Page images
PDF
EPUB

the astonishment of all, his adventure went boldly into it with her pitcher. with the people in the carriage. He end- Franz was terrified when he saw it close ed by bidding Susette take a large pitcher upon her before he had time to follow. and go to the Kyffhäuser, to ask wine In an agony of alarm he could only fall of the housekeeper in the name of the per

on his knees and pray for her preservason who had fastened the carriage-wheel. tion. His distress lasted not long; before

Susette hesitated, for she was fright- many moments had elapsed, the fissure ened at the idea of undertaking such a opened again, and the young girl came commission; and her mother was unwil- forth, her face radiant with joy, accompaling to have her placed in danger. But nied by an old woman. when Franz declared himself ready to “It is to thee, sweet maiden,” said the accompany her, the young girl did not housekeeper, for it was she, “I owe my see so many terrors in the way. Veit release. "Three hundred years 1 have offered no opposition to his son's going. waited in vain. I was doomed to serve as He was curious, above all things, to know housekeeper in the Kyffhäuser till the whether Fritz had told a true story or hour when an innocent maiden, who had not. So the young pair set off on the withstood sore temptation, should come way to the mountain-Dame Greta first for wine to the mountain. Mayest thou embracing her daughter, and making the live happy! and fear not to ask for wine; sign of the cross upon her forehead. though I shall be here no longer, the but

The lovers found the road very plea- ler will bring it thee.” sant with their conversation. The dis Susette would have asked after the tance was traversed even too soon, and emperor Frederic, but the old woman sudSusette's heart beat as they came to the denly vanished; and with an exclamation Kyffhäuser. They sought for the door of surprise, the young lovers set out on of rock; but though it was broad moon their homeward path. light, they could not succeed in finding it. All was wonder and delight when they At length Franz, pressing the maiden's returned to the parlor of the inn. Veit, hand, said to her, “ It seems, dear Su- who was an excellent judge of wine, prosette, that chance has thrown in our way nounced it of the best and costliest kind. too good an opportunity to make our He applied himself diligently and freselves happy, that we should lose it. We quently to the pitcher, with evidence of love each other–I cannot live without the profoundest satisfaction; but for all you; yet my father refuses his consent the good cheer, the watchman could not to our marriage, and the priest will not beguile him of a consent to the marriage. unite us without it. Susette, set down He saw the attempt would be frustrated, the pitcher, and let us fly together. We and not a little disappointed returned soon shall be safe from blame, for everybody after, with his wife and daughter, to his will say we were swallowed up in the own house. Kyffhäuser. Come, beloved, let us go As to Veit, he had no other desire than You shall be mine, and we will seek our to provide himself with abundance of the fortune in the great world !"

rare and costly wine, Fritz had treated But the fair maiden drew her arm from him with. A pitcher he thought quite too his, and answered reproachfully, "No, small a measure; so he took an immense Franz, much as I love you, I would ne- empty cask, and on the next night rolled ver do, such a thing. What! leave my it with considerable labor to the mountain. mother-and break her heart! and my He then shouted at the top of his voice. kind stepfather! And could you serve

Amidst the echoes that resounded on every your father thus, stern as he is? Nom side, he fancied he heard the words; let us be still dutiful and obedient, and “Who is there?” and instantly replied God will reward us at last.”

that he had come for wine, in the name of The young man continued to entreat, him who mended the carriage-wheel. but Susette remained firm; and to put an He heard, indeed, a sonorous voice in end to his solicitations-lifted her trem- reply, that seemed to come from the very bling voice, and called, as she had been depths of the Kyffhäuser.

