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approbativeness and epicurism, nowhere finds | national guard lacing the stays of a grisette; the such scope as in Paris. "Be more amiable,' municipal authorities imprison a refractory said an experienced mother to her daughter, an opera-singer, and, without their permission, not employé of the opera, "be more tender and a bucket of water can be dipped from the Gulf empresse to your admirers, if not for your of Lyons; our dinner-companion says good-bye, child's sake, or for your mother's, then for your after coffee, and goes deliberately to blow his voiture!" The triumph of material niceties brains out. The fireman makes love to the here reaches its acme: from what an infinite femme de chambre, while in the act of extinvariety of petty resources is French subsistence guishing a conflagration; the people read their and enjoyment derived! A journal of our day fate in placards; Galignani's column of foreign announces the death of a distinguished claquer, news is arbitrarily cut down, and the suppressed at his country-seat, and the event is signalized items come to light in Charivari; a deposed by an obituary notice declaring him "master of king's effects are sold at auction, and Sevres the art of expressing feeling according to the ware bearing his crest thenceforth adorn American subject!" A eulogy nowhere else applicable tables; the streets swarm with police and spies, to any but an author, composer, or artist, and the child of a Dutch admiral and Hortense thus celebrates one whose vocation it was to Beauharnais, having turned the cannon on the testify approbation and blame at the theatre! populace, issues a religious bulletin after the Liquorice-water, the caricature of an abbé, an massacre: no flower-market in the world is omelette scientifically fried, a fancy clock; a patronized so well as the Parisian, and no urban woman in front of Tortoni's letting off swallows gardens more frequented than the Tuileries and from a basket, at two sous a flight; a bird-cage, Luxemborg, while rural life is irksome to the a flower-stand, a plaster bust, a lap-dog, a fan, citizen, and only sought as a pretext for lovea little glass of Otard, a cake of scented soap, making, a dance, or dinner al fresco. Catch a an opera-glass, a pan of charcoal, a wax candle, few phrases from the leaf of a courtier's meor a parrot, an elegant coiffure, a geranium leaf, moirs, the mouth of a neighbour at restaurant or a bit of sugar-where on earth, but in Paris, or theatre, or the bourgeois in a crowd, and an do such things weigh so much in the scale of epitome of this mingled levity and talent, this diurnal experience, felicity, and even fate? comedy of life, and quickness of apprehension without seriousness of conviction, is hinted at once. "They are like me, they regret their mud," said Madame de Maintenon, watching the restless carp in their pellucid vase; "il y a quelqu'un qui fait encore plus d'ennemis qu'un cheval anglais-c'est la femme de théâtre," was the observation of a Parisian sage; my confessor has ordered me to be dull in company," said Madame Scarron, "to mortify the passion, he detects in me, of wishing to please by my understanding." "Un femme d'esprit ne doit rien à personne," bluntly remarks an obese traveller, as he shifts his feet to avoid the provision-basket of his vis-à-vis. Opera-girls, we are told by Veron, have a passion to appear in mourning for some distant relative whom they have never seen.
In 1740, Montesquieu, in a letter to a friend, wrote: "France is nothing but Paris and a few distant provinces." "Here," says a traveller of the last century, "things are estimated by their air; a watch may be a master-piece without exactness, and a woman rule the whole town without beauty, if they have an air. Here life's a dance, and awkwardness of step its greatest disgrace. Character, here, is dissolved into the public, and an "original" a name of mirth. Cela se fait, et ce la ne se fait pas, are here the supreme umpires of conduct. Their religion is superstition, fashion, sophism. Tyranny may grind the face, but not the face of a Frenchman; his feet are made to dance in wooden shoes. The parliament resembles an old toothless mastiff. France was the country of Le Soeur and Racine, and is that of Voltaire."
How many "gentle stoics" exhibit frugality and contentment; how many complacent epicureans ingenuity in pleasure-seeking; how many devotees of science-isolated self-devotion, in that mart of humanity! We are told of a famous surgeon who questioned the credited idea that a vital gun-shot wound is followed by an involuntary leap, or sudden turning of the body called to the field, and mortally wounded, he exclaimed, "It is true; I could not help that movement," and so died. In no other meridian do the frivolous and the solemn, the fantastic and the philosophic associations of life thus incongruously blend.
