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For terror now whisper'd, the wife he had
Full fifteen long twelvemonths before, The child he had clasp'd in his farewel
Might both then, alas! be no more.
Mrs. Opie has a great deal of tur gidity and inversion in her style. She seems not to be aware that the most natural mode of expression is the nearest to poetry, and that the latter differs from prose more in an harmonious collocation of the words, than in an unnatural disposition of them. It is not easy to conceive any thing more pompously obscure than the following:
But should he not live!-To escape from
He eagerly spurr'd his bold steed:
Forbade on the way to proceed.
On Julia's softly dimpled cheek,
(Æneid iv.) and it may truly be said that it operates as such towards living authors. It is indeed peculiarly unfortunate, when a writer attains celebrity by a first production, for it rarely happens that any subsequent ones are judged with candour. They are no longer estimated intrinsically, but by the standard of their predecessor: and it is not enough that they equal their elder brother, they must absolutely in it that is irresistibly ludicrous: surpass him, or we are not con- am wearing away like the snow in the tented.
When proudly stern, her father bade
St. Claire's dark walls her bloom enclose.
- Somewhat in this predicament we-It reminds us of the preposterous conceive Mrs. Opie to stand. Her and absurd similies which modern novels procured her some sort of re- dramatists put into the mouths of putation, and her first poetical publi- stage Irishmen. Mrs. Opie, howcation added to it. But we do not ever, meant to be serious. think that the present volume will
As a favourable specimen, we se have that effect; for, though contain- lect the following:ing some pretty pieces, it seems to
consist of the refuse of her writing Go, distant shores and brighter conquests desk, collected together simply for ? seek,
the purpose of making a volume. We But my affection will your scorn survive! are justified in this supposition by the For not from radiant eyes or crimson cheek declaration of Mrs. Opie herself, who My fondness I, or you your power derive;— says in her preface, that "the poems Nor sprung the passion from your fancied which compose this little volume, were written, with two or three exceptions, several years ago; and to arrange and fit them for publication has been the amusement of maný hours of retirement."
To me, your smiles no dear delusion caused; saw you tower my humble hopes above, And, ere I loved, I shuddered, trembled, paused.
But I was formed to prize superior worth, The first poem, and which gives Aud felt 'twas virtue you, with love, to see; the title to the volume, is founded I hoped a choice so glorious might call upon a sufficiently interesting cir- Merit like yours, Lorenzo, e'en in me cumstance; but many of the stan- Then go, assured that mine's no transient zas are exceptionable. The caco
phony of the last line in the follow. For on your worth it feeds, and lives upon ing is remarkable: your fame.
Mrs. Opie seems to have felt the power of love, and of hopeless love: and as the language of nature soars infinitely beyond that of art, so the amatory verses of the present volume are the best. The various pieces addressed to "Henry," which paint in delicate colours the feelings of unrewarded passion, are written with all the peculiar merit of Mrs. Opie's manner. The following is one of them:
LOVE ELEGY TO HENRY.
Then thou hast learnt the secret of my soul, Officious Friendship has its trust betrayed; No more I need the bursting sigh control, Nor sunimoh pride my struggling soul to aid. Put think not banished hope returns again, Think not I write thy thankless heart to
The faded form that tells my tender pain
Artless as thine, my too too feeling heart
But I true Passion's soft commands obey, And fain my tender feelings would conceal. In others' eyes, when fixed on thine, I see That fondness painted which alone 1 know; Think not, my Henry, then can love like
More love I hide than they can e'er bestow. While tender glances their emotions speak, And oft they heave and oft suppress the sigh;
O turn to me, behold my pallid cheek Shrinking from thine, behold my downcast eye!
While they by mirth, by wit, thine ear
Vainly would others more than Emma shine; Beyond their sweetest strains thy heart
One faint, one broken, tender tone of mine,
The remaining pieces in this volume do not rise above mediocrity: they are merely nugæ canora.
The LAST YEARS of the REIGN and LIFE of LOUIS XVI. By FRANCIS HUE, one of the Officers of the King's Chamber, named by that Monarch, after the 10th of August, 1792, to the honour of continuing with him and the Royal Family. Translated by R. C. DALLAS, Esq.
