as a minister, which may perhaps be attributed to his possessing too open and downright a character. It was about this time that he published his "Sagen der Vorzeit," (Tales of the Olden Time,) and produced by his work the same effect on novel writing which Goethe, b Ahis "Goetz," did on the drama. We may safely say, that the deluge of romances of chivalry which has since overflowed Germany, has its origin in these tales. Waechter was intimately acquainted with the spirit of German antiquity, and an enthusiastic love of his country pervades all his productions. The first three volumes, however, of his "Sagen der Vorzeit," are by far to be preferred to those which appeared later. Waechter, forsaking the clerical profession, entered (about 1795) a Hanoverian regiment, and made several campaigns against He was the French, in which he greatly distinguished himself. wounded near Mayence. On his return to Hamburg he established, in conjunction with Professor Voigt, a boarding institution, which he afterwards carried on with great reputation by himself, as Voigt accepted an invitation to go to Riga. In the last war against Napoleon, Waechter was again among the defenders of Hamburg, and again gave many proofs of disinterestedness and presence of mind. It may also be mentioned that he wrote a drama called "Wilhelm Tell," which was published before Schiller's play. The characters in it are well drawn, though on the whole it is inferior to the celebrated drama of the same name by Schiller. I know not whether he is still alive.
I may perhaps shortly furnish you with some account of the origin and history of the tribunal called "das Vehmgericht," or "die heilige Vehme," which forms the chief subject of Sir Walter's tragedy. For those who will not find the word "Vehme" in their dictionaries, I may observe that this word is derived from the old Saxon word "vervehmen," which means, to curse, to outlaw, to banish; "das Vehmgericht" means, therefore, a tribunal which had the right to outlaw. I am, sir, your obedient servant,
To the Editor of the Literary Journal. Sir,-Having read in Sir Walter Scott's Preface to his new Tragedy of "The House of Aspen," that the worthy Baronet regretted his having not been able to learn the real name and situation of "Veit Weber," from whose works the tragedy is taken, it may, perhaps, not be uninteresting to your readers if I furnish them with some information respecting that author. The real name of Veit Weber is Ludwig Leonhardt Waechter. He was born about 1762, and received his first education from his father, then a minister of the church. of St Michael in Hamburg. He afterwards studied theology, accord.
Theatrical Gossip.-There positively does not appear to be a single word of Theatrical gossip stirring. The London Theatres are occupied principally with their Christmas Pantomimes, and we hear of nothing wonderful that is going on in the provinces.-The Edinburgh Theatrical Fund Dinner, fixed for the 29th inst., is to be held in the Assembly Rooms.
TO OUR CORRESPONDENTS.
NOTICES of several new works are unavoidably postponed. Among these is a review of Bower's third volume of the History of the University, the concluding sheets of which reached us too late for this week ;-also the late Mr Balfour's "Weeds and Wildflowers."
"The Picture Gallery" shall have a place in an early Number."Fiction v. Truth" will appear as soon as we can find room.→ "Christmas, Psalms, and Sects," and the "Lines written on Arthur Seat," though both possessing merit, will not exactly suit us."Astolpho's" female epistle hath not found the same favour in our eyes as his former communication." Proteus" is informed, that nothing but the intrinsic merits of any article sent us by an anonymous Correspondent could secure its insertion in our pages." Fife Answers" will not suit us.-To our fair Correspondent who signs herself" A True Friend," we shall address a note in a day or two.
The verses by "J. M.," and by "Z. Y. X." shall have a place.We have received "A Welcome to Winter,"-" Lines on the Ruins of the Parthenon on the Calton Hill," and "Stanzas on the Last Sunset of 1829."
We observe it is stated in several provincial papers, that the verses we published some time ago, written by Burns when about to leave Scotland, had appeared in print before. We believe this to be the case, but of course were not aware of the fact at the time.
We beg to inform our readers in Aberdeen, that the delay which has once or twice taken place in the delivery of the Journal there, is to be attributed to our Aberdeen parcel, which is dispatched per mail every Friday afternoon,' having been once or twice left by mistake at Perth. We hope a similar mistake will not occur again. When "A Subscriber "writes to us again from Aberdeen, we shall take the liberty of returning his letter unopened, unless the postage be paid.