[ocr errors]





sings are to be found, making allowance for the less amusing than that of M. De La Baume blunders of the singer, in The Songs of the Desdossat, who, in 1757, immortalised himself Earl of Surrey and others,' 1557. The poem is by the publication of a 'Pastorale Héroique.' reprinted in Percy’s ‘Reliques. It is ascribed to He tells us, “All that the imagination can inLord Vaux. We give the stanzas out of which vent most horrible, most gloomy, most ferocious, the clown's readings may be made :

constitutes the matter of the English tragedies,

which are monsters in which sublime sentiments “I loth that I did love, In youth that I thought swete,

and ideas are found side by side with the flattest As time requires: for my behove

buffooneries and the grossest jests. Shakspere Me thinkes they are not mete.

in one tragedy introduces a game at bowls with " For Age with steling steps

death's heads upon the stage.(“Fait jouer à Hath clawde me with his croweh,

la boule avec des têtes de mort sur le théâtre.")
And lusty Youthe awaye he leapes,
As there had bene none such.

28 SCENE I.—Imperial Cæsar," &c.
"A pikeax and a spade,
And eke a shrowding shete,

The dwellings of our countrymen in the time
A house of clay for to be made

of Elizabeth were rude enough to render it For such a guest most mete.

often requisite to
“ For Beautie with her band,

"Stop a hole, to keep the wind away.”
These croked cares had wrought,
And shipped me into the land,

The following is from Harrison's 'Description
From whence I first was brought."

of England,' 1577 : In the fenny countries and

northern parts, unto this day, for lack of wood, 27 SCENE I.-" To play at loggats with them.they are enforced to continue the ancient manner

The game of loggats is a country play, in of building (houses set up with a few posts and which the players throw at a stake, or jack with many raddles), so in the open and champain round pins. In Ben Jonson’s ‘Tale of a Tub' countries, they are enforced, for want of stuff, we have :

to use no studs at all, but only frank-posts, and “Now are they tossing of his legs and arms,

such principals, with here and there a girding, Like loggats at a pear-tree."

whereunto they fasten their splints or raddles, The scene of the grave-diggers has always and then cast it all over with thick clay to keep been the horror of the old French school of out the wind. Certes this rude kind of building criticism. Voltaire, by a great generalisation, made the Spaniards in Queen Mary's day to calls the works of Shakspere a bundle of wonder, and say, 'these English have their “monstruosités et fossoyeurs.” But Voltaire's houses made of sticks and dirt, but they fare criticism upon the grave-digging scene is far commonly so well as the king.'”



[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[graphic][merged small]

99 SCENE I.-" Woul't drink up Esil ?for philosophy and poetry what really only proEsil was formerly a term in common use for ceeded from the very vulgar recollections of an vinegar; and thus some have thought that ignorant mind. “Dr. Farmer informs me," Hamlet here meant, will you take a draught of says Steevens, “that these words are merely vinegar-of something very disagreeable. It technical. A wood-man, butcher, and dealer in is, however, probable that he referred to the skewers, lately observed to him, that his nephew, river Yssell, Issell, or Izel, the most northern (an idle lad) could only assist him in making branch of the Rhine, and that which is the them; he could rough hew them, but I was nearest to Denmark. Stow and Drayton are obliged to shape their ends.' To shape the ends familiar with the name.

of wood skewers, i. e., to point them, requires a

degree of skill; any one can rough-hew them. SO SCENE I.

Whoever recollects the profession of Shakspere's Anon, as patient as the female dove," &c. father, will admit that his son might be no To disclose was anciently used for, to hatch. st anger to such terms. I have frequently seen The “coaplets” of the dove are first covered packages of wool pinn'd up with skewers.” !!! with yellow down ; and the patient female sits brooding o'er the nest, cherishing them with her

32 SCENE II. warmth for several days after they are hatched. The carriages, sir, are the hangers." 31 SCENE II.

The hangers are that part of the girdle or

belt by which the sword was suspended. We There's a divinity that shapes our ends,

find the word used in the directions for an Rough-hew them how we will."

installation of the Knights of the Garter. (See Philosophy, as profound as it is beautiful ! Ashmole's History of the Order." Garter presays the uninitiated reader of Shakspere. But sents the Lords Commissioners with “ the he that is endued with the wisdom of the com- hanger and sword,” which they gird on the mentators will learn, how easy it is to mistake | knight.

[graphic][graphic][graphic][graphic][merged small]
[graphic][merged small]


The local illustrations which we have given of The Castle of Kronborg, or Kronenburg, in the this play are from original sketches made by Mr. immediate neighbourhood of Elsinore, is a fortiG. F. Sargent. Those of buildings, have, of fication which is invariably associated with course, no association with the period of the ac- Shakspere's Hamlet. Mr. Inglis learnt that tion. But they possess an interest; being in very few travellers visited Elsinore; but that some degree connected with the supposed scenes occasionally passengers in English vessels of Hamlet's history, and with the popular tra- which happened to be lying to, and sometimes ditions which have most likely sprung from the also passengers in French vessels, landed at the European reputation of Shakspere's Hamlet. castle, owing to its connexion with Hamlet and For example, we have this passage in Coxe's Shakspere.” A Danish translation of Hamlet, * Travels :' “ Adjoining to a royal palace, which he learnt, was often acted at Elsinore. We prestands about half a mile from Kronborg, is a sent, therefore, to our readers what the few pasgarden which curiosity led us to visit; it is sengers who visit Elsinore land to see, walking called Hamlet's Garden, and is said, by tradition, up to the castle, as Mr. Inglis did, thinking to be the very spot where the murder of his all the way “of Hamlet and Ophelia, and the father was perpetrated.” The vignette above murdered King." The engraving at the head of shows a sequestered part of this garden, which Act I. is a view of the platform at the Castle of is called “Hamlet's Grave.” Mr. Inglis, in an Kronborg; that at the head of Act III. the agreeable volume published in Constable's Palace of Kronborg, within the fortifications. Miscellany,' describes his anxiety to see this We have also given a general view of Elsinore. garden, upon the evening of his arrival at The view of the Palace of Rosenberg, which is Elsinore. “The centinel,” he says, “to whom at Copenhagen, is introduced to exhibit the I addressed myself, laid aside his musket, residence of a Danish noble in the time of and himself conducted me to the enclosure.” Shakspere.

[graphic][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][ocr errors][subsumed][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

It has been conjectured, and with sufficient that his hair might not be touched by a slave, reason, by Mr. Strutt and other writers on the or stained with his blood b. In the Anglo-Saxon subject of costume, that the dress of the Danes poem of Beowulf, we findduring the tenth and eleventh centuries differed “ The long-haired one, illustrious in battle, little, if anything, in shape from that of the The bright lord of the Danes :” Anglo-Saxons; and although from several scat- and the Knyghtlinga Saga describes Canute's tered passages in the works of the Welsh bards hair as profuse. and in the old Danish ballads, we gather that In a MS. register of Hide Abbey, written in black was a favourite colour, we are expressly the time of Canute, that monarch is represented told by Arnold of Lubeck, that at the time he in a tunic and mantel, the latter fastened with wrote (circa 1127), they had become “wearers of cords or ribands, and tassels. He wears shoes scarlet, purple and fine linen;" and by Walling- and stockings reaching nearly to the knees, with ford, who died in 1214, that “the Danes were embroidered tops, or it may be chausses or paneffeminately gay in their dress, combed their taloons, with an embroidered band beneath the hair once a day, bathed once a week, and often knee; for the drawing being uncoloured leaves changed their attire.” Of their pride in their the matter in doubt. When Canute's body was long hair, and of the care they took of it, several examined at Winchester in 1766, it was adorned anecdotes have been preserved. Harold Har- with several gold and silver bands, and a wreath fagre, i. e., Fairlocks, derived his name from the or circlet was round the head. A jewelled ring beauty of his long-flowing ringlets, which are said was upon one finger, and in one of his hands a to have hung down to his girdle, and to have silver penny" Bracelets of massive gold were been like silken or golden threads : and these worn by all persons of rank, and their most precious curls he made a vow to his mistress to sacred oath before their conversion to Christianneglect till he had completed the conquest of ity was by their “ holy bracelet;" a sacred ornaNorway for her love". A young Danish warriorment of this kind being kept on the altars of going to be beheaded begged of an executioner

Jomswinkinga Saga in Bartholinus. · Torfæus, Hist. Nor.'

e Archäologia,' vol. iii.

their gods, or worn round the arm of the priest. Hamlet, as a prince of the blood, should have Scarlet was the colour originally worn by the been attired in the royal scarlet. Of the armour kings, queens, and princes of Denmark. In the of the Danes at the close of the tenth century ballad of Childe Axelvold' we find that as soon we have several verbal descriptions. "By the as the young man discovered himself to be of laws of Gula, said to have been established by royal race, he “put on the scarlet red;" and in Hacon the Good, who died in 963, it is ordered the ballad of 'Hero Hogen and the Queen of that every possessor of six marks should furnish Danmarck,' the queen is said to have rode first himself with a red shield of two boards in thick"in red scarlet;" the word red being used in ness, a spear, an axe, or a sword. He who was both these instances to distinguish the peculiar worth twelve marks, in addition to the above, sort of scarlets, as in those times scarlet, like was ordered to procure a steel cap; whilst he purple, was used to express any gradation of who had eighteen marks was obliged to have colour formed by red and blue, from indigo to also a coat of mail, or a tunic of quilted linen or crimson. It thus happens, curiously enough, cloth, and all usual military weapons, amongst that the objections of the Queen and Claudius which the bipennis, or double-bladed axe, was to the appearance of Hamlet in black are autho- the most national. The Danish helmet, like rised, not only by the well-known custom of the the Saxon, had the nasal, which in Scandinavia early Danes, never to mourn for their nearest is called nef-biòrg (nose-guard), and to which and dearest relatives or friends, but also by the the collar of the mail-hood, which covered the fact that, although black was at least their chin, was frequently hooked up, so as to leave favourite ", if not, indeed, their national colour, little of the face unguarded except the eyes.

• Black bordered with red is to this day common amongst the northern peasantry.

[graphic][merged small]
« VorigeDoorgaan »