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Tho' Lenca's isle, and wide Ambracia's bay
Record the rage of Actium's fatal day,
Tho' servile hands are arm'd to man the fleet,
And on Sicilian seas the navies meet,
All crimes, all horrors, we with joy regard
Since thou, oh Cæsar, art the great reward.

Lucan's Pharsalia, Book I.

In all this I have nothing to say by way of excuse for the men of letters; I bow my head with shame and confusion, acknowledging like the physician in Macbeth, that this disease is beyond my practice.

Therein the patient
Must Minister unto himself.

Yet may not something be said in extenuation of this degradation; it is indeed a poor argument that I am going to offer, but it is drawn from the very nature of the human heart. Shew me in the revolutions of empires, in those unhappy times when a whole people, like a corpse, shew no signs of life, --shew me I say any entire class of men who remain unshaken, ever faithful to their honour, and who have not yielded to the force of events, to the weariness of suffering ;-if such a class can be shewn, then will I pass sentence on the men of letters. But if you cannot find me this order of generous citizens, no longer let so heavy an accusation fall exclusively upon the favourites of the Muses ; mourn over human nature at large. The only difference which subsists between the writer and the ordinary man is that the turpitude of the first is known, and that the baseness of the latter is, from kis insignificance, concealed. Happy, in effect, in such times of slavery, is the ordinary man who may be mean with security, who may with impunity grovel in the mire, certain that his incapacity will preserve hin from being

T.

handed down to posterity, that his meanness will never be known beyond the present moment. It remains for me to speak of literary renown;

it marches in equal pace with that of kings and heroes. Homer and Alexander, Virgil and Cæsar, equally occupy the voice of Fame. Let us say more, the glory of the Muses is the only one in which nothing accessary has any share. A part of the renown, acquired in arms, may be reflected on the soldiers, may be ascribed to fortune ; Achilles conquered the Trojans by the assistance of the Greeks; but Homer composed the Iliad unassisted by any one, and but for him we should not know of the existence of Achilles. For the rest I am so far from hold. ing letters in the contempt impated to me, that I would not easily yield up the feeble portion of renown which they seem to promise to my humble efforts. I cannot reproach myself with any one having ever been importuned by my pretensions; but, since it must be confessed, I am not insensible to the applauses of my fellowcountrymen, and I should be wanting in the just pride due to my country, if I considered as nothing the honour of having added one to the number of French names held in esteem among foreign nations.

I here conclude this apology for men of letters. I hope that the Bearnese Chevalier will be satisfied with my sentiments; Heaven grant that he may be so with my style; for, between oyrselves, I suspect him to be somewhat more conversant in literature than entirely suits with a Chevalier of the old times. If I must say

all I think, it appears to me that in attacking my opinions he has only been defending his own cause.

His example will prove, in case it be necessary, that a man who has enjoyed a high distinction in the political orders, and in the first classes of society, may still be eminent for his learning; a discerning and elegant critic, a writer full of

amenity, and a poet full of talents. These Chevaliers of Bearn have always courted the Muses, and we have not forgotten a certain Henry who, besides that he fought not amiss, when he quitted his fair Gabrielle lamented their separation in verse. Since, however, my antagonist does not chuse to discover himself, I will avoid men. tioning any name; I would only have him understand that I have recognized his colours.

The men of letters, whom I have endeavoured to rescue from the contempt of the ignorant must, in their turn excuse me, if I finish by addressing a few words of advice to them, in which I am ready, myself, to take an ample share. Would we force calumny to be silent, and attract the esteem even of our enemies, let us lay aside that pride and those immoderate pretensions which rendered our class so insupportable in the last century. Let us be moderate in our opinions; indulgent in our criticisms; sincere admirers of whatever deserves to be admired. Full of respect for what is noble in our art, let us never debase our character; let us not complain of destiny, he who complains draws contempt upon him. self; let the muses alone, not the public, know whether we are rich or poor; the secret of our indigence ought to be kept the most carefully of any of our secrets ; let the unfortunate be sure to find a support in us, we are the natural defenders of all supplicants; our noblest right is that of drying the tears occasioned by sorrow, and drawing tears down the cheeks of prosperity : Dolor ipse disertum fecerat. Let us never prostitute our talents to power ; but let us not, on the other hand, ever rail against it; he who condemns with bitterness is very likely to applaud without discernment; there is but one step between complaint and adulation. In short, for the sake of our own glory and for that of our works, we cannot too much attach ourselves to virtue; it is the beau.

ty of the sentiments which creates beauty of style. When the soul is elevated the words fall from on high, and nobleness of expression will always follow nobleness of thought. Horace and the Stagyrite do not teach the whole of the art : there are delicacies and mysteries of language which can only be communicated to the writer by the probity of his own heart, and which can never be taught by the precepts of rhetoric.

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For his reception as a Member of the Imperial Institute

of France. *

WHEN Milton published his Paradise Lost not a single voice was raised in the three kingdoms, of Great Britain, to praise a work which, notwithstanding that it abounds with defects, is one of the grandest efforts ever produced by the human mind. The English Homer died forgotten, and his cotemporaries left to posterity the charge of immortalizing him who had sung the Garden of Eden.

* M. de Chateaubriand was elected a member of the Institute in France, in the year 1811, in the place of M. Chenier, a poet well known for the part he took in the French revolution. According to custom the recipient was to pronounce the eulogium of his predecessor; but the friends of M. Chenier knowing how much the memory of the deceased had to fear from the eloquence of M. de Chateaubriand, insisted that the speech of the latter should be communicated to the Institute before it was delivered. It was found, on examination, to be little honourable to M. Chenier, and M. de Chateaubriand was not admitted. His speech, however, though never published was copied by all Paris.

Noce by the Editor.

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