Зображення сторінки


more tolerable ; he was kindly re. Folengus, who published a collection ceived and patronized by Edward, re- of Macaronic verses under the fictitious tained for some time at his court, and name of Merlinus Coccajus, has given, afterwards allowed to pass into his in strange and almost uvintelligible native country,

language, a singular picture of his inMichael, after his long absence, ap- cantations. pears to have arrived in Scotland at a critical conjuncture, when the nation

Behold renowned Scotus take his stand

Beneath a tree's deep shadow, and there was plunged into grief by the death

draw of Alexander the Third, * and it be

and it be. His magic circle, in its orb describe

His m came necessary to send ambassadors Signs, cycles, characte

Signs, cycles, characters of thousand shapes, to bring over from Norway the young and with imperious voice his demons call. queen Margaret, grand-daughter to Four devils come ; one from the golden the deceased monarch. + Sir Michael West, Scott, and Sir David Weems, were, Another from the east ; another still by the Regents, appointed to proceed Sails onwards from the south ; and, last of to Norway upon this important ser

all, vice. It is well known, that Edward Arrives the northern devil. By their aid the First, who intended to marry

He forms a wondrous bridle, which he fits his eldest son to the heiress of Scots

Upon a jet black steed, whose skin, por land, had the chief management of Nor saddle e'er encumbered. Up he the negotiations with Eric, King of

mounts, Norway, and the certainty of his pre- Cleaves the thin air, like shaft from Turkvious intimate acquaintance with the ish bow, English monarch, in common with Eyes with contemptuous gaze the fading the popular tradition upon the subject, render it extremely likely that And capricoles amongst the painted clouds. this knightly personage of the same Oft, too, with rites mysterious, from the name was none other than the Wiz

neck ard Michael Scott. His long resi

Of his dark courser, he will pluck the locks,

And burn them as a sacrifice to him dence abroad, united to his age and

Who gives him rower o'er nature. Next experience, peculiarly recommended

he draws, him for such a foreign mission. S This

With silver wand, upon the smooth firm was the last service in which we can

- beach, trace his name, and it was a melan. A mimic ship. Look out. Where ocean's choly and unfortunate one. || The verge young queen sickened on her passage Meets the blue sky, a whitening speck is to Scotland, and died in Orkney, leay

seen, ing her kingdom to be torn and dis. That nears and nears, her canvass spreads tracted by the competition between

to heav'n, Bruce and Baliol, and the perfidious

Fair blows the wind, and roaring thro' thie intrigues of the royal umpire Edward,


On comes the gallant ship, in which he sails Michael did not live to see the mic

To farthest Ind; but this adventure needs series of his native country. He died

A sacrifice more potent, human marrow soon after in the year 1292, after hav- Scooped from the spine, and burnt to the ing attained to an extreme age.

dark kirg We have already seen that the ma. Whom he must serve : now holding up to gician obtained a niche in the Inferno heav'n of Dante.

His scholar's cap, he mutters words of Quell' altro che ne fianchi e cosi poco

power, Michele Scoto fu, che veramente

And as the charm is working, you may hear Delle magiche frode seppe il gioco.

Wailing and weeping from the troops of Canto xx. 1. 115.

That live in the mid air, who thus lament Another poet of Italy, Theophilus That they must do his bidding. He who

wears • Maitland, Hist. Scot. Vol. I. p. 402. This magic cap, invisible can walk, + Hailes's Annals, Vol. I. p. 237. And none so lynx-eyed as detect his preBuchanan's Hist. Scot. Book VIII. sence

In the most peopled city : yet beware, f Rymer, Vol. II. p. 533. Wynton, Let him not, trusting to the demon's power, B. VIII. c. l.

i Cross the white splendour of the sun, for | Niceron, p. 96. Vol. XV. .



