Imagens das páginas
PDF
ePub

the last time in his choicest armor, mounted , demeanor of their foe, and thought from for the last time his favorite war-horse, and what dignity he had fallen, But Cæsar's then galloped down to where sat the Roman emotion was only transient. After some general, surrounded by his vengeful troops. harsh and ungenerous invectives against his Vercingetorix did not halt at the instant; but brave enemy, he bade the lictors fetter him, obeying the warrior-impulse that led him to and hale him away. For six years, while taste once more the excitement of feeling his Cæsar completed the conquest of Gaul, and own good steed bound freely beneath him on fought the campaigns of his civil wars, Verbis native soil, he wheeled at full speed cingetorix languished in a Roman dungeon; round the tribunal, and then, suddenly curb- and he was only taken thence to be led in ing his horse right before Cæsar, he sprang triumph behind the Dictator's chariot-wheels, on the ground, laid his helm, his spear, and and to be then slaughtered in cold blood, his sword at the victor's feet, and, bending while Cæsar, in the pride of his heart, was his knee, awaited in mute majesty his doom. feasting high in the Capitol.

Even Cæsar was startled at the sudden There is, however, a tribunal before which apparition; and a thrill of admiration and the decrees of Fortune are often reversed; pity ran through the ranks of the stern, and no one, who studies history in the right bloody-banded soldiers of Rome, when they spirit, can fail in awarding the superior palm gazed on the stately person* and martial of true greatness to the victim over the op

pressor,—to the captive Vercingetorix over * Dio Cassius, xl. p. 140.

the triumphant Julius.

THE QUEEN'S OPERA.

BY THOMAS CARLYLE.

Of the Haymarket Opera my account, in of a distinguished kind; and must, by their fine, is this: Lustres, candelabras, painting, own and other people's labor, have got a gilding at discretion; a hall as of the Caliph training equal or superior in toilsomeness, Alraschid, or him that commanded the slaves earnest assiduity, and patient travail, to what of the Lamp; a hall as if fitted up by the ge- breeds men to the most arduous trades. I nies, regardless of expense. Upholstery and speak not of kings' grandees, or the like the outlay of human capital could do no more. show-figures; but few soldiers, judges, men Artists, too, as they are called, have been got of letters, can have had such pains taken together from the ends of the world, regardless with them. The very ballet girls, with their likewise of expense, to do dancing and singing, muslin saucers round them, were perhaps litsome of them even geniuses in their craft. | tle short of miraculous; whirling and spinning One singer in particular, called . Coletti or there in strange mad vortexes, and then sudsome such name, seemed to me, by the denly fixing themselves motionless, each upon cast of his face, by the tones of his voice, her left or right great-toe, with the other leg by his general bearing, so far as I could stretched out at an angle of ninety degrees read it, to be a man of deep and ardent sen as if you had suddenly pricked into the floor, sibilities, of delicate intuitions, just sympa- by one of their points, a pair, or rather a mul. thies; originally an almost poetic soul, or titudinous cohort, of mad restlessly jumping man of genius as we term it; staniped by and clipping scissors, and so bidden them rest, Nature as capable of far other work than with opened blades, and stand still, in the squalling here, like a blind Samson to make Devil's name! A truly notable motion; marthe Philistines sport!

vellous, almost miraculous, were not the peoNay, all of them had aptitudes, perhaps ple there so used to it. Motion peculiar to

the Opera ; perhaps the ugliest, and surely I could see, were but the vehicle of a kind of one of the most difficult, ever taught a female service which I judged to be Paphian rather. in this world. Nature abhors it; but Art does Young beauties of both sexes used their operaat least admit it to border on the impossible. glasses, you could notice, not entirely for One little Cerito, or Taglioni the Second, looking at the stage. And it must be owned that night when I was there, went bounding the light, in this explosion of all the upholfrom the floor as if she had been made of steries, and the human fine arts and coarse, Indian-rubber, or filled with hydrogen gas, was magical; and made your fair one an and inclined by positive levity to bolt through Armida—if you liked her better so. Nay, the ceiling; perhaps neither Semiramis nor certain old Improper-Females, (of quality,) Catherine the Second had bred herself so in their rouge and jewels, even these looked carefully.

some reininiscence of enchantment; and I Such talent, and such martyrdom of train. saw this and the other lean dumestic Dandy, ing, gathered from the four winds, was now with icy smile on his old worn face; this and here, to do its feat and be paid for it. Re- the other Marquis Singedelomme, Prince gardless of expense, indeed! The purse of Mahogany, or the like foreign Dignitary, Fortunatus seemed to have opened itself

, and tripping into the boxes of said females, grinthe divine art of Musical Sound and Rhythmic ning there a while, with dyed moustachios and Motion was welcomed with an explosion of macassar-oil graciosity, and then tripping out all the magnificences which the other arts, again ; and, in fact, I perceived that Coletti fine and coarse, could achieve. For you are and Cerito and the Rhythmic Arts were a to think of some Rossini or Bellini in the rear mere accompaniment here. of it, too; to say nothing of the Stanfields, Wonderful to see; and sad, if you had and hosts of seene-painters, machinists, en- eyes! Do but think of it. Cleopatra threw gineers, enterprisers—fit to have taken Gib- pearls into her drink, in mere waste; which raltar, written the History of England, or was reckoned foolish of her. But here had reduced Ireland into Industrial Regiments, the Modern Aristocracy of men brought the had they so set their minds to it!

divinest of its Arts, heavenly Music itself ; Alas, and of all these notable or noticeable and, piling all the upholsteries and ingenuihuman talents and excellent perseverances and ties that other human art could do, had energies, backed by mountains of wealth, and lighted them into a bonfire to illuminate an led by the arts of Music and Rhythm vouch- hour's flirtation of Singedelomme, Mahogany, safed by Heaven to them and us, what was to and these improper persons ! Never in Nabe the issue here this evening ? An hour's ture had I seen such waste before. O Coletti, amusement, not amusing either, but weari- you whose inborn melody, once of kindred as some and dreary, to a high-dizened select Pop- I judged to “the Melodics eternal," migặt ulace of male and female persons, who seemed have valiantly weeded out this and the other to me not worth much amusing! Could any false, thing from the ways of men, and made one bave pealed into their hearts once, one a bit of God's creation more melodious—they true thought, and glimpse of Self-vision : have purchased you away from that; chained High-dizened, most expensive persons, Aris- you to the wheel of Prince Mahogany's chatocracy so called, or Best of the World, be- riot, and here you make sport for a macassar ware, beware what proofs you give of better- Singedelomme, and his improper-females past ness and bestness !!! And then the salutary the prime of life! Wretched spiritual Nigger, pang of conscience in reply: “A select oh, if you had some genius, and were not a Populace, with money in its purse, and born Nigger with mere appetite for pumpkin, drilled a little by the posture-maker: good should you have endured such a lot? I Heavens! if that were what, here and every lament for you beyond all other expenses. where in God's Creation, I am? And a world Other expenses are light; you are the Cleoall dying because I am, and show myself patra's pearl that should not have been flung to be, and to have long been, even that? into Mahogany's claret-cup. And Rossini John, the carriage, the carriage : swift! too, and Mozart and Bellini-Oh, Heavens, Let me go home in silence, to reflection, when I think that Music too is condemned to perhaps to sackcloth and ashes!" This, and be mad and to burn herself, to this end, on not amusement, would have profited those such a funeral pile—your celestial Operahigh-dizened persons.

house grows dark and infernal to me. BeAmusement, at any rate, they did not get bind its glitter stalks the shadow of Eternal from Euterpe and Melpomene. These two Death; through it too I look nos "up into Muses, sent for, regardless of expense, Il the divine eye,” as Richter has it, but

down into the bottomless eyesocket”-not Vacuity, and the dwelling place of Everlastup towards God, Heaven, and the Throne of ing Despair.—London Keepsake for 1852. Truth, but too truly down towards Falsity,

from Sharpe's Magazine:

ANDREW MARVELL..

[ocr errors]

ANDREW MARVELL, the incorruptiblest of The lore of Christ, and his apostles twelve men and senators in an age when nearly all He taught; but first he followed it himselve." men and senators were corrupt, was in his Of young Andrew's early years there is lifetime a person much esteemed for his wis- nothing particular related. A bold imaginadom and his wit; and for his character and tion may figure him as a frank and joyous conduct has been since considered worthy of boy, with probably a tinge of pensiveness, an honorable remembrance, being, indeed, studying the Latin grammar under his father now generally regarded as one of those true

at the Grammar School, and spending bis and faithful spirits that are born for the ben- leisure time in such youthful recreations as efit and ornament of the world. As it is

were common to his age and country. Havpresumable that the acts and qualities of such ing given sufficient indications of ability, and a man are still possessed of interest, it shall obtained “an exhibition from his native be our present effort to show what manner

town,” he was sent, when hardly fifteen of man he was, and to represent, iir so far as years of age, to Trinity College, Cambridge. present limits will admit, something of his Here he was presently ensnared by the proseactual life and conversation. The delineation lytizing cunning of the Jesuits, who induced will be necessarily imperfect, but such as it him to quit his studies and run away to Lonis it shall be accurate, and, if possible, enter-don, but with what specific object is not taining

distinctly stated. Thither, however, bis Be it known, then, to all such as do not father traced him, and after considerable already know it, that Andrew Marvell was searching and inquiry, discovered him acciborn at Kingston-upon-Hull, in these days of dentally in a bookseller's shop. He was reabbreviation commonly called Hull, on the stored to the University, and for the two 15th of November, 1620. His father, also succeeding years he pursued his studies with called Andrew, was master of the Grammar becoming diligence and success. School, and lecturer at the church of the

