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"On the third of December, an anonymous letter, addressed to the Earl of Mount-Alexander, was dropped in the streets of Comber, in the county of Down, purporting to warn his lordship, as a particular friend of the writer, that a general massacre of the Protestants had been planned by the Irish to take effect on the following Sunday. Similar letters were addressed to Mr. Brown of Lisburn, Mr. Maitland of Hillsborough, and were dispersed through the neighbouring towns. Copies were immediately despatched to Dublin by Mr. Upton, of Templepatrick, and by Sir William Franklin, the second husband of the Countess of Donegal, then residing in the castle of Belfast. In this emergency, the first persons who were consulted were the Presbyterian ministers of the adjoining parishes in Down and Antrim; who did not hesitate to urge their people to associate and arm themselves, as a necessary precaution for the protection of their lives and properties. Mr. Cunningham of Belfast had forwarded a copy of this anonymous letter to Mr. Canning, at Garvagh, and, through Colonel Phillips of Newtonlimavady, it reached Derry on the evening of Thursday the sixth of December."
Every one knows what Derry did in the ensuing conflict, and how much William's cause was indebted to the brave defenders of that town, and to the men of Enniskillen. Yet what where the returns made by the government, which was mainly through them enabled to preserve Ireland under the British crown? A striking answer of historical value is thus given by Dr. Reid
"It is painful to be obliged to add that the gallant defenders of Derry and Enniskillen were treated very ungratefully by the state. Instead of being in anywise rewarded, they did not even receive the amount of pay which was acknowledged by parliament to be justly due to them. In 1691 the officers and men of both garrisons constituted Colonel Hugh Hamill of Lifford, their agent and trustee, and authorized him to make the necessary applications to the crown and to parliament for their arrears. Seven years afterwards he resigned this office, and his brother, William Hamill, who resided principally in England, was appointed in his room. He used every effort in his power on behalf of his employers, but without success; and in 1714 he published a statement of his proceedings and a strong appeal to the public, entitled, 'A Memorial by William Hamill, Gent., agent and trustee for the officers and soldiers of the two late garrisons of Londonderry and Enniskillen in Ireland, their relicts and representatives. Dedicated to his principals.' Lond. 1714. 8vo. pp. 40. This effort in their favour met with no better success; and he was again compelled to lay their hard case before the nation in a second publication, with this sarcastic and significant title, A view of the danger and folly of being public spirited and sincerely loving one's country, in the deplorable case of the Londonderry and Inniskilling regiments; being a true and faithful account of their unparalleled services and sufferings at and since the Revolution. To which is added the particular case of William Hamill, Gent. their agent.' 1721. 4to. pp. 74. From this work it appears that, after two and thirty years tedious and fruitless negotiations, the following arrears were still due to the eight regiments that formed the garrison of Derry during the siege: -Baker's regiment, 16,274l. 9s. 8d.; Mitchelburn's, 9,5417. 16s. ; Walker's, 10,188. 13s. 6d. ; Munroe's, 8,360, 2s.; Crofton's, 7,750l. 11s. 6d.;
VOL. III. (1837.) No. II.
Hamill's, 8,9697. 13s. 6d.; Lane's, 8,360l. 2s.; Murray's, 5,3121. 9s. 6d. ; making a total of 74,757%. 17s. 8d., not a farthing of which appears to have been ever paid!"
Such are a very few of the important contents of this history of Presbyterianism in Ireland. The work abounds, as we have already stated, with evidence drawn from documents which have never before been published, the whole throwing much new light upon the protracted contests which have been the ruin of the sister isle. We do not wonder that the first volume is not now to be got for money.
ART. VII.-Don Quixote de la Mancha. BY CHARLES JArvis, Esq. London: Dubrochet & Co. 1837. CERVANTES, like many other men of great genius, appreciated in some measure his own merits, and seems to have been confident of the honours which the voice of posterity was to shower upon the noblest of all his works-the Don Quixote. He makes Sancho, for instance, predict its popularity, for that rare character says, "I will lay a wager, that before long there will not be a chop-house, tavern, or barber's stall, but will have a painting of our achievements," which was, indeed, verified in the author's own day. In no country, however, has so much been done as in England, not even in Spain itself, to extend and perpetuate this celebrity; for although the Don has passed through several editions in Portugal, Flanders, Italy, France, none of these countries can, like England, boast of ten translations of it, nor can Spain lay claim to the honour of having first or most successfully purged the work of the numerous errors which, in consequence of its publication by incompetent hands, had crept gradually into the text, until the original was so marred and grossly interpolated, as nearly to obliterate its beauty.
In fact, the first effort that was made to recover the beauty and accuracy of which the Don Quixote had been despoiled was put forth in this country. George the Second's Queen had been at great pains to form a complete collection of books of romance, which she pleasantly entitled the "library of the sage Merlin," but that which was the most valuable and splendid of all, and the chief among the works of Cervantes, was alone wanting, when Lor Carteret presented her with a copy, which was the origin of the celebrated edition published by Tonson, in London, 1738, 4 tom. 4to. The Royal Spanish Academy, more than forty years afterwards, superintended the publication at Madrid of a magnificent edition, also in four volumes. This learned body had probably been fired by the example which had been set by foreigners; at any rate their work exhibited proofs of the most careful revision, collated from a variety of copies which had appeared during the lifetime of Cervantes, among which there were many discrepancies. The Life
prefixed to the Academy's work has furnished most of the materials which have been used by succeeding biographers of the author.
In the year immediately succeeding that in which the publication of the Don Quixote by the Spanish Academy took place, greatly to the honour of England, the Rev. Mr. Bowle, a clergyman at Idemestone, brought out another edition, the result of fourteen years' preparation, together with a valuable and excellent commentary. This gentleman had made himself master of every piece of contemporaneous literature that he could find, which threw any light upon his author, and the consequence was, that numberless allusions which, in a satirical work, are always likely to be misunderstood when the age to which they immediately refer has passed away, were expounded. Idioms, too, were learnedly explained by this laborious commentator. Indeed, the achievement was deservedly regarded as marvellous; for not only was the original text carefully revised and corrected, but of the six quarto volumes to which this edition extended, the two last contained notes, illustrations, and index, all in the flowing and musical language of Castile.
Not only as critics but as translators, the English have proved their deep and lasting admiration of the Don Quixote. Numerous, as we have already stated, are the dresses in which it has appeared in this country,-several of them evincing extraordinary acquaintance with the original, and skill in turning the idiomatic phraseology of humourous dialogue into a foreign language. The most esteemed of these versions are those of Motteux, Smollett, and Jarvis. By some competent judges the first is considered the best; and yet it was by a Frenchman who resided in England during the reign of James the Second. What is very singu lar,it betrays nothing of its foreign parentage, and when read in a recent edition, which has been greatly enriched by Lockhart's notes and poetical versions of old Castilian ballads, perhaps we do not err in pronouncing it to be the most desirable translation of all.
That of Jarvis, however, has been exceedingly popular, and when the present edition, which appears in Parts, is completed, it will have additional claims to patronage over those which its predecessors of the same family have ever presented. Independently of a carefully compiled and elegantly written Memoir of Cervantes, which accompanies the translation, it is embellished and illustrated in a beautiful style. The engravings are worked in with the type, and yet are as clear and attractive as impressions usually are when obtained from separate plates. From the Second Part of the Memoir, which has lately appeared, we shall quote some passages in the course of a few notices of the Life of Cervantes, and relative to the state of Spanish literature about the period in which he flourished.
Spain, during the age referred to, though somewhat declined
from her palmy state, was still a mighty empire. War was its passion, and the profession of arms was considered to be alone worthy of a gentleman. Cervantes, who like almost every Castilian, was poor but of an ancient family, formed no exception to the prevailing taste. His enterprising spirit led him through a variety of vicissitudes, while his misfortunes had much of the checquered interest of romance. He visited the principal countries in the Mediterranean, and for five years was a prisoner at Algiers, where he experienced excessive hardships; all which, however, were turned to excellent account, in his future pictures of human life and nature. Even after his return to his native land, his career was remarkable, and the vicissitudes of his fortune numerous. To the English reader it must be interesting to know that in the year 1583 he was engaged as a commissioner under Antonio de Guevara, to victual ships at the very period when the latter was equipping the Invincible Armada. But though thus publicly employed, his connection with persons high in power in the state did not shield him from misfortunes, or prove a permanent support.
"Cervantes, who, in many respects, resembled Camoens, experienced the worst misfortune which embittered the life of that great man, when he was accused of malversations in his office of commissioner of the victualling department at Macao, thrown into prison, and brought before the tribunal of accounts. Like the poet of the Lusiad, Cervantes remained poor, and clearly proved his innocence. Towards the close of 1594, when engaged at Seville in settling the accounts of his commissariat, and when he was recovering with difficulty some arrears, Cervantes transmitted, repeatedly, sums of money to the treasurer at Madrid, in bills of exchange drawn from Seville. One remittance arising from the taxation of the district of Velez-Malaga, and amounting to 7400 reals, was sent by him in specie to a merchant at Seville, named Simon Freire de Lima, who undertook to convey it to the treasury in Merid. It was then that Cervantes made a journey to the capital, and not finding there the cash which he had transmitted, he reclaimed from the merchant the sum which he had confided to him, but, in the mean time, Freire had failed, and fled from Spain. Cervantes returned immediately to Seville, where he found that all the goods of his debtor had been seized by other creditors. He, upon this, addressed a petition to the king, and a decree of the 7th August, 1595, ordered Doctor Bernardo de Olmedilla, judge of los grados at Seville, to take by privilege from the assets of Freire the sum which had been remitted by Cervantes. That judge effectually enforced the claim, and forwarded the amount to the Treasurer-General, Don Pedro Mesia De Tobar, by a bill of exchange drawn November 22, 1596. The tribunal of the Treasury exerted the greatest severity in adjusting the accounts of all connected with the Exchequer, which had been completey drained by the conquests of Portugal and Terceira, by the campaigns in Flanders, the destruction of the Invincible Armada, and the ruinous experiments made by certain charlatans in finance, who were called at that time arbitristas. The inspector-general to whom
Cervantes had been but the agent, was conducted to Madrid, to make up his accounts. He represented, that all the documents necessary as vouchers, were at Seville in the hands of Cervantes. A royal order, dated Sept. 6, 1597, directed, in a summary way, the judge Gaspar De Vallejo to arrest and to send Cervantes, under a proper escort, to the prison of the capital, there to be dealt with by the tribunal of accounts. He was, in consequence, forthwith committed to prison, but, having offered security for the payment of 2641 reals, to which the alleged deficiency was reduced, he was released under a second order dated December 1st, of the same year, on condition that he presented himself before the court, within thirty days, to pay the balance. It is not exactly known how this first proceeding against Cervantes terminated; but, some years afterwards, he was again disturbed on account of this paltry claim for 2641 reals. The inspector of Baza, Gaspar Osorio De Tejada, presented in his accounts, at the end of 1602, an acknowledgment from Cervantes, proving, that that sum had been received by him in 1594, when he was commissioned to recover arrears of claims on that city and district. Having consulted on this point, the judges of the court of the Treasury made a report, dated Valladolid, Jan. 24th, 1603, in which they gave an account of the arrest of Cervantes, in 1597, for this same sum, and of his conditional enlargement, adding, that since he had not appeared before them. It was on this occasion that Cervantes went with all his family to Valladolid, where, for two years, Phillip III. had held his court. Proof has been obtained, that on the 8th February, 1603, his sister, Donna Andrea, was engaged in superintending the household and wardrobe of a certain Don Pedro de Toledo Osorio, Marquis de Villafranca, who had returned from the expedition to Algiers. Among the papers found, there are housekeeping accounts, w proved the distress of Cervantes and of his family, and many notes and bills in his handwriting. He settled his affairs with the tribunal of accounts, either by proving an anterior payment, or by satisfying the claim at this period, for the suit commenced against him ceased, and he passed the rest of his life peaceably in the vicinity of that tribunal by which he had been so sharply treated. The honour of Cervantes requires that these minute details should thus be stated; but if it were necessary to prove by other evidence that his probity stood above all suspicion, it would suffice to recall the fact, that he himself mentions, in a spirit of gaiety, his numerous imprisonments. It would have been too much for effrontery itself to do this, if he had been subjected to them by any disgraceful action; and his enemies, those who envied his talents, and detracted from his merit in every possible way, and reproached him even with his crippled hand, would not have failed to wound, in the most vulnerable part, the self-love of the gifted writer."
If, during his travels and captivity, Cervantes had extraordinary opportunities for pursuing the study of human character, the scope which he had in his native country for completing this sort of education was not less variegated. Besides his active employments, his minute knowledge of Andalusia, where the models of sprightly wit and delicate irony were to be found-with Seville, so much renowned for its sharpers and such like disreputable characters,