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sons, the last of his "secret missions.” The afternoon, when Count Berg was driving along object this time was to blow up the Emperor one of the principal streets in Warsaw, several Napoleon, whom he and his confederates regard- shells were hurled at his carriage from a large ed as the great obstacle to revolutionary changes building known as the “ Zamoiski House," the everywhere, and especially in Italy. Orsini had property of the well-known Polish magnate whose three associates named Pieri, Rudio, and Gomez. name it bore. Five shells were thrown, and sevThe conspirators remained some time in Paris, eral horses and one or two aides-de-camp were preparing the details of their scheme. At last, wounded. Count Berg received the splinter of a on the evening of January 14, 1858, as the Em- shell in his cloak, but was not otherwise injured, peror and Empress were approaching the Grand either in person or in apparel. The Count, withOpera, three shells were thrown under their car- out stopping, drove straight to the Castle, his riage, which, exploding, killed or wounded a large official residence, and immediately afterward number of persons belonging to the imperial troops were dispatched to the Zamoiski House, suite. Orsini, Pieri, and Rudio were sentenced with orders to enter it and arrest the numerous to death. Gomez, however, escaped with hard inhabitants. Artillery was at the same time sent labor for life, and, at the intercession of the Em- forward, and on arrival took up a position in front press, the death-penalty was also commuted in of the building. It appeared certain that the orthe case of Rudio. Orsini went to the scaffold der on the subject of missile-throwing would be calm and courageous; and only a few days be- carried out. But at the last moment it was de fore his execution he addressed a letter to the cided not to destroy the Zamoiski House, but 10 Emperor Napoleon exhorting him to liberate confiscate it, after subjecting it to the process of Italy. Whether or not Orsini's diabolical act had sacking. The soldiers were ordered to seize all any effect upon the Emperor's decision, certain articles of furniture and cast them into the street, it is that a year afterward Napoleon III. made, where they were burned in a huge bonfire, which in alliance with Victor Emanuel, the campaign was fed, among other articles, with valuable hiswhich resulted in the liberation of Lombardy. In torical manuscripts, the property of Prince Luboall probability joint action against Austria had mirski, a great collector of archæological docualready been determined upon at the time of ments, and with Chopin's favorite piano. Some the Crimean war, when the Sardinian contingent four or five different pianos were thrown out of fought with the army of France against the the various floors; and an indignant, but more or Russians.
less self-contained, amateur of music afterward Until 1863 Paris was the only city in which related, to the correspondent of the “Times” endeavors had been made to assassinate the head present on the occasion, in what manner the of the Government by means of shells, many- pianos of Erard, of Pleyel, and of other makers
, barreled pieces of artillery, and other “infernal" had borne the effect of the fall. The pianos of devices. But the Poles have always prided them- Viennese make were worth nothing, he said, on selves on their aptitude in appropriating French such occasions. They smashed to pieces on conideas; and, toward the close of the year just tact with the ground. A well-made Erard, on mentioned, the members of the revolutionary the other hand, pitched from a second floor, sufbody known as the Polish National Government fered only in its legs. As for Chopin's piano, it resolved to try the effect of explosive missiles on fell, as this observant connoisseur declared, with Count Berg, the Emperor's lieutenant in Poland. a deep sigh, in which he fancied he recognized Count Berg, on assuming the governorship of the soul of the sentimental, romantic, fascinating Poland at a most critical moment, had formally composer, who had so often given effect to his announced that any future attempt made upon inspiration on its ivory keys; and it was asserted the life of one of the governing authorities (and that one Russian officer of a sympathetic dispothe Grand Duke Constantine, the Marquis Wielo- sition played fragments of one of the composer's bolski, and others had all been attacked with pis- nocturnes on Chopin's piano before he allowed tol or with dagger) would be visited with the se- the instrument-broken into fragments by its fall verest penalties; and it was in particular set forth –to be consigned to the flames. that, in the case of shots being fired or missiles From Poland the process of attacking high thrown from a house, the house would be at once authorities by means of “infernal machines " was destroyed by artillery, the question as to how the sure, sooner or later, to reach Russia, as all the occupants would be treated being left in reserve. secret machinery of the Polish insurrection of In the autumn of 1863, when the insurrection was 1863 has penetrated into that country in the form failing, and when the somewhat theatrical interest of Nihilism. But the firing of the mine in the taken in it by the Western powers seemed to be cellars of the Winter Palace need not here be coming to an end, the National Government of spoken of. Poland resolved on striking a great blow. One
Pall Mall Gazette.
THE SPANISH THEATRE.
THE SPANISH THEATRE.
of the “ things of Spain ” which have received its theatre or theatres. The numerous provin-
Playhouses were probably established earlier while carry on animated conversations with one in Spain than in any European country, and, in another, or with the help of their fans with those spite of the strenuous efforts of the Church to of the other sex. This is one of the most cherclose them, have continued to be numerous and ished customs of a people very conservative of flourishing down to the present day. Every city old customs. A young lady and gentleman will has not a bull-ring, but every town of any im- make signals to one another across a theatre with
an absence of gêne which is pleasant to see, and quainted with their works. In point of fact, the an almost touchingly good-natured make-believe Spanish comedy is now scarcely seen except by that they are doing something very secret and the light thrown on it by that of France. Guillen romantic.
de Castro is remembered because his “MoceThe general popularity of the play has made dades del Cid " inspired the masterpiece of Corit the most productive of praise and profit of all neille. Every reader of the “ Médecin malgré forms of literary activity in Spain. The poet or lui” has heard of the “ Acero de Madrid ” of novelist, though sure of a better public now than Lope de Vega ; but how many have read it even at any former period, is not nearly so well paid, in a translation ? The French theatre even ateither in money or reputation, as the successful tacked and for a time subdued the Spanish in its playright. Hence, to succeed as a writer for the own land. The French dynasty which ascended stage has been and is the ambition of most Span- the Spanish throne in the first years of the ish men of letters. Some of the most successful eighteenth century brought with it French cusplays of modern times were written by Martinez toms and literature. The old national stage had de la Rosa, the Liberal statesman and novelist. expired, as far as that was possible among a What little literature of any value Spain pro- people essentially mimetic, during the evil times duced in the last century was destined for the of Charles II., who figures among Spanish monstage. The comedies of the younger Moratin, a archs as “ the bewitched.” When a revival came writer who lived into this century, are still played in happier days it did so under the influence occasionally; and one of his successors, Breton de of the classic school. The highest ambition of los Herreros, is probably the best writer Spain Moratin and his followers was to write with a due has to show for herself since the partial revival regard to the unities and the customs of good of her literature. Nor are plays written only in society. To them the rules of the classic school Castilian. The Catalan stage can show some were the holy of holies, their native dramatists dramatists who rival the great men of old-even of the seventeenth century barbarians, or at best that wonder of ready-writing, Lope de Vega-at beginners, to be patted on the back and condeleast in the quality of fecundity. The popular scended to. Bohl von Faber, a disciple of the Barcelonese Serafi Pitarra is probably the most Schlegels, known as an editor of the Spanish balproductive playright in Europe. With the ex- lads, had to fight Calderon's battles against the ception of Lope de Vega, none of the writers we poet's countrymen. But delivery came from the have mentioned are associated in the minds of country which imposed the yoke. Spain, followforeigners, or indeed of Spaniards, with that ing the lead of her neighbor in literature as in Spanish drama which has taken its place among politics, returned to the study of her own theatre the great literatures of the world. Beginning under the leadership of Victor Hugo, then fresh with Moratin, who was almost a copyist of Mo- from his victory over the classic party. Her nulière, they have been powerfully influenced by merous playwrights now swore by Lope, as they France, which has thus paid back the debt which had lately done by Molière. Gorostiza, Breton it owed to the earlier Spanish stage. During the de los Herreros, Martinez de la Rosa, and many last century that influence was so strong that others, have kept their country supplied with Lope de Vega and Calderon were looked upon plays which rival those of their great days in at by many of their countrymen as little better than least two particulars—their number and their barbarians. These writers have, however, had defiance of all rules. They are almost nervously their revenge, and are now as frequently played eager to disclaim any imitation of the French, as the great masters of French or English dra- but we find some difficulty in accepting their promatic literature are in their native countries. testations. They do, indeed, protest too much. Their works are read, and a large party is striving The best proof they give of their nationality is an to bring back the stage to the peculiarly Spanish unconscious one. Their indifference to character models which they created.
