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the spirit of a queen who felt and under- "How many hopes were borne upon thy bier, stood the relation in which she stood both O stricken bride of love! to the King and people of that realm. “ The epitaph of this lamented Queen A touching siglt it must have been to was written by Buchanan in elegant those who saw that young royal bride Latin verse, of which the following is a thus obey the warm impulse of a heart translation :overflowing with gratitude to God, and MAGDALENE OF Valois. QUEEN OF Scorlove to all she then looked upon. The
LAND, DIED IN THE XVI YEAR OF HER venerable Sir David Lindsay of the
AGE. Mount, and other contemporary poets, I was a royal wife, from monarchs sprung, who were so soon to hang elegiac wreaths A sovereign's daughter, and in hope to be of mournful verse on the early bier of The royal mother of a regal line ; her who then stood among them in her But lest my glory should exceed the height fragile and almost unearthly loveliness, Of mortal honour, Death's invidious dart radiant with hope, and joy, and happy Hath laid me in my morning freshness here. love, called her 'the pleasant Magdalene,'
Nature and virtue, glory, life, and death, and the sweet Flower of France.
Strove to express in me their utmost power. “King James blithely conducted his
Nature gave beauty ; virtue made me good ;
Relentless death o'er life too soon prevaila. Queen to his palace of Holyrood; and, to
But my fair fame shall flourish evermore, increase the universal satisfaction which
To compensate for that brief mortal span her appearance and manners had given,
By lasting meed of universal praise.*** the auspicious news quickly spread through Edinburgh, that she was likely Mary of Lorraine, daughter of the to bring an heir to Scotland. Great great Duke of Guise, and a lineal were the rejoicings in consequence. The descendant of Charlemagne, was the ancient prediction' that the French wife second Queen of James V.: she is should bring a child the ninth in degree peculiarly interesting, as her daughfrom the left side of the stem of Bruce, ter was Queen Mary; and she was that should rule England and Scotland
the ancestress of our present illustrious from sea to sea,' was revived in antici
sovereign. We have room only, howpation of the offspring of James V. of Scotland by Magdalene of France, al- ever, for one extract :though it would only have been the eighth “Let us,' says an eloquent French in descent from that illustrious stock.” writer of the present day, enter the Her premature and lamented death
www grand gallery of the Chateau d'Eu, and
contemplate the noble portraits of the line
& is recorded in these feeling para of Guise. There we shall view that old graphs :
Claud of Lorraine, clad in his heavy “ The early death of Magdalene was
cuirass, bearing his long sword, first dyed not only a misfortune to her royal hus.
in blood at Marignan, having for his band, but a serious loss to Scotland, and
cortege and companions his six glorious even to Christendom, on account of the
sons; then we shall see Francis of Lorenlightened views she had received on
raine, rival of the Emperor Charles the the all-important subject of religion.
Fifth, and conqueror of Calais ; near him Brantôme tells us that she was very
that Cardinal of Lorraine, eloquent as an deeply regretted not only by James V.
orator, gallant and magnificent as a prince, but by all his people, for she was very
yet an ambitious and cruel priest. And good, and knew how to make herself truly
there is the grandchild of Duke Claud, beloved. She had a great mind, and was
Mary Stuart, angel of grief and poesy, most wise and virtuous. The first general
whose charming head bore a crownmourning ever known in Scotland was
regnant, and yet fell beneath the axe of worn for her, and her obsequies were
the executioner.' solemnised with the greatest manifestation of sorrow of which that nation had ever “ The Duke and Duchess of Longueville been participant. The lamentations for were both present at the bridal of James the premature death of this youthful V. and Magdalene of France. Little did Queen, and the hopes that perished with the Duchess imagine, when she, as the her of an heir of Scotland, appear to wife of the representative of the brave have been of a similar character to the Dunois, and the eldest daughter of the passionate and universal burst of national house of Guise-Lorraine, proudly took sorrow which, in the present century, high place among the great ladies of pervaded all hearts in the Britannic em France, near the person of the royal bride, pire, for the loss of the noble-minded that the crown-matrimonial of Scotland Princess Charlotte of Wales and her never to be worn by her on whose finger infant.
she saw the enamoured bridegroom place the nuptial ring-was destined to encircle puted points were decided in her her own brow. Far less could she have favour. No original letters of hers, believed, even if it had been predicted to or others which can be produced-no her, that from her union with that Prince
complete disproval of those which should proceed a line of sovereigns who
were charged, we believe falsely and would reign not only over the Britannic isles from sea to sea, but whose empire,
treacherously, against her-can do far exceeding that of her mighty ancestor
away with her acts, whatever light Charlemagne, should extend over India, a
they may throw upon her motives, or considerable section of America, and in
the unparalleled network of treachery, clude vast portions of the habitable globe
selfishness, and duplicity, with which whose existence was then unknown. Be. she was surrounded. Can it be reasonfore the anniversary returned of the day ably hoped that any subsequent effort that witnessed the nuptials of James and of industry or ability will be able to do Magdalene, all these apparently impos- more for Queen Mary's memory than sible events were in an active state of
has been done by her gifted dramatic progression."
biographer Schiller, who, in the awful Miss Strickland has announced in scene of her last confession to the her Preface that two volumes are to priest in prison, immediately before be devoted by her to the life of Queen being conducted to the block, makes Nary; and that great light has been her admit her failings in the indulthrown upon that interesting subject gence of undue hatred against some, by the important original letters and impassioned love to others; and which Prince Labanoff's recent re- recount, with sincerity, her stings of searches and publication have brought conscience for having permitted the to light. We look with impatience King, her husband, to be put to death, for the fulfilment of the promise ; for, and thereafter loaded with favours although nothing can exceed in pa- and bestowed her hand on the party thos and interest Mr 'Tytler's entran- charged with his murder? It is hopecing account of the captivity and death less to deny the magnitude of these of that celebrated and heroic princess, delinquencies, though men, at least, yet we are well aware that much should view them with an indalgent light has since his time been thrown eye; for they arose, as Schiller makes on the subject, by the zealous labours her say, on that dread occasion, from of chivalrous antiquaries. That she the self-forgetfulness and generous may succeed in vindicating her me. fcelings which led her to trust in a mory from much of the obloquy which, ses by whom she was forsaken and despite her many great and noble betrayed.* Sach is our present view qualities, and matchless charms of of the case; but we have every confiperson and manner, still oppresses it, dence in Miss Strickland's powers and is, we need hardly say, our most research, and shall impatiently await anxious wish; and if any one can do the new light she will doubtless throw it, it is herself. But we confess we on that most fascinating and tragic of have little expectation that it is pos- all biographies. sible even for her chivalrous mind The truth appears to be, that Mary and untiring industry to effect the was a mixed character: no uncommon object. Our present view of this in- thing in every age, and especially so in teresting question is as follows:-The that disastrous and profligate one in strength of the case against Queen which Mary's lot was cast. She was Mary, during her reign in Scotland, is as charming and heroic as her most such that it remains much the same impassioned advocates would repreupon the admitted and incontestible sent, and as impassioned, and in one facts of history, though all the dis- matter guilty, as her worst enemics
* “ Ach! nicht durch hass allein, durch sund' ge Liebe
Noch mehr hab' Ich hochste Gott beleidigt.
Der treulos mich verlassen und betrogen." “ Ah! not through hatred only, but still more through sinful love, have I offended Almighty God! My tender heart was too strongly drawn to man, by whose faithlessoess I have been forsaken and betrayed.”-Maria Stuart, Act v. scene 7.
allege. Her virtues, however, were their very " form and pressure." The *? 'her own; her delinquencies, of the object was good, the desire was laud
religion in which she had been bred, able ; but it is quite possible to be and the age in which she lived. carried too far, even in working out It was the age, and she had been bred the most praiseworthy principle. in the court, which witnessed the Long accounts of dresses, decorations, successive murders of the Duke of and processions; entries of expenses Guise and the Admiral Coligni at the in Treasurers' accounts; even original court of France; the Massacre of St letters, unless on very particular ocBartholomew by a French king, and casions, are the materials of biography, the fires of Smithfield lighted by an but they are not biography itself. English queen. To one period, and It is living character, not still life, that the most interesting of her life, which we desire to see delineated : unmixed praise may be given. From the latter is the frame of the picture, the day of her landing in England, but it is not the picture itself. Such her conduct was one of dignity, inno- curious details are characteristic, cence, and heroism; and if her generally amusing, often interestprevious life was stained by the ing; but they, in general, do better imputation of having permitted one in foot-notes than in the body of the murder, suggested to herself by des narrative. We must admit, however, pair, and recommended by others from that Miss Strickland has exhibited profligacy, she expiated it by being equal judgment and skill in the manthe victim of another, suggested by ner in which she has fitted in those jealousy, executed by rancour, and contemporary extracts into the body directly ordered by a cruel relative of the narrative, and the selection and a vindictive rival.
