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"Innocuous censura potest permittere lusus:
Our Thomas Little unhappily misapplied, with equal perversion, his youthful talents; but Moore's effusions were both earlier in publication and suppression, or,
* One of the best of Beza's epigrams is that which celebrates the marriage of Francis I. with Eleanor, the sister of Charles V., as a warrant of peace and alliance between the two monarchs, in 1530, after the war signalised by the capture of Francis at Pavia, in 1525, and terminated by the treaty of Cambrai, the following year.
"Nil Helenâ vidit Phœbus formosius ipsâ ;
Te, Regina, nihil pulchrius orbis habet:
Utraque formosa est; sed re, tamen, altera major;
Illa serit lites, Heleonora fugat.'
But the promised result was not of long continuance, as history certifies. Eleanor was the widow of Emmanuel of Portugal, and second wife of Francis, who had first married Claude of France, daughter of Louis XII. and Anne de Bretagne.
The malignant construction attached by Beza's enemies to his epigram, (page 114, ed. Barbou, 1757,)—"De suâ in Candidam et Audebertum benevolentiâ"-must be rejected as an infamous calumny. Candida was his mistress, and Audebert (Germain) his friend, whom, in rivalry of love, he preferred; soothing, however, the lady, in case of jealous complaint, with a hearty kiss
"At est Candida sic avara, novi,
Ut totum cupiat tenere Bezam ;
Quod si Candida forsan conqueratur;
Quid tum? basiolo tacebit imo."
Béze, it appears, is one of the growths of Burgundy, not remote from the better known, though not superior, produce of Chambertin, Napoleon's favorite beverage. At the table of the proprietor the following impromptu, inspired by the exhilirating grape, was sung in playful allusion to the name and heresy of the theologian :
"Béze, qui produit ce bon vin
Si le disciple de Calvin,
Béze, passe pour hérétique,
Doit passer pour très catholique."
at least, repentant disavowal, and no one could now, with deeper concern, repeat after Ovid, (De Ponto, lib. i., El. v.,) as we wished that Gibbon had done. (See his article, page 93,)—
"Cum relego, scripsisse pudet, quia plurima cerno,
This moment, I may be permitted to add, as I had occasion to consult some books, my eye casually fell on the two editions of Count L. H. de Brienne's Itinerarium," or Northern Travels, &c., respectively printed in 1660 and 1662. The former contains the following bibliographical note in manuscript, and bears directly on this topic-"Les deux éditions sont rares aujourd'hui; mais la première, quoique elle renferme moins de détails est plus récherchée; parcequ'on y trouve un passage obscène, que Brienne fit supprimer dans la ré-impression." The note is signed by F. Barrière, editor of M. De Brienne's Mémoires, (1828, 2 tom. 8vo.) See Gentleman's Magazine for January, 1841, page 30. But few must be the readers, ignorant of the factitious value which such preserved passages, however short they may be, (and this eliminated one does not exceed six lines,) impart to a book, or unconscious of its perverse source. "La bonne édition se connâit par la faute," often say the foreign booksellers, as in regard to Pine's Horace, Grose's Antiquities, the Greek New Testament," O Mirificam" of R. Stephens, the Elzevir Cæsar, with numerous other volumes; and the expression is equally applied by them to these unchastened works, similarly deriving value from their defects, though, in a moral sense, no very consistent ground of apprecia
Yet the fractured
tion or motive of preference. Cremona violin is surest to command a musician's choice, as the bruised flower, says Bacon, emits the sweetest fragrance.
The rule of the Council of Trent, in reference to books under this category, is as follows; and the distinction it establishes must, I think, be acknowledged not irrational. (Regula VII.) "Libri qui res lascivas seu obscoenas ex professo tractant, omnino prohibentur. Antiqui vero ab Ethnicis conscripti, propter sermonis elegantiam et proprietatem permittuntur: nulla tamen ratione pueris prælegendi sunt." The danger, in fact, can only be estimated by the influence of the subject on the reader. When a female penitent asked the celebrated Bourdaloue, whether she sinned in frequenting the theatre? his reply was, "C'est à vous, Madame, de me le dire;" and the lady, of course, could best tell; but of the effects of such reading on juvenile imaginations, no doubt could be entertained. It was of this admirable preacher, and his Order's just pride, I feel gratified in repeating, that Boileau said, "his life is the best answer to the Provincial Letters."
