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the subject as ourselves, for we are led on insensibly by these amusing thieves, and find we shall have yet another paper to write upon them, before we have done. We will therefore conclude the present one by giving another specimen or two of the sharping Spaniard out of Quevedo. The Adventures, by the way, of Lazarillo de Tormes, were written in the sixteenth century by a Spanish gentleman, apparently of illustrious family, Don Diego de Mendoza; who was sometime ambassador at Venice. This renders the story of the hidalgo still more curious. Not that the author perhaps ever felt the proud but condescending pangs which he describes; this is not necessary for a man of imagination. He merely meant to give a hint to the poorer gentry not to overdo the matter on the side of loftiness, for their own sakes; and hunger, whether among the proud or the humble, was too national a thing, not to be entered into by his statistic apprehension.
The most popular work connected with sharping adventures is Gil Blas, which though known to us as a French production, seems unquestionably to have originated in the country where the scene is laid. It is a work exquisitely easy and true; but somehow we have no fancy for the knaves in it. They are of too smooth, sneaking and safe a cast. They neither bespeak one's sympathy by necessity, nor one's admiration by daring. We except, of course, the robbers before-mentioned, who are a picturesque patch in the work, like a piece of rough poetry.
Of the illustrious Guzman d'Alfarache, the most popular book of the kind, we believe, in Spain, and admired, we know, in this country by some excellent judges, we cannot with propriety speak, for we have only read a few pages at the beginning; though we read those twice over, at two different times, and each time with the same intention of going on. In truth, as Guzman is called by way of eminence the Spanish Rogue, we must say for him, as far as our slight acquaintance warrants it, that he is also “ as tedious as a king." They say however he has excellent stuff in him.
We can speak as little of Marcos de Obregon, of which a translation appeared a little while ago. We have read it; and if we remember rightly, were pleased; but want of memory on these occasions is not a good symptom. Quevedo, no ordinary person, is very amusing. His Visions of Hell in particular, though of a very different kind from Dante's, are more edifying. But our business at present is with his “ History of Paul the Spanish Sharper, the Pattern of Rogues and Mirror of Vagabonds." We do not know that he deserves these appellations so much as some others; but they are to be looked upon as titular ornaments, common to the Spanish Kleptocracy. He is extremely pleasant, especially in his younger days. His mother, who is no better than the progenitor of such a personage ought to be, happens to have the misfortune one day of being carted. Paul, who was then a school-boy, was elected king on some boyish holiday; and riding out upon a half-starved horse, it picked up a small cabbage as they went through the market. The market-women began pelting the king with rotten oranges and turnip-tops ; upon which, having
feathers in his cap, and getting a notion in his head that they mistook him for his mother, who agreeably to a Spanish custom was tricked out in the same manner when she was carted, he halloo'd out, “ Good women, though I wear feathers in my cap, I am none of Alonza Saturno de Rebillo. She is my mother.”
Paul used to be set upon unlucky tricks by the son of a man of rank, who preferred enjoying a joke to getting punished for it. Among others, one Christmas, a counsellor happening to go by of the name of Pontio de Auguirre, the little Don told his companion to call Pontius Pilate, and then to run away.
He did so, and the angry counsellor followed after him with a knife in his hand, so that he was forced to take refuge in the house of the schoolmaster. The lawyer laid his indictment, and Paul got a hearty flogging, during which he was enjoined never to call Pontius Pilate again; to which he heartily agreed. The consequence was, that next day, when the boys were at prayers, Paul, coming to the Belief, and thinking that he was never again to name Pontius Pilate, gravely said, « Suffered under Pontio de Auguirre ;” which evidence of his horror of the scourge so interested the pedagogue, that by a Catholic mode of dispensation, he absolved him from the next two whippings he should incur.
But we forget, that our little picaro was a thief. One specimen of his talents this way, and we have done with the Spaniards. He went with young Don Diego to the university; and here getting applause for some tricks he played people, and dandling, as it were, his growing propensity to theft, he invited his companions one evening to see him steal a box of comfits from a confectioner's. He accordingly draws his rapier, which was stiff and well pointed; runs violently into the shop; and exclaiming “ You're a dead man," makes a fierce lunge at the confectioner between the body and arm. Down drops the man, half dead with fear: the others rush out. But what of the box of comfits? " Where are the box of comfits, Paul?" said the rogues : we do not see what you have done after all, except frighten the fellow." “ Look here, my boys," answered Paul. They looked, and at the end of his rapier beheld, with shouts of laughter, the vanquished box. He had marked it out on the shelf; and under pretence of lunging at the confectioner, pinked it away like a muffin.
Upon turning to Quevedo, we find that the story has grown a little upon our memory, as to detail ; but this is the spirit of it. The prize here, it is to be observed, is something eatable; and the same yearning is a predominant property of Quevedo's sharpers, as well as the others.
Adieu, ye pleasant rogues of Spain! ye surmounters of bad government, hunger, and misery, by the mere force of a light climate and fingers! The dinner calls ;---and to talk about you before it, is as good as taking a ride on horseback.
Orders received by the Booksellers, by the Newsmen, and by the Publisher,
Joseph Appleyard, 19, Catherine-street, Strand.-Price Twopence.
We must return a moment to the Italian thieves, to relate a couple of stories related of Ariosto and Tasso. The former was for a short period governor of Grafagnana, a disturbed district in the Apennines, which bis prudent and gentle policy brought back from it's disaffection. Among it's other troubles, were numerous bands of robbers, two of the names of whose leaders, Domenico Maroco, and Filippo Pacchione, have come down to posterity. Ariosto, during the first days of his government, was riding out with a small retinue, when he had to
pass through a number of suspicious-looking armed men. The two parties had scarcely cleared each other, when the chief of the strangers asked a servant who happened to be at some distance behind the others, who that person was. • It is the captain of the citadel here," said the man, “ Lodovico Ariosto.” The stranger no sooner heard the name, than he went running back to overtake the governor, who, stopping his horse, waited with some anxiety for the event. “ I beg your pardon, Sir,” said he, “ but I was not aware that so great a person as the Signor Lodovico Ariosto was passing near me. My name is Filippo Pacchione; and when I knew who it was, I could not go on without returning to pay the respect due to, so illustrious a name. A doubt is thrown on this story,
, or rather on the particular person who gave occasion to it, by the similarity of an adventure related of Tasso. Both of them however are very probable, let the similarity be what it may; for both the poets bad occasion to go through disturbed districts; robbers abounded in both their times, and the leaders being most probably men rather of desperate fortunes than want of knowledge, were likely enough to seize such opportunities of vindicating their better habits, and shewing a romantic politeness. The enthusiasm too is quite in keeping with the national character, and it is to be observed that the particulars of Tasso's adventure are different, though the spirit of it is the same. He was journeying, it is said, in company with others, for better security against the banditti who infested the borders of the papal territory, when they were told that Sciarra, a famous robber, was at hand in considerable force. Tasso was for pushing on, and defending themselves if attacked; but his opinion was overruled; and the company threw themselves, for safety, into the city of Mola. Here Sciarra kept them in a manner blocked up; but hearing that Tasso was among the travellers, he sent him word that he should not only be allowed to pass, but should have safe conduct whithersoever he pleased. The lofty poet, making it a matter of delicacy perhaps to waive an advantage of which his company could not partake, declined the offer, upon which Sciarra sent another message, saying that upon the sole account of Tasso, the ways should be left open. And they were so.
We can call to mind no particular German thieves, except those who figure in romances, and in the Robbers of Schiller. To
the truth, we are writing just now with but few books to refer to; and the better informed reader must pardon any deficiences he meets with in these egregious and furtive memorandums. Of the Robbers of Schiller, an extraordinary effect is related. It is said to have driven a number of wild-headed young Germans upon playing at banditti, not in the bounds of a school or university, but seriously in a forest. The matterof-fact spirit in which a German sets about being enthusiastic, is a metaphysical curiosity which modern events render doubly interesting. It is extremely worthy of the attention of those rare personages, entitled reflecting politicians. But we must take care again. It is very inhuman of these politics, that the habit of attending to them, though with the greatest good-will and sincerity, will always be driving a man upon thinking how his fellow-creatures are going on.
There is a pleasant well-known story of a Prussian thief and Frederick the Second. [The mention, by the way, of these two personages together puts us in mind of the Scottish answer to travellers about a mile and a bittock,—the said bittock, or little bit, being perhaps three or four miles in addition.
Reader. There, Mr. Indicator, you get upon politics again.
Indic. But I cannot help it, you know, if past history applies to present events; or at least, if your wicked imagination makes it apply.
Read. Oh, ho: you have me there. Indic. I trust you have me every where.] We forget what was the precise valuable found upon the Prussian soldier, and missed from an image of the Virgin Mary; but we believe it was a ring. He was tried for sacrilege, and the case appeared clear against him, when he puzzled his Catholic judges by informing them, that the fact was, the Virgin Mary had given him that ring. Here was a terrible dilemma. To dispute the possibility or even probability of a gift from the Virgin Mary, was to deny their religion: while, on the other hand, to let the fellow escape on the pretence, was to canonize impudence itself. The worthy judges, in their perplexity, applied to the king, who under the guise of behaving delicately to their faith, was not sorry to have such an opportunity of joking it. His
majesty therefore pronounced, with becoming gravity, that the allegation of the soldier could not but have it's due weight with all Catholic believers; but that in future, it was forbidden any Prussian subject, military or civil, to accept a present from the Virgin Mary.
The district, formerly rendered famous by the exploits of Scanderbeg, Prince of Epirus, and now become infamous by the tyranny of Ali Bey, has been very fertile in robbers. And no wonder, for a semi-barbarous people so governed become thieves by necessity. The name indeed, as well as profession, is in such good receipt with an Albanian, that according to late travellers, it is a common thing for him to begin a story by saying, " When I was a robberremember reading of some Albanian or Sclavonian leader of banditti, who made his enemies suppose he had a numerous force with him, by distributing military caps upon the hedges.
There are some other nations who are all thieves, more or less; or comprise such numbers of them as very much militate against the national character. Such are the piratical Malays; the still more infamous Algerines; the mongrel tribes between Arabia and Abyssinia. As to the Arabs, they have a prescriptive right, from tradition as well as local circumstances, to plunder every body. The sanguinary ruffians of Ashantee and other black empires on the coast of Guinea are more like a government of murderers and ogres, than thieves. They are the next ruffians perhaps in existence, to slave-dealers. The gentlest nation of pilferers are the Otaheiteans; and something is to be said for their irresistible love of hatchets and old nails. Let the European trader, that is without sin cast the first paragraph at them. Let him think what he should feel inclined to do, were a ship of some unknown nation to come upon his coast, with gold and jewels lying scattered about the deck. For no less precious is iron to the South Sea Islander. A Paradisaical state of existence would be, to him, not the Golden, but the Iron Age. An Otaheitean Jupiter would visit his Danaë in a shower of tenpenny nails.
We are now come to a very multitudinous set of candidates for the halter, the thieves of our own beloved country. For what we know of the French thieves is connected with them, excepting Cartouche; and we remember nothing of him, but that he was a great ruffian, and died upon that
worse ruffian, the rack. There is, to be sure, a very eminent instance of a single theft in the Confessions of Rousseau; and it is the second greatest blot in his book; for he suffered a girl to be charged with and punished for the theft, and maintained the lie to her face, though she was his friend, and appealed to him with tears. But it may be said for him, at any rate, that the world would not have known the story but for himself: and if such a disclosure be regarded by some as an additional offence (which it may be thought by some very delicate as well as dishonest people,) we must recollect, that it was the object of his book to give a plain unsophisticated account of a human being's experiences; and that many persons of excellent repute would have been found to have committed actions as bad, had they given accounts of themselves as candid. Dr.