An historian quotes a royal letter, the possession of which he accounts for by the statement that he purchased it of a rogue who stole it at the sack of the Tuileries; a philosopher cannot study in peace without a group of tropical plants and two gazelles in sight; the Amazonian market-women, whose savage air would frighten a novice, keep a plaster bust of the Emperor on their stalls, and throw nosegays into Eugenie's carriage; the identical transparency which represented the Goddess of Reason in the bloodiest days of the Revolution, was subsequently used as the festal effigy of Liberty, Josephine, Faith, Hortense, and the present Empress; a painter's model impiously engraves on his card, Nature de Christ; an amateur takes down a new dance in short-hand; a female novelist assumes male attire, in order to observe life in Paris with more facility; the best poet of the South is a barber; at the same shop-window the flaneur gazes on a print of Napoleon at St. Helena, contemplating, with folded arms, the declining sun and a
And a more generalized and recent portrait is given by an American, Henry James: "Your
true Frenchman will sit for any number of consecutive hours glued to the benches of the Champs Elysées in order to see the monde pass by-to see it merely with his eyes, remember never speaking to a soul in all the moving mass, yet perfectly content to see the monotonous waves roll on and repeat their tiresome glare, till darkness comes at last to snatch them from sight, and the beholder, let us hope, from imbecility. To frequent from childhood to manhood, and from manhood to old age, the same unchanging scenes; to sit year in and year out on the same dusty sidewalks, in front of the same crowded and noisy cafés, playing the same eternal dominoes, seeing pass the same throng of similar people, each as like the other in his diversity as a big pea is like a little pea, as a double clover is like a single clover, or a wilted cabbage is like a fresh one; everlastingly sipping the same eau sucré; everlastingly hearing and repeating the same stupid gossip of Mrs. B. to-day, which was heard and repeated of Mrs. A. yesterday; everlastingly resorting to the same play-house to applaud the same actors; running to the same opera to go into ecstasies over the same fiddle; strolling along the same streets to gaze at the same or similar prints in the same windows at the end of the year which he gazed upon at the beginning; such is your true Frenceman's conception of variety, such is his ideal of life; and he cannot but heartily despise a state of things like that at home, which drops all this imbecile routine out as an infinite dreariness and ennui; a full stomach, a faithful wife or mistress, and an honoured name, and he will agree to live for ever in immortal joy. Life to him is not the commerce or play of an infinite inward ideal, with a responsive outward organization with what is still more finite and outward than itself, namely, the universe of sense. God forbid that I should undervalue a mental constitution so pronounced, and, in its way, so admirable; I only allege it to show that the Frenchman commits suicide only when aome tangible possession takes its departure from him; only when poverty, or some other palpable calamity, comes to shake him out of his easygoing routine, and that he can't imagine any profounder source of disgust."
Garvani's illustrations of Paris life contain a domestic interior which might serve an artist, a political economist, or a dramatic author, so entirely does it suggest the ways and means of the domiciliated Parisian. Like his frugal Caledonian brother, he prefers the nook of a large and substantial edifice to a small isolated tenement, and is content to occupy a floor, and adjust the height thereof to the length of his purse: both space and cash are saved by the arrangement: while a far more uniform, permanent, and effective architecture is secured. Thus each huge building is a world in itself; the ground-floor may be a shop, but ascend the steps and you find the guardian-genius of the place, whom, if
you are a resident or an habitué of the premises, it is well to propitiate. All the conveniences for a family are found in each of these suites, which vary in extent and costliness as you ascend; survey the neat glass case, wherein sits the porter's wife in her spotless cap, knitting, with an alcove containing a bed, perhaps, in the back-ground, and a dainty pendulum or flower near by, and a sleepy cat purring at her side; accept her courteous directions, mount the polished oaken staircase, note the different coloured cord hanging at each door, look in upon the prosperous family who hold a salon once a week on the premier étage, or the smaller domestic establishment above; the economical traveller's winterapartment, full of knick-knack and sunshine, au troisième; or mount if you will, to the highest region of all to find the provident musician practising in his cheerful attic; or the light-hearted and hard-working grisette, his neighbour, with her box of mignonette at her side, embroidering a kerchief, or making artificial flowers; while she muses of the next holiday, when her beau is to escort her to a dance at Montmorenci. These, and a thousand similar scenes, have been so graphically described in novels, plays, and memoirs, that such a casual inspection seems like a process of memory rather than observation, so exactly does the still-life and local arrangement correspond with vague images of apartments in the French capital to which biographers, novelists, and playwrights have conducted us. This way of living in colonies, the diversities of condition thus brought under one roof, is another of those special phases of life in Paris, which render it eminently dramatic and scenical. Yet the convenience thus secured is often modified to Anglo-Saxon appreciation, by miserable provision for a fire, scraps of rug instead of an entire carpet, and a want of comfort scarcely atoned for by sundry cheap expedients for elegance; so that we can well believe the assertion of an American envoy, fresh from his snug country-seat, that the charms of the French capital were dispelled for him by a habit his chimney had of smoking, and his waiter of bringing him punch in a tea-pot. The requirements of warmth and ease are secondary in the estimation of the fair Parisian; she says: "Le salon sera rouge et or, la chambre à coucher en brocatelle jaune, et le boudoir en satin de chine blue; ce sera ravissant." And yet there is not a city in the world where a comfortable retreat, in our sense of the word, is more requisite. Cold humidity is the normal trait of the winter climate; catarrh is almost permanently epidemic; Moccasins, snuff, and eau sucré, are the usual remedies, and their universal use confirms and suggests atmospheric causes.
