Obrazy na stronie

long afterwards fasging themselves to overtake me. In throw him. Their motion, altogether, reminded me the course of fire minutes, the fugitives arrived at a small rather of the pitching of a ship, or rolling of a rockingriver, the treacherous sands of which receiving their long horse, than of any thing living; and the remarkable gait legs, their flight was greatly retarded; and after floun- is rendered still more automaton-like, by the switching, dering to the opposite side, and scrambling to the top of at regular intervals, of the long black tail, which is invarithe bank, I perceived that their race was run. Patting ably curled abore the back, and by the corresponding acthe stearning neck of my good steed, I urged him again to tion of the neck, swinging as it does, like a pendulum, his utmost, and instantly found myself by the side of the and literally imparting to the animal the appearance of a herd. The stately bull, being readily distinguishable piece of machinery in motion. Naturally gentle, timid, from the rest by his dark chestnut robe and superior and peaceable, the unfortunate giraffe has no means of stature, I applied the muzzle of my rifle behind his dap- protecting itself but with its heels; but even when hempled shoulder, with the right hand, and drew both trig- med into a corner it seldom resorted to this mode of degers; but he still continued to shuttle along, and being fence. I have before noticed the courage evinced by our afraid of losing him, should I dismount, anong the ex- horses in the pursuit of game. Even when brought into tensive mimosa grores with which the landscape was now actual contact with these almost unearthly quadrupeds, obscured, I sat in my saddle, loading and firing behind they evinced no symptom of alarm, a circumstance which the elbow, and then placing myself across his path, until, may possibly be traced to their meagre diet. the tears trickling from his full brilliant eye, his lofty T'he colossal height and apparent disproportions of this frame began to totter, and at the seventeenth discharge extraordinary animal long classed it with the unicorn and from the deally grooved bore, like a falling minaret the sphinx of the ancients, and induced a belief that it bowing his graceful head from the skies, his proud form belonged rather to the group of chimeras with which the was prostrate in the dust. Never shall I forget the ting- regions of imagination are tenanted, than existed amongst ling excitement of that moment. At last, then, the sum- the actual works of nature. Of its form and habits, no mit of my hunting an.bition was actually attained, and i very precise notions were obtained until within the last the towering giraffe laid low. Tossing my turbanless forty years; and eren now the extant delineations are far cap into the air, alone, in the wild wood, I hurraed with from the truth, having been taken froin crippled prisonbursting exultation, and, unsaddling my steed, sank ex- ers instead of from specimens free in their native deserts. hausted beside the noble prize I had won.

The giraffe is by no means a common animal, even at its When I leisurely contemplated the massive frame be- head-quarters. We seldom found them without having fore me, seeming as though it had been cast in a mould of followed the trail, and never saw more than five-and-thirty brass, and protected by a hide of an inch and a half in in a day. The senses of sight, hearing, and smell, are thickness, it was no longer matter of astonishment that a acute and delicate; the eyes, which are soft and gentle, bullet discharged from a distance of eighty or ninety eclipsing those of the oft-sung gazelle of the East, and yards should have been attended with little effect upon being so constructed that, without turning the head, the such amazing strength. The extreme height from the animal can see both before and behind it at the same crown of the elegantly-moulded head to the hoof of this time. On the forehead there is a remarkable prominence; magnificent animal, was eighteen feet; the whole being and the tongue has the power of mobility increased to an equally divided into neck, body, and leg. Two hours extraordinary degree, accompanied with the faculty of were passed in completing a drawing: and Piet still not extension, which enables it, in miniature, to perform the making his appearance, I cut off the tail, which exceeded office of the elephant's proboscis. The lofty maned neck, fire feet in length, and was measurelessly the most esti- possessing only seren joints, appears to move on a plivot, mable trophy I had gained; but proceeding to saddle my instead of being flexible like that of the swan or peacock, horse, which I had left quietly grazing by the side of a to which, from its length, it bas been likened. running brook, my chagrin may be conceived, when I dis- The giraffe utters no cry whatever. Both sexes have covered that he had taken advantage of my occupation to horns covered with hair, and are similarly marked with free himself from his halter, and abscond. Being ten an angular and somewhat symmetrical pattern. The miles from the wazgons, and in a perfectly strange coun- male increases in depth of colour according to the age, try, I felt convinced that the only chance of recovering and in some specimens is nearly black; but the female is my pet was by following the trail; whilst doing which, smaller in stature, and of a lighter colour, approaching to with infinite difficulty, the ground scarcely deigning to yellow. Although very extensive, the range of its habitat receive a foot-print, I had the satisfaction of meeting is exclusively confined to those regions in which the species Piet and Mohanycom, who had fortunately seen and re- of mimosa termed mokaala, or kameel-dorn, is abundant, captured the truant. Returning to the giraffe, we all the leaves, shoots, and blossoms of that tree forming its feasted heartily upon the flesh, which, although highly ordinary food. scented at this season with the rank makaala blossoms, On the 220, being encamped on the banks of a small was far from despicable; and after losing our way in con- stream, a camelopard was killed by a lion, whilst in the sequence of the twin-like resemblance of two scarped hills, act of drinking, at no great distance from the waggons. we regained the waggons after sunset.

It was a noisy affair, but an inspection of the scene on The spell was broken, and the secret of camelopard which it occurred proved that the giant strength of the bunting discovered. The next day, Richardson and my- victim had been paralysed in an instant.-Wild Sports of self killed three; one, a female, slipping upon muudy Southern Africa, by Captain Harris. ground, and falling with great violence, before she had been wounded, a shot in the head despatched her as she lay. From this time we could reckon confidently upon

LAUGIITER. two out of each troop that we were fortunate enough to No man who has once heartily and wholly laughed can find, always approaching, as near as possible, in order to be altogether irreclaimably bad. How much lies in insure a good start, galloping into the middle of them, laughter-the cipher-key wherewith we decipher the boarding the largest, and riding with him until he fell

. whole man! Soine men wear an everlasting barren The rapidity with which these awkwardly formed animals simper; in the smile of others lies a cold glitter as of can move is beyond all things surprising, our best horses ice; the fewest are able to laugh what can be called being unable to close with them under two miles. Their laughing, but only sniff, and titter, and snigger from the gallop is a succession of jumping strides, the fore and hind throat outwards, or at best produce some whiffling husky leg on the same side moving together instead of diago- cachinnation as if they were laughing through wool; of nally, as in most other quadrupeds, the foriner being kept none such comes good. The mar. who cannot laugh is close together, and the latter so wide apart, that in riding not only fit for treasons, stratagems, and spoils, but his by the animal's side, the hoof may be seen striking on the whole life is already a treason and a stratagem.-T. outside of the horse, threatening momentarily to over- | Carlyle.

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

Then stept a gallant squier forth,

So thus did both these nobles dye,
Witherington was his name,

Whose courage none could staine.
Who said, I wold not have it told

An Euglish archer then perceived

The noble erle was slaine :
God prosper long our noble king,

That ere my captaine fought on footo He had a bow bent in his hand,
Our lives and safetyes all!
And I stood looking on.

Made of a trusty tree;
A woefull hunting once there did

You be two erles,' sayd Witherington, An arrow of a cloth-yari long In Chevy-Chace befall. * And I a squier alone;

Up to the head drew hee :
To drive the deere with hound and horno lle doe the best that doe I may,

Against Sir Hugb Mountgomerye
Erle Percy took his way:
While I have power to stand-

Se right the shaft he sett,
The child may rue that is unborno

While I have power to week my sword The grey goose-winge that wes thereos The hunting of that day. Ile fight with hart and hand.

In his hart's bloodo was wett.
The stout Erle of Northumberland

Our English archers bent their bowes, This fight did last from breake of day
A vow to God did make,
Their harts were good and trew;

Till setting of the sun,
His pleasure in the Scottish woods
Att the first flight of arrowes sent,

For when they rung the evening-bello
Three summers days to take,
Full four-score Scotts they slew.

The battel scarce was done.
The cheefest harts in Chevy-Chace
*[Yet bides Earl Douglas on the bent,

With stout Erle Percy there sas alaine To kill and beare away. As chieftain stout and good;

Sir John of Egerton,
These tydings to Erle Douglas came, As valiant captain, all unmoved,

Sir Robert Ratcliff, and Sir John,
In Scotland where he lay;
The shock le firmly stood.

Sir James, that boll baron
Who sent Erle Percy present word
His host he parted had in three,

And with Sir George and stout Sir Jazee,
He wold prevent bis sport.
As leader ware and try'd ;

Both knights of your account,
The English erle, not fearing that,
And soon his spearinen on their focs

Good Sir Ralph Raby there was s.aine,
Did to the woods resort
Bare down on every side.

Whose prowesse did surmont.
With fifteen hundred bowmen bold,
Throughout the English archery

For Witherington needs must I xeyl,
All chosen men of might,
They dealt full many a wound;

As one in doleful dumpesit
Who knew full well in time of neede
But still our valiant Englishmen

For when his leggs were smitten off,
To ayme their shafts aright.
All firmly kept their ground

He fought upon his stumpes.
The gallant greyhounds swiftly ran
And throwing strait their bows away,

And with Erle Douglas there was slaine
To chase the fallow deere.
They grasp'd their swords so bright;

Sir Hugh Moontgomerye,
On Munday they began to hunt
And now sharp blows, a heavy shower,

Sir Charles Murray, that from the field
When day-light did appeare;
On shields and helmets light. )

One foote wold never fee,
And long before high noone they had They closed full fast on every side,

Sir Charles Murray of Ratcliff, too,
An hundred fat buckey slaine ;
Noe slackness there was found;

His sister's sonue was bee;
Then, having dined, the drovyers went And many & gallant gentleman

Sir David Lamb, so well esteem d,
To rouze the deare againe.
Lay gasping on the ground.

Yet saved cold not bee.
The bowmen muster'ı on the hills,
And oh! it was a griefe to see,

And the Lord Maxwell in like case
Well able to endure;
And likewise for to hcare,

Did with Erle Donglas dye:
Their outposts all, with speciall care, The cries of men lying in their gore,

Of twenty hundred Scottish speres
That day were guarded sure.
And scatter'd here and there.

Scarce fifty-five did flye.
The hounds ran swiftly through the woods, At last these two stout erles did meet

Of fifteen hundred Englishmen The nimble deere to take:

Went home but fifty-three;

Like captaines of great might;
That with their crves the hills and dales
Like lyons wood, they layd on lode,

The res were slaine in Chery-Clace,
An echo shrill did make.
Αη inade a cruel fight.

Under the greene-woode tree.
Lord Percy to the quarry went,
They fought untill they both did gweat,

Next day did many widowes come,
To view the slaughterd deere;
With swords of temperd steele;

Their husbands to be wayle;
Quoth he, 'Erle Douglas promised
Untill the blood, like drops of rain,

They washt their wounds in brinish teares,
This day to meet me heere :
They tricklin downe did feele.

But all wold not prevayle. But if I thought he wold not come, *Yield thee, Lord Percy, Douglas sayd ;

Their bodyes, bathed in purple gore, No longer wold I stay.'

In faith I will thee bringe

They bare with them away:
With that a brave younge gentleman
Where thou shalt high advanced bee

They kist them dead a thousand times,
Thus to the erle did say :-
By James, our Scottish kinge.

Ere they were clad in clay. 'Ioe, yonder doth Erle Douglas coine, Thy ransome I will freely give,

The news was brought to Edinborros, His men in armour brightAnd this report of thee-

Where Scotland s kinge did raigne,
Full twenty hundred Scottish speres Thou art the most courageous knight

That brave Erle Douglas suddenlye
All marching in our sight-
That ever I did see,'

Was with an arrow slaine.
All men of pleasant Tivydale,
*Noe, Douglas,' quoth Erle Percy then,

Oh heavy newes!' kinge James did ss; Fast by the river Tweede.' * Thy proffer I doe scorne;

"Scotland may witnesse bee "O cease your sports .' Erle Percy said, I will not yeelde to any Scott

I have not any captaine more

Of such account as hee.' * And take your bowes with speede;

That ever yett was borne.'
And now with me, my countrymen,
With that there came an arrow keene

Like tydings to Kinge Henry came,

Within as short a space,
Your courage forth advance;

Out of an English bow,
For there was never champion yet,
Which struck Erle Douglas to the heart,

That Percy of Northumberland
In Scotland nor in France,

Was slaine in Chevy-Chace.

A deepe and deadlye blow :
That ever did on horsebacke come,
Who never spake more words than these-

* Now God be with him,' said our kinge, But if my hap it were,

Fight on, my merry men all;

'Sith it will noe better bee;
I durst encounter man for man,
For why, my life is at an end-

I trust I have, within my realme,
With him to break a spere.'
Lord Percy sees my fall!'

Five hundred as good as hee:
Erle Douglas, on his milke-white steede, Then leaving life : Erle Percy tooke

Yett shall not Scotts nor Scotland say
Most like a baron bolde,
The dead man by the hand,

But I will vengeanco take:
Rode foremost of his company,
And said, ' Erle Douglas, for thy life

L’ll be revenged on them all,
Whose armour shone like gold.
Wold I had lost my land.

For brave Erle Percy's sake. "Show me,' sayd hee, whose men you bee,

This vow full well the kinge perforin'd
Oh! now my verry hart doth bleed
That hunt soe boldly heere,

After, at Humbledowne

With sorrow for thy sake;
That, without my consent, doe chaso
For sure a more redoubted knight

In one day fifty knights were slayne,
And kill my fellow-deere.'

With lords of greut renowne:

Mischance cold never take.'
The first man that did answer make

And of the rest, of small account,
A knight amongst the Scotts there was,
Was noble Percy hee;
Who saw Erle Douglas dye,

Did many hundreds dye.
Who sard, Wee ligt not to declare
Who streight in wrath did vow revenge

Thus endeth the hunting of Chery-Chace,
Nor shew whose men wee bee;
Upon the Lord Percye.

Made by the Erle Pereye. Yet wee will spend our deerest blood Sir Hugh Mountgomery was he call'd,

God save our kinge, and bless this land

With plenty, joy, and peace;
Thy cheefest harts to glay.'
Who, with a spere most bright,

And grant henceforth that fonle debste
Then Douglas swore n solomno oathe, Well-mounted on a gallant steed,
And thus in rage did say,

"Twixt noblemen may cease!

Han fiercely through the fight,
Ere thus I will ont-braved bee,
And past the English archers all,

• The curfew.bell usually rang at eight o'clock is One of us two shall dye.

Without all dread or feare,

the evening.

+ i.e. T, as one in deep concern, must lamot. TT I know thee well, an erle thou art, And through Erle Percy's body then

construction here has generally been misunderstood Lord Percy-s0e am I.

He thrust his hatefull spere;

The old Ms. reads 'wofull durpes.' But trust me, Percy, pittye it were

With such a vehement force and might And great offence to kill

He did his body gore,

Printed and published by JAMES HOGC, 129 il Any of these our guiltlesse men, The staff ran through the other side

son Street, Edinburgh; to whom all communist For they have done no ill. A large cloth-yard, and more.

tions are to be adressed. Sold also ly lion Let thou and I the battel trye,

STONR, Edinburgh; J. M'LEOD, Glasgor. V.

M'Cons, Belfast; G. & R. KINS, Abentes: And set our men aside.'

• The four stanzas here enclosed in brackets are WALKER, Dundce; G. P#, Liverport * Accurst bee hee,' Erle Percy soyd,

offered to the reader instead of four lines which are GROONERIDOU & Soss, London and Deck . By whome this is denyed. rather obscure.



No. 23.


PRICE 1}d.


straightforward adherence to the principle of stating LITERATURE.*

nothing but the truth. But to be ready on all suitable

occasions to state the whole truth' requires a very diffeBy Mrs Ellis, authoress of 'Tho Women of England,' &c.

rent exercise of thought and feeling, and here it is that To write for the people, without prejudice or party feel- some of our most popular miscellanies fall short; for as ing, and for the world, without neglecting the claims of regards a professedly Christian community, it should religion, is to supply exactly the kind of literature most never be forgotten, that to shrink from acknowledging Fanted in the present day.

the supreme importance of the Christian religion, as a Judging from the number of periodical works now issu- means of moral regeneration, is virtually to deny its ining from the press, it would seem that every class of fluence; and to send forth such denial amongst the people, society, and every order of mind, might be supplied with is in reality as wide a departure from the spirit of truth, literary food adapted to their tastes; and yet, strange to as it would be to undertake a description of the effects of say, there is one vast field comparatively unoccupied, con- light upon the natural world, without once alluding to sisting of a sort of border territory, situated betwixt the the existence of a sun. range of strictly religious publications on the one hand, That the influence of party spirit, in separating the and those in which the fundamental principles of the community at large into distinct sections, is generally Christian faith are scarcely if ever acknowledged, on the regretted by the enlightened, the wise, and the good, it other.

requires but little acquaintance with society to discover; It requires but a very slight acquaintance with our and from each of these sections there are kind and beneliterature to see that almost all periodicals having a reli- volent hands stretched forth to draw, into what they gious tone and tendency are but organs of a particular ! believe to be the ark of safety, any wandering dore in sect or party, and as such, however valuable in them- search of rest. But to step forth from the narrow boundselves, to a certain extent unfitted for general useful- ary of their cwn little sphere of interest, and to tread ness. To many readers the strong interests, the par- with firm step upon the great field of no party; to say to tial views, and even the peculiar phraseology, of the all mankind, as to the members of one family, “Let us party to which they belong, may impart a zest to their meet here in the broad light of the same glorious sunliterary enjoyments of which no one would wish them to let us rejoice in the saine free air, and look upon the be deprived. But there are others who turn with weari-same beautiful creation, each only anxious to discover ness and dissatisfaction from pages thus appropriated, and communicate more of the wisdom and goodness of and who long to see perhaps the very same subjects its grcat Creator'—to enter the field of literature in this riewed in a broader light, and regarded in their general spirit, and at the same time to consult the tastes and relation to the interests of the community at large. It wishes of the people, so far as principle allows, and talent is not sufficient for the latter class of readers that the affords the means, is to fill no mean place in the moral facts presented to their notice are, strictly speaking, true, history of a nation, even though a nameless contributor nor even that the sentiments of the writer are on some to the cheap literature of the day. points in accordance with their own; truth in its genuine Again, is there not far too little importance attached character, unadorned by the costume of a country, or the by serious-minded persons to the art of blending amusefashion of a day, is what they most desire, and they ment with instruction ? It is not necessary to go to the desire it in relation to the establishment of social insti- opposite extreme of supposing that knowledge should be tutions, as well as in the discoveries of science—in the played into the minds of children, for they have a spring description of imaginary characters, as well as in the bio- ! of cheerfulvess within themselves, and can well afford graphy of real life--in the region of poetic imagery, as the labour of mind which is absolutely necessary for th: well as in the details of practical utility.

attainment of any important step either in learning or This mode of circulating truth, without party bias, wisdom. Yet still, even as regards children, the mo:her is what some of our ablest periodicals professedly adopt. who knows how to amuse them well, will always find Nor are there wanting instances in which this pro- herself most intimately acquainted with their dispositions, fession is acted upon with the most honourable and as well as possessed of the most unbounded influence over

their tastes and modes of thinking. + We take leave to ir site attention to the remarks of Mrs Ellis

But the case is widely different with that class of the on the state of our periodical literature, as happily corroborative of the sentiments we expressed at the commencement of our la community for whom our popular periodical literature is

chiefly prepared. The tired artizan returning home; the


young clerk, set free from the confinement of a dull

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES. counting-house; the teacher of lessons, wanting rest from daily toil; the mother, listening to the reading of her

CERVANTES. husband or her son, while she plies her busy needle, after the weightier occupations of the day; the youthful circle MICHEL DE Cervantes SAAVEDRA, whose writings have gathered round the winter's fire, after expending their illustrated Spain, amused Europe, and exercised an im- li boisterous spirits in some noisy play—all these, but chiefly rable, and died obscure and neglected. For a considerable

portant influence upon his times, lived poor and misethe thousands upon thousands of busy hands and over- time the real place of his birth was unknown. Madrid, wrought and anxious minds, contending under adverse Seville, Lucena, Alcala, have severally disputed this ! circumstances for bread to eat and space to live in-these honour. Cervantes, like Homer and other eminent men, are all in want of amusement, and amusement many of found many countries after death, and wanted the comthem will have of some kind or other. If not supplied

mon necessaries of existence during life.

Cervantes was a gentleman by birth-son of Rodrigo de to them in an intellectual form, they will seek it in the Cervantes and of Senora de Cortinas. He was born at gratification of lower and less innocent enjoyments; for Alcala de Honares, a city of New Castile, on the 9th of the heavier the burden of anxiety endured, the greater | October, 1547, in the reign of Charles V. the necessary strain upon the energies both of body and

He was a lover of books from his infancy. He commind; the longer the continuance of arduous exertion, fessor, where he soon surpassed his brother scholars, and

menced his studies at Madrid, under a celebrated prowhatever kind may have to be sustained, the more press-evinced an extraordinary aptitude for learning. The ing is the necessity of nature for some mental stimulus, parents of Cervantes wished him to study for the church so gentle as not to destroy the satisfaction of repose, and or the medical profession ; but, in common with many at the same time so cheerful and refreshing as to charm celebrated poets, he cultivated the muses in opposition to

the wishes of his parents, and neglected the more imaway the weariness of life.

portant studies of theology and physic. With regard to those faculties which belong to par- An elegy on the death of Isabella de Valois, numerous ticular constitutions of mind and body, if possessed sonnets, a short poem called Filene,' were among his first naturally in a great degree, and yet never brought into attempts in verse. The cold reception given to these early exercise in the necessary business of life, there is often efforts inspired him with chagrin and disgust. He quitan aching want, which those who suffer from are apt to treme poverty, he accepted the situation of valet de

ted Spain and proceeded to Rome, where, reduced to erattribute to various and widely different causes. In an chambre to the Cardinal Aquaviva. This humiliating especial manner is this the case with imagination. It is position soon wearied Cervantes; he joined the army, and not, it cannot be destroyed, where nature has been lavish fought with great bravery at the battle of Lepanto, gainof her supply. But it can be converted into an enemy, ed by Don John of Austria, in 1571, where he received where it might have been a friend—it can establish in în consequence of this wound he was placed in the hospi

a wound in the left hand, which lamed that arm for life. the mind of man a manufactory of miseries, where it tal of Messina. might have been employed in collecting rich treasures of On leaving this hospital, the condition of a disabled enjoyment. Something it will do, for it never is at rest, soldier appeared to him still preferable to that of a and, therefore, to supply this faculty with wholesome and neglected poet. Ile enrolled himself anew in the garrirefreshing occupation, in order that it may work plea- return to Spain in a galley of Philip II., he was taken

son of Naples, where he remained three years. Op his santly and profitably, while others are comparatively at prisoner and carried to Algiers, by Arnaute Mami, the rest, is no inferior attainment for those who tax their most redoubted corsair of the time. own or the invention of others in catering for the public Fortune, who seemed to exhaust her rigour upon the taste.

unfortunate Cervantes, could not deprive him of that It was often and truly said by the late Mrs Grant of throughout life. The slave of a cruel master, certain

fortitude which was his distinguishing characteristic Laggan, that those are the most useful books which are death awaiting him if he made the slightest attempt te the most read; and certainly the best book in the world, regain his liberty, he concerted the means of flight with as to its subject and its sentiments, if not couched in fourteen Spanish captives. They agreed to purchase the popular language, nor in other respects adapted to general freedom of one of their number, who, on arriving in Spain, taste, might, in its ultimate utility, fall far short of one from slavery. The execution of this project presented

