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The hall, in the form of an amphitheatre, was filled with people of fashion, and the young students of the university occupied the pit around the academic circle. The hall itself, large and lofty, was adorned with festoons of flowers and laurel; and the moment a prize was announced, the city trumpet sent forth the notes of victory. The appointment of the prizes is decided by the judges, before they enter the hall to announce the result of their deliberations.
In the present instance, Marmontel was aware of his good fortune, and he repaired to the assembly with transports of vanity, such as he declares he never afterwards could remember without shame and confusion. The judges entered, and silence was imposed throughout the hall. Then followed the panegyric on Clemence Isaure, pronounced every year at the foot of her statue, which stood in the hall, crowned with a wreath of flowers, and decorated with a girdle of the same. When all due honours had been paid to the memory of the lady patroness, the distribution of prizes commenced. It was first announced that the prize for the ode was withheld; and, as it was known that Marmontel had offered an ode to the academy, and that he was likewise the author
of an unsuccessful idyl, every body pitied the young poet for his twofold disappointment.
Then the poem which had gained the prize was proclaimed; and when the words, “ Let the author 'come forward,” were pronounced, Marmontel arose and received the prize. The usual applauses succeeded, and he heard those around him say, “ He has missed twice, but he did not fail a third time: he has more than one string and one arrow to his bow.” He returned to his seat, and presently the second poem was named, on which the academy had thought it right to bestow the prize of eloquence, rather than to withhold that prize altogether.
The author was called upon, and again Marmontel arose; and the applausés redoubled when he was seen a second time victorious. He had again returned to his seat, when the successful idyl was announced, and the author invited to come forward and receive the prize. Marmontel arose for the third time; and then, had he composed some of the most celebrated chefsd'æuvre of genius, he could not have been more loudly applauded. The assembly was raised to the highest pitch of enthusiasm. The men carried him through the crowd in their arms, the women embraced him. But, in a scene so Aattering to the vanity of a youthful mind, there occurred one circumstance which touched his heart more sensibly than all the admiration by which he was surrounded. Amid the noise and confusion of the people, he suddenly perceived two long arms extended towards him. They were those of the good father Molasse, whom he had not seen for eight years. Marmontel rushed forwards, forced his way through the crowd, and throwing himself into his tutor's arms, held out his prizes, exclaiming, “ Take them, my father; they are yours : to you I owe them all.” The worthy Jesuit was unable to speak, but his uplifted eyes, filled with tears, testified his emotion; and the successful candidate felt, that the pleasure of giving joy to the heart of his venerable instructor, was a far richer reward than the applause of the multitude, and all the honours of his floral triumph. “ Ah! my children,” exclaims Marmontel, addressing to them his narrative," that which interests the heart is always sweet, and affords pleasure through the whole course of our lives; while that which merely flatters the pride of genius is recalled only as a vain dream, which we blush to recollect was once so fondly cherished.”
Enothera biennis. Evening Primrose.
Leaves egg-spear-shaped, flat. Stem covered with sharp points and soft hairs. Stamens regular. Petals undivided.
This plant has been discovered in such ruinous and little
frequented parts of the kingdom, that we can no longer hesitate to introduce it as British. It attains the heigla i of five or six feet. The main stem and larger branches are every where beset with minute asperities, terminating in fine transparent hairs, feeling not unlike a rough file. Leaves rather waved than flat. Blossoms fragrant, large, and yellow, expanding in the evening. B. JulySept.-Withering.
THE EVENING PRIMROSE.
THERE are that love the shades of life,
And shun the splendid walks of fame;
To risk Ambition's losing game;
That, far from Envy's lurid eye,
The fairest fruits of genius rear,
In friendship’s small but kindly sphere.
Than vainer flowers, though sweeter far,
The Evening Primrose shuns the day; Blooms only to the western star,
And loves its solitary ray.
In Eden's vale an aged hind,
At the dim twilight's closing hour, On his time-smoothed staff reclined,
With wonder viewed the opening flower.
“ Ill-fated flower, at eve to blow;
(In pity's simple thought he cries ;) Thy bosom must not feel the glow
Of splendid suns, or smiling skies.
- Nor thee the vagrants of the field,
The hamlet's little train behold; Their eyes to sweet oppression yield,
When thine the falling shades unfold.
“ Nor thee the hasty shepherd heeds,
When love has fill’d his heart with cares : For flowers he rifles all the meads;
For waking flowers; but thine forbears.
66 Ah! waste no more that beauteous bloom,
On night's chill shade that fragrant breath; Let smiling suns those gems illume!
Fair flower! to live unseen is death !”
Soft as the voice of vernal gales
That o'er the bending meadows blow; Or streams that steal through even vales,
And murmur that they move so slow :