« PreviousContinue »
the superbly painted dress of deep blue with fine arabesques of gold,—the delicate hand lying on the soft, silky hair of the dog, with its turquoise ring on the second joint of one of the fingers,- you can imag ine it, can you not ? Next him stands Philip II., pale, elegant, and repulsive, in gorgeous armor worn over festal, glittering white satin. Charles V. is on the other side; and I hardly know which of these portraits is the finest as a work of Art, for all are perfect. Charles is standing, with a noble dog leaning up against his hand; there is something simpática in his gray eyes, his worn face, and even in his protruding jaw, it is so admirably rendered, and gives such a firm character to the face. His costume is elegantisimo, white satin and gold,-with a tissue-of-gold doublet, and a cassock of silver-damask, with great black fur collar and lining, against which is relieved the under-dress; he wears his velvet cap and plume, and a deep emerald satin curtain hangs on his right hand. These portraits are just about as wonder ful as any you may remember, - in his best style and in capital condition. But I know you would say that the great portrait of Charles on horseback is more grand. It is a sort of heroic poem; he looks like Sir Galahad, or Chivalry itself, going forth to conquer wrong and violence. His eager, worn face looks out from the helmet so calmly and so steadily, the flash of his armor, which gleams like real metal, the coal-black horse, which comes forward out of the landscape shaking his head. piece of blood-red plumes against the golden sunset sky and champing the golden bit, the grasp of the lance by the noble rider : well, painting can do no more than that. It is history, poetry, and the beauty of Nature recreated by the grand master. An entirely different phase of his character is seen in his Ariadne Asleep sur rounded by the Bacchanals. This is full of antique Grecian feeling; and such a subtile, delicious piece of painting! Ari adne is in the foreground, full of warm, breathing life, her arm thrown over her lovely head, and her golden hair falling over the vase of gold and onyx on which she rests; a river of red wine runs through the emerald grass; two beautiful girls have just put by their music and instruments, and one turns her exquisite face toward us to speak to the other reclining on the
grass. The one who turns to us is the beauty of the Louvre, or some one very like her, in full Venetian loveliness. In her bosom are one or two violets and a paper with Titianus written on it. The bit of music on the grass has Greek letters. Dancing figures are in the middle of the picture. The fauns stagger under the dark trees, carrying great sumptuous vases of agate and gold. Silenus is asleep on a sunny hill at a distance, and the white sails of the ship with Theseus gleam on the deep-blue sea. There is another called an Offering to Fecundity. It is a crowd of most lovely baby boys, wonderfully painted, frolicking on the green among flowers and fruits. A figure full of action and passion holds up a glass to the statue of the goddess in one corner. The children are kissing each other and carrying about baskets of fruit; these baskets are hung with rich pearls and rubies and gems of all kinds. The green, fresh trees wave against a summer sky, and the work is full of tender, sensitive elegance and love. It shows to me an entirely new side of Titian in its extreme delicacy and sweetness. Nobody can ever speak of a “want of refinement" in Titian, if they thought so before, after seeing these pictures. Then there is the Herodias, the same as the girl in Dresden who holds up the casket, wonderfully delicate and beautiful ; and several other portraits and pictures, which I cannot tell you of, even if you are not already tired. I ought, however, to say that Paul Veronese has a very fine Venus and Adonis here, full of sunlight and summer beauty, and Christ Teaching the Doctors, nobly serious in character and admirable in treatment; also two sketches of Cain and of Vice and Virtue, very full of feeling for his subject. The Cain las his back toward you. His wife and child look up at him entreatingly. There is a fine, solemn horizon with a gleam of twilight. There are several Tintorets, but no favorable specimens,-a portrait is the best. There is also a Giovanni Bellini, which brings back the Venetian altar-pieces, quiet and lovely; and a Giorgione, like the large one in the Louvre, in many ways; a Madonna and Infant, with a fine female Saint and a noble Saint George.
These are some of the glorious treasures which the Spaniards own. If we could only have some of these! or if, wbile we the Venus and Adonis of Paul Veronese, and several of the works of Tintoretto. The Titians had come to Spain before, and it was from the study of them, perhaps, that Velasquez learned to paint so well. At any rate, we know what he thought of Titian; for Mr. Sterling gives an extract from a poem by a Venetian, Marco Boschini, which was published not long after Velasquez's journey to Italy, in which part of a conversation is given between him and Salvator Rosa, who asked him what he thought of Raphael. You will like to see it, if you have not Sterling by you.
“ Lu storse el cao cirimoniosamente,
E disse: “Rafael (a dirve el vero, Piasendome esser libero e sinciero) Stago per dir che nol me piase niente.'
or our country are committing the sin of coveting the Spanish possessions, we would only covet something worth the having! I confess, I should delight to take away one or two fine jewels of pictures that nobody here would miss.
I had almost forgotten to mention the great Raphael, the “Spasimo." It is in his Roman style, with much that is, to me, forced in the action and expression. The head of Christ, however, is beautiful, and exquisitely drawn. Beside the Spasimo, there is a little picture of the Virgin and Child, with Saint Joseph, in Raphael's early manner, very lovely, and reminding one of the “Staffa” Madonna, at Perugia. It is faint in color, and most charming in careful execution.
Then there are the finest Hemmlings I have ever seen,-finer than those at Munich : lovely Madonnas, meek and saintly; superb adoring Kings, all glowing with cloth-of-gold and velvets and splendid jewels; beautiful quiet landscapes, seen through the arches of the stable ; and angels, with wings of dazzling green and crimson. The real love with which these wonderful pictures are caressed by the careful, thoughtful artist makes them most precious. Every little flower is delicately and artistically done, and everything is invested with a sort of sacred reverence by this earnest Pre-Raphaelite. One or two Van Eycks have the same splendor and depth of feeling. These pictures look as if they were painted yesterday, so clear and brilliant are their colors.
It is a pleasant circumstance, that some of the great Venetian pictures in the gallery here were gained for Spain by the judgment and taste of Velasquez. When he went to Italy with a commission from Philip IV., which it must have delighted him to execute. "to buy whatever pictures were for sale that he thought worth purchasing," he spent some time in Venice, and there bought, among other things,
REVIEWS AND LITERARY NOTICES.
1. Dictionary of Americanisms. A Glossary has adopted or taken back many words
of Words and Phrases usually regarded from this side of the water. The more as peculiar to the United States. By the matter is looked into, the more it apJohn Russell BARTLETT. Second Edi- pears that we have no peculiar dialect of tion, greatly improved and enlarged. our own, and that men here, as elsewhere, Boston: Little, Brown, & Company. have modified language or invented phrases 1859. pp. xxxii., 524.
to suit their needs. When Dante wrote his 2. A Glossarial Inder to the Printed English “De Vulgari Eloquio,” he reckoned nearly
Literature of the Thirteenth Century. By a thousand distinct dialects in the Italian HERBERT COLERIDGE. London: Trüb- peninsula, and, after more than fire hun
per & Company. 1859. pp. iv., 104. dred years, it is said that by far the great3. Outlines of the History of the English Lan- er part survive. In England, eighty years
guage, for the Use of the Junior Classes ago, the county of every member of Par. in Colleges and the Higher Classes in liament was to be known by his speech ; Schools. By GEORGE L. CRAIK, Pro- but in “both Englands," as they used to fessor of History and of English Litera- be called, the tendency is toward uniforture in Queen's College, Belfast. Third mity. Edition, revised and improved. Lon- In spite of the mingling of races and don: Chapman & Hall. 1859. pp. xii., languages in the United States, the speech 148.
of the people is more uniform than that of 4. The Vulgar Tongue. A Glossary of Slang, any European nation. This would inevi
Cant, and Flash Phrases, used in Lon- tably follow from our system of commondon from 1839 to 1859; Flash Songs, schools, and the universal reading of newsEssays on Flash, and a Bibliography of papers. This has tended to make the Canting and Slang Literature. By Du- common language of talk more bookish, CANGE ANGLICUS. Second Edition, im- and has thus reacted unfavorably on our proved and much enlarged. London: literature, giving it sometimes the air of
Bernard Quaritch. 1859. pp. 80. being composed in a dead tongue rather 5. A Dictionary of Modern Slang, Cant, and than written from a living one. It glad
J'ulgar Words, etc., etc. By a London dens us, we confess, to see how goodly a Antiquary. London: John Camden volume of Americanisms Mr. Bartlett bas
Holten. 1859. pp. Ixxxviii., 160. been enabled to gather, for it shows that 6. On the English Language, Past and Pres- our language is alive. It is only from the
ent. By RICHARD CHENEVIx Trench, roots that a language can be refreshed; a D.D. New Edition, revised and enlarg- dialect that is taught grows more and ed. New York: Blakeman & Mason. more pedantic, and becomes at last as un1859. pp. 238.
fit a vehicle for living thought as monk7. A Select Glossary of English Words used ish Latin. This is the danger which our
formerly in Senses different from their pres. literature bas to guard against from the ent. By RICHARD CHENEVIX TRENCH, universal Schoolmaster, who wars upon D. D. New York: Redfield. 1859. home-bred phrases, and enslaves the mind pp. xi., 218.
and memory of his victims, as far as may 8. Rambles among Words ; their Poetry, be, to the best models of English composi
Ilistory, Wisdom. By WILLIAM Swin- tion, that is to say, to the writers whose TON. New York. Scribner. 1859. pp. style is faultlessly correct, but has no blood 302.
in it. No language, after it has faded into
diction, none that cannot suck up feeding The first allusion we know of to an juices from the mother-earth of a rich Americanism is that of Gill, in 1621,-"Sed common-folk-talk, can bring forth a sound et ab Americanis nonnulla mutuamur, ut MAIZ and lusty book. True vigor of expression et KANOA." Since then, English literature, does not pass from page to page, but from not without many previous wry faces, man to man, where the brain is kindled and
the lips are limbered by downright living interests and by passions in the very throe. Language is the soil of thought; and our own especially is a rich leaf-mould, the slow growth of ages, the shed foliage of feeling, fancy, and imagination, which has sutfered an earth-change, that the vocal forest, as Howell called it, may clothe itself anew with living green. There is death in the Dictionary; and where language is limited by convention, the ground for expression to grow in is straitened also, and we get a potted literature, Chinese dwarfs instead of healthy trees.
We are thankful to Mr. Bartlett for the onslaught he makes in his Introduction upon the highfaluting style so common among us. But we are rather amused to find hin falling so easily into that Anglo-Saron trap which is the common pitfall of those half-learned men among whom we should be slow to rank him. He says, “ The unfortunate tendency to favor the Latin at the expense of the Saxon element of our language, which social and educational causes have long tended to foster in the mother country, has with us received an additional impulse from the great admixture of foreigners in our population." (p. xxxii.) We have underscored the words of Latin origin, and find that they include all the nouns, all the adjectives but two, and three out of five verbs,- one of these last (the auxiliary have) being the same in both Latin and Saxon. Speaking of the Bostonians, Mr. Bartlett says, “ The great extent to which the scholars of New England have carried the study of the German language and liter. ature for some years back, added to the very general neglect of the old master-pieces of English composition, have (has] had the effect of giving to the writings of many of them an artificial, unidiomatic character, which has an inerpressibly unpleasant effect to those who are not habituated to it.” (p. xxv. We again underscore the unSaxon words.) Now if there be any short
cut to the Anglo-Saxon, it is through the German ; and how far the Bostonians de. serve the reproach of a neglect of old Eng. lish masterpieces we do not pretend to say, but the first modern reprint of the best works of Latimer, More, Sidney, Ful. ler, Selden, Browne, and Feltham was made in Boston, under the care of the late Dr. Alexander Young. We have no wish to defend Boston; we mean only to call Mr. Bartlett's attention to the folly of asking people to write in a dialect which no longer exists. No man can write offhand a page of Saxon English ; no man with pains can write one and hope to be commonly understood. At least let Mr. Bartlett practise what he preaches. When a deputation of wig-makers waited on George III. to protest against the hairpowder-tax, the mob, seeing that one of them wore his own hair, ducked him forth with in Tower-Ditch,- a very AngloSaxon comment on his inconsistency. We should not have noticed these passages in Mr. Bartlett's Introduction, had he not, after eleven years' time to weigh them in, let them remain as they stood in his former edition, of 1848.
In other respects the volume before us greatly betters its forerunner. That contained many words which were rather vulgarisms than provincialisms, and more properly English than American. Almost all these Mr. Bartlett has left out in revising his book. Once or twice, however, he has retained as Americanisms phrases which are proverbial, such as “ born in the woods to be scared of an owl,” “to carry the foot in the hand.” and “hallooing before you're out of the woods.” But it will be easier to follow the alphabetical order in our short list of adversaria and comments.
Alewife. We doubt if Mr. Bartlett is right in deriving this from a supposed Indian word aloof. At least, Hakluyt speaks of a fish called “old-wives"; and in some other old book of travels we have seen the name derived from the likeness of the fish, with its good, round belly, to the mistress of an alehouse.
BANK-Bill. Is not an Americanism. It is used by Swift, Pope, and Fielding.
Bogus. Mr. Bartlett quotes a derivation of this word from the name of a certain Borghese, said to have been a notorious counterfeiter of bank-notes. But is it
* This, perhaps, was to be expected; for he calls Dr. Latham's English Language "unquestionably the most valuable work on English philology and grammar which has yet appeared," (p. xxx., note,) and refers to the first edition of 1841. If Mr. Bartlett must al. lude at all to Dr. Latham, (who is reckoned & great blunderer among English philologers.) he should at least have referred to the second edition of his work, in two volumes, 1855.
not more probably a corruption of bagasse, ment of strangers, which, if they were which, as applied to the pressed sugar- improved to that end only," etc. Oddly cane, means simply something worthless? enough, our copy of this tract has Dr. The word originally meant a worthless Mather's autograph on the title-page. But woman, whence our “baggage” in the Mr. Bartlett should have referred to Richsame sense.
ardson, who shows that the word had been CHAINED-LIGHTNING. More commonly in use long before with the same meanchain-lightning, and certainly not a West- ing. ern phrase exclusively.
To INHEAVEN. "A word invented by CHEBACCO-Boat. Mr. Bartlett says, the Boston transcendentalists.” And Mr. “This word is doubtless a corruption of Bartlett quotes from Judd's Margaret. Mr. Chedabucto, the name of a bay in Nova Judd was a good scholar, and the word is Scotia, from which vessels are fitted out legitimately compounded, like ensphere and for fishing." This is going a great way imparadise ; but he did not invent it. Dante down East for what could be found nearer. uses the word :Chebacco is (or was, a century since) the
" Perfetta vita ed alto merto inciela name of a part of Ipswich, Massachu
Donna più su." setts.
To Fall a tree Mr. Bartlett considers a LADIES' Tresses. “The popular name, corruption of to fill. But, as we have com- in the Southern States, for an herb," ete. monly heard the words used, to fell means In the Northern States also. Sometimes merely to cut down, while to fall means to Ladies' Traces. make it fall in a given direction.
LIEFER. “A colloquialism, also used in To Go UNDER. “To perish. An ex- England.” Excellent Anglo-Saxon, and pression adopted from the figurative lan- used wherever English is spoken. guage of the Indians by the Western trap- LOAFER. We think there can be no pers and residents of the prairies.” Not doubt that this word is German. Laufen the first time that the Indians have had in some parts of Germany is pronounced undue credit for poetry. The phrase is lofen, and we once heard a German student undoubtedly a translation of the German say to his friend, Ich lauf' (lofe) hier bis du untergehen (fig.), to perish.
wiederkehrst : and he began accordingly to Hat. “Our Northern women have al- saunter up and down, - in short, to loaf most discarded the word bonnet, except in about. sun-bonnet, and use the term hat instead. A To Mull. “To soften, to dispirit." like fate has befallen the word gown, for Mr. Bartlett quotes Margaret,—“There has which both they and their Southern sisters been a pretty considerable mullin going commonly use frock or dress." We do not on among the doctors.” But mullin here know where Mr. Bartlett draws his North- means stirring, bustling in an underhand ern line ; but in Massachusetts we never way, and is a metaphor derived from heard the word hat or frock used in this mulliny wine. Jull, in this sense, is probsense. They are so used in England, and ably a corruption of mell, from Old Fr. hat is certainly, frock probably, nearer An- mesler, to mix. glo-Saxon than bonnet and gown.
TO BE NOWHERE (in the sense of failIMPROVE. Mr. Bartlett quotes Dr. ure) is not an Americanism, but TurfFranklin as saying in 1789, “ When I left Slang. New England in the year 1723, this word SALLY-Lun, a kind of cake, is English. had never been used among us, as far as I To Save, meaning to kill game so as to know, but in the sense of ameliorated or get it, is not confined to the Far West, but made better, except once in a very old book is common to hunters in all parts of the of Dr. Mather's, entitled Remarkable Prov- country. idences.” Dr. Increase Mather's Provi- Shew, for showed. Mr. Bartlett calls this dences was published in 1681. In 1679 a the “shibboleth of Bostonians." However synod assembled at Boston, and the result this may be, it is simply an archaism, not of its labors was published in the same a vulgarism. Show, like blow, crow, grow, year by John Foster, under the title, Neces- seems formerly to have had what is called sity of a Reformation. On the sixth page a strong preterite. Shew is used by Lord we find, “ Taverns being for the entertain- Cromwell and Hector Boece.