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Before the French despotism was established over the German States bordering on the Rhine, only one of these States could be said to possess a good constitution. This was Wurtemberg—the constitution of which, Mr Pitt once said, was the best in the world next to that of England. With the assistance of Napoleon, the representatives of the nobility and people were deprived, by the sovereign family, of the share which they had always had in the government of their country, and a pure monarchy was established. In other words, Wurtemberg became a mere department of France. After Louis XVIII. had re-ascended the throne of his fathers, the people of this German State saw no reason why the tyranny established by Bonaparte among them should survive the other institutions of his despotism; since that period, a perpetual struggle has subsisted between them and their king; and, notwithstanding all the alliances by which he has fortified himself, I have very little doubt as to the mode in which it will terminate.
The Prussians, the Bavarians, the Wurtembergers, and the people of Baden, have all been promised representative constitutions by their princes. The fulfilment of these promises has been deferred from year to year; and, in some instances, this has been accompanied with measures of royal violence, and testifications of popular displeasure, which leave but too much reason to doubt, whether the result of the approaching Congress at Dusstlsdorf, will be more soothing to the general mind than those of the similar meetings which have already been held at Frankfort and Vienna.
The plans which have as yet been suggested by the political writers in Germany, are, I think, all alike visionary and impracticable. The best of all these authors, Scheffer, whose book you should certainly read, proposes, very seriously, the establishment of a great national confederacy, to consist of all the German States, excepting Austria and Bavaria. The princes of these countries, he observes, should not be permitted to join the confederacy, for several reasons—Their subjects are not all Germans; and the greater part of their territories have always been accustomed to a mere military government. But has Mr Scheffer forgotten the difficulties which
must, in any case, attend the establishment of a confederacy of Independent States? or does he conceal from himself how greatly these difficulties must, in the present instance, be in* creased by the determined opposition of the first and third power in Germany? to say nothing of the insuperable objections which all Saxons and Hanoverians will feel to the erection of a system which could not fail to add new weight to the already odious superiority of Prussia. The thing is quite impossible—I do not hesitate to say so, although I am quite sensible that I have no better plan to suggest.
Something, however, must be done. If Frederick-William, and Prince Hardenberg, and the petty Princes of Wurtemberg and Baden, do not hasten to do what they have promised, the work will very soon be taken out of their hands. The national independence of Germany is an object of much concern to every enlightened German,—but civil rights, and internal repose, are yet dearer to him. The privileges of the nobility must, in the first place, be lessened,— commerce must be rendered honourable,—and every part of the educated and enlightened people must somehow find its organ in the deliberative assembly of the State. All this has been solemnly promised and patiently waited for. The silence which at present prevails, is the best proof that the public of Germany are firm, resolved, and confident. Let the Congress of Dusselsdorf do their duty, and all is well. If not, the time shall soon have gone by, when restitution might have prevented the necessity of revenge.
If the Germans have a Revolution, it will, I hope and trust, be calm and rational, when compared with that of the French. Its precursors have not been, as in France, ridicule, raillery, derision, impiety; but sober reflection, Christian confidence, and manly resolutions, gathered and confirmed by the experience of many sorrowful years. The sentiment is so universally diffused—so seriously established— so irresistible in its unity,—that I confess I should be greatly delighted, but not very much astonished, to hear of the mighty work being accomplished almost without resistance, and entirely without outrage.
THE FAIRIES. What feats the Fairy Creatures played!
Now seeming of the height afraid.
And, folding the moss in fast embraces,
They peeped o'er the Bridge with their love-
Now hanging like the fearless flowers
By their tiny arms in the Cataract showers,
Swung back and forward with delight.
Like Pearls in the spray-shower burning
Then they dropt at once into the Pool—
A moment gone! then beautiful
Ascending on slow-hovering wing,
As if with darkness dallying.
They rose again, through the smiling air.
To their couch of moss and flow'rets fair,
And rooted lay in silence there.
Down into the gulf profound
Slid the stream without a sound!
A charm had hushed the thundering shocks.
And stillness steeped the blackened rocks.
'Twas fit, where these fair things were lying,
No sound, save of some Zephyr sighing,
Should stir the gentle Solitude!
The mountain's night-voice was subdued
To far-ofF music faint and dim,
From Nature's heart a holy hymn!
Nor was that Universal Strain
Through Fairy-bosoms breathed in vain;
Entranced in joy the Creatures lay,
Listening the music far away,
Till One the deep'ning silence broke,
And thus in song-like murmurs spoke.
"Soon as the lingering Sun was gone,
I sailed away from my sparry throne,
Mine own cool, silent, glimmering dwelling.
Below the roots of the huge Hylvellyn.
As onwards like a thought I flew,
From my wings fast fell the pearly dew,
Sweet tiny orbs of lucid ray
Rising and setting on my way,
As if I had been some Planet fair.
That ruled its own bright atmosphere.
'O beauteous sight!' the shepherd cried,
To the Shepherd slumbering at his side.—
'Look where the Mountain-Fairy flies !*
But e'er he had opened his heavy eyes,
I had flown o'erGrassmere's moonlight flood.
And the rustling swing of old Rydal-Wood,
And sunk down 'mid the heather-bells
On the shady side of sweet Fumcss-Fells.
'Twas but one soft wave o' my wing!
A start and an end to my journeying.
One moment's rest in a spot so dear,—
For the Moonlight was sleeping on Winder-
And I saw in that long pure streak of light
The joy and the sadness of the night,
And mine eyes, in sooth, began to fill,
So beautiful that Lake—so still
So motionless its gentle breast—
Save where, just rocking in their rut,
A crowd of water-lilies lay
Like stars amid the milky way.
But what had I with the Lake to do?
So off to the misty bills I flew,
A Dream-like remembrance of a Dream.
It chanced three merry Fairies met
On the bridge of a mountain rivulet,
Whose hanging arch thro' the misty spray,
Like a little Lunar Rainbow lay.
With turf and flowers a pathway meet,
For the twinkling of unearthly feet.
For bright were the flowers as their golden
And green the turf as their Elfin-dresses.
Aye the water o'er the Linn
Was mocking, with a gleesome din.
The small shrill laughter, as it broke
In peals from these night-wandering Folk;
While the stream danced on with a tinkling
All happy to meet by a blink o' the moon.
Now laughing louder than before,
They strove to deaden that ceaseless roar;
And, when vanquished was the water fall,
Loudly they shouted, one and all,
Like the chorus of a Madrigal,—
Till the glen awoke from its midnight trance,
And o'er the hills in flight-like dance,
Was all the troop of echoes driven.
This moment on earth, and that in heaven.
From the silent heart of a hollow Yew,
The Owl sailed forth with a loud halloo:
And his large yellow eyes looked bright
With wonder, in the wan moonlight,
As hovering white, and still as snow.
He caught a glance of the things below,
All burning on the bridge like fire
In the sea-green glow of their wild attire.
"Halloo! Halloo! tu-whit! tu-whoo!"
Cried the gleesome Elves, and away they flew,
With mimic shriek, sob, cry, and howl.
In headlong chase of the frightened OwL
With many a buffet they drove him onward.
Now hoised him up, now pressed him down-
They pulled at his horns, and with many a
Around and around they skrewed his beak j
On his back they beat with a birch-spray flail,
And they tore the long feathers from his tail;
Then, like warriors mounted in their pride,
Behind his wings behold them ride!
And shouting, charge unto the war.
Each waving his soft plume-scymitar;
A war of laughter, not of tears,
The wild-wood's harmless Cuirassiers.
Thro' the depth of Ivy on the wall
(The sole remains of old Greystock Hall)
The Screamer is driven, half scared to death;
And the gamesome Fairies, all out of breath,
Their tiny robes in the air arranging.
And kisses in their flight exchanging;
Now slowly with the soft wind stealing
Right onwards, round about now wheeling,
Like leaves blown off in gusty weather,
To the rainbow-bridge all flock together;
And lo! on the green moss all alight.
Like a cluster of Goldfinches mingling bright.
And in dark ravines, and creviced rocks,
With my finger I counted my thousand flocks,
And each little Lamb by name I blest.
