Obrázky stránek


ought to prove, that what they are commodities of trade: taking this as intended to do ought not to be done. their fact, their inference is, that They ought to prove that scarcity of money ought to be treated by law loans to the mass of the community-- like such commodities. Their strength sudden and violent fluctuations in the lies principally here. This fact and rate of interest—a high rate of interest inference are with them irresistible -a rate of interest varying according evidence, that the Usury Laws ought to person, favouring the rich, and to be abolished, independently of other ruinously high to the less wealthy, are things highly beneficial, or at the least, Now, is it a fact in reality, or is it not pernicious. They ought to prove

a fiction miscalled a fact, that money that lenders of money should possess is a commodity similar to other combaleful advantages over borrowers. Do modities? If the fact be dernolished, they prove this? They do not attempt nothing, of course, can save the poor it; on the contrary, they own that the inference. Men of common sense are state of things, which the laws are well aware, that in regard to this intended to prevent, ought not to be. question, money employed as trading

At any rate, the usurers ought to capital is a perfectly different thing prove, not by assertions of their own, from money employed in making loans, but by evidence tendered by the com- Money employed in buying and sellmunity at large, that these laws opere ing land, merchandize, manufactures, ate perniciously. Do they cite such &c. is a commodity like other comevidence ? No. A Parliamentary com- modities, and so the law treats it. mittee examined witnesses, and re- When so employed, it is exempted ported on the Usury Laws in 1818 ; from the operation of the Usury Laws, and not one of the witnesses, even of and its owner may charge any rate of those who were hostile to the laws, interest whatever. had ever heard it remarked, that this But money as a loan differs wholly country, as a great commercial one, from commodities of trade, in both was subject to inconvenience in con- nature and circumstances. Speaking sequence of their existence. Previously generally, the price of the commodity to the last few years, not a complaint is regulated by the intrinsic value, was made against these laws by the and it is the same to all; but the community, but, on the contrary, the price of the loan of money is regu. belief that they were highly beneficial lated by the credit of the borrower, was universally entertained. In late and to almost every borrower it varies. years, a very few petitions were pre- The poor can buy the commodity as sented to Parliament against them; easily and cheaply as the rich ; but but they were manifestly dictated by the difficulty of procuring the loan is other things than practical suffering. increased, and its price is raised, in Up to the present hour, the com- proportion to the poverty of the bormunity at large bas never made the rower. The commodity is an article least complaint, and this forms the of barter, and all who traffic in it can most decisive proof imaginable, that obtain about the same rate of profit, the Usury Laws, at any rate, have and can proportion their selling to not operated injuriously. To abolish their buying price, so as to make it laws of such gigantic and incessant commonly yield them a profit; but operation, in the teeth of a proof like the loan is a thing which is only lent this, is, in our poor judgment, what to be returned—borrowers can only would be proposed only by the most gain about the same rate of profit from crazy theorist, and what would be employing it, while each has to pay, attempted only by a government re- for the use of it, a different price from gardless alike of its duty and its re- what is paid by the others. They putation.

cannot alter their rate of profit, as the As the usurers cannot plead any of price for the use of it is raised to the rational and valid reasons, which them. The profit derived from trafalone can justify the abolition of laws ficking with the commodity is often the of great operation, what do they plead? greatest when the price is the highest ; They naturally take their stand chiefly the profits derived from the loan come upon abstract principle. Casting prac. monly fall as its price rises. tical effects to the winds, they affirm But it is with reference to its effects that money is a commodity, similar to amidst the community that we must


torted members, are always accompa- ground. In matters of this sort he is nied with loathing. Thus it is, too, a complete Bourgognoni, vivid, vigo in description. Scenes which human rous, and spirit-stirring, in all his dem nature would shrink from beholding, lineations of broil and battle. Our should not be obtruded on the imagi. readers shall not take all this praise nation. Mind is the proper object of upon trust. Let them read the folsympathy with mind. True, bodily lowing extract, and charge us with anguish may occasionally be thrown exaggeration if they dare :in to heighten the effect, and deepen the colouring, of the picture of mental

“ It was a gallant and spirit-stirring agony, but it must never be suffered sight to see them bearing down upon us, to become the chief object in the mirably armed and equipped. Hundreds

more than thirty thousand strong, all adgroup. Least of all, can we tolerate a of the small flags of companies, so much in picture, in which the mere horrors of use among the Affghauns, waved over their corporeal suffering engross the whole heads; and the points of their spears, and powers of the artist's pencil. We are their drawn swords, gleamed with a flicka not quite sure, that in these remarks ering above the dark and compact masses. we have expressed ourselves very Two of these bodies were entirely compoclearly, but we trust to our author's sed of cavalry, while that which occupied intelligence to seize the precise extent

the centre consisted both of cavalry and and bearing of our objections, and to infantry, accompanied by the greater part his candour to give them such weight and in good order to the brink of the ri

of their artillery. They moved on gently as they may appear to merit.

