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When Blionberis's turn arriver, he unfastened hand; and, grasping his lance anew, furiously his sword, and presented it to the monarch : exclaimed, “Let him appear, let him advance, “This," said he,“ mighty prince, is the only title this last rival !" He soon appeared, and what that renders me worthy of disputing the hand of became of Bliomberis, when he recognized the the Princess. This sword was given me by the knight with the wreath of cypress on his shield, most valiant knight of the universe, as a pledge the sanie who bad triumphed over him and Perciof his esteem. My other deeds are nothing, and val, beside Merlin's fountain! His courage nearhave been forgotten since the one that made me ly abandoned him, and a cold perspiration overworthy of this sword.” “ I understand you,” || spread his linbs. “Well," saidhe, “I must learn replied Phara mond, smiling, “ fight, conquer, to die, even at the instant when I thought I had and my daughter shall be yours.” These words altained all my wishes.” filled the breast of Bliomberis with the liveliest The cypress knight bowed gracefully to the sensations of joy! He embraced the King's King, the Queen, and the Princess, and cantered knees, kissed the hem of Rosamunda’s robe, | his steed, while the trembling Felicia’s blood pressed Clodion and Percival to his breast; and, froze with horror and dismay. animated by a glance from the Princess's bright Percival, who had recognized him, rushed into eyes, sprung on Ebene, with a look that seemned the lists, and offereil to fight in the place of his already to announce his victory.
and pleaded that he had a secret injury Of thirty pretenders to the hand of the prin- which he longed to avenge: but the judges intercess, eleven had been judged worthy of combat-|| fered, and the proud Cambrian, after menacing i:g: Bliomberis was the twelfth. The conque.
the unknown knight with his eyes, was obliged ror must have unhorsed his eleven rivals, and con to resume his seat. The terrified princess dared tend with every knight who during the day would not raise her looks on the combatants: a deathe offer to fight with him. Nothing intimidated like silence reigned throughout the assembly, these intrepid warriors; they had already mount and the spectators shuddered at the dismal sound of el their coursers, already their nervous arms bra n the shrill trumpet. Blivmberis again glanced at dished their polished lances : and they only await Felicia, invoked her, pressed Ebene, and flew ed the signal for allack.
to his enemy. At length the trumpet was heard ; Bliomberis The meeting of iwo clouds charged with thun. darted like an arrow, and in the centre of the
der, and impelled by adverse winds, could not be area overthrew the rival who was approaching more violent than that of the two warriors : they him. Another presented himself, and was also both were thrown back on their horses, that fell thrown from his saddle. A third shared the same to the earth ; but hastily extricating themselves fate. Eliomberis was like the god of war. The
from their stirrups, they joined each other with handsome Ebene, more proud, more spirited their drawn scymetars, and commenced a combat than ever, seemed to flash fire from his eyes and which made the most hardened spectators treinnostrils, and neighed at each victory. The ble. Poor Felicia felt'every blow that was aimed trembling Felicia followed her lover with her at her lover; and her heart was not covered eyes, and dared not breathe until the moment with mail, it was torn by each stroke Bliomberis when Bliomberis had unhorsed his adversary: she received on his armour. The furious Percival then gasped, and the deepest rosate hue overspread could no longer contain himself, and wished to her lovely cheeks. Pharamond saw with pleasure take the place of his friend. Pharamond and that victory seerned inclined to crown our hero : Blanchefeur with difficulty restrained him, and Clodion applauded with all his might; Percival made him remark that, Bliomberis had not re. swore if his friend was conquered he would ceived the smallest disadvantage, but defended avenge him; and Blanchefieur, not heeding the himself with the same vigour with which he was remarks of those who surrounded her, each time attacked. Already the fatal wreath of cypress was esclaimed aloud,“ Courage Bliomberis !” effaced ; each of our hero's blows niade a piece
This valiant warrior surpassed himself, and had of his adversary's armour Ay; each stroke from already vanquished his eleven rivals, without his enemy shivered that of Bliomberis. Blood having split his lance. The general acclama had not yet begun to flow, but it was every molions proclaimed hiin victor. Fharamond took ment expected. Bliomberis, the valiant Bliom. his hand, and led him to Felicia, who vainly en beris began to totier; a blow shattered his hel. Jeavoured tu suppress her joy. Bliomberis was mel, and his head remained disarmed : he cover. at her feet, and was just going to receive the re ed it with his shield ; but soon was compelled ward of his valour, when an unknown knight to bend one knee to the earth, still he defended arrived and challenged him to fight. Bliomberis, himself with intrepidity. Felicia had fainted, irritated at having his liappiness interrupted by an Blanchelleur threw piercing shrieks, and Perci. unexpected competitor, let fall the Princess's || val, sword in hand, rushed between the combine
“ Barbarian,” said he to the unknown, whose sake alone I support existence !”-“ War“ it is on me you must direct your blows; || riors !” exclaimed he, addressing the spectators, I am thy enemy, I defy, I abhor thee, I regard “ here is my cungueror, I yield to him; my son thee as the most cowardly of men, if you pursue surpasses me, my son is a hero." These words the advantage which chance has given you over were heard, and the area re-echoed with apBiiomberis.”-“ Bliomberis !” cried the un plause. known: “O, Heavens! is it then my son I Pulamede came and presented his son to Pha. was going to slay :" With these words he threw ramond, whose pleasure it was to conclude this away his sword and helmet, and extending his eventful day withi ihe marriage of Felicia and arm to our hero, “My son, my dear son! come Bliomberis. and embrace thy father!” Blionberis flew to Palamede, Percival, and Blanchefleur would meet him; and Palamede, while pressing him to no more quit these tender lovers; and their his heart, bathed him with tears. “Ab! my union, in rendering them happy, spread joy sun,” said he,“ my child, my beloved child; is throughout all Pharaniond's court, it thee my sword was going to pierce ? thee, for
THE REPRESENTATIONS OF LIFE,
CONTAINED IN WORKS OF FICTION:
NOT TO BE CONSIDERED AS HAVING ANY EXISTENCE IN NATURE.
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“ You must,” said Mademoiselle de Clair- || granted with many murmurs. I appeal to your ville to a young married woman,“ live very own feelings, whether you would think it an comfortably, and be very happy in so charming agreeable business to apply to a magistrie, in a situation.”
order to induce him to oblige your neighbours to “ I wonder,” replied the woman, “how peo grant you an alms, and afford you that support ple, who know nothing of the world, can imbibe which they seldom grant willingly, and often not such romantic notions. What is situation to us? || without compulsion; and yet such, in all proIt is a livelihood we want, we have something bability, must be our lot in old age, if our lives else to think of than pleasant situation.”
be prolonged to that period. If we be called from “ But,” said the young lady, “ it niust be this world at an earlier time of life, our children agreeable to contemplate the beauties of nature, will be put out as parish apprentices; and even to view the distant prospects, or the waving corn now, if sickness or accident should render us in the fields opposite your doors."
unable to support them, that will be the case; “ Of what use," said the woman,
" is the and instead of seeing their tender years employed prospect of corn fields at our doors, if we want in acquiring such education as might hereafter bread in the house? You fine folks, who come be useful, we must have the morification of hither for a pleasant ramble, little know how seeing theni spent in ignorance and drudgery. hardly poor people live, who must gain a live Put all those circumstances together, and inen Jihood in the country by their own endeavours." judge whether the happiness of us rural swains,
The woman's husband then took upon him as you are pleased to call us, be enviable, or our self to decide the matter, by an appeal to Made prospects such as can afford pleasure." moiselle de Clairville's understanding and senti The gently swelling hills, which arose at the ments.
distance of a few miles from the hamlet, afforded “ You seem,” said he, “through want of pasture for numerous flocks of sheep, which experience or reflection, to have adopted very were constantly attended by their respective wrong notions. We work hard, we sweat and l shepherds. One day the young M. de Clairville toil from morning till night, and seldom have an proposed to his sister a ramble
the sheephour that we can call our own; and with all this walks. “ We shall see there,” said he, “a spe. we are hard enough put to it to earn a poor living | cimen of the pastoral life, which we have yet in time of health; and if sickness come upon us, only imperfectly observed." The young lady was we must be miserable indeed. In that case, thcre charmed at the proposal; “I will,” she rewould be nothing for us but parish allowance for turned, gladly accompany you thither, and our support, which would be but small, and
shall contemplate with rapture that delighiful
state of life which has so often been held up as a “ I am,” returned the shepherd, perfectly pattern of human felicity.”
