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in the morning before he can be persuaded seems to have given her the worst opinion of 10 go to bed. In the mean time, the Princess him, was his impolite habit of making jokes hives great offence to the populace and the about the small domains and scanty revennes preachers of Bareith, by giving a sort of of her husband. For the two following years masked ball, and riding occasionally on she travels all over Germany, abusing all the horseback. Her husband goes to the wars; principautés she meets with. In 1742, she and returns very much out of humour with goes to see the coronation of the new Emperor her brother Frederic, who talks contemptu- at Francfort, and has a long negotiation about ously of little courts and little princes. The the ceremony of her introduction to the Emold Margrave falls into a confirmed hectic, press. After various projets had been offered and writes billets-dour to his little lady, so and rejected, she made these three conditions: tender as to turn one's stomach; but at last – 1st, That the whole cortège of the Empress dies in an edifying manner, to the great satis- should receive her at the bottom of the stairfaction of all his friends and acquaintances. case. 2dly, That the Empress herself should Old Frederic promises fair, at the same time, come to meet her at the outside of the door to follow his example; for he is seized with of her bed-chamber. And, 3dly, That she a confirmed dropsy. His legs swell, and should be allowed an arm-chair during the burst; and give out so much water, that he interview. Whole days were spent in the is obliged for several days to sit with them discussion of this proposition; and at last the in buckets. By a kind of miracle, however, two first articles were agreed to; but all he recovers, and goes a campaigning for that she could make of the last was that she several years after.
should have a very large chair, without arms The Memoirs are rather dull for four or and the Empress a very small one, with them! live years after the author's accession to the -Her account of the interview we add in her throne of Bareith. She makes various jour- own words. neys, and suffers from various distempers- " Je vis cette Princesse le jour suivant. J'avone has innumerable quarrels with all the neigh- qu'à sa place j'aurois imaginé toutes les étiquettes bouring potentates about her own precedence et les cérémonies du monde pour m'empêcher de and that of her attendants; fits up several paroître. L'Impératrice est d'une taille au-dessous villas, gives balls; and sometimes quarrels boule ; 'elle est laide au possible, sans air et sans with her husband, and sometimes nurses him grace. Son esprit répond à sa figure ; elle est in his illness. In 1740, the King, her father, bigotte à l'excès, et passe les nuits ei les jours dans dies in good earnest; and makes, it must be son oratoire : les vieilles et les laides sont ordinaireacknowledged, a truly heroic, though some
ment le partage du bon Dieu! Elle me reçut en what whimsical, ending. Finding himself iremblant et d'un air si décontenancé qu'elle ne fast going, he had himself placed early in the pur me dire un mot. Nous nous assîmes. Après morning in his wheel-chair, and goes himself la conversation en français. Elle me repondit, dans to tell the Queen that she must rise and see son jargon autrichien, qu'elle n'entendoit pas bien him die. He then takes farewell of his chil- cerse langue, et qu'elle me prioit de lui parler en Iren; and gives some sensible advice to his allemand. Cet entretien ne fut pas long. Le diason, and the ministers and generals whom he lecie autrichien et le bas-saxon sont si différens.
qu'à moins d'y être accoutume on ne se comprend had assembled. Afterwards he has his best point. C'est aussi ce qui nous arriva. Nous aurions horse brought, and presents it with a good préparé à rire à un jers par les coq-à-l'âne que grace to the oldest of his generals. He next nous faisions, n'entendant que par-ci par-là un moi, ordered all the servants to put on their best qui nous faisoit deviner le reste. Cette princesse liveries; and, when this was done, he looked étoit si fort esclave de son étiquette qu'elle auroit
cru faire un crime de lèse-grandeur en m'entrele. on them with an air of derision, and said,
nant dans une langue étrangère ; car elle savoit le "Vanity of vanities!". He then commanded français ! L'Empereur devoit se trouver à celle his physician to tell him exactly how long he visite ; mais il étoit tombé si malade qu'on craignoit had to live; and when he was answered, même pour ses jours."--pp. 345, 346. "about half an hour," he asked for a looking- After this she comes home in a very bad glass, and said with a smile, that he certainly 'humour; and the Memoirs break off abruptly did look ill enough, and saw "qu'il ferail with her detection of an intrigue between her une vilaine grimace en mourant!" When the husband and her favourite atiendant, and her clergymen proposed 10 come and pray with dissatisfaction with the dull formaliiy of the him, he said, "he knew alreally all they had court of Siutgard. We hope the sequel will to say, and that they might go about their soon find its way to the public. business." In a short time after he expired, Some readers may think we have dwelt too in great tranquillity.
