Изображения страниц
PDF
EPUB

were on her lips. She spent her days very her husband again, that she made the wish lonely for another twelvemonth, when a the same night, and when she woke three beautiful little girl was sent to her. Then hours after, she was in her husband's palace, she thought to herself she'd have a sharp and himself was watching over her. There eye about her this time; so she never would was great great joy on both sides, and they allow a window to be more than a few were very happy for many days. inches open.

“Now she began to reflect how she never " But all her care was in vain. Another felt her husband leaving her of a morning : evening when they were all so happy and and how she never found him neglecting to the prince dandling the baby, a beauti- give her a sweet drink out of a gold cup ful greyhound bitch stood before them, took just as she was going to bed. the child out of the father's hand, and was “So one night she contrived not to drink out of the door before you could wink. any of it, though she pretended to do so; This time she shouted, and ran out of the and she was wakeful enough in the mornroom, but there were some of the servants ing, and saw her husband passing out in the next room, and all declared that nei. through a pannel in the wainscot, though ther child nor dog passed out. She felt, she kept her eyelids nearly closed. The she could not tell how, to her husband, but next night she got a few drops of the sleepy still she kept command over herself, and posset, that she saved the evening before, didn't once reproach him.

put into her husband's night drink, and When the third child was born she that made him sleep sound enough. She would hardly allow a window or door to be got up after midnight, passed through the left open for a moment; but she wasn't the pannel, and found a beautiful brown bear's nearer to keep the child to herself. They hide hanging in an alcove. She stole back were sitting one evening by the fire, when a and went down to the parlour fire, and put lady appeared standing by them. She opened the hide into the middle of it, and never her eyes in a great fright, and stared at her, took eyes off of it till it was all fine ashes. and while she was doing so, the appearance She then lay down by her husband, gave wrapped a shawl round the baby that was him a kiss on the cheek, and fell asleep. sitting in its father's lap, and either sunk

6. If she was to live a hundred years through the ground with it, or went up

she'd never forget how she wakened next through the wide chimney. This time the morning, and found her husband looking mother kept her bed for a month.

down on her with misery, and anger in his ** My dear,' said she to her husband, face. Unhappy woman,' said he: you when she was beginning to recover, I have separated us for ever! Why hadn't think I'd feel better if I was after seeing my you patience for five years? I am now father, and mother, and sisters once more. obliged, whether I like or no, to go a three If you give me leave to go home for a few days' journey to the witch's castle, and live days, I'd be glad.' Very well,' said he, I with her daughter. The skin that was my will do that; and whenever you feel in- guard you have burned it, and the egre clineil to return, only mention your wish wife that gave you the counsel was the when you lie down at night. The next witch herself. I won't reproach you: your morning when she awoke, she found herself punishment will be severe enough without in her own old chamber in her father's pa. it. Farewell for ever!' lace. She rung the bell, and in a short “He kissed her for the last time, and was time she had her mother, and father, and off the next minute walking as fast as he her married sisters about her, and they could. She shouted after him, and then laughed till they cried for joy at finding seeing there was no use, she dressed herself, her safe back again.

and pursued him. He never stopped, nor “So in time she told them all that had stayed, nor looked back, and still she kept happened to her, and they didn't know him in sight; and when he was on the hill what to advise her to do. She was as fond she was in the hollow, and when he was in of her husband as ever, and said she was the hollow she was on the hill. Her life sure that he couldn't help letting the chil- was almost leaving her, when just as the dren go; but still she was afraid beyond sun was setting, he turned up a bohyeen the world to have another child to be torn (lane), and went into a little house. She from her. Well, the mother and sisters crawled up after him, and when she got inconsulted a wise woman that used to bring side, there she saw a beautiful little boy eggs to the castle, for they had great con- on his knees, and he kissing and hugging fidence in her wisdom. She said the only him. • Here, my poor darling,' says he, plan was to secure the bear's skin that the is your eldest child, and there,' says he, prince was obliged to put on every mor- pointing to a nice middle-aged woman that ning and get it burned, and then he couldn't was looking on with a smile on her face, help being a man night and day, and then ' is the eagle that carried him away.' She the enchantment would be at an end. forgot all her sorrows in a moment, hugging

“So they all persuaded her to do thather child, and laughing and crying over and she promised she would; and after him. The Vanithee washed their feet, and eight days she felt so great a longing to see rubbed them with an ointment that took all the soreness out of their bones, and abroad, and every one that saw him remade them as fresh as a daisy. Next marked how silent and sorrowful he went morning just before sunrise he was up, and about, like a person that was searching for prepared to be off. 'Here,' said he to her, some lost thing i is a thing which may be of use to you. 6. The servants and conceited folk at the It's a scissors, and whatever stuff you big house began to take notice of the beaucut with it, will be turned into rich silk. tiful young woman at the lodge, and to The moment the sun rises I'll lose all me- annoy her with their impudent addresses. mory of yourself and the children; but I'll The head-footman was the most troubleget it at sunset again; farewell.' But he some, and at last she invited him to come wasn't far till she was in sight of him again, take tea with her. Oh, how rejoiced he leaving her boy behind. It was the same was, and how he bragged of it in the serto day as yesterday : their shadows went vants' hall! Well, the evening came, and before them in the morning, and followed the footman walked into the lodge, and them in the evening. He never stopped, was shown to her sitting-room; for the and she never stopped, and as the sun was lodge-keeper and his wife stood in great setting, he turned up another lane, and there awe of her, and gave her two nice rooms to they found their little daughter. It was all herself. Well, he sat down as stiff as a joy and comfort again till morning, and ramrod, and was talking in a grand style then the third day's journey commenced. about the great doings at the castle, while

“But before he started he gave her a she was getting the tea and toast ready. comb, and told her that whenever she ‘Oh,' says she to him, would you put used it, pearls and diamonds would fall your hand out at the window, and cut me from her hair. Still he had his full me- off a sprig or two of honeysuckle?' He got mory from sunset to sunrise ; but from sun- up in great glee, and put out his hand rise to sunset he travelled on under the and head; and said she, “by the virtue of charm, and never threw his eye behind. my magic gifts, let a pair of horns spring This night they came to where the youngest out of your head, and serenade the lodge. baby was, and the next morning just before Just as she wished, so it was. They sprung sunrise, the prince spoke to her for the last from the front of each ear, and tore round time. “Here, my poor wife,' said he, is a the walls till they met at the back. Oh, little hand-reel, with gold thread that has no the poor wretch! and how he bawled, and end, and the half of our marriage ring. If roared! and the servants that he used to you can ever get to my bed, and put your be boasting to, were soon flocking from the half ring to mine I will recollect you. castle, and grinning, and huzzaing, and There is a wood yonder; and the moment beating tunes on tongs, and shovels, and I enter it, I will forget everthing that ever pans; and he cursing and swearing, and happened between us, just as if I was born the eyes ready to start out of his head, and yesterday. Farewell, dear wife and child he so black in the face, and kicking out for ever. Just then the sun rose,

and
away

his legs behind like mad. he walked towards the wood. She saw it " At last she pitied his case, and removed open before him, and close after him; and the charm, and the horns dropped down on when she came up, she could no more get the ground, and he would have killed her in than she could break through a stone on the spot, only he was as weak as water, wall. She wrung her hands, and shed and his fellow-servants came in, and carried tears, but then she recollected herself, and him up to the big house. cried out: "Wood, I charge you by my “Well, some way or other, the story came three magic gifts—the scissors, the comb, to the ears of the prince, and he strolled and the reel, to let me through;' and it down that way. She had only the dress of opened, and she went along a walk till she

a country-woman on her as she sat sewing came in sight of a palace, and a lawn, and at the window, but that did not hide her a woodman's cottage in the edge of the beauty, and he was greatly puzzled and wood where it came nearest the palace. disturbed, after he had a good look at her

“She went into this lodge, and asked features, just as a body is perplexed to the woodman and his wife to take her into know whether something happened to him their service. They were not willing at when he was young, or if he only dreamed first; but she told them, she would ask no it. Well, the witch's daughter heard wages, and would give them diamonds, and about it too, and she came to see the strange pearls, and silk stuffs, and gold thread girl; and what did she find her doing, but whenever they wished for them. So they cutting out the pattern of a gown from agreed to let her stay.

brown paper; and as she cut away, the " It wasn't long till she heard how a paper became the richest silk she ever saw. young prince, that was just arrived, was The lady looked on with very covetous living in the palace as the husband of the

eyes, and, says she, “What would you be young mistress. Herself and her mother satisfied to take for that scissors.' • I'll said that they were married fifteen years take nothing,' says she, “but leave to before, and that he was charmed away spend one night in the prince's chamber, and from them ever since. He seldom stirred I'll swear that we'll be as innocent of any

crime next morning as we were in the "Four long years I was married to thee; evening. Well the proud lady fired up,

Three sweet babes I bore to thee; and was going to say something dreadful; Brown Bear of Norway, won't you turn but the scissors kept on cutting, and the to me?' silk growing richer and richer every inch.

"""Brown Bear of Norway!' said he: 'I So she agreed, and made her take a great don't understand you.' · Don't you reoath to keep her promise. "When night came on she was lét into her member, prince, that I was your wedded

wife for four years?' 'I do not,' said he, husband's chamber, and the door was

but I'm sure I wish it was so.' Don't you locked. But, when she came in a tremble, remember our three babes, that are still and sat by the bed side, the prince was in

alive? "Show me them. My mind is all such a dead sleep, that all she did couldn't awake him. She sung this verse to him, of our marriage ring, that hangs at your

a heap of confusion.' Look for the half sighing and sobbing, and kept singing it neck, and fit it to this.' He did so, and the night long, and it was all in vain:

the same moment the charm was broken.

His full memory came back on him, and he "Four long years I was married to thee;

fung his arms round his wife's neck, and Three sweet babes I bore to thee;

both began to shed tears. Brown Bear of Norway, won't you turn

"Well, there was a great cry outside, to me?'

and the castle walls were heard splitting

and cracking. Every one in the castle was “At the first dawn, the proud lady was in alarmed, and made their way out. The the chamber, and led her away, and the prince and princess went with the rest, and footman of the horns put out his tongue by the time all were safe on the lawn, at her as she was quitting the palace.

down came the building, and made the “ So there was no luck so far; but the ground tremble for miles round. No one next day the prince passed by again, and

ever saw the witch and her daughter afterlooked at her, and saluted her kindly, as a

wards. It was not long till the prince and prince might a farmer's daughter, and princess had their children with them, and passed on; and soon the witch's daughter

then they set out for their own palace. came by, and found her combing her hair, The kings of Ireland, and of Munster, and and pearls and diamonds dropping from it. Ulster, and their wives, soon came to visit “Well, another bargain was made, and

them, and may every one that deserves it the princess spent another night of sorrow,

be as happy as the Brown Bear of Norway and she left the castle at daybreak, and and his family." the footman was at his post, and enjoyed his revenge.

In the Leadbeater Papers will be “ The third day the prince went by, and found another version of the constopped to talk with the strange woman. cluding legend of this paper.

We He asked her could he do anything to serve her, and she said he might. She asked him

have read it very lately, and are under did he ever wake at night. He said that

the impression of its differing in he was rather wakeful than otherwise ; but locality and circumstance from our that during the last two nights, he was

own issue of it, but how far we know listening to a sweet song in his dreams, and no more than if it never had come could not wake, and that the voice was one beneath our eyes. Our memory is that he must have known and loved in some most faithful as to what interested other world long ago. Says she, Did you us in 1815, but most treacherous in drink any sleepy potion either of these recollections of what we heard or evenings before you went to bed ?' I did,' read in the early part of 1862. What said he. The two evenings my wife gave

we heard from Mrs. Kelly in 1810, or me something to drink, but I don't know whether it was a sleepy posset or not thereabouts, is here given to the * Well, prince,' said she, as you say you reader most conscientiously. It is a would wish to oblige me, you can do it by curious instance of old circumstances not tasting any drink this afternoon.' I being attached to the fortunes of a will not,' says he, and then he went on his new man, such as Earl Garrett must walk.

be considered when thought of in "Well, the great lady was soon after the comparison with Siegfried, the dragon prince, and found the stranger using her slayer, or Osgur, grandson of Fionn. hand-reel, and winding threads of gold off

Šuch legends belong to a race which it, and the third bargain was made. “ That evening the prince was lying on

has been obliged to give way, parhis bed at twilight, and his mind much tially, at least, to a rougher and less disturbed; and the door opened, and in his imaginative people. James IV. of princess walked, and down she sat by his Scotland survived Flodden, and will bed-side, and sung:

appear when his country wants him.

6

[ocr errors]

THE ENCHANTMENT OF GEAROIDH LARLA.

Don Sebastian, of Portugal, did not he was soon on his return. He flew right perish in Africa. Holger, the Dane, into his lady's boson, and the next

moment remained watching in his cavern long a tierce hawk was after him. The wife after the period—

gave one loud scream, though there was no

need, for the wild bird came in like an “When Roland, brave, and Olivier, arrow, and struck against a table with such And every paladin and peer,

force that the life was dashed out of him. On Roncesvalles died."

She turned her eyes from his quivering body King Arthur is still waiting in the

to where she saw the goldfinch an instant Isle of Avalon; and some old Welsh before, but neither goldfinch nor Earl Gar

ret did she ever lay eyes on again. king can scarcely disengage his beard

“Once every seven years the Earl rides from the stone table into which it has round the Curragh of Kildare on a steed, grown, as he has slept till his coming whose silver shoes were half an inch thick forth can be of no manner of use. the time he disappeared; and when these

shoes are worn as thin as a cat's ear, he will

be restored to the society of living men, “In old times in Ireland there was a great fight a great battle with the English, and man of the Fitzgeralds. The name on him was reign king of Ireland for two score years. Gerald, but the Irish, that always had a great

“ Himself and his warriors are now sleepliking for the family, called him Gearoidh ing in a long cavern under the Rath of Mullarla (Earl Gerald). He had a great castle laghmast. There is a table running along or rath at Mullymast (Mullaghinast); and through the middle of the cave. The Earl whenever the English government were is sitting at the head, and his troopers down striving to put some wrong on the country, along in complete armour both sides of the he was always the man that stood up for it. table, and their heads resting on it. Their Along with being a great leader in a fight, horses, saddled and bridled, are standing and very skilful at all weapons, he was deep behind their masters in their stalls at each in the black art, and could change himself side; and when the day comes, the miller's into whatever shape he pleased. His lady son that's to be born with six fingers on knew that he had this power, and often each hand will blow his trumpet, and the asked him to let her into some of his secrets, horses will stamp and whinny, and the but he never would gratify her.

knights awake and mount their steeds, and “She wanted particularly to see him in go forth to battle. some strange shape, but he put her off “Some night that happens once in every and off on one pretence or other. But she seven years, while the Earl is riding round wouldn't be a woman if she hadn't perse- the Curragh, the entrance may be seen by verance; and so at last he let her know any one chancing to pass by. About a that if she took the least fright while he'd hundred years ago, a horse dealer that was be out of his natural form he would never late abroad and a little drunk, saw the recover it till many generations of men lighted cavern, and went in. The lights, would be under the mould. Oh! she and the stillness, and the sight of the men wouldn't be a tit wife for Gearoidh Iarla if in armour, cowed him a good deal, and he she could be easily frightened. Let him became sober. IIis hands began to tremble, but gratify her in this whim and he'd see and he let a bridle fall on the pavement. what a hero she was !' So one beautiful The sound of the bit echoed through the summer evening, as they were sitting in 'long cave, and one of the warriors that was their grand drawing-room, he turned his next him, lifted his head a little, and said face away from her and muttered some in a deep hoarse voice, “Is it time yet? words, and while you'd wink he was clever He had the wit to say, “ Not yet, but soon and clean out of sight, and a lovely goldflinch will,' and the heavy helmet sunk down on was flying about the room.

the table. The horse dealer made the best “The lady, as courageous as she thought of his way out, and I never heard of any herself, was a little startled, but she held other one having got the same opportunity." her own pretty well, especially when he came and perehed on her shoulder, and A proper pendant to this series of shook his wings, and put his little beak to papers would be a comparison and her lips, and whistled the delightfulest tune recognition of likeness among the you ever heard. Well, he flew in circles personages and facts to be found in round the room, and played hide and go seek the “Ossianic” and West “Highland with his lady, and flew out into the garden, Remains ;" the “Breton Legends” by and flew back again, and lay down in her lap as if he was asleep, and jumped up

Villemarcke and Souvestre; the again.

Mabinogion” of Lady Guest ; the "Well

, when the thing had lasted long “Norse Tales” of Dasent; the "Gerenough to satisfy both, he took one fight man Tales” of Grimm ; the “Morte more into the open air'; but by my word D’Arthur;" and the other collections,

of which Diedrick of Berne (Theodric However, as time wore on, and early of Verona), and Charlemagne, and his religious fervour was lost, the devonephew, Roland, are the central figures. tional element became powerless, and It would appear from comparison that the mere action of the pieces remained the Grecian and Roman Mythology, untouched. Many expressions in our and the sacred books of the Hindoos, surviving fictions are meaningless to and the Iceland Eddas, and the collec- us, but were once very significative, tions quoted, contain a large mass of and probably illustrated some mythoinvented fiction or tradition, derived logical point, which is now and profrom a common source, and varied bably will be ever unknown. By a according to climate, social usages, careful comparison of all our fictional natural features of localities, and remains, something may be done. spirit of government.

The Song of the Fairies, in the LusIt is not at all easy to form anymore's Rath, was meaningless till ilsure opinion on the mythology of the lustrated by the Breton Version. people among whom the fireside In conclusion, we exhort every stories, or the Celtic traditions proper, person who takes interest in the oral have originated. According as á literary lore of the people, to collect change in the religious belief of a whatever has been left among living people was effected, the peculiar uneducated men and women. A few religious flavour of the fictions evapor- years later and it will inevitably be ated, and was succeeded by some- lost. thing characteristic of the new faith.

VOLTAIRE, HIS LIFE AND HIS GENIUS.

In answer to a question, who was the printing press of Europe marthe most brilliant and powerful being shalled by his genius, he marched to of the eighteenth century.? the voices battle, frequently to victory, always of the civilized world, joining in a to renown. In this long war waged mingled chorus of applause and an- against Catholicism and despotism, tipathy, would, doubtless, reply-Vol- he achieved a new kingship, that of taire. Considering the magnitude of public opinion; and with this power his labours and their potent effects, under his control, he shook thrones, he still remains the greatest literary severed the chains of centuries, dissiman of Europe and the world. His pated the clouds of the past, and activity equalled his powers, he was emancipated the couls of humanity one of the few whom the Germans call with laughter and light. If the world men, one of the few universal armies and fleets of a great power are spirits who have extended the empire a majestic sight, the hundred volumes of their intellect over every domain of Voltaire, which were instrumental of thought. Actuated from his ear- in destroying so many errors of the age, liest boyhood with an aspiring ambi- and which opened a brightening vista tion to trace his name on all the for humanity, are one still greater. literary monuments of the age, he Those works, the product of his was the first who gave the literary life, genius, and talents, resemble a character a status in Europe. Before gigantic tree, but it is a tree of good his day, men of letters were either and evil : it has produced an impatronized by classes or the pension- mense harvest of healthy fruit, but it ers of courts; the independent in- also casts its upas shadow. The tellect of Voltaire aspired to a larger Dramas and Discourses in Verse stand constituency- that of nations- of side by side with “ La Pucelle;” the humanity.

treatise on “Toleration, and those His long life of eighty-four years defences of Sirven, Le Barre, Lally, in was passed in creation and contest; which he championed the cause of theatres became the forts of this war- humanity, beside the Philosophical rior of ideas; and with the artillery of Dictionary. What is infamous in Vol

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »