(navigation image)
Home American Libraries | Canadian Libraries | Universal Library | Community Texts | Project Gutenberg | Children's Library | Biodiversity Heritage Library | Additional Collections
Search: Advanced Search
Anonymous User (login or join us)
Upload
See other formats

Full text of "Sketches of art, literature and character"

This is a digital copy of a book that was preserved for generations on library shelves before it was carefully scanned by Google as part of a project 
to make the world's books discoverable online. 

It has survived long enough for the copyright to expire and the book to enter the public domain. A public domain book is one that was never subject 
to copyright or whose legal copyright term has expired. Whether a book is in the public domain may vary country to country. Public domain books 
are our gateways to the past, representing a wealth of history, culture and knowledge that's often difficult to discover. 

Marks, notations and other marginalia present in the original volume will appear in this file - a reminder of this book's long journey from the 
publisher to a library and finally to you. 

Usage guidelines 

Google is proud to partner with libraries to digitize public domain materials and make them widely accessible. Public domain books belong to the 
public and we are merely their custodians. Nevertheless, this work is expensive, so in order to keep providing this resource, we have taken steps to 
prevent abuse by commercial parties, including placing technical restrictions on automated querying. 

We also ask that you: 

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Google Book Search for use by individuals, and we request that you use these files for 
personal, non-commercial purposes. 

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort to Google's system: If you are conducting research on machine 
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the 
use of public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help. 

+ Maintain attribution The Google "watermark" you see on each file is essential for informing people about this project and helping them find 
additional materials through Google Book Search. Please do not remove it. 

+ Keep it legal Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just 
because we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States, that the work is also in the public domain for users in other 
countries. Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of 
any specific book is allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Google Book Search means it can be used in any manner 
anywhere in the world. Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe. 

About Google Book Search 

Google's mission is to organize the world's information and to make it universally accessible and useful. Google Book Search helps readers 
discover the world's books while helping authors and publishers reach new audiences. You can search through the full text of this book on the web 

at http : //books . google . com/| 



d by Google 




RARY 

Ni^ERSlTY OF 
CALIFORNIA 
SANTA CRUZ 




by Google 







ir— 



y^,*^ ^ /B. 



V ^^^ • 



,7 3>^^^^£|^1 



d by Google 



d by Google 



d by Google 



d by Google 



d by Google 



]15ook£ b? ^td. 0nna 3lame£otu 



THE CHARACTERISTICS OF WOMEN : Moral, Po- 

BTICAL, AND HISTORICAL. 

THE DIARY OF AN ENNUYEE. 

MEMOIRS OF THE LOVES OF THE POETS. Bio- 
graphical Sketches of Women celebrated in Ancient and Mod- 
em Poetry. 

STUDIES, STORIES, AND MEMOIRS. 

SKIETCHES OF ART, LITERATURE, AND CHAR- 
ACTER. With a Steel Engraving of Raphael's Madonna del ( 
San Sisto. 

MEMOIRS OF THE EARLY ITALIAN PAINTERS 
■ (Cimabue to Bassano). 

LEGENDS OF THE MADONNA as represented in ihe 
Fine Arts. 

SACRED AND LEGENDARY ART. In two volumes. 

LEGENDS OF THE MONASTIC ORDERS as repre- 
sented in the Fine Arts. Forming the Second Seriec Jt Sacred 
and Legendary Art. 

Each volume, i6mo, $1.25 ; the ten volumes, in box, #12.50; half 
calf, I25.00; tree calf, I35.00. 



HOUGHTON, MIFFLIN & CO., Publishers, 
Boston and New York. 



d by Google 



d by Google 



//f/y'/z/^/y /•//'/ ■ v^y//-' 



d by Google 



<'fr A;.i 



' :i • .:. .i 



a v^ r 



•'••■••••. V V ^-ix 



d by Google 



d by Google 



SKETCHES OF ART, LITERATURE, 
AND CHARACTER 



BY 

MRS. JAMESON 



BOSTON AND NEW YORK 
HOUGHTON, MIFFLIN AND COMPAN\ 

»893 



d by Google 



d by Google 



74^5 
I El 3 



OBI6INAL FSBFACB. 

IHl AUTHOR TO IHl miim 

It 8eem8 a foolish thing to aend into the world • 
book requiring a preface of apologies; and jet 
more absurd to presome that anj deprecation on 
the part of the author coold possiblj win indul- 
gence for what should be in itself worthless. 

For this reason, and with a very deep feeling of 
the kindness I have already experienced from the 
public, I should now abandon these little volumes 
to their destiny without one word of preface or re> 
mark, but that a certain portion of their contents 
seems to require a little explanation. 

It was the wish and request of my friends, many 
months ago, that I should collect various literary 
trifles which were scattered about in print or man- 
uscript, and allow them to be published together. 
My departure for the Continent set aside this in- 
tention for the time. I had other and particular 
objects in view, which still keep full possession of 
my mind, and which have been suspended not 
without reluctance, in order to prepare these vol- 
ames for the press : — neither had I, while travelling 
in Germany, the slightest idea of writing any thing 



d by Google 



n ORIGINAL PBEFACE. 

of that country : so far from it, that except duriug 
the last few weeks at Munich, I kept no regular 
notes ; but finding, on my return to England^ that 
many particulars which had strongly excited my 
interest with regard to the relative state of art and 
social existence in the two countries appeared new 
to those with whom I conversed, — after some hesi- 
tation, I was induced to throw into form the few 
memoranda I had made on the spot. They are 
now given to the public in the first volume of this 
little collection with a very sincere feeling of their 
many imperfections, and much anxiety with regard 
to the reception they are likely to meet with ; yet 
in the earnest hope that what has been written in 
perfect simplicity of heart, may be perused both 
by my English -and German friends, particularly 
the artists, with indulgence ; that those who read 
and doubt may be awakened to inquiry, and those 
who read and believe may be led to reflection ; and 
that those who difier from, and those who agree 
with, the writer, may both find som'e interest and 
amusement in the literal truth of the facts and im- 
pressions she has ventured to record. 

It was difficult to ^ve sketches of art, literature, 
and character, without making now and then some 
personal allusions ; but though I have often sketched 
oom the life, I have adhered throughout to this 
principle — never to ^ve publicity to any name not 
already before the public, and in a manner public 
property. 



d by Google 



ORIGINAL i'HEFACB. fD 

While writing this preface, I learn that the sub- 
ject of the little sketch at the end of the first vol* 
time is expected to return to England before she 
has finally quitted her profession. The first im- 
pulse was, of course, to cancel those pages which 
were written long ago, and under a far different 
impression, feeling that their purport might expose 
either the gifted person alluded to, or the author to 
misconstruction. But it has been fotmd impossible 
to do so without causing not only a great expense, 
but also injury to my publishers, from the con- 
sequent delay. The allusion to her immediate 
retirement from the stage is the only error I am 
aware of; and that is only a truth deferred for a 
short period : for the rest — ^I have no shield against 
folly and malignity, neither has she — 

^ TJne femme — ^one flenr, 8*effenille sans defence." 

Under all the circumstances I would rather the 
sketch had been omitted ; but as this could not be 
done except by an obvious injustice, after some 
struggle with my own wishes and feelings, I have 
suffered the whole to stand as originally written ; 
and it is trusted to the best and kindest interpreta- 
tion of the public. 

A. J. 
ifoy, 1884. 

Nors. The original Edition was published In two vol 
ernes. 



d by Google 



d by Google 



CONTENXa 

ffAM 

r^tfcot ▼ 

■urcBif or An, lanMAWMM, ijn (huiicra, Pin I. 

Intkr*4 DuUoguts, 

I. A Scene in a Steamboat 16 

A Singular Character S9 

Gallery at Ghent 28 

The Prince of Grangers Pictoret 81 

A Female Gambler • 88 

Cologne — The Medusa 42 

Professor Wallraf. 47 

Schlegel and Madame de Stael 49 

Story of Archbishop Gerard 66 

Heidelberg— Elizabeth Stuart. 62 

An English Farmer's Idea of the Picturesque. . . 71 

a Frankfort 78 

The Theatre, Madame Haitsinger 76 

The Versorgung Hans 80 

The Stadel Museum 88 

Dannecker, Memoir of his Life and Works 86 

German Sculpture— Ranch, Tieca, Schwanthaler 118 

IQ. Goethe and his Daughter-in-law i24 

The German Women 128 

German Authoresses. .. • 132 

German Domestic Life and Manners 140 

German Coquetterie and German Romance 141 

rhe Story of a Devoted S<ster 164 



d by Google 



I CONTENTS. 

BExrouKS OP Abt, LrrxaATUEB, Airo Chaaiotxe, Pabx IL 

Memoranda at Munich, Nuremberg^ and Dresden. 

PAoa 

I. Munich 17» 

The Theatre— Representation oi ** Egmont ".. . . IM 

Leo von Elenze 186 

The Glyptothek — ^Its General Arrangement — 
Egina Marbles — Account of the Frescos of 
Cornelius — Canova's Paris and Thorwaldson's 

Adonis 1 87-202 

The Opera at Munich, the Kapel Meister Stunts 204 

The Poems of the King of Bavaria 207 

A Public Day at the New Palace 209 

Thoughts on Female Singers — Their Condition 

and Destiny. 211 

The Munich Gallery — Thoughts on Pictures — 

Their Moral Influence 218 

Bubens and the Flemish Masters 216 

The Gallery of Schleissheim 226 

The Boisser^e Gallery — The old German School 
of Painting — ^Its Effects on the Modem German 

School of Art 227 

Representation of the Braut von Messina 280 

The Hofgarten at Munich 282 

The King's Passion for Building— The Kew Pal- 
ace — The Beauty of its Decorations — Partic- 
ular Account of the Jlilodern Paintings on the 

WaUs 234r-24» 

The Frescos of Julius Schnorr from the Nibe- 

lungen-Lied 260 

The Frescos in the Royal Chapel 262 

The Opera— Madame Scheckner 266 

The Kunstverein 268 

Karl von Holtei 27C 

F6te of the Obelisk 27^ 



d by Google 



CONTBNTB. II 

The Gallery— Piotnres and Paintere. 278 

Madame de Freybeig— A Visit to ThaUdrohen. . 381 

Tomb of Engene Beauhamais 284 

The Scnlptura in the Glyptothek S89 

Phm of the Pinakothek or National Galleiy 292 

The Reviyal of Fresco Painting. 801 

Bavarian Sculptors 808 

TheVaUiaUa. 804 

Stieler, the Portrait Painter 808 

Gallery of the Duo de Lenchtenberg. 809 

Society at Munich. 812 

The Liederkranz 818 

ILKUBEMBEBO 820 

The Old Fortress 824 

Albert Durer... 828 

Hans Sachs and Peter Visoher 827 

The Cemetery 880 

Trayellingin Germany. 888 

;n. Dbbsden. 886 

The Opera — Madame Schroder Devrient in the " 

"Capelletti" 889 

Ludwig Tieck. 842 

The Dresden Gallery and the Italian School. ... 847 
Bosalba— Yiolante Siries — Henrietta Waltert — 
Maria Ton Osterwyck—Elizabeth Sirani— The 

Sofonisba 880 

Thoughts on Female Artists — Louisa and Eliza 
Sharpe— The Countess Julie von EglofEstein.. 363 

Moritz Betzsch 868 

English and German Art 378 

Catalogue of German Artiste 38 



d by Google 



A YisH to Hardwicke. S87 

A Yisit to Althorpe 425 

Bketehof Mrs. Siddons 448 

Sketch of Fanny KembU •' 476 



d by Google 



SKETCHES OF ART, LTTEBATUBEi 
AND CHABACTEa 



PABT L 

or THBSB I>IAI.0CI1«. 



d by Google 



d by Google 



SKETCHES OF ART, LITERATURE 
AND CHARACTER. 



Mei>on. And so we are to have no ^^Sentimet^ 
Ud Travels in Germany" on hot-pressed paper, 
liiustrated with views taken on uut j^hk V 

Alda. No. 

Medon. Yon have unloaded Time of his wallet 
only to deal out his ^ scraps of things past," hi* 
shreds of remembrance, in beggarly, indolent fash- 
ion, over your own fireside ? You are afraid of 
being termed an egotist ; you, who within these ten 
minutes have assured me that not any opinion of 
any human being should prevent yon from doing, 
laying, writing — any thing — 

Alda. Finish the sentence — any thing,y<>r truth*$ 
take. But how is the cause of truth to be advanced 
by the insolent publication of a mass of crude 
thoughts and hasty observations picked up here 
%nd th(^re, '^ as pigeons pick up pease," and which 
tow lie safe within the clasps of those little grea^ 



d by Google 



16 SKETCHES OF ABT, 

books ? You need not look at them ; they do not 
contain another Diary of an Ennuy^e, thank Heav- 
en ! nor do I feel much inclined to play the Ennth 
yeuse in public. 

Medon. '* Take any form but thalj and my firm 
nerves shall never tremble ; " but with eyes to see, 
a heart to feel, a mind to observe, and a pen to 
record U>08e observations, I do not perceive why 
you should not contribute one drop to that great 
ocean of thought which is weltering round the 
world I 

Alda. If I could. 

Medon. There are people, who when they trav- 
el open their eyes and their ears, (aye, and thdr 
mouths to some purpose,) and shut up their hearts 
and souls. I have heard such persons make it their 
boast, that they have returned to old England with 
all their old prejudices thick upon them ; they have 
come back, to use their own phrase, '* with no for- 
eign ideas— just the same as they went : " they are 
much to be congratulated 1 I hope you are not one 
of these? 

Alda. I hope not; it is this cold impervioiw 
pride which is the perdition of us English and d 
England. I remember, that in one of my several 
ezcur^ons on the Rhine, we had on board the 
iteamboat an English family of high rank. There 
was the lordly papa, plain and shy, who never 
ipoke to any one except his own family, and then 
only iu the lowest whisper. There was the lady 
eiamnia, so truly lady-like, with fine-cut ]»atricias 



d by Google 



UTEKATURS, AX1> CHARACTER. 19 

Teatures, and in her countenance a kind of passive 
hauteur^ softened by an appearance of suffering, 
and ill-health. There were two daughters, proud, 
pale, fine-looking girls, dressed h ravir^ with that 
indescribable air of high pretension, so elegantly 
impassive — so self-possessed — which some people 
call Vair distingue, but which, as extremes meet, I 
would rather call the refinement of vulgarity — the 
polish we see bestowed on debased material — the 
plating over the steel — the stucco over the brick 
work! 
Medon. Good ; you can be severe then I 
Alda. I spoke generally: bear witness to the 
general truth of the picture, for it will fit others as 
well as the personages I have brought before you, 
who are, indeed, but specimens of a species. This 
group, then, had designedly or instinctively in- 
trenched themselves in a corner to the right of the 
steersman, within a fortification of tables and 
benches, so arranged as to forbid all approach 
within two or three yards; the young ladies had 
each their sketch-book, and wielded pencil and 
Indian rubber, I know not with what effect, — but 
I know that I never saw either countenance once 
relax or brighten in the midst of the divine scenery 
through which we glided. Two female attendants, 
leated on the outer fortifications, formed a kind of 
piquet guard ; and two footmen at thp other end 
kept watch over the well-appointed carriages, and 
came and went as their attendance was required. 
No one else ventured to approach this aristocratic 



d by Google 



18 8KBTCUES OF AKT, 

Olympiis; the celestials within its precincts, thou^ 
not exactly seated *^on golden stools at golden 
tables,** like the divinities in the song of the Farcas,* 
phowed as supreme, as godlike an indifference to 
the throng of mortals in the nether sphere : no 
word was exchanged during the whole day with 
any of the fifty or sixty human beings who were 
round them ; nay, when the rain drove us down to 
the pavilion, even there, amid twelve or fourteen 
others, they contrived to keep themselves alooi 
from contact and conversation. In this fashion 
they probably pursued their tour, exchanging the 
interior of their travelling carriage for the interior 
of an hotel ; and everywhere associating only with 
those of their own caste. What do they see of all 
that is to be seen ? What can they know of what 
is to be known ? What do they endure of what is 
to be endured ? I can speak from experience — 1 
have travelled in that same style. As they went, 
80 they return ; happily, or rather pitifully, uncon- 
Bcious of the narrow circle in which move their 
factitious enjoyments, their confined experience, 
their half-awakened sympathies 1 And I should tell 
you, that in the same steamboat were two Grerman 
girls, under the care of an elderly relative, I think 
an aunt, and a brother, who was a celebrated juris- 
cor.sulte and judge : their rank was equal to that 
of my country-women ; their blood, perhaps, more 
puiely noble, that is, older by some centuries ; and 

* Id G(Hith«>'s Iphlflpni* 



d by Google 



utjsbatube, and characteb. 19 

dieir family more illustrious, by Grod knows how 
many quarterings; moreover, their father i?as a 
minister of state. Both these ^rls were beautiful ; 
^fair, and fiur-haired, with complexions on which 
^ the rose stood ready with a blush ; " and one, the 
youngest sister, was exquisitely lovely — in truth, 
ihe might have sat for one of Guido*s angels. They 
walked up and down the deck, neither seeking nor 
avoiding the proximity of others. They accepted 
the telescopes which the gentlemen, particularly 
some young Englishmen, pressed on them wheo 
any distant or remarkable object came in view, and 
repaid the courtesy with a bright kindly smile; 
they were natural and easy, and did not deem it 
necessary to mount guard over their own dignity. 
Do you think I did not observe and feel the con- 
trast? 

Medon. If nations b^n at last to understand 
each other^s true interests, morally and politically, 
It will be through the agency of gifled men ; but if 
ever they learn to love and sympathize with each 
other, it will be through the medium of you women. 
You smile, and shake your head ; but in spite of a 
late example, which might seem to controvert this 
idea, I still think so : our prejudices are stronger 
and bitterer than yours, because they are those 
which perverted reason builds up on a foundation 
of pride ; but yours, which are generally those of 
fancy and association, soon melt away before your 
own kindly affections. More mobile, more impres- 
sible, more easily yielding to external circum* 



d by Google 



fO SKETCHES OF ABT, 

itances, more easily lending yourselves to diflTei^nt 
manners and habits, more quick to perceive, mor« 
gentle to judge ; — yes, it is to you we must look, to 
break down the outworks of prejudice — ^you^ the 
advanced guard of humanity and civilization ! 

** The gentle race and dear, 
By whom alone the world is glorified I " 

flvery feeling, well educated, generous, and truly 
refined woman who travels is as a dove sent out on 
a mission of peace ; and should bring back at least 
an olive-leaf in her hand, if she bring nothing else. 
It is her part to soften the intercourse between 
rougher and stronger natures ; to aid in the inter- 
fusion of the gentler sympathies ; to speed the in* 
terchange of art and literature from pole to pole : 
not to pervert wit, and talent, and eloquence, and 
abuse the privileges of her sex, to sow the seeds of 
hatred where she might plant those of love — ^to im- 
bitter national discord and aversion, and dissemi- 
nate individual prejudice and error. 

Alda. Thank you 1 I need not say how entirely 
I agree with you. 

Medon. Then tell me, what have ytm brought 
home ? if but an olive-leaf, let us have it ; come, 
unpack your budget Have you collected store q\ 
Anecdotes, private, literary, scandalous, abundantly 
interspersed with proper names of grand-dukes and 
little dukes, counts, barons, ministers, poets, author* 
actors, and opera- dancers? 

Alda. II 



d by Google 



LITEBATURB, AKD CHARACTER. 21 

Medon. Cry you mercy ! — I did but jest, so do 
not look so indignant I But have you then traced 
the cause and consequences of that under-curreni 
of opinion ^hich is slowly but surely sapping the 
foundations of empires ? Have you heard the low 
booming of that mighty ocean which approaches, 
wave after wave, to break up the dikes and boun* 
daries of ancient power ? 

Alda. I! no; how should I — skimming over the 
Burface of society with perpetual sunshine and 
favoring airs — how should I sound the gul& and 
shoals which lie below ? 

Medon. Have you, then, analyzed that odd 
combination of poetry, metaphysics, and politics, 
which, like the three primeval colors, tinge in va- 
rious tints and shades, simple and complex, all liter- 
ature, morals, art, and even conversation, through 
Germany? 
Alda. No, indeed I 

Medon. Have you decided between the dif- 
ferent systems of Jacobi and Schelling? 

Alda. You know I am a poor philosopher ; but 
when Schelling was introduced to me at Munich, 
I remember I looked up at him with inexpressible 
admiration, as one whose giant arm had cut through 
an bthmus, and whose giant mind had new-model- 
Vd the opinions of minds as gigantic as his own. 

Medon. Then you are of this new school, whicb 
reveals the union of faith and philosophy ? 
Alda. If I am, it is by instinct. 
Medon. Well, to descend to yo7ir owx poculiai 



d by Google 



2S SKETCHES OF ART, 

ipherc, hare you satisfied yourself as to the moral 
and social position of the women in Germany ? 

Alda. No, indeed I — ^at least, not yet 

Medon. Have you examined and noted down 
the routine of the domestic education of their chil- 
dren ? (we know something of the public and na- 
tional systems.) Can you give some accurate no 
lion of the ideas which generally prevail on this 
subject ? 

Alda. O no ! you have mentioned things which 
would require a life to study. Merely to have 
thought upon them, to have glanced at them, gives 
me no right to discuss them, unless I could bring 
my observations to some tangible form, and derive 
from them some useful result. 

Medon. Yet in this last journey you had an 
object — a purpose? 

Alda. I had — a purpose which has long been 
revolving in my mind — an object never lost sight 
of; — ^but give me time ! — ^time 1 

Medon. I see ; but are you prepared for con- 
sequences ? Can you task your sensitive mind to 
stand reproach and ridicule ? Remember your own 
Btory of Runckten the traveller, who, when about 
to commence hb expedition into the desarts of 
Africa, prepared himself, by learning beforehand 
to digest poisons ; to swallow without disgust rep> 
tiles, spiders, vermin — 

Alda. " Thou hast the most unsavory similes I " 

Mkdon. Take a proverb then — "Bisogna co 
Orirsi bene il viso innanzi di struzzicare il vespaia 



d by Google 



LITERATURE, AND CBARACTER. 23 

Ai.DA. I will not hide my face; nor can I an- 
swer you in this jesting vein, for to me it is a serioos 
diought There is in the kindly feelings, the spon- 
taneous sjrmpathy of the public towanb me, some- 
thing which fills me with gratitude and respect, and 
lells me to respect myself; which I would not ex- 
change for the greater eclat which hangs round 
greater names; which I will not forfeit by writing 
one line from an unworthy motive ; nor flatter, nor 
invite, by withholding one thought, opinion, or sen- 
timent which I believe to be true, and to which ] 
can put the seal of my heart's conviction. 

Medon. Good ! I love a Uttle enthusiasm now 
and then; so like Britomart in the enchanter^i 
palace, the motto is, 

" Be bold, be bold, and everywhere be bold. ** 
Alda. I should rather say, be gentle, be gentle, 
everj'where be gentle ; and then we cannot be too 
lold* 

Medon. Well, then, I return once more to ^he 
charge. Have you been rambhng about the world 
for these six months, yet learned nothing ? 
Alda. On the contrary. 
Mldon. Then what, in Heaven's name, hatft 
jrou learned ? 

Alda. Not much ; but I have learned to sweep 
my mind of some ill-conditioned cobwebs. I have 
ieamo,d to consider my own acquired knowledge 

* Orer another iron door waa writt, 
Be not too bold. 

Vaebt Q7EIK, lock in Canto si 



d by Google 



U SKETCHES OF ART, 

but as a torch flung into an abyss, making the 
darkness visible, and showing me the extent of my 
own ignorance. 

Medon. Then give us — give me, at least — ^the 
benefit of your ignorance ; only let it be all your 
own. I honor a profession of ignorance — if only 
for its rarity — in these all-knowing times. Let me 
tell you, the ignorance of a candid and not uncul- 
tivated mind is better than the second-hand wisdom 
of those who take all things for granted ; who arc 
the echoes of others' opinions, the utterers of others 
words ; who think they know, and who think they 
think : I am sick of them all. Come, refresh me 
with a little ignorance — and be serious. 

Alda. You make me smile ; after all, *tis only 
going over old ground, and I know not what pleas- 
ure, what interest it can impart, beyond half an 
hour's amusement. 

Medon. Sceptic I is that nothing ? In this harsh, 
cold, working-day world, is half an hour's amuse- 
ment nothing ? Old ground ! — ^as if you did not 
know the pleasure of going over old ground with a 
new companion to refresh half-faded recollections 
— ^to compare impressions — ^to correct old ideas and 
acquire new ones 1 O I can suck knowledge out 
of ignorance, as a weazel sucks eggs 1— Begin. 

Alda. "VMiere shall I begin ? 

Medox. AVhere, but at the beginning I and then 
diverge as you will. Your first journey was one 
»f mere amusement ? 

Ai.DA. Merely, and it answered its purpose ; w* 



d by Google 



LITKRATUBE, AND CHARACTKrt. 2C 

bAvelled a la milor Anglais — a par tie carrde~--ti 
barouche hung on the most approved pnncipl« — 
double-cushioned — ^luxurious — ^rising and sinking 
on its springs like a swan on the wave — the pockets 
stuffed with new publications — maj/S and guides ad 
infinitum; English servants for comfort, foreign 
servants for use ; a chessboard, backgammon tables 
— ^in short, surrounded with all that could render 
OS entirely independent of the amusements we had 
come to seek, and of the people among whom wc 
had come to visit 
Mkdox. Admirable — and English I 
Alda. Yes, and pleasant 1 thought, not with- 
out gratitude, of the contrasts between present 
feelings and those of a* former journey. To aban- 
don one's self to the quickening influence of new 
objects without care or thought of to-morrow, with 
a mind awake in all its strength; with restored 
health and cheerfulness ; with sensibility tamed, 
not dead ; possessing one*s soul in quiet ; not seek- 
ing, nor yet shrinking from excitement ; not self- 
engrossed, nor yet pining for sympathy ; was not 
this much ? Not so interesting, perhaps, as playing 
the ennuyde; but, oh 1 you know not how sad it is 
JO look upon the lovely through tearful eyes, and 
walk among the loving and the kind wrapped as 
vn a death-shroud ; to carry into the midst of the 
most glorious scenes of nature, and the divinest 
creations of art, perceptions dimmed and troubled 
urith sickness and anguish : to move in the morn- 
ing with aching and reluctance — ^to faint in thf 



d by Google 



B6 SKETCHES OF ART, 

eviMiing with weariness and pain ; to feel all 
change, all motion, a torment to the dying heart 
ftll rest, all delay, a burden to the impatient spirit 
to shiver in the presence of joy, like a ghost in the 
lunshine, yet have no s^-mpathy to spare for suf- 
fering. How could I remember that all this had 
been, and not bless the miracle-worker — Time ? 
And apropos to the miracles of time — ^I had on this 
first journey one source of amusement, which I am 
Bony I cannot share with you at full length ; it was 
the near contemplation of a very singular character, 
of which I can only afibrd you a sketch. Our 
CHEF de voyage^ for so we chose to entitle him who 
was the planner and director of our excursion, was 
one of the most accomplished and most eccentric 
of human beings : even courtesy might have termed 
him old, at seventy ; but old age and he were many 
miles asunder, and it seemed as though he had 
made some compact with Time, like that of Faust 
with the devil, and was not to surrender to his in- 
evitable adversary' till the very last moment. Years 
could not quench his vivacity, nor " stale his infinite 
variety.** He had been one of the prince's wild 
companions in the days of Sheridan and Fox, and 
could play alternately blackguard and gentleman, 
and both in perfection ; but the high-born gentle- 
man ever prevailed. He had been heir to an 
enoimous income, most of which had slipped 
thiough his fingers unknownst^ as the Irish say, and 
had stood in the way of a coronet, which, somehoTV 
%r other, had passed over his head to light on tha/ 



d by Google 



OTERATUREy AND CHARACTEB %f 

ttf his eldest son. He had lived a life which would 
have ruined twenty iron constitutions, and had 
suffered what might well have broken twenty 
hearts of common stuff; but his self-complacency 
was invulnerable, his animal spirits inexhaustible, 
his activity indefatigable. The eccentricities of this 
singular man have been matter of celebrity ; but 
against each of these stories it would be easy to place 
Bome act of benevolence, some trait of lofty, gentle- 
manly feeling, which would at least neutralize their 
effect He oflen told me that he had early in life 
selected three models, after which to form his own 
conduct and character ; namely, De. Grammont, 
Hotspur, and Lord Herbert of Cherbury ; and he 
certainly did unite, in a greater degree than he knew 
himself, the characteristics of all three. Such was 
our CHEF, and thus led, thus appointed, away we 
posted, from land to land, from city to city — 

Medon. Stay — stay ! this is galloping on at tlui 
rate of Lenora and her phantom lover — 

** Tramp, tramp across the land we go, 
Splash, splash across the seal " 

Take me with you, and a little more leisurely. 

Alda. I think Bruges was the first place which 
Interested me, perhaps from its historical associa- 
tions. Bruges, where monarchs kissed the hand to 
merchants, now emptied of its former splendor, re- 
mmded me of the improvident steward in Scrip- 
^re, who could not dig, and to beg was ashamed 
(t had an air of grave idleness and thieadbart 



d by Google 



M SKETCHES OF ART, 

dignity ; and it^ listless, thinly scattered inhabitaiiti 
looked as if they had gone astray among the wide 
streets and huge tenantless edifices. There is one 
thing here which you must see — the tomb of Charles 
the Bold, and his daughter Mary of Burgundy. The 
tomb is of the most exquisite workmanship, com- 
posed of polished brass and enamelled escutcheons ; 
and there the fiery father and the gentle daughter 
he, side by side, in sculptured bronze, equally 
still, cold, and silent I remember that I stood long 
gazing on the inscription, which made me smile, 
and made me think. There was no mention of 
defeat and.massacre, disgraceful flight, or obscure 
death. " But,** says the epitaph, after enumerating 
his titles, his exploits, and his virtues, " Fortune, 
who had hitherto been his good lady, ungently 
turned her back upon him, on such a day of such 
a year, and oppressed him," — an amusing instance 
of mingled courtesy and naivetd, Ghent was our 
next resting-placfe. The aspect of Ghent, so fa- 
miliarized to us of late by our travelled artists, 
made a strong impression upon me, and I used to 
walk about for hours together, looking at the 
strange picturesque old buildings coeval with the 
Spanish dominion, with their ornamented fronts 
and peaked roofs. There is much trade here, many 
:!ourishing manufactories, and the canab and quays 
often exhibited a lively scene of bustle, of which 
the form, at least, was new to us. The first ex- 
position, or exhibition, of the newly-founded Roya. 
Academy of the Netherlands was at this seasoB 



d by Google 



LITBKATUBB, AND CHARACTEB. 29 

open. You will allow it was a fair opportunity ol 
judging of the present state of painting, in the 
self-same land where she had once found, if not a 
temple, at least a home. 

Medon. And learned to be homely — ^but the 
result? 

Alda. I can scarcely express the surprise I felt 
at the time, though it has since diminished on 
reflection. All the attempts at historical painting 
were bad, without exception. There was the usual 
assortment of Virgins, St Cecilias, Cupids and 
Psyches, Zephyrs and Floras; but such incom- 
parable atrocities I There were some cabinet pic- 
tures in the same style in which their Flemish 
ancestors excelled — such as small interior con-* 
versation pieces, battle pieces, and flowers and 
fruit ; some of these were really excellent, but the 
proportion of bad to good was certainly fifty to 
one. 

Medon. Something like our own Royal Acad- 
emy. 

Alda. No ; because with much which was quite 
as bad, quite as insipid, as coarse in taste, as 
stupidly presumptuous in attempt, and ridiculous 
in failure, as ever shocked me on the walls of Som- 
erset House, there was nothing to be compared to 
the best pictures I have seen there. As I looked 
and listened to the remarks of the crowd around 
me, I perceived that the taste for art is even at 
low in the Netherlands as it is here and else* 
where. 



d by Google 



BO SKETCHES OF ART, 

Medon. And, surely, not from tho want of 
models, nor from the want of facility in the meanii 
of studying them. You visited, of course, Schamp*fl 
collection ? 

Alda. Surely; there were miracles of art 
crowded together like goods in a counting-house, 
with wondrous economy of space, and more la- 
mentable economy of light Some were nailed 
against doors, inside and out, or suspended from 
screens and window-shutters. Here I saw Rubens' 
picture of Father Rutseli, the confessor of Albert 
and Isabella : one of those heads more suited to 
the crown than to the cowl — grand, sagacious, in- 
tellectual, with such a world of meaning in the eye 
that one almost shrunk away from the expression. 
Here, too, I found that remarkable picture of 
Charles the First, painted by Lely during the 
king's imprisonment at Windsor — ^the only one for 
which he sat between his dethronement and his 
death : he is still melancholy and gentlemanlike, 
but not quite so dignified as on the canvas of 
Vandyke. This is the very picture that Horace 
Walpole mentions as lost or abstracted from the 
collection at Windsor. How it came into Schamp's 
collection I could not learn. A very small head 
of an Italian girl by Correggio, or in his manner, 
hung close beside a Dutch girl by Mieris : equally 
exquisite as paintings, they gave me an opportunity 
of contrasting two styles, both founded in nature-* 
but the nature, how difierent ! the one all life, tlM 
•tber li'e and soul. Schamp's collection is liberal If 



d by Google 



LITERATURE, AND CHARACTER SI 

Dpen to the public, as well as many others ; if u^ 
iBts fail, it is not for want of models. 

Medon. Perhaps for want of patronage ? Yet 
I hear that the late king of the Netherlands sent 
several young artists to Italy at his own expense, 
and that the Prince of Orange was liberal and 
even munificent in his purchases — particularly of 
the old masters. 

Alda. When I went to see the collection of the 
Prince of Orange at Brussels, I stepped from the 
room in which hung the glorious Vandykes, per^ 
haps unequalled in the world, into the adjoining 
apartment, in which were two unfinished portraits 
disposed upon easels. They represented members 
uf the prince's family; and were painted by a 
native artist of fashionable fame, and royally pat- 
ronised. These were pointed out to my admiration 
as universally approved. What shall I say of 
them ? Believe me, that they were contemptible 
beyond all terms of contempt 1 Can you tell me 
why the Prince of Orange should have suflScient 
taste to select and appropriate the finest specimens 
of art, and yet purchase and patronise the vilest 
iaubs ever perpetrated by imbecility and pre* 
Bumption ? 

Medon. I know not, unless it be that in the 
former case he made use of others* eyes and julg- 
nent, and in the latter of his own. 

Ai.DA. I might have anticipated the answer; 
*ut be that as it may, of all the galleries I saw in 
the Netherlands, the small but invaluable collection 



d by Google 



f2 8KE1CH£S OF ART, 

he had foi-med in his palace pleased me most. 1 
remember a portrait of Sir Thomas More, by 
Holbein. A female head, b} Leonardo da Vinci, 
said to be one of the mistresses of Francis I., but 
this is doubtful; that most magnificent group, 
Chnst deliveiing the keys to St Peter, by Rubens, 
once in England; about eight or ten Vandykes, 
masterpieces — for instance, Philip IV. and his min- 
ister Olivarez; and a Chevalier le Roy and hia 
wife, all that you can imagine of chivalrous dignity 
and lady-like grace. But thei*e was one picture, a 
family group, by Gonsalez, which struck me more 
than all the rest put together. I had never seen 
any production of this painter, whose works are 
scarcely known out of Spain ; and I looked upon 
this with equal astonishment and admiration. 
There was also a small but most curious collection 
of pictures, of the ancient Flemish and German 
schools, which it is now the fashion to admire, and, 
what is worse, to imitate. The word fashion does 
not express the national enthusiasm on this subject 
which prevails in Germany. I can understand that 
these pictures are often most interesting as historic 
documents, and often admirable for their literal 
transcripts of nature and expression, but they can 
only possess comparative excellence and relative 
value ; and where the feeling of ideal beauty and 
classic grace has been highly cultivated, the eye 
shrinks involuntarily from these hard, grotesque, 
and glaring productions of an age when genius was 
blindly groping amid the darkness of ignorance. 



d by Google 



LITERATURE, AND CHARACTER. 8S 

To confess the truth, I was sometimes annoyed, and 
HMnetimes amused, by the cant I heard in Germanj 
about those schoob of painting which preceded 
Albert Durer. Perhaps I should not say cant — ^it 
is a vile expression ; and in German affectation 
there is something so very peculiar — so poetical, so 
— so naturaly if I might say so, that I would give it 
aroiher name if I could find one. In this worship 
of their old painters I really could sympathize 
sometimes, even when it most provoked me. 
Retzsch, whom I had the delight of knowing at 
Dresden, showed me a sketch, in which he had 
ridiculed this mania with the most exquisite humor: 
it represented the torso of an antique Apollo, (em- 
blematical of ideal grace,) mutilated and half- 
buried in the earUi, and subject to" every spcciea 
c£ profanation ; it serves as a stool for a German 
student, who, with his shirt collar turned down, 
and his hair dishevelled, and his cap stuck on one 
side h la Rafaelle, is intently copying a stiff, hard^ 
sour-looking old Madonna, while Ignorance lookf 
on, gaping with admiration. No one knows better 
than Retzsch the value of these ancient masters — 
no one has a more genuine feeling for all that is 
admirable in them ; but no one feels more sensibly 
the gross pervereion and exaggeration of the wor- 
ship paid to them. I wish he would publish this 
good-humored little bit of satire, which is too just 
and too graceful to be called a caricature. 

I must tell yo'i, however, that there were two 
most curious old pictures in tl^ Orange Gallery 
8 



d by Google 



34 SKETCHES OF ART, 

wluch arrested my attention, and of which 1 hatt 
retained a very distinct and vivid recollection ; and 
that is more than I can say of many better pictures. 
They tell, in a striking manner, a very interesting 
story : the circumstances are said to have occurred 
about the year 985, but I cannot say that they rest 
on any very credible authority. 

Of these two pictures, each exhibits two scenes. 
A certain nobleman, a favorite of the Emperor 
Otho, is condemned to death by his master on the 
false testimony of the empress, (a sort of Potiphar'a 
wife,) who has accused him of having tempted her 
to break her marriage vow. In the background we 
see the unfortunate man }ed to judgment ; he b in 
his shirt, bare-footed and bare-headed. His wife 
walks at his side, to whom he appears to be speak- 
ing earnestly, and endeavoring to persuade her 
of his innocence. A friar precedes them, and a 
crowd of people follow after. On the walls of the 
city stand the emperor and his wicked empress, 
looking down on the melancholy procession. In 
the foreground, we have the dead body of the 
victim, stretched upon the earth, and the execu- 
tioner is in the act of delivering the head to hit 
wife, who looks grim with despsur. The severed 
head and (lowing blood are painted with such a 
horrid and literal fidelity to nature, that it hai 
been found advisable to cover this portion of the 
picture. 

In the foreground of the second picture, the 
Emperor Otho is represented on his throne, snr 



d by Google 



LITERATURE, AKD CHARACTER 35 

founded by his counsellorp and courtiers. Before 
him kneels the widow of the count : she has the 
ghastly head of her husband in her lap, and in her 
left hand she holds firmly and unhurt the red-hot 
iron, the fiery ordeal by which she proves to the 
satisfaction of all present the innocence of her 
murdered lord. The emperor looks thunderstruck; 
the empress stands convicted, and is condemned to 
death ; and in the background, we have the catas- 
trophe. She is bound to a stake, the fire is kindled, 
and she suffers the terrible penalty of her crime. 
These pictures, in subject and execution, might be 
termed tragico-comico-historical ; but in spite of the 
harshness of the drawing, and the thousand defects 
of style and taste, they fix the attention by th« 
vigor of the coloring and the expression of the 
heads, many of which are evidently firom the life 
The story is told in a very complete though very 
inartificial manner. The piunter, Derick Steueiv 
bout, was one of the very earliest of the Flemish 
masters, and lived about 1468, many years before 
Albert Durer and Holbein. I have heard that 
they were painted for the city of Lorraine, and 
until the invasion of the French they remained 
ondisturbed, and ahnost unnoticed, in the Hotel- 
de-Ville. 

Medon. Does this collection of the Prince of 
Orange still exist at Brussels ? 

Alda. I am told that it does — ^that the whole 
palace, the furniture, the pictures, remain precisely 
%8 the prince and his family left them : that even 



d by Google 



06 SKKTCHES OF ART, 

down to the princess's work-box, and the portraits 
of her children, which hang in her boudoir, nothing 
has been touched. This does not speak well for 
King Leopold's gallantry ; and, in his place, I think 
I would have sent the private property of my rival 
after him. 

Medon. So would not I, for this is not the ag« 
01 chivalry, but of conunon sense. As to the pic- 
tures, the Belgians might plead that they were pur 
chased with the public money, therefore justiy 
public property. No, no; he should not have a 
picture of them — ^** If a Vandyke would save his 
soul, he should not ; I'd keep them by this hand I " 
that is, as long as I had a plausible excuse for keep- 
ing them; but the princess should have had her 
work-box and her children by the first courier. 
What more at Brussels ? 

Alda. I can recollect no more. The weather 
was sultry ; we dressed, and dined, and ate ices, 
and drove up and down the Allee Verte, and saw, 
I believe, all that is to be seen — churches, palaces, 
hospitals, and so forth. We went from thence to 
Aix-la-Chapelle and Spa. As it was the height 
of the season, and both places were crowded with 
gay invalids, perhaps I ought to have been very 
much amused, but J confess I was ennuyie to 
death. 

Medon. This I can hardly conceive ; for thougb 
there might have been little to amuse one of your 
turn of mind, there should have boen much If 
observe. 



d by Google 



LITERATURF, AND CH ABACI ER. 81 

Alda. There might have been matter for ob> 
f^rvation, or ridicule, or reflection at the moment^ 
but nothing that I remember with pleasure. Spa 
I disliked particularly.* I believe I am not in my 
nature cold or stem ; but there was something in 
the shallow, tawdry, vicious gayety of this place 
which di^usted me. In all watering-places ex- 
tremes meet; sickness and suffering, youth and 
dissipation, beggary and riches, collect together; 
but Spa being a very small town, a mere village, 
tlie approximation is brought immediately under 
the eye at every hour, every moment; and the 
beauty of the scenery around only rendered it 
more disagreeable : to me, even the hill of Annette 
and Lubin was polluted. Our Chef de voyage, 
who had visited Spa fifty years before, when on his 
grand tour^ walked about with great complacency, 
recalling his youthful pleasures, and the days when 
he used to gallant his beautiful cousin, the Duchess 
of Rutland, of divine memory. While the rest of 
the party were amused, I fell into my old habit of 
thinking and observing, and my contemplations 
were not agreeable. But, instead of dealing in 
these general remarks, I will sketch you one or two 
pictures which have dwelt upon my memory. We 
had a well-dressed laquais-de-place, whose honesty 
and good-humor rendered him an especial favor- 
^f5. His wife being ill, 1 went to see her ; to my 
j(reat surprise he conducted me to a little mud 
hovel, worse than the worst Irish cabin I ever heard 
iescribei, where his wife lay stretched upon some 



d by Google 



38 iMCXTCHES OF ABT, 

9traw, covered with a rug, and a little neglecteil 
ragged child was crawling about the floor, and 
hhori, her bed. It seems, then, that this poor man, 
who every day waited at our luxurious table, dressed 
in smiles, and must habitually have witnessed the 
wasteful expenditure of the rich, returned every 
night to his miserable home, if home it could be 
called, to feel the stings of want with double bitter- 
ness. He told me that he and his wife lived the 
greater part of the year upon water-gruel, and that 
the row of wretched cabins of which his own 
formed one was inhabited by those who, like him- 
self, were dependent upon the rich, extravagant, 
and dissipated strangers for the little pittance which 
was to support them for a twelvemonth. Was not 
this a fearful contrast ? I should tell you that the 
benevolence of our Chef rendered this poor couple 
independent of change or chance for the next year. 
My other picture is in a different style. You know 
that at Spa the theatre inunediately joins the ball- 
room. As soon as the performances are over, the 
parterre is laid down with boards, and in a few 
minutes metamorphosed into a gambling saloon. 
One night curiosity led me to be a spectator at 
one of the rouge et noir tables. While I was there, 

a Flemish lady of rank, the Baroness B , came 

n, hanging on the arm of a gentleman ; she was 
not young, but still handsome. I had oflen met 
her in our walks, and had been struck by her fint 
eyes, and the amiable expression of her counte- 
nance. Afler one or two turns up and down the 



d by Google 



UTERATURE, AKD CHARACTER. 81 

room, laughing and talking, she carelessly, and ai 
if from a sudden thought, seated herself at the 
table. By degrees she became interested in the 
game, her stakes became deeper, her countenance 
became agitated, and her brow clouded. I left her 
playing. The next evening when I entered, I found 
her already seated at the table, as indeed I had 
anticipated. I watched her for some time with a 
painful interest It was evident that she was not 
an habitual gambler, like several others at the same 
table, whose hard impassive features never varied 
with the variations of the game. There was onr 
little old withered skeleton of a woman, like a 
death's head in artificial flowers, who stretched out 
her harpy claws upon the rouleaus of gold and 
Bilv<»r without moving a muscle or a wrinkle of her 
face, — with hardly an additional twinkle in her dull 
gray eye. Not so my poor baroness, who became 
every moment more £^tated and more eager : her 
eyes sparkled with an unnatural keenness, her 
teeth became set, and her lips, dra\7n away from 
them, wore, instead of the sweet smile which had 
f»» first attracted my attention, a grin of despera< 
tion. Gradually, as I looked at her, her counte- 
nance assumed so hideous and, I may add, so vile 
an expression, that I could no longe** endure the 
ipectacle. I hastened from the room — more moved, 
more shocked than I can express ; and often, since 
that time, her face has risen upon my da}' and 
night dreams like a horrid supernatural ma<^. Her 
husband, for this wretched woman was a wife and 



d by Google 



iO SKETCHES OF ART, 

i mother, came to meet her a few days afterwarrt^ 
and accompany her home ; but I heard that in the 
interval she had attempted self-destruction, and 
failed. 

Medox. TIjc case is but too common ; and even 
)ou, who are always seeking reasons and excusei 
for the delinquencies of your sex, would hardly 
find them here. 

Alda. And unless I could know what were the 
previous habits and education of the victim, through 
what influences, blest or unblest, her mind had 
l)een trained, her moral existence built up — should 
1 condemn ? Who had taught this woman self- 
knowledge ? — who had instructed her in the ele- 
ments of her own being, and guarded her against 
her own excitable temperament? — what friendly 
voice had warned her ignorance? — what secret 
burden of misery — what joyless emptiness ot heart 
— what fever of the nerves — what weariness of 
spirit — what " thankless husband or faithless lover ** 
had driven her to the edge of the precipice ? In 
this particular case I know that the husband bore 
the character of being both negligent and dissi- 
pated ; and where was he, — what were his haunts 
and his amusements, while his wife staked with her 
gold her honor, her reason, and her life ? Tell me 
all this before we dare to pass judgment. O it is 
pasy to compute what is done ! and yet, who bul 
the Being above us all can know what is resisted ? 

Medon. You would plead then for a femaU 
9^moler ? 



d by Google 



MTERATURE, AND CHARACTKS. 41 

Ai.DA. Why do you lay such an emphasis upon 
female gambler? In what respect is a ft male 
gambler worse than one of your sex ? The caw 
is more pitiable — ^more rare— therefore, perhaps, 
more shocking ; but why more hatefiil ? 

Medon. You pose me. 

Alda. Then I will leave you to think ; or shall 
I go on ? for at this rate we shall never arrive at 
the end of our journey. 1 was at Aix-la-Chapelle, 
was I not ? Well, I spare you the relics of Charle- 
magne, and if you have any dear or splendid as- 
sociations with that great name, spare your imagina- 
tion the shock it may receive in the cathedral at 
Aix, and leave "Yarrow unvisited." ♦ Luckily 
the theati*e at Aix is beautiful, and there was a fine 
opera, and a very perfect orchestra ; the singers 
tolerable. It was here I first heard the Don Juan 
and the Freyschutz performed in the German 
fashion, and with German woi-ds. The Freyschutz 
gave me unmixed pleasure. In the Don Juan I 
missed the recitative, and the soft Italian flow of 
syllables, from which the music had been divorced ; 
so that the ear, long habituated to that marriage of 
sweet sounds, was disappointed; but to listen with- 
out Dleasure and excitement was impossible. I 
remember that on looking round, after Donna 
Anna's sonc;- I was surprised to see our Chef de 
voyage bathed in tears ; but, ro whit disconcerted, 
he merely wiped them away, saying, with a smilOj 

• See Wordsworth's Poema. 



d by Google 



12 SKETCHES OF ABT, 

''It is the veiy prettiest, softest thing to cr} t6 
one's self !" Afterwards, when we were in the car- 
riage, he expressed his surprise that any man should 
be ashamed of tears. " For my own part,** he 
added, " when I wish to enjoy the very high 
Bublime of luxury, I dine alone, order a mutton 
cutlet, cuite a pointy with a bottle of Bui^ndy 
on one side, and Ovid's epistle of Penelope to 
Ulysses on the other ; and so I read, and eat, and 
cry to myself." And then he repeated with en- 
thusiasm — 

"Hanc tua Peuelope lento tibi mittit Ulysse: 
Nil raihi resciijbas attamen ipse veni ; " 

his eyes glistening as he recited the lines ; he made 
me feel their beauty without understanding a word 
of their sense. " Strangest and happiest of men ! *' 
I thought, as I looked at him, " that after living 
seventy years in this world, can still have tears to 
spare for the sorrows of Penelope 1" Well our 
next resting-place was Cologne. 

Medon. You pause : you have* nothing to say 
of Cologne? No English traveller, except your 
professed tourists and guide-book makers, ever has 
of the crowds who pass through the place, on theii 
way up or down the Rhine, how few spend more 
than a night or a day there ! their walk is betweer 
the llheinberg and the cathedral ; they look, per- 
haps, ^iih a sneering curiosity at the shrine of the 
Tlireo Kings ; cut the usual jests on the Leda an4{ 



d by Google 



LiTERATURB, AKB CHABACTEB. 43 

the Cupid and Psyche ; ♦ glance at the St Petci 
»f Bubens ; lounge on the bridge of boats ; stock 
Ihemselves with £au de Cologne ; and then away ! 
And yet this strange old city, which a bigoted 
priesthood, a jealous magistracy, and a variety of 
historical causes have 30 long kept isolated in the 
midst of Europe, with its Roman origin, its clas- 
sical associations, the wild gothic superstitions of 
which it has been the theatre, its legion of martyrs, 
its three kings and eleven thousand virgins, and 
the peculiar manners and physiognomy of the 
people, strangely take the fancy. What has be- 
come of its three hundred and fifty churches, and 
its thirty thousand beggars ? — Thirty thousand beg- 
gars ! Was there ever such a splendid establish- 
ment of licensed laziness and consecrated rags and 
wallets 1 What a magnificent idea does it give one 
of the inexhaustible charity and the incalculable 
riches of the inhabitants ! But the French came 
with their besom of purification and destruction ; 
and lo I the churches were turned into arsenals, the 
convents into barracks ; and from its old-accustom- 
ed haunts, " the genius of beggary was with sighing 
lent" I really believe, that were I again to visit 
Cologne, I would not be content with a meie 
iuperficial glance, as heretofore. 

Alda. And you would do well. To confess the 
^mth, our first impressions of the place were ex- 
<;eedingly disagreeable ; it appeared a huge, ramb- 

* Two celebrated antique genu which adorn the relici of Um 
fliree Kings. 



d by Google 



14 SKETCHES OF ART, 

ling, gloomy old city, whose endless narrow dirty 
itreets, and dull dingy-looking edifices, were any 
thing but inviting. Nor on a second and a third 
visit were we tempted to prolong our stay. Yet 
Cologne has since become most interesting to me 
from a friendship I formed with a Colonese, a de* 
ecendant of one of the oldest patrician families of 
the place. How she loved her old city ! — how she 
worshipped every relic with the most poetical, if 
not the most pious, veneration ! — bow she looked 
iown upon Berlin with scorn, as an upstart city, 
* une viile, ma chere, qui n*a ni kistoire ni antitjuiie." 
The cathedral she used to call " man Berceau" and 
the three kings "m€« trois peres,** Her profound 
knowledge of general history, her minute acquaint- 
ance with the local antiquities, the peculiar customs, 
the wild legends, the solemn superstitions of her 
l.U*thplace, added to the most lively imaginadoo 
and admirable descriptive powers, were to me an 
inexhaustible source of delight and information. 
It appears that the people of Cologne have a 
distinct character, but little modified by intercourse 
»dth the surrounding country, and preserved by 
continual intermarriages among themselves. They 
have a dialect, and songs, and ballads, and music, 
peculiar to their city ; and are remarkable for an 
original vein of racy humor, a Vengeful spirit, an 
exceeding superstition, a blind attachment to their 
native customs, a very decided contempt for other 
people, and a surpassing hatred of all innovationa 
They never admitted the jurisdiction of the electorfi 



d by Google 



LITERATUHE, AND CHARACTER. 4S 

i»f Cologne, and, although the most bigoted people 
in the world, were generally at war with their arch- 
bishops. Even Napoleon could not make them 
conformable. The city is now attju^hed to Prussia, 
but still retains most of its ancient privileges, and 
all its ancient spirit of insubordination and inde- 
pendence. When, in 1828, the King of Prusna 
wished to force upon them an unpopular magistrate, 
the whole city rose, and obliged the obnoxious pres- 
ident to resign ; the government, armed with aU 
its legal and military terrors, could do nothing 
against the determined spirit of this half-civilized, 
fearless, reckless, yet merry, good-humored popu- 
lace. A history of this grotesque revolution, which 
had the same duration as the celebrated trots Joun 
de Parisj and exhibited in its progress and iss^e 
iKHne of the most striking, most characteristic, most 
farcical scenes you can imagine, were worthy of a 
Colonese Walter Scott. How I wish I could give 
you some of my friend's rich graphic sketches and 
humorous pictures of popular manner ! but I feel 
that their peculiar spirit would evaporate in my 
bands. The event is celebrated in their local his- 
tory as " la Revolution du Carnavcd :** and this re- 
minds me of another peculiarity of Cologne. The 
carnival is still celebrated there with a degree of 
splendor and fantastic humor exceeding even the 
I'estivities of Rome and Naples in the present day 
tmt as the season of the carnival is not the season 
tor flight with our English birds of passage, fen 
tiave ever witnessed thes^. extraordinary saturnalia 



d by Google 



Id SKETCHES OF ART, 

Such is the general ignorance or indifferenwj re- 
lative to Cologne, that I met the other day with a 
very accomplished man, and a lover of art, who 
had frequently visited the place, and yet he had 
never seen the Medusa. 

Medon. Nor I, by this good light ! — I never 
even heard of it 1 

Alda. And how shall I attempt to describe it? 
Unless I had the "large utterance of the early 
gods," or could pour forth a string of Greek or 
(rerman compounds, I know not in what words I 
could do justice to the effect it produced upon me 
This wondrous mask measures about two feet and 
a half in height ; * the colossal features and, I may 
add, the colossal expression, — grand without exag- 
geration — so awfully vast, and yet so gloriously 
beautiful ; the full rich lips curled with disdsdn — 
the mighty wings overshadowing the knit and tor- 
tured brow — the madness in the large dilated eyea 
— the wreathing and recoiling snakes, — came upon 
me like something supernatural, and impressed me 
at once with astonishment, horror, and admiration. 
I was quite unprepared for what I beheld. As 1 
stood before it my mind seemed to elevate and en- 
large itself to admit this new vision of grandeur. 
Nothing but the two Fates in the Elgin marbles, 
and the Torso of the Vatican, ever affected me 
with the same inexpressible sense of the sublime : 
Rnd this is not a fragment of some grand mystery 

* It b nearly twice the sLee of the fitmons and well-known M« 
lusa Rondanini. now in the Glyptothck at Munich. 



d by Google 



LITLilATURE, AND CHARACTER. 47 

of wluch the remainder has been *^ to night and 
chaos hurled ; ** it is entire, in admirable preserva- 
tion, and the workmanship as perfect as the con- 
ception is magnificent I know not if it would have 
affected another in the same manner. For me, the 
ghastly allegory of the Medusa has a peculiar fasci- 
nation. I confess that I have never wholly under- 
stood it, nor have any of the usual explanations 
satisfied me ; it appears to me that the Greeks, io 
thus blending the extremes of loveliness and terror, 
had a meaning, a purpose, more than is dreamt of 
by our philosophy. 

Medon. But how came this wonderful relic to 
Cologne, of all places in the world ? 

Alda. It stopped there on its road to Eng- 
land. 

Medon. By what perverse destiny? — ^waa it 
ivarice on our part, or force or fraud on that of 
others ? 

Alda. It was, as Desdemona says, "our 
wretched fortune : ** but the story, with all its cir- 
cumstances, does so much honor to human nature, 
that it has half-reconciled me to our loss. Yoa 
must have heard of Professor Wallraf of Cologne, 
one of the canons of the cathedral, who, with his 
professorship and his canonship together, may have 
possessed from five to seven hundred francs a year. 
He was one of those wonderful and universal 
scholars of whom we read in former times — men 
who concentrated all their powers, and passions, 
uid intc^llectual faculties in the acquirement and 



d by Google 



IB SKETCHES OF AKT, 

advancement of knowledge, without any selfish aim 
or object, and from the mere abstract love of 
science. Early in life, this man formed the resolu- 
tion to remove from his native city the reproach of 
self-satisfied ignorance and monastic prejudiced 
which had hitherto characterized it; and in the 
course of a long existence of labor and privation, 
as professor and teacher, he contrived to collect 
together books, manuscripts, pictures, gems, works 
of art, and objects of natural history, to an im- 
mense amount In the year 1818, on recovering 
from a dangerous illness, he presented his whole 
collection to his native city ; and the magistracy, in 
return, bestowed on him a pension of three thou- 
sand francs for the remainder of his life. He wa? 
then more than seventy. About the same time 
a dealer in antiquities arrived from Rome, bringing 
with him this divine Medusa, with various othei 
busts and fragments : he was on his way to Eng- 
land, where he hoped to dispose of them. He asked 
for his whole collection twelve thousand francs, and 
refused to sell any part of it separately. The city 
refused to make the purchase, thinking it too dear, 
and Wallraf, in despair at the idea of this glorious 
relic being consigned to other lands, mortgaged liia 
yearly pension in order to raise the money, pur- 
chased the Medusa, presented it to the city, and 
then cheerfully resumed his accustomed life of self- 
denial and frugality. His only dread was lest h» 
should die before the period was expired. He 
Kved, however, to pay off his debt, and in thre# 



d by Google 



LITEBATUBB, AND CHABACTEB. 49 

inouths afterward he died.* Was not thit admi- 
rable ? The first time J saw the Medusa I d>d not 
know this anecdote ; the second time, as I looked 
at it, I thought of Wallraf, and felt how much a 
moral interest can add to the charm of what is in 
itself most perfect 

Medon. I will certainly make a pilgrimage to 
tliis Medusa. She must be worth all the eleven 
thousand virgins together. What next ? 

Alda. Instead of embarking in the steamboat, 
we posted along the left bank of the Rhine, spend- 
ing a few days at Bonn, at Grodesberg, and at £h 
renbreitstein ; but I should tell you, as you allow 
me to diverge, that on my second journey I owed 
much to a residence of some weeks at Bonn. 
There I became acquainted with the celebrated 
Schlegel, or, I should rather say, M. le Chevalier 
de Schlegel, for I believe his titles and his " starry 
honors ** are not indifferent to him ; and, in truth, 
he wears them very gracefully. I was rather sur- 
prised to find in- this sublime and eloquent critic, 
this awful scholar, whose comprehensive mind has 
grasped the whole universe of art, a most agree- 
able, lively, social being. Of the judgments passed 
on him in his own country I know little and under- 
ftand less ; I am not deep in German literary po- 
lemics. To me he was the author of the lecturet 
on " Dramatic Literature,** and the translator of 
Shakspeare, and, moreover, all that was amiable 
Rud polite : and was not this enough ? 

* Profeasor Wallraf died on the 18th jf Marcth 1834 



d by Google 



%0 8KB1CHES OF ART, 

• Medon. Enougli for you, certainlv ; but, I b^ 
tieve that at this time Schlfgel would rather found 
bis fame on being one of the greatest oriental 
critics of the age, than on being the interpreter of 
the beauties of Calderon and Shakspeare. 

Alda. I believe so ; but for my own part, 1 
would rather hear him talk of Romeo and Juliet, 
and of Madame de Stael, than of the Ramayana, 
the Bhagvat-Gita, or even the " eastern Con-fut- 
zee." This, of course, is only a proof of my own 
ignorance. Conversation may be compared to a 
lyre with seven chords — philosophy, art, poetry, 
politics, love, scandal, and the weather. There 
are some professors who, like Paganini, " can dis- 
course most eloquent music ** upon one string only ; 
and some who can grasp the whole instrument, 
and with a master's hand sound it from the top to 
the bottom of its compass. Now, Schlegel is one 
of the latter : he can thunder in the bass or caper 
in the treble ; he can be a whole concert in him- 
self. No man can triile hke him, nor, like him, 
blend in a few hours* converse, the critic, philolo- 
gist, poet, philosopher, and man of the world — no 
man narrates more gracefully, nor more happil;^ 
illustrates a casual thought. He told me many in- 
teresting tilings. " Do you know,** said he on<j 
morning, as I was looking at a beautiful edition of 
Corinne, bound in red morocco, the gift of Madam« 
de Stael, " do you know that I figure in tha/ 
book ? ** I askeil eagerly in what character ? He 
bid me guess. I guessed playfully, the Comtf 



d by Google 



LITERATURE, AND CHARACTER. 51 

rErfeuil. **No! no!" said he, laughing, *<I am 
immortalized in the Prince Castel-Forte, the faith- 
ful, humble, unaspiring friend of Corinne.'' 

Medon. To any man but Schlegel such an iiii> 
mortality were worth a life. Nay, there is no man, 
(hough his fame extended to the ends of the earth, 
whom the pen of Madame de Stael could not honor. 

Alda. He seemed to think so, and I liked him 
for the self-complacency with which he twined her 
little myrtle leaf with his own palmy honors. Nor 
did he once refer to what I believe everybody 
knows, her obligations to him in her De TAlle- 
magne. 

Medon. Apropos— do tell me what is the gen 
eral opinion of that book among the Crermand 
themselves. 

AxDA. I tlunk they do not judge it fairly. 
Some speak of it as eloquent, but superficial:* 
others denounce it altogether as a work full of 
mistakes and flippant, presumptuous criticism : oth- 
ers again afiect to speak of it, and even of Madame 
de Stael herself, as things of another era, quite gone 
by and forgotten ; this appeared to me too ridic- 
ulous. They forget, or do not know, what wt 
know, that her De I'Allemagne was the first book 
which awakened in France and England a lively 
and general interest in Grerman art and literature. 
It is now five-and-twenoy years since it was pub* 
r«hed. The march of opinion, and criticism, and 

* Amongst others, Jean Paul, in the '* Heidelberger JahrbUolMf 
Vst Uteratur/' 1815. 



d by Google 



$2 ttKBTCHKB OF ABT, 

knowledge of every kind, has been so rapid, thik 
much has become old which then was new; but 
this does not detract from its merit Once or twio€ 
I tried to convince my Grerman friends that they 
were exceedingly ungrateful in abusing Madame 
dt; Stael, but it was idl in vain ; so I sat swelling 
with indignation to hear my idol traduced, and 
called — O profanation I — " cette StaeL" 

Medox. But do you think tihe Grermans could 
at all appreciate or understand such a phenome- 
non as Madame de Stael must have appeared in 
those days ? She whisked through their skies like 
a meteor, before they could bring the telescope of 
their wits to a right focus for observation. How 
she must have made them open their eyes I — and 
you see in the correspondence between Groethe 
and Schiller what they thought of her. 

Alda. Yes, I know that with her lively ^otUm 
and Parisian volubility, she stunned Schiller and 
teased Goethe ; but while our estimate of manner 
is relative, our estimate of character should be 
poffltive. Madame de Stael was in manner the 
French woman, accustomed to be the cynosure of 
a salon, but she was not ridiculous or egoiste in 
character. She was, to use Schlegel's expression, 
**femme grande et magnanime jusque dans lej 
replis de son ftme." The best proof is the very 
spirit in which she viewed Germany, in spite of ali 
her natural and national prejudices. To apply 
your own expression, she went forth, in the spiril 
•f peace, and brought back, not only an olive leaf 



d by Google 



LITSBATURE, AND CHARACTER. 58 

vnt A whole tree, and it has floarished. She had a 
ftnivorsal mind. I believe she never thought, and 
itill less made any one ridiculous in her life.* 

At Bonn much of my time was spent in intimate 
and almost hourly intercourse with two friends, 
one of whom I have already mentioned to you — a 
rare creature! — the other, who was herseK the 
daughter of a distinguished authoress,! was one of 
the most generally accomplished women I evei 
met with. Opposed to each other in the constito- 
tion of their minds — in all their views of literature 
and art, and all their experience of life — in their 

* ffinoe the abofe passage wm written, Mrs. Austin has flk> 
vjred me with the foUowing note: '* Oolftbe admired, bat did not 
nice, still less esteem, Madame df Stajfl. He begins a sentenee 
about her thus — * As she had no idea what dnty meant,' &c. 

" HoweTer, after relating a scene which toolc place at Weimar, 
lie adds, * wtiateTor we may say or think of her, her visit was 
eertainly followed l^ ferj impwtant lesnlts. Bm work upon 
Germany, which owed its rise to social conversations, is to be re- 
garded as a mighty engine which at once made a wide breach in 
that Chinese wall of antiquated pntjndioes which divided ru 
from France; so that the people across the Rliine,and afterwards 
those across the channel, at length came to a nearer knowledge 
of ns ; whence we may look to obtain a living iofluence over th« 
distant west. Let ns, therefore, bless that conflict of national 
peeoUarities which annoyed ns at the time, and seemed by no 
Bieans profitable.' "—Tag^imd Johns HefU, vol. 81, last edit. 

To that WOMAN who had sniSeient strength of mind to brea^ 
Quongh a *^ Chinese wall of antiquated pn(judioes," surely 
lometliinf may be forj^en. 

t Johanna Schopenliauer, w^U known in Germany for her ro> 
IMUioes and her works on art. Her little book, *' Johan vai 
Byk and seine Nachfolger " has bec<Mne the mani/il of ttos 
vhc stady the old German schools of painting. 



d by Google 



54 R KETCHES OF ABT, 

lastes, and habits, and feelings — ^yet mutuallj a|i> 
predating each other : both were distinguished b^ 
talents of the highest order, and b^ great originalitjf 
of character, and both were Grerman, and verir 
essentially German: English society and English 
education would never have produced two such 
women. Their conversation prepared me to form 
correct ideas of what I was to see and hear, and 
guarded me against the mistakes and hasty conclu- 
sions of vivacious travellers. At Bonn I also saw, 
for the first time, a specimen of the fresco painting, 
lately revived in Germany with such brilliant suc- 
cess. By command of the Prussian Board of Ed- 
ucation the hall of the university of Bonn is to be 
painted in fresco, and the work has been intrusted 
to C. Hermann, Gotzenberger, and Forster — ^all, ] 
believe, pupils of Cornelius. The three sides of 
the hall are to represent the three faculties — The- 
ology, Jurisprudence, and Philosophy ; the first of 
these is finished, and here is an engraving of it 
You see Theology is throned in the centre. The 
four evangelists, with St Peter and St. Paul, stand 
on the steps of the throne ; around her are the fa- 
thers and doctors of the church, and (which is the 
chief novelty of the composition) grouped togethei 
mth a very liberal disregard to all religious differ^ 
ences ; for there you see Pope Gregory, and Ignatiuf 
Loyola, and St Bernard, and Abelard, and Dante 
and here we have Luther, and Melancthon, and 
Calvin, and Wiclifie, and Huss. On the opposite 
Ude of thn hall. Philosophy, under which head arr 



d by Google 



LITKRATUKE, AND CHABACTER. M 

lompiised all science, poetry, and art, is represented 
•OiTOunded by the great poets, philosophers, and 
artists, from Homer, Aristotle, and Phidias, down 
to Shakspeare, Raffaelle, Groethe, and Kant Ju- 
risprudence, which is not begun, is to occupy the 
third side. The cartoons pleased me better than 
the paintings, for the drawing and grouping are 
really fine ; but the execution struck me as some- 
what hard and mannered. I shall have much to 
say hereafter of the fresco painting in Germany : 
for the present, proceed we on our journey. 

Tell me, had you a full moon while you were on 
the Rhine ? 

Mkdon. Truly, I forget 

Alda. Then you had not; for it would so have 
blended with your recollections, that as a circum- 
stance it could not have been forgotten ; and take 
my advice, when next you are off on your annual 
flight, consult the calendar, and propitiate the fair- 
est of all the fair Existences of heaven to give you 
the light of her countenance. If you never took 
a solitary ramble, or, what is better, a tete^-tile^ 
anve through the villages and vineyards between 
Bonn and Plittersdorf, when the moon hung ovei 
the Drachenfels, when the undulating outlines of 
the Seven Mountains seemed to dissolve into thf" 
ikies, and the Rhine was spread out at their feet 
like a lake— so ample, and so still ; — if you havii 
never seen the stars shine through the ruined arch 
sf the Rolandseck, and the height of Godesber);. 
^th its 8in<Tle giant tower stand out of the plain.—* 



d by Google 



S6 SKETCHES OF ART, 

black, and frowning against the silvery distance- 
then you have not beheld one of the loveliest land- 
ecapes ever presented to a thought^l worshippei 
of nature. There is a story, too, connected with 
the ruins of Godesberg : — one of those fine trage- 
dies of real life, which distance all fiction. It is not 
so popular as the celebrated legend of the brave 
Roland and his cloistered love ; but it is at least a» 
authentic. You know that, according to tradition, 
the castle of Grodesberg was founded by Julian 
the Apostate ; another, and a more interesting 
apostate, was the cause of its destruction. 

Gerard * de Truchses, Count Waldbourg, who 
was archbishop and elector of Cologne in 1588, 
scandalized his see, and all the Roman Catholic 
powers, by turning Protestant. According to him- 
self, his conversion was owing to " the gootlness of 
God, who had revealed to him the darkness and the 
errors of popery ;" but according to his enemies, it 
was owing to his love for the beautiful Agnes de 
Mansfeld, canoness of Gersheim ; she was a daugh- 
ter of one of the greatest Protestant houses in 
Germany ; and her two brothers, bigoted Calvin- 
ists, and jealous of the honor of their family, con- 
ceived themselves insulted by the public homage 
which a Catholic priest, bound by his vows, dared 
to pay to their sister. They were yet more incensed 
on discovering that the love was mutual, and loudly 
threatened vengeance to both. Gerard renounced 
the Catholic faith, and the lovers were united. H« 

• Or 0«bhaM. for so the name ii spelt in the airman hLstorten 



d by Google 



LITERATURE, AM]> CHARACTER. A7 

WHB excommunicated and degraded, of course ; but 
he insisted on his right to retain his secular domin- 
ions and privileges, and refused to resign the elec- 
torate, which the emperor, meantime, had awarded 
to Ernest of Bavaria, Bishop of Liege. The con 
test became desperate. The whole of that beauti 
ful and fertile plain, from the walls of Cologne to 
the Grodesberg, grew " familiar with bloodshed af 
the mom with dew ; ** and Grerard displayed quali- 
ties which showed him more fitted to win and wear 
a bride than to do honor to any priestly vows of 
sanctity and temperance. Attacked on all sides,— 
by his subjects, who had learned to detest him as 
an apostate, by the infuriated clergy, and by the 
Duke of Bavaria, who had brought an army to 
enforce his brother's claims, — he carried on the 
struggle for five years, and at last, reduced to ex- 
tremity, threw himself, with a few faithful friends, 
into the castle of Godesberg. Afler a brave de- 
fence, the castle was stormed and taken by the 
Bavarians, who left it nearly in the state we now 
see it — a heap of ruins. 

Gerard escaped with his wife, and fled to Hol- 
land, where Maurice, Prince of Orange, granted 
^m an asylum. Thence he sent his beautiful and 
devoted wife to the court of Queen Elizabeth, to 
claim a former promise of protection, and suppli- 
tate her aid, as the great support of the Protestant 
eause, for the recovery of his rights. He could 
lot have chosen a more luckless ambassadress ; for 
AgTies, though her beauty was somewhat impaired 



d by Google 



(8 8K£TCHE8 OF ART, 

by the persecations and anxieties which had fol 
lowed her ill-fated union, was yet most lovely and 
ftately, in all the pride of womanhood ; and her 
misfortunes and her charms, as well as the peculiar 
circumstances of her marriage, excited the enthu- 
Eiasm of all the English chivalry. Unhappily, the 
Earl of Essex was among the first to espouse her 
cause with all the generous warmth of his charac- 
ter ; and his visits to her were so frequent, and his 
admiration so indiscreet, that Elizabeth's jealousy 
was excited even to fury. Agnes was first driven 
from the court, and then ordered to quit the king- 
dom. She took refuge in the Netherlands, where 
she died soon af^orward ; and Grerard, who never 
recovered his dominions, retired to Strasbourg, 
where he died. So ends this sad eventful history, 
which, methinks, would make a very pretty ro- 
mance. The tower of Grodesberg, lasting as their 
love and ruined as their fortunes, still remains one 
of the most striking monuments in that land, where 
almost every hill is crowned with its castle, and 
every castle has its tale of terror or of love.* 

Another beautiful picture, which, merely as a 
picture, has dwelt on my remembrance, was the 
city of Coblentz and the fort of Ehrenbreitstein, 
as viewed from the bridge of boats under a cloud* 
less moon. The city, with its fantastic steeples and 
masses of building, relieved against the clear deep 

* For the story of Aivhbishop (Jebhard and Ag^^es de MansM4 
Me ?ehiller^8 History of the Thirty Tears* War, and Coxe's Hit 
%irf at the House of Aostrir 



d by Google 



LirRRATUBS, AND CHABACrSB. 5» 

nlae of the summer sky — the lights wliich spaiiled 
IB the windows reflected in the broad river, and 
the yarioos forms and tall masts of the craft an- 
chored above and oppo^te — ^the huge hill, with it« 
tiara of fortifications, which, in the sunshine and in 
the broad day, had disappointed me by its formality, 
now seen under the soft moonlight, as its long lines 
of architecture and abrupt angles were projected 
in brightness or receded in shadow, had altogether 
a most sublime effect But apropos to moonlight 
and pictures— of all the enchanted and enchanting 
scenes ever lighted by the full round moon, g^ve 
me Heidelberg ! Not the Colosseum of Rome^ 
neither in itself, nor yet in Lord Byron's descrip- 
tion, and I have both by heart— can be more 
grand; and in moral interest, in poetical associa- 
tions, in varying and wondrous beauty, the castle 
of Heidelberg has the advantage. In the course 
of many visits, Heidelberg became to me familiar 
as the face of a friend, and its remembrance still 
^ haunts me as a passion." I have known it under 
every changeful aspect which the seasons, and the 
hours, and the changeful moods of my own mind 
eoidd lend it. I have seen it when the sun, rising 
tver the Geisberg, first kindled the vapors as they 
iloatfd away from the old towers, and when the 
ivy and the wreathed verdure on the walls sparkled 
mth dewy light : and I have seen it when its huge 
black masses stood against the flaming sunset ; and 
its enormous shadow, flung down the chasm be- 
^ath, made it night there, while daylight lingered 



d by Google 



10 SKETCHES OF ART, 

around and above. I have seen it when mantleU 
in all the bloom and foliage of summer, and when 
the dead leaves were heaped on the paths, and 
choked the entrance to many a favorite nook. J 
have seen it when crowds of gay visitors flitted 
along its ruined terraces,* and music sounded near ; 
and with friends, whose presence endeared every 
pleasure ; and I have walked alone round its deso> 
late precincts, with no companions but my own 
sad and troubled thoughts. I have seen it when 
clothed in calm and glorious moonlight I have 
seen it when the winds rushed shrieking through 
its sculptured halls, and when gray clouds came 
rolling down the mountains, folding it in their am- 
ple skirts from the view of the city below. And 
what have I seen to liken to it by night or by day, 
in storm or in calm, in summer or in winter! Then 
its historical and poetical associations — 

Medon. There now! — will you not leave the 
picture, perfect as it is, and not forever seek in 
every object something more than is there ? 

Alda. I do not seek it — I find it. You will 
say — I have heard you say — that Heidelberg wants 
no beauty unborrowed of the eye ; but if history 
had not clothed it in recollections, fancy must have 
invested it in its own dreams. It is true, that it if 
a mere modem edifice compared with all the clas« 
we, and most of the gothic ruins ; yet over Heidel> 

* The gardens ani plantations round the castle are a ftiTOilfei 
pnnnenade of the dtiaens of Heidelbeig, and there are in sum me* 
Undi! of music, &e. 



d by Google 



LITBBATUBB, AND CHARACTBB. 61 

berg there haugs a terror and a mystery peculiat 
ko itself: for the mind which acquiesces in deca) 
recoils firom destruction. Here ruin and desol^ 
tion make mocks with luxurious art and gay mag> 
oificence. Here it is not the equal, gradual power 
of time, adorning and endearing what yet it spares 
not, which has wrought this devastation, but savage 
war and elemental rage. Twice blasted by the 
thunderbolt, thr<ee times consumed by fire, ten 
times ravaged, plundered, desecrated by foes, and 
at last dismantled and abandoned by its own 
princes, it is still strong to endure and mighty to 
resist all that time, and war, and the elements may 
do against it — and, mutilated rather than decayed, 
may still defy centuries. The very anomalies of 
architecture and fantastic incongruities of this 
tbrtress-palace are to me a fascination. Here are 
startling and terrific contrasts. That huge round 
tower — ^the tower of Frederic the Victorious — now 
" deep trenched with thunder fires,** — looks as if 
built by the Titans or the Huns ; and those delicate 
•culptures in the palace of Otho-Henry, as if the 
genius of Rafiaelle or Correggio had breathed on 
Jie stone. What flowing grace of outline I what 
'uxuriant life I what endless variety and invention 
ui those half-defaced fragments! These are the 
work of Italian artists, whose very names have per- 
«bed ; — all traces of their existence and of theii 
destinies so utterly lost, that one might almost 
believe, with the peasant, that these exquisite 
^m^uns are not the work of mortal hands, but of 



d by Google 



13 SKETCHES OF ART, 

Fairies aiid spirits of air, evoked to do the trill of an 
enchanter. The old palatines, the loi-ds of Heidel* 
berg, were a magnificent and magnanimous race. 
Louis III., Frederic the Victorious, Frederic 11., 
Otho-Henry, were all men who had stepped in ad- 
vance of their age. They could think as well ai 
fight, in days when fighting, not thinking, was the 
established fashion among potentates and people. 
A liberal and enlightened spirit, and a love of 
all the arts that humanize mankind, seem to 
have been hereditary in this princely family. 
Frederic I. lay under the suspicion of heresy and 
sorcery, in consequence of his tolerant opinions, 
and his love of mathematics and astronomy. His 
personal prowess, and the circumstance of his never 
having been vanquished in battle, gave rise to the 
report that he was assisted by evil demons ; and 
for years, both before and after his accession, he 
was under the ban of the secret tribunal. Heidel- 
berg was the scene of some of the mysterious 
attacks on his life, but they were constantly frus- 
trated by the fidelity of his friends, and the watch- 
ful lov*. of his wife. 

It was at Heidelberg this prince celebrated a 
festival, renowned in Grerman history ; and for the 
age in which it occurred, most extraordinary. He 
invited to a banquet all the factious barons whom 
he had vanquished at Seckingen, and who ha<} 
previously ravaged and laid waste great part of the 
palatinate. Among them were the Bishop of Meta 
%nd the Margrave of Baden. The rp.past wai 



d by Google 



LITERATURE, AND CHA&.1CTER. 6S 

plentiful and luxurious, but there was no bread 
The warrior guests looked round with surprise and 
inquiry. " Do you ask for bread ? " said Frederic, 
sternly ; " you, who have wasted the fruits of the 
tarth, and destroyed those whose industry culti- 
vates it ? There is no bread. Eat, and be satis* 
fied ; and learn henceforth mercy to those who put 
the bread into your mouths." A singular lesson 
from the lips of an iron-clad warrior of the middle 
ages. 

It was Frederic IL and his nephew Otho-Henry, 
who enriched the library, then the first in Europe 
next to the Vatican, with treasures of learning, 
and who invited painters and sculptors from I^ly 
to adorn their noble palace with the treasures of 
art In less than one hundred years those beauti- 
M creations were defaced or utterly destroyed, 
and all the memorials and records of their authors 
are supposed to have perished at the time when the 
ruthless Tilly stormed the castle ; and the archives 
4nd part of the library of precious MSS. were 
taken to litter his dragoons' horses, during a tran- 
ident scarcity of straw.* — ^You groan 1 

Mbdon. The anecdote is not new to me ; but 1 
was thinking, at the moment, of a pretty phrase in 
the letters of the Prince de Ligne, " la guerre — 

• When Gustayns Adolphus took Mayeoee, during the iamv 
irar, he presented the whole ot the Taloahle library to his chan> 
wllor, Oxenstiern; the chancellor sent it to Sweden, intending 
k> b«;8tow it on one of the < olleges ; hut the ressel in which it 
iraf> embarked foundered in che Baltic Sea, and the whole went 
o the bottom. 



d by Google 



G4 SKETCHES OF AJEtl, 

c'est un malheur — ^mais c'est le plus beau des nu 1- 
heui*s." 

Alda. O, if there be any thing more terrifi* , 
more disgusting, than war and its consequences, i I 
Ls that perversion of all human intellect — that de • 
pravation of all human feeling — that contempt o: 
misconception of every Chnstian precept, which 
has permitted the great, and the good, and the 
tender-hearted, to admire war as a splendid game — 
a part of the poetry of life — and to defend it as a 
glorious evil, which the very nature and passioni 
of man have ever rendered, and will ever render, 
necessary and inevitable! Perhaps the idea of 
human suffering — though when we think of it in 
detail it makes the blood curdle — ^is not so bad as 
the general loss to humanity, the interruption to 
the progress of thought in the destruction of the 
works of wisdom or genius. Listen to this magnify 
icent sentence out of the volume now lying open 
beiore me — " Who kills a man kills a reasonable 
creature — God's image; but he who destroys a 
good book, kills reason itself. Many a man lives a 
burthen to the earth, but a good book is the precious 
life-blood of a master-spirit embalmed and treas- 
ured up on purpose to a life beyond life. It is true, 
no age can restore a life, whereof perhaps there is 
ni great loss: and revolutions of ages do not oft 
recover the loss of rejected truth, for the want of 
which whole nations fare the worse ; therefore w# 
should be wary how we spill the seasoned life of 
sian preserved and stored up in books." 



d by Google 



J^ITERATUBB, AND CHABACTER. M 

Mebon. '* Methinks we do know the fiac/ Romai 
hand." Milton, is it not V 

Alda. Yes ; and after this, think of lifilton'f 
Areopagitica, or his Paradise Lost, under the hoofi 
of mi/s dragoon horses, or feeding the fishes in 
the Baltic I It might have happened had he written 
in Germany instead of England. 

Medon. Do you forget that the cause of the 
thirty years' war was a woman ? 

Alda. A woman and religion ; the two best or 
worst things in the worid^ according as they are 
understood and felt, used and abused. You allude 
to Elizabeth of Bohemia, who was to Heidelberg 
what Helen was to Troy ? 

One of the most interesting monuments of Hei- 
delberg, at least to an English traveller, is the ele- 
gant triumphal arch raised by the Palatine Fred- 
eric V. in honor of his bride — ^this very Elizabeth 
Stuart. I well remember with what self-compla- 
cency and enthusiasm our Chef walked about in a 
heavy rain, examining, dwelling upon every trace 
of this celebrated and unhappy woman. She had 
been educated at his country-seat, and one of the 
avenues of his magnificent park yet bears her 
name. On her fell a double portion of the miseries 
of her fated family. She had the beauty and the 
wit, the gay spirits, the elegant tastes, the kindly 
d3q)oation of her grandmother, Mary of Scotiand. 
Her very virtues as a wife and a woman, not less 
than her pride and feminin*^ prejudices, ruined hei^ 
self, her husband, and her people. When Frederic 



d by Google 



S6 SKETCHES OF ARl, 

hesitated to accept the crown of Bohemia, his higL- 
hearted wiie exclaimed — ^^ Let me rather eat dry 
bread at a king's table than feast at the board of av 
elector ; " and it seemed as if some avenging demor 
hovered in the air, to take her literally at her 
word, for she and her family lived to eat dry bread- 
ay, and to beg it before they ate it ; but she uDould 
be a queen. Blest as she was in love, in all good 
gifts of nature and fortune, in all means of hap- 
piness, a kingly crown was wanting to complete 
her felicity, and it was cemented to her brow with 
the blood of two millions of men. And who was 
to blame? Was not her mode of thinking the 
fashion of her time, the effect of her education ? 
Who had 

" Put in her tender heart the aspiring flame 
Of golden sovereignty?" 

For how many ages will you men exclaim agains* 
the mischiefs and miseries caused by the influence 
of women ; thus allowing the influence, yet taking 
no thought how to make that influence a means of 
good, instead of an instrument of evil I 

Elizabeth had brought with her from England 
some luxurious tastes, as yet unknown in the pala- 
tinate ; she had been familiarized with the drama? 
of Shakspeare and Fletcher, and she had figured 
in the masques of Ben Jonson. To gratify her 
Frederic added to the castle of Heidelberg th« 
theatre and banqueting-room, and all that beaati- 
^\\ group of buildings at the western angle, the 



d by Google 



LTTERATURB, AND CHARACTBB. 99 

rains of which are still called the English palace 
She had inherited from her grandmother, or had 
early imbibed from education, a love of nature and 
of amusements in the open air, and a passion for 
gardening ; and it was to please her, and under 
her auspices, that Frederic planned those magnif- 
icent gardens, which were intended to unite within 
their bounds, all that nature could contribute or art 
devise ; had they been completed, they would have 
rendered Heidelberg a pleasure-palace, fit for&iry- 
land. Nor were those designs unworthy of a pros- 
perous and pacific sovereign, whose treasury was 
full, whose sway was just and mild, whose people 
had long enjoyed in tranquillity the fruits of their 
own industry. When I had the pleasure of spend- 
ing a few days with the Schlossers, at their beauti- 
ful seat on the Necker, (Stift Neuburg,) I went 
9Ter the ground with Madame de Schlosser, who 
had seen and studied the original plans. Her 
description c£ the magnitude and the sumptuous 
taste of these unfinished designs, while we stood 
togedier amid a wilderness of ruins, was a com- 
mentary on the vicissitudes ci this world, worth 
fifly moral treatises, and as many sermons. 

** For in the wreck of is and was, 
Things incomplete and purposes betray*df 
Make sadder transits o*er Trath*8 mystio glass. 
Than noblest objects ntter\v decayed.** 

Ckbe to the nuns of poor Elizabeth's palace, then 
where the effigies of he* handsome husband, anc 



d by Google 



<9 SKETCHES OF ART, 

his bearded ancestor Louis V. look down from Um 
ivy-mantled wall, you remember the beautiful ter- 
race towards the west ? It is still, — after four cen- 
turies of changes, of disasters, of desolation, — ^the 
garden of Clara. When Frederic the Victorious 
assumed the sovereignty, in a moment of danger 
and faction, he took, at the same lime, a solemn 
TOW never to marry, that the rights of his infant 
nephew, the son of the late palatine, should not be 
prejudiced, nor the peace of the country endan- 
gered by a disputed succession. He kept his oath 
religiously, but at that very lime he loved Clara 
Dettin de Wertheim, a young girl of plebeian 
origin, and a native of Augsburg, whose musica' 
talents and melody of voice had raised her to a 
high situation in the court of the late princess pala- 
tine. Frederic, with the consent of his nephew, 
was united to Clara by a left-hand marriage, an 
expedient still in use in Grermany, and, I believe, 
peculiar to its constitution; such a marriage is 
valid before Grod and man, yet the wife has no 
acknowledged rights, and the offspring no supposed 
existence. Clara is celebrated by the poets and 
chroniclers of her time, and appears to have been 
a very extraordinary being in her way. In that 
age of ignorance, she had devoted herself to study — 
the could sympathize in her husband's pursuits, 
and share the toils of government — she collected 
aromd her the wisest and most learned men of th« 
time — she continued to cultivate the beautilul toicc 
which had won the heart of Frederic, and liei 



d by Google 



UTERATURB, AND CHARACTER. M 

9ong and her ]ate were always ready to soothe hit 
cares. Tradition points out the spot where it ifc 
laid she loved to meditate, and, looking down upon 
the little hamlet, on the declivity of the hill, to re 
caU her own humble ori^n ; that little hamlet, em- 
bowered in foliage, and the remembrance ci Clara, 
have survived the glories of Heidelberg. Her 
descendants became princes of the empire, and 
itill exist in the family of Lowenstein. 

