網頁圖片
PDF
ePub 版
[ocr errors]

poets enjoy their solitary thoughts unmolested ; the world remedied, by giving more spangles to Columbine Numis already rich enough in their productions !

ber One, we have nothing further to record concerning them. Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Kent, and “the immediate heir of England," the Princess Victoria,

had the Covent-Garden Harlequinade performed, as an LITERARY AND SCIENTIFIC SOCIETIES OF EDINBURGH.

early piece, on Friday last, when the audience right loy

ally insisted on having “ God save the King,” and far SOCIETY OF ANTIQUARIES.

out-chorussed the professional singers on the stage. Miss Monday, January 10, 1831. Inverarity being recovered from her recent illness, bas Thomas Thomson, Esq., Senior Vice-President, in the again appeared with all her original eclat ; and the other Chair.

leading performances at each house have been the same as

for some weeks past, excepting that Morton's “ Henri Present,—Sir Henry Jardine ; Messrs Nichol, Jardine, Quatre” has been successfully revived at Drury Lane,

Sivright, J. G. Craig, Rev. Dr Mackintosh Mackay, with Macready in his original part of the kingly hero, Dr Carson, Captain James Edward Alexander ; toge- and Farren and Mrs Waylett as Moustache and Louison, ther with a number of the Fellows. Among the

formerly enacted by Emery and Miss Stephens. Miss visitors, were Professors Leslie and Wallace, Monsieur Kemble and her father played in the “ Stranger” and the

“ Provok'd Husband," for the first time at Brighton, on Barrande, Dr Bougon, and many others. After the curator had announced a number of dona- Friday and Saturday last ; and on Wednesday next she is

to appear in the new character of Bianca, in Milman's tions, and after a very interesting collection of Anglo- tragedy of “ Fazio,” after which Miss Mitford's “ Inez Saxon coins, lately found in the Hebrides, had been exhi- de Castro" will be the ensuing novelty. bited, and a few remarks made upon them by the secre- Madame Vestris's debut as a wo-manager, as Leigh tary, that gentleman proceeded to read several interest- Hunt calls her, has been as successful as she could possibly ing original letters, dated in 1672-3-4, of the celebrated have desired, much less have anticipated; though threeJames Gregorie, inventor of the telescope which bears fourths of ber novelties have been, like Mister Boaden's bis name ; communicated by permission of the owner,

soi-disant new edition of his “ Life of Mrs Jordan,” new John Gregorson, Esq. of Ardtornish.

One of these let- in name only.

Mary Queen of Scots,” by Calcraft, ters is particularly remarkable, as containing a notice of from Sir Walter Scott's “ Abbot,” has been played everythe variation of the needle so early as 167+. The varia- where ; the “ Little Jockey” is Dimond's “ Youth, Love, tion at St Andrews in that year was, according to Mr and Folly,” with Miss Foote as Arinette ; and “ Clarissa Gregorie, 3° 35'.

Harlowe” is Murphy's farce of the “ Old Maid.” The There was then exhibited, by permission of Robert real novelties, therefore, were Blanche's and Dance's Hunter of Hunterston, Esq., a splendid and beautifully burlesque burletta of “Olympic Revels,” Pandora by wrought antique brooch, or fibula, of silver, profusely Madame, and a “righte wittie and conceitede” address, by ornamented with rich and elegant filigree work in gold, J. H. Reynolds, the barrister, also spoken by the Lady and in very perfect preservation. This brooch was found Lessee.

The heads of the burletta are taken from a on Mr Hunter's property, in the parish of West Kilbride, tale, called the “ Sun Poker,” in George Colman's Ayrshire.

“Eccentricities in Edinburgh,” now re-manufactured into Mr T. G. Repp, F.S. A. Scot., made a few remarks Laughables for London ;” in which the whole heathen on this beautiful antique, and gave translations of two mythology figure, not merely “in their habits as they Runic inscriptions, which appear on the back of the lived,” but “ with the habits they've contracted.” This is brooch. From the inscriptions, Mr Repp argues that really a clever piece, and well deserves its popularity, this ornament belongs to the 13th century at latest. At

Peregrine Somerset. the request of the Society, Mr Repp promised, at an early opportunity, to go more into detail on this subject, and to give some interesting notices, showing that the use of these brooches was very common among the Scandinavian nations, and not, as many suppose, confined to the Celts.

