« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »
Posilippo in goppo; the sides of the whole of the place being excavated : hill are covered with delightful Mas- every day one of these vaults is openserie and vineyards, where a good ed, and the bodies of the poor who strong wine is produced. On the hill die in hospitals, &c. and who cannot there are many of that particular pay for the privilege of mouldering species of pine, which has something in the churches of Naples, are depothe appearance of the upper part of sited there; the vault is then closed, a parachute when opened. The and remains shut for a twelvemonth, scenery along the road and on the another vault being opened the next hill, and indeed, all around, is exqui- day, receiving the dead, and then besitely beautiful; and though so near ing shut in the same manner. The a noisy capital, these uplands are apertures of the vaults are small, and rural, quiet, and retired; indeed, closed by a ponderous stone, which is from the tranquillity and loveliness further secured by cement; and thus, of the place, it merits the name be- in a great measure, the effluvium is stowed upon it, Pausilypun, or repose prevented from escaping. This esfrom sorrow.
tablishment is very useful, as it reThe road runs along the ridge of moves a great source of corrupted the hill, and leads to the Vomero air from the city; it is kept very clean, and Sant Elmo: some four or five and emits in general very little smell, years ago an attempt was made to considering the numbers of the dead render it passable for carriages, but that are continually putrifying there; the work stopped after a short time, but there is one circumstance in the as all public works are apt to do in ceremony of the place which is scane this country:
dalous, not only to Neapolitans, but The Strada Nuova, of which we to human nature itself, that is, the have spoken, is one of the sorties indecency and brutality with which from Naples, and is, we think, the the obsequies of the dead are perfinest; it offers scenery beautiful, formed: the bodies are stripped quite varied, and inexhaustible, in which naked, and thrown through the narthe painter may study the finer parts row apertures down into the deep of his art, and often as we have vaults, one upon another, in a conwalked along it, we never return to fused heap; the mouth of the vault is it without fresh delight.
frequently stained with blood, in conThe road next to this in beauty sequence of the bodies being pitched leaves the city in a contrary direction, rudely and unskilfully down. But a and leads to the Campo di Marte; few days ago we were walking there, this is called La Strada Nuova del and looked into one of the vaults, Campo ; it goes out of the city by where several bodies had just been the Študj, passes through the Largo thrown down-the sight was too hordelle Pigne, and along a broad dull rible to be described, we wish we street called Foria, leaving on the could forget it! We observed a woleft the Orto Botanico, and the Serag- man who was employed there in saylio, a house built, as the inscription ing prayers for the repose of the dead; says, to contain all the poor in the she walked as she prayed, and apkingdom; but which, though it is peared to have the intention of passcertainly enormously large, would not ing over every vault, as she went up contain the poor of the capital, and and down the files regularly; when which is as usual, left, alla Napolitana, we came away the gates were locked unfinished. The road continues to upon her, and she was left to her sorun on straight until, reaching the litary devotions. great northern road to Rome, which But let us return to the road, which goes off to the left, it begins to as- soon after this passes near the church cend, and winds gradually along the of La Madonna del Pianto, so called hill, commanding fine views of the from the melancholy events which plain lying between it and Vesuvius. followed the siege of Naples, by LauAs we keep along the heights we see trec, in 1528 ; unwilling to bombard below us the Campo Santo, a low the city, he cut off the aqueducts quadrilateral building, enclosing a which supplied it with water; the paved area, divided into three hun- water running to waste inundated dred and sixty-five squares, in each and stagnated on the plain, and the of which is the mouth of a yault, the vapours which arose from it made
Song. his army the vietim of a dreadful Since the late vicissitudes, the govern. epidemic distemper; an excessive ment considering the nation did not mortality was the consequence, and need any further instructions in milihundreds of poor wretches were in- tary matters, has declined having terred near this spot, or rather in any native exhibitions of the sort; and caves and grottoes beneath. The indeed, a short time ago, part of the present church, which was afterwards place was advertised to be sold. erected there, is known by name to One of the finest views of Naples many English readers from the fre- is to be enjoyed from this road; and quent allusions made to it by Mrs. it would be well for travellers to pay Radcliffe, in her “ Italian." The half a post more for the sake of apNeapolitans, when any one loses in proaching the city that way, instead the lottery, have a proverbial saying of descending by Capo di Chino, about going to Santa Maria del Pi where there is no interesting object anto, to bewail their misfortunes and no fine view. First impressions Just by this church the Strada Nuova produced by scenery are always the turns a corner and reaches the Campo most forcible, and should he, if posdi Marte, a fine large flat, which was sible, received where there is every laid out by the French, and appro- advantage of locality that a place priated to the purpose of teaching and affords. practising the manœuvres of war.
