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late Cardenio in the neighbouring Sierra Morena, he went down upon one knee, and fell to his task most inquisitively. Though the sack was already filled out to a very bloated size, yet there remained room for nearly all my linen and summer clothing, which was preferred in consideration of the approaching heats. My gold watch and seal went in search of its silver companion; for Senor Cunado slipped it slily into his side pocket, and though there be no secrets among relations, I have my doubts whether 10 this day he has ever spoke of it to his brother-in-law.'-vol. ii., pp. 65–71. .
The author put up with his losses in the best humour possible, as indeed did the whole party, and the diligence pursued its way to the ancient and interesting, though now desolate city of Cordova, without further molestation. Its splendid cathedral attracts at once the attention of every stranger. This pile examined, there is little further to be seen, except the country in the vicinity, which is singularly wild, and full of historical, particularly Moorish, associations. The author had the good taste to remain some days here, one of which he devoted to the Hermitage. The reader will be pleased with his sketch of this curious monastery.
. I found the hermitage situated upon one of the wildest ledges of the mountain. It is bounded on the southern and eastern sides by a precipice of a fearful depth, and on every other hand the world is as effectually shut out by an irregular wall, connecting and binding together the scattered rocks which had been rudely thrown there by the hand of Nature. Having rung at the gate, I was presently reconnoitered through a small grated window by one of the hermits, with a pale face and a long beard. He asked what I would have, in a tone of meekness. I told him that I had come to see the desert of Cordova. He disappeared to ask the permission of the chief brother, and soon after returned to give me admittance. My first sensation, on entering, was one of most pleasing disappointment. I had expected to find every thing within dreary and graceless, as became the abode of austere misanthropy; but instead of that, there were fifteen or twenty little white-washed cottages, nestling among the rocks, and almost overrun and hidden among vines, fruit-trees, and flowers. Nature here was as savage as without. The rocks and precipices were of equal boldness; but man had been busy, and the rain and the sun had lent their assistance. Indeed, vegetation could nowhere be more luxuriant, and the plants and flowers had a richness of colour and of perfume that could scarce be surpassed.
On approaching the cottage of the hermano mayor, or chief brother, he came to the door to receive me, signed the cross over me, and pressed my hand in token of a welcome. Like the other hermits, the hermano mayor wore a large garment of course brown cloth, girded round the middle with a rope, and having a hood for the head. The only covering of his feet consisted of a course shoe of half-tanned leather. Yet was there something in his appearance which could have enabled one to single him out at once from the whole fraternity. He had a lofty and towering form, and features of the very noblest mould. I cannot tell the curious reader how long his beard was; for after descending a reasonable distance along the chest, it returned to expand itself in the bosom of his habit. This man was such a one as, in any dress or situation, a person would have turned
to look at a second time; but as he now stood before me, in addition to the effect of his apostolic garment, his complexion and his eye had a clear. ness that no one can conceive who is not familiar with the aspect of those who have practised a long and rigid abstinence from animal food and every exciting aliment. It gives a lustre, a spiritual intelligence to the countenance, that has something saint-like and divine; and the adventurous artist who would essay to trace the lineaments of his Saviour, should seek a model in some convent of Trappists or Carthusians, or in the etherial region of the Desert of Cordova.
• When we were seated in the cell of the superior, he began at once to ask questions about America ; for I had sent in word that a citizen of the United States asked admission, having ever found this character to be a ready passport. He had been on mercantile business to Mexico many years before, and had come away at the commencement of the revolution. He felt anxious to hear something of its present condition, of which he was very ignorant; and when I had satisfied his curiosity and rose to depart, he gave me a litile cross of a wood that had grown within the consecrated inclosure, and had been rudely wrought by the hands of the hermits. Не told me that, if troubles and sorrows should ever assail me, if I should grow weary of worldly vanities, if the burden of existence should ever wax heavier than I could bear, I might leave all behind and come to their solitude, where I should be at least sure of a peaceful and a welcome home. Then, ordering a brother to show me every thing, he uttered a benediction, and bade me “Go with God."
. A good-natured friar of the convent of San Francisco in Cordova, who had come out to take the mountain air with two young lads, his relations, took his leave at the same time of the hermano mayor, and we all went the rounds together. The little chapel we found under the same roof with the principal cell. It has been enriched by the pious gifts of the faithful and devout; for silver, gold, and precious stones are every where in profusion. As the Desert is dedicated to the Virgin, the altar of the chapel is decorated by a painting of her, possessing heavenly sweetness of expression. I lingered long on this consecrated spot. What a contrast between the dazzling splendors of that altar, and the humble garb and humbler mien of the penitents who lay prostrate before it!
• From the chapel we went to see the different cottages of the brethren; they are very small, containing each a small sleeping room, with a broad platform, a straw pillow, and two blankets for the whole bed-furniture. A second apartment serves as a workshop and a kitchen. Each brother prepares his own food, which consists of milk, beans, cabbages, and other vegetable dishes, chiefly cultivated by themselves in the hermitage garden. There is a larger building for the instruction of novices, where they pass a year in learning the duties of their new life under the tutelage of an elder brother.
• The brother did not fail to lead us to the projecting point of the ledge upon which the hermitage stands, near two thousand feet above the level of the city, and which is bounded on three sides by a fearful abyss. Hence you command a broad view of one of the fairest regions of Andalusia. A rock which occupied the spot has been hewn away, so as to leave a stone arm-chair, just at the pinnacle. This stone chair has received sundry great personages; aniong others the French Dauphin, and Fernando Septimo, who halted here to review a part of his kingdom on one of his
forced marches to Cadiz. The august pressure which the chair had felt on former occasions did not, however, hinder us from seating ourselves in iurn, and gazing abroad upon the splendid panorama. The view was indeed a fine one; the hour for contemplating it most auspicious; for the sun had well nigh finished his course, and was soon to hide himself — unclouded and brilliant to the last--behind a projection of the Sierra Morena. The country about us was broken and savage; precipices and ravines, rocks and half grown trees, were thrown together in the utmost confusion ; but below, the scenery was of the most peaceful kind; the campania spread itself in a gentle succession of slopes and swells, every where covered with wheat-fields, vine-yards, and fruit-orchards. The Guadalquivir glided nobly amid the white buildings of Cordova, concealed occasionally in its wanderings as it wound round a slope, and emerging again in a succession of glassy lakes, which served as mirrors to the rays of the
The course of the river might, however, be constantly traced by the trees which skirted it, and by a broad range of meadow land sweeping back from the banks, and thickly dotted with cattle. In the distance rose the towering Sierras of Ronda and Nevada, the latter blending its snowy summit with the clouds. At its foot lies Granada, blest with a continual spring, and surrounded by that land of promise—that favoured Vega, over which the Genil and the Darro are ever scattering fertility.
• But the pleasantest, if not the most interesting portion of our ramble, was when we came to wander through the garden. It was arranged in terraces, without much attention to symmetry, wherever the rocks left a vacant space, and bevelled off to prevent the soil from being washed away. These terraces were occupied by plantations of pease, lettuce, and cauliflowers, interspersed with fruit trees, which seemed to thrive admirably; whilst the vine occupied little sunny angles, formed by a conjunction of the rocks, between which it hung itself in festoons. Nor was mere ornament entirely proscribed in this little seclusion. There were everywhere hedges of the fairest flowers, dividing the beds, and creeping along the rocks; so that here the perfumes of the parterre were added to the wild aromas of the mountain. The roses of white, of orange, and of crimson, formed, however, the chief attraction of the spot ; for they had an unequalled richness of smell and colour. We were allowed to select a few of these beautiful flowers, which are in such estimation throughout Andalusia that you scarcely meet the poorest peasant, going 10 his daily toil, without one of them thrust through his button-hole, or lodged over the left ear, his round hat being gaily turned aside to make room for it.'—vol. ii. pp. 130--136.
From Cordova, Lieutenant Slidell went on to Seville, which he did not much admire, and next to Cadiz, whence, having failed to effect a voyage by sea, he made the journey by land to Gibraltar. He concludes his work with a general chapter upon the physical character of the Peninsula, its history, arts, sciences, political condition, language, and manners. The materials for this chapter be bas chiefly collected from Townsend and other writers. bappy to observe, that his personal experience has enabled him, however, to predict, that Spain will not long remain the slave of an absolute king.
Art. V.-1. Summer and Winter Hours. By Henry Glassford Bell.
8vo, pp. 175. London: Hurst & Co. 1831. 2. The Assassins of the Paradise, an Oriental Tale, in four cantos.
By the Author of Abassah. 8vo, pp. 104. London: Bull, 1831. 3. The Siege of Constantinople, in three cantos, with other Poems.
By Nicholas Michell. 8vo, pp. 80. Loodon : Smith, Elder, & Co.
1831. 4. The Ascent of Elijah; a Seutonian Poem. By the Rev. R. Parkicson, M. A., of St. John's, Cambridge.
London: Rivingtons, 1830. 5. Sketches of Genius, and other Poems. By D. Corkindale. 12mo.
pp. 126. London: Robins, 1831. 6. The Bereaved ; Kenilworth, and other Poems. By the Rev. E.
Whitfield. 12mo, pp. 140. London: Whittaker & Co. 1830. 7. The Moorish Queen ; A Record of Pompeii, and other Poems. By
Eleanor Snowden. 8vo, pp. 166. Dover: Batcheller, 1831. LITERARY men have often expressed their regret that there were no Reviews in the middle,-usually denominated the dark,-ages, though they were by no means so obscure as some writers have chosen to represent them. Had such journals existed in those times, and been preserved, as all good things were, in the monasteries, many a name might now be rescued from dull oblivion, which nobody for the last five hundred years has ever heard of. In this respect, Fame is capriciously unjust. She has wrapped in the cerements of the tomb many a bright scroll, which, if it had been duly taken under her parental care, would have obtained admirers even in these days, and then it would have appeared that thousands of luminous ideas and witty conceptions which are palmed upon the world as original and new, had often been clothed in language before, and waked the tear or the smile of ladies fair and gay cavaliers, amid the bustle of the crusades.
The best antiquaries, who have investigated the history of the oriental regions, are of opinion, that long before the sciences and arts were known in Europe, or even in Africa, they had undergo a complete revolution of rise, progress, and decay, in the country of the Euphrates and the Ganges. There is no doubt that literature has long since experienced an analogous fate in the civilized tracts of our quarter of the globe; and that although none are remembered save those who reached the culminating point of its prosperity, there were abundant writers who contributed to postpone its decline. Their names are lost indeed to posterity, because there was no Review to embalm their memory in its Pantheon.
Now, although it has been often asserted that since the press lias been invented, no work of genius can altogether perish, we maintain the very reverse.
When but a few books were printed in the course of a century, they were easily collected, easily read, and
stored in a convenient and accessible library. But the same result may be produced by the total absence of the press as by its being too prolific. No darkness can be more thick and overwhelming than that which is caused by too great a flood of light operating on the retina of the eye. The reader, for instance, we venture to say, knows no more of most of the poems enumerated at the head of this article, than he would have known if they had never been published at all. The reason is, that he has never been able to reach or even to see them, through the enormous piles of other books which interpose, like a mountain, between him and the pleasant groves which they occupy. Nay, there are myriads of poetical works catalogued at the end of every new publication, which even we, omniscient as we are supposed to be in the literary world, have never opened or heard a human creature speak of. We may men. tion, by way of example, “The Day of Rest, and other Poems,”“O'Donghue, Prince of Killarney,”—“ The Vale of Tempe, and other Poems, -“ The World, a Poem,”_" The Champion of Cyrus, a Drama,"_“ Calista, a Moral Poem,”—“ The Highlanders, a Descriptive Ditto,”—“The Hop Garden, a Didactic Ditto,”
-“ Tobias, a Sacred Ditto, "--"Poems Descriptive of Himley,” and about seventy-five thousand others, which, if we have ever seen externally, we most certainly never have read, and never will read, unless we chance to meet them in Elysium, or some other region where sleep is neither necessary nor unconquerable. Here, therefore, are seventy-five thousand and ten real works, neatly printed by the press, of whose conservative power we boast so highly, and yet, in the midst of the light by which we are surrounded, they have disappeared, and have been as utterly annihilated as if they had never been. Sometimes, indeed, a scene from a Drama, or an Episode from a Didactic, may be seen on the inside of a trunk, or in the boards of a book, or enclosing a pound of cheese or cigars; but this is a species of advantage over oblivion of which, we presume, few are very ambitious.
We do not expect that we shall save from a better fate all the effusions which are now before us, courting our applause. We shall, however, say at all events, that "they have been.” “ Fui” is the simple and expressive epitaph which most reasonable men would wish to have sculptured on their tombs. We cannot deny to these poetical aspirants a similar record. It would seem that we are now once more in the middle ages of poetry at least; it is the period of decay in all things wearing the shape of verse, and it may be interesting to those who come after us, longo intervallo, to measure the steps by which we have so rapidly descended from a Byron to a Bell, from a Campbell to an Corkindale !
The said Bell has entitled his volume Summer and Winter Hours,' because his verses were chiefly elaborated during those opposite seasons. A very unanswerable reason this is, as every body must acknowledge, and very original too, as it is probable that no poems, at least no such poems had ever been written before,