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the superbly painted dress of deep blue with fine arabesques of gold,—the delicate hand lying on the soft, silky hair of the dog, with its turquoise ring on the second joint of one of the fingers,- you can imagine it, can you not? Next him stands Philip II., pale, elegant, and repulsive, in gorgeous armor worn over festal, glittering white satin. Charles V. is on the other side; and I hardly know which of these portraits is the finest as a work of Art, for all are perfect. Charles is standing, with a noble dog leaning up against his hand; there is something simpática in his gray eyes, his worn face, and even in his protruding jaw, it is so admirably rendered, and gives such a firm character to the face. His costume is elegantisimo, white satin and gold,-with a tissue-of-gold doublet, and a cassock of silver-damask, with great black fur collar and lining, against which is relieved the under-dress; he wears his velvet cap and plume, and a deep emerald satin curtain hangs on his right hand. These portraits are just about as wonderful as any you may remember, - in his best style and in capital condition. But I know you would say that the great portrait of Charles on horseback is more grand. It is a sort of heroic poem; he looks like Sir Galahad, or Chivalry itself, going forth to conquer wrong and violence. His eager, worn face looks out from the helmet so calmly and so steadily, the flash of his armor, which gleams like real metal, the coal-black horse, which comes forward out of the landscape shaking his headpiece of blood-red plumes against the golden sunset sky and champing the golden bit, the grasp of the lance by the noble rider: well, painting can do no more than that. It is history, poetry, and the beauty of Nature recreated by the grand master. An entirely different phase of his character is seen in his Ariadne Asleep surrounded by the Bacchanals. This is full of antique Grecian feeling; and such a subtile, delicious piece of painting! Ariadne is in the foreground, full of warm, breathing life, her arm thrown over her lovely head, and her golden hair falling over the vase of gold and onyx on which she rests; a river of red wine runs through the emerald grass; two beautiful girls have just put by their music and instruments, and one turns her exquisite face toward us to speak to the other reclining on the
The one who turns to us is the beauty of the Louvre, or some one very like her, in full Venetian loveliness. In her bosom are one or two violets and a paper with Titianus written on it. The bit of music on the grass has Greek letters. Dancing figures are in the middle of the picture. The fauns stagger under the dark trees, carrying great sumptuous vases of agate and gold. Silenus is asleep on a sunny hill at a distance, and the white sails of the ship with Theseus gleam on the deep-blue sea. There is another called an Offering to Fecundity. It is a crowd of most lovely baby boys, wonderfully painted, frolicking on the green among flowers and fruits. A figure full of action and passion holds up a glass to the statue of the goddess in one corner. The children are kissing each other and carrying about baskets of fruit; these baskets are hung with rich pearls and rubies and gems of all kinds. The green, fresh trees wave against a summer sky, and the work is full of tender, sensitive elegance and love. It shows to me an entirely new side of Titian in its extreme delicacy and sweetness. Nobody can ever speak of a "want of refinement" in Titian, if they thought so before, after seeing these pictures. Then there is the Herodias, the same as the girl in Dresden who holds up the casket, wonderfully delicate and beautiful; and several other portraits and pictures, which I cannot tell you of, even if you are not already tired. I ought, however, to say that Paul Veronese has a very fine Venus and Adonis here, full of sunlight and summer beauty, and Christ Teaching the Doctors, nobly serious in character and admirable in treatment; also two sketches of Cain and of Vice and Virtue, very full of feeling for his subject. The Cain has his back toward you. His wife and child look up at him entreatingly. There is a fine, solemn horizon with a gleam of twilight. There are several Tintorets, but no favorable specimens,—a portrait is the best. There is also a Giovanni Bellini, which brings back the Venetian altar-pieces, quiet and lovely; and a Giorgione, like the large one in the Louvre, in many ways; a Madonna and Infant, with a fine female Saint and a noble Saint George.
These are some of the glorious treasures which the Spaniards own. If we could only have some of these! or if, while we
or our country are committing the sin of coveting the Spanish possessions, we would only covet something worth the having! I confess, I should delight to take away one or two fine jewels of pictures that nobody here would miss.
I had almost forgotten to mention the great Raphael, the Spasimo." It is in his Roman style, with much that is, to me, forced in the action and expression. The head of Christ, however, is beautiful, and exquisitely drawn. Beside the Spasimo, there is a little picture of the Virgin and Child, with Saint Joseph, in Raphael's early manner, very lovely, and reminding one of the "Staffa " Madonna, at Perugia. It is faint in color, and most charming in careful execution.
