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Until we read The Spanish Gypsy, nothing we are not sure, - of the lyrics, which would have persuaded us that Miss Evans are all bad. Commonly Miss Evans is a could write lines so absolutely discharged poet of the kind described in the fortunate of meaning as these :
jest made of her minstrel Juan, and is “For strong souls
“ Crazed with finding words Live like fire-hearted suns to spend their strength May stick to things and seem like qualities." In furthest striving action."
The splendor of her performance is an Or so turgid and obscure as these :
intellectual polish, not a spiritual translu“Sweeping like some pale herald from the dead,
cence, and its climax is cloquence, with Whose shadow-nurtured eyes, dazed by full light,
the natural tendency of cloquence to pass See naught without but give reverted sense To the soul's imagery, Silva came."
into grandiloquence; though Miss Evans
does at least in one place express the Or burdened with such confused and huddled figures as these :
quality of things in words which reveal
poetry of thought. It is where Fedalma “Walked hesitating, all his frame instinct With high-born spirit never used to dread,
says to her lover :Or crouch for smiles, yet stung, yet quivering
“Do you know With helpless strength, and in his soul convulsed Sometimes when we sit silent, and the air By visions where pale horror held a lamp
Breathes gently on us from the orange-irecs, Over wide-reaching crime."
It seems that with the whisper of a word In fact, this reluctant and deceitful poetic
Our souls must shrink, get poorer, more apart.
Is it not true?" form always seems to seek unfair advantages over the author's thoughts, and to get
And Don Silva answers :them where, as it appears to us, prosc
“Yes, dearest, it is true. would be entirely subject to her will. We
Speech is but broken light upon the depth
Of the unspoken; even your loved words cannot suppose, for example, that if she
Float in the larger meaning of your voice had not been writing the first lines of the As something dimmer." poem in verse, she would have permitted We recall fine effects in the poem, though any such tumult of images as now appears none of them owe their success to the poetic in them :
form, and one of the best is in prose. It “ 'Tis the warm South, where Europe spreads her is a good scene, where the people of Don lands
Silva's household attend the old soldier Like fretted leaflets breathing on the deep : Broad-breasted Spain, leaning with equal love
as he reads from the book of Alfonso the A calm earth-goddess crowned with corn and vines, Wise, that “a noble is more dishonored On the mid-sca that moans with memories, than other men if he does aught dishonoraAnd on the untravelled ocean, whose vast tides ble"; and the page who doubts and disPant dumbly passionate with the dreams of youth.” putes the precept puts it in a question to
We can hardly, however, attribute to un- Don Silva, at that moment entering with a familiarity with metrical expression the fol- purpose of treason in his heart. It is also lowing very surprising lyric :
fine where Don Silva, having renounced "Day is dying! Float, O song,
rank and creed and country, and turned Down the westward river,
Gypsy for love's sake, is tormented by his Requiem chanting to the Day,
own remorse, and by the suspicion of those Day, the mighty Giver.
fierce adoptive brothers of his, as they "Pierced by shafts of Time be bleeds, Melted rubies sending
chant around their camp-fire the curse Through the river and the sky,
which shall fall upon the recreant to their Earth and heaven blending :
tribe. Usually, however, the best points “All the long-drawn carthy banks
to the poem are in the descriptions; and Up to cloud-land lifting :
though descriptive poetry is of the same Slow between them drifts the swan, grade in art as landscape-painting, yet it is "Twixt two heavens drifting.
poetry, and it includes about all that can “Wings half open, like a flower
be so called in The Spanish Gypsy. It is Inly deeper flushing, Neck and breast as virgin's pure, —
great praise to say of the picture of the Virgin proudly blushing.
mountebank's performance in the plaza at "Day is dying! Float, O swan,
Bedmar, (where the scene of the drama for Down the ruby river;
the most part is,) that it is not surpassed Follow, song, in requiem
by anything in Miss Evans's romances ; To the mighty Giver."
and we think any reader who has known a This is the worst, we think, - though southern evening of summer, and has seen
a southern population in its unconscious, The sun's ranged outposts, luminous message spread, intense enjoyment of it, must exult to feel
Rousing quiescent things to doff their shade the truth and beauty of such passages as
And show themselves as added audience.
