صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني


the year 1797, he publicly announced he was then leading; and I am per. his intention of devoting a greater fuaded that if he had confulted his portion of his time to his private pur- own gratifications only, it would fuits.' He was even on the point of have continued to be so. relinquishing his feat in parliament, His notion of engaging in fome and retiring altogether from public life literary undertaking was adopted dur-a plan which he had formed many ing his retirement, and with the profyears before, and to the execution of pect of long and uninterrupted leisure which he always looked forward with before him. When he had determinthe greatefl delight. The remonftran- ed upon employing fome part of it in ces, however, of thofe friends for writing, he was, no doubt, actuated whofe judgment he had the greatest by a variety of confiderations, in the deference, ultimately prevailed. He choice of the task he fhould underconfequently confined his fcheme of take. His philofophy had never renretreat to a more uninterrupted refi- dered him infenfible to the gratificadence in the country than he had hi- tion which the hope of pofthumous therto permitted himself to enjoy.- fame fo often produces in great During his retirement, that love of li- minds; and though criticifm might be terature, and fondness for poetry, more congenial to the habits and which neither pleasure nor business amufements of his retreat, an hiftorihad ever extinguifhed, revived with cal work feemed more of a piece with an ardour, fuch as few, in the cager- the tenor of his former life, and might nefs of youth, or in the purfuit of fame prove of greater benefit to the public or advantage, are capable of feeling. and to pofterity. Thefe motives, toFor fome time, however, his ftudies gether with his intimate knowledge were not directed to any particular of the Englith conftitution, naturally object. Such was the happy difpo- led him to prefer the hiftory of his tion of his mind, that his own re- own country, and to felect a period flections, whether fupplied by con- favourable to the illuftration of the verfation, defultory reading, or the great general principles of freedom on common occurrences of a life in the which it is founded. country, were always fufficient to call forth the vigour and exertion of his faculties. Intercourfe with the world had fo little deadened in him the fenfe of the fimplett enjoyments, that even in the hours of apparent leifure and inactivity, he retained

With thefe views it was almoft impoffible that he fhould not fix on the revolution of 1688. According to the firft crude conceptions of the work, it would, as far as I recollect, have begun at the revolution; but he altered his mind, after a careful peru

after the first impreffions of life, is fo rarely excited but by great interefts and ftrong paffions. Here it was that in the interval between his active attendance in parliament and the undertaking of his history, he never felt the tedium of a vacant day. A verfe in Cowper, which he frequently repeated,

that keen relish of existence which, fal of the latter part of mr. Hume's hiftory. An apprehention of the falfe impreffions which that great hiftorian's partiality might have left on the minds of his readers, induced him to go back to the acceffion of King James the fecond, and even to prefix an introductory chapter on the character and leading events of the times immediately preceding.

How various his employments whom the world ⚫ Calls idle !'

was an accurate defcription of the life

( From the moment his labour commenced he generally spoke of his plan as extending no farther than the fettlement at the revolution. His friends, however, were not without hopes,

hopes, that the habit of compofition he was very cautious of promifing might engage him more deeply in lite- too much; for he was aware, that rary undertakings, or that the diffe- whatever he undertook, his progress rent views which his enquiries would in it would neceffarily be extremely open, might ultimately allure him on flow. He could not but foreste that, farther in the history of his country. as new events arofe, his friends would Some cafual expreffions both in con- urge him to return to politics; and verfation and correfpondence feemed though his own inclinations might to imply that the poffibility of fuch a enable him to refift their entreaties, refult was not entirely out of his own the very difcuffion on the propriety of contemplation. As his work advanc- yielding would produce an attention ed, his allutions to various literary to the ftate of public affairs, and divert projects, fuch as an edition of Dry- him in fome degree from the purfuit den, a defence of Racine and the in which he was engaged. But it French ftage, effay on the Beauties was yet more difficult to fortify himof Euripides, &c. &c. became more felf against the feduction of his own frequent and even more confidently inclination, which was continually expreffed. In a letter written to me drawing him aff from his hiftorical in 1803, after obferving that a modern refearches to critical inquiries, to the writer did not fufficiently admire Ra- ftudy of the claffics, and to works of eine, he adds, It puts me quite in imagination and poetry. Ahuna paffion. Je veux contre eux faire dant proofs exift of the effect of these un jour un gros livre, as Voltaire interruptions, both on his, labours favs. Even Dryden, who fpeaks and on his mind. His letters are filled with proper refpe&t of Corneille, vi- with complaints of fuch as arofe from ipends Racine. If ever I publish politics, while he speaks with delight my edition of his works, I will give it and complacency of whole days dehim for it, you may depend. Oh! voted to Euripides, and Virgil.'. how I wish I could make up my mind to think it right to devote all the remaining part of my life to fuch fubjects, and fuch only !'


