Page images

répandlre de toutes parts pour aller fourrager, et dans moins d'une heure, -ils transportoient dans leurs bivouacs' tout ce qui restoit encore dans les bourgs voisins.

"L'on voyoit autour des grands feux allumés de distance en distance, tout l'appareil de la caisine militaire. Ici on construisoit à la hâte des baraques en planchés, recouvertes de feuillage à défaut de paille, ailleurs on faisoit des tentes en étendant sur quatre pieux des pièces d'étoffes qui avoient été prises dans des maisons abandonrées. Ca et là gissoient épars sur la terre les peaux des moutons qu'on venoit d'égorger, des guittares, des cruches, des outres de vin, des frocs de moines, des vêtemens de toutes les formes, et de toutes les couleurs ; ici des cavaliers doré noient tout armés à côté de leurs chevaux, plus loin des soldats d'infanterie déguisés en femmes dansoient grotesquement entre les faisceaux d'armes, au son d'une musique discordante.” P. 52.

M. Rocca bears witness to the accuracy of Cervantes in his description of Tuboso, which perfectly answers to his account of it in Don Quixote. If that imaginary hero was not of any great service to orphans and widows during his life time, his memory at least protected the supposed coumtry of his Dulcinea froin some of the horrors of war. As soon as the French soldiers saw a woman at a window, they cried out, laughingly, 16 Voila Dulcinée." Mutual and - Inexpected advantages re. sulted; the gaiety of the soldiers tranquillised the inhabitants, aud far from flying, as usually at the first sight of the advanced troops, they crowded to see them pass; and the French being well treated, received their hosts in reture with civility. * The usual method of travelling in Spain, is on horseback, and these aniinats are treated with much consideration. Spanish peasants followed the army with requisition horses and mules to carry the baggage and ammunition, and one day one of them, after a long speech to his horse, who could scarcely walk, whispered closely in his ear with great eagerness, and as if he wished 1 «pare bin an affront in the eyes of his fellows, Prends xurde qu'ils ne le voient.. At the same moment a child was saying to his ass, “ Maudite soit la mère qui t'a engendré" Asses are treated much worse than horses, for they are not sup. pused capable of the same feelings of honour, the directing and predominating principle in the breast of a Spaniard. The great prorluce of the country is slieep, and tfieir fleece, as is now well known, is chiefly iinproved by the constant care which is taken to change their pasturage. In the vast uncultivated plains between Bourdeaux and Bayonne, which are known by the vame of les Landes, large forests of pine and cork trees bound the liorizon at an immense distance; and at long intervals, single shepherds are seen, clad in black sheepskins, mounted on stilts,

[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors]

M. Rocca's Memoirs of the War of the French in Spain. 6.15 six or seven feet haigh, for the purpose of making their way through the soft sand, and leaning on a long pole; they remain molionless on the same spot, without ever losing sight of their Rocks, which feed around them on the beath. When Napoléon crossed these wide plains in his way to the army, the poverty of the country did not permit it to furnish the usual horse guard of honour; and he was escorted by a detachment of these shepherds, who, with their tall stilts, kept pace through the sand with the horses at full trat. These shepherds, with their stilts, have given rise to one of the most amusing of the small pieces on the French stage, entitled Les Habiluns des Landes. Throughout Spain

there are extensive tracts left untilled for the travelling flocks. The king and the grandees have vast studs appropriated to the raising of choice breeds of horses and bulls. The royal stud of Aranjuez, on the banks of the Tagus, is fifteen or twen

