A M9NTHL Y MAGAZINE OF IRISH ART SI SCIENCE AUGUST 1913 PICTURE Jack Morrow SOCIAL HISTORY Mary Hayden CRITICISM Nesta de Robeck GAELIC LITERATURE P.H. Pearse ECONOMICS Justin Phillips POETRY Thomas MacDonagh Katharine Tynan James Stephens STORY Eleanor Farjeon REVIEWS ,, DUBLIN THE IRISH REVIEW PUBLISHING COMPANY 12 D'OLIER STREET LONDON SlMPKJN MARSHALL HAMILTON, KENT &CO SOLE AGENTS FQR THE C9LONIES GO RDON & GOTCB, LTD., LONDON AUST RALIA CAN ADA, ETc. MANICO, DUBLlN. EDINBURGH MENZIES & CO., HANOVER STREET SOLE AGENTS FOR AMERICA THE FOUR SEAS CO., SCHOOL STREET, BOSTON.
l1i Seaf'ch of Tf'uth Humility The True Talisman A Study of Catholicism, By Dr. ALBERT VON RUVILLE. Author of "Back to the Holy Church." Cloth, 3s. 6d. net. 1 lf the discussion made in the book, which is alway temperately argued and interestingly put, lead to a true conclusi on then Protestantism is too proud, and modern Cqpstendom must go back to Rome. "-"The Scotsman." "He endeavour to establish the truth of Catholic ism by the courage with whic h it imposes the obligation of humility upon the human intellect a the price 0f salvation."-" Pall '.Mall Gazette." London: SIMPKIN MARSHALL, HAMILTO:-.J, KENT and CO., Ltd.
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THE IRISH REVIEW. A MONTHLY MAGAZINE OF IRISH LITERATURE, ART & SCIENCE VOLUME I. (MARCH 19II--FEBRUARY 1912) VOLUME II. (MARCH 1912-FEBRUARY 1913) From" The Irish Review," Vol. 1., No. 1, March, 19II :-"The Irish Review" has beern founded to give expression to the intellectual movement in Ireland. B y the intellectual movement we do not understand an activity purely literary ; we think of it as the application of Irish intelligence to the reconstruction of Irish Lfe. The Irish Review will strive to speak for Ireland rather than any party or coterie in Ireland. Emancipated from the tyranny of his party and lifted above the flattery of his coterie, the Irishman of action, study, or letters may utter himself here for the benefit of his people and of such others as may care to give attention. The Irish Review" belongs to no party." Readers of the Review know how this undertaking has been fulfilled. With a change of tense the statement may be repeated. The Irish Review has given expression to the intellectual movement in Ireland. It has belonged to no party. During its two years' existence the Review has published a series of Art Plates and over 600 pages of literary matter-Plays, Poems, Prose Pieces, Stories, Gaelic Literature, Book Reviews, and articles on Music Art, Drama, Philosophy, Religion, Politics, Economics and Science. All the best Irish Artists and Authors are contributors to The Irish Review." For lists see back cover. The Subscription is 7s. 6d. per year, 3s. gd. per half year. Volume I. and II. may be had for 6s. 6d. To ORDER FORM The Manager, Irish Review," Dublin. Complete Sets of Please enter my name as a yearly subscriber to THE half-yearly IRISH REVIEW, for which I enclose Seven Shillings and Three Sh1lb.ngs and Nmepence Name .................................... ................. Postal Address ......................................... PLEASE WRITE PLAINLY
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THE IRISH REVIEW A MONTHLY MAGAZINE OF IRISH LITERATURE ART AND SCIENCE AUGUST 1913 THE BEGINNING OF THE BOOK OF IMAGES VOL. UI.-NO. JO By THOMAS MacDONAGH I INTROIT Coeli lucida templa The temples clean from star to star, Built up in that aethereal space Where forms of other being are, Image no being of this place. We symbol forms enshrined in them Angels are emblemed in a clod, And every stone is made a gem Set in the altar of its God 273
THE IRISH REVIEW II IMAGES I who austereli spent My years of youth, nor lent The journeys of my joy To youth's employ, Who sacred held my life Apart from casual strife, Striving to comprehend Life's first and end. I, in the watches grim Of winter mornings dim Saw life inscrutable A God's vigil, And in a morn of May Heard at the dawn of day The music of that morn The stars were born. I ancient images Of parts and passages Of powers and things that be Did know and see, The chalice and the wine, lhe tree of knowledge divine, The veil, the gossamer, The hill-side bare, The trampling ploughing team, The holy guiding gleam Of one star standing straight Above Light's gate, 274
THE BEGINNING OF THE BOOK OF IMAGES The child with rapturous voice Singing, Farewell! Rejoice! Singing the joy of death The gate beneath, The dumb shores of a sea, The waves that ceaselessly Uselessly turn and toss, Knowing their loss, The flowers of heaven and earth, The moons of death and birth, The seasons of the soul, The worlds that roll That roll their dark within Around their suns that spin Around the gate of Light In day, in night, The soaring Seraphim, The God-wise Cherubim,F orms of beauty and love I saw above. And therebeneath I saw The forms of transient law, The great of an earth or age Captain and sage, The lamps of Rome and Greece, The signs of war and peace, The eagle in the storm, Man's clay-fast form. The phases of the might Of God in mortal sight I saw, in God's forethought Fashioned and wrought, 275
THE IRISH REVIEW Now wrought in spirit and clay, In rare and common day, And shown in symbol and sign Of power divine. These images of old Reverently I hold, And here entemple, enstate, And dedicate, That I with other men May worship here again Him who revealed to us His creatures thus. III THE TREE OF KNOWLEDGE In the dusk I again behold Figures of knowledge divine, A chalice of sacred gold Filled to the brim with wine A double-woven veil With meshes that enfold A gauze of gossamer frail I tremble and lie still, Held by a holy dread Lest the wine from the chalice spill And the knowledge of Go .cl lie dead. I lose the chalice from view Through infirmity of will. I take the veil in my hands And to uncover the gauze I open the woven strands-And then in dread I pause 276
THE BEGINNING OF THE BOOK OF IMAGES Lest the gossamer be rent And the perfect knowledge destroyed : Then I know how power is spent And the deed of the will made void. The veil has vanished too, And barren before me lies The hill where once I knew The lost secret of Paradise. It was there I was as the wild Of the earth and the water and air, Untroubled by knowledge, the child Of God and Time-it was there I shouted with joy in the light With the stars of morning and God, Where the knowledge tree in my sight Bent with fruit to the sod. There the spirit of me awoke To the serpent's constant call, To the earth of me it spoke And bade me to know all, To eat and be as a god. I ate and was a man, With desire as a god to be, For then I first began Knowledge to taste and to see, And the eternal plan To know, and be one with the laws That are with eternity. I ate and was a man Upon a bare hill side, For the tree was withered up And the ancient life had died. I held a gossamer gauze, And I gazed on a golden cup. 277 -: '.;. -... ,...
THE IRISH REVIEW And now again I have seen The cup that I saw at my birth, And have held the gauze between Its webs in a veil of the earth, And I gaze on the hill again Where the tree that withered shall grow When I in pleasure and pain Have toiled to the full and know. I gaze on the hill to see New promise of knowledge divine. I know that infirmity Shall be changed to power with the sign That to me is given now. And I hear the trampling of hooves Thundering up with a plough, And a team of horses moves In splendour over the rise Of the ridge, and into the light. I shout with joy at the sight As I shouted in Paradise. IV 0 STAR OF DEATH M ortalem vitam mors cum immortalis ademit The earth in its darkness spinning Is a sign from the gate of horn Of the dream that a life's beginning Is in its end reborn-Dark symbol of true dreaming, The truth is beyond thy seeming As the wide of infinitude 278
THE BEGINNING OF THE BOOK OF IMAGES .... Is beyond the air of the earth Death is a change and a birth For atoms in darkness spinning And their immortal brood. The wisdom of life and death As a star leads to the gate Which is not of heaven or hell ; And your mortal life is a breath Of the life of all, and your state Ends with your hail and farwell. Wisdom's voice is the voice Of a child who sings to a star With a cry of, Hail and rejoice And farewell to the things that are, And hail to eternal peace, And rejoice that the day is done, For the night brings but release And threatens no wakening sun Other suns that set may rise As before your day they rose, But when once your brief light dies No dawn here breaks your repose. I followed a morning star, And it Jed to the gate of light, And thence came forth to meet our night A child and sang to the star. The air of the earth and the night were withdrawn And the star was the sign of an outworn dawn That now in the aether was newly bright. For sudden I saw where the air through space was gone From the portal of light and the child and the sign o'er the portal-279
!BE IRISH REVIEW The star of joy a mortal leading In the clear stood holy and still, And under it the child sang on. I who had followed of happy will, Knew the dark of life recedingOne with the child and the star stood a mortal. The child sang welcomes of the gate of lightWelcome to the peace of perfect night Everduring, unbeginning Now let the mornings of the earth bring grief To other souls a while in darkness spinning, To other souls that look for borrowed ligh Desiring alien joys with vain belief. Welcome and hail to this beyond all good, Joy of creation's new infinitude, That never will the spirit use Another time for life, and yet That never will the spirit lose, Although it pass, but takes its debt To life and time, and sends endued With gain of life each atom soul New-fashioned to fulfil the whole. 0 star of death 0 sign that still hast shone Out beyond the dark of the air Thou stand'st unseen by yearning eyes Of mourners tired with their vain prayer For the little life that dies,-Whether holding that it dies That all life may still live on In its death as in its birth, Or believing things of earth Destined ever to arise To a new life in the skies. Blinded with false fear, how man 280 ..
!HE BEGINNING OF THE BOOK OF !MAGES Dreads this death which ends one span That another may begin !-Holding greatest truth a sin And a sorrow, as not knowing That when death has lost false hope And false fear, begins the scope Of true life, which is a going At its end and not a coming, That the heart shrinks from the numbing Fall of death, but does not grope Blindly to new joy or gloomShrinks in vain, then yields in peace To the pain that brings release And the quiet of the tomb. 0 star of death I follow, till thou take My days to cast them from thee flake on flake, My rose of life to scatter bloom on bloom, Yet hold its essence in the phial rare Of life that lives with fire and air,-With air that knows no dark, with fire not fo consume. I followed a morning star And I stand by the gate of Light, And a child sings my farewell to-night To the atom things that are.
