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doner ventures to say a word in behalf of Richmond Hill.
Almost every eminence in the vicinity of Paris capable of affording a view has been seized by some monarch or mistress for the construction of a chateau; and if Voltaire and other leading writers of the French have fixed their Augustan æra of literature in the reign of Louis Quatorze, and decried all deviation from this standard of perfection as barbarous, it is not to be expected that succeeding builders of palaces should depart from the established system of gardening practised by Le Notre under that Grand Monarque, and so happily illustrated in the quincunxes, stars, terraces, parterres, clipped alleys, and verdant sculpture of Versailles. The ostentatious, formal, and artificial style of that age, has not only extended itself by means of the Academy to the literature of France, but has stamped itself upon the taste of the country, and left a legible impress upon the national character. Magnificence and extent in some degree redeemed the original;—its successors have only meanness and poverty superadded to the reproach of servile imitation, and this is the character of nearly all the gardens and grounds in the immediate vicinity of the capital. Circumstances have conspired to perpetuate the parsimony of nature. The practice of cutting down all the trees of a certain age for fuel is utterly destructive of any thing like scenery. Those hoary monarchs of the forest, which impart a character of grandeur to the glades they overshadow, and awaken correspondent emotions in the spectator by carrying his thoughts
into the past and future, are strangers to these purlieus; but there is no lack of slim, sickly shoots,plantations of underwood, and forests of sticks disposed in rows, with rectilinear avenues. With the exception of the trees that line the roads, and those forming the Boulevards, I have not yet seen one of any apparent age; nor even among these have I countered a single noble or majestic specimen.
There is nothing fantastical in supposing some general analogy to exist between the features of a country and the character of its inhabitants. Unconversant with the physical beauties of nature, the French know not how to appreciate her moral charms; and as they supply her niggardliness in the one instance by a jet d'eau and an evergreen maze, so they substitute for the other, frigid declamation, pedantic rules, and elaborate art. Who can wonder at La Harpe's declaration, that pastoral poetry is in more discredit among them than any other species of composition? or at the Abbé de Lille's regretting that the "false delicacy and unfortunate prejudices" of his countrymen should have proscribed the style suited to such writings? Who can be amazed that they are not only blind to that fervent, impassioned, and enthusiastic drama, which draws its inspiration from the deep founts of Nature, but that from the time of Voltaire they have ever flouted it with derision and contempt? Is it not consistent that they should exalt the classical, meaning by that term the productions of Corneille, Racine, and Voltaire, over the romantic, as exemplified in the works of such bunglers as Shakspeare?
Can we wonder, in fine, that they should utterly fail in gardening, and in all those works of art the perfection of which requires an intense feeling of nature or taste for simplicity; while they are the inventors of cocked-hats, hoops, and hair-powder; unrivalled in bijouterie, and all the littlenesses of art; peerless in dancing, as far as perfection consists in deviating from all natural attitudes, and paramount in cookery, which necessarily implies a similar departure from every thing primitive and simple ?
Whatever be their other deficiencies, no one can accuse them of being wanting in grandiloquence.-Have they not, in the very heart of this classical metropolis, fountains of the Elephant, of the Naiad, of Bacchus, and of the Devil; Barriers of Battle, Mount Parnassus, and Hell; a Hospital of Scipio, a Pantheon, Odeon, Gymnasium, Olympic Circus, a Cosmographic Saloon, besides Turkish Gardens, Gardens of the Delta and Tivoli? Not only have they triumphal Arches and Columns, but a single Coffee-house of a thousand Columns, which is at the same time a low shabby room, with a fine lady in the bar, and a few pillars against the walls. May not the traveller who pays attention to their gaudy signs encounter in the single street of St. Honoré, the Guardian Angel, the Symbol of Peace, the Palm of Victory, the Triumph of Trajan, the Blush of Aurora, and the Pharos of Leander ?-Even the Christian names of the rabble are pagan and poetical. The writer, being in want of a maid-servant, received applications from a Zoe, a Rosalie, an Adrienne, two Augustines, one Anastasie,
and one Adèle; the latter of whom, by way of summing up her qualifications, declared that she was of a disposition altogether sweet and amiable, knew how to touch the piano a little, and could sing songs for the amusement of children. The French of all ranks, and under all circumstances, are just as fond of grandiloquence and altisonant phrases as they were in the time of Sterne. Boileau's maxim, that "one would rather tolerate, generally speaking, a low or common thought, expressed in noble words, than a noble thought expressed in mean language," has not been lost upon them; for it was exactly adapted to the pride of a people who could more easily obtain the command of a thousand sounding words than of a single fine idea.
SATIRISTS OF WOMEN.
CHANCES OF FEMALE HAPPINESS.
"But what so pure which envious tongues will spare? Some wicked wits have libell'd all the fair."
"On me when dunces are satiric,
ANACREON being asked why he addressed all his hymns to women and none to the gods, answered,"Because women are my deities;" and the ladies were, no doubt, mightily indebted to him and similar
voluptuaries, who set them up in their houses, as certain barbarous nations did their Lares and Lemures, for playthings and ornaments, to be deified when their owners were in good luck and good humour, and vilipended and trodden under foot in every access of passion or reverse of fortune. Little flattering as is such praise, it is still observable that the ancient writers seldom abused the sex "in good set terms," or carried their vituperation beyond the excusable limits of raillery and a joke. Socrates vented only witticisms against Xantippe: Xenarchus, the comic poet, in noticing that none but the male grasshoppers sing, exclaims, "How happy are they in having dumb wives!" and Eubulus, another old Grecian jester, after mentioning the atrocities of Medea, Clytemnestra, and Phædra, says it is but fair that he should proceed to enumerate the virtuous heroines, when he suddenly stops short, wickedly pretending that he cannot recollect a single one. Among the Romans we know that Juvenal dedicated his sixth Satire to the abuse of the fair sex, but his worst charge only accuses them of being as bad as the men; and if we are to infer that the licentiousness of his own life was at all equal to the grossness of his language, we may safely presume that his female acquaintance were not among the most favourable specimens of the race. The unnatural state of Monachism has been the bitter fountain whence has flowed most of the still more unnatural abuse of women; the dark ages have supplied all the great luminaries of Misogyny, who have ransacked their imaginations to supply reasons for per