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Diary of the Rev. John Ward, A. M. Vicar of Stratford-upon-Avon,_extending from 1648 to 1679. MSS. in the library of the Medical Society of London. Arranged by Charles Severn, M. D. Registrar of the Medical Society. 8vo. pp. 315. SOME of our critical brethren, provoked by the repeated trumpetings with which the approach of this volume has been announced, on the ground of its being full of interesting matters regarding Shakspere, and disappointed by the blank which has overshadowed their too sanguine expectations, have revenged themselves by extracting the brief passages in which the bard of Stratford is actually mentioned, presenting them to their readers in a manner which seemed to say, "There you have all the kernel; the rest of the volume is only an immense husk." Now, we will not deny that such treatment has been
provoked, and even deserved, by the false pretences before mentioned; nor is the volume, at the best, very full of kernel: we think, however, that our readers have a claim upon us to know what the book really does contain, as well as the points in which it fails to fulfil its professions.
In the first place, then, it is not a Diary. Had it actually been a diary of the time of Charles the Second, written by a man at all observant of public matters, or even if merely illustrating manners and customs, it could not have failed of being interesting; but its proper title is, The Commonplace Book of the Rev. John Ward. It is in fact a miscellaneous string of extracts from what we find duly described in the preface as a series of seventeen duodecimo volumes, in the original binding, carefully and legibly written, which proved to be genuine common-place books, extending from 1648 to 1679."
These genuine common-place books," now published with a very disingenuous title, relate, as such collections generally do, to subjects of every kind. As the collector was a divine, and certainly an amateur if not a practising physician, they are naturally in a great degree theological or medical; some are historical and antiquarian, and others mere facetiæ, such as the following:
"One, I think a clergyman, having gained a living, built a house upon itt, and put this inscription over the door, Sorte sua contentus. Afterwards, being by better preferment drawne from thence, one told him hee hoped hee would not remove, for hee had proclaimed his content in his condition to the world, and so repeated his motto. 'O,' says he, 'I was content after a sort.' " (p. 118.)
Of contemporary anecdotes or remarks, such as a real Diary would have furnished, there is no great plenty yet there are some things for which our editorial Doctor would have received the public thanks, if he had administered his extracts in smaller doses. We take some remarks on the doings at Court, apparently written a few years after the Restoration:
"The Countess of Castlemaine is now much declining in favour. Shee was lately brought to bed: after shee had lyen in nine days, she followed in the progres,
as Sir John Clopton told mee. shee came home againe, her child was buried in the Savoy. They say shee would now be reconciled to her husband, and hath sent for him. There is one Mrs. Steward, who is a renowned beautie, and is now much in esteeme above her, whom it is said they have a mind to marrie to the Duke of Norfolk, and send for him home, which Henry Howard, who is next brother, takes ill; and this year, retiring home, hath spent, it is said, 20,000 pound in housekeeping this Christmas, which is taken ill, in regard the King himself hath given over housekeeping." They say that all this talk of the Lady Castlemaine hath proceeded from her own follies; shee is not willing her children should be esteemed her husband's owne. I heard also that my Lord Chesterfield was a person much acquainted with her formerly: enquire how long shee was married before the King came in." (p. 97.)
"I have heard they put on the Queen's head, when shee was sick, a nightcap of some sort of a precious relick to recover her, and gave her extreme unction; and that my Lord Aubignie told her she must impute her recovery to these. Shee answered not, but rather to the prayers of her husband." (p. 98.)
King Charles is an active young gentleman, as Mr. Stretton relates. Hee saw him leap with much activitie; he by much outleaped the Duke of Buckingham and severell others; as allso in shooting hee is very dexterous." (p. 120.)
The following is an historical anecdote worth having; it furnishes a striking commentary upon what in our own days has acquired the title of "the voluntary system:
"Mr. Dod told mee this storie: the buisness of tithes in the Protector's time being once hotly agitated in the Council, Mr. Rouse stood upp, and bespake them thus: 'Gentlemen,' says hee, I'll tell you a storie; being travelling in Germany, my boot in a place being torne, I staid to have it mended, and then came to mee a very ingenious man, and mended itt; I staying the Lord's day in that place, saw one who came upp to preach who was very like the man that mended my boot; I inquired, and found itt was hee. grievd mee much. They told mee they had tithes formerly; but now being taken away, the minister was faine to take any emploiment on him to get a living.' Ï
heard the storie turned the Protector, and hee presently cried out, Well, they shall never mend shoes while I live.'" (p. 121.)