WOMEN IN THE MIDDLE AGES By MARY HAYDEN "Assez i a raison pourquoi L'on doit femme chere tenir; Car nous voyons peu avenir Cortoisie si n'est par femme. Bien (je) sais que pour l'amour des dames Devienent les vilains cortois." IN these words an anonymous poet of the thirteenth century sets forth what he evidently deems to be the whole duty of woman, as regards society at least. She was to be the civiliser, the refiner, the teacher of good manners, and he implies that she well accomplished her mission. It is indeed in this capacity that the women of the Middle Ages chiefly come before us, and to them the Anglo-Saxon poets loved to apply such epithets as "the Adjuster of Disputes," "the Peaceful Tie of Peoples," or "the Weaver of Peace." In the very early centuries, this seems indeed not to have been so. When the fierce Teutonic, Sclavonic and Keltic tribes came down in their hordes on the rich provinces of the tottering Roman empire, conqu e ring, sla y ing and burning, the sturdy, white armed wives and daughters who accompanied the victors were little inferior to their male relatives in ferocity or in courage, and probably not greatly behind them even in physical strength. Caesar, Athenaeus, and many other classical writers, have borne witness to the fierceness of these barbarian women, who in battle encouraged the combatants with shouts, often by their exhortations or menaces induced those who were retreating to return again to the fight, and after a defeat usually slew themselves, preferring death to captivity. Ammianus Marcellinus, a Latin writer of the fourteenth century, thus expresses himself in regard to the Gauls : It would take a whole troop of foreigners to be a match for a single Gaul, when he 282
WOMEN IN THE MIDDLE AGES calls his strong blue-eyed wife to his assistance in a quarrel. The veins in her neck swel1ing, she gnashes her teeth, and waving her great white arms, showers down blows intermingled with kicks, like so many missles hurled from a catapult."-(Rerum Gest. Lib. xv.) Saxo Grammaticus mentions many warrior women-as, for example, Swanhilde, daughter of Hunding King of the Suevi, and a certain maiden, Rusila, "noted for her energy in military affairs," who helped her brother Throndo to make war on the Danes. While nearer home, Boadicea of the Iceni, and in much later times, Aethel fleda, "Lady of the Mercians," Alfred the Great's daughter, who was a great war leader, and in Ireland, Maev or Mab, Queen of Connacht, have by their warlike exploits won for themselves undying fame, the former in History and the last in Legend Indeed in the an c ient Irish tales we find women so skilled as to be actually capable of instructing young warriors in the use of their weapons; thus Cuchulain learned from Scatha, who seems to be represented as the head of a regular military training-school. The passage in Tacitus' Germania, in which he records how the Teutonic tribes honoured in woman "something divine," has been often quoted and often misunderstood. It was not in all women, as seems commonly to be believed, but only in a favoured few that this divinity was supposed to reside These Wise Women were consulted on important occasions, such as before the beginning of a war; and, like the Delphic priestess, they gave their responses in a kind of mystic verse. They were propitiated with gifts, and after a victory a certain proportion of the spoils was assigned to them. When they entered a private dwelling, the master of the house rose to receive them, and they were conducted with due ceremony to the place of honour. In Ireland, too, we hear of women endowed with magical powers, and of women satirists who were greatly feared. Far different from this was the treatment accorded to the mere ordinary woman, who from cradle to grave was regarded by law as the property, the mere chattel, of her male relations. In most parts of Continental Europe (of pagan England we know nothing in this respect, and in Ireland things were different), 283
THE IRISH REVIEW as soon as a baby-girl was born, she was laid naked on the floor, and her father was summoned to see whether, by taking her in his arms, he would give permission for her to be reared, or whether, on the contrary, he would order her to be exposed to die of cold and hunger, or to become the slave of anyone who cared to rescue her. As she grew up, s,he shared her mother's toils, making the garments, preparing the food, attending to the cattle, ploughing, sowing, reaping, grinding, baking, and brewing; for in time of peace the men of the family, "given up to food and sleep," did no work whatever. When she was deemed of suitable age for marriage, which might be as early as fifteen, according to the Norse custom, or as late as thirty, as was usual in Germany, her father or guardian sold her to a husband, receiving in exchange arms, jewels, cattle or slaves-" A King shall with cattle, with armlets and wine-cups, purchase his queen," says the Exeter Book. Thus the story of the wooing of Findabar, daughter of Aillel and Maev, tells that her bride-price was three times twenty dark-grey horses with golden bits and twelve milch cows, each with a calf ; and the Songs of Buchet's House," another story, tell of the great bride price of Eithne, daughter of Cathair Mor. On the day after the marriage the husband gave to his wife certain presents, which constituted what was called the Morning Gift. In early times, only jewellery, wine-cups, golden caskets, and such like things, were given; but later, princes and great nobles often bestowed whole towns or estates on their brides in this manner; the wife of the Emperor Otto I. received Magdeburg as a Morning Gift : During the pagan ages, the tie of marriage was held to be of less account than the tie of blood. The married woman still belonged to her father's family; if left a childless widow, she returned to her parent's guardianship. On the death of her father or mother, her share of their property was the same as that of her unmarried sisters ; if she herself died, leaving no children, her property passed to her own family. She was indeed, except in Ireland, where, if we may judge of the Tain story, she was perfectly free, controlled in her administration of her possessions by her husband, without whose per mission she could neither buy nor sell ; but, on the other hand, the 284
WOMEN IN THE MIDDLE AGES husband could not dispose of his wife's property unless authorised by her family, nor could it be seized in payment of his debts. On the marr:ied, as on the unmarried children, rested the duty of carrying on the blood feuds of the family. Queen Signi, in the Volsunga Saga, helps her brother Sigmund to avenge their father's death by slaying the murderer, her husband, Siggier In Saemund's Edda, Gudrun, enraged that Atli her husband has put to death her guilty kinsmen, kills the two sons whom she has borne to him, and serves him up their hearts to eat Still the authority of the husband was great, and was rarely questioned. He could divorce his wife on the slightest pretext. An Icelandic law allowed a wife, who turned out to have too many poor relations, to be divorced on that ground, or even without any reason whatever, though in this last case some tribes accorded her a certain compensation; amongst the Burgundians she became entitled to her husband's house. In Ireland a divorced wife was entitled to half the profits of a business in which she and her husband had engaged together, as well as to her dowry. He could sell her as a punishment, and on his death could bequeath her to a friend. Polygamy, according to Tacitus, was the exception with the Teutonic tribes, being practised only by their chiefs and kings. Amongst these, however, it seems to have been common, nor could all the efforts of the Church induce them to discontinue the custom for several centuries after their conversion to Christianity. King Dagobert had several wives; Pepin le Bref had two, Plectrude and Alhais. Charlemagne had four in all, and certainly two at the same time; Chlotaire I. of N eustria, husband of Saint Radigunde, had at least one other wife. There is, as far as I know, no trace of polygamy in Ireland, even in legendary or pagan times. The objection of the women themselves to share their husbands with others, and the violent quarrels of the rival wives, were perhaps amongst the most powerful agents in finally suppressing the practice. The custom of widows burning themselves on their husband's funeral pyre seems to have been fairly widespread during the pagan 285 / ....
THE IRISH REVIEW ages. At some periods it was compulsory in Scandanavia, at least on the wives of chiefs, if we may judge by the reply made by a young girl to J arl Hakon's wooing : that he was too old to be likely to live much longer, and that she, for her part, was not anxious to die soon. To conclude, however, from all these things that Woman occupied in the Europe of these times as low a position as that which she to-day holds in the East would be very erroneous. Women mingled freely with men in their daily lives, and shared in their sorrows and their triumphs. On all ordinary occasions, almost the same liberty was accorded to the maiden as to the youth, and any abuse of it was equally condemned in either. In Ireland, women seem to have been present at banquets and festivals (Bricriu's Feast), but in early Saxon England, or perhaps amongst the Saxons and Angles in their Continental homes, only to have filled out wine for the warriors and then r e tir e d (Beowulf). Though we hear often of wives being brutally ill used by their husbands, yet, on the other hand, we not infrequently find them treated with respect and confidence. Speaking of the duties of a wedded pair, the Exeter Book says: "They both shall take counsel, house-owners together." Evidently the author regarded the honour and the interests of the family as being the concern of the woman, quite as much as of the man. Female prisoners and slaves were often subjected to great violence and bad treatment, but their honour was usually respected In the German epic "Kudrun," Hartmuot, on being rejected by the heroine, allows her to be treated by his mother, and even treats her himself, with the greatest harshness, yet he will not compel her to accept his suit. According to the law of even the rudest Teutonic and Scandin avian tribes, an insult offered to a maiden was most severely punished. Procopius relates (De Bello Gotthico, Book III., chap 8) that, when Totila captured Naples, a complaint was made to him that a certain noble of his train had grossly insulted a Neapolitan maiden. By his orders the offender, though a warrior of great merit, was put to death, and his property given to the girl. The Visigoths decreed 286
WOMEN IN THE MIDDLE AGES that, if a woman were carried off against her will, all the robber's goods were forfeited to her, and he became her slave. If she had meanwhile consented to marry him, both were put to death. Even in war, women were generally respected; "Women's peace always endures" was the Saxon saying. There is a passage in Saemund's Edda, in which Thor, who has been boasting of his prowess against the J otuns and their sisters, is reproved by Har bard with the remark-" That was a dastardly act of thine, Thor, when thou didst assault women." "Wolves they were and scarcely women," urges Thor in excuse. Time went on, and the Age of Conquest passed. Wars grew rarer, and the lazy warriors had to learn to bow their backs over plough and spade Women, released wholly or in part from field labour, had more leisure to bestow on their household duties. These duties had become more complicated; the dwellings were larger and better furnished, the garments of finer stuffs and often richly embroid ered. There were hangings for the walls, coverlids and cus,hions for the couches, and for the care and preparation of all these it was the task of the house-mistress, her daughters and her female serfs to provide. The more peaceful and indoor lives which women now led was not long in having its effect in refining and softening their character, and we rarely hear more of the Amazonian heroine of earlier times. The introduction of Christianity had naturally a strong influence in the same direction. On the whole, it acted favourably on the position of woman and tended to exalt her; yet strange to say, in one or two respects the alteration was in the opposite direction. The early mediaeval Church seems to have been divided between contempt for the sex of Eve and honour of the sex of Mary-and traces of the former feeling sometimes appear in the new legal regulations. A notable instance of this is afforded by the change in the relative proportions of the w e r-g e ld, or eric, of the two sexes. This fine, which was exacted for a murder or assault, varied according to the rank of the victim and sometimes that of the injurer, and accord ing to the amount of the injury which the former had received. In 287 ; i
THE IRISH REVIEW pagan times, the wer-geld of a woman had always been at least equal to that of a man of the same rank. Whenever a difference had been made, it had been invariably in the woman's favour. Thus, the Anglo Saxons gave a maiden a double wer-geld. The Salian Franks assigned a treble compensation to a woman, within certain limits of age, as being an actual or possible mother. After the introduction of Christianity, these regulations were changed almost everywhere, and the wer-g eld of a woman sank generally to half that of a man. On the whole, however a real amelioration took place in the condition of the sex. By the institution of monasticism a new career was opened up for these women who either could not marry or did not care to do so. Convents soon sprang up everywhere in the pleasantest spots, in the most fertile valleys and on the greenest hill sides, and into them noble maidens and widows, as well as women of lower rank, flocked to consecrate themselves to God. Kings and Princes often devoted their daughters to the service of religion from their very births, and placed them almost in their babyhood in the hands of the community amongst whom their lives were to be passed. So King Oswy of Northumbria confided his one year-old daughter, Aelfleda, to the care of Hilda, Abbess of Whitby, whom she finally succeeded in her office. Thus did the wife of the Freiherr von Hackeborn leave at the Convent of Rodardesdorf her litle girl, five years of age, destined to be known later as St. Gertrude; thus did Edward I. cause the child, Princess Mary, to make her religious vows at Amesbury in 1284, at the same time as her widowed grandmother, Queen Eleanor. All this seems, no doubt, hard and unjust to us, but to the young recluses themselves it probably did not present itself in that light. The absolute right of their parents to dispose of them they never dreamt of questioning, and their baby lips submissively lisped the vows of consecration, even as, under other circumstances, they would have lisped the marriage-vow, which would have bound them to the husband of their father's choice. Neither must it be supposed that the life led by the nuns was unhappy and gloomy, nor, in the majority of cases at least, extremely 288
