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JOUBERT, a brave French general, who fell, crowned with glory, at the battle of Novi, in the moment of his dissolution cried aloud to his fellow soldiers, “ Marchez, marchez, mes enfans, je meure pour ma patrie.”
The Chevalier BAYARD, for his great valour, obtained the surname of Le bon Chevalier sans peur et sans reproche: he accompanied Charles VIII. into Naples, and performed the most incredible acts of heroism. Being mortally wounded in an action with the Imperialists in Italy, and perceiving his dissolution was at hand, it is said he recommended himself to God in fervent prayer, and then requested to be placed near a tree, with his face towards the enemy, at that time victorious, observing to those around him, “ As in life I always faced the enemy, so in death I will not turn my back upon them.”
Wolfe.The death of this general, as related by Smollett, is equally animating. In the assault upon Quebec, he stationed himself where the attack was most warm, and as he stood conspicuous in the front of the line, he had been aimed at by the enemy's marksmen, and received a shot in the wrist, which however did not oblige him to quit the field. Having wrapped a handkerchief round his hand, he continued giving orders without the least emotion, and advanced at the head of the grenadiers with their bayonets fixed, when another ball unfortunately pierced the breast of this young hero, who fell in the arms of victory, just as the enemy gave way. When the fatal ball took place, General Wolfe, finding himself unable to stand, leaned upon the shoulder of a lieutenant, who sat down for that purpose. The officer seeing the French give way, exclaimed, “ They run! they run!” “ Who run?” cried. the gallant Wolfe, with great eagerness; when the lieutenant replied, “ The French !” “ Then,” said he, “ I die happy.” So saying, the hero expired, in the 34th year of his age. .
HALLER. This celebrated physician perceiving his end approaching, kept feeling his pulse to the last moment; and when he found that his was almost
gone, he turned to his brother physician and observed, “My friend, the artery ceases to beat," and almost instantly expired.
ADRIAN.--This emperor dying, made that celebrated address to his soul which Pope has so beautifully translated.
CHATELAR was one of the many unfortunate individuals who were sacrificed at the shrine of Mary's beauty. From historical records it appears that this youth, who was condemned to death for an improper attachment to his queen, met his fate with the greatest fortitude, and ascended the scaffold divested of every sentiment of fear. On the scaffold he made a very laconic address to the spectators, the subject of which is not recorded in history, and turning toward the window of the chamber usually occupied by the queen, and which commanded a view of the spot, he still professed his unalterable passion, and gloried at meeting his fate in such a cause: he then repeated some lines from the works of Ronsard, which were very applicable to bis situation, and with a dauntless demeanour gave his head to the block, which was severed by the executioner at one blow.
LOPE DE VEGA. This extraordinary man was born at Madrid, in 1562. His father had been secretly addicted to poetry. There are so many similar facts recorded, as to justify an opinion that the propensity, or aptitude for poetry, is hereditary. Lope's talents were early manifested. The uncommon quickness and brilliancy of his eyes in infancy indicated a corresponding vivacity of mind, and before his hand was strong enough to guide the pen, he recited verses of his own composition, which he bartered with his play-fellows for prints or toys. Thus, even in his childbood, he not only wrote poetry, but turned his poetry to account, an art in which he must
be allowed afterwards to have excelled all poets, ancient or modern. - A dissertation on his works must necessarily be prolix, and therefore unsuited to our pages; but the ex. traordinary facility with which he wrote, and the immense quantity of his productious, are genuine matter of curiosity, and worthy relation.
In the height of his fame, he dedicated a long poem, in which Mary Queen of Scots was the heroine, to Pope Urban the Eighth.
Upon this occasion he received from that pontiff a letter, written in his own hand, and the degree of doctor of theology. Such a flattering tribute of admiration sanctioned the reverence in which his name was held in Spain, and spread his fame through every catholic country. The cardinal Barberini followed him with veneration in the streets; the king would stop to gaze at such a prodigy; the people crowded round him wherever he appeared : the learned and the studious thronged to Madrid from every part of Spain, to see this phenix of their country, “this monster of literature;" and even Italians, no extravagant admirers in general of poetry that is not their own, made pilgrimages from their country for the sole purpose of conversing with Lope. So associated was the idea of excellence with his name, that it grew in common conversation to signify any thing perfect in its kind; and a Lope diamond, a Lope day, or a Lope woman, became fashionable and familiar modes of expressing their respective good qualities. His poetry was as advantageous to his fortune as to his fame; the king enriched him with pensions and chaplaincies; the pope honoured him with dignities and preferments; and every nobleman at court aspired to the character of his Mæcenas, by conferring upon him frequent and valuable presents. His annual income was not less than 1500 ducats, exclusive of the price of his plays, which Cervantes insinuates that he was never inclined to forego, and Montalvan estimates at 80,000. He received in pre
sents from individuals as much as 10,500 more. His application of these ,sums partook of the spirit of the nation from which he drew them. Improvident and indiscriminate charity ran away with these gains, immense as they were, and rendered his life unprofitable to his friends, and uncomfortable to himself.
He continued to publish plays and poems, and to receive every remuneration that adulation and generosity could bestow, till the year 1635, when religious thoughts had rendered him so hypochondriac that he could hardly be considered as in full possession of his understanding. On the 22d of August, which was Friday, he felt himself more than usually oppressed in spirits and weak with age ; but he was so much more anxious about the health of his soul than of his body, that he would not avail himself of the privilege to which his infirmities entitled him, of eating meat: and even resumed the flagellation, to which he had accustomed himself, with more than usual severity. This discipline is supposed to bave hastened his death. He fell ill on that night, and having passed the necessary ceremonies with excessive devotion, he expired on Monday, the 26th of August, 1635.
The sensation produced by his death was, if possible, more astonishing than the reverence in which he was held while living. The splendour of his funeral, which was conducted at the charge of the most munificent of his patrons, the Duke of Sesa, the number and language of the sermons on that occasion, the competition of poets of all countries in celebrating his genius and lamenting his loss, are unparalleled in the annals of poetry, and perhaps scarcely equalled in those of royalty itself. The ceremonies attending his interment continued for nine days. The priests described him as a saint in his life, and represented his superiority over the classics in poetry, as great as that of the religion which he professed was over the heathen. The writings which were selected from the inultitude produced on the occasion fill more than two large volumes.
Yet Lope de Vega was not contented either with his fame or his profits, and actually complained of neglect, envy, and poverty!
As an author he is most known, as indeed he is most wonderful, for the prodigious number of his writings. Twenty-one million three hundred thousand of his lines are said to be actually printed; and no less than eighteen hundred plays of his composition to have been acted on the stage. He nevertheless asserts, in one of his last poems, that
“ The printed part, though far too large, is less
Than that which yet unprinted waits the press.” It is true that the Castilian language is copious: the verses are often extremely short, and the laws of metre and of rhyme by no means severe. Yet were we to give credit to such accounts, allowing him to begin his compositions at the age of thirteen, we must believe that, upon an average, he wrote more than nine hundred lines a day; a fertility of imagination and a celerity of pen, which, whon we consider the occupations of his life as a soldier, a secretary, a master of a family, and a priest; his acquirements in Latin, Italian, and Portuguese; and his reputation for erudition, become not only improbable, but absolutely, and one may almost say, physically impossible.
As the credibility, however, of miracles must depend upon the weight of evidence, it will not be foreign to the purpose to examine the testimonies we possess of this extraordinary facility and exuberance of composition. There does not now exist the fourth part of the works which he and his admirers mention, yet enough remains to render him one of the most voluminous authors that ever put pen to paper. Such was his facility, that he informs us, in one of his Eclogues, that more than a hundred times he composed a play and produced it on the stage in twenty-four hours. Montalvan declares that he wrote in metre with asmuch rapidity as in prose, and in confirmation of it he relates the following story.
“ His pen was unable to keep pace with his mind,