« 前へ次へ »
boy's performances are all present in his. Comparison apart, however, and supposing that Mr. Bellew's object is to give a high-class artistic rendering of Shakspeare's works, the plan adopted is founded on a misconception. If Shakspeare is unsatisfactorily interpreted on the stage, it is not because actors cannot be found to speak his words, but because they cannot suit action to them.
"Speech! is that all ? And shall an actor found
An universal fame on partial ground ?
If Mr. Bellew has found a company capable of acting Hamlet, it is a thousand pities he keeps the players dumb. If they can act the parts, they can speak them ; if they can't act, they must injure rather than help his reading. In its present form the performance, being wrong in principle, can hardly be successful ; but it is a tentative, and we may expect that an early modification will stop the actors' movements, and reduce the scenes to a series of tableaux.
Music and painting are sister arts; but it is doubtful whether their relation has ever been established so thoroughly as it has been lately by Mr. Barrett, of the London International College. We know that artists are often musicians; we are constantly finding them exchanging terminologies ; their vocabularies contain very many words in common. Then some people instinctively associate certain sounds with certain colours, like the blind man who was reminded of scarlet by the blast of a trumpet. But Mr. Barrett has shown us a physical analogy between tints and tones. You know the seven colours of the rainbow, or the solar spectrum ? These have often been compared to the seven notes of the musical scale. Newton started the idea, and Mr. Barrett has brought it home to us. In this way :-Light and sound are
Light-waves are extremely small ; sound-waves are larger. The colours of light depend upon the length of the luminous waves; the notes of music depend upon the length of the sonorous waves. For the rays of the solar spectrum, the wave-lengths have recently been accurately determined ; similarly, though not recently, for the notes of the musical scale. In the latter, the undulations decrease in length as we ascend the gamut ; and there is a like decrement as we ascend the chromatic scale, from red upwards to violet ; and beyond, where there are some lavender rays not ordinarily perceptible. Now the curious fact is this—that the relations between one wave-length and another for the seven primary colours of the chromatic scale are identical with the relations between the wave-lengths for the seven notes of the musical scale. For instance, if we represent the wavelength for the note C by the number 100; then D is 89; E, 80; F,75; G, 67 ; A, 60 ; B, 53 ; and the octave C, 50. (These numbers, bear in mind, are ratios, not absolute quantities. We do not want the absolute
to represent the relative.) Turning to the colour scale : if we call red 100, then the ratios for wave-lengths of orange will be 89; yellow, 81 ; green, 75; blue, 67 ; violet, 60 ; and lavender, 53. Compare the steps of the two scales, and you will see the all but exact agreement. It follows, from the comparison, that for each combination of sounds pleasing to the ear there is a related combination of colours pleasing to the eye; and it requires no unreasonable stretch of the imagination to conceive an artist determining the colouring of his picture by harmonising his tones upon the pianoforte.
The prognostications of the weather from the character of Candlemasday have been common for centuries ; and Sir Thomas Browne refers to it in the “ Vulgar Errors.” Against all predictions of weather from certain festivals, Sir Thomas argues on the ground that nations differ respecting the precise day; and, doubtless, he is so far correct. Still, we cannot say that such popular weather-wisdom is absolutely without foundation. Indeed, it may be regarded as sound in the main, but not correct when fixed to a particular day. Two years ago, Mr. R. H. Allnatt wrote in the Times that the prognostication from Candlemas-day the previous year had signally failed ; but, in the same letter, some quotations were given which seem to confirm the theory, that there is some truth in predictions of weather from a particular season. For example, an old French almanack, published in 1794, has the following :—“The coldest winters are those which begin about Epiphany, the 6th of January.” It is more generally admitted that early winters are not usually severe, in spite of the Scotch proverb,—
" An ear (early) winter's a sair winter."
The old almanack farther says, that “on the chair of great St. Peter (January 18) the winter quits us or grows harder.” Forster, who lived in the middle of last century, and was an acute observer, quotes a version of the popular belief in Candlemas-day as follows :
" If Candlemas-day be fair and bright,
Remarking on those lines, Forster says, “I have noticed this to be a critical time of the year, and that when mild and wet we may calculate on no more frost." The Candlemas-day referred to in all instances prior to the middle of last century is, of course, the 15th of February, or Candlemas-day, old style. The Scotch have the following rhyme:
“ If Candlemas-day be clear and fair,
The half o' winter's to come and mair;
The half o' winter's passed at Yule."
The following are still used in various parts of England :
“ When the wind's in the east on Candlemas-day,
There it will stick till the second of May." “ When Candlemas-day is fine and clear,
A shepherd would rather see his wise on the bier." “ On Candlemas-day, if the thorns hang a drop,
Then you are sure of a good pea-crop.”
In Germany the same idea is prevalent, that a cold and stormy Candlemas
February fill the dyke,
And the propriety of resignation under such afflictive phenomena is inculcated by the additional line,
“If it be white, it's the better to like."
Not that heavy snow-storms are desirable in themselves; but experience has shown that a season of plenty is more likely to follow a cold and stormy February, than an unseasonably mild one.
