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knew too little, and Frenchmen who may have known too much. Winter's Tale gave Bohemia a seacoast and centuries of critics a chance to say its author nodded. Yet under the puissant Ottokar the country did have coasts on both the north and south of Europe. The scene of the play is near the head of the Adriatic. The Bohemia it pictures, instead of lying inland, is probably the maritime province of Istria, and historically the background is correctly named.
From Winter's Tale the Bohemians of the studio and pothouse got themselves a coast, a glamour, and their First Citizen. “Places remote enough are in Bohemia,” the poet says. Here again is shepherd's love, and a prince whose courtship of a “queen of curds and cream” is timed by the flowers as they pass -“daffodils that come before the swallow dares, and take the winds of March with beauty,” and violets dim, pale primroses, bold ox-lips and the flower de luce. “The fanned snow that's bolted by the northern blasts” is far away.
On this scene of Arkady enters a figure in no wise Arcadian -Autolycus, earliest Bohemian, citizen of no country and of all. He is a vagabond, a minstrel, a ballad-monger, a ribbon peddler, a cut-purse. His is the footpath way, and his revenue, he explains, is the silly cheat. “Enter Autolycus singing" is the stage direction. Exit Autolycus also, singing, “A merry heart goes all the day, your sad tires in a mile-a.”
Here is a blood-brother of Villon, and Bohemia is already a province of his song. It becomes a kingdom with the coming of the gypsies. Mediæval France called them Bohemians, and thought them such, as other countries thought them Egyptians. The roadside was their home, the world was their country, they paid no taxes or rents, and report had it that they had written the canons of their creed on cabbage leaves which a donkey found and devoured. They practiced the wandering arts, were musicians, metal-workers, horse-dealers, bear-leaders, snakecharmers, herb-venders; their women read palms, and were "pleasaunt dauncers.”
The gypsy philosophy found its first devotees in rogues of old Paris, who called themselves dukes in Bohemia; Hugo has sketched their lawless commonwealth in his Notre Dame. The Bohemia of artists and dreamers, like many a country of the map, had ruffians, cheats, and vagrants for its early colonists. It was left to Murger to fix its frontiers, write its laws, and treat for its admission into the league of ideal lands. The results are spread at large in his Scenes de la Vie de Bohème.
Much has been written of the whereabouts of this land and of the conditions by which one becomes a citizen, but the matter is found entire in Murger's preface and in Arthur Symons's introduction to this preface. “Any man,” says Murger, “who enters the path of Art, with his art as his sole means of support, is bound to pass by way of Bohemia.” To Symons, Bohemia is “the sentiment youth has of itself at the flowering moment of its existence”; the sadness of it is the consciousness of the flight of youth.
The whereabouts of the country that has been mapped as neighbor both to Germany and Italy? Murger answers that Bohemia “neither exists nor can exist anywhere save in Paris.” But that is only Murger's answer.
Chapter XVII. Islands of Enchantment
“The thirteenth day of May we passed by the Island of Paris, and the Island of the bankes of Helicon, and the Island called Ditter, where are many boares and the women bee witches.” This glimpse of Mediterranean travel from one of the sixteenthcentury wanderers whose voyages are recorded in Hakluyt might be paralleled from the outer Atlantic, the Caribbean, the Indian Ocean, or the South Seas. In the Arabian Nights, for example, Sayf Al-Muluk and his companions came in turn to the isle of the old men of the sea; to the isle of ghouls who sleep under cover of their ears; to the isle of gigantic blackamoors with protruding eyeteeth; and to the isle of trained apes “bigger than he-mules.”
Such folk seem at home in the wilderness of waters. These distant spaces of the sea are little worlds of their own which imagination feels free to dower with peculiar institutions and stock with peculiar peoples. In islands of reality or fantasy men place their ideal states, their pirate realms, their abodes of exile, their refuges from the restraints and traditions of lifethe sanctuaries of pursuits and companionships other than those of which they have tired. In them, also, they place the regions of
repose; to reach felicity one must cross water.
