« 前へ次へ »
lar story, and Gibbon gives him some countenance. But the universal tradition is quite sufficient for the purposes of poetry. The Spaniards, in detestation of Florinda's memory, are said, by Cervantes, never to bestow that name upon any human female, reserving it for their dogs. Nor is the tradition less inveterate among the Moors, since the same author mentions a promontory on the coast of Barbary, called (t The Cape of Caba Rumia, which in our tongue, is the Cape of the Wicked Cltristian woman; and it is a tradition among the Moors, that Caba, the daughter of Count Julian, who was the cause of the loss of Spain, lies buried there, and they think it ominous to be forced into that bay;‘for they never go in otherwise than by necesstty.»
Note 6. Stanza 1:.
And guide me, priest, to that mysterious room,
The transition of an incident from history to tradition, and from tradition to fable and romance, becoming more marvellous at each step from its original simplicity, is not ill exemplified in the account of the <<Fated Chamber» of Don Roderick, as given by his namesake, the historian of Toledo, contrasted with subsequent and more romantic accounts of the same subterranean discovery. 1 give the Archbishop of Toledo's tale in the words of Nonius, who seems to intimate (though very modestly), that the fatale palatium, of which so much had been said, was only the ruins of a Roman amphitheatre.
<< Extra muros, septentrionem versus, vestigia magni olim theatri sparsa visuntur. Auctor est Roderieus Toletanns Archiepiscopus ante Arabum in Hispanias irruptionem, hie fatale palatium fuisse; quod invicti vectes, zeterna ferri robora claudebant, ne reseratnm Hispanize excidium adferret; quod in fatis non vulgus solum, sed et prudentissimi quique credebant. Sed Bodcrici ultimi Gothornm Regis animum infelix curiositas suhiit, sciendi quid sub tot vetitis claustris observaretur; ingentes ibi superiorum regum opes ct arcanos thesauros servari ratus. Seras et pessnlos perfringi curat, invitis omnibus, nihil praeter arculam repertam, et in ca linteum, quo explicato novze ct insolentes hominum facies habitusque apparuere, cum inscriptione Latine, Hispaniaz excidium ab illa gente imminere; vultus habitusque Maurorum erant. Quamobrem ex Africa tantam cladem instare regi caeterisque persuasum, nee falso ut Hispanize annalcs etiamnum queruntur.»—-Hispania Ludovic. Nonii, cap. lix.
But about the term of the expulsion of the Moors from Grenada, we find, in the it llistoria Vcrdadcra del Rey Don Rodrigo,» a (pretended) translation from the Arabic of the sage Alcayde Albucacim Tarif .-\bentarique, a legend which puts to shame the modesty of the historian Roderick, with his chest and prophetic picture. The custom of aseribing a pretended t\loorish original to these legendary histories is ridiculed by Cervantes, who affects to translate the history of the
'_ Knight of the \\'oful Figure, from the Arabic of the
sage Cid llamet lienetlgeli. As I have been indebted to the Historia Vertlarleru. for some of the imagery employed in the text, the following literal translation from the work itself may gratify the inquisitive reader:—
<< One mile on the east side of the city of Toledo, among some rocks, was situated an ancient tower, ofa
magnificent structure, though much dilapidated by time, which consumes all: four estadoes (i. e. four
times a man's height) below it, there was a cave with a_
