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FROM TIIE DANISH OF F. PALUDAN-JULLER.
BY MRS. BUSHBY.
From the Now Monthly Magazine. among the creatures who people it; and these AHASUERUS, THE EVER-LIVING JEW. were the descendants of his sister. He makes
his Jew exclaim :
Passing through so many generations, by the veins of the poor and of the rich, of the
sovereign and of the bandit, of the sage and It is no wonder that the subject of the Wan- of the madman, of the coward and of the brave, dering Jew should be so much liked by that of the saint and of the atheist, the blood of my class of authors who devote themselves to sister has been perpetuated even until this works of the imagination, for it is perhaps the hour.” most sublime fiction that the mind of man ever He then had some interest in life, some created. In the graceful fables, of antiquity worldly objects to engross his mind; he had we read of eternal youth being bestowed by traced the descendants of his family through the gods on mortals as a precious boon, and ages, and though his remote kindred knew in the fantastic legends of fairy lore, as the him not, he watched over them, in as far, at brightest of magic gifts; but in this solitary least, as the invisible agency which ever comtradition, to live on for ages was not accorded pelled him to move on would admit of his proas a blessing or a reward, but imposed as a tecting them. punishment and a curse. Bending under the The other French author-Edgar Quinetweight of centuries, not renewing his youth, imbues his Ahasuerus with a deep longing for and revelling over and over again amidst the human sympathy, and bestows it upon him passions and pleasures of that period of life, also, in the devoted love of a female called the Wandering Jew was doomed to outlive Rachel, whose affectionate companionship is a his family, his friends, his race; to see genera- great solace to the pilgrim of ages. tion after generation sink into the tomb, em- But Frederick Paludan-Müller, the Danish pires rise and fall, mar.kind pass from transi- writer, with a finer conception of the gloomy tion to transition, yet ever to remain a lonely grandeur of the character, makes his Àbasnewanderer over the face of the earth.
rus to have his thoughts fixed only on the This extraordinary legend is supposed to earnest longing for repose, and escape from have been first disseminated about the begin- the weary world, mingled with horror at the ning of the fourth century; it may possibly remembrance of his own daring crime in ages have owed its origin to the gloomy fancy of long gone by, when he insulted his Saviour, monkisha superstition, but with whomsoever it and spurned him from his door. He describes originated, it was a grand and striking idea.- him as living without sympathy, without affecAccording to the story, as it prevails in the tion for anything beneath the sun; a waif on East, the Jew is called Joseph-is said to have the ocean of life--a wanderer from ancient become a Christian about the time that St. times---bearing always about him the princiPaul was baptized-and to reside principally ple of vitality, yet longing to close his eyes in in Armenia. The tradition of the West gives death, and envying the myriads whom he had him the name of Ahasuerus; describes him seen descend into the quiet grave; in short, as having been met with in various countries one who had been of Europe in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries; as speaking the language of every
Too long and deeply wrecked nation be visits, and as never having been
On the lone rock of desolate despair. seen to laugh.
It is said that the celebrated Goethe had intended writing an epic poem on the subject “ Ahasverus, den Evige Jöde,” forms a por of this wonderful Jew, but he did not accom- tion of a volume published in Copenhager last plish his design. " Le Juif Errant,” by Eu- year by Frederik Paludan Müller, a writer gène Sue, is well known; and so, to many much admired in Denmark. This volume is moreaders, may also be “ Ahasverus,” by Edgar destly entitled “ Tre Digte"-" Three Poems." Quinet; but the Danish dramatic poem of One of these, the “Death of Abel,” was ori" Ahasverus, den Evige Jöde,” has not yet, ginally published in a periodical work; the probably, found its way into England. other two are dramas in verse--" Kalanus,"
In Eugène Sue's voluminous work, the myz- which the author calls an historical poem--and terious Jew is only occasionally introduced as Ahasuerus, the Ever-living Jew," a dramatic a spectral apparition might be—now on the poem. It is with the latter that we have at snow-laden steppes of Siberia, now amidst present to do. the twilight darkness of some thick wood on Paludan-Müller's Wandering Jew is intro the brow of some rocky height. This strange duced by a “Prologue,” consisting of a conbeing, who, for eighteen hundred years had versation, in blank verse, between the author walked the eartli, is yet described by the and his Muse," which is supposed to have French author as having ties still existing taken place in an apartment at Fredensborg
Castle, in the North of Zealand, during the Comes the last awful earthquake now, summer of 1853.
