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held in bondage, entranced by the fascination of his eloquence, universally the young, and many, too many, of the elder theorists of the day. Yet Bonaparte had scarcely terminated his twenty-second year at that time.
In poetry, Ariosto, of whom he also made extracts, was his favourite. Some effusions of his own breathe the deepest melancholy, but they are very few in number. Contrary to expectation hardly a vestige remains of mathematical research, nothing beyond an article on the Cycloid, a subject which had exercised the ingenuity of Pascal, and more familiarly known as "La Roulette," with some calculations referable to the artillery department. In Egypt, however, we know that he contributed to the Transactions of the Institute, formed there under his auspices, other papers on the exact sciences; but we possess no distinct evidence of his high attainments in their more recondite branches. His fortunate evasion of our cruisers on his return from Egypt, and no less providential escape, shortly after, from the assassin's dagger and the Infernal Machine, will be found expressed with singular condensation, in the following contemporaneous distich
"Te petit ense scelus, mare fluctu, Tartara flammis;
Finally, I wish to observe, for the repetition is not superfluous, that we have here confirmatory demonstration, still more forcible were I to engage in further details, that industry and perseverance are as necessary to the culture of genius, as capacity is to the possession of science, a fact not less inculcated by the precept
than illustrated by the example of Newton. They are reciprocal agents, and indispensable co-operators in the achievement of eminence; and seldom did they unite in more powerful combination, or did more splendid fruit germinate from a soil thus endowed and enriched. The talent of war, as that of poetry, may sometimes, indeed, appear instinctive; but the examples of Alexander, of our Black Prince, of a Condé, a Gustavus, a Frederick, or Charles XII., who had no probationary preparation, and Minerva-like, started at once into muturity of power, are of very rare occurrence, and, as exceptional to general rule, only tend to establish its truth. Bonaparte, too, had scarcely beheld a field of battle before he displayed a consummate skill of command; but he had intensely studied the principles of the art; and almost every distinguished chief has owed to experience, which is the accrescent result of time and practice, his fame and success. Turenne is represented by Napoleon, (Las Cases, 28th August 1816,) as bolder of enterprise in his advanced than earlier age, the effect of acquired self-confidence; while Condé's youthful ardor considerably subsided with the increase of years. Turenne l'audace avait cru avec l'expérience; il en montrait plus en vieillissant qu'à son début. C'était peut-être le contraire chez Condé, qui en avait tant déployé en entrant dans la carrière." "Labor omnia vincit improbus." Labor, in truth, is the parent of eminence, while expended, of course, on accordant materials: for the axiom of political economy, which estimates value by the cost of production, is nearly applicable to all human exertion. These recovered documents of early toil, in short, unerringly exhibit,
we are assured, in precursory outline and recognisable feature, the yet unformed character, which, while gradually ripening, only waited for a commensurate theatre of display, to put forth its varied powers in corresponding action.
In these incipient movements of a great mind, prelusive to the consummation of its energies, have, likewise, been traced numerous coincidences of dates and events with the after-fortunes of the Emperor; but one, more especially, from its ominous association with his final doom, has attracted attention. An autograph tract on geography has been found interrupted and unconcluded at this half-finished phrase— "SAINTE HELENE, petite île,"-the last words of the manuscript, as their reference is to the last abode of this altogether wondrous being, whose remains so long reposed on these distant shores.
We may still regret that we are thus deprived of a parallel, under Napoleon's own hand, between the universally favorable report at that period of the island, "fertil, agradavel é abondante ilha, regada de muitos rios, come bosque denços," says the historian of Portugal," Lemos Feria e Castro," tome ix., p. 161, which he must have adopted, and his, as well as his followers, incessant complaints of its natural disadvantages, when there in bondage. The contradictory statements would be similar to his alternate hate and love of France; but while either as a ruler or a captive, he could scarcely be impartial; and to the successive sensations in both instances, the old proverb, "il n'y a pas de belles prisons, ni de laides amours," will perfectly apply. His antipathy or predilection took their variant colors from his position.
On closing this cursory retrospect of these great sovereigns, Louis and Napoleon, during the period of their lives least generally known, I may be indulged in a few final observations on their distinctive characters, without special reference to those circumstances of their respective careers, which history has traced in such minute and lucid detail, and are consequently rendered familiar to every reader.
To begin, then, with "LE GRAND ROI," I may remark, that grievous, no doubt, and numerous are the charges which stain the annals, and arraign the memory of Louis, even independently of the infraction of a solemn compact" the Edict of Nantes." Yet to me, weighing his defects of education with the corruptive power-the insinuating poison, perverting the mind and heart, of flattery, with the almost irresistible seductions that assailed him, it is rather a surprise, that elevated by the national admiration, above the sphere, he did not, like so many other despotic rulers, altogether lose the feelings of humanity. Not only, therefore, for the achievements and monuments of varied celebrity, which have stamped his reign with the emphatic attribute of GRANDEUR, but for the uncommitted evil, so much at his command, had it been in his nature to perpetrate it, is he entitled to our palliating consideration. That reign, however, prolonged beyond modern, or perhaps beyond any authentic precedent, to a period of seventy two years, spotless though the Sovereign's course had been, in government and person, as well as refulgent in glory, would still have sorely tried the patience of his people, ever panting after change and novelty of sensation, even more intensely than that instinctive
impulse of the human disposition works on other nations. Excellence of character, we learn from a memorable instance, the well known proscription of Aristides, is not always a valid safeguard against the morbid unendurance of lengthened sameness. Yet the most culpable agent in that flagrant deed was surely Aristides himself, because the most conscious of its iniquity, although his participation in it has, with singular inconsideration, obtained the praise of every narrator of the circumstance. (See Plutarch, tome ii., page 591-ed Stephani, 1572.) It deprived Athens, for six years, of this eminent citizen's services.
The intercourse of Louis with Mad. de Maintenon, long viewed with suspicion, and of a very doubtful, because of unascertained, character, to which the previous course of the royal life was little calculated to impart a favorable construction, is demonstrated to have been perfectly legitimate, for it was sanctified by marriage. St. Simon (tome xiii., page 106,) with various other authorities, may be consulted in assertion of the fact, now incontestable, though then necessarily mysterious, to which the date of 1685 can, with most likelihood, be assigned. The royal habits became, in consequence, more correct, under, of course, the aiding influence of age. Would that the event had been equally successful in reforming his contracted views of religious freedom, so opposed to the genuine spirit of christianity! The revocation of
And, descending to modern times, what other cause than this lassitude of the monotonous repose and unexciting length of Walpole's administration, led to his compelled retirement? Accumulative evidence of this effect from the same cause might be adduced; for few, indeed, are the rulers, who, in a protracted career, have survived their early popularity, though, like lovers' pledges, then apparently of concurrent endurance with life.