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Charmant et rare auteur, qui, monté sur Pégase,
applaudis à tes vers et chante tes succès.
The tragedy of Sylla, by Mr Jouy effect. The tragedy has been printed, of the Institute, has had a very great and has come to a second edition, run ; which is not only to be attribu- with a portrait of Talma in the part ted to its intrinsic merit; for as to that of Sylla, which is as like the portrait the critics differ ; but to the very pre- of Bonaparte as possible. The auvalent idea in Paris, that the charac- thor, however, in his preface to the ter of Sylla was intended as a repre- tragedy, disclaims this intentional pasentation of Bonaparte. The imperial rallel of Sylla and Bonaparte altorobe, the attitudes and gestures, the gether, but at the same time draws look, and even the wig of Talına, one of them in prose. In another who acts Sylla, have all greatly contri. Letter, I shall perhaps have the pleabuted to strengthen this idea ; and I sure of sending you an analysis and a fancy there is hardly any body in critical examination of this remarkable Paris who doubts that the author and dramatic production. actor both intended to produce this
February 28, 1822. I SELDOM trouble you with politics, of all liberties ! It is a law which but the establishment of the new mi- abolishes the censorship on newsnistry in this country, about two papers, and all other periodical public months ago, is such a remarkable cations ! Whatever may be its details, event, that it may be looked upon as the principle of it at least is generous. a new era in the history of the resto-Might one not be induced to suspect ration of the French monarchy. Al the good faith of men who call them, low me, therefore, for once, to make selves the partisans of a constitutional some reflexions on the first acts of government, and who, notwithstandthese ministers, and, in particular, on ing, have been much more violent in their project of a new law on the liberty their opinions against a law of liberty of the press.
than ever they were against a law of The project is announced in the censorship? No, they are quite sinChamber of Deputies; immediately a cere ; but the truth is, the new law mnost violent storm is raised; prophe was nothing in all this business; for cies of a revolution, threats against le- all this noise there was an ostensible gitimacy, comparisons with foreign pretext, and a secret reason. catastrophes, the fall of the Stuarts, In the first place, the able men of &c., appeals to the energy of the peo- the opposite party are chagrined to see ple; all is set at work, to terrify the the royalists establishing the liberties government, and to make the minis- of the nation, snatching this weapon ters draw back. This law, then, surely from their enemies, and employing it is an invasion of all rights, a violation in their own cause ; a system which I VOL. XI.
always wished to see them adopt, and to think of running again round the which can alone fix victory in their bloody circle of their former follies. ranks.
The Revolution is dead in France; In the second place, a royalist mi- certain principles, which cannot renistry fixes limits to certain ambitions, store it to life, may perhaps agitate it and destroys many chimerás. Elec- for a time in the grave; like that elections made in virtue of a monarchical trical power, which cannot raise the law, under a monarchical ministry, dead, but by the help of which one promise to be monarchical; and, with may give frightful convulsions to a these elections, an increasing royalist corpse. majority puts an end to hopes that had The ministry remained firm in the long been nourished. But a party midst of this storm; and in a few days which feels that in a few months it more this legislative fever will be sucmay have lost its influence, will, of ceeded by profound repose. The vecourse, make a last effort while it is hement discourses and desperate destill in the field. In this desperate clamations that were poured forth in position any weapon will do; the li- the Chamber do not belong to the berties of the charte are invoked on times we live in, and they recall recolaccount of the pestilence at Barcelona; lections one cannot think of without Bayonne is another Coblentz, and the horror. If they were addressed to sanitory cordon an army; a measure those without, it was very vain ; for of precaution, publicly discussed in the they affect nobody; and their effect face of the sun, is a secret measure is over with the debate which excited against Spain !
them. What will be the result of all Another reason, which seems to have this violence and agitation ? The abomade the discontented lose all patience, lition of the censorship, and a much is, that some changes which have taken greater degree of freedom of the press. place in the police system, greatly to The ministry, by this single act, has the advantage of the people, have be- merited the thanks of all those who gun to unhinge and take down that are sincerely attached to the constitufrightful machine which the French tional liberties of their country, and inherited from the Revolution. This who consider those liberties as a pledge indeed, may for a time impede the of the public tranquillity. In less march of the administration, but still than six weeks, this new administrathey have done it; and certain it is, tion, the object of so much distrust that the old links are broken, and that and of so many sarcasms, has acquired there is now reason to hope for a po- a strength which superficial minds did lice set in motion by monarchical ma- not expect, but which, however, it chinery.
was not difficult to foresee. A ministry In fine, the masses of the nation formed according to one of the two remain incorruptible. Some ridiculousgreat opinions in France-a ministry conspiracies, fomented by irritable which began its career by abolishing passions and irremediable regrets, may the last law of exception to the charte, still find a few dupes, but when once immediately placed itself in its natural they descend to the people and the political order; and all natural order soldiers, they find nothing but fidelity. is durable: yielding to the impulse of The general conspiracy, going on in new institutions, instead of thwarting Europe, and especially in France, them, its power is increased by all the which was to burst forth at the mo- power of those institutions themment of a supposed rupture between selves. The consequence of this true Russia and Turkey, is an abortion. position was quick and perceptible. The prolongation of peace, and the The public funds rose rapidly ; a striformation of a royalist ministry, made king inajority declared itself; and the it dart out partially and prematurely liberty of the press, which was to set in France; but it is no sooner knowu every thing in a flame, and destroy than it is no longer to be found. every thing, with which it was imposThose, therefore, who are so little in- sible to govern, took place without structed by the past, as still to think being perceived, as soon as the miniswithout horror on political commo- ters shewed themselves courageous tions, have no hope for the future; enough to submit their acts and their and the fate which seems to threaten persons to the scrutiny of public opiSpain will hardly induce the French nion.
Such a ministry has little to fear for by the beauty of the style than by its duration, and could only fall by one some rapid stroke which flashes on the or other of these faults; if it departed sight. It does not seem that morality, from monarchical ideas, or if it exag- philosophy, nor even poetical allegory, gerated them. In the first case, it in however gay, lively, or interesting would alarm la France ancienne, and colours they might be exhibited, could men more monarchical than the mi- ever have much success at the Opera. nisters would soon rise up on the coté Dancing, music, decoration, scenery, droit, who would turn them out ; in and all its other brilliant appendages, the second case, it would shock la are by far the most striking parts of France nouvelle, and bring on the this grand spectacle. triumph of the moderate men of the Aladdin, a young fisherman of Orcoté gauche. Till then the present mi- mus, is in love with the Princess Alnistry is safe.
manie. He had the rare felicity to see The Marvellous Lamp of Aladdin her first during the night when her has made its appearance at the grand palace was in flames, and he ran to her French Opera, which, you know, is assistance. Since that time her image called, in Paris, by the singular name pursues him in his dreams, and he of the Royal Academy of Music. Never never ceases, in his boat, and even was the first representation of a dra- when asleep, to sing of his love, and matic work preceded by so many do- to sigh for another smile. The Cadi of lorous and remarkable facts. Nicolo, Prince Timorken comes to Aladdin, who was composing the music of it, and orders him to demolish his hut, and who was scarcely thirty years of which happens to be on the road of the age, was suddenly carried off by death. sublime Prince who is going to espouse This musical performance--the object the Princess Almanie. Aladdin some of his dearest hopes, which was to time after appears again on the stage, place him in the first rank of modern with a little antique lamp, and relates musicians, while it would have cer- that he has just saved an unfortunate tainly raised much higher the great man, who was carried away by the rareputation he had already acquired by pid current of the river ; and ihat this a number of operas which have en- mysterious personage gave him, as a riched the lyric scene-this fine com- mark of gratitude, a marvellous talisposition was only half finished. man, which leaves him nothing to
Benincori, equally commendable for wish for. In fact, he touches a spring bis talents and his modesty, was cho- of the lamp, and it immediately besen to terminate the music of the comes lighted. The theatre is filled with Wonderful Lamp, and he gave himself genii, and Isminor, one of them, on a up with ardour to the task confided to car adorned with the attributes of light, him. The Opera was already ordered informs him that he is the person for representation, and some rehearsals whose life Aladdin saved ; that his had been made, when, just as he was destiny is attached to the Lampe Meron the point of enjoying the merited veilleuse, but that if it should be exrecompence of his labours, inexorable tinguished, it would pass into the death also snatched him away. hands of another, who would be the
I shall tell you nothing new by in- master of it and of him. The Cadi reforming you that the subject of the turns with his people to destroy the Wonderful Lamp is very well known. cottage, but Aladdin, who had raised Different theatres have long since ta- an army, drives him off, defeats Prince ken possession of this ingenious fairy Timorken, and obtains the hand of tale, which is borrowed from one of Almanie. But, in a nuptial interview, those admirable books, in which we find the lamp, which Aladdin can never all the brilliant and fertile imagination quit, and which lights up of itself in of the East. The Arabian Nights have the middle of the night, astonishes the enriched all the theatres in Europe. princess, and she determines to leave Though strangers to dramatic repre- him. Aladdin, overcome with love, sentation, the Arabs have pointed out puts out the lamp himself, when the to us the most picturesque situations; genii of darkness, headed by Timorbut it is only an able hand that can ken, seize it, and Aladdin is condemned seize and develope the delicate shades. to be precipitated from a tower. AlAt the Opera, especially, an ingenious manie is now to marry Timorken, but idea reaches the spectators much less she gets hold of the lamp in her turn,
and the first use she makes of it is to The upper part of the statue is endeliver Aladdin.
tirely naked down to the waist, all the The work met with the most bril. rest below is covered with an elegant liant success, and nothing could be drapery. The two arms have been almore magnificent than the decorations most entirely destroyed, so that what and costumes, which are said to have remains of them is only sufficient to cost 150,000 francs, about 6000 gui- shew that the figure had a very pro
The spectators of the grand minent attitude. But what was its opera never witnessed, I believe, a motion or action? The authors of the more superb and elegant spectacle: two notices have each their system, The most remarkable pieces of scenery which they support by ingenious hywere three palaces ; that of Aladdin, potheses, and reasons that appear wellin the third act, the bronze palace of founded; nevertheless, notwithstandTimorken in the fifth act, and, lastly, ing all their conjectures, there is no the palace of light, at the extremity thing on this point but doubt and of which was a moving sun. I must uncertainty. But as it is evident not forget to mention, that the new that there would have been a want of lustre, on this occasion, was lighted equilibrium between the different parts with hydrogen gas, which had a most of the statue, if it had not had a resting brilliant effect.
point, which it seems to be seeking Two interesting and pretty volumi. for, we may come to the conclusion, nous notices have lately been published that it was not originally destined to on an antique statue in the Museum figure alone on a pedestal. This is of the Louvre, which is called Venus the opinion of Mr Quatremere de Victorieuse. This statue, of Parian Quincy, who presumes, and even marble, was discovered in the Greek thinks he can affirm, that it belonged island of Milo, in 1820, was transport- to a group of two figures, and was ed to Paris the year following, and pre- thus in relation with the god of war, sented to the King by the Marquis de and was soothing his savage temper. la Riviere, French ambassador at the He cites, in support of his opinion, Ottoman court.
two or three antique groups representThe author of these two notices, M. ing the same subject with a remarkQuatremere de Quincy, of the Aca- able conformity. demy of Inscriptions and Belles Let- The Comte de Clarac is not altoge tres, and the Comte de Clarac, Con. ther of the same way of thinking; servator of the Museum of Antiques, having ascertained that the drapery are not of the same opinion respecting of the statue is as much finished on the the composition, and the primitive des- side where the second statue is suptination of the statue. Such discre- posed to have been, he concludes that pancies, you know, are not uncommon, both were insulated. The two statues, even among the most renowned anti- according to him, were not contiguous, quaries. However, these two learned but at a certain distance from each gentlemen are unanimous in thinking other, perhaps opposite. The sup that this work, notwithstanding the posed statue, says M. de Clarac, may damage it has experienced, is really a have been Mars, Paris, Adonis, or production of the golden age of the one of the two goddesses over whom fine arts in Greece, and all the con- Venus has just obtained a victory. noisseurs who have seen it agree with After all
, this question, which is them. In fact, among all the fine sta- difficult to resolve, is not the most imtues of this kind, which time has al- portant object. The essential point lowed to reach us, there is perhaps for the satisfaction of amateurs, and none worthy to be compared to this, for the progress of the art of sculpture, if not for the fineness, the purity, and is the acquisition of a masterpiece, the correctness of the forms, at least for the superiority of which cannot be de the grandeur of the style, the fulness nied, not only over that crowd of anof the naked parts, and, above all, for tiques collected with so much care, the beauty of the execution, which, and transported at such expence, the every where ample and mellow, is at chief merit of which is often nothing the same time disengaged from those but their antiquity, but over the very useless details, that individual imita- small number of choice pieces, worthy tion, which the sentiment of ideal of being held forth as models of taste beauty always rejects.
Besides the arms of the Venus of following anecdotes will give you some Milo, which are wanting, some other idea of her imagination and feeling: parts are more or less injured ; but all She had a friend for whom she had the rest is as well preserved as could the greatest esteem, but who lived a be expected, after twenty centuries of great way from her. For many years she ravages and vicissitudes. It is to be wrote him a letter every day; at length hoped, indeed, that this rare produc-, she had the misfortune to lose him, but tion may be scrupulously preserved in notwithstanding, she continued to the state of degradation in which it write to him every day, for two or has been transmitted to us, and that three years, as if he had been alive. no rash hand will attempt to restore A friend remonstrating with her on what time has destroyed. Not that this strange proceeding, she said: 11 the French are without able statuaries, y a des morts qui nous entendent mieux but I should scarcely think any of que beaucoup de ces étres qui se croient them would have the pretention to vivans. There are deceased persons continue or finish a work of Praxi, who understand us much better than teles, if, to be sure, this piece may many of those beings who think themreally be attributed to that celebrated selves alive. This lady was implicated sculptor, or to one of his school, as the in the conspiracy of Pichegru, and was two ingenious antiquaries above men- put into prison. Hearing some begtioned presume.
gars one day asking for charity under The Venus of Milo was exhibited her window, she immediately looked for some time in the Musée des An- for some money for them, but found tiques in the Louvre, near the Diana, she had none. She directly began to of Ephesus. It has since been trans- strip off almost all her clothes, and ported to the upper story, and placed thrust them through the bars of her in the round hall which precedes the window, saying to those who were Gallery of Apollo ; but the public are with her, “ We must give something not admitted there at present, as some to these poor people, they are in want decorations are going on which will of every thing, and we want nothing soon be finished.
but liberty. Numerous pamphlets and literary The joyous Carnival, which lasted essays, both in prose and verse, have this year only fifteen days, has passed been published respecting Bonaparte off very quietly with all its masquesince his death; but none of them, rades, its harlequins and scaramouchperhaps, are worthy of much notice, es, its masked balls of twelve hours, as except an Ode or lyrical poem on the they are called, which last all night, death of Napoleon by Lebrun, author of and the grand annual procession of the the tragedies of Ulysses and Marie Fat Ox, with all its motley accompaStuart. Educated at the Prytarée niments of buffoonery, which is the francais, by the benevolence of Bona- glory of Paris, and the pride and joy parte, this author has interrupted the of the Boulevards for three whole days course of his silent studies, to cele- together. A grand improvement was brate his benefactor, and to throw a made in the procession of the Fat Ox garland on his tomb.
this year for the first time. FormerIncapable of disturbing the tran- ly, the child who represents Cupid quillity of any individual, and very used to sit in a chair on the back of far from wishing to offend any thing the ox; but this year the ox was led that is now respected in France, the first covered with a fine pall, and Cuauthor of this Ode has thought it pid sat in a canopied throne, fixed on right to reveal to the public his im- a triumphal car, in which there were pressions and involuntary impulses on other smiling loves like himself. This receiving the intelligence of the unex- arrangement is much more comfortable pected death of Bonaparte.
for the child, and is an additional emMadame la Marguise de Montpezat, bellishment to the parade and pomp of who died here lately, was a native of the procession. Some persons pretend Provence, and endowed with all the that there were not so many masks as vivacity and sensibility which is ob- usual; that masquerades are going out servable in the natives of that southern of fashion, &c. &c., but I look upon region. She was an authoress, but never this as only a touch of party spirit, to put her name to her works; and was well make us believe that the people are acquainted with Tacitus and Horace, unhappy and discontented.-I am, who were her favourite authors. Thé &c.