Изображения страниц
PDF
EPUB

and proportions deserving a separate history. ladies. After her solitary meal was over, Its incidents form an uninterrupted line, Isabella retired with her attendants to her parallel with almost the entire course of the chamber, where, with the aid of music, and Spanish tyrant's reign, continually demand- such mirth as the buffoons and jesters of the ing the narrator's attention, yet with con- palace could afford, she made shift to pass the temporary movements, of nearly equal mag

evening.” nitude, engaging him in other parts of Necessarily, a large space is devoted by Europe. Mr. Prescott recognizes this per- Mr. Prescott to the career of the Duke of plexity, and overcomes it by adopting a Alva, with whose achievements English system of historical grouping, in which the readers are not unfamiliar. The establishseveral events revolve round one principle, ment of the Council of Blood — the rule of which was the guiding force of Philip's reign terror — the massacres and confiscations – - his determination to uphold the power of the executions of Egmont and Hoorne- and the Church in relation with that of the the secret assassination of Montigny - are Throne throughout his dominions.

related at length, with such corrections of Tracing the origin and cause of these po- preceding writers as the documents at Mr. litical, religious, and military events, Mr. Prescott's command enabled him to offer. It Prescott fills his canvas with accessory de- is curious to meet in Alva's correspondence tails, — with delicately tinted pictures of with an exhibition, whether affected or real, social life, — with grand architectural per- of human tenderness. spectives, — with pageants, described in lan

“ It would not be fair to omit in this conguage which reflects the gorgeous varieties of nection some passages from Alva's corresponBurgundian pomp, and splendor. He keeps dence, which suggest the idea that he was not in view, also, the latter days of Charles the wholly insensible to feelings of compassion, Fifth, corroborating, generally, the works of when they did not interfere with the performance Pichot, Mignet, and Stirling. The fanaticism of his task. In a letter to the king, dated the of that monarch, tinged with insanity, was 9th of June, four days only after the death of intensified in Philip. When Seso, the the two nobles, the duke says: Your Majesty Florentine, was condemned to the stake, at will understand the regret I feel at seeing these Valladolid, he was led past the royal gallery, poor lords brought to such an end, and myself or “grand stand” of the Inquisition. obliged to bring them to it. But I have not

shrunk from doing what is for your Majesty's "On his way to the place of execution, De service. Indeed, they and their accomplices Seso pathetically exclaimed to Philip, 'Is it thus have been the cause of very great present evil, that you allow your innocent subjects to be per- and one which will endanger

the souls of many secuted ?' To which the King made the memo- for years to come. The Countess Egmont's rable reply, 'If it were my own son, I would condition fills me with the greatest pity, burdened feteh the wood to burn him, were he such a as she is with a family of eleven children, none vreteh as thou art !' It was certainly a charac-old enough to take care of themselves ; – and teristic answer.”

she, too, a lady of so distinguished rank, sister When Philip was united to his third wife, Catholic, and exemplary life

. There is no man

of the count-palatine, and of so virtuous, truly - he had previously been married only by in the country who does not grieve for her! ! prosy,.. she had to modify her habits accord- cannot but commend her,' he concludes, “as I ing to the traditions of Spain.

do now, very humbly, to the good grace of your “ A manuscript of the time, by an eye-witness, the Count, her husband, came to trouble at the

Majesty, beseeching you to call to mind that if gives a few particulars respecting her manner close of his days, he formerly rendered great of living, in which some readers may take an service to the State.' The reflection, it must be interest. Among the persons connected with the owned, came somewhat late.” Queen's establishment, the writer mentions her confessor, her almoner, and four physicans. Yet the Countess, thus pitied by Alva, was The medical art seems to have been always held by him denied all access to her husband, in high repute in Spain, though in no country, even in his last moments. The sentence considering the empirical character of its pro- which consigned him to death reduced her to fessors, with so little reason. At dinner the beggary. But the character of Philip, no Queen was usually attended by some thirty of her less than that of his viceroy, was implicated ladies. Two of them, singularly enough as it in these terrible crimes, especially in the may seem to us, performed the office of carvers. judicial assassination of Montigny, in the Another served 28 cupbearer, and stood by dungeon of Simancas. Her Majesty's chair. The rest of her attendants warned, one day before his death, that the

