« IndietroContinua »
But I have learned to bow with resig- sweeping away the last remnant of the nation to the decrees of Fate."
once haughty Roman power, as well as Though I sympathized in the old trampling down all the old dynasties man's misfortunes, I could not help of the Orient. All this was accomsmiling at his contemplated return to plished, Señor, within the lifetime of Granada, as if it had been his birth many an aged Arab, who perchance in place, or that he had ever seen the childhood had climbed on the knee of place—for he admitted he had not; the great designer, Mahomet. What is and it convinced me of what I had your progress compared with this ?” ‘already suspected, that the old man's exclaimed he, his eye lighting up at the idiosyncrasies took the shape of hallu- recital of the almost fabulous but truthcination. I could not help pondering, ful catalogue of the conquests of those as he sat silent and thoughtful, his head from whom he claimed descent. sunk on his breast, on the influence “If our free republic," replied I, which must have been brought to bear “cannot at present display such evion his early education, to fill his mind dence of power, she can show a brightwith such thoughts and desires. Though er annal and a nobler fame. All that the old and quaint-looking volumes on vast power you have just enumerated, the shelves before me might have helped how has it been achieved ? By bloodto strengthen them, still they could shed, violence, and misery; while hardly have been their origin. On my here, on this Continent, peaceful indushinting as much, in the course of con- try, energy, and perseverance have acversation, he replied:
complished what has been done. What “My father, Señor, ever lamented man, with a spark of human feeling in having left Granada ; but the quarrel his breast, would hesitate to decide bewith his superior officer was of too seri- tween the two ?" ous a character to permit of his return. “ True-true, Señor," replied the old My earliest impressions and first lessons man, raising his head, which had fallen were of his race, and its glorious his- abstractedly on his breast as I spoke. tory. Rapid as have been the strides “In the sense in which you put it, I which your country has made towards cannot deny that yours presents the wealth and power, my race-I mean the more pleasing picture. But ours was a Moors—has surpassed it in both. You glorious career, for all that.” think I exaggerate, Señor," continued It was so evident nothing, in his estihe, with a confident smile, while he mation, could surpass the glory of the counted a moment on his fingers, and Moor, that I could not refrain from askresumed : “From the death of Ma- ing him if he were a Christian. homet, in A. D. 622, to the invasion of “I trust I am, Señor," was his reply. Spain, in 710, is but 88 years. Shall I “How can any man ignore those prinenumerate for you all these poor, half- ciples which, however partially they may naked and hardy Arabs accomplished operate on the corruptibility of our nain that time? They extended their ture, still lends us a share of those empire over the immense regions of divine feelings called charity' and Asia and Africa, subverted vast territo- 'forgiveness, which help to humanize ries in India, overthrew the powerful and further separate us from the lower Persian empire, establisbed their power animals, which are, by the will of God, in Syria, seated themselves on the shut out from reason. But, however throne of the Pharaohs, from thence religious differences may interfere with following down the whole coast of the thoughts of and recollections of northern Africa to the waters of the one's kindred and race, I do not permit Atlantic, scouring the Mediterranean them to interfere with mine. Religion with their fleets, from the seat of Con- should be between man and his God, stantine in one direction to the 'Pil- and no other, Some of the noblest lars of Hercules' in the other; in fact, families of Spain are, as you must be uware, of Moorish origin, and are proud In the autumn of the year 1833,* an of their descent. Many of the Arabs immense number of meteors were seen were, and are, Christians. Mahomet in Mexico, one of which fell in a field himself is said to have imbibed some adjacent to the hacienda in which the of his early impressions from the teach- old man resided with his father, who ings of a member of one of those early was then living. They were witnesses Christian orders then scattered over the to its fall, which was accompanied by a East. The empire of the East, with its rushing sound in the air, and a loud capital founded by Constantine, was explosion. Whether the explosion proonce Christian. It is now the seat of ceeded from the falling meteor, or from the successor of Mahomet.
some other, he could not tell, as the air ligion of Europe in all probability once he described as being full of themdepended on the result of a single bat- most probably from the falling one. It tle, which, had it gone in favor of the buried itself some four feet in the soil, Moors, they most likely would have and was quite warm the following day, overrun the continent. But I am ram- when it was dug up.
