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homage of all hearts. . . Last words of admiration and gratitude linger on our pen. We bespeak for every future line of Mr. Br. a cordial welcome here. And it is pleasant to think that he cannot regard the warm personal friendships ha

has unconsciously established here, with indifference.” 1852. Dr. Asher: ‘England's Dichter und Prosaisten der Neuzeit,' Berlin, A. Nauck,

gives the first extracts from R. B.'s poems, and the first sketch of his life contained in any Anthology in Germany. Dr. Ahn's 'Selections from R. B.', 1872

(see below) were also submitted to Dr. Asher for revision. 1855. C. Knight, . Half- Hours with the best Authors,' 3rd ed., reprints The Pied,

Piper in vol. iv. p. 366-374, with a short criticism of the see-saw order prefixt.

- W. G. Stone. 1856. John RuskIN. Modern Painters, vol. iv. p. 377-9. “Robert Browning is

unerring in every sentence he writes of the Niddle Ages ; always vital, right, and profound ; so that in the matter of art, with which we have been specially concerned, there is hardly a principle connected with the mediæval temper, that he has not struck upon in those seemingly careless and too rugged rhymes of his" (then, commenting on a point misst by Shaksperel (because it was specially Italian and un-English) but caught by Browning—“the kind of admiration with which a Southern artist regarded the stone2 he worked in ; and the pride which populace or priest took in the possession of precious mountain substance, worked into the pavements of their cathedrals, and the shafts of their tombs,” he quotes “The Bishop orders his Tomb in St. Praxed's Church”

“ As here I lie” (to) * Truly, my masters ? Ulpian serves his need.”] § 34. “I know no other piece of modern English prose or poetry, in which there is so inuch told, as in these lines, of the Renaissance spirit, -its worldliness, inconsistency, pride, hypocrisy, ignorance of itself, love of art, of Luxury, and of good Latin. It is nearly all that I have said of the central Renaissance in thirty pages of the ‘Stones of Venice,' put into as many lines, Browning's also being the antecedent work. The worst of it is, that this kind of concentrated writing needs so much solution before the reader can fairly get the good of it, that people's patience fails them, and they give the thing up as insoluble ; though, truly, it ought to be, to the current of common thought, like Saladin's talisman dipped in clear water, not soluble altogether,

but making the element medicinal.' 1856. Mons. J. Milsand in the 'Revue Contemporaire,' 107° Livraison : 15 Sep

tembre, Art. III., “La poésie expressive et dramatique en Angleterre : M. Robert Browning,” p. 511-546. Reviews Men and Women. Part I., a review of the character of English poetry-Shakspere, Scott, Byron, Wordsworth, Shelley, Tennyson, Browning-at once realist and idealist, dealing with life, anecdote, nature, the other world. Part II. An account of some of Browning's leading poems, and of his method : (p. 520) “il n'entend point nous confier ses impressions intimes, il veut dérouler devant nous un panorama de l'espèce humaine ; il veut figurer ce qu'il en a pu apprendre par ses observations et ses retours sur lui-même. Tout au travers de ces deux volumes on respire comme une insatiable avidité de saisir et de vivre en esprit toutes les formes possibles de l'exist

Aux yeux de M. Br., le poète est l'homme qui a vu, qui a vécu, et qui parle pour prêter aux autres son expérience .... (p. 521) son but est moins de répresenter les réalités que de présenter sous la figure d'une réalité toutes les idées qu'il peut se faire de ce qui existe ou de ce qui est seulement concevable. Enoncer une pensée, et par cette pensée même révéler un caractère dont il lui fait prendre la couleur, tel est un des procédés aimés de M. Br. (p. 523) Pittoresque et dramatique, M. Browning l’est au plus haut

point: il sait sortir entièrement de lui-même (comme son Childe Roland 3 suf1 ‘Not because he is greater than Shakspere, but because he is in another element, and has seen other things.' ? Basalt (antique-black) and Peach-blossom marble, here.

Le poète a voulu montrer comment les objets les plus simples prennent des aspects terribles dans l'esprit d'une homme terrifié. Toute la pièce respire une sorte de magie infernale. M. Br. disparaît complétement derrière son évocation.