Now Pablo, letting fall the eager bow, these :
Solicits softer murmurs from the strings. “'T is daylight still, but now the golden cross Uplifted by the angel on the dome
And still the light is changing : high above Stands rayless in calm color clear-defined
Float soft pink clouds ; others with deeper flush Against the northern blue; from turrets high
Stretch like fiamingoes bending toward the south. The flitting splendor sinks with folded wing
Comes a more solemn brilliance o'er the sky, Dark-bid till morning, and the battlements
A meaning more intense upon the air, — Wear soft relenting whiteness mellowed o'er
The inspiration of the dying day." By summers generous and winters bland.
Good as this is, there is a picture of Juan Now in the cast the distance casts its veil, And gazes with a deepening earnestuess.
the poet, with his audience at the inn, which
is equally good, with like richness of color, And within Bedmar and like felicity of drawing :Has come the time of sweet serenity When color glows unglittering, and the soul
“While Juan sang, all round the tavern court Of visible things shows silent happiness,
Gathered a constellation of black eyes. As that of lovers trusting though apart.
Fat Lola leaned upon the balcony The ripe-cheeked fruits, the crimson-petalled flow
With arms that might have pillowed Hercules ers;
(Who built, 't is known, the mightiest Spanish The wingéd life that pausing seems a gem
towns); Cunningly carven on the dark green leaf:
Thin Alda's face, sad as a wasted passion, The face of man with hues supremely blent
Leaned o'er the coral-biting baby's; 'twixt the rails To difference fine as of a voice 'mid sounds :
The little Pepe showed his two black beads, Each lovely light-dipped thing seems to emerge
His flat-ringed hair and small Semitic nose Flushed gravely from baptismal sacrament.
Complete and tiny as a new-born minnow; All beauteous existence rests, yet wakes,
Patting his head and holding in her arms Lies still, yet conscious, with clear open eyes
The baby senior, stood Lorenzo's wife And gentle breath and mild suffuséd joy.
All negligent, her kerchief discomposed "T is day, but day that falls like melody
By little clutches, woman's coquetry Repeated on a string with graver toncs, –
Quite turned to mother's cares and sweet content. Tones such as linger in a long farewell.
These on the balcony, while at the door
Gazed the lank boys and lazy-shouldered men.” From o'er the roofs,
It is the sort of people here pictured And from the shadowed pátios cool, there spreads The breath of flowers and aromatic leaves
with whom we think Miss Evans has her Soothing the sense with bliss indefinite, - only success with character in her poem, A baseless hope, a glad presentiment,
and they are true both to the sixteenth cen. That curves the lip more softly, fills the eye With more indulgent beam. And so it soothes,
tury and to human nature, which is not the So gently sways the pulses of the crowd
case with their betters. We desire nothing Who make a zone about the central spot
racier, more individual, than the talk of Chosen by Roldan for his theatre.
Blasco, the Arrogonesc silversmith, and Maids with arched eyebrows, delicate - pencilled,
that new-baptized Christian, the jolly host dark, Foid their round arms below the kerchief full;
of the inn, as well as some of their interMen shoulder little girls ; and grandames gray,
locutors, leaving out Juan the poct, who is But muscular still, hold babies on their arms; not much better when he talks than when he While mothers keep the stout-legged boys in front
sings. We imagine that these characters, Against their skirts, as the Greek pictures old Show the Chief Mother with the Boy divine.
so strongly and so distinctively Spanish, Youths keep the places for themselves, and roll as well as the happy local color of the deLarge Jazy eyes, and call recumbent dogs
scriptions, are the suggestion of that visit (For redons deep below the reach of thought). which the author made to Spain after the The old men cough with purpose, wish to hint Wisdem within that cheapens jugglery,
story of the poem was written. The Middle Maintain a neutral air, and knit their brows Ages linger yet in Spain, and the scenes in In chservation. None are quarrelsome,
the plaza and inn, though so enchanting as Noizy, or very merry; for their Llood
pictures of the past, must have been in Movescouły into fervor, – they rejoice
great part painted from life in our own time, Like tho e dark birds that sweep with heavy wing, Cheering their mates with melancholy cries.
and Blasco, Lopez, the Host, Roldan and
Roldan's monkey, remodelled if not created The winged sounds exalt the thick-pressed crowd from actual knowledge of Spanish men and With a new pulse in common, blending all manners. But admirable as these characThe gazing life into one larger soul
ters are in themselves and in association, With dimly widened consciousness : as waves In heightened movement tell of waves far off.
they do nothing to advance the action of And the light changes; westward stationed clouds, the story, and they belong to that promiso of interest which dwindles rapidly after the both as a new Christian and as the accomfirst books of the poem, and is never wholly plice of his cousin the grandee in the purfulfilled.
pose of an ignoble marriage, and who arThere is grandeur in the conception of ranges for her seizure by the holy office on the work. The intention of representing a the eve of her marriage; then we have conflict between national religions and prej. Zarca, Fedalma's father, who escapes the udices and personal passions and aspira- same night from Christian captivity, and tions, which should interpret the life of a who, revealing himself to his daughter, perperiod so marvellous and important as the suades her to fly with him, and share his close of the fifteenth century, was a great aspirations and labors for the redemption of one, and Miss Evans has indicated it almost the Gypsy race. Her lover, desiring to win worthily in the prologue of the first book of her back, applies to his friend, a Jewish phyher poem, recurring to it with something of sician, who knows enough of astrology to like strength in the prologues of each suc- doubt it, as a learned and liberal-minded Jew ceeding book. In these we are aware of of the Middle Ages naturally would. We are. the far-reaching imagination and finc syn- not so clear of any positive part this Hethetic power which are so notable in the brew has in the drama, as of the contrast proem to "Romola"; and in those minor to the inquisitor which he forms; and characters of the drama which we have doubtless the author values the two less as mentioned we recognize success not inferior persons than as the opposite principles of to that which delights in the people of the liberal science working to truth, and pitigreat romance. But nothing could be in less faith constituting itself a divine pursharper contrast than the distinct impres- pose. But for this use, Sephardo, whose sion left upon the mind by the chief ideas talk is rather like a criticism and explanaand personages of Romola, and by the tion of his attributive character than an painfully recollected intent and the figures expression of character, might with his which develop it in The Spanish Gypsy. speculative and philosophical turn be more In either case the author deals with a dis- naturally employed in writing for the retant period, and with people and conditions views. equally strange to her experience and ob- In Zarca we have a modern reformer a servation. In cither case it is a psychical little restricted and corrected at first by problem she proposes to solve or at least costume and tradition, as all his fellowto consider. In either case the chief char- characters are, but early declaring himself acters about which the action revolves ap- a principle and not a person, as all his felpear as human beings, with positive, per- low-characters do. He appears as an emsonal desires and purposes. But while in bodiment of those aspirations for indepenRomola they retain this personal entity to dent national existence, which now more the last, with the hold which nothing else than erer before are stirring the truc peoples, can keep upon the reader's sympathies, and but which probably existed in all ages; and ineffaceably imprint the lesson of their lives if he does not act very wisely, nor discourse in his memory, in The Spanish Gypsy the very entertainingly, perhaps it is because personal principle is soon removed, and men of one idea are very apt to be shortthey all disappear from us, dry, rattling as- sighted and tedious, unless skilfully mansemblages of moral attributes and inevita- aged, in fiction as in real life. Morally, ble results. It is especially to this effect Zarca comes to be a theatrical kind of that poets never work, and Miss Evans docs Hollingsworth, though we imagine nothing not attain it by creating new and original could be farther from the author's concharacters. On the contrary, she adopts sciousness than such a development. It is dresses and figures more or less familiar doubtful whether a purpose and grandeur in romance, and evolves allegoric circum- such as his are predicable of the Gypsy stances and actions from a plot smelling race in any age ; but in his daughter's case curiously of the dust of libraries and we must grant even more to the author with the smoke of foot-lights. We have the less effect. In Fedalma is portrayed the daughter of a Gypsy chief stolen in carliest conflict which would arise in the nature of childhood by the Spaniards, and bred in a woman held to her betrothed by love, and ignorance of her origin, who becomes the identity of civilization and social custom, afianced of a Spanish grandee; we have a and drawn toward her father by the attracmonkish inquisitor, fierce with the pride of tion of kindred, and race, and by vague family and of faith, who hates this Fedalma sympathy with a devoted and heroic pur
