« AnteriorContinuar »
ourselves but the public of both countries, and English guards at Fontenoy mutually inappear also to be wholly destitute of informa sisted on receiving the first fire, how will the on this head; and the vulgar, if no others, at. muse of Spanish History exult in future times tach importance to results, especially in in a hero who gives carte blanche to his anta
This point ascertained, we shall the gonists for a whole campaign till the last day. more readily subscribe to the propriety of They on their part receive the courtesy wiih such details in the midst of a political essay. gratitude, and the owls of Estremadura may In their present state they are intended, cordially echo their brethren in the Eastern doubtless, for the special edification of the tale and cry, long Life to General Espartero ! Spanish cadets. General Cordova, indeed, for while the din of arms rocks his slumber, has been peculiarly successful in that part of Spain can never want for ruined villages. his argument where he proves that an armed We must distinctly state our intention force cannot vanquish an enemy in the field, of entering shortly upon a more detailed con. unless it is duly provided with money and sideration of the position of Spain, and of shoes. So clearly does the gallant leader es. the causes that have reduced her fortune and tablish this fact by reasoning, that he deems character to so low an ebb since the com: it needless to recur to his own practical illus. mencement of the present struggle for the Iration of its truth in actual warfare; and so Crown. The long series of negligence, satisfactory are both argument and illustra- presumption and mismanagement that suftion on this point, that we are surprised that fered a power so little formidable in the first the Carlists, when wholly unincumbered with instance to rise so high as to divide the opi. either of the requisites aforesaid, should ever nions of Europe on the ultimate result, inhave succeeded in gaining a battle against volves a serious charge against those entrustall the rules of the Spanish toiletie, and in ed with the conduct of affairs in that unhapunceremonious disregard, not only of the py country, and requires some knowledge Brothers Baring, but even of Hoby. But and explanation of the personal characters then these Biscayans are mere warriors, igno- and motives of the principal actors, upon rant of etiquette, and deserve nothing better which we have no room for animadversion than victory, by way of penance for their here. poverty and hardihood, in fighting without But we cannot, meantime, always preserve any shoes at all. Our gallant general knows our gravity at the solemn and ceaseless com. beiter than 10 win a batile against rules; and plaints of every party in Spain against their if any one can be so churlish as to deny him own partizans, as well as their antagonists. the praise 10 actual defeat in a similar dilem. In what a mournful state must a country be ma, it must at least be a consolation to him when the leading members of its community, to have done all he could to deserve it. The whose imbecility is the universal confession, conquering cause might please the Gods and are allowed to continue for years the same the Basques, but to have been conquered is course, though they change hands with their the glory of Cato.
rivals occasionally. What must be ibe apathy Yet it seems that the want of common of a nation that can look on for years at equipments is not the only obstacle to the the destruction, not only of their existing in. military success of the Constitutionalists. stitutions, but of their own property and Espartero, a general of nearly equal fame rights, by the hands of those whom they with his great rival, though unreasonable despise! If the probe of steel applied for enough to gain victory in defiance of all pre. thirty years has not yet reached the bot. cedents and shoes, has been far too rational | tom of the wound, what an inconceivable to prosecute his advantages to the destruction mass of corruption must the mis.government of his antagonist. This modest conqueror of centuries have produced! How strongly has disdained to march from conquest to con. the lessons of history speak to our ears, yet quest, snd we even fear that his recent lau. revolutionary demagogues would fain, in rels may have inconvenienced him by their their novel theories, restore us only to the unaccustomed weigh: in the sultry season of worst errors of the past. The existence of the last campaigo; but we trust that his un. separate States in a kingdom, and the conseinterrupted siesta of the last twenty weeks quent weakness of the presiding Power, has may yet enable the indefatigable warrior 10 led the latter in every instance to sow disopen his eyes again some time within the sensions between the rivals, and take ad. course of the next twelve months. The advantage of their mutual jealousies and oppo. vantage of making but one movement per sition to secure Despotism for itself, so soon annum is obvious in the great savings there. as the occasion was favorable for crushing by effected, for the shoes of the army, if not them all. ΤΙ one Parliament of Eng. for the state ; and if history has dwelt on land has saved her from the ruin achieved that act of martial courtesy, when the French | by the various and independent costes of
early Spain; yet there are not wanting The very essence of that tale was the do those who would establish separate Legis. veloping the action of external causes upon latures here, in blindness to the inevitable the mind, and of the mind under varying cir. result, that the kingly power would join cumstances, upon itself. The growth of with each in turn, to control and destroy atheism, heartlessness, and utter disbelief in the rest.
