E. A. Welty.

The North American review (Volume 18) online

. (page 1 of 48)
Online LibraryE. A. WeltyThe North American review (Volume 18) → online text (page 1 of 48)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

From the collection of the

f d


o Prelinger


San Francisco, California
















Press of the North American Review.



ART. I. Memoirs of the Queen of France.

Memoires sur la Vie privee de Marie Antoinette, Reine
de France et de Navarre ; suivis de Souvenirs et Anec
dotes historiques sur les Regnes de Louis XIV, de
Louis XV, et de Louis XVI ; par Madame Campan,
Lectrice des Mesdames et premiere Femme de Chambre
de la Reine. 1

ART. II. New Hampshire Historical Collections.

Collections, Topographical, Historical, and Biographical,

relating principally to New Hampshire. 33

ART. III. Colonization Society.

The Sixth Annual Report of the American Society for Colo
nizing the Free People of Color of the United States ;
with an Appendix. 40

ART. IV. Confessions of an Opium-Eater.

Confessions of an English Opium-Eater. 90

ART. V. Buttmann's Greek Grammar.

Greek Grammar, translated from the German of Philip
Buttmann, by Edward Everett, Eliot Professor of Greek
Literature in Harvard University. 99

ART. VI. Life of Ali Pacha.

All Hissas di Tepeleni, Bassa di Jannina ; Prospetto sto-

rico e politico del Sig. Malte-Brun. 106

ART. VII. Cochin China.

History of a Voyage to the China Sea. By John White,

Lieutenant in the United States Navy. 140

ART. VIII. Mr IngersolPs Discourse.

A Discourse concerning the Influence of America on the
Mind, being the Annual Oration delivered before the
American Philosophical Society, at the University in
Philadelphia, October 18, 1823. By C. J. Ingersoll. 157


ART. IX. Griscom's Tour in Eur $.

A Year in Europe, comprising a Journal of Observations
in England, Scotland, Ireland, France, Switzerland, the
North of Italy, and Holland in 1 8 1 8 and 1 8 1 9. By John
Griscom. Professor of Chemistry and Natural Philo
sophy in the New York Institution; Member of the
Literary and Philosophical Society of New York, &c. 178

ART. X. Essays on Scenes in Italy.

Essays Descriptive and Moral on Scenes in Italy, Switzer
land, and France. By An American. 192

ART. XI. Practice in Civil Actions.

A Treatise on the Practice in the Supreme Court of New
York in Civil Actions, together with the Proceedings in
Error. 204

List of New Publications. 213







Remarks during a Journey through North America in

the Years 1819, 1820, and 1821, in a Series of Letters.

By Adam Hodgson, Esq. of Liverpool.


Histoire comparee des Sytemes de Philosophie, con-
sideres relativement aux Principes des Connaissances
humaines. Par M. De Gerando, Membre de 1' Institut
de France.


An Abstract of a New Theory of the Formation of
the Earth. By Ira Hill, A. M.


The Greek Reader, by Frederick Jacobs, Professor of
the Gymnasium at Gotha, and Editor of the Antholo-
gia ; adapted to the Translation of Buttmann's Greek

Third Annual Report of the Superintendent of Com-
mon Schools in the State of New York. Submitted to
the Assembly at Albany, Jan. 8, 1824.


Journal of a Residence in Chili. By a Young Ameri
can, detained in that Country during the Revolutionary
Scenes of 1817, 1818, 1819.

The Pilot, a Tale of the Sea. By the Author of the
Pioneers, &c.

1. Journal of the Rev. Samuel Marsden, during his
Second Visit to New Zealand, from July to October,
1819. Contained in the Proceedings of the Church
Missionary Society, London, for the Years 1821, 1822.


2. Journal of a Ten Months' Residence in New Zea
land. By Richard A. Cruise, Esq. Captain in the 84th
Regiment of Foot.


The Miscellaneous Poems of William Wordsworth.

1. Reports of Cases argued and determined in the
Supreme Court of the United States, February Term,
1823. By Henry Wheaton, Counsellor at Law. Vol.

2. Reports of Cases argued and determined in the
Supreme Court of Judicature; and in the Court for the
Trial of Impeachments and the Correction of Errors in
the State of New York. By William Johnson, Coun
sellor at Law. Vol. XX.

