« PreviousContinue »
WORDS ARE WIND.
And, overmore, I will me 'quit,“
dreaming, unless I take back something solid to conOf gold that I the mantle took :
vince them that I have been in a land of realities." Gold in his kind, as saith the book,
Whilst he was thus soliloquizing, he cast his eyes Is heavy both, and cold also; And for that it was heavy so,
upon a table covered with golden cups. He put Methought it was no garn-e-ment
forth his hand and took a goblet, but had no sooner Unto the god convenient,
placed it in his bos than the rcher struck the To clothen him the summer tide :
carbuncle with his arrow, and shivered it into a I thought upon that other side,
thousand fragments. The whole building instantly Hlow gold is cold, and such a cloth
was filled with Egyptian darkness, and the hapless By reason ought-e to be lothe
clerk sought in vain for some mode of egress. In winter tim-e for the chiel. And thus thinking thought-es fele,
After having long wandered in the gloom of its As I mine eye about-e cast,
labyrinthine passages, he died a wretched death. His larg-e beard-e then at last I saw; and thought anon therefore How that his father him before,
Shakspeare, as we have hinted above, was a Which stood upon the sam-e place,
great filcher from the Gesta, but we have only Was beardless, with a youngly face. And in such wise, as ye have heard,
room here to give the original of his King Lear, I took away the son-nes beard,
with a few other selections illustrating detached For that his father had-e none,
portions of his plays. To make him like ; and hereupon
The wise Emperor Theodosius had three daughI ask for to be excused."
ters. Wishing to discover which of them loved Confessio Amantis.
| him best, he said to the first, “ How much do you The poem from which we have made this long love me?" “ More than myself,” was the reply. extract is indebted to the Gesta in many other Pleased with her affection, he gave her in marplaces, but we must hasten on to a legend which riage to a mighty king. Then he caine to the Spenser has worked into the second book of the second, and asked her how much she loved him? Faërie Quecne. Our readers will readily recog- “As much as I do myself," she answered. The nize, in the following tale, Sir Guyon's temptation emperor married her to a duke. Afterwards, he in the “ House of Richesse.”
inquired of his third daughter, “And how much
do you love me?" “As much as you deserve, and MEMENTO MORI. no more," was her somewhat pert response.
Her In the city of Rome stood an image, on the father thought an earl was good enough for her. middle finger of the right-hand of which was some time after this the emperor was beaten in traced, “ Strike here!” Many wondered what battle by the King of Egypt, and driven from the the inscription meant, but no one had discovered land he had long ruled so wisely. In his distress its signification, when a learned clerk, hearing of he naturally thought of his affectionate first-born : the image, came to examine it. He, noticing the and, writing an epistle to her with his own hand, shadow that the sunlight made it cast, took a entreated her, in most pathetic words, to succor spade and began to dig where the shade of the him. Her husband was willing to assist his finger fell. He soon came upon a flight of stairs, father-in-law to the utmost of his power ; but the which led down into a cave. Descending these unnatural daughter declared, that five knights only steps, he entered the hall of a princely palace, should be sent him, to remain with him until he in which there were a number of men seated at could regain his crown. Theodosius was heavy table. They were all attired in the most costly of heart when he saw but five horsemen riding fabrics of the loom, but not a sound escaped their towards him, instead of the countless spears that lips. In one corner of the apartment he observed he had hoped soon to see bristling on the horizon ; a bright carbuncle, gleaming like a little sun. but he concealed his emotion, and wrote off for aid Opposite, and aiming at it, stood an archer, on to his second daughter. She was willing to find whose brow was written, “I am what I am ; my him food and clothing fitting for his rank, during arrow is inevitable ; yon stone of light cannot the continuance of his misfortune ; but would not escape its stroke.” The clerk, amazed at what he suffer her “ doughty duke" to lead an army into saw, entered the bedchamber, where he found the field in his behalf. The emperor, almost in lovely ladies clad in purple, but all as silent as the despair, applied, last of all, to his third daughter; grave. He next went to the stables, and admired and she, shedding full floods of tears when she The magnificent horses tethered in their stalls ; he heard of her father's melancholy circumstances, touched them—they were stone! He visited in prevailed upon her lord to raise a valiant host, by succession every building in this strange domain, means of which Theodosius was quickly enabled and having feasted his eyes on all their various to resume the imperial purple. Grieved that he riches, returned to the hall, purposing to effect a had given her credit for so little affection, when, precipitate retreat, for a feeling of awe began to as he had found, it was the ruling passion of her creep over him. “I have seen wonders to-day,” heart, he willed his sceptre to his loving child. said he to himself; “but should I tell them to
We shall now endeavor to prove that the Swan my friends, they will all say that I have been of Avon could occasionally condescend to assume Acquit. Garment. c Time. d Warm.
