Oldalképek
PDF
ePub

Speak one kind word, hear one kind word replied;

So is the spell that separates ye broken.”
They came, they met.— Alas! O pride ! O pride!

That one short word remained unspoken.

And so they parted. In the minster's aisle.

Thus fades away the altar lamp's red light, It first grows dim, then fickers forth awhile,

Once more 'tis clear, then all is dark, dark night. So died their love, lamented first with tears,

With longing sighed for back, and then - forgot, Until the past but as a dream appears,

A dream of love, where love was not.

Yet oft by moonlight from their couch they rose,

Moist with the tears that mourned their wretched lot, Still on their cheeks the burning drops repose;

They had been dreaming both — I know not what,
They thought then of the blissful times long past,

And of their doubts, their broken, plighted troth,
The gulf between them now, so deep, so vast,
O God forgive, forgive them both!

- Translation of BASKERVILLE.

[ocr errors]

EIJER, ERIC GUSTAF, a Swedish historian and

poet; born at Ransater, Wermland, January

12, 1783; died at Stockholm, April 23, 1847. He was educated in the University of Upsala, and in his twenty-first year obtained the chief prize of the Swedish Academy for composition. In 1810 he was appointed Lecturer on History in the University of Upsala, and in 1817 Professor of History. He was one of the founders of the Gothic Society, organized for the cultivation of a national spirit and literature. In the Iduna, the organ of their Society, Geijer pub

[ocr errors]

lished his best poems, The Viking; The Last Scald; The Last Champion; and The Charcoal Boy. His lectures were largely attended, but a suspicion of his orthodoxy led to an examination, which acquitted him. He was afterward offered a bishopric, which he declined. In 1828 he was elected a member of the Diet, for the University of Upsala, and was re-elected in 1840. His Svea Rikes Hefder (Annals of Sweden, 1825) is the introductory volume of an uncompleted work. His great work, Svenska Folkets Historia (History of the Swedish People, 1832-36), brings the history down to the death of Queen Christina. Among his minor works are a Sketch of the State of Sweden from Charles XII. to Gustavus III. (1839), and a Life of Charles XIV. and John or Bernadotte (1844).

ABDICATION AND DEATH OF GUSTAVUS VASA.

June 16, 1560, Gustavus came to Stockholm, and informed the Estates by message, that he would meet them at the palace on the 25th of the month. On the appointed day he took his station in the hall of assemblage, accompanied by all his sons, King Eric, Duke John, Duke Magnus, and Duke Charles; the last, who was still a child standing at his father's knee, the others on his left hand, each according to his age. The king having saluted the Estates, they listened for the last time to the accents of that eloquence so well liked by the people, that when in the Diets he deputed one of his officers to make a proposal, they were wont to cry that they would have himself to speak. “They well understood,” he said, "and those of them who were fallen in years had seen it too, beneath what oppression and wretchedness their native land had groaned under foreign domination and alien rulers, last under that cruel tyrant, King Christian, whom God had punished and driven out by his hands - a divine help and deliverance to be held in remembrance by all, old and young, high and low, lords

1

and servants. For what manner of man was I," proceeded the king," to set myself against him who was so strong, the sovereign lord of three kingdoms, befriended by that mighty emperor, Charles V., and by the chief princes of Germany? But it was the doing of God, who had made him to be the sign of his power, and been his comfort and help in a government of forty years, the toils of which had brought him with gray hairs to his grave. He might compare himself indeed with King David (here the tears burst from his eyes) whom God had raised from a shepherd to be the lord and ruler over his people; for never could he have supposed that he could attain to this honor, when he was obliged to hide in forests and desert mountains from the bloodthirsty sword of his enemies. Grace and blessings had been richly dispensed to him and to them through the true knowledge of God's word (from which might they never depart!) and the seasonable abundance that lay everywhere before their eyes. Yet would he not shrink from acknowledging his faults. For the errors and weaknesses which might be imputed to him during the time of his government — these his true liegemen might overlook and forgive: he knew that in the opinion of many he had been a hard king, yet the time was at hand, when Sweden's children would gladly pluck him out of the earth if they could. He needed not to ask the stars of his end; by the signs of his own body he felt that he had not much more time to look for. Therefore, while yet in health, he had caused his testament to be drawn up, and hoping that it rested on good reasons, he requested that they would give it confirmation.” After the deed had been read, approved, and confirmed by oath, the king stood up and thanked them that they had willed him to be father to a dynasty of Swedish kings. He then committed the government to his son Eric, exhorted his children to harmony among themselves, stretched out his hands in benediction, and so took leave of his people.

The following day Eric made a speech to the Estates in the High Church, on the necessity of concluding in person the negotiation of the English match, from which great advantages were promised for Sweden. In this

representation he was seconded by John, whom he named in return to be Administrator of the Kingdom during his absence. Gustavus himself was at length obliged to give way to the importunities of Eric, “after his dear son John had given a far better answer," and the young king showed himself so eager for the journey that not even his father's illness restrained him.

Upon the 14th of August, the very day of Eric's departure, Gustavus lay on his death-bed, ill of a burning fever and ague, with the malady called diarrhæa, says his confessor, Master Johannes, who with the king's barber, Master Jacob, and the apothecary, Master Lucas, likewise as his physician. When therefore the firstnamed person began a long discourse of devotion, the king bade him cut it short, and instead of that, bring him a medicine for a sick stomach, and a brain that felt as if it were burning.

His mood was capricious and changeable; now harsh and morose, so that his children trembled in his presence; now soft even to tears; at other times merry and jesting, especially at the endeavors of those who wished to prolong his life. When one asked him if he needed aught, his reply was, “ The kingdom of Heaven, which thou canst not give me.” He seemed not to place much confidence even in his ghostly advisers; when the priest exhorted him to confess his sins, the king broke angrily out, “ Shall I tell my sins to thee?” To the bystanders he declared that he forgave his enemies, and begged pardon of all for anything in which he had dealt unjustly with them, enjoining them to make known this to all. To his sons he said, “A man is but a man; when the play is out, we are all alike;" and enjoined them to unity and steadfastness in their religion.

The consort of the dying king never quitted his side. During the first three weeks of his illness he spoke often, sometimes with wonderful energy, on temporal and spiritual affairs. The three following he passed chiefly in silence, and as it seemed, with no great pain; he was often seen to raise his hands as in prayer. Having received the sacrament, made confession of his faith, and sworn his son to adhere firmly to it, he beckoned for

" but

writing materials, and inscribed these words, “Once con-
fessed, so persist, or a hundred times repeated
his trembling hand had not power to finish the sentence.
The confessor continued his exhortations, till, as life was
flying, Steno Ericson Lejonhufond interrupted him by
saying, “ All that you talk is in vain, for our lord heareth
no more.” Thereupon the priest bent down to the ear of
the dying man and said, “If thou believe in Christ Jesus,
and hear my voice, give us some sign thereof.” To the
amazement of all the king answered with a loud voice,
“Yes !” This was his last breath, at eight of the clock
in the morning, the 29th of September, 1560.--History of
the Swedes; translation of J. H. TURNER.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

EIKIE, SIR ARCHIBALD, a Scottish scientist;

born at Edinburgh, December 28, 1835. After

studying at the University of Edinburgh, he received in 1855 an appointment upon the Geological Survey; in 1867 he was made Director of the Survey of Scotland; in 1870 incumbent of the newly founded chair of Mineralogy and Geology in the University of Edinburgh; and in 1881 Director-General of the Geological Survey of the United Kingdom, and Director of the Museum of Practical Geology, London. Besides numerous scientific contributions to periodical literature, he has written The Story of a Boulder (1858); Life of Edward Forbes, in conjunction with George Wilson (1861); The Phenomena of the Glacial Drift in Scotland (1863); The Scenery of Scotland in Connection with its Physical Geography (1865); A Student's Manual of Geology, in conjunction with Prof. J. B. Jukes (1871); Memoir of Sir Roderick I. Murchison (1874); Class Book of Phys

« ElőzőTovább »