It is not present liking, but the hope of future good, that suggests the proverb,
“ A Welshman would rather see his dam on her bier,
Than see a fair Februeer.”
And it is the dread of some evil from an inversion of the seasons, which has given rise to the Scotch proverb,
" A'the months o' the year,
Curse a fair Februeer.”
BÉZIQUE Dear MR. URBAN.—Will you allow me to saw a few words on one or two points mentioned by “ Cavendish ” in his article on Bézique in the January number of your Mazagine ? While this charming game is still in its infancy, we may as well endeavour to train it up in the best way it should go, and “ Cavendish," I think, will pardon me if, with all due deference to so great an authority, I state my reasons for differing with him. Who knows, perhaps he is one of those rare beings who really are open to conviction ! He says, in a note to the “ Bézique score,” “ When spades or diamonds are trumps, the Bézique cards are the queen of clubs and the knave of hearts.” But this rule is not general, and I doubt the expediency of its becoming so—the alteration of the Bézique seems to me to answer no purpose whatever, and confuses the memory—but by having it fixed, irrespective of trumps, that is avoided, and also the monotony of always missing the trumps; to have the Bezique suits trumps occasionally adds another variation to the game.
Again he says :-“The last trick is the same as at briscan, viz., the last trick before the stock is exhausted. : When two cards of the stock (the trump and another card) remain on the table, the player winning the trick scores ten.” It seems to me to be better to defer scoring until the very last trick, because there is inducement enough to take the last “open” trick, in the opportunity it gives for declaring or preventing your opponent doing so, while there is really no inducement to persevere with the game through the last eight tricks, unless you have aces or tens to win or lose, without the chance of scoring ten for the last trick.
But, dear Mr. Urban, can you or Cavendish,” or anyone else, tell me why they persist in calling the Bézique score 1000, when really it is only 100.; why count by tens and hundreds when units and tens are much simpler and easier to reckon? The absurdity of the thing is felt at once when you are playing without the Bézique markers. Fortunately for me I learnt the game before they came into fashion. · Four or five years ago it was brought from the neighbourhood of York by some friends who had been visiting there, and I have generally used the four fives, taken out of an ordinary pack of cards, for markers, keeping the two red cards for tens, and the black ones for units; and, indeed, I prefer them to the other markers, both sides can see both scores so much better.-I am, yours obediently,
THE COMPRACHICOS. MR. URBAN.—As a student of the rise of freemasonry, or speculative masonry,“ in England about the beginning of last century, my attention has been particularly taken up with the following remarks by our talented brother, Victor Hugo, which have appeared in your columns lately, in “By Order of the King,” viz.
“Like the gipsies, they (the Comprachicos) had come to be a people winding through the peoples; but their common tie was association, not race. The gipsies were a tribe ; the Comprachicos a freemasonry-a masonry having not a noble aim, but a hideous handicraft. The gipsies were Pagans, the Comprachicos Christians; and more, they were Catholics," &c. “ In England, so long as the Stuarts reigned, the confederation of the Comprachicos was (for motives of which we have already given you a glimpse) to a certain extent, protected. They excelled in disappearances. Disappearances occasionally were necessary for the good of the state. An inconvenient heir, of tender age, whom they took and handled, lost his shape,” &c. “ The fact of the vessels aiding the escape of a band did not necessarily imply that the crew were accomplices. It was sufficient that the captain of the vessel was a Vascongado, and that the chief of the band was another. Among that race mutual assistance is a duty which admits of no exception. A Basque, as we have said, is neither Spanish nor French ; he is a Basque, and always and everywhere he must succour a Basque. Such is Pyrenean fraternity.” I am, yours respectfully,
W. P. BUCHAN. Glasgow, June 7, 1869.
FARADAY A BOOKBINDER (sic.). MR. URBAN.— Any remark tending to throw a light upon the early life of that remarkable genius and exemplary man, Michael Faraday, will, I feel sure, be welcome in The Gentleman, and prove useful to future biographers of our great philosopher.
Dr. Jones, who possesses very slight bibliographic knowledge, calls Faraday, in his biography of the Chemist, a “ bookbinder," as did Faraday himself. Though the proficiency rests upon slender claims, an adept he certainly was not, or one that would have been hailed by skilled workmen of his period. That he ever mastered the craft seems unlikely, the modest establishment in Blandford Street, Marylebone, where he was apprenticed, being a stationer's shop where they cobbled rather than made, tinkered rather than wrought, sold rather than produced.
The biographer says nothing of the “forwarding” or “finishing” of Faraday, Dr. Jones being ignorant of the malady known as bibliomania, and “The Bibligraphical Decameron” to him a sealed book. We can imagine the Rev. Dr. Dibdin, its author, who was then a fashionable
* There were free-masons in the 15th century, but these were simply operatizie masons who were free of their guild; they built churches, houses, &c., of store and lime, and knew nothing of the degrees, ceremonies, and “secrets' of our speculative freemasonry. Allusion is made to this in The Gentleman's Magazine for May last.