Imágenes de páginas

manual of every Spaniard. He may add to it the ancient sto- tremble, the sunne and the moon shall be dark, and the starres ries of Numantia and Saguntom; let him sleep upon the book shall withdraw their shining." as a pillow, and, if he be a devout adherent to the religion of In verse 20th also, which announces the retreat of the norhis country, let him wear it in his bosom for his crucifix to rest thern army, described in such dreadful colors, into a “land upon."-WORDSWORTH on the Convention of Cintra barren and desolate," and the dishonor with which God afflict

ed them for having "magnified themselves to do great things," these are particulars not inapplicable to the retreat of Massena ; -Divine Providence having, in all ages, attached disgrace as

the natural punishment of cruelty and presumption. NOTE N. The Vault of Destiny.-P. 280. Before finally dismissing the enchanted cavern of Don Roderick, it may be noticed, that the legend occurs in one of Cal

NOTE P. deron's plays, entitled, La Virgin del Sagrario. The scene opens with the noise of the chase, and Recisundo, a predeces

The rudest sentine, in Britain born, sor of Roderick upon the Gothic throne, enters pursuing a stag.

With horror paused to view the havoc done, The animal assumes the form of a man, and defies the king to

Gave his poor crust to feed some wretch forlorn.-P. 281. enter the cave, which forms the bottom of the scene, and en- Even the unexampled gallantry of the British army in the gage with him in single combat. The king accepts the chal- campaign of 1810-11, although they never fought but to conlenge, and they engage accordingly, but without advantage on quer, will do them less honor in history than their humanity, either side, which induces the Genie to inform Recisundo, that attentive to soften to the utmost of their power the horrors he is not the monarch for whom the adventure of the enchant- which war, in its mildest aspect, must always inflict upon the ed cavem is reserved, and he proceeds to predict the downfall defenceless inhabitants of the country in which it is waged, of the Gothic monarchy, and of the Christian religion, which and which, on this occasion, were tenfold augmented by the shall attend the discovery of its mysteries. Recisando, ap- barbarous cruelties of the French. Soap-kitchens were estabpalled by these prophecies, orders the cavern to be secured by lished by subscription among the officers, wherever the troops a gate and bolts of iron. In the second part of the same play, were quartered for any length of time. The commissaries conwe are informed that Don Roderick had removed the barrier, tributed the heads, feet, &c. of the cattle slaughtered for the and transgressed the prohibition of his ancestor, and had been soldiery : rice, vegetables, and bread, where it could be bad, apprized by the prodigies which he discovered of the approach- were purchased by the officers. Fifty or sixty starving peasing rain of his kingdom

ants were daily fed at one of these regimental establishments, and carried home the relics to their famishing households. The emaciated wretches, who could not crawl from weakness, were speedily employed in pruning their vines. While pursuing

Massena, the soldiers evinced the same spirit of humanity, and NOTE O.

in many instances, when reduced themselves to short allowance, While downward on the land his legions press,

from having out

marched their supplies, they shared their pitBefore them it was rich with dine and flock,

tance with the starving inhabitants, who had ventured back to Sad smiled like Edon in her summer dress;

view the ruins of their habitations, burnt by the retreating enBehind their wasteful march, a reeking wilderness.-P. 281.

emy, and to bury the bodies of their relations whom they had

butchered. Is it possible to know such facts without feeling a I have ventured to apply to the movements of the French sort of confidence, that those who so well deserve victory are army that sublime passage in the prophecies of Joel, which most likely to attain it ?-It is not the least of Lord WellingHeems applicable to them in more respects than that I have ton's military merits, that the slightest disposition towards maadopted in the text. One would think their ravages, their mil- randing meets immediate punishment. Independently of all itary appointments, the terror which they spread among invaded moral obligation, the army which is most orderly in a friendly nations, their military discipline, their arts of political intrigue country, has always proved most formidable to an armed enand deceit, were distinctly pointed out in the following verses

emy. of Scripture :

