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These three great agents are but now the living generation to another state of beginning to work effectually in human being. Where they attempt it by resistaffairs. Society, in the present age, is on ing reforms in church or state, and adthe eve of a mighty change is in the act hering to laws and social arrangements of transition from a lower to a higher unsuitable to the intelligence and civilistate ; and human powersa Swedish sation of the age, we see in Sweden the king, a Russian emperor, or an alliance resulta social demoralisation for the holy or unholy of all unearthly poten. time, aggravated rather than healed by tates,--can no more arrest its progress the establishments for national education than they can prevent the transition of and religion."
DIARY OF A LOVER OF LITERATURE.
By THOMAS GREEN, Esq. of Ipswich.
(Continued from Vol. XIV. p. 245.) 1817.* Aug. 15.--Felibien praises Tempesta highly for facility of spirit and expression, displaying in his prints the powers rather of a painter than engraver. Reveley calls him “ the graphic Froissart.” Callot engraved 1380 pieces ; Tempesta 1800! Vandyck was accustomed to finish a head in a day, not quitting it till it was completed, except the very last touches. His carnations were more tender and delicate than those of Rubens, approaching nearer to the tints of Titian. Guido could never satisfy hinself with an eye, nor Aug. Caracci with an ear. Domenicheno seems to have been the most reflective and expressive of painters. Poussin said of him, “Qu'il ne connaissait point d'autre peintre, pour ce qui regarde l'expression !” and he considered Raffaele's Transfiguration, Volterra's Descent from the Cross, and Domenicheno's St. Jerome, as the finest pictures in Rome. Titian, it appears, like our Wilson, was in the habit of retouching copies of his works and passing them off for originals. He applies to P. Testa a saying of Theocritus, of Anaximenes,--that “ he had a torrent of words, without a drop of sense or judgment."
Aug. 23.--Finished Felibien's Vies des Peintres. It is a pity that he had not closed his work with Poussin. The long muster-roll of his contemporaries and compatriots, about the middle of the 17th century, eked out with tedious descriptions occasionally of their works, the works of men of no note or general interest, unseasonable dissertation, and ridiculous tales, form altogether a most lame conclusion. He mentions Matthieu, an Englishman, who painted portraits, and worked " dans les Gobelins aux ouvrages du Roi," who died in 1674. He warns towards the close against the seductions of colouring, and states that Poussin, who addressed himself to the intellect rather than the senses, gave to the carnation of his figures that grey tone which they naturally derive from the interposition of the air.
Sept. 3.-Called on Mr. Frost. He said that an intelligent correspondent of Ladbroke's, who had had many opportunities of observation, said that Wilson's pictures were divisible into the red and the olive; that the latter were esteemed the best, and the former always suspicious.
Sept. 5. Read the last art. in Edinb. Rev. (55) on the works of the author of Waverley, Tales of my Landlord, &c. rich in sense and taste, and exquisite discernment; nothing can be more profound nor just than this
* By a mistake the date of the last Diary was given Aug. 1806, instead of Aug. 1817.-Ep.
† An amateur artist of great talent, then living at Ipswich, since dead.-Ed.
remark," that there is a quiet under-current of life, which keeps its deep and steady course in its eternal channels, unobstructed, or at least, but slightly disturbed, by the storms which agitate its surface.” How felicitous a metaphor, and how happily expressed !
Sept. 7.--Read the oriental romance of The Caliph Vathek, translated by Dr. Henley, * displaying wonderful powers of imagination, and in descriptions of luxury and horror, dashed with perpetual traits of the ludicrous : very unusual, however, in Eastern tales. Nothing can transcend in terrible effects, the Temple of Eblis. The moral seems not quite congenial to our feelings, for curiosity of knowledge seems the evil reprobated rather than the crime originating from a disposition morally depraved in its nature.