It said: directed, on the housekeeper, in the watch • Mind my cellar there, boys!" and preman's name. For a minute after there sently Veit felt himself pinched by invisiwas a deep silence; then a distant rum- ble hands, and so severely beaten, that he bling was heard, and a fissure, wide was fain to run homeward with cries of enough to admit a person, opened just pain, as fast as his legs could carry him. above them in the mountain. The maiden He arrived at the inn out of breath, and

[ocr errors]

*

[ocr errors]

hearing coarse and unpleasant conversation, buildings, after which the learned would than in any country I have ever visited. be invited to share the scanty leavings of The contrast in this respect between the the “ Committee of Taste," and the merAmericans and the French is quite remark- ciless architect, “reliquias Danaûm atque able. There is a spirit of true gallantry in immitis Achillei.” But in the present case, all this, but the publicity of the railway the testator provided in his will that not a car, where all are in one long room, and of siugle dollar should be spent in brick and the large ordinaries, whether on land or mortar, in consequence of which proviso, water, is a great protection, the want of a spacious room was at once hired, and the which has been felt by many a female tra.' intentions of the donor carried immediately veler without escort in England. As the into effect, without a year's delay. Americans address no conversation to stran “ If there be any who imagine that a dogers, we soon became tolerably reconciled nation might be so splendid as to render an to living so much in public. Our fellow- anti-building clause superfluous, let them passengers consisted for the most part of remember the history of the Girard bequest shopkeepers, artizans, and mechanics with in Philadelphia. Half a million sterling, their families, all well-dressed, and so far with the express desire of the testator that as we had intercourse with them, polite the expenditure on architectural ornament and desirous to please. A large part of should be moderate! Yet this vast sum is them were on pleasure excursions, in so nearly consumed, that it is doubtful which they delight to spend their spare whether the remaining funds will suffice cash.

for the completion of the palace-splendid "Travelers must make up their minds, indeed, but extremely ill-fitted for a schoolin this as in other countries, to fall in house! It is evident that when a passion now and then with free and easy people, so strong as that for building is to be resistI am bound, however, to say that in the ed, total abstinence alone, as in the case of two most glaring instances of vulgar famil. spirituous liquors, will prove an adequate iarity which we have experienced here, we safeguard. In the “old country," "the found out that both the offenders had crossed fame fatal propensity has stood in the way the Atlantic only ten years before, and had of all the most spirited efforts of modern risen rapidly from a humble station. What- times to establish and endow new instituever good breeding exists here in the middle tions for the diffusion of knowledge. It is classes is certainly not of foreign importa- well known that the sum expended in the tion; and John Bull, in particular, when purchase of the ground, and in the erection out of humor with the manners of the of that part of University College, London, Americans, is often unconsciously behold- the exterior of which is nearly complete, ing his own image in the mirror, or com exceeded 100,0001., one-third of which paring one class of society in the United was spent on the portico and dome, or the States with another in his own country, purely ornamental, the rooms under the which ought, from superior affluence and dome having remained useless, and not leisure to exhibit a higher standard of re even fitted up at the expiration of fifteen finement and intelligence.”

years. When the professor of chemistry In closing an account of the literary he was informed that there was none, and

inquired for the chimney of his laboratory, institutions of Boston, in reference to to remove the defect, a fue was run up public lectures, &c., he says:

which encroached on a handsome staircase " To obtain the services of eminent men and destroyed the symmetry of the archiengaged in original researches, for the de- tect's design. Still greater was the dismay livery of systematic courses of lectures, is of the anatomical professor on learning impossible without the command of much that his lecture rooin was to conform to larger funds than are usually devoted to the classical model of an ancient theatre, this object. When it is stated that the fees designed for the recitation of Greek plays. at the Lowell Institute at Boston are on a Sir Charles Bell remarked that an anatomscale more than three times higher than ical theatre, to be perfect, should approach the remuneration awarded to the best lite as nearly as possible to the shape of a well, rary and scientific public lecturers in Lon- that every student might look down and don, it will at first be thought hopeless to see distinctly the subject under demonstraendeavor to carry similar plans into exe tion. At a considerable cost the room was cution in other large cities, whether at altered, so as to serve the ends for which home or in the United States. In reality, it was wanted. however, the sum bequeathed by the late “ The liberal sums contributed by the Mr. John Lowell for his foundation, though public for the foundation of a rival college munificent, was by no means enormous, were expended in like manner long before not much exceeding 70,0001., which, ac the academical body came into existence. cording to the usual fate awaiting donations When the professor of chemistry at King's for educational objects, would have been College asked for his laboratory, he was all swallowed up in the erection of costly told it had been entirely forgotten in the

plan, but that he might take the kitchen great many wild raspberries. by the roadon the floor below, and by ingenious ma side, quite ripe, and that he intended to chinery carry up his apparatus for illustra- get off and eat some of them, as there was ting experiments, through a trap-door into time to spare, for he should still arrive in an upper story, where his lecture room Truro by the appointed hour. It is needwas placed.

