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abused like a sparrow, and called the gatekeeper to witness that a common fellow had dared to enter the Baron von L- -'s carriage. No one took any notice, however, and it was not long before the under-officer by my side ordered me to drive straight to the main guard-house. The carriage had hardly stopped before it, when the guard assembled under arms, and the under-officer who sat in the carriage cried from the window, Lieutenant, I have the prisoner with me.'
"My master had a good deal to say, but the officer would not suffer him to speak, and ordered him to be taken to the guard-room, and spend the night there with the common soldiers. This did not at all please the baron, and he repeatedly cried, There must be some mistake; he was the Baron von L, and a friend of the king. The devil might fetch officer and soldiers; he requested paper and ink that he might write to the governor.' This was allowed him, and Carl, his servant, hurried away to the president with the letter, but no answer was returned.
"My master stopped in the stifling hole till ten the next morning, when I received orders to put the horses to, and drive in front of the main guard. This was scarce done when the guard again assembled under arms, and soon formed a circle round the baron, whom two corporals now led out and placed before a bundle of straw that lay on the pavement. A government councillor soon made his appearance, and, after taking off his hat, read an order signed by old Fritz, in pursuance of which the Baron von L—— was to be stripped of his order "Pour le Mérite," before the guard-house of Stettin, and, in addition, receive forty blows with the hazelnut stick, for ill-treating the Pastor Thilo and his daughter.
"When my master was about to reply, the drums commenced playing the rogue's march,' by order of the officer on duty; the government councillor tore the order from his neck, two under-officers threw him on the bundle of straw, and two others began laying on to him. They were the same who had got into the carriage on the previous day, and received dog's thanks from the baron for it. This they now honestly repaid him. My master roared, so that it could be heard above all the drums; and when he had received his punishment, the two under-officers who had beaten him carried him to the carriage, placed him in it, and then said to me, with a laugh, 'Now, coachman, drive home."
Thus old Father Frank told the tragical story at that day, and does the same now (my friend continued), and the news spread like wildfire throughout the neighbourhood. No one pitied the baron, but all were delighted with the courageous preacher's daughter, who behaved, however, as if nothing had occurred, and remained quietly at home. When she heard, though, that the baron was growing daily weaker, she went to U——, and induced the burgomaster to deliver the royal letter personally to the unfortunate man. No one ever learned its contents, but the effect was so powerful, that the dying baron immediately sent to ask her whether she would have the 600 bushels in natura or in money, according to the average of the last six years? As she preferred the latter, he commissioned the burgomaster to pay her the money immediately, in the presence of witnesses at U- The next day he expired. But in this instance Sophie again acted very cleverly. She begged
the burgomaster to summon the forester Weiher as witness, under the pretence that he had lately sworn by all that was good and great that she would never get the money, and would not be satisfied unless his eyes told him the contrary. The real cause of this request lay deeper, for how the forester repented his sins, when, in a few days after, the hard crowns were counted out on the table in his presence, and Rector's Sophie, as he called her, received the money quite calmly, paid no attention to his grimaces, but made a low curtsey to him on leaving, and packed the heavy bags, one after the other, in the carriage, to deposit them with a clergyman, a cousin of hers, in the neighbourhood At that day it was an immense sum, and many a gentleman would not have felt ashamed about doing a foolish trick, and courting Rector's Sophie
But what were his feelings when, in a few weeks after, he received a letter from the chief forester, with the joyful news "that his majesty had been pleased, on the intercession of Sophie Thilo, the daughter of the Rector of S-- to appoint his son his assistant, as he, the chief forester, had represented him to his majesty as a good woodman, and at the same time trusted that his son, &c., &c."
Father and son were highly delighted, and all their anxiety was how to restore matters on the old footing with Sophie. "You must go first, Fritz," the old man said. "No, you must first, papa," said the son, marriage off."
you alone broke the
The old man scratched his head, and consented to do it, but first sent her a cartload of dry beech fire-wood, to get her in a good humour.
In short, the end may be anticipated. After Sophie had given the old gentleman a proper lecture, the blood rushed to her face when Fritz came creeping in half an hour later, and stood bashfully at the door.
"Nearer, nearer, dear Fritz," she cried, as she extended her arms towards him; and when their emotion had subsided, she told them cir cumstantially all that had occurred to her.
The merriest possible marriage soon followed, about which old Father Frank still has a good deal to say; for, after the baron's death, he immediately entered the forester's service.
