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drew Henderson, we would advice our honest citizens TO LOOK BEFORE THEY LOUP.”
The next count in the Committee Scheme, is “ That not a farthing shall be expended on meat or drink, or any other thing by which the profligate Oligarchy were wont to bribe worthless electors.” Well may those, among our citizens, who love to be with “good capon lined,” exclaim, “Ichabod! Ichabod !" wbile, is it not a serious imputation upon those independent electors who care neither for Calipee nor Calipash, that they should be imagined for once to entertain the most distant idea of bartering their newly acquired birthright for a mess of potage?
It is next proposed, “That the Committee is empowered to expel any Member who uses ungentlemanly language and refuses to retract it when called to order.” For whom, in the name of the ever blessed St. Mungo, has the author of the “Essay on Beauty" been legislating? Surely, Mr. Prentice could not see, in dire perspective, the possible extrusion of any one who attended the tabling of his notable scheme, far less of that elongated embodiment of understanding, the worthy President of the meeting. Such a ticklish catastrophe we could never have anticipated !
We have now gone over a few articles of the Prentician political creed and election scheme, and we now put it to the good sense of the citizens of Glasgow, if we are to conclude as we began, by asking whether,
Must be Law ?
fession of Political Faith," we find that the Member for Glasgow must bind bimself, among other things, to the “ Abolition of Church Patronage in Scotland !" And for what purpose think ye?--why, to bestow it “ on the persons in the respective parishes who are qualified to vote for members of Parliament." This is a clincher, Master David. The Catholic electors of some of our Highland Parishes, if they happen to be the majority, are to be invested with the right of placing a pastor in a Protestant pulpit. Here is Jesuitism, equal to what might have come from old Loyola bimself! Well, this is Reform with a vengeance!
The Member, in the twenty-first count of the Creed, is bound " carefully to consider the state of the working classses, especially of those who by no fault of their own, but entirely by inventions in machinery, have been thrown out of employment; and that he shall promote, an act for great measures of national improvement, to place them in comfortable circumstances." What a glorius tub thrown out to catch a whale? “ You shall," says the Creed, “ promote an act for great measures of national improvement.” What these are, Heaven only knows, unless the next count can give an insight into the views of the writer, which states, that the member “ shall promote an act for the support of the Irish poor, in some such way as the Scottish poor are supplied.”
We regret that our limits prevent us going over this notable Creed, more calmly and carefully, the more so, as it contains some most excellent and sound principles, which, if they had been put forth, as hints for the consideration of a Reformed Parliament, would have been regarded by all as exceedingly appropriate. But to launch them forth as a Confession of Political Faith, which the citizens of Glasgow, and her Representativesto-be, are to subscribe, nay, that all the various and important "points of policy” alluded to there, are to be not only supported by our city member, but that, in the event of no one anticipating him in these, he must prepare
bills and move them himself, is about as reasonable as if the writer had added, that “ The member for Glasgow shall be tossed in a blanket if he does not consent to support any set of political or literary dogmas, however Quixotic these may be, which any newspaper Clique may have thought fit to advocate.”
Think ye not, courteous reader! when it is recollected, how creeds of every kind have of late been in such bad odour throughout the world, that it is not a little ill-timed in the author of this “ Confession of Faith for the Men of Gotham,” to put it forth at the present critical moment ? We wait not your reply to this question, but would merely add, that this Confession has burst like a shell among all classes of Reformers, and, Heaven be blessed, if its Congreve contents do not injure the sitting" prospects of even certain of the “ firebaptized” themselves.