ver's bed below them : it was an object Passing over, therefore, this portion with their leaders, no doubt, to pass this of the story, we come to a long epi. obstacle without the confusion which might sode, which is somewhat clumsily in attend a more rapid course. But scarcely troduced, in the story of a young mer- had they formed upon the nearer bank, chant, with whom Ismael becomes than uttering a fearful yell

, the greater acquainted in the course of his adven- part of their cavalry dashed forward at full tures in Mushed. By this digression speed to the charge. we think an unpleasant break is occa

" The space between the water.course sioned in the continuity of the story,

and our position might be something less though considered as an isolated story pared for this onset ; the word was rapidly

than half a mile, but we were quite preit is altogether unexceptionable. merchant is a great traveller, and car

passed along to keep steady till the signal

should be given, and then to pour upon the ries us through many lands, giving advancing enemy the full discharge of our pleasant sketches of the manners of matchlocks and arrows. On they came; the different nations, among whom his the thunder of their innumerable hoofs erratic calling had made him a so- increasing every moment till it shook the journer. We then return to the ad. very earth; their spears in rest and their ventures of Ismael, in whose society naked scymetars gleaming over their heads, we continue to travel on, both plea filling the air with their war-cries. It was santly and profitably, till the end of

a moment of breathless suspense; not a the work. Nader goes on from con

sound was to be heard throughout our host

until the foremost of the Affghauns had quest to conquest ; Sultan Mahmoud is vanquished and slain ; and the glory ture could have endured no longer, when

reached within eighty yards. Human na. of the feeble Shah is completely over- the report of three cannon parting in quick shadowed by that of his victorious succession rose above the uproar. Instantly commander. All this portion of the they were answered by a volley from forty Iarrative is full of descriptions of or fifty other picces, and by the quick nartial exploits, which are executed dropping fire of muskets, which soon in. by a masterly hand. Whether the au- creased to a continued roar. The whole thor belongs to the military profession line was enveloped in smoke, which for a weknow not, but his knowledge, not

few moments hid the enemy from our view; onl of the general character of East. but when the light breeze of morning waftern warfare, but of all minute cir

ed it in part away, a striking change was

seen in their condition. From the close cumstances connected with its tactic

order of the enemy, who had charged in a andstrategy, is evidently very exten- dense body, every shot we fired must have sive His military sketches are com- taken effect, and the front ranks were pleti in all their particulars, and he therefore almost totally destroyed : the neve falls into the error of fighting plain was now strewed with 'men and mere European battles on Persian horses, and those behind, who were spur. ring up at full speed, increased the con- that a fresh“ reinforcement had come up, fusion by stumbling over the bodies of were checked in their career. their fallen friends. The deadly fire of “ At this moment, I observed Caleb matchlocks and of arrows still continued ; Allee Beg, who was actively cheering on and ever and anon the cannon scattered his men, hurled with great violence from havoc among the amazed Affghauns, who, his horse to the earth. A cannon.shot confounded at à resistance so determined, had struck him on the shoulder, and carwavered, drew up, and then turned and ried off his arm, with half the muscles of fed beyond reach of our shot.

his side. I flew to him as he lay gasping "A strong body of cavalry from each on the ground, when, gazing wildly at me wing was immediately dispatched to take for a moment, he recognised me, and said advantage of their disorder, and for a with a ghastly smile, Ah, my friend, you while the fugitives weré slaughtered al- will not laugh at me now! But go-you most unresistingly; but as they fell back are required; take my place and do your upon their reserve, and our firé ceased, duty ; mine is over!' There was, truly, they recovered somewhat from their panic, no time for delay; consigning him to the and drawing off on either hand, left our care of two trusty men, I flew to the front, horsemen exposed to a heavy fire from the where the ground was still hotly contested, cannon and musketry of their centre divió though the superiority of the enemy besion. This checked us in our turn; but came every moment more decided. My: instead of forming and making an orderly' presence and my voice, calling on them to retreat, as they should have done, our remember who they were, exhorting them men, flashed with success, thought only to fight for Nader, who was even now at of carrying all before them of gallop- hand with assistance, restored their sink ing on, and cutting down the topechees of ing spirits; and by a strenuous effort, we the Affghauns at their' guns. This un- once more gained ground upon our adver. lucky mistake was observed simultaneous, saries, and placed them between us and ly bý Nader and the enemy: the latter dee their own cannon. The junction of a party tached a farther force of horsemen to com. of our comrades, who succeeded in cutting plete the confusion which their fire was their way through to where we stood, ena.. fast effecting among our men, while his bled us to support the struggle with better Highness pushed forward a strong body advantage ; but by this time I discovered of cavalry, including the remainder of his that the body of the guards, of which I; own guards, to support and bring them was now the leader, had been completely off; and moved on himself in good order, separated from the rest of the army in the with the matchlockmen and infantry, to fluctuations of the fight, and was opposed, act as circumstances should determine. unassisted, to a large force of cavalry, with

* The engagement now became general the infantry and artillery still threatening and furious : what the Affghauns lacked in front. There was nothing for it but in discipline, they possessed in personal to fight while we could ; so, shouting strength and courage. They charged the out once more to those around me, that most compact bodies of our cavalry in Nader was driving them before him on parties of ten or twenty, and often broke our left, and that we must open ourselves them with great loss, by dint of determi. a path to join him, I called on them to ned bravery; and though their desultory close their ranks, and charge in that direcdevotion generally proved fatal to them in tion. the end, it was not without a serious ex. “ The name of Nader, echoed from hunpense of lives to ourselves. So bloody was dreds of tongues in reply, startled the ene. the struggle, that even the portion of his my, and aided the force of our charge. Highness's guards which had accompanied Their horsemen were borne down and fled the first detachment in pursuit, thinned before it, and we found ourselves fast cloby discharges of cannon in front, and fu. sing with the line of artillery and musketriously assailed on either flank by the eers. But from them we did not meet the heavy battle-axes and long spears of the reception I expected ;- they seemed to have horsemen, began to fall into confusion and their attention divided. • Charge them give back. I had hastily collected a small also, cried I ; charge them, in the name number of men to rally another corps of of God, and they are ours !' The spirits of cavalry, which was shrinking under its my companions were elevated by the súc. heavy loss, when, casting my eyes towards cess of our first effort, and the effect of this my own companions, I saw them struga order was electrifying; scarcely was there gling with a fresh and powerful troop of time for the guns to be fired, when the Cadanharaes, who were led by some of the gunners were cut and trampled down, and Sultaun's gholaums. The crisis was ur. their infantry were flying in all directions. gent in the extreme : calling out to my At this moment an unlucky shot struck Followers, and shouting aloud the well- our banner-man, and the colours, as they known cry of the Shurtee Naderee !' we fell, were seized upon by one among the charged the new assailants, who, thinking enemy more bold than the rest ; fortu. ; VOL. XXIV.


[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]

nately I saw the accident, and, clapping

" Too much exhausted to pursue them, stirrups to my horse's side, reached and we were resting, panting on our arms, cut down the Affghaun, whose sacrilegious when his Higliness, accompanied by a : hand had dared to touch the sacred ensign, strong party of gholaums, rode up to us catching it in my left hand, so that it ne- at speed. Checking his horse, he threw a ver touched the ground. Burning with en. single keen glance at us, and then gave thusiasm, I cleared a path to the right and rapid orders to several of his attendants to left with the sweep of my scymetar. 'On- go and stop the pursuit, which had already ward ! onward !' cried I ; who will aban- led some of the troops too far.

• The don his colours ?_who fears to follow his place of encampment for this night is yona leader ?' and, gallantly followed by the der, on the ground deserted by the enemy; whole of my remaining band, I plunged -go! Let the several corps be mustered . into the thickest of the enemy.

there, and let me have immediate returns “ But though surprised and confound. of our loss in killed and wounded ; leave ed, the Affghauns by no means gave way only Muhabut Allee and half-a-dozen to their first panic. They turned upon us, gholaums with me.I shall find guards and hemmed in our greatly diminished enough here, and trusty ones too. What troop on all sides, depriving us of the news ?-how fares it, Ismael ? No chil. power to charge them, as, with their long dren's play this--you have found enough sharp swords, they rushed upon our horses, to do, it seems ?—these fellows have fought and dealt them ghastly and disabling like devils as they are.-Come, muster the wounds, while their riders were engaged men now; you must be my guard to campo with other assailants. And now did I But how is this ? on foot ?' Your Highsuffer a loss which cost me a keener pang ness sees my horse,' replied I, pointing to than many a graver misfortune in life ; poor Boorrauk. “What ! my old acquaintmy faithful Boorrauk had been severely ance ?-your friend of the Desert ?" This wounded during our first successful charge, is in truth a loss; but we must try to reby a spear which broke in his chest : yet pair it ; meantime, some of you give him a still he bore me gallantly through the fight, horse.' - Your Highness has sustained a and trampled down many a one who ata greater loss--Caleb Allee Beg.'— Punahtempted to assail his master. But the be-khodah! killed ?' demanded Nader, in sword of an Affghaun reached his side at a voice of great emotion... Struck by a last, and inflicted another fearful wound. I cannon-shot, while bravely leading your saw the deed and revenged it dearly ; for, Highness's guards ;-he cannot survive, if with a blow of my sword, I clove the vil. not already dead.' - Where is he ? let me lain from shoulder to chest; but my un. once more see my old and faithful servant,' fortunate horse, staggering forward a pace said Nader, stifling a groan; and motion. or two, sank on his knees with a convul. ed immediately to lead the way. The spot sive shudder; and scarcely had I time to where I had left Caleb Alee was not far in disengage myself, when he fell on his side, our rear, for every inch of ground had been and giving me one look with his bright in. hotly contested, and we had advanced but telligent eye, stretched out his quivering little. We found him attended but by one limbs, and breathed his last. Had my aged soldier, for many years under his dearest friend been murdered at my feet, command, who bent over his mangled offic the pang I felt could not have been more cer with a look of fixed sorrow, while his kcen, nor my indignation greater, than that tears, mingling with the blood that trickledwhich I experienced at the loss of this most from a large wound in his head, dropped faithful and invaluable companion of my heavily on the breast of the dying man. A toils.

party of Affghauns, who swept this part of 66 The colours were still safe, and, en- the plain after we had quitted it, had cut trenched behind my slaughtered horse, I down the other attendant, and wounded kept all assailants at bay ; but how long this old man ; but when they observed his we could have held out against the odds white beard, and saw how he was occupied, opposed to us, I cannot say, for the un- the blow was not repeated ;—they left hinx equal struggle was brought to a sudden to himself, and, wounded as he was, he had close. Loud cries were heard on the left ; propped up the body of the unfortunate and even through the infernal din which Caleb Allee, supporting his head in his surrounded us, I could distinguish the loud lap, and, covering his ghastly wounds with and terrible voice of Nader shouting out his garments, thus awaited the painful his orders, and encouraging his men. All struggle of expiring nature.” now was over; the shout was returned by every one of us that remained alive; the

We now approach the conclusion of enemy, assailed in rear, broke, and melted

the story, which may be briefly told. from before us like snow in the April sun;

Ismael fights like a tiger, and is raised and we, who but a moment before had by Nader to the dignity of a Khan. been gasping and struggling for our lives,

He encounters his old friend Selim, were left undisputed possessors of the and through his means is restored to ground, now covered with the flying foe. the young and beautiful Shireen, who

is suffering all manner of affliction. though their lineaments are imprinted Her story is given at full length. on our memory, are drawn with skill, Many misfortunes had befallen her vigour, and effect. The besetting dansince they parted ; but through all the ger into which the author of a work vicissitudes of her fate, she had re- like the present is most apt to be bemained true to the man by whom her trayed, is that of representing his chavirgin heart had been subdued. There racters as influenced by mo!ives altois some pathos in the meeting with gether alien to the whole habits of Shireen, but more in that with Selim. their mind. Orientals drawn by an Selim is a prisoner, and condemned European are always likely to have by Nader to death. Ismael exerts all an unnatural tinge of Europeanism in his influence to procure his pardon, their modes of thought and action. but in vain. Stung to madness by The poles are not more opposite than this, he determines to share the fate of a Hindoo or Persian is, in the whole his friend-beards Nader to his face, cast and structure of his mind, to an and bares his neck to the executioner. Englishman. They acknowledge no The heart of the great chieftain, al- common principles of right and wrong. beit unused to the melting mood, Their motives, their tone of sentie softens at the sight of so much disin- ment, and consequently their actions, terested friendship. Selim is pardon are altogether at variance, and must ed, and Ismael made happy by the be judged of by a different standard. haad of his first love.

In a work of Eastern fiction, a writer Such is the termination of the third cannot look into his own heart, to volume, but we rejoice to say, that learn what feelings any given circumshould his first attempt be successful stances would excite in those whom of which we entertain no doubt he delineates. If he does, he will draw the author intimates his intention of Europeans, not Asiatics. continuing his labours, and presenting In this respect, however, the vigia us with a continuation of the life of lance of the author has been uncea the Kuzzilbash. In this we trust he sing; and though in one or two inwill not disappoint us. We trust he stances we think he has not been emi. will go on as he has begun, and intro- nently successful in avoiding the error duce us to the hearths and homes of we have mentioned, we do not hesitate Khorasan ; picturing, with the skill of to assert that his failures have both which he has already given abundant been fewer and more venial than those specimens, all interesting particulars which are abundantly discernible both of the habits, modes of thought, and in Anastasius and Hajji Baba. We domestic life, of the various tribes now bid farewell to the Kuzzilbash, a which own the dominion of the Shah. book we have read with greater inte

Of the characters delineated in these rest than any which has recently isvolumes, we have said little ; yet not sued from the press. We anticipate because little deserved to be said. In for it a wide popularity ; but should truth, many of them are excellent, we be deceived in this, we shall not Nader, Ibrahim, Omer Khan, Foujee hesitate to attribute our error rather to Allee, and several others whose names ihe obtuseness of the public, than to we cannot at this moment recall, any want of merit in the work itself,

« PředchozíPokračovat »