« 上一頁繼續 »
of a duty, since they may prove useful, or lead to more mature suggestions.*
MEXICO AND THE GREAT WESTERN Before we close these remarks, we would
FRAIRIES fain observe, that the artists who are select
From the Edinburgh Review. ed to enter the lists of fame have a high and arduous struggle. Now the minds of 1. Life in Mexico during a Residence of Two men so occupied ought to be relieved as Years in that country. By MADAME much as possible from corroding anxiety,
CALDERON DE LA BARCA. 8vo. London: the unfailing attendant on deficiency of
18+3. worldly means. Our artists and authors 2. Travels in the Great Western Prairies, are not celebrated for their wealth; there
the Anahuac and Rocky Mountains, and ought, therefore, to be agreements by which in the Oregon Territory. By THOMAS J. each artist should receive stipulated por
FARNHAM. 2 vols. 8vo. London: 1843. tions of his remuneration in accordance MADAME CALDERON DE LA BARCA, the auwith the state of the work; the periodical thoress of the very entertaining volume payments to be one-third short of the whole first mentioned above, is, as we are in. amount, which last third should not be paid formed, a Scottish lady, bred in New Enguntil the completion.
land, and married to a Spaniard, with whom she was domiciled for two years as Ambassadress in Mexico-a curious combination of personal accidents—nor would it be
easy to conceive any more favorable, as “ THE LITTLE RED ROSE.”
regards shrewdness, situation, and oppor. tunities, for bringing us acquainted with the fashions of social life in that secluded part
of the world. Her book has all the natural A Bor caught sight of a rose in a bowerA little rose slyly hiding
liveliness, and tact, and readiness of reAmong the boughs ; 0! the rose was bright mark, which are sure to distinguish the And young, and it glimmer'd like morning light, first production of a clever woman; while The urchin sought it with haste ; 'twas a Power
she has really much to tell, and the stores A child indeed might take pride inA little rose, little rose, little red rose,
of some years of quiet accumulation to unAmong the bushes hiding.
fold. Would we could say that these deliThe wild boy shouted—“I'll pluck thee, rose,
cate qualities survived the first contact Little rose vainly hiding
with the public in one case in a hundred ! Among the boughs;" but the little rose spoke
Never was traveller better qualified for “ I'll prick thee, and that will prove no joke ;
such a task in such a country, as far as Unhurt, O then will I mock thy woes,
physical resources, courage, and curiosity Whilst thou thy folly art chiding.”
could Her feats of personal strength Little
little rose, little red rose, Among the bushes biding !
fill us with amazement. Morning visits
and balls all night-rides on horseback and But the rude boy laid his hands on the flower, muleback, in straw-bat and reboso, MexiThe little rose vainly hiding
can fashion, of fourteen leagues a-dayAmong the boughs ; 0, the rose was caught, But it turned again, and pricked and fought,
journeys for a week together by diligence, And left with its spoiler a smart from that hour, with a running accompaniment of robbers A pain for ever abiding;
-rattling at full gallop for days and nights, Little rose, little rose, little red rose,
over dikes and ditches, through roaring Among the bushes hiding !
streams, and over savage barrancas, in
Charles the Tenth's old coach, borrowed The Prince of Wales.-A rumor is current by the Ambassador of a native who bought that the Rev. Samuel Wilberforce, Archdeacon of it a bargain from some speculating French, Surrey, has been chosen by her Majesty to superintend the early studies of the Heir Apparent. We man–exploring, caves, waterfalls, and
need scarcely state, that although such an appoint mountains, in the intervals, and joining ment is highly probable, and would be regarded in every sort of dissipation which a Mexiwith general satisfaction, there exists no foundation can season will furnish,—all this seems the for the announcement of its having been already lady's very element, and gone through with made.
a hearty, honest good-will, which makes * Both Jeffry's marine glue and Margary's solu. the reader long to have been of her party. lion are patenis ; but as both have been tested to the Her curiosity is as prodigious as her powers utmost by the Admiralty, and are consequently be of endurance. The slightest peep of a fore the public, we may be excused the liberty we have taken in suggesting so novel an adaptation of
“lion” is enough to place her on thorns them in conjunction.
