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that your mines of Golconda can « may cover me in your house, but boast, these, I fear, would be sullied it would probably discover me there; if I were to accept your favours.". therefore I hope you will comply " What gems ?”
' with my request." “I mean," continued Nadir, « my « That,” said Nadir, « is pre. piety and my honour You, Ismael, suming a good deal upon my credu. are, however you may have attempte lity ; I am inclined to trust you ; ed to disguise that circumstance, a but, alas ! although I have rooms, very young man ; therefore, when they are unfurnished, consequently you produce such immense riches, I have no accommodations ; how. and wish to apply them in favour ever, Abud my neighbour has, of so slight an acquaintance, I, who where I will be answerable for your ami apt to look below the surface of safety.” things, may very well doubt the core Whether the appearance and rectness of their acquisition."
frankness of the faquir; whether « You think,” said Ismael, “ that the means of indulging his appetite, this paltry purse contains immense which the tomans, still lying on the riches! I could very easily pro. counter, presented; or that curiosi. . duce fifty times the sum!' Nay, ty which is natural to the Persians, start not, Nadir! I honour you for and was also professionally incident your delicacy as much as I do for to Nadir ; whether one' or all these your sagacity. To piety and honour causes operated is uncertain. The I am as much devoted as yourself: sage of Zulpha, who first recorded I therefore know, that these virtues this story, was not, like many Europroduce in the human mind a gene. pean sages, gifted with that omni. rosity of thinking and acting, which scient power which enables them in frequently rises superior even to the a moment to pervade the recesses, general dictates of frigid caution, and develope the foldings of the hucontracted philosophy, or commer. man heart. He, therefore, has not cial calculation. I seek you as an stated more than he knew; which adviser ; I address you as a friend : was, that the apothecary placed the receive these tomans; as a loan if tomans in his till, which till that you please : let me place others in time had never inclosed the twentiyour hands for security ; banish sus. eth part of so much wealth, and picion, and have the generosity to subtracting one from the heap, he believe me for the moment to be gave it to Tamira, telling her to what I appear. Let this evening be hasten to the market, and purchase devoted to rest on ny part, to re- materials for an entertainment laxation from the fatigues of study worthy of a guest who seemed poson yours; a short time will proba. sessed of the riches of Golconda, and bly explain the motives that ed the generosity of Aurengzebe. me to seek this interview."
Here let us pause a little, in or" At which of the four caravansa- der, in the first instance, to mention ries in the Bazar do you lodge ?” that useful, but too much neglected, said Nadir.
part of the human species, who are " I have no lodging in Ispahan," never courted except upon the stireplied Ismael; 6 and as I will mulations of pain, or at the suggesfairly state to you, that from the tions of interest, and whom we chris, professional inquisitiveness of heir tians, at least out of their hearing, kepers, and the officers of the po. have agreed to term old women; lice stationed at those places, with and in the second, to observe, that respect to strangers, it would be ex- this appellation has been known to tremely inconvenient to go to either take a wider range, and mount to of them, I hope you will suffer me to situations in whichi no female, old or lodge with you."
young, except Pope Joan or Joan of " But your habit,” said Nadir. Are, ever sat or acted. 4 My habit,” continued Ismael, It has, to continue the onecola
thought that he had never seen a set fermentation, which at the death of so truly agreeable. In this disposi. Louis XIII had nearly changed the tion were all the parties, when the face of the kingdom. deities that presided over darkness Corneille possessed that great let fall their sable curtains before character which does not always ac. the towers of Ispahan ; a hint to our company eminent talents, but which company, in common with the other is the seal stamped by nature on the inhabitants of this populous city, to man of genius. retire to their repose.
Posterity has not yet decided be.
tween Cinna, Polieucte, Le Cid, To be continued.
Rodogune, and Horaces. Any one of these pieces would establish the
reputation of a great writer ; all of For the Literary Magazine.
them constitute but a part of that of
Corneille. CHARACTERS OF THE MOST EMI. In Nicomede he created a species NENT FRENCH DRAMATIC POETS.
had no imitators. By a Frenchman.
It was reserved for this great man P. Corneille.
to be the father of both species of
dramatic composition, and the same CORNEILLE had the sole and hand which wrote La Mort de Pomsingular glory of creating his art, pée wrote also Le Menteur. and fixing its limits.
The Menteur is the first piece of He has been imitated by many; character that appeared in France, he has been surpassed by none. and the only comedy before Moliere
He found no models, but he will entitled to a continuance of the pubserve as a model to the latest poste. lic esteem. rity.
Corneille was sometimes the İn creating him, Nature made an friend of the great, but never their effort, from which she will perhaps slave. He could resist cardinal rest for many ages.
Richelieu, who made Europe tremTo his genius alone he owed his ble. Power shrinks before genius. productions and their success.
Corneille is the only writer who He was obliged to invent his obtained with universal consent the pieces, to form actors, and to create surname of Great, a title that had an audience,
before been conferred solely on He preceded the splendid age of princes and heroes. Louis XIV, which but for him "All the audience rose up when would perhaps never have existed. Corneille, loaded with years and
In Richelieu he first found a pa. with glory, entered the theatre, and tron, and afterwards a rival. But the great Condé himself did homage the minister was always obliged to to the author of Cinna. do homage to the writer. His He lived to a considerable age works extorted admiration, and his without surviving his talents, and in person esteem.
his last works we frequently perCorneille lived and died poor, be. ceive the same flashes of genius cause genius, which produces won which blaze forth in his first. ders of excellence, knows not how to He was modest, simple, true. If solicit pensions. He had, however, he had the consciousness of his abia pension, without asking for it, and lity, he betrayed at least nothing of and which, but for Despreaux, he the pride of it. would have lost by a court intrigue. The town of Rouen which has gi.
It is perhaps to the tragedies of ven birth to so many illustrious Corneille that revolution is to be characters, glories particularly in ascribed, which regenerated the having produced Corneille. It is minds of the French; that public honour enough for it, and with this
circuinstance we conclude our eulo- genius of Racine could do without it. gium.
It is not the interest of curiosity that prevails in his pieces : we enjoy the
present without thinking of the Racine.
future ; we wish to dwell on every
scene, and we lament the rapidity of Racine was one of the first orna. time. ments of the most splendid age of Of all the tragedies that have ap. • the universe.
peared on the stage, that of BereThe faithfuladorer of the ancients, nice has perhaps the least action ; he learned in their school to subju- and who will say that it is not one of gate the admiration of the moderns. the most interesting.
No person knew better than Ra Racine is perhaps the only dra. cine all the labyrinths of the human matic author who gains by being heart. Its impenetrable folds were read, because the stage, while it like a book always open to his view. hides the defects of style, prevents He could touch the finest feelings at the same time many beauties with a delicacy peculiar to himself, from being discovered. and those who have since attempted. The mind of Racine was mild, to imitate him in this respect, have gentle, and sensible, yet he had from only displayed his superiority in his infancy a taste for epigram, and more striking colours.
it required some effort to give his Racine does not lay hold of the genius a different turn. heart at once; he insinuates himself I pity those who do not relish Ra. by degrees; but, once established cine; they are barbarians un worthy there, he reigns omnipotent.
the name of men of letters. Before Racine, we knew nothing Racine has secured to the French of those sweet emotions, those deli theatre a superiority which all nacious chords of sensibility on which he tions acknowledge, and which they played; we shed no real tears over dare not contest. imaginary misfortunes.
