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covered by the treachery of an infamous priest who has been the cause of Beatrice's woes and madness; the conspirators are seized, and Euthanasia is thrown into the dungeon of Lucca. Castruccio visits her by night to offer her liberty-but it is the liberty of exile, which she at first rejects, and is afterwards induced to accept. Castruccio himself conducts her by night towards the shore. A vessel is waiting to carry her to Sicily. The concluding paragraphs of the novel derive the most affecting interest from the similarity of the catastrophe to that which lately befell one so dear to the authoress.
"The Virgin Mother bless your voyage!" said her guide to Euthanasia."I am afraid that it will be rough, for an ugly wind is rising: but the saints will surely guard you."
Euthanasia stepped into the boat; its commander sat beside her; and the men took their oars: she waved her hand to her guide, saying, Farewell, may God bless you!" she added in a low tone, half to herself They speak Italian also in Sicily."
These were the last words she ever spoke to any one who returned to tell the tale. The countryman stood upon the beach ;-he saw the boat moor beside the vessel; he saw its crew ascend the dark sides. The boat was drawn up; the sails were set; and they bore out to sea, receding slowly with many tacks, for the wind was contrary;—the vessel faded on the sight; and he turned about, and speeded to Lucca.
The wind changed to a more northerly direction during the night; and the land-breeze of the morning filled their sails, so that, although slowly, they dropped down southward. About noon they met a Pisan vessel, who bade them beware of a Genoese squadron, which was cruizing off Corsica: so they bore in nearer to the shore. At sunset that day a fierce scirocco rose, accompanied by thunder and lightning, such as is seldom seen during the winter season. Presently they saw huge dark columns descending from heaven, and meeting the sea, which boiled beneath; they were borne on by the storm, and scattered by the wind. The rain came down in sheets; and the hail clattered, as it fell to its grave in the ocean ;-the ocean was lashed into such waves, that, many miles inland, during the pauses of the wind, the hoarse and constant murmurs of the far-off sea made the well-housed landsman mutter one more prayer for those exposed to its fury.
'Such was the storm, as it was seen from shore. Nothing more was ever known of the Sicilian vessel which bore Euthanasia. It never reached its destined port, nor were any of those on board ever after seen. The sentinels who watched near Vado, a tower on the sea beach of the Maremma, found, on the following day, that the waves had washed on shore some of the wrecks of a vessel; they picked up a few planks and a broken mast, round which, tangled with some of its cordage, was a white silk handkerchief, such a one as had bound the tresses of Euthanasia the night that s he had embarked, and in its knot were a few golden hairs.
She was never heard of more; even her name perished. She slept in the oozy cavern of the ocean; the sea-weed was tangled with her shining hair; and the spirits of the deep wondered that the earth had trusted so lovely a creature to the barren bosom of the sea, which, as an evil step-mother, deceives and betrays all committed to her care. Earth felt no change when she died; and men forgot her. Yet a
a lovelier spirit never ceased to breathe, nor was a lovelier form ever destroyed amidst the many it brings forth. Endless tears might well have been shed at her loss; yet for her none wept, save the piteous skies, which deplored the mischief they had themselves committed;-none moaned except the sea-birds that flapped their heavy wings above the ocean-cave wherein she lay; and the muttering thunder alone tolled her passing bell, as she quitted a life, which for her had been replete with change and sorrow.'
It will be seen there is little of a tale in these volumes; but for power, eloquence, and sentiment, the work is unrivalled among cotemporary publications. We think it is very different also from the generality of ladies' writing, although we know that if the author inherits as much of her mother's spirit as of her talent, she would box our ears for saying so. Thank heaven, l' Alpe e il mare are between us. We pronounce unhesitatingly that Valperga must rank with the best productions of its class.
ANCIENT SPANISH BALLADS, HISTORICAL AND ROMANTIC, TRANSLATED BY J. G. LOCKHART, LL. B.
SINCE the publication of the Bishop of Dromore's Reliques of Ancient English Poetry, no more agreeable present has been made to the lovers and students of early national song than the present translation of Spanish ballads. The poetry of this remarkable people has been hitherto little known to English readers. Mr. Southey's Chronicle of the Cid, and some general allusions in the various works of that gentleman, did little more than point out their existenee; and the two ballads in Dr. Percy's collection were the best, if not the only specimens, our language contained. The latter elegant writer pretended to no more than a superficial knowledge of the subject, and, it must be confessed, did little justice to the originals; although it is probable, if he had bestowed more pains upon the task, he would have performed it in a worthy manner.
On the Continent, however, and particularly in Germany, they have been better known, and their worth duly appreciated. In 1815, a Sylva of Spanish ballads was published by M. Grimm, at Vienna, in which considerable research is displayed. Mr. Depping published at Leipsig, in 1817, a collection of historical and romantic Spanish and Moorish ballads, in which he arranged them according to the chronology of the persons and events which they celebrate. To go further than this appears almost impossible; to refer them to the dates of their composition would be a task for a more profound antiquary than Spain has lately produced, and one which none but a Spaniard could hope to accomplish. The first collection ever published, of these popular poems, was the Cancionero of Ferdinand de Castillo, in 1510; the title of which purports to be a collection of the Works of all, or of the most eminent Troubadours of Spain, as well ancient as modern;' so that at this period the antiquity of some of them was acknowledged. Besides this, several of the pieces are attributed to Don Juan Manuel, who died in the year 1362; and these are not the most ancient, as appears obviously from the imperfect state of the rhymes of others in the collection.
The rise of the national poetry of Spain it is difficult, perhaps impossible, to trace; the destruction of the dominion of the Gothic kings seems to have swept away with it all traces of their language and laws. That VOL. 1. March, 1823. Br. Mag.
love of song which they possessed in common with all the nations of Gothic origin, seems alone to have survived; but how this was improved by the diffusion of Moorish refinement when the Saracens became masters of the country, and in what degree their language mingled itself with that of the original inhabitants, are doubtful points, the solution of which can now hardly be hoped for. The effect of the Moorish government was most beneficial to Spain, as far as regarded the cultivation of the intellect of the people. In the words of the introduction to these poems:
'The cities of Spain, within three hundred years after the defeat of King Roderick, had been every where penetrated with a spirit of elegance, tastefulness, and philosophy, which afforded the strongest of all possible contrasts to the contemporary condition of the other kingdoms of Europe. At Cordova, Grenada, Seville, and many now less considerable towns, colleges and libraries had been founded and endowed in the most splendid manner— where the most exact and the most elegant of sciences were cultivated together with equal zeal. Averroes translated and expounded Aristotle at Cordova: Ben-Zaid and Aboui-Mander wrote histories of their nation at Valencia ;—Abdel-Maluk set the first example of that most interesting and useful species of writing, by which Moreri and others have since rendered services so important to ourselves; and even an Arabian Encyclopædia was compiled under the direction of Mohammed-Aba-Abdallah, at Grenada. Ibn-el-Beither went forth from Malaga to search through all the mountains and plains of Europe for every thing that might enable him to perfect his favourite sciences of botany and lithology, and his works still remain to excite the admiration of all that are in a condition to comprehend their value. The Jew of Tudela was the worthy successor of Galen and Hippocrates :—while chemistry, and other branches of medical science, almost unknown to the ancients, received their first astonishing developements from Al-Rasi and Avicenna. Rhetoric and poetry were not less diligently studied;—and, in a word, it would be difficult to point out, in the whole history of the world, a time or a country where the activity of the human intellect was more extensively, or usefully, or gracefully exerted, than in Spain, while the Mussulman sceptre yet retained any portion of that vigour which it had originally received from the conduct and heroism of Tariffa.'
The Spanish Ballads are, without question, the best specimens of this species of composition which have ever been produced. They possess in an eminent degree all that simplicity, all that air of pastoral innocence, which is the distinguishing character of this sort of poetry; and they have, besides, chivalrous, bold, and romantic features, which are reflected from the spirit of the inhabitants of the country. The people of Spain, whose pride has become proverbial, and whose valour was no less remarkable, bore in those days distinct marks of their origin, and evinced the union of the fiery spirit and the refined luxury of sentiment which characterised the Moors, whose blood flowed in their veins, mixed with the stern and indomitable simplicity of their Northern ancestors. Their love of liberty was ardent and unceasing. Their submission to the Moorish yoke was not repugnant to this spirit; for the dominion was mild, and calculated to ensure the freedom and happiness of the people. The circumstance of their following for seven centuries different faiths, and opposite opinions on subjects which usually excite contest, and this without interruption to their harmony, is a sufficing proof of the liberty they enjoyed.
Their loves and their wars were intimately connected; some of the greatest heroes of Spain had fought beneath the crescent, and the poetry of either people contains frequent encomiums on the valour of the other. If it were only for the recollection of Don Quixote, who was deeply versed in all the points on which they treat; we are sure these ballads would have a claim to the attention of the reader; but as they are also in themselves highly interesting and excellent, we have subjoined some copious extracts. The task of translation has fallen into worthy hands; Mr. Lockhart seems to possess that strain of ballad-thinking' which is not uncommon among our Northern neighbours, and without which an attempt to translate the Spanish ballads were in vain. The absolute necessity of using terms of the utmost simplicity we hold to be a sufficient excuse for the adoption of many phrases, otherwise not allowable, to which he has resorted. It would be unfair not to add, that while he has preserved all the energetic character of the originals, the translator has not failed in some instances to make his versions superior to them.
The ballads are divided into Historical, Moorish, and Romantic; the following is one of the first sort. The hero is he to whom the victory of Roncesvalles is said to be owing, and by whose hands the brave Roland fell. It describes his levy for the purpose of opposing Charlemagne's progress:
THE MARCH OF BERNARDO DEL CARPIO.
'With three thousand men of Leon, from the city Bernard goes,
peasant hears upon his field the trumpet of the knight,
The youth who shews a maiden's chin, whose brows have ne'er been bound
Once more to feel the cap of steel a warrior's ringlets press.
As through the glen his spears did gleam, these soldiers from the hills,
By God's behest our aid he shares, but God did ne'er command,
"Our breasts are not so timorous, nor are our arms so weak,
At least we'll sell our birthright dear, no bloodless prize they'll win.
He shall bear witness that we died, as lived our sires of old,
*The arms of Leon.
The ballads relating to the Cid are interesting on account of their hero, though they are not the best in the collection; the following, however, deserves insertion for the grace and spirit of its descriptions:
THE CID'S WEDDING.
Within his hall of Burgos the King prepares the feast;
'Tis the Campeador's wedding, and who will bide away ?
Layn Calvo, the Lord Bishop, he first comes forth the gate,
It was better to be silent, among such a crowd of folk,
Than utter words so meaningless as she did when she spoke.'
In the Lord of Butrago' the translator has made a happy effort. The story is that of an aged knight giving his steed to effect the escape of the King:
THE LORD OF BUTRAGO.
"Stand, noble steed, this hour of need-be gentle as a lamb :
Nay, never speak; my sires, Lord King, received their land from