was to return with a vessel and carry off his comrades greatly its inferior as to intrinsic merit. To write even many difficulties. The money to ransom the prisoner on the best and noblest themes exclusively for a sect or a was an obstacle all but insurmountable. This being acparty, is to send forth, in a great measure, a sealed book complished, it was necessary to effect their escape from to the community at large. Many excellent persons do covered at the exact time that the vessel arrived to carry

different masters, and meet together without being disthis, because they would esteem it a dereliction of duty them off. Such a host of difficulties threw them into a on their part to write more expressly for what is called state of great dejection ; but the love of liberty overcame the world. There are other writers, however, who, seeing all. One of the captives, a native of Navarre, employed every separate section of the community abundantly sup- by his master in a large garden close to the sea, agreed to plied with literature of its own, do feel themselves called dig a cave that would contain the fifteen Spaniards. This upon to write expressly for the world ; and, engaged heartily time they gained, partly by alms, partly by labour, the

work occupied the Navarrene two years. During this and cheerfully in this important duty themselves, they ransom of à Majorcin, named Vian, upon whom tber hail with peculiar satisfaction the announcement of a new could depend, and who knew perfectly the coast of Barperiodical adapted to the tastes of the people, in whose bary. Having accumulated the ransom money, and the pages no party shall be recognised except that in which cave being prepared for their reception, six months the entire community are professedly united—that great elapsed before they were all able to meet in their place

Meanwhile Vian purchased his free national party acknowledging the fundamental principles dom and departed, after having sworn to return in a short of Christian truth.


[ocr errors]

Cervantes had been the soul of the enterprise. It was touched with compassion, completed the sum, and Cerhe that exposed himself during the night to seek pro- vantes was ransomed on the 9th September, 1580, after visions for his companions. When the morning appeared having been five years a slare. he entered the cave with the necessaries for the day. The Tired of a military life, he resolved to devote himgardener, who did not require to conceal himself, kept self to the cultivation of letters. He resided with his his eyes constantly on the sea, in order that he might mother, in the pleasing hope of supporting her by the discover the return of the bark so anxiously expected. fruits of his labour. He was now thirty-three years of Vian kept his word. Arrived at Majorca he found the age. He commenced his literary career with ‘Galatea,' of riceroy, explained his situation, and requested his as- which he published only the first six books. This passistance. The viceroy entered heartily into the enter- toral met with great success. The Spaniards were at this prise, and gave him a brigantine. Vian, with his heart time tho most polished and refined people in Europe ; full of hope, flew to the rescue of his less fortunate love formed the subject of their poetry and romances, and brethren.

the power and effects of this passion were exaggerated He arrived on the coast of Algiers on the 28th Septem- to an extent almost ludicrous in the literature of the ber, only one month after his departure. Vian had care-time. • Galatea,' though strongly impressed with the fully marked the spot, and easily recognised it on his re- characteristic defect referred to, is admirable for the turn, though it was night. He guided his little vessel | truthful simplicity of its pictures of rural life; and is towards the garden, where his arrival was awaited with throughout imbued with a vein of genuine poetical feelgreat anxiety. The gardener, who was sentinel, perceived ing, which, combined with a style pure and elegant, has him, and flew to communicate the joyful tidings to his secured for it the admiration of all true lovers of poctical companions. Their misfortunes were all forgotten at this literature. happy news. They embraced each other and hurried to In the same year he espoused Donna Catherine de the shore. They saw with tears of joy the bark of their Palacios. She was the daughter of a noble house, but deliverer. But, alas ! as the prow of the vessel touched poor, and his marriage did not enrich him. To meet his the sands, a company of Moors passing recognised the increased expenditure he wrote several comedies. He Christians. They shouted, “ To arms; seize the Chris- quitted the theatre for an unimportant situation which he tian dogs !' Vian, trembling, pushed off, gained the open obtained in Seville, where he went to reside. It was sea, and disappeared. The unfortunate captives with there he composed his . Novels,' in which he has so graphidifficulty regained their place of concealment, over-cally described the vices of that city. whelmed with grief and disappointment.