ri And shall the sun be forthwith hurled His Muse urges the poet to select the last
From the vast firmament on high? day-or Doomsday-for his next subject, and
At midday shall the stary sky
Be visible and fiery red; is answered thus :
While motionless as the cold dead,
Hangs in the west the fading moon
And shall a thick sulphureous steam
The atmosphere's pure air soon taint;
Whilst 'midst the sound of thunders faint, To lend my Fancy wings to reach that age
O'er carth's dark shores blue 'vapors gleam,
So that each object far and near
And mankind in that solemn gloom
Oh! who is doomed I can conceive that man will smite
Upon his breast, and in affright
Utter loud shrieks of agony,
For what of miracles knows he
Whose life is but like summer snow?
Of years more than a thousand-lo!
What horrors have not I seen pas,
As, wand'ring on from race to race
And age to age—the earth I pace!
What if the world's last day were near ? 'Twas on Good Friday morn, his evil fate
For there must be some ending here.
Were to proclaim-that time is o'er.
If truly that last hour were come
The trump of doom-and the dead wake,
And, starting from their graves, arise
Amidst the crash of earth and skies!
to others--awful, strange. And striking in contempt the fatal tree,
To me how glad, how blessed a change! He heaped harsh maledictions on the Lord.
When these tired, shrivelled feet may rest-
Which longs but for the quiet grave,
And as a wandering shade-its woes
In yonder land of shadows close !
for release from his misery to the Lord of The Muse having thus fixed upon a subject, when he is interrupted by two men with drawn presents the scene to the poet. It is described swords rushing into the funereal asylum. Gold, as an ancient and deserted churchyard in ruins, the cause of so much evil, is the occasion of situated at the foot of a hill, and close to the their quarrel, which ends in one murdering Ahasuerus enters, and seating himself on
the other. Ahasuerus, of course, reproves an old tombstone, soliloquises for a time about him, and tries to awaken him to a proper the misery and wickedness of the world, on
sense of the crime he has committed, but is the horrors that are being enacted-riot, ra
scoffed at as the “mad old Jew.” The wife and pine, and murder apparently let loose--and child of the murdered man next enter on the how small is the band of true believers who scene; and the all-pervading love of gold is are awaiting in faith and prayer the hour of still shown forth in the more vehement lamendissolution. He then exclaims, as he casts tations of the newly-made widow for the loss a searching glance around :
of her husband's money, which had been car
ried off by his murderer, than of his life. Shak’st thou at length, thou fast-poised
After a long and, in the original, beautiful world !
monologue, in which the aged wanderer com. To thy foundations tremblest thou- plains of his weariness, his loneliness, and his
desolation, two young lovers stray into the vain dreams. ' It cites the guilty to come forth old churchyard, and the female exclaims in from their dark concealment, and from the
bidden haunts of vice; and commands that
the passions, and feelings, and most secret On, save me! See-the stars are falling! thoughts of all should be made manifest in the
clear and blazing light of eternity. It calls on To which the youth, with a mixture of gal- the pale spectral forms of the dead to arise lantry and levity, replies:
from the grave, and gathering their moulder
ing or mouldered bones, to stand before the Well-let them fall
Almighty: It bids the world to pause in its And let them be extinguished all!
course, the fountain of life to cease to flow, So long as these dear stars are bright and time to arrest its flight; and it decrees the Which now I gaze on with delight- cessation of every sound except And in thy lovely glances shine
That trumpet's tones The heaven which I hail as divine
Which peal from yonder everlasting zones. Su long as I possess thy love, I care not for yon orbs above !
This celestial summons is a fine portion of the
drama, and is not far inferior to Campbell's celBut the damsel's terrors are not pacified by ebrated poem, " The Last Man.” his complimentary speeches; and after a Our author, however, not withstanding the time she asks him why he had brought her Archangel's command, does not permit all there
sounds to be immediately silenced by the over
powering blast of the fatal trumpet, for a dark Amidst a churchyard's moss-grown stones.
shadow is seen to arise from a grave of appa
rently very ancient date, and it is recognized He tells her that there they would be sure to as Pontius Pilate, his contemporary, the everbe alone, that the sleeping dead around could living Jew. be no tell-tale witnesses of their love, and A conversation, filling eighteen or nineteen that no living being would intrude on them pages, ensues, in the course of which Pilate deamidst these forgotten tombs. Just then, how- mands from his mundane friend the fate of ever, Ahasuerus is discovered; he speaks to Judæa and of Rome; and is surprised to find them of a better world, and assists them to es- that he has been wrapt in the oblivion of death cape from the churchyard when a crowd of for more than a thousand years. Still more people are heard approaching, headed by “ the amazed is he to hear of the long life that the Antichrist.” Who this Antichrist may be is shoemaker of Jerusalem had endured, not ennot explicitly defined; but this personage and joyed; and he is astounded when informed the Wandering Jew enterinto a long theologi- that Jesus of Nazareth--whom he bad concal discussion, which is at length broken in demned to be put to death on the cross--he upon by some unearthly sound.
who had borne the crown of thorns-was inThe Antichrist, gazing wildly round, ex- deed the Christ. Pilate hears with intense claims :
terror that He is coming to judge the world ;
and again, as of old, asks, "What is truth ? " Whence come these tones?
To this the aged Jew-or Christian, as he Ahasuerus. Hark! From the sky- would be more correctly termed - replies, Seek grace in time-ere Time shall die! “ Christ is truth !” Ahasuerus then inquires Antichrist. The trumpet's blast ?
of Pontius Pilate with eager curiosity about Ahasuerus. Yes! "Tis the trumpet's call
, death and the grave. Pilate at length vanishThat to the judgment-seat doth summon all !
es, and presently after a spirit appears, to
whom Ahasuerus addresses the same anxious The Antichrist, muttering in deep dismay question, “ What is death ?” And the spirt ** The trumpet's call!” takes to flight, and tells him :Ahasuerus sinks on his knees. Then a voice is heard along with the trumpet in the air, and
It is a sleep which knows no dreamit says :
A deep, unbroken, calm repose
Where neither thought nor image glows, Kneel-kneel, oh earth! Thy glory and thy
But in the mind ideas seem pride
Extinguished; and no visions sweep In dust and ashes clad-oh, cast aside!
Before the rayless eye-the ear See-angel-hosts who on the Judge attend,
Catches no sound. No joy-no fear 'Midst clouds from heaven descend !
Can break on that mysterious sleep
Can e'er exhaust. Yet it is rife It calls on the ambitious and haughty in With the blest germ of future life spirit to give up their plans for the acquisition Which God will perfect in you worlds of worldly honor, and to awaken from their
The spirit assures Ahasuerus that they shall, The angel choir still sing; but the voices meet in the invisible world, and, disappearing, seem more remote, and become fainter and leaves him much comforted. He then wanders fainter. The old man steps into the grave, on farther among the graves, and comes sud- and chanting a hymn to the Redeemer who denly on one that is open, as it were, ready had mercifully withdrawn the curse from him to receive him. Not appalled by its depth --who had pened the grave for him—and perand gloom, he looks wistfully into it; and af-mitted him at length, through the silent gates ter again praying for pardon, and to be re- of death, to pass to eternal repose-he dies-leased from the burden of life, he is about to with these last words on his lips. descend into the grave, when he hears a cho- The Danish poet has done wisely in not rus of angels singing :
presuming to follow “den Evige Jode" be
yond the determination of his fearful mortal Close at length thy weary eyes,
He has done well in not attempting, To ope them far above yon skies.
