Puslapio vaizdai

till driven out in 1706 by the allied forces of one of their own choice, but by the will of their England, Holland, and Germany under the com- conquerors. mand of the Duke of Marlborough ; it was given The political and ecclesiastical training of over to the house of Austria, and Antwerp was these two sections has been so different during garrisoned by a body of Dutch soldiers. Again, this long interval—the people of Belgium and

, in 1746, the French seize upon it, and the Aus- Holland have been drawn so far apart in their trians retake it in 1748.

tastes, their habits of life, and especially in their Provoked by the efforts of their German religion, by the diverse influences to which they rulers to curb the overweening power of the have been exposed—that there is little congepriesthood, and to correct some of the abuses of niality of feeling or harmony between them. the Church, the Belgians raise the standard of After a brief and unsatisfactory union of some rebellion in 1790, and declare themselves inde- fifteen years, the Belgians rebel against their pendent. But after a short and severe struggle Dutch rulers in 1830, and assisted by the French, in and about this city, the whole country is again with whom in their tastes, their religion, and in subjugated to the Austrian power in the follow- their language-especially that of the ruling ing year.

classes—they are in closer sympathy, they easily The century closes with the great French gain their independence and become a separate Revolution, which, like a devouring fire, sweeps nation. across the frontiers and involves all the Belgian This is the beginning of the kingdom of Belprovinces in one common conflagration. In 1792 gium. But Antwerp remains two years longer it is occupied by the French republican troops, in possession of the Dutch troops, who hold her but they are driven out by the Austrians in the strong fortress and keep the city in subjection. following year. Again in 1794 the French take But after a tremendous bombardment, during possession of the whole country, and hold it for which twenty thousand shells and shot are the republic. The churches, abbeys, convents, thrown into the fortress and town, they capituand other public and ecclesiastical buildings late, and the city is given over to the new kingare ravaged and despoiled of their statuary, dom of Belgium. pictures, and beautiful ornaments in their mad Since that time the general history of Antrage against whatever is held to be sacred in re- werp has been that of improvement and progligion or in their thirst for plunder. The river, ress. which had been closed for one hundred and fifty It has become already one of the modern, as years in the interests of Holland, is now opened, it was formerly one of the mediæval, art-centers and Antwerp is, after so long a time, once more of the world. Hundreds of pupils from all parts permitted to resume and recover, if possible, her of Europe and America flock hither to study lost traffic.

the works of Rubens, Matsys, Vandyck, and of Napoleon Bonaparte now takes the helm and other great masters of painting who have renbrings order out of confusion. He restores the dered this city famous the world over by their desolated churches of Antwerp; demolishes many genius, and to receive instruction from their sucof its old and decaying buildings; erects new and cessors; and thousands annually visit it expresssubstantial edifices in their place; lays out pub- ly to gaze upon their masterpieces, which adorn lic squares; does much to improve the city gen- the walls of the private and public museums of erally, and especially to revive its maritime inter- the city, and are a perpetual source of revenue ests. He is quick to perceive the superior ad- to the churches that cherish them. vantages of this port. He determines to make The flags of all nations are again seen in her it the great naval station of his empire. He lo- harbor. The capacity of the broad, deep-flowcates here his ship-yard. He constructs, at an ing Scheldt that connects her with the sea is alenormous expense, the beautiful and solid quays most unlimited. Her spacious docks have been that line the river, and the commodious docks, of several times enlarged, but are yet too small for which the city may well be proud.

