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continued, and I was ready to dance to it for joy. The prompter now rang his bell, and the green curtain slowly rising, discovered a genteel drawing-rooin, with two red chairs, and a sofa of the same material painted in the flats. Lewis, at this juncture, once more issued upon the stage. My heart was in my mouth! 'Ladies and Gentlemen,' said the stage-manager, I am extremely sorry to appear again before you, to entreat your farther indulgence; but the fact is, that Mrs. Esten, who was to have played the part of Eugenia, is taken so alarmingly ill, that her life is despaired of: under this awful visitation, Mrs. Twiselden has kindly undertaken- The audience would hear no more: groans, hisses, catcalls, and sucked oranges, assailed the apologist from every quarter."- “ I should like to see the sucked orange that dared fly at John Palmer,” said old Culpepper. “Ah! he was the man for an apology-such a white cambric handkerchief.”—“Lewis retreated, of course," said the narrator," and in two minutes re-appeared, with a proposal couched in the following words : ‘Ladies and gentlemen, I feel greatly concerned at having excited your displeasure, and have only to add, that I am authorized by the proprietor to inform you, that whoever objects to his arrangement may again receive his money at the door.'
Oh! very well,'exclaimed at least two hundred voices; and away stalked the utterers to the right and left, carrying away my property in their pockets. Scarcely knowing what I did, I rushed out of the house, and ran, as if the devil drove me, to Mrs. Esten's abode in Orange-street. The drawing-room windows of the lady glittered with lights, and ostrich feathers were waving in every direction. My thundering appeal to the knocker brought to the door Mrs. Bennett, her mother. Good heavens ! madam,' said I, • I have left the Theatre in the greatest confusion from the absence of your daughter.' Oh, Sir!' whined the matron, such an alarming illness'Illness, madam! what with all these lamps and ostrich feathers !' 'Oh! only a few particular friends to keep up her spirits,' rejoined the old lady. Finding that nothing was to be gained in that quarter, I returned to Covent-garden, and discovered a beggarly account of empty boxes. Really, Sir,' said I to Lewis, 'I think that, under the circumstances, the Theatre should allow me the money that was in it.'- You may try 'em, if you please,' said Lewis, with his accustomed jerk of the head; but I think I can venture to say you won't catch them at it.””—“ Fill your glass, Sir," said Culpepper; “I think I can venture to say that poor John Palmer would never have served you so. Ah! there was a leg! and such a pair of silver buckles! I see him now, starting back and making his hair-powder fly over the fiddlers' heads. Well; but your ninth night ?” "Oh! on the ninth night,” said the poet, “ the play was Fontainville Forest—a stupid ghost thing of Bowden's."_“I wonder you did not call Lewis out,” observed Captain Thackeray; "there's nothing like a bullet for making people civil
. So much for your first play; and now for your last farce.”- -“ Not till you have tasted this cool bottle," said old Culpepper : “ there, try that; you may be a very good poet, but you are a bad hand at passing the bottle. Ah! poor John Palmer! he was the man for passing the bottle : we shall never see the bottle passed again !--But I beg pardon ; you were going to tell us about your last farce.”- “ Why, the history of my last farce,” said the bard, “is told in two words: it was neither more nor less than egregiously and unanimously damned. Not a single point told.
They set off dully; and when once the audience are at fault, the very things that would otherwise delight are sure to disgust. In order to imbibe unbiassed opinions, I had stationed myself in the two-shilling gallery. How short-sighted an expedient! The people there were absolutely frantic with rage. The author was a villain : they only wished they had him there; might the devil fetch them if they would not throw him over into the Pit. Alarmed for my personal safety, I followed an orange-woman up the benches, and stole out of that populous pandemonium : awhile I hesitated on the brink of the upper rowShall I stop here?' said I to myself; or shall I stop at the stagedoor ?!" " Stop any thing but the bottle," interrupted the founder of the feast. “ Well! at length I slowly paced down stairs, walked into Hart-street, and entered at the stage-door. Afraid to face the pity of the actors in the Green-room, I wandered amid the scenery at the back of the stage, among a motley assemblage of baronial castles, woods, cascades, butchers' shops, and Chinese pagodas; yet still the howls and hişses rang in my ears. While standing there, like Orestes tortured by the Furies, two scene-shifters saw and recognised me. • Well! never mind, Dick,' said the one of them to the other (affecting not to know me), · I'll bet you a pot of beer this farce looks up, after all.' Thus I commenced my dramatic career by being put upon a level with Congreve, and ended it by being pitied by a scene-shifter!"_" But, zounds!" exclaimed the Thespian Captain, “ you did not put up with it, did you? Where were your pistols ?"_"Put up with it!" said the poet ; « to be sure I did : how could I help myself?"_" Very badly," said the slopseller, “ if I may judge from your conduct here: the bottle has stood at your right elbow two minutes and a half, and you have not helped yourself yet.”
OUR LADY's well.*
his forehead lave,
And there may
* A beautiful Spring in North Wales, formerly dedicated to the Virgin, and much frequented by Pilgrims.
Fount of the Virgin's ruin'd shrine !
MEMOIRS BY BARON FAIN AND GENERAL RAPP.* We have to congratulate the public on the appearance of two more volumes of Memoirs relative to the reign and character of Napoleon, which in their different ways are calculated to throw a strong light upon their subject; to enhance the credibility of many known avecdotes, while they add to the number of facts already accumulated ; and to give precision and fixity to the ideas which philosophy shall entertain of the singular being from whom they derive their interest,-his actions, and their ends. It is thus that the present generation is favoured with the possession of knowledge, which in the less stirring ages, ere the press had received the full developement of its powers, was neglected and lost, or at best, left to be recovered by posterity through the purblind labours of antiquarians, the casual good luck of compilers, and the conjectural felicity of historians in tracing causes and their effects. Scarcely three years have elapsed since the decease of Napoleon in his.“ lonely isle," and already we are in possession of abundant materials for history, reflecting his mind in every point of view from which it could be approached, and illustrating his greatest actions by the minutest traits of manifestation, which have escaped in moments of domestic privacy, of confidential intercourse, or of uncontrollable excitement.
Baron Fain and General Rapp, the authors of the Memoirs now under consideration, present two more instances of that unbounded attachment and affectionate admiration which Napoleon seems to have inspired in all who were placed near his person; and their testimony will doubtless have its weight in removing that fabric of prejudice and of falsehood, which a cowardly and contemptible expediency had
“ Memoirs of General Count Rapp, First Aide-de-Camp to Napoleon ; written by himself and published by his family. :-“ The Manuscript of 1814; a History of the Events which led to the Abdication of Napoleon. By Baron Fain." I vol. 8vo,
erected for the grossest purposes of national deception. "Politicians," says a valuable political writer*, " speak to lie; and so inveterate is their malice, that they blast even those whom they patronise.” Never, perhaps, was political malice more ingenious and more active to misrepresent than against Napoleon Bonaparte; and never did it recoil with more deadly effect than upon those of his enemies who have not disdained to belie their victim, that they might the more securely destroy him. To this systematic attack on the character of the Emperor, and its operation on the natural credulity of our countrymen, allusion has been already made in a former numbert; but the evil still exists. Though Napoleon be dead, the interests connected with his name are in full and vigorous existence; and there are too many who have (or fancy they have) an advantage in decrying his memory, and misrepresenting his deeds. The truth is, however, of the last importance to humanity. The life of this man, and the age in which he moved, form the most wondrous page which history has yet presented to the contemplation of philosophy; and accordingly as it is read, the future destinies of society may receive a brighter or more sombre colour. A great experiment has been made upon human nature ; and the welfare of mankind is deeply involved in the fairness of its exposition.
