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between persons of distinction," of which then he winds up with a page and a half Letter IV. is entitled “Sarpedon to the of “so he lived happily all the rest of his ever-upbraiding Myrtilla,” and XI. “The days;" intermixed with some awkward repenting Aristus to the cruel, but most moralizing by way of apology for the adorable Panthea," and XLIV. “Bellisa looseness of the bulk of the work. For to Philemon, on perceiving a decay of his example, “Roxana” might as well have affection ?" If the ladies are ignorant of been twice or half as long as it is. this literature, let them be advised and One feature more of Defoe as a novelist. remain in their ignorance.
May he not be regarded as the first Eng. Smollett pursued a better course with lish writer of prose-fiction who pointed out regard to the “ famous Mr. Campbell,” in the field of history to imaginative literamaking him the object of laughter and the ture ? His “Journal of the Plague Year:) source of instruction to the town under his “Memoirs of a Cavalier ;” and “The the name of Cadwallader. But then Smol- Memoirs of an English Officer who served lett was a long age posterior to Defoe. in the Dutch War in 1672, to the peace
Similar to the “Life of Duncan Camp- of Utrecht in 1713, &c. &c. By Captain bell,” was Defoe's sketch of “Dickory George Carlton,” were the pioneers of that Crouke, The Dumb Philosopher,” &c. &c. army of which the Waverley Novels form Alas! alas ! and it was only for a morsel the main body. The great Earl of Chatham of bread.
used, before he discovered it to be a fiction, We have stated our thanks are due to to speak of the “ Memoirs of a Cavaliers Defoe for giving the English novel, graphic as the best account of the civil wars exdescriptions, and quick, pointed conver- tant. And of “Captain Carleton" there is sations. In one of the qualities of a novel the following anecdote in Boswell's Johnist he was unaccountably deficient—not son. “The best account of Lord Petereven coming up to his precursor Mrs. Behn. borough that I have happened to meet To the construction or the most vague with is in “Captain Charleton's Memoirs. conception of a plot he seems to have been Carleton was descended of an officer who quite inadequate. This may be accounted had distinguished himself at the siege of for partly by the fact that, from abstaining Derry. He was an officer, and, what was on religious grounds from the theatres, his rare at that time, had some knowledge of mind had not been duly educated in this engineering. Johnson said he had never most difficult department of his art; and heard of the book. Lord Elliot had a partly by the rapidity with which his copy at Port Elliot; but, after a good i histories" were evolved. Whatever may deal of inquiry, procured a copy in Lonbe the cause of the fault, that it exists few don, and sent it to Johnson, who told Sir will be so rash as to question. All Defoe's Joshua Reynolds that he was going to bed novels, long as they are, are but a string when it came, but was so much pleased of separate anecdotes related of one per- with it that he sat up till he read it through, son, but having no other connection with and found in it such an air of truth that each other. In no one of them are there he could not doubt its authenticity; adforces at work that necessitate the con- ding, with a smile, in allusion to Lord clusion of the story at a certain point. Elliot's having recently been raised to the One meets with no mystery, no denoue- peerage, I did not think a young lord ment in them. The go on and on (usually could have mentioned to me a book in the at a brisk pace, with abundance of drama- English history that was not known to tic positions), till it apparently strikes the me.” author he has written a good bookful, and
From Chambers' Journal.
THE BELGIANS, THEIR KING AND GREAT PEOPLE. GOLDSMITH has, with matchless felicity, the land.” Of a similar character is Flanpainted, in a few touches, the countryders, which resembles Holland both in where “the broad ocean leans against the physical aspect and population. As we
approach the sea-board of Belgium, we ceased, even nominally, to stand on the observe the low, sandy coast mingling rolls of living empire; but she has left her with the leaden, murky sky of winter, or, glorious tongue ineffaceably stamped on in midsummer, a narrow tawny line, the new Europe as on the old, from the scarcely visible over the azure expanse of pillars of Hercules to the valley of the the German Ocean.
Meuse. Beyond this sterile mask, the soil is Alert, ingenious, and versatile, the Walstill flat; but rich pastures, fat cattle, and loon of Liege and Namur is a complete luxuriant but formal vegetation cover the contrast to the ponderous deliberate Flewide champaign. As we advance, lofty ming, who in politics acts as a drag-chain spires rise in the distance, and in the nu- on the mobility of his excursive neighbour. merous towns we see abundant signs of old In politics, the Fleming is the pièce de resisGermanic wealth. Great labor and super- tance against a social overturn, for the abundant ornament distinguish these high stength of the republican party is in Nagables and window-mouldings; while in mur and in Liege. In literature, the street and market our ears are saluted by Fleming admires the profound thought the tongue of a Vandyck or a Matsys, and and masterly treatment of the passions to we recognise the ruddy hue, blue eyes, be found in the literature of the Germanic flaxen locks, and cleanly apparel of a races; but in the anatomy of the foibles of genuine Saxon race. Music is not in their artificial society, the French-speaking and accents; neither is grace visible in their French-thinking inhabitants of Belgium movements and gestures, nor gaiety in shew an acuteness and a finesse that at their thoughts; but all the sound qualities once identify them with the larger branch of this great family-health and strength, of this brilliant family. moral and physical, truthful hearts, and Such is the people ruled over by Leopold, clear, practical understandings.
who, if he has ceased to fulfil the functions Further inland, we find the basin of of prince and peer of England, is still the upper Meuse, a sort of minor Rhine. regarded with interest by the British peoRuined castles crown the toppling rock, ple. It would indeed be difficult to point or overlook the grassy bank or sunny or out a sovereign who in modern times has chard. Crowded towns, with tall smoking shewn more prudence, good sense, and chimneys, clink and hammer, and click of high feeling. We may apply to him the steam-engine, indicate mineral wealth and words of Bossuet, which ought to sink into industrial activity. Namur and Liege, the the mind of every public man: “He had a Sheffield and Birmingham of the Nether- name which never appeared but in actions, lands, are in a district at once rich and the justice of which was incontestible.” picturesque. Behind is the Ardennes, our There are few sayings in the biographies of own Shakspeare's forest of Arden, a moun- Plutarch characterised by a more noble tain-region, where trackless woods, the simplicity and laconic elevation of sentihaunt of the wolf and the boar, are the ment than his brief speech to the chamdelight of the hunter and fowler.
bers when the troubles of 1843 threatened The inhabitants of the Belgian basin of Europe with confusion. “Gentlemen," the Meuse are not Flemings, but Wal- said he, “I came here for the good of Belloons. Wales, Wallachia, Gaul, Galatia, gium, and if the same object requires my Galicia, -how the limbs of the great Celtic departure, I am ready to start on the giant of antiquity have been scattered over shortest notice, rather than have a civil the four quarters of Europe, but how dis- war.” In a moment, faction was paratinctly recognisable on the Valley of the lysed, the most obstreperous were struck Meuse ! In Britain, the Celtic and Saxon dumb, and the response came from the races have been so amalgamated, that the heart of the country in a loud chorus of national character is a composite. In Bel- applause and enthusiam. gium, the two elements have remained Leopold of Belgium is now well ad. distinct, but in juxtaposition. The Wal- vanced in years, his age being 66; but he loon, like the Frenchman, is a Latinized is in the full enjoyment of good health. Celt. The language of the Druids is no He is very temperate in living, and resides longer spoken as by the children of the in a private manner at the palace of LackScottish mist; the Walloon like the en, a large villa on the slope of a hill, with Frenchman, speaks a Latin dialect. More a southerly exposure, a couple of miles than a millennium has elapsed since Rome from Brussels. It has no great extent of park: and at break of day in the fine sum- | dustrial pursuits, or the inheritance of exmer mornings, the king is to be seen, with tinct collateral branches, are causes of their a single attendant, walking about the still being in Belgium aristocratic fortunes farms and country-roads round Lacken which would be considered large even in the “Farmer George” of rural Brabant. England. The Prince de Chimay—son of On certain days, he comes into the palace the beautiful Madame Tallien by her reof Brussels, to transact business with his marriage-having espoused the daughter ministers, and go through the acts and of M. Pellaprat, the great army-contractor routine of royalty; and then returns, like to the old French Empire in the days of the lawyer who doffs his gown and wig Jena and Austerlitz, has thereby added not on proceeding to his suburban villa. The much short of a million sterling to his preking profeses kingcraft chiefly at Brussels ; vious property. The Duke d’Aremberg, with the people of Lacken and his establish of the family of the princes of Ligne, is ment, he is merely the popular squire of understood to have a clear income of the hall.
£40,000 a year. The late Prince de Ligne The town-palace is built upon what was has left a European reputation not only for formerly a vast walled inclosure, forming wit, but for that perfect amiability which the crest of a hill on which was built the constitutes the highest breeding, so that former residence of the Dukes of Brabant people said of him: “Foreigners imitate -at the gates of which, on the south side, the manners of the French, and the French was the continuous forest of Soignies. All imitate the manners of the Prince de is now altered. This celebrated forest has Ligne," who was the only foreigner to yielded so far to the axe and the plough, whom they accorded this distinction. that it has almost ceased to exist; the field. Even when the old properties have been of Waterloo is now scarcely recognizable; divided, it sometimes happens that a fall and a new town of modern architecture of water or a seam of coal, combined with covers the upper part of Brussels. The some ingenuity, enables old families to keep town-palace is a mere box or barrack, with up; but in general it is the aristocracy of out architectural decorations, and inferior wealth, and not of birth, that holds the to that of many petty princes of Germany: present rule. Rich merchants of Antthere are therefore projects for rebuilding werp, manufacturers of Liege, Namur, and it in a manner more suitable to a kingdom Verviers, advocates in large practice in which abounds in noble architectural monu- Brussels and other large towns, divide with ments.
the Catholic clergy the power of Belgium. Belgium having belonged successively It is in the middle classes, rather than in to Burgundy, Spain, and Austria, many the nobility, we find the curious contrast historical names are visible in the court- between the Saxon and the Gael in Bellists. A Lannoy of the same family as he gium. During the Dutch rule, the Fleto whom Francis I. surrendered after the mish language, spoken almost exclusively battle of Pavia, and a Marnix related to by the people of Antwerp, Ghent, Bruges, the brave defender of Antwerp, iu the &c., was kept up; but the French revoluworld-renowned siege of that place by the tion of 1830 acted powerfully in the disSpaniards, are at the head of the household semination of the French, and restriction establishment of Leopold and his eldest of the Flemish language. Centralisation son. But the old historical noblesse is in Brussels and the French language went greatly decayed and impoverished since together, and found a resistance in the Flethe French Revolution and invasion of mish language and the old Flemish munici1792. The estates were not sweepingly pal and provincial spirit. The leader in confiscated, as in France, hut the system. this movement was Hendrik Conscience, atic devision of the properties by the aboli- the well-known Flemish novelist, and the tion of the law of primogeniture, is gradu- first literary celebrity in Belgium. A socially wearing them out; so that, although ety was founded at Antwerp voor Taal en numbering many virtuous and intelligent Kunst—that is to say, for the cultivation individuals, such as the Vanderstradens of vernacular philology and the fine arts. and the Baillet de Latours, the aristocracy, These men do not deny that administrative as a whole, has little political weight in unity has many advantages, and that Flemthe state.
ish literature is the pigmy beside the giant; To this rule, there are of course consider- but they maintain, on the other hand, that able exceptions. Wealthy marriages, in- | the glory of Belgium is in the Flanders of the renaissance-in Antwerp, and Bruges, French to this day with a pure old Celtic and Ghent, those Genoas and Venices of accent, in all its sing-song-nasality, as if the north; and they seem to feel with pride “her nainsell,” the Dougal creature, were that the tongue of a Van Eyck, a Quintin the interlocutor. This is styled Marolien, Matsys, and a Vandyck, will not willingly as distinct from classical French, which has be let die so long as their works and their been the language of the court and the memories send a thrill of patriotic enthusi | upper classes for centuries. asm through the fibres of every Fleming, Antwerp is still the capital of the fine and so long as the productions of a Con- arts in Belgium, not only from the extraorscience reflect the national mind.
dinary productions of Flemish genius still The king acts with great tact and impar- preserved there, but from its being the tiality on this delicate ground. If Taal en locality of the Belgian School of Design Kunst gives him a fête to-day, he goes and Academy of the Fine Arts; but in the to-morrow to the Société des Arts, and regions of science, Brussels occupies the seeks to soften all asperities, on the first place. If the first name in Belgian ground that there is ample room for the literature is that of the Philo-Fleming Condevelopment of both nationalities, each science, the first in science is that of within its own peculiar sphere, and with. M. Quetelet, the astronomer-royal and out collisions and dissensions injurious to president of the Academy of Sciences. both.
This amiable gentleman-whose works are It is Brussels, the capital, that unites in French-is well known in this country both elements. It is just within the Fle- as the ingenious statistician of man. Reamish-Saxon region, but close upon the bor- lizing one of the boldest projects of Conders of where the French language begins dorcet, he has subjected the powers and to be spoken. The lower town is mostly passions of humanity to the processes of the Flemish; so is the peasantry of the imme- scientific calculator, and has thus produced diately surrounding villages; but within that moral atlas of humanity which Mathe upper town itself is a Walloon colony, dame de Staël declared to be one of the occupying a distinct quarter, speaking great desiderata of this century.
From the New Monthly Magazine.
MONTE CRISTO AND ALEXANDRE DUMAS,
THERE is but little to see at Marly, but the gateway, out of which lodge issued a that little is very interesting to such a very aged dame and a dog with three lover of the brocaded days of “Le Grand legs, the latter making up by his bark Monarque” as I am. On the road, not what he had lost in his limbs. After havfar from St. Germain, stands the same ing appeased the biped and the quadruped villa, belonging to Alexandre Dumas, -the first with money, the last with which I have already noticed as seen bread--we were allowed to survey the from the terrace. Like any Cockney domain of the author of “Monte Cristo.” suburban habitation of Clapham Common Desolation reigned around; the walks or Blackheath, it stands close on the road were covered with weeds; the flower
-so close, indeed, that the stables are on beds a mass of decaying leaves; some of the opposite side because there is no room the windows of the half-finished house for them near the house. Notwithstand were closed, some blocked up by boards. ing this proximity, a huge lodge flanks The explanation being that the popular
VOL. XXXIX.-NO. I.
Dumas (like almost every man of talent found the distance from Paris so mighty in all ages) loves the “feast of reason and convenient, and the air of the château so flow of soul;" or, in other words, lives delightful, that somehow or other they beyond his means, and is immensely fond were always there. But there is a proviof company, but like other celebrated dence even for authors, unfortunately only authors gifted with fertile brains, he finds to be observed, it is true, after they have at last the supply can no longer meet the generally laid mouldering in their graves demand, and therefore, rapidly tumbles for many a year, whither starvation or a into debt.
broken heart has often sent them. But The Castle, as it is termed, is nothing in M. Dumas's case this providence actubut a good honest square dwelling, orna- ally appeared then and there just when he mented, or disfigured, according to the most wanted it. His admirers (and are different tastes, by small turrets at the not their name Legion ?) hearing of the corners; but castle, in good truth, it is misadventure, and of those ruthless credinone. However, that's not much- tors who had besieged, and stormed, and “ What's in a name ?” says Juliet-and taken possession of the castle-seizing on so we will call it castle or cottage, which- his Utopia while yet unfinished-actually, ever the witty proprietor chooses. It like good practical Christian souls, joined was begun on the strength of the im- together and repurchased for him the mense success of the novel whose name abode which was afterwards duly repreit bears, and was to be kept up on the sented to him, with sundry dinings and idea of a fertile brain filling Europe with speeches, and drinkings of wine, of Chamsimilar romances; Dumas's head still pagne and Burgundy, minus only the reeking with the visions of Eastern splen- elegant furniture he had placed in it. dor he had created for Dantès the Mag- But, dismantled as it was, he became lord nificent, he could not conceive anything and master, and could again hope to inless imposing than a castle for himself, dulge in dreams of becoming de facto mistaking as his own the everlasting purse Comte de Monte Cristo! with which he had supplied his marvel- ! It was precisely in this state of semilous hero, who could at a word create a existence when I visited it, and was conpalace like a second Aladdin, and furnish ducted by the antiquated crone into the it with diamonds from Golconda or gold of interior through a door in one of the Peru. So our author began to build, and small turrets. All round looked dismal to make gardens and vineyards, and to enough; where there ought to have been dream great things for himself in a para- hangings and drapery were only bare dise already completed in his imagination walls and large rusty nails, bearing frag-swelling down in verdant beauty to the ments of tattered fringe and brocade. banks of the winding Seine.
| The fireplaces round which so many a There is a motto—but, like everything merry riotous circle had congregated were good, it is somewhat musty—“that fools empty and desolate, denuded even of build for wise men to live in ;” and so found | grates, and all around bore irrefragable Monsieur Alexandre Dumas, for alas ! | evidence of the cruel invaders who had long before the castle was finished, he got sacked the castle. Enough, however, was into debt, and those odious brutes, his left to show that the furniture had been creditors-remorseless tailors of rich magnificent, for could Monte Cristo live stuffs and gaudy hangings-neither caring on aught save purple and fine linen? nor thinking about his glorious dreams, The distribution of the house was exceednor of Monte Cristo, about to appear in ingly good, the centre portion being diviflesh and blood, and with a palace en suite, ded into large saloons, fitted up with in the person of the author, actually divans looking out on the beautiful plain confound the wretches !-seized on the beneath, watered by the Seine, and the half-finished abode to pay their disgusting vine-terraced hills, with the town of St. bills, and dismantled the rooms which Germain picturesquely covering the rising were already finished, where Dumas had ground near at hand. Around these received such réunions from Paris, such centre rooms were suites of smaller apartloves from the Variétés, such tragedy- ments which included the turrets, forming queens from the Ambigu, and actual an- charming little coozy nooks and snuggegels from the Grand Opera, with hordes ries. of authors and wits, all as poor as rats, who Spite of my dislike of the exterior, I