« 이전계속 »
something mortal or supernatural, is always his love for her was one of the gentlest wills the more terrible in proportion as it is complete. he had ; and the sweet and unaffected face In the pictures of the temptations of saints which she always turned upon his anger, might and hermits, where the holy person is sur- have been a thing more easy for him to trespass rounded, teazed, and enticed, with devils and upon while living, than to forget, when dead and fantastic shapes, the most shocking phantasm is gone. His very anger towards her, compared that of the beautiful woman. To return also to with that towards others, was a relief to him. the poem above-mentioned. The most appalling It was rather a wish to refresh himself in the personage in Mr. Coleridge's Ancient Mariner balmy feeling of her patience, than to make is the Spectre-woman, who is called Life-in- her unhappy herself, or to punish her, as some Death. He renders the most hideous abstrac-would have done, for that virtuous contrast to tion more terrible than it could otherwise have his own vice. been, by embodying it in its own reverse. But whether he bethought himself, after her “ Death” not only “ lives” in it; but the “un- death, that this was a very selfish mode of utterable” becomes uttered. To see such an loving; or whether as some thought, he had unearthly passage end in such earthliness, wearied out her life with habits so contrary to seems to turn common-place itself into a sort her own ; or whether, as others reported, he of spectral doubt. The Mariner, after describ- had put it to a fatal risk by some dly piece ing the horrible calm, and the rotting sea in of self-will, in consequence of which she had which the ship was stuck, is speaking of a caught a fever on the cold river during a night strange sail which he descried in the distance : of festivity ; he surprised ever those who The western wave was all a-flame,
thought that he loved her, by the extreme The day was well-nigh done!
bitterness of his grief. The very mention of Almost upon the western wave
festivity, though he was patient for the first Rested the broad bright sun;
day or two, afterwards threw him into a pas. When that strange ship drove suddenly
sion of rage ; but by degrees even his rage Betwixt us and the sun.
followed his other old habits. He was gentle, And straight the sun was flecked with bars
but ever silent. He ate and drank but suffi(Heaven's Mother send us grace!)
cient to keep hiin alive ; and used to spend the As if through a dungeon-grate he peer'd, With broad and burning face.
greater part of the day in the spot where his
wife was buried. Alas! (thought I, and my heart beat loud)
He was going there one evening, in a very How fast she neers and neers!
melancholy manner, with his eyes turned Are those her sails that glance in the sun Like restless gossameres ?
towards the earth, and had just entered the
rails of the burial-ground, when he was acAre those her ribs, through which the sun
costed by the mild voice of somebody coming Did peer as through a grate? And is that Woman all her crew?
to meet him. “ It is a blessed evening, Sir," Is that a death? and are there two ?
said the voice. The gentleman looked up. Is Death that Woman's mate?
Nobody but himself was allowed to be in the Her lips were red, her looks were free,
place at that hour; and yet he saw, with asHer locks were yellow as gold,
tonishment, a young chorister approaching Her skin was as white as leprosy,
him. He was going to express some wonder, The Night-Mare Life-in-Death was she,
when, he said, the modest though assured look Who thicks man's blood with cold.
of the boy, and the extreme beauty of his But we must come to Mr. Coleridge's story countenance, which glowed in the setting sun with our subtlest imaginations upon us. Now before him, made an irresistible addition to let us put our knees a little nearer the fire, the singular sweetness of his voice; and he and tell a homelier one about Life in Death. asked him with an involuntary calmness, and The groundwork of it is in Sandys' Commen- a gesture of respect, not what he did there, but tary upon Ovid, and quoted from Sabinus*. what he wished. “Only to wish you all good
A gentleman of Bavaria, of a noble family, things," answered the stranger, who had now was so afflicted at the death of his wife, that come up, “ and to give you this letter.” The unable to bear the company of any other per- gentleman took the letter, and saw upon it, son, he gave himself up to a solitary way of with a beating yet scarcely bewildered heart, living. This was the more remarkable in him, the handwriting of his wife. lle raised liis as he had been a man of jovial habits, fond of eyes again to speak to the boy, but he was his wine and visitors, and impatient of having gone. He cast them far and near round the his numerous indulgences contradicted. But place, but there were no traces of a passenger. in the same temper perhaps might be found He then opened the letter; and by the divine the cause of his sorrow; for though he would light of the setting sun, read these words : be impatient with his wife, as with others, yet
my dear husband, who sorrows for his # The Saxon Latin poet, we presume, professor of belleslettres at Frankfort. We know nothing of him except from a biographical dictionary.
