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descended, than "Faust appears above, on the| Lynceus with a chest, and men carrying other stairs, in knightly court-dress of the middle chests behind him." ages, and with deliberate dignity comes down," astonishing the poor "feather-headed" Chorus with the gracefulness of his deportment and his more than human beauty. He leads with him a culprit in fetters; and, by way of introduction, explains to Helena that this man, Lynceus, has deserved death by his misconduct; but that to her, as Queen of the Castle, must appertain the right of dooming or of pardoning him. The crime of Lynceus is, indeed, of an extraordinary nature: he was Warder of the Tower; but now, though gifted, as his name imports, with the keenest vision, he has failed in warning Faust that so august a visitor was approaching, and thus occasioned the most dreadful breach of politeness. Lynceus pleads guilty: quick-sighted as a lynx, in usual cases, he has been blinded with excess of light, in this instance. While looking towards the orient at the "course of morning," he noticed "a sun rise wonderfully in the south," and, all his senses taken captive by such surpassing beauty, he no longer knew his right hand from his left, or could move a limb, or utter a word, to announce her arrival. Under these peculiar circumstances, Helena sees room for extending the royal prerogative; and, after expressing unfeigned regret at this so fatal influence of her charms over the whole male sex, dismisses the Warder with a reprieve. We must beg our readers to keep an eye on this Innamorato; for there may be meaning in him. Here is the pleading, which produced so fine an effect given in his own words:
Let me kneel and let me view her,
Slave to this high woman, truer
Watching o'er the course of morning,
Draws my look towards those places,
Eyesight truly hath been lent me,
Knew I aught? or could I ever
Eye and heart I must surrender
I forgot the warder's duty;
Save him accordingly she did; but no sooner is he dismissed, and Faust has made a remark on the multitude of "arrows" which she is darting forth on all sides, than Lynceus returns in a sti madder humour. "Re-enter
Thou see'st me, Queen, again advance,
From Eastward marching came we on,
The first did fall, the second stood,
We stormed along, we rushed apace,
We look; our choice was quickly made;
But I did love apart to spy
The rarest things could meet the eye:
For treasures did I keep a look,
And heaps of gold I gained this way,
So let the Pearl from depths of sea,
And so the richest treasure's brought
So many chests we now do bear;
For scarcely art thou hither sent,
All this I reckon❜d great, and mine,
So dwindles what my glory was,
Away! away: take back the bold-earn❜d load,
Gem-fretted, shine like skies; a Paradise
Small is what our Lord doth say;
hands of Faust; his pardon by the fair Greek; his subsequent magnanimous offer to her, and discourse with his master on the subject,might give rise to various considerations. But we must not loiter, questioning the strange Shadows of that strange country, who, besides, are apt to mystify one. Our nearest business is to get across it: we again proceed.
Whoever or whatever Faust and Helena may be, they are evidently fast rising into high favour with each other; as, indeed, from so generous a gallant, and so fair a dame, was to be anticipated. She invites him to sit with her on the throne, so instantaneously acquired by force of her charms; to which graceful proposal he, after kissing her hand in knightly wise, fails not to accede. The courtship now advances apace. Helena admires the dialect And herewith exit Lynceus, and we see no more of Lynceus, and how " one word seemed to kiss of him! We have said that we thought there the other," for the Warder, as we saw, speaks might be method in this madness. In fact, the in doggerel; and she cannot but wish that she allegorical, or at least fantastical and figura- also had some such talent. Faust assures her tive, character of the whole action is growing that nothing is more easy than this same pracmore and more decided every moment. He- tice of rhyme: it is but speaking right from lena, we must conjecture, is, in the course of the heart, and the rest follows of course. this her real historical intrigue with Faust, to Withal, he proposes that they should make a present, at the same time, some dim adumbra- trial of it themselves. The experiment suction of Grecian Art, and its flight to the North-ceeds to mutual satisfaction: for not only can ern Nations, when driven by stress of War they two build the lofty rhyme, in concert, with from its own country. Faust's Tower will, in all convenience, but, in the course of a page this case, afford not only a convenient station or two of such crambo, many love-tokens come for lifting black-mail over the neighbouring dis- to light; nay, we find by the Chorus, that the trict, but a cunning, though vague and fluctu- wooing has well nigh reached a happy end: ating, emblem of the Product of Teutonic Mind; at least, the two are "sitting near and nearer the Science, Art, Institutions of the Northmen, each other,-shoulder on shoulder, knee by of whose Spirit and Genius he himself may in knee, hand in hand, they are swaying over some degree become the representative. In this the throne's upcushioned lordliness;" which, way, the extravagant homage and admiration surely, are promising symptoms. paid to Helena are not without their meaning. The manner of her arrival, enveloped as she was in thick clouds, and frightened onwards by hostile trumpets, may also have more or less propriety. And who is Lynceus, the mad Watchman? We cannot but suspect him of being a Schoolman Philosopher, or School Philosophy itself, in disguise; and that this wonderful "march" of his has a covert allusion to the great "march of intellect," which did march in those old ages, though only at “ordinary time." We observe, the military, one after the other, all fell; for discoverers, like other men, must die; but still the next had prowess more," and forgot the thousands that had sunk in clearing the way for him. However, Lynceus, in his love of plunder, did not take "the fairest maid," nor "the steer" fit for burden, but rather jewels and other rare articles of value; in which quest his high power of eye-tition the Country, they shall hereby acquire. sight proved of great service to him. Better Germanus is to have "the bays of Corinth;" had it been, perhaps, to have done as others while "Achaia, with its hundred dells," is redid, and seized "the fairest maid," or even the commended to the care of Goth; the host of "steer" fit for burden, or one of the "horses" the Franks must go towards Elis; Messene is which were in such request: for, when he to be the Saxon's share; and Normann is to quitted practical Science and the philosophy clear the seas, and make Argolis great. Sparta, of Life, and addicted himself to curious subtil- however, is to continue the territory of Helena, ties and Metaphysical crotchets, what did it and be queen and patrozess of these inferior avail him? At the first glance of the Grecian Dukedoms. In all this, are we to trace some beauty, he found that it was "naught, poor, and faint changeful shadow of the National Cha misunderstood." His extraordinary obscura- racter, and respective Intellectual Performance ion of vision on Helena's approach; his nar- of the several European tribes? Or, perhaps, w escape from death, on that account, at the of the real History of the Middle Ages: the
Such ill-timed dalliance is abruptly disturbed by the entrance of Phorcyas, now, as ever, a messenger of evil, with malignant tidings that Menelaus is at hand, with his whole force, to Storm the Castle, and ferociously avenge his new injuries. An immense "explosion of signals from the towers, of trumpets, clarions, military music, and the march of numerous armies," confirms the news. Faust however, treats the matter coolly; chides the unceremonious trepidation of Phorcyas, and summons his men of war; who accordingly enter, steel-clad, in military pomp, and quitting their battalions, gather round him to take his orders. In a wild Pindaric ode, delivered with due emphasis, he directs them not so much how they are to conquer Menelaus, whom doubtless he knows to be a sort of dream, as how they are respectively to manage and par
irruption of the northern swarms, issuing, like | Foolish Love's caressing, teasing; cry of Jest, and shriek Faust and his air-warriors, "from Cimmerian Night," and spreading over so many fair regions? Perhaps of both, and of more; perhaps properly of neither: for the whole has a chameleon character, changing hue as we look on it. However, be this as it may, the Chorus cannot sufficiently admire Faust's strategic faculty; and the troops march off, without speech indeed, but evidently in the highest spirits. He himself concludes with another rapid dithyrambic, describing the Peninsula of Greece, or rather, perhaps, typically the Region of true Poesy, "kissed by the seawaters," and "knit to the last mountainbranch" of the firm land. There is a wild glowing fire in these two odes; a musical indistinctness, yet enveloping a rugged, keen sense, which, were the gift of rhyme so common as Faust thinks it, we should have pleasure in presenting to our readers. Again and again, we think of Calderon and his Life a Dream.
Faust, as he resumes his seat by Helena, observes that "she is sprung from the highest gods, and belongs to the first world alone. It is not meet that bolted towers should encircle her; and near by Sparta, over the hills, "Arcadia blooms in eternal strength of youth, a blissful abode for them two." "Let thrones pass into groves; Arcadianly free be such felicity!" No sooner said, than done. Our Fortress, we suppose, rushes asunder like a Palace of Air, for, "the scene altogether changes. A series of Grottoes now are shut in by close Bowers. Shady Grove, to the foot of the Rocks which encircle the place. Faust and Helena are not scen. Chorus, scattered around, lie sleeping."
In Arcadia, the business grows wilder than ever. Phorcyas, who has now become wonderfully civil, and, notwithstanding her ugliness, stands on the best footing with the poor light-headed Cicada-Swarm of a Chorus, awakes them to hear and see the wonders that have happened so shortly. It appears, too, that there are certain "Bearded Ones" (we suspect, Devils) waiting with anxiety, " sitting watchful there below," to see the issue of this extraordinary transaction; but of these Phorcyas gives her silly woman no hint whatever. She tells them, in glib phrase, what great things are in the wind. Faust and Helena have been happier than mortals in these grottoes. Phorcyas, who was in waiting, gradually glided away, seeking "roots, moss, and rinds," on household duty bent, and so "they two remained alone."
Talk'st as if within those grottoes lay whole tracts of
Wood and meadow, rivers, lakes: what tales thou palm'st
In their turn do stun me quite.
Naked, without wings a Genius, Faun in humour with-
Darts him up to airy heights; and at the third, the second
Touches he the vaulted Roof.
But at once re-echoes from within a peal of laughter:
Peeping in, what is it? Leaps a boy from mother's breast
10 Father's, From the Father to the Mother: such a fondling, such a dandling,
But, my Son, beware of Flying; wings nor power of flight are thine.
And the Father thus advises: in the Earth resides the
Which so fast doth send thee upwards; touch but with
And so skips he, hither, thither, on these jagged rocks;
Still to summit, all about, like stricken ball rebounding, springs.
But at once in cleft of some rude cavern sinking as he vanished,
And so seems it we have lost him. Mother mourning,
Father cheers her,
Shrug my shoulders I, and look about me. But again,
behold, what vision!
again, and garments Glittering, flower-bestriped has on.
Tassels waver from his arms, about his bosom flutter
And the Parents, in their rapture, fly into each other's
For what glittering 's that about his head? Were hard
strength of soul.
And with such a bearing moves he, in himself this boy
Future Master of all Beauty, whom the Melodies Eternal
The Chorus suggest, in their simplicity, that this elastic little urchin may have some relationship to the "Son of Maia," who, in old times, whisked himself so nimbly out of his swaddling clothes, and stole the "Sea-ruler's trident" and "Hephaestos' tongs," and various other articles before he was well span-long. But Phorcyas declares all this to be superannuated fable, unfit for modern uses. And now, "a beautiful, purely melodious music of stringed instruments resounds from the Cave. All listen, and soon appear deeply moved. It continues playing in full tone;" while Euphorion, in person, makes his appearance, "in the costume above described;" larger of stature, but no less frolicsome and tuneful.
Sure enough, ye foolish creatures! These are unexplored recesses;
Our readers are aware that this Euphorion, the offspring of Northern Character wedded to
Hall runs out on hall, spaces there on spaces: these I Grecian Culture, frisks it here not without remusing traced.
ference to Modern Poesy, which had a birth so precisely similar. Sorry are we that we cannot follow him through these fine warblings and trippings on the light fantastic toe: to our ears there is a quick, pure, small-toned music
in them, as perhaps of elfin bells when the Queen of Faery rides by moonlight. It is, in truth, a graceful emblematic dance, this little life of Euphorion; full of meanings and halfmeanings. The history of Poetry, traits of individual Poets; the Troubadours, the Three Italians; glimpses of all things, full vision of nothing! Euphorion grows rapidly, and passes from one pursuit to another. Quitting his boyish gambols, he takes to dancing and romping with the Chorus; and this in a style of tu
mult which rather dissatisfies Faust. The wildest and coyest of these damsels he seizes with avowed intent of snatching a kiss; but, alas, she resists, and still more singular, "flashes up in flame into the air :" inviting him, perhaps in mockery, to follow her, and "catch his vanished purpose." Euphorion shakes off the remnants of the flame, and now, in a wilder humour, mounts on the crags, begins to talk of courage and battle; higher and higher he rises, till the Chorus see him on the topmost cliff, shining "in harness as for victory;" and yet, though at such a distance, they still hear his tones, neither is his figure diminished in their eyes; which indeed, as they observe, always is, and should be, the case with "sacred Poesy," though it mounts heavenward, farther and farther, till it "glitter like the fairest star." But Euphorion's life-dance is near ending. From his high peak, he catches the sound of war, and fires at it, and longs to mix in it, let Chorus, and Mother, and Father say what they will.
