Imagens das páginas

And he in his instinctive knowledge wise
Replied--" And may the world-illuming God
Free you from every ill, and send you home
Into a house, whose riches bring no tears.
Remembering this your goodness-nor will I,
Without my gift, suffer you to depart.
And that the god may hear when you ascend
With your due sacrifice, into your hands
This shining wondrous crystal I deliver."

The philosophy of Orpheus was the Phænician language. Origen brought from Egypt, where can be doubts not the personality of these, discovered a clue to the mythology but whether their books had been preof the Greeks and Romans. The served. Plato, however, speaks of veiled Isis was a symbol of the inner Orpheus as a real person, and refers or esoteric doctrine, that the world not merely to the Orphic writings, was Deity. Orpheus makes the Sun but to those of the individual Orpheus a type of the universe, and even its himself. He was supposed to have source. He seems to have inculcated lived before the Trojan era. Great a more material pantheism, whereas doubts exist whether the remains exthe Egyptians connected their solar tant are genuine. They were produand planetary worship with the sup- ced by Onomacutus, who lived in the posed transmission of the souls of the time of Xerxes and the Pisistratidæ, virtuous ancestors of mankind to the but it should be added, he was banishStars. Hesiod appears to glance at ed on a charge of having issued forged this belief, though without the refer- oracles. It has been objected to the ence to a solar translation, in his good genuineness of the Argonautics, that demons. This may, however, have we have authority for Orpheus habeen a branch of the exoteric or out. ving used the Doric dialect ; but the ward doctrine promulgated to the objection is not valid, for Onomacutus people for social and political pur. may have changed it for the Homeric; poses, as the residence of the virtuous and it appears more probable that he souls in the stars meant probably no- should have been in possession of certhing more than a physical energy. tain fragments, which he made the

Having spoken thus of the works groundwork of the poems, than that and philosophy of Orpheus, it would he should have been their entire inseem very ungrateful, with Vossius ventor, as the name of Orpheus was and others, to deny his existence, and too well known, many of his tradi. assert that Orpheus, Musæus, and Li- tionary verses being dispersed abroad, nus, were merely names deduced from to render such a forgery plausible.





nary agents, created by circumstances It was necessary that he should be- but they have been, like Casimir long to the people—have been brought Perier, the" men adapted to the up amongst them—have made his for. moment, and the agents raised up tune in the midst of them—and have either to accomplish great and perma- been associated with all the errors, as nent good, or to prevent vast and well as with all the mingled justice coming evils. And, if we turn over in and truth of their cause. It was neour memories the pages of history, cessary that he should have great whether sacred or profane, and whe- powers of oratory - great personal ther of ancient or of modern date, re- courage-a firm confidence in the sysreading all our readings, and calling tem he espoused-at the same time that back to our memories the leading he could point to his antecedents and events of the world which we inhabit, say, “ Was I not one of you when you we shall find that at various epochs in rose against the ordinances of Charles this world's history, “it is always the X.? and when you proclaimed Louis same man;" that is, a powerful agent- Philip the King of the French ?" It a master mind - always a man far was also necessary that his antecedents above his fellows who is theman should have a still more ancient datefor the moment, and apparently the that he should be identified with the onlyman.

Neysand Manuels, and Foys and BenAnd we have been forcibly struck jamin Constants of the Restorationwith this fact in considering the sub. and that he should be able to point to ject of this memoir-Casimir Perier. the records of the Opposition during A Legitimist leader, in opposition to the that epoch, and say, “ Was I not then Revolution of 1830, could have had no also one of the foremost in your influence with the Chambers, with the ranks ?" and above all this, it was neCrown, or with the lower orders. A cessary that this man of ten thousand Bonapartist would have been sus. should be willing to devote all the pected of intentions in favour of the powers of his body and all the energies family of the Corsican usurper, and of his mind to the cause he believed to would have been rejected as entertain- be just, national, and true. Now there ing opinions allied to those of the was but “one" man in France in whom Propagandist party.

all these qualities and all this fitness A Republican `Chief would have were united, and that man was CASIarmed against him all the middling MIR PERIER! and when we say this, classes, and his government could have it is not in haste or with inconsiderabeen only that of the mob. It was ne

tion. We have looked over in our cessary that the conqueror of the Revo- minds—yes, and with contemporary lution of 1830 should be a man iden- histories in our hands all the men of tified with the Opposition during the 1830, with their powers, their relations, Restoration—a man of fortune and their defects, their qualifications, and good moral character, to inspire the their influence over the Crown, the mass with respect, and the middling Chambers, and the people; and we classes with confidence a man who declare most positively that CASIMIR had the power of addressing the pub. Perier was the “only” man—there lic, and of causing himself to be res

was no other. There were too many pected by it—a man whose private prejudices against M. Guizot; the fortune should protect him against the Duke de Broglie belonged to the old charge of wishing office for the sake aristocracy of France; Lafayette was of its pecuniary advantages, and yet the chief of the Republicans ; Lafaywho should in no wise belong to the ette could not so suddenly rise in opold aristocracy of the country. It was position to the Revolution he had aided necessary that this man should have a in organizing ; Gerard was a mere commanding appearance, that he might soldier ; Lamarque was an avowed feel that confidence in his person as

Bonapartist; Benjamin Constant was well as in his mind, which it was ne- old and withered ; Dupin was nothing cessary he should feel at such a con- but a lawyer, rather suspected than juncture, and which enabled him to otherwise by the popular party ; Odilsay,

lon Barret and Mauquin were scarcely

known; Count Montalivet was too “ Comment veut-on que je cede avec la young ; Barthe was a mere barrister, taille que j'ai ?"

of the Carbonari school in politics;



Thiers was unknown but to a few spectable position in society of the friends or cronies in the republic of family of Periers may be derived from letters ; Marshal Soult had served the this fact, that, two years before the Restoration as he had the empire, with Revolution of 1789, the province of equal fidelity ; Count d' Argont had Dauphiny suffered much from a very been charged by Charles X. to nego- serious famine. It was necessary, tiate for him with the Provisional Go- therefore, to make large purchases of vernment at the Hotel de Ville ; and provisions in neighbouring districts of Talleyrand had no moral influence over France. Claude Perier, the father of even three individuals in all France- Casimir, put his capital and credit at We were about to say in all the world. the disposal of his native province ; So Casimir Perier was the only man and in order to reward him for this who could dare—who did dare to at signal service rendered to Isere, the tempt to conquer the Revolution of Parliamentof Grenoble rendered spon1830—and who, in the end, even though taneously a decree, by which the charge cut off in the midst of his labours, did, of counsellor was presented to his by his successors and disciples, succeed eldest son. The family of Perier apin conquering it.

pears to have been destined to repreTo the life of this man, then, we in- sent, in the most full and comprehenvite the attention of our readers; and sive manner, the political aggrandisethough his life, like those of most of ment of the middling classes in France. us, will be found to be a mingled yarn The father of Casimir Perier died a of good and evil, yet, on the whole, member of the legislative corps ; his much benefit may be derived from the two brothers-in-law, Messrs Pascal contemplation and study of his indivi. and Duchesne, were, one a member of dual history.