Then there are the finest Hemmlings I have ever seen,-finer than those at Munich: lovely Madonnas, meek and saintly; superb adoring Kings, all glowing with cloth-of-gold and velvets and splendid jewels; beautiful quiet landscapes, scen through the arches of the stable; and angels, with wings of dazzling green and crimson. The real love with which these wonderful pictures are caressed by the careful, thoughtful artist makes them most precious. Every little flower is delicately and artistically done, and everything is invested with a sort of sacred reverence by this earnest Pre-Raphaelite. One or two Van Eycks have the same splendor and depth of feeling. These pictures look as if they were painted yesterday, so clear and brilliant are their colors.
It is a pleasant circumstance, that some of the great Venetian pictures in the gallery here were gained for Spain by the judgment and taste of Velasquez. When he went to Italy with a commission from Philip IV., which it must have delighted him to execute, "to buy whatever pictures were for sale that he thought worth purchasing," he spent some time in Venice, and there bought, among other things,
the Venus and Adonis of Paul Veronese, and several of the works of Tintoretto. The Titians had come to Spain before, and it was from the study of them, perhaps, that Velasquez learned to paint so well. At any rate, we know what he thought of Titian; for Mr. Sterling gives an extract from a poem by a Venetian, Marco Boschini, which was published not long after Velasquez's journey to Italy, in which part of a conversation is given between him and Salvator Rosa, who asked him what he thought of Raphael. You will like to see it, if you have not Sterling by
REVIEWS AND LITERARY NOTICES.
1. Dictionary of Americanisms. A Glossary of Words and Phrases usually regarded as peculiar to the United States. By JOHN RUSSELL BARTLETT. Second Edition, greatly improved and enlarged. Boston: Little, Brown, & Company. 1859. pp. xxxii., 524.
2. A Glossarial Index to the Printed English Literature of the Thirteenth Century. By HERBERT COLERIDGE. London: Trübner & Company. 1859. pp. iv., 104. 3. Outlines of the History of the English Language, for the Use of the Junior Classes in Colleges and the Higher Classes in Schools. By GEORGE L. CRAIK, Professor of History and of English Literature in Queen's College, Belfast. Third Edition, revised and improved. don: Chapman & Hall. 1859. pp. xii., 148.
4. The Vulgar Tongue. A Glossary of Slang, Cant, and Flash Phrases, used in London from 1839 to 1859; Flash Songs, Essays on Flash, and a Bibliography of Canting and Slang Literature. By DuCANGE ANGLICUS. Second Edition, improved and much enlarged. London: Bernard Quaritch. 1859. pp. 80. 5. A Dictionary of Modern Slang, Cant, and Vulgar Words, etc., etc. By a London Antiquary. London: John Camden Holten. 1859. pp. lxxxviii., 160. 6. On the English Language, Past and Present. By RICHARD CHENEVIX TRENCH, D. D. New Edition, revised and enlarged. New York: Blakeman & Mason. 1859. pp. 238.
7. A Select Glossary of English Words used
formerly in Senses different from their present. By RICHARD CHENEVIX TRENCH, D. D. New York: Redfield. 1859. pp. xi., 218.
8. Rambles among Words; their Poetry, History, Wisdom. By WILLIAM SWINTON. New York. Scribner. 1859. pp. 302.
THE first allusion we know of to an Americanism is that of Gill, in 1621,—“Sed et ab Americanis nonnulla mutuamur, ut MAIZ et KANOA." Since then, English literature, not without many previous wry faces,
has adopted or taken back many words from this side of the water. The more the matter is looked into, the more it ap pears that we have no peculiar dialect of our own, and that men here, as elsewhere, have modified language or invented phrases to suit their needs. When Dante wrote his "De Vulgari Eloquio," he reckoned nearly a thousand distinct dialects in the Italian peninsula, and, after more than five hundred years, it is said that by far the greater part survive. In England, eighty years ago, the county of every member of Parliament was to be known by his speech; but in "both Englands," as they used to be called, the tendency is toward uniformity.
In spite of the mingling of races and languages in the United States, the speech of the people is more uniform than that of any European nation. This would inevi tably follow from our system of commonschools, and the universal reading of newspapers. This has tended to make the common language of talk more bookish, and has thus reacted unfavorably on our literature, giving it sometimes the air of being composed in a dead tongue rather than written from a living one. It gladdens us, we confess, to see how goodly a volume of Americanisms Mr. Bartlett has been enabled to gather, for it shows that our language is alive. It is only from the roots that a language can be refreshed; a dialect that is taught grows more and more pedantic, and becomes at last as unfit a vehicle for living thought as monkish Latin. This is the danger which our literature has to guard against from the universal Schoolmaster, who wars upon home-bred phrases, and enslaves the mind and memory of his victims, as far as may be, to the best models of English composi tion, that is to say, to the writers whose style is faultlessly correct, but has no blood in it. No language, after it has faded into diction, none that cannot suck up feeding juices from the mother-earth of a rich common-folk-talk, can bring forth a sound and lusty book. True vigor of expression does not pass from page to page, but from man to man, where the brain is kindled and
the lips are limbered by downright living interests and by passions in the very throe. Language is the soil of thought; and our own especially is a rich leaf-mould, the slow growth of ages, the shed foliage of feeling, fancy, and imagination, which has suffered an earth-change, that the vocal forest, as Howell called it, may clothe itself anew with living green. There is
death in the Dictionary; and where language is limited by convention, the ground for expression to grow in is straitened also, and we get a potted literature, Chinese dwarfs instead of healthy trees.
We are thankful to Mr. Bartlett for the onslaught he makes in his Introduction upon the highfaluting style so common among But we are rather amused to find him falling so easily into that Anglo-Saxon trap which is the common pitfall of those half-learned men among whom we should be slow to rank him.* He says, "The unfortunate tendency to favor the Latin at the expense of the Saxon element of our language, which social and educational causes have long tended to foster in the mother country, has with us received an additional impulse from the great admixture of foreigners in our population." (p. xxxii.) We have underscored the words of Latin origin, and find that they include all the nouns, all the adjectives but two, and three out of five verbs, one of these last (the auxiliary have) being the same in both Latin and Saxon. Speaking of the Bostonians, Mr. Bartlett says, The great extent to which the scholars of New England have carried the study of the German language and literature for some years back, added to the very general neglect of the old master-pieces of English composition, have [has] had the effect of giving to the writings of many of them an artificial, unidiomatic character, which has an inexpressibly unpleasant effect to those who are not habituated to it." (p. xxv. We again underscore the unSaxon words.) Now if there be any short
*This, perhaps, was to be expected; for he calls Dr. Latham's English Language “unquestionably the most valuable work on English philology and grammar which has yet appeared," (p. xxx., note,) and refers to the first edition of 1841. If Mr. Bartlett must allude at all to Dr. Latham, (who is reckoned a great blunderer among English philologers,) he should at least have referred to the second edition of his work, in two volumes, 1855.
cut to the Anglo-Saxon, it is through the German; and how far the Bostonians deserve the reproach of a neglect of old English masterpieces we do not pretend to say, but the first modern reprint of the best works of Latimer, More, Sidney, Fuller, Selden, Browne, and Feltham was made in Boston, under the care of the late Dr. Alexander Young. We have no wish to defend Boston; we mean only to call Mr. Bartlett's attention to the folly of asking people to write in a dialect which no longer exists. No man can write offhand a page of Saxon English; no man with pains can write one and hope to be commonly understood. At least let Mr. Bartlett practise what he preaches. When a deputation of wig-makers waited on George III. to protest against the hairpowder-tax, the mob, seeing that one of them wore his own hair, ducked him forthwith in Tower-Ditch,- a very AngloSaxon comment on his inconsistency. We should not have noticed these passages in Mr. Bartlett's Introduction, had he not, after eleven years' time to weigh them in, let them remain as they stood in his former edition, of 1848.
In other respects the volume before us greatly betters its forerunner. That contained many words which were rather vulgarisms than provincialisms, and more properly English than American. Almost all these Mr. Bartlett has left out in revising his book. Once or twice, however, he has retained as Americanisms phrases which are proverbial, such as "born in the woods to be scared of an owl," " to carry the foot in the hand," and "hallooing before you're out of the woods." But it will be easier to follow the alphabetical order in our short list of adversaria and comments.
ALEWIFE. We doubt if Mr. Bartlett is right in deriving this from a supposed Indian word aloof. At least, Hakluyt speaks of a fish called "old-wives"; and in some other old book of travels we have seen the name derived from the likeness of the fish, with its good, round belly, to the mistress of an alehouse.
BANK-BILL. Is not an Americanism. It is used by Swift, Pope, and Fielding.
BOGUS. Mr. Bartlett quotes a derivation of this word from the name of a certain Borghese, said to have been a notorious counterfeiter of bank-notes. But is it
not more probably a corruption of bagasse, which, as applied to the pressed sugarcane, means simply something worthless? The word originally meant a worthless woman, whence our "baggage" in the
CHAINED-LIGHTNING. More commonly chain-lightning, and certainly not a Western phrase exclusively.
СНЕВАССО-Волт. Mr. Bartlett says, "This word is doubtless a corruption of Chedabucto, the name of a bay in Nova Scotia, from which vessels are fitted out for fishing." This is going a great way down East for what could be found nearer. Chebacco is (or was, a century since) the name of a part of Ipswich, Massachu
TO FALL a tree Mr. Bartlett considers a corruption of to fill. But, as we have commonly heard the words used, to fell means merely to cut down, while to fall means to make it fall in a given direction.
To Go UNDER. "To perish. An expression adopted from the figurative language of the Indians by the Western trappers and residents of the prairies." Not the first time that the Indians have had undue credit for poetry. The phrase is undoubtedly a translation of the German untergehen (fig.), to perish.
НАТ. 46 "Our Northern women have almost discarded the word bonnet, except in sun-bonnet, and use the term hat instead. A like fate has befallen the word gown, for which both they and their Southern sisters commonly use frock or dress." We do not know where Mr. Bartlett draws his Northern line; but in Massachusetts we never heard the word hat or frock used in this sense. They are so used in England, and hat is certainly, frock probably, nearer Anglo-Saxon than bonnet and gown.
IMPROVE. Mr. Bartlett quotes Dr. Franklin as saying in 1789, "When I left New England in the year 1723, this word had never been used among us, as far as I know, but in the sense of ameliorated or made better, except once in a very old book of Dr. Mather's, entitled Remarkable Providences." Dr. Increase Mather's Providences was published in 1684. In 1679 a synod assembled at Boston, and the result of its labors was published in the same year by John Foster, under the title, Necessity of a Reformation. On the sixth page we find, "Taverns being for the entertain
ment of strangers, which, if they were improved to that end only," etc. Oddly enough, our copy of this tract has Dr. Mather's autograph on the title-page. But Mr. Bartlett should have referred to Richardson, who shows that the word had been in use long before with the same meaning.
TO INHEAVEN. "A word invented by the Boston transcendentalists." And Mr. Bartlett quotes from Judd's Margaret. Mr. Judd was a good scholar, and the word is legitimately compounded, like ensphere and imparadise; but he did not invent it. Dante uses the word:
"Perfetta vita ed alto merto inciela
LADIES' TRESSES. "The popular name, in the Southern States, for an herb," etc. In the Northern States also. Sometimes Ladies' Traces. LIEFER. A colloquialism, also used in England." Excellent Anglo-Saxon, and used wherever English is spoken.
LOAFER. We think there can be no doubt that this word is German. Laufen in some parts of Germany is pronounced lofen, and we once heard a German student say to his friend, Ich lauf” (lofe) hier bis du wiederkehrst: and he began accordingly to saunter up and down,-in short, to loaf about.
TO MULL. "To soften, to dispirit." Mr. Bartlett quotes Margaret,-"There has been a pretty considerable mullin going on among the doctors." But mullin here means stirring, bustling in an underhand way, and is a metaphor derived from mulling wine. Mull, in this sense, is probably a corruption of mell, from Old Fr. mesler, to mix.
TO BE NOWHERE (in the sense of failure) is not an Americanism, but TurfSlang.
SALLY-LUN, a kind of cake, is English.
TO SAVE, meaning to kill game so as to get it, is not confined to the Far West, but is common to hunters in all parts of the country.
SHEW, for showed. Mr. Bartlett calls this the "shibboleth of Bostonians." However this may be, it is simply an archaism, not a vulgarism. Show, like blow, crow, grow, seems formerly to have had what is called a strong preterite. Shew is used by Lord Cromwell and Hector Boece.