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A MORNING JOURNAL OF LITERATURE, FINE ARTS, FASHION, &c.
VEX.UTX IN SPECDLO.
GLASGOW, WEDNESDAY, JANUARY II, 1832.
THE MEMOIR-MANIA OF THE FRENCH.
Revolve what tales I have told you
There is a sad itching in most people to have a peep behind the curtain of courts, but certainly there is no country where the mania of story-telling, connected with those heartless circles, in which
And deadly ruin wear the masks of beauty,
is so much indulged in,and patronized than in France. The fact is, our Gallic neighbours have always had a most happy knack of thus giving the world the little nuances of character, and of pouring forth in a manner altogether peculiar and fascinating, the gossip and the tittle-tattle which characterize the grands et petits soupers of the haut ton. On perusing the vast collection of memoirs which have lately been issued from the Parisian Press, we have always felt as if we were holding a friendly tete-a-tete with the narrator—so unaffectedly and so easily does the story or anecdote drop from the pen. The history of France for the last forty years affords indeed a particularly fertile field for this spinster-like species of literary composition, and we consequently find that one tome has chased another across the bookseller's counter, with a rapidity unparalleled in any other country.
Among the last specimens of that species of writing to which we have alluded, are the memoirs now before us* of the Duchess of Abrantes, the accomplished wife of the clever Junot, who outwitted our council of sage wiseacres assembled at the convention of Cintra.
In these memoirs we are presented not only with an amusing key to many of the questions which agitated the leading society of Paris, during the eventful period of the Revolution, of the Consulate, of the Empire, and the Restoration, but obtain an insight into the character and demeanour of most of the leading personages, that have, since the execution of Louis XVI. more prominently figured in the field of Parisian politics; while, as a seasoning to the whole, there is every where strewed a goodly sprinkling of that scandal, which is alike the accompaniment of the court of a Consul, a King, or an Emperor. The gossip of the Duchess is particularly amusing, and her various anecdotes are told with a wit and vivacity which rarely belongs to any, save those who have been born and bred within the boundaries of la belle France. Perhaps the most striking, and most interesting, portion of her work is that in which she pourtrays the leading Generals, and those who were more immediately around the person of Napoleon. These no doubt are mere sketches, but it is perhaps questionable, whether they do not really give a better idea of the appearance and character of the individuals delineated than more laboured portraits. Like the simple pictorial outlines of Pinelli and Retch, the figures though only composed of a few touches
* Memoircs De Madame La Duchesse B'abraktes; ou Souvenirs Historiques sur Napoleon, le Consulat, 1'Empire et la
are instinct with life, and stand out before us in all their individual peculiarities. As an example of the Duchess's style, let us take the description of her husband's first steps in life.
"It was at this period that one day, at the post of the battery of Sans-Culottes, a young lieutenant-colonel of artillery arrived a few days before from Paris, to direct the operation ol the artillery at the siege, (of Toulon,) under the orders of the intelligent Cartaux, begged the officer on duty to point out to him a young noncommissioned officer, possessing both courage and intelligence. The lieutenant called La Tempete; and forthwith Junot appeared. The lieutenant-colonel fixed upon him that look which seemed already to know what men were. 'Take off thy coat,' said he, 'and carry this order there,' pointing out a spot at a distance from the coast, and explaining what he required of him. The young Serjeant reddened, and his eyes sparkled: 'I am no spy,' said he; 'find out some one else to execute your order,' and he was retiring. ■ You refuse to obey,' said the officer, in a severe tone: 'do you know to what you expose yourself?' * I am ready to obey,' said Junot; 'but I will go where you send me with my uniform, or I will not go at all. It is honour enough for those cursed English.' The officer smiled, and looked attentively at him. ■ But they will kill you,' said he. 'What is that to you?' retorted Junot: 'you do not know enough of me to be sorry for it; and as for me it is indifferent. Come, I will go as I am, shall I not?' He then put his hand to his cartridge box !' Good? with my sword and these sugar plums, the conversation will not flag, should those gentlemen be desirous of talking ;' and he set off singing. After his departure, ' What is the name of that young man?' said the officer. 'Junot.' 'He will get on.' The officer wrote the name on his tablets.—This was already a judgment of great weight; for the reader must have guessed that this officer was Napoleon.
"A few days after, being at the same battery, Buonaparte asked for some one who wrote a good hand. Junot stepped forward. Buonaparte recognized him as the serjeant who had already fixed his attention. After expressing the interest he took in him, he was ordered to place himself in readiness to write what should be dictated to him. Junot placed himself upon the eqaulement of the battery: he had scarcely finished his letter when a bomb, thrown by the English, burst within ten paces of him, and covered him and the letter with earth. 'Good,' said Junot, laughing, ' we had no sand to dry the ink.' Buonaparte fixed his eyes upon the young sergeant, who was calm, and had not even started. This circumstance decided his fortune."
Let us see next what the authoress rays of
LANNES, DUROC, EDGENE BEAUHARNAIS.'
"General Lannes, then twenty-eight years of age, was five feet five or six inches' in height, slightly, even elegantly formed, with feet, legs, and hands of remarkable beauty. His face was not handsome, but expressive; and when his voice conveyed one of the military thoughts which led him to those deeds of valour, by which he acquired the name of the Rolando of the Army, ' then,' said Junot, 'his eyes which you see so small, become immense, and shoot lightning.' Junot told me that he considered Lannes the bravest man in the army, without any exception, because his courage, always equal, received neither augmentation nor decrease from circumstances which operate upon almost all other military men. He possessed the same sang Jruid on coming into action, in the midst of the melee, and in the most difficult situations, as when he returned to his tent. To these advantages, inappreciable in an officer, particularly a general officer, Junot informed me, that he added a rapid coup-d'ail, an instantaneous conception, and a justness of appreciation, which he had met with in no one but the First Consul. According to Janet, it was Lannes who united the most qualifications necessary to form a perfect man of arms. He was, besides, a good man, a faithful friend, and a sincere lover of his country. He had a heart truly French, and in the beaux jours of the republic, or in the days of la belle repulMque, nothing couples his recollections with blood, unless it be the blood of the enemies of his country."
"Duroc came next to Lannes, amongst those whom Junot mentioned to me. He was, I believe, a year younger, well made, of the same height as Lannes, slight like him, but with more dis
* French measure; about five feet eleven inches English.
tinguished manners. His face might please, but I did not think it agreeable .... His eyes were tolerably large, but too much on it level with his face for his look ever to be in harmony with either his smile or any other expression; which made those who did not like him, say he was wanting in candour. But I, whose dear friend he was, can say that I knew his heart better than anybody, audi can certify his goodness and the perfect ion of his character. . . . Duroc had remarkable talents.— Bonaparte, who could judge men, in distinguishing him amongst his comrades, and in sending him to execute his orders at foreign courts, at a period when it was not in our power to content ourselves with saying,1',' The Emperor, my master, orders you to speak or to hold your tongue,' understood what he could perform."
"Eugene Beaubarnais was still a child, but was then what he promised to be at a later period, a charming and amiable youth, with the exception of his teeth, which, like those of his mother, were horribly bad. His whole person was an assemblage of elegance, the more attractive because he added a quality rarely found with it, frankness and gaiety in bis manners. He would laugh like a child; but his risible faculties were never excited by anything in bad taste. He was amiable, graceful, polite without obsequiousness, and fond of jokes, but without impertinence. He was a good actor, sung delightfully, danced as his father had done when he obtained a surname; in short, he was a very agreeable young man." *
These sketches are certainly both characteristic and clever, and exhibit a taste and a talent not frequently to be met with, in the ordinary run of French Memoirs. We have heard the Duchess's opinion of certain of Napoleon's Generals and Court, let us see what she says of the First Consul himself.
"One day, as the First Consul went down to review the troops in the court of the Tuilcries, an event occurred of so singular a nature as to draw attention and excite interest. Amongst the crowd assembled there was a lad of fifteen, dressed in an old black coat very much worn, but clean, and indicating that its wearer did not belong to the lower classes of society. His countenance was interesting; pale, trembling violently, as his neighbours observed, and putting his hand frequently into his bosom, he seemed impatiently to await the arrival of the first consul. When the drums gave the signal, the emotion of the lad became so strong, that his chest was seen to rise from the beating of his heart. The first consul came down, and, when he was about the middle of the vestibule, the youth precipitated himself towards him, and offered him a paper.—There were so many plots at this period—so many attempts upon the life of the first consul, that twenty persons, not belonging to his retinue, immediately seized the boy, who, with his hand raised, and casting a supplicating look at the first consul, still continued to offer his petition. 'Let the young man go,1 said Napoleon, 'I will speak to him ;' and, advancing towards him, said, 'Who are you, my child?'—The youth could not answer; but falling upon his knees, presented his petition. The first consul read it with an expression of countenance which struck all who were near him: he then fixed his eyes upon the lad, who was still kneeling, and said, with an expression of the deepest sympathy, ' Rise, my good boy; you must kneel only to God. Is your mother still at Paris?' An almost inarticulate yes was the reply. ( Tell her that she has a pension of twelve hundred francs, and six months of arrears shall be paid to her.' On hearing these words, the poor boy fell again upon his knees; he raised at the same time his eyes full of tears and his hands towards the first consul, whose hands he endeavoured to take, but the emotion was too strong. On learning the favour conferred upon his mother, his paleness, which was before extreme, had redoubled: he soon became purple; the veins of his forehead swelled as if they were going to burst; his eyes closed, and he fell senseless at the feet of the first consul; but nature assisting herself, an abundant hemorrhage ensued, and Napoleon was covered by the poor boy's blood. 'A surgeon,' cried he, 'a surgeon.' But it is said that joy is never fatal, and yet I have seen the reverse. Be that as it may, the youth came to his senses, and bursting into tears, forcibly seized the hand of the first consul, and kissed it with transport. 'You are a God for my family,' said he, 'I will pray every day for you.' The first consul smiled, and pressing the boy's hand continued to advance towards his horse, but, before he mounted, recommended the youth to Junot and to the war minister; then, giving him a friendly nod, said, 'If you will enter the service, apply to the commandant of Paris, he will speak to the war minister, and we shall see what can be done for you.' 1 Yes, I will serve y cried the youth, ' I also will be a soldier, that one ray of glory may fall upon my brows.' This young man was the son of Monsieur Delauney, the governor of the Bastille, who was massacred on the 14th of July, 1789."
The matter contained in these Memoirs is really so interesting, that we might go on extracting for pages. Our limits will not however permit us to indulge in any more except the following, which we present our readers as a sample of the authoress's descriptive talent. It is an anecdote of Buonaparte when in Egypt.
"The chief of the snake-catchers came immediately, and the general-in-cbief (lioonaparte) said to him, by means of his interpreter, ' There is a serpent in this house; if you find it, you shall have two sequins for yourself, and two more for your men.'
"The man having prostrated himself, called for two buckets of water. As 6O0n as they were brought, he undressed himself, and remained in a state of complete nudity; then filling his mouth with water, and creeping on his belly like the reptile he sought, squirted it through his teeth, so as to imitate the hissing of a serpent. Having crept in this manner through the ground-floor, be placed himself before the gencral-in-chief, and said with a savage laugh, 'Mafiche, Mafiche;' which means, 'there is none.' The general also laughed, and said, ' How is this? Is the fellow, in good earnest, able to tell?1 He then ordered the interpreter to explain clearly that the reptile had been seen. 'I know it,' replied the fellow; 'I smelt him as I entered the house.' 'Here we are,' said the general .in-chief, 'the acting is now going to begin. Well! let the serpent be found, and I will give thee two sequins more.'
