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into the brook that flowed by, crying out: 'I know you well devil, but you have not my soul yet, and shall not gain it so soon.' He who is no longer happy was at least so once, and the temple of joyful reminiscence shines in me, inaccessible to your grasp. He entered the garden. The pines appeared clear and bright in the blue heaven, the myrtles waved friendly, overshadowing his way, and whilst be related to these, the former confidants of his rash desire, the happiness which he had since enjoyed; his heart became prouder and more cheerful. He laid himself down to rest, like a wearied, but unsubdued warrior, in the wellknown alcove. About midnight, he was awakened by the light of blue and yellow flames, and found his garden on fire. Like dried staves, the pines crackled out of the flame upwards, the myrtles bowed, their withered twigs bent down towards the smoking sward, and the devil's laugh of scorn sounded in the midst. “I might have expected it,' said Leonardo, and went out with his guitar in his hand over the live coals, which, moistened by some tears from his eyes, hissed more clearly, and touched his mantle. “Only take me some whither,' said he to them, but the devil's voice sbrieked out: ‘not yet, my stag! the chase is a delightful game to me.' Leonardo halted under a cork tree, regarding, almost with indifference, the conflagration of his small possession.'Love, honour, power,' said he, at last—what have I now that he can take away from me?' He grasped the strings of his guitar, but its sounding board started in horrid discord into a thousand pieces. “Yes,' said he, thou also belongest to externals; but now I bid the enemy de
fiance !'” p. 97. . Leonardo stabs himself with a dagger, which the evil one had
purposely thrown in his way. The body could not be found, but only dark, black blood, which inspired every one with horror.
There are scarcely any of these tales from which we might not extract passages of great beauty and power. We have already given some specimens in which a fine fancy is evidently predominant. We shall now present our readers with a picture of a different description. It is froin the story entitled, “ The Unknown Patient” “ Der unbekannte Kranhe.”
“In a German, free, imperial city, somewhere about three hundred years ago, the following singular event took place, which appears to be well worthy of being related.
“ The old, respectable and highly celebrated physician, Mr. Helfrad, sat before the fire late one evening in the harvest, with his spouse, in edifying discourse. They had sent the household to bed, since supper was over, and no one liked 10 place a restraint upon the two good old people. Mr. Helfrad had, that day, obtained the costly copy of a pious book from the convent of Maria's Help, where he had long ago bespoke it, and could not help reading, that same evening, a portion of it to his wife, for his eyes were yet lively and fresh like those of a man of thirty. The whole heart of the married couple was engaged in pure exultation with the thoughts of the excellent writer, and more especially with some fine verses, which were also contained in the book ; full of thankful
emotion, they discoursed their whole life over again, looked confidently forward to the way which yet lay before them, as well as to the course of their only son, who was travelling in Italy as an ingenious student of painting ; and contemplated, with inward confidence, the cheerful brightness which had beamed upon them in the world from their tenderest infancy, and, at every year, was become more glorious and explicit, so that it now appeared to their eyes like a circle of light.
“ The great clock from the tower of the neighbouring minster had already struck ten; the lights in the houses of most of the citizens were already extinguished, and Mr. Helfrad still continued sitting in the arm chair, with the silver-clasped parchment volume on his lap, opposite his Gertrude, who let the spindle stand still, listening with folded bands and glittering eyes, to the discourse of her husband, and, occasionally introducing here and there, appropriate observations. It had already struck the half hour, when Mr. Helfrad looked up astonished and said : “How far into the night we have gone on speaking! it is not good for the eyes of men to be so much longer awake than the sun! though certainly when one has been employed in looking at the eternal sun. The old man raised himself from his seat, and began to stir the brands which yet smoked in the stove, and repeated the proverb:
“When you find that you succeed,
In good measure and design." “ Then the great club which hung by a chain before the house door, began to thunder powerfully. I am coming directly!' said Mr. Helfrad through the sashes, and whilst he got a light ready, he said to . Gertrude : Now it is fortunate that I remained up; if the patient be dangerously ill, the quarter of an hour that I shall come earlier, will do much good.' • Would it not be better said Gertrude, that you waked some one of the servants to open the door to them? Who knows who is out there? Night is not the friend of any man.' "That is the good of it to me,' said Helfrad, laugbingly ; took his old, respectable sword from the wall, put into his pocket a little box of medicines which he was accustomed to take with him, by way of precaution, when he went to see the sick, threw on his fur cloak, put on his black coif, and went out of the room with the lantern in his left hand, and his arms in the right. Thereupon, they knocked still very wild and impatiently, and the master said, stepping down the couple of steps which led from the chamber to the house-floor. 'Patience ! patience! I shall be with you instantly.' Gertrude lighted bim out of the chamber, and stammered after binı: "It lies like a heavy weight upon my heart ! if you now would but wake up one of the people ; do it only to please me, and let me have my own way for once.' "When my own affairs are concerned child! I do what you wish with all my heart,' said the old man, shoving at the bolts of the house door ; ' but when professional business is concerned I don't mind it a tittle.' As the door opened, he again laid hold of the lantern, which, while waiting, he had placed upon a projection of the wall, drew a step back, threw the light upon the landing, and asked, in a friendly voice, • who is waiting at the door? In God's name let him come in and tell
me in what way I can be useful to my fellow-creatures. The autumn wind whistled shrilly into the open door, and out of the darkness of the night there appeared a completely black countenance, with a strange, high cap upon its head and a bright, yellow dress, in the circle described by Mr. Helfrad's light. With a loud cry, Gertrude staggered back into the room, and even the old man stepped a little back, and drew a large cross with his sword before his entire person. After which, he supported himself upon his arms, and spoke with a firm voice : 'In God's name, declare what you have to propose, and declare who it is that sends you.' The black man might himself have been frightened at the appearance of the lofty, firm old man, with his light and sword, since he trembled greatly, but soon composed himself and said: “Quickly with me to the Three Crowns tavern, mister! there my lord lies sick of a dreadful fever which has attacked him with such violence, that it will snatch him off in a few hours if you do not help him ! • We'll see what can be done,' replied the physician. “From God and skill much is to be hoped for,' and, at the same instant, he blew upon bis light so as to make it burn clearer, and stepped out of the house, calling back to the trembling Gertrude : 'Shut the door, go to bed; however, let there be a good fire made in the stove, and give yourself no uneasiness, I have the key of the house-door with me, and walk out also, under the protection of God.' “But yon singular messenger,' said he, turning to the black man, ‘go before me and step briskly, that we may soon reach our destination.'” Vol. iji. p. 59.