resigned to the will of Providence, and therefore One pleasant morning they set out at an early coniented with my situation; but I cannot think hour, being resolved to spend the whole day it an agreeable one, nor can it, upon a fair estiamong the shepherds; and M. and Mad. de mate, be considered as a state of comfort and Clairville, together with M. de Palaise, joined in pleasure. Can you suppose that comfort cons the party. At every step they were charmed with sists in living sequestered from all human society, the melodious singing of the lark, the delightful | where we seldom enjoy any other company than serenity of the air, and the beautiful landscapes | that of our Hocks, or hear any other langnage which the intermixiure of hills and dales, corn than the bleating of sheep? We reinain fields and meadows, diversified and embellished from the rising to the setting sun, exposed to with the most enchanting variety. On ascend the summer's heat, and the winter's cold: our ing the hills, they were surprised and enraptured wages are small, and our living is poor. Do at a view of the extensive prospects displayed all you call these things the coustituents of hapa around, which were bounded only by the horizon, || piness ?” and terminated in the confusion of the distant
They soon perceived they were conversing “ Surely,” said Mademoiselle de Clair
with a man very superior in knowledge to the vills, as they approached the shepherds, these rest of the shepherds, acd who seemed by the men enjoy all that can render life desirable, and style of his conversation to possess a more enall that nature, in the profusion of her bounties, lightened mind than most of the country people can beslow. Here, undoubtedly, we shall find they had hitherto met with. To him, therefore, t'ie originals from which pastoral poets have they directed their chief attention. He appeared copied their paintings. Here, at last, we shall to be not less communicative than intelligent, contemplate a state of leisure, tranquillity, con which induced them to consider him as a person tentment, and uninterrupted happiness."
well qualified to give them a just and impartial Arived among the shepherds, they accosted view of the pleasures and inconveniences of that them, and were stared at with an air of stupid state of life in which he was placed.
“ We have taken the liberty,” said The shepherd conducted them to his hut, and the elder Clairville,“ to come hither to witness kindly invited them to partake of his homely your happy state of life.”
fare, which, indeed, was not much calculated “ Happy!” cried one of them with a vulgar to impress on their minds a very high opinion of sneer, “ I wonder how such a fancy ever came their condition. They tasted, however, through into your head!"
complaisance, and then invited him to dine with “ I wish,” said one surly fellow, “
them on the provisions which they had brought much of this kind of happiness as I have had, I to regale themselves during their excursion.think you would have liad enough of it.”- || Mutual civilities were produc:ive of greater Another said, “ you fine gentiemen and ladies | familiarity; and at length, at the request of his should not come on such a day as this, if you wish | guests, he favoured them with some particulars to know how we shepherds get our living; you of his past life. should come on a cold stormy day, and then you “ My father,” said he, was a wealthy would see that we earn our bread in rain as well | farmer, at a village a few miles hence. He had as in sunshine, and are as often wet and cold as (wo sons, of whom I was the youngest, and four dry and warm.”
daughters. One of the latter died young, and They held, for some time, a desultory conversa thus escaped the inconveniences and hardships of tion with those pastoral rustics, and perceived a troublesome world. Another married my fathem to be extremely stupid and ignorant, and ther's servant. He was a well-looking man, and very little satisfied with their condition. At last,
a good hand at country business; but his circumone of them, who had not yet joined in the con
stances were low, and my father being adverse to versation, came up and accosted the strangers in The match, would not give him any portion.a mwner that evinced a better education, and He wrought hard, however, as a labourer, and more knowledge of the world than the others they lived tolerably well till he happened to be possessed.
killed by an accident. He left my sister with “ You have, gentlemen, I perceive," said he, six small children, who must have been put out “ drawn your ideas of a pastoral life from books; 1 parish apprentices, as soon as they were of a fit but you must allow that they who have derived age, had not my father contributed liberally ti. theirs from experience, are more worthy ofwards their support. My iwo other sisters marcredit."
ried farmers; and although their farms are higlie “ You then,” said M. de Clairville,“ do not rented, yet, with great care and hard labour, they think your condition completely happy." contrive to get a decent livelihood. My father's
you had as
intention was, that my brother should succeed him in the farm, and as I gave some indications of genius, and manifested a strong propensity to learning, I was kept at school till I had made some progress in classical literature. My brother dying, my father took me from school, as lie de. signed to leave me in the occupation of the farm, which he thought would be more beneficial than any thing else I could apply myself to. Some years afterwards I married, took iny wife into the house, and we all made che family. My mother was old and my wife was young: the former thought the latter dressed too gay, and wrought too little; and this produced continual altcrcations between them. My mother marle frequent complaints :o my father, as my wife did to ine; and I must confess, that among them I had not a very agreeable time.
“ Both my parents happening to die within a short time of each other, I was left in the entire occupation of the farm. But being obliged to pay two hundred and fifty pounds to each of my three sisters, which was left to them by my father's will, and being dis:itute of ready money to answer those demands, my wife and I adopted a plan of the most rigid economy, hoping that as the farm was well stocked, and in an excellent state of cultivation, that we should by this means be soon enabled io clear off this incumbrance We rose early, and went to rest late; and endeavoured, by labouring hard ourselves, to lessen the number of our servants, and consequently diminish our expences. During some time our exertions were attended with success; but in this world nothing is certain. Our landlord having maile an advantageous purchase in another part of the country, sold the estate which he possessed in our villige. It was purchased by a person who took the whole into his own hands, by which, both I and my next neighbour were in con equence discharged from our farms. We could not fall in for others that were likely to allow us to live; for you must know that farms are very difficult to procure, unless a person possess a property suficiently great to enable him to take a large concern."
“But,” interupted Mademoiselle de Clairville, “ did you not think it extremely hard to be turned out of your farin, when you had always been punctual in the payment of your rent?”
“I did not sec,"returned the shepherd, “thai I had any riglit to complain I do not estimate things in an interested, but in an impartial manner. The person who purchased the land had an indisputable right to occupy it if he pleased ; and I could not conscientiously think myself injured. I considered the matter, therefore, as one of these common disappointments which arc incident to every coudition of life."
“I perfectly comprehend your reasoning," said !he young lady," and approve your liberality of sentiment.”
“ When I had sold off my stuck of cattle, of corn, and my farming utensils," continued the shepherd, “and paid the legacies to my sisters, my remainmg property amounted 10 no very great sum, and I could not easily resolve upon a plan for the future support of my family. This is frequently the case, when a person in business, either commercial or agricultural, is thrown out of his accustomed track. His connections with the active world are then dissolved, and new ones must be former. His channels of acquisition are stopped, and new ones must be explored and opened ; and this, to a person whose means are limited, and whose efforts are checked hy ile narrowness of his circumstances, is generaily a difficult, and often a hazardous enterprise. Had I remained in the situation in which I was fixed, my pecuniary circumstances were fully adequate to the management of iny business; but I found them but swall when I was launched into the world of speculation. After many searchies and inquiries, however, I met with a small farm. It was highly rented, but, I believe, that with a great deal of labour and care, I could have made a living, had I not been so friendly, or r.ther so foolish, as to enter into a bund for my wife's brother, in order to save him from becoming a bankrupt. This event, however, took place in spite of my efforts to prevent it; he was more involved than I had imagined, and I was implicated in his fortune, and reduced to beggary.
“ I had now no resource left but daily labour. Both I and my wife, however, were suill in the vigorous age of life, and by our united endeavours we made a shift to provide fur our family. In this situation we remained twenty years, and had six children, whoin we supported and brought up with sweat and toil, till old age began io make its appearance, and I began to feel my strength inadequate to the labour and hardships I had cheerfully undergone while in the bloom of life.”
“ But," interrupted Madame de Clairville,
you ought not, in your declining years, to have wrought so hard as you did while in the vigour of your age; and I should not have supposed that any master could be so unreasonajle as to expect or desire it.”
My dear Madame,” replied the shepherd, you are too liille acquainied with the country to know the hardships suffered by the lower class of the people, or the manner in which agricul. ture is carried on. No farmer will employ a labourer unless he finds hin capable of perform ing a sufficient day's work; or if he does, he will scarcely allow him wages envugh to keep hilu
from starving. You may, perhaps, think this “I am,” said M. de Clairville the next mornsomewhat hard, but you must consider the ex ing to his children, “ inclined io imagine that pences of managing a farm are great, and the your chimerical ideas of life are considerably alsuccess hazardous; and how could a farmer piy tered, and reduced much nearer to the standard rent and wages if he did not take care ihat his of reason and reality. Your own observations work is got well forwarded? Thus you may see
have now dissipated the ideal scenes which danced that one thing presses upon another, and keeps before ynur eyes, and experience has taught you the whole system of working a farm continually that imagination may form pictures which have upon the stretch. Besides this, in the business 110 originals in nature.” of husbandry, many kinds of work must be car “I believe, indeed," said the younger Clairried on by a number of hands acting in concert, ville, “ that iny sis:er and I shall return to town and if any one be unable to perform his pari, his much less prejudiceu in favour of a country life deficiency is a hindrance to the rest, and retards than we were at leaving it; and that our excuro the whole operation. I have many times, in sion will have taught us to ground our notions on such cases, been obliged to work among rnen reason and experience, and not on the vagaries of much younger, and consequently stronger and the imagination.” more active than myself, and after straining every “ For my own part,” answered Mademoiselle nerve, found myself totally inadequate to the task. de Clairville, “ I am now convinced that the The experience of this induced me to undertake peasantry enjoy none of that superlative happiness the employment of a shepherd, which, although which I had imagined." it be a languid scene of dull uniformity, requires “ You have now," said M. de Palaise, “graa less degree of bodily exertion than many other tified your curiosity, satisfied your enquiries, and branches of rural employment; it is only a poor
rectifierl your notions; you have tried your preoccupation, but it furnishes the means of sup possessions by the touchstone of experience, you porting life, and I am too far advanced in years
have discovered the difference between speculitto undertake any other."
tive prejudices and experimental knowledge.” “And yet," said Madame de Clairville, “ this “but permit me, Sir, to ask this question, is the life of which the poets have delineated said Mademoiselle de Clairville, “ do the writers such enchanting pictures, and which morul who delineate such fascinating pictures, suppose writers have so often described as a scene of tran themselves that the originals exist ? does thc enquillity and happiness."
thusiasm of imagination overpower the operation “ These poets and moralists,” replied the of reason so far as to make them believe the shepherd, “ if they had consulted experience, || cxistence of the scenes and manners they deand not romantic speculation, would have ex scribe?" hibited very different representations; and I take "Nothing of the kind,” replied M. de Palaise, the liberty to assure you, that I have now toiled " they are no more than mere embellishments of tou long to atiach any importance to the vag ries composirion, calculated to entertain and delight of fancy; and they describe the innocence, the the imagination, not to inform the understanding virtue, and the happiness of rural nymphs and or direct the judgment. l'astoral poets well know swains, in the same spirit of agreeable fic:ion as that the greatest part of their brilliant scenery they invoke Apollo and the nuses, or occasionally has, like the divinities of Paganism, no other introduce the other gods and goddesses of the exisience than in their own fancy.” Pugan mythology.''
The youthful observers retumed to the capital The Clairvilles were highly gratified and en wholly cured of the romantic notions which had tertained with the well-related story and sagacious led them to quit it; and in perambulating its sellections of this philosophical and eloquent crowded streets, found a pleasure which seemed sliepherd, they listened with autention and in- | altogether new. They visited ihe different places terest to the plain and simple history of rustic of amusement; the active and animated aplite. They made the shepherd a handsome pre pearance of the scene around them had an exhi. sent, and selurned to their lodgings enjoying the liraling effect on their spirit; they seemed to pleasure of a charming evening, indulging them lave emerged from the obscuriig of solitude into selves in making remarks and reflections on the the broad sunshine of life, and were experimeni. occurrences of the day, and highly satisfied with | tally convinced that variety gives a relish to pleatheir agreeable excursion.
sure:, and charms to existence.