The novelty of the week has been the revival of “ The The inscriptions, as translated into Latin by Mr Repp: Heir at Law," with the appearance of Jones as Dr Punstand thus,—Malorida possidet hanc fibulam, and Fibula gloss. The whole comedy was well—nay, powerfully Asfride. The names are those of women. There was next read a very spirited and distinct ac

Mackay's Lord Duberly, Murray's Zekiel Home

spun, Green's Dick Dowlas, Stanley's Kenrick, Denham's count of a recent excavation at Pompeii, by a gentleman Stedfast, Brindal's Henry Moreland, Mrs Nicol's Lady who was present. As we understand that this letter is Duberly, and, though last not least, Mrs Pettingall's to appear in the Transactions of the Society immediately, Cicely Homespun, were all, each after its kind, able and we shall return to this interesting subject when we come

picturesque representations of individual character. But to review that publication.

unquestionably the best of the whole was Jones's Dr

Pangloss. Jones looks older than when we saw him THE LONDON DRAMA.

last, and if we are to judge by such parts as Lord Ogleby

and Dr Pangloss, he proposes deviating into a somewhat Regent's Park, London, new line. The touch of advancing years which has fallen Monday, Jan. 10th, 1831.

upon him perhaps makes this necessary: and, though we

still hope to see him in some of those undying coats and It is not more singular than true, that the Covent Gar- waistcoats, breeches and silk stockings, which made his den Pantomime has been considerably more powerful since fops and men of fashion the very creatures of a perfumed it became Powerless, Keeley's Harlequin Fat being inti- | bandbox, we do not expect to derive inferior pleasure nitely more effective than Power's Harlequin Pat, which, from the graver but not less intellectual, carefully studied, to be “in a concatenation accordingly” with an Irish piece, and finished portraits which he now presents to us. Dr was no small blunder. The Pantomimes of both thea- Pangloss is an elderly man, wearing the dress of the tres are, indeed, much improved by repetition ; both have divines of the Church of England some sixty years ago ; hitherto drawn well, and gone off well; and, save and his manners are scholastic and pedantic, and having spent except a trilling jealousy between the Drury-Lane Co- the better part of his life in laborious and recluse studies, lumbines, touching the extra splendour of the drapery of by which he has been able to obtain but a bare subsistColumbine Number Two, which has been, or is to be, I ence, he is wofully ignorant of the world, except in so

THE EDINBURGH DRAMA.

cast.

far as his necessities have taught him, that philosophical For, long before I met thee here,
dignity, however much to be admired in the abstract, Her spirit had pass'd home to heaven;
must be whistled down the wind, and sycophancy sub- But thou hast sung her in thy lays,
stituted in its place, whenever personal aggrandizement is The lost,—the beautiful,--the true,
the object in view. This was precisely the sort of man So well, I oft could half believe
into which Jones metamorphosed himself. His looks, That once that angel one I knew!
his motions, his tones, not in the broad outline alone, but
in every minute particular, were those of the poor old

I feel that she was good and fair,
tutor, who reverences the classics, but feels them sink And I have wept o'er many a strain

That told of waves of auburn hair into insignificance when compared with his chance of obtaining, at any sacrifice of his own opinions, a regular

Thou ne'er shalt wreathe with flowers again! income.

And brow of pensive moonlight thought,

And form thou never more may'st see,
“ I've often wish'd that I had clear,

And eyes with tenderest feeling fraught,
For life-three hundred pounds a-year,"

That ne'er again shall gaze on thee!
was the sentiment which had taken entire possession of
his soul, and one almost fancied that one saw the words

Though many friends are round my way,

To whom affection warm is due, written legibly on the hem of his garments and around the contour of his countenance. This is the great triumph

Ah! did she breathe whom thou didst love, of acting,—not to be flashy and brilliant by fits and I feel I should bave loved her too! starts, without any decided aim, or perception of what

I should have shared her happy hours, your author means, but to take an entire and compre

Been sad, when sorrow paled her face ;hensive view of a part, to step into it at once, and to

Perchance she would bave given to me remain wrapped up in it till the curtain falls. Farren does

Within her gentle soul a place. this more than any other living actor; and if Jones is se

Oh! that the power were mine to track cond to him, he is not second to any one else. We make

Her spirit's flight to yon far skies, this remark with the full recollection that we ourselves

And show thee all that now she is used to feel that there was a degree of sameness in Jones's

In the bright bowers of Paradise ;representations, when he was a regular member of the

Methinks that then with calmer mind Edinburgh company. But this he could scarcely have

Thy path of life thou wouldst pursue, avoided, for the majority of parts which he then played

And I along its vale would find consisted of nothing but perpetual repetitions, under dif

More flowers and sunshine scatter'd too. ferent names, of that most monotonous and least-varying

GERTRUDE. of all animals,—the fop, or man of fashion. In these he was perfect ; but to be perfect in one, of course implied that nearly the same sort of perfection should pervade the

STANZAS whole. He has now, however, hit upon individuals be

To the Editor of the Edinburgh Literary Journal. longing to another species; and in so far as we have yet had an opportunity of judging, he is delicately accurate

Sin,-The following stanzas are taken from a Poem yet unpubin his delineations of them. We trust that he will per- lished, and refer to the females of a most unfortunate family, who

have sought an asylum amongst us, and who, whatever political form frequently throughout the season, for some of our

errors may have been committed, have, as sufferers in the storms best plays cannot be done well without him.

of life, very strong claims on our kindness and commiseration. Miss Jarman has appeared this week in four of those Should you think the verses deserving of a place in your excellent light and elegant little pieces to which she lends so pecu- Journal, they are very much at your service. I remain, &c. liar a charm ;-" The White Phautom,"-" Perfection,”

A CONSTANT READER. -“ The Wedding Day," and “ The Day after the Misht I now raise my humble voice to Thee, Wedding.” The success of such pieces depends entirely Thou hapless wanderer in a vale of woe! upon the lady wbo performs the first female part. If Spite of thy years of anguish, can it be she be dull and stupid, they must necessarily appear so That heart still beats—that bosom still doth glow, also ; if, on the contrary, she be full of the natural viva- At which fell horror aim'd her deadliest blow? city of youth, with the easy grace and sprightly elegance So young, yet so uuhappy !-ere the spring of an accomplished woman, the effect they produce is irre- Of thy sad life had flown, behold the snow sistible. We may look wide, wander far, and wait long, Of winter on the daughter of a kingbefore we meet with an actress more completely calculated Ah ! that from memory I could take the sting! to ensure that effect than Miss Jarman. Were she lost to us, the truth of this would be felt by many who over- A father-prison-doom'd! Soon doom'd to die look it now.

By an infuriate mob. A mother too,
Old Cerberus. A beauteous mother, rent with agony!

Torn from thy arms by a most brutal crew,

Not left to fall by sorrow's shafts which flew,
ORIGINAL POETRY.

That had been charity--but by the glave,

The very self-same blood-stain'd glave, which slew,

And sent that virtuous husband to the grave,
THE POET'S DEAD LOVE.

Who lived a saint, and died the good, the brave!
I know thy early love is dead,
And thou canst never love again ;

Yes! still that heart doth beat, that bosom glows
And if thou couldst, thou knowst full well

With other warmth than earthly power can give, To seek to win my heart were vain ;

Pure from the source whence" living water" flows, Yet I am sad to think how lone

Which our Redeemer said, “ Take, drink, and live !!* And cold this world must seem to thee,

And could a maddening discord also drive
Thy young soul's cherish'd treasure gone

The widow'd mourner from her regal dome,
And nothing left but Memory!

With her two lovely scions ?-may they thrive

And grow, and flourish, and long graceful roam,
I never saw that sainted child

And find Edina, all they sought-a home!
To whom thy vows and prayers were given,

AKBAR

To me they have been all in all,

Though strangely changed I seem; To me they still are all in all,

Though faded like a dream.

Why did I ever know thee, love,

To be but as a blight
Upon thy glad free spirit, love,

That should have bask'd in light? Why did I ever know thee, love,

Or why did fate decree, That, having given thee all my heart,

I must be torn from thee?

TO A LADY.

By Thomas T. Stoddart.
The sea-pink-solitary flower !
Tufted on an olden tower,
That hath almost look'd for aye
On the waters rolling by,
As if in an orphan mood,
Sighing at its solitude,
Loreth not the bare, broad sea,

Ladye! as I love thee.
The eagle--the imperial bird,
In the unclouded heavens heard,
Holding, as he soars in madness,
His soliloquy of gladness,
While the sun's red image lies
Eastward of the dewy skies,—
Loves not wandering in glee,

Ladye ! as I love thee. The silent melancholy stream Caught at in the sudden gleam Of the moon, that looketh under Her vizor of clouds in a mood of wonder; While its mossy waters tinge The wild heathbell's fairy fringe, Loves not all alone to be,

Ladye! as I love thee.

