Page images
PDF
EPUB

· The

o' the men, pointing with bis finger- the cook and Jack next minute, and 'Look.' Dido's head was just rising picked 'em both up safe. Jack swore alongside ; but just under the ship’s he heard the chain at the shark's counter what did we see but the black snout rattle, as he was slueing round back-fin of the shark, coming slowly his head within half a fathom of old round, as them creatures do when Dido, and just as he pounced upon they're not quite sure of anything the bloody devil's back-bone; the that gives 'em the start.

next moment it was clear water below shark! the shark !' said every one ; his feet, and he saw the white bells he's gone, by Down with rise from a lump of green going down the quarter-boat, men!' sings out under the ship's bends, as large as the mate, and he ran to one of the the gig, with its belly glancing like falls to let it go. The young nigger, silver. If so, I daresay the cook's Jack, was amongst the rest of us; legs would have stuck on bis own hook in a moment he off with his hat and before they were swallowed; but, shoes, took the cook's big carving- anyhow, the old nigger was ready to knife out of the galley at his back, believe in the devil as long as he and was overboard in a moment. He lived. The whole matter gave poor was the best swimmer I ever chanced Dido a shake he never got the better to see, and the most fearless : the of; at the end of the voyage he vowed moonlight showed everything as plain he'd live ashore the rest of his days, as day, and he watched his time to to be clear of all sorts o' devilry. jump right in where the shark's back Whether it didn't agree with him or fin could be seen coming quicker along, not, I can't say, but he knocked off with a wake shining down in the the hooks in a short time altogether, water at both fins and tail. Old Dido and left young Jack the most of his was striking out like a good un, and arnings, on the bargain of hailing by hailing for a rope, but he knew nothing his name ever after. 'Twas a joke at all of the shark. As for young the men both in the Mary Jane and Jack, he said afterwards he felt his the old Rajah got up, when the story feet come full slap on the fish's back, was told, to call the cook Dido Moonand then he laid out to swim under light, because, after all, 'twas the death him and give him the length of his of him : and when Jack shipped with knife close by the jaw, when he'd the rest of us here aboard of the turn up to bite—for 'twas what the Rajah, having seen Dido to the youngsters along the Guinea coast ground, why, all hands christened him were trained to do every day on the over again Jack Moonlight; though edge of the snrf. However, curious to look at him now, I daresay, sir, you enough, there wasn't another sign of wouldn't well fancy how such things this confounded old sea-tiger felt or as black Jack's face and moonlight seen again ; no doubt he got a fright was logged together, unless the world and went straight off under the keel; went by contrairies !" at any rate the boat was alongside of

[blocks in formation]

III.

VIII.
And when the darkening Fate, that threw
Its waste of seas between us, Sweet,

Yes-Rainbow of my ruined youth,
With refluent wave restored me to

Now shining o'er the wreck in vain ! The soundless music of thy feet,

Thy rosy tints of grace and truth How wild my heart's delighted beat,

Life's evening clouds shall long retain. Once more beneath the mulberry bough, My very doom has less of pain To see the branching shadows fleet

To feel that, ere from Time's dark river Before thy bright approaching brow!

Thy form or soul could take one stain,

Despair between us came for ever.

IV.

IX.

Then rose again the Moon's sweet charm, And if, as sages still avow,
Not in her full and orbéd glow,

The rites once paid on hill and grove But young and sparkling as thy form

To Beings beautiful as thou, That moved a sister-moon below.

To Dian, Hebe, and to Love, The rose-breeze round thee loved to blow

Were so imperishably wove BlueEvening o'er thee bent and smiled

Of fancies lovely and elysian, Rejoicing Nature seemed to know,

Their spirit to this hour must rove And own, her wildly-gracious child.

The earth a blest abiding vision; *

v. Forth came the Stars, as if to keep

Fond watch along thy sinless way; While thy pure eyes, through Ether deep,

Sought out lone Hesper's diamond ray,
Half shy, half sad, to hear me say,

That haply, mid the tearless bliss
Of that far world we yet should stray,

When we have burst the bonds of this.

X.
Then surely round that mountain rude,

And Bridgeton's rill and pathway lone,
In years to come, when thon, the Wooed,

And thy fond Worshipper are gone, Each suppliant prayer, each ardent tone,

Each vow the heart could once supply, Whose every pulse was there thine own,

In many an evening breeze will sigh.

* It was the fanciful opinion of Hume that the purer Divinities of pagan worship, and the system of the Homeric Olympus, were so lastingly beautiful, that somewhere or other they must, to this hour, continue to exist.

AUSTRIA AND HUNGARY.

We have been so much accustomed under one form of government. There to regard the Austrian empire as one were almost as many forms of governGerman nation, that we sometimes ment as there were principalities; but forget of how many separate king- they were all monarchical, and one doms and principalities it consists, sovereign happened to become the and of how many different and dis monarch of the whole. The house of united races its population is com Hapsburg, in which the imperial posed. It may not, therefore, be un crown of Germany, the regal crowns necessary to recall attention to the of Hungary, Bohemia, and Lomfact that the Austrian dominions of bardy, and the ducal crowns of Austhe last three hundred years—the tria, Styria, the Tyrol, and nearly a Austrian empire of our times-con dozen other principalities, became sists of three kingdoms and many hereditary, acquired their possesminor principalities, inhabited by sions, not by conquest, but by elecfive distinct races, whose native tion, succession, or other legitimate tongues are unintelligible to each titles* recognised by the people. The other, and who have no common lan descendants of Rodolph thus became guage in which they can communicate; the sovereigns many separate who are divided by religious differ- states, each of which retained, as a ences; who preserve their distinctive matter of right, its own constitution. characteristics, customs, and feelings; The sovereign, his chief advisers, and whose sentiments are mutually un the principal officers of state at his friendly, and who are, to this day, court, were usually Germans by birth, unmixed in blood. The Germans, or by education and predilection; but the Italians, the Majjars or Hunga- the constitution of each state—the rians, the Sclaves, and the Wallacks, internal administration, and those are distinct and alien races -without parts of the machinery of government community of origin, of language, of with which the people came more imreligion, or of sentiments. Except mediately into contact-were their the memory of triumphs and disasters In some we find the monarchy common to them all, their allegiance elective, as in Hungary, Bohemia, to one sovereign is now, as it was and Styria; in all we find diets of three centuries ago, the only bond representatives or delegates, chosen that unites them. Yet, in all the by certain classes of the people, withvicissitudes of fortune-some of them out whose concurrence taxes could disastrous—which this empire has not be imposed, troops levied, or lesurvived, these nations and races gislative measures enacted; and we have held together. The inference is find municipal institutions founded on inevitable—whatever may have been a broad basis of representation. In its defects, that form of government none of them was the form of governcould not have been altogether unfit ment originally despotic. for its purposes, which so many differ To the unquestionable titles by ent kingdoms and races united to sup which they acquired their crownsport and maintain.

titles by which the pride of nation or It would be a mistake, however, to of race was not wounded—and to the assume that these various states were more or less perfect preservation, in

own.

* Chiefly by marriage with princesses who were heirs to these kingdoms and principalities. It was thus that Hungary, Bohemia, and the Tyrol were acquired. Hence the lines

“ Bella gerant alii; tu, felix Austria, nube:
Nam quæ Mars aliis, dat tibi regna Venus."
You, Austria, wed as others wage their wars;

And crowns to Venus owe, as they to Mars. It was by marriage that the Saxon emperor, Otho the Great, acquired Lombardy for the German empire.

each state, of its national institutions in the religious wars of Frederick II.; and privileges—to the enjoyment by and for many years her diet has been each people of their laws, their lan- subservient. Lombardy, the prize of guage, customs, and prejudices—the contending armies—German, Spanish, princes of the house of Hapsburg and French-passing from hand to owed the allegiance of subjects who hand, has been regarded as a conhad little else in common. There, as quered country; and, with the forms elsewhere in continental Europe, the of a popular representation, has been sovereign long continued to encroach governed as an Austrian province. upon the rights of his subjects, and at Hungary alone has preserved her inlength usurped an authority not recog- dependence and her constitution. But nised by the laws of his different pos- these usurpations were not always sessions, or consistent with the condi- injurious to the great body of the tions on which he had received their people ; on the contrary, they were crowns. These usurpations were fre- often beneficial. In most of these states, quently resisted, and not unfrequently a great part of the population was by force of arms. Belgium asserted subject to a dominant class, or nobles, her independence, and was perma- who alone had a share in the governnently separated from Austria. But, ment, or possessed constitutional in such contests, the sovereign of many rights, and who exercised an arbitrary separate states had obvious advan- jurisdiction over the peasants. The tages. His subjects, divided by differ- crown, jealous of the power of the ences of race, language, religion, and aristocracy, afforded the peasants sentiment, were incapable of combin- some protection against the oppresing against him; and however solici- sions of their immediate superiors. A tous each people might be to preserve large body of the people in each state, their own liberties and privileges, they therefore, saw with satisfaction, or were not prepared to resist encroach- without resentment, the increasing ments on those of a neighbouring power of the crown, the abridgment people, for whom they had no friendly of rights and privileges which armed feeling. The Austrians and Italians their masters with the power to opwere ready to assert the emperor's press them, and the subversion of a authority in Hungary or Bohemia, constitution from which they derived the Hungarians and Bohemians to put no advantage. If the usurpations of down resistance in Lombardy. Even the crown threatened to alienate the in the same kingdom the races were nobles, they promised to conciliate not united. In Hungary, the Sclave the humbler classes. was sometimes ready to aid the em On the other hand, every noble was peror against the Majjar, the German & soldier. The wars in which the against the Sclave. The disunion emperor was engaged, while they which was a source of weakness to the forced him occasionally to cultivate empire was a source of strength to the the good-will of the aristocracy, on emperor.

which he was chiefly dependent for Partly by compulsory changes, his military resources, fostered milieffected according to constitutional tary habits of submission, and feelings forms, partly by undisguised usurpa- of feudal allegiance to the sovereign. tions, in which these forms were dis- Military service was the road to disregarded, the emperors were thus en- tinction — military glory the ruling abled to extend the prerogative of the passion. The crown

was the fountain crown, to abridge the liberties of their of honour, to which all who sought it subjects in each of their possessions, repaired. A splendid court had its and, in some of them, to subvert the usual attractions; and the nobles of national institutions.

the different races and nations, rivals In the Hereditary States of Austria, for the favour of the prince, sought to the power of the emperor has long outdo each other in proofs of devotion been absolute. The strength of Bohe- to his person and service. Thus it mia was broken, and her spirit sub- was, that, notwithstanding the usurdued, by the confiscations and pro- pations of the emperor, and the resistscriptions that followed upon the ance they excited, his foreign enemies defeat of the Protestants, near Prague, generally found all classes of his sub

arms.

jects united to defend the dignity of ism that resistance to Austrian autohis crown, and the integrity of his cracy was organised; it was not less dominions.

in defence of their religion than of Still there was nothing to bind to their liberties that the nation took up gether the various parts of this curious

Yet there was a time when fabric, except the accident of allegiance the Majjars, at least as tenacious of to one sovereign. This was but a their nationality as any other people precarious bond of union; and the in the empire, might perhaps have imperial government has, therefore, been Germanised-had certainly made been unremitting in its efforts to amal- considerable advances towards a more gamate the different parts into one intimate union with Austria. Maria whole. The Germans were but a Theresa, assailed without provocation small minority of the emperor's sub- by Prussia-in violation of justice jects, but the imperial government, and of the faith of treaties, by France, the growth of their soil, reflected their Bavaria, Saxony, Sardinia, and Spain, mind;

and it does not appear to have and aided only by England and the entered the Austrian mind to conceive United Provinces—was in imminent that a more intimate union could be danger of losing the greater part of accomplished in any other way than her dominions. Guided by the inby extending the institutions of the stinct of a woman's heart, and yieldHereditary States to all parts of the ing to its impulse, she set at naught empire, and thus ultimately convert the remonstrances of her Austrian ing the Italians, the Majjars, and the counsellors, and relied on the loyalty Sclaves, into Austrian Germans. of the Hungarians. Proceeding to

This policy has been eminently un- Presburg, she appeared at the meeting successful in Hungary, where it has of the diet, told the assembled nobles frequently been resisted by force of the difficulties and dangers by which arms; but its failure is not to be at- she was surrounded, and threw hertributed solely to the freedom of the self, her child, and her cause, upon institutions of that country, or to the their generosity. At that appeal love of independence, and the feelings every sabre leapt from its scabbard, of nationality which have been con

and the shout, Moriamur pro rege spicuous in her history. The imperial nostro, Maria Theresâ !" called all government, while it resisted the Hungary to arms. The tide of inusurpations of the see of Rome in vasion was rolled back beyond the secular matters, asserted its spiritual Alps and the Rhine, and the empire supremacy with unscrupulous zeal. was saved. Every one is acquainted with the bistory of the Reformation in Bohemia

“On avait vu," says Montesquieu, “la

maison d'Autriche travailler sans relâche its early manifestations, its progress, its unsuccessful contests, and its sup- ignorait de quel prix elle lui serait un

à opprimer la noblesse Hongroise; elle pression by military force, by confis. jour. Elle cherchait chez ces peuples de cations and proscriptions, extending l'argent, qui n'y était pas; elle ne voyait to half the property and the proprie pas les hommes, qui y étaient. Lorsque tors in that kingdom; but perhaps it tant de princes partagaient entre eux ces is not so generally known, or remem états, toutes les pièces de la monarchie, bered, that the Majjars early em

immobiles et sans action, tombaient, pour braced the Reformed doctrines of the ainsi dire, les unes sur les autres. Il school of Calvin, which, even now,

n'y avait de vie que dans cette noblesse, when more than half their numbers qui s'indigna, oublia tout pour combattre, have become Roman Catholics, is

et cru qu'il était de sa gloire de périr et known in Hungary as "the Majjar

de pardonner.” faith.” The history of religious per The nobles of Hungary had fallen secution, everywhere a chronicle of by thousands; many families had misery and crime, has few pages so been ruined; all had been impoverrevolting as that which tells of the ished by a war of seven years, which persecutions of the Protestants of they had prosecuted at their private Hungary, under her Roman Catholic charge; but their queen had not forkings of the house of Austria. It was gotten how much she owed them. in the name of persecuted Protestant She treated them with a kindness

« PreviousContinue »