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vation of others without rancour or envy. I could have imagined myself, after the battle of Brundicium, sitting at a Roman table, Julius Cæsar triumphant, and the exiles returning, and permitted to become guests of the triumphant party.
"The company was mixed. A young naval officer sat at the foot of the table. M. Hauterive, of the department of Foreign Affairs, was near me; he was sensible, unaffected, and well informed, of plain, but conciliating manners; he seemed a man of integrity and sincerity-estimable qualities in a courtier. M. Ræderer also was there, several officers, two or three physicians, and a few English and other foreigners.
"In the evening Madame Talleyrand's circle commenced. The corps Diplomatique flowed in, and the Minister the whole remainder of the evening transacted business with them, taking one aside at one time to one room, and another to another. Count Cobenzel, the Nestor of the Band, was there. Each meinber of the corps looked 'unutterable things.'-The interests of nations were thus discussed beside a picture or chimney-piece; and I could not but admire the dexterity and attention of M. Talleyrand. The Prince of Saxe Weimar took his leave this evening of Madame, on his return to Germany; a pleasing young man, promising to be respectable and good, if his rank did not harden his heart, and pride beset its best avenues! The Abbate Casti, author of Gli Animali Parlanti, added to the interest of the evening assembly-he was eighty years of age, his face was white, and his figure inclined with age, but he was vivacious, talkative, and gay. Admiral Brueys, a very animated little man, who is, I think, since dead, proud of his daughter, a very young girl, who danced inimitably; Russian, German, Italian nobles, and their spouses, and many polite and agreeable French people, continued to come in and diversify the scene. Madame Talleyrand maintained a good deal of state, and was attended, on entering the drawing-room, by two young females, elegantly dressed in white, and burning frankincense as she advanced.
"Mr. Fox alternately conversed or played at cards, always easy, and always animated; he who, in the retirement of St. Ann's Hill, appeared devoted to a rural and philosophic life, so entirely as if he had never moved in the political sphere, now was the polished and accomplished gentleman, speaking French, Italian, or Spanish, admired by all as much for the amiability of his character and manners, as he had long been for the splendour of his As the weather continued extremely hot, the entertainments of the Minister for Foreign Affairs were very agreeable in the country; and the drive, on returning to Paris in these charming serene nights, was very often not the least agreeable part of the excursion. The day after this dinner, and henceforth. we frequently dined at Nouilly.
"Madame Buonaparte's drawing-room succeeded; it was held in the lower apartments of the Thuilleries. The ceremony was short, cold, and insipid: Madame, the disparity of whose age and appearance was ill concealed by a great deal of rouge, sat at the head of a circle of ladies, richly habited. Buonaparte, after they had paid their compliments, came from an inner apartment, went round the circle, said a few words to these ladies, and retired. Mr. Fox staid but a short time; having paid his compliments to Madame, there was nothing interesting for him in this state affair. This lady was spoken extremely well of at Paris; her humanity and disposition to befriend were allowed by all; and it was said, that whenever she could, she interfered to alleviate the distresses, and procure pardon for those who had incurred the displeasure of government. It was considered, that whatever had been the errors of her earlier days, she had redeemed them by the many good actions she had performed, and from thence a sentiment of respect had been generated which softened envy, and gave a sort of dignity to her, very advantageous to her high station.
"Mr. Fox seemed to think extremely well of her. As she loved plants and understood botany, he found it agreeable to converse with her on this elegant and interesting subject. She had enriched Malmaison by a very fine and choice collection of plants, and it is fair to presume, that she who, raised to a throne, employed herself in acts of humanity, and in this innocent and delightful pursuit, possessed no common mind. It was said, in Paris, however, at this time, that Madame Buonaparte had been nearly disgraced several times; but that the brothers of the First Consul supported her, in the expectation that if he had no issue of his own, some of their children might succeed him; so that a divorce was probably in Buonaparte's contemplation from the moment that he saw a prospect of making the government permanent and hereditary.
"At this time an invitation was sent to Mr. Fox from Miss Helen Maria Williams. She requested the pleasure of his company to an evening party, and to express how much this honour would gratify her, wrote that it would be a 'white day' thus distinguished. Some of Mr. Fox's friends wished him to decline this invitation altogether, from apprehension of giving a handle to ill nature and calumny. He, however, always the same, disdlained the fear of suspicion, and unwilling ungraciously to refuse an invitation earnestly pressed, did not agree with them, and went for a short time. I mention this circumstance, because it proves how unwilling he was to give offence or pain, as also how much he soared above common party views. He was aware that he might be represented and blackened for going to Miss
Williams's conversazione, as much as he had been for admitting Mr. A. O'Connor to his presence; but he despised slander, was not anxious for place, and was too benignant to slight with contempt and scorn the request of an accomplished female, whose vanity, as well as a natural admiration of so great a man, were deeply concerned that he should grant it.
"A very interesting dinner, to which Mr. Fox was at this time admitted, brought vividly to recollection the horrors and excesses of the revolutionary times. M. Perregaux, a banker, noted for his wealth, integrity, and politeness, requested Mr. Fox, and several of his friends, to dine with him; he was a man advanced in years, of a noble presence, and most agreeable frankness of manners. The company was select and pleasing. M. Perregaux, by his good sense and consummate prudence, had escaped the very worst times of Robespierre. It was, however, still a matter of wonder to himself how he had escaped. He had seen his friends daily fall around him, and having a small country-house at Passy, a short distance from Paris, he retired there to avoid being in the midst of accumulated horrors, and often in a calm day or evening, heard distinctly the chop of the guillotine."
