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devil and a scholar is quite contemptible. The scene which follows in the public-house in Leipzig is as bad, and not superior to the carousals in any ordinary melo-drama: compared with the same sort in Marlowe's tragedy it is truly despicable. Here is one of the devil's songs.”
“ Upon a time there lived a king,
This king he had a flea,
That like his son was he.
The tailor to him goes,
And measure him for hose.
“ In satin and in laces,
Straitway this flea was drest.;
And a cross upon his breast..
With a star his coat to grace,
A pension or a place.
“ He set the ladies scoffing,
The lords were sore distress'd;
Could neither eat nor rest;
And crush the flea outright;
To crush one if he bite.
* * *
Jolly companions every one !" - The witch's kitchen is also a grotesque absurdity, to which the author has been indebted to some picture of the temptations of St Anthony. I shall only amuse you with this “horror” by the stagedirections."
“ A great caldron is boiling on a fire, which is seen blaz
ing on a low hearth. In the smoke that rises from it various figures are ascending. A meerkatze (an animal between a cat and a monkey) sits by the caldron, skimming it so that it may not boil over. The male, with his family, is warming himself. The walls and roof are hung round with all the strange and fantastic appa
ratus of witchcraft.” : “ The interlocutors in the scene are worthy of this. The monkey-cats sing a trio, and he that was skimming the pot rubs fondly up against Mephistopheles and sings a solo. This, according to German taste, is sublime—a high fancy of German genius. The whole trash is a sad caricature of the incantation in Macbeth. The proper business of the drama, however, now commences. Neither the sublime nor the horrible belong to Goethe ; his forte is the pathetic, and with the entrance of Margaret, the true spirit of his genius descends into his pen; but the manner in which he accomplishes the seduction of that pretty and simple maiden is vile. He puts jewels in her box, for no other purpose, it would seem, than to draw forth an anathema on the greed of the priesthood—a crafty monk having contrived to possess himself of the jewels. He thus represents Margaret so sweet,--so gentle and confiding, -as really a mercenary wench. The whole idea of her seduction is poorly conceived, and executed in poverty. Even the simplicity with which she is made to poison her mother is without any effect. But the account of her antipathy to Mephistopheles is beautifully written.”
Yet furious in his very sneers.
I feel so blest, so free from harm-
I feel, whene'er he joins us on our way,
As if I could not raise my voice to pray.
“ The idea of Margaret placing flowers before the image of the Mater Dolorosa is delicately conceived, and the explanation given of the reason which led her to do this is also finely insinuated in the sorrow of her brother.”
: VALENTINE. , .
Each to his mind—I gainsay none
She is the queen of all her race !'
Who slinks this way ?—who passes there?
“ A very noble scene is that also in which Margaret is described in the cathedral taunted by an evil spi- . rit. But the triumph of the author is the catastrophe, in which, after Margaret has been seized and condemned for the murder of her child, Faust goes to deliver her. I said that the horrible was beyond the powers of Goethe; but he has, in this exquisite passage, attained to something more rare and worthier of imitation, and which, for want of a better term, I would call the pathetic of horror.”
FAUST. “ Strength to my limbs my fainting soul denies,
Sick with the sense of man's collected wo;