Montigny was gallants, who, in a style to which she had not executioner would visit him privately

in his been used in the French courts, kept their heads cell. sovered during the repast. • They were there,' “ Philip had truly remarked, there was 'DO they said, not to wait on the Queen, but her occasion for him to make a will, since he had

pothing to bequeathe, ~ all his property having Malta is brought into Mr. Prescott's narrabeen confiscated to the crown. If, however, any tive, to which it gives the tone of chivalric debt pressed heavily on his conscience, he was to romance. The defence of St. Elmo supplies be allowed to indicate it, as well as any provision one or two examples in the writer's best which he particularly desired to make for a

style. special purpose. This was on the condition, however, that he should allude to himself as “ The artillery of the Turks now opened with about to die a natural death. Montigny profited dreadful effect, as they concentrated their fire by this to express the wish that masses, to the on the naked walls of St. Elmo. No masonry number of 700, might be said for his soul, that could long withstand the tempest of iron and sundry sums might be appropriated to private ponderous marble shot which was hurled from uses, and that some gratuities might be given to the gigantic engines of the besiegers. Fragcertain of his faithful followers. It may interest ments of the wall fell off as if it had been made the reader to know that the masses were punctu- of plaster ; and St. Elmo trembled to its foundally performed. In regard to the pious legacies, ations under the thunders of the terrible ordthe king wrote to Alva, he must first see if nance. The heart of the stoutest warrior might Montigny's estate would justify the appropri- well have faltered as he saw the rents each day ation ; as for the gratuities to servants, they growing wider and wider, as if gaping to give were wholly out of the question. *

* At about entrance to the fierce multitude that was swarmtwo o'clock on the morning of the 16th of ing at the gates.” October, when the interval allowed for this solemn preparation had expired, Father Castillo

The grand assault was made. waited on the governor and the alcalde, to in “ The besieged now concentrated their aim form them that the hour had come, and that on the formidable body of janizaries, who, as their prisoner was ready to receive them. They already noticed, were hurrying forward to the went, without further delay, to the chamber assault. Their leading files were mowed down, of death, attended by the notary and the and their flank cruelly torn, by the cannon of executioner. Then, in their presence, while the St. Angelo, at less than half a mile's distance. notary made a record of the proceedings, the But though staggered by this double fire on grim minister of the law did his work on his front and fiank, the janizaries were not stayed unresisting victim.”

in their career, nor even thrown into disarray. The malice and hypocrisy of the King and steadily on, like a thunder-cloud; while the

Heedless of those who fell, the dark column came his agent did not end here.

groans of the dying were drowned in the loud * Proceedings were instituted against the battle-cries with which their comrades rushed to memory of Montigny, as had before been done the assault. The fosse, choked up with the against the memory of the Marquis of Bergen. ruins of the ramparts, afforded a bridge to the On the 22d of March, 1571, the Duke of Alva assailants, who had no need of the fascines with pronounced sentence, condemning the memory which their pioneers were prepared to fill up the of Florence de Montmorency, Lord of Mont-chasm. The approach to the breach, however, igny, as guilty of high treason, and confiscating was somewhat steep; and the breach itself was his goods and estates to the use of the crown ; defended by a body of knights and soldiers, who ‘it having come to his knowledge,' the instru- poured volleys of musketry thick as hail on the ment went on to say, 'that the said Montigny assailants. Still they pushed forward through had deceased by natural death in the fortress the storm, and, after a fierce struggle, the front of Simancas, where he had of late been held a rank found itself at the summit, face to face

with its enemies. But the strength of the Turks

was nearly exhausted by their efforts. They A splendid drama was then being enacted before the world. The Ottoman Empire, fresh into action. Yet others succeeded those

were hewn down by the Christians, who came the dread of the Christian nations, repre- who fell; till, thus outnumbered, the knights sented to the West the martial spirit of that began to lose ground, and the forces were more race which, distributed into many branches, equally matched. Then came the struggle of had overwhelmed the East, and broken up man against man, where each party was spurred all its empires. The Turkish navy, emulating on by the fury of religious hate, and Christian that of Spain, contested with it the ascen- and Moslem looked to paradise as the reward o! dency of the Mediterranean. Fortified him who fell in battle against the infidel. No stations, distributed along the Andalusian mercy was asked ; none was shown ; and long and Valencian coasts, a roving fleet of gal- the Moslem soldiery and the best knights of

and hard was the conflict between the flower of leys, perpetually on guard, and successive

Christendom. In the heat of the fight an expeditions aguinst the Barbary strongholds, audacious Turk planted his standard on the did not suffice to check the aggressive im- rampart. But it was speedily wrenched away pulses of the Mohammedan powers. The by the Chevalier de Medran, who cut down the heroic fraternity of the Knights of St. John Mussulman, and at the same moment received opposed them at many points, but also ex: a mortal wound from an arquebuse. As the cited them to new acts of hostility and contest lasted far into the day, the heat became daring All the epic story of Rhodes and lintense, and added sorely to the distress of the

prisoner !""

combatants. Still neither party slackened their ordering the leather - to be cut in picces and efforts. Though several times repulsed, the stewed, he forced the unlucky mechanic to swalTurks returned to the assault with the same low this unsavory fricassee - as much as he spirit as before; and when sabre and cimiter could get down of it on the spot." were broken, the combatants closed with their daggers, and rolled down the declivity of the

Again : breach, struggling in mortal conflict with each “ On one occasion he made a violent assault an other."

his governer, Don Garcia de Toledo, for some In this contest the knights made use of have thrown his chamberlain, Don Alonzo de

slight cause of offence. On another, he would iron hoops, bound with cloth steeped in nitre Cordova, out of the window. These noblemen and bitumen, which when ignited burned complained to Philip, and besought him to rewith inextinguishable fury. These hoops lease them from a service where they were rolled down upon the assailants, inclosed exposed to affronts which they could not resent. them in fiery circles, and produced a con- The King consented, transferring them to his lagration amid the mass of their flowing own service, and appointed Ruy Gomez de Silva, attire.

his favorite minister, the governor of Carlos. Many vivid and artistic passages might be But the Prince was no respecter of persons. Cargleaned from this portion of the narrative. dinal Espinosa, President of the Council of CasPerhaps, however, a more popular interest tile, and afterwards grand-inquisitor, banished a sttaches to the sad career and mysterious player named Cisneros from the palace, where fate of the King's son, Don Carlos, Prince he was to have performed that night for the of Asturias, and to that of his step-mother; orders. But however that may be, Carlos,

Prince's diversion. It was probably by Philip's Isabella, Philip's young and beautiful wife. The most horrible suspicions arose in Europe collar, and laying his hand on his poniard, ex

meeting the Cardinal, seized him roughly by the when this youthful prince and youthful claimed, . You scurvy priest, do you dare to prequeen were cut off untimely. They were vent Cisneros from playing before me? By the constituted the hero and heroine of many a life of my father, I will kill you !' The tremdark and extravagant romance. In no depart- bling prelate, throwing himself on his knees, ment of the work has Mr. Prescott been was too happy to escape with his life from the more successful in his researches, particularly hands of the infuriated prince.” with respect to Isabella. He has, it may be said, restored the incident from romance to of Alva, and tried to stab his uncle. Cred

He once wrestled in a fury with the Duke history. Doubts still remain, but the story which Alfieri, Schiller, and Montalvan,

ible witnesses testify, however, to his love of in Italy, Germany, and Spain, and Lord truth, his liberality, and to other marks of John Russell in England," have rendered a good disposition. But we must hasten to

the end. His father's conduct towards him dramatic, is at least placed in such a light as to assist materially the judgment of the long appeared unaccountable. reader. Don Carlos, motherless from his

“ The Prince, it seems, had for some time felt infancy, was spoilt in his childhood. He himself insecure in his father's palace. He slept grew up wayward, overbearing, sceptical, with as many precautions as a highwayman, and with all the qualities incident to a sickly with his sword and dagger by his side, and á constitution. It is said, and believed, that loaded musket within reach, ready at any mo when Philip the Second married Isabella of ment for action. For further security, he had Valois, at Toledo, his son looked on her caused an ingenious artisan to construct a bolt, jealously.

in such a way that by means of pulleys he could

fasten or unfasten the door of his chamber while “ But we should be slow to believe that Isabella in bed. With such precautions, it would be a could have felt anything like the tender senti- perilous thing to invade the slumbers of a des ment that romantic historians have attributed to peratę man like Carlos. But Philip was aware her, for a boy of fourteen, who had so few per- of the difficulties ; and he ordered the mechanie sonal attractions to recommend him.”

to derange the machinery so that it should not

work : and thus the door was left without the Mr. Prescott illustrates his audacious and usual means for securing it.” passionate character by a number of anecdotes.

The rest of the story is contained in a man

uscript narration by the Ayuda de Càmera, “ It was the fashion for the young gallants of in attendance on the Prince. the court to wear very large boots.Carlos had his made even larger than usual, to accommodate “ It was about eleven o’elock on the evening > pair of small pistols. Philip, in order to pre- of the 18th when he observed the King coming vent the mischievous practice, ordered his son's down stairs, wearing armor over his clothes, boots to be made of smaller dimensions. But and his head protected by a helmet. He was When the bootmaker brought them to the palace, accompanied by the Duke of Feria, captain of Carlos, in a rage, gave him a beating; and then, the guard, with four or five other lords, and

twelve privates of the guard. The King ordered a prisoner. It will be a great scandal to the the valet to shut the door, and allow no one to kingdom. If you do not kill me I will make enter. The nobles and the guard then passed way with myself.'—You will do no such thing,' into the Prince's chamber ; and the Duke of said the King ; 'for that would be the act of a Feria, stealing softly to the head of the bed, se madman.' – Your majesty,' replied Carlos, cured a sword and dagger which lay there, as treats me so ill that you force me to this extremwell as a musket loaded with two balls. Carlos, ity. I am not mad, but you drive me to desroused by the noise, started up, and demanded pair ! Other words passed between the monarch who was there. The Duke, having got posses- and his son, whose voice was so broker by sobs as sion of the weapons, replied, “It is the Council to be scarcely audible.” of State.' Carlos, on hearing this, leaped from his bed, and, uttering loud cries and menaces, Don Carlos died in his prison, the endeavored to seize his arms. At this moment, causes of his arrest, the method of his death, Philip, who had prudently deferred his entrance unknown. In default of documentary evitill the weapons were mastered, came forward, dence, Mr. Prescott argues the case ; but and bade his son return to bed and remain quiet. his argument is too elaborate for quotation. The Prince exclaimed, 'What does your majesty It does not altogether tend to clear the king want of me?' – You will soon learn,' said his from the imputation of an unnatural murfather, and at the same time ordered the win: der. With reference to Isabella, however, dows and doors to be strongly secured, and the keys of the latter to be delivered to him. Mr. Prescott's opinion is more decided. He All the furniture of the room, with which Car-rejects the idea that she entertained any love los could commit any violence, even the andirons, for Don Carlos, or that he excited the jealwere removed. The King, then turning to Feria, ousy of the king. The incident of her death told him that he committed the Prince to his occurring soon after that of the prince, gave especial charge, and that he must guard him rise to the endless hypothetical tragedies atwell.' Addressing next the other nobles, he tached to her own and her step-son's name, directed them to serve the Prince with all proper Further than this the narrative is not conrespect, but to execute none of his orders without tinued. When complete, it will rank justly first reporting them to himself; finally, to guard with Mr. Prescott's former works, which him faithfully, under penalty of being held as have taken permanent place in all historical traitors.' At these words Carlos exclaimed,

libraries. *Your majesty had better kill me than keep me

LIBERTY. - The Japanese, whom we regard severities by underlings, the law deems escape as being at best only semi-barbarians, never from prison a crime, and the culprit feels its ef- . punish any one for escaping from prison. They fects accordingly.-Notes and Queries. hold that it is the natural right of every one to exert his ingenuity for regaining his liberty, and, when retaken, no harshness is used in the DR. JOHNSON AS A CONVERSATIONIST. - In conveyance back or subsequent detention. If the English tongue, I suppose we must place there be blame anywhere, it is with those who Samuel Johnson high among the “talkers of suffered him to escape through remissness in society.” He was abundantly furnished in all vigilance. This we have on the authority of a the dispositions and accomplishments that qualify Russian, who was one of the few survivors from a man to be a great talker. Strong-minded & vessel wrecked on their inhospitable coast. and strong-hearted though he was, he hated to After being incarcerated according to their ac- be long alone ; and, though pugnacious and selfcustomed rule, he escaped to where he expected willed, he looked for sympathy, and he loved a boat would take him to some of the European society. Indolent by constitution, and averse to ships in the offing, but he was recaptured, and the labor of composition, expression in some way lodged again in prison. He was greatly sur- was a necessity to his vehement and teeming prised at his mild treatment afterwards, which intellect

. Reading always, and reading everyhe feared was only preparatory to a cruel death, thing, thinking with a constancy and versatility till he learned their criminal-escape law. But equal to his reading, his reflective faculty turned he took care not to test its leniency too far by a all to use, and his memory lost nothing that was second attempt at evasion, and he was liberated available. With his sound, piercing, vigorous by some particular treaty or convention. understanding; with his fancy, quick, bright,

Query, would not this refined notion of liberty, and ready; with his hosts of words, effective in entertained by those generally deemed barbari- the heavy forces and the light, splendid on paans, be worth'imitation by what we call polished rade and invincible in battle, he seemed to be in nations ? When we capture an escaped delin- one person the Goliah and the David of converquent we load him with fetters, and punish him sation; strong to wield a spear that was as a by various restrictions on his usual indulgences, weaver's

beam, and nimble to whirl & pebble and sometimes even in his food. Besides these from a sling. — The Yarwood Papers.

From Chambers' Journal. less renowned celebrities, bring the series down CHESS AND WAR:

to almost the present day - all now, save

St. Amant, numbered with the dead - the TRULY, Napoleon III. finds employment very hall, that has so often resounded with for his subjects in France as well as in the their victories, levelled to the ground. Crimea, thought I, when lately threading my As may well be supposed, the Régence, way amongst piles of building materials, and when it had a local habitation and a name, the wreck of dismantled houses, in search of was rich in traditionary lore. The tables a favorite haunt of bygone days in the fair where Voltaire and Rousseau used to sit, were, city of Paris. My search was in vain. The to a late period, known by their names. I Café de la Régence, that for more than a have drunk coffee at Jean-Jacques, and played century had been the head-quarters of Parisian chess on Voltaire. The most cherished legend, literature and chess playing, had fallen before however, was, that Robespierre, who was the modern march of improvement, and I passionately fond of chess, granted the life of could not discover even the spot upon which a young royalist to a lady, the lover of the this world-renowned resort had so long stood. proscribed, who, dressed in male attiré, came The Régence was established about 1718, to the Régence and defeated the sanguinary during the regency of the Duke d’Orleans, dictator at his favorite game. We would from which circumstance it derived its name. gladly believe this redeeming trait in the charIt immediately became, and till nearly the acter of one who has so much to answer for, close of the eighteenth century continued to but the story sounds too like a myth. You be, the principal rendezvous of the leading might mollify the heart of the most tigerly disFrench literati of the period. The profligate posed of the human race with a good dinner Duc de Richelieu, Marshal Saxe, the two and a bottle or two of Clos de Vougeot, but Ronsseaus — Jean-Baptiste and Jean-Jacques you cannot disturb the equanimity of the mild- Voltaire, D'Alembert, Holbach, Diderot, est-mannered man, or adnoy his amour propre Marmontel, Grimm, are but a few of the cel- in å greater degree, than by giving him checkebrated names that frequented its large, low- mate. Still, as the relater of the legend said, roofed, dingy, sand-bestrewn salon. Grimm “ let us hope it is true.” tells us that a guard used to mount daily The French novelists have laid many of at the Régence, to prevent the mob from their scenes in the Régence, and the compilers breaking the windows, so eager were they to or manufacturers of facetiæ have found it a see Jean-Jacques Rousseau attired in his fur- fertile soil. Of the latter, there is one that cap and flowing Armenian robe. Benjamin even our own learned Josephus Millerius, of Franklin, too, when in Paris, was a constant witty memory, would not have been sorry to visitor to the Régence, and there, in all proba- record. It relates how a certain man frebility, acquired the first idea of his entertain- quented the Régence, six or seven hours daily, ing Morals of Chess ; for towards the end of for more than ten years. He never spoke to the last century, the Régence gradually became any one ; and when asked to play, invariably more of a chess than a purely literary resort. refused, but manifested great interest in the

To the littérateurs of the petit-maître school games played by others. One day, at length, succeeded the stern men of the revolution. a very intricate and disputed question arose Robespierre, who, in spite of the change of between two players. The bystanders were fashion, still wore hair-powder and ruffles, appealed to ; but the opinions on each side played chess in the Régence with the close- were equal. The taciturn man was then cropt, shabby-looking Fouché.

Another called in as umpire. He hesitated, stammered, player of that period was the young sous- and, when pressed, acknowledged, to the exlieutenant of artillery, who subsequently as- treme astonishment of all, that he knew nothtonished the world as the Emperor Napoleon. ing whatever of the game, not even the initia About this time, too, arose the Régence tory moves. “Why, then,” exclaimed one, being their fostering alma mater — the great do you waste so many precious years watchschool of chess players, which has made France ing a game you can take no possible interest so celebrated for the game. Legalle, Phili- in?" "I am a married man," was the dor, Boncourt, Deschapelles, Moupet, La quiet reply, “and I find myself more comfortBourdonnais, St. Amant, with a host of other able bere than at home with my wifo." DCYI.

3

LIVING AGE.

VOL. XI.

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »