« ForrigeFortsæt »
hundred of his partisans, and supported by Magued, the renegado, with a troop of horse.
The inhabitants disputed every street and public square ; they made barriers of dead bodies, fighting behind these ramparts of their slaugh. tered countrymen. Every window and roof was filled with combatants : the very women and children joined in the desperate fight, throwing down stones and missiles of all kinds, and scalding water, upon the enemy.
The battle raged until the hour of vespers, when the principal inhabitants held a parley, and capitulated for a surrender. Muza had been incensed at their obstinate resistance, which had cost the lives of so many of his soldiers ; he knew also that in the city were collected the riches of many of the towns of eastern Spain. He demanded, therefore, beside the usual terms, a heavy sum to be paid down by the citizens, called the contribution of blood; as by this they redeemed themselves from the edge of the sword. The people were obliged to comply. They collected all the jewels of their richest families, and all the ornaments of their temples, and laid them at the feet of Muza; and placed in his power many of their noblest youths as hostages. A strong garrison was then appointed ; and thus the fierce city of Saragossa was subdued to the yoke of the conqueror.
The Arab generals pursued their conquests even to the foot of the Pyrenees: Taric then descended along the course of the Ebro, and continued along the Mediterranean coast; subduing the famous city of Valencia, with its rich and beautiful domains, and carrying the success of his arms even to Denia.
Muza undertook with his host a wider range of conquest. He over. came the cities of Barcelona, Gerona, and others that lay on the skirts of the eastern mountains : then crossing into the land of the Franks, he captured the city of Narbonne ; in a temple of which he found seven equestrian images of silver, which he brought off as trophies of his victory. Returning into Spain, he scoured its northern regions along Gallicia and the Asturias; passed triumphantly through Lusitania, and arrived once more in Andalusia, covered with laurels, and enriched with immense spoils. Thus was completed the subjugation of unhappy Spain.
S O N N E T.
STANDING all lonely by the spirit-sea,
THE NORTH-AMERICAN REVIEW. No. CXXIV. July, 1844. Boston: Otis, BROADERS AND COM
PANY. New-York: C. S. FRANCIS.
This is a very excellent number of our oldest and most authentic Review. It opens with an article upon The Morals, Manners, and Poetry of England,' which is full of palpable hits and pungent facts, that serve as a keen retort to the paper upon · American Poets and Poetry,' in a late number of the Foreign Quarterly Review. A pretty sort of people are the English, to inveigh against the cruelty, brutality, ignorance, and lack of literature and taste of the Americans ! If our readers are desirous to see with what an especial good grace charges of this description come from the other side of the water, we commend to their attentive perusal the artiele to which we have alluded, and which we greatly regret we have not space to take up in detail. We shall probably advert to it more at length hereafter. "DANIEL WEBSTER as an Author' is the second paper. It is a clear and forcible vindication of our great statesman's claim to be held as one among the most eminent authors of our country, whose spoken works are infinitely superior to the labors of many among us who have a wide reputation for writing books. The next article, upon “The Life, Voyages, and Exploits of Admiral Sir Francis DRAKE,' we have not found leisure to peruse. Justice is rendered in the succeeding paper to Mr. SPARKS' popular and very valuable · Library of American Biography;' and the review of the works of Rev. SIDNEY Smith, which follows it, is copious and satisfactory. The two ensuing papers are upon the 'Life and Writings of H. R. CLEAVELAND, and Norton's Evidences of the Genuineness of the Gospels.' The Longevity of Trees' is an admirable article ; abounding in interesting facts, written in a pleasing style, and evincing in the writer both a thorough love and knowledge of his subject. The ninth article embraces a review of “The Literary Remains of the late Willis GAYLORD CLARK.' Of the ‘Ollapodiana' papers, the reviewer among other things remarks: “They are written in a free and flowing style, merry and sad by turns, now in the sunshine and now in the shade, but always with an undercurrent of deep feeling, in which there are no impurities. Occasionally poems are introduced, showing the taste and graceful power of the author, and the habitual tendency of his mind toward the beautiful. The whole tone of his mind is highly poetical, and his thoughts continually flow into rhythm if not into rhyme.' After illustrating his praise by quotation, the reviewer closes as follows: 'All Mr. CLARK's friends (and few men have had more or warmer ones) will welcome this volume, as a mirror of his mind, of his quaintness, his humor, his pathos, his easy, careless manner, and above all, of his gentle, humane, and generous heart. It may not be amiss to remark, that the prose and poetical writings here spoken of are now complete, in numbers or bound volumes, and may be obtained, by booksellers and others, of the publishers, Messrs. Burgess, STRINGER AND COMPANY, corner of Broadway and Ann-street. The new publishers of the North-American,' we are glad to perceive, sustain with credit their own department of the work.
AFLOAT AND ASHORE: OR THE ADVENTURES OF MILES WALLINGFORD. By the author of The
Pilot,' 'Red Rover,' • The Two Admirals,' etc. In two volumes. pp. 504. Philadelphia: Published by the Author.
We read these volumes of our eminent novelist through, 'from title-page to colophon,' at three sittings; and we rose from their perusal with the consciousness of having been greatly entertained, instructed and amused. The author, in the person of MILES WALLINGFORD, is necessarily, we may suppose, more or less autobiographical It is impossible not to see, that the various pictures of ocean life, and sketches of perilous adventure, which are interspersed throughout the work, are veritable transcripts of real scenes. There is a spirit, a nature about them, which affirm their truth. Of these, as we read, we selected several for insertion; until at length, when we sat down to render justice to the volumes, we began to experience what the French term l'embarras des richesses, the embarrassment of riches. We found we had pencilled the glowing narrative of the escape of the ship * John' from the rocks of Madagascar; the awful scene with the Delaware-river oarsmen; the capital story of the negro Neb's warlike demonstration on board the l'igris; the engagement between the Crisis and La Dame de Nantes; two of WalliNGFORD's adventures in London; no less than four admirable illustrations (taken from the story of affection interwoven in the narrative) of the truth of the poet's line that the course of true love never did run smooth;' together with sundry sententious passages, in which the writer had indulged in trenchant satire upon the faults and follies, local or general, of American character and habits. Of all the extracts thus marked for insertion, we can only find space for a description of the novel exploit of 'Ned,' and two or three other brief passages. WalLINGFORD, it should be premised in order to understand the first named ruse de guerre, is in the main-top of the American vessel, watching the movements of a hostile Frenchman, while Neb, a negro, under the captain's orders, has filled a small ship’s-engine with boil. ing water from the coppers:
*As soon as all was ready, the captain sternly ordered silence. By this time the brig was near enough to hail. I could see her decks quite plainly, and they were filled with men. I counted her guns too, and ascertained she had but ten, all of which seemed to be lighter than our own. One circumstance that I observed, however, was suspicious. Her forecastle was crowded with men who appeared to be crouching behind the bulwarks, as if anxious to conceal their presence from the eyes of those in the Tigris. I had a mind to jump on a back-stay and slip down on deck, to let this threatening appearance be known; but I had heard some sayings touching the imperative duty of remaining at quarters iu face of the enemy, and I did not like to desert my station. "Tyros have always exaggerated notions both of their rights and their duties, and I had not escaped the weakness. Still I think some credit is due for the alternative adopted. During the whole voyage I had kept a reckoning, and paper and pencil were always in my pocket, in readiness to catch a moment to finish a day's work. I wrote as follows on a piece of paper, therefore, as fast as possible, and dropped the billet on the quarter deck, by enclosing a copper in the scrawl, cents then being in their infancy. I had merely writien «The brig's forecastle is filled with armed men, hid behind the bulwarks! Captain Digges heard the fall of the copper, and looking up - nothing takes an officer's eyes aloft quicker than to find any thing coming out of a top-- he saw me pointing to the paper. I was rewarded for this liberty by an approving nod. Captain Digges read what I had written, and I soon observed Neb and the cook filling the engine with boiling water. This job was no sooner done than a good place was selected on the quarter-deck for this singular implement of war, and then a hail came from the brig:
Vat zat sheep is?' demanded some one from the brig: "The Tigris of Philadelphia, from Calcutta home. What brig is that?" * La Folie - corsair Français. From vair you come ? • From Calcutta. And where are you from?' "Gaudaloupe. Vair you go, eh?' · Philadelphia. Do not luff so near me ; some accident may happen.' "Vat you call' accident ? Can nevair hear, eh? I will come tout prés.' "Give us a wider berth I tell you! Here is your jib-boom nearly foul of my mizzen-rigging.' “Vat mean zat bert' vidair ? eh? Allons mes enfants; c'est le moment!'
'Luff' a little, and keep his spar clear,' cried our captain. 'Squirt away, Neb, and let us see what you can do!
The engine made a movement just as the French began to run out on their bowsprit, and, by the time six or eight were on the heel of the jib-boom, they were met by the hissing hot stream, which took them en eichelon, as it might be, fairly raking the whole line. The effect was instantaneous. Physical nature cannot stand excessive heat, unless particularly well supplied with skin; and the three leading Frenchimen, finding retreat impossible, dropped incontinently into the sea, preferring cold water to hot - the chances of drowning to the certainty of being scalded. I believe all three were
saved by their companions in-board, but I will not vouch for the fact. The remainder of the intended boarders, having the bowsprit before them, scrambled back upon the brig's forecastle as well as they could; betraying, by the random way in which their hands tiew about, that they had a perfect consciousness how much they left their rear exposed on the retreat. A hearty laugh was heard in all parts of the Tigris, and the brig, putting her helm hard up, wore round like a top, as if she were scalded herself.'
This amusing incident, the author informs us in a note, actually occurred in the war of 1798. Here is a picture of the North-River side of New York, in 1797, when it had not more than fifty thousand inhabitants; when the theatre' was in John-street, and a lion was kept in a cage, quite out of town, near where Chatham-Square now is, lest his roaring should disturb the people :
New-York, in that day, and on the Hudson side of the town, commenced a short distance above Duane-street. Between Greenwich, as the little hamlet around the State-Prison was called, and the town proper, was an interval of a mile and a half of open fields, dotted here and there with countryhouses. Much of this space was in broken hills, and a few piles of lumber lay along the shores. št. John's church bad no existence, and most of the ground in its vicinity was a low swamp. As wo glided along the wharves, we caught sight of the first market I had then ever seen — such proofs of an advanced civilization not having yet made their way into the villages of the interior. It was called *The Bear,' from the circumstance that the first meat ever exposed for sale in it was of that animal ; but the appellation has disappeared before the intellectual refinement of these later times — the name of the soldier and statesman, WASHINGTON, having fairly supplanted that of the bear! Whether this great moral improvement was brought about by the Philosophical Society, or the Historical Society, or •The Merchants,' or the Aldermen of New-York, I have never ascertained. If the latter, one cannot but admire their disinterested modesty in conferring this potable honor on the Father of his Country, inasmuch as all can see that there never has been a period when their own board has not possessed distinguished members, every way qualified to act as god-fathers to the most illustrious markets of the republic. But Manhattan, in the way of taste, has never had justice done it. So profound is its admiration for all the higher qualities, that Franklin and Fulton have each a market to himself, in addition to this bestowed on WASHINGTON. Doubtless there would have been Newton Market, and Socrates Market, and Solomon Market, but for the patriotism of the town, which has forbidden it from going out of the hemisphere in quest of names to illustrate. Bacon Market would doubtless havo been too equivocal to be tolerated, under any circumstances. Then Bacon was a rogue, though a philosopher, and markets are always appropriated to honest people. At all events, I am rejoiced the reproach of having a market called . The Bear' has been taken away, as it was tacitly admitting our living near, if not absolutely in, the woods.'
There is something of the argumentum ad crumenam in the annexed suggestion. Speaking of the depredations by Great-Britain upon American trade during the war, our author remarks:
"SHE drove us into a war by the effects of her orders ip council and paper blockades, and compelled us to expend a hundred millions to set matters right. I should like to see the books balanced ; not by the devii, who equally instigated the robberies on the high seas, and the suspension' or 'repudiation' of the State debis; but by the Great Accountant who keeps a record of all our deeds of this nature, whether it be to make money by means of cruising ships, or cruising scrip. It is true, these rovers encountered very differently-looking victims in the first place; but it is a somewhat trite remark, that the aggregate of human beings is pretty much the same in all situations. There were widows and orphans as much connected with the condemnation of prizes, as with the prices of condemned stock; and I do not see that fraud is any worse when carried on by scriveners and clerks with quills behind their ears, than when carried on by gentlemen wearing cocked hats, and carrying swords by their sides. On the whole, I am far from certain that the account-current of honesty is not slightly — honesty very slightly leavens either transaction - in favor of the non-paying States; as men do sometimes borrow with good intentions, and fail from inability, to pay; whereas, in the whole course of my experience, I never knew a captor of a ship who intended to give back any of the prize-money, he could help it.'
We are glad to encounter the following rebuke of that species of low cunning in adroit dishonesty, which passes under the designation of • Yankee trick:
YANKEE trick! This phrase, so often carelessly used, has probably done a great deal of harm in this country. The young and ambitious - there are all sorts of ambition, and among others, that of being a rogue; as a proof of which, one daily hears people call envy, jealousy, covetousness, avarice, and half of the meaner vices, ambition -- the young and ambitious then, of this country, too often think to do a good thing, that shall have some of the peculiar merit of a certain other good thing that they have heard laughed at and applauded under this designation. I can account in no other manner for the great and increasing number of Yankee tricks' that are of daily occurrence among us. Among other improvements in taste, not to say in morals, that might be introduced into the American press, would be the omission of the histories of these rare inventions.'
An amusing mistake is very pleasantly related in the following passage. We have seen many persons as astonished as Mr. MARBLE at the idea of a gentleman sitting upon the VOL. XXIV.
box with a negro'tiger,' as if the latter were the person who was being driven out to take the air:
"Ourmate made a violent attack on the liveries. He protested it was indecent to put a ‘hired man'in a cocked hat. I had some notions of the habits of the great world through books, and some little learned by observation and listening; but Marble scouted at most of my explanations. He put his own construction on every thing he saw; and I have often thought, since, could the publishers of travels have had the benefit of his blunders, how many would have profited by them. Gentlemen were just then beginning to drive their own coaches; and I remember, in a particular instance, an ultra in the new mode had actually put his coachman in the inside, while he occupied the dickey in person. Such a gross violation of the proprieties was unusual, even in London; but there sat Jehu, in all the dignity of cotton-lace, plush, and a cocked hat. Marble cook it into his head that this man was the king, and no reasoning of mine could persuade him to the contrary. In vain I pointed out to him a hundred similar dignitaries, in the proper exercise of their vocation, on the hammer-cloths; he cared not a straw; this was not showing him one inside ; and a gentleman inside of a carriage, who wore so fino a coat, and a cocked hat in the bargain, could be nothing less than some dignitary of the empire; and why not the king! Absurd as all this will seem, I have known mistakes, connected with the workings of our own institutions, almost as great, made by theorists from Europe.'
The following remarks in relation to the loss of the President steamer proceed from one whose judgment and experience render them worthy of more than common attention:
“THERE is no doubt that well-constructed steamers are safer craft, the danger from fire excepted, than the ordinary ship, except in very heavy weather. With an ordinary gale they can contend with sufficient power; but, it is an unfortunate consequence of their construction, that exactly as the danger increases their power of meeting it diminishes. In a very heavy swell, one cannot venture to resort to a strong head of steam, since one wheel may be nearly out of water, while the other is submerged, and thus endanger the machinery. Now, the great length of these vessels renders it difficult to keep them up to the wind, or head to sea, the safest of all positiona for a vessel in heavy weather, while ii exposes them to the additional risk of having the water break aboard them near the waist, in running dead before it. In a word, I suppose a steamer difficult to be kept out of the trough, in very heavy weather; and no vessel can be safe in the trough of the seas under such circumstances; one of great length less so than others. This is true, however, only in reference to those steamers which carry the old-fashioned wheel; Erricsson's screw and Hunter's submerged wheels rendering steam-ships, in my poor judgment, the safest craft in the world.'
We take our leave of these volumes, with the expression of a single complaint. It was cruel in the author to leave the final history of the loveliest heroine in the work to be revealed hereafter. We have only to add, that if Mr. WALLINGFORD does n't in the end marry Lucy HARDINGE, he will be very improperly treated by his historian. This is a consummation devoutly wished for in the sequel to the present narrative.
COMMERCE OF THE PRAIRIES: OR THE JOURNAL OF A SANTA FE TRADER: during eight Expe
ditions across the Great Western Prairies, and a Residence of nearly nine years in Northern Mexico. Nustrated with Maps and Engravings. By Joseph GREGG. In two volumes. pp. 638. New-York: HENRY G. LANGLEY, 8 Astor-House.
There is a physiogomy in books as in men; and when we first opened upon the largetype pages, good paper, and striking engravings, of these two handsome volumes, we augured well of them; nor has the attentive perusal of the work at all disappointed our expectations. Mr. GREGG informs us that being for some months previous to 1831 afficted with a wasting illness, his physicians, as a last resort, recommended him to take a trip across the prairies, and in the change of air and of habits which such an adventure would involve, to seek that health which they had failed to restore. He followed their advice, by joining one of those spring caravans which were annually starting from the United States for Santa Fé. The effects of this journey were to reëstablish our author's health, and to beget in him an irresistible passion for prairie-life. Accordingly, at the conclusion of the season which followed his first trip, he became interested as a proprietor in the Santa Fé trade, and continued to be so for the eight ensuing years. During the whole of these periods, he crossed the prairies eight different times; and save the time spent in travelling, the greater part of the nine years were passed in Northern Mexico. Having thus been actively engaged and largely interested in the commerce of that country, and across the