ty leagues in circumference; and at the approach of the tra. -seller, the wild horses, mingled with deer and fairns in herds of sixty or seventy head, are seen flying in all directions. Nothing was more horrible after the battle of Medellin, than the melanchioly lowings of the oxen of La Mesta, which had come as usual to winter on the banks of the Guadiana. The long howls of the dogs which kept them added to the terror of the scene : and thousands of enormous vultures assembled on the vast field of death, and never left their hunian prey till the soldiers came within a few paces of them; when, as M. Rocca adds in the French style, les battemens de leurs ailes énormes retentissoient de loin en loin sur nos têtes comme des échos funébres. One of the most striking features of Spain, are the enormous bridges, and the number and height of their arches, while the rivers beneath are scarcely flowing, and are in some places lost in the sand of their own bed. They are however necessary, because the smallest stream, increased by the sudden influx, which is so common in mountainous countries, is sometimes iustantaneously transformed into an impetuous torrent. The communication between the old and new town at Ronda: is by a superb stone bridge of a single arch... Iron balconies project beyond the parapet on each side, and through the thin bars the river is suddenly discovered, two hundred and seventy-six feet below, like a..single white thread running out of the gulf which the -violence of the torrent must have formed ages back. : The tops of the mountains which surround the town are entirely stripped of vegetation, and the dark and scaly rock, blackened and cal cined by the heat of the sun, forms a striking contrast with the archards and meadows at the bottom of the valley, and on the banks of the rivers. Near the sea, the vine spreads itself along the ground almost without culture, and from thence come the


[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

best Spanish wines. Andalusia is the most fertile province. There is a proverb current in the Castiles and La Mancha, that l'eau seule du Guadalquiver engraisse plus ces chevaur, que l'orge des autres pays. The bread of Andalusia passes for the whi'est and most exquisite in the world, and the olives are of most extraordinary size. They are gathered towards the end of winter, and the country presents at that season the smiling and animated appearance which is only seen in mere northern climates at vintage or at harvest time. Under the shade of the long plantations of olive, vines and corn spring alternately: the fields are surrounded by hedges of aloes, whose leaves are as pointed as lances, and whose straight slender stems shout up to the height of trees. Here and there orchards are seen behind the dwelling houses, planted with orange trees; and the white laurel and the oleander flourish on the waste lands on the banks of the rivulets. A few old palm trees are still seen in the gardens of the clergy, who preserve them for the sake of distribute ing the branches on Palm Sunday.

The appearance of the towns does not correspond with this agreeable picture of the country. The streets, narrow, crooked and winding, with the stories of the houses jutting out further the higher they are, are not made for carriages. Behind the grated windows or balconies are seated the Spanish women, who keep themselves almost always at home, and observe all who pass, without being themselves seen. From the same places they listen in the evenings to the guitars of their lovers. Excepting a few hotels, founded by Italians in the large cities, the ims are only large caravanseras, where nothing is found but lodging, and room for horses and mules. Travellers carry pro. visions with them, and sleep upon their horsecloths. The churches are very. numerous ; Madrid has 600; and nothing is more striking to the ear of a Protestant, than the noise of the numerous bells, ringing in continued peals from sunrise to sunset. There exists a nobility of cities as well as of men, and old institutions are so much respected, that their capital still bears the name of Villa, or country town, while some poor villages

pride themselves on that of Ciudad, or city, which they have inherited by some ancient privileges. When a Spaniard is asked where he is born, lie answers, I am the son of such a town ; and the expression causes him to attach more value to the dig. nity of his native city. The men wear large dark-coloured cloaks; the women are in black, and a black woollen veil, covering almost entirely their head and shoulders, and sometimes hiding the whole face, except the eyes and nase, sets off the paleness of their complexion and the brilliancy of their eyes. This gloomy costume, added to the severe and reserved air af


[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

all classes, gave rise to the saying among the French soldiers during the first part of their stay in Madrid, that the city was peopled only by priests and nuns. The women are generally short: their step is bold and quick; the wives of the mountaineers are distinguished by their gigantic size, robust limbs and bold looks : they carry heavy burthens with ease, and boast of the superior strength given them by habit; they have been seen wrestling together, and striving who shall lift the heaviest stones. They are fond of dressing in fine stuffs and veils, which they obtain by smuggling, and which form a curious contrast with their dark sunburnt complexions and the coarseness of their features. Their market is held early in the morning, and the tumultuous concourse of provincials and townspeople, variously clothed, vociferating with unceasing gestures and shouts, going, coming, arriving, and departing, affords a busy picture, which can only be conceived by those who have witnessed the contrast between southern gaiety and bustle, and the sober reverse of the northern nations, among whom all goes on so silently.

The Castilian with his amply folding cloak,--the drover from La Mancha with a long goad in his hand, and clad in askelt of hide,-the Andalusian with his hair bound with long silkeu fillets, and wearing a sort of short brown vest, chequered with blue and red, and distinguished by bis animated looks, and the rapidity of his utterance,--women preparing food on stoves, at the corners of the streets, or in the public squares,---water cara riers pacing along, and calling with their slow nasal accent, Quien qựière aqua? who wants water? and upon nobody appearing to buy, answering himself from time to time, Dios

que la da, God who gives it, -long strings of mules, laden with skins of wine or oil, or droves of asses, led by a single man, who talks to them unceasingly,--carriages drawn by eight or ten mules, ornamented with little bells, and driven with surprising address by one coachman, without reins, and by means of his voice only, or a long sharp whistle, which serves to stop them all at the same moment. Such is the mixture of the motley group which bursts upon the view, and bewilders the imagination of those who are accustomed to see the most importaut and extensive concerns transacted with a quietness and sedate air, which gives no token of any deep interest or anxiety in the business which is carrying on.

Those whom the preceding outline shall incline to take up M. Rocca's volume, will find it an entertaining and unassuming attempt to describe scenes and manners little seen anıt lesg! known than their proximity would lead us to expect--with less pretension than might be looked for from the school of Stael, and with vone of the affectation which is too common in the present tawdry age of French literature.


[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors]

ART. VI. Belshani's Claims of Dr. Priestley revived, &c.

Aspland's Plea for Unitarian Dissenters, 8c.

í (Concluded from page 519.) WE closed our observations, on the Claims of Dr. Priestley, as revived by Mr. Belsham, with an inference deducible from the testimony of St. Epiphanius and St. Jerome, relatịve to the existence of a Synagogue of Nazarenes at Jerusalem. It was then our object to prove that there was some ground beyond that which is merely conjectural, for the assymption of Bishop Horsley, relative to the continuance of the orthodox Hebrew Church, at Ælia, after the expulsion of the Jews under Hadrian, Let us now hear what Dr. Priestley objects in reply; quoting the words of Bishop Horsley, he observes :

“ I maintain," you say, p. 371. “ that there is no reason to be: ļieve, that the Hebrew Christians quietly settled at Ælia before the Jewish rebellion were included in Adrian's edict for the banishment of the Jews.” But were not," replies Dr. Priestley, " Hebrew christians Hebrews, ar Jews and were not all the Jews, without any distinction of christians or no christians, banished both from that place and from the district by Adrian." Tracts, p. 448.

Such precisely is the objection which we should have expected from one, in whose vocabulary the words Jew, Christian, Ebionite, and Nazarene, are taken as synonymous terms. The Romans however, with whom the law originated, and by whom it was enforced, were not such gross confounders of the most ob vious distinctions. The edict issued by Hadrian was occasioned by the insurrection of the Jews under Barchocheb * ; but the crime of those rebels against the Roman authority consisted in their opposing the erection of a heathen temple on the site of the temple of Jerusalem #. This crime they aggravated by setting up a temporal Messiah, to whom, under pain of death, they required the submission of the Christians and Jews I. pation of the lawful authority, the Christians 'resisted, even to death; as not merely incompatible with the submission which they owed to Cæsar, but to Christ §. Not to insist on the folly of supposing the Romans would have adopted the absurd policy

This usur

* Euseb. Lib. IV. cap. vi. p. 146. 1. 1. Just. Mart. Apol. Maj. P. 72. d.

+ Dio. Hist. Rom. Lib. LXIX. cap. xiv. p. 1163. f Just. Mart. ibid.

Foly: Mart. cap. X. p. 199. Conf. Euseb. Ib. Lib. IV. cap. xv. p. 108. l. 4.


« PreviousContinue »