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life and career, and by the vast majority of his works, but by such trifles as his intercourse with Scarron-for whom he at first declined altogether to paint a picture, and of whose“ Typhon Burlesque,” a copy of which was forwarded by the author to Rome, he expressed his utmost disgust. It was not till after the lapse of years and incessant supplication that he consented to paint a Bacchic subject for the abbé, and yet he ultimately presented him with one of his finest compositions, the “ Ravissement de Saint Paul.” 66 The Ravissement de Saint Paul,'” ejaculates his biographer, “ for the author of the 'Roman Comique' and the father of Ragótin!”
Two portraits exist of Poussin : the best is in the Louvre. Both were painted by himself, for he declined to sit to any one, even to Mignard, whose style, he said, had neither strength nor expression. The serious physiognomy, the reflective character, and the thoughtful habits of the man, are well expressed in these portraits, one of which was only a copy of the other. He was at that epoch fifty-six years of age, and the imprints of time are visible on his features. His hair is divided on his head, and falls in curls on his neck; he is draped after the style of a sage of ancient times, and his hand, stretched forth from beneath his mantle, reposes upon a portfolio. The whole is painted in sombre colours, in harmony with the painter's age, the nature of his physiognomy, and the gravity of his inspirations. The only other portrait that Poussin ever painted was that of Cardinal Rospigliosi, afterwards Clement IX.
Le Poussin had suffered, we have seen, during the first years of his residence in Rome, but he seems, by the regularity of his life, to have ensured tolerably good health until his fifty-fourth year, when he began to complain of weakness of vision and want of firmness in his hands. This was in 1648. In 1660 he complained of never passing a day without suffering, and a general faintness and the trembling of his limbs had augmented considerably. He still, however, painted at times. His wife died in 1664; and he seems after this to have become completely paralysed, and at length he sunk under a complication of maladies on the 19th of November, 1665, at the age of seventy-one. Seroux d'Agincourt placed his bust in the Pantheon, with the inscription Pictori Gallo. In 1796 a medal was cast in his honour, and a statue was ordered about the same epoch by government, but never carried out. M. de Chateaubriand, when ambassador at Rome, raised a monument over his tomb in the Church of St. Laurence, in Lucina, and at last, in 1851, a statue—the result of a subscription among the friends of the fine arts—was raised in his native town of Andelys, as a testimonial of national gratitude towards the greatest painter of France. Le Poussin's works will, however, always remain his real monument; and it is no light consideration to be able to add, when contemplating these, that they were the work of a sincerely pious and good man, as well as of one who excelled in the very highest branches of art.
THE SECRET OF THE TEMPLE.
Paris is now indubitably the most magnificent city in the world. But the French nation has had to pay a pretty penny in beautifying the modern Babel : merely since 1852 the State has spent the colossal sum of two hundred and thirty-five millions of francs in improving the city, which, on its side, has expended at least as much on the same object. If, at the present day, a Parisian of the time of the fourteenth Louis or the fourth Henry were to come back, he could only recognise the Seine as the same, supposing that he did recognise it in its present walled in and bridged over form.
How much has the city seen between the days when it was the residence of Julian the Apostate and now, when it is the capital of Napoleon III.! A walk through Paris is a pilgrimage through the history of France; even more, a pilgrimage through the modern history of Europe. The Gallo-phobists may make the most frightful grimaces they please, but one fact remains the heart of the world's organism has pulsated since 1789 in Paris. There the hammer rises to deal the blow when the right hour arrives. The despots of 1792 were not so stupid as they appeared, when they seriously demanded, in the manifesto of the Duke of Brunswick, that Paris should be destroyed from off the face of the earth. The instinct of hatred and terror told them that the cock of liberty would continually flap his wings again, and arouse the world by his shrillsounding summons. But now-the hired scribblers, lacqueys, and police of despotism say, as they rub their hands--the neck of the thrice accursed bird has been Napoleonically twisted. The hypocrites! the wrinkle of terror on their foreheads betrays them. Day and night long their bad conscience whispers in their ears, " The cock-crow will be heard again, when the hour arrives."
For everything has its season, and such was the case with the mediæval religious enthusiasm, which drove hundreds upon hundreds of thousands from the West to Palestine to conquer and hold the Holy Sepulchre, as they dreamed, but, in reality, to perish there more or less miserably. Other hundreds of thousands, who remained at home, stripped themselves of nearly all their property on behalf of the fighters for the Holy Sepulchre, and thus it came about that the clerical chivalric orders, which sprang up in Palestine, attained great wealth, splendour, and respect. The Hospitallers and Teutonic knights, however, were quite overshadowed by the third order of the Templars (templarii or milites, fratres, commilitones templi), so called because the first seat of the order was a building adjoining what is called Solomon's temple at Jerusalem. Founded in the year 1118, the corporation of Templars was, thirty years later, very rich and powerful, and at the beginning of the thirteenth century the order possessed, not only in the Levant, but also in all the Catholic countries of Europe, a multitude of temples, bailiwicks, counties, and preceptories, and such a number of houses, castles, estates, and vassals, that no prince in Europe had a domain at once so extensive and so magnificent." The greatest wealth and splendour, however, had been acquired by the Templars in Paris, where the “ Temple," situated in or close to the city, was regarded as the central point of the entire order.
