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the chief objects of the new Minister. I of the year, presented to the forces of The policy then followed inspired Fre- Maria Theresa a front as forinidable as deric with an unjust, but deep and before the great reverses of 1759. bitter aversion to the English name, Before the end of the campaign, his and produced effects which are still friend, the Emperor Peter, having, by felt throughout the civilised world. To a series of absurd insults to the instituthat policy it was owing that, some tions, manners, and feelings of his peoyears later, England could not find on ple, united them in hostility to his the whole Continent a single ally to person and government, was deposed stand by her, in her extreme need, and murdered. The Empress, who, against the House of Bourbon. To under the title of Catherine the Second, that policy it was owing that Frederic, now assumed the supreme power, was, alienated from England, was compelled at the commencement of her administo connect himself closely, during his tration, by no means partial to Frederic, later years, with Russia, and was in- and refused to permit her troops to duced to assist in that great crime, the remain under his command. But she fruitful parent of other great crimes, observed the peace made by her husthe first partition of Poland.
band; and Prussia was no longer Scarcely had the retreat of Mr. Pitt threatened by danger from the East. deprived Prussia of her only friend, England and France at the same when the death of Elizabeth produced time paired off together. They conan entire revolution in the politics of cluded a treaty, by which they bound the North, The Grand Duke Peter, themselves to observe neutrality with her nephew, who now ascended the respect to the German war Thus the Russian throne, was not merely free coalitions on both sides were dissolved ; from the prejudices which his aunt had and the original enemies, Austria and entertained against Frederic, but was a Prussia, remained alone confronting worshipper, a servile imitator of the each other. great King. The days of the new Czar's Austria had undoubtedly far greater government were few and evil, but suf- means than Prussia, and was less exficient to produce a change in the whole hausted by hostilities ; yet it seemed state of Christendom. He set the Prus- hardly possible that Austria could effect sian prisoners at liberty, fitted them out alone what she had in vain attempted decently, and sent them back to their to effect when supported by France on master ; he withdrew his troops from the one side, and by Russia on the the provinces which Elizabeth had other. Danger also began to menace decided on incorporating with her the Imperial house from another quardominions; and he absolved all those ter. The Ottoman Porte held threatenPrussian subjects, who had been com- ing language, and a hundred thousand pelled to swear fealty to Russia, from Turks were mustered on the frontiers their engagements.
of Hungary. The proud and revengeNot content with concluding peace ful spirit of the Empress Queen at length on terms favourable to Prussia, he gave way; and, in February 1763, the solicited rank in the Prussian service, peace of Hubertsburg put an end to the dressed himself in a Prussian uniform, conflict which had, during seven years, wore the Black Eagle of Prussia on his devastated Germany. The King ceded breast, made preparations for visiting nothing. The whole Continent in arms Prussia, in order to have an interview had proved unable to tear Silesia from with the object of his idolatry, and ac- that iron grasp. tually sent fifteen thousand excellent The war was over. Frederic was troops to reinforce the shattered army safe. His glory was beyond the reach of Frederic. Thus strengthened, the of envy. If he had not made conquests King speedily repaired the losses of the as vast as those of Alexander, of Cæsar, preceding year, reconquered Silesia, and of Napoleon, if he had not, on fields defeated Daun at Buckersdorf, invested of battle, enjoyed the constant success and retook Schweidnitz, and, at the close of Marlborough and Wellington, he had yet given an example unrivalled of silent villages, in which not a single in history of what capacity and resolu- inhabitant remained. The currency tion can effect against the greatest had been debased ; the authority of superiority of power and the utmost laws and magistrates had been susspite of fortune. He entered Berlin in pended; the whole social system was triumph, after an absence of more than deranged. For, during that convulsive six years. The streets were brilliantly struggle, every thing that was not mililighted up; and, as he passed along in tary violence was anarchy. Even the an open carriage, with Ferdinand of army was