Then, for those who love the marvellous, there 
is the wild legend of the witch Jetta, who still flits 
among the ruins, and bathes her golden tresses in 
the Wolfsbnmnen ; but why should I tell you of 
these tales — ^you, whose head is a sort of black- 
letter library ? 

Medon. True ; but it is pleasant to have one's 
old recollections taken down from their shelves 
and dusted, and placed in a new light; only do not 
require, even if I again visit Heidelberg, that 1 
should see it as you have beheld it, with your quick 
spirit of association, and clothed in the hues of 
your own individual mind. While you speak, it is 
not so much the places and objects you describe, 
as their reflection in your own fancy, which I see 
before me ; and every difierent mind will reflect 
them under a difierent aspect Then, where is 
truth? you say. If we want information as to 
mere ^ts — ^the situation of a town the measure- 
ment of a church, the date of a ruin, the catalogue 
of A gallery — we can go to our dictionaries and 
tmr guides des royageurs. But i^ bendes form and 



d by Google 



70 



outline^ we must have coloring too, we should to 
membei that every individual mind will paint the 
M^ene with its own proper hues ; and if we judge 
of the mind and the objects it represents relatively 
to each other, we may come at the truth, not 
otherwise. I would ask nothing of a traveller, but 
accuracy and sincerity in the expression of hii 
opinions and feelings. I have then a page out of 
die great book of human nature — ^the portrait of a 
particular mind ; when that is fairly before me I 
have a standard by which to judge : I can draw my 
own inferences. Will you not allow that it is pos- 
sible to visit Heidelberg, and to derive the most 
intense pleasure from its picturesque beauty, with- 
out dreaming over witches and warriors, palatines 
and princes ? Can we not admire and appreciate 
the sculpture in the palace of Otho-Henry, without 
losing ourselves in vague, wondering reveries over 
the destinies of the sculptors ? 

Alda. Yes; but it is amusing, and not less in- 
structive, to observe the manner in which the indi- 
vidual character and pursuits shall modify the 
mipressions of external things ; only we should be 
prepared for this, as the pilot makes allowance 
hr the variation of the needle, and directs his 
course accordingly. It is a mistake to suppose that 
hose who cannot see the imaginative aspect of 
things, see, therefore, the only true aspect ; they 
only see one aspect of the truth. Vans etes orfSvre^ 
Monsieur Josse, is as applicable to travellers as U 
every other species of egotist 



d by Google 



LITERATURB, AAD CHARACTBE. 7\ 

Once, in an excursion to the nortli, I fell into 
lonrersalion with a Sussex farmer, one of that race 
•f sturdy, rich, and independent English yeomen, of 
which I am afi*aid few specimens remain : he wai 
quite a 'character in his way. I must sketch him 
for you : but only Miss Mitford could do him justice. 
His coat was of the finest broad-cloth ; his shirt-frill, 
in which was stuck a huge agate pin, and his neck- 
cloth were both white as the snow ; his good beaver 
shone in all its pristine gloss, and an enormous 
bunch of gold seals adorned his watch-chain ; hii 
voice was loud and dictatorial, and his language 
surprisingly good and flowing, though tinctured 
with a httle coarseness and a few provincialisms. 
Ue had made up his mind about the Reform Bill— 
the Catholic Question — ^the Com Laws — and about 
things in general, and things in particular; he had 
doubts about nothing : it was evident that he wai 
accustomed to lay down the law in his own vills^ 
— that he was the tyrant of his own fireside— that 
his wife was '^ his horse, his or, his ass, his any 
thing," while his sons went to college, and hii 
daughters played on the piano. London was to 
him merely a vast congregation of pestilential 
vapours — a receptacle of thieves, cut-throats, and 
profligates — a place in which no sensible man, who 
had a care for his life, his health, or his pockets, 
would willingly set his foot ; he thanked God that 
he never 8j>ent but two nights in the metropolis, 
and at intervals of twenty-seven years : the first 
-ight he had passed in the streets, in dread of fir^ 



d by Google 



r2 SKETCHES OF ART, KTG. 

And yennin ; and on the last occasion, he had not 
ventured beyond Smithfield. What he did not 
know, was to him not worth knowing; and the 
word French, which comprised all that was foreign, 
he used as a term, expressing the most unbounded 
abhorrence, pity, and contempt I should add, 
that though rustic, and arrogant, and prejudicedi 
he was not vulgar. We were at an inn, on the 
borders of Leicestershire, through which we had 
both recently travelled; my farmer was enthu- 
siastic in his admiration of the country. *^A fine 
country, madam — a beautiful country — a splendid 
country I ** 

" Do you call it a fine country ? ** sjdd I, ab- 
sently, my head full of the Alps and Apennines, 
the PjTenean, and the river Po. 

" To be sure I do ; and where would you see a 
finer?" 

"I did not see any thing very picturesque," 
said I. 

" Picturesque I ** he repeated with some con* 
tempt ; " I don't know what you call picturesque • 
but 1 say, give me a soil, that when you turn it up 
you have something for youi p^ns ; the fine bo9 
makes the fine country, madam I " 



d by Google 



SKETCHES OF ART, LITEHAIUBR. 
AND CHARACTER. 



n. 

Medon. I OBSERVED the other erening, that in 
making a sort of imaginatiye bound from Coblents 
to Heidelberg, you either skipped over Frankfort, 
or left it on one side. 

Alda. Did I? — if I had done either, in my 
heart or my memory, I had been most ungrateful ; 
but I thought you knew Frankfort well. 

Medon. I was there for two days, on my way 
to Switzerland, and it rained the whole time from 
morning till night. I have a vision in my mind of 
dirty streets, chilly houses, dull shops, dingy-looking 
Jews, dripping umbrellas, luxurious hotels, and 
exorbitant charges, — and this ia all I can recollect 
of Frankfort 

Alda. Indeed I — ^I pity you. To me it was 
associated only with pleasant feelings, and, in truth, 
It is & pleasant place. Life, there, appears in a 
very attractive costume : not in a half-holiday, 
half-beggarly garb, as at Rome and Naples ; nor ii 
a thin undress of superficial decency, as at BeHiu 



d by Google 



7A SKETCHES OF ART, 

nor in a court domino, hiding, we know not what— 
as at Vienna and Munich ; nor half motley, half 
military, as at Paris ; nor in rags and embroidery 
as in London ; but at Frankfort all the outside ai 
least is fair, substantial, and consistent The shopi 
vie in splendor with those of London and Paris ; the 
principal streets are clean, the houses spacious and 
airy, and there is a general appearance of cheer- 
fulness and tranquillity, mingled with the luxuiy 
of wealth and the bustle of business, which, aftei 
the miser}% and murmuring, and bitterness of fac- 
tion, we had left in London, was really a relief to 
the spirits. It is true, that during my last two 
visits, this apparent tranquillity concealed a good 
deal of political ferment. The prisons were filled 
ivith those unfortunate wretches who had endeav- 
ored to excite a popular tumult against the Prus- 
sian and Austrian governments. The trials were 
going forward every day, but not a syllable of the 
result transpired beyond the walls of the Romei 
Saal. Although the most reasonable and liberal 
of the citizens agreed in condemning the rashness 
and folly of these young men, the tide of feeling 
was evidently in their favor : for instance, it was 
not the fashion to invite the Prussian officers, and 
I well remember that when Goethe's Egmont was 
announced at the theatre, it was forbidden by the 
magistracy, from a fear that certain scenes and 
passages in that play might call forth some open 
and decided expression of the public feeling ; in 
fact, only a few evenings before, some passages in 



d by Google 



UTBBATUBE, AND CHARACTER. 71 

hie Massaniello had been applied and applauded 
hj the audience, in a manner so ill-ln-ed, that the 
wife of the Prussian minister rose and lef\ her box, 
followed by some other old women, — male and 
female. The theatre is rather commodious than 
q>lendid; the established company, both for the 
f^ra and the x^ular drama, excellent, and oflen 
varied by temporary visits of great actors and 
singers from the other theatres of Germany. On 
my first visit to Frankfort, which was during the 
fair of 1829, Paganini, then in the zenith of his 
gl<My, was giving a series of concerts ; but do not 
ask me any thing about him, for it is a worn-out 
subject, and you know I am not one of the enthu- 
siastic, or even the orthodox, with regard to hii 
merits. 

Medox. You do not mean — you will not tell 
me — ^that with all your love of music, you were 
insensible to the miraculous powers of that man ? 

Alda. I suppose they were miraculous, as I 
heard every one say so round me ; but I listened 
to him as to any other musician, for the sake of 
the pleasure to be derived from music, not for the 
lake of wondering at difficulties overcome, and 
impossibilities made possible — ^they might have re- 
mained impossibilities for me. But insensible I 
was not to the wondrous charm of his tone and 
expression. I was thrilled, melted, excited, at the 
moment, but it lefl no relish on the palate, if I may 
use the expression. To throw me into such con* 
vtdsions of enthusiasm as I saw this man exci^ 



d by Google 



f6 SKETCHES OF ART, 

here and on the continent, I must havb tli€ 
orchestra with all its various mingling world of 
Bound, or the divine human voice breathing music 
and passion t(^ther; but this is a matter of feel- 
mg, habit, education, like all other tastes in art 

I think it was during our third visit to Frankfort 
that Madame Haitsinger-Neumaqn was playing 
the gast-rolles^ for so they courteously denominate 
the parts filled by occasional visitors, to whom, as 
guests, the precedence is always given. Madame 
Haitsinger is the wife of Haitsinger, the tenor 
singer, who was in London, and sung in the Fidelio, 
with Madame Devrient-Schroeder. She is one of 
the most celebrated actresses in Germany for light 
comedy, if any comedy in Germany can be called 
light, in comparison with the same style of acting 
in France or England. Her figure is rather 
large — 

Medon. Like most of the German actresses — 
for I never yet saw one who had attained to celeb- 
rity, who was not much too embonpoint for our ideas 
of a youthful or sentimental heroine — 

Alda. Not Devrient-Schroeder ? 

Medon. Devrient is all impassioned grace ; but 
I think that in time even she will be in danger ot 
becoming a little— -how shall I express it with soi 
ficient delicacy ? — a little too substantial. 

Alda. No, not if a soul of music and fire, in 
forming a feverish, excitable temperament, which 
b to the mantling spirit within, what the high-pitched 
iDttrumert is to the breeze which sweeps over itf 



d by Google 



L/TEAArUBB, AKD CHARACTEB. /I 

chords, — ^not if these can avert the catasttophe; 
but what if you had seen Mademoiselle Lindner, 
with a figure like Mrs. Listen's — all but spherical- 
enacting Fenella and Clarchen 'c 

Medon. I should hare said, that only a German 
ima^ation could stand it 1 It is one of Madame 
de Stael's clever aphorisms, that on the stage, ^ H 
faut menager les caprices des yeux avec le plus 
grand scrupule, car ils peuvent detruire, sans appel 
tout effet sdrieux ; ** but the Germans do not ap- 
pear to be subject to these caprices des yeux ; and 
have not these fastidious scruples about corporeal 
grare ; for them sentiment, however clumsy, is stiU 
sentiment. Perhaps they are in the right. 

Alda. And Mademoiselle Lindner has senti- 
ment ; she must have been a fine actress, and is 
evidently a favorite with the audience. But to r^ 
turn to Madame Haitsinger; — she is handsome, 
with a fair complexion, and no very striking ex- 
pression ; but there is a heart and soul, and mel- 
lowness in her acting, which is delicious. I could 
Bot give you an idea of her manner by a compari- 
son with any of our English actresses, for she is 
essentially German; she never aimed at making 
points; she was never hroadly arch or comic, but 
the general effect was as rich as it was true to na- 
ture. I saw her in some of her favorite parts : in 
Qie comedy of " Stille Wasser sind ile^^Q\** (ouf 
Kule a Wife and Have a Wife, admirably adapted 
to the German stage by Schrceder;) in the "Mi 
"andolina," (the famous Locandiera of Goldoni,) 



d by Google 



78 SKETCHES OF ART, 

and lu the pretty lively vaudeville eom|K>s6d for 
her by Holtei, " Die Wiener in Berlin,** in which 
the popular waltzes and airs, sung in the genuine 
national spirit, and enjoyed by the audience with a 
true national zest, delighted us foreigners. Herr 
Becher is an excellent actor in tragedy and high 
comedy. Of their singers I could not say so much 
—there were none I should account first-rate, ex- 
cept Dobler, whom you may remember in Eng 
land. 

One of the most delightfU peculiarities of Frank- 
fort, one that most struck my fancy, is the public 
garden, planted on the site of the ramparts ; a gir^ 
die of verdure and shade— of trees and flowers 
circling the whole city; accessible to all and on 
every side, — the promenade of the rich, the solace 
of the poor. Fifty men are employed to keep it 
in order, and it is forbidden to steal the flowers, or 
to kill the singing birds which haunt the shrub- 
beries. 

Medon. And does this prohibition avail much in 
a population of sixty thousand persons ? 

Alda. It does generally. A short time before 
we arrived some mischievous wretch had shot 9 
nightingale, and was caught in the fact Hb pun- 
ishment was characteristic; his hands were tied 
behind him, and a label sbtting forth his crime was 
fixed on his breast : in this guise, with a police offi- 
cer on. each side, he was marched all round the 
gardens, and made the circuit of the city, pursue<i 
oy the hisses of the populace and the abhorrcn 



d by Google 



LITERATIIKE, AND CHARACTER. Tj 

ax>ks of the upper classes ; he was not otherwifitf 
punished, but he never again made his appearand u 
within the waUs of thtf city. This was the oAy 
instance which I could learn of the infraction of a 
law which might seem at least nugatory. 

Of the spacious, magnificent, well-arranged cem- 
etery, its admirable apparatus for restoring sus- 
pended animation, and all its beautiful accompani- 
ments and memorials of the dead, there was a long 
account published in London, at the tame that a 
cemetery was planned for this great overgrown 
city ; and in truth I know not where we could find 
a better model than the one at Frankfort ; it ap- 
peared to me perfection. 

The institutions at Frankfort, both for charity 
and education, are numerous, as becomes a rich 
and free city ; and those I had an opportunity o* 
examining appeared to me admirably managed. 
Besides the orphan schools, and the Burger schule, 
and the school for female education, established 
and maintained by the wives of the citizens, there 
are several infant schools, where children of a year 
old and upwards are nursed, and fed, and kept out 
of mischief and harm, while their parents are at 
work. These are also maintained by subscription 
among the ladies, who take upon them in turns the 
task of daily superintendence ; and I shall not easi- 
ly forget the gentle-looking, elegant, well-dressed 
|iri, who, defended from the encroachments of dirt} 
little paws by a large apron, sat in the midst of « 
iwarm of thirty or forty babies, (the eldest not fout 



d by Google 



80 SKETCHES OF ART, 

years old,) the very personification of feminine 
charily ! But the hospital for the infirm poor — 
Das Versorgung Haus — pleased me particularly 
'tis true, that the cost was not a third — what do 1 
Bay ? not a sixth of the expense of some of our in- 
stitutions for the same purpose. There was no 
luxury of architecture, no huge gates shutting in 
wretchedness, and shutting out hope ; nor grated 
windows ; nor were the arrangements on so large a 
scale as in that splendid edifice, the Hopital des 
Vieillards, at Brussels ; — a house for the poor need 
not be either a prison or a palace. But here, ] 
recollect, the door opened with a latch ; we entered 
unannounced, as unexpected. Here there was per- 
fect neatness, abundance of space, of air, of light, 
of water, and also of occupation. 1 found that, 
besides the inmates of the place, many poor old 
creatures, who could not have the facilities or ma- 
terials for work in their own dwellings, or whose 
relatives were busied in the daytime, might find 
here employment of any kind suited to their 
strength or capacity, — ^for which, observe, they 
were paid ; thus leaving them to the last possible 
moment the feeling of independence and useful- 
ness. I observed that many of those who seemed 
in the last stage of decrepitude, had hung round 
their beds sundry little prints and pictures, and 
slips of paper, on which were written legibly texts 
from scripture, moral sentences, and scraps of poe^ 
try. The ward of the superannuated and the siclr 
Iras at a distance from the working and eating 



d by Google 



LITERATURE, AND CHARACTER. 81 

foonw, and all breathed around that peace and 
quiet which should accompany old age, instead of 
that "life-consuming din" I have heard m such 
places. On the pillow of one bed there was laid 
by some chance a bouquet of flowers. 

In this ward there was an old man nearly blind 
and lethargic ; another old man was reading to 
him. I remarked a poor bed-ridden woman, utter- 
ly helpless, but not old, and with good and even 
refined features ; and another poor woman, seated 
by her, was employed in keeping the flies from set- 
tling on her face. To one old woman, whose coun- 
tenance struck me, I said a few words in English — 
I could speak no German, unluckily. She took my 
hand, kissed it, and turning away, burst into tears. 
No one asked for any thing even by a look, nor 
apparently wanted any thing ; and I felt that from 
the unaffected good-nature of the lady who accom- 
panied us, we had not so much the appearance of 
coming to look at the poor inmates as of paying 
them a kind visit ; — and this was as it should be. 
The mild, open countenances of the two persons 
who managed the establishment pleased me partic- 
ularly ; and the manner of the matron superintend- 
ent, as she led us over the rooms, was so simple and 
kind, that I was quite at ease : I experienced none 
of that awkward shyness and reluctance I have 
felt when ostentatiously led over such places in 
England, — ^feeling ashamed to stare upon the mise- 
ry I could not cure. In such ca«es I have probably 
attributed to the 8uff<»rer& a delicacy or a sensibility 



d by Google 



62 SKETCHES OF AKT, 

long blunted, if ever possessed ; but I was in jmub 
for them and for myself. 

One thing more : there was a neat chapel ; and 
we were shown with some pride the only piece of 
iplendor in the establishment The communion 
plate of massy silver was the gift of two brothers^ 
who had married on the same day two sisters; ard 
these two sisters had died nearly at the same time 
— I believe it was actually on the same day. Tne 
widowed husbands presented this plate in memory 
of their loss and the virtues of their wives ; and I 
am sorry I did not copy the simple and affecting 
inscription in which this is attested. There was 
also a silver vase, which had been presented as an 
offering by a poor miller whom an unexpected leg- 
acy had raised to independence. 

I might give you similar sketches of other insti- 
tutions, here and elsewhere, but I did not bestow 
sufficient attention on the practical details, and the 
comparative merits of the different methods adopt- 
ed, to render my observations useful. Though 
deeply interested, as any feeling, thinking being 
must be on such subjects, I have not studied them 
•ufficiently. There are others, however, who are 
doing this better than I could; — ^blessings be on 
them, and eternal praise I My general impression 
was, pleasure from the benevolence and simplicity 
of heart with which these institutions were conduct- 
id and superintended, and wonder not to be ex« 
pressed at their extreme cheapness. 

The day preceding my visit to the Versorgiin^ 



d by Google 



l^TEBATURI., AND CUARACTEIU 83 

Bails, I had been in a fever of indignation at tlie 

&te of poor R , one of the conspirators, who 

had become insane from the severity of his confine- 
ment. I had descanted with great complacency on 
our open tribunals, and our trials by jury, and yet 
I could not help thinking to myself, " Well, if toe 
have not their state-prisons, neither have they our 
poor^ouses ! " 

Medon. It is plain that the rich, charitable, 
worldly prosperous, self-seeking Frankfort, would 
be your chosen residence after all I 

Alda. No — ^as a fixed residence 1 should not 
prefer Frankfort There b a little too much of the 
pride of purse — too much of the aristocracy of 
wealth — too much dressing and dinnering — and 
society is too much broken up into sets and circles 
to please me ; besides, it must be confessed, that 
the arts do not flourish in this free imperial 
city. 

The Stadel Museum was opened just before our 
last visit to Frankfort. A rich banker of that name 
bequeathed, in 1816, his collection of prints and 
pictures, and nearly a million and a half of florins, 
for the commencement and mmntenance of this in- 
ititution, and they have certainly begun on a splendid 
scale. The edifice in which the collection is ar- 
rmiged is spacious, fitted up with great cost, and 
generally with great taste, except the ceilings, 
vrhich, being the glory and admiration of the good 
people of Frankfort, I must endeavor to describe 
\o you particularly. The elaborate beauty of the 



d by Google 



B4 . SKETCHES OF ART, 

irabesque ornaments^ their endless variety^ and tht 
vivid coloring and gilding, reminded me of some 
of the illuminated manuscripts ; but I was rathei 
amused than pleased, and rather surprised to set 
art and ornament so misplaced — invention, lalxHr 
money, time, lavished to so little purpose. No eC 
feet was aimed at — none produced. The strained 
and wearied eye wandered amid a profusion of un- 
meaning forms and of gorgeous colors, which never 
harmonized into a whole ; and after I had hal^ 
broken my neck by looking up at them through au 
opera glass, in order to perceive the elegant inter- 
lacing of the minute patterns and exquisite finish 
of the workmanship, I turned away laughing and 
provoked, and wondering at such a strange perve]> 
sion, or rather sacrifice, of taste. 
Medon. But the collection itself? — 
Alda. It is not very interesting. It contsdna 
some curious old German pictures : Stadel having 
been, like others, smitten with the mania of bu}'ing 
Van Eyks, and Hemlings, and Schor^els. Here, 
however, these old masters, as part of a school or 
history of art, are well placed. There are a few fine 
Flemish psuntings — and, in particular, a wondrous 
portrait by Flinck, which you must see. It is 
a lady in black, on the lefl side of the door — of— I 
forget which room — ^but you cannot miss it : those 
•Q(ft eyes will look out at you, till you will feel in- 
;;lined to ask her name, and wonder the lips do not 
anclose to answer you. Of first-rate pictures thert 
ire none — ^I mean none of the historical and Italijtt 



d by Google 



UTSRATURE, AND CHARACTER. 81 

ichools . the collection of casts from the antique it 
q>lendid and well selected. 

Medon. But Bethmann, the banker, had already 
let an example of munificent patronage of art ; 
when he shamed kings, for instance, hy purcha*- 
mg Danrecker's Ariadne— one of the chief lioDi 
of Frankibrt, if fame says true. 

Alda. How I have you not seen it ? 

Medon. No— unhappily. The weather, as I 
hare told you, was dreadfuL I was discouraged — 
I procrastinated. That flippant observation I had 
read in some English traveller, that ** Dannecker's 
Ariadne looked as if it had been cut out of old 
Stilton cheese,** was floating in my mind. In short, 
I was careless, as we often are, when the means of 
gratifying curiosity appear secure, and within our 
reach. I repent me now. I wish I had settled to 
my own satisfaction, and with mine own eyes, the 
disputed merits of this famous statue ; but I will 
trust to you. It ought to be something admirable. 
I do not know much of Dannex;ker, or his works, 
but by all accounts he has not to complain of the 
want of patronage. To him cannot be applied the 
pathetic common-place, so familiar in the mouths 
of our young artists, about "chill penury," the 
struggle to live, the cares that " freeze the genial 
current of the soul," the efforts of unassisted gemus, 
and so forth. Want never came to him since he 
devoted himself to art He appears to have had 
iMsure and fr*eedom to give full scope to his powers, 
Ind to work out his own creations. 



d by Google 



16 SKETCHES OF ART, 

Aid A. Had he? Had he, indeed ? His own 
itory would be different, I fancy. Dannecker, like 
every patronized artist I ever met with, would 
execrate patronage, if he dared. Grood old man 
The thought of what he might have done, and 
could have done, breaks out sometimes in the midsi 
of all his self-complacent naive exultation ovei 
what he has done. I will endeavor to give you a 
correct idea of the Ariadne, and then I will tell 
you something of Dannecker himself. His history 
is a good commentary upon royal patronage. 

I had heard so much of this statue, that my 
curiosity was strongly excited. A part of its fame 
may be owing to its situation, and the number of 
travellers who go to visit Bethmann's Museum, as a 
matter of course. I used to observe that all travel- 
lers, who were on the road to Italy, praised it ; and 
all who were on their way home, criticized it As 
I ascended the steps of the pavilion in which it it 
placed, the enthusiasm of expectation faded away 
from my mind : I said to myself, ** I shall be disap* 
pointed I *' Yet I was not disappointed. 

The Ariadne occupied the centre of a caHnet, 
hung with a dark gray color, and illuminated by a 
high lateral window, so that the light and shade, 
and the relief of the figure were perfectly well 
managed and efiecdve. Dannecker has not rep- 
resented Ariadne in her more poetical and pictur- 
esque character, as, when betrayed and forsaken 
by Theseus, she stood alone on the wild shore of 
Kaxos, '^her haxr blown by the winds, and J. 



d by Google 



LITERATURE, AND CHAKACTER. 87 

ibuoi her expressing desoladon." It is Ariadne, 
immortal and triumphant, as the bride of Bacchui. 
The figure is larger than life. She is seated, or 
rather reclined, on the back of a panther. Th* 
right arm is carelessly extended : the left arm rests 
on the head of the animal, and the hand supports 
the drapery, which appears to have just dropped 
from her limbs. The head is turned a little up- 
wards, as if she already anticipated her starry 
home ; and her tresses are br^ded with the vine 
leaves. The grace and ease of the attitude, so 
firm, and yet so light ; the flowing beauty of the 
form, and the position of the head, enchanted me. 
Perhaps the features are not sufficiently Greek: 
for,*tho'igh'I am not one of those who think all 
beauty comprised in the antique models, and that 
nothing can be orthodox but the straight nose and 
short upper lip, still to Ariadne the pure classical 
ideal of beauty, both in form and face, are properly 
in character. A cast from that divine head, the 
Greek Anadne, is placed in the same cabinet, and 
I confess to you that the contrast being immediately 
brought before the eye, Dannecker*s Ariadne 
seemed to want refinement, in comparison. It is 
true, that the moment chosen by the German 
sculptor required an expression altogether differ- 
ent In the Greek bust, though already circled by 
the viny crown, and though all heaven seems U 
repose on the noble arch of that expanded brow, 
fet the head is declined, and a tender melanchoh 
ingers round the all-perfect mouth, as if the it^ 



d by Google 



B8 SKETCHES OF ART, 

membrance of a mortal love — a mortal sorrow — 
yet shaded her celestial bridal hours, and made 
pale her immortality. But Dannecker's Ariadne 
is the flushed Queen of the Bacchante, and in the 
clash of the cymbals and the mantling cup, she has 
already forgotten Theseus. There is a look of life, 
an individual truth in the beauty of the form, 
which distinguishes it from the long-limbed vapid 
pieces of elegance called nymphs and Venusea, 
which 

•• Stretch their white arms, and bend their marble necks," 

m the galleries of our modern sculptors. One ob- 
jection struck me, but not till after a second or 
third view of the statue. The panther seemed to 
me rather too bulky and ferocious. It is true, it is 
not a natural, but a mythological panther, such as 
we see in the antique basso-relievos and the 
arabesques of Herculaneum ; yet, methinks, if he 
appeared a little more conscious of his lovely bur- 
then, more tamed by the influence of beauty, it 
would have been better. However, the sculptor 
may have had a design, a feeling, in this very 
point, which has escaped me : I regret now that 1 
did not ask him. One thing is certain, that the 
extreme massiveness of the panther's limbs servea 
to give a firmness to the support of the figure, and 
sets off to advantage its lightness and delicacy. It 
i8 etiually certain that if the head of the animal 
Jiad been ever so slightly turned, the pose of the 
right-arm, and with it tK3 whole attitude, mu^ 
bare h^on alterod 



d by Google 



LI11CR.A.TUKE, AND CHARACTER. S& 

The window of the cabinet is so contriyed^ that 
bj drawing up a blind of stained glass, a soil crim- 
ion tint is shed over the figure, as if the marble 
blushed. This did not please me : partly from a 
dislike to all trickery in art ; partly because, to my 
taste, the pale, colorless purity of the marble is one 
of the beauties of a fine statue. 

It is true that Dannecker has been unfortunate 
in his material. The block from which he cut hif 
figure is imperfect and streaky ; but how it could 
possibly have suggested the idea of Stilton cheese I 
am at a loss to conceive. It is not worse than Ca- 
nova's Venus, in the Pitti palace, who has a ter- 
rible black streak across her bosom. M. Pass- 
avant, * who was standing by when I paid my last 
visit to the Ariadne, assured me, that when the 
Ftatue was placed on its pedestal, about sixteen 
years ago, these black specks were scarcely visible, 
and that they seemed to multiply and grow dari^er 
with time. This is a lamentable, and, to me, an 
unaccountable fact 

Medon. And, I am afraid, past cure : but now 
tell me something of the sculptor himself. Afler 
looking on a grand work of art, we naturally turn 
to look into the mind which conceived and 
created it 

Alda. Dannecker, like all the great modem 

* M. PassaTant is a landscape-painter of Fnnklbrt, an Intel 
Vgent, accomplished man, and one of the few German artlsti 
«ho had a tolerably correct idea of the state of art in England. 
Be is the author of " Kunstreise durch England nnd Belgium.' 



d by Google 



K SKETCHES OF ART, 

BCiil]>tors, sprung from the people. Thorwaldsoo 
Flaxman, Chantrey, Canova, Schadow, Rauch — 1 
believe we may go farther back, to Cellini, Bandi- 
nelli, Bernini, Pigalle — all I can at this moment 
recollect, were of plebeian origin. When I was at 
Dresden, I was told of a young count, of noble 
family, who had adopted sculpture as a profession 
This, I think, is a solitary instance of any persoD 
of noble birth devoting himself to thb noblest of 
the arts. 

Medon. Do you forget Mrs. Damer and Lady 
Dacre? 

Alda. No ; but I do not think that either the 
exquisite modelling of Lady Dacre, or the merited 
rious attempts of Mrs. Damer, come under the 
head of sculpture in its grand sense. By-the-by, 
when Horace Walpole said that Mrs. Damer waa 
the first female sculptor who had attained any 
celebrity, he forgot the Greek girl, Lala,* and the 
Properzia Rossi of modem times. 

Dannecker was born at Stuttgard in 1 758. On 
him descended no hereditary mantle of genius ; i' 
was the immediate gift of Heaven, and apparently 
heaven-directed. His father was a groom in the 
duke's stable, and appears to have been merely an 
ill-tempered, thick-headed boor. How young Dan- 
lecker picked up the rudiments of reading and 

* She ms ooatemporary with Cleopatra, (6. C. 33,) &nd was par 
tictilarly celebrated for her busts In ivory. The Romans raised 
I statue to her honor, wliich was in the Quistiniani collection.— 
t.Pust. 



d by Google 



LITKRATUBE, AXD CUARACTKK. 91 

writing, he does not bimself remember ; nor bj 
what circumstances the bent of his fancy and 
genius was directed to the fine arts. Like other 
great men, who have been led to trace the progress 
of their own minds, he attributed to his mother th« 
first promptings to the fair and good, the first sofV- 
ening and elevating influences which his mind ac* 
knowledged. He had neither paper nor pencils ; 
but next door to his father there lived a stone- 
cutter, whose blocks of marble and free-stone were 
every day scrawled over with rude imitations of 
natural objects in chalk or charcoal — the first es- 
says of the infant Dannecker. When he was 
beaten by his father for this proof of idleness, his 
mother interfered to protect or to encourage him. 
As soon as he was old enough, he assisted his father 
in the stable ; and while running about the pre- 
cincts of the palace, ragged and bare-foot, he ap- 
pears to have attracted, by his vivacity and alert* 
ness, the occasional notice of the duke himself. 

Duke Charles, the grandfather of the present 
king of Wurtemburg, had founded a military school, 
called the Karl Schiile, (Charles* School,) annexed 
to the Hunting Palace of the Solitude. At this 
academy, music and drawing were taught as well 
M military tactics. One day, when Dannecker 
was about thirteen, his father returned home in a 
very ill-humor, and informed his family that the 
dake intended to admit the children of his domes- 
lies into his new military school. The boy, with 
joyful eagerness, declar<^d his intention of going 



d by Google 



92 SKETCHES OF ART, 

immediately to present himself as a candidate 
The father, with a stare of astonishment, desired 
him to remain at home, and mind his business, 
on his persisting, he resorted to blows, and ende<l 
by locking him up. The boy escaped by jumping 
out of the window ; and, collecting several of hii 
comrades, he made them a long harangue in praisi* 
of the duke's beneficence, then placing himself at 
their head, marched them up to the palace, where 
the whole court was assembled for the Easter fes- 
tivities. On being asked their business, Dannecker 
replied, as spokesman, — " Tell his highness the duke 
we want to go to the Karl Schiile." One of the 
attendants, amused, perhaps, with this juvenile 
ardor, went and informed the duke, who had just 
risen from table. He came out himself and mus- 
tered the little troop before him. He first darted 
a rapid, scrutinizing glance along the line, then se- 
lecting one from the number, placed him on his right 
hand ; then another, and another, till only young 
Dannecker and two others remsuned on his left. 
Dannecker has since acknowledged that he suffer- 
ed for a few moments such exquisite pain and shame 
at the idea of being rejected, that his first impulse 
was to run away and hide himself; and that hit 
nirprise and joy, when he found that he and hia 
two companions were the accepted candidates, had 
nearly overpowered him. The duke ordered then 
to go the next morning to the Solitude, and then 
dismissed them. When Dannecker returned home. 
His father, enraged at losing the servicer of his soiv 



d by Google 



UTEKATIMB, AND CHABACTEB. %l 

turned him out of the house, and forbade him ever 
more to enter it; but his mother (mother^like) 
packed up his little bundle of necessaries, accompa- 
nied him for some distance on his road, and parted 
from him with blessings and tears, and words of en- 
courage ment and love. 

At the Karl Schlile Dannecker made but little 
progress in his studies. Nothing could be worse 
managed than this royal establishment The in* 
ferior teachers were accustomed to employ the 
poorer boys in the most servile offices, and in thif 
so called academy he was actually obliged to learn 
by stealth : but here he formed a friendship with 
Schiller, who, like himself, was an ardent genius 
pining and writhing under a chilling system ; and 
the two boys, thrown upon one another for con- 
solation, became friends for life. Dannecker must 
have been about fifteen when the Karl Schiile was 
removed from the Solitude to Stuttgard. He was 
then placed under the tuition of Grubel, a profes- 
sor of sculpture, and in the following year he pro- 
duced his first original composition. It was a Milo 
of Crotona, modelled in clay, and was judged 
worthy of the first prize. Dannecker was at this 
time so unfriended and litde known, that the duke, 
who appears to have forgotten him, learned with 
astonishment that this nameless hoy» the son of his 
groom, had carried off the highest honors of the 
school fr*om all his competitors. For a few years 
%e was employed in the duke's service in carving 
eomices, Cupids, and caryatides, to ornament the 



d by Google 



94 SKETCHES OF ABT, 

new palaces at Stuttgard and Hohenheun; tihit 
task-work, over which he often sighed, may possi- 
bly have assisted in giving him that certainty and 
mechanical dexterity in the use of his tools for 
which he is remarkable. About ten years were 
thus passed ; he then obtained permission to travel 
for his improvement, with an allowance of three 
hundred florins a year from the duke. With these 
slender means Dannecker set off for Paris on foot 
There, for the first time, he had opportunities of 
stud^'ing the living model. £Qs enthusiasm for hia 
art enabled him to endure extraordinary privaticms 
of every kind, for out of his little pension of 
twenty-three pounds a year he had not only to 
feed and clothe himself, but to purchase all the ma- 
terials for his art, and the means of instruction ; 
and this in an expensive capital, surrounded with 
temptations which an artist and an enthusiastic 
young man finds it difiicult to withstand. He told 
me himself, that day after day he has studied in 
the Louvre dinnerless, and dressed in a garb which 
scarce retained even the appearance of decency 
He left Paris, after a two years* residence, as sim 
pie in mind and heart as when he entered it, and 
considerably improved in his knowledge of anat- 
omy and in the technical part of his profession 
The treasures of the Louvre, though far inferior to 
what they nov7 are, had let in a flood of ideas upoti 
his mind, among which (as he described his own 
feelings) he groped as one bewildered and intoxl 
cated, amazed rather than enlightened. 



d by Google 



LITF.RATUBB, Ax^D CHARACTEK. tft 

AIbdon. But Dannecker must have been pooi 
in spirit as in pocket — ^simple indeed, if he did not 
profit by the opportunities ^hich Paris afforded of 
Btud}ing human nature, noting the passions and 
their physiognomy, and gaining other experieucet 
most useful to an artist 

Alda. There I differ from you. Would you 
send a young artist — more particularly a young 
sculptor — to study the human nature of London or 
Paris? — to seek the ideal among shop-girls and 
opera-dancers? Or the sublime and beautiful 
among the frivolous and degraded of one sex, the 
money-making or the brutalized of the other ? Is 
it from the man who has steeped his youthful 
prime in vulgar dissipation, by way of " seeing life," 
as it is called, who has courted patronage at the 
convivial board, that you shall require that union 
of lofty enthusiasm and patient industry, which 
are necessary, first to conceive the grand and the 
poetical, and then consume long years in shaping 
out his creation in the everlasting marble ? 

Medox. But how is the sculptor himself to live 
during those long years ? It must needs be a hard 
struggle. I have heard young artists say, that they 
have been forced on a dissipated life merely as a 
means of " getting on in the world," as the phrase is. 

Alda. So have I. It is so base a plea, that 
when I hear it, I generally regard it as the excuse 
for dispositions. already perverted. The men who 
talk thus are doomed; they will either creep 
through life in mediocrity and dependence to thcii 



d by Google 



96 8KETCUE8 OF ABT, 

grave ; or, at the best, if they have parts, as weU 
as cunning and assurance, they may make then^ 
selves the fashion, and make their fortune ; thej 
may be clever portrait-painters and bust-makersi 
but when they attempt to soar into the historical and 
ideal department of their art, they move the laugh- 
ter of gods and men ; to them the higher, holier 
fountains of inspiration are thenceforth sealed. 

Medon. But think of the temptations of so- 
ciety! 

Alda. I think of those who have ovevcome 
them. *^ Great men have been among us," though 
they be rare. Have we not had a Flaxman ? but 
the artist must choose where he will worship. He 
cannot serve God and Mammon. That man of 
genius who thinks he can tamper with his glorious 
gifb, and for a season indulge in social excesses, 
stoop from his high calling to the dregs of earth, 
abandon himself to the stream of common life, and 
trust to his native powers to bring him up again ;— 
O, believe it, he plays a desperate game!— one 
that in nearly ninety-nine cases out of a hundred 
is fatal. 

Medon. I begin to see your drift; but you 
would find it difficult to prove that the men who 
executed those works, on which we now look with 
wonder and despair, lived like anchorites, or were 
inexceptionable moral characters. 

Alda. Will you not allow that they worked in 
a difierent spirit ? Or do you suppose that it was 
by the possession of some sleight-of-hand that these 



d by Google 



LITERATURE, AND CHARACTER. H 

Ibings were performed? — that it was hy souM 
knack of chiselling, some secret of coloring now 
lost, that a Phidias or a Correggio still remains on- 
approached, and, as people will tell you, unapr 
proachable ? 

Medox. They had a different nature to work 
from. 

Alda. a different modification of nature, but 
not a different nature. Nature and truth are one, 
and immutable, and inseparable as beauty and love. 
I do maintain that, in these latter times, we have 
artists, who in genius, in the power of looking at 
nature, and in manual skill, are not beneath the 
great ancients, but their works are found wanting 
in comparison; they have fallen short of the 
modeb their early ambition set before them ; and 
why ? — ^because, havmg genius, they want the 
moral grandeur that should accompany it, and 
have neglected the training of their own mindi 
fix)m necessity, or from dissipation, or from pride, 
BO that, having imagination and skill, they have 
yet wanted the materials out of which to work. 
Recollect that the great artists of old were not 
mere pidnters, or mere sculptors, who were nothing 
except with the pencil or the chisel in their hand. 
They were philosophers, scholars, poets, musicians, 
noble beings whose eyes were not ever on them- 
lelves, but who looked ab^ve, before, and after. 
Our modem artists turn coxcombs, and then fancy 
themselves like Rafaelle ; >r they are greedy of 
present praise, or greedy of gain ; oi they will not 
7 



d by Google 



18 SKETCHES OF ART, 

pay the price for immortality ; or they have Mid 
their glorious birthright of fame for a mess of poi- 
tage. 

. Poor Dannecker found his mess of pottage bittei 
now and then, as you shall hear. He set off for 
Italy, in 1783, with his pension raised to four 
hi: ndred florins a year, that is, about thirty pounds. 
Ho reached Rome on foot, and he told me that, for 
some months after his arrival, he suffered from a 
terrible depression of spirits, and a painful sense 
of loneliness; like Thorwaldson, when he too 
visited that city some years afterwards a friendless 
youth, he was often home-sick and heart-sick. At 
this time he used to wander about among the ruins 
and relics of ahnighty Rome, lost in the sense of 
their grandeur, depressed by his own vague aspira- 
tions — ignorant, and without courage to apply him- 
self. Luckily for him, Herder and Goethe were 
then residing at Rome ; he became known to them, 
and their conversation directed him to higher 
sources of inspiration in his art than he had yet 
contemplated — to the very well-heads and mother- 
streams of poetry. They showed him the distinc- 
tioti between the spirit and the form of ancient 
art Dannecker felt, and afterwards applied 8(»ne 
of the grand revelalions of these men, who were 
at once profound critics and inspired poets. He 
might have grasped at more, but that his early 
nuiture was here against him, and his subsequent 
destinies as a court sculptor seldom left him sufB- 
eient freedom of thought or action to follow ou' 



d by Google 



VJTERATURE, AND CHARACTER. $9 

hht own conceptions. While at Rome he also be 
came at^qnainted with Can ova, who, although onlj 
one year older than himself, had already achieyed 
great things. He was now at work on the monu- 
ment of the Pope GanganeUi. The courteous, 
kind-hearted Italian would sometimes visit the 
poor German in his studio, and cheer him by his 
remarks and encouragement. 

Dannecker remsuned five years at Rome ; he was 
then ordered to return to Stuttgard. As he had 
already greatly distinguished himself, the Duke of 
Wurtemberg received him with much kindness, 
and promised him his protection. Now, the pro- 
tection and the patronage which a sovereign ac- 
cords to an artist generally amounts to this : — he 
begins by carving or painling the portrait of hij 
patron, and of some of the various members of his 
patron's family. If these are approved of, he if 
allowed to sticjc a ribbon in his button-hole, and ii 
appointed professor of fine arts, with a certain 
stipend, and thenceforth his time, his labor, askd 
his genius belong as entirely to his master as those 
of a hired servant ; his path is marked out for him. 
It was thus with Dannecker ; he received a pen* 
sion of eight hundred florins a year and his pro 
f&ssorship ; and upon the strength of this he married 
Henrietta Rapp. From this period his Hfe hax 
passed in a course of tranquil and uninterrupte<l 
occupation, yet, tbongh constantly employed, hit 
works are not numerous; almost every moment 
being taken up wit> <he duties of his profesiorship, 



d by Google 



101 SKETCHES OF ART, 

m trying to teach what no man of goniiu can teacU, 
Mid in making drawings and designs after the fan- 
cies of the grand duke. He was required to ccHooh 
pose a basso-relievo for the duke's private cabinet 
The subject which he chose was as appropriate as 
it was beautiinlly treated — Alexander pressing his 
Beal upon the lips of Parmenio. He modelled this 
in bas-relief, and the best judges pronounced it ex- 
quisite ; but it did not please the duke, and, in- 
stead of receiving an order to finish it in marble, 
he was obliged to throw it aside, and to execute 
some design dictated by his master. The original 
model remsuned for many years in his studio ; but 
a short time before my last visit to him he had pre- 
sented it as a birthday gift to a friend. The first 
great work which gave him celebrity as a sculptor 
was the mausoleum of Count Zeppelin, the duke's 
favorite, in which the figure of Friendship has 
much simplicity and grace ; this is now at Louis- 
berg. While he was modelling this beautiful figure, 
the first idea of the Ariadne was suggested to his 
fancy, but some years elapsed before it came into 
form. At this time he was much employed in exe- 
cuting busts, for which his fine eye for living nature 
and manly simplicity of taste peculiarly fitted him. 
In this particular department of his art he has 
neither equal nor rival, except our Chantrey. 
rhe best I have seen are those of Schiller, Gluck, 
and Lavater. Never are the fine arts, never are 
great artists, better employed, than when they serve 
Vo illustrate and to immortalize each other I Abou^ 



d by Google 



LIIERATUUB, AMD CHARACTBB. 191 

ihe ysar 1808, Dannecker was considered, beyoiic 
dispute, the first sculptor in Germanj; for as yet^ 
Ranch, Tieck, and Schwanthaler had not worked 
their waj up to their present high celebrity. He 
received, in 1811, an intimation, that if he would 
«nter the service of the King of Bavaria, he should 
be placed at the head of the school of sculpture at 
Munich, with a salary three times the amount of 
that which he at present enjoyed. — 

Medon. Which Dannecker declined ? 

Alda. He did. 

Medon. I could have sworn to it — extempore J 
What is more touching in the history of men of 
genius than that deep and constant attachment they 
have shown to their early patrons I Not to go back 
to the days of Horace and Mecsenas, nor even to 
those of Ariosto and Tasso and the family of £ste, or 
Cellini and the Duke of Florence, or Lucas Kra- 
nach and the Elector John Frederic ♦—do you re- 
member Mozart's exclamation, when he was offered 
the most magnificent remuneration if he would quit 
the service of Joseph H. for that of the Elector of 
Saxony — " Shall I leave my good Emperor ? " In 
the same manner Metastasio rejected every in- 
ducement to quit the service of Maria Theresa — 

Alda. Add Groethe and the Duke of Weimar, 
tnd a hundred other instances. The difficuU]^ 

* LaoM KimnMh (1472) wm dim of th« mott oelebrated of tbi 
•M German painlen; flrom a principle of gratitude and attaelii 
Bent, lie shared the imprisonment of the eler^r John Fiederln 
luring five jeaxs. 



d by Google 



102 SKRTCHfiS OF ART, 

would be to find otie, in which the patronage of thfl 
great has not been repaid ten thousand fold in 
gratitude and fame. Dannecker's love for his na- 
tive city, and his native princes, prevailed over hu 
self-interest; his decision was honorable to his 
heart ; but it is hot less certain that at Munich he 
would have found more enlightened patronage, 
and a wider scope for his talents. Frederic, the 
late King of Wurtemberg, who had married our 
princess-royal, was a man of a coarse mind and 
profligate habits. Napoleon had gratified his vul- 
gar ambition by making him a king, and thereupon 
he stuck a huge, tawdry gilt crown on the top of 
his palace, the impudent sign of his subservient 
majesty, I never looked at it without thinking of 
an overgrown child and its new toy ; he also, to 
commemorate the acquisition of his kingly titles, 
instituted the order of the Wurtemburg crown, 
and Dannecker was gratified by this new order of 
merit, and a bit of ribbon in his button-hole. 

But in the mean time the model of the Ariadne 
remained in his studio, and it was not till the year 
1809 that he could afford to purchase a block of 
marble, and begin the statue on speculation. It 
occupied him for seven years, but in the interval 
he completed other beautiful works. The king 
ordered him to execute a Cupid in marble, for which 
he gave him the design. It was a design whicli 
displeased the pure mind and high taste of Dan 
necker; he would not so desecrate his divine art 
■^ c'etait travailler pour le diable ! ** said he to ma 



d by Google 



LITERATURE, AND CHARACTER. 101 

n telling the stoiy. He therefore only half ful- 
filled his commission; and, changing the purpose 
and sentiment of the figure, he represented the 
Greek Cupid at the moment that he is waked bj 
the drop of burning oil from Psyche's lamp. An 
English general, I believe Sir John Murray, saw 
this charming statue, in 1814, and immediately com- 
manded a work from the sculptor's hands: he 
wished, but did not absolutely require, a duplicate 
of the statue he so admired. Dannecker, instead 
of repeating himself, produced his Psyche, whom 
he has represented — not as the Greek allegorical 
Psyche, the bride of Cupid, "with lucent fans, 
fluttering" — but as the abstract personification of 
the human soul ; or, to use Dannecker's own words, 
" Ein rein, sittlich,sinnige8 Wesen," — a pure, moral, 
intellectual being. As he had an idea that Love 
had become moral and sentimental after he had 
been waked by the drop of burning oil, so I could 
not help asking him whether this was Psyche, grown 
reasonable afler she had beheld the wings of Love ? 
He has not in this beautiful statue quite accom- 
plished his own idea. It has much girlish grace and 
rimplicity; but it wants elevation ; it is not sufii« 
ciently ideal, and will not stand a companson either 
with the Psyche of Westmacott or that of Canova. 
The Ariadne was finished in 1816, but the sculp. 
Uu* was disappointed in his hope that this, hia 
Viasterpiece, would adorn his native city. The king 
ihowed no desire to possess it, and it was purchased 
by M. Bethmann, of Frankfort, for a sum equal to 



d by Google 



104 SKETCHES OF ART, 

ftbout one thousand pounds. Soon after the AriadD€ 
was finished, Dannecker conceived, in a moment 
of pious enthusiasm, his famous statue of the Be- 
d3emer, which has caused a great deal of discussion 
in Germany. This was standing in his work-room 
when we paid our first visit to him. He told me 
what I had often heard, that the figure had visited 
him in a dream three several times ; and the good 
old man firmly believed that he had been divinely 
inspired, and predestined to the work. While the 
visionary image was fresh in his ima^nation, he 
first executed a small clay model, and placed it be- 
fore a child of *five or six years old; — ^there were 
none of the usual emblematical accompaniments — 
no cross — no crown of thorns to assist the fancy — 
nothing but the simple figure roughly modelled; 
yet the child immediately exclaimed, " The Re- 
deemer I " and Dannecker was confirmed in his de- 
sign. Gradually the completion of this statue be- 
came the one engrossing idea of his enthusiastic 
mind : for eight years it was his dream by night, 
his thought by day ; all things else, all the afiaire 
and duties of life, merged into this. He told me 
that he frequently felt as if pursued, excited Y y 
some strong, irresistible power, which would even 
visit him in sleep, and impel him to rise fh)m his 
bed and work. He explained to me some of the 
difiiculties he encountered, and which he was peiw 
luaded that he had perfectly overcome only througb 
divine aid, and the constant study of the Scrip* 
tores. They were not few nor trifling. Physica 



d by Google 



I.ITBRAT.URK} AND CHARACTER. lO« 

powe^, majesty, and beauty, formed no part of th« 
character ol the Saviour of the world : the glory 
that was around him was not of thb earth, nor 
virible to the eye ; " tiiere was nothing in him that 
he should be desired ; " therefore to throw into the 
impersonation of exceeding humility and benignity 
a superhuman grace, and from material elements 
work out a manifestation of abstract moral gran- 
deur — this was surely not only a new and difficult, 
but a bold and sublime enterprise. 

You remember Michael Angelo's statue of Christ 
in the church of Santa Maria sopra Minerva at 
Rome? 

Medox. Perfectly; and I never looked at it 
without thinking of Neptune and his trident. 

Alda. The same thought occurred to me, and 
must inevitably have occurred to others. Dan* 
necker is not certainly so great a man as Michael 
Angelo, but here he has surpassed him. Instead 
of emulating the antique models, he has worked 
m the antique spirit — the spirit of faith and en- 
thusiasm. He has taken a new form in which to 
clothe a grand poetical conception. Whether the 
being he has represented be a fit subject for the 
plastic art, has been disputed ; but it appears to 
me that Dannecker has more nearly approached 
the Christian ideal than any of his predecessors ; 
there is nothing to be compare*^ to it, except Ti- 
tian's Christo della Men eta, and that is a head 
merely. The sentiment chosen by the sculptor it 
expressed in the inscription or the pedsftal 



d by Google 



<06 SKETCHES OF ART, 

»* Thn>ugb me, to the Father." The proportidm, 
of the ligure are exceedingly slender and delicate 
the attitude a little drooping ; one hand is pressed 
nn the bosom, the other extended ; the lips are 
unclosed, as in the act to speak. In the head and 
facial line, by carefully throwing out every indica- 
tion ef the animal propensities, and giving added 
importance and development to all that indicates 
the moral and intellectual faculties, he has suc- 
ceeded in imbodying a species of ideal, of which 
there is no other example in art. I have heard 
(not from Dannecker himself) that, when the head 
of the Jupiter Tonans was placed beside the 
Christ, the merely physical grandeur of the former, 
compared with the purely intellectual expression 
of the latter, reminded every one present of a 
lion's head erect and himianized. 

Medon. But what were your own impressions ? 
Af^r all this eulogium, which I believe to be just, 
tell me frankly, were you satisfied yourself? 

Alda. No— not quite. The expression of the 
laouth in the last finished statue (he has repeated 
the subject three times) is not so fine as in the 
model, and the simplicity of the whole bordered 
on meagreness. This, I think, is a general fault in 
all Dannecker's works. He has, of course, avoided 
nudity, but the flowing robe, which completely en- 
velopes the figure, is so managed as to disclose the 
exac^ form of the limbs. One little circumstance 
will give you an idea of the attention and accuracy 
with which he seized and imbodied every touch oi 



d by Google 



UTEBATUKRy AND CHABAC1EE 101 

mdiTidiial character conveyed in holy writ In Um 
•riginal model he had made the beard rather full 
ind thick, and a little curled, expressing the prime 
of manhood ; but recollecting that in the gospel 
the Saviour is represented as sinking under the 
weight of the cross, which the first man they met 
accidentally was able to carry, he immediately 
altered his first conception, and gave to the beard 
that soft, flowing, downy texture which is supposed 
to indicate a feeble and delicate temperament 

I shall not easily forget the countenance of the 
good and gifted old man, as, leaning on the ped- 
estal, with his cap in his hand, and his long gray 
hair waving round his face, he looked up at his 
work with a mixture of reverence and exultation, 
Raying, in his imperfect and scarce intelligible 
French, " Qui, quand on a fait comme cela, on 
reste sur la terre 1 ** meaning, I suppose, that this 
statue had insured his immortality on earth. He 
added, " They ask me (^n where are the models 
after which I worked? and I answer, here and 
here f* laying his hand first on his head, then on his 
heart 

I remember that when we first entered his room 
he was at work on one of the figures for the tomb 
of the late Queen Catherine of Wurtemburg. Yon 
perhaps recollect her in Epgland when only 
Duchess of Oldenburg^ 

Medox. Yes; I remember, as a youngster, 
joining the mob who shouted before ihe windowi 
of the Folteney-hotel and hailed her and hei 



d by Google 



108 SKETCHES OF ART, 

brother Alexander as if they had beeu a newl} 
descended Jupiter and Juno ! O verily, times «rt 
changed ! 

Alda. But in that woman there were the ele- 
ments of a fine nature. She had the talents, the 
strength of mind, and far-reaching ambition of her 
grandmother, Catherine of Russia, but was not so 
perverted. During her short reign as Queen <A 
Wurtemburg, the influence of her active mind was 
felt through the whole government. She founded, 
among other institutions, a school for the daughters 
of the nobility connected with the court, — ^in plain 
English, a charity-school for the nobility of Wui> 
temburg, who are among the most indigent and 
most ignorant of Germany. There are a few, very 
few brilliant exceptions. One lady of rank said to 
me, " As to an English governess, that is an ad- 
vantage I can never hope to have for my daughters. 
The princesses have an English governess, but we 
cannot dream of such a thing." The late queen 
really deserved the regrets of her people. The 
king, whose sluggish mind she ruled or stimulated, 
b now devoted to his stables and hunting. He has 
married another wife, but he has erected to the 
honor of Catherine a splendid mausoleum, on the 
peak of a high hill, which can be seen from almost 
every part of the city ; and on the sununer even- 
ings when the red sunset falls upon its white cd- 
nmns, it is a beautiful object. The figure 3l 
which Pannecker was occupied, represented prayer 
or wliat he called, " La triomphe de la Pri^re ; " il 



d by Google 



LITERATURE, AND CHARACTER. 10$ 

recalled to mj mind Flaxman's lovelj statae of the 
same subject, — the " Our Father which art in 
Heayen," but suffered by the involuntary compari* 
Bon. On the rough base of the statue he had tried to 
spell the name of Chantrey, but not very success- 
fully. I took up a bit of chalk and wrote under- 
neath in distinct characters, Francis Chantret. 

*^I grow old," said he, looking from his work 
to the bust of the late queen, which stood op- 
posite. *^I have carved the effigies of three 
generations of poets, and as many of princes. 
Twenty years ago I was at work on the tomb of 
the Duke of Oldenburg, and now I am at work 
upon hers who gave me that order. All die away : 
Boon I shall be lefl alone. Of my early friends 
ncMie remain but Groethe. I shall die before him, 
and perhaps he will write my epitaph.** He spoke 
with a smile, not foreseeing that he would be the 
survivor. 

Three years after * I again paid Dannecker a visit, 
but a change had ccnne over him ; his feeble, tremb- 
ling hand could no longer grasp the mallet or guide 
he chisel ; hb eyes were dim ; his fine benevolent 
countenance wore a childish, vacant smile, now and 
then crossed by a gleam of awakened memory oi 
thought — and yet he seemed so perfectly happy ! He 
walked backwards and forwards, from his Christ to 
his bust of Schiller, witn an unwearied self-coD» 
>lacency, in which there was something nio*iniM 

• In September, 1888. 



d by Google 



110 SKETCHES OF ART, 

Aud yet delightfiil. While I sat looking at tlic 
magnificent bead of Schiller, the original of thi 
multifarious casts and copies which are dispersed 
through all Germany, he sat down beside me, and 
taking my hands between his own, which trembled 
with age and nervous emotion, he began to speak 
of his friend. " Nous etions amis des Tenfance , 
aussi j'y ai travail!^ avec amour, avec douleur— on 
ne pent pas plus faire." He then went on— 
" When Schiller came to Louisberg, he sent to tell 
me that he was very ill — that he should not live 
very long, and that he wished me to execute hia 
bust It was the first wish of my own heart I 
went inmiediately. When I entered the house, 1 
found a lady sitting on the canape — it was Schiller's 
wife, and I did not know her ; but she knew me. 
She said, * Ah I you are Dannecker ! — Schiller ex- 
pects you ; ' then she ran into the next room, where 
Schiller was lying down on a couch, and in a mo- 
ment after he came in, exclaiming as he entered, 
' Where is he ? where is Dannecker ? ' That was 
the moment — the expression I caught — ^you see it 
here — ^the head raised, the countenance full of in- 
spiration, and affection, and bright hope ! I told 
him that to keep up this expression he must have 
some of his best Mends to converse with him while 
I took the model, for I could not talk and work too. 
O if I could but remember what glorious thingt 
then fell from those lips ! Sometimes I stopped in 
•ny work — ^I could not go on — I could only listen." 
And here the old man wept ; then suddenly chang 



d by Google 



LITERATURE, AND CHARACTER. Ill 

ag bis mood, he paid — ** But I must cut oJ* that 
^ng hair ; he never ivore it so ; it is not in the 
fashion, you know I " I begged him for Heaven*! 
sake not to touch it ; he then, with a sad smile, 
turned up the sleeve of his coat and showed me his 
wrist, swelled with the continual use of his imple- 
ments — " You see I cannot I " And I could not 
help wishing, at the moment, that while his mind 
was thus enfeebled, no transient return of physical 
strength might enable him to put his wild threat in 
execution. What a noble bequest to posterity is 
the effigy of a great man, when executed in such a 
spirit as this of Schiller ! I assure you I could not 
look at it without feeling my heart " overflow in 
silent worship " of moral and intellectual power, 
till the deification of great men in the old times ap- 
peared to me rather religion than idolatry. I have 
been affected in the same manner by the busts of 
Goethe, Scott, Homer, Milton, Howard, Newton ; 
never by the painted portraits of the same men, 
however perfect in resemblance and admirable in 
execution. 

Medon. Painting gives us the material, sculp- 
ture the abstract, ethical aspect of the man- In 
the bust, whatever is commonplace, familiar, and 
actual, is thrown out or kept down : in a picture 
it is not only retained, but in most cases it is neces- 
sarily obtrusive. Goethe, in a blue coat and metal 
buttons, and a white neckcloth, would not recall 
the author of the ** Ipblgenia ; " still less does thai 
•rrinkled, decrepit-looking face in the gallery a* 
llardwicke, portray Boyle, the philosopher. 



d by Google 



112 SKETCHES OF ABT, 

Alda. Dannecker told me that he iin>t mod- 
elled the head of Schiller the exact size of life, 
and conscientiously rendered each, even tho 
slightest, individual trait ; yet this head appeared 
to every one smaller than nature, and to himself 
almost mesquin,* He was in despair. He re- 
peated the bust in a colossal size ; and the develop- 
ment of the intellectual organization on a larger 
scale immediately gave what was wanting : it ap- 
peared to the eye or to the mind*s eye as only the 
size of life. He showed me a beautiful basso- 
relievo of the Muse of Tragedy, Hstening with an 
inspired look to the revelations of the Muse of 
History. This admirable little group struck me 
the more, because long ago I had clothed nearly 
the same idea in imperfect words. 

I took leave of Dannecker with emotion ; I shall 
never see him again I But he is one of those who 
cannot die ; to use his own expression, ** Quand on 
a fait comme cela^ on reste sur la terre." When 
Canova, then a melancholy invalid, paid him a visit, 
he was so struck by the childlike simplicity, the 
pure unworldly nature, the genuine goodness, and 
lively happy temperament of the Grerman sculptor, 
that he gave him the surname of il Beato ; and if 
the epithet blessed can, with propriety, be bestowed 
on any mortal, it is on him whose long life has 
been one of labor and of love ; who has left behind 
him lasting memorials of his genius ; who has neve? 

* His own ezpraudon. 



d by Google 



LITERATURE, AND CHARACTER. lit 

profaned the talents which God has given him to 
any unworthy purpose ; but in the midst of all the 
beautiful and exciting influences of poetry and 
art, has kept from youth to age a soul serene, a 
conscience and a life pure in the sight of God and 
man. Such was our own Flazman, such is Dan- 
necker I 

Medon. Who are now the principal sculptors 
in Germany ? 

Alda. Rauch, of Berlin; Christian Frederic 
Tieck, the brother of the celebrated poet and 
critic, Ludwig Heck ; and Schwanthaler, of Munich. 
Ranch is the court sculptor of Berlin. He has, 
like Dannecker,* his professorship, his order of 
merit,! and, I believe, one or two places under the 
government, besides constant employment in his 
art He works hy the piece^ as the laborers say- 
But though he, too, has yoked his genius to the car 
of power and patronage, he has done great things. 
The statue of the late queen of Prussia is reck- 
oned his chef-cTceuvre, and is not, perhaps, ex- 
ceeded in modem sculpture. It was conceived 
and worked out in all the inspiration of love and 
pief; as Dannecker would say, "Mit Lieb und 
Scbmerzen." He had been attached to the queen's 



•Dannecker hu been ennobled; his proper titlee ran thm: 
/ohann Heinrlch von Danneoker, Hofrath, (court eonniellor,) 
Knight of the orders of the Wortembui^ erown, and of Wladl* 
ftier, and professor of sculpture at Stuttgardt. 

t Ranch is knight of the Red Eagle, aad member of tLi 



d by Google 



il4 SKETCHES OF ART, 

personal service, and shared, in an intense degiee, 
the enthusiastic, devoted affection with which all 
her subjects regarded that beautiful and amiable 
woman. This statue he executed at Carrara ; and 
a living eagle, which had been taken captive 
unong the Apennines, was the original of that 
magnificent eagle he has placed at her feet: 
nothing, you see, like going at once to nature! 
In the '^ourse of twenty-five years, Bauch has 
executed sixty-nine busts, of which twenty are 
colossal. Among his numerous other works, de- 
signed or executed within the same time, there is 
the colossal statue of Blucher, now at Breslau ; 
this is in bronze, upon a granite pedestal. There 
is another statue of Blucher at Berlin, of which 
the pedestal, rich with bas-reliefe, is also in bronze. 
Ranch has been employed for the last twenty 
years in modelling field-marshals and generals, 
and has devoted his best powers to vanquish the 
difficulties presented by monotonous faces, drilled 
figures, military uniforms, and regimental boots 
and buttons; and all that man can do, I am told, 
he has done. I have seen some of his busts, which 
are quite admirable. At Peterstein, near Munich, 
I saw his statue of a little girl, about ten years old, 
which, in its simplicity, truth, and elegance re- 
minded me of Chantrey's Lady Louisa Russell 
though in conception and manner as distinct aa 
possible. The full length of Groethe, in his dressing- 
gown, of which there is such an infinitude of casta 
and copies throughout Germany, is also by Ranch 



d by Google 



UTERATUKB, AND CHARACTEB. 115 

Cltristian Tieck is the old and intimate friend of 
Ranch. They live, or did live, nnder the samfl 
roof, and it is not known that a moment of jealonsy 
or rivalship ever disturbed the union between 
ttiese two celebrated and gifted men, who, starting 
nearly at the same time,* have run their brilliant 
career together in the self-same path, and, what- 
ever judgment the world or posterity may form of 
their comparative merits, seem determined to enter 
the temple of immortality hand in hand. Tleck's 
works are dispersed from one end of Germany to 
the other. His statue of Neckar, his busts of Ma- 
dame de Stael, of her second husband Rocca, of 
the Duke and Duchess de Broglie, and of A. W. 
Schlegel, I have seen; and all, particularly the 
busts of Rocca and Schlegel, are exceedingly fine. 
At Munich, at Dresden, and at Weimar, I saw 
many of his works ; and at Manheim the bust of 
Madame de Heygendorf,f full of beauty, and life, 

* Christian Baueh was born In 1777, and Ohrlstfan Vradnfe 
neck In 1776. 

t Fonnerly Madame Jageman, the prindpetl actress of fh« 
theatre at Weimar. Her talents were dereloped nnder the 
anspices of Goethe and Schiller. She was the original Thekla 
of the Wallenstein, and the original Prinoess Leonora of the 
Tasso. In these two characters she has never jet been equalled. 
The quietness, amounting to passireness, in the external de- 
li::eation of the Princess In Tasso aflTords so little material for the 
ilage, tha# Madame Woltt, then the first actress, preferred the 
eharacter of Leonora SauTitale, and Madame Tageman was sup. 
posed to derogate in accepting that of the Princess. Such It 
Um consummate, but eyanescent delicacy it the con<H>ptlon 
liat Q(y)the never expected to see it deT^oped on the stage 



d by Google 



116 SKETCHES OF ART, 

and expression. At Berlin, Tieck has been em 
plojed for many years in designing and executing 
the sculptured ornaments of the new theatre. 
There is a colossal Apollo ; a Pegasus, striking the 
fountain of Helicon from the rock, colossal Muses, 
and a variety of other heathen perpetrations, all, 
(as I am assured,) exceedingly fine in their way. I 
believe his seated statue of Iffland (the Garrick of 
Germany) is considered one of his chef-doBuwrts. 
lie also, like Bauch, has been much employed in 
modelling generals, and trophies in memory of the 
late war. 

Schwanthaler, the son of a statuary of Munich, 
is still a young man; his works first began to 
create a sensation in Germany in the year 1823. 
In spirit and fire, and creative talent, in a fine 
classic feeling for his art, he appeared to me to be 
treading in the steps of Flaxman, and, like hvm^ he 
is a profound and accomplished scholar, who has 
lought inspiration at the very fountain of Greek 
poetry. His basso-relievo of the battle of the ships 
in the Hiad, his games of Greece, his designs from 
the theogony of Hesiod, and a variety of other 

ind at Qie reheanal he threw himself back in his ehair and 
tfint laiB eyes, that the image which Ured in his ima^natiOQ 
Bight not be pro&ned by any tasteless exaggeration of action 
mr expression. He soon opened them, howerer, and before the 
rehearsal was finished, started off the chair, and nearly em- 
braced the actress. She looked and felt tiie part as only a 
woman of exceeding taste and delicacy would have done; the 
very tone of her mind, and the character of her beauty fitted 
tor to represent the ftijr, gentle, fragile, but dignified Leonora. 



d by Google 



UTEKATURE, AND OHABACTER. 119 

works which I have seen, appeared to me full of 
[magination, and in a pure and vigorous style w 
art Of him, and some other sculptors, you will 
find more particulars ill the note-book I kept at 
Munich ; we will look over it together one of these 
days. 

Medon. Thank you ; but I must needs ask you 
a question. In the works you hare enumerated, 
nothing has struck me as new, or in a new spirit, 
except, perhaps, the Christ of Dannecker, and 
the statue of the queen of Prussia. Now, whj 
should not sculpture have its Gothic (or romantic) 
school, as well as its antique or classical school? 

Alda. And has it not ? 

Medon. If you allude to the sculpture of thi 
middle ages, that has not become a school of art| 
like their architecture and their painting ; yet can 
it be true that there is something in our modem 
institutions, our northern descent, our Christian 
faith, inimical to the spirit of sculpture? and 
while poetry in every other form is regenerate 
around us, that in sculpture alone we are doomed 
to imitate, never to create ? doomed to the servile 
reproduction of the same ideas? that this alone, 
of all the fine arts, is to belong to some peculiar 
mode of existence, some peculiar mode (^thinking, 
feeling, and believing? **Qui me delivrera des 
Grecs et des Romains?" — who will deliver me 
lh>m gods and goddesses, and from all these 

•* Repetitions, wearisome of sense. 
Where soul is dead, and f9«ling hatk w place?** 



d by Google 



118 SKETCHES OF ABT, 

Alda. loii are little better than a heretic in 
Aese matters. But I will adoiit thus much — that 
the classical and m3rthological sculpture of oiur 
nodern artists is to the ancient marbles what Ba- 
iine's tragedies are to those of Sophocles ; that we 
ire so far condemned to the " repetition wearisome 
af forms " from which the ancient spirit has eTvpo^ 
/ated ; but that is not the fault of the subjects, but 
ihe manner of treating them, for never can the 
beautiful mythology of ancient Greece, which has 
woven itself into our earliest dreams of poetry, be- 
come a *' creed outworn." Its forms, and its S3rm- 
bols, and its imagery, have mingled with everv 
branch of art, and become a universal language. 
ft is the deification of the material world; and 
therefore that art, which in its perfection may be 
called the apotheosis of form, finds there its proper 
region and element 

Medon. You do not suppose that, with all my 
Gothic tastes, I otA such a Goth as not to feel the 
truth of what you aay ? But I am an enemy to the 
exckisive in every thing ; and — ^pardon me— your 
worskiip of the Elgin marbles and the Niobe is, I 
think, a little too exclusive. All I ask is, that 
modei^ sculpture should be allowed, like painting 
and poerify, to have its romantic as well as its clas- 
ncal 8c&os>l. 

Alda. It has leen otherwise decided. 

Medojci But it has not been otherwise proved 
There hat been ^luch theoretical eloquence anc 
criticism expen(i*% tn the subject, but I deny tha£ 



d by Google 



LITERATURE, AND CHARACTER. 11$ 

ttM expenn.ent has been fairly and practically 
bronglit before us. I know very well you are ready 
with a thousand instances of attempt and failures 
but xiiay we not seek the cause in the mistaken ap- 
plication of certain classical, or I should say pe- 
dantic, ideas on the subject ? If I ask for Milton's 
Satain, standing like a tower in his spiritual might, 
his thunder-scarred brow wreathed with the diaden 
of Kidll, why am I to be presented with an Athlete, 
or an Achilles ? Why would Canova give us for 
the head of Dante's Beatrice that of a muse, or an 
Aspusia ? and for Petrarch's Laura, a mere tete de 
nymphe t I contend, that to apply the forms sug- 
gested by the modem poetry demands a different 
spint from that of classic art. How to apply or 
modify the example bequeathed to us by the great 
masters of old, Flaxman has shown us in his Dante. 
And why should we not have in sculpture a Lear 
as well as a Laocoon ? a Constance as well as a 
Ninbe ? a Qj^unda as well as a Cleopatra ? 

Alda. Or a Tam O'Shanter as well as a laugh- 
ing; Faun ? 

Medon. When I am serious and poetical, which 
is not often, I will not allow yon to be perverse and 
ironical I 

Alda. See, here is a passage which I have just 
found among Mrs. Austin's beautiful specimens of 
translation : '* The critic of art ought to keep in 
view, not only the capabilities, but the proper ob- 
jects of art Not aJ that art can accomplish ought 
ihe to attempt It is from this cause alone, and 



d by Google 



120 SKETCHES OF ART, 

because we have lost sight of these principles, that 
art among us has become more extensive and diA 
ficult, and less effective and perfect" • 

Medon. Very well, — and very true : but who 
shall bring a rule and compass to measure the 
capabilities of art, and define its proper objects V 
May there not exist in the depths or heights of 
philosophy and art truths yet to be revealed, as 
there are stars in heaven whose light has not yet 
reached the naked eye ? and why should not crit- 
icism have its telescope for truth, as well as its 
microscope for error ? Art may be finite ; but who 
shall fix its limits, and say, *^ Thus far shalt thou 
go ? " There are those who regard the distant as 
the unattainable, the unknown as the unexisting, 
the actual as the necessary ; — are you one of such, 
O you of little &ith ! For my own part, I look 
forward to a new era in sculpture. I believe that 
the purely natural and the purely ideal are one, 
and susceptible of forms and modifications as yet 
untried. For Nature, the infinite, sits within her 
tabernacle not made by human hands, and Grenius 
and Love are the cherubim, to whom it is permitted 
to look into her unveiled eyes and reflect their 
light •, Art is the priestess of her divine mysteries, 
and Criticism, the door-keeper of her temple, should 
be Janus-headed, looking forward as well as back 
ward. Reason estimates what has been done 
Imagination alone divines what may be done, Bnf 

•Lesshig. 



d by Google 



LITERATUUF, AND CHARACTER. * 121 

I am losing myself in these reveries. To attempt 
something new, — ^perfectly new in style and con- 
ception — and spend, like Dannecker, eight years 
m working out that conception — ^and then perhaps 
eight years moi'e waiting for a purchaser, and this 
In a country where one must eat and pay 
Inily, it is not easy. 



# 



d by Google 



SKETCHES OF ART, LITERATURB, 
AND CHARACTER. 



m. 



Medon. You have been frowning and musing 
in your chair for the last half-hour, with your fore- 
finger between the leaves of your book — where 
were your thoughts? 

Alda. They were far — very far ! I am afraid 
that I appear very stupid ? 

Medon. O not at all I you know there are stars 
which appear dim and fixed to the eye, while they 
are taking flights and making revolutions, which 
ima^nation cannot follow nor science compute. 

Alda. Upon my word, you are very sublimely 
ironical — ^my thoughts were not quite so far. 

Medon. May one beg, or borrow them ? — What 
uf your book ? 

Alda. Mrs. Austin's " Characteristics of Goethe " 
I came upon a passage which sent back my thoughts 
to Weimar. I was again in his house ; the faces, 
the voices of hb grandchildren were around me 
the room in which he studied, the bed in which he 
•lept, the old chair in which he died, — and, above 



d by Google 



LITERATURE, AND CHARACTER. lit 

ill, her in whose arms he died — from whose lip* I 
heard the detail of his last moments — 

• • • • • 

Medon. What I all this emotion for Groethe ? 

Alda. For Groethe ! — ^I should as soon think of 
weeping because the sun set yesterday, which now 
is pouring its light around me I Our tears are for 
those who suffer, for those who die, for those who 
are absent, for those who are cold or lost — not foi 
those who cannot die, who cannot suffer, — who must 
be, to the end of time, a presence, and an existence 
among us ! No. 

But I was reading here, among the Characterift- 
tics of Goethe, who certainly " knew all qualities, 
with a learned spirit in human dealings," that he 
was not only the quick discemer and most cordial 
hater of all affectation ; — but even the unconscious 
affectation — ^the nature de canventionj — ^the taught, 
the artificial, the acquired in manner or character, 
though it were meritorious in itself, he always de- 
tected, and it appeared to impress him disagree- 
ably. Stay, I will read you the passage — here 
tcis. 

"Even virtue, laboriously and painfully ac- 
quired, was distasteAil to him. I might ahnost 
affirm, that a faulty but vigorous character, if it 
bad any real native qualities as its basis, was re- 
garded by him with more indulgence and respect 
Uian one which, at no moment of its existence, is 
genuine ; which is incessantly under the most un- 
imiable con»i'j*aint, 3tnd consequently impose? a 



d by Google 



124 SKETCHES OF ART, 

painful constraint on others. * Oh/ said he, sigl- 
big, on such occasions, * if they had but the heart 
to commit some absurdity, that would be something, 
and they would at least be restored to their own 
natural soil, free from all hypocrisy and acting: 
wherever that is the case, one may entertain the 
cheering hope that something will spring from the 
germ of good which nature implants in every in- 
dividual. But on the ground they are now upon 
nothing can grow.' * Pretty dolls,' was his common 
expression when speaking of them. Another phra8<^ 
was, * That's a piece of nature,' (literally, dcu w 
eine Natur, that is a nature,) which finom Groethe*s 
lips was considerable praise."* 

This last phrase threw me back upon my re- 
membrances. I thought of the daughter in law of 
the poet, — ^the trusted friend, the constant com- 
panion, the devoted and careful nurse of his last 
years. It accounted for the unrivalled influence 
which apparently she possessed — I will not say over 
his mind — ^but in his mind, in his affections ; for in 
her he found truly eine Natur — a piece of nature, 
which could bear even his microscopic examination. 
All other beings who approached Groethe either 
were, or had been, or might be, more or less 
modified by the action of that universal and mas- 
ter spirit Consciously, or unconsciously, in love 
•r in fear, they bowed down before him, and gave 
tip their individuality, or forgot it, in his presence 

• Ohaneteristlei of Goefhe, Tol. i p. 29. 



d by Google 



LITEttATUBB, AND CHARA.CTER. 135 

tliey took the bent he chose to impress, or the coloi 
he chose to throw upon them. Their minds, ic 
presence of his, were as opake bodies in the son, 
absorbing in different degrees, reflecting in yarioui 
hues, his vital beams ; but her's was, in compaii- 
son, like a transparent medium, through which the 
rays oi that luminary passed, — ^pervading and* en- 
lightening, but leaving no other trace. Conceive a 
woman, a young, acccnnplished, enthusiastic woman, 
who had qualities to attach, talents to amuse, and 
capacity to appreciate, Goethe ; who, for fourteen 
or fifteen years, could exist in daily, hourly com- 
munication with that ^gantic spirit, yet retain, 
from first to last, the most perfect simplicity of 
character, and this less from the strength than from 
the purity and delicacy of the original texture. 
Those oft-abused words, naive^ naivete, were more 
applicable to her in their fullest sense than to any 
other woman I ever met with. Her conversation 
was the most untiring I ever enjoyed, because the 
stores which fed that flowing eloquence were all 
native and unborrowed : you were not borne along 
by it as by a torrent — hongrd^ mcdgriy — nor dazzled 
•8 by an artificial jet d*eau set to play for your 
UDusement There was the obvious wish to please 
—a little natural coquetierie — ^vivacity without ef- 
fort, sentiment without affectation, exceeding mo- 
bility, which yet never looked like caprice ; and 
the most consummate refinement of thought, and 
feeling, and expression. From that really elegant 
«nd highly-toned mind, nothitig flippant nor harsh 



d by Google 



k26 SKBTCHBS OF ART, 

eould ever proceed ; slander died away in her pret 
ence ; what was evil she would not hear of; what 
was malicious she would not understand ; what wai 
ridiculous she would not see. Sometimes there was 
a wild, artless fervor in her impulses and feelings, 
which might have become a feather-cinctured In- 
dian on her savannah ; then, the next moment, her 
bearing reminded you of the court-bred lady of the 
bed-chamber. Quick in perception, yet femininely 
confiding, uniting a sort of restless vivacity with 
an indolent gracefulness, she appeared to me by 
far the most poetical and genuine being, of my own 
sex, 1 ever knew in highly-cultivated life : one to 
whom no wrong could teach mistrust ; no injur}*, 
bitterness; one to whom the commonplace reali- 
ties, the vulgar necessary cares of existence, were 
but too indifferent ; — who was, in reality, all that 
other women try to appear, and betrayed, with a 
careless independence, what they most wish to con- 
ceal. I draw from the life, — ^now, what would you 
say to such a woman if you met with her in the 
world ? 

Mbdon. I should say — she had no businesn 
there. 

Alda. How? 

Medon. I repeat that the woman you have just 
portrayed b hardly fit for the world. 

Alda. Say rather, the world is not fitted fo* 
her. As the Sabbath was made for man, not man 
for the Sabbath, so the world was made for man, 
tot man for the world — still less woman. 



d by Google 



IJTKRATUBB, AND CHABACTER 127 

Med ON. Do you know what 70a mean ? 

Alda. 1 think I do, though I am afraid 1 can 
but ill-explain m78el£ By the world, I mean that 
lystem of social life in all its complicate beaiingi 
by which we are surrounded ; which was, I sup- 
pose, devised at first with a reference to the wants, 
the happiness, and the benefit of men, but for 
which no man was specifically created; his being 
has a high and individual purpose beyond the 
world. Now, it seems to me one reason of the low 
average of what we call character^ that we judge a 
human soul, not as it is abstractedly, but simply in 
relation to others, and to the circumstances around 
it. If it be in harmony with the world, and 
worldly, we praise it — it is a very respectable soul 
if so constituted, that it is in discord with a world, 
(which, observe, all our philosophers, our pastors, 
and our masters, unite to assure us, is a sad wicked 
place, and must be reformed or renounced forth- 
with,) then — ^I pray your attention to this point— 
then the fault, the bitter penalty, lies not upon this 
said wicked world, — O no ! — bat on that unlucky 
" piece of nature," which in its power, its goodness, 
its purity, its truth, its faith, and its tenderness, 
stands aloof from it. Is it not so ? 

Medon. Do you apply this personally ? 

Alda. No, generally ; but I return to her who 
iuggested the thought, and whom I ought not, per- 
haps, to have made the subject of such a conversation 
•s this : it is against all my principles, contrary to 
my custom ; and, in truth, I speak of one in whom 



d by Google 



128 SKETCHES OF ART, 

there Is so much to love, that we cannot praise 
without being accused of partiality ; and so much 
to admire, that we could not censure without being 
suspected of envy. I might as well be silent 
therefore. Yet shall such a woman bear such a 
oame, and hold such a position as the mother of 
Goethe's posterity;* — shall she be rendered by 
both a mark for observation, from one end of 
Europe to the other ; — shall she be *< condemned 
to celebrity," and shall it be allowed to ignorance, 
or ill-nature, or vanity, to prate of her ; — and shall 
it be forbidden to friendship even to speak ? — ^that 
were hardly just Of those effusions of her crea- 
tive and poetical talents, which charm her firiends, 
I say nothing, because in all probability neither 
you nor the public will ever benefit by them. 1 
met with several other women in Grermany who 
possessed striking poetical genius, and whose com- 
positions were equally destined to remain unknown 
except to the circle of their immediate friends and 
relatives. 

Medon. Mr. Hayward, in his notes to his trans- 
lation of Faust, remarks on the strong prejudice 
agaix^zit female authorship, which still exists in 
Germany ; but he has hopes that it will not en- 
dure, and that something may be done " to unlock 
the stores of fancy and feeling which the Ottilies 
and the Addles have hived up." Tell me— did 

* I believe it was in allusion to this distinction, and her owv 
noble birth, that her &ther-in-law used to call her playftiUy 
< die Ueint Ahn/rau,*^ (the little ancestress.) 



d by Google 



jITERATUBE, AND CHARACTER. Ii9 

ciDU find this prejudice entertained by the women 
themselyes, or existing chiefly on the part of tb« 
men? 

Alda. It was expressed most strongly by the 
women, but it must have originated with the men. 
All your prejudices ycfu instil into us; and then 
we are not satisfied with adopting them, we exag- 
gerate them — we mix them up with our fancies 
and affections, and transmit them to your children. 
You are " the mirrors in which we dress ourselves." 

Medon. For which you dress yourselves ! 

Alda. Psha 1 — ^I mean that your minds and 
opinions are the nurrors in which we form our own. 
You l^islate for us, mould us, form us as you wilL 
If you prefer slaves and playthings to companions 
and helpmates, is that our fault ? In Germany I 
met with some men who, perhaps out of compli- 
ment, descanted with enthusiasm on female talent, 
and in behalf of female authorship : but the women 
almost uniformly spoke of the latter with dread, as 
something formidable, or with contempt, as of 
something beneath them: what is an unworthy 
prejudice in your sex, becomes, when transplanted 
into ours, a feeling ; — ^a mistaken, but a genuine, 
and even a generous feeling. Many women, who 
have sufficient sense and simplicity of mind to rise 
above the mere prejudice^ would not contend with 
the feeling: they would not scruple to encounter 
the public judgment in a cause approved by their 
own hearts, but they have not courage to brave oi 
to oppose the opinions of friends and kindred^-— 



d by Google 



180 SKBTCHES OF ART, 

Medon. Or risk the loss of a lover. You re- 
Biember the axiom of that clever Frenchman,* 
who certainly spoke the existing opinions of hia 
country only a few years ago, when he said — 
** Imprimer, pour une fenune de moins de cinquante 
ans c'est mettre son bonheur k la plus terrible dei 
lotteries ; si elle a un amant elle commencera par 
le perdre." 

Alda. I really believe that in Grermany the 
latter catastrophe would be in most cases inevit- 
able; and where is the woman who knowingly 
would risk it ? 

Medon. All, however, have not lovers to lose, 
or husbands to displease, or friends to affront ; and 
if the women, in compliance with our self-revolving 
egotism, affect to prostrate themselves, and under- 
value one another — do the men allow it to this 
extent ? Do not the Germans most justly boast, 
that in their land arose the first feeling of venera- 
tion for women, the result of the christian dispen- 
sation, grafted on the old German manners ? Do 
they not point to their literature and their insti- 
tutions, as more favorable to your sex than any 
other? Does not even Madame de Stael exalt 
the fine earnestness of the German feeling towards 
you, infinitely above the system of French gal- 
lantry? — ^that flimsy veil of conventional good- 
breeding, under which we seek to dbguise the de 
moralization of one sex, and the virtual slavery of 

*M. Besle, otherwise the Comte de Stendhal, and, I beIieT««, hi 
las half a doaen ither aliases. 



d by Google 



LITEBATURB, AND CHARACTBB. 131 

the Other ? Have I not heard you say, that it if 
the present fashion among the poets, artists, and 
writers of Germany, to defer in all things to the 
middle ages ? Are not the maxims and sentimenti 
of chivalry ready on their lips, the forms and 
symbols of the old chivalrous times to be traced 
in every department of literature and art among 
them? 

Alda. All this is true; and I will believe that all 
this is something more than mere theory, when I see 
the Grermans less slovenly in their interior, and le» 
egotistical in their domestic relations. The theme 
is unwelcome, unpleasant, ungraceful, — ^in fact, 1 
can scarcely persuade myself to say one word 
against those high-minded, benevolent, admirable, 
and " most-thinking people ; " so I will not dweU 
upon it : but I must confess that the personal n^ 
ligence of the men, and the forbearance of the 
women on this point, astonished me. I longed to 
remind these worshippers of the age of chivalry of 
that advice of St Louis to his son — ^ H faut ^tre 
toujours propre et bien proprement habiU^ afin 
d'toe mieux aim^ de sa fsmme ; " the really good- 
natured and well-bred Grermans will, I am sure, 
forgive this passing remark, and allow its truth; 
they did at once agree with me, that the tavem- 
Kfe of the men, more particularly the clever pro- 
feosional men in the south of Grermany, (anothei 
remnant, I presume, either of the age of chivaliy. 
9T the Biirschen-dtten — I know not which,) wai 
talented to retard the social improvement and 



d by Google 



IZ2 SKETCHES OF ART, 

refinement of both sexes. And, apropos to ciuv- 
thy, the fact is, that the institutions of a generoiis 
but barbarous period, invented to shield our help- 
lessness, when women were exposed to every^ hardr 
ship, every outrage, have been much abused, and 
must be considerably modified to suit a very difiep- 
ent state of societj. That afiectation of poetical 
homage, which your strength paid to our weakness, 
when the laws were not sufficient to defend us, we 
would now gladly exchange for more real honor, 
more real protection, more equal rights. I speak 
thus, knowing that, however open to perversion 
these expresfflons may be, you will not misappre- 
hend me ; you know that I am no vulgar, vehe- 
ment arguer about the '* rights of women ; ** and, &cim 
my habitual tone of feeling and thought, the last to 
covet any of your masculine privileges. 

Medon. I do perfectly understand you; but, 
pray what are our strictly masculine privileges, 
that you should covet them? Fighting! getting 
drunk I and keeping a mistress 1 — I beg your par- 
don if I shock your delicacy ; but certainly, upon 
the score of masculine privileges, the less that is 
said the better : there are nations in which it is a 
masculine privilege to sit and smoke, while women 
draw the plough. It was some time ago, — and 
now, in some countries, it is still a masculine privi- 
lege to cultivate the mind at all; and in G^ermany, 
apparently, it is still a masculine privilege to pub> 
llsh a book without losing caste in society ; whereas 
lere, in England, we have fallen into the oppotiu 



d by Google 



ZJTERATUBB, AJXD CHARACTKB. 131 

•xtreme ; female authorship is in danger of beooimiig 
a fashion, — ^which Hearen avert I I shoold be sorry 
to see jou women taking the pen yon have hitb- 
erio so honored, in the same spirit in which yoQ 
nsed to make filigree, cobble shoes, and paiat 
velret 

Alda. It is too true that mere vanity and 
fashion have lately made some women authoresses; 
— more write for money, and by this employment 
of their talents earn their own independence, add 
to the comforts of a parent, or supply the extravft* 
gance of a husband. Some, who are unhappy in 
their domestic relations^ yet endowed with all that 
feminine craving afler sympathy, which was in- 
tended to be the charm of our sex, the blessing of 
yours, and some how or other has been turned to 
the bane of both, look abroad for what they find 
not at home ; fling into the wide world the irre- 
pressible activity of an overflowing mind and heart, 
which can find no other unforbidden issue,— and 
to such **fame is love di^iuised.** Some write 
from the mere energy of inteUect and will ; some 
few finom the pure wish to do good, and to add to 
the stock of happiness and the progress of thought ; 
and many from all these motives combined in dii^ 
fsrent degrees. 

Medon. And have none of these motives pro 
Inced authoresses in Grermany ? 

A] DA. Yes^ but fashion and vanity, and the 
•ove af excitement, have not as yet tempted the 
Berman women to print their effusions ; their most 



d by Google 



IH »KJ£TCUE& OF ART, 

disdnguisbed authoresses have become so, eiibef 
frmn real entbasiasm or from necessity; and in 
the ligbter departments of literature tbey boast at 
present some brilliant names. I will run over a 
few. 

There is Helmina von Chezy — ^but before I 
speak of her, I should tell you of her famous grands 
mother, Anna Louisa Karshin, though she belonged 
to the last century. The Earshin was the daugh- 
ter of a poor innkeeper and brewer, in a little vil- 
lage of Silesia. She spent her early years in 
herding cows. She learned to read by stealth, bj 
stealth she beeame a poetess ; was first married to 
a boorish sulky weaver, secondly to a drunken 
tailor, and suffered for years every extremity of 
poverty and misery; at one time she travelled 
about the neighboring country, the first example 
of an itinerant poetess, declaiming her own verses, 
and always ready with an ode or a sonnet to cele- 
brate a wedding, or hail a birthday. In this strange 
profession she excited much astonishment>— went 
through some singular, but not disreputable adven- 
tures — and earned con^derable sums of money, 
which her husband spent in drink and profligacy, 
lifted with as much energy as genius, she strug- 
gled through all, and gradually became known to 
Mveral of the critics and poets of the last century, 
particularly Count Stolberg and Gleim, and ob- 
ieuned the title of the German Sappho. She found 
moans to reach Berlin, where she worked her war 
ftp to distinction, and supported herself, two chil 



d by Google 



UTE&ATUBB, AND CHARACTER. 135 

li^-y and an orphan brother, hj her talents. She 
was recommended to Frederick the Great as 
worthy of a pension, and — would yoa believe it ?— 
that munijicent patron of his country's genius sent 
her a gratuity of two dollars, in a piece of paper. 
This extraordinary and spirited woman, who had 
probably subsisted for half her life on charity, in- 
stantly returned them to the niggardly despot, 
after writing in the envelop four lines impromptu, 
which are yet repeated in Germany. I am not 
quite sure that I remember them accurately, and it 
is no matter, for they have not much either of poe- 
try or point 

** Zwei Thaler sind zu wenig, 

Zwei Thaler gibt kein Konig. 

Zwei Thaler machen nichtmein Gliiok; 

Fritz, hier sind sie zuriick.** 

She died in 1791, and a selection of her poemf 
was published in the following year. 

The granddaughter of the Earshin, the more 
celebrated Helmina von Chezy, is likewise a poet- 
ess ; her principal work is a tale of chivalry, in 
verse, Die drei Weissen Rosen, (The Three White 
Roses,) which was published in 18 — , and she 
wrote the opera of Euryanthe, for Weber to set 
lo music Her songs and lighter poems are. X am 
told, exceedingly beautiful. 

Caroline Pichler, of Vienna, I need only men- 
tioD. I believe her historical romances have been 
translated into half-a-dozen languages. The SinQt 
of V'«Tin<i is reckoned her best 



d by Google 



iS6 SKETCHES OF ART, 

Madame Schopenhaur, the daughter of a senator 
of Dantzic, is celebrated for her novels, travels, 
ind works on art. She resided for many years at 
Weimar, where she drew romid her a brilliant lit- 
erary circle, which the talents of her daughter fiur 
ther adorned. Since Goethe's death she has fixed 
her residence at Bonn, where it is probable the re- 
mainder of her life will be spent One of the best 
of her novels, " Die Tante," has been translated 
by Madame de Montolieu, under the title of ** La 
Xante et la Ni^ce." Another very pretty little 
book of hers, ** Ausfiucht an dem Rhein," I should 
like to see translated. Besides being an elegant 
writer on art, Madame Schopenhaur is herself no 
mean artist. Moreover, she is a kind-hearted, ex- 
cellent old lady, with a few old lady-like prejudices 
about England and the English, which I forgave 
her, — the more easily as I had to thank her in my 
own person for many and kind attentions. 

Madame von Helvig, of Weimar, (bom Amalia 
Ton Imhoff,) was the friend of Schiller, under 
whose auspices her first poems were published. 
Her rare knowledge of languages, her learning and 
critical taste in works of art, have distinguished 
her almost as much as her genius for poetry. 

The first wife of the Baron de la Motte-Fouquet, 
was a very accomplished woman, and the author ol 
leveral poems and romances. 

Frederica Brun, (bom Miinter,) the daughter d 
% learned ecclesiastic of Grotha, is celebrated for 
lier prose writings, %rd particularly her travels ir 



d by Google 



LIT£RATIT&E, AND CHABACTBR. iSl 

hhij, wLere she resided at different periods. Mad- 
wue Brun was a friend of Madame de Stael, who 
mentions her in her de PAUemagne, and describes 
the extraordinary talents for classical pantomime 
possessed by her daughter Ida Brun. 

Louisa Brachmann is, I believe, more renowned 
for her melancholy death than her poetical talents*, 
both together have procured her the name of the 
" German Sappho.** The wretched woman threw 
herself into the river at Halle, and perished, as it 
was said, for the sake of some faithless Phaon. 
This was in 1822, when she must have been be- 
tween forty and fifty ; and pray observe, I do not 
notice this fact of her age in ridicule. A woman's 
heart may overflow inwardly for long, long years, 
\dSL at last the accumulated sorrow bursts the bounds 
of reason, and then all at once we see the result of 
causes to which none gave heed, and of secret 
agonies to which none gave comfort — ^in folly, mad- 
ness, destruction. Whatever might have been the 
cause, — thus she died. Her works in prose and 
verse may be found in every bookseller's shop in 
Germany. There is also a life of this unhappy 
and gifted woman by professor Schutz. 

Fanny Tamow is one of the most remarkable 
%nd most fertile of all the modem German author- 
esses. Her genius was developed by misfortune 
and suffering : while yet an infant, she fell from a 
window two stones high, and was taken up, to the 
vnazement of the assistants, without any apparent 
njuiy, except a few bruise** ; but all the vital fbno- 



d by Google 



188 SKETCUES OF ART, 

tioiis suffered, and during ten or twelve years ^« 
was extended on a couch, neither joining in any of 
the amusements of childhood, nor subjected to the 
usual routine of female education. She educated 
herself. She read incessantly, and, as it was her 
only pleasure, books of every description, good and 
bad, were furnished her without restraint. She 
was about eleven years old when she made her first 
knotDti poetical attempt, inspired by her own feel- 
ings and situation. It was a dialogue between her- 
self and the angel of death. In her seventeenth 
year she was suflSiciently recovered to take charge 
of her father's family, after he had lost, by some 
sudden misfortune, his whole property. He held 
subsequently, a small office under government, the 
duties of which were principally performed by his 
admirable daughter. Her first writings were anony- 
mous, and for a long time her name was unknown. 
Her most celebrated novel, the " Thekla," was 
published in 1815 ; and from this time she has en- 
joyed a high and public reputation. Fanny Tar- 
now resides, or did reside, in Dresden. 

I have yet another name here, and not the least 
interesting, that of Johanna von Weissenthum, 
one of the most popular dramatic writers in Ger^ 
many. She was educated for the stage, even from 
infancy, her parents and relations being, I believe, 
Itrolling players. She lived, for many years, 9 
various life of toil, and adventure, and excitement 
rauh, pt rhaps, as Groethe describes in the Wilhelnu 
Hfeister; a life which does sometime? blun^ th« 



d by Google 



UTEBATUltS, AND CHARACTER. 181 

licer feelings, but is sure to develop talent where 
it exists. Johanna at length rose through all the 
grades of hor profession, and became the first ac- 
tress at the principal theatre at Vienna. She 
played in the " Phcedra," before Napoleon, when 
he occupied the Austrian capital in 1806, and the 
ccmqneror sent to her, after the performance, a 
complimentary message, and a gratuity of three 
thousand francs ; but her lasting reputation is found* 
ed on her dramatic works, which are played in 
every theatre in Germany. The plots, which, I am 
told, are remarkable for fancy and invention, have 
been borrowed, without acknowledgment, both by 
French and English playwrights. I was quite 
charmed with one of her pieces which I saw at 
Munich, (Die Erden — ^the Heirs,) and with another 
which was represented at Frankfort Johanna von 
Weissenthum has also written poems and tales. 

I have come to the end of my memoranda on 
this subject, and regret it much. I might easily 
give you more names, and quote second-hand the 
opinions I heard of the merits and characteristics 
of these authoresses ; but I speak of nothing but 
what I biowy and not being able to form any judg- 
ment myself, I will give none. Only it appears to 
me that the Grermans themselves assign to no female 
writer the same rank which here we proudly ^ve 
to Joanna Baillie and Mrs. Hemans. I could hear 
of none who had ever 3xercised any thing like the 
moral influence possessed by Maria Edgeworth and 
Harriet Martineau, in their respective departments; 



d by Google 



140 BK£TCHES OF ART, 

nor could learn that any G^erman woman had yel 
given public proof that the most feminine quali- 
ties were reconcilable with the highest scientifio 
attainments — ^like Mrs. Marcet and Mrs. Some]> 
ville. 

Mbdon. You said the other night, that you had 
not formed any opinion as to the moral and social 
position of the women in Grermany ; but you must 
have brought away some general impressions d 
manner and character ; — ^firankly, were they fiivor- 
able or unfavorable ? 

Alda. Frankly, they were most favorable. Ee- 
member that I am not prepared with any general 
sweeping conclusions : I cannot assure you from 
my own knowledge, that among my own sex the 
proportion of virtue and happiness is greater in 
Germany than in England. On the contrary — 

In every land 

I saw, wherever light illnmineth, 

Beauty and angaish walking hand in hand 
The downward slope to death. 

In every land I thought that, more or less, 
The stronger, sterner nature overbore 

The softer, nncontroll*d by gentleness, 
And selfish evermore ! * 

—Why do you smile ? 

Medon. You amuse me with the perseverance 
with which you ring the changes on your favorite 
text, in prose and in verse; and yet, to adopt 

* Alfred Tennyson. 



d by Google 



LITEBATUBBy AKD CHABACTKB. 141 

Vbhaire's wittjmetapbor, we are the hammen and 
mm the anyils all the world oyer. But is that all ? 
Tou need not have gone to Gvermanj to Terify 
khatl 

Alda. No, sir ; it is not oM, In the first place, 
yoa know I have a sufficient contempt for our 
English intolerance, with regard to manners — 

Medon. Why, yes ; with reason. The influence 
of mere manner among our fashionable people, 
and the stress laid upon it as a distinction, have 
become so vulgarized and abused, that I should be 
relieved even by a reaction which should throw us 
out of the insipdity <^ conventional manner into 
primeval rudeness. 

Alda. No, no, no ! — no extremes ; but though 
so sensible to the ridicule of referring the social 
habits, opinions, customs, of other nations, to the 
arbitrary standard of our own, still I could not 
help falling into comparisons ; certain distinctions 
between the German and the English women 
struck me involuntarily. In the highest circles a 
stranger finds society much alike everywhere. A 
court-ball — ^the soirde of an ambassadress— a min* 
ister's dinner — present nearly the same physiog- 
nomy. It is in the second class of society, which 
is also everywhere and in every sense the best, 
that we behold the stamp of national character. 
I was not condemned to see my German friends 
always en grande toilette; I had better opportii 
•lities of judging and appreciating their domestic 
aaknts and manners than most travellers enjoy. 



d by Google 



142 SKETCHES OF AST, 

I thought the German women, of a certain rank, 
more natural than we are. The moral education 
of an English girl is, for the most part, negative, 
the whole system of duty is thus presented to the 
mind. It is not " this you must do ; ** but always, 
** you must not do this — you must not say that — 
you must not think so; ** and if by some hardy, 
expanding nature, the question be ventured, 
** Why ? ** the mamma or the governess are ready 
with the answer, " It is not the custom — ^it is not 
lady-like — ^it is ridiculous I ** But is it wrong ? — 
why is it wrong ? — and then comes answer, pat — 
" My dear, you must not argue — ^young ladies never 

argue.** " But, mamma, I was thinking ** " My 

dear, you must not think — go write your Italian 
exercise,** and so on ! The idea that certain pas- 
sions, powers, tempers, feelings, interwoven with 
our being by our almighty and all-wise Creator, 
are to be put down by the fiat of a governess, or 
the edict of fashion, is monstrous. Those who 
educate us imagine that they have done every 
thing, if they have silenced controversy, if they 
have suppressed all external demonstration of an 
excess of temper or feeling ; not knowing or not 
reflecting that unless our nature be self-governed 
and self-directed by an appeal to those higher 
faculties which link us immediately with what is 
divine, their labor is lost 

Now, in Germany the women are less educated 
to suit some particular fashion ; the cultivation of 
khe intellect, and the forming of the manners, do 



d by Google 



LITKBATURE, AND CHARACTER. 14J 

aot 80 generally supersede the training of the 
moral sentiments, the afiecdous, the impulses ; the 
latter are not so habitually crushed or disguised ; 
consequently the women appeared to me more 
natural, and to have more individual character. 

Mkdon. But the English women pique them- 
selves on being natural, at least thej have the 
word continually in their mouths. Do you know 
that I once overheard a well-meaning mother in- 
structing her daughter how to be natural ? You 
laugh, but I assure you it is a simple fact Now, I 
really do not object to natural insipidity, but I do 
object to conventional insipidity: I object to a 
rule of elegance which makes the negative the 
test of the natural. It seems hard that those who 
have hearts and souls must needs put them into 
a strait 'Waistcoat, in order to oblige those who 
choose to have none ; and be guilty of the gross- 
est affectation, to escape the imputation of being 
affected 1 

Alda. I think there is less of this among the 
Germans; more of the individual character is 
brought into the daily intercourse of society- 
more of the poetry of existence is brought to bear 
on the common realities of life. I saw a freshness 
of feeling — a genuine (not a taught) simplicity, 
which charmed me. Sometimes I have seen affec- 
tation, but it amused me ; it consisted in the exag* 
geration of what is in itself good, not m the mean 
renunciation of our indi^duality — ^the immolation 
of our soul's truth to a mere fashion of behavior 



d by Google 



144 SKETCHES OF ART, 

As Rochefoucauld called hypocrisy, (that last ex- 
fcreme of wickedness,) "Mc homage which vice 
pays to virtue ; " so the nature de convention^ that 
last and worst excess of affectation, is the homage 
which the artificial pays to the natural. 

The German women are much more engrossed 
by the cares of housekeeping than women of a 
similar rank of life in England. They carry this 
too far in many instances, as we do the opposite 
extreme. In England, with our false, conyentional 
refinement, we attach an idea of vulgarity to cer- 
tain cares and duties in which there is nothing 
vulgar. To see the young and beautiful daughter 
of a lady of rank running about, busied in house- 
bold matters, with the keys of the wine-cellar and 
the store-room suspended to her sash, would cer- 
tainly surprise a young Englishwoman, who, mean- 
time, is netting a purse, painting a rose, or warbling 
iome " Dolce mio Bene," or " Soavi Palpiti," with 
the dr of a nun at penance. The description of 
Werther*s Charlotte, cutting bread and butter, 
has been an eternal subject of laughter among the 
English, among whom fine sentiment must be gar- 
nished out with something finer than itself; and no 
princess can be suffered to go mad, or even be in 
love, except in white satin. To any one who has 
lived in Germany, the union of sentiment and 
bread and butter, or of poetry with household 
cares, excites no laughter. The wife of a state 
minister once excused herself from going with me 
k) a picture gallery, because on that day she wai 



d by Google 



UTKRATUBKy AND CHABACTER. 141 

ftoliged to reckon up the household Iiiicn. She 
was one of the most charming, truly elegant, and 
accomplished women I ever met with. At another 
time I remember that a very accomplished woman, 
who had herself figured in a court, could not do 
something or other — I forget what — because it wai 
the " grosse Wasche," (the great wash,) an event, 
by the way, which I often found very mal-a-propos, 
and which never failed to turn a German house- 
hold upside down. You must remember that I am 
not speaking of tradesmen and mechanics, but ot 
people of my own, or even a superior rank of life. 
It is true that I met with cases in which the women 
had, without necessity, sunk into mere domestic 
drudges — women whose souls were in their kitchen 
and their household stuff — whose talk was of dishes 
and of condiments ; but then the same species of 
women in England would have been, instead of 
busy with the idea of being useful, frivolous, and 
ally, without any idea at alL 

Medon. And whether a woman put her soul 
into an apple tart, or a new bonnet, signifies little, 
if there be no capacity there for any thing better. 
I hate mere fine ladies; but equally avoid those 
who seem bom to " suckle fools and chronicle small 
beer." The accomplishments which embellish social 
life — ^tbe cultivation which raises you to a com- 
panionship with men — ^I cannot spare these to make 
mere nursos and housewifes, as I conceive the gen- 
erality of the German women aim to be, and whicli 
I have been told the opinions of the men apj rove 

10 



d by Google 



146 8KBTCHE3 OF ABT, 

Alda. As to what we tenn accompliihmentii 
ihere was certainly much less exhibitioii and par- 
ade of them in society ; they formed less an estab- 
lished and necessary part of education than with 
as ; but, of really accomplished, well-informed 
women, believe me I found no deficiency — ^far other 
wise : if the inclination or the talent existed, meani 
and opportunity were not wanting for mental cul- 
ture of a very high species. I met with fewer 
women who drew badly, sang tolerably, or rather 
mtolerably, scratched the harp, and quoted Metas' 
tasio ; but I met with quite as many women who, 
without pretension, were finished musicians, painted, 
like artists, possessed an extensive acquaintance 
with their own literature, and an uncommon knowl- 
Bdge of languages ; and were, besides, very good 
housewives after the German fashion. More or less 
acquaintance with the French language was- a 
matter of course, but English was preferred : every 
where I met with women who had cultivated with 
success, not our language merely, but our literature. 
Shakspedre, whether studied in English, or in some 
of their excellent translations, I found a species of 
household god, whose very name was breathed with 
reverence, as if it were that of a supernatural 
being. Lord Byron, and Sir Walter Scott, and 
Campbell, are familiar names. Wordsworth and 
Shelley are bp.ginning to be known, but they are 
pronounced more difficult of comprehension than 
Shakspeare himself; yet I met with a Grerman 
lady who could repeat Coleridge's " Ancient Mj^ 



d by Google 



LITEBATURB, AND CHARACTiCIt 14f 

finer* hj heart Of our great modem poeta, 
Crabbe appeared the least understood and appr»> 
elated in Germany, for the obvious reason, that hif 
lubjects and portraits are ahnost exclusively n»> 
tional. There are, however, several Grerman edi- 
tions of his works. The men read him as a study. 
The only German lady I met with who had read 
his works through, pronounced them " not poetry." 
Bulwer is exceedingly popular among the women ; 
BO is Moore. Some of those who most admired the 
latter, gave as one reason that " his English st^de 
was so easy." 

Medon. Of all our poets, Moore should seem 
the least allied to a German taste. Shall I confess 
to you ? He reminds me perpetually of Prince 
Potemkin's larder, in which you could always have 
petks'patds and champagne, ad libitum^ but never 
a morsel of bread or a drop of water I 

Alda. The simile is e'en too wickedly just ; but 
I except his Irish ballads : by the way, I was pleased 
to find some of our beautiful Irish melodies almost 
naturalized in Germany, and sung either with 
Moore's words, or German versions of them. 1 
remember that at Stifl-Neuberg I heard the air of 
Ally Croker sung to an excellent translation of 
Moore's words,^ and with as much of the national 
spirit and feeling as if we had been on the banks 
•f the Shannon instead of the banks of the Neckar 
The singer, an amateur, and a most extraordinary 
basical genius, who had joined our circle ^m Hei- 
• ** Thro' Erin's Isle, to fppct awhile," &e 



d by Google 



i4S SKETCHES OF ART, 

ddberg, did not understand, or at least di . not 
ipeak, English ; yet there was no Irish, or Scotch, or 
English air which he had not at the ends of his fin« 
gers ; and when he struck up, ^ Of noble race wa^ 
Shenkiu,** it was as if all the souls of all the Welsh 
harpers since High-bom Hod had inspired him. 
This ^fled person was, however, of your sex, and 
our discourse, at present, is of mine. 

I heard an English lady, who had resided for 
some time in Germany, remark that the " Grerman 
mothers spoiled their children terribly ; " in othei 
words, the children lived more habitually with the 
mothers, were under little restraint, and behaved 
in the drawing-room much as if they were in the 
nursery, and were treated, as they grew up, on 
more equal terms. 

That high exterior polish, those brilliant con- 
versational talents, which I have seen in many 
English and French women, must be rare among 
the Germans : they are too simple and too much 
in earnest The trifling of a polished French 
woman is often most graceful ; the trifling of an 
Englishwoman gracious and graceful ; but the trifl- 
ing of a German woman is, in comparison, heavy 
work; to use a common expression, it is not in 
tJiem, I met with one satirical woman. You know 
I once ventured to assert that no woman ii 
naturally satirical, and to touch upon the canset 
which foster this artificial vice — and here was a 
rase in point It was that of a mind which luA 
triginally been a piece of natuve's noblest handi. 



d by Google 



LITERATI; <tB, AND CHARACTER. 14f 

irork, first braised, then gradually festered by tlie 
iction of all evil influences. 

Mbdox. And, <* lilies that fester are far wane 
than weeds," so nngeth the poet ; bnt do you mak« 
lihe cause also the excuse ? How many minds have 
endured the most withering influences of misery and 
mischief, if not untouched, at least uninjured — na* 
embittered ! 

Alda. I grant you : bnt before we assume the 
power of judging, of computing the degree of Yir> 
tue in the latter case, of vice in the former, we 
should look to the original conformation of the 
human being — ^the material exposed to these in« 
fluences. Fire hardens the clay and dissolves the 
metal. This plate of tempered steel, on which I 
am going to etch, shall corrode, effervesce, be ab- 
solutely decomposed by the action of a few drops 
of nitrous acid, which has no effect whatever on 
this lump of wax. Now, carry this analogy into 
the consideration of the human character — it will 
spare us a long argument 

As to the chapter of coquettes — 

Mbdon. Ah I glissezy mortely n'appuyez pas ! 

Alda. And why not ? — ^Don't you know that I 
meditate, with the assistance of certsdn professorinoy 
a complete Natural History of Coquettes, (in 
quarto,) which shall rival the famous Dutch treatise 
on Butterflies, in ^leaven knows how many folio 
(rolumes ? In the first part of this stupendous work 
we intend to treat systematically of every known 
ipedes, from the coquetterie instinctive^ which may 



d by Google 



150 SKKTCHES OF AKT, 

be termed the wild genus, indigenous in all females, 
up to the coquetterie calculde et philosophiqtie, tiM 
most refined specimen reared in the hot-bed of arti- 
ficial life. In the second part, we shall treat the 
whole history of Coquetteriey from that first pretty 
expeiiment of dear Mamma Eve, when she turned 
away fr^m Adam, 



*♦ 1 As conscious of her worth, 

That would be woo'd and not unsought be won," 

down to — ^to — ^how shall I avoid being personal ? — - 
down to the Lady Adehne Amundevilles of our 
own day. With some women, coquetterie is an in- 
stinct ; with others, an amusement ; with others, a 
pursuit ; with others, a science. With the German 
women it is a passion : they play the coquette as 
they do every thing else, with sentiment, with good 
faith, with enthusiasm. 

Medon. Why then it is no longer coquetterie — 
it is love I 

Alda. I beg your pardon ; it is something very 
different True, perhaps, ** that thin partitions do 
the bounds divide ; ** but, to a nice observer, the 
division is not the less complete. In short, you can 
imagine nothing more distinct than an English co- 
quette and a Grerman coquette ; in the first case^ 
one is reminded of Diyden's fanciful mmile— 

** So cold herself, while she such warmth ezpress'd, 
*Twas Cupid bathing in Diana's stream! ** 

^ot, ill the latter case, it b Diana bending the bow 



d by Google 



IITERATURK, AND CHARACTEli. 1ft 

RDd brandishing the darts of Cupid ; and with ac 
nnsuspirious gaucherie, which now and then tumi 
the point against her own bosom. 

I observed, and I verified my own observationt, 
by the information of some intelligent medical men, 
that there is less ill-health among the superior rank 
of women, in Germany, than with us; all thai class 
of diseases, which we call nervous, which in Eng- 
land have increased, and are increasing in such a 
fearful ratio, are far less prevalent ; doubtless, 
because the habits of social life are more natural* 
The use of noxious stimulants among the better 
class of women is almost unknown, and rare among 
the very lowest "classes — ^would to heaven we could 
lay the same I No where, not even at Munich, one 
of the most profligate of the German capitals, was 
I ever shocked by tiie exhibition of female suffer- 
ing and depravity in another form, as in the 
theatres and the streets of London. 

I have been asked twenty times since my return 
to England, whether the German women are not 
very excdtie — very romantic ? I could only an- 
swer, that they appeared to me less cal« ulating, 
less the slaves of artificial manners and modes of 
thinking; more imaginative, more governed by 
natural feeling, more enthusiastic in love and reli* 
gion, than with us. If this is what my English 
friends term exaltde, I certainly cannot think the 
German women would have reason to be offended 
Dy the application of the word to them, however 
satirically meant Perhaps it may be from necessity. 



d by Google 



152 SKETCHES OF ART, 

that thej are generally more simple in their taste^ 
and more frugal in their expenses ; they had cer- 
tainly a most formidable idea of the extravagance 
of fashionable English women, and of our luxurioiu 
habits. I believe that they are sometimes difficult 
of access, and apparently inhospitable, because they 
suspect us of scoffing at their simplicity, at the 
homeliness of their acconmiodations, and their 
housewively occupations. For my own part I slip- 
ped so quietly and naturally into all their social 
and domestic habits, and cared so little about the 
differences and distinctions, which some of the Eng- 
lish thought it fine to be always remarking and 
lamenting, that my Grerman friends used to express 
their surprise, by saying — " Savez vous, ma ch^re, 
que vous ne me faites pas du tout Tefiet d'une 
Anglaisel" — an odd species of compliment, but 
certainly meant as such. It is true that I was 
sometimes a little tired of the everlasting knitting 
and cross-stitch ; and it is true I may at times have 
felt the want of certain external luxuries, with which 
we are habitually pampered in this prodigal land, 
till they become necessaries ; but I would be well 
content to exchange them all a thousand times over^ 
for the cheap mental and social pleasures — ^the easy 
intercourse of German life. 

Medon. Apropos to German romance. I met 
with a striking instance of it even in my short and 
rapid journey across part of the country. A ladf 
of birth and rank, who had been dame cThonneu^ 
in the court of a sovereign princess, (a princess bi 



d by Google 



UTERATITRK, AXD CHARACTER. 15t 

die way of very equivocal reputadon,) oo the death 
3f a lover, to whom she had been betrothed, de* 
f oted herself thenceforth to the service of the sick 
in the hospitals; she could not enter a religious 
order, being a Protestant, but she fulfilled all the 
offices of a vowed Sister of Charity. When she 
applied to the physician for leave to attend the 
hospital at , he used every endeavor to dis- 
suade her from her undertaking — all in vain ! Then 
he tried to disgust her by imposing, in the first in- 
stance, duties the most fearful and revolting to a 
delicate woman ; she stood this test, and persisted. 
It is now five years since I saw her ; perhaps she 
may by this time be tired of her charitable, or 
rather her romantic, self-devotion. 

Alda. No, that she is not. I know to whom you 
allude. She follows steadily and quietly the same 
pious vocation in which she has persevered for 
fifteen years, and in which she seems resolved to 
die. 

Now, in return for your story, though I knew it 
all before, I will tell you another ; but lest you 
should suspect me of absolute invention and 
romancing, I must tell you how I came by it. 

I was travelling from Weimar to Frankfort, and 
had stopped at a little town, one or two stages 
beyond Fulda ; I was standing at the window of 
the inn, which was opposite to the post-house, and 
'ooking at a crowd of travellers who had just been 
lisgorged from a huge Eil-wagen or post-coach^ 
wrhich was standing there. Among them was one 



d by Google 



154 SKETCHES OF ART, 

female, who, before I was aware, fixed my ait&m 
kion. Although closely envbloped in a winter dresi 
from head to foot, her height, and the easy decision 
with which she moved, showed that her figure waf 
fine and well-proportioned ; and as the wind blew 
aside her black veil, I had a glimpse of features 
which still farther excited my curiosity. I had time 
to consider her, as she alighted and walked over to 
the inn alone. She entered at once the room — ^it 
was a 8ort of public saloon — ^in which I was ; sum- 
moned the waiter, whom she addressed in a good- 
famnored, but rather familiar style, and ordered 
breakfast ; not a cup of chocolate or caffee au laity as 
became a heroine, for you see I was resohred that aha 
should be one, but a very substantial German break- 
fast — soup, a cutlet, and* a pint (eine halbe flasche) 
of good wine : it was then about ten o'clock. While 
this was preparing, she threw off her travelling ac- 
coutrements ; first a dark cloak, richly lined with 
fur ; one or two shawls ; a sort of pelisse, or rather 
surtout, reaching to the knees, with long loose 
sleeves, such as you may see in the prints of Tar- 
tar or Muscovite costumes ; this was made of bean- 
M Indian shawl, lined with blue silk, and trimmed 
with sables : under these splendid and multifarious 
coverings she wore a dress of deep mourning. Hei 
figure, when displayed, excited my admiration : it 
was one of the most perfect I ever beheld. Her 
feet, hands, and head, were small in proportion to 
her figure; her face was not so striking — it wai 
pretty, rather than handsome; her small moatk 



d by Google 



1.ITERATURE, AND CHABACTKB 158 

floBed firmly, so as to give a mariLed and singalar 
expression of resolution and decision, to a phyriog^ 
nomy otherwise frank and good-humored. Her 
eyes, also small, were of a dark hazel, bright, and 
with long blonde eyelashes. Her abundant fair 
kair was j^ted in several bands, and fastened on 
the top of her head, in the fashion of the German 
peasant girls. Her voice would have been deemed 
rather high-pitched, for " ears polite,** but it was not 
fieficient in melody; and though her expression 
was grave, and even sad, upon our first encounter, 
I soon found that mirth, and not sadness, was the 
natural character of her mind, as of her countfr> 
nance. When any thing ridiculous occurred, she 
burst at once into a laugh — such a meiry, musical 
peal, that it was impossible not to sympathize in it 
Her whole appearance and manner gave me the 
idea of a farmer's buxom daughter : nothing could 
be more distinct from our notions of the lady-like, 
yet nothing could be more free from impropriety, 
more expressive of native innocence and modesty ; 
but the splendor of her dress did not exactly suit 
with her deportment — ^it puzzled me. I observed, 
when she drew off her glove, that she wore a 
number of silver rings of a peculiar fashion, and 
among them a fine diamond. She walked up and 
down while her breakfast was preparing, seemingly 
lost in painfiil meditations ; but when it appeared, 
ihe sat down and did justice to it, as one who had 
been many hours without tbod. While she wai 
thus engaged, the conducteur of the £il-wagen ar.d 



d by Google 



1A6 SKETCHES OF ART, 

one of the passengers came in, and spoke to hhi 
with interest and respect. Soon afterwards came 
the mistress of the inn, (who had never deigned to 
notice me, for it is not the fashion in Germany ;) 
she came with an offer of particular services, and 
from the conversation I gathered, to my astonish- 
ment, that this young creature — she seemed not 
more than two or three and twenty — was on her 
way home, alone and unprotected, from— can you 
imagine ? — even from the wiWs of Siberia ! But 
then what had brought her there ? I listened, in 
hopes of discovering, but they all spoke so fast that 
I could make out nothing more. Afterwards, I had 
occasion to go over to a little shop to make some 
purchase. On my return, I found her crying bit- 
terly, and my maid, also in tears, was comforting 
her with great volubility. Now, though my having 
in Grerman, like Orlando's beard, was not consider- 
able, and my heroine spoke still less French, J 
could not help assisting in the task of consolation — 
never, certainly, were my curiosity and interest 
more strongly excited ! Subsequently we met at 
Frankfort, where she was lodged in the same hotel, 
and I was enabled to offer her a seat in my vehicle 
to Mayence, Thus, I had opportunities of hearing 
her whole history related at different times, and in 
parts and parcels ; and I will now endeavor to give 
it to you in a connected form. I may possibly make 
lome mistake with regard to the order of events, 
but I promise you faithfidly, that where my recol- 
lection of names, or dates, or circumstances* mai 



d by Google 



LITERATUBE, AND CHARACTER 157 

/ail me, I will not, like Mademoiselle de Montpen* 
■ier, make use of my imagination to supply the de* 
fects <^ mj memory. You shall have, if not tbto 
whols truth, at least as much of it as I can remem- 
ber, and with no fictitious interpolations and im- 
proyements. Of the imimation of voice and man- 
ner, the vivid eloquence, the graphic spirit, the 
quick transitions of feeling, and the grace and 
vivacity of gesture and action with which the rela- 
tion was made to me by this fine untutored child of 
nature, I can give you no idea — it was altogether a 
study of character, I shall never forget 

My heroine — truly and in every sense does she 
deserve the name — ^was the daughter of a rich 
brewer and wine merchant of Deuxponts.* She 
was one of five children, two much older and two 
much younger than herself. Her eldest brother 
was called Henri: he had early displayed such 
uncommon talents, and such a decided inclination 
for study, that his father was determined to give 
him all the advantages of a learned education, and 
sent him to the univerraty of Elangau, in Bavaria, 
whence he returned to his family with the highest 
testimonies of his talents and good conduct. His 
&ther now destined him for the clerical profession, 
with which his own wishes accorded. His sister 
fondly dwelt upon his praises, and described him, 
perhaps with all a sister^s partiality, as being not 

*Iii the Oerman mspfl, ZTreibrUeKen; th# capital cf thoM 
prerinocfl of the kingdom of Bayaria, which U^ on the Ictft bank 
4 the BUne. 



d by Google 



158 8KBTCHBS OF ART, 

only the pride of his fanuly, but of all his feUow* 
citizens, ^^tall, and handsome, and good,** of a 
most benevolent enthusiastic temper, and devoted 
to his studies. When he had been at home for 
some time, he attracted the notice of one of the 
princes in the north of Germany, with whom he 
travelled, I believe, in the capacity of secretary. 
The name of the prince, and the particulars of this 
part of his life, have escaped me ; but it appeared 
that, through the recommendation of this powerful 
patron, he became professor of theology in a uni- 
versity of Courland, I think at Riga, or somewhere 
near it, for the name of this city was continually 
recurring in her narrative. Henri was at this time 
about eight-and-twenty. 

While here, it was his fate to fall passionately 
in love with the daughter of a rich Jew merchant 
E[b religious zeal mingled with his love ; he was 
as anxious to convert his mistress as to possess her 
--and, in fact, the first was a necessary prehminary 
to the second ; the consequences were all in the 
usual style of such matters. The relations discov- 
ered the correspondence, and the young Jewess wa« 
forbidden to see or to speak to her lover. They 
met in secret. What arguments he might use tc 
convert this modem Jessica, I know not, but they 
prevailed. She declared herself convinced, anf" 
consented to fly with him beyond the frontiers, into 
Silesia, to be baptized, and to become his wife. 

Apparently their plans were not well-arranged. 
vr were betrayed ; for they were pursued by hei 



d by Google 



LITERATURE. AXD CHARACTFV. 159 

reladoDS and the police, and overtaken before they 
reached the frontiers. I'he young man was ae» 
cased of carrying off his Jewish love by fcrcij, 
and this, I believe, at Riga, where the Jews are 
protected, is a capital crime. The affair wai 
brought before the tribunal, and the accused de- 
fended himself by declaring that the girl had fled 
with him by her own free will; that she was a 
Christian, and his betrothed bride, as they had 
exchanged rings, or had gone through some similar 
ceremony. The father Jew denied thb on the 
part of his daughter, and Henri desired to be con- 
fronted with the lady who was thus said to have 
turned his accuser. Her family made many diffi- 
culties, but by order of the judge she was obliged 
to appear. She was brought into the court of 
justice pale, trembling, and supported by her 
father and others of her kindred. The judge de- 
manded whether it was by her own will that she 
had fled with Henri Ambos ? She answered in a 
faint voice, ** No." Had then violence been used 
to carry her off? " Yes,** Was she a Christian ? 
"iVb." Did she regard Henri as her affianced 
husband? "JVb." 

On hearing these replies, so different from the 
truth, — ^from all he could have anticipated, the un- 
fortunate young man, appeared for a few minutes 
stupefied ; then, as if seized with a sudden frenzy, 
he made a desperate effort to rush upon the young 
Jewess. On being prevented, he drew a knife 
from his pocket, which he attempted to plunge into 



d by Google 



160 SKETCHES OF ART, 

biB own bosom, but it was wrested from him ; in 
the scuffle he was wounded in the hands and face, 
and the young lady swooned away. The sight of 
his mistress insensible, and his own blood flowing, 
restored the lover to his senses. He became sul- 
lenly calm, offered not another word in his own 
defence, refused to answer any questions, and was 
immediately conveyed to prison. 

These particulars came to the knowledge of his 
family after the lapse of many months, but of his 
subsequent fate they could learn nothing. Neither 
his sentence nor his punishment could be ascer- 
tained ; and although one of his relations went tn 
Riga, for the purpose of obtaining some informa* 
tion — some redress — ^he returned without havin^f 
effected either of the purposes of his joumej 
Whether Henri had died of his wounds, or Ian 
guished in a perpetual dungeon, remained a 
mystery. 

Six years thus passed aws^. His father died : 
his mother, who persisted in hoping, while all 
others despaired, lingered on in heart-wearing sus- 
pense. At length, in the beginning of last year, 
(1833,) a travelling merchant passed through the 
city of Deuxponts, and inquired for the family of 
Ambos. He informed them that in the preceding 
year he had seen and spoken to a man in rags, 
with a long beard, who was working in fetters with 
other criminals, near the fortress of Barinska, in 
Siberia ; who described himself as Henri Ambos, 
R pastor of the Lutheran church, unjustly coi> 



d by Google 



LITERATURE, AND CHARACTER. 161 

demned, and besought him with tears, and the 
most urgent supplications, to convey some tiding! 
of him to his unhappy parents, and beseech them 
to use every means to obtain his liberation. 

You must imagine — for I cannot describe as she 
described — the feelings which this intelligence ex- 
cited. A family council was held, and it was 
determined at once that application should be 
made to the police authorities at St Petersburg, to 
ascertain beyond a doubt the fate of poor Henri — 
that a petition in his favor must be presented to 
the Emperor of Russia ; but who was to present 
it? The second brother offered himself, but he 
had a wife and two children ; the wife protested 
that she should die if her husband left her, and 
would not hear of his going ; besides, he was the 
only remaining hope of his mother's family. The 
sister then said that she would undertake the 
journey, and argued that as a woman she had 
more chance of success in such an affair than her 
brother. The mother acquiesced. There was, in 
truth, no alternative ; and being amply furnished 
with the means, this generous, affectionate, and 
strong-minded girl, set off alone, on her long and 
perilous journey. " When my mother gave me 
her blessing," said she, " I made a vow to Grod and 
my own heart, that I would not return alive with- 
out the pardon of my brother. I feared nothing ; 
I had nothing to live for. I had health and 
itrength, and I had not a doubt of rav own sncceas, 
beca ISA T was resolved to .succeed ; but ah I Uehi 
11 



d by Google 



162 SKETCHES OF ART, 

madame ! Ttrhat a fate was mine ! and how am 1 
returning to my mother ! — my poor old mother ! " 
Here she burst into tears, and threw herself back 
in the carriage ; after a few minutes she resumed 
her narrative. 

She reached the city of Riga without mischance. 
There she collected the necessary documents rela- 
tive to her brother's character and conduct, with 
all the circumstances of his trial, and had them 
properly attested. Furnished with these papen, 
she proceeded to St. Petersburg, where she ar- 
rived safely in the beginning of June, 1833. She 
had been furnished with several letters of recom- 
mendation and particularly with one to a German 
ecclesiastic, of whom she spoke with the most grate- 
ful enthusiasm, by the title of M. le Pasteur. She 
met with the utmost difficulty in obtaining from the 
police the official return of her brother's condem- 
nation, place of exile, punishment, &c.; but at 
length, by almost incredible boldness, perseverance, 
and address, she was in possession of these, and 
with the assistance of her good friend the pastor, 
she drew up a petition to the emperor. With this 
she waited on the minister of the interior, to whom, 
mtli great difficulty, and after many applications, 
she obtained access. He treated her with great 
harshness, and absolutely refused to deliver the 
petition. She threw herself on her knees, and 
added tears to entreaties ; but he was inexorabh^» 
and added brutally — " Your brother was a mauvait- 
tHj'et ; he oufj^t not to be pardoned, and if I were 



d by Google 



I.ITERATTmE, AKD CHARACTER. 16S 

foe emperor I would not pardon him.** She rose 
from her knees, and stretching her arms towaitis 
heaven, exclaimed with fervor—" I call God to 
witness that my brother was innocent I and I thank 
God that you are not the emperor, for I can still 
hope I ** The minister, in a rage, said — " Do you 
dare to speak thus to me ! Do you know who I am ? " 
** Yes," she replied ; " you are his excellency the 

minister C ; but what of that ? you are a cruel 

man I but I put my trust in God and the emperor; 
and then,** said she, " I lefl him, without even a 
curtsey, though he followed me to the door, speak- 
ing very loud and very angrily." 

Her suit being rejected by all the ministers, (foi 
even those who were most gentle, and who allowed 
the hardship of the case, still refused to interfere, 
or deliver her petition,) she resolved to do, what 
she had been dissuaded from attempting in the first 
instance — ^to appeal to the emperor in person ; bu* 
it was in vain she lavished hundreds of dollars in 
bribes to the inferior officers ; in vain she beset the 
imperial suite, at reviews, at the theatre, on the 
way to the church : invariably beaten back by the 
guards, or the attendants, she could not penetrate 
to the emperor's presence. Afler spending six 
weeks in daily ineffectual attempts of this kind, 
hoping every morning, and almost despairing every 
evening — ^threatened by the police and spumed by 
the officials — ^Providence raised her up a friend in 
one of her own sex. Among some ladies of rank, 
who became interested in her stcry, and invited 



d by Google 



164 SKETCHES OF ART, 

ber to their houses, was a Countess Ellse, something 
inr other, whose name I am sony I did not write 
down. One day, on seeing her young protegA 
overwhelmed with grief, and ahnost in despair, she 
isud, with emotion, " I cannot dare to present your 
petition myself, I might be sent off to Siberia, or 
at least banished the court ; but all I can do I ¥rilL 
I wUl lend you my equipage and servants. I will 
dress you in one of my robes ; you shall drive to 
the palace the next levee day, and obtain an 
audience under my name ; when once in the pres- 
ence of the emperor you must manage for your- 
self. If I risk thus much, will you venture the 
rest ? •* " And what," said I, ** was your answer ? " 
"Oh!" she replied, "I could not answer; but I 
threw myself at her feet, and kissed the hem of her 
gown ! " I asked her whether she had not feared 
to risk the safety of her generous friend ? She re- 
plied, " That thought did strike me — ^but what would 
you have ? — ^I cast it from me. I was resolved to 
have my brother's pardon — ^I would have sacrificed 
my own life to obtain it — and, God forgive me, 1 
thought little of what it might cost another.** 

This plan was soon arranged, and at the time ap- 
pointed my resolute heroine drove up to the palace 
in a splendid equipage, preceded by a running 
footman, with three laced laquais in full dresa 
mounted behind. She was announced as the 

Countess Elise y who supplicated a pariir- 

alar audience of his mi^jesty. The doors flew 
dpen and in a few minutes she was in the presence 



d by Google 



LITER AVURB, AND CHARACTBIU 16? 

^ the emperor, who advanced one'or two steps to 
meet her, with an air of gallantry, but suddenly 
started bac k 

Here I could not help asking her, whether in 
that moment she did not feel her heart sink ? 

" No," said she firmly ; " on the contrary, I felt 
my heart beat quicker and higher 1 — ^I sprang for- 
ward and knelt at his feet, exclaiming, with clasped 
hands — * Pardon, imperial majesty I — Pardon 1 * " 
" Who are you ? " said the emperor, astonished ; 
** and what can I do for you ?** He spoke gently, 
more gently than any of his ministers, and over- 
come, even by my ovm hopes, I burst into a flood 
of tears, and said — *' May it please your imperial 

majesty, I am not Ck>untess Elise , I am 

only the sister of the unfortunate Henri Ambos, 
who has been condemned on false accusation. O 
pardon ! — pardon I Here are the papers — the 
proofs. O imperial majesty I — pardon my pooi 
brother ! '* I held out the petition and the papers, 
and at the same time, prostrate on my knees, ] 
seized the skirt of his embroidered coat, and pret* 
sed it to my lips. The emperor said, **Rise - 
rise ! " but I would not rise ; I still held out my 
papers, resolved not to rise till he had taken them 
At last the emperor, who seemed much moved, ex- 
tended one hand towards me, and took the papers 
with the other, saying — " Rise, mademoiselle — ^1 
e(»mnand you to rise.** I ventured to kiss his hand. 
Mid said, with tears, " I pray of ^our majesty to 
load that paper." He said, " J vnll read it" I 



d by Google 



66 SKETCHES \>¥ ART, 

then rose from the ground, and stood watching him 
while he unfolded the petition and read it Hi* 
countenance changed, and he exclaimed once or 
twice, " Is it possible ? — This is dreadful I " When 
he had finished, he folded the paper, and without 
any observation, said at once — ** Mademoiselle 
Ambos, your brother is pardoned." The words 
rung in my ears, and I again flung myself at hia 
feet, saying — and yet I scarce know what I said — 
" Your imperial majesty is a god upon earth ; do 
you indeed pardon my brother? Your ministers 
would never suffer me to approach you ; and even 

yet I fear 1" He said, "Fear nothii^j,: you 

have my promise." He then raised me from the 
ground, and conducted me himself to the door. 1 
tried to thank and bless him, but could not ; he held 
out his hand for me to kiss, and then bowed hia 
bead as I lefl the room. " Ach ja ! the emperor is 
a good man,— ein schoner, feiner, Mann! but he 
does not know how cruel his ministers are, and all 
the evil they do, and all the justice they refuse, in 
his name ! " 

I have given you this scene as nearly as possible 
i % her own words. She not only related it, but 
ahnost acted it over again ; she imitated alternately, 
her own and the emperor^s voice and manner ; and 
such was the vivacity' of her description that 1 
teemed to hear and behold both, and was more pro- 
foundly moved than by any scenic representation 
?«in remember. 

On her return she received the congratulation 



d by Google 



IITEBATUBB, AND GH.UtACTER. 167 

•f ;ier benefactress, the Countess Elise, and of her 
good friend the pastor, but both advised her to keep 
her audience and the emperor's promise a profound 
secret. She was the more inclined to this; be- 
cause, after the first burst of joyous emotion, her 
spirits sank. Re<K>llecting the pains that had been 
taken to shut her from the emperor's presence, she 
feared some unforeseen obstacle, or even some 
knavery on the part of the officers of government 
She described her sufferings during the next few 
days, as fearful; her agitation, her previous far 
tigues, and the terrible suspense, apparently threw 
her into a fever, or acted on her excited nerves so 
as to produce a species of delirium, though, of 
course, she would not admit this. After assuring 
me very gravely that she did not believe in ghosts., 
she told me that one night, after her interview with 
the emperor, she was reading in bed, being unable 
to sleep ; and on raising her eyes from her book 
she saw the figure of her brother, standing at 
the other end of the room ; she exclaimed, " My 
Grod, Henri I is that you ! " but without making 
any reply, the form approached nearer and nearer 
to the bed, keeping its melancholy eyes fixed on 
hers, till it came quite close to the bedside, and 
laid a cold heavy hand upon her. 

MsDON. The night-mare, evidently. 

AuoA. Without doubt; hut her own impression 
^as as of a reality. The figure, after looking al 
ner sadly for some minutes, during which she had 
00 power either to move or speak, turned away ; 



d by Google 



^C8 SKETCHES OF ART, 

ihe then made a desperate effort to call out to the 
daughter of her hostess, who slept in the next room 
— <« Luise ! Luise ! ** Luise ran in to her. *^ Do 
yon not see my brother standing there ? " she ex- 
claimed with horror, and pointing to the other end 
of the room, whither the image, conjured up by 
her excited fancy and fevered nerves, appeared to 
have receded. The frightened, staring Luise, an- 
swered, " Yes.** " You see,** said she, appealing to 
me — " that though I might be cheated by my own 
senses, I could not doubt those of another. I 
thought to myself, then^ my poor Henri is dead, and 
Crod has permitted him to visit me. This idea pur- 
sued me all that night, and the next day ; but on 
the following day, which was Monday, just five 
days afler I had seen the Emperor, a laquais^ in 
the imperial livery, came to my lodging, and put 
into my hands a packet, with the *' Emperor^s com- 
pliments to Mademoiselle Ambos.** It was the par- 
don for my brother, with the Emperor's seal and 
ttjgnature : then I forgot every thing but joy 1 ** 

Those mean, official animal?, who had before 
spumed her, now pressed upon her with offers of 
service, and even the Minister C offered to ex- 
pedite the pardon himself to Siberia, in order to save 
her trouble ; but she would not suffer the precious 
paper out of her hands : she determined to carry 
\i herself—- to be herself the bearer of glad tidings : 
—she had resolved that none but herself should 
take off those fetters, the very description of whick 
Qad entered her soul ; so, having made her arrange 



d by Google 



LITERATURE, AND CHARACTER. 169 

veits as quickly as possible, she set off for Moscow, 
where she arrived in three days. According to her 
description, the town in Siberia, to the governor oi 
which she carried an official recommendation, was 
nine thousand versts beyond Moscow; and the 
fortress to which the wretched malefactors were 
exiled was at a great distance beyond that I 
could not well make out the situation of either, 
and, unluckily, I had no map with me but a road 
map of Germany, and it was evident that my hero- 
ine was no geographer. She told me that, after 
leaving Moscow, she travelled post seven days and 
seven nights, only sleeping in the carriage. She 
then reposed for two days, and then posted on for 
another seven days and nights. 

Medon. Alone? 

Alda. Alone ! and wholly unprotected, except 
by her own innocence imd energy, and a few lines 
oi recommendation, which had been ^ven to her 
at St, Petersburg. The roads were every where 
excellent, the post-houses at regular distances, the 
travelling rapid ; but oflen, for hundreds of miles, 
there were no accommodations of any kind — scarce 
a human habitation. She even suffered from hun- 
ger, not being prepared to travel for so many hours 
together without meeting with any food she could 
touch without disgust She described, with great 
truth and eloquence, her own sensations as she was 
whirled rapidly over those wide, silent, solitary, and 
apparently endless plains. " Sometimes,** said she, 
•* my head seemed to turn — I could not believe fhM 



d by Google 



170 SKETCHES OF ART, 

It was a waking reality — I could not believe that it 
was myself. Alone, in a strange land, — so many 
hundred leagues from my own home, and driven 
l^long as if through the sdr, with a rapidity so di^ 
ferent from any thing I had been used to, that it 
almost took away my breath.** 

" Did you ever feel fear ? I asked. 

" Ach ja ! when I waked sometimes in the car- 
riage, in the middle of the night, wondering at my- 
self, and unable immediately to collect my thoughts. 
Never at any other time.** 

I asked her if she had ever met with insult ? She 
said she had twice met with " wicked men ; ** but 
she had felt no alarm — she knew how to protect 
herself: and as she said this, her countenance as- 
sumed an expression which showed that it was not 
a mere boast Altogether, she described her jour- 
ney as being grausam^ (horrible,) in the highest 
degree, and, indeed, even the recollection of it 
made her shudder ; but at the time there was the 
anticipation of an unspeakable happiness, which 
made all fatigues light, and all dangers indifferent 

At length, in the beginning of August, she ar- 
rived at the end of her journey, and was courteously 
received by the commandant of the fortress. She 
presented the pardon with a hand which trembled 
with impatience and joy, too great to be restrained, 
aim )st to be borne. The officer looked very grave, 
and took, she thought, a long time to read th^ 
paper, which consisted only of six or eight Unes. 
At last he stammered out, " I am sorry — ^but tlif 



d by Google 



LITERATUBE, AND CHARACTER. 171 

Henri Ambos mentioned in this pa[«r — is dead / ' 
Poor girl ! she fell to the earth. 

When she reached this part of her story she. 
burst into a fresh flood of tears, wrun^ her hands, 
and for some time could utter nothing but pas^on- 
ate exclamations of grief. *SVch ! liebe Gott! was 
fur ein schrecklich shichsal war das meine I " 
^ What a horrible fate was mine ! I had come thus 
far to find — not my brother — nur ein grab ! ** (only 
a grave !) she repeated several times, with an ac- 
cent of despair. The unfortunate man had died a 
year before. The fetters in which he worked had 
caused an ulcer in his leg, which he neglected, and, 
after some weeks of horrid sufiering, death released 
him. The task-work, for nearly five years, of this 
accomplished, and even learned man, in the prime 
of his life and mental powers, had been to break 
stones upon the road, chained hand and foot, and 
confounded with the lowest malefactors. 

In giving you thus conscientiously, the mere out- 
line of this story, I have spared you all comments. 
[ see, by those indignant strides majestical, that you 
are making comments to yourself; but sit down 
and be quiet, if you can : I have not much more to 
ieU! 

Sbo found, on inquiry, that some papera and let* 
ters, which her unhappy brother had drawn up by 
stealth, in the hope of being able at some time to 
convey them to his friends, were in the possession 
of one of the officers whe readily gave them up to 
der ; and with these she returned, half brokeu- 



d by Google 



178 SKBTCHJES OF ABT, 

hearted, to St Petersburg. If her former joumef, 
when hope cheered her on the way, had been so 
fearful, what must have been her return? I was 
not surprised to hear that, on her arrival, she was 
seized with a dangerous illness, and was for manj 
weeks confined to her bed. 

Ser story excited much commiseration, and a 
very general interest and curiosity was excited 
about herself. She told me that a great many per- 
sons of rank invited her to their houses, and made 
her rich presents, among which were the splendid 
shawls and the ring, which had caught my atten- 
tion, and excited my surprise, in the first instance 
The Emperor expressed a wish to see her, and very 
graciously spoke a few words of condolence. " But 
they could not bring my brother back to life!** 
said she, expressively. He even presented her to 
the Empress. <*And what," I asked, *' did the Em- 
press say to you ? " " Nothing ; but she looked 
9o "—drawing herself up. 

On receiving her brother's pardon from the Em- 
peror, she had written home to her family; but 
•he confessed that since that time she had not 
written, she had not courage to inflict a blow which 
might possibly affect her mother's life ; and yet the 
idea of being obliged to tell what she dared not 
write, seemed to strike her with terror. 

But the strangest event of this strange story re- 
mains to be told \ and I will try to give it in hei 
pwn simple words. 

She left Petersburg in October, and proceedea 



d by Google 



LITER ATURB, AND CHARACTER. i7S 

Id Biga, where those who had knowu her brother 
received her with interest and kindness, and sym- 
pathized in her affliction. ** But," said she, ^ there 
was one thing I had resolved to do which' yet 
remained undone. I was resolved to see the 
woman who had been the original cause of all my 
poor brother's misfortunes. I thought if once I 
could say to her, * Your &lsehood has done this t' 
I should be satisfied ; but my brother's friends dis- 
suaded me from this idea. They said it was better 
not ; that it could do my poor Henri no good ; that 
it was wrong ; that it was unchristian ; and I sub- 
mitted. I lefl Riga with a voituirer. I had reached 
Pojer, on the Prussian frontiers, and there I 
stopped at the Douane, to have my packages 
searched. The chief officer looked at the address 
on my trunk, and exclaimed, with surprise, ' Made- 
moiselle AmbosI Are you any relation of the 
Professor Henri Ambos?' 'I am his sister.' 
*Good God I I was the intimate fiiend of your 
brother! What has become of him?' I then 
told him all I hav^ now told you, liebe madamel 
— ^and when I came to an end, this good man buret 
into tears, and for some time we wept tc^ether. 
The kutscher, (driver,) who was standing by, 
heard all this conversation, and when I turned 
round, he was crying toa My brother's friend 
pressed on me offers of service and hospitality, 
bat I could not delay ; for, besides that my impa- 
tience to reach home increased every hour, I had 
lot much money in my purse. Of thiee thousand 



d by Google 



74 SKETCHES OF AMI, 

dollars, which I had taken with me to St. IV.te» 
burg, very little remained, so I bade him fai^well, 
and I proceeded. At the next town, where my 
kiitscher stopped to feed his horses, he came to the 
door of my caliche, and said, *You have just 
missed seeing the Jew lady, whom your brother 
was in love with ; that caliche which passed us by 
just now, and changed horses here, cont£uned 

Mademoiselle S , her sister, and her sister's 

husband I ' Good God 1 imagine my surprise I 1 
could not believe my fortune: it seemed that 
Providence had delivered her into my hands, and 
I was resolved that she should not escape me. ] 
knew they would be delayed at the custom-house. 
I ordered the man to turn, and drive back as fast 
as possible, promising him a reward of a dollar, if 
he overtook them. On reaching the custom-house, 
I saw a caliche standing at a little distance. I 
felt myself tremble, and my heart beat so, but not 
with fear. I went up to the caliche — two ladies 
were sitting in it. I addressed the one who was 
the most beautiful, and said, /Are you Mademoi- 
selle Emilie S ?* I suppose I must have 
looked very strange, and wild, and resolute, for 
she replied, with a frightened manner, * I am ; who 
are you, and what do you want with me ? ' I said, 
* I am the sister of Henri Ambos, whom you mur- 
dered 1 ' She shrieked out ; the men came running 
from the house ; but I held fast the carriage-door, 
I am not come to hurt you, but you are the mur- 
deress of my brother, Henri Ambos. He love^ 



d by Google 



LITERATURE, AND CUARAOTER. 1 7A 

fou, and } our falsehood has killed him. May God 
puuish you for it 1 May his ghost pursue you to 
the end of your life ! ' I remember no more. ] 
was like one mad. I have just a recoUection of 
her ghastly, terrified look, and her eyes wide open, 
staring at me. I fell into fits ; and they carried 
me into the house of my brother's friend, and laid 
me on a bed. When I recovered my senses, the 
cal^he and all were gone. When I reached 
Berlin, all this appeared to me so miraculous, — so 
like a dream — ^I could not trust to my own recol- 
lection, and I wrote to the officer of Customs, to 
beg he would attest that it was really true, and 
what I had said when I was out of my senses, and 
what she had said ; and at Leipsic I received his 
letter, which I will show you." And at Mayence 
she showed me this letter, and a number of other 
documents; her brother's pardon, with the em- 
peror's signature; a letter of the Countess Elise 

; a most touching letter from her unfortunate 

brother ; (over this she wept much ;) and a va- 
riety of other papers, all proving the truth of her 
story, even to the minutest particulars. The next 
morning we were to part. I was going down the 
Rhine, and she was to proceed to Deuxponts, 
which she expected to reach in two days. As she 
had travelled from Berlin almost without rest, ex- 
cept the night we had spent at Frankfort, she ap- 
peared to me ready to sink with fatigue ; but she 
would not bid me farewell that night, although 1 
told her I should be obliged to set off at nix the 



d by Google 



179 SKETCHES OF ART, ET(!. 

next morning ; but kissing my hand, with man) 
expressions of gratitude, she said she would he 
awake and visit mc in my room to bid me a last 
adieu. As there was only a very narrow passage 
between the two rooms, she left her door a little 
open that she might hear me rise. However, on 
the following morning she did not appear. When 
dressed, I went on tiptoe into her room, and found 
her lying in a deep, calm sleep, her arm over her 
head. I looked at her for some minutes, and 
thought I had never seen a finer creature. I then 
turned, with a whispered blessing and adieu, and 
went on my way. 

This is all I can tell you. If at the time I had 
not been travelling against time, and with a mind 
most fully and painfully occupied, I believe ] 
should have been tempted to accompany my 
heroine to Deuxponts; — at least, I should have 
retained her narrative more accurately. Not 
having made any memoranda till many days after- 
wards, all the names have escaped my recollec- 
tion ; but if you have any doubts of the general 
truth of this story, I will at least give you the 
means of verif^dng it Here is her name, in hei 
own handwriting, on one of the leaves of my 
oocket-book — ^you can read the German character 



d by Google 



SKETCHES OF ART, LITERATURE, 
ANT) CHARACTER. 



PART IL 



VKMOEANDA AT MUNICH, NUBKMBURQ| AM9 
DBBSDBN. 



d by Google 



d by Google 



SKExCHES OF ART, LITERATUB*, 
AND CHARACTER. 



1 

MElfOBANDA AT MUNICH. 

Sept. 28. — A week at Munich t and nothing 
done! nothing seen I My first excursions I made to 
day — from my bed to the sofa — ^from the sofa to the 
window. Every one told me to be prepared against 
the caprices of the climate, but I did not imagine 
that it would take a week or a fortnight to be oe- 
climaUe, 

What could induce the princes of Bararia to 
plant their capital in the midst of these wide, 
marshy, bleak, barren plains, and upon this rough 
unmanageable torrent, — ^** the Isar rolling rapidly," 
— when they might have seated themselves by the 
majestic Danube ? The Tyrolean Alps stretching 
south and west, either form a barrier against the 
most genial airs of heaven, or if a stray zephyr 
find his way from Italy, his poor little wings are 
frozen to his back among the mountain snows, and 
he drops shivering among us, wrapt in a misty 
cloud. I never saw such fogs : they are as dense 



d by Google 



180 SKETCHES OF ART, 

and as white as a fleece, and look and feel too, like 
rarefied snow; — but as no one else compljuns, I 
think it must be indisposition which makes me so 
peevish and so chilly. Sitting at the window being 
my best amusement, I do not like to find the only 
objects which are to give me a foretaste of the 
iplendor of Munich, quite veiled from sight and 
ihrouded in mist, even for a few morning hours. 

I am lodged in the Max-Joseph's-Platz, oppo- 
nte to the theatre : a situation at once airy, quiet, 
and cheerfuL 

The theatre is in itself a beautiful object ; the 
portico, of the Corinthian order, is supported by 
eight pillars ; the ascent is by a noble flight of steps, 
with four gigantic bronze candelabras at the cor- 
ners ; and nothing, at least to my unlearned eyes, 
could be more elegant — more purely classical and 
Greek, than the whole, were it not for the hideous 
roof upon the roof,— one pediment, as it were, rid- 
ing on the back of the other. Some internal ar- 
rangement of the theatre may render this deformity 
necessary, but it is a deformity, and one that an* 
noys me whenever I look at it. 

On the right, I have the new palace, which formf 
one side of the square : a long range of plain, almost 
rustic, architecture ; altogether a striking, bui rather 
ft pleasing contrast, to the luxuriant grace of the 
theatre. Just now, when I looked out, what a 
beautiful scene 1 The full moon rising over the 
theatre, lights up half ^he white columns, and half 
ftre lost in shade. The performances are just over 



d by Google 



LITERATVRK, AND CHARACTER. 181 

(half-past nine !) cit>wds of people emei*ging from 
the portico into the brilliant moonshine, (many of 
them military, in glittering accoutrements,) de- 
scend the steps, and spread themselves through tihe 
square, angle, or in various groups ; carriages are 
drawing up and drawing off, — and all this gay con^ 
fusion is without the least noise or tumult. Except 
the occasional low roll of the carriage-wheels over 
the well-gravelled road, I hear no sound, though 
within a few yards of the spot It looks like scmie 
lovely optical or scenic illusion ; a moving picture, 
magnified. 

Oct. 4. — To my great consternation — summoned 
in form before the police, and condemned to pay a 
fine of ten florins for having omitted to fill up 
specifically a certain paper which had been placed 
in my bands on my arrival. In the first place, I 
did not understand it ; secondly, I never tbcight 
about it ; and thirdly, I had been too ill to attend 
to it I made a show of resistance, but it was all 
in vain, of course ; — ^my permission to reside here 
is limited to six weeks, but may be renewed. 

Last night I was induced, but only upon great 
persuaaon, to venture over to the theatre. I had 
been tantalized so long by looking at the exterior I 
Then it was a pleasant evening — ^broad daylight ; 
and the whole theatre being heated by stoves to 
■n even regulated warmth according to the season, 
I was assured that once within the doors there 
waaA be no danger of fresh indisposition firon 
draughts or cold. 



d by Google 



182 SKETCHES OF ABT, 

Entering the box, my first glance was of oouhm 
%t the stage. The drop-scene, or curtain, a well 
painted copy of Guido's Aurora, pleased me infi* 
nitely more than the beautiful drop-curtain atMan- 
heim : ihcU was very elegant, but this is more than 
elegant. It harmonized with the place, and in my 
own mind it touched certain chords of association, 
which had long been silent. It was as if the 
nrchestre had suddenly welcomed me with some 
delicious, often-heard, and well-remembered piece 
of music : the effect upon the senses was similar — 
nor can I describe it ; — but, surprised and charmed, 
I kept my eyes fixed for some minutes upon the 
picture : the light being thrown full upon it, while 
the rest of the theatre was comparatively in deep 
shade, like all the foreign theatres, rendered it 
more effective. The rest of the decorations cor- 
responded in splendor; the two colossal muses, 
as Caryatides supporting the king's state box, the 
aoble columns of white and gold, and the Carya- 
tides on each side of the proscenium, were all in 
fine taste. The size and proportions of the interior 
seemed most happily calculated for seeing and 
hearing. On the whole, I never beheld a theatre 
which so entirely satisfied me — no one more easily 
pleased, and no one less easily satisfied I 

When I looked down on th's parterre, I beheld 
A motley assemblage in various costumes: there 
were a great number of the military ; there were 
ihe well-dressed daughters of people of some con- 
iition, in the French fashion of two or three yeaiY 



d by Google 



LITER ATUBB AND CHARACTEK 189 

oack ; there were girls in the T}'roleaii codtume, 
with their scarlet boddices and silver chains ; and 
the women of Munich, with their odd little two- 
homed caps of rich gold or silver brocade,— form* 
ing altogether a singular spectacle. As for the 
scenery, it was very well, but would bear no com- 
parison to Stanfield's glorious illusions. 

The inducement held out to me to-night was to 
tee Ferdinand Eslair play the Duke of Alva in 
^ Egmont" Eslidr, formerly one of the first actors 
at Afanheim, when Manheim boasted the first 
theatre in Germany, is esteemed the finest trage- 
dian here, and the Duke of Alva is one of his best 
characters. It appeared to me a superb piece of 
acting; so quietly stem, so fearfully hard and com- 
posed : it was a fine conception cast in bronze : — 
m this consisted its beauty and truth as a whole. 
Some of his sUerU passages, and his by-play, were 
admirable. He gave us, in tiie scene with Egmont, 
an exact living transcript of l^tian's famous picture 
of the Duke of Alva ; the dress, the attitude, the 
poation of the heknet and the glove on the table 
beside Mm, every thing was so well calculated, at 
once so unobtrusive and so unexpected, that it 
was like a recognition. Egmont was well played 
by Racke, but did not strike me so much. Madem- 
oiselle Scholler, who plays the young heroines 
here, is a pupil of Madame Schroder, (the German 
Siddc^s,) and promises well ; but she wants de- 
velopment; she wants the power, the passion, the 
^odemcss, the energy of Clarchen. Cliirchen it 



d by Google 



184 SKETCHES OF ART, 

R plebeian girl, but an impassioned and devoted 
woman — she is a sort of Flemish Juliet. There ia 
the same truth of nature and passion, the same im- 
press of intense and luxuriant life — but then it 
is a different life — ^it is a Rubens compared to a 
Titian — and such Clarchen ought to be. Not» 
to give all the internal power and poetry, yet 
preserve all the external simplicity and home- 
liness of the character, — ^to give all the abandon^ 
yet preserve all the delicacy, — to give the del- 
icacy, yet keep clear of all super-refinement, and 
in the concentrated despair of her last scene 
(where she poisons herself) to be calm without 
being cold, and profoundly tragic without the 
usual tragedy airs, must be difficult — exceedingly 
difficult ; in short, to play Clarchen, as I conceive 
the character ought to be played, would require a 
young actress, uniting sufficient genius to conceive 
it aright, with sufficient delicacy and judgment 
not to color it too highly: there was no danger 
of the latter mistake with Mademoiselle Scholler, 
in whose hands Clarchen became a mere pretty 
affectionate girl. In that lovely scene with Eg- 
mont in the third act, which might be contrasted 
with Juliet's balcony scene, as a test of the powers 
flf a young actress, Mademoiselle Scholler was 
tunid even to feebleness ; the change of manner, 
when Clarchen substitutes the tender familiarity 
of the second person singular (Du) for the tone 
of respect in which she before addressed hei 
lover, should have been felt and marked, so as u 



d by Google 



LITERATURE, AND CHARACIBR. 160 

bare been felt and remarked : but this was lot the 
ease. In short, 1 was disappointed by this scene. 

The Flemish ccstumes were correct and beauti- 
ful. The Prince of Orange, in particular, lo(4ced 
as if he had just walked out of one of Vandyke*! 
pictures. 

After seeing this fine tragedy — surely enough fyt 
one evening's amusement — ^I was at home and in 
bed by half-past ten. They manage these thingii 
better here than in England. 

Friday. — Dinner at the French ambassador's ^ve 
(/clock. I mark this, because extraordinarily late 
at Munich. The plebeian dinner hour is twelve, 
or earlier; the general hour, one: the genteel 
hour, two ; the fashionable hour, three ; but ^y^ is 
Buper-elegant — ^in the very extreme of finery — ^like 
a nine o'clock dinner in London. There were 
present the Princess Schwartzenburg and her sister 
the Princess Dietrichstein, the British Secretary 
of Legation, a young Englishman, Lord H. F., M. 
de Klenze, and four or ^yq other gentlemen with 
tftars and ribbons, names unknown. The Princess 
Schwartzenburg is a famous Austrian beauty, and 
on any other occasion I might have been sensible 
of her pretensions, but in the same room with 
Madame de Yaudreuil this was scarcely possible, 
10 entirely did the greater glory dim the less. But 
the person who fixed my attention was Leo von 
Rlenze, the celebrated architect, and deservedly a 
&vorite of the king, who has, I joelieve, bestowed 
9n him the superfluous honors of nobility. Witli 



d by Google 



](56 SKKTCHES OF ABT, 

tbe Others, I had no sympathies — with him a thoi^ 
land, though he knew it not. I looked at him with 
curiosity — with interest I liked hb plain, but 
marked and clever countenance, and his easy man- 
ners. I felt an unconscious desire to De agreeablej 
and longed to make him talk ; but I knew that thii 
was not the place or the moment for us to see each 
other to the greatest advantage. We had, how- 
ever, some little conversation — a kind of beginning. 
He told me at dinner that the Glyptothek (the 
gallery of sculpture here) was planned and built 
by the present king, when only prince royal, and 
the expenses liquidated from his private purse, out 
of his yearly savings. He spoke with modesty oi 
himself— with gratitude and admiration of the king, 
of whose talent, vivacity, impatience, and enthu- 
siasm for art and artists I had already heard some 
characteristic anecdotes. 

Afler coffee, part of the company dispersed to 
the opera, or elsewhere ; others remained to lounge 
and converse. After the opera, we reassembled 
with additions, and then tea, and cards, and talk, 
till past eleven. Madame de Yaudreuil receives 
almost every evening, and this seems to be the 
general routine. 

Oct. 6. — They are now celebratin^r here the 
VoUcsfe$t, (literaUy the ^ peoples feosi^) or annual 
fair of Munich, and this has been a grand day of 
festivity. There have been races, a military re- 
riew, &c.; but, except the race-horses in their 
tmbroidered trappings, which were led past my 



d by Google 



UTEBATURB, AND CHARACTBB. 187 

window, and a long cavalcade of royal caniagei 
and crowds of people, in gay and grotesque cot* 
lumes, hurrying by, I hare seen nothing, being 
obliged to keep my room ; so I listened to the firing 
of the cannon, and the shouts of the populace, and 
thought 

« « « 

OeL 8.— First visit to the Glyptothek— just re- 
tnmed — my imagination, still filled with ^the 
blaze, the splendor, and the symmetry,"— excited 
as I never thought it could be again excited after 
seeing the Vatican; but this is the Vatican in 
miniature. Can it be possible that this glorious 
edifice was planned by a young prince, and erected 
out of his yeariy savings ? I am wonder-struck 1 
I was not prepared for any thing so spacious, no 
magnificent, so perfect in taste and arrangement 

I do not yet know the exact measurement of the 
building; but it contains twelve galleries, the small- 
est about fifty, and the largest about one hundred 
and thirty feet in length. It consists of a square, 
built round an open central court, and the ap- 
proach is by a noble portico of twelve Ionic 
columns, raised on a flight of steps. As it stands 
in an open space, a little out of the town, with 
trees planted on either side, the effect b very im 
posing and beautifiiL There are no exterior win- 
dows, they all open into the central court 

From the portico we enter a hall, paved with 
marble. Over the principal door is the name 0/ 
lie king, and the date of the erection Two sidi 



d by Google'' 



188 SKETCHES OF ART, 

doors lead to tbe galleries. Over the door on the 
lefl there is an inscription to the honor of Leo 
von Klenzc, the architect of the building. Over 
the door on the right, is the name of Peter Cor- 
nelius, the painter, by whom ^he frescos were de- 
■igned and chiefly executed. Thus the king, with 
a noble magnanimity, uniting truth and justice, has 
associated in his glory those to whom he chiefly 
owes it — and this charmed me. It is in much finer 
feeling, much higher taste, than those eternal (no, 
not eternal!) great N's of that imperial egotist, 
Napoleon, whose vulgar appetite for vulgar fam-) 
would allow no participation. 

I walked slowly through the galleries so excited 
by the feeling of admiration, that I could mak^ 
no minute or particular observations. The floors 
are all paved with marbles of various colors — ^the 
walls, to a certain height, are stuccoed in imitation 
of gray or dark green marble, so as to throw out 
the sculpture, and give it the full eflect. The 
utmost luxury of ornament has been lavished on 
the walls and ceilings, some in painting, some in 
relief; but in each, the subjects and ornaments are 
appropriate to the situation, and as each gallery 
has been originally adapted to its destination, every 
where the effect to be produced has been judi- 
siously studied. The light is not too great, nor too 
generally diffused — ^it is poured in from high semi- 
circular windows on one side ocly, so as to throw 
ihe sculpture into beautiful relief Two lofty and 
ipacious halls are richly painted in fresco, whb 



d by Google 



LITERATUBK, AKD GSAKAGTEB. 189 

lubjects fhHn the Greek mythology, and the whole 
building would contain, I suppose, six times, or ten 
times, the number of works <^ art now there ; at 
the same time all are so arranged that there ap* 
pears no obvious deficiency. The collection was 
begun only in 1808, and since that time the king 
has contrived to make some invaluable acquisitions. 
I found here many of the most far-famed relics of 
ancioAt urt, many that I had already seen in Italy; 
for instance, the Egina marbles, the Barberini 
Faun, the Barberini Muse or Apollo, the Leu- 
cothoe, the Medusa Bondanini, above all, the 
Dioneus ; but I cannot now dwell on these. I must 
go again and again before I can methodize my im- 
pressions and recollections. 

OcU 11. — Yesterday and to-day, at the Glyp- 
tothek, where the cushioned seats, though rather 
more classical than comfortable, enabled me to 
lounge away the time, unwearied in body as in 
mind. 

The arrangement of the galleries is such as to 
form not only a splendid exhibition and school oi 
art, but a regular progressive history of the rise 
and decline of sculpture. Thus we step from the 
irestibule into the Egyptian gallery, of which the 
principal treasure is the colossal Antinous of Bosso- 
antico, with the attributes of Oaris. 

I admired in thb room the exquisite beauty and 
propriety of the basso-relievo over the door, do- 
ligned and modelled by Schwanthaler. It isd 
lourse intended to be symbolical of the birth of ar 



d by Google 



190 SKETCHES OF ART« 

Among the Egyptians. lais discovers the body oi 
her lost husband Odris, concealed in a sarcopha* 
gus : she strikes it with the mystic wand, and he 
stands revealed, and restored to her. The imita* 
tion of the Egyptian style is perfect 

From the Egyptian, we step into the Etruscan 
gallery, of which the ceiling is psunted in the mosl 
vivid and beautiful colors. The third room con- 
tains the famous Egina marbles, which I had seen 
at Rome when Thorwaldson was engaged in re> 
storing them. To appreciate the classical beauty 
and propriety of the arrangement of these singulai 
relics, we must call to mind their history, their sub- 
ject, and their original destination. Thus ^acus, 
the first king of the Island of JBgina was the son 
of Jupiter, or rather Zeus, (for the Greek designa- 
tions are infinitely more elegant and expressive 
than the Koman.) The temple was dedicated to 
Zeus, and the groups which adorned the pediment* 
represented the history of the two branches of the 
^acidae, descended from Telamon and Peleus, 
sons of -^acus. On two long tables or stands of 
marble, supported by griffins, imitated from those 
which originally ornamented the temple, are ranged 
the two groups of figures : neither group is quite 
entire. Of that which represents the fight of 
Telamon and Hercules with Laomedon, King of 
Troy, there are only five figures remaining ; and 
%f the other group, the conflict for the body of 
c*atroclus, there are ten figures. Along the waUfl, 
$n tables of marble, are ranged a variety of fi^ 



d by Google 



LITERATURE, AND CHARACTER. )9) 

nents from the same temple, which must have been 
iplendidly rich in sculpture, within and withoat 
On the ceiling of this room, the four iEacids, 
iEacns, Peleus, Achilles, and Neoptolemus, are 
represented in relief, by Schwanthaler. There is 
also a small model of the western front of the 
temple restored, and painted as it is proved to have 
been originally; (for instance, the field of the 
T3rmpanum was of a sky blue.) This model is 
fixed in the wall opposite to the window. It is 
extremely curious and interesting, but I thought 
not well placed as an ornament* 

I remember asking W , who has been in 

every part of the world, what was the most beauti- 
ful scene he had ever beheld, taking natural beauty 
and poetical associations together? He replied, 
afler a little thought, ** A sunset from the temple of 
JBgina ; " — ^and I can conceive this. Lord Byron 
introduces it into his Grecian Sunset — but as an 
obiect — 

** On old £gina*8 steep and Idra*B Isle, 
The god of gladness sheds his parting smile.** 

From the iEgina gallery we enter the Hall ot 

* The entire grouping of these flgnres is from the design of Mr 
Robert Cockerell, one of the original discoTerers, who in ascer* 
teining their relative position has been guided in some measure 
by the situation in which their fragments were found strewed ia 
front of the temple, and orerwhelmed with masses of the frie«i 
and pediment; but has been mueh more indebted to his awq 
artist-like feeling, and architectural skill. He is of opinion that 
the western pediment oontained several other figores besides ihe 
too which have been rMtored. 



d by Google 



192 SKETCHES OF ABT, 

Apollo. The ceiling of this room, splendidly deco- 
rated in white and gold, represents the emblems oi 
the four principal cities of Greece, viz ; the Athe- 
nian owl, the winged-horse of Corinth, the Chimera 
of Sicyon, and the wolf of Argos. 

The chief glory of this apartment is that cele- 
brated colossal statue, once known as the Baibe- 
rini muse, now considered by antiquarians as an 
Apollo, and supposed to be the work of Ageladas, 
the master of Phidias. It is certainly older than 
the sculptures of the Parthenon. In its severe 
massy grandeur, there is something of the heavi- 
ness and formality of the most ancient Greek 
school, and in point of style it forms a link betweea 
the ^gina marbles and the Elgin marbles. It 
should seem that the eyes of this statue were once 
represented by gems — ^the orifices remain, sur^ 
rounded by a ring of bronze. 

In the same room are those two sublime busts 
which almost take away one's breath — ^the colossal 
head of Pallas, resembling that of the Minerva of 
Velletri, now in the Vatican ; and the Achilles. 

The next room is the Hall of Bacchus. The 
ceiling is richly ornamented with all the festive em- 
blems of the god, in white and gold relief In the 
centre we have that wondrous statue, the gigantic 
Sleeping Satyr, called by some the Barberini Faun. 
Antiquaries and connoisseurs refer this work either 
to Scopas or Praxiteles, and, from the situation in 
which it was discovered, suppose it to have once 
'unamented the tomb of Adrian. I cannot telt 



d by Google 



LITERATURE, AND CHARACTER. 191 

how this may be, but here we behold with iistonish- 
ment the grotesque, the elegant, and the sublime 
mingled together, and each in perfection : how^ I 
know not ; but I feel it is so. I once saw a draw- 
ing of this statue, which gave me the idea of some- 
thing coarse and heavy ; whereas, in the original, 
the delicate beauty of the workmanship, and the 
inimitable sleepy abandonment of the attitude, 
loften the effect of the colossal forms. I would 
place this statue unmediately after the Elgin mar- 
bles ; it is, with all its excellence, a degree lower in 
style. 

In this gallery I found the famous head of the 
laughing faun, called from the greenish stain on the 
cheek, the fauno colla macchia, and also a sarcoph- 
agus, representing in the most exquisite sculp- 
ture, the marriage of Bacchus and Ariadne. The 
blending of the idea of death with the fulness of 
life, and even with the most luxuriant and festive 
associations of life, is conmion among the Greeks, 
and, from one or two known instances, appears to 
have been carried to an extreme which makes one 
shrink ; still, any thing rather than our detestable 
death's head and cross bones ! In nature, and in 
poetry, death is beautiful. It is the diseases and 
vices of artificial life which have rendered it la- 
mentable, terrible, disgusting. 

Fixed in the wall, opposite to the window, there 
b a has relief of amazing beauty — ^the marriage ol 
Neptune and Amphitrite. It b a piece of lyrio 
poetry. 

18 



d by Google 



194 SKETCHES OF ART, 

The Hall of Niobe contains few objects ; but 
imong them some of the most perfect spechnens of 
Grecian art ; and first, the Ilioneus. 

It was because the Grecian sculptors were thenft- 
lelves poets and creators, that " marble grew di- 
vine " beneath their hands, and became so instinct 
with the indestructible spirit of life, that their hal^ 
defaced ruins retain their immortality: else how 
should we stand shivering with awe before those 
tremendous fragments— the sister Fates in the 
Elgin marbles I Or, how should I, who am incapa- 
ble of estimating the technical perfection of art, 
stand entranced — as to-day I stood — ^before the 
Ilioneus? It was not merely admiration; it was 
the overpowering sentiment of harmonious and 
pathetic beauty running along every nerve — such 
a feeling as music has sometimes awakened. I sup- 
pose the Ilioneus stands alone, like the Torso of the 
Vatican — the ne plus ultra of grace, as the latter is 
of grandeur. 

The first time I ever saw a cast of thb divine 
statue was in the vestibule of Goethe's house, at 
Weimar. It immediately fixed my attention. Af- 
terwards I saw another in Dannecker's studio, and 
from him I learned its history. It was discovered 
about ten years ago at Prague, in the possession oi 
a stone-mason, and is supposed to have formed part 
of the collection of ancient works of art which the 
Emperor Rodolph collected in Italy about 1600.* 

* The character of the Emperor Rodolph would be one of th« 
BOtt interesting speculations in phL'oeophica) history. He was 



d by Google 



UTEBATURB, AND CHARACTKR. 195 

A certain Dr. Barth purchased it for a trifle, and 
brought it to Vienna, where Dannecker happened 
U> be at that time, and was called upon with others 
to pronounce on its merits and value. It was at 
once attributed to the hand, either of Praxiteles or 
Scopas, and on farther and minute examination, 
the style, the proportions, and the eyident purport 
of the figure, have decided that it belongs to the 
group of Niobe and her children. It has obtained 
the appellation of Ilioneus, which Ovid gives to the 
youngest of her sons. It represents a youth kneel< 
ing. The head and arms are. wanting; but the 
supplicatory expression of the attitude, the turn of 
the body, so deprecating, so imploring ; the bloom 
of adolescence, which seems absolutely shed over 
the cold marble, the unequalled delicacy and ele- 
gance of the whole, touched me unspeakably. 

The King of Bavaria is said to have paid for thii 
exquisite relic 15,000 florins — a large sum for a lit- 
tle potentate ; but for the object itself, its value is 
not to be computed by money. Its weight in gold 
were poor in comparison. 

In the same room b the Medusa Bondanini, the 
common model of almost all the Medusa heads, but 
certainly not equal to the sublime colossal mask at 
Cologne. There is also an antique duplicate of the 

•fldently a fine artist, degraded into a Iwd 8C«yere|gn— a maa 
irhoee oonstmetiTe and ima^^natiye genius was misplaced upon 
ft throne. The melancholy, and incipient madness which hoTered 
vnt him, was possibly the resnit of the natural li^nlties sup 
'«r«ssed or pwerted. 



d by Google 



196 SKETCHES OF ART, 

Mercury of the Belvedere; another of the Yenm 
of Cnidos ; another (most beautiful) of one of the 
ions of Niobe, recumbent, lifeless ; and some othei 
master-pieces. 

These six rooms occupy one nde of the buildingi 
And contain altogether one hundred and forty-seyen 
fpecimens of ancient art 

I do not quite understand Flaxman's diyimon of 
ancient art into three periods — ^the heroic age, the 
philosophic, age, and the age of perfection. Per- 
naps if he had lived to correct his essays, he would 
have made this more clear. According to his dis- 
tincdon, would not the group of the Niobe belong 
to the age of perfection ? — and the Parthenon to 
the philosophic age ? which, allowing his definition 
of the two styles, I cannot grant. I suppose these 
six galleries include a period of about seven hun- 
dred years ; (putting the dateless antiquity of some 
of the Egyptian relics out of the question.) We 
begin with the heavy motionless forms, ** looking 
tranquillity," which yet have often a certain dig- 
nity ; then the stiff, hard, elaborate figures of the 
earliest Greek school, with their curled heads and 
perpendicular draperies, in some of which dawns 
the first feeling of vigor and grace, as in the .Xgina 
marbles ; the next is the union of grandeur and 
elegance ; and the next is the utmost poetical re- 
finement. I recpllect that somewhere in Boswell*' 
Life of Johnson, a conversation is recorded as tak- 
ing place at the table of Sir Joshua Reynolds ; in 
^he "ourse of which Sir Joshua remarked, that V 



d by Google 



LITEBATURE, AND CHARACTER. 197 

Has impossible to conceive what the ancient writen 
Heant, when they represented sculpture as having 
passed its zenith when the Apollo and the Laocoon 
were produced. None of the great scholars or 
artists then present could explain the mystery — 
now no longer a mystery. When Sir Joshua made 
tAuB remark, the Elgin marbles were unknown in 
England. 

Between this range of galleries, and a corre* 
iponding range on the opposite side, are two im- 
mense halls, called the Fest-Saale, or banqueting 
halls, and as yet containing no sculpture. Here 
the painter Cornelius has found ** ample space and 
verge enough ** for his grand conceptions, and the 
subjects are appropriate to the general destination 
of the whole building. The frescos in the first hail 
' (Gotter-Saal, or hall of the gods) present a mag- 
nificent view of the whole Greek mythology. 

Whatever may be thought of the conception and 
execution of certain parts, on minute examination, 
tiie grand, yet simple arrangement of the whole 
design addresses itself to the understanding, while 
the splendor of color and variety of the grouping 
seize on the imagination : certainly, when we look 
round, the first feeling is not critical. But this 
beautiful, progressive, and pictorial development of 
the old mythology, as it must have been the result 
of profound learning and study, ought to be con* 
lidered methodically to understand all its merit; 
Jsr instance, in the centre of the roof we have the 
onmeval god, Eros, in four compartments; firsW 



d by Google 



19S SKETCHES OF AST, 

wit) the dolphin, representing water ; secondly 
with the eagle, representing light or fire ; thirdly, 
witb the peacock, representing lur; and lastly, with 
Cerl>orus, representing eartL Disposed around 
these primeval elements, we have the seasons oi 
the year, and the day. The spring, as Psyche, is 
followed by the history of Aurora, (the morning,) 
in four compartments. The summer, as Ceres, ii 
followed by the noon, t. e, the history of Helios or 
Apollo, in four compartments. The autumn, as 
Bacchus ; and then evening, expressed in the his- 
tory of Diana. Winter, as Saturn, and the history 
of night, and the divinities which preside over it. 
These twenty-four compartments, of various forms 
and sizes, compose the ceiling, intermingled with 
ornaments of rich and rare device, and appropriate 
arabesques, combining, with much fancy and in- 
vention, all the clasmcal emblems and allegories, 
such as satyrs, fauns, syrens, dryads, Graces, Fu- 
ries, &c. &c. 

J^t the grand summary is reserved for the walls. 
On one side is represented the kingdom of Olym- 
pus, with Jove in his state, the assemblage of the 
gods, and the apotheosis of Psyche. The opposite 
side represents the domain of Pluto, with the in« 
femal gods, and the story of Orpheus. The third 
side, over agsdnst the window, is the triumph of 
Neptune and Amjihitrite, surrounded by the sea* 
gods. 

The figures in these three frescos are colossai. 
ibout eight feet in height The coloring of tht 



d by Google 



LITEKATURE, AND CHARACTER. 199 

flc&h is a little too red and ding}*, and in some of 
the attitudes I thought that the energy was strained 
into contortion ; but through the whole there is a 
■grand poetic feeling. All the designs are by Peter 
Cornelius, executed by himself, with the aid a£ 
professor Zimmermann, Schlotthauer, Hcinrich 
Hess, and a number of pupils and assistants. 

There are also along the frieze some beautiful 
ba8-relie& ; and over the two doors are two alto 
relievos by Schwanthaler, the one representing 
Cupid and Psyche in each other's arms, the symbol 
of inunortal love : the other, the reunion of Ceres 
and Proserpine, emblematical of eternal life after 
death. This is all I can remember, except that the 
painting of this hall occupied six years, and was 
finished in 1826. 

Oct 11. — A small vestibule divides the two great 
halls. This is painted with the history of Prome- 
theus and Pandora ; but, owing to the unavoidable 
disposition of the light, much of the beauty is lost 

From this vestibule we enter the second great 
banqueting hall, or the Hall of the Trojans, painted 
like the former in fresco, and on the same enormous 
scale, but with a different distribution of the parts. 
It represents chiefly the history of those demigods 
and heroes who contended in the Trojan war. 
Thus, in the centre of the ceiling we have first the 
original cause of the war, the marriage of Peleus 
and Thet:s, and the appearance of the goddess of 
Discord, with her fatal apple. Around this are the 
twelve gods who were present a^ the feast, modelletl 



d by Google 



MK) SKKTCHES OF ART, 

HI relief by Schwanthaler. Then follow twelTO 
compartments, containing the most strikinfi; scenes 
of the Biad, divided and adorned by tne most rich 
and fanciful arabesques, combining the exploits or 
histories of the Grecian heroes, which are not in- 
cluded in the Iliad. The figures in these compart- 
ments are the size of life. On the walls we have 
the three principal incidents of the Trojan war ; 
first, the wrath of Achilles ; secondly, opposite to 
the window, the fight for the body of Patrocles, 
and Achilles shouting to the warriors. Th re is 
wonderful energy and movement in this picture : 
The third b the destruction of Troy. The figure 
of Hecuba sitting in motionless horror and despdr, 
with her dishevelled gray hair, her daughters cling- 
ing to her; — the beautiful attitudes of Polyxena 
and Cassandra ; the silent remorse of Helen ; the 
wild fury of the conquerors, and the vigor and 
splendor of the whole painting, render this com 
position exceedingly striking : I did not quite liki 
the figure of Priam. All these designs are by Cor* 
nelius, and executed partly by him, and partly 
under his direction by Zimmermann, Schlotthauer, 
und their pupils. The arabesques are by Eugene 
Neurather: and there are two admirable and 
spirited bas-reliefs by Schwanthaler — one repre- 
senting the battle of the ships, and the other the 
combat of Acldlles with the river gods. 

The paintings in this hall were finished in 18i0. 

We then enter the range of galleries, devoted 
to the later Greek, and the Roman sculpture. The 



d by Google 



I.ITERATUBE, AND CflARACTEK. 201 

f rst) cotTesponding in size and situation with tlie 
Hall of Kiobe, contains nothing peculiarly inter 
esting, except the famous figure of the young war- 
rior anointing himself after the bath, and called 
the Alexander. 

The next gallery is the Roman Hall, about one 
hundred and thirty feet in length, and forms a 
glorious coup <V(£U, The utmost luxury of archi- 
tectural decoration has been lavished on the ceil- 
ings ; ^nd the effect of the marble pavement, with 
the disposition of the busts, candelabrae, altars, as 
seen in perspective, is truly and tastefully magni- 
ficent I particularly admired the ceiling, which 
b divided into three domes, adorned with bas- 
reliefs, taken from the Roman history and man- 
ners: these were designed by Schwanthaler. I 
cannot remember any thing remarkable in this 
gallery ; or rather, there were too many things de- 
serving of notice, for me to note all. The stand- 
ing Agrippina has, however, dwelt on my mind ; 
and an exceeding fine bust of Octavius Caesar, 
crowned with the oak leaves. 

A small room contains the sculpture in colored 
marble, porphyry, and bronze ; and the last is the 
hall of modern sculpture. In the centre of the 
ceiling is a phoenix, rising from its ashes, and 
ground it the heads of four distinguished sculptors 
— Nicolo da Pisa, the restorer of the art in the 
fourteenth century; Michael Angela, Canova, and 
'fhorwaldson. 

Twc of the most celebrated productions of mod- 



d by Google 



B02 SKETCHES OF ART, 

tm sculpture are here — ^the Paris of Canova, anJ 
the Adonis of Thorwaldson. As they are placed 
near to each other, and the aim is alike in both to 
exhibit the utmost perfection of youthful and ef- 
feminate beauty, the merits of the two artists were 
fairly brought into comparison. Thorwaldson'g 
statue reminded me of the Antinous ; Canova's re- 
called the young Apollo. I hardly know which to 
prefer as a conception ; but the material and work- 
manship of the Paris pleased me most The marble 
of Thorwaldson's statue, though faultless in purity 
of tint, has a coarse gritty grain, and glitters dis- 
agreeably in certain lights, as if it were spar or 
lump-sugar; whereas the smooth close comp{»it 
grain of Canova's marble, which is something of a 
creamy white, seemed to me infinitely preferable 
to the eye. This, however, is hyper-criticism : in 
both, th*!. feeling is classically and beautifully true. 
The soft melancholy of the countenance and atti- 
tude of Adonis, as if anticipative of his early death, 
and the languid self-sufficiency of Paris, appeared 
to me equally admirable. There is also in this 
room a duplicate by Canova of his "Venus, in the 
Pitti palace ; a girl tying her sandal, by Rodolph 
Schadow — a pendant, I presume, to his charming 
Filatrice, now at Chatsworth ; and some fine busts. 
I looked round in vain for a single specimen of 
English art. I thought it just possible that som« 
work of Flaxman, or Chantrey, or Gibson, mighl 
hiive found its way hither — ^but no I — 

Oct. 12. — Last night to the opera with a pleasan/ 



d by Google 



LITERATURE, AND CHARACTER. 209 

pai-ty ; but, tired and over-excited with my morniug 
Rt the Glyptothek, I wanted soothing, and was not 
in a humor for the noisy florid music of Wilhehn 
Tell. It is an opera which, as it becomes familiar, 
tires, and does not attach — just like some clever 
people I have met with. Pellegrini (not the Pel- 
ligrini we had in England, but a fixture hero, and 
their best male singer — a fine basso cantantt) acted 
TeU. I say acted^ because he did not merely sing 
his part — ^he acted it, and well ; so well, that once 
I felt my eyes mobten. Madame Spitzeder sang 
in Matilda von Hapsburg tolerably. Their first 
tenor, Bayer, I do not like ; his intonation is de- 
fective. The decorations and dresses are beauti' 
ful. As for the dancing, it is not fair to say any- 
thing about it Unfortunately the first bars of the 
Tyrolienne brought Taglioni before my mind's eye, 
and who or what could stand the comparison? 
How she leapt like a stag I bounded like a young 
faun ! floated like the swan-down on the air ! Yet 
even Taglioni, though she makes the nearest i^ 
proach to it, does not complete my idea of a poeti- 
cal dancer ; but as she improved upon Herbelet, 
we may find another to improve upon her. One 
more such artist — I use the word in the general 
and German sense, not in the French meaning — 
wie more such artist, who should bring modesty, 
%nd sense, and feeling, into this lovely and most 
desecrated art, might do something to retrieve it — 
'•ight introduce the necessity for dancers having 
heads as well as heels, and in time revolutionize 
the whole corps de ballet. 



d by Google 



K>4 SKETCHES OF ABT, 

Wednesday, — This morning, M. Herman StuntJi 
the King's chapel-master, called on me. I had 
heard of him as a fine composer, and also much of 
his opera, produced for the Scala at Milan, the 
Costantino il Grande. I was pleased to find him 
not a musician only, like most musicians, but intel- 
ligent and enthusiastic on other subjects, and with 
that childlike simplicity of mind and manner, so 
ofben combined with talent We touched upon 
every thing from the high sublime to the deep ab- 
•urd — ran round the whole circle of art in a sort 
of touch-and-go style, and his nalveti and original- 
ity pleased me more and more. He said some true 
and delightful things about music ; but would insist 
that of all languages the English is the most diffi- 
cult to ally to musical sounds — infinitely worse 
than German. He complained of the shut mouth, 
the claquement des dents, and the predominance of 
aspirates in our pronun^ation. I objected to the 
guttural sounds, and the open mouths, and the yaw 
yaw of the Germans. Then followed an animated 
discussion on vocal sounds and musical expression, 
and we parted, I believe, mutually pleased. 

The father of Stuntz is a Swiss — a man of letters, 
an enthusiast, a philosopher, an artist ; in short, a 
most extraordinary and eccentric character. He 
entirely educated his two children, of whom the son, 
Herman Stuntz, takes a high rank as a composer ; 
and the daughter is a distinguished female artist, 
but, being nobly married, she now oniy painti 
pictures to give them away, and those who posseai 



d by Google 



LITBRATimB, AND CHARACTER. 805 

tliem nre, with reason, extremely proud of the pee- 
lession. 

In the erening, Madame Merie, prima-dmina 
uus London, as the play-bills set forth, made her 
first appearance in the Gazza Ladra. She Is en- 
gaged here for a limited time, and takes the gasU' 
rdles — ^that is, she plays the first parts as a matter 
of course — in short, she is a star. The regular 
prima-donna is Madame Scheckner-Wagen. Meric 
has talent, voice, style, and unwearied industry ; 
but she has not genius, neither is her organ first- 
rate. Comparisons in some cases are unjust as 
well as odious. Yet was it my fault that I remem- 
bered in the same part the syren Sontag, and the 
enchantress Malibran? Meric, besides being a 
fine singer, is an amiable woman ; — married to an 
extravagant, dissipated husband, and working to 
provide for her child — a common fate among the 
wmnen of her profession. 



Sat up late reading, for the third or fourth 

time, a chance volume of Madame Roland's works. 
What a complete French woman ! but then, what 
a mind ! how large in capacity I how stored with 
knowledge! how strong in conscious truth! how 
finely toned ! how soft, and yet how firm ! What 
wonderful industry united to the quickest talent 1 
Some things written at eighteen and twenty have 
most surprised me ; some passages in the << Vie 
priv^e," and the " Appel,** have most charmed me. 
She is not very eloquent, and I should think had 



d by Google 



B06 SKETCHES OF ART, 

not a playful or poetic fancy. There is an almoel 
total want of imagery in her style ; but great power, 
unaffected elegance, with a sort of negligence at 
times, which adds to its beauty. Then, to remem- 
ber that all I have just read was writton in a prison, 
in daily, hourly expectation of death I but thai 
excites more interest than surprise, for a situation 
of strong excitement of mind and passion, with 
external repose and solitude, must be favorable to 
this development of the faculties, where there is 
character as well as talent Some of her dis- 
closures are a little too nawe, I am amused by 
the quantity of feminine vanity which is mixed up 
"vi^th all this loftiness of spirit, this real independ- 
ence of soul. Madame de Stael had not more 
vanity, whatever they may say ; but it was less 
balanced by self-esteem — it required more symr 
pathy. Then we have those two admirable women 
♦ * and * *. What exquisite feminine vanity is 
there ! Yet, happily, in both instances how far re- 
moved from all ill-nature and presumption, and how 
unconsciously betrayed ! I should think Joanna 
Baillie, among our great women, must be most 
exempt from this failing, perhaps, because, of all 
the five, she has the most profound sense of religion. 
Lavater said, that " the characteristic of everp 
woman's physiognomy was vanity.** A phrenol- 
ogist would say that it was the characteristic of 
every woman's head. How far, then, may a woman 
be vain with a good grace, and betray it without 
ridicule ? By vanity, T mean now, a great wisli 



d by Google 



LITER A.1 ORE, AND CHARACTER. 807 

to please, mingled with a consciousness of the 
powers of pleasing, and not what Madame Roland 
describes, — " cette ambition constante, ce soin per- 
petuel d'occuper de soi, et de paraitre autre on 
meilleur que Ton n'est en efiet," for this is diseased 
vanity. , 

♦ ♦ ♦ 

Dr. Martins * lent me two pretty little volumei 
of " Poems, by Louis I. king of Bavaria," the preiH 
ent king — the first ro3ral author we hare had, I 
believe, since Frederic of Prussia — ^the best since 
James I. of Scotland. These poems are chiefly 
lyrical, consisting of odes, sonnets, epigrams. Some 
are addressed to the queen, others to his children, 
others to different ladies of the court, whom he is 
said to have particularly admired, and a great 
number were composed during his tour in Italy in 
1817. Of the merit of these poems I cannot judge ; 
and when I appealed to two different critics, both 
accomplished men, one assured me they were ad- 
mirable; the other shru^ed up his shoulders — 
" Que voulez vous ? c'est un Roi I ** The earnest 
feeling and taste in some of these little poems 
pleased me exceedingly— of that alone I could 
judge : for instance, there is an address to the 
German aHists, which contedns the following beau- 
)ihl lines : he is speakirg of art — 



* The oelebrayid tmTeller, natonl philosopher, and botMilft 
He has the dhreetioii of most of $he soiendflo Inititatloiis •! 
tlnuich. 



d by Google 



108 SKETCHES OF ART, 

In der Stille muss es sich gestalten, 
Wenn es kraftig wirkend soil ersteh*n; 
Ans dem Herzen nur kann sich entfalten. 
Das was wahrhaft wird zum Herzea geh'it. 

Ja! ihr nehmet es ans reinen Tiefen, 
Froinn und einfach, wie die Vorwelt war, 
Weekend die Gefuhle, welche schliefen, 
Ehrend zeugt^s von Euch und immerdar. 

Sklayisch an das A]te euch zu halten, 
Eures Strebens Zweck ist dieses nicht, 
Seyd gefasst yon himmlischen Gewalten, 
Dringet rastlos zu dem hehren Licht!** 

Wliich may be thus literally rendered — 

** To rise into vigorous, active influence, it (art) mnsi 
spring up and develop itself in secrecy and in silence, 
out of the heart alone can that unfold itself which shaD 
truly go to the heart again. 

** Tea ! pious and simple as the old world was, ye draw 
tt (art) from the same pure depths, awakening the feek 
fngs which slumber I and it shall bear honorable witneaa 
of ye — and forever 1 

" Slavishly to cling to antiquity, this is not the end of 
four labors I Be ye, therefore, upheld by heavenly power ; 
press on, and rest not, to the high and holy light! '* 

Metbinks this magnificent prince deserves, even 
more tban his ancestor, Maximilian L, to be styled 
the Lorenzo de' Medici of Bavaria. The powof 



d by Google 



LITERATURE, AND CHARACTKR. 209 

90 patronize, the sentiment to feel, the genius to 
celebrate art, are rarely united, even in individuals. 
He must be a noble being — a genius born in the 
nurple, on whose laurels there rests not a blood* 
ftain, perhaps not even a tear ! 

This is a holiday. I was sitting at my window, 
translating some of these poems, when I saw a 
crowd round the doors of the new palace, for it is 
a day of public admission. Curiosity tempted me 
to join this crowd ; — no sooner thought than done. 
I had M. de Klenze's general order for admittance 
in my pocket-book, but wished to see how this was 
managed, and mingled with the crowd, which was 
waiting to be admitted en masse. I was at once 
recognized as a stranger, and every one with simple 
civility miade way for me. Groups of about twenty 
or thirty people were admitted at a time, at inter- 
vals of a quarter of an hour, and each group placed 
under the guidance of one of the workmen as 
cicerone. He led them through the unfinished 
apartments, explaining to his open-mouthed audi- 
tors the destination of each room, the subjects of 
the pictures on the walls and ceilings, &c. &c 
There were peasants from the south, in their sin* 
l^xdar dresses, mechanics and girls of Munich, sol- 
diers, travelling students. I was much amused. 
Wliile the cicerone held forth, some merely won- 
dered with foolish faces, some admired, some looked 
intelligent, and asked various questions, which were 
readily answered — ^all seemed pleased. Every 
thing was done in order : two groups were never 
14 



d by Google 



tlO SKETCHES Ol- ART, 

in tbe same apartment; but as one went oat| 
another entered. Thus many hundreds of these 
poor people were gratified in the course of the day. 
It seemed to me a wise as well as benevolent policy 
in the king thus to appeal to the sympathy, and 
gratify the pride of his subjects of all classes, by 
allowing them — inviting them, to take an interest 
in his magnificent undertakings, to consider them 
national as well as royal. I am informed that these 
works are carried on without any demands on the 
Staatskasse, (the public treasury,) and without any 
additional taxes : so far from it, that the Bavarian 
House of Representatives curtailed the supplies by 
300,000 florins only last year, and refused the king 
an addition to the civil list, which he had requested 
for the travelling expenses of two of bis sons. The 
king is said to be economical in the extreme in his 
domestic expenses, and not very generous in money 
to those around him — unlike his open-hearted, 
open-handed father, Max-Joseph ; in short, there 
are grumblers here as elsewhere, but strangers and 
posterity will not sympathize with them. 

This is the fourth time I have seen this splendid 
and truly royal palace, but will make no memo- 
randa till I have gone over the whole with Leo von 
Klenze. He has promised to be my cicerone 
hunself, and I feel the full value of the compli- 
ment Count V — told me last night, that he (De 
Klenze) has made for this building alone upwards 
of seven hundred drawings and designs with bin 
own hand. 



d by Google 



IITERATURB, AND CHARACTEIL 211 

Oct, IS, — Called on my English friends, th« 
C * * 8. and found them pleasantly settled in a 
Deautiful furnished lodging near the Hofgarten, for 
which they pay twenty-four florins (or about two 
pounds) a month. We had some conversation 
about music, (they are all musicians,) and the 
opera, and Malibran, whom they have lately seen 
in Italy; and Pasta, whom they had visited at 
Gomo; and they confirm 3d what Mr. J. M. Stuntz 
and M. E. had all told me of her benevolence and 
excellent cnaracter. I could not find that any new 
genius had arisen in Italy to share the glory of our 
three queens of the lyrical drama, — Pasta, Mali- 
bran, and Schroder Devrient. Other singers have 
more or less talent and feeling, more or less com- 
pass of voice, facility, or agility ; but these three 
women possess genius, and stamp on every thing 
they do their own individual character. Of the 
three. Pasta is the grandest and most finished artist ; 
Malibran the most versatile in power and passion ; 
while Schroder Devrient has that energy of heart 
and soul — ^that capacity for exciting, and being ex- 
cited, which gives her such unbounded command 
over the feelings and senses of her audience.* So 
fiur we were agreed ; but as the conversation went 
on, I was doomed to listen to a torrent of common- 
place and sarcastic criticism on the private habits 

* I lemember Madame Derrieiit, to describing the efEect which 
music had upon herself, pressing her hand npon her bosom, an4 
nying, with simple but profound feeling. ^*AA! eeia um la 



d by Google 



11$ SKETCHES OF ART, 

of tbese and other women of the same profession i 
one was accused of vulgarity, another of bad tem- 
per, and another of violence and caprice : one wafl 
suspected of a penchant for porter, another had 
been heard to swear, or — something very like it 
Even pretty lady-like Sontag was reproached with 
some trifling breach of mere conventional manner, 
— she had used her fingers where she should have 
taken a spoon, or some such nonsense. My Grod 1 
to think of the situation of these women I and then 
to look upon those women, who, fenced in from in- 
fancy by all the restraints, the refinements, the 
comforts, the precepts of good society, — the one 
arranging a new cap, the other embroidering a 
purse, the third reading a novel, all satisfied with 
petty occupations and amusements, " far, far re- 
moved from want and grief and fear," — now sitting 
in judgment, and passing sentence of excommuni- 
eation on others of their sex, who have been steeped 
in excitement from childhood, their nerves forever 
in a state of tension between severest application 
and maddening flattery ; cast on the world without 
chart or compass — with energies misdirected, pas- 
sions uncontrolled, and all the inflammable and 
imaginative part of their being cultivated into ex- 
cess £s a part of their profession — of their material I 
O when will there be charity in the world ? When 
will human beings, women especially, show mercy 
and justice to each other, and not judge of resulti^ 
without a reference to causes ? and when will r^ 
flection upon these causes lead to their removal 



d by Google 



LJTBRATURB, AND CHARACTER. Sit 

rhey are evils which press upon few, but are re- 
fected on many, inasmuch as they degrade art and 
Ihe pursuit of art ; — ^but all can sneer, and few can 
think. 

♦ ♦ ♦ * 

I begin at length to feel my way among the pic- 
tures here. Hitherto I have been bewildered. 1 
have lounged away morning after morning at the 
gallery of the Hofgarten, at Schleissheim, and at 
the Due de Leuchtenberg's ; and returned home 
with dazzled eyes and a mind overflowing, like one 
** oppressed with wealth, and with abundance sad," 
unable to recall or to methodize my own impres- 
rions. 

Professor Zimmermann tells me that the king 
of Bavaria possesses upwards of three thousand 
pictures ; of these, about seventeen hundred are at 
Schleissheim; nine hundred in the Munich gal- 
lery; and the rest distributed through various 
palaces. The national gallery, or Pinakothek, 
which is now building under the direction of Leo 
▼on Elenze, is destined to contain a selection from 
these multifarious treasures, of which the present 
arrangement is only temporary. 

The king of Bavaria unites in his own person 
the three branches of the House of Wittelsbach : 
the palatines of the Rhine, the dukes of Deux- 
ponts, and the electors of Bavaria, all sovereign 
houses, and descended from Otto von Wittelsbach^ 
who received the investiture of the dukedom of 
Havana in 1180. Thus it is that the celebrated 



d by Google 



114 BKETCfiES OF ART, 

gaUei*} once at Dusseldorf, formed under tb« 
auspices of tlie elector John William ; the variouf 
collections at Manheim, Deuxponts, and Heidel* 
berg, are now concentrated at Munich, where, 
from the days of Duke Albert V. (1550) up to the 
present time, works of art have been gradually 
accumulated by successive princes. 

Somebody calls the gallery at Munich the court 
of Rubens ; and Sir Joshua Reynolds says that no 
one should judge of Rubens who had not studied 
him at Antwerp and Dusseldorf. I be^ to feel 
the truth of this. My devoted worship of the 
Italian school of art rendered me long — ^I will not 
say blind to the merits of the Flemish painters-*- 
for that were to be " sans eyes, sans taste, sans 
every thing I" but in truth, without that full 
feeling of their power which I have since ac- 
quired. 

Cert^nly we have in these days mean ideas 
about painting — ^mean and false ideas t It has b^ 
come a mere object of luxury and connoisseur- 
ship or virth: unless it be addressed to our per- 
sonal vanity, or to the puerile taste for ornament, 
show, furniture, — it is nothing. The noble art 
which was once recognized as the priestess of 
nature, as a great moral power capable of acting 
on the senses and the imagination of assembled 
human beings — ^as such applied by the lawgivers 
of Greece, and by the clergy of the Roman Catho- 
lic church, — how is it now vulgarized in its ob 
)ectB I how narrowed in its application ! And if it 



d by Google 



LITERATURE, AND CHARACTER. 215 

be said diat, in the present state of society, in these 
i*alculating, money-making, political, intellectual 
times, we are acted upon by far different in- 
fluences, rendering us infinitely less sensible to 
the power of painting, then I think it is not true^ 
and that the cultivated susceptibility to other moral 
or poetical excitements — as politics or literature — 
does not render us less sensible to the moral in- 
fluence of psunting; on the contrary: but she has 
fallen from her high estate, and there are none to 
raise her. The public — the national spirit, is want- 
ing; individual patronage is confined, is misdi- 
rected, is arbitrary, demanding of the artist any 
thing rather than the highest and purest intellec- 
tual application of his art, and afibrding nor space 
nor opportunity for him to address himself to the 
grand universal passions, principles, and interests 
of human nature 1 Suppose a Michael Angelo to 
be bom to us in England : we should not, per- 
haps, set him to make a statue of snow, but where 
or how would his gigantic genius, which revelled 
in the great deeps of passion and imagination, find 
■cope for action ? He would struggle and gasp 
like a stranded Leviathan 1 

But this is digressing ; the question is, may not 
ihe moral efiect of planting be still counted on, if 
the painter be himself imbued with the right 
ipirit?* 

* **A Pexpoeifclon de Parif (1822) on a Tn un milUer de tableaux 
ivprteeutant dM sujets de rEcrltoire Sain^«, pein^a pas da* 
leintres qui n^y ordent par la tout: admirte et jugte paa da» 



d by Google 



!16 SKETCnES OF \RT, 

There is, in the academy at Antwerp, a pictuna 
by Rubens, wliich represents St Theresa kneeling 
before Christ, and interceding for the souls in puiv 
gatory. The treatment of the subject is exceed- 
ingly simple; the upper part of the picture if 
occupied by the Redeemer, with his usual attri- 
butes, and the saint, habited as a nun. In the 
lower part of the picture, instead of a confused 
mob of tormented souls, and flames, and devils 
with pitchforks, the painter has represented a few 
heads as if rising from below. I remember those 
of Adam, Eve, and Mary Magdalene. I remem- 
ber — and never shall forget — ^the expression of 
each I The extremity of misery in the counte- 
nance of Adam ; the averted, disconsolate, repent- 
ant wretchedness of Eve, who hides her face in 
her hair ; the mixture of agony, supplication, hope, 
in the face of the Magdalene, while a cherub of 
pity extends his hand to her, as if to aid her to 
rise, and at the same time turns an imploring look 
towards the Saviour. As I gazed upon this pic- 
ture, a feeling sank deep into my heart, which did 
not pass away with the tears it made to flow, but 
has ever since remained there, and has become an 
abiding principle of action. This is only one in- 
stance, out of many, of the moral efiect which hat 
been produced by painting. 

ftns qui n'y croient paa beaucoup, et enfln payto par des g«i • 
lul, apparemmeDt, n^ croient pas, non pins. 
**L'Gn nherche apr6s oela le ponrqn(d de la dtotdenoe m 



d by Google 



LITERATURE, AND CHARACTI R. 217 

To me it is amusing, and t cannot but be inter- 
Mdmg and instructive to the philosopher and artist, 
lo observe how various people, uninitiated into 
fcny of the technicalities of art, unable to appre- 
ciate the amount of difficulties overcome, are 
^ected by pictures and sculpture. But in form- 
ing our judgment, our taste in art, it is unsafe to 
listen to opinions springing from this vague kind 
of enthusiasm; for in painting, as in music, " jui^ 
as the soul is pitched, the eye is pleased." 

I amuse myself in the gallery here with watch- 
ing the countenances of those who look at the pic* 
tures. I see that the uneducated eye is caught bj' 
subjects in which the individual mind sympathizes, 
and the educated taste seeks abstract excellence. 
Which has the most enjoyment? The last, 1 
think. Sensibility, imagination, and quick per- 
ception of form and color, are not alone neces- 
sary to feel a work of art; there must be the 
power of association ; the mind trained to habitual 
sympathy with the beautiful and the good; the 
knowledge of the meaning, and the comprehension 
of the object, of the artist 

In the gallery here there are eighty-eight pic- 
tures of Rubens, some among the very finest he 
ever painted ; for instance, that splendid picture, 
Castor and Pollux carrying off the daughters of 
Leucippus, so full of rich life and movement; the 
destniction of Sennacherib's host ; Rubens and his 
wrife, full lengths, seate«i in a garden ; that won- 
ierful picture of the defeat of the Amazons ; th<» 



d by Google 



118 SKETCHES OF AKT, 

meeting of Jasob and Laban ; the picture of th« 
Earl of Arundel and his wife, with other figures, 
full lengths ; * and a series of the designs for the 
large paintings of the history of Marie de* Medici, 
now in the Louvre. His group of boys with fruiti 
and flowers, exhibits the richest, loveliest combina- 
tion of colors ever presented to the eye ; and on 
that wonderftd picture of the fallen (or rather yiifl- 
ing) angels, he has lavished such endless variety 
of form, attitude, and expression, that it would 
take a day to study it. It is not a large picture : 
the eye, or rather the imagination, easily takes in 
the general effect of tumult, horror, destruction, 
out the understanding dwells on the detail with 
still increasing astonishment and admiration. These 
are a few that struck me, but it is quite in vun to 
attempt to particularize. 

One may begin by disliking Rubens in general, 

* Of this celebrated picture, Sir Joshua Reynolds says, that it 
If miscalled, and certainly does not contain the portratts of tlM 
Barl and Countess of Arundel. Perhaps he is mistaken. It 
appears that the Earl of Arundel, of James the Flrst^s tiiCA, 
(the collector of the Amndelian marbles,) with his Countesa, 
sat to Rubens In 1620, and that ** Robin the Dwarf'' was intro> 
duced into this picture, which was not painted In England, but 
at Brussels. Rubens was at this dme at the height of his repifc 
tation, and when requested to paint the portrait of the Conn 
toss of Arundel, he replied, "Although I have refused to 
execute the portraits of many princes and noblemen, especially 
of his lordship's rank, yet from the Earl I am bound to noeAf 
ttM honor be does me in commanding my serrlces, r^^ardtng 
klm, as I do, in the light of an eyangelist to the world of art 
fend the great supporter of our profession/'^See Titrnef^ 
0MMry and Antiquities qf the Castle and Town qfAmndel,) 



d by Google 



LITERATURE, AND CHARACTER. 218 

(i tbink I did,) but one must end by standing 
before him in ecstasy and wonder. It is true, 
that always luxuriant, he is often gross and sen- 
lual — ^he can sometimes be brutally so. His bao- 
<^hanalian scenes are not like those of Poussin, 
classical, godlike debauchery, but the abandoned 
drunken revelry of animals — the very sublime of 
brute licentiousness ; and painted with a breadtn 
of style, a magnificent luxuriance of color, which 
renders them more revolting. The physique pre- 
dominates in all his pictures, and not only to 
grossness, even to ferocity. His picture here of 
tiie slaughter of the Innocents, makes me sick — it 
has absolutely polluted my imagination. Surely, 
this is not the vocation of high art. And as for 
his martyrdoms, they are worse than Spagno- 
letto's. 

For all this, he is the Titan of painting : his 
creations are ** of the earth and earthy," but he 
has called down fire and light from heaven, where- 
with to animate and to illumine them. 

Rubens is just such a painter as Dryden is a poet, 
and vice versa; his women are just like Dryden'a 
women, gross, exaggerated, unrefined animals; 
his men, like Dryden's men, grand, thinking, act- 
ing animals. Like Dryden, he could clothe his 
genius in thunder, dip his pencil in the lightning 
and the sunbeams of heaven, and rush fearlessly 
upon a subject which others had trembled to 
approach. In both we see a singular and extra- 
ordinary combination of the plainest, coarsest 



d by Google 



fiM 8K El CUES OF ART, 

realities of life, with the loftiest imagery, the most 
luxurious tints of poetry. Both had the same pas- 
■on for allegory, and managed it with equal sao- 
0388. " The thoughts that breathe and words that 
bum " of Dry den, may be compared to the living, 
moving forms, the glowing, melting, dazzling huei 
cxf Rubens, under whose pencil 

'* Desires and adorations, 
Winged persuasions and wild destinies, 
Splendors, and glooms, and glimmering incarnations 
Of hopes, and fears, and twilight fantasies, — " 

look form and being, became palpable existences : 
and yet, with all this inventive power, this love of 
allegorical fiction, it is /(/«, the spirit of animal 
life, diffused through and over their works ; it is 
the blending of the plain reasoning with splendid 
creative powers ; — of wonderful fertility of concep- 
tion with more wonderful facility of execution ; it 
is the combination of truth, and grandeur, and 
masculine vigor, with a general coarseness of taste, 
which may be said to characterize both these great 
men. Neither are, or can be, favorites of the 
women, for the same reasons. 

There must have been something analogous in 
the genius of Rubens and Titian. The distinction 
was of climate and country. They appear to have 
looked at nature under the same aspect, but it was 
a different nature, — ^the difference between Flan- 
ders and Venice. They were both painters o^ fle«h 
ind blood: by nature, poets: by conformation 



d by Google 



LITEBATUBE, AND CHARACTER. 221 

f olorists ; by temperament and education, magnifr 
cent spirits, scholars, and gentlemen, lovers of 
pleasure and of fame. The superior sentiment 
and grace, the refinement and elevation of Titian, 
be owed to the poetical and chivalrous spirit of hii 
age and country. The delicacy of taste which 
rragned in the Italian literature of that period in- 
fluenced the arts of design. As to the coloring-^ 
we see in the pictures of Rubens the broad day« 
light effects of a northern climate, and in those of 
lltian, the burning fervid sun of a southern clime, 
necessarily modified by shade, before the objects 
could be seen : hence the difference between the 
glow of Rubens, and the gloxo of Titian : the first 
^^ i' the colors of the rainbow lived,** and the other 
bathed himself in the evening sky ; the one dazzles, 
the other warms. I can bring before my fancy at 
this m(Hnent, the Helen Forman of Rubens, and 
Titian's " La Manto ; " the " man with a hawk " of 
Rubens, and Titian's " Falconer ; " can any thing 
in heaven or earth be more opposed ? Yet, in all 
alike, is it not the intense feeling of life and indi- 
vidual nature which charms, which fixes us? 1 
know not which I admire most ; but I adore Titian 
— ^his men are all made for power, and his women 
lor love. 
^ And Rembrandt — ^king of shadows I 



- Earth-bom 



And Bky-engendered — son of myaterlett 
was not he a poet? He remind j me oflen of thi 



d by Google 



292 BKBTCHES OF ART, 

Prince Sorcerer, nurtured " in the cave of Dom- 
daniol, under the roots of the sea." * Such an 
enchanted ** den of darkness " was his mill and iti 
skylight to him; and there, magician-like, he 
brooded over half-seen forms, and his imagination 
framed strange spells out of elemental light and 
shade. Thence he brought his unearthly shadows ; 
his dreamy splendors ; his supernatural gleams ; his 
gems flashing and sparkling with internal light ; his 
lustrous glooms ; his wreaths of flaming and em- 
bossed gold; his wicked wizard-like heads — tup- 
baned, wrinkled, seared, dusky ; pale with forbid- 
den studies — solemn with thoughtful pain — keen 
witli the hunger of avarice — and furrowed with an 
eternity of years I I have seen pictures of his in 
which the shadowy background is absolutely 
peopled with life. At first, all seems palpable 
darkness, apparent vacancy ; but figure after figure 
emerges — another and another; they glide into 
view, they take shape and color, as if they grew 
out of the canvas even while we gaze ; we rub our 
eyes; and wonder whether it be the painter's woris 
or our own fancy I 

Of all the great painters Eembrandt is perhapi 
least understood ; the admiration bestowed on him, 
the enormous prices given for his pictures, is in 
general a fashion — a mere matter of convention 
—like the price of a diamond. To feel Rembrandt 
tomly, it is not enough to be an artist or an am» 

• In Southey's Thalaba. 



d by Google 



LIT£RATUBE, AND CHARACTER. 22S 

tear picture-fancier — one should be something d 
A poet too. 

ITiere are nineteen of his pictures here ; of these, 
*^ Jesus teaching the doctors in the temple,** thougH 
a small picture, impressed me with awe, — ^the por- 
traits of the painter Flinck and his wife, with 
wonder. All are ill-hung, with their backs against 
the light — for them the worst possible situation. 

Van Dyck is here in all his glory : there are 
thirty-nine of his pictures. The celebrated full- 
length, " the burgomaster's wife in black," so often 
engraved, does not equal, in its inexpressible, un- 
obtrusive elegance, the " Lady Wharton," at De- 
vonshire House.* Then we have Wallenstein 
with his ample kingly brow ; fierce Tilly ; the head 
of Snyders ; the lovely head of the painter's wife, 
Maria Ruthven, — sweet-looking, delicate, golden- 
haired, and holding the flieorbo, (she excelled in 
music, I believe,) and virgins, holy families, and 
other scriptural subjects. His famous picture of 
Susanna does not strike me much. 

The four apostles of Albert Durer — wonderful ! 
In expression, in calm religious majesty, in suavity 
of pencilling, and the grand, pure style of the 
heads and drapery, quite like Raffaelle. I com- 
pared, yesterday, the three portraits — that of Raf- 
faelle, by himself; (tne famous head once in the 
Altaviti palace, and engraved by Morghen ;) Al- 
bert Durer, by himself; and Giorgione, by himself 

* Now remoTed with the other Tandykeg to Chatsworth. 



d by Google 



224 SKETCHES OF ART, 

Rafiaelle is the least handsome, and rather diaap 
pointed me ; the eyes, in particular, rather projeck, 
and have an expression which is not pleasing ; the 
mouth and the brow are fuU of power and passion 
Albert Durer is beautifiil, like the old heads of our 
Saviour ; and the predominant expression is calm, 
dignified, intellectual, with a tinge of melancholy. 
This picture was painted at the age of twenty- 
eight: he was then sufiering from that bittei 
domestic curse, a shrewish, avaricious wife, who 
finally broke his heart. Giorgione is not hand- 
some, but it is a sublime head, with such a lai^e 
intellectual development, such a profound expres- 
sion of sentiment ! Giorgione died of a faithleea 
mistress, as Albert Durer died of a scolding wife. * 
By Paris Bordone, of Trevigi, there is a head of 
a Venetian lady, in a dress of crimson velvet, with 
dark splendid eyes which tell a whole history. By 

* See a carious letter of Pirkheimer on the death of Albert 
Durer, quoted in the Foreign Quarterly Reriew, No. 21. " In 
Albert I have truly lost one of the best friends I liad in the 
whole world, and nothing grieves me deeper than that he should 
have died so painful a death, which, under Qod's providence, I 
can ascribe to nobody but his huswife, who gnawed into his verj 
heart, and so tormented him that he departed hence the sooner; 
for he was dried up to a fogot, and might nowhere seek him 
a jovial humor or go to his friends." (After much more, re- 
Oecticg on tliis intolerable woman, he concludes with edifying 
naive. ^;) *' She and her sister are not queans; they are, I doubt 
not, in the number of honest, devout, and altogether God-ftar- 
jng women, but a man might better have a quean who waa 
otherwise kindly, than Much a gnawing, suspicious^ quarrelsome 
jfooii voman, with whom he can have no peace »r quiet neithtf 
by day nor by i;iglit." 



d by Google 



IJTERATUBE, AKB CHARACTER. Stt 

MurillO) there are eight pictures — not one in hif 
most elevated style, but all perfect miracles of 
painting and of nature. There are thirty-three 
pictures of Vander Werff, a number sufficient to 
' make one's blood run cold. One, a Magdalene, is 
of the size of life; the only large picture by this 
elegant, elaborate, soulless painter I ever saw : he 
is to me detestable. 

By Joseph Vemet there are two delicious land- 
scapes, a morning and an evening. I cannot 
fardier particularize ; but there are specimens of 
almost every known painter ; those, however, of 
Titian, Correggio, Julio Ramano, and Nicolo Pous* 
tin, are very few and not of a very high class, 
while those of the early German painters, and the 
Dutch, and the Flemish schools, are first-rate. 

There is one Englbh picture — Wilkie's " Open- 
ing of the Will : " it is very much admired here, 
and looked upon as a sort of curiosity. I wish the 
artists of the two countries were better known to 
each other : both would benefit by such an inter- 
course. 

At the palace of Schleissheim * there are nearly 
two thousand pictures : of these, some hundreds are 
positively bad; some hundreds are curious and 
valuable, as illustrating the history and progress 

* BehMashrfm te a country pakee of th« king of BaTarla, aboal 
■is mllM from Mnnfeh ; it ^as originally been a beautlAU baUd* 
Ing, but Is not now inhabited, and looks forlorn and dilapidated 
TIm pictares are distribnted, wiihout any attenpt at arranga 
ment, tluroni^ fbrty flve rooms 



d by Google 



«2<? SKETCHES OF ART, 

f»f art ; some few are really and intnnsically id 
mirable. 

But the grand attraction here la the far-famed 
Boisser^e Gallerj, which is arranged at Schleiss- 
heim, until the Pinakothek is ready for its recep- - 
tion. This is the collection about which so many 
volumes have been written, and which has excited 
such a general enthusiasm throughout Grermany. 
This enthusiasm, as a fashion, a mania, is be^n- 
ning to subside, but the impress it has left upon art, 
and the tone it has given to the pursuit, the feeling 
of art, will not so soon pass away. The gallery 
derives its name from two brothers, Sulpitz and 
Melchior BoisserjSe,* who, with a friend (Bertram) 
were employed for many years in collecting from 
various convents, and old churches, and obscure 
collections of family relics, the productions of the 
«arly painters of Germany, from William of Co- 
logne, called by the Germans " Meister Wilhelm," 
down to Albert Durer and Holbein. 

The productions of the Greek or Byzantine 
painters found their way into Grermany, as into 
Italy, in the thirteenth century, and Wilhelm of 
Cologne appeared to have been the Cimabue of 
the north — the founder of that school of psdnting 
called the Byzantine-Niederrheinische^ or Flemish 
ichool, and the precursor of Rubens, as Cimabue 
was the precursor of Michael Angelo. 

Out of this stiff, and rude, and barbarous 8<yl# 

• NatiTM, I beliere, of Cologne. 



d by Google 



LITEKATUBE, AND CHARACTER. 227 

»f art, arose and spreai the Alt-Deutsche or Gotbic 
ichool of paiDting, which produced successively, 
Van Eyck, (1870,) Hemling, Wohlgemuth,* Alar- 
tin Schoen, Mabuse, Johan Schoreel, Lucas Kra- 
nach, Eulmbach, Albert Altorfier, Hans Asper> 
Johan von Mechlem, Behem, Albert Durer, and 
the two Holbeins. I mention here only those ar- 
tists whose pictures fixed my attention ; there are 
many others, and many pictures by unknown 
aathors. Albert Durer was bom exactly one 
hundred years after Van Eyck. 

The Boisser^e gallery contains about three hun- 
dred and fifty pictures ; but I did not count them ; 
and no official catalogue has yet been published. 
The subjects are generally sacred ; the figures are 
heads of saints, and scenes from Scripture. A few 
are portraits ; and there are a few, but very few, 
subjects from profane history. The painters whose 
works I at once distinguished from all others, were 
Van Eyck, Johan Schoreel, Hemling, and Lucas 
Kranach. I can truly say that the two pictures of 
Van Eyck, representing St Luke painting the 
portrait of the "Virgin, and the offering of the three 
kings ; and that of Johan Schoreel, representing 
the death of the Virgin Mary, perfectly amazed 
me. I remember also several wondrous heads by 
Lucas Er^mach ; one by Behem, called, I know 
not why, ** Helena : " and a picture of Christ and 
the little children, differing from all the rest iv 

* Albert Diner was the sohoUtr of Wohlflemuth 



d by Google 



128 SKETCHES OF ART, 

ityle, with something of the Italian grace d drai^ 
mg, and suavity of color. The artist, Sedlar, had 
studied in Lombardy, probably under Correggio; 
(one of the children certainly might call Correggio 
father.) The date on this extraordinary produc- 
tion is 15S0. Of the painter I know nothing. The 
general and striking faults, or rather deficienciei 
of the old German school of art, are easily enume- 
rated. The most flagrant violations of taste and 
costume, * bad drawing of the figure and extrem- 
ities, faulty perspective ; stiff, hard, meagre compo- 
ntion, negligence or ignorance c^ all effect of 
chiaro-scuro. But what, then, is the secret of the 
interest which these old painters inspire, of the en- 
thudasm they excite, even in these cultivated days? 
It arises from a perception of the mind they brought 
to bear upon their subjects, the simplicity and in- 
tegrity of feeling with which they worked, and the 
elaborate marvellous beauty of the execution of 
parts. I could give no idea in words cf the intense 
nature and expression in some of the heads, of the 
grand feeling united to the most finished delicacy 
in the conception and painting of countenance^ of 
the dazzling splendor of coloring in the draperiet, 



* I particularly recollect a pictvre, eontaioing many hundred 
tgattMy all painted with the elaborate finish of a mtniature, and 
representing the victory of Alexander over Darins. All the Per* 
ilans are dressed like Tnrks, while Alexander and his host aif 
armed to the teeth, in the fhll costume of chivaby, with heraldls 
banners, displaying the different detioes of the old Germanlt 
«obltM, the cross, the bbok eagle, &o. &«. 



d by Google 



LITER A.TX7R£, AND CHARACTBB. 22!^ 

md the richness of fancy in the ornaments and 
iccessories. 

But I do fear that the just admiration excited by 
this kind of excellence, and a great deal of national 
enthusiasm, has misled the modem German artists 
to a false, at least an exaggerated estimate, and an 
injudicious imitation, of their favorite models. It 
Las produced or encouraged that general hardness 
of manner, that tendency to yiolent color, and high 
glazy finish, which interfere too often with the 
beauty, and feeling, and efiect of their composi- 
tions, at least in the eyes of those who are ac- 
customed to the free broad style of English art* 

• The obseryatiocB of Mr. Phillips, (Lectures on the ffistory 
and Principles of Pidnting,) on Oiotto, and the earliest Italian 
ichool, apply in a great measure to the early German painten, 
and I cannot refhse myself the pleasure of quoting them.—** As 
it appears to me, that painting at the present time, is swerving 
among us firom the true point of interest, tending to ornament, 
to the loss of truth and sentiment, I think I cannot do better 
than endeavor to restrain the encroachment of so insidious a foe, 
to prevent, if possible, our advance in so erroneous and &tal a 
viDurse, by showing how strong Is the influence of art where 
tmth and dmpUcity prevail ; and that, where no ornament is to 
be found— nay, where imperfections are numerous; where draw* 
Ing is frequently defective, perspective violated, coloring em 
ployed without science, and chiaro-scuro rarely, if ever thought 
M. The natural question then is, what can excite so mueh In* 
lerest In pictures, where so much is wanting to render them per* 
fcct? I answer, that which leads to the Ibrgetfhlness of th« 
want of those Interesting and desirable qualities in the pictUNi 
Of Giotto, Is the excitation caused by their ftdness of Ibeling— 
vell-dlreoted, ardent, concentrated feeling! by which his mind 
vas engaged in ccnnprehending ttie points most worthy of dia- 
. %]ij) in the subject he unierto<^ to represent, and led to the 



d by Google 



030 8KEIC1IES OF ART, 

Thursday Evening. — At the theatre. Schiller^ 
* firaut Yon Mesnna." This was the first time 1 



ilearneas and intelligence with wfaJch he ha* selected then , add 
bo this the simpUeitj and ability with which he has displayed 
Uiat feeUng." • • • «* This is the first trae step in the natural 
system of the art, or of the application of it, and this was €Hot> 
lo's more especially. The rest is nsefhl, as it assists the inflnenoe 
of this, the indispensable. This, to continue the figure, taken 
firom the stage, (in a previous part of the Lecture,) is as Garrick 
acting Blacbeth or Lear in a tie-wig and a general's uniform of 
his day; the passion and the character reaching men's hearts, 
notwithstanding the absurd costume. If the art be found thus 
strong to attract the mind, to excite fieeling and thought, and to 
engage the heart, by the mere force of unadorned truth in the 
Important points, and without the aid of the Taluable auzUiariof 
I have aboTe alluded to, is it not manifest that in its basis it ii 
eorrect? and that the utmost finrce of historical painting is to be 
sought by continual emendation of this system, maintaining the 
spirit of its dmplicity, supplying its wants, calling in the aid of 
those auxiliaries within reasonable bounds, not permitting them 
to usurp the throne of taste and attraction, but rather requix- 
Ing them to asdst in humbler guise to maintain and strengthen 
the legitimate authority of feeling." 

After reading these beautiful passages, written by a' man who 
unites the acute discriminatiTe Judgment of a practical artist 
with the finest feeling of the ultimate object and aim of high 
poetical art, I felt almost tempted to expunge my own super> 
fldal and imperfect notes, (above written,) and should have dons 
so, but fbr the hope that my deficiencies will induce some ono 
fiove cmnpetent in taste and knowledge to take up the subject 
of the early German painters. It Is certain that the modem 
historical painters of Germany are working on the principle hen 
laid down by Mr. Phillips, particularly Overbeck and Wach, 
whieh they have derived from a study of their national school ti 
art; but other enthusiasts should remember that the redeeming 
ueeUence of this school was feeling, and that feeling can nef«r 
ko a matter of mere imitation. I cannot understand why the 
Kuissiono (if Ignorance should be confounded with the achiero 



d by Google 



UTERATUBE, AND CHARACTEB. 2SI 

kad ever seen the tragic chonisses brought on the 
ftage, in the genuine style of the Greek drama; 
and the deep sonoro^is voice and measured recita- 
tion (I could abnost say recitative) of Esladr, who 
was at the head of the chorus of Don Manuel — 
the emphatic lines being repeated or echoed by hif 
followers — ^as well as the peculiar style ot the whole 
representation, impressed me with a kind of solenm 
terror. It was wholly different from any thing I 
had ever witnessed, and T^as rather like a poem do- 
claimed on the stage, than what we are accustomed 
to call a play. I was fortunate in seeing Madame 
Schroder in Donna Isabella, for she does not often 
perform, and it is one of the finest parts of this 
grand actress. Don Manuel and Don Caesar were 
played by Forst and Schunke — both were youngi 
very well looking, and good actors. Beatrice was 
played by Mademoiselle Shbller. The costumes 
were beautiful, and all the arrangements of the 
stage contrived with the most poetical effect One 
scene in the first act, where Donna Isabella stands 
between her two sons, a hand on the shoulder of 
each, beseeching them to be reconciled ; while they 
remain silent, turning from each other with folded 
arms, and dark averted faces ; — ^the chonisses drawn 
tip on each side, all dressed alike, all precisely in 

BMnts of natiTe genius, by those Ibr whom ** knowledge hM un 
kwkeu her ample stores," and to whom ^he recorery of thoM 
** rich spoils of time," the antique marbles, must haye rerealed 
Jbe wide difference between ** the simplicity of elegance " »n^ 
* the simplicity of indigence." 



d by Google 



ES2 BKKTCUES OF ARf, 

the same attitude, leaning on their shields, witt 
bwering looks fixed on the group in the centre, 
was admirably managed ; and, from the efiect that 
it produced, made me feel that uniformity may be 
one element of the sublime. Afterwards, a very 
lively soiree. 

♦ ♦ ♦ 

Friday, — The Hofgarten at Munich is a square, 
planted with trees, and gravelled, and serving as a 
public promenade. On one side is the royal pal- 
ace; opposite to it, the picture gallery; on the 
east, the king's riding house, and on the west, a long 
arcade, open towards the garden which connects the 
palace and the picture gallery ; under this arcade 
are shops, caf^^s, restaurateurs^ &c. as in the Pcdaii 
Royal at Paris. 

But what distinguishes this arcade from all others, 
is the peculiar style of decoration. It is painted in 
fresco by the young artists who studied under Cor- 
nelius. There is, first, a series of sixteen compart- 
ments, about eleven feet in length, containing sub- 
jects from the history of Bavaria. They are all by 
various artists, and of course of different degrees ol 
merit, generally better in the composition than th< 
painting, but some have great vigor and animation 
in both respects. 

For instance, Otho von Wittelsbach receiving 
Irom the emperor, Frederic Barbarossa, the inve»- 
dture of the dukedom of Bavaria in 1180, painted 
*>y Zimmermann. 

The marriage of Otho the Illustrious, to Agnes 



d by Google 



MTERATURft, AND CHARACTER. 28S 

Countess Palatine of the Rhine, in 1225, pmnted 
ny mj fhend, Wilhekn Rbckel, of Schleissheim, to 
whom I am indebted for many polite attentions. 

The engagement between Louis the Sevens, ol 
Bava/ia, and the fierce fiery Ottocar, king of Bo- 
hemia, upon the bridge at MUhldorf,in 1258, paint* 
ed by Stiirmer of Berlin. This is very animated 
and terrific. I think the artist had Rubens's defeat 
of the Amazons full in his mind. 

The victory of the emperor, Louis of Bavaria, 
over Frederic of Austria, his competitor for the 
empire in 1822, painted by Hermann of Dresden. 

The storming of Godesberg, when the unfortu- 
nate Archbishop Gerard, and Agnes of Mansfield 
had taken refuge theipe in 1683,* painted by Gas- 
sen of Coblentz. 

Maximilian L in 1628, invested with the forfeit 
electorate of the Palatine Frederic V.f painted by 
Eberle of Dusseldorf. 

Maximilian Joseph L father of the present king, 
bestowing on his people a new constitution and 
representative government in 1818, painted by 
Monten of Dusseldorf. 

These have dwelt on my memory. Over all the 
pictures, the name of the subject and the date are 
inscribed in large gold letters, so that those who 
walk may read. The costumes and manners of 
each epoch have been attend^ to with the most 
bcmpulous accuracy ; and I see e^ery day groupi 

•8MP.66. t8Mp.66^ 



d by Google 



fiS4 SKETCHES OF ART, 

of soldiers, and of the common people, with theii 
children, standing before these paintings, spelling 
the titles, and discussing the various subjects repre- 
lented. The further end of the arcade is painted 
with a series of Italian scenes, selected by the king 
after his return from Italy, and executed by Bott- 
mann of Heidelberg, a young landscape-painter of 
great merit, as De Elenze assures me, and he is a 
judge of genius. Under each picture is a distich, 
composed by the king himself. These are in dis- 
temper, I believe : freely, but rather hastily exe- 
cuted, and cold and ineffective in color, perh;^ 
the fault of the vehicle. The ceilings and pillars 
are also gaily painted with arabesques, and othei 
ornaments ; and at the upp«r end there is a grand 
seated figure, looking magnificent and contempla- 
tive, and calling herself Bavaria. This is weU 
painted by Kaulbach. 

I walk through these arcades once or twice every 
day, as I have several friends lodged over them ; 
and can seldom arrive at the end without pausing 
two or three times. 

I learn that the king's passion for building, and 
the forced encouragement given to the enlargement 
and decoration of his capital, has been carried to 
an excess, and, like all extremes, has proved mis- 
chievous, at least for the time. He has rendered it 
too much a fashion among his subjects, who are suf- 
fering from rash speculations of this kind. Manj 
Deautiful edifices in the Ludwig's Strasse, and the 
neighborhood of the Maximilian's Platz, and the 



d by Google 



LITEBATUBE, AND CHARACTER. %86 

K.aroiine'8 Platz, remain untenanted. A ^uite of 
beautifnl nnfumifihed apartanents, and even a pret- 
ty houae in the finest part of Munich may be had 
for a trifle. Some of these new houses are enor- 
mous. Madame M. told me that she has her whole 
edtablishment on one floor, but then she has twsnty 
three rooms. 

Thot^h the country round Munich is flat and 
•'gly* ^ few hours' journey brings us into the very 
midst of the Tyrolian Alps. In June or July all 
the people fly to the mountains, and baths, and 
lakes in South Bavaria, and rusticate among the 
most glorious scenery in the world. ^^ Come to us," 
said my friend, Luise K — ; ^come to us in the 
summer months, and we will play at Arcadia" 

And truly, when I listened to her description of 
her mountain life, and all its tranquil, primitive 
pleasures, and all the beauty and grandeur which 
lie beyond that giant-barrier which lifls itself 
against the evening sky, and when I looked into 
those clear affectionate eyes — **dieser Blick voll 
Treu und Gute," and beheld the expression of a 
settled happiness, the light of a heart at peace with 
itself and all the world, reflected on the counte- 
nances of her children — a recollection of the un- 
quiet destiny which drives me ii. an opposite direc^ 
tion came over me — 

Tbon art a soul in bliM; but I am bound 
Upon a wheel of fire, which mine own tean 
Do scald like molten lead. 

Tuesday- — ^M. de Elenze calhd this morning iUid 



d by Google 



IS6 SKSTCHES OF ART, 

eondacted me over the whole of the new palace 
The design, when completed, will fonn a vast quad* 
rangle. It was begun about seven years ago ; and 
as only a certain sum is set apart every year for the 
works, it will probably be seven years more before 
the portion now in progress, which is the south side 
of the quadrangle, can be completed. 

The exterior of the building is plain, but has an 
air of grandeur even from its simplicity and uni- 
formity. It reminds me of Sir Philip Sydney's 
beautiful description — ^^ A house built of fair and 
strong stone ; not affecting so much any extraor- 
dinary kind of fineness, as an honorable represent* 
ing of a firm stateliness ; all more lasting than 
beautiful, but that the consideration of the exceeds 
ing lastingness made the eye believe it was exceed- 
ing beautiful.** 

When a selfish despot designs a palace, it is for 
himself he builds. He thinks first of his own per- 
sonal tastes and peculiar habits, and the arrange- 
ments are contrived to suit his exclusive propensi* 
ties. Thus, for Nero's overwhelming pride, no 
ipace, no height, could suffice ; so he built hii 
' golden house" upon a scale which obliged its 
next possessor to pull it to pieces, as only fit to 
lodge a colossus. George the Fourth had a predi- 
lection for low ceilings, so all the future inhabitants 
of the Pimlico palace must endure suffocation ; and 
as his majesty did not live on good terms with hii 
wife, no accommodation was prepared for a futun 
^ucen of England. 



d by Google 



LITERATUBB, AND CBABACT£R 387 

The commands which the king of Bavaria gav€ 
De Klenze were in a different spirit ^ Build m^ 
» palace, in which nothing within or without shall 
be of transient fashion or interest ; a palace for my 
posterity, and my people, as well as myself; oi 
which the decorations shall be durable as well as 
splendid, and shall appear one or two centuries 
hence as pleasing to the eye and taste as they do 
now.** "Upon this principle," said De Klenze, 
looking round, "I deagned'what you now see." 

On the first floor are the apartments of the king 
and queen, all facing the south: a parallel range y( 
apartments behind, contains accommodation for the 
attendants, ladies of honor, cham\)erlains, &c. ; a 
grand staircase on the east leads to the apartments 
of the king, another on the west to those of the 
queen ; the two suites of apartments uniting in the 
centre, where the private and sleeping rooms com- 
municate vrith each other. All the chambers allot- 
ted to the king's use are painted with subjects from 
the Greek poets, and those of the queen from the 
Grerman poets. 

We began with the king's apartments. The ap- 
I roach to the staircase I did not quite understand, 
for it appears small and narrow ; but this pait cA 
Ihe building is evidently incomplete. 

The staircase is beautiful, but simple, conasting 
of a flight of wide broad steps of the native mar- 
ble; there b no gilding ; the ornaments on the 
veiling represent the different arts and manufac- 
tures carried on in Bavaria. Over the door which 



d by Google 



t38 SKETCHES OF ART, 

•peus into the apartments is the king's motto ii 
gold letters, Gerecht und Beharrlich — Just 
and Firm. Two Caryatides support the entrance 
on one side the statue of Astrea, and on the other 
the Greek Victory without wings — the first express- 
ing justice, the last firmness or constancy. These 
figures are colossal, and modelled by Schwanthaler 
in a grand and severe style of art. 

L The first antechamber is decorated with great 
simplicity. On the cornice round the top is repre- 
sented the history of Orpheus and the expedition 
of the Argonauts, fix>m Linus, the earliest Greek 
poet The figures are in outline, shaded in brown, 
but without relief or color, exactly like those on 
the Etruscan vases. The walls are stuccoed in 
imitation of marble. 

n. The second antechamber is less simple in its 
decoration. The frieze round the top is broader, 
(about three feet,) and represents the Theogony, 
tlie wars of the Titans, &c. from Hesiod. The fig- 
ures are in outline, and tinted, but without relief, 
in the manner of some of the ancient Greek paint- 
ings on vases, tombs, &c. The efiect is very classi- 
cal, and very singular. Schwanthaler, by whom 
these decorations were designed, has displayed aU 
the learning of a profound and accomplished schol- 
ar> as well as the skill of an artist. In general 
feeling and style they reminded me of Flaxman'a 
outlines to ^schylus. 

The walls of this room are also stuccoed in imi- 
tation of marble, with compartments, in which are 



d by Google 



LITER ATUBE, AND CHARACTER. ^3D 

represented, in the same styie, other subjects fniui 
the ** Weeks and Days," and the " Birth of Pan- 
dora." The ornaments are in the oldest Greek 
•tyle. 

ni. A saloon, or reception room, for those who 
are to be presented to the king. On this room, 
which is in a manner public, the utmost luxury of 
decoration is to be expended ; but it is yet unfin- 
ished. The subjects are from Homer. In com- 
partments on the ceiling are represented the gods 
of Greece ; the gorgeous ornaments with which 
they are intermixed being idl in the Greek style. 
Round the frieze, at the top of the room, the sub- 
jects are taken from the four Homeric hymns. The 
walls will be painted from the Siad and Odyssey, 
in compartments, mingled with the richest ara- 
besques. The effect of that part of the rocm 
which, is finished is indescribably splendid ; but I 
cannot pause to dwell upon minutiae. 

IV. The throne-room. The decorations of this 
room combine, in an extraordinary degree, the 
utmost splendor and the utmost elegance. The 
whole is adorned with bass-reliefs in white stucco, 
raised upon a ground of dead gold. The composi- 
tions are from Pindar. Round the frieze are the 
games of Greece, the chariot and foot-race, the 
horse-race, the wrestlers, the cestus, &c. Immedi- 
ately over the throne, Pin'^ar, singing to his lyre, 
before the judges of the Olympic games. On each 
vide a comic and a tragic poet receiving a prize. 
The exceeding lightness and grace, the various 



d by Google 



240 SKETCHES OF ART, 

fancy, the purity of style, the vigor of life ind 
movement displayed here, all prove that Schi ran- 
thaler has drank deep of classical inspiration, and 
that he has not looked upon the frieze of the Par- 
thenon in vain. The subjects on th^ walls are 
various groups from the same poet ; over the throne 
is the king's motto, and on each side, Akides and 
Achilles ; the history of Jason and Medea, Castor 
and Pollux, Deucalion and Pyrrha, &c. occupy 
compartments, differing in form and size. The 
decoration of this magnificent room appeared to me 
a little too much broken up into parts — and yet, on 
the whole, it is most beautiful ; the Graces as well 
as the Muses presided over the whole of these 
" fancies, chaste and noble ; " and there is excel- 
lent taste in the choice of the poet, and the sul> 
jects selected, as harmonizing with the destination 
of the room: all are expressive of power, of 
triumph, of moral or physical greatness.* The 
walls are of dead gold, from the floor to the ceil- 
ing, and ^e gilding of this room alone cost 72,000 
florins. 

Y. A saloon, or antechamber. The ceiling and 
walls admirably painted, from the tragedies of 
iEschylus. 

VL The king's study, or cabinet de travail. The 

* In Che throne-room at the Buokingham Palace tiie idea of 
frandeur is suggested by a vile heraldic crown, stuck on tbi 
eapitals of the columns. Conceiye the flagrant, the vnlgw 
barbarity of taste ! ! It cannot surely be attributed to tbt 
aiehlteotr 



d by Google 



LITEBATURF, AND CHARACTER. 241 

lubjc ^*t8 from Sophocles, equally classical in tastOi 
ani rich in color and efi'ect. In the arch at one 
end of this room are seven compartments, in which 
are inscnbed in gold letters, the sayings of the 
seven Greek sages. 

Sehwanthaler furnished the outlines of the com- 
positions &om ^schylus and Sophocles, which are 
executed in colors by Wilhelm Bockel of Schleiss- 
heim. 

Vn. The king's dresdng-room. The subjects 
from Aristophanes, pmnted by Hiltensberger of 
Suabia, certainly one of the best painters here. 
There is exquisite fantastic grace and spirit in 
these designs. 

**It was fit," said de Klenze, " that the first ob- 
jects which his majesty looked upon on rising fixim 
his bed should be gay and mirth-inspiring.'' 

Vin. The king's bedroom. The subjects from 
Theocritus, by different painters, but principally 
Professor Heinrich Hess and Bruchmann. This 
room pleased me least 

No description could give an adequate idea of 
the endless variety, and graceful and luxuriant 
ornament harmonizing with the various subjects, 
and the purpose of each room, and lavished on the 
walls and ceilings, even to infinitude. The general 
style is very properly borrowed from the Greek 
decorations at Herculaneum and Pompeii ; not ser- 
vilely copied, but varied with an exhaustless prod* 
igality. of fancy and invention, and applied with 
exquisite taste. The combinatiou of the gayest 
16 



d by Google 



242 SKETCHES OF ART, 

brightest colors has been studied with care, thmi 
proportion and approximation calculated on scien- 
tific principles ; so that the result, instead of being 
gaudy and perplexing to the eye, is an effect the 
most captivating, brilliant, and harmonious that can 
be conceived. 

The material used is the encaustic painting, 
which has been revived by M. de Klenze. He 
fpent four months at Naples analyzing the colors 
used in the encaustic paintings at Herculaneum 
and Pompeii, and by innumerable experiments 
reducing the process to safe practice. Professor 
Zimmermann explained to me the other day, as I 
stood beside him while he worked, the general 
principle, and the advantages, of this style. Vt 
is much more rapid than oil painting; it is al)^ 
much less expensive, requiring both cheaper mv 
terials and in smaller quantity. It dries moK» 
quickly : the surface is not so glazy and unequat, 
requiring no particular light to be seen to ad van* 
tage. The colors are wonderfully bright: it u 
capable of as high a finish, and it is quite as durablt 
as oils. Both mineral and vegetable colors can bt 
used. 

Now to return. The king's bedchamber opem 
into the queen's apartments, but to take these io 
order we must begin at the beginning. The stair- 
case, which is still unfinished, will be in a much 
richer style of architecture than that on the king^ 
lide: it is sustained with beautiful columns ci 
native marble. 



d by Google 



LITERATURE, AND CHARACTER. 249 

L Antechamber ; painted from the history an«l 
poems of Walther von der Yogelweide, by Gasseo 
of Coblentz, a young painter of distinguished 
merit. 

Walther "of the Inrd-meadow," for that is th« 
literal signification of his name, was one of the most 
celebrated of the early Suabian Minnesingers,* 
and appears to have lived from 1190 to 1240. He 
led a wandering life, and was at different times in 
the service of several princes of Grermany. He 
figured at the famous " strife of poets," at the castle 
of Wartsburg, which took place in 1207, in pres- 
ence of Hermann, landgrave of Thuringia and the 
landgravine Sophia ; this is one of the most cele- 
brated incidents in the history of German poetry. 
He also accompanied Leopold VH. to the Holy 
Land. His songs are warlike, patriotic, moral, and 
religious. " Of love he has always the highest con- 
ception, as of a principle of action, a virtue, a re- 
ligious affection ; and in his estimation of female 
excellence, he is below none of his contempor» 

ries-^t 

In the centre of the ceiling is represented the 
poetical contest at Wartsburg, and Walther is re- 
citing his verses in presence of his rivals and the 



• Then )■ • mrj pretty llttte edition of hie lyrical poeme, na 
lered into tlie modern German by Karl Simroek, an^ publishel 
It Berlin In 1888. 

t See a very interesting aoeonnt oT Walther von der TofM 
iMide, with translationfl of aome of his poems in ** The Lays «f 
Ihe llinnesincers,'* published in 1825. 



d by Google 



t44 SKETCHES OF ART, 

jttoembled judges. At tho upper end of the tqvq» 
Walther is exhibited exactly as he describes him- 
lelf in one of his principal poems, seated on a 
high rock in a melancholy attitude, leaning on his 
elbow, and contemplating the troubles of his deso- 
late country ; in the opposite arch, the old poet is 
represented as feeding the little birds which are 
fluttering round him — in allusion to his will, which 
directed that the birds should be fed yearly upon 
his tomb. Another compartment represents Wal< 
ther showing to his Geliebte (his mistress) th< 
reflection of her own lovely face in his polished 
shield. There are other subjects which I cannot 
recall. The figures in all these groups are the size 
of life. 

n. The next room is panted from the poems of 
Wolfram of Eschenbach, another, and one of the 
most fertile of the old Minnesingers ; he also was 
present at the contest at Wartsburg, " and wandered 
from castle to castle like a true courteous knight, 
dividing his time between feats of arms and min- 
strelsy. ' He versified, in the German tongue, the 
romance of the ^* Saint-Greal," making it an original 
production, and the central point, if the expression 
may be allowed, of an innumerable variety of ad- 
ventures, which he has combined, like Ariosto, in 
artful perplexity, in the poems of Percival and 11- 
turel. * These adventures furnish the subjects of 
the paintings on the ceiling and walls, which are 

* 8m ft Tery learned and well-wiltten article on the anefeitf 
l^xman and northern poetry in the Edinboigh ReTiew, toI. S0 



d by Google 



LITBRATURE, AND CHABACTER. 24A 

ixecuted by Hermann of Dresden, one of the most 
distinguished of the pupils of Cornelius. 

The oinaments in these two rooms, which are 
exceedingly rich and appropriate, are in the old 
gothic style, and reminded me of the illuminations 
in the ancient MSS. 

ni. A saloon (salon de service) appropriated 
to the ladies in wsdting : painted from the ballads 
of Burger, by Foltz of Bingen. The ceiling of this 
room is perfectly exquisite — ^it is formed entirely 
of small rosettes, (about a foot in diameter,) vary- 
ing in form, and combining every hue of the rain- 
bow — ^the delicacy and harmony of the entire effect 
is quite indescribable. The rest of the decorations 
are not finished, but the choice of the poet and the 
subjects, considering the destination of the room, 
delighted me. The fate of " Lenora," and that of 
the " Curate's Daughter,** will be edifying subjects 
of contemplation for the maids of honor. 

lY. The throne-room. Magnificent in the gen- 
eral effect ; elegs^nt and appropriate in the design. 

On the ceiling, which is richly ornamented, are 
four medallions, exhibiting, under the effigies of 
four admirable women, the four feminine candnal 
virtues. Constancy is represented by Maria The- 
tesa; maternal love, by Cornelia^; charity, by St 
Elizabeth, (the Margravine of Thuringia ; *) and 
filial tenderness, by Julia Ra Alpinula. 

* The legend of this charming saint, one of the most popnla. 
in Germany, Is bnt little known among ns. She was the wift ol 
I margraTB of Tbniingia, who was tk ieroe, aTarioions man. n hiki 



d by Google 



146 SKETCHES OF ABT, 

And there — sweet and sacred be the naoMl 

Julia, the daaghter, the devoted, gave 
Her yoath to Heaven; her heart beneath a claim 

Nearest to Heaven*8, broke o*er a father's grav«. 

Lord Btrox. 

'*I always avoid emblemad'^al and allegorical 
figures, wherever it b possible, for they are cold 
and arbitrary, and do not speak to the heart 1" 
said M. de Elenze, perceiving how much I was 
charmed with the idea of thus personifying the 
womanly virtues. 

The paintings round the room are from the 
poems of Elopstock, and executed by Wilhehoo 
Kaulbach, an excellent artist. Only the frieze ii 
finished. It consists of a series of twelve compart- 
ments : three on each side of the room, and divided 
from each other by two boys of colossal size, 

•he herself was all made up of tendemesi and melting pity. Shs 
lived with her husband in his castle on the Wartsbnrg, and was 
aoeustomed to go out every morning to distribute alms among 
thepoor of the valley; her husband, jealous and covetous, fc> 
^Mkde her thus to exercise her bounty; but as she regarded bm 
duty to God and the poor, even as paramount to conjugal obe- 
dience, she secretly continued her charitable offlees. Her hoi- 
oand encountered her one morning at sunrise, as she was leav- 
ing the castle with a covered basket containing meat, bread, and 
wine, for a starving fiunily. He demanded, angrily, what shi 
had in her basket * Elisabeth, trembling, not for herself, but 
tcT her wretched protegees, replied, with a Altering voice, thai 
she had been gathering roses in the garden. The fierce chieftain, 
not believing her, snatched off the napkin, and Elizabeth fell ov 
lier knees.— But, beliold, a miracle had been operated tn hei 
bvoi !— The basket was ftall of roses, fresh gathered, aad w# 
dtbdew 



d by Google 



LllERATUBE, AND CHJLRACTKR. 247 

grouped as Caryatides, and in very high relie£ 
These compartments represent the various scenei 
Df the Herman-Schlacht ; the sacrifices of th« 
Druids ; the adieus of the women ; the departure 
of the warriors; the fight with Varus; the vic- 
tory ; the return of Herman to his wife Thusnel- 
da, &c. 

** Herman, or, as the Roman historians call him, 
Arminius, was a chieftain of the Cheruscans, a 
Iribe of northern Germany. After serving in Illy- 
ria, and there learning the Roman arts of warfare, 
he came back to his native country, and fought 
successfully for its independence. He defeated, 
beside a defile near Detmold, in Westphalia, the « 
Roman legions under the command of Varus, with 
a slaughter so mortifying, that the proconsul is said 
to have killed himself, and Augustus to have re- 
ceived the news of the catastrophe with indecoroui 
expressions of grief. It b this defeat of Vanu 
which forms the theme of one of Elopstock's choruih 
dramas, entitled, '' The Battle of Herman.'' The 
dialogue is concise and picturesque ; the character! 
various, consistent, and energetic ; a lofty colossal 
firame of being belongs to them all, as in the paint- 
mgs of Caravaggio. To Herman, the disinterested 
zealot of patriotism and independence, a preference 
(tf importance is wisely given ; yet, perhaps, hif 
wife Thusnelda acts more strongly on the sympathy 
ay the enthusiastic veneration and affection she 
iisplays for her hero-consort.* 

* 9iw I^yIor'« " Hiatorio Survey of Oerman Poetry." Hwidh 



d by Google 



148 8KE1CHES OF ABT, 

y. Saloon, or drawing-rodm. The paintiii||^ 
from Wieland, by Eugene Neurather, (already 
known in England by his beautiful arabesque illni- 
tradons of Goethe's ballads.) The frieze only d 
this room, which is from the Oberon, is in progreK. 

VI. The queen's bedroom. The paintings fiwn 
Groethe, and chiefly by Kaulbach. The ceiling ii 
exquisite, representing in compartments various 
scenes from Goethe's principal lyrics ; the Herman 
and Dorothea; Pausias and Glycera, &c., inter- 
mixed with the most rich and elegant ornaments in 
relief. 

VII. The queen's study, or private sitting-room. 
• A small but very beautiful room, with paintings 

from Schiller, principally by Lindenschmidt of 
Mayence. On the ceiling are groups from the 
Wallenstein ; the Maid of Orleans ; the Bride of 
Corinth ; VHlhelm Tell : and on the walls, in com- 
partments, mingled with the most elegant orna- 
ments, scenes from the Fridolin, the Toggenburg, 
the Dragon of Rhodes, and other of his lyrics. 

Vin. The queen's library. As the wsJls will be 
covered with book-cases, all the splendor of deco- 
ration is lavished on the ceiling, which is inexprei^ 
sibly rich and elegant The paintings are from the 
works of Ludwig Tieck — ^from the Octavianus, the 
Genoneva, Fortunatus, the Puss in Boots, &c., and 
executed by Von Schwind. 

The dinmg-room is magnificently painted witb 

«M afterwards murdered by a band of conspirators, and Thus 
ealda, on loajrning the fkte of her husband, died brokenheartod. 



d by Google 



MTERATUKB, AND CHARACTER. 249 

mbjects from Anacreon, intermixed with om»* 
ments and bacchanalian 83rmbol8, all in the richest 
coloring. In the compartments on the ceiling, the 
figures are the size oC life — ^in those round the 
walls, half-life size. Nothing can exceed the luxu- 
riant fancy, the gaiety, the classical elegance, and 
amenity of some of these groups. They are all by 
Professor Zinmiermann. 

One of these paintings, a group representing, 1 
think, Auacreon with the Graces, (it is at the east 
end of the room,) b usually pointed out as an ex- 
ample of the perfection to which the encaustic 
painting has been carried : in fact, it would be dif- 
ficult to exceed it in the mingled harmony, purity^ 
and brilliance of the coloring. 

M. Zimmermann told me that when he submitted 
the cartoons for these paintings to the king's ap- 
probation, his majesty desired a slight alteration 
to be made in a group representing a nymph em- 
braced by a bacchanal; not as being in itself fault}', 
but ** k cause de ses enfans," his eldest daughters be- 
ing accustomed to dine with himself and the queen. 

Now it must be remembered that these seven- 
teen rooms form the domestic apartments of the 
royal family; and magnificent as they are, a certain 
elegance, cheerfidness, and propriety has been 
more consulted than parade and grandeur: but oii 
the ground-fioor there is a suite of state apartments, 
prepared for the reception of strangers, &c., on 
great and festive occasions ; and these excited mi 
tdmiration more than all tlie rest together. 



d by Google 



fM) SKETCHES OF ART, 

The paindDgs are entirely executed in fiesco, oa 
ft p*and scale, by Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld, 
certainly one of the greatest living artists of £a 
rope : and these four rooms will form, when com- 
pleted, the very triumph of the romantic school of 
painting. It is not tdone the invention displayed 
in the composition, nor the largeness, boldness, and 
freedom of the drawing, nor the vigor and splendor 
of the coloring ; it is the enthusiastic sympathy of 
the painter with his subject ; the genuine spirit of 
the old heroic, or rather Teutonic ages of €rerm»> 
ny, breathed through and over his singular crea- 
tions, which so peculiarly distinguish them. They 
are the very antipodes of all our notions of the 
classical — they take us back to the days of Gothic 
romance, and legendary lore — to the " fiery Franks 
and furious Huns " — ^to the heroes, in short, of the 
Nibelungen Lied, &om which all the subjects are 
taken. 

To enable the merely English reader to feel, or 
ai least understand, the interest attached to ihif 
grand series of paintings, without which it is im- 
possible to do justice to the artist, it is necessary to 
give a slight sketch of the poem which he has thai 
magnificentiy illustrated.* 

* Th« notlees which follow are abrida^ from the euaj **oa 
Andent German and Norttiem Poetry,*' before mentioned— fron 
the Pralkce to the edition of the Nibelungen Lied, by M. Yon dv 
Hagen— and the analysii of the poon in the Illustrationa d 
Northern Antiquities. My own first acquidntance with thi^ 
NIbriangen lied, I owed to an accomplished friend, who gave ii% 

detailed and Unij aoaijiifl of the story and ehaiacters; anl 



d by Google 



UTEEATURB, AND CHARACTER. 26\ 

** Thiri Dational epic, as it is justly termed by M. 
Von der Hagen, has lately attracted a most unpre- 
cedented degree of attention in Germany. It now 
Actually forms a part of the philological courses in 
many of their universities, and it has been hailed 
with ahnost as much veneration as the Homeric 
KHigs. Some allowance must be made for German 
enthusiasm, but it cannot be denied that the Nibe- 
lungen Lied, though a little too bloody and dolor- 
ous, possesses extraordinary merits." The hero 
and heroine of this poem are Siegfried, (son of 
Siegmund, king of Netherland, and of Sighelind 
his queen,) and Chrimhilde, princess of Burgundy, 
Siegfried, or Sifrit, the Sigurd of the Scandinavian 
Sagas, is the favorite hero of the northern parts of 
Germany. His spear, " a mighty pine beam," was 
preserved with veneration at Worms ; and there, 
In the church of St Cecilia, he is supposed to have 
been buried. The German romances do not rep- 
resent him as being of gigantic proportions, but 
they all agree that he became invulnerable by 
bathing in the blood of a dragon, which guarded 
the treasures of the Kibelungen, and which he 
overcame and killed , but it happened that as he 
bathed, a leaf fell and rested between his shoulders, 
and consequently, that one little spot, about a 
hand's breadth, still remained susceptible of injury. 
Siegfried also possesses the wondrous tarn-cap, 

lertalnly no ehild erer hnng opon a tale of ogres and fldrlai 
irtth more intense Interest than I did upon bm reeital of tlMi ad 
mmliiTeB of the mbelnngsn. 



d by Google 



f^2 SKETCHES OF ART, 

vrbicli had the power of rendering the wearer Di- 
visible. 

This formidable champion, after winning die 
love and the hand of the fair pnncess Chrimhilde, 
and performing a thousand valiant deeds, is treach 
erously murdered by the three brothers of Chrim 
hilde, Gunther, king of Burgundy, Ghiseler, Gemot, 
and their uncle Hagen, instigated by queen Brun- 
hilde, the wife of Gunther. Chrimhilde meditates 
for years the project of a deep and deadly revenge 
on the murderers of her husband. This vengeance 
b in fact the subject of the Nibelungen Lied, as 
the wrath of Achilles is the subject of the Biad. 

The poem opens thus beautifully with a kind of 
argument of the whole eventful story. 

** In ancient song and story maiprels high are told, 
Of knights of bold emprize and adventures mani-fold; 
Of joy and merry feasting, of lamenting, woe, and fear: 
Of champions' bloody battles many marvels shall ye hear 

A noble maid and fair, grew up in Burgandy, 

In all the land about, fairer none might be ; 

She became a queen full high, Chrimhild was she hi^t, 

But for her matchless beauty fell many a blade of mij^ 

For love and for delight was framed that lady gay, 
Many a champion bold sighed for that gentle May; 
Beauteous was her form! beauteous without compare 1 
The virgin's virtues might adorn many a lady faur. 

Throe kings of might had the maiden in their care, 
King Gunther and king Gemot, champions bold they werq 
And Ghiselar the young, a chosen peerless blade: 
1 he lady was their sister, and much they loved the maid. 



d by Google 



LITBBATURE, AND CHABACTER. 259 

Then follows an enumeration of the heroes in 
ittendance on king Gunther : Haghen, the fierce ; 
Dankwart, the swift ; Yolker, the minstrel knight ; 
ind others ; ** all champions bold and free ; " — and 
tiien the poet proceeds to open the argument 

** One night the queen Ghrimhild dreamt her as she lay. 
How the had trained and nourished a falcon, wild and gay , 
When suddenly two eagles fierce the gentle hawk hare 

slain — 
Never, in this world felt she such orael pain! 

To her mother, Uta, she told her dream with fear. 
Full mournfully she answered to what the maid did spier, 
*The falcon, whom you cherished, a gentle knight is he. 
God take him to his ward ! thou must lose him suddenly.* 

What speak you of the knight? dearest mother, say I 
Without the love of Champion, to my dying day, 
Ever thus fair will I remain, nor take a wedded fere 
To gain such pain and sorrow— though the knight were 
without peer I' 

Speak not thou too rashly ! * her mother spake again. 
* If ever in this world, thou heart-felt joy wilt gain. 
Maiden must thou be no more; Leman must thou have, 
God will grant thee for thy mate, some gentle knight and 
brave.* 

leave thy words, lady mother; speak not of wedded 

mate, 
PnU many a gentle maiden hath found the truth toi 

late: 
Btin has their fondest love ended with woe and pain; 
ITIrgin will I ever be, nor the love of Leman gain.* 



d by Google 



254 SKBTCHSS OF ABT, 

hi Tirtves bf^ and noble tlmt genfle maidan dw«lt» 
Fun manj a night and day, nor love for Leman fdt. 
To never a knight or champion would she plight Imi 

Tirgin truth, 
Fill she wari gained for wedded fere bj a right noUt 

youth* 

That 3 outh, he was the foloon, she in her dream beheld. 
Who by the two fierce eagles, dead to the ground ww 

feU'd: 
But since right dreadful vengeance she took upon his 

foen; 
Fur the death of that bold hero, died full many a mother's 

son." 



After this exordium the story commences, the 
first half ending with the assassination of Siegfried. 

Some years after the murder of Siegfried, Chiim- 
hilde gives her hand to Etzel, (or Attila,) king of 
the Huns, in order that through his power and in- 
fluence she may be enabled to execute her long- 
cherished schemes of vengeance. The assassins 
accordingly, and all their kindred and followers, are 
induced to visit King Etzel at Vienna, where, by the 
instigation of Chrimhilde, a deadly feud arises ; izi 
the course of which almost the whole army on both 
sides are cruelly slaughtered. By the powerful, 
but reluctant aid of Dietrich of Bern,* Hagen, the 
murderer of Siegfried, is at last vanquished, ano 



* INetrioh of Bern (i. e. Theodorle of Yerona,) Is the great 
Imto of South Germany— the King Arthur of Teutonic romancei 
vho figures in all the warlike lays and legends of the middle age* 



d by Google 



LITERATUBB, AND CHABACTEBl. 2ft5 

biVHight bound to the feet of the queen, who at 
once raises the sword of her departed hero, and 
with her own hand strikes off the head of his en- 
emy. Hildebrand instantly avenges the atrociouf 
and unhospitable act, by stabbing the queen, who 
falls exulting on the body of her hated victim. 

When Gunther's arms, and those of his brothew 
and champions, are brought to Worms, Brunhllde 
repents too late of her treachery to Siegfried, and 
the old queen Uta dies of grief. As to King Etzel, 
the poet professes himself ignorant, ^* whether he 
died in battle, or was taken up to heaven, or fell 
out of his skin, or was swallowed up by the devil ; ** 
leaving to his reader the choice of these singular 
catastrophes ; — and thus the story ends.* 

The rivalry between Chrimhilde and her ama- 
Eonian sister-in-law, Brunhilde, forms the most in- 
teresting and amusing episode in the poem ; and 
Ine characters of the two queens — the fierce 
haughty Brunhilde, and the impassioned, devoted, 
confiding Chrimhilde — (whom the very excess ci 
conjugal love converts into a relentless fury,) are 
admirably discriminated. **The work is divided 
into thirty-eight books, or adventures ; and besides 
a liberal allowance of sorcery and wonders, con- 
tains a great deal of clear and animated narrative, 
md innumerable curious and picturesque traits of 
he manners of the age. The characters of the 
different warriors, as well as those of the two queeni| 

« iM the niostratlons of Northern Antiquities, p. 211. 



d by Google 



S56 • SKETCHES OF ABT, 

and \heir heroic consorts, are very naturally and 
powerfully drawn — especially that of Hagen, the 
murderer of Siegfried, in whom the virtues ol ao 
heroic and chivalrous leader are strangely united 
with the atrocity and impenitent hardihood of an 



** The author of the Lay of the Nibelungen has 
not been ascertained. In its present form it must 
have existed between the twelfth and thirteenth 
centuries; — this is proved by the language; but 
the manners, tone, thoughts, and actions, which 
are all in perfect keeping, bear testimony to an 
antiquity far beyond that of the present dress of 
the poem." 

Here then was a boundless, an inexhaustible 
fund of inspiration for such a painter as Julius 
Schnorr ; and his poetical fancy appears to have 
absolutely revelled in the grand, the gay, the tragic 
subjects afforded to his creative pencil. 

In the first room, immediately over the entrance, 
he has represented the poet, or presumed author 
of the Nibelungen ; an inspired figure, attended 
by two listening genii. On each side, but a little 
lower down, are two figures looking towards him ; 
on one side a beautiful female, striking a harp, and 
attended by a genius crowned with roses — ^reppb- 
lents song or poesy. On the other side a sibyJ 
listening to the voice of Time, represents tradition. 
The figures are ail colossal. 

Below, on each side of this door, are two beauti* 
fbl groups. That to the right of the spectator r» 



d by Google 



LITERATUBE, AND CHARACTER. 257 

presents Siegfried and Chrimhilde. She is leaning 
on the shouldsr of her warlike husband with an 
air of the most inimitable and graceful abandon- 
ment in her whole figure : a falcon sits upon hei 
hand, on which her eyes are turned with the most 
profound expression of tenderness and melancholy ; 
she is thinking upon her dream, in which was fore- 
ihadowed the early and terrible doom of her hus- 
band. 

It is said at Munich, that the wife of Schnorr, 
an exquisitely beautiful woman, whom he married 
under romantic circumstances, was the model of 
his Chrimhilde, an^ that one of her spontaneouf 
attitudes furnished the idea of this exquisite group, 
on which I never look without emotion. The depth 
and splendor of the coloring adds to the effect 
The figures are rather above the size of life. 

On the opposite side of the door, as a pendant^ 
we have Gunther, and his queen, Brunhilde. He 
holds one of her hands, with a deprecating ex- 
pression. She turns from him with an averted 
countenance, exhibiting in her whole look and 
attitude, grief, rage, and shame. It is evident that 
fhe has just made the fatal discovery of her hus- 
band's obligations to Siegfried, which urges her to 
the destruction of the latter. I have heard trav- 
ellers ignorantly criticize the grand, and somewhat 
exaggerated forms of Brunhilde, as being ** really 
quite coarse and unfeminine.** In the poem she 
b represented as possessing the strength of twelve 
men ; and when Hagen see^ her throw a spear. 
17 



d by Google 



258 SKETCHES OF ART, 

which it required four warriors to Tift, he exc 
fco her alarmed suitor, King Gunther, 

**Aj\ how is it, King Gnnthnr? here most 70a tiM 

your h'fe ! 
The lady you would gain, well might he the deviTi 

wife!" 

It is by the secret assistance of Siegfried, and hii 
tarn-cap, that Gunther at length vanquishes and 
humbles this terrible heroine, and she avenges her 
humiliation by the murder of Siegfried. 

Around the room are sixteen full-length por- 
traits of the other principal personages who figure) 
in the Nibelungen Lied — portraits they may well 
be called, for their extraordinary spirit, and truth 
of character. In one group we have the fierce 
Hagen, the courteous Dankwart,' and between 
them, Volker tuning his viol ; of him it is said — 

Bolder and more knight-like fiddler, never shone the swi 
upon, 

and he plays a conspicuous part in the catastrophe 
of the poem. 

Opposite to this group, we have queen Uta, the 
mother of Chrimhilde, between her sons, Gremot 
and Ghiselar ; in another compartment, Siegmund 
and Sighelind, the father and mother of Siegfried 

Over the window opposite to the entrance, 
Hagen is consulting the mermaids of the Danube, 
who foretell the destruction which awaits him ai 
the court of Etzel : and lowei* down on each sidf 



d by Google 



LITEBATUBB, AND CHABACTER. 259 

if the window, King Etzel with his fiiend Rudiger. 
fend thoee faithM companions in arms, old Hilde- 
brand and Dietrich of Bern. The power of in- 
vention, the profound feeling of character, and 
extraordinary antiquarian knowledge displayed in 
these figures, should be seen to be understood. 
Those which most struck me (next to Chrimhilde 
and her husband) were the figures of the daring 
Hagen and the venerable queen Uta. 

On the ceiling, which is vaulted, and enriched 
with most gorgeous ornaments, intermixed with 
heraldic emblazonments, are four small compart- 
ments in fresco: in which are represented, the 
marriage of Siegfried and Chrimhilde, the murder 
of Siegfried, the vengeance of Chrimhilde, and the 
death of Chrimhilde. These are painted in vivid 
colors on a black ground. 

On the whole, on looking round this most 
splendid and interesting room, I could find but 
one fault : I could have wished that the ornaments 
on the walls and ceiling (so rich and beautifui to 
the eye) had been more completely and consistently 
gothic in style ; they would then have harmonized 
better with the subjects of the paintings. 

In the next room the two sides are occupied by 
tw) grand frescos, each about five-and-twenty feet 
in length, and covering the whole walL In the 
first, Siegfried brings the kings of Saxony and 
Denmark prisoners to the court of king Gunther. 
The second represents the reception of the victo- 
rious SJegfried by the two queena Uta and Chrim> 



d by Google 



160 SKETCHES OF ABT, 

hilde. This is the first interriew of the loreim 
and lurnishes one of the most admired passages la 
the poem. 

* And now the beauteons lady, like the rosy mom, 
Dispersed the misty clouds ; and he who lonp; had borna 
In his heart the maiden, banishM pain and care, 
Ab now before his eyes stood the glorious maiden fkir. 

From her embroidered garment, glittered many a gvni. 
And on her lovely cheek, the rosy red did gleam; 
Whoever in his glowing soul had imaged lady bright, 
Confessed that fairer maiden Dever stood before his sight 

And as the moon at night, stands high the stars among, 
And moves the mirky cloads above, with lustre bright 

and strong; 
So stood before her maidens, that maid without compare: 
Higher swelled the courage of many a champion there.** 

Between the two doors there is the marriage of 
Siegfried and Chrimhilde. The secdnd of these 
frescos is nearly finished ; of the others I only saw 
the cartoons, which are magnificent. The third room 
will contidn, arranged in the same manner, three 
grand frescos, representing 1st The scene in which 
the rash curiosity of Chrimhilde prevails over the 
discretion of her husband, and he gives her the 
'ring and the girdle which he had snatched as tro- 
phies from the vanquished Brunhilde.* 2dly. 

* In the altereatton between fhe two queens, Chrlmhilds 
•OMts of possessing these trophies, and displays them In trinmpli 
to her mortifled riyal; Ibr which indiscretion, as she afterwards 
tomplains, ** her husband was in high anger, and btat her fttoes 



d by Google 



LITEBATUBB, AND CHARACTEB. 261 

Fhe death of Siegfried, assassinated by Hagen, who 
tabs the hero in the back, as he stoops to drink 
from the forest-well. And 8dly. The body of 
Siegfried exposed in the cathedral at Worms, and 
watched by Chrimhilde, " who wept three day« and 
three nights by the corse of her murdered lonl, 
without food and without sleep." 

The fourth room will contsun the second marriage 
of Chrimhilde ; her complete and sanguinary ven- 
geance ; and her death. None of these are yet in 
progress. But the three cartoons of the death of 
Siegfried ; the marriage of Siegfried and Chrim- 
hilde ; and the fatal curiosity of Chrimhilde, I had 
the pleasure of seeing in Professor Schnorr's studio 
at the academy ; I sa^ at the same time his picture 
of the death of the emperor Frederic Barbait)ssa, 
which has excited great admiration here, but I con- 
fess I do not like it ; nor do I think that Schnorr 
paints as well in oils as in fresco— the latter is 
certainly his forte. 

Often hare I walked up and down these superb 
rooms, looking up at Sdinorr and his assistants, 
and watching intently the preparation and the pro- 
cess of the fresco painting — and often I thought, 
•• What would some of our English painters — Etty, 
or Hilton, or Briggs, or Martin- -O what would 
whey give to have two or three hundred feet of 
space before them, to cover at will with grand and 

tmd MtM." This treatment, however, which seems to have btea 
f nite a matter of course, does not jlmlnbth the fond idolatry of 
ibe wift,— rather incresMs it. 



d by Google 



• 162 BKETCHES OF ART, 

glorious creations, — scenes from Chaucer, or Spen* 
■er, or Shakspeare, or Milton, proudly consciooi 
that they were painting for their country and 
posterity, spurred on by the spirit of their art and 
national enthusiasm, and generously emulating 
each other I Alas I how different I — with us such 
men as Hilton and Etty illustrate annuals, and the 
genius of Turner shrinks into a vignette I 

OcL 14. — Accompanied by my kind fnend, 

Madame de K , and conducted by Roekel, the 

painter, I visited the unfinished chapel adjoining 
the new palace. It is painted (or rather painting) 
in fresco, on a gold ground, with extraordinary 
richness and beauty, uniting the old Greek, or 
rather Byzantine manner, with the old Italian style 
of decoration. It reminded me, in the general 
efiect, of the interior of St Mark's at Venice, — 
but, of course, the details are executed in a grander 
feeling, and in a much higher style of art. The 
pillars are of the native marble, and the walls will 
be covered with a kind of Mosaic of various 
marbles, intermixed with ornaments in relief, in 
gilding, in colors — all combined, and harmonizing 
together. The ceiling is formed of two large domes 
or cupolas. In the first is represented the Old 
Testament : in the very centre, the Creator ; in a 
tircle round him, the six days' creation. Around 
this again, in a larger circle, the building of the 
ark ; the Deluge ; the sacrifice of Noah ; and th« 
fiist covenant In the four comers, the colossa^ 
figu'-es of the patriarchs, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, and 



d by Google 



/ UTEUATUBE, AND CHABACIBR. 261 

Jacob. These are designed in a veiy grand and 
levere style. The second cupola is dedicated to 
tihe New Testament. In the centre, the Redeemer : 
around him four groups of cherubs, three in each 
group. We were on the scaffold erected for the 
painters — near enough to remark the extreme 
beauty and various expression in these heads, 
which must, I am afraid, be lost when viewed from 
below. Around, in a circle, the twelve apostles ; 
SDd in the four comers, the four evangelists, cor- 
responding with the four patriarchs in the other 
dome. In the arch between the two domes, as con- 
necting the Old and New Testaments, we have the 
Nativity and other scenes from the life of the Vir- 
gin. In the arch at the farthest end will be placed 
the Crucifixion, as the consunmiation of all. 

The painter to whom the direction of the whole 
work has been entrusted, is Professor Heinrich 
Hass, (or Hess,) one of the modt celebrated of the 
German historical painters. He was then employed 
in painting the Nativity ; stretched upon his back 
on a sort of inclined chidr. Notwithstanding the 
mconvenience and even peril of leaving his work 
▼hile the plaster was wet, he came down from his 
^^iddy height to speak to us, and explained the gen^ 
eral design of the whole. I expressed my honest 
admiration of the genius, and the grand feeling dis- 
played in many of the figures ; and, in particular, 
>f the group he was then painting, of which the 
extreme simplicity charmed me ; but as honestiy, I 
%xpres8ed my surprise that nothing new in the geia< 



d by Google 



264 SKETCHES OF ART, 

aral at} la of the decoration had been attempted 
a representation of the Omnipotent Being wa> 
merely excusable in more simple and unenlightened 
times, when the understandings of men could only 
be addressed through their senses — and merely 
tolerable, when Michael Angelo gave us that grand 
personification of Almighty Power moving *• on the 
wings of the wind ** to the creation of the first man. 
But now, in these thinking, reasoning times, it ii 
not so well to venture into those paths, upon which 
daring Grenius, supported by blind Faith, rushed 
without fear, because without a doubt The theory 
of religion belongs to poetry, and its practice to 
painting. I was struck by the wonderful stateliness 
of the ornaments and borders used in decorating 
these sacred subjects : they are neither Greek, nor 
gothic, nor arabesque — but composed merely of 
simple forms and straight lines, combined in every 
possible manner, and in every variety of pure color 
One might call them Byzantine ; at least, they re- 
minded me of what I had seen in the old churchef 
at Venice and Pisa. 

I was pleased by the amiable and open manners 
of Professor Hess. Much of his life has been spent 
in Italy, and he speaks Italian well, but no French. 
In general, the German artists absolutely detest 
and avoid the language and literature of France, 
Dut almost all speak Italian, and many can read, il 
Hiey do not speak, English. He told me that hb 
had 8pent two years on the designs and cartooni 
for this chapel ; he had been painting here daih 



d by Google 



LIT£R.4TUBB, AND CHARACTER. 205 

io/ the last two 3rears, and expected to be able to 
finish the whole in about two years and a half 
Kiore: thus giving six years and a half, or mor* 
probably seven years, to this grand task. He haa 
four pupils, or assistants, besides those employed in 
the decorations only. 

Oct 15. — After dinner we drove through the 
beautiful English garden — a public promenade— 
which is larger acd more diversified than Kensing- 
ton Gardens ; but the trees are not so fine, being of 
younger growth. A branch of the Isar rolls through 
this garden, sometimes an absolute torrent, deep 
and rapid, foaming and leaping along, between its 
precipitous banks,- -sometimes a strong but gentle 
stream, flowing "at its own sweet will** among 
smooth lawns. Several pretty bridges cross it with 
" airy span ; " there are seats for repose, and caff^^s 
and houses where refreshment may be had, and 
where, in the summer-time, the artisans and citizens 
of Munich assemble to dance on the Sunday even- 
ings; — altogether it was a beautiful day, and a 
delightfid drive. 

In the evening at the opera with the ambass** 
dress and a large party. It was the queen's fSte, and 
the whole court was present. The theatre wai 
brilliantly illuminated — crowded in every part: in 
short, it was all very gay and very magnificent ; ai 
to hearing a single note of the opera, (the Figaro,) 
that was impossible ; so I resigned myself to the 
conversation around me "Are you fond of 
tnisic ? ** said I, innocently, to a lady, whose volu- 



d by Google 



B<$6 BKETCHES OF ART, 

bility had ceased not from the moment we eiiterw' 
fcho box. " Moi ! si je I'aime I — ^mais avec passion ! * 
And then without pause or mercy continued tJw 
same incessant flow of spirituel small-talk while 
Scheckner-Wagen and Meric, now brought for the 
first time into competition, and emulous of each 
other, — one pouring forth her full sosienuto warble, 
like a wood-lark, — ^the other trilling and running 
divisions, like a nightingale— were uniting their 
powers in the " Sull* Aria ; " but though I could not 
hear, I could see. I was struck to-night more than 
ever by the singular dignity of the demeanor of 
Madame Scheckner-Wagen. She is not remark- 
able for beauty, nOr is there any thing of the com- 
mon made-up theatrical grace in her deportment- 
still less does she remind us of queen Medea— 
queen Pasta, I should say — ^the imperial syren who 
drowned her own identity and ours together in hei 
" cup of enchanted sounds ; " — no — but Scheckner- 
Wagen treads the stage with the air of a high-bred 
lady, to whom applause or censure are things in- 
ilifferent — and yet with an exceeding modesty. In 
short, I never saw an actress who inspired such an 
immediate and irresistible feeling of respect and 
interest for the individual woman, I do not say 
that this is the ne plus ultra of good acting — on the 
contrary ; though it is a mistake to imagine thsi 
(he moral character of an actress or a singer goei 
for nothing with an audience— but of this more at 
•ome future time. Madame Scheckner's style of 
NUgin^ has the same characteristic simplicity a^^^ 



d by Google 



UTBBATUBE, AN£ CHABACTEB. 267 

iigaity ; her T<nce is of a fine full quality, well cnl* 
tivated, well managed. I have known her a littk 
indolent and careless at times, but never forced oi 
affected ; and I am told, that in some of the grand 
classical Grerman operas, Gluck's Iphigenia, for 
mstance, her acting as well as her fflnging is admir- 
able. 

I wish, if ever we have that charming Devrient- 
Schrdder (and her vocal suite) again in England, 
they would give us the Iphigenia, or the Armida, 
or the Idomeneo. She is another who must be 
heard in her native music to be justly appreciated. 
Madame Milder was a third, but her reign is past. 
This extraordinary creature absolutely could not, 
or would not, sing the modem Italian music ; no 
one, I believe, ever heard her sing a note of Ros- 
sini in her life. Madame Yespermann is here, but 
she sings no more in public. She was formed by 
Winter, and was a fine classical singer, though no 
original genius like the Milder; and her voice, if I 
may judge by what remains of it, could never have 
been of first-rate quality. 

Well — after the opera — while scandal, and ten, 
and refreshments were served up together — I had 

a long conversation with Count on the politics 

and statistics of Bavaria, the tone of feeling in the 
court, the characters and revenues of some of the 
leading nobles — ^particularly Count d'Armansbeig, 
the former minister, (now in Greece taking caro 
af the young King Otho,) and Prince Walleratein, 
^e present minister of the interior. He describe^} 



d by Google 



I6S BKSTCHBS OF ABT, 

the king's extremely versatile character, and Us 
vwacit^j and lamented his present unpopularity 
with the liberal party in Germany, the dispntei 
between him and the Chambers, and the opinion! 
entertained of the recent conferences between the 
king and his brother-in-law, the Emperor of Aus- 
tria, at Lintz, &c. I learnt much that was new, 
much that was interesting to me, but do not under- 
stand these matters sufficiently to say any thing 
more about them. 

The two richest families in Bavaria are the 
Tour-and-Taxis, and the Arco family. The annual 
revenue of the Prince of Tour-and-Taxis amounts 
to upwards of five millions of florins, and he lays 
out about a million and a half yearly in land. He 
seldom or never comes to Munich, but resides 
chiefly on his enormous estates, or at Ratisbon, 
which is his metropolis, — in fact, this rich and 
powerful noble is little less than a sovereign prince. 
• • • • « 

16. — I went with Madame von A — and he? 
daughters to the BunBlbevefn, or ** Society of 
Arts.** A similar institution of amateurs and artists, 
maintained by subscription, exists, I believe, in all 
the principal cities of Germany. The young artists 
exhibit their works here, whether pictures, models, 
or engravings. Some of these are removed and 
replaced by others almost every day, so that then 
ig a constant variety. As yet, however, I hare 
seen no very striking, though many pleasing pio* 
tores ; but I have added several names to my Utt 



d by Google 



LITERATURE, AND CHARACTER 96^ 

if Grerman artists. * To-day at the Kunstverein, 
there was a series of smaDl pictures framed together, 
Uie subjects from Victor Hugo's romance of Notre 
Dame. These attracted general attention, partly 
as the work of a stranger, partly from their own 
merit, and the popularity of Victor Hugo. The 
painter, M. Couder, is a young Frenchman, now 
on his return from Italy to Paris. I understand 
that he has obtained leave to paint one of the 
frescos in the Finakothek, as a trial of skill. Of 
the designs from Notre Dame, the central and 
largest picture is the scene in the garret between 
Phcebus and Esmeralda, when the former is stabbed 
by the priest FroUo: one can hardly imagine a 
more admirable subject for painting, if properly 
treated; but this is a failure in effect and in char- 
acter. It fails in effect because the light is too 
generally diffused: — it is daylight, not lamplight 
The monk ought to have been thrown completely 
into shadow, only just visible, terribly, mysteriously 
visible, to the spectator. It fails in character, be- 
cause the figure of Esmeralda, instead of the 
elegant, fragile, almost ethereal creature she ii 
V escribed, rather renunds us of a coarse Italian 
eontadina ; and, for the expression — a truly poeti- 
cal p^unter would have averted the face, and thrown 
the whole expression into the attitude. It will 
hardly be believed that of su/*h a subject, the 
^nter has made a cold picture, merely by nol 

• rUs list wiU be subjoined at the end of fheie Sketeliee 



d by Google 



870 SKETCHES OP ART, 

feeling the bounds within which he ought to have 
kept. The small pictures are much better, par- 
ticularly the Sachet embracing her child, and tiM 
Inmult IB front of Notre Dame. There were some 
other striking pictures by the same artist, particu- 
larly Chilperic and Fredegonde strangling the 
young queen Galsuinde, painted with shocking 
skill and truth. That taste for horrors, which ii 
now the reigning fashion in French art and Frencfc 
literature, speaks iU for French sensihilit^ — ^a word 
they are so fond of-— for that sensibility cannot be 
great which requires such extravagant stimuU, 
Painters and authors, all alike ! They remind me 
of the sentimental negresses of queen Carathis, in 
the Tale of Vathek — " qui avaient un gout particu- 
lier pour les pestilences." Couder, however, has 
undoubted talent His portrait of de Elenze, 
painted since he came here, is all but alive. 

In the evening at the theatre with M. and Mad. 
S— . We had Karl von Holtei's melo-drama of 
Lenore, founded on Biirger*s well-known ballad ;^ 
but with the omission of the spectre, which wai 
something like acting Hamlet ^* with the part of 
Hamlet left out, by particular desire." Lenore ii, 
however, one of the prettiest and most effective ol 
the petites pihces I have seen here — very tragical 
and dolorous of course. Madll. Scholler acted L^ 
Dore with more f seling and power than I though 
was in her. There is a mad scene, in which she 
fancies her lover at her window, calling to her, ai 
the spectre calls in the ballad — 



d by Google 



LITERATURE, AKD CHARACT7/. 272 

** Sleep*8t thou, or wak^st thou, Leon«i.e / -" 

And which was so fine as a picture, aiid so weO 
icted, that it quite thrilled me — no easy m&tter. 
Holtei is one of the first dramatists in Germany for 
comedies, melo-dramas, farces, and musical pieces. 
fn this particular department he has no rival. He 
played to-night himself, being for hb own ocnefity 
•nd sung his popular Mantel Lied, or cu>ak^ong. 
which, like his other songs, may be heard fit>m one 
end of Germany to the other. ^ 

18. — A grand military fite. The cousecratioo 
of the great bronze obelisk, which the king has 
erected in the Karoline-Platz, to the gioi'y and the 
memory of the thirty-seven thou.sand Bavarian 
conscript* w^p followed, or rathex weie dragged 
by. Napoleon to the fatal RussitMi campaign in 
1812. Of these, about six thousand returned alive : 
most of them mutilated, or witb diseases which 
shortened their existence. Of m^ny thousands no 
account ever reached home. Th».y perished, God 
knows how or where. There was, m particular, a 
detachment, or a battery of six thousand Bavarians, 
so completely destroyed that it was as if the earth 
had swallowed them, or the snows had buried them 
for not one remained to tell the tale of how or 
where they died.. Of those who did return, about 
one thousand one hundred survive, of whom four 
hundred contiirie in the army; the rest had re- 
toned to their civil pursuits, and had become 
peasants or tradesmen in different parts of th» 



d by Google 



179 BKETCHES OF ART, 

kingdom. Now, it appe&rs, that several huodreda 
o( these men have arrived in Munich within the 
last few days in order to be present at the cere* 
mony: and some, irom the mere sentiment of 
honor, have travelled from afar— -even from Upper 
Bavaria and the Flemish Provinces, a distance of 
more than eighty leagues, (two hundred and fifty 
miles.) On this occasion, according to the arrange- 
ments previously made, the veteran soldiers who 
remained in the army, were alone to be admitted 
within the eqplosure round the monument. The 
others, I believe about five hundred in number, 
who had quitted the service, but who had equally 
fought, sufiered, bled, in the same disastrous expe- 
dition, demanded, very naturally, the same privi- 
lege. It was refused; because for^th they had 
DO uniforms, and the unseemly intrusion of drab 
coats and blue worsted stockings among epaulettes 
and feathers and embroidered facings, would cer- 
tainly spoil the synmietry — the effect of the coup 
d*ceU/ They complained, murmured aloud, re- 
listed; and all night there was fighting iii the 
streets and taverns between them and the police. 
This morning they went up in a body to Marshal 
Wrede, (who is said to have betrayed the army,) 
and were renvoy^. They then went up to the 
palace ; and at last, at a late hour this morning, 
the king gave orders that they should be admitted 
within the circle ; but it was too late — ^the affront 
had sunk deep. The permission, which m the 
first instance ought indeed to have been rather a? 



d by Google 



LITERATURE, AliD CHARACTER. 273 

jnTitation, now secme 1 forced, ungraceful, and un- 
gracious. There was a palpable cloud of discon- 
tent over all; for the popular feeling was with 
them. For myself, a mere stranger, such was my 
indignation, the whole proceeding appeared to me 
■0 heartless, so unkingly, so unkind, and my sym- 
pathy with these brave men was so profound, that 
I could scarce persuade myself to go ; — however, 1 
went I had been invited to view the ceremony 
fhxn the balcony of the French ambassador's house, 
which is exactly opposite to the obelisk. 

I had indulged my ill-humor till it was late; 
already all the avenues leading to the Karoline- 
Platz were occupied by the military, and my car- 
riage was stopped. As I was within fifty yards of 
the ambassador's house, it did not much signify, 
and I dismissed the carriage ; but they would not 
allow the lacquais to pass. Wondering at all these 
precautions I dismissed him too. A little further 
on I was myself stopped, and civilly commanded to 
turn back. I pleaded that I only wished to enter 
the house to which I pointed. " It was impossible." 
Now, what had I not cared for a moment before 
became at once an object to be attained, and which 
I was resolved to attain. I was really curious and 
anxious to see how all this would end, for the in- 
difierent or lowering looks of the crowd had struck 
me. I observed to a well-dressed man, who po- 
litelj tried to make way for me, that it was strange 
to 8&9 so much severity of discipline at a public 
flite. "Public filter* he repeated with scornftd 



d by Google 



If 4 SKUTCiUCS OF ABT, 

oitterness; "Je vous demande paratn, madame 
c'est une f(gte pour quelques una, mais ce n'cst pu 
ime f(gte pour nous, ce n'est pas pour le peuple 1 " 
At length I fortunately met an officer, with whoa 
I was sightly acquainted, who immediately con- 
ducted me to the door. The spectacle, merely ai 
a spectacle, was not striking ; but to me it had a 
peculiar interest There was a raised platform on 
one nde for the queen and her children, who, at> 
tended by a numerous court, were spectators. Ad 
outer circle was formed by several regiments of 
guards, and within this circle the soldiers who had 
served in Russia were drawn up near the obelisk, 
which was covered for the present with a tarpaul- 
ing. But all my attention was fixed on the dis- 
banded soldiers without uniforms, who stood to- 
gether in a dark dense column, contrasting with the 
glittering and gorgeous array of those around them. 
The king rode into the circle, accompanied by his 
brother. Prince Charles, the arch-duke Francis <^ 
Austria, Marshal Wrede, and followed by a troop 
of generals, equerries, &c. There was a dead 
silence, and not a shout was raised to greet him. 
A few of the disbanded soldiers, who were nearest 
to him, took off their hats, others kept them on. 
The trumpets sounded a salute : the bands struck 
up our ** Grod save the King,? which is nationalized 
•8 the loyal anthem all over Germany. The can- 
vas covering fell at once, and displayed the obeliik, 
which is entirely of bronze, raised upon four gran- 
ite steps. It bears a simple inscription. I think 



d by Google 



1.1TKBATUB8, AND CHARACTER. 97ft 

ifc 18 *< Ludivig I , king, to the soldien of Bayana 
•f ho fell in the Rossian campaign ; " or nearly t« 
diat purpose. Marshal Wrede then alighted &om 
nis horse and addressed the soldiers. This was a 
linking moment; for while the outer circle of mili- 
tary remained immoveable as statues, the soldiers 
within, both those with, and those without uniforms, 
finding themselves out of ear-shot, advanced a few 
iteps, and then breaking their ranks, pressed foi^ 
ward in a confused mass, surrounding the king and 
his officers, in the most eager but respectful manner. 
I could not distinguish one sentence of the ha- 
rangue, which, as I afterwards heard, was any thing 
rather than satisfactory. 

I heard it remarked round me that the Duke da 
Leuchtenberg, (the son of Eugene Beauhamais,) 
was not present, neither as ono of the royal cortege 
nor as a spectator. 

The whole lasted about twenty minutes. The 
day was cold; and, in truth, the ceremony wai 
eddy in every sense of the word. The Earolin*- 
Platz is so large that not a third part of the open 
space was occupied. Had the people, who lingered 
sullen and discontented outside the military barrier, 
been admitted under proper restrictions, it had 
been a grand and imposing sight ; but perhaps the 
king is following the Austrian tactics, and seeking 
to crush systematically every thing like feeling or 
enthusiasm in his people. I know not how he wiU 
manage it; for he is !iimself the very antipodes of 
Austrian carelessness and sluggishness: a restlen 



d by Google 



176 SKETCHES OP ART, 

enthtudast-^nd of intellectxial excitement— fond of 
noveltj — ^with no natoral taste, one would think, 
for Metternich's meilleries. If he adopt Austruui 
principles, his theory and his practice, his precept 
and example, will always be at yariance. At the 
conclusion of the ceremony the king and his suite 
rode up to the platform and saluted the queen: 
and when she — who is so universally and truly be- 
loved here that I believe the people would die for 
her at any time — rose to depart, I heard a cheer, 
the first and last this day I The disbanded soldiers 
approached the platform, at first timidly by twos 
and threes, and then in great numbers, taking ofi" 
their hats. She stood up, leaning on the princess 
Matilda, and bowed. The royal cortege then dis- 
appeared. The military bands struck up, and one 
battalion after another filed off. I expected thai 
the crowd would have rushed in, but the people 
leemed completely chilled and disgusted. Only a 
few appeared. In about half an hour the obelisk 
was left alone in its solitude. 

I spent the rest of the day with Madame de Y — f 
and returned home quite tired and depressed. 

I understand this morning (Saturday) that the 
King has ordered a gratuity and dinner to be given 
to the disbanded soldiers. I hope it is true, King 
liOttisI You ought at least to understand your 
metier de Rot better than to degrade the ** f omp 
Rnd circumstance of glorious war ** in the eyes of 
your people, and make them feel for what a poo^ 
recompence they may fight, bleed, die — ^be madf 



d by Google 



LITERATURE, AND CHARACTER S7I 

Ik once Tictims and executioners in the contests of 
royal and ambitious gnmblers I 

I saw to-daj, at the house of the court bankar, 
Eichthal, a most charming picture by the Baronesi 
de Freyberg, the sister of my good friend, M. 
Stnntz. It is a Madonna and child — ^loveliest of 
lubjects for a woman and a mother I— «he is sure to 
put her heart into it, at least ; but, in this particular 
picture, the surpassing delicacy of touch, the sof^ 
ness and purity of the coloring, the masterly draw- 
ing in the hands of the Virgin, and the limbs of 
the child equalled the feeling and the expression — 
and, in truth, surprised me. Madame de Freyberg 
gave this picture to her &ther, who is not rich, 
and, unhappily, blind. Of him, the present pos- 
sessor purchased it for fifteen hundred florins, 
(about 140Z.) and now values it at twice the sum. 
In the possession of her brother, I have seen others 
of her productions, and particularly a head of one 
of his children, of exceeding beauty, and very 
much in the old Italian style. 

In the evening, a very lively and amusing sairie 
at the house of Dr. Martins. We had some very 
good music. Young Vieux-temps, a pupil of De 
Beriot, was well accompanied by an orchestra of 
funateurs. I met here also a young lady of whom 
[ had heard much — Josephine Lang, looking so 
{entle, so unpretending, so imperturbable, that no 
me would have accused or suspected her of being 
ine of the Muses in disguise, until she sat down 
lo the piano, and ^ng her cwn beautiful and orig- 



d by Google 



178 SKETCHm OF AXTf 

bal compositions in a st^rle peculiar to heimIC 
She is a musician by natore, by choice, and hy pro* 
fession, exercising her rare talent iinth as much 
modesty as good-nature. The painter Zimmer* 
mann, who has a magnificent bass voice, sung for 
me Mignon's song — ^ Eennst du das Land I " And^ 
lastly, which was the most interesting amusement 
of the evening, Karl von Hdtei read aloud the 
second act of Groethe's Tassa He read most ad* 
mirably, and with a voice which kept attention en- 
chained, enchanted; still it was genuine reading. 
He kept equally clear of acting and of declama* 
tion. 

Oct 20, Sunday. — ^I went with M. Stuntz to hear 
a grand mass at the royal chapeL 

« « « « 

21. — It rained this morning: — went to the 
gallery, and amused myself for two hours walking 
up and down the rocmis, sometimes pausing upon 
my favorite pictures, sometimes abandoned to the 
reveries suggested by these glorious creations d 
the human intellect 

'Twas like the bright procesdoii 
Of skiey visions in a solemn dream, 
From which men wake as fh>m a paradise, 
And draw fresh strength to tread the thorns of llfel 

While looking at the Castor and Pollux of Bo- 
bens, I remembered what the biographers asserted 
3f this most wonderful man — ^that he spoke fluently 
^ven languages, besiies being profoundly ddlle^ 



d by Google 



LITERATURE, AND CHARACTER. 379 

ii many sciences, and one of the most accomplished 
iiplomatists of his time. Before he took up his 
palette in the morning, he was accustomed to read, 
or hear read, some fine passages out of the ancient 
poets ; and thus releasing his soul from the tram- 
mels of low-thoughted care, he let her loose into 
the airy regions of imagination. 

What Groethe says of poets, must needs be ap- 
plicable to painters. He says, ^ If we look only 
at the principal productions of a poet, and neglect 
to study himself, his character, and the circum- 
stances with which he had to contend, we fall into 
a sort of atheism, which forgets the Creator in his 
creatLon." 

I think most people admire pictures in this sort 
of atheistical fashion ; yet next to loving pictures, 
and all the pleasure they give, and revelling in all 
the feelings they awaken, all the new ideas with 
which they enrich our mental hoard — next to this, 
or equal with it, is the inexhaustible interest of 
studying the painter in his works. It is a lesson 
in human nature. Almost ever}' picture (which is 
the production of mind) has an individual charac« 
ter, reflecting the predominant temperament — nay, 
MHnetimes, the occasional mood of the artist, its 
creator. Even portrait painters, renowned for 
their exact adherence to nature, will* be found to 
have stamped upon their portraits a general and 
^tingiishing character. There is, besides the 
physiognomy of the individual represented, the 
physiognomy, if I may so express myself, of the 



d by Google 



E80 8KETCHB8 OF ART, 

picmre ; detected at once by the mere coniioisseu 
as a distinction of manner, style, execution: boi 
of which the reflecting and philosophical observer 
might discoTcr the key in the mind or life of tlifl 
individual painter. 

In the heads of Titian, what subtlety of intelle<^ 
mixed with sentiment and passion 1 In those of 
Velasquez, what chivalrous grandeur, what high- 
hearted contemplation 1 When Ribera painted a 
head — what power of sufferance 1 In those of 
Giorgione, what profound feeling 1 In those of 
Guido, what elysian grace 1 In those of Rubens, 
what energy of intellect — what vigorous life 1 In 
those of Vandyke, what high-bred elegance I In 
those of Rembrandt, what intense individuality J 
Could Sir Joshua Reynolds have painted a vixen 
without giving her a touch of sentiment ? Would 
not Sir Thomas Lawrence have given refinement 
to a cook-maid? I do believe that Opie would 
have made even a calTs head look sensible, as 
Gainsborough made our queen Charlotte look 
picturesque. 

If I should whisper that since I came to Gei^ 
many I have not seen one really fine modem por' 
trait, the Germans would never forgive me ; they 
would fall upon me with a score of great names — 
Wach, Stieler, Vogel, Schadow — and >»eat me, like 
Chrimhilde, ** black and blue." But before they 
are angry, and absolutely condemn me, I wish they 
would place one of their own most admired por< 
traits besida those of Titian or Vandyke, or comt 



d by Google 



LITERATURE, AND CHARACTER. SSI 

to England, and look upon our school of portru- 
tare here I I think they would allow, that with all 
Iheir merits, they are in the wrong road. Admira- 
ble, finished drawing ; wonderful dexterity of hand ; 
exquisite and most conscientious truth of imitation, 
they have ; but they abuse these powers. They do 
not seem to feel the application of the highest, 
grandest principles of art to portrait painting — 
they think too much of the accessories. Are not 
these clever and accomplished men aware that imi- 
tation may be carried so far as to cease to be nature 
— ^to be error, not truth ? For instance, by the 
C(»nmon laws of vision I can behold perfectly only 
one thing at a time. If I look into the face of a 
person I love or venerate, do I see first the em- 
broidery of the canezou or the pattern on the 
waistcoat ? if not — why should it be so in a pic- 
ture ? The vulgar eye alone is caught by such 
misplaced skill — the vulgar artist only ought to 
leek to captivate by such means. 

These would sound in England as the most trite 
and impertinent remarks — the most self-evident 
propositions: nevertheless they are truths which 
the generality of the German portrait painters and 
their admirers have not yet felt 

« « « « 

I drove with my kind-hearted friends, M. and 
lladame Stuntz, to Thalkirchen, the country* 
house of the Baron de Freyberg. The road pur 
lued the banks of the rapid, impetuous Isar, and 
tbo range of the Tj rolian alps bounded the prof- 



d by Google 



285 SKETCHES OF ART, 

pect before us. An hour's driye brought os to 
Thalkirchen, where we were obviously quite vat 
expected, but that was nothing: — I was at onoe 
received as a friend, and introduced without cere- 
mony to Madame de Freyberg's painting-room. 
Though now the fond mother of a large little 
family, she still finds some moments to devote to 
her art On her easel was the portrait of the 

Countess M^ (the sister of De Freyberg) with 

her child, beautifully painted — particularly the 
latter. In the same room was an unfinished por- 
trait of M. de Freyberg, evidently painted con 
amare, and full of spirit and character ; a head ol 
Cupid, and a piping boy, quite in the Italian man- 
ner and feeling ; and a picture of the birth of St 
John, exquisitely finished. I was most struck by 
the heads of two Greeks — ^members, I believe, of 
the deputation to King Otho— painted with her 
peculiar delicacy and transparency of color, and^ 
at the same time, with a breadth of style and a 
freedom in the handling, which I have not yel 
seen among the German portrait painters. A 
glance over a portfolio of loose sketches and un- 
finished designs added to my estimation of her 
talents. She excels in children — her own serving 
her as models. I do not hesitate to say of this 
gifted woman, that while she equals Angelica 
Kaufiman in grace and delicacy, she far exceedii 
her in power, both of drawing and coloring. She 
teminded me more of the Sofonisba,* but it is a 

* Sofonisba Auguaciola, one of the most channing of portrU 
Mloters. She died in 1826, at the age of ninety-thrM. 



d by Google 



LITERATUKE, AND CHARACTER. 281 

iifl'erent, and, 1 think, a more delicate style of 
color, than I have observed in the pictures of tiw 
latter. 

We had coffee, and tnen strolled through the 
grounds— the children pla3ring around us. If I 
was struck by the genius and accomplishments of 
Madame de Freyberg, I was not less charmed by 
the frank and noble manners of her husband, and 
his honest love and admiration c^ his wife, whom 
he married in despite c^ all prejudices of birth and 
rank. 

In this truly Grerman dwelling there was an ex- 
treme simplicity, a sort of negligent elegance, a 
picturesque and refined homeliness, the presiding 
influence of a most poetical mind and eye every 
where visible, and a total indifference to what we 
English denominate comfort; yet with the obvious 
presence of that crowning comfort of all comforts 
— KK>rdial domestic love and union — which im- 
pressed me altogether with pleasant ideas, long 
after borne in my mind, and not yet, nor ever to 
be, effaced. How littie is needed for happiness, 
when we have not been spoiled in the world, nor 
our tastes vitiated by artificial wants and habits ! 
When the hour of departure came, and De Frey- 
berg was handing me to the carriage, he made me 
•dvance a few stepa and pause to look round ; he 
pmnted to the western sky, still flushed with a 
bright geranium tint, between the amber and tiie 
tMe ; while agunst it lay the dark purple outline 
il the Tyrolian mountains. A branch of the Isar, 



d by Google 



tS4 SKETCHES OF ART, 

whicb just above the house overflowed and spread 
itself into a wide still pool, mirrored in its cleat 
bosom not only the glowing Aj and the huge dark 
mountidns, and the banks and trees blended into 
black formless masses, but the very stars above out 
heads ; — ^it was a heavenly scene 1 — " You will not 
forget this," said De Freyberg, seeing I was touched 
to the heart ; ** you will think of it when you are in 
England, and in recalling it, you will perhaps re- 
member us — who will not forget you! Adieu, 
madame 1 ** 

Afterwards to the opera : it was Herold's " Zam- 
pa : ** noisy, riotous music, which I hate. I thought 
Madame Scheckner^s powers misplaced in this 
opera — ^yet she sang magnificently. 

Spent the morning with Dr. Martins, looking 
over the beautiM plates and illustrations of his 
travels and scientific works. It appears from what 
he told me, that the institution of the botanic gar- 
den is recent, and is owing to the late king Max- 
Joseph, who was a generous patron of scientific 
and benevolent institutions — ^as munificent as hif 
son is magnificent. 

One of the most interesting monuments in Mu- 
nich, is the tomb of Eugene Beauhamais, in tho 
church of St Michael. It is by Thorwaldson, and 
one of his most celebrated works. It is finely 
placed, and all the parts are admirable : but I think 
it wants completeness and entireness of efiect, and 
vices not tell its story well. Upon a lof^ pedestal, 
there is first, io the centre, the colossal figure of the 



d by Google 



LITEBAIUBB, AND CHARACTER. 885 

lake stepping forward ; one hand is pressed upoo 
Ids heart, and the other presents the civic crown— 
(but to whom ?) — his military accoutiements lie at 
his feet The drapery is admirably managed, and 
the attitude simple and full of dignity. On his lef) 
is the beautiful and well-known group of the two 
genii, Love and Life, looking disconsolate. On the 
right, the seated muse of History is inscribing the 
yirtues and exploits of the hero ; and as, of all the 
satellites of Napoleon, Eugene has left behind the 
fairest name, I looked at her, and her occupation, 
with cmnplacency. The statue is, moreover, ex- 
ceedingly beautiful and expressive — so are the 
genii ; and the figure of Eugene is magnificent ; 
and yet the combination d the whole is not effec- 
tive. Another fault is, the color of the marble, 
which has a grey tinge, and ought at least to have 
been relieved by constructing the pedestal and ac- 
companiments of black marble ; whereas they are 
of a reddish hue. 

The widow of Eugene, the eldest sister of the 
king of Bavaria, raised this monument to her hus- 
band, at an expense of eighty thousand florins. As 
the whole design is classical, and otherwise in the 
purest taste and grandest style of art, I exclaimed 
with horror at the sight of a vile heraldic crown, 
which is lying at the feet of the muse of History. 
I was sure that Thorwaldson would never volun- 
tarily have committed such a solecism. I was in- 
ibrmed that the princess- widow insisted on the 
introduction of this piece of barbarity as emble- 



d by Google 



486 0KBTCHES OF ABT, 

madcal of the vice-royalty of Italy ; any royaU^y 
being apparently better than none. 

I remember that when travelling in the Nether* 
lands, at a time when the people were celebrating 
the Fete-DieUf I saw a village carpenter busily 
employed in erecting a r^posoir for the Madonna, 
of painted boards and draperies and wreaths of 
Bowers. In the mean time as if to deprecate 
criticism, he had chalked in large letters over hii 
work, " La critique est aisde^ mats Vart est difficUe." 
I could not help smiling at this application of one 
of those undeniable truisms which no one thinks it 
necessary to remember. When I recall the pleasure 
I derived from this noble work of Thorwaldson, all 
the genius, all the skill, ail the patience, all the 
time, expended on its production, I think the fore- 
going trifling criticisms appear very ungrateM and 
impertinent ; and yet, as a friend of mine insisted, 
when I was once upon a time pleading for mercy 
on certain defects and deficiencies in some other 
walk of art, " Toleration is the nurse of mediocrity." 
Artists themselves, as I often observe, — even the 
vainest of them — prefer discriminating admiration 
to wholesale praise. In the Frauen Eirche, there 
IS another most admirable monument, a che/ 
(Tauvre^ in the Grothic style. It is the tomb of the 
Emperor Louis of Bavaria, who died excommu- 
nicated in 1347 ; a stupendous work, cast in bronie. 
At the four comers are four colossal knights kneel- 
ing in complete armour, each bearing a lance ana 
ensign, and guarding the recumbent e^f^g^ of tht 



d by Google 



LITERATURE, AND CHARACTEIt. 887 

emperor, which lies beneath a magnificent Gothic 
canopy. At the two sides are standing colossal 
figures, and I suppose about eight or ten other 
figures on a smaller scale, all of admirable design 
and workmanship.* It should seem that in the 
sixteenth century the art of casting in bronze wai 
not only brought to the highest perfection in Ger- 
many, but found employment on a very grand 
scale. 

In the evening there wan a concert at the Salle 
de rOdeon — the third I have attended since I came 
here. This concert room is larger than any public 
room in London, and admirably constructed for 
music. Over the orchestra, in a semicircle, are 
the busts of the twelve great Crerman composers 
who have flourished during the last hundred years, 
beginning with Handel and Bach, and ending with 
Weber and Beethoven. On this occasion the hall 
was crowded. We had all the best performers of 
Munich, led by the Eapelmeister Stuntz, and 
Scheckner, and Meric, who sang h Vtnvie Cune de 
Vautre, The concert began at seven, and ended a 
little after nine ; and much as I love music, I felt I 
had had enough. Thev certainly manage these 
social pleasures much better here than in London, 
where a grand concert; almost invariably proves a 

• I Ngnt thftt I omitted to note the naniu of the artist of this 
na|oiflcent vsrk. There is a still more admirable monument •• 
Ihe same period in the church at Inspruek, the tomb of the 
ATchdnke, Ferdinand of Tyrol, consisting, I believe, of twtkf^ 
*«k)i8a. statues in bronii. 



d by Google 



288 SKETCHES OF ABl, 

most awful bore, from which we return weaned, 
jrawning, jarred, satiated. 

Count amused me this evening with his 

laconic summing up of the rise, progress, and catas- 
trophe of a Polish amour ; — se passioner, se battre, 
•e miner, enlever, ^pouser, et divorcer ; and so 
ends this six-act tragico-comico-heroieo pastoral. 

28. — To-day went over the Pinakothek (the 
new grand national picture gallery) with M. de 

Klenze, the architect, and Comtesse de V . 

This is the second time ; but I have not yet a clear 
and connected idea of the general design, the build- 
ing being still in progress. As far as I can under- 
stand the arrangements, they will be admirable. 
The destination of the edifice seems to have been 
the first thing kept in view. The situation of par- 
ticular pictures has been calculated, and accurate 
experiments have been made for the arrangement 
of the light, &c. Professor Zinmiermann has 
kindly promised to take me over the whole once 
more. He has the direction of the fresco paintings 

here. 

« » « » 

Society is becoming so pleasant, and engage- 
ments of every kind so multifarious, that I have 
little time for scribbling memoranda. New char- 
acierft unfold before me, new scenes of interest 
occupy my thoughts. I find myself surrounded 
with friends, where only a few weeks ago I had 
scarcely one acquaintance. Time ought not tt 
linger — and yet it does som<xtimes. 



d by Google 



LITERATURE, AND CUARACTER. 28Sf 

Our circumstances alter ; our opimons change 
0ur passions die; our hopes sicken, and perish 
utterly : — our spirits are broken ; our health is 
broken, and even our hearts are broken ; but will 
lurviyes — the unconquerable strength of will, which 
b in later life what passion is when young. In this 
world, there is always something to be done or 
fufiered, even when there is no longer any thing to 
be desired or attained. 

The Glyptothek is, at certain hours, open to 
strangers only, and strangers do not at present 
abound : hence it has twice happened that I have 
foimd myself in the gallery alone — to-day for the 
second time. I felt that, under some circumstanoes, 
an hour of solitude in a gallery of sculpture may be 
an epoch in one's life. There was not a sound, no 
living thing near, to break the stillness ; and lightly, 
and with a feeling of awe, I trod the marble pave- 
ments, looking upon the cahn, pale, motionless forms 
around me, almost exj ecting they would open their 
marble lips and speak to me— or, at least, nod — 
like the statue in Don Giovanni : and still, as the 
evening shadows fell deeper and deeper, they 
waxed, methought, sadder, paler, and moi*e life- 
like. A dim, unearthly glory effused those grace- 
M limbs and perfect forms, of which the exact 
outline was lost, vanishing into shade, while the 
sentiment — the ideal — of their immortal loveliness, 
remained distinct, and became every momei t more 
impressive : and thus they stood ; and their melau* 
choly beauty seemed to m }lt into the heart 
1» 



d by Google 



290 SKETCHES OF ABT, 

As the Graces round the throne of Venus, to 
music, painting, sculpture, wait as handmsdds round 
the throne of Poetry. " They from her golden urn 
draw light," as planets drink the sunbeams ; and in 
return they array the divinity which created %nd 
Inspired them, in those sounds, and hues, and forms^ 
through which she is revealed to our mortal senses 
The pleasure, the illusion, produced by music, 
when it is the voice of poetry, is, for the moment, 
by far the most complete and intoxicating, but also 
the most transient Painting, with its lovely colors 
blending into life, and all its ** silent poesy of 
form," is a source of pleasure more lasting, more 
intellectual. Beyond both, is sculpture, the noblest, 
the least illusive, the most enduring of the imitative 
arts, because it charms us not by what it seems to 
be, but by what it is ; because if the pleasure it im- 
parts be less exciting, the impression it leaves is 
more profound and permanent ; because it is, or 
ought to be, the abstract idea of power, beauty, 
seutiment, made visible in the cold, pure, impassive, 
and almost eternal marble. 

It seems to me that the grand secret of that grace 
of repose which we see developed in the antique 
statues, may be defined as the presence ofthoughi^ 
and the absence of volition. The moment we have, 
in sculpture, the expression of will, or effort, we 
have the idea of something fixed in its place by ao 
external cause, and a consequent diminution of the 
sfiTsct of internal power. This is not well ex- 
pressed^ I fear. Perhaps I might illustrate th« 



d by Google 



LITBRATUBB, AKD CHABACTBB. 29) 

HiougLl thus : the Yenns de Medici looks as if she 
were content to stand on lier pedestal and be wor^ 
ihipped ; Canoya's Hebe looks as if she would fain 
Btep o£f the pedestal — if she could : the Apollo Bel- 
vedere, as if he could step from his pedestal — ^if he 
would. 

Among the Greeks, in the best ages of sculpture, 
and in all their yery finest statues, this seems to be 
the presiding principle — ^viz : that in sculpture, the 
repose of suspended motion, or of subsided motion, 
is graceful ; but arrested motion, and all e£fort, to 
be avoided. When the ancients did express mo- 
tion, they made it flowing or continuous, as in tb« 
frieze of the Parthenon. 

ALONB. 
IK THB OALLEBT OF SCULPTUBB AT MUinOB 

7e pale and glorious forms, to whom was given 
AH that we mortals covet under heaven- 
Beauty, renown, and immortality. 
And worship!— in your passive grandeur, ye 
Are what we most adore, and least would wish to bel 

There's nothing new in life, and nothing old; 
The tale that we might tell hath oft been told. 
Many have look*d to the bright sun with sadness; 
Many have look'd to the dark grave with gladness; 
Many have griev*d to death— have lov*d to madness I 

^at has been, is ;— what i& wOl be ;— I know, 
£ven while the het jrt drops oiood, it muti be so. 



d by Google 



t92 SKETCHES OF ART, 

[ lite and smile — for the griefs that kill. 

Kill slowly— and I bear within me still 

My conscious self, and my anconqaer*d wflll 



And knowing what I have been — what has i 
My misery, I will be no more betray*d 
By hollow mockeries of the world around. 
Or hopes and impulses, which I have foimd 
Like ill-aim*d shafts, that kill by their rebound. 

Complaint is for the feeble* and despair 
For evil hearts. Mine still can hope — still bear- 
Still hope for others what it never knew 
Of truth and peace; and silently pursue 
A path beset with briers, " and wet with tears like dew V 



To-day I devoted to the Pinakotliek — for the last 
tiinel 

Just before I lefl England our projected national 
gallery had excited much attention, lliose who 
were usually indifferent to such matters were roused 
to interest ; and I heard the merits of different de- 
signs, so warmly, even so violently discussed in 
public and in private, that for a long time the sub* 
ject kept possession of my mind. On my arrival 
here, the Pinakothek (for that is the designation 
given to the new national gallery of Munich) be- 
came to me a principal object of interest I have 
been most anxious to comprehend both the general 
tesign and the nature of the arrangements in de- 
tail ; but I might almost doubt my own competency 
"o convey an exact idea of what I understand an^ 



d by Google 



UTEBATURE, AND CHARACTER. 291 

idmire, to the compreliensioii of another. I must 
by, however, while the impressionB remaia fresh 
and strong, and the memory not yet encmnbered 
and distracted, as it must be, even a few l/bvaj 
hence, by the variety, and novelty, and interest, 
of all I see and hear around me. 

The Pinakothek was founded in 1826 ; the king 
himself laying the first stone with much pomp and 
ceremony on the 7th of April, the birthday of Raf- 
&elle. 

It is a long, narrow edifice, facing the souths 
measuring about five hundred feet from east to 
west, and about eighty or eighty-five feet in depth. 
At the extremities are two wings, or rather pro- 
jections. The body of the building is of brick, but 
not. of common brickwork : for the bricks, which 
are of a particular kind of clay, have a singular 
tint, a kind of greenish yellow ; while the friezes, 
balustrades, architraves of the windows, in short, 
all the ornamental parts, are of stone, the color of 
which is a fine warm grey ; and as the stone work- 
manship is extremely rich, and the brickwork of 
unrivalled elegance and neatness, and the colon 
harmonize well, the combination produces a very 
handsome efiect, rendering the exterior as pleasing 
to the eye as the scientific adaptation of the build- 
ing to its peculiar purpose is to the understanding. 

Along the roof runs a balustrade of stone, adorned 
with twenty-four colossal statues of celebrated 
painters. A public garden, which is already in 
preparation, wiU be planted around, beautifulH 



d by Google 



894 SKETCHES OF ART, 

laid out with shady walks, flower-beds, fountaiiiB; 
oms, and statues. I believe the enclosure of this 
garden will be about a thousand feet each way, and 
that^t will ultimatelj be bounded (at least on three 
sides) with rows of houses forming a vast square, 
of which the Pinakothek will occupy the centre. 
It consists of a ground-floor and an upper-story. 
The ground-floor will comprise, 1st, the collection 
of the Etruscan vases ; 2dly, the Mosaics, ancient 
and modem, of which there are here some rare 
and admirable specimens; 3dly, the cabinet of 
drawings by the old masters ; 4thly the cabinet of 
engravings, which b said to be one of the richest 
in Europe ; 5thly, a library of all works pertiuning 
to the fine arts; lastly, a noble entrance-hall: a 
private entrance ; with accommodations for stu- 
dents, and other offices. 

The upper story is appropriated to the pictures, 
and is calculated to contain not less than fifteen 
hundred specimens, selected from various galleries, 
and arranged according to the schools of art 

We ascend from the entrance-hall by a wide and 
handsome staircase of stone, very elegantly carved, 
which leads first to a kind of vestibule, where th*» 
attendants and keepers of the gallery are in wait- 
ing. Thence, to a splendid reception-room, about 
Ifty feet in len^ : this will contain the fiill-length 
portraits of the founders of the gallery of Munich 
—the Palatine John William ; the Elector, Maxt 
viilian Emanuel of Bavaria ; the Duke Charles of 
DeuxpoEts; the Palatine Charles Theodore ; Maxi 



d by Google 



X.ITERATURE, AND CHARACTER. 295 

liilian Joseph L, king of Bavaria ; and his son, (the 
present monarch,) Louis L The ceiling and the 
tneze of this room are splendidly decorated with 
groups of figures and ornaments in white relief, on 
a gold ground, and the walls will be hung with 
crimson damask. 

Along the south front of the building from east 
to west runs a gallery or corridor about four hun* 
dred feet in length, and eighteen in width, lighted 
(m one side by twenty-five lofty arched windows, 
having on the other side ten doors, opening into 
the suite of picture galleries, or rather halls. These 
occupy the centre of the building, and are lighted 
from above by vast lanterns. They are eight in 
number, varying in length from fifty to eighty feet, 
Dut all forty feet in width and fifly feet in height 
&om the floor to the summit of the lantern. The 
walls will be hung with silk damask, either of a 
dark crimson or a dark green — according to the 
style of art for which the room is destined. The 
ceilings are vaulted, and the decorations are inex- 
pressibly rich, composed of magnificent arabesques, 
intermixed with the effigies of celebrated painters, 
and groups illustrative of the history of art, &c., aU 
moulded in white relief upon a ground of dead 
gold. Mayer, one of the best sculptors in Munich, 
has the direction of these works. 

Behind these vast galleries, or saloons, there is a 
range of cabinets, twenty-three In number, appro- 
priated to the smaller pictures of the differenl 
ichools: these a*e each about nineteen feet bj 



d by Google 



i9S BKETCHES OF ART, 

fifteen in size, and lighted from the north, eacb 
having one high lateral window. The ceilings and 
upper part of the walls are painted in fresco, (of 
distemper, I am not sure which,) with very graceful 
arabesques of a quiet color; — the hangings wiU 
also be of silk damask. 

Of the principal saloons, the first is appropriated 
to the productions of modem and living artists, 
and has three cabinets attached to it. The second 
will contain the old German pictures, including 
the famous Boisser^e gallery, and has four cabinets 
attached to it The third, fourth, and fiflh saloons ' 
(of which the central one, the hall of Rubens, is 
eighty feet in length) are devoted, with the nine 
adjoining cabinets, to the Flemish and Dutch 
schools. The sixth, with four cabinets, will contain 
the French and Spanish pictures ; and the 8eve*»th 
and eighth, with three cabinets, will contain the 
Italian school of painting. All these apartments 
communicate with each other by ample doors ; but 
from the corridor already mentioned, which opens 
into the whole suite, the visitor has access to any 
particular gallery, or school of painting, without 
passing through the others : an obvious advantage, 
which will be duly estimated by those who, m 
visiting a gallery of painting, have felt their eyei 
dazzled, their heads bewildered, their attention 
distracted, by too much variety of temptation and 
attraction, before they have reached tLe particulaf 
object or school of art to which their attention wai 
^peciall} directed. 



d by Google 



LITBKATURE, AKD CHARACVilli. Itl 

To this beautifiil and most convenient corridor, 
9r, as it is called here, loggia^ we must now retunii 
i have said that it is four hundred feet in lengtn, 
and lighted by five-and-twenty arched windows,— 
which, by the way, command a splendid prospect, 
boundeu ^v the far-off mountains of the Tyrol. 
The wall opposite to these windows is divided into 
twenty-five corresponding compartments, arched, 
and each surmounted by a dome; these compart- 
ments are painted in fresco with arabesques, some- 
thing in the style of Raffaelle's Loggie in the Vati- 
can; while every arch and cupola contains (also 
painted in fresco) scenes from the life of some 
great painter, arranged chronologically: thus, in 
fact, exhibiting a graphic history of the rise and 
progress of modem painting — from Cimabue down 
to Rubens. 

Of this series of frescos, which are now in pro- 
gress, a few only are finished, from which, however, 
a very satisfactory idea may be formed of the whole 
design. The first cupola is painted from a poem 
of A. W. Schlegel " Der Bund der Kirche mit den 
Kiinsten," which celebrates the alliance between 
religion (or rather the church) and the fine arts. 
The second cupola represents the Crusades, be- 
cause from these wild expeditions (for so Provi- 
dence ordained that good should spring from evil) 
arose the regeneration of art in Europe. With the 
third cupola coromenoes the series of painters. In 
the arch, or lunette, »b represented the Madonna 
jf Cimabue carried lu triumphal procession through 



d by Google 



198 SKETCHES OF ABT, 

the streets of Florence to the church of Santa M» 
ria Novella ; and in the dome above, various scenei 
firom the painter's life. In the next cupola is the 
history of Giotto ; then follows Angelico da Fesole, 
who, partly from humility and partly from love for 
his art, refused to be made Archbishop of Florence ; 
then, fourthly, Masaccio; fifthly, Bellini: in one 
compartment he is represented painting the favorite 
sultana of Mahomet IL Several of the succeeding 
cupolas still remain blank, so we pass them over 
and arrive at Leonardo da Vinci, painting the 
queen Joanna of Arragon ; then Michael Angelo, 
meditating the design of St Peter's ; then the his- 
tory of Raffaelle : in the dome are various scenea 
from his life. The lunette represents his death: 
he is extended on a couch, beside which sits his 
virago love, the Fomarina " in disperato dolor ; " 
Pope Leo X. and Cardinal Bembo are looking on 
overwhelmed with grief; — ^in the backgroimd is 
Hie Transfiguration. 

I wonder, it Bafiaelle had survived this fatal 
illness, which of the two alternatives he would 
have chosen — ^the cardinal's hat or the niece d 
Cardinal Bibbiena? M. do Klenze gave us, the 
other night, a most picturesque jind animated de- 
scription of the opening of Raffaelle's tomb, — ^at 
which ho had himself assisted — the discovery of hit 
remains, and those of his betrothed bride, the niece 
of Cardinal Bibbiena, deposited near him. She 
survived him several years, but in her last moments 
requested to be buried m the same tomb witi 



d by Google 



LITEBATURE, AND OHARACIEB 299 

him. This was at least quite in the genre roman* 
Uque. 

" Charming I" exclaimed one of the ladies pre»< 
«it 

" Et generewc ! ** exclaimed another. 

The series of the Italian painters will end witii 
the CarraccL Those of the Grerman painters will 
begin with Van Eyck, and end with Rubens. Of 
many of the frescos which are not yet executed, ] 
saw the cartoons in professor Zimmermann's studio 

Though the general decoration of this gallery 
was planned by Cornelius, the designs for particu- 
lar parts, and the direction of the whole, have been 
confided to Zimmermann, who is assisted in the 
execution by five other painters. One particular 
picture, which represents Giotto exhibiting his Ma- 
donna to the pope, was pointed out to my especial 
admiration as the most finished specimen of fresco 
painting which has yet been executed here ; and 
in truth, for tenderness and freshness of color, soft- 
ness in the shadows, and delicacy in the handling, 
it might bear comparison with any psdnting in oils. 
We were standing near it on a high scaffold, and 
it endured the closest and most minute considerar 
fcion ; but when seen from below, it may possibly 
be less effective. It shows, however, the extreme 
finish of which the fresco painting is susceptible. 
This was executed by Hiltenspergor, of Swabia, 
from the cartoon of Zimmermann. At one end of 
this gallery there is to be a large fresco, represent- 
•ng his majesty King Louis, introduced by the m'lsi 



d by Google 



100 SKETCHES OF ART, 

of Poetry* to the assembled poets and painters ol 
Germany. Now, this species of allegorical adula* 
kion appears to me flat and out of date. I well 
remember that long ago the famous picture of Vol- 
taire, introduced into the Elysian fields by Henri 
Quatre, and making hb best bow to Racine and 
Moli^re, threw me into a convulsion of laughter: 
and the cartoon of this royal apotheosis provoked 
the same irrepressible feeling of the ridiculous. I 
wish somebody would hint to Ejng Louis that 
this is not in good taste, and that there are many, 
many ways in which the compliment (which he 
truly merits) might be better managed. 

On the whole, however, it may truly be said that 
the luxuriant and appropriate decorations of this 
gallery, the variety of color and ornament lavished 
on it, agreeably prepare the eye and the imagina- 
tion for that glorious feast of beauty within, to 
which we are immediately introduced: and thus 
the overture to the Zauberfldte, (which we heard 
last night,) with its rich iwvolved harmonies, its 
brilliant and exciting movements, attuned the ear 
and the fancy to enjoy the grand, thrilling, bewitch- 
ing, love-breathing melodies of the opera which 
followed. 

I omitted to mention that there are also on the 
upper floor of the Pinakothek two rooms, each 
about forty feet square ; one, called the Reserve* 
Saal, 13 intended for the reception of those pictiirei 
which are temporarily removed from their places. 
!tew acquisitions, &c. The other room is fitted 



d by Google 



LITERATURE, AND CHARACTER 801 

ip with every convenience for students and copy 
ista. 

The WDOie of this immense edifice is warmeo 
throughout by heated air; the stoves being de- 
tached from the body of the building, and so man- 
aged as to preclude the possibility of danger from 
fire. 

It does not appear to be yet decided whether the 
floors will be of the Venetian stucco, or of parquet 

Such, then, is the general plan of the Pinakothek, 
the national gallery of Bavaria. I make no com- 
ment, except that I felt and recognized in every 
part the presence of a directing mind, and the ab- 
sence of all narrow views, all truckling to the in- 
terests, or tastes, or prejudices, or convenience, of 
any particular class of persons. It is very possible 
that when finished it will be found by scientific 
critics not absolutely perfect^ which, as we know, 
all human works are at least intended and expected 
to be ; but it is equally clear that an honest anx- 
iety for the glory of art, and the benefit of the' 
public — not the caprices of the king, nor the in- 
dividual vanity of the architect — has been the 
tnoving principle throughout. 

» » » » 

Fresco painting, or, as the Italians call it, hwm 
fresco, had been entirely discontinued since the 
time of Raphael Mengs. It was revived at Rome 
Sn 1809-10, when the late M. Bartholdv, the Prus- 
lian consul-general, caused a saloon in his house 
to be painted in fresco by Peter Cornelius, Ovei* 



d by Google 



2 SKETCHES OF ART, 

beck, and Philip Veith, all German artists, then 
resident at Rome. The subjects are taken from 
the Scriptures, and one of the admirable cartoons 
of Overbeck, (Joseph sold by his brethren,) I saw 
at Frankfort These first essays are yet to be seen 
in Barthold/s house, in the Via Sistina at Rome. 
They are rather hard, but in a grand style of com- 
position. The success which attended this spirited 
undertaking, excited much attention and enthusi- 
asm, and induced the Marchese Massimi to have 
his villa near the Lateran adorned in the same 
style. Accordingly, he had three grand halls or 
saloons painted with subjects fi*om Dante, Ariosto, 
and Tasso. The first was ^ven to Philip Veith, 
the second to Julius Schnorr, and the third to 
Overbeck. Veith did not finish his work, which 
was afterwards terminated by Koch ; the two other 
painters completed their task, much to the satis- 
faction of the Marchese, and to the admiration of 
all Rome. 

But these were mere experiments — mere at- 
tempts, compared to what has since been executed 
in the same style at Munich. It is true that the 
art of fresco-painting had never been entirely lost 
The theory of the process was well known, and 
also the colors formerly used ; only practice, and 
the opportunity of practice, were wanting. This 
has been afforded ; and there is now at Munich a 
school of fresco-painting, under the direction of 
Cornelius^ Julius Schnorr, and Zinmiermann, io 
which the mechanical process has been brought to 



d by Google 



LITERATUBE, AND CHARACTER. 809 

luch perfection, that the neatness of the execution 
may vie with oils, and they can eyen cut out a fea- 
ture and replace it if necessary. The palette hai 
also been augmented by the recent improvements 
in chemistry, which have enabled the fresco painter 
to apply some most precious colors, unknown to 
the ancient masters : only earths and metallic colors 
are used. I believe it is universally known that 
tlie colors are applied while the plaster is wet, and 
that the preparation of this plaster is a matter of 
much care and nicety. A good deal of experience 
and manual dexterity is necessary to enable the 
painter to execute with rapidity, and calculate the 
exact degree of humidity in the plaster, requisite 
for the effect he wishes to produce. 

It has been said that fresco-painting is unfitted 
for our climate, damp and sea-coal fires being 
equally injurious ; but the new method of warming 
all large buildings, either by steam or heated air, 
obviates, at least, this objection. 

26. — The morning was spent in the ateliers of 
two Bavarian sculptors, Mayer and Bandel. To 
Mayer, the king has confided the decoration of the 
.nteriDr of the Pinakothek, of which he showed me 
the drawings and designs. He has also executed 
the colossal statue of Albert Durer, in stone, fof 
the interior of that building. 

It appears that the pediment of the Glyptothek, 
now vacant, will be adorned by a group of fourteen 
» fifteen figures, representing all the different pro* 
.•esses in the ait of sculpture ; the modeller in clay. 



d by Google 



804 SKETCHES OF ABT, 

the hewer of the mai^ble, the caster in bronze, th« 
sarver in wood or ivory, &c. all in appropriate at- 
titudes, all colossal, and grouped into a whole. The 
general design was modelled, I believe, by Eber- 
hardt, professor of sculpture in the academy here ; 
and the execution of the different figures has been 
given to several young sculptors, among them 
Mayer and Bandel. This has produced a strong 
feeling of emulation. I observed that notwith- 
standing the height and the situation to which they 
are destined, nearly one-half of each figure being 
necessarily turned from the spectator below, each 
statue is wrought with exceeding care, and per- 
fectly finished on every side. I admired the purity 
of the marble, which is from the Tyrol. Mayer 
informs me that about three years ago enormous. 
quarries of white marble were discovered in the 
Tyrol, to the great satisfaction of the king, as it 
diminishes, by one-half, the expense of the material. 
This native marble is of a dazzling whiteness, and 
to be had in immense masses without flaw or speck; 
but the grain is rather coarse. 

More than twenty years ago, when the king of 
Bavaria was Prince Royal, and could only antici- 
pate at some distant period the execution of hit 
design, he projected a building, of which, at least, 
the name and purpose must be known to all who 
have ever stepped on Grerman ground. This is the 
Valhalla, a temple raised to the national glory 
and intended to contain the busts or statues of ah 
Oie illustrious characters of Germany, whether di» 



d by Google 



LITERATUBB, AND CHARACTER. 805 

tinguished in literature, arts, or arms, from theu 
ancient hero and patriot Herman, or Arminius, 
down to Groethe, and those who will succeed him. 
The idea was assuredly noble, and worthy of a 
sovereign. The execution — never lost sight of— 
has been but lately commenced. The Valhalla 
Las been founded on a lofty cliff, which rises above 
the Danube, not far from Ratisbon.* It will form 
a conspicuous object to all who pass up and down 
the Danube, and the situation, nearly in the centre 
of Germany, is at least well chosen. But I could 
hardly express (or repress) my surprise, when I 
was shown the design for this building. The first 
gUnce recalled the Theseum at Athens ; and then 
follows the very natural question, why should a 
Greek model have been chosen for an edifice, the 
object, and purpose, and name of which are so 
completely, essentially, exclusively gothic ? What, 
in Heaven's name, has the Theseum to do on the 
banks of the Danube ? It is true that the purity 
of forms in the Greek architecture, the effect of the 
contipuous lines and the massy Doric columns, 
must be grand and beautiful to the eye, place the 
object where you will; and in the situation de- 
signed for it, particularly imposing ; but surely it 
is not appropriate ; — ^the name, and the form, and 
the purpose, are all at variance — throwing our most 
cherished associations into strange confusion. Noi 
could the explanations and eloquent reasoning with 

• The first stone of the Valhalla was laid by the Kinc of Ba- 
vatla, on the 18th o^ October, 1890. 
30 



d by Google 



506 SKETCHES OF AKT, 

which my objectious were met, succeed in convinc- 
ing me of the propriety of the design, while 1 
acknowledged its magnificence. The sculptor 
Mayer showed me a group of figures for one of the 
pediments of this Greek Valhalla, admirably ap- 
propriate to the purpose of the building — but not 
to the building itself. It represents Herman intro- 
duced by Hermoda (or Mercury) into the Valhalla, 
and received by Odin and Freya. Iduna advances 
to meet the hero, presenting the apples of im- 
mortality, and one of the Vahlkiire pours out the 
mead, to refresh the soul of the Einheriar.* To 
the right of this group are several figures repre- 
senting the chief epochs in the history of Germany. 

This design wants unity ; and it is a manifest in- 
congruity to allude to the introduction of Chris- 
tianity, where the mythological Valhalla forms the 
chief point of interest; notwithstanding, it gave 
me exceeding pleasure, as furnishing an unanswer- 
able proof of the possible application of sculpture 
on a grand scale, to the forms of romantic or gothic 
poetrj- : all the figures, the accompaniments, attri- 
butes, are strictly Teutonic ; the effect of the whole 
is grand and interesting ; but what would it be on 
a Greek temple ? would it not appear misplaced 
and discordant ? 

I am infoimed, that of the two pediments of the 
Valhalla, one will be given to Ranch of Berlin, 
tnd the other to Schwanthaler. 

* The Eliiheriar are«the 0O11L1 of heroes admitted into tin 
FalhaUa. 



d by Google 



LITURATURE, AKD GHARACTEB. 807 

The sculptor Bandel, with his quick eye, hit 
imple brow, his animated, benevolent face, and his 
rapid movements, looks like what he is — a genius. 

In his atelier I saw some things, just like what I 
lee in all the ateliers of young sculptors— cold im- 
itations, feeble versions of mythological subjects — 
but I saw some other things so fresh and beautiful 
in feeling, as to impress me with a high idea of his 
poetical and creative power. I longed to bring to 
England one or two casts of his charming Cupid 
Penseroso, of which the original marble is at Han- 
over. There is also a very exquisite bas-relief 
of Adam and Eve sleeping : the good angel watch- 
ing on one side, and the evil angel on the other. 
This lovely group is the conomencement of a series 
of bas-reliefs, designed, I believe, for a Meze, and 
not yet completed, representing the four ages of 
the world : the age of innocence ; the heroic age, 
or age of physical power ; the age of poetry, and 
the age of philosophy. This new version of the 
old idea interested me, and it is developed and 
treated with much grace and originsdity. Bandel 
told us that he is just going, with his beautiful wife 
and two or three little children, to settle at Carrara 
for a few years. The marble quarries there are 
now colonized by young sculptors of every nation 
♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ 

The king of Bavaria has a gallery of beautiea, 
(the portraits of some of the most beautiful women 
if Germany and Italy,) which be shuts up from 
the public eye, like any grand Turk —and neithei 



d by Google 



108 SKETCHES OF AR-^ 

bribery nor interest can procure admission. A 
lovely woman to whom I was speaking of it yester- 
day, and who has been admitted in effigy into thit 
harem, seemed to consider the compliment rather 
equivocal. **^ Depend upon it, my dear," said she, 
^ that fifty years hence we shall be all confounded 
together, as the king's very intimate friends ; and 
to tell you the truth, I am not ambitious of the 
honor, more particularly as there are some of my 
illustrious companions in charms who are enough 
to throw discredit on the whole set ! " 

I saw in Stieler's atelier two portraits for this 
collection : one, a woman of rank — a dark beauty : 
the other, a servant girl here, with a head like one 
of Baffaelle's angels, almost divine ; she is painted 
in the little filagree silver cap, the embroidered 
boddice, and mlk handkerchief crossed over the 
bosom, the costume of the women of Munich, to 
which the king is extremely partiaL I am assured 
that this young girl, who is not more than seven- 
teen, is as remarkable for her piety, simplicity, and 
spotless reputation, as for her singular beauty. 1 
have seen her, and the picture merely does her 
justice. Several other women of the bourgeoisie 
have been pointed out to me as included in the 
king*s collection. One of these, the daughter, I 
believe, of an herb-woman, is certainly one of the 
most exquisite creatures I ever beheld. On tihe 
whole, I should say, that the lower orders of the 
peopb of Munich are the handsomest race I hav# 
leen in Germany. 



d by Google 



IJTEBATURB, AND CHARACTER. 809 

Stieler is the court and fasbionable portrait 
painter here — ^the Sir Thomas Lawrence of Munich 
—that is, in the estimation of the Germans. He 
is an accomplished man, with amiable mannen, 
and a talent for rising in the world; or, as I 
heard some one call it, the organ of getting^ 
oniveness. For the elaborate finish of his poiv 
traits, for expertness and delicacy of hand,' for re- 
semblance and exquisite drawing, I suppose he has 
few equals ; but he has also, in perfection, what I 
consider the faulty peculiarities of the German 
school. Stieler's artificial roses are too natural: 
his caps, and embroidered scarfs, and jewelled 
bracelets, are more real than the things themselves 
^-or seem so ; for certainly I never gave to the 
real objects the attention and the admiration they 
challenge in his pictures. The famous bunch of 
grapes, which tempted the birds to peck, could be 
nothing compared to the felt of Prince Charles's 
hat in Stieler's portrait : it actually invites the hat- 
brush. Strange perversion of power in the artist 
stranger perveraon of taste in those who admire 
i» 1 — Ma pasdenza ! 

♦ « ♦ ♦ 

The Due de Leuchtenbei^ opens his small but 
beautiful gallery twice a week: Mondays and 
Thursdays. The doors are thrown open and every 
respectable person may walk in, without distinction 
or ceremony. It is a delightful morning lounge ; 
there are not more than one hundred and fifty 
pictures—enough to excite and gratify, not satiate, 



d by Google 



BIO 8KBTGHES OF ABT, 

admiration. The first room contains a coUectiosk 
nt paintings by modem and living artists of France, 
Germany, and Italy. There is a lovely little pic- 
ture by Madame de Freyberg of the Maries at the 
sepulchre of Christ; and by Heinrich Hess, a group 
of the three Christian graces — Faith, Hope, and 
Charity, seated under the German oak, and psdnted 
with great simplicity and sentiment ; of his cele- 
brated brother, Peter Hess, and Wagenbauer, and 
Jacob Domer, and Quaglio, there are beautiful 
specimens. The French pictures did not please 
me : Girodet'8 picture of Ossian and the French 
heroes is a monstrous combination of all manner 
of afiectat^ons. 

I should not forget a fine portrait of Napoleon, 
by Appiani, crowned with laurel; and anothei 
picture, which represents him throned, with all the 
insignia 5>f state and power, and supported on 
either side by Victory and Peace. For a moment 
we pause before that proud form, to think of all he 
was, all he might have been — to draw a moral from 
the faUi of selfishness. 

He rose by blood, he built on maii*s distress, 
And th* inheritance of desolation left 
To great expecting hopes.* 

Among the pictures of the old masters there are 
many fine ones, and three or four of peculiar in 
lereit There is the famous head by Bronzino 



d by Google 



1.ITERATUKE, AND CHARACTER. 811 

lenei'ally entitled, Petrarch's Laura, but assurr^dlj 
iritliout the slightest pretensions to authenticity, 
rhe face is that of a prim, starched precieuse, to 
wnich the peculiar style of this old portrait painter, 
frith his literal nature, his hardness, and leaden 
eoloring, imparts additional coldness and rigidity. 

But the finest picture in the gallery — ^perhaps 
one of the finest in the world — is the Madonna and 
Child of Murillo : one of those rare productions of 
mind which baffle the copyist, and defy the en- 
graver, — which it is worth making a pilgrimage 
but to gaze on. How true it is that " a thing of 
beauty is a joy forever ! " 

When I look at Murillo's roguish, ragged beggar- 
boys in the royal gallery, and then at the Leuch- 
tenberg gallery turn to contemplate his Madonna 
and his ascending angel, both of such unearthly 
and inspired beauty, a feeling of the wondrous 
grasp and versatility of the man's mind almost 
makes me giddy. 

The lithographic press of Munich is celebrated 
all over Europe. Aloys Senefelder, the inventor 
of the art, has the direction of the works, with a 
well-merited pension, and the titie of Inspector of 
Lithography.* 

* Lithography was iuTented at Mooich between 1795 and 
1796, for BO long were repeated experiments tried before the art 
became vmtal or general. Senelblder, the inyentor, was an 
aetor, and the son of an actor. The flr^ occasion of the Inren- 
Hen was his wish to print a little drama of his own, in soms 
■tanner lees expensive than the usual method of ^ype. The first 
feueoeesfol experiment was the printing 9f some music, published 



d by Google 



912 SKETCHES OF AKT, 



The people o£ Munich are not only a well^ 
dressed and well-looking, but a social, kind-hearted 
race. The number of unions, or societies, instituted 
for benevolent or festive purposes, is, for the size 
of the place, ahnost incredible.* I had a catalogue 

(1796) by Gleisraer, one of the king of Bayaria^s band: the first 
drawing attempted was a vignette to a sheet of music. In thit 
course of liis attempts to pursue and perfect his discovery, Sene- 
felder was reduced to such poverty, that he offered himself to 
enlist for a common soldier, and, luckily, was refused. He again 
took heart, and, supported through every difficulty and dis- 
couragement by his own strong and enthusiastic mind, he at 
length overcame all obstacles, and has lived to see his invention 
established and spread over the whole civilized world. Hitherto, 
I believe, the stone used by lithographers is found only in B'.i* 
varia, whence it is sent to every part of Europe and America, 
and forms a most profitable article of commerce. The principal 
quarries are at Solenholfen, on the Danube, about fifty miles 
from Munich. 

Senefelder has published a little memoir of the origin and pro 
gress of the invention, in which he relates with great simplicity 
the hardship, and misery, and contumely he encountered beforf 
he could bring it into use. He concludes with an earnest prayer. 
" that it may contribute to the benefit and improvement of mac 
kind, and that it may never be abused to any dishonorable or 
\nimoraI purpose." 

If I remember rightly, a detailed history of the art wm gtvea 
hi one of the early numbers of the Foreign Review. 

* The population of Munich is estimated at about 00,000. It 
does not enter into my plan, at present, to give any detailed 
account of the public institutions, whether academies, schools, 
hospitals, or prisons ; yet I cannot but mention the prison at 
Munich, which more than pays its own expenses, instead of 
bdnga burthen to the state; the admirable hospital for the 
poor, in which all who cannot find work elsewhere, are provided 
with cecupation ; two large hospitals for the sick poor, in whicli 
looms and attendance art* also provided for those who do noi 



d by Google 



LITERATURE, AND CHARACTER. SIS 

fff more than forty given to me this morning ; thcjr 
are for all ranks and professions, and there ia 
scarcely a person in the city who is not enlisted 
into one or more of these communities. Some have 
reading-rooms and well-fiimished libraries, to which 
strangers are at once introduced, gratis ; they give 
balls and concerts during the winter, which not 
only include their own members and their friends, 
but one society will sometimes invite and entertain 
another. 

The young artists of Munich, who constitute a 
numerous body, formed themselves into an associa- 
tion, and gave very elegant balls and concerts, at 
first among themselves and their immediate friends 
and connexions; but the circle increased — ^these 
balls became more and more splendid — even the 



shoo06 to be a burthen to ihefr fHends, nor yet dependent on 
charity; the orphan echool; the female school, endowed bj the 
king; the foundling and lying-in hospitals, establishments un- 
happily most necessary in Munich, and certainly most admirably 
conducted. These, and innumerable priTate societies for ibe 
tssistance, the education, and the improrement of the hmn 
olasses, ought to receive the attention of eyery intelligent tra?- 
rUer. 

Tnere are no poor laws in operation at Munich, no mendicity 
societies, no tract, and soup, and blanket charities; yet pauper> 
Ism, mendicity, and starration, are nearly unknown. For the 
system of r^^lations by which these eyils have been repressed 
•r altogether remedied, I believe Bavaria is indebted to ihn 
lelebrated American, Count Rumford, who was in the service of 
ihe late king, Max-Joseph, from 1790 to 1799. 

Several new manu&ctories have lately been established, parr 
Heularly of glass and porcelain, and the latter If carried to • 
ilgh degree of perfoction. 



d by Google 



314 SKETCHES OF AUT, 

king and the royal family frequently honored them 
with their presence. It became a point of honor 
to exceed in elegance and profusion all the enter- 
tainments given by the other societies of Munich. 
Every body danced, prabed, and enjoyed them- 
selves. At length it occurred to some of the most 
considerate and kind-hearted of the people, that 
these young men were going beyond their means to 
entertain their friends and fellow-citizens. It had 
evidently become a matter of great expense, and 
perhaps ostentation, and they resolved to put down 
this competition at once. An association was 
formed of persons of all classes, and they gave a 
fete to the painters of Munich, which eclipsed in 
magnificence every thing of the kind before or 
since. It was a ball and supper, on the most ample 
and splendid scale, and took place at the Odeon. 
£ach lady's ticket contained the name of the cava- 
'/ier, to whose especial protection and gallantry she 
was consigned for the evening ; and so much tacte 
'.7as shown in this arrangement, that I am told very 
few were discontented with their lot Nearly three 
thousand persons were present, and it was the month 
of February ; yet every lady on entering the room 
was presented by her cavalier with a bouquet of 
hot-house flowers ; and the Salle de TOdeon was 
adorned with a profusion of plants and flowering 
ihrubs, collected from all the conservatories, private 
and public, within twenty ndles of the capital. The 
king, the queen, their family and suite, and many 
of the principal nobles were invited, with, of 



d by Google 



LITBRATUBB, AND CHABACTEB. 81A 

course, a large portion of the gentry and trade» 
people of Munich ; but, notwithstanding the mi» 
eellaneous nature of the assemblage, and the im- 
mense number of persons present, all was harmony, 
and good-breeding, and gaiety. This f§te produced 
the desired result; the young painters took the 
hint, and though they still give balls, which are 
exceedingly pleasant, they are on a more modest 
scale than heretofore. 

The Liederkranz (literally, the circle, or garland 
of song) is a society of musicians — amateurs and 
professors — ^who give concerts here, at which the 
compositions of the members are occasionally per- 
formed. One o£ these concerts (Fest-Production) 
took place this evening at the Odeon ; and having 
duly received, as a stranger, my ticket of invitation, 
I went early with a very pleasant party. 

The immense room was crowded in every part, 
and presented a most brilliant spectacle, from the 
number of military costumes, and the glittering 
head-dresses of the Munich girls. Our hosts formed 
the orchestra. The king and queen had been in- 
vited, and had signified their gracious intention of 
being present The first row of seats was assigned 
CO tnem ; but no other distinction was made between 
the royal family and the rest of the company. 

The king is generally punctual on these occa- 
nons, but from some accident he was this evening 
delayed, and we had to wait his arrival about ten 
minutes; the company were all assembled — ser^ 
tants were already parading up and down the roon 



d by Google 



B16 SKETCHES OF ART, 

with trays, heaped with ices and refreshments — ^thfl 
orchestra stood up, with fiddle-sticks suspended 
the chorus, with mouths half open — and the con- 
ductor, Stuntz, brandished his roll of music. Al 
length a side door was thrown open : a voice an- 
nounced "the king;" the trumpets sounded a 
salute; and all the people rose and remained 
standing until the royal guests were seated. The 
king entered first, the queen hanging on his arm. 
The duke Bernard of Saxe-Weimar, and his 
duchess,* followed; then the princess Matilda, 
leading her younger brother and sister, prince 
Luitpold and the princess Adelgonde ; — the former 
a fine boy of about twelve years old, the latter a 
pretty little girl of about seven or eight : a single 
lady of honor ; the Baron de Freyberg, as princi- 
pal equerry ; the minister von Schencke, and one 
or two other officers of the household were in 
attendance. The king bowed to the gentlemen in 
the orchestra, then to the company, and in a few 
moments all were seated. 

The music was entirely vocal, consisting of con- 
certed pieces only, for three or more voices, and all 
were executed in perfection. I observed severa] 
little boys and young girls, of twelve or fourteen, 
sin^ng in the chorusses, apparently much to their 
own satisfaction — certainly to ours. Their voices 
were delicious, and perfectly well managed, an<f 
their merry laughing faces were equally pleasanl 
to look upon. 

* Ida of Saze-Meininfen, sister of the queen of England 



d by Google 



UTEBArURB, AND CHABACTER. 817 

We had first a grand loyal anthem, composed 
for the occasion by Lenz, in which the king and 
queen, and their children, were separately apostro- 
phized. Prince Maximilian, now upon his travels, 
and young King Otto, " far off upon the throne of 
Hellas,** were not forgotten ; and as the princess 
Afatilda has lately been verloht (betrothed) to the 
hereditary prince of Hesse-Darmstadt, they put 
the FtUur into a couplet, with great effect It 
seems that this marriage has been for some time 
in negotiation; its course did not ''run quite 
smooth," and the heart of the young princess is 
supposed to be more deeply interested in the affair 
than is usual in royal alliances. She is also very 
generally beloved, so that when the chorus sang, 

*< Hoch lebe Ludwig and MathUdel 
Ein Herz stets Brantigam and Braatl ** 

all eyes were turned towards her with a smiling 
expression of sympathy and kindness, which really 
touched me. As I sat, I could only see her side- 
&ce, which was declined. There was also an 
allusion to the late King Max-Joseph, " das beste 
Herz," who died about ^^q years ago, and who 
appears to have been absolutely adored by his 
people. All this passed off very well, and was 
greatly applauded. At the conclumon the king 
rose from his seat, and said something courteous 
and good-natured to the orchestra, and then sat 
town. The other pieces were by old Schack, (th« 



d by Google 



818 8KBTCHBS OF ABT, 

intimate Mend of Mozart,) Stantz, Chelard, and 
Marachner ; a drinking song by Hayden, and on6 
o£ the chomsses in the Cosi fan Tutte were also 
introduced. The whole concluded with the ^' song 
(^the heroes in the Valhalla," composed by Stuntz. 
Between the acts there was an interval of at 
least half an hour, during which the queen and 
the princess Matilda walked up and down in front 
of the orchestra, entered into conversation with 
the ladies who were seated near, and those whom 
the rules of etiquette allowed to approach unsum- 
moned and pay their respects. The king, mean- 
while walked round the room unattended, speaking 
to different people, and addressing the young bour- 
geoises, whose looks or whose toilette pleased him, 
with a bow and a smile ; while they simpered and 
blushed, and drew themselves up when he had 



As I see the king frequently, his face is familiar 
to me, but to-night he looked particularly well, and 
had on a better coat than he usually condescends 
to wear,-Miuite plain, however, and without any 
order or decoration. He is now in his forty-seventh 
year, not handsome, with a small well-formed head, 
an intelligent brow, and a quick penetrating eye. 
Ilis figure is slight and well-made, his movements 
quick, and his manner lively — ^at times even abrupt 
and impatient His utterance is often so rapid as 
to be scarcely intelligible to those who are most 
accustomed to him. I often meet him walking 
%rm-in-4rm with M. de*Schenke, M. de Elenzcv 



d by Google 



LITERATURE, AND CHARACTER. 81 S 

and others of bis friends — for apparently this eccen- 
tric, accomplished sovereign has friends., though I 
believe he is not so popular as his father was before 
him 

Ihe qneen (Theresa, princess of Saxe-Hilburg- 
hausen) has a sweet open countenance, and a 
pleasing, elegant figure. The princess Matilda, 
who is now nineteen, is the express image of her 
mother, whom she resembles in her amiable dispo- 
ntion, as well as her person; her figure is very 
pretty, and her deportment graceful. She looked 
pensive this evening, which was attributed by the 
good people around me to the recent departure of 
the prince of Hesse-Darmstadt, who has been here 
for some time paying his court. 

About ten, the concert was over. The king and 
queen remained a few minutes in conversation 
with those around them, without displaying any 
ungracious hurry to depart ; and the whole scene 
left a pleasant impression upon my fancy. To an 
English traveller in Germany nothing is more 
striking than the easy familiar terms on which the 
sovereign and his family mingle with the people 
on these and the like occasions ; it certainly would 
not answer in England : but as they say in this 
expressiv3 language — Ldndlichy sittlich,* 

Munich, Oct 28, 1833. 

* It is difflcnlt to translate this laconic proyerb, because w 
hare not the corresponding words in English : the meaning ma/ 
ke rendered— ^^aceor<^*'ncr to the country, so tsre tht matmen >> 



d by Google 



SKETCHES OF ART, LITERATURK, 
AND CHARACTER. 



U. 



NUREMBERG. 

Nuremberg — with its long, narrow, winding, 
involved streets, its precipitous ascents and de- 
scents, its completely gothic physiognomy — ^is by 
far the strangest old city I ever beheld; it has 
retained in every part the aspect of the middle 
ages. No two houses resemble each other; yet, 
difiering in form, in color, in height, in ornament, 
all have a family likeness ; and with their peaked 
and carved gabels, and projecting central balc(>> 
nies, and painted fronts, stand up in a row, like 
so many tall, gaunt, stately old maids, with the 
toques and stomachers of the last century. In the 
upper part of the town, we find here and there a 
new house, built, or rebuilt, in a more modern 
fashion ; and even a gay modem theatre, and an 
unfidished modern church; but these, instead of 
being embellishments, look ill-favored and mean 
\ike patches of new cloth on a rich old brocades 



d by Google 



l.fTZIlATUBE, AND CHABAOTEK. 321 

Age is here, but it does not suggest the idea of 
dilapidation or decay, rather of something which 
has been put under a glass-case, and preserved with 
care from all extraneous influences. The buildings 
are so ancient, the fashions of society so antiquated, 
the people so penetrated with veneration for them- 
selves and their city, that in the few days I spent 
there, I began to feel quite old too— my mind was 
wrinkled up, as it were, with a reverence for the 
past I wondered that people condescended to talk 
of any event more recent than the thirty years' 
war, and the defence of Gustavus Adolphus ; * and 
all names of modem date, even of greatest mark, 
were forgotten in the fame of Albert Durer, Hans 
Sachs, and Peter Vischer: the trio of worthies, 
which, in the estimation or imagination of the Nu- 
rembei^ers, still live with the freshness of a yester- 
day's remembrance, and leave no room for the 
heroes of to-day. My enthusiasm for Albert Durer 
was all ready prepared, and warm as even the No- 
rembergers could desire ; but I confess, that of that 
renowned cobbler and meister-singer, Hans Sachs, 
I knew little but what I had learnt from the pretty 
comedy bearing his name, which I had seen at 
Manheim ; and of the illustrious Peter Vischer I 
could only remember that I had seen, in the 
academy at Munich, certain casts from his figures, 
which had particularly struck me. Yet to visit 
Nuremberg without some previous knowledge of 

* When the city was besieged by WaUinstein, in 1088. 



d by Google 



122 SKEICHES OF ABT, 

these luminaries of the middle ages, is to lose much 
of that pleasure of association, without which the 
eye wearies of the singular, and the mind becomei 
Batiated with change. 

Nuremberg was the gothic Athens : it was never 
the seat of government, but as a free imperial city 
it was independent and self-governed, and took the 
lead la arts and in literature. Here it was thai 
clocks and watches, maps and musical instruments^ 
were manufactured for all Germany ; here, in that 
truly Grerman spirit of pedantry and simplicity, 
were music, painting, and poetry, at once honored 
as sciences, and cultivated as handicrafts, each hav- 
ing its guild, or corporation, duly chartered, like 
the other trades of this flourishing city, and re- 
quiring, by the institution of the magistracy, a 
regular apprenticeship. It was here that, on the 
first discovery of printing, a literary barber and 
meister-singer (Hans Foltz) set up a printing-press 
in his own house ; and it was but the natural con- 
sequence of all this industry, mental activity, and 
social cultivation, that Nuremberg should have 
been one of the first cities which declared for the 
Reformation. 

But what is most curious and striking in this old 
city, is to see it stationary, while time and change 
are working such miracles and transformations 
everywhere else. The house where Martin Be- 
hjum, four centuries ago, invented the sphere, anv 
drew the first geographical chart, is still the house 
of a map-seller. In the house where cards weie 



d by Google 



LITERATURB, AND CHARACTER. 82S 

Int iiianufactured, cards are now sold. In tbe 
rery shops where clocks and watches were first 
•een, you may still buy clocks and watches. The 
lame families have inhabited the same mansions 
fiom one generation to another for four or five 
centuries. The great manufactories of those toys, 
commonly called Dutch toys, are at Nuremberg. 
I visited the wholesale depdt of Pestehnayer, and 
it is true that it would cut a poor figure compared 
to some of our great Birmingham show-rooms; but 
the enormous scale on which this commerce is con- 
ducted, the hundreds of wagon-loads and ship-loads 
of these trifles and ghncracks, which find their way 
to every part of the known world, even to America 
and China, must interest a thinking mind. Nothing 
gave me a more comprehensive idea of the value 
of the whole, than a complaint which I heard from 
aNuremberger, (and which, though seriously made, 
sounded not a little ludicrous,) of the falling off in 
the trade of piUrboxes I he said that since the 
fashionable people of London and Paris had taken 
to paper pill-boxes, the millions of wooden or chip 
boxes which used to be annually sent firom Nurem- 
berg to all parts of Europe were no longer re- 
quired; and he computed the consequent falling 
off of the profits at many thousand florins. 

Nuremberg was rendered so agreeable to me by 
die kindness and hospitality I met with, that instead 
if merely passing through it, I spent some dayi 
Tandering about its precincts ; and as it is not very 
frequently visited by the English, I shall note a 



d by Google 



124 SKETCHES OF ABT, 

ew of the objects which have dwelt on my memory 
premi^ng, that for the artist and the antiquarian it 
affords inexhaustible materials. 

The whole city, which is very large, lies crowdea 
and compact within its walls ; but the fortifications, 
once the wonder of all Germany, and their three 
hundred and sixty-five towers, once the glory and 
Wifeguard of the inhabitants, exist no longer. Four 
huge circular towers stand at the principal gates,- - 
four huge towers of almost dateless antiquity, and 
blackened with age, but of such admirable con- 
struction, that the masonry appears, from its entire- 
ness and smoothness, as if raised yesterday. The 
old castle, or fortress, which stands on a height 
commanding the town and a glorious view, is a 
strange, dismantled, incongruous heap of buildings. 
It happened that in the summer of 1833, the king 
of Bavaria, accompanied by the queen and the 
princess Matilda, had paid his good city of Nurem- 
berg a visit, and had been most royally entertained 
by the inhabitants: the apartments in the old 
castle, long abandoned to the rats and spiders, had 
been prepared for the royal guests, and, when 1 
saw it, three or four months afterwards, nothing 
could be more uncouth and fantastical than the 
effect of these irregular rooms, with all manner of 
Angles, with their carved worm-eaten ceilings, theii 
curious latticed and painted windows, and most 
preposterous stoves, now all tricked out with fresh 
paint here and there, and hung with gay glazed 
|iap<)rs of the most modem fashion, and the most 



d by Google 



LITERATURE, AND CHARACTER. 821 

gaudj patterns. Even the chapel, with its four old 
pillars, which, according to the legend, had been 
brought by Old Nick himself from Rome, and the 
effigy of the monk who had cheated his infernal 
adversary by saying the Litanies faster than had 
ever been known before or since, had, in honor of 
the king's visit, received a new coat of paint 
There are some very curious old pictures in the 
castle, (which luckily were not repainted for the 
same grand occasion,) among them an original por- 
trait of Albert Durer. In the court-yard of the 
fortress stands an extraordinary relic — the old lime- 
tree planted by the Empress Cunegunde, wife of 
the Emperor Henry III. ; every thing is done to 
preserve it from decay, and it still bears its leafy 
honors, after beholding the revolution of seven 
centuries. 

From the fortress we look down upon the house 
of Albert Durer, which is preserved with religious 
care ; it has been hired by a society of artists, who 
use it as a club-room : his effigy in stone is over the 
door. In every house there is a picture or print of 
him ; or copies, or engravings from his works, and 
' his head hangs in every print shop. The street in 
which he lived is called by his name, and the in- 
labitants have moreover built a fountain to his 
honor, and planted trees around it ; — ^in short, Al- 
bert Durer is wherever we look — ^wherever we 
move. What can Fuseli mean oy saying that Al« 
bert Durer ^^ was a man of extreme ingenuity witb* 
»ut being a genius ? " Does the man of mere in- 



d by Google 



126 SKETCHES OF ABT, 

gcauity step before his age as Albert Darer did 
not as an artist only, but as a man of science ? Ib 
not genius the creative power ? and did not Albert 
Durer possess this power in an extraordinary de- 
gree ? Could Fuseli have seen his four apostles 
BOW in the gallery of Munich, when he said that 
Albert Durer never had more than an occasional 
glimpse of the sublime ? 

Fuseli, as an artist, is an example of what I have 
seen in other minds, otherwise directed. The 
stronger the faculties, the more of original power 
in the mind, the less diffused is the sympathy, and 
the more is the judgment swayed by the individual 
character. Thus Fuseli, in his remarks on paint- 
ers — excellent and eloquent as they are — scarcely 
ever does justice to those who excel in color. He 
perceives and admits the excellence, but he shows 
in his criticisms, as in his pictures, that the faculty 
was wanting to feel and appreciate it : his remarks 
on Correggio and Rubens are a proof of this. In 
listening to the criticisms of an author on literature 
—of a painter on pictures — and, generally, to the 
opinion which one individual expresses of the 
character and actions of another, it is wise to take * 
into consideration the modification of mind in the 
person who speaks, and how far it may, or mttst^ 
influence, even where it does not absolutely distort, 
the judgment ; so many minds are what the 6er< 
mans call orte^sided I The education, habits, men<> 
tal existence of the individual, are the refracting 
riedium tl rough which the rays of truth pass to 



d by Google 



LITERATUBE, AND CHARACTER. 8S9 

ihe mind, more or less bent or absorbed in theif 
passage. We should make philosophical allowance 
for different degrees of density. 

Hans Sachs,* the old poet of Nuremberg, did ai 
much foi the Reformation by his songs and satires, 
as Luther and the doctors by their preaching ; be* 
lides being one of the worshipful company of 
meister-fflngers, he found time to make shoes, and 
even enrich himself by his trade : he informs us 
himself that he had composed and written with his 
own hand ** four thousand two hundred mastership 
songs ; two hundred and eight comedies, tragedies, 
and farces; one thousand seven hundred fables, 
tales, and miscellaneous poems ; and seventy-three 
devotional, military, and love songs." It is said he 
exceUed in humor, but it was such as might have 
been expected from the times — it was vigorous and 
ooarse. ** Hans,** says the critic, " tells his tale like 
a convivial burgher, fond of his can, and still fonder 
of his drollery .''f If this be the case, his house 
has received a very appropriate designation : it is 
now an ale-house, from which, as I looked up, the 
mixed odors of beer and tobacco, and the sound 
€i voices singing in chorus, streamed through the 
old latticed windows. " Drollery ** and " the can " 
were as rife in the dwelling of the inmiortal shoe- 
maker as they would have been m his o^n daya, 
and in his own jovial presence. 

* Born at NorembeTg In 1494. 

t See the admirable *' Bsiay on the Early German and Northen 
Poetry/' a.ready alludod to. 



d by Google 



128 SKETCHES OF ART, 

In the church of St Sibbaid, now the thief 
Protestant church, I was surprised to find that 
most of the Roman Catholic symbols and relics re 
DMined undisturbed: the lai^e crucifix, the old 
pictures of the saints and Madonnas had been rev- 
erentially preserved. The perpetual light which 
had been vowed four centuries ago by one of the 
Tucher family, was still burning over his tomb ; no 
puritanic zeal had quenched that tiny flame in itf 
chased silver lamp ; and through successive genera- 
tions, and all revolutions of politics and religion, 
maintained and fed by the pious honesty of the 
descendants, it still shone on, 

Like the bright lamp that lay in Kildare's holy fane, 
And burned through long ages of darkness and storm I 

In this Protestant church, even the shrine of St. 
Sibbaid has kept its place, if not to the honor and 
glory of the saint, at least to the honor and glory 
of the city of Nuremberg ; it is considered as the 
chef-cToRuvre of Peter Vischer, a famous sculptor 
and caster in bronze, contemporary with Albert 
Durer. It was begun in 1506, and finished in 1619, 
and is adorned with ninety-six figures, among which 
the twelve apostles, all varying in character and 
attitude, are really miracles of grace, power, and 
expression ; the base of the shrine rests upon six 
gigantic snails, and the whole is cast in bronze, 
and finished with exquisite skill and fancy. A« 
one end of this extraordinary composition thf 
%rti£ber has placed his own figure, not obtnisively 



d by Google 



LITERATURE, AND CHARACTER. 82^ 

bat retired, in a sort of niche ; he is represented in 
his working dress, with his cap, leather apron, and 
tools in his hand. According to tradition, he was 
paid for his work by the pound weight, twenty 
gulden (or florins) for every hundred weight of 
metal; and the whole weighs one hundred and 
twenty centners, or hundred weight 

The man who showed us this shrine was de- 
scended from Peter Yischer, lived in the same 
house which he and his sons had formerly inhab- 
ited, and carried on the same trade, that of a smith 
and brass-founder. 

The Moritz-Kapel, near the church, is an old 
gothic chapel once dedicated to St. Maurice, now 
converted into a public gallery of pictures of the 
old German school The collection is exceedingly 
curious; there are about one hundred and forty 
pictures, and besides specimens of Mabuse, Albert 
Durer, Van Eyck, Martin. Schoen, Lucas Eranach, 
and the two Holbeins, I remember some portraits 
by a certain Hans Grimmer, which impressed me 
by their truth and fine painting. It appears from 
this collection that for some time after Albert Durer, 
the Grerman painters continued to paint on a gold 
ground. Eulmbach, whose heads are quite mar- 
vellous for finbh and expression, generally did so. 
This gallery owes its existence to the present king, 
and has been well arranged by the architect Hei* 
deldofT and professor von Dillis of Munich. 

In the market-place of Nuremberg stands the 
Schonebrunnen, that is, the beautiful fountain ; i« 



d by Google 



ISO 8KBTCHES OF ABT, 

bean the date 1855, and in style resembles the 
erosses which Edward L erected to Queen EleanoTi 
but is of more elaborate beauty \ it is covered wiA 
g^othic figures, carved by one of die most ancient of 
the German sculptors, Schonholfer, who modestly 
styles himself a stone-cutter. Here we see, placed 
amicably close, Julius Caesar, Godfrey of Boulogne, 
Judas Maccabseus, Alexander the Great, Hector 
of Troy, Charlemagne, and king David: all old 
acquaintances, certainly, but whom we might have 
supposed that nothing but the day of judgment 
could ever have assembled together in company. 

Talking of the day of judgment reminds me of 
the extraordinary cemetery of Nuremberg, certainly 
as unlike every other cemetery, as Nuremberg is 
unlike every other city. Imagine upon a rising 
ground, an open space of about four acres, com- 
pletely covered with enormous slabs, or rather 
blocks of solid stone, about a foot and a half in 
thickness, seven feet in length, and four in breadth, 
laid horizontally, and just allowing space for a 
single person to move between them. The name, 
and the armorial bearings of the dead, cast in 
bronze, and sometimes rich sculpture, decorate 
these tombs : I remember one, to the memory of a 
beautiful girl, who was killed as she lay asleep in 
her father's garden by a lizard creeping into her 
mouth. The story is represented in bronze bass* 
relief, and the lizard is so constructed as to mov< 
when touched. From this I shrunk with disgust 
and tame>l to the sepulchre of a famous worthy 



d by Google 



LITERATURE, AND CUARAOTER. 881 

«rbo measured the distance from Nai*emberg to 
the holy sepulchre with his garter : the implement 
of his pious enterprise, twisted into a sort of true- 
love knot, is carved on his tomb. Two d\yn 
•fterwards I entered the dominions of a reigning 
monarch, who is at this present moment per- 
forming a journey to Jerusalem round the walls 
of his room. ♦ How long-lived are the follies of 
mankind ! Have, then, five centuries made so 
little difference ? 

The tombs of Albert Durer, Hans Sachs, and 
Sandraart, were pointed out to me, resembling the 
rest in size and form. I was assured that these 
huge sepulchral stones exceed three thousand in 
number, and the whole aspect of this singular 
burial-place is, in truth, beyond measure striking 
~I could ahnost add, appalling. 

I was not a little surprised and interested to find 
iLat the principal Gazette of Nuremberg, which 
has a wide circulation through all this part of 
Germany, extending even to Frankfort, Munich, 
Dresden, and Leipsig, is entirely in female hands. 
Madame de Schaden is the proprietor, and the 
responsible editor of the paper ; she has the print- 
ing apparatus and ofiices under her own roof, and 
though advanced in years, conducts the whole con- 
cern with a degree of activity, spirit, and talent, 
which delighted me. The circulation of this papei 



•Frederic Aogastiu, the preflent king of Saxony. He is, her* 
rver, in his dotag» , being now Ji his eighty-fifth year 



d by Google 



)32 SKETCHES OF ART, 

imounts to a1x>at four thousand : a trifling nnmbei 
compared to our papers, but a laige number in 
this economical country, where the same paper is 
generally read by fifty or sixty persons at least 

« * « « « 

All travellers agree that benevolence and in- 
tegrity are the national characteristics of the Ger- 
mans. Of their honesty I had daily proofi : I do 
not consider that I was ever imposed upon or 
overcharged during my journey except once, and 
then it was by a Frenchman. Their benevolence 
is displayed in the treatment of animals, particu- 
larly of their horses. It was somewhere between 
Nuremberg and Hof, that, for the first and only 
time, I saw a postilion flog his horse unmercifully, 
or at least unreasonably. The Grermans very 
seldom beat their horses: they talk to them, re- 
monstrate, encourage, or upbraid them. I have 
frequently known a voiturier, or a postilion, go a 
whole stage — which is seldom less than fifteen 
English miles — at a very fair pace, without once 
even raising the whip ; and have often witnessed, 
not without amusement, long conversations between 
a driver and his steed — the man, with his arm 
thrown over the animal's neck, discoursing in- a 
ftrange jargon, and the intelligent brute turning 
his eye on his master with such a responsive ex- 
pression! In this part of Grermany there is a 
popular verse repeated by the postilions, whicb 
may be ?illed the Grerman rule of the roaiL It it 
the horse who speak*— 



d by Google 



LITEBATUBS, AND GUABACTEB. BBS 

Berg »uf, nbertrieb mich nicht; 
Berg ab, ubereil mich nicht; 
Anf ebenen Weg, verschone mich nioDt} 
Im Stall, yergiss mich nicht. 

whhih is, literally, 

Up hill, overdrive me not; 
Down bill, hurry me not; 
On level ground, spare me not; 
In the stable, forget me not 

The German postilions form a very numeroos and 
distinct class ; they wear a half-military costume— 
a laced or embroidered jacket, across which is 
invariably slung the bugle-horn, with its parti- 
colored cord and tassels : huge jack-boots, and a 
smart glazed hat, not unfrequendy surmounted 
with a feather (as in Hesse Cassel and Saxe 
Weimar) complete their appearance. They are 
in the direct service and pay of the government; 
they must have an excellent character for fidelity 
and good conduct before they are engaged, and 
the slightest failing in duty or punctuality, subjects 
them to severe punishment ; thus they enjoy some 
degree of respectability as a body, and Marschner 
thought it not unworthy of his talents to compose 
a fine piece of music, which he called The Postil- 
ion's " Morgen-lied,** or morning song. I found 
them generally a good-humored, honest set of men ; 
obliging, but not servile or cringing ; they are not 
allowed to smoke without the express leave of the 



d by Google 



S%^ SKEVCHES OF ART, ETC 

traveller, nor to stop or delay on the roaii on auj 
pretence whatever. In short, though the burle} 
German postilions do not present the neat compact 
turn-out of an English post-boy, nor the horses 
any thing like the speed of " Newman's greys," or 
the Brighton Age, and though the traveller must 
now and then submit to arbitrary laws and ind^ 
vidual inconvenience; still, the travelling regula- 
tions all over (Jermany, more especially in Prussia, 
are so precise, so admirable, and so strictly enforced, 
that no where could an unprotected female journey 
with more complete comfort and security. This 1 
have proved by experience, after having tried 
every different mode of conveyance in Prussia. 
Bavaria, Baden, Saxony, and Hesse. My road 
expenses, for myself and an attendant, seldoa 
exceeded a napobon arday. 




d by Google 



SKETCHES OF ART, LITERATURBk 
AND CHARACTER. 



HL 

MEMORANDA AT DRESDEN.* 

Beautifxtl, 8tatel7 Dresden I if not the queen, 
the fine lady of the German cities 1 Surrounded 
with what is most enchanting in nature, and 
adorned with what is most enchanting in art, she 

* The deecription of Dresden and its enTiions, in Rnssel^s Tonr 
In Germany, is one of the best written passages in that amusing 
book— so admirably graphic and ftdthfal, that nothing can be 
added to it 05 a description, therelbre I haTe e&ced those notef 
which it lias rendered superfluous. It must, howerer, be 
remembered by those who refer to Mr. Russel's work, that a 
revolution has taken place by which the king, now fidlen into 
absolute dotage, lias been removed from the direct administra- 
tf on of the government, and a much more popular and liberal 
tone prevails In the Estates : the two princes, nephews of the 
king, whom Mr. Russel mentions as " persons of whom scarcely 
any body thinks of speaking at all." have since made themselves 
extremely conspicuous; — ^Prince Frederic has been declared 
regent, and is apparently much respected and beloved; and 
Prince John has distinguished himself as a speaker in th" A;i- 
jembly of the States, and takes the liberal dde on most occasions. 
k spirit of amelioration is at work in Dresden, as elsewhere, and 



d by Google 



836 SKETCHES OF ART, 

nts b^ the Elbe like a fair one in romance, 
wreathing her towery diadem — ^so often scathed 
by war — with the vine and the myrtle, and look- 
ing on her own beauty imaged in the river flood, 
wbicli, a(\cr rolling an impetuous torrent through 
the mountain gorges, here seems to pause and 
spread itself into a lucid mirror to catch the reflec- 
tion of her airy magnificence. No doubt misery 
and evil dwell in Dresden, as in all the congre- 
gated societies of men, but no where are they less 
obtrusive. The city has all the advantages, and 
none of the disadvantages, of a capital ; the 
treasures of art accumulated here — the mild gov- 
ernment, the delightful climate, the beauty of the 
environs, and the cheerfulness and simplicity of 
social intercourse, have rendered it a favorite 
residence for artists and literary characters, and 
to foreigners one of the most captivating places in 
the world. HoTt often have I stood in the open 
space in front of the gorgeous Italian church, or 
on the summit of the flight of steps leading to the 
public walk, gazing upon the noble bridge which 
bestrides the majestic Elbe, and connects the new 
and the old town ; or, pursuing with enchanted eye 
the winding course of the river to the foot of those 



ih« ten or twelve yean which have elapsed siiice Mr. Ruasd'fe 
fidt have not passed away without some salutary ohanfM, 
while more are evidently at hand. 

Mr. Rnssel speaks of the secrecy with which the sittings of the 
Ohambers were then conducted : they are now public, and tbt 
iebates axe printed in the Gaxette at considerable length. 



d by Google 



UTERATUBb, AND CHAHACTEB. 8ft? 

niidulatiiig purple hills, covered with villas and 
vineyards, till a feeling of quiet grateful enjoyment 
has stolen over me, like that which Wordsworth 
describes — 

Felt in the blood, and felt along the heart, 
And passing even into my purer mind 
With tranquil restoration. 

Bat it b not only the natural beauties of the bcene 
which strike a stranger; the city itself has this 
peculiarity in common with Florence, to which it 
has been so often compared, that instead of being 
an accident in the landscape — a dim, smoky, care- 
haunted spot upon the all-lovely face of nature — 
a discord in the soothing harmony of that quiet 
enchanting scene which steals like music over the 
fancy ; — it is rather a charm the more — an orna- 
ment — a crowning splendor — a fulfilling and com- 
pleting chord. Its unrivalled elegance and neat- 
ness, a general air of cheerfulness combined with a 
certain dignity and tranquillity, the purity and 
elasticity of the atmosphere, the brilliant shops, the 
well-dressed women, and the lively looks and good- 
humored alertness of the people, who, like the 
Florentines, are more remarkable for their tact 
and acuteness than for their personal attractions ; — 
all these advantages render Dresden, though cer- 
tainly one of the smallest, and by no means one 
of the richest capitals in Europe, one of the most 
delightful residences on the continent. I am struck, 
too, by the silver-toneci voices of the women, and 
22 



d by Google 



338 SKETCUES OF ART, 

die courtesy and vivacity of the men ; for in B* 
Tftria the intonation is broad and harsh, and the 
people, thoogh frank, and honest, and good-natured, 
are rather slow, and not pardcolarlj polished in 
their demeanor. 

It is the general aspect of Dresden which charms 
OS : it is not distinguished by any vast or striking 
architectural decorations, if we except the Italian 
church, which, with all its thousand &ult8 of style, 
pleases from its beautiiul situation and its exceed- 
ing richness. This is the only Boman Catholic 
church in Dresden : for it is curious enough, that 
while the national religion, or, if I may so use the 
word, the state religion, is Protestant — the court 
religion is Catholic ; the royal family having been 
for several generations of that persuasion ; * but 
this has caused neither intolerance on the one hand, 
nor jealousy on the other. The Saxons, the first 
who hailed and embraced the doctrines of Luther, 
seem quite content to allow their anointed king to 
go to heaven his own way ; and though the priests 
who surround him are, of course, mindful to keep 
ap their own influence, there is no spirit of prose- 
lydsm; and I believe the most perfect equali'j 
with regard to religious matters prevails here. 
The Catholic church is almost always half-full <^ 
Protestants, attracted by the delicious music, for all 
the corps d*opera sing in the choir. High mast 
begins about the time that the sermon is over in 

* AuguBtas n. abjured the Protestant religion in 1700, if 
irdei to obtaia ihe crown <a Poland 



d by Google 



UTERATUBE, AND CHARACTER. 33t 

.he Other churches, and you see the Protestanti 
DurryiDg fix)m their own service, crowding in at 
the portals of the Catholic charch, and taking their 
places, the men on one side and the women on the 
other, with looks of infinite gravity and devotion : 
the king being always present, it would here be a 
breach of etiquette to behave as I have often seen 
the English behave in the Catholic churches — ^pre- 
cisely as if in a theatre. But if the good old mon- 
arch imagines that his heretic subjects are to be 
converted by Cesi's * divine voice, he is wonder- 
folly mistaken. 

The people of Dresden have always been dis- 
tinguished by their love of music ; I was therefore 
rather surprised to find here a little paltry theatre, 
ugly without, and mean within ; a new edifice has 
been for some time in contemplation, therefore to 
decorate or repair the old one may seem super- 
fluous. That it is not nearly large enough for the 
place is its worst fault. I have never been in it 
that it was not crowded to suffocation. At this 
time Bellini's opera, / Capelletti, is the rage at 
Dresden, or rather Madame Devrienfs impersona- 
tion of the Romeo, has completely turned all heads 
and melted all hearts — ^that are fusible. Bellini is 
only one of the thousand and one imitators of Ros* 
nni ; and the Capelletti only the last of the thousand 
fend one versions of Romeo and Juliet ; and De- 
ment is not generally heard to the greatest ad 
rantage in the modem Italian music; but ber con 
• TlM llrat tenor at BiMden In 1888. 



d by Google 



140 SKETCHES OF ABT, 

eeption of the part of Borneo b new and belougi 
to herself; like a woman of feeling and genius she 
has put her stamp upon it : it is quite distinct from 
the same character as represented bj Pasta and 
Malibran — character perhaps I should not say, for 
in the IjTical drama there is properly no room foi 
any such gradual development of individual senti> 
raents and motives ; a powerful and graceful sketch, 
of which the outline is filled up by music, b all 
that the artbt b required to give ; and within this 
boundary a more beautiful delineation of youthful 
fervid passion I never beheld: if Devrient must 
yield to Pasta in grandeur, and to Malibran in 
versatility of power and liquid flexibility of voice, 
she yields to neither in pathos, to neither in de- 
licious modulation, to neither in passion, power, and 
originaUty, though in her, in a still greater degree, 
the talent of the artbt b modified by individual 
temperament. Like other gifted women, who are 
blessed or cursed with a most excitable nervous 
system, Devrient b a good deal under the influence 
of moods of feeling and temper, and in the per- 
formance of her favorite parts, (as thb of Romeo, 
the Armida, Emmeline in the Sweitzer Familie,) 
ia subject to inequalities, which are not caprices, 
but arise from an exuberance of soul and power, 
and only render her performance more interesting. 
Every night that I have seen her since my arrival 
here, even in parts which are unworthy of her, at 
in the " Eagle's Nest," * has incrf/ased my estimate 
* In opera by Fraiu Olaaer of Berlin. The snl^t, whkh k 



d by Google 



LirEBATURE, AND CHARACTER. 841 

»l her talent! ; and last night when I saw her fot 
the third time in the Romeo, she certainly sur- 
passed herself. The duet with Juliet, (Madlle. 
Schneider,) at the end of the first act, threw the 
whole audience into a tumult of admiration ; they 
inyariably encore this touching and impassioned 
scene, which is really a positive cruelty, besides 
being a piece of stupidity ; for though it may be at 
well sung the second time, it must suffer in effect 
from the repetition. The music, though very 
pretty, is in itself nothing, without the situation 
and sentiment ; and after the senses and imagina- 
tion have been wound up to the most thrilling ex- 
ritement by tones of melting affection and despair, 
and Romeo and Juliet have been finally torn 
asunder by a fiinty-hearted stick of a father, with a 
black cloak and a bass voice — selon les regies — ^it ia 
ridiculous to see them come back from opposite 
sides of the stage, bow to the audience, and then, 
throwing themselves into each other's arms, pour 
out the same passionate strains of love and sorrow. 
As to Devrienf s acting in the last scene, I think 
even Pasta's Romeo would have seemed colorless 
beside hers ; and this arises perhaps from the char- 
acter of the music, from the very different style 
in which Zingarelli and Bellini have treated their 
last scene. The former has made Romeo tender 

dM irell>known story of the mothtr who deUren h«r infkut 
vhen carried awaf by the eagle, or rather mltare of the Alpa. 
night make a good melodrama, but is not fit for an opera— an^ 
iM mnric is trainante and mono^onoiui. 



d by Google 



142 SKETCHES OF ABT, 

md plaindye, and Pasta accordingly subdued hei 
conception to this tone; but Bellini has thrown 
into the same scene more animation, and more va- 
rious effect* Devrient, thus enabled to color more 
highly, has gone beyond the composer. There wan 
a flush of poetry and passion, a heart-breaking 
struggle of love and life against an overwhemiing 
destiny, which thrilled me. Never did I hear any 
one sing so completely from her own soul as this 
astonishing creature. In certain tones and pas- 
sages her voice issued from the depths of her bosom 
as if steeped in tears ; and her countenance, when 
she hears Juliet sigh from the tomb, was such a 
sudden and divine gleam of expression as I have 
never seen on any face but Fanny Kemble's. 1 
was not surprised to learn that Madame Devrient 
is generally ill after her performance, and unable 
to sing in this pai*t more than once or twice a week. 
» « « » 

Tieck is the literary Colossus of Dresden ; per- 
haps I should say of Grermany. There are those 
who dispute his infallibility as a critic ; there are 
those who will not walk under the banners of his 
philosophy ; but since the death of Groethe, I be- 

* Zingarelli composed his Romeo e Oiviietta in 1797: Rallini 
prodiuoea the Capelletti at Venice in 1832, for our 8ilTer-Toic«<l 
Caradori and the contr^alto GincUta Grisi, sister of that accom- 
plished singer, Giulietta Grisi. Thirty-fiye years are an age iu 
the history of music. Of the two operas, Bellini's is the vaxmx 
effsctiTe, from the number of the concerted pieces, without cod- 
taining a single air which can be placed in compaiison with tm 
« six in SQngarelli's opera. 



d by Google 



<.ITERATUBE, A1U> CHARACTER. S4l 

fieie Lad wig Tieck holds undisputed the first rank 
\R an original poet, and powerful writer, and has 
mcceeded, hy right divine, to the vacant throne 
of genius. His house in the Altmarkt, (the tall 
red house at the southeast corner,) henceforth con- 
Becrated by that power which can " hallow in the 
core of human hearts even the ruin of a wall," • 
18 the resort o( all the enlightened strangers who 
flock to Dresden : even those who know nothing 
of Tieck but his name, deem an introduction to 
him as indispensable as a visit to the Madonna del 
Sisto. To the English, he is particularly interest- 
ing : his knowledge of our language and literature, 
and especially of our older writers, is profound. 
£ndued with an imagination which luxuriates in 
the world of marvels, which ** dwells delightedly 
midst fays and talismans,'' and embraces in its range 
of power what is highest, deepest, most subde, most 
practical — gifted with a creative spirit, forever 
moving and working within the illimitable universe 
of fancy, Heck is yet one of the most poignant 
satirists and profound critics of the age. He has 
for the last twenty years devoted his time and 
talents, in conjunction with Schlegel, to the study, 
translation, and illustration of Shakspeare. The 
combination of these two minds has done perhaps 
what no single mind could have effected in devel- 
opingy elucidating, and clothing in a new language 
the creations of that mighty and inspired being. 

* Lortf B JXQ11. 



d by Google 



544 SKETCHES OF aRT, 

It is to lie hoped that some translator will rifle up 
ftmong us to do justice in return to Tieck. No one 
tells a fairy tale like him : the earnest simplicity 
of style and manner is so exquisite that he alwavf 
gives the idea of one whose hair was on end at hk 
own wonders, who was entangled by the spell of 
his own enchantments. A few of these lighter 
productions (his Volksmarchen, or popular Tales,) 
have been rendered into our language ; but those 
of his works which have given him the highest 
estimation among his own countrymen still remsdn 
a sealed fountain to English readers.* • 

It was with some trepidation I found myself in 
the presence of this extraordinary man. Notwith- 
standing his profound knowledge of our language, 



* ** Tieck,'' says Carlyle, *' is a poet bom as well as made. He 
b no mere obserrist and compiler, rendering back to ns, with 
idditions or subtractions, the beauty which existing things have 
of themselves presented to him ; but a true Maker, to whom the 
actual and external is but the excitement for ideal creations, 
representing and ennobling its efifects. His feeling or knowledge^ 
his love or scorn, his gay humor or solemn earnestness; all the 
fches of his inward world are pervaded and mastered by the 
Iving energy of the soul which possesses them, and their finer 
essence is wafted to us in his poetry, like Arabian odors, on the 
wings of the wind. But tliis may be said of all true poets; and 
each is distinguished from all, by his individual characteristics. 
Among Tieck ^s, one of the most remarkable is his combination 
of so many gifts, in such tvl\ and simple harmony. His ridicule 
does not obstruct his adoration ; his gay southern flincy lives in 
onion with a northern heart; with the moods of a longing and 
Impassioned spirit, he seems deeply conversant; and a stifi 
imafpnatlon, in the highest sense of that word, reigns over al 
Hid roetio world." 



d by Google 



LITERATURE, AND CHARACTER. 84S 

ne rarely speaks English, and, like Alfieri, he wiU 
not speak French. 1 addressed him in English, 
and he spoke to me in Grerman. The conversation 
in my firat visit fell very naturally upon Shakspeare, 
for 1 had been looking over his admirable new 
translation of Macbeth, which he had just com- 
pleted. Macbeth led us to the English theatre and 
English acting — ^to Mrs. Siddons and the Kemblej, 
and the actusd character and state of our stage. 

While he spoke I could not help looking at his 
head, which is wonderfully fine ; the noble breadth 
and amplitude of his brow, and his quiet, but pene- 
trating eye, with an expression of latent humor 
hovering round his lips, formed altogether a strik- 
ing physiognomy. The numerous prints and por- 
traits of Tieck which are scattered over Germany 
are very defective as resemblances. They have a 
heavy look ; they give the weight and power of his 
head, but nothing of ^ejinesse which lurks in the 
lower part of his face. His manner is courteous, 
and his voice particularly sweet and winning. Ho 
is apparently fond of the society of women ; or the 
women are fond of his society, for in the evening 
his room is generally crowded with fair worshippers. 
Yet Tieck, like Goethe, is accused of entertaining 
some unworthy sentiments with regard to the sex ; 
and is also said, like Goethe, not to have upheld us 
in his writings, as the true philosopher, to say 
nothing of the true poet, ought to have done. It 
is a fact upon which I shall take an opportunity of 
enlarging, that almost all the greatest men who 



d by Google 



546 SKETCHES OF ABT, 

have lived in the world, whether poets, philosophen^ 
Artists, or statesmen, have derived their menta« 
and physical organization, more from the mother^s 
than the father's side ; and the same is true, un- 
happily, of those who have been in an extraordi- 
nary degree perverted. And does not this laad ua 
to some awful considerations on the importance of 
the moral and physical well-being of women, and 
their present condition in society, as a branch of 
legislation and politics, which must ere long be 
modified ? Let our lords and masters reflect, that 
if an extensive influence for good or for evil be not 
denied to us, an influence conmiencing not only 
with, but before the birth of their children, it la 
lime that the manifold mischiefs and miseries lurk- 
ing in the bosom of society, and of which woman 
is at once the wretched instrument and more 
wretched victim, be looked to. Sometimes I am 
induced to think that Tieck is misinterpreted or 
libelled by those who pretend to take the tone fixxn 
his writings and opinions: it is evident that he 
delights in being surrounded by a crowd of admir* 
ing women, therefore he must in his heart honor 
and reverence us as being morally equal with man. 
for who could suspect the great Tieck of that paltry 
coxcombry which can be gratified by the adulation 
of inferior beings ? 

rieck's extraordinary talent for reading aloud if 
Vn ich and deservedly celebrated : he gives dramatic 
readings two or three times a week when his health 
tnd his avocations allow this exertion ; the com 



d by Google 



LIFERAIURE, AND CHARACTER. 847 

pany assemble at six, and it is advisable to )m 
punctual to the moment; soon afterwards tea if 
lerved : be begins to read at seven precisely, when 
the doors are closed against all intrusion whatever^ 
and he reads through a whole play without pause, 
rest, omission, or interruption. Thus I heard him 
read Julius Caesar and the Midsummer Night's 
Dream, (in the German translation by. himself and 
Schlegel,) and except Mrs. Siddons, I never heard 
any thing comparable as dramatic reafling. His 
voice is rich, and capable of great variety of 
modulation. I observed that the humorous and 
declamatory passages were rather better than the 
pathetic and tender passages : he was quite at home 
among the elves and clowns in the Midsummer 
Nighf s Dream, of which he gave the fantastic and 
comic parts with indescribable humor and effect 
As to the translation, I could only judge of its 
marvellous fidelity, which enabled me to follow him, 
word for word, — ^but the Germans themselves are 
equally enchanted by its vigor, and elegance, and 
poetical coloring. 

» » » j» 

The far-famed gallery of Dresden is, of cooTBei^ 
lae first and grand attraction to a stranger. 

The regulation of this gallery, and the difficulty 
af obtaining admission, struck me at first as rather 
inhospitable and ill-natured. In the summer months 
•t is open to the public two days in the week ; but 
iuring the winter months, from September to 
March, it is closed. Ir. order to obtain admittance^ 



d by Google 



Bi8 SKETCHES OF ABT, 

luring this recess, you must pay three dollars to 
one of the principal keepers on duty, and a gratuity 
to the porter, — ^in all about half-a-guinea. Having 
once paid this stun, you are free to enter wheneTer 
the gallery has been opened for another party. The 
ceremony is, to send the laquais-de-plaee at nine in 
the morning to inquire whether the gallery will be 
open in the course of the day; if the answer be in 
the affirmative, it is advisable to make your appear- 
ance as early as possible, and I believe you may 
stay as long as you please ; (at least / did ;) nothing 
more is afterwards demanded, though something 
may perhaps be expected — ^if you are a very fre- 
quent visitor. All this is rather ungracious. It is 
true that the gallery is not a national, but a royal 
gallery, — that it was founded and enriched by 
princes for their private recreation ; that Augustus 
HI. purchased the Modena gallery for his kingly 
pleasure ; that from the original construction of the 
building it is impossible to heat it with stoves, with- 
out incurring some risk, and that to oblige the poor 
professors and attendants to linger benumbed and 
shivering in the gallery from morning to night is 
cruel. In fact, it would be difficult to give an idea 
of the deadly cold which prevails in the inner gal- 
lery, where the beams of the sun scarcely ever 
penetrate. And it may happen that only a chance 
visitor, or one or two strangers, may ask admittancr 
in the course of the day. But poor as Saxonj 
now is,— drained, and exhausted, and maimed b« 
•accessive wars, and trampled by successive con- 



d by Google 



LITEBATUBB, AND CHABACTEK. 349 

fuoron, this glorious gallery, which Frederic 
•pared, and Napoleon left inviolate, remains the 
chief attraction to strangers; and it may be 
doubted whether there is good policy in making 
admittance to its treasures a matter of difficulty, 
vexation, and expense. There would be little 
fear, if all strangers were as obstinate and enthu- 
nastic as myself, — ^for, to confess the truth, I know 
not what obstacle, or difficulty, or inconvenience; 
could have kept me out ; if all legal avenues had 
been hermetically sealed, I would have prayed, 
bribed, ])ersevered, till I had attained my purpose, 
aud after travelling three hundred miles to achieve 
an object^ what are a few dollars ? But still it is 
ungracious, and methinks, in this courteous and 
liberal capital these regulations ought to be re- 
formed or modified. 

On entering the gallery for the first time, I 
walked straight forward, without pausing, or turn • 
ing to the right or the left, into the Rafiaelle-room, 
and looked round for the Madonna del Sisto, — 
literally with a kind of misgiving. Familiar as the 
form might be to the eye and the fancy, firoir 
numerous copies and prints, still the unknown 
original held a sanctuary in my imagination, like 
the mystic Isis behind her veil : and it seemed tba! 
whatever I beheld of lovely, or perfect, or soul- 
ipeaking in art, had an unrevealed rival in my 
Imagination : something was beyond — there was a 
criterion of possible excellence as yet only con- 
tectiired — ^foi I had not seen the Madonna del Sisf o 



d by Google 



150 SKETCHES OF ABT, 

Now, when I was about to lift my 6} es to it, I 
literally hesitated — ^I drew a long sigh, as if redgn- 
ing myself to disappointment, and looked — ^Yes 
there she was indeed ! that divinest image that ever 
shaped itself in palpable hues and forms to the liv- 
ing eye I What a revelation of ineffable grace, 
and purity, and truth, and goodness ! There is no 
use attempting to say any thing about it ; too much 
has already been said and written — and what are 
words ? Afler gazing on it again and again, day 
after day, I feel that to attempt to describe the im- 
pression is like measuring the infinite, and sounding 
the unfathomable. When I looked up at it to-day 
it gave me the idea, or rather the feeling, of a 
vision descending and floating down upon me. The 
head of the virgin is quite superhuman : to say 
that it is beautiful, gives no idea of it Some of 
Correggio's and Guido's virgins — ^the virgin of 
Murillo at the Leuchtenberg palace — have more 
beauty, in the common meaning of the word ; but 
every other female face, however lovely, however 
majestic, would, I am convinced, appear either 
trite or exaggerated, if brought into immediate 
comparison with this divine countenance. There 
is such a blessed cahn in every feature ! and the 
eyes, beaming with a kind of interns^ ligbt, look 
straight out of the picture — not at you or me— nr< 
at any thing belonging to this world, — but through 
And through the universe. The unearthly Child ix 
a sublime vision of power and grandeur, and seems 
aot 80 much supported as enthroned in her amuk 



d by Google 



LLTEKATURE, AND CHARACTER. 851 

ind what fitter throne for the Divinity thai* a 
woman's bosom full of innocence and love ? The 
expression in the face of St Barbara, who looks 
down, has been differently interpreted . to me she 
seems to be giving a last look at the earth, above 
which the group is raised as on a hovering cloud. 
St. Sixtus is evidently pleading in all the combined 
fervour of faith, hope, and charity, for the congre- 
gation of sinners, who are supposed to be kneeling 
before the picture — that is, for us — to whom he 
points. Finally, the cherubs below, with their uj)- 
ward look of rapture and wonder, blending the 
most childish innocence with a sublime inspiration, 
complete the harmonious whole, uniting heaven 
with earth. 

While I stood in contemplation of this all-perfect 
work, I felt the impression of its loveliness in my 
deepest heart, not only witihout the power, but with- 
out the thought or wish to give it voice or words, 
till some lines of Shelley's — Klines which were not, 
but, methinks, ought to have been, inspired by t'ne 
Madonna — came, uncalled, floating through mjr 
memory — 

Seraph of Heaven ! too gentle to be hnman^ 
Veiling beneath that radiant form of womaa 
All that is insupportable in thee. 
Of light, and love, and immortality ! 
Sweet Benedic'iion in the eternal corse! 
Veiled Glory of this lampless nniverM! 
Thou Harmony of Nature's art! 
I measure 



d by Google 



M2 SKETCHES OF ABT, 

The world of fancies, seeking one like thee, 
And find— alas I mine own infirmity! * 

On the first morning I spent in the gallery, a 
most benevolent-looking old gentleman came up to 
me, and half lifting his velvet cap from his gray 
hairs, courteously saluted me by name. I replied, 
without knowing at the mom mt to whom I spoke. 
It was Bottigar, the most formidable — no, not for- 
midable — but the most erudite scholar, critic, anti- 
quarian, in Germany. Bottigar, I do believe, has 
read every book that ever was written ; knows 
every thing that ever was known ; and is ac- 
quainted with every body, who is any body, in 
the four quarters of the world. He is not the 
author of any large work, but his writings, in a 
variety of form, on art, ancient and modern, — on 
literature, on the classics, on the stage, are known 
over all Germany ; and in his best days few have 
exercised so wide an influence over opinion and 
literature. It is said, that in his latter years hig 
criticism has been too vague, his praise too indis- 
criminate, to be trusted ; but I know not why this 
should excite indignation, though it may produce 
mistrust ; in Bottigar's conformation, benevolence 
roust always have been prominent, and in the de- 
cline of his life — for he is now seventy-eight — ^this 
natural courtesy combining with a good deal of 
vanity and imagination, would necessarily produce 
the result of extreme mildness, — a disposition f( 

• Vide Shelley's Epipsjchidion 



d by Google 



LITERATURE, AND CHARACTER. 953 

lee, or try to see, all en beau. The happier for 
him, and the pleasanter for others. We were 
standing together in the i-oom with the Madonna, 
but I did not allude to it, nor attempt to express 
by a word the impression it had made on me ; but 
he seemed to understand my silence; he after- 
wards told me that it is ascertained that Rafiaelle 
employed only three months in executing thii* 
picture : it was thrown upon his canvas in a glow 
of inspiration, and is painted very lightly and 
thinly. When Pahneroli, the Italian restorer, was 
brought here at an expense of more than three 
thousand ducats, he ventured to clean and retouch 
the background and accessories, but dared not 
touch the figures of the Virgin and the Child, 
which retain their sombre tint This has perhaps 
destroyed the harmony of the general effect, but 
if the man mistrusted himself he was right: in 
such a case, however, he had better have let the 
background alone. In taking down the picture 
for the purpose of cleaning, it was discovered that 
a part of the original canvas, about a quarter of a 
yard, was turned back in order to make it fit the 
frame. Every one must have observed, that in 
Miiller*s engraving, and all the known copies of 
this Madonna, the head is too near the top of the 
picture, so as to mar the just proportion. This is 
now amended : the veil, or curtain, which appears 
to have been just drawn aside to disclose the celes- 
tial vision, does not now reach the boundary of tht 



d by Google 



Sd4 SKETCHES OF ABT, 

picture, as heretofore ; the original effect ia restore^ 
and it is infinitely better. 

As if to produce a surfeit of excellence, the fivt 
Corr^:gios hang together in the same room with 
the Raffaelle.* They are the Madonna di San 
Georgio; the Madonna di San Francisco; the 
Madonna di Santo Sabastiano; the famous Na* 
tivity, called La Notte ; and the small Magdaleno 
reading, of which there exist an incalculable num- 
ber of copies and prints. I know not that anj 
thing can be added to what has been said a hun* 
dred times oyer of these wondrous pieces of poetry. 
Their excellence and value, as unequalled produc- 
tions of art, may not perhaps be understood by 
all, — ^the poetical charm, the something more than 
meets the eye, is not perhaps equally felt by all, 
— but the sentiment is intelligible to every mind, 
and goes at once to every heart ; the most unedu- 
cated eye, the merest tyro in art, gazes with de- 
light on the Notte; and the Magdalene reading 
has given perhaps more pleasure than any known 
picture, — it is so quiet, so simple, so touching, in 
its heavenly beauty 1 Those who may not per- 
fectly understand what artists mean when they 
dwell with rapture on Correggio's wonderfol 

* Mr. Rnsoel is quite right in his obserration that the Co^ 
r«iggios are hung too near together : the fiuit is, that in the Dr«» 
den gallery, the pictures are not well hung, nor well arranged 
khere is too little light in the inner gallery, and too much in thi 
rater gallery. Lastly, the numbers are so eonfiised that I fouul 
Ihe catalogue of little use. A new arrangement and a new cat» 
ogue, by Profossor MatthaY, are in oontemplation. 



d by Google 



LITERATURE, AND CHARACTElk 855 

chiaro-flcuro, should look close into thip little pic- 
taro, which hangs at a convenient height: they 
will perceive that they can look through the 
ihadows into the substance, — as it might be, into 
the flesh and blood ; — ^the shadows seem acci- 
dental — as if between the eye and the colours, and 
not incorporated with them ; in this lies the inim- 
itable excellence of this master. 

The Magdalene was once surrounded by a rich 
frame of silver gilt, chased, and adorned with 
gems, turquoises, and pearls : but some years ago 
a thief found means to enter at the window, and 
carried off the picture for the sake of the frame. 
A reward of two hundred ducats and a pardon 
were offered for the picture only, and in a fort- 
night afterwards it was happily restored to the 
giJlery uninjured; but I did not hear that the 
firame and jewels were ever recovered. 

Of Correggio's larger pictures, I think the Ma- 
donna di San Georgio pleased me most The 
YiT^n is seated on a throne, holding the sacred 
Infant, who extends his arms and smiles out upon 
the world he has come to save. On the right 
stands St George, his foot on the dragon's head ; 
behind him St Peter Martyr; on the left, St 
Geminiano and St John the Baptist In the 
front of the picture two heavenly boys are playing 
with the sword and helmet of St George, which 
he has apparently cast down at the foot of the 
throne. All in this picture is grand and sublime, 
m the feeling, the forms, the color ring, the ex:pr(!s 



d by Google 



156 8KETCHB8 OF ABT, 

■OD. But what, says a wiseacre of a chtic 
rubbing up his school chronology, what have St 
Francis, and St George, and St John the Baptist, 
to do in the same picture with the Virgin Mary ? 
Did not St George live nine hundred years after 
St John? and St Francis five hundred years 
after St Greorge ? and so on. Yet this is properiy 
no anachronism — ^no violation of the proprieties 
of action, place, or time. These and similar pic- 
tures, as the St Jerome at Panna, and Raffaelle's 
Madonna, are not to be considered as historical 
paintings, but as grand pieces of lyrical and sacred 
poetry. In thb particular picture, which was ac 
altarpiece in the church of Our Lady at Panna, we 
have in St George the representation of religions 
magnanimity; in St John, religious enthusiasm; 
in St Greminiani, religious munificence; in St 
Peter, Martyr, religious fortitude ; and these are 
grouped round the most lovely impersonation of 
innocence, chastity, and heavenly love. Such, as 
it appears to me, is the true intention and significa- 
tion of this and similar pictures. 

But in the <' Notte" (the Nativity) the ease is 
different It is properly an historical picture ; and 
if Correggio had placed St George, or St Francis, 
•r the Magdalene, as spectators, we might then 
exclaim at the absurdity of the anachronism ; but 
here Correggio has converted the literal repr& 
lentation of a circumstance in sacred history into 
a divine piece of poetry, when he gave us that 
unanatjon of supernatural light, streaming (roi« 



d by Google 



IITERATURB, AMD CHARAOTSIt. 357 

the form of the celestial Child, and illuminating 
the extatic face of the virgin mother, who bends 
ayer her infant undazzled ; while another female 
draws back, veiling her eyes with her hand, as if 
nnable to endure the radiance. Far off, through 
the gloom of night, we see the morning just break- 
ing along the eastern horizon — emblem of the 
" day-spring from on high." 

This is precisely one of those pictures of which 
Qo copy or engraving could convey any adequate 
idea; the sentiment of maternity (in which Cor- 
r^gio excelled) is so exquisitely tender, and the 
coloring so inconceivably transparent and delicate. 

I suppose it is a sort of treason to say that in the 
Madonna di San Francisco, the face of the virgin 
is tinctured with affectaticm ; but such was and is 
my impresnon. 

If I were to plan a new Dresden gallery, the 
Madonna del Sisto and the " Notte " should each 
have a sanctuary apart, and be lighted from above ; 
At present they are ill-placed for effect 

When I could move from the Raffaelle room, I 
took advantage of the presence and attendance of 
Professor Matthai, (who is himself a painter of 
eminence here,) and went through a regular course 
of the Italian schools of painting, beginning with 
Giotto. The collection is extremely rich in the 
early Ferarese and Venetian painters, and it wai 
viost interesting thus to trace the gradual improve- 
ment and development of the scnool of coloristi 
through Sqvarcione, Mantegna, the Bellini, Gior> 



d by Google 



958 SKETCHES OF AST, 

gione, Paris Bordone, Palma, and Titian; uatii 
richness oecame exuberance, and power verged 
upon excess in Paul Veronese and Tintoretto. 

Certainly, I feel no inclination to turn my note- 
book into a catalogue ; but I must men1i(m Titian'i 
Christo della Moneta: — such a head I — so pure 
from any trace of passion ! — so refined, so intel- 
lectual, so benevolent 1 The only head of Christ I 
ever entirely approved* 

Here they have Giorgione's master-piece — the 
meeting of Rachel and Jacob; and the three 
daughters of Palma, half-lengths, in the same pic- 
ture. The centre one, Violante, is a most lovely 
head. 

There is here an extraordinary picture by 
Titian, representing Lucrezia Borgia, presented 
by her husband to the Madonna. The portraits 
are the size of life, half-lengths. I looked in vain 
in the countenance of Lucrezia for some trace, 
some testimony of the crimes imputed to her ; bat 
«he is a fair, golden-haired, gentle-looking creature, 
^th a feeble and vapid expression. The head of 
her husband, Alphonso, is fine and full of power. 
Phere are, I suppose, not less than fourteen or 
fifteen pictures by Titian. 

The Concina family, by Paul Veronese, esteemed 
his finest production, is in the Dresden gallery, 
with ten others of the same master. Of Guido, 
thore are ten pictures, particularly that extraordi- 
nary one, called Ninus and Semiramis, life size 
Of the Carracci, at least eight or nine, particularb 



d by Google 



LITERATURE, A^atD CHARACTER. 859 

the genius of Fame, which should be compared 
with that of Guido. There are numerous pictures 
of Albano and Ribera ; but very few specimens of 
Salvator Rosa and Domenichino. 

On the whole, I suppose that no gallery, except 
that of Florence, can compete with the Dresden 
gallery in the treasures of Italian art In all, 
there are five hundred and thirty-four Italian 
pictures. 

I pass over the Flemish, Dutch, and French 
pictures, which fill the outer gallery : these exceed 
the Italian school in number, and many of them 
are of surpassing merit and value, but, having jutt 
come from Munich, where the eye and fancy are 
both satiated with this class of pictures, I gave my 
attention principally to the Italian masters. 

There is one room here entirely filled with the 
crayon paintings of Bosalba, including a few by 
Liotard. Among them is a very interesting head 
of Metastasio, painted when he was young. He 
has fair hair and blue eyes, with small features, 
and an expression of mingled sensibility and acute- 
ness : no power. 

Bosalba Garriera, perhaps the finest crayon 
piunter who ever existed, was a Venetian, bom aX 
Chiozza in 1675. She was an admirable creature 
in every respect, possessing many accomplishments, 
besides the beautiful art in which she excelled. 
Several anecdotes are preserved which prove the 
tweetness of her disposition, and tne clear simplicity 
>f her mind. Spence, who knew her perponally, 



d by Google 



ISO SKETCHES OF ABT, 

ealls her " the most modest of painters ; " jet dia 
used to say playfully, ^^ I am charmed with every 
thing I do, for eight hours after it is done 1 ** This 
was natural while the excitement of oonceptum 
was fresh upon the mind. No one, however, could 
be more fastidious and difficult about their owe 
works than Rosalba. She was not only an ob- 
server of countenance by profession, but a most 
acute observer of character, as revealed in all its 
external indications. She said of Sir Godfrey 
Kneller, after he had paid her a visit, "I con- 
cluded he could not be religious, for he has no 
modesty.** The general philosophical truth com- 
prised in these few words is not less admirable 
than the acuteness of the remark, as applied to 
Kneller — ^a professed skeptic, and the most self- 
sufficient coxcomb of his time. 

Rosalba was invited at different times to almost 
all the courts of Europe, and painted most of the 
distinguished persons of her time at Vienna, Dres- 
den, Berlin, and Paris ; the lady-like refinements 
of her mind and manners, which also marked her 
style of painting, recommended her not less than 
her talents. She used, after her return to Italy, 
to say her prayers in Grerman, *** because the Ian* 
guage was so expressive.** ♦ 

Rosalba became blind before her death, which 
occurred in 1757. Her works in the Dresden 
gallery amoint to at least one hundred and fifty-^ 

Spenoe. 



d by Google 



LITERATURE, AND CHARACTER. 361 

principally portraits — ^but there are also some ex> 
^isite fancy beads. 

Thinking of Rosalba, reminds me that there are 
•ome pretty stories told of women, who have ex- 
celled as professed artists. In general the conscious 
power of maintaining themselves, habits of attention 
and manual industry, the application of our femi- 
nine superfluity of sensiHlity and imagination to a 
tangible result — have produced fine characters. 
The daughter of Tintoretto, when invited to the 
courts of Maximilian and Philip II. refused to 
leave her father. Violante Siries of Florence gave 
a similar proof of filial afiection; and when the 
grand duke commanded her to paint her own 
portrait for the Florentine gallery, where it now 
hangs, she introduced the portrait of her father, 
because he had been her first instructor in art 
When Henrietta Walters, the famous Dutch minia- 
ture painter, was invited by Peter the Great and 
Frederic, to their respective courts, with magnifi- 
cent promises of favor and patronage, she steadily 
refused; and when Peter, who had no idea of 
giving way to obstacles, particularly in the female 
form, pressed upon her in person the most splendid 
offers, and demanded the reason of her refusal, she 
replied, that she was contented with her lot, and 
could not bear the idea of living out of a firee 
country. 

Maria von Osterwyck, one of the most admirable) 
(k)wer painters, had a lover, to whom she was a 
ittle partial, but his idleness and dissipation dis* 



d by Google 



M2 SKETCHES OF ABT, 

tressed her. At length she promised to g've him 
her hand on condition that daring one year he 
would work regularly ten hours a day, observing 
that it was only what she had done herself from a 
very early age. He agreed; and took a house 
opposite to her that she might witness his industry ; 
but habit was too strong, his love or his resolution 
failed, and he broke the compact She refused to 
be his wife; and no entreaties could afterwards 
alter her determination never to accept the man 
who had shown so little strength of character, and 
BO little real love. She was a wise woman, and, as 
the event showed, not a heartless one. She died 
Tinmarried, though surrounded by suitors. 

It was the fate of Elizabeth Sirani, one of the 
most beautiful women, as well as one of the most 
exquisite painters of her time, to live in the midst 
of those deadly feuds between the pupils of Guido 
and those of Domenichino, and she was poisoned 
at the age of twenty-six. She left behind her one 
hundred and fifty pictures, an astonishing number 
if we consider the age at which the world was 
deprived of this wonderful creature, for they are 
finbhed with the utmost care in every part. Ma- 
donnas and Magdalenes were her favorite subjects. 
She died in 1526. Her best pictures are at Flor- 
ence. 

Sofonisba Angusciola had two sisters, Lucia and 
Suropa, almost as gifted, though not quite so cele- 
brated as herself; these three "virtuous gentlei 
woraon," iw Vasari calle them, lived together is 



d by Google 



LITBBATUBE, AND OHARAOTER. 8«S 

the most- delightful sisteriy union. One of Sofo- 
nisba's most beautiful pictures represents her two 
listers playing at chess, attended by the old duenna, 
who accompanied them every where. When Sofo- 
nisba was Invited to the court of Spain, in 1560, 
she took her sisters with her — in short, thev were 
inseparable. They were all accomplished women. 
"We hear," said the pope, in a complimentary 
letter to Sofonisba, on one of her pictures, " thai 
this your great talent is among the least you 
possess;*' which letter is said by Yasari to be a 
sufficient proof of the genius of Sofonisba — as if 
the holy Father's infallibility extended to painting ! 
Luckily we have proofs more undeniable in her 
own most lovely works — ^glowing with life lik( 
those of Titian ; and in the testimony of Vandyke, 
who said of her in her later years, that *'he had 
learned more frcnn one old blind woman in Italy 
than from all the masters of his art** 

It is worth remarking, that almost all the women 
who have attained celebrity in painting, have ex> 
eelled in portraiture. The characteristic of Rosalba 
.8 an exceeding elegance ; of Angelica Eauffman 
exceeding grace; but she wants nerve. Lavinia 
Fontana threw a look of sensibility into her most 
masculine heads — she died broken-hearted for the 
loss of an only son, whose portrait b her master- 
piece.* The Sofonisba had most dignity, and in 

* Lanii says, that many of the works of LarinSa Fontana 
might easily pass for thos» of Ouido ;-^er bef*. works arct at Bo 
«cna. She died in 1614. 



d by Google 



164 SKETCHES OF ABT, 

her own portrait * a certidn dignified nrnpli^ It 
the air and attitade strikes us immediately. Gen* 
tilescbi has most power : she was a ^fted, but a 
profligate woman. All those whom I have men- 
tioned were women of undoubted genius ; for they 
have each a style apart, peculiar, and tinted by 
their individual character : but all, except Genti- 
leschi, were feminine painters. They succeeded 
best in feminine portrsuts, and when they painted 
history they were only admirable in that class of 
subjects which came within the province of their 
sex; beyond that boundary they became fade^ 
insipid, or exaggerated : thus Elizabeth Sirani*s 
Annunciation is exquisite, and her Crucifixion 
feeble ; Angelica Eaufiman's Nymphs and Madon- 
nas are lovely; but her picture of the warrior 
Herman, returning home after the defeat of the 
Roman legions, is cold and ineffective. The result 
of these reflections is, that there is a walk of art in 
which women may attain perfection, and excel the 
other sex; as there is another department from 
which they are excluded. You must change the 
physical organization of the race of women before 
we produce a Rubens or a Michael Angelo. Then, 
on the other hand, I fancy, no man could paint 
like Louisa Sharpe, any more than write like Mrs. 
Hemans. Louisa Sharpe, and her sister, are, in 
painting, just what Mrs. Hemans is in poetry ; we 
lee in their works the same characteristics — ne 

• At Althorpe. 



d by Google 



LITERATURE, AND CHARACTER. 865 

feebleness, no littleness of dedgn or manner, 
nothing vapid, triyial, or affected, — and nothing 
masculine ; all is supereminently, essentially femi- 
nine, in subject, style, and sentiment. I wish to 
combat in every way that ofVrepeated, but most 
false compliment unthinkingly paid to women, that 
genius is of no sex; there may be equality of 
power, but in its quality and application there will 
and must be difference and distinction. If men 
would but remember this truth, they would cease 
to treat with ridicule and jealousy the attainments 
and aspirations of women, knowing that there 
never could be real competition or rivalry. If 
women would admit this truth, they would not 
presume out of their sphere : — but then we come 
to the necessity for some key to the knowledge of 
ourselves and others — some scale for the just esti- 
mation of our own qualities and powers, compared 
with those of others — ^the great secret of self- 
regulation and happiness — ^the beginning, middle, 
and end of all education. 

But to return from this tirade. I wish my vi^ 
grant pen were less discursive. 

In the works of art, the presence of a power, felt 
rather than perceived, and kept subordmate to the 
sentiment of grace, should mark the female mind 
and hand. This is what I love in Rosalba, in our 
own Mrs. Carpenter, in Madame de Freyberg, 
and in Eliza and Jjouisa Sharpe: in the latter 
there is a high tone of moral as well as poetical 
(eeling. Thus her picture of the young girl ccmin|{ 



d by Google 



569 SKETCHES OF JkRT, 

Dot of cburch afler disturbing tho equanimity of • 
whde congregation by her fine lady airs and her 
lilk attire, is a charming and most graceful satire 
on the foibles of her sex. The idea, however, it 
taken from the Spectator. But Louisa Sharpe can 
also create. Of another lovely picture, — ^that <A 
the young, forsaken, disconsolate, repentant mother, 
who sits drooping over her child, " with looks bowed 
down in penetrative shame," while one or two of 
the rigidly-righteous of her own sex turn from her 
with a scornful and upbraiding air — I believe the 
subject is original ; but it is obviously one which 
never could have occurred, except to the most 
consciously pure as well as the gentlest and kindest 
heart in the world. Never was a more beautiful, 
and Christian lesson conveyed by woman to woman 
at once a warning to our weakness^ and a rebuke 
to our pride.* 

Apropos of female artists : I met here with a lady 
of noble birth and high rank, the Countess Julie 
von Egloifstein, f who, in spite of the prejudices 
still prevailing in Grermany, has devoted herself to 



* The Mifs Sharpes were at Dresden while I wu iheze, and 
their names and some of their works were fresh in my mind and 
eye when I wrote the ahore; but I think it fliir to add, that I 
had not the opportunity I could hare wished of cultiyating tbeif 
acquaintance. These three sisters, aU so talented, and so imwp- 
arable,— «1I artists, and bound together in affectionate eom 
mnnion of hearts and interests, reminded me of tlie So ton iiii 
and her sisters. 

t She is the * Julie " celebrated in some of Goethe's minot 



d by Google 



LITERATURE, AND CHARACTER. S67 

painting as a profession. Her vocation for tb^ art 
was early displayed, but combated and discouraged 
as derogatory to her rank and station ; she was for 
many years demoiselle d^honneur to the grand 
Dnchess Luise of Weimar. Under all these ci'*- 
cnmstances, it required real strength of mind to 
take the step she has taken ; but a less decided 
course could not well have emancipated her from 
trammels, the force of which can hardly be esti- 
mated out of Grermany. A recent journey to Italy, 
undertaken on account of her health, fixed hei 
determination, and her destiny for life. 

In looking over her drawings and pictures, I was 
particularly struck by one singularity, which yet, 
on reflection, appears perfectly comprehensible. 
This high-bom and court-bred woman shows a 
decided predilection for the picturesque m humble 
life, and seems to have turned to simple nature in 
perfect simplicity of heart. Being self-taught and 
self-formed, there is nothing mannered or conven- 
tional in her style ; and I do hope she will assert 
the privilege of genius, and, looking only into 
nature out of her own heart and soul, form and 
keep a style to herself. I remember one little 
picture, painted either for the queen of England 
or the queen of Bavaria, representing a young 
Neapolitan peasant, seated at her cottage door, 
contemplating her child, cradled at her feet, while 
<he fishing bark of her husband is sailing away in 
the distance. In this little bit of natural joetry 
there wa^ no seeking ai^er effect, no pretdness, nc 



d by Google 



868 SKETCHES OF ART, 

pretension ; but a quiet genuine simplicity of feel- 
ing, which surprised while it pleased me. When 1 
have looked at the Countess Julie in her paintmg- 
room, surrounded by her drawings, models, casts — 
all the powers of her exuberant enthusiastic mind 
flowing free in their natural direction, I have felt 
at once pleasure, and admiration, and respect It 
should seem that the energy of spirit and real 
magnaninlity of mind which could trample over 
social prejudices, not the less strong because mani- 
festly absurd, united to genius and perseverance, 
may, if life be granted, safely draw upon futuiilj 
both for success and for fame. 

« « « « 

I consider my introduction to Montz Betzsch as 
one of the most memorable and agreeable incidents 
of my short sojourn at Dresden. 

This extraordinary genius, who is almost at 
popular and interesting in England as in his own 
country, seems to have received from Nature a 
double portion of the inventive faculty — that rarest 
of all her good gifts, even to those who are hei 
especial favorites. As his published works, by which 
he is principally known in England, (the Outlines 
to the Faust, to Shakspeare, to Schiller's Song of 
the Bell, &c.) are illustrations of the ideas of others, 
few but those who may possess some of his original 
drawings are aware, that Retzsch is himself a poet 
of the first order, using his glorious power of 
graphic delineation to throw into form the concep* 
tions, thoughts, aspirations, of his own glowinft 



d by Google 



LITERATUBEy AND CHARACTER. S<S$ 

imagination and fertile fancy. Retzsch was bom 
at Di^sden in 1779, and has never, I believe, been 
far from his native place. From childhood he was 
a singular being, giving early indications of his 
imitative power by drawing or carving in wood, 
resemblances of the objects which struck his atten- 
tion, without the slightest idea in himself or others 
of becoming eventually an artist ; and I have even 
heard that, when he was quite a youth, his enthu- 
siastic mind, laboring with a power which he felt 
rather than knew, his love of the wilder aspects of 
nature, and impatience of the restraints of artificial 
life, had nearly induced him to become a huntsman 
or forester (Jiiger) in the royal service. However, 
at the age of twenty, his love of art became a de* 
cided vocation. The little property he had in- 
herited or accumulated was dissipated during that 
war, which swept like a whirlwind over all Ger- 
many, overwhelming prince and peasant, artist, 
mechanic, in one wide-spreading desolation. Since 
that time Retzsch has depended on his talents 
alone — content to live poor in a poor country. He 
has, by the exertion of his talents, achieved for 
himself a small independence, and contributed ti> 
the support of a large family of relations, also 
ruined by the casualties of war. His usual resi- 
dence is at his own pretty littie farm or vineyard a 
few miles from Dresden. When in the town, where 
his duties as professor of the Academy frequently 
call him, he lodges in a small house in the Neu« 
itadt, close upon the banks of the £lbe, in a recuvid 



d by Google 



570 UKKTCHE8 OF ART, 

fend beautiful situation. Thither 1 was conductxiil 

by our mutual friend, N , whose appreciation 

of Retzsch's talents, and knowledge of his peculiar- 
ities, rendered him the best possible intermediatof 
on this occasion. 

The professor received us in a room which ap- 
peared to answer many purposes, being obviously 
a sleeping as well as a sitting-room, but perfectly 
neat. I saw at once that there was every where a 
woman's superintending eye and thoughtfid care ; 
but did not know at the moment that he was mar- 
ried. He received us with open-hearted frankness, 
at. the same time throwing on the stranger one of 
those quick glances which seemed to look through 
me : in return, I contemplated him with inexpress- 
ible interest. His figure is rather larger, and more 
pordy than I had expected ; but I admired his fino 
Titanic head, so large, and so sublime in its ex* 
pression ; his light blue eye, wild and wide, which 
seemed to drink in meaning and flash out light ; his 
hair profuse, grizzled, and flowing in masses round 
his head : and his expanded brow full of poetr" 
and powei. In his deportment he is a mere child 
of nature, simple, careless, saying just what he 
feels and thinks at the moment, without regard to 
forms ; yet pleasing from the benevolent earnest^ 
ness of his manner, and intuitively polite withoci 
being polbhed. 

After some conversation, he took us into hii 
painting room. As a colorist, I believe his style ii 
2ritici7:ed, and open to criticism ; it is at least sin' 



d by Google 



LITERATURE, AXD CHARACTER. 871 

f^ar; but I must confesf that while I was looking 
aver his things I was e*igrossed by the one con- 
viction; — that while his peculiar merits, and the 
preference of one manner to another may be a 
matter of argument or t»8te, it is certain, and in- 
disputable, that no one paints like Retzsch, and 
that, in the original powfr and fertility of con- 
ception, in the quantity of mind which he brings to 
bear upon his subject, hf> Is in his own style un- 
equalled and inimitable. I was rather surprised 
to see in some of his designs and pencil drawings 
the most elaborate delicacy of touch, and mos 
finished execution of parts, rorabined with a fanc^ 
which seems to run wild over h?s paper or his car 
vas ; but only seems — ^for it must be remarked, th^ j 
with all this luxuriance of imagination, there is no 
exaggeration, either of form or feeling; he is 
peculiar, fantastic, even extravagant — ^but nsver 
false in sentiment or expression. The reason is, 
that in Retzsch's character the moral sentiments 
are strongly developed ; where they are deficient, 
let the artist who lums at the highest poetical de- 
partment of excellence despair ; for no possession 
of creative talent, nor professional skill, nor con- 
ventional taste, will supply that main deficiency. 

I saw in Retzsch's atelier many things novel, 
beautiful, and interesting ; but will note only a few, 
which have dwelt upon my memory, as being char* 
Acteristic of the man as well as the artist 

There was, on a small panel, the head of an 
utgel smiling. He said ne was often pursued b| 



d by Google 



171 8KBTCHES OF AKT, 

dark fancies, haunted by melancholy forebodiiigi, 
desponding oyer himself and his art, '* and he re* 
■olyed to create an angel for himself, which should 
smile upon him out of heayen." So he psdnted 
this most loyely head, in which the radiant spirit 
of joy seems to beam from eyery feature at once ; 
and I thought while I looked upon it, that it were 
enough to exorcise a whole legion of blue deyils. 
It is rarely that we can associate the mirthftil with 
the beautiful and the sublime — eyen I could haye 
deemed it next to impossible; but the effulgent 
cheerfulness of this diyine face corrected that idea, 
which, after all, is not in bright loyely nature, but 
in the shadow which the mighty spirit of Human* 
ity casts from his wings, as he hangs brooding oyei 
her between heayen and earth. 

Afterwards he placed upon his easel a wondrous 
face, which made me shrink back — not with terror, 
for it was perfectly beautiful — but with awe, for it 
was unspeakably fearful : the hair streamed back 
from the pale brow — the orbs of sight appeared at 
first two dark, hollow, un£eithomable spaces, like 
those in a skull; but when I drew nearer, ami 
looked attentiyely, two loyely Hying eyes looked 
at me again out of the depth of shadow, as if from 
the bottom of an abyss. The mouth was divinely 
sweet, but sad, and the softest repose rested ou 
eyery feature. This, he told me, was the Anoel 
OF Death : it was the original conception of • 
head for the large picture now at Vienna, repre- 
senting the Angel of Death bearing aloiX twc 



d by Google 



LITBRATUBB, AND CHABACTEB. 879 

ebililren into the regions of the blessed : the heayeni 
opening above, and the earth and stars sinking 
beneath his feet 

The next thing which struck me was a small 
picture— -two satyrs butting at each other, while a 
shepherd carries off the nymph for whom they are 
contending. This was most admirable for iti 
grotesque power and spirit, and, moreover, ex- 
tremely well colored. Another in the same style 
represented a sat3rr sitting on a wine-skin, out of 
which he drinks; two arch-looking n3rmphs are 
stealing on him from behind, and one of them 
pierces the wine-skin with her hunting-spear. 

There was a portrait of himself, but I would not 
laud it — in fact, he has not done himself justice. 
Only a colossal bust, in the same style, and wrought 
with the same feeling as Dannecker^s bust of Schil- 
ler, could convey to posterity an adequate idea of 
the head and countenance' of Retzsch. I com- 
plimented him on the effect which his Hamlet had 
produced in England ; he tdid me, that it had been 
his wish to illustrate the Mdsummer Nighf s Dream, 
or ^ the Tempest, rather than Macbeth: the former 
he will still undertake, and, in truth, if any one 
sncceedi in embodying a just idea of a Mranda, a 
Caliban, a Titania, and liie poetical burlesque of 
the Athenian clowns, it will be Retzsch, whose 
l^iius embraces at once the grotesque, the comio, 
the wild, the wonderful, the fanciM, the elegant ! 

A few days afterwards we accepted Retzsch'i 
mvitation to visit him at hi9 campagna^-f or whether 



d by Google 



174 8KETG1I1.0 OF AKT, 

tt were faiin-house, villa, or vineyard, or all together 
I coald not well decide. The drive was delicious 
The road wound along the banks of the magnificent 
Elbe, the gently-swelling hills, all laid out in vine- 
yards, rising on our right ; and though it was io 
November, the air was soft as summer. Betzsch, 
who had perceived our approach firom his window, 
came out to meet us — ^took me under his arm as if 
we had been friends of twenty years' standing, and 
leading me into his picturesque domicile^ intro- 
duced me to his wife — as pretty a piece of domestic 
poetry as one shall see in a 8ummer*s day. She 
was the daughter of a vine-dresser, whom Betzsch 
fell in love with while she was yet ahnost a chilc^, 
and educated for his wife — at least so runs the tale. 
At the first glance I detected the original of that 
countenance which, more or less idealized, runs 
through all his representations of female youth and 
beauty : here was the* model, both in feature and 
expression ; she smiled upon us a most cordial wel- 
come, regaled us with delicious cofiee and cakei 
prepared by herself, then taking up her knitting 
sat down beside us ; and ^hile I turned over ad 
miringly the beautiful designs with which her ha^ 
band had decorated her album, the looks of vMier»> 
tion and love with which she regarded him, and 
tlie expression of kindly, delighted sympathy with 
which she smiled upon me, I shall not eaffily foi^t. 
As for the album itself, queens might have enviec 
her sujh homage : and what would not a dilettante 
X)llc\^tor have given for such a possession I 



d by Google 



LITERATURE, AMD CHARACTEll. 875 

1 )'<aiiember two or three of th«*se designs \%hich 
feiiist serve to give an idea of the rest : — 1st. The 
good Gonius descending to bless his wife. — 2a 
The birthday of his wife — ^a lovely female infant is 
asleep under a vine, which is wreathed round the * 
tree of life ; the spirits of the four elements are 
bringing votive gifts with which they endow her. 
ftd. The Enigma of Human Life. The Genius of 
ilumanity is reclining on the back of a gigantic 
sphinx, of which the features are averted, and 
partly veiled by a cloud; he holds a rose half- 
withered in his hand, and looks up with a divine 
expression towards two butterflies which have 
escaped from the chrysalis state, and are sporting 
above his head ; at his feet are a dead bird and 
reptile— emblematical of sin and death. 4th. The 
Crenius of Art, represented as a young Apollo, turns, 
with a melancholy, abstracted £ur, the handle of a 
barrf^l-organ, while Vulgarity, Ignorance, and 
Folly, listen with approbation ; meantime his lyre 
and his palette lie neglected at his feet, togethei 
with an empty purse and wallet : the mixture of 
pathos, poetry, and satire, in this little drawing, can 
hardly be described in words. 6th. Hope, repre- 
bented by a lovely group of playful children, who 
are peeping under a hat for a butterfly, which they 
fancy they have caught, but which has escaped, 
And is hovering above their reach. 6th. Tempta- 
tion presented to youth and mnocence by an evil 
ipiiit, while a good genius warns them to beware. 
In this drawing, the figures of the boy and girli 



d by Google 



S76 SKETCHES OF ART, 

but more particularly of the latter, appeared ti 
me of the most < onsummate and touching beauty 
7th. His wife walking on a windy day : a numbet 
of little sylphs are agitating her drapery, lifting 
the tresses of her hair, playing with her sash ; while 
another party have flown off with her hat, and are 
bearing it away in triumph. 

After spending three or four hours delightAilly, 
we drove home in silence by the gleaming, mur- 
muring river, and beneath the light of the silent 
stars. On a subsequent visit, Retzsch showed me 
many more of these delicious phantasie^ or fancies, 
as he termed them,— or more truly, little pieces of 
moral and lyrical poetry, thrown into palpable 
form, speaking in the universal language of the 
eye to the universal heart of man. I remember, 
in particular, one of striking and even of appall- 
ing interest The Genius of Humanity and the 
Spirit of Evil are plajing at chess for the souls of 
men : the Genius of Humanity has lost to his in- 
fernal adversary some of his principal pieces,— 
love, humility, innocence, and lastly, peace of 
mind ; — ^but he still retains faith, truth, and forti- 
tude; and is sitting in a contemplative attitude, 
considering his next move; his adversary, who 
opposes him with pride, avarice, irreligion, luxury, 
and a host of evil passions, looks at him with a 
Mephistophiles expression, anticipating his devilisV 
triumph. The pawns on the one side are prayen 
—on the other doubts. A little behind stands th* 
At»j?cl of consciecce as arbitrator. In this mo«« 



d by Google 



LITERATURB, A2.D CHARACTER. S7T 

ixquisite allegory, so beautifully, so clearly cco- 
veyed to the heart, there lui^ed a deeper moral 
&an in many a sermon. 

There was another beautiful little allegory of 
Love in the character of a Picklock, opening, on 
trying to open, a variety of albums, lettered, the 
" Human Heart, No. 1 ; Human Heart, No. 2 ; " 
while Philosophy lights him with her lantern. 
There were besides many other designs of equal 
poetry, beauty, and moral interest — I think, a 
whole portfolio full of diem. 

I endeavored to persuade Retzsch that he could 
not do better than publish some of these exquisite 
FancieSf and when I left him he entertained the idea 
of doing so at some future period. To adopt his 
own langui^e, the Genius of Art could not present 
to the Genius of Humanity a more delightful and a 
more profitable gift.* 

« « « « 

The following list of Grerman painters compre* 
hends those only whose works I had an opportunity 
of considering, and who appeared to me to possess 
decided merit I might easily have extended this 
catalogue to thrice its length, had I included all 
those whose names were given to me as being dis^ 
tinguished and celebrated among their own coon^ 
trymen. From Munich alone I brought a list oi 
two hundred artists, and from other parts of Ger. 
many nearly as many m^re. But in confining my- 

* fttnce this iras wiitten, in November, 1888, Retzsch has leu 
ntt to England % series of these Fancies f ~r pnblicstlon. 



d by Google 



t78 SKETCHES OF ABT, 

belf to thcisc whose productions I saw, I adhere to 
% principle which, after all, seems to be the best- 
viz : never to speak but of what we know ; and 
then only of the individual impression : it is nece» 
lary to know so many things before we can give, 
with confidence, an opinion about any one thing ! 

While the literary intercourse between England 
and Grermany increases every day, and a mutual 
esteem and understanding is the natural conse- 
quence of this approximation of mind, there is a 
singular and mutual ignorance in all matters apper* 
taining to art, and consequently, a good deal of in* 
justice and prejudice on both sides. The Germans 
were amazed and incredulous, when I informed 
them that in England there are many admirers ol 
art, to whom the very names of Schnorr, Over- 
beck, Bauch, Peter Hess, Wach, Wagenbauer, and 
evpn their great Cornelius, are unknown; and 1 
met with very clever, well-informed Germans, who 
had, by some chance, heard of Sir Thomas Law- 
rence, and knew «ome^tti^ of Wilkie, Turner, and 
Martin, from the engravings after their works; 
who thought Sir Joshua Beynolds and his engravei 
Reynolds one and the same person ; and of Cal« 
cott, Landseer, Etty, and Hilton, and others of ooi 
ihining lights, they knew nothing at all. I muai 
■ay, however, that they have generaUy a more juit 
idea of English art than we have of German aii| 
and their veneration for Flaxman, like their veik 
•ration for Shakspeare, is a sort of enthusiasm all 
•ver Germany Those who iiave contemplated th# 



d by Google 



LITERATURE, AXD CHARACTER. 871 

ftctoal state of art, and compared the prevalent 
tastes and feelings in both countries, will allow th«*. 
much advantage would result from a better mutua) 
understanding. We En^sh accuse the German 
artists of mannerism, of a formal, hard, and elab* 
orate execution, — a pedantic style of composition 
and sundry other sins. The Germans accuse u», 
in return, of excessive coarseness and carelessness, 
a loose sketchy style of execution, and a general 
inattention to truth of character.* ** You English 
have no school of art,** was often said to me ; I 
could have replied — ^if it had not been a solecism in 
grammar — ^*' You Germans have too much school" 
The " esprit de secte," which in Germany has 
broken up their poetry, literatifre, and philosophy 
into schisms and schools, descends unhappily to art, 
and every professor, to use the Highland expre^* 
sion, has his tail. 

