Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

more.

raine has no cause for anxiety in this and the Justau-corps. Each baud was particular season of 1894 ; some of its distinguished by scarves and caps of clusters would do credit to a hothouse. corps colors, but all wore white gauntYet the unforeseen does so often hap- lets, and in each right hand was a pen, and it is as well not to be too san-sword. Behind these three lines of guine, even though the sunsets every youths, trained to arms and discipline night are as auspicious as possible. and equipped in the manner of a past

After a few days in Touraine one century, crowded nearly four thousand comes to realize that though its noble others in modern dress - all come to castles are much - indeed, very much honor the founder of German unity, - with their façades and portals 80 and the greatest statesman whom Gerexquisitely

many has produced.

As Prince Bismarck appeared and Carved with figures strange and sweet, All made out of the carver's brain,

moved slowly towards them, the sword

points fell in honor, and the unarmed though they are much, the grapes are students uncovered. Some moments

Touraine was formerly ruled, passed before he began to speak — mooften tyrannically, by its castles. It ments of intense silence, during which, now lives benigoly by its vineyards. no doubt, the old man's thoughts went

back sixty years to the days when he was captain of his corps at Goettingen.

He must have thought of those days From The Saturday Review. of the thirty duels he had fought, and THE HEROIC AND THE VULGAR AT of the thirty times he had heard from FRIEDRICHSRUH.

the umpire that his antagonist had Now and then reality shows us in a been disabled (abgefuehrt), for as the single moment the two sides of the sword points went up again he tried to shield of life; the one side is of pull himself erect and begin to speak. bronze, moulded in noble and dignified The old hero has changed in the last figures that appeal to our deepest emo- ten years. The shoulders are rounded tions, and the other is of mud, distorted and bowed; the giant form seems to into gibbering, leering, vacant faces have shrunk together. But the most that move us to laughter or pitying ghastly change is to be seen in the face contempt. German history is fertile in as he stands there uncovered. The such contrasts; the German people grey-blue eyes that used to have the bave never seen anything incongruous gleam of steel have lost their light; in thanking a merciful Providence for they seem to see nothing; life has giving them a victory at the cost of ten ebbed away from them. The chin and thousand lives and of the misery of a lower part of the face, once so bold and myriad bomes. But even Germany resolute, have withered to wrinkled and has never displayed the heroic and.the uncertain outlines ; the head has fallen vulgar in closer proximity or in ex- forward on the chest ; and the voice tremer contrast than the other day at the voice is terrifying. One misses the Friedrichsruh. Deputations of stu- old metallic ring, it has become tonedents from all the German universities less ; but that was to be expected. waited on Prince Bismarck to congrat- What strikes one with almost a sense ulate him on his eightieth birthday, of fear is that it has shrunk to a little and foremost among them marched thread of monotonous sound that dies nearly five hundred corps students, away and begins again with a painful representing more than a hundred Ger- effort, almost as if it obeyed the slow, man corps. They drew up like soldiers weary pulsations of the heart. Bisin front of the modest house, pictur- marck's thoughts have evidently gone esque figures, in the long black horse- back to his student home on the ramman's boots reaching to mid-thigh, the parts of Goettingen, and to the contrast white, close-fitting buckskin breeches, I between the splendid strength and

are

old man,'

vigor of those days and the deadly pleasures of a conqueror.” As his weakness of these ; for, as he thanks speech ends the students break into his visitors with faltering words and in cheers that at first sound strangely inthat strange voice that shocks with the appropriate —“Er soll leben, Bissense of something outworn and dying, marck. Hoch ! Hoch soll er leben ” he speaks of “a man of my age," "an but, after all, the words true

and so forth. Yes, that is enough. He shall live high enough in what Prince Bismarck, Duke of Lauen- the esteem and affection of generations burg, maker of Germany, is now -"a yet unborn, and this consoling and poor old man.” And as the students inspiriting thought led naturally to the listen to him, straining their ears to music of Koerner's sword-song, and as catch each word, tears flood their eyes the challenge rang out, the students in spite of their warlike accoutrements. defiled past the prince, a moving fence But the old man compels himself to of steel. And for a few yards, to the speak to them ; his indomitable will corner of his house, the old man kept summons life back again ; the voice step with them, carrying his right grows clearer as he goes on, and the elbow on his hip, as if his hand too words flow uninterrupted by

ose ter- held a sword. This scene, whose parible pauses. The figure is erect and thos and inspiration are understood the head upheld as he tells them of from the Baltic sands to where the their duty to the State, and warns them Bavarian mountains look down upon to hold fast to their patriotism and to the plains of Italy, and from the forts the imperial idea as to the centre and of Metz and Strasburg to those that rallying point for all Germans. This, guard Courland and the Vistula, seems be seeins to say, is the work and to us, also, to possess an heroic and achievement of my life ; you will not pathetic interest. let the labor and the sacrifice be in There was, however, another side to vain ; that is my consolation now," he the shield a ridiculous side. The adds, “it is not in the German ever reverence of the ordinary German is completely to forget the ideals of his usually lacking in dignity. As the stuyouth.” Was Bismarck thinking of dents returned to the station, they the advice that the dying Schiller gave passed huge piles of packing-cases and to his compatriots, “Be true to the crates bursting with the provisions dreams of your youtlı ” ? The prince which German gratitude had sent as went on to vindicate the past. “We presents to the true Father of the had to fight desperately,” he began, Land. Cheeses from two hundred “ for our national independence. The pounds in weight to half-a-dozen prologue was the war in Schleswig- ounces; a hundred and forty dozen Holstein ; then we had to fight with cheeses of different sizes and sorts ; Austria in order to separate from her ; and sausages of all dimensions, from and after that war, every one saw that the one twenty-three yards loug and of a war with France was inevitable. It appropriate thickness, that required a was manifestly our policy not to enter crate to itself, down to the one that upon it before the newly gathered came in a letter and provided a meal fruits of German unification had been for the birds. Here were over a dozen safely housed. I sought to prevent the immense salmon, and there piles of war; we had no reason to want it; we pâté de foie gras, cases of apples, barhad won all that we wished for. To rels of oysters, pots of honey ; on this fight out of a mere lust of conquest side, a tank containing living carp, on would have been a proof of Napoleonic that, tarts and eggs, for all the world light-mindedness. It has always been as if Friedrichsruh were a beleaguered a praiseworthy characteristic of the fortress. Over a thousand bottles of German to find his satisfaction in his wine, cider, beer, liqueur, and cognac own consciousness of merit, and to feel were provided ; more than five thouno desire for the privileges or the sand cigars, with pipes of every shape

II.

III.

IV.

and quality, and five thousand matches. Some admirers of the great man at As she fitted by garth and slipped through Luebeck sent him enough confection- glade, ery for the rest of his life, in the shape Her light limbs winnowed the wind, and

made of a copy of the Niederwald monument molded in macaroon biscuit. Nor was On her budding bosom and dimpled throat.

The gold of the pollened palm to float the outward man neglected : the prince was overwhelmed with mantles, cloaks, and rugs; helmets, slippers, and swords ; warm stockings and hot-water Then, brushing the nut-sweet gorse, she

sped bottles. Eighty-three utterly obscure

Where the runnel lisps in its reedy bed, individuals, burning with the desire to O'er shepherded pasture and crested fallow, shine in reflected glory, dedicated their And buskined her thighs with strips of photographs to the hero. And literary

sallow. vanity was not behindhand in the race. Thirty German authors were ruthless enough to send copies of their complete By the marigold marsh she paused to twist works, whilst eleven others, more mer- The gold-green coils round her blue-veined ciful, presented him with selected wrist, tomes ; penholders and inkstands, too, And out of the water-bed scooped the

cresses, were to be counted by the dozen. The

And frolicked them round her braidless religious element in Germany was rep

tresses. resented by a batch of Bibles ; and an old lady of a self-sacrificing turn of mind, kindly contributed a fuveral she passed by the hazel dell, and lifted wreath she had intended for her own The coverlet fern where the snow had grave. Nor did the grateful Teuton drifted, forget to provide the hero of the em- To see if it there still lingered on, pire with a pleasing occupation for his Then shook the catkins, and laughed, leisure hours. No less than one hun- "'Tis gone!” dred and twenty thousand letters were showered upon him in commemoration of the festival. If we calculate that Through the crimson tips of the wintry he worked at them ten hours a day,

brake

“Awake ! and allowed three minutes for each She peeped, and shouted,

Awake !" letter, it would take him about three

And over the hill and down the hollow years merely to read this correspond- She called “I have come. So follow, foleuce. Surely Goethe was right en

low !" he spoke of vulgarity as being the besetting sin of the German, and when he praised Schiller for “his freedom Then the windflower looked through the from the slavery that binds all of us, crumbling mould, the slavery of life's commonness.”

And the celandine opened its eyes of gold, And the primrose sallied from chestnut

shade,

And carried the common and stormed the From Blackwood's Magazine.

glade. THE COMING OF SPRING.

[ocr errors]

VI.

