« VorigeDoorgaan »
Again, in No hay burlas con el Amor
Que bien dicen que los males,
La Tumba donde otro muere. And finally, misfortunes are like cowards, because they never come single, but always in pairs.
Que eran cobardes decia,
La Vida es Sueno. This absurd comparison, which deron's comic over his tragic plays. might be tolerated as a joke in the Of pathos we think he has very little, mouth of the gracioso, but which in at least we must confess our insen. Calderon is given with all gravity, sibility to the pathetic effect even of occurs a second time in Mejor esta the Constant Prince, which is generque estava, and a third time in Los ally referred to as a favourable speci. Tres Mayores Prodigios.
men of his powers; and the mere If, then, within the limited portion stateliness and elevation of his manner, of Calderon's works with which we seem to us but a poor substitute for profess to be acquainted, so many re- the profundity, and the deep human petitions of the same images, compa- feeling, of Shakspeare. He carries risons, or thoughts occur, it may fair. our sympathies with him when he ly, we think, be assumed, that in the paints scenes of chivalrous honour, vast mass of his plays with which we loyalty, or courtesy ; but when he are not familiar, many other instances seeks to move the tender feelings, we of this system of making the most of cannot recognise the master of the an idea might be pointed out. We human heart. In plays of a mystical certainly are not disposed, therefore, character, we readily admit the wild implicitly to subscribe to the opinions and gloomy grandeur—the strange of his German critics as to the un visionary effect, like that of a troubled bounded variety his imaginative dream, which he imparts to such powers. On the contrary, we think themes as La Vida es Sueno, (Life a his range of imagery, on the whole, Dream,) and En esta Vida todo es rather limited, and that his dexterity Verdad y todo Mentira,(In this life all is chiefly shown in giving an air of is truth and all is falsehood ;) both of novelty to ideas with which we were which illustrate nearly the same idea, formerly familiar, by the new situa- viz., that of the hollow and unreal tions in which they are introduced. character of that "little life" of ours
On the whole, we feel disposed to which is “ rounded by a sleep." give a very decided preference to Cal
What is life ? 'tis but a madness,
La Vida es Sueno, Act II. But in his comedies, which, like barrassments, and distresses of comeShakspeare's, often deal with matters dy, than with the more earnest pasof very serious interest, though termi- sions which it is the province of tranating in a happy conclusion, we ac. gedy to delineate. knowledge with less qualification Cal- In our next Number we shall rederon's mastery over the subject. His sume our translations from the Spanish comic powers are great ; while the theatre, and present to our readers principle upon which his dramas are ample specimens from one of the best constructed, making human conduct of Calderon's comedies of the Cloak seem the sport of mere accident, suits and Sword. better with the lighter interests, em
Å LETTER FROM EUSEBIUS TO HIS FRIEND, AND HIS REPLY.
Ir was long before I could bring new, and then to go to bed, and dream myself to think seriously of your in- of Pan and Sylvanus-nymphs, satentions. You farm !- are you dement. tyrs, and id genus omne—but waked ? I have imagined you in all pos- ing, to dream on that you would meet sible positions agricultural and have them in the disguise of overseer, laughed at the wretched figures I have churchwarden, waywarden,
clod. conjured up, very heartily, more hoppers and weeders, would justify
but that I should label them your friends in holding an inquest, de with your name!! Oh, what a pity lunatico inquirendo, upon the dead it is, the cap and bells are out of body of your understanding, and it is vogue !—You had better by far, sith not your friend Eusebius could rescue you will follow vagaries, turn merry- you—“ Fit rusticus" would be the andrew. You farm! whom I have hun. only answer to every attempt. " How dreds of times heard say, that though can he have understanding whose talk you had lived in the country so many is of bullocks?” And there you are, years, you did not know peas from I dare to say, at this moment, in your potatoes. So now, other means of easy-chair, dreaming on, and glori. ruin in this perfectable world failing, fying yourself, leading a prize ox by you must set yourself up as a plough the halter ; dreamon-it will soon turn er, a sower, a hedger, a ditcher- out-" The Vicar my defeat, and all and little wot you, in your simplicity, the village see." You speak with dewhat a sackful of troubles each of light of living “ Ut prisca gens morthose nouns-substantive is ready to lay talium"-you quote Horace, but forat your door.
It is not that you get that the usurer Alpheus, just upmake an ill choice alone ; you make on the point "jamjam futurus rusa a laughable one. You will be the ticus,” wisely changed his mind, or butt of the whole race of fat-faced expended it in verbal praise, and farmers, and before you have been in bought in again on Monday what he it six months, will be reduced to be had sold out on the Saturday. You the scarecrow for your own fields have Horace at your fingers' endsand even then, the very hedge-spar- but you cautiously omit the apt story rows will cock up their tails at you, of Vultejus Mena, hooked by the old and chirp witticisms upon you in crafty lawyer Philippus, in his sport their depredations. Weil-it is your of human weaknesses and sufferings, to own doing—and remember the say, accept à farm-who, “ ex nitido” a ing, “ He that makes his choice with- town dandy, "fit rusticus" who, out discretion, doth sow his corn he when he had lost his sheep to the knows not when, and reaps be knows thieves, and his cattle to the murrain, not what." Your reason is sophisti. quite distracted, takes horse, and cated, and your heart is not in the calls up his patron in the middle of the matter, and never can be. The very night, entreating him to take all, and style of your letter proves you are
restore him to his former way of deluding yourself. You used to be a living. plain-spoken man, told a plain tale How admirably the old lawyer in plain words ; now you write, and quizzes his victim !-"Durus," as Ho. to me your familiar, as if you were race calls him. The hard-hearted old labouring at a prize essay, and run sinner sees him worn to a chitterling your periods into Ciceronian English. by care, and compliments bim upon And because Virgil tossed about the his anxiety, the too deep interest he dung with dignity, you think it in- takes in his country affairs.
You cumbent on you to walk out of your know the passage well. It will be as library, with a pitchfork over your good as a glass, a perspective glass to shoulder, upon your campaign of you, jamjam futurus rusticus”folly !! It suited you very well to but don't come to knock me up in the read eclogues, and look over your middle of the night, when your daily portfolios, rich in masters old and disasters have driven you out of your
new farming senses that you have won't do—it is altogether a mistakeadopted— I will be “durus" harden'd you are not “natural born and bred against you as Old Philip.
to it.”—You will be cheated by your There now, is a piece of rascally cal. servants, laughed at by your neighlous philosophy for you, worthy of Phi- bours; and, worst of all, detested by lippus himself. Come to me-ay, at any yourself, before you have been inihour by night and by day, mocked, tiated - if initiated you ever laughed at, cheated,' beggar'd, like Your sheep will die of the rot, and the prodigal son, sneezing from the your hay will be burned in the makhusks of your own swine-I will re. ing—you have no Pan as the “ ovium ceive you, welcome you, caress you, custos," and so you will be out of the and never breathe a syllable of your frying pan into the fire. Your cattle past folly ; for were we not “nursed will go astray, and your neighbours upon the self-same hill," but never, bring actions of trespass against you. never will we “ Feed the same flock You will be so sick of, and mad with by fountain, shade, and rill.". You troubles, that, like poor old King Lear cannot surely have been deluded by in the storm, you'll bid them « Blow poetry-by your reading Virgil and and crack their checks." Yes-the Theocritus and Hesiod. You don't “pitiless storm”-it will come down, imagine either would have handled a well directed upon your hay-field; plough, but in verse. Eclogues and whilst your host of labourers, your Georgies indeed! In the former the Damons, your Thestylus', and Philvery shepherds are miserables, all la- lis', are enjoying their idleness, and mentation and regrets, and richly de- drinking you up by the gallons. In serve the stick they contend for; and in vain will you be classical, and cry out the latter the poet does not even colonize upon the “ilia messorum"-down his Australia with respectable people. pours the inexorable torrent, and the The pastor Aristæus would disgrace living tottering cider-casks and beerany parish, running after another barrels drink to you in their “swilled man's wife, and being the death of insolence," and then fall off and her.
Here was a pretty fellow to snore like pigs in your presence. You pop his nose into a bee-hive, and must positively contrive to lose the (serve him right) find his colony de- delicacy of every sense ; seeing, touchfunct. But the poet was sick of his ing, smelling, tasting, hearing. There apprenticeship to ploughmaking, and has been a story going the rounds, of was glad to plunge into episode and a musical genius in the back settlefable.
ments, for lack of other instruments, And in truth, the fabulous part of arranging his pigs.