Before winding up these desultory remarks upon the Gotham Creed, we must make some slight allusion to the “ Scheme of the General Election Committee," for our own good city, and, on turning to this neat little hap'worth of brown-wigged wisdom, we find, that the leading principle set forth to regulate this assemblage, is—“That a Committee be immediately formed, open to every man in the Burgh district of Glasgow, who shall pay one shilling of entry money, and agree to bear an equal share of the burden of returning able and consistent Members to Parliament free of expense.” This is indeed very considerate towards those aspirants for Parliamentary distinction, who are not so vulgar as to carry their brains in their breeches pockets. But we suspect the men of Glasgow, who have blunt at command, will hesitate before they parade their shilling, seeing that when they have once tabled their “tester,” towards the expenses of an Election Committee they have fairly enlisted their means to pay pro bably a thousand. With our sagacious friend, Mr. An
Among the many improvements in the art of educa. tion, which the experience of modern teachers bas in. troduced, we know of none which can compete in usefulness with a concise and well arranged grammar. By means of this judicious assistance, the study of many of the modern languages has been very much simplified, and we have now the gratification of observing, that a successful attempt has been made by a gentleman, every way fitted for the task, to invest the acquisition of the most ancient tongue in existence, with the
same facility. Mr. Noble's rudiments of the Hebrew language are a valuable ac. quisition to the scholar, as they may be said to possess all the advantages of a compendious elementary work, without falling into the common extreme, which vitiates so many of the modern systems of edacation, of compressing the grammatical precepts into such narrow bounds as to render the knowledge conveyed by them, entirely superficial. The work before us is, indeed, a small one, but it is not for this reason the less complete, an advantage which it certainly owes to the perspicuity of its author. In its table of contents it numbers all the most important elements of Hebrew construction, and, we may say, that there is no subject touched upon in it, which it does not thoroughly examine. The two systems of reading with and without points, are particularly well explained, and the chapter on the conjugation of verbs, afford to the learner a very easy initiation into that complex part of the tongue. In short, those who have experienced the advantage of such guides in their study of modern languages, as the French and Italian grammars of Mons. Porquet, cannot consult their own improvement better than by procuring the Hebrew rudiments of Mr. Noble, and introducing themselves, through their means, to a speedy acquaintance with that tongue, which, both by its antiquity and by its sacred character, ought to command the early attention of every person pretending to taste or skill in literature. That this book may be successful is our wish, not only for the interest of learning, but for the credit of our city, which can boast of possessing a scholar, who, by his private instructions, his lectures and his writings, is eminently qualified at once to introduce among us a spirit of enquiry regarding the interesting countries of the East, and to satisfy our curiosity by the results of his own laborious investigations.
Their heart and soul lent matron and lent maid ;
Fair Sybil o'er the bless'd inspired book :
THE EXECUTIONER. From the French of James Rousseau.
An executioner can never be fairly appreciated, because he is covered with a veil of eternal prejudice. At bis name people shudder and draw closer together, as if listening to a ghost story in the great hall of a Gothic castle. The name is associated with blood and murder.
Tul Maid of Elvar. By Allan CUNNINGHAM. London, 1832. There are few of our reading countrymen who have not assented to the well-earned fame of Allan Cunningbam. As a poet, a novellist and a biographer, he has done honour to his native land, and has proved how far natural talents are able to surmount adventitious circumstances. The poem now before us affords another proof of this author's talent, and will add another chaplet to the poet's brow. The Maid of Elvar is a legendary tale of the period when Henry VIIJ. ruled in England, and is founded on one of those predatory incursions which afflicted the shores of the Solway, and in which the inhabitants of the surrounding districts were called upou to take a part. From this circumstance, a tale of love, which we regret is rather too long at present to detail, is evolved, in wbich, however, Sybil Leslie, the Maid of Elvar, a young and lovely heiress, Eustace Græme, a young peasant and a devotee of the Muse, and Sir Ralph Latoun, who beads the party that make war on the Scottish border, play the principal parts. The many crosses in this game of the affections are well imagined, and are, moreover, told in very pretty rhyme. In his allusions to the beauties of nature, Allan Cunningham has always been peculiarly happy. At her shrine has he, indeed, shewn himself a hearty and most devoted worshipper, and, if any thing more were wanting to prove his title to this lofty character, we would say read the Maid of Elvar.
To enable our readers to judge of the style of this poem, we beg leave to present them, with the author's lovely description of a Sunday morning in a Scottish country parish
Dalgomar kirk her warning bell hath rung,
And youths like lambs upon the sunny sod,
I had long anxiously desired to be acquainted with this terrible functionary. I was anxious to see him in his own house, and surrounded by his family—to hear him speak of his dreadful duties, and utter sounds of buman language. Knowing no one who could introduce me to him, I determined to introduce myself, and one morning bent my steps, not indeed without emotion, towards the Rue des Marais du Temple.
Arrived at No. 31 bis, I saw that it was a small bouse, protected by iron railings, whose interstices closed by wood prevented the eye from penetrating into the interior. There is no opening to these railings; the entrance to the sanctuary is through a small door contiguous to them, on the right side of which there is a bell. In the middle of the door an iron slit, like those at the post-offices, receives the letters sent by the Procureur General to the executioner.
I gently rung the bell; the door was opened, and a tall athletic young man, about thirty years of age, politely inquired what I wanted. " Mr. Henry Sanson," said I, in a trembling voice. This individual was one of the executioner's assistants.
Among other accredited errors regarding the executioner in France, is an idea that the office is perpetual in the same family, and the son obliged to succeed the father. No such thing. No man who has not undergone the sentence of a court of justice can, at a period when the lowest citizen enjoys his civil and political rights, be forced to embrace any profession against his will. Another cause must be found to account for the son always reaping the bloody inheritance of his father.
The executioner lives in a state of exclusion from society. He can associate, out of his own family, with none but executioners; nor can be seek alliances any where but among executioners. Is it his fault if you have made him a man apart from other men? Would you give him your daughter in marriage, or seek to become bis son-in-law? Would you admit him into your house? Would not bis arrival at any place where you might be, raise throughout your frame the same kind of shudder as if you were in the Jardin des Plantes, and the lion had broken loose? And yet he is a man, as well as you—and equally in want of friendship and love, which he can demand only from those circumstanced as he is. He and bis are like a family of Chandalas in the midst of a community of Bramins.
