Among other peculiarities, Paganini was an incarnation of avarice and parsimony, with a most contradictory passion for gambling. He would haggle with you for sixpence, and stake a rouleau on a single turn at rouge et noir. He screwed you down in a bargain as tightly as if you were compressed in a vice; yet he had intervals of liberality, and sometimes did a generous action. In this he bore some resemblance to the celebrated John Elwes, of miserly notoriety, who deprived himself of the common necessaries of life, and lived on a potato skin, but sometimes gave a check for L100 to a public charity, and contributed largely to private subscriptions. I never heard that Paganini actually did this, but once or twice he played for nothing, and sent a donation to the Mendicity, when he was in Dublin.
When he made his engagement with me, we mutually agreed to write no orders, expecting the house to be quite full every night, and both being aware that the "sons of freedom," while they add nothing to the exchequer, seldom assist the effect of the performance. They are not given to applaud vehemently; or, as Richelieu observes, "in the right places." What we can get for nothing we are inclined to think much less of than that which we must purchase. He who invests a shilling will not do it rashly, or without feeling convinced that value received will accrue from the risk. The man who pays is the real enthusiast; he comes with a pre-determination to be amused, and his spirit is exalted accordingly. Paganini's valet surprised me one morning, by walking into my room, and with many "eccellenzas" and gesticulations of respect, asking me to give him an order. I said, "Why do you come to me? Apply to your master—won't he give you one?" "Oh, yes; but I don't like to ask him." "Why not?" "Because he'll stop the amount out of my wages!" My heart relented; I gave him the order, and paid Paganini the dividend. I told him what it was, thinking, as a matter of course, he would return it. He seemed uncertain for a moment, paused, smiled sardonically, looked at the three and sixpence, and with a spasmodic twitch, deposited it in his own waistcoat pocket instead of mine. Voltaire says, "no man is a hero to his valet de chambre," meaning, thereby, as I suppose, that being behind the scenes of every-day life, he finds out that Marshal Saxe, or Frederick the Great, is as subject to the common infirmities of our nature, as John Nokes or Peter Styles. Whether Paganini's squire of the body looked on his master as a hero in the vulgar acceptation of the word, I cannot say, but in spite of his stinginess, which he writhed under, he regarded him with mingled reverence and terror. "A strange person, your master," observed I. "Signor," replied the faithful Sancho Panza, "e veramente grand uomo, ma da non potersi comprendere." "He is truly a great man, but quite incomprehensible." It was edifying to observe the awful importance with which Antonio bore the instrument nightly intrusted to his charge to carry to and from the theatre. He considered it an animated something, whether demon or angel he was unable to determine, but this he firmly believed, that it could speak in actual dialogue when his master pleased, or become a dumb familiar by the same controlling volition. This especial violin was Paganini's inseparable companion. It lay on his table before him as he sat meditating in his solitary chamber; it was placed by his side at dinner, and on a chair within his reach when in bed. If he woke, as he constantly did, in the dead of night, and the sudden estro of inspiration seized him, he grasped his instrument, started up, and on the instant perpetuated the conception which otherwise he would have lost for ever. This marvellous Cremona, valued at four hundred guineas, Paganini, on his death-bed, gave to De Kontski, his nephew and only pupil, himself an eminent performer, and in his possession it now remains.
When Paganini was in Dublin, at the musical festival of 1830, the Marquis of Anglesea, then Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, came every night to the concerts at the theatre, and was greatly pleased with his performance. On the first evening, between the acts, his Excellency desired that he might be brought round to his box, to be introduced, and paid him many compliments. Lord Anglesea was at that time residing in perfect privacy with his family at Sir Harcourt Lee's country house, near Blackrock, and expressed a wish to get an evening from the great violinist, to gratify his domestic circle. The negotiation was rather a difficult one, as Paganini was, of all others, the man who did nothing in the way of business without an explicit understanding, and a clearly-defined con-si-de-ra-tion. He was alive to the advantages of honor, but he loved money with a paramount affection. I knew that he had received enormous terms, such as L150 and L200 for fiddling at private parties in London, and I trembled for the vice-regal purse; but I undertook to manage the affair, and went to work accordingly. The aid-de-camp in waiting called with me on Paganini, was introduced in due form, and handed him a card of invitation to dinner, which, of course, he received and accepted with ceremonious politeness. Soon after the officer had departed, he said suddenly, "This is a great honor, but am I expected to bring my instrument?" "Oh, yes," I replied, "as a matter of course—the Lord Lieutenant's family wish to hear you in private." "Caro amico," rejoined he, with petrifying composure, "Paganini con violino e Paganini senza violino,—ecco due animali distinti." "Paganini with his fiddle and Paganini without it are two very different persons." I knew perfectly what he meant, and said, "The Lord Lieutenant is a nobleman of exalted rank and character, liberal in the extreme, but he is not Croesus; nor do I think you could with any consistency receive such an honor as dining at his table, and afterwards send in a bill for playing two or three tunes in the evening." He was staggered, and asked, "What do you advise?" I said, "Don't you think a present, in the shape of a ring, or a snuff-box, or something of that sort, with a short inscription, would be a more agreeable mode of settlement?" He seemed tickled by this suggestion, and closed with it at once. I dispatched the intelligence through the proper channel, that the violin and the grand maestro would both be in attendance. He went in his very choicest mood, made himself extremely agreeable, played away, unsolicited, throughout the evening, to the delight of the whole party, and on the following morning a gold snuff-box was duly presented to him, with a few complimentary words engraved on the lid.
A year or two after this, when Paganini was again in England, I thought another engagement might be productive, as his extraordinary attraction appeared still to increase. I wrote to him on the subject, and soon received a very courteous communication, to the effect, that although he had not contemplated including Ireland in his tour, yet he had been so impressed by the urbanity of the Dublin public, and had moreover conceived such a personal esteem for my individual character, that he might be induced to alter his plans, at some inconvenience, provided always I could make him a more enticing proposal than the former one. I was here completely puzzled, as on that occasion I gave him a clear two-thirds of each receipt, with a bonus of twenty-five pounds per night in addition, for two useless coadjutors. I replied, that having duly deliberated on his suggestion, and considered the terms of our last compact, I saw no possible means of placing the new one in a more alluring shape, except by offering him the entire produce of the engagement. After I had dispatched my letter, I repented bitterly, and was terrified lest he should think me serious, and hold me to the bargain; but he deigned no answer, and this time I escaped for the fright I had given myself. When in London, I called to see him, and met with a cordial reception; but he soon alluded to the late correspondence, and half seriously said, "That was a curious letter you wrote to me, and the joke with which you concluded it by no means a good one." "Oh," said I, laughing, "it would have been much worse if you had taken me at my word." He then laughed too, and we parted excellent friends. I never saw him again. He returned to the Continent, and died, having purchased the title of Baron, with a patent of nobility, from some foreign potentate, which, with his accumulated earnings, somewhat dilapidated by gambling, he bequeathed to his only son. Paganini was the founder of his school, and the original inventor of those extraordinary tours de force with which all his successors and imitators are accustomed to astonish the uninitiated. But he still stands at the head of the list, although eminent names are included in it, and is not likely to be pushed from his pedestal.
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Julius Cornet of Hamburgh understands thirty-eight different languages, not in the superficial manner of Elihu Burritt, but so well that he is able to write them with correctness, and to make translations from one into the other. He has issued a circular to the German public, offering his services as a universal translator, and refers to some of the most prominent publishers of Leipsic, whom he has many years served in that capacity.
BIOGRAPHY OF FRENCH JOURNALISTS.
Fraser's magazine contains a reviewal of Texier's new book on the Paris journals and editors, from which we copy the following paragraphs:
The Debats is chiefly read by wealthy landed proprietors, public functionaries, the higher classes of the magistracy, the higher classes of merchants and manufacturers, by the agents de change, barristers, notaries, and what we in England would call country gentlemen. Its circulation we should think 10,000. If it circulate 12,000 now, it certainly must have considerably risen since 1849.
The chief editor of the Debats is Armand Bertin. He was brought up in the school of his father, and is now about fifty years of age, or probably a little more. M. Bertin is a man of esprit, and of literary tastes, with the habits, feelings, and demeanor of a well-bred gentleman. Of an agreeable and facile commerce, the editor of the Debats is a man of elegant and Epicurean habits; but does not allow his luxurious tastes to interfere with the business of this nether world. According to M. Texier, he reads with his own proprietary and editorial eyes all the voluminous correspondence of the office on his return from the salon in which he has been spending the evening. If in the forenoon there is any thing of importance to learn in any quarter of Paris, M. Bertin is on the scent, and seldom fails to run down his game. At a certain hour in the day he appears in the Rue des Pretres, in which the office of the Debats is situate, and there assigns to his collaborators their daily task. The compiler of the volume before us, who, as we stated, is himself connected with the Parisian press, writing in the Siecle, and who, it may therefore be supposed, has had good opportunities for information, states that, previous to the passing of the Tinguy law, M. Bertin never wrote in his own journal, but contented himself with giving to the products of so many pens the necessary homogeneity. But be this as it may, it is certain he has often written since the law requires the signature obligatoire.
