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He overheard this conversation : “Can the boy midst of all the holy cross as it still stands, and do anything?" asked one; “Has he any sort of which, whenever I had passed it, I had piously hurt?"
kissed. I exerted all my strength, and perceived “No; the Madonna has not been so kind to distinctly that I had thrown my arms around it;
but everything that surrounded me trembled viohim,” said Peppo; “ he is slender and well-formed, lently together-walls, men, beasts. Consciousness like a nobleman's child."
had left me—I perceived nothing more. When I “ That is a great misfortune," said they all; again opened my eyes, my fever was over." and some suggestions were added, that he could have some little hurt to help him to get his earthly
Sadder trash than this it were almost imposbread until the Madonna gave him the heavenly. sible to write. It is necessary to make some Conversation such as this filled him with alarm ; quotations to justify the terms of censure, as well he crept through the aperture which served for as of praise, which we have bestowed upon Anwindow to his dormitory, slid down the wall, and dersen ; but our readers will willingly excuse the nade his escape.
He ran as fast as he could, infliction of many such quotations ; they might be and found himself at length in the Coliseum. made abundantly enough, we can assure them.
Antonio, at this time, is a poor boy about nine On awaking from this vision, Antonio finds himor ten years old; we have seen from what sort of self in the presence of some worthy monks. They guardian the terrified lad was making his escape. take charge of him, and ultimately give him over Now, observe the exquisite appropriateness, taste, to the protection of an old woman, a relative, Doand judgment of what follows. It is precisely minica, who is living the most solitary life imaginhere that the author makes parade of the knowl- able, in one of the tombs of the Campagna. Here edge he has lately gained in the grammar-school there is a striking picture presented to the imagiof Slagelse-precisely here that he throws his nation—of the old woman and the little boy, shut Antonio into a classical dream or vision !
up in the ruined tomb, in the almost tropical heat, “ Behind one of the many wooden altars which or the heavy rains, that visit the Campagna. He stand not far apart within the ruins, and indicate the who erewhile had visions of vestals and captive resting points of the Saviour's progress to the Jews, Cæsar and the gladiators, is more naturally cross,* I seated myself upon a fallen capital, which represented as amusing himself by floating sticks lay in the grass. The stone was as cold as ice, my and reeds upon the little canal dug to carry the head burned, there was fever in my blood; I could water from their dwelling ;
they were his boats not sleep, and there occurred to my mind all that people had related to ine of this old building; of which were to sail to Rome.” the captive Jews who had been made to raise these
One day a young nobleman, pursued by an enhuge blocks of stone for the mighty Roman Cæsar; raged buffalo, takes refuge in this tomb, and thus of the wild beasts which, within this space, had becomes acquainted with Antonio. He is a memfought with each other, nay, even with men also, ber of the Borghese family, and proves to be the while the people sat upon stone benches, which as- very nobleman whose carriage had accidentally cended step-like from the ground to the loftiest col- occasioned the death of his mother. Antonio beonnade. “ There was a rustling in the bushes above me ;
comes the protege of the Borghese, returns to I looked up, and fancied that I saw something mov- Rome, receives an education, and is raised into the ing: Oh, yes! my imagination showed to me pale high and cultivated ranks of society. He is put dark shapes, which hewed and builded around me; under the learned discipline of Habbas DahdahI heard distinctly every stroke that fell, saw the an excellent name, we confess, for a fool-in whose meagre black-bearded Jew's tear away grass and
person, we presume, he takes a sly revenge upon shrubs to pile stone upon stone, till the whole mon- his late rector of Slagelse. But he has not been strous building stood there newly erected; and now all was one throng of human beings, head above fortunate in the invention of parallel absurdities in head, and the whole seemed one infinitely vast liv- his Italian pedagogue to those which he may have ing giant body.
