صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني

they are to be looked upon as titular orna- the vanquished box. He had marked it out ments, common to the Spanish Kleptocracy. on the shelf; and under pretence of lunging He is extremely pleasant, especially in his at the confectioner, pinked it away like a younger days. His mother, who is no better muffin. than the progenitor of such a personage ought Upon turning to Quevedo, we find that the to be, happens to have the misfortune one day story has grown a little upon our memory, as of being carted. Paul, who was then a school to detail ; but this is the spirit of it. The boy, was elected king on some boyish holiday ; prize here, it is to be observed, is something and riding out upon a half-starved horse, it eatable; and the same yearning is a predomipicked up a small cabbage as they went nant property of Quevedo's sharpers, as well through the market. The market - women as the others. began pelting the king with rotten oranges Adieu, ye pleasant rogues of Spain ! ye surand turnip-tops ; upon which, having feathers mounters of bad government, hunger, and in his cap, and getting a notion in his head misery, by the mere force of a light climate that they mistook him for his mother, who, and fingers! The dinner calls ;-and to talk agreeably to a Spanish custom, was tricked about you before it, is as good as taking a ride out in the same manner when she was carted, on horseback. he halloo'd out, “ Good women, though I wear We must return a moment to the Italian feathers in my cap, I am none of Alonza thieves, to relate a couple of stories related of Saturuo de Rebillo. She is my mother.” Ariosto and Tasso. The former was for a

Paul used to be set upon unlucky tricks by short period governor of Grafagnana, a disthe son of a man of rank, who preferred turbed district in the Apennines, which his enjoying a joke to getting punished for it. prudent and gentle policy brought back from Among others, one Christmas, a counsellor its disaffection. Among its other troubles were happening to go by of the name of Pontio de numerous bands of robbers, two of the names Auguirre, the little Don told his companion of whose leaders, Domenico Maroco, and to call Pontius Pilate, and then to run away. Filippo Pacchione, have come down to posHe did so, and the angry counsellor followed terity. Ariosto, during the first days of his after him with a knife in his hand, so that he government, was riding out with a small was forced to take refuge in the house of the retinue, when he had to pass through a number schoolmaster. The lawyer laid his indict- of suspicious-looking armed men, The two ment, and Paul got a hearty fogging, during parties had scarcely cleared each other, when which he was enjoined never to call Pontius the chief of the strangers asked a servant, who Pilate again ; to which he heartily agreed. happened to be at some distance behind the The consequence was, that next day, when others, who that person was. “ It is the captain the boys were at prayers, Paul, coming to of the citadel here,” said the man,“ Lodovico the Belief, and thinking that he was never Ariosto.” The stranger no sooner heard the again to name Pontius Pilate, gravely said, name, than he went running back to overtake “Suffered under Pontio de Auguirre ;" which the governor, who, stopping his horse, waited cvidence of his horror of the scourge so inte- with some anxiety for the event. “I beg your rested the pedagogue, that, by a Catholic mode pardon, Sir," said he, “ but I was not aware of dispensation, he absolved him from the next that so great a person as the Signor Lodovico two whippings he should incur.

Ariosto was passing near me. My name is But we forget that our little picaro was a Filippo Pacchione ; and when I knew who it thief. One specimen of his talents this way, I could not go on without returning to and we have done with the Spaniards. He pay the respect due to so illustrious a name." went with young Don Diego to the university ; A doubt is thrown on this story, or rather and here getting applause for some tricks he on the particular person who gave occasion to played upon people, and dandling, as it were, it, by the similarity of an adventure related of his growing propensity to theft, he invited hisTasso. Both of them however are very procompanions one evening to see him steal a bable, let the similarity be what it may ; for box of comfits from a confectioner's. He both the poets had occasion to go through accordingly draws his rapier, which was stiff disturbed districts; robbers abounded in both and well-pointed ; runs violently into the shop; their times; and the leaders being most proand exclaiming, “ You ’re a dead man !” makes bably men rather of desperate fortunes than a fierce lunge at the confectioner between the want of knowledge, were likely enough to seize body and arm. Down drops the man, half such opportunities of vindicating their better dead with fear; the others rush out. But habits, and showing a romantic politeness. The what of the box of comfits? “ Where are the enthusiasm too is quite in keeping with the box of comfits, Paul ?” said the rogues : national character; and it is to be observed do not see what you have done after all, except that the particulars of Tasso's adventure are frighten the fellow.”—“ Look here, my boys," different, though the spirit of it is the same. answered Paul. They looked, and at the end He was journeying, it is said, in company with of his rapier beheld, with shouts of laughter, others, for better security against the banditti