** 2. A day of darknesse and of gloominesse, a day of clouds and of thick darknesse, as the morning spread upon the mountains; a great people and a strong, there hath not been ever the like, neither shall be any more after it, even to the yeares

NOTE Q. of many generations. 3. A fire devoureth before them, and behind them a flame barneth ; the land is as the garden of

Vain-glorious fugitive !-P. 282. Eden before them, and behinde them a desolate wilderness, The French conducted this memorable retreat with much of yea, and nothing shall escape them. 4. The appearance of the fanfarronade proper to their country, by which they atthem is as the appearance of horses and as horsemen, so shall tempt to impose upon others, and perhaps on themselves, a bethey runne. 5. Like the noise of chariots on the tops of moun- lief that they are triumphing in ihe very moment of their distains, shall they leap, like the noise of a flame of fire that de- comfiture. On the 30th March, 1811, their rear guard was voureth the stubble, as a strong people set in battel array. overtaken near Pega by the British cavalry. Being well posted, 6. Before their face shall the people be much pained ; all faces and conceiving themselves safe from infantry (who were indeed shall gather blacknesse. 7. They shall run like mighty men, many miles in the rear), and from artillery, they indulged themthey shall climb the wall like men of warre, and they shall selves in parading their bands of music, and actually performed march every one in his wayes, and they shall not break their “God save the King.” Their minstrelsy was, however, de raaks. 8. Neither shall one thrust another, they shall walk ranged by the undesired accompaniment of the British horseevery one in his path : and when they fall upon the sword, artillery, on whose part in the concert they had not calculated. they shall not be wounded. 9. They shall run to and fro in The surprise was sudden, and the rout complete ; for the artilthe citie ; they shall run upon the wall, they shall climbe up up-lery and cavalry did execution upon them for about four miles, on the houses : they shall enter in at the windows like a thief. pursuing at the gallop as often as they got beyond the range of 10. The earth shall quake before them, the heavens shall

the guns.


Wellington and his fellow-soldiers well deserved the laurels

they have won :-nor is there one British heart, we believe, Vainly thy squadrons hide Assuava's plain,

that will not feel proud and grateful for all the honors with And front the flying thunders as they roar,

which British genius can invest their names. In the praises With frantic charge and ten fold odds, in vain !--P. 282.

which Mr. Scott has bestowed, therefore, his readers will

sympathize; but for those which he has withheld, there are In the severe action of Fuentes d'Honoro, upon 5th May, some that will not so readily forgive him: and in our eyes we 1811, the grand mass of the French cavalry attacked the right will confess, it is a sin not easily to be expiated, that in a poem of the British position, covered by two guns of the horse-artil- written substantially for the purpose of commemorating the lery, and two squadrons of cavalry. After suffering considera- brave who have fought or fallen in Spain or Portugal-and bly from the fire of the guns, which annoyed them in every at- written by a Scotchman-there should be no mention of the tempt at formation, the enemy turned their wrath entirely to- name of MOORE !--of the only commander-in-chief who has wards them, distributed brandy among their troopers, and ad- fallen in this memorable contest ;--of a commander who was vanced to carry the field-pieces with the desperation of drunken acknowledged as the model and pattern of a British soldier, fury. They were in nowise checked by the heavy loss which when British soldiers stood most in need of such an example: they sustained in this daring attempt, but closed, and fairly --and was, at the same time, distinguished not less for every mingled with the British cavalry, to whom they bore the pro- manly virtue and generous affection, than for skill and gallantry portion of ten to one. Captain Ramsay (let me be permitted in his profession. A more pure, or a more exalted character, to name a gallant countryman), who commanded the two guns, certainly has not appeared upon that scene which Mr. Scott dismissed them at the gallop, and putting himself at the head has sought to illustrate with the splendor of his genius ; and it of the mounted artillerymen, ordered them to fall upon the is with a mixture of shame and indignation that we find him French, sabre-in-hand. This very unexpected conversion of grudging a single ray of that profuse and readily yielded glory artillerymen into dragpons, contributed greatly to the defeat of to gild the grave of his lamented countryman. To offer a larthe enemy, already disconcerted by the reception they had met ish tribute of praise to the living, whose task is still incomplete, from the two British squadrons; and the appearance of some may be generous and munificent ;—but to departed merit, it is small reinforcements, notwithstanding the immense dispropor- due in strictness of justice. Who will deny that Sir Joha tion of force, put them to absolute rout. A colonel or major Moore was all that we have now said of him? or who will of their cavalry, and many prisoners (almost all intoxicated), doubt that his untimely death in the hour of victory would remained in our possession. Those who consider for a moment have been eagerly seized upon by an impartial poet, as a noble the difference of the services, and how much an artilleryman is theme for generous lamentation and eloquent praise ? But Mr. necessarily and naturally led to identify his own safety and Scott's political friends have fancied it for their interest to cautility with abiding by the tremendous implement of war, to lumniate the memory of this illustrious and accomplished per the exercise of which he is chiefly, if not exclusively trained, son,--and Mr. Scott has permitted the spirit of party to stand will know how to estimate the presence of mind which com- in the way, not only of poetical justice, but of patriotic and manded so bold a manæuvre, and the steadiness and confidence generous feeling. with which it was executed.

“It is this for which we grieve, and feel ashamed ;-this hardening and deadening effect of political animosities, in eases where politics should have nothing to do ;-this apparent perhis harp would otherwise have rung over a field of glory such estimated from the general opinion of officers of unquestioned as Britain never reaped before ; and on Lord Byron's account. talents and experience, possessed of every opportunity of infor–because it is melancholy to see a man of genius duped by the mation ; how completely the experiment has succeeded, and mere cant of words and phrases, even when facts are most how much the spirit and patriotism of our ancient allies had broadly confronted with them. If the poet has mixed with the been underrated, is evident, not only from those victories in original, wild, and magnificent creations of his imagination, which they have borne a distinguished share, but from the libprejadices which he could only have caught by the contagion eral and highly honorable manner in which these opinions have which he most professes to despise, it is he himself that must been retracted. The success of this plan, with all its important be the loser. If his lofty muse has soared in all her brilliancy consequences, we owe to the indefatigable exertions of Fieldover the field of Waterloo without dropping even one leaf of Marshal Beresford. laurel on the head of Wellington, his merit can dispense even with the praise of Lord Byron. And as when the images of Brutas were excluded from the triumphal procession, his memory became only the more powerfully imprinted on the souls of

version, not merely of the judgment, but of the heart ;--this imNOTE S.

placable resentment, which wars not only with the living, but

with the dead ;—and thinks it a reason for defrauding a deAnd what avails thee that, for Cameron slain,

parted warrior of his glory, that a political antagonist has been Wild from his plaided ranks the yell was given.-P. 282.

zealous in his praise. These things are lamentable, and they The gallant Colonel Cameron was wounded mortally during cannot be alluded to without some emotions of sorrow and rethe desperate contest in the streets of the village called Fuentes sentment. But they affect not the fame of him on whose acd'Honoro. He fell at the head of his native Highlanders, the count these emotions are suggested. The wars of Spain, and 71st and 79th, who raised a dreadful shriek of grief and rage. the merits of Sir John Moore, will be commemorated in a more They charged, with irresistible fury, the finest body of French impartial and a more imperishable record, than the Vision of grenadiers ever seen, being a part of Bonaparte's selected Don Roderick; and his humble monument in the Citadel of guard. The officer who led the French, a man remarkable for Corunna will draw the tears and the admiration of thousands, stature and symmetry, was killed on the spoi. The French- who concern not themselves about the exploits of his more forman who stepped out of his rank to take aim at Colonel Cam- tunate associates."--Edinburgh Review, vol. xviii. 1811. eron was also bayoneted, pierced with a thousand wounds, and The reader who desires to understand Sir Walter Scott's dealmost torn to pieces by the furious Highlanders, who, under liberate opinion on the subject of Sir John Moore's military the command of Colonel Cadogan, bore the enemy out of the character and conduct, is referred to the Life of Napoleon contested ground at the point of the bayonet. Massena pays Bonaparte, vol. vi. chap. xlvi. But perhaps it may be neither my countrymen a singular compliment in his account of the at- unamusing nor uninstructive to consider, along with the diatack and defence of this village, in which he says the British tribe just quoted from the Edinburgh Review, some reflections lost many officers, and Scotch.

from the pen of Sir Walter Scott himself on the injustice done to a name greater than Moore's in the noble stanzas on the Battle of Waterloo, in the third canto of Childe Harold-an

injustice which did not call forth any rebuke from the EdinNOTE T.

burgh critics. Sir Walter, in reviewing this canto, said,

"Childe Harold arrives on Waterloo-a scene where all But you, ye heroes of that well-fought day, &c.-P. 282.

men, where a poet especially, and a poet such as Lord Byron [The Edinburgh Reviewer offered the following remarks on must needs pause, and amid the quiet simplicity of whose what he considered as an unjust omission in this part of the scenery is excited a moral interest, deeper and more potent even poem :

than that which is produced by gazing upon the sublimesi “We are not very apt,” he says, “ to quarrel with a poet efforts of Nature in her most romantic recesses. for his politics; and really supposed it next to impossible that “ That Lord Byron's sentiments do not correspond with Mr. Scott should have given us any ground of dissatisfaction ours, is obvious, and we are sorry for both our sakes. For our on this score, in the management of his present theme. Lord own-because we have lost that note of triumpb evith which

NOTE V. the Romans-the name of the British hero will be but more eagerly recalled to remembrance by the very lines in which his

-a race renown'd of old, praise is forgotten.”-Quarterly Review, vol. xvi. 1816.

W hose war-cry oft has waked the battle-swell.

-the conquering shout of Greme.-P. 283.
This stanza alludes to the various achievements of the war.

like family of Græme, or Grahame. They are said, by tradiNOTE U.

tion, to have descended from the Scottish chief, under whose

command his country men stormed the wall built by the Einwho shall grudge him Albuera's bays,

peror Severus between the Friths of Forth and Clyde, the Who brought a race regenerate to the field,

fragments of which are still popularly called Grame's Dyke. Roused them to emulate their fathers' praise,

Sir John the Græme, “the hardy wight, and wise," is well Temper'd their headlong rage, their courage steel'd,

known as the friend of Sir William Wallace, Alderne, KilAnd raised fair Lusitania's fallen shield.-P. 282.

sythe, and Tibbermuir, were scenes of the victories of the beNothing during the war of Portugal seems, to a distinct ob- roic Marquis of Montrose. The pass of Killycrankie is famous server, more deserving of praise, than the self-devotion of for the action between King William's forces and the HighField-Marshal Beresford, who was contented to undertake all landers in 1689, the bazard of obloquy which might have been founded upon any miscarriage in the highly important experiment of training “Where glad Dundee in faint huzzas expired." the Portuguese troops to an improved state of discipline. In exposing his military reputation to the censure of imprudence It is seldom that one line can number so many heroes, and from the most moderate, and all manner of unatterable calum- yet more rare when it can appeal to the glory of a living denies from the ignorant and malignant, he placed at stake the scendant in support of its ancient renown. dearest pledge which a military man had to offer, and nothing The allusions to the private history and character of General but the deepest conviction of the high and essential importance Grahame, may be illustrated by referring to the eloquent and attached to success can be supposed an adequate motive. affecting speech of Mr. Sheridan, upon the vote of thanks to How great the chance of miscarriage was supposed, may be the Victor of Barosa.

