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his bed without waking him, no limb-twisting fool in a pantomine should create wilder laughter. The toy with the string between its legs is hardly a posture-master more extravagant. Imagine a despot lifted up to the gaze of his valets, with his eyes shut, his mouth open, his left hand under his right ear, his other twisted and hanging helplessly before him like an idiot's ; one knee lifted up, and the other leg stretched out, or both knees huddled up together. What a scarecrow to lodge majestic
power in !
But Sleep is kindly, even in his tricks; and the poets have treated him with proper reverence. According to the ancient mythologists, he had even one of the Graces to wife. He had a thousand sons, of whom the chief were Morpheus, or the Shaper; Icelos, or the Likely; Phantasus, the Fancy; and Phobetor, the Terror. His dwelling some writers place in a dull and darkling part of the earth; others, with greater compliment, in heaven ; and others, with another kind of propriety, by the sea-shore. There is a good description of it in Ovid; but in these abstracted tasks of poetry, the moderns outvie the ancients; and there is nobody who has built his bower for him so finely as Spenser. Archimago, in the first book of the “Faery Queene” (canto 1, st. 39), sends a little spirit down to Morpheus to fetch him a dream.
"He, making speedy way through sperséd ayre,
In silver dew his ever-drouping head,
"And more to lull him in his slumber soft,
No other noise, nor people's troublous cryes,
Might there be heard ; but carelesse Quiet lyes,
Wrapt in eternall silence, farre from enimyes.” Chaucer has drawn the cave of the same god with greater simplicity ; but nothing can have a more deep and sullen effect than his cliffs and cold running waters. It seems as real as an actual solitude, or some quaint old picture in a book of travels in Tartary. He is telling the story of Ceyx and Alcyone in the pocm called his “ Dream.” Juno tells a messenger to go to Morphcus, and “bid him creep into the body” of the drowned king, to let his wife know the fatal event by his apparition.
“ This messenger tooke leave, and went
Upon his way ; and never he stent
That slepte, and did none other worke." Where the credentials of this new son and heir, Eclympasteyre, are to be found, we know not; but he acts very much, it must be allowed, like an heir presumptive, in sleeping, and doing none other work."
We dare not trust ourselves with many quotations upon sleep from the poets; they are so numerous as well as beautiful. We must content ourselves with mentioning that our two most favourite passages are one in the Philoctetes of Sophocles, admirable for its contrast to a scene of terrible agony, which it closes : and the other the following address in Beaumont and Fletcher's
tragedy of “ Valentinian," the hero of which is also a sufferer under bodily torment. He is in a chair, slumbering; and these most exquisite lines are gently sung with music :-,
"Care-charming Sleep, thou easer of all woes,
Brother to Death, sweetly thyself dispose
And kiss him into slumbers, like a bride.”
Sleep is most graceful in an infant ; soundest, in one who has been tired in the open air ; completest, to the seaman after a hard voyage ; most welcome, to the mind haunted with one idea ; most touching to look at, in the parent that has wept ; lightest, in the playful child ; proudest, in the bride adored.
[NOTE.—It should be observed that there are two poems of Chaucer's with similar titles—6. Chaucer's Dreame” and “The Dreame of Chaucer.” The passage quoted above is from the latter. The foregoing essay on Sleep was Hazlitt's favourite among the Indicator papers ;
perhaps," cays Leigh Hunt, in his “ Autobiography” (Chap. XVI.), “because there is a picture in it of a sleeping despot; though he repeated, with more enthusiasm than he was accustomed to do, the conclusion about the parent and the bride.”—E. O.]
'HE elements of this story are to be found in the old poem called “ Albion's England.”
Aganippus, king of Argos, dying without heirs male, bequeathed his throne to his only daughter, the beautiful and beloved Daphles. This female succession was displeasing to a nobleman who held large possessions on the frontiers; and he came for the first time towards the court, not to pay his respects to the new Queen, but to give her battle. Doracles (for that was his name) was not much known by the people. He had distinguished himself for as jealous an independence as a subject could well assume ; and, though he had been of use in repelling invasion during the latter years of the King, had never made his appearance to receive his master's thanks personally. A correspondence, however, was understood to have gone on between him and several noblemen about the court; and there were those who, in spite of his inattention to popularity, suspected that it would go hard with the young Queen when the two armies came face to face.
But neither these subtle statesmen, nor the ambitious young soldier Doracles, were aware of the effects to be produced by a strong personal attachment. The young Queen, amiable as she was beautiful, had involuntarily baffled his expectations from her courtiers, by exciting in the minds of some a real disinterested regard, while others nourished a hope of sharing her
throne instead. At least, they speculated upon becoming, each the favourite minister; and held it a better thing to reign under that title and a charming mistress, than be the servants of a master, wilful and domineering. By the people she was adored; and when she came riding out of her palace, on the morning of the fight, with an unaccustomed spear standing up in its rest by her side, her diademed hair flowing a little off into the wind, her face paler than usual, but still tinted with its roses, and a look in which confidence in the love of her subjects, and tenderness for the wounds they were going to encounter, seemed to contend for the expression,—the shout which they sent up would have told a stouter heart than a traitor's, that the royal charmer was secure.
The Queen, during the conflict, remained in a tent upon an eminence, to which the younger leaders vied who should best spur up their smoking horses, to bring her good news from time to time. The battle was short and bloody. Doracles soon found that he had miscalculated his point; and all his skill and resolution could not set the error to rights. It was allowed, that if either courage or military talent could entitle him to the throne, he would have had a right to it; but the popularity of Daphles supplied her cause with all the ardour which a lax state of subjection on the part of the more powerful nobles might have denied it. When her troops charged, or made any other voluntary movement, they put all their hearts into their blows; and when they were compelled to await the enemy, they stood as inflexible as walls of iron. It was like hammering upon metal statuary; or staking their fated horses upon spears riveted in stone. Doracles was taken prisoner. The Queen, reissuing from her tent, crowned with laurel, came riding down the eminence, and remained at the foot with her generals, while the prisoners were taken by. Her pale face kept as royal a countenance of composed pity as she could manage, while the commoner rebels passed along, aching with their wounded arms fastened behind, and shaking back their bloody and blinding locks for want of a hand to part them. But the blood mounted