Page images

pean imitations; and bears such marks of originality, that those who have visited the East will find some difficulty in believing it to be more than a translation. As an Eastern tale, even Rasselas must bow before it; his "Happy Valley" will not bear a comparison with the "Hall

entitles it, "sublime tale," the "Caliph Vathek."
do not know from what source the author of
that singular volume may have drawn his ma-
terials; some of his incidents are to be found
fu the "Bibliothèque Orientale;" but for cor-
rectness of costume, beauty of description, and
power of imagination, it far surpasses all Euro-of Eblis."


Was faint o'er the gardens of Gul in her | other, on the same errand, by command of the


"Gul," the rose.

[p. 68. refractory patient; if, on the contrary, he is weak or loyal, he bows, kisses the Sultan's respectable signature, and is bowstrung with great complacency. In 1810, several of these presents were exhibited in the niche of the Seraglio-gate; among others, the head of the Pacha of Bagdad, a brave young man, cut off by treachery, after a desperate resistance.

Can he smile on such deeds as his children have done? [p. 69. Souls made of fire, and children of the Sun, With whom Revenge is Virtue.

YOUNG'S Revenge.

With Mejnoun's tale, or Sadi̇'s song. [p. 69. Mejnoun and Leila, the Romeo and Juliet of the East. Sadi, the moral poet of Persia.

Till I, who heard the deep tambour. [p. 69. Tambour, Turkish drum, which sounds at sunrise, noon, and twilight.

He is an Arab to my night. [p. 70. The Turks abhor the Arabs (who return the compliment a hundredfold) even more than they hate the Christians.

The mind, the Music breathing from her face.

[p. 70. This expression has met with objections. will not refer to "Him who hath not Music in his soul," but merely request the reader to recollect, for ten seconds, the features of the woman whom he believes to be the most beautiful; and if he then does not comprehend fully what is feebly expressed in the above line, I shall be sorry for us both. For an eloquent passage in the latest work of the first female writer of this, perhaps, of any age, on the analogy (and the immediate comparison excited by that analogy) between "painting and music," see vol. 1. chap. 10. DE L'ALLEMAGNE. And is not this connexion still stronger with the original than the copy? with the colouring of Nature than of Art? After all, this is rather to be felt than described; still I think there are some who will understand it, at least they would have done, had they beheld the countenance whose speaking harmony suggested the idea; for this passage is not drawn from imagination but memory, that mirror which Affliction dashes to the earth, and, looking down upon the fragments, only beholds the reflection multiplied! [p. 70.

But yet the line of Carasman. Carasman Oglou, or Kara Osman Oglou, is the principal landholder in Turkey; he governs Magnesia: those who, by a kind of feudal tenure, possess land on condition of service, are called Timariots: they serve as Spahis, according to the extent of territory, and bring a certain number into the field, generally cavalry.

And teach the messenger what fate. [p. 70. When a Pacha is sufficiently strong to resist, the single messenger, who is always the first bearer of the order for his death, is strangled instead, and sometimes five or six, one after the

[ocr errors]
[blocks in formation]

Careering cleave the folded felt.

(p. 71.

A twisted fold of felt is used for scimitarpractice by the Turks, and few but Mussulman arms can cut through it at a single stroke: sometimes a tough turban is used for the same purpose. The jerreed is a game of blunt javelins, animated and graceful.

Nor heard their Ollahs wild and loud- [p. 71. "Ollahs," Alla il Allah, the "Leilies," as the Spanish pocts call them, the sound is Öllah; a cry of which the Turks, for a silent people, are somewhat profuse, particularly during the jerreed, or in the chase, but mostly in battle. Their animation in the field, and gravity in the chamber, with their pipes and comboloios, form an amusing contrast.

[blocks in formation]

(p. 71.

The pictured roof and marble floor. The ceiling and wainscots, or rather walls, of the Mussulman apartments are generally painted, in great houses, with one eternal and highly coloured view of Constantinople, wherein the principal feature is a noble contempt of perspective; below, arms, scimitars, are in general fancifully and not inelegantly disposed.

