Графични страници
PDF файл

was ;-an ignorance not very probable; but the knights sometimes disguised themselves purposely.

The old King did not long survive his festivities. He died in less than three months, on the first day of the year 1515; and Brandon, who had been created Duke of Suffolk the year before, re-appeared at the French court, with letters of condolence, and more persuasive looks.

The royal widow was young, beautiful, and rich; and it was likely that her hand would be sought by many princely lovers; but she was now resolved to reward herself for her sacrifice, and in less than two months she privately married her first love. The queen, says a homely but not mean poet (Warner, in his Albion's England) thought that to cast too many


Were oft to erre no lesse
Than to be rash : and thus no doubt
The gentle queen


That seeing this or that, at first

Or last, had likelyhood,
A man so much a manly man

Were dastardly withstood:
Then kisses revelled on their lips,

To either's equal good.

Henry shewed great anger at first, real or pretended : but he had not then been pampered into unbearable self-will by a long reign of tyranny. He forgave his sister and friend ; and they were publicly wedded at Greenwich on the 13th of May.

It was during the festivities on this occasion (at

least we believe so, for we have not the chivalrous Lord Herbert's life of Henry the Eighth by us, which is most probably the authority for the story; and being a good thing, it is omitted, as usual, by the historians) that Charles Brandon gave a proof of the fineness of his nature, equally just towards himself, and conciliating towards the jealous. He appeared, at a tournament, on a saddle-cloth, made half of frize and half of cloth of gold, and with a motto on each half. One of the mottos ran thus:

Cloth of frize, be not too bold,
Though thou art mateh'd with cloth of gold.

The other :

Cloth of gold, do not despise,

Though thou art matched with cloth of frize. It is this beautiful piece of sentiment which puts a heart into his history, and makes it worthy remembering.



The Ancients had three kinds of Household Gods, -the Daimon (Dæmon) or Genius, the Penates, and the Lares. The first was supposed to be a spirit allotted to every man from his birth, some say with companion ; and that one of them was a suggester of


good thoughts, and the other of evil. It seems, however, that the Genius was a personification of the conscience, or rather of the prevailing impulses of the mind, or the other self of a man; and it was in this sense most likely that Socrates condescended to speak of his well-known Dæmon, Genius, or Familiar Spirit, who, as he was a good man, always advised him to a good end. The Genius was thought to paint ideas upon

the mind in as lively a manner as if in a lookingglass ; upon which we chose which of them to adopt. Spenser, a deeply-learned as well as imaginative poet, describes it in one of his most comprehensive though not most poetical stanzas, as

That celestial Powre, to whom the care
Of life, and generation of all
That lives, pertaine in charge particulare ;
Who wondrous things concerning our welfàre,
And straunge phantomes doth lett us ofte foresee,
And ofte of secret ills bids us beware:

That is our Selfe, whom though we do not see,
Yet each doth in himselfe it well perceive to bee.
Therefore a God him sage antiquity

Did wisely make.-Faerie Queene, Book ii. st. 47.

Of the belief in an Evil Genius, a celebrated example is furnished in Plutarch's account of Brutus's vision, of which Shakspeare has given so fine a vers on (Julius Cæsar, Act 4, Sc. 3). Beliefs of this kind seem traceable from one superstition to another, and in some instances are immediately so. But fear, and ignorance, and even the humility of knowledge are at

hand to furnish them, where precedent is wanting. There is no doubt, however, that the Romans, who copied and in general vulgarized the Greek mytho logy, took their Genius from the Greek Daimon : and as the Greek word has survived and taken shape in the common word Dæmon, which by scornful reference to the Heathen religion came at last to signify a Devil, so the Latin word Genius, not having been used by the translators of the Greek Testament, has survived with a better meaning, and is employed to express our most genial and intellectual faculties. Such and such a man is said to indulge his genius:he has a genius for this and that art :-he has a noble genius, a fine genius, an original and peculiar genius. And as the Romans from attributing a genius to every man at his birth, came to attribute one to places and to soils, and other more comprehensive peculiarities, so we have adopted the same use of the term into our poetical phraseology. We speak also of the genius, or idiomatic peculiarity, of a language. One of the most curious and edifying uses of the word Genius took place in the English translation of the French Arabian Nights, which speaks of our old friends the Genie and the Genies. This is nothing more than the French word retained from the original translator, who applied the Roman word Genius to the Arabian Dive or Elf

One of the stories with which Pausanias has enlivened his description of Greece, is relative to a Genius. He says, that one of the companions of Ulysses having

been killed by the people of Temesa, they were fated to sacrifice a beautiful virgin every year to his manes. They were about to immolate one as usual, when Euthymus, a conqueror in the Olympic Games, touched with pity at her fate and admiration of her beauty, fell in love with her, and resolved to try if he could not put an end to so terrible a custom. He accordingly got permission from the state to marry her, provided he could rescue her from her dreadful expectant. He armed himself, waited in the temple, and the Genius appeared. It was said to have been of an appalling presence. Its shape was every way formidable, its colour of an intense black, and it was girded about with a wolf-skin. But Euthymus fought and conquered it; upon which it fled madly, not only beyond the walls, but the utmost bounds of Temesa, and rushed into the sea.

The Penates were Gods of the house and family. Collectively speaking, they also presided over cities, public roads, and at last over all places with which men were conversant. Their chief government however was supposed to be over the most inner and secret part of the house, and the subsistence and welfare of its inmates. They were chosen at will out of the number of the gods, as the Roman in modern times chose his favourite saint. In fact, they were only the higher gods themselves, descending into a kind of household familiarity. They were the personification of a particular Providence. The most striking mention of the Penates which we can call to mind is in one of Virgil's

« ПредишнаНапред »