صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني

Crash comes a mast, and, with the fall it gave,
Three gallant men are swept into the wave.
In sprechless terror some are seen to stand,
Others with arms outstretch'd look to the land,
As if imploring aid—while, raving wild,
A frantic father cails upon his child.
A mother, next him, fill'd with deep alarms,
Has two sweet babies lock'd within her arms ;
The savage waves have mark'd them for their prey,
And now i he loveliest is swept away;
She, screaming, quits her hold to catch her hope,
And all three perish!_Clinging to a rope
Are half drown'd wretches seen—and now the deck
Presents the wild confusion of a wreck;
The rushing billows pour on either side,
Sweeping off all into the roaring tide.
There one with clenched hands despairing raves,
And curses Heaven, to send such winds and waves,
And he so near his home-on bended knee
Another prays in fervent agony;
While one with vacant eye seems lost in fear,
An idiot laugh is rung into his ear;
Some hurry to a boat-embracing here
Are friends about to part-while mutely there,
Fast clinging to each other, sit a pair,
A miserable pair! on her pale brow,
That lies upon her lover's bosom, now
The damps of death are gath’ring fast-while he,
As if he knew how useless it would be
To stay her flutt'ring life, does nothing more
Than gaze upon her marble face. The shore! The shore!
Some cry alond--that instant comes a shock,
The vessel headlong dashes on a rock,
And splits asunder! Nothing more is heard,
Save the wild screaming of the startled bird,
Whose rest was broken thus,-no human call
Arises from the deep,---one cry was all
That follow'd from the shock, yet, by the light
Of the pale struggling moon, from yonder height,
In the black waves below, were seen a few
Of that once stately ship's devoted crew
Contending with their fatemalas ! in vain;
For while they strive the butting rocks to gain,
The waves pursued--they dropt with those to go
Already buried in the deep below.

What, buried all! And is it come to this ?
Oh, where are now those dreams of promised bliss ?
Those fond delusive hopes ? all past and gone ?
And does there not survive a lonely one ?
A half drown'd wretch, who did not vainly strive,
Thrown on the beach escap'd,-yet scarce alive
To tell the dismal tale, and sadly bear
A husband's blessing to a widow's ear,
A friend's remembrance,-or with tears to tell
A father's dying words-a lover's last farewell ?
No! buried'all: for vale, and pleasant grove,
And smiling home, and dear domestic love,
And tender wife, and playful prattling child,
And hedge of rose, and honeysuckle wild,
Succeeds a cold damp grare-a long, long sleep
Within the lonely chambers of the deep.

T. M. K

SUPPLEMENT TO THE MEMOIR or NAPOLEON BUONAPARTE. Compiled from the Journal of the Emperor Napoleon at St. Helena, by Count

Las Cases, 4 Vols. Svo. 1823,

In noticing this work in our saying that if only two persons were last number we candidly discussed to accompany him to St. Helena those two great questions, which he, the said Count, should be one of must ultimately serve as tests of them. Again, the same index refers soundness of all those parts of us to page 92, for some singular Count Las Cases' work, which re good fortune of the Emperor,” and late to the treatment of Napoleon turning to the page in breathless both before and subsequent to his expectation of finding some extraorarrival at St. Helena. It is foreign dinary fact relative perhaps to the to our purpose to enter into the very battles of Marengo or Austerlitz, numerous details, which these work's we discover that this “singular good afford, relative to the condition of fortune of the Emperor” is his playthe Emperor at his place of contine- ing at cards and winning a few Nament; but, expressing our conviction poleons of Sir George Cockburn, that the treatment of Napoleon was Then we are told of the wonderful derogatory from our national cha- effects of a sight of Buonaparte's racter, we shall proceed to make grey great coat upon the officers and 'such extracts from the volumes be crew of the Northumberland, and of fore us, or to give such references to the Emperor's mode of shaving, with their contents, as will serve as a his use of eau de Cologne, and with supplement to our preceding life of the afflicting circumstance of lavenNapoleon, and will also enable the der water being substituted when reader to judge of the merit of Count the eau de Cologne was all gone. Las Cases's works, and of their claim But, to give a thorough idea of the to public attention as documents of Count's trifling and frivolity, we history.

will let him speak for himself in the The Count professes that his main following extract.

“ The Emperor object is to afford a faithful portrai. walked out in the garden at five ture of the private disposition and o'clock; the Emperor stopped a character of Napoleon, although by while to look at a flower in one of far the greater part of his work re- the beds, and asked me whether it lates solely to the Emperor's public was not a lily-it was, indeed, a history. He commences with the magnificent one!" return of Napoleon to Paris after We might almost imagine that the battle of Waterloo, and his fourth the Count is sometimes, what would volume carries us through his inter- be vulgarly called, playing the fool course with the Emperor up to July with his readers; for instance, in 1816, embracing numerous

page 61, vol. I. he


“ While spects of the Emperor's life from conversing with the Emperor in the his boyhood to his abdication. We evening, he gave me two proofs of have observed that Count Las Cases confidence, but I cannot novo confide frequently displays all the frivolity them to paper ; and to complete this of the old school of French cour- joke, if it be meant for one, he imtiers ; his work may be said to be in mediately does confide one of these the worst of keeping ; mixing the proofs to his readers, by inserting it most trifling anecdotes with those at the foot of the page in the form which are interesting or even im- of a note. portant, and dressing up the most But we have greater fault to find insignificant facts in pompous lan- with the author even upon this very guage. Thus, by the index to the subject; for when describing that first volume (part I.) we are referred which, if confined to pure narration to page 54 for some “ remarkable and simple facts, would amount to words of the Emperor,” and turn the sublime, or create a chain of ing to the page, we find the chapter great and useful reflections in the under that head pompously intro- reader, the Count almost always mars duced by the Emperor's testifying the effect by introducing his own to the Count's own importance, by impertinent observations, or by eking


[ocr errors]

out the passage by remarks that him of the finest Satire of Juvenal, clearly evince that he had no just (the 10th,

so beautifully, paraappreciation of what he had wit- phrased by Dr. Johnson. Ver. 147 nessed or heard. For instance, on to 167. Napoleon's going on board the Nor

« On what foundation stands the warthumberland, the guard of marines,

rior's pride, at his request, were made to go

How just his hopes let Swedish Charles through their manual exercise; upon decide; their coming to a charge, the Em A frame of adamant, a soul of fire, peror, thrusting a bayonet of one of

No dangers fright him, and no labours the front rank men aside, entered the

tire : ranks, and taking a musket shewed O'er love, o'er fear, extends his wide our officer how differently the opera domain, tion was performed in the French Unconquered lord of pleasure and of service. This anecdote finely illus paintrates the admirable equanimity of No joys to bim pacific sceptres yield; temper in Napoleon, preserved even

War sounds the trump, he rushes to the

field: at the very moment of his entering

Behold surrounding kings their power his prison, and it displays the rul

combine, ing passion of his soul--his love and

And one capitulate, and one resign; attention to all things military; the

Peace courts his hand, but spreads her Count Las Cases, on the contrary, charms in vain, relates the anecdote, as a proof of • Think nothing gained,' he cries, ' till Napoleon's extraordinary personal naught remain' courage in trusting himself amongst On Moscow's walls, till Gothic (Gallic) English bayonets. Again, in the standards fly, first volume, (Part II.) beginning at And all be mine beneath the polar sky. page 253, the picture of this once ruler of the world a prisoner on the peak of a barren rock, in a hovel The vanquished hero leaves his broken without shutters, curtains, or furni


And shews his miseries in distant ture, and with food scarcely eatable,

lapds ! leaving his miserable one room in

But did not chance at length her error order that it may be cleaned, and

mend, contrasting this treatment of him

Did not subverted empires mark his self with his own munificent treatment of the sovereigns of Europe Did rival monarchs give the fatal when he rode triumphant in their wound, capitals, and when they sued to him Did hostile millions press him to the for favours and called him their bro ground. ther, is a picture as sublime as his His fall was destined to a barren strand, tory can produce; but the Count mars the effect by his superabundant And left a name at which the world epithets, and either obvious or tri grew pale, fling remarks, or he renders it still To point a moral or adorn a tale," worse by going into petty details. With the alteration of a few words The Count cannot tell us that this the passage, both from the Latin and conqueror of the earth

now oecu from the English poet, would appear pied this hovel,” but he must begin; rather prophecy than poetry. We

The Emperor Napoleon, who but shall now, however, confine ourselves lately possessed such boundless power, to Buonaparte, and take leave of and disposed of so many crowns, now Count Las Cases, by observing that occupies a wretched hovel,” &c. and in spite of his numerous and unparafter this great moral picture of hu donable errors in treating his subman misfortunes, the Count makes ject, so great is that subject, that it his climax by, going immediately is impossible to read twenty pages into details of their want of" butter, of the Count's Journal without findoil,” &c. In spite of this wretchedlying something either amusing or bad taste the picture is impressive, important. and cannot but recall to the mind of These volumes contain indubitable the classic reader the fate of Marius proof, both positive and indirect, and of Belisarius, and it will remind of all that has been asserted about


the natural goodness of Napoleon's at treachery that might have cost disposition. His goodness of heart, him his crown, he only dismisses his mercy and forbearance were the culprit, and, in dismissing him, evinced by his munificent provision although at the moment infuriated, for all the meritorious, but poorer he exclaims, “ I am sincerely grieved companions of his youth ; by his at this, sir, for the services of your saving the lives of the emigrants at

father are still fresh in my memory." Toulon, and contriving their escape We might refer also to the Emto the English squadron (Vol. 1. peror's quarrel and reconciliation page 152,) by his resolute disobe with Marshal Bertrand, (page 294, dience of all the sanguinary orders Vol. I.) or rather we might refer to transmitted to him by the Directory the whole of these volumes, for every whilst commanding the army of part of them bear evidence of his Italy, and by his refusal to execute goodness of nature as well as of his General Wurmser, as an emigrant, goodness of temper. If several inwhen he was taken at Mantua; bystances of severity or even of cruelty his invariable protection of the emi be attached to his name, such, for grants and royalists, and of all ob instance, as his executions of those jects of political animosity. His who had rebelled against him at letter, as First Consul, to the present Cairo, they appear always to have King of France, respecting his re been the result of ahsolute necessity, storation to the throne, (Vol. I. and to relate to him, not indivi. Part I. page 271,) considering the dually, but specifically, and in comextraordinary tone of feeling exist mon with all conquerors ; such facts ing on the subject at the moment, therefore amount to a proof how exhibits great generosity and good much the happiness of mankind is ness. But this point of his character injured by warriors and conquerors, is fully established by the fact, that even when the individuals themselves on his return to Paris from Elba he may be free from cruelty of disposiwas put into possession of the cor tion. respondence of Mons. Blacas, and We may be allowed to remark which at once laid open to him the that the reader will frequently extreachery of many of his officers, perience great inconvenience in the both civil and military, as well as perusal of these volumes by the the ingratitude of so many of those want of dates and notes explanatory who owed their all to his bounty; of the events of the revolution. and yet we do not find that in any A fault which has been often found one instance did he execute or mo with every French work relating to lest these offenders. So far from that event, or to the consequences his having any rancour of disposi- that have arisen from it. When the tion or spirit of revenge, we find Count, for instance, traces events to him, in page 295, Vol. I., speaking the 10th of August, or talks of Venvery fairly of Augereau, a man who demiaire, or the revolution of Bruhad betrayed and insulted him dar- maire, he forgets that neither the ing his misfortunes, and speaking words, nor their association with equally well of Marmont, whose the scenes to which he alludes, are treason and ingratitude had occa sufficiently_familiar to the genesioned his downfall. In all conver- rality of English, or of any but sations Napoleon appears to be the French readers, to render his meanapologist of the calumniated. Hising intelligible. It is this incontemper seems to have been equally venience attending the perusal of good with his nature and disposin foreign political works that intion, for his ebullitions of rage, al- duced us, in our number of last though violent, were neither frequent September, to publish a vocabulary nor long; and what is of more im- of all the terms relating to the reportance, they never led to imme- volution, and which vocabulary will diate cruelty nor left any feelings of be extremely useful in going through malevolence upon his mind. Wit- the volumes now before us, as well ness the remarkable scene on his as in perusing the other works detection of a traitor in his Privy which have proceeded from those Council, (Vol. I. Part I. page 282,) who accompanied the Emperor to in which, in the heighth of his rage St. Helena. The Count's private

anecdotes of Napoleon's boying perity and aMuence of those whom disposition, and juvenile habits, we serve. Napoleon's great princihave, in point of substance, appear- ple, at this juncture, appears to ed in our three articles upon the have been, if I am victorious all life of Napoleon; and numerous will be faithful to me, if I am not pages in these volumes are confir: victorious, few will be faithful, nor matory of the most material as well can infidelity be of much conseas of the minor parts of our me quence, the


will be up. moirs in our Magazine for February, Whilst we are on this part of our March and April.

article we may observe that the The Count's volumes contain Emperor's observations and anecmany interesting anecdotes of the dotes afford lamentable but unprincipal characters, which the re questionable evidence of the great volution threw forward into the inconsistency and depravity of hupolitical arena. We have anecdotes man nature. In the course of his of Pichegru in Vol. I. Part I. pages reign, as well as in that of the 116, 117, and 119; and in Vol. II. revolution, we find Sans-culotte Part III. page 358. There are va. leaders merged in pomp and luxury; rious interesting anecdotes and ad- hereditary noblemen free from pride mirable sketches of characters, made and assumption; republican gene, by the Emperor upon those two rals full of arrogance and personal perverse, intriguing, and able indi- tyranny; persons in the depth of viduals Talleyrand and Fouché, of misery and distress devoted to whom the Emperor observes that principles disinterested, and resisting Talleyrand was the Fouché of the the temptations of wealth; others drawing-rooms, whilst Fouché was of princely fortunes submitting to the Talleyrand of the clubs. They every thing degrading, and com. appear to have been always actuated mitting every crime for the sake of solely by a lust of pelf, and of money; men heroically brave in personal advantages, without the fight, eventually dying like cowards; slightest principle of honour or in- bold under some circumstances, tegrity; and, as a climax of their poltroons under others; Lannes, baseness, when the Emperor landed who amidst the most frightful carfrom Elba, they took separate sides; nage could electrify battalions by Fouché guaranteeing the safety of his valour, at last died weeping Talleyrand with Napoleon should like a nervous girl; Murat, the the Emperor succeed, whilst Tal. rival of Lannes in valour, was at leyrand was to secure the favour of last intimidated and yielded to a the Bourbons for Fouché in the cowardly rabble. We have not event of the success of the allies. only the “ Fears of the brave and The ingratitude and perfidy of this follies of the wise,” but we have latter character towards Napoleon occasional wisdom from fools and exceeds any tising in history; but valour from poltroons. How adit appears a very erroneous idea that mirably are these inconsistencies Napoleon was ever blind to the and baseness of mankind displayed vices of this execrable wretch ; that by Napoleon in his peculiarly prohe was his dupe, or that he trusted found, but sketchy manner of the him beyond the absolute necessity different persons and classes who of circumstances. The Emperor, had betrayed him :-he says, speakspeaking of his employing him at ing to Count Las Cases, “ Fouché the critical juncture of his affairs was not a noble, Talleyrand was after his return from Elba, observes not an emigrant, Augereau and that he knew his fidelity or infide- Marmont were neither. Reckon lity would depend on circumstances yourselves here-among four, you more than on the individual. “ If find two nobles, one of whom was I had been victorious," said the

even an emigrant. The excellent Emperor, “Fouché would have been M. de Segur, in spite of his age, at faithful-I ought to have conquer- my departure, offered to follow me. ed.” But, alas! to how many I have been betrayed by Marmont thousands will this observation ap- whom I might call my son, my offply; for what is fidelity, generally spring, my own work, he to whom speaking, but the effect of the pros I had committed my destinies by

« السابقةمتابعة »