very narrow entrance, and a gate cut out of the solid rock, lined with a strong covering of iron, and fastened with many locks; above the gate some Greek letters are engraved, which, although abbreviated, and of doubtful meaning, were thus interpreted according to the exposition of learned men :—‘ The king who opens this cave, and can discover the wonders, will discover both good and evil things.'—1\lany kings desired to know the mystery of this tower, and sought to find out the manner with much care: but when they opened the gate, such a tremendous noise arose in the cave, that it appeared as if the earth was bursting; many of those present sickened with fear, and others lost their lives. In order to prevent such great perils (as they supposed a dangerous enchantment was contained within), they secured the gate with new locks, concluding, that though a king was destined to open it, the fated time was not yet arrived. At last King Don Rodrigo, led on by his evil fortune and unlucky destiny, opened the tower; and some bold attendants whom he had brought with liim entered, although agitated with fear. Having proeeeded a good way, they fled back to the entrance, terrified with a frightful .vision which they had beheld. The king was greatly moved, and ordered many torches, so contrived that the tempest in the cave could not extinguish thcm, to be lighted. ,_ Then the king entered, not without fear, before all the others. They discovered, by degrees, a splendid hall, apparently built in a very sumptuous manner; in the middle stood a bronze statue of very ferocious appearance, which held a battleaxe in its hands. With this he struck the floor violently, giving it such heavy blows, that the noise in the cave was occasioned by the motion of the air. The king, greatly affrighted and astonished, began to conjure this terrible vision, promising that he would return without doing any injury in the cave, after he had obtained sight of what was contained in it. The statue ceased to strike the floor, and the king, with his followers, somewhat assured, and recovering their courage, proceeded into the hall; and on the left of the statue they found this inscription ,on the wall; ‘ Unfortunate king, thou hast entered here in evil hour.’ On the right side of the wall these words were inscribed, ‘ By strange nations thou shalt be dispossessed, and thy subjects foully degraded.’ On the shoulders of the statue other words were written, which said, ‘I call upon the Arabs.‘ And upon his breast was written, ‘ I do my office.’ At the entrance of the hall there was placed a round bowl, from which a great noise, like the fall of waters, proceeded. They found no other thingin the hall ; and when the king,
sorrowful and greatly affected, had scarcely turned about
to leave the cavern, the statue again commenced its accustomed blows upon the tloor. After they had mu
tually promised to cbneeal what they had seen, they
again closed the tower, and blocked up the gate of the
cavern with earth, that no memory might remain in the
world of such a portentous and evil-boding prodigy.
The ensuing midnight they heard great cries and ela
mour from the cave, resounding like the noise of a
battle, and the ground shaking with a tremendous roar;
the whole edifice of the old tower fell to the ground,
by which they were greatly affrighted, the vision which
they had beheld appearing to them as a dream.
K The king, having left the tower, ordered wise men to explain what the inscriptions signified; and having consulted upon and studied their meaning, they declared that the statue of bronze, with the motion which it made with its battle-axe, signified Time; and that its' office, alluded to in the imcription on his breast, was, that he never rests a single moment. The words on the shoulders, ‘ I call upon the Arabs,’ they expounded that in time Spain would be conquered by the Arabs. » The words upon the left wall signified the destruction of King Rodrigo; those onvthe right, the dreadful calamities which were to fall upon the Spaniards and Goths, and that the unfortunate king would he disposmssed of_ all his states. Finally, the letters on the portal indicated, that good would betide to the conquerors, and evil to the cohquered, of which experience proved the trlithm —Hislor-ia Verdadem. del Rey Dun Rodrigo. Quinta edicion. Madrid, 1654, 4. p. 23. - '
By Heaven, the Moors prevail!-the Christians yield!
