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the Poles. Instead of respecting tinued to be the policy of Prussia, till their national feelings, and endea- the invasion of Germany by Buonavouring to gain their attachment by parte, in 1805; when the violation of sensibly ameliorating their condition, the territory of Anspach and the perall the measures of Prussia were sonal urgency of the emperour of abrupt and peremptory. Their taxes Russia, who came to Berlin very were increased, their publick func- soon afterwards, led to a change of tionaries were changed, and the Ger- measures. It was at this visit of Alex. man language and the Prussian dis- ander that the convention of Poizdam cipline, with all its horrours, were was concluded, by which Prussia acforced upon them. We need not, ceded to the coalition against France. therefore, wonder at the serious in. But this convention was carcely surrection which broke out in the signed when the battle of Austerli:z succeeding year; nor at the discon-' took place; and was followed by the tent which continued to lurk in the submission of Austria. The court of minds of the Poles, after it had be- Prussia immediately endeavoured to come impossible to vent it in open reassume its former character of neu. resistance.
trality, and to conceal the convention Though the constitution of Frede- of Potzdam. But Buonaparte had been rick William II was naturally of the apprized of its hostile tendency, and most robust kind, it was prematurely demanded, not only the renunciation exhausted by intemperance, and he of it by Prussia, but satisfaction for died in 1797. He was succeeded by her audacity in taking measures to his son, the present king; whose oppose him. This satisfaction he education, having been entirely we- made to consist in the surrender of glected by his father, was conducted the provinces of Anspach, Cleves, in a manner at once too private to and Neufchatel; and in return he pregive him a knowledge of the world, tended to make over Hanover to and too remiss to convey that solid Prussia. But that this was mere preinstruction which retirement well tence became apparent in the course employed affords the best opportunity of a few months, by lord Yarmouth's of acquiring. He possesses, there. negotiation at Paris. The formation, fore, neither depth in the cabinet nor at the same time, of the confederation winning manners in publick; and he is of the Rhine, showed that Buonaparte much better fitted for the quiet of intended himself, and not the king of domestick life than for the agitations Prussia, as the successour of the emof royalty. Mildness, diffidence, and perour Francis, in the control of Gerindecision are his prominent charac- many; while, moreover, the French teristicks. At his accession, however, armies continued in Germany in imhe filled his cabinet with respectable mense numbers, notwithstanding the men, and gave his subjects an ex- reiterated applications of Prussia for ample of frugalitv in his establish- their removal. These successive afment Averse, also, from war, he re- fronts, and the promised aid of Rusfused to enter into the coalition of sia, gave an ascendency to the war. Austria and Russia, against France, party at Berlin; and the queen, who in 1799, in which there can be little had not hitherto interfered in podoubt that he acted wisely. But he liticks, now became a keen advocate crred in carrying his love of economy for asserting the national dignity. so far as to neglect the repair of his The people at large were eager for fortresses, since their dismantled war, and confident of success from state was the principal cause of their the recollection of the exploits of a rapid surrender to Buonaparte. former generation under Frederick
Neutrality, it is well known, con- 11. no person seeming conscious how
much they had degenerated since not considering that these poor soldiers that period, and still less how much themselves were half dying with hunger. their antagonists had improved.
