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EDINBURGH WEEKLY MAGAZINE,
CONDUCTED BY JOHN JOHNSTONE.
THE SCHOOL MASTER IS ABROAD.-LORD BROUGHAM.
No. 5.-Vol. I. SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 1, 1832, PRICE THREE-HALFPENCE.
with foliage of diamonds, the workmanship of which
equalled the materials; in front were several brilliants, the The true story of the younger NAPOLEON, the largest weighing one hundred and forty-nine grains. The
ceinture was of gold so pure as to be quite elastic, enriched Duke de Reichstadt, is more wonderful than any with thirty-nine rose-coloured diamonds. What a change romance extant. But it is romance inverted. The from the time of her first marriage, when, as Josephine, brilliant fortune is all crowded into the opening with her wonted simplicity, used to relate, she carried the scenes; and the King in his cradle, whose playthings for several days in the large pockets which ladies were then
few trinkets presented by Beauharnois (her first husband) were crowns and sceptres, and whose lacqueys were accustomed to wear, shewing them to every acquaintance, princes, runs his brief career, a deserted orphan; and hearing them pronounced the wonder of all eyes ! and closes it, a secluded, jealously-watched de “On the throne, hung with crimson velvet, under a ca. pendant,—without having tasted either the in. nopy of the same, appeared Napoleon, with Josephine on his nocent delights of a happy childhood, or the free left, attended by the princesses of the empire, and, on his pleasures of a joyous youth. The history is full right, his two brothers, with the arch-chancellor and arch
The religious ceremony continued nearly four of instruction. Never did retribution more visibly hours, enlivened by music composed for the occasion chiefly follow the heels of error, than in the fortunes of by Paesiello, and sung by upwards of three huudred perthe father of this young victim of abortive ambi- formers. Napoleon took the crown destined for the Em.
press, and first putting it for an instant on his own, placed
it upon his consort's brow, as she knelt before him on the NAPOLEON the elder, the greatest soldier of the platform of the throne. The appearance of Josephine was last thousand years, at an early period of his at this moment most touching. Even then she had not forcareer, married JOSEPHINE, the widow of Count got that she was once "an obscure woman;' tears of deep Beauharnois, an amiable woman, to whom he long ing, with hands crossed upon her bosom, then, slowly and
emotion fell from her eyes ; she remained for a space kneel. remained fondly and even passionately attached. gracefully rising, fixed upon her husband a look of gratiShe possessed the entire confidence of her hus- tude and tenderness. Napoleon returned the glance. It band, shared his sorrows with his successes, and was a silent but conscious interchange of the hopes, the promore than repaid his affection. With his own mises, and the memories of years." hand he crowned the faithful companion of his
Vain hopes! faithless promises! bitter memories! fortunes, Empress of France. Up to this period, The conqueror of Europe pressed forward in his and for ten more years, the history of Josephine extraordinary career, till
, every other obstacle reads like a fairy tale, or the wildest romance; but overcome, the wife of his youth appeared in his in her case also it was romance inverted. Let us perverted sight, the only remaining barrier between see her fortune at its highest flow :
his selfish ambition, and the consummation of his "On the 20 of December,” says her affectionate histo- unchastised and mad desire to transmit the crown rian, “ all was stir in Paris and the Tuileries, from an of France to his offspring. The sacrifice was soon early hour. On this morning, which was to witness the resolved on; but the slave of ambition and headcompletion of her greatness, Josephine rose about eight long will was not altogether a monster; and it o'clock, and immediately commenced the weighty concerns of the toilet. The body drapery of the Empress was of
cost him some pangs to plant an Austrian princess white satin, beautifully embroidered in gold, and on the on the throne he had raised for Josephine ; and breast ornamented with diamonds. The mantle was of to give to one to whom he was a stranger, and Crimson selvet, lined with white satin and ermine, studded indifferent, the place she had held in his heart for with golden bees, and confined by an aigrette of diamonds
. twenty-three years. The cruel resolution onco a ceinture. The first
, used for the actual crowning, and taken, was not long concealed. voru only on state occasions, consisted of eight branches,
“ On returning," says Bourrienne, his schoolfellow, fokus wrought in palm, and four in myrtle leaves of secretary, and afterwards his memorialist
, “ from the last gold incrusted with diamonds ; round the circle ran a Austrian campaign, Napoleon, as already mentioned, stopcaped fillet, set with eight very large emeralds ; and the ped at Fontainbleau, and Josephine there joined him. For bandeau which immediately enclosed the head, shone with the first time, the communication which had previously tsplendent amethysts. The diadem worn before the coro-united his own with his wife's apartments was shut up, sation, and on the more ordinary state occasions, was com by his order. While I lived as one of the household, their posed of four rows of pearls of the finest water, interlaced domestic arrangements had been still more direct ; Bona
parte's bed-chamber, as the reader knows having been only happiness which I have enjoyed in this world. Josephine ! an apartment of ceremony. Josephine did not deceive her- my destiny overmasters my will. My dearest affections self as to the fatal prognostics to be deduced from this con must be silent before the interests of France.'
• Say no jugal separation. Duroc having been sent for one day, more,' I had still strength sufficient to reply; "I was prefound her alone, and in tears—- I am undone,' said she, in pared for tliis ; I understand you ; but the blow is not the a tone, the recollection of which still moved Duroc; ' I am less mortal. More I could not utter,' pursued Josephine; undone! all is now over with me! How hide my shame ? | 'I cannot tell what passed within me; I believe my screams You, Duroc, you have always been my friend, you and were loud ; I thought reason had fled; I remained unRapp: it is neither of you who has advised him to separate conscious of every thing; and, on returning to my senses, from me: my enemies have done this—Savary, Junot, found I had been carried to my chamber. Your friend, and others : alas! they are still more his enemies than Corvisart, will tell you, better than I can, what afterwards mine. And, my poor Eugene ! what will become of him occuried; for, on recovering, I perceived that he and my when he knows I am repudiated by an ingrate? Yes, poor daughter were with me. Bonaparte returned to visit Duroc, ungrateful he is My God! my God! what shall me in the evening. No, Bourrienne, you cannot imagine we do?' Josephine sobbed convulsively, while speaking the horror with which the sight of him, at that moment, thus to Duroc; and I myself witnessed the tears which she inspired me; even the interest which he affected to take in still wept over the separation.
my sufferings, seemed to me additional cruelty. Oh! my Bourrienne, who had lived many years in the God! how justly had I reason to dread ever becoming an family of Bonaparte, and who sincerely loved and
Empress !" esteemed her whom he ever names “ the excellent
Tho account given of these painful events by Josephine,” thus describes her melancho!y con
Dr. Memes is fuller, and somewhat different. The dition:
scene is so deeply tragic, that it would be injurious
to give it, but in his own language:« On entering, Josephine held out her hand to me, pronouncing only these words, - Well, my friend! But the “ Formerly, in their days of happiness, their intercourse tone was one of such profound emotion, that, to this mo
had thus been fiee even amid the restraints of a court; ment, the sounds vibrate upon my heart : tears prevented Napoleon would surprise Josephine in her boudoir, and she her saying more. Seating herself on an ottoman, placed on steal upon his moments of relaxation in his cabinet. But the left of the fire, she motioned me to take my seat beside all was now reversed ; the former never entered, but her; and I saw Hortense still standing, leaning against the knocked when he would speak to the latter, who hardly mantel-piece, vainly endeavouring to hide her tears. dared to obey the signal, the sound of which caused such
“ Josephine had taken one of my hands, which she held violent palpitations of the heart, that she had to support pressed between both her own, and for a long time wept herself by leaning against the walls or furniture, as she in silence, unable to utter a single word ; at length recover- tottered towards the little door, on the other side of which ing a little empire over herself, she said, ; My good Napoleon waited her approach. From these conferences, Bourrienne, I have suffered the full extent of my misfortune. Josephine returned so exhausted, and with eyes so swollen He has cast me off--abandoned me: the empty title of with weeping, as to give ground for the belief that her lord Empress conferred by him has only rendered my disgrace used violence to constrain her consent to their separation. the more public. Ah! how truly did we estimate him! Her own words also, He accomplished his resolution with a I never deluded myself as to my fate ; for whom would he cruelty of which no idea can be formed,' might at first seem not sacrifice to his ambition? You, my good Bourrienne, to countenance this supposition. But justice is to be done ; were for years a witness of what passed between us—you the violence and the cruelty, great as they both were, consisted saw all, knew all, heard all; you are aware that I never solely in the act itself, and in coldly withstanding all claims had a secret from you, but confided to you my sad fore- of affection, and of gentle entreaty, urged by the being who bodings. He accomplished his resolution, too, with a had loved him so well