Sept. 21.-Read St. Pierre's Paul and Virginia. An engraftment of Rousseau's philosophy on the wretched stock of French pastoral. Can any man of common sense believe that beings educated like Paul and Virginia would be what they are represented ? nothing but the affecting catastrophe redeems this tale from contempt. The occasional attempts to give vividness by circumstantiality of description are most abortive and ludicrous.
Sept. 23.-Beloe, in the Sexagenarian, abuses G. Wakefield for saying that Porson was reserved and dull in conversation ; and yet he himself says in the thirty-fifth chapter, that Porson by no means excelled in conversation, and neither wrote nor spoke with facility : he positively insists that Porson was not guilty of any intemperance when alone. Yet I have seen ranges of porter-pots in his windows in the Temple, which furnished striking indications to the contrary. Much disgusted with the weakness and prejudices of this book.
Sept. 27.-Read Sheridan's Speeches on the Begum Charge in Hastings's trial, part of which I indistinctly heard. There is rather too much ambitious sparkle in them, and a want of breadth and keeping. The occasional flights of eloquence too, do not seem to rise spontaneously out of the 'occasion, but to be particular efforts, and a sort of rhetorical clap-traps. Probably they were better on delivery, or it would be difficult to account for the rapture they excited.
Oct. 2.-Walked at the back of Holywells to Dunham reach and along the shore, till I opened on the bay spreading to Nacton; cold, but light day-tide rising-sweet scene. Mr. Berners told me that there was no account of the origin of Freston Tower,--probably built about the age of James the First, and merely a belvidere.
Oct, 4.--Pursued Edinb. Rev. No. 56. They justly remark on Miss Edgeworth's Tales, that the principles of action which we should endeavour as moralists to inculcate, are not those which are of the most solid and constant use in life,--those are otherwise provided for,-but to rouse the kinder and nobler feelings of our nature-emotions, the occasions for which are indeed of rare occurrence, and which would be naturally mischievous were they to become predominant, but of the excess of which there is little fear, however forcibly excited ; and which, so far as they
* Mr. Green was apparently not aware that this inimitable tale was the production of Mr. Beckford's genius : it is one of those few works which occasionally appear, that no other person but the author could have written. No further proof is wanting of Mr. Beckford's genius, than the creation of Fonthill, and the composition of Vathek; and yet he has no other claims in literature to our admiration. Dr. Henley, Rector of Řendlesham in Suffolk, is said to be the author of the notes to the English dition, which might be both curtailed and added to with equal advantage.-Ed.
can be excited, operate most beneficially in correcting the selfish propensities of our nature. I like these acute observations founded on a penetrating and comprehensive view, containing both sides of the question. The critique on Byron's Manfred appears almost as fine-toned as the poem to which it relates. I am glad they conclude with comparing this wonderful drama to the Prometheus of Æschylus, of which it has all along reminded
Oct, 8.-Read through Phillips's Walk to Kew: he is somewhat too fond of wandering aside out of his depth as he goes along in physical, metaphysical, moral, economical, and statistical speculations; but his intentions seem pure, and he at least stirs the stagnant pool of reflection and research. He says the hum of the metropolis can be distinctly heard at Putney by listening near the ground. The description of the deserted KitCat Club-room, and the transformation of the archiepiscopal Palace at Mortlake, are very feelingly given. The occasional reflections, though sometimes erroneous perhaps, seem perfectly well meant; and the whole, but for too ambitious a display of philosophizing, would be in the highest degree at once instructive and amusing.
Oct. 12.-I am vexed at the diatribe in the Edinburgh Review (No. 56) on Burke, under Coleridge's Life. The charge of inconsistency, I am satisfied still, is unfounded ; and the other accusations on his character and genius, though not without some foundation, are, I am equally persuaded, greatly overcharged. Jeffery's personal appearance, too, in this article, I must think extremely ridiculous : these literary gods should never unveil themselves, and the present occasion is certainly not dignus vindice nodus.
Oct. 21. Read Fosbroke's British Monachism, a large but indigested accumulation of facts. The extracts from Sir Richard Torkington's Diary of his Pilgrimage to Jerusalem in 1517 are extremely amusing.
