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*Ah, faux meurdrier! ah, faux traistre! arrache
(Seleuque à Octavien.)
(Octavien à Cleopatre.)
n'est plus furieux que la rage
(A Seleuque.) Fuy-t'-en, amy, fuy-t-en. Shakspeare's play on the same subject was written near half a century after that of Jodelle ; and between the genius displayed in the one and in the other the distance is immense. The memorable description of Cleopatra sailing down the Cydnus, and some passages of sublimity and pathos, as the drama assumes the tone and cast of adversity, are made for the admiration of mankind. But there is a close and lamentable resemblance between the two Cleopatras. The scene just cited is in exact colouring and keeping with that in which Shakspeare's Cleopatra, striking the messenger, says--
(She hales him up and down)
Smarting in lingering pickle, &c."-that other scene, in which she swears
Ah! false villain, false traitor, I'll tear the hair off thy cruel head. Would the gods it were thy brain I dashed out.
(Seleucus to Octavius.) Oh! mighty Cæsar, do hold her back.
(Cleopatra to Seleucus.) See the fruits of all my bounty. Ah! the grief I suffer gives to my languid heart such force, that methinks I could beat thy bones to powder with my fists, and tread on thee till thy loins burst beneath my feet.
(Octavius.) Oh! what a devilish (teeth-gnashing) spirit! but nothing is so furious as the heart of an enraged woman.-(To Cleopatra) Eh ! how! Cleopatra, han't you yet had your stomach-full of beating him ? -Tó Scleucus) Begone, begone, my friend.,
“By Isis, I will give thee bloody teeth,
if thou with Cæsar paragon again,
My man of men, &c.”that scene of deplorable buffoonery between Cleopatra, on the eve of suicide, and the clown, who brings her the aspic; and but too many other passages, which are read with pain and humiliation, by all who regard the glory of the English stage, and admire Shakspeare with discernment.
Jodelle, who was familiar with the Greek poets, copied their regularity and simplicity of plot; but so inartificially, that it makes his play only the more flat and tedious. It opens
with the ghost of Antony complaining that the gods, envious of his glory, had made him the slave of love for his ruin; and announcing, that Cleopatra, by his command, conveyed to her in a dream, was to slay herself that day at his tomb. The queen next appears, surrounded by her female attendants, and occupied with this dream. She devotes herself to death, in obedience to the command of her lover's ghost, to avoid being chained to the triumphal car of his victorious rival. The following verses, in which she vows the sacrifice of her life,
possess considerable force.
*Que plutost cette terre au fond de ses entrailles
Et que la peur de mort entre dans mon oreille.
Sooner may this earth engnif me in its bowels, sooner may the torturing pincers of the avenging sisters, that spread horror over the infernal lake, tear my vitals, than I counsel me to this, or let the fear of death lind passage through my
IX. of inhuman memory, that "he who makes use of the lamp should at least supply it with oil”---" Qui se sert de la lampe, au moins d: l'huile y met." But what seems to have broken his heart was the failure of a grand spectacle, founded on the Argonautic expedition, which he undertook to have represented under his own immediate direction at court. He had employed, in the preparation of it, all the resources of his skill, which was remarkable, in architecture and scenic painting. But on the eventful day, the performers, musicians, scene-shifters---all conspired, by their blunders, to ruin his hopes. “Where,” says he, “I had ordered two rocks, I beheld advancing two bells" (au lieu de deux rochers que j'avais commandés, je vis arriver deux clochers). The following beautiful stanza is from a Funeral Ode on his wretched end, written by one of his friends :
* Jodelle est mort de pauvreté.
La pauvreté a eu puissance
HORACE, BOOK II. ODE XIII.
l'hee not the dog-star's fiery ray
* Jodelie hath had his death-stroke from poverty. Poverty hath had power over the treasure of France. O God ! how cruel. Heaven gave Jodelle a spirit other than human-France denied him a morsel of bread, so much was she a cruel mother.
[This closely literal version can give to the mere English reader no idea of the simplicity, tenderness, and turn of phrase, in the original.]
