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forehead of the dying man, helped to far more that is profoundlyphilosophical. place him again on the couch. She put Its theory is that man is born good, and her hands within his, he clasped them is corrupted by civilization. In the firmly; the warmth of affection was lin." Savoyard Profession," and the “ Letgering in them still, and then, leaning ters from the Mountain,” there is the his face forward towards her bosom, he fatal infidelity displayed, but never made died.
loathsome by those horrible phrases It was long believed, and there are with which Voltaire sometimes degraded many who still credit the story, that his pen. It is, however, in the “NouRousseau put poison into his coffee, or velle Heloise,” that we find the secret of shot himself with a pistol. The evi- the immense popularity of Rousseau in dence on both sides is voluminous, and France. Its passion, its tenderness, its minute. I cannot analyze it now; but dreamy grace, its emotion, its rich paintI think his death was not by suicide ; ing of the action of love, its sweet dic. and it is, perhaps, unjust to disbelieve tion, and the softness and beauty of Therese, his wife, when, before God and Julie, render it one of the most brilliant man, she declares that Rousseau died and seductive visions of romance that in her arms, of a natural malady. With ever the fancy conceived. The “Con. this the principal testimonies concur. trat Social" is of quite another order,
After Rousseau's death a great coinage and is filled with political wisdom, the of libels took place, which continued maxims of which are gradually permelong to circulate, as if the offences he ating through the mass of the intellidid commit were not sufficient to degrade gent people of France. There, indeed. bis memory. From the ink-pot of a the justice and the honour accorded to scribe, skulking under the anonymous men, and to works such as Rousseau's, in the Drapeau Blanc, to the lips of and the “ Contrat Social” is far greater Napoleon himself, all the sources of than in England. “They manage these falsehood were opened to pour out vitu- things better in France," says Mr. St. peration upon the philosopher of Geneva. John in his delightful " Isis,” “where But France, in the fervour of her re- Corneille, and Racine, Montesquieu, volution, did justice to his name. He Voltaire, and Jean Jacques Rousseau, was decreed a statue, and his statue was monopolize a far larger amount of the decreed a crown. Therese was accorded feeling and admiration of the country a pension from the State; and the nation, than all the kings since Pepin. Turenne, by reading and applauding the works of Condé, Vendome, and Catinat, are faRousseau, gave him, in this honouring miliar only to the historical student, voice, the most splendid tribute that but the author of the Contrat Social' their gratitude could bestow, or thathis lives in the very heart of the people: genius could receive:
his fame constantly expanding with. The proof and echo of all human fame,
their expanding intelligence. Who, A people's loud acclaim.
therefore, would not rather have been Rousseau was first buried in the Isle
Jean Jacques Rousseau than Sesostris,
or Rameses, or whatever else the learned of Poplars, at Ermonville. There on his empty tomb may still be read the please to call him ?" inscription, which was at once his motto in the actions of his life, is a strange
The character of this man, exhibited and his epitaph:
study for the theorist on human nature. Vitam impendere vero.
His was an irregular, convulsive career; But in October, 1794, his remains were his was a vast, but wild and mystic removed, to be deposited in the vaults genius; his was a fate partly the most of the Pantheon, where they now lie happy, and partly the most miserable near those of Voltaire. On the stone that can be imagined. He had vices, is inscribed :
and the most secret of his vices he him
self made known; but he possessed also Ici repose l'homme de la nature et de la verité.
virtues, not unworthy of an heroic age. Of the works of Rousseau no critical Simple and frugal, his intellectual amdescription can now be attempted. The bition aspired out of sight of the meaner “Essay on Inequality” is a brilliant appetites of man. While his works picture of a state of society which never were enriching the libraries of Europe, could have existed. There is much that he drank water at one repast that he is equally visionary in the “Emile," but I might be able to have a little unmingled
wine with another. Ardent and irascible The genius of Rousseau, however, is by nature, he was neither jealous of his that which has made his apotheosis, friends nor vindictive to his enemies. It was rare, commanding, enormous. Voltaire wronged him and never made It grasped and penetrated the most amends, but he did justice to Voltaire. portentous problems of philosophy; it
He could hate him," says a French inspired and excited a whole people; it biographer, without insulting him.” made itself felt through Europe ; and it His health was usually equal, though left a response to the inquiries of every weak, and while abhorring the idea of future age. So vast was its range ; so a physician, he often imagined himself varied were the objects of its compreill. The toil of the pen was irksome to hension ; so luminous was the atmosone who loved so much to be breathing phere it created for itself, that the profreedom on the mountains, to be pulling foundest minds, and minds the most flowers in the vales, to be musing poeti- humble, found in its works something cally in the woods. Spots that were to remember and to admire. There beautiful he never ceased to remember, never was a writer more eloquent in his and hours that were happy his fancy pleas for the liberty of man; there never dwelt on, as though they were to him was one more dangerous to the false & fountain of perpetual joy. Yet he and corrupted system which, by the also lingered over every melancholy aid of a confederate imposture, loaded souvenir, until the tone of his mind was the people of France. Daring always, sad, and he complained continually of and sometimes reckless, Rousseau feared the solitude of desolation.
no opinions; but formed his own, and Politically, Rousseau was the oracle expressed them whatever they were. of hope to an abased and harassed land; Especially did he aim at refuting the religiously, he was the foe, the dignified old lies which knit together the gradaand respectful foe, but still the foe, of|tions of French society, instead of harChristianity; morally, he was his own monizing them by a beautiful assimilavictim, and a problem to all other men. tion into a proportioned and perfect Intellectually, he was the most splendid whole. Full of enthusiasm and of elogenius of the century. The writing of quence, he coloured his declamation the ! Confessions can never be too with the most brilliant fancies; and much regretted. Pity it is that Rous- wrought his reasoning into the most seau did not bury with himself the re- persuasive forms. A familiar pathos, a cord of crimes that otherwise need never melancholy at once passionate and egohave been revealed. The lesson they tistical, a sympathy with nature apconvey is not worth the harm that one proaching to Pagan adoration, enriched page of the grosser parts must cause in those fluent effusions of lyrical prose the incautious reader's mind. Purified which were then a marvel and are now of these wretched episodes, they might a glory to the literature of France. No have remained a romantic and historical feeling mind ever dwelt without emotreasure of the times in which their author tion on those passionate fragments lived, but, as it is, the truth cannot be which embalm the griefs he endured, concealed that their influence is viti- and the deep agony of sorrow and reáting on the morality, literature, and morse which perpetually came like the sentiments of the country. They are, phantom of Nemesis to darken his solinevertheless, for candour and simplicity, tude and to break his sleep. His elosuperior to all other writings of the quence was at once poured forth, as if kind. The Confessions of Montaigne from inspiration, and polished with an are neither so fresh, so faithful, nor so art the most delicate and pure. The interesting Those of Chateaubriand pomp of Bossuet's diction, the glossy have all the egotism, without the genius bloom, if we may so speak, of Racine's, which gives à grace even to egotism the glittering staccatoes of style by itself. Evelyn's are equally honest, which some of the livelier writers of though they have nothing disgraceful that country played with the resources to reveal, but they are bald and feeble; of their mother tongue, are wanting in while Pepys, with all his frankness, all the works of Rousseau; but for the his vanity, and all his cunning, was easy, full, pure expression of elevated nothing but a truckling impostor, parti and beautiful ideas, the embodiment of çipating in the grossness of a vulgar the feelings in their own best language age
which is that of pastoral simplicity; the
shadowing forth of philosophy in clear despise some of his acts, while we pity and majestic eloquence, he remains un- his unhappiness, let us remember that rivalled among the ornaments of letters while he lived he suffered misery enough in a distinguished age. He was great, to atone for the offences of a man far and he was partly good, and if we must worse than he.
AMONG the many lady writers of the a rustic seat she had chosen amid the present century, few have higher claims houghs of an old apple tree. She was upon our gratitude and regard than a rapid reader, and her fine memory FELICIA HEMANS. The hearts and homes easily retained whole pages of poetry of merry England” have often been after having only ouce read them over. charmed by the music of her plaintive Her juvenile studies were superintended melodies, sublimated by their lofty moral by her mother-a noble-minded woman tone, ennobled and refined by their of high intelligence, and sweet simplie gentle teachings of faith, and of love; city of character, and of a calm cheerful and their holy aspirations after all that temperament-in every way admirably is beautiful and true. The poetry of adapted for the guidance of a spirit so Mrs. Hemans may not possess the in- bright and beautiful, so exquisitely sen: tellectuality, the massive power, the deep sitive as that of the young Felicia: And earnestness, the beauty, which distin- in after years when the wreath of fame guish that of Mrs. Barrett Browning; encircled the fair brows of the poetess, nevertheless it is full of sweetness and she turned from the world's praises to gentleness, and of a soft, subdued en- the soft glance of those beloved eyes, thusiasm, breathing, moreover, through- and felt that her best reward still lay in out such a trusting and affectionate the glad, approving smile of the dear spirit, that it must ever find a welcome face that on her childhood shone." and a rest in all true, loving hearts. When about eleven years of age, she
Felicia Dorothea Browne was the spent a winter in London with her daughter of an eminent merchant of parents; and the following year repeated Liverpool. She was the fifth of seven the visit--and this was the last time of children, and born on the 25th of Sep- her sojourn in the great metropolis. tember, 1793. While she was still very The contrast between the confinement young, her father suffered a reverse of of a town life, and the bright, happy fortune, and consequently left Liverpool freedom of the country, was by no means with his family, to reside in Wales. pleasing to her. She longed most ear: Here, in the deep seclusion of a romantic nestly to return to her romantic home country, in a fine old mansion at among the mountains of Wales; and Gwrych, in Denbighshire, Felicia Browne again to join in the merry sports of her spent many happy years of childhood. younger brothers and sisters. We can The wild fardistant murmurs of the well imagine how distasteful the noise “solemn sea,” with its teachings of the and hurry of London life, the crowded grand and the infinite, the soft, unde- streets, the cloudy atmosphere, would finable whisperings of the free, green prove to the fair child of the bill and woodland, the song of birds, the fall of the forest; how she would miss the sweet waters, the changeful skies, and all the music of nature, the rich melody of endless variety of mountain scenery, early birds, the mountain echoes, the woodinspired her with an intense love and land murmurs; but most of all the sincerest reverence for nature, that silent, fresh, pure air, and the clear, bright, but ever true, and noble educator of open skies. Many things, however, she the poet's soul. She was early distin- saw during these London visits, which guished by mental precocity. At six ever remained most vividly impressed years of age Shakspere was the com- upon her remembrance. Collections of panion of her solitude; and many a art were objects of her especial interest. pleasant hour she passed in sweet com- On entering a hall of sculptures she munion with the lofty spirits of old, in exclaimed, " Oh, hush!--don't speak;" well knowing that the spirit of the place were especial favourites. And well can was silence. Felicia Browne was not we imagine the strange, entranced awe, more than fourteen years old when her with which she would listen to the deep first volume of poems was published, in impressiveness of the cathedral service the form of a quarto volume. It was with its thrilling accompaniments; very severely criticised, and although, when the depth profound of the solemn fano reat first, the young poetess felt much echoed sacred story, depressed, she soon recovered from the And one sweet voice heard lone and clear, called
on the Lord of Glory! effects of this harsh judgment, and again poured forth her melodies in Strange and mysterious is the power of strains more rich and varied than be. music when heard in some fair Gothic fore. One of her brothers was then minster, with the fading light of eve serving in Spain, under Sir John Moore, falling through the stained windows and of course her enthusiasm was en with no step to disturb the shadowy listed on his behalf, and visions of mili- aisles, and the white immortal statues tary glory, and scenes of martial he standing out dim in the twilight. Then roism became at this time the sources indeed we seem to be near the spiritof her poetic inspiration.
land. The glory streams through the The commencement of her acquaint- golden gates, we half see the flashing of ance with Captain Hemans dates from the star-gemmed diadems, for truly and about this period. On his first intro- indeed we hear the angel voices. But duction to the family at Gwrych, Felicia it is too much. The spirit faints beneath was a lovely girl of fifteen—with rich the weight of too divine a joy, and as golden ringlets shading a fair face of the caged bird beats vainly against her radiant and changeful expression. She prison-bars, such in that intoxicating was a dream of delight, a vision of moment are the soul's wild efforts to beauty, a creature all poetry, romance, attain the real, the infinite, the true. and enthusiasm, in the first bright
In after years there were times when flush of the sunshine of life, and as Mrs. Hemans found music too painfully such she was eminently calculated to exciting, and the voice of her heart reinspire sentiments of admiration, of de- echoed to the exclamation of Jean votion, and of love. Captain Hemans Paul's immortal old man ;-“Away! pleaded eloquently, and received in re. away! Thou speakest of things which turn the first affection, deep, and sincere, throughout my endless life I have found of that warm young heart. Her friends not, and shall not find !" trusted this might be only a fleeting
About this time Felicia Browne en. fancy, but it proved on the contrary å joyed much pleasant intercourse with constant one, although Captain Hemans some friends at Conway; and the beauwas immediately ordered to embark with tiful scenery by which she was surhis regiment for Spain, and Felicia did rounded, was a fount of constant and not see him again for three years.
never failing inspiration. Here she beMr. Browne removed witń his family came acquainted with Mr. Edwards, the to Bronwylfa, near St. Asaph's, Flint. blind harper of Conway, to whom she shire, in 1809. Here our poetess
addressed some spirited stanzas :entered upon new studies with her ac
Minstrel, whose gifted hand can bring, customed ardour. She read Spanish
Life, rapture, soul from every string; and Portuguese, and commenced the
And wake, like bards of former time,
The spirit of the harp sublime; study of German, although it was long Oh! still prolong the varying strain, years after this before she drank in Oh! touch th' enchanted chords again. the spirit of the latter language with Thine is the charm, suspending care, thorough appreciative enjoyment. She The heavenly swell, the dying close,
The cadence melting into air, possessed some taste for drawing, and That lulls each passion to repose; had a decided talent for music, which While transport lost in silence near, ever powerfully influenced her highly
Breathes all her language in a tear. susceptible mind. The strains she pre- In 1812 appeared the “Domestic ferred were chiefly of a pensive charac- Affections, and other Poems," and durter. The simplest national melodies ing the same year the marriage of the had a charm for her—the wild airs of poetess with Captain Hemans took place. Ireland and of Wales, the pathetic bal. They went to reside at Daventry for a lad lays of Scotland, and the melan-year, where their eldest son was born. choly, but chivalrous songs of Spain Mrs. Hemans regretted bitterly the
change of residence from the mountain the best poem on the “Meeting of land to so flat and uninteresting a Wallace and Bruce on the banks of country; and with exceeding delight the Carron.” The prize being awarded she returned to Bronwylfa with her to her was a pleasing surprise to Mrs. husband the following year. Here she Hemans, as she had not the slightest resided with her mother until the death expectation of obtaining it, for the numof that true and devoted friend. Her ber of competitors was perfectly overfather sometime previously had again whelming. In the spring of 1820 she engaged in commerce, and emigrated to was introduced to Bishop (then Mr.) Quebec where he died. Mrs. Hemans' Heber, whose eminent literary taste residence at Bronwylfa was passed in proved of material service to her in the the strictest retirement, and entire con- course of her poetical career. secration to study and the requirements Mrs. Hemans was employed at that of her family. She had five sons, and time upon a poem, entitled, “Superstiher attention was necessarily directed tion and Revelation,” which was in. towards their education. In 1818 she tended to comprehend a great variety of published a collection of translations, subjects. Everything relative to the and afterwards in rapid succession, graceful and sportive fictions of ancient "The Restoration of the Works of Art Greece and Italy; the ruder beliefs of to Italy," “Modern Greece,” “Tales uncultivated climes; the Hindoo rites; and Historic Scenes.” It was about the worship of the sun, moon, and stars, this period that Captain Hemans re-was to be laid under contribution; but moved to Rome, to try the restorative of this extensive plan only a frageffects of the warm climate of the South mentary portion was ever completed. upon his health, which had become im- This poem is alluded to in the following paired by the vicissitudes of a soldier's extract from a letter on the commencelife. He made Rome his permanentment of Mrs. Heman's acquaintance abode, and Mrs. Hemans never saw him with Heber: “I am more delighted with again. To quote the words of her Mr. Heber than I can possibly tell you; sister : “It has been alleged, and with his conversation is quite rich with anecperfect truth, that the literary pursuits dote, and every subject on which he of Mrs. Hemans, and the education of speaks had been, you would imagine, her children, made it more eligible for the sole study of his life. In short his her to remain under the maternal roof society has made much the same sort than to accompany her husband to of impression on my mind that the Italy. It is, however, unfortunately first perusal of ‘Ivanhoe' did; and but too well known that such were not was something so perfectly new to me the only reasons which led to this that I can hardly talk of anything else. divided course.
To dwell on this sub- I had a very long conversation with ject would be unnecessarily painful, yet him on the subject of the poem, which it must be stated that nothing like he read aloud and commented upon as a permanent separation was contem- he proceeded. His manner was so enplated at the time, nor did it ever tirely that of a friend, that I felt peramount to more than a tacit conven- fectly at ease, and did not hesitate to tional arrangement, which offered no express all my own ideas and opinions obstacle to the frequent interchange of on the subject, even where they did not letters, nor to a constant reference to exactly coincide with his own." their father in all things 'relating to the In the autumn of 1820 Mrs. Hemans disposal of her boys. But years rolled paid a visit to the family circle of Henry on, seventeen years of absence, and con- Park, Esq., Wavertree Lodge, near Liversequently alienation, and from that time pool. Here she writes: "I cannot tell to the hour of her death Mrs. Hemans you how much I have enjoyed the and her husband never met again.” novelty of all the objects around me.
The increasing popularity of her writ- The pastoral seclusion and tranquillity ings brought her many new friends, of the life I have led for the last seven among whom none more valued than or eight years had left my mind in that Dr. Luxmore, bishop of St. Asaph’s. state of blissful ignorance, particularly He took great interest in her poem “The calculated to render every new impres. Sceptic," which made its appearance in sion an agreeable one; and accordingly 1820. Just before this publication she Mr. Kean, casts from the Elgin marbles, obtained the prize of fifty pounds for and the tropical plants in the Botanic