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them to take advantage of the commotions and political disturbances of the times. Both had the “ animus yastus,” an ambition which knew no bounds--both grasped at that wbich fortune seemed to have placed far beyond their reach, and both were successful. In Napoleon we discover something of the insolence of prosperity, the intoxication of success which led to the commission of political errors; while Cromwell maintained, throughout his public life, a greater equability of mind, a steadiness of purpose that was not to be diverted either by difficulties, or the security of triumph. If the former was immoderate in prosperity, the latter was less able to withstand the glooms of despondency. The one displayed a greater versatility of genius : he lived in times when the arts fourished, and he reigned over a lively and ingenious people, who were as interested in the success of an opera as of a campaign ;-while Cromwell's was the iron age of England, he was nurtured in fanaticism, and lived amid strife and bloodshed. Their understanding of “the religious" was certainly different, but both availed themselves of the prevailing spirit of the times; it is probable that Napoleon would have whined his way into popularity in the days of Charles the First, and that Cromwell would have been a Philosophe in the days of Louis the Sixteenth. Neither of these extraordinary personages exhibited in very early youth any signs of those high endowments which have given them to “everlasting fame*;" nor did the genius of either seem fitted for the elegant occupations of literature, though Cromwell occasionally indulged himself in barbarous verses, and Napoleon was a reader of Ossian. They might have said with Themistocles, the Athenian, who, being desired to play upon a lute, replied, “ that he could not fiddle, but yet he could make a small town a great city.” The arts of address and conciliation, which were used with such success by Bonaparte, were not unknown to Cromwell. Hume says of him, that " he knew how to find out and engage in his interests every man possessed of those talents which any particular employment demanded; that the general behaviour and deportment of this man, who had been raised from a very private station, was such as might befit the greatest monarch; that he maintained a dignity without either affectation or ostentation ; and supported with all strangers that high idea with which his great exploits and prodigious fortune had impressed them.” In both these men is discoverable that mixture of great and little, that spice of human frailty, with which Nature counterbalances her choicest gifts, and which happily serves to counteract the evils which might otherwise result to mankind from the perversion of superior talents--from the wantonness of ambition, and the freaks of power. In fine, what Lord Clarendon has said of Cromwell may be justly applied to the individual who has been the subject of these remarks. “ He was one of those men—quos vituperare ne inimici quidem possunt, nisi ut simul laudent; for he could never have done half that mischief without great parts of courage, industry, and judgment. He must have
Cromwell's military talents were not displayed until he was forty-four years old. Bonaparte, before he was twenty-seven, besides shewing his skill at the siege of Toulon, had beaten the Parisian troops, and fought the battles of Montenotte, Millesimo, Dego, Lodi, Lonado, and Castiglione, with an army in want of every necessary, and against experienced enemies.
had a wonderful understanding in the natures and humours of men, and as great a dexterity in applying them, who, from a private and obscure birth (though of good family) without interest or estate, alliance or friendship, could raise himself to such a height, and compound and knead such opposite and contradictory tempers, humours, and interests, into a consistence, that contributed to his designs and their destruction; while himself grew insensibly powerful enough to cut off those by whom he had climbed, in the instant that they projected to demolish their own building. What was said of Cinna may be justly said of him-ausum eum, quæ nemo auderet bonus ; perfecisse quæ a nullo nisi fortissimo pertici possent-he attempted those things which no good man durst have ventured on, and achieved those in which none but a valiant and great man could have succeeded.”
BIBLIOGRAPHICAL RESEARCHES.* One of the most eloquent and impassioned of modern writers has said, that there is nothing so melancholy as travelling. “Voyager est, quoi qu'on en puisse dire, un des plus tristes plaisirs de la rie. Cet empressement, cette hâte pour arriver là où personne ne vous attend, cette ayitution dont la curiosité est la seule cause, vous inspire peu d'estime
pour vous même.”
This observation, however, can never apply to those who are fortunate enough to have that great requisite for human happiness, a decided object of pursuit; or, as some have sarcastically termed it, a ruling passion. With such persons life is perpetually busy, and consequently, when the object of their pursuits is an innocent one, it is, in general
, happy: for our existence is made up of moments linked together by expectations; and he who can see clearly from one to another, is led on so delightfully by hope, that, ere he has time to regret being crossed now and then on his way by disappointment, he is again ready to start, his eyes once more earnestly fixed on the next imaginary goal of his wishes. To him every place he goes to has a decided interest, either as a means or an end ; even when he arrives “où personne ne vous attend,” he is still not solitary. Success in his pursuit, whatever it may be, seems to await and welcome him; he carries his Lalage about with him, and may say with Horace,
Pone me, pigris ubi mulla campis
Arbor æstivâ recreatur aurâ,” &c, Such are the feelings which Mr. Dibdin exhibits throughout his “ Bibliographical, Antiquarian, and Picturesque Tour;" and the pleasure with which his book will be read, in comparison with the generality of insipid Tours and Sketches that are daily issuing from the press, is exactly proportioned to the diffocence betwixt travelling in company with persons of intelligence, whose natural habits of observation are sharpened by having a given object in view, or with the weary and wearisome fiers from themselves, who merely go abroad because they are tired of staying at home, and whose endless question of "Where
Dibdin's Bibliographical, Antiquarian, and Picturesque Tour. Large 8vo.3 vols.
shall we go next?” sufficiently betrays that they can go no where for any good purpose. It was a rule with Locke, by the observance of which he said he gained more knowledge than by all his study, always to talk with persons on their respective professions, or objects of pursuit: we shall follow, therefore, his example, and choosing to attend to Mr. Dibdin in his principal character of a Bibliomaniac, notwithstanding the triple-headed Pegasus he has chosen for his hobby in this entertaining tour, we shall follow his steps chiefiy through those remarkable edifices where the lore, and poesy, and patient perseverance of the early ages are fittest sought-among windows whose storied glass sheds dim religious light” among libraries where the illuminated pages commemorating saints and heroes, have retained their brilliancy for centuries after the hands that traced them had been consigned to oblivion.
Mr. Dibdin's ecstasies at finding himself among the Launcelot du Lacs, Tristans Leonnois, Arturs Y suises, and Feats of the Table Ronde, the Bibles, Rituals, Moralities, History, Philosophy, and Sciences, in the Royal Library at Paris, may be pretty well imagined. Of all these treasures the Latin Bible of Charles the Bald, the religious manual of his brother the Emperor Lotharius, the Breviary of the Duke of Bedford, and the Hours of ANNE OF BRITTANY, appear to have been viewed by him with the most enthusiasm. Of this last "magical and matchless volume” he thus expresses himself. “Gently touch, 'tis faery art,' says the inspired imagination of every bibliographer of taste and feeling, on turning over the leaves of this enchanting Ritual. My friend, you are to know, in the first place, that of all the volumes in this most marvellous library, the present is deemed The IOST PRECIOUS. Not even the wishes and regulations of Royalty itself allow of its migrations beyond the walls of the public library. There it is kept; there it is opened, and shewn, and extolled beyond any limits fixed to the admiration of the beholder.” The chief ornament of this invaluable MS. must be looked for in the portrait of Anne of Brittany herself: this lady, so famous in the page of history, whose beauty and whose singular fortunes cast over the annals of real life all the brilliancy and enthusiasm of romance, is represented kneeling, with her hands clasped over a highly-ornamented missal, which is upon a table covered with a dark crimson cloth. Her hair is brown; her necklace is composed of coloured jewels; her cheek has a fresh tint. She has with her two attendants, each crowned with a glory; one is displaying a banner, the other holds a cross in her hand. To the left of these attendants is an old woman, hooded, with her head encircled by a glory ; but, notwithstanding the sweetness and delicacy with which these figures are touched, Mr. Dibdin could only fix his eyes on the lovely Duchess herself; nor are we surprised at this, when we look upon the exquisite copy from her portrait made by his highly-gifted graphic companion, Mr. Lewis, who, for twelve successive days, exercised all his patience and all his art on this transcript, in which“ not a hair, not a tint,” says Mr. Dibdin, "not a shadow, is faithlessly represented. All looks with the same meekness—all strikes with the same beauty--all glows with the same warmth, as the original.” Immediately after the portrait comes the Calendar, in which the employments and characteristics of each month are duly pourtrayed. “ Then begins a series of the most beautiful ornaments of flowers, fruits, insects, &c. for which the illuminators of this period were often eminently distinguished. It is really impossible to describe many of them in terms of adequate praise: the downy plum is almost bursting with ripeness; the butterfly's wings seem to be in tremulous motion, while they dazzle.you with their varied lustre: the hairy insect puts every muscle and fibre into action, as he insinuates himself within the curling of the crisped leaves; while those leaves are sometimes glittering with dew, or coated with the finest down. The flowers and the vegetables are equally admirable, and equally true to nature. To particularize would be endless -- assuredly these efforts of art have no rival-of their kind." These ornaments, it is proper to observe, are almost uniformly introduced in the foreedges, or right-side margins of the leaves ; although occasionally, but rarely, they encircle the text. The Gospel of St. John follows the Calendar: it includes the figures of the four Evangelists, with suitable ornaments; and after them come a number of the most popular subjects in Scripture. The Annunciation, the Meeting of Mary and Elizabeth, the Crucifi rion, the Descent of the Iloly Spirit, the Declaration of the Birth of Christ, the Shepherds warming themselves round a fire, with flowers in the margin, most deliciously touched, and the Adoration of the Magi, with an illumination of the Pommes de Paradis, which is beyond all praise. “Such fruit is worthy of the place by which they are called.” Next comes the Presentation, and the Flight into Egypt; after which we have a fine large illumination of Daril choosing one of the Erils : “ He is kneeling, while the angel holds three darts above his head. It has great merit. The countenance of David is expressive, but rather too chubby : his flowered robe of gold, upon a blue ground, is admirable. A glorious fruit-illumination of wood nuts' quickly follows, at the bottom of which, in the right corner, are two monkies quarrelling, done to the very life. The marginal flowers which succeed, are, if possible, more beautiful than those before; the ears of green wheat, oats, &c. and yet more, the dandelion, have absolutely nothing to surpass them, either upon the canvass of Von Huysum, or De Heem!” We cannot follow Mr. Dibdin, as we would wish, in his animated description of between thirty and forty more historical subjects and portraits, with which this precious volume is ornamented, with all their tasteful accompaniments of fruit and flowers, and insects, and devices; nor can we even tarry with the Knights of the Round Table, doubly interesting as are the subjects whịch ornament the records of their chivalric acts. We are, indeed, compelled to take French leave of them altogether, in order to introduce our readers to the great Greek luminary of Strasbourg, or rather of Germany, the Elder ScHWEICHÆUSER, to see whom Mr. Dibdin was induced to make a détour to Baden, where he was staying at that time for the benefit of the waters.
“Ju this celebrated Greek scholar, and editor of the most diflicult ancient Greek anthors,” says Mr. Dibdin, “I beheld a figure advanced in years, somewhere about seventy-three-tall, slim, but upright, and firm upon his legs: with a thin, and, at first view, severe countenance - but when
animated by conversation, and accompanied by a clear and melodious voice, agreeable, and inviting to discourse.” It is almost a matter of course that a person of great and varied acquirements should be utterly free from affectation. Accordingly Mr. Dibdin represents this venerable scholar as uniting the utmost simplicity of manners with the profoundest information. He pointed out a private walk, within a long avenue of trees, branching from the public mall, where was a small fountain playing in the midst of a grove of elm and beech; and observed that he loved to retire there, in order to read Thomson. He quoted Pope, and declared his particular attachment to Young and Akenside. When asked what he thought of Shakspeare and Milton, he replied,
They are, doubtless, very great, and superior to either ; but if I were to say I understood them as well, I should say what would be an untruth; and nothing is more disgusting than an affectation of knowing what you have comparatively very little knowledge of.” What a lesson for dabblers in criticism and readers of reviews! He said that he was first put upon collations of Greek MSS. by our Dr. Musgrave, for his edition of “Euripides ;" and that he dated from that circumstance his first and early love of classical research. This attachment had increased upon him as he became older ; had “grown with his growth, and strengthened with his strength," and had induced him to grapple with the unsettled, and in parts difficult texts of Oppian, Epictetus, and Athenæus. He spoke with a modest confidence of his Herodotus, just published; said that he was even then meditating a second Latin version of it, and observed, that for the more perfect execution of the one now before the public, he had prepared himself by a diligent perusal of the purer Latin historians. The classical literature of our own country is, we believe, under recent obligations to this eminent scholar, for the assistance he has lent to the new Greek Thesuurus, publishing under the spirited direction of Mr. Valpy; a work, for the success of which the venerable Schweighauser, whilst he expressed his approbation of its execution, uttered his wishes with an earnest zeal, that must surely be responded by all among our own countrymen, who are patriotic enough to take a pride in such productions as the Thesaurus and the Delphin Classics, on a plan, the magnitude and expense of which no individual but one of the most extended views, and the utmost liberality of mind, would have ventured upon, and which assuredly no other country except our own would have been found willing or indeed able sufficiently to reward. Mr. Dibdin quitted Baden, or BadenBaden as it is emphatically called, with many regrets; and strongly recommends its varied attractions to both young and old, as capable of affording equal pleasure to either. The dulness of Stuttgart appears duller from contrasting it with the animation and loveliness of the scenes so lately left; but in the public library all comparisons are forgotten-our bibliographer once more riots among illuminated MSS. block-books, and fifteeners, and sets all his energies to work, to accomplish an exchange between Lord Spencer and his Majesty of Wirtemberg, of certain curious Bibles, for two editions of Virgil in 1471, which negotiation he finally settles in a manner highly creditable to his diplomatic abilities.