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&c. &c. &c.
AUTHOR OF “LIVES OF THE POETS,” “MOTHERS AND DAUGHTERS," &c.
The object of this publication is to collect and preserve the best specimens of the fugitive literature of Europe-those exquisite snatches of fancy and imagination which so rarely find their way into the large collections of National Fiction, and so often perish in the evanescent periodicals to which they are consigned. It is scarcely necessary to observe, that such productions have a peculiar value as illustrations of the customs, manners, social characteristics, and poetical spirit of the age; that they frequently discover more profound and condensed literary vitality, more dramatic power, and more delicate beauty, than many of the elaborate works which supersede them in notoriety by the mere force of voluminous expansion; and that the sources from whence they will be derived, including the range of all the living languages, are sufficiently extensive to ensure continuous excellence in the choice of materials.
Every nook of literature, ancient and modern, will be explored for the means of conferring a permanent grace on the pages of this Anthology-the haunted places of Moorish romance, the allegories of oriental fable, full of passionate beauty and moral truth—the traditions of chivalry—the lays of the Minnesängers and Troubadours—the picturesque reliques of our old English literature - the fresh springs of poetry that have of late years gushed forth in the North of Europe - the fictions of Italy and Spain-the ballads and weird tales of Germany, teeming with intellectual superstitions, the fanciful metaphysics of the Romantic School in France, now scattered through a multitude of ephemeral journals-in addition to such excerpta as may be available from the works of contemporary genius at home. The field is so vast that its landmarks can only be vaguely indicated; and the execution of the undertaking cannot, consequently, be fairly tested by the contents of a single number, but must be estimated by the varieties of styles and subjects developed in its progress.
The plan of “ The Story-Teller” will admit short articles of every kind-Sketches of Society and Scenery–Real Narratives of remarkable Actions and Events-and occasional Episodes from large and costly works. Original Tales will also form a distinct feature, dependant always upon their intrinsic merit, and upon the space which, according to circumstances, can be afforded to them.
The selected papers will be accompanied by notes, or introductions, when they happen to be of a nature to demand, or justify editorial remarks. The object of such notes will be to illustrate, as briefly as possible, the peculiar claims of the articles to which they refer, or the genius of their authors-sometimes taking the shape of criticism, and sometimes that of biographical or historical annotation : but always with a view to heighten and refine, rather than to interrupt the pleasure of the reader.
“ The Story-Teller" will be published every Saturday, and will consist of 36 pages imperial extra, printed in double columns with care and elegance, price 6d. Monthly Parts will be issued in a wrapper, with the Magazines, and an Index will be supplied half-yearly for binding into Volumes. It is hoped, with these arrangements, the work may rest its claims to public support upon the novelty and comprehensiveness of its matter, and the economy of its price-each Number being equal in solid contents to an ordinary Octavo Volume.
Advertisements will be received til Wednesday of every week.
NOTICES TO CORRESPONDENTS. To“K. H."-Yes. We cannot state the time with certainty, but can promise that it shall not exceed a month. We are obliged by the passage from the Souvenirs d'un Voyageur, but regret that it is not exactly suited to the plan of THE STORY-TBLLER.
It is left enclosed at the publishers. A former favour from the same quarter shall find an early place. " The Golden Dwarf” has considerable merit, of a kind now rarely developed in popular fictions, and it is not without reluctance we are
compelled to decline it. We could not, under any circumstances, make room for it without subjecting it to a severe process of com
pression, and it is too desultory to admit of much excision or contraction, without injury to the general design. The arrangements of this periodical preclude the possibility of entertaining such elaborate productions as " The Chronicles of the Bastille."
