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that she had shortly before gone to the south of France, in consequence, it was said, of her brother having been condemned to the galleys for some degrading offence. Of Pauline the people in the house knew nothing. I applied, however, to the bureau de police, and learned that months had passed since she had been transferred to la Salpetrière. I proceeded there without delay; the keeper readily admitted me and my friend, and led us towards the apartment in which Pauline was confined. I had been a good deal surprised when I learned that she had been sent to this institution, as I always understood that its inmates were only those of the most worthless character. But I soon discovered the reason.
'At the termination of a long pass.ige, the attendant opened a small door, and ushered us into a gloomy apartment. The walls were damp, and the plaster hung in flakes from the stones. A small grated window admitted a stream of light, which glanced upon an emaciated female. The keeper told us that, lest she should commit self-destruction, he had been obliged to secure her; and he pointed to the means which he had adopted. "The management of these people," said he, 66 gives endless trouble. It was an unlucky hour for us when this wing of the building was devoted aux folles."
'I shuddered to think that it was Pauline who was before me, and I anxiously addressed her by name. The sound of my voice seemed to awaken some recollection in her mind, for her features were momentarily lighted with a faint ray of intellect, but she again relapsed into gloom. I once more spoke, and pressed her hand. " Poor girl," I said, "what a fearful wreck has grief made here! Pauline, do you not know me?" Her eyes acquired brightness, but there was a glare in their expression which, in her better days, they never exhibited. She lifted her fettered hands, and pushed aside the hair which, in thick and matted confusion, hung over her forehead. "It is all a tale," she said, "all illusion. Did not my husband-my child-my brother-beckon me? Their voice came in pleasing cadence, but these chains bound me to the spot. I stretched myself along the floor, and they they laughed at my misery and disappeared. I shall follow -no power shall prevent me. But do not tell that hard man. Perhaps you will aid me-remember the dance-the merry dance :"-and she laughed in a tone that made me shudder-" But then the guard-room! -what?-desert a friend because there is danger in the way? But, true-your duty forbade-I thought you had abandoned me too-my cup was not full unless every friend was torn away-I was left hopeless-doomed to live-to breathe this thick heavy air that lies on my breast, and clouds my sight, and chokes my utterance-to freeze and tremble when the sun was at its height-or feel in my brain a fire which scorches, but will not kill. No, no! that would be too merciful." She continued to mutter some words; but her ideas were no longer connected, and a deep gloom gradually resumed possession of her features-she became silent-her eyes seemed to lose their power of vision-she sunk down on a little pallet at her feet-and the slight heaving of her bosom was the only indication that she yet lived. I took her hand and pressed it between mine-she did not vary a feature; that countenance, in which had beamed such loveliness, was
now darkened with sullen indifference and apathy. My friend drew me away as I endeavoured to rouse her, "Do not," he said, cruel as to awake her to the knowledge of her wretchedness. to death, the oblivion of insanity is to her the greatest blessing." "Before I left the place, I requested the physician in attendance to procure for the unfortunate girl accommodation more suitable to her melancholy condition ;-and I entreated that he would use his influence to obtain permission for her removal, at my expense, to some private establishment, where she might be watched over with unremitting care and tenderness. But my anxiety on this point, and his good services, were of little use. A few days after, he wrote to me, that Pauline had continued in the state of stupor in which I had left her, until nature being utterly exhausted, she had dropped into a deep sleep, and expired without a sigh.'
POPULAR TALES AND ROMANCES OF THE NORTHERN
THESE volumes, although they contain a larger share of amusement than nine-tenths of the romances which are produced under a much more imposing form, have in some measure disappointed us. The translator, having so fertile a field, has neither reaped a large nor a remarkably rich harvest. The legends of the northern nations are filled with materials better adapted for the real purposes of romancethat is to say, terror and amusement-than those of any other quarter of the globe, not even excepting the gorgeous inventions of the east ; for, although the former partake of the rugged nature of the climes which give them birth, and have little to delight the fancy, and to 'lap it in Elysium,' like the Indian fables, they do not the less take the imagination prisoner, and excite it to the highest possible degree. We should be ungrateful, and do injustice to a book which has alike delighted our boyhood and our manhood, if we said we could prefer any thing to the Arabian Nights' Entertainments; but we still cannot help thinking that if some of the northern demon stories had fallen into the hands of a person so well qualified for the task of dressing them up as was M. Galland, or the gallant Comte Antonie Hamilton, they would have been as universally popular as the splendid fairy fables of India. Perhaps the most remarkable characteristic of the Arabian Tales is the admirable wit which sparkles through each of them : this we think is not inferior even to the rapid and exhaustless fancy which has invented the incidents; and, decking as it does the simple humour of the narration, it forms the finishing grace to the most amusing book we know in the whole world. Mr. Washington Irving has shown that, by the application of a talent similar to that which directed the version of the Arabian Tales which we possess, the northern fables may be made very delightful. His Rip Van Winkle, many parts of The History of New York, The Story of Dolph Heyliger, are proofs no less satisfactory of his talent than of the possibility of elevating such stories as he has chosen to avail himself of to the highest place in this style of composition.
The collection now before us is singularly incomplete in one re
spect no account is given of the authors from whom the several tales have been translated. Nothing can be more various than the style they are written in; some of them (though these form the smaller proportion) are very skilfully conducted; others are as clumsily executed as they are feebly imagined. They are all the productions of modern and well-known authors; and, unless the purpose of the translator was to conceal his own defects by avoiding a comparison with the originals, we can imagine no reason which should induce him to withhold particulars so interesting.
The best tales are those which are of a humorous kind, and of these the first in the collection is, as a literary composition, the most excellent. It is called THE TREASURE-SEEKER and relates the adventures of a lucky old man, who, by possessing a hoard, to which one of the Harz Mountain demons had relinquished his claim, raises himself from very abject poverty to wealth and importance. The story begins with the relation of an old shepherd, who, at Bartholomew's tide, is relating to his neighbours an adventure which happened to him in his youth, and in which the treasure-keeper of the Harz Mountain indicated to him the means of acquiring a store of riches, but of which he has never availed himself. The relation is laughed at by some, and discredited by all the persons present, excepting one, who is thus described:
6 Apart from this social circle, with no other companion than the cat, a solitary toper had occupied mine host's well-stuffed leathern chair, in which post he had, during the whole evening, observed so strict a silence, that he had rather seemed to be preparing himself for a Carthusian monastery, than to be the inmate of an inn on a festival night. Little as he was generally given to contemplation, he now sat profoundly wrapped in his own cogitations, in which he was now induced to indulge on more than one account. This individual, be it known, was Master Peter Block, whilom a cook to a worshipful magistrate, then vintner, and tapster successively; and these honorable employments being abandoned, he occupied now a more private station; for, during the last ten years, Peter had descended the ladder of promotion with most quick retrogradation, so that he who had formerly contributed to other men's feasting was now obliged to practise fasting on his own account. In his quondam calling, he had been a man of a jovial complexion, nothing loth to a merry jest, but rather one who tickled the fancies and the palates of his guests in pretty equal ratio. In the noble art of cookery his science was indisputable. There was no dainty nor device, in which he did not exhibit the skill of a professor, and the zeal of a dilletante. But unfortunately our artist would needs dress for himself a sauce that requires more of the ingredient called good luck, than any other article in the Almanac des Gourmands:-in other words, Master Block sought out for himself by times a help-mate; and, in evil hour, made choice of a fair one, whose venomous tongue had already gained her the ill-will of all the town. Whoever came in her way, for it little signified to her whether friend or foe, she was certain to cover them with abuse; nor did even the saints in the calendar escape her with impunity. No wonder, therefore, if all the gallants were shy of addressing Dame
Ilse, until Master Block, who had heard her commended as a thrifty, notable housewife, ventured to espouse this foul-mouthed specimen of the sex denominated fair. Hardly, indeed, had she left the altar ere she gave the poor wight a foretaste of connubial affection. Such an union was not blessed with a numerous progeny; for, of all their offspring, none escaped from a premature death except a single girl, who was of so firm a constitution as to suffer neither from the harsh treatment of her mother, nor the overweening fondness of her father.