VII.

[blocks in formation]

In sheltered orchard and windy heath
The dauntless daffodils slipped their

sheath,
And, shimmering close in clump and clus-

SPRING came out of the woodland chase,
With her violet eyes and her primrose face,
With an iris scarf for her sole apparel,
And a voice as blithe as a blackbird's carol.

ter,
Dared March's tempests to blow and blus-

ter.

IX.

XIV. Round crouching cottage and soaring But with him there came the faithful bird castle

That lives with the stars, and is nightly The larch unravelled its bright-green heard tassel ;

When the husht babe dimples the mother's In scrub and hedgerow the blackthorn breast, flowered,

And Spring said, sighing, “I love you And laughed at the May for a lagging best. coward.

“For sweet is the sorrow that sobs in song, Then tenderly ringing old Winter's knell,

When Love is stronger than Death is The hyacinth swung its soundless bell,

strong, And over and under and through and And the vanished past a more living thing through

Than the fleeting voice and the fickle The copses there shimmered a sea of blue. wing."

XV.

X.

XVI.

XI.

XVII.

XII.

Then the meadows grew golden, the lawns Like a sunny shadow of cloudlet fleeting,

grew white, Spring skimmed the pastures where lambs And the poet-lark sang himself out of were bleating ;

sight; Along with them gambolled by bole and And English maidens and English lanes mound,

Were serenaded by endless strains. And raced and chased with them round and round.

The hawthorn put on her bridal veil,

And milk splashed foaming in pan and To the cuckoo she called, “Why lag you

pail ;

The swain and his sweeting met and The woodpecker nests in the rotten bough ; The misselthrush pipes to his brooding and the air and the sky were amethyst.

kissed, mate, And the thistlefinch pairs ; you alone are late."

“Now scythes are whetted and

blow,' "Then over the seasonless sea he came, Spring, carolling, said ; “it is time to go." And jocundly answered her, name for And though we called to her, “Stay ! 0

now?

XVIII.

roses

XIII.

name,

stay!"

And, falsely flitting from copse to cover,
Made musical mock of the jilted lover.

She smiled through a rainbow, and passed away.

ALFRED AUSTIN.

THERE are often hidden meanings in the point, cannot be magnified. Every examhumorous answers given by schoolboys in iner is familiar with the non-committal anthe examination room. From a collection swers frequently received, and with which of such answers in the University Corre- may be classified the cautious statement spondent, we cull a few authenticated that “Two straight lines cannot enclose a specimens. “Parallel straight lines,” said space, unless they are crooked.” But even one boy, "are those which meet at the far these words of wisdom are eclipsed by the end of infinity.” And another sagely re- definitions of kinetic and of potential enmarked that “Things which are impossible ergy once received. “Kinetic energy," ran are equal to one another.” The boy who the definitions, “is the power of doing wrote “A point is that which will not ap- work. Potential energy is the power of pear any bigger, even if you get a magnify- doing without work." This truth, which ing glass,” would have no difficulty in has a monetary application, is well worth understanding that a star, being but a lucid adding to our contemporary's collection.

Nature.

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

387

401

.

CONTENTS.
I. SAMUEL TAYLOR COLERIDGE. By Julia
Wedgwood,

Contemporary Review,
II. A ROMANCE OF GRAY'S INN. By Albert
Fleming,

Gentleman's Magazine,
III. THE DECLINE OF THE HOUSE OF Com-
MONS. By Sidney Low,

Nineteenth Century, .
IV. THE SHERIDANS,

Edinburgh Review,
V. THE EXPEDITION TO LA Plata. By

Piata.
J. W. Fortescue,

Macmillan's Magazine,
VI. THE GREAT UNCLAIMED,

Blackwood's Magazine,
VII. THE BALTIC

THE NORTH SEA
Ship-CANAL,

Chambers' Journal,
VIII. BIRD-LIFE IN SPRING,

Spectator, . IX. ARMORIAL BEARINGS, OLD AND New,. Daheim,

411 420

[ocr errors]

429 438

AND

[ocr errors]

442 446 448

.

[merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

TERMS OF SUBSCRIPTION. For Eight DOLLARS remitted directly to the Publishers, the LIVING AGE will be punctually forwarded for a year, free of postaye.

Remittances should be made by bank draft or check, or by post-office money-order, if possible. If neither of these can be procured, the money should be sent in a registered letter. All postmasters are obliged to register letters when requested to do so. Drafts, checks, and money orders should be made payable to the order of LITTELL & Co.

Single copies of the LIVING AGE, 18 cents.

« AnteriorContinuar »