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approbation, and with assurances of giving Italy to make him in love with his satisfaction, through the dark passage, own great and free country; and, on past his truckle bed, into an open gallery, nothing does he felicitate her so much looking down into a stable yard : having as in having escaped the revolutionary placed me close to the door of a detestable mania that desolated France, and left Cabinet d'Aisance, to which men and wo. men resorted, though the door was formed in every town, village, and hamlet, of open rail-work; te exclaimed • Voilà, melancholy and discernible traces of Monsieur !' He then informed me that s its dreadful fury. only had to hallow Garçon, down into the yard, which cry they were very likely to
Every where in France the effects of hear, provided they did not happen to be this terrible convulsion are seen in destrucout of the way! This explanation failed tion, outrage, and brutality: few, indeed, to give the satifaction, upon which he had by comparison, are those amendments of so confidently reckoned.' We declared our. public condition, which would afford the selves bent on trying the Hotel de France lover of his species consolation for the opposite. He reiterated and ejaculated his coarseness of the means employed to bring assurances, that we would find every arti. them about. The French people, at that cle commodious and clean, and him and time, seem to have been animated by no his companion attentive. Nothing can go feeling but a desire of general destruction. beyond the persuasion and confidence of With all that existed, existence was a catheir talking: they seem so perfectly at pital crime, sufficient to condemn it to live case as to the strict veracity of their decla no longer. Their animosity was that of rations; they are so sure of gaining their a vain, ignorant people, against all that point ; so certain of commanding satisfac- had not been done by themselves : they tion, that they persuade you against the could not bear to be beholden to their anevidence of your senses. They have also cestors; they felt no pride in the past, bea persuasive tone of candour in the midst cause they had no hand in it. The fine of their earnestness, and an attitude sensations of the heart, that arise in the and expression of astonishment that they better specimens of human nature, when should have their words for a moment we contemplate the root from whence they doubted, that seem dictated by the very have sprung, are not felt by a Frenchman. simplicity of truth. Moved by the wait. This is another proof that he is totally ig. er's asseverations, and shrinking from the norant of the ideal, and that he can relish unpleasantness of leaving a house that we and understand only what is grossly mahad once fairly entered, and the trouble of terial. He cannot see or feel what is not moving our things, we consented to stop under his hand : he must touch to become where we were, and it is but doing the acquainted—he must be personally conmen justice to say, that they did all they cerned, to have any personal intercst." pp. could to fulfil what they had promised. 71–72. They were always on the alert, and neglected all other business to be in almost
In visiting the castle of Vitré he perpetual attendance at our door. This, again recurs to the same subject. however, rarely follows such assurances ;
“ We went to see the fine castle of Vi. you are usually left, as a matter of course, tré. It is in ruins, the rooms having been to bewail your credulity. At the conclu- destroyed in the Revolution; but the walls sion of our stay in the Hôtel des Voya- and towers are magnificent. Its ditch is geurs, the dirtiest waiter, who took an evident ascendancy over the other, acting tion of rock, and looks down upon the
large and deep; it stands upon an elevaon all occasions as spokesman and direc. lower town from a great height; while the tor, came up to us with looks of conscious view it affords of the country is highly triumph, and said, “ Have you not been beautiful. The elegant salon had been enwell served ?' We confessed we had been tered by a flight of stairs. There was a agrecably disappointed. He thought
this large and fine suit of rooms below the lean excellent opportunity of giving a blow vel of the castle-yard, with windows lookto the rival establishment opposite : Ah,' ing out upon the lower town ; the stairs to said he, how lucky you are in not have the salon were destroyed ; its gilded walls ing gone to the Hótel de la France! you would have had no attendance there, and
were blackened with fire; the beams that would have been half poisoned with their supported its floor had tumbled into the cookery: besides, they are great Buona
rooms below, or hung over them in a partists, and belonged to his Federés.' I
broken and threatening state. Even the asked if the town was a Buonaparte town ?
towers of stupendous strength had suffered. • We have not many Buonapartists,' he
The walls they could not hurt; but the replied; but such as we have, are very been used here ; so that the undertaking
stone floors were broken in, and fire bad bad.'” pp. 61-65.