disorganized. Some great Brunswick at his side, the multitude generals, and a crowd of excellent offisaluted him with loud praises and bless-cers, had fallen, and it had been imings. He was moved by those marks of possible to supply their place. The attachment, and repeatedly exclaimed difficulty of finding recruits had, to“Long live my dear people ! Long wards the close of the war, been so live my children !” Yet, even in the great, that selection and rejection were midst of that gay spectacle, he could impossible. Whole battalions were not but perceive every where the traces composed of deserters or of prisoners. of destruction and decay. The city It was hardly to be hoped that thirty had been more than once plundered. years of repose and industry would The population had considerably dimi- repair the ruin produced by seven years nished. Berlin, however, had suffered of havoc. One consolatory circumlittle when compared with most parts stance, indeed, there was. No debt of the kingdom. The ruin of private had been incurred. The burdens of fortunes, the distress of all ranks, was the war had been terrible, almost insuch as might appal the firmest mind. supportable ; but no arrear was left to Almost every province had been the embarrass the finances in time of peace. seat of war, and of war conducted with Here, for the present, we must pause. merciless ferocity. Clouds of Croatians We have accompanied Frederic to the had descended on Silesia. Tens of close of his career as a warrior. Posthousands of Cossacks had been let sibly, when these Memoirs are comloose on Pomerania and Brandenburg. pleted, we may resume the consideration The mere contributions levied by the of his character, and give some account invaders amounted, it was said, to more of his domestic and foreign policy, and than a hundred millions of dollars; and of his private habits, during the many the value of what they extorted was years of tranquillity which followed probably much less than the value of the Seven Years' War, what they destroyed. The fields lay uncultivated. The very seed-corn had been devoured in the madness of hun
MADAME D'ARBLAY. ger. Famine, and contagious maladies produced by famine, had swept away
(JANUARY, 1843.) the herds and flocks; and there was Diary and Letters of Madame D'Arblay. reason to fear that a great pestilence Five vols. 8vo. London : 1842. among the human race was likely to THOUGH the world saw and heard little follow in the train of that tremendous of Madame D'Arblay during the last war. Near fifteen thousand houses had forty years of her life, and though that been burned to the gronnd. The popu- little did not add to her fame, there lation of the kingdom had in seven were thousands, we believe, who felt a years decreased to the frightful extent singular emotion when they learned of ten per cent. A sixth of the males that she was no longer among us. The capable of bearing arms had actually news of her death carried the minds of perished on the field of battle. In men back at one leap over two genesome districts, no labourers, except rations, to the time when her first litewomen, were seen in the fields at rary triumphs were won. All those harvest-time. In others, the traveller whom we had been accustomed to repassed shuddering through a succession vere as intellectual patriarchs seemed
children when compared with her ; for! Having always felt a warm and sinBurke had sate up all night to read cere, though not a blind admiration for her writings, and Johnson had pro- her talents, we rejoiced to learn that nounced her superior to Fielding, when her Diary was about to be made public. Rogers was still a schoolboy, and Our hopes, it is true, were not unSouthey still in petticoats. Yet more mixed with fears. We could not forstrange did it seem that we should just get the fate of the Memoirs of Dr. have lost one whose name had been Burney, which were published ten widely celebrated before any body had years ago. That unfortunate book conheard of some illustrious men who, tained much that was curious and intwenty, thirty, or forty years ago, were, teresting. Yet it was received with a after a long and splendid career, borne cry of disgust, and was speedily conwith honour to the grave. Yet so it signed to oblivion. The truth is, that was. Frances Burney was at the it deserved its doom. It was written height of fame and popularity before in Madame D'Arblay's later style, the Cowper had published his first volume, worst style that has ever been known before Porson had gone up to college, among men. No genius, no informabefore Pitt had taken his seat in the tion, could save from proscription a House of Commons, before the voice of book so written. We, therefore, opened Erskine had been once heard in West- the Diary with no small anxiety, tremminster Hall. Since