God made the country, and man made the town :" I wonder in which of the two divisions Cowper would have placed Richmond. Every Londoner would laugh at the rustic that should call it town ;. and yet it is no more like the country, the real, untrimmed, genuine country, than a garden is like a field. I do not say this in disparagement. Richmond is nature in a court dress, but still nature-aye, and very lovely nature too; gay, and happy, and elegant, as one of Charles the Seconds beauties, and with as little to remind us of the penalty of the original Adam, of labour or poverty, or grief, or crime. Since no place on the globe is quite exempt from their influence, I suppose
may exist even there; they are, however, well hidden : the inhabitants may find them, or they may find the inhabitants ; but to the casual visitor Richmond appears a sort of fairy-land—a piece of the old Arcadia, a holiday-spot for ladies and gentlemen, where they lead a happy out-of-door life, like the gay folks in Watteau's pictures, and have nothing to do with the work-a-day world. The principal ingredient in this powerful charm is the river, the beautiful river, for the hill seems to me over-rated. The prospect is too woody, too leafy, too green. There is a monotony of vegetation, a heaviness. The view was finer as I first saw it in February, when the bare branches admitted frequent glimpses of houses and villages, and the colouring was left to the fancy, than when I last beheld it, all pomp and garniture, " in the leafy month of June.” Canova said it only wanted crags; I rather incline to the old American criticism, and think that it wants clearing. But the river, the beautiful river, there is no over-rating that. Brimming to its very banks of meadow or garden, clear, pure, and calm as the bright summer sky which smiles down into its bosom. How gracefully it glides through the bridge, and how the boats become it ! and how pretty those boats are, from the light green pleasure-vessel, with its white awning and its gay freight of beaux and belles, to the heavy steam-boat, which comes walloping along with a regular mechanical motion, rumpling the waters, and leaving a track of tiny waves on their glassy surface. Certainly the Thames is the pleasantest highway in his Majesty's dominions. The happiest hours I ever passed in my life were spent on its bosom one sweet June morning, when the light clouds seemed following and folding the sun in a thousand veils of shadowy alabaster, and the soft air was loaded with fragrance from gardens which were one flush of roses and honeysuckles. I shall never forget that morning. How delightful it was to glide along through those beautiful scenes with those dear companions, sunk in that silence of deep enjoyment which
looks so like thought, though, in reality, a much wiser and happier thing; listening, half unconsciously, to Emily I.'s sweet snatches of Venetiau songs; muttering almost as unconsciously as we met the queen birds, “The swans on still St. Mary's lake float double, swan and shadow;" just roused as we passed Pope's grotto, or the arch over Strawberry Hill; then landing at Hampton Court, the palace of the Cartoons, and coming home with my whole mind full of the divine Raphael, and of that glorious portrait of Titian by himself, which almost divided my admiration. I shall never forget that morning
How pleasant it is, on the other hand, to go down the river towards Kew, amongst all sorts of royal recollections, from the ruined house of Anne of Cleves, to the lime-trees, fragrant with blossom, and “musical with bees,” under which the late King and Queen used to sit on a summer evening, whilst their children were playing round them on the grass. Kew Palace is in fine harmony with this pretty family-piece. It is quite refreshing to think of royalty so comfortable, and homely, and unconstrained, as it must have been in that small, ugly, old-fashioned house. Princes are the “born thralls” of splendour ; and to see them eased of their cumbrous magnificence, gives such a pleasure as one feels in reading “ Ivanhoe," when the collar is taken from the neck of Gurth, and he leaps up a free man. At Kew, too, in those confined and ill-furnished apartments, they were not without better luxuries; books accessible and readable, and looking as if they had been read, and a fine collection of cabinet pictures ; superb Canaletti's ; the famous dropsical woman, on which the Queen is said to have fixed her eyes, duringher last illness, with such an intense expression of self-pity ; and a portrait of Vandyke, which rivals the Titian---the elegant Vandyke, with his head over his shoulder, which has been so often engraved. What an interesting thing is the portrait of a great artist!
Amongst the many superb villas round Richmond, none attracted me so much as Ham House, a stately old place, retired from the river, and concealed and divided from it by rows of large trees. Ham House is quite a model of the mansion of the last century, with its dark shadowy front, its steps and terraces, its marble basons, and its deep, silent court, whose iron gate, as Horace Walpole complains, is never opened. The keeping is perfect. The very flowers are old-fashioned. No American borders! No Kalmias, or Azelias, or Magnolias, or such heathen shrubs! No flimsy China roses ! Nothing new-fangled ! none but flowers of the olden time---gay, formal knots of pinks and sweet-peas, and larkspurs, and 'lilies, and hollyhocks, mixed with solid cabbage roses, and round Dutch honey