HE misfortunes of the great ne
be that there is a natural pleasure which we take in beholding our fellow creatures under afiliction, when not allied to us by the ties of consanguinity or feeling; or that the sort of pleasure which arises from the contemplation of fallen grandeur, is of that tender yet consolatory cast that it seems to indemnify us for the evils of our own station in society. The mind is never wearied with reading accounts of the sufferings of Lady Jane Grey, of Mary Queen of Scots, exhaustible themes of eloquence for of Charles, or of Louis: they are inthe historian, of admonition for the moralist, of application for the poet. Their sufferings have been, in themselves, small, very small, compared is comparison that aids our sympathy, to those of private individuals: but it and we do not sigh over the sorrows of the man, but of the prince. Phi losophy would behold nothing peculiarly acute in a human being repos
ing on a bed of flock, with a tattered the same circumstances) leaves off. blanket thrown across for warmth, in Neither of these works, therefore, feeding on plain fare, and enjoying can be complete without the other; but a limited extent of walk. But and M. Hue' himself has said, p. 403, when we consider that he who en- "from the 2d of September, the day dures this, once slept on beds of down, I was first imprisoned, the narrative in vaulted chambers of golden roofs; of the occurrences in the tower has that he rioted in the choicest gifts of been published by M. Clery who nature, and his table was crowned succeeded me." with the produce of every clime; that It must be evident, that in this he ranged at will wherever pleasure work of M. Hue's a number of new called him, we are led to wonder facts are stated, and much light thrown how he bears the reverse, and pity upon old ones. As it would now be him, not so much for what he suffers, a waste of time to comment upon as for what he has lost. To this feel- events that have so long passed, we ing we must attribute the eagerness shall perform a more acceptable of with which we hunt after such de- fice to our readers by selecting such tails; and hence the melancholy plea- information as will be new to them. sure which we have felt in reading We will, however, just observe, that the present work. There was no our author's love of the monarch be studied barbarity, there was no species served has sometimes led him into of despicable insult, no manner of hu- expressions respecting monarchy it miliation which the French nation did self, which savours a little of despotnot employ towards the unfortunate ism; as at p. 2, where he says public Louis. The most abhorred tyrant opinion was too much respected by that ever disgraced the annals of so- Louis. M. Hue also is completely a ciety could scarcely have merited Frenchman: we do not use the name more than was shewn towards one insultingly, but mean that his patri whose greatest failing was too much otic feelings obscure his judgment, lenity, and whose only crime being born the king of a people destined to
and lead him to lament certain events produced by the Revolution, which were in fact such as every wise and good man wished for, had they been unpolluted by such horrid excesses,
Louis wanted active magnanimity of character. He endured insults
M. Hue was mentioned with honour, and in a manner that will convey his name down to posterity, by his unfortunate monarch in his will. He was an eye witness of nearly all which a truly noble mind must have that he describes; he accompanied resented, though immediate annihila the king to the Temple after the 10th tion had been the consequence. H of August: he suffered imprisonment enemies saw that; and acted accordfor his attachment: he escaped nu ingly. Many instances are related in merous perils during the bloody pro- the course of this volume of the king's scriptions of the revolution: he ac- acquiescence to personal degradations, companied Madame Royale to Vienna in 1796; and he has now given to the world, documents that will be of lasting importance to future historians.
which do not tend to exalt our opi nion of the elevation of his mind. We may admire his forbearance, and his patience, and his resignation; but these are equivocal qualities; while energy and intrepidity speak a lan guage that no tongue can miscon
This work would of itself be in complete without the Journal of Occurrences, &c. of Clery. Together, they form a full picture of all that re- strue. lates to Louis from the fatal 6th of We shall commence our extracts October 1789, to the 22d of January with M. Hue's account of the pro1793. M. Hue was removed from ceedings on the 6th of October about the person of the king, after he 1789.
had been with him a short while in "How dreadful a night was the 6th the Temple, and was succeeded by of October! The closing hours of it Clery, whose journal therefore, of spread its shades over the most horri what he witnessed, commences pre- ble of sacrileges! Then began outcisely where M. Hue's account (under rages of the blackest dye! At the
breaking up of the nocturnal Sitting, danced for your own pleasure; you which the Assembly had held, the are now going to dance for ours.-Let conspirators repaired to the parish us cut her throat;-let's cut off her church of St. Louis.. By twelve head;-let us eat her heart.' One of o'clock at night, the church, vestries, these devils drawing a sickle from unrooms, passages, and all the offices, der her apron, there was a cry of, were thronged with National Guards, That will do to dispatch her!' and people with pikes. In the church, for pastime, they lighted the tapers, and walked in mock procession; and at times, orators went up into the pulpit, and made horrible motions.
"The horrible menaces and howlings of these wild beasts were mixed with shouts of, Vice d'Orleans! Vice notre père d'Orléans! Decency will not permit me to mention the obscenities that accompanied these infamous expressions. A price, then, had been set upon the heads of the royal family! The queen's was the first to have fal
"At five o'clock, the Vicar was applied to, to know if a mass could be performed, and he offered to celebrate it himself, on condition of having a guard to protect him. This was len. Towards her apartment the asgranted.
sassins rushed. It is said, that a de"While preparing for the celebra- puty dared to point with his finger to tion of the mass, the vicar was re- the door. The sentry, M. Durepaire, quested to pray for the success of the one of the Body Guards, defended it: project meditated: but he replied but assailed by a multitude, and that, being fearful of criminal designs, covered with wounds, he was soon at least, in some present, he could not, stretched upon the floor. Miomanwithout impiety, comply with what dre de Ste. Marie took his post, made was asked. I will pray to God,' ad- a bar to the entrance of the bed-chamded this respectable man, to vouch- ber with his musket, and, opening one safe to grant to all, the grace necessary of the folding doors, called, in a loud for them. This reply satisfied them, voice, Save the queen! At these and the mass was heard with tolerable words, he received several blows which decency. When it was over, the con- felled him to the ground. The mospirators shook hands, swore to be ment he was down, one of the wretches true to one another, and flew to car- made the crowd stand back, and, nage. coolly measuring his distance, struck "Scarcely did the dawn of day the guard so violent a blow, with the cast a dim light on the sacred resi- but-end of the musket, that the lock dence of our kings, when a legion of stuck in his head.* Some of the brigands, men and women, led by de- queen's women, whom their attachputies in women's clothes, broke into ment had kept all night with their the palace, and in an instant crowded august mistress, having hastily awaked the terrace of the garden and the her, her majesty hurried on a petticourts. Terrible bowlings announced coat, threw a counterpane over her the banditti. They cried out,-The shoulders, and, by a passage of comqueen's head! Down with the queen! munication, escaped to the king's Louis shall no longer be king. We apartment. In the way, she heard will not have him. We want the these cries: She must be hanged;-Duke of Orleans; he will give us her throat must be cut. At the same bread.'
"Fish-women, furies, bellowed'Where is this jade? Let us carry her, alive or dead. We will look you in the face, Marie Antoinette. You have
instant, a gun and pistol were fired. The queen was hardly out of her chamber, when the door was forced in. The assassins, euraged at their disap
*This was M. Jacob. He con* M. Miomandre de Ste. Marie lay firmed to me the particulars I here re- senseless, and weltering in his blood. late, and told me that the seditious, The banditti thought him dead, and forgetting for a moment their fury left him, after robbing him. He afteragainst the royal family, joined him in wards recovered. singing the Domine salvum, a prayer said daily for the king.
+ Madame Thibaud and Madame Oguier.
pointment, vented their fury in a thou Who can read the following anec sand imprecations. dote, and not confess with Burke, "Trembling for his son's life, the that the days of chivalry were gone? king ran to his chamber, and carried The days of chivalry: the days of him away in his arms.* In his way common manhood were passed, and the light went out. Take hold of my dæmons ruled triumphant. night-gown,' said the king, calmly, to the woman who attended the dauphin. family were taken back to their lodg "At night, the king and the royal Having groped his way back to his ing under a strong guard. They al apartment, he there found the queen, ways met with new insults One night, Madame Royale, Monsieur, Madame, Madame Elizabeth, and the Marquise of the convent, a young man, well as they were going through the garden de Tourzel. Thus united, the royal dressed, went up to the Queen, and, family waited with less terror the fate which threatened them. doubling his fist at her, said, 'Infa the Austrians in our blood: your head mous Antoinette, you wanted to bathe shall pay for it. The queen treated this atrocious speech with silent contempt."
"At the commencement of the attack, two young men of the Body Guards suffered themselves to be assassinated, rather than abandon their post. † Their bloody heads were carried about on pikes in triumph, and Louis was of opinion that the pre their bodies left on the parade to the disposing causes of the revolution fury of the populace. Several of the were to be found in the writings of cannibals were seen rubbing their the French philosophers, as they were hands and face with the blood of their called. He one day said to M. Hue, victims. in a low voice, pointing to the works "The chopper-off of heads, a man of Rousseau and Voltaire, "Those with a long beard, of a savage aspect, two men have ruined France." his arms naked up to the elbow, his eyes sparkling, his hand and clothes smeared with gore, was seen brandishing his axe, the instrument of his cruelties. This monster, whose name was Nicholas Jourdan, served the Academy of Painting and Sculpture, as a model. From his feats on this day, he was surnamed Coupe-tête."‡
* The king, to get to the dauphin's apartments, and avoid being seen by the brigands, was obliged to go through a dark subterraneous passage.
The dangers of M. Hue himself were not small, as the following nar rative will testify, after being dragged away from the service of the king and sent to prison.
by the light of the turnkey's lauthern, "In entering my dungeon, I saw, a sorry bed. I groped my way to it. Oppressed with fatigue, and at lengthi a moment insensible of my dangerous overcome by sleep, I had become for position, when I was suddenly awakened by a confused noise. I listened, + M. Deshuttes and M. Varicourt. Wife, the assassins have done in the and distinctly heard these words *:In some accounts, this Nicholas other prisons, and are coming to those Jourdan has been confounded with of the commune. the author of the massacres at Avig- our best things: come down, and let Quick, throw me non. They had no relation, but in us fly.' At these words I started from barbarity and the mere name. In my bed, fell on my knees, and raising 1789, thousands of ruffians, coming my hands to Heaven, waited in that from Marseilles and the coasts of posture the blow that was to put an Africa and Italy, spread themselves end to my life. In about an hour I throughout the province. Sacrilege,
rape, and murder, marked their way. unheard-of tortures, mutilated them, At Avignon, headed by one Jourdan, cut them in pieces, and scrambled for they massacreed many of the inhabit- the flesh. Never did the world exhi ants, sparing neither age nor sex; bit a more horrible scene. The river broke open the prisons, killed the pri- within Avignon was coloured with soners in cold blood, crowded the vic- human blood, and full of dead bodies. tims marked out for their fury into the town ice-house, put them to death by
It was the warden, whose name was Viel, speaking to his wife.