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but the Gate, as obstinate as its
him who oiled me, while you have
During all these extravagances, the
of Traffaldino, exhibited to view three
to bride of the hereditary Prince of n of Diamonds. Gozzi immediately perser- ceived the firm hold which these
for recollections of infancy maintain over rince children of a larger growth; and how
eems easily, by the aid of graceful versifica-
ima- be turned to dramatic account. A
with should be at no loss for a liberal supla
Tieck had read Gozzi's dramas
taken matters rather too much au
posom of manhood,
with passions and incidents such as One reason for this, though perhaps this visible diurnal sphere affords ;- Tieck was not aware of it, might and thus,
be, that the story of Bluebeard was “ To clothe the palpable and the familiar after all founded on fact, and that
Bluebeard was, in truth, a FrenchWith golden exhalations of the dawn."
man of the fifteenth century. Tieck In Tieck's view, the marvellous of took the story from Perrault's Fairy the Nursery Tale was to be reduced Tales, most of which are borrowed as nearly as possible to the standard from Straparolas (1550, 1554), and of common life; no longer to remain all of them, we believe, with the exthe moving principle of the story, ception of Bluebeard, either from but only occasionally to manifest it- Straparola, the Pentamerone, or some self in fitful glimpses, sufficient to other Italian source. But the subremind the reader or spectator, that ject of Bluebeard was to be found an invisible agency, like a thread of sil- nearer home. Report ascribes the ver tissue, pervaded and ran through honour of being its original to the the whole web of human existence. famous or rather infamous Gilles de The main interest was to rest on hu. Laval Marechal de Retz, executed man passions, crimes, or follies, and and burnt in 1440 for crimes, of the ever-springing changes which the which the monstrous and almost inordinary course of real life exhibits. credible record slumbers in the arThe difficulty, therefore, was in such chives
of Nantes, and the royal libraa case to find a subject which should ry of Paris. The boundless wealth, possess the airy charm of a Nursery the dealings in magic, the murders Tale, and yet where the human in- of immense numbers of young perterest should not be entirely merged sons of both sexes, his demoniacal in the allegorical or the marvellous; atrocities and debaucheries, and some neutral ground on which in- his terrible end, long rendered him fancy and manhood might shake a source of horror and disgust, till handa ; and where the influence of his name, or rather some features the good and evil passions which of his character, became interwoven sway the heart witbin, should blend even with the nursery legends of the and harmonize naturally with the time. From some of these, aided a agency of spells or spirits from with- little by his own imagination, Perout. Such a subject seemed to be rault appears to have composed the presented by Bluebeard.
tale which has stimulated the curioIt was but transferring the scene sity, and shaken the nerves of so from Asia to Europe-exhibiting the many of the rising generation since characters on a back ground of chi- his time. valry--substituting the monastery There was little difficulty on the and the castle for the mosque and whole, therefore, in transplanting the the seraglio; attiring Bluebeard in scene of Bluebeard to the banks of a helmet instead of a turban; ex the Rhine, and changing the threechanging the despotism of the East tailed Bashaw of Colman, into the for the feudal tyranny and oppres- German Ritter; while all the old sion of Germany, and the thing
features of the tale, even to the madone to his hand. Daughters were gical practices and secret murders as commonly
brought to sale under of the gloomy feudal chieftain, were the holy Roman Empire, as in Bagdat accurately preserved. The great aim or Cairo; necromancy was as much of Tieck throughout is evidently to the order of the day in the one as keep down the marvellous as much the other; wives now and then dis- as possible, so as even to render it appeared in a German Burg as well doubtful whether there be any maras in a Turkish harem; curiosity was vel in the case after all ; to pitch a failing not confined to Europe ; all every thing on a subdued and natural this, in short, required no alteration; key, and to produce his catastrophes Bluebeard seemed to conform him- by motives and incidents arising naself to the custom of the country as turally out of the contrasted characnaturally as if he had been native, ters of his piece. and to the manner born.
