Page images
PDF
EPUB

apologists of the Spanish expedition-by the very men whose doctrines, if not repelled by the free spirit of the nation, would reduce England to a condition of lazy acquiescence, which, had it existed in Napoleon's day, would in all likelihood have laid us at his feet. While the only favour, on the other hand, that has been shewn his memory, has been from those who have uniformly asserted the principles of general freedom-who have laboured, and are labouring, to keep up in the breasts of Englishmen those sentiments of political hardihood and pride, which would be sure to baffle, were the attempt to be ever made, the designs of an adventurous usurper. This single fact, we apprehend, if attentively meditated upon, will go pretty far towards enabling us to appreciate the merits of Napoleon's career. He must have done much for the people whom he was called to govern, to have entitled him to the hatred of the one party, and to the forgiveness of the other; he must have been a great reformer, as well as a great despot. Had his tyrannical propensities been unrelieved by any acts of public virtue, his revilers could not, upon the principles of their school, be sincere in their condemnation, and every friend of human happiness would blush to be his apologist.*

green

THE ISLE OF FOUNTS,

An Indiun Tradition.
Son of the Stranger! wouldst thou take
O'er
yon

blue hills thy lonely way,
To reach the still and shining Lake,

Along whose banks the West-winds play?
-Let no vain dreams thy heart beguile,
Oh! seek thou not the Fountain-Isle !
Lull but the mighty Serpent-King,t

Midst the great Rocks, his old domain,
Ward but the Cougar's deadly spring,
-Thy step that Lake's shore

may gain;
And the bright Isle, when all is past,

Shall vainly meet thine eye au last ! We have not room to speak of the Eighth and last Part of this publication.It comprises a variety of interesting correspondence undertaken with the view of alleviating the situation of the captive, and also the adventures and sufferings of the Count Las Cases after his separation from Napoleon. With regard to the removal of Las Cases from St. Helena, he unquestionably violated the conditions upon which he had himself consented to remain. The innocent or unimportant nature of the documents which he attempted to transmit through a secret channel to Europe, did not render bim the less amenable to the consequences of a breach of his own agreement. But in other respects (with the honourable exception of his treatment by Lord Charles Somerset at the Cape of Good Hope) he seems to have been miserably buffeted about. The account of his journey from Gravesend to Francfort, where at last he found an asylum, is more like a chapter of Caleb Williams than a detail of probable occurrences, and affords a very edifying picture of the prevailing horror at the idea of allowing any authentic intelligence of Napoleon's condition and sentiments to transpire.

+ The Cherokees believe that the recesses of their mountains, overgrown with lofty pines and cedars, and covered with old mossy rocks, are inhabited by the Kings or Chiefs of the Rattlesnakes, whom they denominate the “bright old inhabitants.” They represent them as snakes of an enormous size, and which possess the power of drawing to them every living creatnre that comes within the reach of their eyes. Their heads are crowned with a large carbuncle of dazzling brightness. See Notes to Leyden's “Scenes of Infancy.”

Yes! there, with all its rainbow-streams,

Clear as within thine arrow's flight,
The Isle of founts, the Isle of dreams,

Floats on the wave in golden light,
And lovely will the shadows be
Of groves whose fruit is not for thee!
And breathings from their sunny flowers,

Which are not of the things that die,
And singing voices from their bowers,

Shall greet thee in the purple sky;
Soft voices, e'en like those that dwell
Far in the green reed's hollow cell.
Or hast thou heard the sounds that rise

From the deep chambers of the Earth ?
The wild and wondrous melodies,

To which the ancient Rocks give birth?*
-Like thai sweet song of hidden caves,
Shall swell those Isle-notes o'er the waves.
The emerald waves !—they take their hue

And image from that summer-shore ;
But wouldst thou launch thy light canoe,

Aud wouldst thou ply thy rapid oar,
Beforc thee, hadst thou morning's speed,
The sunbright land should still recede!
Yet on the breeze thou still shalt hear

The music of its flowering shades,
And ever shall the sound be near

Of founts that ripple through its glades !
The sound, and sight, and flashing ray,
Of joyous waters in their play.
But woe for him who sees them burst

With their bright spray-showers to the Lake!
Earth has no spring to quench the thirst

That semblance in his soul shall wake,
For ever pouring through his dreams,
The gush of those untasted streams!
Bright, bright in inany a rocky urn,

The waters of our deserts lie,
Yet at their source his lip shall burn,

Parch'd with the fever's agony!
From the blue mountains to the main,
Our thousand floods, may roll in vain.
E'en thus our Hunters came of yore

Back from their vain and weary quest;
-Had they not seen th' untrodden shore,

And could they midst our wilds find rest?
The lightning of their glance was fled,
They dwelt amongst us as the dead !
They lay beside our glancing rills,

With visions in their darken'd eye,
Their joy was not amidst the hills,

Where elk and deer before us fly;
Their spears upon the cedar hung,
Their javelins to the wind were Aung.

