Imagens das páginas

cries aloud till the air resounds with | ed; when a fourth giant arrives, and his clamar. His neighbors as- separates the rivals by repeating the semble and surround him.

Re-following lines : member, dear moralizer, say they,

Géans, arrétez-vous ;

Gardez pour l'ennemi la fureur de vos wliat you yourself have said to us.

coups. When I gave you lessons, replied Giaxts, re:ire, and cease these rude alarms; he, when I then offered consolation, and launch on foes the fury of your arms. it was you who had lost wives but

He lost his father and mother early in is mine who is dead. X. life. His friends advised him to assume Journal de litterature, des sciences et des the profession of the law, when he hau

gone through a course of philosopbical studies. In compliance with this ad.

vice, Boileau soon became a proficient BIOGRAPHY.

in legal knowledge, and was admitted advocate at the age of twenty. His

mind, pure and elegant, was soon dis. Few of our readers we presume are gusted with the quibbles and chicanery unacquainted with the naine of the cele- of his new profession; and he quitted brated French satirist BOILEAU. Tkel it to enter into another, which promised following sketch of his life and writings to be more satisfactory to his feelings, is compiled froin an English translation and more edifying to his understandof the Bolæana, connected with the ing: He for some tine applied himself meagre account of this great poet, by to theological authors; but absurd in. which it is prefaced.

terpretations of holy mysteries, violent NICHOLAS BOILEAU,

disputes on matters of little moment,

and speculations involved in tenfold Surnamed DESPREAUX, 2 celebrated darkness, drove the sagacious Boileau French poet, was born at the village from the cloisters of the Sorbonne.of Crone near Paris, in 1636. The infancy of Boileau was painful and irk. powers of his mind; and, employed on

Left to himself, he discovered the real some. He was at eight years old cut criticism and poetry, he created envy for the stone ; and he felt all his life

among the best poets of his age by his time the consequences of the operation. superior genius, and awed the indifferHaving lost his mother wlien very

ent writers by the acuteness and severi. young, and his father being absorbed

ty of his strictures. The sagacity of his in business, the education of this emi- intellect taught him to discover the fol, nent poet was entrusted to an old fe- lies and vices of his contemporaries, and male servant, who treated him with the integrity of his own heart inclined great harshness. He had to endure him to reprobate them. Boileau became likewise the hatred and jealousy of his a writer as formidable by the harshness elder brother, Giles Boileau ; from of his censures, as fascinating by the wit whose presence he used to fiy, by huid. and humor of his satire. ing himself, and passing his time in a turrei near the top of the house : which

When he first commenced his satiri. exile he endured till his fifteenth year. from his friends, that he was about to

cal career, he received admonitory hints Boileau used to say, that if life was stir up against himself an host of formi: again offered him on the terms of repissing his miserable early years, he dable enemies, who would continually should refuse to accept of it. His sub. keep their eyes upon him on every oplime genius overcame all these disad. portunity. “I care not for tbem," anvantages. He was but just placed in swered the intrepid satirist; " I will en. the fourth class, when, with a inind im-deavor to be an honest man, and I shall proved, and inspired with the perusal of defy their malice.” ancient writers, he felt an ardor of be. The predictions of his friends were ing a poet, and he attempted a comedy fully verified for when the satires of " I introduced,” he used to say, “three Boileau first came out, the rage and ina giants on the stage, preparing to com- dignation occasioned by them among bat with each other, on account of a the higher as well as the lower classes lady with whom they were all enamor. of poets, &c. were universal and ex.

treme. M. Fourcroi, a famous lawyer, , as it were with his thoughts, display il. whose disposition in general was jeal. inost as inuch invention as the first proous and malignant, and especially a- duction of a thought entirely newt.”gainst M. Despreaux, circulated a print. Speaking of Boileau's great work, the ed paper d over Paris, couched in Art of Poetry, the same elegant, acute, these terms: “Be it known to all who and candid critic above juice ob.. feel themselves injured by and inimical serves: The brevity of his precepts, to some lately published satires, that enlisened by proper imagery, the justa meeting will be held on such a day, ness of his metapbors, the marmoliy of and on such an hour, at the house of his numbers, as far as Alexandrine lines Sieur Rohet, an attorney; and a court will admit; the exactness of his method, composed of malcontents will sit, to con. the perspicacity of his remarks, and the sider the ways and means of redressing energy of his style, all duly considered, the complaints of those whose charac-may justify my opinion that it is the best ters are aspersed by the aforesaid Sa- composition of the kind extant. It is tires."

scarcely to be conceived how much is Notwithstanding his professed inde comprehended in four short cantos. pendence Boileau was not superior to He that has well digested these, cannot uneasinceses occasioned by the abuse be said to be ignorant of any important pablished against him; but was the first rule of poetry. The tale of the Physiperson to applaud any ingenious satire cian turned Architect, in the fourth lerelled at him. “I look on myself,” | canto, is told with vast pleasantry. It. says he, “like an enchanted hero ;| is to this work be owes his immortality : whom the blows of his enemies either and which was of the ligliest utility to do not reach, or wound very slightly: his nation, in diffusing a just way of With all their malice (he would add) thinking and writing, banishing every they have not found out the vulnerable species of false wit, and introducing a part of Achilles.”_"Where does it lie” general taste for the manly simplicity said a friend. “That I shall not tell of the ancients, on whose writings this you,” replied the satirist : “ you must poet bad formed bis taste.”+ tind out that.” It is probable that he The higli opinion entertained by Louisalladed to the sameness of his writings, XIV, of the taste and talents of c:r poct, particularly in his prefaces; the cha- is erinced by the following anecdote. racter of which is too monotonous. The old Duke de la Feuillade, mcct.

His early and profound knowladge of ing Boileau one day in the Gallery of ancient alithors' exalted the literary Versailles, repeated to him a sonnet of character of the poet beyond the mal. Charleval, which ended with these lines:. ice of petty competition. “ Those who Ne regardez point mon sisage, Battered themselves that they shoukl scule meat à ma tenu're emities diminish the reputation of Boileau, by The Poet answered, that he saw r.othprinting in the manner of a cominentary, ing reir arkably goud in the sonnet; and at the bottom of each page of his works, objected to those two lines, on i countthe many lines he has borrowed from of the play of words which they contain Horace and Juvenal, were grossly de- ed. The Duke perceiving the Princess ceived. The rerses of the ancients, Royal coming tirough tie gallery, he which this poet turned into French reail the sonnet hastily to ber as she with so much address, and which be passed. The lady told him it was very hath happily made so homogeneous, and fine. The Duke returned to Buileau ;; of a piece with the rest of the work, that and in a sneering manner obserresh, every thing seems to be conceived in a that he must have a very fastidious continued train of thought, by the very taste, it he disapproved of verses which same person, confer as much honour on both the King and Princess haił praised. M. Desprcaux as the verses which are " I do not doubt the King's supericrity. purely his own. The original turn which in taking towns, wd gaining battles ; he gives to his translations, the bold nor do I doubt the talents of Madame ness of his expressions, so little forced and natural, that they seem to be born † Warton': Essay on Pope, vol. 1.

The Foruits, who wrote the formals S Fix your e;es no inore on my of Theroux, strongly objcct plagaris'n to nauce, lut fix them ouli on ihe derdered Boileau.

1 of my friendship. O 2.

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the poct.

the Princess: but in regard to a know-coxcomb." On other occasions he used ledge of poetry ;” replied Boileau, "I to restrain the panegyrist' by saying, think I am at least their equal.” The “I would rather people would read me Duke ran in great haste to the King ; than praise me." Boileau was languid and told him, with great marks of dis- in conversation ; a defect which he begust and indignation, the arrogant trayed from his early years. He im. speech of the poet. “My Lord,” re. proved very much on acquaintance. plied the King, “I am sorry to say that His method of discoursing was pleasing I am obliged to confess th at M. Boilcau and affable : to use his own expressions is perfectly in the right.”

on the subject, it had neither claws nor The confidence of the King is made talons. To men of merit he was by no more manifest by the appointment of means niggard of his praise ; but peBoileau, in 1677, in conjunction with dants, and shallow pretenders to literRacine, to write his history. In the ature, felt the utmost severity of his campaign of Gand, Boileau and Racine wit. Candor and equity dictated his in consequence of that appointment, opinions on all occasions; and he has were ordered to follow the King to the well described these parts of his char. field of action, in which Louis had frc. acter, in the following two verses in his quently exposed himself to great dan Art of Poetry :

The courtiers intreated his Ma. L'ardeur de se montrer, et non pas de jesty to be more careful of his person :

médire, his historian begged that the Monarch Arma la vérité du vers de la satire. would not occasion him so soon to finishi

Chant. ii. bis history ; adding, that the cannon. Alike unskill'd in partial praise or bill had come within seven paces of his blame,

[name. Majesty. “How far were you off it?" Truth arm’d with satire vindicates her asked the King. "A hundred,” replied

In 1684 he was chosen a member of “And were you not in fear," the French Academy. In the year " Yes, Sire, I was much alarmed for 1701 he was elected pensionary of the your Majesty. and very much indeed for

Academy of Inscriptions and Medals ; myself.”

which place he filled with great honor At the death of Racine, Boileau till the year 1705, when, being deaf and came to court, to solicit the King to ap- infirm, he obtained leave to resign, point M. Valincourt his successor as joint-historiographer. "M. Boileau," the remainder of his life tranquilly,

He then quitted the court, and passed said the King, “ you and I have suffered it great loss in the late M. Racine.”

ainongst a few friends. Boileau died in

March 1711, at the age of 75. It is some consolation, Sire," replied When this eminent satirist was on

that he met his last mo. his death bed, his friends were willing menis courageously, and like a Christ: to inspire him with a degree of contitian, since he was always very fearful dence in his recovery that the poet's üst death”—“Oh aye !” replied the feelings told him was groundless. He King, "I remember that you were the repeated the line in Malherbe : valiant men at the siege of Gand.”

Je suis vaincu du tems, je céde à son Racine 'used to relate a very singu: outrage.lour instance of the satirist's powers of Time las prevail’d, I cannot but obey. minnickry. Boilean (says Racine) once This critical acumen was not blunted undertook to imitate tlie steps of an ex- oy aye nor sickness, for during this traordinary dancer, whom he had seen, period a person begged leave to read to in the exhibition of his skill. Boileau luin a new tragedy; the såtirist listened executed all the difficult steps and atti- to the two first scenes, and then er. tudes of the performer with great suc- claimed, “Why do you wish to hasten eess; though he had never been taught my end !" to dance, and never practised the art at Although his satirical humour had any time before.

created him many enemies, yet the Boileau was not insensible to praise, number of the friends of Boileau, who but uneasy when it did not appear inci- attended at his funeral, was very condentally given. When any one was too siderable. An old woman of the lower profuse of such incense, the poet trn class, perceiving the multitude which claimed, “You shall not make me a filled ibe streets, observed siwewdly,

the poet,


* The man had a great many friends, Young, in his poetical epistle to Tick. forsooth, yet they say that he spoke illell, alluding to Addison's Spectators, of every body." This however was a says, vulgar error for he never, withheld his "A chonce amusement polished hardf na approbation from any composition in age." which he discovered instances of gen. But it has been since discovered that ius cr talent. When a friend read to the reverse is the fact; for Addison him a work of this description, the sat. had colleoted his materials to the isfaction which he felt flushed in his amount of three folio volumes. eyes, and thundered in his speech. Yet he seemed no longer master of

Happiness. opposite sensations to these, when any Active in indoience, abroad we roam, absurdi specimen of verse or prose was in search of happiness, which dwells brought before him.

at home : Having exhausted our biographical With vain parsuit fatigu'd, at length materials, we may be permitted to add, you'll find, that though the minor literati of his age No place excludes it from an equal were liberal in their calumnies on his mind.

Elphinston. character and conduct, as well as their attacks on his writings, yet the former The French have been desirous in will be viewed with candor by posterity, all ages and under all circumstances to and the latter may be ranked with those attain universal sovereignty. This love which are destined to immortality. of domination, this wish for national

We shall close this sketch of the life ascendancy pervades all classes and is and writings of M. DESPREAUX with almost as powerful in the breast of the the lines written by Rousseau to be placed shoe-black, as the bosom of the Embeneath the portrait of this great poet. peror. Philosophers are not exempt To us they appear truly characteristic. from it, and no sober-minded man can La rérité par lui démasqua l'artifice :

resist an inclination to smile at the Le faux dans ses écrits par lui fut com- gravity with which the following pasbattu ;

{ justice ; sage in St. Pierre discloses the sentiMais toujours au merite, il suť rendre ments of that author. Speaking of Et ses Vers furent moins la satyre du Paris, he says, vice,

“Time was when, on the faith of our Que l'éloge de la vertu. political writers, I looked upon that city

as too great. But I am now far from thinking that it is of sufficient extent

and suficiently majestic, to be the capFor the Emerald,

ital of a kingdom so flourishing. I DESULTORY SELECTIONS,

could wish that, our sca ports excepted, AND ORIGINAL REMARKS.

