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more closely inspected. Mignard hinted his doubts whether the piece was the work of that great master; he insinuated that it was possible to be deceived ;3 and added, that if it was Guido's, he did not think it in his best manner.4 “It is a Guido, sir, and in his very best manner,” replied Le Brun, with warmth ; and all the other critics were unanimous. Mignard then spoke in 6 a firm tone of voice:7 And I, gentlemen, will wager three hundred louis that it is not a Guido.” The dispute now became 8 violent: Le Brun was desirous of accepting the wager.

In a word, the affair became such that it could add nothing more to the glory of Mignard. "No, sir," replied the latter, 10 “ I am too honest to bet when I am certain to win. Monsieur le Chevalier, this piece cost you two thousand crowns: the money must be returned,—the painting is mine." Le Brun would

'll not believe it. “The proof,” Mignard continued,12

” easy. On this canvass, which is a Roman one, was the portrait of a Cardinal; I will shew you 15 his cap.” The Chevalier did not know which of the rival artists to credit.16 The proposition alarmed him. “He who 17 painted the picture shall repair it,” said Mignard. He took a pencil dipped in oil, and rubbing the hair of the Magdalen, discovered the cap of the Cardinal. The honour of the in


“is 13


More closely, de plus près— hinted his doubts whether the piece was, donna à entendre qu'il doutait que le tableau fût_3 to be deceived, qu'on se trompât— he did not think it in his best manner, il ne pensait pas que ce fût de sa meilleure manière_ very to be left out-o in, de

-7 tone of voice, ton—8 now became, devenait—9 was desirous of, voulait—10 the latter, celui-ci—11 is mine, est de moi—12 M. continued, poursuivit M.–13 is, en est—14 is a Roman one, vient de Rome_15 I will shew you, je vais vous montrer_16 which......ta credit, lequel croire...... - 17 he who, celui qui,

genious painter could no longerl be disputed ; Le Brun, vexed, sarcastically exclaimed, "Always paint Guido, but never Mignard.”

ISAAC DISRAELI, Curiosities of Literature.


(A.D. 1486.) The King of Spain ordered Fernando de Talavera, the prior of Prado, to assemble the most learned astronomers and cosmographers of the kingdom, to hold a2 conference with Columbus. They were to3 examine him upon the grounds of his theory, and afterwards to consult5 together, and report their opinion as to its merits. Columbus now 7 considered the day of success at hand ;8 he had been deceived by courtiers, and scoffed at' as a visionary by the vulgar and 10 ignorant; but he was now toll appear before a body 12 of the most learned and enlightened men, elevated, as he supposed,13 above all narrow prejudice and selfish interest, and capable of comprehending the full scope 14 of his reasoning. From the dispassionate examination of such a body of sages, he could not but anticipate 15 the most triumphant verdict.


1 Could no longer, ne pouvait plus.

2 To hold a, pour tenir—3 They were to, ils devaient—4 grounds, fondements—5 to consult, délibérer— to its merits, faire connaitre......sur son mérite—7 now, dès ce moment—8 at hand, comme très-prochain—9 scoffed at, bafoué—10 by the......and, par par les— he was now to, il allait maintenant—12 body, assemblée

as he supposed, comme il le supposait—14 of comprehending the full scope, de saisir toute l'étendue--15 he could not but anticipate, il ne pouvait qu'attendre.

* Christopher Columbus was born at or near Genoa in 1437, and died at Valladolid, in Spain, in 1506.



The interesting conference took placel at Salamanca, the great seat of learning' in Spain. It was held in the Dominican convent of St. Stephen, the most scientific college in the university, in which Columbus was lodged and entertained with great hospitality during the course of the examination. The board of conference was composed of professors of the university, together with various dignitaries of the church and learned friars. No tribunal could bear' a front of more imposing wisdom; yet Columbus soon discovered that ignorance and illiberality may sometimes lurk under the very robes 10 of science. The greater part of this learned junto, it would appear,l2 came prepossessed against him, as men in place and dignity 13 are apt to be 14 against poor applicants. There is always a proneness 15 to consider a man under examination 16 as a kind of delinquent or impostor, upon trial,17 who is to be 18 detected and exposed. Columbus, too, appeared in a most uufavourable light 19 before a scholastic body, an 23 obscure navigator, member of nou learned institution, destitute of all the trappings and circumstances which sometimes give oracular authority to dulness,22


Took place, eut lieu-? seat of learning, foyer de lumières -3 it was held, elle se tint—4 Stephen, Etienne-5 in, de—6 entertained, traité—7' the board of conference, ce jury—8 together with, ainsi que de _ bear, présenter_10 the very robes, les robes mêmes—ii the greater part of, la majorité des membres de 12 it would appear, à ce qu'il parait—13 men in place and dignity, des fonctionnaires et des dignitaires

14 to be, à l'être15 there is always a proneness, on est toujours porté -16 under examination, soumis à un examen — 17 upon trial, mis en jugement—18 who is to be, pour être—19 in a most unfavourable light, sous le jour le plus défavorable -—20 an to be left out—1 member of no, n'appartenant à aucune -—22 which, etc......dulness, qui parfois donnent à la voix la moins intelligente l'autorité d'un oracle.



and depending upon the mere force of natural genius. ...

The hall of the old convent presented a striking spectacle. A simple mariner standing forth” in the midst of an imposing array of clerical and collegiate sages ;3 maintaining his theory with natural eloquence, and as it were4 pleading the cause of the New World. We are told, that when he began to state the grounds of his theory, the friars of St. Stephen alone paid attention to him. The others appeared to have intrenched themselves behind one dogged position, namely, that after so many profound philosophers had occupied themselves ino geographical investigations, and so many 10 able navigators had been voyaging about the world" for ages, it was a great presumption in 13 an ordinary man to suppose that there remained such a vast discovery for him 14 to make.

When Columbus took his stand 15 before this learned body, he had appeared the plain and simple navigator, somewhat daunted,16 perhaps, by the greatness of his task, and the august nature of his auditory; but he had a degree of religious feeling, which gave him a confidence 17 in the execution of what he conceived


1 Depending upon, n'ayant d'autre appui que standing forth, debout-3 an imposing, etc......sages, une assemblée imposante de doctes ecclésiastiques et universitaires- as it were, en quelque sorte_5 we are told, on dit—6 to state, à établir7 the friars, etc...... to him, les moines de St. Etienne furent les seuls qui l'écoutèrents to have entrenched themselves, etc.........position, s'être retranchés obstinément derrière ce raisonnementin, à— 10 and so many, et que tant de 11 about the world, dans le monde entier_12 for ages, depuis des siècles _13 in, de la part de— 14 that there remained such a......

.....for him, qu'il lui restât une si...... -15 took his stand, était venu se placer—16 he had appeared, etc......daunted, ou n'avait vu en lui que le simple navigateur, un peu intimidé_17 which gave him a confidence, qui lui inspirait de la confiance.



his great errand, and he was of an ardent temperament, that became heated in action by its own generous fires. All the objections drawn from ancient philosophers he met3 boldly and upon equal terms, for he was deeply studied on all points of cosmography, and he disproved many 6 by his own experience, gathered in the course of his extensive? voyages, in which he had penetrated both the torrid and the frozen zone.8 Nor was he to be daunted by the scriptural difficulties opposed to him, 10 for here he was peculiarly at home. His contemporaries have spoken of his commanding person,12 his elevated demeanour,13 his air of authority, his kindling 14 eye, and the persuasive intonations of his voice. How must they have given majesty and force15 to his words, as, 16 casting aside 17 his maps and charts, and discarding for a time 18 his practical and scientific lore, his visionary spirit took fire, 19 and he met his doctrinal opponents upon their own ground,20 pouring forth 21 those magnificent texts of Scripture, 22 and those mysterious predictions of the prophets, which, in his enthusiastic 23 moments he considered as types


1 What he conceived his great errand, ce qu'il considérait comme sa haute mission that became its own generous fires, que son propre feu généreux echauffait......3 all, etc...... he met, à toutes répondit—4 upon equal terms, sur un pied d'égalité studied, versé—6 many, un grand nombre de ces objections— 7 extensive, lointains —8 both,, les zônes torride et glaciale–9 nor was he to be daunted, il ne se laissa pas non plus effrayer_10 opposed to him, qu'on lui opposa— 11 at home, sur son terrain—12 commanding person, extérieur imposant—13 his elevated demeanour, de ses manières supérieures — 14 kindling, plein de feu—15 how must, etc......force, quelle majesté et quelle force ces qualités physiques durent donner_16 as, lorsque 17 casting aside, laissant là—18 discarding for a time, mettant pour un moment de côté –19 took fire, s'enflamma—20 he met his...... upon their own ground, il se plaça sur le terrain même de ses...... 21 pouring forth, récitant avec abondance_22 Scripture, les SaintesEcritures — 23 enthusiastic, d'enthousiasme.

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