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able truth, though, perhaps, with a little of that involuntary exaggeration that mere contrast can hardly fail to produce. The coldness of manner in the English ladies, their reserve and want of animation, are painted too harshly, even though a large share of understanding and accomplishment is allowed them. Mad. de Staël at the same time entertains a high opinion of the men, and is aware of the superiority that they derive from having some object in active life, and some concern in the government of their country. In what respects conversation, however, and cultivation of mind, we must be permitted to say, that we believe the women are often superior to the men. The very circumstance of not being destined for active or public life, renders their conversation more intellectual, more connected with general principles, and more allied to philosophic speculation. Their taste, also, is often more cultivated; and we have known instances, where the daughters of a family could relish the beauties of Racine and Metastasio, while the sons could not converse on any thing but hunting, horse-racing, or those methods of training, by which the talents of men and of horses are brought as near as possible to an equality.

During the residence of Corinna in Northumberland, though her mind revolted against the formal rules of the dull and common-place people that surrounded her, yet she found herself gradually subdued by them, and insensibly tied down by their opinions, as Gulliver was by the threads of the Lilliputians. It is in vain says she, that you say this man is not a proper judge of me; that woman has no comprehension of what I am about.The human countenance ever exercises a great power over the human heart; and when you read on the faces of those around you, a disapprobation of your conduct, it disquiets you in spite of yourself. The circle you live in always comes to conceal from you the rest of the world; the smallest atom, placed near the eye, hides from it the body of the sun; and it is the same with the little coterie in which you live. Neither the voice of Europe, nor of posterity, can make you insensible to the noise of your neighbour's family; and therefore, whoever would live happily, and give scope to his genius, must first of all choose carefully the atmosphere with which he is to be immediately surrounded.' (Vol. II. p. 377.) These reflections are very just; but one who would apply them to his own case, must be careful not to mistake the suggestions of levity and caprice for the inspiration of genius and talent; for the same power which adjusts all to the mediocrity of the vulgar, and which may so unhappily fetter the two latter, often furnishes a salutary restraint to the two former. Much is said through the whole book, of the effect of climate; and the

VOL. XI. NO. 21.



to be found only the remains of public monuments, and they only record the political history of past ages; but at Pompeii, it is the private life of the ancients which is laid open to our view as it really existed. The volcano which has overwhelmed that city with ashes, has preserved it from the ravages of time. Buildings exposed to the air could never have remained so complete; but this relic, hidden in the earth, has been recovered entire. The paintings, the statues of bronze, retain their original beauty; and all that served for domestic purposes, remains in a state of awful preservation. The cups are still prepared for the feast of the next day; the flour is ready to be kneaded; the remains of a woman are still adorned by the ornaments she wore on the festival which the volcano has interrupted; and her withered arms no longer fill the bracelets of jewels by which they are still encircled. No where can there be seen such a striking image of the sudden interruption of life. The traces of the wheels are distinctly visible on the pavement of the streets; and the stones which surround the wells, bear the marks of the ropes which have worn them by degrees. There are still to be seen on the walls of a guardhouse, the mishapen characters, and the figures, coarsely sketched, which the soldiers drew to pass away the time,-that time which was advancing to swallow them up.'

It is with pieces of petrified lava that are built those houses which have been buried by other lavas! Thus, you see ruins upon ruins, tombs upon tombs. This history of the world, in which the epochas are reckoned from destruction to destruction; this life, of which the traces are followed by the gleams of the volcanos which have destroyed it, fills the heart with sadness. For what a length of time has man existed! How long is it since he began to live, to suffer, and to perish! Where are to be found his sentiments and his thoughts ?"

We give these passages, not as complete descriptions of the objects they relate to, but as reflections that are natural, though uncommon; and such as will probably strike those who have ac tually seen these monuments, more than others who have only read of them.

The effects which the sight of ruins and antique monuments produce on the mind, must have been experienced by many, who' will be pleased to find them so well expressed in the following


Ofwald ne pouvait fe laffer de confidérer les traces de l'antique Rome du point élévé du Capitole où Corinne l'avait conduit. La lecture de l'hiftoire, les réflexions qu'elle excite, agiffent bien moins fur notre ame que ces pierres en défordre, que ces ruincs mêlées aux habita tions nouvelles. Les yeux font tout-puiffans fur l'ame; après avoir vu


les ruines romaines on croit aux antiques Romains, comme fi l'on avait vécu de leur temps. Les fouvenirs de l'efprit font acquis par l'étude. Les fouvenirs de l'imagination naiffent d'une impreffion plus immédiate et plus intime qui donne de la vie à la penfée, et nous rend, pour ainsi dire, témoins de ce que nous avons appris. Sans doute on eft importuné de tous ces bâtimens modernes qui viennent fe mêler aux antiques débris. Mais un portique debout à côté d'un humble toit; mais des colonnes entre lefquelles de petites fenêtres d'églife font pratiquées, un tombeau fervant d'afile à toute une famille ruftique, produifent je ne fais quel mélange d'idées grandes et fimples, je ne fais quel plaifir de découverte qui infpire un intérêt continuel. Tout eft commun, tout eft profaïque dans l'extérieur de la plupart de nos villes européennes, et Rome, plus fouvent qu'aucune autre, prefente le trifte aspect de la misère et de la dégradation; mais tout à coup une colonne brisée, un bas-relief à demi detruit, des pierres liées à la façon indeftru&tible des architectes anciens, vous rappellent qu'il y a dans l'homme une puiffance éternelle, une étincelle divine, et qu'il ne faut pas fe laffer de l'exciter en foi-même et de la ranimer dans les autres.

The passage that immediately follows, breathes strongly the spirit of freedom.

. Ce Forum, dont l'enceinte eft fi refferrée et qui a vu tant de chofes étonnantes, eft une preuve frappante de la grandeur morale de l'homme. Quand l'univers, dans les derniers temps de Rome, était foumis à des maîtres fans gloire, on trouve des fiècles entiers dont l'hiftoire peut a peine conferver quelques faits; et ce Forum, petit efpace, centre d'une ville alors très-circonfcrite, et dont les habitans combattaient autour d'elle pour fon territoire, ce Forum n'a-t-il pas occupé, par les fouvenirs qu'il retrace, les plus beaux génies de tous les temps? Honneur donc, éternel honneur aux peoples courageux et libres, puisqu'ils captivent ainsi les regards de la postérité!' vol. I. p. 184-186.

Corinna is represented as excelling in the character of an Improvisatrice, so peculiar to Italy, and so intimately connected with the flowing and sonorous language of that country. Several specimens of this sort of composition are given in the course of the work; one of the most beautiful we think is an effusion that Corinna is supposed to make sitting on the promontory of MISENUM in a moonlight evening, just after sunset, with the bay of Naples, and all the classical and magnificent scenery that surrounds it, stretched out before her. The subject suggested by her friends was the recollections attached to the objects now in view. Melancholy had then begun to take possession of her thoughts, from the circumstances of her own situation, and this is strongly marked in the whole of her discose: we give only the end of it, where, after mentioning the names of Cornelia, Portia, Agrippina, who, in circumstances of deep distress, had all passed over the theatre before her, she goes on thus. "Amou',

"Amour, fuprême puiffance du cœur, mystérieux enthousiasme qui renferme en lui-même la poésie, l'héroïfine et la religion! qu'arrive-t-il quand la deftinée nous fépare de celui qui avait le fecret de notre ame et nous avait donné la vie du cœur, la vie célefte? Qu'arrive-t-il quand l'absence ou la mort ifolent une femme fur la terre? Elle languit, elle tombe. Combien de fois ces rochers qui nous entourent n'ont-ils pas offert leur froid foutien à ces veuves délaiffées qui s'appuyaient jadis

fur le fein d'un ami, fur le bras d'un héros !

"Devant vous eft Sorente; là, demeurait la fœur du Taffe, quand il vint en pélerin demander à cette obscure amie un afile contre l'injuftice des princes: fes longues douleurs avaient prefque égaré fa raifon; il ne lui reftait que la connaiffance des chofes divines, toutes les images de la terre étaient troublées. Ainfi le talent, épouvanté du défert qui l'environne, parcourt l'univers fans trouver rien qui lui reffemble. La nature pour lui n'a plus d'écho; et le vulgaire prend pour la folie ce malaife d'une ame qui ne refpire pas dans ce monde affez d'air, affez d'enthoufiafme, affez d'efpoir."

"Sublime créateur de cette belle nature, protége-nous! Nos élans font fans force, nos efpérances menfongères. Les paffions exercent en nous une tyrannie tumultueufe, qui ne nous laiffe ni liberté ni repos. Peut-être ce que nous ferons demain décidera-t-il de notre fort; peutêtre hier avons-nous dit un mot que rien ne peut racheter.. Quand notre efprit s'élève aux plus hautes pensées, nous fentons, comme au fommet des édifices élevés, un vertige qui confond tous les objets à nos regards; mais alors même la douleur, la terrible douleur, ne fe perd point dans les nuages, elle les fillonne, elle les entr'ouvre. O mon Dieu, que yeut-elle nous annoncer ? . . . ” Vol. II, 336-339

It is remarked, that the Neapolitans were surprised with the melancholy strain of this song; they admired the harmony and beauty of the poetry, but they wished that the verses had been inspired by a disposition less sad. The English, on the other hand, who were present and heard Corinna, were filled with unmixt admiration.

Madame de Staël, as appears from almost every part of this work, has studied with great care the character and manners of the English. She has done so also with singular success; and, though all her notions may not be perfectly correct, we believe that hardly any foreigner, who has not resided long in England, ever approached so near to the truth. The residence of Corinna, at her father's house in Northumberland, affords an opportunity of entering into the minutia of some parts of English manners. The representation of them is not very favourable the long dinners-the free use of the bottle-the almost total separation of the male from the female part of the society that is the necessary consequence-the dullness of the latter during the long interval from dinner to tea,-all these are noted with consider


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