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priate forms and connection by the miraculous power of the Graal; and the outline of the building is unexpectedly discovered upon a rock of onyx, which the day before had been cleansed of the weeds and herbage that encumbered it. The access to the sanctuary is rendered invisible to all, except the chosen few, by an impervious forest of cedar, cypress and ebony surrounding it. By the daily contemplation of the Graal, Titurel’s life is prolonged to “ more than five hundred years:” just as the glorious career of Jemshid was extended to nearly seven centuries from a similar cause; and he only sinks to the sleep of death, from omitting to visit it during the space of ten days. In Lohengrin, Montsalvaez assumes the place of the isle of Avalon in British romance 13; and forms the fabled place of retreat of Arthur and his followers. It is here that the British monarch awaits the hour of his re-appearance upon earth 124; but far from remaining insensible to those chivalric
133 The retreat of Arthur to the isle into the highest heaven, and the last
of Avalon forms an exact parallel to stage of felicity. (Mone, ubi supra, 62.) he
what Hesiod has sung of the heroes who Something of this kind is absolutely fell in the Trojan war, &c. (Op. et necessary to make many parts of the Dies, 140.) The skolion of Calli- Morte Arthur intelligible ; for that in stratus relative to Harmodius and Ari- this we have to do with the mythological stogeiton shows how late this beautiful Arthur, would be clear even to those fiction continued to be a favourite with who had no knowledge of an historical
the Athenians. In the Islands of the British prince. Not that the compilers de
Blest we hear of Semele being married of these fictions were at all aware of the
to Rhadamanthus, and Helen to ground they were treading, any more ise. Achilles. The offspring of this latter than Homer when he described the
union was a winged boy, Euphorion, contest between Vulcan and the al who was destroyed by Jupiter in the Scamander, believed himself “to be
island of Melos. (Ptolem. Hephæst. philosophizing Orphically," to speak c. 4.) Mr. Owen has said of “ Arthur with Philostratus. (Heroic. p. 100. ed. the son of Uthyr Bendragon, that he Boissonnade.) The writers of romance,
was a mythological and probably alle- like the great Mæonian (si licet coma." gorical personage, and the Arcturus or ponere, &c.), appear to have poured
Great Bear” of the celestial sphere. forth in song the sacred lore of an im. It is to be regretted that the Welsh earlier period, but which having already
antiquaries have told us so little of this received a secular or historical cast, mythic Arthur. The Fins, one of the was uttered as such by them with the
oldest European tribes, and whose de- most unsuspecting good faith. le of stinies have been even more evil-starred 134 The doctrine of the metempsychos de than those of the Celts, retain the fol- sis, which formed so conspicuous an wary lowing article of their ancient faith :- article of the Celtic creed, would be
When the soul is permitted to ascend sufficient to account for the Breton the shoulders of Ursa Major, it passes tradition relative to Arthur's re-appear
duties which rendered his court an asylum for injured beauty and distressed sovereigns, he still holds a communication with the world, and occasionally dispatches a faithful champion to grant assistance in cases of momentous need 135. Here also the Graal maintains the sanctity of its character; and becomes at once the register of human grievances and necessities, and the interpreter of the will of Heaven as to the best mode of redressing them. But even here its transcendent purity
136 requires a similar degree of unblemished worth in those who consult its dictates: the attendant knights in Arthur's train are too corrupt and sensual to approach the hallowed fane ; and the infant children of Perceval and Lancelot, and the daughter of the courteous Gawaine are alone considered fit to ance upon earth.
A similar belief was the soul of its impurities, re-dispatches it entertained respecting Ogier le Danois, to the upper sun, where it becomes diwhose identity with Helgi, a hero of stinguished for its wisdom or its power, Sæmund's Edda, has been already and in after-time is ranked among the noticed. At the close of the song heroes of public veneration." See Plato's “ Helgi and Svava” it is stated : that Meno 81. and Hermann's disposition these persons were born again; and at of this fragment in the 3rd volume of the end of the second song concerning Heyne's Pindar. In Germany this Helgi Hundings-bane, we have : It tradition respecting the Graal became was believed in the olden time that localized : Four miles from Dann, St. men might be born again. Helgi and Barbara's hill is seen to rise conically Sigrunr are said to have been re- from the centre of a plain. By many generated. He was then called Helgi infatuated Germans this hill is called Haddingia-skate; but she, Kara Half- the Graal, who also believe that it condens daughter." The compiler of this tains numerous living persons, whose collection does not fail to add, that in lives will be prolonged till the day of his time this opinion was regarded as judgement, and who pass their time an old-wives' tale. The French Ro. there in a round of continued revelry mances however have perpetuated the and pleasure. Theodoric a Niem. lib. ii. tradition.