the same corps, and the other a Tri. Casimir Perier was born at Gre- bun.. Six of his eight sons, Messrs noble on the 12th of October, 1777. His Augustine, Alexandre, Casimir, Cafamily, originally from Mens, a small mille, Alphonse, Joseph Perier, have town in the environs of the capital of been Deputies ; the three last are so Isere, had become wealthy from its still; and M. Augustine Perier died commercial and enterprising charac- Peer of France. His two sons in-law, ter, and even enjoyed a reputation su- Messrs Savage de Rollin and M. Tes. perior to its fortune. The grandfather serie, were Deputies, the first after of Casimir Perier, about 1720, had having been a Tribun. One of his transported to Grenoble the principal nephews was Camille Jordan, and establishment of the family ; he was another, M. Duchesne, is still member the founder of the manufactory of the of the elective Chamber. linens of Voiron, the produce of which The family of Perier, like the family amounted to several millions of francs of Peel, belongs, then, to the mercanper annum at the beginning of the tile and manufacturing classes of soRevolution, and he concentrated at ciety; and as the father of Sir Robert Grenoble, and in his house, the con- Peel founded a sort of dynasty of cern of the “ Tissas de l'Inde,” with wealth, talent, and patriotism, so did which he supplied the centre and the the her of Casimir Perier, both south of France. One of his sons was having one son, above all others of their named director of the “ Companie des children, who distinguished themselves Indes." His eldest son, Claude, the by their senatorial and statesman-like father of Casimir, extended his com- talents. As Sir Robert Peel, on all mercial operations to the two branches suitable occasions, not only admits, but of industry created by his father, and even boasts of the fact that he belongs undertook to introduce at Vizille the to the industrious and trading, the then new invention of printed cotton middling and manufacturing classes of goods. The position of the grand society—so did Casimir Perier-and father of Casimir Perier was such as on one occasion, when reproached by to justify him in deciding that his son the French Radical party with being Augustine should become counsellor a great Signior, and with being unto the Parliament. He purchased the able to sympathize with the middling necessary qualifications—but, in order and industrious classes, he exclaimed, to exercise those rights, it was necessary “ miserable and ignorantcreatures that to obtain the consent of the company. ye are ! Do ye forget, then, that my Another proof of the wealthy and re- grandfather was a weaver, and my father a spinner, and that I am only be applied in absolute governments their son ? I know what it is to rise or under imperial rule; but if, by an early and to work late, to eat the bread Aristocrat, you mean a man who has of carefulness and of honest labour ; earned his promotion by his labour, but I know also that the laws are as his honours by his toils, and his wealth essential to the workman as they are by his industry-oh, then, indeed, I to the manufacturer, and as necessary am an Aristocrat-and, please God, I for the middling classes as they are for hope always to remain so. The disthe wealthy. I desire nothing more tinctions in human society displease than the triumph of the laws, and with you, because you have not the talent the laws the liberty which their tri. or the industry to amend your own umph must assure me."

position. You are too idle to labour, On another occasion, when called an and too proud to beg, but I will en" aristocrat," and one of the privileged deavour to take care that you shall not classes, he replied, “my only aristo- rob me. I throw back, then, with cracy is the superiority which industry, indignation and resentment the charge frugality, perseverance, and intelli- which is made. I belong to the gence will always assure to every man middling classes of society. These in a free state of society. I belong classes must take their part in the only to those privileged classes to government of society. I have been which you may all belong in your selected by my fellow-citizens, and by turn. They are not privileges created my king, as one of their representafor us, but created by us. Our wealth tives, and, by the blessing of God, I is our own; we have made it. Our will represent them.” ease and prosperity are our own; we On the approach of the Revolution have gained them by the sweat of our in France, the iiers état did not perbrows, or by the labour of our minds. haps feel the importance of its high Our position in society is not con- destinies ; but it must be admitted ferred upon us, but purchased by our that it prepared to merit them. It selves—with our own intellect, ap- had reaped the harvest of nearly all plication, zeal, patience, and industry. that had been sown for two centuries. If you remain inferior to us, it is be- For it were accomplished the procause you have not the intellect or gress of order, of ease, of ideas. For the industry, the zeal or the sobriety, it the influence of the privileged classes the patience or the application, neces- was weakened, and the power of royal sary to your advancement. This is authority was increased. It had raised not our fault, but your own. You itself, little by little, to that point of wish to become rich, as some men do force and maturity, which enabled it to become wise ; but there is no royal to say, and justified it in saying, that road to wealth any more than there is it was the nation. In its bosom, or to knowledge. You sigh for the ease rather at its head, were to be distinand the repose of wealth, but you are guished families, who allied to the not willing to do that which is neces- manners of the past the opinions of sary to procure them. The husband. the then present; and one of these man who will not till his ground shall families was that of Claude Perier. reap nothing but thistles or briars. Having arrived at aflluence by labour You think that the commotions in and economy, it had remained simple, human society are useless and mis- moderate, serious. It participated in directed if you do not become wealthy those ideas of independence which and powerful by the changes; but assimilated it to the spirit of the times, what right have you to expect, you at the same time that it preserved idlers and drones in the hive, that you those habits of subordination, and of shall always be fed on the honey and respect for the past, for the old mothe sweets of life? What right have narchy, and for olden events and times, you, who do nothing for yourselves, which were weakening generally every your families, your communes, your day. The chief of this Perier family arrondissements, your departments, was an able merchant-having an imyour country, or your kind, to imagine perious character, habituated to dethat you will be selected by them for mand much from himself, and much their favour, their confidence, and their from others, and his authority was felt rewards ? I am not an Aristocrat in around him. He was no believer in that sense of the term in which it may agrarian laws, in republican spolia. tions, in false systems of equality ; but, Claude Perier had purchased the chaon the contrary, he was an advocate teau of Vizille, the residence of Villefor paternal government at home, and roy, built four leagues from Grenoble, for a firm and regular, and even a in a deep valley on the banks of the severe government of the nation. His Romanche, by the Connetable de Leswife, the mother of Casimir Perier, diguieres. It was in the vast saloons Marie Pascal, was endowed with a of that last feudal manor of this singular mind and with a lively ima- palace, appropriated now to the humgination. She was an admirable ble and peaceful labours of industry, mother of a family; but her religious that met openly, but illegally, that opinions approached almost to mysti- assembly which demanded the double cism. The natural independence of representation of the tiers-état, thus her ideas, and the sweet mildness of precluding the constituent assembly. her character, tended to render less At Vizille, in the property of the austere the otherwise strict aspect of Periers, commenced the first portion the Perier fainily. She was one of of the French Revolution. In vain those, however, who understood and did Brienne contend against the defelt in all its force the value of mater- mand of the Parliament and Peers nal instruction ; and who maintained of the realm in July 1787—against that the education of a child began in the clergy in its assembly of Paris, its cradle. She was not ashamed to and against the states of Dauphiny acknowledge the obligations of woman in the assembly of Vizille. The to Christianity; and, in her turn, she States-General had become, perhaps, sought to bring up her children in the the only means of government and the nurture and admonition of the Lord. last resource of the throne. The proAround her was grouped a numerous vincial states had, partially at least, family, or, as was said repeatedly, prepared the public mind for it, and “ a tribe;"_ten children, remark- the Notables had been its harbingers. able for a most decided physiognomy, The King, after having promised, on for å mélange of new principles and 18th December, 1787, the convocaold manners, of severity and of affec- tion within five years, fixed, on the țion, imagination and prudence ; for à 8th August, 1788, that the Statesknowledge and aptitude for business ; General should open on the 1st May, for vivacity of impressions, clearness 1789. Then Necker was recalled, of judgment, and the sentiment, not a the Parliament re-established, the little pronounced, of personal dignity. “Corr plenière" abolished, the bailiThe eldest of the eight sons of Claude wicks destroyed, the provinces satisPerier, AUGUSTINE, was destined by fied, and the new Minister made every his father to inherit the best part of arrangement for the election of the his fortune, and to become a member Deputies, and the holding of the States. of the French magistracy; but the But though the family of Perier French Revolution arrived, with all its demanded the organization of the positive wrongs and positive injustice; States-General, and powerfully conwith its real evils and imaginary trou- tributed to its constitution, yet it must bles ; with its excesses, its horrors, not be supposed, for a moment, that its good, and its evil. It is known either in that family, or in Dauphiny that it was preceded, and even as it generally, the spirit of innovation, or were announced by the emeutes of the the adventurous love of change, were Parliament, and by the resistance of the principles of those movements the provinces. From the Peace of which brought about a Revolution. America to the Assembly of the States. That province was united to the crown General the kingdom was agitated by by a contract, the conditions of which troubles as the avant-couriers of an it believed it was only requiring to be unknown and approaching crisis. faithfully executed when it combated Dauphiny was certainly not one of a power which it felt or judged to be the provinces which were least excited; arbitrary. Thus, the resistance of and when, in 1788, the states of that Dauphiny was most unlike that of province began those conflicts where other provinces and other places, and Mounier dominated, and Bernave com- that which others could only justify menced his career, the chief of the by abstract maxims was defended in Perier family offered them an asylum. this province by texts of treatises

« AnteriorContinuar »