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the reader with an anecdote of Buonaparte on his flight from Russia, ubich, though it relates little more than that be warmed his hands at a stove, is still, from the extraordinary events of that momentous time, not devoid of interest.
“ In passing through Gotha, I was entertained in a most friendly manner by Herr Schenk and his lady, to whom I brought letters from Weimar. In the inn at which I stopped at Fisenach, I heard some warm conversation and argument about Napoleon's fighty and I wis scrry to observe that he still had many partizans there. I had a letter to the post nistress, a handsome young woman born in Weimar. She told me, that as she was quietly knitting on the evening before, a man entered wrapped up in a large pelisse. He laconically wished her a good evening, and proceeded to warm his hands at the stove. Such visits were common, and she, at first, took no particular notice of him. He soon began, however, to make inquiries respecting the damage which had some time before been done by the blowing up of an ammunition-waggon, and asked whether those who suffered by the accident had received the money which the French Emperor ordered to be distributed among them? She related what she knew of the affair. Ile asked her whether she knew the Emperor. She answered she had only seen him transitorily. “Do you wish to see him?'-'() yes !' He then threw back his pelisse, with the cape of which his face was partly covered, and said, You see him now. The surprise of the post-mis. tress may be easily conjectured. She offered him some refreshrent, which he declined. Meanwhile there was a loud noise at the door, where Caulincourt was caning the postilions for delaying to put to the horses. These gentlemen were on the point of returning him like for like, when the post-master, who recognized the Duke of Vicenza, ran to liis assistance. In passing through the ofice he found the emperor paying compliments to his wife, and dissuading her from going to see what the noise was about. He went, however, to the door himself, put an end to the uproar, and then proceeded farther on his journey, after very politely taking leave of the post-master and post-mistress. It was reported at Eisenach, that be made the latter a present of a valuable ring.” P. 191.
From Weimar, our author was no longer under an escort, but was allowed to pursue bis journey to Soissons alone, under the protection of a marching billet. His route will not be followed without entertainment to the reader, though the interest of the prisoner is in great measure merged in the private gentleman. He proceeds through Paris to Soissons, where he takes up bis abode among his fellow-captives.
his fellow-captives. Although nothing appears to have bappened to him here that have not liappened to thousands before, and will probably happen to thousands again, yet the delail of his hopes and fears, his privations and pleasures, is far from being unamusing. During the latter part of his stay at Soissons, he is committed to the care of M. Letierce, a benevolent physician, whose house and family he is most unwilling to leave, when summoned to proceed to Dreux; from whence he is conveyed to St. Malo, where hie esperiences a more rigorous captivity for nearly six weeks, when, on the celebrated fourth of April, he is liberated, by the restoration of the king. A pleasing incident occurs during his residence in the family of Letierce, which is highly characteristic of that portion of the French nation, from whose hearts revolutionary ferocity had not entirely eradicated every kind and amiable feeling.
“I was awaked one morning as early as four o'clock. On suddenly opening my eyes, I was amazed to find M. Letierce standing by my bed side. He embraced me, and congratulated me on my birth-day. A few weeks before, in the course of conversation, Í accidentally told him when my birth-day happened, and he had not forgotten it. I immediately rose, and went down stairs, where I found all the family dressed ; and where each, according to the French custom, presented me with a nosegay. As I had not enjoyed the happiness of living with my parents since I was seven years of age, these marks of attention were new to me, though I had frequently contributed my mite to surprise others in the same way. Tears were the first thanks I had to offer. All rentained sie lent, but all were interested. Breakfast was on the table, in the centre of which was a rich cake, impressed with my initials, and and strewed over with flowers.
“Letierce perceiving that I was unable to speak, thus addressed me: “Dear Kotzebue, I am glad we have succeeded in surprising you. No thanks, I beg of you. Were we in your situation, you would, I am convinced, do the same. But no more of this. It is now half-past four; there is every prospect of a fine day, and we must enjoy it ; I have therefore obtained the Commandant's permission for you to accompany us to Compeigne. The carriage waits at the door-Allons! Children, get your hats.'
“ All hastened to depart. My cake was put into a basket, along with other articles of refreshment. Before the clock struck five, we were without the gates of the city, and were saluted, on passing through the Bois de Plere, by the warbling of a thousand singing-birds--Oh, happy day! Since that period the return of my birth-day has always been accompanied by pleasing recollections !
“ We seated ourselves in a long carriage, in which were three benches; Letierce and I (who drove by turns) occupied the first ; on the second sat the mother and daughter; and on the third, the son and one of his school-fellows The fine weather raised our spirits; we sang, laughed, and jested, as we rode along, and took our breakfast when we were half-way on our journey. The beautiful road conducted us through a delightful country on the banks of the Aisne, to the distance of nine leagues, and we reached Compeigne
at ten o'clock. We stopped at an inn (the Golden Ball) near tiro chateau, and, after taken a little refreshment, we hastened to view the city, the chateau, and the gardens.