until she has fairly hunted him down. Not
a procession within her reach, in this pro- believe. A more genuine book, in air as cession-loving country--from the most gro. well as reality, it would be difficult to find. tesque, religious farce, enacted in some vil. True, there is a love of romance about her, lage near Mexico, up to the grand Holy which runs into the superlative on most ocThursday of the capital, which she does not casions; and probably her best stories, and delight in seeing out from beginning to end. finest descriptions, are precisely those On the latter occasion she seems to have which require the greatest allowances on visited half the churches in the city to see the part of the sober-minded reader ; but the illuminations, and knelt before every never yet were travels worth reading, the altar in each, until, at length, "our feet," author of which had not some propensity says she, " seemed to move mechanically, towards the exercise of the traveller's priand we dropped on our knees before each vilege. altar, like machines touched by a spring." We must confess, for our own parts, to The news of a nun about to take the veil a great predisposition to what may
be callnever fails to draw her out; and the more ed romance, in all matters that relate to painfully exciting the ceremony, the more this strange portion of the earth-rich in the eager her desire to catch a glimpse of the wonders of nature, and with a history upnext victim. Convents, prisons, schools, like all others. All which attracts and astheatres, mines, factories, nothing that can tonishes in other regions, seems combined be “seen,” in traveller's phrase, is too dull in one grand theatre in the Mexican isth. or too old, too quiet or too public for her. mus. Humboldt, the most imaginative of When she has nothing else to do, she can travellers, was the first who caught the pevisit, again and again, the few ruinous old culiar enchantment of the place, and tinged public buildings which form the stock sights his descriptions with the coloring of his of foreign street-loungers in Mexico. But own enthusiastic turn for recondite specuany thing like a funcion, as the Spaniards lations, historical and scientific. Scarcely call it, is irresistible. She goes with equal a day's journey can be taken without some delight to gambling fêtes, cock-fights, and striking change, such as in other parts of bull-fights, moralize, and have a peep at the world one must traverse oceans to exthe dresses. As to the last, indeed, her perience. There are the high table-lands, confession is of the frankest "Though with a sky ever pure, bright, and keen, alat first I covered my face, and could not most to the extreme, and so blue as allook, little by little I grew so much inte most to dazzle the eyes even in the moonrested in the scene that I could not take light”-abounding in every production of my eyes off it, and I can easily understand European industry, strangely mingled with the pleasure taken in these barbarous diver. some of the hardier forms of tropical vegesions by those accustomed to them from tation ; a land where every deserted garden childhood."
is overrun with fruit-trees and flowers, imNor are we at last at all surprised in hav-ported by the Spaniards in other days, and ing to accompany her, admission having now mingling with the weeds of the soil. been procured" by certain means, private You travel a few hours, ascend and debut powerful,” to the desugravios or nightly scend over a rugged chain clad with pine penance in the church of Saint Augustin- and oak, and embellished with “crosses” a grand disciplining match in the dark, per- to denote the blood that has been shed in formed by a hundred and fifty gentlemen its solitudes; or across a tract of glassy penitents; concluding the evening's enter- glades, a natural park, with clumps of trees, tainments at “the house of the minis. in wbich the deer dwell unmolested; or a ter, where there was a reunion, and where black burnt field of ferruginous lava; and I found the company comfortably engaged find yourself in some rich valley, amidst in eating a very famous kind of German chirimoyas, bananas, and granadillas, the salad, composed of herrings, smoked sal. fields smiling with magnificent crops of sumon, cold potatoes, and apples, and drink gar and coffee-you are in the temperate ing hot punch.”
zone, “tierra templada.” Another step, and
, The vividness of this clever writer's you are in an Arabian desert—a level recoloring has brought her, we find, under gion of sand and palm groves. You rise the suspicions of those sapient critics who again, and are speedily amongst the clouds, make a point of disbelieving wonderful sto. in the vast mother.chain of porphyry and ries about countries of which they know trachite, the “sierra madre" which internothing. Some have gone so far as to sects the land ; miners' huts, villages, and pronounce her work altogether an article cities, perched on the mountain sides, of fictitious manufacture-Paris-made, we amidst ravines and waterfalls, or embo.