and their love of incident and plot make them We are accustomed to hear the Spanish stage give a coloring of their own to the matter they spoken of as a storehouse of plot, intrigue, and in- take from France. The men we have mentioned cident. The reader of Molière is aware that many are undoubtedly clever playwrights, but it is not of the stock incidents, and some of the characters of them we think when we speak of the Spanish of his comedies, were taken from the Spaniards; comedy. that he even directly imitated them in a few of If the Spanish dramatists are more talked the least successful of his works, and that from about than known, it is certainly not due to any him and before his time these intriguing plots neglect on our part of Spanish literature. Don found their way on to our own stage. But this Quixote is probably more read in England than justice is rendered to the Spaniards by tradition, in his native La Mancha. The sins of native edinot because the foreign reader is directly ac- tors have perhaps something to do with it. The
early editions were shockingly mishandled by reader who is content to look only for amusement pirates, and very little has been done to remove may open their works with full confidence that the traces of their handiwork. Even where zeal- he will be amused. But he must be prepared to ous efforts have been made to restore the purity look for his satisfaction entirely to the plot and of the text, the plays have been left unnoted, the variety of incidents. As a work of which though bristling with references to bygone cus- the interest consists in development of charactoms, persons, and places, which require expla- ter, “Don Quixote" stands alone in Spanish nation to the Spaniard of to-day as much as to literature. In every other work the interest is the foreigner. But bad printing and bad editing centered in the plot. The characters are fixed would not prevent the Spanish dramatists being by custom, and serve all writers alike. The popular. However badly Calderon was edited, Spaniard of the middle ages and of the sixteenth he would be widely read if he possessed one half and seventeenth centuries was essentially a man the great qualities which A. W. Schlegel pro- of action. War and pillage were his favorite fessed to have found in him. Nor is it necessary means of gaining wealth. When the people to be a Spanish scholar in order to gain at least wished for the type of a prosperous man they an approximate idea of his genius. Many of his found him in the soldiers of Cortes or Pizarro. works have been translated ; and part at least of A grant of land in the New World, or a comthe “ Mágico Prodigioso " is to be found consum- mandery of a military order, was the aim of a mately rendered in all the more complete editions gentleman's ambition, and his way of gaining it of Shelley. It is probably less read than any was to serve for it in Flanders. As for thought, other part of the poet's work.
meditation, or the careful weighing of motives The fact would seem to be that injudicious and characters, there was no room for them in friends have done the object of their praise their his life. The Church defined for him with hard usual ill office. Schlegel persuaded a great many and fast rules what was right and what wrong. people that Calderon was another and perhaps It classified his sins and his virtues, assigning to greater Shakespeare. But a little acquaintance each its exact equivalent reward or punishment. with the writers for the Spanish stage will dispel The Inquisition undertook to argue with all who any idea that they belong to the class “ that sees demurred to the Church's teaching. At the play, quite through the deeds of men.” Mr. G. H. therefore, or in his novel, the Spaniard wanted to Lewes, a very competent judge, was at first per- see something going on; he was indifferent to the suaded into believing that they did, and ended by characters of the actors. No books in the world deciding that they were only playwrights, and present less variety of type than the novelas that Calderon in particular was a very overrated picarescas. From the “ Lazarillo” down to the playwright. This writer's indignation against “Gran Tacaño" we find the same hero at work. Schlegel, who had for a time imposed on him, Low-born or base-born, impudent, thievish, and made him a little unjust to the German critic's cowardly, but good-natured and sincerely Cathfavorite, whom he handles in a somewhat disre- olic, he goes through endless exciting and imspectful manner; but in the main he was right. probable adventures, to end his life reflecting And this habit of judging them by the standard on the vanities of the world in the galleys, or of Shakespeare has lowered the Spaniards in the perhaps settling down with the proceeds of his estimation of their most favorable critics. Ford, rogueries as a church-going citizen. The Spanwho knew his “Don Quixote " by heart, wrote iard read these books with never-failing delight, in the most superficial manner possible about as he had done the monotonous tales of chivalry, the stage. His article on the subject is full of and asked for no greater variety than an occamisplaced pedantry, and enthusiasm about the sional change of sex in the principal character. dances. Even Lord Holland, who had gone the The fact that the female rogue had nothing dislength of reading more than fifty of Lope's plays, tinctively feminine about her, but was only the and who wrote a work on him and on Guillen de male rogue in petticoats, troubled him little. Castro, introduces them to his reader almost as The rogue himself is no doubt a type of a whole
а if he felt ashamed of them. He stops to tell us class, and is pictured with no small vigor; but that we must not expect from Lope “ deep re- that was by the man who wrote the first picaflections on morals and government,” or “a phil- resque novel ; his successors copied him exactly, osophical view of the nature of man and of the and the type having been once created became as construction of society."
conventional as the figure of a saint. But Lope had no intention of being philo- As it was with the novel so it was with the sophical. He wrote his plays to please the vul- stage. There must be an intricate plot and an gar who paid, he tells us in as many words; and abundance of incident; the dramatis persona he fully gained his object. His example was in are merely quantities—forces like the figures on the main followed by other dramatists; and the a chessboard, crossing one another and clashing
in the endless complications of the intrigue. ventures transacted there are the adventures of Rest is given from this confusing movement by fairy-land. The player was not asked “ to hold the tirades, hundreds of lines long, which some the mirror up to nature" or the playwright to be of the dramatists put into the mouths of their true to life. What the spectator expected from characters. These harangues are full of con- them was a representation of that ideal life of ceits and hyperbole. The sun, moon, and other movement, love-making, fighting, and moneyheavenly bodies, flowers, jewels, seas, sky, and getting which he would like to lead himself. earth are laid under contribution for metaphors Just as much probability must be given to the to be poured out with the profusion of treasures events of the play as will prevent too great a in a beggar's dream. And the Spaniard seems gulf existing between them and the dull world of to feel the same pleasure in seeing all this mag- 'reality. They must take place in the world the nificence rolled out before him as the miser in Spaniard saw before his eyes, and the actors are Horace did to see his heaps of gold. At times to be himself and his fellow men, not represented these tirades are not merely ornamental, but con- with any precision of detail or fineness of shadtain a rapid summary of the plot--an occasion- ing of individual character, but by a certain numally indispensable aid for the due understanding ber of well-defined types, which appear in the of the more intricate playsmand were printed sep- earliest dawn of Spanish dramatic literature, and arately in broadsides for the convenience of the remain almost unmodified to the end. The compublic. As in the picaresque novels again, the edy of cloak and sword continued to give to the world of the plays is a half-fantastic one. The last the adventures of the very set of characters players are dressed like Spaniards, the scene is which first appears in the “Celestina " of Rodrilaid in Spanish streets and houses, but the ad- go Cota and Fernando de Rojas.
Pall Mall Gazette,
interview is interesting enough to quote nearly in full :
THE DILEMMA OF A CONNOISSEUR.
“Mr. Dürr's will,” he observed, " directs that 'the ing the death of Mr. Louis Dürr, a merchant most meritorious' two hundred and fifty of his pictures of New York, informed their readers that Mr. Dürr shall be selected from his collection and presented to had bequeathed his collection of paintings
some public institution But who is going to make the
selection ?" public art-gallery in the city of New York” that
“The will says the executors." would consent to keep the pictures together, and
“Yes, but a matter of this kind requires the services designate them as the Dürr collection. His execu
of experts, and there are no experts in this country." tors were instructed to select two hundred and fifty “ You mean to say that there is no person in America of the most meritorious of his paintings; to sell the who is competent to decide whether or not the Dúrr colremainder, and employ the funds arising therefrom lection contains valuable 'old masters ?"" in the purchase of other paintings, to be added to
“I don't know of any one. Certainly there is no the collection. No one seemed to know much about such person in this city.” the character of Mr. Dürr's pictures, excepting that
“ It is possible, then, that, when the executors have they were mostly by earlier masters ; but people gen- they have chosen may not be worthy of a home in a pub
performed the task assigned them, the pictures which erally ventured to assume that the collection was
lic gallery of art." a good one, and congratulated each other upon this
Certainly. A long course of special training is reaccession to the art-treasures of the city. For our quisite for the successful performance of such a duty. selves, we were taking this hopeful view of the mat- Who has had this training in this country? I don't ter, when we were rather discomfited by the report know of anybody who has. I don't know of any person in the “ Evening Post ” of an interview with a well. who could go into Mr. Dürr's gallery and say, “That picknown art-connoisseur, who thought that “any pub- ture is a Rembrandt,' or 'That is a Titian,' or 'That is lic gallery of art in the city of New York that should
a Veronese. Consequently, when the selection has been accept Mr. Dürr's gift would be liable to become made, and the pictures have been labeled, how is one to
know that the latter really are what they profess to be ?" the repository of what would be an injury rather than
“You believe, then, that there is danger that the proa glory.” This gentleman disclaimed any intention posed gift, if accepted, may become a trial and a burden of giving a judgment upon the worth of Mr. Dürr's to the gallery that houses it?" pictures, because he had never seen them, but he “Precisely. The will provides that the accepted picnevertheless felt there was danger in the air. The tures shall be kept in a room to be called the Dürr Gal