she has made of such as are most If there is any blemish in the very curious and characteristic of the interesting volume, of which our times. By many, we are well aware. limits will only permit a more cursory they will be considered as not the notice than its high merits deserve, least interesting part of her very it is to be found in the too frequent interesting volumes. It is the prinuse of quotations from old authorities ciple of introducing them in the text or original letters in the text, and the that we wish her to reconsider. mosaic-like appearance which is often Unity of composition is not less given to her pages, by the introduction essential to the higher productions of quaint and antiquated expressions of art, in history or biography, than drawn from contemporary writers in in painting or the drama; and the body of the narrative. We are Miss Strickland writes so powerfully, well aware of the motive which has and paints so beautifully, that we canled to this, and we respect it as it not but often regret when we lose the deserves : it arises from the wish to thread of her flowing narrative, to be accurate and trustworthy, the anx- make way for extracts from a quaint ious desire to make her Lives a faith- annalist, or entries from the accounts ful transcript of the times—to exhibit of a long.forgotten exchequer.
THE LAY OF THE NIEBELUNGEN.
WOLF, the learned German, was character of the POPULAR Epos of certainly very far wrong-as Germans early ages, as distinguished from the in their endless speculations are apt more artificial and curiously-piled to be—when he set himself to explain compositions of more polished times, the Iliad without Homer; an attempt bearing the same name. Wolf was which, to our British ears, generally wrong-say mad, if you please-in assounded pretty much as profane as to serting that Pisistratus, with a whole explain the world without God, ory army of such refurbishers of old wares according to Cicero's simile against the as Onomacritus, could have put toEpicureans, to explain the existence gether such a glowing vital whole as of a book by the mere accidental out- the Iliad ; but he was right, and altotumbling of alpbabetic counters on gether sound, when he looked upon the the ground. The Iliad could not have great Epic song of the wrath of Achilles existed without Homer-90 the rude as a thing essentially different, not instinct of the most unlearned and only in degree, but in kind, from the most unmetaphysical English Bull Eneid of Virgil, or the Paradise Lost declared against the cloud-woven of our Milton. Many men of learning theories and the deep-sunk lexico- and taste, from Scaliger downwards, graphical excavations of the famous bave instituted large and curious comBerlin professor; and therude instinct, parisons between the great national after much philological sapping and Epos of the Greeks, and that of the mining, stands ground. But Wolf did Romans; but the comparison of things not labour in vain. Though he did that have a radically different characnot take the citadel, he made breaches ter can seldom produce any result into many parts of our classical cir- beyond the mere expression of liking cumvallation, formerly deemed most and disliking; as if, among critics of strong, and made us change, in great trees, one should say, I prefer a bristmeasure, the fashion of our fortifica- ling pine, while another says, Give me tions. In the same manner Niebuhr, the smooth beech. Or, a result even with his knotty club, made sad havoc more unsatisfactory might be produced. among the waxen images of the old Starting from the beech as a sort of Romans, which the piety of Livy- model tree, a forest critic, predetertaking them for gengine granite sta- mined to admire the pine also, might tues-had set forth with such a wealth spin out of his brain a number of subtle of fine patriotic elocution ; but after analogies to prove that a pine, though all this work of destruction, Rome still bearing a different name, is, in fact, remains with its Tiber, and, in the the same tree as a beech, and posminds of most sane persons, Romulus sesses, when more philosophically conalso, we imagine; while the great sidered, all the essential characteristics Julius shines a kingly star every inch, of this tree. You laugh ?-but so, and as much after Niebuhr's strong brush not otherwise, did it fare with old as before. What, then, was the great Homer, at the hands of many profestruth by virtue of which-as stupid sional philologists and literary dilesermons are redeemed by a good text tantes, who, with a perfect apprecia-Wolf, with his startling anti- tion of such works of polished skill as Homeric gospel, made so many pro- the Æneid and the Jerusalem Delivered selytes, and such fervid apostles, -as being akin to their own modern among the learned and the poetic of taste-must needs apply the same his countrymen? Plainly this, that test to take cognisance of such be seized with a keen glance, and a strange and far-removed objects as the grand comprehensiveness, the minstrel Iliad and Odyssey. Such transference
The Fall of the Niebelungers; otherwise the Book of Kriemhild : a translation of the Niebelunge Nôt, or Niebelungen Lied. By WILLIAM Nansox LETTSOM. London : Williams and Norgate, 1850.