less to say that all turned out, as there was “ Still these collegiate buildings, in sup no alternative but to wait in the inside of port of which the public came forward so a hot coach, or to pick fruit in the shade. liberally, were left, like the Girard College, Had the same adventure happened to a half finished; whereas, if the same funds traveler in the United States, it might have had been devoted to the securing of teach- furnished a good text to one inclined to ers of high acquirements, station,

character, descant on the inconvenient independence and celebrity; and if rooms of moderate of manners which democratic institutions dimensions had been at first hired, while have a tendency to create. the classes of pupils remained small, a “ It is no small object of ambition for a generation would not have been lost, the Nova Scotian to go home,' which means new Institutions would have risen more to leave home, and see England.' Howrapidly to that high rank which they are ever much his curiosity may be gratified one day destined to attain, and testamenta- by the tour, his vanity, as I learn from sev. ry bequests would have flowed in more eral confessions made to me, is often put to copiously for buildings well adapted to the a severe trial. It is mortifying to be asked known and ascertained wants of the estab- in what part of the world Nova Scotia is lishment. None would then grudge the situated to be complimented on speak: fluted column, the swelling dome, and the ing good English, although an American stately portico; and literature and science -to be asked what excuse can possibly would continue to be the patrons of archi- be made for repudiation'—to be forced to tecture, without being its victims.”

explain to one countryman after another

that Nova Scotia is not one of the United The last chapter of the first volume States, but a British province.' All this, contains a lucid, and what we believe too, after having prayed loyally every Sun. will be, to very many American readers, day for Queen Victoria and the Prince of an acceptable expose of the Oxford and Wales—after having been so ready to go to Cambridge (Eng.) systems of study. It war about the Canadian borderers, the New is well worthy of careful perusal, and York sympathizers, the detention of Macthe valuable hints which accompany it leod and any other feud ! are suggestive of good plans for our own “Nations know nothing of one anotherliterary and theological institutions.

most true-but unfortunately in this par. We shall not attempt to follow our

ticular case the ignorance is all on one side, tourist through the British provinces. knows and thinks a great deal about Eng.

for almost every native of Nova Scotia Let it be sufficient to say, that after a land. It may, however, console the Nova satisfactory rambling through this coun Scotian to reflect that there are districts in try, he made a visit to Canada, and re the British isles, far more populous than turned to England in August, 1842, hav- all his native peninsula, which the inajor. ing been from home a year, where we ity of the English people have never heard leave him with remembrances of pleasure of, and respecting which, if they were accumulating from the starting point to named, few could say whether they spoke the Thames. There may his future path Gaelic, Welsh, or Irish, or what form of be not less honored and his future labors religion the greater part of them professed.” not less rewarded. The following candid and good-humored

The « Travels in North America” are paragraphs close Mr. Lyell's narrative, issued in two volumes, or two volumes and may with as much propriety close in one, and in two styles-muslin and this too brief and hasty notice :

paper covers.

The bound volumes are

furnished with several beautiful and valu. “We know on the authority of the author able maps and plates illustrating the vaof “Sam Slick," unless he has belied his rious geological features of this country countrymen, that some of the Blue Noses and the British provinces. We are pleased (so called from a kind of potato which to see Father Hennepin's old picture of thrives here) are not in the habit of set• Niagara placed in this volume, in a form time or that of others. To this class, I in which it will be generally appreciated. presume, belonged the driver of a stage. The publishers have sustained their wellcoach, who conducted us from Pictou to earned name by the beauty and finish of Truro. Drawing in the reins of his four the work and its illustrations. It is well horses, he informed us that there were a worthy of a place in every library.

