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CHAP. XV.] IN FRANCE. 173
Sir Sidney and Phelipeaux, when they sirst beheld oach other in safety? Heaven befriended the generous and gallant exploit. Sir Sidney and his noble friend, reached the French coast wholly unsuspected, and committing themselves to their God, and to the protective genius of brave men, put to sea in an open boat, and were soon afterwards discovered by an English cruising frigate, and brought in safety to the British shores.
The gallant Phelipeaux soon afterwards accompanied Sir Sidney in the Tigre to Acre, where, overwhelmed by the satigue of that extraordinary campaign, in which he supported a distinguished part, and the noxious influence of a sultry climate, operating upon a delicate frame, he expired in the arms of his illustrious friend, who attended him to his grave, and shed the tears of gratitude and friedship over his honored and lamented obsequies. But ere the dying Phelipeaux closed his eyes, he received the rewards of his generous enterprise. He beheld the repulsed legions of the republic, flying before the British banners, and the irresistible prowess ofhjs valliant companion ; he beheld the distinguished being, whom he had thus rescued from a dungeon, and impendiug destruction, by an act of almost r6mantic heroism, covered with the unparticipated glory, of having overpowered a leader, who, renowned, and long accustomed to conquest, saw, for the sirst time, his invincible troops give way ;who, inflamed to desperation, deemed the perilous exposure of his person necessary, to
rally them to the contest, over bridges of their flaugh
. tered comrades, but who at length was obliged to retire from the sield of battle, and to leave to the heroic Sir Sidney, the exclusive exultation of announcing to his grateful and elated country, that he bad.fought, and vanquished the laurelled conqueror of Italy^and
, the. bold invader of Egypt.
. Sir Sidney has no vices to conceal behind his spreading and imperishable laurels. His public character is
.before the approving world.' That peace which his sword has accelerated, has afforded us an undisturbed
. opportunity of admiring his achievements in the sield, and of contemplating his eonductin the retired ,avenues of private life, in. which his deportment is without a. stain. In him there is every thing to applaud, and nothing to fqrgive.-, , » Yet thus glorious in public, and thus unsullied in
, private, the conqueror of Bonaparte, and the saviour of the east, owes, the honors, -which he adornst to foreign
. and distant powers,,'
To the grateful government of his own country, he is indebted for an ungracious paltry annuity^ inadequate to the display of ordinary consequence^ and wholly unequal to the suitable support of that dignity, which ought, for .ever to distinguish such 'a being from the mass of mankind. . . .. , _.
The enemies of Sir Sidney, for envy furnishes eytsry great man with hjs quota of.(such indirect eulogist, if they should honor these pages with a perusa], may, perchance, endeavor ,to trace th& .anproying^wa^mth Chap. UfL] :m raiiici. fsi
with which I have spoken of him, to the enthusiasm-os a friendship dazzled, and undiscriminating ; but I beg to assure them, that the fame of Sir Sidney is better known to me than his person, and that his noble qualities have alone excited the humble tribute which is here offered to one, for whom delighted Nature, in 'the language of our immortal bard,
";;—i might stand up,
!* i&nd fay to all ibe world, this is a man—."
A fashionable Poem.—Frere Richart.—Religion.—Hitel des Invalides.—Hall ef Vitlory.—Enemies' Colas.—Stdky Appearance of an English Jack and En
. '. J*£n'—Indecorum.—The aged Captain.—Military School.—Camp de Mars.—The Garden of Mouffeaux.
THE conversation whilst I was at Paris, was much engaged by a poem, describing the genius and progress of Christianity written in imitation of the style of Ossian, which excited very considerable curiosity. From the remarks of some siirewd acquaintances of mine, who had perused the work, I learnt that the principies of the poem seemed strongly tinctured with the bewildered fancies of a disordered mind, conveyed in very heavy profnic blank verse. «' It was the madness "of poetry, without the inspiration."
This composition may be considered as a curiosity, from other reasons than those which mere criticism affords. The poem was bad, the readers were many. -The subject was sacred, the author a reputed atheist, and the prosits which it produced exceeded two thousand pounds sterling. The fortunate writer relieved himself from the jaws of famine bythis strange incomprehensible eulogy on the charms and advancement of Christianity, which has been received in Paris, with a fort of fashionable frenzy. Another pseudo-bard has announced his intention very shortly of issuing from the press, a work which he conceives will be more saleable and a greater favorite with the public, in which he intends ironically to combat the doctrine .of the Trinity, by gravely resembling it to the Deity taking snuff between twe looking glasses, so that , when he sneezes, two resemblances of him are seen to sneeze also, and yet that there are not three sneezers, but one sneezer. ,
Some other outlines of this work were imparted to me at Paris, but the pen turns with disgust and detestation,from such low and nauseous profanation. I have . only condescendedto mention the composition,andthe last anecdote,to show howmuch the world is deluded, by the received opinion that the French are become a new race of exemplary devotees. Therecoil from atheism to enthusiasm, is not unusual; but the French in general have not, as yet, experienced this change. That they are susceptible of extraordinary transitions. CHAP. XVI.i IN FRANCE. 1S3
theix history and-revolution have sufficiently manifested. In the Journal de Paris, written in the reigns of Charles VI. and VII. is preserved rather a curious account of the velocity with which religious zeal has, in former, periods, been-excited. « On the 4th day of April, 1429," fays the Journal, " the duke of Bur"gundy came to Paris, with a very sine body of "knights and esquires ; and eight days afterwards "there came to Paris, a cordelier, by name Frere * Richart, a man of great prudence, very knowing in "prayer, a giver of good doctrine to edify his neighs' bor, and was so successful, that he who had not "seen him, was bursting with envy against those who ** had. He was but one day in Paris, without preach"ing. He began his sermon about sive o'clock in "the mornmg, and continued preaching till ten or « eleven o'clock, and there were 'always between sive "and six thousand persons to hear him preach. This « cordelier preached on St. Mark's day, attended by « the like number of persons, and on their return "from his sermon, the people of Paris were so turh"ed, and moved to devotion, that in three or four « hours time, there were more than one hundred "sires lighted, in which they burnt their chefs boards, *" their back gammon tables* and their packs of "cards."
To this fort o£ fanaticism, the Parisians are unQuestionably not arrived. A more eloquent man th*n 'the Frere Richart, must appear amongst theriiV b«fcre sush mehorations as are recorded in the Paris.