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Title: Visits and Sketches at Home and Abroad with Tales and Miscellanies Now First Collected - Vol. II (of 3)
Author: Jameson, Mrs. (Anna), 1794-1860
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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VISITS AND SKETCHES AT HOME AND ABROAD.

VOL. II.



VISITS AND SKETCHES AT HOME AND ABROAD

WITH TALES AND MISCELLANIES NOW FIRST COLLECTED.

BY MRS. JAMESON,

AUTHOR OF "THE CHARACTERISTICS OF WOMEN," "LIVES OF CELEBRATED FEMALE
SOVEREIGNS," &c.

IN THREE VOLUMES.

VOL. II.

SECOND EDITION.


  LONDON
  SAUNDERS AND OTLEY, CONDUIT STREET.
  1835.


  LONDON:
  IBOTSON AND PALMER, PRINTERS, SAVOY STREET, STRAND.



CONTENTS OF VOL. II.


  SKETCHES OF ART, LITERATURE, AND CHARACTER,
  PART II.

  (_Continued._)

                                                                      PAGE

I.   MUNICH--The New Palace--The Beauty of its
       Decorations--Particular Account of the Modern Paintings
       on the Walls                                                   1-18
     The Frescos of Julius Schnorr from the Nibelungen-Lied             20
     The Frescos in the Royal Chapel                                    37
     The Opera--Madame Schechner                                        42
     The Kunstverein                                                    46
     Karl von Holtëi                                                    49
     Fête of the Obelisk                                                50
     The Gallery--Pictures and Painters                                 60
     Madame de Freyberg--A visit to Thalkirchen                         64
     Tomb of Eugène Beauharnais                                         68
     The Sculpture in the Glyptothek                                    75
     Plan of the Pinnakothek or National Gallery                        79
     The Revival of Fresco Painting                                     92
     Bavarian Sculptors                                                 94
     The Valhalla                                                       96
     Stieler, the Portrait Painter                                     101
     Gallery of the Duc de Leuchtenberg                                103
     Society at Munich                                                 106
     The Liederkranz                                                   110


II.  NUREMBERG                                                         118
     The Old Fortress                                                  123
     Albert Durer                                                      125
     Hans Sachs and Peter Vischer                                      127
     The Cemetery                                                      132
     Travelling in Germany                                             134


III. DRESDEN                                                           138
     The Opera--Madame Schröder Devrient in the "Capaletti"            145
     Ludwig Tieck                                                      148
     The Dresden Gallery and the Italian School                        155
     Rosalba--Violante Siries--Henrietta Walters--Maria
       von Osterwyck--Elizabeth Sirani--the Sofonisba                  171
     Thoughts on Female Artists--Louisa and Eliza Sharpe--The
       Countess Julie von Egloffstein                                  179
     Moritz Retzsch                                                    183
     English and German Art                                            197
     Catalogue of German Artists                                       201

       *       *       *       *       *

     A Visit to Hardwicke                                              213
     A Visit to Althorpe                                               275



SKETCHES OF ART, LITERATURE, AND CHARACTER.

(_Continued._)



VOL. II.

  Page    7, line 13, _for_ to _read_ too.
         18,  --   2, _for_ Neurather _read_ Neureuther.
         68,  --   5, _for_ Scheckner _read_ Schechner.
         72,  --  16,        ditto.            ditto.
         94,  --  23, _for_ interior _read_ exterior.
        133,  --   1, note, _for_ Frederic Augustus _read_ Anthony.
        203,  --  16, _for_ Steiler _read_ Stieler.
        204,  --  21, _for_ Neurather _read_ Neureuther.
        209,  --   2, _for_ Reitchel _read_ Rietschel.


[Illustration]



SKETCHES OF ART, LITERATURE, AND CHARACTER.

MUNICH (CONTINUED).


_Tuesday._--M. de Klenze called this morning and conducted me over the
whole of the new palace. The design, when completed, will form a vast
quadrangle. It was begun about seven years ago; and as only a certain
sum is set apart every year for the works, it will probably be seven
years more before the portion now in progress, which is the south side
of the quadrangle, can be completed.

The exterior of the building is plain, but has an air of grandeur even
from its simplicity and uniformity. It reminds me of Sir Philip Sydney's
beautiful description--"A house built of fair and strong stone; not
affecting so much any extraordinary kind of fineness, as an honourable
representing of a firm stateliness; all more lasting than beautiful, but
that the consideration of the exceeding lastingness made the eye believe
it was exceeding beautiful."

When a selfish despot designs a palace, it is for himself he builds.
He thinks first of his own personal tastes and peculiar habits, and the
arrangements are contrived to suit his exclusive propensities. Thus, for
Nero's overwhelming pride, no space, no height, could suffice; so he
built his "golden house" upon a scale which obliged its next possessor
to pull it to pieces, as only fit to lodge a colossus. George the Fourth
had a predilection for low ceilings, so all the future inhabitants of
the Pimlico palace must endure suffocation; and as his majesty did not
live on good terms with his wife, no accommodation was prepared for a
future queen of England.

The commands which the king of Bavaria gave De Klenze were in a
different spirit. "Build me a palace, in which nothing within or without
shall be of transient fashion or interest; a palace for my posterity,
and my people, as well as myself; of which the decorations shall be
durable as well as splendid, and shall appear one or two centuries hence
as pleasing to the eye and taste as they do now." "Upon this principle,"
said De Klenze, looking round, "I designed what you now see."

On the first floor are the apartments of the king and queen, all facing
the south: a parallel range of apartments behind contains accommodation
for the attendants, ladies of honour, chamberlains, &c.; a grand
staircase on the east leads to the apartments of the king, another on
the west to those of the queen; the two suites of apartments uniting in
the centre, where the private and sleeping rooms communicate with each
other. All the chambers allotted to the king's use are painted with
subjects from the Greek poets, and those of the queen from the German
poets.

We began with the king's apartments. The approach to the staircase I did
not quite understand, for it appears small and narrow; but this part of
the building is evidently incomplete.

The staircase is beautiful, but simple, consisting of a flight of wide
broad steps of the native marble; there is no gilding; the ornaments on
the ceiling represent the different arts and manufactures carried on in
Bavaria. Over the door which opens into the apartments is the king's
motto in gold letters, GERECHT und BEHARRLICH--Just and Firm. Two
Caryatides support the entrance: on one side the statue of Astrea, and
on the other the Greek Victory without wings--the first expressing
justice, the last firmness or constancy. These figures are colossal,
and modelled by Schwanthaler in a grand and severe style of art.

I. The first antechamber is decorated with great simplicity. On the
cornice round the top is represented the history of Orpheus and the
expedition of the Argonauts, from Linus, the earliest Greek poet. The
figures are in outline, shaded in brown, but without relief or colour,
exactly like those on the Etruscan vases. The walls are stuccoed in
imitation of marble.

II. The second antechamber is less simple in its decoration. The frieze
round the top is broader, (about three feet,) and represents the
Theogony, the wars of the Titans, &c. from Hesiod. The figures are
in outline, and tinted, but without relief, in the manner of some of
the ancient Greek paintings on vases, tombs, &c. The effect is very
classical, and very singular. Schwanthaler, by whom these decorations
were designed, has displayed all the learning of a profound and
accomplished scholar, as well as the skill of an artist. In general
feeling and style they reminded me of Flaxman's outlines to Æschylus.

The walls of this room are also stuccoed in imitation of marble,
with compartments, in which are represented, in the same style, other
subjects from the "Weeks and Days," and the "Birth of Pandora." The
ornaments are in the oldest Greek style.

III. A saloon, or reception room, for those who are to be presented to
the king. On this room, which is in a manner public, the utmost luxury
of decoration is to be expended; but it is yet unfinished. The subjects
are from Homer. In compartments on the ceiling are represented the gods
of Greece; the gorgeous ornaments with which they are intermixed being
all in the Greek style. Round the frieze, at the top of the room, the
subjects are taken from the four Homeric hymns. The walls will be painted
from the Iliad and Odyssey, in compartments, mingled with the richest
arabesques. The effect of that part of the room which is finished is
indescribably splendid; but I cannot pause to dwell upon minutiæ.

IV. The throne-room. The decorations of this room combine, in an
extraordinary degree, the utmost splendour and the utmost elegance. The
whole is adorned with bas-reliefs in white stucco, raised upon a ground
of dead gold. The compositions are from Pindar. Round the frieze are
the games of Greece, the chariot and foot-race, the horse-race, the
wrestlers, the cestus, &c. Immediately over the throne, Pindar, singing
to his lyre, before the judges of the Olympic games. On each side a
comic and a tragic poet receiving a prize. The exceeding lightness and
grace, the various fancy, the purity of style, the vigour of life and
movement displayed here, all prove that Schwanthaler has drank deep of
classical inspiration, and that he has not looked upon the frieze of the
Parthenon in vain. The subjects on the walls are various groups from
the same poet; over the throne is the king's motto, and on each side,
Alcides and Achilles; the history of Jason and Medea, Castor and Pollux,
Deucalion and Pyrrha, &c. occupy compartments, differing in form and
size. The decoration of this magnificent room appeared to me a _little_
too much broken up into parts--and yet, on the whole, it is most
beautiful; the Graces as well as the Muses presided over the whole of
these "fancies, chaste and noble;" and there is excellent taste in the
choice of the poet, and the subjects selected, as harmonizing with the
destination of the room: all are expressive of power, of triumph, of
moral or physical greatness.[1] The walls are of dead gold, from the
floor to the ceiling, and the gilding of this room alone cost 72,000
florins.

V. A saloon, or antechamber. The ceiling and walls admirably painted,
from the tragedies of Æschylus.

VI. The king's study, or cabinet de travail. The subjects from Sophocles,
equally classical in taste, and rich in colour and effect. In the arch
at one end of this room are seven compartments, in which are inscribed
in gold letters, the sayings of the seven Greek sages.

Schwanthaler furnished the outlines of the compositions from Æschylus
and Sophocles, which are executed in colours by Wilhelm Röckel of
Schleissheim.

VII. The king's dressing-room. The subjects from Aristophanes, painted
by Hiltensberger of Suabia, certainly one of the best painters here.
There is exquisite fantastic grace and spirit in these designs.

"It was fit," said de Klenze, "that the first objects which his majesty
looked upon on rising from his bed should be gay and mirth-inspiring."

VIII. The king's bedroom. The subjects from Theocritus, by different
painters, but principally Professor Heinrich Hess and Bruchmann. This
room pleased me least.

No description could give an adequate idea of the endless variety, and
graceful and luxuriant ornament harmonizing with the various subjects,
and the purpose of each room, and lavished on the walls and ceilings,
even to infinitude. The general style is very properly borrowed from
the Greek decorations at Herculaneum and Pompeii; not servilely copied,
but varied with an exhaustless prodigality of fancy and invention, and
applied with exquisite taste. The combination of the gayest, brightest
colours has been studied with care, their proportion and approximation
calculated on scientific principles; so that the result, instead of
being gaudy and perplexing to the eye, is an effect the most captivating,
brilliant, and harmonious that can be conceived.

The material used is the _encaustic_ painting, which has been revived
by M. de Klenze. He spent four months at Naples analysing the colours
used in the encaustic paintings at Herculaneum and Pompeii, and by
innumerable experiments reducing the process to safe practice. Professor
Zimmermann explained to me the other day, as I stood beside him while
he worked, the general principle, and the advantages of this style.
It is much more rapid than oil painting; it is also much less expensive,
requiring both cheaper materials and in smaller quantity. It dries more
quickly: the surface is not so glazy and unequal, requiring no particular
light to be seen to advantage. The colours are wonderfully bright: it is
capable of as high a finish, and it is quite as durable as oils. Both
mineral and vegetable colours can be used.

Now to return. The king's bedchamber opens into the queen's apartments,
but to take these in order we must begin at the beginning. The staircase,
which is still unfinished, will be in a much richer style of architecture
than that on the king's side: it is sustained with beautiful columns of
native marble.

I. Antechamber; painted from the history and poems of Walther von der
Vogelweide, by Gassen of Coblentz, a young painter of distinguished
merit.

Walther "of the bird-meadow," for that is the literal signification
of his name, was one of the most celebrated of the early Suabian
Minnesingers,[2] and appears to have lived from 1190 to 1240. He led a
wandering life, and was at different times in the service of several
princes of Germany. He figured at the famous "strife of poets," at the
castle of Wartsburg, which took place in 1207, in presence of Hermann,
landgrave of Thuringia and the landgravine Sophia: this is one of the
most celebrated incidents in the history of German poetry. He also
accompanied Leopold VII. to the Holy Land. His songs are warlike,
patriotic, moral, and religious. "Of love he has always the highest
conception, as of a principle of action, a virtue, a religious affection;
and in his estimation of female excellence, he is below none of his
contemporaries."[3]

In the centre of the ceiling is represented the poetical contest at
Wartsburg, and Walther is reciting his verses in presence of his rivals
and the assembled judges. At the upper end of the room Walther is
exhibited exactly as he describes himself in one of his principal poems,
seated on a high rock in a melancholy attitude, leaning on his elbow,
and contemplating the troubles of his desolate country; in the opposite
arch, the old poet is represented as feeding the little birds which are
fluttering round him--in allusion to his will, which directed that the
birds should be fed yearly upon his tomb. Another compartment represents
Walther showing to his Geliebte (his mistress) the reflection of her
own lovely face in his polished shield. There are other subjects which
I cannot recall. The figures in all these groups are the size of life.

II. The next room is painted from the poems of Wolfram of Eschenbach,
another, and one of the most fertile of the old Minnesingers; he also
was present at the contest at Wartsburg, "and wandered from castle to
castle like a true courteous knight, dividing his time between feats of
arms and minstrelsy." He versified, in the German tongue, the romance
of the "Saint-Greal," making it an original production, and the central
point, if the expression may be allowed, of an innumerable variety of
adventures, which he has combined, like Ariosto, in artful perplexity,
in the poems of Percival and Titurel.[4] These adventures furnish the
subjects of the paintings on the ceiling and walls, which are executed
by Hermann of Dresden, one of the most distinguished of the pupils of
Cornelius.

The ornaments in these two rooms, which are exceedingly rich and
appropriate, are in the old gothic style, and reminded me of the
illuminations in the ancient MSS.

III. A saloon (salon de service) appropriated to the ladies in waiting:
painted from the ballads of Bürger, by Foltz of Bingen. The ceiling
of this room is perfectly exquisite--it is formed entirely of small
rosettes, (about a foot in diameter,) varying in form, and combining
every hue of the rainbow--the delicacy and harmony of the entire effect
is quite indescribable. The rest of the decorations are not finished,
but the choice of the poet and the subjects, considering the destination
of the room, delighted me. The fate of "Lenora," and that of the "Curate's
Daughter," will be edifying subjects of contemplation for the maids of
honour.

IV. The throne-room. Magnificent in the general effect; elegant and
appropriate in the design.

On the ceiling, which is richly ornamented, are four medallions,
exhibiting, under the effigies of four admirable women, the four
_feminine_ cardinal virtues. Constancy is represented by Maria Theresa;
maternal love, by Cornelia; charity, by St. Elizabeth, (the Margravine
of Thuringia;[5]) and filial tenderness, by Julia Pia Alpinula.

  And there--O sweet and sacred be the name!
    Julia, the daughter, the devoted, gave
  Her youth to Heaven; her heart beneath a claim
    Nearest to Heaven's, broke o'er a father's grave.
                                           LORD BYRON.


"I always avoid emblematical and allegorical figures, wherever it is
possible, for they are cold and arbitrary, and do not speak to the
heart!" said M. de Klenze, perceiving how much I was charmed with the
idea of thus personifying the womanly virtues.

The paintings round the room are from the poems of Klopstock, and
executed by Wilhelm Kaulbach, an excellent artist. Only the frieze is
finished. It consists of a series of twelve compartments: three on each
side of the room, and divided from each other by two boys of colossal
size, grouped as Caryatides, and in very high relief. These compartments
represent the various scenes of the Herman-Schlacht; the sacrifices of
the Druids; the adieus of the women; the departure of the warriors;
the fight with Varus; the victory; the return of Herman to his wife
Thusnelda, &c.

Herman, or, as the Roman historians call him, Arminius, was a chieftain
of the Cheruscans, a tribe of northern Germany. After serving in Illyria,
and there learning the Roman arts of warfare, he came back to his native
country, and fought successfully for its independence. He defeated,
beside a defile near Detmold, in Westphalia, the Roman legions under
the command of Varus, with a slaughter so mortifying, that the proconsul
is said to have killed himself, and Augustus to have received the
news of the catastrophe with indecorous expressions of grief. It is
this defeat of Varus which forms the theme of one of Klopstock's
chorus-dramas, entitled, "The Battle of Herman." The dialogue is concise
and picturesque; the characters various, consistent, and energetic; a
lofty colossal frame of being belongs to them all, as in the paintings
of Caravaggio. To Herman, the disinterested zealot of patriotism and
independence, a preference of importance is wisely given; yet, perhaps,
his wife Thusnelda acts more strongly on the sympathy by the enthusiastic
veneration and affection she displays for her hero-consort.[6]

V. Saloon, or drawing-room. The paintings from Wieland, by Eugene
Neureuther, (already known in England by his beautiful arabesque
illustrations of Goethe's ballads.) The frieze only of this room, which
is from the Oberon, is in progress.

VI. The queen's bedroom. The paintings from Goethe, and chiefly by
Kaulbach. The ceiling is exquisite, representing in compartments various
scenes from Goethe's principal lyrics; the Herman and Dorothea; Pausias
and Glycera, &c., intermixed with the most rich and elegant ornaments in
relief.

VII. The queen's study, or private sitting-room. A small but very
beautiful room, with paintings from Schiller, principally by Lindenschmidt
of Mayence. On the ceiling are groups from the Wallenstein; the Maid
of Orleans; the Bride of Corinth; Wilhelm Tell; and on the walls, in
compartments, mingled with the most elegant ornaments, scenes from the
Fridolin, the Toggenburg, the Dragon of Rhodes, and other of his lyrics.

VIII. The queen's library. As the walls will be covered with book-cases,
all the splendour of decoration is lavished on the ceiling, which is
inexpressibly rich and elegant. The paintings are from the works of
Ludwig Tieck--from the Octavianus, the Genoneva, Fortunatus, the Puss
in Boots, &c., and executed by Von Schwind.

The dining-room is magnificently painted with subjects from Anacreon,
intermixed with ornaments and bacchanalian symbols, all in the richest
colouring. In the compartments on the ceiling, the figures are the size
of life--in those round the walls, half-life size. Nothing can exceed
the luxuriant fancy, the gaiety, the classical elegance, and amenity of
some of these groups. They are all by Professor Zimmermann.

One of these paintings, a group representing, I think, Anacreon with the
Graces, (it is at the east end of the room,) is usually pointed out as
an example of the perfection to which the encaustic painting has been
carried: in fact, it would be difficult to exceed it in the mingled
harmony, purity, and brilliance of the colouring.

M. Zimmermann told me, that when he submitted the cartoons for these
paintings to the king's approbation, his majesty desired a slight
alteration to be made in a group representing a nymph embraced by a
bacchanal; not as being in itself faulty, but "à cause de ses enfans,"
his eldest daughters being accustomed to dine with himself and the
queen.

Now it must be remembered that these seventeen rooms form the domestic
apartments of the royal family; and magnificent as they are, a certain
elegance, cheerfulness, and propriety have been more consulted than
parade and grandeur: but on the ground-floor there is a suite of state
apartments, prepared for the reception of strangers, &c., on great and
festive occasions; and these excited my admiration more than all the
rest together.

The paintings are entirely executed in fresco, on a grand scale, by
Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld, certainly one of the greatest living
artists of Europe: and these four rooms will form, when completed, the
very triumph of the romantic school of painting. It is not alone the
invention displayed in the composition, nor the largeness, boldness, and
freedom of the drawing, nor the vigour and splendour of the colouring;
it is the enthusiastic sympathy of the painter with his subject; the
genuine spirit of the old heroic, or rather Teutonic ages of Germany,
breathed through and over his singular creations, which so peculiarly
distinguish them. They are the very antipodes of all our notions of
the classical--they take us back to the days of Gothic romance, and
legendary lore--to the "fiery Franks and furious Huns"--to the heroes,
in short, of the Nibelungen Lied, from which all the subjects are taken.

To enable the merely English reader to feel, or at least understand, the
interest attached to this grand series of paintings, without which it is
impossible to do justice to the artist, it is necessary to give a slight
sketch of the poem which he has thus magnificently illustrated.[7]

"This national epic, as it is justly termed by M. Von der Hagen, has
lately attracted a most unprecedented degree of attention in Germany. It
now actually forms a part of the philological courses in many of their
universities, and it has been hailed with almost as much veneration as
the Homeric songs. Some allowance must be made for German enthusiasm,
but it cannot be denied that the Nibelungen Lied, though a little too
bloody and dolorous, possesses extraordinary merits." The hero and heroine
of this poem are Siegfried, (son of Siegmund, king of Netherland, and of
Sighelind his queen,) and Chrimhilde, princess of Burgundy. Siegfried,
or Sifrit, the Sigurd of the Scandinavian Sagas, is the favourite hero
of the northern parts of Germany. His spear, "a mighty pine beam," was
preserved with veneration at Worms; and there, in the church of St.
Cecilia, he is supposed to have been buried. The German romances do
not represent him as being of gigantic proportions, but they all agree
that he became invulnerable by bathing in the blood of a dragon, which
guarded the treasures of the Nibelungen, and which he overcame and
killed; but it happened that as he bathed, a leaf fell and rested
between his shoulders, and consequently, that one little spot, about
a hand's breadth, still remained susceptible of injury. Siegfried also
possesses the wondrous tarn-cap, which had the power of rendering the
wearer invisible.

This formidable champion, after winning the love and the hand of the
fair princess Chrimhilde, and performing a thousand valiant deeds, is
treacherously murdered by the three brothers of Chrimhilde, Gunther,
king of Burgundy, Ghiseler, Gernot, and their uncle Hagen, instigated by
queen Brunhilde, the wife of Gunther. Chrimhilde meditates for years the
project of a deep and deadly revenge on the murderers of her husband.
This vengeance is in fact the subject of the Nibelungen Lied, as the
wrath of Achilles is the subject of the Iliad.

The poem opens thus beautifully with a kind of argument of the whole
eventful story.

  "In ancient song and story marvels high are told
  Of knights of bold emprize and adventures mani-fold;
  Of joy and merry feasting, of lamenting, woe, and fear;
  Of champions' bloody battles many marvels shall ye hear.

  A noble maid and fair, grew up in Burgundy,
  In all the land about fairer none might be;
  She became a queen full high, Chrimhild was she hight,
  But for her matchless beauty fell many a blade of might.

  For love and for delight was framed that lady gay,
  Many a champion bold sighed for that gentle May;
  Beauteous was her form! beauteous without compare!
  The virgin's virtues might adorn many a lady fair.

  Three kings of might had the maiden in their care,
  King Gunther and king Gernot, champions bold they were,
  And Ghiselar the young, a chosen peerless blade:
  The lady was their sister, and much they loved the maid."


Then follows an enumeration of the heroes in attendance on king Gunther:
Haghen, the fierce; Dankwart, the swift; Volker, the minstrel knight;
and others; "all champions bold and free;"--and then the poet proceeds
to open the argument.

  "One night the queen Chrimhild dreamt her as she lay,
  How she had trained and nourished a falcon, wild and gay;
  When suddenly two eagles fierce the gentle hawk have slain--
  Never, in this world felt she such cruel pain!

  To her mother, Uta, she told her dream with fear.
  Full mournfully she answered to what the maid did spier,
  'The falcon, whom you cherished, a gentle knight is he:
  God take him to his ward! thou must lose him suddenly.'

  'What speak you of the knight? dearest mother, say!
  Without the love of Champion, to my dying day,
  Ever thus fair will I remain, nor take a wedded fere
  To gain such pain and sorrow--though the knight were without peer!'

  'Speak not thou too rashly!' her mother spake again.
  'If ever in this world, thou heart-felt joy wilt gain,
  Maiden must thou be no more; Leman must thou have.
  God will grant thee for thy mate, some gentle knight and brave.'

  'O leave thy words, lady mother; speak not of wedded mate,
  Full many a gentle maiden hath found the truth too late:
  Still has their fondest love ended with woe and pain;
  Virgin will I ever be, nor the love of Leman gain.'

  In virtues high and noble that gentle maiden dwelt,
  Full many a night and day, nor love for Leman felt.
  To never a knight or champion would she plight her virgin truth,
  Till she was gained for wedded fere by a right noble youth.

  That youth, he was the falcon, she in her dream beheld,
  Who by the two fierce eagles, dead to the ground was fell'd:
  But since right dreadful vengeance she took upon his foen;
  For the death of that bold hero, died full many a mother's son."


After this exordium the story commences, the first half ending with the
assassination of Siegfried.

Some years after the murder of Siegfried, Chrimhilde gives her hand to
Etzel, (or Attila,) king of the Huns, in order that through his power
and influence she may be enabled to execute her long-cherished schemes
of vengeance. The assassins accordingly, and all their kindred and
followers, are induced to visit King Etzel at Vienna, where, by the
instigation of Chrimhilde, a deadly feud arises; in the course of which
almost the whole army on both sides are cruelly slaughtered. By the
powerful, but reluctant aid of Dietrich of Bern,[8] Hagen, the murderer
of Siegfried, is at last vanquished, and brought bound to the feet of
the queen, who at once raises the sword of her departed hero, and with
her own hand strikes off the head of his enemy. Hildebrand instantly
avenges the atrocious and unhospitable act, by stabbing the queen, who
falls exulting on the body of her hated victim.

When Gunther's arms, and those of his brothers and champions, are
brought to Worms, Brunhilde repents too late of her treachery to
Siegfried, and the old queen Uta dies of grief. As to King Etzel, the
poet professes himself ignorant, "whether he died in battle, or was
taken up to heaven, or fell out of his skin, or was swallowed up
by the devil;" leaving to his reader the choice of these singular
catastrophes;--and thus the story ends.[9]

The rivalry between Chrimhilde and her amazonian sister-in-law,
Brunhilde, forms the most interesting and amusing episode in the poem;
and the characters of the two queens--the fierce haughty Brunhilde,
and the impassioned, devoted, confiding Chrimhilde--(whom the very
excess of conjugal love converts into a relentless fury,) are admirably
discriminated. "The work is divided into thirty-eight books, or
_adventures_; and besides a liberal allowance of sorcery and wonders,
contains a great deal of clear and animated narrative, and innumerable
curious and picturesque traits of the manners of the age. The characters
of the different warriors, as well as those of the two queens, and their
heroic consorts, are very naturally and powerfully drawn--especially
that of Hagen, the murderer of Siegfried, in whom the virtues of an
heroic and chivalrous leader are strangely united with the atrocity and
impenitent hardihood of an assassin.

"The author of the Lay of the Nibelungen has not been ascertained. In
its present form it must have existed between the twelfth and thirteenth
centuries;--this is proved by the language; but the manners, tone,
thoughts, and actions, which are all in perfect keeping, bear testimony
to an antiquity far beyond that of the present dress of the poem."

Here then was a boundless, an inexhaustible fund of inspiration for such
a painter as Julius Schnorr; and his poetical fancy appears to have
absolutely revelled in the grand, the gay, the tragic subjects afforded
to his creative pencil.

In the first room, immediately over the entrance, he has represented the
poet, or presumed author of the Nibelungen--an inspired figure, attended
by two listening genii. On each side, but a little lower down, are two
figures looking towards him; on one side a beautiful female, striking
a harp, and attended by a genius crowned with roses--represents song
or poesy. On the other side, a sybil listening to the voice of Time,
represents tradition. The figures are all colossal.

Below, on each side of this door, are two beautiful groups. That to
the right of the spectator represents Siegfried and Chrimhilde. She is
leaning on the shoulder of her warlike husband with an air of the most
inimitable and graceful abandonment in her whole figure: a falcon sits
upon her hand, on which her eyes are turned with the most profound
expression of tenderness and melancholy; she is thinking upon her dream,
in which was foreshadowed the early and terrible doom of her husband.

It is said at Munich, that the wife of Schnorr, an exquisitely beautiful
woman, whom he married under romantic circumstances, was the model of
his Chrimhilde, and that one of her spontaneous attitudes furnished the
idea of this exquisite group, on which I never look without emotion. The
depth and splendour of the colouring adds to the effect. The figures are
rather above the size of life.

On the opposite side of the door, as a _pendant_, we have Gunther, and
his queen, Brunhilde. He holds one of her hands, with a deprecating
expression. She turns from him with an averted countenance, exhibiting
in her whole look and attitude, grief, rage, and shame. It is evident
that she has just made the fatal discovery of her husband's obligations
to Siegfried, which urges her to the destruction of the latter. I have
heard travellers ignorantly criticise the grand, and somewhat exaggerated
forms of Brunhilde, as being "really quite coarse and unfeminine." In
the poem she is represented as possessing the strength of twelve men;
and when Hagen sees her throw a spear, which it required four warriors
to lift, he exclaims to her alarmed suitor, King Gunther,

  "Aye! how is it, King Gunther? here must you tine your life!
  The lady you would gain, well might be the devil's wife!"


It is by the secret assistance of Siegfried, and his tarn-cap, that
Gunther at length vanquishes and humbles this terrible heroine, and she
avenges her humiliation by the murder of Siegfried.

Around the room are sixteen full-length portraits of the other principal
personages who figure in the Nibelungen Lied--_portraits_ they may well
be called, for their extraordinary spirit, and truth of character. In
one group we have the fierce Hagen, the courteous Dankwart, and between
them, Volker tuning his viol; of him it is said--

  Bolder and more knight-like fiddler, never shone the sun upon,


and he plays a conspicuous part in the catastrophe of the poem.

Opposite to this group, we have queen Uta, the mother of Chrimhilde,
between her sons, Gernot and Ghiselar: in another compartment, Siegmund
and Sighelind, the father and mother of Siegfried.

Over the window opposite to the entrance, Hagen is consulting the
mermaids of the Danube, who foretell the destruction which awaits him
at the court of Etzel: and lower down on each side of the window, King
Etzel with his friend Rudiger, and those faithful companions in arms,
old Hildebrand and Dietrich of Bern. The power of invention, the
profound feeling of character, and extraordinary antiquarian knowledge
displayed in these figures, should be seen to be understood. Those which
most struck me (next to Chrimhilde and her husband) were the figures
of the daring Hagen and the venerable queen Uta.

On the ceiling, which is vaulted, and enriched with most gorgeous
ornaments, intermixed with heraldic emblazonments, are four small
compartments in fresco: in which are represented, the marriage of
Siegfried and Chrimhilde, the murder of Siegfried, the vengeance of
Chrimhilde, and the death of Chrimhilde. These are painted in vivid
colours on a black ground.

On the whole, on looking round this most splendid and interesting room,
I could find but one fault: I could have wished that the ornaments on
the walls and ceiling (so rich and beautiful to the eye) had been more
completely and consistently gothic in style; they would then have
harmonized better with the subjects of the paintings.

In the next room, the two sides are occupied by two grand frescos, each
about five-and-twenty feet in length, and covering the whole wall. In
the first, Siegfried brings the kings of Saxony and Denmark prisoners to
the court of king Gunther. The second represents the reception of the
victorious Siegfried by the two queens, Uta and Chrimhilde. This is the
first interview of the lovers, and furnishes one of the most admired
passages in the poem.

  "And now the beauteous lady, like the rosy morn,
  Dispersed the misty clouds; and he who long had borne
  In his heart the maiden, banish'd pain and care,
  As now before his eyes stood the glorious maiden fair.

  From her embroidered garment, glittered many a gem,
  And on her lovely cheek, the rosy red did gleam;
  Whoever in his glowing soul had imaged lady bright,
  Confessed that fairer maiden never stood before his sight.

  And as the moon at night, stands high the stars among,
  And moves the mirky clouds above, with lustre bright and strong;
  So stood before her maidens, that maid without compare:
  Higher swelled the courage of many a champion there."


Between the two doors there is the marriage of Siegfried and Chrimhilde.
The second of these frescos is nearly finished; of the others I only
saw the cartoons, which are magnificent. The third room will contain,
arranged in the same manner, three grand frescos, representing 1st.
the scene in which the rash curiosity of Chrimhilde prevails over the
discretion of her husband, and he gives her the ring and the girdle
which he had snatched as trophies from the vanquished Brunhilde.[10]
2ndly. The death of Siegfried, assassinated by Hagen, who stabs the hero
in the back, as he stoops to drink from the forest-well. And 3rdly.
The body of Siegfried exposed in the cathedral at Worms, and watched by
Chrimhilde, "who wept three days and three nights by the corse of her
murdered lord, without food and without sleep."

The fourth room will contain the second marriage of Chrimhilde; her
complete and sanguinary vengeance; and her death. None of these are
yet in progress. But the three cartoons of the death of Siegfried;
the marriage of Siegfried and Chrimhilde; and the fatal curiosity of
Chrimhilde, I had the pleasure of seeing in Professor Schnorr's studio
at the academy; I saw at the same time his picture of the death of the
emperor Frederic Barbarossa, which has excited great admiration here,
but I confess I do not like it; nor do I think that Schnorr paints as
well in oils as in fresco--the latter is certainly his forte.

Often have I walked up and down these superb rooms, looking up at
Schnorr and his assistants, and watching intently the preparation and
the process of the fresco painting--and often I thought, "What would
some of our English painters--Etty, or Hilton, or Briggs, or Martin--O
what would they give to have two or three hundred feet of space before
them, to cover at will with grand and glorious creations,--scenes from
Chaucer, or Spenser, or Shakspeare, or Milton, proudly conscious that
they were painting for their country and posterity, spurred on by the
spirit of their art and national enthusiasm, and generously emulating
each other!" Alas! how different!--with us such men as Hilton and Etty
illustrate annuals, and the genius of Turner shrinks into a vignette!

I should add, before I throw down my weary pen, that every part of the
new palace, from the _ensemble_ down to the minutest details of the
ornaments (the paintings excepted) has been designed by De Klenze, who
executed seven hundred drawings with his own hand for this palace alone,
without reckoning his designs for the Glyptothek and the Pinakothek.

This has been a busy and exciting day. Then in the evening a
_soirée_--music--

       *       *       *       *       *

O quite tired in spirits, in voice, in mind, in heart, in frame!

_Oct. 14th._--Accompanied by my kind friend, Madame de K----, and
conducted by Roekel, the painter, I visited the unfinished chapel
adjoining the new palace. It is painted (or rather _painting_) in
fresco, on a gold ground, with extraordinary richness and beauty,
uniting the old Greek, or rather Byzantine manner, with the old Italian
style of decoration. It reminded me, in the general effect, of the
interior of St. Mark's at Venice,--but, of course, the details are
executed in a grander feeling, and in a much higher style of art. The
pillars are of the native marble, and the walls will be covered with
a kind of Mosaic of various marbles, intermixed with ornaments in
relief, in gilding, in colours--all combined, and harmonizing together.
The ceiling is formed of two large domes or cupolas. In the first is
represented the Old Testament: in the very centre, the Creator; in a
circle round him, the six days' creation. Around this again, in a larger
circle, the building of the ark; the Deluge; the sacrifice of Noah; and
the first covenant. In the four corners, the colossal figures of the
patriarchs, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. These are designed in a
very grand and severe style. The second cupola is dedicated to the
New Testament. In the centre, the Redeemer: around him four groups of
cherubs, three in each group. We were on the scaffold erected for the
painters--near enough to remark the extreme beauty and various expression
in these heads, which must, I am afraid, be lost when viewed from below.
Around, in a circle, the twelve apostles; and in the four corners, the
four evangelists, corresponding with the four patriarchs in the other
dome. In the arch between the two domes, as connecting the Old and New
Testaments, we have the Nativity and other scenes from the life of the
Virgin. In the arch at the farthest end will be placed the Crucifixion,
as the consummation of all.

The painter to whom the direction of the whole work has been entrusted,
is professor Heinrich Häss, (or Hess,) one of the most celebrated of the
German historical painters. He was then employed in painting the Nativity,
stretched upon his back on a sort of inclined chair. Notwithstanding the
inconvenience and even peril of leaving his work while the plaster was
wet, he came down from his giddy height to speak to us, and explained
the general design of the whole. I expressed my honest admiration of the
genius, and the grand feeling displayed in many of the figures; and, in
particular, of the group he was then painting, of which the extreme
simplicity charmed me; but as honestly, I expressed my surprise that
nothing _new_ in the general style of the decoration had been attempted;
a representation of the Omnipotent Being was merely excusable in more
simple and unenlightened times, when the understandings of men could
only be addressed through their senses--and merely tolerable, when
Michael Angelo gave us that grand personification of Almighty Power
moving "on the wings of the wind" to the creation of the first man. But
now, in these thinking, reasoning times, it is not so well to venture
into those paths, upon which daring Genius, supported by blind Faith,
rushed without fear, because without a doubt. The theory of religion
belongs to poetry, and its practice to painting. I was struck by the
wonderful stateliness of the ornaments and borders used in decorating
these sacred subjects: they are neither Greek, nor gothic, nor
arabesque--but composed merely of simple forms and straight lines,
combined in every possible manner, and in every variety of pure colour.
One might call them _Byzantine_; at least, they reminded me of what
I had seen in the old churches at Venice and Pisa.

I was pleased by the amiable and open manners of professor Hess. Much
of his life has been spent in Italy, and he speaks Italian well, but no
French. In general, the German artists absolutely detest and avoid the
language and literature of France, but almost all speak Italian, and
many can read, if they do not speak, English. He told me that he had
spent two years on the designs and cartoons for this chapel; he had been
painting here daily for the last two years, and expected to be able to
finish the whole in about two years and a half more: thus giving six
years and a half, or more probably seven years, to this grand task.
He has four pupils, or assistants, besides those employed in the
decorations only.

_Oct. 15th._--After dinner we drove through the beautiful English
garden--a public promenade--which is larger and more diversified than
Kensington Gardens; but the trees are not so fine, being of younger
growth. A branch of the Isar rolls through this garden, sometimes an
absolute torrent, deep and rapid, foaming and leaping along, between its
precipitous banks,--sometimes a strong but gentle stream, flowing "at
its own sweet will" among smooth lawns. Several pretty bridges cross it
with "airy span;" there are seats for repose, and cafés and houses where
refreshment may be had, and where, in the summer-time, the artisans and
citizens of Munich assemble to dance on the Sunday evenings;--altogether
it was a beautiful day, and a delightful drive.

In the evening at the opera with the ambassadress and a large party.
It was the queen's fête, and the whole court was present. The theatre
was brilliantly illuminated--crowded in every part: in short, it was
all very gay and very magnificent; as to hearing a single note of the
opera, (the Figaro,) that was impossible; so I resigned myself to the
conversation around me. "Are you fond of music?" said I, innocently, to
a lady whose volubility had ceased not from the moment we entered the
box. "Moi! si je l'aime!--mais avec passion!" And then without pause
or mercy continued the same incessant flow of _spirituel_ small-talk
while Scheckner-Wagen and Meric, now brought for the first time into
competition, and emulous of each other,--one pouring forth her full
_sostenuto_ warble, like a wood-lark,--the other trilling and running
divisions, like a nightingale--were uniting their powers in the "Sull'
Aria;" but though I could not hear I could see. I was struck to-night
more than ever by the singular dignity of the demeanour of Madame
Scheckner-Wagen. She is not remarkable for beauty, nor is there any
thing of the common made-up theatrical grace in her deportment--still
less does she remind us of queen Medea--queen Pasta, I should say--the
imperial syren who drowned her own identity and ours together in her
"cup of enchanted sounds;"--no--but Scheckner-Wagen treads the stage
with the air of a high-bred lady, to whom applause or censure are things
indifferent--and yet with an exceeding modesty. In short, I never saw
an actress who inspired such an immediate and irresistible feeling of
respect and interest for the individual _woman_. I do not say that this
is the _ne plus ultra_ of good acting--on the contrary; though it is a
mistake to imagine that the moral character of an actress or a singer
goes for nothing with an audience--but of this more at some future
time. Madame Scheckner's style of singing has the same characteristic
simplicity and dignity: her voice is of a fine full quality, well
cultivated, well managed. I have known her a little indolent and careless
at times, but never forced or affected; and I am told that in some of
the grand classical German operas, Gluck's Iphigenia, for instance, her
acting as well as her singing is admirable.

I wish, if ever we have that charming Devrient-Schröeder, and her vocal
suite, again in England, they would give us the Iphigenia, or the Armida,
or the Idomeneo. She is another who must be heard in her native music
to be justly appreciated. Madame Milder _was_ a third, but her reign is
past. This extraordinary creature absolutely could not, or would not,
sing the modern Italian music; no one, I believe, ever heard her sing
a note of Rossini in her life. Madame Vespermann is here, but she sings
no more in public. She was formed by Winter, and was a fine classical
singer, though no original genius like the Milder; and her voice, if
I may judge by what remains of it, could never have been of first-rate
quality.

Well--after the opera--while scandal, and tea, and refreshments were
served up together--I had a long conversation with Count ---- on the
politics and statistics of Bavaria, the tone of feeling in the court,
the characters and revenues of some of the leading nobles--particularly
Count d'Armansberg, the former minister, (now in Greece taking care of
the young King Otho,) and Prince Wallerstein, the present minister of
the interior. He described the king's extremely versatile character, and
his _vivacités_, and lamented his present unpopularity with the liberal
party in Germany, the disputes between him and the Chambers, and the
opinions entertained of the recent conferences between the king and his
brother-in-law, the Emperor of Austria, at Lintz, &c. I learnt much that
was new, much that was interesting to me, but do not understand these
matters sufficiently to say any thing more about them.

The two richest families in Bavaria are the Tour-and-Taxis, and the Arco
family. The annual revenue of the Prince of Tour-and-Taxis amounts to
upwards of five millions of florins, and he lays out about a million
and a half yearly in land. He seldom or never comes to Munich, but
resides chiefly on his enormous estates, or at Ratisbon, which is _his_
metropolis,--in fact, this rich and powerful noble is little less than
a sovereign prince.

       *       *       *       *       *

_16th._--I went with Madame von A---- and her daughters to the
=Kunstverein=, or "Society of Arts." A similar institution of amateurs
and artists, maintained by subscription, exists, I believe, in all the
principal cities of Germany. The young artists exhibit their works here,
whether pictures, models, or engravings. Some of these are removed and
replaced by others almost every day, so that there is a constant variety.
As yet, however, I have seen no _very_ striking, though many pleasing
pictures; but I have added several names to my list of German
artists.[11] To-day at the Kunstverein, there was a series of small
pictures framed together, the subjects from Victor Hugo's romance of
Notre Dame. These attracted general attention, partly as the work of
a stranger, partly from their own merit, and the popularity of Victor
Hugo. The painter, M. Couder, is a young Frenchman, now on his return
from Italy to Paris. I understand that he has obtained leave to paint
one of the frescos in the Pinakothek, as a trial of skill. Of the
designs from Notre Dame, the central and largest picture is the scene in
the garret between Phoebus and Esmeralda, when the former is stabbed
by the priest Frollo: one can hardly imagine a more admirable subject
for painting, if properly treated; but this is a failure in effect and
in character. It fails in effect because the light is too generally
diffused:--it is day-light, not lamp-light. The monk ought to have been
thrown completely into shadow, only _just_ visible, terribly, mysteriously
visible, to the spectator. It fails in character because the figure of
Esmeralda, instead of the elegant, fragile, almost etherial creature she
is described, rather reminds us of a coarse Italian contadina; and, for
the expression--a truly poetical painter would have averted the face,
and thrown the whole expression into the attitude. It will hardly be
believed that of such a subject, the painter has made a _cold_ picture,
merely by not feeling the bounds within which he ought to have kept.
The small pictures are much better, particularly the Sachet embracing
her child, and the tumult in front of Notre Dame. There were some other
striking pictures by the same artist, particularly Chilperic and
Fredegonde strangling the young queen Galsuinde, painted with shocking
skill and truth. That taste for horrors, which is now the reigning
fashion in French art and French literature, speaks ill for French
_sensibilité_--a word they are so fond of--for that sensibility cannot
be great which requires such extravagant _stimuli_. Painters and authors,
all alike! They remind me of the sentimental negresses of queen Carathis,
in the Tale of Vathek--"qui avaient un gout particulier pour les
pestilences." Couder, however, has undoubted talent. His portrait of
De Klenze, painted since he came here, is all but _alive_.

In the evening at the theatre with M. and Mad. S----. We had Karl
von Holtëi's melo-drama of Lenore, founded on Bürger's well-known
ballad;--but with the omission of the spectre, which was something like
acting Hamlet "with the part of Hamlet left out, by particular desire."
Lenore is, however, one of the prettiest and most effective of the
_petites pièces_ I have seen here--very tragical and dolorous of course.
Madlle. Schöller acted Lenore with more feeling and power than I thought
was in her. There is a mad scene, in which she fancies her lover at her
window, calling to her, as the spectre calls in the ballad--

  "Sleep'st thou, or wak'st thou, Leonore?"


And which was so fine as a picture, and so well acted, that it quite
thrilled me--no easy matter. Holtëi is one of the first dramatists in
Germany for comedies, melo-dramas, farces, and musical pieces. In this
particular department he has no rival. He played to-night himself, being
for his own benefit, and sung his popular Mantel Lied, or _cloak-song_,
which, like his other songs, may be heard from one end of Germany to the
other.

_18th._--A grand military fête. The consecration of the great bronze
obelisk, which the king has erected in the Karoline-Platz, to the
_glory_ and the memory of the thirty-seven thousand Bavarian conscripts
who followed, or rather were dragged by, Napoleon to the fatal Russian
campaign in 1812. Of these, about six thousand returned alive: most of
them mutilated, or with diseases which shortened their existence. Of
many thousands no account ever reached home. They perished, God knows
how or where. There was, in particular, a detachment, or a battery of
six thousand Bavarians, so completely destroyed that it was as if the
earth had swallowed them, or the snows had buried them, for not one
remained to tell the tale of how or where they died. Of those who did
return, about one thousand one hundred survive, of whom four hundred
continue in the army; the rest had returned to their civil pursuits, and
had become peasants or tradesmen in different parts of the kingdom. Now,
it appears, that several hundreds of these men have arrived in Munich
within the last few days in order to be present at the ceremony: and
some, from the mere sentiment of honour, have travelled from afar--even
from Upper Bavaria and the Flemish Provinces, a distance of more than
eighty leagues, (two hundred and fifty miles.) On this occasion,
according to the arrangements previously made, the veteran soldiers who
remained in the army, were alone to be admitted within the enclosure
round the monument. The others, I believe about five hundred in number,
who had quitted the service, but who had equally fought, suffered, bled,
in the same disastrous expedition, demanded, very naturally, the same
privilege. It was refused; because forsooth they had no uniforms, and
the unseemly intrusion of drab coats and blue worsted stockings among
epaulettes and feathers and embroidered facings, would certainly spoil
the symmetry--the effect of the _coup d'oeil_! They complained,
murmured aloud, resisted; and all night there was fighting in the
streets and taverns between them and the police. This morning they went
up in a body to Marshal Wrede, (who is said to have betrayed the army,)
and were _renvoyés_. They then went up to the palace; and at last,
at a late hour this morning, the king gave orders that they should be
admitted within the circle; but it was too late--the affront had sunk
deep. The permission, which in the first instance ought indeed to
have been rather an invitation, now seemed forced, ungraceful, and
ungracious. There was a palpable cloud of discontent over all; for the
popular feeling was with them. For myself, a mere stranger, such was
my indignation, the whole proceeding appeared to me so heartless,
so unkingly, so unkind, and my sympathy with these brave men was so
profound, that I could scarce persuade myself to go;--however, I went.
I had been invited to view the ceremony from the balcony of the French
ambassador's house, which is exactly opposite to the obelisk.

I had indulged my ill-humour till it was late; already all the avenues
leading to the Karoline-Platz were occupied by the military, and my
carriage was stopped. As I was within fifty yards of the ambassador's
house, it did not much signify, and I dismissed the carriage; but they
would not allow the lacquais to pass. Wondering at all these precautions
I dismissed _him_ too. A little further on I was myself stopped, and
civilly _commanded_ to turn back. I pleaded that I only wished to enter
the house to which I pointed. "It was impossible." Now, what I had not
cared for a moment before became at once an object to be attained, and
which I was resolved to attain. I was really curious and anxious to see
how all this would end, for the indifferent or lowering looks of the
crowd had struck me. I observed to a well-dressed man, who politely
tried to make way for me, that it was strange to see so much severity of
discipline at a public fête. "Public fête!" he repeated with scornful
bitterness; "Je vous demande pardon, madame! c'est une fête pour quelques
uns, mais ce n'est pas une fête pour nous, ce n'est pas pour le peuple!"

At length I fortunately met an officer, with whom I was slightly
acquainted, who immediately conducted me to the door. The spectacle,
merely as a _spectacle_, was not striking; but to me it had a peculiar
interest. There was a raised platform on one side for the queen and her
children, who, attended by a numerous court, were spectators. An outer
circle was formed by several regiments of guards, and within this
circle the soldiers who had served in Russia were drawn up near the
obelisk, which was covered for the present with a tarpauling. But all
my attention was fixed on the disbanded soldiers without uniforms, who
stood together in a dark dense column, contrasting with the glittering
and gorgeous array of those around them. The king rode into the circle,
accompanied by his brother, Prince Charles, the arch-duke Francis of
Austria, Marshal Wrede, and followed by a troop of generals, equerries,
&c. There was a dead silence, and not a shout was raised to greet him.
A few of the disbanded soldiers, who were nearest to him, took off
their hats, others kept them on. The trumpets sounded a salute: the
bands struck up our "God save the King," which is nationalized as _the_
loyal anthem all over Germany. The canvass covering fell at once, and
displayed the obelisk, which is entirely of bronze, raised upon four
granite steps. It bears a simple inscription. I think it is "Ludwig I.,
king, to the soldiers of Bavaria who fell in the Russian campaign;" or
nearly to that purpose. Marshal Wrede then alighted from his horse and
addressed the soldiers. This was a striking moment; for while the outer
circle of military remained immovable as statues, the soldiers within,
both those with, and those without uniforms, finding themselves out of
ear-shot, advanced a few steps, and then breaking their ranks, pressed
forward in a confused mass, surrounding the king and his officers,
in the most eager but respectful manner. I could not distinguish one
sentence of the harangue, which, as I afterwards heard, was any thing
rather than satisfactory.

I heard it remarked round me that the Duke de Leuchtenberg, (the son
of Eugène Beauharnais,) was not present, neither as one of the royal
cortège nor as a spectator.

The whole lasted about twenty minutes. The day was cold; and, in truth,
the ceremony was _cold_, in every sense of the word. The Karoline-Platz
is so large that not a third part of the open space was occupied. Had
the people, who lingered sullen and discontented outside the military
barrier, been admitted under proper restrictions, it had been a grand
and imposing sight; but, perhaps the king is following the Austrian
tactics, and seeking to crush systematically every thing like feeling or
enthusiasm in his people. I know not how he will manage it; for he is
himself the very antipodes of Austrian carelessness and sluggishness:
a restless enthusiast--fond of intellectual excitement--fond of
novelty--with no natural taste, one would think, for Metternich's
_vieilleries_. If he adopt Austrian principles, his theory and his
practice, his precept and example, will always be at variance. At the
conclusion of the ceremony the king and his suite rode up to the
platform and saluted the queen: and when she--who is so universally
and truly beloved here that I believe the people would die for her at
anytime--rose to depart, I heard a cheer, the first and last this day!
The disbanded soldiers approached the platform, at first timidly by twos
and threes, and then in great numbers, taking off their hats. She stood
up, leaning on the princess Matilda, and bowed. The royal cortège then
disappeared. The military bands struck up, and one battalion after
another filed off. I expected that the crowd would have rushed in, but
the people seemed completely chilled and disgusted. Only a few appeared.
In about half an hour the obelisk was left alone in its solitude.

I spent the rest of the day with Madame de V----, and returned home quite
tired and depressed.

I understand this morning (Saturday) that the king has ordered a
gratuity and dinner to be given to the disbanded soldiers. I hope it is
true, King Louis! You ought at least to understand your _metier de Roi_
better than to degrade the "pomp and circumstance of _glorious_ war" in
the eyes of your people, and make them feel for what a poor recompence
they may fight, bleed, die--be made at once victims and executioners in
the contests of royal and ambitious gamblers!

I saw to-day, at the house of the court banker, Eichthal, a most
charming picture by the Baroness de Freyberg, the sister of my good
friend, M. Stuntz. It is a Madonna and child--loveliest of subjects for
a woman and a mother!--she is sure to put her heart into it, at least;
but, in this particular picture, the surpassing delicacy of touch, the
softness and purity of the colouring, the masterly drawing in the hands
of the Virgin, and the limbs of the child, equalled the feeling and the
expression--and, in truth, _surprised_ me. Madame de Freyberg gave this
picture to her father, who is not rich, and, unhappily, blind. Of him,
the present possessor purchased it for fifteen hundred florins, (about
140_l._) and now values it at twice the sum. In the possession of her
brother, I have seen others of her productions, and particularly a head
of one of his children, of exceeding beauty, and very much in the old
Italian style.

In the evening, a very lively and amusing _soirée_ at the house of Dr.
Martius. We had some very good music. Young Vieux-temps, a pupil of De
Beriot, was well accompanied by an orchestra of amateurs. I met here
also a young lady of whom I had heard much--Josephine Lang, looking
so gentle, so unpretending, so imperturbable, that no one would have
accused or suspected her of being one of the Muses in disguise, until
she sat down to the piano, and sang her own beautiful and original
compositions in a style peculiar to herself. She is a musician by
nature, by choice, and by profession, exercising her rare talent
with as much modesty as good-nature. The painter Zimmermann, who has a
magnificent bass voice, sung for me Mignon's song--"Kennst du das Land!"
And, lastly, which was the most interesting amusement of the evening,
Karl von Holtei read aloud the second act of Goethe's Tasso. He read
most admirably, and with a voice which kept attention enchained,
enchanted; still it was genuine reading. He kept equally clear of acting
and of declamation.

_Oct. 20th. Sunday._--I went with M. Stuntz to hear a grand mass at the
royal chapel.

       *       *       *       *       *

_21st._--It rained this morning:--went to the gallery, and amused myself
for two hours walking up and down the rooms, sometimes pausing upon my
favourite pictures, sometimes abandoned to the reveries suggested by
these glorious creations of the human intellect.

        'Twas like the bright procession
  Of skiey visions in a solemn dream,
  From which men wake as from a paradise,
  And draw fresh strength to tread the thorns of life!


While looking at the Castor and Pollux of Rubens, I remembered what the
biographers asserted of this most wonderful man--that he spoke fluently
seven languages, besides being profoundly skilled in many sciences, and
one of the most accomplished diplomatists of his time. Before he took
up his palette in the morning, he was accustomed to read, or hear read,
some fine passages out of the ancient poets; and thus releasing his soul
from the trammels of low-thoughted care, he let her loose into the airy
regions of imagination.

What Goethe says of poets, must needs be applicable to painters. He
says, "If we look only at the principal productions of a poet, and
neglect to study himself, his character, and the circumstances with
which he had to contend, we fall into a sort of atheism, which forgets
the Creator in his creation."

I think most people admire pictures in this sort of atheistical fashion;
yet next to loving pictures, and all the pleasure they give, and revelling
in all the feelings they awaken, all the new ideas with which they enrich
our mental hoard--next to this, or equal with it, is the inexhaustible
interest of studying the painter in his works. It is a lesson in human
nature. Almost every picture (which is the production of mind) has
an individual character, reflecting the predominant temperament--nay,
sometimes, the occasional mood of the artist, its creator. Even portrait
painters, renowned for their exact adherence to nature, will be found to
have stamped upon their portraits a general and distinguishing character.
There is, besides the physiognomy of the individual represented, the
physiognomy, if I may so express myself, of the picture; detected
at once by the mere connoisseur as a distinction of manner, style,
execution: but of which the reflecting and philosophical observer might
discover the key in the mind or life of the individual painter.

In the heads of Titian, what subtlety of intellect mixed with sentiment
and passion! In those of Velasquez, what chivalrous grandeur, what
high-hearted contemplation! When Ribera painted a head--what power of
sufferance! In those of Giorgione, what profound feeling! In those
of Guido, what elysian grace! In those of Rubens what energy of
intellect--what vigorous life! In those of Vandyke, what high-bred
elegance! In those of Rembrandt, what intense individuality! Could Sir
Joshua Reynolds have painted a vixen without giving her a touch of
sentiment? Would not Sir Thomas Lawrence have given refinement to a
cook-maid? I do believe that Opie would have made even a calf's head
look sensible, as Gainsborough made our queen Charlotte look picturesque.

If I should whisper that since I came to Germany I have not seen one
really fine modern portrait, the Germans would never forgive me; they
would fall upon me with a score of great names--Wach, Stieler, Vogel,
Schadow--and beat me, like Chrimhilde, "black and blue." But before they
are angry, and absolutely condemn me, I wish they would place one of
their own most admired portraits beside those of Titian or Vandyke,
or come to England, and look upon our school of portraiture here! I
think they would allow, that with all their merits, they are in the
wrong road. Admirable, finished drawing; wonderful dexterity of hand;
exquisite and most conscientious truth of imitation, they have; but they
abuse these powers. They do not seem to feel the application of the
highest, grandest principles of art to portrait painting--they think too
much of the accessories. Are not these clever and accomplished men aware
that imitation may be carried so far as to cease to be nature--to be
error, not truth? For instance, by the common laws of vision I can
behold perfectly only one thing at a time. If I look into the face
of a person I love or venerate, do I see _first_ the embroidery of the
canezou or the pattern on the waistcoat? if not--why should it be so in
a picture? The vulgar eye alone is caught by such misplaced skill--the
vulgar artist only ought to seek to captivate by such means.

These would sound in England as the most trite and impertinent
remarks--the most self-evident propositions: nevertheless they are
truths which the generality of the German portrait painters and their
admirers have not yet felt.

       *       *       *       *       *

I drove with my kind-hearted friends, M. and Madame Stuntz, to
Thalkirchen, the country-house of the Baron de Freyberg. The road
pursued the banks of the rapid, impetuous Isar, and the range of the
Tyrolian alps bounded the prospect before us. An hour's drive brought
us to Thalkirchen, where we were obviously quite unexpected, but that
was nothing:--I was at once received as a friend, and introduced
without ceremony to Madame de Freyberg's painting-room. Though now the
fond mother of a large _little_ family, she still finds some moments
to devote to her art. On her easel was the portrait of the Countess
M---- (the sister of De Freyberg) with her child, beautifully
painted--particularly the latter. In the same room was an unfinished
portrait of M. de Freyberg, evidently painted _con amore_, and full
of spirit and character; a head of Cupid, and a piping boy, quite
in the Italian manner and feeling; and a picture of the birth of
St. John, exquisitely finished. I was most struck by the heads of two
Greeks--members, I believe, of the deputation to King Otho--painted with
her peculiar delicacy and transparency of colour, and, at the same time,
with a breadth of style and a freedom in the handling, which I have not
yet seen among the German portrait painters. A glance over a portfolio
of loose sketches and unfinished designs added to my estimation of her
talents. She excels in children--her own serving her as models. I do not
hesitate to say of this gifted woman, that while she equals Angelica
Kauffman in grace and delicacy, she far exceeds her in _power_, both
of drawing and colouring. She reminded me more of the Sofonisba,[12] but
it is a different, and, I think, a more delicate style of colour, than
I have observed in the pictures of the latter.

We had coffee, and then strolled through the grounds--the children
playing around us. If I was struck by the genius and accomplishments
of Madame de Freyberg, I was not less charmed by the frank and noble
manners of her husband, and his honest love and admiration of his wife,
whom he married in despite of all prejudices of birth and rank.

In this truly German dwelling there was an extreme simplicity, a sort of
negligent elegance, a picturesque and refined homeliness, the presiding
influence of a most poetical mind and eye every where visible, and a
total indifference to what we English denominate _comfort_; yet with
the obvious presence of that crowning comfort of all comforts--cordial
domestic love and union--which impressed me altogether with pleasant
ideas, long after borne in my mind, and not yet, nor ever to be,
effaced. How little is needed for happiness, when we have not been
spoiled in the world, nor our tastes vitiated by artificial wants and
habits! When the hour of departure came, and De Freyberg was handing
me to the carriage, he made me advance a few steps, and pause to look
round; he pointed to the western sky, still flushed with a bright
geranium tint, between the amber and the rose; while against it lay the
dark purple outline of the Tyrolian mountains. A branch of the Isar,
which just above the house overflowed and spread itself into a wide
still pool, mirrored in its clear bosom not only the glowing sky and
the huge dark mountains, and the banks and trees blended into black
formless masses, but the very stars above our heads;--it was a heavenly
scene!--"You will not forget this," said De Freyberg, seeing I was
touched to the heart; "you will think of it when you are in England,
and in recalling it, you will perhaps remember us--who will not forget
_you_! Adieu, madame!"

Afterwards to the opera: it was Herold's "Zampa:" noisy, riotous music,
which I hate. I thought Madame Schechner's powers misplaced in this
opera--yet she sang magnificently.

Spent the morning with Dr. Martius, looking over the beautiful plates
and illustrations of his travels and scientific works. It appears from
what he told me, that the institution of the botanic garden is recent,
and is owing to the late king Max-Joseph, who was a generous patron of
scientific and benevolent institutions--as munificent as his son is
magnificent.

One of the most interesting monuments in Munich, is the tomb of Eugene
Beauharnais, in the church of St. Michael. It is by Thorwaldson, and one
of his most celebrated works. It is finely placed, and all the parts are
admirable: but I think it wants completeness and entireness of effect,
and does not tell its story well. Upon a lofty pedestal, there is first,
in the centre, the colossal figure of the duke stepping forward; one hand
is pressed upon his heart, and the other presents the civic crown--(but
to whom?)--his military accoutrements lie at his feet. The drapery is
admirably managed, and the attitude simple and full of dignity. On his
left is the beautiful and well-known group of the two genii, Love and
Life, looking disconsolate. On the right, the seated muse of History
is inscribing the virtues and exploits of the hero; and as, of all the
satellites of Napoleon, Eugene has left behind the fairest name, I
looked at her, and her occupation, with complacency. The statue is,
moreover, exceedingly beautiful and expressive--so are the genii; and
the figure of Eugene is magnificent; and yet the combination of the
whole is not effective. Another fault is, the colour of the marble,
which has a grey tinge, and ought at least to have been relieved by
constructing the pedestal and accompaniments of black marble; whereas
they are of a reddish hue.

The widow of Eugene, the eldest sister of the king of Bavaria, raised
this monument to her husband, at an expense of eighty thousand florins.
As the whole design is classical, and otherwise in the purest taste and
grandest style of art, I exclaimed with horror at the sight of a vile
heraldic crown, which is lying at the feet of the muse of History.
I was sure that Thorwaldson would never voluntarily have committed
such a solecism. I was informed that the princess-widow insisted on
the introduction of this piece of barbarity as emblematical of the
vice-royalty of Italy; any royalty being apparently better than none.

I remember that when travelling in the Netherlands, at a time when the
people were celebrating the _Fête-Dieu_, I saw a village carpenter
busily employed in erecting a _réposoir_ for the Madonna, of painted
boards and draperies and wreaths of flowers. In the mean time, as if
to deprecate criticism, he had chalked in large letters over his work,
"_La critique est aisée, mais l'art est difficile_." I could not help
smiling at this application of one of those undeniable truisms which
no one thinks it necessary to remember. When I recall the pleasure I
derived from this noble work of Thorwaldson, all the genius, all the
skill, all the patience, all the time, expended on its production, I
think the foregoing trifling criticisms appear very ungrateful and
impertinent; and yet, as a friend of mine insisted, when I was once upon
a time pleading for mercy on certain defects and deficiencies in some
other walk of art, "Toleration is the nurse of mediocrity." Artists
themselves, as I often observe,--even the vainest of them--prefer
discriminating admiration to wholesale praise. In the Frauen Kirche,
there is another most admirable monument, a _chef d'oeuvre_, in the
Gothic style. It is the tomb of the Emperor Louis of Bavaria, who died
excommunicated in 1347; a stupendous work, cast in bronze. At the four
corners are four colossal knights kneeling, in complete armour, each
bearing a lance and ensign, and guarding the recumbent effigy of the
emperor, which lies beneath a magnificent Gothic canopy. At the two
sides are standing colossal figures, and I suppose about eight or
ten other figures on a smaller scale, all of admirable design and
workmanship.[13] It should seem, that in the sixteenth century the art
of casting in bronze was not only brought to the highest perfection in
Germany, but found employment on a very grand scale.

In the evening there was a concert at the Salle de l'Odeon--the third
I have attended since I came here. This concert room is larger than any
public room in London, and admirably constructed for music. Over the
orchestra, in a semi-circle, are the busts of the twelve great German
composers who have flourished during the last hundred years, beginning
with Handel and Bach, and ending with Weber and Beethoven. On this
occasion the hall was crowded. We had all the best performers of Munich,
led by the Kapelmeister Stuntz, and Schechner and Meric, who sang
_à l'envie l'une de l'autre_. The concert began at seven, and ended
a little after nine; and much as I love music, I felt I had had enough.
They certainly manage these social pleasures much better here than in
London, where a grand concert almost invariably proves a most awful bore,
from which we return wearied, yawning, jarred, satiated.

Count ---- amused me this evening with his laconic summing up of the
rise, progress, and catastrophe of a Polish amour;--se passioner, se
battre, se ruiner, enlever, épouser, et divorcer; and so ends this
six-act tragico-comico-heroico pastoral.

_23rd._--To-day went over the Pinakothek (the new grand national picture
gallery) with M. de Klenze, the architect, and Comtesse de V----. This
is the second time; but I have not yet a clear and connected idea of the
general design, the building being still in progress. As far as I can
understand the arrangements, they will be admirable. The destination of
the edifice seems to have been the first thing kept in view. The situation
of particular pictures has been calculated, and accurate experiments
have been made for the arrangement of the light, &c. Professor Zimmermann
has kindly promised to take me over the whole once more. He has the
direction of the fresco paintings here.

       *       *       *       *       *

Society is becoming so pleasant, and engagements of every kind so
multifarious, that I have little time for scribbling memoranda. New
characters unfold before me, new scenes of interest occupy my thoughts.
I find myself surrounded with friends, where only a few weeks ago I had
scarcely one acquaintance. Time ought not to linger--and yet it does
sometimes.