her increasing commerce. Other enlargements But in the midst of his ambitious schemes are still in progress toward completion, and still the scepter is wrested from his grasp, and the others yet more extensive are projected. The allied forces of Europe administer upon his es- old walls that encompassed the city in the time tate. Antwerp is taken, after a blockade of four of her ancient glory have been found too conmonths and a bombardment of three days, and tracted for her modern growth, and have been with the Belgian provinces is forcibly united to removed and the moat filled in, and magnificent Holland. And once again, after a separation of boulevards now occupy their place. A new wall, three centuries, the whole seventeen provinces of rivaling in strength and beauty that of any other the Netherlands are united under one govern- city in the world, by which the area of the city ment. But the union is not now, as formerly, proper is enlarged fourfold, has recently been completed. Public parks, till recently unknown, lot is a hard one, indeed. The people are greatly are laid out and add greatly to the attractiveness demoralized and impoverished by their numerous of the city within the fortifications. New streets fête-days, in which honest labor is suspended and are cut; many that were narrow and crooked their hard-earned wages are wasted in dissipation, have been straightened and made wider, and the as will always be the case where holy days and wretched cobble-stones, rendered smooth and holidays are unnecessarily multiplied. The Lord's slippery by long use, with which not merely the Day is perhaps the most unprofitable of them all. roadways but also the sidewalks have been uni- It is devoted very largely to puppet-shows, horseversally paved from time immemorial, are rapidly racing, military parades, ecclesiastical procesgiving place to what is now everywhere called sions, and priestly tomfooleries. The laboring the “ Belgian pavement." Costly edifices in the classes very generally are hardly expected to remodern style of art are going up on every side, cover from their Sunday dissipation sufficiently and, what is more, the American tramway, that to be good for more than half a day's labor on republican innovation, long resisted, has been in- Monday. The magnificent church edifices, filled troduced, and street-cars, running regularly to with the choicest works of art for which the city and fro along the principal streets and boule- is so famous, seem to our Protestant eyes to be vards, are taking the place of the old lumbering little better than pagan temples and shrines for one-horse hacks. It is to be hoped even that the accommodation of their idols and the multimeasures will be taken ere long to introduce tudes of idol-worshipers bowing before them. from a distance pure water into the city, which But material and moral prosperity are closely is now greatly needed by its one hundred and allied; one can not long be maintained without fifty thousand inhabitants and by the ships that the other. Antwerp is feeling the force of the visit the port.

better influences that are brought to bear upon Indeed, there are but few cities anywhere, her from all sides. The much-needed work of perhaps none, that have a more hopeful outlook reform can not long be held back. She needs and are making more rapid and substantial prog- better leaders in politics and better guides in reress in material things than Antwerp.

ligion than she has been wont to have. Let her But hitherto these material improvements municipal government, which, in striking conhave come rather from without than from with- trast with the free and liberal government of the in. They have been forced upon her by the ne- state, has hitherto been controlled by Ultramoncessities of her position. In all that pertains to tane bigotry and fear of progress, pass into more her intellectual, social, and moral life, Antwerp is liberal hands, as it is likely soon to do, and those far behind most of her sister cities of Europe. severe and repressive laws and regulations that The masses are still ignorant, superstitious, and still linger to obstruct her communal and maribigoted. The more intelligent are skeptical and time interests give place to a more generous irreligious. Drunkenness, licentiousness, and the policy ; let the people have purer and simpler kindred vices which are too prevalent in all the forms of worship, more in accordance with the larger cities of Europe, not to speak of other spirit and precepts of the gospel, and more incountries, and especially in the seaports, are still struction in its truths, and less of pantomime more prevalent here. The marriage rite is hedged and scenic display; let the Word of God be freely about by so many legal restrictions and vexa- circulated and its teachings be better known, and tious stipulations and provisos as often to dis- there is nothing to hinder this old city, with a courage honest lovers, and concubinage too often history so unique, a position so commanding, takes the place of legal marriage. Woman has and with natural advantages unsurpassed, from no redress at law against her betrayer. Her taking her place in all things among the foremost status is low, and among the poorer classes her cities of the world.



O T W A Y.

CHOMAS OTWAY was born at Trotton, in tropolis. The life into which he plunged is best

Sussex, on the 3d of March, 1651. His described in his own words: father, the Reverend Humphrey Otway, was

“ I missed the brave and wise, and in their stead vicar of Wolbeding, a parish near Midhurst.

On every sort of vanity I fed. The boy was educated at Wickenham School,

Gay coxcombs, cowards, knaves, and prating fools, near Winchester. Of his parents and of his

Bullies of o'ergrown bulk and little souls, early life we know no more than may be gleaned

Gamesters, half-wits, and spendthrifts (such as from one of his poems, " The Poet's Complaint

think of his Muse," which is, to a certain degree, au

Mischievous midnight frolics, bred by drink, tobiographical :

Are gallantry and wit,

Because to their lewd understandings fit) “My father was (a thing now rare)

Were those wherewith two years, at least, were Loyal and brave; my mother chaste and fair.

spent, The pledge of marriage vows was only I:

To all these fulsome follies most incorrigibly Alone I lived, their much-loved, fondled boy ;

bent." They gave me generous education ; high They strove to raise my mind, and with it

Yet not altogether in riotous debauchery wer grew their joy."

those two years passed, for soon after his arrival

in London he threw one cast for Fortune-and In 1669 he entered Christ Church College, failed. It is not surprising that a youth of vivid Oxford, as a commoner; and, although it is evi- and poetic temperament, and one who was seekdent that he did not acquire any amount of solid ing some pleasant road to fame and fortune, learning, his wit and quick intelligence made should have been at once irresistibly attracted by some mark there. To again quote his own the theatre. The stage was then at the height words:

of its restored popularity: such actors as Hart,

Mohun, and Burt, who had fought and bled for The sages that instructed me in arts

their King during the Great Rebellion—as BetAnd knowledge, oft would praise my parts, And cheer my parents' longing hearts.

terton, Kynaston, Lacy, who lived on terms of When I was called to a dispute,

familiar intercourse with court and sovereign, My fellow pupils oft stood mute,

had raised their profession to a dignity such as it Yet never envy did disjoin

had not worn even in the palmy days of ElizaTheir hearts from me, nor pride distemper mine.

beth. What career, then, could offer more deThus my first years in happiness I past,

lightful temptations to a young adventurer than bitter

did taste."

the stage ?

To be the interpreter of great poets, to see He was intended for the Church, but his in- hundreds hanging breathless upon his lips, to clinations could never have led him that way; he sway and move a vast audience to tears or rage wrote verses which were highly praised by my or laughter at his will, and to retire from the Lord Falkland and other jeunesse dorée of the scene with enthusiastic plaudits thundering upon university—it would be a thousand pities that so his ears; to have noble and beautiful women much wit and such great abilities should be enamored of him, to be the boon companion of wasted upon some dull Bæotian parish in preach- dukes and earls, and perhaps even of royalty iting to a scanty congregation of clodhoppers and self-such a prospect was enough to turn the snoring farmers for the mere hope of a preferment head of any raw young fellow fresh from the which might never come-London is the only country. So, fully determined to be a Hart or a place for a man of parts: there genius is appre- Mohun or a Kynaston, young Otway sought an ciated, honored by the noblest ; wit is the pass- opening at one of the theatres. port to all society, even the King's. We may It was the famous dramatist and novelist, suppose that such were the counsels and tempta- Mrs. Aphra Behn, to whom he had obtained an tions poured into the ears of the country parson's introduction, and who was probably taken by the son by his butterfly friends, and to which he was wit and sprightliness of his conversation and an eager, trusting listener; and in 1671, in com- manners, who undertook to open the magic porpany with some of these roisterers, no doubt, he tals and procure him a début. And it was to be quitted college without having taken any honors, at Lincoln's Inn Fields, in her own new tragiand set out to seek his fortune in the great me- comedy of “The Forced Marriage.” The King

Nor any



was the character he was cast to play. Although, pleted; for he says, “I must confess I had often in theatrical phrase, it was a responsible part, it a titillation for poetry, but never durst venture was of little dramatic importance, and appeared on my Muse till I got her into a corner in the in only three scenes. But it was an old man, country," etc. He offered the play to the Duke's which rendered its impersonation doubly difficult company, now removed to their splendid new to a youthful novice. Downes, the Lincoln's Inn theatre in Dorset Gardens, and of which BetterFields prompter, has described the scene of Ot- ton was the director and leading actor. It was way's first and only appearance, of which he was accepted, and produced in the year 1675. an eye-witness. It was a very painful one; the When Otway began to write for the stage sight of the audience deprived him of all nerve, Dryden was in the height of his fame as a dramemory forsook him, he muttered a few inaudi- matic writer, and the so-called heroic drama, alble words, trembled and fell into such an agony though it had received its death-blow from Buckof fright that he was compelled to leave the ingham's witty burlesque of “The Rehearsal,” stage-upon which he never again entered in the produced in 1672, as yet showed scarcely any capacity of actor.

