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monosylable. “Virtue, my dear Lady Blarney, virtue is worth any price; but where is that to be found ?' Fudge.' When worldly reverses visit the good Doctor Primrose, they are of less account than the equanimity they cannot deprive him of; than the belief in good, to which they only give wider scope; than the happiness which, even in its worldliest sense, they ultimately strengthen by enlarged activity, and increased necessity for labor. It is only when struck through the sides of his children, that for an instant his faith gives way. Most lovely is the pathos of that scene; so briefly and beautifully told. The little family at night are gathered round a charming fire, telling stories of the past, laying schemes for the future, and listening to Moses's thoughtful opinion of matters and things in general, to the effect that all things, in his judgment, go on very well, and that he has just been thinking, when sister Livy is married to Farmer Williams, they 'll get the loan of his cider-press and brewing-tubs for nothing. The best gooseberry wine has been this night much in request. · Let us have one bottle more, Deborah, my life,' says the Vicar, “and, Moses, give us a good song. But where is my darling Olivia ?' Little Dick comes running in. 'O papa, papa, she is gone from us, she is gone from us, my sister Livy is gone from us forever! “Gone, child ! 'Yes, she is gone off with two gentlemen in a post-chaise, and one of them kissed her, and said he would die for her; and she cried very much, and was for coming back; but he persuaded her again, and she went into the chaise, and said, O what will my poor papa do when he knows I am undone !!' * Now then, my children, go and be miserable ; for we shall never enjoy one hour more ;' and the old man, struck to the heart, cannot help cursing the seducer. But Moses is mindful of happier teaching, and with a loving simplicity rebukes his father. You should be my mother's comforter, sir, and you increase her pain. You should not have cursed him, villain as he is.' 'I did not curse him, child, did I ? Indeed, sir, you did; you cursed him twice.' * Then may Heaven forgive me and him if I did.' Charity resumes its place in his heart: with forgiveness, happiness half visits him again ; by kindly patience even Deborah's reproaches are subdued and stayed; he takes back with most affecting tenderness his penitent child; and the voices of all his children are heard once more in their simple concert on the honeysuckle bank. We feel that it is better than cursing; and are even content that the rascally young squire should have time and hope for a sort of shabby repentance, and be allowed the intermediate comfort (it seems, after all one hardly knows why or wherefore, the most appropriate thing he can do) of blowing the French horn.' Mr. Abraham Adams has infinite claims on respect and love, nor ever to be forgotten are his groans over Wilson's worldly narrative, his sermon on vanity, his manuscript Æschylus, his noble independence to Lady Booby, and his grand rebuke to Peter Pounce; but he is put to no such trial as this which has been illustrated here, and which sets before us with such blended grandeur, simplicity, and pathos, the Christian heroism of the living father, and forgiving ambassador of God to man.
It was not an age of a particular earnestness, this Hume and Walpole age : but no one can be in earnest himself without in some degree affecting others. • I remember a passage in the Vicar of Wakefield,' said Johnson, a few years after its author's death, which Goldsmith was afterwards fool enough to expunge. I do not love a man who is zealous for nothing.' The words were little, since the feeling was retained ; for the very basis of the little tale was a sincerity and zeal for many things. This indeed it was, which, while all the world were admiring it for its mirth and sweetness, its bright and happy pictures, its simultaneous movement of the springs of laughter and tears, gave it a rarer value to a more select audience, and connected it with not the least memorable anecdote of modern literary history. It had been published little more than four years, when two Germans, whose names became afterwards world-famous, one a student at that time in his twentieth, the other a graduate in his twenty-fifth year, met in the city of Strasburg. The younger Johann Wolfgang Goethe, a law scholar of the university with a passion for literature, sought knowledge from the elder, Johann Gotfried Herder, for the course on which he was moved to enter. Herder, a severe and masterly though somewhat cynical critic, laughed at the likings of the young aspirant, and roused him to other aspirations. Producing a German translation of the Vicar of Wakefield, he read it out aloud to Goethe in a manner which was peculiar to him; and as the incidents of the little story came forth in his serious simple voice, in one unmoved unaltering tone (just as if nothing of it was present before him, but all was only historical ; as if the shadows of this poetic creation did not affect him in a life-like manner, but only glided gently by'), a new ideal of letters and of life arose in the mind of his listener. Years passed on; and while that younger student raised up and re-established the literature of his country : and came at last, in his prime and in his age, to be acknowledged for the wisest of modern men, he never ceased throughout to confess what he owed to those old evenings at Strasburg. The strength which can conquer circumstance; the happy wisdom of irony which elevates itself above every object, above fortune and misfortune, good and evil, death and life, and attains to the possession of a poetical world ; first visited Goethe in the tone with which Goldsmith's tale is told. The fiction became to him life's first reality; in country clergymen of Drusenheim there started up Vicars of Wakefield; for Olivias and Sophias of Alsace, first love fluttered at his heart; and at erery stage of his illustrious after career, its impression still vividly recurred to him. He remembered it, when, at the height of his worldly honor and success, he made his written Life ("Wahrheit und Dichtung') record what a blessing it had been to him; he had not forgotten it, when, some seventeen years ago, standing, at the age of eighty-one, on the very brink of the grave, he told a friend that in the decisive moment of mental development the Vicar of Wakefield had formed his education, and that he had lately, with unabated delight, read the charming book again from beginning to end, not a little affected by the lively recollection' how much he had been indebted to the author seventy years before.
PART 1. [The name of Alphonse de Lamartine will henceforth belong as much to political history as to literary. But we may venture to believe that his en
during fame will be rather that of a writer than a statesman. As a poet and a traveller De Lamartine has an European reputation. As an historian he has raised himself to the highest distinction as an eloquent, earnest, and just lover of freedom, and hater of oppression under every form. We translate the following exquisite narrative from his great work, “ Histoire de Girondins.'']
In a large and populous street running through the city of Caen, the capital of Lower Normandy, and at that time the centre of the Girondine insurrection, at the further end of a courtyard, stood an old house whose grey walls had been discolored by the rain, and in which many crevices had been made by time. The house was called the Grand Manoir. A fountain with an edge of stone, green with moss, occupied a corner of the court. A low and narrow door, with fluted side-posts meeting at the top in the form of an arch, afforded a glimpse of the well-worn steps of a spiral staircase ascending to the upper floor. Two crossbarred windows, with octagonal panes in leaden compartments, dimly lighted the staircase and the large unfurnished rooms. This somber light invested the old and obscure house with that air of decay, mystery, and gloom which it pleases the imagination to see spread over the cradles of genius and the dwellings of great minds. Here lived at the beginning of the year 1793 a granddaughter of the great French tragic poet, Pierre Corneille. Poets and heroes are one race. The only difference between them is that existing between ideas and actions. The one does what the other conceives. The thoughts are the same.
Women are naturally as enthusiastic as the one, as courageous as the other. Poetry, heroism, and love are akin. This house belonged to Madame de Bretteville, a poor
childless widow, old and infirm. A
relation whom she had adopted and educated had lived with her for some years, to be a support to her old age, and to enliven her solitude. This young girl was at that time four and twenty years of age. Her pensive beauty,
serene and contemplative, though brilliant, seemed to have imbibed its character from her gloomy dwelling and her retired life. She was like an apparition. The inhabitants of the neighborhood who saw her going to church on the Sunday with her old aunt, or caught a glimpse of her through the gateway, read. ing for hours together in the courtyard seated in the sun on the
steps of the fountain, say that their admiration for her was mingled with awe and respect. This may have been the effect either of the radiancy of a lofty spirit which intimidates the eye of the vulgar, or the atmosphere of the soul extending to the countenance, or of the presentiment of a tragical fate written on her brow.
This young girl was of lofty stature, yet not above the ordinary height of the tall and slender women of Normandy. Grace and natural dignity, like internal rhythm, gave poetry to her gait and her movements. In her complexion the warmth of the south was mingled with the fairness of the women of the north. Her hair looked dark when gathered in a mass around her head, or when divided into two waves upon her forehead. The extremity of her tresses shone like gold, like the ear of corn which is richer and brighter in its hue than the blade. Her eyes, large and well cut to the temples, changed their color like the water of the sea, which borrows its tint from light and shade, blue when she was in thought, nearly black when she was animated. Very long eyelashes, darker than her hair, gave depth to her eyes. Her nose joined her forehead with an almost imperceptible curve, and was slightly raised towards the middle. The lips of her Grecian mouth were clearly defined. Their expression alternated momentarily between tenderness and severity, adapted alike to breathe love or patriotism. A protruding chin, divided into two by a deep hollow, gave the lower part of her face an expression of manly resolution, which contrasted strangely with its feminine outline. Her cheeks had the freshness of youth and the firm roundness of health. She changed color quickly. Her skin was of a beautiful white, and marbled with life. Her large chest was of a sculptured bust with but little undulation. Her arms were strong with muscles, her hands long, her fingers slender. Her costume, suitable to her moderate fortune and to the retirement in which she lived, was sober and simple. She trusted to nature, and despised all the artifices and caprices of fashion in her dress. Those who saw her in her youth describe her as always wearing a robe of dark woollen cloth, in the form of a habit, and a hat of grey felt, turned up at the rim and trimmed with black ribbons, like those usually worn by the women of her rank at that time.