WOMEN IN THE MIDDLE AGES austere. During their childhood they were merely at school, and had set hours for prayer, study and recreation, much as girls have nowadays. They were instructed by the elder sisters in such learning as the time afforded, and in particular studied Latin with a good deal of care, and read, when more advanced, some of the classical Latin authors. Many Latin verses written by nuns are extant, and their correspondence was invariably conducted in that tongue. The famous Abbess, Hroswitha of Gandesheim, must have been well acquainted with Terence, since she has copied his plays in her dramatic dialogues. Any artistic talents which the pupils might possess were cultivated, and some of the most beautiful of the mediaeval illuminated manu scripts which have come down to us were executed in convents. When the years of education were over and the girls entered on the regular routine of the community life, they still found no lack of occupation. There were children to be taught; sick to be attended to; poor to receive their dole of food; farmers and stewards of the convent lands to be interviewed; the catering and cooking for a large establishment to be cared for; the daily office to be recited. Then, when each had accomplished her allotted tasks, music, embroidery, study or the writing of letters occupied her hours of leisure. The monotony of the daily round was broken at times by little events of interest, such as the visits of friends, generally clerical, who brought news from the outside world to entertain the lighter minds, or perhaps could discourse with the more learned on points of literary criticism; and by the Church festivals, each with the appropriate ceremonies. The correspondence of Saint Boniface, who died in 7 55, with various learned nuns, give us curious glimpses into the convent life of early mediaeval times; and still more interesting in this respect is the Vi'ta Radigondae of Venantius Fortunatus, the heroine of which was a N eustrian Queen, who founded a religious community in Poitiers about the middle of the sixth century. Towards the end of the Middle Ages, the early fervour of monasticism had considerably cooled. Many religious of both sexes led frivolous lives and devoted themselves to such amusements as hawking or hunting. Of the worldly, richly clad1 ease-loving nun 189
THE IRISH REVIEW of the late fourteenth century, Chaucer's Prioresse, with her !tiffly starched wimple and handsome mantle, her little affected lisp, her dainty ways of eating, her courtly manners and her train of pampered lap dogs, is a typical specimen. Turning now to the girls destined to a secular career, we find that the training given them rarely erred on the side of over-indulg ence. Spare the rod and spoil the child" was the principle generally acted upon by parents and educators in those days. We hear even of grown young women being severely chastised. Agnes Paston (temp. Henry VI.) beat her daughter, Elizabeth, who was of marriageable age, once in the week or twice, and sometimes twice a day." The amusements of children are but little altered by time or place, and the games and the toys of the Middle Ages seem to have been much like those of the twentieth century The little maidens had dolls and also dolls-cradles-some handsome gilt ones are still extant-tiny pots and pans for cookery, clay and wooden figures of birds and animals, and many other playthings. Froissart relates how, when a boy, he used to what we should now call "mud pies," and to bake them in an oven made of four broken tiles. It may well be supposed that this would have been a favourite amuse ment with little girls also. Then there were romping games-"Blind Man's Buff," "Hot Cockles" (called in France Qui Pery), "Hunt the Slipper," Tig," and various ball games. When quieter amuse ments were wanted, the children could play at "Odd or Even" or at Truth," or they could set each other riddles to solve, or attemp! feats of pronunciation of the "Peter-Piper" style Till the age of seven, children were in charge of their nurses. Then the boy began his physical training, and the girl passed into the hands of a governess or duenna, who had care of her until her marriage, or even after it, if she married very young. Day-schools, to which children were sent when four or five years old, were fairly common, and in some boys and girls appear to have been taught together. Froissart used, he says, to give little presents of apples and pears and ivory rings to his girl class-mates. It may 290
WOMEN IN THE MIDDLE AGES be, however, that these were only Catechism classes," where prayers were taught and religious instruction given. As a rule, the girls learned more and learned longer than did the boys, unless the latter were destined to be clerks." The idea long prevailed that literary culture was the special province of women and of priests, and not at all the concern of a gentleman. In the Scotch ballad, "Fause Foodrage," this view is clearly expressed. A lady, who is giving her baby-boy to a friend to be reared, and is receiving in exchange the other's little daughter, thus addresses her : Ye maun learn my gay goss-hawk Right weel to back a steed, And I will learn your turtle-dove As weel to write and read." It was even held, in Germany especially, that learning tended to effeminate a warrior. When Amalsvintha, daughter of the great Theodoric, and herself acquainted with both Greek and Latin, wished to have her son Atalrich taught Grammar, the nobles protested so strongly that she had to abandon her intention There is no trace of the prevalence of such a view in Ireland, where learning seems to have been equally honoured in both sexes. We are told that in the 2nd century, A .D. there was at Tara a Women's College. What was taught there we do not exactly know We may be sure that much attention was devoted to embroidery and needlework. Princesses and the daughters of great nobles were usually taught at home, often by priests. In the romance of "Tristan," we are told of tlie heroine, Isolde, that, as soon as her intelEgence awakened, "her mother took care that her mind should be applied to study." A priest instructed her, and she learned Latin and French, the violin and deportment." Hedwig of Swabia read Virgil and Horace with her tutor. Griselda of Burgundy, wife of Conrad I., was learned and a patroness of learning. lngulphus relates (that is, if the chronicle ascribed to him be genuine) how Queen Edith, wife of Edward the 291
THE IRISH REVIEW used to meet him on his way home and question him on his Latin Grammar. Charlemagne caused his numerous daughters to be well educated ne per otium torperent," says Eginhard. It was generally considered that the distinguished marriages made by Edward the Eider's daughters were due to their excellent 1:1p-bringing, and their acquaint ance both with letters and with the arts of embroidery and spinning. All these ladies, however, belonged, it will be observed, to the highest ranks. The wives and daughters of lesser nobles were often wholly illiterate. Geoffrey de La Tour Landry, a French writer of the fourteenth century, expresses the opinion that women should know how to read, but that writing is unnecessary. In Flamenca," a Provenc;al love-story of the thirteenth century, the heroine says that "a lady who has some knowledge of letters is the more valued for it," thereby showing that such knowledge was far from universal. The preacher, Berthold of Regensburg (thirteenth century), seems to assume that some at least of his lady auditors could not read. We do not know much about the acquirements of the citizens, but it is probable that, in the richer families, the girls received some literary education. Some convents, especially in later times, had schools for secular pupils. There was at Grace Dieu, near Swords, Co. Dublin, a famous e onvent, where most of the richer families of the Pale sent their daughters "to be educated in virtue and the English tongue." Chaucer's Miller's Wife was "fostered in a nunnery." Many of these establishments, in France especially, gave what was for the period an excellent education; others taught little, except needlework and the repetition by rote of Latin prayers and psalms. Amongst the smaller traders and shop-keepers it was most exceptional for the women to be able even to read. To Chaucer's Wife of Bath, the book which her husband "cleped Valerie," was evidently as mysterious as it was detestable. With the introduction of the feudal system over most of Central and Western Europe a great change had come over the manner of life of the upper classes. The one-storied wooden house had given 292
WOMEN IN THE MIDDLE AGES place to the high stone castle, which was a fortress in the first plac e and a dwelling only in the second. Within the small ill-lit upper rooms the chatelaine and her daughters sat embroidering with the maidens, or, when the weather permitted, they wandered in the gardens. The daughter's position in the family was a strictly subordinate one, and much inferior to that of the son. If her father died, leaving her unmarried, she passed under the authority of a guardian whose "potestas" over her lasted until her wedding. The brother, when of sufficient age, usually became the sister's guardian, and she was expected to submit to him as to a father. In the Niebelungenlied, which, though it purports to represent a pre-Christian age, belongs, as we now have it, to the I 3th century, Kriemhilde says to Gunther, in answer to his question whether she is willing to marry Sifrit :-" Dear brother, I will always do what you tell me." As regards inheritance, in most countries, according to the legal phrase, the daughter took with one hand, the son with two She received her share in the personal property, but the land, the real property, passed to the eldest son. Only amongst the Visigoths in Spain did all children rank alike When the mother died, her daughters received her clothes and jewels in equal shares. If the deceased father had left no son, some codes, as those of the Alemanni and of the Saxons, gave all the land to an only daughter, or, when there were several, divided it amongst them. Others passed them over completely, in favour of the nearest male relative. Amongst female heirs there was usually no regular Droit d' ainesse or right of the eldest born, the shares of all being equal ; thus the heritage of Leinster was divided amongst the five daughters of William the Marshal, grand-daughters of Eva. Still, in the case of a fief, the eldest represented the rest before the suzerain. In France, however, the ordinances of Saint Louis established a regular Droit d' ainesse between sisters. The Irish custom, originating in early times and continued long in Celtic Ireland, indeed until, in the early 17th century, English law was extended over the whole country, did not permit the land to pass, under any circumstances, to a female heir. 293
THE IRISH REVIEW The Welsh codes made much the same arrangements, but allowed some exceptions. Amongst the citizen classes and in village com munities, no difference was made between sons and daughters in the matter of inheritance. In early feudal times, female succession to fiefs was generally admitted. In France, all the great fiefs, except Anjou, Orleans and Ile de France, could, in default of male heirs, pass to the female line. In Germany and in Austria, the rule was the same, and in the 13th century we find Philip, King of the Romans, expressly calling this "jus et consuetudo Teu.tonica." In Italy, the long wars, to which the French claim to Milan gave rise, turned on the question whether or not that fief were one the succession to which was limited to heirs male. Both there and in Spain, females very frequently held important fiefs ; Matilda, Countess of Este, played a great part in the Italy of the eleventh century, and in St. Peter's her statue may still be seen, adorning the tomb of Pope Gregory VII., whom she befriended. Women fief holders exercised the same rights, in most respects, as men would have done in their place. They held Baronial Courts, and could even pronounce sentence of death. The Flemish law, however, required them to depute this offic e to a bailiff ; while in Spain they were required to summon "a council of wise men" to guide their decisions. In France, they took their places at the council board of the Sovereign and at provincial estates as peers of the realm, when entitled to do so by their rank. Ancient Ireland gives us one instance of a woman Brehon or judge, whose decisions were long quoted as legal precedents. The custom of women appearing and making their voices heard on public occasions was strongly condemned by the Church. A decree of a synod held at Nantes speaks with much indignation of the "mulierculae," who, instead of discussing spinning and weaving at home, dare openly to take upon themselves the authority of councillors." In 1356, the Golden Bull declared that all fiefs held directly from the Empire could only he inherited in the male line, and within 294
WOMEN IN THE MIDDLE AGES the next century, the custom of allowing women to hold land by feudal tenure gradually died out almost everywhere. To be continued JEALOUSY By JAMES STEPHENS Where is your bride ? I do not: know : A little while ago, Close to my side, I saw her smile : And then I turned awhile To look upon a flower, A little, painted poppy of the day, And while I looked at it, unlucky hour! She went away.
