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subjects, he was engaged in a prophetic Lord Tennyson's exquisite narrative is relation of the events which were to hap- founded, as is well known, upon authentic pen in ages yet to come. In the Welsh traditions, some of which have midst of his predictions, he rose slowly come down to us in their original form, from his seat, advanced with a solemn, and were familiar, in translations, to the measured, and majestic tread to the shore romancers and poets of the Middle Ages. of the lake, and walked forward com- An old English ballad tells how Sire Lukyn posedly on its unyielding surface. When (who answers to the bold Sir Bevidere''), he had nearly reached the centre he paused after having thrown Excalibur into the for a moment, then, turning slowly round, rivere,” and seen it caught and flour. looked toward his friends, and, waving his ished by a hande and an arme''arms to them with the cheerful air of one
Then hasten'a backe to tell the kinge, who takes a short farewell, disappeared But he was gone from under the tree ; from their view.” The O'Donoghue had But to what place he cold not tell, departed to the Tir-n 'an Oge, that en
For never after hee did him spye ;
But hee sawe a barge goe from the land, chanted land of perpetual youth so well
And hee heard ladyes howle and crye. described by Mr. W. B. Yeats in his
And whether the kinge were there or not, charıning little collection of the "
Fairy Hee never knewe, nor ever colde ; and Folk Tales of the Irish Peasantry. For from that sad and direfulle day,
Hee never more was seen on molde. Every May-day morning he revisits the earth, but is seldom seen ; when he is, it The Welsh, as Holingshed tells us, “be. is a sign of good luck in general, and plen- lieved that King Arthur was not dead, but tiful harvests in particular. He appears conveied awaie by the Fairies into some under different circumstances, and in va- pleasant place, where he should remaine rious guise.
Once, at sunrise, the eastern for a time, and then returne againe, and waters of the lake were suddenly agi- reign in as great authority as ever. The tated, though the rest of the surface re- same tradition prevailed in Brittany, as mained smooth and unbroken. A great we learn from a chronicle printed at Antwave rushed foaming to the opposite werp in 1493 : The Bretons supposen shore, followed by the O'Donoghue, in that he shall come yet, and conquer all full armor, with white plume and flowing Bretaigne ; for certes this is the prophicye scarf of light blue, and mounted upon a of Merlin. He sayd that his deth shall be milk-white horse. He was accompanied doubteous; and sayd soth, for men thereby a vast concourse of youths and maid- of yet have doubte, and shullen forererens, bound together with wreaths of spring more, for men wyt not wether that he flowers, and moving to the sound of de- lyveth or is ded." The Breton tradition lightful music. The whole band passed is, that the “ island valley of Avilion," or over the surface of the lake, and finally Avalon, or Agalon, is to the north-west of disappeared in the mist. The periodical Brittany. The Britons held it to be a valley visits of the O'Donoghue are generally ac- near Glastonbury, where the tomb of Arcompanied by some act of beneficence, thur used to be shown. The chivalric robut he has not, so far as I know, any mancers related that King Arthur was great destiny to fulfil in the future. sleeping in the enchanted palace of his
Passing to the kindred Celtic race in- sister, the Fata Morgana, which might be habiting Wales, Cornwall, and Brittany, seen, on clear days, in the straits of Meswe find the same tradition. King Arthur, sina, opposite Reggio. The Cornish beas everybody knows, did not perish in lieve that the soul of the king has migrated " that last weird battle in the west, ” when either into a chough, in which form he he slew his treacherous nephew, Mordred, sometimes hovers about the ruins of Tioby whom he was sorely wounded, but was tagel, where once he held his court; or carried away by the three weeping queens else in that of a raven, in which form he in their barge
must remain until his secɔnd coming, or, To the island valley of Avilion ; as some say, until the day of judgment. Where falls not hail, or rain, nor any snow Hence the Cornishmen are unwilling to Nor ever wind blows loudly, but it lies
kill a raven.