the character of a mocking-bird in thoughts as well as plots, by giving a brace or two of what we mighty willed that he should not be lost, and an think our readers will admit to be very parallel angel, in the form of man, was sent to bear him passages :
company. Having made each other's acquaintance, The mercy of a king is like refreshing dew, they walked on together towards a crowded city. gently falling on the summer grass.—The Three They entered it at night-fall, and entreated shelter Monarchs.
at the house of a most noble captain. He took The quality of mercy is not strained :
them in, gave them a sumptuous supper, and then It droppeth, as the gentle rain from heaven, conducted them to a bed-chamber decorated in the Upon the place beneath.—Merchant of Venice. highest style of art. In the middle of the night
He is like a hanging apple. The surface is fair, the angel rose, and, going stealthily to an adjoinbut there is a wasting worm at work within ; and ing apartment, strangled their entertainer's only it soon falls to the ground, rotten at the core.- child, who was sleeping in his cradle there. The Human Life.
hermit was horror-struck, but durst not reprove his An evil soul, producing holy witness, murderous companion, who, though in human Is like a villain with a smiling cheek ;
form, exercised over him the influence of a superior A goodly apple, rotten at the heart. Merchant of Venice.
being. In the morning they arose, and went on to
another city, where they were hospitably treated The prince who is gentle as a lamb in war, but by one of the principal inhabitants. This person fierce as a tiger in peace, is unworthy of regard.
possessed, and greatly prized, a massive golden In peace, there's nothing so becomes a man
cup: in the night the angel stole it. Again the As modest stillness and humility :
hermit held his peace through fear. On the morBut when the blast of war blows in our ears, row they continued their journey, and having met Then imitate the action of the tiger.—IIenry V. a pilgrim on a bridge, the angel requested him to
In the Game of Shaci, the subjoined abomina- become their guide. He consented, but had not ble libel on woman occurs :- Casta est quam nemo gone many yards with them, before the angel seized rogavit. We are aware that we ought to beg him by the shoulders, and hurled him into the
stream below. The hermit now came to the conpardon of the ladies for echoing such a slur on the softer sex, even in Latin ; but if any of our
clusion that his companion was the devil, and longed fair readers should feel inclined to take umbrage
for an opportunity of leaving him secretly. As at it, we hope they will permit us to remind them the vesper bell was ringing they reached a third that it is the silly slander of a melancholy old city, and again sought shelter ; but the burgess to monk, who, being moped to death by his single whom they applied was a churl, and would not wretchedness, maligned—like the fox in the fable admit them into his house. He said, however,
-what he could not obtain. Congreve, in Love that if they liked, they might sleep in his pigsty. for Love, adopts the saying we have quoted, but Not being able to procure a better lodging, they makes man come in for a share of his satire :
did so; and in the morning their surly host re
ceived as his remuneration the purloined goblet. A nymph and a swain to Apollo once prayed ; The swain had been jilted, the nymph been be- and told him they must part.