The Jesuit, Julio Negroni's "Dissertatio moralis de librorum amatoriorum lectione junioribus maxime vitanda," Coloniæ, 1630-12mo., is curious on this subject, as the result of his experience in the confessional. In M. Barrière's above cited edition of the Count de Brienne's Mémoires, as well as the Mémoires of Brienne's father, tome i., page 407, (Amst. 1719,) a most ludicrous misconception occurs of our language and habits, (tome ii., p. 372.) In 1624, the elder De Brienne was deputed by Louis XIII., to adjust the
preparatory arrangements of our Charles the First's marriage with Henrietta Maria, the French monarch's sister, who, it was stipulated, should be attended equally by French and English ladies. Among the former are named the Duchess of Chevreuse, the Maréchale de Thémines, (wife of this Marshal,) and Madame de Saint-Georges, who had been the princess's governess and Lady of Honor, a title unknown, it is said, at the English Court, but for which Buckingham, the representative of Charles, proposed, as an equivalent, that of Groom of the Stool, (sic,) “qui revient assez bien à ce qu'on appelleroit dans notre langue, le gentilhomme, ou la dame de la chaise percée. Cette charge est très considérable; elle fait jouir de très grands priviléges," &c. A natural expression of surprise accompanies this portraiture of a high and regular functionary, whose attributes, as supervisor of what should be veiled in act and utterance, not even majesty could ennoble, or strip of indig nity. The transposition of the name and duties of Groom of the Stole, or first Officer of the Royal Chamber, into a person and functions of very different character, has caused this ridiculous blundera double one, indeed; for such an office cannot belong to female majesty in person, though it may, as it now does, form part of a royal consort's household; and our first Marquis (Winchester,) who filled it under the late King, would probably have received with little courtesy a summons to attend his royal master in discharge of the duties here assigned to his station. Yet De Brienne's editor, who dwells on these "étranges usages de nos voisins d'outremer," tells us, what we may learn from Brienne himself, that this
nobleman felt proud and honored at the familiarity and confidence of Louis XIV., who often conferred with him on state affairs, enthroned "sur sa chaise percée." It was also, we are assured, the habitual mode of the morning reception of his officers or visitors by Vendôme, a spurious scion of royalty, whose first interview with Alberoni, afterwards the powerful Cardinal, and the latter's untranslateable exclamation at the sight, are the frequent subjects of contemporary memoirs. The Duchess of Burgundy, mother of Louis XV., it is known, never hesitated to administer to herself a relieving remedy, not to be pronounced by name in English society, in presence of Louis XIV., and his attendant courtiers; so that these violations of decorum, falsely imputed to our Court, were of historical truth at Versailles.
The constant disputes caused by the misintelligence of Charles's young Queen's mixed attendants, as stipulated between her royal brother and our King's favorite, above mentioned, may be seen in Bassompièrre's" Mémoires et Ambassades" (Elzevir edition, 1662-12mo.,) and in our own numerous publications relative to that period.
Two or three other remarks, suggested by the report, in the present Magazine, of the Strawberry Hill sale, will, I hope, be indulgently allowed me.
At page 234, it is said that the Orleans Gallery was brought to England in 1798;* but this is a mistake,
The owner of this magnificent collection, Philip of Orleans, (or Egalité,) father of the present King of the French, passed several months in England, during the early period of the Revolution, at the end of 1789 and commencement of 1790, and was then persuaded, in relief of his increasing wants, and foresight of future seizure, to send it over to England, which he subsequently did. Relative to the gallery, however, and to this notorious personage, little 3 U