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if a star be contemplated through a glass, |ty to remove his scaffolding when he had comtarnished however slightly by the smoke of a pleted his building ? Or take a still aptlamp or torch, it glimmers into a speck of er specimen in the dramas of Skakspeare. light. The stars of literature undergo a simi- His plays, in five stories, were run up with lar eclipse and diminution, when beheld the swisiness of a speculator in Parnassus, through the tinted glass of jealousy or hatred. who had only a few plots of ground in eligible
Arbuthnot.-Nay, even through misappre- situations and upon short leases. He was too hension ;-Scaliger was unable to compre- idle to remove the machinery of his labor from hend the Latin of a Scottish gentleman who the eye of the beholder. It litters the balcohad addressed him, and he gravely apologiz- ny of Juliet, it appears in the battle-field of ed to him for not understanding the language Richard. of Scotland.
Arbuthnot.--How strikingly apparent is Pope.—Among the uses of criticism may that contrast of different styles in the poem of be recollected the light which it throws over Spenser,—the Ionic grace of the classic temthe design of an author. Few men build ple clusters, with all its florid luxuriance, their verse or their argument according to over the solemn melancholy of the cathedral; their original plan. My own Sylph machine the old and new worlds of fiction illuminate ry was an after-thought. The light of criti- and darken each other,cism enables the reader to comprehend in one view the long perspective of imagination, to
« Till Peter's keys some christen’d Jove adorn,
And Pan to Moses lends his Pagan horn." see what parts of the majestic outline have been embodied, what parts omitted, what parts Pope.--You were wise to sweeten to my modified or changed. This knowledge can ear a censure of Spenser with a couplet of only be obtained after a laborious survey of iny own.
The Faèrie Qucene I have always criticism, after a careful induction and com- loved. And I confess that the union of anparison of particulars.
tique and modern images has never appeared Arbuthnot.-1 have remarked that any at- to me so startling or unpleasing. The effect tempts to improve the building when conn- of his pictures depends upon the manner in pleted, have almost constantly resulted in di- which you contemplate them. If you stand minishing its effect. The architecture as close to a cathedral window, when there is no sumes a composite form-an Elizabethan light upon it, and minutely analyze each robe, chimney tapers above a Norman gateway. Se- and feature, and posture of the figures delicond and third editions of books, if amended, neated upon it, your eye will be offended with are generally inferior to the first. But while the want of delicacy in the expression and I deprecate these extensive alterations, I re- harmony in the coloring. It is so with respeci the sentiment which suggests them. gard to the representations which Spenser
Bolingbroke.—Yes, truly; I can enter in- has given of scenery and life. His poem comto the feeling which induced Virgil to direct prises a succe: sion of paintings, which prethat the MS. of his great poem might be de- sent certain features and dresses to the eye; stroyed. There is, you know, in the Lauren- they look cold and watery unless the light of tian library, a room by Michael Angelo, and his moral plays over the surface; then every the staircase, said to be his work, has still the feature glows and brightens; and all the pascaffolding remaining at one part of it which geant wakes and lives. He designated his work he erected. Now, so it is with the Æneid a perpetual allegory, or dark conceit. The and with the architecture of genius in gene- sunshine of truth illuminates this allegory, as ral. Whether it be from accident, or indo- the sunshine of summer gilds the window of lence, or wilfulness, or premature death, some the cathedral. of the scaffolding is always hanging about the Arbuthnot.But the improbability of his magnificent fabrics of invention and learning descriptions; the drawing, so out of proporThe board, and the ladder, and the rope, tion; the coloring, so heightened beyond deform the stateliness and graceof the palaces reality.—How do you vindicate these? of fancy. Look, for example, at the edifice Pope.-By denying the assertion. His reared after so many years of patient indus- figures and scenery were drawn and colored try by our own Milton. Who can fail to per with the intention of being contemplated at ceive that the illustrations drawn from science a certain distance, and under certain lights. and mythology—the intricate theses spun out | There are pictures whose charm reveals itof the cobwebs of schoolmen and the perplexi- self only as the spectator recedes from the ties of polemics—are so many remains of the canvass. The cathedral window was never tools and the materials which he had collect- painted in order that a curious lover of art ed for his toil—so many proofs that the archi- might fix a ladder to the roof and spell it, as tect had not the disposition or the opportuni- he would a new grammar, Then, consider
of the age.
