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EXCULPATION.

Wilt thou dare to blame the woman for her seeming sudden changes,

Swaying east and swaying westward, as the breezes shake the tree? Fool! thy selfish thought misguides thee—find the man that never ranges ;

Woman wavers but to seek him—Is not then the fault in thee?

The Muse's MIRROR.

To deck herself, the Muse, at early morn,
Wander'd a-down a wimpling brook, to find
Some glassy pool more quiet than the rest.
On sped the stream, and ever as it ran
It swept away her image, which did change
With every bend and dimple of the wave.
In wrath the Goddess turn'd her from the spot,
Yet after her the brook, with taunting tongue,
Did call—“ 'Tis plain thou wilt not see the truth
All purely though my mirror shows it thee !"
But she, meanwhile, stood with indifferent ear,
By a far corner of the crystal lake,
Delightedly surveying her fair form,
And settling flowerets in her golden hair.

PAEBUS AND HERMES.

The deep-brow'd lord of Delos once, and Maia's nimble-witted son,
Contended eagerly by whom the prize of glory should be won;
Hermes long’d to grasp the lyre,—the lyre Apollo hoped to gain,
And both their hearts were full of hope, and yet the hopes of both were vain.
For Ares, to decide the strife, between them rudely dash'd in ire,
And waving high his falchion keen, he cleft in twain the golden lyre.
Loud Hermes laugh'd maliciously, but at the direful deed did fali
The deepest grief upon the heart of Phæbus and the Muses all.

A New Love.

Love, not the simple youth that whilome wound
Himself about young Psyche's heart, look'd round
Olympus with a cold and roving eye,
That had accustom'd been to victory.
It rested on a Goddess, noblest far
Of all that noble throng—a glorious star-
Venus Urania. And from that hour
He loved her. Ah! to his resistless power

Even she, the holy one, did yield at last,
And in his daring arms he held her fast.
A new and beauteous Love from that embrace
Had birth ; that to the mother owed his grace
And purity of soul, whilst from his sire
He borrow'd all his passion, all his fire.
Him ever where the gracious Muses be
Thou'lt surely find. Such sweet society
Is his delight, and his sharp-pointed dart
Doth rouse within men's breasts the love of ART.

THE WREATHS.

Our German Klopstock, if he had his will,
Would bar us from the skirts of Pindus old.
No more the classic laurel should be prized,
But the rough leaflets of our native oak
Alone should glisten in the poet's hair ;
Yet did himself, with spirit unreclaim'd
From first allegiance to those early Gods,
Lead up to Golgotha's most awful height
With more than epic pomp the new Crusade.
But let him range the bright angelic host
On either hill— no matter. By his grave
All gentle hearts should bow them down and weep.
For where a hero and a saint have died,
Or where a poet sang prophetical,
Dying as greatly as they greatly lived,
To give memorial to all after times,
Of lofty worth and courage undismay'd ;
There, in mute reverence, all devoutly kneel,
In homage of the thorn and laurel wreath,
That were at once their glory and their pang !

THE Swiss ALP.

Yesterday thy head was brown, as are the flowing locks of love,
In the bright blue sky I watch'd thee towering, giant-like, above.
Now thy summit, white and hoary, glitters all with silver snow,
Which the stormy night hath shaken from its robes upon thy brow;
And I know that youth and age are bound with such mysterious meaning,
As the days are link'd together, one short dream but intervening.

SPAIN AS IT IS.

ous.

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THERE exists in this country a we have occasionally met journeying numerous class of persons who, if by coachfuls in France, Germany, they were given their choice of an and other peaceable lands, unsquired overland journey to India and back, and unescorted save by their waitor a ramble through Spain, occupying ing-maids : to them the encounter of the same space of time, would prefer rateros, salteadores, or other varieties the former, as likely to be less incon- of Spanish banditti, might be in varivenient, and decidedly far less peril- ous respects disagreeable ; but for

The wars and rumours of wars, men, who, without leaving Europe, revolutions, rebellions, skirmishes, may wish to visit other scenes than and pronunciamentos, that

those in which every Cockney tourist papers have recorded during the last has wandered, we know of few exten or twelve years, with an occa- peditions more interesting than one sional particularly bloody and bar- into the interior of Spain. Fine barous execution by way of interlude, scenery, interesting monuments, ashave certainly not been calculated to sociations historic, classic, and poetireassure timid travellers ; nor can we cal, and—which to our thinking is still well wonder that, at the mere men- preferable-a people who, in spite of tion of an excursion beyond the Gallo and Anglo manias, still possess Pyrenees, tourists are seized with a great originality of character and cusvertigo ; and that visions, not only of toms, are there to be met with. We rancid gaspachos and vermin-haunted cannot do better than refer those percouches, but of chocolate-complexion- sons who would like additional eviéd ruffians with sugar-loaf hats, but- dence on the subject, to the volumes ton-bedecked jackets, fierce mus- named at foot, in which they will see taches, and lengthy escopetas, peer- how a man possessed of prudence, ing out of the gloomy recesses of a good sense, and good temper, may cork wood, or from among the silvery visit some of the wildest and least frefoliage of an olive grove, pass before quented parts of the Peninsula, not the eyes of their imagination. Dan- only without injury or annoyance, but gers often appear greater at a dis- with considerable pleasure and profit. tance than upon close examination ; Captain Widdrington's journey to many a phantom of ghastly aspect Spain, in the Spring of 1843, had, as proves upon inspection to be but a tur- he tells us, a twofold object. He was nip-faced goblin after all: and we desirous of observing the effects of the suspect that if some of the timorous numerous changes that have taken would adventure themselves upon place in that country since the death Spanish soil, they might find their of Ferdinand.; and he, at the same precious persons far safer than they time, thought that his assistance and had anticipated ; and discover that previous knowledge of the country they were in the hands neither of and people, would be useful to a Caffres nor cannibals, but amongst a scientific friend, Dr Daubeny, who courteous and generous people, who, had been commissioned by the Agriif occasionally a little too disposed to cultural Society to examine the formslit each other's weasands, on the other ation of phosphorite in Estremadura. hand are very rarely forgetful of the This mineral, it was imagined, might laws of hospitality, or of the kindness be advantageously substituted for and protection to which travellers in bones as manure. a foreign land have a fair claim. We The travellers had sketched out do not mean to recommend Spain as their route beforehand, and seem to a desirable travelling ground for those have adhered very closely to the plan adventurous English dames, whom they had laid down. Proceeding

By Captain S. E. WIDDRINGTON, R.N., K.T.S.,

Spain and Spaniards in 1843. F.R.S., F.G.S.

VOL. LVII. NO, CCCLII.

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from Bayonne to Madrid, after a been altered to those of various heroes short stay in that capital they struck of Spanish liberty ; such as Porlier, into Estremadura ; visited the vein of Lacy, the Empecinado, and others. phosphorite, and explored several in- The street of the Alcala had been teresting districts, into which few rebaptized after the Duque de la Victravellers penetrate; thence to the toria ; but no doubt, as the Captain quicksilver mines at Almaden, and to observes, by this time on a changé various iron mines and founderies, tout cela. through Seville, Ronda, Malaga, and Of the Countess of Mina, who was Granada, and back to Madrid. Here then aya, or governess, to the queen, Captain Widdrington separates from some interesting details are given by his companion, and continues his Captain Widdrington, who had known peregrinations alone, through the her and her husband when they were kingdom of Leon, the Asturias, and living in exile at Plymouth subseGalicia. In his narrative of this quently to the affairs of 1823. Masomewhat extensive ramble, -the gal- dame Mina appears to be a person of lant captain displays a very respect- very superior powers of mind, far able degree of knowledge on a con- better qualified to superintend the fesiderable variety of subjects. Agri- male department of a Spanish queen's culture, geology, natural history, the education, than the bigoted and afranresources of Spain, and the best mode cesada dowager-marchioness who preof applying them, political intrigues ceded her in the office, and in the and changes, the strange and appa- selection of whom Maria Christina, rently inexplicable ups and downs of with her usual selfishness, had propublic men, are all touched upon in bably thought more of the political turn: and if the earlier portion of his principles and opinions in which she work is worthy of a member of the wished Isabella to be brought up, learned societies to which he belongs, than of her daughter's future welfare the latter part is no less creditable to and happiness. The universal comhis habits of observation, and to the plaint of the Spanish or national party soundness of his judgment.

in the time of Christina was, that the One of the first things that appear queen's education was neglected, or, to have struck Captain Widdrington it should rather be said, misconducton arriving at Madrid, was the great ed. The queen-dowager's French activity in the building department, tendencies were more than suspected. an activity arising chiefly from the Of course, when the popular party sequestration of the church property. became in the ascendant, and Madame Convents were being pulled down, or Mina received the appointment, alike at least altered so as to render them unsolicited and unexpected, of goversuitable to other purposes.

The ness to the queen, the afrancesados ground on which one had stood had set up a yell of horror and consternabeen converted into a public walk-a tion. Her husband's humble birth, chapel had been replaced by a cover- her character, even her piety, and ed market. The large convent of St the mourning habit she had worn Thomas was the headquarters of the ever since her husband's death, were national guard; while that of the Tri. made matters of reproach to her. But nity had been appropriated to the though Mina had been born a tiller of reception of works of art, the spoils the earth, he had died a grandee of of the other convents. One had been Spain, ennobled yet more by his sold to a private speculator, who let patriotism and great qualities than it out in chambers; another was the he could be by the tinsel of a title ; refuge of military invalids; a third, the character of the countess was that the convent of St Catalina—which was of a high-minded and virtuous woman; set fire to while the Duke of Angou- and as to the accusation of being a leme was attending, in the year 1823, santarona, or affectedly pious, it was a mass celebrated in honour of his no less unjust than malicious. Here successful campaign—had been demo- is Captain Widdrington's portrait of lished, and a building for the senate her :and deputies was erecting on its site. 66 Her stature is rather below the The names of many of the streets had middle size, and her person stout, with an abundance of the blackest hair sim- by vivas and other noises in the ply dressed; eyes very large, dark and quadrangle of the palace. Colonel fuller than usual, even in this classic Dulce, the commander of the halberland of them, and beaming with intel- diers, descended the stairs to enquire ligence. Her forehead, and the lower the cause of the uproar, and was met part of her face, are remarkable for on the landing-place by a detachment their development, and an admirable of the Princesa regiment marching study for the phrenologists, who would up. He ordered them to halt; they pronounce them models, as indicating opened fire in reply. Colonel Dulce firmness of character. Her constant retreated to the guard-room, and the costume is the deepest black, which skirmish began. A double flight of completely covers her person; and steps leads up from one of the princiwhen she accepted her appointment, pal entrances of the palace to this it was stipulated that she should never guard-room, of which the door is of be required to lay it aside. The only considerable size, and covered by a ornament she wore was a simple but mampara or moveable stuffed screen, rather massive gold chain and cross, similar to those used in churches which had a singularly good effect in abroad. The alabarderos left the relieving the mass of deep black; and mampara in its place, opening the her manner, noble and serious, border- door no more than was absolutely ing on the severe at first sight, made necessary to fire through. The asher the beau-idéal of a lady abbess." sailants took up their station at the

During the celebrated attack upon bottom of the stairs, and blazed away, the palace at Madrid, on the 7th of vigorously replied to from the sala de October 1841, the countess gave proof armas.

The sides of the doorway of energy, courage, and presence of and the mampara were riddled, but mind, worthy of Mina's widow, and the assailants could only fire at a of one who supplied the place of guess, their opponents being commother to the queen and infanta of pletely concealed behind the screen; Spain. A most interesting account and on the other hand, a stone balusof the transactions of that eventful trade at the top of the staircase, benight is to be found in the third chap- tween the two flights and the angle ter of Captain Widdrington's book ; of the floor, protected the insurgents, and as he is indebted for the details The latter, no doubt, thought the to Madame Mina herself, it is no whole guard was at its post, so steady doubt the most accurate that has ap- and incessant was the fire the alabarpeared before the public. The ala

deros kept up.

To approach the barderos, or halberdiers, who formed guard-room door was certain death. the body-guard of the queen, and General Concha, the same who the whose post was in the avenues lead- other night danced the third quadrille ing to the royal apartments, consisted with Isabel at a court ball, taking of two hundred sergeants, picked the

pas of the Spanish grandees there from the whole army, and placed un- assembled, was present at this treader the command of a colonel and sonable attack, at the head of the lieutenant-colonel, who had the rank Princesa regiment, in plain clothes, of lieutenant and sergeant in this but with a drawn sword.

About sacred band. “ By the regulations, midnight (the firing had begun at one-third of this little corps ought half-past seven-what were the

authoalways to have been on duty; but, rities about all that time ?) Diego

Cosas de Espana,' when the distur- Leon, the scapegoat of the affair, bance broke out, there were only the made his appearance in his usual two officers and seventeen privates dashing attire, a showy hussar unipresent! The rest were in the town, form, braided, belted, and befrogged, at supper, or various other engage- and took command of the proceedings. ments."

And on this hand of " According to his own account, he men devolved the duty of defending went to the foot of the great stairthe queen against the attack of as case, and called to the alabarderos to many companies as they numbered discontinue firing, lest they should muskets. The first alarm was given alarm the queen !” but the noise of

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