workmen would not work, as a hideous beast, seven-legged, pot bellied, with sharp teeth, and a bald head; it crawls fawning to his bedside when he lies too late--a nightmare that might rouse the laziest dreamer. Iu his Schlauraffen-land, or lubber's paradise, the German Land of Coskayne, roasted pigs run about with knives and forks in their backs; the ponds are full of nicely boiled fish, and birds cooked to a turn fly into one's mouth; the trees grow pheasants, and the horses lay eggs. Men are paid twopence an hour for sleeping; if they gamble their money away, it is restored them double; if they cannot clear their debts, the creditor hands them the amount. The archer who shoots widest of the mark, the runner who is last in the race, receives the prize; the laziest is king, and the honest man is a rogue and a vagabond.

Hans teaches without tediousness and laughs without guile. To modern readers he may sometimes seem profane; but no judgment could be more unjust. A refined man will treat every subject with delicacy, and a subtle man with subtlety; in the same way a humour. ist will always be humourous-and Hans is emphatically a humourist. With the gravest subject, with the most serious intention, he cannot suppress his genial sinile; and because we feel that it is not quite in keeping, it makes us laugh outright. Thus it seems odd for a strict Lutheran to m ke fun of the devil, and the devil is Hans's favourite butt. When the Prince of Darkness is represented as a gay wooer, as a hen-pecked and then a runaway husband, as the dupe of an old witch, as rather stupid but perfectly good-humoured and harmless, it is impossible to keep one's gravity. On one occasion he hears the Landknechte mentioned as people after his own heart, and sends "Belzebock" up to earth to fetch him one. These Landknechte were country louts who took to soldiering, hired themselves to the largest bidder, and went about robbing the country-obviously a set of men whom tradesman Hans would particularly dislike. Belzebock goes to a tavern where some of them are drinking, and hides behind the stove to wait his opportunity. But their talk fills even him with horror; his hair stands on end at their stories, and he is afraid to touch them. At last one fellow who has stolen a cock and hung it up where Belzebock has hid, cries to the host, "Landlord, pluck the poor devil behind the stove and roast him for supper." This command completes Belzebock's dismay; he flies for dear life, and when once more among his friends implores the devil to give up thoughts of these people, and content himself, as hitherto, with monks and


A second story of these Landknechte introduces us to St. Peter, the other comic personage in whom Hans chiefly delights. This rather extraordinary selection is a new sign of his evangelicism. The Devil whom Luther can frighten with an inkbottle, and who is considered the chief emissary of Rome, is clearly fair game for all good Protestants, In the same way St. Peter, chief of the Roman Hierarchy,

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has no great claim on their reverence. He is portrayed as a self-opin ioned critic of the Divine Government, which he wishes to reform. One day he is allowed to try his hand; the first prayer that he hears is from an old woman to look after her goat; the weather is hot, the goat is active, red and breathless Peter must chase it up and down; he has no time for anything else, and at length, in a copious perspiration, is thankful to resign office. So, too, in the story of the Landknechte, the most amusing of which he is hero. A party of them appear before the gate of Heaven and demand admittance, but Peter has received strict injunctions not to let them in. At this they begin to swear, Sacrament,' Body of Christ," and so on, till the porter's heart warms to them, for he thinks they are praying. "I never saw such pious people in all my life," he cries, and opens the door. But no sooner are they in than they fall to gambling and quarreling, and when Peter remonstrates they hunt him through the streets with their naked swords. He escapes panting to the Deity, and asks what is to be done. "I told you how it would be," is the answer. But the matter is not beyond remedy. An angel iş sent to blow a trumpet outside the walls, the soldiers hear and think a new war must have broken out; they rush off to enlist, and the door is promptly closed behind them.