The world is full of mystery, love,

We know not why we live, We squander feelings carelessly,

And know not what we give; We pant for idle baubles, love,

And scorn them when theyre gain'd; We feel ambition's worthlessness,

Yet to her wheels are chain'd.

Ere we two meet again, love,

In golden robe array'd,
Good Fortune may have rain'd, love,

Her smiles upon my head ;
But all her useless smiles, love,

Can ne'er atone to me
For this dark hour of anguish, love,
This parting hour with thee.

H. G. B.

The homeless and the desolate,
Sorrowful as is the mate
Of a dove, in wasting weakness,
Breathing away its breath of meekness;
While a holy fall of sleep
Lieth on his eyelids deep,
Loves not a fair dream to see,

Ladye! as I love thee.

TO VIVIAN.

THERE's not a form that Nature wears,

Of fading or of bloom, Whether she glows in summer's dress,

Or droops in winter's gloom,
But to the poet's raptured eye

A varied grace displays,
To wake his soul to fresh delights,

And brighter gild his lays.

ERE WE TWO MEET AGAIN, LOVE.
Ere we two meet again, love,

Many a change will be ;
The light of youth will wane, love,

And sadness fall on me,
Ere we two meet again, love,

As we are parting now, Ere we two meet again, love,

To mourn a too rash vow.

There's not a tone thy spirit hath

Of sunshine or of shade,
Whether thy cheek is flush'd with joy,

Or pale by sorrow made,-
But Alings round thee a thousand charms

Unseen, unfelt before,
To bind me with a deeper spell,
And make me love thee more.

GERTRUDL.

O ! bright, bright were the days, love,

That you and I have known; Deep blessings on their memory, love,

For they themselves are gone! And we are parting now, love,

In sadness and in fear; Like a dark river's flow, love,

Our joys will disappear.

LITERARY CHIT-CHAT AND VARIETIES.

Ere we two meet again, love,

Warm feelings will turn cold; Ere we two meet again, love,

Our hearts will have grown old; A thousand cares and troubles, love,

A thousand heartless joys, Will fill up our allotted time

In weariness and noise.

The Bishop of Chester has in the press, Lectures, practical and expository, on the Gospels of Matthew and Mark.

“ Memorabilia Curliana," which has been delayed by various additional information, will be out in a few days.

Vegetable Cookery, with an Introduction, recommending absti. nence from animal food and intoxicating liquors, is announced.

The forthcoming romance of The Tuileries, comprehends a period in the annals of French history from the first popular triumph in the fall of the Bastile, to the establishment of the supremacy of Napoleon in the victory of Marengo.

Captain Beechey's Narrative of his Voyage to the Pacific, which is nearly ready, will contain, among other interesting subjects, a more detailed account of the Mutiny of the Bounty, than has ever appeared. The work will be illustrated by numerous engravings by Finden.

Mr Bulwer's new production, “ The Siamese Twins," may be ex. pected in a few days.

And vainly we'll remember, love,

The summer months of life, With fond affections, buoyant hopes,

And holiest feelings rife.

Mrs Charles Gore's forthcoming work, to be entitled, The Histo- vulgar appetites it would seem, however; for, exquisite-1 had rical Traveller, is intended to form a present for young persons.

It almost said, divine-as they are, the “Nobs" have not turned out to is to consist of a series of narratives connected with the most curious them! Pritchard accompanied him, and dressed and played Raphael epochs of European history, and with the phenomena of European admirably, in despite of the fustian he had to spout of Mr Somerset's. countries.

He seems to have thorough “bottom" in his arduous profession.Mr Robert Montgomery, the author of " Satan," "The Omnipre Nicholson, the Prince of flute-players, has been here arranging for sence of the Deity." &c. has a new poem in the press, entitled “Ox. his concert of Wednesday next, the 19th. It will be brilliant ; for ford,” which is on the eve of publication. Mr Montgomery is at pre- all the “ distinguished" of Glasgow are patrons of him and the Stocksent on a visit to Edinburgh.