virtue and the kindly feelings of human nature, through a course of libertinism, is in. deed but slightly touched, nor was more than a slight sketch needed of such progressive degradation, we have had enough, more than
enough, in books and in real life. But the Art. XI.-Les Soirées de Jonathan. (Jona. re-action, from the first slight sense of kind.
than's Evenings.) Par X. B. Saintine. ness and interest, awakened in the sullenly 2 tom. 12mo. Paris, 1837.
apathetic prisoner by his own almost uncon.
scious act of forbearance in avoiding to crush M. Saintine is very generally known as the beneath his foot the nascent plant, peeping author of that singular, and as singularly forth between the flags of his prison walk, popular, novel-Picciola ; the whole interest through the hold upon his attention thus of which turns upon the passionate love of a gained by the plant, the interest in its growth, profligate atheist for a flower, and his, the resulting from its thus attracting his attensaid profligate atheist's consequent conver. tion, the gradual thawing of his ice-bound sion to sensibility, religion and virtue. The feelings by the mere mental act–or, should literary and moral phenomenon of Picciola's we say, passion ?-of taking any interest in existence and popularity in France, it should any thing, and the slow consequen: progress naturally have been our business to announce to philanthropy, to trustfulness in human and explain to our readers—that is to say, to nature, and to piety—which, as we are not explain if we could; seeing that the problem, reviewing Picciola, we cannot afford time how such a simple tale of floral influence here to trace, step by step-all this is so upon
the heart and mind, of Aoral illustration nicely, intellectually, and delicately unfolded, of natural theology, should captivate the fan- that even those supercilious critics who most cy of a nation to whose palled senses every sneered at such a fuss about a flower could thing short of incest and parricide had for not but be pleased and touched with much of year's appeared insipid, is not one of very the working out of this most unincidental,
and yet in effect eventsul, metephysical tale. But from this task of metaphysical inves. We ourselves were highly gratified therewith; tigation we were exempted, Picciola being and even when the pathos became too much withdrawn from the sphere of our jurisdic- for our official gravity, as we most honestly tion, even before we had met with the book, confess it at length did, we continued to be by its almost immediate introduction into this gratified, nay, to be touched, even whilst we country in an English version. The talent laughed, and in spite of our hearty laughter. and the originality of the tale fixed our atten. The new volumes are of a character aliotion, however, upon the author; and when gether different, as will be sufficiently mani. he gave to the world two volumes of " Jona- fest from a very brief account of their conthan's Evenings," we lost no time in pro. tents. They consist of the evening conversa. curing the work, only wondering if France tions of the suppositious writer, represented could have adopted English slang, and if this as a mere French gentleman, now dead, with Jonathan could be our Brother Jonathan; his friend, a certain Jonathan, who, though but confident, whether M. Saintine had !aid apparently not above forty years of age, has his scene in America or in Europe, of find. evidently lived some few centuries, and con. ing in his “ Evenings” something impressiv., fesses to his friend his possession of a secret powerful, out of the way, even if not pecu- for prolonging life far beyond the period usu. liarly congenial to our own individual taste. ally' allotted to man. This Jonathan dies, These confident anticipations are, we grieve however, notwithstanding his secret, and to acknowledge, materially disappointed. dies in a somewhat mysterious, not 10 say Not that the gifted author has here written, preternatural, manner, merely because he or ever could write, dully, without talent; cannot, by land or water, get out of Hon. but that he has, in Les Soirées de Jonathan, Neur: then resuscitates in a learned pea. taken a line less in accordance with the pesant girl who, we are sorry to add, turns culiar bent of his genius. To exemplify this, out ill--and proves, moreover, 10 have been we must be permitted to say another word Pythagoras; that is to say, the peasant girl, or two of the character and especial merits of olias Jonathai), establishes the doctrine of Picciola.
metempsychosis, asserting herself or himself,
afone amongst mortals, to enjoy the invalua. often entertaining, and often pleasing little ble power of preserving, through all changes volumes. We only regret to see the author of person, a continuous individual identity, leave the path which he has so successfully by distinctly recollecting the incidents, opi- trod, for one with the turns and bearings of nions, feelings, &c. &c. of every past state of which he seems less familiar. And, lest our existence.
remarks may have been somewhat hypercri. This account of Jonathan, which, howe- tical, we will endeavor to make M. Saintine ver extravagant, is neither uninteresting nor amends for our censure, by giving a speci. ill-told, constitutes the introduction to the men of his style of narration. This we shall fifteen evenings; there being in fact so ma. perhaps best do by selecting one of the ny short narratives told by Jonathan of va- shortest tales, which we can extract with very rious incidents witnessed by, or at least little abridgment, even in the small space we known to him—the most supernatural he can allow him. The tale we prefer, as well distinctly avers that he witnessed)—within for this reason as for its characteristic pretti. the few hundred years of his existence as ness, is Les Bienfaiteurs, (the Benefactors,) Jonathan. These stories are necessarily too and we must prefix the four mottoes, which short to admit that development of mental it is, at least as we imagine, designed to il. action which appears to us to be M. Sain- lustrate :tine's forte. They are, for the most part,
" TENTH EVENING. satirical, and many of them are imitations of
" THE BENEFACTOR.—(Spain.) originals of which it might have been wiser
“ Omne dixeris maledictum, cum ingralum not to remind us; as of Voltaire's Ingénu, hominem dixeris. (When you term a man Mrs. Shelley's Frankenstein, the Arabian ungrateful, you have exhausted the lantale in which a sultan, whose name we for- guage of reprobation.) — Cic. get, lives a whole life whilst dipping his “ Tel homme est ingrat, qui est moins couhead into a bucket of water, &c. Now pable de son ingratitude que celui qui lui a there is no question of its being literally al. fait du bien. (Ingratitude may occasionally lowable to appropriate the invention of á fo.be less the fault of the ingrate than of the
benefactor.-(Maximes de Larochefoucauld, reign author, by adapting it to the different
ccxxix. manners, opinions, and feelings of the bor rower's own country. But—besides that des ingrats; mais c'en est un insupportable
“ Ce n'est pas un grand malheur d'obliger the plea is inapplicable to the case of Vol- d’être obligé à un malhonnête homme. (It is taire, this lawful mode of appropriation is no great misfortune to oblige ingrates ; not M. Saintine's. If he has changed the but it is insupportable be obliged to a venue of his borrowed idea, he has not used worthless man.)— Ib., cccxxiv. it for the portraiture of French society, but
"On a beaucoup écrit, et avec raison, conhas laid the scene in other foreign lands. teurs en repos, et c'est un chapitre qui manque
tre les ingrats, mais on a laissé les bienfaiAnd this leads us to another fault that we å l'histoire des tyrans. (Much has been find in these tales or anecdotes; to wit, a written against the ungrateful, and justly, want of truth of costume, a disregard of the but benefactors have been let alone; 'tis peculiar manners and habits of the nations a chapter wanting to the history of tyamongst whom they are located; as, for in- rants.)—Maximes et principes de d'Alembert, stance, he represents the Germans as bad p. 62. musicians; Mahometan women as so little secluded, that a customer, as a matter of cottage, but it was situated under the deli
“Lopez had no better habitation than a course, sees and falls in love with the shop. cious sky of Andalusia, in the little kingkeeper's pretty daughter; a Hindoo prince, dom of 'Jaen, at the flowery foot of the before the Moslem conquest of Hindostan, Sierra Morena; and his daughter Inesilla, as building both mosques and pagodas; his only child, his good, his beautiful, and strangers as living fainiliarly with the Ja- dearly beloved Inesilla, inhabited it with panese; the Caffres as cannibals
, setting thing except the means of completing the
him. Of his lost wealth he regretted nojittle value on their kin, and the like. Such misrepresentations, if less important in short his misfortunes had interrupted.