We indicate so much to spare the author the trouble of transmitting his MS. It would afford us much pleasure to hear from our Liverpool correspondent, "J-S " in the only way which can enable us to give a
satisfactory answer to his letter. It is needless to say that we have inexhaustible resources, such as he refers to, at our command:
nevertheless, will he favour us with a short specimen ? We accept the suggestion of “C. McG.” in the spirit in which it is offered. All such points have been already fully considered; and in
the course of our progress he will find that we are quite aware of the value of his hint. “ The Leaden Heart" is deficient in incident-at least for our purposes. The writer will not think that we slight his proposals, for which
we are obliged, if we add, that the reception of every contribution must depend on its own merits. " Martha," "s. T." " Viola F." shall hear from us by post. " The Centaur," "The Valley of the Pale Faces," "Heriot's Legacy," “ The Haunted House," and the translations from Jean Paul Richter,
Jules Janin, Uhland, and Metastasio, are inadmissible for the reasons severally assigned in notes enclosed with the contributions. " V.” “ Hope,” “Ernest's Ghost," and " Christine,” are under consideration. Our Correspondents must perceive, from the number that have already accumulated upon our hands, the impossibility of answering them
by private letters, except in very special cases. "T.J." the same subject has been treated before upon a greater scale. We are not the less obliged, however, by the suggestion. Our Correspondent at Doughton-le-Spring must accept our regret that previous arrangements will prevent us from availing ourselves of
his proposal. " An Intended Constant.” The difficulty lies not in the size and shape of the sheet, and not in the method of folding. But it will be
obviated at once by cutting the sheet in the three divisions marked in the fold. The pages may then be readily adjusted ; this, how.
ever, will in future be done previous to publication. "S.” There are three English translations of the “ Frithiof's Saga” of Bishop Tegner. " Julia R-," " Merlin," à V," and "Red-Cap," are under consideration. " U. V." We are overstocked with materials of that description. Answers have been sent by post to other Correspondents—"N. B., Dunoon, Argyleshire," “ H. B., Hatchland's Park, Guildford," "Burton
Crescent," " Regent's Park." We are sorry to return to the author the poem on the Steam Ship, which lies for him with the publishers. The subject, although admirably
treated, is yet too painfully remembered to allow us to give it a place in our pages. “The Appointment "-"Poor Boxes "-" The Bored Hand "_"Lines on a Hawk”-“The Knight of the Red Plume"-"Gentle Thoughts"
-"Patient Grizzle at Calais "_" The Two Lovers "_"The Marksman"_"Three Weeks in the Pyrenees”-“The Poet's Grave"
“ Basket Making"-"Rouen Cathedral by Moonlight”-returned with explanations. Will the gentleman who gives us a "hint" about "old poetry," have the goodness to explain what kind of poetry he means? We confess
we are at a loss also to understand what he means by Dasivpus." The Gesta Romanorum-we are flattered by the suggestion, and can only say-perhaps. With considerable curtailment, “An English Home Scene" might be made available. The title is not sufficiently descriptive. Translations from Nodier, Jules Janin, Grimm, and Herschem (who is he?] are not suited to our pages. We have returned them. "T. T.” Certainly.-“F.” Let us see it before the publication of our next number.-"0. Y." It is derived from the old French custom.
In fact, the word itself is French, and the only difference between the ancient and modern orthography, is in the substitution of
& for z. “The Gnome" is better calculated for the climate of the Annuals than for that of the STORY TELLER. It is full of imagination, but we
want subject also in our columns. It is erroneously described as a dramatic fragment. We hope we may hear again from the author. It would afford us much gratification to insert the letter of “One who knows Mrs. Sigourney;" but it would answer no other purpose than
that of prolonging a painful and useless controversy. To the two offers of Fabliaux-from Nightingale and Rose-we have only to say, that we are, as we ought to be, greatly obliged, but
except for illustrative or critical uses, we cannot avail ourselves at present of their stores. " Latin Stories"-we hare a treasury of them already. "S-t.” None of the German Popular Stories of the class alluded to would be fit for us. We know they are very curious notwithstanding,
and that Tieck, Novalis, and others, have availed themselves largely of their quaint stuff. Perhaps our Correspondent is not aware that Dr. Simrock, of Bonn, the translator of the Niebelungen Lied, has brought out a collected edition of these old book-stand curiosities.
TABLE-BOOK OF POPULAR LITERATURE.
FESTIVALS OF THE STORY-TELLERS. , too great a favour, just to beg that you'd tell us GATHERING THE FIRST.
who you're talking to yourself about in that
hypothetical manner ? SCENE-Our Nook.
HUMPHREY. TIME-A sumptuous Breguet, inserted in a bronze tower on the mantelpiece, indicates No TIME, the hands being gone,
Who? who, but Robin Hood. He was the although the pulsation within is audible. On the dial is great Idealist of his time, a man who lived in a inscribed the following
world of his own, whose associations, to the reLEGGND.
motest verge of emotion, were essentially poeTyme wyseley employed
tical. He had his cool grottos, his nectar, his needes no warnynge from Arte :
Helicon ; his Academe and his disciples ; his Awaye with the bandes ! let us count by the Wearte!
hamadryads, satyrs, and naiads. Such a sug
gestive existence as that must have inspired a PRESENT—MR. MARMADUKE HUMPHREY, of Paule's Walk;
meaner man with a profound faith in the visible MR. BULLER of Brazen Nose ; SIR ERNEST MÓDERMOTT; MR.DIDYMUS MARVELL; and half a dozen others scattered
and invisible, the material and spiritual uniround the table, which is strewn over with glasses and verse. But Robin Hood had an original genius. cigars. The centre is occupied by a vast basin of mulled claret, over which a ponderous silver ladle keeps watch
SIR ERNEST. and ward. A brilliant oxydator, suspended by a chain ! Nothing but the awful wrecks of burnt from the carved ceiling, illuminates the chamber.
lemons and dismembered spices, that float so Tangled end of a Chorus.
ominously on this boiling ocean of claret, could Robin Hood, ha, ha ! and his merry, merry men
excuse you for uttering such twaddle. Sir, your Glug, glug-ha, ha! Shouts upon the wind, and echoes in the glen
brain must be bewildered, or you would never Ha, ha !-ha, ha!
have forgotten Freney the Robber. HUMPHREY.
HUMPHREY. Of all men, that was the man—the man, cm- Never heard of him. phatically—to have written a romance. What
SIR ERNEST. solemn hours he must have passed in the solitudes of nature—what weird faces he must have
Never heard of him ? Your marvellous ignosoon in the twilight-what thoughts must have rance out-Tocquevilles de Tocqueville himself. agitated his soul—what dreams of ineffable
hat dreams of ineffable He was the Irish Robin Hood-a scampering, beauty must have filled his imagination, as he roaring, murdering rapparee! His history is a stood alone at midnight in the hushed depths ready-made romance, without any help from of the forest, gazing upwards through the the twilight, or any need of conjuring the stars shadowy trees, mottled with starlight !
out of their sockets. SIR ERNEST MÓDERMOTT.
MARVELL. Spoken like a poet. But would it be asking Did he write it himself ? VOL. I.
weird facesco in
tated his twilight
destroy. I give you, gentlemen, THE STORYNó—he lived it. Turn the ladle this way,
TELČERŠ OF ALL NATIONS! Marmaduke : my glass is so parched. I'm afraid I (The chamber shakes with the echoes of the frantic applause, it will crack. Write! He couldn't write-he
and the oxydator winks with astonishment.) didn't know a letter of the alphabet. He was
HUMPHREY. a man of Action ; and, upon my honour, it's my To your feet, my Tale-Bearers! The Storyprivate conviction that all the really great men Tellers of all Nations! are the doers of great deeds, not the describers of them.
THE STORY-TELLERS OF ALL NATIONS!
