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LONDON, SATURDAY, JULY 18, 1868.
NOTES: - Tasso's "Love and Madness," 49-Dr. Wilmot, the Author of the " Heroic Epistle," 50- Professor Jerichan's" Bathers surprised": Eliot's "Spanish Gypsy," 51
The Jews of the Captivity in Armenia and Persia, 52Passage in St. Luke: Luke xvi. 16-18, 53- Book Inscriptious- Opopanax- "Levelling up"-Cromlechs - Once French-English-Selden: Swift - Corrupt Euglish, 53. QUERIES:- Ball: Rectors of Whippingham, Isle of Wight -The Duke's Vault (or Vaunt) Oak in Saveruake Forest Dante's "Inferuo" - Ten English Prisoners released by Buonaparte Godfrey Families - Grimm - Heraldic Genuine Irish Baronetage Query The Holy Court"— Jersey Families-Leugau - Linen Pattern Panels Mary Beatrice, Qu en of James II. Robert Morris - The Parable of the Lily-A Parody - Phrase Who was Saint
Herefrid?-St. Nicolas Acon-Sea Water, 53.
QUERIES WITH ANSWERS: Origin of Envelopes - The People called Quakers - Bibliographical Quotations wanted-Ivory, the Mathematician - Leggings, 56. REPLIES:- Rman Inscription at Cannes, 58- Hogarth, 59 A Lacemaker's Song, Ib. - Queen Bleareye's Tomb: Paisley Abbey, 60- Floating Corpses, 63-1he Douglas Rings: the Douglas Heart, Ib. Disembowelment, 64 -St. Thomas à-Becket and Syon Cope, 65- Adam of Orleton's Saying-Quotations wanted Stradella "- Sultan dying of Ennui -Citt and Bumpkin - Modern Invention of the Sanskrit Alphabet - Fonts made to Lock - Ancient and Modern Superstitions - Curious Orthographic Fact Mortlake Potteries: Toby Jugs Discovery of an Old Medal - Monogram "A.E. I."- Enamelling the FaceEarliest Bird- Cleanliness, &c., 66. Notes on Books, &c.
TASSO'S "LOVE AND MADNESS."
Till Rosini published his Saggio sugli Amori di Torq. Tasso in 1832, whose views Vieusseux adopted in the Penny Cyclopædia, the story of Tasso's being in love with one or other (for it never was stated which) of the daughters of Henry II., Duke of Ferrara, had nearly died out as one of the improbabilities of history. It should be remarked that Rosini relies exclusively on the verse and prose of Tasso's works, disregarding all other matériel for forming a judgment. It never has been alleged that either of these ladies was in love with him. They were daughters of Renée, and granddaughters of Louis XII. of France. (Sismondi, xvi. 340.) Renée had been converted to Protestantism by Calvin himself as he passed through Ferrara, where he stayed a few months in 1535. (Serassi and Guasti, i. 180, n.) Brantome (vol. i. carte 302) speaks of three daughters:
"Ces trois filles furent très-belles, mais la mère les fit embellir davantage par la belle nourriture, qu'elle leur donna, en leur faisant apprendre les sciences et les bonnes lettres, qu'elles apprirent, et retindrent parfaitement, et en faisoient bonte aux plus sçavans," &c.
We may, therefore, infer that Lucretia, the elder, who married the Duke of Urbino, as well as the unmarried Leonora, had a leaning at least towards Protestantism. Tasso, on the contrary, was a firm Roma.ist, with an eye to becoming a
priest. He was well fortified against the love of these two ladies, if they had evinced any to him, by his ardent passion for Laura (not so named from Petrarch's, but so baptised) Pepararo, who was first seen and loved by him in his twentieth year. She, however, married Count Turchi of Ferrara, and was afterwards a lady of honour to the Duchess Margaret, where Tasso was domiciled. Tasso was also fortified in another way, as these ladies were respectively nine and ten years older than himself; and who, as compared with Scotch ladies for example, may be regarded as sixteen or seventeen years older physically. Tasso is represented as in the chamber of the Duchess of Urbino, June 15, 1577, drawing his sword on a domestic, whose ears he ought rather to have boxed. Is this the man of thirty-three who the year before put four men to flight-Tam Marte quam Mercurio? If we think of our James I. about thirty years afterwards, we shall not be surprised that the drawing of a sword in the chamber of a duchess was no light matter. Her father caused Tasso to be imprisoned. Tasso wrote a letter of submission, and was taken by the Duke of Ferrara to his country seat, Bel Riguardo. Here Tasso was sternly interrogated as to something he had said; there is no evidence that it was about anything written as a sonnet, for example. He was not very strictly guarded, for he ran away July 20, after an incarceration of three weeks.