Count Julian, the father of the injured Florinda, with the connivance and assistance of Oppas, Archbishop of Toledo, invited, in 713, the Saracens into Spain. A considerable army arrived under the command of Tarik, or Tarif, who bequeathed the well-known name of Gibraltar (Gibel al Tarik, or the mountain of Tarik) to the place of his landing. He was joined. by Count Julian, ravaged Andalusia, and took Seville. In 714 they returned with a still greater force, and Roderick marched into Andalusia at the head of a great army to give them battle. The field was chosen near Xeres, and Mariana gives the following account ofthe action :
A Both armies being drawn‘ up, the king, according to, the custom of the Gothic kings when they went to battle, appeared in an ivory chariot, clothed in cloth of gold, encouraging his men; Tarif, on the other side, did the same. The armies, thus prepared, waited only for the signal to fall on; the Goths gave the charge, their drums and trumpeLs sounding; and the l\loors received it with the noise of kettlc—drums. Such were the shouts and cries on both sides, that the mountains and valleys seemed to meet. First they began with slings, darts, javelins, and lances, then came to the swords; a long time the battle was dubious; but the Moors seem
, ed to have the worst, till D. Oppas, the Archbishop, having to that time concealed his treachery, iufihe heat of the fight, with a great body bf his followers, went over
to the infidels. He joined Count Julian, with whom was a great number of Goths and both together fell upon the flank of our army.’ Our men, terrified with that unparalleled treachery, and tired 'with fighting, could no longer sustain that charge, but were easily put to flight. The king performed the part not only of a wise general but of a resolute soldier, relieving the weakest, bringing on fresh men in place of those that were tired, and stopping those that turned their backs. Atlenglh, seeing no hope left, he alighted out of his chariot for fear of, being taken, and, mounting on a horse, called Orelia, he withdrew out of the battle. The Goths, who still stood, missing him, were most part put to the sword, the rest betook themselves to flight. The camp was immediately entered, and the baggage taken. What number was killed is not known: l suppose they were so many it was hard to count them; for this single hattle robbed Spain of all its glory, and in it perished the renowned name of the Goths. The king's horse, upper garment, and buskins, covered with pearls and precious stones, were found on the bank of the river Guadelite, and there being no news of him afterwards, it was supposed he was drowned passing the river.»MAr|.\n.\'s History of.S’pain, book vi, chap. 9.
Orelia, the courser of Don Roderick, mentioned in the text, and in the above quotation, was celebrated for her speed ‘and form. She is mentioned repeatedly in Spanish romance, and also by Cervantes.
While these gentlemen plead for deference to Bona-
it may not be altogether unreasonable to claim some modification of censure upon those who have been long and to a great extent successfully resisting this great enemy of mankind. That the energy of Spain has not uniformly been directed by conduct equal to its vigour, has been too obvious; that her armies, under their complicated tlisadyantages, have shared the fate of such as were defeated after taking the field with every possible advantage of arms and discipline, is surely not to be wondered at. But that a nation, under the circumstances of repeated discomfiture, internal treason, and the mismanagement incident to a temporary and hastily-adoptcd government, should have wasted, by its stubborn, uniform, and prolonged resistance, myriads after myriads of those soldiers who had overrun the world—that some of its provinces should, like Galicia, after being abandoned by their allies, and overrun by their enemies, have recovered their freedom by their own unassisted exertions: that others, like Catalonia, undismayed by the treason which betrayed some fortresses, and the force which subdued others, should not only have continued their resistance, but have attained over their victorious enemy a superiority, which is even now enabling them to bcsiege and retake the places of strength which had been wrcsted from them,—is a tale hitherto untold in the revolutionary war. To say that such a people cannot be subdued, would be presumption similar to that of those who protested that Spain could not defend herself for a year, or Portugal for a month; but that a resistance which has been continiied for so long a~space, when the usurpcr, except during
[the short-lived Austrian campaign, had no other ene
mies on the Continent, should be now less successful, when repdatcd defeats have broken the reputation of the French armies, and when they are likely (it would seem almost in desperation) to seek occupation elsewhere, is at prophecy as improbable as |mgracious.And while we are in the humour of severely censuring our allies, gallant and devoted as they have shown themselves in the cause of national liberty, because they may not instantly adopt those I'l1('t:Sllt‘('S which we in our wisdom may deem essential to success, it might be well, if we endeavoured first to resolve the previous questions,-—1st, \\‘ht-ther we do not at this moment know much less of the Spanish armies than of those of Portugal, which were so promptly comlemned as totally inadequate to 'tl.\.‘§lS[ in the preservation of their country? ad, Wlietlitrr, independently of any right we have to offer more than advice and assistance to out; independent allies, we can expect that they should renounce entirely the national pride, which is inseparable from patriotism, and at once condesecnd not only to be saved by our assistance, but to he saved in our own way? 3d, Wlietlier, if it be an object (as undoubtedly it is a main one), that the Spanish troops ishould be trained under British discipline, to the flexibility of movement, and power of rapid concert and combination, which is
essential to modern war, such a consummation is likely =
to he produced by abusing them in newspapers and periodical publications’! Lastly, Since the undoubted authority of British officers makes us now acquainted with part of the horrors thatattend invasion, and which
the Providence of God, the valour of our navy, and perhaps the very efforts of these Spaniards, have hitherto diverted from us, it maybe modestly questioned whether we ought to be too forward to estimate and condemn the feeling of iemporary stupefaction which they create; lest, in so doing, we should resemble the worthy clergyman, who, while he had himself never snuffed a candle with his fingers, was disposed severely to criticise the conduct of a martyr who winced a little among his flames.
Note 12. Stanza I
They won not Zarugoza, but her children's bloody tomb.
The interesting account of Mr Vaughan has made most readers acquainted with the first siege of Zaragoza. The last and fatal siege of that gallant and devoted city is detailed with great eloquence and precision in the << Edinburgh Annual Register» for i8o9,—a work in which the affairs of Spain have been treated of with attention corresponding to their deep interest, and to the peculiar sources of information open to the historian. The following are a few brief extracts from this splendid historical narrative :—
“A breach was soon made in the mud walls, and then, as in the former siege, the war was carried on in the streets and houses; but the French had been taught, by experience, that in this species of warfare the Zaragozans derived a superiority from the feeling .and principle which inspired them, and the cause for which they fought. The'only means of conquering Zaragoza was to destroy it house by house, and street by street, and upon this system of destruction‘ they proceeded. Three companies of miners and eight companies of sappers carried on this subterraneous war; the Spaniards, it is said, attempted to oppose them by counter-mines: these were operations to which they were wholly unused, and, according to the French statement, their miners were every day discovered and suffocated. .leantime the bombardment was incessantly kept up. ‘Within the last forty-eight hours,’ said Palafox, in a letter to his friend General Doyle, ‘ 6000 shells have been thrown in. Two-thirds ofithe town are in ruins; but we shall perish under the ruins of the remaining third rather than surrender.’ In the course of the siege above t7,ooo bombs were thrown at the town; the stock of powder with which Zaragoza had been stored was exhausted; they had none at last but what they manufactured day hyiday; and no other cannon-halls than those which were s not into the town, and which they collected and fired back upon the enemy.»——--—
In the midst of these horrors and privations, the pestilence broke out in Zaragoza. To various causes. enumerated by the annalist, he adds, a scantiness of food, crowded quarters, unusual exertion of body, anxiety of mind, and the impossibility of recruiting their exhausted strength by needfnl rest in a city which was almost incessantly bombarded,‘ and where every hour their sleep was broken by the tremendous explosion of mines. There was now no respite, either by day or night, for this devoted city; even the natural order of light and darkness was destroyed in Zaragoza; by dayit was involved in :1 red sulphureous atmosphere of smoke, which hid the face of heaven; by night the lire of cannons and mortars, and the flames of burning houses, kept it in a state of terrific illumination.
of defence, which was repeatedly attacked, taken, and,
retaken: the pavement was covered with blood, the aisles and body of the church strewcd with the dead, who were trampled under foot by the combatants. In the midst of this conflict, the roof, shattered by repeated bombs, fell in; the few who wcre,not crushed, after a short pause, which this tremendous shock and their own unexpected escape occasioned, renewed the fight with reltindliug fury: fresh parties of the enemy poured in; monks, and citizens, and soldiers came to the defence, and the contest was continued upon the ruins, and the bodies of the dead and the dying.»
Yet, seventeen days after sustaining these extremities, did thc heroic inhabitants of Zaragoza continue their defence; nor did they surrender until their despair had extracted from the French generals a capitulation, more honourable than has been granted to fortresses of the first order.
Who shall venture to refuse the Zaragozans the eulogiuln conferred upon them by the eloquence of Wordsw0rth‘!—-: Most gloriously have the citizens of Zaragoza proved that the true army of Spain, in a contest of this nature, is the whole people. The same city has also exemplified a melancholy, yea, a dismal truth, —yet consolatory and full of joy,—that when a people are called suddenly to fight for their liberty, and are sorely pfessed upon, their best field of battle is the floors upon which their children have played; the chambers where the family of each man has slept (his own or his neighbour's); upon or under the roofs by which they have been sheltered; in the gardens of their recreation; in the street, or in the market-place; before the altars of their temples, and among their congregated dwellings, blazing or up-rooted.
(Q The government of Spain must never forget Zaragoza' for a moment. Nothing is wanting to produce the same effects every where, but a leading mind, such as that city was blessed with. ln the latter contest this has been proved; for Zaragoza contained, at that time, bodies of men from almost all parts of Spain. The narrative of these two sieges should be the manual of every Spaniard. He may add to it the ancient stories of Numantia and Saguntum; let him sleep upon the book as a pillow, and, if he be a devout adherent to
the religion of his country, let him wear it in his hosom for his crucifix to rest upon.»
Note 13. Stanza lxiii.
Before finally dismissing the enchanted cavern of Don Roderick, it may he noticed, that the legend occurs in one of Calderon's plays, entitled La Virgin dc! Sugar-io. The scene opens with the noise of the chase, and Recisundo, a predecessor of Roderick upon the Gothic throne, enters pursuing a stag. The animal assumes the form of a man, and defies the king to enter the cave, which forms the bottom of the scene, and engage with him in single combat. The king accepts the challenge, and they engage accordingly, but williout advantage on either side, which induces the Genie to inform Recisundo, that he is not the monarch for whom the adventure of the enchanted cavern is reserved, and he proceeds to predict the downfall of the Gothic monarchy, and of the Christian religion, which shall attend the discovery of its mysteries. Ptecisundo, appalled by these prophecies, orders the cavern to be secured by a gate and bolts of iron. In the second part of the same play we are informed, that Don Roderick had removed the barrier and transgressed the prohibition of his ancestor, and had been apprised by the prodigies which he discovered of the approac.bing‘ruin of his kingdom.
Note 14. Conclusion. Stanza ii.
While downwrd on the land his legions press, Before them it was rich with vine and flock,
And smiled. lilte Eden in her summer dren ;— Behind theirwnsteful march, 11 reeking wilderneu.
I have ventured to apply to the movements of the French army that sublime passage in the prophecies of Joel, which seems applicable to them in more respects than that l have adopted in the text. One-‘would think their ravages, their military appointments, the terror which they spread among invaded nations, their military discipline, their arts of political intrigue and deceit, were distinctly pointed out in the following verses of Scripture :
z. “A day of darknesse and 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 years of many generations.
3. u A fire devoureth before them, and behind them a flame burneth : the land is as the garden of Eden before them, and bchinde them a desolate wildernessc, yea, and nothing shall escape them.
4. a The appearance of them is as the appearance of horses and as horsemen, so shall they runne.
5. ti Like the noise of chariots on the tops of mountains shall they leap, like the noise of a flame of fire that devoureth the stubble, as a strong people set in battel array.
6. it Before their face shall the people be much pained : all faces shall gather blackncsse.
7. on They shall run like mighty men, they shall clirnbc the wall like men ofwarrc, and they shall march every one in his wayes, and they shall not break their ranks. “'
8. <1 Neither shall one thrust another, they shall walk eve;-Y (maria his path: and when they fall upon the sword, they shall not be wounded. 3'.
9_ it They shall run to and fro in the citie: they shall run upon the wall, they shall climb up upon the houses: they shall enter in at the windows like a thief.
I o_ ,( The earth shall quake before them, the heavens 51'!-all tremble, the sunne and the moon ‘shall be dark, and the starres shall withdraw their shining.»
