« PreviousContinue »
Ros. Well pleas'd I see the gondolier,
Pasquino. How happy the old fool makes True to the vesper bour, is bere.
himself!" Lord F. & Ros. Sweet is the wild birds' warbled
Le Bourru continues his fooleries till he lay, To him who toils at opening day;"
gets pinched by Pasquino, when he cries Sweet is the silver-murmuring stream,
out, “ for vhy you pinchee me, Miss ?" and To him who faints in noon-tide beam : the scene goes on in the dark till Pasquino Sweeter to me the twilight knell,
is dismissed by Lord Forrester, between The far swung sound of the vesper bell. whom and Rosaura another lovers' quarrel All. Hark! hark! bark! with solemn swell, takes place; after which the scene changes
Floats o'er the wave the vesper bell.” to a view of St. Mark's Place illuminated, While Rosaura is playing with the jea- || and the following beautiful trio is sung :lous fears of her lover, the following remark “ At break of dawn-at fall of night, is admirable :
Thy charms, dear Venice ! are the same; “ The dawn of youth presents every object | Thy loveliness ve’er met the sight
Of those who do not bless thy name. to me in all the fascinating variety of spring, and the more distant charms of maturing wo. 1st Voice. Pleasure! Italia's sons adore manhood are obscured by that mist which the Thy blessed dame, and hymn tby praise noon-day of my life will dissipate; but the From Milan to Sicilia's shore, perspective on which you gaze, is a sober And songs of gratulation raise, tinted, autumnal scene, which partakes more
To thee, who hast, thro' many a year, of the oscuro than the chiara,”
Chosen thy sainted dwelling here. In those lighter scenes, to excite broad
Trio. At break of dawn, &c. mirth, that of Corallina and her two lovers | 2d and 3ıl Voices. When moonlight cheers the in the dark cannot fail of its aim:
scenes we love,
And balf removes the veil of night, Le Bourru. “Do not derange you, charm- ||
And Zendalettos seem to move ante Miss Corraline. Lovairs bave de bawk's
Upon a sea of liquid light, eyes; me vatch-e you steal away in de dark.
With panting hopes and breathless haste Corallina Oh! Oh!
We swallow joys we seek to taste.
I'rio. At break of dawn-at fall of night,” &c. von leetel fright, ma mignenne. Votre coeur
At the reconciliation between Rosaura palpite: I did make-e your heart heat. Que je 'suis beureux! Your tender lovair did
and Lord Forrester, when he is convinced
of her attachment to him, his speech and make-e your heart beat! Pasquino. ( Aside.) Why, the rascal's getting
her answer are well worth recording:quite amorous (placing his hands on Corallina's
Lord F. “To express what I feel to any but shoulders); and as I live he's fumbling one of yourself, were impossible: very few have been her bands.
initiated into the hallowed mysteries of intelCorallina. Let go may hand; you are very lectual passion. The vulgar doctrines of love rude, Mounseer.
are like those elementary lectures which Le Bourru. Mais, non, ma mie, je suis le plus || Aristotle addressed to the common people; tendre des amanta.
but the metapbysical principles of the lover's Pasquino. ( Aside.) I shall certainly murder art, like those of the Greciap pbilosopber, are the scoundrel. (Pasquino removes Corallina's communicated to the most confidential of his hand, and slips his own in its place.)
friends only. Le Bourrú. Vat delicate leetel band!
