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much afraid, as that with any of these the figure of it, under the name of tibia utricularis, enemy might drive this man, otherwise valiant though this is not precisely the same as the enough, out of the field.”
modern instrument. Luscinius, in his “Mu
surgia' (1536), has a woodcut of it, whence it 27 SCENE 1.-"Bagpipe."
appears that the bagpipe in his time was in all We extract the following notice of this instru- respects the same as ours. Indeed, it is menment (which we apprehend is not the “ par- tioned, though not described, by Chaucer, who ticular harmonious instrument" alluded to by says of his millerDonne) from the ‘Penny Cyclopædia :-“ The
* A baggepipe wel coude he blowe and soune;' and this, we are told in the same prologue, was the music to which the Canterbury pilgrims performed their journey." The preceding engraving is copied from a carving in the church of Cirencester, which is supposed to be of the period of Henry VII.
48 SCENE I. “The quality of mercy is not strain'd," &c.
Douce has pointed to the following verse in Ecclesiasticus (xxxv. 20) as having suggested the beautiful image of the rain from heaven :
Mercy is seasonable in the time of affliction, as clouds of rain in the time of drought.” The subsequent passage, when Portia says, we do pray for mercy,” is considered by Sir William Blackstone to be out of character as addressed
to a Jew. Shakspere had probably the Lord's bagpipe, or something nearly similar to it, was Prayer immediately in his mind; but the sentiin use among the ancients. Blanchinus gives a ment is also found in Ecclesiasticus, ch. xxviii.
29 SCENE I.-" Troilus, methinks, mounted the with slender means, a mere transcriber of the Trojan walls.”
thoughts of other men. He has here given us OUR poet had Chaucer in his mind :
a picture of the forsaken Dido, which was per
fectly intelligible to the popular mind. Those “The daie goth fast, and after that came eve,
who remember Desdemona's willow song in
them that the willow was emblematic of the
misery that Dido had to bear.
“In such a night
Medea gather'd the enchanted herbs," &c. “This passage,” says Steevens,"contains a
The picture of the similar scene in Gower small instance out of many that might be' ("Confesso Amantis”) is exceedingly beautiful:brought to prove that Shakspere was no reader
“ Thus it befell upon a night
She was vanished right as hir list,
That no wight but herself wist :
And that was at midnight tide,
32 SCENE I.
she doth stray about which our readers will thank us for offering to By holy crosses."
them apart from the general text :
“Sit, Jessica. Look how the floor of heaven These holy crosses still, as of old, bristle the
Is thick inlaid with patines of bright gold. land in Italy, and sanctify the sea. Besides There's not the smallest orb which thou beholdst those contained in churches, they mark the
But in his motion like an angel sings,
Still quiring to the young-eyed cherubins: spots where heroes were born, where saints
Such harmony is in immortal souls; rested, where travellers died. They rise on the But whilst this muddy vesture of decay summits of hills, and at the intersection of Doth grossly close it in, we cannot hear it.": roads; and there is now a shrine of the Ma- Campanella was of a later period than Shakdonna del Mare in the midst of the sea between spere, who probably found the idea in some of Mestre and Venice, and another between Venice the Platonic works of which his writings unand Palestrina, where the gondolier and the questionably show that he was a student. In mariner cross themselves in passing, and whose his hands it has reached its utmost perfection lamp nightly gleams over the waters, in moon- of beauty. After these glorious lines, the light or storm. The days are past when pil parallel passage in Milton's ‘Arcades,' fine as it grims of all ranks, from the queen to the is, appears to us less perfect in sentiment and beggar-maid, might be seen kneeling and pray- harmony :ing "for happy wedlock hours," or for whatever
“In deep of night when drowsiness else lay nearest their hearts; and the reverence
Hath lock'd up mortal sense, then listen I
To the celestial Sirens' harmony, of the passing traveller is now nearly all the
That sit upon the nine infolded spheres, homage that is paid at these shrines.—(M.)
And sing to those that hold the vital shears,
On which the fate of gods and men is wound. 33 SCENE I.-—“How sweet the moonlight sleeps Such sweet compulsion doth in music lie,
To lull the daughter of Necessity, upon this bank.”
