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ART. XIII. Indische Bibliothek. Von A. W. Schlegel. Vol. 2. Hefte, 1, 2, 3. Bonn. Black & Young: London. 1826.

FROM the time that had elapsed since the appearance of the first volume of this work, we had begun to fear that its able and estimable author had discontinued his labours. We greet the appearance of these three parts of the second volume, which, together with the noble Bhagavat Geeta (published with a Latin translation and notes), give a sufficient assurance to the friends of oriental literature, that Schlegel has not abandoned the study of the finest and most philosophical language that, we believe, the world ever possessed.

There is something really overwhelming in the contemplation of the quantity of knowledge possessed by such a man as A. W. Schlegel. What days and years of incessant application must have been devoted to the acquisition! All parts of the ancient and modern world, their history, their constitutions, their literature, their modes of thought, seem as familiar to him as those of his native country. His admirable lectures on the Drama, are known and esteemed by all Europe. He has presented Germany with a translation of the greater part of Shakspeare, that may almost vie with the original ; he has invested, in Teutonic attire, the lively and brilliant muse of Calderon, Dante, Petrarca; the classic poets have, at various times, engaged him; and such are the powers and flexibility of the German language, that it enables him to rival the Spanish assonnance, the Italian terza and ottava rima, and the various measures of classical verse; in short, to give a faithful copy—a cast of the original. The present work is solely devoted to subjects connected with Indian literature. The portion of it which we are now noticing, contains a variety of interesting matter, such as W. Humboldt's remarks on the critique, by Langlais, in the Journal Asiatique, on our author's edition of the Bhagavat-Geeta, to which remarks Schlegel makes many valuable additions; a continuation of that collection of curious disquisitions, called the Indian Sphynx (that on Scipio Nasica is very worthy of attention), some translations and letters relating to the general subject. We shall confine ourselves to that portion of the work, which exhibits a view of the present state of our knowledge of the Indian drama. It appears in the shape of Additions by M. Schlegel, to a communication of the names and subjects of some plays, made to him by Mr. Wilson, of Calcutta.

About forty years ago, a passage in the Lettres Edifiantes, led that accomplished scholar, Sir W. Jones, to the discovery of the fact, that India was possessed of a drama. He immediately applied himself with ardour to the pursuit of it, and, at length, presented Europe, to its amazement, with the Sacontala of Calidasas, a piece which, if nothing else had come to our knowledge, would have sufficed to inspire us with the highest respect for Indian genius, and to shew the erroneousness of the European idea of oriental poetry.

When Sir William consulted the literati of India on the subject, they all concurred in their assertion of the great wealth and high antiquity of their drama. Of the truth of the first part of the assertion, there is but little doubt; and Mr. Schlegel thinks there is a strong presumption for that of the latter, in the circumstance of the formation of a peculiar theatrical language in the Sanskrit, which may be seen in many articles in Wilson's Dictionary. Nay, Mr. Wilson mentions, in another place, that the Indian theorists distinguished no less than two-and-thirty different kinds of dramas.

One of the pieces in the list given by Mr. Wilson, appears to be of some consequence for ascertaining the antiquity of the Indian theatre. It is a comedy, full of lively action and of character, called the "Clay-cart," written in a simple and antique style, and attributed to the pen of Sudrakas, king of the country once called Ougein, whom the chronology of the Hindoos, and Col. Wilford, place about the year 191 before Christ. The want of a translation of this piece, and still more of the original, prevents Mr. Schlegel from being able to decide, whether it is the first attempt in an entirely new art, or whether it supposes earlier models; for, even though there should be no more ancient drama existing, it, by no means, follows that there were none such. If king Sudrakas was really the first dramatic poet of India, their theatre is not quite three centuries younger than that of Greece, the oldest that we are yet acquainted with. The subjects of the Indian dramas are either taken from mythology, like Sacontala, the story of which is an episode in the Maha Bharata; or founded on historical anecdotes; or from invention, or finally, scenes from common life. The inquiries of Mr. Schlegel have made out the titles of about twenty plays, some of the principal of which are as follows:-of the first class are, Sacontala; The amorous sports of Crishna, of which the subject is the same as that of the lyrical poem; Govinda Geeta, or the story of the loves of Crishna, when living among the shepherdesses, and of the fair Radha; The Anarghya-Raghava, or the history of Rama, in seven acts, according to the division of the heroic poem into seven books; The Later Destinies of Rama; The separation of Rama from Sita, and their reunion after the termination of the war of Lanka (Ceylon), and the overthrow of Ravenas. Of the second class, the principal is, The Seal of Rakshasas (the minister of Nandas, who was murdered by Chendraguptas), and the subject is the reconciliation brought about between them, by Chanakyes, the guardian of the latter, in which, by his political artifices, he overcomes the repugnance of Rakshasas. The play is described as abounding in powerful delineations of character, and poetical beauties. This piece is closely connected with another, called The Coronation of Chandras; and it is curious to observe, that the Indian dramatists practised, like the Greek and English, the art of continuing an action through several plays. In the third class, we find the Malati and Madhevas, the subject of which is