Hip-hip-hiccup-huzza-hic-hip-huzza ! Wallenstein was a greater man than Schiller; and the vivid genius of Leitch Ritchie grows
CHORUS pale under the exploits of Schinderhannes. But, remember, that if such men--conquerors, mar
(The hands of the inebriated company form a festoon, while
they dance round the table.) tyrs, and so forth—may be said to be the creators of poets and historians, on the other hand
Let History pipe her eyes
Nebulous, interstellar! poets and historians become in turn creators of
The best of all histories, heroes, and of all that imbodied glory which
Are those of the Story-Teller. springs out of their enthusiasm ; and so the
Hey fol de rol de di,
Rackety divo jig, constant succession of Thought and Action is
Niebuhr himself would look shy kept up, producing and reproducing new phases
In a Story-Teller's wig! of Life to the end of the chapter. I call a
Let Poetry dance the hays, toast to the honour of the most influential class
For though none else excel her, amongst all the poets and historians, from He
She owes her immortal bays liodorus to Samuel Lover.
To the spells of the Story-Teller!
Hey fol de rol de do,
Rackety divo jig,
Petrarch would look like a crow The call reflects immortality upon you. My
In a Story-Teller's wig! glass—I'm sure it was never blown in Ireland! was on the point of cracking again, the thirsty
Let Painting shoulder her brush,
Who cares for Cuyp or Kneller ? crystal! Fill, gentlemen.
Thousands pour out in a rush,
At the voice of the Story-Teller!
Hey fol de rol de dum,
Rackety divo jig,
Rubens would look very glum a bumper.
In a Story-Teller's wig!
Let Music give up the ghost,
Or fiddle as we compel her: fine simplicity and cordial humour.
Hurrah! here's a rolicking toast,
To the health of the Story-Teller!
Hey fol de di do dum,
Rackety divo jig, Upstanding. Ready—present-fire !
Hullah would look like a drum (The tumultuous clatter of glasses suddenly subsides into silence
In a Story-Teller's wig!
HUMPHREY. I will not make a speech. I always suspect | Mr. Buller, I always held you in reverence when a man makes a speech at such a moment, for your erudition, your high-bred suavity, and he is only capitulating for time to work himself that facility of intellectual power which enables up into a sensation. I will give you a class of you to descend with as much grace and ease to poets and historians that existed before poetry an epigram as you can soar into a pindaric. or history took definite shapes, before their ori- But that toast, sir—that toast, I say—no matginal elements were resolved into scholastic forms. ter! You have developed a sentiment worthy The first historians of all nations; the first poets of you—worthy of the laurels I fancy I can see of all languages; the moralists of all times; the through the haze that clouds my eyes--I know depositaries of the lore of ancient civilization, not why or wherefore-budding at this mowhen barbaric fury swept the illuminated re- ment round your temples. The very name, cords from the face of the earth, leaving no- gentlemen, is an incantation. Who WERE the thing behind but a few fragments of the Story-Tellers ? When the world was struggling charmed scrolls, and memories, which neither into tribes, and settlements, and forms of gofire, nor sword, nor pestilence, nor famine could vernment when the growing populations of the
luminated re: not why or whertfat clouds my ey.