remembered of some German prototype. He de" I saw the vestals in their long white garments ; scribes him as animated with a sort of insane averthe magnificent court of the Cæsar; the naked bleed-sion to the poet Dante, whom he decries on every ing gladiators; then I heard how there was a roar- occasion in order to exalt Petrarch. A Habbas ing ‘and a howling round about, in the lowest Dahdah would be much more likely to feign an colonnades ; from various sides sprang in whole herds of tigers and hyænas; they sped close past
excessive admiration for the idol and glory of Italy. the spot where I lay; I felt their burning breath; However his pupil stealthily procures a Dante; saw their red fiery glances, and held myself fast reads him, of course dreams of him ; in short, upon the stone upon which I was seated, whilst I there is an intolerable farago about the great poet. prayed the Madonna to save me. But wilder still
But the time now comes when the great business grew the tumult around me; yet I could see in the of all novels—lovemis brought upon the scene.
Not very clearly expressed by the translator. One And here we have an observation to make which would think that our Saviour, in his progress to the cross, we think may be deserving of attention. had passed through the area of the Coliseum, and not that Antonio, the improvisatore, is made, in the each of the pictures on these altars represented one of the resting points, &c. Mrs. Howitt is sometimes hasty and novel, to love in the strangest fashion imaginable. careless in her writing. And why does she employ such He loves and he does not love ; he never knows expressions as these :-"a many white buttons," " beside of it," " beside of us ?" We have read a many Euglish himself, nor the reader either, whether, or with books, but never met them in any one beside of this. whom, to pronounce him in love. Annunciata,
the first object of this uncertain passion, behaves by viewless fetters, nor does he know where to herself, it must be confessed, in a very extraordi- strike the chain that is coiled around him. nary inanner.
suppose the exigencies of the Such was the truth, we apprehend, such the novel must excuse her; it was necessary that her character, that Andersen had indistinctly in view. lover should be plunged in despair, and therefore He drew from himself, but he had not previously she could not be permitted to behave as any other analyzed that self. It is, therefore, not so much woman would have done in the same circumstances. a false as a confused and imperfect representation She has a real affection for Antonio ; yet at the that he has given, which the reader, if he thinks critical moment—the last moment he will be able it worth his while, must explain and complete for to learn the truth, the last time he will see her himself. Perhaps, too, a fear of the ridicule unless her response be favorable—she behaves in which an exhibition of modesty in man might such a manner as to lead him inevitably to the draw down from certain slender witlings, from the conclusion that his rival is preferred to him. This young gentlemen, or even the young ladies, of Annunciata, the most celebrated singer of her day, Copenhagen, may have, in part, deterred him from loses her voice, loses her beauty—a fever deprives a faithful portraiture. To people of reflection, her of both—and not till her death does Antonio who have learned to estimate at its true value the learn that he, and not another, was the person laugh of coxcombs, and the wisdom of the so-called really beloved. Meanwhile, in his travels, Anto- man of the world—the shallowest bird of passage nio meets with a blind girl, whom he does or does that we know of—such a portrait would have been not love, on whom at least he poetizes, and whose attractive for the genuine truth it contains. It forehead, because she was blind, he had kissed. would require, indeed, a master's hand to deal both He is afterwards introduced, at Venice, to a young well and honestly with it. lady, (Maria,) who bears a striking resemblance to The descriptions of Italy which “ The Improvthis blind girl. She is, in fact, the same person, isatore” contains are sufficiently striking and faithrestored to sight, though he is not aware of it. ful to recall the scenes to those who have visited Maria loves the improvisatore; he says, he believes them ; which is all, we believe, the best descripthat his affection is not love. He quits Venice— tions can effect. What is absolutely new to a he returns-he is ill. Then follows one of those reader cannot be described to him. If all the poets miserable scenes which novelists will inflict upon and romancers of England were to unite together in us—of dream, or delirium-what you will—and, a committee of taste, they could not frame a descripin this state, he fancies Maria is dead; he finds tion which would give the effect of mountainous then that he really loved ; and, in his sleep or scenery to one who had never seen a mountain. trance, he expresses aloud his affection. His The utmost the describer can do, in all such cases, declaration is overheard by Maria and her sister, is to liken the scene to something already familiar who are watching over his couch. He wakes, to the reader's imagination. Though generally and Maria is there, alive before him. In his sleep faithful, we cannot say that our author never sacrihe has become aware of the true condition of his fices accuracy of detail to the demands of the own heart; nay, he has leapt the Rubicon-he novelist, never sacrifices the actual to the ideal. has declared it. He becomes a married man. For instance, his account of the Miserere in the