long on such a tissue of impertinencies; and Though the new King came to visit his sister others may think an apology requisite for the soon after his accession, and she went to re- tone of levity in which we have spoken of so turn the compliment at Berlin, she says there many atrocities. The truth is, that we think was no longer any cordiality between them; this book of no trifling importance; and that and that she heard nothing but complaints of we could not be serious upon the subject of it his avarice, his ill temper, his ingratitude, and without being both sad and angry. Before his arrogance. She gives him great credit concluding, however, we shall add one word for talents; but entreats her readers to sus- in seriousness-to avoid the misconstructions pend their judgment as to the real character to which we might otherwise be liable. of this celebrated monarch, till they have We are decidedly of opinion, that Monarchy, perused the whole of her Memoire.' What and Hereditary Monarchy, is by far the bese form of government that human wisdom has, In the second place, we presume to think yet devised for the administration of consider that the general adoption of these opinions as able nations; and that it will always continue to the personal defects that are likely to result 10 be the most perfect which human virtue from the possession of sovereign power, may will admit of. We are not readily to be sus- be of use to the sovereigns themselves, from pected, therefore, of any wish to produce a whom the knowledge of their prevalence can. distaste or contempt for this form of govern- 'not be very long concealed. Such knowledge, ment; and beg leave to say, that though the it is evident, will naturally stimulate the bettei facts we have now collected are certainly sort of them to counteract the causes which such as to give no favourable impression of tend to their personal degradation; and enable the private manners or personal dispositions them more generally to surmount their perof absolute sovereigns, we conceive that good, nicious operation, by' such efforts and reflecrather than evil, is likely to result from their tions, as have every now and then rescued (lissemination. This we hold, in the first some powerful spirits from their dominion, place, on the strength of the general maxim, under all the disadvantages of the delusions ihat all truth must be ultimately salutary, and with which they were surrounded. all deception pernicious. But we think we Finally, if the general prevalence of these can see a little how this maxim applies to the sentiments as to the private manners and disparticular case before us.
positions of sovereigns should have the effect In the first place, then, we think it of ser- of rendering the bulk of their subjects less vice to the cause of royalty, in an age of vio- prone to blind admiration, and what may be lent passions and rash experiments, to show called personal attachment to them, we do that most of the vices and defects which such not imagine that any great harm will be done. times are apt to bring to light in particular The less the public knows or cares about the sovereigns, are owing, not so much to any par- private wishes of their monarch, and the more ticular unworthiness or unfitness in the indi. his individual will is actually consubstantiated vidual, as to the natural operation of the cir- with the deliberate sanctions of his responsible cumstances in which he is placed ; and are counsellors, the more perfectly will the pracsuch, in short, as those circumstances have tice of government correspond with its adalways generated in a certain degree in those mitted theory; the more wisely will affairs be who have been exposed to them. Such con- administered for the public, and the more siderations, it appears to us, when taken along harmoniously and securely both for the sovewith the strong and irresistible arguments for reign and the people. An adventurous warmonarchical government in general, are well rior may indeed derive signal advantages from calculated to allay that great impatience and the personal devotedness and enthusiastic at(langerous resentment with which nations tachment of his followers; but in the civil in turbulent times are apt to consider the office of monarchy, as it exists in modern faults of their sovereigns; and to unite with times, the only safe attachment is to the office, a steady attachment and entire respect for and to the measures which it sanctions. The the office, a very great degree of indulgence personal popularity of princes, in so far as we for the personal defects of the individual who know, has never done any thing but harm: may happen to fill it. Monarchs, upon this and indeed it seems abundantly evident, that view of things, are to be considered as per- whatever is done merely for the personal sons who are placed, for the public good, in gratification of the reigning monarch, that situations where, not only their comfort, but would not have been done at any rate on their moral qualities, are liable to be greatly grounds of public expediency, must be an impaired ; and who are poorly paid in empty injury to the community, and a sacrifice of splendour, and anxious power, for the sacri- duty to an unreturned affection; and whatever fice of their affections, and of the many en- is forborne out of regard to his pleasure, which zaging qualities which might have blossomed the interest of the country would otherwise in a lower region. If we look with indulgence have required, is in like manner an act of base upon the roughness of sailors, the pedantry of and unworthy adulation. We do not speak, schoolmasters, and the frivolousness of beau- it will be understood, of trifles or things of little ties, we should learn to regard, with some moment; but of such public acts of the govihing of the same feelings, the selfishness and ernment as involve the honour or the interest the cunning of kings.
