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one case the movement is a continual repetition of the same form in almost perpetual sequence, in the other case it is a sudden and momentary impulse that flashes upon the sight for an instant and then passes away for ever.
Suppose, however, that the attempt is made-is made with magnificent daring and scholarly grace. And suppose that it fails. Will the picture be one more Hobgoblin added to the world? By no means—if the failure be not that of the Artist, but of Art. In days like these, when men are content to go on for ever painting endless variations upon a broken-down pigstye, or a gutter, or a ragged coat, such a failure as this would be worth all the triumphs of a less ambitious pencil. It would be simply a translation from one language into another, in which words are not found to express the full meaning of the original. It would be like the stammering speech of one who if we bent down to listen would be found to be breathing upon us a blessing.
But the real, the genuine, the unblushing Hobgoblin is a thing very different from this. It is not the outcome of a daring effort to express a thought too great for utterance, or the result of an earnest attempt to depict a form too lovely for the pencil to trace out. It is generally self-evolved from a spasmodic and weak brain, and bears no resemblance to anything in heaven or earth. But when the brain is too weak even for this, the true Hobgoblin is modestly content to take the form of an interpolation of some puerile fancy into a great original, or to sit enshrined in the defilement of some foolish amplification.
One of the sweetest passages in the "Idylls of the King”-sweet, and yet strong with the Beauty of Truth—is that where Elaine, the Lily Maid of Astolat, guards the shield of Lancelot :
“Which first she placed where morning's earliest ray
Might strike it, and awake her with the gleam ;
· Thus in a few simple words the Laureate tells the story. it is the Painter's turn. He must make a picture of it. And see what he does. The shield is of steel inlaid with other metals : at any rate it is polished, or Elaine would not have feared rust. Of course, therefore, it will reflect as would a mirror. Equally of course, if Elaine looks at it she will see herself reflected in it. What a pretty thought! Accordingly, the painter represents a beautiful girl gazing at a shield, upon the surface of which is seen her reflection.
But turn to the poem itself. Nothing is said there about the Lily Maid seeing her own face in the shield. She does, indeed, gaze at it, but what she sees is not herself, it is Lancelot. She "guesses a hidden meaning in his arms.” She “makes a history to herself :”—
“Of every dint a sword had beaten in it,
And saved him." What place is there here for the thought of a looking-glass? The poet would as soon have included that idea as Elaine would have used the shield just to curl her hair by. This is no Narcissus at the stream, or Eve at the fountain, admiring her own beauty. But then in painting it is so easy to represent a polished surface. And of course the surface was polished. Yes! But it was also convex; and the laws of Nature are inexorable. If any of my fair readers desires to see what the reflection of a beautiful face becomes in a curved surface, she has only to look at herself in the bowl of a spoon. Had Elaine looked past the cuts and dints for the reflection of her face, however beautiful she may have been, she could only have beheld a Hobgoblin.
(To be continued.)
TRIFELS; AND RICHARD CEUR DE LION.
By R. WEIR BROWN, F.R.HIST.S.
King y-christened of most renown,
Strong Richard Cour de Lion.”-Old Metrical Romance. T is a well-worn complaint that British tourists place too much
reliance in Murray and Baedeker, and have too little confidence in their powers of judging for themselves; that they yearly follow in a beaten track, do exactly as much as their predecessors have done, and no more; that in their haste to accomplish “ the regular Continental round” they pass by, almost without a glance, scenery which, if they trusted more to their own judgment, they would pronounce equal, if not superior, to that to which they are hastening ; that, in fact, in their eagerness to grasp the apples which hang above their heads, they ignore the riper fruit which lies scattered at their feet.
Perhaps there may be much truth in all this ; perhaps, on the other hand, this regular round may after all be the best, and tourists do' well, at all events at first, to trust to the matured experience of others, rather than to their own crude fancies.
Be this as it may, we venture to think that the castle of Trifels, interesting as it must be to Englishmen as the prison of their king, the lion-hearted Richard, has scarcely received its due meed of attention, either from tourists or from writers.
“Schloss Trifels” is but a short distance from the little village of Annweiler, and Annweiler itself is but a short distance from Landau, once the strongest fortress of the Rhine Palatinate.
It was one bright August morning, and we stood on one of the narrow stone-paved streets of Landau,“ billet” in hand, awaiting the departure of the Annweiler coach.
We are to have our full complement of passengers, it seems. There is a cleanly-dressed peasant woman, with a basket of dairy produce on her arm; she is in despair, for the ticket-clerk refuses to issue another “billet;" all the places are already engaged. The poor woman is distracted ; she must go;
but the Beamte sits behind his pigeon-hole, deaf to her entreaties. Yet we all know that the matter, in the end, will be settled satisfactorily somehow or other, though the subject provides matter for conversation, and we discuss
the chances of an extra vehicle being necessary, until the diligence arrives from the stables, and all hasten to take their places. And that is by no means an easy matter. Our tickets are numbered in the order in which we obtained them, and the passengers are permitted to choose their seats in the rotation of these numbers. Just as we on the top are comfortably settled a gentleman suddenly appears on the scene, and, producing a ticket marked number 4, demands precedence over an old man seated by our side, who is Hereupon there is great disturbance. , No.
is accompanied by his two little boys, who have to be lowered down to the ground again. During this performance No. 4 stands by, his face sternly compressed, as if he were performing an unpleasant though imperative duty. At last we all appear to have been fitted into our proper positions, room having been made even for the
marketwoman, and we go clattering over the drawbridge, and on through the low vine-covered fields, with the morning air-a little cold for August – blowing full in our faces. But we are not clear yet. There is a shout, an appearance of a black hat among the vines, and a sturdy old fellow comes running towards us, and is welcomed by our driver with a hearty“ Guten Morgen." Room must be made for him, for he is evidently a friend of the coachman; but where? He is stowed away at last outside on the top of a sack, between two merry young fellows out for a holiday, who are obliged to sit back to back on either side of the sack with their arms crossed round it, to prevent. themselves from falling off. One of them carries a gigantic bouquet, and from some scraps of conversation with his friend, we gather that. it is a birthday present for his Gretchen, doubtless the belle of some adjoining village. The ride is one of about two hours, and we pass through several small hamlets on our way. Indeed the country around is studded with them. According to a local proverb, the market of Landau is frequented by the inhabitants of more than two hundred villages, each of which is within a day's journey of it. At length the coach passes through the long straggling Highstreet of Annweiler, at present lined with booths, for it is fair time, and Annweiler is making holiday, and spending its spare groschens, We dismount, partake of some bread and wine at the “Gasthof zum Trifels,” and having provided ourselves with the materials for a "Mittagsessen," in the shape of apples and bread, start off for the ruin.
The Trifels, as their name implies, are in reality three rocky conicalshaped hills, of which the name Trifels properly belongs only to the one on which the ruins of the castle stand, the others being entitled respectively Anebos and Scharfenburg. A little more than an hour's climb takes us to the summit of Trifels proper; not much of a ruin, as far as mere stones and mortar go, but rendered picturesque by its charming situation and historic memories. There is a tower, some eighty feet in height, built of rough blocks of stone, some other masonry scattered around, and that is Trifels. For the rest it must depend on history. We have comfortably ensconced ourselves in a sheltered little rock, commanding an extensive view over the surrounding country, stretching from the fruit-bearing plain of the Rhine in the one direction, to the sandstone mountain-knot of the Queich valley in the other. A party of musical holiday-makers are just passing down the steep thickly-wooded sides of the hill, and in their light-hearted Teutonic gaiety make mock reverence to us as they pass. But a stray glance at a little square pillar opposite us is sufficient to recall our thoughts to the castle. An inscription on it informs us that Trifels, in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, served as a fortress and a treasure-house, and above all, as a state prison for “ König Richard von England, genannt Löwenhertz,” as also for other princes and nobles. Here too, if tradition say true, the great Emperor Barbarossa held his court, in that gorgeous marble chamber which he himself erected, and of which not a - trace remains ;—that same Barbarossa who yet sleeps in his subterranean castle, and who will one day awake to return to his people, bearing with him prosperity and glory for Germany.
No wonder that our thoughts stray back to that age of troubadours and Minnesänger, or that it is of the legendary story of Richard Löwenhertz that we think first, rather than of his more authentic history. We take the legend rather as it remains as a tradition of the Rhine, than as it was first woven by the troubadours. It runs thus. The faithful minstrel Blondel, accompanied by a few companions, devoted like himself to King Richard, had wandered throughout all Germany, by the banks of the Danube and by the banks of the Rhine, searching in every town, at every castle, for his lost sovereign, but, alas ! in vain. One day they penetrated into the valley of Annweiler, and perceived the towers of Trifels frowning