Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

my journal, and which excited in our minds the missions ordered the Indians to row to the most painful feelings. If, in these sou the shore, and follow the traces of the Gualitary scenes, man scarcely leaves behind hiba. In the evening she was brought him any trace of his existence, it is doubly back. Stretched upon the rock, (la Piedra humiliating for a European to see perpe. de la Madre,) a cruel punishment was intuated by the name of a rock, by one of Alicted on her with those straps of manatee those imperishable monuments of nature, leather, which serve for whips in that counthe remembrancc of the moral degradation try, and with which the alcades are always of our species, and the contrast between furnished. This unhappy woman, her the virtue of a savage, and the barbarism hands tied behind her back with strong of civilized man !

stalks of mavacure, was then dragged to 66 In 1797, the missionary of San Fer. the mission of Javita. nando liad led his Indians to the banks of “ She was there thrown into one of the the Rio Guaviare, on one of those hostile caravanseras that are called Casa del Rey. incursions, which are prohibited alike by It was the rainy season, and the night was religion and the Spanish laws. They profoundly dark. Forests till then be found in an Indian hut'a Guahiba mother lieved to be impenetrable, separated the with three children, two of whom were still mission of Javita from that of San Fernaninfants. They were occupied in preparing do, which was twenty-five leagues distant the flour of cassava. Resistance was im in a straight line. No other path is known possible; the father was gone to fish, and than that of the rivers : no man ever atthe mother tried in vain to flee with her tempted to go by land from one village to children: Scarcely had she reached the another, were they only a few leagues Savannah, when she was seized by the In- apart. But such difficulties do not stop a dians of the mission, who go to hunt men, mother, who is separated from her children. like the Whites and the Negroes in Africa. Her children are at San Fernando de AtaThe mother and her children were bound, bapo; she must find them again, she must and dragged to the bank of the river. The execute her project of delivering them from monk, seated in his boat, waited the issue the hands of Christians, of bringing them of an expedition, of which he partook not back to their father on the banks of the the danger. Had the mother made too Guaviare. The Guahiba was carelessly violent a resistance, the Indians would have guarded in the caravansera. Her arms killed her, for every thing is permitted being wounded, the Indians of Javita had when they go to the conquest of souls, (à loosened her bonds, unknown to the misla conquista espiritual,) and it is children sionary and the alcades. She succeeded by in particular they seek to capture, in order the help of her teeth in breaking them ento treat them in the mission as poitos, or tirely ; disappeared during the night; and slaves of the Christians. The prisoners at the fourth rising sun was seen at the were carried to San Fernando, in the hope mission of San Fernando, hovering around that the mother would be unable to find the hut where her children were confined. her way back to her home by land. Far • What that woman performed,' added the from those children who had accompanied missionary, who gave us this sad narrative, their father on the day in which she had the most robust Indian would not have been carried off, this unhappy woman show ventured to undertake. She traversed the ed signs of the deepest despair. She at woods at a season, when the sky is con. tempted to take back to her family the stantly covered with clouds, and the sun children, who had been snatched away by during whole days appears but for a few the missionary; and fed with them re minutes. Did the course of the waters dipeatedly from the village of San Fernan. rect her way? The inundations of the rido, but the Indians never failed to seize vers forced her to go far from the banks of her anew; and the missionary, after ha- the main stream, through the midst of ving caused her to be mercilessly beaten, woods where the movement of the waters took the cruel resolution of separating the is almost imperceptible. How often must mother from the two children, who had she have been stopped by the thorny liabeen carried off with her. She was con nas, that form a network around the trunks veyed alone toward the missions of the they entwine ! How often must she have Rio Negro, going up the Atabapo. Slight swam across the rivulets, that run into the ly bound, she was sented at the bow of the Atabapo! This unfortunate woman was boat, ignorant of the fate that awaited her; asked how she had sustained herself during but she judged by the direction of the san, four days ? She said, that exhausted with that she was removing farther and farther fatigue, she could find no other nourish. from her hut and her native country. She ment than those great black ants called succeeded in breaking her bonds, threw vachacos, which climb the trees in long herself into the water, and swam to the left bands, to suspend on them their resinous bank of the Atabapo. The current carried