FROM LA BELLE ASSEMBLEE.
EXTRAORDINARY ACCOUNT OF A SUPERNATURAL INTIMATION.
EDWARD LORD HERBERT, of Cherbury, a distinguished warrior, statesman, and philosopher, who served his King, James I. of England, with so much zeal in the field, and cabinet of France, gives this extraordinary account of a supernatural intimation with which he was favoured while Ambassador at Paris.
"My book, having been begun by me in England, and formed there in all its principal parts, was finished in France. All my spare hours which I could get from my visits and negociations being employed to perfect this work; as soon as it was done I communicated it to Hugo Grotius, the great scholar, who, having escaped his prison in the Low Countries, came into France and was welcomed by me; and Monsieur Tielners also, another of the most famous critics of Christendom. After these two had perused it, and given it more commendations than is fit for me to repeat, they earnestly exhorted me to print and publish it; howbeit, as my whole book was so different from any thing which had been written heretofore on the same moral subjects, I found I must either renounce what I had now written concerning the method of finding
out truth, or hazard myself to a general censure concerning the whole argument of my book.
"I must confess it did not a little animate me, that the two persons above mentioned made exceptions to this anticipated general repugnance, and did so highly value it; yet as I knew it would meet with much opposition, I did consider whether it were not better for me a while to suppress it. Being thus doubtful, and in my chamber one fair day in summer, my casement being opened towards the south, the sun shining clear, and no wind stirring, I took my book in my hand, and kneeling on my knees devoutly, said these words :-O thou eternal God, author of the light which now shines upon me, and giver of all inward illuminations, I do beseech thee of thy infinite goodness to pardon a greater request than a sinner ought to make! I am not satisfied enough whether I shall publish this book. If it be for thy glory, I beseech thee give me some sign from heaven; if not I shall suppress it!
"I had no sooner spoken these words, than a loud, though yet gentle noise came from the heavens (for it was like nothing on earth), which did so comfort and cheer me, that I took my petition as granted, and that I had the sign demanded, whereupon I resolved to print my book. This (how strange soever it may seem) I protest before the eternal God, is true; neither am I any way superstitiously deceived herein, since I did not only clearly hear the noise, but in the serenest sky that ever I saw, being all without cloud; and I did, to my thinking, see the place whence the sound came."
Whatever this extraordinary noise may have been, whether a supernatural sign, given especially from the heavens, in answer to his prayer; or an ideal impression on his senses, created by the vividness of imagination; or a natural but inexplicable sound issuing from some invisible contact of the elements; it at least proves the admirable principle of Edward Lord Herbert, that whatever he would give to the world should be to the glory of the giver of all genius, wisdom, and abilities. Did this spirit more influence our modern writers of every description, we should not have so much false philosophy, so many almost libertine works of fancy pouring from the press.
It is well known, that when Congreve drew near his last moments, in the bitterness of a conscious perversion of his genius, he groaned aloud, and declared that it was the memory of the light scenes in his plays, which sat so heavy on his parting soul. He would give worlds, he said, to commit every line of those applauded dramas to the flames.
It would be well if every writer, whether his work be long or short, grave or gay, would reflect when he is writing it, on what
it may possibly appear to him in the last hours of his life, in the retrospection of a death-bed.
Lord Herbert was one of the most accomplished men of his time. He possessed a fine person, a heart formed to derive pleasure from love, and all the elegance of rank, youth, and fame. He was surrounded by flattering friends in the shape of soldiers, statesmen, nobles, and even princes. He was adulated by women of all degrees, and even Queens were jealous of his smiles. So idolized, this young and amiable nobleman is seen sacrificing all their incense on the altar of his Creator; he kneels devoutly before it, and casting the first fruits of his genius to the earth, dedicates it all to Him, or begs that it may perish! This humility and piety is as exemplary as it is admirable.
FROM LA BELLE ASSEMBLEE.
SPANISH HERMITAGES AND CONVENT, AT MONTSERRAT.
(From the Memoirs of Captain Carleton.)
MONTSERRAT is a rising lofty hill, in the very middle of a spacious plain, in the principality of Catalonia, about seven leagues distant from Barcelona to the westward, somewhat inclining to the north. At the very first sight its singularity of figure promises something extraordinary; and even at that distance the prospect makes somewhat of a grand appearance; hundreds of aspiring pyramids presenting themselves all at once to the eye, look, if I may be allowed to speak, like a little petrified forest, or rather, like the awful ruins of some capacious structure, the labour of venerable antiquity. The nearer you approach the more it affects; but, till you are very near, you can hardly form in your mind any thing like what you find it when you come close to it. Till just upon it, you would imagine it a perfect hill of steeples; but so intermingled with trees of magnitude as well as beauty, that your admiration can never be tired, or your curiosity surfeited. Such I found it on my approach, yet much less than what I found it was when I entered upon the very premises.
Now that stupendous cluster of pyramids affected me different from all before; and I found it so finely grouped with verdant groves, and interspersed with aspiring but solitary trees, that it no way lessened my admiration, while it increased my delight. These trees, which I call solitary, as standing single, in opposition to the numerous groves, which are close and thick (as I observed when I ascended to take a view of the several cells), rise