Page images
PDF
EPUB

& peculiar species, and it would be a rehearser observing, said, “ But the libel on human nature to rank them Effigies are perhaps not so remarkable with the race of man.”

as another class, of a very opposite deHere I could not refrain from .say- scription.--I do not well know by what ing to the strange man, having by this epithet to distinguish them; but if you time well finished my dinner, that I will join me in a bottle of wine, I will thought he had a sour heart towards give you some account of one of them, the sons and daughters of success and and the tale may be called “The Broa, prosperity. No,” says he, “ you ken heart.'

This was a very agreemisunderstand me. I was only speak- able proposal to me, who had no other ing of the Effigies, a species of the end in view at the time but my own same genus às man, but widely differ- recreation ; so we ordered in one of the ent in the generalities of their nature.” landlord's old bottles; during the

I could not say that this story left drinking of which my companion proany satisfaction with me, which the ceeded to the following effect.

Tale XII.

THE BROKEN HEART.

“There are but two kinds of ad- ed with something of an inordinate venturers who succeed in London ;- keenness into every species of cheerthose who, like Joe Brianson, come to ful amusement. He was praised for it pennyless, with industrious propen- this. It was thought he had the sities, and those who have friends of interests of his sisters in view,-and power and influence. Young men, courted society, to give the gentlebrought up as gentlemen in the coun- men of his acquaintance an oppor. try, rarely prosper in London ; and it tunity of knowing their worth and is of one of these I would now speak. beauty; for they were lovely, amiThe person I allude to was the son of able, and accomplished to an uncoma clergyman. He was known among mon degree. This, however, was but his companions by the nickname of the first stage of the mortal malady Buskin ; and his unhappy fate makes with which poor Buskin was seized. me remember him by no other.

“ The symptoms of gaiety and “He was one of a large family.- good humour continued about a year, His father, however, had a good living, when others began to appear. In but it was unfortunately in a genteel his dress and manners, the patient neighbourhood, and the sons and still seemed the same individual, but daughters in consequence acquired no- his temper became sharp and irritable. tions of elegance inconsistent with He was satisfied with nothing ; the their fortune. While the old man sun itself never shone properly; when lived, this produced no evil. At his he went into the fields, the west wind death, the whole family was plunged had lost its genial freshness, and the into poverty. By that time, however, blossoms, that garlanded the boughs in Buskin, who had come to London as spring, seemed to him tawdry. The a clerk, was settled in a business, song of the lark was harsh in his ears; which, while there was no other drain and he was heard often to repine at on it than his own expences, was ade- the lot of the day-labourer, whose quate, it appeared, to all his wants, anxieties terminated with the hours of notwithstanding his extra-gentility.- his task, and who had none beyond the But, from the time that he was neces- daily period of his toil. sítated to contribute to the support of “At first this attracted no particular his brothers and sisters, his efforts notice, or when it was noticed, it only were unavailing to make it sufficient- seemed to provoke the banter of his ly productive, and a change was soon friends ; but the misanthropic humour perceptible in his appearance. Pre- continued to grow, and at last beviously he had been rather a sedate gan to be surmised, that his affairs character-something given to reflec- were not thriving. I never obtrude tion and sentiment. He wrote poetry, my advice; but one day, when he was and played on the flute. But soon unusually petulant, I could not refrain after the arrival of his friends in town, from remarking to him the alteration he became remarkably gay-forswore, I have mentioned, and to express my it would seem, the Muses and enter- fears.

« « You are right,' replied he, in vidence is withdrawn, and hope is ex. some respects; my affairs are, indeed, tinguished. Wherever I move, I am, not thriving, or rather they are not as it were, in a magical circle. I never adequate to supply the demands of come any more into contact with huduty and affection. In other respects I manity. I am excommunicated.' have no reason to complain. - Then “Although I was grieved and terrifiwhy don't you abridge your expence? ed by this rapsody, I yet thought it adyou do not want resolution on other' -visable to ridicule it—when, in a mooccasions—why would you go with ment, he struck me violently in the your eyes open over the precipice?'- fuce. My blood was ever inflammable I do not like,' said he, to lose the at the slightest insult, but this blow footing I possess in society; and I smote my heart with indescribable pain, hope that something may come round and so far from feeling any thing like to help me.'

resentment at the insult, I could not “There wasanaccentof sorrow in the refrain from bursting into tears, and use of that word help, that rung upon taking the irritated young man by my heart. I could say no more; I had the hand. It was too dark for me to it not in my power to assist the unfor- see his face, but when I pressed his tunate man; I could only pity, and hand, I felt that his whole frame shudmark the progress of his consuming dered. Nothing more passed that night. anguish, as one friend contemplates I accompanied him home to his own another dying of a consumption. door, and we parted without speaking,

“But the period of irritation and bit- but shook hands in a way that said terness also passed, and was succeeded more to the spirit than the tongue could by another more deplorable. He be- have uttered. On reaching my lodcame again singularly animated-his gings, I sat down, and my thick ariwhole mind seemed to be endowed sing fancies would not allow me to go with preternatural energy. In amuse- to bed. At last they got so far the ment and in business, he was equally better of me that I went again out, inexhaustible; all with whom he took and walked to Buskin's house.-Alí a part in either, admired his vigour, was silent and repose there. I passed and complained of that amazing acti- two or three times in front, and then vity which left their utmost exertions went home; but the night-mare was and efforts so far behind. I was awed upon me, and the interval till morning and alarmed—I looked at him with was hideous. At an earlier hour than astonishment. His voice, in conversa- usual, I rose and dressed myself, and tion, when any thing like argument again went into the street, where my was started, became irresistibly elo- unhappy friend resided; and as I apquent. There was a haste in the move- proached towards his door, I was startments of his mind, as if some great led by a medical gentleman, one of our countervailing weight had been taken mutual friends, coming out.” *** away. One evening, in returning with At this point of his story, the hardhim from a party where this had been favoured stranger's voice faltered, and remarkably the case, I said to him fa- drawing his hand hastily over his face, miliarly, Buskin, what the devil's the he abruptly rose, and went to the door. matter with you ? you seem as if your In the course of a few minutes, during thoughts were in a hurry.'— They are the which I was in a state of rumiso,' he replied, and they have cause, nation, he returned, and calling the for they are hunted by a fiend.' waiter, asked what was to pay for the

“I was horror-struck; but what could wine; and, throwing down his half I say? I attempted to remonstrate, of the reckoning, bade me good afterbut he shut my mouth. It is now noon, and went away, leaving me to too late to reason with me—the struggle guess and ponder anent the sad and will soon be over. I feel that I am left mournful issue of his tale. to myself; that the protection of Pro

Vol. X.

Y

ON FELDBERG'S DENMARK." Who is there in Edinburgh or Co- bination of the qualities always to be penhagen that knows not Feldberg, the desired in a writer of this description, Dane? -The gay, the jolly, the viva- but, alas ! how seldom to be found ! cious, the witty, the convivial Feld- With respect to the world at large, berg !—the sage of the boudoir, the the literary offspring of Denmark may Adonis of the tea-table, the dulce decus be said to have been hitherto confined of the punch-bowl! Feldberg, the com- in the womb in which it was originally panion of Oehlenschlager, the beloved engendered. A healthy bantling, inof Thorvaldsen, the bosom friend of deed, full formed, and of robust proBaggesen and Rhamdor! When he portions, performing vigorously all coines forward to vindicate the litera. its natural offices and secretions, and ture of his country from the neglect waiting only for so accomplished an under which it is the reproach of the accoucheur as Mr Feldberg, to breathe European nations that it should so a purer atmosphere, and to become the long have laboured, who is there that grace and ornament of a more extendwill not “ lend him his ears?” Who ed region. In the present number of would not gladly participate in revela- his work, it is true, he does little more tions which boast so distinguished an than brandish his forceps, and adjust hierophant ? We, at least, are not of his patient; but the skill with which that number; and we gladly seize this these necessary preliminaries are pera early opportunity to welcome the ar- formed, is enough to stamp him a masrival of the Feldberg first-rate in come ter of his art. He has attempted litfortable moorings,—to send our bum- tle, but even in that little, the “ coup boat along-side with salutations and de maître,” is sufficiently visible. Asta refreshments,—and to express our ley Cooper may be distinguished from warmest hopes, that the same ardour, a cow-doctor by the very handling of talent, and generous enthusiasm which his instruments; and a lady of the have enabled him, hitherto with suc- bed-chamber from a more vulgar cess, to buffet the billows in a tempes- chamber-maid by the mere tuous navigation, will at length con- ******* , Des Hayes, even in quiduct this literary Columbus to the escence, is still the grace and ornaconsummation of his voyage, nor for- ment of the ballet; and had Dr Scott sake him

adorned the ceremonial of the corona__ Till his anchor be cast

tion, in the habiliments of a Knight of In some cliff-girdled haven of beauty at the Garter, we question whether the last."

most ignorant of the spectators would

have mistaken him for Lord LondonIn truth, the task of introducing us derry.t to the literature of Denmark could not But we should ill consult the enhave fallen into better hands than those joyment of our readers if we detained of Mr Feldberg. Connected with many them longer by any observations of of the great men of his own country our own from the banquet prepared by the ties of friendship, and with all, for them by Mr Feldberg. Of Thorby that communion of genius and feel- valdsen, the Phidias of Denmark, it is ing which links together the master- creditable to our national taste, that spirits of the earth, however varied nothing requires to be said to enlighten their opinions and pursuits,—with a us as to his merits. His name has been mind enlarged by travel,—and a com- long familiar to our ears as a houseprehensive knowledge of European li- hold word, and his works have not terature,-he exhibits a felicitous com- claimed from us in vain that tribute of

*******

Denmark Delineated ; or, Sketches of the present State of that Country: illustrated with Portraits, Views, and other engravings, from Drawings by eminent Danish · Artists. Edinburgh, Oliver & Boyd.

+ We understand the Doctor has lately been appointed “ Dentist to his Majesty for Scotland,” and, in this capacity, claimed the privilege of carrying at the coronation, in one hand the tusk of a Hippopotamus or River Horse, and in the other, a silver basin and ewer, and to have the two latter as his fee. The claim was disallowed, which, we regret the more, as we understand he had purchased the cast off black velvet suit of a Glasgow provost, to adorn his ample person on the occasion.

admiration to which they are entitled, outline, and a skill in the distribution both from the purity and grandeur of of his lights which mark him a supetheir conception, and the felicity of their rior artist. Of the living Danish paintexecution. For ourselves, we do not ers we shall say nothing, being quite hesitate to say, that we look upon the destitute of materials for forming any Jason as the finest piece of sculpture judgment of their merits. According which the present age has produced. to Mr Feldberg, Professor Eckersberg, There is a noble and grand simplicity Mr Dahl, and Mr Moller, are the most in the attitude of the principal figure eminent. in the groupe, worthy of the antique. Having discussed the fine arts, we The head is fine and commanding, full now turn to the subject of Danish liof beauty and of vigour; the arm is terature and Danish literati, one more extended bearing the fleece, and is exe- consonant to our talents and pursuits. cuted with the greatest muscular pre- We regret that this subject occupies so cision. It is indeed the beau ideal of small a portion of Mr Feldberg's work, a heroic warrior, full of life and grace, and trust that in the future numbers and shews altogether an elevation of of his work, this cause of complaint conception in the artist, worthy of the will be obviated. best ära of Athenian sculpture. In his Those of our readers who have had basso relievo of Night flying over the the good fortune to meet with a small world, there is an embodying of ideal volume of admirable translations from beauty, inferior to none, perhaps su- the Danish, published in 1808, will perior to any modern creation of the agree with us, we think, in formchisel. There is in it a beautiful al- ing a very high estimate of the poetiternation of rest and motion exqui- cal talent now existing in Denmark. sitely blended into each other ; it dis- Who the translator is, we know not; plays also a lightness and animation but he is embued with the very spirit of which it would have been difficult of his originals, and eminently qualito have conceived the marble to be fied by his talents to do them ample susceptible. His Psyche, Bacchus, justice ;-and we trust, for their sakes and Cupid, bis Priam bearing Hector as well as ours, he will not stop short from the field, his Ganimede presente in his career. Of the Danish poets, we ing drink to the eagle of Jove, are all are inclined to rank none before Mr masterpieces, and it is pleasing to re- Foersom, the translator of Shakespeare. flect that it is to the patronage afford. The boldness of this attempt has been ed by our countrymen to this foreign equalled only by its success, and it is artist that we indebted for them. They bestowing the very highest praise on are all to be found in English collec- Mr Foersom to say that in his hands tions.

Shakespeare has not been debased. On his return from Italy, Thorvaldsen Much of Shakespeare is untranslatewas welcomed by his countrymen with able. Many, very many, of his beauties enthusiasm and delight. The highest are so embodied in the language in honours were lavished on this distin- which he wrote, so entwined with its guished sculptor. Princes swelled his idiom, so essentially English, as to be train, poets celebrated his triuinphs,and altogether unconvertible into another medals were struck in commemoration tongue. No one knew this better than of the glorious epoch of his returning, Foersom, and no one was more sensicrowned with fame and with honours, ble of the difficulties of his undertato his native shore,

king. He has failed, it is true, where

success was impossible, but he is often Such honours Denmark to Thorvaldsen paid, eminently successful, and the whole And peaceful slept the mighty sculptor's work is Shakespearian to a degree not shade.

attained by any other translator. The Whatever celebrity the painters of following extract will shew the diffiDenmark may have acquired, has been culties which Mr Foersom had to enchiefly confined to their own country. counter in the progress of his work, Of these, the late Professor Juel is the while its conclusion proves that he at most eminent, and since his death least possessed the enjoyment, “Lauthere has arisen no rival to his fame. dari a viro laudato.” The tone of his colouring wanted soft- “With this view he projected a translation ness, but his paintings are uniformly of Shakespeare, beginning, as was natural characterized by a masterly strength of to a Dane, with Hamlet. Julius Cæsar

added ; and both tragedics appeared in the complains in his preface, that he had for year 1807. With that refined delicacy and years sought a publisher, even on terms sense of propriety which characterised all . unfairly fair.' The value of money in Mr Foersom's words and actions, he inscric Denmark has varied so much of late years, bed the translation to an exalted personage that it is not possible to state precisely what who was most intimately connected with the the booksellers may have paid. But in a poet's country—the princess whom, it will letter now before me, dated 6th July, 1816, be recollected, Mr Southey so feelingly men. Foersom observes, · The pen frequently tions, while describing the sufferings of her drops from my hand, when I reflect that I mother, Queen Carolina Matilda. He pre- do not earn dry bread by the translation of fixed the following dedicatory lines to her Shakespeare, and that I must even think Royal Highness Princess Louisa Augusta, myself well paid if a bookseller gires me PriricesRoyal of Denmark :

200 rix-bank-dollars (then about £7) for • Snatch'd from the scenic monarchs glorious and reading the proofs for the press.'

translating two of Shakespeare's tragedies,

crown,

“ It redounds so much the more to his A few stray gems I bring. Before thy feet, Exalted fair, in every charm complete, honour that he persevered in the underWith reverence and delight I lay them down. Their liome was ever in the princely breast :

taking which he had so successfully begun. That crowned vestal, western sun of fame, A second edition of Hamlet and Julius She loved them; and in their unfading flame Cæsar was called for ; and, in 1810, his The image of her brightness shines confess'd. As when the flow'rets of the spring unfold

translations of King Lear and Romeo and Their censers, with the pearls of morn replete, Juliet were published. Nature's sweet sacrifice, the lordly sun

“ About this time, the writer of these lines Joys to illume them; on my offering bold, Sun of the north, from thy resplendent seat,

became acquainted with Mr Foersom. He Of all thy countless rays, oh! shed but one! had in the preceding year read the transla

tions of Hamlet and Julius Cæsar, and, in “ Foersom had previously submitted his consequence, formed a wish to see the transtranslation of Julius Cæsar to the Royal lator. Through a common friend, Mr NaBoard of Theatrical Managers, in the hope thansson, of whom honourable mention has that it might be brought upon the stage ; – already been made, this object was attained. but the royal managers did not consider the He saw Mr Foersom, for the first time, at tragedy fit for representation. They ex- the Theatre-Royal of Copenhagen, where pressed, however, their high sense of the he performed the part of Charles Surface, merits of the translation, and presented Mr in the School for Scandal, which was acted Foersom with a gratuity of fifty rix-dollars, for the benefit of Mr Schwartz, one of the which then amounted to about £10. This best actors in Denmark, who had travelled he acknowledges in his preface, with the in England, and was well known to Garrick, feelings of Samuel Johnson, when he ad. George Keate, and other distinguished chadressed his famous letter to Lord Chester. racters. The part of the gay and thoughtfield,

less Charles was evidently unsuited to the “ The public received the translations of translator of Shakespeare; in fact, he had Hamlet and Julius Cæsar with unqualified undertaken it at a moment's notice, the approbation. They were reviewed with person who usually performed it having great spirit in the 19th Number of the been taken ill. After the play, Mr FoerLiterary Intelligencer of Copenhagen, for som came into Mr Nathansson's box, and 1807, by the late Captain Abrahamson, a soon, by his engaging and unassuming most distinguished veteran in literature. manner, raised as high an opinion of his He took occasion to remark, that the Danish personal character as I had long since translator possessed the most intimate know. formed of his mental endowments. ledge of the writings of the British bard, " • Will you allow me, Mr Foersom, to and would therefore naturally feel a desire account for the wonderful success with which to transfer them into his own language. you have translated Shakespeare ?' said I, He stated, that Foersom bad given the text He bowed assent, and I proceeded : -' In of his author with the fidelity which the my boyhood, I read in Professor Abraham admirers of Shakespeare were entitled to Kall's bistory about the Pythagorean doc, require; and, in fact, that he had executed trine of the transmigration of souls, and I his task quite con amore ; at the same time must beg to express my belief, that the expressing his conviction, that the happiest spirit of Shakespeare animates the Danish results might be anticipated from Mr Foer- form now standing before me.' Mr Foer. soin's translations of Shakespeare's other som modestly remarked, that a Dane enjoyplays.

ed peculiar facilities in translating from the “ The testimony of a man so competent English. to sit in judgment upon the subject as “ An intimacy ensued. Indeed the moCaptain Abrahamson, was the more grati- ments I passed with Mr Foersom at Copenfying to Foersom, as he had experienced hagen, in 1810, were of singular value in considerable difficulties in bringing the the wretched state of the world at that translation before the public. He, indeed, juncture."

« PreviousContinue »