And keep unsteady Nature to her law, One characteristic of an Italian garden is And the low world in measur'd motion draw that its trees and shrubs are grown in avenues
After the heavenly tune, which none can hear
of human mould, with gross unpurged ear." and gathered into thickets, while the grass-plots Coleridge has approached the subject in lines and turfy banks are studded with parterres of which are worthy to stand by the side of those roses and other flowers, which lie open to the
of Shakspere and Milton sunshine and the dews. The moonlight thus
“Soul of Alvar! sleeps upon such lawns and banks, instead of
Hear our soft suit, and heed my milder spell;-
Cease thy swift toils! Since haply thou art one
Girdle this round earth in a dizzy motion,
With noise too vast and constant to be heard ;Mr. Hallam, in his very interesting account
Fitliest unheard! For oh, ye numberless
And rapid travellers ! what ear unstunn'd, le of the philosophy of Campanella, thus para- What sense unmadden'd, might bear up against
phrases one of the most imaginative passages The rushing of your congregated wings ?" of the Dominican friar :-“The sky and stars
(Remorse, Act 11. Sc. L' are endowed with the keenest sensibility; nor is it unreasonable to suppose that they signify 35 SCENE I.—“The man that hath no music in their mutual thoughts to each other by the
himself." transference of light, and that their sensibility
There is a great controversy amongst the is full of pleasure. The blessed spirits, that
commentators upon the moral fitness of this inform such living and bright mansions, behold
passage; and those who are curious in such all things in nature, and in the divine ideas;
matters may turn to the variorum edition, for' they have also a more glorious light than their
a long and perilous attack upon Shakspere's own, through which they are elevated to a
opinions by Steevens, and to a defence of them, supernatural beatific vision.” Mr. Hallam adds : in their separate works, by Douce and Monck “We can hardly read this, without recollecting
. * Literature of Europe,' vol. iii. p. 147. Mr. Hallam the most sublime passage perhaps in Shak
has quoted from memory: having put « vault for spere;" and he then quotes the following lines, “ floor," with two or three minor variations.
Mason. The interest of the dispute wholly 37 SCENE I.—"This night, methinks, is but the consists in the solemn stupidity with which it
daylight sick." is conducted. The summing-up of Steevens is
The light of moon and stars in Italy is almost unequalled :-"Let not this capricious senti
as yellow as sunlight in England. The planets ment of Shakspere descend to posterity unat
burn like golden lamps above pinnacles and tended by the opinion of the late Lord Chester-pillared statues of the city and the tree-tops of field upon the same subject ;” and then he the plain, with a brilliancy which cannot be quotes one of his Lordship’s letters, containing imagined by those who have dwelt only in a an insolent attack upon "fiddlers."
northern climate. The infant may there hold 36 SCENE I.—“The crow doth sing as sweetly as
out its hands, not only for the full moon, but the lark,” &c.
for “the old moon sitting in the young moon's
lap,”—an appearance there as obvious to the The animals mentioned in this play are all
eye as any constellation. Two hours after proper to the country, and to that part of it, sunset, on the night of new moon, we have to which the play relates. The wren is uncom
seen so far over the lagunes, that the night mon; but its note is occasionally heard. The seemed indeed only a paler day,—"a little crow, lark, jay, cuckoo, nightingale, goose, and
paler."-(M.) eel, are all common in Lombardy.—(M.)
THE Venice of Shakspere's own time, and the for some equally interesting notices of similar manners of that city, are delineated with match- passages in this play. They go far to prove less accuracy in this drama. To the same friend that Shakspere had visited Italy. Mr. Brown who furnished us with some local illustrations has justly observed, “ The Merchant of Venice of 'The Taming of the Shrew,' we are indebted is a merchant of no other place in the world.”
The dresses of the most civilised nations of the Duke, when at festivals he shows himself Europe have at all periods borne a strong re- in the highest state, is valued at about 100,000 semblance to each other : the various fashions crowns.” having been generally invented amongst the The chiefs of the Council of Ten, who were southern, and gradually adopted by the north three in number, wore “red gowns with long ern, ones. Some slight distinctions, however, sleeves, either of cloth, camlet, or damask, aehave always remained to characterise, more or cording to the weather, with a flap of the same less particularly, the country of which the colour over their left shoulders, red stockings, wearer was a native; and the Republic of Ve- and slippers.” The rest of the Ten, according nice, perhaps, differed more than any other to Coryat, wore black camlet gowns with marState in the habits of its nobles, magistrates, vellous long sleeves, that reach almost down to and merchants, from the universal fashion of that quarter of the globe in which it was situate.
To commence with the chief officer of the Republic :-The Doge, like the Pope, appears to have worn different habits on different occasions. Cæsar Vecellio describes at some length the alterations made in the ducal dress by several princes, from the close of the twelfth century down to that of the sixteenth, the period of the action of the play before us; at which time the materials of which it was usually composed were cloth of silver, cloth of gold, and crimson velvet, the cap always corresponding in colour with the robe and mantle. On the days sacred to the oly Virgin the Doge always appeared entirely in white. Coryat, who travelled in 1608, says, in his 'Crudities,' “ The fifth day of August, being Friday ... I saw the Duke in some of his richest ornaments.
.. He himself then wore two very rich robes, or long garments, whereof the uppermost was white cloth of silver, with great massy
[Custume of the “Clarissimoes."] buttons of gold; the other cloth of silver also, the ground. The “clarissimoes" generally wore but adorned with many curious works made in gowns of black cloth faced with black taffata, colours with needlework.” Howell, in his 'Sur- with a flap of black cloth, edged with taffata, vey of the Signorie of Venice,' Lond. 1651, over the left shoulder b; and “all these gowned after telling us that the Duke “always goes men,” says the same author, “ do wear marvel clad in silk and purple,” observes, that "some- lous little black caps of felt, without any brims times he shows himself to the public in a robe at all, and very diminutive falling bands, DO of cloth of gold, and a white mantle; he hath ruffs at all, which are so shallow, that I have his head covered with a thin coif, and on his seen many of them not above a little inch forehead he wears a crimson kind of mitre, with deep.” The colour of their under garments a gold border, and, behind, it turns up in form was also generally black, and consisted of “s! of a horn : on his shoulders he carries ermine slender doublet made close to the body, without skins to the middle, which is still a badge of much quilting or bombast, and long hose plain, the Consul’s habit; on his feet he wears em- without those new-fangled curiosities and ridibroidered sandals“, tied with gold buttons, and culous superfluities of panes, pleats, and other about his middle a most rich belt, embroidered light toys used with us Englishmen. Yet," he with costly jewels, in so much, that the habit of continues, “they make it of costly stuff, well
• C. Vecellio, a much better authority, says slippers. * In the collection at Goodrich Court is the walking“ Porta in piedi le piandelle piu del medesimo usasi anche staff of a Doge of Venice of the sixteenth century. da cavallieri nobili di Venetia."
beseeming gentlemen and eminent persons of sof opinion has existed, and much ink been shed, their places, as of the best taffatas and satins upon this subject, as it seems to us very needthat Christendom doth yield, which are fairly lessly. If a work, written and published by garnished also with lace of the best sort. The Venetians in their own city, at the particular Knights of St. Mark, or of the Order of the period when this play was composed, is not Glorious Virgin, &c., were distinguished by sufficient authority, we know not what can be wearing red apparel under their black gowns.” considered such. Vecellio expressly informs us “ Young lovers," says Vecellio, “ wear generally that the Jews differed in nothing, as far as a doublet and breeches of satin, tabby, or other regarded dress, from Venetians of the same silk, cut or slashed in the form of crosses or professions, whether merchants, artisans, &c.*, stars, through which slashes is seen the lining with the exception of a yellow bonnet, which they of coloured taffata : gold buttons, a lace ruff, a were compelled to wear by order of the governbonnet of rich velvet or silk with an ornamentalment b. Can anything be more distinct and band, a silk cloak, and silk stockings, Spanish satisfactory? In opposition to this positive morocco shoes, a flower in one hand, and their assertion of a Venetian writing upon the actual gloves and handkerchief in the other.” This subject of dress, we have the statement of Saint habit, he tells us, was worn by many of the Didier, who, in his ‘Histoire de Venise,' says nobility, as well of Venice as of other Italian that the Jews of Venice wore scarlet hats lined cities, especially by the young men before they with black taffata, and a notification in Hakput on the gown with the sleeves, “a comito, luyt’s ‘Voyages' (p. 179, edit. 1598), that in the which was generally in their eighteenth or year 1581 the Jews wore red caps for distinctwentieth year.
tion's sake. We remember also to have met Vecellio also furnishes us with the dress somewhere with a story, apparently in confirmof a doctor of laws, the habit in which Portia ation of this latter statement, that the colour defends Antonio. The upper robe was of black was changed from red to yellow, in consequence of damask cloth, velvet, or silk, according to the
a Jew having been accidentally taken for a carweather. The under one of black silk with a dinal ! But besides that neither of the two lastsilk sash, the ends of which hang down to the mentioned works are to be compared with middle of the leg; the stockings of black cloth Vecellio's in respect of authority for what may or velvet; the cap of rich velvet or silk.
be termed Venetian costume, it is not likely
As late, also, as the year 1825, an order was issued by the Pope that "the Jews should wear a yellow covering on their hats, and the women a yellow riband on their breast, under the pain of
severe penalties.”—Vide 'Examiner,' Sunday [Costume of a Doctor of Laws.]
A "Imitano gli altri mercanti e artigiani di questa litta.” And now to speak of the dress of the prin
b“Portano per comandamento publico la berretta cipal character of this play. Great difference gialla.” Ibid.