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she resolved to pass into England, there against the will of Heaven, and in these to breathe the air of liberty, the only regions, disasters were already foreseen, atmosphere indeed which agreed with from which the French alone seemed her.
to conceive themselves exempted; as Among all the states of Europe, if Providence had promised an eternal England stood highest in Madame de flight to their eagles. Staël's esteem, both on account of its Madame de Staël passed the winter institutions and the character of its at Stockholm. There she had frequent inhabitants.
opportunities of seeing the Crown She thus renounced her residence Prince, having been formerly on terms at Coppet, quitting it by stealth, of intimacy with him. They canvassdreading obstacles which might have ed the necessity, and, above all, the been thrown in the way of her depar- possibility of opposing a successful reture. I was with her at the time, and sistance to the destructive designs of I think I dever saw any thing so sad as Bonaparte. At this period indeed, she the preparations for setting out. They exercised a marked influence over the were made secretly, and she forebore political events of Europe. It had to speak of them, the better to conceal therefore been safer for Bonaparte to the anguish she experienced. This have allotted her a residence at Paris was indeed severe, for she had then than on the frozen ocean; but, happireason to fear that her absence might ly for the world, tyrants are apt to be for ever; and who was ever able commit mistakes as well as good men. to bid a last adieu to the abode of his After a gloomy winter, during which ancestors without shedding tears of Madame de Stael's health had suffered sorrow? In our day, so many have ex- from the severity of the climate, she perienced this misfortune, that its na- departed for England. There she ture is fully understood. At Coppet, could enjoy that liberty of which she Madame de Staël left the shade of had been so long deprived ; and she her father, and the neighbourhood of did enjoy it,-thanks to that spirit France ;-of that France, so famous which renders it almost as difficult to for its virtues, its crimes, and its destroy liberty in England as to estabachievements.
lish it elsewhere. At this period it was difficult to While in England, she published reach England. Madame de Staël her work on Germany; a work which crossed over Germany, in order to go Bonaparte had seized, because in it into Russia, without knowing whether she urged the Germans to escape from she should embark on the Baltic or the their historical insignificance, by have Black Sea, for these were now the on- ing recourse to deeds, of which they ly seas which were free. She decided were so sparing, in place of words, of however for the north, notwithstand which they were so prodigal
. He had ing the attraction which the countries caused it be seized, because every line of the east held out to her imagina- of it breathed forth the dignity and tion.
independence of man, both of which This long journey was completed it was in the nature of his system to during the campaign of Moscow. At proscribe. St Petersburgh she witnessed the dis- This work, of a graver cast than couragement of the Russians, and the Corinne, has added to modern science return of that energy which the firm- a very extensive domain, which I shall ness of the monarch restored to the denominate the Natural History of nation. There she maintained the Nations. Madame de Staël has given doctrine of resistance as noble in it- us the key to this science, which, in self, and as the only means of saving point of importance, ought surely to the world.
rank far above that of reptiles and Quitting the capital of Russia, as birds. the season advanced, she embarked for The sciences have always owed their Stockholm, the flames of Moscow illu- origin to some great spirit. Smith minating her departure. Whatever created political economy-Linnæus, was now to be the issue of this great botany - Lavoisier, chemistry and event, it was truly awful, as being in Madame de Staël has, in like manner, fact more colossal than the world on created the art of analysing the spirit which it was passing. Every nation of of nations, and the springs which Europe had marched towards the Pole, move them. To whatever extent the one.”
advancement of this science may, in of her father. I there saw her again. the course of time, be pushed, the glo- She was ever the same ; for, in the ry of having been its author must ever whole course of her life, neither her remain with Madame de Staël. sentiments nor her opinions changed.
Her merits, in this respect, will be These opinions merely acquired addimore gratefully acknowledged by pos- tional strength, as experience rendered terity than by her contemporaries. her more certain of the facts on which These have not much relished the they were founded. picture she has drawn of them. In- Crowds of foreigners now thronged deed, we always believe ourselves more her house. They came to see and to beautiful than our portraits represent hear her whose every word darted us; and nations who read their his- light into the mind : they came thithtory are apt to exclaim, like one of my er also to enjoy happiness under her neighbours, while contemplating his hospitable roof. I too have often reface in a looking-glass, “ Heavens! sided under it, and the time I spent how very ugly these mirrors do make there was the happiest of my life. It
was not merely that one found in it Madame de Staël's political opinions more knowledge and more wit than were confirmed during her residence might be met with elsewhere; but I in England, by habitual intercourse was happy because that knowledge and with the Mackintoshes, Lansdownes, that wit were never employed to diand Horners, those heirs of liberty, minish the pleasure of existence. Kind whose numbers are, alas! so alarmingly good-nature and gayety were alike decreasing
welcome there. The imagination was She had hardly been a year in Eng- always occupied, and the soul experiland when she beheld the downfall of enced that happy feeling which inan empire, which the will of Heaven spires contempt for every thing base, had raised up and cast down to serve and love for all that is noble. as an example to mankind.
Lord Byron was one day announced. After the restoration, Madame de It was natural that the most distinStaël returned to Paris. That event guished female of our age should deseemed a recompense to humanity for sire to know the only poet who has all she had suffered. It was the na- found the poetic muse in our day. tions of the north who came in their Madame de Staël was well acquainted turn, as by a miracle, to establish the with English, and could appreciate Lord peace of the world, and to preserve its Byron in his own tongue. He occucivilization. In those institutions pied a country house opposite to Copwhich the King had just accorded to pet, on the other side of the Lake of the wishes of France, she recognised Geneva. To come thither he crossed the political principles in which she that lake, whose aspect inspired his had been nursed, and the predomi- muse with the Prisoner of Chillon. nance of which she had, from the Madame de Staël, now in a very commencement of the revolution, sigh- ailing state, returned to Paris in the ed for in vain.
month of September 1816. It was She now eagerly attached herself to there that this brilliant meteor ceased those institutions so conformable to to shed her life-giving rays on every her views and her wishes. She was society. As her soul surpassed her happy, too, at finding herself in that physical strength, she enjoyed, till her city where her life had dawned ; and last moment, that world which she lovwhere she regained her friends of alled so well, and which will so long reages and of all countries, whom the gret her ; for all places may be filled peace attracted to Paris, as to a gene- up but hers, which must ever remain ral rendezvous.
empty. Fatigued, however, by so much tra- i had quitted her in the spring to velling, she quitted the French capital go into Italy, having no idea that we sooner than might have been expected, should lose her so soon. There was and being now free to choose her resi- in her so much of the spirit of life, dence, she came to enjoy the repose of that half a century seemed insufficient Coppet. She returned to inhabit that to consume it. I know that, even down dwelling which time had rendered to the last days of her life, her house pleasant, and with which were associ- was the centre of union for every ated the image and the remembrance thing distinguished in Paris. She knew VOL. IV,
how to draw out the wit of every one, tarily upon my recollection. I thought and those who had but little, might of- of it the more keenly, on seeing the fer that little, without fear, as she never domestics in mourning, who were the despised it, provided it was natural. same I had then known. They took Her soul gave and received all impres- no notice of me, and I remained in the sions. In the midst of two hundred lobby. persons, she was in communication with I saw the coffin descend, borne by all, and would successively animate the principal inhabitants of the village, twenty different groups. There she for these old men would not yield up exercised the empire of superiority, the privilege of carrying her mortal which no one dared contest with her. remains to that tomb where her father The ascendancy of her presence put awaited her. Their’s was no desire to folly to silence; the wicked and the pay homage to her renown, (for of foolish alike concealed themselves be- what importance was that to them ?) fore her. In this way Madame de but to her who had ever been forward Staël was not only valuable to society to do them kind offices, and who was for what she did, but for what she pre- an object of their love on account of vented.
her worth. It was indeed a remarkable blessing Her children, her relations, her of Providence, the having imparted so friends followed the procession. It had much talent to a woman. It was the nothing of solemnity but the silence first time we had seen such a phe- of grief. Foreigners who had never nomenon. As a woman, Madame de been acquainted with her, lined the Staël has exercised an influence upon way, and bore evidence of the regret her age, so much the greater, that the of the whole world. laws of society could not oppose her, Her coffin was placed at the foot of because the existence of such a woman that where her father reposes, in a had not been anticipated. Madame de monument which he had erected to Staël was thus able to possess, with unite in the same tomb whatever he impunity, a greater elevation, more best loved. This narrow dwelling, eloquence, and more character, than a which will no more be opened, conman could have done in her situation; tains the mortal remains of these and for this reason, that she dared to friends, whom so strong an affection tell the truth, a degree of boldness had linked together. They have again which men seldom possess, being sub- met in heaven, but nothing can replace ject to too many tribunals.
them on earth. I returned from Italy somewhat uneasy at the news we had there received of Madame de Staël, but without be- TRISTAN D'ACUNHA, &c. ing much alarmed by them. I approached Coppet in sadness, for I Jonathan LAMBERT, late Sovereign knew she no longer dwelt in it. Ar
thereof. riving on the 28th July, I stopped, before entering the village, in order to
[Mid way, in the Southern Atlantic, be. look for a moment into that park where zil coast, are situated a small group of three
tween the Cape of Good Hope and the Bra. I had so often roamed. I approached islands, named Tristan d'Acunha, after those courts which I believed to be the Portuguese admiral who first discovered deserted, but found them, on the con- them. Nothing can be more wild and dis. trary, crowded with people. A miser. mal than the aspect of these islands; and able ill-clothed rabble were pressing in stormy weather, which is common in the against the railing ; I asked them the winter season, a tremendous sea roars and reason of so great an assemblage ? foams against the rocky shores. The names They were come, they said, to assist given to the three islands are, Tristan d'A.
cunha, --Inaccessible,--and Nightingale Isl. at the obsequies of Madame de Staël, ands, the two latter of which are so wild and to receive the last mark of her and rugged as to defy all approach. kindness at her tomb.
EDITOR) I entered by the door of the vestibule which was open. I passed in Tristan d'Acunha is about seven front of that very theatre in which I leagues in circumference, of a square had been ten years before ; the curtain shape, formed by hilly ridges with deep was down, but that day of emotion, vallies, and appears to have originated of success, and of life, rushed involun« from a volcanic eruption. The only level ground of consequence is on the We arrived from Rio de Janeiro 27th N. E. side, at the foot of a mountain December 1810. rising upwards of 8000 perpendicular “ I came under an agreement to refeet from the flat, in extent about five main one year, and to have a passage miles; the principal part of which may found me to the Cape of Good Hope, be cultivated easily, having been cleare in case I should not wish to remain on ed of the brushwood by fires, and left the island. My agreement was 12 in a state to receive the plough or spade. Spanish dollars per month, besides the
The island looks to be inaccessible one-third of 20 per cent. on all produce on the other parts. Probably, in mo- during the time I might remain. derate weather, and a smooth sea, “ The man I agreed with was not boats may land; but the only road Captain Lovel, but Jonathan Lambert, across would be over the mountains; an American, who intended to make a to walk round is impossible, the sea settlement on the island. He remained beating in many places against the per- on it till the 17th May 1812, when he pendicular cliffs.
and two other Americans, under preStone for building to be had ; but tence of fishing and collecting wreck, none of the kind the lime is produced took the boat and left the island. Í from could be seen. A very good sort never heard of them since; but I must of reed for thatching grows in abun- not omit mentioning, that the said Jodance.
nathan Lambert took possession of the - The common tree of the island ap- three islands of Tristan d'Acunha in a pears a species of gum-tree, very sap- formal manner. py, and only of use for firewood and “ I never received either money nor common purposes.
any other remuneration from Lambert The island is well supplied with wa- for all my labour. I suffered the greatter. Three falls run near the habitable est distress from want of clothes and part; one convenient for ships, who provisions. I have been constantly may fill casks in their boat with a hose. robbed by the Americans, whether vesa
The seasons are described as being sels of war or merchantmen. They irregular ; the climate very good, and took away my live stock, and the proparticularly healthy. The spring com- duce of the land, which I had cleared mences the latter end of September, with my own hard labour and indusand the winter in April, which is mild, try since my first arrival." never too cold to hurt the vegetation. Thomas Currie has fifteen or twenty Snow is seen on the mountains from acres of ground cultivated, sown with April to September. Prevailing winds vegetables, which were thriving very from S. E.to W. N. W.; seldom wore to well, and three huts thatched with reed. the eastward; but when from that quara The other person on the island (a ter, it blows with its greatest strength. lad whom he called his apprentice),
It rains moderately throughout the came from an English ship, having year, and never at any time to hurt agreed to serve two years for wages : the ground. Ice has never been seen ; is a native of Minorca. thunder seldom heard.
The stock on the island belonging When Buonaparte was sent to St to Thomas Currie consisted of, Helena, it was deemed expedient to Forty breeding sows, of the wild examine these islands, and, if neces
} Two boars,
breed. sary, to take possession of them. The No fowls or ducks left; the last Falmouth frigate was despatched for taken away by the American privateers. this purpose, and arrived there in Au- He stated that, in the mountains, gust 1816. Two men were found liv- there were many wild pigs and goats. ing on the island, who, it appeared, The following is the document left had been on this desolate spot for some by Jonathan Lambert on the island, years, and who were both overjoyed in by which he constituted himself sole placing themselves under the protec- monarch of this group of islands: “ tion of the British flag. One of these “ Know all men by these presents, men, of the name of Thomas Currie, that I, Jonathan Lambert, late of Sagave the following account of his com- lem, in the state of Massachussets, ing to the island.
United States of America, and citizen My first coming to the island was thereof, have this 4th day of February, in an American ship called the Baltic, in the year of our Lord 1811, taken Captain Lovel, belonging to Boston. absolute possession of the island of Tristan d'Acunha, so called, viz. the open traffic, supply themselves with great island, and the other two, known those articles of which they may be in by the names of Inaccessible and Night- need. ingale Islands, solely for myself and " And I do hereby invite all those my heirs for ever, with the right of who may want refreshments, to call at conveying the whole, or any part there- Reception, where, by laying-by, oppoof, to one or more persons, by deed of site the Cascade, they will be immesale, free gift, or otherwise, as I, or diately visited by a boat from the shore, they (my heirs), may hereafter think and speedily supplied with such things fitting or proper.
as the islands may produce, at a rea“ And as no European, or other sonable price. power whatever, has hitherto publicly “ And be it further known, that by claimed the said islands, by right of virtue of the aforesaid right and authodiscovery, or act of possession : There- rity above-mentioned, I have adopted fore be it known to all nations, tongues, a flag. This flag is formed of five diaand languages, that from and ever af- monds, which shall for ever be the ter the date of this public instrument, known and acknowledged flag of these I constitute my individual self the sole islands. proprietor of the above-mentioned isl- “ And that a white flag shall be ands, grounding my right and claim known and considered as the common on the rational and sure principle of flag for any vessel in the merchant serabsolute occupancy; and, as such, vice, which may now, or hereafter, beholding and possessing all the rights, long to any inhabitants of these islands. titles, and iinmunities properly be- And, lastly, be it known, that I Jonging to proprietors by the usage of hold myself and my people, in the nations.
course of our traffic and intercourse “ In consequence of this right and with any other people, to be bound by title by me thus assumed and esta- the principles of hospitality and good blished, I do further declare, that the fellowship, and the laws of nations (if said islands shall, for the future, be any there are), as established by the denominated the Islands of Refresh- best writers on that subject, and by ment, the great island bearing that no other laws wbatever, until time name in particular; and the landing- may produce particular contracts, or place on the north side, a little to the other engagements. east of the cascade, to be called Re
(Signed) “J. Lambert." ception, and which shall be the place of my residence. The isle formerly
« Witness to this signature,”. called Inaccessible, shall henceforth be (Signed) “ANDREW MILLET.” called Printard Island; and that known by the name of Nightingale Isle shall The following is a copy of the last now be called Lovel Island,
letter written by the unfortunate so“ And I do further declare, that the vereign of Tristan d'Acunha, before cause of the said act, set forth in this his disappearance from the seat of goinstrument, originated in the desire vernment. and determination of preparing for myself and family a house where I can
“ Great Island, Tristan d'Acunha, enjoy life, without the embarrassments
« 21st Dec. 1811. which have hitherto constantly attended me, and procure for us an interest,
Captain John Briggs, and property, by means of which a “Dear Sir,-Compliant to your decompetence may be ever secured, and sire, when I saw you last year at Rio remain, if possible, far removed be- Janeiro, I now drop you a few lines, yond the reach of chicanery and ordi- to be sent by the first vessel stopping nary misfortunes.
here. I should have written by Captain " For the above purpose, I intend Lovel, on his return from this place ; paying the strictest attention to hus- but as I had nothing worth commubandry, presuming, where it is known nicating, I reserved myself until I in the world, that refreshments may could, by a year's residence, give you be obtained at my residence, all ves- some account of my situation, and of sels, of whatever description, and be- the soil, clime, and productions of this longing to whatever nation, will visit island, and the surrounding waters. me for that purpose, and, by a fair and But however I have classed them above,