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Again resolved to nature, man came back,
" Yet was there one bright, virgin continent
To human eye and thought, as Uranus
'Thus guarded through long centuries, untouched
And Summer laughed beneath our verdant roof,
And when the crimson leaves were strewn in showers
Or the great Huron's lake of lazuli,
Winter upraised his rude and stormy songs,
O peace primeval! would thou hadst remained!
Of rich Granada's crafty conqueror,
When with strong wing they should have rushed upon
Our enemy, and smitten him, as when
The fleet of Xerxes on the Grecian coast
Was cast like foam and weed upon the rocks.!
'But impotent the voice of our complaint:
He came! Few were his numbers first, but soon
Close by the heaving main; then on the banks
An altar unto Mammon, and the gods
We feed ten thousand fires: in our short day
A few short years! - these valleys, greenly clad,
No more the deer shall haunt these bosky glens,
FROM THE NOTE-BOOK OF AN AMERICAN
I HAD been in Paris a week, intoxicated with the excitement of its various objects of interest and grandeur; visiting the Louvre, Notre Dame, the Luxembourg, the Opera, and the thousand and one other noted places, when my host said to me one day: Monsieur, you have seen this, you have seen that,' (and he kept account, as he proceeded from one object to another, by bending one finger after the other into the palm of his hand;) when at length he paused, eyeing me earnestly, and placing his finger aside his long, thin nose:
'Mais, (how forcible the expression!) Monsieur! VERSAILLES! ah!' And his rolling eyes found a resting-place on the ceiling, as if, engaged in act of worship, he was thanking God that this, by its enormous expense impoverishing the nation, had been the indirect means of the revolution and the liberty of France. But no such thought probably entered his mind. No; he was rather thanking God that he was a Frenchman; that he belonged to the 'Grand Nation;' that he and the Grand Palace had the same master; the feeling of a steward or valet who serves a very rich lord.
But this juxtaposition of the finger had the desired effect; and entering an omnibus then passing the door, I started for the rail-road office, where, on paying a couple of francs, I entered a car, and found myself in a few minutes whirling through a tunnel, and flying toward the birth-place of so many of the Bourbons. I arrived at my destination in the course of an hour, advancing at nearly the rate of American speed.
I could, had I space, fill these pages with a description of the broad streets and buildings of the town of Versailles, which are lost sight of in the superior attractions of the palace and its grounds. Hastening
up a broad avenue of some half mile or more in length, I stood before the principal entrance, across which passed and re-passed a couple of sentinels, as is the custom throughout France, who opposed not my entrance; but an old soldier, musketless, quickly stood before me. I paused, as if in another world. Do I trangress,' thought I, 'on superior majesty' Out came my passport.
'No, Monsieur,' said he, shaking his head, and shrugging his shoulders nearly over it; at the same time demanding, in the politest possible terms, whether he could be of any service in pointing out to me the objects of interest.
Accepting his proffered courtesy, without ado, I passed on toward the buildings, through the front court, and commenced my pilgrimage in this labyrinth; now standing in the Audience Chamber of Louis Quatorze, in which once shone the greatest scholars, artists, poets, and wits of France; (Racine stood here, and the renowned Voltaire ;) now in His Majesty's bed-chamber, and next in Her sweet Majesty's; anon in the 'Oeil de Bœuf,' and at the window where stood the Royal Family, while beneath, the women of Paris bawled 'Bread! Bread!' threatening their heads.
I passed to the chapel in which the pious king and his mistresses received absolution for their sin-sick souls, and on to the opera-house, which for one evening's entertainment is said to have required the incredible sum of twenty thousand dollars. But details of buildings and rooms are tedious. To mention even the improvements made by the present occupant of the throne, would require many pages. Suffice it to say, that should he live to carry out his present plan, (and may it be so ordered, if for this reason only,) the days of its splendor under the grand monarch will be surpassed in interest if not in general effect.
We hastened from the palace to the terrace, on the side toward the garden, from whence the view of the whole is far better than the front. It seems a city in itself. If the power of human art and ingenuity is manifested in the erection of the buildings, still more is it displayed in the laying out of the grounds. The gravelled walks, diverging in every direction; flanked by trees so nicely trimmed and compact, as to appear more like one continuous tree than many trees; the multitude of marble statues, of heroes ancient and modern; the marble vases; the profusion of vast fountains, in marble basins and jets d'eaux, with the gigantic bronze statues of sea-gods, horses, and nymphs, from which spring streams of water in every possible shape; the fantastic forms assumed by the waters in mid-air, with gorgeous rain-bows in the spray - ah! these must be seen!
There is a well-filled fish-pond, in which, if you throw a crumb of bread, a dozen or more fishes of every variety and color leap forth for the morsel. Nor must I forget the terraces, one over the other, like the hanging-gardens of old Babylon; the extensive artificial lake, on which once glided the royal family and their courtiers in gondolas ; the shelving banks, lined with verdure to the water's edge, on which reclined the contented Frenchman and his family. 'Contented' did I say? No; ill-contented Frenchman! All these boons, inseparable from monarchy, he would relinquish, so he could but cast his vote into the ballot-box. If I were a Frenchman, methinks I would rest
content, and 'let well enough alone.' If he is not wary, some fine day a rich gentleman may call that paradise his own, and close the gates upon him, leaving him to peep through the railing. How would you relish that, Monsieur Bullfrog? 'W'at you t'ink DAT, eh?' to use your own words. How the old Bourbons must have revelled here! It is almost a pity that those days may not come again. But these nobles were too stupid. Like Jeshurun's ox, they waxed fat and kicked or rather were kicked. Permit me to return to my guide, who, all the while preceding me, has told me as much as could four Englishman and two Americans in the same space of time. I soon learned his history. He was of middle age, or rather more advanced, though his activity belied it. At fifteen, he enlisted under the nation's idol, until the final catastrophe, in the capacity of trumpeter. He blew the charge of the cuirassiers at Waterloo. How vividly he described every thing connected with that eventful day! 'Here,' said he, running forward and drawing a diagram with his finger in the sand, 'here stood Napoleon, here the English: there, through the forest, came the Prussians oh, God! and then, consternation le plus grand — ah!' Such a face! The whole scene was reäcted before me, for he felt it all. • Which way did you all run after the battle?' said I. A faint smile crossed his dolorous countenance: 'Which way, Monsieur? Where else could we? To Paris. We expected a reünion a one more effort. a (his voice failed ;) but you know the rest. Pauvre Napoleon!' Pauvre Napoleon!' He turned away his face, and if I am not greatly mistaken, a movement which he made with his hand wiped away a tear.
'The English,' said I, ' did not treat him very well.'
'No, Monsieur, they did not, nor France, for whom he fought the greatest battles in the annals of the world: even she, in the hour of need, deserted him. No more, Monsieur, no more! It pains me.' He heaved a deep sigh, beat violently upon his breast, and his head dropped in despair.
I wished to try him once more, and cruelly mentioned the Prussians. Such a change as came over the spirit of his. dream! Such rage, such sacrés, never have I seen or heard: Only for one reason,' said he, do I now desire to live; and oh, may it come in my day! 'Tis that France may crush la Prusse !'
THE PROGRESS OF DEMOCRACY: ILLUSTRATED IN THE HISTORY OF GAUL AND FRANCE. By ALEXANDRE DUMAS. Translated by AN AMERICAN. In one volume, 12mo. New-York: J. AND H. G. LANGLEY.
THE author of this work possesses the same versatility of talent that has distinguished the most successful of contemporary British writers - SCOTT and BULWER; and so far as we have had opportunity of judging, we may add, that like them he excels in every thing he undertakes. His first essay in the literary world was in the dramatic line; and he produced with great rapidity a series of plays, of which it is at least safe to say that they have placed all his competitors hors du combat. Of these plays, he avows that 'Antony' is his own, as it has proved to be the public's, favorite: but in our judgment, 'Catherine Howard,' being written more on the English model, is far the best of his dramatic productions. As a novelist, Dumas has also attained high distinction, though in this department of literature his works are fewer in number than those of his contemporaries. His 'Impressions of Travel' in Switzerland, France, Egypt, etc., have proved on the whole his most popular works: they have been sold on the continent to an indefinite extent; and to such of our readers as are, as all should be, familiar with Mrs. GOULD's beautiful translation of the travels in Egypt and Arabia Petræa, we need not say that DUMAS is without a rival in sketching the scenery and the characters of the people in the countries through which he has journeyed. His auto-biographical sketch, 'Ma Jeunesse,' is one of the most spirited and graphic compositions he has ever written: indeed, the only fault that we have heard found with it, is its brevity.
Finally, as a historian, our author has displayed eminent ability, as the work now before us abundantly testifies. Of course, the historical portion of the book is a compilation rom the writings of others, as all histories of preceding ages must be; but all that is thus appropriated has been made by the author essentially his own. Certain it is, the history of Gaul and France, from the earlier period down to the accession of Philip de Valois, is to be found in this work in the most excellently abridged form, and in the most delightfully interesting style, that we remember ever to have met with.
In politics, DUMAS is of the ultra-liberal school; and at least, that fact will be a recommendation to his work in these United States. The translator, speaking on this subject, says, in a preface remarkable for its appropriateness and good taste: "The political theory of the work is original, striking, and beautifully developed: how far it is sound as to the past and prescient as to the future, the reader and Time must several y determine.' We fully coincide with the former part of this sentence, and are forced to admit that, in DUMAS' hands, history harmonizes as perfectly with his democratic theory as if it had been fore-ordained for the purpose.
Having said so much of the book as an original production, it is incumbent on us to say a word of the translation. To pronounce it well done, would be very feeble justice: it is in truth masterly, in every sense of the word. All trace of the French is lost; and