Oh, wilt thou not stay ?
Be sold to the slave ?
Their glory decay ?
Thy love and thy bride ?
Só still and so deep,
My warrior beside,
Thy love and thy bride
At sun setting hour;
The dream of despair ;-
Lay cold in the blast,
Yet soothe me in vain ;
Have wither'd away ;
Thy dark silent cave;
A.S. THE DRAMA.
DRURY LANE THEATRE.
This will chime in gloriously with Roman Actor.-- Mountaineers.--The the avarice of the one and the vanity Waterman.
of the other; then if the manager Notwithstanding the strong al- has small receipts, at least he will Jurements held out in these three have small outgoings; and if the pieces, Kean's benefit was but thinly actor gets little praise, he yet will attended-a pretty plain proof that have that little entirely to himself, something more than the drama it- without any need of division with self is requisite to call the public to his brethren. What can be better the theatres. Our pleasures, we sus- than such an arrangement? Try it, pect, are not quite so pure and intel- gentlemen; by all means try it, and lectual as human nature in its vanity pray do not forget us, your gentle would willingly believe; fine acting counsellors. and fine writing are indeed the osten- We should have said thus much in sible motives with all play-goers; the way of reprobation even if the but what share in the evening's prelude had been dexterously put toamusement have the crowd, and the gether; for a bad design, though well lights, and the decorations ? There executed, does not change its chamust be, moreover, the stimulus of racter of evil; but this was not the novelty or of fashion ; and as far as case ; simple as his task was, the concerns Kean, both the one and the "compiler has contrived to commit two other have long since past away, or blunders, and those of no little magif there be any fashion in regard to nitude ; why, in the name of dulness, him, it is a fashion of dislike. The musi he give the part of Latinus to fault, however, rests in a great mea- Junius Rusticus? This metamorphosis sure, perhaps entirely, with himself; of a Roman senator into an actor was he cannot, it is true, invest himself remarkably judicious, and the more afresh with the charms of novelty; so as nothing was to be gained by it yet he ought to make himself except the praise of ignorance, in more popular, not by paltry arts, or regard to Massinger as well as his. by becoming the mountehank of any tory. Not satisfied with this, he has society, but by a fair and honourable blended Aretinus with Tiberius; and discharge of his duty as an actor. thus, in defiance of all probability Let him too be more chary of his and common sense, and to the utter good name; for the audience, whether ruin of the scene, we have Aretinus right or wrong, will mix up the pri- playing the double part of a friend vate with the public character; and and an enemy, an informer and an he who is to live by the people, must emperor. Nor was there any thing not despise the humours of the in Kean's performance to reconcile us people.