R o k e by:


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ple like, and so forth, it is all a joke. Be interest NOTICE TO EDITION 1833.

ing; do the thing well, and the only difference Sir Walter Scott commenced the composition will be, that people will like what they never of Rokeby at Abbotsford, on the 15th of Sep- liked before, and will like it so much the better tember, 1812, and finished it on the last day of the for the novelty of their feelings towards it. ] Dut following December.

ness and tameness are the only irreparable faults. The reader may be interested with the following extracts from his letters to his friend and December 31st.-With kindest wishes on the printer, Mr. Ballantyne.

return of the season, I send you the last of the

copy of Rokeby. If you are not engaged at home, Abbotsford, 28th Oct., 1812. and like to call in, we will drink good luck to it; “ DEAR JAMES,—I send you to-day better than but do not derange a family party. the third sheet of Canto II., and I trust to send “There is something odd and melancholy in conthe other three sheets in the course of the week. cluding a poem with the year, and I could be alI expect that you will have three cantos complete most silly and sentimental about it. I hope you before I quit this place-on the 11th of Novem- think I have done my best. I assure you of my ber. Surely, if you do your part, the poem may wishes the work may succeed; and my exertions be out by Christmas; but you must not daudle to get out in time were more inspired by your inover your typographical scruples. I have too terest and John's, than my own.

And so vogue much respect for the public to neglect any thing la galère.

W. S." in my poem to attract their attention; and you misunderstood me much when you supposed that

INTRODUCTION TO EDITION 1830. I designed any new experiments in point of composition. I only meant to say that knowing well that Between the publication of “The Lady of the the said public will never be pleased with exactly Lake," which was so eminently successful, and the same thing a second time, I saw the necessity that of “ Rokeby,” in 1813, three years had interof giving a certain degree of novelty, by throwing vened. I shall not, I believe, be accused of ever the interest more on character than in my former having attempted to usurp a superiority over poems, without certainly meaning to exclude either many men of genius, my contemporaries; but, in incident or description. I think you will see the point of popularity, not of actual talent, the casame sort of difference taken in all my former po- price of the public had certainly given me such a ems, of which I would say, if it is fair for me to temporary superiority over men, of whom, in resay any thing, that the force in the Lay is thrown gard to poetical fancy and feeling, I scarcely on style, in Marmion on description, and in the thought myself worthy to loose the shoe-latch. Lady of the Lake on incident.”

On the other hand, it would be absurd affectation

in me to deny, that I conceived myself to under“30 November.-As for my story, the conduct stand, more perfectly than many of my contempo of the plot, which must be made natural and easy, raries, the manner most likely to interest the great prevents my introducing any thing light for some mass of mankind. Yet, even with this belief, I time. You must advert, that in order to give must truly and fairly say, that I always considered poetical effect to any incident, I am often obliged myself rather as one who held the bets, in time to to be much longer than I expected in the detail. be paid over to the winner, than as having any You are too much like the country squire in the pretence to keep them in my own right. what d'ye call it, who commands that the play In the mean time years crept on, and not withshould not only be a tragedy and comedy, but out their usual depredations on the passing genthat it should be crowned with a spice of your eration. My sons had arrived at the age when pastoral. As for what is popular, and what peo- the paternal home was no longer their best abode,

as both were destined to active life. The field a dress for a new doll. The nakedness of the land sports, to which I was peculiarly attached, had was in time hidden by woodlands of considerable now less interest, and were replaced by other extent—the smallest of possible cottages was proamusements of a more quiet character; and the gressively expanded into a sort of dream of a means and opportunity of pursuing these were to mansion-house, whimsical in the exterior, but conbe sought for. I had, indeed, for some years at- venient within. Nor did I forget what is the nattended to farming, a knowledge of which is, or at ural pleasure of every man who has been a readleast was then, indispensable to the comfort of a er; I mean the filling the shelves of a tolerably family residing in a solitary country-house ; but large library. All these objects I kept in view, although this was the favorite amusement of many to be executed as convenience should serve; and, of my friends, I have never been able to consider although I knew many years must elapse before it as a source of pleasure. I never could think it they could be attained, I was of a disposition to a matter of passing importance, that my cattle or comfort myself with the Spanish proverb, “ Time crops were better or more plentiful than those of and I against any two." my neighbors, and nevertheless I began to feel the The difficult and indispensable point, of finding necessity of some more quiet out-door occupation, a permanent subject of occupation, was now at different from those I had hitherto pursued. I length attained; but there was annexed to it the purchased a small farm of about one hundred necessity of becoming again a candidate for public acres, with the purpose of planting and improving favor; for, as I was turned improver on the earth it, to which property circumstances afterwards of the every-day world, it was under condition enabled me to make considerable additions ; and that the small tenement of Parnassus, which might thus an era took place in my life almost equal to be accessible to my labors, should not remain unthe important one mentioned by the Vicar of cultivated. Wakefield, when he removed from the Blue-room I meditated, at first, a poem on the subject of to the Brown. In point of neighborhood, at least, Bruce, in which I made some progress, but afterthe change of residence made little more differ- wards judged advisable to lay it aside, suppoence. Abbotsford, to which we removed, was sing that an English story might have more novonly six or seven miles down the Tweed, and lay elty; in consequence, the precedence was given on the same beautiful stream. It did not possess to “ Rokeby.” the romantic character of Ashestiel, my former If subject and scenery could have influenced the residence; but it had a stretch of meadow-land fate of a poem, that of “ Rokeby” should have been along the river, and possessed, in the phrase of eminently distinguished; for the grounds belonged the landscape-gardener, considerable capabilities. to a dear friend, with whom I had lived in habits Above all, the land was my own, like Uncle To- of intimacy for many years, and the place itself by's Bowling-green, to do what I would with. It united the romantic beauties of the wilds of Scothad been, though the gratification was.

1. long post- land with the rich and smiling aspect of the southponed, an early wish of mine to connect myself ern portion of the island. But the Cavaliers and with my mother earth, and prosecute those exper- Roundheads, whom I attempted to summon up to iments by which a species of creative power is tenant this beautiful region, had for the public exercised over the face of nature. I can trace, neither the novelty nor the peculiar interest of the even to childhood, a pleasure derived from Dods- primitive Highlanders. This, perhaps, was scarceley's account of Shenstone's Leasowes, and I en- ly to be expected, considering that the general vied the poet much more for the pleasure of ac- mind sympathizes readily and at once with the complishing the objects detailed in his friend's stamp which nature herself has affixed upon the sketch of his grounds, than for the possession of manners of a people living in a simple and patripipe, crook, ilock, and Phillis to boot. My mem- archal state ; whereas it has more difficulty in ory, also, tenacious of quaint expressions, still re- understanding or interesting itself in manners tained a phrase which it had gathered from an old founded upon those peculiar habits of thinking or almanac of Charles the Second's time (when every acting, which are produced by the progress of sothing down to almanacs affected to be smart), in ciety. We could read with pleasure the tale of which the reader, in the month of June, is advised the adventures of a Cossack or a Mongol Tartar, for health's sake to walk a mile or two every day while we only wonder and stare over those of the before breakfast, and if he can possibly so man- lovers in the “ Pleasing Chinese History," where age, to let his exercise be taken upon his own land. the embarrassments turn upon difficulties arising

With the satisfaction of having attained the out of unintelligible delicacies peculiar to the cusfulfilment of an early and long-cherished hope, I toms and manners of that affected people. commenced my improvements, as delightful in The cause of my failure had, however, a far their progress as those of the child who first makes deeper root. The manner, or style, which, by its

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