Imagens das páginas
PDF
ePub

died! Why, the very tone of the narrative otism! These are romantic spirits, who thirst takes away all credit from the narrator, and for excitement, but for whom common life is too therefore, even as evidence of the fact it dull and prosaic.

"When such men are not in a position to satisfy seeks to establish, it is utterly valueless. He who could color acts and feelings as pation cannot devise any means of giving celeb

their craving for distinction when their imagihe has probably done, would, with less rity to their names by deeds of renown-forced criminality, distort facts. We verily be to lower their pretensions, they are determined lieve that the unfortunate prince did die in at least to do something odd. the temple ; but the document in question

“One of the best of my agents was an indidoes not go an inch towards proving it, vidual of this class. A train of very ordinary all it shows is, the school of villany and de- circumstances had placed him in a society which

initiated him into the secrets of the corresponception of which our author admitted him. dence of the legitimists with the Duchess of self to be a disciple.

Berry. This man, unable to extricate himself There is one portion of these volumes without danger from the position he stood in, which, but that it has been in a measure and not wishing to co-operate with a party from forestalled to the English reader by the re. whom he differed in opinion, demanded an audiview in the Quarterly of Mr. Frégier's his situation, and explained all the advantages

ence of me. He showed me the peculiarity of book, we should have drawn briefly upon which I might derive from it. we mean the statistics of the classes of

“I certainly looked for very losty expectations Paris, according to their moral divisions. on his part-judge of my surprise when my new Those who are epicures in such things, will agent informed me, that he proposed serving his surely get a sufficient meal in the Review ; country gratuitously, in order to preserve France for ourselves, a very slight morsel would from the horrors of a civil war! Struck by have satisfied us, and we not unwillingly aspired to the kind of celebrity attached to the

reading a novel of Cooper's, called The Spy, he pass them by. No doubt, some of the pre- hero of that work, and wished to perform in fect's regulations were salutary; those re- France the part which Cooper has made his specting the Morgue, or receptacle for Harvey Birch enact during the American war. bodies found drowned in the Seine, and un. All he stipulated for was a promise that I would claimed, particularly. Nor are we disposed not take any harsh measures against certain to quarrel with him for having suppressed persons whom he named to me, and whom he that powerful but revolting play of Victor was attached to. Hugo's, Le Roi s'amuse : nay, we

“ The conduct of Harvey Birch-for he adopt

evened that name in all his communications--was agree with him in his opinions respecting faithful throughout. He performed some pieces the ridiculous over-appreciation of the pub- of service which certainly deserved a tolerably lic interest in such matters indulged in by large remuneration, yet when the time came at the dramatist; but nevertheless, we scarce. which his particular agency was brought to ly see why all this need be introduced into a close, he contented himself with asking me à book professing to be memoirs : all that barely meet his indispensable wants.

for some trifling employment, such as might could justify the details we conceive would

“But besides the common informere and spies be its forming a basis or argument of a employed by the police, the ministers of the work of science or political economy; and crown must sometimes have creatures who we observe the same propensities in the will frequent the drawing-room of fashion, and author as characterized the retired soap

be admitted into those brilliant assemblies, boiler, who stipulated to be permitted to where the most distinguished and illustrious attend weekly on boiling day for his proper class of auxiliaries constitutes what may be

personages of the land meet together. This amusement. No doubt, he means to make called the aristocracy of the police. the credit of salutary regulations stand as “But what rare and opposite qualities must in a set-off against the delinquencies of his such be united! With how many valuable administration ; but they are too much ex- talents must he be endowed who would fill this tended for this, and must be considered as

delicate post! Those privileged persons, whose exhibiting the tastes of the man.

wit, taste, and rank would naturally be supposed He is occasionally amusing in his de- not, after all

, the persons who fill it

. In short

, scriptions of character.

I should despair to trace, in a satisfactory man“I have seen,” says he, “persons who acted ner, the portrait of these secret agents of the for the police, and gave me important informa- first class, were it not that I have in my eye a tion, who wished, they said, in this way to pay unique specimen-a type, such as in all probasome debt of gratitude for benefits received, bility will never be met with again. either from the royal family, or from some mem- “ The individual I allude to was of noble ber of the government.

birth, and bore a title which enhanced the natu“I must also add, as a remarkable and very ral charms of his deportment; for nature had rare variety, a class of persons who became refused him no external advantage, and, not agents of the police from motives of pure patri- less prodigal to him in other points, had given

him a rich and fertile imagination, and a remar- them, beyond the singular grace of the style in kable power of observation. Finesse, tact, re- which they were conveyed ; and she received partee, originality of thought, all caused him to for this a moderate sum out of the secret serbe distinguished even amongst the most suc- vice money. The insignificance of these comcessful ances in the list of wit.

