Obrázky na stránke
PDF
ePub

him : in short, 'tis a stage, and the variety of his tones would make you imagine there were no less than five or six actors on it together.

I was last night at Baron de Bagg's concert; it was very fine, both music and company; and to-night I go to the Prince of Conti's. There is a Monsieur Popignière, who lives here like a sovereign prince; keeps a company of musicians always in his house, and a full set of players; and gives concerts and plays alternately to the grandees of this metropolis; he is the richest of all the farmer

; he did me the honor last night to send me an invitation to his house, while I stayed here—that is, to his music and table.

I

suppose you had terrible snows in Yorkshire, from the accounts I read in the London papers. There has been no snow here, but the weather has been sharp; and was I to be all the day in my room, I could not keep myself warm for a shilling a day. This is an expensive article to great houses here’tis most pleasant and most healthy firing ; I shall never bear coals I fear again; and if I can get wood at Coswold, I will always have a little. I hope Lydia is better, and not worse, and that I shall hear the same account of you. I hope my Lydia goes on with her French; I speak it fast and fluent, but incorrect both in accent and phrase; but the French tell me I speak it most surprisingly well for the time. In six weeks I shall get over all difficulties, having got over one of the worst, which is to understand what is said by others, which I own I found much trouble in at first.

My love to my Lyd-, I have got a color into my face now, though I came with no more than there is in a dishclout.

I am your affectionate

L. STERNE. For Mrs. Sterne at York.

GERMAN SATIRE.

There is a work which a German critic has attributed to Tieck, entitled Comedia Divina, mit drei Vorreden von Peter Hammer, Jean Paul, und dem Herausgeber, 1808. The absence of publisher's name and the place of publication leaves little doubt that the name, W. G. H. Gotthardt, and the date, “Basel, Mai 1, 1808,” are both fictitious. No one who has read this can suppose it was written by Tieck. The Catholic-romantic school, of which he was the most distinguished member, furnishes the chief objects of the author's ridicule. Novalis, Görres, and F.

Schlegel are the most prominent; but at p. 128 is an absurd son

[blocks in formation]

The Comedia Divina is a very clever and somewhat profane satire, such as Voltaire might have written had he been a German of the nineteenth century. It opens with Jupiter complaining to Mercury of ennui (eine langweilige existenz), and that he is not what he was when he was young. Mercury advises a trip to Leipzic Fair, where he may get good medical advice for his gout, and certainly will see something new. They go, and hear various dealers sing the catalogues of their goods.

They visit the garret of Herr Novalis Octavianus Hornwunder, a maker of books to order upon every subject: they learn the mysteries of the manufacture. The scene is clever, but much of the wit is unappreciable as directed against productions which have not survived. Jupiter, in compassion to Hornwunder, changes him to a goose, immediately after which a bookseller enters, and, mistaking the gods for authors, makes them an offer of six dollars and twelve groschen the octavo volume, besides something for the kitchen. Jupiter, enraged, changes him to a fox, which forthwith eats the goose, “feathers and all."

They then go to see the play of the Fall of Man (Der Sündenfall). The subject is treated after the manner of Hans Sachs, but with this difference, that the simple-minded old Nuremburger saw nothing incongruous in making Cain and Abel say their catechism, and Cain go away from the examination to fight with the low boys in the street; whereas the author of Der Sünderfall is advisedly irreverent. Another proof, if one were wanted, that he was not Tieck,

FROZEN WORDS.

Dickens, in his Old Curiosity Shop, has made a very felicitous use of the idea (to be found in Baron Munchausen and else

[ocr errors]

where) of words being congealed at the time they were spoken, and afterwards sounding when thawed :-

6 Your son

"Don't be frightened, mistress,” said Quilp, after a pause. knows me: I don't eat babies: I don't like 'em. It will be as well to stop that young screamer though, in case I should be tempted to do him a mischief. Holloa, Sir! will you be quiet?" Little Jacob stemmed the course of two tears which he was squeezing out of his eyes, and instantly subsided into a silent horror.

The moment their [Quilp and Swiveller] backs were turned, little Jacob thawed, and resumed his crying from the point where Quilp had frozen him.-- Vol. i. pp. 207–9.

