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thing will yet be right, and, before half a year is over, Christoval will be your husband, and will laugh at the Milicianos. I dare not tell you all I know. Tell me what I shall say to him from you—but, quick !'
"Tell him-tell him-' stammered Dolores, embarrassed.
'I know already, child, and will execute all. I'll tell him you do not care for any of the fine young gentlemen. Is it not true, Dolores? Now, farewell, angel.'"
Can our readers longer hesitate as to the fidelity and force with which Huber has drawn his pictures? But two passages more will enhance the favourable opinion that must have already been formed of the work, and convince every one who is in any measure acquainted with Spanish story, that these volumes have not been equalled by any that have lately been published for the purpose of illustrating the land and people in question, whether in country or town-in peace, or amid civil broils and political warfare.
Here is a part of a scene that leads to a closing catastrophe.
"The entrance-wicket of the great gate, which the porter had opened to Dolores as an acquaintance of the house, was again closed, and Antonio found himself with his sister in the dark ante-court, or zaguan of the convent, which only received light through a small strongly-barred window, looking upon the street. The space was filled with people; but it was only after the eye had gradually accustomed itself to the scanty light, that it could distinguish objects.
"A party of soldiers, whose whole appearance, their sunburnt countenances perspiring with the heat, their blood-shot eyes, and torn uniforms covered with dust, indicated a long and difficult march, stood leaning on their arms, which seemed scarcely to sustain them. Their gloomy looks and angry mien, and the muttered curses with which they sometimes struck the butts of their firelocks clattering against the pavement, expressed the impatience with which they waited to be relieved after their troublesome duty. Behind them, along the wall, the prisoners, who were about twelve in number, had lain themselves down, enjoying the rest of which their guards were still deprived. Some very young men, as if completely exhausted, lay stretched out upon the pavement; others cowered against the wall, half concealed in torn cloaks or woollen blankets. Their eyes glowed wildly from the dim obscurity, and their features expressed obstinate defiance. Without uttering a complaint or deigning a movement, they seemed ready to pierce their guards and vanquishers with their glances alone.
"The aspect of some women who had followed these unhappy men was heart-rending. Two of them had pressed themselves against the narrow grated window, and begged the assembled crowd, by all the saints, to give them food and drink; whilst some compassionate people without endeavoured in vain to thrust something to them through the closely-barred aperture. On a stone post against the wall, sat a young woman with torn and bloody feet; and the child in her arms sought in vain its accustomed nourishment at her feverish breast, whilst the mother watched its movements in mute affliction.
Amongst the prisoners, who for the most part wore the dress of the
poorer country-people of the mountains, were two who were distinguished by the remains of richer clothing. One of them lay with his hands bound along the wall against which he endeavoured to hide his face. The other sat upon a great stone which lay there, and seemed to keep himself upright with difficulty. His eyes were closed, and a bloody cloth was bound round his head, which was thrown back, and reclined against the wall. A young woman kneeled before him, an her countenance in her lap, while she grasped one of his hands with hers."
It would be as unjust to the reader as to the author to disclose the turns in the family story which constitute the framework and the pegs for the entire structure of the work; but every one must desire to have a last though abrupt glimpse of the unhappy Dolores and her lover. We premise that she has been severely wounded, and has had her shoulder shattered when endeavouring to save him.
"At this moment the wounded girl came to herself. She opened her Large eyes, and gazed around with a painful smile. 'Christoval!' she said, at length, with a faint voice; and Christoval knelt at her feet, clasp. ing her knees with his arms, while his head rested against the stone bench on which she lay. He spoke not a word, and seemed motionless; but how deeply he felt, was shown by the trembling of his whole frame. Dolores laid her hand upon his head; and then recognising the ecclesiastic, she said Praised be the virgin of many sorrows, Father Hilario, for having conducted you here. Now I shall die willingly. Pray with me, father, and give me absolution.' Then turning to her brother, she continued with a still fainter voice, Farewell, Antonio. I will pray for you. Console our father and mother.' Perceiving Rojas, she bowed kindly to him, and then again looked at the ecclesiastic, as if beseeching something of him. The old man understood her wish, and making an effort to master his sorrow, in order to perform the duties of his holy office, he knelt beside the dying girl, and began, with a loud voice, to recite the usual prayers.
Dolores endeavoured to clasp her hands in prayer, but her shattered left arm refused her this service, and she dropt it with a cry of pain. Christoval made a convulsive movement, as if he were going to spring up, but Dolores retaining him in his place, closed her eyes and was seen to move her lips in prayer, though not a sound was audible. Most of the bystanders knelt with uncovered heads in mute devotion, while the soldiers, leaning on their arms, looked on with grave, yet not unmoved countenances. The priest had finished his prayer, and held the crucifix out to the dying girl, who pressed it with vehemence against her lips. He then proceeded to give her absolution, but his voice failed him, and he turned away and sobbed aloud. Dolores once more opened her eyes, and murmured softly, Christoval !'-a slight quivering announced that her sufferings were over-a smile of pain rested on her mouth, and her cheeks, just before covered with the paleness of death, shone again in rosy brilliancy.
"Deep silence reigned for a moment amongst the assembled crowd of people, interrupted only by the sobs of the women. All the violent and jarring passions which had been excited a few moments before, had yielded to the softer emotions of pity and devotion.
"All at once, warlike music resounded from afar. It was the wellknown hymn of Riego. Then came the close and quick step of regular troops, and immediately after a strong column of infantry marched across the market-place with the cry, Long live the Constitution! Long live Riego !'
"The commander, surrounded by several officers, rode directly towards the extraordinary group which we have described, and when he saw the bloody victim lying before him, he remained contemplating her for a moment, with mute emotion and admiration. It was Riego himself. Antonio, who at an earlier period had known him and most of his companions, could not help, in spite of his grief, remarking the change which had taken place in him. Riego had grown, in appearance, several years older within the last six months. His hair had become grey, and the air of mildness and noble enthusiasm which formerly embellished his welldefined features had given away to a strongly-marked expression of grief and distrust. Wasting care and restless activity had deeply furrowed his forehead; and even the enthusiasm which still glowed in the deep-set eyes, had something gloomy in it:-it was the enthusiasm of despair. His companions appeared to share the feelings of their beloved chief, only that, in most of them, the wilder passions of revenge and deep wrath evidently prevailed."
Many of the scenes throughout the work are worked up, but by natural touches, till the effect is deep and awakening. Towards the close of all, however, this proof of the author's powers is particularly manifest; and, indeed, it is at this part of the production that the greatest multitude of affecting events occur. As some proof of this, we have only to say, in conclusion, that hardly has Dolores breathed her last, when Christoval is shot; nor does much time escape before a cart appears, well guarded, in which one is seated with his hands bound behind him. He smiles, however, but it is a "smile of grief." It is Riego, who has been betrayed. The executioner soon afterwards sheds his blood.
ART. VIII.-Goëthe's Correspondence with a Child. 2 vols. London: Longman. 1837.
THIS is such an extraordinary sort of work that we are really at a loss how to begin to speak of it. The principal writer in it is called a child, but think of a child discoursing in the following manner, upon metaphysics :-" Talent strikes conviction, but genius does not convince; to whom it is imparted, it gives forbodings of the immeasurable and infinite; while talent sets certain limits, and so, because it is understood, is also maintained. The infinite in the finite; genius in every art is music. In itself it is the soul, when it touches tenderly; but when it masters this affection, then it is spirit which warms, bears, and reproduces the own soul-and, therefore, we perceive music; otherwise the sensual ear would not hear it, but only the spiritual; and, thus, every art is the body of music, which is the soul of every art. And so is music, too, the soul of
love, which also answers not for its working; for it is the contact of divine with human, and, once for all, the divine is the passion which consumes the human. Love expresses nothing through itself but that it is sunk in harmony."
As a specimen of the young creature's style of description, we add,—“ I write to you in crystal midnight; black basaltic country dipped in moonlight! The town forms a complete cat's back, with its ducking-houses, and is quite furred with bristling points of rock and mountain ruins; and there, opposite, it shines and flickers in the shade, as when one rubs the cat's back."
Now, stretching the construction of the word Child, and even granting to her twelve or fourteen years, is it not extraordinary to find such a one inditing letters that are full of such original and ideal reasoning, and such a command of similitudes as the two quoted passages exhibit? It is perfectly certain that in England no such phenomenon could ever take place, nor, indeed, in any other country but Germany.
The child's name is Bettine, who, we believe, is the daughter of a General Brentano, between whose family and that of Goethe there existed a close intimacy. Bettine may be presumed to be now a wife; for she subscribes herself, in a dedication to Prince Puckler, which is dated August, 1834, Bettine Arnim. There is an introductory correspondence, which was carried on between Bettine and Frau Rath, as Goethe's mother was called in Germany, when the former must have been very young, but in which her vivacity and precocity fully appear. At this time Goethe was a grey-haired man, and Bettine's adoration of him-for her love and admiration, though simple, innocent, and unaffected, is nothing less-has been created and fed by the representations of Frau Rath, who was also one of his idolaters.
In this introductory correspondence, Bettine's vivacity took the shape of shrewdness, frowardness, and rompishness, by turns. But her imagination seems to have surpassed all her other peculiarities. Old Frau Rath says on one occasion, "Thou takest fancies, and hast a constitution like iron, and an imagination like a sky-rocket, that touched by a spark goes off." By-and-by Bettine writes to Goethe and receives letters from him in return, and these fill the bulk of the work. It is said to have commanded a large sale in Germany, where it has also been translated into English by Bettine herself, it is reported; the proceeds of the whole being intended to furnish the means for erecting a monument to Goethe.
The correspondence between Bettine and Goethe is really a curiosity, and furnishes a valuable subject for the study of human nature in some of its strangest unfoldings. There is little in it but sentiment-themselves, too, being the chief objects described or contemplated. Sometimes there are bits of reasoning which are full VOL. III. (1837.) No. III.
of German refinement and idealism. But even though the talk be almost exclusively personal, and becomes at times tiresome to a third party; and though the whole must thus necessarily be egotistic, self-complacent, and fulsomely flattering, it is yet so original, so undesigning, so characteristic, and often so eloquent, that even the cold English reader will be captivated, and, instead of ridicule, upon the verge of which he will frequently find himself, his predo minating feelings will be those of admiration and affection.
It sounds odd in our ears, when Bettine, dissatisfied with Goethe's letters, chides him or complains to him as if he were her twin-brother. Thus she tells him, "friendly friendly as thou art, thou art also cold." Again, you are a cruel man. It appears that he sometimes answered her letters through his secretary; for, of this sort of second-hand return, she more than once loudly complains. She not only says to him, "you are a coquetish, elegant writer," but speaking of his indifference, she declares that it is such as destroys the volatile salt of the mind, and makes love shy."
Goethe took all this in good part; and in his replies shows that he loved the girl with a parental fondness, and estimated her letters very highly. To be sure he says to her at one time, it is still a question, dearest Bettine, whether one can with better reason call you odd or wonderful; one considers at last only how to insure himself against the rapid flood of thy thoughts.' But his final and prevailing estimate was greatly to her praise and honour; for when describing the powers of her pen, he says that "you let a complete picture-book of splendid and lovely scenes run, as it were, through your fingers." He also invited her to write to him all that occupied her mind, adding, "it will "it will at all times be heartily received your open-hearted chat is a genuine entertainment to me, and your confiding acquiescence outweighs all." He even told her in reference to her letters, "I read every day in them;" and what is still more probative of his affection and his sense of the value of her performances, it is declared that "they are almost all corrected by his hand much is underlined with red ink, much with pencil: here parentheses, there erasures."
In selecting extracts, we shall look for some of those which not only display Bettine's genius, but which contain such notices and anecdotes, that here and there occur, respecting celebrated characters, as must be acceptable to every reader on account of their novelty or curiosity. Some of these notices regard Goethe himself, which his mother, of course, was well enabled to communicate. We are told, for example, that when a child he did not like playing with little children, unless they were very pretty. "Once he began suddenly to cry and shriek, the black child shall get out!' I can't bear it; neither did he cease crying till he got home, when his mother asked him how he could be so naughty; he could not con