Изображения страниц

better than in Sicily, and the cold of the winter, which our travellers spent in this fouthern part of Europe, where they had been sent to avoid the inclemency of higher latitudes, was extreme. They suffered more severely by being in a country where chimnies are considered as superfíuities, where the houses are constructed so as to avoid the effects of extreme heat, rather than to guard against or counteract the severity of cold. At Morano, our author tells us, that the fine weather brought the green lizards from their recesses. These animals, whose bodies are green burnished with gold, and whose head is a bright polished blue, are very beautiful; but Mr. Hill is mifs taken when he tells us that the medicine called Venice treacle is prepared from the flesh of these animals, and others of the serpent kind, boiled to a jelly. In the ancient Venice treacle the bellies of a kind of lizard, the sckink, was an ingredient; and on the spot it may now become the only one. The expression, however, if it is fo, must be condemned as too generale Little else occurs which particularly merits our notice in this place. The whole concludes with the ceremonies of the holy week, as they were celebrated last year with peculiar brilliancy, owing to the presence of the king and queen of Naples, and Mefdames de France. These mummeries excite our pity, and sometimes indignation, which we trust arises from a proper sense of religion. Holy killing makes a large part of the ceremony. The pope kisses the cardinals, and actually almost devours with the fondest kisses the foot of'a Roman consul, now since he has been regularly christened, taken or mistaken

for a statue of St. Peter. Many parts of the description are, • however, by no means new, and the whole is too trifling to detain us.

The short excursion to Tivoli is, on the contrary, very pleasing, and the description of this classic ground highly interesting. We shall conclude thefe Travels, which we have read with great pleasure, and which we think highly deserving of the public attention, by a description of the celebrated cala çade at Tivoli.

• The town of Tivoli, once a place of great note, but now ia. considerable, is beautifully fituated upon the side of the Apennine hills. It is famous for one of the finest cascades in Europe, different views of which have been taken by most of the landscape painters in Italy. The Tiverrone, called by Horace Anio, of which it is composed, and which is about the size of the Avon at Bath, first takes one moderate leap about twenty feet, and thence, a few yards farther, precipitates itself under the arch of a bridge with great rapidity among broken rocks, which close by degrees, and conceal it from view, dillit foams again into fight from under a great natural vault, called Neptune's cave. It there finds a



small felf, or ledge, from whence it falls again as high as the first time. The magnificence of the scenery is at this place increased by a collateral stream, which tumbles from an high perpendicular rock. These two currents, thus joined, shorily fall again, and once more after that, force their way through a vast fony mass, which lies across their channel. This little sequeftered {pot, amidit the roar of so many cascades, and so closely embraced by rocks and mountains, is surely the highest treat that a lover of romantic prospects can enjoy. There are indeed few large trees to ornament the scene, but a variety of Arubs, and fome vineyards.'

Speeches of M. de Mirabeau the Elder, pronounced in the Na

tional Asembly of France. To'which is prefixed, a Sketch of his Life and Charafier. Trandateil from the French Edition

of M. Mejan. By James White, Eją. 8vo. 5s. Boards. · Debrett. 1792. GREAT abilities are developed by events; and, in a fait

able Situation, the peculiar talents and temper of every one are displayed, in proportion as the exigencies of the mument call for their exertion. Those who looked at the rough exterior, and the aukward air of Cromwell, when he at first appeared in parlianent, those who attended to his confused and embarrassed elocution, could not see the clear decision of his resolves, the warm impetuosity of his enthusiasm, which hurried away the minds of his hearers and companions, and left reason coolly to follow, fometimes to condemn. Nor would these qualities, in other times, have led him to be the protector of a great kingdom: talents, perhaps equal, have been lost in the intrepid sportsman, and elocution, equally embarrafled, has only raised the smile at a veftry. We are not now to look at Mirabeau as the spy on the French ambasador at Berlin, or as raising 'doubts' respecting the navigation of the Scheld, but as the impetuoas leader of an opprefled people in the recovery of their liberties, enthusiastic in the pursuit, and at last, perhaps, like vaulting ambition, which overleaps itself, alighting in licentiousness. His indiscretion may have suggeited doubts of his integrity, or the former part of his life may have led both his friends and his enemies to suspect whether his principles were so firmly fixed as to secure him from temptation. This is not our present business ; we must look at M. de Mirabeau as an orator only, as a distinguished actor in a revolution hitherto unequalled in the annals of the world.

The tranflator, Mr. White, we have already followed in ghe conflict of words, in his version of Cicero's Philippics, where the accomplished orator leaves the calm road of persuasion, and elegant argument, for the more powerful indignant style of Demosthenes. In this almost congenial attempt, he has succeeded better, if we may be allowed to fay lo, when we can only judge of the fidelity of the translation from fome extracts quoted by foreign journalists, and the few cri-, ginal sentences added in the margin. So far as these aflist us, we think his version free, animated, and often uncommonly happy. The nervous energy of his style, accompanied by an apparently easy flow of words, give great force to the argu-, ments : we are hurried away in the strain of indignant oratory, and catch, for a moment, the animation, the passion of the speaker. Mr. White observes, that these speeches, which are an extract from a voluminous collection, may be confidered as having gained rather than lost by translation,' modestly adding as a reason, since they are now adopted into a language, which has for ages been the language of liberty.'


