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“THE Jews, more numerous in Po. reign relative to them, land than in any other country, multiply his prudence with experience, every day, and already form a very import abuses, however, have been in some degree ant part of the population of the country.* repressed by placing checks upon the maSober, economical, and industrious, they nufacture and sale of spirits by the Jews, would have all the qualities essential in who made this traffic a terrible engine in mercantile traffic, were their character free the corruption and ruin of the peasantry, of from the tarnish of craftiness, a want of whose property they thus obtained the disgood faith, and the trickery which they em- posal. They have also, in general, beert ploy in their transactions. Having inte- ejected by the country gentlemen, from the rest only for their guide, they are as yet inns which they formerly tenanted, and far from meriting that consideration and which they kept in the state of desolation confidence which is usually granted in com- and discomfort we have already described, merce; and yet they have contrived to get and which rendered it necessary to carry possession of the principal share of the in- beds, kitchen utensils, and provisions on ternal traffic, that great branch of national every journey. In this state of things, riches. They might thereby come to con- (which is now in a great measure done stitute one of the chief links of society, if away,) it is pleasing to know that the detheir religion, their laws, and their customs,' ficiencies of the inns were counterbalanced did not prescribe to them interests abso- by the hospitality of the gentry, where the lutely ecxlusive in their nature. It is this traveller was sought for, and met with that absolute insulation, spiritual and personal, welcome and attention, that affability and if I may so speak, that makes them a se politeness, which have ever characterized parate people in the very heart of Poland. The nation of Poland.” Probably this is the source of that hatred and contempt with which they are treated,
We take leave of this little work by and which, instead of modifying
by degrees saying, that it is elegantly got up, both all that is pernicious to society in their si in typography and embellishments; tuation, only serves to concentrate them still that it is usefully and neatly put toa more.t The Jews have hitherto proved a gether, and that it contains ten times stumbling-block to our legislators, and no- as much information as is generally to thing has been done by the present sove- be found in such publications.
“There have in the last two years (1819, 1820,) appeared many works dedicated to the improvement of this people. The counsellor Müller, a literary character of distinction, promises a work on this subject, which is eagerly expected by the public."
+ These observations apply to the Jews throughout the world; and, though charity would look forward with hope to an amendment as well of their faith and character, as of their condition in society, we behold with awe, in their present insulated, and, alas ! detested situation, the accomplishment of prophecy, and the fulfilment of the curse which hangs over them.
A NEW EDITION OF DON QUIXOTE.* We have no intention or inclination new edition of Don Quixote-general to entertain our readers with any re- attention, we are quite sure, it must, marks of our own on the great master- ere long, command, and general fapiece of Cervantes. Indeed nothing, vour, we think, almost as certainly, we think, can be more sickening than We have had in England no less than the affectation, not uncommon among four distinct translations of the best our modern reviewers, of entering use of all romances, and none of them bad on long disquisitions concerning the ones; but it strikes us as something merits of authors quite familiar to all very strange, that until now we should the world-whose fame is settled never have had any edition whatever whose works are immortal-to be ig- of any one of these translations, connorant of whom is to be ignorant of taining notes, to render the text intelevery thing.
ligible. The few miserable scraps come We cannot, however, omit the op- monly found at the foot of the page, in portunity of calling attention to this the editions either of Smollett or Mot
"The History of that ingenious Gentleman, Don Quixote de la Mancha ; translated from the Spanish, by Motteux. A new Edition, with Copious Notes ; and an Essay on the Life and Writings of Cervantes. In five volumes, 8vo; Hurst, Robinson, and Co. London ; Constable and Co. Edinburgh. Vol. XI.
