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Mustapha fell at once from the heights of During this memorable campaign, Sobieski, confidence to the depths of despair. Can who through life was a tender and affectionate you not aid me?' said he to the Kara of the husband, wrote daily to his wife. At the agt Crimea. "I know the King of Poland,' said of fifty-four he had lost nothing of the tenderhe, and I tell you, that with such an enemy ness and enthusiasm of his earlier years. In we have no chance of safety but in flight.' one of them he says, “I read all your letters, Mustapha in vain strove to rally his troops; my dear and incomparable Maria, thrice over; all, seized with a sudden panic, fled, not daring once when I receive them, once when I retire to lift their eyes to heaven. The cause of to my tent and am alone with my love, once Europe, of Christianity, of civilization, had when I sit down to answer them. I beseech prevailed. The wave of the Mussulman power you, my beloved, do not rise so early; no had retired, and retired never to return. health can stand such exertions; if you do,

“At six in the evening, Sobieski entered the you will destroy my health, and what is worse, Turkish camp. He arrived first at the quar- injure your own, which is my sole consolaters of the vizier. At the entrance of that vast tion in this world.” When offered the throne enclosure a slave met him, and presented him of Poland, it was at first proposed that he with the charger and golden bridle of Musta- should divorce his wife, and marry the widow pha. He took the bridle, and ordered one of of the late king, to reconcile the contending his followers to set out in haste for the Queen faction. “I am not yet a king,” said he, “and of Poland, and say that he who owned that have contracted no obligations towards the bridle was vanquished; then planted his nation: Let them resume their gift; I disdain standard in the midst of that armed caravan- the throne if it is to be purchased at such a sera of all the nations of the East, and ordered price." Charles of Lorraine to drive the besiegers It is superfluous, after these quotations, to from the trenches before Vienna. It was say any thing of the merits of M. Salvandy's already done; the Janizzaries had left their work. It unites, in a rare degree, the qualities posts on the approach of night, and, after sixty of philosophical thought with brilliant and days of open trenches, the imperial city was, vivid description; and is one of the numerous delivered.

instances of the vast superiority of the Modern “On the following morning the magnitude French Historians to most of those of whom of the victory appeared. One hundred and Great Britain, in the present age, can boast. twenty thousand tents were still standing, not- If any thing could reconcile us to the march withstanding the attempts at their destruction of revolution, it is the vast development of by the Turks; the innumerable multitude of talent which has taken place in France since the Orientals had disappeared; but their spoils, her political convulsions commenced, and the their horses, their camels, their splendour, new field which their genius has opened up loaded the ground. The king at ten approached in historical disquisitions. On comparing the Vienna. He passed through the breach, where historians of the two countries since the restoby but for him on that day the Turks. would ration, it seems as if they were teeming with have found an entrance. At his approach the the luxuriance of a virgin soil; while we are streets were cleared of their ruins; and the sinking under the sterility of exhausted culpeople, issuing from their cellars and their tivation. Steadily resisting, as we trust we tottering houses, gazed with enthusiasm on shall ever do, the fatal march of French intheir deliverer. They followed him to the novation, we shall yet never be found wanting church of the Augustins, where, as the clergy in yielding due praise to the splendour of had not arrived, the king himself chanted Te French talent; and in the turn which political Deum. This service was soon after performed speculation has recently taken among the with still greater solemnity in the cathedral of most elevated minds in their active metropolis, St. Stephen; the king joined with his face to we are not without hopes that the first rays the ground. It was there that the priest used of the dawn are to be discerned, which is. the inspired words—There was a man sent destined to compensate to mankind for the from heaven, and his name was John.'"-III. darkness and blood of the revolution. 50, 101.

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AMIDST the deluge of new and ephemeral | every minute to meditate on the novelty or publications under which the press both in justice of the reflections which arise from its France and England is groaning, and the study. And it is not on the first perusal of woful depravity of public taste, in all branches these authors that this exquisite pleasure is of literature, which in the former country has obtained. In the heyday of youth and strength, followed the Revolution of the Three Glorious when imagination is ardent, and the world Days, it is not the least important part of the unknown, it is the romance of the story, or the duty of all those who have any share, however general strain of the argument which carries inconsiderable, in the direction of the objects the reader on, and many of the finest and most to which public thought is to be applied, to spiritual reflections are overlooked or unrecur from time to time to the great and appreciated; but in later years, when life has standard works of a former age; and from been experienced, and joy and sorrow felt, amidst the dazzling light of passing meteors when the memory is stored with recollections, in the lower regions of the atmosphere, to and the imagination with images, it is reflecendeavour to direct the public gaze to those tion and observation which constitute the chief fixed luminaries whose radiance in the higher attraction in composition. And judging of the heavens shines, and ever will shine, in im- changes wrought by Time in others from what perishable lustre. From our sense of the im- we have experienced ourselves, we anticipate portance and utility of this attempt, we are a high gratification, even in the best informed not to be deterred by the common remark, readers, by a direction of their attention to that these authors are in everybody's hands; many passages in the great French writers of that their works are read at school, and their the age of Louis XIV. and the Revolution, a names become as household sounds.

We comparison of their excellences, a criticism know that many things are read at school on their defects, and an exposition of the which are forgotten at college; and many mighty influence which the progress of polithings learned at college which are unhappily tical events has had upon the ideas reflected, and permanently discarded in later years; and even to the greatest authors, from the age in that there are many authors whose names are which they lived, and the external events as household sounds, whose works for that passing around them. very reason are as a strange and unknown The two great eras of French prose literatongue. Every one has heard of Racine and ture are those of Louis XIV. and the RevoMolière, of Bossuet and Fénélon, of Voltaire lution. If the former can boast of Bossuet, and Rousseau, of Chateaubriand and Madame the latter can appeal to Chateaubriand: if the de Staël, of Pascal and Rabelais. We would former still shine in the purest lustre in beg to ask even our best informed and most Fénélon, the latter may boast the more fervent learned readers, with how many of their works pages, and varied genius of De Staël ; if the they are really familiar; how many of their former is supreme in the tragic and comic felicitous expressions have sunk into their muse, and can array Racine, Corneille and recollections; how many of their ideas are Molière, àgainst the transient Lilliputians of engraven on their memory? Others may the romantic school, the latter can show in possess more retentive memories, or more ex- the poetry and even the prose of Lamartine a tensive reading than we do; but we confess, condensation of feeling, a depth of pathos and when we apply such a question, even to the energy of thought which can never be reached constant study of thirty years, we feel not a but in an age which has undergone the animatlittle mortified at the time which has been ing episodes, the heart-stirring feelings consemisapplied, and the brilliant ideas once ob- quent on social convulsion. In the branches of tained from others which have now faded literature which depend on the relations of men from the recollection, and should rejoice much to each other, history-politics-historical phito obtain from others that retrospect of past losophy and historical romance, the superiority greatness which we propose ourselves to lay of the modern school is so prodigious, that it before our readers.

is impossible to find a parallel to it in former Every one now is so constantly in the habit of days: and even the dignified language and reading the new publications, of devouring eagle glance of the Bishop of Meaux sinks the fresh productions of the press, that we for- into insignificance, compared to the vast ability get the extraordinary superiority of standard which, in inferior minds, experience and actual works; and are obliged to go back to the suffering have brought to bear on the in. studies of our youth for that superlative en- vestigation of public affairs. Modern writers joyment which arises from the perusal of were for long at a loss to understand the causa authors, where every sentence is thought, and which had given such superior pathos, eneroften every word conception; where new trains gy, and practical wisdom to the historians of of contemplation or emotion are awakened in antiquity; but the French Revolution at once every page, and the volume is closed almost explained the mystery. When modern times

were brought into collision with the passions * Blackwood's Magazine, June 1837.

and the suffering consequent on democratic ascendency and social convulsion, they were sity have learned to abjure both much of the not long of feeling the truths which experience fanciful El Dorado speculations of preceding had taught to ancient writers, and acquiring philosophy, and the perilous effusions of sucthe power of vivid description and condensed ceeding republicanism. Though the one was yet fervent narrative by which the great his- by birth and habit an aristocrat of the ancient torians of antiquity are characterized.

and now decaying school, and the other, a At the head of the modern prose writers of liberal nursed at the feet of the great Gamaliel France, we place Madame de Staël, Chateau- of the Revolution, yet there is no material difbriand, and Guizot: The general style of the ference in their political conclusions; so comtwo first and the most imaginative of these pletely does a close observation of the progress writers--De Staël and Chateaubriand-is es- of a revolution induce the same conclusions sentially different from that of Bossuet, Fénélon in minds of the highest stamp, with whatever and Massillon. We have no longer either the early prepossessions the survey may have thoughts, the language, or the images of these been originally commenced. The Dix Années great and dignified writers! With the pompous d'Exil, and the observations on the French grandeur of the Grande Monarque; with the revolution, might have been written by Chaawful splendour of the palace, and the irresisti- teaubriand, and Madame de Staël would have ble power of the throne; with the superb mag- little wherefrom to dissent in the Monarchie nificence of Versailles, its marbles, halls, and selon la Charte, or later political writings of forests of statues, have passed away the train her illustrious rival. of thought by which the vices and corruption It is by their works of imagination, taste, then chiefly prevalent in society were combated and criticism, however, that these immortal by these worthy soldiers of the militia of writers are principally celebrated, and it is Christ. Strange to say, the ideas of that des- with them that we propose to commence this potic age are more condemnatory of princes; critical survey. Their names are universally more eulogistic of the people, more con- known : Corinne, Delphine, De l'Allemagne, firmatory of the principles which, if pushed to the Dix Années d'Exil, and De la Littérature, their legitimate consequences, lead to demo- are as familiar in sound, at least, to our ears, cracy, than those of the age when the sove- as the Genie de Christianisme, the Itineraire, reignty of the people was actually established. the Martyrs, Atala et Réné of the far-travelled In their eloquent declamations, the wisdom, pilgrim of expiring feudalism, are to our justice, and purity of the masses are the con- memories. Each has beauties of the very stant subject of eulogy; almost all social and highest cast in this department, and yet their political evils are traced to the corruptions of excellences are so various, that we know not courts and the vices of kings. The applause to which to award the palja. If driven to disof the people, the condemnation of rulers, in criminate between them, we should say that Telemachus, often resembles rather the frothy De Staël has more sentiment, Chateaubriand declamations of the Tribune in favour of the more imagination ; that the former has deeper sovereign multitude, than the severe lessons knowledge of human feelings, and the latter addressed by a courtly prelate to the heir of a more varied and animated pictures of human despotic throne. With a fearless courage manners; that the charm of the former conworthy of the highest commendation, and very sists chiefly in the just and profound views of different from the base adulation of modern life, its changes and emotions with which her times to the Baal of popular power, Bossuet, works abound, and the fascination of the latter Massillon, and Bourdaloue, incessantly rung in the brilliant phantasmagoria of actual in the ears of their courtly auditory the equality scenes, impressions, and events which his of mankind in the sight of heaven and the writings exhibit. No one can exceed Madame awful words of judgment to come. These im- de Staël in the expression of the sentiment or aginary and Utopian effusions now excite a poetry of nature, or the development of the smile, even in the most youthful student; and varied and storied associations which historia suffering age, taught by the experienced cal scenes or monuments never fail to awaken evils of democratic ascendency, has now in the cultivated mind; but in the delineation learned to appreciate, as they deserve, the pro- of the actual features she exhibits, or the found and caustic sayings in which Aristotle, painting of the various and gorgeous scenery Sallust, and Tacitus have delivered to future or objects she presents, she is greatly inferior ages the condensed wisdom on the instability to the author of the Genius of Christianity. and tyranny of the popular rule, which ages She speaks emotion to the neart, not pictures of calamity had brought home to the sages of to the eye. Chateaubriand, on the other hand, antiquity.

has dipped his pencil in the finest and most In Madame de Staël and Chateaubriand we radiant hues of nature: with a skili surpassing have incomparably more originality and va- even that of the Great Magician of ihe North, riety of thought; far more just and expe- he depicts all the most splendid scenes of both rienced views of human affairs; far more hemispheres; and seizing with the inspiration condensed wisdom, which the statesman and of genius on the really characteristic features the philosopher may treasure in their memo- of the boundless variety of objects he has ries, than in the great writers of the age of visited, brings them before us with a force and Louis XIV. We see at once in their produc- fidelity which it is impossible to surpass. tions that we are dealing with those who speak After all, however, on rising from a perusal from experience of human affairs; to whom of the great works of these two authors, it is years of suffering have brought centuries of hard to say which has left the most indelible wisdom; and whom the stern school of adver- impression on the mind; for if the one has

accumulated a store of brilliant pictures which incessantly occupied with no other object but have never yet been rivalled, the other has the gratification of vanity, the thraldom of atdrawn from the objects on which she has tachment, or the imperious demands of beauty, touched all the most profound emotions which and the strongest propensity of cultivated life, they could awaken; and if the first leaves a the besoin d'aimer, influencing, for the best part of gorgeous scene painted on the mind, the latter their lives, the higher classes of both sexes. has engraved a durable impression on the In such representation there would probably heart.

be nothing in the hands of an ordinary writer CORINNE is not to be regarded as a novel, but frivolous or possibly pernicious details; Boarding-school girls, and youths just fledged but by Madame de Staël it is touched on so from college, may admire it as such, and dwell gently, so strongly intermingled with sentiwith admiration on the sorrows of the heroine ment, and traced so naturally to its ultimate and the faithlessness of Lord Nevil; but con- and disastrous effects, that the picture besidered in that view it has glaring faults, both comes not merely characteristic of manners, in respect of fancy, probability, and story, and but purifying in its tendency. will bear no comparison either with the great The Dix ĂNNEES D'Exil, though abounding novels of Sir Walter Scott, or the secondary with fewer splendid and enchanting passages, productions of his numerous imitators. The is written in a higher strain, and devoted to real view in which to regard it is as a picture more elevated objects than the Italian novel. of Italy; its inhabitants, feelings, and recollec- It exhibits the Imperial Government of Napotions; its cloudless skies and glassy seas; its leon in the palmy days of his greatness; when forest-clad hills and sunny vales; its umbra- all the Continent had bowed the neck to his geous groves and mouldering forms; its heart-power, and from the rock of Gibraltar to the inspiring ruins and deathless scenes. As such Frozen Ocean, not a voice dared to be lifted it is superior to any work on that subject which against his commands. It shows the internal has appeared in any European language. No- tyranny and vexations of this formidable where else shall we find so rich and glowing power; its despicable jealousies and conan intermixture of sentiment with description; temptible vanity; its odious restrictions and of deep feeling for the beauty of art, with a tyrannizing tendency. We see the censorship correct perception of its leading principles; chaining the human mind to the night of the of historical lore with poetical fancy; of ar- tenth in the opening of the nineteenth century: dour in the cause of social amelioration, with the commands of the police fettering every charity to the individuals who, under unfortu- effort of independent thought and free discusnate institutions, are chained to a life of indo- sion; forty millions of men slavishly following lence and pleasure. Beneath the glowing sun the car of a victor, who, in exchange for all and azure skies of Italy she has imbibed the the advantages of freedom, hoped but never real modern Italian spirit: she exhibits in the obtained from the Revolution, dazzled them mouth of her heroine all that devotion to art, with the glitter only of gilded chains. In her that rapturous regard to antiquity, that insou- subsequent migrations through Tyrol, Poland, ciance in ordinary life, and constant besoin of Russia, and Sweden, to avoid his persecution fresh excitement by which that remarkable during the years which preceded the Russian people are distinguished from any other at war, we have the noblest picture of the elepresent in Europe. She paints them as they vated feelings which, during this period of really are; living on the recollection of the general oppression, were rising up in the napast, feeding on the glories of their double set tions which yet preserved a shadow of indeof illustrious ancestors; at times exulting in pendence, as well as of the heroic stand made the recollection of the legions which subdued by Alexander and his brave subjects against the world, at others recurring with pride to the memorable invasion which ultimately the glorious though brief days of modern art; proved their oppressor's ruin.

These are mingling the names of Cæsar, Pompey, Cicero, animating themes; and though not in general and Virgil with those of Michael Angelo, Ra- inclined to dwell on description, or enrich her phael, Buonarotti, and Correggio; repeating work with picturesque narrative, the scenery with admiration the stanzas of Tasso as they of the north had wakened profound emotions glide through the deserted palaces of Venice, in her heart which appear in many touches and storing their minds with the rich creations and reflections of no ordinary sublimity. of Ariosto's fancy as they gaze on the stately Chateaubriand addresses himself much more monuments of Rome.

habitually and systematically to the eye. He Not less vividly has she portrayed, in the paints what he has seen, whether in nature, language, feelings, and character of her he- society, manners, or art, with the graphic skill roine, the singular intermixture with these of a consummate draughtsman; and produces animating recollections of all the frivolity, the emotion he is desirous of awakening, not which has rendered impossible, without a by direct words calculated to arouse it, but by fresh impregnation of northern vigour, the enabling the imagination to depict to itself the regeneration of Italian society. We see in objects which in nature, by their felicitous comher pages, as we witness in real life, talents bination, produced the impression. Madame the most commanding, beauty the most fasci. de Staël does not paint the features of the nating, graces the most captivating, devoted scene, but in a few words she portrays the to no other object but the excitement of a emotion which she experienced on heholding transient passion; infidelity itself subjected to it, and contrives by these few words to awaken certain restraints, and boasting of its fidelity it in her readers; Chateaubriand enumerates

ne attachment; whole classes of society with a painter's power all the features of the

scene, and by the vividness of description glorious orb is at once rising-resplendent at succeeds not merely in painting it on the noonday, and setting in the west, or rather retina of the mind, but in awakening there the our senses deceive us, and there is, properly precise emotion which he himself felt on speaking, no east, or south, or west, in the beholding it. The one speaks to the heart world. Every thing reduces itself to one single through the eye, the other to the eye through point, from whence the King of Day sends the heart. As we travel with the illustrious forth at once a triple light in one single subpilgrim of the Revolution, we see rising before stance. The bright splendour is perhaps that us in successive clearness the lonely temples, which nature can present that is most beautiand glittering valleys, and storied capes of ful; for while it gives us an idea of the perGreece; the desert plains and rocky ridges petual magnificence and resistless power of and sepulchral hollows of Judea; the solitary God, it exhibits, at the same time, a shining palms and stately monuments of Egypt; the image of the glorious Trinity.” isolated remains of Carthage, the deep solitudes

Human eloquence probably cannot, in dem of America, the sounding cataracts, and still scription, go beyond this inimitable passage; lakes, and boundless forests of the New World. but it is equalled in the pictures left us by the Not less vivid is his description of human same author of two scenes in the New World. scenes and actions, of which, during his event- “One evening, when it was a profound calm, ful career, he has seen such an extraordinary we were sailing through those lovely seas variety; the Janissary, the Tartar, the Turk'; which bathe the coast of Virginia, -all the the Bedouins of the desert places, the Numi- sails were furled-Iwas occupied below when dians of the torrid zone; the cruel revolution- I heard the bell which called the mariners ists of France; the independent savages of upon deck to prayers--I hastened to join my America; the ardent mind of Napoleon, the orisons to those of the rest of the crew. The dauntless intrepidity of Pitt. Nothing can officers were on the forecastle, with the passenexceed the variety and brilliancy of the pictures gers; the priest, with his prayer-book in his which he leaves engraven on the imagination hand, stood a little in advance; the sailors were of his reader; but he has neither touched the scattered here and there on the deck; we were heart nor convinced the judgment like the all above, with our faces turned towards the profound hand of his female rival.

prow of the vessel, which looked to the west. To illustrate these observations we have “The globe of the sun, ready to plunge intu selected two of the most brilliant descriptions the waves, appeared between the ropes of the from Chateaubriand's Genie de Christianisme, vessel in the midst of boundless space. You and placed beside these two of the most in- would have imagined, from the balancing of spired of Madame de Staël's passages on the poop, that the glorious luminary changed Roman sceneryWe shall subjoin two of the at every instant its horizon. A few light clouds most admirable descriptions by Sir Walter were scattered without order in the east, where Scott, that the reader may at once have pre- the moon was slowly ascending; all the rest of sented to his view the masterpieces, in the the sky was unclouded. Towards the north, descriptive line, of the three greatest authors forming a glorious triangle with the star of day of the age. All the passages are translated by and that of night, a glittering cloud arose from ourselves; we have neither translations at the sea, resplendent with the colours of the hand, nor inclination to mar so much elo- prism, like a crystal pile supporting the vault quence by the slovenly dress in which it usual- of heaven. ly appears in an English version.

“He is much to be pitied who could have There is a God! The herbs of the valley, witnessed this scene, without feeling the beauthe cedars of the mountain, bless him--the ty of God. Tears involuntarily flowed from insect sports in his beams--the elephant my eyes, when my companions, taking off salutes him with the rising orb of day--the their hats, began to sing, in their hoarse strains, bird sings him in the foliage--the thunder the simple hymn of Our Lady of Succour. proclaims him in the heavens—the ocean de- How touching was that prayer of men, who, clares his immensity-man alone has said, on a fragile plank, in the midst of the ocean, • There is no God !

contemplated the sun setting in the midst of “Unite in thought, at the same instant, the the waves! How that simple invocation of the most beautiful objects in nature; suppose that mariners to the mother of woes, went to the you see at once all the hours of the day, and heart! The consciousness of our littleness all the seasons of the year; a morning of in the sight of Infinity-our chants prolonged spring and a morning of autumn; a night be-afar over the waves--night approaching with spangled with stars, and a night covered with its sable wings a whole crew of a vessel clouds; meadows enamelled with flowers, filled with admiration and a holy fear-God forests hoary with snow; fields gilded by the bending over the abyss, with one hand retaintints of autumn; then alone you will have a ing the sun at the gates of the west, with the just conception of the universe. While you other raising the moon in the east, and yet are gazing on that sun which is plunging under lending an attentive ear to the voice of prayer the vault of the west, another observer admires ascending from a speck in the immensityall him emerging from the gilded gates of the east., combined to form an assemblage which can By what unconceivable magic does that aged not be described, and of which the human star, which is sinking fatigued and burning in heart could hardly bear the weight. the shades of the evening, reappear at the same “The scene at land was not less ravishing instant fresh and humid with the rosy dew of One evening I had lost my way in a forest, at the morning? At every instant of the day the a short distance from the Falls of Niagam

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