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The page, who knew his duty well,
And in no part he err'd;
He nought omitted serving thus
When blessing all the priest descended,
The next plate represents the savages of the Foundery thrusting the false Robert' into the furnace. We agree with Mr. Collier that it is a masterly performance. The desperate struggles of the huntsman, and the ferocious determination of the two boors who are plunging him into the fire, eminently display the variety of Mr. Retsch's powers, and the force with which he can pourtray the fiercer passions and the human frame, in a state of the utmost exertion.' The succeeding scene represents the visit of Fridolin to the Foundery, whence, without understanding what it meant, he brought home the message to his master, which was given him by the warders of the furnace, "He's safe enough within." The delicacy of the poet in keeping Fridolin ignorant of the fate which had been intended for him, and which had been inflicted on his calumniator, is much to be admired. The Lord of Savern, recognizing in the unexpected result the interposition of Providence, acknowleges the Page's innocence, and restores him to his favor.
The Fight with the Dragon is not less interesting than Fridolin, and is embellished with twice the number of plates. The inevitable introduction of the form of the monstrous serpent into several scenes, tends to mar the beauty of the outlines, as no figure can be more unpicturesque and disagreeable in itself than that of the dragon. This was an unfortunate ingredient in the subject, but it has been greatly redeemed by the skill and genius of the designer; who has considerably amplified and improved the tale. The story is founded upon one of those antient traditions of combats with wild animals, which are to be found in every part of Europe. In this romance, the fight is supposed to take place in the island of Rhodes during the period of its occupation by the Knights of the famous military Order of St. John of Jerusalem.
The first plate is among the most simple and beautiful of Mr. Retsch's designs. An elderly sage is seated at one side APP. REV. VOL. CVII. Nn of
of the picture, looking compassionately on a lady of rank and beauty, who is seated opposite to him, and whose whole attitude betrays her grief for the loss of a husband killed in an unsuccessful contest with the monster. The city of Rhodes is seen in the distance, with shipping in the bay; and to the left an abrupt hill, crowned by a chapel, which had been the favorite resort of pilgrims, until the dragon took up his station near it, and prevented further access. The dragon is discerned at the foot of the hill in pursuit of a young man and woman, who are flying in the utmost terror. Roused by the repetition of the devastations which this monster committed on the people and flocks in its neighbourhood, one of the young knights of the Order resolved to attack him, although it was against the rules of the institution to draw his sword against any foe but a Saracen. His enthusiasm was more inflamed by meeting with a group of mourners, who lament the death of the two fugitives just mentioned, caused by the dragon. This group is delineated with matchless power of expression. The grief of one of the children who buries her face in her grandmother's lap is eloquently marked. The grandfather relates the calamity to the young knight, in the presence of two or three women of the neighbourhood, whose sympathy is exquisitely pourtrayed, and contrasted with the horror and the consequent resolution painted on the knight's countenance. He mounted his charger, rode to the haunt of the monster, and leaving his horse tied to a tree, he crept over the side of the rock, and beheld the enormous serpent folded in its scales and sleeping below him. Having obtained leave of absence from the Grand Master, he then returned to his native country, where he procured an exact model of the dragon to be fabricated, and by means of this image he trained his horse and dogs to the combat for which he was preparing. A very animated picture of the brazier's shop exhibits workmen employed on this labor, under the superintendence of the knight, and another still more spirited represents the chevalier urging his dogs to attack this artificial dragon. Nothing can be grander than the figure of the horse in this plate. It is perhaps Retsch's chef-d'œuvre. It far exceeds the steed in Fridolin in boldness of attitude. Fire sparkles from his eye; and the forehead, and crest, and mane, which are remarkably fine, seem instinct with the pride and terror of war. After a due course of preparation the knight returned to Rhodes, and proceeded without delay to the performance of the task which he had assigned to himself; and he thus describes to the Grand Master the history of the contest:
"Beneath a huge o'erhanging block,
Dank with the stagnant marsh's vapour,
And should some pilgrim out of breath, But turn into this path forbidden,
The monster dragg'd him to his death, By rushing from his covert hidden.
"I mounted to this chapel high,
And, ere I sought my enemy,
By shrift besought Heaven's grace and favour:
I don'd my armour glittering bright,
And while my mastiffs scour'd amain,
In many a horrid glittering fold,
While poisonous breath around he threw,
"I soon revived their wonted rage,
He caught the Dragon's deadly glance:
"And ere my dogs their hold let go,
I started from the earth below,
And where the paunch was white and naked,
Close by the bleeding Dragon dead,
The issue of the contest, though applauded to the echo by the listening multitude, was not so well received by the Grand Master, who reproached the knight with having violated the rules of his Order, by exerting his prowess against any other foe than a Saracen. In consequence, the Master at first refused him the grand cross of the Order. Upon this
The people's tumult, uncontroll'd,
Like storm through all the structure roll'd.
And cried," Embrace me, worthy son:
Thus ends the tale. The latter scenes are most successfully delineated in the outlines, particularly the triumphal entry of the knight into the city of Rhodes after the completion of his achievement, his reception by the Grand Master and brethren of his Order, and the concluding ceremonial of investing him with the cross as the reward of his valor. The two last plates, though crowded with many groups,
groups, exhibit no confusion or indistinctness. The variety of the countenances, and the different modes of expression by which they are distinguished, shew the boundless fertility of Retsch's invention, and the true historical taste by which it is elevated and controlled.
ART. XIV. L'Hermite du Faubourg Saint-Germain. Par M. COLNET. 2 Tomes. Paris. 1825.
THIS HIS work is intended by the author as an addition to the collection of French manners which M. de Jouy has so happily described in his "Hermit in the Provinces." It is rather a sequel to the "Hermit of the Chaussée d'Antin," for the scenes and incidents are mostly confined to Paris and its environs. M. COLNET is by no means so lively and agreeable a writer as his predecessor; yet he has scattered through his two volumes some pictures of literary life in Paris, which have afforded us great amusement. We shall give one or two extracts, as specimens of his general style. He thus describes, evidently from experience, the morning of a newspaper-editor :
'It is ten o'clock: I am now to commence my Journal. The task is not so easy as people generally imagine. To excite the curiosity of a great number of readers, whose sentiments and views can never accord with mine; to serve the laziness of some, to offer to others an agreeable recreation from their labours; in a word, to obtain readers in an age when so little is read. What an undertaking! and the world thinks the while that we are on a bed of roses! This journal must appear to-day, to-morrow, after toevery day. Let us then proceed to business. The Moniteur arrives; perhaps it will assist me a little out of my embarrassment. Not a bulletin - not a single word of official news! Had I foreseen this, I should have got up something official of my What if I make an army advance-only a little army, just to fill up my politiques? No-alas! that is no longer allowed. What, then, shall I say to the public? for something I must say— it is inevitable.
I must look through the provincial Journals; I often find in them curious facts, which interest my Parisian readers. Let me see-Ah! heavens! not a single disaster, not a poor paltry storm, not one fire any where! The thunder has remained idle, the steeples are all standing, the avalanches are at peace! How unfortunate! I never saw such absolute sterility! What the deuce shall I put in my Journal? How useful now would be a band of robbers! where are they to be found? Alas! since the tribunals no longer give them credit for good intentions, these honest gentlemen dare not shew themselves. If, at least, in their absence, and during this interregnum, a few wolves made their appearance in some country village, what an agreeable variety would not such