Изображения страниц
PDF
EPUB

as a gratuitous and cruel outrage on their guard against him. The Moorish the part of the brothers de Lara, and army surrounded and attacked the again insisted on revenge,

Infants and their small force, who To satisfy this wicked desire of his fought with the energy of despair, and wife, Don Rodrigo Velasquez (who performed prodigies of valour, while affected to know nothing of what had Velasquez and his soldiers stood aloof, occurred) began by requesting his passive spectators of the dreadful unsuspecting brother-in-law, Don scene. But the disproportion between Gonzalo Gustos, the father of the In. the Moors and the band of the Infants fants, to go to the Moorish court at was too enormous for the latter to Cordova, on an embassy of amity, to make head against their assailants Almanzor, viceroy for the Moorish ten thousand against two hundred ! king, Hissem, to thank him, in the All of those that followed the banner name of Don Rodrigo, for some fa- of Lara were slain ; and amongst them vours he had bestowed on the Casti. the brave old Nuno Salido, and Gonlian. Gustos consented; and Rodrigo zalo, the youngest of the brothers. sent by him a letter to Almanzor, in Then the six surviving Infants rewhich he described his brother-in-law mained standing alone, wounded, and and his sons as the most deadly and disconsolate, yet undismayed, and unscrupulous enemies of the Moslems, calmly awaiting death. But they were and recommended the viceroy to put suddenly and unexpectedly succoured Gustos to death. But the Moor, more by a body of three hundred men from Vehumane and more honourable than the lasquez' banner; these abhorring their nominal Christian, shrunk from slay- leader's cruelty and treachery, and filled ing his guest in so perfidious a man- with pity and admiration for his valiant ner, and contented himself by making and betrayed nephews, galloped forthe Spaniard his prisoner, treating him ward to their rescue. The battle was at the same time with much courtesy then renewed between the Moors and and kindness.

the Spaniards; but though the latter Don Rodrigo next affected to the fought as though each were endowed seven young knights, a desire to make with the spirit and the strength of ten, an incursion into the Moorish territo- their efforts were in vain against the ries, in order to obtain the release of overwhelming majority of the enemy. their father, and requested them to ac- The noble-hearted three hundred were company him, to which they joyfully killed, and again the six Infants were acceded (contrary to the advice of left alone, weary and covered with blood. Nuno Salido, who suspected some They were taken prisoners by the treachery), and they set forward with bands of two Moorish captains, Galva an escort of only two hundred horse- and Viera, who, respecting their exmen; and being joined by Velasquez traordinary valour, brought them into and his troops, reached the plain of a tent, and on hearing their story, Almenar, where they fell into an am- and the villany of their uncle, showed buscade of ten thousand Moors, posted them every kindness. But the detestthere by preconcert between Alman- able Rodrigo, on finding that his un. zor and the perfidious Velasquez. The happy kinsmen still lived, reproached latter urged his nephew to attack the the Moorish commander with this enemy, declaring that he knew them breach of agreement; and the latter to be only the dregs of the Moors, ordered Galva and Viera to put their who would fly at once if vigorously prisoners to death, which these capcharged; and enlarging upon the sup- tains humanely refused, saying it would port that he and his soldiers would be disgraceful, particularly in so atrogive to the band of the Infants. But

cious a case.

The representations of he had secretly sent a small party to Rodrigo, however, prevailed with the the Moorish commander, desiring him Moorish commander ; the Infants of to give no quarter to the cavaliers of Lara were taken from the merciful Lara, or to any of their men. This hands of Galva and Viera, and decaatrocious embassy was overheard by pitated on the battle field, and their Nuno Salido, whose suspicions had led heads, together with those of Gonzalo him to follow the messengers unper

their brother, and of Nuno Salido, ceived ; and he cried aloud, publishing were sent to Cordova. the wickedness of Don Rodrigo, and Gustos, the father of the ill-fated warning his beloved pupils to be on knights of Lara, who was still a prisoner at the Moorish court, on learn- Mudarra, who immediately renounced ing the fate of his children, burst into Mahommedanism, was baptised into the excessive lamentations, and reproached Catholic Church, and declared himAlmanzor so bitterly for his barbarity self ready to espouse the quarrel of in seconding the horrible designs of his father. He sedulously sought for Velasquez, that the viceroy, touched an opportunity of falling in with Don with pity and remorse, gave Gustos Rodrigo ; and having met him one the only reparation in his power, his day, while out hunting, he defied him liberty; and the bereaved parent re- to single combat, overthrew him, and, turned home to Salas, to his afflicted refusing to grant him more mercy than wife, Donna Sancha. The remains of he had granted to the Infants of Lara, the Infants and their governor were slew him on the spot. Mudarra then restored by the Moors to Gustos for marching with a force against Ve. Christian burial in the Convent of St. lasquez' Castle at Barbadilla, took it; Peter of Arlanza, where their tombs and having got Donna Lambra into were extant for several centuries. his power, in retribution for all the Great was the exultation of Donna blood she had so inhumanly caused to Lambra at the accomplishment of her be shed, he ordered her to be stoned dreadful wishes_but an unexpected to death, and her corpse to be burned. avenger of her victims was growing up. The maternal love and grief of

While Don Gonzalo Gustos was at Donna Sancha were gratified by the Cordova, he had gained the affections posthumous affection testified by Muof a Moorish princess, the sister of darra for the memory of his halfAlmanzor ; and she became the mother brothers. She forgave the former in. of a son born in strict privacy after fidelity of her husband, and adopted Gustos had returned home. Tho boy, his son as her own, and her heir. She whom she called Mudarra, was brought signified this adoption by a singular up at the court, where his parentage ceremony, performed in public. She was kept a profound secret. But when took a shirt to attire Mudarra; but he was in his sixteenth year, having instead of putting it upon him in the had a quarrel one day with a noble usual manner, she caused him to get Moor, named Aliator, with whom he into it through one sleeve, which was was playing at chess, Almanzor, in purposely made very large, so that his whose presence it occurred, repri

head came

out at the top of the manded Mudarra, and reproached him sleeve, and at the collar. Hence came as one of dishonourable birth. Mu- a Spanish proverb, “ To enter at the darra bastened to the princess, whom, sleeve and come out at the collar," from the manner in which she had which is now used to express a person always treated him, he suspected to be who, being once taken into favour, his mother, told her the words of the gains a complete ascendancy. 'Hence, viceroy, and implored her to inform also, comes the adage, “To creep up him of bis real origin. She complied, a person's sleeve;" expressive of getand related to him the history of his ting intimately into favour. Mudarra, father, and the tragical fate of his at his baptism, assumed the name of balf-brothers, with which Mudarra Gonzalo Gonzalez, in memory of the was so much affected that he vowed to

youngest of the Infants of Lara. He punish their unnatural uncle; and he is said to have displayed many fine requested permission to go to Salas, qualities; and he became ultimately in order to become known to his heir to all the possessions of the house father, and to comfort him. To this of Lara, and is the ancestor of the request his mother acceded; and noble and eminent family of the Lar. he proceeded to Salas handsomely riques de Lara. equipped, and accompanied by a small The exact date of the death of the escort.

seven Infants of Lara is uncertain ; but Old Gonzalo, who had never ceased it occurred between A. D. 967 and 993. to mourn for his slaughtered sons, joy- This tragedy has been made the subfully welcomed and acknowledged ject of a long series of Spanish* roman

Towards the end of Don Quixote Sancho Panza, in a dispute with his master, quotes the concluding lines of the last of the Romances, without, however, in any way alluding to the story, " Here shalt thou die, traitor and enemy of Donna Sancha." It is Mudarra's speech to Rodrigo, when he slays him, " Aqui moriras traydor enemigo de Donna Sancha."

numina,"

ces, which narrate minutely all the de- tables as divinities.* The satirist Jutails in simple versification, having only venal ridicules them for their supersti. the assonance of the vowels at the se. tion, and calls them a happy people in cond and fourth lines of the stanza in- whose gardens their deities growstead of rhyme; and Tempest en

“Porrum et cæpas nefas violare, aut frangere morsu, graved at Antwerp, in 1612, a collec- O sanctos gentes ! quibus hæc nascentur in hortis tion of forty copper-plates from designs by Van Veeus, illustrative of the story: The Egyptian onion being a very None of the romances are short enough fine vegetable, was forbidden to the for insertion here ; but we will trans- priests of that country, as too great a late, as a specimen, from one of them, luxury. Some have thought that the the grief of Gonzalo for the slaughter priests did not eat the onion from some of his sons :

superstitious dislike. But the bulb they

hated was the red squill, because it THE LAMENT OF GONZALO.

was dedicated to Typhon, their evil FROM TIE SPANISH.

deity. Our English name of onion is “Despues que Gonzalo Gustos

derived from the Latin unio (one); beDexo el Cordoves palacio."

cause the bulb is solitary, and throws From Cordova Gonzalo fled,

out no offshoots. Home from its palace walls:

Garlic was highly esteemed among Amid the statutes of the dead

the Greeks. The Athenians believed He dwelt in Salas' halls.

that it counteracted the effects of bad He wearied mem’ry musing there;

air. Garlic, with flour and honey, was He blam'd his feeble arm,

the fare set before Machaon, in the By time unnerv'd_Time, chronicler royal tent of Nestor (Iliad, book ii.) Of all his grievous harm.

The herb moly, given by Mercury to “Ah, lonely tree!" thus would he say, Ulysses to protect him from the en. “ Trunk void of branch and fruit,

chantments of Circe, is believed to have The cruel spoiler hew'd away

been the garlic, called allium magiThe saplings from thy root.

cum.-(Odyssey, book x.)