of ascending to the top of these grand Mr Scott saw much in France and buildings was attended with considerable
danger. The yard of the castle bears French Revolution will be to all ages a vast the most imposing look of antiquity. It blot, and a hurtful influence in human has the profound draw-well, the arched history. It began in wanton violence, gateway, the watch-tower-all the finest which was succeeded by insanity, and endold style. The Prussians had bivouacked ed in chains. Its remembrance will imhere, and occupied the few lower apart. pede the progress of improvement, by aments that are still defended from the wea- larming some and irritating others, against ther. An old woman resides in a small trying experiments that may have such caporter's lodge, close to the drawbridge, lamitous and wicked results. Yet the peowho shews the ruin to strangers. She was ple against whom this serious charge lies moved to tears when she
described the have caught neither modesty nor caution place in its pride and splendour, which she from their disgraces ; they are still as light, had seen. She was on the establishment as confident, as insolent, and as rash as of the castle in her youth, and recounted To reduce them to their proper low the horrors of its fall with strong emotion. level is really a moral duty; for this aThe destroyed rooms were converted into a lone can reduce the hurtfulness of their revolutionary prison ; and the kitchen was example, and, in some measure, obliterate destined for those condemned to die. the stain they have affixed on the characSome of the unfortunate family to whom it ter of mankind.” pp. 77–81. belonged were here held in captivity, and from hence were taken to the place of At the present moment we cannot death. While our guide was describing refuse a place to Mr Scott's character of these things, she spoke in solemn whis. the Buonapartists a character drawn, per, as if surrounded by the state of past
as the reader must perceive, by an imdays
, and overheard by the spirits of her partial hand, and calculated to afford murdered masters. In one strong room, materials for deep and serious reflecnear the outer gate, the police confined a mischievous madman; and his howling tion. How finely this contrasts with execrations
, directed against the visitors, the insane partiality for revolutionary whom he heard near him, mingled them- ruffians and military despotism, which selves with the old woman's sad story, de- reigns throughout the formidable livered in a low tone of voice, thus pro- tomes of poor bewildered Lady Morducing an indescribably awful effect. It gan ! brought the contrast between the present and the past with almost overpowering
“ One felt pleased to find a town, so force on our feelings. We left the place, distinguishable from other French places very much struck with what we had seen in the externals of decency and good orand listened to. Among other things, we der, equally superior in those moral quawere told that some part of the family, now lities that have at bottom a close connecre-established at Paris, was suspected to have tion with the perfection of the social conlately visited the ruins of the superb posses. dition. Throughout our journeying in sion incogniti. They walked through the France, we invariably observed that the decayed salons, and stumbled over the moderate royalists were persons of amiable fragments of their glory, with looks of me. manners, and excellent character, and that, lancholy grief; and, on going away, a on the other side, the zealous Buonayoung man gave a handsome donation to partists were men of discontented, vicious the aged porteress. She has since had minds, or of desperate circumstances. The good reason to believe, that this was the fiercest enemy to the king, in one of the lord whose infancy she had nursed. She towns through which we passed, was a wept bitterly as she told us this; and de woman who beat her husband, cheated his clared she would have died consoled for all creditors, and starved his children. To the past if she had but known him, and this rule, it would be illiberal to deny, could have kissed his hand. It is in feel there are exceptions; but the respective ings and sentiments such as these that our systems of the two governments recomnature shews its richness. In striving to mend them separately to different casts of rise above them as weaknesses, what do we dispositions. The peaceful, the kind, and but fall back into poverty and blunders ? the religious, have, generally speaking, an Man is made for his sphere, and cannot as- abhorrence of that government, the chief cend above it, but to be precipitated to its fruits of which have been war, murder, very bottom. The French have stripped their and impiety. The needy, the fierce, and country of its finest ornaments, and most the restless, naturally cling to it with zeal. grateful invitations to reflection. Its ca. ous attachment. Buonaparte, it may safethedrals are disinantled, its castles demo- ly be said, is not regretted by one honest ished, its châteaux outraged : society has man in France : it is an error peculiar to been reversed without being improved; England to connect his name with any and, if errors have been exploded, crimes thing desirable in the state of mankind. have unfortunately taken their place The It is very certain that mui vf excellent in,
