Imágenes de páginas

the lower lip, as in the listlessness of passive joy, express love, still love.

. Her eyes seem heavy and swimming with pleasore, and her small forehead fades on both sides into that sweet swelling and thin declension of the bone over the eye, in the mode which expresses simple and tender feelings.

The neck is full, and panting as with the aspiration of delight, and flows with gentle curves into her perfect form.

Her form is indeed perfect. She is half-sitting and lialf-rising from a shell, and the fulness of her limbs, and their complete roundness and perfection, do not diminish the vital energy with which they seem to be animated. The position of the arms, which are lovely beyond imagination, is natural, unaffected, and easy. This, perhaps, is the finest personification of Venus, the deity of superficial desire, in all antique statuary. Her pointed and pear-like person, ever virgin, and her attitude modesty itself.


The lady is lying on a couch, supported by a young woman, and looking extremely exhausted; her dishevelled hair is floating about her shoulders, and she is half-covered with drapery that falls on the couch.

Her tunic is exactly like a chemise, only the sleeves are longer, coming half way down the upper part of the arm. An old wrinkled woman, with a cloak over her head, and an enormously sagacious look, has a most profenitmal appearance, and is taking hold of her arm gently with one hand, and with the other is supporting it I think she is feeling her pulse. At the side of the couch sits a woman as in grief, holding her head in her hands. At the bottom of the bed is another matron tearing her flair, and in the act of screaming out most violently, which she seems, however, by the rest of her gestures, to do with the utmost deliberation, as having come to the resolution, that it was a correct thing to do Do. Behind her is a gossip of the most ludicrous ugliness, crying, I suppose, or praying, for her arms are crossed upon her neck. There is also a fifth setting up a wail. To the left of the couch a nurse is sitting on the ground dandling the child in her arms, and wholly occupied in so doing. The infant is swaddled. Behind her is a female who appears to be in the act of rushing in with dishevelled hair and violent gesture, and in one hand brandishing a whip or a thunderbolt This is probably some emblematic person, the messenger of death, or a fury, whose nersonification would be a key to the whole. What

they are all wailing at, I know not ; whether the lady is dying, or the father has directed the child to be exposed : but if the mother be not dead, such a tumult would kill a woman in the straw in these days.

The other compartment, in the second scene of the drama, tells the story of the presentation of the child to its father. An old man has it in his arms, and, with professional and mysterious officiousness, is holding it out to the father. The father, a middle-aged and very respectable-looking man, perhaps not long married, is looking with the admiration of a bachelor on his first child, and perhaps thinking that he was once such a strange little creature himself. His hands are clasped, and he is gathering up between his arms the folds of his cloak ; an emblem of his gathering np all his faculties, to understand the tale the gossip is bringing.

An old man is standing beside him, probably his father, with some curiosity, and much tenderness in his looks. Around are collected a host of his relations, of whom the youngest, a handsome girl, seems the least concerned. It is altogether an admirable piece, quite in the spirit of the comedies of Terence.


The countenance of this figure is a most revolting mistake of the spirit and meaning of Bacchus. It looks drunken, brutal, narrow-minded, and has an expression of dissoluteness the most revolting. The lower part of the figure is stiff, and the manner in which the shoulders are united to the breast, and the neck to the head, abundantly inharmonious. It is altogether without unity, as was the idea of the deity of Bacchus in the conception of a Catholic. On the other hand, considered only as a piece of workmanship, it has many merits. The arms are executed in a style of the most perfect and manly beauty. The body is conceived with great energy, and the manner in which the lines mingle into each other, of the highest boldness and truth. It wants unity as a work of art —as a representation of Bacchus it wants everything


A statue of great merit The countenance expresses a stern and unquestioned severity of dominion, with a certain sadness. The lips are beautiful—susceptible of expressing scorn—but not without sweetness. With fine lips a person is neve wholly bad, and they never belong to the expression of emotions wholly selfish—lips being the seat of imagination. The drapery is finely conceived and the manner in which the act of throwing back one leg is expressed, in the diverging folds of the drapery of the left breast fading in bold yet graduated lines into a skirt, as it descends from the left shoulder, is admirably imagined.


With serpents twining round a wreath of laurel, on which the quiver is suspended. It probably was, when complete, magnificently beautiful. The restorer of the head and arms, following the indication of the muscles on the right side, has lifted the arm as in triumph at the success of an arrow, imagining to imitate the Lycian A polio, in that so finely described by Apollonius Rhodius, when the dazzling radiance of his limbs shone over the Euxine. The action, energy, and godlike animation of these limbs, speak a spirit which seems as if it could not be consumed.


To Mr. And Mu. GISBORNE.

Pita, m Feb., 1020.

Pray let us see you soon, or our threat may cost both us and you something—a visit to Livorno. The stage direction on the present occasion is, (exit Moonshine) and enter Wall; or rather four walls, who surround and take prisoners the Galan and Duma.

Seriously, pray do not disappoint us. We shall watch the sky, and the death of the scirocco must be the birth of your arrival.

Mary and I are going to study mathematics. We design to take the most compendious, yet certain methods of arriving at the great results. We believe that your right-angled Triangle will contain the solution of the problem of how to proceed.

Do not write, bnt come. Mary is too idle to write, but all that she has to say is come. She joins with me in condemning the moonlight plan. Indeed we ought not to be so selfish as to allow you to come at all, if it is to cost you all the fatigue and annoyance of returning the same night But it will not be—so adieu.


To Mu. And Mrs. GISBORNE.

Pita, April 23, 1890.

Mr Dear Friends,—We were much pained to hear of the illness yon all seem to have been suffering, and still more at the apparent dejection of your last letter. We are in daily expectation this lovely weather of seeing you, and I think the

change of air and scene might be good for your health and spirits, even if ire cannot enliven Job. I shall have some business at Livorno soon ; tod I thought of coming to fetch you, but I have changed my plan, and mean to return with you, that I may save myself two journeys.

I have been thinking, and talking, and reading. Agriculture this last week. But I am very anxious to see you, especially now as instead of six hours, you give us thirty-six, or perhaps more. I shall hear of the steam-engine, and yon will hear of our plans when we meet, which win be in so short a time, that I neither inquire nor communicate.

Ever affectionately yours,

P. B. Shelley.




Pita, Mar !»*. If*.

Mr Dear Friends,—I write to you thus early, because I have determined to accept of your kind offer about the correction of " Prometheus." The bookseller makes difficulties about sending the proofs to me, and to whom else can I so well entrust what I am so much interested in havinz done well; and to whom would I prefer to owe the recollection of an additional kindness done to me! I enclose you two little papers of corrections and additions;—I do not think yon will find any difficulty in interpolating them into their proper places.

Well, how do you like London, and your journey; the Alps in their beauty and their eternity: Paris in its slight and transitory colours; and the wearisome plains of France—and the moral people with whom you drank tea last night! Above all, how are you! And of the last question, believe me, we are now most anxiously waiting for a reply —until which I will say nothing, nor ask anything. I rely on the journal with as much security as if it were already written.

I am just returned from a visit to Leghorn, Casciano, and your old fortress at Sant' Elmo. I bought the vases you saw for about twenty sequins less than Micale asked, and had them packed up, and, by the polite assistance of your friend, Mr. Guebhard, sent them on board. I found your Giuseppe very useful in all this business. He got me tea and breakfast, and I slept in your boiwe, and departed early the next morning for Casciano. Everything seems in excellent order at Casa Rirci —garden, pigeons, tables, chairs, and beds. As I did not find my bed sealed up, I left it aa I found it. What a glorious prospect you had from the windows of Sant' Elmo! The enormous chain of the Apemrnes, with its many-folded ridges, islanded in the misty distance of the air; the sea, so immensely distant, appearing as at your feet; and the prodigious expanse of the plain of Pisa, and the dark green marshes lessened almost to a strip by the height of the blue mountains overhanging them. Then the wild and unreclaimed fertility of the foreground, and the chesnut trees, whose vivid foliage made a sort of resting-place to the sense before it darted itself to the jagged horizon of this prospect. I was altogether delighted. I had a respite from my nervous symptoms, which was compensated to me by a violent cold in the head. There was a tradition about you at Sant' Elmo—An English family that had lited htre in the lime of the French. The doctor, too, at tho Bagni, knew you. The house is in a most dilapidated condition, but I suppose all that is curable.


We go to the Bagni * next month—but still direct to Pisa as safest. I shall write to you the ultimate* of my commission in my next letter. I am undergoing a course of the Pisan baths, on which I lay no singular stress—but they soothe. I ought to have peace of mind, leisure, tranquillity; this I expect soon. Our anxiety about Godwin is very great, and any information that you could give a day or two earlier than he might, respecting any decisive event in his law-suit, would be a great relief. Your impressions about Godwin, (I speak especially to Madonna mia, who had known him before), will especially interest me. You know that added years only add to my admiration of his intellectual powers, and even the moral resources of his character. Of my other friends I say nothing. To see Hunt is to like him ; and there is one other recommendation which he has to you,

be is my friend. To know H , if any one can

know him, is to know something very unlike, and inexpressibly superior, to the great mass of men.

Will Henry write me an adamantine letter, flowing not like the words of Sophocles, with honey, but molten brass and iron, and bristling with wheels and teeth I I saw his steam-boat asleep under the walls. I was afraid to waken it, and ask it whether it was dreaming of him, for the same reason that I would have refrained from awakening Ariadne, after Theseus had left her— unless I had been Bacchus.

