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A FORTUNATB ESCAPE.
Quis talia fando
Who can relate such woes without a tear ? .... While, in the Thuilleries, I was intently remark. Start ing the particular impression of a shot which struck the open edge of one of the casements of the first-floor of the palace, my valet de place came up to know at which door I would have the carriage to remain in waiting.
On turning round, I fancied I beheld the man who “drew Priam's curtain in the dead of night.” That messenger, I am sure, could not have presented a visage more pale, more spiritless than my Helvetian. Recollecting that he had served in the Swiss guards, I was
the less at a loss to account for his extreme agitation. . “ In what part of the castle were you, Jean," said I, "when these balls were aimed at the windows?"
“ There was my post,” replied he, recovering him. self, and pointing to one of the centre casements.
“ Is it true,” continued I, “ that by way of feigning a reconciliation, you threw down cartridges by handfuls to the Marseillese below, and called out, l’ive la Nation?"
“ It is but too true," answered Jean; “ we then availed ourselves of the moment when they advanced under the persuasion that they were to become our friends, and opened on them a tremendous fire, by which we covered the place with dead and dying. Bu we became victims of our own treachery; for ourammu nition being, by this ruse de guerre, the sooner expend ed, we presently had no resource left but the bayone
t." 1k da vistes . Recept ds, la
by which we could not prevent the mob from closing
“ And how did you contrive to escape?”
“How did you get off at last?” said I.
“I was obliged,” answered he, “ to shout and swear with the poissardes, while the heads of many of my comrades were thrown out of the windows.”
“The poissardes," added I, “set no bounds to their cruelty,"
“No,” replied he, “ I expected every moment to
Here Jean drew a picture of a nature too horrid to
* If the reader wishes to see a faint description of the hosfors of that horridly memorable 10th of August, he may consult the volume of Flowers of Literature for 1803, p. 285.
Trojan king presents but a faint image of what passed 53* here on the day which overset the throne of the 2032 Bourbons....
Scribendi rectè sapere est et principium et fons. Hor.
For the honour of many writers, whose memories have suffered from their biographers, we may wish that the 10 extensive series of literary biography had been more frequently enriched by the memoirs of such remembrancers to as feel only the influence of tenderness, delicacy, and a truth*.
* It will probably occur to the reader, as a proof of the justness of this reflection, the manner in which the very truly celebrated Dr. Samuel Johnson has been treated by his friends and biographers: " They watched his death,” as Addison says, “like so many undertakers, to make a penny of him;%' or, as a modern wit expresses himself with singular felicity, "they used the doctor as the people use whales cast upon any of the coasts of England: show the monster for a penny a piece, and then sell the blubber for what it will fetch." They have all combined to give the world every idle as wel as sensible word he spoke, and every trifling as well as serious action he performed. They have given, at full length, every little failing or defect of temper. Against such a phalanx of spies and in. formers, it is impossible that any character can stand, much les that of a man who, with much bodily pain and uneasiness o mind, lived surrounded by friends, (as they called themselves who goaded him in his agony, that they might take down wh: fell from him at a time when few men can possibly be sur
We may observe to the honour of Scotland, that her national enthusiasm has for some years been laudibly exerted in cherishing the memory of her departed poets*.
The law is a kind of soldiership, and the profession of arms it may be said to require for the constitution of its heroes,
“A frame of adamant, a soul of fire."
Happy is the man who knows just so much of the Law, as to make himself a little merry now and then with the solemnity of juridical proceedings. I have heard of common law judgments before now, indeed, have been present at the delivery of some, that, according to my poor apprehension, while they paid the utmost respect to the letter of a statute, have departed widely from the spirit of it, and being governed entirely by the point of law, have left equity, reason, and common sense behind them at an infinite distance.
posed to have the command of themselves. This only can ac. count for many of the harsh, uncharitable, and absurd opinions which are given as his, but which no man, who knows from his writings how to appreciate his merit, will ever think of attributing to him as the deliberate sentiments of his heart. .
* The Scottish favourite of nature, the tender and impetu. ous Burns, has found in Dr. Currie an ingenious, eloquent, and affectionate biographer; and in a lady also, (whose memoir of her friend, the bard, is properly annexed to her life,) a zealous and graceful advocate, singularly happy in vindicating his chafacter fron invidious detraction.
It is a bold undertaking at this time of day, when so 28 many writers of the greatest abilities have gone before, ini who seem to have anticipated every valuable subject, as me well as all the graces of poetical embellishment, to step forth into the world in the character of a BARD, especie cially when it is considered that luxury, idleness, and a vice have debauched the public taste, and that nothing med hardly is welcome but childish fiction, or what has ati least a tendency to excite laughter.
...... Toe vexation, the perplexity that attends a multiplicity of CRITICISMS by various hands, many of which are sure to be futile, many of them ill founded, and some of them contradictory to others, is inconceivable, except by the author whose ill-fated work happens to be the subject of them. It appears self-evident also, that if a work hath passed under the review of one man of taste and learning, and has had the good fortune to please him,
his approbation gives security for that of all others qua. lified like himself.
Homer is the best poet that ever lived for many reasons, but for none more than for that majestic plainness that distinguishes him from all others. As an accomplished person moves gracefully without thinking of it, in like manner the dignity of Homer seems to cost him no labour. It was natural to him to say great things, and to say them well, and little ornaments were beneath his notice.
Burns is, I believe, the only poet these kingdoms hay. produced in the lowest class of life, since Shakspeare,