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when he had added a knowledge of the science of war, as practised in Europe, to those military dispositions of mind acquired in a school of which the rest of Europe knew nothing, his advantage over other men was immense. It was probably that contempt of the female sex belonging to the Corsican people that prevented Bonaparte, with an Italian warmth of constitution, and no great disposition to regulate his amours by any strict notions of morals, from becoming, like too many other monarchs, the slave of women. He boasted, with truth, that he never suffered them to gain an ascendancy over him, or to cause him to withdraw his eyes for a moment from his projects of ambition.
Had he been the founder of a new religion, instead of a mighty empire, he would probably have assigned to them no higher importance in his system than did Mahomet. His lofty and far-reaching ambition, was only Corsican pride, operating in a wider and grander sphere. The florid, but emphatic and effectual eloquence, with which he animated his soldiers to the battle, was equally characteristic of the race to which he belonged. Add to all this the Corsisican disregard of law, and defiance of authority, and you have a man disposed to acknowledge no superior, fitted to dare and to do all that is possible to military skill and strength, to overthrow established governments, and to rule the world.
It is somewhat singular, that Napoleon should never have distinguished his native island by any particular marks of his favour, and that he should have done nothing to improve the condition of a part of his dominions which needed improvement the most. In early life, he had joined the party who wished to keep the inhabitants under the yoke of the French, who had bought them of Genoa, and whom they hated ; and, afterwards, when he ascended the throne of France, he seemed to have forgotten them. He could talk, in his exile at St. Helena, of the affection he still felt towards the country of his birth, of the sublimity of its scenery, the fragrance of its air, the hospitality and high spirit of its inhabitants, and the bappy days of his youth, spent in wandering among its mountains, and making himself an inmate of their cottages. He could wish, too, that at his abdication in 1814, he had reserved to himself, as he might have done, this neglected country. Corsica, however, owed him nothing in his lifetime, and at his death, she received no share of the plunder of Europe. The Corsicans do not look upon contempt for the country of one's birth as a slight offence; and while the name of Paoli is pronounced among them only with veneration, no honours are paid to the memory of Bonaparte.
At present the prospects of Corsica are somewhat better. The population is increasing, and the spirit of agricultural improvement, begun at Bastia, it is hoped, in time, will extend to the other parts of the island. “ Corsica," says the writer of the book before us, “at present may be considered to be in a state of advancement. For the French government has lately had leisure to direct its thoughts towards the condition of the islanders, and its efforts to instruct them have been amply repaid by their visible general improvement. The gun and sword system pursued for nearly half a century, failed in every instance; for the Corsican can be led to obedience, but will not be driven to it; whilst the eagerness displayed by the people to learn, is only equalled by their almost religious respect for those who are intrusted with the holy charge of their education. Too often do the Corsicans rebel against the French judicial and military authorities of the island, but the amiable director of public instruction traverses the wildest districts of Corsica alone, because the functions of his office clothe him with protection against every injury; on the mind then of the Corsican do the French now begin to ground their plans of improvement."
Art. XXV.--The Contributions of Q. Q. to a periodical work,
with some pieces not before published. By the late JANE TAYLOR. In two volumes. New-York: 1826.
The late author of these volumes, was one of those persons, who, to the honour of the age in which they live, bave consecrated (to use the French idiom) in an emphatic sense, powers of no ordinary kind to the composition of works designed to form the minds and morals of the youthful part of the community. This is a humble and unambitious way of employing the talents; but it is a mistake to suppose that it has not its praise and its honours. Its peculiar fame, although less in the mouths of men than that of more ostentatious labours, is more in their hearts. It is for ever associated in our minds with that period of life to which we all delight to look back, and which, whether justly or not, we are always bringing into unfavourable contrast with the present, as if it enjoyed a sort of monopoly of the pleasures of existence. For ourselves, whenever we find, which by the way is quite seldom, one of those old spelling-books of Noah Webster, in which the face
of the respectable philologist stares at the reader in a tremendous wood-cut, with a stiff curl strutting out behind each ear, it seems to us like meeting with an old friend ; and we never even hear his name mentioned, without remembering the lesson given by the old man to the rude boy who stole his apples, the story of the milk-maid, and the advice whispered by the bear to the traveller. They who have read honest John Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress in early life, carry with them the delightful remembrance of that finest of allegorical compositions to their latest old age. The writings of Mrs. Barbauld, designed for the instruction of the young, are not among the least of her titles to our veneration ; and we are mistaken, if Miss Edgeworth will not derive, from her many excellent publications of this kind, as extensive and as durable a reputation as from aught else she has written.
The contents of these volumes, with the exception of one or two pieces, were originally contributed by the author to a periodical work, published in England, under the title of the Youth's Magazine, and it is said, had no small effect in procuring it a reputation. They consist of short essays on moral and religious subjects, and are written in a very agreeable, sprightly, unaffected manner, with good sense and good taste. They are professedly composed for young persons, but with sufficient justness of sentiment and shrewdness of observation upon life and manners, to please and improve the gray-headed. Almost every religious sect has its peculiar language, and its peculiar mode of urging and enforcing the observance of those duties which religion enjoins. It would be too much, perhaps, to expect that the work before us, containing a large proportion of papers on religious subjects, should be entirely free from peculiarities of this kind, but we believe they will not be found either numerous or offensive.
From the praise of good taste, a very few passages in the work are to be excepted; for example, the paper on “Fashions for October," where the author takes for a motto the words of St. Paul, “ Be clothed with humility, the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit;" and proceeds to run down the apostle's fine metaphor in the following merciless manner:
“This is the most graceful, becoming, and, at the same time, novel costume that has ever solicited public patronage. The mantle is of the most exquisite hue and delicate texture; tastefully decorated with the above mentioned costly brilliants; and will be found to unite every advantage of utility and elegance. This dress is suitable to all seasons, and is considered equally becoming to the young and the old. It possesses extraordinary durability; is less liable to take a soil than any other inaterial, and retains its freshness and novelty to the last. It falls
over the person in the most graceful folds; and is so adjusted as to veil every blemish, and set off the least favourable figure to the best possible advantage. The colour usually preferred for this costume is invisible green, which casts the most delicate shade upon the whole form, and produces an effect indescribably agreeable and prepossessing. Nothing can be more tastefully imagined, than the ornament with which this mantle is finished; and although this jewel is pronounced by the best judges to be of immense value, it may be obtained upon very reasonable terms. It is so delicate in its hue, and so chaste and simple in its workmanship, that it has been mistaken, by unskilful observers, for an ordinary pebble; but connoisseurs instantly recognise it, and allow it to be a more precious than rubies." Notwithstanding the many recommendations it possesses, this dress has never become common, although universally approved. It was once worn as a royal robe, and has ever since been held in high estimation and general use, amongst the subjects of the great Prince who first introduced it.”-Vol. I. pp. 32, 33.
Now, this is worse stuff than the dullest sermonizer ever spun from the barrenness of his own brain, when unable to furnish out a discourse from the labours of the commentators. To do the author justice, however, there is no other instance in the work of any thing so bad as this ; and we suppose that even this should be overlooked in favour of the writer's sex, which it would be treating with too much severity to make it perpetually amenable to the strict rules of good sense or good taste in matters of dress.
But if the author's sex sometimes leads her astray, at other times it stands her in good stead. Her knowledge of what is in the heart of woman, and the finer and quicker perception of manners, which belongs to the female mind, give an additional point to her reproofs, and a greater liveliness to her exposure of follies. The following is an instance both of the playfulness and severity of her satire. We quote it as showing the existence of certain mistakes in England on the subject of female education, and not as having the least possible application to this country, and least of all to this city, where all young ladies are, of course, every thing that they should be.
66 Well!' exclaimed a young lady, just returned from school, my education is at last finished ; indeed, it would be strange, if, after five years hard-application, any thing were left incomplete. Happily, that is all over now, and I have nothing to do but to exercise my various accomplishments.
6. Let me see!-as to French, I am mistress of that, and speak it, if possible, with more fluency than English. Italian I can read with ease, and pronounce very well; as well, at least, and better, than any of my friends; and that is all one need wish for in Italian. Music I have Jearned till I am perfectly sick of it. But, now that we have a grand piano, it will be delightful to play when we have company. I must still continue to practise a little; the only thing, I think, that I need now to
improve myself in. And there are my Italian songs! which every body allows I sing with taste, and as it is what so few people can pretend to, I am particularly glad that I can.
“My drawings are universally admired ; especially the shells and flowers, which are beautiful, certainly ; besides this, I have a decided taste-in all kinds of fancy ornaments.
“And then my dancing and waltzing! in which our master himself owned that he could take me no further; just the figure for it certainly ; it would be unpardonable if I did not excel.
666 As to commun things, geography, and history, and poetry, and philosophy, thank my stars, I have got through them all! so that I may consider myself not only perfectly accomplished, but also thoroughly well informed.
“. Well, to be sure, how much I have fagged through! the only wonder is, that one head can contain it all !!”– Vol. I. pp. 161, 162.
There are several pieces of poetry scattered through these volumes, some of which have a humour and a propriety of language, that occasionally reminds us of Swift. The following is of another character, and we believe our readers' will think it beautiful :
ON VISITING COWPER'S GARDEN AND SUMMER HOUSE AT OLNEY.
" ARE these the trees ?--Is this the place ?