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chance, when all is done that art can do, of its enduring amidst the accidents of time and the changes of nations. The winged words' of poetry fly over the face of the earth; but the sculptor's work is of a heavy and fragile kind: it suffers by removal, loses sadly in copying, is stript of all its external grace if exposed for a few years to our damp chill climate, and when the original model is broken or injured, the memory of its beauty is all, or almost all, that it can live by. Our domestic sculpture and our public monuments have found refuge in our churches, but there they are locked and bolted up from the curiosity of mankind and from the eyes of our children, who have not always money in their pockets to pay for a sight of the heroes and sages of their country. The public monuments scattered thinly about our squares, are of bronze; and these metal kings, warriors and statesmen, grim with dust and smutched with smoke, look at a little distance like so many black shapeless masses, without form or character. Our poetic sculpture stands in the galleries of the noble and the rich, and is inaccessible to the general.' The thoughtless barbarity of individuals in times past has thrown great obstacles in the way; and we are far indeed from blaming those whose duty it is to preserve, from adopting the only effectual means of preservation. But it is impossible not to see and regret that Sculpture cannot become a national passion till the people feel what it is; and that before they can feel it, they must see it freely.

Another reason for our indifferent success is to be sought for in the cold petrifactions of allegory, which speak a language the mass of the people will never learn; and a third in the slavish regard for the antique, which, following its external shape rather than feeling the impulse of its spirit, bas driven almost all that is of English growth from its studies. To this school of frozen form the heart of Britain will never respond. To give new varieties of Venus and Mars, to impress the external character of ancient Greece upon what is addressed to the popular taste of this island, is a vain labour. The Apollo and the Venus, the Laocoon and the Dying Gladiator, are works which the sculptor should feel it is presumptuous to imitate ; and not only presumptuous, but vain. The works, of which these wonderful creations form a part, have carried away all the admiration that the world has to spare to antiquity; they have their own excellence and the fame of thousands of years upon them, and rivalry is hopeless. But artists are an audacious race. Your youth from the counter or the plough must needs aspire to make his Venus, his Apollo, bis Hercules. He attempts forms when he begins, which he never can equal when he leaves off; but to measure his undisciplined strength with the demigods of antiquity be accounts a noble daring, -and his vanity is gratified with a medal. This kind of slavery may fill our artists' studies with fine shapes and heads conformable to act of parliament; but the soul which animates with thought, or endows with pathos, is not there; and the skill to bestow it cannot be found among all the oracles of all the ancients. The artist who follow's nature, who embodies the forms which fancy creates from life, and who desires to give an original image of his day and people, what can he take from the antique ? -let us emulate but not imitate.

So long as shape is the chief object in sculpture, there is little hope of excellence. To express a sentiment is something, to have a visible meaning is much; but to have a fine form without them is nothing. The remains of ancient genius which have descended to us, are all nature of some kind. But in our national sculpture what will posterity see?-dark and undefinable allegories usurping the pedestals where the spirit and sense which were abroad in old Greece would have placed statues of our princes, our poets, our warriors by sea and land, our priests, our counsellors, and all those who have established the fame of Britain. Let us look into St. Paul's and see what art has done for the heroes of our last great war. There are, we believe, thirty-nine government or public monuments. Some seven of these are statues of their excellence we say nothing. Six more are strictly historical in their nature-of them also we are silent. This leaves twenty-six; and let us examine these in the mass, for they will not singly, with the exception of one or two, bear any thing like particular handling.

In those twenty-six monuments, there are nine Britannias, six .Fames, five Valours, thirteen Victorys, one Minerva, and seventeen Neptunes, Rivers, Histories, Sensibilities, Geniuses, Muses, British Lions, and the like, all full grown-besides a countless multitude of lesser allegories strewn over the pedestals. Now to what far distant land is invention fled? Is there any merit in repeating the same figures for ever—in stereotyping Britannias and Victorys? Poetry long ago puritied its page of this lumber. Painting has nearly succeeded in expelling the demon of abstract personification from her canvass, but sculpture continues her worship in spite of the laughter of mankind. Simple statues, without any of these accoinpaniments, would make the best monuments, and illustrate history in a way worthy of the country. Plutarch—for classic authority is great in matters of Gothic mouths and noses— Plutarch looked for portraiture in the statues of Athens, and since the Greeks condescended to have their heroes in marble, looking as they looked in life, we may safely do the

same;

14

same ;-nature and history, and the antique, luckily unite io demanding it.

It gives us great pleasure to observe, that the works which the Committee for the Government Monuments have lately sanctioned are of this kind, and that those artists at least who aspire to such patronage, will be no longer allowed to substitute their worn out fictions for the fresh images of life.

ART. VII.-1. Faust, a Drama, by Goethe, with Translations from the German. By Lord Francis Leveson Gower. 2d

Edition. London. 1825. 2 vols. 2. Posthumous Poems. By Percy Bysshe Shelley. 8vo. Lon

don. 1824. THI "HIRTY years have elapsed since Sir Walter Scott com

menced his literary career by a translation of Goethe's earliest drama, Götz von Berlichingen of the Iron Hand. That spirited essay appears to have attracted little notice at the moment, and has never been reprinted; while, in the intervening years, bald and feeble versions of Werther, Herman and Dorothea, and some minor dramas, have been doing much injury to the author's fame in this country: His Memoirs of Himself, maimed and burlesqued by some drudge who must be ignorant of the first elements of the German language, have afforded much matter of merriment even to our professional critics; and, upon the whole, the reader who has trusted to English and French translations can have had little chance to form any thing like an adequate notion of Goethe. The great poet who has contributed more perhaps than any other person to the continental fame of Shakspeare, and latterly to that of Byron, has been ill requited amongst us; although the admiration of many eminent individuals may have sufficiently consoled him for vulgar neglect, and even for the petulancies of our small wits.

