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Such is the purport and merit of the Village
the clearer-sighted, astonishing and alarming. It indicates that they find themselves, as Napoleon was wont to say, "in a new position;" -a position wonderful enough; of extreme singularity; to which, in the whole course of History, there is perhaps but one case in some measure parallel. The case alluded to stands recorded in the Book of Numbers: the case of Balaam the son of Beor. Truly, if we consider it, there are few passages more notable and pregnant in their way, than this of Balaam. The Midianitish Soothsayer (Truthspeaker, or as we should now say, Counsel giver and Senator) is journeying forth, as he has from of old quite prosperously done, in the way of his vocation; not so much to "curse the people of the Lord,” as to earn for himself a comfortable penny by such means as are possible and expedient; some thing, it is hoped, midway between cursing and blessing; which shall not, except in case of necessity, be either a curse or a blessing, or any thing so much as a Nothing that will look like a Something and bring wages in. For the man is not dishonest; far from it; still less is he honest; but above all things, he is, has been, and will be, respectable. Did calumny ever dare to fasten itself on the fair fame of Balaam? In his whole walk and conversation, has he not shown consistency enough; To one class of readers especially, such ever doing and speaking the thing that was Books as these ought to be interesting;-to the decent; with proper spirit, maintaining his highest, that is to say, the richest class. Among status; so that friend and opponent must often our Aristocracy, there are men, we trust there compliment him, and defy the spiteful world are many men, who feel that they also are to say, Herein art thou a Knave? And now workmen, born to toil, ever in their great as he jogs along, in official comfort, with Taskmaster's eye, faithfully with heart and brave official retinue, his heart filled with good head for those that with heart and hand do, things, his head with schemes for the suppres under the same great Taskmaster, toil for sion of Vice, and the Cause of civil and rethem ;-who have even this noblest and hard-ligious Liberty all over the world;-consider est work set before them-To deliver out of what a spasm, and life-clutching, ice-taloned that Egyptian bondage to Wretchedness, and pang, must have shot through the brain and Ignorance, and Sin, the hardhanded millions, pericardium of Balaam, when his Ass not of whom this hardhanded, earnest witness, only on the sudden stood stock-still, defying and writer, is here representative. To such spur and cudgel, but-began to talk, and that men his writing will be as a Document, which in a reasonable manner! Did not his face, they will lovingly interpret: what is dark elongating, collapse, and tremor occupy his and exasperated and acrid, in their hum- joints? For the thin crust of Respectability ble Brother, they for themselves will en- has cracked asunder; and a bottomless prelighten and sweeten; taking thankfully what ternatural Inane yawns under him instead. is the real purport of his message, and lay- Farewell, a long farewell to all my greatness! ing it earnestly to heart. Might an instruc- the spirit-stirring Vote, ear-piercing Hear; the tive relation and interchange between High big Speech that makes ambition virtue; soft and Low, at length ground itself, and more Palm-greasing first of raptures, and Cheers and more perfect itself, to the unspeaka- that emulate sphere-music: Balaam's occupable profit of all parties; for if all parties tion's gone!are to love and help one another, the first step towards this is, that all thoroughly understand one another. To such rich men an authentic message from the hearts of poor men, from the heart of one poor man, will be welcome.
To another class of our Aristocracy, again, who unhappily feel rather that they are not workmen; and profess not so much to bear any burden, as to be themselves, with utmost attainable steadiness, and if possible, gracefulness, borne,—such a phenomenon as this of the Sheffield Corn-Law Rhymer, with a Manchester Detrosier, and much else, pointing the same way, will be quite unwelcome; indeed, to
As for our stout Corn-Law Rhymer, what can we say by way of valediction but this,Well done; come again, doing better? Advices enough there were; but all lie included under one,-To keep his eyes open, and do honestly whatsoever his hand shall find to do. We have praised him for sincerity; let him become more and more sincere; casting out all remnants of Hearsay, Imitation, ephemeral Speculation; resolutely "clearing his mind of Cant." We advised a wider course of reading: would he forgive us if we now suggested the question, Whether Rhyme is the only dialect he can write in; whether Rhyme is, after all, the natural or fittest dialect for him? In
good Prose, which differs inconceivably from | of it, written in Heaven; and is now proclaimed bad Prose, what may not be written, what may in the Earth, and read aloud at all marketnot be read; from a Waverley Novel, to an crosses; nor are innumerable volunteer tipArabic Koran, to an English Bible! Rhyme staves and headsmen wanting to execute the has plain advantages; which, however, are same: for which needful service men inferior often purchased too dear. If the inward to him may suffice. Why should the heart of thought can speak itself and not sing itself, let the Corn-Law Rhymer be troubled? Spite of it, especially in these quite unmusical days," Bread-tax," he and his brave children, who do the former. In any case, if the inward will emulate their sire, have yet bread: the Thought do not sing itself, that singing of the Workhouse, as we rejoice to fancy, has receded outward Phrase is a timber-toned, false matter into the safe distance; and is now quite shut we could well dispense with. Will our Rhy-out from his poetic pleasure-ground. Why mer consider himself, then; and decide for should he afflict himself with devices of "Bowhat is actually best. Rhyme, up to this hour, roughmongering gowls," or the rage of the never seems altogether obedient to him; and Heathen imagining a vain thing? This matter, disobedient Rhyme,-who would ride on it which he calls Corn-Law, will not have comthat had once learned walking? pleted itself, adjusted itself into clearness, for the space of a century or two: nay, after twenty centuries, what will there, or can there be for the son of Adam, but Work, Work, two hands quite full of Work! Meanwhile, is not the Corn-Law Rhymer already a king, though a belligerent one; king of his own mind and faculty, and what man in the long run is king of more? Not one in the thousand, even among sceptered kings, of so much. Be diligent in business, then; fervent in spirit. Above all things, lay aside anger, uncharitableness, hatred, noisy tumult; avoid them, as worse than Pestilence, worse than " Bread-tax" itself: For it well beseemeth kings, all mortals it beseemeth
He takes amiss that some friends have admonished him to quit Politics; we will not repeat that admonition. Let him, on this as on all other matters, take solemn counsel with his own Socrates'-Demon; such as dwells in every mortal: such as he is a happy mortal who can hear the voice of, follow the behests of, like an unalterable law. At the same time, we could truly wish to see such a mind as his engaged rather in considering what, in his own sphere, could be done, than what, in his own or other spheres, ought to be destroyed; rather in producing or preserving the True, than in mangling and slashing asunder the False. Let him be at ease: the False is already dead, or lives only with a mock life. The death-sentence of the False was of old, from the first beginning|
TRANSLATED FROM GOETHE.
To possess their souls in patience, and await what can
[FRASER'S MAGAZINE, 1832.]
THE spacious courts of the Prince's Castle were still veiled in thick mists of an autumnal morning; through which veil, meanwhile, as it melted into clearness, you could more or less discern the whole Hunter-company, on horseback and on foot, all busily astir. The hasty occupations of the nearest were distinguishable: there was lengthening, shortening of stirrup-leathers; there was handling of rifles and shot-pouches, there was putting of gamebags to rights; while the hounds, impatient in their leashes, threatened to drag their keepers off with them. Here and there, too, a horse showed spirit more than enough; driven on by its fiery nature, or excited by the spur of its rider, who even now in the half-dusk could not repress a certain self-complacent wish to exhibit himself. All waited, however, on the Prince, who, taking leave of his young consort, was now delaying too long.
United a short while ago, they already felt the happiness of consentaneous dispositions; both were of active vivid character; each will
ingly participated in the tastes and endeavours of the other. The Prince's father had already, in his time, discerned and improved the season when it became evident that all members of the commonwealth should pass their days in equal industry; should all, in equal working and producing, each in his kind, first earn and then enjoy.
How well this had prospered was visible in these very days, when the head-market was a holding, which you might well enough have named a fair. The Prince yester-even had led his Princess on horseback through the tumult of the heaped-up wares; and pointed out to her how on this spot the Mountain region met the Plain country in profitable barter: he could here, with the objects before him, awaken her attention to the various industry of his Land. If the Prince at this time occupied himself and his servants almost exclusively with these pressing concerns, and in particular worked incessantly with his Finance-minister, yet would the Hunt-master too have his right; on
whose pleading, the temptation could not be resisted to undertake, in this choice autumn weather, a Hunt that had already been postponed; and so for the household itself, and for the many stranger visitants, prepare a peculiar and singular festivity.
yet when Nature leaves off, and Art and Handicraft begin, no one can distinguish. Farther you perceive sidewards walls abutting on it, and donjons terrace-wise stretching down. But I speak wrong, for to the eye it is but a wood that encircles that old summit; these hundred and fifty years no axe has sounded there, and the massiest stems have on all sides sprung up; wherever you press inwards to the walls, the smooth maple, the rough oak, the taper pine, with trunk and roots oppose you; round these we have to wind, and pick our footsteps with skill. Do but look how artfully our Master has brought the character of it on paper; how the roots and stems, the species of each distinguishable, twist themselves among the masonry, and the huge boughs come looping through the holes. It is a wil
The Princess stayed behind with reluctance: but it was proposed to push far into the Mountains, and stir up the peaceable inhabitants of the forests there with an unexpected invasion. At parting, her lord failed not to propose a ride for her, with Friedrich, the Prince-Uncle, as escort: "I will leave thee," said he, "our Honorio too, as Equerry and Page, who will manage all." In pursuance of which words, he, in descending, gave to a handsome young man the needful injunctions; and soon thereafter disappeared with guests and train. The Princess, who had waved her hand-derness like no other; an accidentally unique kerchief to her husband while still down in locality, where ancient traces of long-vanished the court, now retired to the back apartments, power of Man, and the ever-living, ever-workwhich commanded a free prospect towards the ing power of Nature show themselves in the Mountains; and so much the lovelier, as the most earnest conflict." Castle itself stood on a sort of elevation, and Exhibiting another leaf, he went on: "What thus, behind as well as before, afforded mani- say you now to the Castle-court, which, befold magnificent views. She found the fine come inaccessible by the falling in of the old telescope still in the position where they had gate-tower, had for immemorial time been left it yester-even, when amusing themselves trodden by no foot? We sought to get at over bush and hill and forest-summit, with the it by a side; have pierced through walls, lofty ruins of the primeval Stammburg, or blasted vaults asunder, and so provided a conFamily Tower; which in the clearness of eve- venient but secret way. Inside it needed no ning stood out noteworthy, as at that hour, with clearance; here stretches a flat rock-summit, its great light-and-shade masses, the best aspect smoothed by nature: but yet strong trees have of so venerable a memorial of old time was to in spots found luck and opportunity for rooting be had. This morning too, with the approxi- themselves there; they have softly but demating glasses, might be beautifully seen the cidedly grown up, and now stretch out their autumnal tinge of the trees, many in kind and boughs into the galleries where the knights number, which had struggled up through the once walked to and fro; nay, through the doors masonry unhindered and undisturbed during and windows into the vaulted halls; out of long years. The fair dame, however, directed which we would not drive them: they have the tube somewhat lower, to a waste stony flat, even got the mastery, and may keep it. Sweepover which the Hunting-train was to pass: she ing away deep strata of leaves, we have found waited the moment with patience, and was not the notablest place all smoothed, the like of disappointed; for with the clearness and mag-which were perhaps not to be met with in the nifying power of the instrument her glancing eyes plainly distinguished the Prince and the Head-Equerry; nay, she forbore not again to wave her handkerchief, as some momentary pause and looking-back was fancied perhaps, rather than observed.
"After all this, however, it is still to be remarked, and on the spot itself well worth examining, how on the steps that lead up to the main tower, a maple has struck root and fashioned itself to a stout tree, so that you can hardly with difficulty press by it, to mount the
Prince-Uncle, Friedrich by name, now with announcement, entered, attended by his Pain-battlements and gaze over the unbounded proster, who carried a large portfolio under his pect. Yet here too, you linger pleased in the arm. "Dear Cousin," said the hale old gen- shade; for that tree is it which high over the tleman, "we here present you with the Views whole wondrously lifts itself into the air. of the Stammburg, taken on various sides to show how the mighty Pile, warred on and warring, has from old times fronted the year and its weather; how here and there its wall had to yield, here and there rush down into waste ruins. However, we have now done much to make the wild mass accessible; for more there wants not to set every traveller, every visitor, into astonishment, into admiration."
"Let us thank the brave Artist, then, who so deservingly in various pictures teaches us the whole, even as if we saw it: he has spent the fairest hours of the day and of the season therein, and for weeks long kept moving about these scenes. Here in this corner has there for him, and the warder we gave him, been a little pleasant dwelling fitted up. You could not think, my Best, what a lovely outlook into the country, into court and walls, he has got there. But now when all is once in outline, so pure, so characteristic, he may finish it down here at his ease. With these pictures we will decorate our garden-hall; and no one shall recreate his eyes over our regular parterres, our groves and shady walks, without wishing
As the Prince now exhibited the separate leaves, he continued: "Here where, advancing up the hollow-way, through the outer ringwalls, you reach the Fortress proper, rises against us a rock, the firmest of the whole mountain; on this there stands a tower built,
nimself up there, to follow, in actual sight of The Princess hastened to mount her favour the old and of the new, of the stubborn, inflex-ite ible, indestructible, and of the fresh, pliant, irresistible, what reflections and comparisons would rise for him."
horse: and led, not through the backgate upwards, but through the foregate downwards her reluctant-willing attendant; for who but would gladly have ridden by her side, who but would gladly have followed after her. And so Honorio too had without regret stayed back from the otherwise so wished-for Hunt, to be exclusively at her service.
As was to be anticipated, they could only ride through the market step by step: but the fair Lovely one enlivened every stoppage by some sprightly remark, "I repeat my lesson of yester-night," said she, "since Necessity is trying our patience." And in truth, the whole mass of men so crowded about the riders, that their progress was slow. The people gazed with joy at the young dame; and, on so many smiling countenances, might be read the pleasure they felt to see that the first woman in the land was also the fairest and gracefullest.
Honorio entered, with notice that the horses were brought out; then said the Princess, turning to the Uncle: "Let us ride up; and you will show me in reality what you have here set before me in image. Ever since I came among you, I have heard of this undertaking; and should now like of all things to see with my own eyes what in the narrative seemed impossible, and in the depicting remains improbable." Not yet, my Love," answered the Prince: "what you here saw is what it can become and is becoming; for the present much in the enterprise stands still amid impediments; Art must first be complete, if Nature is not to shame it."-"Then let us ride at least upwards, were it only to the foot: I have the greatest wish to-day to look about me far in the world."-" Altogether as you will it," replied the Prince.-"Let us ride through the Town, however," continued the Lady, "over the great market-place, where stands the innumerable crowd of booths, looking like a little city, like a camp. It is as if the wants and occupations of all the families in the land were turned outwards, assembled in this centre, and brought into the light of day: for the attentive observer can descry whatsoever it is that man performs and needs; you fancy, for the moment, there is no money necessary, that all business could here be managed by barter, and so at bottom it is. Since the Prince, last night, set me on these reflections, it is pleasant to consider how here, where Mountain and Plain meet together, both so clearly speak out what they require, and wish. For as the Highlander can fashion the timber of his woods into a hundred shapes, and mould his iron for all manner of uses, so these others from below come to meet him with most manifold wares, in which often you can hardly discover the material or recognise the aim."
"I am aware," answered the Prince, "that my Nephew turns his utmost care to these things; for specially, on the present occasion, this main point comes to be considered, that one receive more than one give out: which to manage is, in the long run, the sum of all Political Economy, as of the smallest private housekeeping. Pardon me, however, my Best: I never like to ride through markets; at every step you are hindered and kept back; and then flames up in my imagination the monstrous misery which, as it were, burnt itself into my eyes, when I witnessed one such world of wares go off in fire. I had scarcely got to
"Let us not lose the bright hours," interrupted the Princess, for the worthy man had already more than once afflicted her with the minute description of that mischance: how he being on a long journey, resting in the best inn, on the market-place which was just then swarming with a fair, had gone to bed exceedingly fatigued; and in the night-time been, by shrieks, and flames rolling up against his Codging, hideously awakened.
Promiscuously mingled stood, Mountaineers, who had built their still dwellings amid rocks, firs, and spruces; Lowlanders from hills, meadows, and leas; craftsmen of the little towns; and what else had all assembled there. After a quiet glance, the Princess remarked to her attendant, how all these, whencesoever they came, had taken more stuff than necessary for their clothes, more cloth and linen, more ribands for trimming. It is as if the women could not be bushy enough, the men not puffy enough, to please themselves.
"We will leave them that," answered the uncle: "spend his superfluity on what he will, a man is happy in it; happiest when he there with decks and dizens himself." The fair dame nodded assent.
So had they by degrees got upon a clear space, which led out to the suburbs, when, at the end of many small booths and stands, a larger edifice of boards showed itself, which was scarcely glanced at till an ear-lacerating bellow sounded forth from it. The feedinghour of the wild beasts there exhibited seemed to have come: the Lion let his forest and desert-voice be heard in all vigour; the horses shuddered, and all must remark how, in the peaceful ways and workings of the cultivated world, the King of the wilderness so fearfully announced himself. Coming nearer the booth, you could not overlook the variegated colossal pictures representing with violent colours and strong emblems those foreign beasts; to a sight of which the peaceful burgher was to be irresistibly enticed. The grim monstrous tiger was pouncing on a blackamoor, on the point of tearing him in shreds; a lion stood earnest and majestic, as if he saw no prey worthy of him; other wondrous party-coloured creatures, beside these mighty ones, deserved less attention.
"As we come back," said the Princess, "we will alight and take a nearer view of these gentry."-"It is strange," observed the Prince, "that man always seeks excitement by Terror. Inside, there, the Tiger lies quite quiet in his cage; and here must he ferociously dart upon a black, that the people may fancy the like is to be seen within; o murder and sudden death,
of burning and destruction, there is not enough; | clearest light; the Prince's Castle, with its but ballad-singers must at every corner keep compartments, main buildings, wings, domes, repeating it. Good man will have himself and towers, lay clear and stately; the upper frightened a little; to feel the better, in secret, Town in its whole extent; into the lower also how beautiful and laudable it is to draw breath you could conveniently look, nay, by the telein freedom." scope distinguish the booths in the marketplace. So furthersome an instrument Honorio would never leave behind: they looked at the River upwards and downwards, on this side the mountainous, terrace-like, interrupted expanse, on that the upswelling, fruitful land, alternating in level and low hill; places innumerable; for it was long customary to dispute how many of them were here to be seen.
Over the great expanse lay a cheerful stillness, as is common at noon; when, as the Ancients were wont to say, Pan is asleep, and all Nature holds her breath not to awaken him.
Whatever of apprehensiveness from such bugbear images might have remained, was soon all and wholly effaced, as, issuing through the gate, our party entered on the cheerfullest of scenes The road led first up the River, as yet but a small current, and bearing only light boats, but which by and by, as renowned worldstream, would carry forth its name and waters, and enliven distant lands. They proceeded next through well cultivated fruit-gardens and pleasure-grounds, softly ascending; and by degrees you could look about you in the now-disclosed much-peopled region, till first a thicket, then a little wood admitted our riders, and the gracefullest localities refreshed and limited their view. A meadow vale leading upwards, shortly before mown for the second time, velvet-like to look upon, watered by a brook rushing out lively, copious at once from the uplands above, received them as with welcome; and so they approached a higher, freer station, which, on issuing from the wood, after a stiff ascent, they gained; and could now descry, over new clumps of trees, the old Castle, the goal of their pilgrimage, rising in the distance, as pinnacle of the rock and forest. Backwards, again, (for never did one mount hither without turning round,) they caught, through accidental openings of the high trees, the Prince's Castle, on the left, lightened by the morning sun; the well-built higher quarter of the Town softened under light smoke-clouds; and so on, rightwards, the under Town, the River in several bendings, with its meadows and mills; on the farther side, an extensive fertile region.
Having satisfied themselves with the prospect, or rather as usually happens when we look round from so high a station, become doubly eager for a wider, less limited view, they rode on, over a broad stony flat, where the mighty Ruin stood fronting them, as a green-crowned summit, a few old trees far down about its foot: they rode along; and so arrived there, just at the steepest, most inaccessible side. Great rocks jutting out from of old, insensible of every change, firm, well-founded, stood clenched together there; and so it towered upwards: what had fallen at intervals lay in huge plates and fragments confusedly heaped, and seemed to forbid the boldest any attempt. But the steep, the precipitous is inviting to youth: to undertake it, to storm and conquer it, is for young limbs an enjoyment. The Princess testified desire for an attempt; Honorio was at her hand; the Prince-Uncle, if easier to satisfy, took it cheerfully, and would show that he too had strength: the horses were to wait below among the trees; our climbers make for a certain point, where a huge projecting rock affords a standing-room, and a prospect, which indeed is already passing over into the bird's-eye kind, yet folds itself together there picturesquely enough.
The sun, almost at its meridian, lent the
"It is not the first time," said the Princess, "that I, on some such high far-seeing spot, have reflected how Nature all clear looks so pure and peaceful, and gives you the impression as if there were nothing contradictory in the world; and yet when you return back into the habitation of man, be it lofty or low, wide or narrow, there is ever somewhat to contend with, to battle with, to smooth and put to rights."
Honorio, who, meanwhile, was looking through the glass at the Town, exclaimed: "See! see! There is fire in the market!" They looked, and could observe some smoke, the flames were smothered in the daylight. "The fire spreads!" cried he, still looking through the glass; the mischief indeed now became noticeable to the good eyes of the Princess; from time to time you observed a red burst of flame; the smoke mounted aloft; and Prince-Uncle said: "Let us return: that is not good; I always feared I should see that misery a second time." They descended, got back to their horses. "Ride," said the Princess to the Uncle, "fast, but not without a groom; leave me Honorio, we will follow without delay. The Uncle felt the reasonableness, nay necessity of this; and started off down the waste stony slope, at the quickest pace the ground allowed.
As the Princess mounted, Honorio said: "Please your Excellency to ride slow! In the Town as in the Castle, the fire-apparatus is in perfect order; the people, in this unexpected accident, will not lose their presence of mind. Here, moreover, we have bad ground, little stones and short grass; quick riding is unsafe; in any case, before we arrive, the fire will be got under." The Princess did not think so; she observed the smoke spreading, she fancied that she saw a flame Hash up, that she heard an explosion; and now in her imagination all the terrific things awoke, which the worthy Uncle's repeated narrative of his experiences in that market-conflagration had too deeply implanted there.
Frightful doubtless had that business been, alarming and impressive enough to leave behind it, painfully through life long, a boding and image of its recurrence, when, in the nightseason, on the great booth-covered marketspace, a sudden fire had seized booth after