RANDOM ESSAYS: NO. I.

“Scire tuum nihil est, nisi, te scire hoc, sciat alter.”—Persius. “ Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian bow formed by his beams, refracted in the spring,'

tears of his clouded and frowning rivals.

(That will do-you'll hardly get over said Pope. But why make a maxim of that!) Did the fangs of this corrosive it? 'Tis the natural course of things - passion gnaw only at the reputations of the law of necessity. Having begun to

the living, we should less feel the stings be a writer, there is no ceasing to be one.

of self-reproach : but it prowls, like a We have found it so. We are no longer famished hyena, among the graves and a “ looker-on in Venice.” From a care

lacerates the exhumed bodies of the dead. less consumer, a traveler living on the Oh! that we had been the first writer ! free bounties, that hung, purple and lus. Oh! that we had lived in that early and cious, over every helge, we have become joyous age, when all thoughts were oria producer, anxious, agitated, restless; ginal, and every word one's own; before sitting under our barren fig-tree, and the nea i Tepóevra of poets had been legis. looking impatiently for the coming-forth lated into property, or copy-rights hedged and ripening of our figs. No more do in the blossoms of the mind! That we we worship literature for its own sake, had transcribed the face of our dear or bring our offering to the Muses from a

mother Nature, while yet that face was pure and simple heart. We are a priest

young; while the bloom was still fresh at the altar, and offer sacrifice, not like a

on her cheek, and the light still lustrous private devotee, from the promptings of in her eye! That we, first of all men, natural religion, but that we may receive by rubbing our cranium-as Aladdin his our share of the savor and the fatness. wonder-working lamp-had evoked.ca Once we were content to love Genius, and Genius to bring us her treasures of lifelistened to his voice always with a like imagery and unforced but bold exswelling heart, and often with gushing pression? Alas! eheu! etc. Love, and An. eyes. Now we have become a hard and selfish rival of our former masters.

and Sorrow and Devotion have long ger, To

since exhausted her store-house, rich, change the figure :-we cannot stop to ample, and varied though it be. We, admire the beauty of their powers, the who feel as strongly as our fathers, have grace of their movements, or the marvel little left us, in air, or on earth, but their of their speed. We are ourselves in the own hacknied thoughts to be clothed in race-course; we are running with them words of " faded splendor,” and decked at a killing pace; and our care is not to off with strained or threadbare illustrabe distanced. Our neck is stretched for- tions. We are interdicti igni et aquâ” ward with inflexible tension, and our exiles from the realm of Nature. Au. eye fixed, earnest and unswerving, on the thors might as well be born berest of goal that shines before us through the their five senses; for all that can be seen dusty distance. We dare scarce wink,

or heard, smelled, touched, or tasted, has much less turn to gaze at our competi- been tortured out of its last possible trope, tors, whether in fear or in wonder, lest and remains as dry as “the remainder that very movement should lose us the biscuit after a voyage.” We are debarlaurel crown, or, more distressing still, red of the forest and the ocean, of the deprive us of the “purse of gold.”

tall, gray mountains, and the overhang. Occupet extremum scabies."

ing sky. The stars glowed and the There is but a certain amount of liter- breezes blew for our fathers; but for us ary reputation in the world; for the the watch-fires of heaven are all lost crowd cannot throw up their hats, and Pleiades, and the couriers of the earth shout for everybody: The more, there have returned to their Æolian cave. For fore, we permit to others, the less remains our lovers the dove might as well tum for ourselves. Envy is a misletoe in- buzzard : for our warriors the lion may separably woven in the chaplet of the hang a calf-skin on his recreant limbs; author, and the halo, that encircles the for our sailors Leviathan himself has glittering head of Genius, is but a rain- dwindled to a sprat.

The laborers in the field of literature heart a little shady valley of poetry and are less generous than Boaz of Scriptural sweetness, which we think we will rifle memory. They leave no handful here of its flowery treasures, and set up our and there, through charity, to the humble memorial there. Soon we discern that gleaner. The passion for fame is more Will Shakspeare has been in every nook, grasping than the love of money, and there and given an exact transcript of all its is no avarice like the avarice of author- beautie sin his Universal Gazetteer. The ship. What would buy from a writer a nymphs have all sworn allegiance to tithe of his reputation for genius and him; it forms an integrant portion of his originality? We have even known a thiev- boundless dominions, and from a spot, ish author, in his eagerness for renown, which we had discovered and conquered steal a fine thought from one of his own by our own exertions, we are cast forth forgotten compositions, like the old skin- as an alien and an intruder. Is it not flint in Plautus, who filched money from enough to impregnate any spirit with one of his pockets, and hid it in the other! the gall of bitterness? We never can

What business had our predecessors forgive him for that fat old Falstaff, parto write so much, and so finely, leaving ticularly, who left no wit behind him. us, who know more, the necessity of Why did not the fellow keep to his trade saying less, and of saying that little ill? of petty-larceny, and content himself What right had they to compel their de- with deer-stealing, without becoming a scendants to be either indolent, or dis- robber on a scale of unprecedented boldhonest, by leaving us so vast a funded ness, and taking from a whole posterity capital of mental wealth, which we must of minds their legitimate estates? either “bury in a napkin,” or fraudu But “nil desperandum.” Something lently display as our own earnings can be done, surely, by us, who superadd With what pleasure could we distil the our own wit to the knowledge of our essence from their writings, and pass the fathers.What is an “ Essay?" It is sponge of oblivion over their names ! an attempt, an effort, a trial. It is a disWe look on Homer as umbraged by our play of what you can do: nothing more. own predestined laurels, and regard Mil. Of course, then, anybody may write an ton as the occupant of our rightful throne. essay.” It requires only a little exerAre we not mixed of native goodness tion. What is the etymology of “ Esand of native pravity? Are we not a say?" The votaries of the immortal cross between the old Adam and the new Ego imagine it to be only a corruption Adam--we use the term in an untheo- of the words “ I say ; and, conselogical sense between man in his pri- quently, in their “essays,” the everlastmal innocence, and man after his mortaling “I” stands before you in every line, taste of the forbidden fruit ?

And are

erect and stately, with the homage-cravwe not born of woman? Have we noting inscription on his brow : " obolum loved the ladies, ever since our senses date Belisario.” Their verbs are all unicould discern their soft tones and sweet personal. “ Iota” swallows up all their faces from the hoarse voices and parded alphabet from“ Alpha” to “ Omega.” chins of their lords? Has not the Devil But we do not admire this omnipresent often crept into our heart like a serpent, impersonation of self-this obtrusive disor, perching on our pillow “ squat like a play of individuality. We leave the toad,” shot his infernal venom into our vulgar repetition of the first person sin. sleeping ear?. Could we not, then, from gular to the conversational õi roho the promptings of our own nature, have the men who have no idiosyncracy, no painted a perfect Adam and a perfect distinguishable “image and superscripEve? Could we not have portrayed tion;" who are just as much other peo“our Destroyer, foe to God and man," ple as they are themselves, and who, in the wrestlings of " considerate pride,” therefore, by dwelling on the “ [" with with fierce remorse, in the changes of “ damnable iteration,” vainly strive to “pale ire, envy, and despair,” and with convince their hearers that they actually all those lineaments of gloom and gran “individuals.” We shall be guilty deur, which should have out-deviled the of no such absurdity. We believe that arch-fiend himself? Aye ! and we would the etymology of "essay" is to be found have done it, had not Milton forestalled in “we say,” and we shall maintain the us! But of all marauding usurpers, we dignity of an author by expressing ourview Shakspeare with the most jaundiced selves in that stately plural number, apeye. Sometimes we note in the human propriated, hitherto, almost exclusively

are

« PreviousContinue »