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and with change of place, under the influence of variations of climate, is susceptible of modifications though not in a very sensible degree.”
This the reader will readily conceive implies the condition that, all misalliances of descent, or of race, of blood, organism and qualities of form, are religiously and sedulously shunned as by all chiefs of noble tent.
“ Strength, agility, vigour, both in conformation and action constitute,” says the author of “ Les Chevaux du Sahara,
” « the heritage of the horse on this side of the Euphrates, and beyond the Mediterranean and the Caucasus, where he remains on the land of Islamism ; there he is ever the sinewy horse, moderate in his appetites, unconquerable by privation and fatigue, living between sky and the sand. Call him now if you will Persian, Numidian,* Barb, Syrian Arab, Nedji, it matters little, all those denominations are mere fore-names, nominal pre-fixes, if we may be allowed so to express it, but the family name is one-thé Horse of the East. The other family on this side of the Mediterranean is the race of Europe."
“Though,” continues that able and keen-sighted hippiast, “the Barb may not have the rounded contour, the harmonious beauty, the plastic elegance of the Arabian horse, it may be said that his marked and vigorous outlines reveal very incontesible qualities. Between the Barb and the Arabian there is the difference that distinguishes a glass cut in the crystal by the hand of man, from a glass cast in a mould. One has the forms abrupt, while the form of the other presents a finish, a polish, a perfection that leave the eye nothing to desire. But—both are marvellous war-horses. The Barb horse merits perhaps still more than the Arabian horse the application to bim of those proud and concise words of the Arab song we have cited :
• He can hunger, he can thirst.' The campaigns of Annibal in Italy, in which the Numidian cvalry so signally distinguished itself against the caavalry of the Romans, proved that it does not need the sky under which it is born to develop all its native vigour. The conquests made by the disciples of Mohammed regenerated much rather than deteriorated the blood that flows in its veins. The equine race as it exists in the present day in Africa presents a happy combination of all the attributes which are the property of the horse in countries of vast expanse under a burning sun.”
Drawing thus as he wrote upon the rich fund of his personal long experience of active service against these Numidians of modern times, and of his oft intervening official and friendly intercourse with their chiefs of tribe, whenever a transient lull came over the fierce struggle ; and in 1857, while yet with the presentiment of their renewed insurrections under their Marabouts, which ceased not till 1864, he said :
“The European horse has disappeared from the ranks of our army of Africa, unable to second the impetuous charges of the attack and
According to Sallust, the Roman historian, the word Numidian implies “changing pasturages”, and was assumed by the commingled races of Getula and Lybians with the Medes, Persians, and Armenians, who, after the death of Hercules in Spain, crossed over to Africa, and, establishing themselves on the coast opposite Italy, insensibly, by frequent marriages with those first inhabitants of North Africa, adopted their nomade habits of life, and gave themselves the name of Numidians.
the incessant harassing marches, to give place to the horses of the country; and, the first care of the officer who arrives from the continent in Algeria is to provide himself with indigenous horses; for he will take very good care not to venture into the desert and still less into the mountains with European horses, however much admired they may have been on the Turf of Chantilly, the Champ de Mars, and Satory !”
“ It is said that the administrative council of the Government-studs is about to send at great expense to the far extremity of Syria for stallions, of which an intelligent judge would frequently find the model among the various types of Algeria. Though this assertion (continues General Daumas), is very likely to incite many contradictions, because it shocks received opinions in France ; it is by facts, and facts alone that I reply to them. For I have seen here a race of horses of a strength and size, fit mounts for the very knights of olden time, as is Pacha in the depôt of Mostaganem, with many more, and like him reliable generators too."
STILL ON THE BORDERS OF MARLY.
THE LAST DAY AT THE INN.
Evelyn, Crawford, and Lavalette. The morning which broke on us-after the evening when Crawford read aloud a portion of the story of the ancestors of the Señor Andrea de Lauria-presented a different appearance from what the inclement season had done for
many days. Several times, that night, while listening to Crawford, as the wind, which had veered to the south, seemed to mutter, at times, in lower and more melancholy tones, those lines occurrred to me amidst its din.
“He leaves the chiding of the baffled wind,
all his terrors roundRush down the living rocks with whirlwind sound." -and I began to anticipate a thaw, if indeed it had not begun. Nevertheless I was not prepared for the snow-fed torrents which met my eyes, and the almost total disappearance of the snow itself. I was looking out of the latticed window with much satisfaction, when a rush of voices and loud cries, as if in great glee, caught my ear. There seemed to be a sudden tumult all through the neighbouring village of Marley.
On descending to breakfast I inquired the cause, and heard it was & fox-hunt which the youths of the village were bent upon having. A wily old fox which had long baffled them, and which had been making great depredations in the poultry yards, was the object of their pur. suit. They knew that his den was in the hollow of a steep, sheer precipice, to which neither dog nor man could reach—there he dwest in safety, and to that he always escaped, taking many a fat chicken with him. But how did he reach it? No one could tell! However, a young boor-quite a lad-having openly declared within the last few
days that he had discovered the fox's mode of entrance into, and exit from his hole, and that he would have the brush if they got up a foxhunt, the village boys had been eagerly waiting for an opportunity of testing his boast; and now, in the breaking up of the frost they, with what dogs they could find, set off in search of the marauder, which they had just seen carrying off a fine fowl. “My fowl!" said the landlady indignantly, from whom I had the account. Lavalette and Crawford had gone out to see what was going on, so the Spaniard and I sat down to breakfast. We lingered over it a good while. & very polished intelligent man, and I was sorry that he had made his arrangements to leave for Paris in the course of an hour. He politely drew the “ life of his ancestor” from his breast pocket, and presenting it to me, said, " That on his way back to-morrow he would call on us for a few seconds, when I was to return it." The snow, though still deep here and there, having left the roads tolerably open, I determined if my companions were willing, to leave likewise on the morrow, and when I mentioned this he seemed pleased, as we should then be fellow-travellers for a short time ; so we parted.
Crawford and Lavalette at last came in to breakfast. The foxhunters had scattered in every direction with the dogs in search of the thief ; the ground was too unsafe to follow them, and as it was, Lavalette had turned his ancle in clambering the uneven ground made dangerous by the slush of water and snow which filled it.
Our new acquaintance gone, and Lavalette laid up for the present, Crawford took up the book, so opportunely lent, and with very little hesitation commenced his translation.
CONTINUATION OF THE STORY OF THE LIFE OF ROGER DE LAURIA.
“As soon as the King of Aragon, Peter III., was dead, and before his own return to Sicily, Roger de Lauria obtained from his heir Don Alonso, a pledge to aid with all his force, and against every enemy, the Infante Don Jayme, now successor to the throne of the Island of Sicily. Thus assured, Roger put to sea with the fleet, but had the misfortune in his passage to Sicily to encounter a gale of wind, by which the fleet was dispersed, six galleys having foundered with the greater part of the treasure and plunder which had been taken in the recent battles, on board at the time. The gale lasted three days, and it was only by the extraordinary exertions and skill of the pilots that the fleet, now reduced to forty galleys, was at length collected and conducted, though much shattered, in safety to Trapani. The admiral immediately proceeded by land to Palermo, and communicated to Queen Constantia the news of the King, her husband's death. His son, Don Jayme, immediately assumed the title, and was crowned King of Sicily, at Palermo. As soon as the ceremony was over he sent De Lauria back to Spain to explain to his brother the state of matters in Sicily and Calabria, and also to see that nothing prejudicial to his interests took place in the negotiation for peace, then under discussion, with the Prince of Salerno, whom Peter Isl., a short time before his death, had sent for into Spain.
“ The King of Aragon was anxious for peace, that he might have leisure to attend to the welfare and tranquillity of his dominions, and at the same time get rid of so near and powerful an enemy as Franoe. The Prince of Salerno also wished it, that he might recover his liberty and enjoy his crown, and the King of Sicily that he might strengthen himself in his newly acquired kingdom, which, he had every reason to suppose, would be guaranteed to him by the treaties then in progress. At the earnest request of the Prince of Salerno, the King of England had offered his mediation ; but, notwithstanding his influence, and the general desire for peace, the intrigues of the Pope and the King of France, who would not consent to the conditions, upon which the King of Aragon agreed to release his prisoners, threw continual obstacles in the
way. " Truces were entered into, and before anything was arranged, those truces were as often broken.
“Meantime Roger de Lauria sailed with six galleys, ran down the Coast of Provence, attacked and plundered several towns on the coast, and returned to Catalonia with the booty, before the French squadron, very superior in number, could prevent or overtake him.
“During Roger's absence the King of Sicily gave the command of the fleet to Bernardo de Sarria, one of the most valiant officers of the time. Bernardo sailed with twelve galleys, manned with Catalan sailors, and after showing himself off the coast of Capua, ran over and took the Islands of Capri and Procida. He afterwards took the town of Astura, and having plundered and burned the villages and farmhouses in the neighbourhood of Sorento and Pasitano, he returned to Sicily loaded with booty.
“To check and counteract this marauding and plunder, the then governors of Naples fitted out a fleet, and prepared an army for the purpose of making a descent upon Sicily. The important affairs, which, at the time, exclusively engaged the attention of the King of Aragon, the absence of Roger de Lauria, and the secret correspondence which was maintained with some of the towns of the island, held out a promise of success to the undertaking, to secure which no exertion was spared.
“ The command of the first division of the land forces was confided to the Bishop of Marturano, the Pope's Legate, and to Ricardo Murrono ; and Ranaldo de Avella—an officer greatly esteemed at the time-was the admiral in charge of the squadron on board which the troops were embarked. This expedition put to sea, and having reached Augusta, the troops landed. The town and castle were speedily invested and reduced, and having repaired and strengthened the fortifications of the latter, a garrison was left in it, when the squadron returned to Brindisi, where the bulk of their force was assembled.
“ The naval equipments had been much neglected during the absence of de Lauria from Sicily ; but as soon as he returned, and learned the capture of Augusta by the enemy, he immediately set about repairing those faults, and getting the fleet ready for sea.
“ When the people of Sicily again saw the enemy in the island, and their formidable preparations at Brindisi
, they began to blame thé admiral, as if he were the cause of the present position of affairs. The courtiers too, who were envious of his fame, lent their aid to the slander, secretly accusing him with having neglected his duty in order to plunder the coast of Provence, and went so far as to whisper this base and groundless insinuation to the King.
“When Roger de Lauria got notice of those shameful designs of
his enemies, he was in the arsenal setting an example to the working men and urging them forward in their labours to fit the galleys for sea. The moment he heard it, without waiting to change his dress, but just as he was, profusely hot and covered with dust, and with an artizan's apron around his waist, he flew, boiling with indignation, to the palace, and there confronting his vile accusers in the presence of the King, proudly exclaimed
« « What man is he-he who pretends to be ignorant of my toils, and is not yet satisfied with all I have done? Here I am—let him declare his accusation, and I am ready to answer him. If ye hold my actions and labours, to which ye owe your lives and properties, in contempt, point out what ye yourselves have done, and whether the victories are yours that have given ye a country and the roofs beneath which ye live, and the ease and luxuries of which ye boast. Ye were enjoying yourselves, whilst I was oppressed with the weight of toils and of arms. No care or thought disturbed your minds, whilst mine was busily engaged in providing for, and arranging the plan of the campaign. No sound of war alarmed the ease and quiet of your lives, whilst mine was exposed to both fatigue and death. I encountered the inclemency of winds and seas, whilst ye reposed beneath the shelter of your homes. The rower’s bench was my bed at night, and my food such as your delicate palates would have rejected as loathsome and distasteful. In a word, hunger and weariness consumed me, while ye were wrapt in delicacies, and found safety in my labours. Weigh well my actions, and should the war last, consider who is likely to be the enemy's most formidable opponent. Then should ye forget my deserts, and cast me off, your ingratitude and calumny will not cause me as much shame and indignation as will your danger bring grief and sorrow of heart to yourselves for your blindness. Then turning to his attendants, 'Go,' said he, and bring hither the trophies of my victories and renown—the banner of the Prince of Salerno—the spoils of Nicotera, Castrovecchio, and Taranto-those of Calabria, when I drove King Charles from Reggio. Bring hither the chains that bound the prisoners taken at Gerbes-the trophies that I won at San Felix and at Rosas-the spoils and treasure in Provence-fetch them all, and since the war is likely to continue, if there be a man among you more valiant than myself, let him in future command the fleets and armies of Sicily, and defend the kingdom against its enemies.'
“ The eloquence and dignity with which these words were pronounced impressed the Court with admiration of the speaker, and put to silence all his enemies. The tale-bearers shrunk away abashed, not daring to contradict him; and Roger, despising their envy and intrigues, strode away, and resumed his labours in the arsenal, and, by dint of great diligence and activity, he succeeded in a short time in getting forty galleys, well manned and equipped, ready for sea. When these preparations were all complete, he sailed in search of the enemy, while the King, having first provided for the security of Catania, the inhabitants of which he found out were in correspondence with the French, laid siege to Augusta, one of the most important fortresses in the island. The besieged defended themselves with gallantry and resolution; but, the number within the walls being large, and provision