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against the fee of Rome. I would not have princes stoop to tri Ales, which always betray a weak mind; a prince on the throne Nould act with magnanimity:
· The Pretender published a manifesto in vindication of his rights, addressed to the people of England; but this manifesto contained only empty words, whill George had on his lide troops and cannon.
Marshal Belleille more than once took notice to me of a remarkable passage in this manifefto. Prince Edward there owns that the house of Stuart lost the Englith throne in some measure by its own fault, and promises amendment. If, says he, the complaints formerly brought again? our family did take their rise from fome errors in our administration; it has suficiently expiated them.Young Edward took pofeffion of the kingdoms of England, Scotland, France, and Ireland, in his father's name, declaring himself regent. For England well and good ; but thus to make a king of France, was too haity. Thote titles, however, refting on no surer grounds than the possession, as quickly disappeared.'
The passage that follows will convince the reader that there are the justest grounds for imputing a baseness of difpofition to this celebrated memorialist. My husband loudly complained of my living at Versailles, and wrote to me a very pasionate letter, full of reproaches against me, and still more against the king ; amidst other indiscreet terms, calling him tyrant. As ! was reading this letter, the king came into my apartment; I immediately thrust it into my pocket; the emotion with which I received his majofty, shewed me to be under fome disorder; I was for concealing the cause, but on his repeated instances, I put my husband's letter into his hands. He read it through without the least sign of resentment: I assured him that I had no share in his temerity; and the better to convince him of it, defired that he would punith the writer severely. No, Madam, said he to me, with that air of goodness which is so natural to him, your husband is unhappy, and should rather be pitied. History does not afford a like pafilage of moderation in an injured king. My spouse, on being informed of it, left the kingdom to travel.'
Madam Pompadour, who introduces almost every subject into her memoirs, has given us a curious letter which she received from a girl in a convent. • All France, fays the, was mouldering away in convents: every town and villige had numerous communities of girls, who made vows against having children. The following letter, which I received from a nun at Lyons, and communicated to the king, occafioned deliberators for reforming this abuco.
" MADAM, “ I was at first for writing to the pope, but, on farther relection, I thought it would be full as well to apply to you. The point is this: when I was but seven years of age, my parents fhut me up in the convent where I now am ; and on my entering into my fifteenth year, two nuns fignified to me an order to take the veil. I deferred complying for dome time; for though quite a stranger to every thing but the house I was in, yer I suspected there must be another kind of world than the convent, and another state than that of a nun; but the sister of eftis's heart, our mother, in order to fix my call, said to me, that all women who married were damned, because they lie with a man, and bore children: this set me a-crying most bit-. terly for my poor mother, as burning eternally in hell for having brought me into the world.
“ I took the veil ; but now that I am twenty years of age, and my conftitution formed, I daily feel that I am not made for this state, and think I want something; and that something, or I am much mistaken, is a husband.
My talking continually of matrimony sets the community a-madding; the filter of the Holy Ghost tells me, that I am Jesus Christ's spouse; but, for my part, I feel myself much inclined to a second marriage with a man.
“ On a young girl's coming into a convent, half a dozen whcedlers get about her, and never leave her till they have perfuaded her to take the veil. Children are buried every day in monafteries, whilst their early age does not admit of any solid reflections on the vows they are drawn to make.
“ Let me intreat you, Madam, to persuade the king to reform this abuse; it is a reformation which both religion and the prosperity of the state call for. The facrificing so many victims to the avarice of parents, is a great loss of people to the state, and the kingdom of heaven is not the fuller. God requires voluntary facrifices, and these are the fruit of reflection. It is furpriling, that the laws, in settling the age for our sex's passing a civil contract, should forget the age for making vows: is reason less necesary for contracting with God, than with men? This I submit to yours and his majesty's reflections: in the mean time, give me leave to be, Madam, your most humbie fcrvant,
Sister Joseph." • The king thought that sister Fílus's heart, and filter Holy Ghot, had done wrong in drawing filter Joseph into the itate of celibacy, as with such happy dispositions for marriage, she bid fair to have been a fruitful mother, and thus have benefited the itate,
< To suppress the aforesaid abuse, his majesty issued an arret, forbidding all religious communities to admit a novice under twenty-four years of age and a day.'
The method which the king's confessor took to withdraw him from his licentious amours, and particularly from his attachment to Madam Pompadour, by whose encmies, she tells us, the confeffor had been employed, has something new and curious in it:
• My enemies having miscarried in their design of inducing the king to remove me from court, by political motives, let religion to work; and no less a person than bis majesty's confeffor was put at the head of this cabal. He was a Jesuit with only morality for his instrument; but as that, with a prince, feldom gets the better of pleasure, he contrived a way which struck my monarch.
• This reverend father emploved one of the best hands in Paris, in a picture representing the torments of hell. Several crowned heads seemed chained down in dreadful sufferings; there was no beholding their contortions without shuddering. This infernal maíter-piece he made a present of to Lewis XV. The king having viewed it for some time, with a frown, asked the meaning of the picture, the very thing the son of Loyola wanted.
