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of his eminent services to the drama, he was appointed Director of the Theatre in 1849.
Heiberg has also published much beautiful lyrical and occasional poetry, and has even indulged in astronomical pursuits, the results of which he has given to the public in his “ Urania.” In fact, he has displayed his talents in a variety of modes, and with extraordinary success.
He is at once satirist, dramatist, philosophic writer, lyric poet and novelist. Over the last feature of his character, there hangs some degree of mystery, for the admirable “ Tales by the Author of an Every-day Story,” though published by him, are not published with his name, and by many are attributed to his mother, the Countess Gyllembourg. Be that as it may, we present the reader with a specimen of these stories, which it is easier to detach without injury, from the original, than any fragment of a drama; indeed, many of Heiberg's plays are adapted rather to the taste of his countrymen than to ours. Rhymed comedies, and rhymed romantic dramas, with much longer dialogues than we tolerate, can only be read to full effect in the whole. There is a like difficulty of detaching fragments from his numerous plays without detriment, the wit being more diffused over the whole than concentrated on particular portions. Heiberg differs, moreover, from Holberg, Oehlenschläger, and even Hauch, in his tendency to the melodramatic, as in “ The Mount of Elves," and “ Boldly Ventured is Half-won," and which yet by their success seem to indicate that he understands the popular taste. On the whole, however, Heiberg's numerous writings have had a decided effect on the elevation of the public taste.
Madame Heiberg is one of the most distinguished and charming actresses of Denmark.
Amid all Heiberg's writings, however, we candidly
confess that we like his stories the best. His dramas may be infinitely more amusing in representation, his criticisms are philosophical and acute; but the stories published under his name, and partly if not wholly his, have a reality and a genuine feeling about them, that at once secure your liking. They lead you into the midst of the burgher life of Denmark, and introduce you on the footing of a familiar friend to the old-fashioned rooms and domestic scenes of a class that is piquantly picturesque, and full of homely virtues. There is a genuine painting of genuine characters, and you are brought acquainted with so many specimens of simple, strong attachment, fidelity and devotion from old clerks and servants towards their masters, and of generous high-mindedness in the masters themselves, that you feel that the author has had the good fortune himself to have known such.
In the “ Every-day Story," which gives the name to the rest, a young man from Copenhagen is on a visit to Holstein, where, at a country-house, he makes acquaintance with a young lady, also from Copenhagen. He tells his own story :-“Now began balls and parties really to interest me.
Her well-bred freedom of manner, the open-heartedness with which she treated me, the youthful vivacity with which she danced with me, operated so delightfully upon my whole being, that Jetté H-seemed to me to be sent for my especial comfort. Perhaps it was not the least of her merits, that she was excessively pretty, and shone like a sun amid the other ladies; for beauty is tolerably rare in North Germany.
“ Through all these co-operating circumstances, it was natural that I should feel myself extremely smitten by this young girl, of whom, however, I knew nothing more than that she was pretty, talked good-naturedly with me,
and was the daughter of a man who was known to me as esteemed and distinguished in his profession.
“ She was come to this place with an elderly Copenhagen lady. It was in the bathing season, and Dobberan is affluent in amusements for strangers. One evening we had been at a party, and were present at a dance there. Through a misunderstanding, the carriage which was to have come for us from our common hotel, did not arrive; and as it was very fine weather, the ladies proposed to go home on foot, accompanied by myself and another young
It was my enviable lot to accompany Jetté. We wandered now along the pleasant strand; the moon shone on the clear waters, on whose surface many a boat was gliding, while the strokes of the oars were heard through the still night, mingled with the sound of the distant music. It was a warm, beautiful summer night. Every.
. thing appeared to me so enchanting—most enchanting of all, the maiden whose fair arm rested in mine, and I know not how one word brought up another, but we came home—with the plighted faith of lovers.
“ When I was alone, I was amazed enough at the thoughtlessness with which I had taken this important step; it seemed to me as if the whole was a dream. The next day when we visited the Danish ladies in their apartments, Jetté presented mein the most unembarrassed manner to her companions as her betrothed : said thou to me, as if we had by whole years of acquaintance learned to know and love each other. If this had something in it startling to my feelings, yet, on the other hand, I was agreeably surprised to discover my Jette's many accomplishments, of which I had never dreamt. She played on the piano-forte with great skill, sang most scientifically, and was a perfect mistress in all the customary occupations of ladies. We wrote both of us to her parents in Copen
hagen, and I made a formal suit for her hand, at the same time giving an account of my resources, which were adequate to the support of a family.
“ Jetté was to sail by the next steamer. We hoped by the same vessel to receive a few lines of acquiescence from her parents. In the meantime we daily walked out together alone, and with her open-hearted gossip, Jetté told me all about her home and its circumstances. Her father she did not seem to love as she did her mother, whose especial favourite she appeared to be. “God be praised !' said she once, that my poor
« parents will now have the pleasure to see me betrothed to thee; for it is scarcely half a year since they had a great sorrow with my Swedish sister.'
Thy Swedish sister !' exclaimed I; 'who is she? I thought you had no sisters.'”
The easy way in which the hero of this “Every-day Story” thus falls in love, and the open-hearted, familiar manner in which his love is accepted by this pretty, simple girl, are not more amusing than they are frequent of occurrence in life, we believe. But the youth makes a visit to his beloved, on his return to Copenhagen; finds her, with her mother and some lady-friends, in the midst of cutting and sewing, and such woman's work; is more and more convinced that Jetté is a very good but very unintellectual girl ; and is growing inwardly very restless; when he is led by Jetté into another room, and the Swedish sister-Jetté's half-sister, who had been brought up in Sweden-stands before him. He is now struck with consternation at his hasty choice, for he now beholds the woman that is, of all others, calculated to fascinate his imagination and fill his heart. She is beautiful, with another and more exalted beauty; a crea
ture of noblest mind and sentiment, and touched with the dangerous spell of a past sorrow.
Here are the elements of an intensely interesting story, which is worked out eventually to the satisfaction of all parties. This may show what sort of things are to be found in Heiberg's stories. But we may take another
It is in the house of a family of wealth, but of old-fashioned, burgher habits, and where a young Count is making suit to the daughter for his own purposes ; but is eventually defeated by the more worthy young man, who also appears in this scene—a scene admirably descrip tive of the embarrassment occasioned by the entrance of a guest of a rank not accustomed to appear there.
“One afternoon the Svendsen family were sitting in their common parlour, in company with two ship-captains, old friends of the master of the house. He was sitting with them near to the cheerfully crackling stove-fire. Before them, upon a table, stood a steaming bowl of punch; they sate all three in a state of cheerful enjoyment each with his pipe in his mouth, and puffed away till the whole room was filled with a cloud of tobacco-smoke. The two strangers had come directly from their respective ships, and were dressed in their every-day seaman's attire ; and their boots were so dirty that, spite of the sand which was strewn on the floor, the place where they sate looked quite muddy.
“ Helene and her mother sate at another table in a distant part of the room; the mother busied at her spinning-wheel, and the daughter occupied by a book. The urn and tea-things stood on the table before her. She was just about to make tea, and had risen to lay aside her book, when some one knocked at the door.
“That is Steersman Madsen, come to fetch me,' ex