"The man immediately recommenced creeping, and squirted water on all sides. He ascended, in the same manner, a staircase, leading to an upper story, occupied by Bourrienne. A long dark corridor opened into several apartments. It was lighted by a sky-light at the further end, which gave a view of the cuuntry; and at the bottom of this sky-light was placed the water-fountain, this spot being the coolest in the house. The opening itself was sufficiently large to give, from the other extremity of the corridor, a view of the beautiful blue Egyptian sky. On attaining the landing-place of this corridor, the juggler paused, and betrayed emotion. He was closely followed by the general-in-chief and a number of officers, attracted by curiosity. The general did not lose sight of the fellow an instant, and was determined, if be discovered the least trick, to take him in the act. On seeing him shudder and close his eyes, 'Thy man is beginning his part,' said the general to Junot. And, in truth, the snake-catcher was in a most extraordinary state. Habitually pale, as all swarthy skins are, he became every moment paler. He called for more water, washed his body, squirted and hissed as before, but produced another kind of hissing. He looked on each side of the landingplace, made a sign with his hand to keep silence, and still creeping upon his belly, advanced to the right side of the corridor, which was the darkest part of it. In a short time, after squirting his mouthful of water, he exclaimed, in a low tone, 'There he is !' 'I should be delighted to do him the honours of hospitality,' said the general-ln-chief: but, my friend, I suspect thou art laughing at us. Do you know that this rascal, with his hissing, has been making fools of us for the last hour, in forcing us to run, without umbrellas, after his imaginary serpent?' The snake-catcher continued to hiss and creep. On a sudden, a black and round body, resembling the branch of B tree, appeared in relief upon the pure azure, which was visible through the sky-light. It was a handsome serpent, real, alive, and about six feet long.— At this sight, the fellow redoubled his hissing and squirting; aud the serpent, after uncoiling itself from around the fountain, hissed in its turn, but its note was much more piercing.
"Junot informed me that the eyes of the reptile shone, in this sombre corridor, with a blood coloured flame. It glided along the fountain, and stopped; then a slight noise was heard; it was the reptile rising upon its tail. The snake-catcher could not do the same, because he had no tail; but he raised himself half up, and made it slight motion. In an instant the reptile darted at him. He was waiting for this attack; and, at the very moment it was made, caught the animal with one hand round the throat, which he squeezed with such violence, as to force open its mouth, into which he spat. The effect was magical; the reptile seemed to have received its death-blow. The man afterwards extracted its fangs, or rather the venom contained in small vesicles attached to its jaws. He then played with it, put it round his neck, made it dance, and at length devoured it alive. 'Well, General,' said Junot, 'what have you to say of this adventure?' • What can I say to an effect of chance? Thy snake-catcher is a lucky charlatan; that is all.'"
LARGS REGATTA, 1830, By A LANDSMAN No. 2.
Now, surely, this u better far, than all your new parade
After the perils I had undergone, it may be readily supposed I enjoyed a comfortable dinner at Mr. Underwood's with no ordinary relish. My toilet in the morning had been somewhat of the hastiest, and both my hair and my chin required to be submitted to a professional artist, I enquired if Largs had such au appendage, and my kind landlord replied in the affirmative; adding, however, that as an eminent frisseur, from Paris, was also in the village, he thought it right I should be informed of it. There was a diffidence in my landlord's expression, which caused me to enquire if I could be attended immediately f and I then learned that the man of wigs was "drinking with some of his acquaintwas again in peril, when he flourished a monstrous razor in the air. As he approached once more with the soap-brush, I opened my mouth to remonstrate, when he popped it into my throat, and at once put an end to my oration. I was now certain he was drunk. How was I to proceed? Like the bloated spider eyeing the poor gnat just entangled in his wiles, there he stood, with the enormous razor in his hand. I recovered my speech, and modestly and timidly enquired if he really thought he could share me? "Shave you!" he exclaimed, '* Shave you! why, I could shave the devil!" and seizing me by the nose, after six enormous strokes, he affirmed there was not a smoother chin in the parish. I cannot describe the relief I experienced at this declaration, and never in my life did I pay two aud sixpence with greater pleasure, although it was more than four times the bum to which he was entitled, than on the present occasion.
I now had recourse to my travelling bag, and equipped myself in my nice, new, tight, trig, cassimeres. My friend Richard Reef and I went together to the ball, given under the patronage of the Members of the Royal Northern Yacht Club. It was, to say the truth, my first appearance upon such a stage, and I had all the anxiety of a youthful actor. But, when I entered the dancing hall, every other feeling was lost in wonder and admiration. The flags of all nations formed a splendid canopy at one end of the room, near to which stood a number of Members of the Club, by whose graceful manners and tasteful dress, I felt myself, tights and all, in some danger of being eclipsed. We advanced to the centre of the room.
"Look," cried Reef, "to the graceful swim of that angel in the quadrille! Behold those sparkling eyes, half obscured by the raven locks that seek to sun themselves in their lustre! Observe that heaven-born smile on the lips of that lovely girl, still between the spring and summer of her existence, when youth hath no sorrow because all is pure and innocent within; envied, indeed, be that happy swain, on whose arm she leans But come, here is my friend Miss —, allow me to introduce you, and now you shall be our vis a vis in a quadrille." Cunningham immediately played "di tanti," and I, in a moment, was in the midst of the dance.
Sorry am I to say, that the guinea I paid for my twelve private lessons in the "first set," proved to be money thrown to the dogs.
In the third figure I entirely lost my powers of recollection, and, although my partner smiled, and beckoned, and pointed, neither my presence of mind nor my memory, was in the slightest degree recalled. I had always been great, at least my instructor said so, in the pas de Basque, I made a vigorous effort to retrieve my character by its performance—unfortunately, I had commenced with the wrong foot—this brought me, unwittingly, in direct collision with young Reef, and we fell together on the floor.— Oh! how I blushed. A tall Irish gentleman came up to me, and, after inquiring if I were not hurt, begged to know the cause of my misfortune—I told him Reef and I had each new shoes. "By St. Patrick," he exclaimed smilingly, to a lovely girl by his side, "By St. Patrick! I thought they were a pair of slippers."
WAKE, DOCTOR, WAKE!
A NEW SERENADE.
We really feel some qualms of conscience at inserting the following Parody on the elegant stanzas with which we treated our readers on Friday last, and which have already received so many compliments from the public Press. It is the fate, however, of all our best poetry to be parodied; and the simple fact of this sweet Serenade being so soon taken up for the purpose, is, perhaps, the greatest compliment that could have been paid to it. The Jamaica-Street Bridge is the subject of the Parody, while the Wakeful Knight and the Snoozing Sage are too well known to require aught more from us than to say, that like the last jeu itesprit, we mean no disrespect to either, since for the talents of both gentlemen we entertain the highest respect.
Wake, Doctor, wake!
Deaf Dock, awake,
From this wild dream;
'Gainst this mad scheme;
Wake, Doctor, wake!
Wake, Doctor, wake!
For thy own sake;
All Clyde-Street cite
While groups of wits
To pen smart hits.
Wake, Doctor, wake!
Rise, Doctor, rise!
No Baillie cries
Now rise to thee;
And heard must be,
To follow me!
Rise, Doctor, rise!
Rise, Doctor, rise!
Ere city cries
Fright land and sea.
Even modest me—
To war 'gainst thee.
Rise, Doctor, rise!
Mute, Doctor, mate !
I have no flute
Nor whistle small
Nor can I bawl:
On thee I call,
Mute, Doctor, mute!
Mute, Doctor, mute
To my just suit—
So much disdain!
Must I remain
By Chol'ra slain?
Mute, Doctor, Mute!
Snooze, Doctor, snooze!
While I abuse
This scheme of thine.
And gold-chained Nine,
The game be mine!
Snooze, Doctor, snooze!
Snooze, Doctor, snooze!
Nor learn the news
From happy me.
O'er street and quay.
The Bridge is free!
Snooze, Doctor, snooze!
ances in the room below." No time was to be lost. I begged he might be sent me without delay.
I was absorbed in the contemplation of the narrow escape I had so recently made, after having been busily engaged In reading directions for the recovery of drowned persons, in Lumsden's Pocket Memorandum Book, when the door opened suddenly, and my adorner appeared.
He was of gigantic dimensions—whiskers of prodigious growth; his eyes seemed to float in a pure liquid that surrounded them — his upper lip was covered with snuff, whilst his lower trembled and quivered as he approached. I recommended my hair first to his notice; but towards the concluding curl he leaned over me, and I inhaled such an odour of mingled rum, whisky, and porter, that for a moment I was entirely deprived of speech. By the time I recovered, he had soaped all my chin, for the purpose of removing its hirsute appendages; but I began to fear that my life
Wi are credibly Informed that"certain ladies appear at the breakfast table with their hair en papillottes. Such a species of dishabille, it is hoped, for the future, will disappear befor the arrival of the " Day."
A witling, t'other day, after having read our notice on the cholera, dryly intimated that he had at last discovered the Editor of the " Day" to be Dr. Dam!
Description or Bolivar's Officers.—" The native officers, by whom he was surrounded, were chiefly men of colour, of lighter or darker shades, except the two Generals, Paei and Urdenata, who are white. Few of them had any jackets. Their usual dress consisted of a shirt, made of handkerchief-pieces of different colours, and generally of checked patterns, very ample in size, and with wide sleeves, worn outside large white drawers, which reached below the knee; and a hat made of cogollo, or split palm leaves, with plumes of variegated feathers. They were almost all barefooted; but every one wore large silver or brass spurs, with rowels of at least four inches in diameter, and some of even more extravagant dimensions. They generally wore under their hats coloured silk or cotton handkerchiefs, for the purpose of shading their faces from the sun ; although, to all appearance, their spreading sombreros might have afforded sufficient shelter for such dark complexions. We afterwards found, however, that dark as they all were, (and Several were even quite black,) they could not endure the severe heat so well as most of the English. One of Paez's favourite cavalry officers, Colonel Juan Gomez, had a helmet given him by that general, the casque of which was of beaten gold, the work of some rude country artist. Another who commanded his body-guard, Colonel Jose Carbajal, wore a silver helmet ; and many officers and distinguished soldiers had silver scabbards to their sabres, besides silver stirrups and weighty ornaments of the same metal on their bridles."—Campaigns in Venezuela.
A Risible Precaution.—a circumstance happened during an action which gave Bolivar one of the few hearty laughs which we ever saw him indulge in. A tall, stout Scots officer, named P. Grant, who found it very dull to keep in close attendance on Bolivar, strayed into the wood, near the city, to reconnoitre on his own account. Here he saw a Spanish soldier in hasty retreat towards the gates, leading a loaded mule and instantly gave chase to him. The affrighted royalist threw himself on his knees, and begged for quarter, pleading that he was a musician; he also, observing that he was not understood, produced a clarionet from his pocket, and gave proof of his abilities to his captor's satisfaction. Grant knew that such a prize would be acceptable to Bolivar, but he could not think of losing the mule, which he had ascertained to be loaded with the skins of aguardiente, and which had trotted off during the parley between its late and present master. He therefore tied the trembling musician to a tree, directing him, with bitter threats, not to cease playing until he returned, that he might be sure his hands were not employed in untying his bonds; and, having overtaken the mule, brought both his prizes in triumph to our side of the field.—Ibid.
Invention Of Cards.—Cards, it is said, were invented for the amusement of Charles V. The alleged origin of the invention of cards, produced one of the shrewdest replies I have ever heard given in evidence. It was made by the late Dr. Gregory, of Edinburgh, to a counsel of great eminence at the Scottish Bar. The Dr.'s testimony went to prove the insanity of the party whose mental capacity was the point at issue. On a cross-iuterrogation, he admitted, that the person in question played admirably at whist. "And do you seriously say, Doctor," said the learned counsel, "that a person having a superior capability for it game so difficult, and which requires, in a pre-eminent degree, memory, judgment, and combination, can be at the same time deranged in his understanding?" "I am no card player," said the doctor, with great address, "but I have read in history that cards were invented for the amusement of an insane king." The consequences of this reply was decisive.—Sir Walter Scott.
PoMmi During the progress of the excavations in the " Casa
del Fanno," on the 21th of October last, a large painting, in mosaic of extraordinary beauty, was discovered. It is about sixteen feet eight inches in width, and eight feet in height; and the human figures, which it depicts, are half the size of life. The King of Naples went to inspect it In company with his sisters, and expressed himself in the highest degree delighted with the acquisition of so splendid a specimen of ancient art.—Athenaum.
"Hold your tongue for a fool," said an amiable lady to her Lord one evening, in a family party. "I am silent," he replied, "as your Ladyship is about to speak."—World of Fashion.
VirEas Abroad.—" It's a fine warm day," said Hunt, meeting an acquaintance last summer. "It generally is when vipers are abroad," retorted the other.
Sir Walter Scott.—When the Baronet was urged not to prop the falling credit of his acquaintance, he replied, "The man was my friend when my friends were few, and I will be his now that his enemies are many."
Mr. Robinson announces a new Work, upon Gate Lodges lit the Old English Style, as a Continuation of his " Rural Architecture." The Second Part of the new Vitruvius Brltanolcus, by the same author, it also nearly ready, containing the History of Hatfield House, &c. This work will prove a valuable addition to all Topographical Libraries.
Mr. Hayward, of the Inner-Temple, has in the Press "The Acts relating to Pleading and Practice about to be founded on the Common Law Reports," with Introductory Observations and Notes.
Mr. Samouelle's new Work, " The Entomological Cabinet," is in the Press, and the first Number will soon make its appearance.
"The Pilgrim's Progress from This World to that which is To Come," will shortly be published in Numbers.
"Observations on the Pestilential Cholera," as it appeared at Sunderland in the months of Nov. and Dec., and on the measures which were taken for its prevention and cure, are preparing for publication by Mr. Ainswortli.
A Guide to the "Lions" of London, or the Stranger's Directory to St. Paul's, Westminster Abbey, the Zoological Gardens and Regent's Park, the Surrey Zoological Gardens, the Tower, the Bazaars, the Diorama, the Colosseum, the Theatres, the Thames Tunnel, Ike, &c. With numerous Illustrations of the different places and objects, designed and engraved by G. W. Bonner," will shortly appear.
NOTICES TO CORRESPONDENTS.
"The Lover's Dream," by Ascakius, is too dreamy for our columns. We would counsel our correspondent, when he next bestrides Pegasus, to take a ride in the light of the " D Ay." Let us, above all, advise him not to enter the nightly lists with our poetical knight.
"The Reverie of a Genius" has been received, and is under consideration.
"A Mother's Death and Blessing," from the MS. graphy of an Obfhan, will appear on Saturday.
"V's" Epistle has been received. We suspect that the Symposium he alludes to at the Coalhole has had the effect of injuring his memory. The story he sends us of the Laird of Garscadden is as old as the sixty-third edition of Josephus Millarius of happy memory. We shall avail ourselves however of the singular epitaph which he sends us, and shall place it among our Reminiscences. Perhaps "V." might furnish us with something better. A "Finish" at the Coal-hole, we are certain, he could give us with all the con amorc spirit of a true son of Bacchus.
A MORNING JOURNAL OF LITERATURE, FINE ARTS, FASHION, &c
VELUTI IN SPECULO.
GLASGOW, THURSDAY, JANUARY 12, 1832.
THE TOMBS OF ROME.
There U given, Unto the things of earth which Time hath lent, A spirit's feeling; and where he hath leant His hand, but broke his scythe, there is a power And magic in the ruined battlement: For which the palace of the present hour Must yield its pomp, and wait till ages are its doom.
We have heard enough perhaps about Italy from our own locomotive countrymen, but we acknowledge we could yet listen to the travellers of other nations with something like curiosity. We would like to see, for example, Rome through the spectacles of a German, or the lorgnettes of a Frenchman, and could yet indulge in the classical-associating reveries of the Italian, amid the ruins of the land which has been for centuries
"Scinpre il premio delia Vittoria."
