ページの画像
PDF
ePub

wonderful thing, for he saw a little beast creep out of the mouth of his sleeping master, and go immediately to the streamlet, which it vainly attempted to cross. The servant drew his sword and laid it across the water, over which the little beast easily past and crept into a hole of a mountain on the opposite side; from whence it made its appearance again in an hour, and returned by the same means into the king's mouth. The king then awakened, and told his companion that he had dreamt that he was arrived upon the bank of an immense river, which he had crossed by a bridge of iron, and from thence came to a mountain in which a great quantity of gold was concealed. When the king had concluded, the servant related what he had beheld, and they both went to examine the mountain, where upon digging they discovered an immense weight

of gold.

I stumbled upon this tale in a book entitled SPHINX, Theologico-Philosophica. Authore Johanne Heidfeldio, Ecclesiaste Ebersbachiano. 1621.

The same story is in Matthew of Westminster; it is added that Guntrum applied the treasures thus found to pious uses.

For the truth of the theory there is the evidence of a monk. ish miracle. When Thurcillus was about to follow St. Julian and visit the world of souls, his guide said to him, “ Let thy body rest in the bed, for thy spirit only is about to depart with me; and lest the body should appear dead, I will send into it a vital breath.”

The body however by a strange sympathy was affected like the spirit ; for when the foul and fetid smoke which arose from the tithes withheld on earth had nearly suffocated Thurcillus, and made him cough twice, those who were near his body said that it coughed twice about the same time.

Matthew Paris.

Page 316. line 316. Or deeper sable died. These lines strongly resemble a passage in the Pharonnida of William Chamberlayne, a poet who has told an interesting story in uncouth rhymes, and mingled sublimity of thought and

beauty of expression, with the quaintest conceits, and most awkward inversions.

On a rock more high
Than Nature's common surface, she beholds
The mansion house of Fate, which thus unfolds
Its sacred mysteries. A trine within
A quadrate placed, both these encompast in
A perfect circle was its form; but what
Its matter was, for us to wonder at,
Is undiscovered left. A tower there stands
At every angle, where Time's fatal hands
The impartial Parcæ dwell; i’ the first she sees
Clotho the kindest of the Destinies,
From immaterial essences to cull
The seeds of life, and of them frame the wool
For Lachesis to spin; about her flie
Myriads of souls, that yet want flesh to lie
Warm'd with their functions in, whose strength bestows
That power by which man ripe for misery grows.

Her next of objects was that glorious tower
Where that swift-fingered nymph that spares no hour
From mortals' service, draws the various threads
Of life in several lengths; to weary beds
Of age extending some, whilst others in
Their infancy are broke: some blackt in sin,
Others, the favorites of Heaven, from whence
Their origin, candid with innocence ;
Some purpled in afflictions, others dyed
In sanguine pleasures : some in glittering pride
Spun to adorn the earth, whilst others wear
Rags of deformity, but knots of care
No thread was wholly free from. Next to this
Fair glorious tower, was placed that black abyss
Of dreadful Atropos, the baleful seat
Of death and horrour, in each room repleat
With lazy damps, loud groans, and the sad sight

Of pale grim ghosts, those terrours of the night.
To this, the last stage that the winding clew
Of life can lead mortality unto,
Fear was the dreadful porter, which let in
All guests sent thither by destructive sin.

of this passage.

It is possible that I may have written from the recollection

The conceit is the same, and I willingly attribute it to Chamberlayne, a poet to whom I am indebted for many hours of delight.

Page 319. line 56.

Shall the huge camel pass.

I had originally written cable instead of camel. The alteration would not be worth noticing were it not for the reason which occasioned it. Facilius elephas per foramen acus, is among the Hebrew adages collected by Drusius ; the same metaphor is found in two other Jewish proverbs, and this confirms beyond all doubt the common reading of Matt. xix. 24.

Page 319. line 71.- Large draughts of molten gold.
The same idea, and almost the same words, are in one of
Ford's plays. The passage is a very fine one:

Ay, you are wretched, miserably wretched,
Almost condemn'd alive! There is a place,
(List daughter !) in a black and hollow vault,
Where day is never seen; there shines no sun,
But flaming horror of consuming fires ;
A lightless sulphur, choak’d with smoaky foggs
Of an infected darkness. In this place
Dwell many thousand thousand sundry sorts
Of never-dying deaths; there damned souls
Roar without pity, there are gluttons fed
With toads and adders : there is burning oil
Pour'd down the drunkard's throat, the usurer
Is forced to sup whole draughts of molten gold ;
There is murderer for ever stabb'd,

Yet he can never die ; there lies the wanton
On racks of burning steel, whilst in his soul
He feels the torment of his raging lust.

'Tis Pity she's a Whore. I wrote this passage when very young, and the idea, trite as it is, was new to me. It occurs I believe in most descriptions of hell, and perhaps owes its origin to the fate of Crassus.

Page 328. line 335. Titus was here. During the siege of Jerusalem, “the Roman commander, with a generous clemency, that inseparable attendant on true heroism, laboured incessantly, and to the very last moment, to preserve the place. With this view, he again and again intreated the tyrants to surrender and save their lives.

With the same view also, after carrying the second wall, the siege was intermitted four days: to rouse their fears, prisoners, to the number of five hundred or more, were crucified daily before the walls ; till space, Josephus says, was wanting for the crosses, and crosses for the captives." Churton's Bampton Lectures. If

my readers should enquire why Titus Vespasian, the delight of mankind, is placed in such a situation, - I answer, for this instance of " his generous clemency, that inseparable attendant on true heroism!

any of

Page 336. line 166. Inhaled the cool delight. In the cabinet of the Alhambra where the queen used to dress and say her prayers, and which is still an enchanting sight, there is a slab of marble full of small holes, through which perfumes exhaled that were kept constantly burning beneath. The doors and windows are disposed so as to afford the most agreeable prospects, and to throw a soft yet lively light upon the eyes. Fresh currents of air too are admitted, so as to renew every instant the delicious coolness of this apartment.

Sketch of the History of the Spanish Moors, prefixed

to Florian's Gonsalvo of Cordova.

Page 339. line 269.

The snow-drop hung its head.

“ The grave matron does not perceive how time has impaired her charms, but decks her faded bosom with the same snowdrop that seems to grow on the breast of the virgin.'

P. H.

[merged small][merged small][graphic][merged small][merged small]
« 前へ次へ »