Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

poleon had contemplated the various wind were clumsy in its application. She ings of the Danube, and praised the beau-, thought it best to set off for Rusty of the country upon which he was go- sia without delay; she encountered ing to pounce with his armies. He frequently amuses himself in this manner in many annoyances from the Commismaking poetical pieces on the beauties of saries of Police, till she got into the nature, which he is about to ravage, and

Russian territories; and in her rapid upon the effects of war, with which he is journey through these new regions, going to overwhelm mankind. After all,

we have occasion to admire the vivahe is in the right to amuse himself in all city of her descriptions, and the acuteways, at the expence of the human race, ness of her remarks.

We are not which tolerates his existence. Man is on aware that so lively an impression of ly arrested in the career of evil by obstacles Russia was ever before conveyed to us. or remorse ; no one has yet opposed to Na. Madame de Staël saw it, indeed, in a poleon the one, and he has very easily rid most interesting moment, and she himself of the other. For me who, soli- could not but think well of a people, tary, followed his footsteps on the terrace in whose firmness of purpose she alfrom which the country could be seen to a great distance, I admired its fertility, and leon. Can any description be livelier

most predicted the reverses of Napofelt astonished at secing how soon the bounty of heaven repairs the disasters oc

than the following ? casioned by man. It is only moral riches which disappear altogether, or at least are

" Although I was driven along with lost for centuries.” pp. 260, 261.

great rapidity, it seemed to me that I did

not advance a step, the country was so exGermany was now in the gripe of tremely monotonous. Plains of sand, fo the tyrant. Austria especially was

rests of birch trees and villages at a great sadly humbled by the exaltation of its distance from each other, composed of

wooden houses all built upon the same princess to the imperial bed ; and at this moment Napoleon was on his plan ; these were the only objects that my march for the subjugation of Russia.

eyes encountered. I felt that sort of night

mare which sometimes seizes one during “ The Court was then at Dresden, at

the night, when you think you are always the great meeting of all the German prin- marching and never advancing. The coun. ces, who came to present their homage to try appeared to me like the image of inthe Emperor of France. · Napoleon had

finite space, and to require eternity to trastopped at Dresden under the pretext of

verse it. Every instant you met couriers still negociating there, to avoid the war

passing, who went along with incredible with Russia, in other words, to obtain by swiftness; they were seated on a wooden his policy the same result as he could by bench placed across a little cart drawn by his arms. He would not at first admit

two horses, and nothing stopped them for a the King of Prussia to his banquet at Dres

moment. The jolting of their carriage den; he knew too well what repugnance

sometimes made them spring two feet above the heart of that unfortunate monarch it, but they fell with astonishing address, must have to what he conceives himself and made haste to call out in Russian, for obliged to do. It is said that M. de Met- ward, with an energy similar to that of the ternich obtained this humiliating favour

French on a day of battle. The Sclavonian for him. M. de Hardenberg, who accom.

language is singularly echoing; I should panied him, made the remark to the Em

almost say there is something metallic aperor Napoleon, that Prussia had paid one

bout it; you would think you heard a bell third more than the promised contribu- striking, when the Russians pronounce certions. The Emperor turning his back to

tain letters of their alphabet, quite different him, replied, An apothecary's bill,'—

from those which compose the dialects of for he has a secret pleasure in making

the West. use of vulgar expressions, the more to

“ We saw passing some corps de reserve, humble those who are the objects of it.” approaching by forced marches to the

theapp. 262, 263.

tre of war; the Cossacks were repairing,

one by one, to the army, without order or Madame de Staël was kindly re

uniform, with a long lance in their hand, ceived by her Vienna friends, and she and a kind of grey dress, whose ample bood had an immediate dispatch sent for they put over their head. I had formed a. passport to convey her into Ruse quite another idea of these people; they sia; yet she found herself soon in

live behind the Dnieper ; there their way a state of espionage still more un

of living is independent, in the manner of comfortable, because more rude than selves to be governed despotically. One is

savages ; but during war they allow themon the French territories. The Aus

accustomed to see, in fine uniforms of bril. trians, in learning a new lesson, liant colours, the most formidable arinies

The dull colours of the Cossack dress ex down upon the Russians with the whole cite another sort of fear; one might say weight of the nations chained to his steps. that they are ghosts who pounce upon you.' -For a moment the thought struck me

pp. 323_325.

that Napoleon might yet set his foot upon She saw Moscow but a short time this same tower from which I was admir. before its grand catastrophe.

ing the city, which his presence was about

to extinguish ; for a moment I dreamed “ I ascended to the top of the cathedral that he would glory in replacing, in the steeple, called Ivan Veliki, which com.

palace of the czars, the chief of the great mands a view of the whole city; from of it; but the sky was so beautiful, that I

horde, which had also once had possession thence I saw the palace of the czars, who conquered by their arms the crowns of Ca. repelled the apprehension. A month aftersan, Astracan, and Siberia. I heard the wards, this beautiful city was in ashes, in church music, in which the catholikos, order that it should be said, that every prince of Georgia, officiated in the midst of country which had been in alliance with the inhabitants of Moscow, and formed a

this man, should be destroyed by the fires Christian meeting between Asia and Eur riously have the Russians and their mo

which are at his (disposal. But how glorope. Fifteen hundred churches attested narch redeemed this error! The

misery of the devotion of the Muscovite people. “ The commercial establishments at rated the empire, and this religious city

Moscow may be even said to have regeneMoscow had quite an Asiatic character; has perished like a martyr, the shedding men in turbans, and others dressed in the different costumes of all the people of the brethren who survive him.” pp. 348–351.

of whose blood gives new strength to the East, exhibited the rarest merchandize : the furs of Siberia, and the muslins of India, there offered all the enjoyments of lux.

We could quote much more of this ury to those great noblemen whose imagi. animated and powerful narrative, did nation is equally pleased with the sables of our limits permit. Madame de Staël the Samoiedes, and with the rubies of the saw the Emperor Alexander at St Persians. Here, the gardens and the pa. Petersburg, and formed a high idea lace Razoumowski contained the most beau- of his understanding and principles. tiful collection of plants and minerals; The book ends abruptly with her enthere, was the fine library of the Count de trance into Sweden. There is in it, Bouterlin, which he had spent thirty years throughout, much scope for meditaof his life in collecting : among the books tion and for the excitement of lofty be possessed, there were several which con. tained manuscript notes in the hand-writa sentiments. Indeed, if sovereigns and ing of Peter 1. *This great man never ima- nations are not learning virtue from gined that the same European civilization, the experience of the last thirty years, of which he was so jealous, would come to

it is lamentable that so awful an exdestroy the establishments for public in. perience should have been lost. Surestraction which he had founded in the mid ly the lust of despotic sway must have dle of his empire, with a view to fix by expired in the grave of the exile of St study che impatient spirit of the Russians. Helena: And can it be possible that

" Farther on was the foundling House, the great northern Emperor, whose noone of the most affecting institutions of ble sayings seemed so admirable to Ma. Europe ; hospitals for all classes of society dame de Staël, should have had any might be remarked in the different quartens of the city: finally, the eye in its thing of that low ambition transfused wanderings could rest upon nothing but into his own bosom? We trust not wealth or benevolence, upon edifices of lux. however, sometimes, appearances are try or of charity; upon churches or on against him ; but we can assure him, palaces, which diffused happiness or dis- and every other sovereign present inction upon a large portion of the hu. and to come, that none of them will man race. You saw the windings of the ever be any thing comparable to NaMoskwa, of that river, which, since the last poleon in his own way, and that his invasion by the Tartars, had never rolled glory, short lived and tarnished as it with blood in its waves: the day was de was, will for ever throw contempt and lightful; the sun seemed to take a pleasure laughter upon the petty efforts of in shedding his rays upon these glittering cupolas. I was reminded of the old arch any future adventurer in the vulgar bishop Plato, who had just written a paso world must now be governed by other

arena of politics or of war. The toral letter to the Emperor Alexander, the oriental style of which had extremely af. maxims and other arts; princes must fected me he sent the image of the Vir. find in perfect good faith and in pagin from the borders of Europe, to drive triotic counsels their shield and their far from Asia the man who wished to bear riumph.

