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emphatic disclosu with poetical orand romances,

time, has gone out of fashion, and the consequence is, that the talent, which would otherwise have been directed in another state of things to furnish the empty stage with life, energy, and truth, is now engaged in providing a similar sort of entertainment in the shape of tales and romances, so highly imbued with poetical ornament, and the emphatic disclosures of sentiment and passion, that they bear scarcely any likeness to the compositions which, during the earlier part of the late reign, were called novels, while they have much of the air and complexion of the works of the old dramatists.

66 When this cycle is run out, then we shall have another historical period, and what themes for eloquence, aphorisms, and description, await the pen of the unborn Humes, and Robertsons, and Gibbons, in the gorgeous calamities and magnificent crimes and enterprises of the Revolutionary war!-a subject in itself, from the beginning to the end, the most complete and epic which the whole history of mankind affords.

“ In the meantime, we may expect to meet with occasional preparatory passages, treated with discrimination and ability, and which will serve the future historian as materials for his 66 imperial theme.” Of this kind I consider Southey’s History of the Peninsular War,—a work, so far as it has gone, highly creditable to his industry and talents, and, indeed, one of the most favourable specimens of narration which has yet appeared on the greatest of subjects; I speak of the whole conflict, of which the peninsular war, like the Egyptian expedition, can only be considered as a chapter.”

56 I have not yet read his volume, " said Benedict,"

" Then I advise you to do so with all possible speed,” replied Egeria. “What I will read to you,his sketch of the siege of Zaragoza,-is a picture which wanted but the circumstantial pencil of Josephus to have been none inferior in interest to the unparalleled description of the destruction of Jerusalem :"

« On the 4th of August the French opened their batteries within pistol-shot of the church and convent of St Eugracia.

The mud walls were levelled at the first discharge; and the besiegers rushing through the opening, took the batteries before the adjacent gates in reverse. Here General Mori, who had distinguished himself on many former occasions, was made prisoner. The street of St Eugracia, which they had thus entered, leads into the Cozo, and the corner buildings where it thus terminated, were, on the one hand, the convent of St Francisco, and, on the other, the general hospital. Both were stormed and set on fire; the sick and the wounded threw themselves from the windows to escape the flames, and the horror of the scene was aggravated by the maniacs, whose voices, raving or singing in paroxysms of wilder madness, or crying in vain to be set free, were heard amid the confusion of dreadful sounds. Many fell victims to the fire, and some to the indiscriminating fury of the assailants. Those who escaped were conducted as prisoners to the Torrero ; but when their condition had been discovered, they were sent back on the mor. row, to take their chance in the siege. After a severe contest and dreadful carnage, the French forced their way into the Cozo, in the very centre of the city, and before the day closed, were in possession of one half of Zaragoza. Lefebvre now believed that he had effected his purpose, and required Palafox to surrender, in a note containing only these words :

Head-quarters, St Eugracia. Capitulation ! “The heroic Spaniard immediately returned this reply:-Head-quarters, Zaragoza.-War at the knife's point!'

“ The contest which was now carried on is unexampled in history-One side of the Cozo, a street about as wide as Pall-Mall, was possessed by the French ; and in the centre of it, their general, Verdier, gave his orders from the Franciscan convent. The opposite side was maintained by the Arragonese, who threw up batteries at the openings of the cross streets, within a few paces of those which the French erected against them. The intervening space was presently heaped with dead, either slain upon the spot, or thrown out from the windows. Next day the ammunition of the citizens began to fail. It was almost certain death to appear, by daylight, within reach of those houses which were occupied by the other party. But under cover of the darkness, the combatants frequently dashed across the street to attack each other's batteries ; and the battles which began there, were often carried on into the houses beyond, where they fought from room to room, and floor to floor. The hostile batteries were so near each other, that a Spaniard in one place made way under cover of the dead bodies, which completely filled the space between them, and fastened a rope to one of the French cannons; in the struggle which ensued, the rope broke, and the Zaragozans lost their prize at the very moment when they thought themselves sure of it. . . . . .

.....“ A new horror was added to the dread. ful circumstances of war in this ever-memorable siege. In general engagements the dead are left upon the field of battle, and the survivors remove to clear ground, and an untainted atmosphere ; but here-in Spain, and in the month of August, there where the dead lay the

struggle was still carried on, and pestilence was dread. ed from the enormous accumulation of putrifying bodies. Nothing in the whole course of the siege so much embarrassed Palafox as this evil. The only remedy was to tie ropes to the French prisoners, and push them forward amid the dead and dying, to remove the bodies, and bring them away for interment. Even for this necessary office there was no truce, and it would have been certain death to the Arragonese who should have attempted to perform it ; but the prisoners were in general secured by the pity of their own soldiers, and in this manner the evil was, in some degree, diminished.”

CHAP. XLII.

BÜRGER, THE GERMAN POET.

THE Bachelor, one evening on returning home, found his Nymph in a state of tremour amounting almost to alarm. Her countenance was pale, and her eyes bright and startled ; a hectic flush now and then passed over her cheek, and in the same moment her lips became livid. Her dark hair fell in pythian disorder over her shoulders, and the whole apparition was sublime and mystical." What has happened? What has terrified you ?” cried the kind and affectionate Benedict. She, however, made him no immediate answer ; but, flinging back her hair, took a paper which was lying before her on the table, and said, “ Have you ever read the ballads of Bürger, the German poet ?”

“ No; neither the poets nor the prosers of that nation, you know, are favourites of mine." .

66 Then,” exclaimed Egeria, “ you deny yourself the high sensations of delightful horror, an impassioned sentiment, which the writers of no other language have so effectually succeeded in exciting: Here have I, for the last hour, been in a state of agitation which I know not how to describe. I have felt something like what I conceive to be the rapture of the bard in the paroxysms of his inspiration. It is quite astonishing what effect a man of genius may produce, when he happens to employ the proper current of his powers ; I say happens, because I am of opinion, that authors are not always aware of the peculiarities in which the real pith of their talent lies; and Bürger is an instance of how much a man may write without lighting upon his proper vein. He may be said to be the father of our taste for German literature, and yet he owes all his fame amongst us to these two simple ballads : the translations have indeed been executed with a degree of felicity and energy that gives them the force and spirit of originality; I never read them but with renewed and augmented interest,”—and, with these words, she began to read”—

LENORA.
At break of day, with frightful dreams

Lenora struggled sore ;
*My William, art thou slane,' said she;

Or dost thou love no more?'

He went abroade with Richard's host,

The Paynim foes to quell;

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