Imágenes de páginas

the potent giant snored, and a third time did the hammer descend, "with huge two-handed sway," and with such force, that Thor weened the iron had buried itself in Skrimner's temple. "Methinks," quoth Skrimner, rubbing his cheek, “some moss hath fallen on my face." Thor might well be amazed at the escape of the giant but Skrimner, acting exactly like Jack, had outwitted his enemy, by placing an immense rock on the leafy couch where Thor supposed he was sleeping, and which received the blows of the hammer in his stead.

The fictions of the North, and, indeed, those of the East also, are no less distinguishable in the robbery which Jack, who, after all, was an unprincipled young dog, committed on a simple young cousin of his, "a huge and monstrous giant having three heads, and who could beat five hundred men in armour." Jack terrified his three-headed cousin out of his wits, by telling him that the king's son was coming. "This is heavy news, indeed," quoth the giant, "but I have a large vault underground, where I will run and hide myself." In the morning, when Jack let his cousin out of the hole, he asked what he should give him for his care, seeing that his castle was not demolished. "Why," answered Jack, "I desire nothing but your old rusty sword, the coat in the closet, and the cap, and the shoes which you keep at the bed's head." "Thou shalt have them with all mine heart," said the giant, "as a just reward for thy kindness in protecting me from the king's son, and be sure that thou carefully keepest them for my sake; for they are things of excellent use the coat will keep you invisible, the cap will furnish you with knowledge, the sword cuts asunder whatever you strike, and the shoes are of extraordinary swiftness."

Every one of these wonderful articles (the coat, the cap, and the shoes,) have been purloined out of the great Northern treasury, though we cannot pretend to explain in what manner Jack's cousin, the giant with three heads, became possessed of them. The coat is, in fact, the magic garment known in ancient German as the nebel-kappe, or cloud-coat, fabled to belong to king Alberich, and the other dwarfs of the Teutonic cycle of romance, who, clad therein, could walk invisible. To them also belongs the tarn-hut, or hat of darkness, possessing the same virtue. Velerit, the cunning smith of the Edda of Soemund, wrought Jack's "sword of sharpness," which in the Welkina Saga bears the name of Balmung. So keen was its edge, that when Velerit cleft his rival Almilius through the middle with the wondrous weapon, it seemed merely to Almilius as though cold water had glided down him. "Shake thyself," said Velerit. Almilius shook himself, and, so says the veritable history, fell dead in two halves, one on each side of his chair.

Jack's shoes of swiftness were once worn by Loke when he escaped from Valhalla. In the Calmuck romance of Ssidi Kur, the chan steals a similar pair of seven-league boots from the Tchadkurrs, or evil spirits, by means of the cap which made him invisible, and which he won from certain quarrelling children, or dwarfs, whom he encounters in the forest.

Are these mere incidental'coincidences between the superstitions and fictions of the followers of Buddha in the East, and those of Odin in the North? or do they not rather tend to prove one common origin for their popular fictions?


In the history of "Jack and the Bean-stalk," the consistency of the characters is finely preserved. The

Loke, according to the Edda, is an evil being, the calumniator of the gods, the artificer of fraud, and one who surpasses all other beings in cunning and perfidy.

awful distich put into the mouth of the Jette, or Ettin, the principal agent in this romance, Snouk but, snouk ben,

. I smell the smell of earthly men,

is scarcely inferior to the fee-faw-fum of the keen. scented anthropophagian of the other. The beanstalk, "the top whereof when Jack looked upwards he could not discern it, as it appeared lost in the clouds," has grown in fanciful imitation of the ash Ydrasil, reaching, according to the Edda, from hell to heaven. As to the beautiful harp which " played of its own accord," and which Jack stole from the giant, we must find a parallel for it in the wonderful harp made of the breast-bone of the king's daughter, and which sang sweetly to the miller, "Bennorie, oh Bennorie," and in old Dunstan's harp, which sounded without hands when hanging in the vale.

Before we dismiss our hero, it must be remarked, that most of his giants rest upon good authority: or, to speak more correctly, Jack's history is a popular and degraded version of the traditions upon which our earliest romances are founded. "The Mount of Cornwall," which was kept by a large and monstrous giant, is St. Michael's Mount*; and the giant Cormoran, whom Jack despatched there, and who was eighteen feet high, and about three yards round, is the same who figures in the ancient romance called Tristan. It was by killing this Cormoran (the Corinæus, probably, of Jeffrey of Monmouth and the Brut) that Jack acquired his triumphal epithet of the Giantkiller.

In order that students of British gigantology may not be misled on their researches, we deem it proper to inform them that they must take great care not to confound "the History of Jack and the Giants" with " the IIistory of the Giants." These works differ essentially in merit, and, although the latter begins with the history of Goliath, the champion of the Philistines, yet the adventures contained in the remainder of the work, and particularly all those which relate to the giants Trapsaca and Trandello, are, as it was wittily observed of Gulliver's Travels, exceedingly incredible. FRIAR RUSH.

OF rarer occurrence than the heroic narratives to which our attention has hitherto been directed, is the "History of FRIAR RUSH." The Friar was

known to Reginald Scott, before the history of his pranks was published. Scott ranks him in the same category with Robin Goodfellow; so that Robin and the Friar are alike the heroes of popular and traditionary tales. There is an ancient Danish poem which treats of "Brother Rus, how he did service as cook and monk in the monastery of Esserom." There is reason to suppose that the English story-book and the Danish history are derived from one common original, well known on the Continent in times pre

vious to the Reformation.

[ocr errors]

It is worthy of remark that the Danish Rus is made to travel through the air to England, where he obtains the king's daughter. There has been a fair exchange of nursery-tales between Denmark and England, for in return for Brother Rus, we gave them the History of Richard Whittington," lordmayor of London, whose life has been translated into Danish, and whose good fortune is now as well known in Bergen and Drontheim as in his own native Cockney-land. Puss has thus sailed half round the world, from the Gulf of Persia to the Northern Sea. NICHOLAS HOWLEGLASS.

THIS hero stands as the formidable leader of a merry troop: TOM TRAM, the son-in-law of Mother Winter; See Saturday Magazine, Vol. V., p. 52.

TOM STITCH, the tailor; and Toм LONG, the carrier of the men of Gotham, follow in his train, whose penny "histories," all imitated from his "merrye Jeste," are not now to be had. They all belong to the ancient, and noble, and widely-dispersed family of TOM FOOL, which obtained such pre-eminence and dignity throughout all Christendom.

It were long to detail all the fearful jokes, which sometimes brought the knave to the gallows, yet saved him from the halter. He was buried with his coffin standing on one end, at Mollen, near Lubeck: and there may be seen his grave-stone under the great lime-tree in the church-yard; and his rebus, to wit, an owl and a looking-glass, cut upon the stone. Ullenspragel, as he is called in German, has almost made the tour of Europe. His life was first published in the Nether Saxon dialect in 1483.

[blocks in formation]

A PORTUGUESE HEATH AND VALLEY. We were now in Spring,-the most delightful season of the Portuguese year. To the lover of natural beauty, a Portuguese heath is, at that time, a scene of indescribable interest; at least, in those happy spots where the peculiarly favourable nature of the soil permits the developement of its buried treasures. Through such a scene we passed: the earth was then clad in its richest apparel; besides the rosemary, the juniper, the myrtle, the lavender, and a thousand bulbous plants disclosing their thousand beauties, the ericas, umbellata, and australis, with their brilliant deep-red blossoms, and the various cisti, some yellow, some of a rosy tint, some white as snow, and others streaked with purple, embroidered the plain with their variegated and delightful hues. The very insects, disporting over those beautiful wastes, were marked by the same rich and decided colouring: the deep-blue of the butterfly was not surpassed by its own azure heaven; and the emerald-green of some species of the scarabæus tribe seemed fresh from the colouring of their Almighty artist. In short, a common character of grace and beauty, distinguished almost every object of animate and inanimate nature. In gazing on that scene, how strongly did I feel that the great Author of those natural treasures is not more to be marvelled at in the awful assemblage of worlds which he has placed around us, than in those minute and sometimes almost microscopic glories which he has spread in such harmonious pro

fusion at our feet. But those varied beauties that occasionally charm the eye on a Portuguese heath, and keep alive every faculty of perception, are not, it must be confessed, the distinguishing characteristics of the great wastes of Alentejo.

The granite region, and the limestone strata, so often productive of a beauteous vegetation, are limited in extent; the sandstone and the slate more frequently prevail, and then the traveller may pass for hours together, through mountain-defiles and over plains, covered as far as the eye can reach, with the tall and unvarying cistus-ladaniferus; and yet the graceful form of this plant,-its green, glistering leaves,―its large, white, sleepy-looking flowers heavily spotted with purple, meeting the sight in every direction, are not without their influence on the mind


There is a fascination in the gorgeous monotony and universal stillness of the scene, in the solemn splendour of the never-clouded sun and sky, and in the heavy and almost enervating fragrance with which that all-prevailing cistus loads the air.

Insensibly affected by these circumstances, the mind, having no scope for active observation, and perhaps pleased to retire for a moment into a world of its own, involuntarily falls into that dreamy state, half-pleasing and half-melancholy, in which fairy visions arise unbidden, in which the fancy sports while the judgment sleeps, and thoughts trace each other through the half-unconscious brain, without effect, and almost without connexion.

It is,

I confess I had fallen into this kind of unprofitable revery, under the lulling influence of the great cistus wastes through which I had been travelling, but a glorious scene of living though inanimate beauty was at hand, springing up like an oasis in the desert, lovely itself, but still more lovely from the force of interest, renewing my energies, and like the sun, at contrast, affording ample matter for observation and once dispelling every mist from my mind; for now, entered that glorious valley of Menebique. leaving the slate soil and the cistus mountain, we indeed, eminently beautiful; the vegetation in the valley is most luxuriant, and refreshed by streams of the clearest water. Upon their banks, the rhododendron grows profusely amid the lotus, the jonquil, and many varieties of the scilla, while the hills above are covered with chestnuts of an immense growth, and orange-trees bowed down by the weight of their g den fruits. However, I did not see this valley to its utmost advantage, as the scenery was then deprived of its brightest ornaments, the chestnut woods being only partially in leaf.--Portugal and Gallicia.

THERE is a right and a wrong way of doing everything, as the Frenchman said, who wrote a book on the best way of blowing out a candle; and nothing in the world shows greater diversity of character and disposition, than attending a sick-bed. Every affection of the heart is then prudence, to impart that comfort and support to the sufferer, called forth, and must be accompanied with fortitude and which we often require at the same time ourselves. Few are capable of entirely neglecting those who need their care; but, on the other hand, fewer still can give all the consolation that might be expected on such an occasion, because there is such a perpetual danger of officiousness, and still more of being ostentatious in conferring attention on those whose situation obliges them to be under incessant obligations. A mind of true delicacy will carefully screen from observation all the labour and care which her attendance occasions, while the fretfulness of pain and dependence may be a continual trial to the temper, in causing peevishness and misrepresentations from those whom it is the first object of solicitude to relieve and comfort.-SINCLAIR'S Modern Accomplishments.

THE affections which bind a man to the place of his birth

are essential in his nature, and follow the same law as that

which governs every innate feeling. They are implanted in his bosom along with life, and are modified by every circumstance which he encounters from the beginning to the end of his existence. The sentiment which, in the breast of any one man, is an instinctive fondness for the spot where he drew his early breath, becomes, by the progress of mankind and the formation of society, a more enlarged feeling, and expands into the noble passion of patriotism. The love of country, the love of the village where we were born, of the field which we first pressed with our tender footsteps, of the hillock which we first climbed, are the same affection, only the latter belongs to each of us separately; the first can be known but by men united into masses. It is founded upon every advantage which a nation is supposed to possess, and is increased by every improvement which it is supposed to receive.-CHENEVIX, on National Character.

[ocr errors][merged small][graphic]

In a good soil it grows to about four feet in diameter, and rises to the height of eighty feet. The wood is white and tender, and used in the manufacture of panncls for doors and carriages.

The Lime may be propagated by seeds, which are ripe about the end of October; but the slow growth of all seedlings for the first two or three years makes it more advantageous to raise them from layers which are to be obtained from stools, or mother-plants, cut close to the ground. The small shoots that proceed from these roots may be laid either in Spring or Autumn; Autumn is by far the most preferable season: these are to be treated precisely in the same manner as the layers of the elm already described.

The Lime-tree is a most rapid growing tree, and has a singular advantage over most others; namely, a tree of considerable size may be transplanted with as much safety as a small seedling.

A decoction of the flowers of the lime have been used in medicine as an antispasmodic, and, it is said, with considerable effect.



THE Lime, if suffered to grow unclipped, is rather a handsome tree, but it is more frequently seen planted in rows, and forming avenues in gentlemen's parks, or employed as a shelter from the sun in public walks and promenades. Its wood is peculiarly white, and is employed by carvers and turners, on account of its close texture and easy working. Of late years, since the art of carving in wood has fallen somewhat into disuse, the wood of the lime-tree has been considered of less moment, though, a few years back, fashion again brought it into vogue for a short time, in the manufacture of fire-screens, and work-boxes for ladies. Evelyn says,

Even the coarsest membrane, or slivers of the tree, betwixt the bark and the main body, they now twist into bass ropes; besides, the truncheons make a far better coal for gunpowder than that of alder itself, and the extraordinary candour (whiteness) and lightness has dignified it above all the woods of our forest, in the hands of the right honourable the white-stave officers of his Majesty's court.

Gibbons, the celebrated carver in wood, usually employed this wood for his finer works: of these, perhaps, the finest specimens are at Chatsworth, in Derbyshire, the seat of the Duke of Devonshire. They consist of flowers, fruit, game, nets, and on the pannelling of the walls, and the execution is quite wonderful. It was said by Walpole, of Gibbons, "that he was the first artist who gave to wood the loose and airy lightness of flowers, and chained together the various productions of the elements with a free disorder natural to each other."

There are six European species, besides several American, particularly the Tilia Americana, represented in the engraving, the bass-wood or broadleaved lime. It is found in Canada, but is more frequent in the northern parts of the United States.

The Russia mats, so much used in packing, and so well and serviceably known to gardeners, are formed of this inner bark.


At Yester, in Haddingtonshire, there is a Limetree, which at one foot from the ground measures about fourteen feet in girth, and at six feet up about twelve feet. At Gordon Castle there is another fine specimen, which forms a beautiful shady canopy.

The Lime at Moor Park, figured by Strutt, is twenty-three feet three inches in girth at the ground, and throws out nineteen large branches of eight feet each in girth, to the distance of from sixty to seventy contains by measurement 875 feet of good timber. feet; it is nearly one hundred feet in height, and At Cobham Park there is a Lime ninety feet in height, but it does not contain so much wood as that last


It is said that the first two Lime-trees were planted in England in 1590, and are still growing at Halsted, in Kent. But some believe that they were first introduced by the Romans.

Ir is not a high station, or a low one, great endowments of mind, or moderate, that mislead us. It is the want of that balance of mind, which is regulated by religious principles, and a good disposition.-GILPIN.



Sold by all Booksellers and Newayondors in the Kingdom.

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][graphic][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][graphic][merged small]

THE city of Segovia is the capital of the province of that name in the ancient kingdom of Old Castile in Spain. It is the ancient Segovia, a Celtiberian city embellished by Trajan; its name not having been changed: it stands on a hill, of which the Everma waters the base. The Arabic gate, and the Alcazar, an old castle flanked with turrets, and built on a precipitous rock, may still give the stranger some notion of the flourishing state of Segovia under the Moorish domination. But these sink into insignificance when compared, or rather contrasted, with the work of Trajan, the aqueduct with a double range of arcades, by which water has heen conveyed into the town for seventeen hundred years: it consists of 109 arches, the largest nearly 90 feet in height, from the ground to the conduit, and the length of the space which they cover exceeds 2530 feet. If Trajan raised a structure so costly, it may readily be admitted that Segovia, in ancient times, was a much more important place than it is at present. Other works of past days still serve to recall the ancient splendour of the town; but sumptuous temples have given way to time, or the more destructive efforts of ignorance and barbarism.

The Cathedral is the finest modern edifice in the city: it was built in the sixteenth century, and its demi-gothic style announces the period of the reVOL. X.

generation of art. The styles of different periods are united in the Alcazar, and the interior is not the least curious part of the building. The principal staircase is constructed in the best taste; most of the apartments are adorned with carved work and gilt wood. In the largest hall is contained a collection of wooden statues, representing the kings of Oviedo Leon, and Castille, from Fabila the First, who reigned in the eighth century, to the time of Queen Joan, surnamed the Foolish, the mother of Charles the Fifth. The Cid, and his famous horse Babicio, are also represented: and there is, too, the real or supposed saddle of the same courser, which contributed more than once to the victories of its master. pupils in the royal school of artillery, founded by Charles the Third, now meet in this ancient edifice. The city was formerly well known for its cloth, and it still possesses a great many looms, four fullers' mills, and three large washing-places for wool.


The Cid mentioned above, but whose real name was Rodriguez Diaz de Bivar, was born at Burgos about the year 1040. He attained great distinction in the intestine wars that for a long period desolated the country after the dismemberment of the Moorish empire. At twenty years of age he was admitted to the rank of knighthood, by Ferdinand the First, King of Leon and Castille. After taking part in


several intestine wars, he gave offence to Alphonso | history, as I have learned it from himself in different the Fifth, and was banished from the council of the languages. monarch. He then left Castille, taking with him many of his relations and friends, but he continued ctive in the service of his king.

Five Moorish kings (chiefs) having united themselves for the purpose of ravaging the province of Rioja, Rodriguez went out to meet them, accompanied by his friends and followers: having gained a complete victory, he imposed tribute on them, in the name of the king of Castille. Being recalled to the court he received the Moorish deputies in the presence of Alphonso, who saluted him by the title of el Seid, which in the Moorish language means lord: from this circumstance he obtained the name of The Cid. At the siege of Toledo in 1086, he contributed materially to the capture of the city. He was again, however, banished from the court, notwithstanding his services, the king never having forgiven him his first offence. This was a proposal he made to the rest of the nobles, by which Alphonso was obliged, at his coronation, to swear that he had no part in the murder of the last king, his own brother: this ceremony conluded by the Cid calling down the vengeance of eaven upon all perjurers.

During this second exile he continued his enterprises against the Moors, and obtained many signal victories over them. After the death of Hiaja, the Moorish king of Toledo, the Cid made himself master of the city, and established himself there along with his companions in arms, in 1094. Here, although he acted with sovereign authority, he refused to take the title of king, and acknowledged himself as tributary to the king of Castille. He died at Valencia in 1099. This, it appears, is the true history of this celebrated man, whose exploits have formed the foundation for many fabulous and romantic tales.

A SHORT HISTORY OF BOOKS. THERE is a useful and agreeable acquaintance whom we take up occasionally, and set aside when we are tired. Our eyes are engaged by his narratives, to which our ears are spared the trouble of listening, the which makes him an agreeable companion to the indolent and the dull of hearing. He bears reproaches with apathy, and approbation with indifference; and when he gives advice, which by the by he seldom does unless we look for it, he does it in so general a manner, that we are apt to believe that he means somebody else, and are spared the pain of blushing. After he becomes a favourite, he appears in a soiled and tattered surtout, which in full dress is generally of red, or blue, or brown leather. He never asks for refreshment, nor does he accept of any if offered him. On the other hand, he often dissuades us from eating and drinking to excess. The fire has been fatal to many of his family at Rome, Constantinople, Buda, Peking, Susa, and other cities, as we learn from history; yet he does not like to be too far from it, as his constitution is injured by the damp. He He continues with discernment where he is made welcome, whether from congeniality of disposition, or willingness on our part to attend to his admonitions. This is a good symptom, for neither friends nor books are to be always chosen like pieces of music, from their being in harmony with our feelings, but sometimes from their discordance or habit of correcting them. A person is known by his books, is a common remark; and the acquaintance alluded to is a BOOK. Having been accustomed, if I may resume the figure, to pass some hours in the week, I may say most days, in his society, I shall give a short account of his

Pausanias relates that book by Hesiod was written on leaves of lead, and Herodotus mentions the use of skins by the Ionians when papyrus was scarce, which seems to show that he wrote on papyrus, or the manufacture of the paper "reeds of Egypt* which grew by the brooks." Pliny saw, in the house of Pomponius Secundus, a nobleman and poet, the books of the Gracchi, written with their own hands, on papyrus, and adds, that the works of Virgil', Cicero', and Augustus Cæsar were written on the same materials. Pliny mentions linen books, and Virgil alludes to books that were made of the inner rind of the elm. There are authorities for believing that some short epistles were folded up without a roller, and that Homer (who wrote about 900 B.C.,) alludes to a tablet of this kind. I may here also mention the waxen hand-tablets (pugillares) of the ancients, inscribed with the point of the style †, and smoothed with its flat end; their common-place books; their paper of the rind of the papyrus ; their ink of the cuttle-fish, or lamp-black, described by Pliny; their pens mentioned by Juvenal; their reeds for writing; and the pen-knives and scissors of Byzantine writers',

The Roman slaves and freedmen sometimes transcribed the author's writing, or wrote from his inditing, according to Horace; "Go boy, and write this quickly in the book." It may be inferred from Cornelius Nepos", that the slaves of Pomponius Atticus had a literary education,

The Librarius transcribed manuscripts, and I conjecture that he sold them. We read that Nileus 13 sold the libraries of Aristotle, and Theophrastus ", to Apellicon of Teios. Polybius alludes to the sale of his own works. Perhaps, too, the author might occasionally sell his own writings, The word for bookseller, (bibliopola,) is as old as Martial's " Epigrams.

Pausanias was the author of a History of Greece; he flourished at Rome, A. D. 170,

* An old Greek poet, who wrote on agriculture, B. c. 907. 3 Herodotus was the father of Greek history; he flourisher! B. C. 445.

See Saturday Magazine, Vol. IV., p. 208.

4 A celebrated writer on Natural History; he was smothered to death by ashes in an eruption of Mount Vesuvius, &. d. 79. 5 The Gracchi were a celebrated political family of Rome, who lived B.C. 120.

Virgil, a great Roman epic poet; wrote in the time of Augustus Cæsar, during whose reign Christ was born. of Rome; he died B. c. 43. 7 Cicero was an illustrious orator, statesman, and philosopher

+ See Saturday Magazine, Vol. V., p. 51.
Ibid, Vol. I., p. 232.

8 Juvenal was a Roman satirist, who died in the time of Trajan, A. D. 128.

The Byzantine historians were writers who flourished at Constantinople, after the scat of government had been removed thither by Constantine the Great, A. D. 328.

10 Horace was a great lyric poet, who first wrote lyric odes in the Latin language in the reign of Augustus Cæsar.

11 Cornelius Nepos wrote his elegant biographies in the reign of Augustus; he was the intimate friend of Cicero and Atticus. 12 Pomponius Atticus was an intimate friend of Cicero. He was a most learned man, and an excellent Greek scholar; his residence at Athens gained him the name of Atticus.

13 A scholar well known for possessing all the writings of Aristotle.

14 Aristotle was a Greek philosopher, who wrote on morals and natural history. He was tutor to Alexander the Great, and died B. c. 322.

15 A pupil of Aristotle; he wrote on some subjects in natural history and morals; he died B. c. 108.

16 A philosopher celebrated for his possession of the works of Aristotle and Theophrastus; he died B. c. 86.

17 Martial was a celebrated writer of epigrams. He was a Spaniard by birth, but resided principally at Rome: he died A, p. 104, in the seventy-fifth year of his age.

« AnteriorContinuar »