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France, a deception which, I felt assured, would entirely hoodwink my keepers. I was engaged on my task till a late hour, and that the sharp rasping noise of the torn linen might not be heard beyond the precincts of my cell, I sang as loud as I could during the whole of the operation. My memory being a perfect "Little Warbler," I did full justice to the British ornithology (as collections of songs are classically termed), and seldom, perhaps, have the walls of the Château de Vincennes echoed to such strains as were poured forth by me on this occasion. My countrymen will readily believe that the national anthem and "Rule Britannia” were not forgotten; so far from it that, in imitation of the custom which prevails at W-nds-r C-stle when H-r M-j-sty holds a c-b-n-t c-nc-1, I sang them both at the opening and the close of my labour, and, in my delighted enthusiasm, even went the length of giving myself an encore. I had an additional motive for vocalising in this tuneful manner, and that was to let No. 10 (Podder) know how well I kept up my spirits under all my sufferings, and to intimate to No. 8 (whoever he might be), that a Briton of the first water, and a foe to tyrants, was within hearing.
Sleep, to me in my situation, was out of the question, and as soon as I had completed the sheet-ladder, as a sailor would call it, (ropes and sheets being synonymous on board-ship), I concealed it between the paillasse and the mattress, and stole gently to the casement, thinking it not impossible that the commandant's daughter might already have stationed herself at her window, with her mandoline ready to reply to her captive's serenade. Clearing my voice therefore, and using two of my fingers as a turning-fork by striking them against the bars of my prison, I struck up the celebrated chanson in "Robert le Diable" which might be considered as having a two-fold allusion to my fate. I knew the French words, and how to pronounce them, and thus "the descant rang:"
Robert toi qué j'aime
"Grass, sir,-Grass, sir,-Grass, sir,-Grass sir, pour toi,-Grass, sir, pour moi !".
I was elaborating this strain in a way that would have excited the envy of Nebuchadnezzar or of the French Academy, could they only have heard me, when to my astonishment, instead of the gentle tinkling of a mandoline and the soft accents of a timorous female, I saw the point of a bayonet thrust up to the bars and heard it clink against them, while a rough voice exclaimed,
"Nom d'un loup! faut pas hurler, comme ça,-laisse dormir le mondecouche-toi, prisonnier!"
Wondering at the enormous length of a bayonet that reached from the bottom of the ditch to my cell, and fearful that the armed uncivil ruffian might be disposed to fire on me if I resumed my melody, I withdrew to my couch, and there, calling to mind what prisoners generally do when they are first incarcerated, I began to tap gently against the wall, in the hope of rousing the attention of "No. 8," and possibly of eliciting from him his name and country, the nature of his crime, the character and disposition of those in authority over us, and the reason of my own confinement. I am sorry to say that I knocked the skin off my knuckles without
deriving any advantage from the experiment. No. 8 was either very dull or his sufferings had made him perfectly savage. He might however have been asleep. Perhaps my voice lulled him to repose. I began to think it was time for me-if I could-to follow his example, so without more ado I turned in, though I had but one sheet, and I suppose I must soon have been lost in dreamy oblivion, for the first thing I was again conscious of was the presence of the concièrge standing over my bed in the broad light of day, a clear proof to me that I must have slept soundly all the night through.
There could be but one conclusion for a prisoner to arrive at under such circumstances, viz., that I was about to be led out to immediate execution, and rising I braced up my resolution, as I braced up my trousers, for the worst.
"Monsieur," said the concièrge, "le commandant du château désire vous parler."
I gazed on him sternly, but said not a word, and, my toilette being completed, I signified my readiness to meet my fate. At the door I met Podder, looking as merry as a grig, he shook me heartily by the hand and asked me if this wasn't "a lark?" I imagined that captivity had turned the poor fellow's brain, but I think it must have been joy, for on descending to the hall where we again saw the commandant surrounded by his guard, I was informed that an order had that morning been received to set us FREE. I compressed my feelings then as I compress my narrative now. All I need tell the public on the subject is, that General Cavaignac afterwards made me the amende honorable I have spoken of in my account of the visit of the National Guards to London, and that-luckily perhaps, for the peace of mind of the poor thing, I never had an interview with the commandant's daughter.
ANCIENT AND MODERN MONSTER REPTILES.
BY W. FRANCIS AINSWORTH, ESQ.
"Canst thou draw out Leviathan with an hook? or his tongue with a cord which thou lettest down ?"
THAT excellent Hebrew scholar, Gesenius, remarks that the word Leviathan, which denotes any twisted animal, is especially applicable to every great tenant of the waters, such as the great marine serpents and crocodiles, and it may be added the colossal serpents and great lizards of the desert. In general, however, it applies to the crocodile, and Job xli. is unequivocally descriptive of that scaly monster; while other texts apply more naturally to the whale. There are passages, however, in the Prophets and Psalms, where Pharaoh is evidently apostrophised under the name of Leviathan, while the combat of the Archangel Michael was as evidently carried on against the powers of darkness as typified by the dragon.
