Abbildungen der Seite


peror had particularly honoured by and indeed so high was it from the his notice and attention, always at ground, that had he succeeded, the night slept at his bed-room door, in expedient would only have put a more the anti-room. It was impossible to instantaneous period to his misery. remove this faithful soldier by any In the effort he very severely cut his fair means.

At this momentous pe- hand with the glass ; and as they riod silence reigned throughout the drew him back he grasped a chair, palace, except where it was disturbed with which he felled one of the as. by the pacing of the centinels, or at, sailants, and a desperate resistance a distance by the murmurs of the took place. So great was the noise, Neva, and only a few lights were to that notwithstanding the massy walls, be seen distantly and irregularly and thick double folding doors, which gleaming through the windows of divided the apartments, the empress this dark colossal abode. To the dead was disturbed, and began to cry for of the night, Z. and his friends, help, when a voice whispered in her amounting to eight or nine persons, ear, and imperatively told her to repassed the draw-bridge, easily a- main quiet, otherwise if she uttered scended the stair case which led to another word, she should be put to Paul's chamber, and met with no instant death, resistance till they reached the anti- Whilst the emperor was thus mak. room, when the faithful hussar, awa. ing a last struggle, the prince Ykened by the noise, challenged them, struck him on one of his temples with and presented his fusee: much as his fist, and laid him upon the floor ; they must have all admired the brave Paul recovering from the blow, again fidelity of the guard, neither time implored his life: at this moment the noi circumstances would admit of an heart of P. Z relented, and act of generosity, which might have upon being observed to tremble and endangered the whole plan. - hesitate, a young Hanoveriao resodrew his sabre and cut the poor fel- lutely exclaimed, “We have passed low down. Paul, awakened by the the Rubicon: if we spare his life, noise, sprung from his sopha ; at this before the setting of to-morrow's sun, moment the whole party rushed into we shall be his victims !" Upon his room ;

the unhappy sovereign, which he took off his sash, turned it anticipating their design, at first en. twice round the naked neck of the deavoured to entrench himself in the emperor, and giving one end to 2-, chairs and tables, then recovering, he and holding the other brimself, they assumed a high tone, told them they pulled for a considerable time with all were his prisoners, and called upon their force, until their miserable sothem to surrender. Finding that vereign was no more ; they then re. they fixed their eyes steadily and tired from the palace without the fiercely upon him, and continued ad- least molestation, and returned to vancing towards him, he implored their respective homes. Wbat octhem to spare his life, declared his 'curred after their departure can be consent instantly to relinquish the better conceived than depicted ; me. sceptre, and to accept of any terms dical aid was resorted to, but in vain; which they would dictate. In his and upon the breathless body of the raving, he offered to make them emperor fell the tears of his widowed princes, and to give them estates, and empress, and children, and domestics; titles, and orders, without end. They nor was genuine grief ever more fornow began to press upon him, wbea cibly or feelingly displayed than by he made a convulsive effort to reach him on whose brow this melancholy the window : in the attempt he failed, event had planted the crown. So


[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]


passed away this night of horror, and had been given by Peter I. to a thas perished a prince, to whom na- branch of the imperial family, and ture was severely bountiful. The a- on that account much esteemed: it cuteness and pungency of his feeling was to recover this that the officer was incompatible with happiness : was seut, who obtained it, after the unnatural prejudice pressed upon the most indecent and unprincipled resisfibre too finely spun, and snapped it. tance on her part. Passports were

The sun shone upon a new order of then granted to Madame Chevalier things. Al seven o'clock the intelli- and her brother. Thus terminated gence of the demise of Paul spread this extraordinary and impressive trathro' the capital. The interval of time gedy. from its first communication to its diffusion over every part of Petersburgh, was scarcely perceptible. At the parade Alexander presented him. BEATTIANA, or Extracts from the Let. self on horseback, when the troops,

ters of Dr BEATTIE. with tears rolling down their rugged (Continued from p. 569.) and sun-browned faces, hailed him with loud and cordial acclamations. Comparative advantages of Public and The young emperor was overwhelm

Private Education. ed, and at the moment of mounting WHILE I lived in your neigh. the throne of the most extensive em- bourhood, I often wished for pire under heaven, he was seen to turn an opportunity of giving you my ofrom the grand and affecting spec. pinion on a subject, in which I know tacle, and weep.

you are very deeply interested ; but What followed is of


subordi. one incident or oiber always put it nate consideration ; but perhaps it out of my power. That subject is will be eagerly asked, to wbat extre. the education of your son, whom, if I mity did the avenging arm of justice mistake not, it is now high time to pursue the perpetrators of the deed ? send to some public place of educaMercy, the brightest jewel of every tion. I have thought much on this crown, and a forlorn and melancholy subject ; I have weighed every arguconviction, that the reigning motive ment that I could think of, on either was the salvation of the empire, pre. side of the question. Much, you vented her from being vindictive.- know, has been written upon it, and Never upon the theatre of life was very plausible arguments have been there presented a scene of more af- offered, both for and against a pub. fecting magnanimity; decency, not lic education. I set not much value revenge, governed the sacrifice. P- upon these ;- speculating men are con2- was ordered not to approach the tinually disputing, and the world is imperial residence, and the governor seldom the wiser. I have some little of the city was transferred to Riga. experience in this way; I have no As soon as Madame Chevalier was hypothesis to mislead me ; and the informed of the demise of her impe- opinion or prejudice which I first rial patron, she prepared, under the formed upon the subject was directly protection of her brother, a dancer, contrary to that, which experience for fight, with a booty of nearly a has now taught me to entertain. million of rubles. A police officer 6 Could mankind lead their lives was sent to inspect and report upon in that solitude which is so favouraher

property; : amongst a pile of valu.. ble to many of our most virtuous afable articles, he discovered a diamond fections, I should be clearly on the cross of no great intrinsic value, which side of a private education. But

moss both.

[ocr errors][ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

most of us; when we go out into the “ Another inconvenience, attend. world, find difficulties in our way, ing private education, is the supprcs. which good principles and innocence sing of the principle of emulation, alone will not qualify us to encoun- without which it rarely happens that ter ; we must have sume address and a boy prosecutes his' studies with alaknowledge of the world different crity or success. I have heard prie from what is to be learned in books, vate tutors complain, that they were or we shall soon be puzzled, disheart. obliged to have recourse to flattery ened, or disgusted. The founda


or bribery to engage the attention of tion of this knowledge is laid in the their pupil ; and I need not observe intercourse of school boys, or at least how improper it is to set the examof young men of the same age. ple of such practices before children. When a boy is always under the di- True emulation, especially in young rection of a parent or tutor, he ac- and ingenuous minds, is a noble prinquires such a habit of looking up to ciple; I have known the happiest them for advice, that he never learns effects produced by it ; I never knew to think or act for himself; his me- it to be productive of any vice. In mory is exercised, indeed, in retain. all public schools it is, or ought to ing their advice, but his invention is be, carefully cherished. Where it is suffered to languish, till at last it wanting, in vain shall we preach up becomes totally inactive. He knows, to children the dignity and utility of perhaps, a great deal of history or knowledge : the true appetite for science ; but he knows not how to knowledge is wanting; and when conduct himself on those ever-chang. that is the case, whatever is crammed ing emergencies, which are too mi. into the memory will rather surfeit nure and too numerous to be com- and enfeeble, than improve the unprehended in any system of advice. derstanding. I do not mention the He is astonished at the most common pleasure which young people take in appearances, and discouraged with the company of one another, and the most trifling (because unexpect. what a pity it is to deprive them of ed) obstacles ; and he is often at his it. I need not remark, that friend. wits end, where a boy of much less ships of the utmost stability and im. knowledge, but more experience, portance have often been founded on would instantly devise a thousand school-acquaintance; nor need I put expedients. Conscious of his own you in mind, of what vast consesuperiority in some things, he won. quence to health are the exercises ders to fiod himself so much inferior and amusements which boys contrive in others; his vanity meets with con. for themselves. I shall only observe tinual rubs and disappointments, and further, that, when boys pursue their disappointed vanity is very apt to de- studies at home, they are apt to con. generate into sullenness and pride; tract either a habit of idleness, or he despises, or affects to despise, his too close an attachment to reading ; fellows, because, though superior in the former breeds innumerable disaddress, they are inferior in know. eases, both in the body and soul ; the ledge ; and they, in their turn, de- latter, by filling young and tender spise that knowledge, which cannot minds with more knowledge than teach the owner how to behave on they can either retain or arrange pro, the most common occasions. Thus perly, is apt to make them superficial he keeps at a distance from his e. and inattentive, or, what is worse, to quals, and they at a distance from strain, and consequently impair, the him : and mutual contempt is the na- faculties, by over-stretching them. tural consequence.

I have known several instances of

[ocr errors]


[ocr errors][ocr errors]

both. The human mind is more im- will also disqualify him the more, proved by thoroughly understanding both for supporting it with dignity, one science, one part of a science, or and also for defending himself aeven one subject, than by a superfi- gainst it. Suppose him to be shockcial knowledge of twenty sciences and ed with vice at its first appearance, a hundred different subjects : and I and often to call to mind the good would rather wish 'my son to be tho. precepts he received in his early roughly master of “ Euclid's Ele. days; yet when he sees others daily ments," than to have the whole of adventuring upon it without any ap“ Chambers' Dictionary” by heart. parent inconvenience; when he sees

“ The great inconvenience of pub- them more gay (to appearance,) and lic education arises from its being better received among all their acdangerous to morals. And indeed quaintance than he is; and when he every condition and period of human finds himself hooted at, and in a life is liable to temptation. Nor manner avoided and despised, on acwill I deny, that our innocence, du- count of his singularity; it is a wonring the first part of life, is much der, indeed, if he persist in his first more secure at home, than any where resolutions, and do not now at last else; yet even at home, when we begin to think, that though his for. reach a certain age, it is not perfect. mer teachers were well meaning peo. ly secure. Let young men be kept at ple, they were by no means qualified the greatest distance from bad com- to prescribe rules for his conduct. pany, it will not be easy to keep “ The world (he will say) is chanthem from bad books, to which, in ged since their time (and you will not these days, all persons may have ea- easily persuade young people that it sy access at all times. Let us, how- changes for the worse :) we must ever, suppose the best ; that both comply with the fashion, and live bad books and bad company keep a- like other folks, otherwise we must way, and tbat the young man never give up all hopes of making a figure leaves his parents' or tutor's side, till in it.” And when he has got thus his mind be well furnished with good far, and begins to despise the opiprinciples; and himself arrived at the nions of his instructors, and to be age of reflection and caution : yet dissatisfied with their conduct in re. temptations must come at last ; and gard to him, I need not add, that when they come, will they have the the worst consequences may not unless strength, because they are new, reasonably be apprehended. A young unexpected, and surprising ? I fear man, kept by himself at home, is ne. not.

The more the young man is ver well known, even by his parents': surprised, the more apt will be be to because he is never placed in those lose his presence of mind, and conse- circumstances which alone are able quently the less capable of self-go. effectually to rouse aad interest his

Besides, if his passions passions, and consequently to are strong, he will be disposed to his character appear. His parents, form comparisons between his past therefore, or tutors, never know his state of restraiņt, and his present of weak side, nor what particular ad. liberty, very much to the disadvao- vices or cautions he stands most in tage of the former. His new asso- need of: whereas, if he had attended ciates will laugh at him for his re- a public school, and mingled in the serve and preciseness : and his unac- amusements and pursuits of his equaintance with their manners, and quals, his virtues and his vices would with the world, as it will render him have been disclosing themselves every the more obnoxious to their ridicule, day; and his teachers would have






known what particular precepts and been told, that the inhabitants of examples it was most expedient to some parts of the Alps do also lay inculcate upon him. Compare those claim to a sort of second-sight: 'and who have had a public education I believe the same superstition, or with those who have been educated something like it, may be found in at home; and it will not be found, in many other countries, where the face fact, that the latter are, either in of nature, and the solitary life of the virtue or in talents, superior to the natives, tend to impress the imagina. former. I speak, Madam, from ob. tion with melancholy. The Highservation of fact, as well as from at. lands of Scotland are a picturesque, tending to the nature of the thing." but gloomy region.

but gloomy region. Long tracts of

solitary mountaios covered with SECOND SIGHT,

heath and rocks, and often obscured « The book of second-sight has by mist; narrow vallies, thinly innot, I fear. given you much enter- habited, and bounded by precipices tainment. The tales are ill-told, and that resound for ever with the fall of ill closen, and the language so bar. torrents; a soil 80 rugged, and a cli. barous as to be in many places unin- dreary, as to admit neither telligible, even to a Scotoman. I have the amusements of pasturage, nor heard many better stories of the se- the chearful toils of agriculture; the cond-sight, than any this author has mouraful dashing of waves along the given, attested by such persons, and friths and lakes that every where in. accompanied by such circumstances, tersect this country; the portentous as to preclude contradiction, though sounds, which every change of the not suspicion. All our Highlanders wind, and every increase and diminubelieve in this second-sight : but the tion of the waters, is apt to raise in instances, in which it is said to oper- a region full of rocks and hollow ate, are generally so ambiguous, and cliffs and caverns ; the grotesque and the revelations supposed to be com ghasily appearance of such a land. municated by it so frivolous, that I scape, especially by the light of the cannot bring myself to acquiesce in moon ;-objects like these diffuse it. Indeed this same historian has an habitual gloom over the fancy, and made me

more incredulous than I give it that romantic cast, that dispo. was before ; for his whole book be- ses to invention, and that melanchotrays an excess of folly and weak- ly which inclines one to the fear of ness. Were its revelationsimportant I unseen things and unknown events. should be less inclined to unbelief: It is observable too, that the antient but to suppose the Deity working a Scottish Highlanders had scarce any miracle in order to announce a mare

way of supporting themselves, riage, or the arrival of a poor stran. than by hunting, fishing, or war; ger, or the making of a coffin, would professions, that are continually exrequire such evidence as has not yet posed to the most fatal accidents.-attended any of these tales, and is Thus, almost every circumstance in indeed what scarce any kind of their lot tended to rouse and terrify evidence could make one suppose. the imagination. Accordingly, their These communications are all made poetry is uniformly mournful; their to the ignorant, the superstitious, music melancholy and dreadful, and and generally to the young ; I never their superstitions are all of the heard a man of learning, sense, or ob- gloomy kind. The fairies confined servation, that was favoured with their gambols to the Lowlands; the any of them; a strong presumption mountains were haunted with giants, against their credebility. I have and angry ghosts, and funeral proces.



[ocr errors]


« ZurückWeiter »