Изображения страниц
PDF
EPUB

THE POPULAR SUPERSTITIONS, LEGENDS, going out for a walk, or to pay a visit, she will order AND FICTIONS, OF THE MIDDLE AGES. the child, upon some pretended occasion, to a distant

part of the house, till she has made her escape. II.

It is a deception too gross (says a modern author, whose MYTHOLOGY OF THE NURSERY.

philosophical and sentimental writings have been much adDELUSIONS OF THE NURSERY. — PERNICIOUS CONSE- mired,) to be insisted on, to threaten children with pre

QUENCES OF EXCITING FEAR.-TERROR THE CAUSE OF tended punishments,-that you will cut off their ears; that DISTURBED SLEEP, CONVULSIONS, AND DREAMS.- you will put them into the well; that you will give them to STORIES WHICH HAVE THEIR ORIGIN IN POPULAR the “old man;" that there is somebody coming down the Fictions.

chimney to take them away. Our mothers' maids, says old Reginald Scott, Terror, or the dread of an evil surprising us before have so frayed us with bul-beggars, spirits, witches, ur- we are able to avert it, is of all passions the most chins, elves, hags, fairies, satyrs, Pans, Fauns, sirens, Kit destructive, and the most difficult to be avoided, be.. with the canstick, tritons, centaurs, dwarfs, giants, imps, calcars, conjurors, nymphs, changelings, incubus, Robin

cause its operation is unforeseen and instantaneous. Goodfellows, the spoon, the mare, the man in the oak, the To shun, therefore, all occasions that may produce helwain, the fire-drake, the Puckle, Tom Thumb, hobgoblin, it, either in young or old, is perhaps the only remedy, Tom Tumbler, Boneless, and other such things, that we are Persons who are feeble, and possessed of much sen. afraid of our own shadows: insomuch that some never fear sibility, are most subject to terror, and likewise most the devil but in a dark night; and then a polled sheep is affected by it. Its effects are,-a sudden and violent a perilous beast, and many times is taken for our father's contraction of almost every muscle that serves to soul, especially in a churchyard, where a right hardy man heretofore scant durst pass by night, but his hair would perform the voluntary motions. It may further ocstand upright.

casion disease of the heart, inflammation of the It was a very common practice in former times, external parts of the body, spasms and swoons ; at not entirely exploded in the present enlightened age, particularly perspiration, and the like; to the great

the same time, it may arrest salutary eyacuations, to induce children to be good and obedient, by operating detriment of health, and danger of life. Palpi. upon their fears ; for in children, from their natural helplessness, fear is the strongest passion. Parents tation of the heart, trembling of the limbs, and in worked upon this by the terrors of discipline, and a more violent degree, convulsions and epileptic fits, presented the rod as the argument in favour of im

or a general catalepsy, and sudden death, are the plicit submission. But nurses, and the “good woman," subsequent effects of terror, which quickly compels as they were called, went another way to work.

the blood to retreat from the skin to the internal They were not allowed to chastise children, and parts ; hence it forcibly checks the circulation of the therefore they operated upon the fears of the little fuids.. Terror has been known suddenly to turn one by other subjects of a no-less terrific kind. There the hair gray; and this inattentive and very reprewas either some frightful old man, as "old Poby," or

hensible mode of educating children, often lays the decrepit old woman, “Mother Bunch," for instance, foundation of some infirmity, which it is difficult, to whom the children would be given, if they did not if at all, to eradicate in after years. It is the cause cease their crying, and do as they were bidden.

of frightful dreams, and convulsions in children, in About bed-time, in particular, when it is well

whom the nervous system is very easily affected, and known children are generally refractory, stories were consequently their predisposition greater to these told of spirits, ghosts, hobgoblins, and other terrific attacks, from the considerable capacity of their brain told of spirits, ghosts, hobgoblins, and other terrific with respect to the rest of the body, in the earlier non-entities, by means of which, although the little ones would not go to bed without being accompanied

periods of life. by their nurses, they went very quietly with them. those little stories of the nursery with which the

Of a different character from the preceding are This system continued for many years in this country, and still exists to a certain extent; but it was found rising generation in their infant years are amused. by experience to be inconsistent with right reason,

Since our boyish days, however, the literature of the

Even and productive of bad consequences. It was soon dis: nursery has sustained a mighty alteration. covered that to frighten was not to convince, and that taste, and the books which please her are far different

nurse herself has become strongly fastidious in her a continuation of such alarms and fears had an improper and relaxing effect upon the mind of the child.

from those over which she used to pore when, with Even grown persons have asserted that they have spectacles on nose," she taught our infant lips to never so far overcome the effects of this erroneous

lisp the first letters of the alphabet. Scarcely any discipline, as to be able to go much into dark rooms, people at fairs and markets, have been able to main.

of the chap-books which were sold to the countryor sleep without a light. Good sense at length tain their ancient popularity; and we have almost interposed; and the whole agency of ghosts and witnessed the extinction of this branch of our goblins was pretty generally discharged; and in most families of the present day, servants are expressly

national literature. interdicted from telling old legendary stories about in popular fictions transmitted to us from the earliest

Those old stories, however, which have their origin spirits, spectres, witches, and fairies, in the presence times have a very different tendency to that of the of the children.