The "metal more attractive" was still at Ferrara, whither he returned in the March following (1578); being coldly received, however, he left that city, and wandered from one Italian court to another, in some of which he was well and honourably entertained. But on February 23, 1579, he again made his appearance at Ferrara.
As to the supposed attractions, we may fairly give up the married Lucretia; we may look now to Leonora (= Eleanora), who was then fortyfour years of age, or, by the Scotch rule of proportion above-mentioned, fifty-one-no longer a very tender girl for a man of thirty-five; and she died in 1581, two years after Tasso's entrance into the madhouse of St. Ann (March, 1579), and five years before his release therefrom (July, 1586). There has never been the shadow of an insinuation that she died of love for Tasso, or out of regret at his sufferings, or the want of his society in any way. The love of Tasso was the same as that of all other real lovers
'Love is not love Which alters when it alteration finds.
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
If this be error, and upon me proved,
but if any one will read what Socrates himself says thereon (Plato, Apol. Soc., First Alcib. i.; Theages. x.; Xenophon, Memorab. i. 4; and compare Plut. Genio Socratis Reiskii viii. 296, where à different view is taken), he will find no resemblance whatever to the spiritual being with whom Tasso said that he conversed. Manso, in his Life of Tasso (i. 14, p. 120), mentions that he often talked with Tasso on the subject of this spirit, and was once present at an interview he had with the spirit, both men sitting at the fireside and looking through the window. "See," said he, "the friendly spirit who has courteously come to oblige me; see him, and acknowledge the truth of what I said." Nothing appeared to Manso, and there was no dialogue, but only a monologue of Tasso; the subject was not, as Vieusseux says, from Milton-" of providence, foreknowledge, will, and fate."
"The poet's eye, in a fine frenzy rolling, Doth glance from heaven to earth, from earth to heaven;
Manso told Tasso that he saw and heard none but Tasso himself. Tasso insisted that the spirit had addressed him, and that he had replied; and had previously urged that it could not be fancy or imagination, because the spirit told him of things which he had never before thought of, and which could not have been fancied or imagined' by himself. But, after the experiment, Tasso, finding that Manso saw and heard no spirit, smiled and left a sentence unfinished. Shakspeare says
And, as imagination bodies forth
The forms of things unknown, the poet's pen Turns them to shapes, and gives to airy nothing A local habitation and a name."
Midsummer Night's Dream, Act V. S. 1. Here the imagination is under control, and can be brought under the "poet's pen." Tasso's was beyond this, and out of his control as regarded the spirit-the result of a diseased imagination.