hausen, who is to be here also.—The Andersonian soirees keep up OUR STUDY TABLE.-New works still crowd upon us. Among their interest. The indefatigable president read a paper on the others, we have this week received the first volume of the Sunday Craigleith fossil tree last night, full of a fine and subtle philosophy : Library, edited by the Rev. Dr Dibdin, a publication of the Family and Professor Graham told us what the scientific world had done Library description, to contain a selection of Sermons by eminent during the last six months, in a delightful conversational way.-We divines of the Church of England, chiefly within the last half century, have actually perpetrated the publication of a 4to this week, and a with occasional biographical sketches and notes;- The first volume

very pretty, as well as very able one it is–Mr Dobie on the Crawfurd of Lardner's Cabinet Library, which commences with Military Me- Peerage. It has all the interest of a romance, and the accuracy of a moirs of Ficld- Marshal the Duke of Wellington, by Captain Moyle genealogy. Sherer, a book which we mean to read attentively, the more especially CHIT-CHAT FROM BERWICK-Ox-TWEED.-We are so deeply as we have been accustomed to consider Captain Sherer a clever man; plunged in burgh politics here, that our chit-chat has not much ge-The eighteenth volume of the Family Library, containing Voyages neral interest. This political war is carried on to so great an extent and Discoveries of the Companions of Columbus, by Washington Irving, as to have been the means of crushing a couple of mechanics' instia book which cannot fail to be an interesting one;- The Foreigner's tutes, some spouting clubs, and varivus other societies. A weekly English Conjugator, elucidated through French examples, in which pocket-magazine has, however, been commenced, and promises to suc. all the mysteries of “Shall and Will," and "Should and Would,” are ceed. If we add a weekly newspaper, we sum up the whole of our illustrated, by our old acquaintance Justin Brenan, who‘e books re- literary undertakings, though, formerly, the publication of books joice in the neat and tasteful exterior attractions assigned to them by was carried on to some extent by two or three active publishers.Effingham Wilson ;--Poems, Sacred and Miscellaneous, by James We do not expect any manager to try our Theatre this season, as Gilborne Lyons, one of the Dublin publications of those spirited Mr Bass's attempt did not meet his wishes in the last.-We have a booksellers, Messrs Curry and Co., which we have not yet had lime casino erery three weeks in our Red Lion ball-room, which is attendto read :-The Prometheus of Eschylus, edited for the use of schools ed so numerously by fashionable-looking people, that a stranger and colleges, by that excellent scholar and most accurate of classical would be somewhat surprised; but Berwick has always been famed printers--Valpy;--Observations on the Duty of Sea-borne Coal, a for a speedy importation of London novelties. – Mr Thompson, the pamphlet on an important subject, which does not, however, coine lecturer on steam-machinery, who lately received so much injury in altogether within the range of our studies ;-4 Descriplion of the his legs, by the bursting of the boiler of his locomotive engine, is Chanonry, Cathedral, and King's College of Old Aberdeen, in the now recovering, though at first despaired of.-Our pier has lately years 1724-5, a work of considerable local interest, printed in a very received the addition of a handsome lighthouse at its extreme point. handsome style, from the MS. of William Orem, town-clerk of Aber- Theatrical Gossip.-Novelty-novelty—is every thing in London. deen in 1725, preserved, since his death, in the library of King's The great mass of the play.going people there have no opinions of College, and calculated to throw additional light on the earlier his- their own; they care for nothing but what is new. Hence the papers tory of Scottish towns and universities;— The Harmonicon, a Monthly teem with long puffs of the new Olympic Theatre, most of which we Journal of Music, for January 1831, a very respectably conducted believe to be humbug; for, though Vestris is a smart woman, she has work, the present Number of which contains, among other pieces of neither taste nor talent sufficient to conduct a dramatic establish. music, an air by John Daniel of Aberdeen, for the ballad of “ Mary ment on an elegant, liberal, and enlightened plan. Let this be set Jamieson," which appeared originally in the Literary Journal, and down as our opinion, though the Cockneys blow till they crack their which has been still more successfully set to music by Mrs Orme, of cheeks.—Macready's personation of Werner continues to hold a high this city ;—The first Number of The Edinburgh University Maga. place in public estimation.-An opera, by a British compos er of the cine, the contents of which are very creditable to its conductors, and name of Monck Mason, is to be produced speedily at the King's the poem entitled “ The Wandering Jew," is indicative of very con- Theatre.—Miss I. Paton has been performing at Aberdeen, assisted, siderable poetical abilities ;-The fourth volume of Bell's System of in the musical department, by her sister, Miss E. Paton.– Miss Louisa Popular and Scientific Geography, the three previous volumes or Jarman has accepted of an engagement for a limited period in Aberwhich we have already had occasion to mention in high terms, and deen, to play the first parts in opera.-We are informed that Mr their reputation is not likely to suffer by the fourth, which, with its Hooper has been re-engaged to succeed Mr Green, who is about to excellent paper, elegant typography, and carefully executed maps, leave Edinburgh. We hope he will not forget to take his blue waistand other illustrations, is calculated to reflect honour on the press of coat with him, which will no doubt make an impression at the Olym. Glasgow ;-A Help to Professing Christians in Judging their Spirit- pic.—The pantomime of “Mother Bunch" has had a fair run, and ual State and Growth in Grace, by the Rev. John Barr, already has drawn excellent ball.price houses.-Last night “ Masaniello" was favourably known as a theological writer, and entitled now to still revived, but Horncastle played Masaniello. more estimation. FINE ARTS.-We learn that a collection of antique paintings, lately

WEEKLY List of PERFORMANCES. purchased by the Royal Institution, is about to be exhibited. The exhibition is only delayed because a few of them have not yet ar.

JANUARY 8-14. rived; but there is reason to hope that it will open on or about the 25th of this month. Competent judges assure us that there are some

SAT. Barber of Seville, $ Raphael's Dream. valuable works among these pictures. We believe they are intend

Mox, The White Phantom, Perfection, & Gilderoy. ed as the commencement of a National Gallery. This is spirited and TUES. Barber of Seville, The Day After the Wedding, $ Nother praiseworthy. The Board of Trustees have also evinced a liberal

Bunch. spirit by throwing open their valuable collection to the public. But

WED.

The Heir-at-Law, The Wedding-Day, & Do. we shall say more of these matters in our next, as also of the high

THURS. The White Phantom, Perfection, 4 Do promise of a good exhibition in the Scottish Academy.

FRI. LAURENCE MACDONALD.-We understand that a number of the

Masaniello, & Do. friends of Mr Laurence Macdonald, who are desirous of testifying their high respect for his talents and character previous to his approaching departure from Scotland, have solicited his presence at a public dinner, to take place in the Waterloo Hotel, on Saturday the

TO OUR CORRESPONDENTS. 29th instant, at five o'clock, and that the following gentlemen have agreed to act as stewards:

The ingenious papers “On the Constitution of Human Nature,”

we cannot find room for immediately, and we even hesitate to enter The Right Hon. Sir John Sinclair, Bart. James L'Amy, Esq.

at all upon a subject so comprehensive.-" An Adventure in the Sir Alexander Muir Mackenzie, Bart. J. Watson Gordon, Esq.

South of France," by “ J. Y." of Berwick, is a well-told tale, but The Solicitor-General.

George Combe, Esq.

too long for our pages. It lies at the publisher's till called for. Professor Wilson.

William Simpson, Esq.

The poetical communications of “ Lorma," and of “ Thomas Professor Napier.

W. Weir, Esq.

Brydson,” shall have a place ;—perhaps, also, those of “ Thirsis," C. Stewart Menteith, Esq.

Henry G. Bell, Esq. and " G. B."— The verses entitled, “An Eastern City,” by “R. G." We have no doubt that this dinner will be numerously attended. of Berwick, the Ballads by “ J. L." of Langholm,-the Lines by There is some expectation of Sir Walter Scott being in the chair, and, “ Pictor,"-and the Stanzas by “ T. M." will hardly suit us. failing him, Professor Wilson.

Our readers will observe, that we have given to-day an additional CHIT-CHAT FROM GLAsgow.-Ducrow, the indescribable, the half-sheet, in order to overtake as many of the new publications as inimitable, is with us. His " tableaur" are not germane to our possible.

[blocks in formation]

LITERARY CRITICISM.

the Knights of Malta, will fail to perceive that these in

stitutions were disfigured by many evil passions and turThe History of Chivalry. By G. P. R. James, Esq. the spirit of Chivalry would inculcate, as the excesses of

bulent actions, as unlike what we are given to understand (Being the National Library. Vol. IV.) London. Colburn and Bentley. 1830.

a Belgian mob or the vulgar imbecilities of a Masonic

Lodge. Our dream of Chivalry therefore ded, and we About eighteen months ago, we were requested to declined the task of attempting to re-unite its broken fragwrite a History of Chivalry for one of the monthly Lib- ments into an harmonious whole. raries, or Miscellanies, now so much in vogue.