Affectionately and anxiously yours,
P. B. S.


* Baths of natural warm springs, distant four milts *rom Pisa, and called indifferently Bagni di Pisa, and Bagni di San Giuiiano.


To Ma. 1.1D Mm. GISHORNE.


Mt Dear Friends,—I am to a certain degree indifferent as to the reply to our last proposal, and, therefore, will not allude to it. Permit me only on subjects of this nature to express one sentiment, which you would have given me credit for, even if not expressed. Let no considerations of my interest, or any retrospect to the source from which the funds were supplied, modify your decision as to returning and pursuing or abandoning the adventure of the steam-engine. My object was solely your true advantage, and it is when I am baffled of this, by any attention to a mere form, that I shall be ill requited. Nay, more, I think it for your interest, should you obtain almost whatever situation for Henry, to accept Clementi's proposal, and remain in England ;—not without accepting it, for it does no more than balance the difference of expense between Italy and London; and if you have any trust in the justice of my moral sense, and believo that in what concerns true honour and virtuous conduct in life, I am an experienced counsellor, you will not hesitate—these tilings being equal— to accept this proposal. The opposition I made, while you were in Italy, to the abandonment of the steam-boat project, was founded, you well know, on the motives which have influenced everything that ever has guided, or ever will guide anything that I can do or say respecting yon. I thought it against Henry's interest. I think it now against his interest that he and you should abandon your prospects in England. As to us— wc are uncertain people, who arc chased by the spirits of our destiny from purpose to purpose, like clouds by the wind.

Thero is one thing more to be said. If you decide to remain in England, assuredly it would be foolish to return. Your journey would cost you between jt'100 and .£200, a sum far greater than you could expect to save by the increased price by which you would sell your things. Remit the matter to me, and I will cast off my habitual character, and attend to the minutest points. With

Mr. G 's, devil take his name, I can't write it,

—you know who's, assistance, all this might be accomplished in such a manner as to save a very considerable sum. Though I shall suffer from your decision In the proportion as your society is delightful to uie, I cannot forbear expressing my persuasion, that the time, the expense, and the trouble of returning to Italy, if your ultimata decision be to settle is London, ought all to be I spared. A year, a month, a week, at Henry's i age, and with his porpoises, ought not to be unemployed. It was the depth with which I felt this ■ troth, which impelled me to incite him to tins , adventure of the steam-boat.



Mr Deib Love,—I believe I shall hare taken a very pleasant and spacious apartment at the Bagni for three months. It is as all the others are— dear. I shall give forty or forty-five sequins for the three months, but as yet I do not know which. I could get others something cheaper, and a great deal worse ; but if we would write, it is requisite to have space.

To-morrow evening, or the following morning,

you will probably see me. T is planning a

journey to England to secure his property in the event of a revolution, which, he is persuaded, is on the eve of exploding. I neither believe that, nor do I fear that the consequences will be so immediately destructive to the existing forms of social order. Money will be delayed, and the exchange reduced very low, and my annuity and ••••, on account of these being money, will be in some danger ; but land is quite safe. Besides, it will not be so rapid. Let us hope we shall have a reform.

T will be lulled into security, while the slow

progress of things is still flowing on, after this affair of the Queen may appear to be blown over. There are bad news from Palermo: the soldiers resisted the people, and a terrible slaughter, amounting, it is said, to four thousand men, ensued. The event, however, was as it should be. Sicily, like Naples, is free. By the brief and partial accounts of the Florence paper, it appears that the enthusiasm of the people was prodigious, and that the women fought from the houses, raining down boiling oil on the assailants.

I am promised a bill on Vienna on the 5th, the day on which my note will be paid, and the day on which I purpose to leave Leghorn. •••• is very unhappy at the idea of T.'s going to England, though she seems to feel the necessity of it. Some timo or other he must go to settle his affairs, and thoy seem to agree that this is the best opportunity. / have no thought of leaving Italy. The best thing we ran do is to save money, and, if things take a decided turn, (which I am convinced they will at last, but not perhaps for two or three years,) it will bo time for me to assert my rights, and

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To Urns- 6HELLET.

I Am afraid, my dearest, that I shall not be aUr. to be with you so soon as tojnorrow errant, though I shall use every exertion. Del Ream I have not seen, nor shall until this evening. Jackson I have, and he is to drink tea with us ma evening, and bring the Cwutihtti<m*ei.

You will have seen the papers, but I doubt thai they will not contain the latest and most important news. It is certain, by private letters from merchants, that a Berious insurrection has broken act at Paris, and the reports last night are, thai as attack made by the populace on the Tuileries still continued when the last accounts came away. At Naples the constitutional party have declared to the Austrian minister, that if the Emperor should make war on them, their first action would be to put to death all the members of the royal family —a necessary and most just measure, when the forces of the combatants, as well as the merits of their respective causes, are so unequal. That kings should be everywhere the hostages for liberty were admirable.

