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THE REPRESENTATIONS OF LIFE,
CONTAINED IN WORKS OF FICTION:
NOT TO BE CONSIDERED AS HAVING ANY EXISTENCE IN NATURE.
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“What I am now going to add," continued who comes within the reach of its infected breath, M. de Palaise, “ is equally applicable to both which aggravates criminality by the addition of
We had been remarking the universal | ficticious circumstances, or supposes its existence prevalence and irresistible power of curiosity, and || although destitute of proof?” the importance which trifles acquire when valu “ The means which you appear to think able subjects of investigation are wanting. You adapted to this desirable end,” returned M. de must have observed, that even in large cities, Palaise, “ are certainly those which alone can society is formed into different circles, whichi, like prove effectual. From the observations already country villages, have their particular topics of made, you will, however, perceive that there are conversation. The trifling incidents which hap- | other means of a subordinate nature, the use of pen among them excite the spirit of inquiry for which might be extremely conducive to the eraa moment, and furnish tempor ry subjects of dication of this moral contagion, which makes discussion. These, however, are soon forgotten | such havoc in society. The love of scandal amidst the multiplicity of occurrences which are always prevails in the circles of ignorance and of a more important nature, and more forcibly frivolity, and diminishes in proportion to the culattract the public attention. In a large and tivation of the intellect. To extinguish this crowded inetropolis, a variety of interesting ob- spirit of malignity, it is, therefore, necessary to jects and incidents successfully excile and gratify || cultivate a taste för reading, in order to furnislı curiosity, give expansion to the mind, and ani the mind with a variety of ideas, and multiply mation to the discourse.
the means of acquiring useful information, which “ In small places the case is different; where would supply a fund of entertainment more society is on a more contracted scale, and the congenial to its sublime nature, and more insphere of observation confined within narrower teresting than that of hearing and relating the limits, a paucity of ideas must be expected anecdotes of human depravity. In spite of the Where the subjects of observation and reflection benevolent spirit of Christianily, and the fulmiare few and trivial, the topics of discourse are the nations of its preachers, the demon of destrucsame. The general attention is eagerly turned tion still rears its head in almost every neighbourto insignificant objects; the mind is engaged in hood, and will never be banished from society frivolous inquiries, and satisfied with unimportant while active curiosity is united to sterility of ininformation. It may always be observed, that tellect. Topics of discourse must be found, and when the mind is accustomed to amuse itself the want of useful knowledge will generally be with trifles, and to confine its researches and supplied by the reports of scandal, and the tarile reflections within a contracted circle, it seldom
of the day. directs its attention or inquiries to things which “ From almost every circumstance of life, are of greater importance, but placed at a greater || however,” continued M. de Palaise, a well. distance from the usual but narrow range of its i organised mind will imbibe instruction, and even observations. In such a state of intellectual from tlie malignant activity of scandal some adsterility, trifles become interesting; and the oc vantages may be derived. It ought to put every currences in a neighbour's family, or the petty one, young persons especially, upon their guard transactions of the village, engage attention, and against every thing in their deportment that can excite the spirit of scrutiny as much as the re have the slightest appearance of a deviation from volutions of empires."
the path of moral rectitude, or be susceptible of But,” said Madame de Clairville, “is there an unfavourable construction. If, however, after no remedy for this almost universal evil, which, || all, they find themselves injured by unjust de. like a pestilential contagion, scarcely affords any famation, for detraction is not restrained by the exception from the virulence of its attacks?-- boundaries of truth, but often attacks the most Can neither the precepts of religion, nor the dic virtuous characters, conscious innocence will protates of philanthropy, check that malignity which duce tranquillity of mind, and repel the darts of delights in wounding the reputation of every one benevolence,"
The young Clairvilles were extremely pleased The beautiful appearance, however, of the hills with this dissertation; and promised to remem and vallies, of the fields covered with waving ber the important lesson which formed its con crops, the meadows enamelled with flowers, and clusion. They now began to consider that the pastures peopled with herds of cattle and they had now made all the observations they flocks of sheep, presented rich and variegated could possibly make in their present situation, scenes, which, for some time, amused the peramand thought it unnecessary 10 prolong their stay | bulators, and compensated the disappointments for the sake of making such as could no longer and dissatisfactions which they experienced in be new or interesting, or of viewing conditions of social intercourse. In process of time, however, life, or modes of society, similar to those which those rural objects, in losing their novelty, began they had already sufficiently cun'emplated, and 1o lose their charms. The variegated landscapes, with which they were heartily disgusted. They which for a while offered to the eye a constant were weary with repeated disappointments, and succession of fascinating views, began to appear surprized to find the pleasures of rural occupa less beautiful; the contemplation of fields and tions, and the charms of rural society, fall so far i meadows, of lowing herds and bleating flocks, short of the picture exhibited by pocts and mo. gave less delight; their perambulations became ralists, who had contemplated life in idea, not as less frequent, and to enjoy the pleasures of no. il exists in reality, and described its scenery from velty and variety, it was necessary to make more conjecture, and not from experience. They now distant excursions. As their eyes now began to began to neglect the society' which the place of be weary of the constant recurrence of the same their residence afforded, and amused themselves objects, their minds began to tlag through the chiesly in perambulating the fields, making daily | dull uniformity of the scene, and the want of excursions into the circumjacent country, and enlivening society, and varied conversation conversing indiscriminately as occasion offered, | They resolved, therefore, with unanimous conwith persons of every description.
sent, to return im inediately to the metropolis. In these desultory rambles they found an in As they travelled without any equipage, the describable pleasure in contemplating the beauties arrangements for their departure were soon made; of nature, and the magnificent display of her and after having taken a friendly leive of their diversified scenery, her prolific opulence, and va. neighbours, whom they lest busily employed in riegated luxuriance; but on every occasion of con- scrutinizing their reasons for making so short a versing with the peasants, of whatever degree | stay, they commenced their journey. On the they might be, they found that solicitude, care, third afternoon of it, they entered a district which and anxiety prevailed in their minds; unless appeared to them a celestial paradise. The inwhen forcibly dispelled, by incessant labour, ce sant alternation of hill and dale, lawns and which left no room for tliought; or smothered groves, diversified the scene with indescribable by stupid ignorance, which extinguished the bea'lty, and endless variety; and the different appowers of reflection. The rich variety of pro pearance of the arrangement of objects from ductions with which the face of the country was every new position as they passed along the road, covered, afforded iti occupiers no other pleasure displayed, from every point of view, a prospect than that of calculating how much money the equally novel and delightful. crops might produce, and how far that sum would Nearly in the centre of this enchanting spot, enable them to answer the demands of the land stood a commodious inn; and although it was lord, the expences of cultivation, the piyment of early in the afternoon when they reached it, the parish rates, and the urgent wants of their fami- amenity of the place determined them to remain lies. The ininds of the labouring part of the all night. They had no sooner alighied and peasantry were engrossed solely with the hopes of taken some refreshment, than they all set out on a diminution in the price of grain, or the tear of a ramable into the adjacent grounds, and wandered its advancement, and their thoughts absorbed in from field to held, and from hill to hill, at every calculating whether they should be able, out of step discovering new beaulies; and surprized, on the wages of their summer's labour, to spare l ascending each eminence, with the sudden burst enough from the expences of daily subsistence to of the most delightful prospects, and the view of purchase a little coal for the winter season, and opening landscapes, equally fascinating and una little coarse cloaching to screen themselves and expected. The harvest waving on the ground, their children from the severity of the weather. I promised the most luxuriant abundance; the The young strangers could no where discover charming serenity of the air breathed health, and any appearance of that life of philosophy, con every thing around indicated the sweets of trantemplation, and mental serenity, which they had quillity, and the exuberance of plenty. once expected to find in the midst of rural
The young people were enchanted. scenery, and agricultural occupations.
liaps,” exclaimed young Clairville,
here found the place where happiness resides, bourers' wages, and a variety of other demands, and the fascinating description, and brilliant ideas and felt the anxiety of mind which I and my of the pastoral poets are realised.”
