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the hypocrisy of heirs. It has been observed, that as we become acquainted with physical evils we despise death, and as we are familiarised with the evils of society we despise life. Medical men are liable to both impressions, and the result is not unfrequently manifest in their sentiment and temperament, which are rarely enviable. There may be some, who, in the lofty consciousness of dispensing health or allaying pain, of preserving domestic ties unsevered, and the link of friendship unbroken, enjoy an exquisite gratification, that atones to them for manifold annoyances and miseries. Let such men be venerated ; for what are the momentary sufferings of the martyr, who gives his body to the flames, compared to his who offers up his mind as a perpetual and living sacrifice for the good of others ?
The Law is nothing but a vast arena of the vices and evil passions of mankind, where its professors, stripping off their moral clothing, appear as gladiators to fight for victory, not for justice! To stand in the midst of a wrangling crowd, and constitute a focus for all its hateful feelings, to be made the confident of " wretched rogues forlorn,” to be the depositary of their offences, to witness perjury, to advocate wrong, and oppose truth and justice, when hired to do it by a client; and finally, to be promoted to the bench that you may listen all day long to the evidence of repulsive crimes, and condemn their miserable perpetrators to the prison or the gallows. This, too, is a course which, as society is constituted, must be run by some, and may be run by many with public applause and the rewards of dignity and riches; but is it a career to be selected by him who is balancing as to what course of life to choose? I submit questions without presuming to supply an answer.
But the Church- -ay, here, indeed, we cannot be at a loss; and he who feels within himself that he can faithfully, conscientiously, and holily discharge the duties of a minister of the Gospel, may be assured that he is embracing the happiest and most dignified of all professions. But if he be actuated by the spirit of a church rather than of a religion—if the odium theologicum can find a place in his bosom, and he seek to establish or oppose a sect rather than a principle-above all, if he be capable of desecrating the office by associating it with political feeling and interested motives let him pause upon the threshold, for he cannot possibly step forward with advantage to others, and certainly not with benefit to himself.
The career of Politics will find few advocates among those who are more solicitous for mental peace than for worldly advancement. The field is narrow, the combatants fierce; cupidity and shame embitter their exertions ; triumph is exposed to acerbity and perpetual irritation ; failure adds the stings of envy to the mortification of defeat. Such are the trials to which the actors are exposed, and even the writers upon politics cannot altogether escape the contagion of their hatefulness. Machiavel could not have been a happy man, any more than the kings, ministers, and diplomatists, who were eager to avail themselves of his crooked, unprincipled, and heartless subtlety.
This analysis might easily be extended; but if I have not said enough to determine “ What Life to choose," I have at least indicated what to avoid; so that if the reader be wise in bis wishes, I may safely ejaculate, in bidding him adieu--" Dii tibi dent quæ velis !"
LAS CASES' JOURNAL.* This interesting work is now brought to a close. The two con cluding parts, which we proceed to notice, record the conversations of Napoleon from the 25th of October 1816, to the 25th of the following month, the day upon which Las Cases was separated from his master. The interest is sustained to the last. The matter, to be sure, as in the preceding portions, is extremely desultory. The mind is hurried away, without preparation, from the petty anecdotes of the Tuileries, and the Emperor's contempt for physic, to his instructive reflections upon his ancient grandeur, and his comprehensive designs for the consolidation of states and institutions ; but in the midst of these violent transitions we have the great interlocutor himself before us, sustaining a paramount unity of action. There is no wandering of the mind from him—but we follow him through every variety of mood and topic, intensely arrested by the resistless interest of every thing, whether trivial or important, that may drop from his lips, and yielding, we hope not unpardonably, to the many affecting associations connected with his past and present fortune.
During the last month of Las Cases' intercourse with him, Napoleon's health continued to decline. The several symptoms are minutely stated, and, although so duly ridiculed at the period in our public offices, appear to have been the sure forerunners of the malady that laid him in his grave. But it was an established point of our political creed, to believe in the impossibility of Bonaparte's dying of disease or of a broken heart. Now that the question of his mortality is at rest, it may be mentioned as not utterly incredible, that in his desponding moments he seemed to regard his possible vitality as among the calamities of his condition. Las Cases being sent for one day, found him in his chamber with a handkerchief rolled round his head. He was seated in an arm-chair, beside a great fire, which he had ordered to be kindled.
“ What,” said he, “is the severest disorder, the most acute pain to which human nature is subject?” I replied that the pain of the present moment always appeared to be the most severe. “Then it is the tooth-ache,” said he. He had a violent secretion of saliva, and his right cheek was much swelled and inflamed. He was also affected by a severe nervous cough, and occasional yawning and shivering, which denoted approaching fever. “What a miserable thing is man!” said he, “the smallest fibre of his body assailed by disease is sufficient to derange his whole system. On the other hand, in spite of all the maladies to which he is subject, it is sometimes necessary to employ the executioner, to put an end to him. What a curious machine is this earthly clothing! and perhaps I may be confined in it for thirty years longer!”
A day or two after, the signs of a sinking spirit broke out in a simpler and more affecting manner.
The Emperor observing on his drawers some confectionary or sweetmeats which had been accidentally left there, he desired me to bring them to him ; and seeing that I hesitated and felt embarrassed, as to how, I should present them, he said, “ Take them in your hand; there is no need of ceremony or form between us now.
We must henceforth be messmates."
Journal of the Private Life and Conversations of the Emperor Napoleon at Șt. Helena, by the Count de Las Cases. Parts VII. and VIII. VOL. VIJI. NO. XXXIV.'
But we leave these details to turn to matters of a higher and more permanent interest, with which the present portion of this work preeminently abounds.
In one of their conversations, Napoleon, adverting to his return from Elba and his second fall at Waterloo, confessed to Las Cases, that in that final struggle he was no longer sustained by his former confidence in his fortune. He mentioned as a remarkable circumstance, that every advantage he obtained at this period, was immediately followed by some reverse. He had marched through France, and arrived. in the capital amidst the universal enthusiasm and acclamations of the people; but no sooner had he reached Paris, than by a sort of magic, and without any adequate motive, all around retracted and grew cold. He despatched agents to Austria, and had every hope of effecting a reconciliation with that power; but Murat with his fatal enterprise, of which Napoleon was suspected to have been the mover, started up and baffled all his attempts at negotiation. Then came the first successes of the campaign of 1815, so quickly followed by his final overthrow at Waterloo.
“ Yet,” be continued, “I must confess that all these strokes of fate distressed me more than they surprised me. I felt the sentiment of an unfortunate result—not that this in any way influenced my determination and measures, but the foreboding certainty haunted my mind.”
As a proof that such was Napoleon's state of feeling at this period, Las Cases has inserted the following anecdote :
When on the banks of the Sambre, the Emperor early one morning approached a bivouac fire, accompanied only by his aide-de-camp on duty (General C-). Some potatoes were boiling on the fire, and the Emperor asked for one, and began to eat it. Then, with a meditative and somewhat melancholy, expression, he uttered the following broken sentences : “After all, it is endurable. Man may live in any place and in any way....... The moment, perhaps, is not far remote..... Themistocles !"
In the preceding year(1814) when he was quitting the Tuileries to enter upon the short and unfortunate, but brillaint campaign that followed, his mind was visited by forebodings, in which none around him shared, that if he fell, it would be by the Bourbons. The few of his particular friends to whom he communicated his apprehensions, vainly endeavoured to remove them by representing, " that the Bourbons were forgotten—that they were wholly unknown to the present generation." “ There is the real danger," was his invariable reply-an expression full of meaning, and of which the French can by this time comprehend the entire import. This presentiment explains a remarkable passage in his parting address to the officers of the National Guard“ You elected me, I am your work, and it is for you to defend me.” After which, presenting to them the Empress and the King of Rome, he added, “I go to oppose the enemy, and I consign to your care all that I hold most dear." We are informed by Las Cases, that at this decisive moment, Napoleon foresaw that he should be betrayed, and had resolved, before quitting Paris, to secure the person of him (Talleyrand, we presume) who proved to be the main-spring of the plot by which his overthrow was effected. He was prevented from executing his intention only by representations, and it may even be said offers of personal responsibility, on the part of some of his ministers, who
assured him, that the individual suspected had more reason than any one else to dread the return of the Bourbons. Napoleon yielded ; at the same time emphatically expressing fears that he might have cause to regret his forbearance.
A little farther on we have, upon the same subject, a still more striking and characteristic passage. After the check sustained at Brienne, the evacuation of Troyes, the forced retreat on the Seine, and the degrading conditions which were transmitted from Chatillon, but which were so generously rejected, the Emperor, who was closetted with one of his friends, overpowered at the sight of the miseries that were impend. ing on France, suddenly rose from his chair, exclaiming with warmth
“ Perhaps I still possess the ineans of saving France.....What if I were myself to recall the Bourbons! The Allies would then be compelled to arrest their course, under pain of being overwhelmed with disgrace and detected in their duplicity—under pain of being forced to acknowledge that their designs were directed against our territory rather than against my person. I should sacrifice all to the Country. I should become the mediator between the French people and the Bourbons. I should oblige the latter to accede to the national laws, and to swear fidelity to the existing compact. My glory and name would be a guarantee to the French people. As to me, I have reigned long enough; my career is filled with acts of glory, and this last will not be esteemed the least; I shall rise the higher by descending thus far...." Then after a pause of some moments he added, " But can a repulsed dynasty ever forgive ? Can it ever forget ? Can the Bourbons be trusted ? May not Fox be right in his famous maxim respecting restorations ?” Overcome by grief and anxiety, he threw himself on his couch, and was shortly after roused to be made acquainted with the march of the flank of Blucher's corps, on which he had for some time been secretly keeping watch. He rose to put into action that new spring of resources, energy, and glory, which will
for ever consecrate the names of Champ-Aubert, Montmirail, Chateau-Thierry, Vauchamps, &c. &c.
In the present, as in the preceding volumes, several of Napoleon's conversations turn upon his various plans for the aggrandizement of France, and the stability of the new institutions upon which his government was founded. We have observed in a former number
his ineffectual efforts to create a naval power capable of contesting the dominion of the seas with England. We here find him returning to the same subject, and explaining the difficulties he encountered. The name of Suffren, who died in 1789, being casually mentioned, Napoleon made enquiries respecting him, saying, "that although, upon the report of his having rendered important services to France, he had been very liberal to his family, he had never had an opportunity of forming a correct opinion of his character.” Las Cases proceeded to describe him, and it is a little curious to observe the class of qualities that would, it appears, have recommended the possessor to the highest favour of Napoleon
“Suffren possessed genius, invention, ardour, ambition, and inflexible steadiness. He was harsh, capricious, egotistical, most unpleasant messmate, was loved by no one, though valued and admired by all. He was a man with whom no one could live on good terms. He was impatient of control, fond of condemning every thing, and, while he incessantly declaimed against the utility of tactics, he proved himself to be a perfect tactician. In short, he evinced all the irritability and restlessness of genius and ambition deprived of elbow-room. On obtaining the command of the Indian squadron, he went to take leave of the King, and one of the officers of the palace could with difficulty open a passage for him through the crowd. •I thank you,' said he to the usher, grunting and snorting in his usual way, but when I come out, Sir, you shall see that I know how to clear the way for myself,' and he kept his word.”
Las Cases continuing to mention his successes in India, which were mainly attributable to his contempt for the established routine of naval technicalities :
“Oh,” exclaimed the Emperor, “why did not Suffren live till my time ? or why did I not light upon a man of this stamp? I would have made him our Nelson. I was constantly seeking for a man qualified to raise the character of the French navy, but I could never find one. There is, in the nary, a peculiarity, a technicality that impeded all my conceptions. If I proposed a new idea, immediately Ganthaume and the whole marine department were up against me. • Sire, that cannot be. Why not? “Sire, the winds do not admit of it.' Then objections were started respecting calms and currents, and I was obliged to stop short. How is it possible to maintain a discussion with those whose language we do not comprehend? How often in the Council of State have I reproached naval officers with taking an undue ad, vantage of this circumstance. To hear them talk, one might have been led to suppose
that it was necessary to be born in the navy to know any thing about it. Yet I often told them, that had it been in my power to have performed a voyage to India with them, I should, on my return, have been as familiar with their profession as with the field of battle. But they could not credit this.” Napoleon went on to observe upon a plan, which after long hesitation he had been prevailed on to adopt, the enrolment of several thousands of children from six to eight years of age. The result was clamour and discontent on the part of the public, who turned the whole affair into ridicule, styling it the massacre of the innocents. Subsequently he had been assured, he said, by De Winter, Verhuel, all the great naval commanders of the North and others, that from 18 to 20 (the age for the Conscription) was early enough to begin to learn the duties of a sailor. Alluding to the Swedes and Danes, who employ their soldiers in the navy, and to the Russians, with whom the fleet is but a portion of the army, he added that in creating crews for his men-of-war he had planned something of the same kind, but that at every step he had been encountered by obstacles and prejudices. It required all his perseverance to succeed in clothing the sailors in uniform, forming them into regiments, and drilling them by military exercise. Yet the men thus disciplined were not worse sailors than the rest, and made the very best soldiers. "If,” he repeated, “instead of being thus opposed by obstacles, I had found in the navy a man capable of entering into my views and promoting my ideas, what importance might we not have obtained ! But during my reign, I never found a naval officer who could depart from the old routine and strike out a new course."
In another conversation he went over his system of interior policy, the necessity upon which it was founded, and the gradual improvements he had projected. Among these, the abolition of lucrative offices was one of the changes that he most anxiously contemplated. The necessity of conciliating individuals had compelled bim to annex liberal salaries, absolute fortunes, to offices of trust ; but he had hoped in process of time to render the performance of all high public duties gratuitous.
“I would have discarded those needy individuals, who cannot be their own masters, and whose urgent wants engender political immorality. I would have wrought such a change in opinion, that public posts should have been sought after for the mere honour of filling them..... The love of place is the greatest check to public morals. A man who solicits a public post, feels his independence sold beforehand. In England the greatest families, the whole peerage, disdain not to hunt after places. Their excuse is, that the