munications at last decided me to give her her “But he is greatly mistaken who thinks that congé, but the baroness was immovable-she the Marquis of Pallowed himself to de-was determined not to give up the advantages scend to common manœuvres; who supposes of the position she held. for example, that he would provoke a confidence " It was towards the end of October, 1832, at with more or less cunning, or would set about a time when the government knew that the leading the conversation to a subject in which Duchess of Berry was hid in the environs of he might take advantage of an unsuspecting Nantes, that our baroness affirmed to me, by candor. All this would be to be a common word and by letter, that she knew Madame's agent, or rather it would have involved dupli-retreat, but that she could not bring herself to city and a want of faith, quite foreign fronı his divulge so important a secret without being character. No; the Marquis of P- was de- promised a large reward, and a moderate sum termined to have all the credit of perfect fair- of one thousand francs, paid in hand on account. ness and honesty:

Although I confess I was not very confident "But some of my readers, perhaps, disap- of her veracity, the baroness's affirmations were pointed by my last remarks, may here ask made with so much assurance, the names of whether I am not reading them a riddle. I beg some of the legitimist party, from whom she afof them to follow me to the end.

sected to have learned the secret, were chosen "All men in Parisian society knew that M. so cleverly, and besides her former position de P-, well bred as he was, did not possess gave her in reality so many facilities for penea sous in the world, and yet he had a handsome trating the secrets of that party, that I durst not house, horses, a carriage, and all those other reject such a chance of eventually rendering an appliances of comfort and luxury, indispensable important service to government. to a man who lives comme il faut.

« The required sum was, therefore, remitted to “No one understood better than he the minu- the baroness, and the next day she announced to tice of fashion, the arcana of refinement, the me that the Duchess of Berry was hid, under the maniere d'etre of high life; none could order an name of Bertin-in a chateau near Arpajon. entertainment better, give a more recherché din- “I knew persectly well that the moiher of ner, or prove by his gastronomic skill, his quali. Henri the Fifth was hid at Nantes, or within a fications for the society he lived in. And when circuit of a few leagues around that town; and on the green cloth, the billiard-ball, or écarté, he consequently the intelligence given by the baro. set gold circulating freely, no one ever saw a ness was simply a story fabricated for the purplayer gain with less apparent satisfaction, or pose of swindling the government out of a lose with greater indifference.

thousand francs. “As besides all this the Marquis of P- “ One more story I will give of a proceeding always appeared kind, useful, a pleasant story of the same kind, chosen out of a thousand teller, harmless in his wit

, though unrivalled in others of which I have the particulars in my his skill at epigram and raillery, he was the memory: constant object of attentions, and was sought for, 6. This time it was Madame la Comtesse de seasted, and admired by his numerous amphi- B-, who had all the honor and profit of the tryons. Now, incredible as it may seem, not trick. This lady was perfectly well aware of only his friends, but the whole circle of his ac- our wish to discover the retreat of those repubquaintance, (and no one had a more extended licans who escaped in July, 1835, from the prione,) knew perfectly well what he was. This is son of St. Pelagie, and accordingly she wrote to what would have overwhelmed any one of or- me to say, that extreme want of money obliged dinary talent-here was the transcendent merit, her to commit a dreadful act; she demanded a the climax of genius. To put no questions, and few thousand francs for revealing the secret of 10 learn much; to invite no expression of opin- which she was the depositary, offering to tell ion for the purpose of revealing it, and yet to where a number of the runaways had gone, and ascertain the opinion of every body ; to urge no only asking the trifling advance of one thousand one to disclosure, and yet to penetrate into the francs. The minister of the interior authorized most secret thoughts, to know every thing, in the payment of the money, and the Countess de fact

, without appearing to observe any thing, B-'announced to us that she had herself unand to retain the confidence even of those who dertaken to accompany two of the principal ofwere perfectly well acquainted with the part he fenders to the frontier, who were to pass, one for played, surely this was to do the business of po- her husband, the other for her servant; she lice agent in an accomplished way, enough stated what diligence they were to go by, the almost to make it agreeable to the public !" day of their intended departure, and the real

and assumed names of the fugitives. She acBut even the police may be taken in. Here is the other side of the picture

tually set off in the coach named; six of my

agents took places in it with her, and, as may be "A certain baroness, whose husband had supposed, every precaution was taken to secure been in the service of the old royal family, af- her imaginary fellow-travellers ; but if the amiafected the sincerest devotion for the new dynas- ble countess had any delinquents in her com.ty. She sent me periodically relations which pany, their crimes were not of a nature to call generally did not turn out to have much in for the high jurisdiction of the Court of Peers, and accordingly our good lady made at the pub-| GOVERNMENT EDUCATION MEASURE. lic expense a journey, of which ehe reserved all

From the Spectator. the advantages and pleasures for herself.” The temper in which the educational clauses The readers will not, perhaps, at once ed of by the leaders in the House of Commons

of the Government Factory Bill have been talkobserve that the parties held up to ridi- is such as to suggest a hope that some of the cule or reprobation by the ex-prefect in details of the bill may be modified so as to ena

hese extracts, are probably sufficiently ble both parties to support it. pointed at for a Paris reader to identify by The principle of compulsory education by the his descriptions, and thus the discarded po- State, as is truly observed by Mr. Fox in his lice official in all probability pays his debts pamphlet on the Educational Clauses, " is new of spite by these details, which may or may io some of their characteristic modes of thought.”

to the people of this country, and very offensive not be true, but which must be fatal to the The remark applies only to secular education; reputation of the parties, thus gratuitously, for the Church is, properly speaking, a great inon such authority, branded with infamy in stitution supported by Government for the purthe eyes of the public.

pose of diffusing religious education. With reBut all parties began at last to be dis. gard to secular education, however, the remark is gusted with him-popular hatred rose to just; and Mr. Fox might have added, that the lazy fury-and he was obliged, in self-defence, offices is an additional impediment in the way

routine habits of the old stagers in Government to retire not only from office, but from the of a national system of education. Keeping in capital; yet nevertheless he makes his view the inveterate prejudices entertained in moan, at the close of his volumes, because this country by "practical men” of all classes his persecutions, as he calls them, extend. against any thing they are not accustomed to, it ed even to those friends and relatives whom is desirable thai any step on the part of the he had thrust into office! One would think Civil Government to assume the care and rehim the most wronged of men. He fancies, sponsibility of education should be welcomed

and encouraged. too, after his retirement, with a delusion To the late Whig Ministry belongs the credit amusingly analogous to a case he ridicules of taking the first step in this direction. A Comin an early part of these volumes, that he mittee of the Privy Council on Education is, was subjected to espionage, and seeing of perhaps, but a poor substitute for a Minister of course his own former agents around his Public Instruction; but it is a great gain as a house, as they were everywhere, he be beginning. By making the appointment of such lieves that his very motions are watched, ments of every new Administration, the Civil

a Committee a recognized part of the arrange; and complains, like another Rousseau, that Government recognizes a certain surveillance all men were in a plot against him! It is of education as part of its cares and responwith exquisite éffrontery that, wearied, as sibilities. Every thing that the friends of eduit should seem, with virtuous efforts to jus- cation, in or out of Parliament, can henceforth eify himself , he exclaims at last—"Je ne education, will naturally be referred to this Com:

induce Government to do for the promotion of veur pas céder à l'irritation de mes souve. mittee. In proportion as its business increases nirs : je m'en rapporte à la sagacité de tous in quantity, the importance of its Chairman les hommes impartiaux !.

(who, as usual, will be the Committee) will inIt is said that the mode Gisquet took 10 crease, and the public become familiarized with interrogate a man from whom he expected the interference of Government in educational to elicit a fact of importance was to seize matters. The prejudices alluded to by Mr. Fos him by the hand, talk for some time on Bureau of Education ; but the Committee of

would prevent the creation of a Minister and other matters

, and then, putting the query Education must necessarily grow into a Minister vehemently and abruptly, squeeze his hand and Bureau. violently at the same moment—a mode of The educational clauses of the Government question which, it is stated, in many instan. Factory Bill are a step in this progress. It has ces extracted the desired reply, when been siated as an ohjection to them, that it is nothing else could have accomplished it.

invidious to make education compulsory on the There is litile, we repeat, to induce he factories, if it is not to be made compulsory on reader to peruse this work—it will certain not, in the present temper of the people and of

the whole nation. The answer is, you could ly not instruct him, and will

, we think, public men, carry a measure for compulsory nascarcely amuse, beyond the passages we Lional education ; but the inquiries of the Comhave extracted.

inissioners on Factories and the Employment of Children have convinced every body that something must be done in the manufacturing dis

tricts. If a system of compulsory education for Tue MARQUESAS.—The French Gorernment has the factory population under the control of the received despatches from the Marqnesas, by which Committee of the Privy Council for Education it appears the story of the massacre of the govern can be made to work well

