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. THE ROSES OF THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS.
"The roses of the Philippine Islands are white at sunrise, pink at noon, and crimson at twilight." Koses, your changeful life appears to bo
A type of ours: ye greet the morning light From every stain of earthly contact free,
Clad in a spotless garb of virgin white— Just so the mind, at Childhood's early age, Presents to view a fair, unwritten page.
'Tis noon : behold a blushing tint o'erspreads , Your snowy leaves; and thus, in Youth's
sweet years, Hope o'er the heart a soft illusion sheds,
By whoso deceptive art each spot appears To smile with light, each object to assume A magic tint of loveliness and bloom.
At twilight comes a change—rich crimson dyes Pervade your leaves; and thus, when Youth is o'er,
Joys from a deeper, purer source arise;
The mind pours forth the treasures of its store,
In warm and glorious coloring arrayed,
Casting a radiance o'er the time of shade.
Oh! may the heart, in Childhood's opening day,
Receive impressions traced by careful lovo; And, ere Youth's blooming season flits away,
May we so seek true wisdom from above, That holy thoughts, kind deeds, and precepts
sage, May cheer the sober twilight of our age!
As on an eve long passed, I seem to stand
On either side the bread-fruit of my land,
I hear from distant woods the ring-dove's note,
Above my head the sunset's warm clouds float,
Lost'mong a wilderness of spears, I bind
Unwitting how the homeward path to find,
But hark! what sounds have hushed my simple song?
Tearful and trembling to a reed I cling; Vnguc, childish terrors on my fancy throng—
Impatient hands aside the corn-blades fling.
Ah! I am safe! I know the gentle eyes
These, tender gray, like shadowy twilight skies, Those, as the smiling corn-flowers, bright and blue.
Soft lips kiss off the teardrops from my cheek:
With corn-flowers round my brow, and in my
Home I am borne, a weary nursling weak, While night comes down upon tho silent land.
Bright, blessed childhood! yet a little while
While the full sheaves the sunburnt reapers pile, And the blue corn-flowers strew the stubblefloor.
With one great bound thy sunny hours are gone,
I look around me, but behold alone
with you, baby, away to the garden. And leave ugly Latin to Algernon, do: He must learn tho lesson, although it's a hard
one, But, darling, there's plenty of time before you.
Oh, if you but knew, dear, you'd run like the
And scamper away from a future that waits :— If you knc\v the dry nonsense that big folks have
written On purpose to pester the little folks' pates.
Wo want all poor Algernon's deepest attention, You see his bad case by the way that he
He's fighting a thing that they call a declension— A sort of a regiment of soldiers called nouns.
He'll beat them, you know, for he's brave and
he's willing; And going to work at them, hammer and
tongs, And mamma knows who'll give him a splendid
As soon as he's perfect to—here, sec,—" By Songs."
So don't interrupt him, my darling, with chatter, lie stops in his lesson to look up and laugh:
His fragile conception of datives you scatter,
What, blue eyes wide open at hearing such tidings,
At being accused in such very long words, And looking as wistful as if they were chidings 1 No, darling, run off to the flowers and the birds.
Eh '. you want a lesson •' Well, count all thoso
roses, For each you leave out you must pay me a
kiss: And Al shall bo free, too, tho moment he knows
his Sfusce, musarum, mu—what Al ?—musis.
So off with you, baby, and oh, be contented That you've got no lesson to cloud that white brow,
Some day yon'll wish Latin had not been invented:
Perhaps, in hrr heart, mamma wishes so now.
—Once a WtiM. E. M. B.
From The Westminster Review for January.
1. Palmieri.—Storia Coftituzionale di Sici
2. La Farina.—Storia Documentata della
3. Banalli.—Le htorie Halle dot 1846 al
4. La Afasa.—Documenti svlla Eivoluzione
Sicilians. 6. Cordova.—Rugyicro Settimo.
6. Pentaleoni.—Droits Politiques de la Sic
7. De Granatdli (Prince).—Sicily and Eng
land. A pamphlet.
8. Parliamentary Slue-book. Containing
Correspondence of the Affairs of Naples and Sicily, 1848, 1849.
The history of the early independence and present servitude of the Sicilian people, their ancient bonds of fellowship with England, the important influence the British government has at various times exercised over their condition, the rights obtained through its favor, and the misfortunes resulting from its indifference, forms the substance of the •works before us.
Voluminous as is the list, however, it comprises but a few of the publications through which Sicilians of all ranks, of all political shades, have perseveringly endeavored to draw attention to their claims upon England, and to the court of Naples' flagrant •violation of engagements they believed this country pledged to sec maintained. Failing in their primary object, dismissed as impor. tunate suitors for assistance where they fancied they had made good a title for redress, these statements have gone forth to the rest of Europe as additional evidence of the proyerbial faithlessness of British diplomacy, as well as of the surpassing selfishness of a people who, prizing their own free hereditary institutions above all things, have nevertheless raised no voice against the abolition in Sicily of privileges as time-honored and inalienable as their own.
The Norman constitution, the pride and boast of the island, the constitution which, in a memorable debate in ihe House of Commons never to be forgotten, hardly forgiven, by the Sicilians, was snceringly alluded to by a cabinet minister as "apocryphal," owed its origin to the celebrated Count Roger, who, towards the end of the eleventh cem tury, here laid the groundwork of the most
enlightened kingdom of the age. Varioui races then occupied different parts of Sicily; the descendants of the original Sicilians, Greeks, Jews, and Saracens. To all of these, «ith a toleration and political sagacity that tad no parallel at the period, he left the free exercise of their respective laws and religions, at the same time that he united their common interests by a form of popular representation which rapidly fused these conflicting elements into a homogeneous whole.
The reign of his son, Roger II., opens with a ceremonial which demonstrates the importance to which Count Roger's institutions had already attained. We read that he was crowned King of Sicily, Duke of Apulia, and Prince of Capua,* at Palermo, in 1130, "with the consent of the assembled bishops, barons, and jurists of the realm." This monarch, who was celebrated throughout Europe for his victories over the Greek emperors and the Saracens in Africa, at home pursued and amplified his father's policy.
For nearly two centuries the prosperity of Sicily continued unabated. Though on failure of male heirs the crown had passed through a princess to the House of Suabia, its privileges and independence had never been infringed. No prince of that dynasty, on assuming the imperial sceptre, was permitted to retain sovereignty over the island, being bound to cede his authority and the regal title to one of his sons; nor could the transfer be pronounced valid without the sanction of the Sicilian Parliament, before whom the new king was required to present himself, and swear adherence to the constitution bequeathed by his Norman ancestors.
The ambition and recklessness of the Roman pontiffs brought the calamities of a French invasion upon Southern Italy. Manfred, king of Sicily, was slain at the battle of Benevcnto, in 1260, and Charles of Anjou received from Pope Clement IV. the formal investiture of his dominions. Transporting the seat of government to Naples for sixteen years, Charles compelled the Sicilians to bow beneath a tyranny which the bloody Vespers terribly revenged. Eight
* Under the two last designations was comprised the chief part of tlio present kingdom of Knples. IJy old writers the continental possessions of the crown of Sicily are frequently spoken of as Sicily beyond the Straits. Hence the title assumed by Cnarles of Bourbon in 1735—King of the Two Sicilies.
thousand French were massacred in the island, and every trace of their abhorred rule •was swept away. Naples, meantime, either less oppressed or less capable of freeing itself from the oppressor, remained in subjection to the Angevin prince, and for upwards of a century and a half to his descendants, whose vices alone rescue them from oblivion.
The first care of the Sicilian Parliament, on resuming the exercise of its functions, was to offer the crown to Peter of Arragon, married to Constance, the only daughter of King Manfred. This invitation was at once accepted. Peter hastened to Palermo, where he swore to observe the statutes and privileges of the nation; then, having obtained the recognition of his second son, James, as his successor in the island, left him among his future subjects under the guardianship of his mother, and returned to Spain.
It was during the sway of the Arragoncse line that the Sicilian constitution reached its highest development. In 1296, the parliament, composed of three chambers, or Bracci, ecclesiastics, nobles, and commons, the latter including not only the mayors of the cities and boroughs, but a " certain number of burgesses selected for their learning, wealth, and influence," shared with the king the power of legislation. The right of imposing taxes, as well as that of making peace or of declaring war, was also its peculiar attribute. It was convoked and dissolved every year, and could only be convoked or dissolved by itself. The king was forbidden to quit the kingdom without the consent of the parliament; and municipal independence, civil liberty, and the right of private property were guaranteed.
The extinction of the Sicilio-Arragonese dynasty at the commencement of the fifteenth century, transferred the crown to the elder branch of the reigning kings of Arragon, who ere long, by the union of the Ferdinand with Isabella of Castillo, became monarchs of all Spain. Tenacious of their ancient rights, and exacting from each of the Spanish kings, either in person or through their representatives, the usual oath of fidelity to the constitution, the Sicilians were able to preserve a greater share of independence than fell to the lot of the other portions of that vast empire which, by conquest or inheritance, aggregated to itself, besides its
transatlantic possessions, Naples, the Duchy of Milan, and the Low Countries.
The people of Palermo still point with pardonable pride to the bronze statue of the Emperor Charles V., erected to commemorate his swearing, in their venerable cathedral, to observe "the statutes, constitutions, privileges, immunities, and liberties of the kingdom :" while their writers gratefully record that both he and his son, Philip II., though in general little careful of popular rights, faithfully maintained their pledge. Even amidst the general corruption and degeneracy that marked the reigns of Philip's successors, Sicily had less to complain of than any of the other states dependent upon Spain. Though the parliament had lost much of its former vigor, and was only convened every three years, it retained sufficient authority to mitigate many of the evils inseparable from a delegated government. It still had the right of voting taxes for that time, and of seeing that they were applied to the purposes for which they were voted; and during the long interval between each session, a deputation of twelve members, chosen from among themselves by the three Bracci, represented the national requirements, regulated the finances, and the supplies to be granted to the crown.
The war of the Spanish succession, at the beginning of the eighteenth century, transferred Sicily to Victor Amedeus, Duke of Savoy, who recognized at the Treaty of Utrecht as one of the heirs of the late king of Spain, was crowned at Palermo with the usual oaths and ceremonies, having previously pledged himself, in one of the articles of that treaty, to preserve the liberties of Sicily. England, in this transaction, for the first time appeared upon the scene, as exercising a direct influence over the political condition of the island. She promoted its separation from Spain, upon whose throne now sat a grandson of Louis XIV., formerly recognized the new king, and concluded a treaty of commerce with the state.
The rupture of the Treaty of Utrecht, after a few years, caused another general war, and displaced Victor Amedcus. Sicily wa s temporarily occupied by the Imperialists, and fluctuated for some time between the rival pretensions of Spain and Austria; until finally, in 1735, Charles, son of Philip V., the successful Bourbon candidate for the Spanish succession, was invested with his father's Italian possessions on the shores of the Mediterranean.
Thus Naples and Sicily, after having been i divided more than four hundred years, were j once more brought together j no bond of union being acknowledged by either during \ the last two centuries, when they were alike tributaries of Spain, but had no community of government, laws, or interests. The young Bourbon prince took the title of Charles III., and repairing to Palermo, swore before the assembled representatives of the Sicilian nation, in the same magnificent fane where the Emperor Charles V. had pronounced the game formula, to maintain inviolate the constitution of the realm. He was then crowned •with great pomp as king of the Two Sicilies. To his honor be it spoken, Charles attempted no encroachments on the privileges of Sicily; and when, in 1759, he was called to the: throne of Spain, Sicilians and Neapolitans equally mourned his departure. His third son, then a child of eight years old, was declared king of the Two Sicilies, and a regency; appointed. To this prince, Ferdinand, fourth of Naples and third of Sicily,* is due the disgraceful celebrity of destroying, in his old age, the Sicilian constitution, which thirtyfour successive kings had respected.
The ministers who were left in charge of, the young king's minority shamefully abused their trust. When at fifteen he assumed the; supreme power, it became lamentably apparent that he was destitute of the mere rudiments of education, or of the commonest principles of government, while his inordinate passion for the- chose and athletic exercises, as well as his more questionable propensities, had purposely been fostered. His pastimes were worthy of a Domitian or a Commodus. He delighted to sell fish in the public markets, in the sordid disguise, and affecting the language and manners, of a fisherman. He onco opened a booth in the camp at Portici, and dispensed food and wine to the troops at low prices, his queen and courtiers assisting hhn in the garb of hostess and drawers. Reading, or any other
* Two kings of this nnme Imcl reigned over Sicily, and tliiee over Nqples, since their fop:iration «t the time of tho Sicilian Vespers. In their anxiety not to confound their historical recoixU ivith those of the Neapolitans, tho Sicilians insist much on this distinction.
intellectual exertion, was insupportable to him; and finding the necessity of signing his name to the public acts oppressively irk some, he caused a stamp to be engraved with his signature, which was affixed in his presence to the documents. Councils of state were equally unpalatable; they were rarely assembled and speedily dissolved, writing materials being prohibited on such occasions to avoid any protraction of their sittings.
But Ferdinand's worst qualities were for many years unsuspected. His wife, the notorious Caroline of Austria, to whom he abandoned the direction of affairs, bore the odium of his arbitrary enactments; and he would have been registered in history rather as a jovial, careless sensualist, than a deliberately wicked man, had not the conclusion of his long reign demonstrated that her promptings were not requisite to impel him to cruelty and bad faith. Insatiable in her thirst for power, courageous, energetic, dissolute, and vindictive, the character of this queen, and the evil deeds of which she stands accused, have their prototype in the Fredegondas and Brunehildas of the dark ages. Possessed in no ordinary degree of the gift of fascinating all whom it was her interest to gain, when the pursuits of pleasure had lost their zest, she turned her arts to the prosecution of diplomatic intrigues, and launched the kingdom into the stormy sea of European politics. The times were menacing. The rapid progress of the French Revolution; the violent deaths of Louis XVI. and Marie Antoinette, sister to Queen Caroline; the hostile attitude of the French Directory; all naturally awoke in the court of Naples the utmost abhorrence and alarm. A coalition was formed with England, Austria, and Russia, against France; whilst as an internal measure of security, any leaning, real or suspected, towards republicanism, was unsparingly dealt with. By a process of reasoning worthy of the Neapolitan cabinet, representative institutions were now decried as almost equally perilous as the wildest excesses of anarchy to the well-being of society; and the Sicilian constitution, always regarded with jealousy and dislike, at once became avowedly obnoxious.
