INTERNATIONAL WEEKLY MISCELLANY
Of Literature, Art, and Science.
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Vol. I. NEW YORK, JULY 15, 1850. No. 3.
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GEORGE SAND, IN THE MEMOIRS OF CHATEAUBRIAND.
George Sand is about to publish a book called "Memoirs of my Life," which is looked for with great expectations by both the admirers of her genius and the lovers of scandalous gossip. It is certain that if she makes a clean breast of her adventures and experiences, the world will have reason both for admiration and disgust over the confessions: admiration for the generosity of her character—for she never did a mean thing, and probably never had a mean thought—disgust at the recklessness with which she has cast off the delicacy and modesty of woman, and undermined the morality on which the holiest institutions of society depend. The interest with which the French public look forward to the book may be understood from the enormous price she has received for it between $30,000 and $40,000. The Credit, a most respectable daily journal of Paris, has purchased of the publisher, for $12,000, the right of issuing the first six volumes in its feuilleton, in advance of the regular publication, and will soon commence them.
Chateaubriand, in one of the latest chapters of his Posthumous Memoirs, speaks at some length of George Sand. The verdict of the most illustrious French literary man of the age which has just closed, upon this most remarkable writer of the age now passing, is every way interesting, and we translate it for the International from the columns of La Presse, as follows:
Madame Sand possesses talents of the first order. Her descriptions are true as those of Rousseau in his Reveries, and those of Bernardin St. Pierre in his Studies. Her free style is stained by none of the current faults of the day. Lelia, a book painful to read, and offering only here and there one of the delicious scenes which may be found in Indiana and Valentine, is nevertheless a master-work of its kind. Of the nature of a debauch, it is yet without passion, though it produces the disturbance of passion. The soul is wanting, but still it weighs upon the heart. Depravity of maxims, insult to rectitude of life, could not go farther; but over the abyss descends the talent of the author. In the valley of Gomorrah the dew falls nightly upon the Dead Sea.
The works of Madame Sand, those romances, the poetry of matter, are born of the epoch. Notwithstanding her superiority, it is to be feared that the author has narrowed the circle of her readers by the very character of her writings. George Sand will never be a favorite with persons of all ages. Of two men equal in genius, one of whom preaches order and the other disorder, the first will attract the greater number of hearers. The human race never give unanimous applause to what wounds morality, on which repose the feeble and the just. We do not willingly associate with all the recollections of our life those books which caused us the first blush, and whose pages were not those we learned by heart as we left the cradle: books which we have read only in secret, which have never been our avowed and cherished companions, and which were never mingled with either the candor of our sentiments or the integrity of our innocence. Providence has confined to very straight limits all success which has not its source in goodness, and has given universal glory as an encouragement for virtue.
I am aware that I reason here like a man whose narrow view does not embrace the vast humanitary horizon, like a retrograde attached to a ridiculous system of morality, a morality already passing to decay, and at the best good only for minds without intelligence, in the infancy of society. There is close at hand the birth of a new gospel, far above the common-places of this conventional wisdom, which hinders the progress of the human race, and the restoration to dignity and honor of this poor body, so calumniated by the soul. When women all resort to the street—when to perform the marriage ceremony it will be enough to open the window and call on God as witness, priest, and wedding-guest—then all prudery will be destroyed; there will be espousals everywhere, and we shall rise the same as the birds to the grandeur of nature. My criticism on books of the sort of George Sand's has then no value except in the vulgar order of things past, and therefore I trust she will not be offended by it. The admiration I profess for her ought to make her excuse these remarks, which have their origin in the infelicity of my age. Once I should have been more carried away by the Muses. Those daughters of heaven were in times past my lovely mistresses, now they are only my ancient friends. At evening they kept me company by the fireside, but they soon depart; for I go to bed early, and then they hasten to take their places around the hearth-stone of Madame Sand.
Without doubt Madame Sand will in this path prove her intellectual omnipotence, but yet she will please less, because she will be less original. She will fancy she augments her power by venturing into the depths of these reveries, beneath which we deplorable common mortals are buried, and she will be mistaken. In fact she is much superior to this extravagance, this vagueness, this presumptuous balderdash. At the same time that a person endowed with a rare but too flexible faculty, should be guarded against follies of the higher order, he ought also to be warned that fantastic compositions, subjective or intimate, painting (so runs the jargon) are restricted; that their course is in youth; that its springs are drying up every instant, and that after a number of productions the writer finishes with nothing but weak repetitions.
Is it very likely that Madame Sand will always find the same charm in what she now composes? Will not the merit and the enthusiasm of twenty lose their value in her mind as the works of my first days are depreciated in mine? There is nothing changeless except the labors of the antique muse, and they are sustained by a nobility of manners, a beauty of language, and a majesty of sentiments, which belong to the entire human species. The fourth book of the Eneid remains forever exposed to the admiration of men because it is suspended in heaven. The ships bearing the founder of the Roman Empire,—Dido, the foundress of Carthage, stabbing herself after having announced Hannibal:
Exoriare aliquis nostius exossibus ulta.—
Love causing the rivality of Rome and Carthage to leap from the flame of his torch, lighting with his own hand the funeral pile, whose blaze the fugitive Eneas perceives upon the waves,—is altogether another thing than the promenade of a dreamer in the woods, or the disappearance of a libertine who drowns himself in the sea. Madame Sand will, I trust, yet associate her talents with subjects as durable as her genius.
Madame Sand can only be converted by the preaching of that missionary with bald forehead and hoary beard, called Time. A voice less austere meanwhile enchains the captive ear of the poet. In fact, I am persuaded that the talent of Madame Sand has some of its roots in corruption; in becoming modest she would become commonplace. It would have been otherwise had she always remained in that sanctuary not frequented by men; her power of love, restrained and concealed beneath the virginal fillet, would have drawn from her heart those decent melodies which belong at once to the woman and the angel. However that may be, audacity of ideas and voluptuousness of manners form a spot not before cleared up by a daughter of Adam, and which, submitted to a woman's culture, has yielded a harvest of unknown flowers. Let us permit Madame Sand to produce these perilous marvels till the approach of winter; she will sing no more when the North wind has come. Meanwhile, less improvident than the grasshopper, let her make provision of glory for the time when there will be a famine of pleasure. The mother of Musarion was wont to repeat to her child: "Thou wilt not always be sixteen; will Choereas always remember his oath, his tears and his caresses?"
For the rest, women have often been seduced, and as it were carried off, by their own youth, but toward the days of autumn, restored to the maternal hearth, they have added to their harps the grave or plaintive chord on which either religion or unhappiness finds expression. Old age is a traveler in the night time; the earth is hidden from sight and he can see nothing but the heavens shining above his head.
I have not seen Madame Sand dressed in men's clothes or wearing the blouse and the iron-shod staff of the mountaineer. I have not seen her drinking from the cup of bacchanals and smoking indolently reclining on a sofa like a sultana,—natural or affected eccentricities which for me could add nothing to her charms or her genius.
Is she more inspired when she causes a cloud of vapor to rise from her mouth about her hair? Did Lelia escape from the head of her mother through a burning mist, as Sin, according to Milton, proceeded from the head of the glorious and guilty archangel amid a whirlpool of smoke? I know not what passes in the sacred courts; but here below Neamede, Phila, Lais, Gnathene, the witty Phryne, the despair of the pencil of Apelles, and the chisel of Praxiteles, Leena, beloved of Harmodias, the two sisters named Aphyes, because they were small and had large eyes, Dorica, the fillet of whose locks and embalmed robe were consecrated in the temple of Venus,—all these enchantresses knew only the perfumes of Arabia. It is true that Madame Sand has on her side the authority of the Odalisques and the young Mexicans who dance with cigars between their lips.
What effect has Madame Sand had upon me, after the few gifted women, and many charming women whom I have known—after those daughters of the earth, who like Madame Sand said with Sappho: "Come, Mother of Love, to our delicious banquets, fill our cups with the nectar of roses?" As I have placed myself now in fiction and now in reality, the author of Valentine has made on me two very different impressions.
As for fiction, I do not speak of it, for I ought no longer to understand its language; as for reality, a man of grave age, cherishing the notions of propriety, attaching as a Christian the highest value to the timid virtue of woman. I know not how to express my unhappiness at such a mass of rich endowments bestowed on the prodigal and faithless hours which are spent and vanish.
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MARIA BROOKS AND SOUTHEY.
It is well known that our countrywoman MARIA DEL OCCIDENTE was on terms of familiar intimacy with the poet-laureate, whose admiration of her genius is illustrated in several allusions to her in his works, and particularly in that passage of "The Doctor" in which she is described as "the most impassioned and imaginative of all poetesses." Southey superintended the publication of "Zophiel," in London, and afterward was a frequent correspondent of Mrs. Brooks, during her residence in New York and in Cuba. Among the souvenirs of Mrs. Brooke's grateful recollection of his kindness, are two or three short poems commemorating her visits to Keswick, and the following song, put into a lyrical form by her, from the blank verse of "Madoc."
PRINCE HOEL'S LAY OF LOVE.
I've harnessed thee, my faithful steed— Now, by the ocean, prove thy speed, While, as we pass, th' advancing spray Shall kiss thy side of glossy gray;— Oh! fairer than the ocean foam Is that cold maid for whom we roam! Her cheek is like the apple flower Or summer heavens, at evening hour, While, in her tender bashfulness, She starts and files my love's excess, Tho' dim my brow, beneath its mail, As ocean when the sun is pale. On, on! until my longing sight, Can fix upon that dwelling white, Beside a verdant bank that braves The ocean's ever-sounding waves;— There, all alone, she loves to sing, Watching the silver sea-mew's wing. In crowded halls, my spirit flies To wait upon her; and wasting sighs Consume my nights; where'er I turn For her I pant, for her I burn, Who, like some timid, graceful bird, Shrinks from my glance and fears my word. I faint; my glow of youth is gone; Sleepless at night and sick at morn, My strength departs; I droop, I fade, Yet think upon that lonely maid, And pity her, the while I pine That she should spurn a love like mine This, Madoc took the harp to play; Cold in the earth Prince Hoel lay; And Llaian listened, fain to speak But wept as if her heart would break.
In this connection, writing of Southey, soon after intelligence was received in this country of the decay of his intelligence, from her coffee estate in Cuba, Mrs. Brooks says:
When a child of ten years old I could admire the poem "Madoc," such is the simplicity of its sentiments and the beauty of its delineations. Looking it over, here, (amidst the woods and canes of that island where repose the bones of Columbus,) the song of Prince Hoel attached itself to my thoughts, and has been (involuntarily) put into rhyme. This song may be found in the first part of the poem mentioned. The lyric metre in which it now appears must rather injure than improve the belle nature of the original. Still I wish it to be published, as coming from my hand; because it gives me an opportunity of expressing, in some degree, my unqualified admiration of its composer. Well may he be called THE POET AND HISTORIAN OF THE NEW WORLD. To justify this appellation, one has only to look at Madoc and the History of Brazil. I have heard, from a friend, of a rumor that Southey is ill; and, as it is feared, irrecoverably.
This intelligence is unexpected as it is melancholy; for who had better reason to look forward to a protracted existence upon earth, than he who has written more than any other man except Voltaire—than Robert Southey, perfectly proportioned in person, just in mind, regular in his way of living, and benevolent in all his doings?
During that Spring which hallowed the last revolution in France, (that of July, 1830,) I saw this bard of the lakes surrounded by his most amiable and certainly beautiful family; one only individual of which, his "Dark-eyed Birtha, timid as a dove," was then absent. I must ever believe that a common reputation for beauty depends more on circumstances than on any particular faultlessness in the person said generally to be handsome.
Byron, in some one of the letters or conversations, written either by or for him, says, or is said to say: "I saw Southey (naming the time) at Lord Holland's, and would give Newstead for his head and shoulders." This quotation is from memory, but, I trust, right in sentiment, though it may not be perfectly so in words; but I have seen little else concerning the physique either of him "Who framed of Thalaba that wild and wondrous song," or of those to whom his blood is transmitted. Still, at the time I have mentioned, it was impossible to look unmoved upon so much perfection of color, sound and expression as arrested my eyes at Keswick; in the tasteful and hospitable dwelling of him who brought to earth that "Glendoveer," "one of the fairest race of Heaven," (the heaven of India,) who averted the designs of Arvalan, in that glowing and magnificent poem "The Curse of Kehama."
The Herodotus of Brazil, himself, had seen, when I first saw him, fifty-seven winters; but his once dark locks, though sprinkled with snow, were still curling as if childhood had not passed; and looked wild and thick as those of his own Thalaba. A "chevelure" like this, with black eyes, aquiline features, and figure tall and slender, without attenuation, assisted in presenting such an image as is seldom viewed in reality; while the effect of the whole was enhanced by easy, unpretending and affectionate manners.
The eldest daughter of this Minstrel of the Mountains was called Edith May, (the name of May having been given because she was born in the month of blossoms.) This lady (now Mrs. Warter,) was the bard himself with a different sex and complexion. "Her features his, but softened." Her gentle, graceful deportment was in perfect harmony with flaxen hair tinted with gold; and the outline of her father's face was embellished by the blue eyes and other delicate colors of her too sensitive mother, (named, also, Edith,) who had been chosen for love alone. The second daughter, Birtha, as I have said, was absent. The third, Catherine, "between the woman and the child," had hazel eyes and fine features, altogether with a delicate shape and complexion. Cuthbert, the only son, was a boy of eleven or twelve, with an open, expressive countenance.
I could not help remarking that in the names of each individual of this pleasing group was heard that sound produced by the letter T followed by its companion H, which is so difficult to the organs of foreigners, but which, when tenderly pronounced, brings to mind the down of a swan or the wing of a dove. Edith, Birtha, Catherine, Cuthbert, Southey. If affection and innocence can insure felicity on earth, the course of their lives must be smooth as waters where the swan reposes; for certainly all their movements seemed innocent as those of the dove.
The month of March was nearly half gone, when I reached Keswick, by the road from Edinburgh; having passed, in my way, an old stone building, pointed out to me as "Branksome Tower," known by the "Lay of the Last Minstrel," who has sung the achievements of Scottish knights and ladies. This village, at the foot of Skiddaw, though much visited in the summer, has still all the wildness of nature. Daffodils were in blossom when I walked there; and primroses, daisies and violets opened, among the trees, upon every bank and grass plat, while the mountains, clustering about Derwent Water, assumed such tints and shades of purple and blue as are peculiar to a northern climate.
"Oh, man, thou pendulum betwixt a smile and tear!"
All these pleasing images seemed to flit before me while putting into rhyme the "Song of Prince Hoel,"—but before I could write it down, tidings reached me of the illness, (perhaps incurable,) of him who drew it from the oblivion of its native Welsh.
Death already has robbed me of so much, that I have become, as it were, inured to grief, and accustomed, even in my least unhappy moments to reflect on the incertitude of all earthly hopes and wishes. I can now hear of losses with melancholy rather than with horror.
So much of the soul of Robert Southey has been dispersed about the world that a translation to some other state of being, (now, before time has given him any burthen to carry,) would be, perhaps, no misfortune, except to those left to sorrow. Yet to know that so benevolent a being is still existing, feeling, joying, and suffering, on the sphere of our own mortality, awakens a feeling so nearly allied to pleasure that all who can appreciate excellence must entreat of Heaven the continuance upon earth of a contemporary of whom it may be said:
"VIRTUE AND HE ARE ONE!"
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MISS LESLIE'S LIFE OF JOHN FITCH.
It has been announced for years that Miss Leslie—the very clever but not altogether amiable magazinist—was engaged upon a memoir of JOHN FITCH, to whom, it has always seemed to us, was due much more than to Fulton, the credit of inventing the steamboat. While Fitch was in London, Miss Leslie's father was one of his warmest friends, and the papers of her family enable her to give many particulars of his history unknown to other biographers. When several years ago. R.W. Griswold published his Sketches of the Life and Labors of John Fitch, the late Noah Webster sent him the following interesting letter upon the subject:
DEAR SIR:—In your sketch of John Fitch you justly remarked that his biography is still a desideratum. The facts related of him by Mr. St. John to Mr. Stone, and published in the New York Commercial Advertiser, are new to me; and never before had I heard of Mr. Fitch at Sharon, in Connecticut; but I know Mr. St. John very well, and cannot discredit his testimony any more than I can Mr. Stone's memory. The substance of the account given of Mr. Fitch by the indefatigable J.W. Barber, in his Connecticut Historical Collections, is as follows: John Fitch was born in East Windsor, in Connecticut, and apprenticed to Mr. Cheney, a watch and clock-maker, of East Hartford, now Manchester, a new town separated from East Hartford. He married, but did not live happily with his wife, and he left her and went to New Brunswick, in New Jersey, where he set up the business of clock-making, engraving, and repairing muskets, before the revolution. When New Jersey was invaded by the British troops, Mr. Fitch removed into the interior of Pennsylvania, where he employed his time in repairing arms for the army.
Mr. Fitch conceived the project of steam navigation in 1785, as appears by his advertisement. He built his boat in 1787. In my Diary I have myself noted that I visited the boat, lying at the wharf in the Delaware, on the ninth day of February, 1787. The Governor and Council were so much gratified with the success of the boat that they presented Mr. Fitch with a superb flag. About that time, the company, aiding Mr. Fitch, sent him to France, at the request of Mr. Vail, our consul at L'Orient, who was one of the company. But this was when France began to be agitated by the revolution, and nothing in favor of Mr. Fitch was accomplished; he therefore returned. Mr. Vail afterward presented to Mr. Fulton for examination the papers of Mr. Fitch, containing his scheme of steam navigation. After Mr. Fitch returned to this country, he addressed a letter to Mr. Rittenhouse, in which he predicted that in time the Atlantic would be crossed by steam power; he complained of his poverty, and urged Mr. Rittenhouse to buy his land in Kentucky, for raising funds to complete his scheme. But he obtained no efficient aid. Disappointed in his efforts to obtain funds, he resorted to indulgence in drink; he retired to Pittsburgh, and finally ended his life by plunging into the Alleghany. His books and papers he bequeathed to the Philadelphia Library, with the injunction that they were to remain closed for thirty years. At the end of that period, the papers were opened, and found to contain a minute account of his perplexities and disappointments. Thus chiefly the narration of Mr. Barber, who refers for authority to the American edition of the Edinburgh Encyclopedia. It may be worth while for some gentleman to attempt to find these papers. N. WEBSTER.
Rev. RUFUS W. GRISWOLD.
The papers to which Dr. Webster alludes in the above letter, have been examined by Miss Leslie, and the curious details they contain of Fitch's early life, his courtship, unfortunate marriage, captivity among the Indians, experiments, &c. will be embraced in her work, which will undoubtedly be one of the most interesting biographies of this country.
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The director of the Museum of Paris has opened a very interesting gallery of American antiquities, from Yucatan, Mexico, Peru, Bolivia, and other countries of the New World.
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Mr. Owen Jones, an English architect, and the author of a very beautiful work on the Alhambra, has been enabled, by the curious process of chromo-lithography, originally discovered by the Bavarian, Alois Sennefelder, to popularize and multiply almost indefinitely the delicate and highly-finished illuminations executed by the pious monkish artists of the middle ages.
According to Felton, the manuscript illuminators "borrowed their title from the illumination which a bright genius giveth to his work," and they form the connecting link in the chain which unites the ancient with the modern schools of painting. Their works, considered as a subordinate branch of pictorial art, though frequently grotesque and barbarous, are singularly characteristic of the epoch in which they lived, whether we retrace the art to its Byzantine origin in the earliest ages of Christianity, or follow it to its most complete and harmonious development in the two centuries which preceded the discovery of the printing press.
The primitive Christians were possessed with an unconquerable repugnance to the introduction of images, and the first notice we have of the use of pictures is in the censure of the Council of Illiberis, 300 years after the Christian era. Of these one of the earliest and most curious specimens is the consecrated banner which animated the victorious soldiers of Constantine. The Labarum was a long pike, topped with a crown of gold, inclosing a monogram expressive of the cross and the two initial letters of the name of Christ, and intersected by a transverse beam, from which hung a silken vail curiously inwrought with the images of the reigning monarch and his children. A medal of the Emperor Constantius is said to be still extant in which the mysterious symbol is accompanied with the memorable words, "By this sign shalt thou conquer." The austere simplicity of the Primitive Christians yielded at length to this innovation of sacred splendor. Before the end of the sixth century the use and even the worship of images, or pictorial representations of sacred persons and subjects, was firmly established in the capital, and those "made without hands" were propagated in the camps and cities of the Eastern empire by monkish artists, whose flat delineations were in the last degeneracy of taste.
In the eighth century, Leo the Isaurian ascended the throne of the East, and for a time the public or private worship of images was proscribed, but the edict was vigorously and successfully resisted by the Latins of the Western church. Charlemagne, whose literary tastes are attested by his encouragement of the learned, by the foundation of schools, and by his patronage of the arts of music and painting, gave a great impulse to the practice of illumination: and the Benedictines, whose influence extended throughout Europe, assigned an eminent rank among monastic virtues to the guardianship and reproduction of valuable manuscripts. In each Benedictine monastery a chamber was set apart for this sacred purpose, and Charlemagne assigned to Alcuin, a member of their order, the important office of preparing a perfect copy of the Scriptures.
The process of laving on and burnishing gold and silver appears to have been familiar to oriental nations from a period of remote antiquity, and the Greeks are supposed to have acquired from them the art of thus ornamenting manuscripts, which they in turn communicated to the Latins. Their most precious manuscripts were written in gold or silver letters, on the finest semi-transparent vellum, stained of a beautiful violet color (the imperial purple), and these were executed only for crowned heads. One of the most ancient existing specimens of this mode of caligraphy in the fourth century, the Codex Argenteus of Ulphilas, the inventor of the Visigothic alphabet, was discovered in the library of Wolfenbuettel, and is now at Upsal, Sweden. This fine MS. is written in letters of gold and silver on a purple ground; and the fragments of a Greek MS. of the Eusebian Canons of the sixth century, preserved in the British Museum, is perhaps a unique example of a MS. in which both sides of the leaves are illuminated upon a golden ground. Mr. Owen Jones' illustrations commence with a page from the celebrated Durham book, or Gospels of St. Cuthbert, in the Hiberno-Saxon style of the seventh century, which was borrowed originally from the Romans, and afterward diffused throughout Europe by the itinerant-Saxon Benedictines. This style is formed by an ingenious disposition of interweaving threads or ribbons of different colors, varied by the introduction of extremely attenuated lizard-like reptiles, birds, and other animals. The initial letters are of gigantic size, and of extreme intricacy, and are generally surrounded with rows of minute red dots.
The Coronation Oath Book of the Anglo-Saxon kings is a curious specimen of the rude state of art in the ninth century. The Lombard and the Carlovingian styles, of which latter the Psalter of Charles the Bold, is a fine specimen, prevailed on the continent during the eighth and ninth centuries. Toward the end of the tenth century, the Anglo-Saxon school, under the patronage of Bishop Ethelwold, at Winchester, assumed a new and distinct character, which was not surpassed by any works executed at the same period. This style, with its bars of gold, forming complete frames to the text, when enriched with interweaving foliage of the acanthus and the ivy, became the basis of the latter and more florid school of illumination, which attained its highest perfection in the twelfth century, and of which the Arnstein Bible is an example. This Bible belonged to the Monks of St. Mary and St. Nicholas, of Arnstein, and the value which was attached to it may be inferred from the following quaint and mild anathema at the end of the first volume:—
"The book of St. Mary and St. Nicholas, in Arnstein, the which, if any one shall purloin it, may he die the death—may he be cooked upon the gridiron—may the falling sickness and fevers attack him—and may he be broken upon the wheel and hung!"
In the thirteenth century Paris became celebrated for its illuminators, and the productions of Franco-Bolognese, whose skill in illuminating manuscripts was then paramount, is mentioned by Dante. Mr. Humphreys thus graphically describes the style of the fourteenth century:—
"It was a great artistic era—the architecture, the painting, the goldsmith's work, the elaborate productions in enamel, and the illuminator's art, were in beautiful harmony, being each founded upon similar principles of design and composition; even the art of writing lending itself to complete the chord of artistic harmony, by adopting that, crisp and angular feeling which the then general use of the pointed arch introduced into all works of artistic combination."
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THE PHANTOM WORLD.
MR. CHRISTMAS, in his "Twin Giants," attacked the stronghold of popular superstition by exhibiting the foundations and growth of error in the early and ignorant ages, and of the progressive dissipation of these delusions as the light of history and science spread over the world. The present work is a translation from Calmet. It deals with spectres, vampyres, and all that tribe of visionary monsters. We have here the learning and opinion of the enlightened portion of the world a century ago. M. Calmet traversed all history for his facts, and gives us a mass of monkish inventions, which prove to what an extent the Romish church fostered superstition for its own purposes. We have dead men called from their graves to show the danger of neglecting to pay tithes, and to rivet on the rich the necessity of building churches, and paying liberally for masses. At p. 286 of vol. 1 we have a proof that the "knockings" which have made so much noise in the United States, are no novelty:—
"Humbert Birk, a burgess of note in the town of Oppenheim, had a country-house, called Berenbach. He died in the month of November, 1620, a few days before the feast of St. Martin. On the Saturday which followed his funeral they began to hear certain noises in the house where he had lived with his first wife; for at the time of his death he had married again. The master of this house, suspecting that it was his brother-in-law who haunted it, said to him: 'If you are Humbert, my brother-in-law, strike three times against the wall.' At the same time they heard three strokes only, for ordinarily he struck several times. Sometimes, also, he was heard at the fountain where they went for water, and he frightened all the neighborhood. He did not utter articulate sounds; but he would knock repeatedly, make a noise, or a groan or a shrill whistle, or sounds as of a person in lamentation."
This went on, at intervals, for a year, when the ghost found a voice, and told them to tell the cure to come there; and when he came he said he wanted three masses said for him, and alms given to the poor. The author has the following sensible observations on the modes in which ghost stories originate:—
"We call to our assistance the artifices of the charlatans, who do so many things which pass for supernatural in the eyes of the ignorant. Philosophers, by means of certain glasses, and what are called magic lanterns; by optical secrets, sympathetic powders: by their phosphorus, and, lately, by means of the electric machine, show us an infinite number of things which the simpletons take for magic, because they know not how they are produced. Eyes that are diseased do not see things as others see them, or else behold them differently. A drunken man will see objects double; to one who has the jaundice they will appear yellow: in the obscurity people fancy they see a spectre, where there is but the trunk of a tree.
"A mountebank will appear to eat a sword; mother will vomit coals, or pebbles. One will drink wine, and send it out again at his forehead; another will cut off his companion's head, and put it on again. You will think you see a chicken dragging a beam. The mountebank will swallow fire, and vomit it forth; he will draw blood from fruit; he will send from his mouth strings of iron nails; he will put a sword on his stomach, and press it strongly, and instead of running into him, it will bend back to the hilt. Another will run a sword through his body without wounding himself. You will sometimes see a child without a head, then a head without a child and all of them alive. That appears very wonderful; nevertheless, if it were known how all these things are done, people would only laugh, and be surprised that they could wonder at and admire such things."
If we are so easily deceived in these matters, is it strange that in peculiar states of mind or body, we are so completely imposed on in others? At p. 353 we have the story on which Goethe has founded a singular exploit of Mephistopheles in the cellar of Auerbach.
"John Faust Cudlington, a German, was requested, in a company of gay people, to perform in their presence some tricks of his trade. He promised to show them a vine loaded with grapes, ripe and ready to gather. They thought, as it was the month of December, he could not execute his promise. He strongly recommended them not to stir from their places, and not to lift up their hands to cut the grapes, unless by his express order. The vine appeared directly, covered with leaves and loaded with grapes, to the astonishment of all present. Every one took up his knife, awaiting the order of Cudlington to cut some grapes; but after having kept them some time in that expectation, he suddenly caused the vine and the grapes to disappear. Then every one found himself armed with his knife, and holding his neighbor's nose with one hand; so that if they had cut off a bunch without the order of Cudlington, they would have cut off one another's noses."
The book is curious and interesting and calculated to do away with much of the superstition which now appears to be gaining ground in almost every part of Christendom.
[Footnote 1: THE PHANTOM WORLD: a Philosophy of Spirits, Apparitions, &c. By AUGUSTINE CALMET. Edited by Rev. Henry Christmas.]
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AUTHORS AND BOOKS.
George Sand, as elsewhere noted, has written her "Confessions," in the style of Rousseau, and a Paris bookseller has contracted to give her a fortune for them. The three greatest—intellectually greatest—women of modern times have lived in France and it is remarkable that they have been three of the most shamelessly profligate in all history. The worst of these, probably—Madame de Stael—left us no records of her long-continued, disgusting, and almost incredible licentiousness, so remarkable that Chateaubriand deemed her the most abandoned person in France at a period when modesty was publicly derided in the Assembly as a mere "system of refined voluptuousness." Few who have lately resided in Paris are ignorant of the gross sensualism of the astonishing Rachel, whose genius, though displayed in no permanent forms, is not less than that of the Shakspeare of her sex, the forever-to-be-famous Madame Dudevant, whose immoralities of conduct have perhaps been overdrawn, while those of De Stael and Rachel have rarely been spoken of save where they challenged direct observation. We perceive that Rachel is to be in New York next autumn, with a company of French actors.
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Mr. G.P.R. James arrived in New York on the Fourth, and "landed amid discharges of artillery, the huzzas of assembled thousands, and such an imposing military display as is rarely seen in this country except on occasions of great moment and universal interest." He is certainly entitled to all the ceremonious honors he will receive during his summer in America, for no man living, probably, has contributed more to the quiet and rational pleasure of the people here than this prolific but always intelligent and gentlemanly author. We have it from the best authority that Mr. James does not intend in any way whatever to meddle with the copyright question, and that he will not write a book about us on his return to England. He visits the United States for a season's agreeable relaxation, with his family, comprising his wife and daughter and three sons. The London Morning Chronicle, in a review of one of his recent compositions, has the following piece of criticism, in contemplation of the present interruption of Mr. James's labors:—
"A season without two or three novels from Mr. James would be a marked year in the world of letters. There is not a power-loom in all Manchester which works with more untiring, unswerving regularity. Does Mr. James ever stop to think, to eat, to drink, to sleep? Is he ever sick? Has he ever a headache? Is he ever out of sorts, even as other men are, when they turn away from the inkstand as from a bottle of physic? We do not believe it. We sometimes doubt whether Mr. James be a man at all. Is he mortal? Has he flesh and blood, or is he some indefinite unheard-of machine, some anomaly of nature, some freak of creation, whose mission is to make novels—and who accordingly spins, spins away, and never leaves off for a moment—never! We know how M. Dumas manages to rear his wonderful literary offspring. With all Mr. James's fertility, however, the Frenchman has a thousand times Mr. James's invention. The romances of the latter are simply a series of ever-changing, yet never novel variations upon the one original theme furnished by Sir Walter Scott. Dumas, with his eighty volumes a year, yet manages to be ever fresh, ever new. Nobody knows, till he reads it, what a novel of the Frenchman's will be. Everybody, even before he cuts open page one, can tell you the certain features, the stereotyped characters, which flourish in eternal youth in the never-ending productions of James. It is only calling them by other names, and dressing them in different costumes—altering, in the description of a castle, the dais from the one end of the great hall to the other, or some such important revolution—and presto, Mr. James can whip the personages and the places who flourished in one country and in one century right slap into another generation and another land. The thing is done in a moment, and you have a new novel before you—just as new, at all events, as is any in his list of a hundred."
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Botta's "Nineveh" has at last reached completion at Paris. It consists of five folio volumes of the largest size; only 400 copies have been printed; 300 of them are to be distributed by the Government, and 100 for booksellers, to be sold. The price is 1800 francs a copy, or about $600, the total expense of the edition being 296,000 fr. or not far from $55,000. The publication of the work on so expensive a scale, unaccompanied by an edition cheap enough for ordinary readers, is a great blunder; at least the reputation of the author suffers from it. The book does not reach those for whom it is written, while of Layard's work at least 10,000 copies have been sold, exclusive of the sale in America.
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Arago announces that he will at last begin the printing of his long prepared but not yet published works. His health is deeply shattered. When the Provincial Government ceased to exist he was so weak that he could scarcely walk, but since then repose has considerably recruited his strength, but he does well to undertake the long postponed publication of his studies. The first issued will be on Measuring the Intensity of Light, which he is now reading to the Academy; subsequently he will bring out the Astronomy, so long waited for. It is true that some years since a book was printed with this title, composed from notes of some of his lectures; this work has passed through many editions and has been translated into other languages, though he has often protested against it as an entirely erroneous and perverted presentation of his ideas.
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The Rev. H.W. Bellows has resigned the editorship of The Christian Enquirer, which he has conducted with distinguished ability, we believe from its commencement.
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Miss Cooper, a daughter of the great novellist, has been announced in London as the author of "Rural Hours," a volume to be published in two or three weeks by Bentley, and by our Aldus, Mr. Putnam. We have read and in this number of the International give some extracts from the advance sheets of "Rural Hours," and we think the work will be regarded as one of the most pleasing and elegant contributions which woman has in a long time made to English literature. It is in the form of a year's diary in the country, and it illustrates on almost every page a large and wise cultivation, and the finest capacities for the observation of nature. We shall hereafter enter more fully into the discussion of its merits, but meanwhile advise the reader to obtain the book as soon as possible, in confidence that it will prove one of the most delightful souvenirs of the summer.
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Prof. Agassiz of Harvard College appears in the last number of the Christian Examiner—an able periodical, which no degree or affectation of "liberality" should have tempted to the admission of such a paper—in an elaborate argument against the Unity of the Human Race. It is ridiculous to attempt a disguise of this matter: the proposition of Prof. Agassiz is an attack upon the Christian religion, and he is guilty of scandalous dishonesty in endeavoring to evade its being so considered. He has undoubtedly a right to pursue any investigation to which he may be led by a love of science, and, guarding himself about with humility and candor, he has a right to accept the results which may be offered in the premises by a careful induction. But the right to assail the commonly received opinions of mankind, especially the right to assail a people's religion, has other and very rigid conditions, which will not, we are persuaded, justify this new outbreak of the restless spirit of Infidelity. Certainly, it would have become Prof. Agassiz, before venturing upon the course he has adopted, to dissociate himself from a University to which so many of the youth of the country have been sent without any thought on the part of their parents that they were to be exposed there to influences which they would dread above all others. There is no right to offer, except to men, capable of its thorough apprehension, any new or questionable or unsettled doctrine. Prof. Agassiz should have been in a condition to receive in his own person the consequences of a failure to establish his theory. We have no fears as to the result of the controversy upon which he has entered. No man worthy to be called a Christian scholar, deprecates the subjection of the Bible to any tests that are possible. It has withstood in the last two centuries quite too much of sham science to be in any way affected by the logic of Prof. Agassiz. Still, the appearance of such a paper in the Christian Examiner—the chief organ of American Unitarianism—is significant of a state of feeling and opinion to be regretted, and it should summon to the conflict the men whose predecessors made every similar wave of Infidelity bring support and strength to the bases of the rock of Christianity.
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Letters from Dr. Layard have been received in London, to the 10th of April, dated from Arban, on the River Khabour. The last account from this quarter mentioned his purpose of penetrating into the desert, which he has explored for three weeks, meeting with numerous traces of ancient population, though not so many antiquities as he expected. His present site, however, is richer in archaeological remains, and is important, as they are undoubtedly Assyrian, and prove the extent of that empire. Two winged bulls and other fragments are described as very remarkable, the meadows as rich in herbage, and the banks of the Khabour as literally gemmed with flowers; and Mr. Layard was desirous to examine this river to its mouth; but the Arabs were hostile to the plan, though it was trusted that arrangements would be made with the parties, wherever they interposed between Mr. Layard and his wishes. In his letter, he says he thinks Major Rawlinson wrong in some of his topography, and that the chronological deductions cannot as yet be considered settled.
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Mr. Rogers, the poet, was lately knocked down by a cab, as he was returning from a dinner party, and so seriously injured as very much to alarm his friends. He was not restored sufficiently to see visitors at the last dates. Rogers, Montgomery, Moore, Hunt, Wilson, Savage Landor, and De Quincey, are "listening to the praises of posterity." Not any of them can last much longer.
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Harro Harring, the Swedish republican novelist, had scarcely reached his own country after several years exile in America, before he was again imprisoned for some quixotic attack upon institutions which he has neither the ability nor the character, even if let alone by the government, to change.
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Mr. W.E. Foster has published in London a new edition of Clarkson's Life of Penn, in the preface to which he has entered very fully into the points raised by Macaulay in his History in regard to the Quakers, vindicating them, and very ably sustaining the fame of their hero.
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Rev. Dr. Judson, the missionary, is again reported in very feeble health, and in a decline. He is nearly sixty years of age.
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The Poems of Frances A. and Metta V. Fuller, of Ohio, are in press, and to be published in a beautiful volume in the autumn.
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Mr. Prescott, the historian, is passing the summer in England.
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LITERATURE IN PARIS.—A correspondent of the London Literary Gazette, under date of June 12, says:
"I notice reprints, by Didot, of several of the standard works of Chateaubriand; a condensation, by General O'Connor, of his "Monopoly;" a Treatise, by the Bishop of Langres, on the grave question of Church and State; a very interesting and curious work on the forests of Gaul, ancient France, England, Italy, &c.; a volume of the Unpublished Letters of Mary Adelaide of Savoy, Duchess of Bourgogne—which throws great light on many of the principal historical events and personages of her time; a charming series of Sketches from Constantinople, entitled "Nuits du Ramazan," by Gerard de Nerval, a popular feuilletoniste; a big volume of the works of St. Just, the terrible Conventionist; a continuation of the Illustrated Edition of Defauconpret's Translation of the complete works of Walter Scott; an admirable fac-simile collection of Contemporary Portraits of Eminent Individuals of the Sixteenth Century; a reprint of Boileau's Satires; an Alphabetical and Analytical Table of all the Authors, Sacred and Profane, discovered or published in the forty-three volumes of the celebrated Cardinal Mai; a 'Month in Africa,' by Pierre Napoleon Buonaparte, &c. There have also been more than the usual average of works in the Greek, Latin, Hebrew. Italian and Portuguese."
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DR. GUTZLAFF, the famous missionary, is now in Germany, and he had recently an interview with the Presidents of the Corporation of Merchants of Stettin, to give them some information as to the sort of goods best adapted for exportation to China. He held out very little encouragement of a profitable trade with that country at present, as he said he could not name a single article of German manufacture he thought likely to secure any great demand. He commended the English government for establishing a "Chinese Exhibition," in order to instruct the merchants of the real nature and quality of Chinese productions. (He must have meant the exhibition of the late Mr. Dunn, of Philadelphia, so long open in London, and erroneously supposed that it was a government institution.) He also described the Chinese language itself, on account of its extreme difficulty, as the chief obstacle in the way of the civilization of the people. He did not believe the most learned Chinese perfectly knew his alphabet, as after twenty years' study he could not say he was master of it, a fact highly discouraging to the German savans.
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A new Historical Society was formed at Hartford, Conn., a few weeks ago, under the title of the Historical Society of the Protestant Episcopal Church of the United States. A constitution was formed, and Bishop Brownwell elected President. The objects are to collect and preserve such materials, as may serve to illustrate the history of the Episcopal church, and the collection and preservation of all memorials, printed, manuscript, or traditional, which throw light on the progress of the American branch of that church, in any period, and of all materials relating to the social and religious history of the times during which that church has existed.
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THE FINE ARTS.
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ELLIOTT is the subject of an editorial chapter in the Knickerbocker, in which justice and no more than justice, is done to him. In the regular succession he follows Copley, Stuart, Jarvis, Newton, and Inman, as the first portrait-painter of his time in the United States. Elliott has recently finished a very effective head of Dr. John W. Francis, to be placed in the permanent gallery of the Art Union, of which Dr. Francis was the first President. He is now engaged upon a portrait of Washington Irving, which will be engraved in the most elaborate style by Cheney.
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MINOR K. KELLOGG has nearly completed, for Mr. Higgs, the banker, of Washington, an exquisite picture which he calls The Greek Girl,—similar, but we think in all respects superior, to his beautiful Circassian Girl, engravings of which by a Parisian artist have some time formed one of the attractions of the print shops. Mr. Kellogg is also painting a full-length of General Scott, for the city.
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A PORTRAIT OF CAPTAIN SUTTER, of California, has just been engraved in the finest style of Sartain, from a painting by S.S. Osgood, made while that excellent artist was in the Gold Region. It is a remarkably strong and pleasing head, and it will rank among Mr. Osgood's best productions.
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BALL HUGHES, the sculptor, is preparing a monument to be placed over the remains of Josiah Sturgis, at Mount Auburn.
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THE CHILD OF FAME.
BY MRS. M.E. HEWITT.
"Je vivrai eternellement."—La vie de Sappho. Traduction de Madame Dacier.
Nay—call me not thy rose—thine own sweet flower, For oh, my soul to thy wild words is mute! Leave me my gift of song—my glorious dower— My hand unchanged, and free to sweep the lute.
Thus, when within the tomb thy memory slumbers, Mine, mine will tie of those immortal names Sung by the poet in undying numbers: Call me not thine—I am the world's and fame's!
Were it not blissful, when from earth we sever, To know that we shall leave, with bard and sage, A name enrolled on fame's bright page forever— A wonder, and a theme to after age!
Talk not of love! I know how, wasted, broken, The trusting heart learns its sad lesson o'er— Counting the roses Passion's lips have spoken, Amid the thorns that pierce it to the core.
Oh, heart of mine! that when life's summer hour For thee with love's bright blossoms hung the bough, Too quickly found an asp beneath the flower— And is naught left thee but ambition now?
Alas! alas! this brow its pride forsaking, Would give the glory of its laurel crown For one fond breast whereas to still its aching— For one true heart that I might call mine own!
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[FROM THE NATIONAL ERA.]
ELDORADO: ADVENTURES IN THE PATH OF EMPIRE.
BY J.G. WHITTIER.
With something of the grateful feeling which prompted the memorable exclamation of Sancho Panza, "Blessings on the man who first invented sleep!" we have laid down these pleasant volumes. Blessings on the man who invented books of travel for the benefit of home idlers! the Marco Polos, the Sir John Mandevilles, and the Ibn Batutas of old time, and their modern disciples and imitators! Nothing in the shape of travel and gossip, by the way, comes amiss to us, from Cook's voyages round the earth to Count De Maistre's journey round his chamber. When the cark and care of daily life and homely duties, and the weary routine of sight and sound, oppress us, what a comfort and refreshing is it to open the charmed pages of the traveler! Our narrow, monotonous horizon breaks away all about us; five minutes suffice to take us quite out of the commonplace and familiar regions of our experience: we are in the Court of the Great Khan, we are pitching tents under the shadows of the ruined temples of Tadmor, we are sitting on a fallen block of the Pyramids, or a fragment of the broken nose of the Sphynx, dickering with Arab Shieks, opposing Yankee shrewdness to Ishmaelitish greed and cunning: we are shooting crocodiles on the white Nile, unearthing the winged lions of Ezekiel's vision on the Tigris—watching the night-dance of the Devil-worshipers on their mountains, negotiating with the shrewd penny-turning patriarch of Armenia for a sample from his holy-oil manufactory at Erivan, drinking coffee at Damascus, and sherbet at Constantinople, lunching in the vale of Chaumorng, taking part in a holy fete at Rome, and a merry Christmas at Berlin. We look into the happiness of traveling through the eyes of others, and, for the miseries of it, we enjoy them exceedingly. Very cool and comfortable are we while reading the poor author's account of his mishaps, hair-breadth escapes, hunger, cold, and nakedness. We take a deal of satisfaction in his moscheto persecutions and night-long battles with sanguinary fleas. The discomforts and grievances of his palate under the ordeal of foreign cooking were a real relish for us. On a hot morning in the tropics, we see him pulling on his stocking with a scorpion in it, and dancing in involuntary joy under the effects of the sting. Let him dance; it is all for our amusement. Let him meet with what he will—robbers, cannibals, jungle-tigers, and rattlesnakes, the more the better—since we know that he will get off alive, and come to regard them so many god-sends in the way of book-making.
The volumes now before us are not only seasonable as respects the world-wide curiosity in regard to California—the new-risen empire on the Pacific—abounding, as they do, in valuable facts and statistics, but they have in a high degree that charm of personal adventure and experience to which we have referred. Bayard Taylor is a born tourist. He has eyes to see, skill to make the most of whatever opens before him under the ever-shifting horizon of the traveler. He takes us along with him, and lets us into the secret of his own hearty enjoyment. Much of what he describes has already become familiar to us from the notes of a thousand gold-seekers, who have sent home such records as they could of their experiences in a strange land. Yet even the well known particulars of the overland route across the Isthmus become novel and full of interest in the narrative of our young tourist. The tropical scenery by day and night on the river, the fandango at Gorgona, and the ride to Panama through the dense dark forest, with death, in the shape of a cholera-stricken emigrant, following at their heels, are in the raciest spirit of story-telling. The steamer from Panama touched at the ancient city of Acapulco, and took in a company of gamblers, who immediately set up their business on deck. At San Deigo, the first overland emigrants by the route of the Gila river, who had reached that place a few days before, came on board, lank and brown as the ribbed sea-sand, their clothes in tatters, their boots replaced with moccasins, small deerskin wallets containing all that was left of the abundant stores with which they started—their hair and beards matted and unshorn, with faces from which the rigid expression of suffering was scarcely relaxed. The tales of their adventures and sufferings the author speaks of as more marvelous than anything he had ever heard or read since his boyish acquaintance with Robinson Crusoe and Ledyard. Some had come by the way of Santa Fe, along the savage Gila hills—some had crossed the Great Desert, and taken the road from El Paso to Sonora—some had passed through Mexico, and, after beating about for months in the Pacific, had run into San Deigo and abandoned their vessel—some had landed weary with a seven months' voyage round Cape Horn—while others had wandered on foot from Cape St. Lucas to San Deigo, over frightful deserts and rugged mountains, a distance of nearly fifteen hundred miles, as they were obliged to travel.
The Gila emigrants spoke with horror of the Great Desert west of the Colorado—a land of drought and desolation—vast salt plains and hills of drifting sand; the trails which they followed sown white with bones of man and beast. Unburied corpses of emigrants and carcasses of mules who had preceded them, making the hot air foul and loathsome. Wo to the weak and faltering in such a journey! They were left alone to die on the burning sands.
On the Sonora route, one of the party fell sick, and rode on behind his companions, unable to keep pace with them for several days, yet always arriving in camp a few hours later. At last he was missing. Four days after, a negro, alone and on foot, came into camp and told them that many miles back a man lying by the road had begged a little water of him, and urged him to hurry on and bring assistance. The next morning a company of Mexicans came up, and brought word that the man was dying. But his old companions hesitated to go to his relief. The negro thereupon retraced his steps over the desert, and reached the sufferer just as he expired. He lifted him in his arms; the poor fellow strove to speak to his benefactor, and died in the effort. His mule, tied to a cactus, was already dead of hunger at his side. A picture commemorating such a scene, and the heroic humanity of the negro, would better adorn a panel of the Capitol, than any battle-piece which was ever painted.
There is a graphic account of the author's first impressions of San Francisco. "A furious wind was blowing down through a gap in the hills, filling the streets with dust. On every side stood buildings of all kinds, began or half-finished, with canvas sheds open in front and covered with all kinds of signs, in all languages. Great piles of merchandise were in the open air, for lack of storehouses. The streets were full of people of as diverse and bizarre a character as their dwellings: Yankees of every possible variety, native Californians in serapes and sombreros, Chilians, Sonorians, Kanakas from Hawaii, Chinese with long tails, Malays armed with everlasting creeses, and others, in their bearded and embrowned visages, it was impossible to recognize any especial nationality." "San Francisco by day and night" is the title of one of the best chapters in the book.
Our author made a foot journey to Monterey during the sitting of the Convention which formed the State Constitution. He gives a pleasing account of the refined and polite society of this ancient Californian town; and makes particular mention of Dona Augusta Ximeno, a sister of one of the Californian delegates to the Convention, Don Pablo de la Guerra, as a woman whose nobility of character, native vigor and activity of intellect, and instinctive refinement and winning grace of manner, would have given her a complete supremacy in society, had her lot been cast in Europe or the United States. Her house was the favorite resort of the leading members of the Convention, American and Californian. She was thoroughly versed in Spanish literature, and her remarks on the various authors were just and elegant. She was, besides, a fine rider, and could throw the lariat with skill, and possesses all those bold and daring qualities which are so fascinating when softened and made graceful by true feminine delicacy.
He describes the native Californians as physically and morally superior to the Mexicans of other States. They are, as a class, finely built, with fresh, clear complexions. The educated class very generally are and appear well satisfied with the change of affairs, but the majority still look with jealousy on the new comers, and are not pleased with the new customs and new laws. The Californians in the Convention seemed every way worthy of their position. General Vallejo is a man of middle years, tall, and of commanding presence—with the grave and dignified expression of the old Castilian race. With him were Cavarrubias, the old Secretary of the Government, Pico, Carvillo, Pedrorena, La Guerra, and a half-blood Indian member, Dominguez, who, together with many of the most respectable and wealthy citizens of California, is now excluded from voting by a clause of the Constitution, which denies that privilege to Indians and negroes. This unjust exception—a blot on an otherwise admirable Constitution—was adopted after a warm debate, and against fierce opposition. The attempt to prohibit free people of color from inhabiting the State failed by a large majority. The clause prohibiting slavery passed by the vote of every member.
The account of the close of the Convention is sufficiently amusing. The members met and adjourned, after a brief session, and their hall was immediately cleared of forum, seats, and tables, and decorated with pine boughs and oak garlands. At eight in the evening, it was thrown open for a ball. Sixty or seventy ladies, and as many gentlemen, were present. Dark-eyed daughters of Monterey and Los Angelos and Santa Barbara, with Indian and Spanish complexions, contrasted with the fairer bloom of belles from the Atlantic side of the Nevada. There was as great a variety of costume as of complexion. Several American officers were there in their uniform. In one group might be seen Captain Sutter's soldierly moustache and clear blue eye; in another, the erect figure and quiet, dignified bearing of Vallejo. Don Pablo de la Guerra, with his handsome aristocratic features, was the floor manager, and gallantly discharged his office. Conspicuous among the native members, were Don Miguel Pedrorena and Jacinto Rodriguez, both polished and popular gentlemen. Dominguez. the Indian, took no part in the dance, but evidently enjoyed the scene as much as any one present. The most interesting figure was that of the Padre Ramirez, who, in his clerical cassock, looked until a late hour. "If the strongest advocate of priestly decorum had been present," says our author, "he could not have found it in his heart to grudge the good old padre the pleasure which beamed in his honest countenance."
The next day the Convention met for the last time. The parchment sheet, with the engrossed Constitution, was laid upon the table, and the members commenced affixing their names. Then the American colors were run up the flagstaff in front of the Hall, and the guns of the fort responded to the signal. The great work was done. California, so far as it depended on herself, was a State of the great Confederacy. All were excited. Captain Sutter leaped up from his seat, and swung his arm over his head. "Gentlemen!" he cried, "this is the happiest hour of my life. It makes me glad to hear the cannon. This is a great day for California!" Recollecting himself, he sat down, the tears streaming from his eyes. His brother members cheered. As the signing went on, gun followed gun from the fort. At last the thirty-first was echoed back from the hills. "That's for California!" shouted a member, and three times three cheers were given by the members. An English vessel caught the enthusiasm, and sent to the breeze the American flag from her mast-head. The day was beautiful; all faces looked bright and happy under the glorious sunset, "Were I a believer in omens," writes our tourist on the spot, "I would augur from the tranquil beauty of the evening—from the clear sky and sunset hues of the bay—more than all, from the joyous expression of every face—a glorious and happy career for the 'STATE OF CALIFORNIA!'"
Our author visited several of the most important "diggings," and his account of their location, productiveness, &c., does not materially differ from the descriptions which have become familiar to all our readers. It is evident from his statements, that with good health and perseverance, any reasonable expectation of wealth on the part of the miners may be realized, in a few months or years, according to the richness of the "diggings," or the ease with which they may be worked. What, however, has interested us more than the gold-product of California, is the confirmation which our traveler gives to the statements of Fremont and King, relative to the richness of its soil, and its great agricultural capacities. The valleys of the Sacramento and San Joaquim alone are capable of supporting a population of two millions, if carefully cultivated. The deep, black, porous soil produces the important cereal grains, although on the seaboard the air is too cool for the ripening of Indian corn. Enormous crops of wheat may be obtained by irrigation, such as was successfully practiced by the great Jesuit missions; and, without it, from forty to fifty bushels to the bushel of seed have been raised. Oats of the kind grown on the Atlantic grow luxuriantly and wild, self-sown on all the hills of the coast, furnishing abundant supplies for horses. Irish potatoes grow to a great size, and all edible roots cultivated in the States are produced in perfection, without irrigation.
The climate of San Francisco is unquestionably disagreeable; the cold, fierce winds which sweep over the bay, and they alternating with extreme heats, are prejudicial to health and comfort. Inland, however, in the beautiful valleys of San Jose and Los Angelos, the climate is all that can be desired. The heat during the summer months is indeed great, but its dryness renders it more endurable than the damp sultriness of an Atlantic August. At Los Angelos, latitude 34 deg. 7', long. W. 118 deg., and forty miles from the ocean, the mean monthly temperature of ten months was as follows: June 73 deg., July 74, August 75, September 75, October 69, November 59, December 60.
Our author describes with a poet's enthusiasm the atmospheric effects of the Californian sunsets. Fresh from his travels in Italy, and with the dust of that Pincian hill still on his sandals from whence Claude sketched his sunsets, he declares that his memory of that classic atmosphere seems cold and pale, when he thinks of the splendor of evening on the bay and mountains of San Francisco.
The chapter on "Society in California" may prove of much practical utility, and should be read by all who are smitten with the gold fever. California is no place for the sick, the weak, the self-indulgent, the indolent, the desponding. There must be a willingness to work at anything and everything, and stout muscles to execute the will. Our author estimates that nearly one-third of the emigrants are unfitted for their vocation, "miserable, melancholy men, ready to yield up their last breath at any moment, who left home prematurely, and now humbly acknowledge their error." His own happy constitution and buoyant health led him to look on the best side of things, and to take the sunniest possible view of the condition of the new country he was exploring, but occasionally he reveals incidentally the reverse of the picture. Here is a sketch of a sick miner at Sacramento City, which is enough to make even California "gold become dim, and the fine gold changed."
"He was sitting alone on a stone beside the water, with his bare feet purple with cold on the cold, wet sand. He was wrapped from head to foot in a coarse blanket, which shook with the violence of his chill, as if his limbs were about to drop in pieces. He seemed unconscious of all that was passing; his long, matted hair hung over his wasted face; his eyes glared steadily forward with an expression so utterly hopeless and wild, that I shuddered at seeing it. This was but one of a number of cases, equally sad and distressing."
The hardy and healthy portion of the emigrants, under the stimulating excitements of the novel circumstances of their situation, seemed to revel in the exuberance of animal spirits. Each seemed to have adopted the rule of the wise man: "Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, that do with all thy might." They speculated, dug, or gambled, with an almost reckless energy. All old forms of courtesy had given place to hearty, blunt good fellowship in their social intercourse. They reminded our traveler of the Jarls and Norse sea-kings, and in the noisy and almost fierce revelry of these bearded gold-hunters around their mountain tires, he seemed to see the brave and jovial Berseckers of the middle ages.
We cannot forbear quoting a paragraph in relation to the great question of our time, "The Organization of Labor."
"In California, no model phalanxes or national workshops have been necessary. Labor has organized itself, in the best possible way. The dream of attractive industry is realized; all are laborers, and equally respectable; the idler and the gentleman of leisure, to use a phrase of the country, 'can't shine in these diggings.' Rich merchandise lies in the open street; and untold wealth in gold dust is protected only by ragged canvas walls, but thefts and robbery are seldom heard of. The rich returns of honest labor render harmless temptations which would prove an overmatch for the average virtue of New England. The cut-purse and pickpocket in California find their occupation useless, and become chevaliers of industry, in a better sense than the term has ever before admitted of. It will appear natural," says our author, "that California should be the most democratic country in the world. The practical equality of all the members of the community, whatever might be the wealth, intelligence, or profession of each, was never before so thoroughly demonstrated. Dress was no gauge of respectability and no honest occupation, however menial in its character, affected a man's standing. Lawyers, physicians, and ex-professors, dug cellars, drove ox-teams, sawed wood, and carried baggage, while men who had been army privates, sailors, cooks, or day laborers, were at the head of profitable establishments, and not unfrequently assisted in some of the minor details of government. A man who would consider his fellow beneath him, on account of his appearance or occupation, would have had some difficulty in living peaceably in California. The security of the country is owing in no small degree to this plain, practical development of what the French reverence as an abstraction, under the name of Fraternite. To sum up all in three words, Labor is respectable. May it never be otherwise while a grain of gold is left to glitter in Californian soil!"
Our author returned by way of Mazatlan and the city of Mexico, meeting with a pleasant variety of adventures, robbery included, on his route. In taking leave of his volumes, we cannot forbear venturing a suggestion to the author, that he may find a field of travel, less known, and quite as interesting at the present time, in the vast Territory of New Mexico—the valley of the Del Norte, with its old Castilian and Aztec monuments and associations; the Great Salt Lake, and the unexplored regions of the great valley of the Colorado, between the mountain ranges of the Sierra Madre and the Sierra Nevada. We know of no one better fitted for such an enterprise, or for whom, judging from the spirit of his California narrative, it would present more attractions.
[Footnote 2: Eldorado: Adventures in the Path of Empire. By Bayard Taylor. New York. Putnam. 1850. Two volumes.]
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MEYERBEER AND WEBER.—The Berlin papers are reviving the rumor that Meyerbeer is to complete an opera which Weber left unfinished. This time his share is defined to be, a new third act, three numbers in the second, one number in the first, and an overture.
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FROM UNPUBLISHED BOOKS
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FROM MISS FENIMORE COOPER'S "RURAL HOURS," IN PRESS BY PUTNAM
Within twenty years from the foundation of the village, the deer had already become rare, and in a brief period later they had fled from the country. One of the last of these beautiful creatures seen in the waters of our lake occasioned a chase of much interest, though under very different circumstances from those of a regular hunt. A pretty little fawn had been brought in very young from the woods, and nursed and petted by a lady in the village until it had become as tame as possible. It was graceful, as these little creatures always are, and so gentle and playful that it became a great favorite, following the different members of the family about, caressed by the neighbors, and welcome everywhere. One morning, after gamboling about as usual until weary, it threw itself down in the sunshine, at the feet of one of its friends, upon the steps of a store. There came along a countryman, who for several years had been a hunter by pursuit, and who kept several dogs: one of his hounds came to the village with him on this occasion. The dog, as it approached the spot where the fawn lay, suddenly stopped; the little animal saw him, and started to its feet. It had lived more than half its life among the village, and had apparently lost all fear of them; but it seemed now to know instinctly that an enemy was at hand. In an instant a change came over it, and the gentleman who related the incident, and who was standing by at the moment, observed that he had never in his life seen a finer sight than the sudden arousing of instinct in that beautiful creature. In a second its whole character and appearance seemed changed, all its past habits were forgotten, every wild impulse was awake; its head erect, its nostrils dilated, its eye flashing. In another instant, before the spectators had thought of the danger, before its friends could secure it, the fawn was leaping wildly through the street, and the hound in full pursuit. The bystanders were eager to save it; several persons instantly followed its track, the friends who had long fed and fondled it, calling the name it had hitherto known, but in vain. The hunter endeavored to whistle back his dog, but with no better success. In half a minute the fawn had turned the first corner, dashed onward toward the lake, and thrown itself into the water. But, if for a moment the startled creature believed itself safe in the cool bosom of the lake, it was soon undeceived; the hound followed in hot and eager chase, while a dozen of the village dogs joined blindly in the pursuit. Quite a crowd collected on the bank, men, women, and children, anxious for the fate of the little animal known to them all: some threw themselves into boats, hoping to intercept the hound before he reached his prey; but the plashing of the oars, the eager voices of the men and boys, and the barking of the dogs, must have filled the beating heart of the poor fawn with terror and anguish, as though every creature on the spot where it had once been caressed and fondled had suddenly turned into a deadly foe. It was soon seen that the little animal was directing its course across a bay toward the nearest borders of the forest, and immediately the owner of the hound crossed the bridge, running at full speed in the same direction, hoping to stop his dog as he landed. On the fawn swam, as it never swam before, its delicate head scarcely seen above the water, but leaving a disturbed track, which betrayed its course alike to anxious friends and fierce enemies. As it approached the land, the exciting interest became intense. The hunter was already on the same line of shore, calling loudly and angrily to his dog, but the animal seemed to have quite forgotten his master's voice in the pitiless pursuit. The fawn touched the land—in one leap it had crossed the narrow line of beach, and in another instant it would reach the cover of the woods. The hound followed, true to the scent, aiming at the same spot on the shore; his master, anxious to meet him, had run at full speed, and was now coming up at the most critical moment; would the dog hearken to his voice, or could the hunter reach him in time to seize and control him? A shout from the village bank proclaimed that the fawn had passed out of sight into the forest; at the same instant, the hound, as he touched the land, felt the hunter's strong arm clutching his neck. The worst was believed to be over; the fawn was leaping up the mountain-side, and its enemy under restraint. The other dogs, seeing their leader cowed, were easily managed. A number of persons, men and boys, dispersed themselves through the woods in search of the little creature, but without success; they all returned to the village, reporting that the animal had not been seen by them. Some persons thought that after its fright had passed over it would return of its own accord. It had worn a pretty collar, with its owner's name engraved upon it, so that it could easily be known from any other fawn that might be straying about the woods. Before many hours had passed a hunter presented himself to the lady whose pet the little creature had been, and showing a collar with her name on it said that he had been out in the woods, and saw a fawn in the distance: the little animal instead of bounding away as he expected, moved toward him; he took aim, fired, and shot it to the heart. When he found the collar about its neck he was very sorry he had killed it. And so the poor little thing died; one would have thought that terrible chase would have made it afraid of man: but no, it forgot the evil and remembered the kindness only, and came to meet as a friend the hunter who shot it. It was long mourned by its best friend.
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CIRCUMNAVIGATING A POPE.—Cardinal Maury did not allow you to advance far. He was fond of telling anecdotes, but he loved to select his subject and to choose his terms. Memory well managed can furnish a tolerable share of the wit and spirit of conversation, and he was, in this respect, the most capital manoeuvrer I ever met with. As he had been absent from Paris for fourteen years he had a great deal to tell. Every one, therefore, listened to his stories with pleasure—himself among the first. Even at the dinner-table he permitted himself the indulgence of a vast quantity of Spanish snuff, which he generally shared with his neighbors, distributing a large portion on their plates, which rather spoiled the pleasure of those who had the good fortune to be seated next to him, as it once happened to me at Madame du Roure's. While singing the praises of his beautiful villa at Monte-Fiascone, he frequently drew from his pocket an enormous snuff-box, the contents of which were most liberally showered down upon the company placed near him, and, between two pinches, he informed us that he had formerly the pretension of taking the very best snuff in France. He prepared it with his own hands, and spared no pains in the important proceeding. When he emigrated to Rome he carried with him two jars of the precious mixture. The future destiny of the Abbe Maury was dependent on the pope, and he was a great snuff-taker! "I presented myself several times (I quote his own expressions) before his holiness, and took great care never to omit displaying my snuff-box, which I opened and shut several times during the interview, making as loud a noise as possible. This was all I dared do,—respect forbade me making any advances toward his holiness by offering directly a taste of the mixture of which I was so justly proud. At length my perseverance met with its reward. One day I managed skillfully to push the snuff-box beneath his hand, and, in the heat of argument, he opened it mechanically, and took a pinch of snuff therefrom. It was an awful moment, as you may imagine. I observed him with the greatest attention, and immediately remarked the expression of satisfaction and surprise which overspread his features as he stretched forth his fingers to take another pinch. "Donde vi viene questo maraviglioso tobacco?" I told him that I alone possessed the mixture, and that I had only two jars left, or rather that I had no more, as, of course, they now belonged to his holiness. I am inclined to believe that this present was agreeable to him, as it was useful to me." After the story the cardinal boasted to us of the extraordinary frankness of his character. He had shown more of this than he had intended in the tale he had been telling.
—Souvenirs de France et d'Italie dans les Annees 1830, 1831 et 1832.
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The Deutsche Reform publishes as a curiosity a selection, though an imperfect one, from the catalogue of the flying leaves and small cheap journals, political and satirical, that sprung into existence after the revolution, mostly in Berlin and Vienna; not more than three or four of them now exist. The insect world was a favorite source of names for the satirist, the sting of whose production was frequently only in the title: every week produced the Hornet, the Wasp, the Gadfly, and their plurals, the Wasps and the Gadflies; there was also an Imperial Gadfly, and one Wasp's Nest. The necessity of enlightenment exhausted the means of doing it through the Torch, the Taper, the Jet of Gas, the Lamp, the Everburning Lamp (the last flickers still at uncertain intervals, the extinguisher of the Berlin police coming down on it whenever it appears), the Lantern and the White Lamp, the Snuffers followed the list of lights, and the whole category concluded in an Egyptian Darkness, to which most of them have descended. The other titles are not so well classified: there was a Democratic Reasoner, a Shrieker (or Shouter), and the Berlin Widemouth, the Barricade Journal, the Street Journal, the Cat's Music, the Red Cap, the Sansculottes (Ohne-Hosen), the Tower of Fools, are miscellaneous: there was a variety of devils—the Travelling Devil, the Devil Untied, the Church Devil, the Revolutionary Devil. Some of the titles were cant words, quite untranslatable, as Kladderadatsch (the Berlin Punch, still existing), the Klitsch-Klatsch, and the Pumpernickel (a kind of black bread); the three last were—The Prussians Have Come, the General Wash, and the Political Ass. In the provincial towns all the flying leaves were something for the people—Volks-boten, Volks-freunde, Volks-zeitung—in a list that would be too long to repeat.
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TRUE PROGRESS.—The civilization of antiquity was the advancement of the few and the slavery of the many—in Greece 30,000 freemen and 300,000 slaves—and it passed away. True civilization must be measured by the progress, not of a class or nation, but of all men. God admits none to advance alone. Individuals in advance become martyrs—nations in advance the prey of the barbarian. Only as one family of man can we progress. But man must exist as an animal before he can exist as a man: his physical requirements must be satisfied before those of mind; and hitherto it has taken the whole time and energies of the many to provide for their physical wants. Such wants have spread mankind over the whole globe—the brute and the savage have disappeared before the superior race—the black blood of the torrid zone has been mixed with the white of the temperate, and a superior race, capable of living and laboring under a zenith sun, has been formed, and we seem to be preparing for a united movement onward. The elements have been pressed into our service, the powers of steam and electricity would appear boundless, and science has given man an almost unlimited control over nature. The trammels which despotisms have hitherto imposed on body and mind have been thrown off, and constitutional liberty has rapidly and widely spread. The steamship and railway, and mutual interests in trade and commerce, have united nation to nation, and the press has given one mind and simultaneous thoughts to the whole community. Power there is in plenty for the emancipation of the whole race; since the steam engine and machinery may be to the working-classes what they have hitherto been to those classes above them. All that is wanted is to know how to use these forces for the general good. The powers of production are inexhaustible; we have but to organize them, and justly to distribute the produce.—Charles Bray.
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COFFEE AND THE SAVANS.—In a letter from Paris it is said: "Some of our eminent scientific men are again squabbling on the vexed question as to whether coffee does or does not afford nourishment. One of them has laid down what seems a paradox, viz., that coffee contains fewer nutritive properties than the ordinary food of man, and yet that the man who makes it his principal food is stronger than one who feeds on meat and wine. In support of this paradox, our savant calls the example of the miners of the coal-pits of Charleroi, who never eat meat except a very small quantity on Sundays, and whose daily meals consist exclusively of bread and butter and coffee. These men, he says, are strong, muscular, and able to do, and actually perform, more hard work than the miners of the coal-pits of Onzin, in France, who feed largely on the more nutritive articles, meat and vegetables, and drink wine or beer. Another savant, taking nearly the same views, insists that the Arabs are able to live moderately, and to make long abstinences, as they do, entirely on account of their extensive use of coffee. But this last assertion is demolished, by the declaration of M. d'Abbadie, who has just returned from Abyssinia, that certain tribes of Arabs and Abyssinians who do not use coffee can support greater fatigue than those who do. In presence of such very contradictory facts, who shall say which of the learned doctors is in the right?"
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A CURIOUS TRIO.—Mr. Dallas, when Secretary of the Treasury, says Mr. Paulding, told me the following story, which he had from Mr. Breck:—When the Duc de Liancourt was in Philadelphia, sometime after the execution of Louis the Sixteenth, Mr. Breck called to see him at his lodgings, in Strawberry-alley. Knocking at the door of a mean looking house, a little ragged girl came out, who, on being asked for the Duke, pointed to a door, which Mr. B. entered. At a little deal table he found Cobbett, teaching the Duke and Monsieur Talleyrand English!
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BAD COOKERY A CAUSE OF DRUNKENKESS.—To what are we to ascribe the prevalence of this detestable vice amongst us! Many causes might be plausibly assigned for it, and one of them is our execrable cookery. The demon of drunkenness inhabits the stomach. From that "vasty deep" it calls for its appropriate offerings. But the demon may be appeased by other agents than alcohol. A well-cooked, warmed, nutritious meal allays the craving quite as effectually as a dram; but cold, crude, indigestible viands, not only do not afford the required solatium to the rebellious organ, but they aggravate the evil, and add intensity to the morbid avidity for stimulants. It is remarked that certain classes are particularly obnoxious to drunkenness, such as sailors, carriers, coachmen, and other wandering tribes whose ventral insurrections are not periodically quelled by regular and comfortable meals. Country doctors, for the same reason, not unfrequently manifest a stronger predilection for their employers' bottles than their patients do for theirs. In the absence of innocuous and benign appliances, the deleterious are had recourse to exorcise the fiend that is raging within them. These views are explicable by the laws of physiology, but this is not the place for such disquisitions. One reason why the temperance movement has been arrested in this country is, that while one sensual gratification was withdrawn, another was not provided. The intellectual excitements which were offered as a substitute have not been found to answer the desired purpose. Our temperance coffee-houses are singularly deficient in gastronomical attractions; and the copious decoctions of coffee and chicory which are there served up, with that nauseous accompaniment, buttered toast, are more calculated to create a craving for stimulants than allay it. The lower classes of Scotland are as deficient in knowledge of cookery as the natives of the Sandwich Islands; and if our apostles of temperance would employ a few clever cooks to go through the country and teach the wives and daughters of the workingmen to dress meat and vegetables, and make soups, and cheap and palatable farinaceous messes, they would do more in one year to advance their cause, than in twenty by means of long winded moral orations, graced with all the flowers of oratory.—Wilson on the Social Condition of France as compared with that of England.
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THE MONKEY AND THE WATCH.—A distinguished lord, going from home, left his watch hanging beside his bed. A tame monkey, who was in the habit of imitating the actions of his master, took the watch, and with the aid of a band, fastened it to his side. A moment afterward he drew it forth and wound it. Then he looked at it, and said, "This goes too fast." He opened it, put back the hand, and again adjusted it to his side. A few moments passed, and he took it in his hand once more. "Oh!" said the imitator, "now it goes too slow. What a trouble it is! How can it be remedied?" He winds it again with the regulator; then closes it, and applies it gracefully to the ear. "This movement is wrong, still;" and he wound it with the key in another way. Then bent to listen to it. "It does not go well, yet." He opened the case; looked and examined every part; touched this wheel, stopped that, moved another; in short, injured it so much by altering and shaking it in his hand, that it at length ceased all motion. Guard us, O propitious Heaven! from quacks that perform amongst men, as did the monkey with the unfortunate watch.—From the Italian.
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A SYRIAN CHRISTIAN AND PHILOSOPHER.—When supper was brought in Amu Lyas, or Uncle Lyas, as Iskender always respectfully called him, said a grace of twenty minutes before he sat down, and one of equal duration after he got up. He was perpetually counting his beads and uttering devout sayings—which partly accounted for his influence with the priests. He and I agreed very well at the beginning, although in our very first conversation he forced on a religious discussion, and plainly told me to what place all heretics were irrevocably doomed. On this and other occasions he strictly maintained that the earth is stationary, that it is surrounded by the sea, that the moon rises and sets, and that the stars are no bigger than they seem; and turned pale with indignation at any contrary statements, which he asserted to be direct attacks on the foundation of the Christian religion. Further experience taught me that he was a very fair representative of public opinion among a large class of Syrian Christians. He was an ardent desirer of French domination, and entertained the most stupid prejudices against the English. I generally found that the Levantines preferred the French, whilst we are great favorites with the Arabs.—Two Years in a Levantine Family.
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THE BRITISH HIERARCHY.—The Eternal Anarch, with his old waggling addle-head full of mere windy rumor, and his old insatiable paunch full of mere hunger and indigestion tragically blended, and the hissing discord of all the Four Elements persuasively pleading to him;—he, set to choose, would be very apt to vote for such a set of demigods to you.—Carlyle's Latter-Day Pamphlets.
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[FROM BOHEMIAN POEMS, TRANSLATED BY A.H. WRAITSALL, M.A., JUST PUBLISHED IN LONDON.]
Whither, oh, whither, now all things are over? We to our journey and he to his home; Eyes cannot pierce through the vail that must cover Him whom we laid in the still silent tomb. He hath but ended his journey before us, We for a season are sojourning still On the same earth with the same heaven o'er us,— Turn we, oh, turn we, our tasks to fulfill! Whither, oh, whither, now all things are ended? We to our labor and he to his rest; Let not the heart by its woe be offended, Man seeks the pleasant, but God gives the best.
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FROM HOUSEHOLD WORDS.
THE YOUNG ADVOCATE.
Antoine de Chaulieu was the son of a poor gentleman of Normandy, with a long genealogy, a short rent-roll, and a large family. Jacques Rollet was the son of a brewer, who did not know who his grandfather was; but he had a long purse and only two children. As these youths flourished in the early days of liberty, equality, and fraternity, and were near neighbors, they naturally hated each other. Their enmity commenced at school, where the delicate and refined De Chaulieu being the only gentilhomme amongst the scholars, was the favorite of the master (who was a bit of an aristocrat in his heart), although he was about the worst dressed boy in the establishment, and never had a sou to spend; whilst Jacques Rollet, sturdy and rough, with smart clothes and plenty of money, got flogged six days in the week, ostensibly for being stupid and not learning his lessons—which, indeed, he did not, but, in reality, for constantly quarreling with and insulting De Chaulieu, who had not strength to cope with him. When they left the academy, the feud continued in all its vigor, and was fostered by a thousand little circumstances arising out of the state of the times, till a separation ensued in consequence of an aunt of Antoine de Chaulieu's undertaking the expense of sending him to Paris to study the law, and of maintaining him there during the necessary period.
With the progress of events came some degree of reaction in favor of birth and nobility, and then Antoine, who had passed for the bar, began to hold up his head and endeavored to push his fortunes; but fate seemed against him. He felt certain that if he possessed any gift in the world it was that of eloquence, but he could get no cause to plead; and his aunt dying inopportunely, first his resources failed, and then his health. He had no sooner returned to his home, than, to complicate his difficulties completely, he fell in love with Mademoiselle Natalie de Bellefonds, who had just returned from Paris, where she had been completing her education. To expatiate on the perfections of Mademoiselle Natalie, would be a waste of ink and paper: it is sufficient to say that she really was a very charming girl, with a fortune which, though not large, would have been a most desirable acquisition to de Chaulieu, who had nothing. Neither was the fair Natalie indisposed to listen to his addresses, but her father could not be expected to countenance the suit of a gentleman, however well-born, who had not a ten-sous piece in the world, and whose prospects were a blank.
Whilst the ambitious and love-sick young barrister was thus pining in unwelcome obscurity, his old acquaintance, Jacques Rollet, had been acquiring an undesirable notoriety. There was nothing really bad in Jacques' disposition, but having been bred up a democrat, with a hatred of the nobility, he could not easily accommodate his rough humor to treat them with civility when it was no longer safe to insult them. The liberties he allowed himself whenever circumstances brought him into contact with the higher classes of society, had led him into many scrapes, out of which his father's money had one way or another released him; but that source of safety had now failed. Old Rollet having been too busy with the affairs of the nation to attend to his business, had died insolvent, leaving his son with nothing but his own wits to help him out of future difficulties, and it was not long before their exercise was called for. Claudine Rollet, his sister, who was a very pretty girl, had attracted the attention of Mademoiselle de Bellefonds' brother, Alphonso; and as he paid her more attention than from such a quarter was agreeable to Jacques, the young men had had more than one quarrel on the subject, on which occasions they had each, characteristically, given vent to their enmity, the one in contemptuous monosyllables, and the other in a volley of insulting words. But Claudine had another lover more nearly of her own condition of life; this was Claperon, the deputy governor of Rouen jail, with whom she had made acquaintance during one or two compulsory visits paid by her brother to that functionary; but Claudine, who was a bit of a coquette, though she did not altogether reject his suit, gave him little encouragement, so that betwixt hopes, and fears, and doubts, and jealousies, pour Claperon led a very uneasy kind of life.