The hermit now thought the angel was a madınan, trayed ; Their intent was to try if his oracle knew
“ Not until I have explained my conduct,” said Eer a nymph that was chaste, or a swain that was the angel. “ Listen, and then go thy way. I have
been sent to unfold to thee the mysteries of ProviApollo was mute, and had like to 've been posed,
dence. When thou wast in thine hermitage, the But sagely at length he this secret disclosed : owner of a flock unjustly put his slave to death, He alone won't betray in whom none will confide ; and by so doing moved thy wrath ; but the shepAnd the nymph may be chaste, that has never been herd, being the victim of ignorance and precipitate tried !
anger, will enjoy eternal bliss, whilst the master No one needs to be told of what elegant poem will not enter heaven until he has been tormented the following story is the groundwork :
| by remorse on earth, and purified by fire in pur
gatory. I strangled the child of our first host, HIS WAYS ARE NOT as our ways.” because, before his son's birth, he performed many Once upon a time there lived a hermit, who in a works of mercy, but afterwards grew covetous in solitary cell passed night and day in the service order to enrich his heir. God, in His love, is of his God. Not far from his retreat a humble sometimes forced to chasten, and beneath the tears shepherd tended his flock. Happening one day of the sorrowing parent his piety will spring again. to fall into a deep slumber, a robber carried off his I stole the cup of our second host, because, when sheep. The owner of them, turning a deaf ear to the wine smiled brightly in it, it tempted him to the excuses of his servant, ordered him to be put sin. I cast the pilgrim into the water, because to death for his negligence-a proceeding which God willed to reward his former faith with evergave great offence to the hermit. “Oh, Heaven !" lasting happiness, but knew that, if he lingered any he exclaimed, “ the innocent suffers for the guilty, longer here below, he would be guilty of a mortal and yet is unavenged by God! I will quit His sin. And, lastly, I repaid the niggard hospitality service, and enter the giddy world once more." of our third host with such a bounteous boon, to He accordingly left his hermitage ; but the Al-teach him for the future to be more generous.
Henceforth, therefore, put a seal upon thy pre- the mighty God, O, help me in my need !” When sumptuous lips, and condemn not the All-wise in the bird heard this, she flew forth from his bosom, thy mole-eyed folly.” The hermit, hearing this, and after having remained away from him for three fell at the angel's feet, and pleaded earnestly for days returned, bringing in her mouth a precious pardon. He received it, and returned to his her- stone. Having dropped it in his hand, she again mitage, where he lived for many years, a pattern took flight. The knight wondered at the strange of humility and faith, and at length sweetly fell conduct of his songster, but happening to touch his asleep in Christ.
fetters with the stone that she had given him, they The next of our eclogæ has been moulded by instantly fell off. He then arose, and touched the the plastic hand of genins into many forms. Per- doors of his prison : they opened. He rushed haps the best known of these is the ballad of Beth- forth into the fresh, free air, and ran rapidly toGêlert, in which Mr. Spencer has told the legend, wards the emperor's palace. Here he was joyas localized in Wales, in a very touching manner. fully received, and his innocence being satisfactorily
established, his persecutor was sentenced to perIL FAUT QUELQUEFOIS TENIR LA MAIN.
petual banishment. The knight Folliculus was exceedingly fond of This pretty little tale very probably suggested his infant son, and also of his falcon and his hound. those beautiful lines in the Prisoner of Chillon :It happened one day that he went out to a tourna
A light broke in upon my brain,ment, to which, without his knowledge, his wife
It was the carol of a bird ; and servants too went afterwards, leaving the babe It ceased, and then it came again, in his cot, the greyhound lying in the rushes un- The sweetest song ear ever heard, derneath it, and the falcon on his perch above. A
And mine was thankful till my eyes serpent that lived in a hole near the castle of Fol- Ran over with the glad surprise, liculus, thinking from the unusual silence that it
And they that moment could not see
I was the mate of misery : must be deserted, crept out of its retreat and en
But then by dull degrees came back tered the hold, hoping to find some food. Seeing
My senses to their wonted track, the child it would have devoured him, had not the I saw the dungeon walls and floor falcon fluttered its wings until it awoke the dog, Close slowly round me as before, which, after a desperate conflict, killed the wily I saw the glimmer of the sun intruder, and then, almost fainting through loss of Creeping as it before had done, blood, lay down at the foot of the cradle, that in
But through the crevice where it came
That bird was perched, as fond and tame, the mêlée had been overthrown. The knight, on
And tamer than upon the tree; his return home, seeing the jaws of his greyhound
A lovely bird with azure wings, red with gore, and not being able at first to find
And song that said a thousand things, his child, thought that the dog had destroyed him ; And seemed to say them all for me! and, frantic with fury, plunged his sword into its I never saw its like before, faithful heart. Then, hearing a cry, he lifted up
I ne'er shall see its likeness more:
It seemed like me to want a mate, the cradle-coverlet, and saw his rosy boy just wak
But was not half so desolate, ing from a happy dream, whilst the huge coils of
And it was come to love me when the dead serpent showed the peril he had so nar- None lived to love me so again, rowly escaped, and the injustice that his father had
And cheering from my dungeon's brink, so hastily committed. The knight, detesting him- Had brought me back to feel and think. self for his cruel deed, abandoned the profession of I know not if it late were free, arms, broke his lance into three pieces, and went
Or broke its cage to perch on mine, on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, where, after a
But knowing well captivity,
Sweet bird! I could not wish for thine ; few years, he died in peace.
