Imatges de pÓgina

to sink fainting upon the bridge, and two or three tumbled headlong into the river. The whole at length fled hastily from a suffocating stench which rose from the vessel, more terrible than the weapons of human enemies; and the defensive operations were confined to a discharge of stones, beams of timber, and buckets of water from the walls.

A vapour was soon observed rising as if from under the bridge, thin and pale like the fog in the dawn; but gradually its colour darkened, and it mounted in slow successive columns for a considerable distance, then opened, spread, and fell in showers of thick smoke over the river and city. Gleaming like stars through this ominous cloud, a multitude of lights now appeared at once in the direction of the Norman fleet, although their encampment still lay as before shrouded in darkness, and the besieged, divided between the perils of fire and sword, scarcely knew on which side to turn. The dark body of smoke which hung over the bridge and the river in one undistinguishable mass, was at length illumined by some faint flashes of light; these became broader and brighter, till blending as if into one, they rose in a single stupendous column to the heavens, and revealed to the spectators, with all the precision of daylight, the details of the


The mysterious bark, though rent and shattered, still held on with a death-grip to the bridge; and the starting and splitting timbers of the latter seemed to shrink and shriek with fear and agony. In some places the fire had fairly caught; and although there the flames were speedily extinguished by the torrents of water discharged from above, yet the wood continued to burn with a fierce red heat. Every thing served to convince the French that the critical moment was arrived, and a fresh detachment of the bravest of the garrison was sent to the fatal bridge, where suffocation was to be dared in so many shapes of smoke, water, and stench.


The last and most terrible of all these, however, was now at an end; and the air, purified by the mightier demon of fire, threatened destruction only by intensity of heat. The blows and shouts, therefore, of the French rang fast and furious over the river; and although sometimes a cavalier was forced to fly to one of the sides to inhale the fresh air, he invariably returned to the attack with redoubled vigour."-vol. i. pp. 169–174.

Adele, who beheld this spectacle with dismay, was astonished at the indifference with which it was viewed by Eriland. Suspecting that the Norman, who was thrown upon the bank by the current, had again obtained footing in the machine, which was evidently directed by some other power than that of chance, she watched it with intense anxiety.

Eriland soon understood her looks, and once more tempted his fortune by hastening to the scene of danger; but again he was foiled at the very moment when glory seemed to be within his grasp. The director of the machine, happened to be the same Norman to whom he was already indebted for his life; it would have been dishonourable not to spare his life in return. One more chance fell to the lot of Eriland. The Seine was swelled by an inundation to such a height, that the bridge and the tower by which it was defended, were in momentary danger of being carried away. The

tower was garrisoned by eleven cavaliers, who upon being recalled by the Governor, refused to leave their post, determined to die sooner than abandon it. In the height of the flood, the Normans attacked the tower; Eriland flew to the assistance of the cavaliers, and after a deadly combat, he alone survived the slaughter of his brave companions. No spectator on the walls of Paris witnessed the conflict with more anxious solicitude than Adele, who under the influence of her affection, resolved to share his fate.

In loose attire she rushed wildly towards the city gates-The postern door was thrown open at her bidding, when Adele stepping into a boat, that lay moored to a neighbouring bank, she seized the oar and pushed out into the stream. After a brief but most perilous voyage she reached the opposite shore, and there sought her lover amongst the dead and dying cavaliers. She at length found him, and both being generously protected by the Norman, effected a safe retreat.






'The first blow struck at the lovers was warded off by the Herculean arm of one who till the moment had appeared to be the most eager of the blood-hounds; and as the weapon shivered upon his brawny limbs, the Norman giant, sweeping his club round his head, shouted to the pursuers in a voice of thunder to forbear. Crouching back at the sound, the crowd stood amazed and irresolute for a moment; but soon breaking into loud murmurs, they caught up stones and burning fragments of the ruins, and prepared to discharge the mortal shower upon their victims.





"" Forbear!" was uttered again at the instant by a voice shriller and still more startling than that of the giant; and the Norman priestess, rising as if from the smoking ruins, held forth the young child as a shield between the Christians and their doom. Adele, clasping her lover still more closely, half dragged him down the uneven descent; and followed by their protectress covering their retreat, and at a cautious distance by the whole body of the barbarous host, whose mingled shouts of wonder, rage, and superstitious terror drowned the ear and appalled the heart, she at length gained the bank. They entered the boat, and she allowed the exhausted warrior to sink upon the beams; then, with one gesture of devoted gratitude to her preservers s-one sob from her full heart-and one gush of tears from her dim eyes, she pushed out into the river, and reached the opposite shore in safety.'-vol. i. pp. 196, 197.

The consequences may be anticipated; the pair were united with the consent of the count of Paris, who afterwards became king of France.



This story forms a tolerable specimen of the kind of ability with which Mr. Ritchie has executed his task. The Man Wolf' and the King of the Beggars' are also very striking sketches of the olden times in France; but we must protest against the taste which has induced the author to describe the rags and ulcers of the sturdy mendicants, whom he has introduced in the latter composition. Objects disgusting in themselves, should no more form part of a tale, than of a painting.



ART. XV.-Narrative of Discovery and Adventure in Africa, from the Earliest Ages to the Present Time, with Illustrations, &c., being No. 2, of The Edinburgh Cabinet Library. 12mo., pp. 492. Edinburgh: Oliver and Boyd, 1830.

If we had ample grounds, in the first volume of this series, for the eulogy which we bestowed on it, we feel some difficulty in expressing the measure of our approbation for the increased claims which the present one makes upon it. It is not because the materials are abundant and various, for a given task, that its skilful execution is rendered the more easy. This very profusion, in ordinary cases, is a source of difficulty, since the judgment of the compiler, his acuteness and accuracy, are called upon to exert themselves in a wider sphere of labour. The history of individual adventure in Africa, as it is so admirably connected in this volume, is perhaps one of the most moving chapters in the annals of human enterprize. Anecdotes of patience, resignation, true courage, and indeed of all those virtues which more peculiarly attest the strength of reason over the infirmities of the body, are here presented in a style so engaging, as to give to the work all the charms of a romance, whilst nothing of the intense interest that belongs to truth is wanting. The ancient state of Africa, or at least that small portion of knowledge which the ancients possessed of its physical and moral condition, is here described, with a proper attention to the distinction between what is authentic, and what is fabulous. The successive expeditions from European countries are next detailed;-those NO. II.

which were sent out from England up to the present day, receiving that more extended attention which it was natural that they should enjoy. The social condition of the great continent is then examined, and this chapter is followed by a series of others on the natural history of Africa, and its material peculiarities, which appear to us to be amongst the most interesting and important of its contents. Upon the whole, we could not, we are sure, point out in the language, a better and more just account of Africa than is to be found in this volume. We sincerely hope that the public will be sufficiently alive to their own interests, to induce them to sustain a publication, from which they can calculate on deriving so much solid information upon such very easy terms.

ART. XVI.-Three Lectures on the Rate of Wages, delivered before the University of Oxford, in Easter Term, 1830, with a Preface. By Nassau William Senior, of Magdalen College. 8vo. pp.62. London: Murray, 1830.

THE very great merits of Mr. Senior as a perspicuous expounder of the doctrines of political economy, have been too often the theme of eulogy in this journal to allow us to repeat it on the present occasion. We observe in these lectures, the same vigorous and clear style, the same candid mind, the same spirit of courtesy towards opponents, which a perusal of his former lectures, and of his correspondence in particular with Mr. Malthus, taught us to expect. Mr. Senior, in the publication before us, endeavours to trace the acknowledged principle regarding the rate of wages


to some of its most material practical consequences. If it be true, that the amount of the fund for paying wages, as compared with the number of labourers to be paid, is the real criterion of the rate of wages, it follows, that either to increase the fund or to diminish the number of labourers, will enable the individual workman to obtain a higher rate of wages. To accomplish this end, Mr. Senior argues, that the abolition of all those restrictions, prohibitions, and what are called protecting duties, which press on industry, is absolutely necessary, with the view of increasing the productiveness of labour on the one hand; whilst on the other the undue addition to the number to be maintained, he anticipates, is to receive its check only from the improved moral and intellectual condition of the lower orders. To this, which is but a gradual remedy, Mr. Senior recommends that we should unite the immediate and decisive one of emigration. The state of the disturbed districts, at this season, the author attributes entirely to the poor laws as they are administered in the southern counties of England, and which indeed, as they are thus perversely modified, are only the instrument of a wicked attempt to reap all the possible benefits which can be extorted from a population under two very distinct states of circumstances; namely, a state of freedom and one of slavery. In contemplating the justness of the following antithesis, we can hardly lose sight of its skill and beauty as a figure of speech.

The labourer is to be a free agent, but without the hazards of free agency; to be free from the coercion, but to enjoy the assured subsistence of the slave. He is expected to be diligent, though he has no fear of want; provident, though his pay rises as his family increases; attached to a master who employs

him in pursuance of a vestry resolution; and grateful for the allowance which the magistrates order him as a right.'-preface, p. ix.

It is not in our power to follow Mr. Senior into the details of his arguments. If we have provoked the curiosity of the intelligent reader so far as to induce him to have recourse to the pamphlet itself, we shall have fully gratified our ambition.

ART. XVII. An Appeal to the Legislature on the Subject of King's Printer, in England, &c. &c. By Samuel Brooke, Printer. London. 1830.

MR. BROOKE, after an exordium, in which the most patriotic aspirations are poured forth, makes an offer of some very choice information to his Majesty's ministers, touching the " extravagance and prodigality" which exist in the departments of government printing. It appears that this gentleman was, for many years, employed as printer for several of those departments, and that in consequence of a severe fit of economy which strangely enough fell upon the heads of the whole of those with whom Mr. Brooke happened to be connected, the charges were so reduced as to offer him no advantage in continuing in their service. He retired, but not to solitude, since he has been indefatigably active in endeavouring, ever since, to bring down the prices of printing in other of the government departments, to that standard at which it would be impossible that they could live. The design, it must be admitted, is an exceedingly charitable one, and evinces the very heroism of patriotic virtue. There is, however, one fact in the history of his national labours, which Mr. Brooke must admit is rather an im

portant one, namely, that the Ministers, Chairmen of Parliamentary Committees, and public officers of every kind, have uniformly treated him with the most decided neglect. All his importunity does not appear to have drawn, even from the impartial premier, whose fall we have so recently witnessed, any thing more flattering to Mr. Brooke than the very ambiguous compliment of a remarkably polite acknowledgment. But the whole question is settled, irrevocably, by the renewal of the patent to the King's Printer, in 1829; and unless Mr. Brooke will have the King to strike his signature from a document, the terms of which his Majesty's faith is pledged to maintain, we cannot sce to what practical good the tardy ebullitions. of all this fine patriotism can tend.

ART. XVIII.-Bussola Per lo Stu

dio Pratico Della Lingua Italiana, per ordine di difficolta: Continente Idiotismi, &c. &c. Da F. C. Albites, Di Roma. 12mo. pp. 229.

To those who are desirous of becoming familiar with all the refinements, and proprieties of the Italian language, this guide will prove extremely valuable. Mr. Albites, who appears to be a native of Rome, has embodied the results of his vast opportunities for investigating the genius and peculiarities of his mother tongue, in a series of instructive examples, which, independently of their value as exercises, are very pleasing as descriptions of manners, or portions of history. He commences with explaining, in French, the most difficult class of Italian idioms and proverbs. A series of Dialogues next ensues, in which the expressions used in the vari

ous circumstances of ordinary life, are employed so as to show their meaning and use. Some very good anecdotes and tales succeed to these, being intended to exhibit some of the turns and felicities of Italian phrases; and the volume is filled up with compositions in various styles and for various purposes, serving as models of the manner in which this beautiful language should be employed under a great many different circumstances. We observe with great pleasure, in this book, numerous manifestations of the filial affection with which Mr. Albites clings to the recollection of his parents. We are happy too to perceive in this work of a foreigner, intended for English society, that he has condescended to use none of those arts of insinuation which persons in his situation are too apt to do, or to make any sacrifices of his feelings, or his character, to the prejudices and habits of those whom it would be his interest to conciliate. The book is really a valuable one.

ART. XIX.-An Inquiry into the Alleged Proneness to Litigation of the Natives of India: with suggestions for amending some part of the Judicial System of British India. By the Author of "An Enquiry into the Causes of the Long-continued Stationary Condition of India," &c., &c., 8vo. pp. 55. London: Parbury, Allen and Co. 1830.

THE judicial system which we have been gradually introducing in India for so long a period, has been uniformly adjusted, in its details, by one great principle, which may not be quite so well founded, as we have always taken for granted: the principle is, that the natives of

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