* The Stones called by the South American Missionaries Laxas de Musica, from which travellers on the Oroonoco have occasionally heard, towards sun-rise, subterraneous sounds, resembling those of the organ.--Humboldt's Travels.

They bent no more the forest-bow, .

They arm'd not with the warrior-band,
The moons waned o'er them dim and slow

—They left us for the Spirit's land !
Beneath our pines yon greensward heap
Shows where the Restless found their sleep.
Son of the Stranger ! if at eve

Silence be midst us in thy place,
Yet go not where the mighty leave

The strength of battle and of chase!
Let no vain dreams thy heart beguile,
-Oh! seek thou not the Fountain-Isle !

F. H.

PERANZULES,

A Spanish Historical Fragment.* The same age that produced the Cidt gave birth to Pedro, Lord of Valladolid, whose surname Anzúres, or Anzúles, was by the soft pronunciation of the Castilians blended with his baptismal appellation, into Peranzúles. He must have known the former hero at the height of his glory, and heard, probably with a pang of generous emulation, of the conquest of Valencia; that noble city, whose possession crowned the Spanish bero's career of glory, and which, with every title to be distinguished from two smaller towns of the same name, by calling herself the Great, or taking the addition of any of the Spanish monarchs, has preferred the badge of her ancient lord, and is still known as Valencia of the Cid.

The memory of Peranzúles is, however, preserved with veneration in the early annals of Spain, not so much for his achievements in the field, as for his being the model of that firmness of mind, which, fixed on justice and honour as upon a rock, leads its possessor through life, unshaken by the storms which make the very sands boil in the surface of those boisterous gulfs, the courts of nascent and half-civilized states. Peranzules stands, in Spanish history, as the original of the genuine national honour,—not the ruffian spirit of revenge, which, under the reign of Spanish despotism, concealed the knife under the same cloak that hid the face-but that intrepid fear of just blame, which steels the heart against every other fear in the universe.

Hardly any thing but his loyalty could mark the distance which separated the Lord of Valladolid from those to whom he paid allegiance. By descent and connexions he was almost a peer of the independent princes who reigned in different parts of Spain. His knightly accomplishments, and probably some mental cultivation above the rude champions who surrounded the throne of Alphonso VI. induced the Castilian monarch to intrust the education of his daughter Urraca to Peranzúles. Whether the probability of her succeeding to the throne made the acquisition of something above feminine softness desirable, in the opinion of a warlike monarch ; or that, the Castilian females being deemed too deficient in all but the arts of pleasing, tutors were pre

• Sce Mariana's History of Spain, Book X. Chap. 8.; and Zorita, Annals of Aragon, Book I. Chap. 28.

+ The year of the Cid's death is not well known. It is supposed to be 1098.

ferred to governesses in that age and country, we are not able to decide.

Where the difference of age secured both master and pupil from the secret growth of a dangerous passion, nothing seems more apt to create a pure and lasting attachment than the duties performed by the noble Castilian to the daughter of his sovereign. But that princess had none of the noble qualities which adorned her father ; and, if we may be allowed to conjecture from the scanty notice which history gives of her mother, Urraca had derived from that source a selfish, turbulent spirit, which, even without her peculiar and grosser failings, would stand in the way of gratitude to the virtuous instructor of her youth.

Prince Sancho, the only son of Alphonso VI. being slain near Uclés, in a battle against the Moors, Urraca became heiress to the throne of Castile. She was at that time * the widow of Raimund, Lord of Galicia, a son of William I. Count of Burgundy, whom the Castilian king had chosen, out of the noble adventurers that joined his standard from France, to share the throne with his daughter in the event of her accession. Alphonso, now far advanced in years, saw with increasing concern, that within a short time the sceptre he had wielded with glory, would glide into the feeble grasp of a young volatile woman, who appeared alike intemperate in the enjoyment of power and of pleasure. Anxious for the glory of a kingdom which, under his sway, had given the first signs of a settled ascendancy over the Moors, he feared that the infant son of Urraca, if allowed to grow under the exclusive influence of his mother, might disgrace the name of Alphonso, which, in the fond hope of imparting his own spirit, the old king had given his grandchild. The fate of his family and kingdom hung upon the choice of a husband for the heiress, whose hand was already a subject of contention among the grandees. To obviate, therefore, the feuds and divisions with which Gomez, Count of Candespina, and Peter, Count of Lara, the two chief suitors, threatened the state, Alphonso announced his fixed determination of giving Urraca to the Prince of Aragon. Not long after the marriage, the two crowns became vacant ; and Alphonso of Aragon, who, by his numerous victories against the Moors, obtained the addition of Conqueror, assumed, in right of his wife, the title of Emperor of Spain, which the kings of Leon and Castile claimed, at that time, as due to the extent and importance of their dominions.

The last illness of Alphonso VI. though it had obliged him for a whole year to abandon the cares of government, had not been perceived in the weakness of delegated power, for that power was in the hands of Peranzúles. Upon the death of the king his master, Alphonso of Aragon, well acquainted with the worth of that noble Castilian, confirmed his powers to govern the kingdom ; and when the Queen's impatience to appear at her court of Toledo prevailed upon him to send her to Castile some time before he could follow her, it was upon condition that she would strictly adhere to the advice of her former tutor.

Urraca's spirit, now emboldened with power, and become ungovernable with the love of pleasure, could ill brook the control of a virtuous man, who fearlessly opposed her misrule and jealously watched her conduct. Lara and Candespina, who formerly sued for her hand, were now

* A. D. 1109.

rivals for an intimacy, to which the Queen's levity seemed to encourage them equally. Peranzúles, finding his efforts unequal to preserve the honour of the Spanish throne, urged the necessity of the King's presence at Toledo. It seems that one of his despatches was intercepted by the Queen, who having already set up pretensions to absolute and independent sway over her portion of the kingdom, enforced a sentence of banishment on Peranzúles, for addressing the King by the title of Emperor of Castile and Leon.

The party which encouraged the Queen in her attempts towards independence, though strong enough to deprive Peranzúles of his Castilian states, and oblige him to take refuge in Aragon, had not yet acquired the nerve and consistency which was necessary to make head against the King, who, aware of his wife's misconduct, hastened from Aragon to Toledo, and confined her in the fortress of Castellar, on the banks of the Ebro. Alphonso's military renown, and the decision of his character, struck awe into the restless and aspiring nobles, while the justice of his administration, and the benefits he conferred on the commonalty by rebuilding the towns of Billorádo, Berlánga, Sória, and Almazán, which lay dismantled by the Moors, attached the nation to his person, and cemented his power in the kingdom. His right in fact to the throne was, in those times, considered by many as equal to that of his wife; for both were great grandchildren of Sancho III. and the order of succession by representation was still unsettled in Europe.

Prince Alphonso, Urraca's son, was in the mean time in Galicia, under the care of Peter, Count of Trava, his tutor. This nobleman, assisted by the Bishop of Santiago, formed a plan for liberating the Queen, which being carried into execution, put the power of the state into the hands of the Galician party. Alphonso of Aragon, whose absence from Castile had favoured the views of his enemies, penetrated with an armed force into the revolted provinces, and carrying every thing before him, overran in a short time Galicia, Castile, and Estremadura, reducing fortresses, and laying waste the lands of his opponents.

It was not, however, Alphonso's power and military prowess which the united barons had solely to fear. The Queen's natural levity, combined with her unruly ambition, disconcerted at once the well-laid plans which were at work to expel the Aragonese from the Castilian throne.

Consanguinity, even in the third remove, was deemed, in that age, to invalidate marriage; yet this supposed impediment was constantly overlooked in the negotiation of every royal match, as if both parties were glad to leave a flaw in the contract, which might, at their option, free them from its obligations. In the present instance, the Galicians having possessed themselves of the Queen's person, lost no time in pleading the nullity of a marriage, which was the most plausible of Alphonso's claims to the government of Castile and Leon. A petition was accordingly addressed to the Pope, who appointed the Bishop of Santiago, and some other prelates of the Galician party, to examine the merits of the case, and pronounce the sentence of divorce according to Canon Law. While the Bishops were intent on the execution of their commission, the Queen, jealous of the power which her protectors

« PreviousContinue »