« AnteriorContinuar »
And the music of the dulcimer
While the clash of brother-weapons
And that fearful sound was heard
THE FLOWER OF THE DESERT.
BY MRS HEMANS.
"Who does not recollect the exultation of Vaillant over a flower in the torrid wastes of Africa?-The affecting mention of the influence of a flower upon his mind, by Mungo Park, in a time of suffering and despondency, in the heart of the same savage country, is familiar to every one."-HOWITT's Book of the Seasons.
"And dreams of home, in a troubled tide,
Swept o'er his darkening eye,
As he lay down by the fountain side,
In his mute despair to die.
"But his glance was caught by the desert's flower,
SCENE-A Room in an Italian Cottage. The Lattice opening upon a Lund·scape at sunset, and aging
FRANCESCOTTERESA, quc hư l but
TERESA. 1X, Prot Por fat #f
THE fever's hue hath left thy cheek, beloved ! !! ****
No, gentlest love! not now:
All that is in me for eternity,
All, all, in that memorial.
Oh! what dream
Is this, mine own Francesco? Waste thou not d
Thy scarce-returning strength; keep thy rich thoughts
Like passing music from the lute;-dear friend!
Suggested by the closing scene in the life of the painter Blake; as beautifully
Yes! the unseen land
Of glorious visions hath sent forth a voice
I must, must leave thee! Yet be strong, my love,
One record still, to prove it strong as death,
Thou hast made those rich hues and sunny smiles,
Those pensive lips, that clear Madonna brow,
But how much rests unbreathed! My faithful one!
The dear work grows Beneath my hand the last! Each faintest line
With treasured memories fraught, Oh! weep thou not Too long, too bitterly, when I depart!
Surely a bright home waits us both for I,
In all my dreams, have turn'd me not from God;
And Thou-oh! best and purest! stand thou there—
Revelations d'une Femme de Qualité.*
MEMOIRS are a style of composition in which the French are altogether unrivalled. They have neither the gravity and dulness of history, nor the lightness and frivolity of novels; but combine the two in a way peculiar to themselves, and which the people of no other country in Europe have been able to imitate. Whether it is that their natural vivacity gives them greater advantages in this light species of writing than any other nation, or that the art of conversation has arrived with them at greater perfection than in other states, or that their vanity makes every person imagine that what he has seen and heard must be interesting to the rest of the world; the effect is certain, that their memoirs exhibit a picture of life, manners, and historical incidents, to which there is nothing comparable in the annals of literature.
Since the Revolution, this species of writing has acquired an extraordinary degree of interest, from the illustrious and immortal characters who are brought on the stage. We live with Napoleon and Talleyrand, with Carnot and Beauharnais; the thoughts, the modes of expression, the habits of life, of these great men, are brought familiarly before us; we know them as if we had lived in their society from infancy, and can detect a conversation which does not bear the character of originality, with as much certainty, as if it were the words of our most intimate acquaintances. How different is the case with the illustrious men of our own country; how little do we know of the private character of those to whom we owe the most; and how jejune and uninteresting must be the work of the historian of England, compared with that which exhibits, in the neighbouring state, not only the great events which illustrate history, but the lighter incidents which characterise manners, and distinguish
Plutarch's Lives, and Boswell's Johnson, are the only works in other languages which are of the same description with the French memoirs ; » and accordingly there are no such popular compositions in Roman or . English literature. Philosophers may decry them as gossiping tales, unfit for a place in an historical library; historians may lament their broken and unconnected stories; } but they are read, and will be for ever read, by millions, to whom the graver narratives of events are unknown. We wish not only to know the public actions of illustrious men, but to be familiar with their private habits; to hear how they lived, and diverted themselves, and conversed with their intimate friends; and we derive from faithful and able memoirs of their private lives, somewhat of the same gratification which all must have experienced in the society of illustrious or celebrated men.
Of this class of memoirs we have seldom met with a more interesting work than that which forms the subject of this article. The authoress is already well known to the Parisian, though, we believe, but little to the British public, from the memoirs of the Empire and the Consulate, the reigns of Louis XVIII. and Charles X., which she has already published; but none of these works, though they are all extremely amusing, are so interesting as these Memoirs, which relate to the intrigues of the Court prior to the three glorious days, the causes which led to that event, the state of society in Paris subsequent to the accession of Louis Philip, and the Court of that Citizen King.
The Femme de Qualité,' as she styles herself, is a lady of rank, who was attached to the Court both of Louis and Charles; but she belongs to that liberal class of which Chateaubriand was the head, and who reprobate the fatal ordinances even
* Paris, Delaunay, 1831.