The first occasion for invading the privileges of Sicily presented itself in 1798. The parliament was then sitting in Palermo, and the king sent to demand a subsidy of tweaty thousand ounces * per month for all the time it might be judged necessary. This pretension, which sapped at the very root of their institutions, and which none of their previous monarchs had ever put forward, was vigorously opposed. The parliament refused its sanction, not to the grant, but to the bestowing it for an unlimited /period. But this reservation was not supportable to the crown, which seemed bent on enforcing its unqualified demands. The Sicilians on their side were equally determined on resistance, and a revolution was impending, when a rapid scries of reverses in their Neapolitan possessions compelled the royal family to fly before the armies of France, and seek a refuge among the people whose liberties they had so deliberately assailed.
The English fleet, fresh from the glories of Aboukir, protected the hurried departure of the court. The king and queen embarked on Nelson's flag-ship, carrying with them an immense amount of valuables and specie, and accompanied by the British minister, Sir William Hamilton. The passage was singularly tempestuous; for many hours serious apprehensions for their safety were entertained. During the height of the storm one of the young princes died. It was in the arms of Lady Hamilton that the royal infant breathed his last. At the moment of setting her foot upon the mole at Palermo, the queen turned to the assembled crowd, "Palermitans!" she said, " will you receive your queen?" An enthusiastic burst of applause was their response. The generous people forgot in the humiliation of their monarch, all their recent causes of distrust and resentment. The royal family were conducted in triumph to the palace, where the citizens thronged to present their homage, as well as more substantial marks of attachment. Rich equipages, horses, costly furniture, were lavishly proffered in token of the exultation with which the presence of the sovereign was hailed in his ancient, but longneglected, capital, and of the universal gratification at the confidence reposed in Sicilian loyalty.
This time the stay of Ferdinand in the island was too short, his position too critical, to admit of any proceedings unfavorable to the existing harmony. Within a few
* Tlio Sicilian ounce represented at that time about ten shilling:!, English currency.
months the fortunes of the war changed; the Austrians expelled the French from Naples, and the house of Bourbon was reinstated in its territories beyond the Straits. The bloody revengo wreaked in 1799, by Caroline and Cardinal Ruffo, the prime minister, on all who were supposed to have favored the establishment of the short-lived Parthenopean republic, belongs to the darkest page in Neapolitan history. Unhappily for the fame of our great naval hero, the execution of Caracciolo is inscribed upon it. But the restoration of the royal family proved of short duration. In 1806 they were again driven forth at the fiat of Napo-, Icon, and, as before loyally welcomed in Sicily. Little probability seeminglv existed that they would ever return to Naples. Joseph Buonaparte was seated upon its throne until it suited his brother to transfer him to Spain, and appoint Murat to replace him. A miniature, but prosperous and coveted kingdom, was thus established under the protectorate of the empire.
At that juncture the power of Napoleon j was dazzling, unquestioned. It was only a year since the victory of Austerlitz had placed the whole continent under his control; —since Pitt, on learning that intelligence, had cried out in bitterness of spirit, " Roll up the map of Europe!" Great Britain stood almost alone. Her allies were either completely mastered, or too disabled to render any further aid in the protracted struggle. Except Malta, she held no positions in the Mediterranean, and it therefore became an object of paramount importance to preserve Sicily as a point of concentration for her troops. A convention to this effect was accordingly entered into with King Ferdinand j and in return for the advantages thus secured, the English government bound itself to pay a subsidy of £400,000 yearly to the court while the war lasted, and to protect the island from a French invasion.
Some years passed on, during which the queen's animosity to the free institutions of Sicily acquired greater intensity. To her domineering spint, used to the absolute authority she had so long wielded at Naples, the check they imposed was inexpressibly galling. Every means of irritation and oppression, short of openly violating the laws, was unscrupulously resorted to. The police were unsparing in their inquisition after every trace of liberalism. Spies swarmed all over the country. Combined with the restrictions on freedom of speech, of reading, or of the press, usual to all despotic governments, were the no less common puerilities with regard to personal costume. Whiskers and pantaloons, considered as dangerous innovations on pig-tails and knee