, it will be an esperior is unfounded.- Exam.

mental demonstration of the possibility and ad

vantage of extending the system to every district, solve into apprehensions entertained by the Dis. and embracing within it all classes of the popu- senters and liberal Churchmen that the measure lation.

may be perverted into a system of proselytism. In order to estimate the value of the objections The features of the measure regarded as most to the details of Sir James Graham's education- favorable to such abuse are-1. The constitual clauses, let us briefly enumerate their provi- tion of the Local Boards of Trustees: 2. The sions. They go to establish schools under the provision (section 55) which renders it necessamanagement of a Local Board of Trustecs, sub- ry that the teachers shall belong to the Estabjected to the inspection of four lay Inspectors, lished Church: 3. The provisions by which with a staff of assistant Sub-Inspectors, and to attendance at church and at Sunday-schools is the control of the Educational Committee of the made compulsory, and attendance upon those of Council. The Local Board is to consist of the the Establishment made the rule; an express Clergymen and the Churchwardens of the dis- dispensation being required to permit attendtrict, ex officio Trustees; and four other Trus- ance upon Dissenting places of worship. Two tees, two of whom must be occupiers of facto of these objections would be obviated by engraftries employing children, chosen by the district ing on the bill two of the recommendations emJustices of the Peace out of persons assessed at bodied in Lord John Russell's resolutions-1. a certain sum to the poor, or out of those who That the rate-payers of any district in which have contributed a certain proportional sum 10 rates are collected for the erection and mainten; the entire cost of the school. Every person ance of a school shall be adequately represented giving a site to a school shall be one of the at the Local Board, and the Chairman be electTrustees during his whole life. This Board ised by the Board itself: 2. That in order to tied down to certain regulations for insuring due prevent the disqualifications of competent schoolrespect to the religious persuasions of the pa- masters on religious grounds, the religious inrents of children attending the schools. The struction given to children whose parents belong Bible, and " no other book of religion whatever," to the Established Church, or who may be deis to be taught to all the pupils; instruction in sirous that their children should be so instructed the peculiar doctrines of the Church of Eng- shall be communicated by the clergymtn of the land, one hour in each day,” is to be given; parish. With respect to the third objection, but scholars whose parents desire that they shall Lord John proposes that the children shall have not be present at such instruction shall not be liberty to resort to any Sunday-school or place compelled to attend. The scholars are to at- of religious worship their parents may approve: tend the service of the Church once a day on perhaps a still better method of obviating the Sundays, unless the parents desire them not to objection would be, not to legislate at all upon do so, of the ground of religious objections. the subject. And the Educational Committee of the Privy Regarding this measure, as it ought to be reCouncil are, through their Inspectors appointed garded, with a total absence of all partisan feelby the Queen, that is by her Ministers, to watch ing, and solely with a view to the effects it is over the observance of these regulations and calculated to produce upon society at large, we enforce them.

see no reason why the most zealous Churchman These arrangements put the entire control of should object to Sir James Graham's bill, modithis partial system of national education in the fied to meet the amendments suggested in Lord hands of the Civil Government. A majority of John Russell's resolutions; or why, on the other the Local Trustees are appointed by the Justi- hand, the stanchest friend of civil and religious ces of the Peace, who are appointed and re- liberty should hesitate to support it. Nay, with movable at pleasure by Government. The In- regard to the objection

urged against the conspectors are appointed by Government. The stitution of the Local Boards contemplated by Educational Committee of the Privy Council the original bill, it does appear, that with Minishave the power of checking every contravention ters so completely in the power of the House of of the regulations made to insure liberty of con- Commons as the Ministers of this country are science. Sir Robert Peel's Government are en--with constituencies in which the Dissenters deavoring to put into the hands of the Ministers are probably niore powerful than they would be of Education created by Lord Melbourne's under a more extended franchise-with the Government the means of educating the people. growing feeling in favor of secular education, The system of schools contemplated by the and an unfettered press the control vested in present Government bill must be worked in the the Committee of the Privy Council for Educasense of the Ministers of the day; and the tion would be found sufficient to counteract any Ministers of the day must conform to the sense danger from that source. of the House of Commons and its constituents. This, in the present advanced stage of public opinion, is no bad guarantee that the adminis- "THE CLUB.”—The members of this longtration of the schools will not be tainted with a established literary club, fonnded by Dr Johnson, proselytizing or an intolerant spirit.

and of which Sir Joshua Reynolds, and most of But this approbation of the broad outline of the celebrites of their day, have belonged, dined the measure is quite consistent with a desire together on Tuesday evening. at the Thatched that every thing in its details to which well. M. P., president, and among the members present

House Tavern. The Right Hon. B. Macaulay, founded objections can be urged should be amended. All the objections of any plausibility peth, Earl of Carnarvon, Hon Mountsurt Hiplin

were the Marqness of Lansdowne, Viscount Mor. or weight that have been urged against the bill stone, Rev. Sydney Snith, Rev. H. H. Milman, are in reality objections to details. They all re- &c.--Court Journal.

A TALE.

THE MONOMANIAC.

people had been asleep, dreaming of what their waking hours realized-happiness.

They were not, like myself, gamesters; or From Chambers's Ediuburgh Journal.

if they were, they must all have come off TOWARDS the close of 1829 the gaming winners. Minutely noting the expression houses of the Palais Royal, in Paris, were of each face as it was turned towards me, I nightly filled with an unusual number of could read, with some accuracy, what passplayers, from a report getting abroad that ed within. Thus I enjoyed a sort of meta. these sinks of iniquity were to be abolish- physical panorama. Each one who caught ed in the succeeding year. One evening in sight of me no longer smiled, but frowned summer there was a full attendance at a upon me as an intruder upon their joyousrouge-et-noir table in one of the largest of ness. Had I been an adder lying across the houses. All went on quietly for some the path of a pleasure-party, they could not time. At last the silence was broken by a bave regarded me with greater aversion. young man who exclaimed, “Confusion! The men depressed their brows; for my Red again, and I have been doubling on appearance troubled them; and no wonder. black for the last five games. Four hun. I was unshorn and haggard, and my whole dred louis ? 'Tis well; this is the finale ! aspect must have plainly indicated a night So now—as I am ruined-send me some in a gambling-house. My countenance brandy!"

doubtless betrayed the remorse then rank« “Fortune has frowned to-night, Folarte," ling in my heart. This was 'produced by said a person who was watching the game; recollections of the ruin l was bringing up“have you lost much ?”

on others whom it was my duty to cherish “A bagatelle of four hundred, simply; and to comfort. My mother was on the more, indeed, than I ever lost in one even point of being dragged to prison for noning,” returned the loser, retiring with his payment of a bond, ten times the amount friend to a separate table.

of which I had squandered, or lost at play. “Nay, you forget the seven hundred on I had sacrificed ihe trusting heart of my Thursday; it”

betrothed Lisette for the smiles of a co" Is not so much as the four hundred to- quette, to whom I had, on that very night, night.”

promised a present which would cost fifty "So !” exclaimed Cornet ; "you have pounds. To deepen the dye of my crimes, got rid of your arithmetic as well as your

Lisette and her brother had travelled to

Paris, and were in great distress, although "Paha! friend ; a word in your ear. The a sum I borrowed of Francois, and which I ill luck of this day leaves me only fifty had not repaid, would have rescued them pounds

richer than a pauper ; they are my from want. last. Come, pour out more brandy!" Maddened by these reflections, I rushed

Cornet looked me steadfastly in the face. to my lodging. It was there that the “Folarte,” said he, "you are a philoso- malady, the consequences of which I am pher!”

about to detail, first seized me. Acciden“ A philosopher ? If you knew all, you tally looking into the dressing-glass, I bewould call me a hero. But my head burns. held my face frightfully distorted by reA turn in the gardens of the Thuilleries morse and dissipation. That vision so will cool me."

horrified me, that the impression remained “ You will join us again in the evening ?" after I withdrew my eyes from the glass. “Of course ; bave I not fisty left ?" My own form continually appeared stand

It was early morning; the air, though ing beside me. I was the slave of its acfresh, was damp and chilling, laden with tions. I had lost my will, my identity. I dew; but the cold gray color of the sky was nothing but an unembodied appendage gradually dissolved into a more genial tint of my own form. I had become a shadow by the rays of the rising sun. Several milkin continual attendance upon a seeming maids and laundresses passed me. Yes, substance which usurped my corporeal me ; for the ruined, reckless gamester it frame: I did whatever it liked, and went is who now makes his confession. They wherever ir chose.* seemed happy, for they laughed and chat. In the Rue Richelieu-whither the form ted merrily. Groups of artisans also ap- led me-Cornet, the professed gamester, peared, and let off several trite jokes and ready-made gallantries; for which the girls or disordered mind to fancy he is naunted by his

* However improbable it may seem for a person rewarded them ; some with their lips, others

own form, yet the circumstance is perfectly true.with their smiling glad-looking eyes. These l Ed.

money?"

« AnteriorContinuar »