The reigning dynasties of Europe most egregiously miscalculate in supposing that they profit by the disseminated story of Napoleon's imputed crimes. Legitimacy and usurpation have run a race of error, in which each has been more anxious to seek in the other an example to justify its own excesses, than a beacon to preserve it from that misrule and folly which have forced them both in their turn to abdicate with disgrace. It is in vain that the powers that be signalize the tyranny and violence of the powers that are no more, so long as they imitate or even exceed them; and there is the less danger in leaving the Emperor in possession of those personal virtues with which nature and circumstance had endowed him, since let them have been wbat they might, he has not the less plunged the nation he governed in all but hopeless and irretrievable ruin. However ennobling and spirit-stirring might be the genius of his reign, as compared to the lethargic leaden sway of common-place despotism, however great the activity he impressed on the people he goaded to new exertions, still his influence was tyrannical; and being so, was inevitably hostile to humanity; and the virtues by which it was accompanied can rank as little better than splendid faults, unredeeming in the eye of philosophy, as were the virtues of the Pagan philosophers in the estimate of Catholic self-sufficiency. Could the genius and the ardour of a despot suffice to carry a nation forward to the acmé of prosperity, Napoleon had wherewithal to have succeeded ; but the thing itself was impossible; and the knowledge of this fact is of no trifting import to mankind. The same infirmity of human nature which will not suffer the private man to act morally well when uncontrolled by the will of his fellow-creatures, effectually prevents a king from doing politically right, when emancipated from all law and judgment of society. Of this truth Napoleon affords the happiest illustration; and it is a capital crime against society to aim at destroying its effect, by denying the good qualities, or magnifying the faults, of this
Ensor on National Government.
t Jan. 1823, p. 79.
singular man, in the hope of sinking him to the level of the tyrants who may figure in the every-day roll of despotism and sottishness.
To cover Napoleon personally with obloquy, to make of bim a theatrical Richard the Third, a raw-head-and-bloody-bones of the nursery, in short, to put the man in the place of the emperor, is to turn the passions of society against a combination that is already passed, and to avert its attention from truths that are eternal, and from interests that are momentarily pressing. The vices of despots are a convenient cover for the original sin of despotism. The life of Napoleon, as it has been read to the people of England, has been made a perpetual apology for absolute monarchy; and the Emperor the scape-goat of his caste. The lesson to be learned from his real character is, on the contrary, an exposition of the value of institutions; a demonstration of the little opportunity which a despotic government affords even the best ruler for willing good, and of the invincible obstacles it opposes to his carrying into effect even his few praiseworthy intentions.* On this subject, Rapp has a passage strongly in point, which we shall, therefore, take leave to quote :
“ Many persons have described Napoleon as a violent, harsh, and passionate man; this is because they have not known him. Absorbed as he was in important business, opposed in his views, and impeded in his plans, it was certainly natural that he should sometimes evince impatience and inequality of temper. His natural kindness and generosity soon subdued his irritation; but it must be observed that, far from seeking to appease him, his confidents never failed to excite his anger. 'Your Majesty is right, they would say, • such a one deserves to be shot or broken, dismissed or disgraced : I have long known him to be your enemy. An example must be made; it is necessary for the maintenance of tranquillity.'
“ If the matter in question had been to levy contributions on the enemy's territory, Napoleon, perhaps, would demand twenty millions ; but he would be advised to exact ten millions more. He would be told by those about him, “It is necessary that your Majesty should spare your treasury, that you should maintain your troops at the expense of foreign countries, or leave them to subsist on the territory of the Confederation.'
“If he entertained the idea of levying 200,000 conscripts, he was persuaded to demand 300,000. If he proposed to pay a creditor whose right was unquestionable, doubts were started respecting the legality of the debt. The amount claimed was perhaps reduced to one half, or one third ; and it not unfrequently happened that the debt was denied altogether.
“ If he spoke of commencing war, the bold resolution was applauded. It was said war enriched France; that it was necessary to astonish the world, and to astonish it in a way worthy of the great nation.
“ Thus, by being excited and urged to enter upon uncertain plans and enterprises, Napoleon was plunged into continual war. Thus it 'was, that his reign was iinpressed with an air of violence contrary to his own character and habits, which were perfectly gentle.
* Napoleon had a great idea of his own powers of beneficence. He says, “ Archimède promettait tout si on lui laissait poser le bout de son levier. Je en eusse fait autant par tout où l'on m'eût laissé poser mon énergie, mon persévérance, et ines budjets."-Las Cases, 5ième Partie. Napoleon, indeed, did much to advance the physical condition of his people; but not so much as a free people might have effected for themselves with the same means. Then his moral miscalculations overthrew all ; and had they not brought the country to a prompt and precipitous ruin, they would have inevitably éntuiled a chronic decay upon it, equally subversive of all permanent prosperity. Tyranny may have its incidental advantages; but it will not, and it cannot come to good.