“Otto, my husband, the soul you regret so
is returned. You will know the truth of this, before, and his wife returned to her houseand be prepared with calmness to see it, by hold affairs. It was only remarked that she the divineness of the messenger, who has always looked pale and pensive. But she passed you. You will find me sitting in the was more kind to all, even than before ; and public walk, praying for you ; praying, that her pensiveness seemed rather the result of you may never more give way to those gusts some great internal thought, than of unhappiof passion, and those curses against others, which divided us.
For a year or two, the Bavarian retained the “ This, with a warm hand, from the living better temper which he acquired. His forBertha."
tunes flourished beyond his earliest ambi
tion ; the most amiable as well as noble Otto (for such, it seems, was the gentleman's persons of the district were frequent visitors; name) went instantly, calmly, quickly, yet with and people said, that to be at Otto's house, a sort of benumbed being, to the public walk. must be the next thing to being in heaven. He felt, but with only a half-consciousness, as But by degrees his self-will returned with his if he glided without a body. But all his spirit prosperity. He never vented impatience on was awake, eager, intensely conscious. It his wife; but he again began to show, that the seemed to him as if there had been but two disquietude it gave her to see it vented on things in the world-Life and Death ; and others, was a secondary thing, in his mind, to that Death was dead. All else appeared to the indulgence of it. Whether it was, that have been a dream. Ille had awaked from a his grief for her loss had been rather remorse waking state, and found himself all eye, and than affection, so he held himself secure if he spirit, and locomotion. He said to himself, treated her well ; or whether he was at all once, as he went : “ This is not a dream. I
times rather proud of her, than fond; or will ask my great ancestors to-morrow to my whatever was the cause which again set his new bridal feast, for they are alive.” Otto antipathies above his sympathies, certain it had been calm at first, but something of old was, that his old habits returned upon him ; and triumphant feelings seemed again to come not so often indeed, but with greater violence over him. Was he again too proud and con- and pride when they did. These were the fident! Did his earthly humours prevail only times, at which his wife was observed to again, when he thought them least upon him? show any ordinary symptoms of uneasiness. We shall see.
At length, one day, some strong rebuff which The Bavarian arrived at the public walk. he had received from an alienated neighbour It was full of people with their wives and threw him into such a transport of rage, that children, enjoying the beauty of the evening. he gave way to the most bitter imprecations, Something like common fear came over him, crying with a loud voice—“This treatment to as he went in and out among them, looking at me too! To me! To me, who if the world the benches on each side. It happened that knew all ”- At these words, his wife, who there was only one person, a lady, sitting upon had in vain laid her hand upon his, and looked them. She had her veil down ; and his being him with dreary earnestness in the face, sudanderwent a fierce but short convulsion as he denly glided from the room. Ile and two or went near her. Something had a little baffled three who were present, were struck with a the calmer inspiration of the angel that had | dumb horror. They said, she did not walk accosted him : for fear prevailed at the in-out, nor vanish suddenly ; but glided, as one stant, and Otto passed on. He returned before who could dispense with the use of feet. he had reached the end of the walk, and ap- After a moment's pause, the others proposed proached the lady again. She was still sitting to him to follow her. lle made a movement in the same quiet posture, only he thought she of despair ; but they went. There was a short looked at him. Again he passed her. On his passage, which turned to the right into her fasecond return, a grave and sweet courage came vourite room. They knocked at the door twice upon him, and in an under but firm tone of in- or three times, and received no answer. At quiry, he said “Bertha ?”—“I thought you last, one of them gently opened it ; and looking bad forgotten me," said that well-known and in, they saw her, as they thought, standing mellow voice, which he had seemed as far from before a fire, which was the only light in the ever hearing again as earth is from heaven.
Yet she stood so far from it, as rather le took her hand, which grasped his in turn; to be in the middle of the room; only the and they walked home in silence together, face was towards the fire, and she seemed the arm, which was wound within his, giving looking upon it. They addressed her, but rewarmth for warinth.
They stepped gently The neighbours seemed to have a miracu- towards her, and still received none. The lous want of wonder at the lady's re-appear- figure stooa dumb and unmoved. At last, one
Something was said about a mock- of them went round in front, and instantly fell funeral, and her having withdrawn from his on the floor. The figure was without body. company for awhile; but visitors came A hollow hood was left instead of a face.
