Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub

spokesman who is deputed to detail the

From All The Year Round. various grievances complained of, goes to

THE CASTLE OF MIRAMAR. work with much dignity and action amid A RANGE of dreary limestone hills forms the dead silence of the rest of his breth. the northern boundary of the Adriatic, ren, who sit like mutes. This, however, beyond the busy port of Trieste – the cannot last long. In threes and fours they starting point of the boat which conveys soon begin to speak all together, till the visitors to Miramar. The castle rises in noise becomes so deafening that the gen. solitary grandeur, between sea and sky, eral quells them with difficulty, and pro- on the outlying rocks of a desolate creek ceeds either to redress the grievances or to in the iron-bound coast; and the mournful give judgment in the case appealed to him. character of the surrounding scenery deepThis tent scene amidst the Bedouin en- ens the impression of intense loneliness campment seemed to me like a chapter in conveyed by the solemn pile. Crenellated the Old Testament history, and I could battlements above long rows of arched aod easily imagine that I had been suddenly mullioned windows surmount a broad stone carried by Eastern magic into an encamp- rampart which fortifies the grey crags ment at the desert wells of Abraham, laved by the blue waters of the Adriatic. Isaac, and Jacob.

A soft breeze rustles the thick mantle of As there were still some three hours ivy and Virginia creeper on the bastions, before sunset and much barley nearly ripe and a shower of scarlet leaves flutters for cutting, not to mention acres of wild down to the sea. The Austrian flag flowers, I started with the caïd's brother, droops at half.mast from a massive tower, a magnificent fellow and a well-reputed for Miramar was once the home of the sportsman, to shoot quail. The scouts, ill.fated Maximilian, emperor of Mexico, who had been sent out early in the morn- and the deserted castle is left unchaoged, iog, returned, reporting that owing to the as a perpetual memorial of the murdered softness of the desert sand the gazelle we sovereign. The silence and solitude are had hoped to find were up in the moun. unbroken, and the associations of a more tains. My prince's modus operandi was distant past sink into comparative insig. somewhat peculiar. In his long burnous nificance, blotted out by the dark shadow he did not seem to care to do more walk- of that terrible tragedy which touches us ing than he could help, and he invariably with the sense of recent loss. rode his charger to and from the patches From the stone quay which forms the of covert. Dismounting, and handing his water-gate of the castle, marble steps lead horse to his horsemen, he proceeded to to the great terrace above the ramparts. work away with two mongrel yellow French The sculptured balustrades are wreathed pointers. Accustomed to the “creepy" with purple clematis, and a flame of gera. ways of quail, these chiens de la chasse had niums fills the marble vases with vivid lost whatever steadiness they may once color. have possessed. On they continually Although Miramar rises on its rocky rushed with their noses in the long bar- parapet sheer and straight from the water's ley, and, finally, the whole affair became a edge, the gardens stretch backward in regular "sauve qui peut.” The prince pur- endless variety of leafy avenue and shady suing the dogs, with his gun held before bower, green pleasaunce and terraced hill

, him “on the ready," and adjuring Perdrix until they merge into black pine woods (one of his curs) to behave“ doucement,” beneath the barren inountains which close and using other expletives which, from my the prospect and add to the seclusion of ignorance of Arabic, I failed to under- the lonely scene. Aisles of white and stand, but which, I fear, were anything but crimson roses in full autumnal bloom form “good words." When the bird was at vistas of fragrant shade, and the trellised last shoved up by the dogs the prince in arches reveal a silvery glimpse of falling variably blazed away (and on ihe whole fountains. The aromatic scent of fir-trees with great success) at ten yards, though I mingles with the breath of a thousand found I often, at twenty-five yards, got my flowers, while the lapsing water and the one barrel in after he had' had his two cooing of doves blend those associations shots at close range. After securing a of woodland and sea which add their pocapital bag and leaving many dead or etical charms to the haunted spot. wounded birds unfound in the long barley The carved stone porch of the grand a prey to the snakes, we “ceased firing,” entrance to this regal'dwelling is veiled by but it will be long before I forget my daily a luxuriant growth of bronze and crimson “ bursts "(I can call them nothing else) creepers, flinging wreaths and tendrils with this Arabian skekarry.