tHE TRANSi! PROBLEM A SUGGESTION By JUSTIN PHILLIPS A COMPARISON of the cost of transit m Ireland with the cost on the Continent and in the United States gives some idea of one of the difficulties confronting progressive indus trialism in this country. In Ireland, the Railway rates on agricultural produce are at the rate of about eight farthings per ton per mile, whereas on the Continent the rates are about two farthings, and in the United States under one farthing per ton per mile. An Irish tillage farmer marketing such produce as potatoes, hay, oats, wheat and turnips pays to the Railway Companies, on an average, twenty per cent. of the value of his produce. Ireland is the one agricultural country in which no recent effort has been made to improve canals and waterways; it is the one country in which Railways have played an important part in aiding rura] depopulation; it is the one country in which the Railways have con ferred no real benefit on the people for whom they exist. Cheap transit is essential to the success of an agricultural people, and cheap transit must be provided if Ireland is to become a wealthy agricul tural country. At present the Irish Railway Companies can boast of levying the highest rates in the world, and they have recently increased their excessive rates by four per cent., and thus imposed a further annual burden of .,000 on our industries. It is of the utmost importance that steps should be taken to protect Irish industries, particularly agriculture, from this imposition. The question to be solved is, how can an effective and inexpensive curb be put on the Railway Companies at present exploiting our trade and commerce? The cheapest means of transit is water, and there are in Ireland over seven hundred miles of canal and river communication. The Railway Companies have-with admirable foresight so far as their 296
THE TRANSIT PROBLEM profits are concerned--either purchased, or secured control of, most of our important canals and waterways. The only source of con tinuous and lasting competition has thus been monopolised, and the Irish farmers and manufacturers have accordingly been compelled to pay whatever charges it pleased the Railway Companies to fix. The Railway Companies declare that the fact that they have monopolised the cheapest means of transit has not imposed any fresh burden on industry. The actual figures prove otherwise, as when the Great Southern and Western Railway Company had secured control of the Grand Canal, the rates on some commodities were increased by as much as 260 per cent. The only effective means of lowering the existing Railway charges is to provide and maintain a system of keen competition and endeavour to divert a considerable bulk of the heavy traffic from the Railways to the Canals. This can never be done under present control. It is therefore of first importance that all canals water ways, navigable and canalised rivers be nationalised and controlled in the interests of industry and progress. National ownership of canals is nothing new. All over Europe Canals are either State owned or State controlled. In France over seven thousand miles of Canal are the property of the State. A total sum of over .,000,000 has been expended on their improve ment, and they are further subsidised to the extent of a million and a quarter per annum. Germany has spent .,000,000, during the past thirty-five years, on improving waterways. Belgium, though possessing a splendid Railway system, has just a thousand miles of navigable waterways under State control. Every industrial centre is served, and there are connections with Germ:any, France and Holland. These Canals and Waterways are used as a means of keeping the Railway rates at a proper level, and are invaluable for the transit of heavy goods, such as agricultural produce, machinery, timber, manures, building materials, and coal. There are many economists who totally ignore our Canals and Waterways and advocate, as the first step towards reduced transit charges, the nationalisation of our Railways. Ultimately the Rail-297
THE IRISH REVIEW ways must be nationalised-and this fact should not be lost sight of; but, having regard to the monopoly secured by the Railway Com panies, and the consequent independence of the Directors, the price at which the Irish Railways could, at the moment, be transferred from private to national control, would be prohibitive. On a rough estimate it would cost ,000,000; and, assuming that interest on this sum would be at the rate of 3f per cent., it would take ,687,500 per annum to meet this charge. The present total annual net profit of the Irish Railway Companies does not exceed this sum, conse quently after the payment of interest on the purchase money, there would be no surplus for development, nor would there be any possibility of lowering the present rates, for some considerable time to come. When the time comes to nationalise the Railways the maximum sum to be paid should not exceed ,000,000. The charge for interest at the rate of 3f per cent. on this sum would amount to ,125,000, and after the payment of this interest there would remain an annual surplus of over half a million pounds to provide for development and reduction in existing charges. To pay more than ,000,000 would, from an economic stand point, be unwise, as it is only by commencing with a reasonable debt that it can be hoped to make a complete success of State ownership. To be compelled to pay interest on a debt of ,000,000 would be a permanent stumbling block in the way of either reduced rates ::>r rapid development. For this reason it would be inadvisable to interfere with the existing Railway control for the present. All our energy should be devoted to securing the immediate nationalisation and development of our canals and waterways. At some future time the proprietors of the Railways will be in a more reasonable state of mind, and when they are prepared to abandon control in exchange for ,000,000 worth of guaranteed 3f per cent. stock, the matter can be further considered by the Irish people. For the purpose of determining the price to be paid for our Canals and Waterways, the basis to be adopted should be the average annual net profits earned during the twenty years immedi298
THE TRANSIT PROBLEM ately preceding the date of nationalisation. Assuming the average annual net profits of all our Canals and Waterways for this period to be .,000 (they would, I believe, be less), a sum of Government Stock sufficient to bring in this income should be given to the proprietors of the Canals. Assuming that the Stock created for this purpose carried interest at the rate of 3! per cent., the total amount of Stock to be created would amount to .,666. No consideration should be given to competitive or monopoly value, as considering the fact that the present control is antagonistic to the best interests of the country, the claim of the proprietors for prefer ential treatment could not be sustained. Ultimately, when both Canals and Railways are under State control, the Canals will be indispensable as a means of transport for heavy and cumbersome commodities They can be worked together, and the existence of a good system of Canals will facilitate the more efficient management of our Railways. Distribution is, next to production, the most important factor in aiding towards prosperity. Cheap conveyance of commodities from one place to another is absolutely essential. The need of the moment is a reduction of from 35 to 50 per cent. in the rates on all commodities. To secure this reduction in the present rates, and an ultimate reduction in the capital value of the Railways, we must commence by nationalising our Canals and Waterways, and a national demand to secure such control is necessary and desirable. In a system of nationalised Canals we have the one means by which we can lower Railway charges. If our industries are to be protected, united and immediate action is imperative. :l99
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SONGS OF THE IRISH REBELS BEING A CHAPTER FROM AN IRISH ANTHOLOGY By P. H. PEARSE I. A FAREWELL TO FAL By GERALD NUGENT (circ. 1573) Sad to fare from the hills of Fal, Sad to leave the land of Ireland The sweet land of the bee-haunted hens, Isle of the hoof-prints of young horses! Albeit my faring is over the eastward ocean, And my back is turned to the land of Fionntain, All heart for the road hath left me : No sod shall I love but the sod of Ireland. Sod that is heaviest with fruit of trees, Sod that is greenest with grassy meadows, Old plain of Ir, dewy, crop-abounding, The branchy, wheat-bearing country! If God were to grant me back again To come to my native world, From the Galls I would not take it to go Among the crafty clans of England. Were there even no peril of the sea In leaving the lios of Laoghaire, I shall not deny that my courage would droop To fare from Delvin is hard Goodbye to the band I leave behind, The lads of Dundargveis, The songs and minstrelsy of the plain of Meath, Plain of the noblest companies! 301
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SONGS OF THE IRISH REBELS II. ON THE FALL OF THE GAEL By FEARFLATHA O'GNIVE (circ. 1580) Woe is me for the Gael Seldom a mind joyous At this hour among them,All their noble are perished! A symbol one giveth of them : The remnant of a slaughter Tortured by pain of their wounds, Or a wake-watch returning, Or a barque's crew that a sea hath whelmed, Or a band sentenced to death, Or thralls in Galls' fetters, Irish under outlanders They have bartered strength for weakness, Comeliness for uncomeliness, Courage for cowardice,-Hailed as heroes no longer. To the men of F 6dla 'tis grief That forei g n oxen have ploughed In place of their studs of slim steeds Every green field of Ireland. Gall-troops in their chiefs' meadows, White towers where stood their strongholds, Market-places in every countryside, Ricks on the heights of their hastings Lugh's Isle knoweth not Any of her spacious green fields, Smooth hills after the slaughter : Free Ireland will be an England! 303
THE IRISH REVIEW 11i .&1t111'0 .&1cme t).&eU
SONGS OF THE IRISH REBELS The tribe of the Gael knoweth not Banba, nurse of their heroes, And I Ireland knoweth not theffi ., They are both transformed. Woe that the King of Heaven's Rath To lead us from bondage Hath not sent us a new Moses, Tribe of battle-greedy Criomhthann. 0 Trinity that hath power, Shall this race be always in exile, Farther off from Conn's city, Or shall we have a second glory? Shall the prophecy come true For the host of grim strangers Of the saintly seer of Conn's race, The pure patriarch Colm? If Thou hast consented That there be a new England named Ireland, To be ever in the grip of foes, To this isle we must say farewell! of the train of Seaghan an Diomais when he visited Queen Elizabeth in 156:1. A paraphrase in English of his Fall of the Gael was given in Charles O'Connor's Dissertations." The text was published by Hardiman in 1831 with a metrical English version by Henry Grattan Curran. Sir Samuel Ferguson has given a vigorous but very free metrical translation in his" Lays of the Western Gael." I print only twelve of twenty-four quatrains. Both poems are in Deibhidhe.
LULLABY (After the Russian) By KATHARINE TYNAN God the Father gave thee me, Jesus Christ presented thee. Mary that's without a stain Brought thee to my window pane ; Nursing thee, so litde and good, Under her hair and her blue hood. Olga, said the blessed one, Take thou him and call him John. Call him from the Baptist John, And him who was my second son. Blessed Mary tossed me thee As a young rose from a young tree. For all he is so soft and small He will be thy man and tall, Said Mother Mary : Olga, take him With thy milky bosom slake him. See he sleeps when he is fed Lest he cry uncomforted. Mary Mother in Heaven's joy Took so great thought for my boy. When thou goest to the well Linger not to gossip and tell. When thou goest to the shop Loiter not lest he wake up. 306
LULLABY And peace in Heaven be undone Because a child cries all alone Sleep now little John, that playest Christ be with thee where thou strayest In the most sweet fields of sleep Where He leads His lambs and sheep. When the time comes thou shalt rise With lo v eliest dreams in quiet eyes. Sleep steals at even-fall Along the ben c h, beside the wall. While fade in dreams father and mother, Sleep and weariness kiss each other Drowsiness in sleepy streams Falls like rain or the moonbeams. Sleep says : Give me the child : Hushes thee at her breast: so mild. Sleep sli.e breathes, lie still and warm, Little John, in the bend o' my arm Drowsiness at the small ear, Whispers, I am sleepy, dear. Drowsiness in the grey veil And Sleep like the moon pale. Kneel beside thy cradle stirred, And the bee's asleep and the bird The angels keeping watch By the pane, lifting t:he latch, Ask if thou sleepest sweet, Little eyes, little hands, little feet 307
WALTHER VON DER VOGELWEIDE By NESTA DE ROBECK IN all the whirl of modern artistic life we pause perhaps hardly long enough to be duly grateful to the patient labours of the literary and musical savants who, especially during the last few years, have brought to light so much beauty which had long lain hidden. This is certainly the case with the Troubadours and Minne singers, that race of poet-musicians who do more than almost any to show us one of the most attractive sides of the wonderful time we call the Middle Ages. It seems strange, indeed, that that heaving, restless mass, the Germanic Empire, should have produced anything so delicate and charming as the German Minnegesang, which :floats like some beautiful improbable flower on the troubled waters of the r 3th century. Three names stand out prominently from the very large number of Minnesingers--Wolfram von Eschenbach, Gottfried von Strassburg, and Walther von der Vogelweide. If the first two of this remarkable trilogy are especially great as epic poets, it was Walther von der Vogelweide who, far from being merely a true child of his own time, laid the foundation of German lyric poetry, and is a personality of importance to literature in general. The child of his time was Walther the Minnesinger, who was universally recog nised by his contemporaries and followers as the foremost singer of his day; and it is perhaps impossible to realise Walther the poet without a glance at that Minnegesang which, in him, reached its highest point. In the whole history of the r 2th century there is probably nothing more interesting or surprising than the seemingly sudden appearance of the Troubadours and Minnesingers, for they arose spontaneously in the two countries, as far as we know, almost at the same moment-about I I 50. To determine in any way the causes of this sudden poetical movement is extremely difficult, but without doubt many influences combined to bring it about. There must surely have been a feeling of artistic and intellectual activity in the air during those years which saw the buildingof such cathedrals as Chartres, Bamberg, Worms, St. Mark's of Venice, which could not fail to stimulate expression also in the other arts; and in many ways, too, it was essentially a moment of moral activity. r r 18 witnessed the foundingof the Order of the Templars, whilst soon afterwards Bernard of Clairvaux roused Europe to a state of burning enthusiasm by his preaching of the Crusade. It was an imaginative age, at any rate as far as the ideal and 308
WALTHER VON DER VOGELWEIDE the distant were concerned, however great the disregard to individual suffering, and every class was fired by the vision of the Holy War, which drew noble and peasant, priest and layman, to the banner of the Cross. To the nobles, at all events, another ideal went hand in hand with this military ardour, and inspired the whole code of chivalry-the idea of the relationship of the knight to his elect lady. There is, without doubt, much in the Troubadours and Minnesinger literature, which shows only the exaggerated adventurous side of this sentiment; but, taken at its highest, it lay behind many of the finest deeds and artistic efforts of the Middle Ages Is it too much to look upon the spirit of it, freed from all coarsening elements as essentially the same that later inspired the passion of Dante and has never ceased to rule the hearts of men? The whole chivalric educa tion revolved around it, and to its softening influence must be attributed much of the grace of imagination which characterised those centuries ; whilst the knight's desire not only to fight for his lady, but also to sing her praises was so strong, that a certain poetical and musical capacity came at last to be looked upon as an indispensable qualifi c ation whether in court or camp. Besides reflecting this all -pervading spirit of chivalry, the Min negesang combined also to a certain extent two particular and widely divergent currents of artistic life. The Church had been, and still was, the principal centre of art, and education had to be chiefly sought in the monasteries. Here were handed down the musical traditions of Saint Ambrose and Saint Gregory, whilst everything was a means of ministering to religious needs. Despite this very strong influence, there had been, however, from time immemorial a widespread current of secular, popular music and poetry, of which the Spielleute were the chief exponents. These Spielleute, or Players, wandered from village to village, singing, playing and relating stories in the various gatherings of the people, who always gave them a warm welcome. Like the French J ongleurs, they must have played an important part in acting as connecting links between distant parts of the country and in spreading news and legends of every sort. Amongst all the various holidays, none were more popular with the people than the May Day revels, when it was the custom for rounds to be danced in the open air, led by young girls, and accompanied with singing and playing. The late Monsieur Gaston Paris has shown how close the connection was between all this early popular art and the dance in general, whilst probably in this case it was doubly strong. Whether or no the performers recog nised the undoubted relationship of these rounds with rites of an unorthodox nature is uncertain, but it is equally evident that the 309
THE IRISH REVIEW whole art of the Spielleute was looked on with the greatest distrust and dislike by the ecclesiastic authorities, who did their utmost to limit it in every possible way. Such a channel, however, is too deep to be easily turned aside, and this secular art had a far-reaching effect, which it is difficult to estimate. Like the Spielleute, the Minnesingers also led roving, wandering lives, to which, indeed, the constitution of the Empire at that moment was especially favourable. The innumerable princes, who acknow ledged the suzerainty of the Emperor, were absolute masters in their own dominions; and many of these small courts became harbours of refuge for the singers, where they were sure to find willing hospitality. Many of the rulers and great nobles were themselves Minnesingers, who were almost always of knightly birth, and instead of the village gatherings, the castle hall was the fitting background to their songs. They seem generally to have set their poems to music them selves, and to have accompanied them on the vicille, or harfanet, for the Spielleute appear hardly to have been the same inseparable companions of the Minnesinger as the J ongleurs were of the Trouba dours. The music of the Minnesingers is to-day a much-discussed problem, but it would seem certain that any question of rhythm in their melodies should be referred to a consideration of the metre of the text, a decision to which all their views on art generally seem to point. Poem and melody, metre and rhythm, were to them equal parts of one whole, each indispensable to and mutually completing the other. This idea of the basic unity of the two arts unfortunately was greatly lost sight of during the rise of instrumental music, and many centuries elapsed before artists realised again the truth of the Minnesingers' conceptions. The Minnegesang quickly reached a high degree of technical perfection, thanks largely to Reinmar der Alte and Heinrich von Veldeke, and it must not be supposed that their compositions were limited entirely to singing of chivalric romance. Love, it is true, is the theme of many songs-sometimes under the aspect of the knight's service to his elect lady, often Love personified in an ideal figure, Frau Minne; again Divine Love, and devotion to the Blessed Virgin; but, apart from this, the German singers, even at this early date, showed all that affection for forest life, and Nature generally, which has always been such a feature in the literature of their country. Such was then very roughly the art to which Walther von der Vogelweide was born, and such the general feelings as to art prevalent in the Empire at that moment. One cannot but think that it was a time peculiarly suited to the requirements of a poet. Great events stirred the air, and men needed but little to rouse their enthusiasm 3ro
WALTHER VON DER VOGELWEIDE and accept an ideal rather than material view of life. The singer was everywhere welcome, for his art was felt to be, not a luxury, but an indispensible necessity. Although there are no historical documents dealing with Walther's life, it is nevertheless fairly easy to get an idea of his career from his own works, in which he constantly speaks of himself. He was born, about 1170, near Bozen in the Tyrol, and his family belonged probably to the lesser nobility, for he often makes mention of his poverty. At the age of twenty he left his home to seek his fortune at the court of the Dukes of Babenberg in Vienna The years passed in the capital seem to have been amongst the happiest of his life, and he was fortunate in falling under the teaching and guidance of Reinmar der Alte, one of the most genial of the Minnesingers. The death of the duke was a great blow to Walther; and shortly after wards the whole Empire was plunged into all the terrors of one of those disastrous civil wars which so often accompanied the election of the Emperor. Walther spent the next years in wandering from country to country, going as far as Hungary on the one side and France on the other. He seems to have stayed some time at the court of the Landgrave of Thuringia, in the Wartburg, which was always a stronghold of the Minnesingers, and there he would have taken part in the famous Tournament of Song which, according to ihe legends, took place in 1207. He must, however, have Somewhat tired of qis roving life, for on his repeated demands the Emperor Frederick II. gave him a small property near Wiirzburg, where he appears to have settled down. The Emperor, with whom he was always on terms of intimate friendship, did not, however, allow him to remain long in this seclusion, and entrusted him with the education of his son, a charge which kept the poet for some years about the court. It is impossible to follow all Walther's political opinions, which were always very strong, but it is interestingto note his attitude during the long struggles between Frederick II and the Pope. He never ceased, by every means in his power, to support the Emperor, and was unsparing in his denunciations of the Papal demands. Devotion to the imperial idea, and to the person of the Emperor, was perhaps as dear to him as it was later to be to Dante, and it affected the whole course of his life. His great wish to follow his master to the Holy Land was fulfilled in 1228, when he embarked on the Crusade. Two songs tell of his joy at seeing Palestine with his own eyes, although he cannot have stayed there for very long, as in 1230 he was back again in Wiirzburg, and died not many 111ionths after his return. He was buried in the precincts of the cathedral, and perhaps to many people the fact most generally known 3II
THE IRISH REVIEW about him is the legend, told in Longfellow's charming poem, of his bequest to feed the birds daily around his tomb. The legend adds that the cathedral chapter soon turned his donation to ends more practical, but certainly much further from the poet's wish. With few exceptions, Walther's melodies have all been lost, and for us to-day the Minnesinger disappears in the poet whose influence is felt through so much of German literature. In reading his poems one sees, not merely the reflection of a period, or even charming verses on any particular subject, but the poet himself, for Walther had the talent of communicating his own vivid personality to his works, and stands revealed on every page, now serious, now whimsical, in all his own characteristic originality. Never throughout the volume of his songs does the freshness of his ideas wane, or the spontaneity for a moment become dry, and everywhere one feels the ready utterance of a poetical nature expressing itself in its own chosen way. His works, which have been made accessible by the excellent translations of the mediaeval into modern German, may be divided into the three forms most common to the Minnegesang, the Lied, the Lay, and the Spruch. The Lied, or song, which was always intended to be set to music, was divided into three parts-two Stollen, or strophes, which were identical in construction, and an Abgesang, or Aftersong, which introduced a variation on the original metre. The term Stollen was borrowed from architecture, in which the Stollen are the two pillars supporting the arch, united by a single transverse beam. This extremely symm etrical idea is almost universal in the Minnesinger songs, but apart from these fundamental laws the utmost liberty was allowed, and hence the great variety of metre and form which is to be found throughout this period of lyrical poetry. Every singer strove for originality, and each new combination was called a "Ton," and often known, especially in later years, by the name of its com poser. Walther's Lieder are numerous and varied, and though the circle of his ideas may seem somewhat limited to us, yet in this relatively small frame, he was a master, having at his command all the resources of his art. Music is the soul of all lyrical expression, and his sense of rhythm and choice of words are often particularly delightful. The following examples, and they might easily be multiplied, will serve, however, better than any clumsy attempt at explaining it to show the charm which pervades Walther's poems, both in imagina tion and expression : 312
WALTHER VON DER VOGELWEIDE Gewalt der Minne* Wer gab dir, Minne die Gewalt Dass du so allgewaltig hist? Du zwingest beide, Jung und Alt, Dagegen gibt es keine List Ich lobe Gott, seit deine Band Mich fesseln, seit so recht ich hab' erkannt Wo trever Dienst sei an der Zeit. Da weich' ich niemals ab : oh Gnade, Koniginne, Lass sein mein Leben dir geweiht Schonheit und Tugend. Heil sei die Stunde wo ich sie erkannte Die mir die Seel, und den Leib hat bezwungen W o ich die Sinne ganz hin zu ihr wandte Die sie
THE IRISH REVIEW Eine Sorg, ich tie im Busen trage Weil von ihr ich !assen nimmer mag, Heimlich gem, ich oftmals bei ihr ware Spat bei N acht und an dem lichten Tag, Doch das kann ja nimmer sein Denn ni c ht will s die liebe Herrin nein The Lay is an e x tremely old form, which can be traced back as far as the 9th century, when it had already a great vogue, both for secular and religious subjects. The lays, which were originally probably sung or danced, were often of considerable length, and the construction was so free that the most different metres follow each other with apparent disregard to any sort of rule. Walther seems to have composed but one lay to set beside his many Lieder, and his is one of the few of that period which deals with a sacred subject, and it is certainly one of the most beautiful. The Spruch, or Saying, differed from the Li e d in that it was intended for declamation only, and also in it the rules of the Stollen and Abgesang were frequently ignored. It was generally a short, often very witty, composition dealing chiefly with social, moral or political questions of the day. In it Walther found an excellent medium ready to hand for giving free rein to his general, and particu larly to his political opinions. The following specimens show the poet in two widely differing but equally characteristic moods: Das ungastliche Kloster Man sa g t mir stets von Tegernse e Dort Gastfreundschaft in Ehren steh Dah bog ich mehr denn eine Meile von der Strasse. lch bin ein wunderlicher Mann, Dass i c h mic h s e lbst nic ht leiten kann U nd mich zu viel auf fremder Leute Red' verlasse lch s c helt' sie nicht, nur gnade Gott uns Beiden. Man gab mir Wasser : Also nasser Musst' ich von des Abtes Tische scheiden. Gottes Unerforschlichkeit Du machtiger Gott, du bist so lang, du bist so breit : Bedachten wir es doch, class M iih wir nicht und Zeit 314
WALTHER VON DER VOGELWEIDE Vertoren Ungemessen sind dir Macht und Ewigkeit. Das weiss ich Hingst, wenn Anderr Sinn dich zu erforschen trachtet Dein Wesen ist, und bleib den Sinnen U nerforschlichkeit. Du hist zu gross, zu klein, und unser Sinn umnachtet Ein Thor, wer Tag und Nacht es zu ersinnen schmachtet Will er erforschen denn, was nie gepredigt noch ertrachtet? In art proverbially there is nothing new-neither any age-a thing of beauty once is a thing of beauty for ever, however the literary idiom may have changed. The enjoyment of it rests with the reader, who, if he but know how to read beyond the letter to the spirit, will find the gulf between centuries bridged, and the mediaeval poet no longer a mere name, but a living voice. And having thus read, we may assurely say with Hugo von Trimberg : "Her Walther von der Vogelweide Swer des vergaez, der taet mir leide." .3 [ 5
THE SOUL OF KOL NIKON By ELEANOR FARJEON Kol Nikon and the Fancy-Folk IT became Kol Nikon's intense longing to find his brother under the hill and play him his heart's desire. He could give every child in the village what it most wished : for hungry little ones he made luscious feasts, ragged ones he clothed in cloth of silver, like queens and princes; for the little bold boys he peopled a world of dragons and glittering deeds ; for little sweet girls he unlocked the rose-garden of King Laurin. A child he loved greatly lay staring at death in a fever, and was declared past hope, because it could win no sleep. One night Kol took courage to walk into that house-in no house was he welcomeand say, Let me try what I can do." The mother looked at him and trembled. Begone, Changeling! I'll have no curse on my little one's soul in its last hour." "I'll not harm it, I'll cure it," said Kol. Nay, but how?" said she. It's my secret, and I won't tell," Kol answered, "but if you will leave me alone with your child I will drive out the fever and make it sleep." The desperate woman looked at Kol, and it seemed to her that he was all her hope. On me be it, Lord, if I do wrong," she prayed in her heart, "but let the power be good or ill, so it save my child." She searched the house for three crucifixes, and one she hung in the chimney, and one she set at the window-hasp, and one she placed on the keyhole of the door, then she left Kol alone with her child. She sat with her ear strained to the panel, yet she never heard what music Kol made that night as he gazed into the fever-bright eyes of his little friend. It was the Mild Berchta's spell that sealed those lids at least. Kol heard the serene breathing and saw the dew break out on the flushed skin, and he hid his fiddle again beneath his coat and turned to go. But neither by door nor window was there egress for him, nor up the wide chimney. He shrank within himself like a leaf in winter, and approached as near to the door as he dared. "Let me out!" he whispered hoarsely, with teeth that chattered. The woman heard him and opened. He fled past her, shaking from head to foot. What did he hug so fast to his breast? thought she. Had he, after all, got possession of her child's soul? She ran into the room, 316
THE SOUL OF KOL NIKON and soon was thanking God upon her knees. So well Kol Nikon knew how to satisfy whatever need was most imminent in a child. Therefore he yearned to find his brother, and bring peace to that unpeaceful spirit. And he roamed in vain the hills from base to crest, wondering which of them prisoned his mother's son. One night, as he wandered into the wood playing to himself, it was as though a veil had been snatched from his eyes, and he saw earth and air teeming with tiny forms. Out of the ground they crawled, and fell in a troop from the disc of the yellow moon ; a flight of them lifted clear of the stream, a swarm slipped through the crevices in the tree-trunks. They whirled singly, paired, and in glittering groups, in bands and lines and mazy rings, like moonshine gone mad with mirth. Kol stood staring in their midst, his heart thumped against his breast, as though it were trying to jump out. "Good evening, Kol Nikon!" cried thousands of tiny voices. Do I-know you?" stammered Kol. "Don't you know us, Kol Nikon? Don't you know us, boy with the elf's heart? Don't you, brotherkin ?" Out of the throng limped \Vittekind with his wrinkled smile. Are you sure you do not, Kol ? Think a little." Kol rubbed his lean fingers hard upon his brow. "They are-" he said with a stumbling tongue, they are-the Greencaps. Yes. They are the little people, the Fancy-folk. Often and often I heard their feet when I played. Now I see them, my kindred, my people." The thousands of tiny creatures clapped their hands and broke into a peal of laughter. "Our brotherkin knows us "they screamed delightedly. "Wel come, Kol Nikon, be welcome among us !" Kol snatched his fiddle info position. Dance, dance, dance cried he, playing wildly, wonderfully. All about his head and feet they twinkled and sparkled and twirled and span. Hey, what a marvellous music our brother can make said they, stroking his face and hands. They left kisses in his hair as they flitted about his shoulders. "Ay, I can, and more marvellous yet !" panted Kol. "What can you sing for us then, brother Kol ?" "I can sing a sorrow for the souls we have not," said he. Then it was thousands of tiny wistful eyes he saw set eagerly on his face. Sing us that song-, Kol Nikon," they begged. "Let us hear that singing, brotherkin." "Ay," said he, "for a gift." And what shall it be?" 317
THE IRISH REVIEW Show me the hill where my brother bides." It's we are your brothers, boy with the elf's heart." "The brother I mean is my mother's son." "What will you with your mother's son, Kol Nikon?" Whatever he will of me, little green ones." And that is the world he never will see." Then that will I give him." "We would have him forget, Kol Nikon." "We soulless forget !" wailed Kol. "He never !" They led him to a hillside bright with the honey light of the moon. "Hereunder he bides," said they. "Now sing to us of our souls." "And will he hear ?" Kol asked. Never a note from the world can reach him, so cunning-close earth has woven his ceiling," they answered. But I wish that he hears," said Kol. That's out of the bargain, brotherkin. Play us the song." Kol was an instant silent, then he said, My feet slip on the hill side ; I am not easy here. Fetch me that little rock yonder." Many tiny hands did his bidding, and dragged the rock and propped it under his feet. Then again they urged him : Sing us the song you promised And he did so. Now that song of Kol's had no words, and I cannot tell it you. When it was done they clamoured about him in their thousands. Wouldn't you like to come home, Kol Nikon?" they whispered. "Won't you come back to us under the hill and make us that music for ever and ever ?" "We have no for ever," said Kol. "There's a day to come will be our never. It will be a quick white flame in the universe and we the little smoke of it." "Be ours till then," they coaxed and begged. "Come home to us, brotherkin." I am better here." "Nay, we are happier under the steep grass. What you lost, Kol Nikon, when we chose you for changeling Come back and let us make up your loss to you." "I am better here," he repeated. In the hideous sun ?" "I love the sun," Kol answered softly, "I love all there is by day and night ; and what I can't touch I love best of all. Did I lose much when you chose me for a changeling ? But I gained something too." He smiled at them cunningly through the slits of his lids. I'm 318
THE SOUL OF KOL NIKON one step nearer my soul than you sun-haters. I'm better up here, little green-caps." Wittekind came close and looked into his eyes. "Come back to us, Kol Nikon," said he, "and your mother will have her own again." Kol shivered all over. "I can t do that !" he gasped. "No, I can't do that. I love my brother, but I won't lose my chance of a soul for him, Wittekind. My mother, she'd hug him and hug him so. I won't do it I won't I won't screamed Kol. "It is near sun-up. Open the hill," said Wittekind. "Oh, little brother," he turned very gravely to Kol, "what chance is yours, I wonder, to get you a soul ?" I'll make chances You miss the best, and they are the ones we do not make for ourselves, Kol Nikon." He struck the ground, and it yawned where he struck ; the tiny people dived into the dusk of the earth, and Wittekind went the last of all. And now, before the hole could close again, Kol, swift as light ning, slipped the little rock into the opening and where the ground bit upon it, unable to meet, a crack showed deep in the hillside. Kol cast himself flat with his quivering mouth upon it. Hullo, you down there whispered he. Up through the crack from the bowels of the earth floated a little sigh. Kol Nikon's Brothe r There was a week when the children sought Kol in vain. All those seven days he sat on the hillside, and triecf to bring joy to his brother. On the first day Kol played him the colour of light from dawn to dusk, for this, he thought, must be the thing the little hill-prisoner most yearned to know. But at the end of that day's playing, when he leaned his ear above the crack in the earth, the sole payment of his music was another sigh Then Kol knew that he had brought no solace to his brother, and went home with a heavy spirit On the second day he played of the night, the peace and the unrest of the open dark, its freakish winds, its mysteries of moonshine. And again Kol carried away in his breast only that faint echo of a sigh. The third day he played of simple joyous things, birds, flowers and grass, leaves and running brooks, tumbling the laughing know ledge of them into the underground world where these things had no place. 319
