Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

and again failed. Once more he tried at a other on the siege of Newark in 1643, and later date, and once more he was disap- a third ("The King enjoys his rights pointed. Ultimately Professor Child, an again ") which apparently also belongs to American gentleman, added an offer of £50 the latter year. At any rate, the collecto Mr. Furnivall's of £100, through Mr. tion must have been made at a very difThurston Holland, a friend both of the ferent date from that of some of the poems, Professor and the owners of the folio; and a degree of modernization may pos" and this last attempt succeeded.” Mr. sibly have crept in. The dialect, moreFurnivall and his friends“ obtained the over, seems to indicate a Lancashire origin right to hold the MS. for six months, on the part of the copyist, for the provinand make and print one copy of it. This cialisms of that portion of England are fresix months the owners kindly extended quently used, and this may have been in from time to time to thirteen, to enable all some cases a source of corruption. Percy the proofs and revises to be read with the thought that the MS. was made by Thomas MS. before it was returned to them." It Blount, author of some law books, "A appears that the original is to be sold to Journey to Jerusalem," and other works, the British Museum, where it will doubtless who was a native of Worcestershire, and be conned in many succeeding ages by the a barrister of the Middle Temple; but Mr. curious in early English. Considering the Furnivall thinks a man of Blount's training great size of the work, the difficulties of would hardly have execated such a work in the old and damaged manuscript, and the the style in which it comes to us. The many obstacles presented by the antique MS. is described by our authority as "a spelling and punctuation (which have here scrubby, shabby, paper' book — about been strictly followed, with very slight ex- fifteen and a half inches long by five and a ceptions), it is surprising that the whole of half wide, and about two inches thick the poems should have been copied, anno- which has lost some of its pages, both at tated, prefaced, and printed, in so short a the beginning and end," and has been furspace as thirteen months. The editors and ther injured by the binder to whom Percy assistants have certainly a right to congrat- sent it, who, in “ploughing" the edges, ulate themselves on the completion of their has docked some of the top and bottom task, which must have been one of very lines in various parts of the volume. The great labour, and which they have dis- original editor found it “ lying dirty on the charged with signal ability, learning, and floor under a bureau in the parlour" of his industry. The expenses of such a produc- friend Humphrey Pitt, of Shiffnall in Shroption have been serious, and indeed it ap- shire, in whose house it was used by the pears that the debt on the book is more maids to light the fire. It was made over thau £800. We trust that the projectors to Percy, who kept it in a ragged and torn will not be allowed to suffer; in any case, condition until he desired to lend it to the literary public will owe them a debt of Johnson. At that time Percy was vicar of gratitude for placing within general reach | Easton Maudit, Northamptonshire, and in a work which throws so much light on the the summer of 1764 Johnson paid him a rise of English poetry. In considering it, visit at the vicarage, where the publication however, with reference to the development of the “Reliques” was probably debated. of our literature, some caution must always It was Shenstone, however, who first sugbe observed. The MS. is less ancient gested the printing of a selection from the than several of the pieces it contains, and folio, and he was to have assisted in the it is probable enough that the transcriber editing, but first illness and then death preoccasionally made alterations in the phrase- vented him. As it was, Percy had the ology of the ballads, as Percy himself did advice and co-operation of most of the emafterwards (though doubtless not to the inent poets and scholars of the day, from same extent), to suit his own tastes. It some of whom he received additional balwas not a critical or antiquarian age in lads, which in the published volumes supply which the old folio was compiled, and the the place of several contained in the MS., penman doubtless had no literary object in but which the poverend editor dia not view, but simply sought his own gratifica- choose to include in his work. The book tion. The handwriting is assigned by Sir appeared in 1765, after a preparation exF. Madden to a date subsequent to 1650, tending over four or five years, and it is though two authorities at the Record Office curious to find that for the first edition whom Mr. Furnivall consulted think it be- | Percy received only one hundred guineas, longs to the reign of James I. This, how- though for subsequent issues the sums were ever, cannot be, as the later pieces contain increased. The collection was sneered at one on the taking of Banbury in 1642, an- by Warburton and Hurd, and but coldly received by Johnson, whose tastes were forms the basis of the popular child's story not at all in the direction of uncouth old we have all read in our youthful days. ballad poetry. Nevertheless, the work was “ The extent to which Percy used his folio very successful, and it had unquestionably MS. in his . Reliques,'” says Mr. Furnivall. a great influence - not immediately felt, " has been concealed by his misstatement, but working its way slowly and surely into that of the pieces he published, the greatthe literary mind of the country — in in- er part of them are extracted from an anducing a return to a more fresh, natural, cient folio manuscript in the editor's posand spontaneous mode of poetical expres- session, which contains near two hundred sion, a more varied and lyrical versification, poems, songs, and metrical romances.' and a greater faith in the truth of nature, The • Reliques' (1st ed.) contains 176 than bad for a long while prevailed. It pieces, and of these the folio is used only also attracted attention to the editor, led in 45; so that for Percy's greater part? we the way to promotion, and finally inducted should read about one-fourth' and, if his him into the Bishopric of Dromore, in Ire- term 'extracted' is to be taken strictly, land, where he died in 1811, at the ripe age not one-sixth."" The spurious matter was of eighty-two. In the “Life of Bishop in fact much greater than could have been Percy," furnished to the present work by gathered from the editor's admissions, and the Rev. J. Pickford, M.A., a good deal of Ritson, detecting the modern style of much inquiry is made as to Percy's origin of the poetry, denounced the whole work whether or not he was the son of a grocer as a fraud, with some show of reason, as at Bridgenorth, Shropshire. The Bishop Percy would never produce the original himself claimed relationship with the Dukes MS., though with a bitterness which was of Northumberland, and the Bishop's family in itself inexcusable. Besides his additions, to this day deny the alleged humbleness of Percy indulged largely in suppression, and his parentage; but it would seem from the present editors have laid us under convarious records that his father really carried siderable obligations by printing several on the business alluded to. Why not? very curious poems which Percy, for some The Bishop was a scholar, a good clergy- reason which is not apparent, chose to man, and an amiable person, and it matters suppress. In reviewing what has been done nothing what was the occupation of his in the work before us, Mr. Furnivall father; though, as he had the weakness to says:stickle somewhat about his family, it is perhaps excusable to dwell a little on the actual

