Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

LETTERS ON MYTHOLOGY.

TRANSLATED FROM THE FRENCH OF C. A. DEMOUSTIER.

(Continued from Page 235.)

LETTER X.

cause and the witness, Apollo Rew to repose NEAR the youthful Hyacinthus Apollo his sadness in the bosom of his friend, when found the sweet consolation of friendship: his be found him expiring at the entrance of his tears flowed with less bitterness, and serenity hut. Cyparis bad tcuderly loved a young once more revived in his heart. But Zephyrus, stag wbich he had reared : towards evenivg who had been the first friend of Hyacinthus, wishing to chace from his friend's flock bone was soon jealous of his intimacy with Apollo, wild beasts that threatened it, he took his bow and this jealousy grew so violent, that one day' and quiver ; the fatal arrow flew, and struck when the new friends were playing together the young stag wandering through the forest. at the discus, Zephyrus with his breath im- Cyparis on seeing him fall, uttered a doleful pelled the quoit of Apollo towards the head of cry, and sunk himself, overcome with grief. Hyacinthus, and lie was killed on the spot. His soul already on the wing, hovered upon

The blood which Rowed froin the rutal wound his fading lips, when Apollo returned; C'yproduced that power which bears his name, paris opened his eyes for the last time, and and which appears at the end of winter. Dis with gasping accents bade his friend farewel : gusted with friendship, Apollo returned to love, Apollo pressed him in his arms, received his and sighed for the nympb Perseis. She was a last sigh, and changed him into a cypress. daughter of the Ocean; that is to say, nu. Devoured with sorrow, the son of Latona body knew who was her father. The genealo- called upon death, and reproached the Gods gists of these times made all those beroes with his immortality; but Love once mere and nymphs whose origin was doubtful de offered him consolation. The Sybil uf Cumea scended from the Sea or the Rivers, if this sought out bis retreat, and with the voice of perligree were admitted in our days, in Paris, persuasion, said to him :-"Wilt thou desert where human beings swarın unclaimed, what our meadows and our shepherds for ever? a fine family would be forced upon the Seine ! Wilt thou never agaia sing on these Aowery

The nymph of the Ocean, like ours of the shores, our sports, our feasts, our loves?” Seine, was not very cruel, and became soon “Never,” replied Apollo ; “I hare now no the mother of the celebrated Circe; that Circe other pleasure than solitude.” who delivered Oracles, and who by her en The Sybii tenderly replied, “ I approve your chantments turned several worthy gentlemen regret, and my heart partakes in it; but into asses, and many worthless ones into swine. I had l your cause for lamentation, far from Each evening when Apollo went to visit his shunving all my friends, I should go often to nursery, he left the care of his dock to the boy' weep under those sbades where you were to Cyparis. This amiable youth held that place be found.” At these words she was silent and in bis heart which the uubppy Hyacinthus

cast down her eyes. had formerly occupied. One night after a The shepherd's hand encountered hers; she cop fidential discourse with his friend, Apollo resumed:-“ Should he detest life and light, hastened to visit Perseis; unluckily the nymph who has received from Love, a soul to love, Bolina crossed his path, and the God was ini and a form to charm. Alas! if our shepherds mediately seized with a desire to please ber. lose you without return; if our nymphs see

He addressed her in the soft language of you wither and vanish like a flower, their looks and sighs, but an innocent girl of fifteen sighs and mine, perhaps, may make you re. years, does not easily comprehend this mute gret the day."-While she spoke thus tears eloquence. Reduced to plainer discourse, bathed her cheeks, and for the sole purpose of Apollo tried to make himself be fully under- mixing his tears with those of his fair consoler, stood by pursuing her so briskly along the sea the God clasped her in his arms.

After a long shore, that the unfortunate nymph rushed into but expressive silence, the Sybil said to him the waves to escape from bis power. Tonched with sweet languor :-"Do you still renounce with her misfortune and her virtue, Ampbitrite the brightness of heaven?"-"No," replied received her amongst her nymphs, and be. the God; “ since I adore thie, I feel the full stowed op her the gift of immortality. Frantic value of immortality.” The Sybil then taking with a calamity of which he had been the up a handful of sand, while suffering him to .Ne. XX, Vol. III.-N. S.