It weighed bling away into things that perbaps eighty-four and a half pounds, and conpossess no interest for you, and forget- tained 95 per cent. of iron.t ting the object for which I invited you The father conceived the idea-natuin. I will now show you, Señor, a rally enough-of converting a portion sword that came from another world." of the metal into a sword.
Uttering these strange words, he withdrew to an adjoining room, from * This was the year of that grand meteoric diswhich he soon returned, carrying with play witnessed in America, extending from the
lakes to the centre of Mexico. It was the most him a sword of the true Turkish scime
wonderful exhibition of the kind of which we have tar style, its curve being even greater any accurate record. It was barmless in its effects,
however, though it excited intense and widespread than is generally seen represented in
alarm. Many thought the Day of Judgment had the drawings of such weapons. As he come, and some are said to have died of fright. It placed it in my hands, he said :
was estimated, at Boston, that 10,000 made their “What you now hold in your hand
appearance every quarter of an hour, making
280,000 for the seven hours this memorable display came from another world."
lasted. There are on record, nevertheless, many I looked at the old man, my mind
fatal accidents resulting from these visitations.
M. Boit, in his catalogue of shooting-stars and now fully made up that I had been all
other meteors observed in China, mentions the fact this time talking with a madman. He of a stone having fallen which broke some chariots certainly must have seen, in the expres
and killed ten men. In 1647, Olaus Ericson Will
man, a Swedish captain in the Dutch East India sion of my countenance, that I must
Company, reported the loss of two of his crew by have thought so; it could not have a stone which descended on the deck of his vessel been the first time he was so regarded,
while in full sail. An aerolite killed a Franciscan
monk in Milan about the same time. The French if he prefaced the introduction of this
Academy of Science was presented with the frage sword to others as he did to me.
ment of an aerolite which is said to have fallen in " I see you think me mad; neverthe- Roquefort, in America, crushing in the roof of a
cottage and killing two of the inmates, after which less, what I say is literally the fact.
it buried itself in the ground, six feet deep. In It is not of this eartb—that is, the ma- Georgia, in 1826, there was loss of life by a similar terials of which it is composed. I see
incident; and an Indian named Alika perished in
like manner in July, 1829. The fire which deyou are still mystified,” continued he, stroyed the great room of the Palais de Justice, at smiling; “but I will soon clear it up. Paris, in 1618, is said to have originated with a me The sword is made of iron once con
teorite which descended on the building a little
after midnight, a foot in breadth and a cubit in tained in a meteorite."
height. Numberless other instances could be given If the mystery was at once dispelled of their dangerous character. by the announcement, the interest was
The aerolite brought by Humboldt from Mexico
contained 96 per cent. of very malleable iron. not lessened. The history of this weap- Others found had not more than 2 per cent, &nd on, manufactured out of such strange
those of Ionzac and Inverness had none at all. materials, was, after all, much more
1 The Emperor Alexander the First of Russia
had a sword presented to him produced from the matter-of-fact than I had anticipated. iron of an African meteorite. In Siberia, Pallas
"Nothing could convince my father," curiosity in their way, I asked him-as said the old man, smiling, “ that it did much through inquisitiveness as any not possess some peculiar virtue; and thing else, for I really did not want it did possess one which was some ad- one-what time it would take to furvantage to us, in the thinly-settled dis- ņish me with a sword such as the one trict in which we then lived; though I first saw. not exactly the one he looked for. It “ Longer than you would be willing served to keep off the robbers. The to wait, Señor," replied he. “If I had possession of the 'Lightning-Sword,' as the material—that is, the steel tempered the simple-minded natives called it, was and prepared—I could furnish you one enough."
in a week, or ten days; but as it is, it The iron was in all respects, as far as would take twelve months to prepare he could determine, the same as that the metal for such a blade." found in our planet, except that it was An unlucky circumstance-I might not as malleable as some he had worked ; say an accident-caused a disagreeable the quality and temper, therefore, of termination to my interview with this this weapon, made of such strange ma- single-minded and intelligent though terial, was nothing extraordinary. What eccentric old man. I jestingly asked it lacked in quality, however, was made him what he would take for his secret up in embellishment—a considerable in tempering steel.
in tempering steel. I laughed as I portion of the blade, which was highly spoke; but whether it was he did not polished, being ornamented with Arabic see me laugh, or that be misunderstood characters and figures. The hilt, too, me, I know not. At all events, his was very curiously wrought. Yet it manner changed at once. was wanting in that richness which is “Caramba !” he muttered, “ these usually understood as belonging to the people are like the English ; they are Turkish scimetar. This was evidently all the same. They think money will owing to the fact that no other mate- buy any thing. And they are half rial than the iron of the meteorite was right-half right, as the world goes. used in its composition, handle and But there is no rule without an excepblade being made entirely of the celes- tion—ha, ha !-without an exception; tial, but nevertheless gross, compound. and my secret is that exception—ha,
The tinkling of a little bell attached ha! That can't be bought-no, no! to his shop-door— guard against No, no! it can't be bought--not for unthieves—now sounded, putting an ab- told gold. I am the last of my name, rupt termination to the interview. A and I shall be true to my trust. The customer having entered, he returned secret must die with me! Good-day, to the shop. I waited, however, until Señor," cried he, turning from me. "I the person was served, as I did not like have business to attend to. You must to leave without making a purchase of excuse me." some kind to repay the old man for his Saying which, he retreated to his time and trouble, though he did not back room, leaving me standing alone once solicit me to buy.
in the shop. To attempt to explain, I Having purchased a pair of spurs, & saw would be useless. There was noth
ing for it but to take my departure. I discovered a great mass highly malleable. In the felt annoyed that he should have misreign of Jehangire, the Great Mogul, in the early understood my meaning, for I had made part of the seventeenth century, a violent explosion was heard at a village in the Punjab, and a up my mind to pass more than one solid body fell to the earth, sinking deep into the evening in his little back room during ground. It was dug up and sent to the court, where it was weighed in presence of the Emperor,
my stay in Puebla, where I calculated who ordered “the iron of the lightning” to be on hearing many an interesting tale forged into warlike implements. The workmen from the romantic history of the Moor. reported that the iron was not malleable under the hammer; but when it was mixed with other iron,
As I did not like to leave behind me It made excellent blades.
a bad impression on the old man's mind, I informed the Mexican gentle- him his cherished secret. He succeedman whose name I had used, of what ed so far, that I received an invitation had occurred. He kindly undertook to to again visit him; but days had sped explain to him that I was not serious in in the meantime. The time for bidding what I had said, and that I had no in- adieu to the “ City of the Angels" had tention whatever of worming out of come. I never saw him again.
THE NORTH WESTERN BOUNDARY DISPUTE.*
THERE are few people in the United who will carefully read the Senate States who have known that, through- document named at the foot of this out the whole of the civil war, and, page, entitled "THE NORTHWESTERN since 1859, the British and American' 'BOUNDARY QUESTION," which contains flags have both been flying on San Juan a full statement of the whole matter. Island. This joint military occupation It begins with a letter of Mr. Seward, has been justly very odious to our Gov- which says: "Every officer of this Gorernment, to the authorities of Washing-, ernment, who had any part in the negoton Territory, and to the Americans on tiation, adoption, or ratification of the the disputed islands, and ought to be ter treaty, assented to it with the full unminated at the earliest possible moment. derstanding that the deflection of the There are one hundred and seventy boundary from the 49th parallel was square miles of area in the Archipelago consented to for the sole purpose of de Haro, sixty of which are arable land giving the whole of Vancouver's Island and eighty grazing land. The United to Great Britain, and that, to effect this States should as speedily as possible be purpose, the lire was to be carried placed in full possession, the civil au- through the Canal de Haro to the thorities be enabled to exercise therein Straits of Fuca, on its way to the Patheir functions, and the land-laws be cific Ocean."'. carried into effect. During the Rebel
This document was prepared in the lion the people of that frontier were State Department, by Archibald Campurged to be quiet, and wait until the bell, Esq., U. S. Boundary Commissionwar was over, and the Government er, whose correspondence with Capt. J. should be at leisure to assert our rights. C. Prevost, of the British navy, the Eng
The language of the Treaty of 15th lish commissioner, is given at length. June, 1846, required that the boundary- Mr. Cass, in his despatch of 20th Oct., line should run “along the 49th paral- 1859, to Mr. Dallas, very justly says lel of north latitude to the middle of that Mr. Campbell's “ whole argument is the channel which separates the conti- marked both by ability and research.” nent from Vancouver's Island, and. The entire document is drawn up in the thence southerly, through the middle most thorough and conscientious manof said channel, and of Fuca's Straits, It has, besides an excellent map to the Pacific Ocean."