"I never met,' my friend concluded his narrative, "a more happy and contented couple than they were. They were growing old when I was appointed to the rectory here; but, let me visit them when I would, they were always cheerful, happy, and pious."
Thus much about Fritz the forester and Sophie Thilo, whose modest grave I visited during the afternoon with my friend, and regarded with much interest. They died fifteen years before, on the same day, and were buried in one grave. Fortunate beings!
July-VOL. XCVIII. NO. CCCXCI.
BY SIR NATHANIEL.
No. IV.-HERMAN MELVILLE.
THE Muses, it was once alleged by Christopher North, have but scantly patronised sea-faring verse: they have neglected ship-building, and deserted the dockyards, though in Homer's days they kept a private yacht, of which he was captain. "But their attempts to reestablish anything like a club, these two thousand years or so, have miserably failed; and they have never quite recovered their nerves since the loss of poor Falconer, and their disappointment at the ingratitude shown to Dibdin." And Sir Kit adds, that though they do indeed now and then talk of the "deep blue sea," and occasionally, perhaps, skim over it like sea-plovers, yet they avoid the quarter-deck and all its discipline, and decline the dedication of the cat-o'-nine-tails, in spite of their number.
By them, nevertheless, must have been inspired-in fitful and irregular afflatus-some of the prose-poetry of Herman Melville's sea-romances. Ocean breezes blow from his tales of Atlantic and Pacific cruises. Instead of landsman's grey goose quill, he seems to have plucked a quill from skimming curlew, or to have snatched it, a fearful joy, from hovering albatross, if not from the wings of the wind itself. The superstition of life on the waves has no abler interpreter, unequal and undisciplined as he is that superstition almost inevitably engendered among men who live, as it has been said, "under a solemn sense of eternal danger, one inch only of plank (often worm-eaten) between themselves and the grave; and who see for ever one wilderness of His intimacy with the sights and sounds of that wilderness, almost entitles him to the reversion of the mystic "blue cloak" of Keats's submarine greybeard, in which
every ocean form
Was woven with a black distinctness; storm,
And calm, and whispering, and hideous roar
That skims, or dives, or sleeps 'twixt cape and cape.†
A landsman, somewhere observes Mr. Tuckerman, can have no conception of the fondness a ship may inspire, before he listens, on a moonlight night, amid the lonely sea, to the details of her build and workings, unfolded by a complacent tar. Moonlight and midseas are much, and a complacent tar is something; but we "calculate" a landsman can get some conception of the true-blue enthusiasm in question, and even become slightly inoculated with it in his own terra firma person, under the tuition of a Herman Melville. This graphic narrator assures us, and there needs no additional witness to make the assurance doubly sure, that his sea adventures have often served, when spun as a yarn, not only to relieve the weariness of many a night-watch, but to excite the
*Thomas de Quincey.
"Endymion," Book III.
warmest sympathies of his shipmates. Not that we vouch for the fact of his having experienced the adventures in literal truth, or even of being the pet of the fo'castle as yarn-spinner extraordinary. But we do recognise in him and in his narratives (the earlier ones, at least) a "capital" fund of even untold "interest," and so richly veined a nugget of the ben trovato as to "take the shine out of" many a golden vero. Readers there are, who, having been enchanted by a perusal of "Typee" and "Omoo," have turned again and rent the author, when they heard a surmise, or an assertion, that his tales were more or less imagination. Others there are, and we are of them, whose enjoyment of the history was little affected by a suspicion of the kind during perusal (which few can evade), or an affirmation of it afterwards. "And if a little more romantic than truth may warrant, it will be no harm," is Miles Coverdale's morality, when projecting a chronicle of life at Blithedale. Miles a raison.
Life in the Marquesas Islands!-how attractive the theme in capable hands! And here it was treated by a man "out of the ordinary," who had contrived, as Tennyson sings,
To burst all links of habit-there to wander far away,
Larger constellations burning, mellow moons and happy skies,
"The Marquesas! what strange visions of outlandish things," exclaims Tommo himself, "does the very name spirit up! Lovely houris -cannibal banquets-groves of cocoa-nuts-coral reefs-tattooed chiefs, and bamboo temples; sunny valleys planted with bread-fruit treescarved canoes dancing on the flashing blue waters-savage woodlands guarded by horrible idols-heathenish rites and human sacrifices." And then the zest with which Tommo and Toby, having deserted the ship, plunge into the midst of these oddly-assorted charms-cutting themselves a path through cane-brakes-living day by day on a stinted tablespoonful of "a hash of soaked bread and bits of tobacco"-shivering the livelong night under drenching rain-traversing a fearful series of dark chasms, separated by sharp-crested perpendicular ridges-leaping from precipice above to palm-tree below-and then their entrance into the Typee valley, and introduction to King Mehevi, and initiation into Typee manners, and willy-nilly experience of Typee hospitality. Memorable is the portrait-gallery of the natives: Mehevi, towering with royal dignity above his faithful commons; Marnoo, that all-influential Polynesian Apollo, whose tattooing was the best specimen of the Fine Arts in that region, and whose eloquence wielded at will that fierce anthropophagic demos; Marheyo, paternal and warm-hearted old savage, a time-stricken giant-and his wife, Tinor, genuine busybody, most notable and exacting of housewives, but no termagant or shrew for all that; and their admirable son, Kory-Kory-his face tattooed with such a host of pictured birds and fishes, that he resembled a pictorial museum of natural history, or an illuminated copy of Goldsmith's "Animated Nature"-and whose devotion to the stranger no time could wither nor custom stale. And poor Fayaway, olive-cheeked nymph, with sweet
blue eyes of placid yet unfathomable depth, a child of nature with easy unstudied graces, breathing from infancy an atmosphere of perpetual summer-whom, deserted by the roving Tommo, we are led to compare (to his prejudice) with Frederika forsaken by Goethe-an episode in the many-sided Baron's life which we have not yet come to regard so tolerantly as Mr. Carlyle.
Omoo," the Rover, keeps up the spirit of "Typee" in a new form. Nothing can be livelier than the sketches of ship and ship's company. "Brave Little Jule, plump Little Jule," a very witch at sailing, despite her crazy rigging and rotten bulwarks-blow high, blow low, always ready for the breeze, and making you forget her patched sails and blistered hull when she was dashing the waves from her prow, and prancing, and pawing the sea-flying before the wind-rolling now and then, to be sure, but in very playfulness-with spars erect, looking right up into the wind's eye, the pride of her crew; albeit they had their misgivings that this playful craft, like some vivacious old mortal all at once sinking into a decline, might, some dark night, spring a leak, and carry them all to the bottom. The Captain, or "Miss Guy,”-essentially a cockney, and no more meant for the sea than a hairdresser. The bluff mate, John Jermin, with his squinting eye, and rakishly-twisted nose, and grey ringleted bullet head, and generally pugnacious looks, but with a heart as big as a bullock-obstreperous in his cups, and always for having a fight, but loved as a brother by the very men he flogged, for his irresistibly good-natured way of knocking them down. The ship's carpenter, "Chips," ironically styled "Beauty" on strict lucus à non lucendo principles-as ugly in temper as in visage. Bungs, the cooper, a man after a bar-keeper's own heart; who, when he felt, as he said, "just about right," was characterised by a free lurch in his gait, a queer way of hitching up his waistbands, and looking unnecessarily steady at you when speaking. Bembo, the harpooner, a dark, moody savage--none of your effeminate barbarians, but a shaggybrowed, glaring-eyed, crisp-haired fellow, under whose swart, tattooed skin the muscles worked like steel rods. Rope Yarn, or Ropey, the poor distraught land-lubber-a forlorn, stunted, hook-visaged creature, erst a journeyman baker in Holborn, with a soft and underdone heart, whom a kind word made a fool of. And, best of all, Doctor Long Ghost, a six-feet tower of bones, who quotes Virgil, talks of Hobbes of Malmesbury, and repeats poetry by the canto, especially "Hudibras ;" and who sings mellow old songs, in a voice so round and racy, the real juice of sound; and who has seen the world from so many angles, the acute of civilisation and the obtuse of savagedom; and who is as inventive as he is incurable in the matter of practical jokes-all effervescent with animal spirits and tricksy good-humour. Of the Tahiti folks, Captain Bob is an amusing personage, a corpulent giant, of three-alderman-power in gormandising feats, and so are Po-po and his family, and the irreverently-ridiculed court of Queen Pomare. It is uncomfortable to be assured in the preface, that "in every statement connected with missionary operations, a strict adherence to facts has, of course, been scrupulously observed"--and the satirist's rather flippant air in treating this subject makes his protestation not unnecessary, that "nothing but an earnest desire for truth and good has led him to touch upon it at