Do not believe, however, that the office of executioner can ever want an occupant.
When Monsieur de Versailles died, some years ago, without issue, there were a hundred and eighty-seven applications for his office. Most of the candidates were old soldiers, several of them butchers. This fact leads to a horrible doubt. Can it be possible that all men are qualified for such an office, and that familiarity with blood is alone wanting?
I return to my visit.
I was ushered into a small room, where I saw a man about sixty, with a countenance beaming with mildness and candour, amusing himself at the piano. This was the executioner!
In the same room was his son, a young man of three or four and thirty, with light hair, and a mild timid look. On his knee sat a girl ten or twelve years old, lovely as an angel, remarkable for the beauty and nobleness of her features, and their expression of artless vivacity. She was his daughter.
This family picture struck me forcibly; and Sanson must bave perceived it. The fact is, that, without sharing in the prejudice of the multitude, I had, nevertheless, formed an idea very different from what was now before me. That little girl above all-she strangely bewildered me. I could have wished that nothing so beautiful might bave been found there ; it was like sun-light on a thunder-cloud, or a rose rising in its beauty between the stones of a sepulchre.
For several years past, M. Sanson the younger has performed the duties of his father's office. Destined, for reasons which I have already explained, to succeed to that office, he is serving his apprenticesbip of blood under the eye of the latter, who is obliged
It was a gladsome thing, up hill and glen,
Meek beauty grew, and looked sedately gay,
There Eustace came, as nature comes, all clad
Triumphed, or fell to English swords a prey;
Filled was each seat and thronged was every pew;
From lord and peasant, bondmaiden and bind,
# The circumstance of this young man's marriage is somewhat romantic. A young and very beautiful girl, the daughter of a rich hosier of Paris, seeing him often pass her father's house, fell deeply in love with him, without knowing who he was
On discovering the dreadful secret, her parents endeavoured to combat this unhappy attachment, but so ineffectually, that she became dangerously ill, and would, no doubt, have died, had not the prejudice been overcome, the young man sent for, and the match concluded. This couple are models of conjugal affection. The office of executioner at Paris is better paid than that of president of the Royal Court. Mr. Sanson the elder has two unmarried daughters, remarkable for their beauty. He has spared no expense upon their education, and is able to add handsome dowers. Yet these ill-fated and lovely girls must make up their minds to marry executioners, or pine away their lives in single blessedness.
And well and wisely preached he in that hour
to be present at every execution for the law knows no other than him, and he is personally responsible for all that passes.
M. Sanson received me like a man of the world, without embarrassment or affectation, and politely inquired the object of my visit. My story was ready prepared. I was writing a work on judicial punishments, and, relying upon his obliging disposition, bad taken the liberty of applying to him for information. The amiable manner in which he replied, that all the information he possessed was at my service, made me feel quite at home. I did not therefore confine my questions to the avowed object, and in a conversation of nearly two hours, I had an opportunity of observing the sound judgment and purity of mind of Monsieur de Paris.
M. Sanson did not attempt to disguise how acutely he felt the stigma attached to the situation. But be supports it, not like a scorner, but a philosopher.
This feeling, however, never once made him forget the distance which society has placed between him and it. If you but lost sight of it an instant, M. Sanson would himself take care to recall it to your mind.
One thing struck me particularly. He had often resorted to his snuff-box without once offering it to me. This departure from the established custom of snuff-takers, surprised me. On a sudden, mechanically indeed, and without thought, and while absorbed in conversation, I offered him a pinch from my box. He raised his hand in token of refusal, with an expression of countenance im. possible to describe, but wbich sent a chill through me. Unhappy man! a recollection of the past brought the blood tingling to his fingers' ends!
M. Sanson delights in conversation ; probably because he has read much and with profit. He bas an extensive and well-chosen library, which, in his house, is not merely ornamental. His books, indeed, are his only society; with their aid he can escape from embarrassment and humiliation, converse with master minds, obtain recreation from his borrible duties, consolation for the scorn of his fellow men, repose for his days, and sleep for bis nights.
Excluded from living society, his intercourse is with the great of past ages ;-he can look on them without a shudder—they died not by his band !
Among the works, were two which I little expected to find there, the works of M. de Maistre, and Le dernier Jour d'un Condamné.
The library furnished me with a topic of conversation, wbich I was glad to avail myself of. Until then the conversation bad flagged; I had felt a delicacy in pressing him with questions, and he, with the tact which characterizes bim, avoided speaking on any subject not immediately connected with his office. But the moment we touched upon literature, he yielded me an entire con. fidence; the constraint he had imposed upon himself disappeared. He laid down principles, and discussed opinions like a man well acquainted with the subject, and, not withstanding certain literary heresies, arising from the want of an elementary education, he gave decisions that would have done honour to a member of the Academy of Inscriptions and Belles Lettres.
One would bave supposed that the nature of his office, and the description of persons with whom it brings him io connexion, must have extinguished in him all humane feeling ; quite the reverse—they bave developed the most acute sensibility. This inan, who coldly inspects the preparations for an execution, raises piece by piece the dreadful instrument of death, oils the ropes, and tries the edge of the knife with his finger, cannot restrain his tears when you remind him of any past execution. He raises his voice with energy against the punishment of death, developes with animation the means which might efficaciously be substituted for itand on the day of execution he may be seen pale as death, refusing food, and overcome with feelings of disgust and horror.
He related to me some curious anecdotes concerning the last moments of certain celebrated criminals, I sball not record them here. Amid facts sometimes affecting, sometimes burlesque, such details are painful--they are like the smile of a corpse on a gibbet. I shall only mention why the scaffold and guillotine are now taken down immediately after an execution. Formerly they remained standing, the spring which put the knife into action being fastened by a padlock.
In 1797, after an execution, the executioner and his assistants bad retired to the first floor of a cabaret, situated at the angle formed by the Place de Greve and the Qui Pelletier. They were talking, drinking, perhaps laughing. Some one knocked at the door. It was a workman, wbo came, he said, to beg that M. Sanson would lend him the key of the guillotine. A journeyman barber had just been taken in the act of stealing a watch, and the people, in their love of summary justice, had hoisted him upon the scaffold, tied him to the fatal plank, slid him under the knife, and, but for the precaution taken, his head would have been already off. The executioner, who had opened the door himself, replied, that M. Sanson was just gone out, and had taken the key with him, but would return in a couple of hours. There was, there. fore, no remedy but to wait. By degrees the crowd began to disperse, but the man devoted to death was left lying under the
At last, and after a lapse of time, every minute of which inust have appeared an hour, he was released. Nothing can give
an adequate idea of his feelings, nor of the agony he suffered during this novel species of slow torture.
Less from a motive of curiosity than to remind M. Sanson of the professed object of my visit, I begged him to show me the room which contained the instruments formerly used in the infliction of judicial torture. The sight of this museum filled me with horror. One thing in this conservatory of murder is worthy of mention : it is the sword with wbich the Marquis de Lally was decapitated. This weapon was manufactured on purpose, and several blades were made before one was found fit for the purpose.
At that period, whenever any remarkable execution took place, the young lords of the court were in the habit of standing upon the platform of the scaffold, just as they were accustomed, in the evening, to seat themselves upon the benches which, in those days, stood upon the stage, at the theatres. On the day of M. de Lally's execution, these spectators were more numerous than usual; and one of the most eager to enjoy the spectacle, accidentally struck the arm of the executioner at the moment the latter was balancing the murderous steel in the air, previously to striking the fatal blow. The shock caused the weapon to deviate from a right line, and, instead of striking the nape of tbe neck, it fell upon the head of the victim, which it penetrated, and stopped at the jaw. The sword was notched by coming in contact with a tooth, and an assistant of the executioner was obliged to terminate the tragedy with a cutlass ! - I held the fatal sword in my hand, and saw that a tooth might easily have caused the notch. Another anecdote may not here be out of place.
About the year 1750, in the middle of the night, three young men belonging to that high class of the nobility which had then a monopoly for breaking windows, insulting street passengers, and beating the guard, and which would fain have revived, after too long an interval, the gay, extravagant, and insolently aristocratical manners of the regency-were strolling down tbe faubourg St. Martin, after supper, laug bing and talking under the influence of sparkling champaign.
On tbeir arrival in the Rue St. Nicholas, they heard the sound of instruments, and the music was of so lively a character that it could not but indicate a hearty bourgeois dance. How fortunate! it would enable them to pass pleasantly the remainder of the night.
One of them knocked at the door; it was opened by a polite well-dressed man.
The young lord hastened to explain the motive of this unseasonable visit.
The gentleman, with frigid politeness, declined their company. “ This is a family party," said he, “and no stranger can be admitted."
“ You are wrong," said the young nobleman, “We belong to the court, and we are doing you great bonour in condescending to join your party."
“Once more, gentleman, I must refuse your offer, neither of you know the person you are addressing, or you would be as anxious to withdraw as you are now importunate to be admitted.
“ Excellent, upon my honour !" said the most eager and the wildest of the party, “and wbo the devil are you?"
“ I am the Executioner of Paris."
“ Ha! ba ! ha! Wbat, is it you who cut off heads, break limbs upon the wheel, make nerves crack upon the wooden borse, and torture poor devils so agreeably?"
“ Softly, gentlemen. Such, indeed, are the duties of my office; but I leave these matters to my deputies. It is only when a man of quality—a young lord, like either of you, gentleman-is subjected to the penalties of the law, that I do execution upon bim with my own hands."
The Individual who addressed the executioner was the Marquis de Lally, who, twenty years afterwards, died by the hands of the same man upon whose office he was then exercising his powers of raillery.
When I quitted Sanson, after a long visit, during which I had lost sight of his situation in his society-prompted by tbat natural warmth of feeling which urges us to make advances to those who please us,-I instinctively beld out my band to bim. He drew back with a look of surprise and confusion.
The snuff-box occurred to my recollection, and I fully understood his thoughts. The hand which comes io daily contact with crime dared not press that of an honest man.
To the several instances, mentioned in the Memoirs of Madame Junot, of the amiable benevolence of Bonaparte's disposition, we add the two following anecdotes :
JUNOT's WOUND. ««Junot,' said Napoleon, looking at him with an expression of mildness im'ossible to be described, dost thou recollect the day, at the palace of Serbelloni at Milan, on which thou wast wounded, here, in this place ?'—and his small hand pressed gently upon the wide and deep scar on Junot's temple. 'I was pulling thy hair, and when I took away my hand it was covered with blood."
“ The First Consul, as he said this, turned pale at the very recollection.
“ • Yes!' he continued, making a motion as if in the act of suppressing a shudder: 'I became conscious, at that monãent, that
*" The last day of a condemned criminal,” a work by Victor Hugo.
there is an inherent weakness in nature. On that day I understood how a man could faint. I have not forgotten the circumstance, my friend ; and from that time the name of Junot could never be coupled in my thoughts with even the semblance of perfidy. Thy temper is impetuous—too much so; but thou art a brave and trustworthy fellow—thou, Lannes—Marmont-Duroc - Berthier-Bessieres—'
“ And between each name Napoleon took a pinch of snuff, walking up and down, then stopping, and smiling, whenever a name brought particular associations to his mind.
"" - And my son Eugene : yes, those hearts are attached to me-I can depend upon them: Lemarrois is also a faithful follower; and poor Rapp, who, although he has not been long with me, loves me to such a degree, that he already lectures me. Dost thou know that upon occasion be actually scolds me?'
“ As the First Consul spoke, he took Junot's arm, and leaned upon it as he walked. When they came near the window, he drew his arm from Junot's, and placed it upon the shoulder of the latter, whom he almost forced to stoop, that he might lean
THE CANDIDATE FOR ADMISSION TO THE POLYTECHNIC SCCHOOL.
he will deem me worthy of becoming one of those youths, of wbom he would make officers capable of executing his great conceptions.'
“ The three friends smiled at each other. Duroc and Junot thought with Lacuee, that the presence of this young man would be pleasing to the First Consul; and Duroc went to him and stated the circumstance. Napoleon, with that luminous and sweet smile so peculiar to him when he was pleased, said
« « So he wants me to examine him, does he ? What could have suggested such an idea to him? It is a strange one!' And he rubbed his chin. •How old is he?' resumed the First Consul, after walking about some time in gracious silence.
“«I do not know, General; but he appears about seventeen or eightcen ?' "Let him come in.'
“ Duroc introduced the youth, the expression of whose countenance was admirable. The fullness of his joy was vividly and beautifully pourtrayed in it. His look darted upon the First Consul-his whole existence seemed to hang upon the first word Napoleon should utter. I have often observed, but cannot repeat too often, how inconceivably different the countenance of the Emperor was from itself, when he had determined upon pleasing. Its beautifully mild expression, at such a time, had an ineffable charm.
“ • Well, my young man !' said he, advancing with a gracious smile towards the young enthusiast ; 'you wish to be examined by me?' “ The pocr lad was so overcome with joy that he could not
Napoleon liked neither insolent assurance, nor pusillanimous timidity; but he perceived that the youth before him was silent, only because the spirit spoke too loud within him.
“ « Take time to recover yourself, my child : you are not calm enough to answer me at this moment. I will attend for a while to some other business, and then we will return to yours.'
«• Dost thou see that young man?' said the First Consul to Junot, taking him into the recess of a window. If I had a thousand like him, the conquest of the world would be but a promenade !' And he turned his head to look at the young man's who, absorbed in meditation, was probably preparing his answer, to the questions which he supposed would be asked bim. In about half an hour Napoleon began the examination, with the result of which he was completely satisfied.
“ • And you had no other master than your father?' asked the First Consul, in astonishment.
“ At this period of the consulate, a certain Abbe Bossu (I believe that was his name,) examined the young men who were to be admitted as students in the Polytechnic school. Though not only the examiner, his veto was all-powerful.