of the nation.
(September, 1828.) History of the Life and Voyages of CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS. By WASHINGTON IRVING.
4,vols. 8vo. London: 1828.
This, on the whole, is an excellent book; ness of all that it implies. We are perfectly and we venture to anticipate that it will be an aware that there are but few modern works enduring one. Neither do we hazard this that are likely to verify it; and that it probably prediction lightly, or without a full conscious. could not be extended with safety to so many
as one in a hundred even of those which we think it peculiarly fortunate that the means praise. For we mean, not merely that the of completing it should have fallen into such book will be familiarly known and referred hands as Mr. Irving's. The materials, it was to some twenty or thirty years hence, and obvious, were only to be found in Spain, and will pass in solid binding into every consider- were not perhaps very likely to be intrusted able collection; but that it will supersede all without reserve to a stranger; while there former works on the same subject, and never was reason to fear that a Spaniard might not be itself superseded. The first stage of have courage to speak of the errors and crimes triumph, indeed, over past or existing com- of his countrymen in the tone which the truth petitors, may often be predicted securely of of history might require; or might not think works of no very extraordinary merit; which, it safe, even yet, to expose the impolicy, or treating of a progressive science, merely em- canvass the pretensions, of the government. body, with some small additions, a judicious By a happy concurrence of circumstances, an digest of all that was formerly known; and elegant writer, altogether unconnected either are for the time the best works on the subject, with Spain or her rivals and enemies, and merely because they are the last. But the known all over the civilized world as a man second stage of literary beatitude, in which of intelligence and principle, of sound judgan author not only eclipses all existing rivals, ment, and a calm and indulgent temper, rebut obtains an immunity from the effects of paired to Madrid at a time when the publicaall future competition, certainly is not to be tion of Navarette had turned the public attenso cheaply won; and can seldom, indeed, be tion, in an extraordinary degree, to the secured to any one, unless the intrinsic merit memorable era of Columbus; and, by the of his production is assisted by the concur- force of his literary and personal character, rence of some such circumstances as we think obtained the fullest disclosure of every thing now hold out the promise of this felicity to that bore upon his history that was ever made, the biographer of Columbus.
