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SONGS FOR STRAY AIRS.
BY DINAH MARIA MULOCK.
Italian Air-O Pescator, dell'onde.
the neighbouring baker's “ assistant.” Her appear. ance was always hailed by children with clamorous delight. Her exhaustless and imperturbable good humour, her stock of marvellous stories, domestic and foreign ; the treasures of a pocket, so ample, little hands could scarcely fathora it, which included, not only the usual complement of pen-knife, scissors, needle case, thimble, and purse, but an endless variety of picture books, song books, shells, to say nothing of hard bake and comfits; all these made Molly to baby-hood an amusement and joy. But great and useful as were her qualifications, it is not, we believe, on record, that in any household, however pressing the emergency, she was ever exalted to my lady's dressing-room. Poor Molly! she would, indeed, have been sadly out of place in braiding hair, or adjusting robes; we hardly know how her large hands would unite in accurate juxta-position the tiny and delicate links of “ hooks
But if we have glanced at ihe attribules which recommended her to mistresses, we must speak of those which gave her in the eyes of servants such wide-spread popularity, and made all to whom she was known, when extra help was demanded, instantly suggest
“ Oh! ma'm, let me fetch Molly, no one can be so useful as she."
Not only was it that they knew when she came, every servant's burden in the house was lightened by her readiness, strength and activity; not only was her merry jest and sage counsel in love affairs always acceptable; but, added to these, and which gave her priceless value-Molly could tell fortunes! Could read the cards, and extract from the grounds of a tea cup, the type and promise of future events! As we do not wish to degrade her in our reader's estimation, we wish it distinctly to be understood, that it was as an amateur only, that she practised in the occult sciences.
But her powers of divination were said to be so infallible, that, but we must not betray the secrets of our young friends, or we could name two or three instances in which Molly's skill has been sought-not by the soubrette, to learn whether the “ butcher's young man” were true or false-but they do say by fair damosels of gentle birth, by the lovely and the gifted, who have lent an attentive and credulous ear, to be resolved whether the aristocratic guardsman, or the handsome Oxonian, preserved inviolate his love and fealty. We verily believe it was her skill in these matters, inclusive of deep and profound acquaintance with all arts, charms and spells for allhallow's eve, midsummer's day, &c. &c., and her own apparent implicit belief in her prophecies and “conjurations," more even than her general usefulness, which procured her such constant employment and ready acceptance
Go on, Molly, and prosper ; and we hope the lore which tells you when
“ Coming events cast their shadows before,” will teach you to lay up from the gains your industry and (forgive us) cunning levy, a provision for the day-far off may it be !-when age shall diminish your exuberant strength and fertile fancy.
Again we say, go on and prosper !
The sun has brightly risen,
Arise, my sweet, arise !
With the beauty of thine eyes,
Isoline, Isoline !
Isoline, Isoline !
Isoline, Isoline !
TO A FRIEND.
BY ALICIA JANE SPARROW,
Web uns! wo sind Sie ? Böses ahnet mir!
Sweet summer-time !-you lov'd it so !
'Tis here ! 'tis here in all its pride; The glad earth smiles, the blue skies glow,
And birds are singing side by side. Your favourite flowers are blooming bright
Upon the hill and in the glen ;
But will you never come again?
And blossoms deck the chestnut tree ; And ev'ry spot where you have been
Invites you to return to me.
Still softly shines on yonder plain ;
But will you never come again ?
BY MARY ANN YOU ATT.
SKETCHES OF GERMAN LITERATURE. I but very few have enough of the incident, the pas
sion, and the stirring realities of life, to interest the English reader generally. It has so frequently been found that translations of German povels do
not answer in this country, that few publishers will Introductory Remarks,
now attempt them. This is, however, not attri
butable so much to any deficiency in the works The principal literary names of Germany have, themselves, as to other and very different causes. for some years past, been nearly as fainiliar to the Firstly, the translation is, perhaps, undertaken by educated classes of England as those of native some novice in literature, or by one who does not writers, and her language, literature, and music, catch the spirit of the author, or if he did, would have lately become the objects of study, criticism, not have power to do it justice; for it is seldom and eulogy. In these days of steam and rail-roads, that we see such names as those of Bulwer and when we are brought so closely in contact with Howitt appended to a translation. In Germany, this nation, when every petty tourist who can they manage these things beller; there even Goethe, escape from his business or profession, even but Schiller, Wieland, Schlegel, and Tieck, have not for a week or ten days, hastens up the Rhine, to disdained thus to employ their mighty genius, and feast his eyes on its wild scenery, its vine-clad the consequence is, that no nation possesses so hills, and mouldering castles; pausing for a day many, and such perfect translations as Germany here and there to view the ancient cities of Coblenz, does, and, consequently, such facilities for study, Cologne, or Mayence, or perhaps to visit the gay comparison, and improvement. metropolis of Frankfort—in these days, it be- Another great reason why, generally speaking, hoves us to cultivale a more intimate acquaintance the isolated translations which do reach us occawith this interesting people, with their rich, power- sionally, afford so imperfect a means of coming to ful, and expressive language, and their imaginative, any just appreciation of an original or thinking philosophical, oft-tipies quaint, and ever beautiful author, especially if his writings reflect the age, literature.
the national characteristics, and social circumIt is with a view to the furtherance of this stances of the man, is, that in all probability the object, that these sketches are written ; and if our reader is but superficially acquainted with the pigmy endeavours should tend in the least towards manners, customs, idioms, modes of thought and its advancement, we shall be more than repaid. expression, or habits of the nations to which the work
In one point of view, German Literature of belongs, and is consequently surprised and puzzled the preseni day greatly resembles our own; the by much that he meets with; his prejudices mosi celebrated authors have passed, or are pass- rise up against the apparent innovations, and all ing away, and, although there is an abundance of that appears so preposterous and unnatural, and talent still remaining, the individual writers bear he condemns the author and his work, because he no proportion to the collossal forms of past years. cannot rightly understand them. How often do Schiller and Goethe still tower far, far above all we encounter, nay how often are we guilty of this competitors, the giants, as it were, of poetry. It great error in human judgment; we form our is true that a numerous body of young aspirants opinions of others on the basis of our own personal claim their share of public attention, many of whom feelings, situation, and experience, forgetting that, possess feeling, elegance, and imagination ; for the in all probability, we have not one thought, habit, national characteristic of the Germans may be said or feeling in common with those whom we thus to be poetry, and certainly they have every requi- judge. site both for its production and appreciation, in “Fully to enjoy the flowery, graceful, richness of their enthusiasm, simplicity, energy, warmth of German Literature,” says Mrs. Trolloppe, “locked lieart, superstition, acute taste for all the beauties up as it is in its splendid case of Gothic workand wonders of nature, and love of the marvellous manship, where erery quaint idiom stands out in and imaginative. But most of the poets of the deep relief upon it, like some precious gem, represent day are wanting in criginality; they seem quires long months of study, 'if not an actual content to tread in the steps of their predecessors, residence among the people.” to form themselves on their model, revel in their The last obstacle which we shall mention to the beauties, and, with very few exceptions, seek not success of translations from the German is, the to strike out for themselves any new path to fame. prejudices and misapprehensions respecting the Menzel, in his “German Literature," when speak- peculiar tendency of that literature, which bare ing of them, says :—“They are more anxious to warped the judgment even of men of sense and sing, than to be listened to, and, like birds in the liberality, and been very generally entertained. spring time of the year twitter upon every branch, It has been condemned as sentimental, trashy, and apparently quite unconscious that their number is maudlin; nay, even worse, as immoral and irreliso great, or that they do but repeat the old song gious: and certainly those who have formed their over and over again ; and many too,” he adds, judgment of it, from the writings of Veit Weber, “vanish with the spring, and are heard no more.” | Koizebue, and some few others of similar standing,
The same observations will apply, in a great have some ground 10 go upon; but as well might measure, to the prose writers of fiction ; a quiet any foreign nation attempi to form a criterion of dreamy speculative style pervades the works of our literature from such works as “the Castle some of the very best of them, diversified here and Spectre," “ the Mysteries of Udolpho," Lewis's there by rich morsels of imagination or sentiment; “Monk,” and the questionable morality of Rich.
ardson and Fielding, or judge of our dramatic taste his thoughts, and colouring to bis feelings, so that from such dramas as "Tom and Jerry," and on going to Strasburg to finish his studies, he the “ Beggar's Opera.” A closer acquaintance, neglected jurisprudence and gave up his thoughts however, with the treasures contained in the to chemistry, natural philosophy, and the sciences. writings of such men as Goethe, Lessing, Schil. On his return home in 1773, he published the ler, Wieland, Richter, Tieck, &c., will soon dis- play of “ Götz von Berlichingen," and in 1774, sipate these illusions.
the novel of “ Werther," which excited a general It is true that idealism, and romanticism, are sensation throughout Germany. The Prince of among the most prominent features of German Weimar made his acquaintance, and ou assuming authors; that they love to indulge in a species of his government invited him to court; he went to composition, half miraculous, half poetic, full of Weimar in 1775, and in 1779 was made a privy. the ideal and beautiful in point of sentiment and counsellor (Geheimrath). In 1786 he travelled to feeling, breathing of all that is lovely in nature, Italy, where he stayed two years; subsequently pure in virtue, holy in religion, and yet told with a he became one of the ministry, received honourable simplicity of eloquence, which reminds you of marks of notice from several sovereigns, and died some tale recited by the sweet lips of childhood, in 1832, after a long and useful life devoted to or one of the narrative portions of the Old Testa- science, literature, and art. ment: And it is also true, that in many of them, Werther," Goethe's first novel, was, as we the love of the beautiful, the spiritual and the sub- have before stated, published in 1774. The lime—the unattainable in this life—is carried to such plot is very simple. The hero is a student an excess, as to place virtue on so high a pedestal, at one of the universities, and coming to pass that the enthusiastic student who pines to reach this his vacation in the country, sees, and falls in imaged perfection, shrinks back discouraged, and love with Charlotte the daughter of the Amtmann, while striving to attain to that lofty ideal on which and the betrothed of Albert, The period aphis mind's eye is fixed, neglects the material good pointed for her marriage approaches, but this, far within his reach, and becomes a mere visionary; from diminishing, only serves to increase Werther's but these are their greatest faults, and there are unhappy passion. He, at length, so far forgets spots even on the sun.
himself, as to lose sight of the respect due to her, We will however proceed, without further pre- she indignantly forbids him the house, and, in face, to introduce our readers to some of the despair, he borrows Albert's pistols and shoots principal German writers, and endeavour to give himself. Notwithstanding the rich vein of pathos, a slight sketch of their principal works, their lives, beauty, and poetic eloquence, which runs through and peculiarities, as far as it has been in our this work, there is a sickly effeminate sentimenpower to become acquainted with them.
tality about the hero by no means in accordance SKETC. I. Goëthe.
with our English tastes; nor do we cordially
agree with the moral bearing of some of the Johann Wolfgang von Goethe was born at Frank- philosophical portions. It has been translated fort-on-the-maine, in the year, 1749. The history, from a French translation, and very incorrectly, or rather the poetical account of himself
, which he its melancholy rendered 'maudlin, and its hero has given in his own memoirs, (Aus meinem Leben) shorn of every ray of interest. We have heard enables us to trace the menial development of that a new and beiter English version of it is either this extraordinary man from his childhood up- published or forthcoming. wards. While very young be seems to have “ Götz von Berlichingen," is rather a series of thought deeply and anxiously about religion, and dramatic tableaux, illustrative of the times of Maxbefore he was eight years old, had devised a form imillian than a'drama. Martin Luther, then a of worship to the “ God of Nature,” and actually monk, is introduced ; also a very graphic sketch of burnt sacrifices. All the arts and sciences seemed the Vehmgericht, or secret tribunal. The chato have had charms for him, and he was particu- racter of Götz of the iron hand, the sturdy, warm, larly fond of the study of languages, to further his hearted, old German knight, is finely drawn, and proficiency in which, he wrote a romance in which his faté excites our sympathy. The gentle woseven sisters corresponded, each in a different manly Maria, the subtle intriguing Adela, and tongue. He began to write poetry in early youth, the homely domesticated affectionate Elizabeth, but his decidedly poetical genius did not manifestare all truthful sketches. This play has been very itself until he was at the University of Leipsic. well translated by Sir Walter Scoit. “ Here began," says he, “ that tendency which Egmont" greatly resembles Götz von Bernever afterwards departed from me, to poetise lichingen in point of style, both being imitations every feeling of my life, whether of joy or pain.” About this time also, he devoted some time to Egmont, are contending for the liberties of the
of Skakespeare. The prince of Orange, and Count the study of the fine arts, and made some attempts Netherlands, and endeavouring to resist the Spanish at etching, but this pursuit impaired his health, encroachments. Margaret of Parma is Regent, and and he was still very far from well when he left Micchiavel, who afterwards became so celebrated in Leipsic, in 1768. In order to recover bis health history, is her secretary; they are both inclined to and strength he was sent to the residence of a lady lenient and temporizing measures. Suddenly the named Kleltenberg. She was a mystic, a female Duke Alba arrives with authority to supersede Mar, philosopher, and, at her house Goethe became garet. He is resolved on enforcing unconditional acquainted with the study of alchemy, and with submission. His first act is to summon all the chief many cabalistic authors, which gave a new turn to nobility to hear his commission read. The Prince of
Orange distrusts him, and belakes bimself to his own Clara.--Let me go--you will spoil all this.
