« VorigeDoorgaan »
cided support, not only of the German gest of their Recollections' as this Prince. Press in general, among which the Rheinische Written with no apparent purpose of proZeitung has spoken out most clearly, but ducing effect, or even with the design of even of the Liberal Austrian Press. It might be expected that the fate of Maximilian would induce Austrian journals to be rather severe against the Mexican Republic. But the fact is that papers like the Neue Freie Presse of Vienna, a Liberal organ of the most extensive circulation, and one which exercises great influence even beyond the frontiers of Austria, acknowledge in the strongest terms that the procedure of the Mexican Government is the only one which it could possibly take without dereliction of national dignity. We speak of articles that have appeared since the reply to Mr. Kinglake's interpellation was given by Lord Stanley. Now, when the Austrian Press maintains such views, we think the English Government might make the first step towards a reconciliation without fear for its own dignity. In the interest of trade and commerce the re-establishment of a regular intercourse ought not to be delayed any longer.
publication, the literary merit of the work is very considerable. We meet with descriptions which are vivid, reflections which are simple but ardent, and an acquaintance with several branches of art which, perhaps, the majority of readers had hardly been fed to expect from Maximilian. We should say, for example, that Naples has seldom been better described, nor Pisa, Pompeii, Lucca, Baice, and Capri. Those who have visited these places will recognise at once that no unskilled or unfamiliar hand has touched these modest yet artistic pictures. But the author seems especially to delight in describing works of art, and to excel in the description. After wandering through the Pitti gallery at Florence, he notes down in his diary, with regard to a picture of the First Napoleon, whose soul the artist had depicted as in hell:
The Pisans recognise with delight the head of Napoleon in hell in one of them, and this is but natural; it is characteristic of mankind to condemn the hated fallen enemy, and to rejoice over his disgrace; one does not risk anything by it, for he has become harmless. As long as the Pisan hell-figure was called Roi d'Italie, there was not gold enough to be found to represent the nimbus In his apotheosis; but the god of the day fell from the heavens, and the holy light was converted into the glow of hell. Sic transit
And, again, in speaking of the necessary influence of religious belief on art, he says:
Constantinople had fallen before the sword of Mohammed. Græco-Byzantine art and philoso
IN the Midsummer of 1851, Maximilian started on his first sea-voyage. "I was glad," he says, "to realise my much-longed-gloria mundi. for desire. Accompanied by several acquaintances, I put off from the dearly-loved shore of Africa. This moment was one of great excitement to me, for it was the first time I confided myself to the sea for a long phy and the rich sciences of the East found a trip. We dashed rapidly through the waves, home in Italy, through the luxurious spirit of and already, at about a quarter past seven the Medici, which in its turn conferred splen(July 30th), amidst the strains of the na-dour on their new dynasty. The tiara was tional hymn, we went on board the frigate Novara, our future floating palace, of which the name itself was a good omen to every Austrian."
Throughout the first volume of these 'Recollections' we are treated only to the visits of the Prince to Italy, Andalusia, and Granada. Nothing of a political kind is found in this volume in the way of reference, opinion, or incident. It is simply a most interesting record, a diary," of Maximilian's pleasure-trip in days when the shadows of his future throne could cast no gloom on his imagination; but when, surrounded by his friends, he opened his heart to free enjoyment and his mind to intelligent observation. Few tourists, if we may apply the word to such a traveller, have contributed to the press so admirable a di
borne by a Medici, and the hitherto forgotten treasures of Rome were wedded to Greek recollections, which brought forth a new epoch in art, the Mythologico-Christian. The Lord's Supper was celebrated in the Temple: Venus got the same court-rank as the God-mother. It was in harmony with such a state of things to blend the customs of antiquity with those of modern times, and call this philosophy. But from this resulted an unsatisfied Ideal. Men discovered that the gods of antiquity only represented men; and the pride of the senses which took possession of the heart, and laid in it the first produced great things in art and science, themselves to be a kind of divinity, needing no germ of atheism. The very princes believed longer to be afraid of the old God. They nursed religion only as a convenient state institution for their subjects. In France Francis I. was the chief supporter of the worship of the Syrens,
round which he attempted to throw a nimbus by the arts of Italy. Catherine di Medici was too zealous in the service of Aphrodite, and Louis XIV. Jupiterised himself entirely. A vanity that could be satisfied, vanity and the apotheosis of sensuality, became the philosophy of rulers. These ideas soon descended to the people, and were fed by their rulers and celebrated in their songs, and finally had their chief representative in Voltaire. France saved Italy partly by concentrating these ideas in herself; but she had to pay for this glory with her blood. The tombs of the Medici produce thoughts of a very cold and
We find but passing allusions in this volume to any of the royal persons whom modern revolutions rendered illustrious, at least by circumstance if not in character. At Naples Maximilian met King Ferdinand, of whom perhaps he might be supposed to be thinking when, in another part of his diary, he wrote: "It is only when a man either does deeds, or resists a progressive development, that his name is noted down in
the books of Clio."