In verse zoth also, which announces the retreat of the northern ariny, described in such dreadful colours, into a (t land3ba'rren and desolate,» and the dislionour with -which-God aftlicled them for having K magnified thernselves to do great things,» there are particulars not inapplicabltfto the retreat of Masséna; Divine Providence having, in all ages, attached disgrace as the natural Punishmentof cruelty and presumption.
_ _No_te_15. Conclusion. Stanza vii. _ The rndest sentinel, in Britain born,
-Gave his poor crust to feed some wretch forlorn.
Even the uncxarnpled gallantry of the British army in I the campaign of t8to-it , although they never fohght but to conquer, will do them less honour in history than their humanity, attentive to soften to the utmost of their power the horrors which war, in its rnfldest aspect, must always inflict upon the defenceless inhabitants of the country in which it is waged,
and which, on this occasion, were tenfold augmented by the barbarous cruelties of the French. Soupkigchens were established by subscription among the officers, wherever the troops were quartered for any length of time. The cotnmissaries contributed the heads, feet, etc. of the cattle slaughtered for the soldigpy; rice, vegetables, and bread, where it could be had, were purchased by the officers. Fifty or sixty starving peasants were daily fed at one of these regimental establishments, and carried home the relics to their famished households. The emaciated wrelches, who could not crawl from weakness, were speedily employed in pruning tlteirvines. While pursuing lllasséna, the soldiers evinced the same spirit of humanity; and, in many instances, when reduced themselves to short allowance, from having out-marched their supplies, they shared their pittance with the starving inhabitants who had ventured hack to vicw the ruins of their habitations, burnt by the retreating enemy, and to bury the bodies of their relations whom they had butchcrcd.—
Is it possible to know such facts without feeling a
sort of confidence, that those who so well deserve vic
tory are most likely to attain it ?—It is not the least of
Lord VVellington's military merits, that the slightest dis
position towards marauding meets immediate punish
ment. lndependently of all moral obligation, the army which is most orderly in a friendly country, has always proved most formidable to an armed enemy. ‘
Note 16. Conclusion. Stanza viii.
The French conducted this memorable retreat with much of the fanfarronarle proper to their country, by which they attempt to impose upon others, and perhaps on themselves, a belief that they are triumphing in the very moment of their discomfiture.' On the 30th March, 181 1, their rear-guard was overtaken near Pega by the British cavalry. Being well posted, and conceiving themselves safe from infantry (who were indeed many miles in the rear), and from artillery, they in
In the severe actionof Fuentes d‘Honoro, upon 5th May, t8tt, the grand mass of the French cavalry attacked the right of the British position, covered, by two guns of the horse-artillery, and two squadrons of cavalry. After suffering considerably from the fire of the guns, which annoyed them in every attempt at formation, the enemyiturned their wrath entirely towards them, distributed brandy among their troopers, and advanced to carry the field-pieces with the desperation of drunken fury. They were in no \vays checked by the heavy loss which they sustained in this daring attempt, but closed, and fairly mingled with the British cavalry, to whom they bore the proportion of ten to One. Captain Ramsay (let me be permitted to name a gallant countryman), who commanded the two guns, dismissed them at the gallop, and, putting himself at the head of the mounted artillerymen, ordered them to fall upon the French, sabre in hand. This very unexpected conversion of artilleryrnen into dragoons contributed greatly to the defeat of the enemy, already disconcerted by the reception they had met from the two British squadrons; and the appearance of some small reinforcements, notwithstanding the immense disproportion of force, put them to absolute rout. A colonel or major of their cavalry, and many prisoners (almost all intoxicated), remained in our possession. Those who consider for a moment the difference of the services, and how much an artilleryman is necessarily and naturally lcd to identify his own safety and utility with abiding by the tremendous implement of war, to the exercise of which be is chiefly, if not exclusively, trained, will know how to estimate the presence of mind which commanded so bold a manoeuvre, and the steadiness and confidence with which it was executed.