At the same time, we cannot deny to the Ger^ 
mans the merit of great earnestness of feeling, and 
that characteristic integrity of purpose which they 
throw into every thing they undertake or perform. 
Art with them, is oftener held in honor, and pur- 
sued truly for its own sake, than among us: too 
many of our English artists consider their loft^ and 
noble vocation, simply as the means to an end, be 
Ihat end fame or gain. Generally speaking, too, 

* We h»Te among m a young Gennan paintnr, (Theodor yon 
lolst,) who, nniting the exu1>erant enthuMann and rieh Imagi* 
natkm of his country with a jujit appneiatlon of th« alj*» tt 
bgUih art. If IHuOj- to aehiere grtat things. 



d by Google 



180 8KBTCHB8 OF ART, 

the German artists are men of superior cultivatioii, 
po that when the creatiye inspiration falls upon 
them, the material on which to work is already 
vtored up : *^ nothing can come of nothing," and 
the sunbeams descend in vain on the richest soil 
where the seed has not been sown. 

It is certain that we have not in England any 
historical painters who have given evidence of their 
genius on so grand a scale as some of the historical 
painters of Germany have recently done. We 
know that it is not the genius, but the opportunity 
which has been wanting, but we cannot ask foreign • 
ers to admit this, — they can only judge from results, 
and they must either suppose us to be without emi- 
nent men in the higher walks of art,— or they 
must wonder, with their magnificent ideas of the 
incalculable wealth of our nobles, the prodigal ex- 
penditure of our rulers, and the grandeur of our 
public institutions, that painting has not oftener 
been summoned in aid of her eldest sister archi- 
tecture. On the other hand, their school of por- 
traiture and landscape is decidedly inferior to ours. 
Not only have they no landscape painters who can 
compare with Calcott and Turner, but they do no* 
appear to have imagined the kind of excellence 
achieved by these wonderful artists. I should say, 
generally, tiiat their most beautiful landscapes want 
atmosphere. I used to feel while looking at them 
as i^ I were in the exhausted receiver of an air 
pump. Of their portruta I have already spoken ; 
the «ye which has rested in delight upon one ol 



d by Google 



LITB&ATUBE, ANP CHABACTEB. 881 

Wilkie's or Phillips's line manly portraitSf (not tc 
mention Reynolds, Gainsborough, Romney, and 
Lawrence,) cannot easily be reconciled to th« 
hard, frittered manner of some of the most ad- 
DQired of the German painters ; it is a difference 
of tasta, which I will not call natural but national : 
— ^the remains of the old gothic school which, as 
the study of Italian art becomes more diffused, will 
be modified or pass away. 



fflSTORY. . 

Peter Cornelius, bom at Dusseldorf in 1 778, was 
for a considerable time the director (president) of 
the academy there, and is now the director of the 
academy of art at Munich : much of his time, how- 
ever, is spent in Italy. The Germans esteem him 
their best historical painter. He has invention » 
expression, and power, but appears to me rather 
deficient in the feeling of beauty and tenderness. 
His grand works are the fresco painting in the 
Glyptothek at Munich, already described. 

Friederich Overbeck, bom at Lubeck in 1789: 
be excels in scriptural subjects, which he treati 
with infinite grandeur and simplicity of feeling 

Wilhelin Wach, bom at Berlin in 1787: first 
painter to the king of Prussia and professor in the 
icademy of Berlin : esteemed one of the best pai'it 



d by Google 



S82 BKBTCHB8 OF ART, 

ers and meet accomplished men in Grermany. Ko4 
haying visited Berlin, where his finest works exif t| 
I have as yet seen but one picture by this painter-^ 
the head of an angel, at the palace of Peterstein, 
sublimely conceived, and most admirably painted. 
In the style of color, in the singular combination ot 
grand feeling and delicate execution, this picture 
reminded me of Leonardo da Vinci. 

Professor Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld, bom at 
Leipsig in 1 794. His frescos from the Kibelungen 
Lied in the new palace at Munich have been 
already mentioned at length. 

Professor Heinrich Hesse : the frescos in the 
Royal Chapel at Munich, already described. 

Wilhelm Tischbein, bom at Heyna in 1751. He 
b director of the academy at Naples, and highly 
celebrated. He must not be confounded with his 
uncle, a mediocre artist, who was the court painter 
of Hesse Cassel, and whose pictures swarm in all 
the palaces there. 

Philip Veit, of Frankfort — ^fresco painter. 

Joseph Schlotthauer, professor of historical and 
fr«sco painting at Munich. (I believe this artist is 
dead. He held a high rank.) 

Clement Zimmermann, now employed in the 
Pinakothek, and in the new palace at Munich, 
where he takes a high rank as painter, and is not 
less fiistinguished by his general information, and 
his frank and amiable character. 

Mori^ Rctzsch of Dresden. 

Professor Vogel, of Dresden, principal paintei 



d by Google 



i^ITERATUBE, AND CHAKACl'ER. $81 

to the king of Saxony. He piunts in freuco and 
liietory, but excels in porti*aits. 

Steiler, of Munich, court painter to the king d 
Bavaria, esteemed one of the best portrait painters 
in Germany. 

Goetzenberger, fresco painter. He is employed 
in painting the University Hall at Bonn. 

Eduard Bendeman, of Berlin. I saw at the ex- 
lubition of the Kunstverein at Dusseldorf, a fine 
picture by this painter—" The Hebrews in Exile.** 

" By the waters of Babylon we sat down and wept." 

The coloring I thought rather hard, but the con- 
ception and drawing were in a grand style. 

Wilhelm Schadow, director of the academy at 
Du8seldor£ 

Hetzsch of Stuttgardt 

The brothers Biepenhausen, of Gdttingen, resi* 
dent at Rome. They are celebrated for their de* 
signs of the pictures of Polygnotus, as described by 
Pausanius. 

Koehler. He exhibited at the Kunstverein at 
Dusseldorf a picture of " Rebecca at the well,** 
very well executed. 

Ernst Forster, of Altenburg, employed in the 
palace at Munich. This clever young painter 
married the daughter of Jean Paul Ricbter. 

Gassen, of Coblentz ; Hiltensberger, of Suabia ; 
Hermann, of Dresden ; Foltz, of Bingen ; Kaul- 
Sach, of Munich ; Eugene Neurather, of Munich ; 
IVilhebu Rdckel, of Schleissheim ; Yon S^'hwindi 



d by Google 



184 SKETCHES OF ABT, 

(T believe of Munich ;) Wilhelm LindenschmidL 
of Mayence. All these painters are at present ia 
the service of the king of Bavaria. 

Julius Hubner of Breslaw — ^portraits ; GreveOf 
of Cologne — ^portraits. 

SMALL SUBJECTS AND COITV^RSATION PIECES, 

Peter Hess, of Munich, one of the most eminent 
painters in Germany. In his choice of subjects he 
reminded me sometimes of Eastlake, and sometimes 
of Wilkie, and his style is rather in Wilkie's first 
manner. Hb pictures are full of spirit, truth, and 
character. 

Dominique Quaglio, of Munich. Interiors, &o 
He also ranks very high : he reminds me of Fraser. 

Major General von Heydeck, of Munich, an 
amateur painter of merited celebrity. In the col- 
lection of M de Klenze, and in the Leuchtenbei^ 
Gallery, there are some small battle pieces, scenea 
in Greece and Spain, and other subjects by von 
Heydeck, very admirably painted. 

F. Muller, of Cassel. At the exhibition at Dus- 
seldorf I saw a picture by this artist, »* A rustic 
bridal procession in the Campagna," painted with 
a freedom and lightness of pencil not common 
among the German artists. 

PlUddeman, of Colberg. 

T. B. Sonderland, of Dusseldorf. Fairs and 
merrymakings. 

H. Rustige. The same subjects. Both are good 
irtists. 



d by Google 



LITER ATUKE, AND CHARACTER. 885 

H. Kretzschmar, of Pomerania. His picture of 
** Little Red Bidinghood,** (Rotbkappchen,) at the 
Kunstverein, at Dusseldorf, had great merit 

Adolf Schrotte. Rustic scenes in the Dutch 
manner. 

LANDSCAPE. 

Dahl) a Norwegian settled at Dresden, esteemed 
one of the best landscape painters in Germany. 
There is a very fine searpiece by this artist in the 
possession of the Countess von Seebach at Dresden, 
with, however, all the characteristic peciUiaritie$ 
of the German school. 

T. D. Passavant, of Frankfort 

Friedrich, of Dresden, one of the most poetical 
of the German landscape painters. He is rather a 
mannerist in color, like Turner, but in the oppo- 
site excess : his genius revels in gloom, as that of 
Turner revels in light 

Professor von Dillis, of Munich. 

Max Wagenbauer, of Munich. He b called 
most deservedly, the German Paul Potter. 

Jacob Domer, of Munich. A charming painter ; 
perhaps a little too minute in his finishing. 

Catel, of Dusseldorf. Scenes on the Mediterra» 
nean. This painter resides chiefly in Italy; but 
in the collection of M. de Klenze I saw s(nne 
admirable specimens of his works. 

Rothman, of Heidelberg. I saw some pictures 
and sketches by this young painter full of geniui 
•nd feeling. 

Fries, of Munich, a young pain^^er of greal 



d by Google 



3S6 SKETCHES OF ABT, ETC 

|/romise. He put an end to his own life, while ] 
was at Munich, in a fit of delirium, caused bj 
fever, and was very generally lamented. 

Wilhelm Schirmer, of Juliers, an exceedingly 
fine landscape painter. 

Andreas Achenbach, of Dusseldorf : he has also 
great merit 



There are several female artists in Grermany, 
of more or less celebrity. The Baroness von 
Freyberg (bom Electrina Stuntz) holds the first 
rank in original talent. She resides near Munich, 
but no longer psuuts professionally. - 

The Countess Julie von Eglofistein has also the 
'rare gift of original and creative genius. 

Luise Sidlar, of Weimar; Madlle. de Winkel 
and Madame de Loqueyssie, of Dresden, are distin- 
guished in their art The two latter are exquisite 
copyists. 

In architecture, Leo von E^enze and Professor 
Girtner, of Munich ; and Heideloff of Nuremberg, 
are deservedly celebrated in Germany. 

The most distinguished sculptors in Germany 
are Christian Ranch, and Christian Friedrich 
Tieck, of Berlin ; Johan Heinrich von Dannecker, 
of Stuttgardt; Sch wan thaler, Eberhardt, Bandel, 
Kirchmayer, Mayer, all of Munich ; Reitchel, d 
Dresden ; and Imhofi*, of Cologne. Those of theu 
works which I had an opportunity of seeing have 
been mentioned in the course of thoso sketches. 



d by Google 



HARDWIGKE. 

Wbo that has exulted over the heroic reign of 
•ur gjrgeous Elizabeth, or wept over the fate of 
Mary Stuart, but will remember the name of the 
only woman whose high and haughty spirit outfaced 
the lion port of one queen, and whose audacity 
trampled over the sorrows of the other — 

''Brow-beating her fkir form, and troubling her sweet 
pride V " 

But this is anticipation. If it be so laudable, 
according to the excellent, oft quoted advice of 
the giant Moulineau, to begin cU the beginning,* 
what must it be to improve upon the precept? 
for so, in relating the fallen and fading glories of 
Haidwicke, do I intend to exceed even **mon ami 
le Belier," in historic accuracy, and take up our 
tale at a period ere Hardwicke itself— the Hard- 
iricke that now stands — ^had a beginning. 

***BeUer! monaml! commence xwr le conunenoemcntt"'- 
RmOm de HamiUon, 



d by Google 



189 HARDWICKK. 

There lived, then, in the days of queen Bes§, a 
woman well worthy to be her majesty's namesake. 
—Elizabeth Hardwicke, more commonly called, in 
her own country, Bess of Hardwicke, and distin- 
guished in the page of history as the old Countess 
of Shrewsbury. She resembled Queen Elizabeth 
in all her best and worst qualities, and, putting 
royalty out of the scale, would certsunly have been 
more than a match for that sharp-witted virago, in 
fubtlety of intellect, and intrepidity oi temper and 
manner. 

She was the only daughter of John Hardwicke, 
of Hardwicke,* and being early left an orphan 
and an heiress, was married ere she was fourteen 
to a certain Master Robert Barley, who was about 
her own age. Death dissolved this premature 
union within a few months, but her husband's 
large estates had been settled on her and her 
heirs ; and at the age of fifteen, dame Elizabeth 
was a blooming widow, amply dowered with fair 
and fertile lands, and free to bestow her hand 
again where she listed. 

Suitors abounded, of course : but Elizabeth, it 
should seem, was hard to please. She was beauti- 
fill, if the annals of her family say true, — ^she had 
wit, and spirit, and, above all, an infinite love of 
Independence. After taking the management of 
her property into her own hands, she for some 
time reigned and revelled (w/th all decorum be i 

•A manor situated on the bordeM of Derbyshire, bciirara 
Cheeterfield and Bl&nefield. 



d by Google 



HARDWICKB. 389 

andersiood) in what might be truly termed, a state 
of single blessedness ; but at length, tired of being 
ord and lady too— "master o'er her vassals," if 
not exactly " queen o'er herself" — she thought fit, 
having reached the discreet age of four-and-twenty, 
to bestow her hand on Sir William Cavendish. 
He was a man of substance and power, already 
enriched by vast grants of abbey lands in the time 
of Henry VIU.,* all which, by the marriage 
contract, were settled on the lady. After this 
marriage, they passed some years in retirement, 
having the wisdom to keep clear of the political 
storms and factions which intervened between the 
death of Henry Vill. and the accession of Mary, 
and yet the sense to profit by them. While Cav- 
endish, taking advantage of those troublous times, 
went on adding manor after manor to his vast 
possessions, dame Elizabeth was busy providing 
heirs to inherit them ; she became the mother of 
six hopeful children, who were destined eventually 
to found two illustrious dukedoms, and mingle 
blood with the oldest nobility of England — nay, 
with royalty itself. " Moreover," says the family 
chronicle, **the said dame Elizabeth persuaded 
her husband, out of the great love he had for her, 
to sell his estates in the south and purchase lands 
in ker native county of Derby, wherewith to endow 
her and her children, and at her farther persuasion 

• The GaTendishfls wera originally of Suffolk. Wheihor thli 
William OaTendish ma the same who was gentleman usher and 
leeretaiy to Cardinal Wolsejr, is, I heUeve, a disputed point. 



d by Google 



B90 HARDWICKB. 

be begau to build the noble seat of Chatswtvthj 
but left it to her to complete, he dying about the 
year 1559." 

Apparently thb second experiment in matrix 
mony pleased the lady of Hardwicke better than 
the first, for she was not long a widow. We are 
not in this case informed how long — ^her biographer 
having discreetly left it to our imagination ; and 
the Peerages, though not in general famed for dis- 
cretion on such points, have in this case affected 
the same delicate uncertainty. However this may 
be, she gave her hand, after no long courtship, to 
Sir William St. Loo, captain of Elizabeth's guard, 
and then chief butler of England — a man equally 
distinguished for his fine person and large posses- 
sions, but otherwise not superfluously gifted by 
nature. So well did the lady manage Aim, that 
with equal hardihood and rapacity, she contrived 
to have all his <* fair lordships in Gloucestershire 
and elsewhere ** settled on herself and her children, 
to the manifest injury of St. Loo's own brothers, 
and his daughters by a former union : and he dying 
not long after without any issue by her, she made 
good her title to his vast estates, added them to 
her own, and they became the inheritance of the 
Cavendishes. 

But three husbands, six children, almost bound- 
less opulence, did not yet satisfy this extraordinary 
woman — ^for extraordinary she certainly was, not 
more in the wit, subtlety, and unflinching steads 
neat of purpose with which she amassed wealtk 



d by Google 



HARDWICKE. $91 

And acnieved power, but in the manner in which 
ihe used both. She ruled her husband, her family, 
her yassals, despotically, needing little aid, sufiei^ 
ing no interference, asking no counseL She man- 
aged her immense estates, and the local power and 
political weight which her enormous possessions 
naturally threw into her hands, with singular ca- 
pacity and decision. She farmed the lands ; she 
collected her rents; she built; she planted; she 
bought and sold; she lent out money on usury; 
she traded in timber, coals, lead : in short, the ob- 
ject she had apparently proposed to herself, the 
aggrandizement of her children by all and any 
means, she pursued with a wonderful perseverance 
and good sense. Power so consistently wielded, 
purposes so indefatigably followed up, and means 
BO successfully adapted to an end, are, in a female, 
very striking. A slight sprinkling of the softer 
qualities of her sex, a little more elevation of prin- 
ciple, would have rendered her as respectable and 
admirable as she was extraordinary ; but there was 
in this woman's mind the same " fond de vulgarity ** 
which we see in the character of Queen Elizabeth, 
and which no height of rank, or power, or estate, 
could do away with. In this respect the lady of 
Hardwicke was much inferior to that splendid crea- 
ture, Anne CHfford, Countess of Dorset, Pembroke, 
and Cumberland, another masculine spirit in the 
female form, who had the same propensity for 
building castles and mansions, the same passion for 
DOwer and independence, but with more trufi 



d by Google 



92 HARDWiCKE. 

geneixmty and magnanimity, and a touch of poetrj 
and genuine nobility about her which the other 
wanted : in short, it was all the difierenco between 
the amazon and the heroine. It is curious enough 
that the Duke of Devonshire should be the present 
representative of both these remarkable women. 

But to return : Bess of Hardwicke was now ap- 
proaching her fortieth year ; she had achieved all 
but nobility — ^the one thing yet wanting to crowb 
her swelling fortunes. About the year 1565 (1 
cannot find the exact date) she was sought in mar- 
riage by George Talbot, Earl of Shrewsbury. 
There is no reason to doubt what is asserted, that 
she had captivated the earl by her wit and her 
matronly beauty.* He could hardly have married 
her from motives of interest : he was himself the 
richest and greatest subject in England; a fine 
chivalrous character, with a reputation as un- 
stained as his rank was splendid, and his descent 
illustrious. He had a family by a former wife, 
(Grertmde Manners,) to inherit his titles, and her 
estates were settled on her children by Cavendish. 
It should seem, therefore, that mutual inclination 
alone could have made the match advantageous to 
either party ; but Bess of Hardwicke was still Bess 
of Hardwicke. She took advantage of her power 
over her husband in the first days of their union 
" She induced Shrewsbury by entreaties or threati 
to sacrifice, in a measure, the fortune, interest, and 

* Bishop Kennet'B memoirs of the fiunily of O.TendUb 



d by Google 



HARDWICKk. 399 

ba|fpine88 of himself and family to the aggrandize- 
ment of her and her family.** ♦ She contrived in 
the first place to have a large jointure settled on 
herself; and she arranged a double union, by 
which the wealth and interests of the two great 
families should be amalgamated. She stipulated 
that her eldest daughter, Mary Cavendish, should 
marry the earl's son, Lord Talbot; and that hia 
youngest daughter, Grace Talbot, should marry 
her eldest son, Henry Cavendish. 

The French have a proverb worthy of their 
gallantry — " Ce que femme veut^ Dieu veut : ** but 
even in the feminine gender we are sometimes re- 
minded of another proverb equally significant — 
" Uhamme propose et Dieu dispose," Now was 
Bess of Hardwicke queen of the Peak ; she had 
built her erie so high, it seemed to dally with the 
winds of heaven ; her young eaglets were worthy 
of their dam, ready plumed to fiy at fortune ; she 
had placed the coronet of the oldest peerage in 
England on her own brow, she had secured the 
reversion of it to her daughter, and she had mar- 
ried a man whose character was indeed opposed to 
her own, but who, from his chivalrous and confid- 
ing nature was calculated to make her happy, by 
leaving her mistress of herself. 

In 1568 Mary Stuart, fiying into England, wai 
placed in the custody of the Earl of Shrewsbury, 
«iid remained under his care for sixteen years, a 

* Lodged Illa«tra*iong of British History 



d by Google 



194 UARDWICKE. 

long period of restless misery to the unhappy earl 
not less than to his wretched captive. In thif 
dangerous and odious chaise was involved the 
sacrifice of his domestic happiness, his peace of 
mind, his health, and great part of his fortune. 
His castle was converted into a prison, his servanti 
into guards, his porter into a turnkey, his wife into 
a spy, and himself into a jailer, to gratify the ever* 
waking jealousy of Queen Elizabeth." * But the 
earl's greatest misfortune was the estrangement, 
and at length enmity, of his violent, high-spirited 
wife. She beheld the unhappy Mary with a hatred 
for which there was little excuse, but many in- 
telligible reasons : she saw her, not as a captive 
committed to her womanly mercy, but as an in- 
truder on her rights. Her haughty spirit was con- 
tinually irritated by the presence of one in whom 
she was forced to acknowledge a superior, even in 
that very house and domain where she herself had 
been used to reign as absolute queen and mistress 
The enormous expenses which this charge entailed 
on her household were distracting to her avarice ; 
and, worse than all, jealousy of the youthful charms 
and winning manners of the Queen of Scotfl, and 
of the constant intercourse between her and hei 
husband, seem at length to have driven her half 
frantic, and degraded her, with all her wit, and 
lense, and spirit, into the despicable treacheroua 
lool of the more artful and despotic Elizabeth, whr 

» Scott's Uemoir of Sir IL.lph Sadlw. 



d by Google 



HAItDWICKE. 895 

tuow how to turn the angry and jealous passions 
of the countess to her own purposes. 

It was not, however, all at once that mattem 
rose to such a height : the fire smouldered for some 
time ere it burst forth. There is a letter preser'/ed 
among the Shrewsbury Correspondence* which 
the countess addressed to her husband from Chats- 
worth, at a time when the earl was keeping guard 
over Mary at Sheffield castle. It is a most curious 
specimen of character. It treats chiefly of house- 
hold matters, of the price and goodness of malt 
and hops, iron and timber, and reproaches him foi 
not sending her money which was due to her, 
adding, " I see out of sight out of mind with you ; *' 
she sarcastically inquires ^*how his charge and 
love doth ; " she sends him ** some letyss (lettuces) 
for that he loves themf* (this common salad herb 
was then a rare delicacy;) and she concludes 
affectionately, " God send my juill helthe." The 
incipient jealousy betrayed in this letter soon after 
broke forth openly with a degree of violence 
towards her husband, and malignity towards his 
priscmer, which can hardly be believed. There is 
distinct evidence that Shrewsbury was not only a 
trustworthy, but a rigorous jailer ; that he detested 
the office forced upon him ; that he often begged 
in the most abject terms to be released from it ; 
and that, harassed on every side by the torment- 
bg jealousy of his wife, the unrelenting severity 
and mistrust oi Elizabeth, and the complaints of 
• Lodge'! " niiutratloDft." 



d by Google 



)96 HABDWIGEE. 

Mary, he was seized with several fits of illness, and 
once by a mental attack, rr " phrenesie." as Oeci] 
terms it, brought on by the agitation of his mind * 
yet the idea of resigning his office, except at th« 
pleasure of Queen Elizabeth, never seems to have 
entered his imagination. 

On one occasion Lady Shrewsbury went so fai 
as to accuse her husband openly of intriguing with 
his prisoner, in every sense of the word ; and sh<3 
at the same time abused Mary in terms which John 
Knox himself could not have exceeded. Mary, 
deeply incensed, complained of this outrage : the 
earl also appealed to Queen Elizabeth, and the 
countess and her daughter, Lady Talbot, were 
obliged to declare upon oath, that this accusation 
was false, scandalous, and malicious, and that they 
were not the authors of itl This curious affidavit 
of the mother and daughter is preserved in the 
Record Office. 

In a letter to Lord Leicester, Shrewsbury calls 
his wife "his wicked and malicious wife,'' and 
accuses her and her **imps,*' as he irreverently 
styles the whole brood of Cavendishes, of conspir- 
ing to sow dissensions between him and his eldest 
don. These disputes being carried to Elizabeth, 
she set herself with heartless policy to foment 
them in ever}' possible way. She deemed that her 
safety consisted in employing one part of llie earP 
family as spies on the other. In some signal quai^ 
rel about llie property round Chatsworth, she ccm» 
:nanded the earl to submit to his wife's pleasure 



d by Google 



HAHDWICKB. 897 

ftnd though no " tame snake ** towards hi» imperi- 
ous lady, as St Loo and Cavendish had been 
before him, he bowed at once to the mandate of 
his unfeeling sovereign — such was the despotism 
and such the loyalty of those days. His reply, 
however, speaks the bitterness of his heart. " Sith 
that her majesty hath set down this hard sentence 
against me to my perpetual infamy and dishonour, 
that I should be ruled and overrunne by my wife, 
BO bad and wicked a woman ; yet her majesty shall 
fiee that I will obey her majesty's commandment, 
though no curse or plague on the earth could be 
more grievous to me.** ♦ ♦ "It is too much," 
he adds, " to be made my wife's pensioner.** Poor 
Lord Shrewsbury ! Can one help pitying him ? 

Not the least curious part of this family history 
b the double dealing of the imperious countess. 
While employed as a spy on Mary, whom she de- 
tested, she, from the natural fearlessness and frank- 
ness of her temper, not unfrequently betrayed 
Elizabeth, whom she also detested. While in 
attendance on Mary, she often gratified her own 
satirical humour, and amused her prisoner by giv- 
ing her a coarse and bitter portraiture of Elizabeth, 
her court, her favourites, her miserable temper, her 
▼anity, and her personal defects. Some report of 
these conversations soon reached the queen, (who 
1% very significantly drawn in one of her portraitu 
b a dress embroidered over with eyes and ears,) 
dad she required from Mary an account of what* 
•ver Lady Shrewsbury had said to her prejudice 



d by Google 



S98 HARDWICKE. 

Mary, hadng equally the rival who oppressed her 
uid the domestic harpy who daily persecuted her, 
was nothing loath to indulge her feminine spite 
agaunst the two, and sent Elizabeth such a circum- 
stantial list of the most gross and hateful imputa- 
dons, (all the time politely assuring her good sister 
that she did not believe a word of them,) that the 
rage and mortification of the queen must have ex- 
ceeded all bounds.* She kept the letter secret ; 
but Lady Shrewsbury never was suffered to appear 
at court after the death of Mary had rendered her 
fiervices superfluous. 

Through all these scenes the Lady of Hardwicke 
still pursued her settled purpose. Her husband 
complmned that he was " never quiet to satisfy her 
greedie appetite for money for purchases to set up 
her children." Her ambition was equally insatiate, 
and generally successful: but in one memorable 
instance she overshot her mark. She contrived 
(unknown to her lord) to marry her favourite 
daughter, Elizabeth Cavendish, to Lord Lennox, 
the younger brother of the murdered Damley, and 
consequently standing in the same degree of rela- 
tionship to the crown. Queen Elizabeth in the 
extremity of her rage and consternation, ordered 
both the dowager Lady Lennox and Lady Shrews- 
bury to the Tower, where the latter remained for 
some months ; we may suppose, to the great relief 

* This celebrated letter la yet preeerved, and well known U 
historians and antiquarians. It Is sufficient to say ihat seen* 
»ny part of it would hear transDriMng. 



d by Google 



HARDWICKB. $M 

af her husband. He used, however, all his interesi 
to excuse her delinquency, aud at length ptx)cured 
her liberation. But this was not all. Elizabeth 
Cavendish, the young Lady Lennox, while yet in 
all her bridal blo<Mn, died in the arms of her 
mother, who appears to have suffered that searing, 
lasting grief which stem hearts sometimes fceL 
The only issue of this marriage was an infant 
daughter, ttat unhappy Arabella Stuart, who was 
one of the most memorable victims of jealous 
tyranny which our history has recorded. Her 
very existence, from her near relationship to the 
throne, was a crime in the Q|res of Elizabeth and 
James I. There is no evidence that Lady Shrews- 
bury indulged in any ambitious schemes for thin 
favourite granddaughter, " her dear jewel, Arbell," 
as she terms her ; * but she did not hesitate to en- 
force her claims to royal blood by requiring 600/. 
a year from the treasury for her board and educa- 
tion as became the queen's kinswoman. Elizabeth 
allowed her 200/. a year, and this pittance Lady 
Shrewsbury accepted. Her rent-roll was at this 
time 60,000/. a year, equal to at least 200,000/. at 
the present day. 

ITie Earl of Shrewsbury died in 1690, at enmity 
to the last moment with his wife and son ; and the 
Lady of Hardwicke having survived four husbands, 
and seeing all her children settled and prosperous, 
itill absolute mistress over her family, resided diu% 

Fm twooTlMr lettwfin Sir Hemy BIUi*B OoUeetlon. 



d by Google 



lOO HARDWICKE. 

ing the last seventeen years of her life in great 
Btate and plenty at Hardwicke, her birthplace. 
Here she superintended the education of Arabella 
Stuart, who, as she grew up to womanhood, waa 
kept by her grandmother in a state of seclusion, 
amounting almost to imprisonment, lest the jeal^ 
ousy of Elizabeth should rob her of her treasure.* 

Next to the love of money and power, the chief 
passion of this magnificent old beldam, was build 
ing. It is a family tradition, that some prophet 
had foretold that she should never die as long as 
she was building, and she died at last, in 1607, duT' 
ing a hard frost, when her labourers were obliges? 
to suspend their work. She built Chatsworth, Old 
cotes, and Hardwicke; and Fuller adds in hif 
quaint style that she left "two sacred (beside? 
civil) monuments of her memory ; one that I hope 
will not be taken away (her splendid tomb, erected 
by herself,t) and one that I am sure cannot be 
taken away, being registered in the court of 
heaven, viz : her stately almshouses for twelve 
poor people at Derby." 

Of Chatsworth, the hereditary palace of the 

* See some letters in EUis^s Collection, vol. ii. seriei 1, wfaieli 
phow with what constant jealousy Lady Shrewsbury and her 
llutrge were watched by the court. 

t In All Hallows, in Derby. After leaTing Hardwicke, I went, 
oi eourse, to pay my respects to it. It is a vast and g ogge om 
shrine of many coloured marbles, covered with painting, gOd* 
tng, emblazonments, and inscriptions, within which the la^ 
!ies at ftUl length in a golden ruff, and a most sumptuous 1k» 
!hingale. 



d by Google 



HARDWICKB. 401 

Dukes of Devohsliire) all its luxurious grandeur, 
all its treasures of art, it is not here '* my hint to 
speak." It has been entirely rebuilt since thA 
days of its founder. Oldcotes was once a magnifi- 
cent place. There is a tradition at Hardwicko 
that old Bess, being provoked by a splendid man- 
sion which the Sutton s had lately erected within 
view of her windows, declared she would build a 
finer dwelling for the owlets, (hence Owlcots or 
Oldcotes.) She kept her word, more truly per- 
haps than she intended, for Oldcotes has since be- 
come literally a dwelling for the owls ; the chief 
part of it is in ruins, and the rest converted into a 
farm-house. Her younger daughter, Frances Cav- 
endish, married Sir Henry Pierrepoint, of Holme- 
Pierrepoint, and one of the granddaughters mar- 
ried another Pierrepoint — ^through one of these 
'marriages, but I know not which, Oldcotes haa 
descended to the present Earl Man vers. 

The mansion of Hardwicke was commenced 
about the year 1592, and finished in 1597. It 
Btands about a stone's throw from the old house 
in which the old countess was bom, and which she 
left standing, as if, says her biographer, she in- 
tended to construct her bed of state close by her 
cradle. This fine old ruin remains, gray, shat* 
tered, and open to all the winds of heaven, almost 
overgrown with ivy, and threatening to tumble 
about the ears of the bats and owls which are its 
sole inhabitants. One majestic room remains en- 
tire. It b called the " Gianfs Chamber," from 



d by Google 



402 HAttDWICKlfi. 

two colossal figures in Roman armour \\hicli stand 
over the huge chimney-piece. This room hafl 
long been considered by architects as a perfec 
specimen of grand and beautiful proportion, and 
has been copied at Chatsworth and at BlenheinL* 
It must have been in this old hallf and not in 
the present edifice, that Mary Stuart resided dui^ 
ing her short stay at Hardwicke. I am sorry to 
disturb the fanciful or sentimental tourists and 
sight-seers ; but so it is, or rather, so it must have 
been. Yet it is net surprising that the memory of 
Mary Stuart should now form the principal charm 
and interest of Hardwicke, and that she should be 
in a manner the tutelary genius of the place. 
Chatsworth has been burned and rebuilt. Tut- 
bury, Sheffield castle, Wingfield, Fotheringay, and 
the old house of Hardwicke, in short, every place 
which Mary inhabited during her captivity, all lie 
in ruins, as if struck with a doleful curse. But 
Hardwicke Hall exists just as it stood in the reign 
of Elizabeth. The present Duke of Devonshire, 
with excellent taste and feeling, keeps up the old 
costume within and without The bed and furni- 
ture which had been used by Mary, the cushions 
of her oratory, the tapestry wrought by her own 
hands, have been removed hither, and are carefully 
preserved. There can be no doubt of the authen- 
ticity of these relics, and there is enough surely to 

* As the meafrarements are interesting from this fkefe, I tod 
sare to note them exactly, as follows : — bngth 56 ft. inehea 
breadth dO fb. 6 inches; height 24 ft. 6 inches. 



d by Google 



HARDWICKB. 403 

consecrate the whole to our imaginatioa. More- 
over, we have but to go to the window and see th« 
very spot, the very walls which once enclosed her, 
Ihe ver^ casements from which she probably gazed 
with a sigh over the far hills ; and indulge, without 
one intrusive doubt, in all the romantic and fasci- 
nating, and mysterious, and sorrowful associations, 
which hang round the memory of Mary Stuart 

With what different 'eyes may people view the 
tame things! "We receive but what we give," 
says the poet; and all the light, and glory, and 
beauty, with which certain objects are in a manner 
tujffused to the eye of fancy, must issue from our 
own souls, and be reflected back to us, else 'tis aD 
in vain. 

•* We may not hope from outward forms to win, 
The passion and the life, whose fountains are within 1 " 

When Gray, the poet, visited Hardwicke, he fell 
at once into a very pbet-like rapture, and did not 
itop to criticize pictures, and question authorities. 
He says in one of his letters to Dr. Wharton, " of 
all the places I have seen in my return from you, 
Hardwicke pleased me most. One would think 
that Mary queen of Scotts was but just walked 
down into the park with her guard for half an 
hour : her gallery, her room of audience, her ante- 
chamber, with the very canopies, chair of state, 
footstool, lit de repos, oratory, carpets, hangings, 
just as she left them, a little tattered indeed, but 
Ibe more venerable," Sic. &c. 



d by Google 



t04 HARDWICKB. 

Now let 118 hear Horace Walpole, antiquarian, 
virtuoso, dilettante, filosofastro — ^but, in truth, no 
poet He is, however, in general so good-natured, 
lo amusing, and so tasteful, that I cannot conceive 
what put him into such a Smelfungus humor when 
lie visited Hardwicke, with a Cavendish too at his 
elbow as his cicerone I 

He says, ** the duke sent Lord John with me to 
Hardwicke, where I was again disappointed ; but I 
will not take relations from others; they either 
don't see for themselves, or can't sec for me. How 
I had been promised that I should be charmed 
with Hardwicke, and told that the Devonshires 
ought to have established themselves there ! Nev- 
er was I less charmed in my life. The house is not 
gothic, but of that hetweenity that intervened when 
Grothic declined, and Palladian was creeping in; 
rather, this is totally naked of either. It has vast 
chambers — ay, vast, such as the nobility of that 
time delighted in, and did not know how to furnish, 
rhe great apartment is exactiy what it was when 
the Queen of Scotts was kept there.* Her coun- 
cil-chamber (the council-chamber of a poor woman 
who had only two secretaries, a gentieman usher, 
an apothecary, a confessor, and three maids) is so 
outrageously spacious that you would take it for 
King David's, who thought, contrary to all modem 
experience, that in the multitude of counsellor! 
there is wisdom. At the upper end is the State, 

* Hnraoe Walpole, as an antiquarian, shoe d hate known tha 
If &77 was neyer kept there. 



d by Google 



HARDWICKE. 405 

rith a long table, covered with a sumptaous cloth, 
imbroidered and embossed with gold — at least 
what was gold ; so are all the tables. Bound th« 
top of the chamber runs a monstrous frieze, ten or 
twelve feet deep, representing a stag-hunt in mis- 
wable plastered relief.* 

** The next is her dressing-room, hung with patch 
work on black velvet ; then her state bed-chamber 
The bed has been rich beyond description, and 
now hangs in costly golden tatters ; the hangings, 
part of which they say her majesty worked, are 
composed of figures as large as life, sewed and 
embroidered on black velvet, white satin, &c., and 
represent the virtues that were necessary to her, 
or that she was found to have — ^as patience, tem- 
perance,! &c. The fire-screens are particular; — 
pieces of yellow velvet, fringed with gold, hung on 
a cross-bar of wood, which is fixed on the top of a 

* It had formerlj been richly painted, and must then have had 
an eflfect superior to tapestiy; the colors are still visible here and 
there. 

t Mary's own account of her occupations displays the natural 
elegance of her mind. ** I asked her grace, since the weather 
did cut off all exercises abroad, how she passed her time within ? 
Blie sayd that all day she wrought with her needle, and that the 
diversitie of the colours made the work appear less tedious, and 
Oiat she continued at it till pain made her to ^ve o^er : and with 
that laid hor hand on her left side, and complayned of an old 
grief newly increased there. Upon this occasion she, the Scot- 
tish queen, with the agreeable and lively wit natural to her, 
mtered into a pretty disputable comparison between carving, 
painting, and working with the needle, affirming painting, ia 
IMT opininn, for the most oommendabl* qnaaty,'— Letter if 
Siehoku WkUe to CeeU. 



d by Google 



406 ilABDWICKS. 

nngle stick diat rises from the foot* The onlj 
furniture wliich has any appearance of taste ans 
the table ana cabinets, which are of oak, richly 
carved." 

(I must observe en passant, that I wonder Horace 
did not go mad about the chairs, which are exactly 
in the Stiawberry Hill taste, only infinitely finer, 
crimson velvet, with backs six feet high, and sump- 
tuously carved.) 

" There is a private chamber within, where she 
lay : her arms and style over the door. The arras 
hangs over all the doors. The gallery is sixty yards 
in length, covered with bad tapestry and wretched 
pictures of Mary herself, Elizabeth in a gown of 
sea-monsters. Lord Darnley, James the Fifth and 
his queen, (curious,) and a whole history of kings 
of England not worth sixpence a-piece." f 

** There is a fine bank of old oaks in the park 
over a lake : nothing else pleased me there." 

Nothing else ! Monsieur Traveller V— certes, this 
is one way of seeing things I Yet, perhaps, if I 
had only visited Hardwicke as a casual object of 
curiosity — ^had merely walked over the place— I 

* I was as much delighted by these singular fire-screens M 
Horace himself could have been ; they are about seven feet high. 
The yellow velvet suspended from the bar is embossed with blac^ 
veWet. and intermingled with embroidery of various c€ion and 
gold— something like a Persian carpet— but most daszling and 
(orgeous ii the eflBect. I believe there is nothing like them an^ 
where. 

t Now replaced by the flunily portraits brought from Chati 
forth. 



d by Google 



HARDWICKE. 407 

lad left it, Lke Gray, with some vague impressioL 
of pleasure, or like Walpole, with some flippant 
criticisms, according to the mood of the moment ; 
or, at the most, I had quitted it as we generally 
leave show-places, with some confused recollectionp 
of state-rooms, and blue-rooms, and yellow-rooms, 
and storied tapestries, and nameless, or mis-named 
pictures, floating through the muddled brain ; but 
it was far otherwise : I ws^s ten days at Hardwicke 
—ten delightful days — time enough to get it by 
heart; ay, and what is more, ten nights; and I 
am convinced that to feel all the interest of such 
a place one should sleep in it There is much, too, 
in first impressions, and the circumstances under 
which we approached Hardwicke were sufficiently 
striking. It was on a gusty, dark autumnal even 
ing ; and as our carriage wound slowly up the hill, 
we could but just discern an isolated building, 
standing above us on the edge of the eminence, a 
black mass against the darkening sky. No light 
was to be seen, and when we drove clattering under 
the old gateway, and up the paved court, the hol- 
low echoes broke a silence which was almost awful. 
Then we were ushered into a hall so spacious and 
lofty that I could not at the moment discern its 
bounds ; but I had glimpses of huge escutcheons, 
and antlers of deer, and great carved human arms 
projecting from the walls, intended to sustain lamps 
or torches, but looking as If they were stretched 
out to clutch one. Thence up a stone stsdrcase, 
rast, and grand, and gloomy — leading we knew no« 



d by Google 



408 HABDWICKB. 

where, and hung with pictures of we knew not 
what — and conducted into a chamber fitted up as a 
dining-room, in which the remnants of antiqufl 
grandeur, the rich carved oak wainscoting, the 
tapestry above it, the embroidered chsdrs, the co 
lossal armorial bearings above the chimney and the 
huge recessed windows, formed a curious contrast 
with the comfortable modem sofas and easy chairs, 
the blazing fire, and table hospitably spread in ex- 
pectation of our arrival. Then I was sent to repos« 
in a room hung with rich faded tapestry. On onj 
side of my bed I had king David dancing before 
the ark, and on the other, the judgment of Solo- 
mon. The executioner in the latter piece, a grisly 
giant, seven or eight feet high, seemed to me, as 
the arras stirred with the wind, to wave his sword, 
and looked as if he were going to eat up the poor 
child, which he flourished by one leg ; and for some 
time I lay awake, unable to take my eyes from the 
figure. At length fatigue overcame this unpleasant 
fascination, and I fell asleep. 

The next morning I began to ramble about, and 
so day after day, till every stately chamber, every 
haunted nook, every secret door, curtained with 
heavy arras, and every winding stair, became 
familiar to me. What a passion our ancestors 
must have had for space and light I and what as 
ignorance of comfort ! Here are no ottomans at 
eider down, no spring cushions, no " boudoirb 
eti'oits, oA Ton ne boude point," no "demijonr 
Ic rendezvous;** but what vast chambers' what 



d by Google 



HARDWICKE. 409 

mterminable galleries! what huge windows poui^ 
ing in floods of sunshine I what great carved 
oak-chests, such as lachimo hid himself in ! now 
stufied iiill of rich tattered hangings, tarnished 
gold fringes, and remnants of embroidered quilts ! 
what acres — not yards — of tapestries, once of "sky- 
tinctured woof,** now faded and moth-eaten ! what 
massy chiurs and inmiovable tables ! what heaps of 
portraits, the men looking so grim and magnificent, 
and the women so formal and faded! Before 1 
left the place I had them all by heart ; there was 
not one among them who would not have bowed or 
curtsied to me out of their frames. 

But there were three rooms in which I especially 
delighted, and passed most of my time. The first 
was the council-chamber described by Walpole : it 
is sixty-five feet in length, by thirt}'-three in width, 
and twenty-six feet high. Rich tapestry, repre- 
senting the story of Ulysses, runs round the room 
to the height of fifteen or sixteen ffeet, and above 
it the stag-hunt in ugly relief. On one side of this 
room tl ere is a spacious recess, at least eighteen or 
twenty feet square ; and across this, from side to 
side, to divide it from the body of the room, was 
suspended a magnificent piece of tapestry, (real 
Gobelin's,) of the time of Louis Quatorze, still fresh 
and even vivid in tint, which from its weis^ht huujn 
in immense wavy folds ; above it we could just dis- 
cern the canopy of a lofly state-bed, with nodding 
.•>?trich flumes, which had been placed there out ol 
ke way. The efiect of the whole, as I have seen 



d by Google 



AlO HA1(I>WICKE. 

it, when the red western light streamed througli 
tiie enormous windows, was, in its shadowy beauty 
and depth of color, that of a realized " Rembrandt " 
—if, indeed, even Rembrandt ever pmnted any 
thing at once so elegant, so fanciful, so gorgeous, 
and so gloomy. 

From this chamber, by a folding-door, beautifully 
inlaid with ebony, but opening with a common 
latch, we pass into the library, as it is called. Here 
the Duke of Devonshire generally sits when he 
vifflts Hardwicke, perhaps on account of the glorious 
prospect from the windows. It contains a grand 
piano, a sofa, and a range of book-shelves, on which 
I found some curious old books. Here I used to 
sit and read the voluminous works of that dear, 
half-mad, absurd, but clever and good-natured 
Duchess of Newcastle,* and yawn and laugh alter- 
nately; or pore over Guillim on Heraldry; — ^fit 
studies for the place ! 

In this room are some good pictures, particularly 
the portrait of Lady Anne Boyle, daughter of the 
first Earl of Burlington, the Lady Sandwich of 
Charles the Second's time. This is, without excep- 
tion, the finest specimen of Sir Peter Lely I ever 
saw — so unlike llie usual style of his half-dressed, 
leering women — so full of pensive grace and sim- 
plicity — ^the hands and arms so exquisitely drawn, 
and the coloring so rich and so tender, that I waf 
It once surprised and enchanted. There is also • 

Gwf tDdish, w*ft 01 the flxBt Duke of NewoMtl* 



d by Google 



HARD WICKE. 41 1 

remaikably fine picture of a youth with a nionkej 
on his shoulder, said to be Jeffrey Hudson, (Queen 
Henrietta's celebrated dwarf,) and painted by Van- 
dyke. I doubt both. 

Over the chimney of this room there is a piece 
of sculptured bass-relief, in Derbyshire marble, 
representing Mount Parnassus, with Apollo and 
the Muses ; in one comer the arms of Queen Eliza- 
beth, and in the other her cypher, £. R., and the 
royal crown. I could neither learn the meaning 
of this nor the name of the artist Could it have 
been a ^ft from Queen Elizabeth ? There is (I 
think in the next room) another piece of sculpture 
representing the Marriage of Tobias; and I re- 
member a third, representing a group of Charity. 
The workmanship of all these is surprisingly good 
for the time, and some of the figures very graceful. 
I am surprised that they escaped the notice of 
Horace Walpole, in his remarks on the decorations 
of Hardwicke.* Richard Stephens, a Flemish 
sculptor and painter, and Yalerio Yicentino, an 
Italian carver in precious stones, were both en> 
ployed by the munificent Cavendishes of that time ; 
and these pieces of sculpture were probably the 
work of one of these artists. 

When tired of turning over the old books, a dooi 
ooncealed behind the arras admitted me at once 
into the great gallery — ^my favorite haunt and daily 
promenade. It is near one hundred and eighty 
lidet in length, lighted along one side by a range of 

* Aneedotet of Painting. B«ign0 of Ilb&beth and Juntt f 



d by Google 



112 HARDWICKE. 

itupendous windows, which project outwards finon 
■o many angular recesses. In the centre pier is a 
throne, or couch of state, on a raised platform, 
under a canopy of crimson and gold, surmounted 
by plumes of ostrich feathers. The walls are partly 
tapestried, and covered with some hundreds of 
family pictures ; none indeed . of any superlative 
merit — none that emulate within a thousand 
degrees the matchless Vandykes and glorious Ti- 
tians of Devonshire House ; but among many that 
are positively bad, and more that are lamentably 
mediocre as works of art, there are several of great 
interest At each end of this gallery is a door, 
and, according to the tradition of the place, every 
night, at -the witching hour of twelve, Queen Eliza- 
beth enters at one door, and Mary of Scotland at 
the other; they advance to the centre, curtsy 
profoundly, then sit down together under the 
canopy and converse amicably, — ^till the crowing 
of the cock breaks up the conference, and sends 
the two majesties back to their respective hiding- 
nlaces. 

Somebody who was asked if he had ever seen a 
ghost ? replied, gravely, " No ; but I was once very 
near seeing one I " In the same manner I was on<v 
very near being a witness to one of these ghostly 
confabs. 

Late one evening, havmg left my sketch-book in 
the gallery, I went to seek it I made my way up 
the great sttme staircase with considerable intrepid 
Hy, passed through one end of the council-chambei 



d by Google 



HARDWICKB. 41t 

iritbout casting a glance through the palpable ob-' 
icure, the feeble ray of my wax4ight just spreading 
about a yard around me, and lifting aside the 
tapestry door, stepped into the gallery. Just as the 
heavy arras fell behind me, with a dull echoing 
Bocnd, a sudden gust of wind came rushing by, and 
extinguished my taper. Angels and ministers of 
grace defend us ! — not that I felt afraid — O no I 
but just a little what the Scotch call ** eerie." A 
thrill, not altogether unpleasant, came over me: 
the visionary turn of mind which once united me 
in fancy " with the world unseen," had long been 
sobered and reasoned away. I heard no '^ viewless 
paces of the dead," nor *^ airy skirts unseen that 
rustled by;" but what I did see and hear was 
enough. The wind whispering and moaning along 
the tapestried walls, and every now and then rat- 
tling twenty or thirty windows at once, with such a 
crash ! — ^and the pictures around just sufficiently 
perceptible in the faint light to make me fancy 
them staring at me. Then immediately behind me 
was the very recess, or rather abyss, where Queen 
Elizabeth was at that moment settling her farthin- 
gale, to sally out upon me ; and before me, but lost 
in blackest gloom, the spectral door, where Mary — 
not that I should have minded encountering poor 
Mary, provided always that she had worn her own 
^autiful head where heaven placed it, and not 
earried it, as Bertrand de Bom carried his ** a guisa 
ii laiitema." * As to what followed, it is a secrt^t. 

• DftQte. Infcrno. Qanto 28. 



d by Google 



414 HABDWICKB. 

Suffice tt that I found myself safe hy the firokle la 
my bedroom, without anj Teiy distinct iec<dlectioB 
of bow I got there. 

Of all the scenes in which to moralize and medi* 
tate, a picture gallery is to me the most impresdTe. 
With the most intense feeling oi the beaoty of 
painting, I cannot help thinking with Dr. Johnson, 
that as ^ as regards portndts, their chief excellence 
and Taloe consist in the likeness and the anthentio- 
ity,* and not in the merit c^the execution. When 
we can associate a story or a sentiment with eveiy 
face and foim, they almost live to ns — they do 
in a manner speak to ns. Tliere is speculation 
in those fixed eyes — there is eloquence in those 
mute lips — and, O! what tales they tell! One 
of the first pictures which caught my attention 
as I entered the gallery was a small head of Ara- 
bella Stuart, when an infiuit. The painting U 
pom enough: it is a little round rosy face in a 
child's cap, and she holds an embroidered doll in 
her hand. Who could lock on this picture, and 
not glance forward through succeeding years, and 
see the pretty pla3rful infiemt transformed into the 
impassioned woman, writing to her husband — "• In 
sickness, and in despair, wheresoever thou art, or 
howsoever I be, it sufficeth me always that ihoo art 
mine I " Arabella Stuart was not clever ; but not 

• life of Johnson, VOL fi. p. 144. Bo8««n uked, «« An j«« 
at ttwt o|rfnion u to tho portnlts of anaestan ono baa uuf 
«Mii? " JoHXSOH. " It then beoonwt of still man coDsmiieofli 
that th^ shoiUd be Uke." 



d by Google 



HARDWICKE 413 

fieloisu, nor Corinne, nor Madle. De I'EspinasM 
ever penned such a dear little morsel of touching 
sloquence — so full of all a woman's tenderness I 
Her stem grandmother, the lady and foundress of 
Hardwicke, hangs near. There are three pictures 
of her : all the faces have an expression of sense 
and acuteness, but none of them the beauty which 
is attributed to her. There are also two of her 
husbands, Cavendish and Shrewsbury. The former 
a grave, intelligent head ; the latter very striking 
from the lofty furrowed brow, the ample beard, and 
regular but careworn features. A little farther on 
we find his son Gilbert, seventh earl of Shrews- 
bury, and Mary Cavendish, wife of the latter and 
daughter of Bess of Hardwicke. She resembled 
her mother in features as in character. The ex- 
pression is determined, intelligent, and rather cun- 
ning. Of her haughty and almost fierce temper, a 
curious instance is recorded. She had quarrelled 
with her neighbors, the Stanhopes, and not being 
able to defy them with sword and buckler, she sent 
one of her gentlemen, properly attended, with a 
message to Sir Thomas Stanhope, to be delivered 
in presence of witnesses, in these words — "Mj> 
lady hath commanded me to say thus much to you : 
that though you be more wretched, vile, and miser- 
able than any creature living, and for your wicked* 
ness become more ugly in shape tlian the vile§l 
toad in the world ; and one to whom none of any 
reputation would vouchsafe to send any message 
vet she hath thought good to send thus much tc 



d by Google 



416 HAKDWICKS. 

you, that she be contented you should live, (and 
doth noways wish your death,) but to this end: 
that all th) plagues and miseries that may befall 
any man, may light on such a caitifi* as you are," 
&c- ; (and then a few anathemas, yet more ener- 
getic, not fit to be transcribed by " pen polite," but 
ending with hell-Jire,) " With many other op- 
probrious and hateful words which could not be 
remembered, because the bearer would deliver it 
but once, as he said he was commanded ; but said, 
if he had failed in any thing, it was in speaking it 
more mildly, and not in terms of such disdain as 
he was commanded." We are not told whether 
the gallantry of Stanhope suffered him to throw 
the herald out of the window, who brought him 
this gentle missive. As for the termagant countess, 
his adversary, she was afterwards imprisoned in the 
Tower for upwards of two years, on account of 
Lady Arabella Stuarfs stolen match with Lord 
Seymour. She ought assuredly to have " brought 
forth men-children only;" but she left no soil. 
Her three daughters married the earls of Fembroko, 
of Arundel, and of Kent 

The portraits of James V. of Scotland and hig 
Queen, Mary of Guise, are extremely curious. 
There is something ideal and elegant about the 
head of James V. — ^the look we might expect to 
Gad in a man who died from wounded feeling. 
His more unhappy daughter, poor Mary, hangs 
near — a full length in a mourning habit, with a 
white cap, (of her own peculiar fashion,) and a 



d by Google 



HARDTV1CKB. 4IT 

reil of white gauze. This, I beUevo, is the cele- 
brated picture so often copied and engi^aved. It 
is dated 1578, the thirty-sixth of her age, and the 
tenth of her captivity. The figure is elegant, and 
the face pensive and sweet* Beside her, in strong 
contrast, hangs Elizabeth, in a most preposterous 
farthingale, and a superabundance of all her usual 
absurdities and enormities of dress. The petticoat 
it embroidered over with snakes, crocodiles, and 
all manner of creeping things. We feel almost 
inclined to ask whether the artist could possibly 
have intended them as emblems, like the eyes and 
ears in her picture at Hatfield ; but it may have 
been one of the three thousand gowns, in which 
Spenser's Gloriana,' Raleigh's Venus, loved to array 
her old wrinkled, crooked carcase. Katherine of 
Arragon is here — a small head in a hood : the face 
not only harsh, as in all her pictures, but vulgar, a 
characteristic I never saw in any other. There is 
that peculiar expression round the mouth, which 
might be called either decision or obstinacy. And 
here too is the famous Lucy Harrington, Countess 
of Bedford, the friend and patroness of Ben Jonson, 
looking sentimental in a widow's dress, with a white 

•This pletnra and the next «re nld to be by Richard Stevena, 
f<f irtiom there is some account in Walpole, (Anecdotes of Paint- 
ing.) Mary also sat to Hllliard and to Zucchero. The lOTely 
picture by Zucchero is at Ohiswick. There is another small 
liead of her at Hardwieke, said to have been painted in Franee, 
In a cap and leather. The turn <^ the head is airy and graosAiL 
As to the features, they hate been so marred by some soi-dUamt 
rsf torer, it is difficult to say what they may hare been originally 



d by Google 



418 HARDWICKE. 

pocket handkerchief There is chaiacter enongli 
in the countenance to make us turn with pleasun 
to Ben Jonson's exquisite eulogium on her. 

" J meant she should be courteous, facile, sweet, 

Hating that solemn vice of greatness, pritfe .• 
I meant each softest virtue there should meet, 

Fit in that softer bosom to reside. 
Only a learned and a manly soul 

I purposed her; that should with even powers 
The rock, the spindle, and the sheers controul 

Of destiny, and spin her own free hours! " 

Farther on is another more celebrated woman, 
Christian Bruce, the second Countess of Devon- 
shire, so distinguished in the reigns of Charles I. 
and Charles 11. She had all the good qualities of 
Bess of Hardwicke : her sense, her firmness, her 
talents for business, her magnificent and inde- 
pendent spirit, and none of her faults. She was 
as feminine as she was generous and high-minded ; 
fond of literature, and a patroness of poets and 
learned men: — altogether a noble creature. She 
was the mother of that lovely Lady Bich, "the 
wise, the fair, the virtuous, and the young,"* 
whose picture by Vandyke is at Devonshire-house, 
and there are two pictures at Hardwicke of hei 
handsome, gallant, and accomplished son, Charles 
Cavendish, who was killed at the battle of Gains- 
borough. Many fair eyes almost wept themselvei 
blind for his loss, and his mother never recovered 
the " sore heart-break of his death." 
* Waller's lines on Lady BidM 



d by Google 



HARDWICKB. 419 

There are several pictures of her grandson, the 
first Duke of Devonshire — ^the patriot, the states- 
man, the munificent patron of letters, the poet, the 
man of gallantry, and, to crown all, the handsomest 
man of his day. He was one of the leaders in the 
revolution of 1688 — for be it remembered that the 
Cavendishes, from generation to generation, have 
ennobled their nobility by their love of liberty, as 
well as their love of literature and the arts. One 
picture of this duke on horseback, en grand costume 
h la Louis QuatorzCy is so embroidered and be- 
wigged, so plumed, and booted, and spurred, that 
he is scarcely to be discerned through his accoutre • 
ments. A cavalier of those days in full dress must 
have been a ponderous concern; but then the 
ladies were as formidably vast and aspiring. The 
petticoats at this time were so discursive, and the 
head-dresses so ambitious, that I think it must have 
been to save in canvas what they expended in 
satin or brocade, that so many of the pretty women 
of that day were painted en herghre. 

Apropos to the first Duke of Devonshire : I can- 
not help remarking the resemblance of the present 
duke to his illustrious ancestor, as well as to several 
other portraits, and particularly to a very distant 
relative — ^the first Countess of Burlington, who 
was, I believe, the greatrgrandmother of his grace's 
grandmother ; — ^in both these instances the likeness 
IS so striking as to be recogn ced at once, and not 
irithout a smiling exclamation of surprise. 

Another interesting picture is that of Rachael 



d by Google 



120 HABDWICKK. 

Russell, llie second Duchess of Devonshire, daughtet 
of that heroine and saint, Lady Russell : the face 
is very beautiful, and the air elegant and high-bred 
—with rather a pouting expression in the full red 
lips. 

Here is also the third duchess, Miss Hoskins, a 
great city heiress. The painter, I suspect, has 
flattered her, for she had not in her day the repur 
tadon of beauty. When I looked at this picture, 
80 full of delicate, and youthful, and smiling love> 
liness, I could not help recurring to a passage in 
Horace Walpole's letters, in which he alludes to 
this sylph-like being, as the ^ ancient grace," and 
congratulates himself on finding her in good-humor. 

But of all the female portraits, the one whicl: 
struck me most was that of Lady Charlotte Boyle, 
the young Marchioness of Hartington, in a mas- 
querade habit of purple satin, embroidered with 
silver; a fanciful little cap and feathers, thrown 
on one side, and the dark hair escaping in luxu- 
riant tresses ; she holds a mask in her hand, which 
she has just taken off, and looks round upon us 
in all the consciousness of happy and high-bom 
loveliness. She was the daughter and heiress of 
Richard Boyle, the last Earl of Burlington and 
Cork, and Baroness Clifford in her own right. 
The merits of the Cavendishes were their own, but 
their nches and power, in several instances, were 
brought into the family by a softer influence 
Through her, I believe, the vast estates of th« 
Boyles and Cliffords in Ireland and the north o/ 



d by Google 



HARDWICKE. 421 

Fugland, including Cluswick and Bolton Abbey> 
have descended to her grandson, the present duke.* 
There are several pictures of her here— one play- 
ing on the harpsichord, and another, small and 
very elegant, in which she b mounted on a spirited 
horse. There are two heads of her in crayons, by 
her mother. Lady Burlington,t ill-executed, but 
said to be like her. And another picture, repre- 
senting her and her beautiful but ill-fated sister, 
Lady Dorothy, who was married very young to 
Lord Euston, and died six months afterwards, in 
consequence of the brutal treatment of her hus- 
band.J All the pictures of Lady Hartington have 
the same marked character of pride, intellect, 
vivacity, and loveliness. But short was her gay 
and splendid career ! She died of a decline in the 

^^Trflliam, sixth Duke of DeTonshire. 

t *^ Lady Dorothy Sayile, daughter of the Marquis of Haliflui : 
tbB had no less attachment to the arts than her husband; she 
drew in crayons, and succeeded admirably in likenesses, but 
working with too much rapidity, did not do Justice to hex 
genius; she had an uncommon talent too for caricature."^ 
Anecdotes of Painting. 

t He was a monster ; and no wife of the coarsest plebeian profli- 
gate could haye suffered more than did this loyely, amiable being, 
9t the highest blood and greatest fortune in England. ** She 
was," says the affecting inscription on her picture at Chiswiek, 
** the comfort and Joy of her parents, the delight of all who knew 
her angelic temper, and the admiration of all who saw her beauty. 
Bhe was married October 10, 1741, and delirered by death ttom 
Biisery, May 2, 17^." 

But how did it happen that from a condition like tbit^ tbm 
vas no release but by death f— See Horace VTalpole^s CorraeP*u(l 
MA to Sir Horace Mann, vol. i. p. 828. 



d by Google 



C22 HARDWICKB. 

nxth year of her marriage, at the age of foiuvand^ 
twenty. 

Here is also her father, Lord Burlington, cele- 
brated by Pope, (who has de<^cated to him the 
lecond of his epistles ^' on the use of riches,") and 
ityled by Walpole, "the Apollo of the Arts,* 
which he not only patronized, but studied and 
cultivated; his enthusiasm for architecture was 
such, that he not only designed and executed 
buildings for himself, (the villa at Chiswick, for 
example,) but contributed great sums to public 
#rorks ; and at his own expense published an edi- 
tion of the designs of Falladio and of Inigo Jones. 
In one picture of Lord Burlington there is a head 
of his idol, Inigo Jones, in the background. There 
is also a good picture of Robert Boyle, the philoso- 
pher, a spare, acute, contemplative, interesting face, 
in which there is as much sensibility as thought. 
He is said to have died of grief for the loss of hLi 
favorite sister Lady Ranelagh ; and when we recol- 
lect who and what she was — ^the sole fnend of his 
solitary heart — ^the partner of his studies, and with 
qualities which rendered her the object of Milton's 
enthusiastic admiration, and almost tender regard, 
we scarce think less of her brother's philosophy, 
that it afforded him no consolation for the loss of 
iuch a ffister. 

On the other side hangs another philosopher 
Thomas Hobbes, of Malmsbury, whose bold speo 
Illations in politics and metaphysics, and the odium 
Ihey drew on him, rendered his whole life one coi> 



d by Google 



HARDWICKB. 4SS 

duuvjd warfare with established pi*ejudi(es and 
opinions. He was tutor in the family of the first 
Earl of Devonshire, in 1607 — remained constantly 
Attached to the house of Cavendish — and never 
lost their countenance and patronage in the midst 
of all the calumnies heaped upon him. He died 
ftt Hardwicke under the protection of the first 
Duke of Do,vonshire, in 1678. This curious por- 
trait represents him at the age of ninety-two. The 
picture is not good as a picture, but striking from 
the evident truth of the expression — ^uniting the 
last lingering gleam of thought with the withered, 
wrinkled, and almost ghastly decrepitude of ex- 
treme age. It has, I believe, been engraved by 
HoUar. 

I looked round for Henry Cavendish, the great 
chemist and natural philosopher — another bright 
ornament of a family every way ennobled — ^but 
there is no portrait of him at Hardwicke. I was 
also disappointed not to find the *' limned effigy," 
as she would call it, of my dear Margaret of New* 
castle. 

There are plenty of kings and queens, truly not 
worth " sixpence a-piece," as Walpole observes ; 
but there is one picture I must not forget — ^that of 
ihe brave and accomplished £arl of Derby, who 
was beheaded at Bolton-le-Moor, the husband of 
the heroic " Lady of Lathom," who figures in 
Feveril of the Peak. The head has a grand mel- 
ancholy expression, and I should suppose it to be 
« copy from Vandyke. 



d by Google 



124 HAJRDWIGKR. 

Besides these, were many others calculated to 
awaken in the thoughtful mind both sweet and 
bitter fancies. How often have I walked up and 
down this noble gallery lost in "commiserating 
reveries " on the vicissitudes of departed grandeur I 
^-on the nothingness of all that life could give ! — 
on the fate of youthful beauties who lived to be 
broken-hearted, grow old, and die I— -on heroes that 
once walked the earth in the blaze of their fame, 
now gone down to dust, and an endless darkness! 
—on bright faces, "petries de lis et de roses," 
once time-wrinkled 1— on noble forms since man- 
ned in the battle-field ! — on high-bom heads that 
fell beneath the axe of the executioner! — O ye 
starred and ribboned! ye jewelled and em- 
broidered I ye wise, rich, great, noble, brave, and 
beautiful, of all your loves and smiles, your gracee 
and excellencies, your deeds and honors— does thea^ 
B ** painted board circumscribe all ? " 




d by Google 



ALTHORPB 

A FBAOMBMT. 

It was on such a day as I have seen in Italy ti 
tihe month of December, but which, in our chill cli* 
mate, seemed so unseasonably, so ominously beauti- 
ful, that it was like the hectic loveliness brighten- 
ing the eyes and flushing the cheek of consumption, 
—that I found myself in the domains of Althorpe. 
Autumn, dying in the lap of Winter, looked out 
with one bright parting smile ; — ^the soft air breathed 
of Summer ; the withered leaves, heaped on the 
path, told a different tale. The slant, pale sun 
shone out with all heaven to himself; not a cloud 
was there, not a breeze to stir the leafless woods — 
those venerable woods, which Evelyn loved and 
commemorated : * the fine majestic old oaks, 
Mattered over the park, tossed their huge bare 



* I was mneh stmck with tiie Inieriptloii on a gtone tabWi, 
tn ft fine old wood near the house : *' This wood was planted hy 
to ^lliam Spencer, Knighte of the Bathe, in the year of onf 
uord 1624 : "—on the other side, " Up and bee doing, and Qod will 
t/osper " 1^ is mentioned in Eveljn^s " Sylva." 



d by Google 



426 AL THORPE. 

arms against the blue sky ; a tbin hoarfrost, did- 
•Giving as the sun rose higher, left the lawns and 
hills sparkling and glancing in its ray ; now and 
then a hare raced across the open glade^ 

^ And with her feet she from the plashy earth 

Raises a mist, which glittering in the sun, 

Rons with her all the way, whererer she doth mn.** 

Nothing disturbed the serene stillness except a 
pheasant whirring from a neighboring thicket, of 
at intervals the belling of the deer — a sound so 
peculiar, and so fitted to the scene, that I syia^ 
pathized in the taste of one of the noble pi> 
genitors of the Spencers, who had built a huntin[^ 
lodge in a sequestered spot, that he might heai 
«* the hafte bell." 

This was a day, an hour, a scene, with all iti 
associations, its quietness and beauty, <* felt in thf 
blood, and felt along the heart** All worldli* 
cares and pains were laid asleep ; while memory 
fancy, and feeling waked. Althorpe does nof 
frown upon us in the gloom of remote antiquity j 
it has not the warlike glories of some of the ba- 
ronial residences of our old nobility ; it is not built 
like a watch-tower on a hill, to lord it over feudal 
vassals; it is not bristled with battlements and 
turrets. It stands in a valley, with the gradual 
bills undulating round it, clothed with rich woods. 
It has altogether a look of compactness and com- 
fort, without pretension, which, with the pastora' 



d by Google 



ALTHOR^B. 427 

beauty of the landscape, and low situation, recall 
the ancient vocation of the family, whose, grandeur 
was first founded, like that of the patriarchs of old, 
on the multitude of their flocks and herds.* It 
was in the reign of Henry the Eighth that Althorpe 
became the principal seat of the Spencers, and no 
place of the same date can boast so many delight- 
All, romantic, and historical associations. There is 
Spenser the poet, ** high-priest of all the Muses' 
mysteries," who modestly claimed, as an honor, 
his relationship to those Spencers who>now, with a 
just pride, boast of Amw, and deem his Faery Queen 
"the brightest jewel in their coronet;" and the 
beautiful Alice Spencer, countess of Derby, who 
was celebrated in early youth by her poet-cousin, 
and for whom Milton,'' in her old age, wrote his 
" Arcades." At Althorpe, in 1603, the queen and 
son of James the First were, on their arrival in 
England, nobly entertained with a masque, written 
for the occasion by Ben Jonson, in which the young 
ladies and nobles of the country enacted nymphs 
and fairies, satyrs and hunters, and danced to the 
sound of " excellent soft music," their scenery the 
natural woods, their stage the green lawn, their 
canopy the summer sky. What poetical picturesque 
hospitality I In these days it would have been a 
dinner, with French cooks and confectioners ex- 
press from London to dress it. Here lived Waller^i 



* See the aeoounts of Sir John Speacer, In Oollin»*a Peecafe, 
tad prefixed *o Dibdin's ** iEdes Althorptan»." 



d by Google 



128 ALTHOBPB. 

famous Sacharissa, the first Lady Sunderland — m 
beautiful and good, so interesting in hers^, bIm 
needed not his wit nor his, poetry to enshrine her. 
Here she parted from her young husband,* when 
he left her to join the king in the field ; and here, 
a few months after, she received the news of hii 
death in the battle of Newbury, and saw her happi« 
ness wrecked at the age of three-and-twenty. Here 
plotted her distinguished son, that Proteus of pol- 
itics, the second Lord Sunderland. Charles the 
First was playing at bowls on the green at Al- 
thorpe, when Colonel Joyce's detachment surprised 
him, and carried him ofi* to imprisonment and tc 
death. Here the excellent and accomplished 
Evelyn used to meditate in the ** noble gallerie,*^ 
and in the ** ample gardens," of which he has left us 
an admiring and admirable description, which would 
be as suitable to-day as it was a hundred and fifty 
years ago, with the single exception of the great pro- 
prietor, deservedly far more honored in this genera- 
tion than was his apostate time-serving ancestor, 
the Lord Sunderland of Evelyn's day.f When the 
Spencers were divided, the eldest branch of the 
family becoming Dukes of Marlborough, and the 
youngest Earls Spencer — ^if the former inherited 
glory, Blenheim, and poverty — to the latter have 
belonged more true and more substantial distinc- 

* Henry, first Earl of Sunderland. 

t This Lord Sunderland not only changed his party and hk 
tplnions, 'but his religion, with OTery breath that hiev from tht 
fonrt. 



d by Google 



ALTHOBPB. 421 

HODS : for the last three generations the Spencen 
have been remarked for talents, for benevolence,* 
for constancy, for love of literature, and patronage 
of the fine arts. 

The house retains the form described by Evelyn 
— ^that of a half H : a slight irregularity is caused 
by the new gothic room, built by the present earl, 
to- contain part of his magnificent library, which, 
like the statue in the Castle of Otranto, had grown 
" too big for what contained iV We entered by 
a central door the large and lofty hall, or vestibule, 
hung round with pictures of fox-chases and those 
who figured in them, famous hunters, quadruped 
and biped, all as large as life, spread over as much 
canvas as would make a mainsail for a man-of-war. 
These huge perpetrations are of the time of Jack 
Spencer, a noted Nimrod in his day ; and are very 
fine, as we were told, but they did not interest me. 
I had caught a glimpse of the superb staircase, 
hung round with pictures above and below, and 
not the less interesting as having been erected by 
Sacharissa herself during the few years she was 
mistress of Althorpe. A face looked at us from 
over an opposite door, which there was no resist- 
ing. Does the reader remember Horace Walpole's 
pleasant description of a party of mers posting 
through the apartments of a show-place ? " They 
jome ; ask what such a room is called ? — write it 
down; admire a lobster or cabbage in a Dutch 
market piece; dispute whether the last room was 
green or purple; and then hurry to the inn, for 



d by Google 



ISO ALTHOUPK. 

fear the fish should be over-di eased." * We wen 
QOt soch a party; but with imaginations readj 
primed to take fire, and memories enriched with 
all the associations the place could suggest, to us 
every portrait was a history. The orthodox style 
of seeing the house is to turn to the left, and view 
the ground-fioor apartments first; but the fiice I 
have mentioned seemed to beckon me straight- 
forward, and I could not choose but obey the invi> 
tation : it was that of Lady Bridgewater, the love- 
liest of the four lovely daughters of the Duke ci 
Marlborough : she had the misfortune to be painted 
by Jervas, and the good fortune to be celebrated by 
Pope as the ** tender sister, daughter, friend, and 
wife ; •* and again — 



** Thence Beauty, waking, all her forms suppli 
An angers sweetness — or Bridgewater*s eyes." 

Jervas was supposed to have been presumptuously 
and desperately in love with this beautiful woman, 
who died at the age of five-and-twenty : hence 
Pope has taken the liberty — by a poetical licence, 
no doubt — to call her, in his Epistle to Jervas, 
" thy Bridgewater." Two of her fair sisters, the 
Duchess of Montagu and Lady Godolphin, hung 
noar her ; and above, her fairer sister, Lady Sun- 
derland. Ascending the magnificent staircase, a 
hundred faces look down upon us, in a hundred 
different varieties of expression, in a hundred 
diflfBrent costumes. Here are Queen Anne an^ 

* Horaot Walpole's Gomspondenoe, toI. Ti. p. 227. 



d by Google 



ilLTHORPE. 481 

Sarah DucLess of Marlborough placed amicably 
iide by side, as in the days of their romantic friend- 
ship, when they conversed and corresponded ai 
Mrs. Morley and Mrs. Freeman : the beauty, the 
intellect, the spirit, are all on the side of the im- 
perious duchess ; the poor queen looks like what she 
was, a good-natured fool. On the left is the cun- 
ning abigail, who supplanted the duchess in the 
fovor of Queen Anne — ^Mrs. Masham. Proceed- 
ing along the gallery, we are met by the portrait of 
that angel-devil, Lady Shrewsbury,* whose exqui- 
site beauty fascinates at once and shocks the eye 
like the gorgeous colors of an adder. I believe the 
story of her holding the Duke of Buckingham's 
horse while he shot her husband in a duel, has been 
disputed ; but her attempt to assassinate Killegrew, 
while she sat by in her carriage,! is too true. So 
far had her depravities unsexed her I 

" Lorsqne la vertn, avec peine abjnr^e, 

Nous fait voir une femme k ses fureurs livr^e, 
S* irritant par Teffort que ce pas a cout^. 
Son ftme avec plus d^art a plus de cmant^.** 

6he was even less famous for the number of her 
lovers, than the catastrophes of which she was the 
eause. 

** Had ever nymph such reason to be glad? 
Two in a duel fell, and one ran mad." 

I^ot two, but half a dozen fell in duels ; and if hei 
lovers " ran mad," it was m despite, not in despui 

• Aim« BradexMl. t See Pepyi'i Jmarj 



d by Google 



132 ALTHOBPB. 

Lad> Shrewsbury is past jesting or satire; ana 
afler a first involuntary pause of admiration before 
her matchless beauty, we turn away with horror. 
For the rest of the portraits on this vast staircase, 
it would take a volume to give a catalogue raisonnde 
of them We pass, then, into a corridor hung with 
two large and very mediocre landscapes, represent- 
ing Tivoli and Temi. Any attempt, even the best, 
to paint a cataract must be abortive. How render 
to the fancy the two grandest of its features — sound 
and motion ? the thunder and the tumult of the 
headlong waters ? We will pass on to the gallery, 
and lose ourselves in its enchantments. 

Where shall we begin? — Any where. Throw 
Away the catalogue : all are old acquaintances. 
We are tempted to speak to them, and they look 
as if they could curtsy to us. The very walk 
breathe around us. What Vandykes — what Lelys 
^what Sir Joshuas ! what a congregation of all 
that is beauteous and noble ! — what Spencers, Syd- 
neys, Dlgbys, Russells, Cavendishes, and Churchillsl 
— O what a scene to moralize, to philosophize, to 
sentimentalize in I — what histories in those eyes, 
that look, yet see not 1 — what sermons on those lips, 
that all but speak ; I would rather reflect in a pic- 
ture-gallery, than ele^ze in a churchyard. The 
"poca polvere che nulla sente," can only teU ua 
170 must die ; these, with a more useful and deep* 
felt morality, tell us how to live. 

Yet I cannot say I felt thus pensive and serioui 
the first time I looked round the gallery at A 



d by Google 



4LTH0RPE. 49S 

tLo/pe. Curiosity, excitement, intei^st, admiration 
—a crowd of quick successive images and recollec- 
tions fleeting across the memory — left me no time 
to think. I remember being startled, the moment 
I entered, by a most extraordinary picture, — ^the 
second Prince of Orange, and hb preceptor Katts, 
b}' Flinck. The eyes of the latter are reaUy 
shockingly alive ; they stare out of the canvas, and 
glitter and fascinate like those of a serpent. If 1 
had been a Roman Catholic, I should have crossed 
myself, as I looked at them, to shield me from their 
evil and supernatural expression.* The picture of 
the two Sforzas, Maximilian and his brother Fran« 
cis, by Albert Durer, is quite a curiosity ; and so is 
another, .by Holbein, near it, containing the por- 
traits of Henry the Eighth, his daughter Mary, and 
his jester. Will Somers, — all full of individuality 
and truth. The expression in Mary's face, at once 
saturnine, discontented, and vulgar, is especially fuU 
of character. These last three pictures are curious 
and valuable as specimens of art ; but they are not 
pleasing. We turn to the matchless Vandykes, at 
once admirable as paintings, and yet more interest- 
ing as portraits. A full-length of his master and 
friend, Kubens, dressed in black, is magnificent; 
the attitude particularly graceftd. Near the centre 
of the gallery is the charming AiU-length of Queen 

* I was told that a female serrant of the &mUy was so terrUM 
by this picture that she could never be prevailed on to past 
through the door near which it hanfi^, but male a eircoif ^4 
mreacal rooms to avdd it. 



d by Google 



434 ALTUORPE. 

Henrietta Maria, a well-known and celebrated pic 
ture. She is dressed in white satin, and standi 
near a table on which is a vase of white roses, and 
more in the shade, her regal crown. Nothing can 
be in fin^^r taste than the contrast between the rich« 
various, but subdued colors of the carpet and back- 
ground, and the delicate, and harmonious, and bril- 
liant tints which throw out the figure. None of the 
pictures I had hitherto seen of Henrietta, either in 
the king's private collection, or at Windsor, do 
justice to the sparkling grace of her figure, oi 
the vivacity and beauty of her eyes, so celebrated 
by all the contemporary poets. Waller, for in 
stance : — 

** Could Nature then no private woman graced 
Whom we might dare to love, with such a face, 
Such a complexion, and so radiant eyes. 
Such lovely motion, and such sharp replies? ** 

Davenant styles her, very beautifully, ** The ric^ 
eyed darling of a monarch's breast" Lord Hok 
land, in the description he sent from Paris, dwelU 
on the charm of her eyes, her smile, and her grace- 
ful figure, though he admits her to be rather petite , 
and if the poet and the courtier be distrusted, wt' 
have the authority of the puritanic Sir Symond 
d'Ewes, who allows the influence of her " excellenl 
mad sparkling black eyes." Henrietta could be 
very seductive, and had all the French grace ch 
manner ; but, as is well known, she could play the 
rirago, '* and cast such i scowl, as frightened al. 



d by Google 



ALTHORPB. 185 

Uie Iqfds and ladies in waiting." Too much iinpoi^ 
tance is attached to her character and her influence 
over her husband, in the histories of that time. 
She was a fascinating, but a superficial and volatile 
Frenchwoman. With all her feminine love of 
iway, she had not sufficient energy to govern ; and 
with all her disposition to intrigue, she never had 
discretion enough to keep her own or the king's 
Becrets. When she rushed through a storm of bul- 
lets to save a favorite lap-dog ; or when, amid tha 
shrieks and entreaties of her terrified attendants, 
she conunanded the captain of her vessel to ^^blow 
up the ship rather than strike to the Parliamenta- 
rian," — ^it was more the spirit and wilfulness of a 
woman, who, with all her faults, had the blood of 
Henri Quatre in her veins, than the mental energy 
and resolute fortitude of a heroine. Near her 
hangs her daughter, who inherited her grace, her 
beauty, her petulance, — ^the unhappy Henrietta 
d*Orleans,* fair, radiant, and lively, with a profu- 
rion of beautiful hsur ; it is impossible to look from 
the mother to the daughter, without remembering 
the scene in Retz's memoirs, when the queen said 
(o him, in excuse for her daughter's absence, ** My 
poor Henrietta is obliged to lie in bed, for I have 
DO wood to make a fire for her — et la pauvre en- 
fent ^tait transie de froid." 

Another picture by Vandyke hangs at the tqp 
•f thd room, one of the t^andest and most spirited 

* She is snppoeed to hate been poisoned by her husbaad, al 
fi# instSgation oi the Chevalier de Lorraiae. 



d by Google 



«36 ALTHORPlu 

of his productions. It represents William, the 
first Duke of Bedford, the father of Lord Wluiam 
Russell, when young, and his brother-in-law, the 
famous (and infamous) Digby, Earl of BristoL 
How admirably Vandyke has caught the charac- 
ters of the two men ! — ^the fine commanding form 
of the duke as he steps forward, the frank, open 
countenance, expressive of all that is good and 
noble, speak him what he was — not less than that 
of Digby, which, though eminently handsome, has 
not one elevated or amiable trait in the counte- 
nance; the drapery, background, and more espeo 
tally the hands, are magnificently painted. On 
one side of this superb picture, hangs the present 
Earl Spencer when a youth ; and on the other, his 
Bister, Georgiana Duchess of Devonshire, at the 
age of eighteen, looking all life and high-bom love- 
liness, and reminding one of Coleridge's beautifb] 
lines to her : — 

" Light as a dream your d&ys their circlets ran 
From all that teaches brotherhood to man. 
Far, far removed! from want, from grief, from feart 
Obedient music lulled your infant ear; 
Obedient praises soothed your infant heart 

Emblazonments and old ancestral crests, 
With many a bright obtrusive form of art, 

Detained your eye from nature. Stately vests, 
That veiling strove to deck your charms divine, 
Rich viands and the pleasurable wine. 
Were yours uneam'd by toil." 

^nd he thus beautifully alludes tr her matem% 



d by Google 



AXTHORPE. 48 i 

character; for this accomplished woman set th€ 
Bxample to the highest ranks, of nursing her own 
children : — 

** Yon were a mother ! at your bosom fed 

The babes that loved you. You, with laughfaig oye^ 
Each twilight thought, each nasceut feelhig read, 
Which you yourself created." 

Alas, that such a beginning should have such an 
tnd! 

Both these are whole-lengths, by Sir Joshua 
Reynolds : the middle tints are a little flown, else 
they were perfect; they suffer by being hung near 
the glowing yet mellowed tints of Vandyke. 

We have here a whole bevy of the heroines ot 
De Grammont, delightful to those who have what 
Walpole used to call the " De Grammont madness '^ 
upon them. Here is that beautiful, audacious ter- 
magant, Castlemaine, very like her picture at 
Windsor, and with the same characteristic bit of 
storm gleaming in the background. — Lady Den- 
ham,* the wife of the poet. Sir John Denham, and 
niece of that Lord Bristol who figures in Vandyke*^ 
picture above mentioned — a lovely creature, and a 
sweet picture. — Louise de Querougulle, Duchess 
i)f Portsmouth, who so long ruled the heart and 
touncils of Charles the Second, in Lely's finest 
gtyle ; the face has a look of olooming innocence, 
loon exchanged for coarseness and arrogance.—' 

* Dinbeth Brooke, poisoned at the af(e of twenty 



d by Google 



IS8 ALTHORPB. 

The indolent, alluring Middleton, looking fitjob 
under her sleepy eyelids, "trop coquette pout 
rebuter personne." — **La Belle Hamilton," th« 
lovely prize of the volatile De Grammont; very 
like her portrwt at Windsor, with the same finely 
formed bust and compressed ruby lips, but with an 
expression more vivacious and saucy, and less 
elevated. — Two portraits of Nell Gwyn, with the 
fair brown hair and small bright eyes they ought 
to have; au reste, with such prim, sanctified 
mouths, and dressed with such elaborate decencv, 
that instead of reminding us of the " parole sciolte 
d'ogni freno, risi, vezzi, giuochi " — they are more 
like Beck Marshall, the puritan's daughter, on her 
good behavior.* 

Here is that extraordinary woman Hortense 
Mancini, Duchess of Mazarin, the fame of who»5 
beauty and gallantries filled all Europe, and once 
the intended wife of Charles the Second, though 
she afterwards intrigued in vjun for the less (or 
more) eligible post of maitresse en litre. What an 
extraordinary, wild, perverted, good-for-nothing, 
vet interesting set of women, were those four 
Mancini sisters I all victims, more or less, to the 
pride, policy, or avarice, of their cardinal uncle ; 
all gifted by nature with the fervid Italian blood 
and the plotting Italian brain ; all really aventu- 
ri/res, while they figured as duchesses and prin- 
cesses. They wore their coronets and ermine ai 

*See the scene between Beck Marshall and Nell Gwyn, I* 
IVpjt." 



d by Google 



JILTHORPE. 4M 

it«)lling players wear their robes of stale — with a 
•ort of picturesque awkwardness — and they proved 
rather too scanty to cover a multitude of sins. 

This head of Kortense Mancini, as Cleopatra 
dissolving the pearl, is the most spirited, but the 
least beautiful portndt I have seen of her. An 
appropriate pendant on the opposite side is hei 
lover, philosopher, and' eulogist, the witty St. Evre- 
mond — Grammonf s " Caton de Normandie ; " but 
instead of looking like a good-natured epicurean, a 
man " who thought as he liked, and liked what he 
thought,"* his nose is here wrinkled up into an 
expression of the most supercilious scorn, adding 
to his native ugliness.! Both these are by Kneller. 
Farther on, is another of Charles's beauties, whose 
sagesse has never been disputed — Elizabeth Wri- 
othesley. Countess of Northumberland, the sister 
of that half saint, half heroine, and cUl woman — 
Lady Russell. 