The following anecdotes are hanced in value, from the circumstance of Mr. Ward having received them directly from the mouth of Sir Edward Walker, the Garter King of Arms:
"Sir Edward Walker went to the King immediately after King Charles the First had his head cut off; hee carried but 40 pound along with him, and one 20 pound hee received from England in all the twelve years. Hee saies the Duke of Ormond and my Lord Chancellor [Clarendon] kept but two men apeece when they were beyond sea with the King. Hee told mee hee carried the Garter to the Marquis of Brandenburg, and had 125 pound for itt; that hee had a stately palace at Berlin; that hee is not such a drinker as people say. Sir Edward said hee dined with him, and protested that hee had risen from the table thirstie." (p. 137.)
"Sir Edward Walker was secretarie to the Earl of Arundel, when hee went embassador to the Emperor about restitution of the Palatinate. Hee was secretarie to the same Earl when he was general of the King's forces against the Scots. Sir Edward, by the King's command, wrote the actions of the warre in 1644. I saw itt, and King Charles the First his correcting of itt, with his owne handwriting; for Sir Edward's manner was to bring it to the King every Saturday, after dinner, and then the King putt out and putt in, with his owne hand, what hee pleased." (p. 180.)
We have also an anecdote of Cromwell, which, though recorded only as an on dit, appears characteristic:
"One saied that Cromwell saied once to Lambert, Were I as young as you, I should not doubt, ere I died, to knock at the gates of Rome!' Some say that Oliver had a designe, when hee had gott some more townes in Flanders beside Dunkirke, to have, with a small squadron of shipps, made the Dutch pay toll in the Channel." (p. 138.)
Mr. Ward's commonplace-books are certainly appropriately placed in the the library of the Medical Society; for the writer's chief delight seems to have been in pharmacy and surgery; unless we are to attribute the preponderance of these subjects to the predilictions of the editor. There are probably materials here for a valuable
review of medical science in the reign of Charles the Second; from the assertion of Ned Culpeper (in p. 95,) that a a physitian without astrologie is like a pudden without fat; to the grave declaration of a more celebrated personage, that
Physick, says Sydenham, is not to bee learned by going to universities; but hee is for taking apprentices; and says one had as good send a man to Oxford to learn shoemaking as practising physick." (p. 242.)
And occasionally we have a personal anecdote, though few so good as the following of Dr. Bates, who, we presume, was Oxford bred.
"Dr. Bates is by some thought to be inconsiderat in his practice: itts said hee hath killd two ladies, my Lord of Bedford's little daughter and my Lady Watton. Hee would needs give her a vomit: now when he had præscribed itt, hee sent itt to the apothecaries to bee made. He refused, saying hee had been so much beholding to her ladyship, that he must not give itt her. Bates was very angry, and told her hee would bring itt the next day, and stay the working of itt; but before itt had done working, shee departed this life. This Mr. Free told mee from Mr. Lypiat." (p. 263.)
We find from another story (in p. 100.) that this bold physician was noseless! but we shall leave to some more appropriate critic the further discussion of Mr. Ward's medical collections, contenting ourselves with the following entry respecting a Dr. Fry, which is a curious picture of an old physician (as we presume,) receiving his clients at home, in the same way as the counsellor in Hudibras, so excellently represented in the print by Hogarth. In defence of the remarks we have already made, we must premise that it is one of the very few passages in the book to which a date is prefixed :
"Saturday, March 1, 1661. Mr. Burnet and I was with Dr. Fry, att his house near the Tower, where we saw him sitt very reverently, with his hatt with silver lace about itt, and his studying gowne on. Hee askt the good people many questions; there were at least twelve or fourteen with him while we were there." (p. 109.)
As an Editor, Dr. Severn is not distinguished by remarkable skill in arranging his materials, or in elucidating the statements of his author by illusGEN. MAG. VOL. XII.
trative facts. The notes he has appending are very few, and they are chiefly distinguished by their very strong political liberalism. We will point out a few instances in which he has neglected to correct the misstatements of his text.
In p. 94, and reprinted in p. 132, is a statement that coaches were first made in England by one Walter Ripon, in the reign of Queen Marie. The statement is derived from Stowe, but inaccurately, for Stowe says in 1564, in the reign of Queen Elizabeth. (See
Archæl. XX., 463.)
"I have heard that the phraze Scottfree came first thus; the Scots in King James his time, if they committed crimes, still escaped, even when Englishmen were hanged." (p. 104.)
from which one would suppose that neither Mr. Ward nor his Editor ever paid their scot and lot.
In p. 108 is an equally foolish story of the heir of the Stanley family being brought by an eagle, and therefore "named the Lord Strange!" equally given without remark, as if that wellknown legend was equally veritable and original.
