Page:Notes and Queries - Series 11 - Volume 11.djvu/387

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ii s. XL MAY is, 1915.] NOTES AND QUERIES.


377


Mylbourne (Robert), London bookseller. An account by him. of a fire that destroyed many of his books, and of prosecutions against him, is given at the end of ' Cygnea Cantio ' of King James L, 1629. This book is the authority for the para- graph about Edward Elton, ante, p. 334. W. D. MACRAY.

(To be continued.)


A SEVENTEENTH - CENTURY PAN - GER- MANIST. The following expression of the soaring ambitions of German Imperialism, anticipating much which has been written during the last 100 years, seems thus far to have escaped the notice of the current pub- lications of the Allies. In Grimmelshausen's ' Simplicius Simplicissimus ' (iii. 4), the first cast of which appeared in 1689, is found a, dialogue, running into a dissertation, in which Jupiter is made to declare his ultimate benefi- cent designs on the world of European civili- zation in view of punishing the wicked and preserving the good. " I will raise up," he says, " a German hero " einen Teutschen Helden, who shall settle everything with the edge of the sword, defeating the misguided, and exalting the well-disposed. This person- age, it appears, is to be supremely favoured with the special attentions of united Olympus, endowing him with all gifts and virtues solemnly catalogued here in pedantic fashion. Chief among these possessions is a magic sword, the gift of Vulcan, which enables this " Superman " to curb resistance without the costly luxury of an army ; no doubt it seemed unwise, within a generation of the Treaty of Westphalia, to suggest the loosing of hordes to run amuck about Europe.

The Continent, once pacified, is to be ruled by a Parliament composed of represen- tatives from German cities, and in a short time will thus enter on a course of happiness so great and constant that Jupiter himself will frequently visit the sons of men, will forswear the use of Greek and speak nothing but German (nur Teutsch reden). The idea of der Deutsche Gott, I should sup- pose, has never been presented with blander naivete.

As for resistance to his benign autocracy, the German hero, who is intent on Heldentum and Deutschtum, will make light of it. Princes and potentates, despoiled of their own, may protect as much as they please. But they will soon " acquire merit," and accept what is good for them. England, Sweden, and Denmark will acquiesce because they are of


the same blood and origin (Oebliits und Herkommens). Spain, France, and Portugal,, once ruled by Germans, will resume their allegiance. All Europe will then be the happy vassal, and the unbroken reign of the blessed era will begin. PAUL T. LAFLEUR.

McGill University, Montreal.

POSEIDON AND ATHENE. Those who have- read Swinburne's noble tragedy of ' Erech- theus ' will recollect how the action of that drama (surely, in manner and form, the closest approximation to the Greek model that we have in our language) hinges upon the wrath of Poseidon at the result of his- famous contest with Athena for the patron- age of the city of Athens. Another view of this contest is mentioned in the April Burlington Magazine, where Prof. Furt~ waengler is quoted as suggesting the essenti- ally friendly nature of the rivalry between the gods. In the western pediment of the Parthenon, which contains the group illustrative of the contention of Athena and Poseidon, the figure of the former has the segis placed diagonally across the breast,, and not, therefore, in use as a shield. This,, according to Prof. Furtwaengler, is a sign of peace. The writer of the Burlington article- further suggests that this conception would be consonant with the thought about the- gods in Athens in the time of Euripides.. Euripides, doubtless, would wish to soften and sentimentalize the grand " non-moral " warring attitude of the elemental gods. But the powers of nature (which are the gods) do not, either in fact or in the early mythology,, conform to the dictates of the moralist ; they are quite conscienceless. Nor in this par- ticular instance is there anything at all inappropriate in the wrath of Poseidon^ the earth -shaker, against the power of the clear air and the lucid mind. But there are innumerable variations in all these myths. One would like to hear the view of an expert as to this new suggestion, and it would certainly be interesting to know whether Phidias's view of the gods was " consonant with the thought of Athens in the time of Euripides."

Meanwhile, the legend may be read as appropriately in Swinburne's magnificent verse as elsewhere. It is given in the speech of Praxithea, the wife of Erechtheus, where- she annources the doom of sacrifice to her daughter Chthonia. Poseidon strikes the rock of the Acropolis, and the well of brine springs up ; Athena creates the olive tree that olive tree which, with the spring, was to be honoured by the Athenians of later