3. Reports of Cases argued and determined in the
Supreme Judicial Court of the Commonwealth of Mas
sachusetts. Vol. XVII. By Dudley Atkins Tyng,
Esq. Counsellor at Law.


1. A new American Atlas, containing Maps of the
several States of the North American Union. By Hen
ry S. Tanner.

2. A General Atlas, containing distinct Maps of all
the known Countries in the World ; constructed from the
latest Authorities. Published by Fielding Lucas, Jun.


Reflections on the Politics of Ancient Greece, trans
lated from the German of Arnold H. L. Heeren. By
George Bancroft.


1. Moore's Annals of the Town of Concord.

2. President Humphrey's Address.

3. Notes on the Epistle to the Romans.

4. Bigelow's Address before the Peace Society.

5. Tillett's Key.

6. Address for the Benefit of the Greeks.

7. Undine.

8. Letter on the Tariff.

9. Plan of the City of Baltimore.

10. Memorials of Columbus.

11. Chancellor Kent's Lecture.

12. Westminster Review.

INDEX . . . 443



II' - PffRUT; [Jf^Ai; f,


JANUARY, 1824.

ART. I. Memoires sur la Vie privee de Marie Antoinette^
Heine de France et de Navarre ; suivis de Souvenirs et
Anecdotes historiques sur les Regnes de Louis ~KIV , de
Louis .XF, et de Louis XJ^I; par Madame Campan,
Lectrice des Mesdames et premiere Femme de Chambre de
la Reine. 3 vols. 8vo. Paris, 1S22.

THIS work was intended, in part, as a defence of the cha
racter of the late unfortunate queen of France against the
calumnies that were circulated respecting her at the opening of
the French revolution. Madame Campan apprehended, that
the libellous pamphlets of that time had made a lasting im
pression upon public opinion in and out of France. On this
head we are inclined to think that her fears were greatly
exaggerated. Whatever may have been the weaknesses or
the faults of the royal family in their days of prosperity
the atrocities perpetrated upon them by the revolutionary
cannibals, and the heroic virtues, which they displayed in
their hour of trial, very justly and naturally excited a strong
feeling in their favor. If there is now any error in the
general estimate of their characters, it is not probably on the
adverse side. This is more particularly true of the queen,
who exhibited throughout higher qualities than the king ;
and, as an elegant and accomplished female, excited a
deeper sentiment of interest and pity.

New Series, No. 17, 1

2 Memoirs of the Queen of France. [Jan.

Since the return of the family, she has been all but can-
nonized in France. In England a single passage from the
eloquent pen of Burke had conferred upon her, long before,
a sort of rhetorical apotheosis. We shall have occasion to
remark hereafter how singularly her situation, at the time
when she was seen by this great orator, contrasted with the
description which he has given of it. Under these circum
stances a formal defence cf the queen is not only unnecessa
ry, but might be expected to operate rather injuriously than
otherwise, since any detailed account of her life, however
partially colored, has the effect of bringing down to the
touchstone of real fact the poetical image, which remains
upon the mind after the contemplation of her unparelleled
misfortunes, and of die magnanimity with which she support
ed them. Nevertheless, Madame Campan has executed
her task with so much good taste and skill, that the effect
of her work will probably be very favorable to the queen's
reputation. She judiciously avoids entering into a direct
refutation of any of the calumnies upon her illustrious patro
ness, which are now all forgotten ; and contents herself with
giving a simple narrative of the queen's life, from the time
of her arrival at Paris, up to the terrible tenth of August,
when the author was compelled to leave her. The situation
of Madame Campan, as the confidential attendant of Marie
Antoinette, gave her the best opportunity of collecting mate
rials for a work of this kind ; and although she has exercised
a proper discretion in drawing up her story, it contains much
interesting matter, and many important historical facts before
wholly unknown.

Madame Campan \vas the daughter of Mr Genet, for a
long time principal under secretary in the department of
foreign affairs ; and sister to the well known citizen Genet,
formerly minister plenipotentiary from the French Republic
in this country. We shall extract hereafter a passage, in
which she gives an account of her brother's political life,
previously to his appointment to that post. The father was
a person of great merit and talent, and attended carefully
to the education of his children. Henrietta, the daughter,
seems to have been in her childhood a very lively girl, and
to have possessed a great facility at acquiring knowledge.
At the age of fourteen she was already familiar with Italian

1824.] Memoirs of the Queen of France. 3

and English, and excelled particularly in the art of recitation
and reading. These qualities, the effect of which was
heightened by an uncommon share of grace and beauty, at
tracted the attention of the court circle, and at the age of
fifteen Mademoiselle Genet was appointed reader to the king's
sisters. She held this place at the time of the arrival of the
dauphiness, upon whom she made so agreeable an impres
sion, that she was soon after appointed her principal /em we
de chambre. About this time she married Mr Campan,
who was the son of the queen's private secretary. Thus all
her connexions and occupations eminently qualified her for
the task she had undertaken.

After the tenth of August her connexion with the royal
family made her an object of suspicion. She was arrested
and held in confinement until the fall of Robespierre. Re
stored to liberty by this event, but deprived of all her former
means of subsistence, she recollected the inclination, which
it seems she had felt in early life, for the employment of
teaching young ladies, and opened a boarding school at St
Germain. This institution met with great success. Among
her pupils was Hortense de Beauharnais, afterwards queen
of Holland. The Bonaparte family were so well satisfied
with the conduct of Madame Campan, and her general repu-r
tation stood so high, that when the emperor, after the battle
of Austerlitz, erected the school at Ecouen for the education
of the orphan daughters of the members of the legion of
honor, she was appointed the superintend ant. She ac
quitted herself in this new station, as in all her former ones,
with great distinction ; but her promotion proved in the end
to be an injury, rather than an advantage. Upon the return
of the royal family, the government with an almost incon-*
ceivable degree of impolicy, to say nothing of the injus
tice and cruelty of the measure, suppressed the school at^
Ecouen ; and Madame Campan lost her place. It does not
appear, however, that she was now straitened in her circum
stances, and she retired to a pleasant country residence to
pass the close of her life. Here she was soon assailed by
new misfortunes.

She became the object of absurd and infamous calumnies
relating to the management of her school ; and her peace
was still more fatally wounded by the death of her only son,

4 Memoirs of the Qween of France. [Jan.

of several of her nearest connexions, and finally by the sad
catastrophe of Marshal Ney, whose wife was her neice. Her
health sunk under this succession of disasters, and she died
in March 1822. She had bestowed great care upon the
work now before us, which she intended not only as a defence
of the queen, but as a vindication of her own character
against the suspicions, which had been entertained, or affected,
of her fidelity to her royal mistress. The Memoirs were
published immediately after the author's death, and passed
very rapidly through several editions. They are admitted to
be by far the most interesting book upon the life of the
queen, that has yet appeared ; and it has also been univer
sally acknowledged, that the writer's justification of her own
character is complete and unanswerable. Madame Campan
left several other works in manuscript. One of them on the
subject of the education of females is said to be preparing for
the press.

Having given this brief notice of the life of Madame Cam-
pan, which we have thought due to the memory of a woman
of uncommon talent and virtue, we now come to our more
immediate subject ; and passing over the account given in
the first chapter of the domestic habits of Louis XV, and his
sisters, we shall begin our notice of the work at the epoch of
the arrival of Marie Antoinette, then only fifteen years of age,
at the court of France.

The marriage of Louis XVI with the Archduchess Marie
Antoinette, was a measure intended to consolidate the alli
ance contracted between the courts of France and Austria in
the year 1755. This alliance was regarded at the time, as
the most remarkable political event, which had occurred in
Europe for many years ; and it did in fact change entirely
the system of mutual relations, which had been established at
the peace of Westphalia, and had existed ever since. The
constant aim of the Austrian government had always been to
extend its influence over the smaller German states, which
lie between its territory and France ; and it was regarded as
the peculiar office of France to resist this effort at aggrandize
ment, and to appear as the protector of its feeble neighbors.
England, the natural enemy of France, entered into this sys
tem as the ally of Austria ; and Prussia, after she obtained
her importance, being more in danger than any other power

1824.] Memoirs of the Queen of France. 5

from the encroachments of Austria, was drawn by her posi
tion into close connexion with France. Such were the
general features of the system of policy, that prevailed in
Europe for a long time after the close of the thirty years' war.

