Full text: Zeitungsausschnitte über Werke von Herman Grimm: Leben Raphael's

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© Hessisches Staatsarchiv Marburg, Best. 340 Grimm Nr. Z 37 
July 8, 1886] 
a striking example of the unfortunate influence 
which the personal impressionability of the Pre 
mier exercises upon Parliamentary affairs. It 
was, regarded from a dramatic point of view, a 
fine and moving spectacle when at last Lord Per 
cy and his friends succeeded in making the Lion 
roar. They had been poking at the cage fully an 
hour, and had drawn forth nothing more pleasing 
or exciting than some vigorous shaking of the 
head and one or two monosyllabic ejaculations. 
Mr. Gladstone was evidently conscious of the un 
desirability of yielding to temptation. He might 
easily crush these young men, but at what ex 
pense ! The whole of a night had been already 
wasted. It was early morning when the Minister 
for War had found an opportunity of rising and 
making his statement explanatory of the esti 
mates. It was absolutely necessary that certain 
votes should be taken before the House ad 
journed. Every one except Mr. Gladstone was 
weary with the long sitting and worn out with 
watching for the coming of the Chairman of Com 
mittees 
“These thoughts were evidently present in 
Mr. Gladstone’s mind, and, fleeing from tempta 
tion, he vacated his usual seat by the despatch- 
box. If he had gone a little further, left the 
House altogether and gone home to bed, it would 
have been better for himself aud public business 
too. He was like a man conscious of his own 
weakness in the face of drink, but who could not 
make up his mind totally to abstain. He went 
on the temperance principle, and, instead of 
leaving the House altogether, took up his seat 
at the lower end of the Treasury bench, under the 
shadow of the Speaker’s chair. But this required 
only a little lengthening of the arm on the part 
of his pursuers, and presently they succeeded in 
drawing him. Since the night when, in Oppo 
sition, he suddenly turned and rebuked Mr. Chap 
lin, who had gone a pace too far, nothing has- 
been finer in its way than his discomfiture of 
Lord Percy on Tuesday morning. The spare 
figure, trembling with indignation, bending for 
ward as if preparing for a spring ; the flashing 
eyes, the extended hand, and the ringing voice, 
combined to form an effective scene, the like of 
which no other stage in the world could parallel. 
It was magnificent, but it was not business.” 
It has been often remarked what a difference 
of results is produced by the difference of size of 
the House of Commons as compared with our 
House of Representatives. In the vast space of 
the latter every member is provided with a com 
fortable chair and a desk, and there is plenty of 
room to move about. But, owing to the distance 
and the irrelevant noises, it is impossible for a 
speaker to be heard, and there is no community 
of impulse or motion. On the other hand, in a 
full Hou°e of Commons, members cannot even 
find seats on the benches, tut stand crowded 
round the doorways and the Speaker’s chair like 
the audience in a theatre where only standing 
room is left. But they have their reward. The 
effect is like that of a group of men gathered 
around a fire. Every joke, every successful sar 
casm, every bit of real or mock eloquence, every 
individual characteristic, acts upon the whole 
body, and cheers and laughter, or indignation 
auu liuuuug, eiecwiry vnc wiiuio riuuse. ir me 
House of Commons was not, by this means, the 
most interesting and exciting club in the world, 
it would be hardly possible for men, many of 
whom are engaged in active occupations during 
the day, to attend, during six months, sessions 
which end from midnight to four or five o’clock 
in the morning. 
The Azores or Western Islands: A Political, 
Commercial, and Geographical Account. By 
Walter Frederick Walker, London: Trubner. 
1880. 
Mr. Walter Frederick Walker is a member 
of the Royal Geographical Society; but his first 
sentence shows how exceedingly incomplete the 
library of that excellent institution must be, at 
least in its Azorean alcove. He says that it is 
forty-five year's since Bullai’s work on the Azores 
appeared, and that it is “the last work in our 
language purely descriptive of these delightful 
islands.” So far is this from the truth that there 
have appeared in the United States alone, during 
The IsTation. 
that time, no less than three works “ in our lan- ' 
guage” purely descriptive of the Azores; these 
being ‘ A Trip to the Azores,’ by M. Borges de F. ; 
Henriques (Boston: 1867); ‘Among the Azores,’ 1 
by Lyman H. Weeks (Boston: 1882); and ‘ A 
Summer in the Azores, with a Glimpse of Ma- j 
deira,’ by C. Alice Baker (Boston: 1882). Each 
of these volumes gives a greater variety of in- | 
formation about the present condition of the 
islands than is contained in Mr. Walker’s bo,ok, 
he devoting himself almost exclusively to the 
only island much visited by his countrymen, San 
Miguel or St. Michael. Of course he did not in 
tentionally ignore these predecessors, but he sim 
ply adds another to the many proofs that English 
bibliography has its limitations. 
Among these various recent writers on the 
Azores there is not one who has taken so much 
pains with their early history as Mr. Walker. 
Yet even here his reading finds anew its limita 
tions; for he apparently has never heard of the 
one painstaking historical book written and pub 
lished in any of the islands, the 1 Annaes da film 
Terceira,’ by Francisco Ferreira Drummond, 
“ natural da mesma ilha,” the first and only vo 
lume of which, published by the municipal coun 
cil of Angra do Heroismo in 1850, now lies before 
us. Its 700 dingy pages are a mine of minute 
history, such as no historian of the islands can 
properly ignore. Nor does Mr. Walker make any 
reference to the few modern productions of the 
islands, in the way of belles-lettres, as, for in 
stance, ‘ Contos e Poesias A$orianas,’ by Ernesto 
Rebello, printed at Horta, Fayal, in 1873. He, 
moreover, discusses at great length the alleged 
Phoenician remains which so interested Hum 
boldt, and confidently assumes that no such 
exist. This is probably true, but Mr. Walker is 
evidently ignorant of the curious inscription im 
bedded in the floor of an old church built about 
A. D. 1500 at Cedros, Fayal—an inscription con 
cerning which there exists no explanation or tra 
dition, although it has been suggested that it is 
probably of the same class with certain inscrip 
tions in Belgian churches built under Philip II.; 
these memorials having long passed as Runic, but 
turning out at last to be in Latin, inscribed in a 
bastard Greek alphabet. A report on this Fayal 
stone may be found in the Journal of the Ame 
rican Oriental Society (vol. x, part i, p. xvi), and 
it perhaps does more than anything else to ex 
plain the origin of Humboldt’s supposed Phoeni 
cian remains at the Azores. 
Mr. Walker’s book is written in a style of no 
especial literary attractions, but he gives a good 
deal of valuable information. Had he employed 
only the modest title claimed many years ago by 
Dr. J. W. Webster for his work on the same 
snhjof'L ‘ -A TVosoripHnn of th<? Island of St. Mi 
chael, with Remarks on the Other Azores,’ he 
would have characterized his own work more 
accurately. Even within this limit, his descrip 
tions of the far-famed gardens of Ponta Delgada 
—the chief attraction to strangers in his favorite 
island—are far less ample and interesting 
than those given by Mr. Weeks in his ‘Among 
the Azores.’ Mr. Walker’s maps, however, are 
excellent; and he outdoes all his predecessors by 
publishing the notes and words of several popu 
lar Portuguese melodies, as the “Vivandeira” 
and the “ Lagrimas,” although he does not give 
us “ VivabellaCrindagem,” the prettiest of them 
all. It is the more remarkable that he should 
have taken this trouble, because he finds the 
Azorean Portuguese language “ harsh and dis 
cordant” (p. 311)—a phrase not at all descriptive, 
certainly, of the sweet drawling sing-song of the 
more western Azores. 
Das Leben Eaj)hael's. Von Herman Grimm. 
Zweite Ausgabe des ersten Bandes und Ab- 
39 
schluss in einem Bande. Berlin : Wilhelm 
Hertz; New York: Westermann. 1886. 
When Herman Grimm published the first vol 
ume of his Else of Raphael (1872), he proposed to 
write a second, containing a life of the great 
painter based on original documents, and a criti 
cal study of his works. Finding it impossible to 
carryout this plan for want of material, he aban 
doned it, and determined to remodel his first 
volume, which, in its new and greatly improved 
form, now lies before us. The original introduc 
tion has grown into a history of the fame of Ra 
phael from his death to the present time. The 
Italian text (second edition) of Vasari’s life, with 
lengthy commentaries between each chapter, has 
been replaced by an unbroken reprint of the 
texts of the first (1550) and second (1568) editions 
of the same, with a German translation of the 
latter en regard; and an essay has been added 
on the “Sposalizio,” the “Entombment,” the 
“ Camera della Segnatura,” the Cartoons, the 
Sistine Madonna, and the “ Transfiguration,” 
with short references to other well-known works. 
The volume closes with a chapter in which the 
five Sonnets of Raphael are given in their differ 
ent versions, with accompanying translations. 
In his valuable bibliographical essay, entitled 
‘ Les Historiens et les Critiques de Raphael ’ (note, 
p. 51), M. Eugfene Muntz characterizes the first 
edition of Grimm's Life as “a systematic and 
paradoxical work, in which the author has taken 
pains to refute and depreciate Vasari and Pas- 
savant, the two men who have given us the 
most valuable information about Raphael. ” This 
charge, so far as it relates to Vasari, cannot be 
brought against the book in its present shape, as 
the author not only does him the honor to reprint 
and translate his Life of Raphael, but further 
more makes the amende honorable for previous 
depreciation, by acknowledging that “it is the 
chief source of our knowledge of the painter’s 
life and career,” and “that it is in the main 
trustworthy.” Those who know how many of 
Vasari’s errors have been detected and rectified 
of late years by Milanesi, Cavalcaselle, Miintz, 
and Lermolieff, will consider the above qualifica 
tion justified. Perhaps, says Grimm, when Va 
sari began to collect materials for his ‘Life,’ 
Rome was full of legends about Raphael, among 
which he selected for his purpose those which 
seemed to him most worthy of credence. In re 
gard to Passavant’s work, Grimm seems to us to 
be actuated by an equally fair spirit. He con 
siders the biographical portion to be of little 
value, but he lauds the second part as “ a mas 
terpiece of German research,” and such indeed 
it is. 
The most interesting and the most original part 
of the present volume is the first chapter, in which 
the author traces the decline of Raphael’s fame 
after his death, to its upward tendency at the 
close of the last century. The first kept pace 
with the decadence of art in all its branches, 
which reached its lowest stage in the wild ex 
travagances of the baroque and Zopf periods. 
The second set in about a hundred years ago, 
thanks to leaders of thought and taste like 
Goethe, who coupled Raphael with Homer and 
Shakspere in their esteem; and when, early in the 
nineteenth century, the artistic spoils of Italy 
and Spain, including the largest number of Ra 
phael’s pictures ever collected under one roof, 
were displayed in the Louvre, the supremacy of 
the Prince of Painters was still more widely ac 
knowledged. His fame increased still further, as 
engravings of his works, beginning with Desnoy- 
ers’s “ Belle Jardinifere,” were spread abroad, and 
it culminated in our own day when photographic 
reproductions of them, at small cost, are found in 
every part of the civilized world. “ The know 
ledge and the possession of Raphael’s works,” 
says our author, “has become essential to human
	        

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