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of Transtamare at Segovia, Henry's treatment of the children of his brother, Pedro the Cruel. Don Diego Albuquerque, his neighbor, strolls after dinner through the castle with him:
"In the cloister-passage, which leads to the kennels where are kept the king's hounds, that with their growling and yelping let you know a long way off where they are,
“There I saw, built into the wall, and with a strong iron grating for its outer face, a cell like a cage.
"Two human figures sate therein, two young boys; chained by the leg, they crouched in the dirty straw.
Hardly twelve years old seemed the one, the other not much older; their faces fair and noble, but pale and wan with sickness.
"They were all in rags, almost naked; and their lean bodies showed wounds, the marks of ill-usage; both of them shivered with fever.
“They looked up at me out of the depth of their misery. 'Who,' I cried in horror to Don Diego, ‘are these pictures of wretchedness ?'
“Don Diego seemed embarrassed; he looked round to see that no one was listening; then he gave a deep sigh; and at last, putting on the easy tone of a man of the world, he said:
". These are a pair of king's sons, who were early left orphans; the name of their father was King Pedro, the name of their mother, Maria de Padilla.
"After the great battle of Navarette, when Henry of Transtamare had relieved his brother, King Pedro, of the troublesome burden of the crown,
“And likewise of that still more troublesome burden, which is called life, then Don Henry's victorious magnanimity had to deal with his brother's children.
“He has adopted them, as an uncle should; and he has given them free quarters in his own castle.
“The room which he has assigned to them is certainly rather small, but then it is cool in summer, and not intolerably cold in winter.
“Their fare is rye bread, which tastes as sweet as if the goddess Ceres had baked it express for her beloved Proserpine.
“Not unfrequently, too, he sends a scullion to them with
garbanzos, and then the young gentlemen know that it is Sunday in Spain.
“But it is not Sunday every day, and garbanzos do not come every day; and the master of the hounds gives them the treat of his whip.
“For the master of the hounds, who has under his superintendence the kennels and the pack, and the nephews' cage also,
“Is the unfortunate husband of that lemon-faced woman with the white ruff, whom we remarked to-day at dinner.
“And she scolds so sharp, that often her husband snatches his whip, and rushes down here, and gives it to the dogs and to the poor little boys.
“But his majesty has expressed his disapproval of such proceedings, and has given orders that for the future his nephews are to be treated differently from the dogs.
“He has determined no longer to intrust the disciplining of his nephews to a mercenary stranger, but to carry it out with his own hands.'
“Don Diego stopped abruptly; for the seneschal of the castle joined us, and politely expressed his hope that we had dined to our satisfaction.”
Observe how the irony of the whole of that, finishing with the grim innuendo of the last stanza but one, is at once truly masterly and truly modern.
No account of Heine is complete which does not notice the Jewish element in him. His race he treated with the same freedom with which he treated everything else, but he derived a great force from it, and no one knew this better than he himself. He has excellently pointed out how in the sixteenth century there was a double renaissance, a Hellenic renaissance and a Hebrew renaissance, -- and how both have been great powers ever since. He himself had in him both the spirit of Greece and the spirit of Judæa; both these spirits reach the infinite, which is the true goal of all poetry and all art, – the Greek spirit by beauty, the Hebrew spirit by sublimity. By his perfection of literary form, by his love of clearness, by his love of beauty, Heine is Greek; by his intensity, by his untamableness, by his "longing which cannot be uttered,” he is Hebrew. Yet what Hebrew ever treated the things of the Hebrews like this?
“There lives at Hamburg, in a one-roomed lodging in the Baker's Broad Walk, a man whose name is Moses Lump; all the week he goes about in wind and rain, with his pack on his back, to earn his few shillings; but when on Friday evening he comes home, he finds the candlestick with seven candles lighted, and the table covered with a fair white cloth, and he puts away from him his pack and his cares, and he sits down to table with his squinting wife and yet more squinting daughter, and eats fish with them, fish which has been dressed in beautiful white garlic sauce, sings therewith the grandest psalms of King David, rejoices with his whole heart over the deliverance of the children of Israel out of Egypt, rejoices, too, that all the wicked ones who have done the children of Israel hurt, have ended by taking themselves off; that King Pharaoh, Nebuchadnezzar, Haman, Antiochus, Titus, and all such people, are well dead, while he, Moses Lump, is yet alive, and eating fish with wife and daughter; and I can tell you, Doctor, the fish is delicate and the man is happy, he has no call to torment himself about culture, he sits contented in his religion and in his green bed-gown, like Diogenes in his tub, he contemplates with satisfaction his candles, which he on no account will snuff for himself; and I can tell you, if the candles burn a little dim, and the snuffers-woman, whose business it is to snuff them, is not at hand, and Rothschild the Great were at that moment to come in, with all his brokers, bill discounters, agents, and chief clerks, with whom he conquers the world, and Rothschild were to say: 'Moses Lump, ask of me what favor you will, and it shall be granted you;' – Doctor, I am convinced, Moses Lump would quietly answer: 'Snuff me those candles !' and Rothschild the Great would exclaim with admiration: 'If I were not Rothschild, I would be Moses Lump.'"
There Heine shows us his own people by its comic side; in the poem of the “Princess Sabbath” he shows it to us by a more serious side. The Princess Sabbath, "the tranquil Princess, pearl and flower of all beauty, fair as the Queen of Sheba, Solomon's bosom friend, that bluestocking from Ethiopia, who wanted to shine by her esprit, and with her wise riddles made herself in the long run a bore” (with Heine the sarcastic turn is never far off), this princess has for her betrothed a prince whom sorcery has transformed into an animal of lower race, the Prince Israel.
“A dog with the desires of a dog, he wallows all the week long in the filth and refuse of life, amidst the jeers of the boys in the street.
“But every Friday evening, at the twilight hour, suddenly the magic passes off, and the dog becomes once more a human being.
“A man with the feelings of a man, with head and heart raised aloft, in festal garb, in almost clean garb, he enters the halls of his Father.
“Hail, beloved halls of my royal Father! Ye tents of Jacob, I kiss with my lips your holy door-posts!”
Still more he shows us this serious side in his beautiful poem on Jehuda ben Halevy, a poet belonging to "the great golden age of the Arabian, Old-Spanish, Jewish school of poets,” a contemporary of the troubadours:
"He, too, – the hero whom we sing, Jehuda ben Halevy, too, had his lady-love; but she was of a special sort.
“She was no Laura, whose eyes, mortal stars, in the cathedral on Good Friday kindled that world-renowned flame.
“She was no châtelaine, who in the blooming glory of her youth presided at tourneys, and awarded the victor's crown.
“No casuistress in the Gay Science was she, no lady doctrinaire, who delivered her oracles in the judgment-chamber of a Court of Love.
“She, whom the Rabbi loved, was a woebegone poor darling, a mourning picture of desolation ... and her name was Jerusalem.”
Jehuda ben Halevy, like the Crusaders, makes his pilgrimage to Jerusalem; and there, amid the ruins, sings a song of Sion which has become famous among his people:
“That lay of pearled tears is the wide-famed Lament, which is sung in all the scattered tents of Jacob throughout the world.
“On the ninth day of the month which is called Ab, on the anniversary of Jerusalem's destruction by Titus Vespasianus.
“Yes, that is the song of Sion, which Jehuda ben Halevy sang with his dying breath amid the holy ruins of Jerusalem.
“Barefoot, and in penitential weeds, he sate there upon the fragment of a fallen column; down to his breast fell,
“Like a gray forest, his hair; and cast a weird shadow on the face which looked out through it, -- his troubled pale face, with the spiritual eyes.
“So he sate and sang, like unto a seer out of the foretime to look upon; Jeremiah, the Ancient, seemed to have risen out
of his grave.
“But a bold Saracen came riding that way, aloft on his barb, lolling in his saddle, and brandishing a naked javelin;
“Into the breast of the poor singer he plunged his deadly shaft, and shot away like a winged shadow.
“Quietly flowed the Rabbi's life-blood, quietly he sang his song to an end; and his last dying sigh was Jerusalem!”
Nor must Heine's sweetest note be unheard, - his plaintive note, his note of melancholy. Here is a strain which came from him as he lay, in the winter night, on his “mattress-grave" at Paris, and let his thoughts wander home to Germany, “the great child, entertaining herself with her Christmas tree." “Thou tookest," - he cries to the German exile:
“Thou tookest thy flight towards sunshine and happiness; naked and poor returnest thou back. German truth, German shirts, — one gets them worn to tatters in foreign parts.
“Deadly pale are thy looks, but take comfort, thou art at home! one lies warm in German earth, warm as by the old pleasant fireside.
“Many a one, alas, became crippled, and could get home no more! longingly he stretches out his arms; God have mercy
God have mercy upon him; for what remain of the days of the years of his life are few and evil. "Can it be that I still actually exist? My body is so shrunk that there is hardly anything of me left but my voice, and my bed makes me think of the melodious grave of the enchanter Merlin, which is in the forest of Broceliand in Brittany, under high oaks whose tops shine like green flames to heaven. Ah, I envy thee those trees, brother Merlin, and their fresh waving! for over my mattressgrave here in Paris no green leaves rustle; and early and late I hear nothing but the rattle of carriages, hammering, scolding,