ページの画像
PDF

PARIS. WHAT a decided advantage have literary men in Paris over those in London. True, there are institutions in the latter metropolis where the scholar may retire aud eprich his mind, but it is at the expense of his pocket. Now in Paris, the libraries, exhibitions and museums are all open to the public, and that city thus affords aids and facilities to every kind of study, unequalled in the world, " It is the highest of all treats, (says Mr. Scott,) therefore to visit it: the stranger finds a banquet spread out be bim, and put within his reach, the richness and variety of which beggar description. Tables, and chairs, and fire, and pen and ink, are pruvided for him, in the midst of the most splendid libraries; he has but to enter and sit down and study:-whatever book he wants is brought to him ; the scarcest prints, the rarest medals, the finest pictures and statues, are each or all put before him, according to his taste or pursuit. These are advantages and gratifications wbich it makes one almost feverish to recount; they stamp au impression on the mind of the visitor, to whose habits and dispositions they address themselves, that never can be obliterated. But there is every reason to believe, that their continued possession is not such an advantage to a country as to common thinkers it may seem, They are likely, I grant, to bring out a great number of persons respectably versed in science, literature and art: they are likely to render the general public conversational and pre

or on all these subjects, but their results will be acquirement as opposed to genius, talking as opposed to feeling, research as opposed to production, and imitation as opposed to invention. The character of the French as a people, and the character of their works, may be ap. pealed to in confirmation of this opinion.

The present state of French literature is certainly low. They say the talent of the nation has been turned into other channels, and there is a good deal of truth in the remark. They have not at present a writer above tbe rank of a pamphleteer; and the cleverness of a flimsy unprincipled article in one of the public prints, is about the outside reach of their literary genius. Like our. selves, they are totally without dramatic writers of the best class; though their small pieces have much effect and point. In oratory they are at once poor and vicious. In science, France has still several very distinguished names, but she does not seem to be replacing those whom

she is losing, with any thing like their equals. In one science of the highest importance to mankind, she is very decidedly behind England, namely, in that of Medicine. Her practitioners, comparatively speaking, are not skil. ful, and their principles are not sound. In military tactics, the French, as is well known, may boast to possess some who are deemed the first masters of the day, and as they have introduced quite a new system of making war, and have brought forth into practice military powers and capacities that were never before thought of, they seem m fairly entitled to take the lead in this respect. In the field, however, England has maintained her equality; but then her generals were never properly pitted against him, who was always considered the greatest captain of the French armies, and who conducted war on a vaster scale and with greater variety of resources, and comprehensiveness of plan, than any of his predecessors or contemporaries.

But in all those efforts of mind that denote deep internal feeling, chaste and sound principle, and enlarged and honest observation, the French are at present not only behind the English, but a!so the Germans. The whole of their system of society and justruction is opposed to what is natural, touching, and pure ? and their remarkable dis. position to look for models only to themselves and their own possessions, stands directly in the way of their improvement. England has at present numerous excellent poetst-France has but one:-it might be said she never had. But she cannot be convinced of this; and she cannot be convinced that the hardness and poverty of David do not constitute a standard of the first rate excellence of arts. She has the antique, and she prides herself on these monuments as if they had been achieved by herself ; but her vanity prevents her from making a judicious use of her good fortune in this respect. She merely extracts a few mechanical rules from these high examples, but to the soul of the lesson, and to the inspiration of the inducement, she is utterly callous. Her students generally copy from David. They prefer the sublimated and refined essence of art, as contained in the works of this modern Frenchman to its crude and coarse body in the productions of the Italians of the fifteenth century.

• Science is visibly on the decline in France ; and yet they seem not disposed to renovate it by imitating the laudable institutions that are daily springing up in almost every populous town in Great Britawu.

+ At the time this article was written, England owned the greatest poet in the world: but alas! he is no more. Still she can boast of a Sonthey, a Campbell. a Scott, a Moore, and ouwverous other sweet poets ; such men France has not seen since the time of Cervantes.

[graphic]

CONSOLATION. O, CHILD of grief! why weepest thou ? Why drvops thy sad and mourpful brow? Why is thy look so like despair? What deep sad sorrow lingers there? Thou mourn'st, perhaps, for some one goneA friend a wife-a little one; Yet mourn not, for thou hast above A friend in God, and “God is love." Was it remorse that laid thee low? Is it for sin thou mournest so? Surely thou bear'st a heavy grief ; Yet, mourper, there is still relief. There's one on high can pardon give, Who gave his life tbat thou may'st live; Seek, then, comfort from aboveTby friend is God, and “God is love." Has cold unkindness wounded thee? Does thy loved friend now from thee flee? O, turn thy thoughts from earth to heaven! Where no such cruel wounds are given. In all the varying scenes of woe, The lot of fallen man below Still lift tby tearful eye above, And hope in God, for God is love." Sweet is the thought-time Aies apaceThis earth is not our resting place; And sweet the promise of the Lord, To all who love his name and word.” Then, weeping pilgrim, dry thy tearsComfort on every side appears ; An eye beholds thee from aboveAn eye of God, and “God is love." x 3 A LADY'S PARTING ADDRESS TO LONDON.

AND must we part! dear Town, adieu,
Where every object still was new, .
Where days and nights so swiftly few-

Farewell, dear London!
No more thy bustle shall delight,
No more thy shops shall glad my sight,
With every ware and dainty dight-

Farewell, dear Loudon!
Where else such bargains can we buy?
Where make so quick the money Ay?
And every wildest want supply,

As in dear London?
Where can we gad the live-long day
Amidst variety so gay?
And then at night to see a play!

O charming Londou!
O happy city, bless'd by fate!
Where else do people dine so late,
Lords, merchants, ministers of state,

As in dear London ?
How sweet at night, by hook or crook,
To squeeze through crowds, and snatch a look,
Elbowing bishop, lord, or duke,

On stairs in London.
And oft at operas, balls and plays,
With nonchalance affect to gaze
At painted girls and men in stays,

Who throng in London.
Alas ! such joys are mine no more,
I go to join my aunt-the bore!
To rise at seven and dine at four,

Far, far from London.
How oft in tedious winter nights,
When every gentlest sound affrights,
Shall I remember thy delights,

Too charming London!
Nay when the cypresses shall wave
Their mournful branches o'er my grave,
Oft shall my ghost escape, and have

A Peep in London.

[graphic][subsumed]

THE CANAL AND THE BROOK.
STT was a delightfully pleasant evening succeed-

iug a sultry summer-day, which invited me to
lake a solitary walk; and leaving the dust of
the highway, I fell ioto a path which led along
a pleasant 'little valley watered by a small
meandering brook. The meadow ground on its
banks had been lately mown, and the new grass

was springing up with a lively verdure. The brook was hid in several places by the shrubs that grew on each side, and intermingled their branches. The sides of the valley were roughened by small irregular thickets: and the whole scene had an air of solitude and retirement, uncommon in the neighbourhood of a populous town. A canal crossed the valley, high raised on a mound of earth, which preserved a level with the elevated ground o side. An arched road was carried under it, beneath which the brook that ran along the valley was conveyed by a subterraneous passage. I threw myself upon a green bank, shaded by a leafy tbicket, and resting my head upon my hand, after a welcome indolence bad overcome my senses, I saw, with the eyes of fancy, the following scene.

The firm-built side of the aqueduct suddenly opened, and a gigantic form issued forth, which I soon discovered to be the Genius of the Canal. He was clad in a close garment of russet hue. A mural crown, indented with battlements, surrounded his brow. His paked feet were discoloured with clay. Ou bis left shoulder he bore a huge pick-axe; and in his right hand he held certain instruments, used in surveying and levelling. His looks were thoughtful, and his features harsh. The breach through which he proceeded instantly closed, and with a heavy tread be advanced into the valley. As he approached the brook, the Deity of the Stream arose to meet him

[graphic]
« 前へ次へ »