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he must lay his account to suffer many privations and many annoyances; among the latter the multitude of venemous reptiles and insects is not to be overlooked. The mosquitoes, Mr/Faux says, had nearly driven out the English settlers from the Illinois; they actually blinded several persons; and ' such is the venom of these blood-suckers, that if a man were lashed naked to a post, he must be stung to death or to madness.' The locusts frequently devour the crops, and every green thing that grows on the ground.
'In the Michigan territory, on the borders of the lakes, in July hist, flies, thick as swarms of bees on a bough, covered the face of the earth, and for six days darkened the sun, moon and stars, making the air noisome and pestilential. The sides and ends of houses on which the sun shone not were blackened by them. They seemed to lose their skin daily and die by millions every minute."—p. 15*.
This state of things will unquestionably improve by time; but long ages must pass away before the population, now thinly spread over the immense vale of the Mississippi, will become sufficiently dense to render any part of it a desirable habitation for civilized beings; before markets are established; places of religious worship built; schools for the education of youth instituted; slavery abolished; laws and justice duly administered; the forests and cane-brakes cleared away; the dismal cypress-swamps drained; the rotten bottoms and rank prairies reclaimed from their stagnant and putrid water;—then, and not till then, (and much will still remain to do,) can the present race of emigrants, however sanguine, contemplate even the future happy condition of their descendants. In their days, or in their sons' sons' days, little amelioration of any kind is to be looked for.
The following passage is called by our farmer 'a picture of the condition of the American people, agricultural and otherwise.'
'Low ease; a little avoidable want, but no dread of any want; little or no industry; little or no real capital, nor any effort to create any; no struggling, no luxury, and, perhaps, nothing like satisfaction or happiness; no real relish of life; living like store pigs in a wood, or fattening pigs in a stye. All their knowledge is confined to a newspaper, which they all love, and consists in knowing their natural, and some political rights, which rights in themselves they respect individually, but often violate towards others, being cold, selfish, gloomy, inert, and with but little or no feeling.'—pp. 125, 126.
This unfavourable account of the American population, (and we have given but the smallest portion of it,) be it remembered, is not ours, but that of a mail who calls America ' the land of his adored Washington, the country of his fondest preju
• - dices
dices and predilections;' and who evidently set out with a strong desire of finding it all that he had pictured to himself', and just the reverse of what he saw and heard, and has published. We are very much inclined to ascribe the vicious and heartless conduct of the Americans, with which every page of Mr. Faux's book teems, to the total disregard of religion on the part of the government. This fatal mistake, in framing their constitution, has been productive of the most injurious consequences to the morals of the people; for to expect that men will cultivate virtue and morality, and neglect religion, is to know very little of human nature. The want of an established national religion has made the bulk of the people either infidels or fanatics. 'Some,' says one of their writers,' plead the sufficiency of natural religion, and reject revelation as unnecessary and fabulous; and many, we have reason to believe, have yet their religion to chuse.' In the back settlements, here and there a frantic sectarian holds forth in a hovel or under a tree; and in the old states, no kindly associations are connected with the gloomy and heartless performance of religious worship; The village church, with its spiry steeple, its bells, its clock, the well-fenced churchyard with its ancient yew-tree, and its numerous monumental records of the dead, are here utterly unknown. Even the tomb of Washington is so totally neglected, that' it might be mistaken,' Mr. Faux says,' for a dog-kennel, or a mound, much resembling a potatoe-grave in England, the door rotting away, and such as would disgrace an English pig-stye.' An American apologist for this neglect admitted that, among his countrymen, the corpse was no sooner laid in the earth, than it appeared to be forgotten; and 'that the tear of sorrow, and the hand of affection, neither bedews nor decorates the sward under which the friend, the parent or the relative reposes.' (p. 477-)
'It is in vain to look into the burial grounds of this country for the pensive Cyprus or the melancholy willow, the virgin weeping over the urn of her departed lover, or the mother hanging over the grave of her darling child. No flower blooms bedewed with the tear of affection. All is waste and dreary, and dead as the sunken grave over which you pass; and a few stones, on which are engraved the name and age of the deceased, are all that remain to manifest the affection of the living to those who have passed away and are no more.'—p. 477
The few emigrants whom our farmer encountered, unwilling to acknowledge their mortification and disappointments, acted evidently from a feeling of shame at their own dupery :—the women invariably sighed for their dear native land, and expressed but too plainly their feelings by their tears; no wonder, when they saw that every earthly comfort had been irremediably sacrificed, and nothing whatever gained in return, but degradation in the scale
B B 4 of of civilized beings—but hopeless misery. We therefore most earnestly entreat those who may cast their eye -over our pages, ■while in a state of hesitation whether to embark their all on a speculation to the back-woods of America, and become the subjects of that government which they are told is 'at once a monument of genius, and an edifice of strength and majesty'—before they betake themselves to this 'retreat of suffering humanity,' where ' the American walks abroad in the majesty of freedom'— •we entreat them to pause, and carefully to peruse the journal of Farmer Faux, who not only gives his own opinion, but also the opinions of many who, from long experience, are better qualified to judge correctly ou the subject.
Art. IV.—Don Carlos, or Persecution; a Tragedy, in Five Acts. By Lord John Russell. London. 1823.
THERE are few falsehoods in history, even of those invented to vilify royalty, which have been more generally received than this of the loves of Carlos and Isabella. The simple truth is, that they were betrothed at the age of twelve; that the king's design of marrying Isabella himself was not known till two years after, and that in two years more the marriage took place,—till which event the princess, had never seen Carlos; nor does it appear they had ever known that they were designed for each other, since the betrothment was a secret article in the treaty of peace. There is no reason to believe that they fell in love after her marriage with his father; for it is universally admitted that Isabella was a lady of great dignity and virtue; Philip, instead of being old, as has been represented, was only three and thirty at the time of their marriage; and Carlos was of all persons ihe least likely to gain a lady's affections. It is only recently that frenzy has been considered romantic, and liis was not of that kind which fascinates our young ladies out of school hours. There is, indeed, as much evidence of fatuity as of frenzy in the numerous stories which are related of him, (a collection of which, by the way, was published in Spain shortly after his death.) To ladies his conduct seems to have been any thing but conciliating. When he met them in the streets, especially those of high rank, he insisted on kissing them, after which they were invariably assailed with epithets of the coarsest abuse; and this whether they resisted, or courteously dissembled their reluctance.
The love-affair is an episode got up in the best French taste, and forming a very delectable article in French romances and histories, (if they are distinguishable from each other,) but is entirely without countenance of contemporary Spanish historians. There is authority for saying that Carlos professed high respect for the
queen, queen, and for her only; but lie was as little qualified for loving as for being loved. The manner of the prince's death is a subject which admits of more doubt. It was certainly mysterious—and therefore, in all probability, violent. The account which we' are most disposed to credit is, that his physician poisoned him by the king's order: it is anonymous; but it is very detailed, and not contradicted by Cabrera, who was in favour at court, knew that such reports were circulated, and partly confirms them by relating that a new medicine was given, after which the physician announced that it had been unsuccessful, and that the prince could not recover. Whatever was the manner of his death, his life had been justly forfeited. The Infant resembled in character the Czarowitz, who was put to death by Peter the Great, and like him he had conspired against the life of his father. He was tried, sentenced, and might have been executed according to law; to avoid that disgrace to the royal blood, Philip seems first to have tried the effect of confinement in exacerbating the disease of his mind, and, finding it not! fatal, to have gone less indirectly to work. Llorente condemns the father's dooming of his son, because, whatever were his crimes, their repetition might have been prevented by confinement for life; but he forgets that Carlos, had he survived, would have been heir to the crown. The only justifiable way of sparing him was to have proclaimed him insane; and that might have been done upon the evidence of his design to murder his father, which was conceived and adhered to with a malignity perfectly maniacal, and proceeded in with equal incautiousness and folly. It does not appear that he gave up the names of any confederates; and, indeed, it seems almost impossible that such a madman should be able to procure any: yet it is said that the king was in great alarm at the time of the Infant's imprisonment, and suspicious of every one who approached him; but this might be affected, by way of better justifying what was to ensue. The reality of the conspiracy has been questioned, but apparently only for the purpose of getting up the French story with better effect. Brantome, who was in Spain about the time, relates it upon the authority of a great personage in that country, and says there were thirty-two very pertinent reasons for the prince's death, the least of which was the conspiracy: this he had heard, but reserves his own opinion. The story of Isabella being poisoned by Philip is also from the French source, and fabricated for the same purpose. Upon the whole, Philip the Second seems, in this affair, to have been a very ill-used monarch. His real character, unfortunately, threw no discredit upon the calumnies thus supplied, and which easily passed current in a world that hated him.
Philip will meet with scanty commiseration. The calumnies ware most injurious to Isabella, because, as far as genuine history
represents, represents her character, it was altogether unsullied. The Inquisition has been brought in too, though in point of fact it had nothing to do with the business in any part of it: but if a sin had been committed at all, it would be scarcely worth striking out of the fearful account which stands against the Holy Office. We now come to the case as it stands in avowed fictions; the one before us being the last of many.
He who ventures to re-dramatize the subject of three tragedies by Otway, Schiller, and Alfieri, must be supposed to have discovered in himself such a vein of poetry, as shall make the stale* ness of the plot a matter of indifference. It will be said, perhaps, that of these poets, two, at least, borrowed their plot, and that the present writer only does by all three what the latter two did by the first:—who certainly performed his part in a way not likely to discourage others from following on the same subject. Don Carlos was one of Otway's earliest productions, written when he was blind enough to adopt, or weak enough to comply with the taste for rhyming dramas, which, with many other bad things, came over from Fiance at the Restoration. It was a style peculiarly ill adapted to his rough and vigorous mind; and accordingly the desire of ease, and the necessity for constraint, render each other mutually ridiculous. Take his idea of a tender adieu.'Queen. Come, let us try the parting blow to bear. Adieu.
Carlos. Farewell. (Looking at each other.}
Queen. Shall I the way then show?
Carlos. Why do you stay?
Queen. I won't.
Carlos. You shall awhile, &c.'
Or his representation of kingly jealousy and princely expostulation. The simplicity of the latter is worth observing.
'King. By hell, her pride's as raging as her lust!
Carlos. Hold, sir, be just.
King. Good Heaven! to merit this, what have I done;
Carlos. Why, sir, where is the cause that I should fear?