ains, cloull of beautynksgiving that of magię
in inclodious All this oral ceries of Egyptof Ficinus, the the middle ages:
East,e Christian era; the mystical philoeos to the " open sessa
earth were. yet as fresh as its verdure, before I breathe the outer air of the halo that encircles ideas had acquired adequate expression in lan- them. And these were all story-tellers; for what guage, or language types to fix and systematize else are the grand impassioned legends they have its use—they were the chroniclers of scattered | bequeathed to us but poetical histories, such as and scattering races. On the hill-tops and in one could sit and listen to by the hour together, the valleys, on the wild waters, in the primal as the Eastern princes do when they call their woods, the Story-Tellers were the watchers and grand viziers about them, with music and bells the recorders of the mighty human progress. and dances, to lull their Sybarite senses by the To them, life itself was poetry ; birds, streams, help of sweet sounds and visions and dreamy trees, mountains, clouds, stars, flowers, every narratives? thing was new and full of beauty and glory, and their hearts were filled with thanksgivings, and
BULLER. they poured them out in melodious lays—that. The diviners and soothsayers, the practisers are now the traditions of antiquity! All this oral of magic and the professors of signs, the sorpoetry originated in the East. The Arabians ceries of Egypt, the Cabbala of the Hebrews, carried it into Spain early in the Christian era; the Platonism of Ficinus, the whole arcana of the crusades helped to diffuse it through the the mystical philosophies of the middle ages, western world; and that captivating style, yield up their secrets to the “open sessame” of efforescent with images, and full to exuberance the Story-Teller. of oriental pomp, became rapidly naturalized
· HUMPHREY. in colder climates, until the whole of Europe was touched by the spirit of romance. Bre-. Ai
And the Early Books that teem upon us tagne. the Armorica of the ancients, covered from former ages! If it were worth while to with druidical remains, and to this hour te
dazzle the eyes of the multitude, what a pile nanted by the superstitions of successive cen- we could show them on our shelves—a golden turies, was amongst the first to catch the in- | pile, brighter than the diamond-mines of a spiration, and will be one of the last to relin- | place which I think is called Samarkand, or quish it. She has still her fairy circles, her elf Sugarcandy, I am not certain which, for my palaces, her spectres, and a hundred other ar- memory grows turbulent and rebellious. There, ticles of belief, as well as current usages. drawn look into that recess—there, in that dusky corfrom the faith and habits of the Saracens and
ner, you will find the Cid, the Chronicles of the the Celts. Spain Germany France and the Low Cid, the Scala Chronica, and all the other Countries, and even Holand, with all her uti- | Chronicles; the two sets of the Gesta Romanolities, her dikes and bulbs, grew as fond of le- rum, that analyzed by Warton, and that brought gendary lore as the Asiatics themselves. Hol- to light, or indexed into print by Douce, both land gathered up much of her historic wonders copied in an exquisite round hand by a from her early maritime expeditions, her adven- of La Trappe ; the Roman de Rou, an attested turous sailors bringing back to her shores miracu- fac-simile; the famous Helden Buch, or Book lous tales of the strange lands they had visited. of Heroes, one of the gorgeous epic romances The Story-Teller! It is a word of power-it of the Swabian period, the Augustan age of is freighted with the treasures of the Earth's German literature; the Nibelungen Lied, or Tongues, not to speak of our own, the richest Lay of the Nibelungen; the Ethiopics, just as of all in ballad literature.
it was snatched by a soldier from the smoking
ruins of the tower of Buda, —only mine is the MARVELL.
first Paris edition; the famous Lais de Marie, But some would have it that the word is that have puzzled all the critics and conjurers trite. Bah! When I hear that, I close my eyes, of Europe; the Roman de Gaides, en vers, a and processions of figures habited in various French romance of great antiquity; the Welsh costumes, some in hose and doublets, some in Mabinogion; allof the fine old English romances, slashed silks and feathers, some in full suits of illustrative of the Round Table, Sir Ywain, armour, seem to pass before me. I fancy I see Sir Tristram, Joseph of Arimathea and the Raoul de Beauvais, Thomas of Erceldoune, Sangréal; and sundry other majestic volumes Henry of Veldek, Robert Wace, Geoffrey of all bound in green morocco, spangled over with Monmouth, Chrestiens de Troyes, Occleve, magnificent devices. These are all records of Bojardo, Hampole, Godfrey of Strasbourg, that romantic genius which once possessed every Wolfram von Eschenbach, Gower, Chaucer, cranny of the earth, filling its pores with joy ;Lydgate, Fabyan, Monstrelet, Froissart, and a that genius which we are destined to relume. score or two more, whom half the world have My hands are clenched involuntarily-my never approached more closely than just to veins leap-the spirit of prophecy is upon me.
rent usagescens and Cid, nicles