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who have seen the mistress of nations in her present fallen state will acknowledge that it is not much beyond the truth.

Anastasius embarks at Ancona for Venice. During the voyage Alexis is taken ill. The sickness and sufferings of the child and the agonizing affliction of the father are detailed in a most affecting manner. We will not injure the effect by an attempt at abridgement. The malediction of Helena is accomplished Alexis dies— Euphrosyne is avenged—and Anastasius feels himself the wretch he had so long deserved to be.

We now draw near to the conclusion. Spiridion appears again for a moment—coming like a shadow and so departing—for what purpose we do not discover, and Anastasius sets out upon his last

journey. At the second stage want of horses stops his progress, and he orders refreshment and a bed. He passes the evening in reviewing the history of his life, and is stung with the bitterness of remorse in looking back at the past, while the future holds him out no prospect but to waste away the remnant of his life in tears resembling the rain drops that fall into the sea, untold, unheeded, without leaving a trace behind them.'

The rest of the tale may be told in a few words. Anastasius pursues his journey, and, under the influence of the same fancied fatality that directed the commencement of his career, arrests his course in a beautiful wilderness, which is sketched with so much power of picturesque description that we almost forget to ask if this were indeed a secluded nook,' through which no path ran in any direction, its very outskirts scarcely ever pressed by the foot of man,' how it happened that the traveller's calash rolled through it so easily? Here he hires a small cottage, and, completely exhausted by premature old age in his thirty-sixth year, passes the short remainder of his days in dictating his menoirs and preparing for his death; the circumstances of which are detailed in a postscript by a neighbour and friend;—and so the curtain drops.

In laying down the book, we feel some difficulty in attempting to express the mixed sentiments which the perusal has excited. Talent of the most varied kind is displayed throughout. It would be impossible to turn over a score of pages without encountering some happy sketch of character, some originality of thought, or some sentiment, if not entirely new, yet invested with much of the charm of novelty by the slyness of insinuation and shrewdness of expression in which it is conveyed. But, while we are often delighted with detached scenes, which are bodied forth with vigour of imagination, and clothed in language at once rich, nervous and pointed, it is no less true that we are as often doomed to toil through many a dull and heavy page where the narrative lags lamely along, with a stiff hobbling gait, in a style which is L L4

neither

neither poetry nor prose, neither Greek nor English, but has all the faults of both without the beauties of either. * It would seem that the author

Infelix opere in summo, quia ponere totum

Nescit, was entirely without the power of combining his materials, and hence his work, however rich in scattered gems, wants altogether that character of wholeness, which the most desultory tale ought to possess. This will perhaps explain why it is that the Memoirs of Anastasius do not in a greater degree lay hold of the affections or permanently engage the interest of the reader. Many of the detached pictures are sketched with such a minuteness of touch, and such a fidelity to nature, as would have led us to suppose they must have been the workmanship of a native Greek; --and none perhaps bui a native Greek can appreciate all their merit. But the characters and personages incidentally introduced do not connect well with the story; there is no chain of incident, and though the separate links are often worked with great skill, yet all seems taken at random from the author's common-place book, and joined together as it were by accident. In the conduct of his narrative he is fond of attempts to surprise; but these attempts are too often made at the expense of nature and probability. We are continually stumbling against something to remind us that we are reading an account of what could never have existed except in the author's imagination, and thus the illusion of reality is dispelled. There is scarcely a single adventure entirely

* The following will serve as a specimen of the bewildered vnintelligibility in which .Mr. Hope occasionally indulges. • But if the different species of noxious priociples, physical and mo.al, 100 liberally mixed up in our natures, are by most cousututions ihrown off at a single crisis, wbich morial when too serere, renders life still more secure when it has ended favourably, they find others incapable, either from their weakness or from the strengib of the virus, io exoel it entirely on the hist conflict, however great be the effort, and complete appear the victory. In inese, when all the poison is considered as exhaled and the danger as past, there will at the very moment when every long agonised heart of friend or parent bewails the deceitful vision of an infallible recoverytakes place a relapse:-and this relapse ends in deat().'- vol.iii. p. 26. This precious piece of galimaiias seems to have been elaborated with peculiar care, for it is only to be found in its present state in the third edition, by a comparison of which with the former, the reader will perceive the additional touches it has received, and form a judgment of the perfection to which it may arrive in its further progress virugli tire press.

We must also advert cursorily to another evil, which escaped as in its place, and which appears to grow with every edition. We allude io ihe mode of spelling wbich Mr. Hope has adopted, and gives to his foreign phrases a more than usually strange and uncouth appearance. Mussulman is converted into Moslemin ; Giaour into Yacor; Circassian nto Teruercassian ; and even our old acquaintance Copt, whose name we thought had been long settled by prescription, here appears under the new disguise of Cosbl. It would be endless to enumerate the orthographical innorations, wbich indeed seem to have been so studiously made, that we doubt whether Selim be not the only word of oriental relation which is allowed to appear in its usual form.

free

free from this imperfection. Thus in the episode of Euphrosyne, the interest of the reader is greatly diminished by the difficulties he must encounter in endeavouring to reconcile the facts and the conduct of this eastern Lovelace with the common course of hu. man actions. Improbability is not the author's only fault. He is sometimes vulgar, often Hippant, and now and then goes laboriously out of bis way to be profane. It is in this taste that the adventure of the caloyer's bones seems to have been constructed, —for the purpose of venting a poor and miserable sarcasm at the resurrection. In conclusion, Anastasius and the volumes which record bis memoirs form a paradox of contradiction. The Greek adventurer is acute and dull, generous and niggardly, tenderhearted and cruel :—and the book, in harmony with its hero, is rational and absurd, profound and shallow, amusing and tiresome, to a degree beyond what we should have thought it possible to achieve in the same performance, if we had not seen it exemplified by the author before us.

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Art. XI.-Pétrarque et Laure, par Madame la Comtesse de

Genlis. Paris, Adorat, Libraire, 1 vol. 8vo. 1819. Londres. 2 vols. 12mo. PETRARCH, having been endowed with almost all the noble,

and with some of the little passions of human nature; and, having never concealed them in his writings, has left materials for the most interesting of histories, a history of the heart of a man of genius: but he still requires-what few have ever had the good fortune to find-a man of genius for bis historian.

“Je n'ai épargné,' says Madame de Genlis, ni les lectures, ni les recherches pour que cei ouvrage, sous le rapport historique, füt aussi complet qu'il pouvait l'être.'-p. 13. ' Si quelquefois,' she adds, je suis historien moius fidèle seulement en parlant de la belle Laure, on pardonnera quelques fictions dans le récit des amours d'un poëte,' p. 5. and, as a consequence, she thinks que le style de son ouvrage devait avoir quelque ressemblance avec celui d'un poëme.'-p. 16. edit. de Paris.

A book, which shall be at once a history, a romance, and a poem, is something extraordinary; for it requires, at the same time, the contrary efforts of restraining and exciting the imagination. Such a book will run the risk of being weither a history, a romance, nor a poem; but a non-descript, which possibly will be read as long as it possesses the charm of novelty.

In those parts of her work which may be called historical, Madame de Genlis fulfils the obligation imposed on historians, by citing the authorities at the foot of her pages in these words,

• Ilis

* Ey

poet who has eloquently and candidly painted his own passion, that he has made us feel strongly, reflect deeply, and admire in him whose originality is real, amiable, and interesting—it is almost im

Historique,' without referring us to any historian-Ses Lettres, without pointing out any particular letter,- Ses Sonnets,' and sometimes. Voyez tous ses Sonnets. In obedience to this last command we have read over about half the Italian poetry of Pe trarch, and have been able to discover in five or six pieces only

, the semblance of some facts which Madame de Geolis has es. panded. Perhaps they are to be found in the other half which we have not read; but a general recollection of the history of the fourteenth century is sufficient to satisfy us at every page, that the inventive genius of the author has got the better of her good resolutions, and that she has presented us with a most dangerous gift

a series of errors under the name of matters of fact, even while declaring that she has no need of fiction : ber narrative opens with the following passage:

Pétrarque recevait le jour en 1304. Au moment de sa naissance, Petracco son père, resté à Florence et de la faction des blancs opposée à celui des noirs, soutenait un sanglant combat. L'issue en fut malheureuse pour celui des blancs dont le parti s'était réuni à celui des Guelphes. Ils furent chassés de Florence.:-(p. 8. édit. de Paris.)