We pressed the missionary to tell her to a shelf of rock, which bears her us, whether the Guahiba had peacefully name to this day. She landed, and took enjoyed the happiness of remaining with shelter in the woods, hut the president of her children ; and if any repentance had

nests.

followed this excess of cruelty. He would phy, ere we can look, for a week tonot satisfy our curiosity; but at our re gether, on the affections, and interests turn from the Rio Negro we learnt, that of men, with a heartless and unmoved the Indian mother was not allowed

time to superiority. Such were my refleccurc her words, but was again separated tions some days ago, when, in one of from her children, and sent to one of the missions of the Upper Oroonoko. There

the public walks, I looked upon the stre died, refusing all kind of nourishment, city at my feet, teeming with its busy as the savages do in great calamities.” thousands. I thought

of the diversiPp. 233__238.

ty of feeling which, within that space, The remainder of this volume is the misfortunes of our lot, called in

the necessities, or the amusements, or occupied chiefly with remarks on the

to action. I began to imagine the cannibal propensities of some of the number and the extent of those mutribes which inhabit this continent, tual dependencies, which bind togen with an aceount of the author's pro- ther such a large portion of society, gress up the rivers, whose banks now

but, like the contemplation of eternity, became clothed with such luxuriant

it was overwhelming. vegetation, that the travellers were for

It was about noon, and the walks ced to row many a league along the

were deserted except by a few stragshore before they could find space glers, who seemed, like myself, altoge enough for a few persons to raise their

ther isolated from the active world. tent; and lastly, with some curious observations on what has been called modest but confident air ; there was

One of these approached me with a the bifurcation of the Oroonoko. The something of sympathy in our soauthor's observations on all these sub- litude, and apparent state of mind, jects are characterised by his usual in which gave us a sort of right to genuity and extensive research. But

the conversation of each other, and I the great fault of the work is, that it experienced little of that surprise I has too much of all this, and that, in

shonld have felt, at any other time, on stead of perusing an account merely being accosted by a perfect stranger. of what the author saw and examined, Besides, there was something highly

His him all he has ever read that has interesting in his appearance.

age, and the expression of his counteany relation to the subject; so that he

nance, told that he had seen and felt knows not frequently whether it is

much : time had passed over him with the wonderful country he is called to admire, or the wonderful variety of under a load of years which many have

no light step, for he seemed crushed that information which is possessed borne with comparative ease. The by him who has undertaken to de

minds of such persons generally posscribe it. In a future number we shall give firmness in acting, unknown to those

sess a strength of determination and a some remarks on the remaining vo

who have always been fortunate. Their lume.

thoughts, like an army which has disputed every inch in its retreat before

an almost overpowering enemy, gather THE FATAL ERROR, A TALE.

themselves up at last into their own It is in vain that we view the con- fortress, and act with the persevering cerns and pursuits of mankind in the courage of deliberate despair. This aggregate, and pronounce them the observation received an additional feeling of a moment, the pageant of proof in the present instance. After an hout, the fading and fruitless oc a little preliminary conversation, he cupation of a day.

gave me an outline of his history. There are times when we must enter He had been brought up to the mainto the detail, when we must trace nagement of a small farm, which his the numberless windings and ramifi- father rented a few miles east from cations of individual interest, with a Edinburgh. There he remained after warmth which belies such contemptu- his father's death, and by hard labour ous expressions; when the emotions had maintained in a decent way'his of common humanity exert an engros mother, a wife, and two children. sing power over our

sympathies ; and The elder of these, a son, he determined we must have lived long in the feeling to educate for the church, with an amand the practice of a frigid philoso- bition honourable to the feelings, but

frequently hurtful to the fortunes, of the last act of parental authority as a our peasantry. In the course of pro- piece of decided tyranny. While she vidence, he had successively followed was secretly and almost unconscioushis mother and his wife to the grave, ly entertaining indignation, at what but the last stroke was the heaviest, she conceived to be an unwarrantwhen the hope of his declining years able restraint, letters from her lofell a victim to disease, when he was ver, who had gone to Edinburgh, destined to watch the lingering decay came to inflame her mind. These of him whose opening genius bad pro- represented her father as an unreasonmised to be an honour to his old age able old man, whose relish for the gradual melting away of his fond- the enjoyments of this world was est expectations. His son died; and gone, and who, on that account, could the prospect was closed for ever. A not bear to see others innocently hapdaughter alone remained to cheer hispyWhen young Johnstone suppossolitude. Her amiable temper fre- ed her sufficiently prepared by a series quently alleviated his distress, and of letters in this strain, he proposed sometimes for a moment he would that, on pretence of visiting a relation, sink the remembrance of the past in she should come to Edinburgh, where the enjoyment of the present. When they would be privately married, and we consider the jealousy with which whence they would immediately retum a person watches over his last, his only to the house of her father, who, after possession, the one object of joy that feeling for a time the want of her comcan interrupt the dreary unity of grief, pany, and finding that his opposition we cannot wonder that he admitted, was fruitless, would doubtless be too with reluctance, the addresses of a happy at her going back, to remember professed lover to his child. Her the supposed impropriety of their marpresence and voice were the talisman riage. In a moment of excitement, she by which he could call up the shades took theill advised step. Under the preof other and happier days—the melan- tence already mentioned, and with only choly pleasure of remembrance ; and enough of money to bear her expences he could not bear to think that she to Edinburgh, she set out, filled with should be borne from his embraces by hopes of every thing being well at one who was not a resident near his last. She had been about five weeks own home. A further intimacy with from home when Johnstone's letters Jeanie's lover did not tend to lessen fell by accident into her father's this reluctance. With a penetration hands. The languor he had expewhich experience in the ways of the rienced since her departure was quickworld alone can give, he saw through ly changed into feelings of the most the veil of hypocrisy he assumed, and acute description ; and he had arrived found at bottom a total want of sound in town the night before we met, full principle. The fair exterior, how of anxiety for his daughter's safety. ever, of Jeanie's admirer easily gained In the morning he had inquired after upon her simplicity, and she was cap Johnstone, and discovered him to be a tivated with the air of romantic vir person of very doubtful character, and tue, wbich he took care to throw that he had suddenly set off for Lonaround all his actions. Some expres don under circumstances of great sussions of equivocal tendency which he picion. Of his daughter he could obtain employed on one occasion, though no intelligence, and he had wandered their meaning was easily explained forth without having

formed any resoaway to the credulous girl, produced, lution, when we had the fortune to ju the old man a rooted aversion to meet. The description which he gave his company and proposals ; he was me of his Jeanie,

as he called her, struck accordingly forbidden the house. me forcibly. Since the date which From this moment a change was evi he assigned as that of Johnstone's dent in Jeanie's conduct, and though departure, I had seen such a one she still looked upon the attending her stealing every evening in the twilight father as a pleasure, yet she had tast into an obscure court oppositc my ed enjoyments more congenial to the window. There was altogether a degaiety of youth; the whispers of love licacy in her appearance which ill and sentiment were to her more agreea suited the meanness of her habitae able than the querulous tones of age tion, while the faded colour of her even in a father; besides, she considered cheek reminded me of her who “pined

in thought." Ever passing my win- 'ment and disgrace, had brought on a dow at the same hour and in the fever' which cut her off in the very same dress, she had become to me a blossom of her days. She had write subject of periodical interest, and I ten once to her father, and entrusted felt strangely disappointed when for the letter to a carrier, but it had never some nights past she had ceased to reached the place of its destination, make her appearance at the usual and the apparent neglect and unfor time. Impressed with the idea that giveness of a parent had contributed Jeanie and the object of my frequent in no small degree to the melancholy conjecture were one and the same, I event. mentioned the circunstance to the In this narrative there is nothing old man, and we proceeded together new to excite a jailed appetite, noto the house I had so often marked. thing elegant to please a fastidious The moment I crossed the threshold, taste; but surely there is much that my heart sunk within me; there was is interesting touch a feeling heart. all around that oppressive stillness ! I shall never forget the look of which accompanies death, and an aw that hapless father as he viewed his ful presentiment took possession of “all too luckless child." He has one my soul. We were admitted by a only consolation-she died virtuous. decent looking woman, who, on being But why have I entered on the greatasked whether Jeanie Eastdale was ness of his griefs, or the slenderthere, replied, " Aye, she's here, and ness of his consolations ? Will they yet she's no here; I trust her better be made to feel, who look with listpairt is in a better place.” On this lessness on the spectacle of misery imthe unhappy man rushed past us into ploring their pity in the speechless the middle of the apartment, and cast fanguage of its own dejection ? Will his eyes wildly around till they rested they open their bosoms, who have on the lifeless remains of his daugh- armed themselves against the impulses ter. She, I was informed, had taken of nature by the expedients of heartlodgings there, on her discovering the less speculation ? Will those orators character of Johnstone and the nature confess their real sentiments, who, in of his regards for her; and here she the pomp of their haughty and unhad been obliged to stop in hopes that candid declamations, have fixed the her needle would procure for her the stamp of insignificancy on the purmeans of returning home, but before suits of human life and the workings that could be done, she had incurred of human affection ? No! but the a debt of about two pounds. In order benevolent man will give full scope to to pay this she suffered privations, his feelings, and he will find himself which, together with her disappointo the better for it.

V. V. V.

ORIGINAL POETRY.

NAPOLEON.- From the French.) The following is a pretty correct version of one of the numerous poems on the Death of Napoleon, at present in circulation at Paris. It is a curious proof of the fond and devoted attachment with which the memory of that "Mighty Murderer" is still cherished by his deluded follow ers.

NOBLE spirit, hast thou fled,
Is thy glorious journey sped,
Thy days of brightness numbered, -

Soul of dread sublimity!
Hast thou burst thy prison bands,
T'win'd round thee by coward hands,
Hast thou fled to other lands,

Where thou must-thou wilt be free?
Tyrants ! cowards ! mark the day,
Even now 'tis on the way,
When

your names, to scorý a prey,
Shall live with endless infimy !

Hark, 'tis victory's deathless knell!
Lodi shall remember well !-
Austerlitz! Marengo ! tell

Of his glorious chivalry!
Tell his deeds by field and flood !
Witness river, mountain, wood !
Show his path of fire and blood,

That burned behind him gloriously!
Alas that hero's life should close
In languid, fameless, dull repose,
Far from the contest that bestows

On mortals immortality.
Alas that he, the great, the brave,
Should fill a hermit's bloodless grave,
Where never rolled the hallowing wave

Of battle and of victory!
He should have died on bloody field,
Where column after column wheel'd,
Where cannon roar'd and charger reeld,

Amid destruction's revelry,
He should have laid his glorious head
Amid the wreck himself had made,
Ten thousand corpses round him spread,

The flower of all his enemy,
Spirit of undying name,
Endless honour thou shalt claim,
Whilst thy foes unknown to fame,

Shall weep in cold obscurity !
Glory's hallow'd light divine
Ever on thy head shall shine,
And valour's heart will be thy shrine,
Thy portion vast futurity !

X. X. X.

THE PEDLAR BOY.

Ma Editor, The following ballad is founded on a late very affecting circumstance which took place in the county of Dumfries. If you think it worthy of a place in your Magazine, it is entirely at your service.

O'er Eskdalemuir, by Eskdale's stream,

Who sauntered blythe along?
'Twas Elliot, the poor pedlar boy,

That hummed his cheerful song.
He was a cherish'd child of love,

And o'er his cradled head,
How many fervent prayers were pour’d,

And tears of fondness shed.
Health mantled on his blooming cheek,

Hope sparkled in his eye,
Till fever banished health and hope,
But Elliot did not die.

« AnteriorContinuar »