A message from the Bulbul bears. [p. 71. It has been much doubted whether the notes of this "Lover of the rose, " are sad or merry; and Mr. Fox's remarks on the subject have pro

voked some learned controversy as to the opinions of the ancients on the subject. I dare not venture a conjecture on the point, though a little inclined to the “errare mallem," if Mr. Fox was mistaken.

In him was some young Galiongće. (p. 14. "Galiongée"-or Galiongi, a sailor, that is, a Turkish sailor; the Greeks navigate, the Turks work the guns. Their dress is picturesque; and I have seen the Capitan Pacha more than once wearing it as a kind of incog. Their legs, how

Even Azrael, from his deadly quiver. [p. 71. ever, are generally naked. The buskins deAzrael-the angel of death.

[blocks in formation]

Holds not a Musselim's control. [p. 72. Musselim, a governor, the next in rank after a Pacha; a Way wode is the third; and then come the Agas.

[p. 72.

scribed in the text as sheated behind with silver, are those of an Arnaut robber, who was my host (he had quitted the profession), at his Pyrgo, near Gastouni in the Morea; they were plated in scales one over the other, like the back of an armadillo.

So may the Koran verse display'd. (p. 74. The characters on all Turkish scimitars contain sometimes the name of the place of their manufacture, but more generally a text from the Koran, in letters of gold. Amongst those in my Was he not bred in Egripo? possession is one with a blade of singular construction; it is very broad, and the edge notchEgripo the Negropont. According to the pro-ed into serpentine curves like the ripple of verb, the Turks of Egripo, the jews of Salonica, water, or the wavering of flame. I asked the and the Greeks of Athens, are the worst of their Armenian who sold it, what possible use such a respective races. figure could add: he said, in Italian, that he did not know; but the Mussulmans had an idea that Ah! yonder see the Tchocadar. "Tchocadar"-one of the attendants who pre-liked it because it was "piu feroce." I did not those of this form gave a severer wound; and cedes a man of authority. much admire the reason, but bought it for its peculiarity.

(p. 72.

Thine own "broad Hellespont” still dashes. [p. 73. The wrangling about this epithet, "the broad Hellespont" or the "boundless Hellespont,` whether it means one or the other, or what it means at all, has been beyond all possibility of detail. I have even heard it disputed on the spot; and not foreseeing a speedy conclusion to the controversy, amused myself with swimming across it in the mean time, and probably may again, before the point is settled. Indeed, the question as to the truth of "the tale of Troy divine" still continues, much of it resting upon the talismanic word "axeos:" probably Homer had the same notion of distance that a coquette has of time, and when he talks of boundless, means half a mile; as the latter, by a like figure, when she says eternal attachment, simply specifies three weeks.

Which Ammon's son ran proudly round. [p. 73. Before his Persian invasion; he crowned the altar which laurel. He was afterwards imitated by Caracalla in his race. It is believed that the last also poisoned a friend, named Festus, for the sake of new Patroclean games. I have seen the sheep feeding on the tombs of Asietes and Antilochus; the first is in the centre of the plain.

O'er which her fairy fingers ran. Ep 73. When rubbed, the amber is susceptible of a perfume, which is slight, but not disagreeable.

Her mother's sainted amulet. [p. 73. The belief in amulets engraved on gems, or enclosed in gold boxes, containing scraps from the Koran, worn round the neck, wrist, or arm, is still universal in the East. The Koorsee(throne) verse in the second chapter of the Koran describes the attributes of the most High, and is engraved in this manner, and worn by the pious, as the most esteemed and sublime of all sentences.

And by her Comboloio lies. 73. "Comboloioa Turkish rosary. The MSS. particularly those of the Persians, are richly adorned and illuminated. The Greek females are kept in utter ignorance; but many of the Turkish girls are highly accomplished, though not actually qualified for a Christian coterie; perhaps some of our own "blues" might not be the worse for bleaching.

But like the nephew of a Cain. [p. 74. It is to be observed, that every allusion to any thing or personage in the Old Testament, such as the Ark, or Cain, is equally the privilege of Mussulman and Jew; indeed the former profess to be much better acquainted with the lives, true and fabulous, of the patriarchs, than is warranted by our own Sacred Writ, and not content with Adam, they have a biography of Pre-Adamites. Solomon is the monarch of all necromancy, and Moses a prophet inferior only to Christ and Mahomet. Zuleika is the Persian name of Potiphar's wife, and her amour with Joseph constitutes one of the finest poems in their language. It is therefore no violation of costume to put the names of Cain, or Noah, into the mouth of a Moslem.

[blocks in formation]

He drank one draught, nor needed more! [p. 75.
Giaffir, Pacha of Argyro Castro, or Scutari, I
am not sure which, was actually taken off by
the Albanian Ali, in the manner described in
the text. Ali Pacha, while I was in the country,
married the daughter of his victim, some years
after the event had taken place at a bath in
Sophia, or Adrianople. The poison was mixed
the sherbet by the bath-keeper, after dressing.
in the cup of coffee, which is presented before

I sought by turns, and saw them all. (p. 75.
The Turkish notions of almost all islands are

confined to the Archipelago, the sea alluded to.

The last of Lambro's patriots there. [p. 76. Lambro Canzani, a Greek, famous for his efforts in 1789-90 for the independence of his country: abandoned by the Russians, he became a pirate, and the Archipelago was the scene of his enterprises. He is said to be still alive at Petersburgh. He and Riga are the two most celebrated of the Greek revolutionists.

To snatch the Rayahs from their fate. [p. 76. "Rayahs," all who pay the capitation tax, called the "Haratch."

Ay! let me like the ocean-Patriarch roam. (p. 76. This first of voyages is one of the few with which the Mussulmans profess much acquaintance. Or only know on land the Tartar's home. [p. 76. The wandering life of the Arabs, Tartars, and Turkomans, will be found well detailed in any book of Eastern travels. That it possesses a charm peculiar to itself cannot be denied. A young French renegado confessed to Chateaubriand, that he never found himself alone, galloping in the desert, without a sensation approaching to rapture, which was indescribable.

Blooming as Aden in its earliest hour. [p. 76. "Jannat al Aden," the perpetual abode, the Mussulman Paradise.

And mourn'd above his turban-stone. [p. 78. A turban is carved in stone above the graves of men only.

The loud Wul-wulleh warn his distant ear. [p. 78. The death-song of the Turkish women. The "gilent slaves are the men whose notions of decorum forbid complaint in public.

"Where is my child?"-an Echo answers"Where? (p. 18. "I came to the place of my birth and cried,

[blocks in formation]

"And airy tongues that syllable men's names." MILTON.

For a belief that the souls of the dead inhabit the form of birds, we need not travel to the East. Lord Lyttleton's ghost-story, the belief of the Duchess of Kendal, that George I. flew into her window in the shape of a raven (see Orford's Reminiscences), and many other instances, bring this superstition nearer home. The most singular was the whim of a Worcester lady, who, believing her daughter to exist in the shape of a singing bird, literally furnished her pew in the Cathedral with cages-full of the kind; and as she was rich, and a benefactress in beautifying the church, no objection was made to her harmless folly."


The time in this poem may seem too short for the occurrences, but the whole of the Egean isles are within a few hours' sail of the continent, and the reader must be kind enough to take the wind as I have often found it.

of nature I shall attempt to prove by some historical coincidences which I have met with since writing "The Corsair."

"Eccelin prisonnier," dit Rolandini, "s'enfermoit dans un silence menaçant, il fixoit sur la terre son visage féroce, et ne donnoit point

Of fair Olympia loved and left of old. [p. 85. d'essor à sa profonde indignation.-De toutes, Orlando, Canto 10.

Around the waves' phosphoric brightness broke.

[p. 87. By night, particularly in a warm latitude, every stroke of the oar, every motion of the boat or ship, is followed by a slight flash like sheet lightning from the water.


-the sober berry's juice.

parts cependant les soldats et les peuples accouroient; ils vouloient voir cet homme, jadis si puissant, et la joie universelle éclatoit de toutes parts."

"Eccelin étoit d'une petite taille; mais tout l'aspect de sa personne, tous ses mouvemens indiquoient un soldat. Son langage étoit amer, son déportement superbe, et par son seul regard, [p. 87. il faisoit trembler les plus hardis." SISMONDI, tome 111. p. 219.

"Gizericus (Genseric, king of the Vandals, While dance the Almas to wild minstrelsy. [p. 87. the conqueror of both Carthage and Rome), staDancing-girls.

A captive Dervise, from the pirate's nest Escaped, is here-himself would tell the rest. [p. 87. It has been objected that Conrad's entering disguised as a spy is out of nature.-Perhaps 80.-I find something not unlike it in history.

"Anxious to explore with his own eyes the state of the Vandals, Majorian ventured, after disguising the colour of his hair, to visit Carthage in the character of his own ambassador; and Genseric was afterwards mortified by the discovery, that he had entertained and dismissed the Emperor of the Romans. Such an anecdote may be rejected as an improbable fiction; but it is a fiction which would not have been imagined unless in the life of a hero." GIBBON, Decl. and Fall, vol. vi. p. 180.

That Conrad is a character not altogether out

tura mediocris, et equi casu claudicans, animo profundus, sermone rarus, luxuriæ contemptor, ira turbidus, habendi cupidus, ad solicitandas gentes providentissimus." JORNANDES de Rebus Geticis, c. 33.

I beg leave to quote these gloomy realities to keep in countenance my Giaour and Corsair.

And my stern vow and order's laws oppose.
[p. 88.
The Dervises are in colleges, and of different
orders, as the monks.

They seize that Dervise!-seize on Zatanai!
[p. 89.

He tore his beard, and foaming fled the fight.
[p. 89.

A common and not very novel effect of Mus

sulman anger. See Prince Eugene's Memoirs, | gulf of Mexico; it runs through a rich but very p. 24. "The Seraskier received a wound in the thigh; he plucked up his beard by the roots, because he was obliged to quit the field."

Brief time had Conrad now to greet Gulnare. (p. 89. Gulnare, a female name; it means, literally, the flower of the Pomegranate.

Till even the scaffold echoes with their jest! (p. 92. In Sir Thomas More, for instance, on the scaffold, and Anne Boleyn in the Tower, when grasping her neck, she remarked, that it "was too slender to trouble the headsman much." During one part of the French Revolution, it became a fashion to leave some "mot" as a legacy; and the quantity of facetious last words spoken during that period would form a melancholy jest-book of considerable size.

That closed their murder'd sage's latest day! [p. 93. Socrates drank the hemlock a short time before sunset (the hour of execution), notwithstanding the entreaties of his disciples to wait till the sun went down.

The queen of night asserts her silent reign. [p. 94. The twilight in Greece is much shorter than in our own country; the days in winter are longer, but in summer of shorter duration.

The gleaming turret of the gay Kiosk. [p. 94. The Kiosk is a Turkish summer-house; the palm is without the present walls of Athens, not far from the temple of Theseus, between which and the tree the wall intervenes.-Cephisus stream is indeed scanty, and Ilissus has no stream at all.

His only bends in seeming o'er his beads. [p. 95. The Comboloio, or Mahometan rosary; the beads are in number ninety-nine.

fat country, until it reaches within a mile of the Mississippi river, fifteen miles below the city of New-Orleans. The bay has branches almost innumerable, in which persons can lie concealed from the severest scrutiny. It communicates with three lakes which lie on the southwest side, and these with the lake of the same name, and which lies contiguous to the sca, where there is an island formed by the two arms of this lake and the sea. The east and west points of this island were fortified in the year 1811, by a band of pirates, under the command of one Mr. La Fitte. A large majority of these outlaws are of that class of the population of the state of Louisiana who fled from the island of St. Domingo during the troubles there, and took refuge in the island of Cuba: and when the last war between France and Spain commenced, they were compelled to leave that island with the short notice of a few days. Without ceremony, they entered the United States, the most of them the State of Louisiana, with all the negroes they had possessed in Cuba. They were notified by the Governor of that State of the clause in the constitution which forbad the importation of slaves; but, at the same time, received the assurance of the Governor that he would obtain, if possible, the approbation of the general Government for their retaining this property.

Slow sinks, more lovely ere his race be run.... That frown where gentler ocean seems to smile. The island of Barrataria is situated about [p. 93. lat. 29. deg. 15 min. long. 92. 30. and is as reThe opening lines of Canto III. have, per-markable for its health as for the superior scale haps, little business here, and were annexed and shellfish with which its waters abound. The to an unpublished (though printed) poem; but chief of this horde, like Charles Moor, had they were written on the spot in the Spring of mixed with his many vices some virtues. In the 1811, and I scarce know why-the reader must year 1813 this party had, from its turpitude and excuse their appearance here if he can. (See boldness, claimed the attention of the Governor "Curse of Minerva.") of Louisiana; and, to break up the establishment, he thought proper to strike at the head. He therefore offered a reward of 500 dollars for the head of Mr. La Fitte, who was well known to the inhabitants of the city of New-Orleans, from his immediate connexion, and his once having been a fencing-master in that city of great reputation, which art he learnt in Buonaparte's army, where he was a Captain. The reward which was offered by the Governor for the head of La Fitte was answered by the offer of a reward from the latter of 15,000 for the head of the Governor. The Governor ordered out a company to march from the city to La Fitte's island, and to burn and destroy all the property, and to bring to the city of NewOrleans all his banditti. This company, under the command of a man who had been the intimate associate of this bold Captain, approached very near to the fortified island, before he saw a man, or heard a sound, until he heard a whistle, not unlike a boatswain's call. Then it was he found himself surrounded by armed men who had emerged from the secret avenues which led into Bayou. Here it was that the modern Charles Moor developed his few noble traits; for to this man, who had come to destroy his life and all that was dear to him, he not only spared his life, but offered him that which would have made the honest soldier easy for the remainder of his days, which was indignantly refused. He then, with the approbation of his captor, returned to the city. This circumstance, and some concomitant events, proved that this band of pirates was not to be taken by land. Our naval force having always been small in that quarter, exertions for the destruction of this illicit establishment could not be expected from them until augmented; for an officer of the navy, with most of the gun-boats on that station, had to retreat from an overwhelming force of La Fitte's. So soon as the augmentation of the navy authorised an attack, one was made; the overthrow of this banditti has been

And the cold flowers her colder hand contain`d. [p. 100. In the Levant it is the custom to strew flowers on the bodies of the dead, and in the hands of young persons to place a nosegay.

Link'd with one virtue, and a thousand crimes. [p. 101. That the point of honour which is represented in one instance of Conrad's character has not been carried beyond the bounds of probability may perhaps be in some degree confirmed by the following anecdote of a brother buccaneer in the present year, 1814.

Our readers have all seen the account of the enterprise against the pirates of Barrataria; but few, we believe, were informed of the situation, history, or nature of that establishment. For the information of such as were unacquainted with it we have procured from a friend the following interesting narrative of the main facts, of which he has personal knowledge, and which cannot fail to interest some of our readers. Barrataria is a bay, or a narrow arm of the

the result; and now this almost invulnerable the see. Rumour whispered he retained the vices point and key to New-Orleans is clear of an of his youth, and that a passion for the fair sex enemy, it is to be hoped the government will formed an item in the list of his weaknesses ; hold it by a strong military force.-From an but so far from being convicted by seventy witAmerican Newspaper. nesses, he does not appear to have been directly In Noble's continuation of Granger's Biograph-criminated by one. In short, I look upon these ical Dictionary, there is a singular passage aspersions as the effects of mere malice. How in his account of archbishop Blackbourne, and is it possible a buccaneer should have been so as in some measure connected with the profes- good a scholar as Blackbourne certainly was? sion of the hero of the foregoing poem, I cannot he who had so perfect a knowledge of the clasresist the temptation of extracting it. sics (particularly of the Greek tragedians), as "There is something mysterious in the history to be able to read them with the same ease as and character of Dr. Blackbourne. The former he could Shakespeare, must have taken great As but imperfectly known; and report has even pains to acquire the learned languages, and have asserted he was a buccaneer, and that one of his had both leisure and good masters. But he was brethren in that profession having asked, on his undoubtedly educated at Christ-church - College, arrival in England, what had become of his old Oxford. He is allowed to have been a pleasant chum, Blackbourne, was answered, he is Arch-man: this, however, was turned against him, by bishop of York. We are informed, that Black- its being said, "he gained more hearts than souls." bourne was installed sub-dean of Exeter in 1694, which office he resigned in 1702: but after his successor's, Lewis Barnct's, death, in 1704, he "The only voice that could soothe the passions regained it. In the following year he became of the savage (Alphonso 3d) was that of an dean; and, in 1714, held with it the archdeanery amiable and virtuous wife, the sole object of his of Cornwall. He was consecrated bishop of Ex-love: the voice of Donna Isabella, the daughter eter, February 24, 1716; and translated to York, of the duke of Savoy, and the grand-daughter of November 28, 1724, as a reward, according to Philip 2d, King of Spain.-Her dying words sunk court scandal, for uniting George I. to the Duch-deep into his memory; his fierce spirit melted ess of Munster. This, however, appears to into tears; and after the last embrace Alphonso have been an unfounded calumny. As archbishop retired into his chamber to bewail his irreparable he behaved with great prudence, and was equally loss, and to meditate on the vanity of human respectable as the guardian of the revenues of life." GIBBON.


The event in the latter part of Canto 2d was suggested by the description of the death, or rather burial, of the Duke of Gandia.

alarmed; and one of them informed the Pontiff of the evening - excursion of his sons, and that the Duke had not yet made his appearance. This The most interesting and particular account gave the Pope no small anxiety; but he conof this mysterious event is given by Burchard, jectured that the Duke had been attracted by and is in substance as follows: "On the eighth day some courtesan to pass the night with her, and of June the "Cardinal of Valenza, and the Duke not choosing to quit the house in open day, had of Gandia, sons of the Pope, supped with their waited till the following evening to return home. mother, Vanozza, near the church of S. Pietro When, however, the evening arrived, and he ad vincula; several other persons being present found himself disappointed in his expectations, at the entertainment. A late hour approaching, he became deeply afflicted, and began to make and the Cardinal having reminded his brother, inquiries from different persons, whom he ordered that it was time to return to the apostolic palace, to attend him for that purpose. Amongst these they mounted their horses or mules, with only was a man named Giorgio Schiavoni, who, hava few attendants, and proceeded together as far ing discharged some timber from a bark in the as the palace of Cardinal Ascanio Sforza, when river, had remained on board the vessel to watch the Duke informed the Cardinal, that before he it, and being interrogated whether he had seen returned home, he had to pay a visit of pleasure. any one thrown into the river, on the night Dismissing therefore all his attendants, except-preceding, he replied, that he saw two men on ing his staffiero, or footman, and a person in a mask, who had paid him a visit whilst at supper, and who, during the space of a month, or there abouts, previous to this time, had called upon him almost daily, at the apostolic palace; he took this person behind him on his mule, and proceeded to the street of the Jews, where he quitted his servant, directing him to remain there until a certain hour; when, if he did not return, he might repair to the palace. The Duke then seated the person in the mask behind him, and rode, 1 know not whither; but in that night he was assassinated, and thrown into the river. The servant, after having been dismissed, was also assaulted and mortally wounded; and although he was attended with great care, yet such was his situation, that he could give no intelligible account of what had befallen his master. In the morning, the Duke not having returned to the palace, his servants began to be

foot, who came down the street, and looked diligently about, to observe whether any person was passing. That sceing no one, they returned, and a short time afterwards two others came, and looked around in the same manner as the former; no person still appearing, they gave a sign to their companions, when a man came, mounted on a white horse, having behind him a dead body, the head and arms of which hung on one side, and the feet on the other side of the horse; the two persons on foot supporting the body, to prevent its falling. They thus proceeded towards that part, where the filth of the city is usually discharged into the river, and turning the horse, with his tail towards the water, the two persons took the dead body by the arms and feet, and with all their strength flung it into the river. The person on horseback then asked if they had thrown it in, to which they replied, Signor, si (yes, Sir). He then looked towards

« PreviousContinue »