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which were to be had so cheap, quite history of hospitals; the soldier' reads cheap, but which she heard at home were with the same enthusiasm which Walter so much thought of.
Scott gratefully records in reference to Frances did not pay much attention to his early studies of the Abbé Vertot, the the discourse about the Savona pots; she animated narrative of the sieges of Rhodes went on with her thoughts about the cous and Malta, the greatest leaguers of their ios, and when Miss Duraot went away, respective epochs; and the politician is gave herself up entirely to those specula. interested in a constitution alien to any tions. What sort of people would they other in the world's history — the autobe? Where would they live? And then cratic authority of a military chieftain, there recurred to her mind the meeting of tempered by democratic equality of the the morning, and what the stranger said convent. Yet, after all, it is to the scene who knew her father. It was almost the of the zenith of their glory and the decay first time she had ever seen him meet any of their spirit, that the English student of one whom he knew, except the acquaint. the history of the Knights Hospitallers ances of recent times, with whom she had will ever turn; so that they are in our made acquaintance, as he did. But the minds, as in popular parlance, less cheva. stranger of the morning evidently knew liers of Jerusalem or of Rhodes than about him in a period unknown to Frances. knights of Malta. It is a slight indica. She had made a slight and cautious at. tion of this substitution of the genius loci tempt to find out something about him at for the esprit de corps, that General Porter breakfast, but it had not been successful. in his earlier pages appears to surrender She wondered whether she would have a point which, to a genuine old miles Hi. courage to ask her father now in so many erosolymitanus, would have been dearer words who he was and what he meant. than his own genealogical proofs, describ
ing the dedication of the original chef lieu of the order at Jerusalem as having been to St. John the Almoner, against which
degradation of the convent of the illustri. From Blackwood's Magazine.
ous Precursor the learned Paciaude, in the MALTA AND ITS KNIGHTS..
work which he dedicated under Grand It is a strange irony of fate which has Master Pinto to Pope Benedict XIV. made the English - dubbed by the first in 1755), protests in lengthy and ener. Napoleon a nation of shopkeepers - the getic sentences, striving to show that it heirs of the haughty, fastidious, chivalric was a fallacy, hatched by the envy of the Hospitallers; and, stranger still, that the Greeks. Clearly, if the Almoner appears last link in the chain of circumstances to nineteenth-century acumen the proper which led to this unlooked for result, was patron for an order of Hospitallers, it forged by the high-handed enterprise of was not long before he was altogether the great Corsican himself. Neverthe- disowned by the fraternity, and the Bap. less, it is unquestionably true that we are tist invested with the tradition of their indebted in no small degree to the reli- earliest consecration. In St. John's gious fanaticism which tempered the stern Church at Valetta, in addition to the fa. savagery of the Middle Ages for the pos- mous gift of Bajazet, the hand of the session of our great Mediterranean ar. Baptist, - captured by the Turks at Consenal. The history of the Knights of the stantinople, whither it had been conveyed Hospital of St. John at Jerusalem is the by Constantine Porphyrogenitus, after he history of one of our most valuable depeo- had bribed a deacon to steal it from An. dencies. Many years ago General Porter tioch, — other relics hardly less sacred contributed to our literature the best and were deposited, of which Paciaude gives most readable summary of the deeds of representations. The grand possession, the order in a book of which he has now the actual ministrant of the baptism of the published an enlarged and revised edi. Saviour, in a case richly jewelled, was tion, with, we may hope, a prospect of a seized by Buonaparte, who, transferring wider popularity in this age of extended to his own finger the gem which sparkled reading. "The subject, indeed, sparkles on the dead hand, desired the case to be with many facets of interest. The medio taken on board the “Orient," and carecal man finds light thrown upon the early lessly observed to Hompesch, “ You may
keep the carrion," which he did, and hand. History of the Knights of Malta; or, the Order of ed the relic over to the emperor Paul at St. St. John of Jerusalem. By Winter orth Porteromajor: Petersburg, where it still shares the rev:
. Revised edition. London Longmans, Green, & Co.
erence of devout visitants, with another
famous relic from Malta - the icon of our lies the dockyard creek, at that time conLady of Philermos to which, in the true taining the slips on which the galleys spirit of modern ultramontanism, the were laid up, protected by a strong chain papal Order of St. John seem to pay their drawn across the mouth of the bay be. principal regard, to the neglect of their tween the Castles of St. Angelo and St. once venerated patron saint.
Michael. The Turks, after the fall of St. It is no wonder that the Order of St. Elmo, brought their fleet into the MarsaJohn have to us mainly a national inter- muscetto harbor, and drawing some ships est as the possessors of Malta. Had across the promontory at the landward they settled at Genoa, where the merchant end, below Floriana, launched them on princes were most anxious to attract them the upper bay of the “grand harbor," and
where, indeed, was established one of thus completely invested the two strong. the most flourishing commanderies, and holds of the order by sea; while from where, in a chapel of the cathedral from Corradino, Zabbar, Bighi, Ricasoli, and which the female sex (as sisters of Hero- the lower St. Elmo, they raked the fortifi. dias's daughter) are rigidly excluded, you cations from the laod by a nearly complete may see the Byzantine casket which once circle of batteries. The traveller, viewing held the ashes of the Precursor; or had the scene of the conflict from the height they remained at Syracuse, where they above (the upper Barracca), and reading repaired for a while after the taking of that the Turkish army numbered forty Rhodes, and sculptured Grand Master thousand, might well wonder that they d'Amboise's arms on the wall of the pa. did no:, to quote Hushai the Archite (2 lazzo now used as a museum, - few would Samuel xvii. 13) “ bring ropes to that city have cared about them, except an anti-and draw it into the water, until there be quarian or two; but even the most prosaic not one small stone found there." And passenger by the Peninsular and Oriental so, indeed, in spite of the most heroic en. line, cannot resist an inquiry as to the durance and bravery on the part of the builders of the stately city, at the foot knights, they wouid have done, but for the of whose stupendous ramparts his vessel ineradicable sloth and indiscipline of an is anchored; while politicians and eth- Oriental force. They neglected to seize, nologists, in the pursuit of their respec- as they could at first readily have done, tive hobbies, constantly come across the Citta Vecchia, the capital of the island, a legends of the soldier' monks, to whose few miles joland; from whence a small halls, docks, and fortresses we have suc- garrison constantly harassed their rear by ceeded. A few words on the former topic, unexpected attacks, one of which at least the city of Valetta, may not be out of saved the besieged by creating a diversion place. As seen from the deck of an east. at the very moment when their storming ward-bound steamer, it is the modern party were on the point of success, having town which faces the anchorage — for the planted their horsetai) standards on the P. and O. ships go into the Marsamu- summit of the walls. One of the most scetto harbor; and in the days of the great graphic and interesting, although little siege, the ridge of high ground on which knowo, narratives of the events of the the present city, built by the contributions great siege, was printed at Perugia in of all Christendom in obedience to the 1567, by F. John Anthony Viperan, who bull of Pope Pius IV., stands, was a rocky had served in the garrison of ihe capital. peninsula with a solitary fort at the ex- His chronicle gives us to understand how treme end, the harbor's mouth, the fort imperfectly, in spite of the cordon of being named St. Elmo after the patron of troops and batteries, the Moslem blockmariners - and not only the scene of in. aded the town. Reinforcements found calculable bravery and self-sacrifice during their way to St. Angelo through the Turkthe siege, but interesting as the spot to ish lines; and even within a few weeks which Abercromby, while it was still in of the termination of the siege, an emis. the hands of the French, with a pre- sary, sent by the viceroy of Sicily to science of its future, desired his body to report upon the state of affairs in Malta, be transported when he fell in the hour of traversed the enemy's intrenchments, be. victory. The town which the Turks aimed tween dawn and sunrise, with a small at destroying stood upon the two central escort, and without a challenge from a promontories of the opposite side of the sentinel or an interruption from a patrol.
grand harbor," flanked by the French Indeed, but for the jealousies which suncreek on the landward, and the bay below dered the councils of Christendom, a the Naval Hospital at Bighi, on the sea. more frightful calamity than that which ward side; wbile between the peninsulas actually befell the besiegers might have
been their portion. The viceroy of Sicily, in the Times last year, that the future hampered by the prudent and grudging gendarmerie of Egypt might be composed instructions of his master, the cold, cal. of Maltese, is a suggestion which may culating Philip, only sent assistance at the very possibly be reverted to; for it is eleventh hour, and then to the least ex- founded upon their peculiar qualifications test compatible with his own credit and as a race with an Eastern language and the security of the force detached. Again Western sympathies. The knighis also the Turkish generals by land and sea gave them credit for being good soldiers blundered, scuttled to their ships, squab. if well led, -a character which General bled, and disembarked their army to re- Porter, from personal observation, and ceive a more crushing defeat, and Malta from the annals of the French siege, con. was saved.
siders them to have maintained. 'The General Porter's account of this pro history of the French occupation is full of tracted conflict is one of the best exam. interest, and throws light upon more than ples yet afforded of the way in which one vexed question of Maltese govern. military history ought to be written. ment. The rule of the grand masters, Without technical pedantry, and equally ever oppressive to the natives, io the latter without that loose exaggeration of word. part of the eighteenth century had become painting which passes muster in the preso positively odious. Instead of being the eat age for picturesque narrative, he sets channel through which a large sum of for. before his reader the whole detail of the eign money was distributed through the scene, as from day to day increasingly island, the order, after the confiscation of desperate efforts of attack and defence their European property, bad been obliged were made by either side. The gigantic to resort to all manner of devices to exact artillery of the besiegers pounded with from the Maltese the means of maintain. huge missiles the friable stone of which ing their various public establishments. the ramparts were composed until the A significant indication of the shifts to wall was reduced to a mere mound of which they were driven may be seen in crumbled dust, up which the Turkish the public museum at Valetta, where a levies were driven sword in hand by their large collection of matrices and dies for officers and janissaries to be hewn down coios are preserved - all belonging to the in heaps by the well-armed and spirited three last grand masters; who, by issuing handful of defenders. The mines and new silver coins, and calling in the old, der the countermines, with the subterranean based the circulating medium, and utilized combats to which they gave occasion much of the plate belonging to the gov. the encounters in the water, where the ment, the Langues, and the religious swimmers of Dragut strove to break the foundations. The smouldering discontent chain which barred the port, or to destroy was fostered in masonic lodges, just as the palisade which fenced the shore of the late intrigues in Egypt caused many Isolu point - the Greek fire and blazing initiations into Freoch and Italian Freehoops which were tossed to and fro by masonry in that country. When at length the combatants, — all are placed vividly the first consul appeared before Valeita, before us, and combine to make a picture Hompesch, the grand master, found him. unequalled in the aonals of war. We can. self deserted and betrayed : as his apolonot refrain from expressing a hope that gist justly says, De Lisle Adam lost this chapter at least may find a place in Rhodes in fair fight, but Hompesch lost the collections of English classics now so Malta without the opportunity of striking much in vogue for educational purposes, a blow in its defence. When Napoleon both as an example of the decaying art of entered the gigantic lines, ramparis, and the historical chronicler, and as a truthful ditches hewn by the labor and cemented description of a great event in the world's with the blood of thousands of Moham. history.
medan captives, he turned to his lieuten. One conspicuous feature of this mem- ant with the remark, “ It was well we had orable struggle is the attitude of the native somebody to hand us the keys of such a population. Arab as they clearly are by stronghold." He is reported to have conorigin, they did not then, nor do they now. templated a palace at Bighi, from whence display the slightest inclination to sup- he should rule the Eastern and Western port or amalgamate with any Mohamme. empires which he intended to form; but dan race. Their Catholicism is not only fate called him to pursue his destiny, and of a strict type, but seems thoroughly to to be baffled by the “ dauntless seaman," have interpenetrated their national char: Sir Sidney Smith, on the spot where the acter. A recommendation which appeared order he had plundered had once succumbed to the Saracen. A contemporary beloved island; and too frequently their account of the proceedings of the French want of harmony with the Mussulman gives a strong idea of their appetite for population around them is the cause at spoil: not only were the more precious any political crisis of their suffering out. metals confiscated wherever they were rage or expulsion. Those who have ever found, but even stalues of bronze were visited that singular subterranean town, haled from their pedestals and taken on the Manderaggio in Valetta, originally board the fleet. Some of these valuables scooped out to form a dry dock in the time were retaken by the English, and either of the knights, and now crammed with restored to the island or disposed of 10 alleys to which the wyods of the Cowgate prize agents; but the chiel part were sunk would be considered spacious, must won. in Aboukir Bay. At length the patriotic der that the inhabitants are so healthy and irritation of the Maltese, who saw too late contented. It was this phenomenon, by how grossly they had been deceived by the by, which inspired one of Mr. Plimintriguing agitators, came to a climax on soll's most characteristic effusions - a an attempt to rifle the cathedral at Citta pamphlet in which, in the spirit of the old Vecchia, and an outbreak ensued, so gen popular dictum that Tenterden steeple eral and formidable as to confine the was the cause of Goodwin Sands, he proFrench to the fortifications of Valetta, mulgated the assertion that the “bread where the natives, with only intermittent tax," or import dury upon corn in Malta assistance from England, reinforced by was the cause of these underground dwell. some Portuguese ships and Neapolitan ings, and charged upon the English govregiments, blockaded them for more than ernment the evil of this state of things. two years, made;several daring attempts this is a fair specimen of the mischievous to surprise the garrison, and finally como consequence of hasty and ill-grounded as. pelled them to surrender. By the Treaty sumptions. The coro duty in Malta is of Amiens it was proposed to revive the one of the oldest taxes in existence there, Order of St. John as possessors of the and its abolition has often been advocated island; but the natives strongly opposed by the English governors, but always such a project, and in 1814 they succeeded vetoed by the representatives of the peoin the accomplishment of their wish to ple themselves; while the reason which have their country handed over to Great induces the boatmen and porters of Va. Britain as one of her dependencies. letta to herd in the Manderaggio is the
At that time the chief rival of Great necessity of living near their work, oblig. Britain as a claimant of Malta was Rusing them to be content with such accom. sia. It is now Italy and France who cast modation as can be found in a walled longing eyes upon it as a post of vantage, town incapable of extension. It has been and do their best to intrigue with every suggested that a better remedy than emi. discontented party there. That there are gration would be found in the increase of such, is, unfortunately, not to be denied; the Maltese contingeot of the British although the natives in the main fully army. If, instead of a few hundred artil. recognize the many advantages they pos- lerymen, we had a strong native brigade sess under the rule of Great Britain, and constantly on foreign service in our tropi. appreciate the ample liberty they enjoy in cal stations, we should gain by the supe. religion and usages. But the laboring rior adaplation of the men to conditions population are too numerous for the soil, which are detrimental to the health of and in spite of the most untiring industry, English soldiers; while the congestion of and of an enterprise which competes in the labor market in the island would be the vegetable markets of Europe with relieved, and the soldiers themselves would much larger and more fertile lands, they return with habits of discipline and enare constantly hovering on the brink of larged views, which would be beneficial famine, to which a season of drought, or to ihe general community. This scheme an invasion of refugees from some scene would likewise furnish a mode of getting of disturbance in the East, may at any at a class who are at present by no means moment unexpectedly consign them. Emi. a source of pride or strength either to gration has been suggested as a remedy, the local or imperial government - the and is so far resorted to, that at every educated young men of the middle rank seaport on the adjacent coasts of Africa of life, equivalent to our clerks and shop and Asia, a large Maltese population is assistants. Of these a large number every engaged in those petty industries for year leave the public seminaries qualified which such places supply a field; but they for medicine or law, both which profes. all cherish an idea of returning to their sions are terribly overstocked in the island.
They feel themselves superior to mere the standards of taste and intelligence handicraft and to trade, even were an which now prevail among the latter. opening to present itself; and they simply General Porter's book does not, of become loafers on the pavements and in course, deal to any great extent with the the cafés of Valetta, from which, after a modern condition of Malta, or even with while, they cannot make up their minds its antiquarian aspect, apart from the to tear themselves, even when offered period of the rule of the Grand Masters; positions in the service of the English but he inferentially adds another to the government abroad. Quite recently two many testimonies of the value of the hisyoung men of considerable promise in torical treasures for which England has their profession accepted posts uoder the made herself responsible, by her acceptEoglish government in foreign parts, and ance of the position once occupied by the boib, before the period for starting arrived, Order of Si. John in Malta. That ihese threw up their appointments.
traditions and relics are in some danger If, however, it became the custom for of being neglected is only too true. At their social superiors to take a term of home, although a spasmodic interest in foreign service, they would fall into the them may be aroused at intervals by trav. same habitude, and gradually be brought ellers like Lady Brassey, and savants like to look forward to such an incident as Professor Sayce, the feeling soon subtheir natural career, instead of vegetating sides, and we are content with a few specin a confined circle, exposed to the fascio imeos, deposited in our own museums or dations of intriguing emissaries of foreign arsenals, and leave the people of Malta to powers, or restless agitators of patriotic do very much as they list with the great complexion. Malta is peculiarly liable to bulk of the archæological treasures which become the refuge of certain British sub-are still in their original home: a very jects, who, having " left their country for unsatisfactory mode of discharging our their country's good,” endeavor to do as responsibility. much mischief as possible in their Adul. A melancholy spectacle of the little lam, and employ the press in propounding regard paid to literature is to be seen in the wildest theories or ventilating the pet. the public library, rich in valuable works tiest grievances. The half-educated youth bequeathed by emineot members of the of Malta (for what education is complete order, and containing likewise a good without experience of the world ?) are ready modern collection of books of general in. victims of this style of adventurer, and formation, for which an annual allowance adopt the jargon of the Continental Lib- is made from the government estimates. eral as the symbol of their enlightenment. The chairs in the great hall are occupied One of their greatest bugbears is the in- by urchins of ten or twelve, learning tbeir crease of English teaching in the schools ; lessons from dog's-eared primers, or amusa movement for which the late governor ing themselves with the engravings in and his administrators showed themselves illustrated newspapers, while adults are most laudably anxious. At present the conspicuous by their absence. You are official language, where English is not in search of some book, and learn that it used, is not Maltese but Italian; and this has disappeared, or receive it in the form foreign tongue becomes, with a certain of a crumbling heap of dusty leaves, tied class, a shibboleth of disaffection. It is together with packthread, and honey. to be regretted, also, that this contracted combed by the ravages of the Anobium view is fostered by many of the clergy, pertinax and the Acaris eruditus, to say who, with gross ingratitude, forget that nothing of other varieties of the insect they enjoy privileges and immunities un enemies of literature, which were de. der English rule which in France or Italy scribed in an article in the Academy about would be denied them, and persist in two years ago. Should you desire to see posing as the representatives of a true the museum of antiquities, you will be Church, offended by the very presence of ushered into a series of dusky closets in heretical interlopers. It is much to be the rear of the building, where the objects, hoped that the government will steadily some of them unique and priceless, are persevere in the introduction of the En- huddled together without arrangement or glish language, in spite both of open op catalogue. This is to a great extent the position and covert discouragement; as result of the foolish parsimony of the Enthere can be no question that it would glish government, which for many years dot oply strengthen the bond with Great provided a perfectly inadequate staff of Britain, but, by encouraging visits to this custodians; but it is now in no small country on the part of Maltese, improve measure the vis inertia which opposes