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From the moment of Marian's passed away for ever; and, soon
death, Herbert Lisle was a melancholy man; and though Matthew Godfrey, softened and almost brokenhearted by the misfortune which had befallen his family, blessed and forgave him ere he left England, he moved no more in scenes of gaiety, for the light of his existence had
after the restoration of King Charles the Second, he died at his paternal mansion, in Kent, young in years, but willingly resigning the load of life which had pressed heavily upon him since the death of his ever fondly-remembered Marian.
THE FRENCH CHAMBER OF DEPUTIES.
HE Chamber of Deputies, which was created on the 4th of June, 1814, by the 15th Article of the Constitutional Charter, bears some resemblance to the opera, in the various distribution of its characters and performers,-its choruses and figurants. Like the latter, it has first-rate stars, and twinklers of minor magnitude; shining public characters, intermixed with puppets and mutes; and the whole assemblage, viewed together in its grotesque costume of antiquated frippery and modern exaggeration, presents us with a very faithful representation of a melo-drama on a grand scale.
The palace in which these legislators hold their sittings, resembles in its external figure that favourite residence of music and song. It is erected on the left bank of the Seine, at the extremity of the Fauxbourg Saint Germain, and is connected by the bridge of Louis XVI., with the extensive square that terminates the Tuileries.
The portico of this palace is composed of twelve Corinthian columns, surmounted by a triangular pediment, which is adorned with a bas-relief, emblamatic of the power and influence of law. A superb staircase leads to this portico, between two statues, representing Themis and Minerva. On the exterior there is a range of statues, bearing the names of Sully, Colbert, D'Aguesseau, and l'Hopital. On the grand gala days of public debate, the pavement of the porch is marked all over with circles drawn with chalk, having each
of them a certain number, and a piece of money in the centre. This is done from four to five o'clock in the morning, when numbers of persons come to secure a place by means of this little operation, and then retire till the opening of the Sitting takes place.
The scene of debate is a semicircular saloon, which is lighted from the top, and is illuminated at night by a lustre, suspended very majestically by invisible means, and kept up during the continuance of the debates. The members are seated on semi-circular rows of benches, which are separated by two wide passages that insulate the centre from the right and left. Three other smaller avenues which sub-divide these three grand divisions form the first and second sections of the left and right, the right centre, and the left centre. At the extreme left are the veteran friends of liberty-the venerable Lafayette, the eloquent B. Constant, the ardent Corcelies, Labbey de Pompieres, Casimir-Perrier, Lameth, and about fifty others, who have grown grey in the career of patriotism. On the left is the party of Terneaux, Duvergier de Hauranne, Keratry, and Saint-Aulaire, who were doctrinaires under Decazes, and liberals under Villele,—men of talents and respectable citizens; but mere novices in political intrique, whose want of foresight and sagacity has twice compromised the interests of France. Immediately on their right the centre-gauche appears composed of a species of figurants, of
whom the Comte Beugnot was formerly the coryphæus; they are a race of timid men, whom the drudgery of debate fatigues, and who form a chorus when their neighbours of the centre-droit call for the order of the day, the question, or the adjourn ment, and vote according to the dictates of the moment with these functionaries, the doubles of the ministry, or with the friends of liberty.
On the other side of the Chamber, at the extremity of the right, are seated the partizans of the ancien regime, Messrs. de Sallabrery, de Corday, Syries de Mayrinhac, de la Boulaye, and a few more half dozens of veteran nobles, or blind admirers of the preux chevaliers of the ancient crusades. M. de la Bourdonnaye is the head of this party. It was he who prophesied, in an austere and gloomy voice, the miseries of another revolution, and spoke of scaffolds and massacres on the question of the budget, endeavouring to draw the timid into his train, by the recollections of the past, and the fears of the future, and to produce the triumphs of the counter-revolution, of which he is doomed to be the champion and the orator. The former President of the Chamber, M. Ravez, takes his seat on the first row of the second section of the right, (where all the fragnients of the former ministry are collected,) and supports him with all the force of his inexhaustible lungs.