[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Although no palpable substance is disa his works with the advanced state of cerned,

human knowledge in our own times ; His shadow will betray him.

for when we attend to the march of Such is a free paraphrase of the science, and pursue the links in the verses of the pretended Merlin Coc- chain of discovery, a boy of the eighcaius.* The supernatural power here

tural nower here teenth might read a lecture to a sage ascribed to the magician's cap is not of the sixteenth century. This is alone to be traced in the poem of the very evident, yet it is one of those Mantuan Buffoon Folengus. The truths generally admitted, yet, in cantrips of the warlock's bonnet are forming our opinions, little acted on. recorded in many of the tales which To weigh the talents of Michael still live amongst the peasantry of Scott, we must compare him with Scotland. +

men of his own age, and estimate From the narrative which has been his powers by the state of science given of the life and writings of Min in the countries where he lived and chael Scott, he certainly appears to wrote, and became celebrated. Aphave been an extraordinary man. He pealing to such a criterion, the Scotlived in favour and friendship with tish Wizard may hold his head very three of the most warlike and power: high amongst the philosophers and ful sovereigns in Europe. In a dark scholars of Europe. The author of and ignorant age he was remarkable Mensa Philosophica would be entitled for his learning, and in times when. át any literary banquet to take his to travel in search of knowledge to seat amongst the most distinguished distant countries, was a work of exluminaries at the table. He was certreme danger, owing to the unlicensed tainly the first who gave Aristotle in manners of the feudal governments

"Sfine formal covernments à * Latin dress to the learned world through which he passed, he had embarked in the perilous adventure,

* I am aware that, if we may believe and had sought for knowledge in

e in Trithemius, (See Brucker, Vol. III. po France, Italy, Germany, and Spain.

* 669,) Herinannus Contractus, a German He travelled, indeed, protected by the

philosopher of the eleventh century, had,

at this earlier æra, translated some volumes superstitious dread with which the

?, which the of Aristotle from the Arabic into Latin, vulgar regarded him, for he was uni- but these volumes do not now exist. Tri. versally reputed a magician, and many themius quotes Hermannus himself as the á fierce baron, who would have cared only authority for the fact, and the judilittle to have robbed or murdered the cious Brucker is evidently very sceptical defenceless son of science as he passed on the subject. Previous to the time of his castle. must have trembled be- Michael Scott, Daniel Morlay had in the neath his steel coat when the Wizard eleventh, and Robert of Reading in the declared his far-famed name, and

nd' twelfth century, addicted themselves to the ibreatened to make him feel its

study of the Arabian philosophy and litera

ture. Both were Englishmen. Robert of power. It is pleasant thus to see superstition, which, in later ages, has

Reading, after a life of travel and labour,

in which he visited France, Italy, Dabbeen the bane of knowledge, becom- matia, Greece, and Syria, returned from ing, in these earlier and darker pe- the East into Spain, and died Archdeacon riods, the protectress of infant science; of Pampeluna in the 1243. (Brucker, Vol. and we shall not wonder at the uni. III. p. 682.) Daniel Morlay, a native of versality of the belief which then pre Norfolk, after having studied at Oxford vailed.. that all superior knowledge and Paris, passed into Spain, and devoted was connected with preternatural himself to the mathematical sciences, and to powers, when we consider that it was

the acquisition of the Arabic language at Te.

ledo. A life of him is to be found in Bale the interest of the men of science to encourage a belief so conducive to

and Leland. But Morlay's works consist of

some treatises on mathematical subjects, and their personal security.

a dissertation which seems to be of a geoloWe do not take a fair method to

gical description, entitled, De Inferiori, et estimate the talents of a sage of the De Superiori parte Mundi, and Robert of thirteenth century, when we compare Reading wrote nothing but a collection of

Epistles--a Translation of the "Koran, of • Merlini Coccaii Macaroniea, XVIII. which Huetius, De Claris Interpr. p. m.230, p. 273.

speaks with great contempt ; and a Treatise : + See Notes to the Lay of the Last on the Mahomedan Religion. I think, Minstrel.

therefore, I am correct in saying that of the west. He was eminent as a concealed from the public view, stand mathematician and astronomer, he adds, that the common people of learned in the languages of modern Scotland, even in his time, believed Europe, deeply skilled in Arabic that these forbidden volumes, conand in the sciences of the East,-he taining the spells of the magician, had risen to high celebrity as a phy. were protected by the invisible demons sician. -and his knowledge of courts who had once been the servants of and kings had recommended him to their illustrious author. · W.: be employed in a diplomatic capacity by his own government. Nor has he been cheated of his fame. If we look ORIGIN OF THEVENETIAN FESTIVALS. to older authors, he lives in the pages BY GIUSTINA RENIER MICHIEL. of Roger Bacon, of Ficus Mirandula, of Cornelius Agrippa, in the lucubra fisi, Gondolier Song. tions of Gesner, of Naudens, of Leland, Bright sleeps the moonbeam on Venetian seas,

Å starry world unruffled by a breeze, in the works of Bale, of Dempster, or And stin th' enchanted City of the Isles Pitseus, of Baconthorpius. If we ask On the blue wave in pictured beauty smiles; as

But why should music breathe along her shore, for his historical immortality, he is when breedom na more i oprea

When Freedom's glorious voice is heard no more?

Hushed be our numbers-can their notes recal lie. If for his poetic honours ;-has The souls of Heroes to each ancient Hall ? mot Dante snatched him from oblivion, Oh! those are gone who made the Deep their

" Bride, aud our own great minstrel embalmed Their barks have left no traces on the tide! B him in the unperishable substance of Forget your songs, ye Children of the Sea,

Remember only that your sires were free. his first and most romantic poem? Bard of our hearts, farewell! thy lofty lays

nd Were made, o Tasso ! for triumphal days

For sceptred cities in their noon of power

For victor chiefs, in Glory's proudest hour! 3' complain ; while his miracles and in- -How may wę pour the song of days gone by?

Silence alone should mourn for Liberty! cantations are still recorded beside the cottage fire by many a grey-headed The name of Venice-that name to crone, and his fearful name stiil ba- which the associated recollections of nishes the roses from the cheeks of History, Poetry, and Romance. have the little audience that surround her.

attached so peculiar and powerful a Fortunate, too, he was in this cir.

ra charm-has lost none of its claims upcumstance, that, after his various on the feelings and imagination from travel and long residence abroad, ne the state of decay into which the returned to enjoy, in his native coun- « fairy city” of the Adriatic is now try, the reputation which he had ac- so rapidly sinking. Its fading splenonired, that he lived to a great age, dours, “ like setting suns, or music at and died full of years and of honour. the close,” become still more endear-> His books, we are informed by Dempo ed to us, from the probability that. ster. * after his death, were carefully even their faint remaining traces will

ere long be wholly obliterated. Michael Scott's was the first Latin version

The of any work of Aristotle, which, since the song of the Gondolier-the glittering few fragments published by Boethius, had streamers of the Bucentaur - the appeared in the west of Europe. The ce. princely merchants of the Rialto-the lebrated and unfortunate Boethius, the au- enchanted palaces of St Mark's will. thor of that elegant litiie work, De Consa. soon be remembered only in the crealatione Philnsophiæ, worthy almost of the tions of fiction, and will be considerAugustan age, translated into Latin, in the ed as completely the characteristics of fifth century, that part of the works of a departed time and a vanished sysAristotle which embraces the subject of the te

tem-as the stately magnificence of a Categories, and had formed the design of

Roman triumph, or the gorgeous completing a Latin version of the whole works of this philosopher. But his un masques and tournaments of chivalry. timely condemnation and death put an end to this noble plan.

he was born at his paternal residence of Dempster, Historia Ecclesiastica, B. Balwerie in Fife. I have since found, how.. xii. No. 940.

* ever, that, at Louvain, in 1487, was pub. It was formerly stated that there was no lished, “ Michaelis Scoti de Balwerie de authority in Dempster, Boece, or Lesley, Procuratione et Hominis Phisionomia.” for calling Michael Scott the proprietor of This is the only authority I have seen for Balwerie, and these are the only authors calling him Scott of Balwerie. He is plain quoted by Mackenzie when he affirms that Michael Scotus in Rymer.