T'other night, in search of something striking for the Day, we pounced upon the lately published letters of Sigxor Dandolo on Venice, Florence, Rome and Naples, and, although we find these written in accordance with the inflated style of the modern Aussonian writers, we thought we could not do better than translate a chapter from a work so much admired in Italy. What our readers may think of the following epistle, we cannot pretend to say, but we may tell them that the style of its author is what is best suited to Italian taste and Italian feeling. The inhabitants of the "Land where the Orange-tree blossoms," are at the present moment chiefly attracted by the expression of deep passion and patriotic melancholy. Under such feelings, prose, in their soft and musical language, becomes poetry, and what might perhaps appear rhodouioutade and extravagance to us, is nothing more than the common food that is required to meet the cravings of morbid sensibilities:—
"Rome, a name sacred to every Italian heart. Immortal city, whose record is a brilliant blaze of glory and a black abyss of woe! When I last wrote you, from this ancient capital, I felt myself so much oppressed by an involuntary melancholy, that I was forced to stay my pen. The recollection of the grey and venerable ruins which surrounded me on every hand, coupled with the thought of the universal overthrow that awaits all terrestrial things, coloured my fancy with the gloomiest tints, and disposed my mind to the most melancholy musings.
"If one is sad, however, it is at least consolatory to think, that those who are dear to us have feelings that will sympathize with our melancholy; and perhaps I never experienced greater comfort from such a consideration, than when I just now sat down to address you from a city in which there is neither a stone nor a ruin,—splendid though these still may be,—which does not require an eye which can penetrate the obscure mist of the centuries which have spoiled them; or demands a fancy like our own, that is yet unshackled by the doubts of age, and urn-hilled by the sordid calculations of egotism, fully and effectually to appreciate. The mind of the vulgar man eschews every approximation to the idea of a cemetery. He finds nothing there but the tokens of death, and death to him is the worst of evils. And what is Rome but a vast cemetery? what else is there within her precincts which can be denomin
ated truly great, except her Tombs? The ruins of ages, and the memorials of the mighty past, are mute to those who are the victims of sloth, or who tremble to drag themselves from amid that effeminate languor, in which, from infancy they have vegetated. But you, into whose bosom the divine flame of taste and knowledge has penetrated, can truly comprehend the eloquent language of each ruin and each tomb.' Yes, your ear would have well understood the voice which issued from the gloom of the Scipios* sepulchre, calling to recollection, the magnanimous victories of those warriors, their modest mildness in prosperity, their unconquerable constancy in adversity; and you would have sighed to think that, amid the ashes of this group of heroes, the bones of him who conquered Carthage were await- ing. Impressed with religious awe, I slowly wandered through its gloomy corridors, and when at length, impelled by curiosity, I stretched forth an arm to put my hand within an open urn, and found itfull of crumbled bones and ashes, I felt an icy chill pervade my inmost frame. The fragments instantly dropt from my grasp into their time-hallowed receptacle, and I experienced a pang of remorse for having dared to touch, with so profane a hand, such noble relics.
"You would have likewise heard the self-same voice less loud, but far more touching, speaking from amid the silence of the catacombs. In this inextricable labyrinth of subterranean vaults, the heart is filled with sacred awe and sacred recollections. Once the vaulted roof of this wide cavern proved the line of separation betwixt its neglected inmates and the universe around. The march of armies, the noise of triumphal cars, the pomp of emperors were scarcely felt or heeded within these murky and secluded recesses. The catacombs in fact was the chief theatre where the primitive christians testified their resignation and their virtues,—virtues, which, in the eye of an omniscient Jehovah, were the more splendid as they were the more unknown. It was here that the early promulgators of our faith, with limbs too often torn upon the rack, congregated in secret; it was hither that holy virgins, the best comforters of suffering humanity, and the dauntless preachers of the gospel,—both aspirants to the glory of martyrdom,—ever hastened to receive the last consolations of religion, from the lips of those who too frequently required, ere long, to beg a similar gift; and it was here, where christian believers, happily drawing near the confinesof ashort and sorrowful existence, hewed out for themselves sepulchral niches where they might safely rest from all their worldly woe. The rude stone which covers such modest resting-places, records, neither the name nor the virtues of the departed. The pure and single-hearted beings, whose ashes lie within those dark and dank receptacles, looked not to fame and posterity for reward. They wisely looked to God, as the only just and faithful recompenser of the virtuous. Those vaults which have been opened
* Oisifs de not cites, dont la mollesse extreme