While yet at College, Andrew lost his Holy Trinity in that town. Fuller mentions father under circumstances peculiarly sudden him as being remarkable for his facetiousness, and affecting. It appears that among his and says further, that "he was a most ex intimate acquaintances there was a lady, recellent preacher, who never broached what siding on the other side of the Humber, and he had new brewed, but preached what he who had an only, interesting daughter, enhad pre-studied some competent time before, deared to all who knew her, and by her inasmuch as he was wont to say, that he mother so idolized and passionately beloved, would cross the common proverb which that she was scarcely ever permitted to pass called Sunday the working day, and Monday an hour out of her presence. On one occathe holiday of preachers.' But if his preach- sion, however, in compliance with the soliciing was thus excellent, his life was not the tations of Mr. Marvell, she was allowed to less so; indecd, there seems reason to believe

cross over to Hull to be present at the bapthat he very much resembled the “Good tism of one of his children. The day after Parson " drawn by Chaucer :

the ceremony the young lady was to return. * Rich he was in holy thought and work ;

The weather was unusually tempestuous, and ? And thereto a right learned man.

on reaching the river side, accompanied by

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

her reverend friend, the boatmen endeavored brilliant and stirring conversations in which to dissuade her from passing over. Afraid they no doubt frequently engaged; but as of alarming her mother by her prolonged there was no ready-writing Boswell there to absence, she unhappily persisted. Mr. Mar- do them such a service, this portion of their vell, seconding the representations of the history remains, and will remain, extremely boatmen, urged the danger of the under- indistinct. The most of what we learn of taking ; but finding her resolved to go, he them is this: that both being men of intold her that as she had incurred the impend- trepidity, with a strain of the Puritan in their ing peril to oblige him, he felt "bound in constitutions, they openly argued against the honor and conscience" not to desert her; superstitions of the Romish Church, within and having at length prevailed on some of the very precincts of the Vatican; and, what the boatmen to hazard the passage, they em was hardly to be expected, came off scathebarked. As they were putting off, he flung less. It would seem, however, that there his cane on shore, telling the bystanders that, was a certain kind of tolerance in the Popish in case he should never return, it was to be authorities of the times, and that they could given to his son, with the injunction “to re- very well afford to let a pair of hot-tempermember his father.” His apprehensions ed and noble-spirited strangers speak their were very shortly realized : the boat was minds. upset, and both were lost.

It was at Rome that Marvell began to try Great was the grief of the bereaved his hand at authorship; the “heir of his inmother, but when she had a little recovered vention” being a lampoon on Richard Fleckfrom her first impressions, she sent for young noe. It is now pretty well forgotten, or Marvell, and signified a disposition to aid him remembered mainly as having suggested in completing his education; and at her Dryden's famous satire on Laureate Shaddeath, some time afterwards, she left him well. Going afterwards to Paris, Marvell the whole of her possessions. Meanwhile, made another satirical effort, designing therehaving taken his bachelor's degree, in or by to bring into contempt a certain Abbé about 1638, he appears to have been admit- Manibou, who, after the manner of our prested to a scholarship. This, however, he does ent "graphiologists,” professed to interpret not seem to have retained long. A lively, the characters and indicate the fortunes of and perhaps riotous temperament exposed individuals by an inspection of their handhim to a variety of temptations, into some of writings. His piece was written in Latin, which he evidently fell; for we learn that he and in point of merit it is considered about became "negligent of his studies," and ab- equal to his first performance. What imsented himself from certain “exercises," pression it made on the public has not been which rendered him amenable to discipline. very certainly ascertained. The result of these irregularities was rather For some years after this, Marvell's history serious, inasmuch as on the 24th September, is in great part a blank. We find, however, 1641, he was adjudged by the masters and that having been "four years abroad, in seniors to be unworthy of receiving "any Holland, France, Italy, and Spain,” he was further benefit from the college," unless he some time subsequently engaged in the houseshould show cause to the contrary within the hold of Lord Fairfax, for the purpose space of three months; a gracious reserva- giving "instructions in the languages to tion, of which he does not appear to have the daughter of that nobleman. How long availed himself. For that default he had, of he remained in this employment is nowise course, to quit the University, and he accord - clear or certain. In 1652 he offered himself ingly girded up his loins for adventures in as a candidate for the office of Assistant the open world.

Latin Secretary to the existing government. It seemed to Andrew that perhaps the In a letter of Milton's, dated the 21st of best thing he could do was to " set out on February in that year, and addressed to John his travels." He therefore departed, proba- Bradshaw, Marvell is described as a man of bly about the beginning of 1642, and jour-“singular desert,” and as being in point of neyed over a great part of Europe. On learning and ability well qualified for the apreaching Rome he fell in with his country- pointment he was then solititing. The letter man John Milton, and here, it is believed, concludes in these terms: “This, my lord, I began their well-known and life-long friend write sincerely, without any other end than ship. It would be a pleasant accession to to perform my duty to the public in helping the biography of both, could one recover out them to an humble servant; laying aside of the depths of forgetfulness some of those I those jealousies and that emulation which

of

[ocr errors]

mine own condition might suggest to me, by | mingled with certain portions of his private bringing in such a coadjutor.” Though correspondence, may serve to illustrate the thus strongly recommended, Marvell was character of Marvell's patriotism, and to unsuccessful in his application, and did not show the unsparing criticism which he apobtain the office till five years afterwards. plied to the public transactions of the times.

The powers in high places seem neverthe It is matter of notoriety that the court and less to have been well disposed to serve him ; administration of Charles II. were extremely for in 1653 he was appointed tutor to Crom unscrupulous and corrupt; it may not, howwell's nephew, Mr. Dutton. Marvell's mode ever, be uninteresting to some to see a little of proceeding towards his pupil appears to of what Marvell noted close at hand. In a have been distinguished by great sense and letter to a friend in Persia, he says: “ The conscientiousness, and even by a touch of King having, upon pretence of the great Yorkshire caution. “I have taken carc," preparations of his neighbors, demanded says he, in a letter to the Protector, “to ex- 300,0001. for his navy, (though in concluamine him several times in the presence of sion he hath not set out any,) and that the Mr. Oxenbridge, as those who weigh and tell Parliament should pay his debts, (which the over money before some witness ere they ministers would never particularize to the take charge of it, for I thought there might House of Commons,) our house gave several be possibly some lightness in the coin, or bills. You see how far things were stretched, error in the telling, which hereafter I shall though beyond reason, there being no satisbe bound to make good.” He adds further : friction how those debts were contracted, and " He is of gentle and waxen disposition; and all men foreseeing that what was given would God be praised, I cannot say he hath brought not be applied to discharge the debts, which I with him any evil impression, and I shall hear are at this day risen to four millions ; hope to set nothing into his spirit but what but diverted as formerly. Nevertheless, such may be of good sculpture.' How Marvell was the number of the constant courtiers insucceeded in building up the inner man of creased by the apostate patriots, who were Mr. Dutton, or for what length of time he bought off for that turn, some at six, others was so engaged, cannot here be certified, ten, one at fifteen thousand pounds in mones, owing to the scantiness of the materials re- besides what offices, lands, and reversions to lating to this part of his life. But there others, that it is a mercy they gave not away seems reason to believe that, in whatsoever the whole lund and liberty of England." In way employed, he remained connected with the same letter he adds: “They have signed the person and family of Cromwell for a and sealed ten thousand pounds a year more considerable period, as on the publication of to the Duchess of Cleveland, who has likeMilton's “ Second Defence of the People of wise near ten thousand pounds a year out of England,” he was commissioned to present the new farm of the country excise of beer the work to the Protector, and in 1657 was and ale, five thousand a year out of the Postpromoted to the Assistant Secretaryship office, and they say the reversion of all the which he had formerly solicited.

King's leases, the reversion of all places in the In 1658 Cromwell died, and we hear no Custom House, the green wax, and indeed more of Marvell till the opening of the Par- what not ? All promotions, spiritual and liament in 1660. To that Parliament he temporal, pass under her cognizance. was returned for his native town of Hull. Of the King's unconstitutional visits to the He was one of the last members of the House of Peers, Marvell gives the following House of Commons that received wages account: Being sat, he told them it was from their constituents, and the duties which a privilege he claimed from his ancestors to he performed were perhaps on that account be present at their deliberations. That theremore onerous than those of ordinary sen. fore they should not, for his coming, interators. He appears to have carried on a rupt their debates, but proceed, and be regular correspondence with the Hull elect-covered. They did so. It is true that this ors, giving them full particulars of the par- has been done long ago; but it is now so liamentary proceedings, and of the part old that it is new, and so disused, that at any which he himself took in them. A great other but so bewitched a time as this, it number of his letters are still preserved, and would have been looked on as a high usurp; are valuable for the proofs which they affordation and breach of privilege. He indeed of the writer's diligence and fidelity, and in sat still, for the most part, and interposed some respects also throwing light on certain very little. . After three or four days' points of parliamentary history and usage. A few passages from these letters, inter

* Marvell's Letters, pp. 405, 406.

[ocr errors]
« AnteriorContinuar »