the appearance of bling lest we should light upon some her first work, sixty-two years had of that peculiar rhetoric which deforms passed; and this interval had been almost every page of the Memoirs, and crowded, not only with political, but which it is impossible to read without also with intellectual revolutions. a sensation made up of mirth, shame, Thousands of reputations had, during and loathing. We soon, however, disthat period, sprung up, bloomed, covered to our great delight that this withered, and disappeared. New kinds Diary was kept before Madame D'Arof composition had come into fashion, blay became eloquent. It is, for the had gone out of fashion, had been most part, written in her earliest and derided, had been forgotten. The best manner, in true woman's English, fooleries of Della Crusca, and the fool. clear, natural, and lively. The two eries of Kotzebue, had for a time be- works are lying side by side before us; witched the multitude, but had left no and we never turn from the Memoirs trace behind them ; nor had misdi- to the Diary without a sense of relief. rected genius been able to save from The difference is as great as the difdecay the once flourishing schools of ference between the atmosphere of a Godwin, of Darwin, and of Radcliffe. perfumer's shop, fetid with lavender Many books, written for temporary water and jasmine soap, and the air of effect, had run through six or seven a heath on a fine morning in May. editions, and had then been gathered to Both works ought to be consulted by the novels of Afra Behn, and the epic every person who wishes to be well poems of Sir Richard Blackmore. Yet acquainted with the history of our litethe early works of Madame D'Arblay, rature and our manners. But to read in spite of the lapse of years, in spite the Diary is a pleasure ; to read the of the change of manners, in spite of Memoirs will always be a task. the popularity deservedly obtained by We may, perhaps, afford some harmsome of her rivals, continued to hold less amusement to our readers, if we a high place in the public esteem. She attempt, with the help of these two lived to be a classic. Time set on her books, to give them an account of the fame, before she went hence, that seal most important years of Madame D'Arwhich is seldom set except on the fame blay's life. of the departed. Like Sir Condy Rack-! She was descended from a family rent in the tale, she survived her own which bore the name of Macburney, wake, and overheard the judgment of and which, though probably of Irish posterity.
origin, had been long settled in Shropshire, and was possessed of consider-childhood indicated that she would, able estates in that county. Unhappily, while still a young woman, have secured many years before her birth, the Mac- for herself an honourable and permaburneys began, as if of set purpose nent place among English writers. She and in a spirit of determined rivalry, was shy and silent. Her brothers and to expose and ruin themselves. The sisters called her a dunce, and not heir apparent, Mr. James Macburney, without some show of reason ; for at offended his father by making a run- eight years old she did not know her away match with an actress from Good- letters. man's Fields. The old gentleman could. In 1760, Mr. Burney quitted Lynn devise no more judicious mode of wreak- for London, and took a house in Poing vengeance on his undutiful boy than land Street ; a situation which had by marrying the cook. The cook gave been fashionable in the reign of Queen birth to a son named Joseph, who suc- Anne, but which, since that time, had ceeded to all the lands of the family, been deserted by most of its wealthy while James was cut off with a shilling. and noble inhabitants. He afterwards The favourite son, however, was so resided in Saint Martin's Street, on the extravagant, that he soon became as south side of Leicester Square. His poor as his disinherited brother. Both house there is still well known, and will were forced to earn their bread by their continue to be well known as long as labour. Joseph turned dancing master, our island retains any trace of civilizaand settled in Norfolk. James struck tion; for it was the dwelling of Newton, off the Mac from the beginning of his and the square turret which distinname, and set up as a portrait painter guishes it from all the surrounding at Chester. Here he had a son named buildings was Newton's observatory. Charles, well known as the author of Mr. Burney at once obtained as many the History of Music, and as the father pupils of the most respectable descripof two remarkable children, of a son tion as he had time to attend, and was distinguished by learning, and of a thus enabled to support his family, daughter still more honourably distin- modestly indeed, and frugally, but in guished by genius.
comfort and independence. His proCharles early showed a taste for that iessional merit obtained for him the art, of which, at a later period, he be- degree of Doctor of Music from the came the historian. He was appren- University of Oxford ; and his works ticed to a celebrated musician in Lon-on subjects connected with his art don, and applied himself to study with gained for him a place, respectable, vigour and success. He soon found a though certainly not eminent, among kind and munificent patron in Fulk men of letters. Greville, a highborn and highbred man, The progress of the mind of Frances who seems to have had in large mea- Burney, from her ninth to her twentysure all the accomplishments and all fifth year, well deserves to be recorded. the follies, all the virtues and all When her education had proceeded the vices, which, a hundred years ago, no further than the hornbook, she lost were considered as making up the cha- her mother, and thenceforward she racter of a fine gentleman. Under educated herself. Her father appears such protection, the young artist had to have been as bad a father as a very every prospect of a brilliant career in honest, affectionate, and sweet temthe capital. But his health failed. It pered man can well be. He loved his became necessary for him to retreat daughter dearly ; but it never seems to from the smoke and river fog of Lon- have occurred to him that a parent has don, to the pure air of the coast. He other duties to perform to children than accepted the place of organist, at Lynn, that of fondling them. It would indeed and settled at that town with a young have been impossible for him to superlady who had recently become his wife. intend their education himself. His
At Lynn, in June, 1752, Frances professional engagements occupied him Burney was born. Nothing in her all day. At seven in the morning he began to attend his pupils, and, when maker who lived in the adjoining house. London was full, was sometimes em- Yet few nobles could assemble in the ployed in teaching till eleven at night. most stately mansions of Grosvenor He was often forced to carry in his Square or Saint James's Square, a pocket a tin box of sandwiches, and a society so various and so brilliant as bottle of wine and water, on which he was sometimes to be found in Dr. dined in a hackney coach, while hurry. Burney's cabin. His mind, though not ing from one scholar to another. Two very powerful or capacious, was restof his daughters he sent to a seminary lessly active ; and, in the intervals of at Paris ; but he imagined that Frances his professional pursuits, he had conwould run some risk of being per- trived to lay up much miscellaneous verted from the Protestant faith if she information. His attainments, the suawere educated in a Catholic country, vity of his temper, and the gentle simand he therefore kept her at home. plicity of his manners, had obtained for No governess, no teacher of any art or him ready admission to the first liteof any language, was provided for her. rary circles. While he was still at But one of her sisters showed her how Lynn, he had won Johnson's heart by to write ; and, before she was fourteen, sounding with honest zeal the praises she began to find pleasure in reading of the English Dictionary. In Lon
It was not, however, by reading that don the two friends met frequently, and her intellect was formed. Indeed, agreed most harmoniously. One tie, when her best novels were produced, indeed, was wanting to their mutual her knowledge of books was very small. attachment. Burney loved his own art When at the height of her fame, she passionately; and Johnson just knew was unacquainted with the most cele- the bell of Saint Clement's church from brated works of Voltaire and Moliere; the organ. They had, however, many and, what seems still more extraordi- topics in common; and on winter nary, had never heard or seen a line of nights their conversations were someChurchill, who, when she was a girl, times prolonged till the fire had gone was the most popular of living poets. out, and the candles had burned away It is particularly deserving of observa- to the wicks. Burney's admiration of tion that she appears to have been by the powers which had produced Rasno means a novel reader. Her father's selas and The Rambler bordered on library was large ; and he had ad-idolatry. Johnson, on the other hand, mitted into it so many books which condescended to growl out that Burrigid moralists generally exclude that ney was an honest fellow, a man whom he felt uneasy, as he afterwards owned, it was impossible not to like. when Johnson began to examine the Garrick, too, was a frequent visiter shelves. But in the whole collection in Poland Street and Saint Martin's there was only a single novel, Field Lane. That wonderful actor loved the ing's Amelia.
society of children, partly from good An education, however, which to most nature, and partly from vanity. The girls would have been useless, but which ecstasies of mirth and terror, which suited Fanny's mind better than elabo- his gestures and play of countenance rate culture, was in constant progress never failed to produce in a nursery, during her passage from childhood to flattered him quite as much as the apwomanhood. The great book of hu- plause of mature critics. He often man nature was turned over before exhibited all his powers of mimicry for her. Her father's social position was the amusement of the little Burneys, very peculiar. He belonged in fortune awed them by shuddering and crouchand station to the middle class. His ing as if he saw a ghost, scared them daughters seemed to have been suf- by raving like a maniac in Saint Luke's, fered to mix freely with those whom and then at once became an auctioneer, butlers and waiting maids call vulgar. a chimneysweeper, or an old woman, We are told that they were in the habit and made them laugh till the tears ran of playing with the children of a wig-| down their cheeks.