The following letter is given as a fpecimen of his familiar correfpondence, and affords an idea of the nature of the researches in which his mind was accustomed to unbend itfelf:~

About the fame time he talked of writing either in the form of a dedication or dialogue, a treatife on the three arts of poetry, hiftory, and oratory; which, to my furprife, he claffed in the order I have related. The plan of fuch a work feemed, in a great measure, to be digefted in his head, and from the sketch he drew of his defign to me, it would, if completed, have been an invaluable monument of the great originality of thought, and fingular philofophical acuteness, with which he was accustomed to treat of fuch fubjects in his most carelets converfations. But though a variety of literary projects might occafionally come acrots him,

N O T E.

Mr. Fox often ufed this word in ridicule of pedantic expreffons.



In defence of my opinion about the nightingales, Innd Chaucer, who of all poets feems to have been the fondett of the finging of birds, calls it a merry note; and though Theocritus mentions nightingales fix or feven times, he never mentions their note as plaintive or melancholy. It is true, he does not call it any where merry, as Chaucer does; but by mentioning it with the fong of the black-bird, and as anfwering it, he feems to imply that it was a cheerful note. Sophocles is against us; but even whathe fays, lamenting Itys, and the comparifon of her to Electra, is ra ther as to perfeverance day and night,


rally attributed to him, are certainly not his compofitions.



than as to forrow. At all events a tragic poet is not half fo good authority in this queftion, as Theocritus and Chaucer. I cannot light upon the paffage in the Odvffey, where Penelope's reftleffness is compared to the nightingale, but I am fure that it is only as to reftleffnets and watchtul nefs that he makes the comparison. If you will read the laft twelve books of the Odvffey, you will certainly find it, and I am fure you will be paid for your hunt, whether you find it or not. The paffage in Chaucer is in the Flower and Leaf, p. 99. The one I particularly allude to in Theocritus, is in his epigrams, I think in the fourth. Dryden has transferred the word merry to the goldfinch, in the Flower and the Leaf, in deference, may be, to the vulgar error; but pray read the defcription of his nightingale there it is quite delightful, I am afraid I like thete refearches as rauch better than thofe that relate to Shaftesbury, Sunderland, &c. as I do thofe better than attending the houfe of commons.-Your's affectionately. C. J. Fox.' Having occafion to mention the letter addreffed by mr. Fox to the electors of Westminster, and his fpeech on the late duke of Bedford, lord Holland takes this opportunity of oblerving that, with the exception of the 14th, 16th, and perhaps a few other numbers of a periodical publication in 1799, called The Englishman, and an epitaph on the late bihop of Downe, the above are the only pieces of profe he ever printed, unlefs, indeed, one were to reckon his advertisements to the electors, and the parliamentary papers which he may have drawn up. His lordship adds, that there are feveral fpecimens of his poetical compofitions, in different languages; but the lines on mrs. Crewe, and thofe to mrs. Fox, on her birth-day, are, as far as he recollects, all that have been print ed. An ode to poetry, and an epigrain on Gibbon, though very gene


It is well known that one of the principal inducements of mr. Fox for vifiting Paris in 1802, was the defire to avail himself, if poffible, of the documents relating to that period of English hiftory of which he proposed to treat, which had been depofited in the Scotch college at Paris; or at leaft to afcertain the fate of those papers, if they were no longer in exiftence. For the fuccinct and interefting statement of the refult of his refearches on this fubject, given in his own words, we muft refer the inqui fitive reader to the work itself.

We fhall add one more extract to thofe which we have made from the preface, and which though they exceed the length to which we defigned them to extend, will not, we are fure, be thought tedious or frivolous. To the contemporaries of a man who attracted fo large a portion of public notice as mr. Fox, the minuteft particulars can fcarcely prove uninteresting.


The manufcript book from which this work has been printed, is for the most part in the hand-writing of mrs. Fox. It was written out under the infpection of mr. Fox, and is occafionally corrected by him. His habit was feldom or ever to be alone, when employed in compofition. He was accuftomed to write on covers of letters, or fcraps of paper, fentences which he in all probability had turned in his mind, and in fome degree formed in the courfe of his walks, or during his hours of leisure. Thefe he read over to mrs. Fox; the wrote them out in a fair hand in the book, and before he deftroyed the original paper, he examined and ap proved of the copy. In the courfe of thus dictating from his own writing, he often altered the language and even the conftruction of the fentence. Though he generally tore the fcraps of paper as soon as the paffages were


entered in the book, feveral have been preferved, and it is plain from the erafures and alterations in them, that they had undergone much revifion and correction before they were read to his amanuenfis.'

(To be continued.)

Magnificent Entertainment of Philip Duke of Burgundy.

OF all the entertainments that hiftory has afforded us any details, there is none which equals that given by Philippe le Bon, duke of Burgundy, at Lille, in the year 1453. It difplays at once fo much magnificence and fo many puerilities, fuch a variety of machinery and automata, fo many actors and fo many living animals, that we believe we shall gratify our readers by defcribing it. Monftrelet gives an abridged account; but it is detailed at length by Matthieu de Couci and Olivier de la Marche. What, however, renders it interefting is, that it was occafioned by one great event, and almost the cause of another.