husband often experience, from the difficulty of “ This place,” replied bis sister, “affords, at raising money for these purposes, you would least a more flattering prospect than any we have easily perceive that we had better be content with yet visited; and it is possible that what we have our old house, even if it was worse, than to have missed in our search is fallen in our way through a new one upon such conditions." accident; at least, it is expedient to decide the “ But,” said Madenoiselle de Clairville, "I point by accurate investigation. Let us, then, I shou!d think that so comfortable a house, in so remain here a few weeks."
charming a situation, might be a considerable adThe elder Clairvilles readily came into this is dition to your happiness, ar.d fully compensate proposal; but in order to avoid the bustle and the paying a little more rent." inconvenience of an inn, they hired a small apart “ You may think so," said the good woman, ment in a farm house, situated in a hamlet, con “ but if you had our cards to play you would be sisting only of two farms and five or six cottages. of a different opinion. The situazion is agrecThe hamlet was situated on an eminence, in the able enough, but folks in our circumstances think midst of beautiful fields, and surrounded at no little about such things : we have concerns of great dis!ance with gently swelling hills. The greater importance to employ our thoughts. A landscape, on every side, was variegated with the good house would certainly be a conveniency ; most beautiful scenery; the clumps of trees, in but our first care must be for a livelihood. You terspersed among the meaduws, and fields of fine folks at London don't know how we country corn, adorned the face of the country, and folks are put to it to get a living. Such as you afforded shelter to numbers of feathered song. may admire a fine situation ; but such as us have sters, whose undulating notes seemed to render | soinething else to think of than such trifles. As the air musical, while roses, violets, and jasmines soon as one payment is made, we must begin to perfumed it with fragrancy. Every thing that consider how inoney is to be procured for anowas pleasing seemned here to be collected, and ther. If you were in our circumstances, you every thing that was disagrecable to be excluded; I would think as we do, that every situation is a as if nature had formed, and choice selected, this fine one where a livelihood is to be gotten.” situation for the abode of tranquillity, content They had inany other conversations on similar ment, and happiness.
subjects; and Mademoiselle de Clairville was The house, of which they occupied a part, was soon convinced that they should here meet with old, very ill contrived, and inconvenient; and the same disappointment as they had done in although their apartments were by far the best other places ; and, notwithstanding the beauty part of the edifice, they were neither commodious
of the country, and the amenity of the situation, nor agreeable.
they should not find a realization of their ideas “ I wonder,” said Mademoiselle de Clairville of rural felicity. In effect, the strangers seldom to the inistress," that you have not a better heard, during their residence in this house, any house in so fine a situation."
other discourse in the family than scolding the “ No wonder at all," returned the woman : servants for doing too little work, or for doing it
our landlord is far advanced in years, and he ill; the master and mistress frequently asking prossesses this farm as a life estate. It is, there them, how they thought their wages were to be fore, very unlikely that he should sink his money paid, and if they expected to be kept for doing in building.”
nothing and the servants, in their turn, as “ If the gentleman be of an advanced age,” | loudly complaining against the hardness of their said the yo‘ing lady,
then, I suppose you may | labour, and the poorness of their living. console yourself with the hope triat his suć The Clairvilles soon began to enter into fami. cessor will provide you a more comfortable habi- liarity with the cottagers; and, by making tritation.”
fing presents to them and their children, gained “A new landlord,” returned the farmer's their entire confidence. They made frequent wife,
may possibly take such a fancy; but I inquiries concerning their circumstances and assure you, we look forward to the event with condition of life, and found them far from being apprehension, rather than hope; for we cannot desirable, and the people far from being saexpect to have a new house without an advance-tisfied, mert of rerit, in order to pay the interest of the money disbursed; and if you knew how hard we
(To be continuerl.) are put to it to pay the present rent, with la
No. XV. Vol. II.
