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that happiness is not to be sought in the field of battle: but I grow old," continued he, " and the life of the Emperor himself will be less durable than hts fame. Ages are required to advance civilization, while a single bad reign suffices to bring back corruption. I was returning from Italy when 1 met the Emperor: Parma was the place at which we first saw each other: I had long admired him as a hero, but a moment of intimacy shewed me that he was a great man. I advised him to introduce among his subjects regular plans of education we opened in all parts of the empire a multitude of schools, in which the children of the nobleman and the peasant were indiscriminately admitted, and they, were taught reading, writing, arithmetic, the bible, and even antient literature. Each bishop received orders to direct the public education on this plan, and to regard it as an essential part of his duty. Charles is accustomed to call me his preceptor: nature certainly did much for him, but he is also materially indebted to my care. He is now enabled to speak Latin with purity, to understand Greck, to give judgment in poetry, and has even a tincture of rhetoric, logic, and astronomy.". I requested Alcuin to favour me with his opinion on those manuscripts in the Emperor's library which seemed to him of the greatest importance. He consented, and unrolled the chronicle of Gregory of Tours. "This writer," said he, " is the father of our history; and though his own compositions are devoid of taste, and corrupted by the superstitious spirit of his age, they are notwithstanding a valuable record in regard to all that concerns our first race of kings. Fredegarius, who continued Gregory's chronicle to the year 641, composed his work at the request of Childebrand, brother of Charles Martel, and discovers the usual bad taste of his age. The chronicle of Marius, a Swiss bishop, contains a history of the Burgundian kings, and affords evidence of immense labour. The next volume is the compilation of the Gothic historian, Jornandes. As he writes the history of his own countrymen, and was connected with the carliest kings of Italy, we must be on our guard against his partiality but he is full of interesting details. That roll which you are unfolding is the ecclesiastical history of the English from the time of Julius Cæsar, and is the work of Bede. All these annalists are to be read with caution: the agency of heaven is made to appear in all their pages; and according to them, miracles are perpetually convulsing the universe. These bulky volumes," continued Alcuin, bespeak one of the finest minds which the church ever produced: they are the works of St. Augustin. His Confessions contain the history of a life entirely devoted to the edification of his age. Perhaps his Letters display his character still better; and it is pleasing to follow this great man to the end of his career: but of all his works, none was productive of so much good as his City of God, in which his object was to defend the Christian religion, and to establish its truths: the majesty of his style, the gravity and solemnity of his tone, and his seductive and sublime eloquence, are worthy of his lofty subject. The Emperor estimates this work above all the labours of genius, and is never tired of reading and admiring it."
After so serious an harangue from the Emperor's preceptor, it may afford our readers some amusement to observe the. rough mode which the sovereign himself adopted to discoun tenance extravagance among his courtiers:
The Emperor, one day seeing several of his young nobility magnificently attired, suddenly proposed the diversion of hunting. The weather was shocking, but there was no room for hesitation. Each mounted his horse, and, after having ridden the whole day through torrents of rain, came home in a miserable condition. The Emperor smiled at first, but, soon resuming his austere deportment, took the opportunity of reading the young men a lecture: You simpletons," said he, " learn now to know the inconveniencies of luxury. With this sheep skin, which I turn to any side on which the wind blows, I cover and defend myself against all inclemencies. I have no occasion to replace it till it is completely worn out, but in your case a slight accident may deprive you of a treasure. Let us leave silks to the women, and dress ourselves not for ornament but use. It is a shame that the cloak of a man who calls himself rational should cost the price of fifteen prime oxen: mine costs me only a sous, and serves me fully as well as yours."'
Like most other French writers of the present age M. MIEVILLE finds difficulty in resisting the temptation of point and antithesis, The Franks, on conquering Gaul, introduced many of their uncouth words into common use; and this circumstance the present author cannot refrain from terming (Vol. I. p. 61.) the reproaches which language has to urge against victory,' The religious controversies in which the Emperor Zeno permitted himself to be absorbed were abundantly silly, but we should scarcely have thought of saying (p. 33.) that he denaturalized religion, fatigued good sense, and banished glory.' Gondeband, king of Burgundy, was superior to most princes of his time, although a very mixed character: but it would require more penetration than we pretend to possess, to form a correct estimate of his qualities from M. MILVILLE'S description: (p. 100.) From the moment at which he ascended the throne, his days belonged to the people, his defects to his glory, his virtues to the state.' Nor has Witikind, the gallant but unsuccessful defender of Saxon independence, the good fortune to escape the shafts that issue from the author's quiver: during eighteen years,' it is said, he exhausted misfortune without ever exhausting courage ;' and a moralizing gentleman is made to conclude a very grave harangue (p. 206.) in these words, Behold how every thing is in a state of change, inconstancy alone is lasting.'
We now take our leave of M. MIEVILLE, by expressing our wish to meet with him again, but in different company. We
will thank him to look out for travelling companions among other people than the Goths; and to be sparing, in pity to our dull understandings, of those sparkling effusions which • denaturalize' style, and fatigue' the comprehensive faculty of
ART. V. Abrégé de Histoire, &c. &c. i. e. An Abridgment of the History of Russia, from the earliest to the present Times: preceded by a political and geographical Sketch of Russia, and followed by a Summary of the Natural History of this vast Empire, and Chronological Tables adapted to this historical Abridgment. By the Abbé PERIN. Continued to the last Campaigns of the Russians against the French, and to the Treaty of Tilsit. 2 Volumes 12mo. Paris. 18c8. Imported by Deboffe.
