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corrupting history (the writer says) to give any value in the eyes of posterity to the pretexts adopted by the British prime minister, in order to colour his refusal to enter into negociation, and his determination to forego the glory and solid advantage of giving peace to Europe.' The author elsewhere asserts that, had not the same minister prevented it, a continental peace would have taken place on Bonaparte's accession to the chief magistracy of France.
Paul the first, he says, entered into the war because he deemed the existence of a republic in France inconsistent with the safety of thrones; and depended on seeing his example followed by all neutral powers: but, finding his expectations not answered, that his allies had not the same object with himself, and that French anarchy had ceased when Bonaparte assumed the government, he became as anxious for a general peace, as he had been before zealous for a general war against France. In this early negociation with the First Consul, Paul seems to have acted with more wisdom than either the British or the Austrian statesmen ;- the latter did nof recur to measures of amity, till forced to it by a war in which they suffered unparalleled losses of men, treasure, and territory. .
The author contends that it was the obvious interest of Austria to accept of offers of conciliation, when they were first proposed by the consulate. Having Lombardy and Piedmont in her hands, she had the means of ensuring and of even extending her acquisitions in Italy, under the peace of Campo Formio: but, after the retreat of the Russians, without great additions to her forces, (supposing the French armies to continue the same,) she could not hope to push farther her successes, nor even to guard against reverses. It was in consequence, however, of the pressing solicitations and the prodigious sacrifices of the cabinet of London, that she became deaf to the overtures of France. He complains that the English ministers, by their answers, took care to exclude all possibility of a first basis of negotiation, and to leave no room for a favourable doubt; and that they declared that the establishment of the system which had preceded the revolution, and the recall of the Bourbons, were necessary preliminaries : though they had lately treated the convention, the committees of public safety, and the several directories, with more respect; and though the consular government had checked the parties which gave alarm, and could only exist by repressing them. So far, indeed, was it from propagating mischievous principles, that it endeavoured to destroy the schools which taught them, and watched narrowly over the disgraced apostles of them; and finally, the author asserts that social order, the
sacred cause of which was unceasingly invoked, could not have a more fervent friend than the First Consul.
The refusal of Great Britain to treat, we are told, secured to the consulate the public favour, and disposed the French nation to make new sacrifices. The exertions on one side and on the other had the vigor and desperation of last efforts; and it was foreseen that he who could obtain the first victories would dictate the terms of peace.
We are glad to be enabled to announce, because we are sure that our readers will learn with satisfaction, that the author throws out an intimation of favouring the world with a history of the war of the revolution. Those who are ac. quainted with the Precis need not to be told by us what a valuable present this will be ; and they will agree with us that such a work will insure to its author fame inferior only to that of the principal actors in the scene described.
Some very curious and elaborate notes add to the interest of these numbers.
Art. XI. La Mort de Robespierre, &c. i.e. The Death of Robes.
pierre, a Tragedy of Three Acts, in Verse : With Notes, con. taining Particulars hitherto unknown respecting the Transactions of September, and the internal Administration of the Prisons ; also an Account of the Treatment of the Abbé Sicard, Anecdotes, &c. The Work is preceded by a Poem on the Anarchy of 1791 and 1792, and followed by 14 Dialogues between Persons of the greatest Celebrity during the Revolution, whether for their Virtues or their Crimes. 8vo. pp. 272. Paris. 1801.
London, imported by De Boffe. Price 55. sewed. THE tragedy forms the least valuable part of this volume.
Apprehension and anxiety are not called forth while the? plot is forming, nor do we look to the dénouement with impatience. The event itself, indeed, is perhaps not well adapted to be the subject of a dramatic composition; and we are too near the period, to allow to fiction the necessary scope in dressing it out for theatrical exhibition. It is altogether a tame, languid, and médiocre performance, betraying a defici. ency of strength rather than violating propriety. The sentiments and views, which the different characters profess, are always correct; and the dialogue between Robespierre, Couthon, and Saint Just is very happy:-was is the soliloquy of the for. mer, which immediately follows the conference. Couthon is made to say,
• Craignons de compromettre une cause si belle ;
Adorateur secret de l'esclavage antique,
Eternise pour eux l'ignorance et l'errenr.' Immediately on his two colleagues leaving him, after having settled the plan of their joint reign, Robespierre is introduced, thus exclaiming;
J'ai deviné leur secret; quel délire!
Trois regner à la fois !.... ils périront tous deux. .
• De traitres, d'assassins, je suis environné,
Dès demain, je n'en fait qu'un vast cimetière.' The notes which accompany this drama contain particulars highly curions; throwing light on the course of the revolution in parts which it is below the dignity of history, and even of memoirs, to notice. We were much instructed, as well as interested, in perusing the account of the yth Thermidor, and of the events which led to that memorable day.
Nothing, perhaps, has ever happened more marvellous than the series of dangers and narrow escapes which occur in the narrative of the treatment of the very benevolent, active, and most ingenious Abbé Sicard, the worthy successor of the Abbé l'Epée, on the horrid days of September 1792 ; and we consider it as a precious little monument, which aifords materials to assist us ir judging of the men who were conspicuous in the revolution. The life of this most valuable man hung for several days on a most slender thread : the mayor of Paris, Petion, was informed of his situation, but contented himself with observing that the Abbi's case fell not within his department; the legislative assembly was apprized of his danger, and passed decrees which had no effect; while chance, good forture, and private heroism, were left to protect a life which was justly dear to humanity. Can any man, who is possessed of the common feelings of our nature, refrain from reprobating such criminal and opprobrious inactivity of the magistrates and councils on this occasion ? When the persons who might have prevented the massacres of September, but who made 10 effort to obstruct them, came themselves to suffer, they were
loud in condemning the lawless proceedings against them: but it is impossible to recollect the apathy which they manifested when others, in all respects equally deserving, were butchered in cold blood, without thinking that their own claim to pity is very slender.
The dialogues subjoined to this work are not distinguished either by elegance or by profundity: but they appreciate, with great nicety, the leading characters of the revolution; happily exposing many of the wrong notions which prevailed during the course of it, and displaying a moderation and a love of order which are highly honourable to the author.
Art. XII. Contes, Fables, Chansons, et Vers, &c. i.e. Tales, Fables,
Songs, and Verses, by L. P. SÉGUR, Senior, Ex-Ambassador, and Member of the Legislative Body. 8vo. pp. 257. Paris.
1801. Imported by De Boffe, London. This agreeable miscellany has afforded us much amusement.
1 Without rising to the first rank of this species of poetry, M. Ségur writes with a degree of facility and good sense which must interest the most difficult readers. The greater part of his compositions are indeed vers de société; the primary merit of which consists in their gaiety, and the secondary in the ease and perspicuity of their style. We shall give one or two hasty imitations of some of these pieces, with the originals :
• Epître à ma moitié.
F'entends la montié du monde
Epistle to my better half.
Scorning the scandal of the world,
• Impromptu. • Fait dans le jardin des Tuileries, au moment où Charles et Robert
. s'élevèrent, pour la premiere fois, dans les airs.
Sur les ailes des vents s'élèvent dans les cieux,
Entre les hommes et les dieux.' On the ascent of Messrs. Charles and Robert in a Balloon, for the 1st time, from the garden of the Thuillerics.
• When Charles and Robert nobly try
Between th' immortals and the earth.' A considerable part of the volume is occupied by the Two Genii, or False and True Happiness, a dramatic tale, composed in 1781. This is a fairy-tale, written with considerable taste ; and in that light, sketching manner which is best adapted to such temporary productions. Several of the verses are happily turned.
We add a paraphrastic translation of the author's lines on Illusion, p. 181, composed for the Society du Vaudeville.
• Truth we seek, yet dread to find,
Such is our perversion;
Yet 'tis our aversion :
That we fear her torch;
Oft' are found to scorch.
Sweet and light Illusion.
In her flow'ry way,
Hope and Pleasure play.
Each unthinking boy, ..