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men would generally have been with them; and their efforts, in the end, would have beaten, if they could not convert the swordsmen. Yet we have seen them patronize the establishment of a censorship upon the press. Perhaps the revival of the Slave Trade may be given as another great blunder, even in this point of view. It is a most clumsy attempt to court popular favour; it is a base sacrifice of principle, the best foundation of lasting popularity, to the supposed interests of a particular class; it is a shortsighted deference paid to a few merchants of Nantz and Bourdeaux, at the risk of alienating all the moral and religious and soundly judging parts of the community. This very false step has completely alienated the bulk of the people in this country from the Bourbon cause; and there is so much sympathy between the popular bodies in the two countries, and England is so much looked to by all the rest of Europe as the public, before whose tribunal the conduct of courts and nations is best canvassed, that the loss of favour in this Island may seriously weaken the hands, and unsettle the security of the restored family within the realm of France itself.
If it would be foolish in that family to disregard the popular voice, and shut their eyes to the disadvantages of its situation, the error would be no less in other powers, and especially in this country, were they to reckon too surely upon lasting peace, from a presumption that France is either exhausted in her means, or sick in spirit of military sufferings and perils. We should deceive our readers into something of this prevailing mistake, were we to withhold the opinion formed on this point by so competent a judge as the author of the work before us, I am sorry,' says he, to state, that I did not perceive in the • people of France any due sense of the blessings of public tranquillity. The minds of the army, both officers and privates, are bent upon violence and rapine; and they care not on whom they are exercised. Their notions of warfare are not • modified by the chivalrous spirit of modern times. They have even little regard for the welfare of their country. Plunder and promotion are the main articles of their creed; and they are ready to draw the sword, without inquiring against whom. Nor are the bulk of the people chastised into wisdom by the events which have lately occurred to humble them. They cannot be persuaded that any of the ordinary occurrences of war could have exposed the French arms to disaster and defeat. Their language already begins to be lofty; and the nation at large seems to wish for an opportunity of redeeming the military credit; which, though too proud to acknowledge
it, they are conscious they have lost. The animosity both of ⚫ the army and people, is most inveterate against Austria, which power they loudly accuse of treachery and cupidity ;-political ⚫vices which they very consistently, no doubt, avow their wish to punish and restrain. On England, also, they look with an ⚫ evil eye. They cannot bear to think of our naval power; and they contemplate, with all the jealousy of rivalry, our commercial prosperity. The complaints of the prisoners of war whom we lately dismissed in such numbers, are readily lis⚫tened to, and aggravate feelings, in themselves sufficiently turbulent.' p. 276, 277.
We are far from thinking that the danger is imminent of a new war; but that every thing will depend on the prudence of the negotiators at Vienna, we entirely believe. No men, as Mr Shepherd remarks, ever had a more difficult or important task confided to them. We will add, no such theatre was ever open to a laudable ambition-the ambition, in the negotiators, of excelling each other in artless honesty and frankness, and all the better qualities of accomplished diplomatists;-in the sovereigns, of running that race of virtuous moderation in which they have already so far advanced, as to be in full view of the goal and the prize-a lasting peace to mankind. Towards inculcating the benefits of this moderate conduct, we conceive the remark to be very material which has just been cited: and should any of the high parties to the approaching treaty so far forget their duty and their past professions, as to press more severely upon France than the common safety requires, the knowledge of the spirit still residing there may serve the purpose of a check, and remind them that resistance is still not impossible.
The English reader will naturally be desirous of knowing what kind of legislative assemblies the French have received as their compensation for all the sufferings of the Revolution. The anecdotes of the two Chambers, contained in this volume, are interesting; and show, indeed, the wide difference between those bodies and the English Houses of Parliament. Something, no doubt, is to be set down to the account of the national character; prone to representation, pomp, and what we term theatrical effect. But more, we fear, is due to defects which time only can cure,-the want of experience, the want of materials of which to form parliaments, and of a vigilant publick to watch with interest, and yet with jealousy, the proceedings of the Legislature. From some things here related, we should rather think the Lower House, or Chamber of Deputies, had been formed on the model of the French Academy, or National Institute, than of that best exemplar (with all its defects) the
English House of Commons. The death of each member, who happens to die, is celebrated by a funeral oration, or eloge.Such a ceremony must needs in most cases become bombastical and ridiculous;-in almost all it is trifling;-and in all it is destructive of its own object, by being indiscriminately performed. No such absurdity was committed during the revolutionary times. With all their faults, trifling and unmeaning mummery was not their failing;-they had far too much real business on their hands, to preach funeral sermons at their sittings. Another absurdity of the same stamp, is the receiving presents of works from authors and booksellers, and acknowledging them in the journals with formal votes of thanks. I have seen recorded, ' says Mr Shepherd, with all gravity, in the procès-verbal of the • Corps Legislatif, the presentation of " an Ode on the restora"tion of the Bourbons. And the proceedings of August 9th were opened by-" l'homage d'une production destinée à l'in"struction de la jeunesse, et intitulée l'Abeille Française, par M. "l'Abbe Cordier." We extracted the account of a visit to the Institute: the following to the House of Deputies, is a fit pendant to it.
On our entrance into the great gateway, we were stopped by a military guard; but on our announcing ourselves Englishmen, were permitted to proceed. We then made our way into an antiroom, when a doorkeeper told us we could not be admitted into the gallery without tickets. But on my observing to him, that my friend the Baron had informed me that tickets were not necessary, he opened the door, and introduced us into the body of the hall. Here we found two or three members of the Corps Législatif, and about half a dozen ladies. The hall is a very handsome room, in the form of a half oval. It is ornamented with six statues, representing Lycurgus, Solon, Demosthenes, Brutus, Cato, and Cicero. Under the president's chair are two figures in bas-relief of History and Renown. Immediately below are stools appointed for the huissiers. One or two benches covered with blue leather, are appropriated to such of the King's ministers as may have occasion to attend the assembly. On the entrance of several members, clothed in their full costume, a blue coat ornamented with gold lace, we withdrew into the gallery, the first bench of which was reserved for the ladies. When the president had taken his chair, he gave notice of the commencement of business by ringing a bell. The procès-verbal of the last sitting was read, and the presentation of two or three pamphlets, was announced. A member then rose, and walking across the room, ascended the tribune, and read a speech, proposing a free import and export of commodities into France, which was receiv ed with murmurs of disapprobation. When the orator had finished by a motion, one or two members rose, and waddling across the
floor, mounted the rostrum in succession, and said a very few words; after which the question was put, and almost unanimously agreed, that "there was no room to deliberate" upon the proposition which had just been made. The president then proceeded to read the result of several ballots for committees, after which he terminated the sitting. Though this day's proceedings were far from being interesting, there was such a disposition to tumults among the members, that the president was obliged two or three times to reduce them to order, by ringing his bell. The reading the speeches has a very flat effect, and the transit from the benches, and the tribune, must tend to damp a speaker's fire. Many years must elapse before the Corps Législatif of France will emulate the well regulated activity and promptitude of our House of Commons.' p. 261-263.
Before concluding our account of this useful and interesting little volume, we briefly indicate a few points on which we differ with the learned author, and one or two things which we conceive to be slips. His taste is generally chaste and correct; but we can hardly agree with him in his preference of Gothic to Grecian architecture, even in churches,-to which, indeed, his observations are principally confined. This is probably the effect of early association. We suspect, too, that he undervalues the famous Venus de Medici. Persons unaccustomed to sculptures are apt to disregard this exquisite marble, as those who, for the first time, see the Raphaels in the Vatican, are not aware of the wonders before them. But the experience, even of the ignorant, and the united voice of the learned, always more and more approaches towards devotion of those masterpieces. To find so knowing an eye as Mr Shepherd's out on such a subject, surprised us. We can only account for it by his jealousy of any rival to his favourite Apollo.
Is it not inaccurate to speak of Constantinople and London (232) as the only two capitals in Europe which Buonaparte had not personally visited? When was he at Lisbon, or Stockholm, or Copenhagen, or St Petersburgh, unless, indeed, Moscow is to stand proxy for the modern metropolis? In the French, a few errors of the press have crept in, but of little consequence; as intends' for 'entends,' quc'est' for 'qu'est-ce' crapandine' for crapaudine,' and one or two others. Cicisbeo' for Cicerone,' an officer of a very different description, though sometimes united with the other, is a slip of the pen. But these are trifles. We only wish the book had been larger; and such slips might have been as numerous as he chose,
We cannot better close this article than by the anecdote related of that stern and honest republican Carnôt-a man whose scientific attainments, and extraordinary talents, both in war and peace, all Europe has acknowledged ;-whose errors have at
least been consistent, and redeemed, as far as such errors can be redeemed, by long and various persecutions ;-whose princi ples, how much soever we may differ from him, we must admit he has acted on, and suffered for, with the coolness of a philcsopher, and the zeal of a martyr.
Of all the men of abilities who had figured upon the stage of the Revolution, Carnôt had been most steady in his opposition to Buonaparte. He had voted against his being appointed Consul for life; and had declared his disapprobation of his assumption of the Imperial dignity. His carriage, however, had won the respect of Napoleon, who had suffered him to live in unmolested retirement. But when the Allies had entered France, and Buonaparte was surrounded by difficulties, he addressed to him a letter, in which, after reminding him that, in the days of his splendour and prosperity, he had studiously kept aloof from him; he declared he was ready to render him his best services in the season of his distress. It is an instance of the decision of Buonaparte's character, that, in consequence of this letter, he entrusted the man who had been so long his declared ene my, with the defence of the important city of Antwerp.'
ART. XII. Some Experiments and Observations on a New Substance, which becomes a Violet-coloured Gas by Heat. By Sir HUMPHREY DAVY, Knight, LL D. F. R.S. From the Philosophical Transactions. Part I. for 1814.
we have not of late had occasion to continue our history of this eminent chemist's discourses, it has been because his papers in the Philosophical Transactions, however valuable, did not bring before the reader any such marked addition to the science, so as to render the analysis of their contents a fit object of the very sparing selection which our limits oblige us to make from that celebrated publication. But the paper now before us is important, as giving the earliest notice to the philosopher in this country of a most curious and interesting discovery lately made at Paris. The greater number by far of the gases with which we have hitherto been acquainted, are perfectly transparent, colourless, and consequently invisible. Oxygen gas, hydrogen gas, azotic gas, atmospheric air, and most of the acid gases, belong to this class. Nor is there any remarkable exception to it, except in the green colour of oxymuriatic acid gas, and the yellow tinge of nitrous acid gas. A new substance, however, has now been discovered, of a peculiar nature, and which, at the temperature of 212° of Fahrenheit, becomes a gas of a beautiful