As snow-white they lay in their innocent rest.
When I saw some weak cold tottering Lamb
Recline 'gainst the side of its pitiful Dam,
Who seemed to have some wildering fear
Of Death, as of a Poe that was near,
I shone like a sunbeam soft and warm
Till the fleece lay smooth on its strengthened
And the happy Creatures lay down together
Like waves on the sea in gentle weather,
And in contentment calm and deep
Sank faintly-bleating into sleep.
In the soft moonlight glow I knew
Where the herbs that hold the poison grew;
And at the touch of my feathery foot
They withered at once both stalk and root.
But I shook not the gracious tears of night
From the plants most dear to the Shepherd's
And with mellower lustre bade them spring
In the yellow round of the Fairy's ring,
Till, methought, the hillside smiled afar
With the face of many a verdant Star.
I marked the Fox at the mouth of his den,
And raised the shadows of Hunter-men,
And I bade aerial beagles rave,
And the horn twang through the Felon's cave,
Then buried him with Famine in his grave.
The Raven sat upon Langdale-Peak
With crusted blood on his ebon-beak,
And I dashed him headlong from the steep,
While the murderer croaked in his sullen sleep.
Away I sailed by the Eagle's nest,
And the Eaglets couched warm beneath her
But the Shepherd shall miss her cry at morn,
For her eyes are dim and her plumage torn,
And I left in their Eyrie the Imps accurst
To die in their hunger, and cold, and thirst.
All, all is well with my lovely Flocks!
And so I dropt suddenly down the rocks,
From Loughrig-top, like a falling Star,
Seen doubtless through the mists afar
By a hundred Shepherds on the Hill
Wandering among the Moonlight still,
And with folded wings and feet earth-bound
I felt myself standing o'er the sound
Of this Waterfall, and with joy espied
A Sister-Elf at either side,
My Tale is told—nor strange nor new—
Now, sweet Lady Bright-Eyes! what say
As some wild Night-Flower thro' the dew,
Looks to the Moon with freshened hue,
When a wandering breath of air
Hath lifted up its yellow hair,
And its own little glade grows bright
At the soft revealment of its light,
Cpcprung, so sudden and so sweet.
The Mopxtaih Fairv to her feet;
And, looking round her with a smile.
Went the Creature paused awhile,
t'neenain what glad thoughts should burst
In music from her spirit hist,
Till, like a breath breathed clear from
Heaven, To her at once a voice was given, And thro' the tune the words arose As thro' the fragrant dew the leaflets of the
"Sisters! I have seen this night
A hundred Cottage-Fires burn bright,
And a thousand happy faces shining
Inthe bursting blaze, and the gleam declining.
I care not I for the stars above,'
The lights on earth are the lights I love:
Let Venus bless the Evening-air,
Uprise at morn Prince Lucifer,
But those little tiny stars be mine
That thro' the softened copse-wood shine,
With beauty crown the pastoral hill,
And glimmer o'er the sylvan rill.
Where stands the Peasant's ivied nest,
And the huge mill-wheel is at rest.
From out the honeysuckle's bloom
Ipeeped into that laughing room,
Then, like a hail-drop, on the pane
Pattering, I stilled the din again.
While every startled eye looked up;
And, half-raised to her lips the cup,
The rosy Maiden's look met mint I
But I veiled mine eyes with the silken twine
Of the small wild roses clustering thickly,
Then to her seat returning quickly,
She 'gan to talk with bashful glee
Of Fairies 'neath the greenwood Tree
Dancing by moonlight, and she blest
Gently our silent Land of rest.
The Infants playing on the floor,
At these wild words their sports gave o'er,
And asked where lived the Cottage-Fairy?
The maid replied, ' She loves to tarry
Oftimes beside our very hearth,
And joins in little Children's mirth
When they are gladly innocent;
And sometimes beneath the leafy Tent,
That murmurs round our Cottage-door,
Our overshadowing Sycamore,
We see her dancing in a ring,
And hear the blessed Creature sing—
A Creature full of gentleness,
Rejoicing in our happiness.'
Then plucked I a wreath with many a gem
Burning—B flowery Diadem;
And through the wicket with a glide
I slipped, and sat me down beside
The youngest of those Infants fair,
And wreathed the blossoms round her hair.
• Who placed these flowers on William'.
His little wondering Sister said,
'A wreath not half so bright and gay
Crowned me, upon the morn of May,
Queen of that sunny Holiday.'
The tiny Monarch laughed aloud
With pride among the loving crowd,
And, with my shrillest voice, I lent
A chorus to their merriment;
Then with such murmur as a Bee
Makes, from a flower-cup suddenly
Borne off into the silent sky,
I skimmed away, and with delight
Sailed down the calm stream of the night,
Till gently, as a flake of Snow,
Once more I dropt on earth below,
And girdled as with a rainbow zone,
The Cot beloved I call mine own.
"Sweet Cot! that on the mountain-side
Looks to the stars of Heaven with pride,
And then flings far its smiling cheer
O'er the radiant Isles of Windermere,—
Blest! ever blest! thy sheltered roof!
Pain, grief, and trouble, stand aloof
From the shadow of thy green Palm-Tree!
Let nought from Heaven e'er visit Thee,
But dews, and rays, and sounds of mirth;
And ever may this happy Earth
Look happiest round thy small domain!
Thee were I ne'er to see again,
Methinks that agony and strife
Would fall even on a Fairy's life,
And nought should ever bless mine eyes
Save the dream of that vanished Paradise.
—The hush'd bee-hives were still as death—
And the sleeping Doves held fast their breath,
Nestling together on the thatch;
With my wing-tip I raised the latch,
And there that lovely Lady shone,
In silence sitting all alone,
Beside the cradle of her Child!
And ever as she gazed, she smiled
On his calm forehead white as snow;
I rocked the cradle to and fro,
As on the broom a Linnet's nest
Swings to the mild wind from the west;
And oft his little hands and breast,
With warm and dewy lips I kist.
* Sweet Fairy !' the glad Mother said,
And down she knelt as if she prayed—
While glad was I to hear our name
Bestowed on such a beauteous frame,
And with my wings I hid mine eyes,
Till I saw the weeping kneeler rise
From her prayer in holy extacics!"
The Cottage Fairy ceased; and Night,
That seem'd to feel a calm delight
In the breath of that sweet-warbling tongue,
Was sad at closing of the song,
And all her starry eyne looked dull,
Of late so brightly beautiful;
Till on the Foxglove's topmost cup
The Fairs' Of The Lake leapt up.
And with that gorgeous column swinging,
By fits a low wild prelude singing.
And gracefully on tip-toe standing,
With outstretched arm, as if commanding,
The beauty of the Night again
Revived beneath her heavenly strain-
Low, sad, and wild, were the tones I heard,
Like the opening song of the hidden Bird,
K'er music steeps th' Italian vales
From the heart of a thousand Nightingales;
But words were none; the balmy air
Grew vocal round that Elfin fair,
And, like her fragrant breath, the song
Dropp'd dewily from that sweet tongue,
But 'twas a language of her own.
To grosser human sense unknown;
And while in blissful reverie
My soul lived on that melody,
In a moment all as death was still:
Then, like an echo in a Hill
Far off one melancholy strain!
Too heavenly pure to rise again,—
And all alone the dreamer stood
Beside the disenchanted flood,
That rolled the rocky banks along
With its own dull, slow, mortal song.
—What wafted off the Fairies? hush!
The storm comes down the glen—crush-
And as the blackening rain-cloud broke,
The Pine Tree groans to the groaning Oak!
Thunder is in the waving wood—
And from Rydal-mere's white-flashing flood
There comes thro' the mist an angry roar, ,
Loud as from the great sea-shore.
Well, I ween, the F'airies knew
The clouds that the sudden tempest brew,
And had heard far-off the raging rills.
As they leapt down from a hundred hills,
And the ghostlike moan that wails and raves From the toppling crags and the sable
caves,— E'er the night-storm in his wrath doth come, And bids each meaner sound be dumbSo they sailed away to the land of rest, Each to the spot that it loved the best, And left our noisy world! • • o "
THE KNIGHTS ERRANT.
It seems as if colonies had always been the chief means by which civilization is extended and improved.
The colonies which proceed from civilized states carry with them the experience and acquirements of the mother country; and the nature of their situation enables them to cut themselves off from the influence of its prejudices.
The Phenicians and Egyptians, who established themselves on the coast of Greece, and from whom that country derived all its civilization, had observed in their native land the bad effects of a priesthood—monopolizers at once of knowledge and power; and they took care that no similar establishment should find room in their new possessions. Hence, most probably, the immense superiority of the Greeks in science and in art, over those more ancient nations which were their first instructors in both. In Egypt all knowledge was the privileged possession of one profession, and applied solely to its purposes. In Greece,
education and knowledge were left free to all. Ambition and love of fame, those most powerful of all incentives, the only ones which lead to truly great things in science and art, had no influence in Egypt, but were allowed free scope in Greece, and long exerted their rightful sway over the reason and imagination of all men.
Whether the Anglo-American colonies shall ever surpass the European mother-country in civilization and culture of intellect, as much as the Greeks did their oriental ancestors; and whether the future advantages of America (if such she have) shall owe their origin to bold departure from the institutions, opinions, prejudices, and manners of Europe,—these are questions which cannot be answered till after the lapse of more centuries than one. It is possible, nay it is probable, that some thousand years hence, the inhabitants of those newly-peopled countries may surpass the Europeans of our time, as much as these do their ancestors—the Franks and Saxons of the days of Charlemagne. In their turn, the Americans may be surpassed
gyptians have been succeeded by the Kopts.
So possible, nay so easy, does the mere in fe/rus appear to me, that I see nothing improbable in an opinion which some consider as blasphemous. After a few centuries have gone over their heads, the inhabitants of England, France, Germany, Spain, and Italy, may be robbers, pirates, spiritless hordes,—devoid of science, art, commerce, or industry, or, what is as bad, they may become creatures tame, unproductive, unenergetic. They may retain the externals of refinement, with the vicious torpor of the Chinese. Sik Agelastus.
ON THE HISTORY OF THE GREAT SEA SERPENT.
This animal, like the Kruken (of which in our last Number we traced the history), is said to shew itself on the surface of the ocean only during calm weather. It appears at times extended like a vast beam; at other times only shewing different portions
in the same proportion by colonies of of its body, and resembling a long
their own. There is no end to the improvement of intellect. Our species may yet be only in the infancy of its acquirements. Sik Macboscofon.
Facilis descensus AvernL
That the rude man of nature should be able, without example or instruction, and by his own efforts alone, to lift himself from a condition nearly resembling that of the brutes, into one of elegance and refinement; that, without aid from above or from abroad, Centaurs and Lapithae could ever fashion themselves into Athenians, I have no capacity to believe. If any one will shew me by what possible means the Iroquese and Guaranis could bring themselves even into the lowest state of European civilization and cultivation, I shall give up my scepticism.
That a people at once moral and refined may degrade themselves into a horde of barbarians or brutes, I have no difficulty in conceiving. The civilized and virtuous Spartans have sunk into savage banditti and become MainUs. The active and intellectual E
chain of casks or floats. According to the old histories, it is a strange and terrible sea monster, which greatly deserves to be taken notice of by those who are curious to look into the ex-, traordinary works of nature. The first mention which we find made of this animal, is in the sacred writings. No doubt the Leviathan of Scripture is by many commentators considered as the whale, but a careful perusal of those passages in which it is mentioned, appears to us to lead to a different conclusion. Thus, in the 27th chap, of Isaiah, verse 1st, it is said, "In that day the Lord, with his sore, and great, and strong sword, shall punish leviathan, the piercing serpent, even leviathan that crooked serpent; and he shall slay the dragon that is in the sea." The same animal is alluded to in Job, chap. 27. "He divideth the sea with his power, and by his understanding he smiteth through the proud. By his spirit he hath garnished the heavens; his hand hath formed the crooked serpent." The appellation of "crooked" is very characteristic of the appearance of the animal, as described by some modern writers. It can scarcely be said to apply to the whale, which is, moreover, frequently E