« AnteriorContinua »
THE MOORISH MAID OF GRANADA.
forth in full tide, accompanying her And serenader's mellow voice, sweet and mellow voice on that too Wailing of war, or warbling of love, much neglected instrument, the gui- Of love, while the melting maid of his
choice tar. It was a wild, irregular sort of ditty, with one or two startling aru
Leans out from her bower above. besque bursts in it. As near as may be, the following conveys the mean
“ All is soft and yielding towards night, ing, but not the poetry.
When blending darkness shrouds all
from the sight; But chaste, chaste, is this cold, pure
Sang the Moorish maid of Granada." “The setting moon hangs over the hill; On the dark pure breast of the mountain After the song, we all applauded, lake,
and the ladies having made their Still trembles her greenish silver wake, congés, retired. The Captain and I
And the blue mist floats over the rill. looked towards Aaron Bang and Don And the cold streaks of dawning appear, Ricardo; they were tooth and nail Giving token that sunrise is near ; at something which we could not And the fast clearing east is flushing, understand. So we wisely held our And the watery clouds are blushing ;
tongues. And the day-star is sparkling on high,
Very strange all this,” quoth Like the fire of my Anna's dark eye; Bang. The ruby-red clouds in the east
“ Not at all,” said Ricardo. “ As I Float like islands upon the sea, When the winds are asleep on its breast; himself or herself appraised, at any
tell you, every slave here can have Ah, would that such calm were for me! And see the first streamer-like ray,
time they may choose, with liberty From the unrisen god of day,
to purchase their freedom day by Is piercing the ruby-red clouds,
But that would be compulsory Shooting up like golden shrouds : And like silver gauze falls the shower,
manumission," quoth Bang. Leaving diamonds on bank, bush, and
“And if it be,” said Ricardo, " what bower,
then ? The scheme works well here Amidst many unopened flower.
-why should it not do so there—I Why walks the dark maid of Granada ? mean with you, who have so many
advantages over us?"
This is an unentertaining subject to “ At evening when labour is done, most people, but having no bias myAnd cool'd in the sea is the sun ; self, I have considered it but justice And the dew sparkles clear on the rose, to insert in my log the following And the flowers are beginning to close, letter, which Bang, poor fellow, adWhich at nightfall again in the calm dressed to me, some years after the Their incense to God breathe in balm ; time I speak of. And the bat flickers up in the sky, And the beetle hums moaningly by ;
“ My Dear CRINGLE, And to rest in the brake speeds the deer, “ Since I last saw you in London, While the nightingale sings loud and clear.
it is nearly, but not quite, three years “Scorched by the heat of the sun's fierce
I considered at the time we
parted, that if I lived at the rate of The sweetest flowers are bending most
L.3000 a year, I was not spending oneUpon their slender stems;
half of my average income, and on More faint are they than if tempest tost,
the faith of this I did plead guilty to Till they drink of the sparkling gems
my house in Park Lane, and a carThat fall from the eye of night.
riage for my wife,-and, in short, I
spent my L.3000 a-year. Where am “ Hark! from lattices guitars are tinkling,
I now? In the old shop at Mammee And though in heaven the stars are Gully-my two eldest daughters bastwinkling,
tily ordered out, shipped, as it were, No tell-tale moon looks over the moun. like two bales of goods to Jamaica tain,
-my eldest son obliged to exchange To peer at her pale cold face in the from the
- Light Dragoons, and to fountain ;
enter a foot regiment, receiving the
difference, which but cleared him any slave, who is willing to pay his from his mess accounts. But the master his fair appraised value. world says I was extravagant. Like “ Our friend *** injures us, and Timon, however-No, damn Timon. himself too, a leetle by bis ultra noI spent money when I thought I bad tions. However, hear what I proit, and therein I did no more than pose, and what, as I have told you the Duke of Bedford, or Lord Gros- formerly, was published in the Couvenor, or many another worthy peer; rier by no less a man than Lord and now I no longer have it, why, I cut my coat by my cloth, have made « • Scheme for the gradual Aboliup my mind to perpetual banish- tion of Slavery. ment here, and I owe no man a far- “The following scheme of rething.