THE IRISH REVIEW The fourth day he played nothing but the moods of the sea. For the fifth day's music he chose the changes of the year. At the end of this day he lay with his mouth to the crack and whispered, "Why are you still in pain down there? I don't know what more to give you." But he went away with a little premonition of anxiety tugging at his heart. On the sixth morning Kol, having considered the night long what thing the captive yearned for set a bolt on the door of growing certainty, and said to himself, It is companions, surely, my brother cries after, little human friends." So that day he sat on the hillside playing his sweetest of children ; such a troop of happy boys and girls and dimpled crowing babies he sent dancing into the underworld as must chase the loneliness of any little solitary eating his heart out there. Yet the close of day found Kol crying pitifully through the earth : What is it you want of me ? I love you better than any child I know. Why can I give to them all their dearest desires, and not to you ? What do you want, brother, what do you want ?" But now he was very sure. On the seventh morning he again came sleepless to the hole and cast himself above it imploring : "Must you have her too ? Must you ? Leave me something. He sat an hour and struggled with himself before he could bring his fiddle to his chin, but at last he forced the bow across the strings. And he played the song of his mother over and over again as he had never played it. But when the night fell he screamed aloud lying with his ear against the earth Will you never be satisfied ? Haven't I given you enough ? Arn I to tear my heart into bits for you ?" cried Kol. For out of the depths came a sigh of more weariness than he had yet heard. I don't know what it is you want so much, brother he cried again. "Yes, son of my mother, I know! But I can't give her to youno, I can't I won't Sigh after sigh mounted swiftly till his ears buzzed with them. He felt he must not rest till he could still those sighs, and pleaded anew with the dweller in the underworld. I've given you beautiful music this seven days, the most beautiful there is above or below the earth-you'll never hear such again. The music you want isn't like that brother. Why should it ease you when mine cannot ? Why should you want to hurt me so ? B e quiet-be at peace down there !" Still his head swam and was dizzy with that sorrow of sighs. His lips began to tremble and his breast to quiver. "Have it your way." he said sullenly, and, rising, sped to his home where his mother was making ready for bed. "Come you with me," Kol muttered from the doorway. 320
THE SOUL OF KOL NIKON What's afoot now ?" said she. I've found where they keep your son under the hill." She started upon him, her face suffused and alight. "Ah she cried, torn betwixt fury and prayer, "this will be for some trick on me !" Think so, then stammered he, and ran out of the house ; she hard behind him, panting. On the hillside Kol pointed one thin finger to the crack. Down there he sits, and has no peace." "And that glads you !" flashed she, as she knelt rocking her body above the black hole. Glad indeed's the heart in me," gasped Kol with dry lips. "But your son will never know ease until--" "Do I not know how to bring ease to my son ?" said she softly. Her hard countenance bloomed like a rose Oh, my babe, my wee childie !" she whispered, "sleep, my pretty heart, it's Mother is by you." She began to croon a little song with her ageing voice that was so empty of music One foolish lullaby upon another she mur mured lovingly into the dark ground, little prayers she hummed again and again and again, to teach the darling captive of the Lord God and his white angels and the dear Christ his son. Kol sat at a short distance on the hill ; his fingers were twisted about his knees, his face was white and very drawn, all his body seemed intolerably parched and aching. Once she broke her low croon to cast him a look and say, "What care we how you sit and gfoat upon us, changeling? We have each C)ther now, my dear and I." She returned again to her lullaby prayers, and Kol continued staring with starved and jealous eyes. Kol Nikon's Dre ams From this night forward it became more and more than ever Kol's grim determination at any cost to win himself a soul. Without it he abandoned all hope of getting a soft look from his mother How could she be expected to love the doomed thing that he was? But if one day he came to her, a human creature newly-born, lit with the spark that is humanity's salvation, would she not croon for joy above the little flame in its infancy, and cherish it until it grew a steadfast light? Only, Kol was so desperately ignorant of the means to attain his soul. He knew not which way to turn for help. Sometimes, hungrily and shyly, he sought it of the children, but 321
THE IRISH REVIEW he found that those he loved knew nothing of their souls; the ones whom he loved no more were perhaps beginning to speak and think of this new possession as a distinction honourable to themselves, and it was, he supposed, one of the reasons why he ceased to endure them. Their serene consciousness when preparing for Confirmation galled him out of all measure. And great as was his need, by no effort could he bring himself to turn to the elders in the village, so sure was he that any overture from him would meet with scorn and harshness. For Kol' s uncan niness had increased with his years, and the tenderest woman who might have pitied his neglected childhood now g ave him wide berth. This was when Kol had passed his eighteenth birthday. He was a figure strange to look upon, loose and lean and bony. His pale hair had the tint of dead straw; it was lank and straight, and fell across his forehead in stray wisps. Dead hair, some called it ; but one or two, who by chance had touched it with their hands and felt a shivering thrill from finger-tips to heart-strings, called it not dead, but mad. His eyes were wonderful; now they were blue, now grey, now black, and often green. But whatever their hue, the flat sheen of steel overlaid them, so that none could pierce further than the surface of them. And there were those who said his eyes were more deep than the unfathomable ocean, and those again who said they were more shallow than rain that wets a stone. But whatso ever lay at the back of them, the eyes of Kol Nikon guarded an inviolate secret, save for the few for whom he chose to lift the barrier. One only, besides the children, had seen it lifted. During this time Kol dreamed constantly of his soul. It was generally like a star above his head in a dark sky; strange birds that beat about the misty places of his dreams would drop at his feet the feathers of their wings, and he would try painfully to fashion them into wings of his own with which he might sweep aloft to snatch the prize out of the far heavens. But either the feathers fluttered hope lessly through his fingers, or when success seemed imminent he awoke, struggling with screams against the consciousness that dragged him from his vision. But once he seemed to wander on grey shifting sands washed by a voiceless ocean, and on the edge of the distance his soul's star glimmered low and attainable. Full of trembling hope he waded out into the dim waters, until they rose about his waist, and then his neck; he tried to swim, and could not, sinking heavily, yet still would have walked forward, though he must needs meet death sooner than the distant light he longed for. But when the waters reached above his chin, an unseen and immeasurable force descended like a solid wall upon the tides, barring his progress and 322
THE SOUL OF KOL NIKON chilling him with terror. He lifted high two feeble hands to fight it, and drifted impotently beneath the wave. A green gloom surged about him, and through it he thought he heard a far-off voice that sighed : '' Sometimes I seek to crush him with my hands but in the end I know that he will win ." Kol Nikon and /anke One night a storm of terror swept the country. In their homes people fastened door and window and crouched aghast beneath their bed-coverings, believing the next blast of rain drenched wind must rend the roof from groaning walls. Through sheets of darting flame burst thunder-bolts that tore vast clouds tip by the roots, tossing their wreckage wildly athwart a ruined sky. Kol in a frenzy of fright ran hither and thither in the forest. All the c reatures of the open had fled in fear to the best shelter they c ould find. The instinct of self-preservation clamoured in Kol, but bird's refuge is not man's. Presently he stumbled on a little cabin. He knew it for J anke's, who lived alone, following his dead father's calling. It was years since the two boys had exchanged speech, but Kol was driven by extremity. He fell against the window, beating it and crying for entrance. Someone came to the window and drew the curtain. By the light of the hearth Kol saw Janke looking at him through the glass; by the light of the heavens Janke saw the staring eyes of Kol. And then Kol beheld the birth of hesitancy in the young woodsman's face, and thought he was to be left shelterless in the storm Not moving his eyes from J anke's, Kol swiftly slipped his fiddle under his chin. Janke wailed the strings beneath the bow. Poor Janke Janke is cold and wet out in the storm. Janke is afraid of the lightning and thunder. Is there none to care for Janke in his need? His skin creeps, and the marrow shivers in his bones. "Poor Janke poor Janke ." Janke hastened from the window and opened the door, straining his muscles against the elements that would have wrenched it from his hold He signed to Kol to step in quickly. Kol heard how his teeth chattered, and his face was clammy. Janke fastened the door again, and made Kol come close to the fire, which he fed as though he could not get warmth enough into the room. He did what he could to assist Kol, who was in pitiable plight, and gave him food and drink. He said nothing, but breathed heavily all the 323
THE IRISH REVIEW cime, and when he had accomplished the last possible ministration he sat beside Kol over the fire and buried his face in his hands. Kol watched him askance with commingled elation and susp1c10n. Half an hour passed in silence. Then Janke lifted his head and looked his guest squarely in the face. He seemed to struggle for speech, but at last found the words he wanted, jerking towards the door. I couldn't leave a dog out there to-night Kol Nikon." The name came hoarsely with an effort. "No?" said Kol, sardonically. "Nor I a man." Janke relapsed into silence, brows knitted. But he appeared to have achieved some mastery of himself. When next he turned his eyes on Kol, Kol quaked and started towards the door. Come back," said Janke, with some contempt. "Look different, then!" whimpered Kol. Janke laughed shortly. "You do raise a devil in me, Kol Nikon, and that's the truth. I'm not such a bad fellow either well, I don't know. But you've less to fear from me than from that." The window had grown blue with light again. Or I wouldn't be trusting myself here," said Kol, returning stealthily to the fire. I '11 do you no hurt to-night," said Janke. A subtle smile played about Kol's lips. "To hurt me, mightn't that be fo hurt yourself, Janke?" "What do you mean?" demanded the other roughly. Kol flinched and said with haste," Cannot one injure one's soul?" They say so." "But yours, Janke," persisted Kol with an odd eagerness, "it's quite uninjured yet--quite, quite stainless! isn't it? isn't it?" Lord said Janke. I don't bother about it." Kol gripped his hunched up knees till his knuckles showed white. Then why is it yours? Don't you use it ever?" "What a queer fellow you are," remarked Janke good-humour edly. How on earth could I use it?" On earth, not at all, I should think," said Kol drily. It isn't a hand or a foot." Janke suppressed a yawn. There you're right." You think so, eh? But what do I know of it? Only I can't understand why things are given to those who don't want them. How did you get your soul, Janke?" Born with it. I suppose." "H'm! that was lucky, wasn't it? But if you had not beenhow would you set about getting one?" 324
THE SOUL OF KOL NIKON "Beg, borrow, or steal!" laughed the other, indifferently. "So that's the way of it?" mused Kol. He leaned forward and whispered fiercely. "Keep that idle soul of yours stainless, Janke-keep it so! There'll be work for it one day." What a pack of nonsense you talk, Kol Nikon Heavens what a flash Hark now The women in the village will be dead with fright, I'll be bound. Where are you off to?" I forgot I forgot panted Kol, striving with the bolts. "You're crazy! Can't you hear the storm's at its climax? Every tree in the forest is a death-trap." But before Janke finished speaking, Kol had vanished. He was racing to be his mother's shield and comfort; if only she would permit him. Kol Nikon's Mother But she was not in the home. The door swung helpless on a broken hinge, and the empty rooms were flooded with the wind. It swept Kol through the house from front to back. He cried: "You fool, Kol Nikon!" and ran out again at his topmost speed. The tempest caught him and swirled him like a leaf about the streets, but he struggled with it and gained at last the open hillside, where his mother in her nightgown lay stretched above the hole in the ground. "Mother's watching," she crooned, though the tumult drowned her voice. "Mother's by you. Hush, my dearie !" She quavered into a little song: Sleep, my white lammikin, "Though the storm's high, Mother is guarding you, By-low-bye." Kol dropped on his knees beside her. "Mother!" he screamed in her ear. But she seemed not to hear him. Lightning can't strike, Thunder can't crush, Mother is rocking you, "Hush, my heart, hush!" sang she. Kol bent over her and stared into her open eyes. "Mother! Mother!" he cried again. But she neither saw nor heard him. For she was stricken totally blind and deaf. To be continued 325
REVIEWS OLIVER GOLDSMITH. By Padraic Colum. London: Herbert and Daniel (The Regent Library). Cloth zs. 6d. net In his introduction to the Regent Library edition of Goldsmith, Mr. Padraic Colum claims that he has put the best of his author's essays together. '' N o one,'' he adds, '' has hitherto made a selection that is ample and at the same time judicious." Mr. Colum's selection, not only of the essays but of the poems, plays and letters, is ample. It was obviously impossible in such a volume to deal adequately with "The Vicar of Wakefield" and the longer prose works. There is indeed a well-known passage from the novel and a most interesting series of passages from "Animated Nature," but we do not regret the brevity of these. Mr. Colum's whole selection is admirably judicious. He fits into less than four hundred pages everything that a student and admirer of Goldsmith would look for in such a volume: the best essays; the most interesting letters; all the poems, including Retaliation," which is to be found only after a second search, at the end of the plays; two scenes from The Good-natured Man "; the whole of She Stoops to Conquer ; an admirably chosen set of appreciations ; a calendar of events in Goldsmith's life; a bibliography and an iconography. One may demur at the printing of disjointed scenes from a play, but Mr. Colum's defence must be allowed. For us The Good-natured Man is good only in parts. I ts structure is in terms of the traditional intrigue, and this makes it tedious." This selection, too, is judicious. The editor's introduction of eighteen pages is an excellent appreciation of Goldsmith, his life. his work, his times. It shows him as an Irishman who spent half the years of his life in our Midlands; no alien, seeing that his people were related by blood and marriage to the Old Irish; deeply impressed by Irish Music, both the folk tunes and the compositions of Turlough O'Carolan, the last of the Irish bards, who died when Oliver was ten years old, and to whom he devoted an essay twenty-five years afterwards. It is a pity that the introduction has, in a manner, to be written into a defence of Goldsmith, a defence against the stupidities and miscomprehensions of Boswell, Macaulay, Thackeray, and the other Broadbents of literary history and criticism. But it is well that even Philistinism should call forth a defender who has the wisdom to take his weapons from Goldsmith's own armoury. "Read 'Retalition,' "says Mr. Colum, and learn the secret that Goldsmith kept from his associates. The poor soul had sometimes parts, but never common sense,' Horace Walpole wrote. Let us note some occasions upon which he showed his parts outside the world of his imagination. He anticipated a prison system in which there should be rewards as well as punishments, and he advocated a relaxation of the penal code. His political judgments would have given Swift or Burke the reputation of being masters of reality. Thirty years before their 326
REVIEWS revolution he foretold that the French would vindicate themselves as to liberty. He foretold that the Russian Empire would be a menace to the liberties of the \N estern nations.'' Another defence, that of the literature of the eighteenth century against modern criticism is as brief and cogent. It shows the direct social import of most of the literary work of the time. "The writers of the age," says Mr. Colum, created in literature not the individual, but the social type. Society that is for us a series of dissolving views was for them a thing established.'' And Goldsmith's various writings are shown to have this the common characteristic -they are pieces of social literature. This is all admirable and penetrating criticism. Three questions to indicate faults found in the book: Is the portrait which serves as a frontispiece by a pupil of Reynolds, as there stated, or by Reynolds himself, as stated in the iconography? Why have the publishers disguised the handsome vo!ume with a caricature of this same portrait printed on a dust cover? Why is the name of Mr. W. B. Yeats dragged in after those of Swift, Goldsmith, Sheridan, Oscar Wilde, Bernard Shaw, all of whom, according to Mr. Colum, "brought a new reality into English literature?" We can find good reasons for grouping the other four names around Goldsmith's, however exactly we may define the new reality ; but while admitting to the full the value of Mr. Yeats' work, and even the virtue of his use of colloquial language in lyric poetry, we cannot here find a parity. For the rest, a good book, well edited, and well produced. THE RIPPLE. By Miriam Alexander. Melrose and Co. 6s. The Ripple is a novel that we are glad to welcome-first because it contains an interesting story, and secondly because it sets Irish life and character during a misunderstood period in a right perspective The period of the story is after the Revolutionary War, and the Irish characters in it are neither the Teagues of the English legend nor the ineffectual adventurers of the more sympathetic romance. Rory Macgillaciaran, Eoin O'Sullivan, and Mrs. O'Sullivan, whose lives are lived in Europe, are genuine Irish gentlefolk; and so is Lady Athleheene, who lives in a cabin in Mayo. The new ascendancy is shown in coarse and provincialised types, like the Bradshaws and Heigue Macgillaciaran, who prefers to be known as Van Kaaren. Van Kaaren's daughter, Deirdre, is the person with whom the story is most concerned. In her the ascendancy mind is shown in all its simplicity. The novel takes its title from a word in Lady Athleheene's speech: I sometimes think that every deed, however small, is a stone cast into a dark pool on which the ripple spreads and spreads far beyond our sight. I wonder who will drown? For someone drowns in every ripple-someone who had no part 327
THE IRISH REVIEW in casting the stone." The ripple begins in Hanover, when Florence O'Malley becomes the close friend of Philip von Konigsmarck ; it carries Rory Macgillaciaran to Ireland in search of papers that should make Maurice Saxe master of estates in Poland, and thus help him to make a kingdom for himself in Coutland; it carries Deirdre Van Kaaren to Courland, where she meets Maurice Saxe, who loves her for a while, and loses his claim to the throne because of that infatuation. In reading The Ripple,'' we are carried from Ireland to Poland, and from Poland back to Courland and to Paris. The novel has freshness of character and freshness of scene. Deirdre Van Kaaren and Maurice Saxe are the most memorable people in the book, but the attempt that is made to make Rory Macgillaciaran memorable does not succeed. We are constantly told that he is marvellously ugly. but we are never made to realise his appearance-the masters of narrative can make us a physically ugly man in every line he says and every action he undertakes. Jack Cassell Morrow, whose picture, The Seaweed Gatherers," we repro duce this month, was born in Belfast on February 24th, 1872. Several of his brothers are well-known artists, and pictures by two of them, Eamonn and Norman Morrow, have already appeared in the" Irish Review." Although Jack Morrow's art has developed independently of any school, some of his work shows a depth of vision combined with a restraint of expression that gives him a certain affinity to the most likeable of the Impressionists. As, however, no artist is completely developed until either he or his art is dead, it is too soon to prophecy as to what will be the final form of expression of Jack Morrow's inspiration. He has been called the most promising of the present company of young Irish artists, but his recent work shows more than promise-it shows power.
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i i i 3 2102 04013857 6 POETR Y AND No. 2 VARIA: Poetry and the Public-The lmagistes-A on Poetasters-A National Theatre-Moliere as Antidote-Experiments w ith Puppets Sumurun-Mermaid I ights-Literary Dishonesty-A Futurist umber of POETRY AND DRAMA-The Death of the Poet Laureate-Particulars of POETRY AND DRAMA. POETRY: Emile Verhaeren, Rabindr a nath Tagore, Victor Plarr, J o hn Drinkw ater, I-farold Monro, John Helston, Henry Simpson STUDIES AND APPRECIATIONS Emil y Verha eren : an Appreciation Thomas H ardy d Dorchester Michael T H. Sadler Edward Thomas Rupert Brooke J ohn Donn e The Greek Genius (H) A M ode l Antho l ogy A Romney Green /. C. Squire CHRONICLES : Current Engli s h Poetry Dramatic Chronicle Frenc h C h ronicle Ita lian Chronicle The Editor Gilbert Cannan F. S. Flint Arundel del R e REVIEWS: A ... The Oxford Book of Victorian Verse-The Poetical Works of George Meredith-Poems New and Old -Henry Newbolt-Love-Poems and O t hers : D H Lawrence-The Venturers : Vivian Locke EllisL yrics : Lady Margaret Sackvi lle-A Boy's Will : Robert Frost-Death a nd the Princess : Frances Cornford-Songs of A lban : E. S LorimerN arcissus : Edward Storer-The Book of Lies :Frater Perdurabo-The Agate Lamp : Eva Gore-Booth-Agnus D ei : Nancy Campb ell. LIST OF RECENT BOOKS [ANNOTATED]. .. ---THE POETRY BOOKSH_QP. 35 Devonshire Street, Theobalds Road, w.c : i i
POEM-BOOK OF THE Translations from Irish Gaelic Poetry into English Prose and Verse Selected and Edited by Eleanor Hill With binding, design, title page and initials reproduced from Celtic Manuscripts In small crown 8vo., cloth, gilt top, 6/-net CHATTO & WINDUS, PUBLISHERS III ST. MARTIN'S LANE,LONDON, W.C. POETRY AND DRAMA A quarterly periodical devoted to the criticism and appreciation ....... poetry and drama of all countries, published on the r 5th une, September and December, at the Poetry Bookshop, shire Street, Theobalds Road, London, W.C. contains : n subjects relating to poetry. Original work by modern riticism of important current books of poetry, biography rt of the theatre. A survey of American, French, Italian, an literature, and the drama. al suscription 10s. 6d. net, post free. t each. Separate cop1es, In connexion with POETRY AN fl DRAMA, a Bookshop has been opened for the sale or poetry, and all books, pamphlets, and periodicals conn.ected directly or indirectly with poetry. Orders for foreign books and periodicals will be promptly executed. For further information call, or write to The Poetry Bookshop, 35 Devon shire Street, Theobalds Road, London, W.C. A BROADSIDE. 5th Year. With Ballads by Ball 1 d Singers, living and dead; and with drawings by Jack -B. Yeats. (Hand-coloured). Published monthly: first number published \n June, 1908 Subscription twelve shilling a year post free. A few complete sets from the cnmmencement still for sale. CUALA PRESS, DUMDRUM, _COUltTY DUBLIN", IRILAMD.
SOME CONTRIBUTORS TO THE IRISH REVIEW AUTHORS lE MIRIAM ALEXANDER R. ARNOLD E. A. ASTON PIARAS BEASLAI OSBORN BERGIN HANNAH BERMAN FRANCIS BICKLEY GEORGE A. 13ERMINGHAM ELIZABETH BLOXHAM THOMAS BODKIN MAURICE BOURGEOIS ERNEST A. BOYD JOSEPH CAMPBELL SIR ROGER CASEMENT GRENVILLE A. J. COLE PADRAIC COLUM NORREYS CONNELL BRYAN COOPER DANIEL CORKERY JAMES H. COUSINS BLIGH TALBOT CROSBIE E. T. GCLVERWELL CONSTANTINE P. CURRAN EDMUND CURTIS SUSANNE R. DAY LORD DUNSANY JOHN EGLINTON ELEANOR FARJEON DARRELL FIGGIS DERMOT FREYER OLIVER GOGARTY ARTH l'R GRIFFITH MARY HAYDEN DOUGLAS HYDE MAUD JOYNT LAURENCE KEERAN R. J. KELLY T. M. KETTLE HoN. EMILY LAWLESS W. M. LETTS R. A. S. MAcALISTER THOMAS MAcDONAGH lE HARRY CLARK MARY DUNCAN BEATRICE ELVERY WILHEMINA GEDDES GRACE GIFFORD NATHANIEL HONE AUGUSTUS JOHN GERALD FESTUS KELLY SEAN lVIAcGIOLLANATHA BRIN SLEY MAcN AMARA MARY C. MAGUIRE JEAN MALYE THOMAS MARKHAM EDWARD MARTYN RUTHERFORD MAYNE GERALD McCARTHY JAMES CREED MEREDITH KUNO MEYER E. FORTESCUE MORESBY CRAWFORD NEIL F. CRUISE O'BRIEN DERMOT O'BYRNE PADRAIC O'CONAIRE D. J. O'DONOGHUE STANDISH O'GRADY SEUMAS O'KELLY CON O'LEARY F. C. ORMSBY SEUMAS O'SULLIVAN P. H. PEARSE E. F. PHIBBS JUSTIN PHILLIPS JOSEPH PL UN KETT K. F. PURDON M. A. RATHKYLE FORREST REID MADELEINE REYNIER NESTA DE ROBECK GEORGE W. RUSSELL FREDERICK RYAN P. J. SHERIDAN W. A. SINCLAIR F. SHEEHY SKEFFINGTON H. SHEEHY SKEFFINGTON JAMES STEPHENS AN ULSTER IMPERIALIST CAPTAIN J. R. WHITE ST. JOHN WHITTY FLORENCE M. WILSON W. B. YEATS ELLA YOUNG ARTISTS RICHARD LONG CASIMIR DUNii\' l\1ARKIEVICZ E. A. MORROW JACK CASSELL MORROW NORMAN MORROW DERMOD O;BRIEN WILLIAM ORPEN JACK B. YEATS JOHN B. YEATS.