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white men joined, ashamed to be outdone by a darkey.
On foot we started. On foot we followed their trail for
ninedajTS. Day by day they were more careless. Day
by day we were more cheerful. The ninth day we
raked gently into their camp, unsuspected and
unexpected. There was my old chestnut, whom
you rode that Tuesday ; there were three other of
our beasts, and there tnat evening came in, as inno-
cent as a lamb, my old friend (mt Eve, of whom I
have told yon before, with some excellent friends of
his, mounted on the other seven of our brutes. Tliis
time I took Master One Eye and tied him to a tree
for the night, to eive him a chance to ponder the
principles of the Great Calumet. The next momins
we helped ourselves to all the bear-meat we could
carry, and turned our faces to Nolan's River. We
were not nine days coming home !

••There, Miss Inez, had ever Amadis such an
adventure, or Robert Bruce, or the Count Odoardo
de Rascallo, or your handsome hero General Junr t ?

•* It is near midnight, unless Orion tells lies, and
the fire bums low.

•• My homage is in all these lines. Adios.
'• Your ladyship's most faithful vassal,
•• To come or to stay away,

•* Philip Nolan."


•• With chosen men of Leon, from the city Benud

To protect the soil of Spain from tike spev of
foreign foes, —

From the dty which is planted in the midst be-
tween the seas.

To preserve the name and glory of old Pekyo't
victories." Lockhakt.

Capt. Philip Nolan was, when he wrote,
in fiur greater danger than he sui^)06ed.

As I write this morning, if any gentlenian
now by the side of " Nolan's River " wot
omous to know if King Alfonso spent aa
agreeable night last night, he could 9eod to
some station not far away, and his cnriosi^
would be relieved before dinner. At least
I suppose so. I know that I was iavond
some hoturs ago, with the intdUgence which
I did not want, that King Alfonso ws
about to leave Madrid this morning and
ride to his army. In truth, as it happens,
I know better what he is going to do to-daj
than I know where my next neighbor at the
foot of the hill is going.

But when Philip Nolan wrote diese meny
words to Etmice Perry he knew little enough
of what was doing at Madrid; and he kanr
still less, as it happened, of what was in the
wind at a capital much nearer to him. Thii
was the famous and noble dty of ChihBS>
hua, — a city some three hundred miles vett
of Nolan's corral. To this distant post I
shall not have to ask die reader to go
again, but before the several pieces on oar
litde board advance another step, I cnst
ask him to look for a moment dow« hfhiwl
all intermediate pawns and see what is the
attitude of him who represents the kiag,
protected here by his distant and forgooea
bishops, knights and casdes.

Chihuahua was, in the year i8oo» a dty
quite as imposing in aspect as it is to^iay.
To diose simple people who had to <
and go thither for one or another \
of justice, injustice, protection or vengeance.
it seemed the most magnificent dty ia the
world, — wholly surpassing the grandcuiY vi
all other frontier or garrison towns. Aiu—rl
the public square were built a tplefwW
cathedral, the royal treasury, and a buUiaf
which served as the hotel-de-viDe of ik
administration of the dty. The rathcdal
was one of the most splendid in New S|ma
It had been erected at enormons cost, tfrf
was regarded with astonishment and pride
by all die people, who had seen no stacnei

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or pictures to compare with those displayed
in its adornments. Several noble '' mis-
siones," a military academy, the establish-
ments of the Dominicans, Franciscans, and
those which the Jesuits had formerly built,
added to the European aspect of the city.

Our business with Chihuahua is that in
this dty the Governor Salcedo, then recently
appointed in place of de Nava, as acting
general-commandant of the north-eastern
provinces, at this time held his court Under
the administration then existing in New
%>ain this was an unlimited military author-
ity. In the more southern provinces of
what is now the RepubUc of Mexico, a sys-
tem of a sort of courts of appeal known as
"audiences," had been created as some
check upon the viceroy and the intendants.
But in the northern provinces, no such sys-
tem was known, and the military law cor-
responded precisely to the definition given
in Boston in General Gage's time : —

" I St The commander does as he chooses.

^ 2d. Military law is the law that per-
mits him to do so."