who infested the borders of the papal territory, sian subject, military or civil, to accept a present when they were told that Sciarra, a famous from the Virgin Mary. robber, was at hand in considerable force. The district, formerly rendered famous by Tasso was for pushing on, and defending them- | the exploits of Scanderbeg, Prince of Epirus, selves if attacked; but his opinion was over

and since become infamous by the tyranny of ruled ; and the company threw themselves, for Ali Bey, has been very fertile in robbers. And safety, into the city of Mola. Here Sciarra no wonder : for a semi-barbarous people so kept them in a manner blocked up; but hearing governed become thieves by necessity. The that Tasso was among the travellers, he sent name indeed, as well as profession, is in such him word that he should not only be allowed good receipt with an Albanian, that according to pass, but should have safe-conduct whither- to late travellers, it is a common thing for him soever he pleased. The lofty poet, making it to begin his history by saying, “When I was a it matter of delicacy, perhaps, to waive an robber- We remember reading of some advantage of which his company could not Albanian or Sclavonian leader of banditti, who partake, declined the offer ; upon which Sciarra made his enemies suppose he had a numerous sent another message, saying, that upon the force with him, by distributing military caps sole account of Tasso, the ways should be left upon the hedges. open. And they were so.

There are some other nations who are all We can call to mind no particular German thieves, more or less; or comprise such thieves, except those who figure in romances, numbers of them as very much militate against and in the Robbers of Schiller. To say the the national character. Such are the piratical truth, we are writing just now with but few Malays; the still more infamous Algerines; books to refer to; and the better informed and the mongrel tribes between Arabia and reader must pardon any deficiency he meets Ahyssinia. As to the Arabs, they have a prewith in these egregious and furtive memo- scriptive right, from tradition as well as local randums. Of the Robbers of Schiller an extra- circumstances, to plunder everybody. The ordinary effect is related. It is said to have sanguinary ruffians of Ashantee and other driven a number of wild-headed young Germans black empires on the coast of Guinea are more upon playing at banditti, not in the bounds of like a government of murderers and ogres, a school or university, but seriously in a forest. than thieves. They are the next ruffians The matter-of-fact spirit in which a German perhaps in existence to slave-dealers. The sets about being enthusiastic, is a metaphysical gentlest nation of pilferers are the Otaheitans ; curiosity which modern events render doubly and something is to be said for their irresistible interesting. It is extremely worthy of the love of hatchets and old nails. Let the Euroattention of those rare personages, entitled pean trader, that is without sin, cast the first reflecting politicians. But we must take care paragraph at them. Let him think what he of that kind of digression. It is very inhuman should feel inclined to do, were a ship of some of these politics, that the habit of attending to unknown nation to come upon his coast, with them, though with the greatest good-will and gold and jewels lying scattered about the deck. sincerity, will always be driving a man upon For no less precious is iron to the South Sea thinking how his fellow-creatures are going on. Islander. A Paradisiacal state of existence

There is a pleasant, well-known story of a would be, to him, not the Golden, but the Iron Prussian thief and Frederick the Second. Age. An Otaheitan Jupiter would visit his

We forget what was the precise valuable | Danaë in a shower of tenpenny nails. found upon the Prussian soldier, and missed We are now come to a very multitudinous from an image of the Virgin Mary; but we set of candidates for the halter, the thieves of believe it was a ring. He was tried for sacri- our own beloved country. For what we know lege, and the case seemed clear against him, of the French thieves is connected with them, when he puzzled his Catholic judges by in- excepting Cartouche ; and we remember noforming them, that the fact was, the Virgin thing of him, but that he was a great ruffian, Mary had given him that ring. Here was a and died upon that worse ruffian, the rack. terrible dilemma. To dispute the possibility There is, to be sure, an eminent instance of or even probability of a gift from the Virgin a single theft in the Confessions of Rousseau ; Mary, was to deny their religion : while, on and it is the second greatest blot in his book ; the other hand, to let the fellow escape on the for he suffered a girl to be charged with and pretence, was to canonize impudence itself. punished for the theft, and maintained the lie The worthy judges, in their perplexity, applied to her face, though she was his friend, and apto the king, who, under the guise of behaving pealed to him with tears. But it may be said delicately to their faith, was not sorry to have for him, at any rate, that the world would not such an opportunity of joking it. His majesty have known the story but for himself: and if therefore pronounced, with becoming gravity, such a disclosure be regarded by some as an that the allegation of the soldier could not but additional offence (which it may be thought to have its due weight with all Catholic believers; be by some very delicate as well as dishonest but that in future, it was forbidden any Prus- people), we must recollect, that it was the ob

