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law, and herself a second lord. The petite, or of accomplished or disapcommencement of such engagements pointed mercenary designs. Neveris founded either in passion or in in- theless there is nothing more common terest, each of which is at variance in society, and we have daily proofs with the duty they have to perform of its baneful effects ; here we have towards unoffending children, often a fine youth prematurely hurried into made enemies from ill treatment, and the service of his country, to be killed I am at a loss to account for the off, or sacrificed to the yellow fever, preference usually shown to a second merely because he stood in the way family, by the parent of both ; the of Master Jackey, the produce of a contracting party who has but one second marriage : there we see lovefamily, more naturally leans to it, but liness and tender age a victim to rashthe mutual parent sins against nature ness, an out-cast, a run-a-way, because by such conduct, whilst the other the daughter of her who lies, perhaps, party ofiends honour and humanity in in a new made grave, sins by inherita minor, although not less dangerous ing her mother's beauty, and is a degree. Injustaque noverca applies contrast to a plain step-mother, who too generally to the second wife of must rule the roast, unrivalled and an uxorious widower, yet it depends uncontrolled. In one family, the child on her alone to merit a better name, of the first matrimonial engagement and it appears to my humble concep- flies home from having lost a father's tion, that a woman cannot more ef- heart—in another, a wretched daughfectually endear herself to her hus- ter marries the first being that asks band, than by considering his children her, merely to escape the tyranny of and her own as a common stock in a strange woman, placed in usurped love, and by making their interest authority over her. In lower life, and happiness one common cause. step-fathers cruelly chastising the The stickling for preferences, in any wife's children, disgust the beholder shape, is the beginning of evil, and —and base women, breaking the spirit will end in misery and injustice, the of the children given in charge to taunts about unequal birth, fortune, them by the laws of society, awaken beauty, and (often ideal) merits, un- horror in an honest breast : doubtful dermine domestic peace, and often and dangerous however, as these reend in enormous crimes. Slighted peated nuptials are, it is possible to children run headlong to ruin and perform the double duties thus imdespair, take to idle habits and a vi- posed, and there are some rare excious life, imbibe at an early age, the amples to justify the remark. “What poison of envy and hatred, fall off is a step-mother?” said Irish Pat to a from the duty and affection to a first neighbour countryman," why,” says parent, or pine in the wasting agonies Booney, “ a step-mother is a step toof sensibility, wounded by neglect, wards being a mother, and yet no and engender an indifference as tó mother at all, at all.” 'Bravo! Masconduct; for remove the excitement ter Pat, but we will examine another to well-doing, and mental inactivity picture. Lady Hartly ventured upon must ensue, deny the meed of praise, a widower of forty, he had five chiland exertion is blighted for ever. If dren du premier lit, and a second
my poor dear last husband,” be a family of the same number was the horror and reproach to the second consequence of the second engagelucky adventurer, who fain would say, ment. Sir John was a sportsman, 6 would that he were alive !" surely and so completely neglected all of the “go away you troublesome thing," them, that he could not be accused of to the offspring of him whom she is a preference to any one of them, bound to love, honour, and obey, “there take them away when they must be equally grating a sound, and have had a glass of wine," was his as calculated to foster regrets, resent- daily order at dessert time, touching ments, and altered feeling, that sen- the second breed, “I shall be glad sation which takes place of sated ap- when the vacation is over, and the
brats return to school (or college),” a manner, as to captivate every one was his remark conc
oncerning the first, connected with the family. She whenever they were at home; but never addressed Theodore by any his mild matron-like lady was a moth- other name than 5 my son;" and he er to all without prejudice, prefer- found in her a mother, a sister, and a ence, or injustice ; she would play friend. Proud of her elegant form with the former like a child and a and good taste in dress, he was her school companion, and was the tender frequent attendant in public ; connurse and preceptress of the latter. vinced of her benevolent mind, she To reconcile one to another, to es was his adviser and confidant, ever tablish the closest links of affection sweetening and mellowing down the and amity between them, to recom- least rigid word or action of her husmend them to their father, to minister band towards his first-born. When to their innocent pleasures, and to he exceeded his pay and allowance, conceal their trivial faults, occupied her purse made up the deficiency; her whole time, and they repaid her and whenever he had committed an with the sincerest love. The lovely error, she was his apologist in the Laura married her guardian, a hand- first instance, his directress in the some man of fifty, for whom (on ac- second, and his consolatrix in care ; count of his age and the parental of- and when no remedy could be found fice which he had discharged towards for what had occurred, it was delighther) she entertained more respect and ful to see the two together. As a esteem than admiration or impassion- proof of the mutual sentiment existed feeling. He had a son of twenty- ing between them, I remember him one years of age, an officer of Light one day introducing her to a foreign Dragoons, wild, expensive, and fond nobleman thus Voila ma belle of pleasure, but of a good temper and mere, vraiment belle, elle est non feeling heart; he might have beheld seulement ma mere, mais ma meilany other step-mother with envy and leure amie." The play upon the mistrust, or he might have viewed a words belle mere, makes all translabeautiful young woman thus paired, tion fall short of the original, but it with regret, or a criminal flame : but does not hinder it from being copied Laura was cast in such a gentle from that life, which would be a blessmould, that to know her was to be ing to society, and is what is advised her friend, and she fulfilled her du- by
Philo-SPECTATOR. ties as a wife and as a mother in such Aug. 1, 1824.
THE DEAN OF SANTIAGO.
A Tale from the Conde Lucanor. Good stories seem to be imperishable. They are, it is true, doomed to undergo many
transmutations, and to appear embodied under different forms ; but the informing spirit which captivates our attention, is the same, whatever language they speak. A tale may be often traced through every nation of Europe, till we lose it among the
wild traditions of the North, or the romantic lore of the East. There was a period in the growth of society at which the imagination had a peculiar
aptitude to conceive novel and striking combinations of characters and events--of moral actions and chances ; of the power of the human will, and the external motives which oppose or modify it. At that period it was that the main store of tales was created, wbich every succeeding age and pation have made to undergo the changes which suited the originals to their own taste and notions. Indeed, the great difficulty in the invention of a tale appears to arise from the fewness of extraordinary situations which the world affords. Whatever, therefore, offers the means of introducing some source of novelty into a narrative, presents an opportunity of forming an interesting tale. Such means, however, decrease as the refinement of society advances. In the trammels of civilized life, the imagination is shorn of her wiogs, the judgment becomes sceptical and fastidious, the heart is rendered cold and cautious. We do not mean to
6 ATHENEUM VOL. 2. new series.
question the higher advantages by which these losses are compensated ; but merely
state a fact which the observation of society at different stages makes obvious. It will be evident that we do not speak of the modero novels, in which the interest chiefly
arises from the play of the human passions which the complicated machinery of society puts into motion; but of the more simple species of tales, the offspring of pure imagination. The characters of the primitive tale and the modern novel are as distinct as the two states of society which produce them. The former springs from fancy, in the youth of mankind; the latter is the fruit of dear-bought experience, at an advanced
period of the world. But though the states and dispositions of the human mind which respectively give birth
to these two kinds of composition, have little in common, man's taste for both is nearly permanent. There occurs, indeed, a temporary fastidiousness, which will not be amused with stories that delighted our forefathers; but the artificial excitement which, for a time, unfits society for every thing not seasoned up to its feverish palate, gradually disappears; or, what is more probable, the source of our morbid cravings being exhaust. ed by the very means invented to gratify them, the mind returns to a more natural
state, and feels refreshed by what it at one time loathed as tame and insipid. This relapse into a youthful taste may be observed no less in the mass of society, tban in
individuals. The analogy may still be traced farther, if we observe that the revived taste of society for the primitive sports of imagination, not unlike the renovated zest for the amusements of childhood, which often appears on the decline of life, is a taste of sympathy, not of action. Society, aster its maturity, may turn with pleasure to the contemplation of the simple play of fancy in which she delighted when young; but, contented with a nere review of her childish toys, she would be ashamed at the ai
tempt to contrive new ones of the same sort. If partiality to a favourite author does not bias our judgment, the story of the Dead of
Santiago, which we subjoin, in a free translation from the Spanish of Prince Don Juan Manuel, is one of the finest speciniens of this species of composition. But we must deser making any observations on its peculiar character till our readers have the story itself before them..
TH2 DEAN OF SANTIAGO. T was but a short hour before noon *The dinner, which soon followed,
when the Dean of Santiago alight- was just what a pampered Spanish caed from his mule at the door of Don non would wish it—abundant, nutritive, Illan, the celebrated magician of Tole- and delicate.-“ No, no," said Don do. The house according to old tradi- Illan, when the soup and a bumper of tion, stood on the brink of the perpen- Tinto had recruited the Dean's spirits, dicular rock, which, now crowned with and he saw him making an attempt to the Alcázar, rises to a fearful height break the object of his visit, " no busiover the Tagus. A maid of Moorish ness, please your Reverence, while at blood led the Dean to a retired apart- dinner. Let us enjoy our meal at presment, where Don Illan was reading. ent ; and when we have discussed the The natural politeness of a Castillian Olla, the capon, and a bottle of Yepes, had rather been improved than impair- it will be time enough to turn to the ed by the studies of the Toledan sage, cares of life.” who exhibited nothing either in his The ecclesiastic's full face had never dress or person that might induce a sus- beamed with more glee at the collation picion of his dealing with the mysteri- on Christmas eve, when, by the indulous powers of darkness. “ I heartily gence of the church, the fast is broken greet your Reverence," said Don Illan at sunset, instead of continuing through to the Dean, “ and feel highly honour- the night, than it did now under the in ed by this visit. Whatever be the ob- fluence of Don Julian's good humour ject of it, let me beg you will defer sta- and heart-cheering wine. Still it was ting it till I have made you quite at evident that some vehement and unhome in this house. I hear my house- governable wish had taken possession keeper making ready the noonday meal. of his mind, breaking out now and then Tliat maid, sir, will show you the room in some hurried motion, some gulping which has been prepared for you; and up of a full glass of wine without stop when you have brushed off the dust of ping to relish the flavour, and fifty oththe journey, you shall find a canonical er symptoms of absence and impatience, capon steaming hot upon the board." which at such a distance from the ca
thedral could not be attributed to the led the way to the lower part of the afternoon bell. The time came at house ; and dismissing the Moorish length of rising from table, and in spite maid near a small door, of which he of Don Julian's pressing request to have held the key in his hand, desired her to another bottle, the Dean, with a certain get two partridges for supper, but not to dignity of manner, led his good-natured dress them till he should order it : then host to the recess of an oriel window, unlocking the door, he began to descend looking upon the river.--.“ Allow me, by a winding staircase. The Dean dear Don Julian,” he said, “ to open followed with a certain degree of trepimy heart to you ; for even your hospi- dation, which the length of the stairs tality must fail to make me completely greatly tended to increase : for, to all happy till I have obtained the boon appearance, they reached below the which I came to ask. I know that no bed of the Tagus. At this depth a man ever possessed greater power than comfortable neat room was found, the you over the invisible agents of the uni- walls completely covered with shelves, verse. I die to become an adept in that where Don Julian kept his works on wonderful science, and if you will re- Magic ; globes, planispheres, and ceive me for your pupil, there is noth- strange drawings, occupied the top of ing I should think of sufficient worth the bookcases. Fresh air was admitto repay your friendship.”—“ Good ted, though it would be difficult to guess Sir," replied Don Julian, “ I should be by what means, since the sound of glidextremely loth to offend you ; but per- ing water, such as is heard at the lower mit me to say, that in spite of the know- part of a ship when sailing with a genledge of causes and effects which I have tle breeze, indicated but a thin partition acquired, all that my experience teach- between the subterraneous cabinet and es me of the heart of man is not only the river.—“ Here, then,” said Don vague and indistinct, but for the most Julian, offering a chair to the Dean,and part unfavourable. I only guess, I can- drawing another for himself towards a not read their thoughts, nor pry into the small round table,
have only to recesses of their minds. As for your choose among the elementary works of self, I am sure you are a rising man and the science for which you long. Suplikely to obtain the first digoities of the pose we begin to read this small volchurch. But whether, when you find ume." yourself in places of high honour and The volume was laid on the table, patronage, you will remember the hum- and opened at the first page, containing ble personage of whom you now ask a circles, concentric and eccentric, trianhazardous and important service, it is gles with unintelligible characters, and impossible for me to ascertain.” the well known signs of the planets.“ Nay, nay,” exclaimed the Dean, “ This,” said Don Julian, " is the al“ but I know myself, if you do not, phabet of the whole science. Hermes, Don Julian. Generosity and friend- called Trismegistus ” The sound ship (since you force me to speak in my of a small bell within the chamber own praise) have been the delight of made the Dean almost leap out of his my soul even from childhood. Doubt chair. 6 Be not alarmed," said Don not, my dear friend, (for by that name I Julian ; " it is the bell by which my wish you would allow me to call you,) servants let me know that they want to doubt not, from this moment, to com- speak to me.” Saying thus, he pulled mand my services. Whatever interest a silk string, and soon after a servant I may possess, it will be my highest appeared with a packet of letters. It gratification to see it redound in favour was addressed to the Dean. A courier of you and yours.”—“ My hearty had closely followed him on the road, thanks for all, worthy Sir,” said Don and was that moment arrived at ToleJulian. “ But let us now proceed to do. 66 Good Heavens !” exclaimed business : the sun is set, and, if you the Dean, having read the contents of please, we will retire to my private the letter ; “ my great uncle, the Archstudy.
bishop of Santiago, is dangerously ill. Lights being called for, Don Julian This is, however what the secretary
says, from his Lordship's dictation. truth, must be given to my uncle, my But here is another letter from the father's own brother, who has had but Archdeacon of the diocese, who as a small living for many years ; he is sures me that the old man was not ex- much liked in Santiago, and I should pected to live. I can hardly repeat lose my character if, to place such a what he adds-Poor dear uncle ! may young man as your son at the head of Heaven lengthen his days! The Chap- the Chapter, I neglected an exemplary ter seem to have turned their eyes to- priest, so nearly related to me.”—“Just wards me, and-pugh! it cannot be as you please, my Lord,” said Don Ju but the Electors, according to the Arch- lian ; and began to prepare for the deacon, are quite decided in my fa- journey. vour.”—“ Well,” said Don Julian, The acclamations which greeted the « all I regret is the interruption of our new Archbishop on his arrival at the studies ; but I doubt not that you will capital of Galicia were, not long after, soon wear the mitre. In the mean time succeeded by an universal regret at his I would advise you to pretend that ill- translation to the see of the recently ness does not allow you to return di- conquered town of Seville. “I will rectly. A few days will surely give a not leave you behind,” said the Archdecided turn to the whole affair ; and, bishop to Don Julian, who, with more at all events, your absence, in case of timidity than he showed at Toledo, an election, will be construed into mod. approached to kiss the sacred ring in esty. Write, therefore, your despatches, the Archbishop's right hand, and to my dear Sir, and we will prosecute our offer his humble congratulations, “ but studies at another time."
do not fret about your son. He is too Two days had elapsed since the ar- young. I have my mother's relations rival of the messenger, when the Verger to provide for; but Seville is a rich see; of the church of Santiago, attended by the blessed King Ferdinand, who resservants in splendid liveries, alighted at cued it from the Moors, endowed its Don Julian's door with letters for the church so as to make it rival the first Dean. The old prelate was dead, and cathedrals in Christendom. Do but his nephew had been elected to the see, follow me, and all will be well in the by the unanimous vote of the Chapter. end.” Don Julian bowed with a supThe elected dignitary seemed over- pressed sigh, and was soon after on the come by contending feelings ; but, hav- banks of the Guadalquivir, in the suite ing wiped away some decent tears, he of the new Archbishop. assumed an air of gravity which almost Scarcely bad Don Julian's pupil touched on superciliousness. Don Ju- been at Seville one year, when his far lian addressed his congratulations, and extended fame moved the Pope to send was the first to kiss the new Archbish- him a cardinal's hat, desiring his presop's hand. “I hope," he added, “I ence at the Court of Rome. The may also congratulate my son, the crowd of visitors who came to congratuyoung man who is now at the Univer- late the prelate, kept Don Julian away sity of Paris ; for I flatter myself your for many days. He at length obtained Lordship will give him the Deanery, a private audience, and, with tears in which is vacant by your promotion.". his eyes, entreated his Eminence not to “My worthy friend Don Julian,” re- oblige him to quit Spain. “I am growplied the Archbishop elect, “My obli- ing old, my Lord,” he said: "I quitgations to you I can never sufficiently ted my house at Toledo only for your repay. You have heard my character; sake, and in hopes of raising my son I hold a friend as another self. But to some place of honor and emolument why would you take the lad away from in the church ; I even gave up my fahis studies ? An Archbishop of San-vourite studies, except as far as they tiago cannot want preferment at any were of service to your Eminence. My time. Follow me to my diocese : Ison “ No more of that, if you will not for all the mitres in Christendom forego the benefit of your instruc * Catholic bishops wear a consecrated ring, which tion. The deanery, to tell you the
is kissed, with a bending of the knee, by those who approach them