We It is more than probable that Mr James was not dispromised to devote some attention to the subject, with posed to take this view of the matter, else he would the view of ascertaining the probable success of such a never have gone through so much laborious reading and work. The result of our studies was, that no such investigation as he must have submitted to before he was thing could be written as a History of Chivalry, for that able to prepare a work like that now before us. We bave there was nothing definite and tangible—no principle of described some of the books which have been appearing distinct existence in what is usually denominated Chic in these Family Libraries, by the expressive monosylvalry. In as far as we could perceive, Chivalry was not lable whack ; but this is a volume evidently written with a concatenation of successive events clearly marked out so much care, and so redolent of research in every page, and capable of standing by themselves, but merely a cer- that it is entirely above the chance of having so disagreetain feature of society, varying in different countries, and able an epithet applied to it. Still, however, much as modified into different shapi-s by the political and moral we respect the talent which its author evinces, we must changes which, in the course of several centuries, neces- be permitted to say that it has not succeeded in convinsarily occurred in Europe. We felt, therefore, that a cing us, that as “I by itself I” makes a letter, chivalry History of Chivalry would be a history not of a substance by itself chivalry makes a history. What does Mr bat of a property, not of events but of feelings, not of James's book contain ? It is divided into fifteen chaprealities but of ideas. Chivalry appeared to us to be some- ters;—of these the greater part of the three first is taken what of the nature of a cameleon, whose colours, though up with some general introductory matters concerning independent of itself, are of too unsubstantial and fleeting the origin of what is called chivalry, the education and a nature to be separated from the body to which they seem services of a knight, and privileges and duties of knightto belong. In looking into the works of both ancient hood; and then we descend all at once to the period of and modern writers upon Chivalry, to see how they got the Crusades, and from the latter end of the third chapter over this difficulty, we invariably found that they did to the commencement of the fifteenth, the scene lies not get over it at all, but that what they were pleased to almost continually in Palestine ; or, at all events, the term a history of Chivalry, was neither more nor less than narrative never disconnects itself from the fortunes of a history of warlike adventures, of which the Crusades those princes and armies who marched in such multitudes were the principal, intermingled with copious descriptions from Europe to the Holy Land. Now, in all the cruof the arms and accoutrements which the better sort of saders' wars, if we set aside the tolerably romantic aim soldiers were expected to wear, and of certain ceremonies for which they fought, we must frankly avow that we which those who volunteered their services in the public sec nothing whatever to distinguish them from any other cause agreed to go through. These writers, and we could wars, and certainly discover nothing half so chivalrous not wonder at it, did not introduce us to any broad stream in their nature (if we must use the word chivalrous) as of narrative, down whose waters Chivalry floated like a in the elder wars of Greece and Rome.

Where was gorgeous pageant, gradually swelling into greater magni- there ever a band of so devoted knights as those who ficence as tributary rivers joined its course, and as many fought at Thermopylæ ? What preux chevalier ranks a little fleet weighed anchor from the neighbouring shores higher, or so bigh, as Marcus Curtius, or Mutius Scæand followed in its wake. We found, on the contrary, vola? True, military and religious orders—the Red and that Chivalry, even in its best days, sparkled like a few the White Cross Knights flourished in the time of the random gems among a quantity of dross, or like a sub- Crusades ; but they did not constitute Chivalry, else why terranean fire pressed down and restrained by the incum. give us only occasional glimpses of their deeds among the bent mass, yet breaking out at intervals, sometimes where general armaments with whom they were associated ? least expected, and not unfrequently where it was but In his fifteenth, and last chapter, Mr James informs us slightly understood. We found that at no period was the of the melancholy fate of the Templars on their return general population of a country disposed to be one whit to Europe, and of the more fortunate career of the more chivalrous than they are at this present moment, in Knights of St John, in Rhodes and Malta ; and having the year of grace 1831 ; and that the few more gallant thus brought us down to the middle of the sixteenth censpirits which occasionally arose, were then, as they are tury, concludes a very able and interesting work, but, by now, meteors thạt glittered for a time and disappeared. his good leave, no more a history of chivalry than any There were, it is true, some large military societies band other book which was ever written on the subject is a ed together on rather a more elegant scale than our regi- history of chivalry. ments of volunteers ; but no one who studies attentively Our readers will perceive that we wish to draw a the rise and progress of such bodies as the Templars and distinction between the intrinsic excellence of Mr James's

« 上一頁繼續 »