that what is so unnatural to you was perfect-| Bolingbroke.- Horace has long ago indi. ly natural to Spenser. He was like a man cated, with that inimitable grace which was who had lived so long in an Eastern climate peculiar to him, this transmigration of the that his countenance had begun to assume its reader into the scene described; but he athue. He had walked among Faëries and Ge- tributes it entirely to the sorcery of the manii, and slumbered in enchanted palaces, and gician, subduing time and space to his serwandered over Elysian fields, until he felt vice. Sometimes, indeed, the spell of genius himself naturalized. When he goes back in- is so mighty that it compels the eyes of thought to antiquity, he ceases to be Spenser; and to close upon the present, that they may cper the spirit of the individual is merged in that upon the past; but, for the most part, the
consent of the intellectual system is required Bolingbroke.—And so it must always be, to the death of the thoughts with regard to as it always has been. He who would impart things immediately affecting it. immortality to his book must impart himself. Arbuthnot.—There is a certain description He must put his heart and his blood into it. of biography which combines with these fasIn the manifestation of genius there is no self-cinations of fiction the more endearing charms ishness. The image of the writer must not of truth. Read Plutarch's life of Theseus ; be reflected upon the stream of thought, but does it not breathe the romance of Spenser ? his fancy must descend, like some costly es- You see the glitter of arms, and hear the sence, into the lowest depths, and mingle clanging trumpet, as in the Knight's Tale of with, and color, and sweeten, every drop in Chaucer. Of all our poets, Shakspeare seems the stream. It was this union, this identifi- to have appreciated most fully the poetical cation of the poet with his poem, that com- character of Plutarch. municated so still and awful a grandeur to the Bolingbroke.- I think your eulogy of Plucreations of classic genius. Who cannot per- tarch is well deserved. Of biography lying ceive that the great heart of Æschylus throbs between fiction and truth, and receiving lights with the agonies of Prometheus, when the vul- and shades from each, he is the most pleasing ture flaps his heavy wings upon the crags of illustrator. In gazing upon these delineations Caucasus? We recognise the same suppres- of eminent persons, whether of ancient or sion of individual insulated consciousness in modern times, the eye of the reader is pleasthe tragedies of Shakspeare; or, if you turned and refreshed. He discovers in them a to a sister art, in the pictures of Raphael. resemblance to those portraits of the VeneAnd this is one reason why the productions of tian or Lombard schools, in which the physiGreek imagination, in particular, seem to ognomy is heightened by every splendor and have been exempted from the common law of embellishment of costume ; while a beautiful literary mortality. The dust of oblivion has background of landscape subdues and softens never been scattered on them, they have the composition into a gentle harıncny and never been buried. Sophocles lives in Edi- grace. The difference between that biograpus, Euripides speaks in Orestes ;-uninjur- phy which is too far removed from poetry to ed and undimmed by the darkness, and hurri- receive any of its lustre and heat, and that canes, and convulsions of so many centuries, biography which is lighted and kindled by it, they shine, stars in the pure firmament of is not unlike the difference which we trace thought; nor is their brightness stationary; between a portrait by Vandyck and a por" they journey on from clime to clime, and trait by Titian, where the accuracy and truth from age to age, shedding the light of beauty of the first are illuminated into a higher order upon generation after generation."
of power and intellect by the second. Arbuthnot.-And if the writer of the book Pope.-A great painter with the pen, like is to forget himself, so, in like manner, must the painter with the pencil, works his mirathe reader.
cles of art with the slightest touches; what Pope.—Or the author will have forgotten a wrinkle in a cloak, or a sword brought himself in vain. In both there must be not prominently forward, is to the artist, the unmerely a mutilation but an annihilation of premeditated word, or the brilliant repartee, personality. As the poet passes out of him is to the historian. You have spoken of Vanself into the character which he delineates, so dyck, of whom our own Clarendon may
offer the reader must identify himself with the cha- no unapt illustration ; but if you seek for a racter when it is portrayed; and he must not Rembrandt of the pen, would you not lock only go out of himself, but out of his age, for him in Tacitus ? If you examine his won"he must forget himself, and his prejudices, derful delineations of nature with attention, and predilections and associations, and give you perceive that, while his portraits are preup his thoughts to the work he is perusing, sented to the eye with every circumstance to and try to take his stand on the author's point awaken fear and dismay, there hangs, neverof view."
theless, about them a dimness ind obscurity touch the figure into the canvass roughly and peculiarly striking; an awful outline seems vividly, but without arranging the background to be drawn with a few strokes, leaving the and the accessories. Look at Homer's picbeholder or the reader (which, in this case, ture of wolves :are terms convertible) much to fill up. Pope.—My friend Dr. Warburton told me
Λαροντες γλωσσίσιν αραιησιν μελαν ύδωρ
Ακρον. . that he had been recommending a very ingenious friend of his to cultivate his talent You see the minuteness and the rapidity of for a description of literature, of which we his observation in the simple circumstance have no adequate specimen in our language. which he introduces to give emphasis to bis I mean that form of intellectual comparison sketch the slender tongue. The natural and contrast which we call parallels. There precedes the picturesque ; the first the charseems, however, to be one defect inherent in acteristic of an uninitiated, the second of a the very nature of the composition itself, and refined, age. that is the necessity, or at any rate, the al
Boling broke.- What, then, do you strictly most irresistible temptation, to obtain, or understand by the picturesque in compoproduce, a strong opposition in design and sition ? coloring. The portrait of all light hangs by Pope.--I understand every thing that rethe portrait of all shade, and we seem to lates to an arrangement of objects with a contemplate a Rembrandt by the side of a particular reference to the general effect of Titian, and to see a bandit of Salvator scowl- the picture--to what the French call the coup ing over a cottager of Ostade. But if the d'ail, and including, of course, the number style have its defects, they are redeemed by and position of the figures, the composition many charms and advantages. What a beau- and costume of the groups, the distribution tiful parallel might be drawn between Cow- of light and shade. Of this art Tasso was a ley and Spenser! They were both remark- great master, Shakspeare learned it by intu. able for their personal beauty, and especially ition, Spenser presents some noble specifor a certain delicacy of expression almost mens of it, Virgil is pre-eminent, and Claufeminine. I have heard that the face of dian frequently reminds me of Rubens himCowley was peculiarly prepossessing; his self. hair, of a bright color, was rich and flow- Bolingbroke. And in prose you might ing; his eyes were full and brilliant; his point to Livy, the Virgil without metre, and forehead was exquisitely smooth, and his whose histories are only so many episodes mouth is said to have been charming. It is in the great epoch of his country. In the interesting, also, to observe how far he was historian, as in the poet, we trace the same in advance of his own age in every critical eye of taste and imagination tinging every opinion. His own writings do not reflect scene with its own soft and enchanting light. his clear perception of poetical excellence. If you call Tacitus the Rembrandt, you must “ There is not,” he said, so great a lie to admit that Livy is the Correggio of his art. be found in any poet as the vulgar conceit of Pope.—There are shadows of flowers upon men that lying is essential to good poetry.” the stream of Livy, but there is gold in the
Bolingbroke. How fortunate would it magnificent tide of Tully. One writes to the have been for his fame bad he put his theory eye, the other to the understanding; yet not into action! If you could now say of him as without a profound insight into the machinea distinguished person of our own time has ry of the human will, and a thrilling mastery observed of bimself, that
over the passions. I love him, also, for his “ He stooped to truth, and moralized his song."
deep conviction of another and an enduring
existence. The radiancy of a future life It is the naturalness, the almost domestic seems, in his page, to dart its kindling heat simplicity, of his manner, that gives so hearty and lustre through the shadows of the presa freshness to Chaucer. The student who ent. For my own part I feel so strong, so walks out into the fields of song, when the lively an impression of the immortality of the morning dew is upon the grass, is delighted soul, that, as I have often remarked to you to hear the sweet and joyous bird spring from upon various occasions, I seem to feel it beneath his teet into the air, which he makes within me as by intuition. Nor can I sit to resound with his melody.
with patience and hear this doctrine of conPope.-The descriptions which are na- solation, not to say of dignity, derided and tural in Homer and Chaucer become pic- condemned. I think that even in some cases turesque in Latin writers.
It is a noticeable I might be induced to give my suffrage fact in all early books of genius, that they do against the liberty of unlicensed printing, not so much delineate as indicate. They I confess with the eloquent Hooker, that I
would put a chain upon these blaspheming Guide to Government Situations would be incomtongues; I would not suffer them to spit plete, if it did not point out the way to the wool
sack. Lord Brougham's short and easy method is their venom upon the innocent passers-by, to go and sit upon it whenever he can, so as to be and utter every word of contumely which prepared to push off the legitimate occupant on the the evil spirit that agitates and rends them first opportunity, or to take his place, in the event may inspire.
of his leaving it. The Attorney and Solicitor
Generalships are prizes worth having; and perhaps Bolingbroke.--Nay, let criticism possess one of the safest roads, to legal promotion portiche its rack, but not its inquisition. If you wish Jarly in Ireland, would be to get a brief for the to strengthen an opinion, tie it down. Like Crown, and challenge the opposite counsel. Counthis green bough, which I now bend with my try Commissionerships of Bankrupts, which are finger, it will retain its altered position only easily obtained, if we may judge by the manner in
worth about a thousand a year, seem to be very while the hand of authority is applied to it, which these situations have been hitherto filled. It and will spring back again with a vigor in- may be sufficient for the purposes of our Guide to creased by restraint, when that hand is with state, that the only qualification that seems to be drawn.
actually indispensable, is an utter ignorance of the law of Bankruptcy. We have arrived at this conclusion merely from a close observation of the qualities for which the new Commissioners of Bankruptcy have hitherto been distinguished. We should
from our experience in this matter, that to know any thing whatever about the subject of
his duties would be fatal to the pretensions of a PUNCH'S GUIDE TO GOVERNMENT SITU. candidate for the highly lucrative offices alluded to
From the Charivari.
A Few years ago a delusive little Treatise was been doubly eligible, for there has been not only
This branch of the public service has, hitherto, published under the title of " How to keep House the salary attached to the various places, but the upon a hundred a-year,” which certainly told the
pickings have been very considerable. The same public how the house might be kept, but not the pickings exist in other departments, to which we family that lived in it.
recommend the applicant for a Government situaSeeing a book advertised with the title of “A tion to turn his attention, because the Custom-house Guide to Government Situations," we bought the perquisites have been in a great degree curtailed by work, and, armed with its talismanic power, we the very awkward exposures that have recently rushed to the Treasury, where we requested to be transpired. This branch of the public service has shown a few Government situations, intending to been spoilt for the present, as a source of large walk into the most eligible, with the aid of our emolument; but there are numerous other departGuide Book. We presumed, in our simplicity, ments where the spirit of impertinent curiosity has that places under Government might possibly be
not yet been able to penetrate. something like the 5000 straw bonnets thrown into the linen-drapers' windows at this time of the year,
EXCHEQUER DEPARTMENT. with the generous intimation, that they are to be (almost) GIVEN AWAY; and, indeed, we began to In order to obtain the full benefit of the resources suppose that Government situations were plentiful opened out by employment in this department, it enough, if people only knew where to go for them. was formerly desirable to cultivate an imitative We have, however, been cruelly deceived; for the style of hand-writing, and to form connections on only situation under Government into which the the Stock Exchange. This branch of the public "Guide" seemed likely to get us, was that of first service was worked to the full extent of its capabilgentleman in waiting at the station-house. ities by Mr. Beaumont Smith, who was, unfortu
Considering it possible that others may be sub- nately, not permitted to enjoy the fruits of his jected to a disappointment similar to that we our ingenuity. selves experienced, we beg leave to offer to the In concluding our Guide to Government Situapublic a guide of our own, which we think will tions, we most earnestly express to the person in be more efficacious than the one we have already want of one, our most sincere, our most ardent, and alluded to.
our most heartfelt wish, that he may get it.
THE HOME DEPARTMENT.
The Chief-Secretaryship of this department is a very lucrative place. It would be difficult to offer any guide to it, for the individuals who have held it have reached it through so many crooked ways
THE GRAND MUSICAL FESTIVAL of the Palatisuch an endless variety of ins and outs, such con
nate will be celebrated, this year, at Deux-Ponts, stant shifting and changing from side to side--that under the direction of M. Félix Mendelssohn-Barit would be quite impossible to follow them. The tholdy, and last three days, the 30th and 31st of same may be said of the Secretaryship of State for July and the 1st of August. The performers will the Colonies.
be from 1,800 to 2,000 in number; and the programme includes Mozart's Symphony in D major, Beethoven's Heroic Symphony, and Spohr's Over
ture in a flat major; Mendelssohn's Oratorio of The Chancellorship is, of course, the highest St. Paul, Cherubini's Requiem,' and Handel's prize in this branch of the public service, and any Cantana of Alexander's Feast.'--Athenæum. JUNE, 1844.
FROM THE NOTEBOOK OF AN IRISH
A NIGHT FOR HISTORY.
rontes, who had never known place or pension
or bribe. Shippen was incorruptible where BARRISTER. all were corrupt, and his name passed into a
proverb. The improved character of the From the Metropolitan.
times generated a different and less objectionSir Jonah Barrington, in his “Decline able system; but down to the close of the last and Fall of the Irish Nation,” a work of century, it may be safely affirmed that the great historical merit, as containing the only plague of corruption stained alike" both their authentic record of the most striking epoch houses.” Our departed friends in College in our history, gives a picturesque and touch- Green were the creation of profligate times, ing description of the Last Night in the and followed the example of their bettersHouse of Commons. Whatever were the they erred only with their epoch. Infamous faults of the Admiralty Judge, the purity of as they were, they did occasional good, and his parliamentary conduct was unimpeacha- their praises still hang on the lips of the unble. An Irishman in feeling, and imbued thinking, who sigh for even such a restorawith the most inveterate hostility to the enter-tion. “ Architecture,” says Mr. Sheil, prise of the English minister, he looked on left its solemn attestation ” of the fact that the Union as conceived in the spirit of a sor- Ireland had a parliament; and the “Old did selfishness, and executed with all the House at Home '' has become a standing orconcentrated powers of political debauchery, nament in our processional flags and banners, corruption, and crime. It is, at least, one and its glories, marmorean and legislative, earnest proof of his sincerity, that he died as chanted in song and recited in glowing prose. he had lived; and it was the consolation and Sir. Jonah's “ Last Night” was, during the pride of his last days to prepare for the Irish repeal fever of last year, a universal favorite. people that memorial of their greatness and often did we hear it on summer eves arrestdegradation. He brought together all his re- ing the progress of the passer by on Carlisle collections,—and they were numerous and Bridge, as the "true and faithful account" vivid, -in painting that Last Night, and he filled the warm air, and the warmer hearts of filled the canvass with the brilliancy and pre- the enthusiastic crowd. It was recited, in a cision of a master. It is the last striking highly sustained key, by one of those cyclic scene in his book. None can peruse that rhapsodists who migrated at the era of the page without deep and mournful interest. Round Towers or some such period of hoar That the Irish Commons were not the repre- antiquity, from the East into Ireland, and sentatives of the free opinion of the nation, was listened to with as much wondering eahas been so often and truly insisted on, and gerness as the lays of Homer in ancient posterity has so confirmed the accusation, Greece. That the recital, like the “ that none has dared to defend them; but that cre of Mullaghmast," tended to create disthey were, for that reason, fit objects for an- content and disaffection among her Majesty's nihilation, is a question which admits of some Irish subjects, was evident. It must have doubt. True, they were not models of purity reached the law officers, and we now admire or independence, and like many more fortu- their generosity to suffer the patriotic Zosinate patriots of our own times, postponed the mus* to provide a frugal supper at the expense Interests of their country to their own on many of the public tranquillity. occasions, but still the material prosperity of the people rapidly increased under their influ- * Gibbon has made the reader of his work ac. ence. The Secretary of Hong Kong tells a the lower empire. We shall introduce him to an
quainted with one Zosimus, the Greek historian of different story, but the proverbial stubborn- other. The Dublin wags have given our hero this ness of facts is opposed to his allegations; second baptism, to which he answers more readily and if his tables of British commerce with the than the name recognized by his godfathers and god. Flowery empire be inlaid with the same num
mothers. Such is the power of habit. He is an
old blind man, who earns a precarious livelihood ber of errors to produce an effect, we are in- by reciting the heroic deeds of our forefathers—the clined to believe that he will soon return to battles of Clonskeage, Clontarf, and Ventry Harbor, project new railways, or lend a disinterested varied occasionally with a miraculous page from the hand to the passing of private bills. It is sur-lives of St. Columb Kill and St. Bridget. His beat
lies from the college, over Carlisle Bridge, to the prising how English writers fall so merciless- Rotundo, where he halts, and returns without decliİy foul of our old representatives, forgetting all nation to the point of departure. Of all the rhapsothe turpitude of their own. One would im- dical tribe, he has the most numerous and attentive agine that the English Commons, from all class of listeners, and many a penny is dropped into time, were an incorruptible congress of Dori- Unlike the Homeric rhapsodists, he is a great origi.
his hat for the intellectual enjoyment he convey an legislators, sitting, most Homerically, on nal, and manufactures, from the loom of his inven. polished stones-venerable and virtuous Ge- tive brain, the most rare and interesting products of