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observable cition a true fandeur, why at i
mirth, closely treading on the heels of each other; if the sufferings of the greatest of heroes extend no farther than to his own heart, and the peasant at the end of his park palings carries on his daily work, and laughs and sings and jests as usual, even while his lord is stabbing or shooting himself in the wildest paroxysm of despair ;- if all these contrasts are observable in nature, and if they forcibly tend to impress on the imagination a true sense of the littleness of life and the inanity of all mortal grandeur, why may not the same contrasts produce the same effects in what is, or professes to be, the representation of nature? We are decidedly of opinion that one of the greatest injuries ever done to our stage by the fury of modern reformers has been the banishment of Lear's fool; and grieved indeed should we feel ourselves, if the same rage for classical truth were ever to prevail against the grave-diggers of Hamlet.
This, however, is a discussion which would require volumes to do it ample justice, and it would be absurd to carry it farther in the short space still left to us for the conclusion of our present article. Proceed we, then, to the eulogist's ingenious comparison between
• Corneille, Bossuet, and Montesquieu. • Among the authors who differ moet in the objects of their writings, may be found the closest analogy of thought and style, Already have we pointed out this relation between Corneille and Bos. suet ; and a more lengthened examinatiou will demonstrate that the one was on the stage just what the other has been in the pulpit. In both is manifested that generalization of ideas, that force of conception, which embraces the whole extent and penetrates the whole depth of a subject. If it be the object to bring us acquainted with great Generals, the oration or the drama developes their military systems ; it is not a priest, it is not a poet that I hear, it is Sertorius, it is Condé, who reveal the secrets of this art. When Bossuet carries his ob. servations to the character of nations, when be paints the manners of the Romans, we might be tempted to imagine that he has just departed from the representation of a tragedy of Corneille, and that he transcribes or analyzes the discourse of those proud citizens.
Let a Christian orator, deriving religious instruction from the death of a great man, say, “ Atendez-vous que Dieu resuscite les morts pour vous instruire ? il n'est pas nécessaire que les moris reviennent ; ce qui entre aujourd'hui dans le tombeau suffit pour nous convertir." On the other hand, let a poet, speaking for the widow of Pompey, make her say to her husband's urn, “ Objet terrible et tendre, tu est plus sacré pour moi que ces Dieux, qui, la foudre á la main, ont pu voir egorger l'ompée.' It is evident that the orator and the poet have the same conception, and draw the same conclusion from the spectacle of death, which, according to the difference of religious opinions, leads to a revolt against heaven, or to a submission to its decrees. .
• Corneille and Bossuet resemble each other also in their imperfections ; their diction is often harsh and unpolished, whether this defect be the consequence of great strength, or whether they think that a man who is really eloquent may dispense with being elegant. Sometimes also we discover surprizing incorrectness in their works ; into which they could not have allen but that, in the grandeur of their imagina. tions, they for some moments neglected or disdained the rules of grammar. Both allowed hemselves to create words; and by an effect of conformity in their conceptions, or from the love which Bossuet bore to the style of Corneille, many of these words are the same.
• It is not only to the eloquence of the pulpit that we may assimi. late the dramas of Corneille, but also to the most celebrated works of philosophy or politics; and this resemblance is singularly observ. able in the comparison of Corneille with Montesquieu. Aseisting at the deliberation of Augustus respccting the abdication of the empire, we hear the constitutional principles of political societies, and their concordance with the manners of the people ; this is but a presenti. ment of the idea, of Montesquieu, it is an anticipated analysis of the Esprit des Lois. On the other hand, in the dialogue between Sylla and Eucrale, which may be considered as a corollary to the considerations on the Causes de la Grandeur et de la Décadence des Romains, we think that we hear the dictator, in a tragedy of Corneille, reveal to his confidant the motives of his abdication ; “ Si je ne suis plus en spectacle à l'univers, c'est la faute des choses humaines qui ont des bornes..., j'ai cru avoir rempli ma destinée dès que je n'ai plus eu à faire rien de grand ......... Je me suis démis de la dictature, dans le temps qu'il n'y avait pas un seul homme dans l'univers qui ne crût que la dictature était mon seul asyle. J'ai paru devant les Romains, citoyen au milieu de mes conciloyens ; et j'ni osé leur dire : je suis prêt á rendre compte de tout le sang que j'ai versé pour la république. Je répondrui à rous ceux qui viendront me redemuniter leur pere, leur fils, leur frère.- Tous les Romains se sont tres devant moi".
• Let this dialogue be placed at the end of Cerneille's dramas, as a fragment of an inedited piece, or a scene which the author had not yet put into verse ; and certainly the similarity in ihe grandeur of views, in the fierté of charac!er, in the loftiness of sentiment, in masculine and noble cloquence, would have deceived the finest taste and the most just discernment.'
The author next presents us with some short remarks on the morality of Corneille ; and his discourse closes with an expression of deep regret thai the sublime and just maxims concerning the polity of states, which this dramatisi exhibited on the theatre, were not allowed to influence the late popular assemblies in his country ; since, had attention been paid to them, they would infallibly have checked the imprudent and fatal effervescence which led to so many errors and atrocities.
Art. XIII. Poësies diverses, &c. ; i.e. Miscellaneous Poems by
M. CHEVILLARD, formerly Director of the Marine Artillery at
Toulon. 12mo. 2. Vols. London. 1807. In the Age of Lewis XIVth, Voltaire reproaches Saurin and the
greater part of his expatriated brethren with a certain peculiarity of manner and language, which he denominates the “style refugié.” We are not aware that M. CHEVILLARD, in his long absence from his native country, has contracted any of this rust. He appears to write with purity, and, as far as our northern ears are capable of discerning, his versification is harmonious and correct.
The poems are divided into odes and miscellaneous pieces, They consist chiefly of translations of didactic, sentimental, and amatory poems from Pope, Gay, Thomson, Merrick, Gray, Goldsmith, Barbauld, and other English writers, and of the “ Vivamus mea Lesbia atque amemus" and the “ Ille mî para esse deo videtur" of Catullus, together with several short original, compositions. Among the imitations, we discover the letter of Abelard, describing his sensations in the dressing room of Eloisa, clothed in poetic garb.
M. CHEV:LLARD's translation of the “Beggar's Petition" partakes of the character of the original :
• Ayez pitié d'un être molheureux
Adoucissez son destin douloureux,
• Voyez l'état de cet infortuné,
Cex ail flétri de rides sillonné
• L'aspect trompeur de ce palais brillant
oh! j'espérois quelque soulagement
"Je demandois un seul morceau de pain,
En me disant d'un ton dur, inhumain,
• Il fiit grand froid ; je suis si malheureux !
Cette faveur remplira tous mes væux ..
Quand vous saurez la cause de mes pleurs,
ob! vous serez louche de mes malheurs,
• Un petit bien, avec art cultivé,
Par la chicane il me fut enlevé ;
"Ma fille étnit l'espoir de mes vieux jours,
Rassasié de ses folles amours,
• Pour partager les ho-reurs de mon sort,
Elle succombe, et je perds, par sa mort,
"Je me soumets à l'order du Très Haut,
Qui mieux que moi connoît ce qu'il me faut, Et peut vous rendre aussi l'enfant de la misère.' The fable of the Cameleon seems destined to exhibit as many changes as the animal which forms the subject of it. Merrick borrowed it from La Motte, and the present author has restored it to his country.
In M. CHEVILLARD's selections, and in his own produce cions, he might have omitted several which rather trespass on the boundaries of decorum.
Art. XIV. Le Comte de Corke, &c.; i.e. The great Earl of Cork,
or Seduction without Artifice, to which are subjoined five Novels.
By Mad. De Genlis. 2 Vols. 12mo. Paris. 1808. Judge Jefferies accused the celebrated non-conformist Richard W Baxter of publishing as many books as would fill a cart; and Mad. GENLIS, who certainly has the pen of a ready writer, seems resolved to expose herself to a similar charge. Her works, indeed, have not the character which was falsely imputed to those of poor Baxter : but never was a writer more laborious in promoting a romantic turn of mind. She professes at times to follow history : but she soon leaps over its narrow boundaries, and employs herself in creating
caling some aliment to feed the imagination of enthusiastic lovers.
Had we not been previously acquainted with this lady's habits, we should have been led to suppose by her reference to the life of Richard Boyle, in the general Biographical Dictionary, that she meant closely to follow the memoir of this distinguished individual: but we were prepared by her former productions of this class, for the kind of entera tainment which is here served up. In the preface, she gives a brief statement of the historic facts on which her romance is
founded, adding also some notices of Robert Boyle, son of Richard, the illustrious experimental philosopher. Having thus referred to the fond on which she professes to work, and stated the circumstances which gave rise to the present fiction, she spreads her own canvas, and delineates a Richard Boyle more adapted to a circulating library than to an historical museum. This Richard, like his prototype, is born of obscure parents : but Mad. De G. finds him a generous protector, in Mulcroon, who lived near Black rock, four miles from Dublin ; who superintends his education, and presents him with a most beautiful and elegantly furnished cottage, not only decorated with a good library, but with things which are not usually found in dwellings of this description, vases of porphyry, &c. Here, contented with his garden and his books, he lives without ambition; till the Earl of Ess sex, then Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, visiting his cottage, and being struck with the noble appearance of this young man, gives him a book in which he had written these words ;
I predict that Richard Bogle will make his name illustrious. From this moment, the germ of ambition begins to shoot ; and no longer are Richard's views confined to his cottage and his garden. He wishes to visit London; and his kind protector Mulcroon is not only desirous of gratifying him, but accompanies him in his journey. Arriving at Chatham when Queen Elizabeth visited that place to go on board the ship of Sir Francis Drake, who was just returned from his circumnaviga. rion of the globe, Richard, in the croud which attended on that occasion, again encounters, the Earl of Essex: but, to his great mortisication, he is not recoxnized by this nobleman; and he returns to Black-rock without having effected any object by his tour.
As, however, in novels every thing is accomplished by the potent machinery of love, Richard is soon introduced to the acquaintance of a lady, who occupies his mind abundanuly more than the prediction of Essex. Lady Ranelagh pays an accidental visit to the coitage; and having thrown back the veil which concealed her beautiful face, the young and manly Richard is at once infamed with the ardour of love, as in the adventure with the minister of Elizabeth he had been warmed with ambition. On having asked him thé question, “ Whether the cultivation of his flowers had not formed his happiness ?” his answer, -"Yes, Madam, hitherto,"-revealed to Lady Ra. nelagh the impression which her charms had made on this young peasant; and flattered by so delicate a compliment, which seemed to require explanation, Lady R. replied, “ You say that, till now, your greatest pleasure has been derived from