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OF FICTION, POETRY, HISTORY, AND GENERAL LITERATURE.

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A

STORY

THE GENEROUS LOVER. Cyprus, towards the close of the six

teenth century.

Under two bundred LEVANTINE

and sixty years of Turkish dominion, the (For the Parterre).

population of this once important island

has dwindled, and its agriculture and [This romantic tale is furnished us by a commerce have declined, into compara

correspondent conversant with Spanish tive insignificance. In many a field, literature, who has translated, or ra

once rich with cultivation, nature now ther adapted it from a story by Cer- riots in untamed luxuriance; many a vantes, which, though of a somewhat hill and plain, once enlivened by the similar character, and certainly not cheerful voice of the husbandman, is inferior in vivid interest, to the ad

now overrun by the wild thyme and the mired one of the Captive in Don hyacinth-a fragrant and flowery desert, Quixote, must, for reasons which we

The city of Nicosia, so long the royal may find occasion to explain elsewhere, residence of the Lusignans, and afterbe almost as unknown to the great wards one of the brightest jewels in the majority of our readers, as if it were ample diadem of the once proud Venice, a book of the Koran].

now presents a melancholy spectacle; the Chap. I.

huts, inhabited by the slaves of Maho'T is sad to heave the captive's sigh,

metan oppression and brutality, miserAnd wear the captive's chain;

ably contrasting with the superb relics of But sadder far it is to love,

its former splendour—with its mosques, And not be loved again.

once Christian temples, and its palaces, Yet, though the eyes our hearts adored,

where, as at Venice, Have smiled upon ns never; Still, still we cannot bear to know

St. Mark yet sees his lion, where he stood, Their light is quenched for ever! Stand, but in mockery of his withered power. The first scene of our story lies in the The year 1570 was fatal to the city of once Aourishing and ever lovely Isle of Nicosia, and shortly after to the whole

kingdom. It was the period when the ye fallen towers,--that one day, though progress of the Turkish arms was the it should not be for so just a demost formidable to the Christian powers, fence as that in which you were over. whose dissensions, nevertheless, the thrown, you may lift your heads again; common and imminent peril of Christ- but I-unhappy that I am—what good endom was insufficient to suspend, except have I to hope for, even though restored very partially and desultorily. Rhodes, to freedom! Hard is my destiny; for, the great Christian bulwark of the when I had liberty, I possessed not hapArchipelago and the Levant, after a piness; and now that I am a captive, not defence by the Knights of St. John, even hope is left me.' unparalleled for heroic vigour, had, At that moment, a youth, of graceful to the shame of Europe, fallen unsuc- figure, in a handsome Turkish costume, coured a few years before. Malta, the came out of a tent or pavilion, one of next retreat of those noble champions, four which stood at a little distance, and after emulating the resistance of Rhodes, approaching the Christian, said to him; had been but tardily relieved. Since the _“I would wager, Ricardo, my friend, enterprising Barbarossa_had extended that your continual musings have led the dominion of the Porte over the you hither.” Moors of Tunis and Algiers, the Bar- “ They have,” answered Ricardo (for bary coast sent forth its corsairs with that was the captive's Christian-name), increased numbers and bolder daring, to “but to little purpose; for nowhere can spread alarm around the western shores I find any relief from them; and as and islands of the Mediterranean, threat. for the ruins which lie before us, they ening their inhabitants and voyagers with have but added to the force of my own the worst of outrage, the direst of capti- melancholy reflections." vity. And Selim the Second, who now “ The ruins of Nicosia, do you mean?” ruled the Ottoman empire, projected said the Turk. the conquest of Cyprus. In the month " What others can I mean ?” rejoined of June of this year, Mustapha, the Turk- Ricardo, “since no others are here within ish general, entered it at the head of a our view.” hundred thousand foot and ten thousand “ You will find enough to deplore,” horse. The neighbourhood of Nicosia replied the Turk, “ if you enter into was laid waste with fire and sword; and such contemplations; for surely no one on the 26th of July a memorable siege who saw this rich and fruitful island of was commenced, which lasted forty-five Cyprus two years ago, when its inhadays. The inhabitants performed pro- bitants were in the peaceful enjoyment of digies of valour, sustaining with asto- every thing which contributes to human nishing intrepidity fifteen different as. happiness, and now beholds them either saults. Being at length reduced to the banished from their beautiful country, greatest extremity, the city was taken, or captive and miserable in it, can help by a general assault, on Sunday the 9th lamenting their calamities. of September. Of fifty thousand peo- however, think no more of them, since ple, who had retired within the walls for they are irremediable, and let us attend shelter, twenty thousand were massa- to your own; for I would fain know if cred, and the rest led into slavery. there be not some remedy for them; and

Our story opens within two or three therefore I conjure you, by the good years after this event, when our hero, a will which I have testified towards you, Sicilian captive in the power of a and by the sympathy which should spring Turkish master, was contemplating, from from our being of the same country, a rising ground in the neighbourhood of and brought up in our infancy together, Nicosia, the shattered walls of the ill- that you tell me the cause of this your fated city. With those feelings of excessive sadness ;-for, although captimelancholy sympathy which naturally vity is of itself sufficient to sadden arise in the breast of him who is consci- the most cheerful heart upon earth, ous that he stands “a ruin amidst ruins," yet I imagine that your misfortunes he thus apostrophized them :

have an earlier date. Noble spirits, like “ Ye mournful relics of the fallen yours, do not suffer themselves to be Nicosia, scarcely yet dry from the blood so far overcome by ordinary adversity as of your brave but unfortunate defenders, to exhibit extraordinary sorrow; and I - were you sensible to calamity, we know that you are not so poor, but might bewail our woes together; and that you might give whatever should haply from such communion might be asked for your ransom ; neither spring some alleviation of our sorrow. are you lodged in the towers by the One hope, at least, might be left to you, Black Sea, like a captive of great

Let us,

consideration, who must long sigh for « I will briefly inform you," answered his liberty, or perhaps never obtain it. Mahomet. Seeing, then, that your ill fortune has “ You must know, then, it is the cusnot deprived you of the hope of freedom, tom among the Turks, that a new-apand that you are nevertheless over- pointed viceroy, of whatever province, whelmed with grief, I may well suppose shall not enter the town where his prethat your sorrow is not occasioned by decessor has resided, until the latter has your captivity alone. From what other previously quitted it, in order that an cause, then, it proceeds, I entreat you to account of his government may be freely tell me, freely offering you whatever may taken; and while this is doing by the be in my power towards its relief. Who new pacha, the old one remains in the knows but that the course of events, country, waiting the result of the inveswhich has brought me to wear the habit tigation; which takes place without his in which you now see me, but which I having the power to avail himself of abhor, has been ordained in order that I subornation or private partiality, unless might serve you in this emergency. You indeed he have already done so by antialready know, Ricardo, that my master cipation. When the account has been is cadi of this city, which rank corre- taken, it is given to the pacha who sponds to that of bishop among the is quitting the government, inscribed Christians. You also know the great upon parchment, folded and sealed; and power he possesses, and the great influ- with it he presents himself at the gate ence I have with him. Nor are you of the Grand Signior; that is to say, ignorant of the ardent desire which I

before the great council of the Sultan. feel not to die in this religion which I When it has been examined by the vizier appear to profess, which is indeed so pacha, and the fo'ır lesser pachas, they great, that should circumstances compel reward or punish him according to the me, I would confess and proclaim the faith nature of its contents; his chastisement, of Jesus Christ (which my weak age, and when he has incurred any, being remitted still weaker understanding, made me for a sum of money. If, as most frerenounce), even though the confession quently happens, he is neither to be puwere to cost me my life ; for I should nished nor rewarded, then, by means of think the life of my body well exchanged gifts and presents, he obtains whatever for that of my immortal soul. From office he has most desire for, among what I have said, I wish you to infer, those which are vacant: for all public that my friendship may be of advantage employments are acquired there, not by to you, and to consider that in order to merit, but by money; everything is judge what remedy or alleviation your bought and sold. Those who have the misfortune can receive, it is necessary disposal of offices, extort as much as posthat you acquaint me with its nature, sible from those who are appointed to even as the physician must question his them; and these again make their empatient before he can prescribe; and ployments, thus obtained, furnish them you may rely upon my secrecy.the means of purchasing, in the same

While the youth thus addressed him, manner, others yet more lucrative. Ricardo remained silent; but when he Thus is everything managed throughout had concluded, he answered as follows: this empire: all is violent-an indica

“ If, Mahomet, my friend, you could tion that it will not endure long; though as readily discover a remedy for my un- I verily believe that it is upheld by our happiness, as you have judged saga- sins—by those, I mean, of such as offend ciously concerning it, I should think God openly and recklessly, as I have my liberty well lost, and would not ex- done,-may God, in his goodness, have change my calamity for the greatest mercy on me! good fortune that can be imagined: but, “ For the reason, then, which I have alas! it is such that, though all the told you, your master, Hassan Pacha, world should know its cause, there is has been for these four days here in the not one in the world who can remedy or country; and the former pacha would even alleviate it. However, if only to already have quitted Nicosia, but that convince you that such is the case, I will he has been very ill : he is now, howrelate it to you in as few words as I can. ever, much better; and will certainly But first I wish you to inform me why my come out either to-day or to-morrow, master, Hassan Pacha, has made this and make his temporary residence in encampment in the country, before his some tents behind this hill, which you entry into Nicosia, of which he is ap- have not seen; upon which your master pointed viceroy, or pacha, as the Turks will immediately enter the city. And call their viceroys."

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now, I believe, I have fully answered of it; since they knew that it tended only your inquiry.”

to a virtuous and honourable union; and “ Listen, then," said Ricardo; “but so I know they often told Leonisa, to I know not whether it will be in my dispose her to receive me for her huspower to fulfil the promise which I made band. But she had fixed her eyes upon yon, of relating my misfortune in a few Cornelio, the son of Ascanio Rotulo, words; for such is its extent, that all I whom you well know, an effeminate fopcould use would be inadequate to express ling, with white hands and curly hair, it; I will, however, tell you the melan- soft voice and amorous words-richly choly story, as well as I am able, and perfumed and hung round with finery; as time will permit. In the first place, so that she could look with no pleaI must ask you, whether you remember, sure upon me, whose face was not so in our city of Trapani,* a young lady, delicate as Cornelio's, but repaid my who was reputed to be the most beauti- many and constant assiduities with the ful in all Sicily; one of whom the poets most cruel disdain : yet so excessive was sang that her tresses were of gold—that my passion, that I should have thought her eyes were dazzling suns—that her it comparative happiness to have expired cheeks were damask roses—that her teeth under her scorn, so that she had not were pearls—that her lips were rubies— openly, though modestly, favoured Corthat her neck was alabaster; and that nelio. Consider, then, what I must all her beauties combined formed such have felt--tormented as I was at once an harmonious and enchanting whole, by the anguish of unrequited love, and that Envy herself could not point out a the still more cruel pangs of jealousy !fault in her face or form ? And can it Leonisa's parents connived at the favours be, Mahomet, that thou hast not already which she bestowed on Cornelio, thinkrecollected her, and bethought thee of ing, as indeed they might well do, that her name? Surely thou either dost not the youth, attracted by her incomparable hear me, or when thou wert in Trapani, beauty, would ask her in marriage, and thy senses were torpid!”

that so they should get a richer son-inTruly," returned Mahomet, “if law than I should be--and so they might; she whom you have described as possess, though, without presumption, I may ing such transcendent loveliness, be not affirm that they would not have obtained Leonisa, the daughter of Rodolfo Flo- one of a better condition, or a more elerencio-I know not who she can be, for vated mind. I never heard of any other so famed for “ While things were in this train, one beauty.”

day of the last spring I happened to hear “ You are right, Mahomet,” resumed that Leonisa and her parents, together Ricardo ; “she, my friend, has been the with Cornelio and his, were gone to take cause of my greatest happiness and my their pleasure in Ascanio's garden, which greatest misery. 'Tis for her, and not is near the sea-shore, on the way to the for the loss of liberty, that my eyes have salt-mines.”+ shed, and continue to shed, innumerable “ Go on,” said Mahomet, “I know tears—that my sighs fill the air—that it well, for I have spent many a pleasant my complaints ascend to heaven. 'Tis hour in it.” she who has occasioned those demonstra- “ Well,” continued Ricardo, “I was tions of sorrow, which made you consi- informed of their going thither; and I der me as either a madman or a coward. no sooner knew it, than the demon of 'Tis to this Leonisa—a lioness indeed to jealousy agitated my soul with such viome; but to another, whom I could men- lence, that my reason was overpowered, tion, gentle as a lambấthat I owe the as you will judge from what I immewretchedness in which you now behold diately did, which was to go straight to

For you must know, that from my the garden, where I found the party earliest years, at least ever since I had I have enumerated; and a little apart the use of reason-I not only loved, but from the rest, under a walnut-tree, were adored and served her with such entire seated Cornelio and Leonisa. I know devotion, that I seemed to know no other not what were their feelings on seeing divinity on earth or in heaven. Her me, but I know that on beholding them, parents and relatives knew my passion, I remained for a while mute and motionand never expressed any disapprobation less as a statue : my vexation, however,

shortly grew into anger, and my anger

speedily found words; for though my Trapani-a city and port on the northwestern coast of Sicily. It was anciently called Drepanum, from the form of its harbour, which + The large salt-works in the neighbourhood was ihonght to resemble a sickle.

of Trapani, are still celebrated.

me.

hands were restrained by the veneration from the place where I had found him which seemed to me to be due to the beau- sitting, but remained quite still, gazing teous countenance before me, my tongue at me as if in amazement: but the loud broke forth in some such terms as these : tone in which I had addressed him,

“ Thou doubtless feelest happy, fair brought together the persons who were enemy of my repose, in having in quiet scattered about the garden, to listen to and security before thine eyes him who the reproaches which I continued to is the cause that mine perpetually mourn! heap upon Cornelio: and he, encouraged Approach, O cruel maid! approach yet a by their presence—for all or most of them little nearer, and, like the woodbine, were his relatives, servants, or friendsclasp that tender sapling-comb or curl offered so rise : but before he got upon those ringlets of thy Ganymede, who so his feet, I had drawn my sword, and tepidly solicits thee-surrender thyself assailed not only him, but all the byentirely to the green age of that stripling standers. Scarcely had Leonisa seen my upon whom thou art gazing—that des- sword glitter, before she fell into a deep pair may at once relieve me from the swoon, the sight of which did but inlife which I loathe. And dost thou crease my fury. Whether it was that the think, Oscornful and inconsiderate many whom I attacked, only strove to damsel ! that for thee alone the custom defend themselves, as men do when of the world in such cases will be alter- assailed by a furious maniac, or that it was ed? Dost thou think that this youth, owing to my good fortune and dexterity, whom his wealth makes proud, his figure or that it was the will of heaven, which vain, his birth presumptuous, and who, reserved me for greater misfortunes, I with his few years, has so little experience, know not; but the fact is, that I wounded is either able or willing to be constant- seven or eight of those who were nearest that he can estimate that which is almost me, Cornelio availed himself of the inestimable, or have the knowledge of activity of his limbs; for he betook himmaturer and more experienced years? self so nimbly to flight, that he entirely If thou dost think so, think so no longer : escaped me. for, truly, the only good quality the “In this imminent danger-surroundworld can boast, is, that in certain cir- ed by my enemies, who were already cumstances, it always acts in a certain preparing to revenge my aggressionmanner; so that none can be deceived by fortune brought me succour; but it was it except through their own ignorance. of such a kind, that I had better have In the very young there is great fickle- been deprived of my life, than have had ness; in the rich there is pride ; in the it saved in so unexpected a manner, only arrogant there is vanity ; in the hand- to bewail my existence forevermore. The some there is scornfulness; and in those garden was suddenly entered by a conwho unite all these qualities there is siderable number of Turks from two folly, which is the parent of all evil. - corsair galiots of Biserta, * who had And thou, effeminate youth, who think- landed in a creek, at a little distance, est to carry off so much at thine ease the without being perceived by the sentinels prize so much more due to the ardour at the towers on the shore, or discovered of my passion than to the indolence of by the runners or scouts of the coast. thine-why dost thou not rise from thy As soon as my antagonists beheld them, flowery couch, and come to strike at the they betook themselves to flight; so that heart which so much detests thee ?--not of all that were in the garden, the Turks that thou wrongest me in what thou art only succeeded in capturing three indidoing, but that thou art ineapable of viduals, besides Leonisa, who had not yet appreciating the treasure which fortune recovered from her swoon. They took sets before thee: little indeed must thou me with four ugly gashes upon me, value it, since thou wilt not move a step which

however were paid by the lives of to defend it, for fear of disturbing the four Turks, whom I laid dead upon the affected arrangement of thy glittering ground. This surprise, the Turks maapparel! Truly, had Achilles been of naged with their accustomed celerity; thy quiet temper, Ulysses' persuasions had and, though not very well satisfied with been fruitless, though he had shewn him the result, they immediately re-embarked, all the brilliant armour and weapons in and, by force of sail and oar, arrived in the world :-go, go, and amuse thyself a little time at the Island of Favignana. + among thy mother's maidens; there take care of thy dainty locks and thy delicate * A sea-port town on the Barbary coast, in fingers, much fitter to wind silk than to the kingdom of Tunis.

+ One of several small islands on the Sicilian grasp a sword." “All this while, Cornelio never stirred pani.

coast, a few leagues to the south-west of Tra.

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