Our circumstances alter; our opinions change; our passions die; our
hopes sicken, and perish utterly:--our spirits are broken; our health
is broken, and even our hearts are broken; but WILL survives--the
unconquerable strength of will, which is in later life what passion
is when young. In this world, there is always something to be done
or suffered, even when there is no longer any thing to be desired or
attained.

The Glyptothek is, at certain hours, open to strangers _only_, and
strangers do not at present abound: hence it has twice happened that
I have found myself in the gallery alone--to-day for the second time.
I felt that, under some circumstances, an hour of solitude in a gallery
of sculpture may be an epoch in one's life. There was not a sound, no
living thing near, to break the stillness; and lightly, and with a
feeling of awe, I trod the marble pavements, looking upon the calm,
pale, motionless forms around me, almost expecting they would open their
marble lips and speak to me--or, at least, nod--like the statue in Don
Giovanni: and still, as the evening shadows fell deeper and deeper, they
waxed, methought, sadder, paler, and more life-like. A dim, unearthly
glory effused those graceful limbs and perfect forms, of which the
exact outline was lost, vanishing into shade, while the sentiment--the
_ideal_--of their immortal loveliness, remained distinct, and became
every moment more impressive: and thus they stood; and their melancholy
beauty seemed to melt into the heart.

As the Graces round the throne of Venus, so music, painting, sculpture,
wait as handmaids round the throne of Poetry. "They from her golden urn
draw light," as planets drink the sunbeams; and in return they array the
divinity which created and inspired them, in those sounds, and hues, and
forms, through which she is revealed to our mortal senses. The pleasure,
the illusion, produced by music, when it is the _voice_ of poetry, is,
for the moment, by far the most complete and intoxicating, but also
the most transient. Painting, with its lovely colours blending into
life, and all its "silent poesy of form," is a source of pleasure more
lasting, more intellectual. Beyond both, is sculpture, the noblest, the
least illusive, the most enduring of the imitative arts, because it
charms us not by what it seems to be, but by what it is; because if the
pleasure it imparts be less exciting, the impression it leaves is more
profound and permanent; because it is, or ought to be, the abstract idea
of power, beauty, sentiment, made visible in the cold, pure, impassive,
and almost eternal marble.

It seems to me that the grand secret of that grace of repose which we
see developed in the antique statues, may be defined as _the presence_
_of thought, and the absence of volition_. The moment we have, in
sculpture, the expression of will, or effort, we have the idea of
something fixed in its place by an external cause, and a consequent
diminution of the effect of internal power. This is not well expressed,
I fear. Perhaps I might illustrate the thought thus: the Venus de Medici
looks as if she were content to stand on her pedestal and be worshipped;
Canova's Hebe looks as if she would fain step off the pedestal--if she
could: the Apollo Belvedere, as if he could step from his pedestal--if
he would.

Among the Greeks, in the best ages of sculpture, and in all their very
finest statues, this seems to be the presiding principle--viz. that in
sculpture the repose of suspended motion, or of subsided motion, is
graceful; but arrested motion, and all effort, to be avoided. When the
ancients did express motion, they made it flowing or continuous, as in
the frieze of the Parthenon.



ALONE.

IN THE GALLERY OF SCULPTURE AT MUNICH.


  Ye pale and glorious forms, to whom was given
  All that we mortals covet under heaven--
  Beauty, renown, and immortality,
  And worship!--in your passive grandeur, ye.

  There's nothing new in life, and nothing old;
  The tale that we might tell hath oft been told.
  Many have look'd to the bright sun with sadness,
  Many have look'd to the dark grave with gladness;
  Many have griev'd to death--have lov'd to madness!

  What has been, is;--what is, will be;--I know,
  Even while the heart drops blood, it must be so.
  I live and smile--for O the griefs that kill,
  Kill slowly--and I bear within me still
  My conscious self, and my unconquer'd will!

  And knowing what I have been--what has made
  My misery, I will be no more betray'd
  By hollow mockeries of the world around,
  Or hopes and impulses, which I have found
  Like ill-aim'd shafts, that kill by their rebound.

  Complaint is for the feeble, and despair
  For evil hearts. Mine still can hope--still bear--
  Still hope for others what it never knew
  Of truth and peace; and silently pursue
  A path beset with briers, "and wet with tears like dew!"


       *       *       *       *       *

To-day I devoted to the Pinakothek--for the last time!

Just before I left England our projected national gallery had excited
much attention. Those who were usually indifferent to such matters were
roused to interest; and I heard the merits of different designs, so
warmly, even so violently discussed in public and in private, that for
a long time the subject kept possession of my mind. On my arrival here,
the Pinakothek (for that is the designation given to the new national
gallery of Munich) became to me a principal object of interest. I have
been most anxious to comprehend both the general design and the nature
of the arrangements in detail; but I might almost doubt my own competency
to convey an exact idea of what I understand and admire, to the
comprehension of another. I must try, however, while the impressions
remain fresh and strong, and the memory not yet encumbered and distracted,
as it must be, even a few hours hence, by the variety, and novelty, and
interest, of all I see and hear around me.

The Pinakothek was founded in 1826; the king himself laying the first
stone with much pomp and ceremony on the 7th of April, the birthday of
Rafaelle.

It is a long, narrow edifice, facing the south, measuring about five
hundred feet from east to west, and about eighty or eighty-five feet
in depth. At the extremities are two wings, or rather projections. The
body of the building is of brick, but not of common brickwork: for the
bricks, which are of a particular kind of clay, have a singular tint,
a kind of greenish yellow; while the friezes, balustrades, architraves
of the windows, in short, all the ornamental parts, are of stone, the
colour of which is a fine warm grey; and as the stone workmanship is
extremely rich, and the brickwork of unrivalled elegance and neatness,
and the colours harmonize well, the combination produces a very handsome
effect, rendering the exterior as pleasing to the eye, as the scientific
adaptation of the building to its peculiar purpose is to the understanding.

Along the roof runs a balustrade of stone, adorned with twenty-four
colossal statues of celebrated painters. A public garden, which is
already in preparation, will be planted around, beautifully laid out
with shady walks, flower-beds, fountains, urns, and statues. I believe
the enclosure of this garden will be about a thousand feet each way, and
that it will ultimately be bounded (at least on three sides) with rows
of houses forming a vast square, of which the Pinakothek will occupy
the centre. It consists of a ground-floor and an upper-story. The
ground-floor will comprise, 1st, the collection of the Etruscan vases;
2ndly, the Mosaics, ancient and modern, of which there are here some
rare and admirable specimens; 3rdly, the cabinet of drawings by the old
masters; 4thly, the cabinet of engravings, which is said to be one of
the richest in Europe; 5thly, a library of all works pertaining to the
fine arts; lastly, a noble entrance-hall: a private entrance; with
accommodations for students, and other offices.

The upper-story is appropriated to the pictures, and is calculated to
contain not less than fifteen hundred specimens, selected from various
galleries, and arranged according to the schools of art.

We ascend from the entrance-hall by a wide and handsome staircase of
stone, very elegantly carved, which leads first to a kind of vestibule,
where the attendants and keepers of the gallery are in waiting. Thence,
to a splendid reception-room, about fifty feet in length: this will
contain the full-length portraits of the founders of the gallery of
Munich--the Palatine John William; the Elector, Maximilian Emanuel of
Bavaria; the Duke Charles of Deuxponts; the Palatine Charles Theodore;
Maximilian Joseph I., king of Bavaria; and his son, (the present
monarch,) Louis I. The ceiling and the frieze of this room are
splendidly decorated with groups of figures and ornaments in white
relief, on a gold ground, and the walls will be hung with crimson
damask.

Along the south front of the building from east to west runs a gallery
or corridor about four hundred feet in length, and eighteen in width,
lighted on one side by twenty-five lofty arched windows, having on the
other side ten doors, opening into the suite of picture galleries, or
rather halls. These occupy the centre of the building, and are lighted
from above by vast lanthorns. They are eight in number, varying in
length from fifty to eighty feet, but all forty feet in width and fifty
feet in height from the floor to the summit of the lanthorn. The walls
will be hung with silk damask, either of a dark crimson or a dark
green--according to the style of art for which the room is destined.
The ceilings are vaulted, and the decorations are inexpressibly rich,
composed of magnificent arabesques, intermixed with the effigies of
celebrated painters, and groups illustrative of the history of art, &c.,
all moulded in white relief upon a ground of dead gold. Mayer, one of
the best sculptors in Munich, has the direction of these works.

Behind these vast galleries, or saloons, there is a range of cabinets,
twenty-three in number, appropriated to the smaller pictures of the
different schools: these are each about nineteen feet by fifteen in
size, and lighted from the north, each having one high lateral window.
The ceilings and upper part of the walls are painted in fresco, (or
distemper, I am not sure which,) with very graceful arabesques of a
quiet colour;--the hangings will also be of silk damask.

Of the principal saloons, the first is appropriated to the productions
of modern and living artists, and has three cabinets attached to it.
The second will contain the old German pictures, including the famous
Boisserée gallery, and has four cabinets attached to it. The third,
fourth, and fifth saloons (of which the central one, the hall of Rubens,
is eighty feet in length) are devoted, with the nine adjoining cabinets,
to the Flemish and Dutch schools. The sixth, with four cabinets, will
contain the French and Spanish pictures; and the seventh and eighth,
with three cabinets, will contain the Italian school of painting. All
these apartments communicate with each other by ample doors; but from
the corridor already mentioned, which opens into the whole suite, the
visitor has access to any particular gallery, or school of painting,
without passing through the others: an obvious advantage, which will
be duly estimated by those who, in visiting a gallery of painting,
have felt their eyes dazzled, their heads bewildered, their attention
distracted, by too much variety of temptation and attraction, before
they have reached the particular object or school of art to which their
attention was especially directed.

To this beautiful and most convenient corridor, or, as it is called
here, _loggia_, we must now return. I have said that it is four hundred
feet in length, and lighted by five-and-twenty arched windows,--which,
by the way, command a splendid prospect, bounded by the far-off
mountains of the Tyrol. The wall opposite to these windows is divided
into twenty-five corresponding compartments, arched, and each surmounted
by a dome; these compartments are painted in fresco with arabesques,
something in the style of Rafaelle's Loggie in the Vatican; while
every arch and cupola contains (also painted in fresco) scenes from the
life of some great painter, arranged chronologically: thus, in fact,
exhibiting a graphic history of the rise and progress of modern
painting--from Cimabue down to Rubens.

Of this series of frescos, which are now in progress, a few only are
finished, from which, however, a very satisfactory idea may be formed,
of the whole design. The first cupola is painted from a poem of A. W.
Schlegel "Der Bund der Kirche mit den Künsten," which celebrates the
alliance between religion (or rather the church) and the fine arts.
The second cupola represents the Crusades, because from these wild
expeditions (for so Providence ordained that good should spring from
evil) arose the regeneration of art in Europe. With the third cupola
commences the series of painters. In the arch, or lunette, is
represented the Madonna of Cimabue carried in triumphal procession
through the streets of Florence to the church of Santa Maria Novella;
and in the dome above, various scenes from the painter's life. In the
next cupola is the history of Giotto; then follows Angelico da Fesole,
who, partly from humility and partly from love for his art, refused to
be made Archbishop of Florence; then, fourthly, Masaccio; fifthly,
Bellini: in one compartment he is represented painting the favourite
sultana of Mahomet II. Several of the succeeding cupolas still remain
blank, so we pass them over and arrive at Leonardo da Vinci, painting
the queen Joanna of Arragon; then Michael Angelo, meditating the design
of St. Peter's; then the history of Rafaelle: in the dome are various
scenes from his life. The lunette represents his death: he is extended
on a couch, beside which sits his virago love, the Fornarina "in disperato
dolor;" Pope Leo X. and Cardinal Bembo are looking on overwhelmed with
grief;--in the background is the Transfiguration.

I wonder, if Rafaelle had survived this fatal illness, which of the
two alternatives he would have chosen--the cardinal's hat or the niece
of Cardinal Bibbiena? M. de Klenze gave us, the other night, a most
picturesque and animated description of the opening of Rafaelle's
tomb,--at which he had himself assisted--the discovery of his remains,
and those of his betrothed bride, the niece of Cardinal Bibbiena,
deposited near him. She survived him several years, but in her last
moments requested to be buried in the same tomb with him. This was at
least quite in the _genre romantique_.

"Charming!" exclaimed one of the ladies present.

"_Et genereux!_" exclaimed another.

The series of the Italian painters will end with the Carracci. Those of
the German painters will begin with Van Eyck, and end with Rubens. Of
many of the frescos which are not yet executed, I saw the cartoons in
professor Zimmermann's studio.

Though the general decoration of this gallery was planned by Cornelius,
the designs for particular parts, and the direction of the whole, have
been confided to Zimmermann, who is assisted in the execution by five
other painters. One particular picture, which represents Giotto exhibiting
his Madonna to the pope, was pointed out to my especial admiration
as the most finished specimen of fresco painting which has yet been
executed here; and in truth, for tenderness and freshness of colour,
softness in the shadows, and delicacy in the handling, it might bear
comparison with any painting in oils. We were standing near it on a high
scaffold, and it endured the closest and most minute consideration;
but when seen from below, it may possibly be less effective. It shows,
however, the extreme finish of which the fresco painting is susceptible.
This was executed by Hiltensperger, of Swabia, from the cartoon of
Zimmermann. At one end of this gallery there is to be a large fresco,
representing his majesty King Louis, introduced by the muse of Poetry
to the assembled poets and painters of Germany. Now, this species of
allegorical adulation appears to me flat and out of date. I well remember
that long ago the famous picture of Voltaire, introduced into the Elysian
fields by Henri Quatre, and making his best bow to Racine and Molière,
threw me into a convulsion of laughter: and the cartoon of this royal
apotheosis provoked the same irrepressible feeling of the ridiculous.
I wish somebody would hint to King Louis that this is not in good taste,
and that there are many, many ways in which the compliment (which he
truly merits) might be better managed.

On the whole, however, it may truly be said that the luxuriant and
appropriate decorations of this gallery, the variety of colour and
ornament lavished on it, agreeably prepare the eye and the imagination
for that glorious feast of beauty within, to which we are immediately
introduced: and thus the overture to the Zauberflöte, (which we heard
last night,) with its rich involved harmonies, its brilliant and
exciting movements, attuned the ear and the fancy to enjoy the grand,
thrilling, bewitching, love-breathing melodies of the opera which
followed.

I omitted to mention that there are also on the upper floor of the
Pinakothek two rooms, each about forty feet square; one called the
_Reserve-Saal_, is intended for the reception of those pictures which
are temporarily removed from their places, new acquisitions, &c.
The other room is fitted up with every convenience for students and
copyists.

The whole of this immense edifice is warmed throughout by heated air;
the stoves being detached from the body of the building, and so managed
as to preclude the possibility of danger from fire.

It does not appear to be yet decided whether the floors will be of the
Venetian stucco, or of parquet.

Such, then, is the general plan of the Pinakothek, the national gallery
of Bavaria. I make no comment, except that I felt and recognised in
every part the presence of a directing mind, and the absence of all
narrow views, all truckling to the interests, or tastes, or prejudices,
or convenience, of any particular class of persons. It is very possible
that when finished it will be found by scientific critics not absolutely
_perfect_, which, as we know, all human works are at least intended and
expected to be; but it is equally clear that an honest anxiety for the
glory of art, and the benefit of the public--not the caprices of the
king, nor the individual vanity of the architect--has been the moving
principle throughout.

       *       *       *       *       *

Fresco painting, or, as the Italians call it, _buon fresco_, had
been entirely discontinued since the time of Raphael Mengs. It was
revived at Rome in 1809-10, when the late M. Bartholdy, the Prussian
consul-general, caused a saloon in his house to be painted in fresco by
Peter Cornelius, Overbeck, and Philip Veith, all German artists, then
resident at Rome. The subjects are taken from the Scriptures, and one
of the admirable cartoons of Overbeck, (Joseph sold by his brethren,) I
saw at Frankfort. These first essays are yet to be seen in Bartholdy's
house, in the Via Sistina at Rome. They are rather hard, but in a
grand style of composition. The success which attended this spirited
undertaking, excited much attention and enthusiasm, and induced the
Marchese Massimi to have his villa near the Lateran adorned in the same
style. Accordingly, he had three grand halls or saloons, painted with
subjects from Dante, Ariosto, and Tasso. The first was given to Philip
Veith, the second to Julius Schnorr, and the third to Overbeck. Veith
did not finish his work, which was afterwards terminated by Koch; the
two other painters completed their task, much to the satisfaction of the
Marchese, and to the admiration of all Rome.

But these were mere experiments--mere attempts, compared to what has
since been executed in the same style at Munich. It is true that the
art of fresco-painting had never been entirely lost. The theory of the
process was well known, and also the colours formerly used; only
practice, and the opportunity of practice, were wanting. This has been
afforded; and there is now at Munich a school of fresco painting, under
the direction of Cornelius, Julius Schnorr, and Zimmermann, in which
the mechanical process has been brought to such perfection, that the
neatness of the execution may vie with oils, and they can even cut
out a feature, and replace it if necessary. The palette has also been
augmented by the recent improvements in chemistry, which have enabled
the fresco painter to apply some most precious colours, unknown to the
ancient masters: only earths and metallic colours are used. I believe it
is universally known that the colours are applied while the plaster is
wet, and that the preparation of this plaster is a matter of much care
and nicety. A good deal of experience and manual dexterity is necessary
to enable the painter to execute with rapidity, and calculate the exact
degree of humidity in the plaster, requisite for the effect he wishes to
produce.

It has been said that fresco painting is unfitted for our climate,
damp and sea-coal fires being equally injurious; but the new method of
warming all large buildings, either by steam or heated air, obviates,
at least, _this_ objection.

_26th._--The morning was spent in the ateliers of two Bavarian sculptors,
Mayer and Bandel. To Mayer, the king has confided the decoration of
the exterior of the Pinakothek, of which he showed me the drawings and
designs. He has also executed the colossal statue of Albert Durer, in
stone, for the interior of that building.

It appears that the pediment of the Glyptothek, now vacant, will be
adorned by a group of fourteen or fifteen figures, representing all the
different processes in the art of sculpture; the modeller in clay, the
hewer of the marble, the caster in bronze, the carver in wood or ivory,
&c. all in appropriate attitudes, all colossal, and grouped into a whole.
The general design was modelled, I believe, by Eberhardt, professor
of sculpture in the academy here; and the execution of the different
figures has been given to several young sculptors, among them Mayer and
Bandel. This has produced a strong feeling of emulation. I observed that
notwithstanding the height and the situation to which they are destined,
nearly one-half of each figure being necessarily turned from the
spectator below, each statue is wrought with exceeding care, and
perfectly finished on every side. I admired the purity of the marble,
which is from the Tyrol. Mayer informs me, that about three years ago
enormous quarries of white marble were discovered in the Tyrol, to the
great satisfaction of the king, as it diminishes, by one-half, the
expense of the material. This native marble is of a dazzling whiteness,
and to be had in immense masses without flaw or speck; but the grain
is rather coarse.

More than twenty years ago, when the king of Bavaria was Prince Royal,
and could only anticipate at some distant period the execution of his
design, he projected a building, of which, at least, the name and
purpose must be known to all who have ever stepped on German ground.
This is the VALHALLA, a temple raised to the national glory, and intended
to contain the busts or statues of all the illustrious characters of
Germany, whether distinguished in literature, arts, or arms, from their
ancient hero and patriot Herman, or Arminius, down to Goethe, and those
who will succeed him. The idea was assuredly noble, and worthy of a
sovereign. The execution--never lost sight of--has been but lately
commenced. The Valhalla has been founded on a lofty cliff, which rises
above the Danube, not far from Ratisbon.[14] It will form a conspicuous
object to all who pass up and down the Danube, and the situation, nearly
in the centre of Germany, is at least well chosen. But I could hardly
express (or repress) my surprise, when I was shown the design for this
building. The first glance recalled the Theseum at Athens; and then
follows the very natural question, why should a Greek model have been
chosen for an edifice, the object, and purpose, and name of which are so
completely, essentially, exclusively gothic? What, in Heaven's name, has
the Theseum to do on the banks of the Danube? It is true that the purity
of forms in the Greek architecture, the effect of the continuous lines
and the massy Doric columns, must be grand and beautiful to the eye,
place the object where you will; and in the situation designed for it,
particularly imposing; but surely it is not appropriate;--the name,
and the form, and the purpose, are all at variance--throwing our most
cherished associations into strange confusion. Nor could the explanations
and eloquent reasoning with which my objections were met, succeed in
convincing me of the propriety of the design, while I acknowledged
its magnificence. The sculptor Mayer showed me a group of figures for
one of the pediments of this Greek Valhalla, admirably appropriate to
the purpose of the building--but not to the building itself. It represents
Herman introduced by Hermoda (or Mercury) into the Valhalla, and received
by Odin and Freya. Iduna advances to meet the hero, presenting the
apples of immortality, and one of the Vahlküre pours out the mead, to
refresh the soul of the Einheriar.[15] To the right of this group are
several figures representing the chief epochs in the history of Germany.

This design wants unity; and it is a manifest incongruity to allude
to the introduction of Christianity, where the mythological Valhalla
forms the chief point of interest; notwithstanding, it gave me exceeding
pleasure, as furnishing an unanswerable proof of the possible application
of sculpture on a grand scale, to the forms of romantic or gothic poetry:
all the figures, the accompaniments, attributes, are strictly Teutonic;
the effect of the whole is grand and interesting; but what would it be
on a Greek temple? would it not appear misplaced and discordant?

I am informed, that of the two pediments of the Valhalla, one will be
given to Rauch of Berlin, and the other to Schwanthaler.

The sculptor Bandel, with his quick eye, his ample brow, his animated,
benevolent face, and his rapid movements, looks like what he is--a genius.

In his atelier I saw some things, just like what I see in all the ateliers
of young sculptors--cold imitations, feeble versions of mythological
subjects--but I saw some other things so fresh and beautiful in feeling,
as to impress me with a high idea of his poetical and creative power.
I longed to bring to England one or two casts of his charming Cupid
Penseroso, of which the original marble is at Hanover. There is also
a very exquisite bas-relief of Adam and Eve sleeping: the good angel
watching on one side, and the evil angel on the other. This lovely group
is the commencement of a series of bas-reliefs, designed, I believe, for
a frieze, and not yet completed, representing the four ages of the world:
the age of innocence; the heroic age, or age of physical power; the age
of poetry, and the age of philosophy. This new version of the old idea
interested me, and it is developed and treated with much grace and
originality. Bandel told us that he is just going, with his beautiful
wife and two or three little children, to settle at Carrara for a few
years. The marble quarries there are now colonised by young sculptors of
every nation.

       *       *       *       *       *

The king of Bavaria has a gallery of beauties, (the portraits of some of
the most beautiful women of Germany and Italy,) which he shuts up from
the public eye, like any grand Turk--and neither bribery nor interest
can procure admission. A lovely woman, to whom I was speaking of it
yesterday, and who has been admitted in effigy into this harem, seemed
to consider the compliment rather equivocal. "Depend upon it, my dear,"
said she, "that fifty years hence we shall be all confounded together,
as the king's _very_ intimate friends; and, to tell you the truth, I am
not ambitious of the honour, more particularly as there are some of my
illustrious _companions in charms_ who are enough to throw discredit
on the whole set!"

I saw in Stieler's atelier two portraits for this collection: one, a
woman of rank--a dark beauty; the other, a servant girl here, with a
head like one of Raffaelle's angels, almost divine; she is painted
in the little filagree silver cap, the embroidered boddice, and silk
handkerchief crossed over the bosom, the costume of the women of Munich,
to which the king is extremely partial. I am assured that this young
girl, who is not more than seventeen, is as remarkable for her piety,
simplicity, and spotless reputation, as for her singular beauty. I have
seen her, and the picture merely does her justice. Several other women
of the _bourgeoisie_ have been pointed out to me as included in the
king's collection. One of these, the daughter, I believe, of an
herb-woman, is certainly one of the most exquisite creatures I ever
beheld. On the whole, I should say, that the lower orders of the people
of Munich are the handsomest race I have seen in Germany.

Stieler is the court and fashionable portrait painter here--the Sir
Thomas Lawrence of Munich--that is, in the estimation of the Germans.
He is an accomplished man, with amiable manners, and a talent for
rising in the world; or, as I heard some one call it, the organ of
_getting-oniveness_. For the elaborate finish of his portraits, for
expertness and delicacy of hand, for resemblance and exquisite drawing,
I suppose he has few equals; but he has also, in perfection, what I
consider the faulty peculiarities of the German school. Stieler's
artificial roses are _too_ natural: his caps, and embroidered scarfs,
and jewelled bracelets, are more real than the things themselves--or
seem so; for certainly I never gave to the real objects the attention
and the admiration they challenge in his pictures. The famous bunch of
grapes, which tempted the birds to peck, could be nothing compared to
the felt of Prince Charles's hat in Stieler's portrait: it actually
invites the hat-brush. Strange perversion of power in the artist!
stranger perversion of taste in those who admire it!--_Ma pazienza!_

       *       *       *       *       *

The Duc de Leuchtenberg opens his small but beautiful gallery twice
a week: Mondays and Thursdays. The doors are thrown open and every
respectable person may walk in, without distinction or ceremony. It is
a delightful morning lounge; there are not more than one hundred and
fifty pictures--enough to excite and gratify, not satiate, admiration.
The first room contains a collection of paintings by modern and living
artists of France, Germany, and Italy. There is a lovely little picture
by Madame de Freyberg of the Maries at the sepulchre of Christ; and by
Heinrich Hess, a group of the three Christian graces--Faith, Hope, and
Charity, seated under the German oak, and painted with great simplicity
and sentiment; of his celebrated brother, Peter Hess, and Wagenbauer,
and Jacob Dorner, and Quaglio, there are beautiful specimens. The French
pictures did not please me: Girodet's picture of Ossian and the French
heroes is a monstrous combination of all manner of affectations.

I should not forget a fine portrait of Napoleon, by Appiani, crowned
with laurel; and another picture, which represents him throned, with all
the insignia of state and power, and supported on either side by Victory
and Peace. For a moment we pause before that proud form, to think of all
he was, all he might have been--to draw a moral from the fate of
selfishness.

  He rose by blood, he built on man's distress,
  And th'inheritance of desolation left
  To great expecting hopes.[16]


Among the pictures of the old masters there are many fine ones, and
three or four of peculiar interest. There is the famous head by
Bronzino, generally entitled, Petrarch's Laura, but assuredly without
the slightest pretensions to authenticity. The face is that of a prim,
starched _précieuse_, to which the peculiar style of this old portrait
painter, with his literal nature, his hardness, and leaden colouring,
imparts additional coldness and rigidity.

But the finest picture in the gallery--perhaps one of the finest in the
world--is the Madonna and Child of Murillo: one of those rare productions
of mind which baffle the copyist, and defy the engraver,--which it is
worth making a pilgrimage but to gaze on. How true it is that "a thing
of beauty is a joy for ever!"

When I look at Murillo's roguish, ragged beggar-boys in the royal
gallery, and then at the Leuchtenberg gallery turn to contemplate his
Madonna and his ascending angel, both of such unearthly and inspired
beauty, a feeling of the wondrous grasp and versatility of the man's
mind almost makes me giddy.

The lithographic press of Munich is celebrated all over Europe. Aloys
Senefelder, the inventor of the art, has the direction of the works, with
a well-merited pension, and the title of Inspector of Lithography.[17]

       *       *       *       *       *

The people of Munich are not only a well-dressed and well-looking, but a
social, kind-hearted race. The number of unions, or societies, instituted
for benevolent or festive purposes, is, for the size of the place,
almost incredible.[18] I had a catalogue of more than forty given to
me this morning; they are for all ranks and professions, and there is
scarcely a person in the city who is not enlisted into one or more
of these communities. Some have reading-rooms, and well-furnished
libraries, to which strangers are at once introduced, gratis; they give
balls and concerts during the winter, which not only include their own
members and their friends, but one society will sometimes invite and
entertain another.

The young artists of Munich, who constitute a numerous body, formed
themselves into an association, and gave very elegant balls and
concerts, at first among themselves and their immediate friends and
connexions; but the circle increased--these balls became more and more
splendid--even the king and the royal family frequently honoured them
with their presence. It became a point of honour to exceed in elegance
and profusion all the entertainments given by the other societies of
Munich. Every body danced, praised, and enjoyed themselves. At length it
occurred to some of the most considerate and kind-hearted of the people,
that these young men were going beyond their means to entertain their
friends and fellow-citizens. It had evidently become a matter of great
expense, and perhaps ostentation, and they resolved to put down this
competition at once. An association was formed of persons of all
classes, and they gave a fête to the painters of Munich, which eclipsed
in magnificence every thing of the kind before or since. It was a ball
and supper, on the most ample and splendid scale, and took place at the
Odeon. Each lady's ticket contained the name of the cavalier, to whose
especial protection and gallantry she was consigned for the evening; and
so much _tacte_ was shown in this arrangement, that I am told very few
were discontented with their lot. Nearly three thousand persons were
present, and it was the month of February; yet every lady on entering
the room was presented by her cavalier with a bouquet of hot-house
flowers; and the Salle de l'Odeon was adorned with a profusion of plants
and flowering shrubs, collected from all the conservatories, private and
public, within twenty miles of the capital. The king, the queen, their
family and suite, and many of the principal nobles were invited, with,
of course, a large portion of the gentry and trades-people of Munich;
but, notwithstanding the miscellaneous nature of the assemblage, and the
immense number of persons present, all was harmony, and good-breeding,
and gaiety. This fête produced the desired result; the young painters
took the hint, and though they still give balls, which are exceedingly
pleasant, they are on a more modest scale than heretofore.

The Liederkranz (literally, the circle, or garland of song) is a society
of musicians--amateurs and professors--who give concerts here, at which
the compositions of the members are occasionally performed. One of these
concerts (Fest-Production) took place this evening at the Odeon; and
having duly received, as a stranger, my ticket of invitation, I went
early with a very pleasant party.

The immense room was crowded in every part, and presented a most
brilliant spectacle, from the number of military costumes, and the
glittering head-dresses of the Munich girls. Our hosts formed the
orchestra. The king and queen had been invited, and had signified their
gracious intention of being present. The first row of seats was assigned
to them; but no other distinction was made between the royal family and
the rest of the company.

The king is generally punctual on these occasions, but from some accident
he was this evening delayed, and we had to wait his arrival about ten
minutes; the company were all assembled--servants were already parading
up and down the room with trays, heaped with ices and refreshments--the
orchestra stood up, with fiddle-sticks suspended; the chorus, with mouths
half open--and the conductor, Stuntz, brandished his roll of music. At
length a side door was thrown open: a voice announced "the king;" the
trumpets sounded a salute; and all the people rose and remained standing
until the royal guests were seated. The king entered first, the queen
hanging on his arm. The duke Bernard of Saxe-Weimar, and his duchess,[19]
followed; then the princess Matilda, leading her younger brother and
sister, prince Luitpold and the princess Adelgonde;--the former a fine
boy of about twelve years old, the latter a pretty little girl of about
seven or eight: a single lady of honour; the baron de Freyberg, as
principal equerry; the minister von Schencke, and one or two other
officers of the household were in attendance. The king bowed to the
gentlemen in the orchestra, then to the company, and in a few moments
all were seated.

The music was entirely vocal, consisting of concerted pieces only, for
three or more voices, and all were executed in perfection. I observed
several little boys and young girls, of twelve or fourteen, singing in
the chorusses, apparently much to their own satisfaction--certainly to
ours. Their voices were delicious, and perfectly well managed, and their
merry laughing faces were equally pleasant to look upon.

We had first a grand loyal anthem, composed for the occasion by Lenz,
in which the king and queen, and their children, were separately
apostrophized. Prince Maximilian, now upon his travels, and young king
Otto, "far off upon the throne of Hellas," were not forgotten; and as
the princess Matilda has lately been _verlobt_ (betrothed) to the
hereditary prince of Hesse-Darmstadt, they put the _Futur_ into a
couplet, with great effect. It seems that this marriage has been for
some time in negociation; its course did not "run quite smooth," and the
heart of the young princess is supposed to be more deeply interested in
the affair than is usual in royal alliances. She is also very generally
beloved, so that when the chorus sang,

  "Hoch lebe Ludwig und Mathilde!
  Ein Herz stets Brautigam und Braut!"


all eyes were turned towards her with a smiling expression of sympathy
and kindness, which really touched me. As I sat, I could only see her
side-face, which was declined. There was also an allusion to the late
king Max-Joseph, "das beste Herz," who died about five years ago, and
who appears to have been absolutely adored by his people. All this
passed off very well, and was greatly applauded. At the conclusion the
king rose from his seat, and said something courteous and good-natured
to the orchestra, and then sat down. The other pieces were by old
Schack, (the intimate friend of Mozart,) Stuntz, Chelard, and Marschner;
a drinking song by Hayden, and one of the chorusses in the _Cosi fan
Tutte_ were also introduced. The whole concluded with the "song of the
heroes in the Valhalla," composed by Stuntz.

Between the acts there was an interval of at least half an hour, during
which the queen and the princess Matilda walked up and down in front of
the orchestra, entered into conversation with the ladies who were seated
near, and those whom the rules of etiquette allowed to approach unsummoned
and pay their respects. The king, meanwhile, walked round the room
unattended, speaking to different people, and addressing the young
bourgeoises, whose looks or whose toilette pleased him, with a bow and
a smile; while they simpered and blushed, and drew themselves up when
he had passed.

As I see the king frequently, his face is familiar to me, but to-night
he looked particularly well, and had on a better coat than he usually
condescends to wear,--quite plain, however, and without any order or
decoration. He is now in his forty-seventh year, not handsome, with a
small well-formed head, an intelligent brow, and a quick penetrating
eye. His figure is slight and well-made, his movements quick, and his
manner lively--at times even abrupt and impatient. His utterance is
often so rapid as to be scarcely intelligible to those who are most
accustomed to him. I often meet him walking arm-in-arm with M. de
Schenke, M. de Klenze, and others of his friends--for apparently this
eccentric, accomplished sovereign has _friends_, though I believe he
is not so popular as his father was before him.

The queen (Theresa, princess of Saxe-Hilburghausen) has a sweet open
countenance, and a pleasing, elegant figure. The princess Matilda, who
is now nineteen, is the express image of her mother, whom she resembles
in her amiable disposition, as well as her person; her figure is very
pretty, and her deportment graceful. She looked pensive this evening,
which was attributed by the good people around me to the recent
departure of the prince of Hesse-Darmstadt, who has been here for some
time paying his court.

About ten, the concert was over. The king and queen remained a few
minutes in conversation with those around them, without displaying
any ungracious hurry to depart; and the whole scene left a pleasant
impression upon my fancy. To an English traveller in Germany nothing is
more striking than the easy familiar terms on which the sovereign and
his family mingle with the people on these and the like occasions; it
certainly would not answer in England: but as they say in this expressive
language--_Ländlich, sittlich_.[20]

_Munich, Oct. 28th, 1833._



II.

NUREMBERG.


Nuremberg--with its long, narrow, winding, involved streets, its
precipitous ascents and descents, its completely gothic physiognomy--is
by far the strangest old city I ever beheld; it has retained in every
part the aspect of the middle ages. No two houses resemble each other;
yet, differing in form, in colour, in height, in ornament, all have a
family likeness; and with their peaked and carved gabels, and projecting
central balconies, and painted fronts, stand up in a row, like so many
tall, gaunt, stately old maids, with the toques and stomachers of the
last century. In the upper part of the town, we find here and there a
new house, built, or rebuilt, in a more modern fashion; and even a gay
modern theatre, and an unfinished modern church; but these, instead
of being embellishments, look ill-favoured and mean, like patches of
new cloth on a rich old brocade. Age is here, but it does not suggest
the idea of dilapidation or decay, rather of something which has been
put under a glass-case, and preserved with care from all extraneous
influences. The buildings are so ancient, the fashions of society so
antiquated, the people so penetrated with veneration for themselves and
their city, that in the few days I spent there, I began to feel quite
old too--my mind was _wrinkled up_, as it were, with a reverence for
the past. I wondered that people condescended to talk of any event
more recent than the thirty years' war, and the defence of Gustavus
Adolphus;[21] and all names of modern date, even of greatest mark, were
forgotten in the fame of Albert Durer, Hans Sachs, and Peter Vischer:
the trio of worthies, which, in the estimation or imagination of the
Nurembergers, still live with the freshness of a yesterday's remembrance,
and leave no room for the heroes of to-day. My enthusiasm for Albert
Durer was all ready prepared, and warm as even the Nurembergers could
desire; but I confess, that of that renowned cobbler and meister-singer,
Hans Sachs, I knew little but what I had learnt from the pretty comedy
bearing his name, which I had seen at Manheim; and of the illustrious
Peter Vischer I could only remember that I had seen, in the academy at
Munich, certain casts from his figures, which had particularly struck
me. Yet to visit Nuremberg without some previous knowledge of these
luminaries of the middle ages, is to lose much of that pleasure of
association, without which the eye wearies of the singular, and the mind
becomes satiated with change.

Nuremberg was the gothic Athens: it was never the seat of government,
but as a free imperial city it was independent and self-governed, and
took the lead in arts and in literature. Here it was that clocks and
watches, maps and musical instruments, were manufactured for all
Germany; here, in that truly German spirit of pedantry and simplicity,
were music, painting, and poetry, at once honoured as sciences, and
cultivated as handicrafts, each having its guild, or corporation,
duly chartered, like the other trades of this flourishing city, and
requiring, by the institution of the magistracy, a regular apprenticeship.
It was here that, on the first discovery of printing, a literary barber
and meister-singer (Hans Foltz) set up a printing-press in his own
house; and it was but the natural consequence of all this industry,
mental activity, and social cultivation, that Nuremberg should have
been one of the first cities which declared for the Reformation.

But what is most curious and striking in this old city, is to see
it stationary, while time and change are working such miracles and
transformations every where else. The house where Martin Behaim, four
centuries ago, invented the sphere, and drew the first geographical
chart, is still the house of a map-seller. In the house where cards were
first manufactured, cards are now sold. In the very shops where clocks
and watches were first seen, you may still buy clocks and watches. The
same families have inhabited the same mansions from one generation to
another for four or five centuries. The great manufactories of those
toys, commonly called Dutch toys, are at Nuremberg. I visited the
wholesale depot of Pestelmayer, and it is true that it would cut a poor
figure compared to some of our great Birmingham show-rooms; but the
enormous scale on which this commerce is conducted, the hundreds of
waggon-loads and ship-loads of these trifles and gimcracks, which find
their way to every part of the known world, even to America and China,
must interest a thinking mind. Nothing gave me a more comprehensive
idea of the value of the whole, than a complaint which I heard from a
Nuremberger, (and which, though seriously made, sounded not a little
ludicrous,) of the falling off in the trade of _pill-boxes_! he said
that since the fashionable people of London and Paris had taken to
paper pill-boxes, the millions of wooden or chip boxes which used to
be annually sent from Nuremberg to all parts of Europe were no longer
required; and he computed the consequent falling off of the profits
at many thousand florins.

Nuremberg was rendered so agreeable to me by the kindness and hospitality
I met with, that instead of merely passing through it, I spent some days
wandering about its precincts; and as it is not very frequently visited
by the English, I shall note a few of the objects which have dwelt on
my memory, premising, that for the artist and the antiquary it affords
inexhaustible materials.

The whole city, which is very large, lies crowded and compact within its
walls; but the fortifications, once the wonder of all Germany, and their
three hundred and sixty-five towers, once the glory and safeguard of
the inhabitants, exist no longer. Four huge circular towers stand at the
principal gates,--four huge towers of almost dateless antiquity, and
blackened with age, but of such admirable construction, that the masonry
appears, from its entireness and smoothness, as if raised yesterday.
The old castle or fortress, which stands on a height commanding the
town and a glorious view, is a strange, dismantled, incongruous heap of
buildings. It happened, that in the summer of 1833, the king of Bavaria,
accompanied by the queen and the princess Matilda, had paid his good
city of Nuremberg a visit, and had been most royally entertained by the
inhabitants. The apartments in the old castle, long abandoned to the
rats and spiders, had been prepared for the royal guests, and, when I
saw it, three or four months afterwards, nothing could be more uncouth
and fantastical than the effect of these irregular rooms, with all
manner of angles, with their carved worm-eaten ceilings, their curious
latticed and painted windows, and most preposterous stoves, now all
tricked out with fresh paint here and there, and hung with gay glazed
papers of the most modern fashion, and the most gaudy patterns. Even the
chapel, with its four old pillars, which, according to the legend, had
been brought by Old Nick himself from Rome, and the effigy of the monk
who had cheated his infernal adversary, by saying the Litanies faster
than had ever been known before or since, had, in honour of the king's
visit, received a new coat of paint. There are some very curious old
pictures in the castle, (which luckily were not repainted for the same
grand occasion,) among them an original portrait of Albert Durer. In
the courtyard of the fortress stands an extraordinary relic--the old
lime-tree planted by the Empress Cunegunde, wife of the Emperor Henry
III.; every thing is done to preserve it from decay, and it still bears
its leafy honours, after beholding the revolution of seven centuries.

From the fortress we look down upon the house of Albert Durer, which
is preserved with religious care; it has been hired by a society of
artists, who use it as a club-room: his effigy in stone is over the
door. In every house there is a picture or print of him; or copies,
or engravings from his works, and his head hangs in every print shop.
The street in which he lived is called by his name; and the inhabitants
have moreover built a fountain to his honour, and planted trees around
it;--in short, Albert Durer is wherever we look--wherever we move. What
can Fuseli mean by saying that Albert Durer "was a man of extreme
ingenuity without being a genius?" Does the man of mere ingenuity step
before his age as Albert Durer did, not as an artist only, but as a man
of science? Is not genius the creative power? and did not Albert Durer
possess this power in an extraordinary degree? Could Fuseli have seen
his four apostles, now in the gallery of Munich, when he said that
Albert Durer never had more than an occasional _glimpse_ of the sublime?

Fuseli, as an _artist_, is an example of what I have seen in other
minds, otherwise directed. The stronger the faculties, the more of
original power in the mind, the less diffused is the sympathy, and the
more is the judgment swayed by the individual character. Thus Fuseli, in
his remarks on painters--excellent and eloquent as they are--scarcely
ever does justice to those who excel in colour. He perceives and admits
the excellence, but he shows in his criticisms, as in his pictures,
that the faculty was wanting to feel and appreciate it: his remarks on
Correggio and Rubens are a proof of this. In listening to the criticisms
of an author on literature--of a painter on pictures--and, generally, to
the opinion which one individual expresses of the character and actions
of another, it is wise to take into consideration the modification of
mind in the person who speaks, and how far it may, or _must_, influence,
even where it does not absolutely distort, the judgment; so many minds
are what the Germans call _one-sided_! The education, habits, mental
existence of the individual, are the refracting medium through which the
rays of truth pass to the mind, more or less bent or absorbed in their
passage. We should make philosophical allowance for different degrees
of density.

Hans Sachs,[22] the old poet of Nuremberg, did as much for the Reformation
by his songs and satires, as Luther and the doctors by their preaching;
besides being one of the worshipful company of meister-singers, he found
time to make shoes, and even enrich himself by his trade: he informs us
himself that he had composed and written with his own hand "four thousand
two hundred mastership songs; two hundred and eight comedies, tragedies,
and farces; one thousand seven hundred fables, tales, and miscellaneous
poems; and seventy-three devotional, military, and love songs." It is
said he excelled in humour, but it was such as might have been expected
from the times--it was vigorous and coarse. "Hans," says the critic,
"tells his tale like a convivial burgher, fond of his can, and still
fonder of his drollery."[23] If this be the case, his house has received
a very appropriate designation: it is now an ale-house, from which, as I
looked up, the mixed odours of beer and tobacco, and the sound of voices
singing in chorus, streamed through the old latticed windows. "Drollery"
and "the can" were as rife in the dwelling of the immortal shoemaker as
they would have been in his own days, and in his own jovial presence.

In the church of St. Sibbald, now the chief Protestant church, I was
surprised to find that most of the Roman Catholic symbols and relics
remained undisturbed: the large crucifix, the old pictures of the saints
and Madonnas had been reverentially preserved. The perpetual light which
had been vowed four centuries ago by one of the Tucher family, was still
burning over his tomb; no puritanic zeal had quenched that tiny flame
in its chased silver lamp; and through successive generations, and all
revolutions of politics and religion, maintained and fed by the pious
honesty of the descendants, it still shone on,

  Like the bright lamp that lay in Kildare's holy fane,
  And burned through long ages of darkness and storm!


In this Protestant church, even the shrine of St. Sibbald has kept its
place, if not to the honour and glory of the saint, at least to the
honour and glory of the city of Nuremberg; it is considered as the
_chef-d'oeuvre_ of Peter Vischer, a famous sculptor and caster in
bronze, cotemporary with Albert Durer. It was begun in 1506, and
finished in 1519, and is adorned with ninety-six figures, among which
the twelve apostles, all varying in character and attitude, are really
miracles of grace, power, and expression; the base of the shrine rests
upon six gigantic snails, and the whole is cast in bronze, and finished
with exquisite skill and fancy. At one end of this extraordinary
composition the artificer has placed his own figure, not obtrusively,
but retired, in a sort of niche; he is represented in his working dress,
with his cap, leather apron, and tools in his hand. According to
tradition, he was paid for his work by the pound weight, twenty gulden
(or florins) for every hundred weight of metal; and the whole weighs one
hundred and twenty centners, or hundred weight.

The man who showed us this shrine was descended from Peter Vischer,
lived in the same house which he and his sons had formerly inhabited,
and carried on the same trade, that of a smith and brass-founder.

The Moritz-Kapel, near the church, is an old gothic chapel once
dedicated to St. Maurice, now converted into a public gallery of
pictures of the old German school. The collection is exceedingly
curious; there are about one hundred and forty pictures, and besides
specimens of Mabuse, Albert Durer, Van Eyck, Martin Schoen, Lucas
Kranach, and the two Holbeins, I remember some portraits by a certain
Hans Grimmer, which impressed me by their truth and fine painting. It
appears from this collection that for some time after Albert Durer, the
German painters continued to paint on a gold ground. Kulmbach, whose
heads are quite marvellous for finish and expression, generally did so.
This gallery owes its existence to the present king, and has been well
arranged by the architect Heideldoff and professor von Dillis of Munich.

In the market-place of Nuremberg stands the Schönebrunnen, that is,
the beautiful fountain; it bears the date 1355, and in style resembles
the crosses which Edward I. erected to Queen Eleanor, but is of more
elaborate beauty; it is covered with gothic figures, carved by one of
the most ancient of the German sculptors, Schonholfer, who modestly
styles himself a stone-cutter. Here we see, placed amicably close,
Julius Cæsar, Godfrey of Boulogne, Judas Maccabæus, Alexander the Great,
Hector of Troy, Charlemagne, and king David: all old acquaintances,
certainly, but whom we might have supposed that nothing but the day of
judgment could ever have assembled together in company.

Talking of the day of judgment reminds me of the extraordinary cemetery
of Nuremberg, certainly as unlike every other cemetery, as Nuremberg is
unlike every other city. Imagine upon a rising ground, an open space
of about four acres, completely covered with enormous slabs, or rather
blocks of solid stone, about a foot and a half in thickness, seven feet
in length, and four in breadth, laid horizontally, and just allowing
space for a single person to move between them. The name, and the
armorial bearings of the dead, cast in bronze, and sometimes rich
sculpture, decorate these tombs: I remember one, to the memory of a
beautiful girl, who was killed as she lay asleep in her father's garden
by a lizard creeping into her mouth. The story is represented in bronze
bas-relief, and the lizard is so constructed as to move when touched.
From this I shrunk with disgust, and turned to the sepulchre of a famous
worthy, who measured the distance from Nuremberg to the holy sepulchre
with his garter: the implement of his pious enterprise, twisted into a
sort of true-love knot, is carved on his tomb. Two days afterwards I
entered the dominions of a reigning monarch, who is at this present
moment performing a journey to Jerusalem round the walls of his room.[24]
How long-lived are the follies of mankind! Have, then, five centuries
made so little difference?

The tombs of Albert Durer, Hans Sachs, and Sandraart, were pointed out
to me, resembling the rest in size and form. I was assured that these
huge sepulchral stones exceed three thousand in number, and the whole
aspect of this singular burial-place is, in truth, beyond measure
striking--I could almost add, appalling.

I was not a little surprised and interested to find that the principal
Gazette of Nuremberg, which has a wide circulation through all this part
of Germany, extending even to Frankfort, Munich, Dresden, and Leipsig,
is entirely in female hands. Madame de Schaden is the proprietor, and
the responsible editor of the paper; she has the printing apparatus
and offices under her own roof, and though advanced in years, conducts
the whole concern with a degree of activity, spirit, and talent, which
delighted me. The circulation of this paper amounts to about four
thousand: a trifling number compared to our papers, but a large number
in this economical country, where the same paper is generally read by
fifty or sixty persons at least.

       *       *       *       *       *

All travellers agree that benevolence and integrity are the national
characteristics of the Germans. Of their honesty I had daily proofs:
I do not consider that I was ever imposed upon or overcharged during my
journey, except once, and then it was by a Frenchman. Their benevolence
is displayed in the treatment of animals, particularly of their horses.
It was somewhere between Nuremberg and Hof, that, for the first and
only time, I saw a postilion flog his horse unmercifully, or at least
unreasonably. The Germans very seldom beat their horses: they talk to
them, remonstrate, encourage, or upbraid them. I have frequently known
a voiturier, or a postilion, go a whole stage--which is seldom less
than fifteen English miles--at a very fair pace, without once even
raising the whip; and have often witnessed, not without amusement, long
conversations between a driver and his steed--the man, with his arm
thrown over the animal's neck, discoursing in a strange jargon, and the
intelligent brute turning his eye on his master with such a responsive
expression! In this part of Germany there is a popular verse repeated by
the postilions, which may be called the German _rule of the road_. It is
the horse who speaks--

  Berg auf, ubertrieb mich nicht;
  Berg ab, ubereil mich nicht;
  Auf ebenen Weg, vershöne mich nicht;
  Im Stahl, vergiss mich nicht.


which is, literally,

  Up hill, overdrive me not;
  Down hill, hurry me not;
  On level ground, spare me not;
  In the stable, forget me not.


The German postilions form a very numerous and distinct class; they wear
a half-military costume--a laced or embroidered jacket, across which
is invariably slung the bugle-horn, with its parti-coloured cord and
tassels: huge jack-boots, and a smart glazed hat, not unfrequently
surmounted with a feather (as in Hesse Cassel and Saxe Weimer) complete
their appearance. They are in the direct service and pay of the
government; they must have an excellent character for fidelity and good
conduct before they are engaged, and the slightest failing in duty
or punctuality, subjects them to severe punishment; thus they enjoy
some degree of respectability as a body, and Marschner thought it not
unworthy of his talents to compose a fine piece of music, which he
called The Postilion's "Morgen-lied," or morning song. I found them
generally a good-humoured, honest set of men; obliging, but not servile
or cringing; they are not allowed to smoke without the express leave
of the traveller, nor to stop or delay on the road on any pretence
whatever. In short, though the burley German postilions do not present
the neat compact turn-out of an English post-boy, nor the horses any
thing like the speed of "Newman's greys," or the Brighton Age, and
though the traveller must now and then submit to arbitrary laws and
individual inconvenience; still the travelling regulations all over
Germany, more especially in Prussia, are so precise, so admirable,
and so strictly enforced, that no where could an unprotected female
journey with more complete comfort and security. This I have proved by
experience, after having tried every different mode of conveyance in
Prussia, Bavaria, Baden, Saxony, and Hesse. My road expenses, for myself
and an attendant, seldom exceeded a Napoleon a-day.



III.

MEMORANDA AT DRESDEN.[25]


Beautiful, stately Dresden! if not the queen, the fine lady of the
German cities! Surrounded with what is most enchanting in nature, and
adorned with what is most enchanting in art, she sits by the Elbe like
a fair one in romance, wreathing her towery diadem--so often scathed by
war--with the vine and the myrtle, and looking on her own beauty imaged
in the river flood, which, after rolling an impetuous torrent through
the mountain gorges, here seems to pause and spread itself into a lucid
mirror to catch the reflection of her airy magnificence. No doubt misery
and evil dwell in Dresden, as in all the congregated societies of men,
but no where are they less obtrusive. The city has all the advantages,
and none of the disadvantages, of a capital; the treasures of art
accumulated here, the mild government, the delightful climate, the
beauty of the environs, and the cheerfulness and simplicity of social
intercourse, have rendered it a favourite residence for artists and
literary characters, and to foreigners one of the most captivating
places in the world. How often have I stood in the open space in front
of the gorgeous Italian church, or on the summit of the flight of steps
leading to the public walk, gazing upon the noble bridge which bestrides
the majestic Elbe, and connects the new and the old town; or, pursuing
with enchanted eye the winding course of the river to the foot of those
undulating purple hills, covered with villas and vineyards, till a
feeling of quiet grateful enjoyment has stolen over me, like that which
Wordsworth describes:--

  Felt in the blood, and felt along the heart,
  And passing even into my purer mind
  With tranquil restoration.


But it is not only the natural beauties of the scene which strike a
stranger; the city itself has this peculiarity in common with Florence,
to which it has been so often compared, that instead of being an
accident in the landscape--a dim, smoky, care-haunted spot upon the
all-lovely face of nature--a discord in the soothing harmony of that
quiet enchanting scene which steals like music over the fancy;--it is
rather a charm the more--an ornament--a crowning splendour--a fulfilling
and completing chord. Its unrivalled elegance and neatness, a general
air of cheerfulness combined with a certain dignity and tranquillity,
the purity and elasticity of the atmosphere, the brilliant shops, the
well-dressed women, and the lively looks and good-humoured alertness
of the people, who, like the Florentines, are more remarkable for
their tact and acuteness than for their personal attractions;--all
these advantages render Dresden, though certainly one of the smallest,
and by no means one of the richest capitals in Europe, one of the
most delightful residences on the continent. I am struck, too, by the
silver-toned voices of the women, and the courtesy and vivacity of the
men; for in Bavaria the intonation is broad and harsh, and the people,
though frank, and honest, and good-natured, are rather slow, and not
particularly polished in their demeanour.

It is the general aspect of Dresden which charms us: it is not
distinguished by any vast or striking architectural decorations, if we
except the Italian church, which, with all its thousand faults of style,
pleases from its beautiful situation and its exceeding richness. This
is the only Roman Catholic church in Dresden: for it is curious enough,
that while the national religion, or, if I may so use the word, the
state religion, is Protestant--the court religion is Catholic; the royal
family having been for several generations of that persuasion;[26] but
this has caused neither intolerance on the one hand, nor jealousy on the
other. The Saxons, the first who hailed and embraced the doctrines of
Luther, seem quite content to allow their anointed king to go to heaven
his own way; and though the priests who surround him are, of course,
mindful to keep up their own influence, there is no spirit of proselytism;
and I believe the most perfect equality with regard to religious matters
prevails here. The Catholic church is almost always half full of
Protestants, attracted by the delicious music, for all the corps d'opera
sing in the choir. High mass begins about the time that the sermon is
over in the other churches, and you see the Protestants hurrying from
their own service, crowding in at the portals of the Catholic church,
and taking their places, the men on one side and the women on the other,
with looks of infinite gravity and devotion: the king being always
present, it would here be a breach of etiquette to behave as I have
often seen the English behave in the Catholic churches--precisely as
if in a theatre. But if the good old monarch imagines that his heretic
subjects are to be converted by Cesi's[27] divine voice, he is
wonderfully mistaken.

The people of Dresden have always been distinguished by their love of
music; I was therefore rather surprised to find here a little paltry
theatre, ugly without, and mean within; a new edifice has been for some
time in contemplation, therefore to decorate or repair the old one may
seem superfluous. That it is not nearly large enough for the place is
its worst fault. I have never been in it that it was not crowded to
suffocation. At this time Bellini's opera, _I Capelletti_, is the rage
at Dresden, or rather Madame Devrient's impersonation of the Romeo, has
completely turned all heads and melted all hearts--that are fusible. The
Capelletti is only the last of the thousand-and-one versions of Romeo
and Juliet, and though the last, not the best of Bellini's operas; and
Devrient is not generally heard to the greatest advantage in the modern
Italian music; but her _conception_ of the part of Romeo is new and
belongs to herself; like a woman of feeling and genius she has put
her stamp upon it: it is quite distinct from the same character as
represented by Pasta and Malibran--_character_ perhaps I should not say,
for in the lyrical drama there is properly no room for any such gradual
development of individual sentiments and motives; a powerful and graceful
sketch, of which the outline is filled up by music, is all that the
artist is required to give; and within this boundary a more beautiful
delineation of youthful fervid passion I never beheld: if Devrient must
yield to Pasta in grandeur, and to Malibran in versatility of power and
liquid flexibility of voice, she yields to neither in pathos, to neither
in delicious modulation, to neither in passion, power, and originality,
though in her, in a still greater degree, the talent of the artist is
modified by individual temperament. Like other gifted women, who are
blessed or cursed with a most excitable nervous system, Devrient is a
good deal under the influence of moods of feeling and temper, and in
the performance of her favourite parts, (as this of Romeo, the Armida,
Emmeline in the Sweitzer Familie,) is subject to inequalities, which are
not caprices, but arise from an exuberance of soul and power, and only
render her performance more interesting. Every night that I have seen
her since my arrival here, even in parts which are unworthy of her, as
in the "Eagle's Nest,"[28] has increased my estimate of her talents;
and last night, when I saw her for the third time in the Romeo, she
certainly surpassed herself. The duet with Juliet, (Madlle. Schneider,)
at the end of the first act, threw the whole audience into a tumult of
admiration; they invariably encore this touching and impassioned scene,
which is really a positive cruelty, besides being a piece of stupidity;
for though it _may_ be as well sung the second time, it _must_ suffer in
effect from the repetition. The music, though very pretty, is in itself
nothing, without the situation and sentiment; and after the senses and
imagination have been wound up to the most thrilling excitement by tones
of melting affection and despair, and Romeo and Juliet have been finally
torn asunder by a flinty-hearted stick of a father, with a black cloak
and a bass voice--_selon les regles_--it is ridiculous to see them come
back from opposite sides of the stage, bow to the audience, and then,
throwing themselves into each other's arms, pour out the same passionate
strains of love and sorrow. As to Devrient's acting in the last scene,
I think even Pasta's Romeo would have seemed colourless beside hers;
and this arises perhaps from the character of the music, from the very
different style in which Zingarelli and Bellini have treated their
last scene. The former has made Romeo tender and plaintive, and Pasta
accordingly subdued her conception to this tone; but Bellini has thrown
into the same scene more animation, and more various effect.[29] Devrient,
thus enabled to colour more highly, has gone beyond the composer.
There was a flush of poetry and passion, a heartbreaking struggle
of love and life against an overwhelming destiny, which thrilled me.
Never did I hear any one sing so completely from her own soul as this
astonishing creature. In certain tones and passages her voice issued
from the depths of her bosom as if steeped in tears; and her countenance,
when she hears Juliet sigh from the tomb, was such a sudden and divine
gleam of expression as I have never seen on any face but Fanny Kemble's.
I was not surprised to learn that Madame Devrient is generally ill after
her performance, and unable to sing in this part more than once or twice
a week.

       *       *       *       *       *

Tieck is the literary Colossus of Dresden; perhaps I should say of
Germany. There are those who dispute his infallibility as a critic;
there are those who will not walk under the banners of his philosophy;
but since the death of Goethe, I believe Ludwig Tieck holds undisputed
the first rank as an original poet, and powerful writer, and has
succeeded, by right divine, to the vacant throne of genius. His house
in the Altmarkt, (the tall red house at the south-east corner,)
henceforth consecrated by that power which can "hallow in the core of
human hearts even the ruin of a wall,"[30] is the resort of all the
enlightened strangers who flock to Dresden: even those who know nothing
of Tieck but his name, deem an introduction to him as indispensable
as a visit to the Madonna del Sisto. To the English, he is particularly
interesting: his knowledge of our language and literature, and especially
of our older writers, is profound. Endued with an imagination which
luxuriates in the world of marvels, which "dwells delightedly midst fays
and talismans," and embraces in its range of power what is highest,
deepest, most subtle, most practical--gifted with a creative spirit, for
ever moving and working within the illimitable universe of fancy, Tieck
is yet one of the most poignant satirists and profound critics of the
age. He has for the last twenty years devoted his time and talents, in
conjunction with Schlegel, to the study, translation, and illustration
of Shakspeare. The combination of these two minds has done perhaps what
no single mind could have effected in developing, elucidating, and
clothing in a new language the creations of that mighty and inspired
being.

It is to be hoped that some translator will rise up among us to do
justice in return to Tieck. No one tells a fairy tale like him: the
earnest simplicity of style and manner is so exquisite that he always
gives the idea of one whose hair was on end at his own wonders, who was
entangled by the spell of his own enchantments. A few of these lighter
productions (his Volksmärchen, or popular Tales) have been rendered into
our language; but those of his works which have given him the highest
estimation among his own countrymen still remain a sealed fountain to
English readers.[31]

It was with some trepidation I found myself in the presence of this
extraordinary man. Notwithstanding his profound knowledge of our
language, he rarely speaks English, and, like Alfieri, he _will not_
speak French. I addressed him in English, and he spoke to me in German.
The conversation in my first visit fell very naturally upon Shakspeare,
for I had been looking over his admirable new translation of Macbeth,
which he had just completed. Macbeth led us to the English theatre and
English acting--to Mrs. Siddons and the Kembles, and the actual
character and state of our stage.

While he spoke I could not help looking at his head, which is
wonderfully fine; the noble breadth and amplitude of his brow, and his
quiet, but penetrating eye, with an expression of latent humour hovering
round his lips, formed altogether a striking physiognomy. The numerous
prints and portraits of Tieck which are scattered over Germany are very
defective as resemblances. They have a heavy look; they give the weight
and power of his head, but nothing of the _finesse_ which lurks in
the lower part of his face. His manner is courteous, and his voice
particularly sweet and winning. He is apparently fond of the society of
women; or the women are fond of his society, for in the evening his room
is generally crowded with fair worshippers. Yet Tieck, like Goethe, is
accused of entertaining some unworthy sentiments with regard to the sex;
and is also said, like Goethe, not to have upheld us in his writings,
as the true philosopher, to say nothing of the true poet, ought to have
done. It is a fact upon which I shall take an opportunity of enlarging,
that almost all the greatest men who have lived in the world, whether
poets, philosophers, artists, or statesmen, have derived their mental
and physical organization, more from the mother's than the father's
side; and the same is true, unhappily, of those who have been in an
extraordinary degree perverted. And does not this lead us to some awful
considerations on the importance of the moral and physical well-being
of women, and their present condition in society, as a branch of
legislation and politics, which must ere long be modified? Let our lords
and masters reflect, that if an extensive influence for good or for evil
be not denied to us, an influence commencing not only with, but before
the birth of their children, it is time that the manifold mischiefs
and miseries lurking in the bosom of society, and of which woman is at
once the wretched instrument and more wretched victim, be looked to.
Sometimes I am induced to think that Tieck is misinterpreted or libelled
by those who pretend to take the tone from his writings and opinions: it
is evident that he delights in being surrounded by a crowd of admiring
women, therefore he must in his heart honour and reverence us as being
morally equal with man,--for who could suspect the great Tieck of that
paltry coxcombry which can be gratified by the adulation of inferior
beings?

Tieck's extraordinary talent for reading aloud is much and deservedly
celebrated: he gives dramatic readings two or three times a week
when his health and his avocations allow this exertion; the company
assemble at six, and it is advisable to be punctual to the moment; soon
afterwards tea is served: he begins to read at seven precisely, when the
doors are closed against all intrusion whatever, and he reads through a
whole play without pause, rest, omission, or interruption. Thus I heard
him read Julius Cæsar and the Midsummer Night's Dream, (in the German
translation by himself and Schlegel,) and except Mrs. Siddons, I never
heard any thing comparable as dramatic reading. His voice is rich, and
capable of great variety of modulation. I observed that the humorous and
declamatory passages were rather better than the pathetic and tender
passages: he was quite at home among the elves and clowns in the Midsummer
Night's Dream, of which he gave the fantastic and comic parts with
indescribable humour and effect. As to the translation, I could only
judge of its marvellous fidelity, which enabled me to follow him, word
for word,--but the Germans themselves are equally enchanted by its
vigour, and elegance, and poetical colouring.

       *       *       *       *       *

The far-famed gallery of Dresden is, of course, the first and grand
attraction to a stranger.

The regulation of this gallery, and the difficulty of obtaining
admission, struck me at first as rather inhospitable and ill-natured.
In the summer months it is open to the public two days in the week; but
during the winter months, from September to March, it is closed. In
order to obtain admittance, during this _recess_, you must pay three
dollars to one of the principal keepers on duty, and a gratuity to the
porter,--in all about half-a-guinea. Having once paid this sum, you are
free to enter whenever the gallery has been opened for another party.
The ceremony is, to send the laquais-de-place at nine in the morning to
inquire whether the gallery will be open in the course of the day; if
the answer be in the affirmative, it is advisable to make your appearance
as early as possible, and I believe you may stay as long as you please;
(at least _I_ did;) nothing more is afterwards demanded, though something
may perhaps be expected--if you are a _very_ frequent visitor. All this
is rather ungracious. It is true that the gallery is not a national, but
a royal gallery,--that it was founded and enriched by princes for their
private recreation; that Augustus III. purchased the Modena gallery for
his kingly pleasure; that from the original construction of the building
it is impossible to heat it with stoves, without incurring some risk,
and that to oblige the poor professors and attendants to linger benumbed
and shivering in the gallery from morning to night is cruel. In fact, it
would be difficult to give an idea of the deadly cold which prevails in
the inner gallery, where the beams of the sun scarcely ever penetrate.
And it may happen that only a chance visitor, or one or two strangers,
may ask admittance in the course of the day. But poor as Saxony now
is,--drained, and exhausted, and maimed by successive wars, and trampled
by successive conquerors, this glorious gallery, which Frederic spared,
and Napoleon left inviolate, remains the chief attraction to strangers;
and it may be doubted whether there is good policy in making admittance
to its treasures a matter of difficulty, vexation, and expense. There
would be little fear, if all strangers were as obstinate and enthusiastic
as myself,--for, to confess the truth, I know not what obstacle, or
difficulty, or inconvenience, could have kept me out; if all legal avenues
had been hermetically sealed, I would have prayed, bribed, persevered,
till I had attained my purpose, and after travelling three hundred
miles to achieve an object, what are a few dollars? But still it _is_
ungracious, and methinks, in this courteous and liberal capital these
regulations ought to be reformed or modified.