A tall strong man, with short cropped hair and beard, and with a laced three-cornered hat, received us; my good genius whispered to me that it was the King. Indeed, it must have been a higher revelation, for I had imagined King Ferdinand to be a different man. His figure still floated before me indistinctly, as I saw him fifteen years ago in Vienna, when he was a young man of twenty-six years of age. Now, to be sure, he was forty-one, but, from his ance, one would have taken him for a man considerably above fifty; so much has the destroying power of the South and the influence of the years of revolution worked upon him. Later, when I had an opportunity of examining him more closely, I recognised the features of his youth, but his fine black hair had turned grey and his face had become wrinkled. He wore the rather plain uniform of one of his regiments of Grenadiers, which he prefers, I was told, to all others since the revolution. The riband of the Austrian Order of St. Stephen was hanging over his shoulder. He received me in the most friendly manner, and conducted me directly to the Queen.
Elsewhere he describes the eldest son of the King, the present Francis II., who was then but fifteen years of age. "The poor young man is very timid; which may arise partly from the manner in which he is educated. He is kept out of the world that he may remain child-like." A curious observation also is to be found, about this date, to the effect that two things struck Maximilian principally during his visit to the docks and arsenal of Naples - "the great profusion of galley-slaves, dressed in red, who meet you on all sides, rattling their heavy chains, and the numberless portraits
and busts of the King." We can appreciate the satirical remark of Maximilian on this odd conjuncture: "I do not like to see, during a monarch's lifetime, monuments everywhere erected to him, out of base flattery."
In the second part of the introductory volume we find our traveller in Andalusia; and, at first, a minute description of the Cathedral of Seville, and, afterwards, one of the Cathedral of Granada, occupy considerable space. Then we take a sudden leap into a wholly different kind of entertainment; and we wish that space would permit us to transcribe at length a magnificent description had the fortune (or ill-fortune) to witness, of a genuine bull-fight, which the Prince for the first time in his life, at Seville. But
must content ourselves with merely
giving his after-thoughts, some of which will at least be easily comprehended by "How the feelings every English reader. in so short a space as a quarter of an hour! of a man can be changed," says the Prince, On entering, I felt uneasy, and very uncomfortable; and now a mania for the bloody spectacle possessed me." And again: "The spectator's nature is soon changed; his original nature is awakened; wild passion gains the mastery, and he is annoyed when the bull does not succeed in his deadly thrust, when phases of the fight are not steeped deep enough in blood." All this one can perfectly comprehend; but there follows a passage which will shock the tender susceptibilities of not a few of those discerning critics who draw a very wide distinction between taking a personal and hazardous part in cruel sport, and merely assisting as a neutral spectator at a risk incurred by others:
I love such festivals, in which the original nature of man comes out in its truth; and much prefer them to the enervating, immoral entertainments of other luxurious and degenerate countries. Here bulls perish, there heart and soul sink in a weak, sentimental frivolity. I do not deny it, I love the olden time! not that of the last century, where, amidst hair-powder and insipid idyls, men glided over a false paradise down the yawning abyss. No! the time of our ancestors, when chivalrous feeling was developed in the tournaments, when vigorous women did not ask for their smelling-bottle at every drop of blood, nor feigned a swoon, when the wild and not as now, behind barricades; this was a boar and bear were hunted in the open forest, vigorous time which brought forth strong children. What remains to us of this heritage of the manly amusements of cur fathers? Perhaps the hunt? No! We call ourselves hunters, but we send from a secure distance a killing bullet into the half-tamed boars. It is only war, which
philanthropy cannot abolish, notwithstanding their thirty years' exertions; and two sports have been preserved in two nations, which have not yet degenerated. The first sport is the foxhunt in England, in which man exposes himself to dangers worthy of himself, nor recoils before any obstacle; and if it be said that it is useless to risk one's life for useless purposes, I may answer, I believe that those who shun unnecessary dangers will not find the courage to meet inevitable ones. The second sport is the bull-fight in Spain; a true popular festival of the olden time. It is true that they excite the passions, the inherent savageness of man, but so also they do his strength, and whoever takes an enthusiastic part in these scenes will not lack interest for other things, and at least will not perish through apathy. In the Spanish people there is still a proud chivalry, and, notwithstanding the sport transmitted to them by their forefathers, the Spaniards are devout and charitable. Every thing has its season, and their variety is the high
est charm of human life.
A description, from an Austrian point of view, of English dinners and English habits, will be found in the "Visit to Gibraltar," of which incomparable fortress the Prince observes, with truth as well as irony: "How glorious for England's proud sons, to find in all their voyages, at every turning point of their wide sea-roads, a bomb-proof hotel! They can everywhere find their countrymen, and everywhere can sing under the blessed shade of their banner, Rule Britannia!"" He laughs at the " Humourously executed statue of Elliot, the stubborn defender of Gibraltar; nor is he very complimentary to English art:
With an immense old-fashioned hat on his large head, the hair of which ended in a pigtail, with legs like a broomstick, the gilt keys of the fortress in his right hand, the old hero seems to
promenade in the shrubbery of the park like a ghost of his former self. In all matters of art the English are far behindhand: with them, comfort and the practical are the principal things aimed at; art is not understood by them: it is just the opposite with the Italians, who are so enthusiastic "per le belle arti," that they, for art's sake, freeze like tailors in their giant palaces under fresco-painted ceilings; Germans and French alone succeed in uniting the two.
Certainly the Prince was a very observant traveller, and a very lively writer. He was not one of those whom he himself describes with deep contempt, "who believe themselves in duty bound to travel; but think it bad style in the highest degree to find interest in anything interesting, or to get attracted, still less excited, by anything beautiful." It is refreshing to read the warm generous language in which he suffers himself to express his admiration and attachment to his home and friends. He might be prophetically describing his own disastrous future, when, alone almost in a strange land, he poured out his sorrows to his own heart, and found relief in death. "I felt very sad, for it was the first time that I had not been with my brother on this happy day,"
his birthday. And then he proceeds to describe his loneliness, in language which, at least to us, is full of mournful meaning:
I was alone, quite alone in strange seas, under another sky; besides, I thought so long and so deeply of one of my beloved at home, about whom my heart was anxious, that I was in one of those forlorn dispositions of mind in which man feels a sort of sweet despair and longs for home. My family had made me too happy at home; but it is well that such a life should have an end, and these heavy hours are a bitter but wholesome medicine.
"A GUARDIAN," writing from Hitchin to the Times on the question of vagrancy, attributes its increase to the leniency of the magistrates: and to prove his point cites two cases, the latter of which is certainly novel. It was that of a woman who had in her possession thirty-seven shillings, and a skilfully constructed straw baby, by means of which she excited compassion. Perhaps the worthy magistrates let the woman off from admiration of her ingenuity.
A CURIOUS circumstance, and one which we recommend to the notice of medical men, is re
lated in connection with the " Jewish Blind," a charity which, as its name indicates, has been raised for the support of the blind among the Jews. Sir Benjamin Phillips, the president of this institution, has been informed that a woman who had been stone-blind for about eight years had recently recovered the perfect use of her eyesight. It appears that, during a thunder-storm that prevailed some weeks since, she became suddenly aware, as she expressed it, of " a glimmer of light," and from that time to the present her vision has improved daily; perfect eyesight is now restored to her.
10. ONE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN FRANCE AND ENGLAND,. Economist, 11. SECOND WIVES,
12. THE CONTINENTAL USE OF VEGETABLES, 13. JOHN KEATS,
A SUMMER-NOON IN TOWN,
194 | REST,
JUST PUBLISHED AT THIS OFFICE:
OCCUPATIONS OF A RETIRED LIFE, by EDWARD GARRETT. Price 50 cents.
ALL FOR GREED, by the BARONESS BLAZE DE BURY. Price 38 cts.
PREPARING FOR PUBLICATION AT THIS OFFICE:
HISTORICAL SKETCHES OF THE REIGN OF GEORGE II. These very interesting and valuable sketches of Queen Caroline, Sir Robert Walpole, Lord Chesterfield, Lady Mary Wortley Montague, Pope, and other celebrated characters of the time of George II., several of which have already appeared in the LIVING AGE, reprinted from Blackwood's Magazine, will be issued from this oflice, in book form, as soon as completed.
FOR EIGHT DOLLARS, remitted directly to the Publishers, the LIVING AGE will be punctually forwarded for a year, free of postage. But we do not prepay postage on less than a year, nor where we have to pay commission for forwarding the money.
Price of the First Series, in Cloth, 36 volumes, 90 dollars.
Any Volume Bound, 3 dollars; Unbound, 2 dollars. The sets, or volumes, will be sent at the expenso of the publishers.
For 5 new subscribers ($40.), a sixth copy; or a set of HORNE'S INTRODUCTION TO THE BIBLE, unabridged, in 4 large volumes, cloth, price $10; or any 5 of the back volumes of the LIVING AGE, in numbers, price $10.
One evening, on the slopes above that Dell,
I watched with her the dying of the sun,
Not all the strength, we felt, of all on Earth
But each press'd closer to the other's side.
O rest, so true, so sweet! (Would it were shared by all the weary world!) 'Neath shadowing banner of His love unfurled, We bend to kiss the Master's pierced feet; Then lean our love upon His boundless breast, And know God's rest!