“ The town is neatly built, and divided by the river Aisne, to which beautiful promenades lead. Bonaparte seldom visited Compeigne, notwithstanding the fine hunting-country in which it is situated, as it was too far from París; the Empress, however, spent a few months every year at Compeigne. The chateau is a magni. ficent building, and the beautiful gardens are terminated by a wood. There is a fine gravel road, half a French mile in length, enclosed on each side with iron railings, and covered with mahogany, under which the Empress could, in all weathers, enjoy the exercise of riding or walking in the shade, and upon dry ground. The whole of this fine promenade may be seen from one end to the other at once, with the view from the extremity terminațing in the horizon. The middle of the garden affords the delightful prospect of an immense plain, with a sheet of water; the plain extends to a hill crowned with fine trees, with a broad passage cut through it, which permits the eye to rove over boundless space. Here a co. lossal crucifix of marble seemed to reach to the sky: On quitting this place, the front of the chateau is not discoyered ; before which, terraces covered with numerous statues and orange-trees, form a magnificent prospect. I made a sketch of this view, which, on fie nishing, I gave to Doctor Letierce in remembrance of this happy day. By giving a little money to the porter, we were permitted to see the interior of a pavilion belonging to the Empress, in which, among other furniture, there was a toilette-table. Though the ser vants were strictly prohibited from taking any presents, we soon found that money could throw open all the rooms in which there were either fine pictures or curious furniture to be seen. On numerous doors to our right and left.we read the names, Duke of Vicenza, Prince of Neutchatel, &c. : these doors led to apartments which the officers of state occupied when the court resided at Com. peigne.
« We dined at the Boule d'or, and at four o'clock we set out on our return. We were not so cheerful during our journey homeward as we had been in the morning; we felt fatigued, and all slumbered by turns, until we were awakened by the lieavy clanking of the gates of Soissons. The good grandmama had prepared sup per, and we all retired to rest, well satisfied with our journey. The kindness which was on that day shown to me, has made an impression on my heart which no time can efface.” P. 257.
The narrative is clearly written in a foreign style, and though generally artless and simple, it occasionally verges towards that sentimentality for which the English, fortunately enough, have but little taste. It is, however, a very entertaining detail of events, which, though of little consequence in themselves, yet, when laken in connection with the momentous season in which
they occurred, claim from the reader no inconsiderable portion of interest. They are pleasing, also, as they present human nature in fairer colours than, from the irritation attendant on a state of universal hostility, could have been expected. The good feelings of humanity seem to have every where prevailed, excepting under the ferocious system of the Ex-Emperor. It appears to have been the great aim of the Buonaparte school, to extinguish in the mind of its minions every spark of what was anciently terined warmth and generosity, and to have substituted in its stead a cold, keen, and unrelenting despotism. The discipline which it instituted was such as to debase and demoralize the human mind, and the education which its partizans are now labouring so hard to introduce into this country, being founded on the same principles, cannot but be attended with the same effect.
We cannot close our account of this book without expressing our approbation of one of the motives of our author in presenting it to the world ; that he might offer, through the medium of this narrative, his tribute of gratitude to those benefac. tors, who, in the course of his long and varied sufferings, had, by their kindness palliated, and by their generosity relieved, the miseries and want of a helpless prisoner.
Art. IV. Edgar: a National Tale. By Miss Appleton.
3 vols. 12mo. Colburn. 1816. MISERABLE, indeed, would the lot both of ourselves and of our readers be, with so much drowzy divinity to dose over, if we were vot occasionally refreshed by some more enlivening matter. The tale before us has been advertized in the daily papers with such laudable perseverance, that it must have often seduced the eye even from the examination of a highway robber, or the trial of a French Marshall. We confess ourselves to have been victims of our curiosity, and to have been actually advertized into a desire to examine its contents; we are far however, from lamenting the result. Expecting to find it. common place sort of tale, such as the distressed nianufacturers, in their present dearth of labour, might easily be employed to fabricate, we were agreeably disappointed in discovering throughout many striking marks of original genius. pleton is a lady of no common courage, in thus abandoning the dull routine of ordinary tale-makers, and in adventuring on å path which cannot but attract the notice of a discerning pubhc. The modesty which she has evinced iu her preface cannot be sufficienty coinmended.
“ When I first conceived the idea of writing a fictitious work, I resolved upon giving it such a form as might secure it from the appellation of Novel. My object was consequently to seek out some respectable foundation for a word which may convey the meaning attached to moral fiction ; and I so far succeeded, as to produce a word *, and an apology to the public for having built my work upon the principles which I myself had therein established. But when the whole was coinpleted and I was prepared to usher the work, with its new title, and apology into the world, it was suggested to me by some friends, that the public might not think fit to give its sanction to such innovation, without some previous intima. iion of the design.
“ I have therefore, for the present, abandoned my intention, and in the title-page, have used the word Tale, which, however vague in its meaning, is sufficiently authorized by general use.
“ It remains for the public alone to determine, whether these vo. lumes are worthy of a higher rank in literature than that of a Novela or whether from any merit of sentiment, imagery, or moral, they may be found to possess, the Author may venture to place them in the station assigned, perhaps, with too great partiality, between poetry and prose. Vol. I. P. vii.
We congratulate her on the name which she has invented to designate her work. The merit of the invention is all her owo; the combination of the Greek and Latin is peculiarly happy; and is especially indicative of the nature of the tale: for as the name, though composed of two languages, is equally remote from either, so the work itself, though the joint production of poetry and prose, certainly holds the middle station between both, bearing the slightest resemblance neither to the one or to the other. Miss Appleton appears to have succeeded in this point beyond even the wishes which her modesty had formed,
To give the reader some little notion of the powers of Miss Appleton, we shail transcribe the following passage.
“ Horror! thou eldest sister of Fear, how frightful is thine apa proach! Oh, touch me not, lest crawling worms drop from thy finger, and bristle up every pore of my flesh. Oh, haste away, that thy odious song buzz not in mine ear, that my brain beat not to madness, that my heart bound not so dreadful within my breast. How hateful art thou with all thine artifice to raise the ringlet, to dash backward the stream of life, to enchain the fine organ of speech, to force the orbs of vision from their beds. How doth it rejoice thy savage mind to hear the smothered scream, and the convulsive laugh, and to see the distorted limb, the severed jaws ! Whilst thou, to increase the agony, beginnest to raise up the lantern to light imagination to a deeper picture. To the young mo
Epicast étcs, and castus, chaste narration,