sign of decline. An untried author could not, This failure must have been a terrible blow even if he had desired, have ventured to oppose to the young fellow, but he did his best to drown his first production to the fashion of the time, the memory of his misfortunes in the company and “ Alcibiades" was written in rhymes and of the coxcombs, knaves, and gamesters into with all the bombastic, exaggerated sentiments which he had fallen, until in the midst of these then in vogue. It is a feeble, insipid work, withorgies he received the news of his good father's out the slightest indication of genius, and not death:

even so grand an actor as Betterton could ren

der it a success. “ From thence, sad discontent, uneasy fears,

Yet it could not have been wholly a failure, And anxious doubts of what I had to do Grew with succeeding years.

or it must have contained some promise to which The world was wide, but whither should I go? change of taste now renders us insensible, for in I, whose blooming hopes all withered were, the following year his second tragedy, “ Don Who'd little fortune and a deal of care."

Carlos,” was brought out at the same theatre, And now it was that he first turned his fulfilled, for his work was pronounced the first

and one of our young adventurer's dreams was thoughts to literature as a profession--and with heroic tragedy of the age. Its success was prothe same ardent hopes of brilliant success as he had indulged in when he was bent upon the for years it was a more popular play and drew

digious, and Betterton afterward told Booth that stage. If he could not be a Hart or a Betterton, how much grander would it be to be a Dryden! works, “ The Orphan ” or “Venice Preserved."

more money than either of its author's greatest After the allegorical fashion of the time, he It is so impossible for modern taste to reconcile describes how, while he lies pondering over his itself to the idea of men and women speaking in future career, the Muse appears to him with a heroic verse that it can not be considered capable crown of laurel upon her head, which she tells of judging the merits per se of such a work as him shall be his:

“ Don Carlos." In moments of the most intense "... and each part of her did shine passion and agony the characters express themWith jewels and with gold.

selves in the long, elaborate similes of epic poetry Numberless to be told ;

and in harmonious rhymes; there is no touch of ... these riches all, my darling, shall be nature in the language from beginning to end, thine,

and the artificial cadences so nauseate the ear Riches which poet never had before.

that it becomes insensible to occasional touches She promised me to raise my fortune and my name

of power and pathos, and to fine pieces of decBy royal favor and by endless fame ;

lamation which would be striking in a mere narBut never told

rative poem. The plot is drawn from the same How hard they were to get, how difficult to hold.”

source as that of Schiller's great tragedy, the Although there are no proofs to that effect, Abbé St. Réal's “ Nouvelle Historique" of Don we may very well suppose that on receiving tid- Carlos. The characters of the King, Queen, ings of his father's death Otway went back to Carlos, Ruy Gomez, and the Princess Eboli are Sussex, and remained there for a time; and that drawn by no weak pen, and some of the scenes it was in the rural quietude of his desolated must have produced a fine effect upon the stage. home that these cogitations and visions occurred Here already, in several situations of real tragic to him. From the preface it is evident that his power, we have indications of that admirable first dramatic work, “ Alcibiades," was composed dramatic instinct and that knowledge of stagein the country, and brought to London com- effect which shine so conspicuously in his later

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plays. But it would not be interesting to dwell and eyebrows, light eyes, and was indifferent longer upon a production which, unless fashion plump. Ramble, in Gildon's “Comparison of in taste should greatly change, can never again the Two Stages,” says : "I do think that perbe read without weariness.

son is the finest woman in the world upon the Not altogether, however, to its intrinsic merits stage, and the ugliest off on't.” The portrait I must we ascribe the first success at least of have seen of her represents a woman of large “Don Carlos.” It was the time of Rochester's and somewhat masculine features, but decidedly quarrel with Dryden, and the reprobate wit was handsome. Be that as it may, however, Otway looking about for rivals to the great poet, whom conceived for her a consuming passion, that dehe might render formidable through his patron- voured him body and soul, that robbed him of age. John Crowne was one of these; so also all peace, and drove him into every excess which was Otway. “Don Carlos” is dedicated to the promised oblivion of his desires. And not even Earl of Rochester, who, for the reason above the knowledge of her worthlessness could weaken mentioned, worked hard to secure its success. his infatuation. It was for her he wrote two of There was not a happier or more hopeful man the most exquisite female creations of English in London than our young poet, with his pocket tragedy, and it was her acting as Monimia and full of money, his head intoxicated by universal Belvidera, and as Isabella in Southerne's “ Fatal praise, his fortunes under the protection of the Marriage,” that, says old Downes, “gained her King's powerful favorite, and he the boon com- the name of famous Mrs. Barry both at court and panion of all the noble and dissolute wits of the city.” She was at once the inspiration and bane time. His hopes soared high, and the future lay of his genius. But for this mad, hopeless passion, before him as one long vista of pleasure, wealth, the beautiful love-scenes of “The Orphan” and and triumph. But such brightness was of short “ Venice Preserved" might have never been writduration ; the clouds which were in a few years ten. The pen with which he wrote was dipped to envelop him in the darkest night of sorrow into his own heart, to portray his own emotions ; and misery were already beginning to gather, he was Don Carlos, Castalio, and by their lips taking the form of an infatuated love for a cruel, he uttered the passionate agony of his soul, and bad woman.

appealed to her under the names of Elizabeth A secondary part in Alcibiades," Draxilla, and Monimia. the confidante, was played by a young actress,

“'Tis heaven to have thee, and without thee hell!" then in her seventeenth year, named Elizabeth Barry. She had made her first appearance upon exclaims Castalio, and the hell of negation was the stage about two years previously, but had to be Otway's doom through life. evinced so little capacity for the histrionic art And yet it was to him a strange, torturing that experts confidently pronounced she could pleasure to minister to the genius of this cold, never succeed. But about the same time that he mercenary woman, who treated his idolatry with extended his patronage to our poet Rochester scorn and ridicule ; to behold her embodying the cast his libertine eyes upon young Mistress Bar- exquisite conceptions of his fancy, drawing tears ry, who, in opposition to every one's opinion, he from thousands by the passion born of his own vowed he could, within six months, tutor into anguish—which she could behold dry-eyed and one of the finest actresses in England. After unmoved; then he would return to his lonely bestowing immense pains upon her instruction, lodging and pass a sleepless night in all the torhe brought her out in 1673 or 1674, as the Queen ments of despairing love; or else, not daring to of Hungary, in Lord Orrery's tragedy of “Mus- face the horrors of solitary self-communion, to tapha," and she acquitted herself in a manner plunge into some vile orgy and drown rememwhich astonished every one who remembered brance in debauchery. That this picture her previous failures. Not for several years yet, exaggeration of the unfortunate poet's condition however, was she to fulfill her tutor's prediction. of mind during the last years of his life may be There were Mrs. Betterton and other elder ac- proved by reference to the six or seven letters tresses in the way who monopolized all the great addressed to Mrs. Barry which are still extant. parts of tragedy and comedy. From the evi- Neither Carlos nor Castalio nor Jaffier has utdence of letters from which I shall presently tered words of more ardent love, more agonized have occasion to quote, it is quite certain that entreaty, than are to be found in the following Otway knew and loved her before her intimacy passages : with Rochester commenced. Antony Aston, “Since the first day I saw you I have hardly

I who, however, has seldom a word of praise for enjoyed one hour of perfect quiet ; I loved you any one, tells us she was not handsome, her early, and no sooner had I beheld that soft, bemouth opening most on the right side. He de- witching face of yours than I felt in my heart scribes her as middle-sized, with darkish hair the very foundations of all my peace give


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