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harshly repulsed, threatened with the whip ; ulti- Karl Lebrecht Immermann, who died in 1810, mately the letter is received, but too late to pre- was also much indebted to Shakspere. The ‘ Anvent the sudden attack and the firing of the dreas Hofer' and 'Alexis' have each considerable residence. While the fire is raging, the bride merit ; the first appealing to his country's feelings, expectant remembers that something to of | and well depicting the patriotism of the hero; the great importance is in her room, which the flames second is the Russian tragedy of the execution of are just reaching, and Katharine undertakes to Alexis, the son of Peter the Great ; it forms a fetch it. She goes, the danger becomes imminent, trilogy, Die Bojaren, Das Gericht von St. Petersthe Count, against the remonstrances of his burg, and Endoxia. Immermann also wrote affianced bride, would rush to save her, but the other dramatic pieces, both tragedies and comedies, house sinks in ruins. Katharine disappears for a all decidedly belonging to the English school ; the while, and the Count laments her: when she re- comedies, however, being scarcely equal in ment appears, conducted by the cherub, wholly un- to the tragedies. As dramatist and novel-writer, scathed. After this, she is acknowledged before Immermann has had considerable influence on the Vehm-gericht by the Emperor, as his ille- the literature of his country, having introduced gitimate daughter, proclaimed Princess of Swabia, several authors to the public at Düsseldorf, the and married to the Count. His ‘Herrmanns- theatre of which town he raised to a high celebrity schlacht' is of a very superior character, though by his efforts. perhaps he makes his hero, Hermann (the Arminius There are others who may be mentioned with of Tacitus) too much of an intriguer, and compli- approbation, whose dramas yet appear upon the cates the plot by making the Roman legate, Ven- stage: Julius Neofen, Friedrich von Uechtritz, tidius, the attempted seducer of Thusnilda, the Freiherrn Münch von Bellinghausen, and others. wife of Herrmann. The dialogues are spirited, Shakspere's plays are performed on the various and the blank verse is not inharmonious, though German stages as frequently — perhaps more in English it would be deemed very irregular. frequently—as upon our own ; but we believe
Christian Dietrich Grabbe was distinguished by never unmutilated, and sometimes disfigured ; a comprehensive grasp, but often attempted more not excepting Weimar, when, upon the solemnithan, with all his real power, he could manage. zation of the tercentenary, a series of the HisHis plots include great periods of time. “Herzog torical Plays were represented on the theatre Theodor von Gothland' is full of horrors ; 'Frie- from Richard I. to Henry VIII. on successive drich Barbarossa' and 'Kaiser Heinrich der evenings, and were very numerously attended. Sechste' are more strictly historical, and have long They were produced under the direction of Heit been considered as decidedly Shaksperian ; but the Dingelstedt, the manager, who at the same time dialogues, which are partly in verse and partly in was the instituter of the Shakspere Society, of prose, fall far below Shakspere's. His versification which the avowed object is to extend the knop is inharmonious, and his prose is epigrammatic, ledge and facilitate the understanding of Shakconcise, with powerful thoughts occasionally, but spere's works. The first Year-Book of the Society not a natural or characteristic mode of speaking. has been published, and contains ingenious Essays The 'Hermannsschlacht,' published in 1838, has by Ulrici, M. Bernays, A. F. Rio, and others. power, but is inferior to Kleist's, and, like most of his works, is injured by capricious defects of taste, Karl Simrock, in his introduction to his transof a sort which, in a criticism upon Shakspere, he lation of Macbeth," says,
“Schiller and Shak. condemns as faults. But he says, with some spere have become the favourites of the German justice, that the German dramatist is unfor- nation ; from the prince to the townsman and tunately placed ; “if he writes in the spirit of the peasant, their works are found in every one's Shakspere, the assumed highest model of German hands, their golden words in every one's memory." dramatists, it is said, “The man is an imitator, Shakspere's influence has doubtless extended into and how much he falls short of his master!' If, other branches of literature, especially into the on the contrary, he is bold enough to write in his novel, but probably in this the direction has been own fashion, he fares even worse ; for then he is more due to the example of Sir Walter Scott; at once judged to be in the wrong road, and is but for the whole, whatever it may be, the advised to study truth and nature, not in them- Germans are mainly indebted to the labours of selves, but in their only mirror, in Shakspere.” Lessing, Schlegel, and Tieck. In this criticism, he explains his own aspirations : it was to form not an English or Shaksperian * Shakspere als Vermittler zweier Nationen, Macbeth, school, but a truly German one. His life, like his
ein Probestück. Stuttgart. 1842. works, was irregular, and he died, in 1836, at the age of thirty-five.
We had intended, as the reader might infer from France upon Shakspere, have been very ably a note at page 383, to have taken a brief but treated by Mr. G. H. Lewes, in a recent article in general view of the altered state of opinion in the Westminster Review. In the “ Nouvelle BioFrance in relation to Shakspere. Although the graphie Générale" (tom. xliv. 1864), there is an subject presents many interesting features, there elaborate biography of our national poet, which in is considerable difficulty in dealing with it suc- itself sufficiently indicates how very much the cinctly. The admiration, founded upon know- mistakes and prejudices of French criticism have ledge of our poet, is not established as in Germany. been abated — how Corneille and Racine and The critical opinion of France is still in a transi- Molière can be admirer, without declaring Shaktion state. Those who are almost extravagant in spere “ignorant et barbare.” The writer of that their idolatry, such as Victor Hugo, do not look biography, having noticed the translation of Le at the attributes of the divinity they worship Tourneur, and the pretended imitations of Dueis, from the same point of view as the Germans, and says :—“M. Guizot, by the Preface to his version differ very considerably in æsthetical principles of Le Tourneur; M. Villemain, by his biofrom the later school of English criticism. We graphical labours; M. Benjamin Laroches, by a must, therefore, in addition to what has been said translation more exact than those which had prein the fifth section of our “ History of Opinion,” çeded him; and M. François-Victor Hugo, by a request our readers to be satisfied with the follow- version perfectly faithful and liberal, have coning meagre notice.
tributed to make known in France a poet more The progress, and present state, of opinion in admired than understood."
2 F 2
It has been found convenient to arrange the references under two heads.
THE FIRST INDEX is for the most part GLOSSARIAL, but it also refers to explanations which are more diffuse in their character. The words which are in Italic are those which may be explained briefly, and often by the addition of another word, approaching to a synonyme, which gives the sense. The words in Roman, principally referring to objects, customs, and ancient and proverbial expressions, require a more lengthened explanation, which will be found under the passages referred to, either in a foot-note (designated by n) or an illustration (designated by i).
THE SECOND INDEX is of the DRAMATIS PERSONÆ, showing the names of the Characters which occur in each Play, and the particular Act and Scene in which each appears.
The references are not made to Volume and Page, but to Play, Act and Scene. The POEMs are referred to by their titles. All the references are abridged as follows :
G. V. Two Gentlemen of Verona.
T. S. Taming of the Shrew.
M. V. The Merchant of Venice.
J. King John.
R. S. King Richard II.
H. F. King Henry V.
R. T. King Richard III.
L. King Lear.
P. P. The Passionate Pilgrim.
These two Indexes comprise all that are properly references to the works of Shakspere. A word, or a sentence, is desired to be referred to, when the passage in which it occurs requires explanation. In the foot-notes, or the illustrations, such explanation is to be found, the Index citing the passage to which reference is made; and thus showing, at one view, how words are employed in peculiar senses, either varying or alike in distinct plays. In like manner, the name of a character is to be found, in connection with the act and scene of each play. But it is obvious that a large portion of the Commentary of this edition—that which is comprised in the Introductory and Supplementary Notices, and in the Historical Illustrations—is thus excluded from the Index;—and this exclusion is rendered necessary, partly from the great extent to which the references would run, even if they were confined to names of persons and books, and partly from the extreme difficulty of digesting into the form of an index those matters which are purely critical and speculative.