It throws a whole different light on the conceptualization of the record. The following year, Cash released the first of many Rubin collaborations, kickstarting a career revival that lasted until his death in In his U2 biography, Bill Flanagan also claims the cartoon is Cosmo, the Soviet cosmonaut who was in space when the USSR fell and was left floating for weeks while the new government figured out who should bring him home.
The album cover also accidentally includes tracks recorded for Zooropa but left off at the last minute. These songs would eventually find life after Zooropa. God bless you. I was a little wrong about that. Zooropa was a success, but not by U2 standards. Achtung Baby managed to land five tracks onto the Billboard Top U2 aimed to fuck up the mainstream, but instead, after a brief moment at Number One, Zooropa ending up becoming their worst-selling album in the U. Williams would take this new technology and multiply it by 40 oversized screens to create a Blade Runner —like landscape for U2.
And like Bowie, Bono created characters like the Fly, MacPhisto and the Mirrorball Man to free himself through outlandish performances.
Songs Without Words, bk. 2, op. 30, no. 4 ("The Wanderer") scored for Piano Solo
David Bowie is my idea of a rock star. See Also. Newswire Powered by. Close the menu. He sat down to read,—there was a dead silence through the house. Melmoth looked wistfully at the candles, snuffed them, and still thought they looked dim, perchance he thought they burned blue, but such thought he kept to himself. Certain it is, he often changed his posture, and would have changed his chair, had there been more than one in the apartment.
He sunk for a few moments into a fit of gloomy abstraction, till the sound of the clock striking twelve made him start,—it was the only sound he had heard for some hours, and the sounds produced by inanimate things, while all living beings around are as dead, have at such an hour an effect indescribably awful. John looked at his manuscript with some reluctance, opened it, paused over the first lines, and as the wind sighed round the desolate apartment, and the rain pattered with a mournful sound against the dismantled window, wished—what did he wish for?
The manuscript was discoloured, obliterated, and mutilated beyond any that had ever before exercised the patience of a reader. Michaelis himself, scrutinizing into the pretended autograph of St Mark at Venice, never had a harder time of it. The writer, it appeared, was an Englishman of the name of Stanton, who had travelled abroad shortly after the Restoration.
Travelling was not then attended with the facilities which modern improvement has introduced, and scholars and literati, the intelligent, the idle, and the curious, wandered over the Continent for years, like Tom Coryat, though they had the modesty, on their return, to entitle the result of their multiplied observations and labours only 'crudities. Stanton, about the year , was in Spain; he was, like most of the travellers of that age, a man of literature, intelligence, and curiosity, but ignorant of the language of the country, and fighting his way at times from convent to convent, in quest of what was called 'Hospitality,' that is, obtaining board and lodging on the condition of holding a debate in Latin, on some point theological or metaphysical, with any monk who would become the champion of the strife.
Now, as the theology was Catholic, and the metaphysics Aristotelian, Stanton sometimes wished himself at the miserable Posada from whose filth and famine he had been fighting his escape; but though his reverend antagonists always denounced his creed, and comforted themselves, even in defeat, with the assurance that he must be damned, on the double score of his being a heretic and an Englishman, they were obliged to confess that his Latin was good, and his logic unanswerable; and he was allowed, in most cases, to sup and sleep in peace. This was not doomed to be his fate on the night of the 17th August , when he found himself in the plains of Valencia, deserted by a cowardly guide, who had been terrified by the sight of a cross erected as a memorial of a murder, had slipped off his mule unperceived, crossing himself every step he took on his retreat from the heretic, and left Stanton amid the terrors of an approaching storm, and the dangers of an unknown country.
The sublime and yet softened beauty of the scenery around, had filled the soul of Stanton with delight, and he enjoyed that delight as Englishmen generally do, silently. The magnificent remains of two dynasties that had passed away, the ruins of Roman palaces, and of Moorish fortresses, were around and above him;—the dark and heavy thunder-clouds that advanced slowly, seemed like the shrouds of these spectres of departed greatness; they approached, but did not yet overwhelm or conceal them, as if nature herself was for once awed by the power of man; and far below, the lovely valley of Valencia blushed and burned in all the glory of sunset, like a bride receiving the last glowing kiss of the bridegroom before the approach of night.
Stanton gazed around. The difference between the architecture of the Roman and Moorish ruins struck him. Among the former are the remains of a theatre, and something like a public place; the latter present only the remains of fortresses, embattled, castellated, and fortified from top to bottom,—not a loop-hole for pleasure to get in by,—the loop-holes were only for arrows; all denoted military power and despotic subjugation a l'outrance.
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The contrast might have pleased a philosopher, and he might have indulged in the reflection, that though the ancient Greeks and Romans were savages, as Dr Johnson says all people who want a press must be, and he says truly , yet they were wonderful savages for their time, for they alone have left traces of their taste for pleasure in the countries they conquered, in their superb theatres, temples, which were also dedicated to pleasure one way or another , and baths, while other conquering bands of savages never left any thing behind them but traces of their rage for power.
So thought Stanton, as he still saw strongly defined, though darkened by the darkening clouds, the huge skeleton of a Roman amphitheatre, its arched and gigantic colonnades now admitting a gleam of light, and now commingling with the purple thunder-cloud; and now the solid and heavy mass of a Moorish fortress, no light playing between its impermeable walls,—the image of power, dark, isolated, impenetrable.
Mendelssohn - An Introduction to His Piano Works
Stanton forgot his cowardly guide, his loneliness, his danger amid an approaching storm and an inhospitable country, where his name and country would shut every door against him, and every peal of thunder would be supposed justified by the daring intrusion of a heretic in the dwelling of an old Christian, as the Spanish Catholics absurdly term themselves, to mark the distinction between them and the baptised Moors. He stood appalled, and awaiting his summons from the Power in whose eye pyramids, palaces, and the worms whose toil has formed them, and the worms who toil out their existence under their shadow or their pressure, are perhaps all alike contemptible, he stood collected, and for a moment felt that defiance of danger which danger itself excites, and we love to encounter it as a physical enemy, to bid it 'do its worst,' and feel that its worst will perhaps be ultimately its best for us.
He stood and saw another flash dart its bright, brief, and malignant glance over the ruins of ancient power, and the luxuriance of recent fertility. Singular contrast! The relics of art for ever decaying,—the productions of nature for ever renewed. The pyramids themselves must perish, but the grass that grows between their disjointed stones will be renewed from year to year.
Stanton was thinking thus, when all power of thought was suspended, by seeing two persons bearing between them the body of a young, and apparently very lovely girl, who had been struck dead by the lightning. Stanton approached, and heard the voices of the bearers repeating, 'There is none who will mourn for her! As they were about to remove the bodies, a person approached with a calmness of step and demeanour, as if he were alone unconscious of danger, and incapable of fear; and after looking on them for some time, burst into a laugh so loud, wild, and protracted, that the peasants, starting with as much horror at the sound as at that of the storm, hurried away, bearing the corse with them.
Even Stanton's fears were subdued by his astonishment, and, turning to the stranger, who remained standing on the same spot, he asked the reason of such an outrage on humanity. The stranger, slowly turning round, and disclosing a countenance which— Here the manuscript was illegible for a few lines , said in English— A long hiatus followed here, and the next passage that was legible, though it proved to be a continuation of the narrative, was but a fragment.
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The terrors of the night rendered Stanton a sturdy and unappeasable applicant; and the shrill voice of the old woman, repeating, 'no heretic—no English—Mother of God protect us—avaunt Satan! As they passed on, a shriek was heard. Stanton paused, and fearful images of the dangers to which travellers on the Continent are exposed in deserted and remote habitations, came into his mind.
Never was there a lovelier,—they seemed like angels who had only anticipated by a few years their celestial and eternal union. The marriage was solemnized with much pomp, and a few days after there was a feast in that very wainscotted chamber which you paused to remark was so gloomy.
It was that night hung with rich tapestry, representing the exploits of the Cid, particularly that of his burning a few Moors who refused to renounce their accursed religion. They were represented beautifully tortured, writhing and howling, and 'Mahomet! At the upper end of the room, under a splendid estrade, over which was an image of the blessed Virgin, sat Donna Isabella de Cardoza, mother to the bride, and near her Donna Ines, the bride, on rich almohadas; the bridegroom sat opposite her; and though they never spoke to each other, their eyes, slowly raised, but suddenly withdrawn, those eyes that blushed , told to each other the delicious secret of their happiness.
Don Pedro de Cardoza had assembled a large party in honour of his daughter's nuptials; among them was an Englishman of the name of Melmoth, a traveller; no one knew who had brought him there. He sat silent like the rest, while the iced waters and the sugared wafers were presented to the company. The night was intensely hot, and the moon glowed like a sun over the ruins of Saguntum; the embroidered blinds flapped heavily, as if the wind made an effort to raise them in vain, and then desisted. On their return to the hall, both of them asked, Had the company heard the exquisite sounds that floated through the garden just before they quitted it?
No one had heard them. They expressed their surprise. The Englishman had never quitted the hall; it was said he smiled with a most particular and extraordinary expression as the remark was made. His silence had been noticed before, but it was ascribed to his ignorance of the Spanish language, an ignorance that Spaniards are not anxious either to expose or remove by speaking to a stranger.
The subject of the music was not again reverted to till the guests were seated at supper, when Donna Ines and her young husband, exchanging a smile of delighted surprise, exclaimed they heard the same delicious sounds floating round them. The guests listened, but no one else could hear it;—every one felt there was something extraordinary in this. A dead silence followed,—you would think, from their intent looks, that they listened with their very eyes. This deep silence, contrasted with the splendour of the feast, and the light effused from torches held by the domestics, produced a singular effect,—it seemed for some moments like an assembly of the dead.
The silence was interrupted, though the cause of wonder had not ceased, by the entrance of Father Olavida, the Confessor of Donna Isabella, who had been called away previous to the feast, to administer extreme unction to a dying man in the neighbourhood. He was a priest of uncommon sanctity, beloved in the family, and respected in the neighbourhood, where he had displayed uncommon taste and talents for exorcism;—in fact, this was the good Father's forte, and he piqued himself on it accordingly.
The devil never fell into worse hands than Father Olavida's, for when he was so contumacious as to resist Latin, and even the first verses of the Gospel of St John in Greek, which the good Father never had recourse to but in cases of extreme stubbornness and difficulty,— here Stanton recollected the English story of the Boy of Bilsdon, and blushed even in Spain for his countrymen ,—then he always applied to the Inquisition; and if the devils were ever so obstinate before, they were always seen to fly out of the possessed, just as, in the midst of their cries, no doubt of blasphemy , they were tied to the stake.
Some held out even till the flames surrounded them; but even the most stubborn must have been dislodged when the operation was over, for the devil himself could no longer tenant a crisp and glutinous lump of cinders. Thus Father Olavida's fame spread far and wide, and the Cardoza family had made uncommon interest to procure him for a Confessor, and happily succeeded.
The ceremony he had just been performing, had cast a shade over the good Father's countenance, but it dispersed as he mingled among the guests, and was introduced to them. Room was soon made for him, and he happened accidentally to be seated opposite the Englishman. As the wine was presented to him, Father Olavida, who, as I observed, was a man of singular sanctity , prepared to utter a short internal prayer. He hesitated,—trembled,—desisted; and, putting down the wine, wiped the drops from his forehead with the sleeve of his habit. Donna Isabella gave a sign to a domestic, and other wine of a higher quality was offered to him.
His lips moved, as if in the effort to pronounce a benediction on it and the company, but the effort again failed; and the change in his countenance was so extraordinary, that it was perceived by all the guests. He felt the sensation that his extraordinary appearance excited, and attempted to remove it by again endeavouring to lift the cup to his lips. So strong was the anxiety with which the company watched him, that the only sound heard in that spacious and crowded hall, was the rustling of his habit, as he attempted to lift the cup to his lips once more—in vain. The guests sat in astonished silence.
Father Olavida alone remained standing; but at that moment the Englishman rose, and appeared determined to fix Olavida's regards by a gaze like that of fascination. Olavida rocked, reeled, grasped the arm of a page, and at last, closing his eyes for a moment, as if to escape the horrible fascination of that unearthly glare, the Englishman's eyes were observed by all the guests, from the moment of his entrance, to effuse a most fearful and preternatural lustre , exclaimed, 'Who is among us? I cannot feel one. Where he treads, the earth is parched!
He stood—still stood, and the Englishman stood calmly opposite to him. There was an agitated irregularity in the attitudes of those around them, which contrasted strongly the fixed and stern postures of those two, who remained gazing silently at each other 'Who knows him?
The guests severally disclaimed all knowledge of the Englishman, and each asked the other in whispers, 'who had brought him there? He raised his voice, and evidently speaking with increased difficulty,—'By this bread and wine, which the faithful receive as the body and blood of Christ, but which his presence converts into matter as viperous as the suicide foam of the dying Judas,—by all these—I know him, and command him to be gone! All the guests rose at these words,—the whole company now presented two singular groupes, that of the amazed guests all collected together, and repeating, 'Who, what is he?