tentions have committed this blunder in is to be traced to the human race in geneEngland, and that he has more admirers ral, and in which they, as individuals, and advocates in that country than in any have had nothing to do. That estrangeother of the world. This may arise from ment from natural affections, which Mr the earnestness of political feeling, and the Godwin at one time thought conducive to energy of political debating, in Great Bri- general moral justice, they have effected by tain. Where these prevail, men are fastly the inordinacy of their self-esteem. They wedded to extreme opinions, and the are not only first, but sole, in their own strength of their minds precipitates them eyes. Godwin's error was a great one, far beyond the mark. This, however, is and he has since acknowledged it; but it a better fault than the stagnation of think. had a lofty source : the blunder of the ing on such subjects; an over-activity in others is as low in its origin as mischier. dicates the briskness of life, although it is ous in its consequences." pp. 101–103. necessary to guard against the excesses
The following remarks, as connectcommitted in this boisterousness. That there should be any now foolislı enough to
ed with the splendid advances in the believe that purposes of moral and politie mathematics, for which the French cal improvement could in any way be pro- nation has, of late years, been dismoted by the continuance of Buonaparte's tinguished, are too curious to be passed sway, is certainly one of the strongest over. They deserve to be quoted for proofs of the blindness of party that has another reason, too apparent to be ever been afforded the world; but it be mistaken. comes less surprising when one reflects that this attachment is but the consequence students ; they pursue laborious investiga.
“ The French are in general excellent of self-lore. This is always heightened by tion with extreme patience, and their natu. opposition ; and as the cause, to the suc
ral shrewdness enables them quickly and cess of which our reputation for discern- cleverly to draw results from investigation. ment and talent is connected, becomes If genius could come from reading, or more and more lost, our egotistical sensa.
truth from systematizing, the chief abode tions drive us to uphold it with increased
of both would be in France; but this, un. pertinacity. It may be observed that those in England, who have, through the whole fortunately for the French, is not the case. course of the Revolution, considered the others is repeating over again the folly of
Perpetual building upon the works of cause of human freedom dependent on its the tower of Babel. You may reach to a triumph, and who have not shaken off this idea, even under the tyranny and guide
of great height, but to what purpose ? As
rise you lose sight of the earth, and the imperial despotism, are men of strong have just as little chance, as when laying but egotistical minds, whose reasoning is the first brick, of gaining heaven. Still, acute, but always paradoxical, who think however, we must repeat our eulogium on better than they art, and wło take a pride the wise public spirit in France that proin seeing qualities in things that no one
vides these noble libraries for the delight else can see, or rather that are entirely op: and assistance of those whom fortune sel. posite to those which the experience of dom favours enough to enable them to fur. mankind has proved to belong to them. nish themselves very fully in this respect. Persons open to conviction, that is to say, England deserves to be told of her shamepersons whose self-love is not the highest ful deficiency on this main point, in the consideration in their minds, have gradually withdrawn themselves from so dis
warmest language. The locked doors of graced a cause, and this has been falsely the porter who shox's the books for half-a
a college-room, which are only opened by charged upon them as inconsistency and
crown, or the guarded gates of a mighty treachery. Others, who have founded
museum, to get within which tickets must their original opinions in moderation, and
be sought and granted, are all she possesses who have since been advancing into a bi- in this way. These invite not the poor and gotted and prejudiced opposition, are ego- naked, the hungry and the thirsty, but the tists of another description. These have not found sufficient consolation for their graduated, the known, and the wealthy.
A student with a shabby coat can scarcely shallow vanity, in abiding by the general reach these guarded treasures ; anų if he experience and interests of their fellow.
should be fortunate enough to do so, a recreatures, and their miserable weakness pulsive air would greet his entrance, and hinders them from seeing how the real dig. the liveried attendants would deem themnity of our nature consists chiefly in those selves degraded if called upon to wait on affections which make improvement an he
so humble a reader. In France, to her reditary descent from the past. The po- credit be it said, the distinction between verty of their minds renders them dead to
the well-dressed and the ill-dressed is not what Burke describes as an honourable known in scientific and literary society:-submission ; they would raise their individual importance by sneering at all that degree of difference here.” pp. 131–133.
The internal qualifications alone setile the
We have already characterised the We have all many splendid associaEssay on French Literature, and we tions with the scenery of the equinochave only to remark, in addition to tial regions of South America. With what we have said above, that it dis- our earliest studies, we learn that, plays a truly English spirit. Mr through that department of the new Scott was not one of those vain, flimsy, world, the immense chain of the Andes and flippant “voyageurs," who are stretches in bolder and more piccaptivated with the "tout artificiel” turesque forms than are assumed by of the writers of France. He was too any other mountains on the surface of intimately acquainted with the golden our globe. It is in the same region, age of Elizabeth, and of English poe- that the Oronooko and the Amazon try, to allow his eye to be dazzled, or pour those prodigious tides of water, his judgment misled, by the tinsel and which force even old ocean to retreat, frippery of the fantastic Siècle de and which colour, with their own peLouis Quatorze. It is undoubtedly culiar hues, the wide bosom of the true, that the French have no shore for many a league. It is there, poetry
. So sensible are they of this too, that the loftiest and loudest volfact themselves, that they have inva canoes of the world pour their thunriably and fiercely opposed every at- ders from craters enveloped in perpetutempt to introduce blank verse into al snow; and over the whole face of the their language. The attempt, indeed, landscape we have all been early taught was absurd, if not impossible, as the to believe that a more luxuriant and French language is utterly destitute of novel vegetation is diffused, than that poetical expression. Destroy the jingle which can be found in any other counof their bouts rimes, and what before try. It was in this quarter of the held the rank of poetry is instantly de- world, too, that the early Spanish adgraded into pedestrian prose. There is venturers found those many wonders, not a scene of real deep passion or pathos with which they astonished the ears of to be found in any one
of their tragedies. their Sovereigns, and of all Europe, This will not surprise any one who re- that nations of Amazons which defied Hects
, that the nation is utterly de- the usual dominion of man, roamed void of feeling. A Frenchman's emo- in fearless majesty, amidst forests in tions lie all on the surface are all a which no sound of the woodman's axe mere flash in the pan—a momentary had ever been heard,--and that a king corruscation, which embodies itself in was found (El Dorado) who was every a pun, or is sent forth in the shape of day dusted by his subjects with powa pasquinade, but which never betrays dery gold, and whose dominions it the least knowledge of, or communion was, at that time, the supreme object with, the hidden springs of great of European ambition to subdue. actions. He is gay without being When a series of travels, therefore, animated, and grave without being in such a region is announced, the serious. His constant effort is to imagination of every reader is ready to shine ; and every casual idea or asso take wing. They who delight in ciation is, of course, pressed into the magnificent descriptions of external service of the moment. No deep im- scenery, fancy that they shall be care pression is made, and the mind soon ried into regions, where every thing becomes, by habit, incapable of receive will be different from all that they ing any. The literature of a country, had formerly known of beautiful is the only infallible criterion of na or grand; the philosophical inquirer tional character. So Mr Scott has de- pleases himself with the idea of discomonstrated, and has given instances veries in the air, the water, and the enow to satisfy the most sceptical.- earth, which could not be made amidst But we must have done.
the monotonous uniformity of common
countries; and the politician who loves HUMBOLDT'S PERSONAL NARRATIVE.* to dwell on the varied forms of human
We are not quite of opinion, that polity, imagines that, in the strange the “ Narrative of the Personal Tra- associations of roving tribes, he shall Fels of Humboldt” has in all respects obtain a more perfect insight into the fulfilled the expectations which were
origin of those establishments, which awakened by its first announcement. render civilized society so rich a scene
of contemplation and of wonder. • Vol. V.
We are very far from saying that
Humboldt's work is not full of much tish Museum, by the side of the syenites that is curious, and much that is novel. of the Congo, the granites of Atures taken We think, on the contrary, that it will from a series of rocks, which were pre. long be regarded as one of the most sented by Mr Bonpland and myself to the valuable accessions which the litera- illustrious president of the Royal Society of ture and philosophy of modern times Koenig, alike resemble meteoric stones:
These fragments,' says Mr have received, and we are confident in both rocks, those of the Oroonoko and that no reader can take the trouble of of Africa, the black crust is composed, ac. perusing the work, without coming cording to the analysis of Mr Children, of from the perusal wiser and more im, the oxyd of iron and manganese.' Some bued with the spirit of philosophical experiments made at Mexico, conjointly speculation than before. But still we with Mr del Rio, had led me to think, that think it equally evident that the work the rocks of Atures, which blacken the pais by far too minute and too long, and per in which they are wrapped, contain, that its effect would have been infis beside oxyd of manganese, carbon, and su
At the Oroonoko, nitely improved, if the author had percarburetted iron. fixed the attention of his readers, ra
granitic masses of forty or fifty feet thick
are uniformly coated with these oxyds; ther upon the grand andi general features of the country, than upon all and; however thin these crusts may ap
pear, they must nevertheless contain pretty the windings of the rivers and varying considerable quantities of iron and manvegetation of the woods, and if he had ganese, since they occupy a space of above sought to make his book an allurement
a league square to the study of his purely speculative “ It must be observed, that all these works, rather than to render it a repo- phenomena of coloration have hitherto apsitory of every minute speculation peared in the torrid zone only, in rivers that happened to cross his mind. that have periodical overflowings, of which
Still we repeat, that the work is full the habitual temperature is from twentyof interest and of instruction, and that four to twenty-eight centesimal degrees,
and which flow, not over grit-stone, or it is one of those few books which
calcareous rocks, but over granite, gneiss, no reader ought to be unacquainted and hornblende rocks. Quartz and feldwith. We proceed, therefore, with- spar scarcely contain five or six thousandths out further comment, to present to of oxyd of iron and of manganese ; but in our readers a few of the many won mica and hornblende these oxyds, and par. derful observations with which the ticularly that of iron, amount, according to last published volumes are replete. Klaproth and Herrmann, to fifteen or twen
The first curious speculation which ty parts in a hundred. The hornblende these volumes contain respects the contains also some carbon, like the Lydian black crust with which many rivers
stone and kieselschiefer. Now, if these in different parts of the torrid zone
black crusts were formed by a slow decom. are known to invest those rocks which position of the granitic rock, under the
double influence of humidity and the tropiare exposed to their influence. On
cal sun, how is it to be conceived, that these this subject Humboldt makes the fol- oxyds are spread so uniformly over the lowing curious observations.
whole surface of the stony masses, and are “ We must observe, in the first place, not more abundant round a crystal of mica that this phenomenon does not belong to or hornblende, than on the feldspar and the cataracts of the Oroonoko alone, but is milky quartz ? The ferruginous sandfound in both hemispheres. At my return stones, granites, and marbles, that become from Mexico in 1807, when I showed the cinereous and sometimes brown in damp granites of Atures and Maypures to Mr air, display an aspect altogether different. Rozière, who had travelled over the valley In reflecting upon the lustre and equal of Egypt, the coasts of the Red Sea, and thickness of the crusts, we are rather inMount Sinai, this learned geologist let me clined to think, that this matter is deposee, that the primitive rocks of the little sited by the Oroonoko, and that the water cataracts of Syene display, like the rocks of has penetrated even into the clefts of the the Oroonoko, a glossy surface, of a black- rocks. Adopting this hypothesis, it may ish grey, or alunost leaden colour, and of be asked, whether the river hold the oxyds which some of the fragments seem coated suspended like sand, and other earthy subwith tar. Recently, in the unfortunate stances, or they be found in a state of cheexpedition of Captain Tuckey, the Eng. mical solution. The first supposition is lish naturalists were struck with the same less admissible, on account of the homoappearance in the yellulas (rapids and geneity of the crusts, which contain neither shoals) that obstructed the river Congo or grains of sand, nor spangles of mica, mix. Zaire. Dr Koenig has placed in the Brie ed with thc oxyds. We must then recur