Under these impressions, every me the church, that of St Peter de Castello, morial of a city, whose " thirteen hun. then called Olivolo. Thither each bride dred years of freedom done,” have left repaired, carrying her moderate dowry in scarcely a vestige of their romantic a little casket called Arcella, for in those glory, possesses additional value and

happy times of innocence and simplicity, importance. The work of which we

husbands and wives were not obtained by

riches. The brides waited in the church are about to introduce a specimen is

for their future husbands, who came acintended to retrace those splendid na

companied by their relations, their friends, tional Festivals, established by the and a crowd of spectators. They all as

policy of the Venetian Republic, in sisted at mass, which was celebrated by . commemoration of its triumphs, and the bishop, who afterwards preached a ser in honour of its heroes. As a record mon on the sanctity of the engagement of customs and institutions, equally which the affianced pairs were about to distinguished by their peculiarity, and contract. He then consecrated their vows, remarkable in their result, and as a by bestowing the Episcopal benediction on tribute of patriotic affection to the me

each couple in turn. When these ceremory of a fallen country, it cannot

monies were completed, the bridegrooms fail to interest our readers. It is the

took their partners by the hand, and after production of a Venetian lady, who

having received the Arcellu, returned to

their own houses, accompanied by the joyhas shared the decay, as her noble an

ous train who had followed them to the cestors formerly contributed to the church. The rest of the day was passed glory, of her native city. She is thus in feasting and dancing, but these amusementioned by Mr Rose in his “ Let- ments were still characterized by frugality ters from the North of Italy.” and simplicity. When the constitution of « Yet a little, and Venice will be a

the Republic was settled, and a Doge esta be, a


blished as its chief Magistrate, the city ha. Baby Babylon, with the substitution of the ving increased in riches and nonulation. it gall for the bittern, and the porpoise for

was resolved to bestow additional brilliance the fox. Should you be desirous of raking

ing and magnificence upon this ceremony. : A for riches amidst her rubbish, read the

decree was passed, that twelve young woTeste Veneziane, lately published, by La

men of irreprochable conduct, and eminent Dama Renier Michiel. This lady' has, in

beauty, selected from the poorest families, her description of the Venetian Festivals,

should be portioned by the Republic, and put together much that is curious and interesting, and, having formed a chaplet out the

should repair to the altar, accompanied by

the Doge, arrayed in his royal mantle, and of relics long trampled in the dust, hung

followed by his illustrious train. It was it up on the altars of ber country, in a spi

then that the ornaments of the brides be rit that would not have mis-seemed the

came more splendid and costly, though most illustrious of her ancestry.”

they still retained the modest simplicity of The following words, concluding their robes, which were all white, as well the author's interesting preface, will as the veil thrown negligently from the give an idea of the deep, though sup- head over the shoulders. The hair and pressed, feelings with which this work

neck were, however, decorated with gold, was undertaken.

pearls, and diamonds. Those who had

not the means of appearing so richly deck. “I have endeavoured, with the most ed out, did not disdain to borrow for the scrupulous attention, to render my style day, the jewels, and even the golden crown, calm and simple, in order that the truth placed upon the head to distinguish the may appear in its natural colours ; but if, brides. Those who were portioned by the notwithstanding my efforts, the ebullitions state were decked, by the care of the go. of a patriotic heart have sometimes escaped vernment, in the same manner; but as restraint, I entreat the reader to look upon soon as the fete was over, they were cbliged them as flowers bathed with tears, shed by to restore all their ornaments, not having the most devoted daughter over the grave liberty to retain any thing more than their of the beloved mother whom she has seen simple dowry. The additional pomp, espire."

however, rendered this interesting institu.

tion much more striking and beautiful. We give the following extracts from But an event, which happened about the this lady's description of the celebrat- year 944, gave a new character to this fesed Venetian festival called the Fête of tival. The pirates of Trieste, always eager Marriages. It appears that it was for plunder, jealous of the rising power of formerly the custom to solemnize all Venice, and enraged at the glory acquired the nuptials of the Republic on the by the Venetians from continual triumphs same day, and in the same church. 1 over them, had formed a plot unequalled

in, cruelty and treachery. To insure its « This day was the 20 February, and success, they hid themselves in their barks, VOL. VII.

the night before the grand fete of marriages, terprise, the government gave them the and placed themselves in ambush behind privilege of demanding whatever recom-* the island of Olivolo. In the morning, pense should be most agreeable to them. when all the reople were assembled in the How extraordinary does their answer apchurch for the ceremony, these pirates cros- pear in these times! They only entreated sed the canal with the rapidity of light. that the Doge would pay a visit to their ning; landed sword in hand ; rushed in. parish on the anniversary of the festival stantly into the sanctuary through every which had just been instituted. The Doge passage; dragged the young brides from himself, though living in days very differ. the altar; and having secured them and ent from ours, was surprised at so simple their caskets, returned to their barks, and a request ; and in order to give them an immediately set sail. What could be done opportunity of demanding something more by the peaceable inhabitants of the Vene- important, he raised difficulties with regard tian islands, who had at the moment no to this visit, and said to them, with all the arms to defend themselves, but festoons of naiveté of the bon rieur tems, And what laurel and garlands of flowers ?

if it should rain ? “We will give you “ Candian III., who was then Doge, in- hats to cover yourselves,' said they. And dignant at the shameful outrage which had suppose we should be thirsty a We just been perpetrated in his presence, was will supply you with drink,' they replied. the first to rush out of the temple; and, No further objection could be made, and followed by the bridegrooms and all the it was impossible to refuse so moderate ą, attendants, he traversed every quarter of demand. The agreement was maintained the city, summoning all the citizens, and on both sides, and even to the latest times rousing every heart to revenge. A great of the Republic, the Doge, with the nobles, number of barks were immediately assem- repaired every year, on the day of this fete, bled, filled with brave and indignant com to the church of St Maria Formosa. There batants, at the head of whom the Doge the curate met him, and presented him, in placed himself. Heaven and justice were the name of his parishioners, with hats of favourable to the champions of so just a gilt straw, flagons of malmsey wine, and cause; a fair wind swelled their sails, and baskets of oranges. they overtook the ruffians near Caorle, “ With regard to the festival, it was no where they were disputing together on the longer called that of marriages, but of shore of a little port, respecting the division the Marias.' It is not known whether of the females and the plunder. The Ve- the nuptials continued, from that time, to netians did not lose an instant, but attack- be celebrated in the same manner as for. ed, fought, and vanquished them. Not a merly. This, however, is certain, that to single enemy escaped, and the Doge, whose the last days of the Republic, marriages vengeance was not yet satiated, ordered all in Patrician families were solemnized with their bodies to be thrown into the sea, in so much pomp, and so great a concourse order to deprive them of the rites of sepul- of people, that each wedding-day might ture. To perpetuate the memory of this be considered as the day of a national ju. event, he called this little port the Port of bilee. We are ignorant why the name of the Virgins, which name it still retains. the Marias was given to this fete, for no The Venetians then set sail to return historian has assigned a reason. May we home; the brides were brought back in not suppose, that it was because most of triumph, and all restored, uncontaminat. the young women who were carried away ed, to the arms of their mothers. Every bore that name, which is still very com. heart was elate with joy, and the happy mon in Venice, and was even more so in people all congratulated each other on an ancient times? Perhaps, also, it might be event which had so greatly added to the because the ceremonies of the fete con. glory of the nation. The sacred ceremony cluded with a visit to St Maria Formosa, recommenced, hymns of gratitude were which was then the only church dedicated mingled with songs of joy, and the youth- to the Virgin Mary. However this may ful brides felt additional pride and happi. be, the fete was at first distinguished only ness, in belonging to men who had just by the gratitude and devotion of the good defended them so valiantly, and acquired islanders, so that its fame did not extend new and more powerful claims to their af. beyond the narrow limits within which it fection and esteem. The nation decreed was celebrated; but at length it became unanimously, that this ever-memorable so renowned for its magnificence, that exploit should be commemorated every strangers thronged from all countries to year at the same epoch ; and as the com- behold it. It was no longer 'restricted to pany of the Casselleri, (a sort of joiners,) a single day, but prolonged during eight who principally belonged to the parish of successive ones; and animated with an enSt Maria Formosa, had furnished the thusiasm of gaiety, wbich justly entitled it greatest number of barks, and had contri. to the notice of many writers, who, making buted the most essentially, by their zeal use of the Latin tongue, have given it the and promptitude, to the success of the en- name of Ludi Mariani, in imitation of the

« НазадПродовжити »