Or if it were, in wingéd guise,
For-Heaven forgive that thought! the while, The Emperor Menelay made a decree, that if any Which made me both to weep and smile ; guiltless captive could escape from his bonds and I sometimes deemed that it might be reach the imperial palace, he should be protected My brother's soul come down to me; from his oppressors. Soon after the promulgation
But then at last away it flew,
And then 't was mortal-well I knew, of the law, a knight was wrongfully accused, and
For he would never thus have flown, cast into a dark dungeon. The light of his eyes
And left me twice so doubly lone,was dimmed when he was thus cut off from the com
Lone—as the corse within its shroud, pany of his brethren ; but one mild summer morn, Lone—as a solitary cloud, a nightingale came in through the little window A single cloud on a sunny day, of his cell, and sang so sweetly that he almost for- While all the rest of heaven is clear, got he was deprived of liberty. As the knight
A frown upon the atmosphere,
That hath no business to appear treated his minstrel very tenderly, she flew into
When skies are blue, and earth is gay. his bosom daily to cheer him with her song. One day he said to her, “My darling bird, I have Our readers are convinced by this time, we given thee many a dainty, wilt thou not show me a should imagine, that many a thread in the mankindness in return? Like to myself, a creature of tle of the English Muse originally figured in the
A MESSENGER OF MERCY.
AN ARTFUL DODGE.
THE FARMER'S PLOUGH. BENEATH THE WAYSIDE TREE. party-colored pallium of the Gesta.* We shall | Through the moist valley clogged with oozing clay, conclude our article with a couple of anecdotes, The patient convoy breaks its destined way; which, though unconnected with our literature, The swinging ploughshare circles glistening round,
At every turn the loosening chains resound, we think will amuse by their piquancy.
Till the wide field one billowy waste appears,
And wearied hands unbind the panting steers. A certain soldier suspected his wife of having These are the hands whose patient labor brings transferred her affections from himself to another; The peasant's food, the golden pomp of kings; but not being able to prove the fact, he requested a
This is the page whose letters shall be seen
Changed by the sun to words of living green cunning clerk to assist him in demonstrating his This is the scholar whose immortal pen lady's infidelity. The clerk consented, on condition Spells the first lesson hunger taught to men ; of being allowed to converse with the fair frail one. These are the lines, O Heaven-commanded Toil, After having chatted on a variety of indifferent top- That fill thy deed—the charter of the soil ! ics for some time, he took her hand, and pressed o gracious mother, whose benignant breast his finger on her palse, at the same time mentioning Wakes us to life and lulls us all to rest, in a careless tone the name of the person whom she How thy sweet features, kind to every clime, was presumed to love. The lady's blood, at that Mock with their smiles the wrinkled front of Time ! sweet sound, rushed through her veins like a We stain thy flowers—they blossom o'er the dead; swollen stream; but when her husband became the We rend thy bosom, and it gives us bread; theme of their discourse, it resumed its usual tran- O'er the red field that trampling strife has torn,
Waves the quil flow. The clerk communicated the result of Our maddening conflicts scar thy fairest plain,
green plumage of thy tasselled corn, his experiment to the bamboozled Benedick; but Still thy soft answer is the growing grain. whether the affair furnished employment to the “ gentlemen of the long robe,” as the newspapers Yet, O, our mother, while uncounted charms say, or whether the soldier did by his own act abate Round the fresh clasp of thine embracing arms, the nuisance that had marred his peace, we are And thy fond weakness waste our strength away.
