Εικόνες σελίδας
PDF
Ηλεκτρ. έκδοση

viction arising from experience, he will supports; and while we commend probably feel no addition to his faith from the spirit and the execution of his any arguments drawn from other sources, present work, as a preliminary essay, and may regard as needless any attempts we trust that, at a future time, he to support the system by probable reasoning, or what he may consider fanciful and will come forward as an advocate for wire-drawn analogies. But there

or against Phrenology, founding his may

be minds so constituted as to be affected by arguments on the basis of observasuch arguments and analogies, and which tion, to which we strongly recomrequire to be invited to the study of the mend to him to resort. We conclude facts by such means.

· by stating our high approbation of He then proceeds to state, in detail, Mr. Abernethy's conduct in publisha variety of objections which have ing his opinions concerning Phrenooccurred to him in opposition to the logy, in the candid and liberal spirit system. As we do not design this in which he has written the present for a controversial article, we decline work; and by recommending the entering into the discussion of his OBSERVATIONS to such of our readers difficulties. He shows great candour

as desire to become acquainted, in an in judgment, and displays powers of easy and agreeable manner, with the analysis and reflection, calculated to leading topics of these much agitated

doctrines. give weight to any opinions which he

The Early French Poets.

PHILIPPE DESPORTES. Boileau, in the first canto of his cesses into which he had run might Art Poetique, has drawn a slight and have increased their natural timidity; rapid sketch of the progress which though it will be seen, that the latter the French poetry had made before of these two writers, especially, held his own time. To Villon he attri- him in the utmost veneration. They butes the first improvement on the both in a great measure desisted from confusion and grossness of the old the attempt made by those who had romancers. Soon after, Marot suc- gone before them, to separate the ceeded; and under his hands, flou- language of poetry from that of prose, rished the ballad, triolet, and mas- not more by its numbers than by the carade; the rondeau assumed a more form and mould of its phrases and regular form, and a new mode of words; and although they were not versifying was struck out. Ronsard ambitious of that extreme purity and next embroiled every thing by his refinement, which Malherbe afterill-directed efforts to reduce the art wards affected, and on which his into order. In the next generation, countrymen have since so much his Muse, who had spoken Greek and prided themselves, yet by their Latin in French, saw her high-swel- sparing use of the old licenses, they ing words and her pedantry fallen made the transition less difficult than into disesteem; and the failure of it would otherwise have been. the boastful bard rendered Desportes Of the works of Desportes, printed and Bertaut more cautious.

at Rouen in 1611, a few years after Ce poëte orgueilleux trébuché de si haut

his death, a large proportion conRendit plus retenus Desportes et Bertaut.

sists of sonnets. They amount all Boileau would have done well to together to about four hundred in temper the severity of this censure

number, and turn for the most part on Ronsard, who had more genius bears some resemblance to an ex

on the subject of love. The following than himself. There is, however, some truth in what he has said of quisite song of Mrs. Barbauld's, beDesportes and Bertaut. They are

ginningmuch less bold than their predeces- Come here, fond youth, whoe'er thou be, sor; nor is it unlikely that the ex- That boasts to love as well as ine.

Si c'est aimer que porter bas la veuë,

Que parler bas, que soupirer souvant,
Que s'égarer solitaire en revant

Brûlé d'un feu qui point ne diminuë,
Si c'est aimer que de peindre en la nuë,

Semer sur l'eau, jetter ses cris au vant,
Chercher la nuit par le soleil levant

Et le soleil quand la nuit est venuë.
Si c'est aimer que de ne s'aimer pas,

Haïr sa vie, embrasser son trespas,

Tous les amours sont campés en mon ame.
Mais nonobstant si puisje me louer.

Qu'il n'est prison, ni torture, ni flame,
Qui mes desirs me sçeust faire avouer.

Diane, Sonnet xxix. p. 23,
If this be love, to bend on earth the sight,

To speak in whisper'd sounds, and often sigh,
To wander lonely with an inward eye

Fix'd on the fire that ceaseth day nor night,
To paint on clouds in flitting colours bright,

To sow on waves, and to the winds to cry,
To look for darkness when the light is high,

And when the darkness comes, to look for light:
If this be love, to love oneself no more,

To loathe one's life, and for one's death implore;

Then all the loves do in my bosom dwell.
Yet herein merit for myself I claim,

That neither racks, imprisonment, nor flame,
Avowal of my passion can compel.

The invitation to a weary traveller, in another of his sonnets, is unusually elegant:-

Cette fontaine si froide, et son eau doux-coulante

A la couleur d'argent semble parler d'amour ;
Un herbage mollet reverdit tout autour,

Et les aunes font ombre à la chaleur brulante :
Le fueillage obeit à zephir qui l'evante

Soupirant amoureux en ce plaisant sejour :
Le soleil clair de flamme est au milieu du jour,

Et la terre se fend de l'ardeur violante.
Passant par le travail du long chemin lassé,

Brûlé de la chaleur, et de la soif pressé,
Arreste en cette place où ton bonheur te maine.
L'agreable repos ton corps délassera,

Li'ombrage et le vent frais ton ardeur chassera,
Et ta soif se perdra dans l'eau de la fontaine.

Bergeries, p. 595.
This cool spring, and its waters silver-clean,

In gentle murmurs seem to tell of love;
And all about the grass is soft and green;

And the close alders weave their shade above;
The sidelong branches to each other lean,

And as the west-wind fans them, scarcely move;
The sun is high in mid-day splendour sheen,

And heat has parch'd the earth and soild the grove.
Stay, traveller, and rest thy limbs awhile,

Faint with the thirst, and worn with heat and toil;

Where thy good fortune brings thee, traveller, stay.
Rest to thy wearied limbs will here be sweet,

The wind and shade refresh thee from the heat,
And the cool fountain chase thy thirst away.

The character of ease and sweet and himself for having foolishly folness, which he maintains in such lowed his desires; that, provided verses as these, is often deserted for Minos adjudges them to the same quaintness and conceit. At times, place, all will be well,--her suffering indeed, he is most extravagant, as will be exasperated by their being in Sonnet Ixi, where he tells his mis- near to each other, and his will be tress that they shall both go to the turned into joy by the sight of her infernal regions,—she for her rigour, charms.

Car mon ame ravie en l'objet de vos yeux,
Au milieu des enfers establira les cieux,

De la gloire eternelle abondamment pourveuë :
Et quand tous les damnez si voudront émouvoir

Pour empescher ma gloire, ils n'auront le pouvoir

Pourveu qu'estant là bas je ne perde la veuë. In another place (Diane, L. 2, In the Chant d'Amour, (p. 66,) S. xlviii. p. 137) he has the same there is a mixture of metaphysics thought of their being both con- and allegory, such as we sometimes demned, but draws a different con- meet in Spenser, and that would not clusion from it.

have disgraced that writer.
La Grace quand tu marche est tousiours au devant,
La Volupté mignarde en chantant t'environne ;
Et le Soing devorant qui les hommes tallonne,
Quand il te sent venir s'enfuit comme le vent.
Grace, whereso'er thou walkest, still precedes;
A lively carol, Pleasure round thee leads;
And Care, the harpy, that makes men his prey,

Flees at thy coming like the wind away.
In his Procez contre Amour au of Reason against Love, who re-
Siege de la Raison, (p. 70,) he in- futes the poet's charges with much
troduces himself pleading at the bar eloquence.

Je l'ay fait ennemy du tumulte des villes,
J'ai repurgé son coeur d'affections serviles,
Compagnon de ces dieux qui sont parmi les bois,
J'ai chassé loin de luy l'ardante convoitise,
L'Orgueil, l'Ambition, l'Envie, et la Feintise,
Cruels bourreaux de ceux qui font la cour aux rois.

Je luy ay fait dresser et la veuë et les ailes
Au bien-heureux sejour des choses immortelles,

Je l'ay tenu captif pour le rendre plus franc.
I made him from the city's crowd retire,
I cleansed his bosom from each low desire,
Companion of the sylvan deities;
I chased the fiend Ambition from his side,
With Guile and Envy, Avarice and Pride,
That rack the courts of kings in cruel wise.

I bade him raise his view and prune his wings
For the blest dwelling of immortal things ;

I prisoner held the more to make him free.
The conclusion is equally unexpected and sprightly:-

Puis nous teusmes tous deux attendant la sentence
De Raison, qui vers nous son regard adressa ;
Votre debat dit elle, est de chose si grande,
Que pour le bien juger plus long terme il demande,
Et finis ces propos, en riant nous laissa.

Et que

Then both were silent, waiting the decree
Of Reason, who toward us held her view :
Your subject of debate is such, she cried,
It asks a longer session to decide.

That said, she laugh’d, and suddenly withdrew. There are a few lines on his mistress Hippolyte, which are a pitch above the usual strain of love-verses.

Les traits d'une jeune guerriere,

Un port celeste, une lumiere,
Un esprit de gloire animé,
Hauts discours, divines pensées,
Et mille vertûs amassées

Sont les sorciers qui m'ont charmées. Chanson, p. 174.
Features of a warlike maid,

Such as live in antique story;
A heavenly port; a light display'd;

A spirit warm with love of glory;
High discourses, thoughts divine;

A thousand virtues met in one ;

These are the sorceries have won

This prison'd heart of mine.
He expresses a hope that the fame of his mistress will rival that of Laura.

J'espere avec le tans que sa belle ramée
Pourra

par mes escrits jusqu'aux astres monter,

les Florentins cesseront de vanter
La dedaigneuse Nimphe en laurier transformée.

Diverses Amours, Sonnet xi. p. 516.
I trust, in time, her lovely branch will rise,
Rear'd by my numbers, to the starry skies ;
And Florence boast no more that scornful maid

She saw transform'd into a laurel shade. If Petrarch were in any danger of ing how much the French had taken being eclipsed by Desportes, it would from them, good-humouredly obbe fron. the veil which he has cast served, that if he had been apprized over his lustre in those passages of of the author's intention to expose which he has attempted a translation him, he could have contributed largeinto French. The reader will see an ly to swell the size of the volume. instance of this inferiority, by com- If he has made thus free with the paring the well-known sonnet, property of others, there are those Solo e pensoso i più deserti campi,

who in their turn have not scrupled

to borrow from him. Some stanzas with Desportes, S. xlv. p. 201.

in an admired ode by Chaulieu, on A pas lens et tardifs tout seul je me pro- his native place Fontenai, must have maine.

been suggested by the pathetic comHe did not wish to conceal the plaint which Desportes supposes to numerous obligations he lay under to be uttered by Henry III. at Fontainthe Italian poets; and when a book bleau, where that monarch first saw was written with the design of show- the light. Chaulieu.

Desportes. Fontenai, lieu délicieux,

Nimphes de ces forets mes fidelles nourrices, Où je vis d'abord la lumiere,

Tout ainsi qu'en naissant vous me fustes Bientôt au bout de ma carrière

propices, Chez toi je joindrai mes aïeux.

Ne m'abandonnez pas Muses, qui dans ce lieu champêtre Quand s'acheve le cours de ma triste avan, Avec soin me fites nourrir;

ture; Beaux arbres, qui m'avez vu naître, Vous fistes mon berceau, faites ma sepulBientôt vous me verrez mourir.

ture,
T. 2, p. 145. Paris, 1757. Et pleurez mon trespas.

P. 673.

Nymphs of the forest, in whose arms I lay
Nursid in soft slumbers from my natal day,

Now that my weary way is past,
Desert me not; but as ye favouring smiled,
And weaved a cradle for me when a child,

Oh weep, and weave my bier at last.
The song at the beginning of the will add another, which, though
Bergeri and Masquerades is ex- scarce less animated, is in a graver
ceedingly sprightly and gracious. I style.

Las que nous sommes miserables,

D'estre serves dessous les loix
Des hommes legers et muables

Plus que fueillage des bois.
Les pensers des hommes ressemblent

A l'air, aux vents, et aux saisons ;
Et aux girouettes qui tremblent

Inconstamment sur les maisons.
Leur amour est ferme et constante

Comme la mer grosse de flots,
Qui bruit, qui court, qui se tourmente
Et jamais n'arreste en repos.

Diverses Amours, Chanson, p. 570.
Alas ! how hard a lot have we,

That live the slaves of men's decrees,
As full of vain inconstancy

As are the leaves on forest trees.
The thoughts of men, they still resemble

The air, the winds, the changeful year,
And the light vanes that ever veer
On our house-tops, and veering tremble.
Their love no stay or firmness hath,

No more than billows of the sea,
That roar, and run, and in their wrath

Torment themselves continually.
His verses on Marriage, and his Desportes himself, by the Cardinal
Adieu to Poland, prove that he could du Perron at p. 243, and by Bertaut
be at times sarcastic.

at p. 306; and in one of the elegies At p. 596, we find a sonnet on the to his memory, at the end of this Bergerie of Remy Belleau ; and at volume, with the signature, J. de p. 631, another on the death of the Montereul, (of whom I find no mensame poet.

tion elsewhere,) he is thus desThere are commendatory verses on cribed :

Il estoit franc, ouvert, bon, liberal, et doux;
Des Muses le sejour, sa table ouverte a tous
Chacun jour se bordoit d'une sçavante trope

Des plus rares esprits, l'eslite de l'Europe.
Open he was, frank, liberal, and kind;
And at his table, every Muse combined
To greet all comers, and each day did sit

Those throughout Europe famousest for wit. Philippe Desportes was born at Tiron. It was a piping time for the Chartres, in 1546 ; and died at his Muses. Of the wealth, which thus Abbey of Bonport, in Normandy, on flowed in upon him, he was as genethe fifth of October, 1606. Charles rous as his eulogist has described IX. presented him with eight thou- him. Almost all the contemporary sand crowns for his poem of Rodo- poets were his friends; and those amont; and for one of his sonnets, he mongst them, who stood in need of his was remunerated with the Abbey of assistance, did not seek it in vain.

« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »