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member of the House of Peers. But his health had been destroyed by the effects of his wounds and privations, and a life of incessant fatigue and agitation, was closed by a tranquil death.
The Count de Las Cases has occupied so much of our attention in former Numbers, that we can afford him but little of it now. Of the two parts which are given to the world as the finale of his Journal, one is entirely occupied with the detail of his own movements after his expulsion from St. Helena, and the other contains but little that is new or piquant. The health of Napoleon had been much affected by the climate, and by the circumstances of his imprisonment, and he began to exhibit the first symptoms of the malady which ultimately terminated his life. His mental powers were, however, unimpaired, and he bore up with characteristic energy under the pressure of disease. He spoke of his plans with enthusiasm, and, we suspect, with much of that unconscious exaggeration with which all men are apt to review the operations of their own minds. Many of his observations are, however, mere repetitions of what had been given before ; and we really think that all the important novelty in the present livraison, might have been fairly included in a score of pages, the place for which would have been the close of the volume immediately preceding. The only passage that we feel inclined to extract, occurs in the report of a conversation, in the course of which Napoleon had expressed himself strongly in censure of Lord Castlereagh. In general, he avoided all mention of the Duke of Wellington; but, on this occasion, he spoke without reserve.
« « Lord C-is artful enough to support himself entirely on Lord W- (whom the Emperor now found was included
among the members of the English Ministry). W- has become his creature! Can it be possible that the modern Marlborough has linked himself in the train of a C- -, and yoked his victories to the turpitude of a political mountebank? It is inconceivable! Can Wendure such a thought? Has not his mind risen to a level with his success?”
• “ I have been told,” said he, “ that it is through W- that I am here; and I believe it. It is conduct well worthy of him, who, in defiance of a solemn capitulation, suffered Ney to perish ;
-Ney, with whom he had so often been engaged on the field of battle! For my own part, it is very certain I gave him a terrible quarter of an hour. This usually constitutes a claim on noble minds; his was incapable of feeling it. My fall, and the lot that might have been reserved for me, afforded him the opportunity of reaping higher glory than he has gained by all his victories. But he did not understand this. Well, at any rate he ought to be heartily grateful to old Blucher: had it not been for him, I know not where his grace might have been to-day; but I know that I at least should not have been at St. Helena. W- 's troops were admirable, but his plans were despicable; or I should rather say that he formed none at all. He had placed himself in a situation, in which it was impossible he could form any; and, by a curious chance, this very circumstance saved him. If he could have commenced a retreat, he must infallibly have been lost. He certainly remained master of the field of battle; but was his success the result of his skill? He has reaped the fruit of a brilliant victory; but did his genius prepare it for him? His glory is wholly negative. His faults were enormous. He, the European Generalissimo, in whose hands so many interests were entrusted, and having before him an enemy so prompt and daring as myself, left his forces dispersed about, and slumbered in a capital until he was surprised.”
6“ No," continued he, “ W- possesses only a special kind of talent : Berthier also had his! In this he perhaps excels. But he has no ingenuity; fortune has done more for him than he has done for her. How different from Marlborough, of whom he seems to consider himself as the rival and equal. Marlborough, while he gained battles, ruled cabinets, and guided statesmen. As for W-, he has only shewn himself capable of following the views and plans of CMadame de Stael said of him, that when out of the field of battle, he had not two ideas. The saloons of Paris, so distinguished for delicacy and correctness of taste, at once decided that Madame de Stael was in the right; and the French Plenipotentiary at Vienna confirmed that opinion. His victories, their result, and their influence, will rise in history; but his name will fall, even during his life-time.”
Las Cases. Part VII. pp. 221–224. The principal event, however, which occurs in these pages, is the arrest of the Count de Las Cases by the order of Sir Hudson Lowe, with the avowed intention of separating him from Napoleon, and sending him off the Island. About the middle of November 1816, Sir H. had deprived the Count of the services of a mulatto who had long waited upon him at Longwood. A few days after his dismission, the man contrived to visit bis old master, by passing the sentinels in the night. He volunteered to convey despatches to Europe, and Las Cases entrusted him with a letter, written on satin, to Lucien Bonaparte. Within twenty-four hours after this, the Count was arrested by the orders of Sir Hudson, and placed in confinement on a charge of clandestine correspondence founded on this circumstance. Sir Hudson expressly denied that any snare had been laid by him; but he did not explain the precise nature of the transaction. However this might be, he obtained no information of importance from the seizure and inspection of papers, and proposed to restore Las Cases to his situation at Longwood. For reasons which we are unable to comprehend, this offer was declined; and we are left to adopt one of
two inferences :--the first, that the Count was tired of restriction, and glad to obtain emancipation; the other, that he had made a previous arrangement with Napoleon, which made it expedient for him to visit Europe with as little delayas possible. If the last was his intention, it was disappointed by a long detention at the Cape of Good Hope, where he was allowed to occupy Lord Charles Somerset's country residence. At length, he sailed for Europe; and after various adventures, he appears now to be comfortably settled in his native land, preparing a new edition of his “Atlas.”
Art. III. Vestiges of Ancient Manners and Customs, discoverable in
Modern Italy and Sicily. By the Rev. John James Blunt, Fellow
can scarcely be proposed, than that which occupies the pages of the work before us. The coincidence of ancient and modern customs, is something more than a dry antiquarian topic. It enters largely into those speculations concerning human nature, which constitute the true philosophy of history, and without which, history is an amusement for an idle hour, rather than the school of experience. He who is solicitous to imbibe the real spirit of history, and to derive the most profitable lessons from the study, will attentively scrutinize, not only the broad lines of demarcation which separate the great portions of mankind, but those traits wbich are discernible in the people of the same country at the same or at different periods. To illustrate the influences of climate or locality upon national manners, it will be necessary to trace in the same people, at distant eras, those features of character, those moral lineaments which remain unchanged by the stupendous changes that conquests, invasions, and the various vicissitudes of states and empires, have wrought upon the face of the globe.
No where is this more strikingly illustrated, than in the manners and pursuits of the ancient and the modern Romans. There are vestiges, indeed, of the ancient, in the modern manners of that couutry,-many more perhaps than the learned industry of Mr. Blunt has enabled him to collect. But, although the two pictures present innumerable analogies, the contrasts are happily more numerous still. The ancient Romans, to use the philosophic words of Tacitus, were propriam ei synceram et tuntum sui similem gentem. It was a state of society to which the
history of man scarcely furnishes a parallel; a state in which, from the rankness of the moral soil, or some mysterious principle of social vegetation, all that is severe in virtue or dignified in wisdom, grew up by the side of all that is relaxed in manners, vicious in taste, or perverted in feeling the gentlest and most sacred of affections being darkened and over-shadowed by the most detestable vices. In the still more downward periods of their history, when even those contrasts ceased, and all was crime and sensuality, there arose a contrast even in their vices. At one time, we are sickened at the whining delicacy of Lesbias weeping their extinct sparrows; at another, disgusted by whole crowds of Lesbias witnessing with delight the bloody amusements of the circus, and calmly dooming the vanquished gladiator to death, by bending their delicate thumbs, the signal for his destruction. Among a people almost enslaved by sumptuary laws, a single female carried about her person, jewels equal in value to the capital of the richest jeweller in London.* Boars roasted entire for a Roman supper, present an image of savage voracity which carries the imagination to the banks of the Oronooko; while the same table exhibited dishes consisting of the brains of nightingales, and the tongues of peacocks, and a róti of singing birds, recommended to the pampered palate only by the beautyof their plumage and the melody of their song. The Roman beau, who bathed for five hours every day, and was anointed from head to foot with aromatics and unguents, had not so much as a handkerchief for his nose, while he carried suspended from his neck, a cloth for the purpose of wiping away a secretion which has no name in polished society. To a table groaning beneath massive vessels of plate, every guest brought his own napkin, into which he openly thrust a portion of the supper, to send to his family. At the most hospitable feasts of Rome, sat parasitest invited for the express purpose of repaying the liberality of the host with the grossest adulation, while they sustained at his hands indignities which only the most brutal insolence could offer, or the most stupid servility endure.
• To have imbibed the liberal and elegant arts,' remarks Horace, humanizes the manners, and prevents mankind from • being barbarians. Yet, how poor a comment upon the aphorism is to be found in the best days of Roman refinement ! Never were the elegant studies cultivated more generally. The senses and the intellect drank delight from the fairest models of art,
# Arbuthpot computes the jewels worn by Lollia Paulina at the sum of £332,916, 13s. 6d.
+ Hor. Epist. 1. i. 18.
and the sublimest products of genius. Every street, every,
house presented forms of ideal beauty, so infinitely multiplied, that the expression of Cassiodorus, who said, that the statues of the ancient city nearly equalled the numbers of its inhabitants, is scarcely an exaggeration. The lyric, the epic, the comic muse by turns ministered to enchant the soul. But, beneath this florid and gaudy bloom, lurked a moral taint of deadliest poison. Vices at which nature recoils, were not merely tolerated, but made the theme of poetry and of wit. Christianity has effected much, even among the people who have most disfigured and debased her. In no country, has it been more strongly proved, how little the refinements of a polished age are calculated to quicken the real progression of nations to happiness and virtue.
Mr. Blunt has confined his inquiries to Italy and Sicily. His dissertation would have been more complete, had he also travel led into Greece, and collected the strong resemblances of the religious rites and social habitudes that prevail among the modern inhabitants of that territory, to those which prevailed among their Grecian progenitors. The present state of that nation, and the awful conflict in which they are engaged, render the subject, at this moment, peculiarly interesting. Although we can allow ourselves to notice a few analogies only, we cannot abstain from the attempt to point out a few of the most striking correspondences between ancient and modern Greece: we should be happy if our imperfect hints should invite some scholar like Mr. Blunt to complete them by personal observation. For such a task, how well qualified was Villoison! He explored Greece and Turkey with this intent, and much are the circumstances to be lamented, which interrupted his researches. The prolegomena to his Homer contains, we believe, all that remains of his investigations.
A mythology so fanciful and splendid as that of Greece, must have had, from the very constitution of our imperfect nature, a strong hold upon its inhabitants. The exterior worship addressed itself to their ardent imaginations. The pomp of their festivals, their sacrificial processions, flattered and nourished their natural fondness for show and decoration. Every art was consecrated to the service of their divinities. The sacerdotal character, from the earliest ages, was honoured with peculiar respect and obeisance. At length the Gospel beamed upon them; but it was not long before the purity of primitive Christianity was stained by the mixture of ancient rites, and its simple truths interpolated with heathen fiction. When the political extension of the Church became the main object of its rulers, it was deemed expedient to flatter the existing prejudices of the multitude, and Christian churches were built on sites already