Let not our virtues in thy love decay, not informed.
No! by these hills, whose banners, now displayed, OBSEQUIUM AMICOS, VERITAS ODIUM In blazing cohorts Autumn has arrayed ;
By yon twin crest, amid the sinking sphere, A lady, during the absence of her lord, re- Last to dissolve, and first to reäppear; ceived a visit from her gallant. One of her hand- By these fair plains the mountain circle screens
And feeds in silence from its dark ravines ; maidens understood the language of birds, and True to their home these faithful arms shall toil a cock crowing at midnight, the faithless spouse To crown with peace their own untainted soil ; inquired the meaning of his chant. “He says,” | And true to God, to Freedom, to Mankind, replied the maiden, “ that you are grossly injuring If her chained bandogs Faction shall unbind, your husband.”—“Kill that cock instantly,” said These stately forms, that bending even now, the lady. Soon after another cock began to crow, Bowed their strong manhood to the humble plough, and his notes being interpreted to signify that his Shall rise erect, the guardians of the land, companion had died for revealing the truth, he Till Graylock thunders to the parting sun
The same stern iron in the same right hand, shared his fate. Last of all a third cock crew. The sword has rescued what the ploughshare won!
And what does he say?" asked the lady. “Hear and see all, but say nothing if you would live in peace.”—“Oh, don't kill him.'” retorted she.
BENEATH THE WAYSIDE TREE. Lectores, scripsimus-plaudite aut tacete!
Beneath the wayside tree
A pale one sat and sang her tale :-
“The gorse upon the common blooms, the clover
on the lea;
That Love should bud and fail !
But now he's gone far, far away ;
old things have sprung new, First in the field before the reddening sun,
Since last he came this way.”
- Let the new things grow old, Marks the broad acres where his feet have trod ; From old things let new spring again ! Still where he treads the stubborn clods divide,
True love is neither new nor old, one ever-for, The smooth, fresh furrow opens deep and wide,
behold ! Matted and dense the tangled turf upheaves,
I love thee now as then!”
His frame was no more young,
Wrinkled his brow, his hair grown gray ;
Yet round him not less tenderly her arms the pale * N. B. Our samples are literally samples. We have
one flung; not raked up a few instances of plagiarism, but out of
And life for both once more was May. very many deeds of plunder have exposed some of the
Ivan T. most barefaced.
BY DR. 0. W. HOLMES.
From the Britannia.
DIANA OF POITIERS PLEADING FOR THE LIFE
by the fact that, in a private residence, the etiquette The Court and Reign of Francis the First. By of mourning for the late king did not permit either Miss Pardoe. Two vols. Bentley.*
balls or masquerades, the young monarch caused a
wild boar, which had been taken alive in the neighThe spirit of the best French memoir-writers boring forest, to be turned loose in the great courthas been caught by Miss Pardoe. She has yard of the castle, having previously ordered every admirable tact in constructing biographical his- issue, by which the savage denizen of the woods tory, and in selecting all those personal anecdotes might escape, to be carefully closed. This being, which illustrate at once a character and an age. as it appeared, fully accomplished, the courtly comHer gossip, though always amusing, is usually pany then assembled at Amboise, stationed themfull of matter, and, even when she is forced to selves by casting darts and other missiles at the
selves at the windows, whence they amused themdescend to scandal, she can relate a courtly intrigue enraged and bewildered animal. without a particle of coarseness. Nearly every Highly excited by this novel pastime, bets ran name which appears on her page is drawn at full high between the young nobles on their respective length by her skilful pen in characteristic lines. skill; and bright eyes watched anxiously the flight Her books must take their place between romance of every weapon as it was hurled from the respecand history, possessing, as they do, some of the tive casements. Suddenly, however, shrieks of best qualities of both, without the fables of the one The boar, tortured beyond endurance, had made a
terror echoed through the spacious apartments. or the formality of the other.
furious plunge at the door which opened upon a In this work of “ Francis the First,” she has great staircase ; had dashed it in, and was rapidly remarkably succeeded in presenting us with an ascending the steps which led to the state-rooms, authentic picture of the monarch and his court, and which were protected only by a hanging draand in imparting to it all the interest which arises pery of velvet ; when the king, rushing from the from correctness of drawing, truth of coloring, apartment where the horror-stricken ladies were and art in composition. Her design leads her not crowding about the queen, and, thrusting aside the
courtiers who endeavored to impede his passage, only to give an amusing menoir of the king, but threw himself full in the path of the maddened to exhibit the counsellors, courtiers, and generals animal, and, adroitly avoiding his first shock, stabbed who surrounded them, and to show them much as him to the heart. they were “ in their habit as they lived,” both in their private and public life. The epoch was a stirring one; the world was agitated by great
At the period of her father's condemnation Diana thoughts ; and both ideas and manners were on had consequently passed her twenty-third year, but the eve of that great revolution which separates she had spent her early life in an unbroken calın, modern from mediæval history. It is only justice which still invested her with all the charms of to Miss Pardoe to say that she has omitted no youth and ingenuousness. Looking upon the Count research which could add to the value of her book, de Maulevrier rather with the respect of a child and that her talent in the disposition and arrange- tomed herself to the gloomy etiquette by which she
than the fondness of a wife, she had soon accusment of her materials is equal to her industry in
was surrounded ; and, knowing nothing of a world collecting them.
of which she was one day to become the idol, she The discursive nature of her book is, according passed her time among her maids, her flowers and to the plan on which it is formed, one of its her birds, without one repining thought. greatest attractions ; but it prevents us from giv- Diana possessed all the graces that attract, and ing anything like a distinct notice of its contents. all the charms which enslave. Nature had endowed Full of personal anecdote, and of those biograph- she moved through the sombre saloons of Anet like
her alike with beauty and with intellect; and, as ical sketches which an entertaining and judicious a spirit of light, the gloomy seneschal blessed the writer, Mr. Craik, has truly shown make up the day upon which he had secured such a vision of romance of history, each chapter is a story in loveliness to gladden his monotonous existence. itself, and might be made the subject of a distinct critique. But we cannot pass from it without When Madame de Brézé reached the city, the making a few extracts illustrative of its entertain- scaffold was already erected upon which her father ing character.
We may remark that the volumes was to suffer. Unaware, however, of this ghastly are beautifully produced, and that they contain who was informed, while surrounded by a bevy of
fact, she at once sought an audience of the king, well-engraved portraits of the principal person- his nobles, among whom he was endeavoring to ages of the times :
forget the impending tragedy, that a lady solicited perinission to enter his presence.
“ Who is she?” he inquired, with some curiosIn the month of May, Francis, probably some- ity, of the usher on duty; 6 whence does she what alarmed by the deficit which had already come?" betrayed itself in the national exchequer, removed “ It is the Grande Seneschale of Normandy, his court to Amboise, whither Madame d'Angou- sire ; and she has come post from Anet.' lême had preceded him for the purpose of celebrat- “Ah, on the faith of a gentleman !” exclaimed ing at that castle the marriage of Mademoiselle de Francis ; “ she has chosen an unhappy moment to Bourbon, the sister of the connètable, with the present herself at court. This is the far-famed Duke de Lorraine; and it is upon record that, on beauty, Diana de Poitiers, my lords, of whom we this occasion, being desirous to give some variety have all heard so much, and whom none of us have to the festivities, which were limited in their nature seen, as I believe, since her childhood. She has
* Reprinted by Lea and Blanchard, Philadelphia. come on a woful errand, truly, for it is easy to
AMUSEMENTS OF THE COURT OF FRANCIS.