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'Thou canst not leave me,' he said. 'Are we not bound to each other by many a sad, mysterious tie?'
May the fates forbid !' ejaculated Melancholy, turning up her eyes, you are too sombre even for me; but my poor sister here is in love with you already; and if it were not quite out of character, I should wish you joy of your union.' So saying, she flitted away with a gentle sigh, and Despondency, extending her lean arms, folded the poor student to her bosom.
After recovering from the surprise of this unexpected salute, he set about making invidious comparisons between heavy-browed Despondency, and her more gentle sister. How different,' he thought, is this dark, cold maiden, from my own dear Melancholy! I must get rid of her, or she will prey upon my heart, and reduce me to the mere shadow of a man.' He rose accordingly, and walked forth into the open air, hoping thus to shake off his unwelcome guest; and though she followed him out, and stalked by his side in the pale moonlight, on rëentering his study, he flattered himself for awhile that his plan had succeeded. Lights had been placed there, as usual, and he tried to fancy there was an air of cheerfulness in that lonely apartment, as he arranged his books and papers before him, and applied himself to his literary labors, hoping, in the occupation of his mind, to forget the unpleasant intrusion to which he had been subjected; but his mind wandered, and his heart sank, with a sense of oppression he could not account for, till passing his hand across his brow, and raising his mournful eyes, they encountered those of Despondency, gazing on him with earnest and rueful meaning.
'Alas!' he thought,' she has followed me unperceived; yet wherefore should my spirit quail? I will rouse my intellect, and task my brain for some charm wherewith to exorcise the foul fiend!' And he bent his head over his desk again, as in deep reflection. But who ever borrowed inspiration from Despondency? Her gloomy sugges tions are at strife with the efforts of genius. The pen dropped from his hand; he gave up his task, and with a deep drawn sigh, retired to his sleepless couch, where Despondency crept in, and shared his pillow, till daylight came; when, like an evil spirit, she fled away on the wings of the morning.
The twilight hour- blest hour to the happy!-delightful renewer of the domestic bond, that draws the family circle round the cheerful hearth; and to the pensive mind, sweet season of contemplation! Alas, that the dark countenance of Despondency should intrude itself at such an hour! 'T was then, however, that she appeared, again and again, to the unhappy student, and prolonged her visits, and turned memory into grief, and the future into presages of calamity, till his life was wretched, and a dark temptation came over him to end it with his own hand. Such would assuredly have been the close of his career, had it not been for the intervention of one true friend, whose name it might be irreverent here to mention; but she came in a robe of light, and pointed upward, and inspired him with hopes that brought joy to his soul, and peace unknown before.
Happy the man who, in the bold flights of genius, as in the proud exercise of his intellect, forgets not the Giver of all good,' and retains within the sanctuary of his breast one pure shrine, inviolate to mortal passion!
NARRATIVE OF A JOURNEY TO GUATEMALA IN CENTRAL AMERICA, IN 1838. By G. W. MONTGOMERY. In one volume. pp. 195. New-York: WILEY AND PUTNAM. MR. MONTGOMERY, we understand, is the son of a former American consul at Valencia, in Old Spain; and, being brought up in that country, is intimately acquainted with the Spanish language, character, and manners. In fact, he has distinguished himself in Spanish literature, by various works published in that language, one of which, a novel on the story of Bernardo del Carpio, has been translated into English. The present work is a light narrative of a journey made to Guatemala, in the service of our government. It carries us very pleasantly through the heart of the country, and over the wild and romantic chain of mountains which separate the Atlantic from the Pacific ocean; giving a succession of picturesque descriptions, entertaining anecdotes, and interesting facts, concerning that half savage, but magnificent region. His thorough knowledge of the language, and his early habitudes, make him quite at home among the Spaniards of the new world, by whom he appears to have been generally received with great hospitality. We subjoin a passage or two, taken almost at random.
The following graphic sketch of the commandant of Truxillo, his establishment, and his dinner, shows how completely some of the characteristics of Old Spain have been transplanted into the new world:
"The Commandant was about thirty-seven years of age; rather tall, and muscular, though of slender form. He had an expressive countenance, with features strongly marked, dark eyes, black hair, and thick eye-brows. He was somewhat sun-burnt, and had a scar near a corner of his mouth; but, altogether, he was a fine, soldiery looking man. His dress was a blue frock coat with military buttons, gold epaulettes a little tarnished, a sword, and a cocked hat, with a plume of blue and white feathers, the national colors of Central America.
"The house of my new friend was a good sized building of solid masonry. It consisted of one large room, formed by the four walls, without any division into apartments; and above, instead of ceiling, were the rafters of the roof. On one side was the street door, with two windows grated with iron bars; on the other side, another, but smaller door, opening into the esplanade of the fort, where a swarthy sentinel was pacing to and fro with a straw hat, no jacket, and a rusty firelock on his shoulder. The floor was paved with flat tiles, and covered here and there with little straw mats of a kind peculiar to the country. This room constituted the whole of the establishment, with the exception of the kitchen. It served for parlor, bed-chamber, diningroom, and office. And well it might; for there was the sofa for the reception of visitors, a substantial cedar table for dining, a bed to sleep in, and a desk, with writing apparatus, for the transaction of business. The bedstead was a very neat one, of wrought iron, provided with a handsome mosquito net, and was placed on a platform which raised it about two feet from the floor. A military saddle in one corner of the room, a cavalry sabre in another, and a pair of pistols hanging from the wall, gave a military and picturesque character to this primitive menage, which had very much the appearance of a guard-house.
"At the appointed hour I returned to the house to dine, where I found the Ministro, and another person, who had also been invited. Where the dishes were prepared I cannot conjecture. I can only say, that they were brought in from the street. The
first placed on the table was a good soup, which was followed by the inevitable olla of the Spaniards, consisting of beef, mutton, and pork, with an abundant accompaniment of vegetables, served up together. Then came a dish of rice, cooked a la Valenciana, and tolerably saturated with oil, which, however, did not prevent my finding it very good. Some beef a la mode was then served up, that smacked a little of garlic, but which I had no objection to on that account. The next dish contained a good sized fowl and a small chicken, both together, and side by side, like mother and daughter. A quantity of vegetables plantains, pumpkins, and sweet potatoes all in the same plate, were then placed on the table; and, finally, came a pudding, which terminated the dinner. The desert consisted of fruit and sweetmeats, and then were brought in cigars and coffee. We were attended at table by soldiers in no small number, who performed the part of waiters, and I verily believe that half of the little garrison of Truxillo was that day in requisition for our service.
"The conversation during dinner turned on topics chiefly relating to the United States; a country that seemed to have excited the curiosity of the Commandant, but of which he possessed only a slight degree of knowledge. I replied to many of his questions on this subject; but when I stated to him distinctly the population, commerce, and resources of our Republic, the progress of the arts, and the facilities of communication by land and water, he would smile, shake his head, and cast a meaning look at the Ministro, as much as to say that he was not to be imposed on. This, though I was relating nothing but the truth, embarrassed me, and made me feel as if I had been detected in using the privilege of a traveller. I thought to extricate myself from this awkward position, by reducing my subsequent statements to the standard of his belief. Accordingly, I relieved the ship Pennsylvania of no inconsiderable weight, by reducing her hundred and forty-eight guns to one hundred. The rate of travelling in rail cars I stated to be from fifteen to twenty miles, instead of from twenty to thirty. I even curtailed the amount of the national revenue, and actually purloined the United States of ten or a dozen millions."
RIVER OF IZABAL.
"IT was late in the evening before our vessel gained the mouth of the Izabal. This river takes it rise in a great fresh water lake called Golfo dulce, and pursues a meandering course for some fifty miles, before falling into the sea. At the head of that lake is situated the town of Izabal, the port of our destination. The entrance to this river is scarcely discernible, even in the day-time, to an unpractised eye, till within about a hundred yards of it, when an opening is perceived in the mountains like the mouth of an immense cavern. The effect, as we approached it in the night, was still more striking; a starry sky affording just light enough to guide us on our path, but not sufficient to make objects distinctly visible. On entering the opening just mentioned, we seemed penetrating into the bowels of the earth. On each side of us towered the lofty and precipitous mountains that form the banks of the river: and immediately in front rose a high land, dark and frowning, as if to debar completely our further progress. "About midnight the moon rose, and the effect of her pale silvery light on the trees and the water was beautiful beyond description. I could now see objects more distinctly, and felt satisfied that if there is any thing picturesque, beautiful, and sublime in nature, it must be the entrance to this river. The banks rise to a height of from two to three hundred feet, and are clothed with a rich and impenetrable foliage, the branches of the trees spreading several yards over the water. In some places this foliage suddenly disappears, and a vast naked rock, smooth and flat, and perfectly perpendicular, rises like a stupendous wall, at the foot of which the depth of water admits of a vessel, brushing the very face of the precipice without danger. Here and there may be seen a rill of water, as clear as crystal, coursing from top to bottom of this natural wall, or gushing out from a fissure in its side. At other places, a group of rocks assumes the appearance of an old castle or ruinous fortification. The stream varies in width from a hundred and fifty to three hundred feet, and is in many places thirty fathoms deep. It is dotted at intervals with little islands covered with reeds; and the sharp turnings it makes, give continual interest and variety to the scenery.
"As we proceeded, the noise of the water thrown up by the paddles startled the tenants of this beautiful wilderness; and every now and then we heard a plunge, like that of an alligator, or an otter, seeking the deepest recesses of the river, or the scream of an aquatic bird flying across the stream: the only sounds that disturbed the silence of this solitary scene.
"In the course of the night the boat stopped at a little fort called San Felipe, to take in fuel. During this detention I allowed myself a little rest, but was up again the next morning by daylight, when I found that the boat was not yet ready to start. The scene around, illuminated by the first rays of the sun, appeared to me even more striking and beautiful than when I had beheld it by moonlight. The lofty and umbrageous trees exhibited every variety of green, from the deepest tint to the lightest, and were alive with singing birds, while parrots and mackaws kept up a continued scream. Now and then a monkey would show himself, for an instant, swinging by
his tail from a twig, or leaping from branch to branch. The little fort, with its ruinous battlements, could be seen partly reflected in the water, the surface of which was skimmed by the alcatrazes intent on their prey, and seemingly unconscious of our presence."
"This man, whose name is now in the mouth of every one in Central America, and whose acts have been productive of so much trouble in that country, is a half-Indian, and was a soldier in the Federal army, where he never rose higher than a corporal. On the disbanding of the troops, he was discharged; and being left to his own resources, he was fain to procure a precarious subsistence by dealing in hogs, which he bought in the country, and sold in the market of Guatemala. When the sanitary regulations were adopted, he was appointed to the charge of one of the stations, with the command of about a dozen men. With these few men, whom he seduced, and persuaded to follow him in his hazardous enterprise, he appeared in open rebellion, proclaiming a new order of things, and calling upon the inhabitants of the Indian villages, he marched through to join his standard. This little force increased almost immediately to sixty men, and continuing to augment, enabled Carrera to attack and destroy, on several occasions, the scattered troops of the Government, whose arms and accoutrements he distributed among his followers. The views which Carrera professed to entertain could not be more flattering to the prejudices, nor better calculated to dazzle the minds, of the infatuated Indians. These views he declared to be the reinstatement of the Archbishop, who had been expelled from Guatemala, the restitution of the Church property, the restoration of the Monkish orders, the revival of the old Spanish laws, the expulsion of foreigners, and the abolition of contributions.
"In the mean time, the inactivity of the Executive, and the want of system and concert on the part of the military commanders, permitted the insurrection to progress to such a degree, that when measures were at length adopted for suppressing it, the strength of the Government proved inadequate to the task. The factious Indians did not hesitate to meet the Federal troops in the field, and in some engagements with them, came off with complete success. They now attacked and entered considerable towns, levied contributions, and threatened the capital. In this state of things, a resolution was adopted, which, so far from being attended with the favorable result expected, only served to expose the weakness of the Government, and to encourage insurrection. It was resolved to send a deputation to Carrera, to negotiate with him, and to induce him, by the most flattering concessions, to sheathe his sword, and to disband his followers.
"This deputation was accordingly appointed, and sent in quest of Carrera, whom they found at a place called Mataquescuintla. The conference took place in the open air, and a Doctor Castilla, an ecclesiastic, one of the deputies, addressing the rebel chief, represented to him the enormity of the crime of rebellion, the distress and ruin he was bringing upon his country, and the folly of believing in the iniquitous act ascribed to the Government, of having poisoned the waters; and concluded by a hint, that his submission would not go unrequited. The reply of Carrera was, after disclaiming all views of private interest, that the spirit and practice of the Government was incompatible with religion; that consequently such a government could not be good; and that he was only practising a lesson they had taught him, namely, the right of insurrection. This reasoning was easily refuted by the eloquent Doctor, who, occasionally, also addressed the rebel soldiers who surrounded him. Carrera now began to evince strong symptoms of impatience and uneasiness. He saw that his arguments were all demolished, and that his men were listening to the speaker with attention and complacence, and that there was a possibility of their turning against him and deserting him. He suddenly imposed silence on the Doctor, and, in order to inflame the minds of his people, had recourse to a falsehood, asserting in the most vehement manner, that he himself had been offered by the Aministration, twenty dollars for every Indian he should poison. Thereupon, the deputies, seeing not only the inutility, but the danger, of pursuing their object any farther, gave up the discussion, and withdrew.
"A few days after, Carrera, with three or four thousand Indians at his back, appeared before Guatemala, and as no effectual resistance could be opposed to him, he entered, and took possession of the city. The alarm and confusion of the inhabitants, may easily be imagined. The scenes that followed were such as were to be expected in a city abandoned to the rapacity and cruelty of a barbarous horde. Houses were broken open and plundered; the worst of outrages were committed on private families; a number of persons were shot down in the streets, and the Vice-President, Salaza, was killed in his own house. It is due to Carrera to say, that these excesses were not committed by his directions, and that perhaps it was not in his power to prevent them. As soon as an opportunity was afforded, some of the authorities came to a parley with Carrera, and prayed him to state the terms on which he would evacuate the city. The demands of the rebel chief were, 'all the money and all the arms that the government could command. He was, however, finally satisfied with eleven thousand dollars, a certain number of muskets, and-strange as it must seem-the rank of Lieutenant-General, which was
offered to, and accepted by, him. The latter concession seems to have been the most gratifying to this modern Massaniello, who, in his impatience to display his newly acquired honors, appropriated to himself, and put on, a uniform belonging to a General Prem. In compliance with the agreement made, he now collected his forces, and with a good sum of money, and all his men well armed, withdrew from the city.
But from that day the star of Carrera ceased' to shine with its usual brightness. Having attacked the town of Amatitan, with a body of four hundred men, he was repulsed with much loss by a company of sixty Federal soldiers. He was equally unsuccessful in another attack upon another town, called Salama, where he lost several men, and was obliged to retreat in disorder. As the season advanced, he saw his ranks becoming daily more thin by the desertion of his followers, who left him in order to attend to the collection of their little corn crops, on which the subsistence of their families depended. In this state of things, a conspiracy was formed against him by one of his associates, called Monreal. This man and a few others who had joined in the enterprise, suddenly fell upon Carrera at a moment when he was alone, secured his person, conducted him to a solitary place, and having tied him to a tree, were on the point of shooting him, when the timely arrival of Laureano, Carrera's brother, saved the victim from the doom that threatened him. The tables were now turned upon Monreal, who, before he could effect his escape, was seized, and shot at the foot of the same tree to which he had tied his chief.
"In the mean time, General Morazan, the President, had taken the command of the army in person, and having organized and increased it, made so skilful a disposition of his troops, that which ever way the insurgents turned, they were met by an opposing force. Carrera now was fain to betake himself to the mountains, from which he descended occasionally, to scour the country and procure the means of subsistence. In these excursions his force was divided into small parties of from twenty to fifty men. His practice was to abstain from touching the persons or properties of the Indians, or of the poorer class of the whites, and to respect the curates. But the haciendas of the rich were attacked and plundered, the wealthy in small defenceless towns were subjected to heavy contributions; foreigners falling into their hands were cut off without mercy, and the unwary traveller was stopped on the road and stripped of every thing.
"Such was still the posture of affairs at the time of my departure from the country. It is probable, however, that while this is being written, the active measures of General Morazan for putting down the insurrection have been successful, and that the career of the rebel hero has been brought to a close."
Our limits do not admit of a more extended notice of, or more copious extracts from, this volume; we have, however, given enough, we trust, to tempt the reader to look for the work itself, which we confidently recommend to his perusal.
THE HISTORY OF THE NAVY OF THE UNITED STATES. By J. FENIMORE COOPEE. In two volumes. pp. 875. Philadelphia: LEa and Blanchard.
DESIGNING, hereafter, to present an able article, from the competent pen of a friend in the service, upon the progress and condition of the United States' Navy, of which these volumes will form the basis, we shall refrain, at present, from adverting to the work, farther than to say, that the natural'y high expectations which have been excited, in relation to its records, in the hands of Mr. COOPER, will in no respect be disappointed. The history is complete, from the earliest to the latest accessible dates, and embraces, with sufficient of agreeable detail, all those prominent points and incidents, seized and grouped with signal taste and judgment, which are always so attractive to the general reader. Our author's familiarity with, and love of, his theme, with his acknowledged powers of sea-sketching, have contributed to the excellence of the work, which will go far toward the redemption of a literary fame, wofully lessened of late, by productions unworthy of the author's pen. We join in the just complaints of the public, against the absence of a table of contents, or index. It will be a work of frequent reference, and should be arranged with an eye to the convenience of the reader.