to enforce their perusal! Wordsworth quaint dedication,—was no more than some says of the very same Sonnets : that in no amateur collector, who had earned the gratipart of Shakespeare's writings is there to tude of Thomas Thorpe, by augmenting be found, in an equal compass, a greater Jaggard's meagre collection of “Sonnets to number of exquisite feelings felicitously ex- Sundry Notes of Musicke," printed ten years pressed. Who shall decide when doctors before? Printers and publishers in those old disagree?

days troubled themselves as little about an Delina.—Between two such doctors the author's right to property in his own brainchoice is not difficult, I should think; and work, as any Harper or Harpy of the free and as to their interpretation, why should the enlightened Republic of this nineteenth cenSonnets be judged by a different rule from tury. Initials are common on their titlethose of Petrarch and Surrey, of Spenser or pages. Mr. I. H. prints one edition of Drayton. Meres, who knew of them while the “Venus and Adonis," Mr. R. F. anstill in private circulation, before 1598, in other, Mr. W. B. a third, and Mr. T. P. a his “Wits' Treasury” calls them “Shakes- fourth. One edition of the “Lucrece" bears peare's sugared sonnets among his private the initials I. H., another N.O., a third T. friends." That is simple enough. To him S., and a fourth J. B. Sometimes the myswith all his knowledge of the man and the tery lies with the printer, at other times with period, they were just such detached sonnets, the publisher. The sonnets of 1609 are “By written from time to time under varying | G. Eld, for T. T., and are to be sold by emotions and external influences, as those William Aspley.” Why should not the dediin Spenser's Amoretti, in Daniel's “Delia,” cation have its share. Everybody who cared or in the “Idea's Mirror" of Drayton. Many to know, could find out who I. H. the printof them were written in those earlier years er, or T. T. the publisher was; and probain which he penned his “Venus and Adonis,” bly Mr. W. H. was then no more important, and other lyrical pieces, before he discover and little less accessible. ed where his true strength lay.

But long

HARDEN,—It may be so; and this Will o' afterwards I doubt not he found in many a the Wisp has led us a round, much akin to thoughtful mood :

that of the old bibliomaniacs you refuse to “ 'Twas pastime to be bound follow : Within the sonnet's scanty plot of ground.”

“Through bog, through bush, through brake, until at length the whole were collected and through briar.” printed by Thomas Thorpe,---the T. T. of What of your promised glimpse of Anne the involved dedication,—so late as 1609. Hathaway in these same sonnet-riddles ?

HARDEN.-So far, I am very much of your DELINA.--Reading them with the idea of mind. But who then was Mr. W. H.? Have an absent husband responding to the regrets you found in him the father of Anne Shakes- of one who deplores that time has her alpeare, and so the only begetter of her and ready at a disadvantage, I find a significance the sonnets too ? A William Hathaway cast on many that were before as obscure, would be a match for any W. H. yet named. though not as barren, to me as they proved

DELINA.—I do not greatly concern my to the critical lawyer, George Steevens. Look self about Mr. W. H. He certainly was not for example, at the beautiful one beginning : the poet's father-in-law; for his name was

“Like as the waves make towards the pebbled Richard. “Mr.” in those days implied a shore, University graduate : what if the said Mr. So do our minutes hasten to their end;" W. H.—to whom, be it remembered, the and yet he comforts himself that his verse publisher, and not the author, makes his shall live to praise her worth, despite Time's

many forms.


cruel hand. The same idea is repeated in HARDEN.—And that the poet has himself

in view in “all that beauty" he refers to ! HARDEN.--And by many lovers—though DELINA.--I suppose him to be only versithey had not married their grandmothers! fying the thoughts of his wife; in fact, ren

DELINA.—If you can but jest, we had dering one of her letters into a sonnet. better drop the subject.

HARDEN.-An ingenious fancy, certainly; HARDEN.—I crave your pardon. I shall and not worse than some of the older hytry to dismiss altogether from my mind the potheses you reject. Better indeed than seven-years disparity between the boy-poet that of William Hart, the nephew, who was and his bride. Proceed if you please. not born when some of the sonnets were

DELINA.--Not, if you are to dismiss from written ; or than William Hughes so ingenyour mind that difference of age; though iously unearthed by Tyrwhitt out of a sorry the sooner you rid your mind of the as- pun! And you would find by a like sumed domestic discord of which it has some definite meaning or other in each of been made the sole basis, the better. those vague little abstractions.

HARDEN.-I await your disclosures with DELINA.—Many of them are full of meanunbiased impartiality.

ing and personal character. Look at the DELINA.—Disclosures I have none. What very one that follows : can you make of scores of Wordsworth's

As an imperfect actor on the stage. sonnets, for example, but crystallizations of Who with his fear is put beside his part." the poet's passing thoughts. So also is it The personality is obvious in the 134th sonwith those Shakespearian gems. Sometimes net, where he puns, and sports with his own they are his own thoughts, at other times he

name. It is no less so in the nuth, where manifestly impersonated others.

the poet complains of the fortune that forced direct you to one of the latter. I have re

I have re- him into public life; and why not also, peatedly pleased myself with the fancy that when, as in the 97th sonnet, he bewails an Shakespeare penned the twenty-second son absence that made the “summer time" and net as the expression of his absent Anne's

“the teeming autumn” seem to him like feelings; cheering her thus, by putting her the freezing of old December; or again in the own thoughts in verse, when in some de

98th :spondent hour she has recalled how time



have I been absent in the Spring, with her started unfairly in the race :

When proud-pied April, dressed in all his train, “My glass shall not persuade me I am old,

Hath put a spirit of youth in everything." So long as youth and thou are of one date ;

HARDEN.-The story of Shakespeare's But when in thee time's furrows I behold, Then look I death my days should expiate.

unhappy wedded life has been so long curFor all that beauty that doth cover thee,

rent, and so oft repeated, that I confess I have Is but the seemly raiment of my heart,

never before fully recognized how entirely it Which in thy breast doth live, as thine in me ; is an inference, or invention of later times. How can I then be elder than thou art ?

I shall turn a new leaf, and try to read the O, therefore, love, be of thyself so wary,

page on which you throw this novel light. As I not for myself, but for thee will ; Bearing thy heart, which I will keep so chary,

But it will take some schooling before I can As tender nurse her babe from faring ill.

hope to reach your enviable state of faith; Presume not on thy heart when mine is slain; and without that I fear the sonnets must Thou gav'st me thine, not to give back again." still remain a riddle. Perhaps I had better

HARDEN.—You fancy this sonnet should betake myself meanwhile to Niebuhr, and culbe headed "Anna Shakespeare loquitur!" tivate anew my school-boy faith in the loves

DELINA.—It seems to me it might. of Numa Pompilius and the nymph Egeria..

Let me

[blocks in formation]



[ocr errors]


picture you are now doing so much hon

to was painted by me." IN THE LUXEMBOURG.

The young girl started, and dropped

brush. Instead of stooping for it, she lool OME years ago, a French painter of up at the speaker, who quietly picked it

high celebrity stopped one day, in his and handed it to her. Cold and indiffer hasty transit through the picture gallery of as she had seemed before, there was ner: the Luxembourg, to look at the work of a coldness nor indifference in the look w young girl who was copying one of his own which she regarded him, as she took it. paintings ;—“Madame Roland before the I

“ It is true, Mademoiselle,” he said, sı Convention.” At first sight there was no- ing at her eager questioning face, “ I thing remarkable about this girl. She seem- Eugene Delacroix, and it is also true :/ ed about four and twenty, but she probably I see in you all the elements of a su looked older than she really was from her painter.” sallow complexion, and the still and thought- A handsome fair-haired young man, hi ful expression of her face. Her features self an art student who had before notic were irregular with no beauty of colouring this girl, and been struck by her pecul. to redeem their want of harmony, and her absorbed look and manner, and evid dress was as plain and unpretending as her devotion to her work, was standing ne person—a grey stuff gown and a black lace and saw that these words made her ej handkerchief tied over her black hair form- gleam and her face glow. It was not fi ed her costume. Yet, after a glance at her tered vanity that called forth the unwort work, the great painter thought her worthy brightness, it was the noble delight of tin of some attention. He looked at her scru- ing her genius recognized by one whom s tinizingly for a minute or two; then he knew to be a master in her art and whe turned again to the picture on her easel. authority she never dreamt of questionin

“ This copy is admirably done, Mademoi- a pure and grateful joy such as the tin selle,” he said at last.

Neophyte feels when his offering is approv The girl never once looked up. She by the Hierophant of the shrine at which seemed unmoved by his praise.

kneels. Then for a moment, while eve " It is very nearly, if not quite, equal to feature .was illumed by the inward filat the original,” continued the great painter. “ brighter than any light on sea or short “I even think you have infused a nobler the young student thought her beautif and more characteristic beauty into the whether the great master did or not, he w heroine's face and figure than you found in evidently much interested. He made a fi your model; and given a simpler and more criticisms on her work which the girl recel unconscious grandeur to her air and expres-ed with grateful intelligence, and before sion. And I should be something of a went away he asked her name and re judge,” he added, with a smile, “for the dence. She readily gave both, butt

Here you


young student, still watching her, could not here,” cried Clarie. “See how she looks catch her words.

back at that tiresome painting. Take fast "With your permission, Mademoiselle, hold of her, Mère Monica, and lead her we shall soon meet again,” said the great away, or we shall never get her out of this painter," till then I say to you: Courage; a dungeon.” And, while she was speaking, she great career is before you."

tripped on before, leading the way down the The girl watched his retreating figure for steep stone staircase, more quietly followed a moment; then she passed her hand across by her companions. They passed through her brow as if to calm her emotions, and the beautiful gardens where the trees were turned again to her work. But her hand putting forth their first green leaves, and the shook, a mist seemed before her eyes, and earliest flowers beginning to open. Children while she was still struggling for self-com- and nurse-maids, soldiers in their uniforms, mand, she felt a sharp tap on her shoulder, priests in their robes, students, grisettes, and and saw the pale small face of a sprightly representatives of nearly all the bourgeois girl of fourteen bending over her.

classes of Paris, strolled up and down or sat "So soon, Clarie,” she said with a sigh. on the benches. Clarie would have been

"So soon! so late you must mean. But glad to stay for a while and move among you grow worse and worse.

sit the gay groups that attracted her lively painting day after day, week after week, fancy, but Marguerite reminded her that month after month, I believe there is noth- their father would be lonely, and hurried ing else in the world that you care for. No Clarie reluctantly followed, and, lookwonder for Mère Monica to say you will ing back at some striking costume she had make yourself ill. But how fast you are caught sight of as they were descending a getting on, Marguerite,” she exclaimed sud- flight of steps, her foot slipped, and she fell denly. “Thank goodness, it will soon be on the pavement with a sudden cry. finished."

“Oh, Clarie, are you hurt?” exclaimed "Yes, but my work will not be finished Marguerite, trying to raise her sister with a with it, I hope. I have heard something tenderness which showed there was at least today, Clarie, that will make me work one thing besides her art about which she harder than ever."

cared. " What nonsense! you couldn't work “Yes, my arm,” gasped Clarie. “Oh, harder than you do. But what have you

But what have you don't touch me, Marguerite," she cried, in heard ?"

an accent of great pain; “ let me lie here. "I will tell you another time, perhaps. Oh it pains me so much, it must be Now, I am ready to go home.”

broken." An elderly woman in a picturesque Nor- Marguerite turned white with terror, and man cap and quaint black dress had accom- Mère Monica wrung her hands in agony. panied Clarie, and now handed Marguerite Some passers-by stopped, but before any ber shawl.

“Not that you need it to-day,” one else could offer assistance, the young she said in a brisk cheerful tone, “ the air is student who had seen them in the Luxem50 mild it is easy to see that summer is bourg, and who had followed them through coming even in Paris, and the gardens are the gardens, came forward. almost as sweet as the apple orchards in my “There is a surgeon living close by,” he old home. It will do you good to get into said to Marguerite,“ let me carry Mademoithem out of this gloomy place."

selle there. I will not hurt you," he said to “I don't know how she can bear to the poor child, who was moaning piteously, spend these bright spring mornings shut up" I will carry you very gently."

« ForrigeFortsett »