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parted, in former days, an interest to the character of the Castilian aristocrat, he still retains the same spirit of domination, that lust for uncontrolled and unmitigated despotism, which marked the rudest and most brutal feudalism of the middle ages. Any thing wearing the appearance of novelty, how harmless soever it may be, even to his order, is, in his eyes, a flying in the face of the Deity, who intended the blessings of this earth for him, and those like him. A new invention, tending to benefit mankind, is with him a crime not less infamous than treason or blasphemy. A railroad or a constitution, a steam-engine or political reform, are held in equal detestation. Even the meagre and limited relaxation permitted by the " enlightened despotism” of Zea Bermudez became sacrilege in his sight, because it opened the door to liberty of thought amongst men.
Notwithstanding that reverence for royalty which we have elsewhere observed as forming a striking characteristic of the Spanish people, it is curious to observe how the respect formerly paid to the pretensions of aristocracy has been passing rapidly away, particularly since the Constitution of 1837. The spirit which is beginning to call forth the energies of the country has proved to the people themselves, that the hope of the regeneration of Spain is now dependant on the well-being of what are generally termed the middle classes; and it may be believed that in Spain, at the present moment, the country, until lately, of pure and unmixed despotism, less respect is paid to title and hereditary rank than even in England, whose boast and pride it is to have enjoyed liberal institutions for ages. We may go further, and say, that in no country in the world, perhaps, is there preserved a more superstitious, or even more degrading, reverence for aristocracy than in free England.
The popular declaimer may cry out against the absurdity of hereditary legislation, and may, in truth, wonder how the enlightened intelligence of the nineteenth century can permit such a monstrosity in social institutions, as that of a human being coming into this world of woe and sinfulness, a complete and perfect law-maker - possessing, from the moment of his birth, a character which no subsequent moral turpitude, short of that criminality which makes him a traitor, nor no mental imbecility, short of that which actually fits him for the madhouse, can deprive him of. The noble may be a swindler in his dealings; he may be so dishonest that the tradesman will not take his word for the veriest trifle; he may be so abandoned in his morals as to have left no enormity of the most wanton and most disgusting libertinism unessayed; he may have, nights and days, so outraged the usual and most ordinary decencies of social life, as to be only a fit associate for the inmates of the vilest bagnio : in politics, he may be a furious tyrant; and in religion, either a frenzied and merciless bigot, or a scoffing atheist : in private, as well as public life, he may be the very perfection of wickedness — the last point of that vile extreme — that deepest depth, beneath which vice and infamy can no further descend, yet will he not for all this lose his birthright; his privileges, as a born legislator for millions, are still inherent within him, and shall survive the ruin of reputation. The nature we have received from the first man and woman is weak, corrupt, and contradictory: — this same declaimer, who would fix the attention of his audience on the absurdities which to him appear so manifest, and of which he swears that he is the uncompromising foe, and the existence of which supplies him with a theme for surpassing eloquence, — yet this same man will, peradventure, be amongst the first of those who hang upon his words as if they were heated with the breath of inspiration, to bow down before the idol which he would overthrow. A gentle word, a persuasive smile,
descending bow, from him who wears a title, makes him forget his arguments, and reconcile the anomaly which startled him. Who is he that has not witnessed it? A passing politeness froin a noble will soften the hideous nakedness of the monster he has drawn; whilst a more intimate familiarity will convince him that, in fascination of manners, elegance of demeanour, high talent, and, it may be, pure integrity, no human being can be likened to a lord. The balls of a baron's coronet prove the right divine to hereditary virtue and wisdom above the sons of men; and the strawberry leaves on a ducal diadem are outward and visible signs of inward surpassing grace. Even in the public eye, the shameless outrages on decency perpetrated with such frequent impunity, by the noble and titled youth, whose maturity in hardened vice gives the lie to his inexperience, are considered as light and venial errors, and only as the ebullitions of generous youthfulness, by the side of that hardened iniquity which prompts the wretch, who is wasting away beneath the inflictions of that most infamous of all crimes — poverty, to steal a morsel of food; or that innate and incurable turpitude which urges the base mechanic to enjoy one hour, at least, of wild freedom on Saturday evening, under the oblivious influence of gin. No— no! we may declaim, and we may write against the hereditary privileges of aristocracy; we may boast of the beautiful fitness of our three Estates, though one, consisting of three or four hundred irresponsible individuals, representing only themselves and their selfish interests, can at any time thwart the acts of the representatives of twenty-six millions; we may glory in the trial by jury, though juries can be packed and corrupted; we may extol our freedom of the press, though truth be a libel; we may laud our freedom of election, though we have not the ballot; we may glorify ourselves by reason of all those proud advantages we possess over every other country, but it must be admitted - it cannot be denied — that in no nation on the face of this fair earth are men so tolerant of aristocratic profligacy, such slaves to the prejudices of birth and station, and such worshippers of title and of rank, as in free, commercial, liberty-loving, and tyranny-hating England !
In France, the abolishment of primogeniture, and the peerage for life only, must have done much to grind to dust the remaining fragments of that Colossus which overshadowed the land, previous to the first Revolution. In the present day, a baron is there regarded with perhaps less reverence than a banker's clerk: we are not quite sure that a commis voyageur may not occasionally be looked upon as a personage of more real importance than a marquis; and we believe there is little doubt as to the superiority of a successful feuillotoniste over the oldest duke in the land.
In Spain the progress of improvement has not been quite so rapid, though democratic principles and feelings are much on the increase. Though still keeping itself apart, and not enduring any intermixture of vulgar blood, nor imbibing that healthy infusion which is dashed, from time to time, into the feebleness of the English aristocracy, by which its jaded and worn-out system is occasionally renewed with plebeian vigour, the ancient Spanish noblesse is now looked upon, in their own country, with the same feeling with which the careless traveller may regard one of those small and ancient chapels you meet with on the road-side in Spain, where the patron saint may have once dwelt, but which is now nothing but a deserted and desolate shrine, whose fantastic architecture and rude ornaments may be contemplated with reverence or derision. The pride of the old feudalism still, however, clings to the recollections of this faded order, and any attempt at an alliance with the old Gothic blood, made by a successful adventurer, sprung from the ranks of the people, is regarded as a sacrilege.
- In the foreign correspondence of the Times newspaper of 230 January last, it was stated that “the leaders of the Moderado party, the titled personages of Castile, and the principal members of the Spanish aristocracy, had held a general meeting, at which it was gravely debated whether the honourable distinction implied in being addressed in the second person singular should be granted to the Duchess of Victory (the wife of Espartero). Several Spanish grandees declared against it, because the Duchess did not belong to the hereditary nobility, but was issued of plebeian parents.” The hereditary nobility to which the writer refers, and which, with civil war, a war of life and death, raging almost at the very gates of the capital, and the country overwhelmed with the accumulated miseries of years, sat gravely to discuss whether the term “ tu” or “ usted” should be used in addressing the wife of him whom they assert to be the first general of his age, and the most successful, — this hereditary nobility comprises a set of persons the most contemptible, both morally and physically, that ever polluted the surface of this earth. That separation of ranks, that intermarrying with each other only, that breeding in and in, that anxiety for purity of blood, which is so scrupulously and so jealously observed with regard to kings and horses, dogs and nobles, have made the present representatives of the ancient Spanish nobility, in general, ugly dwarfs in person, and idiots in intellect. Private honour, or personal independence of character, which is the last redeeming virtue that abides with such a class, has been long since lost amongst them, and the history of the invasion of Napoleon proves that even the pride of country has passed away. They were the first to submit to the rule of Joseph Bonaparte, and the last to assist in driving him from the Peninsula.
The Duke of Grenada belongs to this expiring remnant of the ancient feudalism. His ancestors, as may be presumed from his title, possessed large estates and vast territorial privileges in the south of Spain. Had not certain events occurred to arouse the principle of furious bigotry into action, he might, with the rest of the brotherhood, have slumbered on the entire of his worthless existence, between his friars and his cigars - his mistresses and his chocolate, and have passed away like any other worthless thing which encumbers the earth, unknown and unmissed. This person forms one of the few exceptions to the general inactivity of his class in the cause of Don Carlos. His extensive property, and princely palace in the province of Guipuzcoa, which, had he declared in favour of the Queen, would have been confiscated by the Carlists, induced him to take so decided a step; and, it is said, that his other possessions in the South were, previous to his joining the insurgent party, entrusted by a mock transfer to one or two of his friends, or relatives, in whom he placed the utmost reliance, for the purpose of preventing a similar catastrophe on the part of the Queen's government.
Though nominally a general in the armies of Don Carlos, the duties of the Duke of Grenada have been almost always confined to matters of civil policy, the monotony of which has been occasionally varied by acts of inhuman barbarity on a small scale, where he could gratify, without personal danger, the malignity of his hatred to the Christinos, but more particularly to the Guipuzcoan liberal party. To lay snares for, and to entrap, the unfortunate Urbano of Tolosa, or San Sebastian, or a Chapel Gorri, was for him a cause of delight, only to be surpassed by witnessing and inspecting in person the lingering tortures which always preceded the dying moments of his victim. He was the universal patron and protector of all who had a taste for blood, and whose ingenuity and skill in inflicting torments was remarkable.
In imitation of those misdeeds which are carried on in larger scenes of
action, and, doubtless, in rivalry of the more extensive falsehood and corruption which are practised by more legitimate courts, the mimic court of Don Carlos was the theatre of intrigues such as may become any cabinet in Europe. No less than three powerful parties distracted the councils of the unhappy dupe, who was the plaything tossed about, according as cruelty, bigotry, or selfishness prevailed. In March 1839, the interests which divided the royal court of Oñate were distributed amongst the high Tories, the moderate Whigs, and the placemen. The moderate party enjoyed, at the period to which we referred, the confidence of Don Carlos. At its head were to be found the Princess of Beira, Father Cyril, Villa Real, Urbistondo, Gomez, Guibalaldi, Eguia, Zariateguy, Alza, and Maroto. The chiefs of the furious, uncompromising ultra-party, whose frenzy carried them to every excess, however horrible, were the DUKE OF GRENADA, Tejeiro, Father Larraga, confessor of Don Carlos, Iturriza, Garcia, Guergué, Taragual, and Sanz, the majority of whom were put to death by Maroto, a short time previous to the treaty of Bergara. The intermediate faction, who, it may be presumed, were not less earnest in bringing about the accomplishment of their own peculiar views, was composed of the vermin that may be found infesting every spot where place and plunder can be had, the empleados, and a multitude of hungry and ravenous expectants.
Each individual whose name is on the list of the ultra-party is remarkable for some outrage on common humanity; but the two names which stand foremost in the catalogue of infamy are the Duke of Grenada and Father Larraga.
In personal appearance the Duke of Grenada is mean; in mental endowments he is the lowest of the low, his intellect being only one remove from that of an idiot. In the field of battle he is a miserable poltroon, whilst in scenes of private massacre, where two or three are to be tortured by fifty, as in the instance alluded to above, he is ferocious and savage as a tiger maddened by rage and hunger. In religion he is a fanatic of the most stupid and bigoted kind, crawling in the dust at the feet of a monk. In his personal habits, he is, of all voluptuaries, the most grossly, and the most disgustingly sensual. Previous to the commencement of the war, and before more active pursuits changed for a space the stagnancy of his life, his mornings were spent in the church, his evenings (strange, too, for a Spaniard) in gluttony, and the solitary indulgences of the table, and his nights in sickening debauchery. This man was residing at San Sebastian about a year before the death of Ferdinand. His family consisted of a wife and six children, five daughters, the eldest seventeen years old, and a son about six. During the whole of his stay there his life was one and uniform ; his mornings, until mid-day, were passed in the cathedral of Santa Maria, and his afternoons in the society of the most abandoned women he could pick up in the streets, under the very roof with the Duchess and her daughters. He was on his knees to every priest that met him in the streets and squares, whilst his domestic life was one continued outrage on decency. A mad and stupid fanatic, a blood-thirsty coward, whose only laurels were won by assassination and massacre, an effete and jaded sensualist, such was the chief councillor of Don Carlos. These ornaments of society, these fair pillars in the temple of aristocracy, that form the glory and the pride of
ancient and privileged peerage, such are the men whose cause has even found · favour in the eyes of English Conservatives, who, whilst incessantly clamour
ing against the unchanged and unchangeable nature of the Roman Catholic religion, breathe forth prayers for the success of monsters who, had they the power, would have deemed even the atrocities of the inquisition amongst the mildest measures of their administration !
NOTES OF A TOUR IN NORTHERN EUROPE.
PART THE SECOND.
The Church of our Lady at Copenhagen was nearly destroyed by the English bombardment of the city in 1807, but has been rebuilt within the last ten years, and its interior exhibits an agreeable simplicity of style which renders it a not unworthy receptacle for those much admired works, Thorwaldsen's statues of the twelve Apostles. Though it may be both Gothic to have experienced, and imprudent to confess, disappointment in regard to such approved works, yet, in consequence of expectation having been raised too high, or from having been accustomed to admire sculpture of such minute finish, and natural dimensions, as will permit of being more closely examined, I must confess that these colossal saints did not call forth that measure of admiration which I felt prepared to have bestowed upon them. It is, however, probable that the pleasure of a beholder would be increased with familiarity, and a better knowledge of the position and proper distance from which to view them. The altar of this church is surmounted by a figure, likewise colossal, of our Saviour, the effect of which, as viewed from the further end, is very striking, and the expression of the countenance, when more closely contemplated, is peculiarly mild and holy.
In an apartment of the church behind this altar, some casts in plaster were shown to us, representing St. John preaching in the wilderness, surrounded by a group of listeners. Two of the juvenile faces of this
group are singularly full of the expression of wrapt attention, and the sculptor appears to have introduced, as a gentle rebuke, perhaps, to Lord Byron's doubtful orthodoxy, what struck me as being a likeness of the poet in one of the listeners.
In the palace of Charlottenburg two of the apartments are devoted exclusively to the works of Thorwaldsen, and contain many exquisite statues and bas reliefs, representing half the classical divinities, from little Cupid and the Graces, up to the Goddess of Wisdom and the Queen of Love. Equal to those in regard to beauty of execution, and of an infinitely superior and more holy character of interest, stands forth an angelic female figure, full of the most divine expression, and figuratively representing the mild genius of Christianity, holding forth a baptismal font. In the same room is a colossal statue of, I believe, Copernicus, the abstracted expression of whose countenance sufficiently proclaims that his communings had been more with the heavens than with the earth. Thorwaldsen is, perhaps, the only living sculptor, who, for a long period of years, has scarcely been known to bestow even a finishing grace upon any of those works which rejoice in the glory of his name. The poetry of his designs, and the graceful classicality of his models, are, however, so unrivalled among the works of living artists, that it might be considered an inexcusable abridgement of his powers of usefulness, were a genius so brilliantly creative to waste time on the tedious details of finish. The world may, therefore, now, probably, for the first time congratulate itself on the peculiar circumstance of the most eminent of living sculptors having a dislike to the labours of the chisel. Canova, himself,
was, I believe, daily familiar with the tools of the more tedious branch of his art; and Gibson and Chantrey likewise make frequent