[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

From The Spectator. us how Rudy's father and mother and uncle NEW TALES BY HANS CHRISTIAN AN- had all perished in the snow of the Alps and DERSEN. *

in the embrace of “Our Lady of the Ice." The many admirers of Hans Andersen in The picturesque name has a household interEngland will be glad to hear that he has est to Andersen, who heard it first from his lately published a little volume of new tales, own father, predicting his death from a chill which will, doubtless, in due course of time in the Danish fogs. But the Erl King's be translated. They are worth reading, but daughter, whose kiss is death, does not bear they are not equal to his earlier efforts to be metamorphosed into a weird ladyThere is the same naïf and pleasant style, half giantess, half sorceress—whu floats up lighted up with touches of the old humor, over the cliffs on the north wind, and bears but the author has followed an unfortunate an angry grudge against the sons of men inspiration in turning his inimitable sketches who scale her rocks for eagles' eggs and of animal life into novellettes of veritable pierce her mountains for railways. She men and women. It is the old blunder, looks out scornfully through her veil of mist which his autobiography exhibits in almost on the first train. “They are amusing themevery page, of mistaking a playful and cre- selves, the gentlemen, down there—the powative fancy for imagination. We regret the ers of thought," said our Lady of the Ice; error almost more than we wonder at it; but the powers of nature will prevail in Hans Andersen has a strange power of the end ; " and she laughed, she sang, till skimming the surface of deep thought, which it rang again in the valleys.“ There fell an he has not unnaturally confounded with phil- avalanche," said the people below. Between osophical insight, much as he has mistaken " Our Lady” and Rudy is a wager of life quick and manifold perceptions for wide and death ; for Rudy, when a child, has been sympathies. He is at bome with children snatched as if by a miracle from her emand animals precisely because he is unable brace. More than once she seems to reclaim to understand strong passion or the prob- him; always her own cold touch and the lems of genuine speculation; and if he can strokes of her sisters, the powers of dizzimake a china image talk like a man it is at ness, fail against the steady foot and eye

of the price of appreciating men and women the stout-hearted mountain climber. Even like china images ; they have color and form, when he scales the eagle's nest, on a jutting and even movement, but we feel that they brow of icy cliff, and guarded by the furious have not life. He speaks himself of the mother bird, his courage and skill carry him powerful influence Heine has exercised on through. He wins the rich reward an Enghim, but he does himself injustice if he sup- lishman has promised for the eaglets, and is poses that he has copied more than a certain able to claim the hand of Babette, the milbizarre trick of style from the thoughtfuller's daughter. After a little jealous quarGermai poet. After all, we have no reason rel with his betrothed, all seems to be to complain when M. Andersen has done so smoothed over, and the lovers start for Gemuch so well. Even his failures are re- neva that the marriage ceremony may be deemed by touches which no one but him- performed. They stop on the way at Chillon self could have imagined, and the execution and the catastrophe happens. The story almost atones for the faulty composition of would be almost without a plot, if our Lady his sketches.

of the Ice were not introduced ; and the The first of the “New Tales" is founded half supernatural machinery only serves to on the true story of two Swiss lovers who lengthen and perplex a tale of real life. The went the day before their marriage to a little descriptions of Alpine climbing and the conisland near Chillon, on the Lake of Geneva. versation of the two cats at the mill are the Their boat drifted away from its moorings, best part of the story. The history of Rudy's and the young man was drowned before his first visit, when the miller turns him out of betrothed's eyes

trying to bring it back. doors as too poor, is full of genuine humor. From this incident Hans Andersen works The parlor-cat is the first to speak. “Do back to the history of their lives. He tells you know, you from the kitchen, the miller

* Nye Eventyr og Ilistorier af 1. C. Andersen. knows everything? That was a rare ending Copenhagen: C. A. Reitzel.

it had. Rudy came here towards evening,


[ocr errors]



[ocr errors]

and he and Babette had a lot to whisper I, too, perched on a stalk like the flowers," and tattle about; they stood in the passage said the swallow. “It is not altogether just outside the miller's room. I lay at their pleasant, but it is like being married ; one feet, but they had no eyes or thoughts for is fixed fast;” and he comforted himself with

I will go at once in to your father,' this. “That is poor comfort,” said the said Rudy, that is acting honorably.' flowers in pots in the windows. “But

