Imágenes de páginas

it is entitled Eliezer and Nepthali. company, and Florian in his study. It is entirely a work of imagination, When he found himself in a society but possesses most lively interest

. At of persons who were known to him, the very moment I am now writing, and amongst whom he was perfectly a search is making for this precious at ease, he yielded to the charms of manuscript, which cannot be found conversation; and there was none among the author's papers.* Nothing more lively, more agreeable, more shall be neglected to discover it, and entertaining, than his own. Wh to hasten the period when the pub- his spirits were a little elevated, he lick may enjoy this interesting pro- would make the melancholy laugh; duction.

on the other hand, where he was unThe last work of Florian, is his acquainted with those present, or translation of Don Quixotte. He had no intimate acquaintance with worked at it, he said, in order to rest them, he always appeared grave and and unbend his mind, and to prove serious. But even this very gravity, to Cervantes, that he had entirely with those who knew him well, forgotten the aversion he conceived formed a singular contrast with his against him in his youth. When a natural gayety. friend observed to him, that Don Such was Florian. Such was the Quixotte had been read by all the man, amiable in his conduct as in world: that the passion he attacked his writings; dividing his time not being now the fashion, would equally between friendship and excite but little interest; he replied, study; ever ready to oblige; incapathat Cervantes being the best wri- ble of giving a denial; a stranger to ter that Spain ever had, he should every species of animosity. He retirbe better known. That those who ed to Seaux at the commencement had only read the translation of Fil- of the revolution; and, solely emlau de Saint Martin, knew him not ployed in his solitude in literary at all; and that he hoped they would pursuits, could it be supposed that read his, which, on the whole, was envy would disturb the tranquillity only a free translation. As few wri. of his days ? would tear him from ters have been more read than Flo- his peaceful thickets, and drag him rian, we trust his hopes will not be to a prison ? He had so little an idea deceived. His translation will be of it, that his arrest came upon him brought forward with all possible like a thunderbolt. He felt uneasy despatch.t

when they said to him: “You are The private life of Florian," like not at liberty;" and from that mothe generality of men of letters, af- ment, felt that this trait of men's infords no incidents of any striking na- justice, would conduct him to the ture; he wrote it himself. It must tomb. have been interesting, for he related Posterity will with difficulty credit, every thing in a pleasing manner, that the author of Estelle and Gaand knew how to stainp a value latea, living in rural retirement, sureven upon trifles; but this Life most rounded by his books, should have probably was destroyed, and there is given sufficient cause for his being only one person to whom it was ever hurried to a prison. read.

Amongst those various features Those who are not intimately ac which historians will cite, in order quainted with him, can form no idea to characterize the epoch of the reof the difference between Florian in volutionary regime, they will not fail

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* Since the above was written, the MS. has been discovered, and printed at Paris. It is a beautiful tale, and, if possible, surpasses the Death of Abel.

† Florian's Don Quixotte has since appeared from the stereotype of Didot, at Paris. It is in six neat volumes, with tiventy four plates, exquisite, though small. It is about to be translated into English

to remember the arrest of Florian. say nothing of the long nights, There is something so very strange which differ only from the days in it, and the consequences were so froń the want of light, without deadly, that it may not be unpleasing books, almost without paper-in the to detail the incidents. I find them midst of six hundred persons in stated in the rough copy of a memo vain calling to my assistance the rial or petition, in the shape of a imagination I formerly possessed, letter, which Florian wrote in prison and finding nothing in its place but to one of the deputies of his ac sorrow and dejection. quaintance. When I read it, I could “I wish, however, to be employed scarcely check my tears. Those who I have conceived the plan of a will read it after me, will shed some work* which I think useful to the too, if they are not quite destitute of publick morals. Even in my prison, feeling. I well know that many peo. I have celebrated the hero of liberple will blame Florian, for not hav. ty. I send you my first book: I ask ing evinced more firmness, and your opinion of it. suffering himself, in some measure, “ If you are not of opinion that the to be overwhelmed and weighed poem may strengthen, in the breasts down by the weight of the injustice; of the youthful part of the French but if weakness of character is a nation, the love of the republick, fault, it is not always a crime. It and the respect for simple manners, springs from sensibility, and claims do not answer me: let me die here. indulgence.

The alteration in my state of health

gives me hopes, that will soon be THE LETTER.

the case, Citizen Representative,

“ If your civism and your taste, “ You cherish, you cultivate, let. abstracted from all interest for me, tors; but liberty and your country, persuade you that my work should still more. You require that the arts, be finished, speak to your colleagues to whom you were a friend from in- members of the committee of Pub. fancy, should be made useful to the lick Safety, and say to them cause of the people, for whom you 66 Of what can that man be guilty wish to die. 'Tis on that title alone who dreaded being shut up in the I address you.

Bastile for the first verses which he “ Meditating for a long time back, wrote in the Vassal of Mount Juon amending the ancient history for ra?who wrote before the Revolua national education, I acquainted tion, the eleventh book of Numa meni the committee of Publick Safety, of and who since the Revolutiou, free, my intentions, by a memorial I ad- unencumbered, without other for dressed to them. I spoke of myself, tune than his talents, which he in a moment, when a timid man, who could transport to any clime, has had the slightest reproach to charge not, for an instant, quitted his counhimself with, would have been only try; commanded three years in the anxious that he should be forgotten. National Guards;

written many Calm and tranquil as to this step, I books; and, in his collection of Falaboured on in ny retirement, and bles, printed that of the Monkeys and had already finished several articles the Leopard ? upon Egypt, when a sudden order

« « Can a writer of fables, a simple of the committee of Publick Safety, shepherd, he who sang the loves of caused me to be put under a state of Galatea and Estelle, can he be guilty arrest, in the prison of Port Libre. Į of a crime? The Lyre of Phedra. have now continued twenty days; to the Pipe of Gessner-100 soft, ne

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doubt, in the midst of warlike sounds, the foul air and coarse food of the can they be displeasing to those who prison left the seeds of a dangerous wish to establish freedom on the ba- malady; it was not long before he sis of morality? The linnet which took to his bed, from which he newarbled forth its notes near the ver arose. Lernian Marsh, when Hercules en. The tenour of Florian's life indigaged the Hydra, excited not the cated a long career. His temperance hero's wrath; nay, perhaps, when the and sobriety, gave hopes, that he victory was gained, he listened to it would be a long time preserved to with the greater pleasure.'

Friendship and to Letters. Although “ To these few words do I now, rather below the middle size, he and shall reduce my sole defence. was strongly made. His face was not If they believe me guilty, let them handsome; but the serenity, the judge me; but, if I am innocent, let gayety which shone in it; his full them restore me to my liberty, to my black eyes, sparkling with fire, writings, to my works now ready which gave an expression of animafor the press, and which my confine- tion to the toute ensemble of his ment has prevented my putting the countenance, rendered it striking finishing hand to. Let them restore and agreeable. He died at Seaux, in me to my pure and harmless life, a small apartment which he occuand the desire of being still useful pied, at the Orangery, before he to my country.”

reached his fortieth year. It was thus that the mild and

At any other time, the death of soothing voice of Florian, sought to the author of Estelle, Galatea, Nustrike the ears of those odious ty- ma, Gonzalvo, and William Tell, rants, who then held France in base would have been ranked amongst the subjection. The ninth of Thermidor, most particular occurrences of the hastened the effects of the solicita- day. Poets would have written eletions of Florian and his friends. He gies upon his untimely fate; and the left the prison some time after that literary societies would have memorable day; and he hastened to sounded with his eulogies, and beleave Paris, to go and live quietly in wailed the loss which learning had the country. His chief object was to sustained. But, at the period when breathe a purer air, and make him- Florian died, men were wholly oce self be forgotten. He had imbibed a cupied with politicks and grief. degree of melancholy which render. Each had some personal tears to ed solitude more dear to him than shed to the memory of murdered ever. Whether it was that the idea friends or kinsmen; and the death * of the injustice he had experienced, of Florian, scarcely noticed in a few

had preyed upon his mind so as to of the journals of the day, was, with affect his health; whether it was that them, forgotten.


Causes of the Overthrow of the Spanish Monarchy. By the Rev. Joseph Townsend, M.

A. Author of Travels in Spain. THE events which have recently carried captive by foreigners withoccurred in Spain have excited uni out resistance from the natives, are versal astonishment. Every one is such events as are unparalleled in solicitous to trace their progress, history. and to ascertain the cause, which What cause then can be assigned has produced them. A mighty em which is adequate to such effects ? pire overthrown in the space of a The cause is obvious: bad governfew days, and the reigning family ment. This has ruined, in succes

sion, all the mighty empires which reign, to proclaim the title of the have existed in the world, and will successour to the throne. continue to do so till the end of One additional cause of bad gotime.

vernment was found in Spain. When a territory of contracted li When the reigning family was mits has been overrun by some pow.. changed, and Louis XVI. forced his erful nation: this implies merely a grandson upon a reluctant people, physical inability to defend itself. the Bourbon family thought it exBut when a widely extended country, pedient to assemble the grandees well peopled, has been suddenly round the throne, where, in fact, subdued, we have always been able they were prisoners of state. Thus to trace this ruin to its proper cause; assembled, and devested of all powbad government.

er, they quickly degenerated and In Spain a former generation saw became perfectly useless to the state. the country in the space of three All these circumstances have been years conquered by the Moors. It noticed in my Spanish travels, was at that time ill governed, dis- Whilst Charles III. was living, the heartened, and disarmed: but, as the government, it must be confessed, new comers governed well, it re was weak, but it was not oppressive. quired more than seven hundred His understanding was such as to years of almost incessant war to guide him well in the choice of his drive them out. There can be no ministers, and every one was satisfied doubt, therefore, that to bad govern- of his benevolent intentions. His ment we must ascribe this recent successour was not so highly favourrevolution.

ed. Of his heart I can say nothing; The next question which occurs to but every thing demonstrates the be resolved, is, how Spain came to be deficiency of his intellectual powers. worse governed than the surround. Whilst I resided at Madrid, I went ing kingdoms.

every day to court, and, solicitous to This subject requires some retro- form some judgment of the destined spect, some short investigation. successour to the throne, I constant

When the intolerable abuses of ly attended in the circle, where he the feudal system, oppressive at once conversed with his friends and the to subjects and to sovereigns, requi- foreign ministers after dinner. Here red reformation, the sagacity of it was not possible to mistake his statesmen led them to different ex character in point of understanding. pedients for relief. In one point they His education and his habits had no all agreed; they humbled the proud tendency to remedy this defect; for vassals of the crown, but suffered the greatest part of his time was the power of the people to increase. spent in the diversions of the field, Such was the policy of Henry VIL and none appeared to have been Of Ferdinand and Isabella, of Xime- allotted to the improvements of the nes, and of Richelieu. Thus far all mind. was well. But whilst in England our When he returned from hunting, parliaments maintained their power, and when the weather prevented his such national assemblies were laid sport, his occupations were such onaside in France and Spain. Indeed ly as were suited to infancy. France retained her provincial parli After his accession to the crown aments, but these formed a feeble his principal amusement in the barrier against the encroachments of depth of winter, at Madrid, was a the crown. In Spain, from the days Nacimiento, or representation of the of Charles V. the Cortes were never Nativity. For this purpose,

in suffered to assemble, excepting only saloon of three hundred and sixty

at the commencement of a feet long were seen a mountain,



rocks, cascades, and verdant groves, on the queen, who immediately on Jerusalem and Babylon, a sea coast his accession to the throne took her and ships, numerous images of seat in council by his side, attended angels, wise men, and shepherds, whenever the ministers were admitwith the Virgin and the infant Jesus, ted to an audience, and prior to their all curiously wrought by the best admission was informed of the buartists of Italy and Spain. These siness on which they came. were richly clad in modern style. As long as Florida Blanca retained The jewels of gold, silver, pearls, his power, his whole attention was emeralds, and diamonds, with which directed to the wellbeing of the he adorned these figures, were of state. His virtue was rigid, his fidelinestimable value, and the camels ity, inflexible. Intent on the improveattendant on the wise men were ment of the country, he allotted loaded with treasures.

great sums to canals and roads; but The whole of this saloon was light- not finding the publick revenue ed by hundreds of ļamps, concealed adequate to the demand for these from the spectators.

important works, he suggested to During the twelve days of Christ. the king that, for the publick good, mas the king always spent his nights other expedients should be resorted in this saloon. And here the gran- to; and when the dutchy of Alcudia dees, ambassadours, ministers of escheated to the crown, he advised state, and persons of distinction, that the rents should be applied to were admitted to pay their compli- expedite the finishing of the great ments, each vying with the other in canals. expressions of admiration at the His wise purposes were, however, wonders of his Nacimiento

frustrated, and this high dignity with The principal artist was obliged its emoluments were given to a faevery year to exhibit the powers of vourite of the court. his imagination by some new plan. When I was in Spain this fa

When I was at Madrid I had the vourite was perfectly unknown. But honour of being introduced to Saba soon after the death of the good old ţini, a distinguished architect, whose king, when a young Spaniard, a very merit had been little noticed by the intimate friend of mine, was about court; but this man, in the succeed- to visit England, and had taken ing reign, having had the good for- leave of the royal family, his father, tune to give satisfaction to the sove well acquainted with the secrets of reign, by the construction of a saloon the court, inquired of him if he had for his Nacimiento, as a reward for called on Manuel Godoy, No. Go his ingenuity he was made an ad- then immediately, and ask for his miral.

protection. My friend obeyed the It must not, however, be imagined mandate of his father, and was most that Sabatini was to have the com- graciously received. This handsome mand of fleets upon the ocean. No: young guarde de corps was at dine he was to be one of the admirals who ner with some of the grandees, who commanded the little fleet upon the doubtless foresaw his future great Tagus, with which the king amused ness. himself during his vernal residence at

The house was his own, magnifi, Aranjuez.

cently furnished, and the room in From good authority I am inform, which he dined was decorated with ed that more than 30,000l. was every the most elegant and costly trinkets. year expended on this childish play. For some years this favourite of for: thing of the king;

tune was concealed from publick Whilst he'thus amused himself the view; he had shone hitherto in the cases of government devolved wholly small circle of his friends. But now

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