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Litta's Gallery of illustrious Italian Families.

a kind of fairy tale; and Vikramas and Urvasi, of Calidasas, or the amours of king Pururavas and the celestial dancer Urvasi. The lovers are greatly inconvenienced by the natural jealousy of the queen, but, at length, all ends happily. It is full of poetic beauties, but inferior in tenderness and naïveté to Sacontala. In the last class are, the Clay-cart, already mentioned, and the Ratnavali, a very pleasing comedy, attributed to Hersha-Devas, king of Cashmere, who reigned in the 11th century. It is, in subject, so very like the Vikramas and Urvasi, that the king, or rather the poet Dhavalas, who is said to have sold his talents to the monarch, might be very easily convicted of plagiarism. It has, however, one great merit,-it may be regarded as a faithful picture of the manners of the courts and princes of India. The subject is the love of Vatsas king of Kausamdi, for Ratnavali, one of the attendants of the queen; the lady turns out, in the end, to be a princess of Ceylon, who had suffered shipwreck on a voyage to the continent, whither she was proceeding to be the king's second wife. So, of course, matters are accommodated to the satisfaction of all parties.

This slight sketch will probably suffice to make many persons anxious for some more of these dramas than we at present possess, and we are happy to find, that some are, and all will, probably, soon be translated at Calcutta.

Whoever looks into the Indische Bibliothek, will, we can assure him, find a great deal more to interest him than we have been able to notice; and we sincerely hope that the efforts of Schlegel will be long directed that way, for few subjects are more important or more interesting.

NOTICES.

ART. XIV. Famiglie celebri Italiane, del Conte Pompeo Litta, fol. con rami. Milano. 1820-26. Nos. I-XV.

THIS splendid work, unique, we believe, of its kind, is not merely a chronicle of heraldry; it is an historical and biographical gallery of the illustrious families that have figured in the fasti of modern Italy. Each number contains the account of one or two families complete, and forms, thereby, a separate work of itself, illustrated by several finely executed engravings, exhibiting portraits from the best authenticated originals of the most distinguished individuals of each respective house, drawings of the monuments, statues, &c., erected to their memory, of their armours, costumes, and escutcheons. Many of the plates are neatly and tastefully coloured. Neither labour nor expense has been spared in the execution of either text or engravings. The first numbers we have seen, contain the following families:-Sforza of Romagna, Eccelino of Trivigi, Sanvitali of Parma, Simonetta of Calabria, Gallio of Como, Triulzio of Milan, Cesarini of Rome, Peretti of Montalto, Trinci of Foligno, Cavaniglia of Naples, Giovio of Coma, Della Scala of Verona.

Litta's Gallery of illustrious Italian Families.

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The names of the great Italian families of the middle ages are not confined to the annals of the Peninsula, many of them belong to universal history. The sovereignty which they exercised for centuries over wealthy and flourishing states; their wars, alliances and intermarriages with the principal European dynasties; the individuals, illustrious in arms, in politics, in letters, whom they numbered among their members; the patronage they afforded to the arts; their talents, their virtues, and even their crimes, -all have stamped for ever, in the pages of the history of Europe, the names of the Visconti, Sforza, Della Scala, Este, Gonzaga, Farnese, Media', Colonna, Orsini, and fifty more, of which Italy is justly proud. The singular dignity of the papal tiara has also shed its lustre over a number of Italian families, and conferred upon their representatives, for ages after, a rank, next to that of princes of the blood--a rank which was supported by the then proud splendour of the Roman purple. But these latter adventitious honours, bestowed on the Italian aristocracy in the times of its real decay, are now fast falling, and will, perhaps, be soon obliterated; not so, however, the memory of the ancient founders of the sovereign families of the middle ages-of those men of iron courage, of bold enterprize, of eagle quick-sightedness, of regal magnificence, and of proud state, whose honours and power were acquired by themselves, and through their own deeds; who fought and conquered, and ruled and felt, the primates of their race, and of their time; their memory will long survive the loss of power, of wealth, and of influence, and even the extinction of their proud lineage and fair name.