And hear ye thunders on the ocean,
And thunders roll from tower and wall,
Is the law of life,
That is certain once for all.
HELENA, FAUST, and CHORUS.
Shall I view it, safe and gladly?
HELENA, FAUST, and CHORUS.
Ha! and a pair of wings
Thither! I must! I must!
'Tis my hest to fly!
(He casts himself into the air: his Garments support him for a moment; his Head radiates, a Train of Light follows him.)
CHORUS. Icarus! earth and dust!
O, wo! thou mount'st too high.
(A beautiful Youth rushes down at the feet of the Parents; you fancy you recognise in the dead a well-known Form; but the bodily part instantly disappears; the gold
It is perhaps in reference to this phrase, that certain sagacious critics among the Germans have hit upon the wonderful discovery of Euphorion being-Lord Byron! A fact, if it is one, which curiously verifies the author's prediction in this passage. But unhappily, while we fancy that we recognise in the dead a well-known form, "the bodily part instantly disappears ;" and the keen
Crownlet mounts uke a comet to the sky, Coat, Mantio, and Lyre, are left lying.)
HELENA and FAUST.
Joy soon changes to wo,
EUPHORION's voice (from beneath.)
Let me not to realms below
chant a dirge over his remains, and then :
HELENA (to FAUST.)
A sad old saying proves itself again in me,
(She embraces Faust; her Body melts away; Garment and Veil remain in his arms.)
PHORCYAS (to FAUST.)
Hold fast, what now alone remains to thee
(HELENA's Garments unfold into Clouds, encircle FAUST ¿ raise him aloft and float away with him.)
(PHORCY AS picks up EUPHORION's Coat, Mantle, and Lyre from the Ground, comes forward into the Proscenium, holds these Remains aloft, and says:)
Well, fairly found be happily won!
"T is true, the Flame is lost and gone :
The rest of the personages are now speedily disposed of. Panthalis, the Leader of the Chorus, and the only one of them who has shown any glimmerings of Reason, or of aught beyond mere sensitive life, mere love of Plea sure and fear of Pain, proposes that, being now delivered from the soul-confusing spell of the "Thessalian Hag," they should forthwith return to Hades, to bear Helena company. But none will volunteer with her; so she goes her self. The Chorus have lost their taste for Asphodel Meadows, and playing so subordinate a part in Orcus: they prefer abiding in the Light of Day, though, indeed, under rather peculiar circumstances; being no longer " Per sons," they say, but a kind of Occult Qualities, as we conjecture, and Poetic Inspirations, residing in various natural objects. Thus, one division become a sort of invisible Hama dryads, and have their being in Trees, and their joy in the various movements, beauties. est critic finds that he can see no deeper into a millstone than another man. Some allusion to our English Poet there is, or may be, here and in the page that precedes, and the page that follows; but Euphorion is no image of any person: least of all, one would think, of George Lord Byron.
and products of trees. A second change into successful. It is wonderful with what fidelity Echoes; a third, into the Spirit of Brooks; the Classical style is maintained throughou and a fourth take up their abode in Vineyards, the earlier part of the poem; how skilfully. and delight in the manufacture of Wine. No is at once united to the Romantic style of the Sooner have these several parties made up their latter part, and made to re-appear, at intervals, minds, than the Curtain fulls; and Phorcyas "in to the end. And then the small half-secret the l'roscenium rises in gigantic size; but steps down touches of sarcasm, the curious little traits by from her cothurni, lays her Mask and Veil aside, which we get a peep behind the curtain! and shows herself as MEPHISTOPHELES, in order, so Figure, for instance, that so transient allusion far as may be necessary, to comment on the piece, to these "Bearded Ones sitting watchful there by way of Epilogue." below," and then their tugging at Helena's Mantle to pull it down with them. By such light hints does Mephistopheles point out our Whereabout; and ever and anon remind us, that not on the firm earth, but on the wide and airy Deep, has he spread his strange pavilion, where, in magic light, so many wonders are displayed to us.
Such is Helena the interlude in Faust. We have all the desire in the world to hear Mephisto's Epilogue: but far be it from us to take the word out of so gifted a mouth! In the way of commentary on Helena, we ourselves have little more to add. The reader sees, in general, that Faust is to save himself from the straits and fetters of Worldly Life in the loftier regions of Art, or in that temper of mind by which alone those regions can be reached, and permanently dwelt in. Further, also, that this doctrine is to be stated emblematically and parabolically; ; so that it might seem as if, in Goethe's hands, the History of Faust, commencing among the realities of every-day existence, superadding to these certain spiritual agencies, and passing into a more aerial character as it proceeds, may fade away, at its termination, into a phantasmagoric region, where symbol and thing signified are no longer clearly distinguished; and thus the final result be curiously and significantly indicated, rather On the general relation of Helena to Faust, than directly exhibited. With regard to the and the degree of fitness of the one for the special purport of Euphorion, Lynceus, and other, it were premature to speak more exthe rest, we have nothing more to say at pre-pressly at present. We have learned, on sent; nay, perhaps we may have already said authority which we may justly reckon the best, too much. For it must not be forgotten by the that Goethe is even now engaged in preparing commentator, and will not, of a surety, be for- the entire Second Part of Faust, into which gotten by Mephistopheles, whenever he may this Helena passes as a component part. With please to deliver his Epilogue, that Helena is the third Lieferung of his Works, we undernot an Allegory, but a Phantasmagory; not a stand, the beginning of that Second Part is to type of one thing, but a vague, fluctuating, be published: we shall then, if need be, feel fitful adumbration of many. This is no Pic- more qualified to speak. ture painted on canvas, with mere material colours, and steadfastly abiding our scrutiny; but rather it is like the Smoke of a Wizard's Cauldron, in which as we gaze on its flickering tints and wild splendours, thousands of strangest shapes unfold themselves, yet no one will abide with us; and thus, as Goethe says elsewhere, "we are reminded of Nothing and of All."
Had we chanced to find that Goethe, in other instances, had ever written one line without meaning, or many lines without a deep and true meaning, we should not have thought this little cloud-picture worthy of such minute development, or such careful study. In that case, too, we should never have seen the true Helena of Goethe, but some false one of our own too indolent imagination; for this Drama, as it grows clearer, grows also more beautiful and complete; and the third, the fourth perusal of it pleases far better than the first. Few living artists would deserve such faith from us; but few also would so well reward it.
Properly speaking, Helena is what the Germans call a Mährchen (Fabulous Tale), a species of fiction they have particularly excelled in, and of which Goethe has already produced more than one distinguished specimen. Some day we purpose to translate for our readers, that little piece of his, deserving to be named, as it is, "THE Mährchen," and which we must agree with a great critic in reckoning the "Tale of all Tales." As to the composition of this Helena, we cannot but perceive it to be deeply-studied, appropriate, and
For the present, therefore, we take leave of Helena and Faust, and of their Author: but with regard to the latter, our task is nowise ended; indeed, as yet, hardly begun, for it is not in the province of the Mährchen, that Goethe will ever become most interesting to English readers. But, like his own Euphorion, though he rises aloft into Æther, he derives, Antæus-like, his strength from the earth. The dullest plodder has not more practical understanding, or a sounder or more quiet character, than this most aerial and imaginative of poets. We hold Goethe to be the Foreigner, at this era, who, of all others, the best, and the best by many degrees, deserves our study and appreciation. What help we individually can give in such a matter, we shall consider it a duty and a pleasure to have in readiness. We purpose to return, in our next Number, to the consideration of his Works and Character in general.