Oo

[ocr errors]

steal a passionate kiss, continued tbus:""] groape of nymphs seated amid an ampbiask not the honour of being immortal, but I theatre of verdure. would willingly have the power to console thee The divine concert bad been formed by the for ever.”—“Alas!” replied Apollo,

sweet accord of the voices and instruments of not render the duration of tby days eterual, these damsels. At the sight of the God armed but I may prolong their course.”—“Well with his bow and arrows, the timid bani took tben, let your heart regulate my destiny. See to fight and hid themselves in the depth of this sand; pronounce but the word, and each the wood. Apollo threw aside his bow, and graju will add a year to my life.”

tuning bis lyre, accompanied it with his voice Tbe lover deemed it his duty to consent, in such celestial accents, that the nymphis convinced by experience, that a moment of stopped their flight, and listened to the song. true delight is worth an age of existence. Before it was concluded the whole party had

But alas! the future convinced the Sybil,' surrounded the musician" I am the sun that she bad acquired a fatal possession. The' of Jupiter and Latona,” said he _“And we," Joves Aew away upon the wings of time, old replied they, “are the daughters of Jupiter age arrived and her charms disappeared : the and Mueinosyne."-"I am then your brother? generation of those she loved passed into the Is it permitted me to embrace my sisters ?". land of death; in fine, after a thousand years. The nymphs blushed, and granted the fraterof anguish, alone and miserable, she said to mai kiss. the Gods:- "Grant me now to reach the last

Apollo then made the ladies several very grain of sand, or give me some pitying friend well turned compliments upon their nusicsi to close my eyes."

skill, and the fair artists of course repaid him The first of her pains was the ingratitude of in the same agreeabile coin. The same symApollo, who abandoned her for Cassandra, the pathy of talent, joined to the tie of blood, soon daughter of Priam. This Princess, after a re. produced a sweet intimacy between the son spectable resistance, entered into a provisional i and daughters of Jupiter; and I can assure arrangement, and promised to conclude a you, that in spite of their different sex, their definitive treaty with her lover, if he would en friendship was sincere. They resolved to live dow her with the gift of divination. The son together, and form an academy. Apollo gave of Latona swore by Styx to grant her request. the plan; he established the law of concord for Hardly bad he pronounced the irrevocable its basis, and gave to his sisters the name of oath, than Cassandra laughed at his credulity. | Muses. According to Cassiodorus, the word As a punishment for her bad faith, the Gods from which Muses is derived, in the Greek, added to his divine gisl, the curse of her pre-signifies cquals. dictions never being credited. The celestial His plan being finished, the God divided dupe, shortly after consoled himself with the between his sisters all the arts and sciences, nymph Climeua; in whose embraces let him adapting the distribution to their several tastes rest vill to-morrow.-Adieu, for to night. and tempers. He named a day for the first

sitting of their academy, and this is what

passed there. LETTER XI.

Calliope opened the assembly by a discourse

full of noble figures; the sad Melpomene, Climena had every grace of shape and feature, il veiled from head to foot, bewailed the death of but Apollo became familiar with them, and heroes, lamented the sorrows of love, and the Castalia was his neighbour. He sighed, she fragility of human happiness ; Thalia, with an feigned not to understand him, he supplicated, arch glance, ihrew about her arrows dipped in she was inexorable: he perscciited her, she the poignant caustic of satire, she threw them few even to the foot of Mount Parnassus, l with so light a hand and so smiling a giace, where the Gods changed her into a fountain. that they struck without wounding, and made

Her lover, stretched upon its brink, mixed tbe receiver laugh: Polyhymnia exalted the his tears with its water, when he was drawn deeds, the virtues, the memory of Turennes from his reverie by an enchanting melody | and Bayards; Clio bore them on the wings which proceeded from the summit of a moun of glory even to the throne of the Gods; tain. Suddenly he rises, and ascends by a Urania pointed with radiant finger to the path bordered with myrtles and palm trees. starry heavens, and read aloud the vast system The nearer he drzws, the more ravishing is the of the universe; the pastoral Erato, sung the harmony. He stops at length at the corner of loves of shepherds in a rustic ballad; Euterpe 2 thicket, beneath whose shade he perceives a accompanied ber on the flageolet; while

ous

Terpsichore gaily terminated the meeting, by a' mutually agreed, that he who should be vanpas seul.

1

quished should submit to the discretion of the In a short time these assemblies became conqueror. Marsyas then invoked Minerva, celebrated; the reputation of the Muse's ex. and retouk his flute. tended beyond the Grecian states, aud the son His exquisite breath represented the early of Latona, degraded from the throne of Light, melody of spring, the first desire of a lover, mounted the throne of Genius. There were the last sight of melancholy; then its gentle pow no fashionable party at wbich this bril- cadences imitated the murmuring of streams; liant association did not assist; but in order now with gay caprice he precipitated the to transport them comfortably from place to movement, and in rapid divisions made all place, it was nece-sary to think of inventing the echoes tiemble. The next instant returnsome suitable carriage. While they were ing to a softer measure, he led the entranced vajuly deliberating upon the most commodi- ' imagination to wander among Mowers and

manner of travelling, they pérceived a groves, and painted nymphs and sheplerds winged borse in the air. It was the famous dancing with rosy garlunds around their rustic Pegasus. This thundering courser, born from altars. He stopped, then suddenly with a the blood of Medusa, directed his flight to single note the audience thought they beard warts Mount Parnassis, There he alighted the voice of a fugitive Dryad, which from the upon a rock, and with one blow of his boof, depths of a disinal woud uttered a feeble cry! made the poetic fountain of Hippocrene gush fear, incertitude, hope, palpitated in every forib.

bosom; the fute of Marsyas ceased its tuneAt the voice of Apollo, Pegasus stopped ; ' ful breath, and after an instant of profound ibe God vaulted on his back, placed the Muses silence, the listeners awoke from their sweet behind him, (whether on one pillion, or nine, delusion with a sigh of deligbt. Marsyas is uncertain) and commanded the borse to bear bowed to the assembly, and was instantly surthem to the coast of Bacchus. Pegasus spread rounded by a burst of enthusiasm. bis wings, and soon the mountain disappear During the noise, baving tuned his voice ed; rapid as light, he landed his scientific load and his lyre, Apollo imposed silence by a divine at the palace of Bapchus.

preiude; then delivering himself up to the Bacchus, by whom the Muses were received,' delirium of his art, made the delicious intoxiwas a prince illustrious by his victories, and cation of voluptuousness Row into every heart, by his love for the fine arts. He reigned at Marsyas turned pale, and discovered then the Nisus with Ariadne whom he had married in superiority of the voice over every instrumcoil. the isle of Naxos : bis court was the focus of When Apollo had thus ably disposed the asall the celebrated characters of the age.

The sembly in his favour, he turned towards Aria ball opened immediately after the arrival of i adne and sung an ode in praise of beauty. the Muses. Terpsichore danced, and all the The Venus of Praxiteles, theu adored al Guicourtiers were in ecstacies. Suffice it, she dus, and the Galatea of Pygmalion, whom made the women desperate with envy. The Love had animated, were at this period cele. ball was followed by a concert. Enterpe and brated throughout Greece; Apollo made a the youthful Erato were the most distinguish- double allusion to these masterpieces of art, ed; but a shout of joy rent the palace when and suffering his eyes to wander over all the Marsyas appeared.

female part of the audience, contrived to im. This iucomparable musician had found the press each individual with the belief that his flute of Minerva which that Goddess had for. || panegyric was secretly devoted to her. merly thrown into a fountain, and having I cannot paint, therefore, the fury of apexercised himself upon the divine instrument plause which followed his ode; each beauty with unwearied assiduity, be now drew from iti imputed bis eloquent music to ber own the most melodious sounds. At the repeated charms, and cach lover saw in it a mirror seacclamations of the assembly, Apollo shewed Becting the graces of her he loved: thus every some uneasiness ; but he consoled himself one was juterested and pleased, and the na. with the prospect of fuiure victory. In fact, tural consequence was universal approbation. the Aute of Marsyas charmed the audience; Marsyas imprudently trusted solely to taste the lyre of Apollo transported them.

and his own genius; Apollo, better instructed Picqued at this superiority, the Phrygian in the human heart, called in the aid of vanity arose, and with an arrogant tore challenged and partialily. He gained the prize; victory his rival before all the court. The brother of was decreed to him without a dissenting the Muses accepted the challenge; and it was voice.

