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poured the contents of the glass into their proper reservoir, but his right kept unceasingly rubbing about the lower extremities of his waistcoat, and had such friction only followed the swallowing of the wine it would have been natural enough—for the boisson was most execrable, though announced to us as “ Beaune, première qualité." Speak out, my dear Vicomte," said I once more, unburthen yourself.”—“ By Got, I am unburden already,” replied he: “I have lost my purse—my money - vingt-deur Napoléons - trois pièces de cent sous --sept ou huit francs-et quelques petites pièces !" The appalling solemnity of this enumeration, and the prodigiousness of the sum, in comparison with the circumstances of the loser, filled me with sympathetic alarm. I started up, and swore that I suspected the ill-looking cocher of having picked his pocket as be stepped in and out of the carriage. He scouted this idea as impossible. I then turned the battery of my accusations upon a couple of " scurvy mechanics," who were regaling themselves at a table beside us, and proposed calling in the police for a general search. This the Vicomte would not listen to for a moment, saying aloud, with great feeling, and his hand placed on his breast—" Monsieur, non! Je connois trop l'honneur Français ; je n'accuse personne ; si le sort m'a fait perdre cette somme inconsidérable, c'est perdu: voilà le total ! But, my dear Sir," added he in English, and in a subdued tone, “ have de goodness to pay de bill, if you please.” On these words he stalked towards the calèche with a very imposing and rather awful demeanour, leaving me to explain to the waiter and the other listeners the cause of his magnanimous expressions. I paid the bill, and rejoined the representative of the noble race of the Vauriens, with very elevated notions of his philosophy, and profound respect for himself and his whole family to the remotest generation.

We soon re-entered the line of carriages, and proceeded at the regulation snail's-pace adopted on these occasions. My contemplation of the Vicomte, who was in a moment as lively, as chatty, and as much ‘at his ease, as if he had found, instead of losing, twenty guineas and a gold watch, prevented me from paying much attention to the unmeaning and uninteresting procession in which I made one, and which annually sets all Paris in a flutter, and may be called la fête par excellence of milliners, mantua-makers, and hackney-coachmen. This spectacle of Longchamps is, of all others, the most stupid and the most devoutly worshipped of the periodical frivolities of Paris. No one of any fashion could presume to hold up his or her head for the rest of the year, if they did not, on this all-fools'-day, occupy a seat in some kind of vehicle, and

for hours to be stared at in the open air by the walking population of the capital. On the particular occasion which I describe, the crowd of carriages was inconceivable. But the day was not kindly. The sun was hot and the air raw. The year and the season did not pull together. The first was advanced, but the other backward—just like the ludicrous imitation of an English equipage which figured before me-a monstrous blue and gilded caricature of the Lord Mayor's coach, dragged by four old white horses, the leaders and wheelers pulling most obstinately in different directions, to the great amusement of the crowd, and the horrible discomfiture of the old aristocratical couple within, their clumsy postilions, with cocked-hats and huge jack-boots, and the two footmen, in their scarlet coats and yellow plush breeches of

sit up

the true cut and pattern of the siècle de Louis XIV. This was the most barefaced revival of the ancienne régime ; but there were many minor attempts, and much laughable absurdity of our own day. The train of king's pages, for instance, on their piebald horses, and in a most quizzical costume; with various laughter-moving efforts to look English on the part of the other equestrians, both masters and grooms:

The whole thing had the air of a forced production. The white dresses of the ladies were out of all keeping with the coldness of the weather; and the profusion of artificial flowers in their bonnets looked quite preposterous, when compared with the leafless branches of the trees that stretched their skeleton arms across the Boulevards. I was out of patience at the whole display ; yet not so much annoyed by the folly of the multitude, as indignant at the meanness with which they submitted to be swore at, and rode over, and shoved, and jostled, and commanded, and abused, by some dozens of mounted gensdarmesthose military masters of the ceremonies, whose wand of office is the bare blade of a sabre--who give curses instead of courtesy—and put fears of despotism and tyranny into the hearts that should be filled with associations of joy. What hope can there be for such a people ? thought I. But hold! I am afraid I have got to the length of my letter; and if I give myself more rope I may get hanged, or guillotined, or something of that sort, one fine morning.

I sat it out till six o'clock. Less would not satisfy the Vicomte, and the coachman repelled my effort to quit the calèche. He insisted on my remaining until it was delivered safe and sound into “ the place from whence it came.” I was, therefore, obliged to suffer half-a-day's martyrdom, which may partly account for my disapproval of the show; and having paid the woman forty francs (being double the common price, on account of the fête), I parted with the Vicomte--for ever, I do believe. He gave me a squeeze of the hand, which was forebodingly forcible, and an assurance that he would come the next morning to settle bis share of our day's expenses

5-a promise which he most faithfully remembered to forget; and it may be well to add, that when I called on him two days afterwards, the old portress told me he had

gone into the country for some weeks; and to my enquiry if he had recovered his watch and money, she replied by a turn on her heel, slamming the door in my face, and the emphatical utterance of the interjection "Bah!"

WHAT LIFE TO CHOOSE.'
“ Not to know at large of things remote

From use, obscure and subtle ; but to know
That which before us lies in daily life,
Is the prime wisdom."

Paradise Lost. " When I look round upon the material world," says a Pagan writer,

and observe the ineffable beauty and harmony of all its arrangements, the magnificent machinery of the heavenly bodies, the unerring precision with which they perform their majestic evolutions, as well as the regular succession of seasons and interchange of elements, by which the carth is maintained in undiminished splendour and fertility, I recognise on all sides the power and the presence of a benignant Deity: but when I direct my observation towards the moral world, and reflect that the creation, the object, and the final conclusion of all this glorious pageant have been hitherto unrevealed to us, and threaten to remain involved in impenetrable obscurity ; when I observe the confusion of principles, with the disorder, uncertainty, and darkness, that perpetually surround the destiny of man ; when I see vice and irreligion triumphant and rewarded, piety and virtue oppressed and wretched, the mental and bodily anguish of innocent individuals, the perpetual struggle of nations to torment one another, with the general predominance of human and animal suffering in the endless alternations of destroyer and victim, I am lost in astonishment at the contrast of the physical and moral systems; and in spite of myself relapse into scepticism and doubt.” Authority that he possessed not has removed part of the difficulty by revealing to us that the present is but a probationary existence-the prelude to another, in which all the inconsistencies and imperfections of which he complained will be finally adjusted and atoned upon immutable principles of right; but it must be confessed, that enough remains unexplained to harass and perplex the prying spirit. The origin and existence of vice and pain, the unmerited sufferings of animals, for whom we are not warranted in admitting a future state of retribution,-these, and many other insolvable points, which, like so many ignes fatui, are as sure to elude our grasp as to lead us into pitfalls and difficulties, will be altogether avoided by the wise man, who, fixing his attention upon the consolatory perfectness of the material world, and confiding in the benignity which vades it, will patiently await the fulness of time when the same spirit of goodness shall give a similar unity and completeness to the moral scheme of creation.

Down to the minutest divisions of human occupation it will be found that the men whose pursuits bring them in contact with inanimate nature, enjoy their avocations much more than those who are conversant with humanity, and all the modifications of the social and moral system. Champort observes, that the writers on physics, natural history, physiology, chemistry, have been generally men of a mild, even, and happy temperament; while, on the contrary, the writers on politics, legislation, and even morals, commonly exhibited a melancholy and fretful spirit. Nothing more simple: the former studied nature, the others society. One class contemplates the work of the great Being, the other fixes its observation upon the work of man: the results must be different. The nymphs of Calypso, as they caressed and fondled the infant Cupid, became unconsciously penetrated with his flame, and if the power of love be thus subtle, that of hatred is, unfortunately, not less pervading. We cannot handle human passions, even to play with them, without imbibing some portion of their acrimony, any more than we can gather flowers amid the nettles without being stung. Into every thing human a spirit of party becomes insinuated, and self-love is perpetually forcing us to taste of its bitterness ; but there is no rivalry with nature; our pride does not revolt at her superiority, nay, we find a pure and holy calm in contemplating her majesty, before which we bow down with mingled feelings of delight and reverence. Contrast this with the effects produced upon us by human grandeur

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and elevation. Hence the charm of solitude ; it plaćés üs in communion with things, whereas society fixes our regards upon man.

The age of Ascetics and Hermits is, however, passed away ; intercourse with our kind is not to be interdicted, but regulated. “ These things," as Milton says in his Areopagitica, " will be, and must be ; but how they shall be least hurtful, how least enticing, herein consists the grave and governing wisdom. To sequester out of the world, into Atlantic and Eutopian politics, which never can be drawn into use, will not mend our condition, but to ordain wisely in this world of evil, in the midst whereof God has placed us unavoidably.” Love of the country, and even of a partial seclusion, is not by any means misanthropy. “ I love not man the less, but Nature more," when I recommend all those who have the privilege of a choice, to fly from the fermenting passions of crowds and capitals, whose acrid influence gnaws into the heart, and to appeal to the peaceful balmy ministerings of rural life. Farming, the primitive natural business of man, is probably the most healthful, both for body and mind; it places us, as it were, in daily contact with the Deity, by our unceasing experience of his superintending love, connects earth with heaven, and brings religion home to our business and bosoms. Cincinnatus felt this when he made such haste to beat the Volscians, that he might hurry back to his plough. I envy him the turning up of the first furrow; and I may say, in imitation of Alexander's speech to Diogenes, that if I were not a writer for the New Monthly Magazine, I should wish to be a farmer!!

Gardening, which exalts man into a species of creator, is another recreation fraught with all soothing and sweet delights; and it is pleasing to reflect, that some of the most eminent persons of antiquity are associated with its cultivation. Appius gave his name to a particular apple, Lucullus to a cherry, and Manlius to a pear. When Diocletian was pressed to resume the supreme authority, which he had abdicated, be exclaimed—“Ah! if Maximian could see the plants which I cultivate in my garden, at Salona, he would speak to me no more of empire.” Cicero, in his defence of Amerinus, alleges his rural pursuits as a proof that he could not be guilty of his father's murder, “ Vita autem hæc rustica, quam tu agrestem vocas, parsimoniæ, dili. gentiæ, justiciæ magistra est." Fabius and Scipio might both have gained prizes at the Horticultural Society, had it fortunately been of earlier institution; and we are told of Mæcenas that he might have realised a more aspiring destiny, but that

“Maluit umbrosum quercum, Nymphasque canoras,

Paucaque pomosi jugera culta soli,

Pieridas, Phæbumque colens in mollibus hortis.” Many of the arts elicit sensations not less pure and unalloyed. Sculpture is also a species of creation, and one can hardly imagine any thing more delightful than the life of an ancient statuary, whose business it was, in the formation of his deities, to exalt the pleasure derived from contemplating the most rare and exquisite specimens of human symmetry into devotional rapture, and taste, as it were, the religion of beauty. He dedicated to the divinities the finest and most faultless forms of real existence, devoting himself to their production with the combined enthusiasm of the senses and of the spirit. This is the whole secret of the beau idéal, about which so much has been written : there is no rising above nature without going out of nature,

which is deformity, not beauty. The phrase is an invention of modern sculptors, who can never reach the perfection of the ancient artists, because they are unimbued by the same stimulating feelings. Chiselling out men and monuments, human virtues and vices, their sensations as well as their works, are of a lower order. In Roman Catholic countries, where pictures are dedicated to religion, the finest painters have been produced : they have felt the same animation as the ancients, and have probably surpassed them. Portrait-painters, gazing more frequently upon stupid and repulsive countenances than upon those that are attractive or intelligent, and brought into perpetual collision with human foibles and vanities, can have no very ardent impulse or lofty sensations : but the landscape-painter's is probably the most delicious pursuit to which human talent can be devoted. Perpetually looking out upon a face of eternal youth and beauty, whose smiles and frowns, in their inexhaustible variety, form but so many alternations of loveliness, he derives from every minute form, from

every

tint of earth, rock, or leaf, from every passing variety of cloud or sky, a charm that has reference to his art over and above the natural one that addresses itself to his sense ;-looking through nature up to nature's God, he feels the placid influence of the scene he paints; and in his solitary rambles,

“Exempt from public haunt,
Finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks,

Sermons in stones, and good in every thing." He who draws out the hidden harmonies of Nature into new combinations, possesses a fountain of pure and inexhaustible gratification. The musician has a perpetual resource against ennui ; he can soothe the heart, while he delights the ear ; his art, like charity, is twice blessed—“ it blesseth him that gives, and him that takes ;"—he is generally a happy man.

We have considered some of those avocations that associate us with Nature and the physical world ; let us now briefly notice some of those that place us in relation with man and morals, beginning with the professions. Nothing so strikingly illustrates the total nullity and blindness to which human reason may be reduced by the force of long-continued habit, titular honours, and external pomp, as the fact, that men of even good sense and humanity can become enamoured of a military life. As a matter of necessity, I arraign not its existence; but that it should be ever embraced as an affair of preference, is somewhat astounding. Strip it of its externals, view it abstractedly, analyse its nature and object, and if the word glory cannot alter the immutable truth of principles, nor a gold epaulette metamorphose every action of its wearer, we cannot cease to wonder that men should be so infatuated as to worship a painted devil for an angel. That it is the road to wealth, honours, rank, may be very true; but does it conduce to happiness? That is an enquiry which may be left to its professors to solve.

Medicine and surgery will hold out few attractions to those who are not prepared to sear their hearts as a preliminary qualification for their practice. Painful and distressing profession! that turns to us perpetually the darkest side of human nature, subjects us to the harrowing repetition of mental woe and bodily anguish, to sickness, decay, death : while it exposes to us moral as well as physical deformity, by bringing to our cognisance the selfishness of friends, the hollowness of relatives,

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