both of which have been produced thy of his admiration. In our own com within the last thirty years, conse- try, almost every tliing that any sensible quently long subsequent to the date of man would wish to hear said about Don the last and best English LIFE--that Quixote has been said over and over again written by Smollett. The author by writers, whose sentiments I should be concludes his disquisition in these sorry to repeat without their words and
whose words I should scarcely be pardoned terms:
for repeating. “ Even had Cervantes died without wri- “ Mr Spence, the author of a late inge. ting Don Quixote, his plays, (aboye all, nious tour in Spain, seems to believe, what his Interludes and his Numancia ;) his I should have supposed was entirely exGalatea, the beautiful dream of his youth; ploded, that Cervantes wrote his books for his Persiles, the last effort of his chastened the purpose of ridiculing knight-errantry ; and purified taste ; and his fine poem of and that, unfortunately for his country, his the Voyage of Parnassus, must have given satire put out of fashion, not merely the him at least the second place in the most
absurd misdirection of the spirit of heroism, productive age of Spanish genius. In re
but that sacred spirit itself. But the pracgard to all the graces of Castilian compo. tice of knight-errantry, if ever there was sition, even these must have left him with such a thing, had, it is well known, been out a rival, either in that, or in any other out of date long before the age in which age of the literature of his country. For, Don Quixote appeared ; and as for the while all the other great Spanish authors spirit of heroism, I think few will sympaof the brilliant CENTURY of Spain, (from thize with the critic who deems it possible 1560 to 1656,) either deformed their wri. that an individual, to say nothing of a natings by utter carelessness, or weakened tion, should have imbibed any contempt, them by a too studious imitation of foreign either for that or any other elevating prin. models, Cervantes alone seized the happy ciple of our nature, from the manly page medium, and was almost from the begin. of Cervantes. One of the greatest triumphs ning of his career, Spanish without rude of his skill is the success with which he ness, and graceful without stiffness or af. continually prevents us from confounding fectation. As a master of Spanish style, the absurdities of the knight-errant with he is now, both in and out of Spain, ac- the generous aspirations of the cavalier. knowledged to be first without a second; For the last, even in the midst of madness, but this, which might have secured the im- we respect Don Quixote himself. We pity mortality and satisfied the ambition of any the delusion, we laugh at the situation, but man, is, after all, scarcely worthy of being we revere, in spite of every ludicrous acmentioned in regard to the great creator of companiment, and of every insane exertion, the only species of writing which can be the noble spirit of the Castillian gentle. considered as the peculiar property of mo. man; and we feel in every page, that we dern genius. In that spacious field, of are perusing the work, not of a heartless which Cervantes must be honoured as the scoffer, a cold blooded satirist, but of a first discoverer, the finest spirits of his own, calm and enlightened mind, in which true and of every other European country, havé wisdom had grown up by the side of true since been happily and successfully em. experience, of one whose genius moved ployed. The whole body of modern ro. in a sphere too lofty for mere derision-of mance and novel writers must be consider- one who knew human nature too well not ed as his followers and imitators ; but to respect it-of one, finally, who, beneath among them all, so varied and so splendid a mask of apparent lenity, aspired to comsoever as have been their merits, it is, per- mune with the noblest principles of hu. haps, not going too far to say, that, as yet, manity; and, above all, to give form and Cervantes has found but one rival.
expression to the noblest feelings of the “The learned editor of the Spanish national character of Spain. The idea of Academy's edition of 1781 has thought fit giving a ludicrous picture of an imaginary to occupy the space of a very considerable personage, conceiving himself to be called volume with an inquiry into the particular upon, in the midst of modern manners and merits of Don Quixote. I refer to his la- institutions, to exercise the perilous vocaborious dissertation all those who are un- tion of an Amadis or a Belianis, might willing to admire any thing without know- perhaps have occurred to a hundred men ing why they admire it or rather, why an as easily as to Cervantes. The same geerudite Doctor of Madrid deemed it wor- neral idea has been at the root of many
As a specimen of the style of his criticisms take this : he approves of the introduce *tion of a Roque Guinart in Don Quixote, because in the Odyssey there is a Polypher mus, and in the Æneid there is a Cacus. And yet this man must have at least read Cervantes' own preface to his work, in which that pedantic species of criticism is so powerhally ridiculed, “ If thou namest any giant in the book, forget not Goliah of Gath," &e.
subsequent works, written in derision of of pelf that lias drawn him from his vil. real or imaginary follies ; but Cervantes lage—the 'insula which has been promised is distinguished from the authors of all by his master to him--and which he does these works, not merely by the originality not think of the less, because he does not of his general corception and plan, but as know what it is, and because he does know strongly, and far more admirably, by the that it has been promised by a madman. nature of the superstructure he has reared The contrasts perpetually afforded by the upon the basis of his initiatory fiction. characters of Quixote and Sancho,--the
“ Others have been content with the dis- contrasts not less remarkable between the play of wit, satire, eloquence—and some secondary objects and individuals introof them have displayed all these with the duced—as these are in reality, and as they most admirable skill and power ; but he appear to the hero,—all the contrasts in a who rises from the perusal of Don Quixote, work where, more successfully than in any thinks of the wit, the satire, the eloquence other, the art of contrast has been exhibitof Cervantes, but as the accessories and ed, --would be comparatively feeble and lesser ornaments of a picture of national ineffectual, but for the never-failing conlife and manners, by far the most perfect trast between the idea of the book, and the and glowing that was ever embodied in one style in which it is written. Never was the piece of composition,-a picture, the pos- fleeting essence of wit so richly embalmed session of which alone will be sufficient to for eternity. preserve, in freshness and honour, the Spa. “ In our time, it is certain, almost all nish name and character, even after the last readers must be contented to lose a great traces of that once noble character may part of the delight with which Don Quixote have been obliterated, and perhaps that was read on its first appearance. The class name itself forgotten among the fantastic of works, to parody and ridicule which it innovations of a degenerated people. Don was Cervantes' first and most evident purQuixote is thus the peculiar property, as pose, has long since passed into almost to. well as the peculiar pride of the Spaniards. tal oblivion ; and therefore a thousand traits In another, and in a yet larger point of of felicitous satire must needs escape the view, it is the property and pride of the notice even of those best able to seize the whole of the cultivated world—for Don general scope, and appreciate the general Quixote is not merely to be regarded as a merits of the history of The Ingenious Hi. Spanish cavalier, filled with a Spanish dalgo, Mr Southey's admirable editions madness, and exhibiting that madness in of Amadis de Gaul, and Palmerin of Eng. the eyes of Spaniards of every condition land, have indeed revived among us someand rank of life, from the peasant to the thing of the once universal taste for the old grandee,he is also the type of a more and stately prose romance of chivalry ;universal madness-he is the symbol of but it must be had in mind that Cervantes Imagination, continually struggling and wrote his book for the purpose not of saticontrasted with Reality-he represents the rizing these works-which are among the eternal warfare between Enthusiasm and most interesting relics of the rich, fanciful, Necessity--the eternal discrepancy between and lofty genius of the middle ages-bat the aspirations and the occupations of man of extirpating the race of slavish imitators, -the omnipotence and the vanity of hu, who, in his day, were deluging all Europe, man dreams. And thus, perhaps, it is not and more particularly Spain, with eternal too much to say, that Don Quixote, the caricatures of the venerable old romance. wittiest and the most laughable of all books Of the Amadis, (the plan and outline of a book which has made many a one, he, which he for the most part parodied meresides the young student on the banks of ly because it was the best known work of the Manzanares, look as if he were out of its order,) Cervantes has been especially kimself-is a book, upon the whole, cal- careful to record his own high admiration ; culated to produce something very differ, and if the Canon of Toledo be introduced, ent from a merely mirthful impression. as is generally supposed, to express the
“ The serious style of Don Quixote, in opinions of Cervantes himself, the author the original language, preserves the most of Don Quixote had certainly, at one peperfect harmony with this seriousness of riod of his life, entertained some thoughts purpose. The solemn, eloquent, impas- of writing, not a humorous parody, but a sioned Don Quixote, the shrewd, earth. serious imitation, of the Amadis. seeking, yet affectionate Sancho, do not “ I shall conclude what I have to say of fill us with mirth, because they seem to be the author of Don Quixote with one re. mirthful themselves. From the beginning mark-namely, that Cervantes was an old of the book to the end, they are both in- man when he wrote șis masterpiece of cotensely serious characters the one never mic romance ; that nobody has ever writloses sight of the high destinies to which ten successful novels, when young, but he has devoted himself-the other wanders Smollett ; and that Humphrey Clinker, amidst sierras and moonlight forests, and written in the last year of Smollett's life, glides on the beautiful stream of the Ebro, is, in every particular of conception, exewithout forgetting for a moment the hope cution, and purpose, as much superior to
Roderick Random, as Don Quixote is to him, collected from chronicles and the Galatea.
ballads. We shall quote part of the “It remains to say a few words concern- first note in which he is mentioned. ing this new edition of the first of modern “ Bernardo del Carpio. Of this perromances. The translation is that of Mot- sonage, we find little or nothing in the teux-and this has been preferred, sim- French romances of Charlemagne. He beply because, in spite of many defects and longs exclusively to Spanish History, or inaccuracies, it is by far the most spirited. rather to Spanish Romance; in which the Shelton, the oldest of all our translators, is honour is claimed for him of slaying the the only one entitled to be compared with famous Orlando, or Roland, the nephew Motteux. Perhaps he is even more suc- of Charlemagne, in the fatal field of Roncessful in imitating the serious air' of cesvalles. His history is as follows : Cervantes; but it is much to be doubted, 6 The continence which procured for whether the English reader of our time Alonzo, who succeeded to the precarious would not be more wearied with the obso- throne of the Christians, in the Asturias, lete turns of his phraseology, than delight- about 795, the epithet of The Chaste, was ed with its occasional felicities.
not universal in his family. By an intrigue 66 In the Notes appended to these vo- with Sancho, Count of Saldenha, Donna, lumes, an attempt has been made to furnish Ximena, sister of this virtuous prince, bore a complete explanation of the numerous Some historians attempt to gloss historical allusions in Don Quixote, as well cver this incident by alleging that a prias of the particular traits in romantic wri.
vate marriage had taken place betwixt
the ting, which it was Cervantes' purpose to lovers ; but King Alphonso, who was well ridicule in the person of his hero. With- nigh sainted for living only in platonic out having access to such information as union with his own wife Bertha, took the has now been thrown together, it may be scandal greatly to heart. He shut the pecdoubted whether any English reader has cant princess up in a cloister, and impri. ever been able thoroughly to seize and com soned her gallant in the Castle of Luna, mand the meaning of Cervantes through where he caused him to be deprived of out his inimitable fiction. From the Spa- sight. Fortunately, his wrath did not exnish editions of Bowle, Pellicer, and the tend to the offspring of their stolen affecAcademy, the greater part of the materials tions, the famous Bernardo del Carpio. has been extracted; but a very considera- When the youth had grown up to manble portion, and perhaps not the least in- hood, Alphonso, according to the Spanish teresting, has been sought for in the old historians, invited the Emperor Charle. histories and chronicles, with which the magne into Spain, and aving neglected to Spaniards of the 16th century were familiar. raise up heirs for the kingdom of the Goths Of the many old Spanish ballads, quoted in the ordinary manner, he proposed the or alluded to by Don Quixote and Sancho inheritance of his throne as the price of the Panza, metrical translations have uniform- alliance of Charles. But the nobility, headly been inserted in the Notes ; and as by ed by Bernardo del Carpio, remonstrated far the greater part of these compositions against the king's choice of a successor, and are altogether new to the English public, would on no account consent to receive a it is hoped this part of the work may afford Frenchman as heir of their crown. Alsome pleasure to those who delight in com- phonso himself repented of the invitation paring the early literatures of the different he had given to Charlemagne, and when nations of Christendom.”
that champion of Christendom came to exWe shall now proceed to give a few pel the Moors from Spain, he found the
conscientious and chaste Alphonso had specimens of the notes appended to united with the infidels against him. An these volumes. They are very copious; engagement took place in the renowned commonly as much as 40 or 50 close- pass of Roncesvalles, in which the French ly-printed pages to each of the five were defeated, and the celebrated Roland, volumes of which the edition consists. or Orlando, was slain. The victory was
The name of BERNARD DE CARPIO, ascribed chiefly to the prowess of Bernardo appears continually in the text of Don del Carpio. Quixote; but, except the satisfactory
" In several of the old ballads, which renota bene, given at the foot of one page, cord the real or imaginary feats of Bernarviz. “ This was an old Spanish Cap- do, his royal uncle is represented as having tain, much renowned in their ballads shewn but little gratitude, for the great and chronicles," no attempt had ever
champion's services, in the campaign been made to introduce the English king had not relented in favour of Don
against Charlemagne. It appears that the reader into any acquaintance with him. Sancho, although he had come under some Among these notes, we find a great promise of that sort to his son, at the pemany curious particulars concerning riod when his (the son's) services were