From the Place de la Concorde to the Place de la Bastille there runs with a graceful curve a succession of magnificent streets known as the Boulevards. At the Porte St. Martin this incomparable curve makes a rather sharp bend towards the Bastille square, and the spot where this occurs is known as the Boulevard du Temple. Here stood, in the time of the first Revolution, a quarter which has now utterly disappeared under the rebuilding mania, and its centre was the old and splendid château of the order, known as “the Temple.” This castle, which far surpassed the palaces of the contemporary French monarchs in convenience, strength, and magnificence, was commenced in the reign of Louis VII., who gave the order a bit of ground then lying outside the city wall, a swampy field in front of the St. Antoine gate. With the same rapidity of execution that characterised everything taken in hand by the Order, the Temple sprang up on this marsh, with its walls, bulwarks, moats, and turrets, covering or enclosing a large space of ground. The castle was the residence of the Grand-Preceptor of Francia, who appears to have been next in rank to the grand-master, and here the great chapters-general of all the Templars who had settled on this side of the Alps were held. During these gatherings the Temple frequently lodged many hundred knights and servitors. The main building, the immense quadrangular tower
, was not completed till 1306, by the grand-preceptor, Jean le Turc.
The tower was hardly finished, when King Philip the Fair, against whom the citizens of Paris had risen in arms on account of his eternal heightening of the taxes and depreciation of the currency, found a refuge
there. The Templars protected him, and reconciliated the rebellious · Parisians by their immense influence. The king displayed the proper
gratitude after his fashion-he conspired with his creature, Pope Clement V., to annihilate the order. The more guilty of the two in this matter was certainly the Pope. For Philip the Fair, a resolute, reckless, and unscrupulous labourer at the great work of state unity in France, could at any rate state in his excuse that the destruction of the Templars advanced this work considerably. Clement V., on the contrary, officially the sworn protector of the Order, only aided in its destruction through infamous avarice and wretched cowardice. In truth, how could a feeling for justice and honour, a spark of moral courage, be expected from a man who stands in the history of the “ Cathedra Petri" a perfect prototype of Alexander VI.?-- from a Pope, whose unbridled behaviour at Avignon, Poitiers, and Bordeaux, even in that not over-delicate age, disgusted every not utterly corrupt observer?-from a Pope who, according to the testimony of one of the best educated and most honourable princes of the mediæval Church, Archbishop Antonine of Florence, lived quite openly with his lady-friend,” the charming Brunissente, daughter of the Count de Foix and wife of Count de Talleyrand Perigord-so openly, that his Holiness's lady-friend did not hesitate to break the handsomest diamonds out of the papal tiara, and have them set in her bracelets ? Probably, ad majorem Dei gloriam !
On October 12, 1307, King Philip the Fair was a guest at the Temple with his entire court-the guest of the grand-master, Jacques de Molay, whom the Pope, by the king's wish, bad traitorously enticed from Cyprus to France, so that he might be involved in the destruction of the Order. On the morning of the next day this butchery was to commence. The excuse for it was, as every one knows, the crimes of the Order, which had certainly sinned greatly through pride, arrogance, selfishness, and luxury, but most assuredly had never committed the blasphemous horrors of which the royal and papal judges accused them.
One hundred and forty Templars, among them several dignitaries of the Order, were assembled on that October day in the Temple round the grand-master, who was regaling the king. There was revelling in the great tower, where the state apartments were situated. Philip the Fair was unusually gracious and merry, and while drinking with Jacques de Molay and other commandants of the Temple, his bailiffs and seneschals throughout the whole extent of France held in their hands his strict orders to seize on the next day, by stratagem or force, all the Templars to be found on French soil, and imprison them, after which the estates and property of the Order would be confiscated.
So it was; and what happened on October 12 and 13, 1307, is one of the meanest acts of treachery recorded in the pages of history. The ensuing trial of the Templars was, both as a whole and in its details, an odious act of barbarity even for that superstitious, immoral, barbarously stupid and craftily cruel age, and one of the loftiest pillars of shame which monarchy and papacy erected together to their own eternal disgrace. It was a horrible affair, in which the rack acted as examining judge. How it worked, will be seen from a single instance: that one of the tortured Templars shrieked, in the delirium of pain and agony, that he confessed himself guilty of having nailed the Saviour on the cross. This is quite analogous with the fact that in our witch trials girls of seven and wine years
of age accused as witches, confessed on the rack that they had had a connexion with Satan, which was utterly impossible. The execution of . those Templars who survived the tortures of prison and the rack was quickly performed. In Paris alone one hundred and thirteen were burnt at the stake. On the self-same day, May 12, 1310, fifty-four Templars were burnt by a slow fire at stakes erected in front of the gate of St. Antoine, all declaring their innocence to the last moment of life. This, too, did the grand-master, Jacques de Molay, in the most solemn fashion. He and the Grand-Preceptor of Normandy were fastened to the stake on March 11, 1313, which had been prepared on the small island in the Seine, upon which the statue of Henri IV. was afterwards erected. This protest, uttered in the presence of death, is historic, but tradition, which likes, in its poetical fashion, to blend a conciliatory feature with the rude tragedy of history, states that Molay, from amid the flames, summoned the Pope and the king before the judgment-seat of God. It is certain that Clement V. died on April 20, 1314, at Roquemaure, on the Rhône, and Philip the Fair on November 29 of the same year, at Fontainebleau.
“ I will punish the sins of the fathers upon their children and children's children unto the seventh generation.” The confirmation of this sentence will be found in countless pages of the book of human history. For Nemesis stalks through the world with irresistible might. Sometimes, indeed most frequently, she arrives late, but she comes, inexorable, deaf to all prayers, performing the office of judge and avenger with the icy calm majesty of a law of nature. If, on that 12th of October, 1307, when King Philip sat carousing with the betrayed Templars in their noble hall, the veil that hid the future could have been dragged aside for
a moment, so that he could have gazed through centuries at August 13, 1792, would not the deathly breath of Nemesis have chilled him to the marrow? It was not accident, it was the logic of history, that the great tower of the Temple, in which one of the greatest villanies of the rising French monarchy was planned and perpetrated, should be selected as the prison for French royalty.
The Temple tower, whose interior witnessed the bitter agony of Louis XVI. and his family, has disappeared from the surface of the earth, but it will never disappear from the page of history. In that it stands for all time, gloomy and menacing, like the warningly-raised finger of a giant hand. Has the warning been sufficiently heeded by those for whom it was intended ? No. Will it be heeded in the future? Hardly, for destiny must be fulfilled.
On January 21, 1793, the dethroned king drove to his death from the Temple tower to the Place of the Revolution. On August 1, Marie Antoinette was removed from the Temple to the Conciergerie, whence the horrible tumbril conveyed her to the scaffold on October 16. On May 10, 1794, this tumbril again stopped at the Temple gates, in order to carry to the guillotine ope of the purest, most pitiable victims of the Reign of Terror, the Princess Elizabeth. On June 8, 1795, died in the Temple a poor, bodily and mentally stunted, rachitic, and apparently dumb boy, Louis Charles, born at Versailles on March 27, 1785, who was at first Duke of Normandy, and after the death of his brother, in June, 1789, the Dauphin of France.
But was the boy who died in the Temple on June 8, 1795, really the Dauphin?
This doubt was at once raised, loudly and in a whisper, and up to the present time has not been so answered as to remove all doubts. In truth, we have before us an unsolved enigma, which continually tempts people to seek a solution. Our purpose in this paper is to bring together impartially all the facts which historical criticism has up to this period collected to clear up the dark problem.
In the first place, it is a fact that all the cheats, or cheated persons, or cheated cheats, who in turn have appeared as the Dauphin Louis Charles, or as Louis XVII., namely, Hervagault, Bruneau, Naundorff, Richemont, and Williams, have found credence and partisans : among the latter, many most firmly convinced and passionately enthusiastic adherents. This must be referred to the circumstance that in 1795 it was generally reported that the Dauphin who had died in the Temple was supposititious child, and that the real prince was alive and rescued from prison. We may even assert that this view was the public opinion, although that proves nothing. For what is public opinion in most cases? Nothing but a confused sound, caught up by one from the other, and swelling into a deafening diapason as it rolls along
Still, we are not entirely without certain evidence proving that, even in those circles which may be called learned, the death of the Dauphin was not believed in. Monsieur Labreli de Fontaine, ex-librarian of the widow of Philip Egalité, declared, in a pamphlet he published and signed, that the allied monarchs in 1814 were so dubious as to whether Louis XVII. were not still alive, that, though they publicly acknowledged Louis XVIII. as king, they privily pledged themselves to keep the throne of France open for two years for the still possibly living son of Louis XVI.