Page images

peace, never so little a friend of the Nether- “Two maiden ladies lived on the north lands as when making them some formal rampart of Antwerp. They had formerly promise of assistance. Nevertheless, he professed the Protestant religion, and had was good enough king for the French no- been thrown into prison for that crime ; but bles, who had sold themselves repeatedly the fear of further persecution, human to him and to Philip, and among whom weakness, or perhaps sincere conviction, every man but the Huguenots had his had caused them to renounce the error of price.

their ways, and they now went to mass. “ The king did his best by intrigue, by But they had a maid-servant, forty years of calumny, by tale-bearing, by inventions, to age, Anna van den Hove by name, who set the Huguenots against each other, and was stanch in that reformed faith in which to excite the mutual jealousy of all his most she had been born and bred. The Jesuits trusted adherents, whether Protestant or denounced this maid-servant to the civil Catholic. The most good-humored, the authority, and claimed her condemnation least vindictive, the most ungrateful, the and execution under the edicts of 1540,– falsest of mankind, he made it his policy, decrees which every one had supposed as as well as his pastime, to repeat, with any obsolete as the statutes of Draco, which amount of embroidery that his most florid they had so entirely put to shame. fancy could devise, every idle story or cal- “The sentence having been obtained from umny that could possibly create bitter feel. the docile and priest-ridden magistrates, ing and make mischief among those who Anna van den Hove was brought to Brussurrounded him. Being aware that this sels, and informed that she was at once to propensity was thoroughly understood, he be buried alive. At the same time, the only multiplied fictions, so cunningly min- Jesuits told her, that, by converting herself gled with truths, as to leave his hearers to the Church, she might escape punishquite unable to know what to believe and ment. what to doubt. By such arts, force being “When King Henry IV. was summoned impossible, he hoped one day to sever the to renounce that same Huguenot faith, of band which held the conventicles together, which he was the political embodiment and and to reduce Protestantism to insignifi. the military champion, the candid man ancance. He would have cut off the head of swered by the simple demand to be inD'Aubigné or Duplessis Mornay to gain an structed. When the proper moment came, object, and have not only pardoned but the instruction was accomplished by an caressed and rewarded Biron wlen reeking archbishop with the rapidity of magic. from the conspiracy against his own life Half an hour undid the work of half a lifeand crown, had he been willing to confess time. Thus expeditiously could religious and ask pardon for his stupendous crime. conversion be effected when an earthly He hated vindictive men almost as much as crown was its guerdon. The poor servinghe despised those who were grateful.” maid was less open to conviction. In her