de Schismat. c. 20. as cited by Præto185 The author of Lohengrin makes rius, i. 395. Eschenbach assert, that his information 136 The distress of Elsam von Bra. respecting Arthur's “residence in the bant is made known to Arthur by her mountain, the manner in which the ringing a bell, a subject upon which British monarch and his hundred fol. there is no space to dilate. But the lowers were provided with food, raiment, reader will not fail to remember that a horses and armour, and the names of brazen vessel (or bell) is sounded when the champions whom he had dispatched Simætha invokes Hecate (Theocritus, to aid the Christian world," was ob- ii. 36.), and that a similar rite was obtained from St. Brandan. Lohengrin served at Athens when the Hierophant or the “ Chevelere Assigne” was one of invoked the same Goddess as Coré or these heroes. In this Arthur assumes Proserpine. See Apollodorus, as cited the duty allotted to Proserpine, who by the Scholiast to Theocritus, and according to Pindar, “having cleansed compare the preceding note.
step within the sacred shrine. Perhaps this would be the place to connect these scattered fragments of general tradition, and to offer a few remarks upon the import of a symbol which has thus found its way into the popular creed of so many distant nations. But a history of romantic fiction forms no part
. of the present attempt, nor an exposition of those esoteric doctrines which, taught in the heathen temple and perpetuated in the early stages of the Romish church, have descended to the multitude in a less impressive but more attractive guise.
There is, however, one point upon which it may be necessary to make a more explicit avowal, lest the general tendency of the preceding remarks should be construed into an acquiescence with opinions wholly disclaimed. Though the marvels of popular fiction, both in the ancient and modern world, have thus been referred to the same common origin, it is by no means intended to affirm, that the elements of fictitious narrative in Greek and Roman literature are no where to be found embodied in the productions of the middle age 37. Such an assertion would be at variance with the most limited experience of the subject, and might be refuted by a simple reference to the German tales of MM. Grimm. In the story of the “Serpent-leaf,” the principal incident accords with the account of Glaucus and Polyidus, as related by Apollodorus 138 ; the cranes of Ibycus figure under another form in the tale of the “ Jew and the Skinker 129; and the slipper of Cinderella finds a parallel, though somewhat sobered, in the history of the celebrated Rhodope140. In another story of the same collection we meet with the fabled punishment of Regulus, inflicted on the persons of two culprits14; Ovid's Baucis and Philemon may be said to have furnished the basis of the Poor and the Rich Man 142: the Gaudief and his Master contains the history of the Thessalian Erisichthon 143 ; the Bæotian Sphinx exerts her agency in a variety of forms!*; and the descent of Rhampsinitus, and his diceing with Demeter, is shadowed forth in a series of narratives 145. Another of Ovid's fables, the history of Picus and Circe, is in strict analogy with a considerable portion of the “Two Brothers;” other incidents may be said
137 Mr. Ritson has said, “Nothing Pliny (Hist. Nat. lib. xxv. c. 5.), it seems more probable than that the com- formed a piece of Lydian history. A posers of romance were well acquainted recent number of the Quarterly Review with the ancient Greek and Latin poets.' No.58.) has cited the following illustra(Met. Rom. iii. p. 324.) But here his tion of it from Roger Bacon's Opus own favourite figure in dialectic might Majus: “At Paris there was lately a sage, certainly have been retorted upon him: who sought out the serpent's nest, and Is it so nominated in the bond ? selecting one of the reptiles, he cut it
1* Compare Grimm's Kinder- und into small pieces, leaving only as much Haus-Märchen, No. 16, with Apollod. undissected membrane, as was sufficient Biblioth. iii. 3. 1. There is perhaps no to prevent the fragments from falling fable that has obtained a more extensive asunder. The dying serpent crawled as circulation than this. Another version well as it could until it found a leaf, of the story attributes the cure of Glau- whose touch immediately united the cus to Æsculapius (Hyg. Astron. 14.): severed body; and the sage, thus guided and according to Xanthus, as cited by by the creature whom he had mangled,
was taught to gather a plant of inesti- the Swedish popular ballads published mable virtue." While this sheet was by Geyer and Afzelius, i. No. 3: the passing through the press, a similar story Danish Kiempe Viser, No. 165: in Perwas related to the Editor, of an old crone rault's Fairy Tale “ Les Fées," and the practising leech-craft in Glamorganshire Pentamerone iii. 10. (Grimm.) at the present day. The ancient name 142 Grimm, No. 87. Ovid. Met. viïi. of this valuable herb was balis or ballis. 679, where the presence of a divinity is (Comp. Pliny with the Etymol. Mag- manifested by a miracle running through num.) In the Lai d’Eliduc, two wea- the fictions of every country: sels are substituted for the serpents of Intereà, quoties haustum cratera, repleri the ancient fiction. 19 Grimm, No. 115.