Oct. 23.-Mr. called after breakfast, and spent all the morning with me. Various and lively discussion on theology, morals, politics, metaphysics, poetry, and law. Lord Ellenborough so disgusted with the deportment of the French judges, that he could bear it no longer, and quitted the court. Sir S. Romilly never, on any occasion, making display succincturging nothing beyond what the case in his consummate judgment demands -rejects troublesome briefs.
Hazlitt had fifty guineas for the last article against Coleridge in the Edinburgh Review. Jeffery, wonderfully voluble, writes his critiques after his evening skirmishes in literary parties
-was, like me, stupified at Bentham's strange and absurd tract on Reform in Parliament. Dugald Stewart received youths at 4001. a year, professing to teach nothing, but inerely to gain the benefit of his table and conversation-fond of money. Lord Castlereagh, possessing great temper, cour
-a dexterous debater. Walked with as far as Stoke park in pleasant chat and discussion.
Dec. 8.--Found by Drake's Shakspere that the fee given for a performance of the regular players in town was 101. or 201. in the neighbouring palaces. Sixpence was the price of admission to the pit and galleries at the Globe and Blackfriars, and sixpence or a shilling for seats and stools on the stage. The custom of seats on the stage my mother well
It does not appear to me that the resemblance between these two dramas is very striking. On the Prometheus, read the profound observations of Mr. S. T. Coleridge, in bis Lit. Remains, vol. i. p. 323.-Ed.
remembers here. The net receipts at the Globe and Blackfriars never amounted to more than 201. and averaged about 91.* The
of a principal performer amounted to about 701. per annum. Shakspeare, as author, actor, and proprietor, Malone thinks might clear about 2001. per
Dec. 14.-I forget whether the line
“ A dateless bargain to engrossing Death I” has been cited as a proof of Shakspere's education in the law. Another instance in Henry VI might be adduced. “ With blood he sealed a testament of never-ending love." I find in Drake, that Dicky Price, the Earl of Suffolk's fool, died so late as 1728. In 1602, Shakspere bought 107 acres of land adjoining his purchase of New Place in Stratford for 3201. In June 1610, on a suit of his for a small debt at Stratford, the writ is signed by his cousin, Thomas Green, Esq., who though resident at Stratford, and clerk to the corporation, had chambers in the Middle Temple, and was a barrister in Chancery. The extract in Drake, from the Diary of Thomas Green, relating to a visit from his cousin Shakspere, Nov. 17, 1614, respecting an Inclosure Bill, is curious enough.
Dec. 26.- In the evening went to the theatre to see Kean in Richard. Full house: sate between Mrs. Frere and Mrs. Dillingham. All expectation —first impression in the soliloquy of vulgar coarse::ess, awkward swing of the shoulders, and methodist tones. Throughout unquestionably deficient in the dignity of a kingly villain. In sarcastic and ferocious passages, a snarling tone croaked hoarsely out, like the growl of an hyæna. Bits of his acting beautiful, particularly the whisper to Buckingham, “ I wish
I the bastard dead ;” but oftener failing. Great in the scene with his wife, in the tent scene, and, above all, in wildly continuing the fight with Richmond, when mortally wounded and disarmed; but in the previous scenes of battle, his rage rendered impotent from hoarseness, and his gesticulation extravagant and monstrous.
Dec. 27.-Went again to the theatre to see Kean in Sir Giles Overreach. --Great throughout, bat rising as he advanced to transcendant excellence. Exquisite in his instructions to his daughter, transcendant in his conference with Lord Lovell, rendering villany sublime by energy. In the scorching, withering glare of his red anger in the last scenes, and the ghastly agonies of bis final despair, overpowering with horror. The finest acting, unquestionably, and beyond all comparison, I ever beheld. How his mind and frame endure such dreadful convulsions is wonderful. His deep sepulchral tones are here in character.
Dec. 29.-Dined at Mr Pearson's to meet Mr. Kean-bland and gentlemanly in his manners, without any theatric strut. Reverted readily to his former situation, and said that he had performed Shylock, danced on the tight rope, and played Apollo in Midas, with an encore to every song, the same evening. Anxious for applause, as a test of approbation; never unseasonable, but always a stimulus to exertion. Mr. Kean is a small man), neatly made, with delicate, but marked and expressive features, fine dark sultry eye-gave a vivid representation of his cold haughty repulse on his first introduction to Kemble. Had given instructions to Braham in acting, but with ridiculous result - Went to the play--Othello.
* It appears “ that the nightly expenses of Drury Lane were about 2501. The nightly average of receipts during Mr. Kean's acting was 4841. 9s." See Bunn's Stage, vol, iii. p. 27, and p. 100.-ED. Gent. Mag. Vol. XV.
In the first touches from Iago's damnable suggestions, the stony glance and writhing anguish-Kean wonderfully great-greater in bursting tenderness, and the last scene admirably managed; but in the hoarse snorting of his rage approaching the ridiculous, as in Richard : the complexion capitally counterfeited—the expression perfect throughout.
Dec. 30.-Attended the theatre in the evening to see Kean in Shylock: just, I think, but feeble-deficient in the stern and savage aspect which I remember in Macklin's last, but abortive appearance. Bits of the acting fine, chiefly by the introduction of the pedestris sermo-the colloquial intervention ; his rabid snarl was often here appropriate. The scene with the gaoler, I know not why, omitted.-Went the next night to see him in Bertram : a tissue of horrors-intense horrors-unrelieved by any other emotion, and wearying on that account. Kean sustained his part ably, as far as it went, but there was no variety of passion to call forth
1818. Jan. 1.-Saw Kean in Sir Edward Mortimer in the Iron Chest. Just, as usual, in the expression of dark suspicions and deep despair, with its convulsive throes, and in the sudden transition to deceptive smiles ; but repeating himself a good deal--the character most unnatural.
Jan. 2.-Saw Kean in Hainlet-failing in some parts at the outset, missing
“ If he assume my noble Father's aspect,'' and defective in consternation at the first appearance of the spectre and the subsequent emotions, but rising as he advanced : admirable in his conferences with Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, Polonius-above all, his last with Ophelia, and stupendous in the closet scene. His fixed and ghastly glare at the ghost, while speaking to his mother-superhuman : a whirlwind whi'e he contrasted the two pictures-one on his own neck, the other on his mother's-a
s-a happy thought! but tame in the grave scene-plain reflexion and sentiment being not his forte ; but graceful in fencing, and admirable in death-the ebb of life gradually weighing down his eyelids, and quenching the flame beneath.*
REPAIRS OF THE TEMPLE CHURCH, LONDON. FOR some months past very exten- The architectural works are under sive repairs have been in progress the direction of Mr. Savage, the wellboth in the circular nave and the choir known architect of Chelsea of this remarkable structure. The ad- church, the most important gothic mirers of ancient architecture will hear structure which has been erected in with the highest feelings of satisfac- the metropolis since the Reformation. tion that not only the substantial re- There is every prospect that this genparation of the building has been fully tleman's abilities and antiquarian provided for, but the decorative por- taste, aided by liberal funds, will tions of the edifice are to be restored effect more for this church in the way with true antiquarian feeling.
of restoration than has been performed
* The reader who would like to compare Mr. Green's criticism on Kean's acting with the opinion of one who had devoted much attention to the subject, and who was indeed an able as well as a professed theatrical critic, may turn to Mr. Hazlitt's View of the English stage, 1818, on Shylock, p. 1 and 263; (Mr. Kean came out in Shylock Jan 26, 1814 ;) Richard III. p. 5 and 51; Hamlet, p. 14; Othello, p. 23 ; Iago, p. 25 and 76 ; Macbeth, p. 59; Othello, p. 212, which, he says, “Is his best character, and the highest effort of genius on the stage, without any exception or
Sir G. Overreach, p. 215, 224 ; Bertram, p. 291.-Edit,