There is also a lovely picture of that magnificent 
brunette, Miss Bagot ** EUe avait,** says Hamilton, 
•* ce teint rembruni qui plait tant quand il plait* 
She married Berkeley Lord Falmouth, a man who, 
though unprincipled, seems to have loved her ; at 
least, was not long enough her husband to foi^get 
to be her lover : he was killed, shortly after hb 



•Walpole. 

tThe gay, gallant St. Erremond, besides being natanlly 
ftgly, had a wen between liis eyebrons. There is a fine piotnve 
■fhim and Hortonse as Tertomnus and Pomona, in tlie Stalfori 
wUecy. 



d by Google 



140 ALTHORPE. 

marriage, in the battle of SoutLwold-bay. This it 
assuredly one of the most splendid pictures Lely 
ever painted ; and it is, besides, full of character 
and interest. She holds a cannon-ball in her lap, 
(only an airy emblematical cannon-ball; for she 
poises it like a feather,) and the countenance is 
touched with a sweet expression of melancholy : 
hence it is plain that she sat for it soon after the 
death of her first husband, and before her marriage 
with the witty Earl of Dorset. — Near her hangs 
another fair piece of witchcraft, " La Belle Jen- 
nings," \vho in her day played with hearts as if 
they had been billiard balls; and no wonder, 
considering what things she had to deal with:* 
there was a great difference between her vivacity 
and that of her vivacious sister, the Duchess of 
Marlborough. — Old Sarah hangs near her. One 
would think that Kneller, in spite, had watched 
the moment to take a characteristic likeness, and 
catch, not the Cynthia, but the Fury of the minute ; 
as, for instance, when she cut off her luxuriant 
tresses, so worshipped by her husband, and flung 
them in his face ; for so she tosses back hei 
disdainful head, and curls her lip like an insolent, 
pouting, spoiled, grown-up baby. The life of thit 
woman is as fine a lesson on the emptiness of aU 
worldly advantages, boundless wealth, power, fame, 

* Tbe pictures of Miss Jenningi are very rare. This one M 
iltikorpe was copied for H. Walpole, and I haTe heard of anoilMi 
Ic If eland. Miss Jennings was afterwards Ihiehees of Tyreon 
lel 



d by, Google 



ALTHORPA. 441 

•eanty, wit, as ever w.w set forth by moralist or 
ii^e. 

•By spirit robb*d of power— by warmth, of friends— > 
By wealth, of followers ! without one distress, 
Sick of herself through rery selfishness.*''* 

^ nd yet I suspect that the Duchess of Marlborough 
has never met with justice. History knows her 
only as Marlborough's wife, an intriguing dame 
d'honneur, and a cast-off favorite. Vituperated 
by Swift, satirized by Pope, ridiculed by Walpole 
— what angel could have stood such bedaubing, 
and from such pens ? 

" she has fallen into a pit of iniw . ** 

But glorious talents she had, fstrength of mind, 
generosity, the power to feel and inspire the 
rtrongest attachment, — and all these qualities were 
degraded, or rendered useless, by temper 1 Her 
• Rvarice was not the love of money for its own sake, 
but the love of power ; and her bitter contempt for 
** knaves and fools " may be excused, if not justified. 
Imagine such a woman as the Duchess of Marl- 
borongn out-faced, out-plotted by that crowned 
3ypher, that sceptred common-place, queen Anne \ 
\t should seem that the constant habit of being 
(breed to serve, outwardly, where she really ruled. 

*Pope. One hates him (br taking a thousand pounds to 
moprees this character of Atossa, and pnhlishing It after all; 
M( who for a thousand pounds would have lost it? 



d by Google 



143 AL THORPE. 

^the consciousness of her own brilliant and pow' 
erfiil faculties brought into immediate hourly com* 
parison with the confined trifling understanding of 
her mistress, a disdain of her own forced hypocrisy, 
and a perception of the heartless baseness of th« 
courtiers around her, disgusting to a mind naturally 
ligh-toned, produced at length that extreme of 
Dittemess and insolence which made her so often 
" an embodied storm." She was always a terma- 
gant — ^but of a very different description from the 
vulgar Castlemaine. 

Though the picture of Colonel Russell, by Dob- 
son, is really fine as a portrait, the recollection of 
the scene between him and Miss Hamilton * — ^his 
love of dancing, to prove he was not old and asth- 
matical, — and his attachment to his ^^chapeau 
pointu" make it iqapossible to look at him without 
a smile — but a good-humored smile, such as his 
lovely mistress gave him when she rejected him 
with so much politeness. — Arabella Churchill, the 
sister of the great Duke of Marlborough, and 
mistress of the Duke of York, has been better 
treated by the painter than by Hamilton ; instead 
of " La grande creature, pale et decham^e," she 
appears here a very lovely woman. But enough 
cf these equivocal ladies. No — before we leave 
them, there are yet two to be noticed, more equiv- 
ocal, more interesting, and more extraordinary 
Ihan all the rest put together — ^Bianca di Capello 

* See his deeburatlon of loTe— " Je suis frire du Comte de Be4 
htd; je fxnnmande le T^^ent des gardes,*' &o. 



d by Google 



ALTHORPE. 44A 

who, from a washerwoman, became Grand DucheM 
of Florence, with less beauty than I should hav^ 
expected, but as much covntenance ; and the 
beautiful, but appalling picture of Venitia Digby, 
painted after she was dead, by Vandyke : she was 
found one morning sitting up in her bed, leaning 
her head on her hand, and lifeless ; and thus she 
10 painted. Notwithstanding the ease and grace of 
the attitude, and the delicacy of the features, there 
is no mistaking this for slumber : a heavier hand 
has pressed upon those eyelids, which will never 
more open to the light : there is a leaden lifeleit- 
ness about them, too shockingly true and real — 

" It thrills us with mortality, 
And curdles to the gazer*s heart.'* 

Her picture at Windsor is the most perfectly beauti' 
fill and impressive female portrait I ever saw. How 
have I longed, when gazing at it, to conjure her out 
of her frame, and bid her reveal the secret of her 
mysterious life and death ! — ^Nearly opposite to the 
dead Venitia, in strange contrast, hangs her hus- 
band, who loved her to madness, or was mad before 
he married her, in the very prime of life and youth. 
This picture, by Cornelius Jansen, is as fine as any 
thing of Vandyke's : the character expresses more 
of intellectual power and physical strength, than 
of that elegance of face and form we should have 
looked for in such a fanciful being as Sir Eenelm 
fMgby : he looks more like one .of the Athletsi 



d by Google 



M4 ALTHOBPB. 

Aan a poot, a metaphyncian, and a ** squire of 
dames." 

There are three pictures of Waller^s fiuned 
Bacharissa, the first Ladj Snnderland : one in a hat, 
at the age of fifteen or sixteen, gay and blooming ; 
the second, far more interesting, was painted about 
the time of her marriage with the young Earl of 
Sunderland, or shortly after — ^very sweet and lady- 
like. I should say that the high-breeding of the 
foce and air was more conspicuous than the beauty , 
the neck and hands exquisite. Both these are 
Vandyke's. A third picture represents her about 
the time of her second marriage : the expression 
wholly changed— cold, sad, faded, but pretty still : 
one might fancy her contemplating, with a sick 
heart, the portrait of Lord Sunderland, the lover 
and husband of her early youth, who hangs on the 
opposite side of the gallery, in complete armour : he 
fell in the same battle with Lord Falkland, at the 
age of three-and-twenty. The brother of Sacha- 
rissa, the famous Algernon Sidney, is suspended 
near her ; a fine head, full of contemplation and 
power. 

Among the most interesting pictures in the gal- 
lery is an undoubted original of Lady Jane Grey, 
After seeing so many hideous, hard, prim-looking 
pictures and prints of this gentle-spirited heroine, 
ifc is consoling to trust in the genuineness of a face 
which has all the sweetness and dignity we look 
for, and ought to find. Then, by way of contrast 
we havo that Inost curious picture of Diana d 



d by Google 



ALTHOBPS. 44 ft 

Poiders, cmce in the Crawfurd collection : it ib a 
small half-length; the features fair and regular; 
the hair is elaboratelj dressed with a profusion of 
jewels; but there is no drapery whatever — ^** force 
pierreries et trte pen de linge," as Madame de 
Sevign^ described the two Mancini. * Bound the 
head is the legend fr<»n the 42d Psalm — ^^ Comme 
le cerf braie apr^ le d^cours des eaues, ainsi brait 
mon ame apr^ tm, O Dieu," which is certainly an 
extraordinary application. In the days of Diana 
tjf Poitiers, the beautiful mistress of Henry the 
Second of France, it was the court fashion to sing 
the Psalms of David to dance and song tunes ;t 
and the courtiers and beauties had each their 
fistvorite psalm, which served as a kind of devise : 
this may explain the very singular inscription op 
this very singular picture. Here are also the por- 
traits of Otway and Cowley, and of Montaigne ; 
the last from the Crawfurd collection. 

I had nearly omitted to mention a magnificent 
whole-length of the Due de Guise — who was stabbed 
in the closet of Henry the Third — whose life con- 
tjuns materials for ten romances and a dozen epics, 
and whose death has furnished subjects for as many 
tragedies. And not far from him that not less dar- 
ing, and more successful chief, Oliver Cromwell . 
4 page is tying on his sash. There is a vulgar 



* Th« PriBoem Colonna and the DnchwM de Manrin. 
\ fJkmeiit Marot had composed a Tersion ^f the Piahni, th«i 
«7 popular. See Bayle, and the Curiositiet cf li'eiatun 



d by Google 



146 ALTHOBPS. 

power and boldness about this head, in fine con- 
trast with the high-born, fearless, chivalrous-looking 
Gmse. 

In the library is the splendid picture of Sofonisba 
Angusciola, by herself: she is touching the harp- 
sichord, for like many others of her craft, she ex- 
celled in music Angelica Eauffinan had neaily 
been an operansinger. The instances of great paint- 
ers being also excellent musicians are numerous; 
Salvator Bosa could have led an orchestra, and 
Vemet could not exist without Pergolesi's plana 
But I cannot recollect an instance of a great mu- 
sician by profession, who has also been a painter : 
the range of faculties is generally more confined. 

Rembrandt's large picture of his mother, which 
is, I think, the most magnificent specimen of this 
master now in England, hangs over the chinmey in 
the same room with the Sofonisba. 

The last picture I can distinctly remember is a 
portrait by Sir Joshua Reynolds, with all his per- 
fections combined in their perfection. It is that of 
a beautiful Frenchwoman, an intimate friend of the 
last Lady Spencer — ^with as much intellect, senti- 
ment, and depth of feeling as would have furnished 
out twenty ordinary heads; all harmony in the 
eoloring, all grace in the drawing. 

Here then was food for the eye and for the mem- 
iry — for sweet and bitter fancy — for the amateur, 
and for the connoisseur — for antiquary, historian, 
isainter, and poet Well might Horace Walpole 
lay that the gallery at Althorpe was " endeared tt 



d by Google 



ALTHOBFB. 447 

die pensive spectator.** He tells us in his letters, 
that when here, (about seventy years since,) he 
surprised the housekeeper by **his intimate ac- 
quaintance with all the faces in the gallery." I was 
amused at the thought that we caused a sunilar sur- 
prise in our day. I hope his female cicerone was 
as civil and intelligent as ours ; as worthy to be the 
keeper of the pictorial treasures of Althorpe. 
When we lingered and hngered, spell-bound, and 
apologized for making such unconscionable de- 
mands on her patience, she replied, " that she was 
flattered ; that she felt affronted when any visitor 
hurried through the apartments." Old Horace 
would have been delighted with her ; and not less 
with the biblical enthusiasm of a village glazier, 
whom we found dusting the books in the library, 
and who had such a sublime reverence for old edi- 
tions, unique copies, illuminated MSS., and rare 
bindugs, that it was quite edifying. 



d by Google 



MRS. SIDDONa 

{Cm fbllowinff little sketeh wu written a few dajs alter the 
Anth of Un. Siddona, and was called forth bj certain pam- 
graphs which appeared in the dally papum. A misap^reheniloii 
of the real character c^this remariutble woman, which I know it 
exist in the minds of many who admired and reneiated her tal* 
ents, has iudnced me to enlarge the first reiy slight sketch, into 
a more finistwd but still inadequate portrait. I hare spared no 
pains to Terify ttie truth of my own conception by testtmony of 
CTery kind that was attainable. I have penned eTery word as if 
I had been in that great final court where the thoughts of aU 
hearts are manifested; and those who best knew the indiyidual 
I have attempted to delineate bear witness to the fidelity of the 
portrait, as flur as it goes. I must be permitted to add, that in 
this and the succeeding sketch I hare not only been inspired b; 
the wish to do Justice to IndiTidual yirtue and talent,— I wished 
to impress and illustrate that important truth, that a gifted 
woman may pursue a public vocation, yet preserve the purity and 
maintidn the dignity of her sex— that there is no pr^udice which 
will not shrink away before moral energy, and no profession 
which may not be made compatible with the respect due to us as 
women, the cultivation of every feminine virtue, and the prac- 
tice of every private duty. I ndght here multiply examples and 
txoeptions, and discuss causes and results; but it is a oonsidera 
Hon I reserve fbr another opportunity.] 

" Implora pace ! " — She, who upon earth ruled 
be souls and senses of men, as die moon rules tht 



d by Google 



MRS. 8IDDOXS. 44U 

iurge of waters ; the acknowledged and liege em- 
press of all the realms of illusion ; the crowned 
queen ; the throned muse • the sceptred shadow 
of departed genius, majesty, and beauty, — suppli- 
cates — Peace ! 

What unhallowed work has been going forward 
in some of the daily papers since this illustrious 
creature has been laid in her quiet unostentatious 
grave! ay, even before her poor remains were 
cold I What pains have been taken to cater tri- 
fling scandal for the blind, heartless, gossip-lovinj; 
vulgar! and to throw round the memory of a 
woman, whose private life was as irreproachable 
as her public career was glorious, some ridiculous 
or unamiable association which should tend to un- 
sphere her from her throne in our imagination, and 
degrade from her towering pride of place, the her- 
oine of Shakspeare, and the Muse of Tragedy I 

That stupid malignity which revels in the mar- 
tyrdom of fame — which rejoices when, by some 
approximation of the mean and ludicrous with the 
beautiful and sublime, it can for a moment bring 
down the rainbow-like glory in which the fancy 
invests genius, to the drab-colored level of medi- 
ocrity — is always hateful and contemptible; but 
in the present case it is something worse ; it has a 
peculiar degree of cowardly injustice. If some ele- 
gant biographer inform us that the same hand 
which painted the infant Hercules, or Ugolino, or 
Mm. Sheridan, half seraph and half saint — could 
'Clutch a irmnea with satisfaction, or drive a bar- 



d by Google 



450 MRS. SIDDONS. 

gain witJi a footman ; if some discreet friend, from 
the mere love of truth, no doubt, reveal to us the 
puerile, lamentable frailties of that bright spirit 
which poured itself forth in torrents of song and 
passion : what then ? 'tis pitiful, certainly, won 
drous pitiful ; but there is no great harm done, — 
no irremediable injury inflicted; for there stand 
their works : the poet's immortal page, the painter's 
breathing canvas witness for them. " Death hath 
had no power yet upon their beauty "—over them 
scandal cannot draw her cold slimy finger ;-— on 
them calumny cannot breathe her mildew; nor 
envy wither them with a blast from hell. There 
they stand forever to confute injustice, to rectify 
error, to defy malice ; to silence, and long outlive 
the sneer, the lie, the jest, the reproach. But she 
— who was of painters the model, the wonder, the 
despair ; — ^she, who realized in her own presence 
and person the poet's divinest dreams and noblest 
creations; — she, who has enriched our language 
with a new epithet, and made the word Siddonian 
synonymous with all we can imagine of feminine 
grace and grandeur : she has left nothing behind 
her, but the memory of a great name : she has be- 
queathed it to our reverence, our gratitude, our 
charity, and our sympathy ; and if It is not to be 
sacred, I know not what is — or ever will be. 

Mrs. Siddons, as an artist, presented a singular 
example of the union of all the faculties, mental 
and physical, which constitute excellence in he? 
kH, directed to the end for which they seemed ere 



d by Google 



MBS. SIDBONS. 451 

Ujd, In any other situation or profession, some 
one or other of her splendid gifts would have been 
misplaced or dormant. It was her especial good 
fortune, and not less that of the time in which she 
lived, that this wonderful combination of mental 
powers and external graces, was fully and com- 
pletely developed by the circumstances in which 
ihe was placed.* " With the most commanding 
beauty of face and form, and varied grace of ac- 
tion ; with the most noble combination of features, 
and extensive capability of expression in each of 
them ; with an unequalled genius for her art, the 
utmost patience in study, and the strongest ardour 
of feeling;' there was not a passion which she could 
not delineate ; not the nicest shade, not the most 
delicate modification of passion, which she could 
not seize with philosophical accuracy, and render 
with such immediate force of nature and truth, as 
well as precision, that what was the result of pro* 
found study and unwearied practice, appeared like 
sudden inspiration. There was not a height of 
grandeur to which she could not soar, nor a dark- 
ness of misery to which she could not descend ; 
not a chord of feeling, from the sternest to the 
most delicate, which she could not cause to vibrate 
at her will. She had reached that point of perfec- 
tion in art, where it ceases to be art, and becomes 
1 second nature. She had studied most profoundly 

* Some c/t the sentences which fcUow (marked by inirerted com. 
■im) are taken from a portrait oi Mrs. Siddons, dated 1812, and 
«ttribated to 8ir Walter Scott. 



d by Google 



152 MBS. SIDDONB. 

Ihe powers and capabilities of language ; so that 
the most critical sagacity could not have suggested 
a delicacy of emphasis, by which the meaning of 
che author might be more distinctly conveyed, or a 
«hade of intonation by which the sentiment could 
be more fully or more faithfully expressed. While 
other performers of the past or present time haT« 
made approaches to excellence, or attained it now 
and then, Mrs. Siddons alone was pronounced 
foultless ; and, in hevy the last generation witnessed 
what we shall not see in ours ; — no, nor our chil- 
dren after us; — ^that amazing union of splendid 
intellectual powers, with unequalled charms of per- 
son, which, in the tragic department of her art, 
realized the idea of perfection." 

Such was the magnificent portrait drawn of Mrs. 
Siddons twenty years ago ; and it will be admitted 
by those who remember her, and must be believed 
by those who do not, that in this case, eulogy could 
not wander into exaggeration, nor enthusiasm be 
exalted beyond the bounds of truth. 

I have heard people most unreasonably surprised 
dv displeased, because this exceeding dignity of de- 
meanor was not confined to the stage, but was 
carried into private life. Had it been merely con- 
ventional, — a thing put on and put off, — it might 
have been so ; but the grandeur of her mind, and 
the light of her glorious beauty, were not as a dia- 
dem and robe for state occasions only ; hers was not 
only dignity of manner and person, it was mora 
ind innate, and, I mav add, hereditary. Mrs. Sid 



d by Google 



MRS. 8IDDONS. 459 

lonE, w'th all her graces of form and feature, her 
Hagnificence of deportment, her deep-toned, meas- 
ured Toice, and impressive enunciation, was in 
reality a softened reflection of her more stem, 
stately, majestic mother, whose genuine loftiness oi 
ipirit and of bearing, whose rare beauty, and im- 
perious despotism of character, have oflen been 
described to me as absolutely awful, — even her 
children trembled in her presence. 

" All the Kembles," said Sir Thomas Lawrence, 
" have historical faces ; " and for several genera- 
tions their minds seem to have been cast in a poet- 
ical mould. It has, however, been disputed, 
whether Mrs. Siddons possessed genius. Whether 
genms be exclusively defined as the creative and 
inventive faculty of the soul, or taken, in its usual 
acceptation, as " a mind of large general faculties, 
accidentally determined to some particular direc- 
tion," I think she did possess it in both senses. 
The grand characteristic of her mind was power, 
but it was power of a very peculiar kind : it 
was slowly roused — slowly developed — not easily 
moved ; her perceptions were not rapid, nor her 
sensations quick ; she required time for every 
thing, — ^time to think, time to comprehend, time to 
ipeak. There was nothing superficial about her; 
no vivacity of manner ; to petty gossip she would 
not descend, and evil-speaking she abhorred:; 
ihe cared not to shine in general conversation. 
Like some majestic " Argosie," bearing freight of 
precious metal, she was a-ground and cumbroni 



d by Google 



154 MRS. 8IDD0NS. 

»nd motionless among the shallows of common life 
b'lt set her upon the deep waters of poetry anc 
passion — ^there was her element — there was hei 
reign. Ask her an opinion, she could not give ii 
jrou till she had looked on the subject, and consid 
ered it on every side, — then you might trust to it 
without appeal. Her powers, though not eaaly 
put in motion, were directed by an incredible 
energy ; her mind, when called to action, seemed 
to rear itself up like a great wave of the sea, and 
roll forwards with an irresistible force. This pro- 
digious intellectual power was one of her chief 
characteristics. Another was truth, which in the 
human mind is generally allied with power. It is, 
I think, a mistaken idea, that habits of impersona- 
tion on the stage tend to impair the sincerity or 
the individuality of a character. If any injury is 
done in this way, it is by the continual and strong 
excitement of the vanity, the dependence on ap- 
plause, which in time may certainly corrode away 
the integrity of the manner, if not of the mind. It 
is difficult for an admired actress not to be vain, 
and difficult for a very vain person to be quite un- 
affected, on or off the stage ; it is, however, certain 
that some of the truest, most natural persons I evei 
met with in my life, were actresses. In the char- 
tcter of Mrs. Siddons, truth, and a reverence for 
truth, were commensurate with her vast power: 
Heaven is not farther removed from earth than sh^ 
was from falsehood. Allied to this conscientioui 
♦urn was her love of order. She was extremeW 



d by Google 



MBS. SIBDOKS. 45C 

punctual iu all her arrangements ; methodical and 
exact in every thing she did ; circumstantial and 
Ibccarate in all she said. In little and in great 
things, in the very texture and constitution of her 
mind, she was integrity itself : " It was," (said one 
of her most intimate friends,) ** a mind far above 
the average standard, not only in ability, but in 
moral and religious qualities; that these should 
have exhausted themselves in the world of fiction, 
maybe regretted in reference to her individaal 
happiness, but she certainly exercised, during her 
reign^ a most powerful moral influence : — she ex- 
cited the nobler feelings and higher faculties of 
every mind which came in contact with her own. 
I speak with the deepest sense of personal obliga- 
tion : it was at a very early age that she repeated 
to me, in a manner and tone which left an indeli- 
ble impression, 

* Sincerity, 
Thou first of virtues ! let no mortal leave 
Thy onward path,* &o. 

and I never knew her to omit an opportunity of 
making her fine genius minister to piety and virtue." 
Now what are the bravos of a whole theatre, 

♦* When all the thundsr of the pit ascends/* 

compared to such praise as this ? 

"Her mind" (agsdn I am enabled to give the 
rery words of one who knew her well) " was a 
i^eifect mirror of the sublime and beautiful ; like 



d by Google 



156 MRS. SIDDONtS. 

R lake that leflected only the he^grens above, ot 
the summits of the mountains around; nothing 
below a certain level could appear in it The 
ideal was her vital air. She breathed with diffi- 
culty in the atmosphere of this ' working-da> 
world/ and withdrew from it as much as possible. 
Hence her moral principles were seldom brought 
to bear upon the actual and ordinary concerns of 
life. She was rather the associate of * the mighty 
dead,* than the fellow-creature of the living. To 
the latter she was known chiefly through others, 
and often through those who were incapable of re* 
fleeting her qualities faithfully, though impressed 
with the utmost veneration for her genius. In 
their very anxiety for what they considered her 
interests, (and of her worldly interests she took tio 
charge,) they would in her name authorize pru- 
dential arrangements, which gave rise to the sus- 
picion of covetousness, whilst she was sitting rapt 
in heavenly contemplation. Had she given hei 
mind to the consideration and investigation of 
relative claims, she might on some occasions have 
acted differently — or, rather, she would have acted 
where in fact others only acted: for never, as 1 
have reason to believe, was a case of distress pre- 
sented to her without her being ready to give even 
till her * hand lacked means.* Many of the pooi 
in her neighborhood were pensioned by her 

" She was credulous — simple — to an extraor. 
linajy degree. Profession had, therefore, too muck 
weight with her. She was accustomed to matu 



d by Google 



MBS. SIDD0N8. 457 

/estations of {jie sontiments she excited, and in 
weking the demonstration sometimes overlooked 
the silent reality ; — ^this was a consequence of hor 
profession. 

'* She was not only exact in the performance of 
her religious duties ; her religion was a pervading 
sentiment, influencing her to the strictest obser- 
vance of truth and charity — ^I mean charity in 
judging others: the very active and excursive 
benevolence which 

* Seeks the duty, nay, prevents the need,' 

would have been incompatible with her toilsome 
engrossing avocations and with the visionary ten- 
dencies of her character. But the visionary has 
his own sphere of action, and can often touch the 
master-springs of other minds, so as to give the 
first impulse to the good deeds flowing from them. 
There are some who can trace back to the sympa- 
thies which Mrs. Siddons awakened, their devoted- 
ness to the cause of the sufl*ering and oppressed. 
Faithfully did she perform the part in life which 
she believed allotted to her; and who may pre- 
sume to judge that she did not choose the better 
part?" 

The idea that she was a cold woman is emi- 
nently false. Her aflections, like her intellectual 
powers, were slow, but tenacious ; they enveloped 
.n folds, strong as flesh and blood, those whom slio 
had found worthy and taken to her heart ; and her 
h'\ppiness was more entwined with them than tliose 



d by Google 



158 MRS. SIDD0N8. 

vrlio knew lier only in her professlvial charactei 
could have suppoeed ; she would return home fhwM 
the theatre, every nerve thrilling with the excite- 
ment of sympathy, and applause, and admiration, 
and a cold look or word from her husband has seni 
her to bed in tears. She had that sure indication 
of a good heart and a fine mind, an exceeding love 
for children, and a power to attract and amuse 
them. It was remarked that her 'voice alwayi 
softened in addressing a child. I remember a 
letter of hers relative to a young mother and her 
infant, in which, among other tender and playful 
things, she says, " I wonder whether Lady N — if 
as good a talker of baby-nonsense as I flatter my- 
self / am I ** A lady who was intimate with her, 
happening to enter her bedroom early one mom* 
ing, found her with two of her little grandchildren 
romping on her bed, and playing with the tresses 
of her long dark hair, which she had let down foi 
their amusement. Her own children adored her; 
her surviving friends refer to her with tenderness, 
with gratitude, even with tears. I speak here of 
what I know. I have seldom been more touched 
to the heart than by the perusal of some of hei 
most private letters and notes, which for tender> 
ness of sentiment, genuine feeling, and simple yel 
forcible expression, could not be surpassed.* 

* I UB pennitted to s^ve the Ibllowing little extract as lkrth.)i 
Uiutiating that tenderness of nature which I hare only touched 

«pon. " I owe a letter, but I don't know how it If 

ttow that I am arrired a that time of life when I suppoeed I 



d by Google 



MRS. 8IDDON8. 459 

A-cireas though she was, she had no idea of doing 
any thing for the sake of appearances, or of court- 
ing popularity by any means but excellence in her 
art She loved the elegances and refinements of 
life — enjoyed, and freely shared what she had 
toiled to obt£un — ^and in the earlier part of her 
career was the frequent victim of her own kind 
and careless nature. She has been known to give 
generously, nobly, — to sympathize warmly; but 
did she deny to greedy selfishness or spendthrift 
vanity the twentieth demand on her purse or her 
benevolence? Was she, while absorbed in her 
poetical, ideal existence, the dupe of exterior 
ehows in judging of character ? Or did she, from 
total ignorance of, or indifference to, the common- 
place prejudices, or customary forms of society, 
unconsciously wound the amour-propre of some 
shallow flatterer or critic,— or by bringing the 
gravity and glory of her histrionic impersonations 
into the firivolities and hard realities of this our 
world, render herself obnoxious to vulgar ridicule ? 
— ^then was she made to feel what it is to live in 



riMmld be able to sit down and indulge my natural indolence, I 
Bnd the bndness of it thickens and increases around me; and 1 
am now as much occupied about the aflD&irs of others as I have 
been about my own. I am Just now expecting my son George^s 
\«ro babies from India The ship which took them from their 
|4irents, I thank heaTen, is safely arrived: Oh! that they could 
i»owit.* For the present I shall hare them near me. Then 
in a 8cho<d between my little hut and the church, where thej 
hOI haTe delicious air, and I shaL be able to see the poor dean 
irery day." 



d by Google 



160 MBB. SIDDONS. 

the public eye; then flew round the maligiant 
ilander, the vengeful lie, the base sneer, the im> 
pertinent misinterpretation of what few could 
understand and fewer feel I Reach her these libels 
could not — but sometimes thej reached those whose 
affectionate reverence fenced her round from the 
rude contact of real life. In some things Mnu 
Siddons was like a child. I have heard anecdotes 
of her extreme simplicity, which hj the force of 
contrast made me smile — at ihcm^ not at her : who 
could have laughed at Mrs. Siddons ? I should 
as soon have thought of laughing at the Delphic 
SibyL 

As an artist, her genius appears to have been 
slowly developed. She did not, as it has hee\ 
said of her niece, " spring at once into the chair 
of the tragic muse ;** but toiled her way up to glory 
and excellence in her profession, through length 
of time, difficulties, and obstacles innimierable 
She was exclusively professional ; and all her at- 
tainments, and all her powers, seem to have been 
directed to one end and aim. Yet I suppose no 
one would have said of Mrs. Siddons, that she was 
a " mere actress," as it was usually said of Garriek, 
that he was a " mere player ; ** — the most admirable 
%nd versatile actor that ever existed ; but still the 
mere player ; — nothing more — nothing better. He 
docs not appear to have had a tincture of that high 
gentlemanly feeling, that native elevation of cha'- 
acter, and general literary taste which strike us ii 
John Kemble and hb brother Charles; nor any 



d by Google 



MRS. SIDDON8. 461 

flADgof the splendid imagination, the enthisiasm 
Df art, the personal grace and grandeur, -which 
threw such a glory around Mrs. Siddons. Of John 
Remble it might be said,* as Dryden said of Harte 
m his time, that "kings and princes might have 
come to him, and taken lessons how to comport 
themselves with dignity." And with the noble 
presence of Mrs. Siddons we associated, in public 
and in private, scxnething absolutely awful. We 
were accustomed to bring her before our fancy ai 
one habitually elevated above the sphere of familial 
life,— 

** Attired in all the majesty of art — 
Crown' d with the rich traditions of a soul 
That hates to have her dignity profaned 
B"«' any relish of an earthly thought" f 

Wlio iras it? — (I think Northcote the painter,) 
who said he had seen a group of young ladies <A 
rank. Lady Fannys and Lady Marys, peeping 
through the half-open door of a room where Mrs. 
Siddons was sitting, with the same timidity and 
curiosity as if it had been some preternatural being, 
— ^much more than if it had been the queen : which 
I can easily believe. I remember that the first 
time I found myself in the same room with Mrs. 
Siddons, (I was then about twenty,) I gazed on her 
as I should have gazed at one of the Egyptian 

• I belieye it ?uu beea said; but, like Madlle. de Montpenflkr 
aj imagination and my memoiy are KnnetlmflB confounded. 

* Ben Jonson. 



d by Google 



162 MRA. SIDDONS 

pyrauiids — nay, with a deeper awe, for wliat ii 
material and physical immensity, compar3d with 
moral and poetical grandeur ? I was struck with 
a sensation which made my heart pause, and reii« 
dered me dumb for some minutes ; and when I was 
led into conversation with her, my first words came 
faltering and thick, — which never certainly would 
have been the case in presence of the autocratrix 
of all the Russias. The greatest, the noblest in the 
land approached her with a deference not unmin- 
gled with a shade of embarrassment, while she stood 
in regal guise majestic, with the air of one who be- 
stowed and never received honor.* Nor was this 
feeling of her power, which was derived, partly 
from her own peculiar dignity of deportment, partly 
from her association with all that was grand, poeti- 
cal, terrible, confined to those who could appreciate 
the full measure of her endowments. Every mem- 
ber of that public, whose idol she was, from the 
greatest down to the meanest, felt it more or less. 
I knew a poor woman who once went to the house 
of Mrs. Siddons to be paid by her daughter for 
some embroidery. Mrs. Siddons happened to be in 
the room, and the woman perceiving who it was, 
was so overpowered, that she could not count her 
money, and scarcely dared to draw her breath. 
** And when I went away, ma'am," added she, in 
describing her own sensations, **I walked all the 
way down the street, feeling myself a great dea«* 

* George the Fourth, after eouTersing with her, nid with ea 
plMfU, " She is the on^ real queen ' " 



d by Google 



MRS. SIDDONS. 468 

taller.** This was the same unconsc. ous feeling of 
the sublime, which made Bouchardon say that, 
after reading the Eiad, he fancied himself seven 
feet high. 

She modelled very beautifully, and in this talent, 
which was in a manner intuitive, she displayed a 
creatif e as well as an imitative power. Might we 
not say that in the peculiar character of her genius 
—in the combination of the very real with the very 
ideal, of the demonstrative and the visionary, of 
vastness and symmetry, of the massive matenal and 
the grand unearthly forms into which it shaped it- 
self — there was something analogous to sculpture ? 
At all events, it is the opinion of many who knew 
her, that if she had not been a great actress she 
would have devoted herself to sculpture. She was 
never so happy as when occupied with her model- 
ling tools ; she would stand at her work eight hours 
together, scarcely turning her head. Music she 
passionately loved : in her younger days her voice 
in singing was exquisitely sweet and flexible. She 
would sometimes compose verses, and sing them to 
an extemporaneous air ; but I believe she did not 
perform on any instrument 

To complete this sketch I shall add an outline oi 
W professional life. 

Mrs. Siddons was bom in 1 755 She might be 
said, almost without metaphor, to have been " bom 
on the stage.** All the family, I believe, for two or 
thn^e generations, had been players. In her early 
life she endured many vicissitudes, and was ao* 



d by Google 



iHA MBS. SIBDONS. 

quainted with niisery and hardship in many repnl- 
aye forms. On this subject she had none of the 
pride of a little mind ; but alluded to her former 
Dituation with perfect simplicity. The description 
in Mrs. Inchbald*s Memoirs of ^* Mrs. Siddons sing- 
^g and mending her children's clothes," is from 
lie life, and charming as well as touching, when we 
consider her peculiar character and her subsequent 
destinies. She was in her twenty-first year when 
she made her first attempt in London, (for it was 
but an attempt,) in the character of Portia. She 
also appeared as Lady Anne in Richard IQ. and 
in comedy as Mrs. Strickland to Garrick's Ranger. 
She was not successful: Garrick is said to have 
been jealous of her ri^ng powers : the public did 
not discover in her the future tragic muse, and for 
herself—" She felt that she was greater than she 
knew." She returned to her provincial career; 
she spent seven years in patient study, in refleo- 
don, in contemplation, and in mastering the practi- 
cal part of her profession ; and then she returned 
ftt the age of twenty-eight, and burst upon the 
world in the prime of her beauty and transcendent 
powers, with all the attributes of confirmed and ac- 
knowledged excellence. 

It appears that, in her first season, she did not 
^lay one of Shakspeare's characters : she performed 
Isabella, Euphrasia, Jane Shore, Calista, and Zara. 
In a visit she paid to Dr. Johnson, at the conclu- 
von of the season, she informed him that it was het 
kitention, the following year, to bring out some O: 



d by Google 



MRS. SIDD0X8. 460 

Shakspe<»re's heroines, particularly Katherine d 
Arragon, to which she then gave the preference as 
a character. Dr. Johnson agreed with her, and 
added that, when she played Katherine, he would 
hobble to the theatre himself to see her ; but he 
did not live to pay her this tribute of admiration. 
He, however, paid her another not less valuable : 
describing his visitor after her departure, he said. 
** she left nothing behind her to be censured or de- 
spised ; neither praise nor money, those two power- 
ful corrupters of mankind, seem to have depraved 
her."* In this interview she seems to have pleased 
the old critic and moralist, who was also a severe 
and acute judge of human nature, and not inclined 
to judge favorably of actresses, by the union of 
modesty with native dignity which at all times dis- 
tinguished her ; — a rare union I and most delightful 
in those who are the objects of the public gaze, 
and when the popular enthusiasm is still in all it» 
first intoxicating effervescence. 

The first of Shakspeare's characters which Mrs. 
Siddons performed was Isabella, in Measure for 
Measure, (1 784,) and the next Constfince. In the 
same year Sir Joshua painted her as the tragic 
Muse.f With what a deep interest shall we now 
visit this her true apotheosis, — now that it has re- 
ceived its last consecration ! The rest of Shak- 
•peare's characters followed in this order: Lady 

• In a tetter to Mrs. Thrate. 

t In the GrosTenor gallery. There is a duplicate at thk piv 
twe In Che Dulwlch gallery 



d by Google 



166 MBS. 8IDD0N8. 

Macbeth in 1785, aud, soon afterwards, as if by 
waj of contrast, Desdemona, Ophelia, Rosalind 
In 1786 she played Imogen; in 1788 Eatherine 
of Arragon; and, in 1789, Yolumnia; and in the 
fame season she played Juliet, being then in her 
thirty-fifth year, — ^too old for Juliet ; nor did this 
ever become one of her popular parts ; she left it 
to her niece to identify herself forever with the 
poetry and senability, the youthful grace and fervid 
passion of Shakspeare's Juliet; and we have as 
little chance of ever seeing such another Juliet as 
Fanny Eemble, as of ever seeing such another 
Lady Macbeth as her magnificent aunt 

A good critic, who was also a great admirer of 
Mrs. Siddons, asserts that there must be something 
in acting which levels all poetical distinctions, since 
people talked in the same breath of her Lady Mac- 
beth and Mrs. Beverley as being equally ^* fine 
pieces of acting." I think he is mistaken. No 
5ne — no one at least but the most vulgar part of 
her audience— ever equalized these two characters, 
even as pieces of acting ; or imagined for a moment 
that the same degree of talent which sufficed to 
represent Mrs. Beverley could have grasped the 
towering grandeur of such a character as Lady 
Macbeth ; — dived into its profound and gloomy 
depths — seized and reflected its wonderful grada- 
tions — displayed its magnificence — developed iti 
beauties, and revealed its terrors: no such thing 
She might have drawn more tears in Isabella than 
m Constance — thrown more young ladies into hye* 



d by Google 



MRS. SIBDONB. 46 T 

terics in Beividera tban in Katheriue of Arragon \ 
but all with whom I have conversed on the subject 
of Mrs. Siddons, are agreed in this ; — that her finest 
characters, as pieces of art, were those which af- 
forded the fullest scope for her powers, and con- 
tained in themselves the largest materials in poetry, 
grandeur, and passion : consequently, that her 
Constance, Eatherine of Arragon, Volumnia, Her- 
mione, and Lady Macbeth stood preeminent. In 
playing Jane de Montfort, in Joanna Baillie*8 
tragedy, her audience almost lost the sense of im- 
personation in the feeling of identity. She uxu 
Jane de Montfort — the actress, the woman, the 
character, blended into each other. It b a mistaken 
idea that she herself preferred the part of Aspasia 
(in Rowe's Bajazet) to any of these grand impei^ 
Bonations. She spoke of it as one in which she had 
produced the most extraordinary effect on the 
nerves of her audience ; and this is true. " I rec- 
ollect,** said a gentleman to me, " being present at 
one of the last representations of Bajazet : and at 
the moment when the order b given to strangle 
Moneses, while Aspasia stands immovable in front 
of the stage, I turned my head, unable to endure 
more, and to my amazement I beheld the whole pit 
itaring ghastly, with upward faces, dilated eyes, 
and mouths wide open — gasping — ^fascinated. Nor 
shall I ever forget the strange effect produced by 
that sea of human faces, all fixed in one simulta- 
neous expression of stony horror. It realized for a 
moment the fabled power of *he Medusa — ^it wai 
^ft^r^blef'' 



d by Google 



168 MRS. SIDD0N8. 

Of all her great characters, Lord Byron, I be- 
lieve, preferred Constance, to which she gave the 
preference herself, and esteemed it the most diffi- 
cult and the most finished of all her impersonations , 
but the general opinion stamps her Ladj Macbeth 
as the grandest efibrt of her art; and therefore, as 
she was the first in her art, as the neplus ultra of 
acting. This at least was the opinion of one who 
ftdmired her with all the fervor of a kindred genius, 
and could lavish on her prsuse of such " rich words 
composed as made the gift more sweef Of her 
Lady Macbeth, he says, " nothing could have been 
imagined grander, — it was something above nature ; 
h seemed almost as if a being of a superior order 
had dropped from a higher sphere to awe the world 
with the majesty of her appearance. Power was 
beatcd on her brow, passion emanated from her 
breast as from a shrine. In coming on in the sleep- 
ing scene, her eyes were open, but their sense was 
shut ; she was like a person bewildered : her lips 
moved involuntarily; all her gestures seemed 
mechanical — she glided on and ofi* the stage like 
an apparition. To have seen her in that charactei 
was an event in every one's life never to be fi»^ 
gotten." 

By profound and incessant study she had brough . 
her conception and representation of this character 
to such a pitch of perfection that the imagination 
could conceive of nothing more magnificent or 
more finished ; and yet she has been heard to say, 
ifter playing it for thirty years, that she nevei 



d by Google 



MBS. 8IDDON8. 469 

read over th<5 part without disco'vering in it somp- 
Jiing new ; nor ever went on the stage to perform 
t, without spending the whole morning in studying 
and meditating it, line hj line, as intently as if 
ihe were about to act it for the first time. In this 
character she bid farewell to her profession and the 
public, (June 29th, 1812.) The audience, on this 
occasion, paid her a singular and touching tribute 
of respect On her going off in the sleeping scene, 
they commanded the curtain to fall, and would not 
Buffer the play to proceed. ♦ 

The idea that Mrs. Siddons was quite unmoved 
by the emotions she portrayed — the sorrows and 
the passions she embodied with such inimitablo 
skill and truth, is altogether false. Fine acting 
may accidentally be mere impulse ; it never can be 
wholly mechanical. To a late period of her life 
she continued to be strongly, sometimes painfully, 
excited by her own acting ; the part of Constance 
always affected her powerfully — she invariably left 
the stage, her face streaming with tears ; and after 
playing Lady Macbeth, she could not sleep : even 



* She afterwardfl played Lady Randolph for Mr. Oharles Kern • 
ble^s benefit, and performed Lady Bfaoheth at the request of thj 
Prineesfl Charlotte in 1816. This was her final appearance. She 
was then sixty-one, and her powers unabated. I recollect a 
sharacteristic passage in one of her letters relating to this cir- 
cumstance : she says, " The princess honored me with seTeral 
' gracious (not ^^occ/uZ) nods; but the newspapers gave me credit 
for much more sensibiUty than " either felt or displayed on the 
occasion. I was by no means fo much overwhelmed by her Royai 
^hness's kindness, as they were pleased to represent me.'' 



d by Google 



170 MRS. BIDD0N8. 

ifler reading the play of Macbeth a feyerish, wake 
ful night was generally the consequence. 

I am not old enough to remember Mrs. Siddoni 
in her best days ; but, jud^ng fix)m my own recol 
lections, I should say that, to hear her read one of 
Shakspeare's plays, was a higher, a more complete 
gratification, and a more astonishing display of her 
powers, than her performance of any single char« 
acter. On the stage she was the perfect actress ; 
when she was reading Shakspeare, her profound 
enthusiastic admiration of the poet, and deep in- 
nght into hb most hidden beauties, made her almost 
a poetess, or at least, like a priestess, full of the 
god of her idolatry. Her whole soul looked out 
from her r^al brow and efiulgent eyes ; and then 
her countenance ! — the inconceivable flexibility 
and musical intonations of her voice ! there was no 
got-up illusion here : no scenes — no trickery of the 
stage ; there needed no sceptred pall — no sweeping 
train, nor any of the gorgeous accompaniments of 
tragedy ; — She was Tragedy ! When in reading 
Macbeth she said, *' give me the daggers I" they 
gleamed before our eyes. The witch scenes in the 
same play she rendered awfully terrific by the 
magic of looks and tones ; she invested the weird 
listers with all their own infernal fascinations ; they 
were the serious, poetical, tragical personages which 
the poet intended them to be, and the wild gro- 
tesque horror of their enchantments made th€ 
t>lood curdle. When, in King John, she came tc 
(he passage beginning — 



d by Google 



MRS. SIDDON8. 47 \ 

^ £f the midnight bell, 
Did with his iron tongue and brazen note/* &o. 

. renxember I felt every drop of blood pause, and 
tfien fun backwards through my veins with an 
•verpowering awe and horror. No scenic repre- 
sentation I ever witnessed produced the hundredth 
part of the effect of her reading Hamlet This 
tragedy was the triumph of her art Hamlet and 
bis mother, Polonius, Ophelia, were all there before 
US. Those who ever heard her give Ophelia's reply 
Co Hamlet, 

Hamlet. I loved you not 
Ophelia. I was the more deceived 1 

tnd tne lines — 

And I, of ladies most deject and wretched. 
That sacked the honey of his music vows, &c. 

will never forget their exquisite pathos. What a 
revelation of love and woe was there ! — ^the very 
heart seemed to break upon the utterance. 

Liear was another of her grai dest efforts ; bnt 
her rare talent was not confined to tragedy ; none 
could exceed her in the power to conceive and 
render witty and humorous character. I thought 
I had never understood or felt the comic force of 
luch parts as Polonius, Lucio, Gratiano, and 
Shakspeare's clowns, till I heard the dialogue from 
her lips : and to hear her read the Merchant of 
Venice and As You Like It, was hardly a leas pep 
feet treat than to hear her read Macbeth. 



d by Google 



472 MRS. 8IDD0N8. 

The foUo^ving short extract from a letter of Mr« 
Joanna Ba'llie, dated about a year before the 
death of Mrs. Siddons will, I am persuaded, be 
read with a double interest, for her sake who 
penned it, not less than hers who is the subject 
of it. 

^The most agreeable thing I have to b^;in 
with, is a visit we paid last week to Mrs. Siddcma. 
We had met her at dinner at Mr. Rogers's a few 
days before, and she kindly asked us, our host 
and his sister, the Thursday following; an invita- 
tion which we gladly accepted, though we ex- 
pected to see much decay in her powers of ex- 
pression, and consequently to have our pleasure 
.mingled with pain. Judge then of our delight 
when we heard her read the best scenes of Hamlet, 
with expression of countenance, voice, and action, 
that would have done honor to her best days I She 
was before us as an unconquerable creature, over 
whose astonishing gifts of nature time had no 
power.* She complained of her voice, which she 
said was not obedient to her will ; but it appeared 
to my ear to be peculiarly true to nature, and the 
more so, because it had lost that deep solemnity of 
tone which she, perhaps, had considered as an ex- 
cellence. I thought I could trace in the pity and 
tenderness, mixed with her awe of the ghost, the 



• « r<nr time hath laid his hand so gently on her 
As be too had been awed." 

Di MoirTFOiv. 



d by Google 



MRS. SIDDONS. 478 

aatural feelings of one who had lost deai friends, 
ind expected to go to them soon ; and her reading 
of that scene, (the noblest which dramatic art ever 
achieved,) went to my heart as it had never done 
bf fore. At the end, Mr. Rogers very justly said, 
' Oh, that we could have assembled a company of 
''onng people to witness this, that they might have 
fX)nveyed the memory of it down to another gener* 
ation I * In short, we left her full of admiration, 
as well as of gratitude, that she had made such an 
exertion to gratify so small an audience ; for, ex- 
clusive of her own family, we were but five." 

She continued to exercise her power of reading 
and reciting long after the date of this letter, even 
till within a few days of her death, although her 
health had long been in a declining state.* She 
died at length on the 8th of June, 1831, afler a 
few hours of acute suffering. She had lived nearly 
Beventy-six years, of which forty-six were spent in 
the constant presence and service of the public. 
She was an honor to her profession, which wa§ 
more honored and honorable in her person and 
family than it ever was before, or will be hereaftere 
rill the stage becomes something very different 
6K>m what it now is. 

And, since it has pleased some writers (wlio 
apparently knew as Httle of her real situation as of 
her real character) to lament over the misfortune 
of this celebrated woman, in having survived all 

« The last play she lead aloud was Henrr Y. only ten dajf b* 
'kare she iied 



d by Google 



174 MRS. SIDDONS. 

her children, &c. &c^ it may be interesting to add 
that, a short time before her death, she was seated 
in a room in her own house, when about thirty 
of her young relatiyes, children, grandchildren, 
nephews and nieces, were assembled, and looked 
on while they were dancing, with great and evi- 
dent pleasure: and that her surviving daughter, 
Cecilia Siddons,* who had been, for many yean, 
the inseparable friend and companion of her 
mother, attended upon her with truly filial devo- 
tion and reverence to the last moment of existence. 
Her admirers may, therefore, console themselvei 
with the idea that in " love, obedience, troops of 
friends," as well as affluence and fame, she had 
*^ all that should accompany old age." She died 
full of years and honors ; having enjoyed, in her 
long life, as much glory and prosperity as any mor- 
tal could expect: having imparted more intense 
and general pleasure than ever mortal did ; and 
having paid the tribute of mortality in such suffer- 
ing and sorrow as wait on the widowed wife and 
the bereaved mother. If with such rare natural 
^fls were blended some human infirmities ; — if the 
cnltivalion of the imaginative far above the pei^ 
ceptive faculties, hazarded her individual happi- 
ness ; — ^if in the course of a professional career of 
unexampled continuance and splendor, the love 
of praise ever degenerated into the appetite for 
applause; — if the worshipped actress languished 

* Now Mm. Geoise Caml)«. 



d by Google 



MRS. 8IDDONS. 476 

rat of her atmosphere of incense, — is this to be 
made matter of wonder or of ill-natured comment ? 
Did ever any human being escape more intacte in 
person and mind from the fiery furnace of popular 
admiration ? Let U8 remember the seyerity of the 
ordeal to which she was exposed ; the hard lot of 
those who pass their lives in the full-noon glare of 
public observation, where every speck is noted I 
What a difference too, between the aspiration after 
immortahty and the pursmt of celebrity 1 — The 
noise of distant and future fame is like the sound 
of the far-off sea, and the mingled roll of its multi- 
tudinous waves, which, as it swells on the ear, ele- 
vates the soul with a sublime emotion ; but present 
and loud applause, flung continually in one's face 
is like the noisy dash of the surf upor the rock,— 
iod it requires the firmness of the rork tc bear it 



d by Google 



SKETCHES 

OF 

FANNY KEMBLE 

IN JULIET. 

mRODUCTION AND NOTES TO MR. JOHN HATTBB*I| 
8KBTCHE8 OF FANNT KBMBLB, IN THE CHARACTTKB 
OF JULIET.* 

<* Non place a lei ehe innamerabil taitM 
Tiya in atto di fteor, morta di dentro, 
Le applauda a oaso, e mano a man pexouoto; 
Ne si rallegra se le road Toci 

Tolgano a lei quelle inflniti lodi 

Ma la poasanza del diyino ingegno, 

Vita di dentro." 

It would be doing an injustice to the author of 
these sketches, and something worse than injustice 
to her who is the subject of them, should more be 
expected than the pencil could possibly convey, 
and more required than the artist ever intended to 
exocute. Their merit consists in their fidelity, as 
far as they go ; their interest in conveying a lively 
and distinct idea of some immediate and transient 

* These sketches, once intended fat publication, an nov in 
*he possession of liOrd Francis Bgerton. The introduction and 
Qotes were written in llarch, 1880— the conclusion in Siareh 
\8d4. 



d by Google 



VANirX KEMBLE Cf JULIET. 477 

»ti*ects of grace and expression. They do not 
Assume to be portr^uts of Miss Kemble : they are 
merely a series of rapid outlines, caught from her 
action, and exhibiting, at the first glance, just so 
Siuch of the individual and peculiar character she 
has thrown into her impersonation of Juliet, as at 
once to be recognized by those who have seen her 
To them alone these isolated passages — ^linked to- 
gether in the imagination by all the intervening 
graces of attitude and sentiment, by the recollec- 
tion of a countenance where the kindled soul looks 
oat through every feature, and of a voice whose 
tones tremble into one's very heart — will give some 
faint reflection of the effect produced by the whole 
of this beautiful piece of acting, — or rather of 
nature, for here " each seems either.** It will be 
allowed, even by the most enthusiastic lover of 
painting, that the merely imitative arts can do but 
feeble justice to the powers of a fine actress ; for 
what graphic skill can fix the evanescent shades 
of feeling as they melt one into another ? — 

** What fine chisel could ever yet cut breath? *' 

— and yet even those who have not witnessed and 
may never witness Miss Kemble's performance, to 
whom her name alone can be borne through long 
intervals of space and time, will not regard these 
little sketches without curiosity and interest. If 
any one had thought of transferring to, paper a 
connected series of some of the awe-f;ommanding 
Srestures of Mrs. Siddons in one of Ler great parts 



d by Google 



17b FA5NT KEMBLE IN JULIE f. 

"* caught (flying) some of the inimitable gracea of 
Aovement and attitude, and sparkling effects ol 
manner, with which Mrs. Charles Eemble ouc« 
enchanted the world, with what avidity wotdd 
they now be. sought I — ^they would have served as 
^udies for their successors in art to the end of 
time. 

All the fine arts, poetry excepted, possdcB a 
limited range of power. Painting and sculpture 
can convey none of the graces that belong to 
movement and sound: music can suggest vague 
sentiments and feelings, but it cannot express inci- 
dent, or situation, or form, or colour. Poetry alone 
grasps an unlimited sceptre, rules over the whole 
visible and intellectual universe, and knows no 
hounds but those of human genius. And it is 
here that tragic acting, considered in its perfec- 
tion, and in its relation to the fine arts, is allied to 
poetry, or rather is itself living, breathing poetry ; 
made sensible in a degree to the hardest and dull- 
est minds, seizing on the dormant sympathies of 
our nature, and dismissing us again to the cares of 
this " working-day world," if not very much wiser, 
or better, or happier, at least enabled to digest 
with less bitterness the mixture of our good and 
evil days. 

But in the midst of the just enthusiasm which 
a great actor or actress excites, so long as the) 
«xist to minister to our delight ; — in the midst of 
that atmosphere of light and life they shed around 
them, it is a common subject of repicing that suck 



d by Google 



FANNT KEMBLE IN JULIET. 47f 

glory should be so transient ; that an art requiring 
in its perfection such a rare combination of mental 
and external qualities, can leave behind no perma- 
nent monument of its own excellence, but must de- 
pend on the other fine arts for all it can claim of 
immortality: that Garrick, for instance, has be- 
come a name — no more — his fame the echo of an 
echo 1 that Mrs. Siddons herself has bequeathed to 
posterity only a pictured semblance ; — that when 
the voice of Pasta is heard no longer upon earth, 
the utmost pomp of words can only attest her 
powers 1 The painter and the poet, struggling 
through obscurity to the heights of fame, and con- 
suming a life in the pursuit of (perhaps) posthu- 
mous celebrity, may say to the sublime actress, — 
" Thou in thy generation haat had thy meed ; we 
have waited patiently for ours : thou art vanished 
like a lost star from the firmament, into the * un- 
comfortable night of nothing'; we have left the 
light of our souls behind us, and survive to * bless- 
ings and eternal praise ! ' " And why should it 
not be so ? Were it otherwise, the even-handed 
distribution of the best gifts of Heaven among fa- 
vored mortals might with reason be impugned. 
Shall the young spirit " dampt by the necessity of 
oblivion ** disdain what is attainable because it can 
not grasp all ? Conceive for a moment the situa 
tion of a woman, in the prime and bloom of exiht 
ence, with all her youthful enthusiasm, her unwon? 
feelings tresh about her, privileged to step forth foi 
a short space out of the bounds of common life^ 



d by Google 



480 FANKT KEMBLE IN JULIET. 

without o'erstepping the modesty of her feDiininc 
nature, permitted to cast off for a while, unre- 
proved and unrestrained, the conyentional tram 
mels of form and manner; and called upon tc 
realize in her own presence and person the divin 
est dreams of poetry and romance ; to send fortL 
in a word — a glance, — the electric flash which io 
felt through a thousand bosoms at once, till ever}' 
heart beats the same measure with her own 1 la 
there nothing in all this to countervail the dangers, 
the evils, and the vicissitudes attendant on thit 
iplendid and public exercise of talent ? It may 
possibly become, in time, a thing of habitude ; it 
may be degraded into a mere bcsoin de Mainour 
propre — a necessary, yet palling excitement : bul 
in its outset it is surely a triumph far beyond the 
mere intoxication of personal vanity ; and to the 
very last, it must be deemed a magnificent and an 
enviable power. 

It was difficult to select for graphic delineatioi 
any particular points from IViiss Kemble's repre 
sentation of Juliet These drawings may not, 
perhaps, justify the enthusiasm she excited : but it 
ought to add to their value rather than detract 
from it, that the causes of their imperfection com- 
prehend the very foundation on which the present 
and future celebrity of this young actress may I «e 
laid to rest. In the first place, the power by which 
she seized at once on public admiration and sym- 
pathy, was not derived from any thing external. It 
was not founded m the splendor of her hereditary 



d by Google 



FANNT KEMBLE IN JULIET. 481 

pretenaous, though in them there was much to 
fascinate : nor in the departed or fading glones of 
her race : nor in the remembrance of her mother 
—once the young Euphrosyne of our stage : nor 
in the name and high talent of her father, with 
whom, it was once feared the poetical and classical 
school of acting was destined to perish from the 
scene : nor in any mere personal advantageSf for 
in these she has been excelled, — 

** Though on her eyelids many graces sit 
Under the shadow of those even brows:" 

nor in her extreme youth, and delicacy of figure, 
which tell so beautifully in the character of Juliel: 
nor in the accladm of public favor — 

" To have all eyes 
Dazzled with admiration, and all tongues 
Shouting loud praises ; to rob every heart 
Of love— 
This glory round about her hath thrown beams.** 

But stich glory has circled other brows ere now, 
and left them again " shorn of their beams." No I 
her success was founded on a power superior to 
ftll these — in the power of genius superadded to 
that moral interest which claimed irresistibly the 
best sympathies of her audience. The peculiar 
circumstances and feelings which brought Mis* 
Kemble before the public, contrary (as it is under- 
stood) to all the previous wishes and fntentionp of 
her parents, were such as would have justified «« 



d by Google 



482 FANNT KEMBLE IN JUI.U.r. 

decided talent, — ^honorable to herself and to he: 
family. The feeling entertained towards her on 
this score was really delightful ; it was a species of 
homage, which, like the quality of mercy, was 
^ twice blessed ; ** blessing those who gave and her 
who received. It produced a feeling between her- 
self and the public, which mere admiration on the 
one hand, and gratified vanity on the other, could 
not have excited. She strongly felt this, and no 
change, no reverse, diminished her feeling of the 
kindness with which she had once been received ; 
but her own fervid genius and sensibility did as 
much for her. She was herself a poetess; her 
mind claimed a natural affinity with all that is 
feeling, passionate, and imaginative ; not her voice 
only, but her soul and ear were attuned to the 
harmony of verse ; and hence she gave forth the 
poetry of such parts as Juliet and Portia with an 
intense and familiar power, as though every line 
and sentiment in Shakspeare had been early trans- 
planted into her heart, — ^had long been brooded 
over in silence, — watered with her tears, — to burst 
forth at last, like the spontaneous and native 
growth of her own soul. An excellent critic of our 
own day has said, that " poetical enthusiasm is the 
rarest faculty among players : ** if so, it cannot be 
too highly valued. Fanny Kemble possessed this 
rare faculty; and in it, a power that cannot be 
taught, or analyzed, or feigned, or put on and off 
with her tragic drapery ; — ^it pervaded all she wai 
sailed upon to do. It was this which in <he Greciai 



d by Google 



FANirr KBMBLB IN JCLIBT. 488 

Dangbter made her look and step so like a young 
Muse , which enabled her, by a single glance — a 
tone — a gesture — ^to elevate the character far above 
the language — and exalt the most common-place 
declamation into power and passion. The indis- 
putable fact, that she appeared on the stage without 
any previous study or tuition, ought in justice to 
her to be generally known ; it is most certsdn that 
she was not nineteen when she made her first 
appearance, and that six weeks before her debut 
there was no more thought of her becoming an 
actress, than of her becoming an empress. The 
assertion must appear superfluous to those who 
have seen her; for what teaching, or what artificial 
aids, could endue her with the advantages just 
described ? — ^** unless Philosophy could make a Jur 
lietl" or what power of pencil, though it were 
dipped in the rainbow and tempered in the sun* 
beams, could convey this bright intelligence, or 
justify the enthusiasm with which it is hailed by 
her audience ? There is a second difficulty which 
the artist has had to contend with, not less honora* 
ble to the actress ; the charm of her impersonation 
of Juliet consisted not so much in any particulai 
XHuts, as in the general conception of the whole 
part, and in the sustsdned preservation and gradual 
development of the individual character, from the 
first scene to the last Where the merit lies in tho 
oeautiful gradations of feeling, succeedmg each 
other like waves of the sea, till the flood of passioo 
swells and towers and sweeps away all perceptible 



d by Google 



484 FAMNT KEHBLS IV JITLIST* 

distinctions, the pencil must necessarily be at fault 
for as Madame de Stael says truly, ^^VinexprmabU 
est pricisement ce qu*un grand aeteur nous fak 
ctmnaUre,** 

The first drawing is taken from the scene in 
which Juliet first appears. The actress has little 
to do, but to look the character ; — that is, to convey 
the impres^on of a gentle, graceful girl, whose 
passions and enei^es lie folded up within her, like 
gathered lightning in the summer doud; all her 
afiections " soft as dews on roses,** which must ere 
long turn to the fire-shower, and blast her to the 
earth. The moment chosen is immediately after 
Juliet's expostulation to her garrulouds old nurse — 
** I pr'y thee, peace I ** 

The second, third, and fourth sketches are all 
from the masquerade scene. The manner in which 
Juliet receives the parting salutations of the guests 
has been justly admired; — nothing is denied to 
genius and taste, aided by natural grace, else it 
might have been thought impossible to throw so 
much meaning and sentiment into so comnMMi an 
action. The first curtsy is to Benvolio. The 
second, to Mercutio, is distinctly marked, as though 
in him she recognized the chosen friend of Bomea 
In the third, to Bomeo himself, the bashfiil sinking 
of the whole figure, the conscious drooping of the 
eyelids, and the hurried, yet graceful recovery & 
herself as she exclaims— 

'* Who*8 he that follows there that would not daoM? 
Go p.ik his name!** 



d by Google 



FANNT KBMBLB IK JULIBT. 481 

•rlucli 18 die subject of the third sketch ; and lastljr 
the tone in which she gave the succeeding line»« 

** If he be married, 
My grave is like to be my wedding-bed I *' 

which seems, in its deep quiet pathos, to anticipate 
^9ome consequence yet hanging in the stars,"— 
form one unbroken series of the most beautiful and 
heartfelt touches of nature. The fourth sketch is 
from the conclusion of the same scene, where 
Juliet, with reluctant steps and many a lingering 
look back on the portal through which her lover 
has departed, follows her nurse out of the banquet- 
room. 

The two next drawings are from the balcony 
scene, which has usually been considered the crite- 
rion of the talent of an actress in this part The 
first represents the action which accompanied the 
line — 

** By whose direction fbmid*st thou oat this place? ** 

The second is the first << Good night !" 

*< Sweet, good night 1 
This bud of love, by summer's ripening breath 
May pruve a beauteous flower, when next we meet** 

Fanny Kemble's conception of character and 
sentiment in thb scene was peculiarly and entirely 
uer own. Juliet, as she properly felt, is a younii 



d by Google 



i86 FAIVNY KBMBLE IN JULIET. 

impasffloned Italian g^ who has flung her heart 
and soul, and existence upon one cast 

** She was not made 
Thro* yean or moons the Inner weight to bear. 
Which colder hearts endure till thej are laid 
By age in earth.** 

In this view, the pretty coyness, the playful coquet- 
terie^ which has sometimes been thrown into the 
balcony scene, by way of making an efiect, is out 
of place, and false to the poetry and feeling of the 
part; but in Fanny Eemble's delineation, the 
earnest, yet bashful tenderness; the timid, yet 
growing confidence ; the gradual swelling of emo- 
tion from the depths of the heart, up to that fine 
burst of enthusiastic passion — 

^ Swear by thy gracious self^ 
That art the god of my idolatry, 
And PUbeUeve thee P* 

were all as true to the dtuation and sentiment, 
as they were beautifully and delicately conveyed. 
The whole of the speech, ** Thou knoVst the mask 
of night is on my face," was in truth ^ like softest 
music to attending ears," from the exquisite and 
various modulation of voice with which it was 
uttered. Perhaps one of the most beautiful and 
entirely original points in the whole scene, wat 
the ace ant and gesture with which she gave tht 
iine^-^ 



d by Google 



ITANNT KEMBLE IN JULIET. 487 

" Romeo, doflf thy name; 
And for that name, which is no part of thee, 
Take— all myself I " 

rhe grace and abandon in the manner, and the 
softness of accent, which imparted a new and 
charming effect to this passage, cannot be expressed 
in words; and it was so delicately touched, and so 
transitory, — so dependent, like a beautiful chord in 
music, on that which prepared and followed it, that 
it was found impossible to seize and fix it in a 
drawing. 

From the first scene with the nurse, two draw 
ings ha^e been made. The idea of Juliet discov- 
ered as the curtain rises, gazing from the window, 
and watching for the return of her confidante, is 
perfectly new. The attitude (or more properly, 
one of her attitudes, for they are various as they 
are graceful and appropriate,) is given in the 
seventh sketch, and the artist has conveyed it with 
peculiar grace and truth. The action chosen for 
the eighth drawing occurs immediately after Juliet*fl 
little moment of petulance, (so justly provoked,) 
and before she utters in a caressing tone, ^* Come, 
what says Komeo ? " The first speech in this 
Kene, 

** 0, she is lame I love's heralds should be thoughts, 
Which ten times faster glide than the sun's beams, 
Driving back shadows over lowering hi^ls: 
Therefore do nimble-pinion* d doves draw love, 
And therefore hath the wmd-swift Oupid wings,** 

«-«nd th3 soliloquy ir the second scene of the third 



d by Google 



188 FANNT EBMBLE IN JULIET. 

let, " Gallop apace, ye fiery-footed steeds ! ** in 
which there is no particular point of dramatic 
effect to be made, are instances of that innate sense 
of poetkal harmony, which enabled her to impart 
the most exquisite pleasure, merely by her feeling, 
graceful, animated delivery of these beautiful lines. 
The most musical intonation of voice, the happiest 
emphasis, and the utmost refinement, as well as the 
most expressive grace of action, were here com- 
bined to carry passion and poetry at once and 
vividly to the heart: but this perfect triumph of 
illusion is more than painting could convey. 

The ninth and tenth sketches are from the second 
scene with the nurse, called in theatrical phrase 
" the Banishment Scene." One of the grandest 
and most impressive passages in the whole perform- 
ance was Juliet's reply to her nurse. 

** Nwte, Shame come to Romeo ! 

Juliet, BlisterM be thy tongue, 

For such a wish ! he was not born to shame: 
Upon his brow shame is ashamM to sit; 
For His a throne where honor may be crown'd 
Sole monarch of the univeiBal earth.** 

The loftiness of look and gesture with which she 
pronounced the last line, cannot be forgotten : but 
the efiect consisted so much in the action of the 
arm, as she stepped across the stage, and in the 
kindling eye and brow, rather than in the attitude 
only, that it could not well be conveyed in a draw- 
ing. The first point selected is from the passiig«^ 



d by Google 



FANNY BBMBLE IN JULIBT. 489 

» O ln«ak, my heart! — ^poor bankrupt, break at 
once ! " in which the gesture is full of expresdvo 
and pathetic grace. The tenth drawing repreaents 
the action which accompanied her exclamation, 
" T/balt is dead — and Bmneo — banished 1 " .The 
tone of piercing anguish in which she pronounced 
the last word, banished, and then threw herself into 
the arms of her nurse, in all the helplessness of 
utter desolation, formed one of the finest passages 
in her performance. 

The scene in which the lovers part, called the 
Grarden Scene, follows; and the passage selected 

" Art thou gone so, my love, my lord, my friend ? 
1 must hear from thee every day i* the hour I " 

The subdued and tremulous intonation with which 
all the speeches in this scene were given, as thoagh 
the voice were broken and exhausted with excea- 
sive weeping ; and the nianner in which she still, 
though half insensible in her nurse's arms, signed 
a last farewell to her husband, were among the 
most delicate and original beauties of the charac- 
ter. 

The two next drawings are from the fifth scene 
of the third act The latter part of this scene con- 
tained many new and beautiful touches of feeling 
which originated with Miss Kemble herself. It is 
here that the real character of Juliet is first devel- 
oped; — it is here that, abandoned by the whole 
vorld, and left to struggle alone with her fearfuJ 



d by Google 



190 FANXT KEMBLE IN JULIET. 

destiny, the higb-eouled and devoted woman takot 
place of the tender, trembling girL The confiding, 
helpless anguish with which she at first throws her 
•elf upon her nurse — (" Some comfort, nurse I '^ 
•—the gradual relaxmg of her embrace, as the old 
woman counsels her to forget Romeo and marry 
Paiis — the tone in which she utters the question— 

** Speakest thou fipom thy heart? 
yune. From my soul too, 
Or else beshrew them both!'* 

And then the gathering up of herself with all the 
majesty of offended virtue, as she pronounces that 
grand " Amen 1 " — the effect of which was felt io 

every bosom ^these were revelations of beauty 

and feeling which we owed to Fanny Kemble alone. 
They were points which had never before been felt 
or conveyed in the same manner. The shrinking 
up wholly into herself, and the concentrated scorn 
with which she uttered the lines — 

**Go, counsellor I 
Thou and my bosom henceforth shall be twain!** 

are very spiritedly given in the fourteenth draw- 
ing. 

From the scene with the friar, in the fourth act, 
the action selected is where she grasps her poniard 
irith the resolution of despair — 

** Give me some present counsel; or, behold, 
*Twbct my extremes and mo this bloody knife 
Shkil play the umpire 1 *' 



d by Google 



FAKXT KElfBLB IN JULIET. 4^1 

One of the most original efiects of feeling and 
geniuB in the whole play occurred in the course of 
ihis scene; but, unfortunately, it was not found 
nisceptible of graphic delineation. It was the pe- 
culiar manner with which she uttered the wonds — 

"Are you at leisure, holy father, now? 
Or shall I come to you at evening mass? ** 

The question in itself is nothing ; but what a vol^ 
ome of misery and dread suspense was in that look 
with which she turned from Paris to the friar, and 
the tone in which she uttered those simple words ! 
This was beyond the pencil's art to convey, and 
jould but be felt and remembered. The next 
drawing is therefore from the scene in which she 
drinks the sleeping potion. The idea of speaking 
the first part of the soliloquy seated, and with the 
caknness of one settled and bent up *^ to act a dis- 
mal scene alone," until her fixed meditation on the 
feariul issue, and the horrible images crowding on 
her mind, work her up to gradual frenzy, was new, 
and originated with Miss Eemble. The attitude 
expressed in the drawing — " look, methinks 1 
see my cousin's ghost," — was always hailed with an 
excess of enthusiasm of which I thought many 
i^irts of her performance far more deserving. 

The eighteenth sketch is from the sleeping scene ; 
ftnd the last two drawings are from the tomb scene. 
The merits of this last scene were chiefly those ol 
»t1ituie, look, and manner; and the whole were ai 
once so graceful and beautitul, as well as terribU 



d by Google 



C92 wxtarr fkmbt.r m julult. 

impresaye, that they afforded some relief from th« 
horrors of the situation, and the ravings of Borneo 
The alteration of Shakspeare, in the last act, it 
certainly founded on the historical tale of the Gin* 
lietta : but though the circumstances are borrowed, 
yet the spirit in which they are related by the an* 
cient novelist, has not been taken into considenifi 
tion by those who manufactured this additional 
scene of superfluous horror.* In Juliet's deatU 
Miss Eemble seized an original idea, and worked 
it up with the most powerful and beautiful effect ; 
but this effect consisted not so much in one atti- 
tude or look, as in a progressive series of ac^on 
and expression, so true — so painfully true, tb ^t as 
one of the chief beauties was the rapidity ifidi 
which the whole passed from the fascinated yet 
aching sight — the artist has relinquished a£.y at>- 
tempt to fix it on paper. 

« « « 

Fanny Eemble made her first appearance in the 
character of Juliet, October 6th, 1829, and bid a 
last farewell to her London audience in May, 1832 : 
during these three years she played through a very 
diversified range of parts, both in tragedy and high 
comedy .f Sustained by her native genius and good 

* The alteration and interpolations are by Garriok, ci xrhom it 
MM said and believed, that ** he neyer read through a whole pluy 
If Shakspeare's except with some nefitrioiu design of euUiijg an J 
taangling it." 

t She played in London the following par^s sumeMiTely:- 
luliet, Belyidera, the Grecian Daughter, Mrs. BereT^ , Portia 
Isabella, Lady Townly, Calista, Bianca, Beatrice, V'.iistaui« 



d by Google 



FANNY KEMBLE IN JULIET. 495 

taste, an J by the kindly feeling of her audience, 
the could not be said to have failed in any, not even 
in those which her inexperience and extreme youth 
rendered premature^ to say the least She never — 
except in one or two instances* — had a voice in the 
selection of her parts, which, I think, was in some 
cases exceedingly injudicious, as far as her individ- 
ual powers were concerned. I know that she 
played in several contrary to her own opinion, 
taste, and judgment, and from a principle of duty. 
Not duty only, but a feeling of delicacy, natural to 
a generous mind, which disdained the appearance 
of presuming on her real power, rendered her do- 
cile, in some instances, to a degree which I regret- 
ted while I loved her for it She had a perception 
of some of the traditional absurdities of dress, and 
ridiculous technical anomalies of theatrical arrange- 
ments, which she had not power to alter, and which 
I have seen her endure with wondrous good tem- 
per. Had she remmned on the stage, her fine taste 

Oamk)I&, Lady TMde, Donna Sol, (in Lord Francis Egerton^s 
translation of Hemani when played before the qneen at Bi^^lge- 
irater House,) Queen Katherine, Catherine of Cleves, Lonit^ ot 
BaToy, in Francis I., Lady Macbeth, Julia in the llunchl)ack. 

* The only parts which, to my knowledge, she chose for her- 
wlf, were Portia, Camiola, and Julia in the Hunchback. She 
•van accused of haying decUned playipg Inei de Castro in Miss 
Slitiord s tragedy, and I heard her repel that accusation Tery 
Indignantly, dht added — ** Setting aside my respect for Misi 
Hitford, I nerer, on principle, hare reftised a part. It is nu 
easiness to do whatever is deemed adTantageous to the whoi* 
loneem, to do as much good as I can; ukA to think of myself 
If they bid me a«t Serubb, I wooid woiVkV 



d by Google 



194 FANNY KEMBLE IN JULIET. 

and original and powerful mind would hare can^«4 
the public with her in some things which she corv* 
templated : for instance, she had an idea of restorw 
ing King Lear, as originally written by Shakspeare, 
and playing the real Cordelia to her father's Lear. 
^Vhen left to her own judgment, she ever thought 
more of what was worthy and beautiful in itself^ 
lian she calculated on the amount of vulgar ap- 
plause it might attract, or the sums it might bring 
to the treasury. Thus, for her first benefit sh^ 
played Portia, a character which no vain, self-con- 
fident actress would have selected for such an occa- 
sion, because, as the play is now performed, tfie 
part is comparatively short, is always considered of 
secondary importance, and afibrds but few effective 
points : this was represented to her ; but she per- 
sisted in her choice : and how she played it out of 
her own heart and soul 1 how she n'.velled in the 
poetry of the part, with a conscious sense and en- 
joyment of its beauty, which was communicated to 
her audience I Self, after the first tremor, was for- 
gotten, and vanity lost in her glowing perception 
of the charm of the character. She lamented over 
every beautiful line and passage which had beev 
" cut out " by profane hands.* To those which re 

• Afi Dreeden and at Frankfbrt I law the Merchant of Ttniee 
played as it stands in Shakspeaxe, with all the stately scenes 
between Portia and her snitors— the whole of the ehaxaoter ol 
leesiea— the lorely moonlight dialofpie between Jessica and Lo- 
lenao, and the beantiftd speeches giTen to Portia, all which, by 
infferanoe of an English audience, axe omitted on onr stage 
Wlien I conftssed to some of the great Ger^ian oritiM, that the 



d by Google 



FANNY KEMBLE IN JULIET. 491 

mained, the rich and mellow tones of her voica 
gave added power, blending with the music of the 
verse. It was by her own earnest wish that she 
played Camiola, in Massinger's Maid of Honor, and 
this was certainly one of her most exquisite and 
most finished parts; but the quiet elegance, the 
perfect delicacy of the delineation were never a,^ 
preciated. She was aware of this : she said, " The 
first rows of the pit, and the first few boxes will 
understand me ; for the rest of that great theatre, 
I ought to play as they paint the scenes — ^in great 
splashes of black and white." Bianca, in Mill- 
man's Fazio, was another of her finest parts, and 
as it contained more stage effect, it told more with 
the public. In this character she certainly took 
even her greatest admirers by surprise. The ex- 
pression of slumbering passion, and its gradual 
development, was so fervently portrayed, and yet 
so nicely shaded ; the frenzy of jealousy, and the 
alienation of intellect, so admirably discriminated, 
and so powerfully given, that when the first emo- 
tions had subsided, not admiration only, but wonder 
seized upon her audience : nor shall I easily forget 
the pale composure with which she bore this— one 
of her most intoxicating triumphs. 

Merchant of Yenioe, Romeo, and Jnliet. King Lear, &o. were n&r^ 
ftrmed in England, not only with imiK>rtant omissions of the 
^nt, bat with absolute alterations, affecting eqnaUy the truth oi 
character, and the construction of the stor}-, they looked at me, 
%t first, w if half incredulous, and thdr perception of the bap 
barism, as well as the absurdity, was so forcibly expressed oo 
their countenances, and their contempt so Justifiable, that 1 oon 
t}«8 T felt ashamed fbr my countrymen. 



d by Google 



496 FANNT KBMBLE IN JULIET. 

In Constance, in Queen Eatherine, in Ladj 
Macbeth, the want of amplitude and matuiily of 
person, of physical weight and power, and a defi- 
oienc/ both of experience and self-confidence, were 
against her ; but her conception of character was 
BO true, and her personal resemblance to her aum 
00 striking, in spite of her comparatiyely diminutiye 
features and figure, that one of the best and 
severest of our dramatic critics said, ^^ it was like 
looking at Mrs. Siddons through the wrong end of 
an opera-glass." ♦ She had conceived the idea of 
giving quite a new reading, which undoubtedly 
would have been the true reading, of the character 
of Katherine of Arragon, and instead of plajTng 
it with the splendid poetical coloring in which Mrs. 
Siddons had arrayed it, bring it down to the prosaic 
delineation which Shakspeare really gave, and 

* The resemblance was in the brow and eye. When she was 
ritting to Sir Thomas Lawrence, he said, " These are the eyes ot 
Mrs Siddons." She said, " You mean like those of Blrs. Sid- 
dons." " No," he replied, ^' they are the same eyes, the con- 
Itruction is the same, and to draw them is the same thing." 

I hare ever been at a loss for a word which should express the 
peculiar property of an eye like that of Mrs. Siddons, whkh 
could not be called piercing or penetrating, or any thing that 
gives the idea of searching or acute; but it was an eye which, 
in its softest look, and, to a late period of her life, went straight 
Into the depths of the soul as a ray of light finds the bottom ot 
the ocean. Once, when I was cooTersing with the oelebrateci 
German critic, Bbttigar, of Ihresden, and he was describing the 
person of Madame Schirmer, after floundering in a sea of Bng- 
Ush eirithets, none of which oonyeyed his meaning, he at last 
Ifsclaimed with enthuriaon — " Madame ! her eye was performt 
ma '" 



d by Google 



I'ANST KBMBLB IN JULIET. 49/ 

hifltoiy and Holbein have transmitted to us but 
the experiment was deemed too hazardous ; and it 
was so. The public at large would never have 
understood it The character of the queen mother, 
in her own tragedy of Francis 1., was another part 
of which the weight seemed to overwhelm her ^ 
jouthfiil powers and after the first few nights she 
ceased to play it. 

While on the English stage, she never became 
00 far the finished artist as to be independent of 
her own emotions, her own individual sentiments. 
It was not only necessary that she should under- 
stand a character, it was necessary that she should 
fed it She invariably excelled in those characters 
in which her sympathies were awakened. In 
Juliet, in Portia, in Camiola, in Julia,* (perhaps 
the most popular of all her parts,) and I believe I 
may add, in Bianca, she will not soon or easily be 
surpassed. For the same reason, if she could be 
smd to have failed in any part, it was in that of 
Calista, which she abhorred, and never, I believe, 
could comprehend. Isabella f was another part 
which I think she never really felt; she never 
could throw her powers into it The bald style 
«nd the prosaic monotonous misery of the first acts, 
in which her aunt called forth such torrents of 
tears, wearied her; though the tragic of the situa- 
tions in the last act roused her, and was ^ven most 
efiec^ely. She had not, at the time she took 

• In the HnnehbMk. f In the Attil Marrla«» 



r 



d by Google 



*9S FAKXT KEMBLE IN JULIEI. 

leave of us, conquered the mechanical part of h»H 
profession — the last, but not the least necessary 
department of her art, which it had taken her annt 
Siddons seven years, and Pasta almost as long, to 
achieve ; she was too much under the influence of 
her own nerves and moods of feeling ; the wann 
blushes, the hot tears, the sob, the tremor, were at 
times too real After playing in Mrs. Beverly, 
Bianca, and Julia, the physical suffering and ex' 
citement were sometimes most painful; and the 
performance of Constance actually deprived her 
of her hearing for several hours, and rendered her 
own voice inaudible to her ; this, it will be allowed, 
was paying somewhat dear for her laurels, even 
though she had valued them more than in truth she 
3ver did. 

Fanny Eemble, as one of a gifled race, " the 
atest bom of all Olympus* faded hierarchy," had 
really a just pride in the professional distinction of 
her family. She was proud of being a Kemble, 
and not insensible to the idea of treading in the 
steps of her aunt But she had seen the stage 
desecrated, and never for a moment indulged the 
thought that she was destined to regenerate it 
She felt truly her own position. Her ambitaon 
was not professional. She had always the con- 
sciousness of a powei^— of which she has alreadj 
given evidence — ^to ensure to herself a higher, a 
more real immortality than that which the stage 
«an bestow. She had a very high idea, abstractedly 
Df the capabilities of her art ; but the native el«^ 



d by Google 



wmn KEMBLE IN JULIET. 49t 

gaiice of ^cr mind, ber poeticai temperament her 
profound sense of the seriotis idealy rendered her 
extremely, and at times painfully sensitive, to the 
prosaic drawbacks which attended its exercise in 
public, and her strong understanding showed her 
its possible evils. She feared for the effect that 
incessant praise, incessant excitement, might at 
length produce on her temper. ** I am in dismay," 
said she, (I give her oum words,) " when I think 
that all this may become necessary to me. Could 
I be sure of retaining my love for higher and 
better occupations, and my desire for a nobler, 
though more distant fame, I should not have these 
apprehensions ; but I am cut off by constant labor 
from those pursuits which I love and honor, and 
neither they, nor any of our capabilities, can out- 
live long neglect and disuse." Thus she felt, and 
thus she expressed herself at the age of twenty, 
and even while enjoying her success with a true 
girlish buoyancy of spirit, the more delightful, the 
more interesting, inasmuch a^ it seemed to tremble 
at itself. I have actually heard her reproached 
for not being sufficiently elated and excited by the 
public homage ; but, the truth is, she was grateful 
for praise, rather than intoxicated by it — ^more 
pleased with her success than proud of it* ^^ I 

* I recollect being present, when some one wm repeating to 
Ver ft Tory high-flown and enthusiastic eulogy, of which she wif 
the subject. She listened very quietly, and then said with in* 
iescribable tiaiveti — ^^Perluips I ought to blush to have aO 
these thinflr^ thus repeated to my &ee; b«t the truth is, I earn 



d by Google 



MH) FANNY EEMBLE IN JULIET. 

dare not," said she, ^ feel all I could feel : I nrul 
watch myself." And by a more exact attention to 
her religious duties, and by giving as much tune 
as possible to the cultivation of many resources and 
accomplishments, she endeavored to preserve Iha 
command over her own faculties, and the even 
balance of her mind. I am persuaded that thif 
lofty tone of feeling, this mixture of self-«ubjection 
and self-respect, gave to her general deportment 
on the stage that indescribable charm, quite apar' 
from any grace of person or action, which all wh« 
have seen her must have felt, and none can havt 
forgotten. 

And now, what shall I say more ? If I dared 
to violate the sacredness of private intercourse, ] 
could indeed say much — much more. That shf 
came forward and devoted herself for her familj 
in times of trial and trouble — ^that twice she saved 
them from ruin — that she has achieved two for- 
tunes, besides a brilliant fame, and by her talents 
won independence for herself and those she loved, 
— and that she has done all this before the age of 
five-and-twenty, is known to many ; but few are 
aware how much more admirable, more respectable, 
than any of her mental gifts and her well-earned 
distinction, were the moral strength with which she 

%ot. I cannot, by any eflbrt of my own imagination, eee my 
Mlf as people speak of me. It giTes no reflection back to my 
mind. I cannot foncy myself like this. All I can deari 
understand is, tiiat yon and evexy body €tra tery mueli { li 
fend 1 tun vezgr gla4 nf it! ^ 



d by Google 



fANKT KBMBLB IN JULIET. 501 

lustained the severest ordeal to which a jouthfbl 
character could be exposed; the siinplicity with 
which she endured— half recoiling— the incessant 
adulation which beset her from morn to night;* 
her self-command in success ; her gentle dignity in 
reverse ; her straightforward integrity, which knew 
no turning nor shadow of turning ; her noble spirit, 
which disdained all petty rivalry; her earnest 
sense of religion, ** to which alone she trusted to 
keep her right" f Suddenly she became the idol 
of the public ; suddenly she was transplanted into 
a sphere of society, where, as long as she could 
administer excitement to fashionable inanity, she 
was worshipped. She carried into those circles all 
the freshness of her vigorous and poetical mind^ 
all the unworn feelings of her young heart So 
much genuine simplicity, such perfect innocence 
and modesty, allied to such rare powers, and to an 
habitual familiarity with the language of poetry 
and the delineation of passion, was not there xmder- 
stood, or rather, was m»-understood — and no 
wonder ! To the blas^ men, the vapid girls, and 

• It must be remembered fhat it was not only ftshtonable In- 
eenie and pnbUo applanee ; it was the open enthusiastlo admiia- 
tlon of ench men as Sir Walter Scott, Sir Thomas Lawrence, 
Moore, Rogers, Campbell, Barry Cornwall, and others of great 
name, who brought rich flattrar in orose and in Terse, and laid 
It at her fbet. Just before sne came on the stage she had spent 
abont a year in Scotland with her excellent relatiye and flrlend 
If rs. Henry Siddons, and always referred to this period as het 
'^ Sabbatical year, grant«si to her to prepare her mind and pxlnoi 
lies for this great trial.'^ 

* Her own words. 



d by Google 



502 TXSS^r KEMBLK IN JULIET. 

artificial women, who then surrounded her, her 
generous feelings, <* when the bright soul broke 
forth on everjr mdo,** appeared mere acting ; they 
were indeed constndned to believe it such ; for if 
for a moment they had deemed it all real, it must 
have forced on them comparisons hy no meant 
favorable to themselves. If, under these circum- 
stances, her quick sensibility to pleasurable emotion 
of all kinds, and her ready sympathy with all the 
external refinement, splendor, and luxury of aris> 
tocratic life, conspired for a moment to dazzle her 
tnagination, she recovered herself immediately, 
and fix)m first to last, her warm and strong afiec* 
tions, the moral texture of her character; the re- 
finement, which was as native to her mind, " as 
fragrance to the rose," remained unimpaired. 
These — ^a rich dower — she is about to carry into 
the shades of domestic life. Another land will be 
hfT future home. By another name shall fame 
speak of her, who was endeared to us as Fannt 
Kemblb : and she, who with no steady hand peni 
this slight tribute to the virtues she loved, Inda Xf 
Ihat name — ^farewell 1 



d by Google 



d by Google 



d by Google 



d by Google 



flO 



lU 

> 

Z 

3 



U 



z 
z 



52 



< 

It 

o 

lU 

> 
z 

3 



J 

s. 

E 



0) 

c 
o 

0) 

3 



I 



CD en r 

"" oo 





cz. 




CJ) 


CT^ 




OO 
CO 


-^1 


, — 




r^ 




C^7 


>• 


-\ 


«=c 



CO 



d by Google 




d by Google 



d by Google