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upon itself, and is abundantly stored with treasured thought, with knowledge of nature and of the human heart.
How high Miss Kemble's young aspirings have been—what conceptions she has formed to herself of the dignity of tragic poetry-may be discovered from this most remarkable work; at this height she must maintain herself, or soar a still bolder flight. The turmoil, the hurry, the business, the toil, even the celebrity of a theatric life must yield her up at times to that repose,
that undistracted retirement within her own mind, which, however brief, is essential to the perfection of the noblest work of the imagination-genuine tragedy. Amidst her highest successes on the stage, she must remember that the world regards her as one to whom a still higlier part is fallen. She must not be content with the fame of the most extraordinary work which has ever been produced by a female at her age, (for as such we scruple not to describe her Francis the First,)- with having sprung, at once to the foremost rank, not only of living actors but of modern dramatists ;-she must consider that she has given us a pledge and earnest for a long and brightening course of distinction, in the devotion of all but unrivalled talents in two distinct, though congenial, capacities, to the revival of the waning glories of the English theatre.
Art, IX.-1. Souvenirs sur Mirabeau et sur les deux Premières Assemblées Législatives. Par Etienne Dumont (de Genève), Ouvrage posthume publié par M. J. L. Duval, Membre du
Conseil. Représentatif du Canton de Genève. Paris. Svo. 1832. 2. The Progress of the Revolutions of 1640 and 1830. London.
• 1832 3. On the Present Balance of Parties in the State. By Sir John
Walsh, Bart., M.P. London, 1832. 4. Some Reflections of a Church of England Man, on the Con
duct of the Chief Secretary for Ireland. London. 1832. 5. True Causes of Riot and Rebellion; or, a Petition to the King
on behalf of the Prisoners convicted under the late Special Com
missions al Bristol and Nottingham. London. 8vo. 1832. WE
E have never seen a more remarkable instance of the blind
ness with which a rhetorician will pursue a flowery topic at the expense of his argument, than in the references made by Mr. Macaulay, in two successive declamations on Parliamentary Reform, to the revolutions which brought Louis XVI. and Charles I. to the scaffold. On both occasions he was answered by a statement of facts, which he had either forgotten, or, in his somewhat juvenile eagerness for the gaudier ornaments of diction,
neglected. On both occasions his discomfiture was complete; nor could it lessen the pain of the overthrow that, as all perceived, the ministerial champion's allusions were the result of previous consideration and selection, while the reply was the production of the moment, from the recollections which happened to present themselves to the memory of his antagonist.
In adverting to the advice given to the House of Lords, to reject the Bill, the Hon. Member for Calne is represented as having said,
• I cannot but wonder that such advice should proceed from the lips of men who are constantly lecturing us on the duty of consulting history and experience. Have they ever heard what effects counsels like their own, when too faithfully followed, have produced ? Have they ever visited that neighbouring country, which still presents to the eye, even of a passing stranger, the signs of a great dissolution and renovation of society? Have they ever walked by those stately mansions, now sinking into decay, and portioned out into lodging-rooms, which line the silent streets of the Fauxbourg St. Germain ? Have they ever seen the ruins of those castles whose terraces and gardens overhang the Loire ? Have they ever heard that, from those magnificent hotels,
from those ancient castles,-an aristocracy as splendid, as brave, as proud, as accomplished as ever Europe saw, was driven forth to exile and beggary,—to implore the charity of hostile governments and hostile creeds,-to cut wood in the back settlements of America,-or to teach French in the school-rooms of London ? And why were those haughty nobles destroyed with that utter destruction ? Why were they scattered over the face of the earth, their titles abolished, their escutcheons defaced, their parks wasted, their palaces dismantled, their heritage given to strangers ?-Because they had no sympathy with the people—no discernment of the signs of their times;
— because, in the pride and narrowness of their hearts, they called those whose warnings might have saved them, theorists and speculators ;-because they refused all concession till the time had arrived when no concession would avail.
• I have no apprehension that such a fate awaits the nobles of England. I draw no parallel between our aristocracy and that of France. Those who represent the Lords as a class whose power is incompatible with the just influence of the middle orders in the State, draw the parallel, and not I. They do all in their power to place the Lords and Commons of England in that position, with respect to each other, in which the French gentry stood with respect to the Tiers Etat; but I am convinced that these advisers will not succeed.'Mirror of Parliament, Sept. 20.
The author of these elegant paragraphs was forthwith answered by one whom, unlike most of the orators on either side of the House, we may characterise in the words of Horace as
• Alternis aptum sermonibus, et populares
Not satisfied (said Mr. Croker) with those vague generalities and that brilliant declamation which tickle the ear and amuse the imagination, without satisfying the reason, the learned gentleman unluckily, I think, for the force of his appeal, thought proper to descend to argumentative illustration and historical precedents. But whence has he drawn his experience? Sir, he sought his weapon in the very armoury to which, if I had been aware of his attack, I should myself have resorted for the means of repelling it. He reverted to the early lessons of the French revolution, and the echoes of the deserted palaces of the Fauxbourg St. Germain were reverberated in the learned gentleman's eloquence, as ominous admonitions to the peerage of England. He thinks that frightful period—the dawn of that long and disastrous day of crime and calamity, bears some resem, blance to our present circumstances, and he thinks justly: but dif, ferent, widely different, is the inference which my mind draws from this awful comparison.......
• The first project by which the revolutionists in France thought that a virtual abolition of the aristocratic branch of their old constitution could be the most practicably and effectively carried, was, the abolition of separate chambers, and the union of all the Estates. in one house, where the numerical majority of the Commons would reduce into the position of a weak and impotent mi. nority the whole body of the Nobility. To this monstrous propos sition -- which, though veiled in all the sophistry of popular plausibility, was, in fact, the whole revolution, — will it be said that the nobility were not justified in offering a firm, constitutional, and unanimous opposition ?-they must have seen, that by the union of the Chambers into one, not only was their proper influence destroyed, but that there was practically an end of their own order, of the ancient constitution of the States-General, and, finally, of the monarchy of France! In fact, the proposition of the Tiers Etat was a Reform Bill, calculated to increase the democratic, and lower the aristocratical influence;—and seeing that the Nobles were reluctant to commit so suicidal an act, they determined to force them to the fatal step by every species of fraud and violence, deceit and intimidation ; and much the same kind of arguments were then addressed, by pretended friends and open enemies, to the French Chamber of the Nobility, which is now directed against our House of Lords. But did the Nobles, on that vital occasion, show that blind and inflexible obstinacy which the learned gentleman has attributed to them? Did they even display the decent dignity of a deliberative council ? Did they indeed exhibit a cold and contemptuous apathy to the feelings of the people, or did they not rather evince a morbid and dishonourable sensibility to every turn of the popular passion ? Was it, sir, in fact, their high and haughty resistance, or was it, alas! their deplorable pusillanimity, that overthrew their unhappy country? No inconsiderable portion of the Nobility joined the Tiers Etat at once, and with headlong and heedless alacrity; the rest delayed for a short interval,-a few days only of doubt and
dismay; but, after that short pause, those whom the learned gentleman called proud and obstinate bigots to privilege and power, abandoned their most undoubted privilege and most effective power, and were seen to march in melancholy procession to the funeral of the monarchy, with a fallacious appearance of freedom, but bound in reality by the invisible shackles of intimidation-goaded by the invectives of a treasonable and rancorous press--and insulted, menaced, and all but driven by the bloody hands of an infuriated populace.
• But was this all ? did the sacrifice end here? When the Tiers Etat had achieved their first triumph, and when, at last, the three estates were collected in the National Assembly, was the Nobility deaf to the calls of the people, or did they cling with indecent tenacity to even their most innocent privileges ? The learned gentleman has appealed to the decayed ceilings and tarnished walls of hotels and chateaur, where ancient ancestry had depicted its insignia, but which now exhibit the faded and tattered remnants of fallen greatness. Does the learned gentleman not know that it was the rash bands of the Nobility itself which struck the first blow against these aristocratical decorations ?......
. And in that celebrated night, which has been called the "night of sacrifices," but which is better known by the more appropriate title of the “ Night of Insanity," when the whole frame and order of civilized society was overthrown in the delirium of popular compliance, who led the way in the giddy orgies of destruction ?--Alas! the Nobility! Who was it that, in that portentous night, offered, as he said, on the altar of his country, the sacrifice of the privileges of his order?--A Montmorency! Who proposed the abolition of all feudal and seignorial rights ?-A Noailles ! And what followed ?-We turn over a page or two of this eventful history, and we find the Montmorencies in exile and the Noailles on the scaffold!' - Ibid.
Even in point of oratory, we think it will be admitted that the palm in this case was on the side of truth ;-that the extempore effusion of the statesman surpassed immeasurably as to mere style and force of language the elaborate concoction of the sophist's PgovticTng.oy—but, be that as it may, how complete and conclusive was the statement of the facts, and how powerful is the lesson which may be drawn from them!
Within a few days after listening to this debate, we received from Paris the volume named first at the head of this article ; and considering it as perhaps the most interesting one that has recently issued from the French press, we shall present our readers with a few extracts illustrative of the Tory speaker's argument. The author, M. Dumont of Geneva, the translator or rather re-writer of Jeremy Bentham's works, was a liberal, of course, of the most liberal, but, as every one admits, a man of high personal character, unsullied probity, and, oddly as
he chose to apply them, of distinguished talents.* Before the French Revolution broke out, he had spent some years in England as tutor to the sons of Lord Lansdowne, in whose family he was treated on the footing of a familiar. friend, and had opportunities of forming close connexions with Messrs. Sheridan and Fox, Lord Holland, and Sir Samuel Romilly. (Avertissement, p. vii.) Happening to be in Paris in 1789, an accident introduced him to the Comte de Mirabeau, and he remained in the French capital until after the death of his new patron. This gentleman (whose subsequent history we need not dwell on, and who always continued to be well-known in the literary society of London) has very lately died; his executor has just published his “ Souvenirs' respecting the two first years of the National Assembly, and these “ Souvenirs' are peculiarly welcome, because they coutain the deliberate opinions of one who cannot be suspected of anti-revolutionary partialities. As M, Dumont was, though not a Frenchman by birth, one of the most active partizans of Mirabeau, his chief assistant in the management of his revolutionary journals and also in the preparation of his set speeches from the tribune, and enjoyed, consequently, the means of conversing confidentially with all the leading persons who acknowledged Mirabeau's ascendency—his description of the gradual evolution of the anti-aristocratical, anti-ecclesiastical, and antimonarchical conspiracy of 1789, drawn as it is by a practised and graceful hand, after a long lapse of years, in a spirit of grave and philosophical candour worthy of an old and honest man, must undoubtedly take its place among the most valuable records of that period, which Mr. Macaulay has been more fond of talking about than careful in studying.
Early in the sittings of the fatal Assembly, one of its members ventured to lecture the Bisliops in terms which will remind our readers of certain recent speeches in our House of Lords.
• Go,' said the orator to the Deputation of the Clergy, 'go and tell your colleagues, that, if the interests of the people be indeed at their hearts, their course is plain before them. Let them join themselves in this hall to the friends of the people! Let them retard our operations by no more affected delays! Let them make use of no more little methods to disturb the resolution which we have taken! Ministers of religion, worthy imitators of their Master, let them read the necessities of the time! Let them renounce the luxury that surrounds them—the, éclat which insults the eye of indigence! Let them dismiss their haughty lackeys, sell their superb equipages, and prepare to convert this odious superfuity to the nourishment of the poor!'--p.6).
* We ourselves had the pleasure of his acquaintance, and always cousidered him as about the most eloquent man, even in English, that we had met with.