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firait pour le prouver); mais en général ses personnages sont moins des images taillés à l'instar de tels modèles vivants que les combinaisons naturelles de tout ce que renferme son esprit, de ce qu'il sait ou de ce qu'il a pensé. On sent partout la présence d'une organisation particulière où l'imagination ne dort pas, où les idées ont l'étrange don d'enfanter, en se rapprochant, des manières d'être en action, des fantômes animés qui lui donnent le spectacle de leurs actes. Il en résulte que les créations du poète font à la fois l'effet du rêve et de la réalité. C'est la vérité ordinaire prolongée dans les espaces du possible et l'imaginable ; ce sont les aptitudes de tout le monde avec un développement qu'elles n'ont pu prendre que chez un être à part ;-et en somme, peut-être, ce qui saisit le plus ici, c'est l'individualité qui empreint toutes les pensées de l'écrivain. L'étonnement qu'il cause, tient moins encore aux regions où il vous transporte, qu'aux opérations de son esprit et de son imagination .. (p. 521) Ses inspirations, ses allures de style, ses images, sont empreintes de la même originalité involontaire. Les productions de sa plume peuvent laisser à désirer; mais, comme expression individuelle, comme reflet de se propre figure, elles prennent par moments—à mes yeux du moins-je ne sais quelle grandeur colossale. (p. 540) En général, la beauté n'est pas ce qui le préoccupe le plus ; chaque jour, il semble plus frappé par la physionomie mélangée des êtres et par leur multiple activité . . . il est toujours ému et émouvant. Mais ce qu'il sent vivement, et ce qu'il rend avec la même vivacité, c'est le mouvement entraînant des choses et des pensées, c'est l'inexplicable puissance qu'elles ont pour nous saisir et nous surprendre, pour nous attirer et nous repousser ; c'est toute la série des émotions complexes que peuvent produire en nous les mille faces d'un même objet, ou la brusque variété du panorama mouvant de la vie, ou le jeu intermittent de nos pensées et de nos sensibilités. En un mot, la poésie de M. Browning est celle des vitalités qui sont à l'oeuvre dans ce monde ; et cela est vrai de la forme comme du fond de ses vers. ... Il fait vivre ses phrases; il met dans la marche et dans la course de ses mots, toutes les allures des sentiments, tous leurs crescendo et leurs adagio, tous les rhythmes saccadés de l'âme humaine. Le charme, de la sorte, lui fait parfois défaut ... mais s'il n'a

pas cette magie-là, il en a une autre. Lui, il est poète par la grandeur et la puissance de ses créations ; il l'est par une imagination sans cesse eveillée et sans cesse occupée à transformer en tableaux et en figures parlantes les découvertes d'une intelligence aussi active; par-dessus tout, je crois, il est poéte par la richesse et par l'affluence de ses impressions. Qu'il aille où il veut, et qu'on le suive comme on peut, il y a toujours chez lui une chose qui provoque la surprise ; c'est la somme de force matrice qu'il dépense, et la rapidité avec laquelle ses facultés se donnent l'une à l'autre la réplique ; c'est l'empressement des souvenirs qui viennent illustrer les pensées ; (p. 541) c'est le mouvement qui se communique de là aux sentiments ; c'est la joie enfin que toutes ces forces trouvent à agir en lui, et qu'il éprouve lui-même à se sentir au milieu de tout ce bruit et à s'étonner des spectacles auxquels il assiste.

(Part III. considers the objections to B.'s poetry and subjects, &c.) p. 544. . “ Ùne forte aspiration vers l'expression, voilà donc en un mot ce qui distingue, à mon sens, l'époque actuelle, et plus particulièrement M. Browning. Lui surtout, son instinct l'entraîne à l'inverse même des Italiens qui, pour conserver la poésie tout poétique, n'ont pas craint de l'appauvrir. Il désirerait étendre son domaine jusqu'à y faire entrer la sphère entière du développement humain. Penser, connaître, et sentir tout ce qui peut être connu, senti, et conçu ; retenir en soi toute cette expérience, et trouver moyen, par une sorte de pression continue, de la réduire en tableaux, poétiques, telle est, en quelque sorte, la tâche qu'il se donne ; et en tant qu'écrivain, ou pourrait dire qu'il se borne à recueillir, parmi les inspirations qui lui viennent, celles qui sont comme un chapitre achevé de ce grand résumé. (After quoting part of p. 8-9 of Browning's Shelley Essay above, on the 2 classes of poets, M. Milsand says, p. 546.) M Prowning . . sympathise également avec les deux inspirations, et je serais porté a croire que ... le travail constant de son esprit n'à été qu'un effort pour les concilier et les fondre en une seule, pour trouver moyen d'être, non pas tour à tour, mais simultanément, lyrique et dramatique, subjectif et pittoresque. Qu'on envisage isolément ses écrits, ou qu'on les envisage en bloc,