The barbarity with which he used bis tri- || then, that it is yet mere glorious to pardon unph tarnished its lustre. Having fastened than to conquer; and as you every day extend Marsyas to a pine-tree, be Aayed him alive. | the empire of love, teave us to ac.nowledge The blood and the tears of this unhappy man your victory at your feet, while at the same formed a river which still bears his naine. time we read in your gracious eyes pity and

You see, my Emilia, that it is ofien much forgiveness.-Adieu. easier to vanquish than lo pardon : remember

(To be continued.)

THE MIRROR OF FASHION.

IN A SERIES OF LETTERS FROM A GENTLEMAN OF RANK AND TASTE, TO A LADY

OF QUALITY.
(Continued from Page 237.)

LETTER V.

Hair cloth (which answers to the sackcloth LIXE you, my fair Countess, the Anglo- of the ancienis) was manufactured by the Saxons were great admirers of fine linen; it Anglo-Saxons, and was used either as a garwas indiscriminately worn by every class of ment of pevance or of mourning. I cannot that people in the garment next their skin. affirm that, as an insignia of the latter temper Of course, its fabric was delicate or rough ac of mind, it was so becoming an apparel as the cording to the rank of the wearer. The dress crapes and cypress gauzes of our modern fair; of the ladies, in summer, was chiefly of linen ; but certainly it better expressed the scason of the clergy also made their sacred vestments of Sorrow; aud, what is more to the purpose, by it; and, indeed, so highly was it prized by all

its desolate and unbecoming appearance, was orders, that the venerable Bede mentions, as an indisputable assurance lbat the mourner an instance of self-denial and bumility of did not iutend, and in fact could not enter Etheldrida, abbess of Ely, that she never would into scenes of gaiety until the proper time of wear linen garments, but contented herself with decent grief were past. Then, the widow was raiment made of wool.

not seen sporting her fashionably devised This inortifying of her fair fieshi, must be weeds in a friend's card-assenibly a monib understood of the interior garments being after the interment of her lord. Our Anglocomposed of so rough a material; the most Saxon matrons, instead of bewailing the de. dainty of her sex, in that age, wore woollen as ceased partner of their hearts, seated on a exterior habits. Silk was also used, but only | superb sofa, between two rival candidates for on great occasions, such as for coronation her hand and dowry, would be found prostrate robes, the vestments of dignified clergy, and on his tomb, cloathed in bair-cloth, and bethe mantles of Quecus and Princesses. How strewll with dust and ashes, devoting all tbe surprised would be our royal Elgivas and beauties of her youth to lamentation and his Ethelredas, if they could look from their marble memory. tombs at this time, and behold not merely the The Anglo-Saxon ladies of the first quality decent tradesman's wise, but the lowest damsell employed much of their time in carding wool, of the kitchen, walking out on a Sunday arrayed | spinning, and working with the needle; and in silk stockings and salin or velvet pelisse ! some of them also emulated the dames of There is, literally, no difference between the Greece in the labour's of the loom. These ordinary appearance of a Countess and her | graceful feminine occupations do not appear maid, except what the dignified and polished to have been in so general a practice with the air of the former may effect. This remark, | fuir of the Continent as with those of England; therefore, ought to induce our women of qua. | however, we find that due honour was paid lity to attend to the mental adornment of to them by some of their foreigo sisters; and themselves, since all outward ornaments are Eginhart informs us that the daughters of now rendered accessible to the meanest of their Charlemagne were no strangers to the use of attendants. Were every Peeress in this land the distaff Four Princesses, daughters of as simple in apparel, and as elegant in mien, || Edward the Elder, of our own country, are as my Urania, this observation might have highly celebrated for their skill in spinning, been spared.