Now no facts are more incontestible than the following: the father of Petrarch was banished in 1902, he was at Arezzo when his son was born in 1304,—the whites were no other than the Ghibellins under another name, - the blacks were the Guelphs,— lastly, it was not the Guelphs, but the Ghibellins, who, in 18/2, were proscribed from Florence,—and not after any bloody combats, but by the influence of calumny and the dark

process inquisitorial tribunal.

This work cannot fail to produce its effects upon young persons who know Petrarch only by his great reputation, by reading some of his sonnets superficially, or by the romantic traditions of his love. Unfortunately those whose knowledge of him is not quite so vague, cannot drive from their memories certain facts

, to make room

for fiction; and if we inust make our election between the and the novelist who has coloured it with all the efforts of art, , if we find that this same man wrote, during a long life, volumes of familiar letters in which all his thoughts, all his feelings, all his actions, nay, the most trifling circumstances correspond perfectly with what he expressed in his poetry,—if we acknowledge lastly possible that we should not give the preference to him, and that a romance, however well executed, should not appear irrelevant and cold. At the same time, we are willing to admit that Madame

de Genlis occasionally succeeds in creating a very agreeable illusion; and that we have been much delighted with such passages as the one in which she describes the first interview between Petrarch and Laura.

Un jour Pétrarque, revenant de ses promenades solitaires et après avoir passé la nuit dans une cabane de pêcheurs, se trouva le 6 Avril, le

Lundi de la semaine sainte, à six heures du matin, aux portes d'Avignon. ? Il ne se doutait pas que cette matinée allait former l'époque la plus

intéressante de sa vie. Suivant sa pieuse coutume, lorsqu'il rentrait de

bonne heure dans la ville, il voulut aller faire ses prières dans une 2 église: celle de St. Clair se trouvant sur son chemin, il y rentra.

Comme la semaine sainte était commencée, l'église, suivant l'usage du temps, était tendue de noir, et une impression mélancolique fut la première sensation qu'éprouva Pétrarque en avançant dans ce sanctuaire religieux, ou son âme ardente et sensible allait voir se dévoiler les mystères les plus intéressans de son avenir.—Notre destinée est tout entière dans les affections de notre cæur. Pétrarque va connaître enfin la sienne, et (triste présage !) tout ce qu'il aperçoit d'abord, tout ce qui l'entoure, ne retrace que des idées solennelles d'un grand sacri

fice et de la mort!- Il se mit à genoux, et au bout de quelques minutes, i jetant les yeux à sa droite, il aperçoit à dix pas devant lui un objet

qui absorbe toute son attention. C'était une jeune personne à genoux, i qu'il ne pouvait voir que par derrière, mais il admira, avec une vive

émotion, la beauté parfaite de sa taille, de son cou, de ses cheveux blonds, et l'élégance de son habillement. Elle avait une robe verte, sa couleur favorite, parsemée de violettes, la plus humble des fleurs, devenue la plus célèbre et la plus à la mode, depuis l'institution toute récente des Jeux Floraux. Son cou était orné d'un collier de perles et de grenats; ses belles tresses blondes étaient relevées sous une couronne de filigrane, d'or et de pierreries. Pétrarque désirait vivement que le visage de cette jeune inconnue fût digne de sa taille et de sa parure, ou, pour mieux dire, il n'en doutait pas; il attendait avec impatience qu'elle se retournât: ce désir devint bientôt une agitation violente ; tous les pressentimens de l'amour semblaient le préparer à à ce qu'il allait éprouver; mais lorsque l'inconnue se leva, et qu'elle s'avança vers lui pour sortir de l'église, il sentit qu'il est des impressions dont l'imagination la plus poëtique et la plus ardente ne sauroit donner l'idée. Immobile, toujours à genoux, les mains jointes encore, et les yeux fixés sur elle, il la contemplait avec un saisissement inexprimable: leurs regards se rencontrèrent : l’inconnue, qui mille fois avait entendu parler de Pétrarque, tressaillit et rougit; elle le reconnaît ! Elle le nomme dans sa pensée, et ce nom qu'elle devait immortaliser, se grave à jamais dans le fond de son cæur. Elle s'éloignait lentement, quoiqu'elle n'osât pas retourner la tête ; mais elle se disait qu'elle le laissait derrière elle. Pétrarque la suivait des yeux, et son imagination la suivait encore dans la rue qu'elle devait traverser. Son frère vint l'arracher à cette douce rêverie.'--p. 31–34. There is nothing incredible in these details: we may even adinit

that,

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