Sidebilder
PDF
ePub
[blocks in formation]

And Liuchen did rejoice in the consciousness of her power. She had left regret behind. An impassable barrier now divided her from her old home, and it was not strange that she should turn, with a sigh of relief, to the welcome companionship of the inhabitants of the forest for the remainder of her brief reign.

A few days more, and it was ended; she stood at the foot of the mountain, looking her last on the bright river. Once again she knelt, to let the water ripple through her fingers; but it struck no chill to her now. The mute warning | had been realized, and Liuchen's sufferings were over. She paused at the top of the stone steps, and looked towards the recess; but the River Spirit stood by the pyramid of roses, waiting her coming, and, with raised hand, beckoned her visitor to approach.

Liuchen obeyed, folding her hands on her bosom with a heavy sigh as she spoke : "I have lost all, and am come back to die."

"You have risked life and lost it," said the

[blocks in formation]

"He knows already," replied the River Spirit. "From the hour when the bride's jewels crumbled to ashes under its beam, he knew that the promised bride (for whose coming he should have waited) had come and departed. Oh, Liuchen! all your sorrows are light compared with the burden of his life, who, wearing the royal rose, has linked himself to one who is blind to its peerless beauty!"

"Yet my life has been wasted," said Liuchen, more calmly.

"Look back upon it," said the River Spirit, taking some water from the crystal vase, and sprinkling it on the pavement at her feet. It formed a clear bright mirror, whose polished surface reflected the enchanted forest. And Liuchen saw that her path through its mazes was marked now by fragrant flowers, whose pure white blossoms would henceforth guide the traveller on his way through its dangers. Over the wide marshes, too, the path of safety led, bordered by snow-white water-lilies; that no other need ever wander, as she had done, in danger of sinking in the treacherous swamp.

SO

"I am content," murmured Liuchen: "I have not borne the rose in vain."

The scene changed, as she spoke, from the solitude of the marshes to a crowded highroad, among whose throng a solitary traveller, unnoticed and unpitied by any, was wearily threading his way. Worn and travel-stained as he was, Liuchen marked his noble bearing, and wondered, as she looked, what was the sorrow that had drawn such deep lines on that young face, and why the leaves of the rose that glittered on his breast were specked with blood.

"Do you know him, Linchen?" asked the Lady of the Cave.

The girl started from her reverie, as a sudden recollection flashed across her mind-"Is it the Prince?"

"It is," replied the Spirit, mournfully: "do you envy nis lot?"

"No," replied Liuchen, eagerly; "mine is happier far."

The weight was gone from her heart, and, taking her rose from its resting-place, she laid it on the glittering heap without a sigh.

The branches of the great tree began to wave and rustle as she stood beneath its shadow; and the great hall of statues, into which she was gazing, grew gradually misty, and seemed to vanish away. Instead of its cold splendour, she saw the dear old spires of Eisenheim in the golden light of the setting sun, and Aunt Anna sitting in the doorway of her home with the open bible on her knees. Once again Liuchen

stretched out her arms with a cry of joy, and then, as the vesper-bell pealed from the cathedral tower with its voice of solemn peace, she fell on her knees, repeating the evening-prayer that she had learned when a child.

The sunlight died off the spires of the sleeping city, and the vesper-bell ceased ringing; but Liuchen did not rise- e angel of death had laid his hand on her so gently, that she never

OUR PARIS CORRESPONDENT.

MY DEAR C

The gardeners have announced that we shall have a soft, clement winter. This year's onions have a very thin skin; when a hard winter is coming that vegetable has a thick peel, according to their observations. If the present weather continues, the gardeners' prognostications will certainly be realized, for the cold, gloomy month of December this year has been more like a wet month of May, and our trees and bushes are budding forth as if spring had breathed on them again. I have a honeysuckle in my garden in flower! But, oh, the paddling through the muddy streets of Paris! it is worse than the roads in the country, and makes one long for a little frost and ice. The Court has left Compiegne, and soon the festivities in the Capital will commence, and Paris will re-assume its wonted gaiety. The theatres are overflowing with successes, but La Patti has left us, and we are sad; she is going, or is gone, to St. Petersburg, to enchant the Russians with the melody of her voice, and the seductive charms of her person. There was not a place to be had at the Italian Theatre all the last month of her adieux, all were engaged long before hand. At the hundredth representation of "Premier jour de bonheur," at the Opera Comique, the orchestra went and serenaded Auber (the author) under his windows, until late in the night; the passersby soon formed a considerable group round the musicians, and raised a tumult of applause at every interval. The old gentleman descended into the street and thanked them; he is more than eighty years of age. Rossini's death had a great effect on him, it is said, Apropos of Rossini, they say that his famous air in Moïse "La prière de Moïse"-is not the production of his brain, but an air that had echoed from time immemorial amongst the mountains of the Pyrenees, a Basque national air.

felt his presence, and left her kneeling still with a smile on her lips, beautiful in her marble stillness as she had been in life.

Not even with the honoured multitude who thronged the vast hall of Genius was to be her resting-place; but in the quenchless light of her virgin rose, and beneath the marvellous tree in whose shadow she had dreamed her last dream of home!

Monsieur Alphonse Karr deigns every now and then to forget his flowers at Nice and appear in Paris. He is just now tormented by another's laurels. Mr. P. Gilles, a young composer, has made a "hit" in an operette, at the

new little theatre The Athénée," and Alphonse Karr pretends that the "Horreurs de la guerre" belongs to him, because he has written a tale on the same subject-another subject of discord. Talking of the Athénée reminds me of its origin: A rich jew, Monsieur Bischoffsheim, was, about two years ago, seized with a fit of generosity, and conceived the idea of building a superb concert-room, to be used, on any occasion, for lectures, concerts, or any other casual amusement. It was to cost him a million of francs, and all the profits were to go to benevolent societies, &c. What a good man! Subsequently the concert room was turned into a theatre, and pays the million francs I cannot tell how much per cent.; but Monsieur Bischoffsheim's fit is over, and he keeps the profits.

The great success of a drama, with the title of "Miss Malton," by Nus and Belot, caused their Majesties to invite the actors of the "Vaudeville" to go and perform it at Compiègne. As usual, the authors were also requested to accompany the actors, which Monsieur Belot did, and was highly complimented by the Court for the moving scenes in the piece, which made the most stoical take out their pocket-handkerchiefs-such a chorus of nosewiping was never before heard at the theatre of Compiègne. Monsieur Belot, having received the croix de la Legion d'Honneur last August, our Court etiquette permitted him to be invited to dine at the imperial table; but Monsieur Nus, who has an equal right to share the laurels of this drama, could not be admitted to the same honour, not being a Chevalier, so he abstained from going to Compiègne. Before we leave this imperial abode, to which so many are ambitious for an invitation, listen to an odd condition to this honour for ladies: Every lady must prove that she possesses a certain trousseau, that is, a certain quantity of linen, dresses, and other accessories. Is her Majesty afraid that a lady might want to borrow a chemise or petticoat? She must also buy her hair of the Court hairdresser; she finds a small parcel of that commodity of different colours

for which the price is fixed at 150 francs (£6); she must also be accompanied by a maid to wait on her, and a gentleman must have his valet.

Amongst other games this scason, there was one that was a great source of amusement: a pavilion was chosen in the forest, and servants were ordered to drop small pieces of paper all along the different paths that led to this pavilion, the Court then separated, each taking a different road, and the game was to follow the bits of paper, and thus try to arrive at the pavilion first; the fun of it was the laugh that the last comers excited, particularly if chance had so ordered that a lady and gentleman met on the road and the two came in together.

The Queen of Spain has bought a most exquisite hotel on the Champs Elysées. She seems to deem her restoration to the throne of Spain very improbable. They say that she is extremely grieved at the things the papers here lay to her charge, as well as Marfori, whom some say is greatly calumniated, and that he is far from having the immense riches the public voice has given him. The Queen visited the Court of Assize the other day when a trial was going on. The president suspended the proceedings to go and receive her Majesty, which very much surprised and annoyed a certain party of the Parisians. We are curious to know how the Emperor and Empress intend behaving towards the fallen monarch, now they are in Paris. The new Spanish ambassador has not yet met with much sympathy.