ject of his book to give a plain unsophisticated should speak truly, little better than one of account of a human being's experiences; and the wicked. I must give over this life, and I that many persons of excellent repute would will give it over : by the Lord, an I do not, I have been found to have committed actions as am a villain : l’ll be damned for never a king's bad, had they given accounts of themselves as son in Christendom. candid. Dr. Johnson was of opinion that all “ P. Henry. Where shali we take a purse children were thieves and liars: and somebody, to-morrow, Jack ? we believe a Scotchman, answered a fond Falstuff. Where thou wilt, lad ; I'll make speech about human nature, by exclaiming one : an I do not, call me villain, and batile that “human nature was a rogue and a vaga

me." bond, or so many laws would not have been We must take care how we speak of Macnecessary to restrain it.” We venture to differ, heath, or we shall be getting political again. on this occasio. with both Englishman and Fielding's Jonathan Wild the Great is also, in Scotchman. Laws in particular, taking the this sense, “caviare to the multitude.” But bad with the good, are quite as likely to have we would say more if we had room. Count made rogues, as restrained them. But we see, Fathom, a deliberate scoundrel, compounded at any rate, what has been suspected of more of the Jonathan Wilds and the more equivocal orthodox persons than Rousveau ; to say no- Cagliostros and other adventurers, is a thief thing of less charitable advantages which not at all to our taste. We are continually might be taken of such opinions. Rousseau obliged to call his mother to our recollection, committed a petty theft ; and miserably did in order to bear him. The only instance in his false shame, the parent of so many crimes, which the character of an absolute profligate make him act. But he won back to their in- pickpocket was ever made comparatively welfants' lips the bosoms of thousands of mothers. come to our graver feelings, is in the extraorHe restored to their bereaved and helpless dinary story of “Manon l’Escuut,” by the Abbé owners thousands of those fountains of health Prevost. It is the story of a young man, so and joy : and before he is abused, even for passionately in love with a profligate female, worse things than the theft, let those whose that he follows her through every species of virtue consists in custom, think of this. vice and misery, even when she is sent as a

As we have mixed fictitious with real thieves convict to New Orleans. His love, indeed, is rein this article, in a manner, we fear, somewhat turned. IIe is obliged to subsist upon her vices, uncritical (and yet the fictions are most likely and, in return, is induced to help her with his founded on fact; and the life of a real thief is own, becoming a cheat and a swindler to supply a kind of dream and romance), we will despatch her outrageous extravagances. On board the our fictitious English thieves before we come convict-ship (if we recollect) he waits on her to the others. And we must make shorter through every species of squalidness, the conwork of them than we intended, or we shall vict-dress and her shaved head only redoubling never come to our friend Du Vall. The length his love by the help of pity. This seems a to which this article has stretched out, will be shocking and very immoral book; yet multia warning to us how we render our paper tudes of very reputable people have found a liable to be run away with in future.

charm in it. The fact is, not only that Manon There is a very fine story of Three Thieves is beautiful, sprightly, really fond of her lover, in Chaucer, which we must tell at large an- and after all, becomes reformed; but that it is other time. The most prominent of the fabu- delightful, and ought to be so, to the human lous thieves in England is that bellipotent and heart, to see a vein of sentiment and real goodimmeasurable wag, Falstaff. If for a momen- ness looking out through all this callous surtary freak, he thought it villanous to steal, at face of guilt. It is like meeting with a tree in the next moment he thought it villanous not a squalid hole of a city ; a flower or a frank to steal.

face in a reprobate purlieu. The capabilities “Hal, I pr’ythee, trouble me no more with of human nature are not compromised. The vanity. I would to God thou and I knew where virtue alone seems natural ; the guilt, as it so a commodity of good names were to be bought. often is, seems artificial, and the result of An old lord of the council rated me the other some bad education or other circumstance. day in the street, about you, Sir; but I marked Nor is anybody injured. It is one of the him not. And yet he talked very wisely ; but shallowest of all shallow notions to talk of I regarded him not. And yet he talked wisely; the harm of such works. Do we think noand in the streets, too.

body is to be harined but the virtuous ; or P. Henry. Thou didst well ; for “Wisdom that there are not privileged harms and vices cries out in the streets, and no man regards it.' to be got rid of, as well as unprivileged ! No

"Falstaff, 0, thou hast damnable iteration ; good-hearted person will be injured by rendand art, indeed, able to corrupt a saint. Thou ing “Manon l'Escaut.” There is the belief in hast done much harm upon me, Hal ; God for goodness in it; a faith, the want of which does give thee for it! Before I knew thee, Hal, so much harm, both to the vicious and the I knew nothing ; and now am I, if a man over-righteous.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]


