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So, in the land of sorrows, Love may shine,
P. 176. The story of the genealogists, which, as we learn from a few lines of dedication, was intended to be mirthful, 'serves only to prove how much Mr. Cornwall mistook his talent. To succeed in the humorous, requires perhaps more than in any other style, a natural vein, and to attempt it without this is to ensure failure.
Among the minor blemishes of the poems we must remark the introduction of such phrazes as, glooming shores, scything blasts, westering stars, and some others which occur, since to say the least of them they are needless innovations in language. It has been permitted to great writers by tacit convention, to enrich their native tongue by the introduction of new words: and there are still many which belong to the class of which it may be said that if they are not English they well deserve to be; but these are only such as are supported by analogy, or are required to express ideas, which we cannot otherwise explain unless by periphrasis.
On closing the volume we find that we have more to commend than to censure. There are lines of extreme beauty, and many passages to which talent and good taste have equally contributed. We doubt not therefore that the poems, although deformed by some instances of affectation, and mannerism, will add to the former reputation of the author.
ART. III. The Pyrenees, and the South of France,
during the Months of November and December 1822. By
A. Thiers. pp. 188. Treuttel and Co. 1823. The object of this pamphlet is political; but its merits are altogether picturesque. M. Thiers endeavours to draw such a portrait of Spanish Guerillas" as might deter the French army from crossing the Pyrenees. The attempt to say the best of it was unpatriotic and absurd ; bùt it has been attended by some very lively sketches of the scenery and inhabitants of the French and Spanish border.'. The tour commences with a display of fretfulness and irritability, which we cannot commend. The traveller was required to provide himself with passports ; and sorely did he grieve over the preliminary enquiries which were indispensable to a permission to circulate freely through France. Civilization, he informs us, while it gives mail coaches to subjects, gives telegraphs to their rulers. And on the strength of this apophthegm, he wishes for the return of those halcyon days in which travellers were never impeded by more ceremonious detainers than Robin Hood, or the Wild Boar of Ardennes. When
When be arrives at the Pyrenees, he acquires a juster notion of the value of a Diligence Française.
We extract the account of his first meeting with the emigrant Spanish monks.
“ The monks, who are the forerunners of every emigratior, swarmed at Perpignan, and preceded the Regency. At Narbonne, I had already met the capuchins, with their ample brown flowing robe, their large hoods hanging down to the middle of the back, their. rosary, and their head and feet bare. At Perpignan I saw monks of all colours ; black, blue, white, grey, and reddish brown; the curés in large great coats, and immense: French hats. You remark a singular habit in them when you meet them; they followed you with their eyes, as if ready to answer a question, and their extended hand seemed ready to bless you. I soon learnt that in Spain, they bless all the peasants, who prostrate themselves before them, and I understand that they were inclined to be equally generous in France, as in their own country. Two of them, with whom I conversed, said carelessly, · The Spaniards like it, and we give it them. In France they do not care for it, and we keep it to ourselves.” In general I did not find them very fanatical. They have a kind of indolence which excludes violent sentiments. They are very little affected by the diminution of the king's power, but the happy theocratic influence which they enjoyed has been disturbed." The .convents of several of them have been visited, the majority has suffered for the crimes of a few; and they have fled; in no great hurry, however, and contented with the quiet and easy pace of their mules.
“The profession of a monk is very general in Spain, because it is easy, pleasant, and favours all kind of idleness. If a man has committed any irregularities, or if he is still more lazy than his lazy countrymen; he is received into a monastery, and displays his tranquil sanctity in the eyes of the people, who are glad to see the servants of God multiply. A portion of the land is allotted for their support, and voluntary donations add considerably to their established income. This easy mode of life gives most of them a happy embonpoint ; a lively red to their cheeks ; effaces the fine lines of the Moorish countenance; renders those happy bodies difficult to be moved; and in their untroubled reign, takes from them even the hatred of heresy, the very name of which is unkoown to them. In others the cloister appears to have made the complexion sallow, hollowed and inflamed the eyes, depressed the cheeks, and thus produced the ideal of fanaticism. I have never seen any thing finer thạn some of these heads projecting from the large robes of the capuchins, with an ample forehead, a long straight nose, large black fixed eyes, a little strong and thick beard. Among them are those men, who by turns, monks and guerillas, have quitted the mountains since the return of Ferdinand, and now go back to them, to satisfy an ardent temperament, which under other institutions, would have shewn itself in great actions, and noble enterprizes.” P. 75.
The best of the Guerilla chiefs is thus described:
" Miralhès is a farmer of Cerbera, very rich from the extent of his estates and the number of his servants. He was living quietly
property, when he was told that the Faith was menaced, and the throne in danger. He immediately assembled the pea. sants of the country, marched towards La Seu d'Urgel and joined the army of the Faith. Miralhès is near fifty, with pretty good figure, and a true Spanish countenance, very ignorant, but possessed of great natural good sense, in short the most honest and sincere fanatic that can be conceived. This extraordinary man, although continually surrounded by robbers and assassins, has, however, exhibited the strictest probity, and the greatest moderation to the subjects of the opposite party; and he has proved by his conduct amid so many bad examples, that there are natural dispositions, truly virtuous. This worthy Spaniard is . the tutelary genius of the oppressed Cerdagne, and has exerted himself to oppose his beneficent influence to that of the terrible Misas, who is to this country the genius of evil. Wherever this brave man showed himself at the head of his peasantry, inounted on a great farm-horse, with his net, his jacket, and his spurs over his spartillas, confidence and security returned. He paid for every thing he took, and never levied forced contributions, by threatening to burn the country, if payment was refused. Indignant at the extortions of his colleagues, he has sometimes threatened to retire to his estates, but his zeal in a cause which he considers sacred has always prevented him. One day he came to Bourg-Madame, and desired to speak with an officer whom he had frequently consulted, and in whose judgment he had great confidence. The good man was quite in despair, as his colleague, in order to finish matters more quickly, wanted to set fire to the
T VOL, XX, SEPT, 1823
country, and he did not know how to act. The officer advised him not to yield, and rather to drive away the barbarian, with whom lie had to do; he followed this advice, and the country was saved for some days from a merciless enemy:
“ I have heard our officers, who in general feel the greatest disgust at the scenes they have witnessed, and detest the chiefs of these bands as they deserve, say with warmth, that if ever they go into Cerdagne, they will pay a visit to this generous insurgent, who is perhaps the only one of them all, who is conscientiously steadfast in the cause, and whose heart is as good as it is noble." P. 110.
But the actual Guerilla himself is the finest and most formidable of men. Mrs. Radcliffe's banditti are beaten hollow when compared with these ferocious patriots. M. Thiers passed a night in the tower of Carol, and shared his supper with smugglers and heroes.
“ I soon found myself seated next to the chief of a bánd, whose face promised me many curious stories, if I could make myself understood, and accommodate myself to his Castillian pride. He wore a large cloak wrapt round his body, a leather girdle from which no sabre now hung; but on the other hand I saw a rude handle projecting from the pocket of his trowsers. He had just smoked a pipe, and putting his hand to this pocket, drew out a very long instrunient, which suddenly opening, shewed me a dagger concealed under the form of a knife. He made use of the point to clean the bowl of his pipe, and when this operation was finished, he looked at his weapon for an instant, and turned it several times with complacency, like a man who contemplates his last shilling. A brigadier of the gendarmes who was present, immediately put his hand on it, saying that it was forbidden to enter with arms into the French territory.
Well,' said the other, is it forbidden to cut one's tobacco and bread ?
* Certainly not,' replied the brigadier, ' bat here is more than is required to cut tobacco and bread.'
"And the wolves and dogs ; must we not defend ourselves against them?'” P. 132.
An old French serjeant commences a conversation upon the powers of these singular soldiers.
" Only look at those feet; no goat's are more forked. And that dagger ! I'll wager that it has tasted plenty of our blood. Should a villainous weapon like that come into France? If the brigadier would allow me.'
"'? You seem to be rather afraid of it.'
“Oh, my good sir, when I see it, I am not afraid of it, and thank God my musket fears nobody. But my musket goes only in
one liand, and this serpent of a knife passes from one hand to another, you
when do not see it, and it penetrates you as it would into the crumb of this loaf.'
"! You have then fought long against the guerillas; it is a bad kind of warfare.'
* • Bad! you never know where it is. The road is always open, there are never any enemies before you ; but behind. If you only want to drink at a pool, or to cut wood, you must be on your guard against the very stones. All of a sudden, one of those fellows, such as you see there, rushes out, and you are dead before
you have time to cry vive l'Empereur!.....Excuse me,' added the good serjeant, ' you know that at the time we fought against those people, we used to cry vive l'Empereur. And he, you know, would not have us be afraid. In the campaign in Egyptyou remember, sir, the campaign in Egypt ?'
“ Not exactly, for I was not there; but I have heard speak of it.”. “Well! I will tell you. The sabres of those Turks cut you
off a man's head, as we could cut off the top of a little shrub. Thbse sabres at first rather frightened us ; but the general soon cured us of that. He told us that we were children; yet we were taller and older than he ; I for my part was four years older. Well! he said so much to us, that we lost our fear.—But these knives.'....
« • Did he not accustom you to them?'
“ Accustom!.... people say much more: namely, that he would not come back here himself on account of them, and if he was afraid of them, what should we feel ?'.
“Do you really think that Bonaparte was afraid of returning to Spain on account of the knives ?' . Faith! they say so.
And then, look you, he was just married ; and it is unpleasant the first year of marriage to carry on this sort of war. As for me, I thought more than once that I should never see my old mother again. Come, sir, let us take a draught. All this is very well to talk of when you are no longer in the middle of it.' And turning at the same time to some young soldiers, whom he pledged; · My poor children,' said he, «God keep you from Spain.
P. 135. This magnificent bandit is then described asleep, and receiving the red light of the fire upon his countenance, like Endymion lighted up by a moon bean. The general character of the mountaineer is thus given by the veteran grenadier.
« What do you think of this company?' said the gendarme ; and without giving me time to reply, added, you must certainly have some very particular business to bring you here; as for me, I would not stay a day in it, if I were not obliged by my office. I have guarded all the coasts of France, all the defiles of the Alps; I have even served in Italy during the blockade; but I assure you