Or take the following picture of a Mexi.
somed in leagues on leagues of waving pine red ruby, would perch upon the trees. We forests,
pulled boquets of orange-blossom, jasmine, lilies,
dark-red roses, and lemon leaves, and wished 65 That fluctuate when the storms of Eldorado we could have transported them to you, to those sound;"
lands where winter is now wrapping the world
in his white winding-sheet. while everywhere, for hundreds of miles,
“ The gardener or coffee-planter--such a garthe snowy cones of the three great volca- dener !- Don Juan by name, with an immense noes, shining at sunset above the violet, black beard, Mexican hat, and military sash of gold, and purple tints which color the low. crimson silk, came to offer us some orangeade; er ridges, seem as the landmarks of all the and having sent to the house for sugar and choicest and most beautiful districts : for if tumblers, pulled the oranges from the trees, and
drew the water from a clear tank overshadowed you wish to live in the Indies, says the Spanish proverb, let it be in sight of the by blossoming branches, and cold as though it volcanoes :
beautiful than the orange, with its golden fruit, “Si a morar en Indias quieres,
shining green leaves, and lovely white blossom Que sea donde los volcanos veyres.”
with so delicious a fragrance. We felt this
morning as if Atlacamulco was an earthly paraOver all this variegated country are scato dise.
But when the moon rose setered the remnants of an ancient and mys. renely and without a cloud, and a soft breeze, terious civilization, together with the fast the trees, I felt as if we could have rode on for
fragrant with orange-blossom, blew gently over decaying monuments of a second. The
ever, without fatigue, and in a state of the most massive churches, convents, and palaces perfect enjoyment. It was hard to say whether of the Spanish conquerors are crumbling the first soft breath of morning, or the languishaway, and bid fair, in a few years, to forming and yet more fragrant airs of evening, are a recent stratum of historical ruin's : while more enchanting."-(p. 245–251.) the phantoms of the silent, grave-eyed princes of the soil, and those of the long. descended Dons who succeeded them, are
can “Auburn,” not the less pleasing by the vanishing alike into the dominions of the sly contrast with scenery with which the
authoress is more familiar:past; and the countrymen of Montezuma are not more reduced to the condition of “ Travelling in New-England, we arrive at a subjects and strangers in their own land small and flourishing village.' We see four than those of Cortes
new churches proclaiming different sects; reli
gion suited to all customers. These wooden “ The Alexander of the Western zone,
churches or meeting-houses are all new, all Who won the world young Ammon mourn’d painted white, or perhaps a bright red. Hard unknown.”
by is a tavern with a green paling, as clean and
as new as the churches; and there are also vaMadame Calderon has not only a very rious smart stores and neat dwelling-houses-proper tourist's enthusiasm for the pic- all new, all wooden, all clean, and all ornamentturesque, but, what is much better, that ed with slight Grecian pillars. The whole has intense, real enjoyment of natural beauty, Churches,'stores, and taverns, are all of a piece.
a cheerful, trim, and flourishing aspect. Houses, and rural sights and sounds, which is so They are suited to the present emergency, often found strongest in those who enter whatever that may be, though they will never with the greatest spirit into the enjoyments make fine ruins. "Every thing proclaims prosof city life. She finds amusement in the perity, equality, consistency ;-the past forgotquietest orchards and coffee plantations, ten, the present all in all, and the future taking no less than in the dullest of Mexican ter- care of itself. No delicate attentions to postertulias.
ity, who can never pay its debts; no beggars.
If a man has even a hole in his coat, he must “ This morning, after a refreshing sleep, we be lately from the Emerald Isle. rose and dressed at eight o'clock-late hours for " Transport yourself, in imagination, from this tierra caliente--and then went out to the coffee New-England village to it matters not plantation and orange walk. Any thing so which, not far from Mexico. Look on this piclovely! The orange trees were covered with ture and on that.' The Indian huts with their their golden fruit and fragrant blossom; the fo. half-naked inmates, and little gardens full of rest-trees, bending over, formed a natural arch, flowers--the huts themselves either built of clay, which the sun could not pierce. We laid our- or the half ruined beaux restes of some stone selves down on the soft grass, contrasting this building. At a little distance a hacienda, like a day with the preceding. The air was soft and deserted palace, built of solid masonry, with its balmy, and actually heavy with the fragrance inner patio surrounded by thick stone pillars, of the orange-blossom and starry jasmine. All with great walls and iron-barred windows that around the orchard ran streams of the most de- might stand a siege. Here, a ruined arch and licious clear waters, trickling with sweet music, cross, so solidly built that one cannot but wonand now and then a little cardinal, like a bright: der how the stones are crumbled away. There, rising in the midst of old, faithful-looking trees, in that ungenial region; the schism in the the church, gray and ancient, but strong, as if city as to whether the fair ambassadress designed for eternity, with its saints and virgins, should, or should not, wear the dress of a and martyrs and relics, its gold, and silver, and Poblana peasant at the great fancy ball, precious stones, whose value would buy up all the spare lots in the New-England village ; and her own horror at discovering that the
the lepero, with scarcely a rag to cover him, Poblana costume, à la rigueur, consisted of kneeling on that marble pavement. Leaving very short petticoats, and no stockings; the enclosure of the church, observe the stone together with a thousand other matters wall that bounds the road for more than a mile with which no one but an ambassadress, the fruit-trees overtopping it, high though it be; with eyes and ears awake to every thing with their loaded branches. This is the convent orchard. And that great Gothic pile of build- about her, could possibly have brought us ing that stands in hoary majesty, surmounted acquainted. by the lofty mountains, whose cloud-enveloped
When Humboldt visited Mexico, forty summits, tinged by the evening sun, rise behind years ago, the wealth of the great landed it--what could só noble a building be but the proprietors had attained its maximum. The monastery, perhaps of the Carmelites, because extraordinary success of mining advenof its exceeding rich garden and well-chosen site; for they, of all monks, are richest in this tures, which had gone on flourishing with world's goods? Also, we may see the reverend scarcely any interruption for nearly a cenold prior riding slowly from under the arched tury, had stimulated the cultivation of the gate up the village lanes, the Indians coming soil; and, from the comparatively low price from their huts to do him lowly reverence as he of labor, immense fortunes were realized passes. Here everything reminds us of the by landlords and capitalists. There were past; of the conquering Spaniards, who seemed individuals who derived £40,000 a year to build for eternity, impressing each work with from land alone, without mines. The Count their own solid, grave, and religious character; of the triumph of Catholicism; and of the In- of Valenciana had received in some years dians, when first Cortes startled them from their £240,000 from the single mine of Valenrepose, and stood before them like the fulfilment ciana; the landed property of his family, of a half-forgotten prophecy. It is the present independently of that mine, being estimated that seems like a dream, a pale reflection of the at six millions sterling. Their extravapast. All is decaying and growing fainter, and men seem trusting to some unknown future gance was as prodigious as their fortunes; which they may never see. One government though its wildest excesses were often disa has been abandoned, and there is none in its tinguished by that vein of hyperbolical place; one revolution follows another, yet the grandeur which runs through the Spanish remedy is not found. Let them beware, lest, character. The Count de Regla of former half a century later, they be awakened from days was so wealthy,” says Madame Cal. their delusion, and find the cathedral turned deron, “that when his son, the present into a meeting-house, and all painted white; Count, was christened, the whole party the railing melted down; the silver transformed into dollars; the Virgiu's jewels sold to the walked from his house to the church upon highest bidder; the floor washed, (which would ingots of silver. The Countess having do it no harm,) and round the whole a nice quarrelled with the Vice-Queen, sent her, new wooden paling, freshly done in green; and in token of reconciliation, a white satin all this performed by some of the artists from slipper, entirely covered with large diathe wide-awake republic further north."
monds. The Count invited the King of
Spain to visit his Mexican territories, asBut although such passages as these suring him that the hoofs of his majesty's abound, we still prefer the lady in her less horse should touch nothing but solid silver sentimental moods. There is little enough from Vera Cruz to the capital. This might of romance in actual Mexican society, and be a bravado; but a more certain proof of her insight into it was of that minute cha- his wealth exists in the fact that he caused racter which leaves nothing to the imagi- two ships of the line, of the largest size, nation. We enter more heartily into the to be constructed in Havana, at his expense, distresses and embarrassments into which made of mahogany and cedar, and presentshe was thrown, by the utter novelty of the ed them to the king.” This was the noways of the people among whom she be-bleman whose daughter-in-law, la Guera came domiciled ;-the riddles of Mexican Rodriguez, was said to have seduced even etiquette, the horrors of Mexican cookery, the philosophic Humboldt into a flirtation;
a and miseries of Mexican servants; the and lived to be Madame Calderon's intidaily terrors, amounting just to a pleasant mate associate, and her geueral vouchee for excitement, of robbers and revolutions; all extraordinary narratives. the vicissitudes of an attempt to set up Now, the history of the last thirty years weekly soirées, with music and flirtation, l in Mexico has been that of incessant re
volations and disturbances, beating with commodities since emancipation. Madame violence against the enormous mass of this Calderon's account of the extravagant pro. hereditary property, without, as yet, suc. fusion of the Mexican ladies in jewelry, ceeding in breaking it down. The landed has been cited by some of her wise readers gentry of Mexico are, of course, very much as incredible. She certainly surprises us poorer than their grandfathers. They a little now and then—especially when she have suffered by proscriptions, conscrip- speaks of the great displays of this kind tions, and vexations of every kind: the ex. among women of the inferior classes, and pulsion of their intelligent Spanish super. in the country, where highway_robberies intendents and managers—the repeated are every day's entertainment. But, generavage of their estates--the decimation rally speaking, it is very natural that this of their Indian laborers by war. They relic of the profuse and luxurious habits of have shared, too, in their own proportion, wealthier days should have remained ; be. in the terrible depression of mining pro- cause there is no movable wealth which perty, which is probably more owing to can be more easily concealed and preserv. one cause—the high price at which quick- ed in dangerous times. As to the precious silver is now maintained in Europe by cer- metals, every one knows, that in the more tain monopolies kept up for state purposes inaccessible parts of Mexico, and still more -than to all the internal misfortunes of in Peru, they were at one time more comthe country put together. Still, they ex. mon than their plated substitutes are among ist; and, what is more, they are at the ourselves. Sir William Temple speaks of head of parties. Whichever side wins in a small town in Peru, where the principal the eternal revolutions of the country, is families rejoiced in watering-troughs of pretty sure to count a good proportion of pure silver in their courtyards; and we rethe lords of the soil among its leaders. collect a consignment, some years ago, to Santa Anna, we believe, is very rich. We a London merchant, of a lot of cavalry hel. have been informed that Bustamente, the mets of the same article, which a defeated late Presiden beld eighteen of the large squadron had thrown off in running away, grants into which the soil of Mexico was in order to delay their pursuers. formerly divided, each containing 22,000 With these outward relics of aristocracy, acres. No agrarian party has, as yet, risen Mexico still preserves much of the stately up in Mexico, as far as we are aware. courtesy and etiquette of the old Spanish There is a great dislike among the rulers style-exaggerated, as all such qualities to any thing like tampering with the insti- are in colonies. It preserves, too, espetutions of property. We have heard that cially in the capital and larger cities, what Santa Anna has lately put down a News- is much better, a true social spirit-the paper, conducted on very moderate prin spirit of mutual good-humor and kindliness. ciples, for merely suggesting that the agri- It is pleasing to turn from the reckless culture of the country would gain by the abuse with which the Mexican character is subdivision of the large haciendas. Confis- treated by travellers in general, to the tescation seems to have been a measure rarely timony of one who had learned to know it resorted to, even in the worst times, and well.“ In point of amiability and warmth by the most ferocious party leaders; who of manner, says Madame Calderon, “I made a point of shooting their opponents have met with no women who can poswherever they could catch them. Now, sibly compete with those in Mexico; and indeed, revolutions have become matters it appears to me that women of all other of such everyday occurrence, that they countries will appear cold and stiff by comseem to be prosecuted with much less ani- parison.' This is an assertion which she mosity than a parliamentary struggle in frequently repeats. Nor does she speak England; and there is something ludicrous less favorably of the national disposition in in Madame Calderon's account of the gene- many other more important respects, howral congratulations and embracings which ever serious the counterbalancing vices followed the two cannonadings to which may be. These are things which most she was an eye-witness.
travellers are altogether unable to judge There is, therefore, still great private of, particularly English and American. wealth, the remnant of old accumulations They can see the indolence and ignorance, in Mexico; not to mention that in portions the tokens of murder and robbery, the beof the Republic, where the evils of these setting sins of the people, easily enough ; disturbances have been least oppressively they cannot discover, nor appreciate if felt, industry has received a considerable they could, the peculiar savoir vivre of the stimulus from the cheapness of foreign Spanish race, and the graces which attend