Puslapio vaizdai

sex the gamekeepers will meet you at every turn woods are of recent growth, and smack of profit-or rather at every angle, for turns there are able production. But in Switzerland there are none. The woods have been all refashioned with pure forests still, standing, or appearing to stand, measuring-rod and tape. Two lines crossing as Nature caused them to grow, and here the each other, making what they call in Essex a poet or the novelist may wander, and find all as four-want way, has no special offense, though if he would have it. Or, better still, let him seek they be quite rectangular they tell something too the dark shadows of the Black Forest, and there plainly of human regularity; but four lines thus wander, fancy free—if that, indeed, can be freeconverging and radiating, displaying the brazen- dom which demands a bondage of its own. faced ingenuity of an artificer, are altogether Were I to choose the world all round, I should destructive of fancy. In Devonshire there are take certain districts in the duchy of Baden as the still some sweet woodland nooks, shaws, and hunting-ground for my thoughts. The reader holts, and pleasant spinneys, through which clear- will probably know of the Black Forest that it is water brooks run, and the birds sing sweetly, not continual wood. Nor, indeed, are the masses and the primroses bloom early, and the red earth of timber, generally growing on the mountainpressing up here and there gives a glow of color sides, or high among the broad valleys, or on the —and the gamekeeper does not seem quite as upland plateaux, very large. They are interyet to dominate everything. Here, perhaps, in spersed by pleasant meadows and occasional all fair England the solitary thinker may have his corn-fields, so that the wanderer does not wander fairest welcome.

on among them as he does, perhaps hopelessly, But though England be dear, there are other in Australia. But as the pastures are interspersed countries not so small, not so crowded, in which through the forest, so is the forest through the every inch of space has not been made so avail- pastures; and, when you shall have come to the able either for profit or for pleasure, in which the limit of this wood, it is only to be lured on into woodland rambler


have a better chance of the confines of the next. You go upward among solitude amid the unarranged things of nature. the ashes, and beeches, and oaks, till you reach They who have written and they who have read the towering pines. Oaks have the pride of magabout Australia say little and hear little as to its nificence; the smooth beech, with its nuts thick charm of landscape, but here the primeval for- upon it, is a tree laden with tenderness; the ests running for uninterrupted miles, with undu- sober ash has a savor of solitude, and of truth; lating land and broken timber, with ways open the birch, with its May-day finery springing thick everywhere through the leafy wilderness, where about it, boasts the brightest green which Nature loneliness is certain till it be interrupted by the has produced; the elm—the useless elm-savors kangaroo, and where the silence is only broken of decorum and propriety; but for sentiment, for by the noises of quaint birds high above your feeling, for grandeur, and for awe, give me the head, offer all that is wanted by him whose busi- forest of pines. It is when they are round me ness it is to build his castles carefully in the air. that, if ever, I can use my mind aright and bring Here he may roam at will and be interrupted by it to the work which is required of it. There is no fence, feel no limits, be wounded by no art, a scent from them which reaches my brain and and have no sense of aught around him but the soothes it. There is a murmur among their forest, the air, and the ground. Here, too, he branches, best heard when the moving breath of may lose himself in truth till he shall think it heaven just stirs the air, which reminds me of my well if he come upon a track leading to a shep- duty without disturbing me. The crinkling fibers herd's hut.

of their blossom are pleasant to my feet as I walk But the woods of Australia, New Zealand, over them. And the colors which they produce California, or South Africa, are too far afield for are, at the same time, somber and lovely, never the thinker for whom I am writing. If he is to paining the eye, and never exciting it. If I can take himself out of England, it must be some- find myself here of an afternoon, when there shall where among the forests of Europe. France has be another two hours for me, safe before the sun still her woodlands—though for these let him go shall set, with my stick in my hand, and my story somewhat far afield, nor trust himself to the half-conceived in my mind, with some blotch of bosky dells through which Parisian taste will a character or two just daubed out roughly on show him the way by innumerable finger-posts. the canvas, then, if ever, I can go to work and In the Pyrenees he may satisfy himself, or on the decide how he, and she, and they shall do their sides of Jura. The chestnut-groves of Lucca work. and the oak-woods of Tuscany are delightful, They will not come at once, those thoughts where the autumnal leaves of Vallombrosa lie which are so anxiously expected; and, in the thick-only let him not trust himself to the mid- process of coming, they are apt to be troubleday sun. In Belgium, as far as I know it, the some, full of tricks, and almost traitorous. They must be imprisoned, or bound with thongs, when knowledge may soar, what the writer may teach they come, as was Proteus when Ulysses caught without repelling by severity, how he may amuse him amid his sea-calves—as was done with some without descending to buffoonery; and then the of the fairies of old, who would, indeed, do their limits of pathos are searched, and words are beneficent work, but only under compulsion. It weighed which shall suit, but do no more than may be that your spirit should on an occasion be suit, the greatness or the smallness of the occaas obedient as Ariel, but that will not be often. sion. We, who are slight, may not attempt lofty He will run backward—as it were down hill-be- things, or make ridiculous with our little fables cause it is so easy, instead of upward and onward. the doings of the gods. But for that which we He will turn to the right and to the left, making do there are appropriate terms and boundaries, a show of doing fine work, only not the work that which may be reached but not surpassed. All is demanded of him that day. He will skip hither this has to be thought of and decided upon in and thither, with pleasant, bright gambols, but reference to those little plotlings of which I have will not put his shoulder to the wheel, his neck spoken, each of which has to be made the recepto the collar, his hand to the plow. Has my tacle of pathos or of humor, of honor or of truth, reader ever driven a pig to market? The pig as far as the thinker may be able to furnish them. will travel on freely, but will always take the He has to see, above all things, that in his atwrong turning, and then, when stopped for the tempts he shall not sin against nature, that in tenth time, will head backward, and try to run striving to touch the feelings he shall not excite between your legs. So it is with the tricksy Ariel ridicule, that in seeking for humor he does not -that Ariel which every man owns, though so miss his point, that in quest of honor and truth many of us fail to use him for much purpose, he does not become bombastic and strait-laced. which but few of us have subjected to such A clergyman in his pulpit may advocate an altidiscipline as Prospero had used before he had tude of virtue fitted to a millennium here or to a brought his servant to do his bidding at the heaven hereafter; nay, from the nature of his slightest word.

profession, he must do so.

The poet, too, may It is right that a servant should do his mas- soar as high as he will, and, if words suffice to ter's bidding; and, with judicious discipline, he him, need never fear to fail because his ideas are will do it. The great thinkers, no doubt, are they too lofty. But he who tells tales in prose can who have made their servant perfect in obedience, hardly hope to be effective as a teacher unless he and quick at a moment's notice for all work. To binds himself by the circumstances of the world them no adjuncts of circumstances are necessary. which he finds around him. Honor and truth Solitude, silence, and beauty of surroundings are there should be, and pathos and humor, but he unnecessary. Such a one can bid his mind go should so constrain them that they shall not seem work, and the task shall be done, whether in town to mount into nature beyond the ordinary habior country, whether amid green fields, or congre- tations of men and women. gated books, or crowded assemblies.

Such a

Such rules as to construction have probably master no doubt was Prospero. Such were been long known to him. It is not for them he Homer, and Cicero, and Dante. Such were is seeking as he is roaming listlessly or walking Bacon and Shakespeare. They had so tamed, rapidly through the trees. They have come to and trained, and taught their Ariels, that each, him from much observation, from the writings of at a moment's notice, would put a girdle round others, from that which we call study, in which the earth. With us, though the attendant spirit imagination has but little immediate concern. It will come at last and do something at our bid- is the fitting of the rules to the characters which ding, it is but driving an unwilling pig to market. he has created, the filling in with living touches