Mohammed II. one of the most redoubtable and enterprizing enemies the Chriftians had to encounter, menaced, at this moment, Conftantinople, which, in fact, he befieged and took fome months afterward. The formidable armament he had prepared for this expedition had made all Europe tremble. It was thought that no other means remained to fave Chrif tendom than to form a general league and arm against him: and it was with this intent the duke of Burgundy gave his grand pantomime-entertainment.

In an immenfe hall, three tables were laid out, that might, perhaps, more juftly be called theatres, confidering the number of machines that were placed on each. That for the duke was fquare, and had four orna


1. A church, with its bell and organ, with four chaunters to play on 1, and fing when their time of acting hould require

2. A ftatue of a naked child, places on a rock, who from his braquet piffait cau-rofe.'

3. A veffel, larger than what would ferve to navigate on the feas, having on board a numerous crew, who per formed all the manoeuvres as if they had been really at fea.

4. A river that ran thro’a meadow

ornamented with thrubs and flowers; -rocks, ftudded with fapphires and other precious ftones, ferved as a boundary to it; and in the centre was a figure of St. Andrew, from the end of whofe cross fpouted out a ftream of water.

On the fecond table were feen nine ornaments:

1. A fort of party, in which were inclofed twenty-eight musicians, men and children, who were each to play on a different inftrument during cer tain interludes of the feast.

2. The caftle of Lufignan, with its ditches and towers :-from the two smallest, a ftream of orangeade ran into the ditches; and, on the highest tower, Melufina was feen difguifed as a ferpent.

3. A windmill placed on a hillock, A magpie was fixed on one of the fails, which ferved for a mark to all forts of perfons, who amufed themfelves with fhooting with cross bows.

4. A vineyard, in the midst of which were placed two cafks, as emblems of thofe containing good and evil. One held a fweet, and the other a bitter liquor. A man, richly dref fed, feated cross-legged on one of the cafks, held in his hand a paper, by which he offered the choice of his li quors to all who might wish to tafte them.

5. A defert country, where a tiger was reprefented fighting with a ferpent.

6. A favage mounted on a camel, feeming on the point of making a long journey.

7. A man with a long pole, beating a buth wherein many finall birds


ad taken refuge, Near to it was an rchard, enclosed by a trellis of rofes, with a knight feated by his mistress's ide, who caught and eat the birds the ther drove from the bufh :-A kind ffatirical allegory, ingenious enough, nd which probably gave rife to the roverbial expreffion, to beat the


outh for another.'

8. Mountains and rocks, covered with hanging icicles-among which fool was feen mounted on a bear. 9. A lake, furrounded by various owns and caftles. A veffel was on it, failing with all her fails fet.

The third table, fmaller than the preceding ones, had but three decoraions:

1 A travelling merchant, as paffing thro' a village with his pack on his back.

ready defcribed, the hall contained five. fcaffolds for thofe fpectators who were not of the fupper, and particularly for the great crowds of foreigners whom. the report of this feast had brought to Lille.


2. An Indian foreft, full of automata of various animals walking about.

3. A lion faftened to a tree-near which was a man beating a dog.

On the right and left of the buffet, which was fet off with vases of chryftal, cups ornamented with gold and precious ftones, and an immenfe quantity of gold and filver plate, were two columns: one bore the ftatue of a naked woman, from whofe right breaft flowed hippocras during fuppertime; the lower parts of her body were covered with a napkin, loaded with Greek letters of a violet colour.

To the other column, a living lion was faftened by an iron chain: he was there placed to guard the naked woman, as the infcription in golden letters on a field announced- Do not touch the lady.'!

It is probable the naked woman, with the Greek letters, was intended to represent Conftantinople defpoiled -the lion, who forbade any one to touch her, the duke of Burgundy and the man who beat the dog, in prefence of the lion, fultan Moham med.

Befide the number of machines al

On the en tance of the duke and his court, he walked about for fome time, to exantine the various decorations; after which he fat down to table, and the maitres d'hotel ferved up the fupper.


Every course confifted of 44 dishes each of which was lowered down from the roof by machinery, on cars painted with blue and gold, and with the device of the duke.

The moment he was feated with his guests, the bell of the church tolled

and inftantly three little chorifters came out of the pafty, and began to fing a very fweet air by way of grace; they were accompanied by a fhepherd on his pipe. Shortly after, a horse entered, escorted by fifteen or fixteen knights in the livery of the duke. He moved backward, and bore on his bare back two masked trumpeters, feated back to back; and in this manner he made the circuit of the hall backward, attended by the knights, the two trumpeters playing all the time fymphonies.

When they had quitted the hall, the organ of the church was heard-and one of the muficians in the pasty played on a german horn. A great automata, reprefenting an enormous wild boar, now entered, having on his back a monster, half a favage and half a griffin-and this monster bore alfo a man on his fhoulders. They had no fooner departed than the chaunters in the church fung an air, and three of the muficians in the pafty executed a trio: one played on the doucaine (dulciana, probably dulcimer), the fecond on the lute, and the third on another inflrument.

Such were the different amusements that formed the accompaniments to the first courfe; all, except the mufic, were farces foreign to the feaft.Thofe


« السابقةمتابعة »