Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

widely scattered sheep of thy pasture, of whom a part are still to be found in the Roman church, with the Indians, Moscovites, Russians, Greeks, who, through the false conjurations and avarice of the Popes, through false shows of holiness, have been severed! * * * Oh God! if Luther be dead, wbo shall henceforward so clearly expound the Holy Scriptures to us? Oh God, wbat might he not have written for us in another ten or twenty years! Oh, all you pious Cbristians, belp me diligently to bewail this God-inspired mortal, and to pray Him that He would send us another enlightened man! Oh, Erasme Roterodame, where wilt thou abide ?

“ I have reckoned with Jobst, and I owe bim 31 forins, and I have paid him, taking into account and deducting two portraits painted in oil colours, for which he gave me out 5 pfd. (pounds, probably, of some. thing, but of what we know not). In all my painting, boarding, selling and other dealings, I have had disadvantage in the Netherlands, in all my concerns with high and low; and especially has the Lady Margaret, for all that I have presented her and done for her, given me nothing. And this settling with Jobst was on St. Peter and St. Paul's day, I

gave the Rudiger servant 7 stivers to drink.

" Item, on the Sunday before St. Margaret's day, the king of Denmark gave a grand banquet to the Emperor, the Lady Margaret and the Queen of Spain, * and invited me, and I too ate there. I gave 12 stivers for the king's Futteral, † and I painted the king in oil colours, and he gave me 30 forins."

We would willingly extract more of this journal, but what we have given, as much as we can afford space for, will convey a tolerable idea of its character, and peculiar sort of interest.

Seven years after his return from this, in a pecuniary sense, altogether unsuccessful expedition, on the 6th of April, 1528, Albert Durer, worn out with incessant labour, and the discomforts of his home, died of a decline. Of his character as a man and an artist, we need add nothing to what has been already said, and shall conclude with an extract from a letter upon his death, written by his ever kind friend Pirkheimer to Johann Tscherte of Vienna, imperial architect; which we give for the sake of the picture it presents to us of the artist's domestic persecution, not certainly as a specimen of composition. He says:

“In Albert I have truly lost one of the best friends I had in the whole world, and nothing grieves me deeper than that he should have

* We know not whom our good Nuremberger means by the Queen of Spain. Charles's wise was of course Empress, and the only true Queen of Spain was his mother the insane Joanna, who lived in a kind of confinement in Castile.

+ We leave this word untranslated, conceiving it to be an old technical term for the equally technical, and now we believe, obsolete, vails, at a royal table. Literally, it means case, or sheath; and may have been a case coutaining the spoon, knife and fork, if such luxuries as forks were then in use, for each guest,

died so painful a death, which, under God's providence, I can ascribe to nobody but bis huswife, who gnawed into his very heart, and so tormented bim, that he departed hence the sooner; for he was dried up to a faggot, and might nowhere seek bim a jovial humour, or go to bis friends. *

Besides she so urged him day and night, and so hardly drove him to work, only that he might earn money and leave it to her when he should die; for she would always, as she does still, squander money privately; and Albert must have left her to the value of 6000 gulden. But nothing could satisfy her, and in brief, she alone is the cause of his death. I myself have often remonstrated with her, and warned her as to her mistrustful and culpable ways, and foretold her bow it would end; but I thereby gained only ill will. ('The German word undank, has a peculiar signification, which neither ill will nor ingratitnde express; it is literally the contrary of thanks.) For whoever loved that man, and was much with him, to him she became an enemy, which in truth grieved Albert most highly, and brought him underground. I have not seen her since bis death, or let her come near me, though I have been helpful to her in many things, but there there is no confidence. Whoever opposes her, and does not always allow her to be in the right, bim she mistrusts, and forthwith becomes his enemy; therefore I like her better at a distance than about me. She and her sister are not queans; they are, I doubt not, in the number of honest, devout, and altogether God-fearing women; but a man might better have a quean, who was otherwise kindly, than such a gnawing, suspicious, quarrelsome, good woman, with whom he can have no peace or quiet, neither by day nor by nigbt. But however that be, we must commend the thing to God, wbo will be gracious and merciful to the pious Albert, for as he lived like a pious honest man, so he died a Cbristian, and most blessed death, therefore there is nothing to fear for his salvation."

Art. IV.-1. Histoire de France depuis la Restauration. Par

Charles Lacretelle, &c. &c. Paris : Tomes I. & II., 1829.

Tome III., 1830. Svo. 2. Histoire de la Restauration, et des Causes qui ont amené la

chúte de la branche ainée des Bourbons. Par un Homme d'Etat. Paris : Tomes I. & II., 1831. Tomes III. & IV.,

1832. 8vo. The two works which we have placed at the head of this article contain portions of the history of France during the period included between the first restoration and the final expulsion of the elder branch of the Bourbons. It is a period peculiarly interesting and instructive: and it is of great moment that the nature of that government which was overthrown by the Revolution of 1830 should be well understood in this country. It is perhaps somewhat difficult to arrive at this knowledge, in consequence of the erroneous notions which have been spread by the

contending parties in France, and eagerly circulated by those which fought under somewhat similar designations in this country. Great pains have been taken by our conservative party to trace the calamity of the late revolution to the establishment of representative government in France; and to show the incompatibility of freedom there, as elsewhere, with quiet submission to laws. They palliate the Ordinances of Charles X. as an imprudence into which the Court was driven by the continued aggressions of conspiring Liberals, or defend them as a paternal exertion of legitimate and well-intentioned despotism, frustrated unhappily by an absence of proper precaution on the part of the ministers, and by the outrageous turbulence of a capricious populace, incapable of appreciating the beneficence which lurked beneath the assumption of arbitrary power. The fanatical friends of Liberty have equally distorted the matter by their exaggerations. They represent the government of the Bourbons as from the very first unpopular, on account of the hereditary hatred borne by the people to the family of their ancient rulers, as established by the bayonets of the Allies, despite the longings of the nation for the popular sway of their chosen Napoleon, or the imagined blessings of a Republic, and as imposing a yoke of the most grinding tyranny on its conquered subjects. Far different views of the real situation of the French nation under the late dynasty, and of the causes of the revolution which overturned its dominion, will result from a careful investigation of events. Happily the publicity of representative government has prevented facts from being entirely obscured by the cotemporary frauds and passions which pervert the judgments of the careless: and it is quite in the power of any honest inquirer to obtain for himself by a little pains a simple and satisfactory explanation of events which are apt at first to appear obscure or anomalous. The restoration of the Bourbons, though not brought about by any unanimous espression of national desire, was accepted with very general satisfaction, and enjoyed a great popularity: their government secured a degree of tranquillity and practical freedom which the French had never before enjoyed; and it promoted, or, what is the same thing, allowed, an unparalleled improvement in the moral and material condition of the country. Its fall, nevertheless, is not to be attributed to unjustifiable popular caprice. The discontent against the Bourbons was just and general: it is to be attributed solely to the folly and oppression of their misrule, and the practical misery which it inflicted on the people at large.

It is easy to reconcile the merits of the fallen dynasty with the faults which occasioned its overthrow, to show that it was the best government which France ever had, and at the same time that its

further existence was incompatible with the welfare of the people. The Bourbon family reascended the throne of France with two conditions of peculiar fitness-its legitimacy, and its compatibility with constitutional government. Its descent from the ancient line of kings gave it an apparent title to royalty, which, weak as it was, was the only one that could be set against that of the deposed Emperor: and it conciliated the confidence of the European monarchs, in whose hands the fate of France was in some measure placed. The people were relieved from the pressure of foreign wars, and the conflict of the partisans of various forms of internal government. The Charter at the same time guaranteed to the people a certain share in the government, and the maintenance of the institutions which owed their origin to the Revolution. As long, and in as much as the Bourbons respected the Charter and the Revolution, their government was good and popular, and secured to the people the blessings of peace, tranquillity, and freedom. By their misconduct they marred both the happiness of their subjects and the advantages of their own position. They excited national discontent by their hostility to the constitutional restrictions on their authority, and their attempts to restore the institutions and manners which the Revolution had effaced, and the people hated; and this discontent dated from the very period of their restoration, because their misrule was simultaneous with their possession of power. The constitution was not sufficient to protect the people from various kinds of misgovernment, which inflicted excessive and general vexation : and to that extent the government of the Bourbons was oppressive and justly odious. To many of the designs of the Court the Charter enabled the people to oppose a successful legal resistance, and the government in consequence turned its hostility against the Constitution, and sought by various devices to narrow the protection which it afforded against encroachments. The last act of Charles X. was calculated to deprive the people of every guarantee for the continuance of such a degree of good government aš had previously been enjoyed. There was no mystery either in the restoration or the expulsion of the Bourbons. The people recalled them because it trusted to their governing well. They had the folly to deceive these hopes. The people murmured at their misgovernment; bore it long in hopes of a change for the better; and finally shook off their authority when it had ceased to be in any degree compatible with a continuance of the benefits it had previously assured.

M. Lacretelle is well known by his writings on various periods of the history of his country. Gifted with a style, which, in spite of frequent pomposity and sentimentalism, is in general clear and

elegant, he has given an interesting and connected narrative of the events of the Restoration. A royalist by feeling, he is known to have advocated a strict fidelity to the Charter, as the most prudent and dignified course for the legitimate race; and to bave drawn on himself the vengeance of its more bigoted partizans by his opposition to their unconstitutional tenets and acts. As a mere narrative, or as an exposition of the feelings of the class of royalists to which he belongs, his work is valuable: the reader who desires to arrive at the causes and connection of the various acts which it details, will find in it only information of the shallowest kind. A profound and accurate view M. Lacretelle is too careless, and far too little of a philosopher, to be enabled to impart.

The work of the anonymous Homme d'Etat' is much more interesting, and contains a more elaborate and a sounder view of events. The name of History is one, indeed, to which it has few pretensions: the narrative is too diffuse, too imperfect, to entitle it to any character save that of a species of contemporary memoirs, of which the reflections and anecdotes will afford useful materials to a future historian. A very general rumour bas ascribed it to M. Decazes: the internal evidence, though not decisive against this supposition, on the whole appears somewhat incompatible with it. The writer is, however, no doubt what he professes himself to be-a man of high station, and one who has played a leading part in the politics of the first years of the Restoration. Of the ministers who managed the affairs of the country at that period he professes himself a warm admirer: the work, indeed, seems undertaken chiefly for the purpose of obtaining from the public a just appreciation of their merits, which he sets in invidious contrast with the faults committed by their old opponents, the Liberals, during their occupation of the government since the Revolution of July. To the order of things established at the Restoration he professes bimself attached. He entertained, in common with the best friends of liberty, the hope of seeing the throne of the Bourbons united to the freedom and civilization of France. Nevertheless, no man cau show less sympathy with their errors. For their feudal and fanatical follies he throughout marks the greatest contempt and aversion; and if he exhibits an indulgence for the character of Louis XVIII., which, indeed, we cannot think wholly undeserved, he is unsparing in his exposure of the follies of his race, and the creatures by which it was surrounded. On the whole, his work presents a very laboured, clear and dispassionate view of the character of the restored dynasty, and of the causes which brought about its expulsion. In spite of the general carelessness of the style, the slipslop affectation of particular passages, and the profusion of that cant jargon which ren

« ZurückWeiter »