What think you ancient rusticity is pleasant enough, of studying the gamut of grunts, in when there was a sort of golden exchange for your “ ancient conage, and no taxes, and shepherds had certs?" You that are wrapt in Elysi. nothing to do but pipe, and nympbs um with Handel and Mozart, to be to dance_but now we must “ pay put off with a chorus of butchthe piper” — and who now-a-days ers cheapening your cattle! You ever sees Chawbacon like Alphesibeus used to delight in the song of dancing the “satyrs ?” The only birds, and would stay at the chirping tune the Farmer delighteth to dance to, of a hedge-sparrow, and say it was the is “ Money in both pockets"~I wish very note of inquisitive happiness; he may get it !--for “he danceth well you fed them with crumbs-but now, to whom Fortune pipeth.” The your innocent delight is gone, they country pipes now-a-days, are terri. are no longer your sweet choristers, bly fusticated with tobacco, not the but feathered depredators; you even bacca, hederæ, and olivæ. And can my teach poor children mercenary cruelty, friend—my classical, my tasteful friend by instigating the churchwarden to -jog with bumpkins to fairs ? Can he put a price upon their heads-a penny bear to fumigate away all his better a dozen-nay, those you used to feed ideas in the Cacus dens of entertain- so familiarly from your window, you ment for man and horse, his damp immolate into a sparrow pudding. clothes reeking of stall, stable, wool, You will no longer go out to admire and the weed. You have been read- nature, with your sketeh-book and ing about “the Divine Swinelerd," colours; your portfolio will contain and want to go the whole hog." It nothing but maps and terriers; the
earth will be estimated by chain-acres. lately? Have you the broad hand In vain will the sun's gleams glide and the large foot, to handle well the before you, enticing you into wood spade and press it into the soil, which and glen, you will bid them begone to is the very stamp and mould of a naripen your mangel-wurzel. Do you tural-born agriculturist; not forget
remember showing your Italian ing, however, the broad shoulders and landscape (a veritable old master) to stout calves, to help a cart-wheel out Farmer s. who asked you the of a rut, and if need be for breastvalue of it, and when you told him, ploughing ? Then how different are the was astonished, and enquired—“ If “Fruges consumere nati!" Small hands that sort of paint was particularly and feet, of little worth for sturdy dear, for he had painted all his front work—a goodly paunch, no very paling for fifty shillings?”– You will large head, but an undue propor. soon be like him. You will prefer coal. tion of mouth. Then comes the artitar to ultramarine ; sublime effects of san, slender throughout, somewhat cloud and vapour will no longer at- pinched, nimble fingers and a busy eye. tract your eyes upward; your utili- Whatever of either of the two there tarian aspect will be to the ground; may be in your compound, there is you will not enjoy the weather Pro- not an atom of the agriculturist. You vidence thinks fit to give you, without are an offset, as it were, of an artisan, grumbling In sunshine you will shooting out somewhat eccentric want rain, in rain sunshine ; you will branches, and budding literature and perpetually put on the crying philoso- the arts. Yet must you leave your pher, alternating your sorrows be- natural bent, and try to invest your tween arable and pasture.
new vagary with something of yourOh! you miserable man- -and
self! You will spout continuallymust turn to farming !-to make your
6 O Fortunati nimium sua si bona norint self wretched indeed. I was much amused the other day by a little anec
Agricolæ !” dote, (if it deserves the name,) and I
And then mark their discontent. will tell it you, for it is in point. Old Virgil tells you they don't know when M., the East Indian, wishing to in vets they are well off. So will you prate some of his large fortune in land, on of the praises of agriculture ; a
e went to look at the several estates second Cincinnatus, if any one would advertised, among the rest at take you from your plough for in Somersetshire. It was a sombré any thing but out of pure charity. place, and, as he was alighting at the Your bungling work at it would sicklodge, an old woman who had been en all that would offer you other emborn and bred on the estate under the ployment. And you will fancy you old family, and relished not the change are leading a life of simplicity! A life and new comers, came forth, and of absurdity and nonsense! Man was looking at his bilious and care-worn not created for a life of simplicity, face, said to him—What, hav’n’t and to be always stooping over clods. you had care and trouble enough He was originally gifted with imaginaalready, old man, but you must come
tion, with faculties of investigation to put your foot on this estate?" It and invention, to make life an artifi. was a bad omen; he was superstitious, cial acquirement~" Vitam excoluere and did not make the purchase. Now per artes." Oh, the life of simplicity you would have been a bolder man, indeed! An agriculturist's eyes have and would have walked boldly up the but one speculation--arable and pasold avenue, though all the owls of the ture; all else is a desert. When you ancient patrimony were hooting you and I asked farmer John Turnsoil, at every step-nay, you would have who had gone to and returned from slept in the haunted chamber, un- London, what he thought of St Paul's scared by the frowning portraits of what was his reply ? “I don't think ancestors to be disinherited by you. much o't ; 'tseems there's a good deal Your present scheme is all of a piece of ground throw'd away.” with this rashness.