It would prove a useful task to enumerate the trashy modern novels, by which they have, in some various sorts of deception which it is the custom of

respects, been superseded. On this subject a distin. ordinary education successively to impose upon its guished authority observes that subjects. The practice of such means is one of those Physiologists investigate the laws of animated life in ani. vices in teaching “the young idea how to shoot,

malculæ swimming in the rain-drop; the botanist ascends

from mosses and lichens to the oak and palm; the man that is most early introduced into the treatment of of letters should not disdain the chap-book, or the nursery youth. If the nurse find a difficulty in persuading story. Humble as these efforts of the human intellect may her charge to go to sleep, she will pretend to go to appear, they show its secret workings, its mode and prosleep along with it. If the parent wish his youngest gress, and human nature must be studied in all its proson to go to bed before his brothers, he will order

ductions; the elder ones up stairs, with permission to return as and, in the words of Sir Walter Scott, on this subject: soon as they can do it unobserved. If the mother is A work of great interest might be compiled upon the Brigin of popular fiction and the transmission of similar The popular fiction of the Celts is lively in its iales from age to age and from country to country. The poetical imagery. Amongst the nations where the mythology of one period would then appear to pass into blood of the Teutons yet predominates, popular fiction the romance of the next century, and that into the nursery- is equally poetical in its cast. Not so in the happier tale of subsequent ages.

climes of the south of Europe, where the Italian By this means would fiction resolve itself into its gives a zest to his popular narratives by buffoonery primitive elements, as by the slow and unceasing

or ribaldry. A considerable portion of the fairy action of the rain and wind the solid granite is tales contained in the Italian Entertainment for the crumbled into sand. The creations embodied by the Little Ones, together with those from the Nights of vivid imagination of man in the childhood of his Signor Straparola, exhibit the inhabitants of Peristan race, incorporate themselves in his barbarous mytho- as their chief characters, though not always retaining logy; sanctity is given to his day-dreams by the their eastern grace and beauty. altar of the idol; and they acquire a deceitful force

Of the traditionary tales of Spain little can be from the genius of the bard. Blended with the mortal said, except that we know that all the beasts used to hero, the aspect of the god gleams through the vizor speak in the days of Maucastana who flourished in of the helmet, or adds a dignity to the regal crown; the reign of King Bamba, when the slashed petticoat while poetry borrows its ornaments from the lessons of black velvet which the curate borrowed of the of the priest. The ancient god of strength of the innkeeper's wife was yet a new one. The good dog Teutons, throned in his starry chariot, the Northern Scipio who spoke in times nearer to our own, has Wain, invested the emperor of the Franks and the noticed the stories of the “Horse without a Head," paladins who surrounded him with superhuman might; and the “ Rod of Virtue" with which the old women and the same constellation darting down its rays upon

“were wont to entertain themselves when sitting by the head of the long-lost Arthur, has given to the the fire-side in the long nights of Winter.” In order monarch of the Britons the veneration which once

that the horse without a head may travel to posterity, belonged to the son of“ Uthry Bendragon,” “Thunder, it may be right to add, that this marvellous monster the supreme leader,” and “Eygyr, the generating haunts the Moorish ramparts of the Alhambra, in power." But time rolls on: the power of these rude

company with another non-descript beast, yclept mysteries dies away; the flocks are led to graze within

the Belludo, on account of his woolly hide: both the rocky circle of the giants; even the bones of the have a local habitation and a name in the guardwarriors moulder into dust; the lay is no longer room by the side of the principal portal of the palace, heard; and the fable, reduced again to its orignal from whence they occasionally sally forth and terrify simplicity and nudity, becomes the fitting source of the sentries. pastime to the untutored peasant and the listening child. Hence we may yet trace no small proportion

