Page images
PDF
EPUB
[graphic]

says, exactly like the walls of most Chinese laid in layers six or eight feet deep at a time; towns, from thirty to forty feet high, and leading him to suppose that the builders had twenty-five feet broad, with towers at every been fully alive to the necessity of allowing one hundred and fifty or two hundred feet.

one part to settle down and solidify before

building any higher, in order to prevent disThey, with the walls, have been admira- placement and speedy demolition from prem'bly built to withstand the devastations of ature shrinking."

ages of exposure in such a climate. The basement or foundation for the whole is The bricks are large, and of a dark slate widely and compactly formed for bearing the color. The wall crossing the plains, gliding weight of such a load of matter, by imper- up the mountains and crossing ravines, irreisbable granite blocks imposed on each other sistibly strikes the imagination ; but on the to an elevation of six or eight feet from the

the hills it is not above eight feet high, and has, ground. On this the body of the building is reared, consisting of an internal bank of earth in many places, crumbled from the unceasing tightly rammed and packed, and encased in action of the elements. Beyond this wall no a sloping brick shell of no great thickness, Chinaman is allowed to pass, except with embedded very firmly in mortar of great ap- merchandise once a ycar, the Tartars fearing parent strength and hardness-consisting, 60 lest their Chinese subjects with their untiring far as I can judge, of a large proportion of industry and habit of accumulation, should remarkably white lime, similar to the chunam of India, mixed with sand and pebbles in

um gradually cultivate the desert and buy them very small quantity. The courses of the out,-a curious and melancholy illustration brickwork were regular and well pointed, and of the grand peculiarity of China-a civilizain working up the wall the observer could tion which never advances beyond sharply descarcely fail to notice that it had only been fined limits.

PIEBUS APOLLO'S COMPLAINT. If I could choose my sitters my case were not so

hard : OH, weary as Fox Talbot, and weary as Daguerre, To transmit the face of beauty, statesman, warThat set me up in business (as the firm of Sun rior, or bard, and Air),

Is work that would not sully e'en the majesty of For since then as portrait painter so wide my Phoebus, fame has flown

But as my old friend Horace puts it “modus est I haven't had a moment that I can call my in rebus." own;

And nowadays each nobody must with my rays With positives and negatives, collodion and al make free, bumen,

Till cartes are ta’en by cart-loads, that ta’en I lead a life no god before e'er lived, and, I hope, should never be. few men.

Albumenized, collodionized, on paper and on Here's Claudet, Mayall, Watkins, Maul and glass, Polyblank, Caldesi,

The whole world seems mad for setting the carte At the camera and the printing-frame keep me before the ass ! toiling till I'm crazy.

of privacy our great ones' joys and griefs I'm

forced to rob; Standing patron of the fine arts I was well con- Compelled to do the bidding of the genuine Brittent to be,

ish snob; To take the chair at meetings of the Muses, three To lurk behind the sofa where the queen sits in times three :

her weeds, With Clio and Euterpe, Polyhymnia & Co., To squint over her shoulder at the letter that she To paint and play en amateur was nice and reads; comme il faut.

To dodge the prince and princess, e'en through But to drudge and mess about in each photo their honeymoon; graphic den,

Play the spy upon their morning, and blab their From the moment of one's rising till one goes to afternoon, bed again,

Shoot them flying on their drives from some Is really not the business a sun-god ought to fol sheltering bush or tree, low

And peep in through the key-hole on their din"Tis a ray and not R. A. that flings a halo round ner and their tea. Apollo.

- Punch.

From The Saturday Review. impossible in a civilized age and a Christian MARIE-ANTOINETTE.*

country. The most slanderous imputations If an illustration were needed to show the were recklessly made upon her conduct and difficulty of arriving at historical truth, it character by a nation which professes to be might be found in the endless controversies the depositary of the spirit of chivalry; and on the faults and virtues of the personages it has often, in comparatively modern times, who were in turn the heroes or victims of been attempted to insist upon those charges, the French Revolution. Though two gen- supported as they were by the most questionerations have passed away, party feeling still able testimony of insinuations contained in survives, and on the suspicious cvidence of private memoirs. Even historians have, in contemporary pamphlets and private memoirs some cases, passed an unfavorable judgment it is constantly being attempted to reverse, on the queen, based as it would seem on the or at least to modify, opinions that have for médisance of Parisian society, and not upon a long time held their ground. Historical any reliable evidence. On the other hand, criticism was never more active and more there are innumerable defenders of the outintelligent than it is at the present day in raged queen, who seek to represent ber as a France. There is a much greater disposition saint in her life and a martyr in her death, than was formerly the case to consult well- and who, from compassion for her sufferings authenticated documents, instead of adopting and indignation at her traducers and opthe stereotyped conclusions of popular writ-pressors, have been led to exaggerate and ers. Therefore, notwithstanding the brilliant falsify what could be said in her favor. The inaccuracy of a Thiers and the undisguised last champion that has appeared is M. de advocacy of a Louis Blanc, we are disposed Lescure, who begins by assuming an attitude to hope that in the present age some prog- of judicial impartiality, which, however, occaress may be made in arriving at a true ap- sionally verges on indiscriminate admiration. preciation of the actors in the greatest drama Now there can be no question that, when of modern history. Though, no doubt, in- Marie Antoinette became Queen of France, dividual opinion or party feeling may often she enjoyed universal popularity. Her youth diminish the value of the numerous essays and beauty won the affection of all. The on the French Revolution which the press of society of Paris rejoiced in having a court Paris furnishes, yet, upon the whole, we presided over by a high-born princess, and think it must be admitted that there is an those who were less frivolous hoped that the increasing tendency to examine and judge the time had come when the reign of Dubarry Revolution and its epoch with greater calm- and her fellows was to cease forever. Never ness and moderation. Malignant vituperation was a reign more auspiciously commenced. and slander, accompanied with the fiercest de- And yet within a very few years her popununciations, are the worst weapons of attack larity had utterly vanished. The worst stoand defence in times of violent popular com- ries were freely circulated about her. She motions. The most vindictive persecutions was alleged to spend vast sums in enriching and punishments are their natural conse- her favorites ; she was charged with furtherquence, and infamy is frequently, whether ing the interests of Austria at the expense justly or not, attached to the memory of the of France; her private life was reported to victims. But it may sometimes happen that be scandalous. After the affair of the Diaa later generation may reverse a wrongful mond Necklace, she became odious in France. verdict, and rescue from undeserved obloquy Though nothing at that trial was proved to bright and honorable names.

implicate her in the matter, the popular beFew of the great characters of the French lief undoubtedly was that she was really Revolution have been more perseveringly and compromised by the disclosures made in the more foully assailed than Marie Antoinette. course of the proceedings. When the RevoFor the last dozen years of her life she suffered lution broke out, there were no limits to the from persecution, and at length from such hatred which she encountered. By some it ferocious cruelty as would have seemed to be was believed that she was the chief obstacle * La vraie Marie-Antoinette, Etude Historique,

to the efforts of the revolutionary party, and Politique, et Morale. Par M. de Lescure. Librairie mit ner

is that her force of character and her influence Parisienne. Paris : 1863.

over her feeble husband rendered her dangerous to them. Others maintained that she être distingué pour une ou deux personnes, was forever intriguing with the Court of Vi- et une coquetterie générale de femme et de enna and conspiring against France. It was reine pour plaire à tout le monde. Dans le also said--and the charge has been repeated temps même où la jeunesse et le défaut d'ex

périence pouvaient engager à se mettre trop by M. Louis Blanc and Sismondi-that her

er à son aise vis-à-vis d'elle, il n'y eut jamais faults of temperament and judgment were aucun de nous qui avions le bonheur de la fatal to Louis XVI. and were among the voir tous les jours qui osât en abuser par causes of the final crisis of the revolution. la plus petite inconvenance. Elle faisait la Yet this was the princess who a few years reine sans s'en douter. On l'ado rait sang before bad been welcomed with enthusiastic songer à l'aimer.” affection, but at length became the object of This is certainly not the portait of a queen such bitter hostility with the people of Paris who, by some writers, has been classed with

-an implacable batred that was scarcely sa- Mary Stuart and Henriette of Orleans; and, tiated with her blood.

in all probability, no efforts would have been At first sight it seems difficult to account made to tarnish her memory but for the for such a change of feeling, unless we as- animosity felt by the Revolutionary party cribe it to the fact that the French people towards her. Perhaps she did not come up wero, in those memorable years, in that to the French ideal of a Queen of France ; state of unreasoning frenzy, that they could but even if she had been as wise as she was accept the vaguest rumors as proofs of crim- courageous, she could hardly have guided inality, and that the popular leaders lost no the king through the perils of the Revoluopportunity of trying to counteract at any tion. The day for timely concessions and price an influence which they felt and feared. l judicious compromises had long gone by. It is simply idle to dwell upon the charges of | In the state in which the country then was, personal misconduct. There is no proof that no Government could have effected without they had any foundation except in the ma-violence the changes that were needed. The lignant slanders of a corrupt court, which Church and the nobles, either by open oppohave been preserved in the memoirs of Besition or covert intrigues, rendered any comsenval, and Tilly, and Lauzun. But the un-promise between the crown and the people popularity which finally matured into such

impossible. It is too much to expect that deadly hatred no doubt began in the court the influence of one woman, however wise itself. Marie Antoinette did not possess the and bold could have saved the monarchy tact to conciliate those by whom she was from the consequences of centuries of opsurrounded, and—what in French eyes was

pression and injustice. Nor, in justice, worse than a crime-&he was wanting in the could much have been expected from a halfknowledge and practice of etiquette. She educated princess, who had spent her youth was impulsive enough have favorites like the in the court of Vienna, and the rest of her Countess de Polignac, and to make any one life in the fêtes and frivolities of Versailles. a favorite was to expose herself to the cer- As for the king his character was so weak tain enmity of those who were not equally that it is doubtful whether he could ever distinguished. She had been brought up an have been induced to act under the pressure Austrian Archduchess in the easy and homely of a nature more energetic than his own. fashion of the German courts, and she could | Marie Antoinette was full of courage, but not endure the stately ceremonial of Ver- had not more than average capacity for the sailles. Gay and good-humored, she sought conduct of public affairs. In September, to please more than to command and she 1791, Count de la Marck, in writing to Count liked to be on terms of greater intimacy Marcy-Argenteau, says: with her chosen friends than was then customary among royal personages. It was well “Il faut trancher le mot, le roi, est inca paobserved by the Prince of Ligne, who had. I ble de régner, et la reine bien secondée peut from his long residence at the French court,

seule suppléer à cette incapacité. Cela même

ne suffirait pas ; il faudrait encore que la frequent opportunities of observing the char- reine reconnût la nécessité de s'occuper des acter and manners of the queen :

affairs avec méthode et suite ; il faudrait "Sa prétendue galanterie ne fut jamais qu'elle se fit la loi de ne plus accorder une qu'un sentiment profond d'amitié, et peut-demi-confiance à beaucoup de gens, et qu'elle

[ocr errors]

donnât en revanche sa confiance entière à letters. They are forty-four in number. celui qu'elle aurait choisi pour la seconder.” Among them are letters to the Emperor Leop

But if she proved unfit to govern, she at old, Madame Elisabeth, the Princesse de Lamleast was able to set an example of courage balle, and Madame de Tourzel, the dauphin's and dignity to all around her. Though ex-governess. The last in the series is one adposed to every insult and menace, her heroic dressed to Elisabeth, on the morning of the spirit never failed her. She endured to the 16th of October, the day of the queen’s exeend, with true nobleness of spirit, the brutal- cution. The original of this letter is in the ities of her accusers, and the last letters which archives of the empire ; it breaks off sudshe wrote from her prison are full of tenderness denly with an unfinished sentence, and bears and affection. When her nature was tested no signature. It is believed that its concluby misfortune and suffering, it proved to be sion was prevented by the arrival of the exetrue metal. The last years of her life are cutioner. It is extremely touching in its sufficient to atone for far more than can be allusions to her children and her friends. with truth laid to her charge, and ought to We believe that a great many more of her silence the voice of calumny. The aim of M. letters, especially those to her brother, the Lescure is to show that Marie Antoinette de- emperor, are in existence in the archives of serves not only our compassion but our ado- Vienna ; they probably would throw some ration. He declares that all the evidence additional light on the views of that court at that has been brought to light in modern the time of the flight of the king to Varennes. times tends to show the absolute blamelees- But we must admit that the mass of literaness of the queen's life-a more favorable ture referring to Marie Antoinette has alview than that entertained by M. Sainte- ready reached most prepusterous dimensions. Beuve, who seems to us to insinuate more M. Lescure gives us a list of some two hunthan he is in a position to sustain. Perhaps dred works, without including the countless the most interesting portion of M. Lescure’s piles of scurrilous pamphlets which are to be volume is the collection of Marie Antoinette's found in the collections of the curious.

MR. BUCKLE AS A TALKER.-In a book just, of all, the late Madame Emile de Girardin. I published, under the title of “ Arabian Days and knew Douglas Jerrold ; and I am still happy Nights," Miss Marguerite A. Power gives an enough to claim acquaintance with certain men interesting sketch of her meeting in Egypt with

hand women whose names, though well known, it

were perhaps invidious now to mention. But, Mr. Buckle but a few weeks before his death.

for inexhaustibility, versatility, memory, and " At Cairo we had the good fortune to fall in self-confidence, I never met any to compete with with one whose premature death a few weeks Buckle. Talking was meat and drink and sleep later now makes the souvenir of the encounter to him : he lived upon talk. He could keep doubly interesting. This was Buckle, who, in pace with any given number of interlocutors on his researches for fresh materials for his . ifistory any given number of subjects, from the abstrusest of Civilization,' was now on his way back from a science to the lightest jeu d'esprit, and talk them journey up the Nile. He had, on his arrival in all down, and be quite ready to start fresh. Eorvot brought letters of introduction to the R.'s, Among the hundred and one anecdotes with so that, as they were already acquainted, he came which he entertained us I may be permitted to almost, immediately to call, and was asked to din- give, say the hundred and first. • Wordsworth, ner on an early day. I have known most of the said Charles Lamb, one day told me that he celebrated talkers of-I will not say how many considered Shakspeare greatly overrated. There voora back of the time, in a word, when Sydney is an immensity of trick in all Shakspeare wrote,' Smith rejoiced in his green, bright old age, and he said, and people are taken in by it. Now if Lottrell and Rogers and Tommy Moore were still I had a mind I could write exactly like Shaks. capable of giving forth an occasional flash, and peare.' So you see,' proceeded Charles Lamb. when the venerable Lord Brougham, and yet quietly, it was only the mind that was want more venerable Lord Lyndhurst, delighted in ing! We met Buckle on several subsequent friendly and brilliant sparring at dinner-tables, occasions, and his talk and his spirits never whose hosts are now in their hall-forgotten tagged ; the same untiring energi

m ed graves. I have known some brilliant talkers in he said, and did, and thought and Paris-Lamartine and Dumas and Cabarrus, depression appeared to be things unknown to and brightest, or at least most constantly bright 'him.”

From The Spectator, 20 June. rejected " Son of Man. The article to which THE CONFEDERATE EVANGEL. we allude is written throughout in the exalted THE Confederates are at least admirable for strain of fanatical belief and propagandism. the frankness and enthusiasm of their faith. It is not for the sake of the South only, not While their unfortunate English advocates for America only, that this divine experitry with painful industry and contortions of ment is being tried. “ The establishment of intellect to believe and prove that the triumph the Confederacy,says the writer, “ is verily of the Confederacy will be the surest death- a distinct reaction against the whole course of blow to slavery, the great representatives of the mistaken civilization of the age. And this their thought, and even the spokesmen of is the true reason why we have been left their Government, are daily witnessing, and without the sympathy of the nations, till we ostentatiously calling heaven and earth to conquered that sympathy with the sharp edge witness, to their reverence for it. They tri- of the sword. For Liberty, Equality, Fraumph in being a “ peculiar people," set ternity, we have deliberately substituted apart by the King of kings to proclaim a new Slavery, Subordination, and Government. gospel to the world ; they glory with passion-Those social and political problems which ate fervor in what all Europe regards as their rack and torture modern society we have unshame and humiliation ; they thank God dertaken to solve for ourselves in our own that they are accounted worthy to suffer like way and on our own principles." It is a the carly Christians in this equally divine great human experiment, a new missionary cause; they speak of themselves in language power on the earth. “ Reverently we feel,” far stronger than that of St. Peter, as much continues the Evangelist, “ that our Confedmore than “a chosen generation, a royal eracy is a God-sent missionary to the nations priesthood, a holy nation, which in time past with great truths to preach. We must speak were not a people, but are now the people of them boldly, and whoso hath ears to hear let God”-nay, we scarcely like to write down him hear ;'-and then, after this emphatic words which may sound like blasphemy, but use of our Lord's words, comes the sentence, which we profoundly believe to have been to us so blasphemous, in which the South written in the highest mood of exalted faith, clothes itself, in “ the agony and bloody -but they adopt in moments of enthusiasm sweat,” which is to sanctify its cause, and much higher language than this : they speak claims to be pouring out that blood of marnot only of having sanctified their cause tyrdom which is to be the seed, in this case, by their baptism of sacrificial blood, but ex- of the oligarch's monopoly and the slave-drivpressly of their claims by their agony and er’s whip. bloody sweat," to plead before the mountains It may be said of course with some show the Lord's controversy, to establish on the of reason, that this sort of fanaticism does not strong foundations of the earth in place of the fairly represent the South ; that you must no infidel principle of “ Liberty, Equality, Fra- more judge the Southerners by the violent ternity," the good tidings of great joy which and blasphemous fanaticism of the Richmond are comprised in the formula, “Slavery, Sub- Examiner than you would the North by the ordination, Government.” We are not exag- enthusiasm of W. Lloyd Garrison or Frederick gerating. Weare quoting from an article in the Douglas. It is curious, indeed, that the Richmond Examiner of May 28, a paper which very same language is used on both sides ;is held as the foremost in the South for ability the earnest abolitionists, like Mr. Conway, and influence. No one can read that article frequently applying to the despised negro that without a certain shudder of conviction that very language which the Prophets applied in here is the spokesman of a people profoundly the first instance to the Jewish people, and in earnest in what they are doing that here then to their Divine Head. For our own is a fanatic who really thinks, and has a large part, we see a great significance in this following in thinking, that the South is set strange grasping at the language of Christian apart by God as a sort of political Saviour for faith among the extreme partizans on both the rest of the world, and feels warranted in sides, and, without affecting to think there adopting the same language of triumph in are more Southerners to endorse the one than the contumely now attached to slavery which Northerners to endorse the other, we are proChristians only apply to the.“ despised and foundly convinced that here you see the ulti

« EelmineJätka »