brilliant education of his daughter, which stories and satires than in regular tales, still "Inesilla,' he would sometimes say, give a painful consciousness of falsehood to the days of my prosperity I often did good the reader who is acquainted-and, in these to others, and no one comes to my assistdays of incessant and universal travel and ance. Seldom does generosity dwell in travel-publication, who is not? ---Ivith the the heart of man! manners and characteristics of the different
"From the immense number of inregions of the globe.
grates, I should infer the reverse,' was
Inesilla's answer. But, whilst thus criticising, let us not be "Ingiatitude would be less common, understood as condemning these two clever, I were benefactions wisely conferred. But
the rich and powerful, ever surrounded by pez, I have riches, and a feeling heart; you lacqueys, flatterers, intriguers, know not will not reject the offer I am about to make how to break through the servile throng, yon. Sooner or later you must recover your to offer to virtuous indigence assistance fortune; meanwhile condescend to be my that might relieve without degrading. He debtor.' who obliges ought first to know well • For myself,' rejoined Lopez, ' I want no. whom he is about to oblige.'
thing; but my Inesilla, in the very bloom of "One follows the impulse of one's life, has long been deprived of the useful seeds heart, and is deceived; it has been your of salutary instruction, of the caresses of a own case, father.'
companion, of the cares of a mother; for there 66 And 'I did wrong!
are cares in which the tenderest father cannot "He was pursuing his theme, when a supply the maternal place !' peal of thunder was heard. A violent "I have an aunt,' replied Fernando, tak. storm was evidently gathering, and Lopez, ing the old man's hand, with deep emotion ; forgetting benefactors and ingrates, ran my excellent and revered aunt, who resides out, to open the great gates of his court- at Čazorla with her two daughters, both much yard, in order that any travellers who about your Inesilla's age. This family, in chanced to be caught in the sudden tem- whom you will find united inexhaustible pest might take shelter under his shed, goodness, fervent piety, and information at and escape the torrent that was already once solid and various, is destitute of fortune's rolling noisily in the mountain ravines.” gifts, and subsists upon a trifling pension, Don Fernando, a young Madrid courtier, ship, make it my bounden duty to allow them.
which their virtues, humanity and relationthen upon his travels, profits by this act of Cazorla is not far distant, upon the borders thoughtfully provident hospitality; and, hav. of the Vega ; it is a delicious spot. Go thither ing disposed of his horses and servants under yourself; see my noble kinswoman; intrust the shed, enters the cottage. He is evidently your Inesilla to her,-much struck by the beauty and dignity of its
“ Lopez could not hear him out, but kissed inmates, and frankly accepts the father's in his hands, bedewing them with tears of grati
tude." vitation to share the frugal meal to which he and his daughter were sitting down. Of this Lopez accordingly conducts his daughter indeed he partakes so heartily, that poor Ine. to Cazorla, is charmed with Don Fernan. silla begins to tremble lest her stock of pro- do's relations, and leaves Inesilla under their visions should fall short.