This is peculiarly the case with Tbe very names of the characters are selected on this homely principle: Peter, Simon, Anthony, Anne, Bridget, Agnes, instead of the high sounding and romantic appellatives which distinguish an ordinary German Ritter Roman.
the hero, the German representa- dreams are made of, can find matter tive of Bluebeard, Peter Berner him. for an hour's meditation. But why self. At first we see in him nothing should we try to describe in our dull but an ordinary feudal chief of the prose what Tieck has painted with so time, brief and calm in speech, pru. much more clearness and liveliness dent in council, valiant in war, cruel in his own ? or lenient as suits his purposes; We pass over the first act, which rather an admirer of the fair sex, does little towards the advancement sensitive on the subject of his blue of the piece. It is occupied almost beard, which he feels to be his weak entirely with an expedition underpoint; not without a perception of taken by the brothers of Wallenrod, humour; and, on the whole, a favour. with the view of surprising the terite with his vassals. It is only as we ror of the surrounding country, Peter draw near the close, that by hints and Berner, in which expedition, howglimpses we begin to perceive the se. ever, it turns out, that the conspiracret ferocity of temperament which tors are themselves surprised, deburns under this outward crust of feated without difficulty, and made calmness of deportment. Peter Ber- prisoners by the redoubtable proner indulges in no harangues against prietor of the blue beard. Its chief curiosity and its consequences, he merit, which, however, is entirely makes no boast of his past achieve- episodical, is the humorous contrast ments, he allows the dead to rest of the professional fool of the famibut he is not the less determined, if ly, with the professional wise man necessary, to make short work with or counsellor of the neighbourhood; the living. He is agitated by no pase the wit and good sense turning out, sion, affected by no fears, tormented in the end, to be entirely on the side by no remorse. He has been ac- of the fool, the folly on the side of tuated all his life only by one prin the counsellor; a view of the case, ciple, that of trampling under foot, which, though scouted at first with without hesitation, everything which much contempt, begins to dawn at stands in the way of his will; and last, even on the obtuse intellects of the crimes to which this unalterable Heymon and Conrade von Wallenresolve may have led, he does not rod. regard as crimes, because any other In the second act, however, we line of conduct would have appear- find ourselves at the Castle of Fried. ed to him as folly.
heim, wbere Sisters Anne, and AgThe subsidiary characters are nes, are endeavouring to while away grouped about him with much di- a tedious hour by music and converversity of feature and situation. Even sation, now and then enlivened by the character of the sisters ;-Agnes, a little gentle malice towards each the giddy, childish, and thoughtless other. bride and intended victim of Berner, with scarcely any wish beyond that of
" Agnes (with a lute.) Now, listen, dear gay clothes and gilded apartments;
sister, see if I can play this air now. and Anne, more serene, reflecting,
Anne. You have no turn for music. and impassioned, thinking constantly
8. You will never play in life. of her lover, who thinks much more
♡ Agnes. And why not I as well as of tournaments and adventures than
others? Come now, listen. of her, are discriminated by light, yet
In the blasts of winter decided touches. The brothers, too,
Are the sere leaves sighing, are ably drawn, and the peculiarities
And the dreams of love of their character are made to exer
Faded are and dying. cise a natural and important influence
Cloudy shadows flying on the progress of the drama; the one
Over field and plain,
Sad the traveller hieing prudent and farseeing; the second a
Through the blinding rain. light-hearted, light-headed, and thick
Overhead the moon sculled adventurer; the third, a hy
Looks into the vale ; pochondriacal dreamer, 'whom eron
From the twilight forest the rubs and shocks of the world
Comes a song of wail. about him are scarcely sufficient to " Ah! the winds have wasted awaken from his reverie, and who, My faithless love away, out of the hanging of the hinge of a Swift as lightning flashes door, or the stuff that his morning Fled Life's golden ray.
(Feb. menta dreams are made of, can find matter
him for an hour's meditation. But why thing should we try to describe in our dull of the
prose what Tieck has painted with so
much more clearness and liveliness
We pass over the first act, which
of the piece. It is occupied almost weak entirely with an expedition underon of taken by the brothers of Wallenrod, vour- with the view of surprising the teras we ror of the surrounding country
, Peter ts and Berner, in which expedition, horthe se
ever, it turns out, that the conspirawhich tors are themselves surprised, deust of feated without difficulty, and made r Ber- prisoners by the redoubtable pro
0, wherefore came the vision,
Agnes. I understand you not. But, Or why so brief its stay!
in truth, I have often thought if I were
to arrive at some strange castle, where Once with pinks and roses
every thing was new to me, how I should Were my temples shaded ; Now the flowers are withered,
hurry from one chamber to another, al
ways impatient, always curious-how I Now the trees are faded;
should make myself acquainted by degrees Now the Spring departed,
with every article of furniture it containYields to winter's sway,
ed! Here I know every nail by heart. And my Love false hearted,
Anne. Give me the lute a moment.
O well with him that in the arms
Of love can sink to rest ;
No danger harms, no care alarms,
The quiet of his breast.
No change is here, no doubt or fear,
To mar his tranquil lot;
The present joy is all too near, ditties there is always so much of love ?
The past is all forgot.
With warmer caressing,
Lip to lip pressing,
The warmer the longer,
Each moment that flies,
Draws closer and stronger,
Love's gentlest of ties.
Agnes. That is one of those ditties Agnes. How long has he been gone which are more easily sung than underthree years ?
Anth. A strange household to be sure !
Singing in every room ; Simon walking Agnes. Well, but — seriously - this about, and gazing at the walls; Leopold
preparing to ride on some mad advenlove must be very sttange affair. Anne. Well for you that you compre- whole together, our establishment would
ture. Faith, if I were not here to keep the hend it not.
be scattered like chaff before the wind. Agnes. I am always gay and cheerful. You are the very picture of melancholy
Agnes. To be sure. As you are the -you have no sympathy with the world eldest of the family, you are bound to have and its events--your very existence is a
understanding enough for us all.
Anth. Do you know what is in Leomere outward shadow of life-but all has long been dead and lifeless within,
pold's head ? Anne. Each has his own way-leave
Agnes. What can it be?
Anne. Something absurd, I am certain. me to follow mine.
Agnes. You call many things absurd
which are not so.
Then I would shut myself up in Leo. I don't exactly know. My nosome palace, with the key of every cham- tion, dear brother, has always been this, ber or Lubinet in my hand. I would open -that a man makes his life a burden them one after the other, take out the when he considers every step he takes beautiful and rare jewels, carry them to too minutely. Begin as we like, it all the window, gaze at them till I was comes to the same thing; it is good luck tired; then fly to the next, and so on, and or mischance that makes our plans wise on, without end.
or foolislı. Anne. And so grow old ? So labour Anth. Brother, such language becomes through a weary unconnected life ? not a man,
gainst prietor of the blue beard. Its chief
, is the humorous contrast
which, though scouted at first with
, begins to dawn at
heim, where Sisters Anne, and Ag
nes, are endeavouring to while away
"Agnes (with a lute.) Now, listen, dear
Anne. You have no turn for music. cing,
You will never play in life.
Agnes. And why not I as well as
In the blasts of winter
Are the sere leaves sighing,
And the dreams of love
Ah! the winds have wasted
Enle golden ray:
Leo. Not a man, I dare say, according Simon. Ah! how can I explain such to your notion; an old superannuated ani. a thing to you! mal, who has passed over youth as over Anth. Among these half-witted creasoine bridge which was to fall, once for all, tures one might almost turn crazed himbehind him; and who within the precincts self. of age, sits down delighted to put on a Leo. Well, since you can't explain it, grave face, deal in sober counsel, listen
I may go:
When I come back, I'll take when other men speak, and find fault with your advice.
(Exit. every thing about him. A man, such as Anth. His wildness is sure to lead you would make, would censure the cat him into some other scrape. for instance, if he did not catch his mice Simon. No doubt. according to his notions, and in the most Anne. How do you feel, brother? approved fashion. I always hated to Simon. Well--I have been thinking hear people say-He acts like a man of many things this morning. There he is a model of a man--for ten to one may be many changes soon. but these heroes were mere overgrown
Anne. How so ? children--creatures that creep through Anth. Do not ask him. It would be the world on all fours, and only meet labour lost. He knows just as little as with more stumblingblocks by trying to you; and observation only keeps his folly avoid them. And yet the bystanders ex alive, which otherwise would have died claim, Lord, what a deal of experience long ago for want of nourishment. he has got !
Agnes. But let him speak, brother! Anth. That portrait, I am to under Anth. As you will, so you don't constand, is intended for me?
demn me to listen to his talk. [Exit. Leo. Oh! no. You have more sense Simon. I can speak with more comabout you, though you won't admit it, fort now that Anthony is gone.
He is even to yourself. But most men, now, always shrugging his shoulders when think your thoroughpaced plodder must things are not according to his own no. be a more sensible fellow than your hop, tions; and yet he has a most limited skip, and jump man, and yet the differ understanding. He is like the mass of ence between them is only in their mo men, who blame without knowing why, tion.
and often merely because the subject is Anth. You will admit, however, that above their comprehension. with the latter many things are constantly Anne. True. going wrong.
Simon. And yet one would think that Leo. Naturally enough! because he the very reason for bestowing a little undertakes a great many things. Your more attention upon it; when we are slow-going fellow cannot go wrong, be- learning nothing new, what we learncause he spends all bis time in calcula ed before begins to fade in us. ting, and thrusting out all his feelers on Agnes. Brother Simon speaks exceedall sides before he ventures a step. Ah, ing wisely to-day. brother, if we could see, for instance, low Simon. It is only that you seldom unall is arranged, and set to rights for us be derstand me.
This appears to you wise, fore hand, would we not be tempted to because you may have thought something laugh, think ye, at our deep-laid plans ? of the same kind yourself. Anth. A pleasant philosoplıy.
Agnes. What is understanding, then ? Leo. But I must break off, and take Simon. Why, that our understandings
I feel so cheerful, I am sure can't very easily comprehend; but it is I shall be fortunate.
certain that, like an onion, it has a num
ber of skins; each of these is called an Enter SIMON.
understanding, and the last, the kernel Simon. So you are going, brother? of the whole, is the true understanding Leo. I am.
itself. They are the truly intelligent Simon. I don't think the circumstances who in their thoughts employ not the are favourable.
mere outer rind, but the kernel itself; Leo. How so?
but with most men, prudent as they Simon. There is such a moving, and think themselves, nothing but the very howling, and scudding among the clouds. outermost skin is ever set in motion
Agnes. How do you mean, brother? and such is brother Anthony.
Anth. As he usually does he does Agnes. Ha, ha! odd enoughi. not know why, but he thinks so.
onion and the understanding, what a Simon. One frequently cant tell why he comparison ! And how then does broanticipates misfortune ; yet there is some ther Leopold think? thing within which
Simon. Not at all-he thinks only Leo. Well ?
with the tongue; and as other men eat
Simon. Ah! how can I explain such ted ani- a thing to you! as over Anth. Among these half-witted creae for all, tures one might almost turn crazed himTecincts self. at on & Leo. Well, since you can't explain it, - listen I may go. When I come back, I'll take ult with your advice.
(Erit. such as
Anth. His wildness is sure to lead the cat him into some other scrape. mis mice Simon. No doubt. ne most Anne. How do you feel, brother? ated to Simon. Well. I have been thinking man of many things this morning. There to one may be many changes soon. rgrown Anne How so? hrough Anth. Do not ask him. It would be y meet labour lost. He knows just as little as
you; and observation only keeps his folly
alive, which otherwise would have died erience long ago for want of nourishment.
to support existence, so he talks inces-
“ The Garden.
PETER BERNER, AGNES.
Peter. How otherwise shall I try to
Agnes. But what do you call love ? Agnes. And how do you think, bro Peter. If you feel it not, I cannot dether?
scribe it to you. Simon. 1--that is the difficulty--that Agnes. So I hear from all who call is what vexes me; to conceive how it is themselves in love. we think! Observe, that which was
Peter. Because it is the truth ;-do
Agnes. How so?
Peter. I am no orator; I am a rough Agnes. It is very true-such notions man, born and brought up amidst arms are enough to drive a man mad.
and tumult; fair speeches are not at my Simon. Well then--and do you ask command; I can only say I love, and why it is that I am melancholy?”
with that my whole stock of oratory is
at an end. Yet those who say little are The conversation is shortly after
more to be trusted than many who deal interrupted by the announcement of once in fine-spun phrases and false the intended visit of Peter Berner, hearts. If I cannot express myself gracewho, having long heard of the famé fully, I have but to learn the art of lying, of the beauties of Friedheim, has and that may count for something. So come in person to judge for himself. believe me, then, when I say I love you Some vague reports, as the sudden from my heart. deaths of his wives, and his own Agnes. And what if I do believe you? gloomy temper, had reached Fried Peter. A strange question! Then you heim; but, in the mind of the giddy must love me in return. Or perhaps it Agnes, these weigh little against the is—how shall 1 express myself-my fi. prospect of a rich establishment, and gure, my appearance is not inviting that of rummaging among the secrets enough—or rather is disagreeable? It is and treasures of Berner's castle.
true, there is something about me which When the new suitor urges his pro
strikes one as singular till they know me; posals, she hesitates for a little,
but that surely could be no reason for
Honesty pleads his beard, the loneliness of rejecting an honourable man.
is better than a fair outside. What if I his castle, the shortness of the time allowed her for decision; but long
have a bluish, aye, or a blue beard, as before the interview in the garden people say.-still that is better than no
beard at all. is over, it is evident her mind is
Anth. Well, sister“ We see how it is,--she
Peter. Perhaps you think though will be the sixteenth Mrs Shuffle
Agnes. But let him speak, brother -under Anth. As you will,--so you don't condemn me to listen to his talk. (Ezit
. Simon. I can speak with more commit it, fort now that Anthony is gone. He is , now, always shrugging his shoulders when e must things are not according to his own no.
tions; and yet he has a most limited differ
understanding. He is like the mass of men, who blame without knowing why,
and often merely because the subject is that above their comprehension. cantly
Simon. And get one would think that e lie the very reason for bestowing a little Your
more attention upon it; when we are ben learning nothing new, that we learncula- ed before begins to fade in us.
Agnes. Brother Simon speaks exceeds Ah, ing wisely to-day. how
Simon. It is only that you seldom uns be- derstand me. This appears to you wise, d to because you may have thought something $? of the same kind yourself.
. What is understanding, then ? ake Simon. Why, that our understandings ure
can't very easily comprehend; but it is certain that, like an onion, it has a number of skins; each of these is called an understanding, and the last, the kernel of the whole, is the true understanding itsell. They are the truly intelligent who in their thoughts emplo, not the mere outer rind, but the kernel itself; but with most men, prudent as they think themselves, nothing but the very outermost skin is ever set in motion and such is brother Anthony.
ith the tongue; and as other men eat
that would be an inhuman superstitiontop.” The truth is, Peter pleads his that I must be something different, some. case remarkably well ; and we re thing meaner than other men, because commend the general outline of his my beard is not of the most approved statement as a model to young gen- colour. Ladies know how to change the tlemen who are about to rush upon colour of theirs ; and for your love I will their fate by “popping the ques- do as much for mine. Can man do tion,” Probatum est.
Agnes. Ha, ba! odd enough. An onion and the understanding, what a comparison ! And how then does brother Leopold think?
Simon. Not at all--he thinks only