Garlic was sacred to the Roman " Time was when there were seven that thou Thine own didst proudly call :

penates, but the goddess Cybele ad. How blest with one thoud'st deem thee

mitted no one to her rites who had re

cently eaten garlic. Horace's third One, weakest of them all.

epode is an execration of the strong

scented herb. We must remember the “My sons ! my fancy find ye here

tale in the “ Arabian Nights,” that Each hour---to lose again; Thoughts of the absent, oh, how dear! delightful book of our youth, in which Till I behold ye slain.

the merchant is so severely punished

by his lady wife for entering her pre“ The blood is fresh- the little still

sence with unwashed hands after eating In my veins wildly flows,

a ragout of garlic. Pliny tells an easy When the base author of my ill His baneful aspect shows.

mode of doing away with the unplea

sant smell of garlic, by eating with it “ Woe! to the land where bitter foe

beet-root roasted in the ashes. There Is arbiter of fate,

is a sweet-scented garlic (allium odoWith power to strike a ruthless blow

rum), a native of the south of Europe. On victims of his hate.

In the Levant garlic is hung over the “Rather than on my native ground,

doors of houses to avert sorcery ; a Among the Moors I'd be ;

relic, among the modern Greeks, of For, oh! my sons, with them I found the veneration of Mercury's moly with Some hearts that pitied me."

its anti-Circean virtues. Our wild So Gustos mourn'd reclined in chair,

garlic, with its pretty, white, star-like Beside a lattice set;

flower, is an ornament to our woods, The long locks of his snowy hair

as far as the sense of sight goes, at With falling tears were wet.

least.

The LEEK, the national badge of the ONIONS together with GARLIC, were Welsh, is worn by them in their caps held in such estimation by the Egyp- on St. David's day (March 1), in comtians, that they swore by these vege- memoration of a victory gained by

now

Pliny, lib. xix, c. 6.

their ancestors on that day over the the first person in Ireland to whom Sir Saxons. According to tradition, the Walter Raleigh gave tubers of the poscene of the battle was close by a gar- tato. They were called Virginian den of leeks belonging to an old Welsh potatoes, to distinguish them from the peasant, who advised his countrymen batatas, called Spanish potatoes. So to pull up the leeks and wear them as late as 1629, potatoes in England were esgnizances, to distinguish them in the roasted, peeled, sliced, and put into melée ; a precaution by no means su- sack with sugar, and were also candied perfluous, in days when uniforms were by confectioners. They were introunknown. Legendary tales afterwards duced into France, 1742, but were exsited the peasant into an apparition long held in contempt, as only fit for of St. David, the tutelar saint of Wales, the

use of very poor people. whose advice and assistance led bis The potato, though a most useful, protegés to victory on his patron day. is a very unromantic vegetable. Yet St. David was the son of a prince in there is a reminiscence of interest atthat part of Wales now called Cardi- tached to it. In the imperial gardens ganshire : be early embraced the mo- of Schonbrun, near Vienna, where nastic life, and founded a strict rule

poor young Napoleon, the sometime bard labour, spare diet, and as con- King of Rome, spent the greater part stant a silence as could be maintained of his short and semi-captive life, there consistently with duties. He died about was a plot of ground appropriated for A.D. 544.

his own amusement, which he tilled The vegetable originally used as the with his own hands. Instead of the POTATO was the production of the fruits and flowers in which a boy might coroolous batata, or batato edulis, be expected to delight, he cultivated which grows wild in the Malayan pe- only potatoes, whose white, or purple ninsula, and has a creeping perennial wheel-shaped flowers he endeavoured root, angular leaves, and pale purple to train into tufts, or bouquets, of some flowers about an inch long. At every grace. When his crop was ripe, he joint it puts forth tubers (the edible always presented it to his grandfather part). These plants were introduced the Emperor of Austria, for his own from South America by Captain Haw- table. kins Gerarde, who eultivated them As the potato is now considered pein his garden, in London, in 1597, and culiarly the vegetable of Ireland, we called them potatoes (from batata). shall accompany it with our translation They are impatient of cold ; but are of an Irish song, addressed by a peastill cultivated in the south of France sant to a fair cousin with whom he was and Spain. They have the disadvan- in love. The name of the writer is tage of being difficult to preserve, as unknown to us, but the song was very they are apt to grow mouldy. These popular in Munster, in the

days now are the potatoes of Shakspeare and gone by, when the country people his contemporaries. They were sup- sang like the birds. The girl sang as posed to be restoratives for persons of she milked her cow, or sat at her decayed constitutions, and of advanced spinning wheel; the peasant sang at age; wherefore, Falstaff says, the plough, or following his cart along the sky rain potatoes."-(Merry Wives the road ; the herdsman sang as he sat of Windsor, act v. scene 5.)

on a stone watching his four-footed The present potato, which has de. charge, and the mother sang to her rived its name from the old batata, child. But since the blight of sadness was brought to Ireland from Virginia, that has fallen on the spirit of the peoby Sir Walter Raleigh, about 1589, ple, and that is maintained by the and planted in his lands near Youghal. daily parting from their fast-emigrating At a meeting of the Royal Society, friends, we have remarked that, go 1693, Sir Robert Southwell, the Pre- where we will, we never hear the sound sident, stated, that his grandfather was

MAID

VALLEY.
(FROM THE IRISH.)

A bhean ud shios, a lar an tochair glais.
Maid of the low green valley, throughout all Erin's isle
There is no girl whose beauty can thus my heart beguile.
If death were here before me, I could not hinder'd be
But that my hand would offer a wedding ring to thee.

« Let

of Irish song :

THE

OF

THE

Maid of the low green valley, my tongue must freely tell
The story of the true-love that in my heart doth dwell.
We too are kin already : Oh! wouldst thou but agree
To draw the tie still closer, 'twere happier lot for me.
My Mary! would it grieve thee to see thy lover pine ?
Look on me!-clear as crystal are those blue eyes of thine ;
Thy neck is fair as plumage that on the swan we see :
Thy breath like fruit's sweet odour, thy form like young ash tree.
Oh, were we in the wild wood, where thrushes sing their song,
Where to the grass are drooping the branches green and long,
My love would I discover, so warm, so tenderly,

That thou my truth perceiving, wouldst give thy hand to me. The LETTUCE was called among the perstitious fear that his brother would ancients the food of the dead; because dethrone him, and accordingly caused when Adonis, the beloved of Venus, him to be privately assassinated, and was mortally wounded by a wild boar, then married his sister, contrary to the the weeping goddess laid him upon a laws of the kingdom and of nature. bed of soft and tender lettuces, whose The reluctant victim of this repugnant milky juice possesses soothing and nar- marriage never ceased to lament her cotic qualities. In a fragment of the murdered brother, Smerdis; and one Greek dramatist, Eubulus, one of the day, when at table with Cambyses, she personages, says, “Do not serve me took a remarkably fine lettuce, and with lettuces, for they say Venus con- stripped off the leaves, leaving only the cealed her dead lover, after his death, stalk, and then asked Cambyses his among lettuces.” In the ceremonies opinion of its appearance. He replied, of the Adonia, dedicated to the me. that in taking off the leaves she had mory of Adonis, a figure representing robbed it of all its beauty. “It is him was borne about upon a bier, ac- thus," she replied, “ with our family companied by women olamenting, as since you have deprived it of its great. for his death, and tearing their hair. est ornament." The tyrant, in a rage, These mourners

carried lettuces, struck her repeatedly with such a deplanted in small baskets filled with gree of violence, that as she was enearth, which they threw into the sea, ceinte, her death shortly ensued, and or a neighbouring lake or river, as released her from her sorrows. offerings to Adonis, at the end of the Lettuces were eaten by the ancients ceremonies, which generally lasted for at the close of their repasts, as from two days." Adonis, who is an histo- their cooling qualities they were conrical character, with some fabulous sidered antidotes to the heating effects additions, and whose name among the of wine. The bitter herbs which the Syrians was Thammuz, was killed in Jews ate at the Passover, are thought June, called by the Hebrews the to have been wild lettuce, succory, month of Thammuz. To the idola- tansy, chamomile, aud dent-de-lion. trous mourning in honour of Adonis The Jews are believed to have been Ezekiel alludes (chap. viii.)—“I saw the inventors of the salad compounded women weeping for Thammuz.” And of oil, vinegar, and mustard, to render when Isaiah speaks (chap. xviii.) of their bitter herbs palatable. The the people who sent ainbassadors by Irish, two centuries ago, made their the sea, “even in vessels of bulrushes salads of sorrel, woodsorrel, and beet, upon the waters,” he seems to indicate chopped with vinegar, beer, and a little the casting of the baskets of lettuces sugar, but no oil or salt. † upon the waters, that were to bear them We may here mention other salad to Adonis.

herbs. The sweet CHERVIL (cerefo. A lettuce once caused the death of lium), formerly prized for its warm a young and beautiful princess. Cam- aromatic qualities, was SO great a byses, King of Persia and Media, son favourite with the Emperor Tiberius, of the great Cyrus, having dreamed that he exacted from the Germans & that his brother Smerdis was seated on large quantity of it annually as a tria throne, and that his head reached to bute. It is a native of Austria and the skies, conceived a jealous and su

Silesia.

In some parts of Greece and Egypt they were extended to eight days. † In the middle ages the compound for dressing salad was sold by the apothecaries.

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »