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A few Reflections on the Conquest of Mexico
Shall foreign troops for conquest banded,
At our own hearth their law prescribe? Shall hirelings base, by gold commanded,
Appal our warriors' hearts of pride ? Shall wretches in their chains exulting
Impose on us their cherished yoke,
Or tyrants with their vengeful stroke Cleave down our rights from God resulting ?
To arms ! to arms! ye men!
In serried ranks advance! March on! march on! that tyrants' blood
May fertilize our France.
Ye despots tremble! traitors tremble!
Ye scorned and spurned on ev'ry side! No longer now can ye dissemble,
Nor from our wrath your treason hide : We'll seek you where the battle rages,
And if we fall, our place supplied,
A quenchless vengeance we'll confide To those who follow, through all ages.
To arms! to arms! ye men !
In serried ranks advance! March on! march on! that tyrants' blood
May fertilize our France.
Bold champions of a gen’rous people !
Know when to spare and where to strike; O spare th' unwilling foes and seeble,
Who by constraint against you fight! Strike despots down, for blood contending ;
Slay, slay the traitors to your cause,
The fiends who, false to nature's laws, Are seen their mother's bosoms rending.
To arins ! to arms! ye men!
In serried ranks advance! March on! march on! that tyrant's blood
May fertilize our France !
In the search of the mind after greatness, no period of the world's history will so much command its attention as the sixteenth century. The era of Charles the Fifth, of Henry the Eighth, of Francis the First, of Leo the Tenth, is replete with knowledge and instruction to the student who desires to trace the development of all that is wonderful and fearful in man's physical, moral and intellectual nature.
Amid the various causes which aided in rendering this an age conspicuous for its energies of mind, are to be found that love of adventure and thirst for discovery, the offspring of that grand impulse given to the world by the genius and perseverance of Columbus.
Spain stood preëminently renowned among the nations of Europe, and her chivalrous sons sought new arenas for the display of that valor which had rendered her fields classic, as the home of the knight and the birth-place of the troubadour.
As the characteristic feature of the age, the power of the monarch rose superior to, and above the will of the people--the concentration of all authority. Fostered and protected beneath the wings of this mighty influence, there sprung into existence as the fit instrument of its exercise, those vast and powerful monopolies, the scourge
of humanity, and the demonstration of that despotism which, seated in power, acts upon man as the subject of its fearful oppression. Through the medium of these monopolies the reckless and daring, the fallen grandee, and the man of dissipated habits, were induced to seek a trial of their military prowess and reparation of their fortunes in those newly discovered regions which imagination had clothed as abounding in all the riches of the East-the splendid realization of the wildest fancy. The security, the rights, the possessions of nations which had hitherto enjoyed in innocence the blessings of Heaven, were trampled upon, wbile vast empires were utterly destroyed by the cruelty and oppression of these colonists.
It was under circumstances such as these, and under patronage of such a character ,that one of the most remarkable men appeared to act in the grand drama of this century, a point conspicuous for the ability, the daring and the want of principle with which it was performed. This was the conqueror of Mexico-this w
the man who, rearing for himself a monument upon the destruction of an ancient people and empire, bas
O Love of Country, flame most holy!
Our hand to vengeance now incite. 0, Freedom, goddess, chiefest glory!
Now for thy vot'ries rule the fight, That vict'ry then thy form beholding,
May seize and bear our tag on high,
And ev'ry foe shall fall and die Beneath thy might, our cause upholding.
To arms! to arms' ye men!
In serried ranks advance! March on! march on! that tyrant's blood
May fertilize our France. Memphis, Tenn. August, 1849,
handed down as a theme for universal detesta- / writer who remarks, “ that the imagination of tion the name of Heruando Cortez.
the author, caught and dazzled by the bero's Although there is within us a strange and mys- fame and wonderful qualities, had mastered the terious feeling which prompts us to look with calm judicial impartiality so material for the pursomething like mystic reverence upon those ex- poses of history.". hibitions of courage and devoted heroism where Whilst therefore we would add our bumble thousands "end their feverish dream of life,” tribute to the tide of gratitude to him for baring and incites the imagination to roam with delight placed the literature of our country upon so noover those fields which have been rendered clas- ble and enduring a basis, we feel constrained sic by the loss of the brave and the great, yet it respectfully to differ from the conclusions tbat he would be needless to pause and harrow up the has drawn from the facts which he has recorded. nicer sensibilities of our nature by dwelling upon But as the design and character of these brief the career of the actors of this conquest, traced reflections alike forbid that I should enter at as it is by blood, and marked by every thing re- large upon the objections to these conclusions volting to humanity. There would be no plea- which appear at the end of his work, I shall sure in the retrospection—there would be no high only notice his justification of Cortez and bis and lofty exhibitions of the virtues of human na- measures, on the ground of his having introture-nothing would be presented but a violation duced the christian religion and also what the of every principle of right resulting in the des- historian has set forth as the result of these meatruction of an ancient empire, the execution of sures. a noble monarch, the wilful murder of inoffen- We are told that Cortez, as he stood amid the sive inbabitants, the pillage and desecration of vast and magnificent scenery of the new world their temples of worship, and the slavery of a and beheld the idolatry of those nations who had people who had enjoyed in undisturbed posses- reared grand and massive temples to their Divinsion the blessings of an independent government ities, felt his soul moved by the desire to bring throughout many ages. And yet such is the them to the knowledge of the Cross and make enthusiasm which always attaches to deeds of them subjects to the crown of Spain. We are conquest, such ihe captivating influence which even told that this desire for the extension of history exerts as it unfolds in its pages of immor- Christianity formed one of the leading objects of tality feats of oppression and splendid daring, his life. But it must be confessed, after a carethat the mind is bewitchingly enticed to lose ful investigation, in the most accredited histories sight, in the contemplation of grand and brilliant of the day of the causes of his actions, from the achievements, of the dark and destructive means time when buoyant with hope and blled with the by which those achievements have been accom- love of adventure, he left his native country, to plished. This disposition, to be deluded by the the day, when the riches and splendor of the lofictitious coloring which deeds of military renown dian empire lay unveiled before his eyes, we throw over the principles of justice, is not con- have been utterly unable to find any demoustrafined to the illiterate and narrow-minded, but tion of a particular religious sentiment, and the pervades all classes, and the man of enlightened first expression that fell from his lips, upon landjudgment and lofty understanding, as he pores ing in the New World, that he came to get gold over the pages of the ancient chronicler of these and not to till the soil like a peasant," as well as startling events that so fearfully destroyed the the general character and babitudes of the man, hitherto unbroken silence and mystery of a newly would seem sufficiently to disprove it. discovered world, catches that feeling which ope- Claiming as he and his associates did the Bible rated so powerfully upon the mind of our illus- to be the standard of their actions, its holy pretrious historian, and is induced with him to turn cepts and commandments based upon mankind to the defence of those who converted “ a happy as the subjects of universal philanthropy at once and smiling country into a bloody sepulchre.” condemned them.
But experience will prove that while we should The spotless integrity and singleness of purstudy and investigate the works of those great pose of those who first proclaimed the tidings of minds who have thrown rich floods of intellec- • Peace and good will” among men as they went tual light over the darkness of history, or any forth poor and friendless wanderers upon the other department of literature, they would by no face of the earth, contrast strangely with the means be safe guides to follow when we come character of these conquerors wbo panoplied in to weigh the justice of men's actions by the high power, acted upon the darkest and blackest of all standard of the present age. This conclusion is maxims—" that the end justifies the means." irresistibly forced upon the mind in a perusal of If then robbery, pillage and the exhibition of Mr. Prescott's History of the Conquest of Mex- all the vilest passions of human nature are at ico-and we feel compelled to agree with the l variance with the Bible, it is evident that these
men cannot be justified by that standard—and to the exemplification to mankind of moral and pourge in their defence that they bore with them litical degradation for the last three centuries. the word of Life is but to endeavor by the dra- Living as we do in the highest period of man's pery of religion and virtue to cover those deeds civilization, with all the lights of the past around of darkness and cruelty, at which the cheek of us. to direct us in our search for truth, we can shame itself would blush.
learn a grand and impressive lesson, from the The result of the conquest has been set forth result of the two great events that have occurred in defence of the motives which prompted it- upon the Western Continent-the Conquest of and in order calmly to consider the effect of this Mexico by Cortez, and the Landing of the Pilreasoning we would briefly direct attention to the grim Fathers—the one accomplished through the situation of Mexico before and after its subjuga-auri sacra fames—the other effected in the fear tion.
of the Almighty, for the erection of a “faith's Losing their origin in the antiquity of past pure shrine”—the one an illustration of the efages, the Mexican people had risen in power fects of an indulgence of the viler passions of and their empire had become the pride and glory man's nature-the other leading to the establishof the western world. With a system of juris- ment of a powerful empire, the nursery of wise, prudence remarkable for its equity, and firm and and great, and gifted men. decided in its execution, order and harmony were In regard to Mexico, the heart of the philanthe characteristics of its government. The more thropist is grieved to discover that no bow of refined acquirements of Music, Poetry and Paint- promise has as yet appeared to gild the dark ing were cultivated to a great extent, but our cloud of her national degradation or point him to minds are more deeply impressed with the solemn ber moral and political advancement. As he wangrandeur and lofty conceptions of the Mexican ders amidst her vast solitudes and majestic mounMythology. They reared to their Divinities grand tains, he discovers the monumental vestiges of and magnificent temples, which still remain as a great people—they have been destroyed-but monuments of their architectural greatness, and casting his eyes over the scene presented to his living criticisms of the pigmy efforts of those by view, he reads the solemn result of national turwhom they were succeeded. The barbaric splen- pitude and injustice-in a feeble and impotent dor, the dark and mysterious rites, the supersti- government exercising its petty tyranny over tious reverence of their worship, fill us with awe those lands which were once ruled by the puisand amazement. They had reached their gol- sant and accomplished Montezuma-and feels den age, they had arrived at the climax of their his heart filled with sorrow at the destruction of greatness. Fearful was the responsibility of a mysterious and fearful race, as he stands amid those who removed from the nations of the the records of the past, where earth a people so numerous, the monuments of wbose genius, like those of the ancient Egyp
Some mouldering shrine still consecrates the scene
And sells that Glory's footsteps there have been tiaus, still stand a problem and study for the in
There hath the spirit of the mighty passed vestigation of the man of science and the devo
Not without record, though the desert blast tee of literature. But the accomplishment of Borne on the wings of Time hath guept away, their destiny was at hand. Those men came, The proud creations reared to brave decay. who seemed to have borrowed the thunder of
H. heaven and the lightning of the clouds, in order to effect the accomplishment of the dark prophecy which had been handed down from earliest antiquity, that “a race of men from the East should come and possess their country.”
A SONNET OF MOXON. We read of revolutions and civil wars upon the page of history, and trace the exaltation of man
The cygnet crested on the purple water, and a higher advance in civilization to the con- The fawn at play beside its graceful dam; flict of these elements—but here whole nations On cow slip bank, in spring, the artless lamb; have been destroyed, and where is the grand
The Hawthorn robed in white, May's fragrant daughter;
The willow weeping o'er the silent stream; result? where are the mighty blessings to be of
The rich Jaburnum with its golden show; fered as a recompense for the effusion of so much
The fairy vision of a poet's dream; blood ?
On summer eve earth's many-colour'd bow; Opening the record, we read the result, as Diana at her bath ; Aurora bright; though by divine infliction, in the loss of power,
The dove that sits and singeth o'er her woes ;
The star of eve; the lily, child of light; of greatness, and position of the Spanish nation
Fair Venus' self, as from the sea she rose ! we read it in their subjugated country—that land
Imagine these, and I in truth will prove of revolution and chaos-the hot bed of faction- They are not half so fair as she I love.
steps through :he verdant windings of Sleepy Hollow, who
“peopled the Alhambra and made eloquent its shadows," NOTICES OF NEW WORKS.
and of whom it may be said with equal propriety as of Oli.
ver himself, OLIVER GOLDSMITH: A Biography. By Washington IT
Qui nullum fere scribendi genus ving. New York: George P. Putnam, 155 Broadway.
Non tetigit, London : John Murray. 1849.
Nullum quod tetigit non ornavit. Poor Goldy has been fortunate in his biographers. First there came Prior, already known for his Lise of Edmund This volume is the eleventh of the series of Mr. PotBurke, an industrious student, who compiled two volumes nam's new edition which we have had occasion so frequedi of memoirs, most reliable and instructive, the facts gleaned ly to commend. We observe with pleasure, a police froe by patient research from the best sources of information. the publisher, that he designs very shortly to commence It was the office of Prior to give to succeeding generations the publication of the “Miscellaneous Works of Oliver the first distinct idea of Goldsmith as a man, to resuscitate Goldsmith," in uniform style, which shall he the most conhim, as it were, and cause him to pass before us bodily, and plete and elegant edition ever issued. to disabuse the public mind of an impression which seems Irving's Lise of Goldsmith inay be found at the store of lo have fastened upon it, that Goldsmith was at best but a Messrs. Nash and Woodhouse. bear with the reflective faculties, whom the patronage of Dr. Johnson, the ursa major, alone kept in social respectability. A habit had become general to narrate the most ab. LETTERS FROM THE ALLEGHANY MOUNTAINS. By Charles surd and ridiculous stories of his awkwardness, and Gar.
Lanman. New York. Geo P. Putnam, 155 Broadway. rick, in the mildest of those satirical epitaphs which pro.
1849. voked the mirch of St. James's Coffee House, had spoken of him, as one
Mr. Lanman is well known to the readers of the Yes.
senger as a pleasing and accurate writer, aod they wili bo! Who wrote like an angel, but talked like poor Poll.
need our recommendation to induce them to purebase the Most of these popular legends were dissipated by the pains- present volume. He excels in the very department of contaking investigations of Prior, whose work, though out of position of which these Letters constitute a specimen, the print, and in some measure superseded by later publica- description of nature in mountain and flood and forest. His tions, will long be regarded as a valuable collection of his served success, and his pictures of scenery in the Allezba
“Summer in the Wilderness” met with large and well-detorical materials. “The Life and Adventures of Oliver Goldsmith” from ny Mountains, can not fail to delight the appreciative reader.
These letters having first appeared in the National lolellithe pen of John Forster of the loner Temple, was the next work on the same subject. From the habitually critical gencer, the volume is appropriately dedicated to Josepà
Gales, Esq, and inquiring mind of the Editor of the London Examiner, the public had a right to expect a work of graceful compo.
Messrs. Nash & Woodhouse have it for sale. sition and of philosophical acuteness. His former effort, "Lives of the Statesmen of the Commonwealth," had heightened this expectation. Nor was the public disap- Wheler's SoutheRN MONTHLY MAGAZINE. C. L pointed. Taking the facts already gathered by Prior, and Wheler, Editor and Proprietor, Athens, Georgia. adding to them in a few instances, he produced a picturesque and discriminating biography, full of earnest sym ber of this pleasing little monthly, which made its appear.
Through inadvertence we failed to greet the first nonpathy with the subject, and subtle criticism upon his wri.
ance in July last. We have now to make our acknowl. tings. The work of Forster may be regarded as a fitting companion to the Vicar of Wakefield, tracing the career of edgments to the Editor for two subseqnent numbers, and to Guldsmith through all its pathetic vicissitudes of light and He is supported in his undertaking by a corps of able con
welcoine him cordially to the Literary Press of the South shade, and while reproving all 100 gently the errors into tributors, and we shall look to him for substantial assiswhich he fell, pleasing us with its spirit of charity, and in cance in the good work of fostering a taste for lellers in ube structing us with the full exposition of the results of folly, Southern States. even in the most gisted.
Lastly, we have a Biography of Goldsmith, written by him, who of all others, more nearly resembles Goldsmith in the purity and freedom of his style-Washington Irving. THE HISTORY OF PENDENNIS. His Fortunes and MisThc history of this work is succinctly told by Mr. Irving fortunes, His Friends and his greatest Enemy. By w. in the Preface. It was originally but a meagre sketch, M. Thackeray. Author of " Vanity Fair," &c. les written to accompany Baudry's Paris edition of Goldsmith's York: Harper & Brothers, Publishers. Writings. In preparing for the press the complete series of his works now in course of publication by Mr. Putnam, he
We have on our table the first two numbers of this des was induced to re-write and materially enlarge it, availing novel of Thackeray, in a beautiful reprint of the Harpers, himself without stint, as he handsomely acknowledges, of which presents a close resemblance to the original London the labors of both Prior and Forster. The result has been edition. Soine of the wood-cuts are capital. They are that we have now before us a biography of Goldsmith, designed, if we are not mistaken, by the author biaself
, which will be in every body's hand; a genial, happy rep. and give therefore a much better idea of the persons and resentation, in which the group around the board of the scenes that he depicts in the letter-press, than could be so “ Three Jolly Pigeons" relieves the dogmatism of Johnson forded by the work of another person. and the impertinence of Boswell; a book full of incident and Thackeray has an established position in English litera anecdote narrated by the same delightful companion, who ture. Vanity Fair gave it to him. The knowledge of the has hitherto led us over prairies and mountain solitudes to world exhibited in that biting satire upon fashionable trie the far distant shores of the Pacific, who has directed our'set him aparts distinctively from the rest of his catena
raries. No one else seizes hold of a foible so readily or Sir Charles Lyell has met with little favor at home, since presents it in such a ridiculous light. Becky Sharp, in he in no degree sympathises with the anti-slavery fanati. whom were united almost all those bad qualities over cism which manifests itself annually at Exeter Hall in un. which the varnish of wealth throws a deceitful gloss, was measured denunciation of the Southern States of our therefore recognized at once as a type of character, some- Union. On the contrary, while it is evident that he conwhat overdrawn, perhaps, but strongly marked for remem. siders slavery an evil in the abstract, he bears willing testibrance and illustration as Dugald Dalgerly or Miss Miggs. mony to the happy condition of the slaves,-testimony, We do not see far enough into Pendennis as yet to enable which will be most unacceptable to the Frederick-Douglass us to determine whether it will come up to Vanity Fair. philanthropists of England. Sir Charles Lyell has also We conjecture simply that it does not aim so high. Yet incorporated in his volumes a great deal of useful miscelwe predirt that it will be pleasanter reading. It seems so lanenus knowledge with regard to America, which it would far to be a book of purely domestic life in town and coun- be well for Americans themselves to learn. try, with some finely drawn characters and a slight insu.
The work has reached us through A. Morris. sion of goodness which Vanity Fair wanted. The book is for sale by A. Morris.
The LIBERTY OF ROME: A HISTORY. With an Histori.
cal Account of the Liberty of Ancient Nations. By GOTHIC ARCHITECTURE, Applied to Modern Residences, Samuel Eliot. In Two Voluines. New York: George
&c., &c. By D. H. Arnot, Architect. New York: 1849. P. Putnam, 155 Broadway. 1849. Nos. 5. and 6. D. Appleton & Co.
These sumptuous octavos comprise a work of a high The growing taste for ornamental country-houses through. order of merit. The author seems to have been eminently out the United States, is gratifying to the lover of the grace. filled for the task he took upon himself, that of a philo. ful and beautiful. We are pleased to see it manifested sophical inquiry into the genius of Roman Liberty, and he very decidedly in Virginia in the erection of handsome has executed it in the most satisfactory manner. Thor cottages, and occasionally, more aspiring residences in a oughly in love with his subject and imbued with the spirit castellated style. The tasteful structures that adorn the of the classics he has made an elegant contribution to litbanks of the Hudson and skirt the suburbs of Boston, strike erature, and rendered a real service to the cause of free. the eye of the stranger with peculiar pleasure, and it will dom. Mr. Putnam has done well to reprint the work and not he long we trust before the fine sites that one observes the handsome appearance of the volumes is creditable to around our own city are occupied by similar edifices. One his taste and enterprise. by one, the old family-seats in lower Virginia, erected in
For sale by Messrs. Nash & Woodhouse. colonial days, with their queer dormer-windows and fantastic gables, are passing away. As long as they are capaple of repair, we would cling to them, as ancestral relics The History Of THE UNITED States of AMERICA. of a by.gone age. But accidents of fire or flood, or the
From the Discovery of the Continent to the Organization progress of decay will remove them now and then, and
of Government under the Federal Constitution. By huge piles of red-brick or stucco take their places. We
Richard HILDRETH. In Three Volumes. Vols. 1 & 2 could wish the designs of Mr. Arnot were followed in all
New York: Harper & Brothers, Publishers, 82 Cliff St. such instances, as we conceive the Gothic style to be ad
1849. mirably suited to our climate and our landscapes. Upon the savannahs of the far South, a more oriental style is
We are disposed to award high praise to Mr. Hildreth preferable, such as is displayed in the vicinity of New for the faithful execution of this history. His style is reOrleans and the chief ornament of which is the verandah. markable for perspicuity and vigor, and he possesses very We have seen one or two fine specimens of the Gothic in considerable powers of generalization. The work has one Virginia of very striking effect. To all who feel an inter-rare merit, that of being unencumbered by wearisome reest in the study of rural architecture, we commend this flections on the part of the author, who is content to tell a work, in connection with the excellent volumes of Mr. simple story and leave to his readers the task of deducing Downing. Mr. Arnot is an architect of distinction, and his the moral. From the two volumes before us we do not heswork is very well printed by the Appletons. It may be itate to say that we consider the work reliable authority, on obtained of Messrs. Nash & Woodhouse.
all matters of American history. It wants that picturesqueness of detail which lends an irresistible charm to the vol.
umes of Macaulay, and is not likely, we think, to become A Second Visit to the United States of North America.
a favorite with the million. It will always be regarded, By Sir Charles Lyell, F. R. S., &c., &c., &c. New however, as an excellent historical treatise and as such we York: Harper & Brothers, Publishers, 82 Cliff St. 1849. cheerfully commend it to the public. One feels a gratifying assurance, in the perusal of this book, It is for sale by A. Morris. that he is reading the reflections of a gentleman, and not the recorded slanders of a vulgar cockney, who abuses Amer. ica to ensure a sale of his volume. Sir Charles Lyell, it Blackwood's MAGAZINE and the Foreign Reviews. New is clear, belongs rather to the class of the Murrays and York. Leopard Scott & Co. 79 Fulton Street. RichMorpeths, than to that of the Halls and Dickenses. A man mond. Nash & Woodhouse, 139 Main Street. distinguished for scientific attainment and travelling chiefly for geological observation, his attention has not been con- The Dies BOREALES of Christopher North impart a new fined by any means to what lies beneath the earth's surface, interest to Old Ebony, and make graceful amends for the but he has carefully marked out and studied the strata of heretical and absurd political doctrines of which it has long our social economy and acquainted himself with our for. been the apostle. A recent number contains a clever diamations, political and intellectual. His impressions are logue of a critical character, in which Gray's Elegy is torn set forth in an easy and simple style of correct and flowing into shreds --no bad imitation of a style of review-writing English. We are not surprised to learn that this work of' much in vogue.