Imagens da página
PDF
ePub

present time, to near three millions and a half of pounds sterling, or somewhat less than fifteen millions and a half of dollars. The quantity of silver was estimated at fifty-one thousand six hundred and ten marks. History affords no parallel of such a booty—and that, too, in the most convertible form, in ready money, as it were—having fallen to the lot of a little band of military adventurers, like the conquerors of Peru. The great object of the Spanish expeditions in the New World was gold. It is remarkable that their success should have been so complete. Had they taken the track of the English, the French, or the Dutch, on the shores of the northern continent, how different would have been the result! It is equally worthy of remark, that the wealth thus suddenly acquired, by diverting them from the slow but surer and more permanent sources of national prosperity, has in the end glided from their grasp, and left them among the poorest of the nations of Christendom.

7. Pizarro now prepared, with all solemnity, for a division of the imperial spoil. The troops were called together in the great square, and the Spanish commander, "with the fear of God before his eyes," says the record, "invoked the assistance of Heaven to do the work before him conscientiously and justly."

8. The royal fifth was first deducted, including the remittance already sent to Spain. The share appropriated by Pizarro amounted to fifty-seven thousand two hundred and twenty-two pesos of gold, and two thousand three hundred and fifty marks of silver. He had besides this the great chair or thron* of the Inca, of solid gold, and valued at twenty-five thousand pesos d'oro. To his brother Hernando were paid thirty-one thousand and eighty pesos of gold, and two thousand three hundred and fifty marks of silver. De Soto received seventeen thousand seven hundred and forty pesos of gold, and seven hundred and twentyfour marks of silver. Most of the remaining cavalry, sixty in number, received each eight thousand eight hundred and eighty pesos of gold, and three hundred and sixty-two marks of silver, though some had more, and a few considerably less. The infantry mustered in all one hundred and five men. Almost one-fifth of them were allowed, each, four thousand four hundred and forty pesos of gold, and one hundred and eighty marks of silver, half of the compensation of the troopers. The remainder received one-fourth part less; though here again there were exceptions, and some were obliged to content themselves with a much gmailer share of the spoil.

acces'sion, addition, contributions, sums paid.

prescribed', appointed.

reinforce ment, an addition of troops.

Btip'u la ted, agreed upon.

forbear'ance, easiness, moderation.

prolonging, lengthening out.

SPELL AND PRONOUNCE—

indica'tion, a sign.

considera'tion, a mat-
ter of thought.

capital, the chief city.

delicacy, fineness.

ingenuity, cleverness.

admira'tion, wonder.

convertible, easily
changed.

expedition, ><ere,a.
military enterprise.

compensation, reward.

acquired', gained.

per manent, lasting.

conscientiously, according to conscience; uprightly.

remittance, money sent.

appropriate, to set

apart for on individual, or for a purposa deduct') to take from.

AMALFI.1Longfellow.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was born at Portland, Maine, U.S., in 1807, and has been Professor of Modern Languages at Harvard College, Massachusetts, since 1835. He is a sweet and tender poet.

Sweet the memory is to me

Of a land beyond the sea,

Where the waves and mountains meet j

Where amid the mulberry trees

Sits Amain in the heat,

Bathing ever her white feet

In the tideless, summer seas.

In the middle of the town,
From the fountains in the hills,
Tumbling through the narrow gorge.
The Canneto rushes down,
Turns the great wheels of the mills,
Lifts the hammers of the forge.

'Tis a stairway, not a street,
That ascends the deep ravine,
Where the torrent leaps between
Bocky walls that almost meet.
Toiling up from stair to stair
Peasant girls their burdens bear;
Sunburnt daughters of the soil,
Stately figures tall and straight;
What inexorable fate
Dooms them to this life of toil!

[merged small][graphic][merged small]

Where the pomp of camp and court?
Where the pilgrims with their prayers?
Where the merchants with their wares.
And their gallant brigantines,
Sailing safely into port,
Chased by corsair Algerines?

Vanished like a fleet of cloud,
Like a passing trumpet blast,
And those splendours of the past,
Are the commerce and the crowd!
Fathoms deep beneath the seas
Lie the ancient wharves and quays,
Swallowed by the engulfing waves;
Silent streets, and vacant halls,
Ruined roofs and towers and wallsj
Hidden from all mortal eyes,
Deep the sunken city lies;
Even cities have their graves!

This is an enchanted land!
Round the headlands far away
Sweeps the blue Salernian Bay
With its sickle of white sand;
Further still and furthermost
On the dim-discovered coast
Piestum with its ruins lies,
And its roses all in bloom
Seem to tinge the fatal skies
Of that lonely land of doom.

On his terrace, high in air,
Nothing doth the good monk care
For such worldly themes as these.
From the garden just below
Little puffs of perfume blow,
And a sound is in his cars
Of the murmur of the bees
In the shining chestnut trees;

Nothing else he heeds or hears.
All the landscape seems to swoon
In the happy afternoon;

Slowly o'er his senses creep
The encroaching waves of sleep,
And he sinks, as sank the town,
Unresisting, fathoms down
Into caverns, cool and deep!

Walled about with drifts of snow,s
Hearing the fierce north wind blow,
Seeing all the landscape white,
And the river cased in ice,
Comes this memory of delight,
Comes this vision unto mo
Of a long-lost Paradise
In the land beyond the sea.

NOTES.

i Amalfl, ft seaport town of Naples.

* This and the next lines describo tho landscape round the poet, in America, as he writes these verses, about sunny Italy.

SPELL AND PnONOUNCE—

inex'orable, not to be iron sarks, Kfc, iron brig'antlne, a small moved by entreaty. shirts, or coats of mail. vessel,

cor'aair, pirate.

THE GREAT FIRE OP LONDON.—John Evelyn.

John Evelyn, of Wotton, Surrey, was born in 1620. His " Memoirs'' were found, in a mutilated state, in the old family mansion of Wotton, near Dorking; and they furnish some of the most curious pictures we possess of the events and manners of the seventeenth century. He died in 170C, aged 80.

1666. 2nd Sept. This fatal night, about ten, began that deplorable fire near Fish Street, in London.

1. The fire continuing, after dinner, I took coach with my wife and son and went to the Bank-side in Southwark, where wo beheld that dismal spectacle, the whole city in dreadful flames near the water-side; all the houses from the bridge, all Thames Street, and upwards towards Cheapside down to the Three Cranes, were now consumed.

The fire having continued all this night (if I may call that night which was as light as day for ten miles round about, after a dreadful manner), when conspiring with a fierce eastern wind in a very dry season; I went on foot to the same place, and saw the

Q

« AnteriorContinuar »