Several of our State ministers have again been changed. M. Pinard, Minister of the Intérieur, overshot the mark in his zeal for the Empire and order. He wanted to make us believe that a formidable émeute was in the air for the 2nd of December, that thirty thousand soldiers were ready to quell the rebellion, and a regiment of sergents de ville remained on guard all-day long, in different quarters. All this display of force ended in arresting some rebels assembled in the cemetery, on the grave of Baudin!-a most ridiculous affair. If Government had taken no notice of the manifestation it would have fallen to the ground, and no one would have known anything about it. The liberals are on the alert for the elections next year, and Government also. The bishops add their mite to the struggle, and preach to the people in their pastoral letters to vote for the deputy that best supports the temporal power at Rome. Their patriotism goes no further. The Jesuits have just been condemned at Bordeaux for having beat several of the boys committed to their care in their college. It seems that boys of fifteen and sixteen have been severely hurt, and the father of one of them went and complained to the magistrates. One of the priests, the executioner of punishment in the college, beat one with a whip in a most unmerciful manner, until he was tired of striking; and so afraid were several of the boys whose evidence was asked, that when before the tribunal and their masters, they dared not repeat

|

waat they had said in the private examination they had undergone before, but denied it.

Have you heard of the Marseille empoisoners ? Six women and a man, who bought, sold, and administered poison to superfluous husbands, with just about as much ceremony as one employs iu the destruction of rats, without seeming to have the slightest idea that it was of much more consequence to humanity. The man prepared the poison, and the women mixed it with their husbands' food. One woman encouraged her daughter, twenty years of age, to give the poison to her husband, by promising to burn a candle to the Holy Virgin that she might be propitious to the design and ensure its success. The jury, however, found extenuating circumstances, and, to the great rage of the populace, none have been condemned to death. At the Alcazar, at Marseille, the affair has been made a pantomime of, and the director is reaping a splendid harvest.

The death of Berryer has called forth from every party sincere and heartfelt regrets, and I know no man whose memory is so truly respected. He would not die in Paris, but insisted on being conveyed to his château d' Augerville, his true home, where he breathed his last, surrounded by all he loved. He received a letter from the Count de Chambord, whom he always regarded as his lawful king, a day or two before his death, which was a sweet solace to him. Hundreds flocked from Paris and other towns to his funeral; a deputation of English barristers went and paid their last homage to this greatest of French barristers, and the bar in Paris has voted that a subscription shall be opened to raise a monument to his memory.

We have another death to lament, though of a less eminent man than Berryer, yet of one known and appreciated in the literary worldCarmouche, a writer of distinction." Several anecdotes are related of him. He was director of the theatre at Strasbourg when the Prince Louis Napoleon tried to raise an émeute in his (the Prince's) favour. At that time the directors of theatres in the provinces had a right to tax the strolling actors, dancers, and riders; but many had escaped Carmouche without paying; so much so, that he vowed that no others should get off without opening their purses. Very early one morning he was awakened out of his sleep by his old servant: "Monsieur Carmiche! Monsieur Carmiche ! quick! quick! get up!" "Why, what is the matter?" "A whole host of Franconis that arrive. Do you not hear the noise?" "Yes, yes, I hear them, and they shall pay me before they begin. They shall, and no mistake," answered Carmouche, tumbling out of bed, and dressing in all haste; which was soon done, and into the street he went. The troop of Franconis was no other than the Prince Louis Napoleon and his band, whose performance turned out not to be worth paying for then.

Did you know that the lovely Ophelia, Mdlle.

Nilsson, is not only a great singer, but also a very clever sculptor? She has just finished a little statue that is to be exposed at the next Exhibition of Fine Arts.

"6

to entice passers-by. One fancied hanging out a dead monkey among his hares and partridges. "A monkey!" said a lounger, looking out for a tit-bit, is that good to eat?" "I should think so," answered the seller; delicious in a pie!" "What does its flesh resemble?" 'Why, whatever you like-mutton, pork, or venison; a monkey that imitates everything." The inquirer went away only half convinced. The compliments of the season. Au revoir,

S. A.

Prince Napoleon went to Nohant, the residence of Madame George Sand, the other day, to stand sponsor for one of that celebrated" lady's grandchildren. The Prince must be doing something, and seems to be happier anywhere than at home. Our game-merchants make game of everything, and one sees animals of every denomination hanging at their windows

OUR LIBRARY TABLE..

OWEN MEREDITH.-Among the many able critical papers that have been elicited by Owen Meredith's recent poems, the thoughtful paper in the August number of the Edinburgh Review is deservedly prominent. Sixty years ago such a critique in the Edinburgh would have made an obscure man famous; it would have made a poet of Owen Meredith's genius and standing one of the lions of the day. But the old quarterly no longer settles the fortunes of men and books; yet its praise, rare and discriminating, carries with it a certain weight, not always attached to the critical judgments of more modern authorities. The Edinburgh Review, while not glossing over what it conceives to be the defects of Owen Meredith's art, is alive to the extraordinary beauties of thought and diction which stamp every page that he has written. "Mr. Lytton," says the writer, "has not only inherited one of the most illustrious names in contemporary English literature (for the author of Eugene Aram' and 'The Caxtons' has no superior amongst living novelists), but he has also made good his claim, in these volumes, to no inconsiderable share of the talents which have rendered that name illustrious. He has not indeed trodden in his father's footsteps, and he has not attempted to rival the dramatic power, the fine insight into character, or the witty wisdom of the Bulwer novels. But as a poet he has taken a higher flight. We have never been able to reckon Lord Lytton's poems amongst the highest efforts of his genius; and if the wand of fiction belongs more exclusively to himself, he must be content to divide the bays with his son. The merits of Mr. Lytton as a poet are somewhat peculiar. His works are, if we are not mistaken, the result of patient thought and persevering exercise, rather than the product of a fiery and spontaneous genius. They do not take the reader by storm, but they win their way by reflection. A second or third verusal is more fa

66

vourable to them than a first impression. Yet they are free from that obscurity of thought and expression which is the bane of much modern poetry. They are essentially objective and real, for they present, with great distinctness, a vast variety of scenes and pictures which reflect the very life of human history. And he who seeks might well find in them a purpose and a meaning that deserves to be studied. With a lively sympathy for the two great elements of all poetry, beauty and grief, Mr. Lytton combines a power of expression which reminds us of the later Elizabethan poets more than of any more recent author. The heroic verse, which he handles with a skilful predilection, is not the couplet of Pope or the resounding line of Dryden, but it is the verse of Marlow; and there are passages in these volumes which we should venture to rank not far beneath the undying beauty and force of 'The Hero and Leander.'" Of the charge of imitation which has frequently been brought against Mr. Lytton the reviewer remarks: "To a greater extent than is commonly remembered, this manifest participation in the manner as well as the spirit of his neighbours belongs, as we have said, at all times to the poet's character. Chaucer gave currency to the seven-lined stanza, which he used in place of the Italian octave rhyme; and it became the standard measure of his successors, Lydgate, Occleve, James I., and others. Surrey in his sonnets echoed Petrarch; Wyat, although in his verse more individual than Surrey, and, upon the whole, more English, echoed not only Petrarch, but all the French poets in his day. From Chaucer's time to Spenser's, Chaucer himself included, there was hardly a poet of mark who did not in some work, usually a large one, imitate closely the allegorical machinery made popular in France by the "Roman de la Rose" and other pieces. The best poets were in their own pages continually going to sleep over a

6

"

book, or waking in bed on a May or April | has been slow. All poets learn their art by an morning, and going into a park by a river, admiring imitation of their predecessors. Milton where they had an allegorical dream, if it did himself told Dryden 'that Spenser was his originot happen to be in dream that they went thither. nal.' In all cases the question of the influence Even the Scottish poets: Dunbar, in his of poets on a poet can only be one of degree. "Thistle and the Rose,' and 'Golden Targe;' There is the rhythm of our own time in Mr. Gavin Douglas, in his 'Palace of Honour;' Lytton's verse, manifest sympathy with the Lindsay, in his 'Monarchy'-which, though genius of foremost men, tone of voice, trick of a work of very practical design, sets out with expression caught from communion with kindred the poet on a summer morning entering a de- singers, just as in life men reflect unconsciously lightful park, where he is accosted by an old familiar tones and turns of phrases from their man named Experience, wrote in close imitation near friends and household companions. But of established forms. In Elizabeth's time, as we turn the pages picture after picture forms Shakespeare himself was called an upstart itself before the mind, always harmonious in crow, beautified with the feathers of his neigh- colouring, grouped with artistic skill, and never bours.' The charming song-writers who lived without a trace of genius in the design. Mr. in the time of Charles I. abounded in close re- Lytton sings of his melancholy Spirit Queen, semblances of fashion. How many of them whom he call the mightiest Maker underneath sent metrical messages to a lady with a rose? the sun :'Go, lovely Rose,' says Waller; Go, happy Rose,' says Herrick. The more the works of Pope are critically examined the more will it be perceived to what an extent he borrowed and appropriated expressions from his predecessors, his contemporaries, and from classical antiquity; and we take as inevitable these resemblances of topic and of treatment among men of the same time.' The Edinburgh Review finds great originality as well as power and learning in the "Chronicles and Characters." The lofty purpose of the work, and the skill with which the poet has wrought out a complicated plan, are warmly acknowledged. "In these 'Chronicles and Characters' the poet deals with the essentials of life. Lucian compared his works to plaster statues, which, in some great festival, are made to please the people and not to endure eternally. Yet they are still read because, in a way of his own, which gave the liveliest and best expression to his humour, he, by the free handling of the philosophers and gods of the Old World, spoke for many, in the struggle of which, however its outward action may change with the generations, the cause, as Mr. Lytton here sings, is eternal. Lucian's plaster statues, made for a holiday use, represent the large part of all writings which adds to the pleasures of its hour by moulding surface thought into forms known to be acceptable. But they work in marble who, with shaping power of the artist, spend their power upon the most vital questions of the time. Through all changes of outward fashion these endure, and the best thought they yield retains its worth for the successive generations whose relations to each other it is in these 'Chronicles and Characters' a part of Mr. Lytton's purpose to suggest. The view of the life that runs through all is the gradual education of the human race by struggle against evil to the strength for good Mr. Lytton's volumes, by the variety of their contents, invite to digression; but we must abide by our first purpose, and be content if we have said enough to suggest a fair general estimate of their character. Faultless they are not, but the genius of the writer is unquestionable as its recognition

'Yet never shall be satisfied the need

Of her deep heart, nor her long tasks be done." He, too, is among the Makers-as we used to call our poets-who feel that they still have heights to climb. And he follows his art with a rare freedom from pretension, arrogating to himself no praise for great designs, and giving himself no airs of the prophet, while in his unaffected strains there is the strength of true devotion to his art."

THE ART OF DRESSING WELL: THE LAWS AND BYE-LAWS OF GOOD SOCIETY. (London: Lockwood and Co., 7, Stationers' Hall Court.)— This is the season (looking at a publisher's list before us) of Handy Books of all descriptions, and we may surely class the tiny volumes before us under this denomination. "The Art of Dressing Well" is one too little understood by the majority of the sex to whom it is specially addressed. Otherwise we should not see harmony of colour so rudely outraged as we often do, or short women wearing the same style of dress as tall ones, or persons of dark complexions affecting hues only becoming to blonds, or vice versa. We think the chapters on colour exceedingly useful, and calculated, with other valuable hints scattered through the pages, to materially assist the judgment of ladies of every age in the choice and combination of colours. "The Laws and Bye-laws of Good Society" offers a code of "modern etiquette" to those who, from any cause whatever, have suffered their knowledge of it to become impaired. Like other polished things it is apt to rust with disuse, but not, we should imagine, to the degree suggested by the writer when he reminds us that " a large party should never make a call, two from a family being quite enough;" or when he admonishes his readers, under the head of" Conversation," to avoid ungrammatical expressions, like "You was," and "I says," and "She says to me, she says;" and to abstain from accompanying the words "she" or "he" with a jerk of the thumb in the direction of the

E

« ForrigeFortsett »