Ros. Since you are inclined to be so figuraPasquino. ( Aside.) Humph! A discovery ! tive, I'll furnish you with another allegory : It Le Bourru. Dese fingers be so smood as de
has been vulgarly declared, that all lovers feel
alike; but does not this capricious deity, velvette, and (kissing Pasquino's hand) smell
Love, resemble the keen grammarian, that delike de perfumes of Arabie.
fines the various meanings of emotions, which Pasquino. ( Aside.) Its the first time then, nine-tenths of the world consider synonyl'il be swori.
mous?" &c. Le Bourru. Tbis leetel finger is as soft as one rabbit's ear. (Kissing Pasquino's finger. ;
Correspondenee of Baron Grimm with the Duke of Saxe Gotha. Part I. By
It is impossible for us to give any par- tion, according to their ideas. Envy sought ticular outline of this mixed and volumi to take from the merit of Voltaire in this nous work; as it is a collection of literary transaction; and others praised the goodness and historical memoirs, interspersed with
of the pbilosopher to the skies: if they were
wrong in one instance, they were guilty of exanecdotes. We offer, however, to our readers, from this celebrated publication, have been the friend of Mademoiselle Cor
aggeration in the other. "Certainly he might a great number of extracts, which, we
neille without so much parade; and if, by doubt not, they will find amusing and chance, he had become weary of her, without interesting, and which, for the general use
providing for her for life, he would have renof our readers, we have rendered into
dered her more miserable than if he bad left English :
her in her former indigence : but there were a
set of people who were vile enough to predict ANECDOTE OF MADEMOISELLE DE COR
this event, which did not take place, but NEILLE AND VOLTAIRE.
which served them to disseminate their " The father of this young perso:
venom on the reputation of this celebrated tradesman, who was a distant branch of the
geuius.” family of the celebrated Corneille, but bad no. thing resembling that great man but the name. OBSERVATIONS ON THE REAL CHARACTER M. de Fontenelle, who was a near relation of
WRITINGS OF THE FAMOUS CORCorneille’s, koew nothing of this man, who only made himself known when Fontenelle “ Peter Corneille had received from nature, approached his hundredth year, and was near genius, the most exalted ideas, and a 'strong finishing his long earthly career. The father and vigorous understanding. If, with these of Mademoiselle Corneille was, of course, fur. great qualities, he bad been bat endowed with gotten in the will of Fontenelle, and he pleaded | feeling, with a tender and susceptible heart, in a court of law in vain. The players gene he would have been, without doubt, one of rously gave him a' benefit, and performed || the first of men : but it is the beart which Rodogund, by which he gained six thousand | renders poesy truly elegant; it is that which, francs; but the fortune of Mademoiselle Cor in the most barbarous ages, as well as in those neille was yet very precarious. ' The Prince of which were more refined, gave that touching Conti took it in his head to make this melan
character which served to render a poet imcholy descendant of Corneille sing an ode mortal. The heart of Corneille was dried up, in honour of Voltaire. The philosopher, de- and, being an emp'y void, he was obliged to lighted with being styled the father of the have recourse to his head, so that reason French theatre, offered to take Mademoiselle || usurped the place of sentiment. Though Corueille under bis protection, and have her born at a fortunate period, be yet was not foreducated under bis own eye, by his niece, Ma. tunate enough to discover the true source of dame Denis. This gave rise to the corre taste; bis understanding had not been culti. spondence between Voltaire 'and Le Brun, vated by the study of the Greeks and Rowbich has been printed. Some rich and de. mans, and his genius did not become brilvout relations set their faces against this ar liant. A taste for Spanish literature, which rangement, fearing that the religious principles bad infected a great part of Europe, comof Mademoiselle Corneille would be overset,
the corruption of Corneille. This uudtr the guidance of the first man in the age poet, full of warmth and strength of expreswherein he lived; but, as i bey mus! then have sion, established the Spanish influence on the taken the charge of her themselves, they at French theatre, and substituted declamation length consented that the young person should and mistaken emphasis for elevation and true enter the broad and pleasant road to destruc- grandeur. If Corneille, with his superior ta.
lents, and with that art of reasoning whicb be vation on liberty and the republic. When possessed in so eminent a degree, bad devoted they presume to give to an actor the name of himself to the bar, be would have been one of a great personage, besides the general features the first lawyers of tbis age, or any other ; but of bis character which history bas given him, dramatic poetry, which was then but in its it is requisite also to know the ideas, manbirth in France, required a different kind of ners, and customs of the age he lived in: now genius. His situations are generally sublime, no one knew less of the maovers of the Roand the first conception of his ideas grand and mans than Corneille. He had learnt only astonishing; but I will take upon me to say, from his Spanish studies the laws of chivalry. that, when executed, they seldom give satis. Not but what, like others, he was acquainted faction to a well cultivated mind, or to a man with ancient bistory, that is to say, he bad of real taste. His characters are generally out ' read it, and had reaped from it as little fruit, of nature: in bis happiest moments it is al as the greatest number of those young persons ways the poet who is exalted, and draws off do, who give several years to a study which our attention from the actors. The genius of ought to form their taste and extend their his statesmen consist in laying dowv political knowledge, but wbich they too often quit, maxims, with which our dogmatical works without ever knowing the authors whose works abound, but wbicb have never yet actually they have so often turned over; and without been adopted. His tyrants and wicked cha- seizing the character and the genius of the racters have also their peculiar sentences, and age in which they lived-No, they have learat do pot scruple to speak aloud those principles to associate modern ideas to those ancient which, though they enter their bearts, they discourses, with which they have not the are so far from uttering them, that they scarce smallest connection. If Corneille had never own them to themselves. His teuder and sea undertaken any other kind of subjects than timental characters are always reasoning, and such as ibe Cid, his style would bave been al. always coldly, instead of seeming actuated
ways natural; but in treating Ronau subjects, alone by the passionate warmth of their feels || he has given to bis dialogue and to his priaciings. Every passion, but particularly that of pal characters sentiments of chivalry, and that love, instead of developing the secret emotions romantic bombast, tbat certain emphatic ceof the soul, becomes, in his pieces, only a i remony unknown to the Romans. We may tissue of the most commou-place reasoning. cite as a proof that famous scene in Cinna,
6 Thus has truth beeu banished from the which begins with, “Take a seat, Cinna;" and French theatre from its cradle, and, in the neitber speaks a sentence but what is absurd. finest pieces of Corneille’s, we may always cry Corneille has transformed Augustus into' a out,“ really, that is very fine, but it is what King of Castille, who reproaches bis vassal never could have happened.” In a word, if a with felony; but the true Augustus, as he is lover, a tyrant, or a conspirator, was to act in represented to us in history, would yot bave the world, and make use of one single sen made use of a single expression such as Cortence, such as Corneille puts in his mouth on neille has put in his mouth ; aud Ciova, bimthe theatre, he would be looked upon as a self, would have answered very differently. madman. How can any thing so false and || Those who have read the letters of Cicero, puerile be supported by a seusible audience? and the manner in which business was carried If they can applaud such errors, is it not fair on at Rome, could never listen to a siogle line to call their taste in question ?
in this famous scene of Cinna, wherein Au. “ One of the fancies the most difficult to gustus deliberates with Çiona and Maximus, get out of our beads, and wbich we hear re whetber be ought to keep or depose the enpeated every day, is, that there is only Cor pire, nor of that other political scene of Ser. neille who koows the proper style in which a torius, wbich is so cried up, and which has Roman ht to speak. I am not sure whether made so many half-witted people exclaim, it was not Louis XIV. and the great Coude what a great man Peter Corneille would have which decided this matter, and of whom the been if, as a statesman, be had been placed at ignorant public have become the echo; but the head of affairs; he would have been a seLouis XIV. born with an instinct which made cond Timou. There are none but children him admire every thing great, had very little who could ever imagine that important affairs wit, and yet less education; and Conde, are regulated, in fact, in the same manner as though he knew how to gain a battle, knew they are in our tragedies; but men of silid bothing of the Roman genius. To have, tbe understanding and of strict taste, require naair and the manpers of a Roman, it is not ture in such discourses, and abbor all the false enough that he must talk with a tone of ele rhetoric of declamation."
There is much originality and sprightli- | which I should bring upon myself by my simness in the following letter which we have plicity, my imprudence, and, indeed, by my extracted from this work, written from the libertinism : you must acknowledge that I am Abbé de Bouflers to the Abbé Porquet, at
not formed to live among such people. Do the beginning of the
you reckon as nothing the cry that wouid be 1762: year
raised against me for the freedom of my man“ At length, my dear Abbe, I am about to
nêrs ? None but fools would cry out against execule a project which has been always up
me, you will say. So much the worse, it would permost in my thoughts, and which your bet. be better for me, if the censure came from the ter judgment always condemned, that of wise; there would be less noise about it.. changing my condition. It certainly is not a Fools have always the advantage by their trifling undertaking to begin a new life, as I
Aumbers, and it is the multitude which decide : may say, at the age of twenty-four; perhaps we may fight against them as long as we you will tell me that I ought to reflect more please, but we shall never weaken them; they seriously on this matter than my age and nas
will always be our masters, and remain the tural vivacity will permit me; but do not con.
lords of the universe, give laws, and assign to demn me without having heard me once more;
every one his rank in society--there is no and as in all things that relate to our happi- || practice, no custom, or duty of which they ness, there is no judge so proper as the parties
are not the authors. In a word, they will al. concerned, suffer me, I beg of you, to plead ways oblige people of sense to think and act and decide my own cause.
something like themselves; because it is a “ I was in the direct road to fortune, the standing rule that the vanquished speak, in first steps I took were sufficient to ensure it to
general, the language of their conquerors. The most favourable circumstances
After this profound veneration, which you seemed to be in unison, and presented the fu.
fiod I possess for the power of fools, am I ture to my imagination under the most brilli- | wrong in endeavouring to get in favour with ant-colours. Without merit, I could, like them, and ought I not to look on it as the many others, have obtained benefices; who happiest moment of my life when I am reconknows but what a few jutriguing stratagems
ciled with the first sovereigo's in the world? might not have placed me at the head of the
Pardon me for jesting while I reason; it is to clergy? But I had rather be an aid-de-camp help both you and myself to support the ennui in the army of the Prince of Soubise. The
such reasoning might otherwise cause. Befirst rule of conduct is not to aim at being sides, Horace, your friend and model, allowed rich and powerful, but to find out which way
himself to laugh while be was telling truth; our desires tend, and to follow them. Alex
and the first philosopher of antiquity was ander, with all the gold of Asia in his coffers, surely not Heraclitus. I know you will tell and the sceptre of the universe in his hands, me, that after my respect for the opinions of sought happiness in Babylon ; and a humble fools, I might quit my présent situation withherdsman of eighteen, finds it in a cottage, if
out entering into another; but the fools told he marries the little country lass he loves.
me that I must have a situation in society. • " But a truce to Alexander, and let us re
I proposed that of a man of letters: they told
me to beware of tbat, because I had too much turn to speak of myself, who am much more
wit. I asked them what they wished I should like a herdsman iban Alexander. You must be convinced that a sanguine disposition, a
do, and they answered me as follows :-We
have wished for a number of years that you temper naturally thoughtless, and an inde
should be a gentleman ; we now desire that pendent spirit, are the three chief traits in my
every gentleman should go to war.' There-
Malta, and set off.
" You have now numberless objections to yet how requisite it is for every ecclesiastic to
make against the manner in which I adopted conceal his desires, to disguise his inmost
I have often made them thoughts, to be particularly guarded in bis | against myself. I will send you the detail expressions, and above all, to binder others
with all the sincerity which you know belonge from prying into his actions. Think only of
to me, and will answer them with a seriousthe atrocious hatred, the envy and jealousy,
ness you do not imagine me to be possessed
« First, you will tell me that I have not
sufficiently consulted my parents on the steps best benefactor. I auswered that th theo I was about to take, and, moreover, that I might add to the favours be had already : af ought to reckon on their tenderness; and by ered on me, but he could never add ti their superior experience to regulate my in gratitude or my content, and that it would tentions. It is true that I am contented with
of more advantage to'me to imitate bis mu acquainting my mother and brother of my deration in my humble spbere, tban to sink intentions without asking their opinion ; for under i be burt hen of his benefits. The King, I think it would be useless to do so, my reso surprised that I should put limits, as I may lution being fixed-I should bave deceived
say, to his beneficence, deigned to approve my them if I had asked their advice in the full
answer, and bas never since desired me to re. determination not to follow it. If they bad
tract my opinion, thought as I did, things would have gone on
“So much, and enougb concerning the sijust the same; if their ideas had not agreed
tuation I am about to quit ;, let us consider PL with mine, I sbould have been sorry I could
now that I am going to embrace. Now I will not have yielded to their wishes I had rather
confess wherein I am wrong. You are but too be guilty of a little want of form, than to de.
well acquainted, my dear friend, with my naceive them or openly fly in their face. Of two
tural wildness of disposition, and I have no pas unequal evils, you know which we ought to l occasion to remind you of my follies. To of choose. But, perhaps, there is no occasion to
give you an idea of them, it is sufficient only in form so decided a resolution. Are we masters
to call to your remembrance what I drew upun be of our will ? Can we weaken or strengthen it myself by the songs I composed on the Isle of git at pleasure ? And man, the inboru slave of || Adam, and how shocking it was thought at ho bis most absurd fancies can he command
both Versailles and Paris, that a man who wore those desires which bis reason approves ?
the clerical habit should make such indelicate But ought we not always to obey our parents? | couplets, which would be scarce pardonable The respect we owe our parents has no term ;
in any one in whatever situation. Those who but obedience has one marked by nature:
accused me at court, took very good care to it is that when the organs of our bodies and be silent on my, having laken too much cham. the faculties of our mind are entirely deve-paign, which, together with my natural levity, loped. At that moment, we enter, as we may made me scarce comprehend the sense the Ider say, on possession of ourselves; the helm of
uext day of what I had composed only the our actions is placed in our own bands, and evening before. I was condemned unaniafter having been taught by others how to
mously, and, I must confess, but too justly. Po live, we begin to live for ourselves. But do I tried, bowever, to reinstate myself in the not we owe at all times an unlimited confi
good opinion of the Daupbiu, which I knew dence in a mother? It is this confidence to I bad lost. He told the person who spoke iu which I attended, in informing my mother of
my favour,and who read to him a letter I had my intentions in your hearing. The pain it
written on the subject, that he wished to inseemed to give her, made me cautious of
terest himself for me, and tbat he should be speaking to her again on the subject, but did
truly glad to see me in a situation more con-1 not prevent my following my plans; the hap- formable to my character and the turn of my s piness of my life was concerned in it, and tbat,
mind. This reason was what chiefly deterI am sure, she would not wish me to sacri
mined me to enter the service; a reason which fice.
I dare not confide to the King,
as much on “ Secondly, you ask me if the King is in. account of the shame I would feel in confessformed of my change of condition ? The King ing my fault, as from a fear of afflicting him, has often questioned me on the plan of life I
when he should learn bow unworthy I am of meant to adopt, and I always had the cou
his kindness. rage to answer him, for the last eighteen " I shall not undertake to answer those months, that I did not wish for promotion in people, who accuse me of ingratitude towards my present way of life; that what I had now
my benefactor; I fear no reproaches on that was quite sufficient for me; that my desires head-my heart will always speak louder than, were rather to be happy than great. There the tongues of my calumniators, and I can upon the King was desirous of speaking to safely say, that amidst every one of those mome on some projects he had conceived on my ments, which they employed in uttering account, and which were enough to dazzle | against me the most horrible things, my any one who had wot taken his lessons from thoughts dwelt with tender recollection on ļbat wholesome philosophy taught me by my the benefits 1 received from the King, and
P n R
ig L hi wi