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“And why so?” inquired Proserpine, very ingenuously. “Because,” replied Saturn, shrugging up his shoulders, “I look upon the Spirit of the age as a spirit hostile to Kings and Gods.”
The next morning Saturn himself attended his beautiful guest over his residence, which Proserpine greatly admired. “”Tis the work of the Titans,” replied the ex-King. “There never was a party so fond of building palaces.” “To speak the truth,” said Proserpine, “I am a little disappointed that I have not had an opportunity, during my visit, of becoming acquainted with some of the chiefs of that celebrated party; for, although a Liberal, I am a female one, and I like to know every sort of person who is distinguished.” “The fact is,” replied her host, “that the party has never recovered from the thunderbolt of that scheming knave Jupiter, and do not bear their defeat so philosophically as years, perhaps, permit me to do. If we have been vanquished by the Spirit of the age,” continued Saturn, “you must confess that, in our case, the conqueror did not assume a material form very remarkable for its dignity. Had Creation resolved itself into its original elements, had Chaos come again, or even old Coelus, the indignity might have been endured;—but to be baffled by an Olympian ..juste milieu, and to find, after all the clamour, that nothing has been changed save the places, is, you will own, somewhat mortifying.” “But how do you reconcile,” inquired the ingenuous Proserpine, “ the success of Jupiter with the character which you ascribed last night to the Spirit of the age?” “Why, in truth,” said Saturn, “had I not entirely freed myself from all party feeling, I might adduce the success of my perfidious and worthless relative as very good demonstration that the Spirit of the age is nothing better than an ignis fatuus. Nevertheless, we must discriminate. Even the success of Jupiter, although he now conducts himself in direct opposition to the emancipating principles he at first professed, is no less good evidence of their force; for by his professions he rose. And, for my part, I consider it a very great homage to public opinion to find every scoundrel now-a-days professing himself a Liberal.” “You are candid,” said Proserpine. “I should like very much to see the Titans.” “My friends are at least consistent,” observed Saturn; “though certainly at present I can say little more for them. Between the despair of one section of the party, and the over-sanguine expectations of the other, they are at present quite inactive, or move only to ensure fresh rebuffs.” “You see little of them, then P” “They keep to themselves: they generally frequent a lonely vale in the neighbourhood.” “I should so like to see them " exclaimed Proserpine. “Say nothing to Tiresias,” said old Saturn, who was half in love with his fair friend, “and we will steal upon them unperceived.” So saying, the God struck the earth with his cane, and there instantly sprang forth a very convenient car, built of curiously-carved cedar, and borne by four enormous tawny-coloured owls, Seating himself by the side of the delighted Proserpine, Saturn commanded the owls to bear them to the Valley of Lamentations.
'Twas an easy fly: the chariot soon descended upon the crest of a hill; and Saturn and Proserpine, leaving the car, commenced, by a winding path, the slight ascent of a superior elevation. Having arrived there, they looked down upon a valley, apparently land-locked by black and barren mountains of the most strange, although picturesque forms. In the centre of the valley was a black pool or tarn, bordered with dark purple flags of an immense size, twining and twisting among which might be observed the glancing and gliding folds of several white serpents; while crocodiles and alligators, and other horrible forms, poked their foul snouts with evident delight in a vast mass of black slime, which had, at various times, exuded from the lake. A single tree only was to be observed in this desolate place—an enormous and blasted cedar—with scarcely a patch of verdure, but extending its black and barren branches nearly across the valley. Seated on a loosened crag, but leaning against the trunk of the cedar, with his arms folded, his mighty eyes fixed on the ground, and his legs crossed with that air of complete repose which indicates that their owner is in no hurry again to move them, was
“A form, some granite god we deemed,
The Revolutionary Epick.
“'Tis their great leader,” said Saturn, as he pointed out the Titan to Proserpine, “the giant Enceladus. He got us into all our scrapes, but I must do him the justice to add, that he is the only one who can ever get us out of them. They say he has no heart; but I think his hook nose is rather fine.”
“Superb!” said Proserpine. “And who is that radiant and golden
haired youth who is seated at his feet?” 44
'Tis no less a personage than Hyperion himself,” replied Saturn, “the favourite counsellor of Enceladus. He is a fine orator, and makes up by his round sentences and choice phrases for the rhetorical deficiencies of his chief, who, to speak the truth, is somewhat curt and husky. They have enough now to do to manage their comrades and keep a semblance of discipline in their routed ranks. Mark that ferocious Briareus there scowling in a corner! Didst ever see such a moustache! He glances, methinks, with an evil eye on the mighty Enceladus; and, let me tell you, Briareus has a great following among them; so they say of him, you know, that he hath fifty heads and a hundred arms. See: how they gather around him.” “Who speaks now to Briareus?” “The young and valiant Mimas. Be assured he is counselling war. We shall have a debate now.” “Yon venerable personage, who is seated by the margin of the pool, and weeping with the crocodiles :y “Is old Oceanus ” “He is apparently much affected by his overthrow.” “It is his wont to weep. He used to cry when he fought, and yet he was a powerful warrior.” “Hark!” said Proserpine. The awful voice of Briareus broke the silence. What a terrible personage was Briareus! . His wild locks hung loose about his shoulders, and blended with his unshorn beard. “Titans!” shouted the voice which made many a heart tremble, and the breathless Proserpine clasp the arm of Saturn. “Titans! Is that spirit dead that once heaped Ossa upon Pelion ? Is it forgotten even by ourselves, that a younger born revels in our heritage 2 Are these forms that surround me indeed the shapes at whose dread sight the base Olympians fled to their fitting earth 2 Warriors, whose weapons were the rocks, whose firebrands were the burning woods—is the day forgotten when Jove himself turned craven, and skulked in Egypt? At least my memory is keen enough to support my courage, and whatever the dread Enceladus may counsel, my voice is still for war!” There ensued, after this harangue of Briareus, a profound and thrilling silence, which was, however, broken in due time by the great leader of the Titans himself. “You mouth it well, Briareus,” replied Enceladus, very calmly. “And if great words would re-seat us in Olympus, doubtless, with your potent aid, we might succeed. It never should be forgotten, however, that had we combined at first, in the spirit now recommended, the Olympians would never have triumphed; and least of all our party should Briareus and his friends forget the reasons of our disunion.” “I take thy sneer, Enceladus,” said the young and chivalric Mimas, “and throw it in thy teeth. This learn, then, from Briareus and his friends, that if we were lukewarm in the hour of peril, the fault lies not to our account, but with those who had previously so conducted themselves, that, when the danger arrived, it was impossible for us to distinguish between our friends and our foes. Enceladus apparently forgets that had the Olympians never been permitted to enter Heaven, it would have been unnecessary ever to have combined against their machinations.” “Recrimination is useless,” said a Titan, interposing. “I was one of those who supported Enceladus in the admission of the Olympians above, and I regret it. But at the time, like others, I believed it to be the only mode of silencing the agitation of Jupiter.” “I separated from Enceladus on that question,” said a huge Titan, lying his length on the ground and leaning one arm on a granite crag ; “but I am willing to forget all our differences and support him with all my heart and strength in another effort to restore our glorious constitution.” “Titans,” said Enceladus, “who is there among you who has found me a laggard in the day of battle 2 When the Olympians, as Briareus thinks it necessary to remind you, fled, I was your leader. Remember, however, then, that there were no thunderbolts. As for myself, I candidly confess to you, that, since the invention of these weapons by Jove, I do not see how war can be carried on by us any longer with effect.” , “By the memory of old Coelus and these fast-flowing tears,” murmured the venerable Oceanus, patting at the same time a crocodile on the back, “I call you all to witness that I have no interest to deceive you. Nevertheless, we should not forget that, in this affair of the thunderbolts, it is the universal opinion that there is a very considerable re-action. I have myself, only within these few days, received authentic information that several have fallen of late without any visible ill effects; and I am credibly assured that, during the late storm in Thessaly, a thunderbolt was precipitated into the centre of a vineyard, without affecting the flavour of a single grape.”
Here several of the Titans, who had gathered round Enceladus, shook their heads and shrugged their shoulders, and a long and desultory conversation ensued upon the copious and very controversial subject of Re-action. In the meantime Rhoetus, a very young Titan, whispered to one of his companions, that for his part he was convinced that the only way to beat the Olympians was to turn them into ridicule; and that he would accordingly commence at once with a pasquinade on the private life of Jupiter, and some peculiarly delicate criticisms on the characters of the Goddesses.
MARTIAL IN LONDON.
PRONE from our grasp an outstretched wing to burst,
“Awake, my St. John,” give thy genius scope;
The Star and Garter'd Knight of old,
ANECDOTES OF THE FRENCH PROVINCES,
THE MILLER OF COREEIL,
IN rural landscape, the French are generally apt to prefer the beautiful to the sublime. The scenes “by savage Rosa dashed ” are not near so much to their fancy as those which “learned Poussin drew;” and the Lake-land valley, conceitedly described by Avison as “Beauty lying in the lap of Horror,” would have filled their souls with consternation. They love a scene whose very surface bears the promise of corn, wine, and oil, a land flowing with milk and honey, La Canaan which borrows no enhancements from the picturesque. The very rocks of the royal forest of Fontainebleau, described by Francis I. as mes déserts, are regarded by the Parisians as terrific, rather than as constituting an element of beauty in a woodland landscape; and a “smiling scene,”— more especially the scenery of ces rians céteaua de la Seine,—affords the greatest attractions to the badauds or cockneys of the French metropolis.
For this reason, Corbeil is a favourite spot with them—Corbeil, with its fertile and vine-crowned banks, rising above the Seine, uncontaminated by the pollutions poured forth thereafter into its glassy waters by a filthy capital–Corbeil, which, as Boulogne is termed the Fat, might assuredly be called the Mealy—Corbeil, whose villas line the shore with their well-trimmed avenues of limes, and here and there a shrub dipping down into the stream to shelter the baths, constructed by the diverse proprietors, in the bed of the river. The prosperous little town is neither so ornate in its environs as Richmond, nor so stately in its domiciles as Hampton Court; but the wooded heights of St. Germain rise majestically above its suburbs;–and if a palace be lacking, it boasts an edifice still more unique, and almost as imposing—the celebrated Mill of Corbeil.
The antiquarian, too, finds ample employment for his researches. On the outskirts of the town, and sloping to the edge of the Seine, lies the Pleasaunce of the Tremblaye, the summer palace of Queen Blanche of happy memory, still sending up its bubbling springs with as crystalline a grace as when the stone fonts in which they are still contained formed the bath of sovereign beauty, but devoting those lofty walls, once the precincts of a court, to the humbler but more useful purpose of ripening some hundred weight of Chasselas grapes for a market-gardener. Yet although thus strangely degraded in its destinations, and having its level lawns variegated with sundry patches of oats, wheat, barley, rye, Indian corn, lucerne, French beans, and vines, according to the agricultural o of the cultivator, whose fertile farm is bounded by those ofty walls and entered by the stately gateways that afforded access to royalty itself-the Tremblaye retains many a scattered relique of former grandeur. Like a waiting gentlewoman, retired from service to live upon her means in her native village, and occasionally stealing to church in a suit of paduasoy, manufactured from the court-train of her former lady, here and there, in the midst of a vineyard or a corn-ridge, we fall upon the ornamented basin of a fountain that plays no longer; or stumble