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world. Here a field is opened for the display of taste, learning, and eloquence; and it is but justice to say, that Corinna is every where equal to her subject. The observations which Madame de Staël has put in the mouth of her accomplished heroine, are those of a person of taste and sentiment, who has strongly felt, and deeply studied, the impressions made by whatever is great or beautiful in nature or in art. In the mean time, the mutual passion of Nelvil and Corinna was fed by the display of so much talent, genius and feeling, and by the entire sympathy produced by the constant admiration of the same objects. The character of Corinna becomes more interesting as it develops itself; all her powers and accomplishments are joined to an extreme simplicity and sincerity of mind, to that entire want of selfishness, that abandon de soi même, which is the charm of charms. Though the mind of Nelvil yielded to the force of those impressions, there were some elements in it more refractory than the rest, from the resistance of which was to be expected one of those struggles so consoling to the writers, and so distressing to the heroes of romance. As the citizen of a free country, he was passionately attached to it; he considered himself as called by his rank to take a share in active life; and no consideration could have induced him to think of living any where but in Britain. The difficulty that a woman, accustomed like Corinna to the manners of Italy, and to the public admiration which she every day experienced, must feel in accommodating herself to the duties of domestic life, and to the retirement and privacy in which an English woman passes her time, appeared to him an insurmountable obstacle to their union. He knew, too, that it had been the wish of his father that he should marry Lucilia, the daughter of his friend Lord Edgermond; and, though no formal proposal had ever been made to that effect, yet Nelvil was accustomed to regard the slightest intimation of his father's will as a law, which his death had only rendered more binding. It is here, however, that, combined with those high principles of honour and of filial piety, the faulty part of Lord Nelvil's character comes in sight. If he could not think of devoting himself to Corinna; if he could not reconcile his doing so with his ideas of duty or of happiness, he should have tied himself, like Ulysses, to the mast, and fled from a Syren, who charmed, as Homer's did, with the voice of wisdom. But he was irresolute, and yielded to present impressions: though, in matters of mere opinion, he seemed abundantly decided, his active principles were not equally firm; and, without any settled plan, he continued to pass his time in the society of Corinna. The explanation of her story was necessary, at all events, to enable him to determine what line of conduct he must pursue; and though
she promised to give that explanation, she constantly excused herself, and put it off to a time more distant. Nelvil fell ill; and Corinna, waving an etiquette that could be set aside in Italy, but that could not have been dispensed with in England, went to his lodgings, and attended him, during a tedious sickness, with the utmost tenderness and assiduity. On his convalescence, they travel together to Naples, where a new field of observation opens, hardly less interesting than that which Rome had afforded. On the eve of their departure from Naples, she put into the hands of Lord Nelvil, a paper, containing the explanation he had been so impatient to receive. Nothing can be more unexpected than the discovery now made. Corinna is no other than the daughter of Lord Edgermond, by his first wife, an Italian lady, and so is the half-sister of Lucilia Edgermond, whom we have just mentioned. Her education, till she was fifteen, had been in Italy; she was about ten years old when her mother died; her father leaving her to the care of an aunt, returned to England, where he married again, and where he brought his daughter, about five years after her mother's death. Here abundant room is given for description and contrast, both of manners and situation. Think of a young girl of fifteen, taken from the centre of Italy, with all the fire of genius just beginning to warm her, which had burst forth with such splendour in her maturer years;-think of her taken from the sun and climate of that favoured region, and transplanted at once to a land of strangers, to a village in the bleak climate and among the tame hills of Northumberland. The feeling description which she gives of this change, the satyre, and at the same time the insight into the human character and manners, displayed in this part of the story, will be read here with peculiar interest. Miss Edgermond found herself under the dominion of a step-mother, cold, haughty and reserved; and her father, governed by his wife, transformed from the gay and fashionable man that she had seen him a few years before, to a grave and stiff personage, bending under the leaden mantle which Mediocrity, according to DANTE, throws over the shoulders of all who pass under his yoke. The formal manners and cloudy sky of this country, were intolerable to Miss Edgermond; and her only pleasure was in attending to the education of her young sister.
She had, in her father's houss, an opportunity of seeing the late Lord Nelvil, who made a visit to Edgermond Hall, and who had signified to her father a wish that she might be married to his son. Whatever the impression was that the manner and character of Miss Edgermond had made on him was unknown; but, on his return home, he wrote to Lord Edgermond, that he thought her two young for his son. Lord Edgermond died soon after; and when she herself came of age, being put in
possession of her mother's fortune, and also of what her father had left her, she returned to the country whose remembrance was so deeply impressed upon her mind; assumed the name of Corinna, and became the admiration and the boast of Italy.
In this recital, though there was nothing that detracted from the merits of Corinna, there was sufficient to unsettle the mind of Lord Nelvil, fluctuating between love, and a vague or indistinct idea of duty. He proposed to return to England, to learn if possible what the circumstances were that had disinclined his father to the proposed match between Miss Edgermond and himself. He did not consider that the time was past for giving way to such considerations; and that his obligation never to forsake Corinna, but to unite his destiny to hers, had now become paramount to all other duties,-Corinna, to whom his faith had been so often pledged, who had so entirely. devoted herself to him, had nursed him in his sickness, and had sacrificed for him the admiration of the world.
She was overwhelmed by Nelvil's determination, but recovered sufficient spirits to return with him to Rome, and afterwards to proceed to Venice. The description of Venice is here introduced with great effect; and this spot, more sombre and triste than the rest of Italy, is judiciously chosen for the parting scene between Nelvil and Corinna. She had been prevailed on to act the part of Juliet (in a translation of Shakespeare's Romeo), and had performed it with the greatest applause, when Lord Nelvil received despatches from England, informing him that his regiment was ordered to the West Indies. He must set out immediately, and Corinna must remain in Italy. The parting in the midst of the night, surrounded by the silence and mystery of the Venetian capital, is highly pathetic, and worked up with all the adventitious circumstances that can be supposed to aggravate the pain of separation.
From this point the conduct of the story evidently declines: probability is too often disregarded; the objects, though still interesting, are less agreeable; and the circumstances of distress are too much accumulated. Lord Nelvil remains in the West Indies for four years: the state of his mind makes him careless of life; and he distinguishes himself greatly as a soldier. Corinna lives retired and disconsolate in the neighbourhood of Venice all that time, her mind in a state of perpetual agitation, the brilliancy of her imagination impaired, and the powers of her mind all going to decline. She resolves, having heard nothing for a long time from Nelvil, to visit England, and arrives in London nearly about the time that he returns from the West Indies. She witnesses, unknown to him, the review of his regiment in Hyde Park. Her doubts about his sen
timents prevent her from discovering herself; and in this there is a manifest departure from the simplicity of character which she has hitherto constantly maintained. As Nelvil hears nothing from her, he begins to think that she has forgot him. He visits Lady Edgermond, and, by her address, is induced to make proposals of marriage to her daughter Lucilia. Corinna being informed of this by report, goes down to Northumberland. She is present in the gardens of Edgermond-Hall, when a ball is given by Lady Edgermond, and takes that occasion to return to Lord Nelvil (by a blind man whom she meets with accidentally) a ring which he had given her, and which was to remain the pledge of his fidelity. The marriage takes place; and Corinna, in wandering about through England in this forlorn situation, meets by chance with Count D'Erfeuil, by whom she is conducted to Plymouth, and, taking ship there, returns to Italy. She remains at Florence; and the wane of a person and a mind, both of such distinguished excellence, expressed with the eloquence and feeling of Madame de Staël, affords one of the most melancholy pictures which we have any were found delineated:
Lady Nelvil is described as worthy, intelligent, and accomplished, but, at the same time, coid, reserv d, and distant in her manners. Lord Nelvil, unhappy in his nid, feels his health decline; is advised to go to Italy; finds out Corinna when she is fast approaching to her end. Lady Nelvii is introduced to her as her sister. The interview is extremely pathetic. Corinna declines seeing Lord Nelvil; and encounters death with great compo
Such is the outline of a story, which, though obviously faulty in many respects, and involving in it so little incident, the genius of the author has contrived to render extremely interesting. We shall select but a few out of the many passages that seem to us deserving of attention, of those in particular, where, to use the words of Lord Nelvil, we see Romeinterprétée par l'imagination et le genie.'
When Corinna and Nelvil were going to St Peters, they stoped before the castle of St Angelo;
• Voilà, dit Corinne, l'un des édifices dont l'extérieur a le plus d'originalité; ce tombeau d'Adrien, changé en fortereffe par les Goths, porte le double caractère de fa première et de fa feconde deftination. Bâti pour la mort, une impénétrable enceinte l'environne, et cependant les vivans y ont ajouté quelque chose d'hoftile par les fortifications extérieures qui contraftent avec le filence et la noble inutilité d'un monument funéraire. On voit fur le fommet un ange de bronze avec son épée nue, et dans l'intérieur font pratiquées des prifons fort cruelles. Tous les événemens de l'hiftoire de Rone depuis Adrien jufq'à nos jours font liés à ce monument. Bélifaire s'y défendit contre les Goths, et pref
qu'auffi barbare que ceux qui l'attaquaient, il lança contre fes ennemis les belles ftatues qui décoraient l'intérieur de l'édifice. Crefcentius, Arnault de Brefcia, Nicolas Rienzi, ces amis de la liberté romaine, qui ont pris fi fouvent les fouvenirs pour des efpérances, se font défendus long-temps dans le tombeau d'un empereur. J'aime ces pierres qui s'uniffent à tant de faits illuftres. J'aime ce luxe du maître du monde un magnifique tombeau. Il y a quelque chose de grand dans l'homme qui, poffeffeur de toutes les jouiffances et de toutes les pompes terreftres, ne craint pas de s'occuper long-temps d'avance de fa mort. Des idées morales, des fentimens défintéreffés rempliffent Pane, dès qu'elle fort de quelque manière des bornes de la vie. I. 158-160.
When St Peter's appeared, "Behold, said Corinna, the greatest edifice ever constructed by man; for the pyramids of Egypt themselves are inferior to it in height. I ought, perhaps, said she, to have shewn you the finest of our buildings, last; but that is not my method. I think that to render ourselves sensible to the fine arts, we ought to begin by seeing those objects which inspire a lively and profound admiration. This sentiment, once felt, reveals, as it were, a new sphere of ideas, and makes us capable of admiring and judging those things, which, though of an inférior order, retrace the first impression we received. All these gradual approaches, these prudent and artful means of preparing us for great effects, are not according to my taste: we cannot reach the sublime by degrees; and an infinite distance separates it even from the beautiful." Oswald felt an extraordinary emotion on coming in front of St Peter's. It was the first time that the work of man had produced on him the effect of a wonder of nature. It is the only labour of art upon our globe, which pos sesses the grandeur that characterises the works of nature. rinna enjoyed the astonishment of Oswald. "I have chosen, said she, a day in which the sun is in full splendour, to show you this monument. I reserve for you a pleasure more heartfelt, more sacred, to contemplate it by moon-light; but it was neces sary first to introduce you to the most brilliant of festivals, the genius of man, embellished by the magnificence of nature."
An obelisk 80 feet high, which seems nothing compared with the cupola of the church, stands in front of St Peter's. That monument, brought from Egypt to adorn the baths of Caligula, and which Sextus Quintus caused afterwards to be transported to the foot of St Peter's Church, this contemporary of so many ages, which have not been able to injure it, inspires us with a sentiment of reverence. Man, who feels his existence so fleeting, is impressed with awe in the presence of whatever is immoveable."
The following remarks on Pompeii are very striking.
'Pompeii is the most curious ruin of antiquity. At Rome, are