All the biographers of Tasso, as far as my research has extended, have omitted to notice the interview of the acute and accurate Montaigne in November, 1580, and to which he refers in his "Apologie de Raimond Sebond" (Essais, liv. ii. ch. 12):
"Great wits are ruined by their own proper force and quickness. What a condition, through his own agita tion and promptness of fancy, is one of the most judicious, ingenious, and best formed souls, to the ancient and true poesy, of any other Italian poet that has been these very many years, fallen into? Has he not great obligation to this vivacity that has destroyed him? To this light that has blinded him? To this exact and subtile apprehension of reason, that has robbed him of reason? To this curious and laborious scrutiny after sciences, that has reduced him to a brute? And to this rare aptitude to the exercises of the soul, that has ren dered him without exercise, and without soul? I was more angry than compassionate, to see him at Ferrara in so pitiful a condition survive himself; forgetting both himself and his works, which, without his knowledge,
though before his face, have been published, deformed
In a letter to Scipio Gonzaga, Tasso takes a like view of his own case. He says:
"Oppresso dal peso di tante sciagure, ha messo in abbandono ogni pensiero di gloria e di onore. Angustiato fonti e ne' fiumi liberamente la spengono. Ed accresce dalla sete, desidera la condizione stessa dei bruti, che ne' l'orrore del suo stato d' indignità che gli conviene usare, lo squallore della barba e delle chiome, e degli abiti, e la sordidezza el sudiciume, da cui mirasi circondato."Rosini, Saggio sugli Amori di Torq. Tasso, &c., p. 82.
An improvvisatore once told me that a skeleton in armour, introduced in a poem he was reciting, he saw, in a darkened corner of the room, as distinctly as he could see any of his auditors. This man was, however, under a defect in his reasoning and moral powers. Persons of comparatively weak intellect are able to see and describe the subjects of their imagination as real objects of sense; the subject indeed makes on such a person's understanding an impression as distinct as the object itself. Much of the mystery of ghostseeing may be thus explained. In all these cases some derangement of the nervous system must be assumed, as in the case of Nicolai, Goethe's Proctophantasmist.' (Walpurgisnacht.)
T. J. BUCKTON.
Wiltshire Road, Stockwell, S.W.
DR. WILMOT, THE AUTHOR OF THE “HEROIC EPISTLE."
I have the pleasure to send you a sketch of some interest, especially to Junius readers. It was found among the papers of the late Sir Richard Phillips. It is in his, to me, well-known handwriting; it bears no date, but I should say was written when he was making his "Personal Tour" in 1828-29, and was doubtless intended for that work, which, in publication, did not reach the locality of this paper. With it is a drawing, by Mrs. Serres, of the house in which the Letters of Junius were written (Dr. Wilmot's house), directed to Sir Richard by that lady.
"I visited as a hallowed spot the house, formerly St. John's Monastery, inhabited by Dr. Wilmot, the author of the Letters of Junius. I have often referred those compositions to Macleane, a Scotchman; but no Scotchman ever had the heart, the feeling, and the energy of integrity of Junius. I have referred them to Irishmen, but vanity is too deeply identified with the soul of an Irishman to enable him to keep such a secret, while the same sentiments with the pen of an Irishman would have been expanded to a folio.
"Dr. Wilmot was a scholar, an Oxonian, even the Father of that University, and a man who had seen and felt by personal experience the emptiness and the worthlessness of human grandeur; and he was, therefore, dead to the small motives which might have stimulated many to seek the trophies from such a performance. Junius had effected its purpose; and the author having sown the seeds of favourite principles with an effect at once complete and effective, he was satisfied.
"Dr. Wilmot was then (sic) 58; and though he lived to be 92, he would at 58 look with indifference at the applause of a public which as often extols the foolish as the wise. Mystery and intrigue too had been the habit of his life. He married George the Third in 1759 to the Fair Quaker. He married Henry Frederick, Duke of Cumberland, in 1767, though much against his will, to his own daughter. His learning, talents, and activity made him the confidant of Chatham, Chudleigh, Wilkes, and other agitators of the age; and he was in familiarity with Royalty. Born in 1714, he was old enough to have been an associate with Bolingbrooke, Glover, Thomson, Mallet, Hammond, and others in the court of Frederick; and his connection with it is proved by his being chief mourner at the funeral of that Prince in 1751. Such a man would be lifted in soul above the motives which govern smaller minds, and he doubtless considered Junius as the proper triumph of genius over the grovelling pursuits of courtiers, and of first-rate information over the hearsay sources of truly ephemeral scribblers.
"I do not adopt this opinion on vague surmises. I have known most of the men who had been suspected to have written Junius. I have known others who value themselves as having a second, third, or fourth-rate knowledge of the subject. But having seen a paper in the hand of the great JOHN DUNNING in which he gives Dr. Wilmot permission to print with Dr. Wilmot's Junius his Letters of Philo-Junius, I can have no doubt on the subject; while, considering all the characteristics of the man-his adventures in life, his acknowledged talents, his splendid connections, and, in short, everything about him-I regarded him as the undoubted AUTHOR of the LETTERS OF JUNIUS, and therefore as the most eloquent writer of the English language, and one of the ablest and most spirited politicians and patriots that ever appeared in any age or country.
"The mystery about the MS. is solved by considering that Dr. Wilmot had an accomplished sister, wife of Captain Payne, who wrote just such a neat character as that in which these compositions were penned; for Dr. Wilmot's handwriting had been spoiled in scribbling exercises, like that of all boys at classical seminaries, yet his intriguing practices had led him to vary it. I have -heard of his corresponding with the same person, as a joke, in two opposed characters, and being consulted himself about the sentiments of both. He wrote verse, too, as well as prose. His epigrams and classical imitations were excellent; and it is a very curious fact that, having in my possession the MS. of the Preface to the HEROIC
EPISTLE TO SIR W. CHAMBERS, I find it to be in the hand
of Wilmot; while a list of persons to whom he wished
the bookseller to send copies is in a character not that of Junius, but more like it. I need not tell any reader that that poem, and its fellows, are deemed the most finished productions in the language, and as to perfect versification, just what Junius is as to perfect prosaic composition. The same policy marked this publication as the other. He went to Almon at night in a mask. Almon never could trace him; but as he appeared
to be a clergyman, he fixed on Dr. Mason, one of the King's Chaplains, and hence the blunder about one Mason, the author of The English Garden, &c. Ten thousand copies were sold in six months, and who but a man of the same feelings as those of Junius could have
kept his secret ?
"In person Wilmot was above six feet, active, daring, and enterprising. In his size we recognise Woodfall's tall clergyman who put a letter of Junius into his letterbox, and the same person in the interview with Almon.
"In his connection with the Duke of Cumberland, Lord Chatham, and others, we discover the means of his accurate information and of his perfect political views. In
short, in all his attributes, we find in him the identical Junius.
"I learnt at Warwick that he had been blind seven years before his death, but that his mind was vigorous to the last. Shortly before his death, he caused a vast load of letters and papers to be burnt by his servants: a few he confided to Lord Warwick, and others to his granddaughter; but still, in the spirit of Junius, sealed, and not to be opened till after the death of George the Third. I saw them under seal long before they were opened, and have often examined them since. They merit the notice of Parliament; and the way in which they have been slighted is another proof of the mischiefs of an ephemeral press, when corrupted, or in hands who do not feel their power of doing good or harm. The world, on many important subjects, has a daily extinguisher placed on its powers of seeing and discriminating by the specious advocacy of the public press, and it is one of the many imperfections of society which it is difficult to find means of reconciling in utility with unequivocal benefit. In a word, these documents of Wilmot have been written down by the hired, and the language of the hired having been adopted by the ignorant or inconsiderate, there is hazard even to myself in saying a word about them; but the associations at Warwick have forced from me this too long, or too short, a notice.
"If there was in England any patronage of books, except of trumpery novels, second-rate works of imagination and speculations in theology, I would assemble all the few that could now be collected relative to Wilmot and his connections, and prefix them to his known writings; but nothing more clearly proves the general deca dence of Britain than the low state of literature; and I doubt whether there are ten men in England now living who would aid such a design, or even any great design, which did not concur in supporting received and commonplace opinions."
PROFESSOR JERICHAU'S "BATHERS SURPRISED": ELIOT'S "SPANISH GYPSY."
I feel myself indebted to the tasteful critic in The Times, who directed his readers' attention, a few days ago, to the admirable group of the "Bathers," by Thorwaldsen's distinguished pupil, now for a short time to be seen at South Ken
sington. He has so vividly described the figures, that it would be a work of supererogation for me to follow, longo intervallo, in his footsteps. I shall content myself with one or two remarks.
Though it would be unfair to forget Baily's most elegant and interesting "Eve at the Fountain," and several other works of his, which belong to sculpture of this class, yet I can truly say that the "Bathers" are, without exception, the two most modest figures, completely nude, I have ever seen; and every one who has any pretension to taste must envy the most excellent and beautiful Princess for whom so charming a possession is destined. To Her beauty they are akin, but cannot rival it. The conjunction of the two figures is original, pure, and natural; and there is much of and symmetry in the forms. The noble, diggrace nified expression of the elder sister, blended with a nuance of indignation, is pleasantly contrasted with the curiosity and wonder in the countenance
of the young girl. Perhaps one might be allowed to desiderate in the latter a slight intermixture of fear, though the Professor would probably reply that the protection and shelter of her elder companion had restored confidence, and all terror had fled. Be this as it may, I think this captivating group is superior in interest to one of the most celebrated works of antiquity, the motive of which is similar. The famous Venus de' Medici is an example of exquisitely lovely, matchless form, but of nothing more. The face has very little beauty, and no expression, except a slight smile, surely not appropriate to the modesty befitting a goddess obviously "surprised"! But in the classical work before us the countenances are illumined by mind as well as beauty. It recalled to me some of the pure and brilliant imagery that adorns the pages of Geo. Eliot's Spanish Gypsy † (which poor John Phillip would have gloriously illustrated)-which contains many noble lines, and would, I cannot help thinking, have contained many more, to be remembered and quoted hereafter, had the highlygifted and all-accomplished authoress (whose prose style is almost always pellucid) given more regard to Dr. Johnson's judicious criticism on the style of Swift:-"He always understands himself, and his reader always understands him,"— a very liberal admission, considering what a contrast the Johnsonian style was to Swift's. Obscurity does not give force either to prose or poetry, any more than the bewildering light of the fastdeepening eve gives confidence to the traveller in his onward progress., GEO. HUNTLY GORDON.
* Yet the Florentine Venus is very fascinating, in spite of her air of affectation, which perhaps is largely due to the pose of the modern aims. I never could believe that the original hands were detached; and this notion is strongly supported by the discovery at Rome, in 1859, of another enus, considered by many as Greek, and probably a copy of the Medician, in which the marks of the fingers on the right thigh and left bosom are plainly
THE JEWS OF THE CAPTIVITY IN ARMENIA AND PERSIA.
The Armenian chronicler, Moses of Khorene, gives incidentally some particulars as to the Jews in Armenia and under the Persian and Parthian empires, which have been but little regarded, and are worthy of being noted.
The Jews or Hebrews are called, in Armenian, Hreaïk. One of the author's first references is in vol. ii. chap. iii.; where, under the reign of Arsaces the Great, King of Parthia, he states that the monarch, to recompense after the battle of Babylon the services of a warrior as brave as wise, the Jew Shampa Pakarad, conferred on him and his family the right of placing the crown on the Arsacid kings of Armenia. He granted the family, or race, the right of calling itself Pakradooni, and the possession of a satrapy; which was in the time of Moses, in the fifth century, still considerable. This Pakarad was created a dignitary of the kingdom, governor of a province, and prince of 11,000 men. In consequence of this privilege of coronation, Pakarad had the title of Takatir (Crown-putter-on), and privilege of wearing a band with three rows of pearls, with or without jewellery (p. 7). According to tradition, Pakarad was the descendant of a Jewish captive sent by Nebuchadnezzar to Hrachia (Fiery Eyes), King of Armenia (i. 23).
It must, however, be stated that this tale of Jewish descent was controverted, and that the Pakradooni were reputed to be of pure Haik or Armenian descent (i. 22). Moses, however, stands to it stoutly that Pakarad was a Jew, refused to conform to fire-worship or idols, and was allowed to preserve his own faith (ii. 8); and that some of his children were martyred for refusing to conform, but that others consented to go hunting and to war on Saturdays, and to leave their children uncircumcised. It appears, too, they intermarried with other princely families. This Moses states on an older authority, that of Mar Abas Cadina (ii. 9). The Pakradooni also ate pork and the flesh of sacrifices (ii. 14).
of Edessa, Tobias, a Jewish prince, is said to be of the family of the Pakradooni.
Ardakhes, King of Armenia, built a new city called Ardakhad, and removed thither from the city of Erwant the captive Jews who had been originally settled at Armavir (ii. 49) after the first captivity (ii. 65).
The race of Amadooni, according to Moses, was of Jewish origin, being descended from a certain Manoah; whose son, of giant and athletic height, was called Samson, as it is the custom of the Jews to give the names of the first Jews in the hope of seeing them worthily represented." This is an interesting note, as it shows how long this custom of giving imitative instead of special names has descended among the Jews. This family had been transplanted into Armenia by the first king of the Parthians, and had gradually increased in honour in the country of the Arik (ii. 57).
In the third book, chap. xxxv., is an interesting passage, because it is nearer to the times of the annalist, and thereby throws a light on the other recitals. He says Shabouh, King of Persia, sent an order into Armenia to carry off the Jews who were faithful to the Jewish law. The Jews who had been in Van from the time they were carried off from Judea by Tigranes, were consigned to Asbahan. There were also carried into captivity the Jews established by Tigranes at Ardashad and Vagharshabad, and who were converted by St. Gregory and Dertad to Christianity.
Thus we see that the Jews in Armenia were not, as in other districts of the Roman empire, regarded with contempt, nor did they consist solely of mechanics and traders. A Jewish descent was regarded with honour. We find colonies of Jews, as of other nations, settled in the cities, as Walloons, French Huguenots, and Palatines have been among ourselves. Some of these Jews had conformed more or less to fire-worship, and some to Christianity; for it may be questioned what kind of Christianity of heart was that maintained by churches composed solely of Jews, and if we have not some of the incidents of Jewish history in Spain repeated, with Nuevos Chris
PASSAGE IN ST. LUKE: LUKE XVI. 16–18.
"These verses says De Wette, "stand quite detached, and every attempt that has been made to point out any connexion has proved a failure."
Nothing can be more true, and they make our Lord begin his parable in a rambling inconclusive way, quite at variance with his usual manner. There must therefore be an error on the part of the writer or of the transcriber, and I think it is easy to show that the fault lay with the latter.
In my Shakespeare Expositor I have shown that transpositions frequently arose from the circumstance of the author having made an addition in the margin, or a copyist having added in the margin something that he had omitted, which had been afterwards taken into the text in the wrong place. These were the only cases I had need to notice there, as they applied to printed books; but there was a third case-that of taking marginal notes into the text which could only take place when books were in manuscript. Of this we have many instances in the Bible, the Classics, and the works of the middle ages. Thus, for example, the doxology at the end of the Lord's Prayer in St. Matthew's Gospel is wanting in all the best MSS. and the works of the more eminent Fathers, and the natural inference is, that it was the pious reflection of some devout Christian, written in the margin of his copy, and afterwards taken into the text by some transcriber.
So also I think it must have been with these verses. They are all, it may be seen, taken from the Gospel of St. Matthew, and were probably written in the margin from memory as illustrative of the concluding verses of the parable, and being written lengthways and not across, they may have extended the whole length of the parable, and so when the transcriber was taking them into the text in the usual manner, he did it at the beginning, and thus gave them their present position. Had he taken them in at the end, though they would still have been embarrassing, they would have been far less so than they are in their present place.. In fine, the natural and easy manner in which the 15th and 19th verses unite when they are removed, seems almost to demonstrate the truth of this mode of emendation. It is curious enough that practice on Shakespeare should have led, as it has done, to the removal of a difficulty of some magnitude in Scripture; and is it not amazing that so simple a correction should have escaped the acumen of, we may say, a host of critics? THOS. KEIGHTLEY.