What will become of the Gisbomes, or of the English, at Paris! How soon will England hself. and perhaps Italy, be caught by the sacred fire! And what, to come from the solar system to a grain of sand, shall vxdof

Kiss babe for me, and your own self. I an somewhat better, but my side still vexea me—a little. Your affectionate S.

[leghorn% Cata Ricci, Sept. Iff, 18*0.

LETTER XLIII. To THK EDITOR or TH« •• QUARTERLY RE VIEW. Sir,—Should you cast your eye on the signature of this letter before you read the contents, yea might imagine that they related to a slanderro* paper which appeared in your Review •

since. I never notice anonymous attacks. The wretch who wrote it has doubtless the additional reward of a consciousness of his motives, besides the thirty guineas a sheet, or whatever it is that you pay him. Of course you cannot be answerable for all the writings which you edit, and / certainly bear you no ill-will for having edited the abuse to which I allude—indeed, I was too much amused by being compared to Pharaoh, not readily to forgive editor, printer, publisher, stitcher, or any one, except the despicable writer, connected with something so exquisitely entertaining. Seriously speaking, I am not in the habit of permitting myself to be disturbed by what is said or written of me, though, I dare say, I may be condemned sometimes justly enough. But I feel, in respect to the writer in question, that "I am there sitting, where ho durst not soar."

The case is different with the unfortunate subject of this letter, the author of Endymion, to whose feelings and situation I entreat you to allow me to call your attention. I write considerably in the dark; but if it is Mr. Gifford that I am addressing, I am persuaded that in an appeal to his humanity and justice, he will acknowledge the fat ao hottt doctri. I am aware that the first duty of a Reviewer is towards the public, and 1 am willing to confess that the Endymion is a poem considerably defective, and that, perhaps, it deserved as much censure as the pages of your Review record against it; but, not to mention that there is a certain contemptuousnesa of phraseology from which it is difficult for a critic to abstain, in the review of Endymion, I do not think that the writer has given it its due praise. Surely the poem, with all its faults, is a very remarkable production for a man of Keats's age, and the promise of ultimate excellence is such as has rarely been afforded even by such as have afterwards attained high literary eminence. Look at book ii. line 833, &c, and book iii. line 113 to 120—read down that page, and then again from line 193. I could cite many other passages, to convince you that it deserved milder usage. Why it should have been reviewed at all, excepting for the purpose of bringing its excellences into notice, I cannot conceive, for it was very little read, and there was no danger that it should become a model to the age of that false taste, with which I confess that it is replenished.

Poor Keats was thrown into a dreadful state of mind by this review, which, I am persuaded, was not written with any intention of producing the effect, to which it has, at least, greatly contributed, of embittering his existence, and inducing a disease from which there are now but faint hopes of his recovery. The first effects are described to me to

have resembled insanity, and it was by assiduous watching that he was restrained from effecting purposes of suicide. The agony of his sufferings at length produced the rupture of a blood-vessel in the lungs, and the usual process of consumption appears to have begun. He is coming to pay me a visit in Italy ; but I fear that unless his mind can be kept tranquil, little is to bo hoped from the mere influence of climate.

But let me not extort anything from your pity. I have just seen a second volume, published by him evidently in careless despair. I have desired my bookseller to send you a copy, and allow me to solicit your especial attention to the fragment of a poem entitled "Hyperion," the composition of which was checked by the Review in question. The great proportion of this piece is surely in the very highest style of poetry. I speak impartially, for the canons of tasto to which Keats has conformed in his other compositions are the very reverse of my own. I leave you to judge for yourself: it would be an insult to you to suppose that from motives, however honourable, you would lend yourself to a deception of the public. « * * * *

{ThU Utter %rai never tent.)



Pita, oggi, [November, 1820.)

Mr Oeir Sib,—I send you the Phsedon and Tacitus. I congratulate you on your conquest of the Iliad. You must have been astonished at the perpetually increasing magnificence of the last seven books. Homer there truly begins to be himBelf. The battle of the Scamander, the funeral of Patroclus, and the high and solemn close of the whole bloody tale in tenderness and inexpiablo sorrow, arc wrought in a manner incomparable with anything of the same kind. The Odyssey is sweet, but there is nothing like this.

/ am bathing myself in the light and odour of the flowery and starry Autos. I have read them all more than once. Henry will tell you how much I am in love with Pacchiani. I suffer from my disease considerably. Henry will also tell you how much, and how whimsically, he alarmed me last night.

My kindest remembrances to Mrs. Gisbomc, and best wishes for your health and happiness. Faithfully yours,

P. B. S.

I have a new Calderon coming from Paris.

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