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and is, indeed, beautiful beyond expression. I should pitch upon the one that hangs in the left corner of the inner room,“ making a sunshine in a shady place.” And yet, without very well knowing why, unless it be that it pours from every part of it a flood of light and warmth into the very depths of the heart; at once soothing the passions of earth to an unearthly stillness, while it makes the blood seem to dance and sparkle within us to the music of its dancing and sparkling waters. To stand before that picture, is to be happy, whatever one's lot may be ; and to leave it, is to leave looking into the very heart and soul of Nature.
That I may not pass over any pictures of the old masters in this choicest of all collections, I will mention that there are two capital landscapes by Gaspar Poussin, one of which in particular (The Sacrifice of Isaac) possesses all his truth, purity, and richness of effect; a portrait of Philip IV. of Spain and his Queen, by Velasquez, which might be mistaken for Vandyke; one picture by Vandyke himself, of which there is an exact repetition by Rubens, which latter has been engraved unless the engraving has been made from this very picture, and Rubens's name attached to it; a landscape by Cuyp; and finally, an admirable portrait, by Raphael, of Pope Julius II.- I regret being obliged to pass over these capital productions (for they are all first-rate, particularly the last) by merely naming them; but my limits compel me to bring this paper to a close. Before doing which, if I mention Wilkie's “Alehouse Door, it must be less to admire its miraculous truth, than to express a halfregret at finding it here, among these high and solemn effusions of the mighty dead. There is a place, as well as “ a time,” for all things; and this is not the place for a work, the merit of which (great as it is) depends solely on its developing the lowest and least ideal of the passions, habits, and accidents to which our nature is subject.—I cannot conclude without adding, that the above objection is in no degree applicable to Hogarth's admirable series of The Marriage à la Mode, which are also here, but which it is not part of my plan to notice in detail. Different as these are in object and character from those works of the old masters which I have described, they are no less intellectual than the latter, and scarcely less ideal.
THE GENIUS OF SPAIN.
Methought a Giant figure did appear
Sunburnt and rough—he on his limbs did year
Yon braggart threats," quoth he in accents bold :
Wither’d such hosts, when inightier Captains led :
Cæsar, Napoleon, ill with me have sped
young offspring of that heavenly bed,
NAPOLEON's MEMOIRS, AND LAS cases' JOURNAL.*
The very titles of these works supersede the necessity for stating that they are deeply interesting and important. Napoleon now speaks for himself, and speaks directly, though not in the first person. What we have hitherto had in the shape of narratives of his life, or descriptions of his character, may, in some instances, have been authorized by himself; but the seal of his sanction and authority has never been so distinctly stamped on any former work. Here we peruse what has been printed from MSS. written from his own dictation and corrected by his own hand :
:-a volume of “ Memoirs," dictated to General Gourgaud, and a volume of “ Historical Miscellanies,” dictated to the Count de Montholon, present us with the most momentous elements of history, delivered, and commented upon, by the most illustrious actor in the historic scene. The other work, “ Las Cases' Journal,” &c. contains a great many records of Napoleon's conversations about political and military events; but what may be called the public history of Napoleon is, upon the whole, more systematically digested in the other publications. Las Cases' book, however, intermingles matter which we believe will be more attractive to the bulk of readers namely, the personal and private history of the great individual whom our author, of course, knew much more intimately, than either of the English writers who have given us anecdotes of the voyage to St. Helena and of Napoleon's captivity on the rock. As to pure impartiality and perfect credibility, it may be alleged that persons sharing in Napoleon's sufferings were still farther removed from the chance of exhibiting those qualities in their testimony, than even those Englishmen whom the captive fascinated to become his personal admirers. It behoves us, however, to listen to the testimony, such as it is, and then to make our own calculation of the consistency or the improbability of facts alleged and submitted to us. Las Cases' account is peculiarly interesting, because it carries us back to events in Napoleon's last catastrophe preceding the voyage and exile: namely, to his arrival in Paris, when he entered covered with dust from the battle of Waterloo. This writer accordingly supplies a sort of first act' to the drama of our modern Prometheus, and he is himself a person in the tragic scene. Whatever curiosity the public may now cherish respecting Napoleon, if it should be an useless feeling of interest, it cannot be a pernicious one. The constitutions of Englishmen are not likely to be inoculated with any dangerous enthusiasm for a dead hero whose character, whether from choice or necessity, was despotic, If our country should ever be pregnant with a hero fated to rule her destinies, she is not likely to have any longings of imagination that shall impress his exact features on the glorious bantling. Admirers among us he, no doubt, has, and some persons think them dangerous and insidious :—certainly they are insidious, for they have so marvellously
“ Memoirs of the History of France during the reign of Napoleon, dictated by the Emperor at Saint Helena to the Generals who shared his captivity; and published from the Original Manuscripts corrected by himself."-Volume I. dictated to General Gourgaud, accompanied by a First Volume of Historical Miscellanies, dictated to the Count de Montholon.
- Mémorial de Sainte Hélène-Journal of the Private Life and Conversations of the Emperor Napoleon at St. Helena."-Parts I. and II,
concealed their numbers as to have made it constantly appear, whenever the power of the warrior threatened us, that he had an hundred bitter enemies in the country for one friend. How very few exceptions there were even to the poorest patriots reviling him. The poor, it is true, are from their low habits addicted to dissimulation; but they, at least, affected the pious decorum of believing in the unmixed diabolism of his character; and no vulgar sceptic called in question the Imperial monster's having lain with his own sister and poisoned the sick at Jaffa. Even Ireland resounded with the song of “Oh, the rogue, the thief, Bonaparte! in your distress he will not leave a copper t' ye.” After the battle of Leipsic, did not radicals and all rejoice? On that occasion a song was written, (it was believed, at the Admiralty,) commencing," It's all up with Boney, and the King of Saxony." Yet the rhyme became popular, the only one from the same quarter that ever did; and was chalked by apprentices on the ale-house walls.
It is clear, then, that this belief in the unqualified worthlessness of Bonaparte has fairly served its purpose as a belligerent principle. Two questions now naturally suggest themselves. In the first place, would it threaten us with any frightful political evils, if it were suspected that a single ray of real greatness ever penetrated into the black and unfathomable abyss of his character? In the next place, supposing it safe to trust ourselves with truth on the subject, may it not be the fact, that he is a man whose vices we have graven on brass, whilst we have written his virtues on water ? On the former head let us be cautious, for there is no falsehood so impertinent as a truth out of season. Even after his commitment to St. Helena, the cloven hoof of his vulgar admirers began to shew itself. If he could have swum to Glasgow or Manchester, there is no saying how many starving weavers might have rallied round him in order to exact reform and a rise of wages. But there is now no chance of his ever encamping on the plains of Peterfield, or the fells of Campsie; for his thread is cut and his web is finished. This is more than some of us timid alarmists ever believed to be possible: it was at one time thought that we should never get rid of him. An honest German once hearing in his own country
that he was dead, shook his head and said to his informant, "Bonaparte dead! ah, you don't know him.” Now to a certainty, however, he is not only stone dead, but so long dead, that if Dr. Ure were to go to St. Helena with all his Galvanic apparatus, he could not twitch a single feature of his countenance. Let us speak of him, then, at least with self-possession, and not be so longeared to his accusers as to kick the dead lion. Our oldest women and youngest children are agreed, that though he was a great coward for not killing himself at last, he was the next greatest General in the world after the Duke of Wellington. He can affront our patriotism no more, and, perhaps, though he has done us much evil, he may have been the means of doing us some good. Did he not render us at one time a sublimely devoted, volunteering, and sharp-shooting nation? Has he not afforded us the mystically connected, though seemingly incongruous, pleasure of believing at one and the same time that he neither durst nor could invade us, and yet of arming, and enjoying the imaginary pathos of our own glorious death-bed on our own native soil? What odes to our Country and orders to our tailors did he not call forth! Already the beloved wives are growing old in our affections whose virgin hearts we won in those plumes, and pantaloons, and martial uniforms, wherewith his menaces occasioned, or at least apologized for, our being arrayed. He has bequeathed to us the glory of having been drilled, without the necessity for self-devotion ; and, by dying so civilly, he has left the Bourbons an ample opportunity of testifying their blessed regard for the rights of men, for the independence of nations, and for their ties of gratitude towards ourselves.
Of the two publications before us, we shall first notice Count Las Cases' Journal. The Count justly remarks, that we never commence the perusal of any history, without first wishing to know something of the character of its author. He therefore relates a few facts respecting his own past life. When the French Revolution broke out, Count Las Cases was a lieutenant-de-vaisseau, which corresponded with the rank of a field-officer in the line; but his rank opened the way to high professional prospects. Deprived, however, by the vices of the old political system, of a solid and finished education—being full of aristocratic prejudices, and prompted by his youth to generous resolves, he was among the first to hasten abroad and join the emigrant princes. Having narrowly escaped being landed on the bay of Quiberon, he began to reflect on the horror of his situation. He changed his name, and, becoming a teacher, went through a second course of education, in attempting to assist that of others. After the treaty of Amiens, the amnesty of the First Consul allowed him to enter France, where he found his patrimony disposed of; but he devoted himself to literature, and, under a feigned name, published an historical work, which reestablished his fortune. In process of time, he devoted himself to the new Sovereign of France. When the English invaded Flushing, he repaired as a volunteer to the Netherlands. He was nominated to the office of Chamberlain to the Emperor, and obtained a seat in the Council of State. Hence followed several confidential employments that were intrusted to him; and among these were two important missions to Holland and Illyria. At the siege of Paris, in 1814, he commanded a legion which acquired honours by its severe losses. He wished to have joined Napoleon at Fontainebleau, but could not reach him in time, and therefore passed a few months in England. On the Emperor's reappearance in France, he spontaneously repaired to him. He was present at the moment of his second abdication. About the selfishness or disinterestedness of all Las Cases's previous conduct, there may be a question; but from the date of the Emperor's second resignation, it would be hard to deny such a follower the praise of devotedness. He had been a Chamberlain of Napoleon's household, and a member of his Council ; yet was his person hardly known to the Emperor: a circumstance this, one would think, which at least bespeaks his subserviency to have been unobtrusive. After the day of Waterloo, the Emperor's fortune was like a sinking ship, that promised more perils than prizemoney to those who should cling to it. Yet Las Cases did cling to it. He requested permission to participate his master's fate. know,” said Napoleon, " whither your
?" "I care not," said Las Cases; “ I have made no calculation about it”-and he lived to write the account of this transaction in St. Helena. fidelity is a virtue that ennobles even a slave.
• Do you
VOL. VII.-NO, XXV.
Las Cases's book is very desultory, describing in one page the Emperor's disgust at his bad coffee, and in the next page his plans for governing an empire. In a general view, however, the subject matter may be divided into two heads--viz. that which regards Napoleon's history as an individual and an object of personal sympathy, and that which explains his public conduct and character through the medium of his reported conversations. On the latter subject, as we have already remarked, the Memoirs are more full and methodical than Las Cases's work, so that we shall refer to the latter publication chiefly for its portraiture of Napoleon as a man and as an exile. The following summary of his situation at Rochefort, immediately before his surrender to the English, is given by Las Cases as having been dictated by Napoleon himself:
“The English squadron was not strong: there were two sloops of war off Bordeaux, they blockaded a French corvette, and gave chace to Anerican vessels which sailed daily in great numbers. At the Isle of Aix we had two frigates well armed ; the Vulcan corvette, one of the largest vessels of its class, and a large brig lay in the roads : the whole of this force was blockaded by an English seventy-four of the smallest class, and an indifferent sloop or two. There is not the least doubt that by risking the sacrifice of one or two of our ships, we should have passed ; but the senior captain was deficient in resolution, and refused to sail; the second in command was quite determined, and would have made the attempt : the former had probably received secret instructions from Fouché, who already openly betrayed the Emperor, and wanted to give him up. However that may be, there was nothing to be done by sea. The Emperor then landed at the Isle of Aix.
“ Had the mission been confided to Admiral Werhuel," said Napoleon,
as was promised on our departure from Paris, it is probable he would have sailed.” The officers and crews of both frigates were full of attachment and enthusiasm. The garrison of Aix was composed of fifteen hundred seamen, forming a very fine regiment; the officers were so indignant at the frigate not sailing, that they proposed to fit out two chasse-marées of fifteen tons each. The midshipmen wished to navigate them ; but when on the point of putting this plan into execution, it was said there would be great difficulty in gaining the American coast without touching on some point of Spain or Portugal.
Under these circumstances, the Emperor composed a species of council from amongst the individuals of his suite. Here it was represented that we could no longer calculate on the frigates or other armed vessels : that the chasse-marées held out no probable chance of success, and could only lead to capture by the English cruisers in the open sea, or to falling into the hands of the allies. Only two alternatives remained: that of marching towards the interior, once more to try the fate of arms; or that of seeking an asylum in England. To follow up the first, there were fifteen hundred seamen, full of zeal and willing to act: the commandant of the Island was an old officer of the army of Egypt, entirely devoted to Napoleon : the Emperor would have proceeded at the head of these to Rochefort, where the corps would have been increased by the garrison, which was also extremely well disposed. The garrison of La Rochelle, composed of four battalions of federated troops, bad offered their services : with these we might then have joined General Clausel, so firmly fixed at the head of the army at Bordeaux, or General Lamarque, who had performed prodigies, with that of La Vendée ; both these officers expected and wished to see Napoleon: it would have been exceedingly easy to maintain a civil war in the interior. But Paris was taken, and the Chambers had been dissolved ; there were, besides, from five to six hundred thousand of the enemy's troops in France : a civil war could therefore have no other result than leading io the destruction of all these generous men who were attached to Napoleon. This loss would have been severe and irreparable : it would have desiroyed the future resources of the nation without,