so is the rich jewel of thy love; so do I wear that Scere, a Cottage- Clara and her Mother
on my bosom, in my heart, but there the compari
Egmont.--How so, love?
Clura,I have not striven for it-not deserved Egmont.-Clara !
it! Clara.--(Springing towards kim) Egmont ! Egmont.-Ay! but in love it is far otherwise. dearest l-best! Do I behold thee here once more? Love is a free gift, oftenest bestowed on those who Egmont.-Good evening, mother,
seek it not, and best retained by those who Mother.-God greet thee, noble sir ! My child scarcely value it. has been pining for your presence, and speaking of Clara.-Does experience prompt these words ? you the whole live-long day.
Do these proud remarks apply to thyself, so loved Egmont.-Will you give me some supper ? by all the people ?
Mother.-Will Í! with the greatest pleasure. Egmont. Would that I had done, or could do But we have nothing in the house fit for you to eat. something for them. 'Tis not to my deserts, but
Clara.-Do not be alarmed, mother, I have their good will, I owe their love. cared for that, and small as my preparations are, Clara.--You have been with the Queen Regent they will suffice ; for when he is with me, I can to-day? are you on good terms with her ? never think of eating, and hence do I judge that he Egmont. It would seem so. We are friendly, will not have any great appetite,
and mutually serviceable to each other. Egmont.–Dost think so ? (Clara stamps her Clara.- And at heart? feet peevishly and turns away). Nay, what ails Egmont.--I wish her well. Both have their thee?
own private views and aims, but that is nothing to Clara.-Why this cold formality ? no embrace, the purpose. She is an excellent woman, loves Do kiss, but there you stand with your arms wrap- her people, is quick-sighted and shrewd,-1'were ped in that cloak, like a child enveloped in well if she were a little less suspicious. I fear I swaddling clothes. A soldier and a lover should give her a great deal of trouble, for she will persist ever have his arms at liberty.
in seeking for mysteries, and secret purposes in all Egmont.-Patience, love, patience! When the my actions, while there are none. soldier plans some secret stratagem wherewith to Clara.- Positively none ? deceive the enemy, he assumes a disguise, sup- Egmont.--Well, well! 'The purest wine will presses each emotion, and waits his time in silence; leave some sediment. But the Prince of Orange and a lover
affords her still more occupation, for he has such Mother.-Prithee sir, be seated, and make a reputation for intrigues and plots, that she misyourself at home. Clara can think of nothing trusis his every glance, rivets her piercing gaze when you are present; but you know you are upon his brow, in hopes there to read his thoughıs, welcome, and will take things as you find them. and marks each step.
Egmont.-Thanks, thanks, your kindness sea- Clara.-And think'st thou she is sincere ?
Should she be false ?
Egmont. She is not more or less so than all
Clara.—Thank Heaven, I was not born great! | rises in fame and court favour, becomes ambitious, I ask no world beyond thy love. Let me but feel scorns his early friends, aud forsakes his destined thy circling arm, listen to thy voice, look into bride. Beaumarchais, Marie's brother, comes from thine eyes, and there read love, hope, joy, pride, France to revenge this insult offered to his family. and I am content. But speak, mine own,-ell | The coward soul of Clavigo quails before the just me,--Art thou Egmont—the Count Egmont-the indignation of the fiery youth; he consents 10 great Egmont? He whose praise forms the unio write an abject apology, and, moved by momenversal theme-whose deeds are chronicled in fame's tary compunction, or some return of better feeling, bright heraldry—the hero—the beloved of all the seeks Marie, implores, and receives her pardon, provinces ?
and renews his engagement. His friend Carlos Egmont.—No, Clara, that Egmont am I not. meets him, ridicules his repentance, reasons with Clara.-How?
him on the folly of such conduct, points out the Egmont,--Listen! but first let me be seated. advantages which might accrue to him if he woed (He seats himself, she kneels before him on a stool, some wealthy, influential bride, and eventually resting her arms upon his lap, and gazing fondly persuades him once more to break off the coninto his face). That Egmont is a proud, cold, nection. Marie, always delicate, sinks under reserved being; tormented by his friends, mis- these repeated shocks. "Clavigo meets her funeral judged by his enemies—one whose whole life is repents once more, raves over his victim, falls a glittering, unreal pageant. Beloved by a fickle by the sword of her brother, and dies. The fiery populace, honoured and looked up to by a crowd young soldier-the ambitious, weak, vaccilating of unmanagable spirits—surrounded by friends on Clavigo—the cold, worldly-minded Carlos—the whom he dares not rely, tracked by artful spies patient, loving, suffering Marie—her affectionate he seeks his country's welfare with his whole heart, sister Sophie-all are life-like pictures; and we and labours on uncheered by success, and with cannot but admire their fidelity of colouring, even scarcely a gleam of hope. No no, Clara, such is though the grouping does not please us. not thy Egmont! He is calm, frank, joyous, “ Erwin and 'Elmira" is a melodrama, turning happy. On him is bestowd the rich treasure of a chietly on the jealousy, separation, and subsequent woman's pure, gentle, confiding heart, which he re-union of a pair of lovers. knows how to value, and presses to his bosom in “ Die Geschewstern" is simple in its plot, and perfect love, gratitude, and trust.–(Embracing affords a charming representation of the domestic her tenderly):
manners of Germany. Wilhelm, a middle-aged, Clara.-Oh, let me now die! The world has retired merchant, is living with his sister Marianne, no joy surpassing this.
who is fifteen years his junior. Fabricius, a friend ACT. III., Sc. 2nd. of the family, makes her an offer, which she de
clines, pleading her attachment to her brother, and “Stella" is a domestic tragedy, the moral bearing her happiness in her present position. Wilhelm of which is rather questionable, although the lan- then informs her that she is not his sister, but an guage and style are pure and chaste. Fernando, orphan bequeathed to his care by a dying stranger; a young officer, is, early in life, united to Cecelia. that he educated her at first as a sister, and afterHe appears to have been very sincerely attached wards became so much attached to her that he could to her, but satiety, or a natural tendency to fickle- not bear the thoughts of disavowing the relationness, causes him suddenly to quit her, and, for ship, and thus losing her society. Of course years, she is left in ignorance of his fate. Mean Marianne accepts him, and all ends happily. while, he has encountered Stella, a lovely, innocent, “ Iphigenia in Tauris” is an imitation of Greek enthusiastic girl, won her affections, and brought tragedy, and is universally admitted to breathe & her to the secluded retreat in which we are first in more truly Grecian spirit ihan any other work of troduced to her. She has advertised for a com- modern times. Schlegel styles it “ the echo of panion, and Lucia, the daughter of Cecelia and Greek song.” When this play opens, the heroine Fernando, a lively, spirited girl, answers it, and is priestess of Diana at Tauris, a barbarous region, comes accompanied by her mother. The parties whither she has been conveyed by that goddess are mutually delighted with each other, and all is from the altar on which she was about to be sacriharmony, until, suddenly, Fernando returns, who ficed. Thoas, the sovereign of that place, woos has been away on another of his ng absences. and would wed her, but she declines his suit, Some very painful explanations ensue; each lady and pleads her mysterious, and fatal birth as an offers to resign him to the other. Fernando hesi- excuse. The enraged monarch, as a punishment tates belween his love for Stella and bis sense of for her wilfulness, commands her to sacrifice two justice. Cecelia proposes, as a mode of solving strangers who have appeared on the coast, and the difficulty, that they shall all three reside 10- whose lives are forfeit according to an old and gether as brother and sisters; but Stella has al. sanguinary law, which had long been suspended ready taken poison, and while the mother and at her entreaties. In these persons she recognises daughter soothe her last moments with their affec. her brother Orestes, and his friend Pylades. Intionate sympathy, Fernando shoots himself. fluenced by their persuasions, she reluctantly agrees
“Clavigo" is another tragedy of the same stamp. to fly with them, and give up to them the image of The hero of this has won the affections of a deli. Diana, which they believe the oracle bas comcate, gentle girl, into whose family he was received manded them to seek; but subsequently repent. when he was poor and friendless, and is betrothed ing of what appears to her rightly principled to her. Fortune subsequently smiles on him; he mind, to be an act of treachery towards one who