• Mirabeau is, in my mind, an 'orator of the first rank. He appears to me to be, in many parts of his orations, highly Cice. ronian, and, in some paragraphs, even towers to a pitch of fplendoor and fublimity, which seems to equalize him with Demos thenes. (The period quoted in the title-page is such a one as Demofthenes might have gloried in delivering.) I think I find in him, at times, the fatirical energy of Grattan, the imperious logic of Flood, the grand and irresistible enthusiasm of Chatham.

• If, as Cicero so justly observes, the whole business of an orator is comprised in these three points, to inform, so please, to agitaie, docere, delectare, permovere ; the last of which, he afo firms, is infinitely the most important, M. de Mirabeau is an orator in the completest sense. The two former of these three qualities, insists the Roman orator, are of little avail without the third ; but the third, without the former two, is very frequently adequate to the acquisition of victory,

• Had Mirabeau been a mere man of argument, or had he been only a pretty speaker, he never could have so powerfully influenced the French nation, as we know he did. Like Demosthenes, he spoke to the feelings of his fellow-citizens, as well as to their reason : while he informed their understandings, he animated cheir hearts.'

Mirabeau spoke extempore, with little preparation ; he spoke to the feelings, the passions, and spoke to those who felt like himself. Who shall then wonder at his success ? and if in the moment of liberty, licentiousness could have been fupprefied, if the cordial draught had been temperately kipped, without intoxication; if, in the moment of prosperity,


the band of patriots had known how to have checked their career, and stopped safely within the bounds of a sober temperate liberty, checked by an aristocracy, controuled by law, and regulated by a respected monarchy, we should have hailed the itar, rising and spreading its beneficent beams, with an adoration truly Persian. At prefent--but we must no longer wander from the subject. The original editor apologises for some less polished expressions, which the orator, in his hafte, hazarded, and the translator has softened, fubjoining, however, in these instances, and where the language of Mirabeau was remarkably ftrong and pointed, the original in the margin. To each speech, a short account of the occasion on which it was delivered is prefixed, and these render the substance easily intelligible, befides forming a very concise abstract of the principal events. We can only extract fome passages from this entertaining volume; and, if they should appear numerous, the spirit of the orations, and the circumstances which gave occasion to theexertion of the orator's abilities, must be our excuse. The first specch of Mirabeau was delivered when the returns had been verified, when a few only of the clergy had seceded to the commons, when it was necefTary to act, and difficult to determine in what character the exera tions were to commence. He recommended the title of representatives of the people of France; and his argument rests on the dignity, the majesty of the people, a theme at that time new in France, at which even the more violent demas gogues started with surprise and apprehension.

" Allume not an alas ming appellation. Look out for one which cannot be dispuied with you, one which, more mild, and no less imposing in its plenitude, may be applicable to all times, may agree with every improvement which events will suffer you to make, and may, in the hour of need, serve as a weapon to defend the rights and principles of the nation.

“ Such is, in my opinion, the following formulary: Represextatives of the people of France.

" Who can dispute this title with you? What will it not be, come, when your principles shall be known, when you shall have proposed good laws, when you fall have acquired the confidence of the public ? -How will the other two orders then conduct themselves ? - Will they join you? They must do it ; and, if they are sensible of that necessity, what more will it cost them to join you in regular form ! Will they refuse to join you ? - We will give sentence again ft them, when the world at large shall be able to form an opinion of both parties.”

The second part of the speech on the same subject displays an accuracy of distinction, and a clearness of reasoning,



which, if the speech were really extempore, is highly commendable. Mr. Fox, even in his best replies, which are often truly excellent, never excelled the French orator in these points.

When the king commanded (commanded, alas ! for the last time) the assembly to quit the hall, and the master of the ceremonies reminded the president of this injunction, Mirabeau's reply, which must have been unpremeditated, is excellent.

• M. de Mirabeau. (Addreffling himself to M. de Breze.)

“ The commons of France have determined to debate : we have heard the intentions which have been suggested to the king , and you who cannot be his instrument at the national assembly, you who have here neither place, nor voice, nor right to speak, are not the kind of person to remind us of his speech. Go tell your master, that we are here by the power of the people, and that nothing shall expel us but the power of the bayonet."

The following extracts from a speech on the address for removing the soldiers, we cannot praise too highly: they display an intimate knowledge of human nature, consummate art, and just reasoning.

“ What occafion, at this moment, for the soldiery? Never had the people more reason to be calm, to be tranquil, to be confident ; every thing announces to them the end of their calamities; every thing promises them the regeneration of the kingdom : their eyes, their hopes, their wishes reft on us. Ought we not to be considered as the best security to the sovereign, for the confidence, the obedience, the fidelity of his people ? If he ever could have doubted them, he can no longer do so now : our presence is the pledge of public peace, and undoubtedly there never will exit a better. Yes, let them afsemble troops in order to fubjugate the people to the dreadful designs of despotism! but let them not drag the beft of princes to commence the prosperity, the lie berty of the nation, with the inaufpicious apparatus of tyranny!

“ Indeed, I am not yet acquainted with all the pretexts, all the artifices of the enemies of the people, as I cannot divine with what plausible reason they can colour over the pretended necessity for the troops, at the moment when not only the uselessness, but the danger of them also makes an impression upon every heart. With what eyes will a people, assailed by so many mise. ries, see that multitude of idle soldiers coming to dispute with it the relics of its subsistence? The contrast created by the plenty on the one fide (bread, in the eyes of him who is famishing, is plenty), the contrast of plenty on the one side, and of indigence on the other, of the unconcern of the soldier, into whose Jap


« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »