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greater barrier to the attainment of poetical eminence. Everything was doubted, nothing believed ; sceptics in morals as well as in religion, there was nothing whereon to ground belief, and poetry, like religion, asks faith. Destroy its credence in the finer sympathies, the higher and holier im. pulses of our nature, and we destroy its existence. The compliment was elegantly turned, the satire was keenly pointed; so much for the higher ranks: and as for the lower, no peasant poet ever made his native valley vocal with his songs, till nature, borne on the wings of music, like Psyche wafted by the zephyrs, found her way even into palaces. The de. graded state of the peasantry made this impossible: the wildest tribe that ever roamed the desert may be poetical, the civilized savage never. Where, in such a state of society, were the excitements or the materials of poetry? for, though devout believers in the original existence of genius, separate and self-supported, as the fire of the volcano, yet we also think there must be a peculiar state of atmosphere to call forth the liquid tame,
To take a moment's glance at the list of French poets, as their names occur, we have the Abbé de Lille's . Jardins,' whose pastoral and rural sketches are about as natural as the pictures when it was the fashion for ladies to be drawn as shepherdesses ; their ideas of Arcadia being composed of a nosegay, a crook, a large straw hat, and a long green sash; and where, in the odes of J. B. Rousseau, (save only that Pindaric address to Fortune,) shall we look for the exquisite imagery of Collins, the classical power of Gray, or the reflective philosophy of Wordsworth ? Perhaps a few words on the Henriade will show the defects of French poetry; they may be principally comprised under three heads; its being made the vehicle of courtly flattery, its adherence to mythological imagery, and its utter ignorance of natural beauty. The gods of Ethnic faith are too awkward and too senseless for worship in the present day; for poetry must, to a certain degree, be truth. Their magnificent deities, their lovely goddesses, their graceful train of nymphs, nereids, &c., were beautiful and efficient in the hands of the Grecians, for they believed in their existence. Such was the state of the more imaginative parts of literature previous to the Revolution. That has indeed effected a mighty change; freedom, like pure air, has cleared and lightened wherever it past, and nowhere are its effects more felt than in the mind. It is not in the midst of terrible events that people lie down to meditate upon them, but in the after-hours of tranquillity. France is more likely to produce fine poetry now than ever ; men's thoughts and feelings have received a new stimulus, old prejudices have been forcibly trodden down, old customs shown to be of no avail, foreign models contemplated, and a new standard of taste introduced. In every work which now issues from the French press, the influence of this renovated spirit is felt. As yet indeed, no master minstrel has arisen to give his own tone to minor writers (for though we do full justice to the talents of Messrs. Delavigne and Delamartine, yet they are not men who stamp the character of a language); but we do firmly believe there is more of imagination and taste at this present moment in French literature, than would have served the whole Siècle de Louis XIV.
Perhaps the volume which suggested these remarks will illustrate, as well as any, the change which we hold to have taken place. It is a little book full of simple and natural feeling, with veins of that melancholy whose very existence is poetry. • Les poésies' of Mde. Amable Tastu consist of some very graceful translations from Moore, and many short original pieces whose sadness and tenderness appear to be what the inspiration of the minstrel should ever be, from the heart. In translating two or three of our favourite pieces, we shall endeavour rather to follow the meaning than
the measure: for example, in the following stanzas we have given the more recitative part of the ode in blank verse, and we shall only have recourse to rhyme, where either the nature of the poem requires it, or where such a style being peculiar to both languages, the metre will not interfere with the turn of a single idea.
Song of Sappho at the Pyre of Erinna. Happy the priestess of the poet-god Weep, maidens, weep, the daughter of the Whose songs, young Lesbians, the Aonian lyre
Who asks in vain from a once high pure Alone have taught ! oh! happy she, who Its vanished dream, whose glory and whose sleeps
shame Ere wakened from the error which but Are linked together, she who paid happiness wakes
Her price for genius, but enjoyed it not. To know itself the nurse of long regrets, She who is struck by slander's poisoned Or envy her who dies and leaves behind tongue. Songs pure as ever her own features were. But this is not Erinna! alas, not she.
We will pass over the next two stanzas as too mythological, and leave the jealousy of Plutus, and the anger of Venus, for the following exquisite cluster of images alluding to the death of Erinna. She has past as the day-break
Dark night has brought its visions, she Fades on the hill-side,
has seen As the swan's sad low singing
Each muse in silence hide her radiant Borne away by the tide.
brow, As the rose flower droops
And when day sinks to darkness, hears she When the night hour's come on,
not As the silver stream tumbles
From the cold waves a voice which calls And dries in the heat of the sun.
her there. But weep for her, who is suffering still, But this is not Erinna! alas, not she! Waiting that hour for which perhaps she
prays. The following is in a lighter vein, imitated from one of Thibaud's, The King of Navarre.