over turret and pinnacle, and brightening

a

7

the gloom of the dark ivy which frames plete with all that contributes to mental oriel window and sculptured balcony. Culture and physical enjoyment; but only Oaken doors with emblazoned shields reminding us the more vividly of that illopen into a noble hall panelled with black starred life which no human means could est oak, and lighted by lancets painted solace or save. In the oak-papelled livrawith heraldic bearings of the Austrian ry, the favorite books of the unfortunate archdukes. Armor, weapons, antlers, and emperor remain just as he left them; bis tattered banners line the walls and deco. music-score stands on the organ, and rate the grand staircase which leads to a traces of daily occupations are seen in an corridor filled with splendid family por- unfinished sketch, a half-written letter on traits of the royal house of Habsburg. an open desk, and a collection of works The haughty face of Maria Theresa and on navigation - his favorite study — with the mournful beauty of Marie Antoinette, potes pencilled on the margins in his own her ill-fated daughter, are conspicuous handwriting. The book shelves, with amidst the long line of Austrian prin. their copies of English poems, plays, and cesses; and the joyous face of Carl von novels, interspersed with classical auLöthringen, Aushed with victory as he thors, and modern works in French and waves the banner of conquering Lorraine, Italian, testify to the wide and liberal cul. occupies the foremost place in the rank of ture attained by Maximilian in days of royal archdukes renowned for military leisure and liberty. These mementoes of prowess and knightly deeds.

his sacrificed life invest the story of the Although no reigning family in Europe hapless monarch with a tangible reality. numbers more tragedies in its annals than in the oriel window of a book-lined recess this famous house of Habsburg, the in- his favorite armchair stands by the open terest of the pictures culminates in the casement, where he loved to sit within portraits of Maximilian and his stricken sight and sound of the waves which still consort; and the tragic memories of Auso dash on the rocks a hundred feet below trian sovereignty reach thelr climax in the this ideal “castle by the sea." mournful records of these two royal lives, We are almost constrained to believe the violent death of the one overthrowing that the little German poem of that name, the tottering reason of the other, so long familiarized to us by Longfellow's transundermined by agonies of suspense and lation, was suggested by a visit to Miradread. The soldierly figure and dignified mar, so exactly does it correspond with bearing of the emperor are displayed to the poet's description of the castle which advantage in his crimson robes of state. mirrors itself in the waves and soars upThe broad forehead denotes intellectual ward into the crimson light of sunset. power, and the firm mouth, shaded, but We pass through banqueting-hall and not concealed, by the long, fair moustache, throne-room, gorgeous with emblazoned expresses the unflinching courage of a banners and fading tapestry, the Austrian gallant race. In the melancholy blue eyes eagle surmounting the throne and carved imaginative minds have often recognized in high relief upon the oaken ceiling. the haunted expression sometimes ob- Every saloon is enriched with treasures served in the faces of those doomed to an of art in marble, mosaic, and porcelain. uotimely end, as though the shadow of Hirschvögel stoves, adorned with Scripcoming death fell across life even in its tural scenes in blue and white faïence, prime and flower. Whether this be fact stand in arched alcoves; and cabinets of or fancy, no doubt can be entertained as exquisite Kronenthal china fill gilded reto the cloud of care and sadness which cesses between the long windows which rests on Maximilian's face.

overlook the wide blue sea. The fair features of Charlotte of Mexico The private apartments of the Empress reflect something of this wistful anxiety, Charloite are also left untouched since and the earnest gaze of the brilliant dark her last sojourn at Miramar. A group of eyes almost contradicts the smile which miniatures, framed in pearls, rests on an plays round the sensitive mouth. A more ebony work-table; a guitar, tied with a pitiable spectacle than that of the poor faded blue ribbon lies in an open velvet distraught empress was never witnessed case; and a well-worn book of devotions by the European courts from which she remains on the back of a prie-dieu chair, implored help, when her mind at length beneath an ivory crucifix in a little oratory. gave way beneath the terrible strain of The white-and-gold walls, painted with anguish and despair.

wreaths of flowers, are draped with pale An oppressive weight of mournful mem- blue satin ; and the delicate coloring of ories broods over desolate Miramar, re. these beautiful chambers contrasts sharply

1

with the sombre grandeur which character. his own resources, and contending factions izes the greater part of the feudal castle. rendered his position absolutely untenable.