NY documents which throw light on the frame and structure of the colossal state of Russia, at the present moment, possess a strong claim to attention. She will in all probability, at no distant time, have to maintain a fearful struggle with that power which has subdued the rest of the continent; and all the points from which, on the European side, she may be attacked, are in the hands of her faithless rival, whose object in securing them can be no secret, and who scarcely indeed affects to conceal it. Already these powers have mutually tried their strength; the experiment has served practically to shew the weakness of the northern empire; and 2 near view of it, theoretically and contemplatively, will satisfy us that this unwieldy ill-compacted fabric will be able to make but slight resistance against the policy and the arms of Napoleon.
In respect to the modern state of Russia, the publication before us can have little interest for those who have perused the valuable although very different performances of M. Rulbière and Mr. Oddy + but the succinct account which it furnishes of a boundless empire, and the detail in which it presents its component parts, will not fail to attract the attention of those curious persons who have not within their reach the preferable means of information. While the Abbé PERIN professes to have availed himself of several unpublished manuscripts, and of the materials communicated by several living persons, he ingenuously owns that he is principally indebted to M. Levesque's valuable history of Russia. He also informs us that he has been for ten years an inhabitant
See Rev. Vol. xxii. N. S. P. 557. and xxiii. p. 477. + Rev. Vol. 1. N.S. p. 337.
of that empire, and employed there during that time in educa tion; to which circumstance the present volumes owe their existence.
The work is preceded by an introduction, in which the author gives a consise and perspicuous view of the statistics of the Russian empire, its manners, and its religion : to which is added a geographical sketch of this vast power, and an enumeration and brief account of the several governments inte which it is divided. The value of the whole is enhanced by apparently well-digested chronological tables of the Russian history, which are introduced at its close; and it also embraces a sketch of the natural history of this immense territory.
After having stated several vague hypotheses respecting the origin of the modern Russians, the author contends for their descent from the Sclaves and Huns; the first colony of whom he supposes to have fixed its residence in the vicinity of the lake of Ilmen; and he thinks that, as early as about the middle of the fifth century, they founded the city of Novogorod, which afterward grew to be very commercial, and gradually extended its sway as far as Lithuania, the White Sea, and the mountains of Oural. History hands down to us the government of Novogorod as having been republican. — M. PÉRIN divides the annals of Russia into six periods: the first, including the time preceding its adoption of Christianity, namely, a space of one hundred and twenty years: the second, extending from the establishment of Christianity to the invasion of the Tartars, embracing an interval of two hundred and thirty-eight years: the third, reaching from the Tartar invasion to the epoch of Moscow becoming the capital of the empire, being one hundred and five years: the fourth, from the latter event to the time of the assumption of the title of Czar, a period of two hundred and five years: the fifth, from the assumption of the latter title to the accession of Peter the Great, a space of one hundred and fifty-six years; and the sixth, extending from the time of Peter the Great to our own days.
The epochs, which precede the reign of Peter the Great present little that is either interesting or instructive. If the regency of Olga cheers the wearied eye, wé fear to trust the narrative, and are too well warranted in suspecting that the ground on which we tread belongs to the region of fable; and if within the precincts of true history we discover in Boris Godounof an able and enlightened governor, we cannot forget his usurpation, nor avert our eyes from the cruelties of his brief domination. Like other usurpers, he affected great modesty when pressed to assume that power, which, by abomi7
nable cruelty and treachery, he had placed within his grasp, and solemnly promised to administer the government with mildness and impartiality. When invested with supreme authority, he displayed on all occasions extraordinary magnificence, and was lavish in his gifts to churches and monasteries. reader learns with pleasure, however, that he was desirous of enlightening the people; that he attempted to entice into his dominions the professors of the liberal arts; and that he encouraged the Russian youth to pass into foreign countries, for the purpose of studying the sciences. With his death commenced that series of impostures which disfigures the history of this barbarous empire.
The writer's account of Peter the Great is simple, concise, and judicious: but since that monarch's portrait has been drawn by an artist of the first order, and his acts and exploits sketched by the same pencil, no extract from this part of the present work can be expected to interest our readers. From the following brief outline of the northern potentate, however, they will be able to form a judgment of the style and manner of the performance before us:
The life of Peter exhibits a striking contrast of rare qualities and glaring faults. He passionately loved justice, and was often cruel in asserting its rights: but he carried his notions to an extreme in every thing, whether in friendship, in passion, in pleasure, or in love of glory and fame. He protected religion as a matter of political necessity, while he privately made its ceremonies and ministers the objects of ridicule. He was too fond of foreign usages, and sought too precipitately to root out those of his own country which appeared to him to be barbarous and superstitious. He enjoined virtue and gentle manners, while he himself was unable to controul his passions or restrain his appetites. In fine, he had all the weaknesses of humanity, although he was at the same time endowed with all those great qualities which ensure to a monarch the gratitude and admiration of posterity.'
The first Catherine, whom Peter had raised from the lowest situation to the throne, survived him only two years and four months. Of her the author says that, besides being amiable and lovely, she had an uninterrupted gaiety of temper, was generous and humane.' He justly extols the spirit and address by which she saved her husband and his army from disgrace and ruin, when they were completely in the power of the Russians on the banks of the Prouth. It was she alone, he adds, who knew how to allay the extravagance of her husband's wrath and vengeance; many were the objects of his severity whom she rescued; and if the history of this Princess be not crowded with remarkable events, it was because her reign was short,