On journeys thither one might sight the shores of the folk of prodigy. There were islands of men, and islands of women, and islands of hermits, and islands of witches, and islands of satyrs, and islands of giants, and islands of dwarfs, and islands of dog-headed, ox-worshiping cannibals. The impulse thus to set aside a maritime domicile for the nondescript nations was strongest with Arab geographers and Celtic story-tellers. It culminates in the romancing narrative of Maundeville, who dotted the eastern seas with the archipelagoes of his fancy and settled them with the creatures of fable. When the spell of terror woven in classic times began to lift from the Atlantic, its islands swam into sight as to the strains of harp music. They appeared to belong equally to geography and to poetry. Of Madeira, the discovery of which is associ. ated with the romance of fugitive English lovers, an old writer declared that such a delightful land “could only have been discovered by love.” For reasons as yet unexplained, nearly all the newly found islands of the eastern Atlantic bore the names of animals or birds. About them, Sir John Hawkins wrote, "are certaine flitting Ilands which have been oftentimes seene, and when men approched neere them, they vanished.” The older maps show one such island which was called St. Brendan's. It is a memory of the Irish sea epics, and the latter are themselves a review of the entire island story.
In these five wander-tales the empty spaces of the Atlantic are filled in with islands which were loaned to the Irish by Homer from the Odyssey and Plato from his Atlantis; by the Greek, Lucian, from his Rabelaisian True History; by the Roman, Seneca, with his vision of a continent in the west; by him who saw the Sea of Glass from the rock of Patmos; by Arab story. tellers, and by early Moorish and Spanish chroniclers from their narratives of the shadowy Antillia, the Isle of the Seven Bishops, and the legendary journey of the Deluded Folk. Celtic fancy passed a wand over this jumble of material, and a strange new world appeared. Headlands of snow and ice and islands of perpetual summer were within a day's sail of one another, pagan fables and monkish marvels were domiciled together, there was much mist and much sunshine, and around all was "the mighty and intolerable ocean” which St. Brendan saw at Sliabh Daidche.
Tennyson has set one of these tales, The Voyage of Mældune, to his own music. It was a journey of revenge a chieftain made with his men to slay the man who has slain his father. They came to the Silent Isle, where their voices were thinner and fainter than any flittermouse shriek; to the Isle of Shouting where wild birds cried from its summit till the steer fell down at the plow and the harvest died in the field; to the Isle of Flowers where were blossom and promise of blossom and never a fruit; to the Isle of Fruits, and in every berry and fruit the poisonous pleasure of wine; to the Isle of Fire, which shuddered and shook like a man in a mortal affright; to the Bounteous Isle, where the men began to be weary, to sigh and to stretch and yawn; to the Isle of Witches, naked as heaven, who bosomed the burst of the spray; to the Isle of the Double Towers, that shocked on each other and butted each other with clashing of bells; and to the Isle of a Saint, who told the men, “Go back to the Isle of Finn, and suffer the past to be past.”
This narrative may stand with variations for all of the Irish sea tales. Under the sway of some overmastering motive the hero puts forth upon the deep-for revenge, or to save a comrade condemned, or to seek a woman, or to reach the Land of Promise, or to find the Lord upon the sea. The voyagers pass from island to island. Complaisant Circes greet them from one shore and indignant female virtue repels them from another. They come to the isle called the Delicious, to the Isle of Sheep, to the Isle of Laughter, to the Moving Isle which was a whale's back, to the isle which is the mouth of hell. They see demons racing their horses on a magic course, and red-hot swine issuing from caves, and stinging cats, and Judas on his rock, and ants the size of foals. A griffin assaults them, the Cyclopes threaten them, birds sing psalms to them. Repentant, or triumphant, or prophetic, or stricken in years, they come back at last to an Ireland that has forgotten them.
Who fares on from island to island with these Celtic dreamers may visit the whole realm of fable. The Sunken Lands
Gazing into the ocean depths in warm latitudes one sees the fronds of tall aquatic plants sway slightly as if a slow breeze stirred them. Walls of coral rise there with a wavering semblance to palaces. The purple mullet swims in and out of sunken grottos. Such sunlight as reaches them is subdued to softness, like that admitted by cathedral windows when it is late afternoon. These seem to be groves and gardens and habitations under the sea. Beings like one's fellow mortals, but more beautiful and gentle, might live there and rove in the dim peace of meadows beneath the foam and tumult of the reefs.
Such thoughts come without bidding. Always men have sought the land of heart's desire, and sometimes they told them