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is infinite grandeur in the figure and air of the Saint; the head, in particular, is nobly conceived, and the whole work is among the finest in this Gallery. The picture of a Holy Family, &c. by L. da Vinci, (57,) which hangs close to the above on the left, is considered as the gem of the collection. As I have no wish to disturb the notions of any one where I have nothing better to substitute than what I may chance to displace, I shall not enter into any minute examination of this work. It has some beauties, no doubt, and beauties that are in no degree inconsistent with the subject. But as a whole I cannot think it worthy of the genius of L. da Vinci. It is throughout tame and spiritless, without being refined. The finishing, indeed, is exquisite; and the draperies are very finely arranged and richly coloured. But it is so poor in expression—both general and individual—that I would it had borne any other name. Passing over several excellent little works, which our limits will not allow us to examine, particularly two capital specimens of Canaletti (72 and 101), two equally rich and characteristic ones, of Cuyp's Horses (76 and 79)—an exquisite Mieris (80)—and a noble bit of chiaro-scuro, by A. Caracci (84), we arrive at one of Wouvermans' most capital productions (83), representing the interior of a stable. This is an oblong picture, painted with extreme care, and including more spirited expressions than Wouvermans usually attempted to give. The man flogging the horse with a frightened boy on the back of it, is extremely clever; the cavalier and lady at the door of the stable are also admirably painted; and there is an exquisite bit of landscape seen through the open arch which forms the entrance to the stable. There is another work of a somewhat similar character to the above (91), and said to be by the same artist; but it is undoubtedly by K. du Jardin, who occasionally exceeded Wouvermans in depicting scenes of this nature. It represents cavaliers hawking, in a rich wooded scene, with an exquisite distance on the left. There is extreme delicacy in the touch of this picture, which, however, does not impair either its brightness or spirit. The only other works that our space will permit us to point out are a pair of uprights, apparently painted for the sides of an altar-piece, by Old Palma, 85 and 93. They represent Christ calling to Zaccheus, and the Angel appearing to Elijah. The latter is most grandly conceived, nobly designed, and coloured with a correspondent force and richness. The former is also full of merit, though greatly inferior to its companion.
I cannot take leave of this fine collection of pictures without expressing a hope that they may not long be suffered to remain in a situation, the nature of which is said to render it indispensable to put such restrictions on the exhibition of them as amount almost to a prohibition, so far as regards the general public. Visitors are not allowed to see them unless accompanied during the whole time by a master of arts belonging to the University.
THE ENFRANCHISED, OR THE BUTTERFLY'S FIRST FLIGHT.
Thou hast burst from thy prison, . .
Bright child of the air,
From Us mansion of care.
Thou art joyously winging
Thy first ardent flight,
Her notes of delight:
Where the sunbeams are throwing
Their glories on thine,
With tints more divine.
Then tasting new pleasure
In Summer's green bowers,
On fresh-open'd flowers;
Or delighted to hover
Around them to see
Bloom sweetest for thee;
And fondly inhaling
Their fragrance, till day
And fading away.
Then seeking some blossom
Which looks to the West,
Sweet shelter and rest:
And there dost betake thee,
Till darkness is o'er,
To pleasure once more. A.S.
MODERN SPANISH THEATRE. NO. Iv.
Besides those impediments which we have previously specified, the Spanish classico dramatic writers were formidably opposed and seriously discouraged in their first endeavours, by the incapacity of the players, and the poverty of their professional resources. Indeed at the period we speak of, the comedian, entirely uninitiated in the commonest ideas of his art, exhibited but a servile copy of what his father or his uncle had enacted before him, honestly believing that the whole scope of his task included nothing more than the learning his .part by rote and giving it a vociferous utterance on the stage. Whenever chance offered him the opportunity of pouring forth any very long and extravagant declamation, he could anticipate with certainty the applause of the pit, and never neglected to avail himself of it. The condition of the stage itself was scarcely better. All that had reference to its conduct was neglected or misunderstood: all that could heighten its optical effect was overlooked or spoiled. In short, theatrical costumes and customs were almost wholly disregarded.
In confirmation of this we may cite a ludicrous instance within our
recollection. In ihe play entitled "The Preceptor of Alexander," the comedian Robles performed the part of Aristotle in an embroidered coat, silk-stockings, a well-powdered wig, a sword, and a gilt-headed rattan. Yet Robles was the Roscius of the Spanish stage scarcely thirty years ago, and was said to have occasionally displayed talent productive of striking impressions on his audience, though, for our own part, we never saw him open his mouth to make an exordium without first coughing five or six times, or using his handkerchief unreservedly, or spitting, and then donning his hat with white feathers, and his knitted thread gloves, besides shifting the cane from his right hand to his left, to give himself freer scope for beating time. From all this it may be readily apprehended that the style of the newly-introduced compositions was very far from proving agreeable to the performers. Simple representations of domestic scenes, intelligible to all, and requiring in the actor nothing out of the bounds of nature and truth, had no sort of conformity with the panoramic situations, the bustle, and the glitter, which the members of the art were desirous to uphold. Hence the utmost skill of Moratin was demanded in order in the first place to get his comedies accepted, and then to procure such attention to them in tire rehearsals as should guarantee their being well acted.* Other writers, of less repute and ingenuity, were sure to suffer from the intrigues of" the comedians, or from the wretched mode of performing their productions.
About the commencement of the present century, however, the daily complaints in the circles of the literati, and the ridicule encountered from foreigners, urged the Spanish government to the institution of a kind of dramatic tribunal or committee (jvnta censuria) for the purpose of watching over so important a branch of the national amusement. The judges appointed were Moratin, Estala, and a few other men of letters. A school of declamation, similar to that of Paris, was subsequently founded, and placed under the direction of M. Castellanos, an old comedian of great experience, who had travelled much in France and England, solely to ascertain the comparative progress in the art of dramatic oratory. But this individual was unfortunately deficient in the one chief qualification of a professor — the power to convey instruction. Moreover the junta censoria occupied itself unwisely in the framing impracticable regulations, and the imposition of new fetters upon young authors.t By such means as these were two institutions rendered almost of no effect, that might otherwise have obtained a decisive influence over the Spanish stage: and this last would perhaps have remained yet many years in the condition we have described, if the good genius of the theatre had not prompted the comedian Mayquez to the lucky idea of quitting his countrymen to pass a few months in Paris.
Mayquez was but the son of an indifferent actor, and followed the same profession himself from his early youth, without any kind of cdu
* This species of ingenuity has grown into a proverb in Spain, where the players often say of a piece that has been well acted, " one would think Moratin had managed the rehearsal."
t Among the measures adopted by the junta, was that of consigning to the archives upwards of one thousand plays of the old stock, voted irregular, &c.; and as the void thus created was not filled up by new productions, the evil of scarcity became worse than before.
cation. He could scarcely read at twenty years of age, and was incapable of writing at thirty; neither had he found means to acquire that species of external varnish which a residence of some duration in great cities can alone give, and which is but the simple reflection of the manners and phraseology of what is termed good company. Mayquez, in fact, had been ordinarily a performer on provincial boards, unless when attached to some miserable itinerant company. Art, therefore, had done nothing for him; but the bounty of Nature had far more than indemnified him. Physical and moral advantages were his original portion; elegance of figure, a Grecian turn of head, full and highly expressive black eyes; a voice sonorous and flexible; gestures ever in harmony with thought; a noble gait; attitudes fit for academic studies, yet perfectly unconstrained; a soul replete with the finest sensibility; a keen understanding; and a natural good sense which always guided him aright in the most trying and novel conjunctures;—all these combined to render him one of the most extraordinary men to whom the Peninsula has given birth for some ages; nor did he want any advantage, in our opinion, beside that of a country that could have appreciated his merits and drawn from him all the benefit he was capable of communicating.