VOL. IX,

“That which is wanting, (as Madame a constitution for your empire, and your de Staël finely remarks) to the sacred conscience is the guarantee of it! Were cause of morality, is, that it should con that even the case,' replied he, I should tribute in a very striking manner to great only be a fortunate accident.' Noble words! success in this world; he who feels all the the first of the kind, I believe, which an dignity of this cause will sacrifice with absolute monarch ever pronounced ! How pleasure every success; but it is still ne many virtues it requires in a despot, processary to teach those presumptuous per- perly to estimate despotism! and how sons who imagine they discover depth of many virtues also, never to abuse it, when thinking in the vices of the soul, that if in the nation which he governs is almost as. immorality there is sometimes wit, in vir tonished at such signal moderation.” tue there is genius." Till princes are inflamed with this

It is a good thing for kings to go high and pure ambition, and evident- beyond the precincts of their palaces, ly labour for the good of their people and see their people with their own as strenuously as Napoleon did for his eyes. We rejoice that our sovereign own personal aggrandisement, there has gone to Ireland. Amid the cheeris no avoiding the feeling of preference ing of its miserable and ragged inhabitwhich is still, silently and secretly, ants, he will, in a moral view, be atgiven to him over all the potentates of tended by a far nobler train, than his day,—which even survived his when all the chivalry of his land folfall, and which is now resting upon his lowed in the pomp of his coronation. solitary grave. Here is a mighty task The brightest jewels of his crown for the rulers of the world,--they have but dim to the lustre of the deeds not yet overthrown Napoleon,-his of light which are now, we trust, genius is still contending with them, opening before him. and woe be to them if their spirits are subdued under it! Yet subjects

LIFE OF DAVID HAGGART. must not expect too much at once. Their rulers are but men, and they must

We have strong doubts as to the not abandon their loyalty on the disco- propriety of this work having ever very of every royal weakness or flaw. seen the light, and we fear that its There diay in particular be a sluggish- Editor's apology of having been twice ness or an ignorance prevalent in agent for the unfortunate criminal, courts with respect to the best forms and been by him strongly urged to of freedom or the best methods of in- the undertaking, even though for the troducing them. Are the people, too, purpose of raising a sum of money for every where prepared for freedom the unhappy parent,-will hardly be This is a question which rulers may sustained by the sober-thinking part conscientiously ask; and the late of the public. The appeal in a father's Neapolitan drama will not tend great behalf is indeed so far creditable, at ly to lead them to the answer which least to the heart of the Editor, and might be wished. We must look to a the sympathies which such an appeal gradual, but we trust a steady amelio- . is calculated to awaken may, in the ration. It is pleasing, in reading the opinion of many, suffer such a publisketches of Madame de Staël and cation as this is to be tolerated. Still other travellers, to find what 'noble

we think that public sympathy might materials there are in most nations. have been manifested under a less

quesThese will yet come out, and all we, tionable shape ; and that, if necessary, perhaps, can at present ask from so a sum could have been raised for the vereigns is, that they will throw no family of Haggart's father, from the obstacle in the way of a fair and ge- generosity of the public, and at a less nuine progress. Let them love their expence to its welfare, than that of people, and all will go well— let them endangering the morality of its poor. go among them, and know them, and m. Setting aside the claim of charity, we learn to value them. The Emperor can conceive only one salutary conseAlexander seemed to be in the direct quence likely to result from this public road for this noble issue.

cation, which is, that the extraordinary “ He expressed to me the desire,” says facility, and the repeated success, with Madame de Staël, " which all the world knows him to entertain, of ameliorating the Wricten by himself while under senstate of the peasants still subject to shavery. tence of death. 12mo. W. and C. Tait, Sire,' said I to him, ' your character is Edinburgh.

[ocr errors]

which Haggart committed his depre- temptation to young offenders to prodations on the pockets and watches, and ceed: And we were much shocked to of unsuspecting travellers and dealers find, in the 4th page, the doctrine of at fairs, will tend to make them more fatalism urged as proof of the usecautious in future as to their situa- lessness of repentance. This doctions and their associates. But, on trine holds out to conscience too ready the other hand, taking into view the a quietus, and the consequences to notoriety of this pick-pocket hero-the which it leads were never before more curiosity excited

in consequence of the meinorably exemplified. An editor, publication and the chance of its ex as well as an author, is surely bound tensive circulation, owing to the com to pause, and to reflect on the probaparatively cheap rate at which it is ble consequences of what he is doing, published—the question still presses and of what he introduces indiscrimiupon us-how little is any good pur- nately to public view. There are, to pose likely to be served by its publi- be sure, in the work, some 'redeeming cation ? and what an auxiliary is it sentences, expressive of sorrow and relikely to prove to vices the most sinful pentance, but these are by far too few, in their nature, and the most alarming and too evasive, to form a salvo for the in their operation ?

poison so largely intermingled. We shall take a view only of the There is another strong objection general character and tendency of the to this publication, namely, the gross work, without making any extracts: impropriety of mentioning the NAMES We are unwilling to make the pages of some individuals with whom Hagof this Magazine the medium of cir gart was connected. It is, no doubt, culation to a mischief, the spread of proper that those deserving consigne which we most sincerely deprecate. ment to public infamy should have

To the intellectual reader, it presents the mark of the beast stamped upon a constant and hurried exhibition of their foreheads-and so far the narthe blackest villanies, which disgust rative may be judicious enough ; the man of taste as well as the man of but here comparatively innocent asestablished principle; but to those read- sociates have been branded so publicers whose principles are somewhat ly, as to render a return to honest sounfixed, who hesitate between the po- ciety and good example next to imverty which often waits on honest in- possible: They must find all retreat dustry, and the temptations of illicit cut off, and be urged forward in the gain, it appears in a most alluring criminal career which they had probaform: Every page tells them of large bly commenced, only, in an unguarded sums procured by the dexterity moment. But we wish to allude more of a single moment; and they are particularly to the case of three young too apt to compare these accounts ladies in Newcastle, whose names are with the penury of their own labori- dragged forward with a cruel want of ous condition, while the dread of pu- delicacy, which must be extremely nishment is overbalanced by the hopes painful to their feelings, and, we fear, of an easy affluence. And is there not injurious to their characters. After some reason to dread the result? Be- repeated mention of their names, Hagsides, this publication presents all the gart takes leave of them (p. 37) in the enticing features of courage, bustle, following terms: and enterprise so lavisbly given to

" In the month of June I took leave of narrations of the most atrocious guilt,

this lady and her worthy daughters, with which can hardly fail to make many sincere regret, and sorrow at parting on of the unsteady apprentices in our both sides. Never will I forget the kindcity sympathize with the hero, and ness and even friendship of these good peo. overlook the guilt and danger of such ple to me. Liltle did they knoze the pertransactions, in the air of boundless son whom they had so long harboured in freedom and boisterous enjoyment their house, and introduced to the most of which is here made to surround their acquaintances and relations under the them. The prison scenes in this vo

name of Mr John Wilson." lume by no means tend to strike the That the unsuspecting kindness, wavering with that terror which places unsullied virtue, and moral worth of of confinement ought to inspire. The these ladies, fit them for becoming ashistory of Haggart's escapes, we are sociates with characters very superior much afraid, presents too strong a

to this dangerous because enterprising

as will

rator:

felon, we are disposed enough to be- ing the bulkies on a search, by conlieve; but at the same time we fear cealing his stolen notes in the cape of they must inevitably suffer from the his coat, which device he describes as bare circumstance of his having been peculiar to himself, assuming no small at once their inmate and their eulo- degree of merit for putting the thiefgist. It is difficult to divest men's searchers up to so notable a trick. ininds of association, as well as preju- The idea of such a place of concealdice, and under the auspices of a cha- ment is older than Haggart imagined, racter so notorious as that of Haggart,

appear by a passage in the Asa their names inevitably become coup- sinaria, (Act III. S. 3. 1. 67. Taub. et led with his, in the month of every Grut. 1621,) where Argyrippus proloose talker. Here, therefore, has been poses to the slave Leonida to avail inflicted, a most cruel and wanton himself of a similar mode of concealinjury, which only a very small por- ment, though doubtless for a different tion of reflection or prudence on the purpose. The thief proposed to turn part of the Editor, and without at all at fault the dogs of justice, whereas failing in his

trust, might easily have the knave of Plautus thought only of prevented. The extent of this injury blinking the “forks” of his mistress. is not easily calculated : through its

Dê te servassint semper, operation these ladies have probably Custos herilis, decus populi, thesaurus cobecome the table-talk of the slander

piarum, ers of their own sex, and subjects of Salus interioris hominis, amorisque impethe sneer, the hint, and the witticism uf rakes incredulous of female virtue. Hic pone, hic ISTAM colloca CRUMENAN We shall notice only one thing

IN COLLO plané ! 'more, as we are already heartily tired of this disgusting subject ;-it is our

Biblical Notices. suspicion, that Haggart, even while

Both Sir William Jones and Mr his days were numbered, and while

Dugald Stewart have borne testimony pausing on the awful verge of eterni. ty, had not the most scrupulous re

to the pure Anglicism, as well as gard to truth.* An air of improba

the vast learning and unrivalled bility breathes over many of his pages,

fidelity which characterise the trans

lation of the Scriptures by the and we fear, that, like others more

Westminster Divines. fortunate in such matters, he has

To assert, studied effect, as the means of raising however, that their translation is in money, even at the expence of his every respect immaculate, would be veracity, and at a moment, too, when equivalent to ascribing to it a superhus the greatest criminals are generally man immunity from error.- In the folsupposed lo speak the truth.

lowing instance, the translation which has been given of a very simple and distinct passage, is singularly apt to mislead. “He answered and said,

Lo, I see four men loose, walking in Haggart the Murderer and Plautus. the midst of the fire; and they have

In his Life recently, and so injudi- no hurt: and the form of the fourth ciously, not to say perniciously, ex

is like the SON OF GOD.”—Daniel, iï.

25. posed to the public, this enterprising

Now it must occur to every one ruffian boasts of his success in deceiva as a very extraordinary fact, indeed,

that the idolatrous Nebuchadnezzar The robbery of a gentleman's watch, should so correctly distinguish the described by Haggart in page 49, is re “ form of the fourth" person in the presented as attended with circumstances, furnace, along with the three children, which, from direct authority, we are assur as " like THE SON OF GOD !" The error ed had no existence. From certain doca- lies in the translation; as there is no ments that have appeared, (since this arti. definite article prefixed to the Hecle was in types,) it would also seem that brew word for many of Haggart's pretended adventures, the passage ought to have been ren

SON," and therefore escapes, and connections in England, are about as authentic in point of fact, as those dered thus : " And the form of the recorded in Caleb Williams, or the travels fourth is like a son of a god," or å of Munchausen. Our conclusion against divine person ; an assertion which veracity was, therefore, not hastily drawn. any man might have made in the same

HORÆ OTIOSÆ.

« AnteriorContinuar »