Under the Monarchy of the Barricades the influence of M. Bertin was most considerable, yet he only used this influence to obtain orders and decorations for his contributors. As to himself, to his honor and glory be it stated, that he never stuck the smallest bit of riband to his own buttonhole, or, during the seventeen years of the monarchy of July, ever once put his feet inside the Tuileries. At the Italian Opera or the Varietes, sometimes at the Cafe de Paris, the Maison Doree, or the Trois Freres, M. Bertin may be seen enjoying the music, or his dinner and wine, but never was he a servile courtier or trencher-follower of the Monarch of the Barricades. It is after these enjoyments, or after his petit souper, that M. Bertin proceeds for the last time for the day, or rather the night, to the office of the paper. There shutting himself up in his cabinet, he calls for proofs, reads them, and when he has seen every thing, and corrected every thing, he then gives the final and authoritative order to go to press, and towards two o'clock in the morning turns his steps homeward. M. Bertin, says our author with some malice, belongs to that class of corpulent men so liked by Caesar and Louis Phillippe. Personally, M. Bertin has no reverence for what is called nobility, either ancient or modern. He is of the school of Chaussee d'Antin, which would set the rich and intelligent middle classes in the places formerly occupied by Messieurs les Grands Seigneurs.
The ablest man, connected with the Debats, or indeed, at this moment, with the press of France, is M. DE SACY. De Sacy is an advocate by profession, and pleaded in his youth some causes with considerable success. At a very early period of his professional existence he allied himself with the Debats. His articles are distinguished by ease and flow, yet by a certain gravity and weight, which is divested, however, of the disgusting doctoral tone. He is, in truth, a solid and serious writer, without being in the least degree heavy. Political men of the old school read his papers with pleasure, and most foreigners may read them with profit and instruction. M. de Sacy is a simple, modest, and retiring gentleman, of great learning, and a taste and tact very uncommon for a man of so much learning. Though he has been for more than a quarter of a century influentially connected with the Debats, and has, during eighteen or twenty years of the period, had access to men in the very highest positions—to ministers, ambassadors, to the sons of a king, and even to the late king himself, it is much to his credit that he has contented himself with a paltry riband and a modest place, as Conservateur de la Bibliotheque Mazarine. M. de Sacy belongs to a Jansenist family. Apropos of this, M. Texier tells a pleasant story concerning him. A Roman Catholic writer addressing him one day in the small gallery reserved for the journalist at the Chamber of Deputies, said, "You are a man, M. de Sacy, of too much cleverness, and of too much honesty, not to be one of us, sooner or later." "Not a bit of it," replied promptly M. de Sacy; "je veux vivre et mourir avec un pied dans le doute et l'autre dans la foi."
SAINT-MARC GIRARDIN is certainly, next to De Sacy, the most distinguished writer connected with the Debats. He was originally a maitre d'etude at the College of Henry IV., and sent one fine morning an article to the Debats, which produced a wonderful sensation. The article was without name or address; but old Bertin so relished and appreciated it, that he was not to be foiled in finding out the author. An advertisement was inserted on the following day, requesting the writer to call at the editor's study, when M. Saint-Marc Girardin was attached as a regular soldat de plume to the establishment—a profitable engagement, which left him at liberty to leave his miserable metier of maitre d'etude. The articles written in 1834 against the Emperor of Russia and the Russian system were from the pen of M. Girardin.—The maitre d'etude of former days became professor at the College of France—became deputy, and exhibited himself, able writer and dialectician as he was and is, as a mediocre speaker, and ultimately became academician and un des quarante.
Another distinguished writer in the Debats is Michel Chevalier. Chevalier is an eleve of the Polytechnic School, who originally wrote in the Globe. When editor and gerant of the Globe, he was condemned to six months' imprisonment for having developed in that journal the principles of St. Simonianism. Before the expiration of his sentence he was appointed by the Government to a sort of travelling commission to America; and from that country he addressed a series of memorable letters to the Debats, which produced at the time immense effect. Since that period, Chevalier was appointed Professor of Political Economy at the College of France, a berth from whence he was removed by Carnot, Minister of Public Instruction, but afterwards reinstated by subsequent ministers. Chevalier, though an able man, is yet more of an economic writer than a political disquisitionist. His brother Augustus is Secretary-general of the Elysee.
Among the other contributors are PHILARETE CHASLES, an excellent classical scholar, and a man well acquainted with English literature; Cuvillier Fleury, unquestionably a man of taste and talent; and the celebrated Jules Janin. The productions of the latter as a feuilletoniste are so well known that we do not stop to dwell upon them. Janin is not without merit, and he is highly popular with a certain class of writers: but his articles after all, apart from the circumstances of the day, are but a rechauffe of the style of Marivaux.
The history of the Constitutionnel follows that of the Debats. The Debats, says M. Texier, is ingenious, has tact without enthusiasm, banters with taste, and scuds before the wind with a grace which only belongs to a fin voilier—to a fast sailing clipper. But, on the other hand, none of these qualities are found in the Constitutionnel, which, though often hot, and not seldom vehement and vulgar, is almost uniformly heavy. For three-and-thirty years—that is to say, from 1815 to 1848—the Constitutionnel traded in Voltairien principles, in vehement denunciations of the Parti Pretre and of the Jesuits, and in the intrigues of the emigrants and royalist party quand meme. For many years the literary giant of this Titanic warfare was Etienne, who had been in early life secretary to Maret, duke of Bassano, himself a mediocre journalist, though an excellent reporter and stenographer. Etienne was a man of esprit and talent, who had commenced his career as a writer in the Minerve Francaise. In this miscellany, his letters on Paris acquired as much vogue as his comedies. About 1818, Etienne acquired a single share in the Constitutionnel, and after a year's service became impregnated with the air of the Rue Montmartre—with the spirit of the genius loci. When one has been some time writing for a daily newspaper, this result is sure to follow. One gets habituated to set phrases—to pet ideas—to the traditions of the locality—to the prejudices of the readers, political or religious, as the case may be. Independently of this, the daily toil of newspaper writing is such, and so exhausting, that a man obliged to undergo it for any length of time is glad occasionally to find refuge in words without ideas, which have occasionally much significancy with the million, or in topics on which the public love to dwell fondly. Under the reign of Louis XVIII. and Charles X. it lost no opportunity, by indirection and innuendo, of hinting at the "Petit Caporal," and this circumstance during the life of the emperor, and long after his death, caused the journal to be adored—that is really the word—by the old army, by the vieux de vieille, and by the durs a cuirs. In these good old bygone times the writers in the Constitutionel wore a blue frock closely buttoned up to the chin, to the end that they might pass for officers of the old army on half-pay. In 1830 the fortunes of the Constitutionnel had reached the culminant point. It then counted 23,000 subscribers, at 80 francs a year. At that period a single share in the property was a fortune. But the avatar of the Citizen King spoiled in a couple of years the sale of the citizen journal. The truth is, that the heat of the Revolution of July had engendered and incubated a multitude of journals, great and little, bounding with young blood and health—journals whose editors and writers did not desire better sport than to attack the Constitutionnel at right and at left, and to tumble the dear, fat, rubicund, old gentleman, head over heels. Among these was the Charivari, which incontinently laughed at the whole system of the establishment, from the crapulous, corpulent, and Voltairien Etienne, down to the lowest printer's devil. The metaphors, the puffs, canards, the reclames, &c. of the Constitutionnel were treated mercilessly and as nothing—not even Religion itself can stand the test of ridicule among so mocking a people as the French; the result was, that the Constitutionnel diminished wonderfully in point of circulation. Yet the old man wrote and spoke well, and had, from 1824 to 1829, as an ally the sharp and clever Thiers, and the better read, the better informed, and the more judicious Mignet. It was during the Vitelle administration that the Constitutionnel attained the very highest acme of its fame. It was then said to have had 30,000 subscribers, and to have maintained them with the cry of "Down with the Jesuits!" In 1827-28, during its palmiest days, the Constitutionnel had no Roman feuilleton. It depended then on its leading articles, nor was it till its circulation declined, in 1843, to about 3500, that the proprietors determined to reduce the price one-half. They then, too, adopted the Roman feuilleton, giving as much as 500 francs for an article of this kind to Dumas or Sue. From 1845 or 1846 to 1848, the Consitutionnel had most able contributors of leading articles; Thiers, De Remusat, and Duvergier d'Hauranne, having constantly written in its columns. The circulation of the journal was then said to amount to 24,000. When the Constitutionnel entered into the hands of its present proprietor, Docteur Louis Veron, it was said to be reduced to 3000 subscribers. How many subscribers it has now we have no very accurate means of knowing, but we should say, at a rough guess, it may have 9000 or 10,000. It should be remembered, that from being an anti-sacerdotal journal it has become a priests' paper and the organ of priests; from being an opponent of the executive, it has become the organ and the apologist of the executive in the person of M. L. N. Buonaparte, and the useful instrument, it is said, of M. Achille Fould. Every body knows, says M. Texier, with abundant malice prepense, that Dr. Veron, the chief editor of the Constitutionnel, has declared that France may henceforth place her head on the pillow and go quietly to sleep, for the doctor confidently answers for the good faith and wisdom of the president.
But who is DOCTOR VERON, the editor-in-chief, when one finds his excellency chezelle? The ingenuous son of Esculapius tells us himself that he has known the coulisses (the phrase is a queer one) of science, of the arts, of politics, and even of the opera. It appears, however, that the dear doctor is the son of a stationer of the Rue du Bac, who began his career by studying medicine. If we are to believe himself, his career was a most remarkable one. In 1821 he was received what is called an interne of the Hotel Dieu. After having walked the hospitals, he enrolled himself in the Catholic and Apostolic Society of 'bonnes lettres,' collaborated with the writers in the Quotidienne, and, thanks to Royalist patronage, was named physician-in-chief of the Royal Museums. Whether any of the groups in the pictures of Rubens, Salvator Rosa, Teniers, Claude, or Poussin—whether any of the Torsos of Praxiteles, or even of a more modern school, required the assiduous care or attention of a skilful physician, we do not pretend to state. But we repeat that the practice of Dr. Veron, according to M. Texier, was confined to these dumb yet not inexpressive personages. In feeling the pulse of the Venus de Medici, or looking at the tongue of the Laocoon, or the Apollo Belvidere, it is said the chief, if not the only practice of Dr. Louis Veron consisted. True, the doctor invented a pate pectorale, approved by all the emperors and kings in Europe, and very renowned, too, among the commonalty; but so did Dr. Solomon, of Gilead House, near Liverpool, invent a balm of Gilead, and Mrs. Cockle invent anti-bilious pills, taken by many of the judges, a majority of the bench of bishops, and some admirals of the blue, and general officers without number, yet we have never heard that Moses Solomon or Tabitha Cockle were renowned in the practice of physic, notwithstanding the said Gilead and the before-mentioned pills. Be this, however, as it may, Veron, after having doctored the pictures and statues, and patepectoraled the Emperor, the Pope, the Grand Turk, the Imaum of Muscat, the Shah of Persia, and the Great Mogul himself, next established the Review of Paris, which in its turn he abandoned to become the director of the Opera. Tired of the Opera after four or five years' service, the doctor became a candidate of the dynastic opposition at Brest. This was the "artful dodge" before the Revolution of July 1848, if we may thus translate an untranslateable phrase of the doctor's. At Brest the professor of the healing art failed, and the consequence was, that instead of being a deputy he became the proprietor of the Constitutionnel. Fortunate man that he is! In Robert le Diable at the Opera, which he would not at first have at any price, the son of Esculapius found the principal source of his fortune, and by the Juif Errant of Eugene Sue, for which he gave 100,000 francs, he saved the Constitutionnel from perdition. Apropos of this matter, there is a pleasant story abroad. When Veron purchased the Constitutionnel, Thiers was writing his Histoire du Consulat, for which the booksellers had agreed to give 500,000 francs. Veron wished to have the credit of publishing the book in the Constitutionnel, and with this view waited on Thiers, offering to pay down, argent comptant, one-half the money. Thiers, though pleased with the proposition, yet entrenched himself behind his engagement with the booksellers. To one of the leading booksellers Veron trotted off post-haste, and opened the business. "Oh!" said the sensible publisher, "you have mistaken your coup altogether." "How so?" said the doctor. "Don't you see," said the Libraire Editeur, "that the rage is Eugene Sue, and that the Debats and the Presse are at fistycuffs to obtain the next novelty of the author of the Mysteres de Paris? Go you and offer as much again for this novel, whatever it may be, as either the one or other of them, and the fortune of the Constitutionnel is made." The doctor took the advice, and purchased the next novelty of Sue at 100,000 francs. This turned out to be the Juif Errant, which raised the circulation of the Constitutionnel to 24,000.
Veron is a puffy-faced little man, with an overgrown body, and midriff sustained upon an attenuated pair of legs; his visage is buried in an immense shirt collar, stiff and starched as a Norman cap. Dr. Veron believes himself the key-stone of the Elysean arch, and that the weight of the government is on his shoulders. Look at him as he enters the Cafe de Paris to eat his puree a la Conde, and his supreme de volaille, and his filet de chevreuil pique aux truffes, and you would say that he is not only the prime, but the favorite minister of Louis Napoleon, par la grace de Dieu et Monsieur le Docteur President de la Republique. "Apres tout c'est un mauvais drole, que ce pharmacien," to use the term applied to the doctor by General Changarnier.
A short man of the name of Boilay washes the dirty linen of Dr. Veron, and corrects his faults of grammar, of history, &c. Boilay is a small, sharp, stout, little man, self-possessed, self-satisfied, with great readiness and tact. Give him but the heads of a subject and he can make out a very readable and plausible article. Boilay is the real working editor of the Constitutionnel, and is supported by a M. Clarigny, a M. Malitourne, and others not more known or more respected. Garnier de Cassagnac, of the Pouvoir, a man of very considerable talent, though not of very fixed principle, writes occasionally in the Constitutionnel, and more ably than any of the other contributors. M. St. Beuve is the literary critic, and he performs his task with eminent ability.
We now come to the National, founded by Carrel, Mignet, and Thiers. It was agreed between the triad that each should take the place of redacteur en chef for a year. Thiers, as the oldest and most experienced, was the first installed, and conducted the paper with zest and spirit till the Revolution of 1830 broke out. The National set out with the idea of changing the incorrigible dynasty, and instituting Orleanism in the place of it. The refusal to pay taxes and to contribute to a budget was a proposition of the National, and it is not going too far to say, that the crisis of 1830 was hastened by this journal. It was at the office of the National that the famous protest, proclaiming the right of resistance, was composed and signed by Thiers, De Remusat, and Canchois Lemaire. On the following day the office of the journal was bombarded by the police and an armed force, when the presses were broken. Against this illegal violence the editors protested. After the Revolution, Carrel assumed the conduct of the journal, and became the firmest as well as the ablest organ of democracy. To the arbitrary and arrogant Perier, he opposed a firm and uncompromising resistance. Every one acquainted with French politics at that epoch is aware of the strenuous and stand-up fight he made for five years for his principles. He it was who opposed a bold front to military bullies, and who invented the epithet traineurs de sabre. This is not the place to speak of the talent of Carrel. He was shot in a miserable quarrel in 1836, by Emile Girardin, then, as now, the editor of the Presse. On the death of Carrel, the shareholders of the paper assembled together to name a successor. M. Trelat, subsequently minister, was fixed upon. But as he was then a detenu at Clairvaux, Bastide and Littre filled the editorial chair during the interregnum. On the release of Trelat, it was soon discovered that he had not the peculiar talent necessary. The sceptre of authority passed into the hands of M. Bastide, named Minister of Foreign Affairs in the ending of 1848, or the beginning of 1849. M. Bastide, then a marchand de bois, divided his editorial empire with M. Armand Marrast, who had been a political prisoner and a refugee in England, and who returned to France on the amnesty granted on the marriage of the Duke of Orleans. M. Marrast, though a disagreeable, self-sufficient, and underbred person, was unquestionably a writer of point, brilliancy, and vigor. From 1837 to the Revolution of 1848 he was connected with the National, and was the author of a series of articles which have not been equalled since. Like all low, vulgar-bred, and reptile-minded persons, Marrast forgot himself completely when raised to the position of President of the Chamber of Deputies. In this position he made irreconcileable enemies of all his old colleagues, and of most persons who came into contact with him. The fact is, that your schoolmaster and pedagogue can rarely become a gentleman, or any thing like a gentleman. The writers in the National at the present moment are, M. Leopold Duras, M. Alexandre Rey, Caylus, Cochut, Forques, Littre, Paul de Musset, Colonel Charras, and several others whose names it is not necessary to mention here.
We come now to the Siecle, a journal which, though only established in 1836, has, we believe, a greater sale than any journal in Paris—at least, had a greater sale previous to the Revolution of February 1848. The Siecle was the first journal that started at the low price of 40 francs a-year, when almost every other newspaper was purchased at a cost of 70 or 80 francs. It should also be recollected, that it was published under the auspices of the deputies of the constitutional opposition. The Siecle was said, in 1846, to have had 42,000 subscribers. Its then editor was M. Chambolle, who abandoned the concern in February or March 1849, not being able to agree with M. Louis Perree, the directeur of the journal. Since Chambolle left a journal which he had conducted for thirteen years, M. Perree has died in the flower of his age, mourned by those connected with the paper, and regretted by the public at large. Previous to the Revolution of 1848, Odillon Barrot and Gustave de Beaumont took great interest and an active part in the management of the Siecle. That positive, dogmatical, self-opinioned, and indifferent newspaper writer, Leon Faucher, was then one of the principal contributors to this journal. The Siecle of 1851 is somewhat what the Constitutionnel was in 1825, 6, and 7. It is eminently City-like and of the bourgeoisie, "earth, earthy," as a good, reforming, economic National Guard ought to be. The success of the journal is due to this spirit, and to the eminently fair, practical, and business-like manner in which it has been conducted. Perree, the late editor and manager of the journal, who died at the early age of 34, was member for the Manche. The writers in the journal are Louis Jourdan, formerly a St. Simonian; Pierre Bernard, who was secretary to Armand Carrel; Hippolite Lamarche, an ex-cavalry captain; Auguste Jullien (son of Jullien de Paris, one of the commissaries of Robespierre); and others whom it is needless to mention.
The Presse was founded in 1836, about the same time as the Siecle, by Emile de Girardin, a son of General de Girardin, it is said, by an English mother. Till that epoch of fifteen years ago, people in Paris or in France had no idea of a journal exceeding in circulation 25,000 copies, the circulation of the Constitutionnel, or of a newspaper costing less than seventy or eighty francs per annum. Many journals had contrived to live on respectably enough on a modest number of 4000 or 5000 abonnes. But the conductors of the Presse and of the Siecle were born to operate a revolution in this routine and jog-trot of newspaper life. They reduced the subscription to newspapers from eighty to forty francs per annum, producing as good if not a better article. This was a great advantage to the million, and it induced parties to subscribe for, and read a newspaper, more especially in the country, who never thought of reading a newspaper before. In constituting his new press, M. Girardin entirely upset and rooted out all the old notions theretofore prevailing as to the conduct of a journal. The great feature in the new journal was not its leading articles, but its Roman feuilleton, by Dumas, Sue, &c. This it was that first brought Socialism into extreme vogue among the working classes. True the Presse was not the first to publish Socialist feuilletons, but the Debats and the Constitutionnel. But the Presse was the first to make the leading article subsidiary to the feuilleton. It was, even when not a professed Socialist, a great promoter of Socialism, by the thorough support which it lent to all the slimy, jesuitical corruptions of Guizoism, and all the turpitudes and chicanery of Louis Philippism. When the Presse was not a year old it had 15,000 subscribers, and before it was twelve years old the product of its advertisements amounted to 150,000 francs a-year. Indeed this journal has the rare merit of being the first to teach the French the use, and we must add the abuse, of advertisements. We fear the Presse, during these early days of the gentle Emile and Granier Cassagnac, was neither a model of virtue, disinterestedness, nor self-denial. Nor do we know that it is so now, even under the best of Republics. There are strange tales abroad, even allowing for the exaggeration of Rumor with her hundred tongues. One thing, however, is clear; that the Presse was a liberal paymaster to its feuilletonistes. To Dumas, Sand, De Balzac, Theophile Gautier, and Jules Sandeau, it four years ago paid 300 francs per day for contributions. The Presse, as M. Texier says, is now less the collective reason of a set of writers laboring to a common intent, than the expression of the individual activity, energy, and wonderful mobility of M. Girardin himself. The Presse is Emile de Girardin, with his boldness, his audacity, his rampant agility, his Jim Crowism, his inexhaustible cleverness, wonderful fecundity, and indisputable talent. The Presse is bold and daring; but no man can tell the color of its politics to-day, much less three days, or three months hence. On the 25th of July, 1848, it was as audacious, as unabashed, and as little disconcerted as two days before. When the workmen arrived in crowds to break its presses, the ingenious Emile threw open the doors of the press-room, talked and reasoned with the greasy rogues, and sent them contented away.
The number of journals in Paris is greater—much greater, relatively—than the number existing in London. The people of Paris love and study a newspaper more than the people of London, and take a greater interest in public affairs, and more especially in questions of foreign policy. Previous to the Revolution of February 1848, it cannot, we think, be denied that newspaper writers in France held a much higher rank than contributors to the daily press in England, and even still they continue to hold a higher and more influential position, though there can be no good reason why they should have done so at either time. For the last fifteen years there cannot be any doubt or question that the leading articles in the four principal daily London morning papers exhibit an amount of talent, energy, information, readiness, and compression, which are not found in such perfect and wonderful combination in the French press.
For the last three years, however, the press of France has wonderfully deteriorated. It is no longer what it was antecedent to the Revolution. There is not the literary skill, the artistical ability, the energy, the learning, and the eloquence which theretofore existed. The class of writers in newspapers now are an inferior class in attainments, in scholarship, and in general ability. There can be little doubt, we conceive, that the press greatly increased and abused its power, for some years previous to 1848. This led to the decline of its influence—an influence still daily diminishing; but withal, even still the press in France has more influence, and enjoys more social and literary consideration, than the press in England. We believe that newspaper writers in France are not now so generally well paid as they were twenty or thirty years ago. Two or three eminent writers can always command in Paris what would be called a sporting price, but the great mass of leading-article writers receive considerably less in money than a similar class in London, though they exercise a much greater influence on public opinion, and enjoy from the peculiar constitution of French society a higher place in the social scale.
—We see by the last papers from Paris that Veron and the President have quarreled.
From the Cincinnati Commercial Advertiser.
BY ALICE CAREY.
I think thou lovest me—yet a prophet said To-day, Elhadra, if thou laidest dead, From thy white forehead would he fold the shroud, And thereon lay his sorrow, like a crown. The drenching rain from out the chilly cloud, In the gray ashes beats the red flame down! And when the crimson folds the kiss away No longer, and blank dulness fills the eyes, Lifting its beauty from the crumbling clay, Back to the light of earth life's angel flies.
So, with my large faith unto gloom allied, Sprang up a shadow sunshine could not quell, And the voice said, Would'st haste to go outside This continent of being, it were well: Where finite, growing toward the Infinite, Gathers its robe of glory out of dust, And looking down the radiances white, Sees all God's purposes about us, just. Canst thou, Elhadra, reach out of the grave, And draw the golden waters of love's well? His years are chrisms of brightness in time's wave— Thine are as dewdrops in the nightshade's bell!
Then straightening in my hands the rippled length Of all my tresses, slowly one by one, I took the flowers out.—Dear one, in thy strength Pray for my weakness. Thou hast seen the sun Large in the setting, drive a column of light Down through the darkness: so, within death's night, O my beloved, when I shall have gone, If it might be so, would my love burn on.
From Household Words
THE MODERN HAROUN-AL-RASCHID.
In the district of Ferdj' Onah (which signifies Fine Country), Algeria, lives a Scheik named Bou-Akas-ben-Achour. He is also distinguished by the surname of Bou-Djenoni (the Man of the Knife), and may be regarded as a type of the eastern Arab. His ancestors conquered Ferdj' Onah, but he has been forced to acknowledge the supremacy of France, by paying a yearly tribute of 80,000 francs. His dominion extends from Milah to Rabouah, and from the southern point of Babour to within two leagues of Gigelli. He is forty-nine years old, and wears the Rahyle costume; that is to say, a woollen gandoura, confined by a leathern belt. He carries a pair of pistols in his girdle, by his side the Rahyle flissa, and suspended from his neck a small black knife.
Before him walks a negro carrying his gun, and a huge greyhound bounds along by his side. He holds despotic sway over twelve tribes; and should any neighboring people venture to make an incursion on his territory, Bou-Akas seldom condescends to march against them in person, but sends his negro into the principal village. This envoy just displays the gun of Bou-Akas, and the injury is instantly repaired.
He keeps in pay two or three hundred Tolbas to read the Koran to the people; every pilgrim going to Mecca, and passing through Ferdj' Onah, receives three francs, and may remain as long as he pleases to enjoy the hospitality of Bou-Akas. But whenever the Scheik discovers that he has been deceived by a pretended pilgrim, he immediately dispatches emissaries after the impostor; who, wherever he is, find him, throw him down, and give him fifty blows on the soles of his feet.
Bou-Akas sometimes entertains three hundred persons at dinner; but instead of sharing their repast, he walks round the tables with a baton in his hand, seeing that the servants attend properly to his guests. Afterwards, if any thing is left, he eats; but not until the others have finished.
When the governor of Constantinople, the only man whose power he recognizes, sends him a traveller; according to the rank of the latter, or the nature of the recommendation Bou-Akas gives him his gun, his dog, or his knife. If the gun, the traveller takes it on his shoulder; if the dog, he leads it in a leash; or if the knife, he hangs it round his neck: and with any one of these potent talismans, of which each bears its own degree of honor, the stranger passes through the region of the twelve tribes, not only unscathed, but as the guest of Bou-Akas, treated with the utmost hospitality. When the traveller is about to leave Ferdj' Onah, he consigns the knife, the dog, or the gun to the care of the first Arab he meets. If the Arab is hunting, he leaves the chase; if laboring in the field, he leaves his plough; and, taking the precious deposit, hastens to restore it to the Bou-Akas.
The black-handled knife is so well known, that it has given the surname of "Bou-Djenoni, the man of the knife," to its owner. With this implement he is accustomed to cut off heads, whenever he takes a fancy to perform that agreeable office with his own hand.
When first Bou-Akas assumed the government, the country was infested with robbers, but he speedily found means to extirpate them. He disguised himself as a poor merchant; walked out, and dropped a douro (a gold coin) on the ground, taking care not to lose sight of it. If the person who happened to pick up the douro, put it into his pocket and passed on, Bou-Akas made a sign to his chinaux (who followed him, also in disguise, and knew the Scheik's will) rushed forward immediately, and decapitated the offender. In consequence of this summary method of administering justice, it is a saying amongst the Arabs that a child might traverse the regions which own Bou-Akas's sway, wearing a golden crown on his head, without a single hand being stretched out to take it.
The Scheik has great respect for women, and has ordered that when the females of Ferdj' Onah go out to draw water, every man who meets them shall turn away his head. Wishing one day to ascertain whether his commands were attended to, he went out in disguise: and, meeting a beautiful Arab maiden on her way to the well, approached and saluted her. The girl looked at him with amazement, and said: "Pass on, stranger; thou knowest not the risk them hast run." And when Bou-Akas persisted in speaking to her, she added: "Foolish man, and reckless of thy life; knowest thou not that we are in the country of Bou-Djenoni, who causes all women to be held in respect?"
Bou-Akas is very strict in his religious observances; he never omits his prayers and ablutions, and has four wives, the number permitted by the Koran. Having heard that the Cadi of one of his twelve tribes administered justice in an admirable manner, and pronounced decisions in a style worthy of King Solomon himself, Bou-Akas, like a second Haroun-Al-Raschid, determined to judge for himself as to the truth of the report. Accordingly, dressed like a private individual, without arms or attendants, he set out for the Cadi's towns, mounted on a docile Arabian steed. He arrived there, and was just entering the gate, when a cripple seizing the border of his burnous, asked him for alms in the name of the prophet. Bou-Akas gave him money, but the cripple still maintained his hold. "What dost thou want?" asked the Scheik; "I have already given thee alms."
"Yes," replied the beggar, "but the law says, not only—'Thou shalt give alms to thy brother,' but also, 'Thou shalt do for thy brother whatsoever thou canst.'"
"Well! and what can I do for thee?"
"Thou canst save me,—poor crawling creature that I am!—from being trodden under the feet of men, horses, mules and camels, which would certainly happen to me in passing through the crowded square, in which a fair is now going on."
"And how can I save thee?"
"By letting me ride behind you, and putting me down safely in the market-place, where I have business."
"Be it so," replied Bou-Akas. And stooping down, he helped the cripple to get up behind him; a business which was not accomplished without much difficulty. The strangely assorted riders attracted many eyes as they passed through the crowded streets; and at length they reached the market-place. "Is this where you wish to stop?" asked Bou-Akas.
"Then get down."
"Get down yourself."
"To leave me the horse."
"To leave you my horse! What mean you by that?"
"I mean that he belongs to me. Know you not that we are now in the town of the just Cadi, and that if we bring the case before him, he will certainly decide in my favor?"
"Why should he do so, when the animal belongs to me?"
"Don't you think that when he sees us two,—you with your strong straight limbs, which Allah has given you for the purpose of walking, and I with my weak legs and distorted feet,—he will decree that the horse shall belong to him who has most need of him?"
"Should, he do so, he would not be the just Cadi," said Bou-Akas.
"Oh! as to that," replied the cripple, laughing, "although he is just, he is not infallible."
"So!" thought the Scheik to himself, "this will be a capital opportunity of judging the judge." He said aloud, "I am content—we will go before the Cadi."
Arrived at the tribunal, where the judge, according to the eastern custom, was publicly administering justice, they found that two trials were about to go on, and would of course take precedence of theirs. The first was between a taleb or learned man, and a peasant. The point in dispute was the taleb's wife, whom the peasant had carried off, and whom he asserted to be his own better half, in the face of the philosopher who demanded her restoration. The woman, strange circumstance! remained obstinately silent, and would not declare for either; a feature in the case which rendered its decision excessively difficult. The judge heard both sides attentively, reflected for a moment, and then said, "Leave the woman here, and return to-morrow." The savant and the laborer each bowed and retired; and the next cause was called. This was a difference between a butcher and an oil-seller. The latter appeared covered with oil, and the former was sprinkled with blood.
The butcher spoke first:—"I went to buy some oil from this man, and in order to pay him for it, I drew a handful of money from my purse. The sight of the money tempted him. He seized me by the wrist. I cried out, but he would not let me go; and here we are, having come before your worship, I holding my money in my hand, and he still grasping my wrist. Now, I swear by the Prophet, that this man is a liar, when he says that I stole his money, for the money is truly mine own."
Then spoke the oil-merchant:—"This man came to purchase oil from me. When his bottle was filled, he said, 'Have you change for a piece of gold?' I searched my pocket, and drew out my hand full of money, which I laid on a bench in my shop. He seized it, and was walking off with my money and my oil, when I caught him by the wrist, and cried out 'Robber!' In spite of my cries, however, he would not surrender the money, so I brought him here, that your worship might decide the case. Now, I swear by the Prophet that this man is a liar, when he says that I want to steal his money, for it is truly mine own."
The Cadi caused each plaintiff to repeat his story, but neither varied one jot from his original statement. He reflected for a moment, and then said, "Leave the money with me, and return to-morrow." The butcher placed the coins, which he had never let go, on the edge of the Cadi's mantle. After which he and his opponent bowed to the tribunal, and departed.
It was now the turn of Bou-Akas and the cripple. "My lord Cadi," said the former, "I came hither from a distant country, with the intention of purchasing merchandise. At the city gate I met this cripple, who first asked for alms, and then prayed me to allow him to ride behind me through the streets, lest he should be trodden down in the crowd. I consented, but when we reached the market-place, he refused to get down, asserting that my horse belonged to him, and that your worship would surely adjudge it to him, who wanted it most. That, my lord Cadi, is precisely the state of the case—I swear it by Mahomet!"
"My lord," said the cripple, "as I was coming on business to the market, and riding this horse, which belongs to me, I saw this man seated by the roadside, apparently half dead from fatigue. I good naturedly offered to take him on the crupper, and let him ride as far as the market-place, and he eagerly thanked me. But what was my astonishment, when, on our arrival, he refused to get down, and said that my horse was his. I immediately required him to appear before your worship, in order that you might decide between us. That is the true state of the case—I swear it by Mahomet!"
Having made each repeat his deposition, and having reflected for a moment, the Cadi said, "Leave the horse here, and return to-morrow."
It was done, and Bou-Akas and the cripple withdrew in different directions. On the morrow, a number of persons besides those immediately interested in the trials assembled to hear the judge's decisions. The taleb and the peasant were called first.
"Take away thy wife," said the Cadi to the former, "and keep her, I advise thee, in good order." Then turning towards his chinaux, he added, pointing to the peasant, "Give this man fifty blows." He was instantly obeyed, and the taleb carried off his wife.
Then came forward the oil-merchant and the butcher. "Here," said the Cadi to the butcher, "is thy money; it is truly thine, and not his." Then pointing to the oil-merchant, he said to his chinaux, "Give this man fifty blows." It was done, and the butcher went away in triumph with his money.
The third cause was called, and Bou-Akas and the cripple came forward. "Would'st thou recognize thy horse amongst twenty others?" said the judge to Bou-Akas.
"Yes, my lord."
"Certainly, my lord," replied the cripple.
"Follow me," said the Cadi to Bou-Akas.
They entered a large stable, and Bou-Akas pointed out his horse amongst twenty which were standing side by side.
"'Tis well," said the judge. "Return now to the tribunal, and send me thine adversary hither."
The disguised Scheik obeyed, delivered his message, and the cripple hastened to the stable, as quickly as his distorted limbs allowed. He possessed quick eyes and a good memory, so that he was able, without the slightest hesitation, to place his hand on the right animal.
"'Tis well," said the Cadi; "return to the tribunal."
His worship resumed his place, and when the cripple arrived, judgment was pronounced. "The horse is thine," said the Cadi to Bou-Akas. "Go to the stable, and take him." Then to the chinaux, "Give this cripple fifty blows." It was done; and Bou-Akas went to take his horse.
When the Cadi, after concluding the business of the day, was retiring to his house, he found Bou-Akas waiting for him. "Art thou discontented with my award?" asked the judge.
"No, quite the contrary," replied the Scheik. "But I want to ask by what inspiration thou hast rendered justice; for I doubt not that the other two cases were decided as equitably as mine. I am not a merchant; I am Bou-Akas, Scheik of Ferdj' Onah, and I wanted to judge for myself of thy reputed wisdom."
The Cadi bowed to the ground, and kissed his master's hand.
"I am anxious," said Bou-Akas, "to know the reasons which determined your three decisions."
"Nothing, my lord, can be more simple. Your highness saw that I detained for a night the three things in dispute?"
"Well, early in the morning I caused the woman to be called, and I said to her suddenly—'Put fresh ink in my inkstand.' Like a person who had done the same thing a hundred times before, she took the bottle, removed the cotton, washed them both, put in the cotton again, and poured in fresh ink, doing it all with the utmost neatness and dexterity. So I said to myself, 'A peasant's wife would known nothing about inkstands—she must belong to the taleb."
"Good," said Bou-Akas, nodding his head. "And the money?"
"Did your highness remark that the merchant had his clothes and hands covered with oil?"
"Certainly, I did."
"Well; I took the money, and placed it in a vessel filled with water. This morning I looked at it, and not a particle of oil was to be seen on the surface of the water. So I said to myself, 'If this money belonged to the oil-merchant it would be greasy from the touch of his hands; as it is not so, the butcher's story must be true.'"
Bou-Akas nodded in token of approval.
"Good," said he. "And my horse?"
"Ah! that was a different business; and, until this morning, I was greatly puzzled."
"The cripple, I suppose, did not recognize the animal?"
"On the contrary, he pointed him out immediately."
"How then did you discover that he was not the owner?"
"My object in bringing you separately to the stable, was not to see whether you would know the horse, but whether the horse would acknowledge you. Now, when you approached him, the creature turned towards you, laid back his ears, and neighed with delight; but when the cripple touched him, he kicked. Then I knew that you were truly his master."
Bou-Akas thought for a moment, and then said: "Allah has given thee great wisdom. Thou oughtest to be in my place, and I in thine. And yet, I know not; thou art certainly worthy to be Scheik, but I fear that I should but badly fill thy place as Cadi!"
From the Manchester Examiner.
BY J. C. PRINCE.
Love is an odor from the heavenly bowers, Which stirs our senses tenderly, and brings Dreams which are shadows of diviner things Beyond this grosser atmosphere of ours. An oasis of verdure and of flowers, Love smiteth on the Pilgrim's weary way; There fresher air, there sweeter waters play, There purer solace charms the quiet hours. This glorious passion, unalloyed, endowers With moral beauty all who feel its fire; Maid, wife, and offspring, brother, mother, sire, Are names and symbols of its hallowed powers. Love is immortal. From our head may fly Earth's other blessings; Love can never die!
Ashton, 5th March.
From the Spectator.
THE HISTORY OF SORCERY AND MAGIC.[I]
The rationale of magic, when a combination of skill and fraud imposed upon the vulgar, is easily settled. The priests of the ancient mythology, the adepts of the middle ages, turned their knowledge of chemistry and mechanics and their proficiency in legerdemain to account; and before we denounce the latter as impostors, we should bear in mind the ignorance of the times in which they lived. People would not have believed any natural explanation, though they might have felt inclined to persecute the man when stripped of his magical character: we should also consider how far the general belief might influence even the man himself; how far he could in his inmost mind draw the distinction between what we call natural philosophy and what the age considered magic—a lawful if a riskful power over nature and spirits, by means of occult knowledge. An allowance is further to be made for the stories as they have come down to us; a distinction is to be drawn between the actual facts and the fancy of the narrator, between the reality and the romance of magic.
Sorcery and witchcraft (to which, notwithstanding its title, Mr. Wright's book chiefly relates) was a more vulgar pursuit, and is a more difficult matter to determine. The true magician was a master over both the seen and the unseen world. His art could compel spirits or demons to obey him, however much against their will. It seems a question whether a spell of sufficient potency could not control Satan himself. The witch or wizard was a vulgar being, a mere slave of the Evil One, with no original power, very limited in derived power, and, it would appear, with no means of acting directly except upon the elements. The facts relating to witchcraft, being often matter of legal record, are more numerous and more correctly narrated than those relating to magic. The difficulty of fixing the exact boundary between truth and falsehood, guilt and innocence, in the case of witchcraft, is not so easily settled as the sciolist in liberal philosophy imagines. Of course we all know that men and women could not travel through the air on broomsticks, or cause storms, or afflict cattle. Their innocence of the intention is not always so certain: their power over a nervous or weakly person, especially in bad health, might really, through the influence of imagination, produce the death threatened, and the miserable patient might pine away as his real or supposed waxen image slowly melted before the fire. At a time when the belief in witchcraft was entertained by society in general, as well as by the majority of educated men, it is not likely that the persons who were generally accused of it were skeptical on the subject. Their innocence would lie, not in their disbelief of its power, but in their rejection of the practice. That an accusation of witchcraft was sometimes made from political, religious, or personal motives, is true; and numbers of innocent victims were sacrificed in times of public mania on the subject. The question is, whether many did not attempt unlawful arts in full belief of their efficacy; and whether some, a compound of the self-dupe and the impostor, did not make use of their reputed power to indulge in the grossest license and to perpetrate abominable crimes.
The great difficulty, however, is the confessions. In many cases, no doubt, the victims, worn down by terror and torture, said whatever their examiners seemed to wish them to say; in other cases, their statements were exaggerated by the reporters. Yet enough remains, after every deduction, to render witches' confessions a very curious mental problem. Was it vision, or monomania, or nervous delusion, all influenced by foregone conclusion? or was it, as the mesmerists seem to hold, an instance of clairvoyance in a high degree? The case of Gaufridi is of this puzzling nature. Gaufridi was a French priest of licentious character, who succeeded by the opportunities which his priestly influence gave him, or by some pretended supernatural arts. His crimes were discovered through the confession of one of his victims, a nun whom he had abused before profession. After a time, she appeared to be possessed; and, under treatment by a celebrated exorcist, (an inferior hand having failed,) she, or the demon in possession, among other things accused Gaufridi. Her revelations may be resolved into an imposture instigated by revenge, or a pious fraud caused by remorse, or hysterical fits, with utterance shaped by memory; but what can be said of Gaufridi's, made with a full knowledge of consequences?
"The priests who conducted this affair seem almost to have lost sight of Louis Gaufridi, in their anxiety to collect these important evidences of the true faith. It was not till towards the close of winter that the reputed wizard was again thought of. A warrant was then obtained against him, and he was taken into custody, and confined in the prison of the conciergerie at Marseilles. On the fifth of March he was for the first time confronted with sister Magdalen, but without producing the result anticipated by his persecutors. Little information is given as to the subsequent proceedings against him; but he appears to have been treated with great severity, and to have persevered in asserting his innocence. Sister Magdalen, or rather the demon within her, gave information of certain marks on his body which had been placed there by the Evil One; and on search they were found exactly as described. It is not to be wondered at, if, after the intercourse which had existed between them, sister Magdalen were able to give such information. Still Gaufridi continued unshaken, and he made no confession; until at length, on Easter Eve, the twenty-sixth of March, 1611, a full avowal of his guilt was drawn from him, we are not told through what means, by two Capuchins of the Convent of Aix, to which place he had been transferred for his trial. At the beginning of April, another witness, the Demoiselle Victoire de Courbier, came forward to depose that she had been bewitched by the renegade priest, who had obtained her love by his charms; and he made no objection to their adding this new incident to his confession.
"Gaufridi acknowledged the truth of all that had been said by sister Magdalen or by her demon. He said that an uncle, who had died many years ago, had left him his books, and that one day, about five or six years before his arrest on this accusation, he was looking them over, when he found amongst them a volume of magic, in which were some writings in French verse, accompanied with strange characters. His curiosity was excited, and he began to read it; when, to his great astonishment and consternation, the demon appeared in a human form, and said to him, 'What do you desire of me, for it is you who have called me?' Gaufridi was young, and easily tempted; and when he had recovered from his surprise and was reassured by the manner and conversation of his visitor, he replied to his offer, 'If you have power to give me what I desire, I ask for two things: first, that I shall prevail with all the women I like; secondly, that I shall be esteemed and honored above all the priests of this country, and enjoy the respect of men of wealth and honor.' We may see, perhaps, through these wishes, the reason why Gaufridi was persecuted by the rest of the clergy. The demon promised to grant him his desires, on condition that he would give up to him entirely his 'body, soul, and works;' to which Gaufridi agreed, excepting only from the latter the administration of the holy sacrament, to which he was bound by his vocation as a priest of the church.
"From this time Louis Gaufridi felt an extreme pleasure in reading the magical book, and it always had the effect of bringing the demon to attend upon him. At the end of two or three days the agreement was arranged and completed, and, it having been fairly written on parchment, the priest signed it with his blood. The tempter then told him, that whenever he breathed on maid or woman, provided his breath reached their nostrils, they would immediately become desperately in love with him. He soon made a trial of the demon's gift, and used it so copiously that, he became in a short time a general object of attraction to the women of the district. He said that he often amused himself with exciting their passions when he had no intention of requiting them, and he declared that he had already made more than a thousand victims.
"At length he took an extraordinary fancy to the young Magdalen de la Palude; but he found her difficult of approach, on account of the watchfulness of her mother, and he only overcame the difficulty by breathing on the mother before he seduced the daughter. He thus gained his purpose; took the girl to the cave in the manner she had already described, and became so much attached to her that he often repeated his charm on her, to make her more devoted in her love. Three days after their first visit to the cave, he gave her a familiar named Esmodes. Finding her now perfectly devoted to his will, he determined to marry her to Beelzebub, the prince of the demons; and she readily agreed to his proposal. He immediately called the demon prince, who appeared in the form of a handsome gentleman; and she then renounced her baptism and Christianity, signed the agreement with her blood, and received the demon's mark....
"The priest gave an account of the Sabbaths, at which he was a regular attendant. When he was ready to go—it was usually at night—he either went to the open window of his chamber, or left the chamber, locking the door, and proceeded into the open air. There Lucifer made his appearance, and took him in an instant to their place of meeting, where the orgies of the witches and sorcerers lasted usually from three to four hours. Gaufridi divided the victims of the Evil One into three classes: the masques, (perhaps the novices,) the sorcerers, and the magicians. On arriving at the meeting, they all worshipped the demon according to their several ranks; the masques falling flat on their faces, the sorcerers kneeling with their heads and bodies humbly bowed down, and the magicians, who stood highest in importance, only kneeling. After this they all went through the formality of denying God and the Saints. Then they had a diabolical service in burlesque of that of the church, at which the Evil One served as priest in a violet chasuble; the elevation of the demon host was announced by a wooden bell, and the sacrament itself was made of unleavened bread. The scenes which followed resembled those of other witch-meetings. Gaufridi acknowledged that he took Magdalen thither, and that he made her swallow magical 'characters' that were to increase her love to him; yet he proved unfaithful to her at these Sabbaths with a multitude of persons, and among the rest with 'a princess of Friesland.' The unhappy sorcerer confessed, among other things, that his demon was his constant companion, though generally invisible to all but himself; and that he only left him when he entered the church of the Capuchins to perform his religious duties, and then he waited for him outside the church door.
"Gaufridi was tried before the Court of Parliament of Provence at Aix. His confession, the declaration of the demons, the marks on his body, and other circumstances, left him no hope of mercy. Judgment was given against him on the last day of April, and the same day it was put in execution. He was burnt alive."
Narratives of Sorcery and Magic is a skilful and popular selection of stories or narratives relating to the subject, not a philosophic treatise. We are carried to France, Germany, England, Ireland, Scotland, Spain, and America, by turns. We have the most remarkable trials for witchcraft in these countries, as well as cases in which supernatural agency was only an incidental part,—as that of the Earl and Countess of Somerset, for the murder of Overbury.
By way of showing that Mr. Wright is by no means an indifferent story-teller, we may refer to the following legend:
"The demons whom the sorcerer served seem rarely to have given any assistance to their victims when the latter fell into the hands of the judicial authorities; but if they escaped punishment by the agency of the law, they were only reserved for a more terrible end. We have already seen the fate of the woman of Berkeley. A writer of the thirteenth century has preserved a story of a man who, by his compact with the Evil One, had collected together great riches. One day, while he was absent in the fields, a stranger of suspicious appearance came to his house and asked for him. His wife replied that he was not at home. The stranger said, 'Tell him when he returns, that to-night he must pay me my debt.' The wife replied that she was not aware that he owed any thing to him. 'Tell, him,' said the stranger, with a ferocious look, 'that I will have my debt to-night.' The husband returned, and when informed of what had taken place, merely remarked that the demand was just. He then ordered his bed to be made that night in an outhouse, where he had never slept before, and he shut himself in it with a lighted candle. The family were astonished, and could not resist the impulse to gratify their curiosity by looking through the holes in the door. They beheld the same stranger, who had entered without opening the door, seated beside his victim, and they appeared to be counting large sums of money. Soon they began to quarrel about their accounts, and were proceeding from threats to blows, when the servants, who were looking through the door, burst it open, that they might help their master. The light was instantly extinguished; and when another was brought, no traces could be found of either of the disputants, nor were they ever afterwards heard of. The suspicious-looking stranger was the demon himself, who had carried away his victim."
[I] Narratives of Sorcery and Magic, from the most Authentic Sources. By Thomas Wright, Esq., M.A., F.S.A., &c., &c. In two volumes. Published by Bentley.
From the Examiner.
HARTLEY COLERIDGE AND HIS GENIUS.
Hartley Coleridge was a poet whose life was so deplorable a contradiction to the strength and subtlety of his genius, and the capability and range of his intellect, that perhaps no such sad example has ever found similar record.[J] Indeed we are obliged with sincere grief to doubt, whether, as written here, the memoir should have been written at all. With much respect for Mr. Derwent Coleridge, who is himself no unworthy inheritor of a great name, his white neckcloth is somewhat too prominently seen in the matter. There are too many labored explainings, starched apologies, and painful accountings for this and that. The writer was probably not conscious of the effort he was making, yet the effort is but too manifest, A simple statement of facts, a kindly allowance for circumstances, a mindful recollection of what his father was in physical as well as mental organization, extracts from Hartley's own letters, recollections of those among whom his latter life was passed—this, as it seems to us, should have sufficed. Mr. Derwent Coleridge brings too many church-bred and town-bred notions to the grave design of moralizing and philosophizing his brother's simple life and wayward self-indulgences. His motives will be respected, and his real kindness not misunderstood; but it will be felt that a quiet and unaffected little memoir of that strange and sorry career, and of those noble nor wholly wasted powers, remains still to be written.
Meanwhile we gratefully accept the volumes before us, which in their contents are quite as decisive of Hartley Coleridge's genius as of what it might have achieved in happier circumstances. A more beautiful or more sorrowful book has not been published in our day.
"Cut is the branch that might have grown full straight, And burned is Apollo's laurel-bough, That sometime grew within this learned man."
Hartley Coleridge was the eldest son of the poet, and with much of his father's genius (which in him, however, took a more simple and practical shape than consisted with the wider and more mystical expanse of his father's mind), inherited also the defects of his organization and temperament. What would have become of the elder Coleridge but for the friends in whose home his later years found a refuge, no one can say. With no such friends or home, poor Hartley became a cast-away. After a childhood of singular genius, manifested in many modes and forms, and described with charming effect by his brother in the best passages and anecdotes of the memoir, he was launched without due discipline or preparation into the University of Oxford, where the catastrophe of his life befell. He had first fairly shown his powers when the hard doom went forth which condemned them to waste and idleness. He obtained a fellowship-elect at Oriel, was dismissed on the ground of intemperance before his probationary year had passed, and wandered for the rest of his days by the scenes with which his father most wished to surround his childhood—
("But thou, my babe, shall wander like a breeze By lakes and sandy shores, beneath the crags Of ancient mountains, and beneath the clouds Which image in their bulk both lakes and shores And mountain crags")
—listening with hardly less than his father's delight to the sounds and voices of nature, in homely intimacy with all homely folk, uttering now and then piercing words of wisdom or regret, teaching little children in village schools, and——.
Well, it would be perhaps too much to say that he continued to justify the rejection of the Oriel fellows. Who knows how largely that event may itself have contributed to what it too hastily anticipated and too finally condemned? It appears certain that the weakness had not thus early made itself known to Hartley's general acquaintance at the University. Mr. Dyce had nothing painful to remember of him, but describes him as a young man possessing an intellect of the highest order, with great simplicity of character and considerable oddity of manner; and he hints that the college authorities had probably resented, in the step they took, certain attacks more declamatory than serious which Hartley had got into the habit of indulging against all established institutions. Mr. Derwent Coleridge touches this part of the subject very daintily. "My brother was, however, I am afraid, more sincere in his invectives against establishments, as they appeared to his eyes at Oxford, and elsewhere, than Mr. Dyce kindly supposes." How poor Hartley would have laughed at that!
One thing to the last he continued. The simplicity of character which Mr. Dyce attributes to his youth remained with him till long after his hair was prematurely white. As Wordsworth hoped for him in his childhood, he kept
"A young lamb's heart among the full-grown flock;"
—and some delightful recollections of his ordinary existence from day to day among the lakes and mountains, and in the service of the village schools, are contributed to his brother's Memoir. Here is one, from one of the scholars he taught:
"I first saw Hartley in the beginning, I think, of 1837, when I was at Sedbergh, and he heard us our lesson in Mr. Green's parlor. My impression of him was what I conceived Shakespeare's idea of a gentleman to be, something which we like to have in a picture. He was dressed in black, his hair, just touched with gray, fell in thick waves down his back, and he had a frilled shirt on; and there was a sort of autumnal ripeness and brightness about him. His shrill voice, and his quick, authoritative 'right! right!' and the chuckle with which he translated 'rerum repetundarum' as 'peculation, a very common vice in governors of all ages,' after which he took a turn round the sofa—all struck me amazingly; his readiness astonished us all, and even himself, as he afterwards told me; for, during the time he was at the school, he never had to use a dictionary once, though we read Dalzell's selections from Aristotle and Longinus, and several plays of Sophocles. He took his idea, so he said, from what De Quincy says of one of the Eton masters fagging the lesson, to the great amusement of the class, and, while waiting for the lesson, he used to read a newspaper. While acting as second master he seldom occupied the master's desk, but sat among the boys on one of the school benches. He very seldom came to school in a morning, never till about eleven, and in the afternoon about an hour after we had begun. I never knew the least liberty taken with him, though he was kinder and more familiar than was then the fashion with masters. His translations were remarkably vivid; of [Greek: mogera mogeros] 'toiling and moiling;' and of some ship or other in the Philoctetes, which he pronounced to be 'scudding under main-top sails,' our conceptions became intelligible. Many of his translations were written down with his initials, and I saw some, not a long while ago, in the Sophocles of a late Tutor at Queen's College, Oxford, who had them from tradition. He gave most attention to our themes; out of those sent in he selected two or three, which he then read aloud and criticised; and once, when they happened to agree, remarked there was always a coincidence of thought amongst great men. Out of school he never mixed with the boys, but was sometimes seen, to their astonishment, running along the fields with his arms outstretched, and talking to himself. He had no pet scholars except one, a little fair-haired boy, who he said ought to have been a girl. He told me that was the only boy he ever loved, though he always loved little girls. He was remarkably fond of the travelling shows that occasionally visited the village. I have seen him clap his hands with delight; indeed, in most of the simple delights of country life, he was like a child. This is what occurs to me at present of what he was when I first knew him; and, indeed, my after recollections are of a similarly fragmentary kind, consisting only of those little, numerous, noiseless, every-day acts of kindness, the sum of which makes a Christian life. His love of little children, his sympathy with the poor and suffering, his hatred of oppression, the beauty and the grace of his politeness before women, and his high manliness,—these are the features which I shall never forget while I have any thing to remember."
The same writer afterwards tells us:
"On his way to one of these parties he called on me, and I could not help saying, 'How well you look in a white neckcloth!' 'I wish you could see me sometimes,' he replied; 'if I had only black-silk stockings and shoe-buckles I should be quite a gentleman.' Those who had only seen him in the careless dress that he chose to adopt in the lanes—his trowsers, which were generally too long, doubled half way up the leg, unbrushed, and often splashed; his hat brushed the wrong way, for he never used an umbrella; and his wild, unshaven, weather-beaten look—were amazed at his metamorphose into such a faultless gentleman as he appeared when he was dressed for the evening. 'I hate silver forks with fish,' he said; 'I can't manage them.' So did Dr. Arnold, I told him. 'That's capital; I am glad of such an authority. Do you know I never understood the gladiator's excellence till the other day. The way in which my brother eats fish with a silver fork made the thing quite clear.'
"He often referred to his boyish days, when he told me he nearly poisoned half the house with his chemical infusions, and spoiled the pans, with great delight. The 'Pilgrim's Progress' was an early favorite with him. 'It was strange,' he said, 'how it had been overlooked. Children are often misunderstood. When I was a baby I have often been in the greatest terror, when, to all appearance, I was quite still;—so frightened that I could not make a noise. Crying, I believe, is oftener a sign of happiness than the reverse. I was looked upon as a remarkable child. My mother told me, when I was born she thought me an ugly red thing; but my father took me up and said, 'There's no sweeter baby any where than this.' He always thought too much of me. I was very dull at school, and hated arithmetic; I always had to count on my fingers.
"He once took me to the little cottage where he lived by the Brathey, when Charles Lloyd and he were school-companions. Mrs. Nicholson, of Ambleside, told me of a donkey-race which they had from the market-cross to the end of the village and back, and how Hartley came in last, and minus his white straw hat."
Those who remember the ordinary (and most extraordinary) dress that hung about his small eager person, will smile at this entry in his journal of a visit to Rydal chapel, and the reflections awakened therein:
"17th.—Sunday.—At Rydal chapel. Alas! I have been Parcus Deorum cultor et infrequens of late. Would I could say with assurance, Nunc interare cursus cogor relictos. I never saw Axiologus (Wordsworth) look so venerable. His cape cloak has such a gravity about it. Old gentlemen should never wear light great coats unless they be military; and even then Uncle Toby's Roquelaure would be more becoming than all the frogs in Styx. On the other hand, loose trowsers should never invest the nether limbs of led. It looks as if the Septuagenarian were ashamed of a diminished calf. The sable silk is good and clerical, so are the gray pearl and the partridge. I revere gray worsted and ridge and furrow for [Greek: Omak rites] his sake, but perhaps the bright white lamb's wool doth most set off the leg of an elderly man. The hose should be drawn over the knees, unless the rank and fortune require diamond buckles. Paste or Bristol stones should never approach a gentleman of any age. Roomy shoes, not of varnished leather. Broad shoe-buckles, well polished. Cleanliness is an ornament to youth, but an indispensable necessity to old age. Breeches, velvet or velveteen, or some other solid stuff. There may be serious objections to reviving the trunk breeches of our ancestors. I am afraid that hoops would follow in their train. But the flapped waistcoat, the deep cuffs, and guarded pocket-holes, the low collar, I should hail with pleasure; that is, for grandfathers and men of grandfatherly years. I was about to add the point-lace ruffles, cravat, and frill, but I pause in consideration of the miseries and degraded state of the lace makers."
Occasional passages in his letters are very beautiful, and very sad. Here is one—adverting to some attack made upon him:
"'This jargon,' said my orthodox reviewer, 'might be excused in an alderman of London, but not in a Fellow elect of Oriel,' or something to the same purpose, evidently designing to recall to memory the most painful passage of a life not over happy. But perhaps it is as well to let it alone. The writer might be some one in whom my kindred are interested; for I am as much alone in my revolt as Abdiel in his constancy."
We are glad to see valuable testimony borne by Mr. James Spedding as to his habits having left unimpaired his moral and spiritual sensibility:
"Of his general character and way of life I might have been able to say something to the purpose, if I had seen more of him. But though he was a person so interesting to me in himself, and with so many subjects of interest in common with me, that a little intercourse went a great way; so that I feel as if I knew him much better than many persons of whom I have seen much more; yet I have in fact been very seldom in his company. If I should say ten times altogether, I should not be understating the number; and this is not enough to qualify me for a reporter, when there must be so many competent observers living, who really knew him well. One very strong impression, however, with which I always came away from him, may be worth mentioning; I mean, that his moral and spiritual sensibilities seemed to be absolutely untouched by the life he was leading. The error of his life sprung, I suppose, from moral incapacity of some kind—his way of life seemed in some things destructive of self-respect; and was certainly regarded by himself with a feeling of shame, which in his seasons of self-communion became passionate; and yet it did not at all degrade his mind. It left, not his understanding only, but also his imagination and feelings, perfectly healthy,—free, fresh, and pure. His language might be sometimes what some people would call gross, but that I think was not from any want of true delicacy, but from a masculine disdain of false delicacy; and his opinions, and judgment, and speculations, were in the highest degree refined and elevated—full of chivalrous generosity, and purity, and manly tenderness. Such, at least, was my invariable impression. It always surprised me, but fresh observations always confirmed it."
When Wordsworth heard of his death, he was much affected, and gave the touching direction to his brother:—"Let him lie by us: he would have wished it." It was accordingly so arranged.
"The day following he walked over with me to Grasmere—to the churchyard, a plain enclosure of the olden time, surrounding the old village church, in which lay the remains of his wife's sister, his nephew, and his beloved daughter. Here, having desired the sexton to measure out the ground for his own and for Mrs. Wordsworth's grave, he bade him measure out the space of a third grave for my brother, immediately beyond.
"'When I lifted up my eyes from my daughter's grave,' he exclaimed, 'he was standing there!' pointing to the spot where my brother had stood on the sorrowful occasion to which he alluded. Then turning to the sexton, he said, 'Keep the ground for us,—we are old people, and it cannot be for long.'"
"In the grave thus marked out, my brother's remains were laid on the following Thursday, and in little more than a twelvemonth his venerable and venerated friend was brought to occupy his own. They lie in the south-east angle of the churchyard, not far from a group of trees, with the little beck, that feeds the lake with its clear waters, murmuring by their side. Around them are the quiet mountains."
We have often expressed a high opinion of Hartley Coleridge's poetical genius. It was a part of the sadness of his life that he could not concentrate his powers, in this or any other department of his intellect, to high and continuous aims—but we were not prepared for such rich proof of its exercise, within the limited field assigned to it, as these volumes offer. They largely and lastingly contribute to the rare stores of true poetry. In the sonnet Hartley Coleridge was a master unsurpassed by the greatest. To its "narrow plot of ground" his habits, when applied in the cultivation of the muse, most naturally led him—and here he may claim no undeserved companionship even with Shakespeare, Milton, and Wordsworth. We take a few—with affecting personal reference in all of them.
Hast thou not seen an aged rifted tower, Meet habitation for the Ghost of Time, Where fearful ravage makes decay sublime, And destitution wears the face of power? Yet is the fabric deck'd with many a flower Of fragrance wild, and many-dappled hues, Gold streak'd with iron-brown and nodding blue, Making each ruinous chink a fairy bower. E'en such a thing methinks I fain would be, Should Heaven appoint me to a lengthen'd age; So old in look, that Young and Old may see The record of my closing pilgrimage: Yet, to the last, a rugged wrinkled thing To which young sweetness may delight to cling!
Pains I have known, that cannot be again, And pleasures too that never can be more: For loss of pleasure I was never sore, But worse, far worse is to feel no pain. The throes and agonies of a heart explain Its very depth of want at inmost core; Prove that it does believe, and would adore, And doth with ill for ever strive and strain. I not lament for happy childish years, For loves departed, that have had their day, Or hopes that faded when my head was gray; For death hath left me last of my compeers: But for the pain I felt, the gushing tears I used to shed when I had gone astray.
A lonely wanderer upon the earth am I, The waif of nature—like uprooted weed Borne by the stream, or like a shaken reed, A frail dependent of the fickle sky. Far, far away, are all my natural kin; The mother that erewhile hath hush'd my cry, Almost hath grown a mere fond memory. Where is my sister's smile? my brother's boisterous din? Ah! nowhere now. A matron grave and sage, A holy mother is that sister sweet. And that bold brother is a pastor meet To guide, instruct, reprove a sinful age, Almost I fear, and yet I fain would greet; So far astray hath been my pilgrimage.
How shall a man fore-doom'd to lone estate, Untimely old, irreverently gray, Much like a patch of dusky snow in May, Dead sleeping in a hollow—all too late— How shall so poor a thing congratulate The blest completion of a patient wooing, Or how commend a younger man for doing What ne'er to do hath been his fault or fate? There is a fable, that I once did read. Of a bad angel that was someway good, And therefore on the brink of Heaven he stood, Looking each way, and no way could proceed; Till at the last he purged away his sin By loving all the joy he saw within.
Here is another poem of very touching reference to his personal story:
"When I received this volume small, My years were barely seventeen; When it was hoped I should be all Which once, alas! I might have been.
"And now my years are thirty-five, And every mother hopes her lamb, And every happy child alive, May never be what now I am.
"But yet should any chance to look On the strange medley scribbled here. I charge thee, tell them, little book, I am not vile as I appear.
"Oh! tell them though thy purpose lame In fortune's race, was still behind,— Though earthly blots my name defiled, They ne'er abused my better mind.