BYRONIANA.

In Lady Blessington's Conversations with Lord Byron, pages 176, 177, the poet is represented as stating that the lines

While Memory, with more than Egypt's art,
Embalming all the sorrows of the heart,
Sits at the altar which she raised to woe,
And feeds the source whence tears eternal flow !"

suggested to his mind, " by an unaccountable and incomprehensible power of association,” the thought

Memory, the mirror which affliction dashes to the earth, and, looking down upon the fragments, only beholds the reflection multiplied;

afterwards apparently embodied in Childe Harold, iii. 33.

Even as a broken mirror, which the glass
In every fragment multiplies; and makes
A thousand images of one that was, ,

The same, and still the more, the more it breaks.
Now, Byron was, by his own showing, an ardent admirer of
Burton's Anatomy of Melancholy. See Moore's Life of Byron,
vol. i. page 144. Notices of the year 1807.

Turn to Burton, and you will find the following passage :
And, as Praxiteles did by his glass, when he saw a scurvy face in it, brake

it to pieces, but for that one, he saw many more as ba in a moment.—Part 2, sect. 3, mem. 7.

Dant les premières passions les femmes aiment l'amant; dans les autres elles aiment l'amour.—La Rochefoucauld, Max. 494.

In her first passion woman loves her lover,
In all the others all she loves is love,
Which grows a habit she can ne'er get over,
And fits her loosely-like an easy glove, &c.

Don Juan, canto iii. st. iii.

There is no note on this passage; but, on the concluding lines of the very next stanza,

Although, no doubt, her first of love affairs
Is that to which her heart is wholly granted !
Yet there are some, they say, who have had none,
But those who have ne'er end with only one,

we have the following editorial comment: “ These two lines are a versification of a saying of Montaigne." (!!!) The saying is not by Montaigne, but by La Rochefoucauld :

On peut trouver des femmes qui n'ont jamais eu de galanterie ; mais il est rare d'en trouver qui n'en aient jamais eu qu'une.--Max, 73.

Byron borrows the same idea again :

Writing grows a habit, like a woman's gallantry. There are women who have had no intrigue, but few who have had but one only; so there are millions of men who have never written a book, but few who have written only one.- Observations upon an Article in Blackwood's Magazine ; Byron's Works, vol. xv. p. 87, Moore's Edition, 17 vols. duod. London, 1833.

ice:

Mrs. Radcliffe (who was never out of England) is describing in her Mysteries of Udolpho, chap. xvi., the appearance of Ven

“Its terraces, crowded with airy yet majestic fabrics, touched as they now were with the splendor of the setting sun, appeared as if they had been called up from the ocean by the wand of an enchanter."

In the first stanza of the fourth canto of Childe Harold we have the well-known lines

I stood in Venice on the Bridge of Sighs,

A palace and a prison on each hand :
I saw from out the wave her structures rise

As from the stroke of an enchanter's wand.

In one of his letters Lord Byron tells us of his fondness for the above novel. Again, in Kirke White's Christiad

The lyre which I in early days have strung,
And now my spirits faint, and I have hung
The spell that solaced me in saddest hour

On the dark cypress may be compared with the last stanza but one of the fourth canto.

AMONTILLADO SHERRY.

The wines of Xérès consist of two kinds, viz., sweet and dry, each of which is again subdivided into two other varieties. Amontillado sherry, or simply Amontillado, belongs to the latter class, the other description produced from the dry wines being sherry, properly so called, that which passes in this country generally by that name. These two wines, although differing from each other in the peculiarities of color, smell, and flavor, are produced from the same grape, and in precisely a similar manner; indeed, it frequently happens that of two or more botas, or large casks, filled with the same moùt (wort or sweet wine), and subjected to the same manipulation, the one becomes Amontillado, and the other natural sherry. This mysterious transformation takes place ordinarily during the first, but sometimes even during the second year, and in a manner that has hitherto baffled the attempts of the most attentive observer to discover. The peculiar flavor is caused by a process of fermentation, over which the

« PredošláPokračovať »