Weaving and brocading or embroidery; and

Edgit ba, the Queen of Edward the Confessur, vf silk, brocaded with cagles of gold. The was perfectly mistress of the needle.

coronation mantle of Harold Harefoot, which The praises bestowed upon our fair country he gave to the same Abbey, was composed of women, ou this subject, are not confined to the like costiy stuff, and overlaid with Bowers our own authors, who, as lovers, and of the wrought in golu. Besides these, we find fronu same nation, might be suspected of partiality; | William of Malmesbury, that the royal robes I can lay before your Ladysbip the corroborat. of Edward the Confessor were sumptuously ing testimony of foreign eulogists -" The embroidered in curious and rich devices by French and Normans," says one, “ admired the hand of his Queen and ber maidens. the beautiful dresses of the English nobility; Devotion produced many splendid works of for," continues this ancient writer, “the Eng. this kind, which the fair manufacturers dedilish women excel all others in needle-work, cated to the service of the church. These and in embroidering with goldi.” Another beautiful daughters of beauty and taste, not auibor tells usihat “the Anglo-Saxon ladies only plied their golden needles to embellish were so famous for their skill m embroidery or their own persons, and to decorate their buse brocading, that the most elegant productious bands, but, wiili a holy consecration of their of the needle were called, by way of eminence, time and their talents to adorn the temples of The English work.”

their land, they enriched the altars with palla In those days of female industry, the opera of superb embroidery, and laid at the feet of tions of the needle were not coufined to one the priesthood garments of the finest needle sort of pattern or stitch; they extended to work. Many of these I bave seen extant in the the representation of Rowers, foliages, birds, sacristies of our old cathedrals; and, I con. heists, men, and buildings. Even bistorical fis, I could nut but feel a peculiar homage designs were ailempted, and the victories of for the Queens and Princesses, and ladies of heroes and the triumphs of saints, were seen bigb rank, who thus devoted their blameless embroidered upon clith with threads of gold and happy hours. and silver, intermixed with silk, cotton, and And, that I may not longer at this time ille worsted, dyed to the requisite colours. The trude on yours, I shall defer iny account of destruction of Troy was worked upon the the jewellery of these beauteous and meritori. stole of Wiglaf, King of Mercia; and the ce. ous dames to another "pistle; meanwhile, fore Jebrated martyr, Dunstall, when a young man,

get not that a fairer hand than ever Angloassisted a lady in designing the embellish Saxon Britain couli produce, has woven the ments she was to embroider on a sacerdotal image of Urania intu the heart of her devoted rube. The vestment which Canute, the Dane,

PARIS. presented to the Abbey of Croyland, was inade

(To be continued.)

THE CHATEAU OF ROUSSILLON.

(Continued from Page 242.)

The addition of some neighbours to their “ The pight is so fine,” exclaimed Francois, dinner party, prevented Julie from the em. “the shrubs smell so sweet, and the nightinbarrassment of dining with Bertolini; his gales are singing so divinely, that I could not invalid state rendered the society of strangers resist Signor Bertolini's intreaty to bring him too great an exertion, therefore Francois shared hither; so if be dies in consequence, Julie, bis otherwise solitary meal, and towards ever the guilt be upon my head." ing, as the ladies sat in a covered arbour into “ We shall not perform as mourners at tlie which one of the lower apartments opened, he funeral then," observed Madame ratber playappeared with bis Italian friend. So unex- fully, “since the Signor has only been tempt. pecied a visitor created much agreeable con ed to join us for the sake of bearing the birds fusion : Julie started from her seat, sat down and breathing the flowers." again as hastily, and rose again without saying “ Oh how you wrong me!" exclained Berany thing; ber checks were covered with tolini; “I did not once think of them."—He blushes, for she had inet the eyes of Bertolini, stopped, coloured, and instantly averted the and their unusual expression convinced her ardent glauce he had almost unconsciously ibat Francois bad kept bis word.

directed towards Julic. While Madame and

« ZurückWeiter »