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drank wine with certain villagers for three whole months. At the end "Here have we been drinking ruddy Come let us build churches all of silver
of that time they said to him, wine, without thinking of God. and of gold." But he replied:
"It is not fit that we should build churches all of silver and of gold. For our rule draws to an end; the Turkish rule is close at hand. The churches will be overthrown, of the silver will saddles be made, and horses' bits of the gold. But let us build churches of marble and of white stone, of white lime and yellow earth."
And the villagers took his advice, and built their churches of less tempting materials. A more defiant spirit breathes in another song, in which "the Moscow Queen, the Moscow widow" (probably Catherine II.), exclaims: "I fear no man living, neither Tsar nor Vizier, but I do fear God the Highest." When the Tsar (i.e. the Sultan) and the Vizier hear this, they send out seven-and-seventy Pashas to fight her. The Moscow Queen begs that they will grant an armistice, in order that she may "braid her locks and gather together an army." As they will not consent, she waxes wroth, mounts on horseback with her hair hanging over her shoulders, and, after a battle lasting three days and three nights, slaughters the Pashas, and sends their heads to the Sultan, saying:
"If the Sultan has, the Sultan and the Vizier, another seventy of them, another seventy and seven, let them be sent out here that I may come to terms with them."
There are, it is true, a number of fragments of what some writers call a Bulgarian epos, but they appear again to be merely echoes of the Servian. In olden days, no doubt, historical Bulgarian poems were current among the people, or at least the minstrels of the people, but they have died away during the long period of national servitude. As to "New-Bulgarian poetry," it is of too recent a date to have sunk into the hearts and thence risen to the lips of the common people. Some day perhaps the songs of Rakovsky, Slaveikof, Karavelof, Zhinzifof, Tchintalof, and other modern poets may be heard whenever the young men and maidens of Bulgaria are gathered together. But at present, though their productions are highly popular in the ordinary sense of the word, they have not become domiciled in the memory of the people. Therefore we will not quote any of them here.* Rather will we select, by way
of conclusion, two genuine folk-songs, the one of which is rendered attractive by its sportive tone, the other by a romantic grace which is not always the characteristic of Bulgarian popular poetry. The first belongs to a class of which Vuk Karadjich has given several Servian specimens in his excellent collection :—
* Several specimens will be found, in a Russian garb, in the section devoted to Bulgaria, of Gerbel's excellent work (in Russian) entitled Poeziya Slavyan [Poetry of the Slavs]. St. Petersburg, 1871. Imp. 8vo.
"The Gnat and the Fly fell out. If there had only been anything like a reason for it! But it was just for a little female fly. The Gnat was awfully savage, unsheathed its keen sting, and pierced the Fly to the heart. The blood streamed, poured forth in floods over the highways of Constantinople. The caravans could not get along, much less could the folk who went afoot cross the fords.
"The Flies held a meeting, and appointed Cadis. The Wasps were made Constables, and the Bees Sergeants, and the Bumble-bees Criers.
"The Criers gave notice in the village, that young and old should hasten and remove the corpse from the road. The Constables gave chase to the Gnat. The Gnat took to flight, and thus prayed to God:
"O God, Lord Most High! Grant that a fine rain may wet the wings of the Flies; that a cold wind may blow and scatter abroad the Wasps.
"The Lord listened to the Gnat. A cold wind began to blow, a fine rain fell like dew. The Gnat flew far away to Mount Irim Pirim, and there pitched tents. The tents were mushrooms. When the rain was over the Gnat came forth, and wrote this firman on a beech-tree leaf: To the place he came from let everyone return.'"
The theme of the second song is that voice of the nightingale of which so much is said in the poetry of all Slav peoples :
"I passed by a hill, I passed by a second. On a third were three nightingales. The hill rocked as they sang. I was astonished, and I hesi tated as to how to capture the three nightingales. Then I felt in my breast and took out a thin net, and netted the three hills, and caught the three nightingales, and placed them in a cage.
"I hung them up beside the window. And the first sings and lulls me to sleep. And the second sings and rouses me from sleep. And the third flutters its wings and cries:
"Up, up, O young man! What a beauty is passing along the road! Her lips can allure birds. Her voice might draw down the stars.'
W. R. S. R.
VOL. XXXV.-No. 206.
HEN Agnes Burchell encountered Oswald Meredith, as has been recorded, she had but recently taken up her abode at the "House." She had gone there much against the will of her family, actuated by that discontent which many generations may have felt, but only the present generation has confessed and justified. Agnes was the eldest daughter of a very prosaic pair, born in a very prosaic household, and how it was that the ideal had caught her in its tenacious grip nobody knew. In the Rectory at the foot of the hill, noisy with children, greasy with bread and butter, between a fat father who prosed and a stout mother who grumbled, the girl had set her heart, from the very beginning of conscious sentiment in her, upon some more excellent way. How this was to be reached she had not been able to divine for years, and many pious struggles had poor Agnes against her own better desires, many attempts to subdue herself and to represent to herself that the things she had to do were her duty and the best things for her. Between exhortations to the service of God in its most spiritual sense, and exhortations to be contented" in that condition of life to which God had called her," her heart was rent and her life distracted. Was there, indeed, nothing better in the world than to cut the bread and butter like Werther's Charlotte, to darn the stockings, to listen to parish gossip and her mother's standing grievance, which was that Cherry Beresford, an old maid, should be well off and drive about in her carriage, while she, the Rector's wife, went painfully afoot-and her father's twaddle about the plague of Dissenters and the wickedness of curates? Agnes tried very hard to accommodate herself to these circumstances of her lot. She tried to change the tone of the family talk, making herself extremely disagreeable to everybody in so