An arcaded cloister leads to the private The clouds which had so long been gatherchapel of the royal household. Shafts of ing broke at length in darkest storm, and ruby light from lancet windows pierce the in May, 1867, the climax came, when the dusky shadows of the dim interior, and brave descendant of a hundred kings was emphasize, rather than illuminate, the captured and shot by his merciless subsolemn gloom. The tarnished silver of tab-jects. ernacle and candlesticks gleams through As our little boat bears us away from the mysterious twilight, and a crimson the grand old castle, lancet and oriel stain falls across the marble altar, before gleam like jewels in the golden light of a which Maximilian so often knelt in prayer. radiant afterglow, the solemn towers throw

How great was the change from the dark shadows over the lustrous blue of the peaceful life of Miramar to the stormy sleeping sea, and the plash of oars alone reign in turbulent Mexico, whence the breaks the silence which lingers perpethearts of the imperial exiles must have ually round lonely Miramar. No memo. turned with hopeless yearning towards rial chapel or stately tomb could so their distant home, longing amid the cares adequately enshrine the unfading memory of State for the happiness lost forever of the murdered emperor as this home amid the strife and bloodshed of the new which he loved so well, wherein every Western empire !

room seems haunted by his presence or From the days of the Spanish conquest pervaded by his taste and culture. of Mexico under Cortez, the history of The stern page of contemporary history, the country has been a ceaseless record which hitherto appeared confused and of anarchy and revolution. The union of dim, is henceforth translated into a vivid Spaniard, Indian, and Negro — from reality, so deeply is every detail engraved whence the modern Mexican traces his on the mind by a visit to Miramar. Hisdescent - contains opposing elements torical characters, when of royal lineage, which have ever retarded the advance of often appear to us as a mere gallery of anything beyond a nominal civilization. portraits, fenced off by a hedge of State Indian tribes and Creole settlers increased ceremonial from that close intercourse the difficulties of government. Successive which alone can reveal the common humanrevolts reduced Mexico to a condition of ity which they share. As we wander social ruin ; and the affairs of the country through the halls of Maximilian's noble became hopelessly involved.

castle, with its wealth of pathetic memoThe president Juarez succeeded in ries, and trace the details of his daily life, divorcing Church and State, and the gov- the personality of the luckless monarch eroment annexed all ecclesiastical prop-impresses itself upon the mind in clear erty. Foreign powers took advantage of and decided outlines. We learn to appre. the situation to aid the Church party, and ciate the dauntless courage which obeyed sent forces to Mexico in order to secure the call to a life and duty which must have reparation for losses sustained by their been especia’ly distasteful to one of his own subjects who had settled in

be gentle, scholarly temperament. Conserepublic. English and Spanish claims quences could neither be foreseen nor conwere adjusted by negotiation, and their sidered. It is an inspiriting thought, that forces withdrawn. The French troops even in the nineteenth century the days of alone remained, and, after several defeats, chivalry have not quite passed away, and occupied the city of Mexico in 1863. A we can point with pride to the example of regency was formed, and it was decided to Maximilian of Mexico, who so nobly fulestablish hereditary government under a filled the motto of ancient days : “Fais ce Roman Catholic emperor. The Arch- que dois, advienne que pourra." duke Maximilian of Austria accepted the Our little boat drifts through the rocky proffered crown, but the peace which fol-channel of the lonely creek, where Miramar lowed his arrival in Mexico was of short stands on its solitary outpost at the water's duration. The troops under Juarez, the edge, and the rising moon silvers the sea deposed president, broke out into open and throws a mournful radiance over turrevolt, and their victories were followed ret and pinnacle, as we turn for a last look by the withdrawal of the French army. at the sacred monument of a lost cause Maximilian was thus thrown entirely on and a sacrificed life.

:

From Punch.
GIRLS OF THE PERIOD.

LETTER I.

LETTER JI.

a

[ocr errors]

seems to have had a life of considerable
interest. This person obtained quite a
number of diamonds, with the assistance

of a huge bird called a roc. Then he had (From Miss Mary Logic to Miss Rosa much to say about a dwarf who defeated Blackbord.)

(in really gallant style) several men of

Coached Cottage. abnormally large stature. He laughed MY DEAR ROSA,

when I had to confess that I had never I fancy I told you that my Uncle Jack heard of these people before. He gave was coming home from sea.

I had not me their names. The wife-slaughterer seen him for six years — in fact he left was called Bluebeard ; the lady who slumEngland when I was a child of four or so. bered for a hundred years the Sleeping As you know, I am now ten. I naturally Beauty (I suppose she preferred to keep was rather curious to meet him. Well he her anonymity); the traveller's name was is here, and I am fairly puzzled. He is Sindbad, and the dwarf was Jack the Giant. rather a nice fellow — partly educated. Killer. Have you heard of any of these He is distinctiy shaky with his classics, people? and has evidently forgotten half his math

Your affectionate cousin, ematics. However we got on pretty well.

MARY. He seemed to be interested in my lecture upon astronomy, and said " I seemed to be a hand at chemistry." Well so I am. As you know, when I was a mere child I (Reply to Same, from Miss Rosa was always fond of experiments of an ana

Blackbord.) lytical character. He asked me if I had

Algebra Lodge. a doll, and I suppose he referred to the MY DEAR MARY,old lay-figure that I was wont to sketch As you are many weeks my junior (to before I took to studying from the nude. be precise, exactly two months), I hasten And now you will ask, why I am writing to answer your letter. I have searched to you, when both you and I are so busy all my biographical dictionaries, but can- when we are both preparing for matric. not find the people of whom you are in ulation ? When we have so little spare search. As for myself, I have never time at our disposal ?

heard of Bluebeard, know nothing of the I will tell you.

The fact is, he accuses Sleeping Beauty, and am sceptical of the me of ignorance in the biographical sec. existence of Sindbad and Jack the Gianttion of my studies. He gave me the his- Killer. Like Mrs. Prig, who doubted the tory of a gentleman who used a blue dye existence of Mrs. Harris, “I don't believe for his moustache and murdered his wives there were no such persons.' By the with impunity. Then he related the ad- way, you ought to read Dickens. He is · ventures of a lady who slept for a hundred distinctly funny, and I can quite under. years from the wound of a spinning stand his amusing our grandmothers. I needle. I had to confess (although a con- generally turn to his works after a long stant reader of the Lancet) I had never day with Homer or Euripides. heard of the case before. Then he re

Your affectionate cousin, counted the adventures of a traveller who

ROSA.

THE theft of electricity is a new crime was actually unknown, his client could not be which the progress of science has called into convicted of stealing it. But the lawyer met existence. A case recently came before a with his match on the other side in one who certain law-court in the United States in which showed that gas was also unknown at common a man with some knowledge of electricity law, but was recognized as a thing that could caused the meter which registered the amount be stolen. In the sequel the judge took adwhich he used for illuminating purposes to vantage of a certain statute which makes record less than he had consumed. The fraud committed with a view to theft, a felony, lawyer who defended him ingeniously argued and the man who stole the electricity is there. that as electricity was an intangible some fore likely to meet with the reward of his misthing of which no one could really state the deed. exact nature, and that as at common law it

Chambers' Journa.

Fifth Series, Volume LXXIX.

}

No. 2513.- August 27, 1892.

{

From Beginning,

Vol. OXOIV.

[ocr errors]

viii.,

.

.

CONTENTS.
I. THE MIGRATIONS OF THE RACES OF MEN

CONSIDERED HISTORICALLY. By James
Bryce, .

Contemporary Review,
II. AUNT ANNE. Part VIII.,

Temple Bar,
III. STUDY IN CHARACTER. Lord Salisbury, New Review,
IV. MENTAL IMAGERY,

Fortnightly Review,
V. REMINISCENCES OF CLERICAL DUTY, Cornhill Magazine,
VI. A JOURNEY TO ENGLAND IN THE YEAR
1663,

Nineteenth Century,
VII. A RIDE IN THE GREAT SAHARA. Conclu-
sion,

Good Words, VIII. IN YOUNG PARLIAMENTARY DAYS,

Fortnightly Review, IX. THE Mafiosi,

Chambers' Journal, X. THE ULSTERMAN IN AMERICA,

Spectator,

515 528 539 545 551

.

[ocr errors]

.

.

[ocr errors]

556

.

[ocr errors][merged small]
[merged small][ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

.

[ocr errors]

POETRY.
FROM EDGEHILL TO COMPTON WYN- ASPIRATION, :
YATES,

514 THE FOLK-MOTE BY THE RIVER, “If I were Fair,"

514

514 514

MISCELLANY, .

576

PUBLISHED EVERY SATURDAY BY
LITTELL & CO., BOSTON.

TERMS OF SUBSCRIPTION. For Eight DOLLARS remitted directly to the Publishers, the Living Age will be punctually forwarded for a year, free of postage.

Remittances should be made by bank draft or check, or by post-office money-order, if possible. If neither of these can be procured, the money should be sent in a registered letter. All postmasters are obliged to register letters when requested to do so. Drafts, checks, and moncy-orders should be made payable to the order of Littell & Co.

Single copies of the LIVING AGE, 18 cents.

« VorigeDoorgaan »