Now, in the confused and contradictory account Sistine chapel, is rather what one is willing to anof Antonio's passion, we see a truth which the ticipate it might be, than what a traveller really author drew from his own nature and experience— finds it. To be sure, he has a right to place his a truth which, if he had fully appreciated, or had hero of the novel where he pleases in the chapel. manfully adhered to, would have enabled him to relieve him from the crowd, and give him all the draw a striking, consistent, and original portrait. advantages of position ; still his perfect enjoyment In such natures as Andersen's there is often found of all that both the arts of painting and music can a modesty more than a woman's, combined with a afford ; and that overpowering sentiment which he vivid feeling of beauty, and a yearning for affection. finds in the great picture of the Last Judgment by Modesty is no exclusive property of the female Michel Angelo, (a picture which addresses itself sex, and there may be so much of it in a youth as far more to the artist than the poet,) strikes us as a to be the impediment, perhaps the unconscious im- description drawn more from imagination than expediment, to all the natural outpourings of his heart. perience. The coyness of the virgin, the suitor, by his A little satire upon the travelling English seems, prayers and wooing, does all he can to overcome ; by the way, to be as agreeable at Copenhagen as but here the coyness is in the suitor himself. He at Paris. Our Danish friends are quite welcome has to overcome it by himself, and he cannot. He to it; we only wish for their sakes that, in the hardly knows the sort of enemy he has to conquer. present instance, it had been a little more lively Every woman seems to him enclosed in a bell- and pungent. Our Hans Andersen is too weak in glass, fine as gossamer, but he cannot break it. the wrist, has not arm strong enough “ to crack He feels himself drawn, but he cannot approach. the satyric thong.” Mere exaggeration may be His heart is yearning ; yet he says to himself, no, mere nonsense, and very dull nonsense. The scene I do not love. A looker-on calls him inconstant, is at the hotel at Terracina, so well known by all uncertain, capricious. He is not so ; he is bound travellers.
"The cracking of whips reëchoed from the walls and plenty of delirium. He has caught the trick,
with it. Retreat was impossible, and the least
likely to occur to the lad, frightened out of his
senses, stunned by the roar of the bell, winking “Only a Fiddler” proceeds, in part, on the hard, and pressing himself closer and closer to the same plan as “ The Improvisatore.'' Here, too, wall to escape the threatened blow. the author has drawn from his own early experience ; here, too, we have a poor lad of genius, “Overpowered to his very inmost soul by the who will “ go through an immense deal of adversity most fearful anguish, the bell appeared to him the and then become famous ;" here, too, we have the jaws of some immense serpent; the clapper was the little ugly duck, who, however, was born in a Confused imaginations pressed upon him ; feelings
poisonous tongue, which it extended towards him. swan's egg.
The commencement of the novel is similar to the anguish which he felt when the godpretty, where it treats of the childhood of the father had dived with him beneath the water, took hero; but Christian (such is his name) does not possession of him; but here it roared far stronger win upon our sympathy, and still less upon our in his ears, and the changing colors before his eyes respect. We are led to suspect that Christian formed themselved into gray figures. The old picAndersen himself is naturally deficient in certain tures in the castle floated before him, but with elements of character, or he would have better up- forms; now long and angular, again jelly-like, clear
threatening mien and gestures, and ever-changing held the dignity of his namesake, whom he has and trembling; they clashed cymbals and beat drums, certainly no desire to lower in our esteem. With and then suddenly passed away into that fiery glow an egregious passion for distinction, a great vanity, in which everything had appeared to him, when, in short, we are afraid that he himself (judging with Naomi, he looked through the red window
It burned, that he felt plainly.
He swam from some passages in his Autobiography) hardly panes. possesses a proper degree of pride, or the due through a burning sea, and ever did the serpent exfeeling of self-respect. The Christian in the novel seized him to take hold on the clapper with both
hibit to him its fearful jaws. An irresistible desire is the butt and laughing-stock of a proud, wilful hands, when suddenly it became calm around him, young beauty of the name of Naomi ; yet does he but it still raged within his brain. He felt that all forsake the love of a sweet girl Lucie, to be the his clothes clung to him, and that his hands seemed beaten spaniel of this Naomi. He has so little fastened to the wall. Before hiin hung the serpent's spirit as to take her money and her contempt at head, dead and bowed; the bell was silent. He the same time.
closed his eyes and felt that he fell asleep. He had
fainted."-(Vol. i., p. 59.) This self-willed and beautiful Naomi is a wellimagined character, but imperfectly developed. In Are these some of the “beautiful thoughts” deed, the whole novel may be described as a jumble which Mrs. Howitt finds it the greatest delight of of ill-connected scenes, and of half-drawn char- her literary life to translate ? One is a little curiacters. We have some imitations of the worst ous to know how far this beauty has been increased models of our current literature. Here is a Nor- or diminished by their admiring translator ; but wegian godfather, the blurred likeness of some unfortunately we can boast no Scandinavian scholParisian murderer. Here are dreams and visions, arship. This novel, however, is not without some
striking passages, whether of description of natural | shame!' said she. No one esteems me ; I no scenery, or of human life. Of these, the little longer esteem myself. Oh, save me, Sören! I have episode of the fate of Steffen-Margaret recurs most honestly divided my money with you ; 1 yet am posvividly to our recollection. Mrs. Howitt, in her
sessed of forty dollars. Marry me, and take me translation of “The True Story of my Life," draws away out of this woe, and out of this misery! Take
me to a place where nobody will know me, where our attention, in a note, to this character of Steffen- you may not be ashamed of me. I will work for Margaret, informing us that it is the reproduction you like a slave, till the blood comes out at my finof a personage whom Andersen becomes slightly ger-ends. Oh, take me away with you! In a acquainted with in the early part of his career. year's time it may be too late.' She thus points out a striking passage in the
Should I take you to my old father and
mother?' said the sailor. novel; but the translator of the Autobiography
“I will kiss the dust from their feet; they may and of “Only a Fiddler,” might have found more beat me, and I will bear it without a murmur-will natural opportunities for illustrating the connection patiently bear every blow. I am already old, that between the novel and the life of the author. There I know. I shall soon be eight-and-twenty ; but it is no resemblance whatever between the two char- is an act of mercy, which I beseech of you. If you acters alluded to, except that they both belong to will not do it, nobody else will; and I think I must the same unfortunate class of society. Of the drink-till my brain reels—and I forget what I have
made myself! young girl mentioned in the life, nothing indeed is said, except that she received once a week a visit got to tell me ? remarked the sailor, with a cold
“Is that the very important thing that you have from her papa, who came to drink tea with her, indifference. dressed always in a shabby blue coat; and the “Her tears, her sighs, her words of despair, sank point of the story is, that in after times, when An- deep into Christian's heart. A visionary image had dersen rose into a fur different rank of society, he vanished, and with its vanishing he saw the dark encountered in some fashionable saloon the papa
side of a naked reality. of the shabby blue coat in a bland old gentleman
“He found himself again alone.
“A few days after this, the ice had to be hewed glittering with orders.
away from the channel. Christian and the sailor Christian, the hero of the novel, a lad utterly struck their axes deeply into the firm ice, so that it ignorant of life, has come for the first time to Co-broke into great pieces. Something white hung penhagen. Whilst the ship in which he has ar- fast tô the ice in the opening; the sailor enlarged rived is at anchor in the port, it is visited by some the opening, and then a female corpse presented ladies, one of whom particularly fascinates him. itself, dressed in white as for a ball. She had amShe must be a princess, or something of that kind, held her hands closely folded against her breast as
ber beads round her neck, gold ear-rings, and she if not a species of angel. The next day he finds if for prayer. It was Steffen-Margaret.” out her residence, sees her, tells her all his history, all his inspirations, all his hopes; he is sure that
“0. T," commences in a more lively style than he has found a kind and powerful patroness. The either of the preceding novels, but soon becomes lady smiles at him, and dismisses him with some in fact the dullest and most wearisome of the cakes and sweetmeats, and kindly taps upon the three. During a portion of this novel he seems head. This is just what Andersen at the sam
to have taken for his model of narrative the “ Wil age would have done himself, and just in this man-helm Meister” of Goethe ; but the calm domestio ner would he have been dismissed and comforted. manner which is tolerable in the clear-sighted man, There is a scene in the Autobiography very simi- who we know can rise nobly from it when he lar. He explains to some kind old dames, whom pleases, accords ill enough with the bewildered, he encounters at the theatre, his thwarted aspira- most displeasing, and half intelligible story which tions after art; they give him cakes ;-he tells Andersen has here to relate. them again of his impulses, and that he is dying
We have occupied ourselves quite sufficiently to be famous ; they give him more cakes ;—he with these novels, and shall pass over $0. T.:, eats and is pacified.
without further comment. Neither shall we bestow The ship, however, had not been long in the any of our space upon “The Poet's Bazaar," harbor, before his princess visited it again. It was which seems to be nothing else than the journal evening-Christian was alone in the cabin.
which the author may be supposed to have kept
during his second visit to Italy, when he also “ He was most strangely affected as he heard at extended his travels into Greece and Constantino this moment a voice on the cabin steps, which was just like hers. She, perhaps, would already present
ple. herself as a powerful fairy to conduct him to happi
We take refuge in the nursery-we will listen ness. He would have rushed towards her, but she to these tales for children—we throw away the came not alone; a sailor accompanied her, and in- rigid pen of criticism-we will have a story. quired aloud, on entering, if there were any one What precisely are the laws, what the critical there. But a strange feeling of distress fettered rules, on which tales for children should be writChristian's tongue, and he remained silent.
“What have you got to say to me?' asked the ten, we will by no means undertake to define. sailor.
Are they to contain nothing, in language or sig "Save me!' was the first word, which Christian nificance, beyond the apprehension of the inmates heard from her lips in the cabin ; she whom he had of the nursery? It is a question which we will regarded as a rich and noble lady. 'I am sunk in not pretend to answer. Aristotle lays down noth
ing on the subject in his “Poetici ;” nor Mr. tales—(if they are anything better than what every Dunlop in his “ History of Fiction.” If this be nursery-maid can invent for herself)—is precisely the law, if everything must be level to the under in this position : he will, he must, have in view the standing of the frock-and-trousers population, then adult listener. While speaking to the child, he these, and many other Tales for Children, trans- will endeavor to interest the parent who is overgress against the first rule of their construction. hearing him; and thus there may result a very How often does the story turn, like the novels for amusing and agreeable composition. elder people, upon a marriage! Some king's son We have met with some children's tales which, in disguise marries the beautiful princess. What we thought, were so plainly levelled at the parent, idea has a child of marriage ?-unless the sugared that they seemed little more than lectures to grownplum-cake distributed on such occasions comes in up people in the disguise of stories to their chilaid of his imagination. Marriage, to the infantine dren. Some of the very clever stories of Miss intelligence, must mean fine dresses, and infinite Edgeworth appear to be more evidently designed sweetmeats—a sort of juvenile party that is never for the adult listener, than to the little people to to break up. Well, and the notion serves to carry whom they are immediately addressed.
And they on the tale withal. The imagination throws this may perhaps render good service in this way. temporary bridge over the gap, till time and expe- Perhaps some mature matron, far above counsel, rience supply other architecture. Amongst this may take a hint which she thinks was not intended collection, is a story in which vast importance is —may accept that piece of good advice which she attached to a kiss. What can a curly-headed fancies her own shrewdness has discovered, and urchin, who is kissing, or being kissed, all day which the subtle Miss Edgeworth had laid, like a long, know of the value that may be given to what trap, in her path. some versifier calls,
We are happy, we repeat, that we do not feel “ The humid seal of soft affections !"
it incumbent upon us to settle the rules, the criti
cal canon, of this nursery literature. We have no To our apprehension, it has always appeared objection, however, to peep into it now and then that the best books for children were those not and we shall venture to give our readers another written expressly for them, but which, interesting of Andersen's little stories, and so take our leave to all readers, happened to fasten peculiarly upon of him.
We omit a sentence, here and there, the youthful imagination—such as Robinson
where we can without injury to the tale; yet we Crusoe,” the “ Arabian Nights,” “ Pilgrim's have no fear that our gravest readers will think the Progress," &c. It is quite true that in all these extract too long. Our quotation is from the volthere is much the child does not understand, but
ume called “Tales from Denmark.” There is where there is something vividly apprehended, another collection called, “The Shoes of Forthere is an additional pleasure procured, and an tune;" these are higher in pretension, and inferior admirable stimulant, in the endeavor to penetrate in merit. the rest. There is all the charm of a riddle combined with all the fascination of a story. Besides,
THE EMPEROR'S NEW CLOTHES. do we not, throughout our boyhood and our youth, read with intense interest, and to our great im
“One day a couple of swindlers, who called
themselves first-rate weavers, made their appear. provement, books which we but partly understand?
ance in the imperial town of - They pretended How much was lost to us of our Milton and our that they were able to weave the richest stuffs, in Shakspeare at an age when nevertheless we read which not only the colors and the pattern were exthem with intense interest and excitement, and tremely beautiful, but that the clothes made of such therefore, we may be sure, with great profit. stuffs possessed the wonderful property of remainThroughout the whole season of our intellectual ing invisible to him who was unfit for the office he progress, we are necessarily reading works of held, or was extremely silly.
" What capital clothes they must be !' thought which a great part is obscure to us; we get half the emperor. If I had but such a suit, I could at one time, and half at another.
directly find out what people in my empire were Not, by any means, that we intend to say a not equal to their office; and besides, I should be word against writing books for children ; if they able to distinguish the clever from the stupid. By are good books we shall read them too. A clever Jove, I must have some of this stuff made directly man talking to his child, in the presence of his adult for me! And so he ordered Jarge sums of money friends—has it never been remarked, how infinitely
to be given to the two swindlers, that they might
set to work immediately. amusing he may be, and what an advantage he
“ The men erected two looms, and did as if they has from this two-fold audience? He lets loose worked very diligently; but in reality they had got all his fancy, under pretence that he is talking to nothing on the loom. They boldly demanded ihe a child, and he couples this wildness with all his finest silk, and gold thread, put it all in their own wit, and point, and shrewdness, because he knows pockets, and worked away at the empty loom till his friend is listening. The child is not a whit quite late at night.
"6"I should like to know how the two weavers the less pleased, because there is something above its comprehension, nor the friend at all the less day to himself; but he was rather embarrassed
are getting on with my stuff,' said the emperor one entertained, because he laughs at what was not when he remembered that a silly fellow, or one unintended for his capacity. A writer of children's fitted for his office, would not be able to see the