The ministers occupy the two benches of the centre, which are nearest to the tribune, and are placed in front of the President. The galleries, which are raised above the whole space allotted for the members, are open to the reporters of the newspapers and to the public. They are separated by the regular openings of an extensive colonnade, and are supported by pilasters, from which green draperies are suspended, surmounted by purple crowns. Behind the President's seat are the busts of the four last Bourbons: Louis XVI.; Louis XVII.!; Louis XVIII.; and Charles X. The superb chair of
the President out-tops the tribune, which is enchased with white marble, and on which two figures are placed, in a sitting posture, representing History and Fame. The pedestrian statues of Solon, Lycurgus, Demosthenes, Brutus, Cato, and Cicero, occupy niches which are wrought out to the right and left of the chair, but in which, with more propriety, might be placed the renowned orators of France,-Mirabaud, Vergniaud, Maury, Cazalès, Foy, and CamilleJourdan. The walls around are ornamented with stucco work, and intersected with plates of gilt metal. Two lateral doors of mahogany, studded with stars of gold, serve exclusively for the exit and entrance of the Deputies. The floor of the room, which is said to be ornamented with allegorical emblems, is usually covered with a rich carpet, formed into squares.
It is now one o'clock-the drum is heard-and that is the signal for the approach of the President, M. Royer-Collard. He repairs to the Assembly between a double row of veterans, who present arms, and is preceded by a captain, who marches before him, with his sword drawn. The galleries are already crowded with spectators, and the reporters of the journals are at their posts. The Deputies enter, and take their places; among them we recognize the Baron de Puymaurin, the Director of the Medal Mint, by his large and dark visage, his enormous paunch, and his spindle shanks; he bows as he passes the ministerial bench, and takes his place at the centre, as near as possible to their high mightinesses. It is also easy to recognize General Sebastiani, by his easy gait and graceful gestures,-by his full and expressive countenance, and his whole exterior, that revives the contours and conceptions of Raphael. His appearance is finely contrasted with that of the publicist, B. Constant, who advances with stooping shoulders, and long and awkward arms. Mons. Charles Dupin next comes in, who casts a glance, indicative of self-sat
isfaction, at the ladies that grace the galleries; while General Lafayette advances towards his seat with hobbling steps, being saluted by the whole coté-gauche, and admired by the spectators for his noble and venerable appearance, his generous deeds, and the lofty and liberal sentiments that he has displayed during the whole course of his long and stormy career. Since its first creation, in 1814, the Chamber of Deputies has, cameleon-like, changed its physiognomy, colour, and complexion. Under it the eagle has dislodged the lilies, and the coat-of-arms of the kings of France recovered its position three months afterwards, and put the imperial eagles to flight. In 1815, the benches of the coté-droit were no longer able to contain the numerous partisans of aristocracy, but the ordinance of the 5th of September, 1816, reinforced the centre with a new band. The law of Elections of the 5th of February, 1817, doubled the ranks of the constitutional party, at the expense of the advocates of the ancient regime. This law, which is conformable to the text of the Charter, renewed the Chamber of Deputies by one-fifth every year.
The party threatened by this law, perceiving the approaches of the storm which was gathering to overwhelm them, by securing the triumph of public liberty, turned to profit the last day that remained to them, in order to stifle at its birth the law that seemed destined for their own destruction. The struggle was the most stormy and the most splendid that was ever exhibited in the parliamentary annals of France; and from it came forth the electoral law, which, at the present moment, regulates the representative system of the nation. This law added 192 new members to the 258 that formerly composed the entire body of the Chamber of Deputies, and it estab
lished two orders of election. It created the colleges of the departments, formed solely from the fourth part of the total numbers of the electors of each department, selected from the most heavily-taxed classes, that, after having concurred, each by their individual vote, in the nomination of the 258 deputies assigned to the colleges of the Arrondissements, enjoy the additional privilege of voting a second time for the nomination of two, three, or four deputies, according to the new distribution made between all the departments of the 192 members created by the law of the 20th of June, 1820; a law which was modified by the ministry of 1824, by substituting, instead of the partial renovation by the one-fifth, an entire renovation every seventh year.
This combined system of the law of election produced the fruits that were expected by the friends of the ancien regime, and from the year 1821 to 1827, the different deputies were more or less devoted to the opinions of the coté-droit. The old coté-gauche of the Chamber was almost entirely turned out, with the exception of 15 or 20 members only, who escaped from this species of ostracism. However, they had courage enough left, (as they were supported by public opinion) to maintain, with firmness and constancy, a still surviving party. Their voices, proclaiming the truth, made numerous proselytes out of doors, and they laid bare the mask and the sophistry of Villele, by exposing his counter-revolutionary projects, while they attached to themselves the moderate and anti-jesuitical part of the Chamber; and thus, becoming powerful, they forced the ministry to have recourse to a dissolution, and brought on the liberal elections of 1827, that dislodged the coté-droit, and thinned the rows of the centre.
THE FALL OF NINEVEH.*
IN sitting down to the examination of an epic poem, our thoughts are involuntarily carried back to the times when the fathers of modern criticism amused themselves with laying down rules to direct the builders of the "lofty rhyme," and when even poets themselves tuned their verse to the naturally unmusical burden of critical science. Whether any of these philosophers in the art of poetry effected any good purpose by their efforts, is matter of consider able doubt; but certain it is, we know of no epic or tragedy to which they can lay the smallest claim as having contributed to its intrinsic beauty or popularity. In our own country, no remarkable attempts have been made at setting forth a compilation of classical rules and institutes for the guidauce of the poet. The greatest men in the early days of English literature have occasionally written on the subject; but it is a curious circumstance that they have written, not with any regard to the technicalities of criticism, but in the clear, bold, and fervid spirit of true practical philosophy; not laying down rules for the composition of certain species of poetry, but ranging with delight through the bright and flowery fields whence it has gathered the very manna of its inspiration. Witness, for example, that piece of excellent, though quaint and forgotten eloquence, in which Sir Philip Sydney, speaking of poets, says, that they only, disdaining to be tied to any of the subjections of other thinking men, "do grow in effect another nature, in making things better than nature bringeth forth, or quite new forms, such as never was in nature, so as they go hand in hand with nature, not inclosed in within the narrow warrant of her gifts, but freely ranging only within the zodiac of their own wit:" or that equally beautiful and
noble sentiment of Bacon, which describes poetry as having something of divineness; because it doth raise and erect the mind, by submitting the shows of things to the desires of the mind; whereas reason doth buckle and bow the mind unto the nature of things." Nothing was ever written on the subject which contained a finer or more philosophical description of the true nature of poetry than this. But, while the founders of English literature thus early taught us to value its highest branches for their abstract worth, or excellency, both France and Italy had their popularly received masters in criticism, who, instead of lifting the veil from the divine form of poesy, and leaving men to worship her for her beauty and perfection, endeavoured to secure the love and imitation of the old models of classic composition, by proving their construction to be in perfect accordance with certain discoverable principles of the poeticart. This, in reality, effected nothing but the encouragement of a few writers of no genius to attempt the higher walks of poetry, which their false guides had seemed to make plain and of easy access. The men of superior talent who pursued the same track were neither assisted nor influenced by the treatises that were written on the subject of their attention. Dante and Ariosto, our own Shakspeare and Spenser, the master-spirits of their respective ages, set rules at defiance, or, rather, worked after such as, not critics, but poetry itself, had taught them. Milton is, perhaps, a still more conspicuous instance. He was a most accomplished classical scholar; he had been acquainted from his youth with the writings which were best calculated to make him respect the rules of epic composition; but, notwithstanding this, it is easy to see that the free and romantic genius of
The Fall of Nineveh, a Poem. By Edward Atherstone. 8vo. pp. 288. Baldwin and Cradock. London, 1828.
his native Muse had a greater share
"The Priest withdrew.
And the bright moon. His pale and awful face
Before whose dread Supremacy weak man
Bright Mediators between God and man,-
In ceaseless round,-Saturn and mighty Sol,—
Do not the nations groan?. Is not this land,
"He paused, and gazed
Long time in silence on the starry host;
His face like marble; but his large dark eye
I see the dark veil drawn-I see a throne
The following description of Sardanapalus' approach to battle is very highly wrought:
The thickening thunder of the wheels is heard:
"He comes at length :—
In golden trappings, barbed all in gold,
Of ebony, with gold and gems thick strown,
With fellies of strong brass; the knaves were brass,
With burnished gold o'erlaid, and diamond
Steel were the axles, in bright silver cased;
Of ivory part, part silver, and part gold:
A Goddess; on her head, a tower; and, round,
Whom most the monarch worshipt; she whom,
Astarte, or Derceto, men have named,
And Venus, queen of love. Around her waist
Bends to the ground, and every voice cries out,
May the king live for ever!' Thrice he smiles,