The prince of all robbers, English or foreign, generous way of padding ;” that is to say, is undoubtedly Robin Hood. There is a wor- he behaved with exemplary politeness to all thy Scottish namesake of his, Rob Roy, who coaches, especially those in which there were has lately had justice done to all his injuries ladies, making a point of frightening them by a countryman ; and the author, it seems, as amiably as possible, and insisting upon has now come down from the borders to see returning any favourite trinkets or keepsakes, the Rob of the elder times well treated. We for which they chose to appeal to him with were obliged to tear ourselves away from his “ their most sweet voices." first volume * to go to this ill-repaying article. It was in this character that he performed But Robin Ilood will still remain the chief an exploit, which is the eternal feather in the and “gentlest of thieves.” He acted upon cap of highway gentility. We will relate it in a larger scale, or in opposition to a larger the words of our informer. Riding out with injustice, to a whole political system. some of his confederates, “he overtakes a "shook the superflux" to the poor, and coach, which they had set over night, having "showed the heavens more just.” However, intelligence of a booty of four hundred pounds what we have to say of him, we must keep in it. In the coach was a knight, his lady, till the trees are in leaf again, and the green and only one serving-maid, who, perceiving wood shade delightful.

five horsemen making up to them, presently We dismiss, in one rabble-like heap, the imagined that they were beset; and they were real Jonathan Wilds, Avershaws, and other confirmed in this apprehension by seeing them heroes of the Nercate Calendar, who have no whisper to one another and ride backwards redemption in their rascality; and after them, and forwards. The lady, to show she was for rentlemen-valets, may go the Barringtons, not afraid, takes a flageolet out of her pocket, Major Semples, and other sneaking rogues, and plays ; Du Vall takes the hint, plays also, who held on a treinulous career of iniquity, and excellently well, upon a flageolet of his hetwixt pilfering and repenting. Yet Jack own, and in this posture he rides up to the Sheppard must not be forgotten, with his coach side. “Sir,' says he to the person in ingenious and daring breaks-out of prison ; the coach, ‘your lady plays excellently, and nor Turpin, who is said to have ridden his I doubt not but that she dances as well ; horse with such swiftness from York to will you please to walk out of the coach, London, that he was enabled to set up an and let me have the honour to dance one alin. We have omitted to notice the cele- coranto with her upon the heath ?' brated Bucaniers of America ; but these are said the person in the coach, “I dare not fellows, with regard to whom we are willing deny anything to one of your quality and to take Dogberry's advice, and “steal out of good mind; you seem a gentleman, and your their company.” Their history disappoints us request is very reasonable:' which said, the with its dryness.

lacquey opens the boot, out comes the knight, All hail ! thou most attractive of scape- Du Vall leaps lightly off his horse, and hands graces ! thou inost accomplished of gentlemen the lady out of the coach. They danced, and of the road! thou, worthy to be called one of here it was that Du Vall performed marvels ; "the minions of the moon,” Monsieur Claude the best master in London, except those that Du Vall, whom we have come such a long and are French, not being able to show such footdangerous journey to see !

ing as he did in his great riding French boots. Claude Du Vall, according to a pleasant The dancing being over, he waits on the lady account of him in the Harleian Miscellany, was to her coach. As the knight was going in, born at Domfront, in Normandy, in the year says Du Vall to him, 'Sir, you have forgot 1643, of Pierre Du Vall, miller, and Marguerite to pay the music.' 'No, I have not,' replies de la Roche, the fair daughter of a tailor. the knight, and putting his hand under the Being a sprightly boy, he did not remain in seat of the coach, pulls out a hundred pounds the country, but became servant to a person in bag, and delivers it to him, which Du of quality at Paris, and with this gentleman Vall took with a very good grace, and courtehe came over to England at the time of the ously answered, “Sir, you are liberal, and shall Restoration. It is difficult to say, which came have no cause to repent your being so; this over to pick the most pockets and hearts, liberality of yours shall excuse you the other Charles the Second or Claude du Vall. Be three hundred pounds :' and giving him the this as it may, his “

of life (“ for,” word, that if he met with any more of the says the contemporary historian, “ I dare not crew he might pass undisturbed, he civilly call them vices,") soon reduced him to the takes his leave of him. necessity of going upon the road; and here “ This story, I confess, justifies the great "he quickly became so famous, that in a kindness the ladies had for Du Vall ; for in proclaination for the taking several notorious this, as in an epitome, are contained all things highwaymen, he had the honour to be named that set a man off advantageously, and make first." “ He took," says his biographer, “ the him appear, as the phrase is, much (t gentleman.

First, here was valour, that he and but four

[ocr errors]


* Of Ivanhoe.


Th' arrival of his fatal hour,

more durst assault a knight, a lady, a waiting- of transfusing the blood of one animal into gentlewoman, a lacquey, a groom that rid by another, and that it has been experimented by to open the gates, and the coachman, they putting the blood of a sheep into an Englishbeing six to five, odds at football ; and I am against that way of experiments ; besides, Du Vall had much the worst cause, for, should we make ail Englishmen sheep, we and reason to believe, that whoever should should soon be a prey to the loure. arrive, would range themselves on the enemy's “I think I can propose the making that party. Then he showed his invention and experiment a more advantageous way. I sagacity, that he could, sur le champ, and, with would have all gentlemen, who have been a out studying, make that advantage on the full year or more out of France, be let blood lady's playing on the flageolet. He evinced weekly, or oftener, if they can bear it. Mark his skill in instrumental inusic, by playing on how much they bleed ; transfuse so much his flageolet ; in vocal, by his singing ; for (as French lacquey's blood into them ; replenislı I should have told you before) there being no these last out of the English footmen, for it is violins, Du Vall sung the coranto himself. no matter what becomes of them. Repeat this He manifested his agility of body, by lightly operation toties quoties, and in process of time dismounting off his horse, and with ease you will find this event: either the English and freedom getting up again, when he took gentlemen will be as much beloved as the his leave ; his excellent deportment, by his French lacqueys, or the French lacqueys as incomparable dancing, and his graceful man- little esteemed as the English gentlemen.” ner of taking the hundred pounds; his gene- Butler has left an Ode, sprinkled with his rosity, in taking no more ; his wit and elo- usual wit, “ To the happy Memory of the Most quence, and readiness at repartees, in the Renowned Du Vall,” who whole discourse with the knight and lady,

-Like a pious man, some years before the greatest part of which I have been forced to omit."

Made overy day he had to live The noise of the proclamation made Da Vall

To his last minute a preparative ; return to Paris ; but he came back in a short

Taught the wild Arabs on the road

To act in a more gentlo mode ; time for want of money. His reign however

Take prizes more obligingly from those, did not last long after his restoration. He Who never had been bred filous ; made an unlucky attack, not upon some ill- And how to hang in a more graceful fashion bred passengers, but upon several bottles of Than e'er was known before to the dull English nation, wine, and was taken in consequence at the

As it may be thought proper that we should Hole-in-the-Wall in Chandos-street. His life

end this lawless article with a good moral, we was interceded for in vain : he was arraigned will give it two or three sentences from Shakand committed to Newgate ; and executed at

speare worth a whole volume of sermons Tyburn in the 27th year of his age ; showers against thieving. The boy who belongs to of tears from fair eyes bedewing his fate, both

Falstaff's companions, and who begins to see while alive in prison, and when dead at the through the shallowness of their cunning and fatal tree.

way of life, says that Bardolph stole a luteDu Vall's success with the ladies of those

case, carried it twelve miles, and sold it for days, whose amatory taste was of a turn more three halfpence. extensive than delicate, seems to have made some well-dressed English gentlemen jealous. The writer of Du Vall's life, who is a man of wit, evidently has something of bitterness in

XXI.-A FEW THOUGHTS ON SLEEP. his railleries upon this point ; but he manages them very pleasantly. He pretends that he is This is an article for the reader to think of, an old bachelor, and has never been able to when he or she is warm in bed, a little before make his way with his fair countrywomen, on he goes to sleep, the clothes at his ear, and the account of the French valets that have stood wind moaning in some distant crevice. in his way. He says he had two objects in “ Blessings,” exclaimed Sancho,“

on him writing the book. “ One is, that the next

that first invented sleep! It wraps a man all Frenchman that is hanged may not cause an

round like a cloak." It is a delicious moment uproar in this imperial city ; which I doubt certainty,—that of being well nestled in bed, not but I have effected. The other is a much and feeling that you shall drop gently to sleep. harder task : to set my countrymen on even The good is to come, not past : the limbs have terms with the French, as to the English been just tired enough to render the remainladies' affections. If I should bring this about, / ing in one posture delightful : the labour of I should esteem myself to have contributed the day is done. A gentle failure of the permuch to the good of this kingdom.

ceptions comes creeping over one :—the spirit “ One remedy there is, which, possibly, may of consciousness disengages itself more and conduce something towards it.

more, with slow and hushing degrees, like a “I have heard, that there is a new invention mother detaching her hand from that of her

« السابقةمتابعة »