• One day, when the First Consul was about to start on a hunting excursion, the aid-de-camp on duty, as he crossed the court at Malmaison, perceived a handsome, gentlemanly young man, leaning against one of the sentry-boxes at the gate, and looking anxiously at the château. The aid-de-camp, M. de Lacuee, approached him, and politely asked if he wanted any one. The young man, without looking at the person who addressed him, replied
“* Ah! Sir, I have a wish, which every one I have consulted tells me it is impossible to gratify; and yet I shall die if it be not accomplished. I want to speak to the First Consul. I tried to obtain admittance into the court, but was repulsed at the gate. I was asked if I had an appointment. An appointment! I, an appointment !
« And without casting even a passing glance at M. de Lacuee, the young man again fixed his earnest gaze upon the château.
delights in an adventure; and this youth, with his "animated"** No, Generat ; but he was a good master, because he was
bringing up a citizen to be one day useful to his country, and who might pursue the high destinies which you hold out to it.'
“ Junot told me that they were all surprised at the almost prophetic tone with which the last words were uttered. The First Consul in particular seemed much struck by them.
“ • I will give you a line, my dear child, which shall open for you the gate of the sanctuary,' said he, making Junot a sign to write. But suddenly altering his mind, he said,
“ • But no, I will write myself.'
“ And, taking a pen, he wrote a few words, which he delivered to the young man, who, on his arrival at Paris, ran to the Abbe Bossu.
“ • What do you want here?' said the latter ; 'there is nothing for you.' But the youth held a talisman in his hand. He delivered it to the ungracious priest, who read as follows:
"M. Bossu will admit M. ***). I have myself examined him, and consider him qualified.
PERILOUS ADVENTURES OF ROBERT, THE
CELEBRATED FRENCH PAINTER.
countenance, and voice trembling with emotion, inspired bim at once with interest. Again approaching him
“ • Well, Sir,' said he, “and what do you want with the First Consul? I can convey to him your request, if it be reasonable. I am the aide-de-camp on duty.'
“ • You, Sir! cried the young man, seizing M. de Lacuee's hand, which he squeezed with transport - Are you the First Consul's aide-de-camp? Oh! if you knew the service you could render me! Pray, Sir, take me to him.'
“ • What do you want of him ?'
«'I must speak to him !-(and he added, in a lower tone of voice, ) - It is a secret.'
“ Lacuee contemplated the youthful petitioner, who stood before him with a look of intense eagerness, squeezing the hand he held, as if it were in a vice_his bosom palpitating, and his respiration oppressed; but his look was pure—it evinced a mind of the noblest stamp.
« • This youth is not dangerous,' thought Lacuee : and, taking his arm, he led him into the interior court. As they passed the gate, Duroc, accompanied by Junot, arrived from Paris, whither they had gone in the morning. Both were on horseback. They stopped and alighted to speak to Lacuee, who related what had just passed between him and the young stranger.
“ • What !' said Junot and Duroc,—are you going to introduce this young man without even knowing his name?' Lacuee confessed he had not asked it. Junot then approached the youth, and observed, that although the First Consul was not difficult of access, yet it was necessary he should know why an interview with him was required, and, moreover, the name of the party who made such a request.
“ The young man blushed.
“ True, General,' said he, bowing respectfully, but with the ease of a gentleman, and stating his name. (The Duchess is not certain as to the name, which, however, she believes to be Eugene de Kervalegue. ] “My father resides in the country. I have received from him an education adapted to the end which both he and I had in view,-namely, my admission to the Polytechnic school. Judge then, General, of his disappointment and of mine, when, on appearing before the Abbe Bossu, whose duty it is to decide whether or not I am qualified, this gentleman refused to examine me, because I had been taught by my father only. What matters that, (said I,) provided I possess the requisite knowledge? But he was inflexible, and nothing could induce bim to ask me a single question.'
" • But,' said Duroc, in his usual mild and polite manner, what can the First Consul do in such a case ? If that be the rule, it must be observed by every candidate ; and what can you therefore require of him ?'
* • That he examine me himself,' replied the young man, with the most expressive naïveté. •I am sure, that if he questions me,
THE CATACOMBS AT KOME. Robert was a kind and excellent man. He was a man of intellect-he bad seen much, retained a great deal, had a very correct judgment, and his conversation was delightful. How cold and colourless is bis adventure in the catacombs, as related by Delille, when compared with the rapid and animated narrative which he bimself made at my fire-side in his seventy-ninth year. It inspired, no doubt, some very fine verses in Delille's poem; but how cold is this poetry-bow devoid of true soul-exciting interest those ex. pressions, by the side of the simple narrative of the real danger they were intended to describe : -- whilst the words of this interesting old man, feeble and infirm by the pressure of fourscore years, placed vividly before your eyes the ardent youth of twenty, consigned alive to the tomb, and, in the horror of a lingering death, dragging his weary and exhausted limbs over those stones which he came to depict! How eloquent was he, when speaking of that prospect of fame, wbich the mind of an artist can open to his own fascinated imagination ; when describing the first bours of his labour in those melancholy vaults, by the hazy and lurid light of a solitary torch, with his bright prospects before bim as he tben saw them, vast, luminous, and in beauty incomparably beyond all he had ever before imagined ! And then a curtain of lead hid the whole from bis view!...... He had dreams of beaven ; and he found himself in the tbraldom of death ! To his most deJightful thougbts, succeeded the recollections of his mother, whom he was never to behold !-of his country! Then came physical pain, with nature's powerful voice. He was bungry—he thirsted - he suffered the most cruel tortures. But what expressions could describe the madness of his joy, when, placing his band upon a heap of human bones, whose chill froze him more than the coldest marble—for were not his own soon to be added to the heap ?-his fingers encountered the protecting ball of thread ! This could be expressed only in his own words, uttered by himself. In mentioning the circumstance here, I merely describe my recollection of the feelings his story inspired.
THE DOME OF ST. PETER'S AT ROME. Robert was one day at St. Peter's. The hour of divine service was past, and he was almost alone. The silent and religious quiet of this vast edifice, was interrupted only by the footsteps of a few casual visitors. Robert cast on all sides his look of ardent enthusiasm, in search of new wonders. On a sudden, he saw a rope descend from the opening at the top of the grand cupola ; a workman having approached, fastened to it a bucket of water, and it again ascended. The roof was out of repair, and some masons were at work upon it. This gave bim the idea of ascending to the cupola.
“I was curious,” said he, “to examine as closely as possible the injury done to this colossus of modern architecture, which, shooting up towards heaven, seems contemptuously to say to the ruined monuments around it, I am eternal. Its pride seemed to me much lowered. That rope, that bucket, and that solitary workman, struck me as contemptible."
He ascended the dome. On his arrival at the summit, he was struck with admiration and wonder at the magnificent prospect before him. It was a splendid and living panorama, lighted by sunbeams, so different from those of every other country, covering nature with a bright and glorious veil of beautiful colours, which floats over the buildings, trees, and land of Italy alone. He then looked more nearly around him, and perceived some workinen repairing some slight damage done to the roof of the dome. To obtain water with greater ease, they had placed across the opening of the cupola two long planks tied together; over them a rope was thrown, wbich descended into the church. These planks might be two feet and a half in width, and as the apparatus was intended merely to support a bucket of water, no one cared whether it would not bear a greater weight.
Looking on these things with the eyes of a young man of twenty, with eyes that see danger only to brave and laugh at it, Robert began to think that it must be a singular sight to behold St. Peters from top to bottom, the reverse of the manner in which every thing that has base and summit is generally seen-namely, from bottom to top. This idea soon took such possession of his mind, that he must needs satisfy it. Never once calculating whether the plank across this opening, which was three hundred feet from the ground, was strong enough to bear bis weight, he placed one foot upon it, then the other, and behold him upon this dangerous bridge, without any possibility of turning back !
When, for the first time he told me this story, the instant I saw him upon the plank, suspended, as it were, between heaven and the hard marble floor, upon which he might be dashed to atoms, I was seized with a giddiness such as he might himself be expected to have felt when in this critical situation. We surrounded him closely, eager to catch every word he uttered, and following him step by step across this dangerous bridge.
Scarcely bad I performed a third of my journey,” said he, “ when, eager to enjoy the spectacle I sought, I cast my eyes below! At the same instant, a hissing sound whizzed through my ears, my head became covered with a veil of darkness, succeeded by one of fire,- I was seized, in short, with the most horrible vertigo. Fortunately, I had presence of mind immediately to shut my eyes and stand still. I cannot express to you what I felt at this moment, when I heard voices close to my ears, uttering in whispers the most dreadful blasphemies ! It was the workmen ! I opened my eyes to continue my perilous journey, for I felt that if I remaived a minute longer in this situation, I should die even without falling.”
He was advancing with a firm step upon that narrow plank, when he felt the wood crack under him! He was then in the middle of the plank, and the weight of his body, so much greater than that of the water-bucket, must necessarily break the bridge, and he be precipitated to the bottom.
“ Ab!" said a lad, who heard the wood crack, " the plank is rotten! The uubappy man will f-”
He did not pronounce the word; for the head workman placed his band upon the lad's mouth.
When Robert reached the other side, and saw the plank, the abyss, and death behind him, he fell upon his knees and poured forth his humble thanksgivings to Almighty God for his delivery from danger.
“ Ah! my friends,” said he to the workmen, with a smile of ineffable joy, and his eyes swimming in tears, “how bappy I am!”
But instead of sbaring his delight, the workmen seized and beat him furiously.