Shall I follow you?' said Babette, “that flowers in pots cannot be quite trusted," will give you courage.' 'I have courage thought the swallow; “they are too much enough,' said Rudy; but if you are there, about with mers.” he must be good-humored, whether he likes The third story, “ Psyche,” is the most it or not.' And so they went in. Rudy trod ambitious of the series, and is more like a heavily on my tail. Rudy is very awkward. sketch by Hawthorne than like Andersen's I mewed; but neither he nor Babette had earlier works. A young painter is living in any ears to listen with. They opened the Rome during the great days of the Renaisdoor, and both went in, I first; but I sprang sance, when Michael Angelo and Raphael up on the back of a chair ; I could not con- were contemporaries. In spite of the times, ceive how Rudy would kick out. But the in spite of Raphael's example, although his miller kicked out; that was a jolly row; companions constantly urge him to enjoy 'out at the doors, up on the mountains to life, and take “ cakes and ale” like his felthe chamois ; Rudy may now aim at them, lows, the sculptor remains faithful to his and not at our little Babette.' And Babette better nature, and is kept from all uncleansaid good-by to him as demurely as a little ness by a feeling for some unachieved, unkitten that cannot see its mother.” Pity a known ideal. Suddenly his dreams seem to man who can write like this should mistake be realized in the garden of a great Roman his genuine knowledge of cats for sympathy palace, where the large white lallaes shoot with human sorrows and love!

up with their green fleshy leaves in the marA little short story, how the swallow would ble basin, where the clear water was plashhave a love, is a gem in its way. The un- ing.” He sees a young girl, graceful and happy bird was fastidious. He first rejected pure as he has seen no woman yet, except the spring flowers, snowdrops, and cro- in a picture of Psyche by Raphael. He recuses ; “they are too neat,-tidy girls, just turns home to breathe his new feeling into confirmed,—though fresh enough.” Like all his work, and a statue of Psyche grows gradyoung men, he was sweet upon ripe beau- ually under his hand, in which his friends see ties. So he flew to the anemones, but they that his genius has at last found play. Rome were too prudish; the violets were too ro- rings with the report of a new sculptor, and mantic, the tulips were too gorgeous, the among the visitors to his studio is the father daffodils too homely. He was on the point of the unconscious model. The prince is of courting the sweet-pea ; but, on coming struck with the likeness to his daughter, and up, saw a pod hanging on a tendril close by. commissions the artist to execute it in mar" Who is that?he asked. That is my ble. The workman's task is at last done, sister,” said the sweet-pea. “ Then you will and the sculptor goes to announce the result look like that when you are older.” The to his patron. Unhappily he is allowed to buitor was frightened and flew away. Au- see the young girl alone ; there has been no tumn came, and it was time, if ever, to make thought of social “ convenancewhere the a choice. The swallow fixed on mint. “She difference of rank is insuperable ; and the has no flower exactly, and yet is a flower artist in a moment of madness tells everyevery inch of her, and smells from the root thing and pleads for hope. “He knew not to the top." But the mint stood stiff and what he was saying ; does the crater know still, and at last said, “ Friendship, but really that it is vomiting glowing lava ?” A look nothing more. I am old and you are old; of scorn and abhorrence, an indignant order we can very well live for one another, but to leave the room, end the interview. He marriage-no, do not let us play the fool in rushes half-frenzied to his studio, and is our old age.” Winter comes, and the swal- about to sbiver the statue to pieces, when a low lingering too long, is caught, stuffed, friend interferes, and hurries him off to a and put in a case as a curiosity. “Now am I bacchanalian carouse in a tavern outside the

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

walls. He seems to have shaken off the old tist's presumption, he tells us that her face sickness of unquiet aspiration, and to be had an expression “as if she had suddenly living in every pulse for the first time. Next touched a wet, clammy frog.” He describes morning the “ light of the clear star fell in in a passage that reads like a reminiscence the

rosy tinted dawn upon himself and the of Hamlet, how a maggot wriggled and marble Psyche; he trembled to look on the crawled in the skull of a dead artist, as if image of the incorruptible; it seemed as if the same quaint humor that draws its occahis glance were pollution." He veils it ; but sion in Shakspeare from the contrast of the he cannot be easy while its presence, speech- gravedigger and the churchyard, was approless and reproachful, is in the room. There priate to the thought of spiritual beauty.

