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farce the pit of a theatre ever yawned at.

I never hear the showman's pipe and drum break forth discordantly, from some still neighbourhood, without being conscious of a more agreeable and quickened sense of pleasure than any catgut capering in an operatic overture excites. It is absurd, it may be, to confess so much, even in honesty ; yet, since Beethoven and Mozart are dumb, let the offended reader, who happens to know how to blow a French horn, absolve me or maintain a like grave silence. His withers, it is certain, are unwrung. To return to our Punch, he is but one of a race, the Tast, for the nonce, of a line of popular heroes, of whom one at least was in his day greater, in some respects, even than Punch himself. If the performances to be witnessed in the street are faithful to the libretto, it cannot be supposed that there is any literature connected with the show of Punch worthy of preservation. It is otherwise in the case of the Puppet-play of Doctor Faustus. Among the curiosities of literature, few are of greater interest. For its preservation we are indebted to Germany. Little attention, as yet, seems to have been directed towards it in this country. In Germany, on the other hand, it has been

· The libretto of “Punch and Judy,” edited by Mr. Payne Collier, and adorned with numerous woodcuts from sketches by George Cruikshank, was published some years ago. It is a curious work, enriched with interesting notes by the editor; but its perusal leaves me of the same opinion, as far as the libretto is concerned, as I have expressed above.

3. Under the title of “Faust. A Phantasia in three Acts," a translation of Karl Simrock's composition of the Puppet-play was made by D. J. P. Drakeford, of St. Peter's College, Cambridge, and published in 1847. I was unaware of the existence of this work while I was engaged upon

studied, investigated, and written about, during the last half-century, until there has grown round it, like mushrooms about the stump of a tree, a huge mass of sketches, inquiries, commentaries, and editions. One result of this pile of publications has been the elevation of the play to a literary pinnacle, to which it has but slender claims. Considered as a work adapted to the stage of the Puppet-theatre, it is indeed not without many strange and striking features ; but the unqualified admiration with which it has been regarded by German writers, almost without exception, must appear, to an unbiased mind, absurdly overstrained. When, for instance, Karl Simrock, whose name and works invite respect and consideration, exclaims," Next to Goethe's 'Faust,' amongst all the poems to which the FaustSaga has given birth, the old Puppet-play has the greatest merit,” it is difficult to believe that the judgment of the literary man has not been impaired by

the translation of Dr. Hamm's version of the play. This, however, was of little consequence, as I had already discarded Simrock's work in favour of Hamm's. Of Mr. Drakeford's translation it may, I think, be said briefly and without injustice, that it is inaccurate and incomplete. It certainly cannot be regarded as a satisfactory rendering of Simrock's Puppet-play. One singular but not unnatural error, into which Mr. Drakeford falls in his dedication, it may be well to point out in passing, lest it should be the means of misleading any curious student of Faust lore. Referring to the pages of the play, he says,—“They exhibit that legend in its early simplicity which has employed the pens of Lessing and Goethe, and the pencil of Müller.” Müller is not celebrated for any paintings of Faust, as far as I am aware ; but he has won for himself a place in the literature of Faust by his “ Situation aus Fausts Leben, 1776.” Müller is usually referred to and distinguished as Mahler (i.e. Painter) Müller, which is probably the cause of Mr. Drakeford's error.

antiquarian enthusiasm. To one, at all events, whose memory recalls the passages of terror and beauty in Marlowe's tragedy, and whose ear still retains something of the music of those mighty lines that lift one, like the swell of the sea, with easy but resistless sweep, it sounds like a sorry jest to be told that it is not the fellow of a Puppet-play. To some extent, however, it softens the sense of affronted judgment to learn, from the same writer, that, in his opinion, the Puppet-play is not cast into the shade even by the immortal work of Goethe It is, Simrock says,—" As rich in genius, invention, and execution; and, if it is not so profound, as a stage-play it is rounder and more effective." %

In making these observations it is fair to add that Simrock's estimate may be based upon his own version of the Puppet-play, a version which excels every other in literary elegance, but which, unfortunately, has no claim to be regarded as a faithful transcript of the Puppet-play at all. In support of this assertion, it may be enough to note that Simrock himself says of it“The dialogue, and, generally speaking, the arrangement, are for the most part mine; and I need not add that the versification is to be attributed to me." The

* Simrock may, perhaps, have intended his remark to apply to works in the German language only; but, if so, the same excuse could not be offered by some of his fellow-countrymen, who have drawn comparisons between the “Faust” of Marlowe and the Puppet-play to the disadvantage of the former. To these, if they have read Marlowe's tragedy, and understood what they have read, the only polite and pertinent rejoinder is, “chacun à son goût !"

· Vide Vorrede to Simrock's “Puppenspiel," 1846.

rest, I gather from Simrock's own statements, is a compilation by him from all the various sources of information upon which he could lay his hands, supplemented by his recollections of several performances by the Puppet-players, Schutz and Dreher, which he witnessed in Berlin. It is unnecessary to say more here upon this point. The reader who is curious in the matter will find, scattered throughout the Notes in the Appendix to the present work, ample means of forming his own opinion upon Simrock's work.

To the English lover of literature, the interest of the Puppet-play is not likely to arise so much from its inherent merits, or from the inflated praise which has been lavished upon it by German writers [as from the fact that it forms the link that knits together the memories of Marlowe and Goethe.) And this interest may be accentuated by the reflection that in this year of grace, which may be regarded as the tercentenary of Marlowe's play,' the drama of “Faust,” in a form fashioned from Goethe's poem, is attracting, to the Lyceum Theatre, audiences as large and curious as any piece upon the English stage. Goethe's connection with the Puppet-play is well known. He himself has left it upon record. In his “ Wahrheit und Dichtung," he tells us, “The marionette fable of Faust' murmured with many voices in my soul. I, too, had wandered into every department of knowledge, and had returned early enough satisfied with the vanity of science. And life, too, I had tried

· Vide Appendix, note 13, pp. 140-142.

under various aspects, and always came back sorrowing and unsatisfied.” He speaks also of the play as "be. deutend," or important, and certainly it was important, in the highest sense, to the world of letters, as it proved, to use an old English phrase, to be the begetter of Goethe's masterpiece. There seems to be no doubt that it was from the Puppet-play that Goethe received his first inspiration. The old comedy of “Faust,” as it is sometimes called, was still being performed in Germany by living actors in Goethe's lifetime; indeed, there appears to have been a performance of the play, on the stage at Frankfort, during the poet's youth, but Goethe seems to have been then in Leipsic, and never to have seen the play in a theatre.

Exhibitions of the Puppet-play continued to be given, by various showmen, in different parts of Germany during the first half of this century. At Berlin and elsewhere, the performances were attended by many eminent literary and professional men, and the greatest interest and curiosity were excited by the show. It was felt that underneath the antics of the wooden figures there lay a rich dramatic vein. There was an old-world flavour about the play, too, a resolute belief in the devil and his works, that probably gave a relish to the jaded patate of an age as remarkable for scepticism as for anything

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et vide Goethe's remarks on the Faust of "the old crude popular fable." Kunst und Alterthum, vol. vi.

* Creizenach says that Goethe “appears never to have known, or, it may be in after years to have forgotten, that the Faust comedy was not designed merely for the Puppet-theatre." (v. Versuch, p. 183). But how, if Goethe knew Marlowe's tragedy?

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