“ Cursed Frenchman ! rascal ! scoundrel !" howled the chorus of masons, “ villain, how you frightened us!"
of an amphitheatre. It is the trait in modern manners, which most effectually recalls the nobility of antique pastime. The poetry of a bull-fight is very much destroyed by the
ap pearance of the cavaliers. Instead of gay, gallant knights, bound. ing on caracolling steeds, three or four shapeless, unwieldy beings, cased in armour of stuffed leather, and oking more like Dutch burgomasters than Spanish chivalry, enter the lists on limping rips. The bull is, in fact, the executioner for the dogs, and an approaching bull-fight is a respite for any doomed steed throughout all Seville.
The Tauridors, in their varying, fanciful, costly, and splendid dresses, compensate, in a great measure, for your disappointment. It is difficult to conceive a more brilliant band. These are ten or a dozen footmen, who engage the bull unarmed, distract him, as he rushes at one of the cavaliers by unfolding, and dashing, before his eyes a glittering scarf, and saving themselves from an occasional chace by practised agility, which elicits great applause. The performance of these Tauridors is, without doubt, the most graceful, the most exciting, and the most surprising portion of the entertainment.
The ample theatre is nearly full. Be careful to sit on the shady side. There is the suspense experienced at all public entertainments, only here upon a great scale. Men are gliding about selling fans and refreshments. The Governor and his suite enter their box. A trumpet sounds! all is silent.
The knights advance, poising their spears, and for a moment trying to look graceful. The Tauridors walk behind them, two by two. They proceed around, and across, the lists. They bow to the Vice-regal party, and commend themselves to the Virgin, whose portrait is suspended above.
Another trumpet! A second, and a third blast. The Governor throws the signal. The den opens, and the bull bounds in. That first spring is very fine. The animal stands for a moment still, staring, stupified. Gradually his hoof moves; he paws the ground; he dashes about the sand. The knights face him with their extended lances at due distance. The Tauridors are all still. One flies across him, and waves his scarf. The enraged hull makes at the nearest horseman. He is frustrated in his attack. Again, he plants himself, lashes his tail, and rolls about his eye. He makes another charge, and, this time, the glance of the spear does not drive him back. He gores the horse, rips up its body, the steed staggers, and falls. The bull rushes at the rider, and his armour will not now preserve him, but, just as his awful horn is about to avenge his future fate, a skilful Tauridor skims before him, and flaps his nostril with his scarf. He flies after his new assailant, and immediately finds another. Now you are delighted by all the evolutions of this consummate band ; occasionally they can only save themselves by leaping the barrier. The knight, in the meantime, rises, escapes, and mounts another steed.
The bull now makes a rush at another horseman. The horse dexterously veers aside. The bull rushes on, but the knight wounds him severely in the flank with his lance. The Tauridors now appear armed with darts. They rush with extraordinary swiftness and dexterity at the now infuriate animal, plant their galling weapons in different parts of his body, and scud away. To some of their darts are affixed fireworks, which ignite by the pressure of the stab. The animal is then as bewildered as infuriate. The amphitheatre echoes to his roaring, and witnesses the greatest efforts of his rage.
He flies at all, staggering and streaming with blood; at length breathless, and exhausted, he stands at bay, his black swollen tongue hanging out, and his mouth covered with foam.
'Tis horrible. Throughout, a stranger's feelings are for the bull, although this even the fairest Spaniard cannot comprehend. As it is now evident, that the noble victim can only amuse them by his death, there is an universal cry for the Matador, and the Matador, gaily dressed, appears amid a loud cheer. The Matador is a great artist. Strong nerves must combine with great quick. ness, and great experience, to form an accomplished Matador. It is a rare character, highly prized. Their fame exists after their death, and different cities pride themselves on producing, or possessing, the eminent.
The Matador plants himself before the bull, and shakes a red cloak suspended over a drawn sword. This last insult excites the lingering energy of the dying hero. He makes a violent charge, the mantle falls over his face, and the sword enters his spine, and he falls amid thundering shouts. The death is instantaneous, without a struggle and without a groan. flowers and ribbons, and drawn by oxen, now appears, and bears off the body in triumph. I have seen eighteen borses killed in a bull fight, and eight bulls
. But the sport is not always in proportion to the slaughter. Sometimes the bull is a craven, and then, if after having recourse to every mode of excitement he will not charge, he is kicked out of the arena, amid the jeers and hisses of the audience. Every act of skill on the part of the Tauridors elicits applause, nor do the spectators hesitate, if necessary, to mark their temper by a colla trary method. On the whole, it is a magnificent, but barbarous spectacle, and however disgusting the principal object, the accessaries of the entertainment are so brilliant and interesting, that
, whatever may be their abstract disapprobation, those who have witnessed a Spanish bull-fight, will not be surprised at the passionate attachment of the Spanish people to their national pastime.
A car, decorated with
A SPANISH BULL FIGHT.
A Spanish bull-fight taught me fully to comprehend the rapturous exclamation of “ Panem et Circenses !” The amusement apart, there is something magnificent in the assembled thousands