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Th' assailing foe, her peasants, stout as staunch,
Would soon, I ween, their hostile hordes derange; And 'gainst them all their patriot ardour launch, Resistless as their own dread avalanche.
But here shall peace yet dwell, and with delight
In russet gown and curious cap array'd.
Land of the brave, the virtuous, and the free,
Land of the brave.
I found existence one bless'd holiday?
No! no! so long as Leman's lucid wave
But that were vain to say, since all must die;
That, 'midst the storms careering in the sky,
What good hast thou to gain by broil or brawl1?
1 Since writing this, many changes have been demanded by several of the Swiss Cantons; more consequent, perhaps, of the dreams of the discontented, than of grievances actually felt. So much for the contagion of revolutionary miasmata.
2 The history of William Tell is well known. He was the first who disputed the authority of Geisler, the Austrian governor of Uri, which soon after led to the cantons of Uri, Underwalden, and Sweitz, first hoist
Iberia! let me hail thee by that name
A Roman province ! thou wer't yet allied To power and might, and undisputed fame!
What soon thy fate, when vanquish'd Romans hied,
Driven by barbaric wrath? Thou'rt much belied
If superstition was not then, as now,
Thy blot, thy bane. And can it be denied,
The cause of all the shame which clouds thy brow?
The regal monster, who destroy'd a son,
Because he knelt not at an Arian shrine,
ing the standard of liberty in 1308, and ultimately brought about the liberty of all the other cantons.
1 Soon after the Visegoths founded their monarchy in Spain, A. D. 467, the clergy became possessed of more power than the prince. Almost every case was decided by the bench of bishops. They even disposed of the crown, which was more elective than hereditary. The kingdom was one theatre of revolutions and crimes, so much so that the number of kings assassinated fills the soul with horror.-Modern Europe, vol. i. page 25.
Was Leovigeld1. And, not to be outdone
How many Jews did later reigns assign
To death, that they might testify their zeal ?
"Tis strange, but true, that 'neath the sway benign Of Abdurrhaman, much was done to heal
The wounds which Christian fanatics would deal.
To say Spain yields no noble souls were wrong,
The frightful brands by which she has been sear'd
The Inquisi. It was a Ferdinand, in days of yore,
that Catholic curse we must abhor.
of the Visegoths, who gained so many victories over the Suevi. He died in 585.
2 Introduced first into Spain by Ferdinand the Catholic, in 1470; and scarcely had it been established, when two thousand people were burnt by order of the Grand Inquisitor, Jean de Torquemada. It was at that period
Spain, where's thy memory? Surely it is gone.
And could at once regenerate and save?
Hast thou forgot thy Cid 1, whose powerful glave
A bad memory.
that the Jews chiefly suffered for refusing baptism. The religious persecutions of Charles V. are well known, to whose bigotry no less than a hundred thousand persons fell victims. On his son Philip II. succeeding to the crown of Spain, he proved as inflexible as his father, and established the Inquisition in the Netherlands, and not only took the lives of hundreds of heretics, but confiscated their property. It was on the 4th December 1808 that Bonaparte abolished the tribunal of the Inquisition at Madrid, but it is shrewdly suspected that it has been again put in force by the present monarch.
1 Of all the Spanish knights who distinguished themselves against the Moors in Spain, Don Roderigo, surnamed the Cid, was the most conspicuous; and, of all his achievements, the most gallant was his conduct at the siege of Toledo, which his master Alphonso VI. King of Old Castile, undertook against the Moors. The fame of the Cid's reputation brought many knights and princes from France and Italy. The siege lasted a whole year (1085), at the end of which Toledo capitulated, and in a short time all New Castile was taken possession of in the name of Alphonso, and Madrid fell into the hands of the Christians. Few Kings of Spain were at that time so powerful as the Cid, yet he never presumed upon it, and continued faithful to his King.