care. Bitterly does he now, in his solitary “ Scarcely did she venture to touch the
cottage, repent his former habitual confood, in order to leave the more for the
demnation of mankind; and this self-reguest. He appeared unobservant; but he proach is prodigiously increased when he managed so skilfully to draw Lopez into one day accidentally observes a vulture a discussion upon the comparative excel-carefully feeding an unfledged dove nest. lence of the produce of the best Spanish ling, whose parent birds had seemingly been vineyards, and upon the preparation of destroyed. olla podrida, that nothing could seem more natural than the following exclamation, Oh, most wonderful !' cried the worthy Lowith which he interrupted the old man. pez. How unjust, how blind have I not been !
“Oh, by Sant Jago! but there are things I disbelieved in the existence of benevolence, that can only be decided while tasting and it exists even among vultures !' them! And, by good luck, I just happen “ He was never weary of gazing upon this to have some bottles of Xeres, and vino affecting spectacle; every day he returned to Rancio in my carriage; besides which my contemplate it anew, and to find in it an ex. dear, good, old aunt of Cazorla, did not let haustless source of gratifying reflections. me leave her yesterday without stocking . ; By a natural concatination of ideas, his my travelling larder.'
thoughts flew thence to Cazorla, where his “Notwithstanding the remonstrances of genile Inesilla was dwelling in happiness his host, Fernando now issued his orders and innocence under the guardian care of to his servants, and, thanks to the fine one of the world's powerful and opulent wines and delicate viands brought to ta- sons; and Lopez sought his lowly roof, blessble, the modest cottage meal was convert- ing Don Fernando and the vulture. ed into a banquet such as Lopez had long “ Days passed and the vulture intermitted been unused to.
not his parental care. Already the little
nestling was clothed in silvery feathers; al. “Lopez gradually became more communi. ready she tried her timid pinion among the cative. A sort of intimacy grew up between branches of her native tree, and her beak, him and Fernando; he related his misfortunes; gaining hardness, seized and crushed more and his young guest
, after listening attentively easily the aliments presented to her. One to the whole, exclaimed, with tears in his eyes: the vulture, after feeding his foster-child * By the sword of the Cid, I am grateful to my as usual, examined her with unwonted attenpatron saint for having led me hither! Thanks tion; he found her plump, tempting, in short be to Heaven and the tempest, therefore ! Lo-l in the condition to which he had been so
carefully rearing her—and he devoured, reader to imagine the second catastrophe, her !
But we cannot conclude without observing, * Lopez was a witness to the catastrophe, that neither Don Fernando nor the vulture and stood confounded. • Merciful Heaven !' he exclaimed, what do I see ! (The good really are benefactors, although they mo. old soul wondered at the vulture's eating a
mentarily and hypocritically assume the semdove, whilst only the contrary would have blance thereof, for base or selfish purposes ; been miraculous.) Instantly the idea of his and that, therefore, although the story fully daughter burst upon his mind. My Inesilla, illustrates the last axiom of poor Lopez, io my dove !' said he, to himself; 'is not she wit, the necessity of ascertaining who and likewise under the protection of a vulture, of what the person is from whom a favor is to a courtly grandee, of a man of prey, in to be accepted, it by no means illustrates the short? Oh, let me not lose a moment!'
During his journey he almost incessantly prefixed mottoes, which refer to the misery repeated to himself, "Before accepting a fa- of lying under obligations to the worthless. vor, the character of those who confer it A subject, by the way, which we should should be ascertained; protectors and prote- much like to see, treated and skilfully elucigés should not adopt each other without pre- dated and exemplified ; inasmuch as it apvious, reciprocal investigations.'
pears to us to be as rich in situations of the As he pronounced these words for the hun deep agony produced by conflicting virtuous dredth time, he reached Cazorla. Panting emotions, as the heart of novelist or drama. for breath, he flew to the house where dwelt his daughter. . Alas !"
tist could possibly desire. The story thus abruptly ends, leaving the