Greeting lovely ladies all, who have welcomed me in hall,
'Tis not love which liveth now,
Please you all for true love pray.
'Tis not, &c.
"Tis not, &c.
'Tis not, &c,
In a little lonely wood, There is laid love's funeral stone;
'Tis not, &c. One beautiful simile, alluding to herself and the remembrance she leaves behind in song, and we have done.
As in a vale some solitary flower
Frail playthings for the wind. We have now only a few words of praise and welcome to the fair lyrist whose music we have been endeavouring to catch. There is a delicate tone of feminine feeling which pervades the whole, and, if report speaks truly in saying that she is collecting materials for a volume of legends, from the olden times of France, we congratulate both herself and her readers. Essai Historique sur la République de San-Marino : par Auger-Saint• ". Hippolite. Paris. Librairie de Delaforest, 1827. Ten miles from Remini, on the summit of a mountain called by the Ancients Mount Titan, and at present named Mount della Guaja, is situated the town of San Marino, the Capital of the Republic of the same name. In the time of the Emperor Diocletian, this territory, then an uninhabited waste belonging to a rich Pagan Lady, named Felicita, was chosen for a place of solitary retirement by one Marinus, a pious Christian mason, whom Diocletian had sent to restore the walls of Remini. From his seclusion he frequently descended to the vallies, in order to collect the scattered Christians, and to convert the heathens to the pure faith of Christianity. Among the number of the latter who became his disciples was Felicita, who with her two sons and fifty of her dependants, embraced the Christian faith. So great was the influence of his preaching, that the inhabitants of the surrounding villages left their homes and followed the hermit to his solitude on the Mount, where they formed themselves into a Christian community, under his direction. They supported themselves and their families by cultivating the lands, and other industrious employments. Felicita, at her death, left Marinus sole heir to this property. He continued, however, to live among his followers, and instituted among them a system of perfect equality, so that all was in common among the brethren. The laws were passed in the full assembly of the people, held in the church ; and their magistrates, to whom they paid implicit deference, were chosen at the same public meetings. Before his death, Marinus had the satisfaction of beholding a town and cultivated country, where he had found a wilderness, and also of witnessing the flourishing state of the Institutions which he had established. When he found his end approaching, he assembled the people in the church ; and, after admonishing them to live peaceably and piously under the laws which he had given them, he bequeathed to the Community the Mountain, with all the properties thereto belonging. In testimony of their gratitude, his disciples dedicated a church to his memory, and worshipped him as a Saint; but the best worship which they did, or could pay him, was their invariable adherence to the principles of fraternal love and Christian liberty which he had inculcated. In progress of time, as their numbers increased, they purchased additions to their territory; and in order to secure themselves against the disturbances of the Middle Ages, they fortified their chief town with three towers. During the unfortunate struggles between the Guelphs and Ghibelins they maintained a strict neutrality, which was only interrupted on one occasion, when they took arms in favour of the Ghibelins. They, however, soon
withdrew from the contest, and acted on the defensive against both parties. About this time, the constitution of San Marino received that form which it preserves to the present day. The sovereignty of the people is vested in its general assembly, which elects a supreme council of sixty citizens, chosen for life. This council, called Consilio Principe,' is the legislative body, and appoints to the magistracy. The executive power is intrusted to two Capitani, elected every six months; and for the administration of justice, there are two judges of peace, six of appeal, and twelve of revision. Every citizen, capable of bearing arms, is a soldier. They pay no taxes, the estates belonging to the community being fully adequate to meet the government expenses.
Pope Gregory the Seventh extended his ambitious views even to this solitary republic. His legate at Pentapole was instructed to demand from the inhabitants of San Marino the payment of a small tribute, which they unequivocally refused ; and, tenacious of their independence, sent ambassadors to Rome. Gregory, astonished at the boldness with which they maintained their rights, sent a commissioner empowered to investigate the point between them and the legate. The documents relating to this mission are preserved in the Archives of San Marino, and have been published by Delfico, in his excellent history of this republic. On being asked by the papal messenger, what they understood by the terms liberty and exemption, they replied, “ The not acknowledging any dominion whatever, paying no tribute, and performing no act of homage, as they owed an account to none but to the Lord their Saviour." Similar attempts, made by other Popes and Princes of Italy to subject this people, met with similar success; and the few internal disturbances were speedily quelled. Simplicity of manners, virtue, and wise legislation, have always kept the spark of liberty alive among this people; and when the destruction of the Bastile proclaimed to Europe the morning dawn of regeneration when the sun of victory, leading his glorious host of warriors, descended the Alpine rocks, and freedom's voice resounded through all Italy, San Marino enjoyed, in peace, those high advantages which not the force of arms, nor the tide of human blood, but the pure principles of Christianity had given. Its existence, fraternally saluted by the French republic, was respected by the French usurper; and it remained unmoved amidst the storms of revolution and continental war.