But Hans surpasses himself in the story of Eve's Unlike Children, the best known and most delicious of all his productions. Adam and Eve, cast out of Paradise, sit wearied and depressed with their day's work.* Adam, trying to comfort his wife, mentions, in offhand fash ion, how an angel has just given him a piece of news. God will visit them to-morrow to hold high feast (hohe fest), and see how they are keeping house and bringing up the children. Therefore, let Eve sweep the rooms, spread the floors with sweet straw, wash the children, and dress them in their best. The first part of the injunction is easily obeyed, but not so the second. For Eve's children are sharply separated into two groups. Some are very good, pretty, and obedient; the others are bad, dirty, unruly, and deformed. Abel and those like him are soon made tidy, but Cain and his fellows are playing and quarreling in the gutter, and flatly refuse to let themselves be washed. When Abel announces who is coming, Cain replies, "I'd liefer He would stay away.' When his father bids him prepare for the prayer, sacrifice, and sermon of the morrow, the wicked child wishes that "prayer, sermon, and sacrifice had never been invented." At this, Eve loses her patience and exclaims she will leave them the eyesores that they are, and God will find them a dirty rabble, foul as pigs; but in one version she relents, and stows them away in the loft, under the straw, in the chimney. Next day the visitor comes as announced, and after a hospitable welcome asks to see the children.

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* It was also a favourite subject with the author, who has made use of it four different times. In the following sketch I have borrowed traits from all the versions,

Those who are dressed, with Abel at their head, advance singing a psalm, and shake hands with the guest. He asks them questions out of Luther's Catechism on the Lord's Prayer, the Creed, the meaning of Amen, the Commandments, with what they forbid or require, and the children come off with flying colours. Reassured by their success, Eve ventures to produce the other lot; but when they come tumbling' in dirty, naked, shapeless, unkempt, God cannot keep from laughing (der Her tet des rostigen haufens lachen). They offer him their left hands, making a frightful mess of the Catechism, and excuse themselves on the plea that they don't see the use of it, that they can't remember it, that they did not know He was coming. The examiner is much displeased and determines to punish them; they and their seed shall be mechanics, fishermen, and peasants, but Abel and the good children shall be kings, nobles, rich merchants, and professors (gelehrten). Eve in pity for her offspring offers objections, but is told that all is for the best, only in this way can there be order in the world.

Even here, then, Hans writes with an object, and with the very Lutheran one of justifying the existence of ranks. In this sense Melancthon tells the story in another version, and to any who have found it irreverent, we may say with Hans himself, that he has it from the Latin of Melancthon. But such an excuse is unnecessary. Even the figure of the Deity is not irreverent, but only quaint, and at heart truly Protestant. Tieck characterises him as a "strict but affable superintendent." Scotchmen will rather think of the old Presbyterian catechists who used to make the rounds of the outlying districts, stopping at the farms and examining the whole household, parents, children, strangers, and servants, on the Bible and Shorter Catechism.

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After a lifetime of popularity, and two centuries of neglect, he attracted the affectionate admiration of Goethe. In his autobiography the greater poet describes how this study influenced his style, and in "The Poetical Vocation of Hans Sachs pays a sympathetic tribute to our worthy mastersinger. In this poem Goethe describes and explains an old wood-cut. Hans sits in his workshop on Sunday. The young damsel Honesty, the old crone History, and a merry-andrew, crowd round offering him their stores. Pleased with his task, but at a loss for words, he looks up and meets the friendly gaze of the Muse. She vows him to herself, promises that his heart shall be ever "merry as a bud in thaw," and shows him his wife waiting in the garden to cheer and hearten him in his work. An oak wreath floats above him in the clouds, and a frog-pond in the corner for carping critics completes the picture. "After this manifesto," says Hoffman, "Hans was safe. Few wish to be banished by Goethe into the frog-pond." M. W. M.-C., in Cornhill Magazine


THE events now passing in Europe may well teach States the instability of alliances, and ought to warn Governments of the uncertain value of the overtures to new alliances which are now passing to and fro, with shifting course, among the Courts of Europe. Russia is the prime fountain of these overtures. She finds herself isolated; her old alliances are crumbling; her former allies, she believes, have deserted her; and, angrily and vengefully, yet upon grounds perfectly just as well as natural, she eagerly seeks new alliances to take the place of the old. Prince Gortschakoff, beaten by his hated rival, Prince Bismarck, is wrathfully recasting his policy; and the German and Hungarian peoples stand upon guard awaiting the issue, while their Governments are preparing to meet the storm of Panslavic power and Muscovite intrigue.

While Germany lays a cable beneath the Baltic Sea to secure telegraphic communication with friendly Sweden beyond the reach of interruption by unfriendly and potentially hostile Denmark, the heir to tle Russian throne pays a visit to the Sweedish Court, to persuade King Oscar that the true interests of Scandinavia lie in a Muscovite alliance. Has not Germany robbed Denmark of half its territory and its only defensible frontier? and does not that upstart Empire, young and ambitious, maintain that the Vaterland must "still further go " and reach to the Sound? Sweden-Norway cannot stand alone in these times of great race empires; let Scandinavia, then, trust to Russia, which has no racial claim or motive to incorporate it, rather than to Germany, which desires to swallow it up in a vast Teutonic Fatherland. Russia, co-operating with the Scandinavian kingdoms, will withstand the northward progress of the overbearing Germans; and, as soon as fighting comes, will regain for Denmark her lost bulwarks of Duppel and Alsen. Highly plausible but King Oscar, while he listened, must have remembered. Russia and Sweden are old antagonists. The Scandinavians, in Rurik, gave a founder and dynasty to Russia; but their war-feuds with Muscovy are older than those of any other Power save the Ottoman empire. Charles XII. by military skill matched the power and thwarted the absorbing ambition of Peter the Great; but in subsequent times Russia tore Finland from Sweden by the sword, thereby acquiring the chief recruiting ground for her navy. And in the far-reaching schemes of the czars, has not the whole of the Scandinavian peninsula been marked out for Russian dominion, as the only means of securing for her navy an outlet from the Baltic? This is the first time a Czarewitch has paid a visit to the Court of Sweden. What messages were contemporaneously flashed thither from Derlin by the new-laid telegraph cable the future may disclose. Prosecuting his Scandinavian tour, the

Czarewitch, while we write, is a guest at the Danish Court, and speaks to his father-in-law of coming revenge upon Germany.

Prince Gortschakoff also turns smilingly with new-born friendship to another and greater Power to which Russia has done many an ill turn. Russia aided Prussia in crushing the military power of France, and permitted her permanent enfeeblement by the loss of Alsace and Lorraine. Strasburg and Metz, the old portals and bulwarks of the country, have been lost, and by the possession of impreg nable Metz the German power has been projected into the military heart of France. But there was a memorable alliance betwen a former Czar Alexander and France, and such an alliance has become more natural now. The alliance of Tilsit was for the divided empire of the world: the revived alliance would be for the restoration of France and for the triumph of Russia over her Germanic neighbours. Slav and Celt would combine for the downfall of Teutonic power; and with that would fall the barriers between,Russia and the Balkan peninsula. Despite the politic silence of her Government and the intelligent patience of her people, France pants, like a leopard in the leash, to spring upon the flank of Germany and to fight a war of liberation as fiercely as the Germans themselves waged such a contest against the French under Napoleon the Great. Metz and Strasburg stand beckoning lost bulwarks to be regained, trophies of defeat to be redeemed. Just as Russia can, without scruple, promise Dupple and Alsen fo Denmark, she can promise to France not merely Alsace and Lorraine, but the realisation of her highest dream (already once accomplished) of the frontier of the Rine. Such trafficking between France and Russia would be far too serious a matter to be allowed to transpire; yet among the news of the day from Paris (September 6) we read: "General Chanzy has arrived from St. Petersburg. His ar rival coincides with an unexpected visit to Paris of the Grand Duke Constantine."

Italy is proud to have her share of the conflicting overtures of rival Powers. Impotent of herself for belligerent aggression, she seeks to acquire the much-desired power from concert with stronger States. When the great Powers are in opposite camps, the lesser States rise into temporary potency and acquire importance in the eyes of others as well as their own. They become strong by others' needs. The kingdom of Italy was made by the help of others, and midst the quarrels of its neighbours it schemes for further aggrandisement. The cold, calculating, and unscrupulous maxims of Macchiavelli still dominate Italian diplom cy. Any stick, says the proverb, will do to beat a dog or an enemy; and the Italian Government, most of all, acts upon this maxim. Shrewder than Gortschakoff, it never counts upon gratitude-nor feels it; nor thinks of revenge except in the form of territory. It bargains for the present and exacts its quid pro quo on the spot. And when it can it takes a great deal more than was bargained for.

In 1859 it parted with Nice and Savoy, but it

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