To retrace the origin-to record the rise and progress of these familiesto bring them forth, as it were, from their marble monuments, and from the dusty scrolls of libraries, and exhibit thus the whole Italian patrician order in proud array,-this has been the object of Count Litta's work; and he has undertaken it with a spirit, and persevered in it, with a zeal, a correctness and a taste, that reflect on him the highest credit. He is well qualified for his task, not only by being, himself, a member of that aristocracy whose genealogies he is thus illustrating, but also, and still more, by the qualities of the mind, which distinguish him, in common with other members of his family. His is not a work of fulsome flattery, or of patrician vanity; he records with the impartiality of a conscientious historian, both virtue and guilt, and bestows both praise and blame upon the subjects of his biography, according to their deserts.

Count Litta is a middle aged man, and, supposing his faculties to accompany him to a most advanced period, he may still achieve a most splendid gallery of Italian great names. We understand he is bent upon persevering, in his laborious and expensive undertaking, in which he has met, at first, we fear, but very limited encouragement. At the end of three years after the appearance of the first number, he had not one hundred subscribers in all Italy! We hope, however, now that the work has had full time to become known, that the pride, vanity, and patriotism, or family affection, of the numerous patrician families which abound in every Italian state, will be excited in favour of this truly national undertaking. Even in other countries, it becomes an object of curiosity and interest, and will prove a desirable addition to any valuable library. Those who may feel interest for some particular family only, will be able to provide themselves with its particular biography, as every number is sold separately.

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ART. XV. Lorenz Stark, a Characteristic Picture of a German Family. By J. J. Engel. Translated from the German, by J. Gans. 2 vols. 12mo, 12s. London: Treuttel & Würtz. 1826.

THE prevailing vice, or, as some will have it, the most usual attraction of German tales, consists in mystery and in situations, calculated to strike the mind with horror. There are seasons when we can enjoy such stories as well as others; for example, when tired of the barley-water sort of poetry which threatens to deluge the warehouses of most of our present publishers; or after a dose of such opiates as abound in most of our modern novels. Then it is that we feel the spirit-stirring power of the German muse; with an awful gladness we follow her through the deep ravines and ruined castles, and over the wild and stormy mountains, which she loves to frequent; but at the same time we take good care to attend her, only, in imagination, and to see that all the doors and windows around us are secured, lest she should think fit to serve us in person with a writ of Habeas Corpus, returnable in the Black Forest.

On opening the volumes before us, we own we expected to meet her once more in all her glory, but we were much surprised, and so perhaps will be the reader, to find that there is not a ghost, a robber, nor even a drop of blood shed, from the beginning to the end of this tale. It is quite a novelty in the literature of Germany, for it presents a simple and expressive view of every day life in that country, without any of the sentimentality of Kotzebue or the theatrical exaggeration of Pichler. We do not mean to say that it is a perfect work; far from it. The story is feebly told, and the conversations, which abound in it, are stiff and very often dull. Nevertheless, it affords a very intelligible, and, we doubt not, a characteristic picture of a German family; and it is most probably the precursor of other productions, which will be founded on it, as a model, and, at the same time, excel it in execution.

The family, chiefly pourtrayed in it, is that of Lorenz Stark, a merchant of Hamburgh; a wealthy, but a singular and yet excellent old man; habituated to regulate all his movements upon his calculations of loss and gain, but not destitute of generosity and kindness, when a proper opportunity calls upon him for the exercise of those feelings. His only son, of the same name, inherits all the better nature of his father; but he has a great aversion from business, and disdains to calculate, when his feelings are touched. The story turns upon this difference of character between the father and son. The latter becomes attached to a widow, almost of "a certain age," not rich, and surrounded by three or four children. The matter remains a mystery to the father, for some time, who being unable to divine the reasons of his son's frequent absence from home, suspects that his engagements are of an improper description. Disputes arise, and a separation takes place between them. Some relations however interfere; the attachment is declared, and opposed by the old merchant, at first, upon grounds of prudence. The usual representations are made to him, of the happiness of his son being endangered, of the virtues of the lady being a fortune in themselves; but the argument that has most weight with him is the real generosity of principle upon which his son is shewn to have acted throughout the whole affair. The result is, of course, the union of

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