“ Sire, said he, the prince you see there suffering eternal torments, was an ambitious monarch, who facrificed his people to his vain delight in glory and power. He next to him, whom the devils are insulting, was an avaricious monarch, wbo laid up in his coffers immense treasures, squeezed from his oppressed subjects. This third wretch was an indolent fovereign, who minded nothing, and instead of governing by himself, Jeft every thing to his ministers, whose incapacity produced infinite mischiefs. This fourth, whose sufferings exceed those of the others, his crime being greater, was a voluptuous king, openly keeping a concubine at his court; and by this scandalous example had filled his kingdom with debauchery, &c.”
The second volume abounds more with political details than the first, and turns chiefly on the subject of the late war.
With respect to the authenticity of these memoirs, we cannot pretend to form an absolute judgment, how far they were or were not writen by Madam de Pompadour herself. All the information given us by the anonymous Editor, on this head, is briefly this,—that 'the used to write by starts, detached eslays, without any coherence; and these on separate bits of paper. These were very numerous and diffuse, as generally are the materials intended to form a book, if the really had any such desig!!,
We were obliged to throw by on all sides, and clear our way through an ocean of writings, a long and tiresome business.
• it is far from being improbable, that Madam de Pompadour got some statesman, well versed in such matters, to aliit her in compiling this book.'
Our Readers will on this occasion, recollect some pretended manoirs of this celebrated lady, published a few years ago : the present publication has the appearance of better authority, with respect to the materials of which it is composed.
* See Review, vol. xx. p. 330.
Elementary Principles of the Belles Lettres. By M. Formey, M.
D. S. E. &c. with Reflections on public Exhibitions ;
mels of system, and who, instead of deriving their opinions from tafte founded in natural sense and original observation, have laid down rules even for taite itself, we generally find to be very indifferent judges of the fine arts. Their judgment, if not borne away over the little barriers which the forms of scholastic erudition have drawn around it by the native and irrefiftible force of genius, is narrow, partial, and confined. They see through the false medium of lights that have been borrowed, and borrowed without skill. They depend upon rules that have been derived from the supposed design and conduct of some ancient performances, though it is more than probable that the very conduct of those pieces was purely accidental : and these they apply invariably as the criteria of modern productions.-Such are the poor substitutes which unenlightened ininds find for the powers of genius and the force of native discernment; and, under the influence of such notions as these, we cannot wonder at our venerablc Professor's speaking in higher terms of the Heiriad than of PARADISE Lost: The sublime beauties of the latter, and its glorious magnificence and superiority, could not be comprehended by the narrow eye of the iyitematic schoolınan; while the little decencies and regular precision of the former, were perfectly suited to his artificial taite. · The Henriad; says he, may be put in the scale with the Æneid; we need but compare the plan, the manners, the marvellous of these two poems, the fimilitude of personages, the corresponding of episodes, and the taste of both poets in the choice of thete episodes; the art with which they have com
bined the facts, their comparisons, their descriptions, and their tafte in general.'
After this it may be worth while to hear what our curious academic says concerning the poem of the immortal Milton: • Some learned Englishmen, says he, and particularly the celebrated Addison, having relished this poem, pretended that it was equal to those of Virgil and Homer. They wrote to prove this assertion. The English persuaded themselves that it was so, and Milton's reputation was fixed.'
If Mr. Formey can be supposed to be not altogether destitute of true taste, or relish for the genuine beauties of poetry, we must conclude that the predilection of country, and the prejudice of connections, might induce him to put Voltaire in the scale with Virgil, and leave Milton only under pretensions to an equal reputation. However, we shall be better able to judge of the professor's taste in the belles lettres by attending to his observations in the article of poetry. “Poetry, says he, is the art of bringing under the yoke of measure, or of rhyme, ideas fit to paint certain objects, and to move the heart. The different species of poetry may be reduced to four kinds; the narrative, the dramatic, the lyric, and the didactic.-Each kind of poetry is cflentially characterised either by the quality of the actors, or the nature of the subject, or the very effect which the work produces. However, it is the effect which attracts every thing to itself: It is the center, the design, and the term of the piece.--In distinguithing the differene forts of pallions that may be wrought upon, we find the several species of poely. The epic poem creates admiration n; tragedy forces tears from us; comedy makes us laugh; and paftorals produce gentie and calm fentations. It is the fame with all the other kinds. Every reader expects to receive from them an impreffion of such, or such a kind; and if the work does not convey it to him, or conveys it but imperfectly, in a confused, equivocal manner, he has a right to be disgusted. It is nature that forms poets, but it is art that brings them to a certain degree of perfection.'
Thus M. Formey expresles himself in his section on poetry in general-Let us examine the merits of the little he has advancedPoetry, according to his general definition, is the art of bringing certain ideas under the yoke of measure, or of rhyme-So then this fublimc art, in the professor's terms, is nothing more than the measuring and adjusting of words and fyllables; to bring ideas fit to paint certain objects, and to move the heart, under the yoke of meafure.–To select, to raise, to combine those ideas, to exert the powers of nature, and to operate upon the affections, are not said to be any part of the poet's province. A little further we are told that the different species of poetry may be reduced to four kinds, the narrative, the dramatic, the lyric, and the didactic. Now, we