pose; and in accounting for her desertion Silva, who is at least faithful to love when of her lover Don Silva, all is confided to he forsakes his command at Bedmar, folthe supposition that these remote instincts lows Fedalma to the Gypsy camp, and, to and sudden sympathies are stronger than win her from her father, renounces everythe use of a lifetime. Fedalma is a Gypsy thing, and becomes himself a Gypsy. He by birth ; and it is poctic, if not probable, is also true at least to Spanish and human that, yielding to the wild motions of her nature of the fifteenth century when, torancestral blood, she should wander with tured by the cruel sight of his slaughtered her duenna through the streets of Bedmar, friends, on re-entering Bedmar with its and, forgetting the jealous decorums of her Gypsy captors, he asks of Zarca the life of station, and the just claims of her lover's his cousin, the Inquisitor, and, being denied pride, should dance in the circle drawn it, stabs Zarca to death, — who, rememberabout the mountebank, that lovely evening ing his duty to the nineteenth century, comin the plaza. At any rate, this escapade mands with his dying breath that Don Silva wins us the fine effect of her encounter with shall go unharmed. He accordingly goes Zarca, her father, before whom she pauses, unharmed — towards Rome, willing to astouched by some mysterious influence, as sume any penance which may be laid upon he passes through the circle with the other him for his sins; and the poor soul, who captive Gypsies. Yet this scarcely pre- never loses our sympathy, has a kind of pares us for her renunciation, at her father's sublimity in his honest recognition of his bidding, of Don Silva, Spain, and Chris- crimes and his honest remorse for them; tianity; nor is the act sufficiently accounted while Fedalma, bidding him adieu in sol. for by the fact that if she had remained, she emn impertinences that betray much doubt would have been seized by the Inquisition, and regret, but dim sense of error, is a very for she did not know this; or by the other fact unedifying spectacle. As she departs with that, as is afterwards intimated, she never the Gypsies whom she distrusts, to fulfil a was true Spaniard or quite Christian. True
purpose which she never thought possible, lover she was, and believed in love, and she her last care is explicitly to state the ponever believed in the purpose for which she em's insufficiency of motive, and to put in sacrificed love. That she should act as the wrong the chief good that was in her by she did was woman's weakness, perhaps, – saying to Don Silva : the weakness of Miss Evans. The reader cannot help resenting that the author
“Our dear young love, - its breath was happiness I
But it had grown upon a larger life throws the whole burden of remorse for the
Which tore its roots asunder. We rebelled, ensuing calamities and crimes upon Don The larger life subdued us."
A Magasine of Literature, Science, Art,
VOL. XXII. - OCTOBER, 1868. -- NO. CXXXII.
INEBRIATE ASYLUMS, AND A VISIT TO ONE.
"HERE are two kinds of drunkards, have; and when once the habit is fixed,
the Regular and the Occasional. nothing can deliver them except stone Of each of these two classes there are walls and iron bars. There are also a several varieties, and, indeed, there are few drunkards of very light calibre, trino two cases precisely alike; but every fling persons, incapable of serious redrunkard in the world is either a per- flection or of a serious purpose, their son who has lost the power to refrain very terrors being trivial and transitory, from drinking a certain large quantity who do not care for the ruin in which of alcoholic liquor every day, or he is they are involved. Generally speaking, one who has lost the power to refrain however, drunkards hate the servitude from drinking an uncertain enormous into which they have had the misforquantity now and then.
tune to fall; they long to escape from Few get drunk habitually who can re- it, have often tried to escape, and if frain. If they could refrain, they would; they have given up, it is only after havfor to no creatures is drunkenness so ing so many times slidden back into loathsome and temperance so engaging, the abyss, that they feel it would be of as to seven tenths of the drunkards.
no use to climb again. As Mrs. H. B. There are a few very coarse men, of Stowe remarks, with that excellent charheavy, stolid, animal organization, who ity of hers, which is but another name for almost seem formed by nature to absorb refined justice, “ Many a drunkard has alcohol, and in whom there is not enough expended more virtue in vain endeavof manhood to be ashamed of its degra- ors to break his chain than suffices to dation. These Dr. Albert Day, the su- carry an ordinary Christian to heaven.” perintendent of the New York State The daily life of one of the steady Inebriate Asylum, sometimes calls Nat- drunkards is like this: upon getting ural Drunkards. They like strong drink up in the morning, after a heavy, restfor its own sake; they have a kind of less, drunkard's sleep, he is miserable sulky enjoyment of its muddling effect beyond expression, and almost helpupon such brains as they happen to less. In very bad cases, he will see
Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1868, by TICKNOR AND FIELDS, in the Clerk's Office
of the District Court of the District of Massachusetts. VOL. XXII. - NO. 132.