The Cornish tradition bears Deep mendow'd, happy, fair with orchard the marks of extreme antiquity, and was
lawns, And bowery hollows crowned with summer probably applied to heroes of a date many
ages anterior to that of King Arthur. For the introduction of the raven, compare the lest they should be overwhelmed in an apBarbarossa legend, but the circumstances proaching snowstorm, disappeared into are so dissimilar that the mention of the the fountain. His followers remained for same bird in both legends is probably a a while stupefied with amazement and mere coincidence.
grief ; then, regardless of their king's The Franks, according to one account, warning, they tarried yet longer to refresh believed that Charlemagne was not dead, themselves with food and sleep. Then a but that he slept within a vault of the furious wind arose, driving before it sheets cathedral at Aix-la-Chapelle, in the midst of snow, and the followers of Kai-Khosrau of priceless treasures, clad in robes of were discovered, some time after, frozen State, and with the Imperial diadem on stiff and dead.* his head.
The account given in the Talmud of the In like manner, the Danish national translation of Enoch appears to be a comhero, Olger Danske, is said to be yet alive, pound of the Persian legend of Kai-Khosand to be sleeping within an enchanted rau and the Biblical account of the ascencastle, where he will sleep on until the sion of Elijah. Probably the former elehour of Denmark's sore need, when he ment was acquired during the captivity, a will rise and vanquish all her enemies. period which so greatly influenced TalAt the battle of Copenhagen, in 1801, it mudic and Cabbalistic lore. was said that Olger was seen in the Dan- According to the Rabbis, Enoch reigned ish fleet, fighting valiantly against the with justice and righteousness for 353 English.
years in unbroken peace. In the 253rd We find the same tradition flourishing year of his reign Adam died, and about among Eastern nations.
The Persian this time Enoch felt come over him a great chroniclers tell how Jima or Yima, who longing for a life of seclusion and meditahas been identified by Eugene Burnouf tion. He did not all at once abandon his with the Jemshid of the Shah-Namieh, active duties, but gradually withdrew himfell, after a reign of great glory and mag- self more and more, until he only appeared nificence, by reason of his presuming, like before his people once a year. He now Herod, to arrogate to himself divine power became so holy that the people feared to and majesty. According to Firdausi, he approach him, though they listened gladly was deposed by Zohák, captured, and sawn to his teaching : and, when he had taught asunder. According to the earlier tra- them fully concerning the ways of the ditions of the Avesta, Jima does not die, Lord, an angel called to him and said : but, when evil and misery begin to prevail“Enoch, ascend to heaven, and reign on earth, retires to a smaller space, a kind over the children of God in heaven, as of garden of Eden, where he continues thou hast reigned over the children of God his happy life with those who remain true on earth."
Then Enoch called together
the people, and told them what had beKhai-Khosrau, another Persian mon- fallen him ; but, before quitting them, he arcb, becoming, like the Emperor Charles made them repeat the lessons he had taught V., weary of the vanity of empire, and them. Then he mounted his horse and the sinfulness of mankind, determined to departed on a seven days' journey, on each derote himself to a religious life. Despite day taking leave of as many of his followthe remonstrances of his nobles, he made ers as he could induce to return ; but some a sumptuous feast in the desert, which still clung to him. Now, on the seventh lasted for seven days, distributed liberal day, Enoch was carried up to heaven by a gifts among all the poor of his realm, ap- chariot and horses of fire, in the midst of pointed his successor, and took leave of a whirlwind : but such of his followers as his chieftains and counsellors. He then had remained with him to the last never proceeded to a fountain in the desert, ac- returned ; and, when people went to seek companied by a large band of warriors for them, they found their bodies buried who still refused to leave him. Kai- beneath masses of ice and snow. Khosrau now bade his remaining followers The legends of Kai-Khosrau and Enoch farewell, and bidding them hasten away, say nothing of the future return of these
heroes ; but it will be remeinbered that Spiegel, v. Professor Max Müller's Science of Linguage, ii. 568, n.
* Firdausi, Shah-Nameb.
to him.' *
the Jews firmly believed that, before the alent among less civilized nations than the coming of the Messiah, “ Elias must first foregoing. Among these more barbarous come, to restore all things, a prophecy races, the vanished hero is generally a which they understood in its literal sense. national deity, or deified hero, often the
The disappearance of Kai-Khosrau, culture-deity. Thus, the Aztec tradition Enoch and Elijah remind us of the apo. is that Quetzatcoatl, their culture-deity, theosis of Romulus, who, according to described as a white man with a beard, Roman tradition, was holding an assembly came to them across the sea from the East. in the Campus Martius, when he was car- He dwelt among them for several years, ried up to heaven in a sudden storm, there instructing them in laws, religion, and the to become the god Quirinus.* His story arts; then he sailed away again into the forms a connecting link between the pure- East, in a boat covered with serpents' ly heroic myths we have hitherto been skin. Before his departure, however, he examining, and the myths of those men promised to come again, and reign over and women, who, like Hercules, Minos, Anahuac in peace and prosperity. The Rhadamanthus, Æacus, Ino, and many expectation on the part of the Aztecs that others among the Greeks, recruit the pan- Quetzatcoatl would return, proved of matheons of most pagan nations by their terial service to the Spaniards upon their apotheosis at or after death.
first arrival in Mexico, for the natives, While speaking of Greek traditions, it until they were miserably undeceived, may not be superfluous to refer to the took Cortes for their beneficent god, reprophecy in the Odyssey that Menelaus turned according to his promise. Many should not die, but should be sent by the attempts have been made to give a basis immortals“ to the Elysian plain, and the of historic truth to this myth, and to deends of the earth ... where the means rive it from some former discovery of of life come most easily to men ; there is Mexico by Europeans. These early voyno snow, or violent storm, or ever any agers have been variously supposed to have rain ;"' but a clear west wind is always been Norsemen, Irish or Welsh ; the trablowing from the ocean.
dition of the Welsh prince Madoc's visit to Among the nations of the East, the Mexico is well known. A recent writer in myth often takes a different form, the the Gentleman's Magazine has attempted, hero being destined to return, not in his with much ingenuity, to identify Quetzatoriginal shape, but in a fresh avatar. coatl with the Irish St. Brendan, or BranHerein we may discern the Oriental mystic don, whom he supposes to have visited and theosophic tendency, and the belief Anahuac, preached the Christian religiou, in metempsychosis, which has prevailed and returned to Ireland, promising to time out of mind in the East. The Brah
come back again some day. St. Brandon mins state that Vishnu has already passed is generally supposed to have set sail from through nine avatars, namely, as a fish, a Ireland, in search of Hy-Brasail, the Isltortoise, a boar, a man-lion, a dwarf, the and of the Blest, and never to have been elder and younger Rama, Krishna, and heard of again. The writer in question Buddha. His tenth avatar, as Kalki, will deems this last voyage to have been an atbe the last. He will then combat, and for- tempt of the Saint to fulfil the promise he ever destroy, all evil and unrighteousness, made on quitting Mexico. The Conquisand establish a reign of peace that shall tadores supposed Quetzatcoatl to have been never end.
a Christian missionary, some believing According to the Avesta, Zoroaster is to him to have been St. Thomas ; others, return, at intervals of long ages, in the I believe, St. Bartholomew. Of course form of three prophets, to be miraculously the myth has received a solar interpretaborn from his seed of so many virgins. tion-cela va sans dire--and certainly this The third of these prophets, the Sosiosch, explanation seems probable. It is true that is to appear at the end of the last age of the sun is not in the habit of returning the world, to vanquish Ahriman and the into the east, whence he came, but the Diwe, to banish all unrighteousness, and solar mythologists-and, indeed, other to establish a new heaven and a new earth. mythologists, too-would appear to have The like myth is not less generally prev. studied the Procrustes myth with con
siderable advantage. Besides, we rarely Livy, book i. + Odyssey, iv. 562 et seq. find a myth wholly consistent in all its parts. The case of those who support the and peace, all Nature mourns." The Alhistorical interpretation is rather weakened gonquins believe that he sits in a great by the fact that the Peruvians also have a wigwam, making a vast store of arrows tradition that certain white-bearded men against the day when he shall come forth brought civilization from the East. Now, to destroy all the world. Then will there it is highly improbable that, before the be a great battle between him and the arrival of the Spaniards, any European powers of evil, in which he will conquer ; had over crossed the American continent, this world will be brought to a violent end, while it may be very plausibly argued and then come the happy hunting grounds, that the bright sun-god would naturally be which will last forever.* This part of termed a white man. The beard, in each the tradition may have its germ in the case, may either represent the sun's rays, Christian account of the last judgment, by a common metaphor, or may simply but, as Mr. Leland correctly points out, be an addition posterior to the arrival of the Algonquin fable much more strongly the Spaniards, in order to make the story resembles the Norse prophecies of Ragnamore symmetrical. Such things do occur rôk. Mr. Leland, indeed, is inclined to in barbarous myth, as well as in civilized derive the myth from Norse sources. gossip.
Such an origin is possible, but it is also In the more northern part of the Amer- quite possible that it was independently ican continent, it is said that Glooskap, the evolved by the Indian mind. Both the chief divinity of the Algonquin tribes of Norse and Algonquin accounts of the end Maine and New Brunswick, was mirac- of the world are very similar to that conulously born“ in the land of the Waba- tained in the Avesta. nahi, which is next to suprise.” Thence The Hurons had a similar story conhe came to America in a stone canoe (or cerning the disappearance of their culturefloating island), and created men and ani- deity, Hiawatha, who corresponds to the mals, or—and here appears the customary Glooskap of the Algonquin mythology. inconsistency of myth-- dispelled the Returning to Europe, we discern a rephysical and mental darkness which pre- markable similarity between the Glooskap vailed before his arrival. This darkness myth, and that of Waïnämoïnen, the culmust have been very dense, for an Indian ture-deity of Finland, and hero of the pathetically relates, “ it was so dark that Finnish national epic, “ The Kalevala." they could not even see to slay their ene- Waïnämoïnen, like Glooskap, was born in mies ;” a state of things almost as bad as a miraculous manner, and, upon his landthat prevailing in Chaos, when, if we may ing in Finland, taught men agriculture and believe Hans Sachs, it was so dark that the social arts. În the course of a long the very cats would run up against each life, Waïnämoïnen travelled and fought, other. Glooskap taught men to hunt and made love, and war, and poetry, practised fish, to build huts, canoes and weirs, and magic, and visited Hades, all after the apto make nets and weapons. He also taught proved fashion of the barbarous, or semithem the names of plants and animals, and barbarous, hero. At length, however, the which were fit for the use of man, and the child Christ was born, of whose birth naines of the stars. He rid the country
"The Kalevala" gives the following cuof monsters and cannibals which infested rious account : The maid Marjatta, it; he constructed roads and bridges. pure as the dew is, as holy as the stars But men and beasts alike proved ungrate. are, that live without stain, was feeding ful, and Glooskap, unable longer to endure her flocks, and listening to "the golden their increasing wickedness, made a great cuckoo," wben a berry fell into her feast, to which all the animals came. He bosom.t She conceived and bore then got into his canoe, and went away, child, who, with his mother, was despised singing the while ; and, when his voice and rejected, and thrust into a stable. had died quite away, the beasts found Waïnämoïnen foreseeing in his advent the that they could no longer understand each other as before, and dispersed, and have never since met in council. And "until * Leland, Algonquin Legends. the day when Glooskap shall return to re
+ The Aztec war.god Huitzilopotchli was
conceived of a floating ball of humming-bird's store the golden age, and make men and
feathers, which his mother placed in her aniipals dwell once more together in anity busom.
downfall of paganism, advised that he was put to death.*
In modern history should be slain. The child rebuked him,
The child rebuked him, Lambert Simnel and Perkin Warbeck are whereupon he built a magic bark, by the familiar examples, the former of whom asspell of his song, and floated out to sea, serted that he was the young Earl of War
“ Times go by, and suns shall wick, escaped from the Tower, and the rise and set, and then shall men have need latter passed himself off as the Duke of of me, and shall look for the promise of York, who had been murdered in the my coming, that I may make a new sam- Tower by Richard III. po, * and a new harp, and bring back sun- The ready acceptance, however, which light and moonshine, and the joy that is these impostors have met with may, perbanished from the world.”
haps, be also partly accounted for by the Hitherto we have been dealing with favor which the multitude is ever ready to mythical or serni-mythical heroes, or, at show to any one who will promise, reany rate, with characters about whose gardless of the laws of political economy, names a considerable accretion of myth that, under his régime, there shall be has gathered. But even when we come seven halfpenny loaves sold for: a penmore indisputably within the domain of ny," and that is the three-hooped pot history, we constantly find that, when the shall have ten hoops.” end of an exalted personage has been at- Far into the present century, even, such tended by some mystery, a rumor has been beliefs have held their ground. Long after disseminated, and obtained a wide cre- Bonaparte had been dead and buried, and dence, that he is not yet dead, and that his heart, to use Sir Lucius O'Trigger's his return may yet be looked for.
expression, “pickled, and sent home, ” Thus, the Saxons believed that Harold the veterans of the grande armée continued was not really slain at Hastings, although to believe that their Emperor was still his body was identified upon the field of alive, and would return some day to lead battle, but that he had been wounded and on the French eagles again to victory. secretly carried off by some monks. Some This superstition gave occasion to a heartsaid that he took monastic vows ; but a less practical joke, with the account of story prevailed that he fought in the Eng- which we will close this, by no means exlish or Anglo-Norman ranks at the battle haustive, study of a very interesting subof Tenchebraye, in a suit of black armor, ject. There was quartered in a provincial and, by his prowess, materially contributed town of France a veteran of the old Guard, to the victory of Henry I. over his broth- who was firmly convinced of the future er, Duke Robert.
coming of the Emperor, ard would desLike rumors prevailed concerning King cant upon this topic at a café he used to Sebastian, of Portugal, who was slain in frequent, at such a length as alternately to Africa, in battle with the Moors, and amuse and bore a party of young men James IV. of Scotland, who fell at Flod- whom he used to meet there, and who den.
would often draw the old man out. Onc The existence of these and the like ru- day it became known to them that a cermors partly accounts for the ready cre- tain relative of Napoleon, who bore a dence which has always been accorded to striking resemblance to him, would enter pretenders, who assume the name of some the town that night, in command of a de. dead king or prince. The name of these tachment of troops. Seeing an opporimpostors is legion ; but, as the subject tunity of indulging in a joke at the old hardly comes within the scope of the pres- man's expense, they told him, as a great ent paper, it will suffice to instance, in
secret, that his hopes were about to be ancient history, the pseudo-Nero, a freed- realized, and that, if he desired to witness man, whose personal resemblance to Nero, the Emperor's return, he should get himand skill in playing on the barp, convinced self placed on duty that night at the gate many persons that he was that monarch, of the town. The veteran did so, and, paland attracted a large following until he pitating with joy and expectancy, awaited
the appointed hour. It came, the sound
of drums approached, the troops entered * A mill for corn one day, for salt the next, for money the next.
the place, and, at their head, rode one, + See A. Lang, " The Kalevala" in Custom and Myth.
* Tacitus, History, ii. 8.