General Salcedo was the governor who
had expressed the wish cited in an earher
chapter, that he could even prevent the
birds from crossing from Louisiana into
Texas. He was a faithful disciple of the
extremest views of King Philip. While the
local governor of Cosdhuila and the com-
mandant at San Antonio, both of them intel-
ligent men, saw without uneasiness an
occasional traveler from Natchitoches, or
Philip Nolan proposing to go to Orleans, —
Salcedo raved when he heard of such obliq-
uity or carelessness. If they had told him
that the primate of Mont El Rey, the be-
loved Bishop Don Dio Primero, had extended
his episcopal visitations as far as Natchito-
ches, he would have been beside himself
with indignation. "What devils should
take the Bishop so for ?" And when they
told him that the Bishop went to fight the
Devil, he expressed the wish that his Holi-
ness would leave as many devils as he could
to harry those damnable French, and the
more danmable Americanos beyond them.
Ah me ! if Don Salcedo had been permitted
to live to see the day, forty years later, when
Sam Houston's men charged on poor Santa
Anna's lines at San Jacinto, screaming,
"Remember the Alamo!" he would have said
that none of his black portents were too
black, and none of his prophecies of evil
gloomy enough. He would have said that
he was the Cassandra who could not avert
the fiiture of Texas and Coahuila.

The reader knows already that a cer-
tain Don Pedro de Nava, the commandant
of these north-e^tem provinces, had seen
no danger in permitting poor Philip Nolan
to drive a few horses, more or less, across
the fix)ntier of Texas into the King's colony
of Louisiana. If the horses had gone there
at their own will, as doubtless thousands of
horses did ytdii\y,quitnsahef and what harm ?
If Phihp Nolan chose to come to San Anto-
nio, and spend there a litde Oiieans money .
in his outifit for such an expedition, if he
hired for good dollars, a handful of ^>anish
himters to go with him, — ^what harm ? said
Don Pedro de Nava. And so he gave
Philip Nolan the passport and permission

But the new Governor Salcedo did not
know Philip Nolan, — and did not under-
stand such reasoning. The only Philip he
chose to remember in the business was that
Most Gracious and Very Catholic Philip,
Lord of both Indies, who was good at
burning heretics. It was certain that he
would have had no horse-hunting in his.
domains, but by loyal God-fearing subjects
of his own. And if those lax and good-
natured men, Herrara and Cordero, the
governors of the eastern provinces of Coa-
huila and Texas, had assented to such heret-
ical horse-hunting, it was time for them to
know who was master in these deserts, —
and the orders should proceed " firom these
head-quarters." And if that broken down
old fool Casa Calvo, away in that bastard
province of Louisiana, which was neither
one thing nor another, — neither colony nor
foreign State, — ^if he chose to go to sleep
while people invade us, why we must be all
the more watchfid!

By some wretched accident, as we must
suppose, some accoimt of Nolan's plans,
enormously exaggerated, was brought to
Salcedo's ears. The traditions are that
Mordecai Richards, — the same Richards
whom we have abready introduced to our
readers, — after he had engaged in Nolan's
service, sent traitorous information to some
Spanish authority, of the plan of the expe-
dition and of its probable route. Be this as
it may, Spanish govemors of the suspicious
race were far too much excited then, to re-
ceive such news with satisfaction. Old John
Adams's messages about the mouth of the
Mississippi* had not been very pacific.
Everybody knew that he had half his army


Not Harrod*s John Adams, but President

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on that stream, and fleets of flat-boats at
every post, which were waiting only for the
time when he should say " go," and his
army would pounce upon Orleans. Nobody
could say at what moment European com-
binations might make this step feasible,
without the least danger that the -^^ Prince
of Peace," the commander-in-chief of the
armies of King Charles, should strike any
return blow. " Hunting horses forsooth I"
.said Don Nemisio de Salcedo, " are we
fools to have such stories told to us ? It is
an army of these giants of Kentuckianos ;
they must be driven back before it is too late."

His military force was not large. In
times of absolute peace, seeing no foreign
army was within five hundred miles of Chi-
h rahua, the garrison of that city was usually
not more than two or three hundred men.
But in this terrible exigency, with the Ken-
tuckianos mustering in force on his distant
border, Don Nemisio withheld every unne-
cessary band that would otherwise have
gone after Apaches or Comanches, refused
all leaves of absence and furloughs, made
his most of the loyalty of the military acad-
emy, and against poor Phil Nolan, fearing
nothing in his comd, was able to equip an
army of one hundred and fifty men.