MONTESQUIEU says: "I never listen to calumnies, because, if they are untrue, I run the risk of being deceived; and, if they be true, of hating persons not worth thinking about.”
THE NATURAL SPHERE OF WOMAN.-Never in the history of Christendom did woman fall so low in morals or intellect as when she was immured in the narrowing walls of a convent, and when her conscience was committed exclusively to the keeping of priests. The fearful horrors of medieval conventual life, as painted by the faithful pens of Popish historiaus themselves, are too horrible to be recorded in these columns. It is enough to say that our forefathers paid the heaviest of all penalties for allowing the heels of a priest to trample in the dust the laws and instincts of human nature. The family, and note the cloister, is God's appointed place for woman; which she was destined by her God to charm with her smiles, to solace with her sweetness, and to bless, as nothing else on earth can bless, with her love. Has the devoted daughter, and the kind and gentle sister, and the loving niece, no appointed round of duties in her own home, or amongst those who have the nearest and the dearest claims on her time, her love, and her goodness, that she must leave, it may be, her neglected sisters, her aged and helpless parent, or her invalided aunt, anda host of other friends, to do the bidding of some self-styled "Mother Superior," whom neither God nor nature recognizes, or the bidding of some slim shaveling, dressed up like a Popish priest, who, under the guise of confession, steals the secret of her young heart and stains the innocence of her soul by the insinuations of sins of darkness? A true Christian woman's influence, like charity itself, should begin at home, her natural centre; and when this, her proper field of labour and love, is exhausted, then, but not till then, she may bestow the surplusage of her care on those without. Some Ritualistic defenders of the conventual system tells us that home life presents not sufficient scope to develope a woman's duties as a practical Christian. But what says Keble, the High Church poet:
"We need not bid, for cloistered cell, Our neighbour and our work farewell; Nor strive to wind ourselves too high For simple man beneath the sky. The trivial round, the common task Would furnish all we ought to ask: Room to deny ourselves, a road To bring us, daily, nearer God." Never does woman's whole nature rise to a higher earthly beauty and dignity than when it is seen strung to its utmost tension with feelings of devotion to the husband of her heart, and discharging, in holy and humble reliance on her God, the sweet offices of mother and wife to those whom God has given her to bless and to be blessed Is it this seat of tranquil and purifying with. power-is it this reign of peace and joy-is it "all the joys that crowd the household nook”— "the haunt of all affections pure," is it this, the truest image on earth of the happiness of heaven, that must now be filched away from the daughters of England for conventual recesses, set up to outrage the deepest instincts of womanhood, and to pervert and poison the sweetest as well as the tenderest aspirations of her nature?—The Rock.
A BERGE LE.
(A Record of September 20th, 1868.)
BY R. E. THACKERAY.
He knelt in prayer, a journey lay before him;
pray'd for all-his son, in youth's first day,
Might be a matron, rich in virtue proved.
Great God! be willing such gifts to bestow!"
He left the church, the day's sweet prime and night
There is a lovely spot !—in it appears
OUR HEROINE S.
Few of us have passed through childhood and youth, and gained the calm of middle age, without having often fallen deeply in love with the fair beings who flit before our fancy, obedient to the wand of that greatest of enchanters, the novelist of ancient or modern times.
Emerging from the childish days when Cinderella was our ideal of an oppressed damsel, and Jack the Giant Killer our most sensational romance, do we not remember the delight of finding the charming "Evelina" hidden away in some attic? She was our first love. Her candour, her innocent ingenuousness, and her beauty, dimly hinted at, never described, won our young hearts, and set them throbbing with eager interest as we read of the strange old-world-manners, and the "noble courtesy" of Lord Orville. Few in our days know the charming old tale, the first effort of a young girl of seventeen.
"Cecilia, too, was one of our early favourites; but she never rivalled Evelina in our good graces, for her soliloquies lacked the artless simplicity of the "dear Miss Anville."
What a tender humour Thackeray employed in the immortal "Round-about-papers," in which he describes the perfect enjoyment and dolce far niente of a certain idle boy, who is so wrapped up in a novel that he hears not the river flowing beneath, and heeds not the prospect of a caneing for neglected lessons! We have made inany friends among Thackeray's own works. It is a groundless belief that he could create no heroine who represents a good type of womanhood: for when could we meet with a more noble, high-minded woman than Laura in Pendennis," although in later life she has become sharp and common-place, when we meet her again in the "Adventures of Phillip?" If we detest and shrink from Becky Sharp, the old Countess of Kew, the " dowagers," and Mrs. Baynes-if we entertain a respectful but distant admiration for Ethel and for Elizabeth Prior, we must still love rosy, artless Charlotte, and admire the brave fight which good Smolensk wages with the world.
has not enough of spirit, and her innocent unconciousness of Clenham's love is provoking. Even Flora's chatter, on the severity of "Mr. F's. aunt" is preferable. Mrs. Clenham, Miss Ward, and Rosa Dartle are types of a very strange perversion of right feeling, on which Dickens dwells much. Their characters are very unlovely, and yet their extreme misery, self-inflicted as it is, forces us to pity them. Edith Dombey and Lady Dedlock are both fine characters perverted; yet how distinctly their traits stand forth as contrasted with the gentle goodness of Florence, the weak sentimentalism of poor faded Lucretia Fox, and the false blushes and withered affectations of Mrs. Skewton, or with fussy, self-sufficient "Dame Durden," pretty, inane Ada, and the poor law-stationer's "little woman!"
We love Bella, in "Our Mutual Friend," for her pretty wilfulness and deficient grace and beauty; and the story of Lizzie touches a finer chord: but the "rampages" into which Pip's sweet sister occasionally falls are capital, while her sharp, caustic remarks make us almost share in her contempt of good Joe Gargery. Very dear friends are those whom we meet in the pages of this great author: we return to them again and again, and never weary of their beauty. Like Mr. Woppell's grandmother, "they have got into a bad habit of living" in our hearts.
Miss Yonge has introduced us to many pleasant acquaintances, Ethel May the most widely-known-being the most characteristic. Her short sight, her sallow face, her eager, impetuous love of knowledge, are all familiar and dear to us; but we always considered Misu Yonge too partial, and thought that Flora had very scant justice meted out to her. The fair "Dove in the eagle's nest" is very sweet and good and angelic; but somehow we cannot feel that she is so real and lifelike as poor blundering, truth-loving Rachel in the "Clever Woman of the Family." Pretty bright Bessie appeals to our sympathies, as did Flora May. Decidedly Miss Yonge is more lenient to "old girls" than to the youthful, blooming maidens.
But there are heroines who have become so real to us, that we can scarce believe them to be only the creations of a vivid imagination. Hundreds have wept over the death of sweet little Nell-hundreds have found their smiles at the baby-talk and feeble attempt at wifehood displayed by Dora turn into tears as they read of her parting from Copperfield. Agnes, wise and prudent though she be, does not charm us or win our love as this silly sweet "childwife." Little Dorrit is very meek, very self-interest us, and claim our regard: but alas ! sacrificing, and very goody; but somehow she like Dick Swiveller's dear gazelle, " they always
We cannot say that the American type of heroine is so attractive as our own, We shrink from the peculiar, feverish, nervous develop. ment of feminine character portrayed by some of the transatlantic novelists. Those who appear in the semi-religious novels are very sweet ar.d fair and fragile; but their blushes are hectic ; their delicacy is mawkish, and their piety is of a stern and superstitious order. Nevertheless there are some very loveable maidens who really
pine away and die"-generally of consumption., magen young man," and the tableau vivant in Why did Mrs. Stowe deny to poor Nina the the old garden, are fairly inimitable, and although happy life just opening before her? Why sad- we cannot commend the scene where the dripden the hearts of innumerable readers by cut- ping lilacs, and wet meadow-grass, are the only ting off Evangeline St. Clair ? witnesses of the reconciliation of " bonny Dick, handsome King Olaf, and blue-eyed Nellie;" yet we can only say, "Well, well, poor things! it is naughty, and they will inevitably catch cold; but they are so happy!" What a pity it is that the authoress should have spoiled such a cleverlywritten tale by the highly sensational part, which must offend good taste. We are sorry Nell must die: she would have pleased us more if she had " plucked up heart," and set herself to please good Sir Hugh. The last pages are very sad, and we almost expect her to describe her own death, so pathetic does she grow. We cannot help shrinking a little from the idea of introducing phrases from the Bible to point a keen jest. But with all her faults we cannot but love poor pretty Nell Lestrange.
For an honest, downright lassie, commend me to Molly Gibson. Our monthly meetings on Cornhill, where we have spent half-hours with many whom we have learned to love, were great treats. She is emphatically "a girl with no nonesense about her, you know?" as Fanny Dorritt's admirer often says, Cynthia is a nice girl, but never rivals straightforward Molly. As for Clare, the vapid fine lady governess, she is so real and true, that we feel sure we must have met her in life. But of all Mrs. Oliphant's heroines, our favourite is her first, Margaret Maitland. She is unequalled as a type of the class to which she belongs. Young at heart, if old in experience, her wise, tender counsls have an ever new charm for us, and from the "gold
hair," the "maddening eyes," the "trailing garments," and passionate outpourings of our latter-day heroines, we turn with delight to the picture of douce aunt Margaret; with her homely language and her kindly face, and delight in being, as she is, the confidant of the vain Grace; the one to mourn over the "bit impatient spirit" of "Mary my niece," and the old love (for she, like all heroines, had some romance in her life) of "that blythe lad, wild Harry Monteith." M. W.
Thackeray was wont to say that a doleful ending was a great mistake, and that we do not care to re-read books that make us sad. And was he not right? Are not there enough heartsorrows, sad scenes, and blighted lives around us, without seeking them in the pages of a novel? When we take up a novel it is not to read of faded rosebuds, but to feel young again, with the stalwart young fellows who woo and win such blythe, bonny English maids as Kate Lindisfarne or Sarah Brownlow. If we feel sure that "all will come right in the end," we rather enjoy the small difficulties which Lord Lufton, Major Grantley, and Frank Gresham encountered in their courtships of charming Lucy Roberts, gentle Grace (who is rather blue, we fear), and that sweet winning, yet withal high-spirited, Mary Thorne. We feel a friendly interest in the elderlly loves of Dr. Thorne, and good, merry Miss Dunstable; but we cannot feel quite satisfied with Lily Dale. She is a very dear friend, her audacious slang, her warm, faithful heart, and her arch, mirthful glances, have won all hearts. But was there no way of making her happy? We know that her sweet temper will not sour, that she and her mother will be very happy together in the small house at Allington; but she will be an old girl; and, though she will make a capital one, we could have wished her better luck.
There is a certain heroine, whose claims on our admiration are very doubtful, who says and does things that careful mammas would consideren "very naughty;" but then, as she frankly tells us, she was not bored by a careful mamma, and certainly we would have learned that ourselves from her general "ton," poor Nellie Lestrange! We have shaken our heads over her grave misdemeanours, we have pursed up our lips at her lapses in grammar; but we have screamed with laughter at her keen wit and her happy quotations. Yes, over and over again, when all alone, her sharp epigrammatic sayings have fairly overcome our gravity. "The Brum
OUR FOREFATHERS AND THEIR SPORTS.
There cannot be a doubt that the men of days gone by-yes, and the women too-were beings of more physical powers than we of the present time: that both men and women, and even children, were capable of enduring stronger exercise, and for a longer period of time in connection than we are; and, that hardships arising from weather, lack of food, or other such causes did not tell on their hardy frames so se-science. In former days, if a delicate child
verely as they do on our less capable bodies. Many causes combine to produce this result. Some favourable to the general well-being of man, though not to the increase of his physical strength; others wholly adverse and injurious.
Amongst the causes which are favourable to the general well-being of men, we may surely consider the growth of medical and surgical