to native or foreigner, at the same time that Though the event to which his work relates he had the means of discussing personally, is one which can never sink into insignificance with the best informed individuals of the naor oblivion, but, on the contrary, will probably tion, all the points on which the written docuexcite more interest with every succeeding ments might seem to leave room for doubt or generation, till the very end of the world, yet explanation. its importance has been already long enough Of these rare advantages Mr. Irving has apparent to have attracted the most eager at- availed himself, we think, with singular judgtention to every thing connected with its de- ment and ability. He has written the history tails; and we think we may safely say, that of the greatest event in the annals of mankind, all the documents which relate to it have now with the fulness and the feeling it deserved been carefully examined, and all the channels and has presented us with a flowing and conexplored through which any authentic infor- tinuous narrative of the events he had to mation was likely to be derived. In addition to record, far more luminous and comprehensive the very copious, but rambling and somewhat than any which previously existed, and yet garrulous and extravagant accounts, which much less diffuse and discursive 'than ihe were published soon after the discovery, and earlier accounts, from which it is mainly deand have since been methodised and arranged, rived: While, without sacrificing in any Don F. M. Navarette, a Spanish gentleman degree the intense interest of personal advenof great learning, and industry, and secretary ture and individual sympathy, he has brought to the Royal Academy of History at Madrid, the lights of a more cultivated age to bear on has lately given to the world a very extensive the obscure places of the story; and touched collection of papers, relating to the history skilfully on the errors and prejudices of the and voyages of Columbus; a very considerable times at once to enliven his picture by their portion of which appears not to have been singularity, and to instruct us by their explanaknown to any of those who had formerly tion or apology. Above all, he has composed written on the subject. Mr. Irving's first the whole work in a temper that is beyond design was merely to publish a translation all praise. It breathes throughout a genuine of this collection, with occasional remarks; spirit of humanity; and, embellished as it is but having, during his residence at Madrid, with beautiful descriptions and wonderful had access, by the kindness of the Duke of tales, its principal attraction in our eyes conVeraguas, the descendant of the great Ad- sists in its soft-hearted sympathy with suffermiral, to the archives of his family, and to ing, its fearless reprobation of injustice and various other documents, still remaining in oppression, and the magnanimous candour of manuscript, which had escaped the research its judgments, even on the delinquent. even of Navarette, he fortunately turned his But though we think all this of Mr. Irving's thoughts to the compilation of the more com- work, we suspect it may not be altogether prehensive and original work now before us- unnecessary to caution our more sensitive and in which, by those great helps, he has been sanguine readers against giving way to certain enabled, not only to supply many defects, feelings of disappointment, which it is not but to correct many errors, and reconcile impossible they may encounter at the outset some apparent contradictions in the earlier of their task; and to which two or three very accounts.
innocent causes are likely enough to expose It was evidently very desirable that such a them. In the first place, many great admirers work should at length be completed ; and we lof Mr. Irving's former works will probably
miss he brilliant, highly finished, and ryth- | suppose that the chief interest of the work mical style, which attracted them so much in must be exhausted by its completion. That those performances; and may find the less portion of the story of Columbus has always, artificial and elaborate diction of this history from obvious causes, been given with more comparatively weak and careless. In this amplitude and fidelity than any other; and judgment, however, we can by no means Mr. Irving, accordingly, has been able to add agree. Mr. Irving's former style, though un- but few additional traits of any considerable questionably very elegant and harmonious, importance. But it is not there, we think, always struck us as somewhat too laboured that the great interest or the true character and exquisite—and, at all events, but ill fitted of the work is to be found. The meie geofor an extensive work, where the interest graphical discovery, sublime as it undoubtedly turned too much on the weight of the matter is, is far less impressive, to our minds, than to be safely divided with the mere polish of the moral emotions to which it opens the the diction, or the balance of the periods.- scene. The whole history of the settlement He has done well, therefore, we think, to dis- of Hispaniola, and the sufferings of its gentle card it on this occasion, for the more varied, people--the daring progress of the great discareless, and natural style, which distinguishes coverer, through unheard-of forms of peril, the volumes before us--a style not only without and the overwhelming disasters that seem at sententious pretension, or antithetical pretti- last to weigh him down, constitute the real ness, but even in some degree loose and un- business of the piece, and are what truly bring equal-flowing easily on, with something of out, not only the character of the man, but the fulness and clearness of Herodotus or that of the events with which his memory is Boccaccio-sometimes languid, indeed, and identified. It is here, too, that both the power often inexact, but furnishing, in its very fresh- and the beauty of the author's style chiefly ness and variety, the very best mirror, perhaps, display themselves—in his account of the in which the romantic adventures, the sweet innocence and gentleness of the simple races descriptions, or the soft humanities, with which that were then first introduced to their elder the author had to deal, could have been dis- brethren of Europe, and his glowing pictures played.
of the lovely land, which ministered to their Another, and perhaps a more general source primitive luxury-or in his many sketches of of disappointment to impatient readers, is the great commander himself, now towering likely to be found in the extent and minute in paternal majesty in the midst of his newlyness of the prefatory details, with which Mr. found children-now invested with the dark Irving has crowded the foreground of his pic- gorgeousness of deep and superstitious devoture, and detained us, apparently without tion, and burning thirst of fame-or, still more necessity, from its principal features. The sublime, in his silent struggles with malevogenealogy and education of Columbus-his lence and misfortune, and his steadfast reliearly love of adventure-his long and vain ance on the justice of posterity. solicitations at the different European courts The work before us embodies all these, and -the intrigues and jealousies by which he many other touching representations, and in was baftled--the prejudices against which he the vivacity of its colouring, and the novelty had to contend, and the lofty spirit and doubt- of its scene, possesses all the interests of a ful logic by which they were opposed,-are novel of invention, with the startling and all given with a fulness for which, however thrilling assurance of its actual truth and instructive it may be, the reader, who knows exactness-a sentiment which enhances and already what it is to end in, will be apt to feel every moment presses home to our hearts the any thing but grateful. His mind, from the deep pity and resentment inspired by the sufvery title-page, is among the billows of the ferings of the confiding beings it introduces Atlantic and the islands of the Caribs; and to our knowledge-mingled with a feeling of he does not submit without impatience to be something like envy and delighted wonder, at informed of all the energy that was to be the story of their child-like innocence, and exerted, and all the obstacles to be overcome, humble apparatus of enjoyment. No savages before he can get there. It is only after we certainly ever were so engaging and loveable have perused the whole work that we perceive as those savages. Affectionate, sociable, and the fitness of these introductory chapters; and without cunning, sullenness, inconstancy, or then, when the whole grand series of suffer- any of the savage vices, but an aversion from ings and exploits has been unfolded, and the toil, which their happy climate at once ingreatness of the event, and of the character spired and rendered innoxious, they seem to with which it is inseparably blended, have have passed their days in blissful ignorance been impressed on our minds, we feel how of all that human intellect has contrived for necessary it was to tell, and how grateful it is human misery; and almost to have enjoyed to know, all that can now be known of the an exemption from the doom that followed causes by which both were prepared; and man's first unhallowed appetite for knowledge instead of murmuring at the length of these of good and evil. It is appalling to think with precious details, feel nothing but regret that what tremendous rapidity the whole of these time should have so grievously abridged them. happy races were swept away! How soon,
The last disappointment, for which the after ihe feet of civilized Christians had touchreader should be prepared, will probably fall ed their shores, those shores were desolate, upon those who expect much new information or filled only with mourning! How soon, how as to the first great voyage of discovery; or frightfully soon, the swarming myriads of idle and light-hearted creatures, who came troop- ; neither full nor meagre; his complexion fair and ing from their fragrant woods to receive them treckled, and inclined to ruddy; his nose aquiline : with smiles of welcome and gestures of wor
his cheek-bones were rather high; his eyes light ship, and whose songs and shoutings first had an air of authority. His hair, in his youthful
grey, and apt to enkindle ; his whole countenance hailed them so sweetly over their fresh and days, was of a light colour; but care and trouble, sunny bays, were plunged, by the hands of according to Las Casas, soon turned it grey, and at those fatal visitants, into all the agonies of thirty years of age it was quite while. He was despair!-how soon released from them by a moderate and simple in diet and apparel, eloquent bloody extermination! It humbles and al- and of an amiableness and suavity in domestic life, most crushes the heart, even at this distance that strongly attached his household to his person. of time, to think of such a catastrophe, brought His temper was naturally irritable; but he subdued it about by such instruments. The learned, the by the magnanimity of his spirit; comporting himeducated, the refined, the champions of chiv- self with a courteous and gentle gravity, and never inalry, the messengers of the gospel of peace,
dulging in any intemperance of language. Through. come to the land of the ignorant, the savage, offices of religion, observing rigorously the fasis
out his life he was noted for a sirict altention to the the heathen. They find them docile in their and ceremonies of the church; nor did his piety ignorance, submissive in their rudeness, and consist in mere forms, but partook of that lofty and grateful and affectionate in their darkness :- solemn enthusiasm with which his whole character And the result of the mission is mutual cor- was strongly tinctured." ruption, misery, desolation! The experience For eighteen long years did the proud and or remorse of four centuries has not yet been ardent spirit of Columbus urge his heroic suit able to expiate the crime, or to reverse the at the courts of most of the European monspell. Those once smiling and swarming archs; and it was not till after encountering shores are still silent and mournful; or re- in every form the discouragements of withersound only to the groans of the slave and the ing poverty, insulting neglect, and taunting lash of the slave-driver-or to the strange ridicule, that, in his fifty-sixth year, he at last industry of another race, dragged by a yet prevailed with Ferdinand and Isabella, lo supdeeper guilt from a distant land, and now ply him with three little ships, to achieve for calmly establishing themselves on the graves them the dominion of a world! Mr. Irving of their oppressors.
very strikingly remarks, We do not propose to give any thing like an abstract of a story, the abstract of which couris in furnishing this expedition, it is surprising
“After the great difficulties made by various is already familiar to every one; while the how inconsiderable an armament was required. I details, like most other details, would lose is evident that Columbus had reduced his requi. half their interest, and all their character, by sitions to the narrowest limits, lest any great ex. being disjoined from the narrative on which pense should cause impediment. Three small ves. they depend. We shall content ourselves, 1 of them were lighi barques, called 'caravals, not
sels were apparently all that he had requested. Two therefore, by running over some of the par- superior to river and coasting craft of more modern ticulars that are less generally known, and days. Representations of this class of vessels exist exhibiting a few specimens of the author's in old prinis and paintings. They are delineated as manner of writing and thinking.
and withoui deck in the centre, but built up Mr. Irving has settled, we think satisfacto- high at the prow and stern, with forecastles and
cabins for the accommodation of the crew. Peter rily, that Columbus was born in Genoa, about Martyr, the learned contemporary of Columbus, the year 1435. It was fitting that the hemi- says ihat only one of the three vessels was decked. sphere of republics should have been dis- The smallness of the vessels was considered an covered by a republican. His proper name advantage by Columbus, in a voyage of discovery, was Colombo, though he is chietly known enabling him to run close to the shores, and to enter among his contemporaries by the Spanish when coasting the gulf of Paria, he complained of
shallow rivers and harbours. In his third voyage, synonyme of Colon. He was well educated, the size of his ship, being nearly a hundred tons but passed his youth chiefly at sea, and had burden. But that such long and perilous expedihis full share of the hardships and hazards tions into unknown seas, should be undertaken in incident to that vocation. From the travels vessels without decks, and that they should live of Marco Polo he seems first to have imbibed through the violent tempests by which they were his taste for geographical discovery, and to circumstances of these daring voyages."
frequently assailed, remain ainong the singular have derived his grand idea of reaching the eastern shores of India by sailing straight to
It was on Friday, the 3d of August, 1492, the west.
The spirit of maritime enterprise that the bold adventurer sailed forth, with the was chiefly fostered in that age by the mag. earliest dawn, from the little port of Palos, nanimous patronage of Prince Henry of Portu- on his magnificent expedition; and immedigal, and it was to that court, accordingly, that ately began a regular journal, addressed to Columnbus first offered his services in the year
the sovereigns, from the exordium of which, 1470. We will not withhold from our readers as lately printed by Navarette, we receive a the following brief but graphic sketch of his strong impression both of the gravity and character and appearance at that period :
dignity of his character, and of the import
ance he attached to his undertaking. We " He was at thao time in the full vigour of subjoin a short specimen. manhood, and of an engaging presence.
Minute descriptions are given of his person by his son “ Therefore your highnesses, as Catholic Chris. Fernando, by Las Casas, and others of his con. inns and princes, lovers and promoters of the holy temporaries. According to these accounts, he was Christian faith, and enemies of the sect of Ma. tall, well-formed, muscular, and of an elevated and homet, and of all idolatries and heresies, detcr. dignified demeanour. His visage was long, and mined to send me, Christopher Columbus, to the