Sponte suậ, per seque vident succrescere Cic. Tusc. 4.
vina, C. 43.
Attoniti, &c. 140 Grimm, No. 21. Ælian. Var. Hist. lib, xii. c. 32.
Compare note 105. p. (67) above. 141 Grimm, No. 13. Appian in Li- 143 Grimm, No. 68. Ovid. Met. viii. bycis. In the note to the “ Three Man- 738. and Ælian. Var. Hist. i. 28. nikins in the Wood,” it is stated from 14 The popular view of this subject in the Great Chronicle of Holland, that the ancient world is given by Pausanias, this punishment was inflicted on Ger- ix. c. 26. who represents the Sphinx as hard van Velzen, for the murder of a natural daughter of Laius, intrusted Count Florence V. of Holland (1296). with a secret delivered to Cadmus by After being rolled in the cask for three the oracle a Delphi. The rightful heir days, he was asked how he felt, when to the throne was in possession of the he intrepidly replied :
solution to this mystery; the illegitimate Ich ben noch dezelve man,
pretenders were detected by their ignorance of it, and suffered the penalty
due Die Graaf Floris zyn leven nam.
to their deceit. I am still the self-same man, who took 145 Grimm, No. 82, and the note conaway the life of Count Florence' The taining the several variations of the tale. same punishment is also mentioned in Herodotus ii. 122.
to have been borrowed from the account of the same enchantress in the Odyssey: the annual sacrifice of a virgin to the destructive dragon, forms a pendant to the story in Pausanias concerning the dark demon of Temessa; and the test of the hero's success, the production of the dragon's tongue, which also occurs in the romances of Wolf-dietrich and Tristram, is to be met with in the local history of Megara. The mysterious cave of “Gaffer Death” receives its chief importance
" from its resemblance to a similar scene in the vision of Timarchus 17; and the most interesting tale in the whole collectionwhether we speak with reference to its contents, or the admirable style of the narrative—the Machandel Boom 148_is but
146 Grimm, No. 60. Ovid. Met. xiv. made to address his mysterious guide 327. Od. x. 230-335. Comp. Ovid. xiv. thus: “ But I see nothing except a 270. Pausanias vi. c. 6. (See note 57. number of stars shooting about the p. (42) above.) Weber's Northern An- chasm, some of which are plunging into tiquities, p. 123. Sir Tristram, fytte 2. it, and others shining brilliantly and st. 37. The scholiast to Apollonius Rho. rising out of it.” These are said to be dius relates, on the authority of the Me- the intellectual portions of the soul garica, that Alcathous the son of Pelops, (Nous), or demoniacal intelligences, and having slain Chrysippus, fed from the ascending stars souls upon their reMegara, and settled in some other town. turn from earth; the others, souls de The Megaræan territory being afterwards scending into life. c. 22.
In this we ravaged by a lion, persons were dispatch- receive the key to the attribute bestowed ed to destroy it; but Alcathous meeting upon the ancient divinities who presided the monster, slew it, and cut out the over generation and childbirth, such as tongue, with which he returned to Me- Lucina, Artemis-Phosphorus, &c. and gara. The party sent to perform the hence also the analogy between the exploit also returned, averring the suc. stories of Meleager and Norna-Gest cess of their enterprise; when Alcathous may be explained from a common point advanced, and produced the lion's of popular faith. tongue, to the confusion of his adversa- 149 This extraordinary tale will be ries. Schol. in Apoll. Rhod. lib. i. v.517. found in the second volume of the Ger
147 Grimm, No. 44. “ Gaffer Death... man Stories, now on the eve of publicanow led the physician into a subter- tion. To this the reader is referred, ranean cavern, containing an endless who will feel grateful that no garbled number of many thousand thousand abstract of it is here attempted. The lighted candles. Some were long, others points of coincidence may be thus
briefly half-burnt, and others again almost out. stated. In the Cretan fable, the deEvery instant some of these candles be- struction of Zagreus is attributed to the came extinguished, and others lighted jealousy of his step-mother Juno; and anew; and the flame was seen to move the Titans (those telluric powers who from one part of the cave to another. were created to avenge their mother's Look here! (said Death to his como connubial wrongs) are the instruments panion,) these are the vital sparks of of her cruelty. The infant god is alhuman existence.” In Plutarch's tract lured to an inner chamber, by a present " De Genio Socratis," Timarchus is of toys and fruit (among these an apple),