Within the last two or three years he and we have been more fortunate. The romance of Wilhelm Meister has been faithfully, and not inelegantly, rendered by Mr. Carlyle, of Edinburgh; Mr. Anster, of Dublin, has given us several of the minor poems --in particular the Bride of Corinth-- with much felicity; the late Mr. Shelley has bequeathed us some fragments of the Faust; and there now lies on our table a second edition of a translation of that extraordinary drama, by Lord Francis Gower.

The German critics distinguish three periods in the history of Goethe's genius, and attribute the conception and the chief part of the execution of the Faust to the first of these, although it was not, it seems, published until long afterwards. We are by no means prepared to follow these gentlemen into their ingenious disquisitions touching the period of sentiment and power, the period of the ideal, and the period of the elegant; but are quite satisfied with the evidence which the work itself affords, that it presents us with the favourite creations of the poet's youthful imagination, elaborated in the maturity of his manhood and his art. Götz, Werther, Meister, and Faust, are all shadowings forth of the feelings of Goethe's own youth; and we confess that we can see no distinction between the mind and manner exhibited in the earlier of these and in the later, except what may be easily accounted for by their dates. We miss, in short, in the performances that were published early, the knowledge which implies leisurely observation of our species, the wisdom which follows from the meditation of years, and the elegance which the happiest genius must be content to purchase by patient reiteration of efforts. “Give me,' says the poet, in his prologue to his Faust

means hend

*Give me the active spring of gladness,

Of pleasure stretch'd almost to pain ;
My hate, my love, in all their madness-

Give me my youth again!
And is answered,

• The wish for youthful force were wise

To win a battle or a race ;
Or e'en to gain a softer prize,

In yielding woman's close embrace.
The step of youth to wheel the dance

The nerves of youth the bowl to drain ;
Where music swells, or goblets glance,

We all may wish, and wish in vain.
The cunning hand of art to fling,
With spirit o'er the accustom'd string,
To seem to wander, yet to bend
Each motion to the harmonious end-
Such is the task our ripen'd age imposes,

Which makes our day more glorious ere it closes.' The work of art which its author has ventured to introduce irt this manner, has enjoyed undivided popularity at home, and indeed there is scarcely any German critic who, if called upon to point out the production of the vernacular muse which he considers as most distinguished, whether by originality of conception or by power of execution, would hesitate to name the Faust of Goethe. Of the moral tendency of the performance, on the contrary, very different opinions have been formed, even in Germany: and in this country an unfavourable one appears to have generally prevailed. We confess that we are at a loss to compre

hend the grounds on which such an opinion has been maintained
by any person acquainted with the drama as a whole; and have
little doubt that the English critics who have condemned it as
an immoral work, have permitted themselves to judge from muti-
lated translations. Lord Francis Gower himself has omitted in
his version many passages which, -whatever their appearance
if singly presented to the reader's eye might be,-could never be
considered as ill meant, if regarded in connection with the general
strain of the poem,-and, in the total absence of which, justice
certainly cannot be done to the true scope and design of the poet.
We shall specify one example: he has very well translated the first
part of Goethe's • Prologue in Heaven,' but omits entirely the se-
quel, in which, instead of the sublime chorus of angels and arch-
angels celebrating the majesty of the spheres, we have the fiend
Mephistopheles asking and receiving from the Almighty permissiou
to make trial of the virtue and constancy of his servant Faust.
There are some expressions in this dialogue which it might have
been well to soften, but its entire omission is all but fatal to the
understanding of the drama which ensues : Faust, never concluded
by Goethe, and thus deprived of its commencement by his translator,
can no more be expected to produce its just effect on the mind of
the reader, than the Book of Job without its first and its last chap-
ters. It is no great wonder that persons who have considered only
an analysis such as Madame de Staël's, or a version thus incom-
plete, should, in spite of occasional passages, mistake the
purpose of the poet--and accuse him of ridiculing curiosity, know-
ledge, and virtue, while, in fact, he had himself taken especial
precautions (whatever may be thought of the taste with which he
had selected some of these) to make it clear to every capacity,
that the only objects of his attack were the extravagance, restless-
ness, and misery of curiosity when directed to subjects beyond the
legitimate range of human intellect, the uselessness of mere know-
ledge divorced from wisdom by the intervention of vanity, and the
feebleness of that virtue which presumes to rely solely on itself.
Faust, a good man at heart, a man of lofty and tender feelings by
nature, is to be humbled in his intellectual pride; and for this
purpose the devil is permitted to have full power over him, but
this, as it is expressly said, only for a season.

-Draw thou
His spirit from its springs: As thou find'st power
Seize him, and lead him on tby downward path,
And stand ashamed when failure teaches thee
That a good man, even in his darkest longings,

Is well aware of the right way.'
Accordingly Faust, led by the cunning fiend through every

walk

general

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