“It is something to have helped to secure the fact.

** | MS. for the nation, something that ballads like The most serious opposition to the “Rel

RoLThe Child of Elle,' • Sir Cawline,' Sir Aniques" proceeded from Ritson. That able

drew Bartton' (iii. 403), “Old Robin of Portin

gale' (i. 235), can be read without Percy's but vicious-tempered antiquary opened a

tawdry touches, something that · Robin Hood tremendous fire on the new work, attacked

and Randle Erle of Chestre' get fresh clearness it and the editor in terms of the coarsest to our view, that a new Sir Lionell (i. 74) lives abuse, and accused the latter of lying, hy- for us, and Balowe' (iii. 518) is restored to its pocrisy, corruption, and forgery. The English home. It is more that we have now for style of Ritson's remarks was of course the first time .Eger & Grime' in its earlier utterly incapable of justification ; but it is state, Sir Lambewell' (i. 142) besides, the not to be denied that Percy laid himself Cavilere's' praise of his hawking (iii. 369), open to suspicion, and his work to detrac- the complete version of Scottish Feilde' (i. tion, by the liberties he took with his origi- | 199), and · Kinge Arthur's Death' (i. 487), the nals, and the absence - especially in the

fullest of · Flodden Feilde' (i. 313), and the first edition of a sufficient intimation

verse Merline' (i. 417), the Earle of Westthat the text of the ballads had been largely

morlande' (i. 292), Bosworth Feilde' (iii. altered. The editor did indeed say that

233), the curious poem of John de Reeve' (ii. emendations had been introduced, and gaps Liffe' (iii. 56), with its gracious picture of Lady