of the region in dispute, a plate showThe English Government claims the ing four cross-sections of the whole Rosario Straits, the channel nearest the channel : 1st, along the 49th parallel; continent, as the boundary-line; we 2d, along the parallel of 48° 45'; 3d, claim the Canal de Haro as the proper along that of 48° 35'; 4th, along that boundary.
of 48° 25'. It has, also, a complete That our claims to the Archipelago physical and geographical description de Haro are of the most unmistakable of the Archipelago de Haro, and each character, abundantly appears to one of the islands, and quotations from the * Senate Document No. 29, of 220 February, 1968,
reports of Gen. Persifer F. Smith and Gen. J. G. Totten, the late Chief of
Engineers, showing the military value the United States. Mr. Sturgis, in his of these islands. The Boundary Survey lecture delivered on 22d Jan., 1845, behad for astronomer, in running the 49th fore the Mercantile Library Association parallel, John G. Parke, then Lieuten- in Boston, proposed "a continuation of ant of Engineers, since distinguished as the parallel of 49° across the Rocky Major-General of Volunteers in every Mountains to tide-water, say to the part of the field during the late war. middle of the Gulf of Georgia ; thence The astronomer of the British Boundary by the northernmost navigable passage Commission was Col. John S. Hawkins, (not north of 49°) to the Straits of of the Royal Engineers. The U. 8. Fuca, and down the middle of these Coast Survey assisted materially in com- Straits to the Pacific Ocean ; the navipleting the survey and the excellent gation of the Gulf of Georgia and the maps of the Archipelago de Haro. Straits of Juan de Fuca to be forever
We will endeavor to condense, into a free to both parties, all the islands and few distinct heads, the principal points other territory lying south and east of this brought out in the argument on our line to belong to the United States, and side.
all north and west to Great Britain. 1st. The Canal de Haro is the shortest, Will Great Britain accede to this? I deepest, and widest channel to connect think she will." Mr. Bates afterward the Gulf of Georgia with the Straits of wrote to Mr. Everett that Lord AberFuca. A glance at the cross-sections deen had said to him that he considered given in the plate referred to, will show Mr. Sturgis' pamphlet "a fair, practicathat the main body of water goes ble, and sensible view of the subject,” through that channel to the ocean. It and that it had been read by all the seems to be fair to assert that the treaty ministers. We think it a very fair inmeans that the line of deepest water ference that Lord Aberdeen purposed (the filum aquæ) shall be the boundary- in the treaty to carry out this identical line. The least depth in the Canal de programme. Haro is greater than the maximum depth 3d. Hon. Louis McLane, our minister in the Rosario Straits (see p. 129 of the to England, on the 18th May, 1846, Senate Document). The average cross
wrote to Mr. Buchanan that an arrangesection throughout of the former will ment could be made by making the show that its surface is about three boundary along the 49th parallel to the times that of the Rosario Straits. sea, and thence through the Canal de
2d. It appears that Lord Aberdeen, Haro and Straits of Fuca to the ocean. on the 18th of May, 1846, wrote to the 4th. It appears plainly that our SenBritish minister in Washington that his ate, at the date of the confirmation of Government was ready to enter into a the treaty of 1846, understood distinctnegotiation on the basis of " a bound- ly that the Canal de Haro was the ary along the 49th parallel to the sea- boundary-line. See the speeches of coast, thence through the Straits of Mr. Benton and Mr. Cass, as quoted in Fuca to the ocean, thus giving to Great this correspondence. Britain the whole of Vancouver's Island 5th. Islands appertain rather to the and its harbors.” To interpret proper- continent than to another island. Such ly this language of Lord Aberdeen, the has been the principle of the Laws of letter of Mr. Edward Everett to Mr. Nations, and it has been recognized in Campbell, of 29th May, 1858, should be discussions with some of the Governread, which shows that, from the cor- ments of South America concerning respondence of Joshua Bates, there is islands near the coast. evidence that Lord Aberdeen's atten- 6th. The Islands of the Archipelago tion had been called (by the pamphlet de Haro are more important to us than of William Sturgis) to the distinct they possibly can be to England—a fact proposition of yielding all the other very clearly set forth by General Totten islands, except Vancouver's Island, to in the report above referred to. Eng