Such a prince as this was not loved by the simple fanaticism she too talked of a crown, French Protestants, yet he was in his pleas- and saw it descending from Heaven on her ant indifference to all religion at least their poor forlorn head as the reward, not of shield from the pitiless picty of Spain. In apostasy, but of steadfastness. She asked fact, his conversion does not seem to have her tormentors how they could expect her afflicted them so much as it did the pedantic to abandon her religion for fear of death. and self-willed old galante on the English She had read her Bible every day, she said, throne, who thereupon frankly scolded him, and had found nothing there of the pope or and thereafter had nothing but treaties of purgatory, masses, invocation of saints, or alliance for him, and very sincere and prac- the absolution of sins except through the tical indifference. We do not quite see the blood of the blessed Redeemer. She interugliness of Henry's act, until the historian fered with no one who thought differently; comes to contrast it with that of a poor she quarrelled with no one's religious beserving-woman in Antwerp, who, a few years lief. She had prayed for enlightenment later, also received instruction in the Ro. from Him, if she were in error, and the mish faith. It seems to us it is in his best result was that she felt strengthened in her manner that Mr. Motley, reminding us of a simplicity, and resolved to do nothing lull in the persecutions, and their revival against her conscience. Rather than add by the Jesuits in 1597, goes on to tell of the this sin to the manifold ones committed by martyrdom of Anna van den Hove. her, she preferred, she said, to die the death. So Anna van den Hove was led, one fine his communications with Elizabeth than midsummer morning, to the hay-field out- did the chivalrous king. No man knew side of Brussels, between two Jesuits, fol. better than he how impossible it was to inlowed by a number of a peculiar kind of vent terms of adulation too gross for her to monks called love-brothers. Those holy accept as spontaneous and natural effusions men goaded her as she went, telling her of the heart. He received the letters from that she was the devil's carrion, and calling the hands of Sir Henry, read them with on her to repent at the last moment, and rapture, heaved a deep sigh, and exclaimed : thus save her life, and escape eternal dam- 'Ah, Mr. Ambassador ! what shall I say to nation beside. But the poor soul had no you? This letter of the queen, my sister, ear for them, and cried out that, like Ste- is full of sweetness and affection. I see phen, she saw the heavens opening, and that she loves me, while that I love her is the angels stooping down to conduct her not to be doubted. Yet your commission far away from the power of the evil one. shows me the contrary, and this proceeds When they came to the hay-field, they found from her ministers. How else can these the pit already dug, and the maid-servant was obliquities stand with her professions of ordered to descend into it. The executioner love? I am forced, as a king, to take a then covered her with earth up to the waist, course which, as Henry, her loving brother, and a last summons was made to her to re- I could never adopt.' nounce her errors. She refused, and then “They then walked out into the park, the earth was piled upon her, and the hang- and the king fell into frivolous discourse, man jumped upon the grave till it was flat- on purpose to keep the envoy from the imtened and firm.

portant subject which had been discussed “Of all the religious murders done in in the cabinet. .... They then met Mathat hideous sixteenth century in the Neth- dame de Monceaux, the beautiful Gabrielle, erlands, the burial of the Antwerp servant- who was invited to join in the walk; the maid was the last and the worst. The king saying that she was no meddler in worst, because it was a cynical and deliber- politics, but of a tractable spirit. .... At ate attempt to revive the demon whose last a shower forced the lady into the house, thirst for blood had been at last allayed, and the king soon afterwards took the amand who had sunk into repose. And it was bassador to his cabinet. "He asked me a spasmodic revival only ; for, in the prov- how I liked his mistress,' wrote Sir Henry inces at least, that demon had finished his to Burghley, and I answered sparingly in work.”

her praise, and told him that, if without ofOf Elizabeth of England Mr. Motley fence I might speak it, I had the picture of does not teach us to think better than of a far more excellent mistress (Elizabeth), Henry. To his selfishness and looseness and yet did her picture come far from the she added inordinate vanity, and diplomacy perfection of her beauty. between them was a kind of flirtation by As you love me,' cried the king, 'show proxy, which is only not in the last degree it me, if you have it about you !' amusing, because it is a little sad to remem- *«I made some difficulty,' continued Sir ber that the happiness and prosperity of Henry, 'yet upon his importunity I offered many millions of people rested in the ca- it to his view very secretly, still holding it in price of these elderly coquettes, who were my hand. He beheld it with passion and really England and France, and who be- admiration, saying that I was in the right.' lieved, with whatever truth was in them, 'I give in,' said the king, ‘Je me rends.' that nations were made to be ruled by such “ Then, protesting that he had never seen as they. Let us see with what dignity and such beauty all his life, he kissed it revseriousness affairs of state could be con- erently twice or thrice, Sir Henry still holdducted by princes when governments were ing the miniature firmly in his hand. untainted by the interference of the mob. * The king then insisted upon seizing the Henry and Elizabeth were meditating a picture, and there was a charming struggle closer alliance against Spain, and "Sir between the two, ending in his Majesty's Harry Umton, ambassador from her Ma- triumph. He then told Sir Henry that he jesty, was accordingly provided with espe- might take his leave of the portrait, for he cial letters on the subject from the queen's would never give it up again for any treas. own hand, and presented them early in the ure, and that to possess the favor of the year at Coucy (Feb. 13, 1596). No man in original he would forsake all the world. the world knew better the tone to adopt in He fell into many more such passionate and incoherent expressions of rhapsody, as of ence and humanity with which Maurice of one suddenly smitten and spell-bound with Nassau fought her battles, in an age when hapless love, bitterly reproaching the am- the maxims of Machiavelli were the highbassador for never having brought him any est political wisdom, and numbers and mas. answers to the many affectionate letters sacre were among the first arts of war. which he had written to the queen, whose Next to Maurice, the most respectable fig. silence had made him so wretched. Sir ure in the contest is that of Spinola, the Henry, perhaps somewhat confounded at military genius who sprang from the money. being beaten at his own fantastic game, an- making aristocracy of Genoa, and to whom swered as well as he could ; * But I found,' the Archdukes of Flanders owed the ruins said he, 'that the dumb picture did draw on of Ostend after a siege of nearly three years, inore speech and affection from him than all and Europe at length owed peace, because my best arguments and eloquence. This he saw that it was aseless for Spain to conwas the effect of our conference, and if in- tinue the war. finiteness of vows and outward professions We have sketched with very hasty strokes be a strong argument of inward affection, some of the men and events no doubt althere is good likelihood of the king's con- ready vividly impressed upon the minds tinuance of amity with her Majesty; only I of many of our readers by the historian fear lest his necessities may inconsiderately himself, and have but hinted the greatness draw him into some hazardous treaty with of the subject and the number of figures Spain, which I hope confidently it is yet portrayed. We cannot hope to indicate in the power of her Majesty to prevent.' the quality of that chapter in which the