In p. 102 we have this pithy character of our early literary biographers' but the name of the second is innocently misprinted Bate!
"Leland is the industrious bee, working all; Bale is the angry wasp, stinging all; Pits is the idle drone, stealing all."
In p. 117 we are told of Nicholas de Ternham, instead of Farnham, "the chief English physitian and Bishop of Durham; in p. 171 is a very incorrect account of the family of the favourite Buckingham, into which it is not worth while to enter; and in p. 301 an equally incorrect statement of the family of Dr. Accepted Frewen, Archbishop of York, which may be corrected by the pedigree in Nichols's Leicestershire, II. 142. His next brother was Thankfull, "Lord Coventrie's secretarie,' but in the rest of the family there was no peculiarity of In p. 310 Archbishop Chicheley is scarcely recognised (and probably not at all by the editor) under the name of Chickley. What is worst of all, in a volume of such miscellaneous contents, there is no index.
We perhaps ought not to conclude
without giving the Shakspere passages; but really after reading Dr. Severn's dissertation of fifty pages thereon, we cannot perceive any value in them. They are mere tittle-tattle, written, it seems, in 1663, which is forty years after Shakspere's death. Valeant quantum valere possint.
."Shakspear had but two daughters, one whereof Mr. Hall, the physitian, married, and by her had one daughter married, to wit, the Lady Bernard of Abbingdon.
"I have heard that Mr. Shakspeare was a natural wit, without any art at all: hee frequented the plays all his younger time,
but in his elder days he lived at Stratford, and supplied the stage with two plays every year, and for itt had an allowance so large, that he spent att the rate of 10001. a-year, as I have heard.
"Shakespeare, Drayton, and Ben Jonson, had a merie meeting, and it seems drank too hard, for Shakspeare died of a feavour there contracted.
"Remember to peruse Shakespeare's plays, and bee much versed in them, that I may not bee ignorant in that matter.
"Whether Dr. Heylin does well, in reckoning up the dramatic poets which have been famous in England, to omit Shakspear?"
EXHIBITION OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY.
The New Gallery was opened to the public on Monday the 6th of May. The works exhibited this year (including oil and water-colour paintings, miniatures, architectural drawings, and sculpture), amount to 1,390 in number; and, although several popular artists contribute nothing, the collection, as a whole, is considered a pretty fair one. It is to be regretted, however, that among our present Academicians there is not one that can be at all compared to the great English masters of the last century, such for instance as HoGARTH, REYNOLDS, WILSON, and GAINSBOROUGH. There are doubtless many clever painters, but alas! where we meet with brilliancy of execution, that originality of style is wanting which is so requisite to entitle an artist to the distinetion of a master. We would therefore again impress upon the Academicians the absolute necessity of abandoning that system of copying, to which they are inveterately so prone, and we may take this opportunity of remarking that the public are becoming too well informed in these matters to estimate any longer the merits of a picture by the size of the canvass upon which it is painted. In the exhibition of the present season, we find several works of vast extent, each occupying the whole side of a room: but the public voice declares against them, and the parties sending, and the character of the Academy, suffer by such obtrusions, especially when it is considered that many pictures of merit have been sacrificed in order to make way for them. We will now point out a few of the more striking things in the Gallery :
No. 360, Pluto carrying off Proserpine, J. M. W. TURNER, R. A. Of the numerous pictures exhibited by this gentleman, the one we have here selected for a passing
comment, is our favourite. It is slightly painted, but highly poetical and less extravagant in colour than the rest. The stricken tree in the foreground, which is introduced with masterly skill, gives great effect to the distance. Altogether Mr. Turner is this year perhaps not quite so felicitous as usual. Some of his pictures seem to have been painted in haste and without due attention to detail. were much amused by the remark, as true and as severe as it was innocently expressed, which we overheard from a little boy who was just struck with the appearance of one of Mr. Turner's very brilliant effects. "Oh, here, Papa," said he, "do come and look at these fireworks!"
No.441. Sweet Summer-time. J. CRESWICK.-An extremely pretty landscape, but the artist has painted many better, It is too green, and somewhat deficient in tone. Mr. Creswick would do well to step into the adjoining gallery, and bestow an hour's attention on Wilson's beautiful productions. Gainsborough is
less true in colour than that eminent
No. 50. Portrait of the Marquess Camden. J. R. WILDMAN. Two or three clever portrait painters in the room, pronounced this the finest head in the exhibition. We think they are right. The President, Sir M. A. SHEE, has nevertheless, some very good specimens ; among which we may notice, No. 75, Portrait of Sir C. Bethell Codrington, Bart. This is the best thing we recollect to have seen from Sir Martin's pencil.
No. 507. Girl and Rabbits. J. P. DREW. An extremely clever study in the pure style of Sir Joshua. The name of the artist is new to us, but we may anticipate much from this early indication of
No. 20. The Broken Heart. J. P. KNIGHT. A comeliness in the principal
figure is wanting. The picture is otherwise meritorious. The artist is doubtless not aware of the fact, but it is nevertheless certain, that he has not an eye for feminine beauty. He has shown this in many instances, and he would do well to shun those subjects to which it is indispensible as is the case with the present
No. 69. Princess Mary of Cambridge, and a favourite Newfoundland Dog. E. LANDSEER, R. A. Mr. Landseer is excellent in his animals, but let him not lend too ready an ear to those who would persuade him that he at all approaches SNYDERS. The comparison is ridiculous. We are by no means sure that he equals WARD -we mean the Ward of ten or fifteen years back. In this artist there was all the character, and less of the flimsiness of Landseer. The dog in this performance is a repetition of the numerous representations of the same subject, which the latter has contributed to our exhibitions, and so in fact is the child-the one being clever, the other being positively bad.
No. 235, Portrait of Miss Eliza Peel, with Fido, a similar composition, is characterised by the like beauties and defects. No. 289, Pony and Dogs, is a capital thing. The Pony is in the finest manner of the veteran, James Ward. No. 361, Van Amburgh, and his animals, seems to have disappointed the artist's warmest admirers. The animals are certainly most tame in all respects, while the foreground is poor, and cold and slaty.
No. 428. The Bride of Lammermuir, R. S. LANDER. There is much good painting in this composition, but, in point of originality of style, it is upon a par with the rest.
No. 460. The Lady Mayoress of York. W. ETTY. As admirers of Mr. Etty's talents, we regret that he should have employed them so unprofitably as he has done upon this execrable portrait. It is badly drawn, badly coloured, and badly painted, combining all the faults of the tyro, with those of mannered experience. In No. 241. Pluto carrying off Proserpine, also by Mr. Etty, there is much that is worthy of the master. We do not like the principal figure, but some of the subordinate ones are of exquisite symmetry. There is also, deal of good colouring. Of the draperies we cannot approve.
No. 242. Portrait of Alderman Lucas. Sir D. WILKIE, R. A. Rather commonplace in style, and not a striking likeness of the individual, with whose features we happen to be familiar. Sir David has several other pictures in the exhibition, but we do not think they add materially to his reputation. No. 65, Sir David Baird discovering the body of Tippoo
Saib, has some fine artist-like points about it, but as a whole, it is any thing but agreeable to look upon.
No. 514. Wood Fetchers. J. INSKIPP. The proverb, "It is an ill wind that blows nobody good," is here illustrated with great ability. Some little rustics returning from the woods, laden with faggots rudely bound together, give evidence of the devastating effects of the elements overnight. A subject so well suited to the powers of the master, could not fail to be appropriately treated. The figures are well grouped and painted-the accessories equally soand, altogether, the work is more in the way of the old school than any in the gallery. Nature, simplicity, and a pure and broad style of pencilling, characterise Mr. Inskipp's art, and here those great qualities are seen in an eminent degree.
No. 293. Robin Hood. D. MACLISE, A. A work of much merit, and not a little ex travagance. The drawing is the most commendable part of it. The colouring and effects are false and inharmonious in the extreme, nor can we understand why it is the artist introduces his figures so invariably with a broad grin on their countenances. Nature furnishes no authority for these eternal displays of the teeth, and intervening gaps which Mr. Maclise takes so great a delight in. His pictures always want repose.
No. 469. The Brigand's Hut. J. UWINS, R. A. The artist has not an eye for colour, as is evident upon an examination of the flesh tints in this, and his various other works. His execution is moreover feeble.
Mr. LESLIE has two or three small figure pieces in his usual style. LEE exhibits numerous landscapes, which without much art, convey to the mind of the spectator a pleasing recollection of our beautiful rural scenery, and as furniture pictures, they are worthy of much commendation. C. LANDSEER has a well painted interior. Mr. HART has a picture representing Lady Jane Grey at the place of her execution. It is painted on a large scale, and this without any adequate motive. The interest of the subject is confined to a very small compass, and his labour has for the most part, been consequently thrown away. It might be reduced with advantage from its present dimensions of fifteen or twenty feet square, to two or three. FAULKNER'S portrait of Mrs. Spurgin, will bear a comparison with any in the exhibition. BRIGGS and PICKERSGILL are feeble in all their contibutions, and PHILLIPS far from vigo
At present we have not space to notice the drawings, miniatures and sculpture.