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on y pressent partout un idéal, un dessein qui ne se dit pas, qui n'est jamais complètement atteint, qui est à peine un parti pris, mais vers lequel aspirent toutes les pensées et les paroles du poète. Cet idéal, c'est celui d'une poésie qui servirait d'iniatrice et qui ferait concevoir le dedans des choses en faisant voir leur dehors ; c'est celui d'une poésie qui transporterait au fond des esprits les secrets et les aspects de la réalité, qui y verserait toutes les formes des événements qui ont eu lieu, tous les mobiles qui les ont déterminés, toutes les forces enfin qui ont opéré et qui peuvent opérer dans l'avenir,--et cela afin que les hommes pussent renfermer dans leur poitrine l'historie universelle, afin qu'ils portassent en eux-mêmes l'univers, et mieux que l'univers réel, quelque chose, du moins, qui vaut mieux pour eux : un univers expliqué et compris, où les phénomènes raconteraient leur propre généalogie, et où l'oeil de l'intelligence, au lieu de n'apercevoir que des effets dont la cause reste cachée, verrait

directement les causes elles-mêmes accomplir leurs effets.”—J. MILSAND. 1857. "The Christian Remembrancer.' New Series, vol. xxxix. Oct. 1857, p.

361-390. A good article, proving Browning's strong Christian feeling, and well worth reading. Here is a bit on the revision of Paracelsus :—“In the first edition of this poem, Mr. B. intimated that it had been the work of only 6 months. But let not the reader who studies Paracelsus in the col. lected edition of 1849, imagine that he has before him the result of hasty labour. Every page has been reconsidered, corrected and improved, with a care to which we hardly know a parallel since the days of Plato. Simpler Saxon words have been inserted instead of Latinised ones; here a line struck out, there some explanatory addition has been made ; and in numberless cases the very arrangement of the printing altered, in order to make the sense more clear. Revisions—witness Cowper's, of his “Iliad '—are often failures ; Mr. Browning's has been eminently successful. In scarcely a single instance do

we regret the change.” 1861. ‘North British Review,' May 1861, pp. 350-374. “ The Poems and Plays of

Robert Browning. Article on Men and Women; Christmas Eve and Easter Day; Poems, 2 vols, 1849 ; Sordello.-F. H. EVANS. This is a capital article. It states the difficulties of getting at B.'s meaning, and then brings out his strength.

we still hold, that the more immediately popular writers of any time will seldom be the men for all time, and that (p. 351) the deepest thoughts cannot be immediately popular. The greatest fame must still be of slow growth, for it has to endure long!. And of all our living poets, we believe that Mr. Br. is about the likeliest to win his least fame and fewest readers in his own life-time. Haste is [our] great bane. Attention is the great desideratum. Sir Wm. Hamilton used to tell his class that it was better to read one good book ten times over, than to read ten good books only once. much attention is necessary to get all the good out of a good book; and only in this way can it be got out (p. 351)... (p. 352) the poetry of R. B. is preeminent amongst our nineteenth century poetry, for those noble qualities of thought and feeling which demand the profoundest attention ... he (p. 353) seems to delight in that which is peculiar; something remote in interest that will permit of a recondite treatment. He dearly loves to worm his gnarly way to the dark heart of a good knotty problem that has not been hitherto (p. 354) penetrated. He does not care to tread in the path where the footprints

of others are in the least visible; or, if any one has been in that direction, Mr. 1.We will, however, mention two places in which we prefer the edition of 1835. In the striking and beautiful lyric of the Fourth Part, beginning “Over the sea our galleys went,” we like “these majestic forms ” much better than “the lucid shapes you bring.” And in page 187 of this old edition, there was the cautioning noteParacelse faisait profession du Panthéisme le plus grossier." (Renauldin.) This note is probably struck out only for the sake of neatness. Yet we desiderate it; for the reader was thereby clearly informed that the sentiments of that speech were those of Paracelsus, not of the author : and though we do not in the slightest degree accuse Mr. Browning of Pantheism, yet the distinctness of the virtual protest "ppeared to us wise and satisfactory.'

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Br. will strike on a new clue, which leads him much further than others went

For example, in the story of 'King Francis and the Glove,' which De Lorge's lady dropt, to see whether her lover would face death for her sake. According to the ordinary version and common opinion, the lady was rightly served for her heartlessness, when the knight, after leaping among the lions, recovered the glove and flung it in her face. Our poet. . sees differently. He caught an expression in her face such as told him she had tried the gold of her lover's fine speeches in the crucible, and found it mostly dross ; and so she went out calmly amidst all the hooting and mirth, to find the truer love in one who would have died for her, and, like Curtius, jumped at the chance. While De Lorge sank into marrying the beauty that stood so high in the royal favour; and he would fetch her gloves, which she had always mislaid when the king called to see her. And when the king told the old story of the glove,

" The wife smiled— His nerves are grown firmer ;

Mine he brings now, and utters no murmur. [The reviewer then notes B’s way of expecting his readers to know as much, and be as quick as himself, and passing on “ with the most chirping cheeriness,

as if they could keep up with him; and lastly blames his wilfully grotesque” rymes, so funny and effective when the matter is humorous, but seemingly mocking where the subject is serious ; and finishing grumbles with

; the difficulty of Sordello, goes on, (p. 357)] “ it remains to be said that Mr. Br. is one of the half-dozen original ininds now amongst us who are fountainheads of creative thought . . . No other living poet has sounded such depths of human feeling, or can smite the soul with such a rush of kindling energy. Great and lofty and deep as Tennyson is, he has no such range. Indeed, without the least intention of making a comparison, we may venture to say, that since our greatest dramatist wrote, no English poet has reached so wide a range of varied characters as Mr. Browning. He is not a great dramatist. His plays are not for the stage ... but he is a great dramatic poet. What a line of characters start into memory in illustration of our assertion! Each sufficiently portrayed ; often exquisitely, and some with consummate mastery. “Paracelsus,' half-king, half-quack; the sunny little godsend, ‘Pippa'; 'superb and haughty Ottimal, poor · Mildred?,' and Lurio' the Moor; Jules and Phene3'; David,' glorious in his ruddy youth, charming away the madness from King Saul ; •Blougram' the bishop, so catholic in his love of this world's good things; and he, the sumptuous old sinner of St. Praxed's. The Duke and Lady of The Statue and Bust, “the unlit lamp and the ungirt loin ;''Andrea del Sarto,' and loose champagne-blooded 'Lippo Lippi'; little ' Evelyn Hope'; wise old pondering • Karshish'; and many more whom we cannot stop to name. To mention one quality of Mr. Br.'s poetry, in which he is pre-eminent, we think, out of King Lear,' no pathos can be found more tragic in its tenderness than that in the closing scenes of A Blot in the 'Scutcheon, or more tragic in its grandeur than the pathos of Luria.

[The story of Paracelsus is then told, with quotations, and at the end,] “He who stood at first where all aspire at last to stand, now stands at last where the Christian is enabled by faith to stand at first. He is humbled, broken, purified. The poem is brought to a climax in a long-sustained swell of noble poetry, and leaves us with the feeling that the shining fragments of this shattered mind will be united to form a wondrous whole in worlds not realized. Paracelsus teaches a great lesson, and from end to end there runs a brimming stream of rare poetry. Often it overbrims its banks from its abounding fulness, and runs to waste ; but it carries its freightage of purpose right on into haven. For us, each reading has brought out more meaning and fresh beauty (p. 365).

“ Mr. Br.'s dramas .. alone ought to be sufficient to build up the fame of a true and great poet. King Victor and King Charles is a profound study of

statecraft and human nature, finely introduced and as finely evolved. The 1 The adulteress and joint murderess, in Pippa Passes. 2 M. Tresham, the innocently-erring child in The Blot in the 'Scutcheon. 3 Sculptor and love-model in Pippa.

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Return of the Druses is likewise most subtle and intense, with its perplexity of motives solved by passionate action, and the complexity of life made all clear by death. The conclusion of this tragedy is grand as a sunset. The Duchess Colombe' is one of our especial favourites; our “play-queen, so natural and so brave on her birthday. And · Pippa,' everybody's favourite, with her one day's holiday, going about like an unwitting missionary of heaven, doing good without knowing it. Imagining the life and world of others as so bright and beautiful, and then, as she passes them by-singingshe touches their world unconsciously with her own brightness, and lights it up with a sun-flash, that shows the good their own happiness, the bad their life's hideousness, and both, that God is in His heaven. The Blot in the Scutcheon is full of deep, moving power. The characters are living, breathing, loving and suffering human souls, real enough to stir the profoundest human feelings. By the nearest and dearest ties they are bound up in the dark web of a bitter fate. We see how they might be saved, but cannot save them.We behold them striving in the toils, and the great shadowing cloud overhead coming straight down big and black to bursting. Life and death are brought to the fine turning-point of a single word, and it cannot be spoken. Thus an interest intensely tragic is created. We have before mentioned the passionate pathos of this drama . . . Luria, again, is a magnificent conception, a Moor of nobler nature than Othello, who can magnanimously forgive a great wrong. Florence has called on him to save her, and placed him at the head of her armies. He has led them in triumph up to the very eve of a final victory. But his employers, with the cruel and jealous traits of the Macchiavellian intellect, have set spies on spies at watch on every word, and in every way. Their own kith and kin have proved false to the commonwealth in their intoxication of triumph ; how, then, should the stranger keep true with success? He may play false ; why, then, he will. And so, on the assumption of this treason, he is being tried for his life at Florence, whilst he is fighting her battles so faithfully, crushing her foes so mightily, and believing in her, his soul's idol, so proudly! He learns what is their devil's-policy in time to have turned on them and trampled them in the dust. He is urged by those around him to do so. He looks and listens as one by one they turn on their various lights—the green and ghastly light of jealousy ; the lurid blue light of suspicion ; the blood-red light of revenge—but (p. 367) accepts none of these. He has in his Moorish mind a glimmer of the great white light of God contending with the heathen gloom. No mean feeling can span the girth and greatness of his heart. He towers up sublimely above all the suggestions of evil, and saves Florence at the sacrifice of himself. The gathering great black thunder-cloud of his suffering soul, that hung a moment over Florence, charged with death, breaks into harmless tears of softened pity and generous blessing for her. There is an ineffable pathos in this Luria’s life ; an inexpressible dignity in his death. The poetry of this drama is one great deep of beauty set with shining truths, and thick with starry thoughts . . (p. 368). example of our poet's dramatic power in getting right at the heart of a man, reading what is there written, and then looking through his eyes and revealing it all in the man's own speech, nothing can be more complete in its inner soundings and outer keeping, than the epistle containing the 'Strange Medical Experience of Karshish, the Arab Physician', who has been picking up the crumbs of learning on his travels in the Holy Land, and writes to Abib, the allsagacious, at home. It is so (p. 369) solemnly real and so sagely fine.

“ (p. 370). Mr. Br.is nowhere more at home than with the old painters and their pictures ... Their pictures are windows through which he sees into their souls, and can show us the colour of life's under-currents. His picture of • Andrea del Sarto’ is perfect as anything of that painter’s, who was called the

Faultless'. Here we find the beating heart belonging to the face that looked out on us so mournfully from a picture at the Manchester Art Treasures' Exhibition. Very perfect is the poet's interpretation of the well-known facts of the painter's love for a beautiful bad woman whose influence darkened his life, embittered his lot ; dragged down the lifted hands, and broke the aspiring heart. We write witb an engraving of one of Andrea del Sarto's pictures

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