In the mean while the circumstances of the family had altered very materially. Even in his youth, Master Peter had never been a proficient in arithmetic; for, of all the rules, the only one in which he succeeded was subtraction: as to addition and multiplication, he could comprehend neither, nor was he much more successful in division. It was too great an exertion for him to keep an exact credit and debit account in his affairs: had he but money, neither kitchen nor cellar went unprovided; his boon companions, too, were always sure of meeting with the best cheer, long credit, and open house so long as they entertained their host in return, by joyous tales and witty stories. On the other hand, his kindly compassionate nature displayed itself equally towards those whose only claim consisted in their utter inability to pay for their lodging. Were his finances exhausted, then, indeed, he borrowed from usurers at high interest; and, as he feared being called to account by his tyrannical rib, he always gave the authoritative dame to understand that it was to clear off some old debts. The accommodating principle by which, like many other well-disposed Christians, he found it so convenient to regulate his conduct, was that at last all would turn out for the best. But at the last, however, Master Peter found that he had turned all the money out of his pockets, and himself out of doors; for, to the unspeakable regret of all his good friends, and all the bon-vivants of the town, he was obliged to take down his sign.
'In those good old times, when it was one of the chief duties of a notable housewife to attend herself to the affairs of the kitchen, it was in vain to seek a place where he might display his talents as a culinary artist. Under these unfortunate circumstances, therefore, he was compelled to become a dependant upon his wife, who set up a small flour trade: and, as an ass was now become indispensable to her establishment, Master Peter acted as substitute for that respectable animal. Without the least compunction, the dame loaded the shoulders of her yoke partner with many a heavy sack of flour, which he was obliged to carry to the mill, although not without groaning under the unaccustomed weight: but even these services did not always obtain the best of recompense, for most sparingly did she mete out to him his provender, and not unfrequently did this female Satan let him feel too the additional weight of her fist, whenever he ventured to complain of the weight of the sacks.
'Such conduct grievously afflicted the compassionate nature of his daughter, and drew from her in secret many a bitter tear: she was dear as the apple of his eye to her father, who had trained her, from her very childhood, in his own ways; she therefore repaid all his affection with the most submissive filial love, and consoled him under all
his domestic afflictions. The amiable Gertrude supported herself by needle-work, especially embroidery, in which she had attained such a proficiency as to be able to copy any object. She worked the robes used by priests at mass, altar-draperies, and those variegated and fancifully figured cloths with which it was then the fashion to cover tables. Although obliged to give her mother a strict account of all her earnings, she nevertheless sometimes contrived to lay by a trifling coin, which she privately made a present of to her father, in order that he might occasionally visit mine host of the Golden Lamb, and forget, for a season, his afflictions. Previously to the shepherd's festival she had secreted double her usual savings, and she joyfully slipped them into her father's hand as he returned one evening from his labours at the mill. This kindness, on the part of his child, touched his very soul, and so affected him that the tears came into his eyes, the more so as he was busied with a project which would hardly deserve such a return from the affectionate girl.
'Absorbed in deep reflection, he betook himself to the Golden Lamb, where, forcing his way through the boisterous assembly, he called for a measure of wine; then, heedless of and unheeded by the rest of the company, planted himself in mine host's easy chair, which, in spite of its luxurious appearance, could not obtain a tenant on account of its retired situation.'
The old shepherd's story inspires Master Peter with the hope that he may obtain the treasure; and, first of all, he sets about finding a black woodpecker's nest, without which he cannot begin his search for the spring-root which is to open the door of the treasure-house. After much trouble he finds it:
'Our mysterious projector rejoiced, to the very bottom of his soul, at the discovery which he had made; daily did he make a pilgrimage to the auspicious tree, and read over his pretended testament, with more zeal than he had done his breviary. When it appeared to him to be full season to set about his great work, he began by hunting out a red cloak; unfortunately but a single copy of this article was extant in the whole town, and this unique was in the possession of a person to whom people in general are somewhat reluctant in making applications-namely, to that worthy branch of the executive power, and that dignified public functionary, ycleped the hangman. It cost him no little exertion to overcome his scruples, and have recourse to a step which might compromise his reputation, and probably cause him to be expelled from the honorable society which assembled in mine host's parlour at the Golden Lamb: nevertheless, he found himself obliged to chew the bitter fruit. His worthy neighbour, Redcloak, readily complied with his request, considering that his robe would not be greatly disgraced by being seen on the shoulders of so respectable a personage as our Master Peter. Provided with this indispensable part of his apparatus, our botanizing friend set out to execute strictly, according to the prescribed formula, the ceremony which was to put him in possession of the mystic plant. All proceeded exactly as neighbour Blas had predicted; and, when the woodpecker came flying back to the tree with the root in its mouth, Master Peter suddenly advanced from behind the tree, and performed his manœuvre with such rapidity and dexterity, that, in its terror at sight of the flame-coloured mantle, VOL. 1. Sept. 1823. Br. Mag.