Paris, and adapt the Signora's costume will go ;” and, “but let me choose you to the fashions of the place. But the another dress — a dark-green velvet Signora having predetermined on a trimmed with blonde – blonde becomes Greek jacket, and knowing by instinct you so well.” that Isaura would be disposed to thwart “No, no — I hate green velvet; any. that splendid predilection, had artfully body can wear that. Piccola, I am not suggested that it would be better to go to clever like thee; I cannot amuse myself the couturière with Madame Savarin, as like thee with books. I am in a foreign being a more experienced adviser,- and land. I have a poor head, but I have a the coupé only held two.

big heart” (another burst of tears); “and As Madame Savarin was about the that big heart is set on my beautiful same age as the Signora, and dressed as Greek jacket.” became her years, and in excellent taste, “ Dearest Madre," said Isaura, half Isaura thought this an admirable sugges-weeping too, “forgive me ; you are right. tion ; and pressing into her chaperon's The Greek jacket is splendid; I shall be hand a billet de banque sufficient to re- so pleased to see you wear it. Poor equip her cap-à-pie, dismissed the subject Madre —so pleased to think that in the from her mind. But the Signora was foreign land you are not without somemuch too cunning to submit her passion thing that pleases you." for the Greek jacket to the discouraging comments of Madame Savarin. Monopolizing the coupé, she became absolute mistress of the situation. She went to no fashionable couturière's. She went to

From The Contemporary Reviev.

THE FIRST ARCTIC EXPEDITION TO THE a magasin that she had seen advertised in the Petites Affiches as supplying su

NORTH-WEST. perb costumes for fancy-balls and ama- The search for the North-West Pasteur performers in private theatricals. sage, which Martin Frobisher opened in She returned home triumphant with a the days of Elizabeth, ranks among the jacket still more dazzling to the eye than most heroic exploits of the English race. that of the English lady.

It is our Iliad, if we have one — this siege When Isaura first beheld it, she drew of the Arctic ice and night! The siege back in a sort of superstitious terror, has not ended yet, but wise men think as of a comet or other blazing portent. that the end is near. There is a little

Cosa stupenda!!"-stupendous thing !) band of sailors and scholars of the old She might well be dismayed when the heroic temper, who are bent on making Signora proposed to appear thus attired one vigorous and final assault on the Poin M. Louvier's salon. What might be lar citadel. And there can be little quesadmired as coquetry of dress in a young tion, we imagine, that it is in the heart of beauty of rank so great that even a vul- the English people to help them to make garity in her would be called distingué, the attempt, and soon. It seems to be was certainly an audacious challenge of thought in high places that we are too ridicule in the elderly ci-devant music-poor to send out in one year the Challenteacher.

ger with a commission to rove through the But how could Isaura, how can any one world, and an Arctic Expedition thorof common humanity, say to a woman re-oughly equipped for the solution, if solusolved upon wearing a certain dress,tion be possible, of the mystery of the “You are not young and handsome open Polar Sea. But the ground on enough for that”? - Isaura could only which the immediate equipment of an exmurmur, “For many reason I would pedition is refused, seems almost to pledge rather stay at home, dear Madre.

the nation to undertake the enterprise at “Ah! I see you are ashamed of me," a more convenient season. Are we too said the Signora, in softened tones : sanguine in believing that there is so “very natural. When the nightingale much resolute purpose in the eminent nasings no more, she is only an ugly brown val and scientific men who urge the expebird : " and therewith the Signora Venosta dition, and so much earnest sympathy

seated herself submissively, and began to with it in the public mind, that the Govcry.