The clothes were standing upright by them- must put something heavier in our remarks, selves.
as the little thin Grecian philosopher used to That room was blocked up for ever, for the put lead in his pockets, lest the wind should clothes, if it might be so, to moulder away. It steal him. was called the Room of the Lady's Figure. The more ruffianly crowd of thieves should The house, after the gentleman's death, was go first, as pioneers ; but they can hardly be long uninhabited, and at length burnt by the looked upon as progenitors of our gentle Du peasants in an insurrection. As for himself, Vall; and besides, with all their ferocity, he died about nine months after, a gentle and some of them assume a grandeur, from standchild-like penitent. He had never stirred ing in the remote shadows of antiquity. There from the house since; and nobody would ven- was the famous son, for instance, of Vulcan ture to go near him, but a man who had the and Medusa, whom Virgil calls the dire aspect reputation of being a reprobate. It was from of half-human Cacus-Semihominis Caci facies this man that the particulars of the story came dira. (Æneid, b. viii. v. 194.) Ile was the first. He would distribute the gentleman's raw-head-and-bloody-bones of ancient fable. alms in great abundance to any strange poor He lived in a cave by Mount Aventine, breathwho would accept them; for most of the ing out fiery smoke, and haunting king Evanneighbours held them in horror. He tried all der's highway like the Apollyon of Pilgrim's he could to get the parents among them to let Progress. some of their little children, or a single one of
Semperque recenti them, go to see his employer. They said he
Cæde tepebat humus; foribusque adfixa superbis
Ora viram tristi pendebant pallida tabo. even asked it one day with tears in his eyes. But they shuddered to think of it ; and the The place about was ever in a plash matter was not mended, when this profane
Of steaming blood; and o'er the insulting door
Hung pallid human heads, defaced with dreary gore, person, in a fit of impatience, said one day that he would have a child of his own on purpose. He stole some of the cows of Hercules, and His employer, however, died in a day or two. dragged them backwards into his cave to preThey did not believe a word he told them of vent discovery ; but the oxen happening to all the Bavarian's gentleness, looking upon the low, the cows answered them; and the demilatter as a sort of Ogre, and upon his agent as god, detecting the miscreant in his care, little better, though a good-natured-looking strangled him after a hard encounter. This earnest kind of person. It was said many is one of the earliest sharping tricks upon years after, that this man had been a friend of record. the Bavarian's when young, and had been de- Autolycus, the son of Mercury (after whom serted by him. And the young believed it, Shakspeare christened his merry rogue in the whatever the old might do.
Winter's Tale) was a thief suitable to the greater airiness of his origin. He is said to have performed tricks which must awake the envy
even of horse-dealers ; for in pretending to XX.—THIEVES, ANCIENT AND MODERN. return a capital horse which he had stolen, he
palmed upon the owners a sorry jade of an Having met in the Harleian Miscellany with ass ; which was gravely received by those flats an account of a pet thief of ours, the famous of antiquity. Another time he went still Du Vall, who flourished in the time of Charles farther; for having conveyed away a handthe Second, and wishing to introduce him some bride, he sent in exchange an old lady worthily to the readers, it has brought to mind elaborately hideous; yet the husband did not such a number of the light-fingered gentry, his find out the trick till he had got off. predecessors, that we almost feel hustled by Autolycus himself, however, was outwitted the thoughts of them. Our subject, we may by Sisyphus, the son of Æolus. Autolycus truly fear, will run away with us. We feel was in the habit of stealing his neighbours' beset, like poor Tasso in his dungeon; and are cattle, and altering the marks upon them. not sure that our paper will not suddenly be Among others he stole some from Sisyphus ; conveyed away from under our pen. Already but notwithstanding his usual precautions, he we miss some excellent remarks, which we was astonished to find the latter come and should have made in this place. If the reader pick out his oxen, as if nothing had happened. should meet with any of that kind hereafter, lle had marked them under the hoof. Autoupon the like subject, in another man's writings, lycus, it seems, had the usual generosity of twenty to one they are stolen from us, and genius ; and was so pleased with this evidence ought to have enriched this our plundered of superior cunning, that some say he gave exordium. He that steals an author's purse, him in marriage his daughter Anticlea, who inay emphatically be said to steal trash ; but was afterwards the wife of Laertes, the father he that filches from him his good things- of Ulysses. According to others, however, he Alas, we thought our subject would be running only favoured him with his daughter's comaway with us. We must keep firm. We pany for a time, a fashion not yet extinct in some primitive countries ; and it was a re- forgotten Forty Thieves, with their treasure in proach made against Ulysses, that Laertes was the green wood, their anxious observer, their ouly bis pretended, and Sisyphus his real, magical opening of the door, their captain, father. Sisyphus has the credit of being the their concealment in the jars, and the scalding greatest knave of antiquity. His famous oil, that, as it were, extinguished them groanpunishment in hell, of being compelled to rolling, one by one? Have we not all ridden a stone up a hill to all eternity, and seeing it backwards and forwards with them to the wood always go down again, is attributed by some to a hundred times ?-watched them, with fear a characteristic trait, which he could not help and trembling, from the tree ?—sewn up, playing off upon Pluto. It was supposed by blindfolded, the four quarters of the dead body? the ancients, that a man's ghost wandered in a -and said, “ Open Sesamé,” to every door at melancholy manner upon the banks of the school ? May we ride with them again and Styx, as long as his corpse remained without again ; or we shall lose our appetite for some burial. Sisyphus on his death-bed purposely of the best things in the world. charged his wife to leave him unburied; and We
'e pass over those interlopers in our English then begged Pluto's permission to go back to family, the Danes; as well as Rollo the Norman, earth, on his parole, merely to punish her for and other freebooters, who only wanted less 80 scandalous a neglect. Like the lawyer, need of robbery, to become respectable conhowever, who contrived to let his hat fall inside querors. In fact, they did so, as they got on. the door of heaven, and got St. Peter's per- We have also no particular worthy to select mission to step in for it, Sisyphus would not from among that host of petty chieftains, who return; and so when Pluto had him again, he availed themselves of their knightly castles paid him for the trick with setting him upon and privileges, to commit all sorts of unchivalthis everlasting job.
rous outrages. These are the giants of modern The exploits of Mercury himself, the god of romance; and the Veglios, Malengins, and cunning, may be easily imagined to surpass Pinabellos, of Pulci, Spenser, and Ariosto. everything achieved by profaner hands. Homer, They survived in the petty states of Italy a in the hymn to his honour, has given a delight- long while; gradually took a less solitary, ful account of his prematurity in swindling. though hardly less ferocious shape, among the He had not been born many hours before he fierce political partisans recorded by Dante ; stole Vulcan's tools, Mars' sword, and Jupiter's and at length became represented by the men sceptre. He beat Cupid in a wrestling bout of desperate fortunes, who make such a figure, on the same day; and Venus caressing him between the gloomy and the gallant, in Mrs. for his conquest, he returned the embrace by Radcliffe's Mysteries of Udolpho. The breaking filching away her girdle. He would also have up of the late kingdom of Italy, with its dependstolen Jupiter's thunderbolts, but was afraid of encies, has again revived them in some degree; burning his fingers. On the evening of his but not, we believe, in any shape above common birth-day, he drove off the cattle of Admetus, robbery. The regular modern thief seems to which Apollo was tending. The good-humoured make his appearance for the first time in the god of wit endeavoured to frighten him into | imaginary character of Brunello, as described restoring them; but could not help laughing by Boiardo and Ariosto. He is a fellow that when, in the midst of his threatenings, he steals every valuable that comes in his way. found himself without his quiver.
The way in which he robs Sacripant, king of The history of thieves is to be fonnd either Circassia, of his horse, has been ridiculed by in that of romance, or in the details of the Cervantes ; if indeed he did not rather repeat history of cities. The latter have not come it with great zest : for his use of the theft is down to us from the ancient world, with some really not such a caricature as in Boiardo and exceptions in the comic writers, immaterial to his great follower. While Sancho is sitting our present purpose, and in the loathsome lumpishly asleep upon the back of his friend rhetoric of Petronius. The finest thief in old Dapple, Gines de Passamonte, the fainous thief, history is the pirate who made that famous comes and gently withdraws the donkey from answer to Alexander, in which he said that the under him, leaving the somniculous squire conqueror was only the mightier thief of the propped upon the saddle with four sticks. His two. The story of the thieving architect in consternation on waking may be guessed. But Herodotus we will tell another time. We can in the Italian poets, the Circassian prince has call to mind no other thieves in the Greek and only fallen into a deep meditation, when BruLatin writers (always excepting political ones) nello draws away his steed. Ariosto appears except some paltry fellows who stole napkins to have thought this extravagance a hazardous at dinner; and the robbers in Apuleius, the one, though he could not deny himself the precursors of those in Gil Blas. When we pleasure of repeating it; for he has made come, however, to the times of the Arabians Sacripant blush, when called upon to testify and of chivalry, they abound in all their glory, how the horse was stolen from him. (Orlando both great and small. Who among us does Furio. lib. xxvii. st. 84.) not know by heart the story of the never-to-be- In the Italian Novels and the old French Tales, are a variety of extremely amusing to the doctor's house, and putting on a face of stories of thieves, all most probably founded good news, told the wife that tho cup was on fact. We will give a specimen as we go, found. “ Master doctor," said he, “bade me by way of making this article the completer. come and tell you that it was but a joke of A doctor of laws in Bologna had become rich your old friend What's-his name.”—“Castelenough, by scraping money together, to indulge lani, I warrant me,” said the wife, with a face himself in a grand silver cup, which he sent broad with delight. “The same," returned le : home one day to his wife from the goldsmith’s. -“ master doctor says that Signor Castellani, There were two sharping fellows prowling and the other gentlemen he spoke of, are waitabout that day for a particular object ; and ing for you at the Signor's house, where they getting scent of the cup, they laid their heads purpose to laugh away the choler they so together, to contrive how they might indulge merrily raised, with a good dinner and wine, themselves in it instead. One of them accord- and to that end they have sent me for the ingly goes to a fishmonger's, and buys a fine lamprey."_" Take it in God's name," said the lamprey, which he takes to the doctor's wife, good woman ; “ I am heartily glad to see it go with her husband's compliments, and he would out of the house, and shall follow it myself bring a company of his brother doctors with speedily.” So saying, she gave him the fine him to dinner, requesting in the meantime hot fish, with some sauce, between two dishes ; that she would send back the cup by the bearer, and the knave, who felt already round the as he had forgotten to have his arms engraved corner with glee, slid it under his cloak, and upon it. The good lady, happy to obey all made the best of his way to his companion, who these pleasing impulses on the part of master lifted up his hands and eyes at sight of him, doctor, takes in the fish, and sends out the cup, and asked twenty questions in a breath, and with equal satisfaction; and sets about getting chuckled, and slapped his thigh, and snapped the dinner ready. The doctor comes home at his fingers for joy, to think what a pair of fools his usual hour, and finding his dinner so much two rogues had to do with. Little did the better than ordinary, asks with an air of poor despairing doctor, on his return home, wonder, where was the necessity of going to guess what they were saying of him as he that expense : upon which the wife, putting on passed the wall of the house in which they an air of wonder in her turn, and proud of were feasting “Heyday !” cried the wife, possessing the new cup, asks him where are smiling all abroad, as she saw him entering, all those brother doctors, whom he said he "what, art thou come to fetch me then, bone should bring with him. “What does the fool of my bone? Well; if this isn't the gallantest mean?" said the testy old gentleman. “Mean!” day I have seen many a year! It puts me in rejoined the wite_“ what does this mean ?" | mind-it puts me in mind"- -Here the chirppointing to the fish. The doctor looked down ing old lady was about to remind the doctor of with his old eyes at the lamprey.
the days of his youth, holding out her arms and knows,” said he, “what it means. I am sure raising her quivering voice, when (we shudder I don't know what it means more than any to relate) she received a considerable cuff on other fish, except that I shall have to pay a the left cheek. You make me mad," cried pretty sum for every mouthful you eat of it.” the doctor, “ with your eternal idiotical non-“Why, it was your own doing, husband,”
What do you mean by coming to fetch said the wife ; " and you will rerr.ember it, you, and the gallantest day of your life? May perhaps, when you recollect that the same man the devil fetch you, and me, and that invisible that brought me the fish, was to take away the fiend that stole the cup,"_“ What!" exclaimed cup to have your name engraved upon it.” At the wife, suddenly changing her tone from a this the doctor started back, with his eyes as vociferous complaint which she had unthinkwide open as the fish's, exclaiming, “ And you ingly set up,"did you send nobody then for gave it him, did you ?”-“To be sure I did," the lamprey ?” Here the doctor cast his eyes returned the good housewife. The old doctor upon the bereaved table; and unable to bear here began a passionate speech, which he sud- the shame of this additional loss, however denly broke off ; and after stamping up and trivial, began tearing his hair and beard, and down the room, and crying out that he was an hopping about the room, giving his wife a new undone advocate, ran quivering out into the and scandalous epithet at every step, as if he street like one frantic, asking everybody if he was dancing to a catalogue of her imperfections. had seen a man with a lamprey. The two The story shook all the shoulders in Bologna rogues were walking all this time in the neigh- for a month after, bourhood; and seeing the doctor set off, in his As we find, by the length to which this frantic fit, to the goldsmith's, and knowing that article has already reached, that we should he who brought the lamprey had been well otherwise be obliged to compress our recollecdisguised, they began to ask one another, in tions of Spanish, French, and English thieves, the jollity of their triumph, what need there into a compass that would squeeze them into was for losing a good lamprey, because they the merest dry notices, we will postpone them had gained a cup. The other therefore went once to our next number; and relate