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BLIOMBERIS had begun another stanza of uncovered, and immediately plunged his sword his lay, when he saw a knight approaching, who in the part up to the hilt. Brehus gave a horhad no sooner perceived our hero, than he leaped | rid scream, fell to the ground, and biting the from his horse and embraced him. Bliomveris | dust, expired. raised his eyes, and recognized Lionel. “ I was A knight, clothed in shining mail, now apon my way to the French court,” said he, “1 proached, followed by the lady Bliomberis had have a letter for you from the noble Palamede.” so nobly defended; his lance was already couch“ O Heavens !” exclaimed Bliomberis, you ed, and his visor lowered; but seeing Brehus on have then seen him.” “ I have,” replied Lionel, the ground, he dismounted to thank Bliomberis. “ he came to Gannes, thinking to find his be “ This wretch you have just killed," said the loved Arlinda : in despair at her loss, he denied | lady, “ endeavoured to insult me, because I was the king, my father, and the first blow of Pala- || alone, my knight having quitted me for a momede's lance put a period to his existence. I ment to stop before the steps of the great Merwished to avenge my parent, but was vanquished; | lin. As soon as your combat commenced Iran and Pala:nede obliged me to promise that I would to him, and that little uime sufficed to deliver deliver this letter into your own hands." England of a villain unworthy of the appella
Palamede told his son, that he had been fortion of a knight. He who stands beside me near twenty years kept a prisoner by the king of is Percival of Wales ; I am his beloved BlancheAquitaine, and thus excused himself for having fieur, and we shall never forget what we owe so long forsaken bis unhappy mother. He as
your valour." sured him of the warmth of his aff ction, and Bliomberis, delighted with the acquaintance ordered him to come immediately and join bim of so illustrious a knight as Percival, entreated at the court of king Arthur. Bliomberis, im
him to become his guide to king Arthur's court. patient to see his father, took leave of Lionel, “ I shall not easily quit you," said the Camreached the first sea-port, and embarked for Eng- | brian; you have this day acquired an eternal land.
right over my heart.” The two new frier.ds On arriving in this kingdom, he took the road embraced, and then recommenced their route. leading to the capital. As he was traversing an During their way, Bliomberis imparted the extensive forest, he perccived a knight who was motive of his journey to Percival; and asked him pursuing a lady, who appeared to exert every news of Palamede, but the latter could not saeffort to avoid him, but who was nearly within tisfy him: he had often heard of this hero, but his grasp. Bliomberis hastened forward, and had never seen him. He resolved to seek him seizing the reins of his horse, cried, “ Stop, with Bliomberis, who related to him every event whoever thou art ? the terrors of this lady informs of his life. The brave Cambrian increased in me that thou art committing an outrage, and I affection towards him, swore to be his brother wherever I am, the weakest shall find a defend in arins, and promised when the two years were er."-" What right hast thou to interfere ?” expired to accompany him to France, in order replied the savaga Brehus; “I will punish thy to rela:e his atchievements to Pharamond. Blan. temerity, and teach thee not to trouble knights | defleur, who possessed much sensibility, and when they are pursuing their fugitives.”
who took great interest in the affairs of all loWith these words Brehus raised his lance to vers, wished much to become acquainted with strike Pliomberis; but the latter parried the Felicia. Why is she not here " exclaimed blow, and with his sword reached his adversary's || she : “ we would travel all four together; and, head, and with the violence of the shock made that the journey might not end too soon, we him bow on the neck of his steed. Furious to would walk from one end of the world to the have been struck without having eyen touched other." our hero, Brehus threw away his lance, took his While she was repeating these words, they obsabre with both hands, and raising himself in his served a knight galloping furiously towards them; stirrups, returned on Bliomberis, blaspheining | his armour, covered with dust, no longer glitthe names of his titular gods. Bliumberis, who tered in the sun ; the sides of his weary horse only invoked Felicia, perceived that by this were torn with the spur, and it appeared to be action the under part of his enemy's arın was near falling to the earth with fatigue. The im
Patient knight only spurned it the more. As at a tournament, the prize of which I disdained, soon as he reached Bliomberis, he exclaimed, because my adversaries seemed unworthy to “ Hasten to dismount, and exchange your
combat with me. courser for mine; I am in a great hurry, do not “ Seated among the ladies, who were witmake me wait.” Bliomberis and Percival smi- || nessing the joust, I waited till one of the comling, looked at each other. The unknown, ir batants should vanquish all the rest, that I sitated, cried in a menacing voice, “ If my might, with one blow of my lance, rob him of words are ineffectual, my lance will be more ef his glory and his laurels ; but love also awaited ficacious; prepare to defend yourselves, and me, and I was conquered without engaging. one after the other attack me, or both together, “ The beauty of a young lady, called Celina, if you please.”
attracted my looks. I approached her-I spoke The proud Percival, sword in hand, would to her and her mildness, her grace, and her have immediately chastised the rash aggressor, modest demeanour, completely won my affecbut Bliomberis maintained that the quarrel was tion. During the three days which the tournahis, and quickly couching his lance, galloped ment lasted, I was constantly by her side; and up to the unknown, and struck him with such | I have no hesitation to declare to you, that after violence, that both knight and horse fell, and the second day, a mutual flame burned in our rolled for the space of twenty yards in the dust. breasts.
Our hero, as humane as brave, rushed to his • Celina soon instructed me respecting her assistance; but the fall had been so violent, that birth and expectations:- I am,' she said, “ the the unknown remained without motion. Bli- || daughter of the late Earl of Suffolk; I had the omberis took off bis helmet to give him air, | misfortune to lose both my parents in my in. seated him on the grass, and felt an irresistible | fancy; I am the sole heir to all their estates, interest in his recovery, which he was totally at and the law has given me for guardian a distant a loss to define. Blanchefleur seconded him in cousin, who pretends to make me his wife. the attentions he bestowed on the vanquished || This man, whom I detest, is named Brunor; knight, while the haughty Percival, who had that is he who is just now entering the lists. not yet pardoned his temerity, declared he ex He dragme every where with him; and toperienced nothing more than he deserved. morrow I shall be compelled to return with him Bliomberis, incited by a supernatural power,
to his horrid castle, where I am condemned to was using every effort to recover the vanquished pass my days with Brunor, and one of his friends knight, when a letter fell from beneath his ar called Dan.in, who never leaves him, and is mour, the superscription of which was, “ To | cqually unamiable.' Prince Clodion.”—Scarcely had be read these “This recital gave me the desire of immedia words, wheh, detesting the victory he had gained, I diately depriving Brunor of the fair Celina. I he would no more be separated from the brother instantly meditated the project of gaining admitof his beloved Felicia : he ran and fetched wa tance into the friend's castle. I entered the lists, ter in his helmet, and, assisted by Blanchefleur and defied the ferocious Brunor. Scarcely did I and Percival, at last succeeded in recorering the feel the touch of his lance, yet I let myself fall. sorrowful Clodion. He, scarcely returned to upon niy horse, pretended to have fainted from life, said, in a melancholy voice, “ Alas! this the force of his blow, and slowly recovering the unfortunate adventure has made me miss a ren use of my senses:" Sir knight," said I, in dezvous.”—“Ah! Prince,” exclaimed Bliombe- | expiring accents, “ I need help, I am a stranger, ris, “ you are supported by one of the most ar and am not known by any one in this kingdom; dent of your friends: I am ready to undertake your courage assures me of your courtesy, and every thing to repair the injury I have unknow- it is to my conqueror that I address myself, to inly done you.” Clodion thanked him; and entreat him to preserve my days.” Brunor, proud Blanchefleut inquired what could have induced of his victory, and of the confidence / placed in hiin to attack two knights from whom he had him, with dignity re-assured me, and consulting received no provocation ?
his friend Dapain, they both agreed that they Clodion turned towards her, and forgot his could not do otherwise than cause me to be care sufferings to look at her. “ I trust my impru- ried to the castle, and there await my recovery. dence,” said he, “ will, in your opinion, admit “ I was immediately placed on a litter ; the of some excuse, when you know that love was warmest attentions were lavished upon me, and the cause. Deign to hear my adventures, and Brunor, Danain, and Celina were my escorts 10 my misfortunes will interest you.” The hand the castle. During our route, my eyes were some Prince then, with some embarrassment, in almost incessantly turned on Celina; and when a weak voice, begun thus his relation :
I perceived those of Brunor on me, I uitered “ About three months ago I happened to be piercing shrieks, complaining of my bruises.