ernment will be induced by the moral On this Isaura sprang up, wound her pressure to take the “ adventure” in hand arms round the Signora's neck, soothed at an early period, probably next year? her with coaxing, kissed and petted her, The Expedition when it sails will go and ended by saying, “Of course we forth with the most admirable equipment, with the most perfect instruments, and of Beowulf, ought to be familiar to every with the advantage of the charts and ob- Englishman whose heart beats at the tale servations of three hundred years of skil- of the naval enterprises and achievements ful and daring toil. But Frobisher and of his countrymen. It runs thus: his brave comrades went forth with a gal- “ At his appointed time then Scyld delant hardihood into absolutely unknown parted, very decrepid, to go into the peace regions, with ships hardly stouter than of the Lord. They then, his dear comfishing smacks; sailing out like the daunt- rades, bore him out to the shore of the less Norse rovers of a still earlier time sea, as he himself requested, the while with steadfast courage into the Arctic that he, the friend of the Scyldings, the storm and ice. The comparison between beloved chieftain, had power with his Martin Frobisher's “two small barkes words ; long he owned it! There upon twentie and fyve and twentie tunne the beach stood the ring-prowed ship, the apeece," and the splendidly equipped ex-vehicle of the noble, shining like ice, and pedition which it is hoped will before long ready to set out. They then laid down leave our shores, marks the difference not, the dear prince, the distributor of rings, let us thank God, in skill, courage, and in the bosom of the ship, the mighty oar self-devotion, but in furniture and appli- beside the mast; there was much of treasances, between the marine of Elizabeth ure, of ornaments, brought from afar. and that of our own day. Arctic matters Never heard I of a comelier ship having are likely to occupy some thought, and been adorned with battle-weapons and perhaps to occasion some debate, during war-weeds, with bills and mailed coats, the present session. It is well worth our Upon his bosom lay a multitude of treaswhile to study the history of the first ex- | ures, which were to depart afar with him, peditions which sailed on this daring quest | into the possession of the flood. They from our harbours. It can hardly fail to furnished him not less with offerings, with enlarge our apprehension of the lusty vig-mighty wealth, than those had done who our of the young giant which has grown in the beginning sent him forth in his into the “naval supremacy of England.” wretchedness, alone over the waves. Nor will the impression be weakened, if | Moreover, they set up for him a golden the men are suffered, as far as possible, ensign, high over head ; they let the deep to tell their own tale.

sea bear him; they gave him to the ocean. These were the true successors of the Sad was their spirit, mournful their mood. Norse Vikings, the most adventurous Men know not, in sooth to say (men wise seamen known to history. Battling with of counsel, or any men under the heavthose wild Northern seas, which filled ens), who received the freight." — Beóeven the steadfast Roman with a vague wulf. Kemble's translation, p. 2. terror, these Scandinavian rovers found a The people must have had a splendid high and joyful excitement in the conflict, imagination, the root of all high daring, and owned no master even in the fiercest who could bury their heaven-sent chief tempests which beat upon their rock- / like this. Thus our ancestors took posbound coasts. None who have read the session of these Northern seas as their Northern Sagas or Beowulf will find any- | field of conflict and adventure ; much as thing exaggerated in my language. That the patriarchs took possession of their people found in the storms of the German Canaan, by making it the burial-place of Ocean an enemy with which they felt their dead. themselves fairly matched ; and there our We get some amusing glimpses of the early forefathers learned a contempt of gossip at Rome when the news of Cæsar's minor perils, and a joy in hardy adven expedition reached the capital. The eleture, which has infused its noblest tinc-ments always appeared to the Romans ture into the blood of the most sober, their most formidable enemies in the sensible, industrious, and law-abiding, North-West. Even down to the time of but, when pressed, the most daring and Constantius, when they were more used terrible nation of the earth.

to our rough seas and tides, the terror The same gallant spirit breathes in Be- was still upon them. Roman courage was ówulf, which, however in its present shape as cool and steadfast as any that the world it may show traces of a Christian hand, has ever known ; but the gallant spirit cortains perhaps the very earliest revela- which loves danger for its own sake, and tion which we possess of the native spirit clasps it as a bride, belongs to another of our race. The passage with which the type of character, which is found in its full grand old epic opens, the sublime picture form among the peoples who are settled of the burial of the hero, Scyld the father along these stormy coasts. Is this the reason why the English in danger are mostly op that fruitful intercourse of nations, stern and silent, while Southern people which means, in other terms, the civilizagesticulate and shout? Men, and the tion and progress of the human race. dangers which arise from men, may be There is no power, alas, however beinfluenced by gestures, but it is of no use nign, which the devil does not sometimes to storm at Atlantic waves and walls of wield as the instrument of the torture and rock. At any rate, we may believe that degradation of mankind. The church herour changeful climate, the constant self has been the mother of the most awstorms, the long winter nights, and the ful cruelties which have ever tormented, dangerous coasts of these Northern re- as well as of the purest benedictions gions, have nursed that skill, that hardi- which have ever enriched, the world. It hood, and that pure love of adventure, has not fared otherwise with commerce, which found play at last, when the field which has relations with Christianity was ready, in the long and splendid series closer than at first sight appears. It is, of Arctic enterprises, the first of which in truth, the flesh which clothes the great was led by Frobisher; and which won for Christian idea — the brotherhood of our us, almost by a stroke, in one reign, the race. The root of it lies in the need naval supremacy of the world.

which men have of each other's minisIn the 15th century there was a strong tries — in the unity of the limbs and oroutward pressure on the bounds of Eu-gans of humanity in the true body of rope, like that which in the century before Christ, the great human world. ComChrist pressed on the boundaries of the merce, blindly for the most part, but still old classical homes of men, on the shores really, maintains those ministries, and of the Mediterranean. Those bounds binds the scattered limbs together, dewere no longer continent of the mass and spite prudens Deus, Oceanus dissociabilis, the force of the Roman people ; Cæsar but and all the weary deserts of the earth. . obeyed the necessities of things in lead- Commerce, if it has not led, has susing the way to a newer and wider sphere. tained the march of the greatest revoluThus in the 16th century Europe was tions in human history; it has opened the fairly possessed by her population. Her track of the grandest discoveries. It has most cultivated and enterprising peoples exercised and still does exercise the manwere settled along her Western sea- liest energies, and some of the noblest, boards; and as man knows not finality, the most self-denying efforts of mankind. whenever he fairly possesses his limits It secures in the end to truth, freedom, he begins to strain after a wider world. and energy the preponderating influence Towards the close of the century Euro- among the nations. Perhaps it is its bepean enterprise was breaking out in every nignest function that it settles the weight direction, stimulated chiefly by the grow- of authority with the peoples most distining commercial activity of the West. The guished by soberness, industry, hardihood political settlement of the Western king- and truth. The position which our comdoms opened a new era. Society was merce holds and enables us to hold, is the prepared for a grand expansion ; and, as fruit of all the qualities which constitute always happens at such crises, the expan- our characteristics, pluck, patience, insion was heralded by a great increase of dustry, and inventive and administrative wealth, a fresh influx of gold. This time skill. Most decisively were these qualithe gold lay not in the East, but beyond ties called forth by the Elizabethan comthe Atlantic. The hunger for gold which merce. The history of its growth — and at such times seizes on nations, looked at it grew mightily during her reign - is the in the light of all that flows from it, is far history of the rise of our people to that from a base appetite ; it is the condition leadership which in this and other spheres of that expansion of area and of activity they have since continued to enjoy. for which society has become prepared. There is a curious account of the bearing Commerce and gold-hunting were really of a little knot of Englishmen in Java at the root of most of the adventures and about the year 1600 ; how a handful of heroic enterprises of those times; and, them held their own against the rabble of unlovely as much of our commerce and Bantam, compelled the Javans to respect many of its fruits look to us in these their property, and were not afraid to days, we are bound to recognize some- give them a sound beating whenever they thing divine in that form of human activ- found it advisable. But they take special ity which moves men forth on distant and pride in the fact that “we never offered perilous enterprises, to increase the sum any wrong to the meanest in the Towne, of the world's commodities, and to devel- and also we were generally beloved of ali

