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dress, my respectable appearance, and my white leathern gloves, which I still wore, seemed at length to pacify him, and with a little less threatening air he pointed out the way I was to take. Confused at the awkwardness of the adventure, I left his room without feeling able to profit by his directions. This advice-which was to keep the little ball-room on my right, and then go by the blue-room on the left-was not of much use to a poor lost fellow, who was so little used to these things as not to know where the little ball-room or the blueroom might chance to be situated. "It is just the same," thought I, “in the castle as in the street-men have not sufficient perspicacity to give plain directions to a stranger." I was even going to be angry about it; but it occurred to me that on the subject of perspicacity I had not much that day to boast of. For my consolation I now caught sight of the secretary. He took me readily under his guidance, began to chat in the most friendly manner; and at length brought me to a door, at which I remembered I had already stood twice hesitating.
"Yes! yes!" said he, when I told him so; "a man often misses the right way by over-carefulness about it;" and so he conducted me into the concert-room.
Here I began to breathe freely, under the hope that enjoyment would supersede perplexity. But the gratification of my ears was not likely to allay my thirst; and my parched tongue began to remind me, that it would be pleasant to drink first and listen afterward. Only think that in such a splendid castle no one should offer me a cup of coffee!" mused I. "How refreshing would it be, especially with such milk as the farmer's cows yield-such as my kind hostess brings to me in the honeysuckle bower!" During these cogitations, I noticed a general stir among those about me. Suddenly the prince, the princess, and some members of the royal family, appeared. I stepped a little forward, as I thought it my duty, to make a bow to the prince; but in my awkwardness I had wellnigh ran over him. "Does the man want anything?" said some of the attendants softly, yet so that I could hear it. I looked around me as if I had just awakened out of a dream. The people laughed and I returned, I knew not how, back again to my seat. "That was superlatively stupid!" thought I, rubbing my forehead, full of
anguish that I should again be such a bungler.
"Does the man want anything?" seemed to ring in my ears; but the really excellent music now began: all eyes were turned, not on me, as I feared, but on the performers. The stillness and breathless attention of the audience were contrasted by the lively expressions of delight in the vicinity of the conductor. These, with the splendid decorations of the hall, diverted my attention, and helped to soothe my mind, and made me forget this last blunder sooner than I had done my former mishaps.
But twice, as the prince seemed to be looking somewhat steadily toward the place where I sat, it occurred to me that his highness was offended at my behavior. Without considering that the prince was most probably thinking on far more important affairs-or if he thought of my strange behavior at all, his easy politeness would readily forgive it-I reviewed the whole of my conduct, and could not conceive how I had come to be so excessively awkward. "O that I could now recall the time that is past!” thought I; “I should succeed better." Greatly did I lament that I had lost many favorable opportunities; the encomium of one might have been met with such and such an ingenious return; to the remark of another, I might have given this or that appropriate reply; on more than one occasion I could have put in this or that witty repartee; and had I been ready enough to seize my opportunities, there was really no reason why my well-selected, nicely-arranged stock of ideas should have been so utterly destroyed. I was occupied with these gloomy reflections, through which, however, the prospect of a pleasant evening's chat, and supper with Kronow, came like a ray of light: I was also more or less attentive to the sound of the music, and afterward to that of the rain, which was more in unison with the farmer's wishes than with mine. All this occupation brought me to eight o'clock, and to the end of the concert. Everybody left the room, and whither everybody went I followed slowly. Unfortunately the busy secretary was nowhere to be met with; else he would probably have taken care of
The greater portion of the audience dispersed to different parts of the castle; the rest hastened away with rustling um
brellas in different directions, without taking any notice of me, until I found myself standing alone, and undecided, within the principal entrance of the castle. "Who knows how long the rain may last? Hasten, that thou mayest fall into the arms of hospitality, for thy soul yearneth for condoling friends, and thy body for meat and drink!" With this I fixed my hat securely on my head, buttoned up my coat, and ran (in a style that, perhaps, had not been seen in the castle square for many a day) in the direction of the lodge.
Was it this unusual, scandalous running, or was it that the very worst luck accompanied me to the last? I know not. Just before I had reached the lodge, an enormous dog started up, sprang at me, placed his paws on my breast, and bellowed and howled in my face with the voice of a lion. "Help! murder! help!" bawled I, as loudly as a man with sound lungs could bawl. The porter roared with laughter: this both consoled and vexed me, but I implored his assistance. Augh-the dog do n't bite!" drawled he. 'Help! help!" roared I. At length I was released, trembling in every limb. I took off my hat, partly in gratitude and partly in displeasure, and hastened forward without looking on one side or the other, as if I was fleeing from the dog. "O! it is a wearisome life at court," thought I; "and I am a poor dull simpleton, who knows not how to direct or help himself; I really think I am no longer the same man!" In the midst of such thoughts, I found that I had lost the way which the farmer's son had shown me; and saw, to my great astonishment, that I was in the midst of a lonely place bounded by a few poor huts.
I hastened to the nearest hut to ask my way; but the scene which suddenly met my eyes kept me back. Before a handsomely dressed youth, stood an elderly woman with clasped hands, her face directed upward, and her eyes overflowing with tears. "You make me mourn less for the loss of my good son who supported me," sobbed she. 66 May God bless you for what you do for me! but, dear, noble sir, are you not indeed robbing yourself? You have no parents, and your place at court must cost you much."
"Never fear, good mother," answered the young man. "What you have had, and what you may further need, can be spared from my superfluities; I make no VOL. II, No. 6.—NN
use of strong drinks," continued he, "so that the money which is allowed me for wine I can spend how I like."
"God reward you, and our good prince also, for supporting a poor woman like me!" My eyes were wet with tears, and I felt that I was myself again.
"It is well for me," thought I, "that I have been to court. The court is not to be blamed because I am unacquainted with its fashion and its state; there are good men at court; there are good men everywhere they only differ in appearance according to the station in which they move. In my own station, I think, I behave tolerably well; I am now the man that I was, and thankful am I that I have recovered my position."
In the meanwhile the young man had left the hut, and, having heard my request, politely offered to accompany me. His friendly, intelligent conversation, made the road appear very short; and before I was aware of it, and almost before I wished it, he pointed out Kronow's beloved farmyard. I pressed warmly the hand to the noble youth when he left me. I longed to embrace him; and stood gazing after him till he was out of sight.
My peaceful shelter was glowing in the soft rays of the sun, then setting amid the clouds of evening. A beautiful rainbow adorned the sky, one limb of which seemed to rest upon the farm-house. A graceful boy now hastened toward me shouting, "Quick! quick! supper is ready!" My host, waiting for me at the entrance to the farm-yard, grasped my hand firmly, and welcomed me with a look full of kindness. The cattle were lying about the house ruminating greedy ducks were crowding round a trough-and a shaggy dog came wagging his tail and whining a welcome. Within the porch I was met by the blooming wife of my friend-a smiling infant in her arms: "Welcome! welcome!" said she, "from the court to a rustic meal. Come in, it is all ready."
Joyfully did I enter the room. A large dish full of white asparagus was sending forth a pleasant steam-an inviting salmon displayed its bright red flesh—a tin, full of roast pigeons, was hissing on the wood ashes-and a flask of wine was sparkling on the table. I forgot all my vexations, and two hours afterward slept away all remembrance of them; and now I am, as always, a friend with all the world and you.
A CHAPTER ON LEGENDS.
worldly wisdom and prudence: even Jotham's fable of the trees electing a king, EGENDS are of two classes: the (Judges ix,) the oldest, we believe, ex
morals; and the historical. The latter are often exaggerated or distorted, and have much encumbered the historian's path; but there is scarcely an historical legend in which a nucleus of truth is not discovered or discoverable under its adventitious integuments. And to this class of tradition we are indebted for the preservation of many an event and many a character which now give interest to the historic page. It was the design of this species of legend to inculcate patriotism, valor, and fidelity; and herein lies the merit of heathen (especially classic) legendary lore; for, as didactics, the religious or mythic legends signally fail. Mythology is but a chain of Pagan religious legends; but how extravagant! how puerile! how shocking to morals! These legends place their gods below humanity; but the historic heathen legend endeavors to place its heroes above it. Take up Valerius Maximus, for instance-a book full of legendary anecdotes in the historical parts there is much that is noble and admirable; but look at his mythic legends, (see the chapter De Miraculis,) how childish and how aimless! And in the speaking images, who does not perceive the palpable trick of the Pagan priest, and marvel at the state of the popular mind to be so easily cheated.
But it is not of heathen legends we would speak; our business is with the didactic legends of a more truthful and better faith. In early times, when teachers had but little aid from books, they sought to instruct in the mode best suited to the understanding and the memory of their hearers, and the most likely to attract their attention; and accordingly chose the form of short narrative, of which fable seems to have been the earliest species, for this purpose. A characteristic of fable is, that the actors and speakers represented in it are of the inferior creation-animals, birds; even trees and plants. Later, to fable succeeded parable-which is of higher rank, because its personages are higher: not animals, or inanimate things, but human beings; and because the parable became, in the hands of the worshipers of the true God, a vehicle for instruction in religious faith and moral duties. The fable appears to us to aim chiefly at the maxims of
Parable, though using human personages, leaves them anonymous and indefinite, saying only, "A certain householder," "A certain king," &c.; and this is one mark of distinction between parable and its younger relative, the didactic legend, which assigns special and definite names to its dramatis persona; choosing, of course, some saint or devout person for its hero, either to give a greater appearance of reality or to invest it with more authority: nay, there can be no reason to doubt that some, at least, are founded on fact. But we think it probable that many legends were not originally intended to be believed literally, but only to be received in the same manner as parables; as true in conveying some sound axiom of faith and morals, but as figurative and imaginative with regard to the action and the actors. So we recognise and embrace the teachings in our Lord's parables; but we are not required to believe that a real vineyard was let to husbandmen, who literally and actually murdered the son of the proprietor; or that a real king made a feast, and literally sent out into the highways to bring in all the wayfarers for guests.
The oldest legends are generally the simplest and purest, as the rivulet is purest at its spring as it flows onward it gathers rubbish in its course, though still the stream often runs clear beneath. When the tide of legendary literature has rolled through a dark and corrupt age, then, of necessity, it becomes the more sullied. Of late years, since Scriptural light has been more diffused, modern pens have produced some beautiful and edifying legends, either purified from old originals, or written from ideas caught up at the ancient
Having said thus much by way of preface, we proceed to offer to the reader a few legends from among the limited number to which we have access, trusting by our selection from the grave, the earnest, and the poetically conceived, to prove the truth of what we have ventured to assert of the merits of legendary literature. The first we present is one, the conception of which we think very beautiful. Kosegarten, a Protestant divine of Mecklenburg, (who died in 1818,) has clothed it in
German blank verse, from which we translate it :
"THE AMEN OF THE STONES.
“Beda was blind with age; yet went he forth To preach the gospel message, new and joyful: Led by his guide, the gray-hair'd man sped on Through city and thro' village, still proclaiming The glorious word,' with all the fire of youth. "Once, through a valley desolate, he pass'd, Where all around huge stones and crags were scatter'd :
Thus said the boy, his guide, (but more from mirth
Than malice,) Reverend father, here are many
So heartily, that his mild, earnest tears
When, with the Lord's Prayer closing, thus he
For thine the kingdom, power, and glory is,
"The boy, affrighted and repentant, knelt
Hardens to stone, defying his Creator,
"But as they were walking on, an aged and very devout friar, whose eyes were often enlightened to see things beyond the perception of ordinary mortals, espied a cloven-foot under the monastic habit of the stranger, and immediately discovered that it was no Minorite
This is one of the class of legends never intended to be taken literally, though we must at once be struck with the truthful-brother, but an incarnate fiend of hell. The old
ness of its lesson.
man summoned up his courage and adjured him in the name of the great Creator of all things, to confess was he not a devil? why, then, had he unworthily assumed that holy habit, and come thither to preach and teach the way of salvation, to which he himself could never attain, and from which it had ever been his aim to turn away mankind! The fiend thus adjured, confessed in the presence of the brotherhood, and of some laymen who were in company, that he was in truth a devil, (then the expression of his face became too hideous to look upon, and his eyes blazed forth flames of lurid light;) he said that his desire for the perdition of men was us great as ever, and that the sermon he had preached to the people that day would be so far from turning them to the way of salvation, that, on the contrary, it would tend to their condemnation, for he had preached to them awful truths, and they had owned the force of those truths by their tears and their penitence. But those tears were dried when they left the church-door, and that penitence lasted no longer than till they found themselves at home, amid their usual occupations and pleasures, and their acknowledged, but soon stifled conviction, was but an increase of sin. At the last day,' he continued, 'I myself will appear as a wit
Here is a legend of a more solemn cast, which appears to have had its origin in Italy
"THE STRANGE PREACHER.
"It happened once in Padua, that a Minorite friar was appointed to preach the Lent Sermons in the Cathedral of St. Anthony. The subject of his discourses was, the Pains of Hell. One day, however, when in the pulpit, he found himself indisposed, and obliged to discontinue; but he promised the congregation to resume the discourse on the following morning. The morning came, and found the friar so much worse, that the physician of the convent forbade him to leave his bed; and the invalid sent for the brethren, and begged that some one of them would take his place in the pulpit, and resume the interrupted discourse; but they, each and all, excused themselves, alleging the want of time for due preparation. Our sick friar fretted exceedingly at the idea of disappointing the congregation, and was beginning to grow feverish
This is not the "Venerable Bede."
from vexation, when one of the Minorites, on recollection, observed, that a foreign brother, from France, had arrived at the convent the night before, on his way to the shrine of Our
Lady of Loretto; and that he had the appear
ance of an intellectual man; he was tall, had black eyes and beard, and high black eyebrows; The invalid sent for the stranger, told him his doubtless, he would be able to preach extempore. dilemma, and requested his good offices. After some hesitation the foreign friar consented; went to the cathedral, ascended the pulpit, and preached on the given subject-the Pains of Hell. Never before had such a sermon been heard in Padua. He showed forth, in the most glowing colors, the enormity of sin, and the danger of trampling under foot the holy commandments: but especially in describing the miseries of hell, he spoke with such a fiery and overpowering eloquence, that he seemed to set before the eyes of the astonished and terrified people, not so much a vivid picture, as an awful reality. They felt their hearts pierced, as with a sword, by his intense earnestness, and could not refrain from weeping and sobbing aloud, making mentally a thousand vows of reformation and newness of life. When the preacher descended from the pulpit, the people retired in tears, and the Minorite brethren expressed their warmest thanks to the stranger for the manner in which he had exerted his extraordinary talents, and expressed their delight at the great benefit the hearers had evidently received. Then, as he wished to take his leave of the brotherhood, and proceed on his pilgrimage, they all attended him, with proper courtesy, to the outer gate of the convent.
ness against this people, and will say to the Judge upon the throne, "O thou Mighty One! behold these men! how can they accuse me of
tempting them to sin? Have I not warned them in a voice of thunder of the consequence of sin-I, who knew it so well? have I not described to them-forcibly described-the agonies of hell? and who knows them as I do, or can paint them as I can? Have they not owned for a moment that I preached awful truths, and then turned away, dried their tears, and forgot to repent?-how shall they justify their sins by accusing me as their tempter ?"
"Thus saying, he vanished out of their sight, leaving them mute with terror and astonishment. The devout old friar was the first to speak. Wo!' he said, 'wo to those men who will not be persuaded to heaven by the mild and gracious invitations of their God, nor scared from hell by the solemn warnings with which Satan himself admonishes them.'"
This tale may have been the origin of the proverb "The devil rebukes sin." It teaches a fearful and solemn truth, of which the world has daily experience. For what preacher can so powerfully demonstrate the danger of sin, and its frightful consequences, as sin itself does, when walking through the world incarnate in human forms, in all their loathsomeness and anguish! This is one of the few legends we have seen, in which a fiend makes his appearance in an appropriate and impressive manner. In most monkish legends, the devil is introduced in a ludicrous manner, not as a mighty, implacable and tremendous power, but as blockhead buffoon, easily overreached, filling the same part as "the vice," in the ancient miracle-plays and mysteries, like the pantaloon of modern pantomime, duped and buffeted by all. Such legends must have been incalculably injurious to the popular mind in olden times, tending to place Satan in a false light, and leading men to estimate too meanly their danger from their great spiritual enemy.
As a relief from this gloomy subject, we will turn to one more gracious, a legend of St. Augustine, (the celebrated Bishop of Hippo,) referring to him in the early period of his life, before his conversion from the perverted learning and too daring researches of the Manichean heresy, in which he was entangled from A. D. 373 to 384, when struck, probably, by some such thought as is suggested in the following legend, he went to Milan, to hear the preaching of St. Ambrose, by which he was converted. It was at the baptism of his great convert, that St. Ambrose is
said to have sung that sublime hymn, commonly styled the Te Deum. The legend has been clad by Aloysius Schreiber* in a poetic garb, from which we translate it:
Along the shore of summer sea Walk'd St. Augustine thoughtfully: Too deeply did he seek to scan The nature of the Lord of man. Nor was the task abstruse, he thoughtHis mind with Scripture texts was fraught; He deem'd to his presumption given To learn the mysteries of Heaven. Then, suddenly descried he there A boy of aspect wondrous fair, Who, bending forward, o'er the strand, Scoop'd out a hollow in the sand, And fill'd it, with a limpet shell, From out the ocean's briny well.
"Augustine spake My pretty boy,
"Long after him Augustine gazed,
We proceed to a legend, in which the rash enthusiasm for the ascetic life, that was so prevalent in the fourth century, is sensibly and feelingly rebuked. We translate from the German of the poetic version by Herder :
"ONUPHRIUS IN THE WILDERNESS.
"The rose and myrtle form the lover's wreath;
For bard and hero grows the laurel bough;
• Native of the Grand Duchy of Baden.