All the important facts and documents relative to this interesting Re. public, the only one in the world which owes its origin to Christian principles, have been collected by Melchiore Delfico, in his admirable work called Memorie Storiche della Republica di San Marino, on which the volume verore us is founded. Min ji
veo Vie Politique et Militaire de Napoléon, par lui-même au tribunal de César,
d'Alexandre et de Frederic. 4 vol. Paris, 1827. The name of General Jomini is already sufficiently known among the military writers of France--more particularly by his Traité des Grandes Opérations Militaires,' and by the supplement to that work, under the title of Histoire critique et militaire des Campagnes de la Révolution,' and his translation into French of the Principles of Strategy, attributed to the Archduke Charles. In the present work he shows us Napoleon as General, Consul, and Emperor, and critically discusses all his actions. .
He commences with a rapid sketch of the General's life, but he enters only into detail from the period of the Directory--when, indeed, Buonaparte achieved his great exploits in Italy, and so cunningly and opportunely absconded from Egypt. He proceeds with the transactions of the Con
sulship, sulship, the battles of Marengo and Hohenlinden, and the acquisition of imperial sway by the Corsican. Then, indeed, a continued success did not follow the strides of ambition-then, indeed, unjust aggressions, and cruel and disgraceful reprisals began to mark the conduct of the imperial chief; --then, indeed, great military prowess, and still greater military faults characterized the autocrat. All this M. Jomini has not had the candour to avow; but it is, nevertheless, no less true.
Here, also, we have the assassination of the Duke d'Enghien, which Buonaparte wished to justify on the plea of baseness of police agents and fanaticism : but his own word, and his own atrocious heartlessness, were the oracles which pronounced the unhappy prince's doom; and, as for the police, it was the fruit of his own care, for he had re-organized it himself. Here we have also the condemnation of Moreau and other conspirators, and the final exaltation of the Consul to the throne of the most Christian Kingsinvested with the imperial purple, clothed with the attributes, and possessed of the leonine heart of the god of War. And this again is followed by arguments on the absolute necessity of an hereditary government, which is most appositely applied by the General to the case of the First Consul.
The campaign of Austerlitz augmented the military renown of Napoleon ; and its description gives a powerful representation of the precipitation of the Emperor's movements. The whole of this portion of the book is well and vividly executed by General Jomini.
The writer endeavours to justify the invasion of Spain, and then passes to the German Campaign, crowned by the victory of Wagram. After this he exposes the motives of the Russian invasion, and recounts the adventures accurately, holding a middle path between the Baron Fain and Comte de Ségur. This is followed by the Campaigns of 1813 (terminated by the battle of Leipsic), of France (terminated by the abdication of the humbled Chief), and 1814, so glorious for the British arms.
The spirit of the book is eulogistic of Buonaparte-indeed, that seems to have been General Jomini's great inducement for the undertaking. Hence he has failed: no blame for want of skill, however, can be attached to the author; for the General, however clever, is by no means conjurer sufficient to work impossibilities. Benjamin Constant. De la Religion, considérée dans sa source, ses formes,
et ses developpemens. 3 vols. Paris, 1827. The third volume of this work has been published this year. It is not inferior to the preceding ones, and surprises us by the same erudition and philosophical deductions, for which the two first volumes have proved so interesting. The sixth Book treats of the constituting elements of the sacerdotal polytheism, and Chapter 1 of the combination of the worship of elements and the stars with that of the fetiches ; chap. 2 of the popular part of sacerdotal polytheism; chap. 3 of the secret doctrines of the sacerdotal corporations of antiquity ; chap. 4, instances of this combination among the Egyptians; chap. 5, instances of this combination in the religion of the Indians; chap. 6 of the causes which have modified this combination in India, without prevailing over the priesthood ; chap. 7 shows that instances may be found among all nations subject to priesthood. The seventh book treats of the constituting elements of polytheism, independent of sacerdotal government. The most interesting chapters are, chap. 2, of the state of the Greeks, in the heroic times; chap. 5, of the embel ishment of the divine forms in the Homeric polytheism; chap. 6, of the character of the Homeric gods; chap. 7, of the notions of the Greeks on fate. And the last book, or liv, viii,, shows that the religion of the Odyssey is