550), and the fine alliterative one of Death and supplied; but he did not lead any one to

dame Life, awakening life and love in grass and suppose that some of the ballads were al

tree, in bird and man, as she speeds to her conmost entirely re-written. The thirty-nine quest over Death." lines of the original “ Child of Elle were extended to two hundred; large additions That Percy did not more completely inwere made to “Sir Cawline, and “Sir Al- dicate the degree of alteration which he indingar;” and “ Valentine and Ursine" is troduced into the old ballads is to be restated by Mr. Furnivall to have been en-gretted; but the alterations themselves can tirely the Bishop's own, and founded on the hardly be blamed, since it is quite certain old prose romance of the same name, which that without them the public - even the

LIVING AGE. VOL. X. 387

literary public of those days — would never had the intention of some day printing the colhave been induced to take any interest in lection themselves — are indeed now indexing the collection, and thus the particular good it - and they may carry out their intention inwhich it effected would have been lost. "We dependently of the Ballad Society. A proposal have only to glance at the uncouth, per

has been made to them either to act in unior plexingly antique, and often fragmentary

with the society, or no longer to delay the publipoems, as printed in the present volumes,

cation of their ballads, — which men of letters to be sure that such a work could never

haye desired any time these hundred years with

out getting them,- either by themselves or by have had any wide influence over the tastes the society. It is hoped that the result of this of a people. The reproduction is most in

proposal will be the speedy appearance of the teresting on antiquarian grounds, and we | Pepys collection. are extremely glad to have it; but a hun- ** Pending the settlement of this question, & dred years ago it would have fallen still hand-list of all the other printed collections acborn from the press. We wish Mr. Furni- cessible to the public will be made, and issued to vall and his colleagues had not considered subscribers to the Ballad Society, to show what it their duty to gird so often and so sharply work lies before it and them. Unless any of the at the Bishop, as, whatever his literary provincial sets prove more valuable than they faults and shortcomings, we are all under a have appeared on a hasty glance to be, the Britgreat debt of gratitude to him for the pub

ish Museum collections— the Roxburghe and lication of the “ Reliques."

Bagford — will be taken in hand, and produced We are pleased to find that the printing

as quirkly as funds and editors' leisure will al

18 low. Dr. Rimbault and Mr. William Chappell, of the folio MS. is to be followed by the

he whose long study of ballads and ballad literature issue of other collections of a similar kind, is so well known, and whose knowledge has been for the editing of which a “Ballad Society"

so often tried and proved to be sound, have alis about to be established. In the prospec-ready kindly undertaken to act as editors of the tus of this society we read:

ballads, and the Rev. Alexander Dyce has prom« The known collections of printed ballads

ised general help. Other aid will be forthcomare the Pepys at Magdalene College, Cambridge;

ing when called for, and the manuscript ballads the Roxburghe, the Bagford, and the King's-1

will be produced when Mr. Furnivall, or whoLibrary Political Ballads, in the British Muse

ever their editor may be, has had time to collect um; the Ashmole, Douce, and Rawlinson at Ox

them.” ford; Mr. Euing's at Glasgow (from Bishop! In the parts now before us of the work Heber's Library); and small ones in the Anti-,

we have been considering, we observe two quaries? Society, &c. Manuscript ballads are also at Oxford and elsewhere. The Ballad S0-15

interesting essays: one on the term “Bondciety proposes to print the whole of these collec

man," and the class it represented in old tions, so far as it can, with copies of the origi- / times, by Mr. Furnivall; the other, by the nal wood-cuts to such of the ballads as have Rev. W. W. Skeat, on “Alliterative Poethem, and Introductions when needed.

try." We can only refer to these by name; “Were the Pepys collection a public one, it but they will be found to add to the value would be the first chosen for issue by the society; of the book. but the Fellows of Magdalene have for some time

RELIGIOUS DOUBT. - I have not been able to every form of religion, and negation of religion; suppress my delight at a discovery, which I every physical inquiry, every inquiry into the life scarcely anticipated, that a biography, which of nations, of races of mankind, is compelling us faithfully exhibits the different directions in to face it. None are doing more by their positive which Bunsen's mind traveled, should bring out facts, by their worship of humanity, to force it as faithfully the secret of its unity, or should so upon us than those who say that theology died confirm and illustrate the evidence comicg from ages ago, and needs only a burial. That burial his latest work. I speak of delight — but it is a may be the step to a resurrection such as none of delight mixed with awe. For I feel, as I said at us dream of. But, in the mean time, we clergythe beginning of this article, that the movements men plunge into all petty controversies, spend of our time, which might seem to make his life our passions and our energies in them, and obsolete, have brought the question which was have only hard words for a layman who said to working in his heart from his earliest years, and us on earth, who says to us from the tomb, 'A which came fully before him in his latest, more God, or no God: that is the question.' and more directly upon us, that every form of

F. D. Maurice, in Macmillani. philosophy, and every negation of philosophy;

CHAPTER VII.

her bright eyes brightened, she attended

more carefully to matters of dress and apIt was not a hard task to overcome the pearance, she looked younger and happier. few difficulties that stood in the way of car- It was in her the artist and the woman flowrying out Maurice's scheme. And now came ering together. Gradual as the change to Antonia the dawn of a new life and the was, Maurice could not help being struck hulfilment of her old one. The fulfilment by it; but though by no means stupid in of the old, because she had at last found such matters, and certainly not without his scope for the full exercise of her talents, share of the vanity common to all men where and was fairly on the road to finding scope women are concerned, he never connected for her genius also; the dawning of a new himself in any way with it. life, because - was it not only to be expect- The life lived by both was now happy in ed that her warm and sympathetic nature the extreme. Maurice had already tasted should seek to find fulfilment too!

the delightful foretaste of fame, and nothing And so it happened, as indeed was inev- had occurred to deaden its effect. He was itable. When perfect sympathy exists be- no longer hampered by poverty, he was tween a woman and one who possesses already distinguished in that art which he mental qualities which she has not, and now loved entirely and for its own sake, his which she therefore, after the manner of wo- society was courted, his intellectual nature men, exaggerates, and when this sympathy gratified by the friendships that he was enis combined with the undoubted belief that abled to form among men, and his deeper her own feelings, whatever they may be, are needs of the heart by what so few men ever appreciated and returned, there can be but find and the highest and best of men the one result. In Antonia's case, a passionate least often of all the full sympathy and nature, intensifying every thought and every devotion of a woman who could keep pace emotion, carried her along the pleasant and with him in all his advances, console anı natural, but dangerous, road without al- encourage him, praise and appreciate, learn lowing her to stop and examine her own and teach – to whom he could open all his heart; while her unconsciousness of self heart, and who gave him all hers in return. and want of feminine vanity made her place And her happiness was complete also. Maurice upon a higher level in comparison Her love had grown so gradually, and had with herself than perhaps he deserved. He become so much a part of her nature, that was, no doubt, really above her in some she never thought about it. It was like the things - in delicacy of perception, for in-air she breathed; and she was never disstance, which with hiin was the result of re- turbed by the most passing doubt. How finement and cultivation, and was founded should a woman like her bestow all her soul on comparison and judgment, while with in vain? It could not be so in the very her it depended almost entirely upon an nature of things. instinct which was very apt to make mis- Meanwhile her progress in study was takes. Again, he had a quality in which rapid and brilliant. It can scarcely be said, she was almost entirely deficient — that however, that she astonished the skilful muwhich leads the possessor of it to look upon sician under whose instruction she placed human nature and the outside world with a herself; he accepted her at once for what constant view to artistic relation, and which she was, and she had to pass through no sharpens, subtilises, and fills with life the preliminary course of so!8 and “hm !"8. brain, while it renders the heart cool and It was not long before her teacher procured equable in its pulsations. He was, in a her an engagement at the Court Church, word, essentially the artist of talent and and she had every prospect of coming to culture, and so far was, the superior; but terms with the Director of the theatre at then she had genius, which, when once it has Dresden, where it was thought best for her received the seed of culture, does not cease to to overcome the difficulties of a first appearproduce tares, it is true, but of every good ance. grain sown therein brings forth a thousand- The friendship between herself and the fold. This exuberant nature of hers, hither-painter was equally beneficial to both, in to narrowed and confined, rapidly expanded so far as related to artistic development. under the influences of love and art. Her Each supplied a want in the other. She personal appearance even shared in the supplied his deficiency in enthusiasm, while change; and, without becoming beautiful, be rectified the somewhat uneven balance she began imperceptibly to acquire the of her nature, in which enthusiasm was charm of manner which is the privilege of carried to so high a pitch. The relation those only whose souls are large and fair. between them was thus of a peculiar and Her figure gained a kind of stately elasticity, I unusual nature. No word of love had as yet arisen between them to disturb them “ There – do not scold me, but I cannot or break their perfect confidence. The love say I repent. Have you seen the Herr Dithat was felt by Antonia was too strong and rector lately?" too real, and had enveloped her too conr- “A hundred times, but we cannot agree. pletely, to make her afraid, and he — was We are both too fond of the groschen, I he not the lover of Grace Owen ?

think." Maurice now lived in good lodgings in "You are quite right - don't let him get the Schlosz-Gasse, but he removed to them hold of you for nothing. I would go to from his old attic much against the grain. Leipzig sooner - they would be glad of The daily presence of Antonia had become you there just now." almost a necessary part of his life and of his “Of course - and if I had only been wise work; and, though he affected to rejoice at enough to drop a hint to our Director here having regained his peace of ear, the absence that I was uncertain where I should come of the voice, of whose industry he had so out, he would soon have come to terms. often complained, was missed by him more But I have rather set my heart on Dresden, than he himself imagined.

and he knows it too well. So weeks and months passed on, during i “He will come round at last; so many wbich the two lived a kind of ideal life with people here would be angry, if he did not. out ever pausing to think of the real nature So hold out, by all means." of their feelings towards each other. The “Trust me! And you - how is the days resembled each other so closely, and fresco to-day?" were so calm and pleasant, that it never oc “Oh, as usual — that is to say, getting on curred to either that their present way of slowly enough. I will take you to see it in life could ever end. But the inevitable end a day or two — only I am always afraid of must come at last — and it came.

you." One spring evening, nearly a year since “Why? " Edward Maurice had achieved his first sud “Because you are always comparing me den and unexpected success, he found him- against Murillo, and Raphael, and Titian,self alone with Antonia at her lodging. which is grossly unfair." Her uncle had a temporary engagement at “Should you like me to judge your picLeipzig, and her aunt had accompanied ture against the Tinker of Mieris, then?" him. She herself was singing at the piano “God forbid! That would be outside when Maurice entered, so that, her back me altogether — the spirit of the Dutchman being towards the door, she did not see him. would stand aghast in his grave at my vagueWhen she had finished he made an exclama- ness. So don't be absurd, but play me sometion of applause. She turned round. thing. I won't ask you to sing any more

"That is not fair,” she said, “to listen - that would be unfair in my turn." * when I am singing to myself.”

| “I thought you were going to the theatre “I am very glad that I did so, though. Ito-night.” I have found out an important secret about “So I was, but felt tired and lazy. I you by it."

I don't think I shall go there much again be" " What is that?"

i fore a certain occasion." “That you sing better to yourself alone “Thank you. So my music will suit you than to an audience. That is common when you are tired and lazy." ; among amateurs, but not among artists." "At all events it will suit me now." “Is that a compliment, or not?"

“Perhaps I am tired and lazy too." “It doesn't sound like one, I admit. “You are never lazy, and if you are What I mean is, that the singer who takes tired, I will not be hard on you." equal care when alone, and finds her own He took a chair and sat down at the heart the most sympathetic audience, must piano close to her side. love art in the very highest way, and not She put out her hand and took up at ranat all for the thalers and groschen."

dom a piece of music from the heap that lay Antonia laughed. “But I do love it for all around her in the wildest confusion. the thalers and groschen," she answered. She never kept anything in its place, and

“Less than you think, I fancy," replied always had to trust to instinct to find what Maurice. “But vive l'argent, nevertheless. she wanted. The piece to which her hand ( certainly shall not quarrel with you." vas guided was a rather light sonata of Mo

“But I mean to quarrel with you. I zart. She began to play from the notes, would really rather that you would not lis- but the evening light was gradually diminten when I don't know it." Antonia spoke ishing, so that she had to trust to memory seriously, and as though she meant what more and more. As she did not know this she said.

sonata very accurately her performance be

« AnteriorContinuar »