Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

Misfortune does its office: Elizabeth is brought to humility, and to penitence.

• As soon as Emily was gone, she sunk down by the bed side; she wept, but was unable to utter a word; overwhelmed with the strange, glowing feeling of sincerity, and with the new and mighty effort to express a deep, inward sentiment, to a Being invisible, and hitherto wholly unknown.'

We cannot afford room for the sequel.

It will be evident from the extracts we have given from this admirable little tale, that we have scarcely adverted to its most distinguishing excellency, which consists in the judicious remarks with which it abounds in reference to religious subjects, and the unaffected piety which diffuses itself, like a beautiful tint, over the whole production. It is wholly unnecessary, and would, indeed, be impertinent, to institute comparisons between the author of Display and a certain writer of acknowledged genius, whose works betray a melancholy deficiency in this respect; since that deficiency is not a question of merit respecting the writers themselves, but of efficiency as to the moral purpose of their productions. With regard to the importance of this feature, in the present work, our readers can maintain but one opinion.

• The death-scene' in chapter the tenth, is admirably depicted, and displays a very correct moral taste. There is no false pathos,-no attempt to render the scene impressive; we view the scene as by-standers, and feel its reality.-

Death, as personified and decorated by poetry, Emily had frequently contemplated; but she was unacquainted with the realities of a dying bed.

• The moment they entered the room they perceived the altered expression of her countenance; and although Emily had never seen it before, she saw was death in her face. She felt the shock, but would not turn away; “ for if I cannot bear to see it, how shali I endure it?” thought she.

Soon after they entered, she (Eleanor Jones] was seized with a convulsive

spasm,

which lasted several minutes. “Oh, see!” said Emily, “cannot we help her! Is there nothing that would give her any

relief?” “ Nothing, my dear,” said Miss Weston, softly; " it will soon be over."

“ Dear, dear creature!” cried her distressed mother: « please God to release her! for I cannot bear this!"

When the spasm was over, her features became composed, and she looked round upon them with an expression of joyful serenity VOL. VII.

9

[ocr errors]

“ These are only the struggles of nature," said Miss Weston: «« the sting of death is sin:' she does not feel that.”

• At this she smiled, and her lips moved, but they could not distinguish what was said.

"She then lay for some time quite tranquil: they watched her in silence—and at length perceived that she had ceased to breathe.

• Miss Weston then led the mother down stairs; while Emily remained fixed to the spot, gazing on the placid corpse.

• She looked round on the low, tattered chamber, and thought she should never again wish for the vanities of so short a life.

"“ This is how they must all end,” she thought, “ and death would look just the same if this poor bed were a state canopy.'

• It seemed but a moment, not worth caring for, before she herself

must lie down by her side.

« These contemplations were interrupted by the entrance of Miss Weston.

«« Come, Emily, my love,” said she, “ we can do nothing more here, but we may still comfort her poor mother."

““ I should like to stay longer," said Emily,“ I never saw death before: how strange, and awful, and beautiful it is!”

««You have stayed long enough now,” said her friend, and she led her out of the chamber; and as soon as they saw that the mourning mother had said and wept her utmost, they took leave, with many assurances of continued friendship.

When they opened the cottage door they found it was noonday, and bright sunshine.

· Emily had not shed a tear before, but they overflowed at the sight of the bright fields and clear blue sky. * They walked on silently to the entrance of the town.

«« Had not we better go the back way: you will not go through the town this moming, Miss Weston?” said Emily.

«« Why not, my dear?"

«« I always avoid it when I can,” replied Emily, “and just now especially."

F« Unfortunately I have an errand in the town,” said Miss Weston, “at Mrs. Eve's.”

«« At Mrs. Eve's!” said Emily.

• They went on; and Emily was obliged to endure the sight of the shops and people, looking as busy as usual.

• Mrs. Eve's windows were set out with Spring fashions; and when they went in, they found Elizabeth, with her mother, and other ladies, making purchases, and examining the new assortment.

"I was just wishing for you," said Elizabeth, “ to give me your opinion of these sarcenets: which should you prefer, Emily, this rose colour, or the pale blue?”

«« They are both extremely pretty," said Miss Weston, “ but the blue, I think, is the most delicate.”,

pp. 117–120.

Here we must close our extracts. We had intended to transcribe the account of the progress of religion in the mind of Emily Grey, and of its gradual influence on her simple character. But we may now with confidence refer our readers to the work itself. Our opinion of its merits has been pretty distinctly given; we certainly think it one of the best works of the kind, that we have ever seen, and we shall be very glad to receive many more such Tales for Young Peoples from the author of Display,

MISCELLANEOUS SELECTIONS.

The following interesting report has been published in England in a three shil

ling pamphlet. We present it to our readers entire; and have added, in notes,

a translation of the passages printed in the French language. ORIGINAL REPORT OF THE COMMISSION APPOINTED TO CONVOY

NAPOLEON BUONAPARTE TO THE ISLAND OF ELBA. Having, in pursuance of our instructions arrived at Fontainebleau on the evening of the 16th of April, we were invited by generals Bertrand and Drouet to take up our residence in the palace. As soon as mass was finished, we commissioners, viz. the Austrian general Koller, the Russian general Schuwaloff

, the English colonel Campbell, and myself, together with major count Clam Martiniz, who attended general Koller as first adjutant, were presented to Napoleon in a private audience. Our reception was rather cool, and his confusion and indignation were evident at discovering a commissary of the king of Prussia, whom in his former plans he seemed to intimate a design to strike out of the list of sovereigns. Amongst other matters, he inquired of the commissioners if there were any Prussian troops on the route we were destined to take; and upon my answering in the negative, he said, “ Mais en ce cas vous ne devriez pas vous donner la peine de m'accompagner."* I replied, that far from being a trouble, I should rather consider it an honour. He still, however, persisted in his opinion, and, as I observed, that as the king had been pleased to appoint me to the office, it was an honour I could not and would not renounce, he left me, with a countenance expressive of displeasure and confusion. His reception of colonel Campbell was more friendly. He kindly inquired after his wounds, of the battles wherein he had obtained his insig

• Batin that case you need not give yourself the trouble of accompanying me.

nia, and from hence took occasion to speak of the war in Spain, passed many encomiums on the duke of Wellington, and made inquiries relative to his habits, character, &c. Having been informed that colonel Campbell was a Scotchman, he turned the conversation to the poems of Ossian, and praised them for the noble and warlike spirit which they breathed. Our departure had been fixed for to-day, (June 17th,) but the emperor found a pretext for postponing it, by declaring he wished rather to take the road of Briare, Raonne, Lyon, Valence, and Avignon, than that of Auxerre, Lyon, Grenoble, Gap, and Digne. This request, which was made known to us by letter through general Bertrand, was founded upon the following reasons: that agreeably to the treaty, the emperor might be allowed to be escorted by his own guards, and these were stationed upon the road pointed out by him; a road which, besides, was better provided with horses, and had not been the seat of war; and, secondly, that his equipage which had arrived from Orleans had already been directed thither, and awaited him at Briare, where he likewise wished to take another carriage for himself, and unpack many conveniencies he had not then at hand. We were therefore obliged to obtain from Paris orders for postponing our journey, and general Caulincourt, who had taken leave of the emperor and was returning thither, was charged with our despatches. At the emperor's desire, we likewise required a copy of the order transmitted by the French government to the commandant of Elba, relative to the emperor's reception, without which he declared he would not expose himself to the danger or possibility of not being received. On the 18th, at night, we received permission to accede to the emperor's wishes as to our route, together with a transcript of the order for evacuating the island of Elba. This, however, in his opinion, was not expressed sufficiently explicit; he was fearful the artillery of the island would be taken away, and he should then be entirely deprived of all means of defence. It therefore became necessary to send it back again to Paris: but general Koller having assured the emperor every thing should be arranged according to his wishes, our departure was consequently fixed for the 20th. In the meantime Napoleon had despatched nearly a hundred baggage-wagons with money, furniture, bronzes, pictures, statues, and books, and perhaps on this account alone had prolonged his stay at Fontainebleau.

On the 19th he sent for the duke of Bassano, and said to him, “On vous reproche que vous m'avez toujours empeche

de faire la paix; qu'en dites vous?"* Bassano replied, “ Vor tre majeste sait tres bien qu'elle ne m'a jamais consulte, et qu'elle a toujours agi d'apres sa propre sagesse, et sans pren. dre conseil des personnes qui l'entouraient; je ne me suis donc pas trouve dans le cas de lui en donner, mais seulement d'obeyir à ses ordres."| " Je le sais bien,” replied the emperor, quite contented: “ mais je vous en parle pour vous faire connaitre l'opinion qu'on a de vous.”+ Generals Beillard, Ornano, Pe. tit, Dejean, and Korsakowski, colonels Montesquiou, Bussy, and De la Place, the Chambellan Turenne, and the minister Bassano, were the persons of most consideration who remained with him till his departure. They then returned to Paris, General Bertrand and Drouet alone accompanied and remained with him. General Lefebvre Desnouettes went forward as far as Nivers, in order to await and take leave of him there.

His Mameluke Rustan, and his chief valet Constant, had left him a few days before, after each had received from him a considerable sum of money. It is impossible to regard them without contempt.

On the 20th of April, at ten o'clock in the morning, the carriages were drawn up for departure in the court-yard of Fontainebleau, when the emperor sent for general Koller, and addressed him in these words:—“ J'ai reflechi sur ce qu'il me restait a faire, je me suis decide a ne pas partir. Les allies ne restent pas fideles aux engagemens qu'ils out pris envers moi. Je puis donc aussi revoquer mon abdication, qui n'etait toujours que conditionelle. Plus de mille adresses me sont parvenues cette nuit, ou l'on me conjure de reprendre les renes du gouvernement; je n'avoit renonce a tous mes droits a la couronne, que pour épargner a la France les horreurs d'une guerre civile, n'ayant jamais eu d'autre but que sa gloire et son bonheur; mais connaissant aujourd'hui le mecontentement qu'inspirent les mesures prises par le nouveau gouvernement; voyant de quelle maniere on remplit les promesses qui m'ont ete faites; je puis expliquer maintenant a mes gardes, quels sont les motifs, qui me font revoquer

You are reproached with having always prevented me from making peace; wbat say you to it?

† Your majesty knows very well that he has never consulted me, and that he has always acted according to his own wisdom, and without taking advice from those who surrounded him. It was not then for me to give him any, but only to obey his orders.

# I knew it well: I only speak of the subject to let you know the opinion that is entertained of you.

« ZurückWeiter »