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Zarti sheltered the flower-girl of Florence; and the repentance which had begun at the feet of Jacopo Federighi her deliverer, worked on in the heart of Zanina while she stayed in this quiet home.
Then at length, when news came of the death of the good wife, and the old man was bewailing his lonely life, Zanina came to him, and laying her hand on his, said, "She gave her life for Andrea !—for my Andrea ! -whilst I only worked sin for him. Do not hate me -do not send me away. I will be your slave; only let me live the rest of my life for you.'
* Poor child, thy repentance is indeed a bitter one,' said the old man; stay, and be as a daughter to me until I die! And Zanina stayed with him, forgotten by all others, but devoting herself with quiet self-sacrifice to the lonely old man, and looking for forgiveness from Him to Whom all sinners cry Misericordia.
TRADITIONS OF TIROL.
THE USE OF LEGENDS-AARAU-ROHRSACH-THE BODEN-SEEOBERRIET-THE RAINE-FERRY-THE RHÆTIAN ALPS-ALTENSTADTSCHATTENBURG-S. COLUMBAN-S. GALL-FELDKIRCH-BLUDENZ
THE STASE-SATTEL-THE TEUFELHAUS-VORARLBERGER-GEIST.
Aubrey de Vere.
* TRADITIONS, myths, legends ! what is the use of recording and propagating the follies and superstitions of a bygone period, which it is the boast of our modern enlightenment to have cast to the winds ?'
Such is the cry of our age. But how large is the debt we owe to legends in the building up of our present enlightenment! Is it not they which moulded and developed the poetry of Europe for sixteen centuries ? Is it not they which have preserved to us, as in a registering mirror, the manners and habits of thought of the ages which have preceded ours ? Is it not they which, appealing to the fancy, won to the grasp of Divine Truth the imagination of barbarous peoples on whom learned dissertations and logical arguments would have been poured out in vain ? * What are they,' asks an eminent Italian writer of the present day, treating of the traditions of the earliest epoch of Christianity, “but narratives woven beside the chimney, under the tent, during the halt of the caravan, embodying as in a lively picture the popular customs of the apostolic ages, the interior life of the rising (nascente) Christian society? In them we have a delightful opportunity of seeing stereotyped the great transformation and the rich source of ideas and sentiments which the new belief opened up, to illuminate the common people in their huts no less than the patricians in their palaces. Those even who do not please to believe the facts they expose, are afforded a genuine view of the habits of life, the manner of speaking and behaving—all that expresses and paints the erudition, of those men and of those times. Thus it may
be affirmed they comment beautifully on the Gospels, and in the midst of fables is grafted a great abundance of truth.
If we would investigate the cause of their multiplication, and of the favour with which they were received from the earliest times, we shall find it to consist chiefly in the need and love of the marvellous which governed the new society, notwithstanding the severity of its dogmas. Neophites snatched from the superstitions of paganism would not have been able all at once to suppress every inclination for poetical fables. They needed another food according to their fancy. And indeed were they not great marvels (though of another order to those to which they were accustomed) which were narrated to them ? The aggregate mass was, however, increased by the way in which they lived and the scarcity of communication ; every uncertain rumour was thus readily dressed up in the form of a wonderful fact.
'Again, dogmatic and historical teaching continued long to be oral; so that when an apostle, or the apostle of an apostle, arrived in any city and chained the interest of the faithful with a narration of the acts of Jesus he had himself witnessed or received from the personal narrative of witnesses, his words ran along from mouth to mouth, and each repeater added something, suggested by his faith or by his heart. In this way his teaching constituted itself into a legend, which in the end was no longer the narrative of one, but the expression of the faith of all.
• Thus whoever looks at legends only as isolated productions of a period most worthy of study, without attending to the influence they exercised on later epochs, must even so hold them in account as literary monuments of great moment."
Nor is this the case only with the earliest legends. The popular mind in all ages has evinced a necessity for filling up all blanks in the histories of its heroes. The probable, and even the merely possible, is idealized ;
what might have been is reckoned to have happened ; the logical deductions as to what a favourite saint or cobbold ought to have done, according to certain fixed principles of action previously ascribed to his nature, are taken to be the very acts he did perform ; and thus, even those traditions which are the most transparently human in their origin, may serve to show us reflected in action the virtues and perfections which it is the glory of the Christian religion to inculcate.
Among those who thus appreciate the use of legends it is a matter of regret that their influence flags in the times under their observation. They sigh to have the opportunity of seeing them at home in their contemporary life, and trace every record of it with as much interest as the cutting through a series of geological strata, or the unearthing of a buried city.
For such there is a special pleasure in visiting those peoples who yet retain some remnants of the veneration of their forerunners for popular traditions.
Europe possesses in Tirol one little country at least in whose mountain fastnesses a store of these lies enshrined, and where we may yet see it in request. Primitive and unsophisticated tillers of the soil, accustomed to watch as a yearly miracle the welling up of its fruits, and to depend for their hopes of subsistence on the sun and rain in the hand of their Creator, its children have not yet acquired the independence of thought and the habit of referring all events to natural causes, which is generated by those industries of production to which the human agent appears to be all in all.
My first acquaintance with Tirol was made at Feldkirch, where I had to pay somewhat dearly for my love of the picturesque and the primitive. Our plan for the autumn was to join a party of friends from Italy at Innsbruck, spend some months of long-promised enjoyment in exploring Tirol, and return together to winter in Rome. The arrangements of the journey had been left to me, and as I delight in getting beyond railways and travelling in a conveyance whose pace and hours are more under one's own control, I traced our route through France to Bâle, and then on by way of Zurich, Rohrsach, Feldkirch, Bludenz, and Landeck.
Our start was in the most genial of August weather, our party not only harmonious, but humorously inclined ; all our stages were full of interest and pleasure, and their memory glances at me reproachfully as I pass them over in rigid obedience to the duty of adhering to my programme. But no, I must devote a word of gratitude to the friendly Swiss people, and their kindly hospitable manners on all occasions. The pretty bathing establishments on the lakes, where the little girls go in on their way to school, and swim about as elegantly as if the water was their natural element; the wonderful roofs of Aarau ; its late-flowering pomegranates; and the clear delicious water, tumbling along its narrow VOL. 7.
bed down the centre of all the streets, where we stop to taste of the crystal brook, using the hollow of our hands, pilgrim fashion, and the kind people more than once come out of their houses to offer us glasses and chairs !
I must bestow, too, another line of record on the charming village of Rohrsach, the little colony of Catholics in the midst of a Protestant canton. Its delicious situation on the Boden-see; our row over the lake by moonlight, where we are nearly run down by one of the swift steamers perpetually crossing it in all directions, while our old boatman pours out and loses himself in the mazes of his legendary lore; the strange effect of interlacing moonbeams, crossed by golden rays from the sanct lamps with Turner-like effect, seen through the open grated door of the church; the grotesque draped skeletons supporting the roof of one of the chapels, Cariatide fashion ; the rustic procession on the early morning of the Assumption.
And now I will shut my eyes on all intervening visions, and come to our actual contact with Tirol. We were to emancipate ourselves from railways at Oberriet. At Feldkirch I knew there was a regular Diligence service to Innsbruck, and as the distance between Oberriet and Feldkirch did not seem more than a few miles, apprehended no difficulty in the trajet.
My first misgiving came when I saw the factotum of the Oberriet station eye our luggage, the provision of four English winterers in Rome, and a look of embarrassed astonishment dilate his stolid German counte
It was evident that when he engaged himself as ticket-clerk, porter, and everyting,' he never contemplated such a pile of boxes being ever deposited at his station. We left him wrapt in his earnest gaze, and walked on to see what help we could get in the village. It was a collection of a half-dozen cottages, picturesque in their utter uncivilization, clustered round an inn of some pretensions. The host had apparently heard of the depth of English purses, and was delighted to make his premières armes in testing their capacity. Of course there was no arguing with the master of' the only horses to whose assistance we had to look for carrying us beyond the mountains, which now somehow struck us as much more plainly marked on the map than we had noticed before. His price had to be ours, and his statement of the distance, about double the actuality, had to be accepted also. His stud was soon displayed before us. Three rather tired greys were brought in from the field, and made fast (or rather loose) with ropes to a waggon, on which our formidable Gepack was piled, and took their start with funeral solemnity. An hour later a parcel of boys had succeeded in capturing a wild colt destined to assist his venerable parent in transporting ourselves in a 'shay,' which might have served as a model for John Gilpin's, and to which we managed to hang on with some difficulty, the wild-looking driver goodnaturedly volunteering to run by the side.
Off we started with the inevitable thunder of German whip-cracking
and German imprecations on the cattle, suflicient for the first twenty paces to astonish the colt into propriety. No sooner had we reached the village boundary, however, than he seemed to guess for the first time that he bad been entrapped into bondage. With refreshing juvenile buoyancy he instantly determined to show us his indomitable spirit. Resisting all efforts of his companion in harness to proceed, he suddenly made such desperate assault and battery with his hind legs, that one or two of the ropes were quickly snapped, the driver sent sprawling in the ditch on one side, and the travelling bags on the other; so that, but for the staid demeanour of the old mare, we should probably in two minutes more have been ‘nowhere.' Hans was on his feet again in an instant, like the balanced mannikins of a bull-fight, and to knot the ropes and make a fresh start required only a minute more ; but another and another exhibition of the colt's pranks decided us to trust to our own powers of locomotion.
A bare-footed, short-petticoated wench, who astonished us by proving that her rough hands could earn her livelihood at delicate ‘Swiss' em. broidery, and still more by details of the small remuneration that contented her, volunteered to pilot us through the woods; and finding our luggage van waiting on the banks of the Rhine. for the return of the ferry, walked by its side for the rest of the distance.
Our road lay right across a basin of pasture enclosed by a magnificent circuit of mountains ; behind us the distant eminences of Appenzell, before us the great Rhætian Alps, and at their base a number of smiling villages each with its green spire scarcely detaching from the verdant slopes behind. The undertaking, pleasant and bright at first, grew weary and anxious as the sun descended, and the mountains of Appenzell began to throw their long shadow over the lowland we were traversing, and yet the end was not reached. At last the strains of an organ burst upon our ears, lights from latticed windows diapered our path, and a train of worshippers poured past us to join in the melodies of the Church, sufficiently large to argue that our stopping-place was attained. We cast about to find the Gasthof zum Post to which we were bound, but all in vain, there was no rest for us.
Here, indeed, Feldkirch fuit, but here it was no more. In the year 909, the Counts of Montfort built themselves a castle on the neighbouring height of Schattenburg, (so called because the higher eminences around shade it from the sun till late in the morning,) and lured away the people from this pristine Feldkirch to settle themselves round the foot of their fortress. Some of the original inhabitants still clung to the old place, and its old Church of St. Peter, that very church whose earlier foundations some say were laid by monks from Britain, S. Columban and S. Gall, who, when the people were oppressed by their Frankish masters, came and lived among them, and by their preaching and their prayers rekindled the light of religion, and worked out at the same time their political relief; the former, to find his way, shedding blessings as he went, on to