Nor were those peasants near the French The sequel of this imprudent mea
quarters more fortunate; for they also,
without considering the wretched situation sure is universally known. But the
of those miserable people, took whatever present work communicates several they could find; and in passing Jessau, the circumstances which had not pre
rector of which place had fled to Königsviously been published in this coun- berg, they employed his whole pious litry. The most interesting of these
brary to boil their kettles. The rector's
sister, confined by the rheumatism, could relate to the battle of Jena, the siege
not escape. She lay in a little garret. Some of Glogau, and the retreat of prince oatmeal mixed with melted snow, was beIlohenlohe, till his surrender at fore ber, and this, for eight days, had been Prenzlau on the Oder; the French, her only sustenance. We gave her a small superiour in cavalry, and possessed portion of our travelling stock, and joy and of a shorter route than the Prussians,
gratitude beamed through her tears. The
nearer we came to Eylau, the fewer marks having advanced with such rapidity
of devastation we found; and though there as to cut off the whole army.-The were no provisions to be had any where, writer next proceeds to give an ac. yet we saw at least human faces; for the count of the battles of Pultusk, Eylau, other villages we passed through were all and Friedland. But in these, as well
deserted; nor had the houses here been so
much damaged, which gave us some relief, as in his detail of the battle of Jena,
after the various scenes of misery we had the rearler will be greatly at a loss
gone through. In the totally desolated vilfor want of plans of the engagements. lage of Kleinsausgarten we once more The subsequent extract presents an
found the terrifick picture of war; but miaffecting picture of the calamities of sery, indigence, and distress, I first saw
in their extreme at Eylau itself. Parents war, and should be read by all those
were there already so far reduced as to be who are apt to treat such horrours
forced to bury their literally starved babes with levity. Truly on this subject may in their gardens. Bread, meat, wine, branit be said:
dy, salt, or tobacco, were no where to be
found. Poor, emaciated, hollow-eyed spec“ He jests at scars, who never felt a wound.”
tres were crawling about the streets, co“Soon after the arrival of Bennigsen vered with rags like the most pitiable begat Königsberg, I received a letter from a gars. To enter their houses, on account of friend there, of which I send you an ex- the stench of dead bodies, was scarcely tract, to give you, who, in your happy isl- possible; and even my essence of vinegar and, know nothing of the horrours of war, was not sufficient to defend me in their some little idea of the miseries attending church.--I never should have believed these dreadful scenes.
without seeing it myself, that human na“ As soon as the roads were safe, my ture could have born such an excessive curiosity prompted me to visit the memo. degree of anisery. Buonaparte had cruelly rable scene of action at Eylau. Most terri. given up the place to plunder. In short, evebir, indeed, had the iron hand of war ry thing was ruined, destroyed, and laid stamped its baneful traces upon these waste. Not a door, nor a window, nor a cupunfortunate districts. Here the peaceful board was remaining. This is, indeed, the peasant, who reads no newspapers, nor less extraordinary, when we consider that knows even the name of Buonaparte, is the town had been twice in the possession scared from his quiet abode. Both friend both of the French and the Russians, and and foe seem to have united to make him thus, twice were the streets streaming feel, to its full extent, his woful lot.- with blood. The combatants even followed 'The Russians, who were encamped to the each other into the very houses, From extent of five or six miles about Königs- the bighest to the lowest of the inhabitants berg, had, to make them fires in this cold they were all robbed of every thing they weather, unroofed and broken up the huts possessed, and simple water, with a scanty of all the neighbouring villages. Every pittance of mouidy'biead, was all they now kind of provision was swept away; and had to keep life together. To form an idea what made its loss more mortifying was, of the situation of these miserable beings, that five times as much was wasted as was one must bare seen them; for words are inade proper use of. This naturally enra- not sufficient to describe their excess of ged all the peasants against the Russians, wretchedness. Many died through far, the past.
many from ill treatment, and many were carts, horses, saddles, cloaks, hats, haryet sick from the painful recollection of ness, broken muskets, pistols, and other
arms innumerable, all in confusion, scatOverpowered by such dreadful scenes tered about. Russians, French, and Prus. of calamity, I deemed it even a relief to go sians, here all lay together. It was in truth and contemplate the horrours of the field. a woful sight.” Howsoever mangled I there found many of my fellow-creatures, yet these lifeless We have remarked a few German bodies had at least surmounted their suf. idioms in this epistolary publication. ferings; but the unfortunate inhabitants of The word " apparently” is used with Eylau were yet languishing on towards the more excruciating death of hunger. reference to the future, in the sense
This certainly would have been their dis- of “probably;" and in page 48 the mal lot, as the whole surrounding district author talks of “irritating the feelwas equally bereft of every mean of sus- ings of the whole woman,” a phrase tenance, had they not soon received from
which sounds rather awkwardly to Königsberg the most desirable relief and refreshment, besides clothing, linen, and English ears. The book, however, is every necessary article to repair and make entertaining, and fully satisfies that their dwellings tolerably comfortable. Had degree of expectation which the title I first visited the field of battle, this hide- of a “ Cursory View" is calculated to ous, unusual sight, which I hope never to
raise. Although without pretensions see again, would have undoubtedly shock
to the character of a finished perfored me more than it now did: for after having my mind so deeply harrowed mance, on the score either of richness
up with the late dreadful scenes, I must reofdescription or profundity ofthought, peat that the sight of the field, frightful as it has a claim to attention, both on it was, with from twelve to fifteen thou- account of the novelty of several of sand slaughtered victims strowed before
the circumstances mentioned in it, me, was yet a relief.-A slight snow had just fallen. My foot slipped, and, in sink
and for the unprejudiced manner in ing, my hand caught a ghastly human which the whole narrative is conface! Ilere were fragments of drums, ducted.
Tales of Fashionable Life. By Miss Edgeworth, Author of “ Practical Education
Belinda-Castle Rackrent,” &c. 12mo. 3 vol. London. 1809. Announced for re. publication by J. Milligan, Georgetown), and by Bradford and Inskeep, Philadelphia.
IF it were possible for reviewers good sense, these cannot, indeed, be to envy the authors who are brought taught; and, with an extraordinary before them for judgment, we rather share of it, they are acquired without think we should be tempted to envy an instructer: but the most common Miss Edgeworth; not, however, so case is, to be capable of learning, and much for her matchless powers of yet to require teaching; and a far probable invention--her never failing greater part of the misery which exgood sense and cheerfulness_norists in society, arises from ignorance, her fine discrimination of characters than either from vice or from incapa-as for the delightful consciousness city, of having done more good than any Miss Edgeworth is the great moother writer, male or female, of her dern mistress in this school of true generation. Other arts and sciences philosophy; and has eclipsed, we have their use, no doubt; and, Heaven think, the fame of all her predeces. knows, they have their reward and sors. By her many excellent tracts on their fame. But the great art is the education, she has conferred a benefit art of living; and the chief science, on the whole mass of the population; the science of being happy. Where and discharged, with exemplary pathere is an absolute deficiency of tience as well as extraordinary judyment, a task which superficial spirits riority, to allow himself to receive, may, perhaps, mistake for a humble from its perusal, any impressions and easy one. By her Popular Tales, which could at all affect his conduct she has rendered an invaluable ser. or opinions. vice to the middling and lower orders But though, for these reasons, we of the people; and by her novels, and continue to think that Miss Edgeby the volumes before us, has made worth's fashionable patients will do a great and meritorious effort to pro- less credit to her prescriptions than mote the happiness and respectability the more numerous classes to whom of the higher classes. On a former they might have been directed, we occasion we believe we hinted to her, admit that her plan of treatment is in that these would probably be the the highest degree judicious, and her least successful of all her labours; conception of the disorder most lumiand that ic was doubtful whether she nous and precise. would be justified for bestowing so There are two great sources of much of her time on the case of a few unhappiness to those whom fortune persons who scarcely deserved to be and nature seem to have placed above cured, and were scarcely capable of the reach of ordinary misery. The being corrected. The foolish and un- one is ennui—that stagnation of life happy part of the fashionable world, and feeling which results from the for the most part, “is not fit to bear absence of all motives to exertion; itself convinced.” It is too vain, too and by which the justice of Provibusy, and too dissipated, to listen to, dence has so fully compensated the or remember any thing that is said to partiality of fortune, that it may be it. Every thing serious it repels, by fairly doubted whether, upon the “its dear wit and gay rhetorick;" and whole, the race of beggars is not against every thing poignant, it seeks happier than the race of lords; and shelter in the impenetrable armour whether those vulgar wants that are of bold stupidity.
sometimes so importunate, are not, “Laughed at, it laughs again;-and, stric. in this world, the chief ministers of ken hard,
enjoyment. This is a plague that inTurns to the stroke its adamantine scales, fests all indolent persons who can That fear no discipline of human hands.”
