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splendour of the noon day sun, the distant parts of it are enveloped in darkness. I cannot attempt to describe the excellence of the musick, or the impression which the service made. I thought at the moment that I had never heard such exquisite sounds from the human voi The closing day each moment increased the obscurity in which the extremities of the cathedral were wrapped, and the obscurity threw over the whole an awful gloom. A profound and deathlike silence reigned among the auditors. Not a whisper could be heard. Every one seemed apprehensive lest his breathing should cause interruption. Those who entered paced along on tiptoe without noise. The figures gliding obscurely among the gigantick pillars, now dimly seen at a distance, now hidden from view, seemed to the fancy shadows of unreal beings. As the solemn chaunt rose slowly up to the vaulted roof, the musick appeared to the imagination to float in the air. Its notes could be fancied strains of incorporeal spirits, and to have something more than earthly in its sounds.
The catholick religion, striking, grand, and majestick in its exterior forms, fills the mind imperceptibly with elevated sentiments. In an edifice like this more particularly, which combines the aid of the most delightful musick, with every thing splendid in decoration, and noble in architecture, the mind is with difficulty divested of a mysterious sensation of awe mingled with an emotion of religious sublimity. From the surrounding objects the thoughts are diverted into a particular channel, and rise involuntarily beyond the confines of this lower world. The worship of the virgin is especially dear to the nations of the south. It seems a more tender affection ; an affection more nearly approaching to human feelings, more closely allied to the feelings of the heart, and less mixed with apprehension, than those sentiments of awful veneration which we are accustomed to entertain towards the Supreme governour of the universe.
I usually devoted my mornings, while I continued in Seville, to viewing the numerous admirable paintings which adorn the cathedral. You here see the most famous productions of all the celebrated Spanish masters. To enumerate these, or to point out their particular beauties, would be an endless task. The most conspicuous ainong them are the works of Murillo. This great painter was born at Seville, in 1618, and died at Cadiz in 1682, while finishing the altar piece in the convent of Capuchins. The scaffolding on which he was sitting gave way,
when he fell down, and expired on the spot. He ranks first among the painters of this country, and his name stands very high in Europe. He is commonly called by foreigners the Spanish Vandyke. In the chapel of the conception is a nativity, near the font a St. Anthony and the baptism of Christ. In the principal sacristy are his celebrated pictures of St. Isidore and St. Leander; in another his holy family. The chapter house is wholly filled with the works of Murillo. In other parts are the paintings of Velasquez, Luis de Vargas, Ribiera, Claudio Coello, and many other artists of inferiour note.
At the extremity of the cathedral lies buried the body of Ferdinand Columbus, son of Christopher Columbus, the discoyerer of America. As the inscription is not only a tribute to Ferdinand, but to his father also, I was curious enough to take
copy of it. It is written in Spanish, except the six concluding lines, which are in Latin, on a plain and unadorned stone. On each side of the inscription is the figure of an ancient galley, and in the center there is engraven a globe on which is placed a pair of compasses, marking out the position of the newly discovered world. Around the globe is the following Spanish rhyme.
“ A Castilla y a Leon, Nuevo mundo dio Colon.”
Columbus has given a new world to Castile and Leon. This verse is the sole reward which that illustrious man receive ed from his ungrateful masters, and the only tribute allowed him by his jealous contemporaries. Yet he has left behind him a name that will never die. He has already obtained from the justice of posterity that remuneration of which his base minded enemies strove vainly to deprive him. The page of history has long since rescued his fame from the aspersions of malice, and held it up with lustre to the admiration of mankind, while the names of his foes and oppressors are either consigned to everlasting oblivion, or loaded with universal contempt and execration. The letters of the inscription were so indistinctly cut, with so many abbreviations, that I had no little difficulty in decyphering it. I enclose you an exact copy. I have not translated it, because I know you can easily get that done at home, and I do not like to give myself unnecessary trouble.
It appears that Ferdinand was looked upon in his day as a man of taste and learning, and that he bequeathed his library to the city, consisting of 20,000 volumes. This library remains in the cathedral nearly in statu quo. It has received little or no augmentation since that period.
There is still existing at Seville a family by the name of Colon, the lineal descendants of the great Columbus. They live in penury, wretchedness, and obscurity. The ingratitude shewn to their illustrious ancestor by his mercenary sovereign has been continued through succeeding ages. The posthumous glory of their great progenitor is of little advantage to his descendants; the commiseration of a few individuals is the only benefit which they receive. The fate of Columbus and his posterity presents to the mind a melancholy picture of the baseness of human nature, and throws a stigma on the Spanish name that no age or glory hereafter acquired can ever oblitcrate.
Besides the cathedral and other churches, there are eighty four convents in Seville, many of which are well deserving a traveller's attention from the beauty of their architecture, as well as from the excellent paintings which they contain. I had neither time nor inclination to visit half of these, though I went to a great number. The largest of all the convents is the Franciscan, which has cells for about two hundred monks. The pencil of Murillo shine every where preeminent. The convent of Capuchins contains some of his best productions. This convent is without the walls. It has a passage under ground nearly half a mile in length, communicating with a convent of Augustins.
As we were walking through the gloomy vaults and subterranean avenues of these receptacles of superstition, the admirable descriptions of Mrs. Radcliffe frequently occurred to my recollection. I had not, however, the felicity of meeting in my rambles with any pale faced spectres, or ill-looking hobgoblins. I am rather inclined to imagine it a libel on those gentry to suppose they have no other occupation than to play hide and go seek among these dark abodes. I will nevertheless candidly confess, that had I been there alone, I am not sure whether I should not have conjured up as many ghosts and devils as were seen by Tam O Shanter dancing cotillions in the Kirk.
From the London Quarterly Review.
Continued from page 388.
To the shame of all these poets it must be remarked, that while they were commending one another, and lavishing praise
upon every rhymer of rank, they never mentioned Camoens. Noble and opulent themselves, they reserved their praises for those who were noble and opulent also. Camoens was infinitely their superior by nature, but he was miserably poor, and they who felt their own inferiority, affected to neglect or to despise him whom they envied. They would not degrade themselves by commending genius in distress, and genius did not deign to notice them. There is neither occasion nor room here to enter into an examination of the merits of Camoens. Mickle has ornamented the Lusiad with a richness of description which is not to be found in the original, and Lord Strangford has given a character of licentiousness to his minor poems, of which the author is entirely innocent. That improvement of poetical language which in our country has with equal ignorance and absurdity been ascribed to Waller and to Pope, Camoens effected in Portugueze, nothing before him was so good, nothing after him has been better. It would require a separate dissertation to appreciate rightly this celebrated poet. So much of the English Lusiad belongs to the translator, that an edition in which all the variations should be pointed out, is greatly to be desired.
Heroick poetry was in fashion during that age as in this, with the poets rather than with the publick, and the presses of Spain and Portugul have teemed from that time almost to the present with epick poems. The Portugueze heroes have not the same cause of complaint as those who lived before Agamemnon; their exploits were no sooner atchieved than they were celebrated, not merely in sonnets and complimentary odes, but at as much length as the wrath of Achilles. The poets of no other country have had a history so fertile of heroick themes. They have sung the founder of their state Count Henrique, and their first king Affonso Henriques, their deliverance from Castille by the policy of Joam I. the chivalrous valour of Nunalvares Pereira, and the patriotism of the people ; their victories in Africa, and the extinction of their power by Sebastian's utter overthrow; the discovery of India, the conquests of Goa and of Malacca, the two sieges of Diu, and the adventures of the first settler in Bahia. Their latest adequate subject is the Braganzan revolution ; but that no publick event might go without due commemoration, an epick poem was written upon the marriage of Catharine of Portugal with Charles II. and his consequent conversion to popery; and another in our own days upon rebuilding
Lisbon after the earthquake. In the age of fable they found Ulysses for a national hero, in ancient history the great Viriatus, whose memory it well becomes them to love and cherish. Some of these are servile imitations of Tasso, others are written without any model, but unfortunately by writers who were unequal to what they had undertaken. Many passages of striking beauty are to be found in these long works, and instances of extraordinary absurdity, and whimsical taste are still more frequent. There is scarely one among them which would not supply materials for an amusing analysis, and specimens sufficient to rescue the author from contempt, and reprieve him from oblivion. The octave stanza is the usual metre of these
Later criticks have reprobated it as the worst form for narrative ; they affirm that it tempts the poet to make use of vain circumlocutions, and to stuff his measure with redundant phrases and idle epithets ; this he must do to eke out his meaning to the requisite length; and at other times he must cramp and crowd his thoughts by the necessity of pausing at regular distances. These objections are deduced from want of skill in the poet, rather than from any defect inherent in the stanza. Jeronymo Cortereal wrote in the verso solto : epithets have never been strung together with more profuse tautology than by this writer both in his Naufragio de Sepulveda, and his Segundo Cerco de Diu. The couplet has been tried in imaginary imitation of the French or English, but it is altogether a different metre from either, and the principle upon which it has been recommended is that it admits a greater variety of pauses than the octave stanza. Francisco de Pina e de Mello uses it with the occasional license of a quatrain, or of a rhymeless line in his Conquista de Goa, and in what he calls his Epick-Polemick Poem, the Triumpho da Religiam. Of these forms of heroick rhyme it may safely be asserted that a good poet would write well in any, and a bad one in none. The verso solto is a feeble' measure ; it might perhaps be advantageously used in dramatick writing, but sufficient trials have been made in Italy, Spain, and Portugal, to prove that it is incapable of the strength and dignity of our heroick blank verse.
In the bright morning of their literature the Portugueze had one distinguished dramatist, by name Gil Vicente. Lope de Vega and Quevedo are said to have imitated his style of satire, and it is also said that Erasmus learnt Portugueze for the sake