Cervantes was nearly fifty years of age, when, travelling Cervantes attempted to reanimate his companions. He through the south of Spain, the inhabitants of a village encouraged them with the hope of Vian's return, but they named Argamazille, with whom he had a dispute, seized saw him no more. Sorrow, and the damp and unhealthy and threw him into prison. It was in this prison he place of their concealment, soon added disease of the most commenced his celebrated novel of Don Quixote.' He frightful description to their misfortunes. Cervantes, made this village the birthplace of his hero, in revenge occupied in waiting on the sick, and encouraging the for the cruel treatment he received in it. desponding, was unable to undertake his accustomed task Only the first part of 'Don Quixote' was published at of procuring food. He chose one of his companions for this time. It did not succeed. He had, however, acquired this purpose, who turned traitor. This villain became a knowledge of mankind by his misfortunes. He published Mussulman, and conducted a troop of soldiers to the a little work called • The Snake,' a copy of which it is cave, who seized and loaded with chains the thirteen impossible now to find, even in Spain. This was a criSpaniards.

tique on Don Quixote, and overpowered with ridicule its Dragged before the king, this prince promised to spare detractors. This trifle was universally read, and acquired their lives upon condition of declaring the author of the for. Don Quixote' a reputation which has since become enterprise. I am he,' said Cervantes to him; “save my firmly established on its own merits. brethren, and I am prepared to die.' The king admired Meanwhile all the enemies of good taste let loose their his courage and generosity; he delivered him up to his shafts against Cervantes. Critiques, satires, calumnies, master, Arnaute Mami, who respected his bravery too were put in full operation. More unfortunate by success much to punish him. The unfortunate gardener who than he had ever been by his failures, he published nothing constructed the cave was suspended by one foot until he for many years. His silence increased his misery, without was suffocated.

lessening the envy of his detractors. Fortunately the Cervantes, deceived by fortune, betrayed by his friend, Count de Lemos and the Cardinal de Toledo came to his a second time in the fetters of a slave, became only the assistance. This protection, which Cervantes valued so more ardent to break them. Four times he failed and much, was continued to his death ; but it never was prowas on the point of being impaled. His last attempt was portionate either to the merits of Cervantes or the wealth to cause a universal revolt among the slaves, and to of his benefactors. attack Algiers. This conspiracy was discovered, and Impatient to display his gratitude to the Count de Cervantes was not put to death. His courage and intre- Lemos, he dedicated to him his Novels,' which appeared pidity inspired his enemies with admiration.

eight years after the first part of Don Quixote. The It is very probable that Cervantes speaks of himself in following year he gave bis 'Journey to Parnassus. These the Tale of the Slave,' when he says that the cruel Azan, works yielded him

but little assistance, and the feeble aid king of Algiers, had no mercy' except for a Spanish received from his patrons scarcely afforded him the means soldier named Saavedra, who exposed himself often to the of existence. most frightful punishments, and formed enterprises that He appeared destined to suffer misfortunes and humishall be long remembered amongst the infidels.'. liation of every description. This same year, a native of

Meanwhile the king of Algiers wished to be master of Arragon, named Avellanedor, published a continuation a captive so celebrated by his attempts to regain liberty. / of Don Quixote. This work, contemptible in point of He purchased Cervantes from Arnaute Mami, and con- | literary merit, without taste, obtained a reputation by its fined him strictly. The prince, a short time after, on his malicious attack on Cervantes. Cervantes replied by way to Constantinople, demanded in Spain a ransom for publishing the second part of 'Don Quixote,' which was his prisoner. The mother of Cervantes, Leonara de superior even to the first. The merit of the work was Cortinas, a widow and in poverty, sold all her effects and now universally admitted. Though obliged to render hastened to Madrid, carrying three hundred ducats to the justice to Cervantes, the world showed but little indignaFathers of the Trinity, who were intrusted with the re- tion at the malignant efforts of his detractor. It is perdemption of the captive. This money, which was the en- haps not in Spain only that meritorious works have been tire fortune of the poor widow, was insufficient : the king treated with injustice and sperity, wie beir infamous Azan wished five hundred ccus of gold. The Trinitarianis, ' detractors, if not supported, ure imited and counte

« PoprzedniaDalej »