The respect which Racine enterThe heroes whom he paints are tained for the ancients proves how in a manner like ourselves. We worthy he was of being added to are interested warmly in their fate; their number they become our fathers, our bro There is more philosophy in one thers, our friends; we participate tragedy of Racine than in all the in all the sentiments they experi- works of our modern reformers, who ence.
have dared to accuse him of want of Racine paints with equal superi. philosophy. ority the rage of love and the work. Louis XIV gave a proof of his ings of ambition, paternal tenderness judgment in continuing to encourage and the torments of jealousy, the Racine; and he thus honoured that simplicity and candour of infancy, talent which gave the greatest lusand the magnanimity of heroism; all tre to his reign. the passions are at his command; Some verses of Britannicus were nothing is beyond his genius.
a lesson to the monarch, and caused It is not in reading Racine that him to sacrifice one of his fondest we perceive the weakness and ste- propensities. We know not which rility of the French language. to admire most in this, the docility Nothing equals the harmony of his of the sovereign, or the courage of verses, unless it be the jusiness of the poet. his thoughts.
Racine, sought after, honoured, It is not by a multiplicity of entertained by the first personages of events, by theatrical trick, or by the the age, preferred the society of his number of his personages, that he friends to that of the great. He repleases and interests us. Action is fused an entertainment at the great the soul of tragedies in general; the Conde's to dine on a carp with his
VOL, VIII, NO. XLVI.
family, an anecdote that proves the of Bourdaloue have made converts. goodness of his heart, and is not un.. The thundering voice of the worthy of a place in his history, christian orator terrified the vicious # Despreaux taught Racine with without eradicating their vices; the difficulty to make easy verses; he inimitable pencil of the comic poet was his constant admirer and friend, forced vice and absurdity to conceal and said that his Athalie, though it themselves, to avoid the resemblance had no success at court, was his best of his paintings. work.
The first work of Moliere was a Corneille quarrelled with Racine comedy of character, and if it be pot for one line of the comedy of the a chef-d'æuvre, it at least surpasses Plaideurs, a circumstance not at all all that had preceded it, with the to his honour.
exception of the Menteur.. Moliere, La Fontaine, and Des. Moliere was thirty-eight years old preaux were the constant friends of when he began to write; he died at Racine; they polished their talents fifty-three; it is difficult to conceive together, and perfected their works how he could in so few years furnish by the mutual severity of their criti. so many admirable pieces... cisms.
Louis XIV predicted that Moliere Racine ceased to write for the would give lustre to his reign. He theatre at the age of thirty-eight was his constant protector and supyears. There were twelve years port. He defended him against de. between his Phedre and his Esther; votees, physicians, and fops. But and when we reflect, that in this for the firmness of Louis XIV the space of time he produced six chef Tartuffe would never have appeara d'auvres, we cannot but detest the ed on the stage. envy of those who sow with bitter. The Tartuffe is without dispute ness the career of genius.
the sublimest work that ever came We are indebted to madame de from the hands of man. The tears Maintenon for his Esther and Atha- start from my eyes when I think of lie, which Racine composed for S. Moliere's reply to Despreaux, who Cyr, and for this benefit I can par. congratulated him on this play: don in her a number of infirmities“ Patience, my friend, you shall one and error's.
day see something much superior." The prefaces of Racine are mo. He died six years after, and his ocdels of style, of conciseness, and mo- cupations as a comedian and manager desty. It is to be regretted that he of the company prevented his fulfil. did not write more in prose, as there ling his intention. It is supposed is in it a neatness and elegance that he referred to L'Homme de which few writers have equalled. Cour, a subject which engaged his
Racine died in his fifty-ninth year, attention till his death, but of which of an excess of sensibility, of which no fragment could be found among his love of humanity was the cause. his papers. What a loss for the
He was the glory of his age and dramatic art! and who will dare nation, and to the shame of both, the attempt a character which Moliere monument is yet to be found that con- himself placed above his. Tartuffe. tains his ashes.
I am almost tempted to reproach the memory of Louis XIV for not
freeing Moliere from the cares Moliere,
which, necessary to his fortune, hin
dered the exertions of his genius. If I were asked who was the Moliere derived from the angreatest preacher of the last age, I cients some of his works, and it was would answer, without hesitation, giving them new life ; but he borMoliere.
rowed from no source but his mind, The comedies of Moliere have ope- the Misanthrope, Tartuffe, and Les rated more reforms than the sermons Femmes Savantes,