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THE OPENING OF THE GANGES CANAL.
8th April 1854. FROM distant-lying lands, Lone in grey surges of the misty north,
The little band came forth,
The myriads clap their hands,
It comes, long-wished-for, comes,
While blatant arms and rattling drums
And you, O ancient peaks,
Your glory ;-now is done
Still through the night, from ledge to ledge
The avalanches fall,
Your præmemorial wall;
Barren no more! Like her who bore
Ye, having won your heritage from time,
And years to come shall hear your praise,
Holding their grim abodes
Of those who stand to-day
Where, from his fruit-grove, far around
He eyes the green and affluent ground :-
I saw the ruler of the land
Now first her servants blessed ;
Us benefit before,
One shade alone hung o'er us,
To cloud the scene before us,
One mild but earnest voice, though still,
Told us of mingled good and ill,
When we are passed and grown
By deeds like these alone,
True triumphs, that atone,
THE USES OF BEAUTY.
HEART-THROBS of Poesy ;
Old storied walls ;
When daylight falls ;
Keen stars above;
By Beauty, is given
And mould us for Heaven.
H. G. K.
The Hon. James Thomason, late Lieutenant-Governor of the North-West Provinces, who lingered too long in India, chiefly in the hope to have been present on the occasion above commemorated.
SPANISH POLITICS AND CUBAN PERILS.
Madrid, 14th September 1854. DEAR EBONY,—The political chro- the march. As I write, there recurs nicle, since last I wrote to you, is far to my memory the barthen of one of from offering such stirring incidents those cheerful ditties, in which Spanas were recorded in my July and iards are called upon joyfully to exAugust despatches. There has been claim “Viva la Reina, Maria Cristina, no fighting, although we were once on she who broke the chains that bound the brink of it, and things have gone and oppressed us”-and more to that pretty quietly, and, upon the whole, effect. Little more than a month ago, satisfactorily. After the fray comes as I walked through the Puerta del the feast ; and just as my last letter Sol—the heart of Madrid, which is the went off, a banquet was given at the centre of Spain-blind men and illTheatre-Royal, by the press of Ma- favoured women shouted at every drid, to the ministers and a large corner the titles and contents of scurnumber of notable persons. The press rilous pamphlets that recounted the took an important part in the recent misdeeds of " Mother Christina.” It movements here, and has not been may truly be said that, of the fourteen unrewarded, several of its members millions that people Spain, not one having been appointed to high posts person (save her own creatures) could under government. After the dinner, be found to raise his voice in her at which speeches and patriotism favour. The charges brought against were plentiful, the next incident of her are numerous, and but too wellnote was the return to Madrid of the founded. She is accused of gross and small division that first, under O'Don- wilful neglect of her daughter's educanell and Dulce, raised the banner of tion-neglect which has been the main revolt against the Sartorius tyranny, origin of the scandal Isabella has and fought the brief but sanguinary caused, and of the humbled and perilfight of Vicálvaro. But the principal ous position in which she now finds event of the last thirty days, the only herself; her crown tottering on her one which (with its consequences) is head, and her only chance of not los.. worth dwelling upon, is the departure ing it consisting in implicit obedience -I might almost say the escape-of to her minister's directions. She is Queen Christina from Madrid and accused of having betrayed the liberfrom Spain.
ties of Spain, wbich were intrusted to In former letters I have given you her keeping; of having trampled on an idea of the detestation with which the laws she had sworn to maintain ; Ferdinand's widow, once so beloved, of having built up a colossal fortune has long been regarded. To those at the expense of the nation ; of haywho remember the affection and en- ing, by her unscrupulous greed and thusiasm testified for her during the shameful political intrigues, by her early years of her residence in this own conduct, and by her patronage of, country, the contrast with the storm and complicity with, some of the of hatred and execration amidst which worst men in Spain, destroyed all she has quitted it, is very striking. public morality, and augmented to an Then she was the hope of Spain, the inconceivable extent administrative idol of the Liberal party; her appear- corruption. On all these charges, an ance abroad was the signal for cheers immense jury, composed of the whole as vehement and heartfelt as any that Spanish nation, has unanimously found have since been raised for Espartero. her guilty. And, since her departure, Her name was the soldier's battle-cry, the general hope and prayer are that when combating, amidst the rugged she may never again set foot in the hills of northern and eastern Spain, country she has so deeply injured. the partisans of Charles V. ; it was "May the accursed Italian," said a the burthen of the songs with which newspaper the other day, “never rehe enlivened his brief intervals of re- turn bither to make a traffic of all that pose, and beguiled the weariness of is most sacred and holy upon earth.” But, before she had left, the feeling of upwards of twenty thousand men, concerning her was in one respect dif- and as they elect their own chiefs, who ferent. It was the opinion of many must therefore be considered to reprethat it was neither safe nor just to sent the opinions and enjoy the conallow her to leave the country. It fidence of the majority, the prayer was remembered how, during her of such a deputation naturally had three years' exile in France, she had weight; and at cabinet councils held intrigued and manæuvred, and lav- on that and the following day, the ished treasure, until, aided by the principal question discussed was — divisions in the Liberal camp and by What is to be done with the Queenthe incapacity of the Liberal govern- mother? The impossibility of prement, she rode into Madrid in the venting her intrigues, should she retriumphal car of Reaction. Then, it main in Spain, except by confinement is true, she had a staunch and inter- too rigorous to be legal, determined ested ally in the wily and unscrupu- the council to expel her from the lous chief of the house of Orleans. country; attaching her property until Deprived of his powerful aid and co- the Cortes should have investigated operation, she is manifestly much less her conduct, and decided concernto be dreaded. But a portion of the ing the charges brought against her. Spanish nation, and especially of the This plan resolved upon, it was iminhabitants the capital, well ac- mediately put into execution. The quainted with her great cunning and determination was come to on the skill in intrigue, and overrating, per- evening of the 27th August. On haps, the elements and resources she the 28th, at seven in the morning, can command in a foreign country for the ministers were at the palace, to the purpose of again disturbing Spain's witness the Queen-mother's departranquillity, insisted that she should ture. The adieus were brief. Christina be caged and not expelled, and more- betrayed no emotion at parting from over that she should be brought to her daughter, who, on her part, dropped account before the Cortes for the a few decorous tears, but was not very peculations and robberies attributed greatly afflicted. There has never to her by the voice of the entire na- been much affection between the two tion. You will remember the scenes queens, although the elder of them, that occurred at the palace soon after by berastuteness and superior strength Espartero's arrival here, and the vain of character, has exercised great inattempts then made to get her off influence over the younger. The Queensafety, whilst armed and menacing mother then took leave of the miniscrowds were vigilant to prevent her ters, whom she must heartily detest; passage, and could be induced to recommended her daughter to the care abandon their watch over their sove- and watchful guardianship of Esparreign's palace, and their stations upon tero, and entered a large travellingthe roads from Madrid, only by a pro- vehicle, accompanied by her husband, mise from the government that the who looked grievously dejected, and object of the popular wrath should not attended by an ecclesiastic of high be allowed clandestinely to depart. rank, and by several persons of her But it soon was found that if there household. Her children's departure was a probability of her being danger- had preceded hers. Some were in ous abroad, there was a certainty of Portugal, others in France. Escorted her being so at home. Her daughter's by two squadrons of cavalry, under residence again became a focus of in- the command of the well-known trigue. This got so well known, the General Garrigó, she reached, by reactionary party, encouraged by hav- short stages, and without molestation, ing their old protectress to lean upon, the frontier of the former country. were so active, and symptoms were Few persons were present at Chrisobserved so dangerous to public tran- tina'sdeparture, although it was stated quillity, that the chiefs of the national in the French papers, whose blunders guard sent a deputation to the gove concerning Spanish affairs are incesernment, urging strongly the removal sant and amusing, that the windows of Christina from the palace. As the of the palace were filled with ladies national guard of Madrid now consists waving handkerchiefs, and that its roof was crowded with national guards. and other bodies, and from them to The truth is, that hardly anybody in bave obtained, beforehand, that apMadrid knew of the Queen-mother's proval of the measure which was going, until she had actually gone. almost unanimously accorded to them As the news spread, a certain ex- a few hours after it had been taken. citement was manifested, and towards But in cases of this kind there is a eleven o'clock a crowd of men, many wide difference between before and of them armed, thronged the small after. The same men who, when the square in front of Espartero's resi- thing was done, supported the cause dence, with menacing shouts of Down of order and the government, of with the Ministry! and loud demands whose good intentions they were sure, for the return of Christina. An aide- and of the wisdom of whose conduct de-camp presenting himself at a win- they presently became persuaded, dow to address them, firearms were might have assumed a different attilevelled at him, and he was compelled tude had they been consulted in ad. to retire. The fermentation each mo- vance. Moreover, by acting in that ment increased. Deputations from way, by deferring on every occasion various public bodies waited upon the to the popular voice, whether it spoke premier to express their disapproval words of wisdom or words of folly, of the step taken. The general im- the ministers could never hope to gain pression abroad was, that a trick had strength, which was what they most been played on the people, that faith needed. In short, it might have been had been broken with them, and that a very difficult and dangerous busithe government was pledged not to pess to get Christina out of Madrid, suffer the departure of Christina until had the intention been published the the Cortes had decided concerning day before; and doubtless the governher. The verbal pledge given by ment preferred risking the unfounded Espartero to a deputation, at a time imputation of a deception, to incurwhen it was a great object to get rid ring the responsibility of fresh colli. of the bodies of armed men who beset sions. In my opinion, as an eyewitthe palace, and infested the environs ness of all that passed, it would have of Madrid, making it their business to been hazardous to have acted otherguard against the escape of the Queen- wise than the ministers did. As it mother, was, that she should not de- was, not a sbot was fired, not a wound part furtively, either by day or by received ; and three days after the night. Her departure, therefore, at affair, everybody seemed convinced eight in the morning, when the gazette that the best had been done. containing its announcement had been I shall not dwell upon the incidents but an hour published, was held to be of the afternoon and night of the 28th a violation of this promise, as far as August, of which you will have alregarded the people. On the other ready seen accounts. For a short time hand, the national guard had in- things looked menacing, and many sisted, through its chiefs, that Chris- expected a fight. The council of min. tina should not remain at the palace; isters, assembled in the large buildthere was danger to the tranquillity ing on the Puerta del Sol which is at of Madrid if she continued there ; her once the Spanish “ Home Office" and property in Spain, and her pension of the main guard-house, received numethirty thousand pounds a-year, which rous delegates from the corporation, was suspended, offered considerable the provincial deputation, and from security for the financial improprieties other public bodies; expounded to them of which she might be found to have their views and reasons, and received been guilty. To let her leave the promises of support. Meanwhile the country was manifestly the wisest national guard-a portion of it somecourse, and it was adopted. It has what sulky and dissatisfied-took up been urged that it would have been arms and prepared to maintain order. more straightforward of the govern- A considerable number of barricades ment, and would have prevented even