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The Italian Bee :-Le Cento Novelle Antiche.

[VOL. 2

appears to consider equally as matters of and gallant company, when a buffoon fact and of the most celebrated bonmots requested a largess from him: Don of the time. We give the following Diego gave him an hundred marks of specimens of this prototype of the silver.



"How Antigonus reproved Alexander for amusing himself with playing on the harp.


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When the buffoon had received them, he said, 'Sir, this is the most liberal present that ever was made to me.' And, as Don Diego spurred his horse on without making any observation, the buffoon threw down the money, saying, Antigonus, the preceptor of Alex- God forbid that I should take one hunander, finding him one day amusing him- dred marks of silver without knowing self with playing on a harp, took it and who gave them to me.' Don Diego on broke it, and threw it into the fire, say- this returned, and said, 'Since you are ing, Your business is to reign, and not so desirous of knowing it, my name is to fiddle.' In like manner it may be Don Diego,' The buffoon took up said, that every man's body is his em- marks, and said, 'I owe you no thanks, pire; and that luxury is as disgraceful Don Diego.' This reply occasioned as playing on the harp; let him therefore much conversation; and it was observed be ashamed who indulges in luxury, that the buffoon had well spoken, since when he ought to reign with virtue. it was as if he had said, You are so King Porus also, who fought against much in the habit of giving liberally that Alexander, at an entertainment, com- you could not well have done otherwise."" manded the strings of a lyre, on which a musician was playing, to be cut, saying that "it was better the instrument should be destroyed than that people should be led astray for that sweetness of sound was the destruction of virtue."


"How a certain king caused his son to be brought up in the dark till he was ten years old; and how, on shewing him every thing, he was most of all pleased with women.

dark caverns.

"Acertain king had a son born to him: the astrologers predicted that he would lose his sight if he were permitted to see the sun before he had reached the age of ten years; on which account the king had him watched, and brought up in After ten years were elapsed, he caused him to be brought out, and shewed him the world; and placed before him many fine jewels and fair damsels-telling him the names of every thing, and that the damsels were devils. Being asked what he liked best, he replied, The devils please me more than all the rest.' Then the king marvelled greatly, saying, What a powerful thing is female beauty!'

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Several anecdotes are related in different parts of the work of John king of England, and his tutor, Bertrand de Born ;* and it is singular that this prince, of detestable memory with us, is here represented as a pattern of generosity and greatness of mind. We give the following traits from


"Of the great liberality and courtesy of the King of England.

"John, king of England, was a man of liberal expenditure, and gave all he had to poor gentlet knights. It hap pened one day that a poor gentle knight cast his eye on the cover of a silver cup, and said within himself, If I can secrete that, it will maintain my wife and children for a long time:' accordingly he hid it under his robe. When the company rose, the Seneschals looked over the silver, and missed it. They began to make a disturbance, and to search the knights as they went out. King John knew who had it, and went to him unobserved, and

* Bertrand de Born is placed by Dante in the infernal regions, among the sowers of discord, heresy, and

schism-for having stimulated Prince John to bear

arms against his father, Henry II. He says he saw him carrying his head in his hand, dangling by the hair

"Of the liberal disposition of Don Diego like a lantern. di Fienaja.

"Don Diego de Fienaia was one day riding in rich attire, with a numerous

E'l capo tronco tenea per le chiome
Pesol con mano a guisa di lanterna.-Inferno,

Canto 28.

+ That is, genteel-of honourable birth.

VOL. 2.]

Nicholas's Narrative of a Voyage to New-Zealand.

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said to him in a whisper, Put it under and asked him to let him drink; the my robe, for they will not search me:' countryman replied, How can I? Do and the knight, full of confusion, did so. you think I will let you drink out of my King John gave it to him again when he cup? If you have got a horn of your own, had passed the door, and put it under his I will give you some wine willingly.' robe; and afterwards sent for him, and The emperor said, 'Let me drink out of courteously gave him the other part of the barrel, on condition that I do not put the cup. my mouth to it.' The peasant accordingly gave it to him, and the emperor was as good as his word-for he spurred his horse and rode off with it.


Still greater courtesy did he shew one night, when some poor knights entered his chamber, thinking that he was asleep. They collected the furniture "Now the peasant knew, from his and articles of dress, intending to steal hunting dress, that he was one of the them as it were. When they had rum- emperor's train, and accordingly the maged every where, one of them, unwil- next day he went to the court. The ling to leave behind them a rich cover- emperor gave orders to the ushers, If a let under which the king lay, laid hold peasant of such an appearance should on it, and began to pull: the king was come, admit him to my presence-don't determined not be left quite bare, and shut the door upon him. The countryheld it so fast that the others were oblig- man came, and was brought before the ed to lend a hand to expedite the busi- emperor; to whom he made complaint ness-then King John cried out, To respecting his barrel. The emperor take by force would be robbery, and not made him relate the circumstance several theft. The knights took to their heels times over, to the great diversion of himas soon as they heard him speak, for self and his barons; and at length asked they thought before that he had been him, whether he should know his barrel asleep. again Yes, sire,'-replied the peasant. Then the emperor drew it from under him-for he had got it there, to let him know that it was he who had taken it and made him a handsonie present for his cleanliness."

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NOVELLA 22. "How the Emperor Frederic+ met with a peasant at a fountain, and asked him to let him drink, and then took away his barrel.

"The Emperor Frederick being one day out hunting in a green dress, as he was wont, found a country-looking fellow at the foot of a spring, who had spread a white cloth on the grass; and had got thereon a tamarisk cup of wine, and a nice dinner. The emperor came up,


"How a great man received an insult. "A great man of Alexandria went into the city one day on business, when a fellow came after him, and began to abuse him; but he took no notice of it. A person who met him, said, 'Why do you not answer this man, who is

• The distinction is rather nice, but it is recognised abusing you in this manner?' He replied,

by our law.

† Frederic II. of Germany.

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Because I hear nothing that pleases me,

From the Literary Gazette.





E proceed to extract the account, strong, with moat, palisades, and wickof the town and tribe of which Duaterra was the Chief, as promised in

"Duaterra, baving got all his properthe conclusion of our last Number. Ev- ty on shore, was now ready to conduct ery village is furnished with a hippah, us to his town, which standing, as I or fortress, some of them constructed mentioned, on the summit of a steep hill, with great skill and ingenuity, and very

2U ATHENEUM. Vol. 2.

• Continued from p, 299.


Nicholas's Narrative of a Voyage to New-Zealand.

[VOL. 2

rendered the approach to it a work of ty of entering it, unless by creeping in some labour and fatigue. upon the hands and knees. The inte"The plantations on the hill, which rior presented nothing to compensate appeared to such advantage at a distance, the trouble of getting in, and a few stones improved still more on a nearer view of thrown together to serve for a fire-place, them, and every thing bespoke not only were the only domestic articles I could the neatness, but even the good taste of possibly discover. Furniture there was the cultivators. Not a weed was to be none, and the smoke finding no egress, seen, and the paling, which was ingen- except through the door-way, which was ious, though simple, gave an effect to the only aperture to be seen, the dismal the inclosure that was peculiarly striking. edifice teemed with suffocating vapour, Before we reached the top we could and formed, with the wretched inmates, perceive that the town was a fortress, of a complete picture of cheerless barbarism. very great strength, considering the rude "But the abject misery of these huts mode of warfare pursued in this island. was in some measure compensated by It was almost encompassed with a deep the sheds outside, which were open, and wide trench, on the inner side of lightsome, and comparatively pleasant. which was formed a breast-work of long Here they always take their meals, as stakes stuck in the ground, at short dis- they make it an invarible rule never to tances from each other, and so compact- eat in their dwellings, and their reasons ly firm as to be capable of resisting for a for observing this practice are founded long time the most impetuous attacks of on certain superstitions of terrific conits undisciplined assailants. Passing troul. Duaterra, in addition to the one this fortification, we entered the town before his hut, had another of these sheds itself, which consisted of some huts built in an adjoining enclosure, where he kept on each side of several little lanes, or his potatoes, coomeras, &c.; and a few rather pathways, for they were made paces outside this, was a little spot, neatbarely wide enough for one person to ly fenced round, where he had erected a pass through at a time. flag-staff, and suspended a flag that had been given to him by the commander of one of our vessels who happened to touch at this part of the island.

"This hill commanded a most noble prospect, taking in at one view a great part of the extensive harbour, and its numerous islands, with the whole of the surrounding country. I found the town much larger than I had first supposed, while reviewing it from the ship, whence only a small portion of it could be seen, from the irregularity of the intervening ground. The huts and sheds, taken together, may probably have been about a hundred, and I estimated the inhabitants at one hundred and fifty or two hundred souls. Polygamy is universal among these islanders, and the number of wives varies in proportion to the circumstances of the individual; there being, however,

"Before each hut was an enclosed space, resembling a court-yard, in which was a shed, or out-house, employed by the inhabitants for various purposes of domestic convenience. The entrance to these enclosures was by stiles ingeniously contrived, and fancifully embellished; and I observed some on which there was a rude carving of the human form. The lanes on our way to Duaterra's residence, which stood on the most elevated part of the bill, were crossed in some parts with these stiles, and we were obliged to pass three of them before we got into the little lane that led up to the door. The hut of this chief, (or if this mean epithet must be discarded for the grandest that can be used, his palace,) differed but little from those of his subjects, and was distinguished only by its being built upon a larger scale, and having more a head wife, who is treated with particuground enclosed around it. It measur- lar respect, and holds an ascendency ed about 20 feet long, 15 broad, and 8 over the husband, which never excites feet in height, with a ridge-like roof, and the jealousy of the others. Duaterra built of sticks, interwoven with rushes. had three wives, and the head one, to The door-way, like all the rest, was so whom he introduced us, was considered very narrow as to preclude the possibili- no less a personage than a queen by all

VOL. 2.]

Nicholas and Marsden's Voyage to New-Zealand.


rivals with as much affection as if they were their own! Adultery is punishable with death, and there is a curious distinction made with regard to this crime, which may furnish some of our barristers with a topic on the next crim, con. case which is tried in the courts.

"If the criminal connection is discovered in the hut belonging to the female, the man is instantly pronounced the seducer, and therefore consigned to death, while the woman escapes with a sound beating; but if the contrary takes place, and the incontinent lady is detected in the man's hut, then she is sentenced to lose her life, being supposed to have allured her gallant, who goes off with impunity."

the people within his territory. Mr. Marsden presented her Majesty with a cotton gown and petticoat, which he told her he had brought from Mrs. Marsden, who wished it to be given to her; and anxious to see how this European dress would become a New Zealand Queen, he helped her to put it on; and it was ludicrous enough to see how adroitly he acted the part of a lady's maid on this occasion. His instructions, showing her how she was to put her arms in the sleeves, and directing her in adjusting the petticoat, amused me exceeding ly; nor was it less laughable to see her majesty's vanity on being decked out in this novel attire. The New Zealand ladies, though the name of fashion has never reached their ears, are quite as Thieves are held in great abhorrence, fond of showing off their charms to ad- and if detected, are not only executed, vantage as our own fair countrywomen; but gibbeted afterwards on a cross. and Duaterra's favourite sultan possessed The cases of natural death are much this passion for display in an extraordi- aggravated by the superstition of these nary degree. She moved about with a people, who suppose that the Deity has strutting affectation of dignity, and giv- taken possession of the patient to destroy ing herself a thousand consequential airs, him, and therefore use no means of cure, looking at her dress, and seeking admira- and often even deny nourishment to the tion, seemed to take all her pride from perishing wretch, who is declared to be the gown and petticoat. But I thought tabooed, or sacred. The corpse is tied her own simple dress of a mat tied round neck and heels, and buried; the grave the waist, was much more becoming; being marked with a piece of painted for being low sized, and very fat, with a wood, or mound of stones, and never round plump face, her new costume, profanely approached, as the place is which was much too tight for such a also said to be tabooed. figure, gave her an awkward and em- This tabooing interferes with most of barrassing stiffness. Her face, however, their customs. Poor Duaterra fell a made ample amends for her unshapely sacrifice to it, during the time the British form, as it had many beauties, which were with him; and his head wife, Dawere both interesting and attractive. hoo, hanged herself through inconsolable She had fine black eyes, sparkling with grief, though she as vehemently as the animation; teeth of an ivory whiteness; rest resisted the administration of media blooming complexion; and all her caments to her dying husband while features peculiarly expressive of cheerful under taboo. A pistol, which he returned complacency. During the absence of to Mr. Nicholas, when in this state, was the chief, she had brought him a son and held to be similarly sacred, and an acheir, a fine healthy-looking boy, that cident which happened to the traveller in was suckled at her breast, and was alternately caressed by the several females in the family of D uaterra."

discharging it incautiously, was imputed by the natives, una voce, to the resentment of the Divinity for the sacrilege of meddling with a tubooed pistol. The following extract will show to what extent the absurdity is carried:

It appears from the above among other things, that polygamy is common in New Zealand, and what is very extraordinary, Mr. Nicholas assures us, that "On going into the town, in the course all the wives live on terms of the greatest of the day, I beheld several of the natives cordiality and friendship with each other, sitting round some baskets of dressed potafrequently nursing the children of their toes; and being invited to join them in


Nicholas's Narrative of a Voyage to New-Zealand.

[VOL. 2

their meal, I mingled with the group, least a few minutes, while, in the mean when I observed one man stoop down time, it would afford me some amusewith his mouth for each morsel, and ment for my trouble. I therefore thrust scrupulously careful in avoiding all con- into his mouth the largest hot potatoe I tact between his hands and the food he could find, and this had exactly the inwas eating. From this I knew at once tended effect; for the fellow, unwilling that he was tabooed; and upon asking to drop it, and not daring to penetrate it the reason of his being so, as he appear- before it should get cool, held it slightly ed in good health, and not afflicted with compressed between his teeth, to the any complaint that could set him with great enjoyment of his countrymen, who out the pale of ordinary intercourse, I laughed heartily, as well as myself, at the found that it was because he was then wry faces he made, and the efforts he building a house, and that he could not used with his tongue, to moderate the be released from the taboo till he had heat of the potatoe, and bring it to the finished it. Being only a cookee, he had temperature of his gums, which were no person to wait upon him, but was evidently smarting from the contact. obliged to submit to the distressing oper- But he bore this trick with the greatest ation of feeding himself in the manner possible good humour; and to make prescribed by the superstitious ordinance; him amends for it, I took care to supply and he was told by the tohunga, or him plentifully, till he cried out, nuee priest, that if he presumed to put one nuee kiki, and could eat no more; an finger to his mouth before he had com- exclamation, however, which he did not pleted the work he was about, the Etua make till there was no more in the baswould certainly punish his impious con- ket. Besides potatoes, they had also at tempt, by getting into his stomach before this feast, (for such it was considered,) his time, and eating him out of the world. muscles and turnips; but the latter had Of this premature destiny he seemed so very much degenerated, and become apprehensive, that he kept his hands as long and fibrous. though they were never made for touch- Leaving this group, after they had ing any article of diet; nor did he suffer finished their banquet, I passed close by them, by even a single motion, to show the hut where Warree, the brother of the least sympathy for his mouth, while Gunnah, resided, and found him very that organ was obliged to use double busy in cutting his wife's hair. This exertions, and act for those members operation he performed with a piece of which superstition had paralysed. sharp stone, called by mineralogists, obSitting down by the side of this deluded sidian, or volcanic glass; cutting the being, whom credulity and ignorance fore part quite close, and leaving all the had rendered helpless, I undertook to feed him, and his appetite being quite voracious, I could hardly supply it as fast as he devoured. Without ever consulting his digestive powers, of which we cannot suppose he had any idea, he spared himself the trouble of mastication; and to lose no time, swallowed down every lump as I put it into his mouth; and I speak within compass, when I assert, that he consumed more food than would have served any two ploughmen in England.-Perfectly tired of ministering to his insatiable gluttony, I was going to take up one of the stones which was still as ravenous as when he he had used; but he charged me not commenced, I now wished for a little to touch it, telling me that this was also intermission, and taking advantage of tabooed, and that the enraged Deity of his situation, I resolved to give him as New Zealand would wreak his immedi much to do as would employ him for at ate vengeance upon my guilty head, if I

hair on the back of the head untouched. When he had completed his task, which took him some time, from the nice precision he observed; he collected together all the hair he had cut off, and laying it up very carefully, went to the outskirts of the town and threw it away. Upon asking him the reason of his doing this, he told me that the hair was tabooed, and could not be left in the town without provoking the anger of the Etua, who would in such case destroy the person from whose head it had been taken.

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