On entering the gallery for the first time, I walked straight forward,
without pausing, or turning to the right or the left, into the
Raffaelle-room, and looked round for the Madonna del Sisto,--literally
with a kind of misgiving. Familiar as the form might be to the eye and
the fancy, from numerous copies and prints, still the unknown original
held a sanctuary in my imagination, like the mystic Isis behind her
veil: and it seemed that whatever I beheld of lovely, or perfect,
or soul-speaking in art, had an unrevealed rival in my imagination:
something was beyond--there was a criterion of possible excellence as
yet only conjectured--for I had not seen the Madonna del Sisto. Now,
when I was about to lift my eyes to it, I literally hesitated--I drew a
long sigh, as if resigning myself to disappointment, and looked----Yes!
there she was indeed! that divinest image that ever shaped itself in
palpable hues and forms to the living eye! What a revelation of ineffable
grace, and purity, and truth, and goodness! There is no use attempting
to say any thing about it; too much has already been said and written--and
what are words? After gazing on it again and again, day after day, I feel
that to attempt to describe the impression is like measuring the infinite,
and sounding the unfathomable. When I looked up at it today it gave me
the idea, or rather the feeling, of a vision descending and floating
down upon me. The head of the virgin is quite superhuman: to say that
it is beautiful, gives no idea of it. Some of Correggio's and Guido's
virgins--the virgin of Murillo at the Leuchtenberg palace--have more
beauty, in the common meaning of the word; but every other female face,
however lovely, however majestic, would, I am convinced, appear either
trite or exaggerated, if brought into immediate comparison with this
divine countenance. There is such a blessed calm in every feature! and
the eyes, beaming with a kind of internal light, look straight out
of the picture--not at you or me--not at any thing belonging to this
world,--but through and through the universe. The unearthly Child is a
sublime vision of power and grandeur, and seems not so much supported as
enthroned in her arms, and what fitter throne for the Divinity than a
woman's bosom full of innocence and love? The expression in the face of
St. Barbara, who looks down, has been differently interpreted: to me she
seems to be giving a last look at the earth, above which the group is
raised as on a hovering cloud. St. Sixtus is evidently pleading in all
the combined fervour of faith, hope, and charity, for the congregation
of sinners, who are supposed to be kneeling before the picture--that is,
for _us_--to whom he points. Finally, the cherubs below, with their
upward look of rapture and wonder, blending the most childish innocence
with a sublime inspiration, complete the harmonious whole, uniting
heaven with earth.

While I stood in contemplation of this all-perfect work, I felt the
impression of its loveliness in my deepest heart, not only without the
power, but without the thought or wish to give it voice or words, till
some lines of Shelley's--lines which were not, but, methinks, ought to
have been, inspired by the Madonna--came, uncalled, floating through my
memory--

  Seraph of Heaven! too gentle to be human,
  Veiling beneath that radiant form of woman
  All that is insupportable in thee,
  Of light, and love, and immortality!
  Sweet Benediction in the eternal curse!
  Veil'd Glory of this lampless universe!
  Thou Harmony of Nature's art!
                      I measure
  The world of fancies, seeking one like thee,
  And find--alas! mine own infirmity![32]


On the first morning I spent in the gallery, a most benevolent-looking
old gentleman came up to me, and half lifting his velvet cap from his
grey hairs, courteously saluted me by name. I replied, without knowing
at the moment to whom I spoke. It was Böttigar, the most formidable--no,
not _formidable_--but the most erudite scholar, critic, antiquarian,
in Germany. Böttigar, I do believe, has read every book that ever was
written; knows every thing that ever was known; and is acquainted with
every body, who is _any body_, in the four quarters of the world. He
is not the author of any large work, but his writings, in a variety
of form, on art, ancient and modern,--on literature, on the classics,
on the stage, are known over all Germany; and in his best days few
have exercised so wide an influence over opinion and literature. It is
_said_, that in his latter years his criticism has been too vague, his
praise too indiscriminate, to be trusted; but I know not why this should
excite indignation, though it may produce mistrust; in Böttigar's
conformation, benevolence must always have been prominent, and in the
decline of his life--for he is now seventy-eight--this natural courtesy
combining with a good deal of vanity and imagination, would necessarily
produce the result of extreme mildness,--a disposition to see, or try to
see, all _en beau_. The happier for him, and the pleasanter for others.
We were standing together in the room with the Madonna, but I did not
allude to it, nor attempt to express by a word the impression it had
made on me; but he seemed to understand my silence; he afterwards told
me that it is ascertained that Raffaelle employed only three months in
executing this picture: it was thrown upon his canvas in a glow of
inspiration, and is painted very lightly and thinly. When Palmeroli,
the Italian restorer, was brought here at an expense of more than three
thousand ducats, he ventured to clean and retouch the background and
accessories, but dared not touch the figures of the Virgin and the
Child, which retain their sombre tint. This has perhaps destroyed the
harmony of the general effect, but if the man mistrusted himself he was
right: in such a case, however, he had better have let the background
alone. In taking down the picture for the purpose of cleaning, it was
discovered that a part of the original canvas, about a quarter of a
yard, was turned back in order to make it fit the frame. Every one must
have observed, that in Müller's engraving, and all the known copies of
this Madonna, the head is too near the top of the picture, so as to mar
the just proportion. This is now amended: the veil, or curtain, which
appears to have been just drawn aside to disclose the celestial vision,
does not now reach the boundary of the picture, as heretofore; the
original effect is restored, and it is infinitely better.

As if to produce a surfeit of excellence, the five Correggios hang
together in the same room with the Raffaelle.[33] They are the Madonna
di San Georgio; the Madonna di San Francisco; the Madonna di Santo
Sebastiano; the famous Nativity, called La Notte; and the small Magdalene
reading, of which there exist an incalculable number of copies and
prints. I know not that any thing can be added to what has been said a
hundred times over of these wondrous pieces of poetry. Their excellence
and value, as unequalled productions of art, may not perhaps be understood
by all,--the poetical charm, the something more than meets the eye, is
not perhaps equally felt by all,--but the sentiment is intelligible to
every mind, and goes at once to every heart; the most uneducated eye, the
merest tyro in art, gazes with delight on the Notte; and the Magdalene
reading has given perhaps more pleasure than any known picture,--it is
so quiet, so simple, so touching, in its heavenly beauty! Those who may
not perfectly understand what artists mean when they dwell with rapture
on Correggio's wonderful chiaro-scuro, should look close into this
little picture, which hangs at a convenient height: they will perceive
that they can look through the shadows into the substance,--as it might
be, into the flesh and blood;--the shadows seem accidental--as if
between the eye and the colours, and not incorporated with them; in this
lies the inimitable excellence of this master.

The Magdalene was once surrounded by a rich frame of silver gilt,
chased, and adorned with gems, turquoises, and pearls: but some years
ago a thief found means to enter at the window, and carried off the
picture for the sake of the frame. A reward of two hundred ducats and a
pardon were offered for the picture only, and in a fortnight afterwards
it was happily restored to the gallery uninjured; but I did not hear that
the frame and jewels were ever recovered.

Of Correggio's larger pictures, I think the Madonna di San Georgio
pleased me most. The Virgin is seated on a throne, holding the sacred
Infant, who extends his arms and smiles out upon the world he has come
to save. On the right stands St. George, his foot on the dragon's head;
behind him St. Peter Martyr; on the left, St. Geminiano and St. John the
Baptist. In the front of the picture two heavenly boys are playing with
the sword and helmet of St. George, which he has apparently cast down
at the foot of the throne. All in this picture is grand and sublime,
in the feeling, the forms, the colouring, the expression. But what,
says a wiseacre of a critic, rubbing up his school chronology, what have
St. Francis, and St. George, and St. John the Baptist, to do in the same
picture with the Virgin Mary? Did not St. George live nine hundred years
after St. John? and St. Francis five hundred years after St. George?
and so on. Yet this is properly no anachronism--no violation of the
proprieties of action, place, or time. These and similar pictures,
as the St. Jerome at Parma, and Raffaelle's Madonna, are not to be
considered as historical paintings, but as grand pieces of lyrical and
sacred poetry. In this particular picture, which was an altarpiece in the
church of Our Lady at Parma, we have in St. George the representation
of religious magnanimity; in St. John, religious enthusiasm; in St.
Geminiani, religious munificence; in St. Peter Martyr, religious
fortitude; and these are grouped round the most lovely impersonation
of innocence, chastity, and heavenly love. Such, as it appears to me,
is the true intention and signification of this and similar pictures.

But in the "Notte" (the Nativity) the case is different. It is properly
an historical picture; and if Correggio had placed St. George, or St.
Francis, or the Magdalene, as spectators, we might then exclaim at the
absurdity of the anachronism; but here Correggio has converted the
literal representation of a circumstance in sacred history into a divine
piece of poetry, when he gave us that emanation of supernatural light,
streaming from the form of the celestial Child, and illuminating the
extatic face of the virgin mother, who bends over her infant undazzled;
while another female draws back, veiling her eyes with her hand, as if
unable to endure the radiance. Far off, through the gloom of night, we
see the morning just breaking along the eastern horizon--emblem of the
"day-spring from on high."

This is precisely one of those pictures of which no copy or engraving
could convey any adequate idea; the sentiment of maternity (in which
Correggio excelled) is so exquisitely tender, and the colouring so
inconceivably transparent and delicate.

I suppose it is a sort of treason to say that in the Madonna di San
Francisco, the face of the virgin is tinctured with affectation; but
such was and _is_ my impression.

If I were to plan a new Dresden gallery, the Madonna del Sisto and the
"Notte" should each have a sanctuary apart, and be lighted from above;
at present they are ill-placed for effect.

When I could move from the Raffaelle room, I took advantage of the
presence and attendance of Professor Matthaï, (who is himself a painter
of eminence here,) and went through a regular course of the Italian
schools of painting, beginning with Giotto. The collection is extremely
rich in the early Ferarese and Venetian painters, and it was most
interesting thus to trace the gradual improvement and development of the
school of colourists through Squarcione, Mantegna, the Bellini, Giorgione,
Paris Bordone, Palma, and Titian; until richness became exuberance, and
power verged upon excess in Paul Veronese and Tintoretto.

Certainly, I feel no inclination to turn my notebook into a catalogue;
but I must mention Titian's Christo della Moneta:--such a head!--so pure
from any trace of passion!--so refined, so intellectual, so benevolent!
The only head of Christ I ever entirely approved.

Here they have Giorgione's master-piece--the meeting of Rachel and
Jacob; and the three daughters of Palma, half-lengths, in the same
picture. The centre one, Violante, is a most lovely head.

There is here an extraordinary picture by Titian, representing Lucrezia
Borgia, presented by her husband to the Madonna. The portraits are the
size of life, half-lengths. I looked in vain in the countenance of
Lucrezia for some trace, some testimony of the crimes imputed to her;
but she is a fair, golden-haired, gentle-looking creature, with a feeble
and vapid expression. The head of her husband, Alphonso, is fine and
full of power. There are, I suppose, not less than fourteen or fifteen
pictures by Titian.

The Concina family, by Paul Veronese, esteemed his finest production,
is in the Dresden gallery, with ten others of the same master. Of Guido,
there are ten pictures, particularly that extraordinary one, _called_
Ninus and Semiramis, life size. Of the Carracci, at least eight or nine,
particularly the genius of Fame, which should be compared with that of
Guido. There are numerous pictures of Albano and Ribera; but very few
specimens of Salvator Rosa and Domenichino.

On the whole, I suppose that no gallery, except that of Florence, can
compete with the Dresden gallery in the treasures of Italian art. In
all, there are five hundred and thirty-four Italian pictures.

I pass over the Flemish, Dutch, and French pictures, which fill the
outer gallery: these exceed the Italian school in number, and many of
them are of surpassing merit and value, but, having just come from
Munich, where the eye and fancy are both satiated with this class of
pictures, I gave my attention principally to the Italian masters.

There is one room here entirely filled with the crayon paintings of
Rosalba, including a few by Liotard. Among them is a very interesting
head of Metastasio, painted when he was young. He has fair hair and blue
eyes, with small features, and an expression of mingled sensibility and
acuteness: no power.

Rosalba Carriera, perhaps the finest crayon painter who ever existed,
was a Venetian, born at Chiozza in 1675. She was an admirable creature
in every respect, possessing many accomplishments, besides the beautiful
art in which she excelled. Several anecdotes are preserved which prove
the sweetness of her disposition, and the clear simplicity of her mind.
Spence, who knew her personally, calls her "the most modest of painters;"
yet she used to say playfully, "I am charmed with every thing I do, for
eight hours after it is done!" This was natural while the excitement
of conception was fresh upon the mind. No one, however, could be more
fastidious and difficult about their own works than Rosalba. She was not
only an observer of countenance by profession, but a most acute observer
of character, as revealed in all its external indications. She said of
Sir Godfrey Kneller, after he had paid her a visit, "I concluded he could
not be religious, for he has no modesty." The general philosophical truth
comprised in these few words is not less admirable than the acuteness
of the remark, as applied to Kneller--a professed sceptic, and the most
self-sufficient coxcomb of his time.

Rosalba was invited at different times to almost all the courts of
Europe, and painted most of the distinguished persons of her time at
Vienna, Dresden, Berlin, and Paris; the lady-like refinements of her
mind and manners, which also marked her style of painting, recommended
her not less than her talents. She used, after her return to Italy, to
say her prayers in German, "because the language was so expressive."[34]

Rosalba became blind before her death, which occurred in 1757. Her
works in the Dresden gallery amount to at least one hundred and
fifty--principally portraits--but there are also some exquisite fancy
heads.

Thinking of Rosalba, reminds me that there are some pretty stories
told of women, who have excelled as professed artists. In general
the conscious power of maintaining themselves, habits of attention
and manual industry, the application of our feminine superfluity of
sensibility and imagination to a tangible result--have produced fine
characters. The daughter of Tintoretto, when invited to the courts of
Maximilian and Philip II. refused to leave her father. Violante Siries
of Florence gave a similar proof of filial affection; and when the grand
duke commanded her to paint her own portrait for the Florentine gallery,
where it now hangs, she introduced the portrait of her father, because
he had been her first instructor in art. When Henrietta Walters, the
famous Dutch miniature painter, was invited by Peter the Great and
Frederic, to their respective courts, with magnificent promises of
favour and patronage, she steadily refused; and when Peter, who had
no idea of giving way to obstacles, particularly in the female form,
pressed upon her in person the most splendid offers, and demanded the
reason of her refusal, she replied, that she was contented with her
lot, and could not bear the idea of living out of a free country.

Maria von Osterwyck, one of the most admirable flower painters,
had a lover, to whom she was a little partial, but his idleness and
dissipation distressed her. At length she promised to give him her hand
on condition that during one year he would work regularly ten hours a
day, observing that it was only what she had done herself from a very
early age. He agreed; and took a house opposite to her that she might
witness his industry; but habit was too strong, his love or his resolution
failed, and he broke the compact. She refused to be his wife; and no
entreaties could afterwards alter her determination never to accept the
man who had shown so little strength of character, and so little real
love. She was a wise woman, and as the event showed, not a heartless
one. She died unmarried, though surrounded by suitors.

It was the fate of Elizabeth Sirani, one of the most beautiful women, as
well as one of the most exquisite painters of her time, to live in the
midst of those deadly feuds between the pupils of Guido and those of
Domenichino, and she was poisoned at the age of twenty-six. She left
behind her one hundred and fifty pictures, an astonishing number if
we consider the age at which the world was deprived of this wonderful
creature, for they are finished with the utmost care in every part.
Madonnas and Magdalenes were her favourite subjects. She died in 1526.
Her best pictures are at Florence.

Sofonisba Angusciola had two sisters, Lucia and Europa, almost as gifted,
though not quite so celebrated as herself: these three "virtuous
gentlewomen," as Vasari calls them, lived together in the most
delightful sisterly union. One of Sofonisba's most beautiful pictures
represents her two sisters playing at chess, attended by the old duenna,
who accompanied them every where. When Sofonisba was invited to the court
of Spain, in 1560, she took her sisters with her--in short, they were
inseparable. They were all accomplished women. "We hear," said the pope,
in a complimentary letter to Sofonisba, on one of her pictures, "that
this your great talent is among the least you possess:" which letter is
said by Vasari to be a _sufficient_ proof of the genius of Sofonisba--as
if the holy Father's infallibility extended to painting! Luckily we have
proofs more undeniable in her own most lovely works--glowing with life
like those of Titian; and in the testimony of Vandyke, who said of her
in her later years, that "he had learned more from one old blind woman
in Italy than from all the masters of his art."

It is worth remarking, that almost all the women who have attained
celebrity in painting, have excelled in portraiture. The characteristic
of Rosalba is an exceeding elegance; of Angelica Kauffman exceeding
grace; but she wants nerve. Lavinia Fontana threw a look of sensibility
into her most masculine heads--she died broken-hearted for the loss of
an only son, whose portrait is her masterpiece.[35] The Sofonisba had
most dignity, and in her own portrait[36] a certain dignified simplicity
in the air and attitude strikes us immediately. Gentileschi has most
power: she was a gifted, but a profligate woman. All those whom I have
mentioned were women of undoubted genius; for they have each a style
apart, peculiar, and tinted by their individual character: but all,
except Gentileschi, were _feminine_ painters. They succeeded best in
feminine portraits, and when they painted history they were only admirable
in that class of subjects which came within the province of their sex;
beyond that boundary they became _fade_, insipid, or exaggerated: thus
Elizabeth Sirani's Annunciation is exquisite, and her Crucifixion
feeble; Angelica Kauffman's Nymphs and Madonnas are lovely; but her
picture of the warrior Herman, returning home after the defeat of the
Roman legions, is cold and ineffective. The result of these reflections
is, that there is a walk of art in which women may attain perfection,
and excel the other sex; as there is another department from which they
are excluded. You must change the physical organization of the race of
women before we produce a Rubens or a Michael Angelo. Then, on the other
hand, I fancy, no _man_ could paint like Louisa Sharpe, any more than
write like Mrs. Hemans. Louisa Sharpe, and her sister, are, in painting,
just what Mrs. Hemans is in poetry; we see in their works the same
characteristics--no feebleness, no littleness of design or manner,
nothing vapid, trivial, or affected,--and nothing masculine; all is
super-eminently, essentially feminine, in subject, style, and sentiment.
I wish to combat in every way that oft-repeated, but most false compliment
unthinkingly paid to women, that genius is of no sex; there may be
equality of power, but in its quality and application there will and must
be difference and distinction. If men would but remember this truth,
they would cease to treat with ridicule and jealousy the attainments and
aspirations of women, knowing that there never could be real competition
or rivalry. If women would admit this truth, they would not presume out
of their sphere:--but then we come to the necessity for some key to the
knowledge of ourselves and others--some scale for the just estimation of
our own qualities and powers, compared with those of others--the great
secret of self-regulation and happiness--the beginning, middle, and end
of all education.

But to return from this tirade. I wish my vagrant pen were less
discursive.

In the works of art, the presence of a power, felt rather than perceived,
and kept subordinate to the sentiment of grace, should mark the female
mind and hand. This is what I love in Rosalba, in our own Mrs. Carpenter,
in Madame de Freyberg, and in Eliza and Louisa Sharpe: in the latter
there is a high tone of moral as well as poetical feeling. Thus her
picture of the young girl coming out of church after disturbing the
equanimity of a whole congregation by her fine lady airs and her silk
attire, is a charming and most graceful satire on the foibles of
her sex. The idea, however, is taken from the Spectator. But Louisa
Sharpe can also create. Of another lovely picture,--that of the young,
forsaken, disconsolate, repentant mother, who sits drooping over her
child, "with looks bowed down in penetrative shame," while one or two of
the rigidly-righteous of her own sex turn from her with a scornful and
upbraiding air--I believe the subject is original; but it is obviously
one which never could have occurred, except to the most consciously pure
as well as the gentlest and kindest heart in the world. Never was a more
beautiful and Christian lesson conveyed by woman to woman; at once a
warning to our weakness, and a rebuke to our pride.[37]

_Apropos_ of female artists: I met here with a lady of noble birth and
high rank, the Countess Julie von Egloffstein,[38] who in spite of the
prejudices still prevailing in Germany, has devoted herself to painting
as a profession. Her vocation for the art was early displayed; but
combated and discouraged as derogatory to her rank and station; she was
for many years _demoiselle d'honneur_ to the grand Duchess Luise of
Weimar. Under all these circumstances, it required real strength of mind
to take the step she has taken; but a less decided course could not well
have emancipated her from trammels, the force of which can hardly be
estimated out of Germany. A recent journey to Italy, undertaken on account
of her health, fixed her determination, and her destiny for life.

In looking over her drawings and pictures, I was particularly struck
by one singularity, which yet, on reflection, appears perfectly
comprehensible. This high-born and court-bred woman shows a decided
predilection for the picturesque in humble life, and seems to have
turned to simple nature in perfect simplicity of heart. Being
self-taught and self-formed, there is nothing mannered or conventional
in her style; and I do hope she will assert the privilege of genius,
and, looking only into nature out of her own heart and soul, form and
keep a style to herself. I remember one little picture, painted either
for the queen of England or the queen of Bavaria, representing a young
Neapolitan peasant, seated at her cottage door, contemplating her child,
cradled at her feet, while the fishing bark of her husband is sailing
away in the distance. In this little bit of natural poetry there was no
seeking after effect, no prettiness, no pretension; but a quiet genuine
simplicity of feeling, which surprised while it pleased me. When I have
looked at the Countess Julie in her painting-room, surrounded by her
drawings, models, casts--all the powers of her exuberant enthusiastic
mind flowing free in their natural direction, I have felt at once
pleasure, and admiration, and respect. It should seem that the energy
of spirit and real magnanimity of mind which could trample over social
prejudices, not the less strong because manifestly absurd, united to
genius and perseverance, may, if life be granted, safely draw upon
futurity both for success and for fame.

       *       *       *       *       *

I consider my introduction to Moritz Retzsch as one of the most
memorable and agreeable incidents of my short sojourn at Dresden.

This extraordinary genius, who is almost as popular and interesting in
England as in his own country, seems to have received from Nature a
double portion of the inventive faculty--that rarest of all her good
gifts, even to those who are her especial favourites. As his published
works by which he is principally known in England (the Outlines to
the Faust, to Shakspeare, to Schiller's Song of the Bell, &c.) are
illustrations of the ideas of others, few but those who may possess some
of his original drawings are aware, that Retzsch is himself a poet of
the first order, using his glorious power of graphic delineation to
throw into form the conceptions, thoughts, aspirations, of his own
glowing imagination and fertile fancy. Retzsch was born at Dresden in
1779, and has never, I believe, been far from his native place. From
childhood he was a singular being, giving early indications of his
imitative power by drawing or carving in wood, resemblances of the
objects which struck his attention, without the slightest idea in
himself or others of becoming eventually an artist; and I have even
heard that, when he was quite a youth, his enthusiastic mind, labouring
with a power which he felt rather than knew, his love of the wilder
aspects of nature, and impatience of the restraints of artificial life,
had nearly induced him to become a huntsman or forester (Jäger) in the
royal service. However, at the age of twenty, his love of art became a
decided vocation. The little property he had inherited or accumulated
was dissipated during that war, which swept like a whirlwind over all
Germany, overwhelming prince and peasant, artist, mechanic, in one
wide-spreading desolation. Since that time Retzsch has depended on his
talents alone--content to live poor in a poor country. He has, by the
exertion of his talents, achieved for himself a small independence, and
contributed to the support of a large family of relations, also ruined
by the casualties of war. His usual residence is at his own pretty
little farm or vineyard a few miles from Dresden. When in the town,
where his duties as professor of the Academy frequently call him, he
lodges in a small house in the Neustadt, close upon the banks of the
Elbe, in a retired and beautiful situation. Thither I was conducted
by our mutual friend, N----, whose appreciation of Retzsch's talents,
and knowledge of his peculiarities, rendered him the best possible
intermediator on this occasion.

The professor received us in a room which appeared to answer many
purposes, being obviously a sleeping as well as a sitting-room, but
perfectly neat. I saw at once that there was every where a woman's
superintending eye and thoughtful care; but did not know at the moment
that he was married. He received us with open-hearted frankness, at
the same time throwing on the stranger one of those quick glances
which seemed to look through me: in return, I contemplated him with
inexpressible interest. His figure is rather larger, and more portly
than I had expected; but I admired his fine Titanic head, so large, and
so sublime in its expression; his light blue eye, wild and wide, which
seemed to drink in meaning and flash out light; his hair profuse,
grizzled, and flowing in masses round his head: and his expanded brow
full of poetry and power. In his deportment he is a mere child of nature,
simple, careless, saying just what he feels and thinks at the moment,
without regard to forms; yet pleasing from the benevolent earnestness
of his manner, and intuitively polite without being polished.

After some conversation, he took us into his painting room. As a
colourist, I believe his style is criticised, and open to criticism;
it is at least singular; but I must confess that while I was looking
over his things I was engrossed by the one conviction;--that while his
peculiar merits, and the preference of one manner to another may be a
matter of argument or taste, it is certain, and indisputable, that no
one paints _like_ Retzsch, and that, in the original power and fertility
of _conception_, in the quantity of _mind_ which he brings to bear upon
his subject, he is in his own style unequalled and inimitable. I was
rather surprised to see in some of his designs and pencil drawings, the
most elaborate delicacy of touch, and most finished execution of parts,
combined with a fancy which seems to run wild over his paper or his
canvas; but only _seems_--for it must be remarked, that with all this
luxuriance of imagination, there is no exaggeration, either of form or
feeling; he is peculiar, fantastic, even extravagant--but never false in
sentiment or expression. The reason is, that in Retzsch's character the
moral sentiments are strongly developed; where _they_ are deficient, let
the artist who aims at the highest poetical department of excellence,
despair; for no possession of creative talent, nor professional skill,
nor conventional taste, will supply that main deficiency.

I saw in Retzsch's atelier many things novel, beautiful, and interesting;
but will note only a few, which have dwelt upon my memory, as being
characteristic of the man as well as the artist.

There was, on a small pannel, the head of an angel smiling. He said he
was often pursued by dark fancies, haunted by melancholy forebodings,
desponding over himself and his art, "and he resolved to create an angel
for himself, which should smile upon him out of heaven." So he painted
his most lovely head, in which the radiant spirit of joy seems to
beam from every feature at once; and I thought while I looked upon it,
that it were enough to exorcise a whole legion of blue devils. It is
rarely that we can associate the mirthful with the beautiful and the
sublime--even I could have deemed it next to impossible; but the
effulgent cheerfulness of this divine face corrected that idea, which,
after all, is not in bright lovely Nature, but in the shadow which the
mighty spirit of Humanity casts from his wings, as he hangs brooding
over her between heaven and earth.

Afterwards he placed upon his easel a wondrous face, which made me
shrink back--not with terror, for it was perfectly beautiful--but
with awe, for it was unspeakably fearful: the hair streamed back from
the pale brow--the orbs of sight appeared at first two dark, hollow,
unfathomable spaces, like those in a skull; but when I drew nearer, and
looked attentively, two lovely living eyes looked at me again out of
the depth of shadow, as of from the bottom of an abyss. The mouth was
divinely sweet, but sad, and the softest repose rested on every feature.
This, he told me, was the ANGEL OF DEATH: it was the original conception
of a head for the large picture now at Vienna, representing the Angel
of Death bearing aloft two children into the regions of the blessed:
the heavens opening above, and the earth and stars sinking beneath
his feet.

The next thing which struck me was a small picture--two satyrs butting
at each other, while a shepherd carries off the nymph for whom they are
contending. This was most admirable for its grotesque power and spirit,
and, moreover, extremely well coloured. Another in the same style
represented a satyr sitting on a wine-skin, out of which he drinks; two
arch-looking nymphs are stealing on him from behind, and one of them
pierces the wine-skin with her hunting-spear.

There was a portrait of himself, but I would not laud it--in fact, he
has not done himself justice. Only a colossal bust, in the same style,
and wrought with the same feeling as Dannecker's bust of Schiller, could
convey to posterity an adequate idea of the head and countenance of
Retzsch. I complimented him on the effect which his Hamlet had produced
in England; he told me, that it had been his wish to illustrate the
Midsummer Night's Dream, or the Tempest, rather than Macbeth: the former
he will still undertake, and, in truth, if any one succeeds in embodying
a just idea of a Miranda, a Caliban, a Titania, and the poetical
burlesque of the Athenian clowns, it will be Retzsch, whose genius
embraces at once the grotesque, the comic, the wild, the wonderful, the
fanciful, the elegant!

A few days afterwards we accepted Retzsch's invitation to visit him at
his _campagna_--for whether it were farm-house, villa, or vineyard, or
all together, I could not well decide. The drive was delicious. The
road wound along the banks of the magnificent Elbe, the gently-swelling
hills, all laid out in vineyards, rising on our right; and though it was
in November, the air was soft as summer. Retzsch, who had perceived our
approach from his window, came out to meet us--took me under his arm as
if we had been friends of twenty years standing, and leading me into his
picturesque _domicile_, introduced me to his wife--as pretty a piece of
domestic poetry as one shall see in a summer's day. She was the daughter
of a vine-dresser, whom Retzsch fell in love with while she was yet
almost a child, and educated for his wife--at least so runs the tale. At
the first glance I detected the original of that countenance which, more
or less idealized, runs through all his representations of female youth
and beauty: here was the model, both in feature and expression; she
smiled upon us a most cordial welcome, regaled us with delicious coffee
and cakes prepared by herself, then taking up her knitting sat down
beside us; and while I turned over admiringly the beautiful designs
with which her husband had decorated her album, the looks of veneration
and love with which she regarded him, and the expression of kindly,
delighted sympathy with which she smiled upon me, I shall not easily
forget. As for the album itself, queens might have envied her such
homage: and what would not a dilettante collector have given for such
a possession!

I remember two or three of these designs which must serve to give
an idea of the rest:--1st. The good Genius descending to bless his
wife.--2nd. The birthday of his wife--a lovely female infant is asleep
under a vine, which is wreathed round the tree of life; the spirits
of the four elements are bringing votive gifts with which they endow
her.--3rd. The Enigma of Human Life.--The Genius of Humanity is
reclining on the back of a gigantic sphinx, of which the features are
averted, and partly veiled by a cloud; he holds a rose half-withered in
his hand, and looks up with a divine expression towards two butterflies
which have escaped from the chrysalis state, and are sporting above his
head; at his feet are a dead bird and reptile--emblematical of sin and
death.--4th. The genius of art, represented as a young Apollo, turns,
with a melancholy, abstracted air, the handle of a barrel-organ, while
Vulgarity, Ignorance, and Folly, listen with approbation; meantime his
lyre and his palette lie neglected at his feet, together with an empty
purse and wallet: the mixture of pathos, poetry, and satire, in this
little drawing, can hardly be described in words.--5th. Hope, represented
by a lovely group of playful children, who are peeping under a hat for
a butterfly, which they fancy they have caught, but which has escaped,
and is hovering above their reach.--6th. Temptation presented to youth
and innocence by an evil spirit, while a good genius warns them to
beware.--In this drawing, the figures of the boy and girl, but more
particularly of the latter, appeared to me of the most consummate and
touching beauty.--7th. His wife walking on a windy day: a number of
little sylphs are agitating her drapery, lifting the tresses of her
hair, playing with her sash; while another party have flown off with
her hat, and are bearing it away in triumph.

After spending three or four hours delightfully, we drove home in
silence by the gleaming, murmuring river, and beneath the light of the
silent stars. On a subsequent visit, Retzsch showed me many more of
these delicious _phantasie_, or fancies, as he termed them,--or more
truly, little pieces of moral and lyrical poetry, thrown into palpable
form, speaking in the universal language of the eye to the universal
heart of man. I remember, in particular, one of striking and even of
appalling interest. The Genius of Humanity and the Spirit of Evil are
playing at chess for the souls of men: the Genius of Humanity has lost
to his infernal adversary some of his principal pieces,--love, humility,
innocence, and lastly, peace of mind;--but he still retains faith,
truth, and fortitude; and is sitting in a contemplative attitude,
considering his next move; his adversary, who opposes him with pride,
avarice, irreligion, luxury, and a host of evil passions, looks at him
with a _Mephistophiles'_ expression, anticipating his devilish triumph.
The pawns on the one side are prayers--on the other, doubts. A little
behind stands the Angel of conscience as arbitrator. In this most
exquisite allegory, so beautifully, so clearly conveyed to the heart,
there lurked a deeper moral than in many a sermon.

There was another beautiful little allegory of Love in the character of
a Picklock, opening, or trying to open, a variety of albums, lettered,
the "Human Heart, No. 1; Human Heart, No. 2;" while Philosophy lights
him with her lanthorn. There were besides many other designs of equal
poetry, beauty, and moral interest--I think, a whole portfolio full of
them.

I endeavoured to persuade Retzsch that he could not do better than
publish some of these exquisite _Fancies_, and when I left him he
entertained the idea of doing so at some future period. To adopt his own
language, the Genius of Art could not present to the Genius of Humanity
a more delightful and a more profitable gift.[39]

       *       *       *       *       *

The following list of German painters comprehends those _only_ whose
works I had an opportunity of considering, and who appeared to me to
possess decided merit. I might easily have extended this catalogue to
thrice its length, had I included all those whose names were given to me
as being distinguished and celebrated among their own countrymen. From
Munich alone I brought a list of two hundred artists, and from other
parts of Germany nearly as many more. But in confining myself to those
whose productions I _saw_, I adhere to a principle which, after all,
seems to be the best--viz. never to speak but of what we _know_; and then
only of the individual impression: it is necessary to know so many things
before we can give, with confidence, an opinion about any one thing!

While the literary intercourse between England and Germany increases
every day, and a mutual esteem and understanding is the natural
consequence of this approximation of mind, there is a singular and
mutual ignorance in all matters appertaining to art, and consequently,
a good deal of injustice and prejudice on both sides. The Germans were
amazed and incredulous, when I informed them that in England there are
many admirers of art, to whom the very names of Schnorr, Overbeck,
Rauch, Peter Hess, Wach, Wagenbauer, and even their great Cornelius, are
unknown; and I met with very clever, well-informed Germans, who had, by
some chance, _heard_ of Sir Thomas Lawrence, and knew _something_ of
Wilkie, Turner, and Martin, from the engravings after their works; who
thought Sir Joshua Reynolds and his engraver Reynolds one and the same
person; and of Callcott, Landseer, Etty, and Hilton, and others of our
shining lights, they knew nothing at all. I must say, however, that they
have generally a more just idea of English art than we have of German
art, and their veneration for Flaxman, like their veneration for
Shakspeare, is a sort of enthusiasm all over Germany. Those who have
contemplated the actual state of art, and compared the prevalent tastes
and feelings in both countries, will allow that much advantage would
result from a better mutual understanding. We English accuse the German
artists of mannerism, of a formal, hard, and elaborate execution,--a
pedantic style of composition and sundry other sins. The Germans accuse
us, in return, of excessive coarseness and carelessness, a loose sketchy
style of execution, and a general inattention to truth of character.[40]
"You English have no school of art," was often said to me; I could have
replied--if it had not been a solecism in grammar--"You Germans have
_too much_ school." The "esprit de secte," which in Germany has broken
up their poetry, literature, and philosophy into schisms and schools,
descends unhappily to art, and every professor, to use the Highland
expression, has _his tail_.

At the same time, we cannot deny to the Germans the merit of great
earnestness of feeling, and that characteristic integrity of purpose
which they throw into every thing they undertake or perform. Art with
them, is oftener held in honour, and pursued truly for its own sake,
than among us: too many of our English artists consider their lofty
and noble vocation, simply as the means to an end, be that end fame or
gain. Generally speaking, too, the German artists are men of superior
cultivation, so that when the creative inspiration falls upon them, the
material on which to work is already stored up: "nothing can come of
nothing," and the sun-beams descend in vain on the richest soil, where
the seed has not been sown.

It is certain that we have not in England any historical painters who
have given evidence of their genius on so grand a scale as some of the
historical painters of Germany have recently done. _We_ know that it
is not the genius, but the opportunity which has been wanting, but we
cannot ask foreigners to admit this,--they can only judge from results,
and they must either suppose us to be without eminent men in the higher
walks of art,--or they must wonder, with their magnificent ideas of
the incalculable wealth of our nobles, the prodigal expenditure of our
rulers, and the grandeur of our public institutions, that painting has
not oftener been summoned in aid of her eldest sister architecture.
On the other hand, their school of portraiture and landscape is decidedly
inferior to ours. Not only have they no landscape painters who can compare
with Callcott and Turner, but they do not appear to have _imagined_ the
kind of excellence achieved by these wonderful artists. I should say,
generally, that their most beautiful landscapes want atmosphere. I used
to feel while looking at them as if I were in the exhausted receiver of
an air-pump. Of their portraits I have already spoken; the eye which has
rested in delight upon one of Wilkie's or Phillips's fine manly portraits,
(not to mention Reynolds, Gainsborough, Romney, and Lawrence,) cannot
easily be reconciled to the hard, frittered manner of some of the most
admired of the German painters; it is a difference of taste, which
I will not call natural but national;--the remains of the old gothic
school which, as the study of Italian art becomes more diffused, will
be modified or pass away.

       *       *       *       *       *


HISTORY.

Peter Cornelius, born at Dusseldorf in 1778, was for a considerable time
the director (president) of the academy there, and is now the director
of the academy of art at Munich: much of his time, however, is spent
in Italy. The Germans esteem him their best historical painter. He has
invention, expression, and power, but appears to me rather deficient in
the feeling of beauty and tenderness. His grand works are the fresco
painting in the Glyptothek at Munich, already described.

Friedrich Overbeck, born at Lubeck in 1789: he excels in scriptural
subjects, which he treats with infinite grandeur and simplicity of
feeling.

Wilhelm Wach, born at Berlin in 1787: first painter to the king of
Prussia and professor in the academy of Berlin: esteemed one of the
best painters and most accomplished men in Germany. Not having visited
Berlin, where his finest works exist, I have as yet seen but one picture
by this painter--the head of an angel, at the palace of Peterstein,
sublimely conceived, and most admirably painted. In the style of colour,
in the singular combination of grand feeling and delicate execution,
this picture reminded me of Leonardo da Vinci.

Professor Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld, born at Leipsig in 1794. His
frescos from the Nibelungen Lied in the new palace at Munich have been
already mentioned at length.

Professor Heinrich Hesse: the frescos in the Royal Chapel at Munich,
already described.

Wilhelm Tischbein, born at Heyna in 1751. He is director of the academy
at Naples, and highly celebrated. He must not be confounded with his
uncle, a mediocre artist, who was the court painter of Hesse Cassel, and
whose pictures swarm in all the palaces there.

Philip Veit, of Frankfort--fresco painter.

Joseph Schlotthauer, professor of historical and fresco painting at
Munich. (I believe this artist is dead. He held a high rank.)

Clement Zimmermann, now employed in the Pinakothek, and in the new
palace at Munich, where he takes a high rank as painter, and is not less
distinguished by his general information, and his frank and amiable
character.

Moritz Retzsch of Dresden.

Professor Vogel, of Dresden, principal painter to the king of Saxony.
He paints in fresco and history, but excels in portraits.

Stieler, of Munich, court painter to the king of Bavaria, esteemed one
of the best portrait painters in Germany.

Goetzenberger, fresco painter. He is employed in painting the University
Hall at Bonn.

Eduard Bendeman, of Berlin. I saw at the exhibition of the Kunstverein
at Dusseldorf, a fine picture by this painter--"The Hebrews in Exile."

  "By the waters of Babylon we sat down and wept."


The colouring I thought rather hard, but the conception and drawing were
in a grand style.

Wilhelm Schadow, director of the academy at Dusseldorf.

Hetzsch of Stuttgardt.

The brothers Riepenhausen, of Göttingen, resident at Rome. They are
celebrated for their designs of the pictures of Polygnotus, as described
by Pausanius.

Koehler. He exhibited at the Kunstverein at Dusseldorf a picture of
"Rebecca at the well," very well executed.

Ernst Förster, of Altenburg, employed in the palace at Munich. This
clever young painter married the daughter of Jean Paul Richter.

Gassen, of Goblentz; Hiltensberger, of Suabia; Hermann, of Dresden;
Foltz, of Bingen; Kaulbach, of Munich; Eugene Neureuther, of Munich;
Wilhelm Röckel, of Schleissheim; Von Schwind, of Vienna; Wilhelm
Lindenschmidt, of Mayence. All these painters are at present in the
service of the king of Bavaria.

Julius Hübner; Hildebrand; Lessing; Sohn; history and portraits;--these
four painters are the most distinguished scholars of the Dusseldorf
school.


SMALL SUBJECTS AND CONVERSATION PIECES.

Peter Hess, of Munich, one of the most eminent painters in Germany.
In his choice of subjects he reminded me sometimes of Eastlake, and
sometimes of Wilkie, and his style is rather in Wilkie's first manner.
His pictures are full of spirit, truth, and character.

Dominique Quaglio, of Munich. Interiors, &c. He also ranks very high:
he reminds me of Fraser.

Major-General von Heydeck, of Munich, an amateur painter of merited
celebrity. In the collection of M. de Klenze, and in the Leuchtenberg
Gallery, there are some small battle pieces, scenes in Greece and Spain,
and other subjects by Von Heydeck, very admirably painted.

F. Müller, of Cassel. At the exhibition at Dusseldorf I saw a picture
by this artist, "A rustic bridal procession in the Campagna," painted
with a freedom and lightness of pencil not common among the German
artists.

Plüddeman, of Colberg.

T. B. Sonderland, of Dusseldorf. Fairs and merrymakings.

H. Rustige. The same subjects. Both are good artists.

H. Kretzschmar, of Pomerania. His picture of "Little Red Ridinghood,"
(Rothkäppchen,) at the Kunstverein, at Dusseldorf, had great merit.

Adolf Scrötte. Rustic scenes in the Dutch manner.


LANDSCAPE.

Dahl, a Norwegian settled at Dresden, esteemed one of the best landscape
painters in Germany. There is a very fine sea-piece by this artist in
the possession of the Countess von Seebach at Dresden, with, however,
all the characteristic _peculiarities_ of the German school.

T. D. Passavant, of Frankfort.

Friedrich, of Dresden, one of the most _poetical_ of the German
landscape painters. He is rather a mannerist in colour, like Turner,
but in the opposite excess: his genius revels in gloom, as that of
Turner revels in light.

Professor von Dillis, of Munich.

Max Wagenbauer, of Munich. He is called most deservedly, the German
Paul Potter.

Jacob Dorner, of Munich. A charming painter; perhaps a little too minute
in his finishing.

Catel, of Dusseldorf. Scenes on the Mediterranean. This painter resides
chiefly in Italy; but in the collection of M. de Klenze I saw some
admirable specimens of his works.

Biermann, of Berlin, is a fine landscape painter.

Prëyer, certainly the most exquisite of modern flower painters.
I believe he is from Dusseldorf.

Rothman, of Heidelberg. I saw some pictures and sketches by this young
painter, full of genius and feeling.

Fries, of Munich, a young painter of great promise. He put an end to his
own life, while I was at Munich, in a fit of delirium, caused by fever,
and was very generally lamented.

Wilhelm Schirmer, of Juliers, an exceedingly fine landscape painter.

Audeas Achenbach, of Dusseldorf: he has also great merit.

       *       *       *       *       *


There are several female artists in Germany, of more or less celebrity.
The Baroness von Freyberg (born Electrina Stuntz) holds the first rank
in original talent. She resides near Munich, but no longer paints
professionally.

The Countess Julie von Egloffstein has also the rare gift of original
and creative genius.

Luise Seidler, of Weimar; Madlle. de Winkel and Madame de Loqueyssie, of
Dresden, are distinguished in their art. The two latter are exquisite
copyists.

In architecture, Leo von Klenze and Professor Girtner, of Munich; and
Heideloff of Nuremberg, are deservedly celebrated in Germany.

The most distinguished sculptors in Germany are Christian Rauch, and
Christian Friedrich Tieck, of Berlin; Johan Heinrich von Dannecker,
of Stuttgardt; Schwanthaler, Eberhardt, Bandel, Kirchmayer, Mayer, all
of Munich; Reitschel of Dresden; and Imhoff, of Cologne. Those of their
works which I had an opportunity of seeing have been mentioned in the
course of these sketches.


[Illustration]



HARDWICKE.


Who that has exulted over the heroic reign of our gorgeous Elizabeth,
or wept over the fate of Mary Stuart, but will remember the name of the
only woman whose high and haughty spirit out-faced the lion port of one
queen, and whose audacity trampled over the sorrows of the other--

  "Brow-beating her fair form, and troubling her sweet pride!"


But this is anticipation. If it be so laudable, according to the
excellent, oft quoted advice of the giant Moulineau, to _begin at the
beginning_,[41] what must it be to improve upon the precept? for so,
in relating the fallen and fading glories of Hardwicke, do I intend
to exceed even "mon ami le Belier," in historic accuracy, and take
up our tale at a period ere Hardwicke itself--the Hardwicke that now
stands--had a beginning.

There lived, then, in the days of queen Bess, a woman well worthy to
be her majesty's namesake,--Elizabeth Hardwicke, more commonly called,
in her own country, Bess of Hardwicke, and distinguished in the page
of history as the _old_ Countess of Shrewsbury. She resembled Queen
Elizabeth in all her best and worst qualities, and, putting royalty
out of the scale, would certainly have been more than a match for that
sharp-witted virago, in subtlety of intellect, and intrepidity of temper
and manner.

She was the only daughter of John Hardwicke, of Hardwicke,[42] and being
early left an orphan and an heiress, was married ere she was fourteen
to a certain Master Robert Barley, who was about her own age. Death
dissolved this premature union within a few months, but her husband's
large estates had been settled on her and her heirs; and at the age of
fifteen, dame Elizabeth was a blooming widow, amply dowered with fair
and fertile lands, and free to bestow her hand again where she listed.

Suitors abounded, of course: but Elizabeth, it should seem, was hard to
please. She was beautiful, if the annals of her family say true,--she
had wit, and spirit, and, above all, an infinite love of independence.
After taking the management of her property into her own hands, she for
some time reigned and revelled (with all decorum be it understood) in
what might be truly termed, a state of single blessedness; but at length,
tired of being lord and lady too--"master o'er her vassals," if not
exactly "queen o'er herself"--she thought fit, having reached the
discreet age of four-and-twenty, to bestow her hand on Sir William
Cavendish. He was a man of substance and power, already enriched by vast
grants of abbey lands in the time of Henry VIII.,[43] all which, by the
marriage contract, were settled on the lady. After this marriage, they
passed some years in retirement, having the wisdom to keep clear of the
political storms and factions which intervened between the death of
Henry VIII. and the accession of Mary, and yet the sense to profit by
them. While Cavendish, taking advantage of those troublous times, went
on adding manor after manor to his vast possessions, dame Elizabeth
was busy providing heirs to inherit them; she became the mother of six
hopeful children, who were destined eventually to found two illustrious
dukedoms, and mingle blood with the oldest nobility of England--nay,
with royalty itself. "Moreover," says the family chronicle, "the said
dame Elizabeth persuaded her husband, out of the great love he had for
her, to sell his estates in the south and purchase lands in her native
county of Derby, wherewith to endow her and her children, and at her
farther persuasion he began to build the noble seat of Chatsworth, but
left it to her to complete, he dying about the year 1559."

Apparently this second experiment in matrimony pleased the lady of
Hardwicke better than the first, for she was not long a widow. We are
not in this case informed how long--her biographer having discreetly
left it to our imagination; and the Peerages, though not in general
famed for discretion on such points, have in this case affected the same
delicate uncertainty. However this may be, she gave her hand, after no
long courtship, to Sir William St. Loo, captain of Elizabeth's guard,
and then chief butler of England--a man equally distinguished for his
fine person and large possessions, but otherwise not superfluously
gifted by nature. So well did the lady manage _him_, that with equal
hardihood and rapacity, she contrived to have all his "fair lordships in
Gloucestershire and elsewhere" settled on herself and her children, to
the manifest injury of St. Loo's own brothers, and his daughters by a
former union: and he dying not long after without any issue by her, she
made good her title to his vast estates, added them to her own, and they
became the inheritance of the Cavendishes.

But three husbands, six children, almost boundless opulence, did not yet
satisfy this extraordinary woman--for extraordinary she certainly was,
not more in the wit, subtlety, and unflinching steadiness of purpose
with which she amassed wealth and achieved power, but in the manner in
which she used both. She ruled her husband, her family, her vassals,
despotically, needing little aid, suffering no interference, asking
no counsel. She managed her immense estates, and the local power and
political weight which her enormous possessions naturally threw into her
hands, with singular capacity and decision. She farmed the lands; she
collected her rents; she built; she planted; she bought and sold; she
lent out money on usury; she traded in timber, coals, lead: in short,
the object she had apparently proposed to herself, the aggrandisement
of her children by all and any means, she pursued with a wonderful
perseverance and good sense. Power so consistently wielded, purposes so
indefatigably followed up, and means so successfully adapted to an end,
are, in a female, very striking. A slight sprinkling of the softer
qualities of her sex, a little more elevation of principle, would have
rendered her as respectable and admirable as she was extraordinary; but
there was in this woman's mind the same "fond de vulgarité" which we
see in the character of Queen Elizabeth, and which no height of rank,
or power, or estate, could do away with. In this respect the lady of
Hardwicke was much inferior to that splendid creature, Anne Clifford,
Countess of Dorset, Pembroke, and Cumberland, another masculine spirit
in the female form, who had the same propensity for building castles and
mansions, the same passion for power and independence, but with more
true generosity and magnanimity, and a touch of poetry and genuine
nobility about her which the other wanted: in short, it was all the
difference between the amazon and the heroine. It is curious enough that
the Duke of Devonshire should be the present representative of both
these remarkable women.

But to return: Bess of Hardwicke was now approaching her fortieth year;
she had achieved all but nobility--the one thing yet wanting to crown
her swelling fortunes. About the year 1565 (I cannot find the exact
date) she was sought in marriage by George Talbot, Earl of Shrewsbury.
There is no reason to doubt what is asserted, that she had captivated
the earl by her wit and her matronly beauty.[44] He could hardly have
married her from motives of interest: he was himself the richest and
greatest subject in England; a fine chivalrous character, with a
reputation as unstained as his rank was splendid, and his descent
illustrious. He had a family by a former wife, (Gertrude Manners,) to
inherit his titles, and _her_ estates were settled on her children by
Cavendish. It should seem, therefore, that mutual inclination alone
could have made the match advantageous to either party; but Bess of
Hardwicke was still Bess of Hardwicke. She took advantage of her power
over her husband in the first days of their union. "She induced
Shrewsbury by entreaties or threats to sacrifice, in a measure,
the fortune, interest, and happiness of himself and family to the
aggrandisement of her and her family."[45] She contrived in the first
place to have a large jointure settled on herself; and she arranged
a double union, by which the wealth and interests of the two great
families should be amalgamated. She stipulated that her eldest daughter,
Mary Cavendish, should marry the earl's son, Lord Talbot; and that his
youngest daughter, Grace Talbot, should marry her eldest son, Henry
Cavendish.

The French have a proverb worthy of their gallantry--"_Ce que femme
veut, Dieu veut_:" but even in the feminine gender we are sometimes
reminded of another proverb equally significant--"_L'homme propose et
Dieu dispose_." Now was Bess of Hardwicke queen of the Peak; she had
built her erie so high, it seemed to dally with the winds of heaven; her
young eaglets were worthy of their dam, ready plumed to fly at fortune;
she had placed the coronet of the oldest peerage in England on her
own brow, she had secured the reversion of it to her daughter, and she
had married a man whose character was indeed opposed to her own, but
who, from his chivalrous and confiding nature was calculated to make her
happy, by leaving her mistress of herself.

In 1568 Mary Stuart, flying into England, was placed in the custody of
the Earl of Shrewsbury, and remained under his care for sixteen years, a
long period of restless misery to the unhappy earl not less than to his
wretched captive. In this dangerous and odious charge was involved the
sacrifice of his domestic happiness, his peace of mind, his health, and
great part of his fortune, His castle was converted into a prison, his
servants into guards, his porter into a turnkey, his wife into a spy,
and himself into a jailor, to gratify the ever-waking jealousy of Queen
Elizabeth.[46] But the earl's greatest misfortune was the estrangement,
and at length enmity, of his violent, high-spirited wife. She beheld the
unhappy Mary with a hatred for which there was little excuse, but many
intelligible reasons: she saw her, not as a captive committed to her
womanly mercy, but as an intruder on her rights. Her haughty spirit
was continually irritated by the presence of one in whom she was forced
to acknowledge a superior, even in that very house and domain where
she herself had been used to reign as absolute queen and mistress. The
enormous expenses which this charge entailed on her household were
distracting to her avarice; and, worse than all, jealousy of the youthful
charms and winning manners of the Queen of Scots, and of the constant
intercourse between her and her husband, seem at length to have driven
her half frantic, and degraded her, with all her wit, and sense, and
spirit, into the despicable treacherous tool of the more artful and
despotic Elizabeth, who knew how to turn the angry and jealous passions
of the countess to her own purposes.

It was not, however, all at once that matters rose to such a height:
the fire smouldered for some time ere it burst forth. There is a letter
preserved among the Shrewsbury Correspondence[47] which the countess
addressed to her husband from Chatsworth, at a time when the earl was
keeping guard over Mary at Sheffield castle. It is a most curious
specimen of character. It treats chiefly of household matters, of the
price and goodness of malt and hops, iron and timber, and reproaches him
for not sending her money which was due to her, adding, "I see out of
sight out of mind with you;" she sarcastically inquires "how his charge
and _love_ doth;" she sends him "some _letyss_ (lettuces) for that he
loves them," (this common sallad herb was then a rare delicacy;) and
she concludes affectionately, "God send my juill helthe." The incipient
jealousy betrayed in this letter soon after broke forth openly with
a degree of violence towards her husband, and malignity towards his
prisoner, which can hardly be believed. There is distinct evidence that
Shrewsbury was not only a trustworthy, but a rigorous jailor; that he
detested the office forced upon him; that he often begged in the most
abject terms to be released from it; and that harassed on every side by
the tormenting jealousy of his wife, the unrelenting severity and
mistrust of Elizabeth, and the complaints of Mary, he was seized with
several fits of illness, and once by a mental attack, or "phrenesie," as
Cecil terms it, brought on by the agitation of his mind; yet the idea of
resigning his office, except at the pleasure of Queen Elizabeth, never
seems to have entered his imagination.

On one occasion Lady Shrewsbury went so far as to accuse her husband
openly of intriguing with his prisoner, in every sense of the word; and
she at the same time abused Mary in terms which John Knox himself could
not have exceeded. Mary, deeply incensed, complained of this outrage:
the earl also appealed to Queen Elizabeth, and the countess and her
daughter, Lady Talbot, were obliged to declare upon oath, that this
accusation was false, scandalous, and malicious, and that they were not
the authors of it. This curious affidavit of the mother and daughter is
preserved in the Record Office.

In a letter to Lord Leicester, Shrewsbury calls his wife "his wicked
and malicious wife," and accuses her and "her imps," as he irreverently
styles the whole brood of Cavendishes, of conspiring to sow dissensions
between him and his eldest son. These disputes being carried to
Elizabeth, she set herself with heartless policy to foment them in every
possible way. She deemed that her safety consisted in employing one part
of the earl's family as spies on the other. In some signal quarrel about
the property round Chatsworth, she commanded the earl to submit to his
wife's pleasure: and though no "tame snake" towards his imperious lady,
as St. Loo and Cavendish had been before him, he bowed at once to the
mandate of his unfeeling sovereign--such was the despotism and such the
loyalty of those days. His reply, however, speaks the bitterness of his
heart. "Sith that her majesty hath set down this hard sentence against
me to my perpetual infamy and dishonour, that I should be ruled and
overrunne by my wife, so bad and wicked a woman; yet her majesty shall
see that I will obey her majesty's commandment, though no curse or
plague on the earth could be more grievous to me." * * "It is too much,"
he adds, "to be made my wife's pensioner." Poor Lord Shrewsbury! Can one
help pitying him?

Not the least curious part of this family history is the double dealing
of the imperious countess. While employed as a spy on Mary, whom she
detested, she, from the natural fearlessness and frankness of her
temper, not unfrequently betrayed Elizabeth, whom she also detested.
While in attendance on Mary, she often gratified her own satirical
humour, and amused her prisoner by giving her a coarse and bitter
portraiture of Elizabeth, her court, her favourites, her miserable
temper, her vanity, and her personal defects. Some report of these
conversations soon reached the queen, (who is very significantly drawn
in one of her portraits in a dress embroidered over with eyes and ears,)
and she required from Mary an account of whatever Lady Shrewsbury had
said to her prejudice. Mary, hating equally the rival who oppressed her
and the domestic harpy who daily persecuted her, was nothing loath to
indulge her feminine spite against the two, and sent Elizabeth such a
circumstantial list of the most gross and hateful imputations, (all
the time politely assuring her good sister that she did not believe a
word of them,) that the rage and mortification of the queen must have
exceeded all bounds.[48] She kept the letter secret; but Lady Shrewsbury
never was suffered to appear at court after the death of Mary had
rendered her services superfluous.

Through all these scenes, the Lady of Hardwicke still pursued her
settled purpose. Her husband complained that he was "never quiet to
satisfy her greedie appetite for money for purchases to set up her
children." Her ambition was equally insatiate, and generally successful:
but in one memorable instance she overshot her mark. She contrived
(unknown to her lord) to marry her favourite daughter, Elizabeth
Cavendish, to Lord Lennox, the younger brother of the murdered Darnley,
and consequently standing in the same degree of relationship to the
crown. Queen Elizabeth, in the extremity of her rage and consternation,
ordered both the dowager Lady Lennox and Lady Shrewsbury to the Tower,
where the latter remained for some months; we may suppose, to the great
relief of her husband. He used, however, all his interest to excuse her
delinquency, and at length procured her liberation. But this was not
all. Elizabeth Cavendish, the young Lady Lennox, while yet in all her
bridal bloom, died in the arms of her mother, who appears to have
suffered that searing, lasting grief which stern hearts sometimes feel.
The only issue of this marriage was an infant daughter, that unhappy
Arabella Stuart, who was one of the most memorable victims of jealous
tyranny which our history has recorded. Her very existence, from her
near relationship to the throne, was a crime in the eyes of Elizabeth
and James I. There is no evidence that Lady Shrewsbury indulged in any
ambitious schemes for this favourite granddaughter, "her dear jewel,
Arbell," as she terms her;[49] but she did not hesitate to enforce her
claims to royal blood by requiring 600_l._ a year from the treasury
for her board and education as became the queen's kinswoman. Elizabeth
allowed her 200_l._ a year, and this pittance Lady Shrewsbury accepted.
Her rent-roll was at this time 60,000_l._ a year, equal to at least
200,000_l._ at the present day.

The Earl of Shrewsbury died in 1590, at enmity to the last moment
with his wife and son; and the Lady of Hardwicke having survived four
husbands, and seeing all her children settled and prosperous, still
absolute mistress over her family, resided during the last seventeen
years of her life in great state and plenty at Hardwicke, her birth
place. Here she superintended the education of Arabella Stuart, who,
as she grew up to womanhood, was kept by her grandmother in a state
of seclusion, amounting almost to imprisonment, lest the jealousy of
Elizabeth should rob her of her treasure.[50]

Next to the love of money and power, the chief passion of this magnificent
old beldam, was building. It is a family tradition, that some prophet
had foretold that she should never die as long as she was building, and
she died at last, in 1607, during a hard frost, when her labourers were
obliged to suspend their work. She built Chatsworth, Oldcotes, and
Hardwicke; and Fuller adds in his quaint style that she left "two sacred
(besides civil) monuments of her memory; one that I hope will not be
taken away, (her splendid tomb, erected by herself,[51]) and one that
I am sure cannot be taken away, being registered in the court of heaven,
viz. her stately almshouses for twelve poor people at Derby."

Of Chatsworth, the hereditary palace of the Dukes of Devonshire, all its
luxurious grandeur, all its treasures of art, it is not here "my hint
to speak." It has been entirely rebuilt since the days of its founder.
Oldcotes was once a magnificent place. There is a tradition at Hardwicke
that old Bess, being provoked by a splendid mansion which the Suttons
had lately erected within view of her windows, declared she would build
a finer dwelling for the owlets, (hence Owlcots or Oldcotes.) She kept
her word, more truly perhaps than she intended, for Oldcotes has since
become literally a dwelling for the owls; the chief part of it is in
ruins, and the rest converted into a farmhouse. Her younger daughter,
Frances Cavendish, married Sir Henry Pierrepoint, of Holme-Pierpoint,
and one of the granddaughters married another Pierrepoint--through one
of these marriages, but I know not which, Oldcotes has descended to the
present Earl Manvers.

The mansion of Hardwicke was commenced about the year 1592, and finished
in 1597. It stands about a stone's throw from the old house in which
the old countess was born, and which she left standing, as if, says her
biographer, she intended to construct her bed of state close by her
cradle. This fine old ruin remains, grey, shattered, and open to all the
winds of heaven, almost overgrown with ivy, and threatening to tumble
about the ears of the bats and owls which are its sole inhabitants.
One majestic room remains entire. It is called the "Giant's Chamber"
from two colossal figures in Roman armour which stand over the huge
chimney-piece. This room has long been considered by architects as a
perfect specimen of grand and beautiful proportion, and has been copied
at Chatsworth and at Blenheim.[52]

It must have been in this old hall, and not in the present edifice, that
Mary Stuart resided during her short stay at Hardwicke. I am sorry to
disturb the fanciful or sentimental tourists and sight-seers; but so it
is, or rather, so it must have been. Yet it is not surprising that the
memory of Mary Stuart should now form the principal charm and interest
of Hardwicke, and that she should be in a manner the tutelary genius of
the place. Chatsworth has been burned and rebuilt. Tutbury, Sheffield
castle, Wingfield, Fotheringay, and the old house of Hardwicke, in short,
every place which Mary inhabited during her captivity, all lie in ruins,
as if struck with a doleful curse. But Hardwicke Hall exists just as
it stood in the reign of Elizabeth. The present Duke of Devonshire,
with excellent taste and feeling, keeps up the old costume within and
without. The bed and furniture which had been used by Mary, the cushions
of her oratory, the tapestry wrought by her own hands, have been removed
hither, and are carefully preserved. There can be no doubt of the
authenticity of these relics, and there is enough surely to consecrate
the whole to our imagination. Moreover, we have but to go to the window
and see the very spot, the very walls which once enclosed her, the very
casements from which she probably gazed with a sigh over the far hills;
and indulge, without one intrusive doubt, in all the romantic and
fascinating, and mysterious, and sorrowful associations, which hang
round the memory of Mary Stuart.

With what different eyes may people view the same things! "We receive
but what we give," says the poet; and all the light, and glory, and
beauty, with which certain objects are in a manner _suffused_ to the eye
of fancy, must issue from our own souls, and be reflected back to us,
else 'tis all in vain.

  "We may not hope from outward forms to win,
  The passion and the life, whose fountains are within!"


When Gray, the poet, visited Hardwicke, he fell at once into a very
poet-like rapture, and did not stop to criticise pictures, and question
authorities. He says in one of his letters to Dr. Wharton, "of all the
places I have seen in my return from you, Hardwicke pleased me most. One
would think that Mary queen of Scotts was but just walked down into the
park with her guard for half an hour: her gallery, her room of audience,
her ante-chamber, with the very canopies, chair of state, footstool,
_lit de repos_, oratory, carpets, hangings, just as she left them, a
little tattered indeed, but the more venerable," &c. &c.

Now let us hear Horace Walpole, antiquarian, virtuoso, dilettante,
filosofastro--but, in truth, no poet. He is, however, in general so
good-natured, so amusing, and so tasteful, that I cannot conceive what
put him into such a Smelfungus humour when he visited Hardwicke, with
a Cavendish too at his elbow as his cicerone!

He says, "the duke sent Lord John with me to Hardwicke, where I was
again disappointed; but I will not take relations from others; they
either don't see for themselves, or can't see for me. How I had been
promised that I should be charmed with Hardwicke, and told that the
Devonshires ought to have established themselves there! Never was I less
charmed in my life. The house is not gothic, but of that _betweenity_
that intervened when Gothic declined, and Palladian was creeping in;
rather, this is totally naked of either. It has vast chambers--aye,
vast, such as the nobility of that time delighted in, and did not
know how to furnish. The great apartment is exactly what it was
when the Queen of Scots was kept there.[53] Her council-chamber (the
council-chamber of a poor woman who had only two secretaries, a
gentleman usher, an apothecary, a confessor, and three maids) is so
outrageously spacious that you would take it for King David's, who
thought, contrary to all modern experience, that in the multitude of
counsellors there is wisdom. At the upper end is the State, with a
long table, covered with a sumptuous cloth, embroidered and embossed
with gold--at least what was gold; so are all the tables. Round the
top of the chamber runs a monstrous frieze, ten or twelve feet deep,
representing a stag-hunt in miserable plastered relief.[54]

"The next is her dressing-room, hung with patchwork on black velvet;
then her state bed-chamber. The bed has been rich beyond description,
and now hangs in costly golden tatters; the hangings, part of which they
say her majesty worked, are composed of figures as large as life, sewed
and embroidered on black velvet, white satin, &c., and represent the
virtues that were necessary to her, or that she was found to have--as
patience, temperance,[55] &c. The fire-screens are particular;--pieces
of yellow velvet, fringed with gold, hung on a cross-bar of wood, which
is fixed on the top of a single stick that rises from the foot.[56] The
only furniture which has any appearance of taste are the table and
cabinets, which are of oak, richly carved."

(I must observe _en passant_, that I wonder Horace did not go mad about
the chairs, which are exactly in the Strawberry Hill taste, only infinitely
finer, crimson velvet, with backs six feet high, and sumptuously carved.)

"There is a private chamber within, where she lay: her arms and style
over the door. The arras hangs over all the doors. The gallery is sixty
yards in length, covered with bad tapestry and wretched pictures of Mary
herself, Elizabeth in a gown of sea-monsters, Lord Darnley, James the
Fifth and his queen, (curious,) and a whole history of kings of England
not worth sixpence a-piece."[57]

"There is a fine bank of old oaks in the park over a lake: nothing else
pleased me there."

Nothing else! Monsieur Traveller?--certes, this is one way of seeing
things! Yet, perhaps, if I had only visited Hardwicke as a casual object
of curiosity--had merely walked over the place--I had left it, like
Gray, with some vague impression of pleasure, or like Walpole, with some
flippant criticisms, according to the mood of the moment; or, at the
most, I had quitted it as we generally leave show-places, with some
confused recollections of state-rooms, and blue-rooms, and yellow-rooms,
and storied tapestries, and nameless, or mis-named pictures, floating
through the muddled brain; but it was far otherwise: I was ten days at
Hardwicke--ten delightful days--time enough to get it by heart; aye,
and what is more, ten _nights_; and I am convinced that to feel all the
interest of such a place one should sleep in it. There is much, too,
in first impressions, and the circumstances under which we approached
Hardwicke were sufficiently striking. It was on a gusty, dark autumnal
evening; and as our carriage wound slowly up the hill, we could but
just discern an isolated building, standing above us on the edge of the
eminence, a black mass against the darkening sky. No light was to be
seen, and when we drove clattering under the old gateway, and up the
paved court, the hollow echoes broke a silence which was almost awful.
Then we were ushered into a hall so spacious and lofty that I could
not at the moment discern its bounds; but I had glimpses of huge
escutcheons, and antlers of deer, and great carved human arms projecting
from the walls, intended to sustain lamps or torches, but looking as
if they were stretched out to clutch one. Thence up a stone staircase,
vast, and grand, and gloomy--leading we knew not where, and hung with
pictures of we knew not what--and conducted into a chamber fitted up
as a dining-room, in which the remnants of antique grandeur, the rich
carved oak wainscoting, the tapestry above it, the embroidered chairs,
the collossal armorial bearings above the chimney and the huge recessed
windows, formed a curious contrast with the comfortable modern sofas and
easy chairs, the blazing fire, and table hospitably spread in expectation
of our arrival. Then I was sent to repose in a room hung with rich faded
tapestry. On one side of my bed I had king David dancing before the ark,
and on the other, the judgment of Solomon. The executioner in the latter
piece, a grisly giant, seven or eight feet high, seemed to me, as the
arras stirred with the wind, to wave his sword, and looked as if he were
going to eat up the poor child, which he flourished by one leg; and for
some time I lay awake, unable to take my eyes from the figure. At length
fatigue overcame this unpleasant fascination, and I fell asleep.

The next morning I began to ramble about, and so day after day, till
every stately chamber, every haunted nook, every secret door, curtained
with heavy arras, and every winding stair, became familiar to me. What
a passion our ancestors must have had for space and light! and what an
ignorance of comfort! Here are no ottomans of eider down, no spring
cushions, no "boudoirs etroits, où l'on ne boude point," no "demijour
de rendezvous;" but what vast chambers! what interminable galleries!
what huge windows pouring in floods of sunshine! what great carved
oak-chests, such as Iachimo hid himself in! now stuffed full of rich
tattered hangings, tarnished gold fringes, and remnants of embroidered
quilts! what acres--not yards--of tapestries, once of "sky-tinctured
woof," now faded and moth-eaten! what massy chairs and immovable tables!
what heaps of portraits, the men looking so grim and magnificent, and
the women so formal and faded! Before I left the place I had them all by
heart; there was not one among them who would not have bowed or curtsied
to me out of their frames.

But there were three rooms in which I especially delighted, and passed
most of my time. The first was the council-chamber described by Walpole:
it is sixty-five feet in length, by thirty-three in width, and
twenty-six feet high. Rich tapestry, representing the story of Ulysses,
runs round the room to the height of fifteen or sixteen feet, and above
it the stag-hunt in ugly relief. On one side of this room there is a
spacious recess, at least eighteen or twenty feet square; and across
this, from side to side, to divide it from the body of the room, was
suspended a magnificent piece of tapestry, (real Gobelin's,) of the time
of Louis Quatorze, still fresh and even vivid in tint, which from its
weight hung in immense wavy folds; above it we could just discern the
canopy of a lofty state-bed, with nodding ostrich plumes, which had been
placed there out of the way. The effect of the whole, as I have seen
it, when the red western light streamed through the enormous windows,
was, in its shadowy beauty and depth of colour, that of a "realized
Rembrandt"--if, indeed, even Rembrandt ever painted any thing at once
so elegant, so fanciful, so gorgeous, and so gloomy.

From this chamber, by a folding-door, beautifully inlaid with ebony,
but opening with a common latch, we pass into the library, as it is
called. Here the Duke of Devonshire generally sits when he visits
Hardwicke, perhaps on account of the glorious prospect from the windows.
It contains a grand piano, a sofa, and a range of book-shelves, on
which I found some curious old books. Here I used to sit and read
the voluminous works of that dear, half-mad, absurd, but clever and
good-natured Duchess of Newcastle,[58] and yawn and laugh alternately;
or pore over Guillim on Heraldry;--fit studies for the place!

In this room are some good pictures, particularly the portrait of Lady
Anne Boyle, daughter of the first Earl of Burlington, the Lady Sandwich
of Charles the Second's time. This is, without exception, the finest
specimen of Sir Peter Lely I ever saw--so unlike the usual style of his
half-dressed, leering women--so full of pensive grace and simplicity--the
hands and arms so exquisitely drawn, and the colouring so rich and so
tender, that I was at once surprised and enchanted. There is also a
remarkably fine picture of a youth with a monkey on his shoulder, said
to be Jeffrey Hudson, (Queen Henrietta's celebrated dwarf,) and painted
by Vandyke. I doubt both.

Over the chimney of this room there is a piece of sculptured bas-relief,
in Derbyshire marble, representing Mount Parnassus, with Apollo and the
Muses; in one corner the arms of Queen Elizabeth, and in the other her
cypher, E. R., and the royal crown. I could neither learn the meaning
of this nor the name of the artist. Could it have been a gift from
Queen Elizabeth? There is (I think in the next room) another piece of
sculpture representing the Marriage of Tobias; and I remember a third,
representing a group of Charity. The workmanship of all these is
surprisingly good for the time, and some of the figures very graceful.
I am surprised that they escaped the notice of Horace Walpole, in his
remarks on the decorations of Hardwicke.[59] Richard Stephens, a Flemish
sculptor and painter, and Valerio Vicentino, an Italian carver in
precious stones, were both employed by the munificent Cavendishes of
that time; and these pieces of sculpture were probably the work of one
of these artists.

When tired of turning over the old books, a door concealed behind the
arras admitted me at once into the great gallery--my favourite haunt
and daily promenade. It is near one hundred and eighty feet in length,
lighted along one side by a range of stupendous windows, which project
outwards from so many angular recesses. In the centre pier is a throne,
or couch of state, on a raised platform, under a canopy of crimson and
gold, surmounted by plumes of ostrich feathers. The walls are partly
tapestried, and covered with some hundreds of family pictures; none
indeed of any superlative merit--none that emulate within a thousand
degrees the matchless Vandykes and glorious Titians of Devonshire House;
but among many that are positively bad, and more that are lamentably
mediocre as works of art, there are several of great interest. At each
end of this gallery is a door, and, according to the tradition of the
place, every night, at the witching hour of twelve, Queen Elizabeth
enters at one door, and Mary of Scotland at the other; they advance to
the centre, curtsey profoundly, then sit down together under the canopy
and converse amicably,--till the crowing of the cock breaks up the
conference, and sends the two majesties back to their respective
hiding-places.

Somebody who was asked if he had ever seen a ghost? replied, gravely,
"No; but I was once _very near_ seeing one!" In the same manner I was
once _very near_ being a witness to one of these ghostly confabs.

Late one evening, having left my sketch-book in the gallery, I went to
seek it. I made my way up the great stone staircase with considerable
intrepidity, passed through one end of the council-chamber without
casting a glance through the palpable obscure, the feeble ray of my
wax-light just spreading about a yard around me, and lifting aside the
tapestry door, stepped into the gallery. Just as the heavy arras fell
behind me, with a dull echoing sound, a sudden gust of wind came rushing
by, and extinguished my taper. Angels and ministers of grace defend
us!--not that I felt afraid--O no! but just a little what the Scotch
call "eerie." A thrill, not altogether unpleasant, came over me: the
visionary turn of mind which once united me in fancy "with the world
unseen," had long been sobered and reasoned away. I heard no "viewless
paces of the dead," nor "airy skirts unseen that rustled by;" but what I
did see and hear was enough. The wind whispering and moaning along the
tapestried walls, and every now and then rattling twenty or thirty
windows at once, with such a crash!--and the pictures around just
sufficiently perceptible in the faint light to make me fancy them
staring at me. Then immediately behind me was the very recess, or rather
abyss, where Queen Elizabeth was at that moment settling her
farthingale, to sally out upon me; and before me, but lost in blackest
gloom, the spectral door, where Mary--not that I should have minded
encountering poor Mary, provided always that she had worn her own
beautiful head where heaven placed it, and not carried it, as Bertrand
de Born carried _his_ "a guisa di lanterna."[60] As to what followed, it
is a secret. Suffice it that I found myself safe by the fireside in my
bedroom, without any very distinct recollection of how I got there.

Of all the scenes in which to moralize and meditate, a picture gallery
is to me the most impressive. With the most intense feeling of the
beauty of painting, I cannot help thinking with Dr. Johnson, that as
far as regards portraits, their chief excellence and value consist
in the likeness and the authenticity,[61] and not in the merit of the
execution. When we can associate a story or a sentiment with every face
and form, they almost live to us--they do in a manner speak to us. There
is speculation in those fixed eyes--there is eloquence in those mute
lips--and, O! what tales they tell! One of the first pictures which
caught my attention as I entered the gallery was a small head of Arabella
Stuart, when an infant. The painting is poor enough: it is a little
round rosy face in a child's cap, and she holds an embroidered doll in
her hand. Who could look on this picture, and not glance forward through
succeeding years, and see the pretty playful infant transformed into the
impassioned woman, writing to her husband--"In sickness, and in despair,
wheresoever thou art, or howsoever I be, it sufficeth me always that
thou art mine!" Arabella Stewart was not clever; but not Heloise, nor
Corinne, nor Madlle. De l'Espinasse ever penned such a dear little
morsel of touching eloquence--so full of all a woman's tenderness! Her
stern grandmother, the lady and foundress of Hardwicke, hangs near.
There are three pictures of her: all the faces have an expression of
sense and acuteness, but none of them the beauty which is attributed to
her. There are also two of her husbands, Cavendish and Shrewsbury. The
former a grave, intelligent head; the latter very striking from
the lofty furrowed brow, the ample beard, and regular but care-worn
features. A little farther on we find his son Gilbert, seventh earl of
Shrewsbury, and Mary Cavendish, wife of the latter and daughter of Bess
of Hardwicke. She resembled her mother in features as in character.
The expression is determined, intelligent, and rather cunning. Of her
haughty and almost fierce temper, a curious instance is recorded. She
had quarrelled with her neighbours, the Stanhopes, and not being able
to defy them with sword and buckler, she sent one of her gentlemen,
properly attended, with a message to Sir Thomas Stanhope, to be
delivered in presence of witnesses, in these words--"My lady hath
commanded me to say thus much to you: that though you be more wretched,
vile, and miserable than any creature living, and for your wickedness
become more ugly in shape than the vilest toad in the world; and one to
whom none of any reputation would vouchsafe to send any message; yet
she hath thought good to send thus much to you, that she be contented
you should live, (and doth noways wish your death,) but to this end:
that all the plagues and miseries that may befall any man, may light on
such a caitiff as you are," &c.; (and then a few anathemas, yet more
energetic, not fit to be transcribed by "pen polite," but ending with
_hell-fire_.) "With many other opprobrious and hateful words which could
not be remembered, because the bearer would deliver it but once, as he
said he was commanded; but said, if he had failed in any thing, it was
in speaking it more mildly, and not in terms of such disdain as he was
commanded." We are not told whether the gallantry of Stanhope suffered
him to throw the herald out of the window, who brought him this gentle
missive. As for the termagant countess, his adversary, she was afterwards
imprisoned in the Tower for upwards of two years, on account of Lady
Arabella Stuart's stolen match with Lord Seymour. She ought assuredly to
have "brought forth men-children only;" but she left no son. Her three
daughters married the earls of Pembroke, of Arundel, and of Kent.

The portraits of James V. of Scotland and his Queen, Mary of Guise, are
extremely curious. There is something ideal and elegant about the head
of James V.--the look we might expect to find in a man who died from
wounded feeling. His more unhappy daughter, poor Mary, hangs near--a
full length in a mourning habit, with a white cap, (of her own peculiar
fashion,) and a veil of white gauze. This, I believe, is the celebrated
picture so often copied and engraved. It is dated 1578, the thirty-sixth
of her age, and the tenth of her captivity. The figure is elegant, and
the face pensive and sweet.[62] Beside her, in strong contrast, hangs
Elizabeth, in a most preposterous farthingale, and a superabundance
of all her usual absurdities and enormities of dress. The petticoat is
embroidered over with snakes, crocodiles, and all manner of creeping
things. We feel almost inclined to ask whether the artist could possibly
have intended them as emblems, like the eyes and ears in her picture
at Hatfield; but it may have been one of the three thousand gowns,
in which Spenser's Gloriana, Raleigh's Venus, loved to array her old
wrinkled, crooked carcase. Katherine of Arragon is here--a small head
in a hood: the face not only harsh, as in all her pictures, but vulgar,
a characteristic I never saw in any other. There is that peculiar
expression round the mouth, which might be called either decision or
obstinacy. And here too is the famous Lucy Harrington, Countess of
Bedford, the friend and patroness of Ben Jonson, looking sentimental in
a widow's dress, with a white pocket handkerchief. There is character
enough in the countenance to make us turn with pleasure to Ben Jonson's
exquisite eulogium on her.

  "I meant she should be courteous, facile, sweet,
    Hating that solemn vice of greatness, _pride_:
  I meant each softest virtue there should meet,
    Fit in that softer bosom to reside.
  Only a learned and a manly soul
    I purposed her; that should with even powers
  The rock, the spindle, and the sheers controul
    Of destiny, and spin her own free hours!"


Farther on is another more celebrated woman, Christian Bruce, the second
Countess of Devonshire, so distinguished in the reigns of Charles I.
and Charles II. She had all the good qualities of Bess of Hardwicke:
her sense, her firmness, her talents for business, her magnificent and
independent spirit, and none of her faults. She was as feminine as she
was generous and high-minded; fond of literature, and a patroness of
poets and learned men:--altogether a noble creature. She was the mother
of that lovely Lady Rich, "the wise, the fair, the virtuous, and the
young,"[63] whose picture by Vandyke is at Devonshire-house, and there
are two pictures at Hardwicke of her handsome, gallant, and accomplished
son, Charles Cavendish, who was killed at the battle of Gainsborough.
Many fair eyes almost wept themselves blind for his loss, and his mother
never recovered the "sore heart-break of his death."

There are several pictures of her grandson, the first Duke of
Devonshire--the patriot, the statesman, the munificent patron of letters,
the poet, the man of gallantry, and, to crown all, the handsomest man of
his day. He was one of the leaders in the revolution of 1688--for be it
remembered that the Cavendishes, from generation to generation, have
ennobled their nobility by their love of liberty, as well as their love
of literature and the arts. One picture of this duke on horseback, _en
grand costume à la Louis Quatorze_, is so embroidered and bewigged, so
plumed, and booted, and spurred, that he is scarcely to be discerned
through his accoutrements. A cavalier of those days in full dress must
have been a ponderous concern; but then the ladies were as formidably
vast and aspiring. The petticoats at this time were so discursive, and
the head-dresses so ambitious, that I think it must have been to save
in canvass what they expended in satin or brocade, that so many of the
pretty women of that day were painted _en bergère_.

Apropos to the first Duke of Devonshire: I cannot help remarking the
resemblance of the present duke to his illustrious ancestor, as well
as to several other portraits, and particularly to a very distant
relative--the first Countess of Burlington, who was, I believe, the
great-grandmother of his grace's grandmother;--in both these instances
the likeness is so striking as to be recognized at once, and not without
a smiling exclamation of surprise.

Another interesting picture is that of Rachael Russell, the second
Duchess of Devonshire, daughter of that heroine and saint, Lady Russell:
the face is very beautiful, and the air elegant and high-bred--with
rather a pouting expression in the full red lips.

Here is also the third duchess, Miss Hoskins, a great city heiress.
The painter, I suspect, has flattered her, for she had not in her day
the reputation of beauty. When I looked at this picture, so full of
delicate, and youthful, and smiling loveliness, I could not help
recurring to a passage in Horace Walpole's letters, in which he alludes
to this sylph-like being, as the "ancient grace," and congratulates
himself on finding her in good-humour.

But of all the female portraits, the one which struck me most was that
of Lady Charlotte Boyle, the young Marchioness of Hartington, in a
masquerade habit of purple satin, embroidered with silver; a fanciful
little cap and feathers, thrown on one side, and the dark hair escaping
in luxuriant tresses; she holds a mask in her hand, which she has just
taken off, and looks round upon us in all the consciousness of happy and
high-born loveliness. She was the daughter and heiress of Richard Boyle,
the last Earl of Burlington and Cork, and Baroness Clifford in her own
right. The merits of the Cavendishes were their own, but their riches
and power, in several instances, were brought into the family by a
softer influence. Through her, I believe, the vast estates of the Boyles
and Cliffords in Ireland and the north of England, including Chiswick
and Bolton Abbey, have descended to her grandson, the present duke.[64]
There are several pictures of her here--one playing on the harpsichord,
and another, small and very elegant, in which she is mounted on a
spirited horse. There are two heads of her in crayons, by her mother,
Lady Burlington,[65] ill-executed, but said to be like her. And another
picture, representing her and her beautiful but ill-fated sister, Lady
Dorothy, who was married very young to Lord Euston, and died six months
afterwards, in consequence of the brutal treatment of her husband.[66]
All the pictures of Lady Hartington have the same marked character of
pride, intellect, vivacity, and loveliness. But short was her gay and
splendid career! She died of a decline in the sixth year of her marriage,
at the age of four-and-twenty.

Here is also her father, Lord Burlington, celebrated by Pope, (who has
dedicated to him the second of his epistles "on the use of riches,")
and styled by Walpole, "the Apollo of the Arts," which he not only
patronised, but studied and cultivated; his enthusiasm for architecture
was such, that he not only designed and executed buildings for himself,
(the villa at Chiswick, for example,) but contributed great sums to
public works; and at his own expense published an edition of the designs
of Palladio and of Inigo Jones. In one picture of Lord Burlington
there is a head of his idol, Inigo Jones, in the background. There is
also a good picture of Robert Boyle, the philosopher, a spare, acute,
contemplative, interesting face, in which there is as much sensibility
as thought. He is said to have died of grief for the loss of his
favourite sister, Lady Ranelagh; and when we recollect who and what
_she_ was--the sole friend of his solitary heart--the partner of his
studies, and with qualities which rendered her the object of Milton's
enthusiastic admiration, and almost tender regard, we scarce think less
of her brother's philosophy, that it afforded him no consolation for the
loss of _such_ a sister.

On the other side hangs another philosopher, Thomas Hobbes, of Malmsbury,
whose bold speculations in politics and metaphysics, and the odium
they drew on him, rendered his whole life one continued warfare with
established prejudices and opinions. He was tutor in the family of the
first Earl of Devonshire, in 1607--remained constantly attached to the
house of Cavendish--and never lost their countenance and patronage in
the midst of all the calumnies heaped upon him. He died at Hardwicke
under the protection of the first Duke of Devonshire, in 1678. This
curious portrait represents him at the age of ninety-two. The picture
is not good as a picture, but striking from the evident truth of the
expression--uniting the last lingering gleam of thought with the
withered, wrinkled, and almost ghastly decrepitude of extreme age.
It has, I believe, been engraved by Hollar.

I looked round for Henry Cavendish, the great chemist and natural
philosopher--another bright ornament of a family every way ennobled--but
there is no portrait of him at Hardwicke. I was also disappointed not to
find the "limned effigy," as she would call it, of my dear Margaret of
Newcastle.

There are plenty of kings and queens, truly not worth "sixpence
a-piece," as Walpole observes; but there is one picture I must not
forget--that of the brave and accomplished Earl of Derby, who was
beheaded at Bolton-le-Moor, the husband of the heroic "Lady of Lathom,"
who figures in Peveril of the Peak. The head has a grand melancholy
expression, and I should suppose it to be a copy from Vandyke.

Besides these, were many others calculated to awaken in the thoughtful
mind both sweet and bitter fancies. How often have I walked up and down
this noble gallery lost in "commiserating reveries" on the vicissitudes of
departed grandeur!--on the nothingness of all that life could give!--on
the fate of youthful beauties who lived to be broken-hearted, grow old,
and die!--on heroes that once walked the earth in the blaze of their
fame, now gone down to dust, and an endless darkness!--on bright faces,
"petries de lis et de roses," since time-wrinkled!--on noble forms since
mangled in the battle-field!--on high-born heads that fell beneath the
axe of the executioner!--O ye starred and ribboned! ye jewelled and
embroidered! ye wise, rich, great, noble, brave, and beautiful, of all
your loves and smiles, your graces and excellencies, your deeds and
honours--does then a "painted board circumscribe all?"



ALTHORPE.

A FRAGMENT.


It was on such a day as I have seen in Italy in the month of December,
but which, in our chill climate, seemed so unseasonably, so ominously
beautiful, that it was like the hectic loveliness brightening the eyes
and flushing the cheek of consumption,--that I found myself in the
domains of Althorpe. Autumn, dying in the lap of Winter, looked out with
one bright parting smile;--the soft air breathed of Summer; the withered
leaves, heaped on the path, told a different tale. The slant, pale sun
shone out with all heaven to himself; not a cloud was there, not a breeze
to stir the leafless woods--those venerable woods, which Evelyn loved
and commemorated:[67] the fine majestic old oaks, scattered over the
park, tossed their huge bare arms against the blue sky; a thin hoar
frost, dissolving as the sun rose higher, left the lawns and hills
sparkling and glancing in its ray; now and then a hare raced across the
open glade--

  "And with her feet she from the plashy earth
  Raises a mist, which glittering in the sun,
  Runs with her all the way, wherever she doth run."


Nothing disturbed the serene stillness except a pheasant whirring from a
neighbouring thicket, or at intervals the belling of the deer--a sound
so peculiar, and so fitted to the scene, that I sympathized in the
taste of one of the noble progenitors of the Spencers, who had built
a hunting-lodge in a sequestered spot, that he might hear "the harte
bell."

This was a day, an hour, a scene, with all its associations, its
quietness and beauty, "felt in the blood, and felt along the heart."
All worldly cares and pains were laid asleep; while memory, fancy, and
feeling waked. Althorpe does not frown upon us in the gloom of remote
antiquity; it has not the warlike glories of some of the baronial
residences of our old nobility; it is not built like a watch-tower
on a hill, to lord it over feudal vassals; it is not bristled with
battlements and turrets. It stands in a valley, with the gradual hills
undulating round it, clothed with rich woods. It has altogether a look
of compactness and comfort, without pretension, which, with the pastoral
beauty of the landscape, and low situation, recall the ancient vocation
of the family, whose grandeur was first founded, like that of the
patriarchs of old, on the multitude of their flocks and herds.[68] It
was in the reign of Henry the Eighth that Althorpe became the principal
seat of the Spencers, and no place of the same date can boast so many
delightful, romantic, and historical associations. There is Spenser the
poet, "high-priest of all the Muses' mysteries," who modestly claimed,
as an honour, his relationship to those Spencers who now, with a just
pride, boast of _him_, and deem his Faery Queen "the brightest jewel in
their coronet;" and the beautiful Alice Spencer, countess of Derby, who
was celebrated in early youth by her poet-cousin, and for whom Milton,
in her old age, wrote his "Arcades." At Althorpe, in 1603, the queen and
son of James the First were, on their arrival in England, nobly
entertained with a masque, written for the occasion by Ben Jonson, in
which the young ladies and nobles of the country enacted nymphs and
fairies, satyrs and hunters, and danced to the sound of "excellent soft
music," their scenery the natural woods, their stage the green lawn,
their canopy the summer sky. What poetical picturesque hospitality!
In these days it would have been a dinner, with French cooks and
confectioners express from London to dress it. Here lived Waller's
famous Sacharissa, the first Lady Sunderland--so beautiful and good,
so interesting in herself, she needed not his wit nor his poetry to
enshrine her. Here she parted from her young husband,[69] when he left
her to join the king in the field; and here, a few months after, she
received the news of his death in the battle of Newbury, and saw her
happiness wrecked at the age of three-and-twenty. Here plotted her
distinguished son, that Proteus of politics, the second Lord Sunderland.
Charles the First was playing at bowls on the green at Althorpe, when
Colonel Joyce's detachment surprised him, and carried him off to
imprisonment and to death. Here the excellent and accomplished Evelyn
used to meditate in the "noble gallerie," and in the "ample gardens," of
which he has left us an admiring and admirable description, which would
be as suitable today as it was a hundred and fifty years ago, with the
single exception of the great proprietor, deservedly far more honoured
in this generation than was his apostate time-serving ancestor, the
Lord Sunderland of Evelyn's day.[70] When the Spencers were divided,
the eldest branch of the family becoming Dukes of Marlborough and the
youngest Earls Spencer--if the former inherited glory, Blenheim, and
poverty--to the latter have belonged more true and more substantial
distinctions: for the last three generations the Spencers have been
remarked for talents, for benevolence, for constancy, for love of
literature, and patronage of the fine arts.

The house retains the form described by Evelyn--that of a half H:
a slight irregularity is caused by the new gothic room, built by
the present earl, to contain part of his magnificent library, which,
like the statue in the Castle of Otranto, had grown "too big for what
contained it." We entered by a central door the large and lofty hall, or
vestibule, hung round with pictures of fox-chases and those who figured
in them, famous hunters, quadruped and biped, all as large as life,
spread over as much canvass as would make a mainsail for a man-of-war.
These huge perpetrations are of the time of Jack Spencer, a noted Nimrod
in his day; and are very fine, as we were told, but they did not
interest me. I had caught a glimpse of the superb staircase, hung round
with pictures above and below, and not the less interesting as having
been erected by Sacharissa herself during the few years she was mistress
of Althorpe. A face looked at us from over an opposite door, which there
was no resisting. Does the reader remember Horace Walpole's pleasant
description of a party of _seers_ posting through the apartments of a
show-place? "They come; ask what such a room is called?--write it down;
admire a lobster or cabbage in a Dutch market piece; dispute whether the
last room was green or purple; and then hurry to the inn, for fear the
fish should be over-dressed."[71] We were not such a party; but with
imaginations ready primed to take fire, and memories enriched with all
the associations the place could suggest, to us every portrait was a
history. The orthodox style of seeing the house is to turn to the left,
and view the ground-floor apartments first; but the face I have mentioned
seemed to beckon me straight-forward, and I could not choose but obey
the invitation: it was that of Lady Bridgewater, the loveliest of the
four lovely daughters of the Duke of Marlborough: she had the misfortune
to be painted by Jervas, and the good fortune to be celebrated by Pope
as the "tender sister, daughter, friend, and wife;" and again--

  "Thence Beauty, waking, all her forms supplies--
  An angel's sweetness--or Bridgewater's eyes."


Jervas was supposed to have been presumptuously and desperately in love
with this beautiful woman, who died at the age of five-and-twenty: hence
Pope has taken the liberty--by a poetical licence, no doubt--to call
her, in his Epistle to Jervas, "_thy_ Bridgewater." Two of her fair
sisters, the Duchess of Montagu and Lady Godolphin, hung near her; and
above, her fairer sister, Lady Sunderland. Ascending the magnificent
staircase, a hundred faces look down upon us, in a hundred different
varieties of expression, in a hundred different costumes. Here are Queen
Anne and Sarah Duchess of Marlborough placed amicably side by side,
as in the days of their romantic friendship, when they conversed and
corresponded as Mrs. Morley and Mrs. Freeman: the beauty, the intellect,
the spirit, are all on the side of the imperious duchess; the poor queen
looks like what she was, a good-natured fool. On the left is the cunning
abigail, who supplanted the duchess in the favour of Queen Anne--Mrs.
Masham. Proceeding along the gallery, we are met by the portrait of that
angel-devil, Lady Shrewsbury,[72] whose exquisite beauty fascinates at
once and shocks the eye like the gorgeous colours of an adder. I believe
the story of her holding the Duke of Buckingham's horse while he shot
her husband in a duel, has been disputed; but her attempt to assassinate
Killegrew, while she sat by in her carriage,[73] is too true. So far had
her depravities unsexed her!

  ----"Lorsque la vertu, avec peine abjurée,
  Nous fait voir une femme à ses fureurs livrée,
  S'irritant par l'effort que ce pas a couté,
  Son âme avec plus d'art a plus de cruauté."


She was even less famous for the number of her lovers, than the
catastrophes of which she was the cause.

  "Had ever nymph such reason to be glad?
  Two in a duel fell, and one ran mad."


Not two, but half a dozen fell in duels; and if her lovers "ran mad,"
it was in despite, not in despair. Lady Shrewsbury is past jesting or
satire; and after a first involuntary pause of admiration before her
matchless beauty, we turn away with horror. For the rest of the
portraits on this vast staircase, it would take a volume to give a
_catalogue raisonnée_ of them. We pass, then, into a corridor hung with
two large and very mediocre landscapes, representing Tivoli and Terni.
Any attempt, even the best, to paint a cataract _must_ be abortive. How
render to the fancy the two grandest of its features--sound and motion?
the thunder and the tumult of the headlong waters? We will pass on to
the gallery, and lose ourselves in its enchantments.

Where shall we begin?--Any where. Throw away the catalogue: all are old
acquaintances. We are tempted to speak to them, and they look as if they
could curtsey to us. The very walls breathe around us. What Vandykes--what
Lelys--what Sir Joshuas! what a congregation of all that is beauteous
and noble!--what Spencers, Sydneys, Digbys, Russells, Cavendishes,
and Churchills!--O what a scene to moralize, to philosophize, to
sentimentalize in!--what histories in those eyes, that look, yet see
not!--what sermons on those lips, that all but speak; I would rather
reflect in a picture-gallery, than elegize in a churchyard. The "poca
polvere che nulla sente," can only tell us we must die; these, with
a more useful and deep-felt morality, tell us how to live.

Yet I cannot say I felt thus pensive and serious the first time I
looked round the gallery at Althorpe. Curiosity, excitement, interest,
admiration--a crowd of quick successive images and recollections
fleeting across the memory--left me no time to think. I remember being
startled, the moment I entered, by a most extraordinary picture,--the
second Prince of Orange, and his preceptor Katts, by Flinck. The eyes of
the latter are really shockingly alive; they stare out of the canvass,
and glitter and fascinate like those of a serpent. If I had been a Roman
Catholic, I should have crossed myself, as I looked at them, to shield
me from their evil and supernatural expression.[74] The picture of the
two Sforzas, Maximilian and his brother Francis, by Albert Durer, is
quite a curiosity; and so is another, by Holbein, near it, containing
the portraits of Henry the Eighth, his daughter Mary, and his jester,
Will Somers,--all full of individuality and truth. The expression in
Mary's face, at once saturnine, discontented and vulgar, is especially
full of character. These last three pictures are curious and valuable as
specimens of art; but they are not pleasing. We turn to the matchless
Vandykes, at once admirable as paintings, and yet more interesting as
portraits. A full-length of his master and friend, Rubens, dressed in
black, is magnificent; the attitude particularly graceful. Near the
centre of the gallery is the charming full-length of Queen Henrietta
Maria, a well-known and celebrated picture. She is dressed in white
satin, and stands near a table on which is a vase of white roses, and,
more in the shade, her regal crown. Nothing can be in finer taste than
the contrast between the rich, various, but subdued colours of the
carpet and background, and the delicate, and harmonious, and brilliant
tints which throw out the figure. None of the pictures I had hitherto
seen of Henrietta, either in the king's private collection, or at
Windsor, do justice to the sparkling grace of her figure, or the
vivacity and beauty of her eyes, so celebrated by all the contemporary
poets. Waller, for instance:--

  "Could Nature then no private woman grace,
  Whom we might dare to love, with such a face,
  Such a complexion, and so radiant eyes,
  Such lovely motion, and such sharp replies?"


Davenant styles her, very beautifully, "The rich-eyed darling of a
monarch's breast." Lord Holland, in the description he sent from Paris,
dwells on the charm of her eyes, her smile, and her graceful figure,
though he admits her to be rather _petite_; and if the poet and the
courtier be distrusted, we have the authority of the puritanic Sir
Symond d'Ewes, who allows the influence of her "excellent and sparkling
black eyes." Henrietta could be very seductive, and had all the French
grace of manner; but, as is well known, she could play the virago, "and
cast such a scowl, as frightened all the lords and ladies in waiting."
Too much importance is attached to her character and her influence over
her husband, in the histories of that time. She was a fascinating, but
a superficial and volatile Frenchwoman. With all her feminine love
of sway, she had not sufficient energy to govern; and with all her
disposition to intrigue, she never had discretion enough to keep her
own or the king's secrets. When she rushed through a storm of bullets
to save a favourite lap-dog; or when, amid the shrieks and entreaties
of her terrified attendants, she commanded the captain of her vessel to
"blow up the ship rather than strike to the Parliamentarian,"--it was
more the spirit and wilfulness of a woman, who, with all her faults,
had the blood of Henri Quatre in her veins, than the mental energy
and resolute fortitude of a heroine. Near her hangs her daughter, who
inherited her grace, her beauty, her petulance,--the unhappy Henriette
d'Orleans,[75] fair, radiant, and lively, with a profusion of beautiful
hair; it is impossible to look from the mother to the daughter, without
remembering the scene in Retz's memoirs, when the queen said to him, in
excuse for her daughter's absence, "My poor Henrietta is obliged to lie
in bed, for I have no wood to make a fire for her--et la pauvre enfant
était transie de froid."

Another picture by Vandyke hangs at the top of the room, one of the
grandest and most spirited of his productions. It represents William,
the first Duke of Bedford, the father of Lord William Russell, when
young, and his brother-in-law, the famous (and infamous) Digby, Earl
of Bristol. How admirably Vandyke has caught the characters of the two
men!--the fine commanding form of the duke, as he steps forward, the
frank, open countenance, expressive of all that is good and noble, speak
him what he was--not less than that of Digby, which, though eminently
handsome, has not one elevated or amiable trait in the countenance; the
drapery, background, and more especially the hands, are magnificently
painted. On one side of this superb picture, hangs the present Earl
Spencer when a youth; and on the other, his sister, Georgiana Duchess
of Devonshire, at the age of eighteen, looking all life and high-born
loveliness, and reminding one of Coleridge's beautiful lines to her:--

  "Light as a dream your days their circlets ran
  From all that teaches brotherhood to man,
  Far, far removed! from want, from grief, from fear!
  Obedient music lull'd your infant ear;
  Obedient praises soothed your infant heart;
    Emblazonments and old ancestral crests,
  With many a bright obtrusive form of art,
    Detain'd your eye from nature. Stately vests,
  That veiling strove to deck your charms divine,
  Rich viands and the pleasurable wine,
  Were yours unearn'd by toil."----


And he thus beautifully alludes to her maternal character; for this
accomplished woman set the example to the highest ranks, of nursing
her own children:--

  "You were a mother! at your bosom fed
    The babes that loved you. You, with laughing eye,
  Each twilight thought, each nascent feeling read,
    Which you yourself created."


Alas, that such a beginning should have such an end!

Both these are whole-lengths, by Sir Joshua Reynolds: the middle tints
are a little flown, else they were perfect; they suffer by being hung
near the glowing yet mellowed tints of Vandyke.

We have here a whole bevy of the heroines of De Grammont, delightful
to those who have what Walpole used to call the "De Grammont madness"
upon them. Here is that beautiful, audacious termagant, Castlemaine,
very like her picture at Windsor, and with the same characteristic bit
of storm gleaming in the background.--Lady Denham,[76] the wife of
the poet, Sir John Denham, and niece of that Lord Bristol who figures
in Vandyke's picture above mentioned--a lovely creature, and a sweet
picture.--Louise de Querouaille, Duchess of Portsmouth, who so long
ruled the heart and councils of Charles the Second, in Lely's finest
style; the face has a look of blooming innocence, soon exchanged
for coarseness and arrogance.--The indolent, alluring Middleton,
looking from under her sleepy eyelids, "trop coquette pour rebuter
personne."--"La Belle Hamilton," the lovely prize of the volatile De
Grammont; very like her portrait at Windsor, with the same finely formed
bust and compressed ruby lips, but with an expression more vivacious and
saucy, and less elevated.--Two portraits of Nell Gwyn, with the fair
brown air and small bright eyes they ought to have; _au reste_, with
such prim, sanctified mouths, and dressed with such elaborate decency,
that instead of reminding us of the "parole sciolte d'ogni freno, risi,
vezzi, giuochi"--they are more like Beck Marshall, the puritan's
daughter, on her good behaviour.[77]

Here is that extraordinary woman Hortense Mancini, Duchess of Mazarin,
the fame of whose beauty and gallantries filled all Europe, and once the
intended wife of Charles the Second, though she afterwards intrigued in
vain for the less (or more) eligible post of _maitresse en titre_. What
an extraordinary, wild, perverted, good-for-nothing, yet interesting set
of women, were those four Mancini sisters! all victims, more or less, to
the pride, policy, or avarice, of their cardinal uncle; all gifted by
nature with the fervid Italian blood and the plotting Italian brain; all
really _aventuriéres_, while they figured as duchesses and princesses.
They wore their coronets and ermine as strolling players wear their
robes of state--with a sort of picturesque awkwardness--and they proved
rather too scanty to cover a multitude of sins.

This head of Hortense Mancini, as Cleopatra dissolving the pearl, is the
most spirited, but the least beautiful portrait I have seen of her. An
appropriate pendant on the opposite side is her lover, philosopher, and
eulogist, the witty St. Evremond--Grammont's "Caton de Normandie;" but
instead of looking like a good-natured epicurean, a man "who thought as
he liked, and liked what he thought,"[78] his nose is here wrinkled up
into an expression of the most supercilious scorn, adding to his native
ugliness.[79] Both these are by Kneller. Farther on, is another of
Charles's beauties, whose _sagesse_ has never been disputed--Elizabeth
Wriothesley, Countess of Northumberland, the sister of that half saint,
half heroine, and _all_ woman--Lady Russell.

There is also a lovely picture of that magnificent brunette, Miss Bagot.
"Elle avait," says Hamilton, "ce teint rembruni qui plait tant quand
il plait." She married Berkeley Lord Falmouth, a man who, though
unprincipled, seems to have loved her; at least, was not long enough
her husband to forget to be her lover: he was killed, shortly after his
marriage, in the battle of Southwold-bay. This is assuredly one of the
most splendid pictures Lely ever painted; and it is, besides, full of
character and interest. She holds a cannon-ball in her lap, (only an
airy emblematical cannon-ball, for she poises it like a feather,) and
the countenance is touched with a sweet expression of melancholy: hence
it is plain that she sat for it soon after the death of her first
husband, and before her marriage with the witty Earl of Dorset.--Near
her hangs another fair piece of witchcraft, "La Belle Jennings," who in
her day played with hearts as if they had been billiard balls; and no
wonder, considering what _things_ she had to deal with:[80] there was
a great difference between her vivacity and that of her vivacious
sister, the Duchess of Marlborough.--Old Sarah hangs near her. One
would think that Kneller, in spite, had watched the moment to take a
characteristic likeness, and catch, not the Cynthia, but the Fury of
the minute; as for instance, when she cut off her luxuriant tresses, so
worshipped by her husband, and flung them in his face; for so she tosses
back her disdainful head, and curls her lip like an insolent, pouting,
spoiled, grown-up baby. The life of this woman is as fine a lesson on
the emptiness of all worldly advantages, boundless wealth, power, fame,
beauty, wit, as ever was set forth by moralist or divine.

  "By spirit robb'd of power--by warmth, of friends--
  By wealth, of followers! without one distress,
  Sick of herself through very selfishness."[81]


And yet I suspect that the Duchess of Marlborough has never met with
justice. History knows her only as Marlborough's wife, an intriguing
dame d'honneur, and a cast-off favourite. Vituperated by Swift,
satirized by Pope, ridiculed by Walpole--what angel could have stood
such bedaubing, and from such pens?

  "O she has fallen into a pit of ink!"


But glorious talents she had, strength of mind, generosity, the power to
feel and inspire the strongest attachment,--and all these qualities were
degraded, or rendered useless, by _temper_! Her avarice was not the love
of money for its own sake, but the love of power; and her bitter contempt
for "knaves and fools" may be excused, if not justified. Imagine such
a woman as the Duchess of Marlborough out-faced, out-plotted by that
crowned cypher, that sceptred commonplace, queen Anne! It should seem
that the constant habit of being forced to serve, outwardly, where she
really ruled,--the consciousness of her own brilliant and powerful
faculties brought into immediate hourly comparison with the confined
trifling understanding of her mistress, a disdain of her own forced
hypocrisy, and a perception of the heartless baseness of the courtiers
around her, disgusting to a mind naturally high-toned, produced at
length that extreme of bitterness and insolence which made her so often
"an embodied storm." She was always a termagant--but of a very different
description from the vulgar Castlemaine.

Though the picture of Colonel Russell, by Dobson, is really fine
as a portrait, the recollection of the scene between him and Miss
Hamilton[82]--his love of dancing, to prove he was not old and
asthmatical,--and his attachment to his "_chapeau pointu_," make it
impossible to look at him without a smile--but a good-humoured smile,
such as his lovely mistress gave him when she rejected him with so
much politeness.--Arabella Churchill, the sister of the great Duke of
Marlborough, and mistress of the Duke of York, has been better treated
by the painter than by Hamilton; instead of "La grande créature, pale et
decharnée," she appears here a very lovely woman. But enough of these
equivocal ladies. No--before we leave them, there are yet two to be
noticed, more equivocal, more interesting, and more extraordinary than
all the rest put together--Bianca di Capello, who, from a washerwoman,
became Grand Duchess of Florence, with less beauty than I should have
expected, but as much _countenance_; and the beautiful, but appalling
picture of Venitia Digby, painted after she was dead, by Vandyke: she
was found one morning sitting up in her bed, leaning her head on her
hand, and lifeless; and thus she is painted. Notwithstanding the ease
and grace of the attitude, and the delicacy of the features, there is
no mistaking this for slumber: a heavier hand has pressed upon those
eyelids, which will never more open to the light: there is a leaden
lifelessness about them, too shockingly true and real--

  "It thrills us with mortality,
  And curdles to the gazer's heart."


Her picture at Windsor is the most perfectly beautiful and impressive
female portrait I ever saw. How have I longed, when gazing at it, to
conjure her out of her frame, and bid her reveal the secret of her
mysterious life and death!--Nearly opposite to the dead Venitia, in
strange contrast, hangs her husband, who loved her to madness, or was
mad before he married her, in the very prime of life and youth. This
picture, by Cornelius Jansen, is as fine as any thing of Vandyke's: the
character expresses more of intellectual power and physical strength,
than of that elegance of face and form we should have looked for in
such a fanciful being as Sir Kenelm Digby: he looks more like one of
the Athletæ than a poet, a metaphysician, and a "squire of dames."

There are three pictures of Waller's famed Sacharissa, the first Lady
Sunderland: one in a hat, at the age of fifteen or sixteen, gay and
blooming; the second, far more interesting, was painted about the
time of her marriage with the young Earl of Sunderland, or shortly
after--very sweet and lady-like. I should say that the high-breeding
of the face and air was more conspicuous than the beauty; the neck and
hands exquisite. Both these are Vandyke's. A third picture represents
her about the time of her second marriage: the expression wholly
changed--cold, sad, faded, but pretty still: one might fancy her
contemplating, with a sick heart, the portrait of Lord Sunderland, the
lover and husband of her early youth, who hangs on the opposite side of
the gallery, in complete armour: he fell in the same battle with Lord
Falkland, at the age of three-and-twenty. The brother of Sacharissa,
the famous Algernon Sidney, is suspended near her; a fine head, full of
contemplation and power.

Among the most interesting pictures in the gallery is an undoubted
original of Lady Jane Grey. After seeing so many hideous, hard,
prim-looking pictures and prints of this gentle-spirited heroine, it
is consoling to trust in the genuineness of a face which has all the
sweetness and dignity we look for, and ought to find. Then, by way of
contrast, we have that most curious picture of Diana of Poitiers, once
in the Crawfurd collection: it is a small half-length; the features fair
and regular; the hair is elaborately dressed with a profusion of jewels;
but there is no drapery whatever--"force pierreries et trés peu de
linge," as Madame de Sevigné described the two Mancini.[83] Round the
head is the legend from the 42d Psalm--"Comme le cerf braie après
le décours des eaues, ainsi brait mon ame après toi, O Dieu," which
is certainly an extraordinary application. In the days of Diana of
Poitiers, the beautiful mistress of Henry the Second of France, it
was the court fashion to sing the Psalms of David to dance and song
tunes;[84] and the courtiers and beauties had each their favourite
psalm, which served as a kind of _devise_: this may explain the very
singular inscription on this very singular picture. Here are also the
portraits of Otway and Cowley, and of Montaigne; the last from the
Crawfurd collection.

I had nearly omitted to mention a magnificent whole-length of the Duc
de Guise--who was stabbed in the closet of Henry the Third--whose life
contains materials for ten romances and a dozen epics, and whose death
has furnished subjects for as many tragedies. And not far from him that
not less daring, and more successful chief, Oliver Cromwell: a page is
tying on his sash. There is a vulgar power and boldness about this head,
in fine contrast with the high-born, fearless, chivalrous-looking Guise.

In the library is the splendid picture of Sofonisba Angusciola, by
herself: she is touching the harpsichord, for like many others of her
craft, she excelled in music. Angelica Kauffman had nearly been an
opera-singer. The instances of great painters being also excellent
musicians are numerous; Salvator Rosa could have led an orchestra, and
Vernet could not exist without Pergolesi's piano. But I cannot recollect
an instance of a great musician by profession, who has also been a
painter: the range of faculties is generally more confined.

Rembrandt's large picture of his mother, which is, I think, the most
magnificent specimen of this master now in England, hangs over the
chimney in the same room with the Sofonisba.

The last picture I can distinctly remember is a portrait by Sir Joshua
Reynolds, with all his perfections combined in their perfection. It is
that of a beautiful Frenchwoman, an intimate friend of the last Lady
Spencer--with as much intellect, sentiment, and depth of feeling as
would have furnished out twenty ordinary heads; all harmony in the
colouring, all grace in the drawing.

Here then was food for the eye and for the memory--for sweet and bitter
fancy--for the amateur, and for the connoisseur--for antiquary, historian,
painter, and poet. Well might Horace Walpole say that the gallery at
Althorpe was "endeared to the pensive spectator." He tells us in his
letters, that when here, (about seventy years since,) he surprised the
housekeeper by "his intimate acquaintance with all the faces in the
gallery." I was amused at the thought that we caused a similar surprise
in our day. I hope his female cicerone was as civil and intelligent as
ours; as worthy to be the keeper of the pictorial treasures of Althorpe.
When we lingered and lingered, spell-bound, and apologized for making
such unconscionable demands on her patience, she replied, "that she was
flattered; that she felt affronted when any visitor hurried through the
apartments." Old Horace would have been delighted with her; and not less
with the biblical enthusiasm of a village glazier, whom we found dusting
the books in the library, and who had such a sublime reverence for old
editions, unique copies, illuminated MSS., and rare bindings, that it
was quite edifying.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration]

END OF VOL. II.

  LONDON:
  IBOTSON AND PALMER, PRINTERS, SAVOY STREET, STRAND.

       *       *       *       *       *



FOOTNOTES:


[Footnote 1: In the throne-room at the Buckingham Palace the idea of
grandeur is suggested by a vile heraldic crown, stuck on the capitals of
the columns. Conceive the flagrant, the vulgar barbarity of taste!! It
cannot surely be attributed to the architect?]

[Footnote 2: There is a very pretty little edition of his lyrical poems,
rendered into the modern German by Karl Simrock, and published at Berlin
in 1833.]

[Footnote 3: See a very interesting account of Walther von der Vogelweide,
with translations of some of his poems in "The Lays of the Minnesingers,"
published in 1825.]

[Footnote 4: See a very learned and well-written article on the ancient
German and northern poetry in the Edinburgh Review, vol. 26.]

[Footnote 5: The legend of this charming saint, one of the most popular
in Germany, is but little known among us. She was the wife of a margrave
of Thuringia, who was a fierce, avaricious man, while she herself was
all made up of tenderness and melting pity. She lived with her husband
in his castle on the Wartsburg, and was accustomed to go out every
morning to distribute alms among the poor of the valley: her husband,
jealous and covetous, forbade her thus to exercise her bounty; but as
she regarded her duty to God and the poor, even as paramount to conjugal
obedience, she secretly continued her charitable offices. Her husband
encountered her one morning at sunrise, as she was leaving the castle
with a covered basket containing meat, bread, and wine, for a starving
family. He demanded, angrily, what she had in her basket! Elizabeth,
trembling, not for herself, but for her wretched protegés, replied, with
a faltering voice, that she had been gathering roses in the garden.
The fierce chieftain, not believing her, snatched off the napkin, and
Elizabeth fell on her knees.--But, behold, a miracle had been operated
in her favour!--The basket was full of roses, fresh gathered, and wet
with dew.]

[Footnote 6: See Taylor's "Historic Survey of German Poetry." Herman
was afterwards murdered by a band of conspirators, and Thusnelda, on
learning the fate of her husband, died brokenhearted.]

[Footnote 7: The notices which follow are abridged from the essay "on
Ancient German and Northern Poetry," before mentioned--from the preface
to the edition of the Nibelungen Lied, by M. Von der Hagen--and the
analysis of the poem in the Illustrations of Northern Antiquities.
My own first acquaintance with the Nibelungen Lied, I owed to an
accomplished friend, who gave me a detailed and lively analysis of the
story and characters; and certainly no child ever hung upon a tale of
ogres and fairies with more intense interest than I did upon her recital
of the adventures of the Nibelungen.]

[Footnote 8: Dietrich of Bern (i. e. Theodoric of Verona,) is the great
hero of South Germany--the King Arthur of Teutonic romance, who figures
in all the warlike lays and legends of the middle ages.]

[Footnote 9: See the Illustrations of Northern Antiquities, p. 213.]

[Footnote 10: In the altercation between the two queens, Chrimhilde
boasts of possessing these trophies, and displays them in triumph to her
mortified rival; for which indiscretion, as she afterwards complains,
"her husband was in high anger, and _beat her black and blue_." This
treatment, however, which seems to have been quite a matter of course,
does not diminish the fond idolatry of the wife,--rather increases it.]

[Footnote 11: This list will be subjoined at the end of these Sketches.]

[Footnote 12: Sofonisba Augusciola, one of the most charming of portrait
painters. She died in 1626, at the age of ninety-three.]

[Footnote 13: I regret that I omitted to note the _name_ of the artist
of this magnificent work. There is a still more admirable monument of
the same period in the church at Inspruck, the tomb of the archduke,
Ferdinand of Tyrol, consisting, I believe, of twelve colossal statues
in bronze.]

[Footnote 14: The first stone of the Valhalla was laid by the King of
Bavaria, on the 18th of October 1830.]

[Footnote 15: The Einheriar are the souls of heroes admitted into the
Valhalla.]

[Footnote 16: Daniel.]

[Footnote 17: Lithography was invented at Munich between 1795 and 1798,
for so long were repeated experiments tried before the art became useful
or general. Senefelder, the inventor, was an actor, and the son of an
actor. The first occasion of the invention was his wish to print a
little drama of his own, in some manner less expensive than the usual
method of type. The first successful experiment was the printing of some
music, published (1796) by Gleissner, one of the king of Bavaria's band:
the first drawing attempted was a vignette to a sheet of music. In the
course of his attempts to pursue and perfect his discovery, Senefelder
was reduced to such poverty, that he offered himself to enlist for a
common soldier, and, luckily, was refused. He again took heart, and,
supported through every difficulty and discouragement by his own
strong and enthusiastic mind, he at length overcame all obstacles, and
has lived to see his invention established and spread over the whole
civilized world. Hitherto, I believe, the stone used by lithographers
is found only in Bavaria, whence it is sent to every part of Europe and
America, and forms a most profitable article of commerce. The principal
quarries are at Solenholfen, on the Danube, about fifty miles from
Munich.

Senefelder has published a little memoir of the origin and progress of
the invention, in which he relates with great simplicity the hardship,
and misery, and contumely, he encountered before he could bring it into
use. He concludes with an earnest prayer, "that it may contribute to the
benefit and improvement of mankind, and that it may never be abused to
any dishonourable or immoral purpose."

If I remember rightly, a detailed history of the art was given in one of
the early numbers of the Foreign Review.]

[Footnote 18: The population of Munich is estimated at about 60,000. It
does not enter into my plan, at present, to give any detailed account
of the public institutions, whether academies, schools, hospitals, or
prisons; yet I cannot but mention the prison at Munich, which more than
pays its own expenses, instead of being a burthen to the state; the
admirable hospital for the poor, in which all who cannot find work
elsewhere, are provided with occupation; two large hospitals for the
sick poor, in which rooms and attendance are also provided for those who
do not choose to be a burthen to their friends, nor yet dependent on
charity; the orphan school; the female school, endowed by the king;
the foundling and lying-in hospitals, establishments unhappily most
_necessary_ in Munich, and certainly most admirably conducted. These,
and innumerable private societies for the assistance, the education, and
the improvement of the lower classes, ought to receive the attention of
every intelligent traveller.

There are no poor laws in operation at Munich, no mendicity societies,
no tract, and soup and blanket charities; yet pauperism, mendicity,
and starvation, are nearly unknown. For the system of regulations by
which these evils have been repressed or altogether remedied, I believe
Bavaria is indebted to the celebrated American, Count Rumford, who was
in the service of the late king, Max-Joseph, from 1790 to 1799.

Several new manufactories have lately been established, particularly
of glass and porcelain, and the latter is carried to a high degree of
perfection.]

[Footnote 19: Ida of Saxe-Meiningen, sister of the queen of England.]

[Footnote 20: It is difficult to translate this laconic proverb, because
we have not the corresponding words in English: the meaning may be
rendered--"_according to the country, so are the manners_."]

[Footnote 21: When the city was besieged by Wallenstein in 1632.]

[Footnote 22: Born at Nuremberg in 1494.]

[Footnote 23: See the admirable "Essay on the Early German and Northern
Poetry," already alluded to.]

[Footnote 24: Anthony, the present king of Saxony. He is, however, in
his dotage, being now in his eighty-fifth year.]

[Footnote 25: The description of Dresden and its environs, in Russel's
Tour in Germany, is one of the best written passages in that amusing
book--so admirably graphic and faithful, that nothing can be added to
it _as a description_, therefore I have effaced those notes which it
has rendered superfluous. It must, however, be remembered by those who
refer to Mr. Russel's work, that a revolution has taken place, by which
the king, now fallen into absolute dotage, has been removed from the
direct administration of the government, and a much more popular and
liberal tone prevails in the Estates: the two princes, nephews of the
king, whom Mr. Russel mentions as "persons of whom scarcely any body
thinks of speaking at all," have since made themselves extremely
conspicuous;--Prince Frederic has been declared regent, and is
apparently much respected and beloved; and Prince John has distinguished
himself as a speaker in the Assembly of the States, and takes the
liberal side on most occasions. A spirit of amelioration is at work in
Dresden, as elsewhere, and the ten or twelve years which have elapsed
since Mr. Russel's visit have not passed away without some salutary
changes, while more are evidently at hand.

Mr. Russel speaks of the secrecy with which the sittings of the Chambers
were then conducted: they are now public, and the debates are printed in
the Gazette at considerable length.]

[Footnote 26: Augustus II. abjured the Protestant religion in 1700, in
order to obtain the crown of Poland.]

[Footnote 27: The first tenor at Dresden in 1833.]

[Footnote 28: An opera by Franz Glazer of Berlin. The subject, which is
the well-known story of the mother who delivers her infant when carried
away by the eagle, or rather vulture of the Alps, might make a good
melodrama, but is not fit for an opera--and the music is _trainante_
and monotonous.]

[Footnote 29: Zingarelli composed his _Romeo e Giulietta_ in 1797: Bellini
produced the Capelletti at Venice in 1832, for our silver-voiced
Caradori and the contr'alto Giudita Grisi, sister of that accomplished
singer, Giulietta Grisi. Thirty-five years are an age in
the history of music. Of the two operas, Bellini's is the most effective,
from the number of the conceited pieces, without containing
a single air which can be placed in comparison with five or six
in Zingarelli's opera.]

[Footnote 30: Lord Byron.]

[Footnote 31: "Tieck," says Carlyle, "is a poet _born_ as well as
made.--He is no mere observist and compiler, rendering back to us,
with additions or subtractions, the beauty which existing things have
of themselves presented to him; but a true Maker, to whom the actual
and external is but the _excitement_ for ideal creations, representing
and ennobling its effects. His feeling or knowledge, his love or scorn,
his gay humour or solemn earnestness; all the riches of his inward
world are pervaded and mastered by the living energy of the soul which
possesses them, and their finer essence is wafted to us in his poetry,
like Arabian odours, on the wings of the wind. But this may be said of
all true poets; and each is distinguished from all, by his individual
characteristics. Among Tieck's, one of the most remarkable is his
combination of so many gifts, in such full and simple harmony. His
ridicule does not obstruct his adoration; his gay southern fancy
lives in union with a northern heart; with the moods of a longing and
impassioned spirit, he seems deeply conversant; and a still imagination,
in the highest sense of that word, reigns over all his poetic world."]

[Footnote 32: Vide Shelley's Epipsychidion.]

[Footnote 33: Mr. Russel is quite right in his observation that the
Correggios are hung too near together: the fact is, that in the Dresden
gallery, the pictures are not well hung, nor well arranged; there is too
little light in the inner gallery, and too much in the outer gallery.
Lastly, the numbers are so confused that I found the catalogue of little
use. A new arrangement and a new catalogue, by Professor Matthaï, are in
contemplation.]

[Footnote 34: Spence.]

[Footnote 35: Lanzi says, that many of the works of Lavinia Fontana
might easily pass for those of Guido;--her best works are at Bologna.
She died in 1614.]

[Footnote 36: At Althorpe.]

[Footnote 37: The Miss Sharpes were at Dresden while I was there,
and their names and some of their works were fresh in my mind and eye
when I wrote the above; but I think it fair to add, that I had not the
opportunity I could have wished of cultivating their acquaintance. These
three sisters, all so talented, and so inseparable,--all artists, and
bound together in affectionate communion of hearts and interests,
reminded me of the Sofonisba and her sisters.]

[Footnote 38: She is the "Julie" celebrated in some of Goethe's minor
poems.]

[Footnote 39: Since this was written, in November 1833, Retzsch has sent
over to England a series of these _Fancies_ for publication.]

[Footnote 40: We have among us a young German painter, (Theodor von
Holst,) who, uniting the exuberant enthusiasm and rich imagination of
his country, with a just appreciation of the style of English art, is
likely to achieve great things.]

[Footnote 41: "Belier! mon ami! commence par le commencement!"--_Contes
de Hamilton._]

[Footnote 42: A manor situated on the borders of Derbyshire, between
Chesterfield and Mansfield.]

[Footnote 43: The Cavendishes were originally of Suffolk. Whether this
William Cavendish was the same who was gentleman usher and secretary to
Cardinal Wolsey, is, I believe, a disputed point.]

[Footnote 44: Bishop Kennel's memoirs of the family of Cavendish.]

[Footnote 45: Lodge's Illustrations of British History.]

[Footnote 46: Scott's Memoir of Sir Ralph Sadler.]

[Footnote 47: Lodge's "Illustrations."]

[Footnote 48: This celebrated letter is yet preserved, and well known
to historians and antiquarians. It is sufficient to say that scarce any
part of it would bear transcribing.]

[Footnote 49: See two of her letters in Sir Henry Ellis's Collection.]

[Footnote 50: See some letters in Ellis's Collection, vol. ii. series 1,
which show with what constant jealousy Lady Shrewsbury and her charge
were watched by the court.]

[Footnote 51: In All Hallows, in Derby. After leaving Hardwicke, I went,
of course, to pay my respects to it. It is a vast and gorgeous shrine of
many coloured marbles, covered with painting, gilding, emblazonments,
and inscriptions, within which the lady lies at full length in a golden
ruff, and a most sumptuous farthingale.]

[Footnote 52: As the measurements are interesting from this fact, I took
care to note them exactly; as follows:--length 55 ft. 6 inches; breadth
30 ft. 6 inches; height 24 ft. 6 inches.]

[Footnote 53: Horace Walpole, as an antiquarian, should have known that
Mary was never kept _there_.]

[Footnote 54: It had formerly been richly painted, and must then have had
an effect superior to tapestry; the colours are still visible here
and there.]

[Footnote 55: Mary's own account of her occupations displays the natural
elegance of her mind. "I asked her grace, since the weather did cut off
all exercises abroad, how she passed her time within? She sayd that all
day she wrought with her needle, and that the diversitie of the colours
made the work appear less tedious, and that she continued at it till
pain made her to give o'er: and with that laid her hand on her left
side, and complayned of an old grief newly increased there. Upon this
occasion she, the Scottish queen, with the agreeable and lively wit
natural to her, entered into a pretty disputable comparison between
carving, painting, and working with the needle, affirming painting, in
her opinion, for the most commendable quality."--_Letter of Nicholas
White to Cecil._]

[Footnote 56: I was as much delighted by these singular fire-screens
as Horace himself could have been; they are about seven feet high. The
yellow velvet suspended from the bar is embossed with black velvet, and
intermingled with embroidery of various colours and gold--something
like a Persian carpet--but most dazzling and gorgeous in the effect.
I believe there is nothing like them any where.]

[Footnote 57: Now replaced by the family portraits brought from
Chatsworth.]

[Footnote 58: Margaret Cavendish, wife of the first Duke of Newcastle.]

[Footnote 59: Anecdotes of Painting. Reigns of Elizabeth and James I.]

[Footnote 60: Dante. Inferno, Canto 28.]

[Footnote 61: Life of Johnson, vol. ii. p. 144. Boswell asked, "Are you
of that opinion as to the portraits of ancestors one has never seen?"
JOHNSON. "It then becomes of still _more_ consequence that they should
be like."]

[Footnote 62: This picture and the next are said to be by Richard
Stevens, of whom there is some account in Walpole, (Anecdotes of
Painting.) Mary also sat to Hilliard and to Zucchero. The lovely picture
by Zucchero is at Chiswick. There is another small head of her at
Hardwicke, said to have been painted in France, in a cap and feather.
The turn of the head is airy and graceful. As to the features, they have
been so marred by some _soi-disant_ restorer, it is difficult to say
what they may have been originally.]

[Footnote 63: Waller's lines on Lady Rich.]

[Footnote 64: William, sixth Duke of Devonshire.]

[Footnote 65: "Lady Dorothy Savile, daughter of the Marquis of Halifax:
she had no less attachment to the arts than her husband; she drew in
crayons, and succeeded admirably in likenesses, but working with too
much rapidity, did not do justice to her genius; she had an uncommon
talent too for caricature."--_Anecdotes of Painting._]

[Footnote 66: He was a monster; and no wife of the coarsest plebeian
profligate could have suffered more than did this lovely, amiable being,
of the highest blood and greatest fortune in England. "She was," says
the affecting inscription on her picture at Chiswick, "the comfort and
joy of her parents, the delight of all who knew her angelic temper, and
the admiration of all who saw her beauty. She was married October 10th,
1741, and delivered by death from misery, May 2nd, 1742.

But how did it happen that from a condition like this, there was no
release but by _death_?--See Horace Walpole's Correspondence to Sir
Horace Mann, vol. i. p. 328.]

[Footnote 67: I was much struck with the inscription on a stone tablet,
in a fine old wood near the house: "This wood was planted by Sir William
Spencer, Knighte of the Bathe, in the year of our Lord 1624:"--on the
other side, "Up and bee doing, and God will prosper." It is mentioned in
Evelyn's "Sylva."]

[Footnote 68: See the accounts of Sir John Spencer, in Collins's
Peerage, and prefixed to Dibdin's "Ædes Althorpianæ."]

[Footnote 69: Henry, first Earl of Sunderland.]

[Footnote 70: This Lord Sunderland not only changed his party and his
opinions, but his religion, with every breath that blew from the court.]

[Footnote 71: Horace Walpole's Correspondence, vol. ii. p. 227.]

[Footnote 72: Anne Brudenel.]

[Footnote 73: See Pepys's Diary.]

[Footnote 74: I was told that a female servant of the family was so
terrified by this picture that she could never be prevailed on to pass
through the door near which it hangs, but made a circuit of several
rooms to avoid it.]

[Footnote 75: She is supposed to have been poisoned by her husband, at
the instigation of the Chevalier de Lorraine.]

[Footnote 76: Elizabeth Brooke, poisoned at the age of twenty.]

[Footnote 77: See the scene between Beck Marshall and Nell Gwyn,
in "Pepys."]

[Footnote 78: Walpole.]

[Footnote 79: The gay, gallant St. Evremond, besides being naturally
ugly, had a wen between his eye-brows. There is a fine picture of him
and Hortense as Vertumnus and Pomona, in the Stafford gallery.]

[Footnote 80: The pictures of Miss Jennings are very rare. This one
at Althorpe was copied for H. Walpole, and I have heard of another in
Ireland. Miss Jennings was afterwards Duchess of Tyrconnel.]

[Footnote 81: Pope. One hates him for taking a thousand pounds to
suppress this character of Atossa, and publishing it after all; yet
who for a thousand pounds would have lost it?]

[Footnote 82: See his declaration of love--"Je suis frère du Comte
de Bedford; je commande le regiment des gardes," &c.]

[Footnote 83: The Princess Colonna and the Duchesse de Mazarin.]

[Footnote 84: Clement Marot had composed a version of the Psalms, then
very popular. See _Bayle_, and the Curiosities of Literature.]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Transcriber's Note: Errata as given in the original have been applied to
the text. Other than the most exceedingly obvious typographical errors,
all inconsistent spelling, hyphenation, diacriticals, archaic usage, etc.
have been preserved as printed in the original. The equals signs used
to bracket the name "Kunstverein" in the entry for the 16th in the first
section indicate characters in a Fraktur typeface.]





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