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him. But Luther, looking calmly and silently at the incident, and continuing his psalmody, excites an indescribable thrill, arising from a recollection of the mass of depending events, which reveals the use and the place of omens in dramatick historiography. Act IV. Scene 1. Luther is called before the diet, is exhorted to retract, and refuses. When he has retired, a deliberation commences whether he shall be burnt for heresy. The votes are divided: but the emperour's casting vote decides in favour of Luther, who retires with the acclamations of the people. , Scene 2. A forest near Worms. Here Luther is benighted, with his famulus; and here Catherine Bore, in her pilgrim's dress, with the fair novice who accompanies her, is benighted also. Certain soldiers attend as an escort. The parties meet, and club their suppers, spread themselves on the ground, and sing in concert. The spectacle may be imagined to be picturesque; and the soldier's bugle, with the voices of the performers, alternately sounding, to be very melodious: yet the dialogue itself is vile and ludicrous, and abolishes all that reverence for Luther and Catherine, which had previously been excited. After having fallen in love, they fall asleep; and their dreams are exhibited in the air, in pleasing illuminated machines. Theobald and the fair novice also fall in love, as well as their Imaster and mistress. In the fifth act, still grosser absurdities occur. The fair novice dies, in order to exhibit a funeral at
the convent, and to reintroduce the chorus of nuns, who are allowed to reunite on this occasion. During the service, protestant iconoclasts rush in, tear down the pictures, and carry off the candlesticks; and thus the reformation, hitherto so important, is degraded into a church-robbery, hostile to the fine arts! . An opportunity is seized for exhibiting Luther in lay-apparel, when he makes his offer, and is accepted by Catherine Bore; occasion is also taken to kill off two personages, now become supernumerary, the boywidower Theobald, and the discarded lover of Catherine;—and thus the tragedy terminates. The merits of this poem must be sought, first, in the author's happy portraiture of character and manners, and in ethick discrimination; secondly, in his wise choice of the interviews, so as to teach a large portion of historick truth, with a moderate number of agitating scenes; thirdly, in decorative contrivance, an opportunity being skilfully afforded for various and magnificent scenery and pageantry; yet in this department of art, the law of climax is not sufficiently observed; and fourthly, in historick fidelity.—Its faults will be found; first, in the trailing and sentimental style of the dialogue; secondly, in exuberance of personage, incident, anecdote, and parade; thirdly, in repetitions of situation, such as that of the nuns at worship; and fourthly, in the decaying character of the interest, which, from being originally of the heroick, becomes finally of the comick kind.
SPIRIT OF THE MAGAZINES.
FROM THE LIT en Air Y PANO R.A.M.A., FEMALE HEROISM, AS EVINCED DURING THE REIGN OF TERROUR OF THE FRENCH REVOLUTION. [Concluded from page 137.]
Mademoiselle de Bussy and Mademoiselle de Brion, one aged 15, and the other 19, had both accompanied their mothers to a prison. They were not prisoners, and might have gone out; but they preferred to share their captivity, and the decree ordering the expulsion of the nobility from Paris, forced them to part from them. They shed tears, and every day, in the country where they breathed pure air, they were heard to regret the insalubrity of that horrid abode, out of which they had been violently driven away.
Madame Grimoard, now Madame Potier, showed also a most affecting anxiety for her mother, Madame Lachabeaussiere. She had been sent to another prison. She begged, though she was pregnant, to be carried to Port Libre, to accompany her mother and take care of her; but she found her in close confinement, and treated with the greatest cruelty. She was so shocked at it, that at intervals her mind was deranged. She neglected her dress, and in her delirium, at which every heart was moved, she stood for some time on a spot, looking around her without seeing any body. Sighs heaved her bosom, and her face and body were distorted with convulsions. Then she arose suddenly, darted through the passa
ges, and sat down on the stairs, near the door of the dungeon where her mother was. There she listened a long while, and when she heard nothing, she sighed, shed tears, and in a low tone said sorrowfully: O my mother, my fond, my tinfortunate another When she heard her walk or move, she conversed with her, and to prolong the dire pleasure of such an intercourse, she remained for several hours on the landing place. She was not satisfied with talking; she carried, every day, to her mother, some of her own victuals, which was giving her life, as they sometimes forgot to feed the unfortunate woman. But when she came to request the turnkeys to open the dungeon to her, how many brutal refusals, disgusting interrogations, and indecent jokes, had she not to endure to obtain the favour? She disregarded them, and suffered every thing, in order to carry food to her mother, and to embrace her for a few moments. It seemed as if maternal anxiety were wholly transfused into the bosom of this affectionate daughter The same praise is due to Mademoiselle Delleglan. Her father, who was ordered to be removed from a dungeon in Lyons, to the Conciergoric, was setting out for Paris,
She had not left him; she asked leave to travel in the same coach with him; she could not obtain it; but does the heart acknowledge any obstacles? Although her constitution was very weak, she walked all the way, following the cart upon which her father was, the whole journey of more than 100 leagues, and never losing sight of him, but to prepare his victuals, or to fetch a blanket for him to sleep on, when he arrived at the different prisons on the roads. She never ceased to accompany him, and to supply all his wants, till he reached the Comciergerie; when she was separated from him. As she had been used to inspire the jailers with compassion, she did not despair of being able to disarm the oppressors. For three months she applied every morning to the most powerful members of the committee of publick safety, and at last prevailed on them to release her father. She set off with him for Lyons, glorying in having delivered him; but Heaven did not allow her to reap the fruit of her exertions. She was taken ill on the road, being exhausted by fatigue, and lost her own life, after having saved that of her father. .
Mademoiselle de la Rochefoucauld displayed no less courage in behalf
of her father. She had been sen
tenced with him, in the Vendean war; but she contrived his escape. She hid him in the house of a workman, who had been their servant, and concealed herself somcwhere else. Thus they lived, free from the persecutors; but as their property had been confiscated, and pity was easily tired, their resources were soon exhausted. Mille. de la Rochefoucauld was informed that her father was nearly perishing for want. Being reduced to the same extre
mity, and unable to assist him. she devoted herself for him. A republican general happened to pass through the town where she had retired. She informs him, in a most affecting letter, of the lamentable situation of her father, and offers to appear and undergo the execution of the sentence pronounced against her, provided he engages immediately to assist the expiring old man. The warriour hastens to her, not as an enemy, but as a protector.” He gave assistance to the father; saved the daughter; and after the 9th of Thermidor, he had them reinstated in their property, by obtaining the revision of their trial. The action of the young Mlle. Bois-Berenger is no less admirable, and, perhaps, still more affecting. Her father, mother, and sister, had been served with a warrant of accusation. She alone appeared to have been forgotten by the murderers of her family. How many tears did this sad distinction cost her ? In her despair she exclaimed: I am then doomed to survive you ! We shall not die together / She tore her hair, she embraced, successively, her father, her mother, and sister, and bitterly repeated: We shall not then die together The wished for warrant against her comes; no more grief, no more tears; transported with joy, she embraces again her parents, exclaiming: We shall die together It seemed as if she had in her hands their liberty and her own. She put on a handsome dress, as if she was going to an entertainment, and with her own hands cut off the locks of her charming hair. When they left the Conciergerie, she was pressing in her arms her unfortunate mother, whose dejection was her only affliction; and she supported her
* Why M. le Gouvé has not gratified laudable curiosity, by distinguishing, beyond mistake, this honour to humanity, we know not, unless the fear of incurring the displeasure of his Corsican master. We, however, will supply his deficiency, and are proud to boast, that it was one of our friends who performed this meritorious act, at Ancenis, in Brittanny. It was general Danican, author of a work, entitled, Les Brigands
sinking heart till they were on the scaffold. “Be comforted,” said she, “ you do not leave the least regret behind; your whole family goes with you, and you will soon receive the reward of your virtue.” With the same fortitude Mlle. de Malesey, whose graces equalled her beauty, acted towards her father when he was condemned. She constantly attended him; she comforted him till he received the fatal blow, and then willingly laid her own head under the same axe. There were many women whom humanity alone inspired with this noble contempt of life, which others manifested from attachment to a sacred affinity. Some time after the 31st of May, citizen Lanjuínais, an outlaw, went to Rennes, to shelter himself in the house of his mother, who had no other servant at that time than an old chambermaid. He thought it necessary to conceal the truth from the latter; but one day reading in the newspapers that Guadet had been executed at Bordeaux, and that the same proscription attached to those of his friends who had received him, and even to the servants who had not made known his retreat, Lanjuinais perceives the danger to which his presence might expose his mother’s servant. He, therefore, resolves, at the risk of his own life, to guard her against it. He reveals his situation to her; and warning her of what she has to apprehend, recommends her to go away, and to be silent. Her answer is, that she will never leave him while he is in danger; and that she cares not for death, if she must lose him. In vain does he remonstrate. She earnestly solicits the happiness to stay with her master to the last moment. Lanjuinais, deeply affected, yielded, and contrived, with the help of this woman’s dexterity, to stay there till the overthrow of Robespierre; when the safety of her mistress’s son was the reward of her virtuous obstimacy.
Mary, a servant in one of the gaols in Bordeaux, inspired two young men with confidence, by her kind behaviour towards those who were detained there. They applied to her to make their escape, and she agreed to facilitate it. When they were going away, they offered her an assignat of 500 livres each, as a token of their gratitude. She felt affronted, and said: “You do not deserve my assistance, since you esteem me so little as to think I am fromfited by inotives of vile interest.” They observed, in vain, that the offer was made simply to enable her to fly, without being exposed to want, if she was sus
pected of having been privy to their
escape; but they soon perceived they must speak no more of money. They therefore yielded, kissed her, and departed. Mad. Boyer, a milliner in Marseilles, was brought before the commission, to give evidence on the trial of a culprit who had actually committed the revolutionary crime which he was charged with. Thinking she might save him, she deposed in his favour, and lost her life for this generous perjury. In Brest, a man unknown to Mad. Ruvilly, entered her house, to ask a shelter against proscription. He was 80 years old. Endowed with a tender heart, she made no inquiry, and did not consider the danger connected with his visit. He was unhappy; that was sufficient; she readily hid him, and paid him every attention. Two days after, the old man came to take his leave of her. Mad. Ruvilly, who delicately had refrained from putting any question to him, shows some astonishment. He confesses that he is a priest, and on that account only, devoted to proscription; but he is fearful lest a longer stay might bring it upon her also: “ .4/ow me,” says he, “ by going away, to fireserve you from the danger you are eachosed to, for having received me, and to share myself the grief of having hrought ruin usion
you.” “But where will you go 2" “ God knozos /* “ If hat 3 you have no filace to go to, and of so, wish me to let you go away / Yo I The more your situation is dangerous to me, the more I am interested in it. I beg wou will wait in this house till the times become more settled.” The old man refused; and, in spite of the most earnest entreaties, was the conqueror in this generous struggle. Mad. Desmarets, Mad. Ruvilly’s sister, was then with her. She witnessed the affecting scene, and kept the secret. But the eyes of tyranny are always watchful, and she was soon informed against, on account of that hospitable action. Mad. Ruvilly, before her judges, gloried in the service she had rendered; and her only affliction was to see her sister condemned for not having denounced her. These two women underwent their fate, proud of being punished for an act of generosity. Mad. Payssac, who lived in Paris, did more than grant hospitality; she effered it. The respectable Rabaud de Saint Etienne, was outlawed in consequence of the events of the 31st of May. Mad. Payssac offered him a shelter in her house; his re
monstrances respecting the danger
to which his acceptance would expose her, were useless; she insisted, and overcame Rabaud’s reluctance. He was afterwards discovered in her house, and she soon followed him to the scaffold, no less courageously than she had braved the peril. The celebrated Condorcet was proceeded against at the same period. A female friend offered to hide him. He refused, saying: You would he defirived of the benefit of the law " Oh J said she, am I to be desirived of the benefit of humanity ? This answer did not shake his determination; and, some time after, he was found murdered by his own hands,” in a village near Paris. Mad. Le Jai, a bookseller in Pa
ris, was more successful. She gave shelter to citizen Doulcet Pontecoulant, and so effectual was her zeal, that she saved his life and her own. The niece of a sexton in Brussels succeeded, likewise, in giving assistance to a Frenchman who had fled to that city during those bloody days. It was after the battle of Flcurus, when the French troops cntered Belgium. Fearful of being apprehended in Brussels, he was leaving it. A young girl, who was sitting at a door, prompted by a sympathy for the unfortunate, stopt him, exclaiming; You are lost if you go further 4 If I go back, I am lost also Then come in here. He went in. After informing him, that they were in the house of her uncle, who would not permit her to save him, if he knew it, she conducted him to a barn, where he concealed himself. Scarcely was it night, when a party of soldiers came to sleep there. The niece. followed them unperceived; and, as soon as they were asleep, she tried to extricate the Frenchman from such a perilous place; but, as he was escaping, one of the soldiers awoke and took him by the hand. On this: she stepped between them, saying: Let me go, 'it is I who am come. She needed not say more. The soldier, deceived by the female voice, let his. captive go. She conducted the latter to her own room, from whence, taking the keys of the church, and carrying a lamp in her hand, she opened that building to him. They came to a chapel, which the ravage of war had despoiled of its ornaments; behind the altar was a trapdoor, not easily perceivable. She lifted it up, and said: “You see this dark staircase; it leads to a vault, in which the remains of an illustrious family are deposited. It is very likely that nobody will so much as suspect that you are there. Have fortitude enough to remain there, till a favourable opportunity offers for your escape.”
* See his Memoirs.