But at last I feel that I have him-perhaps by and true colors those daubs and blotches on his the tail, as the Irishman drives his pig. When I canvas which have been easily scribbled with a have got him I have to be careful that he shall rough hand, that the true work consists. It is not escape me till that job of work be done. here that he requires that his fancy should be Gradually as I walk, or stop, as I seat myself on undisturbed ; that the trees should overshadow a bank, or lean against a tree, perhaps as I hurry him, that the birds should comfort him, that the on waving my stick above my head, till, with my green and yellow mosses should be in unison quick motion, the sweat-drops come out upon with him—that the very air should be good to my brow, the scene forms itself for me. I see, him. The rules are there fixed-fixed as far as or fancy that I see, what will be fitting, what will his judgment can fix them, and are no longer a be true, how far virtue may be made to go with- difficulty to him. The first coarse outlines of his out walking upon stilts, what wickedness may do story he has found to be a matter almost indifwithout breaking the link which binds it to hu- ferent to him. It is with these little plotlings manity, how low ignorance may grovel, how high that he has to contend. It is for them that he must catch his Ariel, and bind him fast; but yet better than a rustic Hobgoblin, or a Peaseblossom, so bind him that not a thread shall touch the or Mustard-seed at the best. You can not get easy action of his wings. Every little scene must the pace of the race-horse from a farmyard colt, be arranged so that—if it may be possible—the train him as you will. How often is one promptproper words may be spoken and the fitting effected to fling one's self down in despair, and, weepproduced.

ing between the branches, to declare that it is Alas, with all these struggles, when the wood not that the thoughts will wander, it is not that has been found, when all external things are pro- the mind is treacherous! That which it can do pitious, when the very heavens have lent their it will do; but the pace required from it should aid, it is so often that it is impossible! It is not be fitted only for the farmyard. only that your Ariel is untrained, but that the Nevertheless, before all be given up, let a walk special Ariel which you may chance to own is no in a wood be tried.



which I commence this recital, I shall than they believe—they should spare each other; make no attempt to excuse the motives which in- and, when a Frenchman pitilessly pursues anduced my husband to attach himself to the per- other Frenchman, let him take care, since he alson of Bonaparte; I shall merely undertake to ways offers to the looker-on arms against them explain them, as justifications in politics amount both. to nothing. There are at this time a certain It is by no means one of the least misfornumber of persons in France who only returned tunes of these times, when troubles exist between to this country nine years since, and who, having people of the same land, that this bitter party up to that time taken no part in public affairs, spirit produces inevitable distrust and perhaps now anathematize those of our citizens who for contempt; and this is called public opinion. The twenty years have not held themselves aloof shock of passions permits to each a denial. from the current of events. When they are told Meanwhile men live for the most part so outside that their prolonged slumber has disqualified of themselves that they have few occasions to them from correct judgment, and they are re- consult their consciences. In times of peace—as quested to remain neutral on certain subjects, regards ordinary and common acts—the judgthey repel this suggestion with all the strength ments of the world take the place of this conimparted by their advantageous position. They science; but how is one to submit to them when dispense blame most ungenerously, since there is one sees them ready to strike down those who no risk in proclaiming the duties of the present would consult them ? day. And yet who in a revolutionary epoch can The surest and safest plan, then, is to keep flatter himself with having always followed the one's conscience in such a healthy condition that direct road? Who among us is not fully con- it may be interrogated with impunity. That of scious that his conduct has been influenced by my husband and my own never reproached us. circumstances? Who, then, will hasten to throw The entire loss of his fortune, experience and the the first stone, without fearing to see it fall back march of events, a moderate and lawful desire on the arm of him who threw it? More or less for comfort and ease, induced Monsieur de Réwounded by the blows they strike—for they are musat to seek in 1802 a position of some kind. * The literary event of the day,” remarks a Paris France, and to confide in the hopes which he

To enjoy the repose given by Bonaparte to correspondent, “is the appearance of the ‘Mémoires de Madame Rémusat,' edited by her grandson Paul de Ré permitted us to conceive, was to commit a mismusat. Madame de Rémusat was maid of honor to take undoubtedly, but it was a mistake shared Josephine, with whom she remained from 1802 to 1808, by the rest of the world. and so followed her in her imperial fortunes." The work here referred to has not yet appeared in Paris, but that time could have imagined that Bonaparte,

The gift of foresight is rare ; and who at chapters from it have been published in advance in the “Revue des deux Mondes," from which the extracts here who after his second marriage had maintained given have been translated. -EDITOR APPLETONS' JOUR. peace, and employed that portion of the army NAL.

which he had not disbanded in protecting our frontiers—who, I say, could have doubted the been able to snatch in some instances at isolated duration of his power and the strength of his facts occurring at long intervals. position ? Bonaparte reigned over France with I shall simply state what I believe myself to her own consent. This is a fact which only have seen, and it will not be my fault if my repblind hatred or private vanity and pride can to- resentations are not always as faithful as sincere. day deny.

I was just twenty-two when I was appointed He had reigned over France to our misfor- dame du palais to Madame Bonaparte. I was tune and to our glory—the connection of these married at sixteen, and had been happy despite two words is only too natural whenever the ques- the terrors of the Revolution. The death of my tion arises of military glory.

father in 1794 under the revolutionary axe, the When he reached the consulate a breath of loss of our property, and the tastes of my refined relief was drawn. At first he inspired entire and cultivated mother, had kept me out of the confidence; later certain anxiety was felt. But world, of which I was utterly ignorant, and for the die was cast. He caused generous spirits which I cared nothing. who had believed in him to shudder; and by de- Taken suddenly from this peaceful solitude grees true citizens desired his downfall at the to be thrown upon the strangest possible stage, risk even of the losses and disasters they foresaw without having known the intermediate ground for themselves. This was the case with Mon- of society, I was naturally extremely struck by sieur de Rémusat and myself. In this avowal the violence of the transition; and my character there is nothing humiliating, for it is honorable has always retained the impression it then reto have breathed freely when the country was re- ceived. assured, and to have desired its deliverance and With my husband and my mother, both of welfare before all else. No one will ever realize whom I tenderly loved, I had formed the habit what I suffered during the last years of Bona- of yielding to the impulses of my heart, and later, parte's tyranny. It is impossible for me to de- with Bonaparte, I was accustomed to interest pict the disinterested good faith with which I myself only in that which most strongly excited panted for the return of the King, who in my my sympathies. All my life long I have known opinion was to bring with him peace and liberty. nothing of the indolence and indifference of that

I foresaw all my personal deprivations, and which is called “le grand monde.My mother IMonsieur de Rémusat foresaw them even more brought me up with the greatest care, but my clearly than I. We both of us realized that the education was solidly finished by my husband, fortune of our children would be lost ; but this who was sixteen years my elder, and extremely fortune, which we could only retain by the sacri- cultivated. I was by nature rather serious, which fice of all elevated sentiments, never caused us disposition is generally accompanied by a certain a sigh. The wounds of France were at that amount of enthusiasm. Consequently, during time too recent, and cried too loud, Shame to the first years of my sojourn near the persons of those who would not hear !"

Madame Bonaparte and her husband, I was not It costs me nothing now to avow boldly that lukewarm in the sentiments which I believed it we served Bonaparte faithfully. We loved and to be my duty to feel toward them. admired him. It seems to me that it is never

We had had certain relations with Madame humiliating to admit a real feeling. I am never Bonaparte during the expedition to Egypt, after embarrassed by finding that my opinions at one which we lost sight of her, until the time that time of my life have differed entirely from those my mother, having formed a project of marrying at another.

my sister to one of our relatives whose name

was on the list of émigrés, applied to her to obIn beginning these memoirs, I shall touch as tain permission for his return to France. The briefly as possible on our personal history pre- affair was quickly terminated. Madame Bonaceding our introduction to the court of Napo- parte, in all kindness, cleverly saw the wisdom leon.

of drawing persons of a certain class about her From no woman can a recital of Napoleon's husband, and appointed an evening when my political life be expected. He was always mys- mother and Monsieur de Rémusat should call terious to those about him, and to such an ex- upon her to thank the First Consul. Of course, tent was this the case that those persons in the this was equivalent to a command. We theresalon next his own were often ignorant of things fore one evening repaired to the Tuileries ; * it with which Paris was acquainted in some degree, was shortly after the date on which Bonaparte and which were thoroughly well known out of had established himself there, when he—as his France.

