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Friend. “Then why did you not turn your of February or March and always lasts three days. horses head and thus avoid him?"
It is an ancient and a popular festival with the IsMr. L. “For the very charitable reason that landers, having been observed by their fathers and I did not wish to hurt his feelings, which I now themselves for the last three hundred years. Inconfess, I was a fool for observing."
tended, as it doubtless was, as a season of relaxaFriend. “ If from a false sense of delicacy you tion, of gayety and amusement, when Malta was will run into danger, you can surely have no one to ruled by the Knights, the people looked forward blame but yourself.”
to its approach with pleasure, and engaged in its With this the conversation ended, as Mr. L. frivolities most cordially. But how different is it was taken home by his friends, where he remained now. For the last three-and-forty years the Malfor several weeks confined to his bed, and suffer- tese have been governed by protestant rulers, who ing so much from his shattered limb as at one time have done all in their power to dampen its gayety seriously to threaten his life. So firmly are the and destroy its hold on the public mind. Somepeople persuaded that Mr. S. was the cause of times, a few handfuls of comfits have been thrown this accident, that it will doubtless often be men- from the palace windows on the dense and gaping tioned by the superstitious to prove their belief in crowds below, but this is all which the governors ao “evil eye" long after the actors in it have pass- have done to encourage the rabble to perform their ed away and their names have been lost to memory. wild and foolish pranks. 'Tis true, that now and In all societies it is no difficult task to find men thne a ball has been given by his Excellency on the who are proned to talk too much. Persons who, second night of carnival. This, however, did not to monopolize the most of the conversation, are take place in honor of the festival, but because a compelled to speak not only of past, and passing rigid fast for six weeks was approaching, during erents, but to foretell what may come for the fu- which time the Maltese ladies withdraw themselves ture. When people are thus all the time predicting, from society, and attend only to the duties of their it would be singular indeed if they did not for once, church. After the expiration of Lent, the weather or twice, or even thrice, prove right in their predic- usually becomes so oppressive, that the very thought tions. We will not say that Mr. S. is a person of of dancing is said to be enough to throw an Enthis character, or that he has met with this success. glish woman into a profuse perspiration. Although If rumor speaks correctly, this gentleman once we should not judge that such was the case, by went into the house of a friend, and seeing some the usual conduct of Saxon women at picnics and gold fish in a glass globe, was struck with their parties in the summer time, still we are aware that size, and their brilliant and beautiful color. His many fond mothers have declined invitations from admiration, we are told, had such an effect on the the natives, by saying that their daughters were fish, that he had hardly taken his leave, before they delicate girls, who could not waltz in a furnace, turned on their backs, came to the surface and as a ball-room at Malta literally was after the month died. Singular as this incident is said to be, it is of May. Thus, what with the delicacy of Ennot more remarkable than the one which we are glish women, and the religion of the Maltese, if Dow to tell.
the governor did not give his ball in carnival, it Mr. S. was playing whist one evening at the would not be such a popular squeeze as he always house of a friend, and a gentlemun learned in the seemed anxious to make it. We have said thus law was his partner in the game. A Maltese offi- much on this subject, as we are desirous that the cer and, we believe, a foreign consul were his op- true reason should be known why this rout takes ponents. When the cards were being dealt, Mr. place on the night that it does. S. remarked, “it is a long time, Judge, since you The carnival season at Malta is too often seized have had a trial for a capital offence, but I do not upon by the dissolute to ridicule and slander wellthink many days will elapse before some one, or known persons, who, either from their public, or other, will be at the bar to be tried for his life.” private acts, have become disliked by the people. Judge. “I certainly hope not."
Perhaps we shall be told, that this is natural enough Officer. "Pray, Mr. S., what is to happen, that in a small town, where there are so many grades such is your opinion ?"
of society, and in each of them so much jealousy, Mr. S. “In the common course of events it can animosity and strife. But should this be sanctioned not be long. Seldom do twelve months go round, by the government, merely because the parties are without oor having a trial for murder."
obnoxious to them, and have become so only on politiThe conversation now ceased as the cards were cal grounds ? Certainly not. It is high time, that assorted, and by the laws of the game which these an exhibition like that which we shall now describe gentlemen were playing, when this was done, each should be prevented by the police, and the actors person at the table was obliged to be silent. Mr.