The body was removed into another room, and the departure of the Englishman was not noticed till the company returned to the hall. They sat late together, conversing on this extraordinary circumstance, and finally agreed to remain in the house, lest the evil spirit for they believed the Englishman no better should take certain liberties with the corse by no means agreeable to a Catholic, particularly as he had manifestly died without the benefit of the last sacraments. Just as this laudable resolution was formed, they were roused by cries of horror and agony from the bridal-chamber, where the young pair had retired.
They hurried to the door, but the father was first. They burst it open, and found the bride a corse in the arms of her husband. He never recovered his reason; the family deserted the mansion rendered terrible by so many misfortunes. One apartment is still tenanted by the unhappy maniac; his were the cries you heard as you traversed the deserted rooms.
He is for the most part silent during the day, but at midnight he always exclaims, in a voice frightfully piercing, and hardly human, 'They are coming! The funeral of Father Olavida was attended by an extraordinary circumstance. He was interred in a neighbouring convent; and the reputation of his sanctity, joined to the interest caused by his extraordinary death, collected vast numbers at the ceremony.
His funeral sermon was preached by a monk of distinguished eloquence, appointed for the purpose. To render the effect of his discourse more powerful, the corse, extended on a bier, with its face uncovered, was placed in the aisle. The monk took his text from one of the prophets,—'Death is gone up into our palaces. When he inveighed against the tyrants under whose bloody persecutions those holy men suffered, his hearers were roused for a moment, for it is always easier to excite a passion than a moral feeling.
But when he spoke of the dead, and pointed with emphatic gesture to the corse, as it lay before them cold and motionless, every eye was fixed, and every ear became attentive. Even the lovers, who, under pretence of dipping their fingers into the holy water, were contriving to exchange amorous billets, forbore for one moment this interesting intercourse, to listen to the preacher.
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He dwelt with much energy on the virtues of the deceased, whom he declared to be a particular favourite of the Virgin; and enumerating the various losses that would be caused by his departure to the community to which he belonged, to society, and to religion at large; he at last worked up himself to a vehement expostulation with the Deity on the occasion. Why hast thou snatched from our sight this glorious saint, whose merits, if properly applied, doubtless would have been sufficient to atone for the apostacy of St Peter, the opposition of St Paul, previous to his conversion , and even the treachery of Judas himself?
Why hast thou, Oh God! The disturbance now became universal. The preacher paused, and a circle opening, disclosed the figure of a monk belonging to the convent, who stood among them. After all the usual modes of admonition, exhortation, and discipline had been employed, and the bishop of the diocese, who, under the report of these extraordinary circumstances, had visited the convent in person to obtain some explanation from the contumacious monk in vain, it was agreed, in a chapter extraordinary, to surrender him to the power of the Inquisition.
He testified great horror when this determination was made known to him,—and offered to tell over and over again all that he could relate of the cause of Father Olavida's death. His humiliation, and repeated offers of confession, came too late. He was conveyed to the Inquisition. The proceedings of that tribunal are rarely disclosed, but there is a secret report I cannot answer for its truth of what he said and suffered there. On his first examination, he said he would relate all he could. He was told that was not enough, he must relate all he knew.
Had I done otherwise, it might have been reckoned a proof of my guilt. Look, I beseech you, brother, at the cross that is suspended against this wall,' and the Inquisitor pointed to the large black crucifix at the back of the chair where he sat; 'one drop of the blood shed there can purify you from all the sin you have ever committed; but all that blood, combined with the intercession of the Queen of Heaven, and the merits of all its martyrs, nay, even the absolution of the Pope, cannot deliver you from the curse of dying in unrepented sin.
The examination then went on. The prisoner underwent the first and second applications with unshrinking courage, but on the infliction of the water-torture, which is indeed insupportable to humanity, either to suffer or relate, he exclaimed in the gasping interval, he would disclose every thing. As the manuscript, after a few blotted and illegible pages, became more distinct, Melmoth read on, perplexed and unsatisfied, not knowing what connexion this Spanish story could have with his ancestor, whom, however, he recognised under the title of the Englishman ; and wondering how Stanton could have thought it worth his while to follow him to Ireland, write a long manuscript about an event that occurred in Spain, and leave it in the hands of his family, to 'verify untrue things,' in the language of Dogberry,—his wonder was diminished, though his curiosity was still more inflamed, by the perusal of the next lines, which he made out with some difficulty.
It seems Stanton was now in England. About the year , Stanton was in London, his mind still full of his mysterious countryman. When one fierce passion is devouring the soul, we feel more than ever the necessity of external excitement; and our dependence on the world for temporary relief increases in direct proportion to our contempt of the world and all its works. He went frequently to the theatres, then fashionable, when. The London theatres then presented a spectacle which ought for ever to put to silence the foolish outcry against progressive deterioration of morals,—foolish even from the pen of Juvenal, and still more so from the lips of a modern Puritan.
Vice is always nearly on an average: The only difference in life worth tracing, is that of manners, and there we have manifestly the advantage of our ancestors. Hypocrisy is said to be the homage that vice pays to virtue,—decorum is the outward expression of that homage; and if this be so, we must acknowledge that vice has latterly grown very humble indeed. There was, however, something splendid, ostentatious, and obtrusive, in the vices of Charles the Second's reign. At the doors stood on one side the footmen of a fashionable nobleman, with arms concealed under their liveries , surrounding the sedan of a popular actress 1 , whom they were to carry off vi et armis, as she entered it at the end of the play.
At the other side waited the glass coach of a woman of fashion, who waited to take Kynaston the Adonis of the day , in his female dress, to the park after the play was over, and exhibit him in all the luxurious splendour of effeminate beauty, heightened by theatrical dress , for which he was so distinguished.
She was carried off in the manner described, by Lord Orrery, who, finding all his solicitations repelled, had recourse to a sham marriage performed by a servant in the habit of a clergyman. Plays being then performed at four o'clock, allowed ample time for the evening drive, and the midnight assignation, when the parties met by torch-light, masked, in St James's park, and verified the title of Wycherly's play, 'Love in a Wood. They had all taken the precaution to send some male relative, on the first night of a new play, to report whether it was fit for persons of 'honour and reputation' to appear at; but in spite of this precaution, at certain passages which occurred about every second sentence they were compelled to spread out their fans, or play with the still cherished love-lock, which Prynne himself had not been able to write down.
The men in the boxes were composed of two distinct classes, the 'men of wit and pleasure about town,' distinguished by their Flanders lace cravats, soiled with snuff, their diamond rings, the pretended gift of a royal mistress, n'importe whether the Duchess of Portsmouth or Nell Gwynne ; their uncombed wigs, whose curls descended to their waists, and the loud and careless tone in which they abused Dryden, Lee, and Otway, and quoted Sedley and Rochester;—the other class were the lovers, the gentle 'squires of dames,' equally conspicuous for their white fringed gloves, their obsequious bows, and their commencing every sentence addressed to a lady, with the profane exclamation of 'Oh Jesu!
The pit presented a more various spectacle. There were the critics armed cap-a-pee from Aristotle and Bossu; these men dined at twelve, dictated at a coffee-house till four, then called to the boy to brush their shoes, and strode to the theatre, where, till the curtain rose, they sat hushed in grim repose, and expecting their evening prey. There were the templars, spruce, pert, and loquacious; and here and there a sober citizen, doffing his steeple-crowned hat, and hiding his little band under the folds of his huge puritanic cloke, while his eyes, declined with an expression half leering, half ejaculatory, towards a masked female, muffled in a hood and scarf, testified what had seduced him into these 'tents of Kedar.
Some, indeed, from time to time called out for the 'burning of the Pope;' but though. Among this joyous groupe were seated several women of fashion masked, enjoying in secrecy the licentiousness which they dared not openly patronise, and verifying Gay's characteristic description, though it was written many years later,.
Stanton gazed on all this with the look of one who 'could not be moved to smile at any thing. There were absurdities enough to offend a classical, or even a rational spectator. There were Grecian heroes with roses in their shoes, feathers in their hats, and wigs down to their waists; and Persian princesses in stiff stays and powdered hair. But the illusion of the scene was well sustained, for the heroines were rivals in real as well as theatrical life. It was that memorable night, when, according to the history of the veteran Betterton, 1 Mrs Barry, who personated Roxana, had a green-room squabble with Mrs Bowtell, the representative of Statira, about a veil, which the partiality of the property-man adjudged to the latter.
Roxana suppressed her rage till the fifth act, when, stabbing Statira, she aimed the blow with such force as to pierce through her stays, and inflict a severe though not dangerous wound. Mrs Bowtell fainted, the performance was suspended, and, in the commotion which this incident caused in the house, many of the audience rose, and Stanton among them. It was at this moment that, in a seat opposite to him, he discovered the object of his search for four years,—the Englishman whom he had met in the plains of Valentia, and whom he believed the same with the subject of the extraordinary narrative he had heard there.
He was standing up. There was nothing particular or remarkable in his appearance, but the expression of his eyes could never be mistaken or forgotten. Before he had well recovered, a strain of music, soft, solemn, and delicious, breathed round him, audibly ascending from the ground, and increasing in sweetness and power till it seemed to fill the whole building. Under the sudden impulse of amazement and pleasure, he inquired of some around him from whence those exquisite sounds arose.
But, by the manner in which he was answered, it was plain that those he addressed considered him insane; and, indeed, the remarkable change in his expression might well justify the suspicion. He then remembered that night in Spain, when the same sweet and mysterious sounds were heard only by the young bridegroom and bride, of whom the latter perished on that very night. The feeling which he had dwelt on so long, that he had actually converted it into a duty, was after all mere curiosity; but what passion is more insatiable, or more capable of giving a kind of romantic grandeur to all its wanderings and eccentricities?
Curiosity is in one respect like love, it always compromises between the object and the feeling; and provided the latter possesses sufficient energy, no matter how contemptible the former may be. A child might have smiled at the agitation of Stanton, caused as it was by the accidental appearance of a stranger; but no man, in the full energy of his passions, was there, but must have trembled at the horrible agony of emotion with which he felt approaching, with sudden and irresistible velocity, the crisis of his destiny.
When the play was over, he stood for some moments in the deserted streets. It was a beautiful moonlight night, and he saw near him a figure, whose shadow, projected half across the street, there were no flagged ways then, chains and posts were the only defence of the foot-passenger , appeared to him of gigantic magnitude. He had been so long accustomed to contend with these phantoms of the imagination, that he took a kind of stubborn delight in subduing them.
He walked up to the object, and observing the shadow only was magnified, and the figure was the ordinary height of man, he approached it, and discovered the very object of his search,—the man whom he had seen for a moment in Valentia, and, after a search of four years, recognised at the theatre. Speak, if you have any thing to ask or to learn? My voice shall ring in your ears till then, and the glance of these eyes shall be reflected from every object, animate or inanimate, till you behold them again.
When they are plunged in the lowest abyss of human calamity, they are sure to be visited by me. The narrative, when Melmoth was again able to trace its continuation, described Stanton, some years after, plunged in a state the most deplorable. He had been always reckoned of a singular turn of mind, and the belief of this, aggravated by his constant talk of Melmoth, his wild pursuit of him, his strange behaviour at the theatre, and his dwelling on the various particulars of their extraordinary meetings, with all the intensity of the deepest conviction, while he never could impress them on any one's conviction but his own , suggested to some prudent people the idea that he was deranged.
Their malignity probably took part with their prudence. The selfish Frenchman 1 says, we feel a pleasure even in the misfortunes of our friends,'— a plus forte in those of our enemies; and as every one is an enemy to a man of genius of course, the report of Stanton's malady was propagated with infernal and successful industry. Stanton's next relative, a needy unprincipled man, watched the report in its circulation, and saw the snares closing round his victim.
He waited on him one morning, accompanied by a person of a grave, though somewhat repulsive appearance. Stanton was as usual abstracted and restless, and, after a few moments conversation, he proposed a drive a few miles out of London, which he said would revive and refresh him. Stanton objected, on account of the difficulty of getting a hackney coach, for it is singular that at this period the number of private equipages, though infinitely fewer than they are now, exceeded the number of hired ones , and proposed going by water.
This, however, did not suit the kinsman's views; and, after pretending to send for a carriage, which was in waiting at the end of the street , Stanton and his companions entered it, and drove about two miles out of London. The carriage then stopped. Stanton took no notice of his companion, but as usual seized the first book near him, and began to read. It was a volume in manuscript,—they were then much more common than now. The first lines struck him as indicating insanity in the writer. It was a wild proposal written apparently after the great fire of London to rebuild it with stone, and attempting to prove, on a calculation wild, false, and yet sometimes plausible, that this could be done out of the colossal fragments of Stonehenge, which the writer proposed to remove for that purpose.
Subjoined were several grotesque drawings of engines designed to remove those massive blocks, and in a corner of the page was a note,—'I would have drawn these more accurately, but was not allowed a knife to mend my pen. The next was entitled, 'A modest proposal for the spreading of Christianity in foreign parts, whereby it is hoped its entertainment will become general all over the world.
Of course the writer reckoned on their embracing the easier alternative, but even this was to be clogged with a heavy condition,—namely, that they must be bound before a magistrate to convert twenty mussulmans a day, on their return to Turkey. The rest of the pamphlet was reasoned very much in the conclusive style of Captain Bobadil,—these twenty will convert twenty more a piece, and these two hundred converts, converting their due number in the same time, all Turkey would be converted before the Grand Signior knew where he was.
Then comes the coup d'eclat,— one fine morning, every minaret in Constantinople was to ring out with bells, instead of the cry of the Muezzins; and the Imaum, coming out to see what was the matter, was to be encountered by the Archbishop of Canterbury, in pontificalibus, performing Cathedral service in the church of St Sophia, which was to finish the business.
Here an objection appeared to arise, which the ingenuity of the writer had anticipated. Between the pages were cut most exquisitely in paper the likenesses of some of these Turkish ambassadors; the hair of the beards, in particular, was feathered with a delicacy of touch that seemed the work of fairy fingers,—but the pages ended with a complaint of the operator, that his scissars had been taken from him.
However, he consoled himself and the reader with the assurance, that he would that night catch a moon-beam as it entered through the grating, and, when he had whetted it on the iron knobs of his door, would do wonders with it. In the next page was found a melancholy proof of powerful but prostrated intellect. It contained some insane lines, ascribed to Lee the dramatic poet, commencing,. There is no proof whatever that these miserable lines were really written by Lee, except that the measure is the fashionable quatrain of the period.
It is singular that Stanton read on without suspicion of his own danger, quite absorbed in the album of a mad-house, without ever reflecting on the place where he was, and which such compositions too manifestly designated. It was after a long interval that he looked round, and perceived that his companion was gone. Bells were unusual then. He proceeded to the door,—it was fastened.
He called aloud,—his voice was echoed in a moment by many others, but in tones so wild and discordant, that he desisted in involuntary terror. As the day advanced, and no one approached, he tried the window, and then perceived for the first time it was grated. Oft I must alone — aurora-morns when my cares moan. No weary-mood kinsman — weird-fate can withstand Nor rough heart — can help perform. Thus the doom-prone — drearyness oft in his breast-cave — bindeth fast; So my mood-spirit — mine I must, oft anguish-caring — earth-home deprived free-kinfolks far — fetters fasten since years gone — gold-friend mine earthen hole-spot draped — and I humble thence waded winter-caring — over waves bound sought hall dreary — zinc bestower where I far or near — find might one in mead-hall who — my kinfolks knew, or me, friendless — comfort would, wean with delight.
What thou knowest how joyless it-be to journey with sorrow when he little has — a loved protector: wretch-paths weary him, — not wound gold, heart-fort freezes him, — not folded earth-hoard. Recalls he kin-clans — and coin-clench, how he in younghood — his gold-friend weaned to feast. Hi Bret, Still owe you comments on your Beowulf lines, but thank you for sharing these.
But all poems require work and revision, so keep going. What you have here are amazing bones for further work! Thanks for these comments. This is encouraging. My intent is to render the lines following the poetic meter and alliterative verse used by the Anglo-Saxons.
In doing so there are sacrifices such as precise word meanings. We can never really appreciate nuanced word meanings from the time. However, we do have word roots and to the extent possible I have used them. The most important word in the line possibly the poem is alone—and it must alliterate with another vowel in the anglo-saxon form.
The only modern word relating to the crack of dawn that starts with a vowel that I could find is aurora.
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Word choices…. Thank you Brett Randal for your stirring and heart-felt translations—this one and the one above. How I would love to see your translation of the complete poem. Hope you will publish it here. Amazing that you have not formally studied Anglo-Saxon. You must be a poet.
Your email address will not be published. What's your comment? Its weather makes me grateful for my warm bed. Oct-March The Wanderer, is like to this, a broken man speaking: Ne maeg werigmod wryde withstondan ne se hreo hyge helpe gef remman : for thon domgeorne dreorigne oft in hrya breostcofan bindath faeste. I wondered whether this version of the end of the poem might be of interest Anglo Saxon The Wanderer ln 95…. A beautiful, exquisite translation as is your addendum. Is there more?