live on in the rank in which they A book, on the other hand, and were born, without the necessity of especially a witty and popular book, working. But, in a free country, it is still a thing of consequence to rarely occurs in any great degree of such of the middling classes of so- virulence, except among those who ciety as are in the habit of reading. are already at the summit of human They dispute about it, and think of felicity. Below this there is room for it; and as they occasionally make ambition, and envy, and emulation, themselves ridiculous by copying the and all the feverish movements of manners it displays, so they are apt aspiring vanity and unresting selfishto be impressed with the great les- ness, which act as prophylacticks spns it may be calculated to teach; against this more dark and deadly and, on the whole, receive it into distemper. It is the canker which considerable authority among the re- corrodes the full-blown flower of hugulators of their lives and opinions. man felicity-the pestilence which But a fashionable person has scarcely smites at the bright hour of noon. any leisure to read, and none to think The other curse of the happy, has of what he has been reading. It would a range more wide and indiscrimi. be a derogation from his dignity to nate. It, too, tortures only the rich speak of a book in any terms but and fortunate; but is most active those of frivolous derision; and a among the least distinguished; and strange desertion of his own supe. abates in malignity as we ascend to
the lofty regions of pure ennui. This the best dispositions and capacities, is the desire of being fashionable and the most powerful inducements the restless and insatiable passion to to action, the hero of ennui makes no. pass for creatures more distinguished advances towards amendment till he than we really are with the mortifi- is deprived of his title and estate; and cation of frequent failure, and the the victim of fashion is left, at the end humiliating consciousness of being of the tale, pursuing her weary career perpetually exposed to it. Among with fading hopes and wasted spirits, Those who are secure of “meat, but with increased anxiety and perseclothes and fire," and are thus above verance. The moral use of these narthe chief physical evils of existence, ratives, therefore, must consist in we do believe that this is a more proli. warning us against the first approachfick source of unhappiness, than guilt, es of evils which can never afterwards disease, or affoction; and that more be resisted. positive misery is created, and more These are the great twin scourges true enjoyment excluded, by the of the prosperous; but there are eternal fretting and straining of this other maladies, of no despicable ma. pitiful ambition, than by all the rava. lignity, to which they are peculiarly ges of passion, the desolations of war, liable. One of these, arising mainly or the accidents of mortality. The from want of more worthy occupawretchedness which it produces may tion, is that perpetual use of stratagem not be so intense; but it is of much and contrivance-lhat little, artful longer duration, and spreads over a diplomacy of private life, by which far wider circle. It is quite dreadful, the simplest and most natural transindeed, to think what a sweep this actions are rendered complicated pest has taken among the comforts of and difficult, and the common busi. our prosperous population. To be ness of existence made to depend on thought fashionable—that is, to be the success of plots and counterplots. thought more opulent and tasteful, By the incessant practice of this petty and on a footing of intimacy with a policy, a habit of duplicity and anxgreater number of distinguished per- iety is infallibly generated, which is sons than they really are, is the great equally fatal to integrity and enjoyand laborious pursuit of four families ment. We gradually come to look on out of five, the members of which are others with the distrust which we are exempted from the necessity of daily conscious of deserving; and are inindustry. In this pursuit, their time, sensibly formed to sentiments of the spirits and talents, are wasted; their most unamiable selfishness and sustempers soured; their affections pal- picion. It is needless to say, that all sied; and their natural manners and these elaborate edifices are worse dispositions altogether sophisticated than useless to the person who emand lost.
ploys them; and that the ingenious These are the giant curses of fa- plotter is almost always battled and shionable life; and Miss Edgeworth exposed by the downright honesty of has accordingly dedicated her two best some undesigning competitor. Miss tales to the delineation of their symp- Edgeworth, in her tale of “ Maneuvtoms. The history of “Lord Glen- ring,” has given a very complete and thorn” is a fine picture of ennui--that most entertaining representation of of “ Almeria” an instructive repre- “the by-ways and indirect, crooked sentation of the miseries of fashion. paths” by which these artful and inWe do not know whether it was a efficient people generally make their part of the fair writer's design to re- way to disappointment. In the tale, present these maladies as absolutely entitled “ Madame de Fleury,” she incurable, without a change of con- has given some useful examples of dition; but the fact is, that in spite of the ways in which the rich may mosi