Imatges de pàgina
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ERRATA.

Page 34, lines 8 and 9, for he and his read she and her.

156, 11, for entiment read sentiment.
175, 8, the word that should be the first in this line,

and erased from the next.
213, 3, for is read was.
214, 11, for as read like.
226, 19; for plains read planes.

14, after the word body, insert isa
256, 19, for 5°, read 135o.

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THE

EDITOR'S PREFACE.

If the reputation of M. de Chateaubriand, already established by works of the greatest merit, has received a considerable addition from the Essay on Ancient and Modern Revolutions, which we have just published, his Recollections of Italy, England and America, with the excellent Essays on Literature and Morals that accompany them, will certainly add to it.

Throughout this collection will be found those energetic ideas, that fine imagination, that picturesque colouring, those ingenious comparisons and original turns of expression which impart a peculiar charm to M. de Chateaubriand's writings. No Author of the present day has, like him, attained the art of connecting literature with morals, by a style abounding in imagery and rich in sentiments. This happy talent is displayed in every page, and there are even passages, in which it is still more manifest than in his greater works.

Several of the detached Essays appeared in the Mercure de France, between the years 1800 and 1807. The Author at this time finished his Beauties of Christianity, and trusted that he had thereby erected a monument to the religion of his forefathers. It must be acknowledged that, in several parts of this work, he displays a soul fully impressed with the perfections of Christianity. His travels to Palestine, procured us the poem of The Martyrs, and the Itinerary of that country. After his return, M. de Chateaubriand would perhaps have determined to resume his labours in the Mercure, had he not found the spirit of that journal entirely altered, and had he not been disgusted by the despotism of the French ruler, who wished not only to command the writings, but even the conversation and very thoughts of his subjects; particularly of those who were distinguished authors. It is true that M. de Chateaubriand had himself praised the despot; but this was at a period when it was still excusable to be mistaken as to the real character of Buona-, parte. None of the enlightened men had penetration enough to prophecy that the general of the expedition to Egypt would be the future opponent to the rights of humanity, and M. de Chateaubriand has the further excuse, that when the Statesmen and Writers of France began to rival each other in meanness, and prostrate themselves at the foot of the throne, the Author of the Beauties of Christianity ceased to worship the unworthy idol of transient glory, recovered by degrees, and silently resumed

the noble attitude which belonged to him. It was now the despot's turn to humble himself before the greatest writer of his Empire, and he adopted measures to draw M. de Chateaubriand into the circle of his slaves, but in vain. All his power was ineffectual, when exerted to shake the firm and noble soul of a simple individual, who was no longer to be imposed upon by fictitious grandeur. He was induced, however, by dint of persuasion, to become a member of the first literary body in France. It was necessary that he should make a public oration upon this occasion, and it was then that he prepared the eulogium on liberty, which will be found in the present publication. His intrepidity astonished the Institute and Government. He was forbidden to deliver his oration, but he was no longer importuned for his support, which could palpably never be obtained afterwards. From this period his heart, afflicted by the misfortunes

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