But about the middle of the last century, the Austrian
government, under the direction of Prince Kaunitz, one of
the ablest statesmen that ever appeared in Europe, who was
also well supported by the high minded and enlightened sove
reign then upon the throne, alarmed at the rapid progress of
Prussia in power and greatness, and still bent upon the pro
ject of aggrandizement in Germany, conceived the plan of
neutralizing the opposition of France, by forming an alliance
with that power, to be cemented by the marriage of an Au
strian archduchess with a French prince. It is understood,
that this idea was first suggested by Kaunitz to the French
ambassador at Aix la Chapelle, during the negotiations which
ended in the treaty of 1748. Kaunitz appeared soon after
in person as the Austrian ambassador at the court of France ;
and well knowing what sort of influence if was then necessary
to employ, in order to carry a point with the French govern
ment, addressed himself at once to the reigning mistress
Madame de Pompadour. Having succeeded in obtaining
her consent, he found no great difficulty with the king, who
had however personally very little inclination for the mea
sure, and the next year the treaty was concluded. By this
manoeuvre the Austrian cabinet were not only left at liberty
to pursue, without interruption from France, the plan which
they were then meditating in concert with Russia of an
attack upon the great Frederic, but actually obtained the
assistance of France in carrying this project into effect, and
the French armies cooperated with Austria through the whole
seven years' war, after the feeble and inefficient manner in
which all the operations of the government were then con

Marie Antoinette was born the same year in which this
new political system was agreed upon between the two courts,
and was destined from her birth to consolidate .it by an alli
ance with the dauphin. Her education was directed with a
view to this object, and the choice of her instructers was left
to the French government, who appointed and sent them to
Vienna, It happened, however, by rather a singular coinci-

Memoirs of the Queen of France. [Jan.

dence of circumstances, that the party which favored this
alliance, after predominating at court for about fifteen years,
lost its influence a very few months after the marriage was
effected. The system had never been much relished by the
more intelligent and patriotic statesmen of France. It was
regarded as an abandonment of the true national policy, and
a mean desertion of the minor German powers, which France
was expressly bound to protect by the treaty of Westphalia,
as well as by a regard for her own obvious interest.

Cardinal de Richelieu, it was said, at the very moment
when he was crushing the Huguenots in France by force of
arms, and hunting them out of the country like wild beasts,
made no scruple to sacrifice his religious prejudices, and ap
pear in Germany as the ally and protector of the protestant
party; and shall France at this time of day, without the
appearance of any political inducement, give up their party
to be devoured by Austria, merely because Prince Kaunitz
has had the address to gain over the king's mistress ? Such
sentiments as these were circulated in private, and gradually
made an impresssion upon the public opinion. They also
found their way freely to the king's ear. The secret cabinet,
which he employed as a check upon his ministers, were de
cidedly anti- Austrian. The celebrated treatise of Favier on
the general policy of Europe, which was drawn up at the time
as a private report to the king, from this back-stair junto, is
little else from beginning to end, than a long invective against
the Austrian alliance. The dauphin, father of Louis XVI,
was also a decided adherent of this party ; and it thus hap
pened, that this prince, who always expressed and felt a very
high respect for his father's opinions, was early imbued with a
strong sentiment of disinclination to the country, and probably
the person, of his future spouse.

This circumstance, no doubt, had a considerable effect upon
his conduct in the early period of his marriage. Meanwhile
the credit of the Austrian system was maintained at court
against all opposition, by the talents and high character of the
Duke de Choiseul, minister of foreign affairs, a statesman of
very distinguished ability. The Duke d'Aiguillon, the osten
sible leader of the opposition, and a member of the Richelieu
family, had inherited the political opinions of his great uncle
the cardinal, without his talents, and could not contend or*

1824.] Memoirs of the Queen of France. 7

equal terms with his more potent antagonist, though engaged
perhaps in reality in a better cause. Under these circum
stances it is a matter of doubt, which party might have finally
carried the day, had not the scale been turned in favor of
the anti-Austrians by the skilful employment they were able
to make of a fortunate accident. The post of mistress be
came vacant by the death of Madame de Pompadour, who,
as we have stated, was the real founder of the Austrian alli
ance ; and the continuance of the system after her death
evidently depended, in a great degree, upon the disposition of
her successor.

The anti-Austrians had the good luck, and the address, to
supply the king with a suitable candidate for this important
station, in the person of the well known Madame du
Barry ; and by means of her influence they soon effected a
change of ministry. The Duke de Choiseul was removed,
and the Duke d'Aiguillon appointed his successor. From
this time the union between the courts of France and Austria
was considered as dissolved, although there was no open
rupture. The devout and high minded Maria Theresa,
though she had condescended to write to Madame de Pompa
dour with her own hand, and with the affectionate address of
ma cousine, made no secret of her contempt for the new mis
tress, and thus contributed to widen the breach. This change
in the state of affairs occurred, only six months after the mar
riage of Louis and Marie Antoinette had been solemnized by
proxy at Vienna, and before the arrival of the bride in France.
Thus upon her first entrance into her new country, this
unfortunate princess found herself, as it were, upon hostile
ground ; the dominant party at court, with the mistress at the
head of it, her avowed enemies ; her friends in disgrace ; and
her husband strongly prejudiced in secret against the alliance.

There is much reason to suspect, that it was intended at
this time by the court party to effect a divorce, and to send
the archduchess back. Such a proceeding was so far from
being without example, that a similar one actually occurred
in France at the commencement of the same reign, when the
Regent Duke of Orleans sent home a Spanish princess after
she had been married by proxy to Louis XV, then an infant,
and had actually arrived in the country. The extraordinary
indifference of Louis to his wife's person, which lasted for

$ Memoirs of the Queen of France.

seven years, and which seems too singular to be accounted
for by mere coldness of constitutional temperament, serves to
confirm this opinion. The dauphiness herself, as we are
told by Madame Campan, was satisfied of it ; and attributed
the conduct of Louis to the advice of his anti- Austrian con
nexions. However this may be, it is certain that the position
of Marie Antoinette at court, during the whole period when
she bore the title of dauphiness, was in many respects em
barrassing and irksome. Her heart was bursting in secret
with the agony of wounded pride, and neglected beauty, at
the very time when she appeared to the dazzled optics of
Mr Burke at Versailles, like a bright seraphic vision, ' cheer
ing and decorating the elevated sphere she was destined to
move in glittering like the morning star full of life, and
splendor, and joy.'

Our learned brethren of the London Quarterly, in their
review of the work before us, asserted, that the aversion shown
to Marie Antoinette by a part of the court, soon after her
arrival, had no connexion with anti-Austrian politics, but was
merely the effect of the personal pique felt by the Duke
d'Aiguillon, and Madame du Barry, at the neglect with
which they were treated by the dauphiness and her mother,
and of the machinations of the revolutionary party headed by
the Duke of Orleans. These assertions are quite inconsistent
with the known history of the period of which we have given
a sketch above. The existence at that time of the Austrian
and anti-Austrian party is as much a matter of notoriety, as
that of the Ultras and Liberaux at present ; and the personal
aversion shewn by the Empress Maria Theresa, and her
daughter, to the Duke d'Aiguillon and Madame du Barry, was
obviously the effect, and not the cause, of their political
opinions. The empress had no aversion to mistresses in the
abstract, or at least none that she could not conquer, when
her interest required it, as we have seen from her correspon
dence with Madame de Pompadour ; and it would be hard
to find any reason, independent of political connexions, why
she should have treated with neglect the families of Richelieu,
Rohan, and others, which stood quite at the head of the old
French nobility. Nor is it at all more correct to attribute
the unpleasant position, in which the dauphiness found her
self at court, to the machinations of the revolutionary party,

1824.] Memoirs of the Queen of France.

The philosophers, or free thinkers, the only party then exist*
ing, which can be identified in any degree with the subsequent
revolutionary one, were openly patronised by the Duke de
Choiseul, the leader of the Austrian party, who was a free
thinker himself; and, as fav as they took any share in the
politics of the day, were friendly and not hostile to the dau-

The narrative of Madame Campan enters but little into the

Online LibraryE. A. WeltyThe North American review (Volume 18) → online text (page 1 of 48)