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she points to the immortal images of thy divine genius, may she cover with an impenetrable pall, the pale and shuddering, and bleeding victims of thy sangumary soul!
"The great abilities of this man have alone enabled him to survive the revolution, which, strange to relate, has, throughout its ravages, preserved a veneration for science, and, in general, protected her distinguished followers. Bonaparte, who possesses great taste, " that instinct superior to study, surer than reasoning, and more rapid than reflection," entertains the greatest admiration for the genius of David, and always consults him in the arrangement of his paintings and statues. All the costumes of government have been designed by this artist.
"David is not without his adherents. He has many pupils, the sons of respectable, and some of them of noble families, residing in different parts of Europe. They are said to be much attached to him, and have formed themselves into a military corps, for the purpose of occasionally doing honour to him, and were lately on the point of revenging an insult which had been offered to his jJerson, in a manner, which, if perpetrated, would have required the interest of their master to have saved them from the scaffold.
"But neither the gracious protection of consular favour, nor the splendour of unrivalled abilities, can restore their polluted possessor to the affections and endearments of social intercourse. Humanity has drawn a sable circle round him. He leads the life of a proscribed exile, in the very centre of the gayest , city in Europe. In the gloomy shade of unchosen seclusion, he passes his un. gladdened hours, in the hope of covering his guilt with his glory, and of presenting to posterity, by the energies of his unequalled genius, some atonement for the havoc and ruin of that political hurricane, of which he directed the fury, and befriended the desolations, against every contemporary object that nature had endeared, and virtue consecrated." »
David is called the first painter in the world; but we are bold to say that there is a man in this kingdom who contests the palm with him. Let the series of* pictures painted by Barry, in the rooms belonging to the society of arts and sciences, be compared with every thing that has been done by David, and we are confident that all the judges of what constitutes a great painter will declare in favour of our countryman.
Mr. Carr did not fail to visit the Museum or Palace of Arts, containing a collection of 1030 paintings, "which are considered to be the chefs d'auvre of the great ancient masters, and is a treasury of human art and genius, unknown to the most renowned of former ages, and far surpassing every other institution of the same nature in the present times." Mr. C/s remarks on some of the most celebrated performances are very judicious; the name of the French marine painter was, however, not Verney but Vernet. He painted all the principal sea ports in France for Louis XV.
As a companion to the portrait of filial piety exhibited in a former extract, we shall present our readers with the following most affecting instances of conjugal and motherly affection, accompanied T T—vol. XVI.
by that noble intrepidity of soul of which the female sex has, in great emergencies, furnished so many splendid examples.
"One evening, a short period before the family left France, a party of those murderers, who were sent for by Robespierre, from the frontiers which divide France from Italy, and who were by that arch-fiend employed in all the butcheries and massacres of Paris, entered the peaceful village of la Reine, in search of Monsieur O His lady saw them advancing, and anticipating their errand, had just time to give her husband intelligence of their approach, who left his chateau by a back door, and secreted himself in the house of a neighbour. Madame O . —, with perfect composure, went out to meet them, and received them in the most gracious manner. They sternly demanded Mons. Q .: she informed them that he had left the country, and, after engaging them in conversation, she conducted them into herdrawing room,and regaled them with her best wines, and made her servants attend upon them with unusual deference and ceremony. Their appearance was, altogether horrible; they wore leathern aprons, which were sprinkled all over with blood; they had large horse pistols intheir belts, and a dirk and sabre by their sides. Their looks were full of ferocity, and they spoke a harsh dissonant patois language. Over their cups, they talked about the bloody business of that day's occupation, m the course of which they drew out their dirks, and wiped from their handles clots of blood and hair. Madame O i ... sat with them, undismayed at their frightful deportment. After drinking several bottles of Champaign and Burgundy, these savages began to grow good-humoured, and seemed to be completely fascinated by the amiable and unembarrassed, and hospitable behaviour of their fair landlady. After carousing till midnight, they pressed her to retire, observing, that they had been received so handsomely that they were convinced Monsieur O—— had been misrepresented, and was no enemy to the good cause; they added that they found the wines excellent, and after drinking two or three bottles more, they would leave the house, without causing her any reason to regret their admission.
"Madame O. . . *. -, with all the appearance of perfect tranquillity and confidence in their promises, wished her unwelcome visitors a good night, and, after visiting her children in their rooms, she threw herself upon her bed, with a loaded pistol in each hand, and, overwhelmed with suppressed agony and agitation, she soundly slept till she was called by her servants, two hours after these wretches had left the house."
"About the same period > two of the children of Monsieur O . were in Paris at school. A rumour had reached him, that the teachers of the seminary in which they were placed, had offended the government, and were likely to be butchered, and that the carnage which was expected to take place, might, in its undistinguishing fury, extend to the pupils. Immediately upon receiving this intelligence, Monsieur O——— ordered his carriage, for the purpose of proceeding to town. Madame O—. ■* implored of him to permit her to accompany him: in vain did he beseech her to remain at home: the picture of danger which he painted, only rendered her more determined. She mounted the carriage,' ami seated herself by the side of her husband. When they reached Paris, they were stopped in the middle of the street St. Honore, by the massacre of a large number of prisoners who hadjustbeen taken out ofachurck which fcad bee a.
converted into a prison. Their ears were pierced with screams. Many of the miserable victims were cut down, clinging to the windows of their carriage. During the dreadful delays which they suffered in passing through this street, Madame O discovered no sensations of alann, but stedfastly fixed her eyes upon the back of the coach box, to avoid, as much as possible, observing the butcheries which were perpetrating on each side of her.
- , " Had she been observed to close her eyes, or to sit back in the carriage, she vrould have excited a suspicion, whiph, no doubt, would have proved fatal to her. At length, she reached the school which contained her children, where she found the rumour which .they bad received was without foundation; she calmly conducted them to the carriage, and during their gloomy return through Paris, betrayed no emotions; but as soon as they had passed tite barrier, and were once more in safety upon the road to their peaceful chateau, the exulting mother, in an agony of joy, pressed her children to her bosom, and, in a state of mind wrought up to frenzyf arrived at her own house in convulsions of gha'tly laughter."
'"Monsieur O ii" (from whom Mr. Carr received there relations, at the chateau of the former) "never spoke of this charming woman without exhibiting the strongest emotions of regard. He said, that in sickness she suffered no one to attend upon him but herself; that in all his afflictions she had supported him, and that she mitigated the deep melancholy which the sufferings of his country and his own privations had fixed upon him, by the well-timed sallies of her elegant fancy, or by the charms of her various accomplishments."
"I found myself," (adds Mr. Carr, with a compliment that seems very justly due) " a gainer in (he article of delight, by leaving the gayest metropolis that Europe can present to a traveller, for the sake of visiting such a family."
line Folie, A Comic Opera, in two Acts. Being a Translation from the Original of Love Laughs at JjKksmiths. A Piece performed at the Theatre Royal Haymarket, with universal Applause. 8vo. Lackington, Allen, and Co. 1803.
Mn. Colman, in his very olever adaptation of this piece to the English stage, under the title pf Love Laughs at Locksmiths, acknowledges, in his advertisement to the songs, the source from whence the piece is derived. \Ve can hardly suspect that gentleman of any under-hand dealing, notwithstanding the inferences the translator of this piece draws in his "address to the public." It will ever be thus:—the moment a translation of any dramatic effort succeeds on the stage, there are numerous foster-fathers prepared to put in their claim to the merit of the original suggestion.
This translation is executed with elegance and, with spirit, but still, without the aid of Mr. Colman's happy additions and illustrations, we are of opinion it could not have succeeded.
• . T12
THE BRITISH STAGE.'
Imitatio vittp, speculum conmttudinis, imago vertiatU. Cicero.
The Imitation of Life—The Mirror of Manucrs—The Representation of Truth.
ANECDOTE OF MOLIERE. The most celebrated wits of France, in the time of Lewis XIV. lived in the greatest unanimity and harmony, and, attracted by a mutual esteem for each other's merit, formed themselves into a friendly society, and oftener than once in a week had a common supper, when the pleasures of the table were the least part of the entertainment, and where the conversation, we doubt not, was far more worthy to be recorded, than that of the seven wise Greeks, related by Plutarch.
Moliere, one of the gayest companions of this brilliant company, frequently entertained them at a villa he possessed on the banks of the Seine, near Paris: his worthy guests, in general, were too good judges of pleasure to let intoxication usurp the seat of wit and learning; though Bacchus was always admitted to enliven the spirits of the Muses.
This agreeable party, consisting of Peter and Thomas Cornielle, Racine, Chapclle, Moliere, Patru, La Fontaine, la Bruiere, and several other respectable writers, being one evening at Moliere's country house, the host, quite fatigued, was obliged to retire to rest, and leave his post to Chapelle. The wit, in order to increase the spirits of his company, pushed the champagne briskly about, and intoxication, unperceived, stole in. They began to talk of immortality, and consequently of the futility of the pleasures of this world, and came at last to this conclusion, that the great object of human life should be, by some renowned action, to acquire immortal fame. From this observation, one of the company took occasion to say, " Gentlemen, this being the case, since life is so worthless, and fame so desirable, what can be more eligible, more noble, or more glorious, than, by shaking off this load of life, to acquire eternal renown?— My advice, therefore, is, that we sbouid all go together to the Seine, and there plunge in; and by thus dying in that unity with which we have lived, our names and our friendship will be celebrated by all posterity." The vapours of the wine had so far heated their imaginations, and clouded their judgments, that this extravagant proposition appeared highly rational. They prepared, therefore, with great solemnity, to offer this sacrifice to fame.
A poor old servant, who was perfectly sober, understanding their design, ran and waked his master. Moliere presently appeared among them, was immediately acquainted with their intention, and invited to partake of immortality. He thought it would not be prudent to oppose their project directly, but said, " My dear friends, I approve your design extremely, and am very ready to enjoy soglorious a death; but by no means at this time; for posterity may insinuate, by its being performed at so late an hour, that it was not the effect of philosophy, but inebriety: and so important an action should be free even from a possibility of reflection: the only wise step, therefore, to be taken is, that every one repair to his own bed, and that we assemble early in the morning, and then, with that coolness and serenity becoming true philosophers, carry this noble design into execution." This proposal met with universal approbation, and every one, except Moliere, retired contentedly to bed.— The next morning, when these great men had recovered the use of their reason, they shuddered at that rashness which a few hours before had appeared so glorious; and acknowledged that the only road to real fame was to exert their abilities in the service of literature, instead of rendering their memories detestable by an unthinking and useless act of suicide.
THE DRAMATIC ESSAYIST. No. VI.'
ON TRAGEDY. BY DR. BLAIR.
Having treated of the dramatic action in tragedy, I proceed next to treat of the characters most proper to be exhibited. It has been thought, by several critics, that the nature of tragedy requires the principal personages to be always of illustrious character, and of high, or princely rank; whose misfortunes and sufferings, it is said, take faster hold of the imagination, and impress the heart more forcibly than similar events happening to persons in private life. But this is more specious than solid. It is refuted by facts. For the distresses of Desdemona, Monimia, and Belvidera, interest us as deeply as if they had been princesses or queens. The dignity of tragedy does, indeed, require, that there should be nothing degrading or mean in the circumstances of the persons which it exhibits: but it requires nothing more. Their high rank may render the spectacle more splendid, and the subject seemingly of more importance, but conduces very little to its being interesting or pathetic; which depends entirely on the nature of the tale, on the art of the poet in conducting it, and on the sentiments to which it gives occa