to these enormities; great as he has The first of these pieces is nothing shown himself on many occasions, more than a prelude from Massinger's his“ Roman Actor" was equally play of the same name, from which bad in conception and execution: the it has borrowed so much of the first Paris of Massinger pleads his cause and third scenes as was calculated for in a strain of manly and fervid elothe display of Kean's talent, and only quence, as remote from violence as it Kean’s. This, to say the least of it, is from weakness; he attempts to is a very paltry ambition, this convince, not to overawe, the senate; grasping after every thing in the style for how indeed could a poor actor of most judicious Bottom, of asinine hope to frighten the Patricians of memory,—Let me play Thisby too Rome by a few big words ? It is -let me play the lion too.” If he not even an appeal to the passions, goes on at this rate Mr. Elliston may but to the understandings, of men ; dismiss the rest of his company, and and the slight sarcasm aimed at Area he and the manager may divide the tinus is so guardedly couched that it drama between them, each having as may pass either for satire or complimany notes of admiration tacked to ment. Yet in defiance of these obe his name, as he plays characters. vious truths, Kean was overbearing, Vol. VI.
familiar, and sarcastic, pompous downright nonsense, and that too in without dignity, and violent without verse which is verse only to the eye, energy. This is the more surprising or when counted on the fingers: but as he is undoubtedly the first orator poor as the materials were, the acupon the stage; and as to dignity, he tor contrived to work wonders with has enough of that when he chooses. them, and exhibited a fearful scene Notwithstanding the vulgar prejudice of insanity struggling with the return on this subject, dignity has nothing of reason. Nothing in art could be at all to do with the stature; it is finer than the alternate light and shaentirely a thing of intellect, and its dow that played upon his face, like expression depends on manner, not on the fitful blazings of a fire, flashing a man's being tall or short. If this up for a moment to sink again into were not so, little could be said for utter darkness. There was a painful Kean's Othello, which is yet the consciousness of the truth expressed triumph of the modern school of act- in every feature, a wavering between ing. What can be more noble than reason and insanity, till the fit again his quiet rebuke of Cassio's intem- came on him in all its strength, and perance ? “ How comes it, Cassio, then it seemed to tear up his very soul. you are thus forgot?” What more There was an irresistible and sweepdignified than his appeal to the se- ing grandeur in his passion that made nate? What more sublime, more him in form a giant—it was a visible terribly sublime, than the passion of emanation of the mind, fresh and his jealousy?-We must, therefore, glowing from the fountain—and the look to some other cause for his expression of superior intellect, what. failure in “ The Roman Actor," - ever is its character, can never be perhaps to his neglect, for he can do called little. nothing without study; the contrary If we compare Kean's Octavian indeed has usually been imagined of with that of Kemble (the only thing him, but it is a notorious fact to to which it can be compared), we those at all acquainted with his ha- should be inclined to allow the prebits, that he never has succeeded in ference to the former. There was a any character so hastily adopted. quiet grandeur in Kemble's acting Hence it is that he has so frequently that gave it all the effect of a marble failed in new plays, his indolence not statue-it was bold and beautiful in permitting him to give them the re- the outlines, but it wanted colour; quisite attention.
his mind, like his features, was noble; Of the few others that performed but, like them, it was too rigid, too in this little prelude, we may say little flexible, to put on any form that with Grumio, - the rest were ragged, was not native to it; he wanted that old, and beggarly.” By the bye, pliability of mind and face which is while we are on this subject, we the highest excellence of Kean, and wish Mr. Barnard would inform us perhaps of all acting. Kemble was who is Agāve; we have heard indeed always himself, always peculiar, and of a certain Agāvē, of whom both his peculiarities were a little apt to mix Ovid and Horace speak, though we up with the general varieties of feel. only quote from the first :
ing. Kean is only peculiar by some Adspice, mater, ait. Visis ululavit Agāvē.
vile tricks that too often stare out of
his assumption of character and beIs this the lady that Mr. Barnard tray the individual; but then he has meant when he talked of Agåve? the power of flinging them off when
The next piece on the list of the he pleases; and there are times when evening's entertainments was The it does please him to wear the mask Mountaineers, in the second act of most closely. He has less of that which Kean's Octavian was no bet- grandeur which belongs to sober reater than his Paris; but in the cottage son, and more of that which springs scene, both before and after the en- om the energy of passion, than was trance of Floranthe, he was brilliant the case with Kemble. His voice too beyond the power of words to do him is infinitely more rich and varied, notjustice. Indeed he acted the part ra- withstanding the objections raised ther as it ought to be than as it is; for against its hoarseness, objections that Colman, while intending to write the have originated in people confoundlanguage of madness, has written only ing full round tones (like those of
Young and Macready) with a voice we must therefore hasten to despatch of compass and flexibility. His Oc- them as rapidly as may be. tavian was an instance of this, and a In the hands of Fitzwilliam and striking instance. At the same time Miss Cubitt, the parts of Killmallock we object entirely to any superiority and Agnes were“ much abused,”— being allowed him on the score of his and Harley, from whom we have a being more natural, a phrase that is right to expect better things, was most cruelly abused; his acting was very indifferent in Sadi. His hunatural just as much as a fine picture mour was by no means characteristic or a fine statue is natural, but no far- of the Moor, yet still it was humour; ther. There is an essential difference and, as it tickled the fat ribs of between all the works of art and na- laughter, it might pass well enough ture, distinct from all the differences for the novice. But his pathos will that may arise out of inequality—for never do; he must confine himself to many a subject that is exceedingly such parts as are purely comic, and unpleasant in nature, becomes the very those too of a peculiar class ; they reverse in its imitation. The pro- must be full of life and bustle, and de ducts of the two therefore cannot be pend on sprightliness for their effect precisely the same, for they do not rather than that rich oily kind of hubring with them the same association mour which characterizes Munden. of ideas; nor is it desirable that they It is by these that he first gained his should do so, for we find that imita- good name with the public, and it is tion does not delight in exact ratio by these he must retain it. But we to its resemblance with any given are weary of the task of censure, and reality; if it did, a wax figure, which pass over the rest to come to Kean's has form and colour, would please Tom Tug, a still, beautiful piece of much more than a marble statue, acting, that only wants to be more which has form only, both qualities known to become a subject of gebeing a part of natural objects, and neral admiration. Like his tragedy, the wax figure therefore being the it has nothing in common with any nearest in its likeness to nature. There existing school of acting; there was seems to be in every work of art no grimace about it, no effort to proa something superadded to nature, duce a barren laugh by any trick of which, in the absence of a more de- voice or manner; it was a true and finite name, the world is content to perfect character, and differed from call poetical, and which, as far as it the waterman of real life only by the has reference to the present business, superaddition of that poetic colouring means nothing more than the associa- which is the charm of art, and which tion of other and more pleasant ideas we have already noticed as distinthan belonged to the object of imita- guishing it from nature. The great tion. Hence it is that so few local aim of most comedians is to excite descriptions correspond with the rea- laughter, no matter by what means; lity; the ideas that are called up by with Kean, on the contrary, truth of the description are not the same as character is the first object--if it conthose excited by the things them- tain the seeds of the ridiculous, well selves, when subjected to the sight; and good; but he does not go out of and yet at the same time the features his way to seek for it. His singing of the imitation may be so very like too was of the same school, and conthe subject imitated, that it would sequently no less delightful to those not be an easy matter to find a single who can overlook the absence of all point of difference. The subject, hown science for the sake of expression ; ever, is one of considerable difficulty, indeed it was rather speaking to muand is not to be settled by a few brief sic than what is usually understood assertions, the results rather than the by the term singing; but with all our proofs of our conviction ; but we have love for the vocal art, we are inclined no space at present for pursuing the tu suspect, that this thing, sine nomine, question any farther, for there is still is the more delicious of the two, and much matter upon our hands, and in- we are quite sure that it is the most deed more than we well know what intellectual. to do with; to do full justice to the This evening may be considered the demerits of the Drury-lane Company close of Mr. Elliston's season, as far would require half our Magazine, and as criticism is concerned; for though