Obrazy na stronie
PDF
ePub

GENTLEMAN'S MAGAZINE.

FEBRUARY, 1845.

BY SYLVANUS URBAN, GENT,

CONTENTS.

MINOR CORRESPONDENCE.-The Canterbury Museum-Pageants at Salisbury in 1784-Coheirs of the Blood Royal-Mr. Charles Lloyd-Procurations and Synodals

.......

CON.ECTURAL EMENDATIONS ON THE TEXT OF SHAKSPERE

The Will of the late George Swiney, M.D.

Antient Silver Salt-Cellar, or Comfit Box.....

On the assumption of the Clerical garb by Laymen-Scarron-the French
Abbé-Madame Roland-La Croze-Dean Kirwan-Saint Hilaire-Abbé
Louis Cardinal Deacons....

On the Ware called Samian-the Arezzo ware

The Shrine of St. Remacle at Stavelo in Belgium..
Settlement of the Crown in 1460, and in 1470

....

......

....

THE FEMALE BIOGRAPHIES OF ENGLISH HISTORY, No. I.-Anne Lady
Howard. Illustrative documents: 1. The Oath of Richard III. to his
Nieces. 2. the Funeral of Queen Elizabeth widow of Edward IV...
Font in the New Chapel at Springfield, Essex (with a Plate)...

REVIEW OF NEW PUBLICATIONS.
Lord Mahon's History of England, 153; Townsend's Memoirs of the House
of Commons, 156; Dahlmann's History of the English Revolution, 157 ;
Works on Grammar, 157; Cennino Cennini's Treatise on Painting, 161;
Haslam's Perranzabuloe, 162; Johnson's Hydropathy, 165; Miscellaneous
Reviews.....
... 166

...

.....

.....

LITERARY AND SCIENTIFIC INTELLIGENCE.
University of Cambridge-American Booksellers' Address to Miss Jane
Porter, 173; Jews' Literary and Scientific Institution....
FINE ARTS.-Marochetti's Statue of Wellington, 174; Panorama of Naples-
Memorial Window in Barford Church, Warwickshire
ARCHITECTURE.-Proposed Memorial to Bishop Ken....
ANTIQUARIAN RESEARCHES.-Society of Antiquaries, 177; British
Archæological Association, 180; Numismatic Society, 186; Discoveries
at Nineveh, 187; City Museum, 188; Ancient Tombs at Milos-Paintings
in St. Mary de Crypt, Gloucester-French Antiquarian Intelligence......
HISTORICAL CHRONICLE.-Foreign News-Domestic Occurrences ....
Promotions and Preferments, 195; Births and Marriages
OBITUARY; with Memoirs of the Rt. Hon. Sir Gore Ouseley; General the
Hon. F. St. John; Hon. R. Otway Cave; Sir Colin Mackenzie, Bart.;
Sir James Broun, Bart.; Major-Gen. Sir William Nott, G.C.B.; George
Durant, Esq; George Woodfall, Esq.; Sir Aug. Wall Callcott; Mr. Henry
Sass; Mr. W. Grieve; Mr. Henry Morland; Professor Webster
DEATHS, arranged in Counties
Registrar-General's Returns of Mortality in the Metropolis-Markets-Prices

of Shares, 223; Meteorological Diary-Stocks... Embellished with a Representation of the FONT in the New Chapel at SPRINGFIELD, Essex.

......

[ocr errors]

PAGE

......

114

115

133

136

137

141

143

144

.....

145

152

174

175 175

189 190 196

200-212 212-223

224

114

mace,

tivity.

MINOR CORRESPONDENCE.

We made a serious but perfectly accidental omission in the account in our last number, p. 78, of antiquities presented to the Canterbury Museum. In abstracting the longer description of them from the Kent Herald, the important circumstance that this valuable acquisition was the gift of Lord Viscount Strang ford, was not struck out by the pen, but it was overlooked by the compositor.

F. N. sends the following entry from a manuscript journal for the year 1784, thinking it may guide our correspondent W. J. T. to the information he is anxious to obtain. He thinks an exhibition of the kind occurred at Salisbury on the proclamation of the last peace with France. "Salisbury, July 29, 1784. Thanks

giving for the Peace of Versailles. "On this occasion the pageants of this city, which are very remarkable, were exhibited. The giant, a figure about 14 feet high, pertaining to the Taylors' Company, said to be originally intended for St. Christopher, whose gigantic stature is recorded in all the legends, though long since declined from its original by the addition of a periwig and laced hat, and a pipe in his mouth, which is occasionally made to throw out smoke, by the action of a person within, through a tube.

"Hob-nob is a fantastic figure of less decided origin, being a horse's head and neck, moved by a man covered with a net, and appearing to be the rider, who is able to direct it to snap at the people, and catch their hats off. It occasioned great confusion in the crowd, but was chiefly directed to clear the way for the giant.

"Behind the giant was a squire of a common size in armour, with the ancient which he exerted with great ac

"A Cherokee chief was particular on this occasion, painted and dressed in character, who threw the tomahawk, and danced with great success.

"The Company of Shoemakers, with Crispinus at their head, represented by a decent young man in a white uniform, with a helmet.

"The Wool-combers, in caps of combed wool, preceded by Bishop Blaze on horseback, followed by his chaplain on horseback, both on white horses. Bishop Blaze looked exceeding grave and orthodox, and never betrayed the least inattention, having his prayer-book in his

hand, and perpetually bowing and giving

his benedictions.

"The giant preceded, then followed the other Companies, which were drawn up in the churchyard and Close Green, while the mayor and corporation past. The giant could not pass Close-gate. The Companies went to church, where Bishop Blaze's decent deportment was a reproach to the lax behaviour of the dignitaries of our days."

To the question, No. 33, relative to the coheirs of the Blood Royal, Sept. Mag. p. 262, D. A. Y. gives the following answer. Sir William Heveningham, Knt. son of William H. esq., and Mary, daughter of Henry Carey, Viscount Roch ford, and Earl of Dover, married Barbara, daughter of George Villiers, Visct. Grandison, and left an only daughter and heir, Abigail, who married Henry Heron, esq. of Cressy, co. Lincoln; she died in 1735, but D. A. Y. is unable to state what issue she left, if any. Sir William was buried at Heveningham, in Suffolk, 14 Oct. 1678.

A VERY OLD READER would be glad to be informed respecting the origin and nature of "Procurations and Synodals," and as to what use the money is applied which is paid at the Visitations of the Clergy under those names.

Mr. W. G. PENNY, of Warwick, for the information of L. L. H., states, that Mr. Charles Lloyd, the author of "Poems on the death of his grandmother, Priscilla Farmer," was the translator of "Alfieri's Tragedies." Mr. Lloyd personally presented him with both works, and on a flyleaf of one of the volumes of "Alfieri" he wrote "With the Translator's best wishes."

J. B. inquires what has become of the collections of Drawings, &c. formerly possessed by Richard Bull, esq. of the Isle of Wight; and those of Craven Ord, esq. of Essex. From Carter's Sketches, and his volumes of "Views of Ancient Buildings," it appears that those gentlemen had several drawings by J. Carter.

Mr. LOWER's article on the Old Manor House at Horselunges, two letters on Anderida, and another on the Devil's Dyke, &c. are unavoidably deferred.

ERRATA. P. 31, for currus eberso, read curru everso; for Manshend, read Manshead. P. 35, line 35, for parted, read paused. P. 36, line 2, read Suecia. P. 68, line 1, for Lave, read Lane,

GENTLEMAN'S MAGAZINE.

Conjectural Emendations on the Text of Shakspere, with Observations on
the Notes of the Commentators. Part IV.
(Continued from Vol. XXII. p. 472.)

HAMLET.

IT has been, we believe, observed on this celebrated play, that no one who has thought on the significance of the parts in their different bearings, and on the general scope of the whole, will agree exactly in the opinion formed by others on the same points. There is something of a greatness in the conception, as well as perhaps a vagueness and shadowness in the outline, that strikes differently, and admits different points of sight. It was probably originally formed from an old play bearing the same title, and of which the name alone remains. Then it was gradually moulded into its present form and much enlarged ;* one copy only of the earlier sketch having been fortunately preserved: and that it was very popular when it first appeared, the frequent allusions to it sufficiently prove.† In its finished state, it seems to afford a remarkable proof of how little consequence the mere plot or outline of a drama is to its success, and that the real life exists in the drawing of the characters, and the novelty, beauty, and impressiveness of the sentiments and images. The action of this piece (perhaps the most wonderful production of genius ever clothed in a dramatic form) is conducted through a rapid succession of moving incidents, and varied scenes, and changeful passions to its close; but certainly it does not possess any regular train of events, well arranged on the broad foundation of a rich invention, then gradually narrowing in extent, unfolding its hidden purposes, and progressively pointing to the necessary and approaching termination. The catastrophe is abrupt, unprepared, and, though delayed, at last unexpected: it is not the just conclusion of a skilful combination of events developing itself from its former perplexity, emerging from its former obscurity, resolving all previous doubts, and at length satisfying the natural desires of justice and truth. It can hardly be said that the guilt of the King increases much during the progress of the drama, or that he is thus heaping on his head a more certain and complete retribution. The great crimes-the villainous and unnatural murder, and the shameful and incestuous marriage-were those that were calling for

The title-pages of the first 4to. 1604 and 1605, declare “this play to be enlarged to almost as much again as it was, according to the true and perfect copy." See Steevens's Note on this passage. Mr. Malone says, "Hamlet is more accurately printed than any other of the quarto editions of our author's plays." Vid. Suppl, vol. i. p. 44. On the OLD Hamlet, which was on the stage in 1589, see Reed's Shakspere Prolegomena, vol. iii. p. 359.

See among others Diaphantus on the Passion of Love, by A. Scoloker, 1604. "Like friendly Shakespere's tragedies, where the comedian rides while the tragedian stands on tiptoe : faith it should please all, like Prince Hamlet; but in sadnesse then it would be feared he would runne mad." In Dolarney's Primrose, by J. Reynolds, is a direct imitation of Hamlet's reflections in the grave scene,

[ocr errors]

revenge from the sepulchre of the dead, nor was any act subsequently committed that Hamlet ever connected in his mind with the original guilt. The only one rational cause of delay from the commencement of the plot, was that which arose from the necessity of proving the truth of the Ghost's assertion by other evidence; and this was accomplished in the PLAY, when the suspicions in the mind of Hamlet were ripened into certainty, and the solemn attestation of the dead was confirmed by the guilty conscience of the living. After this there was no necessary hindrance to the developement of the plot and the fulfilment of the purpose, which both filial piety and the voice of injured and outraged nature had sworn

to execute.

That Hamlet feigned or assumed madness the better to conceal his purposes from suspicion or discovery, seems acknowledged by his confession; but, beside this, one who on poetical subjects could claim an authority which few would wish to deny, has advanced as his opinion "that the conduct of Hamlet was every way unnatural and indefensible unless he were to be regarded as a young man whose intellects were in some degree impaired by his own misfortunes,-by the death of his father, the loss of expected sovereignty, and a sense of shame resulting from the hasty and incestuous marriage of his mother." Such is the opinion of Akenside. But we cannot see that, in hesitating to admit this, we should make any flaw or break in the consistency of the character, or admit any thing which could impair our appreciation of the justness and discrimination with which the whole is drawn; at least in one main incident, and that, if not the most important, yet the most interesting in the plot, it is not necessary to have recourse to madness, or impaired reason, satisfactorily to account for his conduct. We must bring before us the singular greatness of Hamlet's character, the depth from which its excellence is drawn, his fine intellect, his various accomplishments, his noble inspirations, his profound and thoughtful meditations; the unrivaled grandeur and importance of the subject of his anxious questionings and searches, and the shade of deep melancholy thrown over the whole. Keeping this in view, then let us observe the character of those with whom we find him surrounded:-the low, the worldly, the sensual, and the base. The weakness of his mother's character, forbidding all filial respect or confidence, the brutality and villainy of the King's, and the mean base sycophancy and folly of the followers of the court. Hamlet appears moving among them, as one belonging to another sphere of humanity. There exists between him and them no similarity of manners, no congeniality of views or purposes; his intense and angry sorrow had separated him from his natural connexions, had blasted his noblest hopes, benumbed his dearest affections, filled his mind with the gloom of dark suspicions, and harassed his understanding with the perplexity of doubtful speculations. Such is he, when he first appears on the dramatic stage, existing in an element uncongenial to him, with no one near him who could comprehend his character, understand his motives, fathom his thoughts, love his virtues, or even sympathize with his weakness. He stands before us, like a forlorn picture of regal distress, an image of unutterable woe. Then we form a contrast in our minds of what he ought to have been, with what he was. His was designed to be a mind of high cultivation, he was a prince of royal manners, endowed with the finest sense of propriety, susceptible of noble ambition, and open in the highest degree to enthusiasm for the

foreign excellences in which he was deficient. He had indeed all those qualities,

Which nature has inscribed with golden pen
Deep in the hearts and characters of men.

Thus rich in natural gifts, exalted in social situation, at once the prince and the philosopher, he seemed designed for a character to command admiration and love; but, when we look again, we behold this fine image defaced, this noble mind agitated and perplexed, if uot altered and disfigured. There was the necessity of a great action to be performed by him constantly in his mind, and with a full sense of the difficulty and danger of its accomplishment; there was a natural instability of purpose on the one hand, and the imperious demands of justice and nature on the other. Amid these conflicting feelings, there was his large and thoughtful calculation of consequences and results, which could not be brought within the compass of action; and such was the violence of the mental pressure as could only be relieved by assuming the mask of madness. Thus did the pure and virtuous mind descend to falsehood and deceit, and even to a malicious joy in the supposed perpetration of crime; and thus his noble and gentle spirit repelled the sweet affections it had once cherished, trampling under his feet that modest and lovely flower that had bloomed under his princely favour and protection. Much has been said and justly of the indecision of Hamlet's character, which keeps events suspended, designs half matured, and retards the natural progress of the plot. Several causes seem at different times to act in producing this,-a conscientious desire to ascertain the truth of the accusation against the King; a feeling of the difficulty of the purpose to be executed, which would involve in one common fate his own life with that of his victim; for Hamlet's constant meditations on destiny, and the uncertainty of the future, give an impression that they seem to foretell his own death. To these might be added the natural temperament of a speculative and thoughtful mind. The most philosophic in thought is often the most dilatory and uncertain in action. Resolution is becalmed in reconciling conflicting probabilities, reviewing contingent circumstances, and weighing equipollent arguments. In Hamlet's mind, the actions of the present life were intimately connected with the mysterious destinies of the next. Hence his procrastination in doing that which might inclose in its awful shade the existence of all future time. Nor are we to forget that gentleness and goodness in his nature, which shows itself in such bright colours in his interview with his mother, and which tempers his just indignation with such thoughtful kindness and feeling. It has been said that his feigned madness is shown most strongly and offensively in his treatment of Ophelia; but perhaps this assumed violence of passion, in its strange fantastic outbreaks, even in its bitter gibes and mockery, was the best means that could be taken to effect a decisive measure immediately necessary to his future line of conduct-the dissolution of his engagement, and the sacrifice of those feelings which, formed under happier auspices, were now doomed to perish amid the pressure of great and afflicting calamities. Love was a flower too delicate and tender to live in the disturbed state and gloom of his anxious and perturbed spirit. He too had sworn to wipe out from his memory the impression of every thing but of the one great purpose that

See some observations by Schlegel in his Lectures on Dramatic Literature.

« PoprzedniaDalej »