like M. Edgar Quinet, to portray the last judgThy long probation now is over,
ment, and to put the words of a finite being Winged cherubs round thee hover, into the mouth of the Almighty. The most Thy parting spirit to convey
elevated sentiments—the most lofty diction, Upwards, on its Heaven-bound way. of which the human mind and human language Angels from that heaven are nigh To receive thy latest sigh.
are capable, would not be equal to this flight Thy life, at length, is at an end,
of the imagination ; and Paludan-Müller does Death waits thee like a welcome friend.
not the less evince the power of his genius by Thou mayst at length sink into rest
showing his knowledge that in this world it Till in the regions of the blest,
must be-Tuus FAR SHALT THOU GO, AND From earth, the grave, and death set free- NO FARTHER. Thou enterest Eternity!
"A soldier, I had met the soldier's death,
Nor grudged the life so for my country given What master hand shall set on the right path
But thus, like beasts, not men, to yield man's These our blind guides, that wander to and fro ?
breath, What pen shall write the nation's helpless wrath?
Uncared for, over-driven
“Rotting in our own filth, like mangy hounds, So stout, so well equipped, so trim arrayed
Cramped, frost and hunger-bitten to the bones, Melts like a snow-wreath from a warm hiil-side, Wrestling with death ʼmid smells, and sights, and
sounds And we can give no aid !
That turn kind hearts to stones That starving army haunts us night and day ;
Clouding our gladness, deepening our care ; "To die for very lack of clothes and food, By our warm hearths—"Alas, no fire have they!”
Of shelter, bedding, medicine, and fire ; Snow falls --- “ 't is falling there!"
While six miles off lay, piled up, many a rood, We strive to chase the phantom : still it bides ;
All we did so require ! Stretches gaunt hands between us and our meat; “This guilt lies at your door. You wear no In our warın beds, lies freezing at our sides; Trips up our dancing feet.
But what is She who wears it unto you? Why hauntest thou us, grim spectre ? 'T was not You raise up ministers and pluck them down ;
What you will, they must do.
"' If they put leadership in baby hands, We, without stint, did spend.
'Tis that you wink, or slumber, or approve ;
If, like an iron wall, Routine still stands; "All art we had, all industry, all skill,
You will, and it must move. To feed and clothe, and lodge thee, was bestowed."
"If Aristocracy's cold shadow fall Thus from the blue lips, agonized and shrill,
Across the soldier's path, to you is given The spectre's answer flowed :
The might to rend away that ancient pall,
And let in light of Heaven !
I stood against the Czar in battle's hour,
With you, that have the power !"
Yuton iris , From the New Monthly Magazine plies difference of view in minds differently con
stituted, or at different stages of progress on the MRS. JAMESON'S COMMON-PLACE BOOK.*
same general route.
Mrs. Jameson avers that never, in any one of Mrs. Jameson has long ago secured to herself the many works she has given to the public, has the certainty of a constant, hearty, and respect. she aspired to teach—" being myself," she says, ful welcome. Her presence is ever felt to be re- "a learner in all things; " and in sending forth freshing, elevating, bettering, She humanizes this selection of thoughts, memories, and fanand refines the mind-makes us feel the world is cies she prosesses herself guided by the wishes too much with us, and allures to a brighter, if of others, who deemed it not wholly uniuterestnot always another.
ing or profitless to trace the path, sometimes deEspecially in this latest work of hers do we vious enough, of an “inquiring spirit, even by the recognize such a spiritualizing influence; it is little pebbles dropped as vestiges by the way-side. rich in words of wisdom, deeply felt, calmly pon. She recognizes one way only of doing good in dered, and often exquisitely expressed; the beau; a book “so supremely egotistical and subjecttiful book of a beautiful writer. Within and ive;" namely, that it may, like conversation with without, in the spirit and in the letter, by the a friend, open up sources of sympathy and revalue of the text and the adornments of letter fection; may excite to argument, agreement or press and illustrative designs, it is such a gift- disagreement; and, like every spontaneous atbook as may be well called pleasant to the sight, terance of thought out of an earnest mind, which and to be desired to make one wise.