Military men, whose judgment is second
to none, assure us that there was never
better material for an army than the Mexi-
can soldier of that day. This force of
dragoons were all of them men who had
seen service against the mounted Indians.
Each man had a little bag of parched com
meal and sugar, the common equipage of
the hunters of those regions. Travelers of
to-day, solicited in palace cars to buy
sugared parched-corn, do not know, per-
haps, that this is the food of pioneers in
front of Apaches. Besides this, a paternal
Government provided good wheat biscuit
and shaved dry meat, which they ate with
enormous quantities of red pepper. With
such outfit the troop would ride cheerily all
day, taking no meal e;ccepting at the
encampment at night, and if any man were
himgry in the day, he bit a piece of biscuit,
or drank some water with his com meal and
sugar stirred into it

After orders, and additional orders which
need not be named, the litde army assem-
bled in the square in front of the cathedraL
It was to march against the heretics, that
was all they knew. A priest came out with
holy water to bless the colors. Every man
had been confessed, and every man, as he
shook himself into his saddle, understood
that, whatever befell, he had a very consideF-
able abatement made from the unpleasant-
ness of purgatory, because he was on this
holy errand. As they were on special ser-
vice, not against Indians but whites, the
lances which they carried on the prairies
were taken away. But every man had a.
carbine slung in fix)nt of his saddle, a heaver
horse-pistol on each side, and bdow the
carbine the shield, which was still in use,
even in this century, to ward oflf arrows. It
was made of triple sole leather. It was
round, and two feet in diameter. The offi-
cers carried oval shields bending on both
sides, and in elegant blazonry displayed the
arms of the King or of Spain, with other
devices. So that it would have been easy
to imagine that Femando del Soto had
risen from his grave, and that this was a
party of the cavaliers of chivabry who were
starting against poor Nolan and his twelve
horse-hunters in buckskin.

The Govemor, with the officers of his
stafi^ in fiill uniform, had assisted at the
sacred ceremonials in the church. The
men marched out and mounted. The Gov-
emor, standing on the steps of the cathedral,
gave his hand to the commander of the

*« May God preserve you many years l**
he said.

** May God preserve your Excellency ! "

" Death to the savage lieretics ! " said die

"Death to the invaders!" said Colond
Marquiez, now in his saddle. Then, turning
to his men, he waved his hand and cried:
"Long live the King!"

"Long live the King!" they answered

" Forward, march ! " A hand kissed to a
lady — and the troop was gone !

CFo be continued.)

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In Judge Nott's edition of the "Seven
Creat Hymns of the Medieval Church,"
published by Randolph, Creneral Dix's
translation of "Dies Irae" is introduced at
page 50, with a notice, of which the follow-
ing is an extract :

**In this endeavor the author has so well suc-
ceeded, that when this version is compared, stanza
by stanza, with the original, it will be found to be in
the same trochaic measure, in the same difficult doub-
le rhyme, in stanzas of the same triplicate construc-
tion, and, wiUi fewest errors, to be a translation the
most literal and just that has been made. Yet this
success in letters was achieved by a soldier during
the gloomiest period of a great and distracting war.
The author is Major-General John A. Dix, United
States Volunteers, and the translation was made at
Fortress Monroe, in the second year of the war."

The following graceful and characteristic
letter fix)m (Jeorge Ticknor shows the opin-
ion of a very high literary authority in
regard to the merits of the translation :

Boston, 24th February, 1864.
To Major-Gtneral Dix^ United States Army.

Sir : It was not without a feeling of embarrass-
ment that I asked my friend Mr. Curtis to obtain
for me a copy of your privately printed marvelous
translation of the " Dies Irae." Nor is it without a
similar feeling that I now ask you to accept from
me a copy of the life of my friend Prescott, which I
published a few weeks since. You will, Uierefore,
allow me to beg of you not to look on it as an
attempt to make an exchange with you ; for, if such
were my purpose, I should feel obliged to pray
Jupiter that he would make you willing to take coj^
per for gold, as in the memorable case of Diomedes
and Glaucus. What I send is only the acknowledg-
ment of a debt, which I do not pretend to pay, but
for which I wish to express, as well as I can, my
sense of obligation. With much consideration and
sincere thanks, yours very truly,

George Ticknor.

But it seems that Greneral Dix was not at
all satisfied with his performance, and that
he has recently made and privately printed
a revised translation, which we give with
the original preface. His reasons for the
revision are contained in the following letter
to a firiend in Albany :

New York, 7th October, 1875.

My Dear Sir: I hasten, in pursuance of the
request contained in the letter my son received from
you this morning, to send you a copy of my transla-
tion of " Dies Irae," and I add, of my own motion,
my translation of " Stabat Mater." They were both
pnvately printed, as you will perceive, but found
their way into Judge Nott's •* Seven Hymns of the
Medieval Churdi" and other kindred publications.

The first translation was made during our dvil
war, while I was in command of the Department of
Virginia, and when I had many weighty matters to
divert my time and thoughts from uterary occupa-
tion. Althou^ it had been much commended I
was never satisfied with it, and a few months ago I

Srinted privately, and now send you, a revised ren-
ering of the immortal hymn. The translation of
** Stabat Mater*' was made while I was Minister to
France. It was more leisurely prepared, and I see
no reason to correct it, though I cannot say that it is
what I should wish it to be.

The stanza of the former quoted by Bayard
Taylor is as follows :

Day of vengeance without morrow,
Eayth shall end in flame and sorrow.
As from saint and seer we borrow.

It is this stanza (the first) which has always proved
most troublesome to translators, and it is toe one
with which I was dissatisfied more than with any
other in my translation when I allowed it to go to
the press. My dissatis£u:tion was gi^atly incrased
a few years later on finding in one of Thackera3r's
novels - I do not at this moment recollect which—a
passage somewhat lOce this : " When a man is cud-
geling his brains to find any other rhymes for ' sor-
row* than *t)orrow* and 'morrow/ he is nearer
the end of his woes than he imagines." I felt
instinctively that any one familiar with this passage
would, on reading my translation, be consaous, at
the very commencement, of a sense of the ludicrous
alto^tner incompatible with the solenmity of the
subject I therefore resolved, at my earliest leisure,
to attempt the production of an improved version of
the first stanza, and, in doing so, I remodeled sev-
eral oUiers, to make them conform more nearly to
the original.

Independently of the foregoing obiection, it was
not quite orthodox to style King David a saint,
though he was in his latter days a model of true
penitence. Besides, I believe there is a Saint David
m the calendar, and there is danger of confounding
them. In the new version I have succeeded in pre-
serving the David and Sibyl of the original, "m
nomintkus^'* instead of rendering them by the terms
Saint and Seer. How successfiu I have oeen in the
change I have made in the first two lines of the
stanza I am at a loss to determine. I can only say,
that after an elaborate eflfort it was the Mst I
could do.

With a pleasant remembrance of our association
in Albany, I am, dear sir, very truly yours,

John A. Dix.

N. C MOAK, Esq.

(original preface.)

I HAVE recently seen in the periodical press
several new translations of this noble canticle — ^the
best produced by the Middle Ages — perhaps by any

Among the English versions that of the Earl of
Roscommon seems to have caught more of the
inspiration of the original than any I have seen. It

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is, nevertheless, a paraphrase rather than a transla-
tion. This is a serious finult, notwithstanding its
high poetic merit A production, universally ac-
knowledged to have no superior of its class, should
be as literally rendered as the structure of the lan-
guage into which it is translated will admit More-
over, no translation can be complete which does not
conform to the original in its rhythmic quantities.
The music of the ** Dies Irae" is as old as Uie hymn,
if not older ; and with those who are familiar with
both, they are inseparably connected in thought.
To satisfy the exactions of such minds, the cadences
must be the same.

With full knowledge of what has been done and
attempted in our language, and of the difficulty of
doing better, I have nevertheless ventured on a
translation having in view the two ends which I

have pointed out — musical notation, and literal ren-
dering to the extent that it is attainable.

It is the fruit of leisure moments gained from die
hard service of the camp, on rebel soil, bat ^vrithin
Union entrenchments. If, in the ages of pagmnism*
the strings of the Lesbian lyre might be, not \
thily, swept by hands inured to arms, —

"Qui ferox beOo, tamen inter anna,

■^ -^ -^ • *

IS, Veneremque, <
t puenim canebiit,"—

liberum. et Musas, Veneremque, et illi
Semper tUBrentem pt

a soldier in a Christian age may not less 'vrortfailjr
find relief from the asperities of war in themes
more congenial with the higher dispensations which
he is, by the Providence of God, permitted to share.
Fort , Va., June 17, 1863.


Dies irse, dies ilia!
Solvet saedum in favOUi,
Teste David cum SibylUL

Quantus tremor est futurus,
Quando Judex est venturus,
Cuncta strict^ discussurus!

Tuba, mirum sparjgens sonum
Per sepulchra regionum,
Coget omnes ante thronum.


Mors stnpebit, et natura,
Quum resurget creatura
Judicanti responsura.


Liber scriptus proferetur.
In QUO totum continetur,
Unae mundus judicetur,

Judex ergo quum sedebit,
Ouidquid latet apparebit.
Nil inultum remanebit.

Quid sum miser tunc dictums.
Quem patronum rogaturus,
Quum vix Justus sit securus


Rex tremertdx majestatis,
Qui salvandos salvas. gratis,
Salva me, fons pietatis!


Recordare, Jesu pie,
Quod sum causa Tuae vise;
Ne me perdas ill& die!


Quserens me sedisti lassus,
Redemisti, crucem passus;
Tantus labor non sit cassus!


Juste Judex ultionis,
Donum fac remissionis
Ante diem rationis!

Day of vengeance, lo ! that morning
On the earth in ashes dawning,
David with the Sibyl warning.

Ah! what terror is impending,
When the Judge is seen descending.
And each secret veil is rending.


To the throne, the trumpet sounding
Through the se]>ulchres resounding,
Summons all,* with voice astounding.

^ 4.
Death and Nature, mazed, are quaking
When, the grave's deep slumber breaking,
Man to judgment b awaking.

Now the written book containing
Record to all time pertaining
Opens for the world's arraigning.

See the Judge his seat attaining.
Darkest mysteries explaining,
Nothing unavenged remaining.

What shall I then say, unfriended.
By what advocate attended.
When the just are scarce defended ?


King of miyesty tremendous.
By Thy saving grace defend us;
Fount of pity, safety send us !

Jesus, think of thy wayfaring.
For my sins the death-crown wearing;
Save me, in that day, despairing!

Worn and weary Thou hast sought me.
By Thy cross and passion bought me; —
Spare the hope Thy labors brought me I

Righteous Judge of retribution.
Give, O give me absolution
Ere that day of dissolution !

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Ineemisco tanquam reus,
Culpft rubet vultus meus:
Supplicant! parcc, Deus!


Qui Mariam absolvisti,
£t latronem exaudisd,
Mihi quoque spem dedistL


Preces mcae non sunt diense,
Sed Tu bonus fac benigne,
Ne perenni cremer igne!


Inter oves locum praesta,
Et ab haedis me sequestra,
Statuens in parte dextri!


Confutatis maledictis,
Flammis acribus addictis,
Voca me cum benedictis!


Oro supplex et aocUnis,
Cor contritum <|uasi^ dnis :
Gere curam mei finis I

Lacrymosa dies ilia
Qua resurget ex favillft
Judicandus homo reus;
Huic ergo parce, Deusl

As a guilty culprit groaning,
Flnsh^ my face, my errors owning
Spare, O God, Thy suppliant moanmg!

Thou to Mary ^v'st remission,
Heard*st the dying thief's petition,
6ad*st me hope in my contrition.


In my prayers no worth discerning.
Yet on me Thy favor turning.
Save me from that endless burning I

Give me, when Thy sheep confiding
Thou art from the goats dividing,
On Tky ri^t a pUZe abiding.

When the wicked are rejected.
And to bitter flames subjected.
Call me forth with thine elected!

Low in supplication bending.
Heart as though with ashes blending;
Care for me when all is ending!

When on that dread day of weepmg
Guilty man in ashes sleeping
Wakes to his adjudication.
Save him, God! from condemnation


Besides Cooper, the names oftenest men-
tioned in allusions to the imaginative prose
writers of America are those of Poe, Irving,
and Hawthorne. I separate them firom his,
because these three men naturally, and for sev-
eral reasons, group themselves together and
apart from the first-named. Cooper — ^though
really beginning his career later than Irving,
and although contemporaneous with Poe and
Hawthorne — ^belongs to a school which to-
day seems to set him back farther fix>m us
than the triad I am to discuss. By one of
those curious illusions of distance which
rapid changes of opinion and practice bring
about, he, with Scott, fidls into comparative
remoteness, while the lenses of a recturing
curiosity or sympathy bring two, at least, of
the others into our very midst Moreover,
Cooper was a novelist, as we now make the
distinction ; neither of the others was such.
Irving is essentially an essayist and a writer
of polished but not too profound history;
Poe, upon declared policy, preferred the
short story, and his tales cunously evade

the province of the novel; Hawthorne,
finallv, though adopting the form of the
novel, so shaped this that we have to treat
the result as a new species. There is still

Online LibraryFrancis HallThe Century, Volume 11 → online text (page 140 of 163)