, and at length tendered a voluntary sacruelty of which you can form no idea. I have now played, crifice of her love and happiness.* During their private conto its end, my part of wife, in this world. I have endured ferences, previous to the direct announcement of his deterall-and am resigned. At these words, one of these me- mination, Napoleon endeavoured to persuade Josephine of lancholy smiles wandered across Josephine's countenance,
the political necessity and advantages of a separation, at which tell only of woman's suffering, and are so inexpres- first rather hinting at than disclosing the measure. His sibly affecting.-— In what self-constraint did I pass those true object was, as much to effect his wish with the least days in which, though no longer his wife, I was obliged to possible pain to the Empress, as to lead her to a resignation appear so to all eyes! what looks, my friend, are those of her state ; for though she could not have successfully rewhich courtiers allow to fall upon a divorced wife! In sisted a despotic enactment, the deed would thereby hare what stupor, in what uncertainty, more cruel than death, been rendered doubly odious to all France. This, indeed, did I live, from that period to the fatal day in which he
was but too obviously a preparation for an event, though avowed to me the thoughts I had so long read in his coun- future, yet certain ; and Josephine, regarding it as such, tenance : it was the 30th of November. What an express defended her claims sometimes with a strength of argument sion he wore that day; and how many sinister things ap- which it was difficult to answer, and, at others, by tears, peared in his looks! We dined together as usual; I supplications, and appeals, or by the calm resignation of struggled with my tears, which, despite of my efforts, over- self-devotedness to his will, against which the heart of Na. flowed from my eyes. I uttered not a single word during poleon, had he possessed the feelings of a man, ought never that sorrowful meal, and he broke silence but once, to ask to have been proof. Meanwhile, in what stupor,' the one of the attendants about the weather. My sunshine 1 words are Josephine's own, in what uncertainty, more saw had passed away; the storm was coming—and it burst cruel than death, did I live during these discussions, until quickly. Immediately after coffee, Bonaparte dismissed the fatal day in which he avowed the resolution which I had every one, and I remained alone with him.
so long read in his countenance. Sometimes, however, expression, Bourrienne! what a look he had! I bcheld in rallying amid her sorrows and resignation, she assumed å the alteration of his features the struggle which was in his commanding attitude, on those mysterious principles, by soul; but at length I saw that my hour liad come. His which he deemed his career to be regulated, that for a space whole frame trembled; and I felt a shuddering horror awed even the spirit of Napoleon. One night, Josephine, come over mine. He approached, took my hand, placed it in tears and silence, had listened for some time to these on his heart, gazed upon me for a moment, without speak overtures and discussions, when, with a sudden energy, ing, then at last let fall these dreadful words :-Josephine! she started up, drew Napoleon to the window, and, point my excellent Josephine! thou knowest if I have loved thee! To thea-to thee alone do I owe the only moments of ally beat his refractory wife.
+ It is amusing to be so grarely told that the Emperor did not factu.
ing to the heavens, whose lights scemerl in placid sweetness cruelty. Oh, my God! how justly had I reason to dread to look down upon her distress, with a firm yet melancholy becoming an Empress !' fone, said, “Bonaparte, behold that bright star; it is “ The following is a letter addressed by Josephine to mine! And remember, to mine, not to thine, has sove her husband, a few days after these events, less in the hope reignty been promised ; separate, then, our fates, and your of withdrawing him frożn his resolution, than with the instar fades !"
tention of proving her resignation to an arrangement pro“ Butó the fatal day' was not to be averted. The 30th ceeding from him :of November arrived, which Napoleon appears to have des 5 My presentments are realized. You have pronounced tined for declaring his final determination to Josephine. the word which separates ns; the rest is only a formality. She had wept all day; they were to dine together as usual, Such is the reward, I will not say of so many sacrifices, and, to conceal her tears, the Empress wore a large white (they were sweet because made for you, but of an attachhat, fastened under the chin, which, with its deep front, ment unbounded on my part, and of the most solemn oaths shaded the whole of the upper part of the face. Napo- on yours. But the state, whose interests you put forward leon, also, had shown marks of the strongest agitation ; as a motive, will, it is said, indemnify me, by justifying he scarcely spoke to any one, but, with arms folded, con- you! These interests, however, to which you feign to imtinued, at intervals, to pace his library alone; from time to molate me, are but a pretext; your ill-dissembled ambition, time a convulsive movement, attended with a hectic flush, as it has been, so it will ever continue, the guide of your passed for an instant across his features, and at table, when life; a guide which has led you to victories and to a throne, he raised his eye, it was only to look by stealth upon the and which now urges you to disasters and to ruin. Empress, with an expression of the deepest regret. The “You speak of an alliance to contract-of an heir to be dinner was removed untouched ; neither tasted a morsel, given to your empire_of a dynasty to be founded ! But and the only use to which Napoleon turned his knife was with whom do you contract that alliance ? With the nato strike mechanically upon the edge of his glass, which he tural enemy of France-that insidious house of Austria, appeared to do unconsciously, and like one whose thoughts which detests our country from feeling, system, and necesa were painfully pre-occupied. Every thing during this sad sity.' repast seemed to presage the impending catastrophe. « « The fatal day' at length arrived. On the 15th of DeThe officers of the court, even, who were in attendance, cember, the imperial council of state was convened, and, for stood in motionless expectancy, like men who look the first time, officially informed of the intended separation. upon a sight they feel portends evil, though what they On the morrow, the whole of the imperial family assembled know not; not a sound was heard beyond the noise of in the grand saloon at the Tuileries. All were in grand placing and removing the untasted viands, and the mono-costume. Napoleon's was the only countenance which betonous tinkling already noticed; for the Emperor spoke trayed emotion, but ill concealed by the drooping plumes only once to ask a question, without giving any attention of his hat of ceremony. He stood motionless as a statue, to the reply. “We dined together as usual,' says his arms crossed upon his breast, without uttering a single Josephine ; ' I struggled with my tears, which, notwith- word. The members of his family were seated around, standing every effort, overlowed from my eyes; I utter- shewing, in their expression, less of sympathy with so pained not a single word during that sorrowful meal, and he ful a scene, than of satisfaction that one was to be removed broke silence but once, to ask an attendant about the who had so long held influence, gently exerted as it had weather. My sunshine, I saw, had passed away; the been, over their brother. In the centre of the apartment storm burst quickly. Directly after coffee, Bonaparte dis-was placed an arm chair, and before it a small table, with missed every* one, and I remained alone with him. We a writing apparatus of gold. All eyes were directed to that kave already described the manner of Napoleon's taking spot, when a door opened, and Josephine, pale, but calın, coffee after dinner; the change which on this day first appeared, leaning on the arm of her daughter, whose fast took place seemed to indicate to Josephine that her cares falling tears shewed that she had not attained the resignawere no longer indispensable to the happiness of her hus- tion of her mother. Both were dressed in the simplest man. band. She had risen as usual from table with Napoleon, ner. Josephine's dress of white muslin, exhibited not a whom she slowly followed into the saloon, and with a hand single ornament. All rose on her entrance. She moved kerchief pressed upon her mouth, to restrain the sobbing, slowly, and with wonted grace, to the seat prepared for her, which, though inaudible, shook her whole frame. Reco- and, her head supported on her hand, with the elbow resting vering, by an effort, her self-command, Josephine prepared on the table, listened to the reading of the act of separato ponr out the coffee, when Napolcon, advancing to the tion. Behind her chair stood Hortense, whose sobs were page performed the office for himself, casting upon her a audible, and a little farther on, towards Napolcon, Eugene, regard, remarked even by the attendants, and which seemed trembling, as if incapable of supporting himself. Josephine to fall with stunning import, for she remained as if stupi. heard, in coiposure, but with tears coursing ench other hed. The Emperor haring drunk, returned the cup to the down her cheeks, the words that placed an eternal barrier pare, and, by a sign, indicated his wish to be alone, shut-between her and greatness, and bitterer still, between affec. ting, with his own hand, the door of the saloon. In the tion and its object. This painful duty over, the Empress dining-room, separated by this door, there remained only appeared to acquire a degree of resolution from the very the Count de Beaumont, chief chamberlain, who continued effort to resign with dignity the realities of title for ever. to walk about in silence, and the favourite personal at- | Pressing for an instant the handkerchief to her eyes, she tendant of the Emperor, both expecting sone terrille event, rose; and with a voice which, but for a slight tremor, might -20 aprehension which was but too speedily confirmed have been cailed firm, pronounced the oath of acceptance ; be load screams from the saloon.
then, sitting down, she took the pen from the hand of Count “When Josephine thus fainted, Napeleon hastily opened St. Jean-d'Angely, and signed. The mother and daughter the door of the saloon, and called to the two individuals now retired as they had entered, followed immediately hy who remained in the dining-room. The opening of the Eugene, who appears to have suffered most severely of the das allowed them to see the Empress on the floor, insensi-three ; for he had no sooner gained the space between the ble, yet still speaking in broken murmurs_“ Oh, no! you folding doors, which opened into the private cabinet, than ratinot surely do it you would not kill me !" M. de he fell lifeless on the floor, and was recovered, not without Beaumont entered on a sign from his master, and lifted in difficulty, by the attentions of the usher of the cabinet, and kis arms the hapless Josephine, now perfectly unconscious his own aides-de-camp. of all that was passing.
“ The sad interests of the day had not yet been exhaust* On recovering," says Josephine, 'I perceived that ca. Josephine had remained unseen, sorrowing in her Coprisart was in attendance, and my poor daughter weep- chamber, till Napoleon's usual hour of retiring to rest. ing over me. No, no! I cannot describe the horror of my He had just placed himself in bed, silent and melanstation during that night. Even the interest which he choly, while his favourite attendant waited only to reafected to take in my sufferings, seemed to me additional | ceive orders, when suddenly the private door opened, and
the Empress appeared, her hair in disorder, and her face worshipped “ King of the Romans” was well out of swollen with weeping. Advancing with a tottering step, leading-strings. How canone ever forget the ecstasy she stood, as if irresolute, about a pace from the bed, of the French nation when the King of Rome cut clasped her hands, and burst into an agony of tears. Delicacy—a feeling as if she had now no right to be his first tooth ! Among those most eager to there-seemed at first to have arrested her progress; but congratulate the Emperor on the event which forgetting every thing in the fulness of her grief, she crowned his prosperity, was Josephine; nor is there threw herself on the bed, clasped her husband's neck, and sobbed as if her heart had been breaking. Napoleon also
room to doubt of the sincerity of her sentiments, wept, while he endeavoured to console her, and they re
so exalted was the nature of her attachment to mained for some time locked in each other's arms, silently her ungrateful husband, now that her personal feelmingled their tears together, until the Emperor, perceiving ings were subdued, and the bitterness of her saConstant in waiting, dismissed him to the anti-chamber, crifice past. Bonaparte had still sufficient generosity After an interview of about an hour, Josephine parted of character to estimate the genuine feelings of for ever with the man whom she had so long and so tenderly loved."
the woman he had so cruelly wronged. When her Such were the cruel scenes which paved the way “ You are going to see your mother ; tell her that
son, Eugene, went to visit the Ex-Empress, he said, for the second nuptials of Napoleon; such the sin I am sure she will rejoice more than any one at and sorrow which preceded that final small event, my good fortune. This evening I will write to ecarce claiming a passing sigh, which adds a new heap of dust to the funeral vault of the Austrian
Josephine." princes, and reads a solemn lesson to ambition. Brief her husband. The “ King of Rome,” stripped of
Josephine did not long outlive the downfall of as is the space, how much has intervened since his mock title, went, by the grace of the Allied Napoleon thus laid the foundation of his subse- Powers, to Vienna with his mother.- The Empress quent misfortunes. A few more years were still Maria Louise, become Archduchess of Parma, seto be added to his measured term of prosperity. parated by state policy, and soon by inclination, A few more drops were yet to be poured into the from her husband, obtained the reputation of cup, ere it was tasted, and found to be only being the mistress of her Chamberlain, the Count mingled blood and ashes. Bourrienne still frequently visited the Ex-Em- all the marriage a Princess of Germany may con
de Neippberg; and, in 1825, confessed with him press at Malmaison.
tract with a subject. Her imputed indifference to “ Although more than a year had passed since the separa- and desertion of her son, would be a fault less tion, sorrow was ever new in Josephine's heart, for every pardonable ; and now that we hear of her sorrow thing contributed to augment it. Think, my friend,' she would often say, ' of all the tortures which I must have en- for his death, nature and charity bid us believe dured since that fatal day; I cannot conceive how I have the tale, though a tardy display of maternal feel not sunk under them. Can you imagine punishment greater ing cannot soften the fate of Young Napoleon. than for me every where to see descriptions of fetes for his marriage! And the first time he came to see me, after of the Holy Alliance ; and as he advanced in life,
From his fourth year, the boy lived a hostage having wedded another --what an interview ! tears did it cause me to shed ! Still, the days when he almost as a state prisoner. His education was recomes here are, to me, days of suffering, for he has no retarded, and his mind moulded to the objects of gard to my feelings, or, if you will, weaknesses. With what Metternich. It is alleged that he was kept ignocruelty does he converse about the child he is to have! You rant of all recent history, and
that the school boy can understand, Bourrienne, how all that afflicts me. better be exiled a thousand leagues from hence. Yet
, (as if in Europe, who, for good or for evil, knew least her kindly heart reproached her) yet some friends have of Bonaparte, the artillery officer who became remained faithful to me: those are now my only con- Emperor of France, was his own son. solation."
scarcely possible. The birds of the air would And now behold the most ambitious hopes of have carried to him the story of his father's Napoleon fulfilled by the birth of the poor boy exploits. whose death has just closed a joyless life. The Young Napoleon, when seen by strangers at the birth of the King of Rome was proclaimed to all theatre and other public places, became an object of expectant France, by the voice of cannon, and eager and melancholy scrutiny. He inherited somer welcomed by the Continental Sovereigns, with the thing of the Italian beauty, and classic delicacy of most hypocritical and courtly felicitations. It had feature which distinguished all his father's family; been previously settled that a certain number of and those who rested the forlorn hope of Italian liber. cannon shots were to announce the birth of a female ty upon him,
and were kept aloof by a jealous policy, child. When they were given, Paris hung in sought to read his character in his countenance
. breathless suspense on the next sound. There One of the latest of those observers remarks, “ from was a pause, as if by sound or silence a world was the varying expression of his face during the repreabout to be created, or annihilated. And when the sentation of some of Schiller's
, shot came ! –Well may it be said, “ Vain
capital of Tell, for instance, and Wallenstein, I could Vain people !" “ Pleased with 'a rattle, tickled not help feeling persuaded that young Napoleon with a straw." With humiliation, and almost would have made but an indifferent cardinal-a contempt, one looks back to the rapturous wel vocation to which he is said to have been formerly come given to the heir of hat dynasty which devoted.
So gay and animated is his real disposithe same people had repudiated, before this tion, that he is sent for whenever his illustrious
grandsire becomes tired of feeding his pigeons and be mingled with pain and indignation ; but in passscraping his violoncello, in order to dispel the ennui, ing to his works all is nearly unmixed pleasure. the evil spirit, of the imperial Saul !"
He has produced a few poems of equivocal tenIt is reported that Young Napoleon made a will dency, and some of a trivial wit; but they are which he endeavoured to transmit to his cousin, comparatively few; and so rich was the ore of his the son of the Duchess St. Leu. This young man vein, that even in the rubbish thrown carelessly was lately involved in the insurrection in Italy ; out, the pure metal is continually glancing forth. and with him, it is said, the son of Napoleon If Burns has not reached the highest heaven of maintained a constant secret correspondence; a invention, it may have been because he has never thing not very probable, considering how he had aimed his flight thither; for whatever he fairly atbeen educated, and how he was surrounded. To tempted he has done better than any other man. this gallant cousin he bequeathed his father's His songs, the species of composition to which he sword. From the humble tomb of Josephine in gave most attention, are, taken as a whole, the the village church of Ruel,--the willows that finest in the world-in spirit-in nationality-in shadow Napoleon's grave in St. Helena,-the beauty-in simplicity—and in the most exquisite newly tenanted burial vault of the young Duke tenderness. It has become fashionable of late, de Reichstadt,—what lessons may be read ! even in Scotland, to compare Burns with more « We are such stuff as dreams are made on
polished lyrists: all such comparison is as senseAnd our little life is rounded by a sleep."
less as invidious. In the wide dominion of ima
gination and poetry there is room for all advenROBERT BURNS.
turers, and even for a few squatters, with quesBORN 1758-DIED 1796.
tionable charter; nor need they with such ample (Continued from page 61.)
verge encroach on the domains of each other; or, The social eloquence of Burns_his conversa- like the petty German principalities, contend which tional talents, and power over the feelings of those shall be paramount. A singer, with a nicelywith whom he associated-have often been de cultivated ear and fine taste, must occasionally scribed as more astonishing than even the written use a little ungraceful force in drilling the rerecords of his genius; and this appears to have fractory syllables of Burns and Sir Walter Scott, been true. He obtained an influence for the time and in bending their stubborn sense to certain which we hear of nothing resembling, save some musical pauses and cadences; but we can have no few moments of the life of Rousseau, when Pari- unmixed good, and this fault most frequently arises sian saloons were deluged with genuine tears. when the verse, as it were, o’er-informs the music, One of the most eminent of his critics attributes and the sound has not body sufficient to sustain the bold development of the genius of Burns to the sentiment; like richly-freighted vessels which the lowness of his origin. However this may be, draw too much water, and lag ungracefully, where it is fair to suppose, that a young man, trained in the little, airy, nicely-trimmed bark will swim like the frigid circles of persiflage and civil sneer, how- a halcyon. Besides, many of those polished strains ever great his genius and vehement his natural which go so “ softly, sweetly" to the music, are sensibility, would have been scared from the be. in fact, in reading, more rugged to the ear than trayal of his feelings, where the rustic gave his the worst adapted lines of Burns. In the modern impetuous impulses unbounded sway, with conse- popular lyrics, the music and the verse reflect and quences which startle belief.
support each other ;-they mutually perform, as “ It was in female circles," says a generous admirer and it were, a waltz to the ear, dancing on together, excellent judge, “ that his powers of expression displayed gracefully intertwined, throughout their light and their utmost fascination. In such, where the respect demanded by rank was readily paid as due to beauty or ac
airy, or languid and voluptuous movements. With complishment, where he could resent no insult, and vindi- the harsher and worse accented strains of our nacate no claim of superiority, his conversation lost all its tional bard, the music may lag and lose in expres. barshness, and often became so energetic and impressive, sion, but the tears gush forth—the touched heart as to dissolve the whole circle into tears. The traits of sensibility which, told of another, would sound like in.
murmurs it low under-song. stances of gross affectation, were so native to the soul of The love-verses of Burns, by those who bring this extraordinary man, and burst from him so involun- no objection to their lack of musical smoothness, tarily, that they not only obtained full credence as the ge- are charged with the want of that tone of gallanof sympathy all who witnessed them. In such a mood try which distinguishes the productions of higherthey were often called forth by the slightest and most tri-born men. It is certain that his manly mind knew fing occurrences ; an ordinary engraving, the wild turn of nothing of feelings merely factitious, however elea simple Scottish air, a line in an old ballad, were, like vated, and it does not appear to have been his the field mouse's nest,' and the uprooted daisy,' suffi- hard fortune ever to encounter “ stony-hearted cient to excite the sympathetic feelings of Burns. And it was wonderful to see those, who, left to themselves, would
maidens," He never dreamt of extolling the bare passed over such trivial circumstances without a mon charms of his mistress from vain-glory in their
hent's reflection, sob over the picture, when its outline had brilliancy. He poured forth the praises of the fair been filled up by the magic art of his eloquence.”
idols of his fancy from the exuberant delight with Reflections on the life and fortunes of this ex- which their real or ideal charms enraptured his traordinary man, must, for a long while to come, own spirit. Like Julie's lover, the fair being he