“ The king, while performing these apish author sums up all the results of Philip's tricks about the picture of a lady with reign, and presents the nature of the man beady black eyes, a hooked nose, black and his work in the condition to which he teeth, and a red wig, who was now in the had reduced his miserable Spain ; or to do sixty-fourth year of her age, knew very well justice to the pendant of this picture, formed that the whole scene would be at once re- by the concluding chapter of the history, peated to the fair object of his passion by in which the grand results of the war are her faithful envoy."

presented and the well-earned prosperity The impersonal States had no flatteries of the Dutch people is celebrated; still to offer Elizabeth ; she gave them a grudg- less are we able to assemble all the inciing and insolent help, because they were dental touches from which Alexander Farher chief stay against Spain ; but there was nese, Maurice of Nassau, Olden-Barneveld, no time when she would not have aban- the Archdukes, Jeannin (the persecuting doned their cause, could her own safety have old Leaguer who spoke at last such brave been assured otherwise. A few thousand words for toleration), Sully, Cecil, and a Englishmen fought on the side of the Neth- multitude of minor figures, receive a new erlanders, but, after all, their victory was life. mainly wo

won by themselves; and among them Mr. Motley is pre-eminently artistic in only did the virtue of leaders and rulers the treatment of his subject, and, fortuseem equal to that of the people. The nately for his genius, it is one in which the Dutch nobles had a due pride of caste, and intrigues of diplomacy and the operations the Commonwealth was no democracy; but of statesmanship are almost as picturesque its ruling oligarchs were burghers aggran- as the battles and sieges; the motive of the dized by industry and commerce, and the whole is dramatic, and the tragedy is full of great spirit of the time was John of Olden- effective situations, among which it is hard Barneveld, a burgher. Trade was necessa- to choose any as the most skilfully emrily honored in a country which would have ployed. If we name the siege of Ostend been a morass without it, and the diligent as very conspicuous, it is not because we people felt that their interests were secure remember others less distinctly, - in some in the hands of merchants and manufacturers respects it scarcely equals the description risen from among them by their own harder of the great battle of Nieuport. It is a story work, and bound to them by the ties of a to which the reader clings with as feverish dear-bought common faith, and the pres- an interest as if it concerned imaginary ence of a common danger. Olden-Barne- events, and not merely those which involved veld guided the foreign policy of the Re- the life and death of many thousands of men public with a purity of purpose and a sin- of flesh and blood. With excellent art, gleness of dealing equalled only by the sci- only the important incidents are given, while all the bloody and wasting toil and the wild equinoctial storm which had fray of the three years' siege is suggested in held Maurice spell-bound had been raging such sort that the reader does not once for- over land and sea for many days. At every get it. He lives for the time with the Eng- step the unburied skulls of brave soldiers lish and Dutch of the garrison, and the who had died in the cause of freedom Spaniards of the beleaguering camps ; and grinned their welcome to the conquerors. when the garrison marches out at last with Isabella wept at the sight. She had cause the honors of war, and the small fragment to weep. Upon that miserable sandbank of Ostend which has not been actually de- more than a hundred thousand men had voured in the siege is delivered up to the laid down their lives by her decree, in order victors, it is hard for him to believe that he that she and her husband might at last take does not actually look upon the scene which possession of a most barren prize. This the Archdukes behold.

insignificant fragment of a sovereignty which “ The Archduke Albert and the Infanta her wicked old father had presented to her Isabella entered the place in triumph, if on his death-bed.

|-- a sovereignty which he triumph it could be called. It would be had no more moral right or actual power difficult to imagine a more desolate scene. to confer than if it had been in the planet The artillery of the first years of the seven

Saturn - had at last been appropriated, at teenth century was not the terrible enginery the cost of all this misery. It was of no of destruction that it has become in the last great value, although its acquisition had third of the nineteenth ; but a cannonade, caused the expenditure of at least eight continued so steadily and so long, had done millions of forins, divided in nearly equal its work. There were no churches, no proportions between the two belligerents. houses, no redoubts, no bastions, no walls, It was in vain that great immunities were nothing but a vague and confused mass of offered to those who would remain, or who ruin. Spinola conducted his imperial would consent to settle in the foul Golguests along the edge of extinct volcanoes, gotha. The original population left the amid upturned cemeteries, through quag- place in mass. No human creatures were mires which once were moats, over huge left save the wife of a freebooter and her mounds of sand, and vast, shapeless masses paramour, a journeyman blacksmith. This of bricks and masonry which had been unsavory couple, to whom entrance into the forts. He endeavored to point out places purer atmosphere of Zeeland was denied, where mines had been exploded, where thenceforth shared with the carrion crows ravelins had been stormed, where the as- the amenities of Ostend." sailants had been successful and where The destruction of the Spanish fleet off they had been bloodily repulsed. But it Gibraltar by Heemskerk is one of the finest was all loathsome, hideous rubbish. There of the fine battle-pieces in which these volwere no human habitations, no hovels, no umes abound; and it has this advantage of a casemates. The inhabitants had bur- battle-piece on canvas or in romance, that rowed at last in the earth, like the dumb it can rejoice the reader's heart as well as creatures of the swamps and forests. In kindle his fancy. Heemskerk's victory every direction the dikes had burst ; andoverthrew the naval supremacy of Spain, the sullen wash of the liberated waves, and freed the seas from a rule that was bearing hither and thither the floating more terrible than even English and Barwreck of faseines and machinery, of planks bary piracies. Most other effective scenes and building materials, sounded far and in the history have some such superior wide over what should have been dry land. pleasure in their gift ; and we know not The great ship-channel, with the uncon- how any reader, jaded with the fade inquered Half-moon upon one side and the vention of this novel-making age, could betincomplete batteries and platforms of Buc- ter refresh himself than by turning to Mr. quoy on the other, still defiantly opened its Motley's vivid page for the splendid deeds of passage to the sea, and the retiring fleets of which we are every day reaping the benefit the garrison were white in the offing. All in political and religious freedom ; for the around was the gray expanse of stormy Pilgrim fathers sailed from Holland to our ocean, without a cape or a headland to shores; and the liberty that elwelt in the Engbreak its monotony, as the surges rolled lish cities was but a surly and grumbling mournfully in upon a desolation more sort of slavery compared with her whose dreary than their own. The atmosphere home was among the dikes, and wherever the was murky and surcharged with rain, for flag of the United Netherlands was carried.

The history of these states was a very compass, but that at several points in the great and noble theme; and Mr. Motley has scale its adjustments suddenly shift, and done it justice in the volumes which come the next series of tones is produced in a to an end only too soon, because the war different manner, and possesses a different for the Dutch independence lasted no longer quality, from any of those preceding. Evithan a poor fifty years. Happily for the dently, then, every tone has its own adjustreader, there followed the twelve years' ment, or “register,” as it is called in singtruce which closed it a Thirty Years' War, ing, in which it can best and easiest be and upon the history of this Mr. Motley sung, and in which only it ought to be exis now engaged. Let us own to a secret ercised and developed ; and though the ad. hope that he will give us a volume for ev. justment belonging to a lower set of tenes ery year of it.

may, by overstraining, be applied to a higher, yet this violation of the intention of

nature is productive only of evil. The The Voice in Singing. Translated from the tones so forced are of hard and impure

German of EMMA SEILER, by a Member quality, flexibility is impaired, sweetness, of the American Philosophical Society. compass, and expression are lost, and the Philadelphia : J. B. Lippincott & Co. voice itself is at length spoiled or broken

up. All this vocal ruin and destruction are This is a book which all persons inter- now going on under the complete ignorance ested in vocal culture, either for themselves or indifference of the modern singing. or others, should welcome. The tribute teacher to this great fundamental fact of paid to Madam Seiler by two such emi- the natural separation of the registers. nent men of science as Helmholz and Du Garcia's experiments, though they attracted Bois-Reymond is in itself a guaranty of great attention from scientific men, and the scientific value of her work, and we inaugurated a new era in vocal culture, retrust will secure her a wide hearing and a ceived little notice from his own profession. willing discipleship for truths which, taken In this country he has one close follower, simply on their own merits, might in too Carlo Bassini of New York, an Italian, whose many cases be doubted or undervalued. Methods for the Soprano, Baritone, and That the art of singing is now in a state Young Voice respectively are among the of decline, if not altogether decayed, all best we have, and may be well taken up competent critics admit. To believe this, it with the schools of Panseron, Concone, and is only necessary to compare, as Madam Zollner. But neither Garcia nor Bassini Seiler does in her first chapter, the achieve- has thus far attempted more than an elements of the great artists of a century mentary theory of the registers of the voice ; ago with the possibilities of our petted fa- and it remained for Madam Seiler, by exvorites of to-day. But a still more striking periments with the laryngoscope, much proof of the fact that modern singing-teach- longer continued and more successfully ers do not know how to teach singing, ap- performed, to fix more accurately, and it pears in the “lost voices” that we hear be- seems to us finally, the limits and charmoaned on every side, both by professionals acters of the different registers of the voice. and amateurs. Madam Seiler herself was a Instead of two or three, she makes five difvictim to one of the most eminent of these ferent actions of the vocal organ. Her vocal quacks; and, her voice having been theory of the head register in particular entirely ruined while under his instruction, is entirely original, and that of the upper she resolved to try and rediscover the falsetto register is a greater satisfaction to secrets of the old masters of the art, and, us than almost any part of the book, as if possible, to establish scientifically what experience had convinced us that the they had only practised empirically. An falsetto in the woman's voice did not end investigation of the larynx in the act of and the head tones begin where Garcia singing had already been begun by Manuel and Bassini had supposed. Garcia, the most celebrated master now The subject of the registers occupies the living, who studied the interior of the whole of the second chapter of the book. throat by the aid of the laryngoscope. He The third treats of the “Formation of was able to assert by seeing what a trained Sound by the Vocal Organ"; showing, first, and critical ear might infer from hearing, what are the properties of tone, as estabthat the vocal organ is not a fixed tube which lished by scientific investigation. Madam acts in the same manner throughout its whole Seiler derives from this what constitutes a

« PreviousContinue »