« 이전계속 »
clowns in the Midsummer Night's Dream, of which he gave the fantastic and comic parts with indescribable humour and effect. As to the translation, I could only judge of its marvellous fidelity, which enabled me to follow him, word for word, but the Germans themselves are equally enchanted by its vigour, and elegance, and poetical colouring.
The far-famed gallery of Dresden is, of course, the first and grand attraction to a stranger.
The regulation of this gallery, and the difficulty of obtaining admission, struck me at first as rather inhospitable and ill-natured. In the summer months it is open to the public two days in the week; but during the winter months, from September to March, it is closed. In order to obtain admittance, during this recess, you must pay
three dollars to one of the principal keepers on duty, and a gratuity to the porter,-in all, about half-a-guinea. Having once paid this sum, you are free to enter whenever the gallery has been opened for another party. The ceremony is, to send the laquais-de-place at nine in the morning to inquire whether the gallery will be open in the course of the day; if the answer be in the affirmative, it is advisable to make your appearance as early as possible, and I believe you may stay as long as you please; (at least I did ;) nothing more is afterwards demanded, though something may perhaps be expected—if you are a very frequent visitor. All this is rather ungracious. It is true that the gallery is not a national, but a royal gallery,—that it was founded and enriched by princes for their private recreation; that Augustus III. purchased the Modena gallery for his kingly pleasure: that from the original construction of the building it is impossible to heat it with stoves, without incurring some risk, and that to oblige the poor professors and attendants to linger benumbed and shivering in the gallery from morning to night is cruel. In fact, it would be difficult to give an idea of the deadly cold which prevails in the inner gallery, where the beams of the sun scarcely ever penetrate. And it may happen that only a chance visitor, or one or two strangers, may ask admittance in the course of the day. But poor as Saxony now is,— drained, and exhausted, and maimed by successive wars, and trampled by successive conquerors, this glorious gallery, which Frederic spared, and Napoleon left inviolate, remains the chief attraction to strangers; and it may be doubted whether there is good policy in making admittance to its treasures a matter of difficulty, vexation, and expense. There would be little fear, if all, strangers were as obstinate and enthusiastic as myself,—for, to confess the truth, I know not what obstacle, or difficulty, or inconvenience, could have kept me out; if all legal avenues had been hermetically sealed, I would have prayed, bribed, persevered, till I had attained my purpose, and after travelling three hundred miles to achieve an object, what are a few dollars ? But still it is ungracious, and methinks, in this courteous and liberal capital these regulations ought to be reformed or modified.
On entering the gallery for the first time, I walked straight forward, without pausing, or turning to the right or the left, into the Raffaelleroom, and looked round for the Madonna del Sisto,-literally with a kind of misgiving. Familiar as the form might be to the eye and the fancy, from numerous copies and prints, still the un
known original held a sanctuary in my imagination, like the mystic Isis behind her veil: and it seemed that whatever I beheld of lovely, or perfect, or soul-speaking in art, had an unrevealed rival in my imagination : something was beyondthere was a criterion of possible excellence as yet only conjectured—for I had not seen the Madonna del Sisto. Now, when I was about to lift my eyes to it, I literally hesitated—I drew a long sigh, as if resigning myself to disappointment, and looked Yes! there she was indeed! that divinest image that ever shaped itself in palpable hues and forms to the living eye! What a revelation of ineffable grace, and purity, and truth, and goodness! There is no use attempting to say any thing about it; too much has already been said and written-and what are words? After gazing on it again and again, day after day, I feel that to attempt to describe the impression is like measuring the infinite, and sounding the unfathomable. When I looked up at it to-day it gave me the idea, or rather the feeling, of a vision descending and floating down upon me. The head of the Virgin is quite superhuman: to say that it is beautiful, gives no idea of it. Some of Correggio's and Guido's virgins—the virgin of Murillo at the Leuchtenberg palace—have more beauty, in the common meaning of the word; but every other female face, however lovely, however majestic, would, I am convinced, appear either trite or exaggerated, if brought into immediate comparison with this divine countenance. There is such a blessed calm in every feature! and the eyes, beaming with a kind of internal light, look straight out of the picture-not at you or menot at any thing belonging to this world,- but through and through the universe. The unearthly Child is a sublime vision of power and grandeur, and seems not so much supported as enthroned in her arms, and what fitter throne for the Divinity than a woman's bosom full of innocence and love? The expression in the face of St. Barbara, who looks down, has been differently interpreted: to me she seems to be giving a last look at the earth, above which the group is raised as on a hovering cloud. St. Sixtus is evidently pleading in all the combined fervour of faith, hope, charity, for the congregation of sinners, who are supposed to be kneeling before the picture—that is, for us—to whom he points. Fi