hers emphatically is-may suggest far higher Commend us to that sire, as of approved and better thoughts to higher and more productaste and feeling, who should select it, before a tive minds. host of glittering" annuals," as the gift book for
"If I had not the humble hope,” she adds, "of his heart's darling; and to that bridegroom, as such a possible result
, instead of sending these an intelligent man and a derserving, who should memoranda to the printer, I should have them put it into the hands and press it on the inter: thrown into the fire; for I lack that creative fac. est of his betrothed. The external grace and ulty which can work up the teachings of heartthe inward excellence of the volume remind us sorrow and world experience into attractive forms of what is said of the "virtuous woman, whose of fiction or of art; and having no intention of price is far above rubics,” in the words of King leaving any such memorials to be published after Lemuel, the creed that his mother taught him; my death, they must have gone into the fire es that she maketh herself clothing of silk and pur- the only alternative left." ple--which is good; and, that she openeth her Such is her modest apology or explanation, in mouth with wisdom and in her tongue is the publishing what she seems, sensitive in her relaw of kindness—which is far better. Wisdom, spect for her public, to apprchend liable to susand the law of kindness, are eminently, pre-emi: picion, in limine, of book-making, “presumptunently characteristic of the ethical and critical ous or careless." For many years she has been writings of Mrs. Jameson.
accustomed, we learn, to make it meinoranduin Not that this present volume contains nothing, of any thought which may have come across or indeed little that will be accepted by think her--if pen and paper were at hand ; and to ing people without demur or gainsaying. On mark and remark, any passage in a book which the contrary, it is, in page after page, provoca: may have excited either a sympathetic or antitive of hesitation and question-frequently of pathetic feeling. This collection of notes acvery qualified assent, and sometimes of absolute cumulated insensibly from day to day, dissent.
The volumes on Shakspeare's Women, on Mrs. Jameson is a reader of Emerson, and Sacred and Legendary Art, etc., "sprung from tho Westminster and Prospective Reviews, and secd thus lightly and casually sown," which the quotes them with zest, and is a gentle free author hardly knew how, grew up and expandthinker on her own account, and quotes her own ed into a regular, readable form, with a begin. free thinkings too. Hers is the common-place ning, a middle, and an end. What was she to book of no common-place woman, but of one do, however, with the fragments that remainnaturally and habitually meditative; given to ed— Elcrevjata khaouatwv – without beginspeculate in her quest of wisdom, addicted to ning, and without end—19Te úpxov 11mTE T22.05 guesses at truth, and frank in the expression of exovta-links of a hidden or a broken chain ?the conclusions she has arrived at, or the sug. Unwilling to decide for herself, she resolved to gestive queries which are all she can throw out. abide by advice of friends; and hinc illæ delicice : With this cast of mind, and independence of hence this charming " Common-place Book of spirit, it cannot be but that from time to time Thoughts, Memories and Fancies "-by a woshe should produce results too debatable for her man of pure and aspiring thoughts, and tender readers to acquiesce in-indeed, indolent ac- memories, and graceful fancies. quiescence is the last thing she would ask or be
The thirty pages devoted to what she calls grateful for, on the part of those she confers“ A Revelation of Childhood," will, by many, be with; and the very fact of suggestiveness im- considered the most interesting passage in the
book. It is a delightsome piece of autobiography, * A Common place Book of thoughts, Memories, valuable from its psychological character, and the and Fancies, original and Selected. By Mrs. Jame- pervading pbilosophical tone of its brief narrative. With Illustrations and Etching. Longman, It is the seriously indited remonstrance against
educational fallacies, abuses and anomalies, of