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ed forward to hold a corner of the pall.* more limited genius, tempered by a In the south transept of Westminster methodical mind, his life would have Abbey, adjoining Poet's corner, the been happier for himself, more profitdust of Sheridan moulders, under a able to his friends, his family, and deplain, flat stone, on which is incribed, pendants, and the moral lesson it sup* Richard Brinsley Sheridan, born plies would have been less distressing, 1751, died 7th July, 1816. This though, perhaps, not equally instrucmarble is the tribute of an attached tive. friend, Peter Moore." Three similar In 1826, a volume was published, stones in close juxtaposition with
this, which contains a selection of the best form a continuous parallelogram. They authenticated anecdotes in connexion cover the remains of John Henderson, with the subject. From this compilation David Garrick, and Samuel Johnson. it appears that the author of The School It would be difficult to select four more for Scandal was passionately given to remarkable men lying together in the betting, that he was fond of practical peaceful communion of the grave, jokes, and often indulged in witticisms throughout the vast extent of that at his own expense; which he enjoyed thickly peopled and time-honoured ne- with as much gusto as did the listeners. cropolis.
In the latter practice he has had few At the opening of Drury-lane Thea. imitators. Tom Sheridan closely retre, on September 7th, 1816, “A sembled his sire in many points of chaMonody on the death of Sheridan," by racter and peculiar humour. He too Lord Byron, was spoken by Mrs. Da- is dead, as is also his second son, vison, and repeated for five successive Frank; but the eldest, Charles Brinsley, evenings. It was written in a great lives " a prosperous gentleman,” mar. hurry, on very short notice, and can ried to the daughter of the late distinscarcely be ranked amongst the hap- guished General Sir Colquhoun Grant piest of the noble bard's minor compo- (well remembered as commanding the sitions. The two concluding lines have Dublin garrison), by which union he been often quoted with commenda- obtained an ample fortune. The line tion:
of Sheridan, originally from the middle
ranks, and with slender means, ex* We mourn that nature formd but one such man, And broke the die in moulding Sheridan."
pands and has soared up in two gene.
rations, until connected (and likely to The idea is forcible, and well ex- be perpetuated, through their descendpressed, but not original; being bor- ants) with the high aristocracy of the rowed almost literally, and without land. Three grand-daughters of the acknowledgment, from Ariosto's well subject of this memoir are ennobled in known sentence
the peerage, and have long been cele" Natura lo fece, e poi ruppe la stampa.”
brated for mental accomplishments and
personal charms. Lady Seymour was It would be superfluous here to specially selected to represent the enter into a review of Sheridan's pre- Queen of Beauty at the Eglinton tour. tensions as a writer, his qualities as a nament, and the various works of the legislator, or his frailties as a man. Hon. Mrs. Norton prove that she is the All this has been done so often that genuine scion of a gifted family. Berepetition would be wearisome. Few fore closing this notice, it is proper to individuals have been so highly en mention, that Miss Sheridan, the sister dowed, and a still smaller number have of the great author, produced one dra80 thoroughly wasted rich gifts, and matic performance, entitled The Amthrown away golden opportunities. If biguous Lover, which was acted at the he had possessed a greater share of Crow-street Theatre in Dublin, in the worldly judgment and prudence, with a
year 1781, but never printed.
J. W. C.
The Dukes of York and Sussex. The pall-bearers were, the Duke of Bedford, the Earl of Lauderdale, the Earl of Mulgrave, the Lord Bishop of London, Lord Holland, and Lord Spencer.
WORKS OF NAPOLEON III. *
Tue visit of the Emperor and Empress of France - now that it is over, and the fine writing of the newspapers on the subject has ceased - must still be regarded as a great historical fact. It takes its place among those pageant incidents which, looking back into history, seem commemorative of cer. tain epochs, either as points of culmination in which the spirit of the era attained its greatest splendour, or as points of departure, from which human progress took a new direction. We are too near the historical pageant we have just seen performed to guess the character it will have in history; meantime, its chief effect has been to centre the eyes of all on him who played the principal part in it.
Louis Napoleon is, out of sight, the most conspicuous man at present alive-whether we regard bis descent from that race which produced Napoleon I., his own remarkable career prior to his accession to power, or the wisdom and sagacity which has since characterised his administration, there is no one who so universally attracts European attention. And, even if there were no elements of romance in his career — were he simply a legitimate monarch, destined to the purple from his cradle - the formidable power which he wields, the peculiarity of his position, and the greatness of the present crisis, in which he must act the most important part, were sufficient to rivet on him the eyes of all those who pay the slightest attention to those political questions which deal with the future destiny of the world. But when both these elements of interest are combined when the most romantic of careers sees its hero in the possession of the whole power of France, and master of the position in the great struggle of nations, we cannot overestimate the interest and importance attachable to anything which can give an insight to his character and mode of thought, and afford us
some clue in our speculations as to what is likely to be the future of one apparently so marked out from the rest of the species.
Now, a man's writings have always been regarded as one of the best indexes to his character: the reason is, that his writings are his thoughts. We propose, therefore, to make use of this index to character, in attempting to attain some insight into that of Napo, leon III.
The volumes before us purport to contain his collected works. They were published in Paris in 1854, we believe under his personal superintendenceat all events, with his full consent and approval.
Independent of the interest attachable to them from the remarkable character of their author, the intrinsic merit of many articles in the collection is very considerable : so much so that, if it were not for their condensed style and unornamented diction, we are convinced they would have secured to Louis Napoleon no ordinary reputation as a writer; and now that his political position commands attention, this want of artistic interest will not prevent them from being extensively read; and we predict with confidence that the more they are known and studied, the more will the estimation of Louis Napoleon as a man of intellect be enhanced.
But the excessive condensation of his style renders the task we have undertaken peculiarly difficult ; for it is impossible to give a just view of the contents of these volumes either by quotation or by giving a general idea of his method of reasoning on the multifarious topics he discusses. The one method would exhibit our author in his weakest aspect, as he is deficient in point and imagination as a writer ; the other method could not be ade. quately carried out in fewer words than the author himself employs. Indeed, these volumes are rather like
* " Les Euvres de Napoleon III.” Libraire d'Amyot Fditeur, 8, Rue de la Paix 2 vols. 1854.
a review-and not a very lively one- two contrary elements – the one the than like an original work; and how spring of immortality and progress, are we to review a review ?
the other that of disease and disorganIn these circumstances, we think isation. the best method we can pursue, in Hence the origin of government, as order to give a fair account of Louis a means of developing the higher eleNapoleon's writings, will be to go over ments, and of impeding the downward the different articles seriatim, discuss. tendencies, of society. But, as every ing fully those subjects which seem to nation has its idiosyncrasy, a model us to be of importance, briefly indi- government suited to all is impossible. cating the leading idea in others, and On the contrary, the government of giving only the names of such articles each nation, if a good one, must differ, as seem to us of no general importance in some respects, from that of all or interest. This plan implies a cha- others; a diversity which must be coriness in disquisitions of our own. We extensive with difference in race, in will in general leave Louis Napoleon climate, and in that previous history to speak for himself; and, at once and out of which has sprung those national at the outset, give up any pretensions habits and traditions which, to so great to originality on our part, and all in- an extent, distinguish from each other tention of showing off our own powers the different nations of the earth. of political speculation.
But, irrespective of the necessity of The principal treatise in these vo- adapting government to national pelames, and that on which Louis Na- culiarities, there is another difficulty poleon seems ready to rest his literary inherent in its very notion ; for, fame, is “ L'Idée Napoleonienne;" whereas nothing is necessary to deveand we cannot better describe its lop the divine principle in society but purport than by saying that it is an liberty and labour, compulsion and attempt to solve the great historical restraint are the main instruments to problem of Napoleon Bonaparte. The be employed in checking the action of theory propounded may generally be the causes of decline and fall. Thus described as an attempt to prove, that the means of government are, to a the whole career of this most reinark, certain extent, contradictory; for, if able of men, was the strict development liberty be unrestrained, vice will deof a preconceived plan, in which no- velop itself fully as fast as the higher thing was impulsive, but all flowed in principles of civilisation ; and, on the logical sequence from certain fixed other hand, if liberty be restrained, principles which he ever kept in view. the legislator runs the risk of impeding We do not believe that this solution is the growth of social good, as well as correct, or that Napoleon I. was so of its opposite. purely an intellectual monster as it This statement of the case being would make him: but it is, after all, premised-government being essentinearly as good as any other with ally relative, and always, at best, but which the world has yet been fa- a balance betwixt contradictory modes voured.
of action - the question relative to NaIn approaching his subject, Louis poleon Bonaparte is two-fold. First, Napoleon first tries to establish an Did he rightly apprehend the peculiar ideal of government. He adopts, as character of the French nation? and, his text, the celebrated pensée of Pas- second, Did he hit upon the best equical: “Le genre humain est un homme poise between the opposing forces by qui ne meurt jamais, et qui se perfec- which government must act? The tionne toujours," which he paraphrases first question receives its answer in the somewhat thus: The human race does general scope of the treatise; and, as not die, but it is subject to all the we go on, we will find that, in Louis maladies of the individual; and, al- Napoleon's opinion, bis uncle instincthough it perfects itself ceaselessly, it tively adapted himself to the esprit is not exempt from human passions Française. The second question nethe cause, to the race as to the indi- cessitates an inquiry into the state of vidual, alike of elevation and of degra- France when Bonaparte seized the dation; and, as in man there are two supreme power. Now, in justice to natures and two instincts—the one in. Napoleon Bonaparte, it cannot be too ducing to perfection, the other to de- distinctly kept in view that, on his ad. cay; so society contains in its bosom
vent to power, the disorganisation of France was complete. The old sys- defunct, the kingly principle alone was tem of things had been utterly ruined; obtainable, and only in the form of the every institution had in turn been de- imperial power of Napoleon. On the stroyed, and all attempts at recon- other hand, the temporary interests of struction had only resulted in a more the community, fluctuating from day to wide-spread anarchy. It was the task day, and which had no adequate proof Napoleon I. to select, out of the tection under the old regime, were now mass of heterogeneous and discordant to be committed to the guardianship elements the principles of order and of a body chosen from the people by government. This task he accom. some method of popular election. plished under the guidance of a prin- But while Napoleon I. found it ciple, as simple as judicious. He saw very easy and natural to attend to the that, although the old order of things permanent interests of society, it was was utterly bereft of vitality, still its impossible, our author says, fully to forms were the channels tbrough which protect the temporary interests. Their the French nation had been accustom rights were, in the meantime, to be ed to receive the mandates and feel deferred to a more convenient oppor. the influence of authority. On the tunity. Still, according to our author, other hand, the revolution had evoked liberty was the principle which was new principles of action, and created ultimately to triumph under Napoleon's new interests; in particular, it had policy., “Her name, no doubt, was not utterly abolished all caste, and left a at the head of the laws of the empire, free course for talent, irrespective of nor placarded in the streets, but every birth. Napoleon, therefore, retained law of the empire prepared her reign the old forms, as the channels of autho. tranquil and sure." But, meantime, rity, but poured into them the energy it was necessary, first of all, to drive and ambition of the revolution. This back the foreign enemy; and that being policy was not his invention, though done, it still remained to repress the our author speaks of it as if it were. bitter hatred of parties; and where Julius Cæsar acted on the same prin. there was neither religion, patriotism, ciple, with this single and instructive nor public faith, to create them. Above difference, that he infused monarchical all was it necessary to give dignity ideas into republican forms, whereas and prestige to government, the very Napoleon infused republican ideas into principle of which had been discreditforms derived from the monarchy. ed. But to accomplish all this, force This difference arose from their posi- even despotism-was necessary. tions being inverted relatively to each So argues Louis Napoleon as to the other. In both, the design was to policy open to his uncle, and so, doubtamalgamate the old with the new. But less, would he justify his own governto return to France: the old forms ment; nor are we prepared to dispute alone were not sufficient to satisfy the that in either case the justification is requirements of the new society: it insufficient :was necessary to institute new ones.
« Il faut plaindre les peuples (says our Napoleon did so; but, according to
author) qui veulent récolter avant d'avoir lahis nephew, the following was the
bouré le champ, ensemencé la terre et donné somewhat elaborate reasoning wbich
à la plante le temps de germer d'éclore et de guided hiin in the task. Reverting to
mûrir, une erreur fatale est de croire qu'il sufthe parallel between the individual and
fise d'une declaration de principes pour consociety, it is to be observed that as
stituer un nouvel ordre de choses." man has permanent and temporary interests, so bas society; and as, in the Napoleon was less tyrannical than one case, reason is the guardian over the governments which preceded him. the first class of interests, while the Like our friends the Americans, the others are cared for by inclination and French Republicans had been someappetite — so, in society, it behoves what inconsistent. They could hardly that there be a permanent guardian of speak without an ovation to liberty, permanent interests, and a fluctuating fraternity, and equality ; but they apand changeable guardian of temporary plied these terms only to those who interests. Now, the one class of inte. coincided with them in opinion, and rests was fully provided for under the ostracised the rest of the nation. So ancient regime, by the aristocracy and true is it that despotism and republi. the king; but now the aristocracy being canism differ only in this, that the former is the tyranny of one, the latter France became a system of political the tyranny of many ; and as it is pro- telegraph, the centre of which was verbial that corporate bodies are less Paris, because it was the residence of amenable to moral considerations than the Great King. Under Louis Napothe individual members which compose leon no such necessity can be alleged. them, the many-headed corporate ty- He is at peace with all Europe, except rant may be expected to be more un. with that power against which all Eu. scrupulous than the single Baseleus, rope is banded. His subjects are subwho cannot escape criticism under cover missive to his will, and by an unques. of the number of his confederates in ini. tionable majority have adopted bim as quity. Thus, in the case of France,
their Emperor. although we have grave
doubts of the Our author gives the details of what solicitude of Napoleon I. for liberty, he designates as the Administrative and bave not much more confidence Organisation. These are embraced in the liberal tendencies of his nephew, under the general heads of “Ordre they both ameliorated the tyranny Judiciaire, Finance, Etablissement de which existed before they seized on Bienfaisance, Communes, Agriculture, the supreme power. Such an amelio. Industrie, Commerce, Travaux Pub. ration was indeed necessary to the po- lics, Instruction, l'Armee.” We do licy of Napoleon I., since he avowedly not purpose to follow him in these de. tried to enlist in his service the abilities tails, descriptive of the vanished goof all parties —"Je suis national," vernment of the first Empire. A full said he, “je me sers de tous ceux qui account of the matter will be found in ont de la capacité et de la volouté de Alison, who, in the main, coincides marcher avec moi.” This quotation with our author. But irrespective of expresses the real essence of the Napo- the special information such a detailed leonic system, whether under the uncle account would afford, it is instructive or the nephew; but it also involves its as a specimen of perfect organisation, vice, for how can men of all shades of and as such will repay the study of our opinion enlist under a single banner, statesmen. There was very little redwithout an appalling sacrifice of politi- tapism under the first Napoleon ; but, cal honour?
notwithstanding, things went on with Louis Napoleon now proceeds to the precision of clockwork-the reason illustrate, by a detailed examination of was, that personal energy was the mo. his uncle's policy, the somewhat vague and general observations of which we Bonaparte was no advocate of the bave endeavoured to give an idea. He laissez aller philosophy; he interfered classes his remarks under two heads- in everything, and perhaps principally first, the administrative organisation of in those concerns which political econothe empire ; and second, its political mists think it of the last importance organisation. The administrative orga- to leave to private enterprise and assonisation, he says, like the greater part ciation; for instance, be interfered beof the institutions of the Empire, bad tween the employers of labour and the a temporary object to fulfil, and a dis- workmen, but the manner of his intertant end to attain. Centralisation was ference was by means of courts of arbi. the only means of reconstituting trators representing both interests. He France; but its excess under the Em. interfered with commercial credit, and pire ought not to be considered as an contemplated organising a system of end, but as a means; the time was to assistance to the mercantile interest come when France was to be decentral. in seasons of monetary difficulty. But ised, and local government developed. above all, Napoleon directly interfered We think the remarks on this subject to encourage industry by directing toby our author worthy of attentive con- wards it the light of science, and with sideration. He glories in being the that lofty generalisation which so strikcopyist of his uncle, so that the time ingly distinguished him, he said _"Si may come when he will head a reaction l'on m'eût laissé le temps brentôt il against that excessive centralisation n'y aurait plus eu de metiers en France which has been the bane of France. tous eussent été des arts.” In Napoleon Bonaparte's time centra- Napoleon encouraged only scientific lisation was essential, to enable France education, as that which could immedito combat her enemies, and his sur- ately be made useful to the State. But passing genius enhancing its intensity, such training was undoubtedly recom