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to the inflammatory projects of the unprincipled agitators, who, in times of commotion, are sure to be thrown up to the surface of society, they involved their own certain destruction; and they sacrificed the pearl of high pricethe rational freedom of their country for the vain Utopian theories of their heated imaginations, or the more inexcusable gratification of hatred to their political opponents.

One or other of these writers certainly possesses the tact of portraying character in a very eminent degree. That of Necker, for instance, is admirably struck off in a few words:

A skilful financier and an upright economist; but a vain man, who set himself up as a moderator and judge in every question, whether of philosophy, religion, or liberty; and, deceived by the praises of his friends, and the transports of a giddy populace, flattered himself that he could confine the public mind to the adoption of his own peculiar views of reform.'

Among the more elaborate portraits which either M. THIERS or M. BODIN (for they are all evidently by one hand) has interspersed in these volumes, is that of the famous Count Mirabeau. That extraordinary but unprincipled man, by his audacious spirit and his fiery eloquence, gained an astonishing ascendancy both over the court and the people. The whole account of his character and conduct, and of the infidel death which closed his brief career, in the early part of the Revolution, is striking and animated.

The absurd institutions of the old monarchy had wounded all unprejudiced persons, and irritated every upright heart: it was not possible, therefore, that they could fail in outraging and exasperating an enthusiastic and passionate mind. Such was the mind of Mirabeau, who encountering from his birth all kinds of despotism, that of his father, of the government, and the courts of justice, spent his youth in hating and combating them. He was born in Provence, and was a branch of a noble family. He distinguished himself early by his debauched life, his quarrels, and his vehement eloquence. His travels, observations, and extensive reading, had given him knowledge on every subject, and he retained every thing that he learnt. Extravagant, eccentric, and sophistical, even without the aid of passion, he became quite another man when under its influence. Excited by the warmth of a debate, or the presence of his opponents, he instantly took fire: his first ideas were confused, his sentences broken, and his flesh palpitating; but, quickly, light breaking in upon him, his genius displayed in an instant the acquirement and reflection of years; and even in the very act of speaking, his animated and rapid expressions discovered and enlightened his subject, and flashed conviction on his auditors. If opposed again, he returned to the charge still more forcible and more clear, and displayed the truth in images either striking or terrible.

terrible. If the situation of affairs was difficult, and the minds of all wearied by a long discussion, or intimidated by danger, some electric expression, or decisive sentence, would escape from him, his countenance, at such moments, becoming terrible, from the combined expression of ugliness and genius.'

The character of La Fayette is also well delineated, though manifestly with a partial hand. It is his best praise that when the King became a prisoner, a bloody democracy triumphant, and universal anarchy inevitable, he still maintained the consistency of his principles; and he did not desert his post until he had made a generous though ineffectual effort to rescue his sovereign. Believing as we do in the purity of his intentions, we cannot but regard the confinement which he suffered in the prisons of Austria as an obdurate infliction of tyranny. He fled from France to avoid the penalty of death, which he had incurred solely by his project of liberating the King; and he was rewarded by the champions of monarchy, not with protection, but with obloquy and a dungeon.

As we advance through the series, the lineaments of triumphant and remorseless villany deepen in atrocity before us, until we reach the last worst monsters of human form, the infernal triumvirate of Marat, Robespierre, and Danton. The character of Marat is drawn with great boldness:

A native of Neufchatel, he had cultivated, in the former part of his life, the science of medicine, and had intrepidly attacked the best established systems, displaying thus early the convulsive disorganization and restless activity of his mind. He was veterinary-surgeon to the Count D'Artois at the commencement of the revolution. When that new scene of things opened, he involved himself immediately in its disorders, and soon became remarkable in his section. His person was extremely repulsive; being of low stature, a large head, and expansive forehead, his features were strongly marked, his complexion livid, his eye fiery, and his dress slovenly. Such an assemblage of traits would, at first sight, have provoked laughter, if it had not been checked by a sensation of fear. This hideous body, however, was an oracle, whence issued a medley of the most perverted and atrocious maxims, accented by a harsh voice, and proclaimed with the most insolent familiarity. Many thousand heads, he declared, must be brought low, and all the aristocrats, who stood in the way of liberty, must be got rid of. Horror and detestation formed a circle about him. Whenever he appeared he was hissed, insulted, and ridiculed for the deformity of his person; but being habituated to logical contests, he soon learnt to despise those who despised him, and asserted that they were incapable of understanding his opinions. The subterraneous life he had been accustomed to lead, to conceal himself from the detection of justice, had imbittered his temper, and the detestation of the public still further enraged his savageness."

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Of the three Jacobins, Marat, Robespierre, and Danton, two at least, if not the third, were the contrivers and original movers of the horrid deeds of September, 1792, which converted the French capital into one vast slaughter-house. While the people were filled with consternation at the advance of the Prussians, Danton instituted domiciliary visits to search for suspected persons. The prisons of Paris were filled with from 12,000 to 15,000 individuals of all parties and descriptions, who were accused of holding any opinions, royalist or constitutional, short of absolute democracy, or who were in any way obnoxious to the reigning demagogues. Danton's next step was publicly to point the vengeance of the blood-thirsty rabble to these victims. by originating or confirming wild rumours of conspiracies against the public safety; and with diabolical energy he urged "the necessity of striking terror into the hearts of all royalists." Marat, in concert with him, presided over the Jacobin committee which organized insurrection. Then commenced the appalling signals of butchery. The generalé beat to arms; the tocsin sounded; the alarum cannon were fired, and the armed and sanguinary rabble arose.

We turn away with horror from those scenes of daily butchery which prepared the way for the condemnation and murder of Louis XVI. The whole account of the subsequent proceedings in the National Convention against that illfated Prince, and of the heroic constancy of his last hours, is given with great power, and with apparent fidelity and impartiality. The short and violent struggle, which afterwards terminated in the complete ascendency of the Jacobin faction, and the downfall of the Girondists, is likewise full of interest. With the arrest of the latter party the work is concluded; and we quit them before their brief and hurried passage to the same reeking scaffold to which they had so lately consigned their unhappy Monarch.

Why MM. THIERS and BODIN have laid aside their pens at this epoch, as if they would draw a veil over the later atrocities of the reign of terror, we are at some loss to determine. They have thus, however, left the history of the French Revolution incomplete; for it assuredly did not end with the fall of the Girondists. But, as far as they have chosen to go, they have certainly produced a work of very great ability and importance; and, notwithstanding some obliquities of opinion, they have, for the first time, arranged and methodized the moral of the most tremendous political lesson which has ever been offered to mankind.


ART. II. Le Dernier Chant du Pélerinage d'Harold. Par ALPH. DE LAMARTINE. Paris. 1825.

THIS poem seems to have acquired some degree of popularity in France; though but recently published, it is said to have already passed through two editions. The title might possibly have induced many persons at first to believe, that the work was a translation from the fourth canto, of "Childe Harold." If such a supposition prevailed to any extent among our literary neighbours, we know not whether it was a matter of congratulation or of disappointment to them to find, instead of a translation from Lord Byron, an original poem by M. DE LAMARTINE. It cannot be presumed, that this gentleman could have entertained the design of attracting attention by hoisting a false flag. But he may not be so easily acquitted from the charge of temerity to which he has rendered himself liable, by attempting to trace the last footsteps of a being, whose strains are among the most sublime, varied, and peculiar, which are known to our language.

Strange to say, it is upon the hope of identifying himself with Childe Harold that M. DE LAMARTINE founds his vindication, and even seriously prefers his claims to an unusual portion of modesty. He wishes us to believe, that nothing but his deference for the superior genius of Lord Byron induced him to adopt this theme and title, in order that he might record the premature fate of that distinguished poet. Imitation,' he adds, is not rivalry, it is homage!' Such an apology might, perhaps, extenuate the imputation of audacity, if the French bard did not follow it up with a very singular exposition of the extent of his imitation.' This phrase,' he observes, does not exactly convey my idea; the form alone of Childe Harold is imitated; the thoughts, the sentiments, the images, are not so. I have sedulously avoided every imitation of this kind. There is not in this fifth canto a single idea, or simile, of all those which the English poet has scattered through the four first cantos of his poem.'



It is not necessary to observe on the complacency with which M. DE LAMARTINE speaks of his Fifth Canto, or of the facility with which he places it in juxta-position with the "Four First Cantos" of the English poet. But we do admire the sophistry, by which he endeavors to delude his readers into a belief of the pure originality, which marks the 'Dernier Chant.' He confines his assertion to the "Pilgrimage, and observes a cautious silence as to his coquetry with Lord Byron's other poems, from which, however, he has borrowed

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almost every idea' and 'simile' that deserves the name in his production. Nor has he been so very abstemious with respect to the "Four First Cantos," as he would wish his readers to imagine.

The voyage of Lord Byron from Italy to Greece, a description of the coast-scenery by which he sailed, an episode founded on the capture of a Turkish vessel, and the discovery of a child which the noble poet claimed as his own, a funeral scene borrowed from one of the Greek popular ballads, a short battle, and the fatal issue of the expedition, form the principal matters of the poem. The French writer has not adopted the stanza of Spenser, for the best of reasons, that his language is incapable of sustaining it. He has, however, imitated it sufficiently to alarm the Academy, by breaking his composition at intervals, with the assistance of Roman figures, which afford the reader an opportunity, that will not be found at all disagreeable, of stopping in his progress through the • Fifth Canto' at several resting places. Seldom, perhaps, are these justified by the tenor of the poem; nevertheless, the invention is to be commended.

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Lord Byron dedicated his first Canto to the young Ianthe,

too young, when that poem was finished, to sympathize in the tenderness with which he watched her ripening beauties. M. DE LAMARTINE has his lanthe too, who resembles the "Peri of the West" in every thing but her years, and to whom he inscribes his lays. The poem begins with an elaborate and pompous invocation to Liberty, which he describes in its connection with Greece, and embellishes with associations familiar to every reader of Lord Byron. We do not dispute the originality of the following passage: but who that reads it can forget the

"creaking lyre,

That whetstone of the teeth, monotony in wire," which Lord Byron found in Boileau ?

Fouillant sous le gazon ses dieux ensevelis,
Le Grec vend au Chrétien leurs restes avilis:
Jupiter, Mahomet, Isis, tombe sur tombe,

Tout s'est précipité, tout est tombé, tout tombe.'

Raking up his buried gods from beneath the soil, the Greek sells their dishonored remains to the Christian: Jupiter, Mahomet, Isis, tomb on tomb, every thing is thrown down, every thing is fallen, every thing falls.' It is incomparable as a specimen of bathos in the thought, and of discord in the language. An ear the most untutored must feel the tinkling chimes which are rung on the unfortunate


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