We must take our hand off, for we find that we are transgressing all reasonable limits. There are, however, so many charming passages in these tales, so many interesting situations, such numerous and highly finished descriptions of natural scenery, such splendid exhibitions of high-wrought passion, that our only difficulty has been selection, our only care, to secure compression. No effort in the regions of popular writing can be supposed beyond the power of this author. He has only to dismiss the cumbersome machinery of the marvellous, and to betake himself wholly to the worship of nature, to command the most exalted success. Why does he not apply his masterly powers to the illustration of the manners of his country; a land which has such indisputable claims upon the admiration and gratitude of the human race, and whose political situation is now so favourable to the reputation of genius, as awakening no alarm, and, therefore, causing no jealousy. German domestic life has much in it that is delightful: it is frank and hospitable, unrestrained and full of vivacity, and permitting, within the limits of good taste, an exhibition of feeling which is almost banished from other and more artificial forms of European society. Moreover, the public of Germany are a reading people ; highly cultivated and ingenious, and capable of conferring the most lasting popularity on a writer, who shall be at once enamoured enough
of the institutions of his country to think them worth pourtraying, and vigorous enough to present them in the bold relief which they so well merit. What may not be expected from such materials, clothed in a language, which unites with the copiousness of the Greek, the perspicuity of the French, and the simplicity and pathos of the English? We deem it hardly to much to say too our author, not for what he has hitherto done, but for what we are convinced he is yet capable of achieving,
“ Thine too, these golden keys, immortal boy!
Art. III.-1. The Report made to his Majesty by the Commis
sioners appointed to inquire into the Practice of Chancery. Ordered by the House of Commons to be printed, 9th March,
1826. London. 1826. 2. Considerations suggested by the Report made to his Majesty,
under a commission authorizing the Commissioners to make certain inquiries respecting the Court of Chancery. London. 1826.
The distinction between common law and equity, has generally been considereu a great anomaly in English jurisprudence. But we are inclined to think that it is a regular consequence of a still greater anomaly—the Trial by Jury. If we are not mistaken in this notion, the Chancery jurisdiction instead of being regarded with an unfavourable eye, should be considered as an essential auxiliary to the best part of our system. Writers have commonly had resort to Aristotle for a definition of equity, as something ordained to temper and mitigate the rigour of the law, where, by the generality of its rules, it would, in some particular cases, operate injustice. But this definition gives no idea at all of that peculiar jurisdiction which is called equity among us. It is the business of the courts of common law, as well as of equity, to judge according to the intent, and to except from the operation of the rule, those cases which are not within the spirit, although they may fall within the letter of the law. And so on the other hand, equity as well as common law, judges by positive rules, which form an artificial system altogether distinct from what is called natural justice. But the leading characteristic of the common law is precision. The way of commencing a suit, the mode of procedure, and the character of the relief administered, all show the greatest anxiety to keep the parties closely to the point. This is strictly conformable to the nature of jury trials, which are admirably calculated to give satisfaction when the attention of the jury is directed to the evidence, and the evidence is kept within the bounds of a definite question. To the good sense of the people, the task of determining between what is true and what is false in the story of the parties and their witnesses, is admirably suited; but to understand the rules of property, which a complicated state of society has introduced, requires study and a peculiar education. These are, therefore, the province of the judge. This distribution is coeval with the earliest accounts of the history of juries—and the experience of modern times has suggested no alteration of it. No reformer has ever proposed to take away the judge from the jury—or to abolish the distinction which refers the questions of fact to the one, and the questions of law to the other. The whole procedure of the common law has a reference to the functions of the jury ; every thing is done to bring the matter in dispute to such a state, that the jury may have nothing more to do, than to give a precise answer. No law ever took a straighter course, that evidence should not be perplexed, nor juries inveigled, than the common law of England. As on the other side, never law took a more precise and straight course with juries, that they should give a direct verdict.*
The conclusion of the suit shows the character of the whole. The writ of execution is the only relief which the successful party can obtain at law-and it is like the verdict of the jury, single and positive. So much is to be rendered to the successful party-there is no modification or restriction—nothing conditional. The law has adjudged the property to the demandant, or the claim is reduced to a simple debt. If the party fails to obtain this, be fails altogether. In the earlier stages of society, when personal property was of small account, and marriage settlements were unknown, there was little call for any other species of relief in Courts of Justice, and the writs in the register applied well enough to all the cases that werc likely to arise. The supply was equal to the demand. But in time, the great increase of personal property and new modes of industry gave
* Bacon-Reading on the Statute of Uses--Law Tracts, 328.