, . is an old well in his yard, half choked with These, it may be said, are mere faults of rubbish and overgrown with creepers ; he style, but they are faults that indicate deeper casts the statue into it. But the shock of deficiencies. That the purpose of a life may disappointed passion and moral revulsion subsist when the life itself is wrecked, as the has been too much for him ; he is prostrated soul may outlast its tenement, is undoubtby fever, and when he wakes again it is as edly true. But the story could not well have a strange man in a new world, with only a been worse told than in “ Psyche.” For we few ghostlike memories from his old life, require some evidence that the artist's sense which seems nothing to the ever-present of the beautiful was indeed a serious convicrealities of Heaven and Hell. The thought tion, interwoven with his very existence, out of passing from trouble and change into of which a great work might grow naturally, God's peace upon earth overpowers him, and and not a mere borrowed opinion or vagrant he becomes a monk. His friends tell him dream. He falls too easily and completely that he has betrayed the trust given him by to have had in him the stuff of which men God in forsaking art; he crosses himself, and artists are made. The man who is ex"avaunt Satanas,” and goes on his way pray- hausted by one feeling would be incapable ing. Visions of his buried Psyche rise be- of even one immortal work. Precisely the fore him, but he kneels before the crucifix history of his long, shattered after-life-the till they depart. So years glide on, and at miserable years during which he might have last the cloister bell tolls for him, and he is risen again, and did not-make it impossilaid in earth brought from Jerusalem, among ble to believe in him as a sculptor. His true good men gone before him. Nothing seems life, his real Psyche, if his story has been to be left of his work or of his name on rightly told, was at the foot of the Cross. earth. But after many years the workmen

But M. Andersen has his revenge upon us who are laying the foundations of a new and all critics in his last story. It tells how street disinter the statue of a beautiful girl the snail reproached the dog-rose for its luswith butterfly wings from the rubbish of an uriant bloom and frivolous life. “ You have old well; and critics know it for a noble given the world all you have had in you; work of the Renaissance time. “What is whether that had any worth is a question I earthly is blown away, disappears; only the have not time to think over, but the serious stars in the infinite know of it. What is point is, you have done nothing for your inheavenly shines in its own light, and when ner development.” The rose humbly adınits the light is quenched, even then the thought its inferiority.

s. You are

one of those lives."

thoughtful, deep natures, one of the highly We have tried to do justice to the real gifted, who will astonish the world.” “ That beauty of this story without criticising it in is not my idea,” said the snail. « The world detail as we went on. We think it Ander- does nothing for me ; what should I do for sen's best effort of the kind, but we must the world ? I have enough to do with myself, repeat that we think him unequal to the work. and enough in myself.” And years went on. The very peculiarities of his style, the power The snail was earth in the earth; the rose tree of homely illustration and fanciful allusion, was earth in the earth ; but new flowers were which make him the poet of common life, blooming in the garden, and new snails grew have a tendency to degenerate into farce in there ; they crept into their houses and spat ; a higher region. When he wishes to paint what was the world to them ? the disgust of the young princess at the ar

[ocr errors]

From The Press. He'd glance (in quite a placid way)

From heaven to earth, from earth to heaven, Verses and Translations. By C. S. C. Cambridge: Deighton, Bell, and Co.

“ And smile, and look politely round, HUMOROUS poetry is too often a failure.

To catch a casual suggestion ;

But make no effort to propound It is apt, in weak hands, to become vulgar.

Any solution of the question.” Even Tom Hood failed sometimes, as might be expected from one who wrote so much ; It is sad to think that this friendship was and, Ingoldsby and Bon Gaultier excepted, interrupted by a love passage; both young we have recently had no humorous writers gentlemen became amorous of the schoolof any mark. C. S. C. is, to our mind, master's daughter, and of course fought a capable of taking a high rank among humor- deadly battle for her. ists in verse. He is not so wildly laughable as Ingoldsby, nor does he so felicitously

“The people said that she was blue :

But I was green, and loved her dearly. as Bon Gaultier mingle poetry with his fun.

She was approaching thirty-two; But he is always amusing, always polished And I was then eleven, nearly. and scholarly, never coarse.

Rather fond,

“I did not love as others do perhaps, of beer and tobacco : he tells us

(None ever did that I've heard tell of); that

My passion was a byword through The heart which grief hath cankered

The town she was, of course, the belle of.Hath one unfailing remedy—the tankard.”

It is curious to find C. S. C.'s humorous And again he laughs at those intemperate verses supplemented by some graceful and opponents of smoking who attribute to to- elegant translations both from and into bacco all possible evil results :

Latin. The rendering of Milton's “ Lyci“ How they who use fusees

das” is extremely happy, as are also some All grow by slow degrees

of the translations from Horace. As a Brainless as chimpanzees,

sample of humor in Latin we quote a verse Meagre as lizards;

of “ Laura Matilda's Dirge:
Go mud, and beat their wives ;
Plunge (after shocking lives)
Razors and carving-knives

“Lo ! from Lemnos limping lamely,
Into their gizzards.”

Lags the lowly Lord of Fire,

Cytherea yielding tamely Very fantastic are some of his rhymes, as To the Cyclops dark and dire." in the following quatrain :

Thus rendered by C. S. C.,“ Ere the morn the cast has crimsoned, When the stars are twinkling there

“Lustra scd ecce labans claudo pede Lemnia (As they did in Watts's Hymns, and Made him wonder what they were).”


Laridus (at lente lugubriterque) Deus : Very dry, too, are some of his whimsicali- Amisit veteres, amisit inultus, amores;

Teter habet Venerem terribilisque Cyclops.” ties : here is his description of a schoolboy friend:

The volume contains a few charades, And such was he. A calm-browed lad which we think hardly equal to the rest of

Yet mad, at moments, as a hatter : its contents. Praed was the master of the Why hatters as a race are mad I never knew, nor does it matter.

art of charade-writing. C. S. C. does not

condense sufficiently and has not pictur“ He was what nurses call a 'limb;' One of those small misguided creatures,

esqueness enough. But the volume is alWho, though their intellects are dim,

together a very pleasant one; pleasant to Are one too many for their teachers : read as one smokes one's evening cigar; and

this the author will assuredly deem high “ And, if you asked of him to say What twice 10 was, or 3 times 7,


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

From The Esaminer, 27 Sept. ator of Italian destinies. He had no foreTHE ALLIANCES OF FRANCE. cast that Victor Emmanuel would rise at The sagacious emperor and consummate once so completely in the ascendant as to politician who has now for ten years ruled occupy the Italian zenith totally to his eclipse. the destinies of France, finds himself singu- The moment Napoleon discovered the actual larly isolated after the lapse of so many years tendency of things that way, he stood still in of a certainly not unsuccessful or inglorious his own path. policy. During much of that period, if not The probability then was a complete quarduring all of it, his most palpable aim has rel between the future King of Italy, and been to acquire friends and secure allies. the French Emperor. But the latter could For this purpose the means first employed not afford to lose the profit of all that he had were personal interviews designed to cement done. He has therefore continued to bepersonal friendships with his brother sover- friend Victor Emmanuel in order not to lose eigns. There is no one of them whom he his hold of Italy. And he lias fed both that has not met, as host or as guest, and under sovereign and his people with promises which circumstances calculated to do away with he is no longer prepared to fulfil. There is the prejudices naturally entertained against little doubt that when Napoleon made these the nephew of the first Napoleon. Some promises he looked to the provisional state time, however, has already elapsed since the of his relations with Italy being completely French Emperor was made fully aware that broken in upon by foreign war. It is eviall his efforts in this direction, and by these dent from his dealings with, and promises to, means, have been fruitless. However cor- the Hungarian exiles, that he, too, as well dial and satisfactory for awhile were the re- as Garibaldi, looked to a renewal of the lations between the Tuileries and other war with Austria as a necessity. But a courts, they gradually became colder. We change has come over the spirit of the imhear no more of personal interviews or royal perial dream. Reasons have been found visits. Even Alexander and Napoleon are showing the bad policy of depressing Austria not the Pylades and Orestes they once prom- altogether, and so probably leaning to the ised to be. Alexander, indeed, is quite ready formation of a stronger and more united to do

any small thing to oblige his brother; Germany, a consummation to which the he can recognize, for example, the Italian French have ever had the deepest objection. King de facto, under reserves and restric- Whatever the motive, it appears certain that tions. He would do even more than this in the project once entertained by France of return for the consideration of France in con- renewing her attack upon Austria has been tinuing to shut her eyes against the Poles. abandoned. But that the active alliance between France

The emperor, as the Moniteur has this and Russia has declined we need no other week been reminding the world, made efforts proof than the abandonment of Montenegro to settle the Roman difficulty. He offered to the Turks.

the Pope Cavour's programme of a free It was, probably, the conviction that no Church in free Italy, with the rerenues of solid or profitable alliance would be formed Umbria and the patrimony secured. There with the old and great sovereigns of Europe are many who hold that the day in which by means of personal or other intercourse, this compact should be concluded would be which prompted Napoleon to turn his atten- a fatal one for the house of Saroy. It would tion to the work of making friends of nation- establish permanently not only in the midst alities. This it was that opened his ear to of Italy but throughout it, a Church more the insinuating proffers of Cavour. No two powerful than it is at present, less obedient leading spirits, indeed, ever entered upon a to civil authority, more determined and more common task with more complete dissenti- able than ever to dispute the prerogatives of ment between them than Cavour and Napo- an Italian Parliament in education, in religleon. If Cavour looked to unite at least ious influence, in a thousand ways; more North Italy under the house of Savoy, the able also than it is, even with a prætorian emperor looked to becoming himself the guard of French bayonets, to make itself the Pole Star of Italian hopes, and the regener- spring and centre of that reaction which may

« ElőzőTovább »