demption for the slaves in our colo“ But all this is wandering from nies is akin to a practice that prethe subject. We are now asked in vails in some of the Spanish settledirect terms to free our slaves. I ments. will not even glance at the injustice “! We have now bishops, (a most of this demand, the horrible infraction excellent measure,) and we may preof rights that it would lead to; all this sume that the inferior clergy will be I will leave untouched; but, my dear much more efficient than heretofore. fellow, were men in your service or It is therefore proposed,—That every the army to do us justice, each in his slave, on attaining the age of twentysmall sphere in England, how much one years, should be, by act of Pargood might you not do us ? Officers liament, competent to apply to his of rank are, of all others, the most parish clergyman, and signify his deinfluential witnesses we could ad- sire to be appraised. The clergyduce, if they, like you, have had op- man's business would then be to seportunities of judging for them- lect two respectable appraisers from selves. But I am rambling from my amongst his parishioners, who should object. You may remember our value the slave, calling in an umpire escapade into Cuba, a thousand years if they disagreed. ago, when you were a lieutenant of «. As men even of good principles the Firebrand. Well, you may re- will often be more or less swayed member Don Ricardo's doctrine re- by the peculiar interests of the body garding the gradual emancipation of to which they belong, the rector the negroes, and how we saw his should be instructed, if he saw any plan in full operation—at least I did, flagrant swerving from an honest for you knew little of these matters. appraisement, to notify the same to Well, last year I made a note of what his bishop, who, by application to then passed, and sent it to an emi. the governor, if need were, could nent West India merchant in Lon- thereby rectify it. When the slave don, who bad it published in the was thus valued, the valuation should Courier, but it did not seem to please be registered by the rector, in a book either one party or the other; a sig- to be kept for that purpose, an atnal proof, one would have thought, tested copy of which should be anthat there was some good in it. At nually lodged amongst the archives a later period, I requested the same of the colony. gentleman to have it published in « « We shall assume a case, where Blackwood, where it would at least a slave is valued for L.120, Jamaica have had a fair trial on its own currency. He soon, by working bymerits, but it was refused insertion. hours, selling the produce of his proMy very worthy friend, *** who vision grounds, &c., acquires L.20.; acted for old Kit at that time as and how easily and frequently this secretary of state for colonial af. is done, every one knows, who is at fairs, did not like it, I presume; it all acquainted with West India aftrenched a little, it would seem, on fairs. the integrity of his great question;
“ He then shall have a right to it approached to something like com- pay to his owner this L.20 as the pulsory manumission, about which he price of his Monday for ever, and his does rave. Why will he not think owner shall be bound to receive it. on this subject like a Christian man? A similar sum would purchase him The country--I say so—will never his freedom on Tuesday; and other sanction the retaining in bondage of four instalments, to use a West India phrase, would buy him free altoge- We returned next day to Santiago, ther. You will notice, I consider and had then to undergo the bitterthat he is already free on the Sunday. ness of parting. With me it was a Now, where is the insurmountable slight affair, but the skipper !-Howdifficulty here? The planter may be ever, I will not dwell on it. We put to inconvenience, certainly, great reached the town towards evening: inconvenience, but he has compensa- The women were ready to weep, tion, and the slave has his freedom saw. However, we all-turned int, : if he deserves it; and as his emanci- and next morning at breakfast we pation nine times out of ten would were moved, I will admit- some be a work of time, he would, as he more, some less. Little Reefy, poor approached absolute freedom, be- fellow, was crying like a child ; income more civilized, that is, more fit deed he was little more, being barely to be free; and as he became more fifteen. civilized, new wants would spring “Oh! Mr Cringle, I wish I had up, so that when he was finally free, never seen Miss Candalaria de los he would not be content to work a Dolores ; indeed I do." day or two in the week for subsist- This was Don Ricardo's youngest ence merely. He would work the niece. whole six to buy many little com- “ Ah, Reefy, Reefy," said I,“ you forts, which, as a slave suddenly must make haste, and be made post, emancipated, he never would have and then”thought of
" What does he call her ?" said “i As the slave becomes free, I Aaron. would have his owner's allowance « Señora Tomassa Candalaria de of provisions and clothing decrease los Dolores Gonzales y Vallejo," gradually.
blubbered out little Reefy. « « It may be objected—" suppose
“ What a complicated piece of slaves partly free, to be taken in exe- machinery she must be !" gravely cution, and sold for debt.” I answer, rejoined Bang. let them be go. Why cannot three The meal was protracted to a very days of a man's labour be sold by the unusual length, but time and tide deputy-marshal as well as six ? wait for no man. We rose. Aaron
Again—" suppose the gang is Bang advanced to make his bow to mortgaged, or liable to judgments our kind hostess; he held out his against the owner of it.” I still an- hand, but she, to Aaron's great surswer, let it be so-only, in this case prise apparently, pushed it on one let the slave pay his instalments into side, and regularly closing with our court, in place of paying them to his friend, hugged him in right earnest. owners, and let him apply to his rec- I have before mentioned, that she tor for information in such a case. was a very small woman; so, as the
"By the register I would have devil would have it, the golden pin kept, every one could at once see in her hair was thrust into Aaron's what property an owner had in his eye, which made him jump back, gang—that is, how many were ac- wherein he lost his balance, and tually slaves, and how many were away he went, dragging Madama in progress
becoming free. Thus Campana down on the top of him. well-disposed and industrinus slaves However, none of us could laugh would soon become freemen. But now; we parted, jumped into our the idle and worthless would still boat, and proceeded straight to the continue slaves, and why the devil anchorage, where three British mershouldn't they
chantmen were by this time riding "* (Signed) A. B
all ready for sea. We got on board.
« Mr Yerk,” said the Captain, "fire There does seem to be a rough, a gun, and hoist blue Peter at the yet vigorous sound sense in all this. fore. Loose the foretopsail.” The But I take leave of the subject, masters came on board for their inwhich I do not profess to under- structions; we passed but a melanstand, only I am willing to bear wit- choly evening of it, and next mornness in favour of my old friends, so ing I took my last look of Santiago far as I can, conscientiously.
I. De Quincey.
CALIGULA, CLAUDIUS, AND NERO.
The three next Emperors, Caligu- rate, and more unnatural than the la, Claudius, and Nero, were the last buman heart could conceive. Let princes who had any connexion by us, by way of example, take a short blood * with the Julian house. In chapter from the diabolic life of CaNero, the sixth Emperor, expired the ligula : In what way did he treat his last of the Cæsars, who was such in nearest and tenderest female conreality. These three were also the nexions ? His mother had been torfirst in that long line of monsters, tured and murdered by another tywho, at different times, under the rant almost as fiendish as himself. title of Cæsars, dishonoured huma. She was happily removed from his nity more memorably than was pos- cruelty. Disdaining, however, to acsible, except in the cases of those (if knowledge any connexion with the any such can be named) who have blood of so obscure a man as Agripabused the same enormous powers pa, he publicly gave out that his moin times of the same civility, and in ther was indeed the daughter of Judefiance of the same general illumi- lia, but by an incestuous commerce nation. But for them it is a fact, with her father Augustus. His three that some crimes, which now stain sisters he debauched. One died, the page of history, would have been and her he canonized; the other accounted fabulous dreams of im- two he prostituted to the basest of pure romancers, taxing their extra« his own attendants. Of his wives, it vagant imaginations to create com- would be hard to say whether they binations of wickedness more hide- were first sought and won with more ous than civilized men would tole- circumstances of injury and outrage,
And this was entirely by the female side. The family descent of the first six Cæsars is so intricate, that it is rarely understood accurately; so that it may be well to state it briefly. Augustus was grand-nephew to Julius Cæsar, being the son of his sister's daughter. He was also, by adoption, the son of Julius. He himself had one child only, viz. the infamous Julia, who was brought him by his second wife Scribonia ; and through this Julia it was that the three princes, who succeeded to Tiberius, claimed relationship to Augustus. On that Emperor's last marriage with Livia, he adopted the two sons whom she had borne to her divorced husband. These two noblemen, who stood in no degree of consanguinity whatever to Angustus, were Tiberius and Drusus. Tiberius left no children; but Drusus, the younger of the two brothers, by his marriage with the younger Antonia (daughter of Mark Anthony), had the celebrated Germanicus, and Claudius, (afterwards Emperor). Germanicus, though adopted by his uncle Tiberius, and destined to the empire, died prematurely. But, like Banquo, though he wore no crown, he left descendants who did. For, by his marriage with Agrippina, a daughter of Julia's by Agrippa, (and therefore grand-daughter of Augustus), he had a large family, of whom one son became the Emperor Caligula ; and one of the daughters, Agrippina the younger, by her marriage with a Roman nobleman, became the mother of the Emperor Nero. Hence it appears that Tiberius was uncle to Claudius, Claudius was uncle to Caligula, Cali. gula was uncle to Nero. But it is observable, that Nero and Caligula stood in an. other degree of consanguinity to each other through their grandmothers, who were both daughters of Mark Anthony the Triumvir ; for the elder Antonia married the grandfather of Nero; the younger Antonia (as we have stated above) married Drum sus, the grandfather of Caligula ; and again, by these two ladies, they were connected not only with each other, but also with the Julian house, for the two Antonias were daughters of Mark Anthony by Octavia, sister to Augustus.
or dismissed with more insult and prisoners to pass in review before levity. The one whom he treated him (custodiarum seriem recognosbest, and with most profession of cens), he pointed to two bald-headlove, and who commonly rode by his ed men, and ordered that the whole side, equipped with spear and shield, file of intermediate persons should to his military inspections and re- be marched off to the dens of the views of the soldiery, though not wild beasts: “ Tell them off,” said particularly beautiful, was exhibited he, “ from the bald man to the bald to his friends at banquets in a state man.” Yet these were prisoners of absolute nudity. His motive for committed, not for punishment, but treating her with so much kindness, trial. Nor, had it been otherwise, was probably that she brought him were the charges against them equal a daughter; and her he acknowledg- --but running through every gradaed as his own child, from the early tion of guilt. But the elogia, or brutality with which she attacked the records of their commitment, he eyes and cheeks of other infants who would not so much as look at. With were presented to her as play-fel- such inordinate capacities for cruel. lows.--Hence it would appear that ty, we cannot wonder that he should he was aware of his own ferocity, in his common conversation have and treated it as a jest. The levity, deplored the tameness and insipiindeed, which he mingled with his dity of his own times and reign, as worst and most inhuman acts, and likely to be marked by no widethe slightness of the occasions upon spreading calamity. “ Augustus," which he delighted to hang his most said he,“ was happy; for in his memorable atrocities, aggravated reign occurred the slaughter of Vatheir impression at the time, and rus and his legions. Tiberius was must have contributed greatly to happy; for in his occurred that glosharpen the sword of vengeance. His rious fall of the great amphitheatre palace happened to be contiguous to at Fidenæ. But for me-alas! alas !" the circus. Some seats, it seems, And then he would pray earnestly were open indiscriminately to the for fire or slaughter--pestilence or public; consequently, the only way famine. Famine indeed was to some in which they could be appropriated, extent in his own power; and accordwas by taking possession of them as ingly, as far as his courage would early as the midnight preceding any carry him, he did occasionally try great exhibitions. Once, when it that mode of tragedy upon the people happened that his sleep was disturb- of Rome, by shutting up the public ed by such an occasion, he sent in granaries against them. As he blendsoldiers to eject them; and with or- ed his mirth and a truculent sense of ders so rigorous, as it appeared by the humorous with his cruelties, the event, that in this single tumult we cannot wonder that he should twenty Roman knights, and as many soon blend his cruelties with his ormothers of families, were cudgelled dinary festivities, and that his daily to death upon the spot, to say no- banquets would soon become insithing of what the reporter calls " in- pid without them. Hence he requinumeram turbam ceteram.”
red a daily supply of executions in But this is a trifle to another anec- his own halls and banqueting rooms ; dote reported by the same autho- nor was a dinner held to be comrity :-On some occasion it happened plete without such a dessert. Artists that a dearth prevailed either gene- were sought out who had dexterity rally of cattle, or of such cattle as and strength enough to do what Luwere used for feeding the wild can somewhere calls ensem rotare, beasts reserved for the bloody exhi. that is, to cut off a human head bitions of the amphitheatre. Food with one whirl of the sword. Even could be had, and perhaps at no very this became insipid, as wanting one exorbitant price, but on terms main element of misery to the sufsomewhat higher than the ordinary ferer, and an indispensable condimarket price. A slight excuse ser- ment to the jaded palate of the conved with Caligula for acts the most noisseur, viz. a lingering duration. monstrous. Instantly repairing to As a pleasant variety, therefore, the the public jails, and causing all the tormentors were introduced with