The correct judgment of Mayquez could not but revolt against the vicious system of declamation, to which ignorance and fashion had given popularity. He repaired to Madrid, where, with no other aid than what he derived from his own original force of conception and observation, he had the boldness to speak on the stage in the same natural manner as is usually employed on occasions of familiar intercourse.* But the solitary example of one individual, destitute of influence with the public, or with those of his profession, could avail but little. The acting of Mayquez, so utterly opposite to all other acting, offended the long-received dogmas of the scenic circle. He was, in consequence, loudly accused of being frigid and careless, and was even opposed with hisses whenever he attempted to speak. The vigorous character of Mayquez, however, would not easily permit him to forsake the path, however thorny, which he had chosen. He persisted, during three years, in the same system of acting, in despite of every injustice and insult. Finding at length that he could never hope to overcome the blind obstinacy of the public taste, unless by availing himself of some imposing circumstance that might carry him through with his design; and being likewise well aware of the weak side of his countrymen, he made a resolve with alacrity, and quitted Madrid at once for Paris, after selling all he had, to defray the expenses of his trip, and giving it out every where that he was going to seek improvement in his art, from the famous Talma.
This singular man at that time spoke not a word of French, nor did
* On this topic he would observe, " that we could only conjecture how Achilles was wont to talk; but that ears alone were required to teach us the utterance of our good neighbour the shoemaker." This principle indeed, accounts for the wide difference between the respective modes of tragedy and comedy, the former of which is entirely conventional, whilst the latter is restricted to the most exact imitation of Nature. Every nation has its own manner of representing the one, derived from its character, or the genius of its language : the other is every where exhibited in the same manner, Nature being every where the same
there seem to be any thing in Paris that could promise him either solid advantage, or pleasure. Poor, and without patronage, friends, or means of introduction, he well knew that he should find himself, when there, in the state of one fallen from the clouds. Moreover, he only proposed to himself a residence of eight or ten months in France,—a space of time which he must have known inadequate to the acquisition of any art even in the most superficial degree. What, then, was his purpose in going to Paris? Merely to have the advantage of talking about it after his return. And here we must observe that an erroneous impression has been conveyed by Montesquieu, Voltaire, and most foreign writers on Spain, as well as travellers, when they have asserted the people of that country to be one of the proudest and vainest in Europe, in what relates to literature and the fine arts. This is altogether incorrect. No individual of any nation has a less flattering opinion of his own national contemporaries than the Spaniard. For him, the man who meets his daily view on the promenade, or in the evening circle of the Tertulia, is only the man of his acquaintance, not the savant, the artist, or the man of letters. The vanity of the Spaniard (if he may be said to have any) exerts itself upon objects no longer in existence, or attaches itself to such as are yet to come, but takes no notice of those which are passing under its immediate view. In this sense, Spain may be designated as the paradise of the departed, the limbo of those yet unborn, and the purgatory of the living. A national production of the present age can only receive estimation there from its reference to ultramontane manners, language, or institutions: it is allowed, in short, no merit but what it borrows, and is only relished by the Spaniards in proportion as it is not Spanish. Mayquez, therefore, who had been despised so long as he continued to live in Spain, became an object of public interest as soon as the purport of his journey was noised among the coteries of the capital. No longer calumniated as the insipid, monotonous actor, he was now viewed as the future disciple of Talma, the intrepid young traveller seeking instruction beyond the formidable space between the Manzanares and the Seine !*
It is not our intention to affirm that this tour was of no real service to Mayquez, or to the interest of Spanish oratory. The former unquestionably derived from it an enlargement of his ideas. He obseved, compared, and extracted the quintessence of every thing that could further his design. His manner of regarding things was guided by too sensible a judgment to admit of his confounding, in the performance of Talma,* Lafond, Clozee, or Mademoiselle Mars, what appertained to the art in
* To such n degree had the Spaniards become isolated by the effects of despotism, that the custom of travelling was lost among them. Previously to the war of 1808, the fact of a person's having been six months in Paris or London, was looked upon as an actual merit by the vulgar. It was an exertion more extraordinary than that of Belzoni.
t Mayquez visited Talma as soon as he reached Paris. An anecdote is related that does honour to both. We believe it substantially correct, although we cannot certify it to be so. It is said that Talma received Mayquez with great cordiality, and requested him to recite some passage from a Spanish tragedy, in order to give an idea of his powers as an actor. It must be observed that all the conversation passed through the medium of an interpreter, as neither of the principals could speak the language of the other. Mayquez delivered about twenty lines of the Numancia (a tragedy of Ayala's); and such was the expression of his features, the