* The Islanders jestingly remarked, that these were the S. made this prediction just before the carnival only sweets they had ever tasted of Sir Henry Bonvetime-for the Maltese, like all other Catholic na- rie's rule, as they picked the comfits from the ground and tions, have this festival, which comes in the months'eat them to make their assertion true.
be taken in charge for breaking the public peace. Lady. “I am well aware that the opposition we Nearly every year a worthless fellow puts on a meet with comes only from them. Did they but lady's habit, and mounting a horse, passes through sanction my wishes I should not despair." the streets with a companion, who is drest in the Forty or fifty ragged boys, carrying flags with height of fashion. This couple appear to be en- various inscriptions, were following in the train of gaged in a deep conversation, and the subject of these vulgar masks, and on a given signal would the sham lady's thoughts is told by some words like send forth their shouts in applause of their conthe following, which are spoken sufficiently loud duct. It will hardly be credited, that by this exfor the rabble to hear.
hibition it was intended to ridicule Mrs. Austen, Lady. “I can assure you, Mr. T., I feel a deep who is so well known in England and America for interest in the welfare of the Maltese people."
her thorough acquaintance with the German and Mr. T. “I do not doubt it, Madam, neither can
for the many correct and beautiful translations any one else."
which she has given us from that difficult language.
Yet such is the case. Lady. “Some malicious persons have said, that
A few years ago two Royal
Commissioners were sent out by Lord Glenely my husband's high position as a Royal Commis
to look into the affairs of Malta, and to see whether sioner, and what is much more important to him, his high salary, influence me in my good feelings
the charges of the Maltese against their rulers towards them."
were to be substantiated from personal observation.
While Messrs. Austen and Lewis were thus engaMr. T. “I can assure you, Madam, that no ged, (and it was no pleasing employment, for hardly such expression has ever been made in my presence. could they make a move in a public way without It is a vile slander, by whomsoever said.”
making an enemy,) the wife of the former was With this the lady appears to be satisfied; for, trying to alleviate the miseries of her sex and disseparating from her companion, she is observed to cover some measures for its lasting relief. But all smile while arranging her dress, which, ridiculous her exertions were useless. The Catholic mothers enough, is all in her lap. Mr. T., who is in love of this Island would not listen to the advice of a with a dark eyed belle of Valetta, is anxious to con- protestant woman, and for this reason, and this tinue the conversation, that he may know how much alone she failed. Mrs. Austen, for thus attempting longer he is to be employed on the commissioner's 10 assist the mothers and daughters of Malta, and staff. Approaching, he asks,“ pray can you tell for suggesting a measure which all who wish well me what measures are to be adopted for the relief to the Islanders must justify, is annually made the of this nation."
vulgar character of a carnival, and ridiculed by Lady. “No course has yet been decided upon. the very dregs of the nation.* So distinguished a One thing, however, is certain, that the present lady should not be thus disgraced. distress is occasioned by an overgrown population, Although we have so long lost sight of Mr. S. and so long as marriages are sanctioned among and his “evil eye,” still the conversation at the children, so long will the people remain in their whist table must be borne in mind, as it is supmiserable and degraded state."
posed by the superstitious to bear on the tragical Mr. T. “ Canrrot the commissioners legislate occurrence which we are ere long to relate. Sinin their social relations, and thus prevent these gularly enough, the Maltesef think, that during early marriages ?”
their three days of noisy, wild, and foolish amuseLady. “In such delicate matters I can only in- ments, they can act as they please with a stranger terfere. I have already visited many villages and and still have nothing done in return. Often have mingled much with their inhabitants. But I fear we seen a number of people in masks approach an it has been to little purpose ; for after I had exerted English officer, and with loud cries, which very myself to persuade mothers not to let their children much resemble those of the wild Arabs of the demarry before they came to the age of womanhood, sert
, pelt him with peas, beans and sugar plums, I was invariably answered in some such way as until their stock was gone, or his patience exhaustthis. . My good lady, your remarks are very true, ed. One fiery son of the Emerald Isle, who was but I was married at twelve, and before I was thir- unaccustomed to such a greeting, losing his temteen, had given my husband a child. Why should per, seized a person who was thus tormenting bim, not my daughters do the same? They have the and tearing off the mask, recognized a lady with same feelings, and the same wishes as I had at whom he was well acquainted. The gallant Irishtheir age. My parents did not interfere with me, man, regretting his rashness, quickly apologized and why should I with them ?' This is their reason- for having thus rudely exposed the face of so loveing, and I can assure you it will be almost impos- ly a woman to the prying gaze of a crowd of igsible to change a custom which appears to tend to little else than to marry and starve.”
* We call the Maltese a nation, for thus they call themMr. T. “ The priests, I think, sanction these selves. early marriages, and if so, your labors are lost." + We reser to the rabble.
norant Smaitches.* This excuse was quite suffi- that people are allowed to do those things with imcient, for the young lady simply called it a carnival punity for three days in a year, which, were they aditature, and went on her way to find another to be done at any other time, would bring the acmask. But it is not often that an affair of this tors to a prison or a mad-house. kind would have been so easily settled. In all Vieusseux, in his clever letters on Italy, tells us garrison towns, the feelings of fathers and mothers the following anecdote of the carnival at this Island, are peculiarly sensitive as to the treatment which which is worthy of a relation, inasmuch as it shows their wives, their daughters, or sisters receive from with what spirit the Maltese and the monks alike the officers who are stationed about them. And engaged in this popular diversion, some sixty years this is not without reason. In every regiment ago. He states that a “Turk, who had been for some young men will be found who, being of noble some time a prisoner at Malta during the dominion birth, and enjoying large incomes, are favored by of the Knights of St. John, after having been extheir commanders, and left with little else to do, changed and sent back to Constantinople was exthan to waste their money in gifts to giddy women, amined before the Divan as to the strength of and their time in fulsome flattery. Unfortunate Valetta, and the most probable means of taking it. indeed are those ladies who are so much lost to He replied, that he thought it almost impossible to themselves and their families as to receive their conquer it as long as the Christians were on their remembrances, or listen to their vows. For to guard, but," added he, “there is a time in the year such their roin is sealed. How many instances when the infidels are subject to a periodical fit of might we name in this small town, where affection insanity, (meaning the last three days of carnival, has been estranged, and the peace of families ut- which was the only time allowed by the Grandterly destroyed by the thoughtless conduct of mo- Master for that popular amusement,) and should thers and daughters, in listening to the protesta- the Capudan Pacha contrive to be near at hand tions and receiving the presents of abandoned men. with his fleet and a body of troops, I have no doubt Is it not during the excitement of carnival, and but he could easily take the place by surprise, as when the parties are concealed by masks, that all order and discipline are at an end during that these first advances are usually made to married period. But the business must be done quickly; women, and these first liberties taken, with their, for on the fourth day a priest applies a pinch of until then, innocent daughters? Is not this the ashes to each man's forehead, which has the wonseason also when the libertine stalks about at noon- derful power of restoring him instantly to his senses day, seeking whom he may ensnare, and when he and rational faculties.” Vieusseux, in closing this is more successful than at any other period in his anecdote, aptly remarks, “Si non e vero, e ben troiniquitious search? These questions can only be vato." answered in the affirmative. Then why, therefore,
[To be continued.] do respectable husbands and parents countenance a custorn, which may so easily bring such affliction in their families, and such misery on themselves ? Well do we remember the expression of THE PARENTS' LAMENT, the Turks of Constantinople and Smyrna, when
OVER THEIR CHILD, LOUISA OVERTONthey said of the carnival, in their grave way, that Sleep little blossom! we have spread it was a time when the Franks were mad. And
The dust above thy golden head; were they not correct? For what else is a carni- Our latest kiss of love have prest val, whether it may be in Rome, in Naples, or
On marble cheek and sunken eye, Malta, but an allotted period, when persons are at
And poured beside thy place of rest
Our farewell prayer, our parting sigh! liberty to think, to dress and act like very fools.
Sweet little cherub!--deep our woe! Were a person to appear in public, at any other
Thus early in the crumbling mould season of the year, disguised as a baboon with a
To lay our precious treasure lowlong tail, or as Satan with his cloven foot, (which Those eyes of light-those locks of gold! we have observed were two favorite characters,) We miss thy prattle and thy mirth would be not be thought mad ? And were this same
At evening by the social bearth, man to be examined by a medical board, we think
We miss thy childish lisp, when all
Our youthsul group surrounds the board; it would be a difficult thing for him to prove, that
-Thou only silent to our call, he was not deranged, however correct his answers When bread is shared and cup is poured! might be to their interrogations? For a much less
Though silent-yet thy tones still come foolish act, many persons have been placed under From the dull chambers of the tomb; the guardianship of their friends, or confined within Though silent, that soft voice hath yet the walls of a lunatic asylum. Thus strange it is,
An echo we may ne'er forget.
In the deep silence of the night * A Maltese is called a Smaitch, in the same way, that It whispereth in accents light. an Englishman is called a Jobn Bull, or an American, a On fancy's ear that airy call Yankee.
Seems like an angel-sigh lo fall,
Murmuring sweet words as sostly clear,
have never failed to advocate the true interests of As ever lisp'd in mortal ear.
the service, induce me to claim your attention to Methinks, amid the seraph band
a few “Notes on our Army.” In these notes I I see thy shining wings expand;
shall “nothing extenuate, nor aught set down in Methinks, in heavenly depths serene From radiant clouds I see thee lean,
malice." I wish it understood, that I am free Thy thoughts upon this earth intent,
from all political and party prejudices,—uninfluThy gaze upon thy kindred bent,
enced by any private animosity, or personal disWafting to them from worlds of bliss
likes, and unknown, personally, to most of ihose The seraph hymn, the spirit kiss ;
whose acts I shall examine. My object is the corStill watching with delighted gaze
rection of abuses which have gradually crept into Thy earthly sisters at their plays, And mingling still, thyself unseen,
our service, unnoticed, because unimportant in themIn all their sportings on the green ;
selves, and producing but slight injury until, for Still breathing in their hearts a prayer
want of a check, their rapid and almost unaccountFrom the pure upper realms of air;
able increase has proved a burden under which our Still loving, when they sink to sleep,
system must sink, unless a remedy is applied. And Above them on soft wings to sweep; Breathing out tidings of that world
to whom can I so properly apply for that remedy Where thy bright pinions are unsurled;
as yourself? A statement of the abuses under And beck’ning to the way that leads
which we suffer, will be all I shall presume on Through blissful realms and heavenly meads, calling your attention to, on that head. A few To worlds that have no sin nor stain
comments, however, on the practical operation of No anxious hearts, no dying pain !
existing laws and regulations, and suggestions as Can we forget thee? Can the bloom
to the amendments and additions they require, of our sweet floweret in the tomb
founded on observation and experience, will not, I Fade from our hearts and leave no trace Within the memory of our race?
conceive, he out of place—and may lead to some Though lowly lies thy fragile frame,
improvements in our present imperfect and almost Yet in our hearts the living flame
disorganized military establishment. Of love enkindled by thy hand
Impossibilities must become possible" before Dies not, by pure affection fann'd!
we can expect the President, his Secretary of war, Spring Grove, Caroline Co. 1. McLELLAN, JR.
(as at present selected,) or Congress, to be acquainted with all the details of our military organi
zation and duties, and the manner in which the NOTES ON OUR ARMY. one is kept up and the other performed. And No, I.
since this information cannot be obtained from the
reports of the Bureaux, (whether suppressed from The Messenger has always devoted itself to the support of the great general interests of the Country, involving no
policy or negligence, it is not my province to inparty altercations. Its large size has enabled it to do this quire,) a plain statement of facts, accompanied by without the least disparagement to the interest of the gene a few comments, will enable the public to judge ral reader, who can always find matter adapted to his taste. whether they receive an equivalent in return for But who is there so indifferent, so ungrateful as not ever to their annual expenditures; and whether the patronfeel a lively interest in our gallant Army and Navy? When their services are demanded, every eye and heart are age delegated by them is used solely for the beneturned towards them, with hope, confidence and pride. In fit of the country, or whether private interests, poPeace, then, let them receive that interest and attertion. litical power and family connexions have a conwhich’may prepare them to act most efficiently and incite trolling influence. them to the noblest efforts in times of danger. But apart from their importance in a national point of view, a Lite. war” was established by a law of Congress, ap
The office of " Secretary for the department of rary Journal should lend them its aid, because they contain so much literary spirit and taste; and their members have proved on the 7th of August, 1789. This law re. done so much for the production and illustration of our quires, that “he shall perform and execute such Literature. The Messenger, then, will continue to uphold duties as shall, from time to time, be enjoined on, their rights and interests and invites them to assist in main- or entrusted to him. by the President of the United taining and advancing it.--[Ed. Mess.
And furthermore, that the An army is a collection of armed men, obliged to obey said principal officer shall conduct the business of one man.--Locke.
the said department in such manner as the PresiTo the Hon. Thomas H. Benton:
dent of the United States shall, from time to time, The distinguished part you have acted in the order and instruct." There is no such idea concouncils of our nation—the devotion you have ex- veyed in the above extract from the law, nor did hibited to its general welfare—the untiring indus- Congress ever intend to convey an idea that the try which has ever characterized your public ca- Secretary should, nor did it expect he ever would, reer, and the important position you have so long assume the military command and control of the occupied as a leading member of our military com- Army. If such had been the intention of Conmittee in the United States Senate, where you'gress, why did it afterwards provide for a “ Major
General Commanding" as the Hon. Secretary is pecuniary responsibility in which the officers who pleased to style him? In establishing the depart- have it in charge are involved." “ The officers ment of war and creating the office of Secretary, who have it in charge !" What a great pity for Congress contemplated relieving the executive from these meritorious and deserving gentlemen, that the annoyance of details : in other words, they in- this same impertinent little Register shows that tended bim to perform for the executive, duties nearly every arsenal, armory and depôt is supplied analogous to those performed by the Adjutant Gene- with a store-keeper, a civil officer, who has all the ral for the Commander-in-Chief.
responsibility of this valuable property. However, When do we ever hear of the Secretary of State the Hon. Secretary only says “the officers"— not taking upon himself to issue instructions to a fo- the officers of this corps " who have it in charge." reign minister, without the express commands of The vast importance of each of these staff corps is the President, and so stating in his despatches ? commented on at large, and one is almost convinced Yet, how often does our Hon. Secretary of war that Napoleon would have carried the day at Waterioflict long orders and circulars on us which carry loo had he only known what the world now learns convincing proof in their own folly, that he, and from the late report of the Secretary of war. He he alone, is responsible for them.
says: “In regard to the staff of the Army, it may The whole intention of the above quoted law has be laid down as a sound rule, that it should never been entirely perverted, and we are now supplied be regulated by the number of troops in the line, with a political commander-a civilian Secretary, but by the extent of country over which the whose aim is popularity, and who knows no more Army is spread.” What might have been the conabout the details of military duty and the require- sequences with an Army of “ Deputy Quarter Masments of the service, than a soldier does of the ter's General" and " Colonels, Lieutenant Colonels, practice of medicine, or a lawyer of the science of and Majors” of “Ordnance and Topographical fortification. The annual report lately rendered Engineers,” the wisdom of man cannot decide. by this officer proves this assertion but too clearly. The present crowned heads of Europe should conSurrounded by the Staff Bureaux in Washington, gratulate themselves that this grand military disall of which have chiefs, active and energetic in covery was not made in an earlier age. Can it be sustaining themselves and those under them, he that the recent threats of war against Mexico have seems to have forgotten there was any other Army, been based on the conceived invincibility of these ør, at least, any that required, or was worthy of lately discovered engines of power-Staff Corps ? his attention. After a long and tedious extract The Hon. Secretary in his report, if we omit from the Army Register, to inform the President the copious extracts from the Army Register, and and Congress where to find his great Army, a very the recapitulation of the requirements of the law necessary piece of information by the way, he com- of August, 1842, has very condescendingly devoted ments at large on each of the Staff Bureaux. One seven lines of ordinary newspaper length to the is * efficiently organized and faithfully adminis- line--the Army proper. . tered," whilst sits importance is manifest to all We are indebted to the wisdom and sagacity of military men." He forgets, if he ever knew, that Mr. Calhoun for our Bureau organization, which half the duties of this department are performed by has been recently and advantageously adopted for line officers, for which they receive no compensation. the Navy. But had he foreseen the results it has
* The attention of the officers to their duty,” in produced, he would have preferred a second staff corps, " has been assiduous." So
"to bear the ills we have, one would naturally suppose from a reference to
Than fly to others we know not of," the Army Register, by which it will appear that fire sixths of them are living at their ease in large Had Mr. Calhoun remained at the head of the eities, receiving emoluments sufficient for their department, such results as we now deplore would comfortable support over and above what is con. not have followed his admirable suggestions; and, sidered as pay, and of which they receive more should the office of Secretary of war be in future than officers of the same rank in the line. It conferred upon men of known military attainments, would be a corious document for reference if Con- or on those possessing the untiring energy and gress would call on the Secretary for the names transcendant abilities of Mr. Calhoun, the system and rank of all the officers of the Army with a may again be made to work well. statement annexed to each showing the amounts of As at present ruled, we have a nominal Commoney received from the treasury and for what, manding General who, if he wish to prescribe the during the year. 1843. The officers of a third length of an officer's or soldier's whiskers or musstaff corps receive high commendation for having taches, must apply to the Hon. Secretary of war promptly “ accounted for the money placed in their for his decision, (see circular from the Adjutant haods :"
* "the value of property General's office, dated Washington, 31st May, under charge of this branch of the service is 1843.) The authority of this Commanding Ge$17,393,021,07, and in itself shows the amount of' neral, by courtesy, over the different staff corps is