the better sort; they would say it was / We commit a little money to the chaunce not so with the Flemings nor with no and hazard of fortune : He commits his other nation." (Purchas his Pilgrims, i. life (a thing to a man of all things most 178.) The whole narrative is worth read-deare) to the raging sea and the uncertaining. It will give some fair notion of the ties of many dangers. We shall here live terrible cruelty which, when wreaked on and rest at home quietly with our friends, criminals, was quite a matter of course in and acquaintance; but he in the mean those days. Nor is the spirit of self-time labouring to keepe the ignorant and glorification wanting. But it was hardly unruly mariners in good order and obediJain-glory. The English had contracted ence. With howe many cares shall he the habit of comparing themselves with trouble and vexe himselfe? With howe the Spanish and other adventurous na- many troubles shall he breake himselfe ? tions, who had filled the world with tales | howe many disquietings shall he be forced of barbarity and lust. And this was not to sustaine ? We shall keepe our own altogether an evil ; it made them pride coastes and countrey; he shall seeke themselves on abstinence from the vices strange and unknowen kingdomes. He and wrongs which stained so shamefully shall commit his safetie to barbarous and the Spanish name.* But the commerce cruell people, and shall hazard his life must have been hardy, manly work, which among the monstrous and terrible beastes nursed such men as the early records of of the sea. Wherefore in respect to the our trade reveal to us. There seems to greatnesse of the danger, and the excelbe something unworthy of Milton's great lence of the charge, you are to favour and name in the well-known passage of his love the man thus departing from us : Muscovite history. “The discovery of And if it fall so happily out that hee reRussia by the Northern Ocean, made first turne againe, it is your part and dutie also of any nation, as far as we know, by the liberally to reward him.'" Hakluyt, i. English, might have seemed an enterprise 271, 4to. Ed. 1810. almost heroic, if any higher end than The aim of this expedition was to force excessive love of gain and traffic had ani- a passage round the Northern Coast of mated the design." Altogether more no-Asia to Cathay and India, and to open for ble, more worthy are the words of “Mas- the English a direct trade with those proter Henry Sidney, a noble young gen- | lific realms. tleman and very much beloved of King It may seem to some of our readers Edward," who, when the expedition of that this introduction about commerce is the gallant but ill-fated Sir Hugh Wil- a strange proem to the history of daring ·loughby was on the eve of sailing, in 1553, battle with Polar storm and ice. And came down to the “place where the mer- yet, strange as it may seem, it was comchants were gathered together, and be- merce and nothing else which led men gan a very eloquent speech or oration, | forth into those gloomy and perilous reafter this manner following :-'My very gions ; that is, commerce, with those worshipful friends, I cannot but greatly Christian blessings to barbarous and pacommend your present godly and virtuous gan peoples which it was then understood intention, in the serious enterprising (for were bound to travel in its train.* But the singular love you beare to your coun- to understand this we must look southtry) a matter which I hope will prove profitable for this nation and honourable * King Edward the Sixth's missive with Willoughby's

Expedition, takes a large and noble view of commercial to this our land. Which intention of Expedita

enterprise. yours we also or the nobilitie are ready to 1" Forasmuch as the great and Almightie God hath our power to helpe and further: nor doe given unto mankinde, above all other living creatures,

such an heart and desire, that every man desireth to

I joine friendship with other, to love and be loved, also to unt

give and receive mutual benefites, it is, therefore, the

duety of all men, according to their power, to maintaine goe, and lay out in so commendable a la

a and increase this desire in every man, with well deserycause. . ... And you are to remembering to all men, and especially to shew this good affection into howe many perils for your sakes and to such as, being moved with this desire, come unto

them from farre countries. ... Furthermore, the examples of our fathers and predecessors doe invite us hereunto, forasmuch as they have ever gently and lov

ingly entreated such as of friendly mind came unto requisite that we be not unmindefull, if it

thein, as well from countries neare hand, as farre remote, commending themselves to their protection. ... For the God of heaven and earth, greatly providing for man

kinde, would not that all things should be found in one Raleigh's narrative of the Expedition to Guiana, region, to the ende that one should have neede of anand Drake's Voyage round the World, give some very other, that by this meanes friendship might be estabDoble instances of the aim and the conduct of the Eng lished among all men, and every one seeke to gratifie lish in these matters.

I all, &c." - Hakluyt, i. 257.

wards. The reason of these North-West-I obtained from Pope Martin V. a bull ern expeditions lay about the Cape of granting to the Portuguese Crown all that Good Hope and Cape Horn. The fif- it should conquer from Cape Bojador to teenth century was the age in which, as the Indies. The Bull of the Pope shut we have seen, the Western European out Spain from any share of the Indian peoples were pushing their boundaries commerce by way of Africa ; and Columoutwards in every direction. The man bus — with far deeper and larger thoughts whose life, more than that of any other, than commerce, gold, or conquest ; * he was the guide and index of the move- dreamed the last great dream of the crument, was Prince Henry of Portugal. sade - stood boldly over the Atlantic on Born in 1394, he dedicated a long life to the most heroic quest ever undertaken maritime discovery, with rare singleness by man. On Friday, August 3rd, 1492, of purpose; and to him, its strenuous, three little ships, with one hundred men, persevering, and sanguine champion stood out to sea from Palos ; on Friday, against the ignorance of peoples, the in- October 12th, Columbus, clad in comdolence of rulers, and the lies of sailors, plete armour and bearing the royal banwith their long yarns of horrible perils, ner of Spain, landed on Guanahani, and, the glory of the result is mainly due. It as was nobly expressed in his epitaph, would be interesting to trace the outline gave a new world to Spain. of his achievements, but our space for

A CASTILLA Y A LEON bids. The knowledge is easily accessible in the earlier chapters of Mr. Helps's

NUEVO MUNDO DIO COLON. masterly history of Spanish Conquest in There are few things in the history of America.

maritime discovery more wonderful than When Prince Henry settled himself on the incident - accident we refuse to call the Bay of Sagres, in the S.W. of Spain, it-by which the career of Columbus Cape Bojador was the southernmost limit was directed to the tropical regions of of maritime discovery. When he died, America. On October 7th he was, as he in 1463, it had reached down the African reckoned, 216 miles beyond tlie point Coast as far as Sierra Leone. Very noble where he expected to find Japan. He is the account which he himself gives us was standing on a course which would of the reason of his devotion to the work. have landed him in Florida, whence he “He considered that neither mariner nor might easily have been borne up to Virmerchant would be likely to adopt an en- ginia. Perplexed and anxious, he yielded terprise in which there was no clear hope to the advice of Pinzon and bore up for of profit. It belonged, therefore, to great the S.W. Pinzon said to him, “ It seems men and princes ; and amongst such heto me like an inspiration, that my heart knew of no one but himself who was in dictates to me that we ought to steer in a clined to it.” He was a true leader of different direction.” Pinzon, it seems, men, consumed, like Columbus, nay, like had seen a flight of parrots heading S.W., a greater than Columbus, by an inward and thither Columbus steered. It was fire. For us he has not the less interest this which determined the stream of in that he was grandson of John of Gaunt, Spanish colonization to Central America, nephew, therefore, of our Henry IV., and left the North free for the English. and cousin to Henry V., another adventur- Birds played many an important part in ous, heroic man, who, had he lived, might ancient history, but never a part so dishave given a new shape to European his- tinguished as this. These parrots detory. He was half Englishman, who cided, as Humboldt says, “the first coloopened the chapter of maritime discovery nization of the new continent, and the in the records of the modern world. original distribution of the Roman and

After his death the work went on, but German races of men.” It is remarkable, less nobly ; it missed his royal head and too, that Raleigh's passionate endeavours hand. Still he had broken the neck of to drive a wedge of English oak into the the difficulty. In 1487 Cape Tormentoso heart of Spain's Colonial Empire failed (the Cape of Good Hope was) doubled, in 1497 Vasco de Gama sailed for India, * I am persuaded that this grand crusading passion of completed the effort and realized the hope Columbus, which was sho

Columbus, which was strong even in death, is not suffi

t of his cena of centuries, and brought Europe into

conduct. It seems to me to furnish the only kev, and a noble one, to the almost imperial terms which he dictated, and from which nothing could drive him, as to the

profit which he was to reap from his enterprise. This and more original mind was at work on is a subject of much interest, but there is no space for the problem. Prince Henry had, in 1441, its consideration here.

« VorigeDoorgaan »