Ueber die Iliade und das Niebelungen Lied. Von Karl ZELL. Karlsruhe: 1843. of the mould that measures one thing literature of Germany: they are geneto another, and an altogether different rally conversant only with the prothing, is indeed a common enough ductions of the day, or, at farthest, trick of our every-day judgments; but with those of the most celebrated it is, nevertheless, a sort of criticism authors." So, indeed, it must be ; altogether barren of any positive re- the necessary business and amusesults, and which ends where it begins ments of life leave but few of us at
-in talk. To the character and cer- liberty to follow the example of the tainty of a science, it can assuredly learned Germans, and refuse to look have no claim. If you wish to descant at Helen before we have critically with any beneficial result upon roses, investigated the history of Jove's pray compare one English rose with amours, and of Leda's egg. So much another, and not with a Scotch thistle. the more are we beholden to gentleBring not the fine city dame into con- men like the present translator, who, tact with the brown country girl ; but by the patient exercise of those pious let Lady B's complexion be more deli- pains which are the pleasure of poets, cate than Lady C's, and the brown of put us into the condition of being able Bessie be more healthy than that of to hear the notes of that strange old Jessie. Jessie, if you will consider Teutonic lyre prolonged through the the matter, has nothing in common aisles of an English echo-chamber. with Lady B, except this, that she is Mr Lettsom has done & work, much a woman. As little has Homer in wanted for the English lover of common with Virgil, or Tasso, or poetry, honestly and well : this we Milton. With whom, then, is Homer can say from having compared it in to be compared ? A hundred years various places with a prose translation ago, Voltaire, with all his wit, could of the old German poem, published not have answered that question-the at Berlin in 1814 ; * also from the whole age of European criticism of distinct recollection which we have of which Voltaire was the oracle and the the character and tone of the modern god could not have answered it; but German version of Marbach, which we thanks—after the Percy Ballads, and read for the first time several years Cowper, and Wordsworth, and ago. But Mr Lettsom's translation Southey, and Burns—to Frederick bears also internal evidence of its Augustus Wolf, that question we can excellence: there is a quiet simplicity answer now in the simplest and most and easy talkative breadth about it, certain way in the world, by pointing characteristic no less of the general to the famous Spanish Cid, and the genius of the Germans than of the old Teutonic LAY of the NIEBELUN- particular medieval epoch to which it GEN.
belongs. With a perfect confidence, To the Cid, we may presume that therefore, in the trustworthiness of the those of our readers who love popular present English version, we proceed to poetry, and are not happy enough to lay before our readers a rapid sketch know the sonorous old Castilian, bave of the Epic story of the Niebelungen, been happily introduced by the great accompanied with such extracts as work of Southey. But, with respect may serve to convey an idea of the to the other great popular Epos of general tone and character of the Western Europe, we suspect Mr LETT. composition. SOM is only too much in the right At Worms, upon the Rhine, (so. when he says, that this venerable the poem opens,) there dwelt threo monument of the old German genius is puissant kings-Gunther and Gernot " so little known amongst us, that and Gieselher — three brothers, of most ordinary readers have not so whom Gunther was the eldest, and, in much as heard of it. Even amongst the right of primogeniture, swayed the numerous and increasing class of those sceptre of Burgundy. These kings who are acquainted with German, had a sister named Kriemhild, the real few pay attention to the ancient heroine and fell female Achilles of the
• Das Niebelungen Lied; in's hoch Deutsche übertragen. Von AUGUST ZEUNE.. Berlin : 1814
+ These Burgundians are, in the second part of the poem, also called the Niebe