And do you
think to lead a life of simreally think you have the making of a plicity in the very calling that, above farmer in you?-not a bit of it. I all others, as it appears to me, has have heard you declare that nature come under the most artificial arrangemade men specially for their occupa
ment. You will not be allowed to sow, tions,
Have you looked in a glass and reap, and eat alone ; 'you must take
upon yourself much of the manage- plainness,) how long will it take you, ment of the country, and have to map in hand, to know your own lands, direct the vexatious detail, through the mand for the minutest trespass, you propergovernment of which the rest of will suffer by encroachments, or worse the world live tolerably quiet-all of penalties. You will cut your neighwhich you are as unfit for as you are bours' hedges for your own, by misto be Chancellor of the Exchequer, take, and not have the wood; and your and you are about as fit for that as neighbour will cut yours, and carry Spring Rice. You must buy and sell, away all—and no mistake. Then you - there now is one of the nuisances of must have farming.servants-locustslife from which Adam was exempt; eating up the land, and their ignorant and that answers satisfactorily the master too. Do you flatter yourself well-known questioning distich you can manage them? Can you blus
ter and swear at them ? You will not “ When Adam delved, and Eve span,
even know if they have done what they Where was then the gentleman ?”
ought to have done. Out of your genuYou will have not only to pay rates ine kindness you will thank them, and and taxes, but to understand them, and the first time you do so, you will be collect them too. You must be versed laying down a measure for their idlein poor-laws, high-ways and by-ways; ness, to say no worse of it, for their and the more you are versed in them, perquisites shall be measured by it, till to see things going wrong a thousand they exceed all measure. You must ways, where you now see nothing. have a hind to manage for you, who Ofien have I wondered how this world will inevitably be your master - the is managed at all. I am born asleep, worst of masters-a semi slave-master in understanding at least: Iawake by your taskmaster, whom, like any degrees, and find myself in an organ- other madman, you will have to pay ized, well-arranged state of things, that for being your keeper. He will whistle for the life of me, study as much as and sing all about your house, that I will, I cannot account for-it is all used to be so quiet, and, if you gently past my power of finding out ; and I remonstrate with him, won't keep his bless myself that the greater part of all mouth shut, nor his tongue and teeth this order is done for me. Now, the idle, but will sulkily fling himself upon mystery of all this, you must plunge your bench, and sit down to your beef into. You must be one of the mana- and pudding with a vindictive appetite. gers for me.
You must be perpetually And all under him, and that have the pulling the strings of the puppet.show, run of your house, will think themfor my admiration, use, and advantage. selves bound to observe the fugleman, I shall never see sheriff, nor javelin- and do likewise-such is the esprit de men, but from my heart I shall pity corps. Do you remember the anec. you, who have to pay for and trick up dote I once told you of the great Miss the whole court. You must remember G-, who undertook the management all this order of things beautiful to the of some of her land ? She thought her. Philosopher, but detestable to other self clever enough to manage John people and in other lights, must be Chawbacon, and the rest of them : so paid for out of the land-out of the one day she stood by when John was land! You will never find
share at his dinner--and he did not make of it out of yours.
You will stand the worse dinner for that. Now, aghast and talk of these things; all knowing the elasticity of John's stothe while you try to be deep in ways mach, as he was rising to his work, and means, like a man fumbling in his time up, she said, “ John, I think it breeches pockets, and wondering where would save time of coming and going if the minister gets his supplies. To be you would sit down again and take your “ Ignoramus in the fine arts,” like your supper." No objection in the world," friend C., is to be a fine fellow; but said John, and down he sits, and into be an ignoramus in parochials, be- stanter despatches another pound or fore a whole vestry of farmers, is to two, and drink in proportion, ending be stung by hornets, to be kicked by with her ladyship's health, and many asses, ay-and reversing all order of thanks. “Now then, John," quoth things-to be saddled by them too ; the Lady Bountiful, “ you may go to for you need not doubt having a double your work." “ Work, Ma'am!" said share of the burthens. With your. John, with a grin, “ I never works, helpless incapacity, (excuse me for the ma'am, after supper," and so he threw