The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 12, No. 72, October, 1863

The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 12, No. 72, October, 1863

-

Documents
161 pages
Lire
Le téléchargement nécessite un accès à la bibliothèque YouScribe
Tout savoir sur nos offres

Informations

Publié par
Publié le 08 décembre 2010
Nombre de lectures 5
Langue English
Signaler un problème
The Project Gutenberg EBook of The Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 12, No. 72, October, 1863, by Various This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.net Title: The Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 12, No. 72, October, 1863 Author: Various Release Date: May 16, 2005 [EBook #15838] Language: English Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1 *** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK THE ATLANTIC MONTHLY, VOL. *** Produced by Cornell University, Joshua Hutchinson, Josephine Paolucci and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team. THE ATLANTIC MONTHLY. A MAGAZINE OF LITERATURE, ART, AND POLITICS. VOL. XII.—OCTOBER, 1863.—NO. LXXII. Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1868, by TICKNOR AND FIELDS, in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the District of Massachusetts. CONTENTS CHARLES LAMB'S UNCOLLECTED WRITINGS. MY PALACE. THE DEACON'S HOLOCAUST. THE UNITED STATES ARMORY. THE PEWEE. MRS. LEWIS. THE CONQUEST OF CUBA. EQUINOCTIAL. THE LEGEND OF MONTE DEL DIABLO. LIFE WITHOUT PRINCIPLE. BARBARA FRIETCHIE. A LETTER TO THOMAS CARLYLE. VOLUNTARIES. OUR DOMESTIC RELATIONS; REVIEWS AND LITERARY NOTICES. CHARLES LAMB'S UNCOLLECTED WRITINGS.[1] SECOND PAPER. Readers of Lamb's "Life and Letters" remember that before "Mr. H." was written, before Kemble had rejected "John Woodvil," Godwin's tragedy of "Antonio" had been produced at Drury-Lane Theatre, and that Elia was present at the performance thereof. But perhaps they do not know (at least, not many of them) that Elia's essay on "The Artificial Comedy of the Last Century," as originally published in the "London Magazine," contained a full and circumstantial account of the cold and stately manner in which John Kemble performed the part of Antonio in Godwin's unfortunate play. For some reason or other, Lamb did not reprint this part of the article. Admirers of Charles Lamb and admirers of the drama will be pleased—for 'tis a very characteristic bit of writing—with what Elia says of JOHN KEMBLE AND GODWIN'S TRAGEDY OF "ANTONIO." "The story of his swallowing opium-pills to keep him lively upon the first night of a certain tragedy we may presume to be a piece of retaliatory pleasantry on the part of the suffering author. But, indeed, John had the art of diffusing a complacent equable dulness (which you knew not where to quarrel with) over a piece which he did not like, beyond any of his contemporaries. John Kemble had made up his mind early that all the good tragedies which could be written had been written, and he resented any new attempt. His shelves were full. The old standards were scope enough for his ambition. He ranged in them absolute, and 'fair in Otway, full in Shakspeare shone.' He succeeded to the old lawful thrones, and did not care to adventure bottomry with a Sir Edward Mortimer, or any casual speculator that offered. "I remember, too acutely for my peace, the deadly extinguisher which he put upon my friend G.'s 'Antonio' G., satiate with visions of political justice, (possibly not to be realized in our time,) or willing to let the skeptical worldlings see that his anticipations of the future did not preclude a warm sympathy for men as they are and have been, wrote a tragedy. He chose a story, affecting, romantic, Spanish,—the plot simple, without being naked,—the incidents uncommon, without being overstrained. Antonio, who gives the name to the piece, is a sensitive young Castilian, who, in a fit of his country honor, immolates his sister— "But I must not anticipate the catastrophe. The play, reader, is extant in choice English, and you will employ a spare half-crown not injudiciously in the quest of it. "The conception was bold, and the dénouement—the time and place in which the hero of it existed considered—not much out of keeping; yet it must be confessed that it required a delicacy of handling, both from the author and the performer, so as not much to shock the prejudices of a modern English audience. G., in my opinion, had done his part. John, who was in familiar habits with the philosopher, had undertaken to play Antonio. Great expectations were formed. A philosopher's first play was a new era. The night arrived. I was favored with a seat in an advantageous box, between the author and his friend M.G. sat cheerful and confident. In his friend M.'s looks, who had perused the manuscript, I read some terror. Antonio, in the person of John Philip Kemble, at length appeared, starched out in a ruff which no one could dispute, and in most irreproachable mustachios. John always dressed most provokingly correct on these occasions. The first act swept by, solemn and silent. It went off, as G. assured M., exactly as the opening act of a piece—the protasis—should do. The cue of the spectators was to be mute. The characters were but in their introduction. The passions and the incidents would be developed hereafter. Applause hitherto would be impertinent. Silent attention was the effect alldesirable. Poor M. acquiesced,—but in his honest, friendly face I could discern a working which told how much more acceptable the plaudit of a single hand (however misplaced) would have been than all this reasoning. The second act (as in duty bound) rose a little in interest; but still John kept his forces under, —in policy, as G. would have it,—and the audience were most complacently attentive. The protasis, in fact, was scarcely unfolded. The interest would warm in the next act, against which a special incident was provided. M. wiped his cheek, flushed with a friendly perspiration,—'tis M.'s way of showing his zeal,—'from every pore of him a perfume falls.' I honor it above Alexander's. He had once or twice during this act joined his palms in a feeble endeavor to elicit a sound; they emitted a solitary noise without an echo; there was no deep to answer to his deep. G. repeatedly begged him to be quiet. The third act at length brought on the scene which was to warm the piece progressively to the final flaming forth of the catastrophe. A philosophic calm settled upon the clear brow of G., as it approached. The lips of M. quivered. A challenge was held forth upon the stage, and there was promise of a fight. The pit roused themselves on this extraordinary occasion, and, as their manner is, seemed disposed to make a ring,—when suddenly Antonio, who was the challenged, turning the tables upon the hot challenger, Don Gusman, (who, by the way, should have had his sister,) balks his humor, and the pit's reasonable expectation at the same time, with