there were no city in France but Paris ; that our provinces were covered only

with hamlets and villages, and subdi. SOCRATES used to say, that he had vided into small farms, and that, as rather inscribe his sentiments in the there is but one oentre in the kingdom, hearts of men than on the skins of ani- there might likewise be but one capital. mals. But surely this wish would con World to God it were that of all Europe, fine their utility to his neighbors. On nay, of the whole earth; and that, as the contrary, it seems the duty.of.a phi- men, of all-nations bring thither their losopher not only to exert his wisdom industry, their passions, their wants, for the benefit of the age in which he and their misfortunes, it should give lives, but to transmit his instructions to them back, in fortune, in enjoyment, in posterity. He should, therefore, by virtues and in sublime consolations, the committing them to writing, make them reward of that asylum which they there pass into the hearts of all his acquain. resort to seek !" Studies of Nature. tance, strangers, and future ages.

La fille raisonnable.
Literary Labor.

Notre ouré crie et s'emporte,
ADD330x, before he commenced his Il me défend d'aimer Lubin !
Spectators, bad amassed materials Il me dit d'ajmer mon prochain,
with the assiduity of a student.

Et Lubin demeure à ma porte.


SIR RICHARD STEgle, Savage, and More clung about the barge ; fish under

PHILLIPS. These three celebrated characters, Wept out their eyes of pearl, and swam after spending an evening together at a

blind after. tavern in Gerrard-street, Soho, sallied I think the bargemen might, with easier out some time after midnight, in high


leves, glee and spirits. They were accosted Hare rou'd her thither in her people's by a tradesman, near the top of Hedge-For howsoe'er, thus much my thoughts lane, who, after begging their pardon

have scann'd,

[land. for addressing them on the subject, She had come by water, had she come by told them, that " at the top of the lane he had seen two or three suspiciouslooking fellows, who appeared to be

Every great, rich and consequential bailiits, so that if any of them were ap. man, who has not the wisdom to hold prehensive of danger, he would advise his tongue, must enjoy his privilege of them to take a difierent route.".

taiking, and there inust be dull fellows : Not one of them waited to thank the to listen to him ; again, if, by talking man, but flew off different ways ; each about what he does not understand, he conscious from the embarrassment of gets into embarrassments, there must his own affairs, that such a circum- be clever fellows to help him out of stance was likely to happen to himself. them : when he would be merry, there

must be witty rogues to make him Truth without a compliment.

laugh ; when he would be sorrowful, Kind Kitty kiss'd her husband with there must be sad rogues to sigh and these words,

groan and make long faces : as a great My own sweet Will, how dearly do I man must be never in the wrong, there love thee!

must be hardy rascals, who will swear he If true, quoth Will, the world no such is always in the right; as he must never affords :

show fear, of rourse he must never see And that 'tis true, I dare his warrant be: danger; and as bis courage must at no For ne'er heard I of woman, good or ill, time sink, there must be friends at all “But always dearly lov'd her own sweat times ready to prevent its being tried. Will.



JUNIUS. Seneca has a very just observation on I consider Tristram Shandy as the this propensity of the mind. “Self-most eccentric work of my time, and constraint,” says he, “is necessary, to Junius the most acrimonious; we have force the mind into exertion.” Cogen- heard much of his style : I have just da mens, ut incipiet. The human ap- been reading him over with attention, petite, at certain seasons. will grow and I confess I can see but little to ad. Languid, and by tasting food regains its mire. The thing to wonder at is, that powers. It is necessary, with respect a secret, to which several must have io the mind, that the disgust, the inap. been privy, has been so strictly kept; if titude to toil, should be over-ruled : Sir William Draper, who bamped him ini and when once it is set in motion, the some of his assertions, bad kept bis thouglats follow one another in abund-name drit of sight, I am inclined to think ance, and with a facility which appear he might have held up the cause of caned impossible to the mind in a state of dor with success. The publisher of inaction.

Junius I am told was deeply guaran.

teed; of course, although he might not Queen Elizabeth, who died at Green: know his author, he must have known wich, was brought thence to Whitehall whereabouts to look for him. I never by water in a grand procession. I was heard that my friend Lord George on this occasion, as Cainden informs us, Germain was amongst the suspected that the following quaint lines were authors, till by way of jest he told me so written :-.

not many days before his death : I did The Queen was brought by water'to not want him to disavow it, for there Whitehall;

(fall; could be no occasion to disprové an abAt cery stroke the oars did tears let I solute impossibility. The man who

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