Upon this subject, the able naturalist, Colonel Hamilton Smith, remarks that in connexion with rivers, Than, or Leviathan, generally applies to the crocodile; when in connexion with land, and particularly the desert, it appears to designate the Waran el Hard, a species of lizard or monitor, the same as that which the pilgrim and esquire-carver to the
Duke of Burgundy, La Brocquière, describes the doughty champions, Sir Andrew de Toulongeon and Pierre de Vaudrei, as giving battle to in the Holy Land; but Thannin, the same author remarks, is a term used for serpents mostly of the larger kind.
It was, perhaps, in conjunction with the existence of real colossal seaserpents, but not wholly so, Colonel Hamilton Smith also remarks, that nations remote from the ocean, in common with the rest, have, in their cosmogonies, their religious dogmas, their legends and records, both malevolent and beneficial giant-serpents. Such are the innumerable fables in Hindu lore of Nagas and Naga kings, and in Scandinavian legends, the Paystha, Kater, and Vidhanger.
Such, also, is the origin of that primæval astronomy which placed the serpent in the skies, and called the milky way by the name of Ananta and Sesha Naga, and the Pagan obscure, yet almost universal record of the deluge, typified by a serpent endeavouring to destroy the ark; which astronomy has likewise transferred to the skies in the form of a dragon about to devour the moon, when it appears in the form of a crescentshaped boat. The same image of the deluge is figured in the West, in those structures with avenues of upright stones of several miles in length and serpentine in form, whereof the ruins may still be traced at Carnak in Brittany, Abury in Wiltshire, and Redruth in Cornwall. Dracontia, as these temples are called from this very circumstance, also existed in Asia Minor, in Epirus, and in Northern Africa.
Kneeph, or Cnuphis, or Ihh-Nuphi, the good genius of ancient Egypt, always figured as the Nachash, or Thermuth, is the same as Naga Sahib -the lord serpent of India, and is still a personification of the vanquisher of the deluge Vishnu, with many others, being Pagan denominations of Noah. In Egypt, the early centre of Ophiolatry, or snake-worship, this debasing service was so deeply rooted, that a Christian sect of heretics, called Ophitæ, or, according to Clemens Alexandrinus, Ophiani, arose in the second century of our era.
The Hesperian, Colchian, and Lernæan dragons, are only Greek legends of the same doctrine, still more distorted, and affording ample proof how far the Pagan world had departed from the simplicity of its true symbolical meaning, as when Moses raised the brazen serpent in the wilderness, and that, from the then prevalent partiality to metaphysical descriptions and fanciful symbols.
The typifying the deluge and all other great destructive agents, under the form of monster serpents and dragons, arose, however, in the earliest antiquity from those giant serpents which, at a remote period, were evidently still more colossal than that which is recorded to have opposed a Roman army, or than those whose skeletons have been recently found in India, and which were above 100 feet in length; or those of the serpent (Hydrargos Sillimanii), discovered, in 1844, by Dr. Koch, in Alabama, and which measured 114 feet.
The Azhdehak, the dragon of the Persians, was a great monster that was transformed into stone by the potent spell of Solomon's signet-ring, as it was coming open-mouthed to attack the city of Ecbatana. The dragon race of Armenia, whom history represented as the descendants of Azhdehak-the Astyages of the Greeks-were believed in popular tradition, to derive their origin from the dragons that issued from the shoulders of Zohak.
The dragons of the Greeks and Romans were sometimes of a com
pound nature, as in the case of the Chimaera of Lycia. They also dwelt alike in water and on land, but appear most to have affected wooded ravines and lonely marshes.
Like to a lonely dragon, that his fen makes fear'd
And talk'd of more than seen.
Such especially was the dragon that lived at the foot of Mount Pelinæum, in Scio, and was only destroyed by burning down a whole forest. These dragons were generally scaly monsters, "Ecce draco squamis !" exclaims old Ovid-"Draco squamosus fiet," says Virgil-and sometimes winged. They were always of enormous size. The poets of old vie with one another in finding epithets sufficiently expressive of their size, their hideousness, and their deadly attributes. Elian and others make their length from thirty or forty to a hundred cubits. Posidonius describes one 140 feet long, that inhabited the neighbourhood of Damascus; and another whose lair was at Makra, near Jordan, was an acre in length, and of such bulk that two men on horseback, with the monster between them, could not see each other. According to Ignatius, there was in the library of Constantinople the intestine of a dragon 120 feet long, on which were written the Iliad and Odyssey, in letters of gold!
But this is, properly speaking, a medieval dragon. A subject so full of mythical ideas and so pregnant with the wild and wonderful, was at once the favourite theme of religious legends, of knightly fiction, of song, and of ballad.
The Dragon (says Mrs. Jameson, in a work just published on sacred and legendary art) is the emblem of sin in general, and of the sin of idolatry in particular; and the dragon slain or vanquished by the power of the cross, is the perpetually recurring myth, which, varied in a thousand ways, we find running through all the old Christian legends, and not subject to misapprehension in the earliest times; but as the cloud of ignorance darkened and deepened, the symbol was translated into a fact. It has been suggested that the dragon, which is to us a phantasm and an allegory, which in the middle ages was the visible shape of the demon adversary of all truth and goodness, might have been, as regards form, originally a fact; for wherever we have dragon legends, whether the scene be laid in Asia, Africa, or Europe, the imputed circumstances and the form are little varied. The dragons introduced into early painting and sculpture, so invariably represent a gigantic winged crocodile, that it is presumed there must have been some common origin for the type chosen, as if by common consent; and that this common type may have been some fossil remains of the Saurian species, or even some far off dim tradition of one of these tremendous reptiles, surviving in Heaven knows what vast desolate morass or inland lake, and spreading horror and devastation along its shores. At Aix, a huge fossilised head of one of the Sauriæ was for a long time preserved as the head of the identical dragon subdued by St. Martha; and St. Jerome relates that he had himself beheld at Tyre the bones of the sea-monster to which Andromeda had been exposed-probably some fossil remains, which in the popular imagination were thus accounted for. Professor Owen told me that the head of a dragon, in one of the legendary pictures he had seen in Italy, closely resembled in form that of the Demotherium Gigantum. These observations have reference only to the type adopted when the old scripture allegory took form and shape. The dragon of Holy Writ is the same as the serpent, i. e., personified sin, the spiritual enemy of mankind. The scriptural phrase of the jaws of hell' is literally rendered in the ancient works of art by the huge jaws of a dragon wide open, and emitting flames, into which the souls of sinners are tumbled headlong. In pictures, sin is also typified by a serpent or snake; in this form it is placed under the feet of the Dec.-VOL. LXXXIV. NO. CCCXXXVI.
Madonna, sometimes with an apple in its mouth; sometimes, but only in late pictures of the seventeenth century, winding its green scaly length round and round a globe, significant of the subjugation of the whole earth to the power of sin, till delivered by the Redeemer.
According to Pliny, it was at Joppa, in Judæa, and not as St. Jerome has it at Tyre, that Andromeda was tied to the rock; and he further adds that the skeleton of the huge sea-monster, to which she had been exposed, was brought to Rome by Scaurus, and carefully preserved. "Joppa, now Jaffa," says Colonel Hamilton Smith, "the very place whence Jonah set sail, displayed for ages in one of its pagan temples huge bones of a species of whale, which the legends of the place pretended were those of the dragon-monster slain by Perseus, as represented in the Arkite Mythus of that hero and Andromeda; and which remained in that spot till the conquering Romans carried them in triumph to the great city."
The natives appear, however, to have secreted some of these precious relics; for the celebrated Sir John Maundeville, who travelled in a. D. 1322, relates that there might still be seen in his time at Joppa, "the place in the rock where the iron chains were fastened, wherewith Andromeda, a great giant, was bound and put in prison before Noah's flood; a rib of whose side, which is forty feet long, is still shown." The worthy knight has, in this narrative, rather strangely confounded the maid with the monster that was going to devour her, and a rib of a whale for a rib of the fair one.
The medieval dragon is met with in the "Golden Legend," where it is related that one, for example, had its dwelling near to the celebrated pillar on which St. Simon Stylites performed penance, and which was on the Jibal Sinam, near Antioch. This dragon met with an accident; he had a stake in his eye, and coming all blind to the saint's pillar, and placing his eye upon it for three days without doing harm to any one, Simon ordered earth and water to be placed on the dragon's eye, which being done, out came the stake, a cubit in length. When the people saw this miracle, they glorified God, and ran away for fear of the dragon, who arose and adored for two hours, and returned to his cave.
The religious sentiment associated with the serpent tribe has been perpetuated in a similar manner. In the ceremonies of the Greek church the dragon image, the Eavpiov, is still carried about, and fire is placed in its mouth. The dragon often occurring at the feet of ancient monumental effigies is understood to typify sin, over which the deceased had triumphed. The worship of serpents is also continued in the present day in many countries. Such is the lord-serpent of India, the sacred rock-serpent of Southern Asia, the python worshipped in Cutch, and many other instances. Dahomey, in Western Africa, is nominally and really a country of snake worship. A boat-shaped python was some time back dug out of the deep black mud of a ditch in this country, carrying the eight Eones or Noachida, with emblems that denote them to be the solar regenerators of mankind. Part of these objects, in hard wood, were in possession of the late Sir Samuel Meyrick.
Monster reptiles are not, however, celebrated only in mythology and legendary and romantic history; traditions of the existence of such have been handed down from all times, more especially in connexion with the Scandinavian seas, and now-a-days that the existence of such creatures seems almost placed beyond doubt, the fabulous character universally at