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derer warmth or guidance, but led him into a bog, had its excellent directions as to the place to avoid perverted by an unhappy misunderstanding into a wilful falsehood, and has been branded ignis fatuus. Most of the mimicries in nature gradually became as suspicious to the primitive observer as aliases to a magistrate. The thing that seemed to be fire, or water, but was not ; the insect or animal which took its hue or form from some other, from the leaf-spotted or stem-striped cats to that innocent insect whose vegetal disguise has gained for it the familiar name of ‘Devil's Walking-stick;" the humanlike hiss, laugh, or cry of animals; the vibratory sound or movement which so often is felt as if near when it really is far; the sand which seems hard but sinks; the sward which proves a bog;all these have their representation in the demonology of delusion. The Coroados of Brazil says that the Evil One “sometimes transforms (himself) into a swamp, &c., leads him astray, vexes him, brings him into danger, and even kills him.’” It is like an echo of Burton's account. ‘Terrestrial devils are those lares, genii, faunes, satyrs, woodnymphs, foliots, fairies, Robin Good-fellows, trulli, &c., which, as they are most conversant with men, so they do them most harm. These are they that dance on heaths and greens, as Lavater thinks with Trithemius, and, as Olaus Magnus adds, leave that green circle which we commonly find in plain fields. They are sometimes seen by old women and children. Hieron. Pauli, in his description of the city of Bercino, Spain, relates how they have been familiarly seen near that town, about fountains and hills. “Sometimes,’ saith Trithemius, ‘they lead simple people into the recesses of mountains and show them wonderful sights,' &c. Giraldus Cambrensis gives an instance of a monk of Wales that was so deluded. Paracelsus reckons
* Von Spix and Von Martin’s ‘Travels in Brazil, p. 243.
up many places in Germany where they do usually walk about in little coats, some two feet long." Real dangers beset the woods and mountain passes, the swamp and quicksand; in such forms did they haunt the untamed jungles of imagination Over that sea on which Maya stands extends the silvery wand of Glamour. It descended to the immortal Old Man of the Sea, favourite of the nymphs, oracle of the coasts, patron of fishermen, friend of Proteus, who could see through all the sea's depths and assume all shapes. How many witcheries could proceed from the many-tinted sea to affect the eyes and enable them to see Triton with his wreathed horn, and mermaids combing their hair, and marine monsters, and Aphrodite poised on the white foam Glaucoma it may be to the physicians; but Glaucus it is in the scheme of Maya, who has never left land or sea without her witness. Beside the Polar Sea a Samoyed sailor, asked by Castrén ‘where is Num' (i.e., Jumala, his god), pointed to the dark distant sea, and said, He is there. To the ancients there were two seas, the azure above, and that beneath. The imaginative child in its development passes all those dreamy coasts; sees in clouds mountains of snow on the horizon, and in the sunset luminous seas iaving golden isles. When as yet to the young world the shining sun was Berchta, the white fleecy clouds were her swans. When she descended to the sea, as a thousand stories related, it was to repeat the course of the sun for all tribes looking on a westward sea. No one who has read that charming little book, ‘The Gods in Exile,” will wonder at the happy instinct of learning shown in Heine's
* “Anatomy of Melancholy." Fifteenth Edition, p. 124. * “Les Dieux en Exile.” Heinrich Heine. Revue des Deux Mondes, April, 1853.
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little poem, “Sonnenuntergang,” wherein we see shining
solar Beauty compelled to become the spinning housewife,
or reluctant spouse of Poseidon :-
This of course is Heinesque, and has no relation to any legend of Bertha, but is a fair specimen of mythology in the making, and is quite in the spirit of many of the myths that have flitted around sunset on the sea. Whatever the explanation of their descent, the Shining One and her fleecy retinue were transformed. When to sea or lake came Berchta (or Perchta), it was as Bertha of the Large Foot (i.e., webbed), or of the Long Nose (beak), and her troop were Swan-maidens. Their celestial character was changed with that of their mistress. They became familiars of sorcerers and sorceresses. To ‘wear yellow slippers' became the designation of a witch. How did these fleecy white cloud-phantoms become demonised ? What connection is there between them and the enticing Lorelei and the dangerous Rhine-daughters watching over golden treasures, once, perhaps, metaphors of moonlight ripples They who have listened to the wild laughter of these in Wagner's opera, Das Rheingold,
* “Book of Songs.’ Translated by Charles E. Leland. New York: Henry Holt & Co. 1874.
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and their weird ‘Heiayaheia l' can hardly fail to suspect that they became associated with the real human nymphs whom the summer sun still finds freely sporting in the bright streams of Russia, Hungary, Austria, and East Germany, naked and not ashamed. Many a warning voice against these careless Phrynes, who may have left tattered raiment on the shore to be transfigured in the silvery waves, must have gone forth from priests and anxious mothers. Nor would there be wanting traditions enough to impress such warnings. Few regions have been without such stories as those which the traveller HiouenThsang (7th century) found in Buddhist chronicles of the Rakshasis of Ceylon. ‘They waylay the merchants who land in the isle, and, changing themselves to women of great beauty, come before them with fragrant flowers and music; attracting them with kind words to the town of Iron, they offer them a feast, and give themselves up to pleasure with them; then shut them in an iron prison, and eat them one after the other.’ There is a strong accent of human nature in the usual plot of the Swan-maiden legend, her garments stolen while she bathes, and her willingness to pay wondrous prices for them—since they are her feathers and her swanhood, without which she must remain for ever captive of the thief. The stories are told in regions so widely sundered, and their minor details are so different, that we may at any rate be certain that they are not all traceable solely to fleecyclouds. Sometimes the garments of the demoness —and these beings are always feminine—are not feathery, as in the German stories, but seal-skins, or of nondescript red tissue. Thus, the Envoy Li Ting-yuan (1801) records a Chinese legend of a man named Ming-ling-tzu, a poor and worthy farmer without family, who, on going to draw water from a spring near his house, saw a woman bathing
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in it. She had hung her clothes on a pine tree, and, in punishment for her ‘shameless ways' and for her fouling the well, he carried off the dress. The clothing was unlike the familiar Lewchewan in style, and ‘of a ruddy sunset colour.” The woman, having finished her bath, cried out in great anger, “What thief has been here in broad day ? Bring back my clothes, quick.” She then perceived Ming-ling-tzu, and threw herself on the ground before him. He began to scold her, and asked why she came and fouled his water; to which she replied that both the pine tree and the well were made by the Creator for the use of all. The farmer entered into conversation with her, and pointed out that fate evidently intended her to be his wife, as he absolutely refused to give up her clothes, while without them she could not get away. The result was that they were married. She lived with him for ten years, and bore him a son and a daughter. At the end of that time her fate was fulfilled: she ascended a tree during the absence of her husband, and having bidden his children farewell, glided off on a cloud and disappeared." In South Africa a parallel myth, in its demonological aspect, bears no trace of a cloud origin. In this case a Hottentot, travelling with a Bushwoman and her child, met a troop of wild horses. They were all hungry; and the woman, taking off a petticoat made of human skin, was instantly changed into a lioness. She struck down a horse, and lapped its blood; then, at the request of the Hottentot, who in his terror had climbed a tree, she resumed her petticoat and womanhood, and the friends, after a meal of horseflesh, resumed their journey.” Among the Minussinian Tartars these demons partake of the nature of the Greek Harpies; they are bloodthirsty vampyredemons who drink the blood of men slain in battle, darken