TEUTONIC MYTHOLOGY. of mystic and romantic lore in the tales which gladden The most important addition to nursery-literature the cottage fire-side, or, century after century, soothe has been effected in Germany, by the diligence of the infant to its slumbers; and when the nursery- John and William Grimm, two antiquarian brethren maid looks for her sweetheart in the bottom of the of the highest reputation. Under the title of tea-cup, she is little aware that she is pretending to “ Children's Tales," they published a collection of exercise the very same art to which the Egyptians German popular stories, singular in its kind, both pretended thousands of years ago.

for extent and variety, and from which we have acWe must not now, however, allow ourselves to quired much information. In this collection may be wander from the realms of popular fiction to the recognised a host of English, French, and Italian land of popular superstition, till we arrive at its stories of the same genus and species, and extant in proper place, although there is so much difficulty in printed books; but the greater part of the German ascertaining their exact boundaries, that forgiveness popular or nursery stories are stated by the editors to might readily be obtained for the digression. The be traditionary, some local, others more widely known, elves which dance on the wold must be considered all those, they assert, that are gathered from oral as subject to the same laws as the fairies who bless tradition, with the exception of " Puss in Boots," are the young prinee's christening-cup; and the giant pure German, and not borrowed from the stranger. who fills up the portal of the castle, or who wields in their annotations, Messrs. Grimm have taken conbis club upon the roof of the tower, does not differ siderable pains, and often with great success, to show essentially from the tall black man who carries away the relationship between these Children's Tales, and the naughty boy, and terrifies the little ruddy-cheeked the venerable Sagas of the north, which, in good maiden on the maternal bosom. These man-eaters sooth, were only intended for children of a larger were generally the great captains of the times. growth. “ Beware of the Melendo !" was the threat of the

The real worth of these tales (continues the editors), is, Moorish mother to her babe. The Moors were driven indeed, to be highly estimated, as they give a new and from Andalusia before fear and hatred had distorted more complete elucidation of our ancient German heroic the Castilian knight into a monster ; but Attila the fictions than could be obtained from any other source. Hun, the mighty monarch of the book of heroes, Thomrosa, who is set a-sleeping in consequence of the degenerated into a blood-thirsty ogre amongst the wounds inflicted by her spindle, is Brynhilda cast into

slumber by the sleep-thorn of Odin. The manner in inhabitants of Gaul who had smarted under his ex- which Loke hangs to the giant eagle is better understood terminating sword.

after a perusal of the story of the Golden Goose, to which The Welsh have their Mabonogem, or "juvenile the lads and lasses who touch, adhere inseparably. In the amusements," of undoubted authenticity and anti- stories of the Wicked Goldsmith, the Speaking Bird, and the quity. Some of them are extant in manuscript, Eating of the Bird's Heart, we recognise the fable of Sigund.

In these popular stories is concealed the pure and primitive others live only in the traditions of the common people *

British literature. The Cymry, however, seem to have little feeling

for the productions of their ancestors; and the praiseworthy and A translation of the former was prepared for the press by Mr. patriotic exertions of individuals may cause the Welsh nation at William Owen, to whom Cymric literature is so greatly indebted, large to blush. When a foreigner asks the names of the nobility and but the manuscript was unfortunately lost before publication. These gentry of the principality who published the Myvyrian Archæology tales possess extraordinary singularity and interest, and a complete at their own expense, the answer is, It was none of them, but Owen collection of them in the original language is still a desideratum in Jones, the Thames-street Furrier,

mythology of the Teutons, which has been considered as distant. This bridge, which was designed by lost for ever; and we are convinced that if such researches late Thomas Telford, was commenced in 1822, are continued in the different districts of Germany, the finished in little more than a year. traditions of this nature which are now neglected, will change into treasuries of incredible worth, and assist in It consists of two piers, of the height of 130 feet, affording a new basis for the study of the origin of our forming three arches, with a perfectly level road on ancient poetical fictions,

the top, spanning a defile of at least 150 feet in width: The lamented Leyden, who took a somewhat similar on the high road from Lanark to England. It is so view of popular narrative, was rather inclined to con- easy of access, that were it not for the bold and en. nect its history with ancient romance, as he over-chanting scenery which surprises and rivets the attenlooked the mythological basis of the system.

tion on crossing it, the structure would scarcely be In the repetition of an unskilful reciter, the metrical regarded; but here, nature girt with those enrapromance or fable seems often to have degenerated into a turing beauties which characterize 'the scenery of the popular story; and it is a curious fact, that the subjects of stormy river whose waterfalls and varied charms have some of the popular stories which I have heard repeated in ever been so loudly extolled, presents a lingering Scotland, do not differ essentially from those of sotne of the remembrance of her neighbouring wildness, in the ancient Norman fables, presented to the public in an elegant exhibition of a fearful chasm, the apparent effect form by Le Grand. Thus, when I first perused the fables of the Poor Scholar, the Three Thieves, and the Sexton of of some natural convulsion, whose sides,“ preciCluni, I was surprised to recognise the popular stories pitously steep," are garnitured with flowers, shrubs, which I had often heard repeated in infancy, and which I and trees, growing in the wildest luxuriance, and had often repeated myself, when the song or the tale re- huge projecting rocks, which momentarily threaten to