Thus it is that I, who was so very young * It was on February 19, 1800, that the First Consul when I was first received at Saint-Cloud, have took possession of the Tuileries.

wife subsequently told me with her own lips— suddenly conceived the idea of having us both had said with a laugh just as they were about to about her. retire the first night that they were to sleep About this time my sister, who had not marunder that roof, “Come on, little creole, come ried the relative of which I had spoken, wedded on, and take possession of your master's bed." Monsieur de Nansonly, general of brigades, a

We were shown into the grand salon in the nephew of Madame de Montesson, and a man Rez-de-Chausseé : he was seated upon a sofa; who was highly esteemed in the army and in at his side was General Moreau, with whom he society. appeared to be deep in conversation. Both men This marriage involved us more closely with at this time were eager to establish cordial rela- the consular government, and a month later tions between themselves.

Madame Bonaparte said to my mother that she A mot of Bonaparte's was at this time in hoped it would not be very long before Monsieur everybody's mouth—a mot which was more amic de Rémusat would be nominated préfet du paable than was habitual to him. He had ordered lais. a pair of superb pistols made, and had engraved I will pass over in silence all the excitement upon them in letters of gold the names of all caused in our family circle by this intelligence. Moreau's battles.

I was much startled. Monsieur de Rémusat was " Pardon me," said Bonaparte, as he pre- resigned rather than pleased, and soon after his sented them to him—“ pardon me that they are nomination—which quickly followed these words not more ornamented; the names of your vic- of Madame Bonaparte—he applied himself with tories took up all the room."

his usual conscientiousness to mastering the miIn the salon were ministers, generals, and nutest details of his new position. young and pretty women : Madame Louis Bona- Not long after this I received the following letparte, * Madame Murat, who was just married, ter from General Duroc, governor of the palace : and struck me as very charming, Madame Maret, who was paying her bridal visit, and was then MADAME: The First Consul has designated you very beautiful.

as dame du palais. The personal knowledge which Madame Bonaparte held her reception with he has of your character and of your principles gives perfect grace, and was carefully dressed in a him the assurance that you will acquit yourself with style that approached the antique. This was

the courtesy which distinguishes Frenchwomen, and the fashion of the time, when artists had a great

with the dignity which befits the Government. I influence over society.

am happy that I was intrusted with the pleasant

duty of announcing to you this evidence of his es. Bonaparte rose to receive us, and, after a com- teem and confidence. monplace word or two, reseated himself, and paid

Accept, madame, my respects, etc. no further attention to any of the women in the room. I must admit that on this occasion I paid

Thus it was that we were installed at this most less attention to him than to the luxury and mag. singular court. Although Bonaparte showed exnificent elegance on which my eyes rested for cessive anger at this time if any one appeared to the first time. After this we fell into the way of doubt the sincerity of his words, which were then making an occasional visit to the Tuileries. By absolutely republican, he nevertheless made daily degrees we received the impression that it would changes in his manner of living which were calbe desirable for Monsieur de Rémusat to fill culated to impart to his surroundings, and to the some position which should restore to us some place he inhabited, much of the air of the palace of those comforts and amenities of life of which of a reigning sovereign. we had been deprived by the loss of our property. His taste led him in this direction so long as Monsieur de Rémusat, having been a magistrate his personal habits were not encroached upon; before the Revolution, would have liked a similar and he intrusted to those about him all the reoffice. The fear of giving me pain by separating sponsibilities of the various ceremonies. Besides, me from my mother, and taking me from Paris, he was convinced that the French are always ininduced him to ask for a place in the Council of fluenced by pomp and splendor. Simple in his State, rather than for any of the prefectures. own dress, he nevertheless exacted from his offiBut we knew little or nothing of the workings cers great extravagance in the matter of uniforms. of the Government at that time. My mother had He had already placed between himself and the spoken of one situation to Madame Bonaparte, other two Consuls a marked difference; and even who had taken a great fancy to me; she also

on all the government documents, after having professed to admire my husband's manners, and employed this form—“By order of the Consuls,

etc.”—his own signature was the only one affixed. * Hortense de Beauharnais had married Louis Bona. In the same way it was he alone who held his parte on January 4, 1802.

court, either at the Tuileries or at Saint-Cloud,

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