. A From this circumstance, I am inclined to think that many path will nevertheless conduct the adventurous tra. of the Scottish popular stories may have been common to the Norman French. Whether these tales be derived im- veller to scenes replete with ever-varying beauty, and mediately from the French, during their

long and intimate heightened even by romance; for, apart from the intercourse with the Scottish nation, or whether both nations gratifying view which is afforded of the structure borrowed them from the Celtic, may admit of some doubt. which rears its tapering columns above his head, he

can enter and explore a cave where the ever-renowned

Wallace was once compelled to take shelter, wben CARTLAND CRAIGS AND BRIDGE. defeated in an affray at Lanark, in which his wife TAE annexed engraving illustrates one of the most was killed, and wherein it is said he nurtured the useful, as well as one of the most elegant works of plan, which he subsequently matured, of raising a art which adorns Scotland. The bridge connecting force to attack a body of English soldiers, then garCartland Craigs is a bold and splendid structure, risoned in Lanark Castle, under the governance of thrown across a chasm of tremendous depth, whose an English knight, named Haselrigg. The utmost rugged bottom is washed by an inconsiderable river, success attended this enterprise, and, perhaps, was called the Mouse, stealing murmuringly along to the first motive to his openly avowing himself the swell the waters of the bounteous Clyde, only a mile champion of Scotland.

I. S. K.

[graphic]
[graphic][merged small]

LONDON: Published by JOHN WILLIAM PARKER, WEST STRAND; and sold by all Booksellers:

[graphic]

भा

'X '101

[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][subsumed][merged small]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[graphic]

JANUARY, 1837.

Magazine.

294

ONE

ONE PENNY.

PRICE

[graphic]

Arch of S. Severns.

Column of Phocas,
THE NORTHERN. ANGLE OF THE FORUM AT ROME AND BACK OF THE MODERN CAPITOL.

.34

SOME ACCOUNT OF THE CITY OF ROME.

PART THE THIRD.

THE GREAT FORUM OF ANCIENT ROME.

the same facility upon the soil, or that, if in Rome, he

could tread with his feet those imaginary bounds which we It was once, And long the centre of their universe,

have drawn with the pen. To what extent this might be The Forum,-whence a mandate, eagle-winged,

done may be gathered hereafter; before it could be done Went to the ends of the earth. Let us descend

completely, many obstructions must be removed. We may Slowly. At every step much may be lost.

add, that the limits here assigned to the ancient Forum are The very dust we tread stirs as with life ; And not a breath but from the ground sends up

those which it had under the empire. Nibby thinks that, Something of human grandeur.

in earlier times, it may have been larger, and that it ... We are come,

became gradually contracted by successive encroachments. Are now where once the mightiest spirits met

The Forum was set apart by Romulus and Titus Tatius, In terrible conflict ; this, while Rome was free,

the Sabine chief, whose care it was to cut down the trees The noblest theatre on this side heaven!

which grew there, and fill up the marshes at the foot of ROGERS.

the Capitoline hill. Tarquinius Priscus drained it more NOTHING more strongly marks the degradation of Rome, effectually by the aid of sewers, and parcelled out certain and the ravages which Time has made in this once mighty portions of it for private buildings : by him too it was city, than the difficulty of fixing, even in a very general adorned with porticoes and shops. We learn from Vitruway, the limits of its celebrated Forum. Some scattered vius that by the term portico we are not to understand a references in the pages of ancient writers, either to natural mere open colonnade, serving as a covered walk, but a features which remain unchanged, or to architectural place in which there were shops with apartments over them. monuments of which a remnant has been identified, are He mentions particularly those of the argentarii, or all that we have to guide us in endeavouring to overcome bankers,—the tabernæ argentariæ, as Livy calls them; or, as that difficulty. We know that the Forum lay between the an old translator quaintly says, “ Goldsmiths' Row." It was Capitoline and Palatine hills; and we infer, from the these tabernæ argentariæ that Hannibal put up to auction general statement of Vitruvius concerning the fora of among his troops, when he heard from a captive that the Italian cities, that it was a rectangle, whose breadth equalled very field on which he lay encamped, only three miles from two-thirds of its length. The materials for fixing its the walls of Rome, had just been sold in the city, “ the limits with more precision are very scanty; we content price being nothing lessened on that account." It was ourselves with shortly describing them according to Nibby, among the owners of the same shops that the Dictator, - the best of modern authorities, merely premising that, Papirius Cursor, had distributed the splendid shields which as there is much uncertainty upon the subject, there has

he captured from the golden legion of the Samnites, 308 been, consequently, a great diversity of opinion.

years before the Christian era ; or, as an old translator of The triple arch of Septimius Severus, seen in our en

Livy says, “ they were divided amongst the wardens of the graving, in p. 33, as standing at the foot of the Capitoline hill, Goldsmiths' Company, therewith to beautifie the public was within the ancient Forum, and indicates the immediate market-place." Hence arose the custom which constantly vicinity of its northern angle. Passing from this point by the prevailed afterwards, for the Ædiles to dress the Forum side of the range of buildings on the right of our engraving, with ornaments on those days upon which, during the Ludi and continuing in that direction for some distance beyond Circenses, the th , (a kind of carriages conveying the the limit of our view, we come to the eastern angle, not statues of the gods,) passed through it. It was among the far from the roots of the Palatine hill, and somewhere close argentariæ, also, that the celebrated catastrophe of Virginia to the modern church of San Lorenzo in Miranda, which is occurred,—where, formed partly of the remains of the ancient temple of Anto

Holding up the knifeninus and Faustina. A line joining these two points will The knife that ran with blood, the blood of his own child, mark the north-eastern boundary of the Forum, and being Virginius called down vengeance. measured will give about 470 ancient feet for its breadth. Starting again from the arch of Severus, and proceeding

PUBLIC BUILDINGS, ETC. IN THE ANCIENT FORUM. along the base of the Capitoline hill, considerably beyond the limit of our view to the left, we come to the modern The Forum was not entirely an open space; it had public church Della Consolazione, in the neighbourhood of buildings in it as well as around it; we even read of which is supposed to have been the western angle of the streets passing through it. The Curia, or Senate-house, Forum; the line which we thus trace will be its north- stood near the foot of the Palatine hill, in about the middle western boundary, and will give 705 feet as the measure of of the eastern side of the Forum. It was built originally its length. A similar line drawn parallel to this, along the by Tullus Hostilius, the third king of Rome; and, after base of the Palatine hill, will 'mark the south-eastern having been repaired by Sylla, was destroyed by fire in boundary of the Forum ; it must cominence at the eastern the year 53 B.c., when the body of Clodius, who had been angle, (already found,) near the church of San Lorenzo, murdered by Milo, was carried into it by a tumultuous mob, and will terminate, at the end of 705 feet, near the church and there burnt on a funeral pile, formed of the benches of of San Teodoro, or St. Theodore, which is thus regarded the senators, the tables, the archives, and such other as the southern angle. To complete the circuit of the materials as the place afforded. Sylla's son rebuilt it, but Forum, we have only to trace its south-western boundary; his personal enemy, Lepidus, pulled down the new edifice, that will be done by joining its southern and its western under the false pretence of erecting a temple to “ Felicity.” angles, or, in other words, by drawing a line across the It was again restored by Julius Cæsar, and, after him, valley between the Palatine and Capitoline mounts, from called the Curia Julia, though the original name of Curia the church of San Teodoro at the foot of the former, to Hostilia was still applied to it sometimes. the church Della Consolazione at the foot of the latter,

The figure thus described as affording a tolerable outline little to the north of it, was the Comitium, the uses of of the ancient Forum, will be a rectangle exceeding an which we will shortly explain. An assembly of the Roman eighth of a mile in length, and a twelfth in breadth, to people, for the purpose of exercising their right of voting speak roughly. The reader may perhaps observe, that upon the different matters coming under their cognizance, this proportion is in conformity with the rule of Vitruvius was called Comitia, a compound word, literally signifying already mentioned. That he may not be misled, he should "goings together," These Comitia were held, as the be told that the coincidence is forced ; in other words, that phrase went, by some magistrate, who always summoned the quadrangle has been constructed according to the rule, them, and presided in them. They were of three kinds, from want of better data. That it should agree with the called, respectively, Curiata, Centuriata, and Tributa. rule is thus matter of necessity; therefore, he must not The first were instituted by Romulus, who had divided the regard the fact as in any wise confirming the accuracy of people into three tribes, and each tribe into three Curiæ,the limits laid down. Nor must he suppose, that the lines a word which we cannot translate; they.were called Comitia which we have easily traced upon paper, can be traced with Curiata because the people voted in them not individually,

on the same side of the Forum with the Curia, and a

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »