Puslapio vaizdai

sex the gamekeepers will meet you at every turn -or rather at every angle, for turns there are none. The woods have been all refashioned with measuring-rod and tape. Two lines crossing each other, making what they call in Essex a four-want way, has no special offense, though if they be quite rectangular they tell something too plainly of human regularity; but four lines thus converging and radiating, displaying the brazenfaced ingenuity of an artificer, are altogether destructive of fancy. In Devonshire there are still some sweet woodland nooks, shaws, and holts, and pleasant spinneys, through which clearwater brooks run, and the birds sing sweetly, and the primroses bloom early, and the red earth pressing up here and there gives a glow of color -and the gamekeeper does not seem quite as yet to dominate everything. Here, perhaps, in all fair England the solitary thinker may have his fairest welcome.

But though England be dear, there are other countries not so small, not so crowded, in which every inch of space has not been made so available either for profit or for pleasure, in which the woodland rambler may have a better chance of solitude amid the unarranged things of nature. They who have written and they who have read about Australia say little and hear little as to its charm of landscape, but here the primeval forests running for uninterrupted miles, with undulating land and broken timber, with ways open everywhere through the leafy wilderness, where loneliness is certain till it be interrupted by the kangaroo, and where the silence is only broken by the noises of quaint birds high above your head, offer all that is wanted by him whose business it is to build his castles carefully in the air. Here he may roam at will and be interrupted by no fence, feel no limits, be wounded by no art, and have no sense of aught around him but the forest, the air, and the ground. Here, too, he may lose himself in truth till he shall think it well if he come upon a track leading to a shepherd's hut.

But the woods of Australia, New Zealand, California, or South Africa, are too far afield for the thinker for whom I am writing. If he is to take himself out of England, it must be somewhere among the forests of Europe. France has still her woodlands-though for these let him go somewhat far afield, nor trust himself to the bosky dells through which Parisian taste will show him the way by innumerable finger-posts. In the Pyrenees he may satisfy himself, or on the sides of Jura. The chestnut-groves of Lucca and the oak-woods of Tuscany are delightful, where the autumnal leaves of Vallombrosa lie thick-only let him not trust himself to the midday sun. In Belgium, as far as I know it, the

woods are of recent growth, and smack of profitable production. But in Switzerland there are pure forests still, standing, or appearing to stand, as Nature caused them to grow, and here the poet or the novelist may wander, and find all as he would have it. Or, better still, let him seek the dark shadows of the Black Forest, and there wander, fancy free-if that, indeed, can be freedom which demands a bondage of its own.

Were I to choose the world all round, I should take certain districts in the duchy of Baden as the hunting-ground for my thoughts. The reader will probably know of the Black Forest that it is not continual wood. Nor, indeed, are the masses of timber, generally growing on the mountainsides, or high among the broad valleys, or on the upland plateaux, very large. They are interspersed by pleasant meadows and occasional corn-fields, so that the wanderer does not wander on among them as he does, perhaps hopelessly, in Australia. But as the pastures are interspersed through the forest, so is the forest through the pastures; and, when you shall have come to the limit of this wood, it is only to be lured on into the confines of the next. You go upward among the ashes, and beeches, and oaks, till you reach the towering pines. Oaks have the pride of magnificence; the smooth beech, with its nuts thick upon it, is a tree laden with tenderness; the sober ash has a savor of solitude, and of truth; the birch, with its May-day finery springing thick about it, boasts the brightest green which Nature has produced; the elm-the useless elm-savors of decorum and propriety; but for sentiment, for feeling, for grandeur, and for awe, give me the forest of pines. It is when they are round me that, if ever, I can use my mind aright and bring it to the work which is required of it. There is a scent from them which reaches my brain and soothes it. There is a murmur among their branches, best heard when the moving breath of heaven just stirs the air, which reminds me of my duty without disturbing me. The crinkling fibers of their blossom are pleasant to my feet as I walk over them. And the colors which they produce are, at the same time, somber and lovely, never paining the eye, and never exciting it. If I can find myself here of an afternoon, when there shall be another two hours for me, safe before the sun shall set, with my stick in my hand, and my story half-conceived in my mind, with some blotch of a character or two just daubed out roughly on the canvas, then, if ever, I can go to work and decide how he, and she, and they shall do their work.

They will not come at once, those thoughts which are so anxiously expected; and, in the process of coming, they are apt to be troublesome, full of tricks, and almost traitorous. They

must be imprisoned, or bound with thongs, when they come, as was Proteus when Ulysses caught him amid his sea-calves—as was done with some of the fairies of old, who would, indeed, do their beneficent work, but only under compulsion. It may be that your spirit should on an occasion be as obedient as Ariel, but that will not be often. He will run backward—as it were down hill-because it is so easy, instead of upward and onward. He will turn to the right and to the left, making a show of doing fine work, only not the work that is demanded of him that day. He will skip hither and thither, with pleasant, bright gambols, but will not put his shoulder to the wheel, his neck to the collar, his hand to the plow. Has my reader ever driven a pig to market? The pig will travel on freely, but will always take the wrong turning, and then, when stopped for the tenth time, will head backward, and try to run between your legs. So it is with the tricksy Ariel -that Ariel which every man owns, though so many of us fail to use him for much purpose, which but few of us have subjected to such discipline as Prospero had used before he had brought his servant to do his bidding at the slightest word.

It is right that a servant should do his master's bidding; and, with judicious discipline, he will do it. The great thinkers, no doubt, are they who have made their servant perfect in obedience, and quick at a moment's notice for all work. To them no adjuncts of circumstances are necessary. Solitude, silence, and beauty of surroundings are unnecessary. Such a one can bid his mind go work, and the task shall be done, whether in town or country, whether amid green fields, or congregated books, or crowded assemblies. Such a master no doubt was Prospero. Such were Homer, and Cicero, and Dante. Such were Bacon and Shakespeare. They had so tamed, and trained, and taught their Ariels, that each, at a moment's notice, would put a girdle round the earth. With us, though the attendant spirit will come at last and do something at our bidding, it is but driving an unwilling pig to market. But at last I feel that I have him-perhaps by the tail, as the Irishman drives his pig. When I have got him I have to be careful that he shall not escape me till that job of work be done. Gradually as I walk, or stop, as I seat myself on a bank, or lean against a tree, perhaps as I hurry on waving my stick above my head, till, with my quick motion, the sweat-drops come out upon my brow, the scene forms itself for me. I see, or fancy that I see, what will be fitting, what will be true, how far virtue may be made to go without walking upon stilts, what wickedness may do without breaking the link which binds it to humanity, how low ignorance may grovel, how high

knowledge may soar, what the writer may teach without repelling by severity, how he may amuse without descending to buffoonery; and then the limits of pathos are searched, and words are weighed which shall suit, but do no more than suit, the greatness or the smallness of the occasion. We, who are slight, may not attempt lofty things, or make ridiculous with our little fables the doings of the gods. But for that which we do there are appropriate terms and boundaries, which may be reached but not surpassed. All this has to be thought of and decided upon in reference to those little plotlings of which I have spoken, each of which has to be made the receptacle of pathos or of humor, of honor or of truth, as far as the thinker may be able to furnish them. He has to see, above all things, that in his attempts he shall not sin against nature, that in striving to touch the feelings he shall not excite ridicule, that in seeking for humor he does not miss his point, that in quest of honor and truth he does not become bombastic and strait-laced. A clergyman in his pulpit may advocate an altitude of virtue fitted to a millennium here or to a heaven hereafter; nay, from the nature of his profession, he must do so. The poet, too, may soar as high as he will, and, if words suffice to him, need never fear to fail because his ideas are too lofty. But he who tells tales in prose can hardly hope to be effective as a teacher unless he binds himself by the circumstances of the world which he finds around him. Honor and truth there should be, and pathos and humor, but he should so constrain them that they shall not seem to mount into nature beyond the ordinary habitations of men and women.

Such rules as to construction have probably been long known to him. It is not for them he is seeking as he is roaming listlessly or walking rapidly through the trees. They have come to him from much observation, from the writings of others, from that which we call study, in which imagination has but little immediate concern. It is the fitting of the rules to the characters which he has created, the filling in with living touches and true colors those daubs and blotches on his canvas which have been easily scribbled with a rough hand, that the true work consists. It is here that he requires that his fancy should be undisturbed; that the trees should overshadow him, that the birds should comfort him, that the green and yellow mosses should be in unison with him-that the very air should be good to him. The rules are there fixed-fixed as far as his judgment can fix them, and are no longer a difficulty to him. The first coarse outlines of his story he has found to be a matter almost indifferent to him. It is with these little plotlings that he has to contend. It is for them that he

must catch his Ariel, and bind him fast; but yet so bind him that not a thread shall touch the easy action of his wings. Every little scene must be arranged so that-if it may be possible-the proper words may be spoken and the fitting effect produced.

Alas, with all these struggles, when the wood has been found, when all external things are propitious, when the very heavens have lent their aid, it is so often that it is impossible! It is not only that your Ariel is untrained, but that the special Ariel which you may chance to own is no

better than a rustic Hobgoblin, or a Peaseblossom, or Mustard-seed at the best. You can not get the pace of the race-horse from a farmyard colt, train him as you will. How often is one prompted to fling one's self down in despair, and, weeping between the branches, to declare that it is not that the thoughts will wander, it is not that the mind is treacherous! That which it can do it will do; but the pace required from it should be fitted only for the farmyard.

Nevertheless, before all be given up, let a walk in a wood be tried.



OTWITHSTANDING the date-1848—in more united, as inhabitants of the same land,

make no attempt to excuse the motives which induced my husband to attach himself to the person of Bonaparte; I shall merely undertake to explain them, as justifications in politics amount to nothing. There are at this time a certain number of persons in France who only returned to this country nine years since, and who, having up to that time taken no part in public affairs, now anathematize those of our citizens who for twenty years have not held themselves aloof from the current of events. When they are told that their prolonged slumber has disqualified them from correct judgment, and they are requested to remain neutral on certain subjects, they repel this suggestion with all the strength imparted by their advantageous position. They dispense blame most ungenerously, since there is no risk in proclaiming the duties of the present day. And yet who in a revolutionary epoch can flatter himself with having always followed the direct road? Who among us is not fully conscious that his conduct has been influenced by circumstances? Who, then, will hasten to throw the first stone, without fearing to see it fall back on the arm of him who threw it? More or less wounded by the blows they strike-for they are

* The literary event of the day," remarks a Paris correspondent, "is the appearance of the 'Mémoires de Madame Rémusat,' edited by her grandson Paul de Rémusat. Madame de Rémusat was maid of honor to Josephine, with whom she remained from 1802 to 1808, and so followed her in her imperial fortunes." The work here referred to has not yet appeared in Paris, but chapters from it have been published in advance in the "Revue des deux Mondes," from which the extracts here given have been translated.-EDITOR APPLETONS' JOUR


and, when a Frenchman pitilessly pursues another Frenchman, let him take care, since he always offers to the looker-on arms against them both.

It is by no means one of the least misfortunes of these times, when troubles exist between people of the same land, that this bitter party spirit produces inevitable distrust and perhaps contempt; and this is called public opinion. The shock of passions permits to each a denial. Meanwhile men live for the most part so outside of themselves that they have few occasions to consult their consciences. In times of peace-as regards ordinary and common acts—the judgments of the world take the place of this conscience; but how is one to submit to them when one sees them ready to strike down those who would consult them?

The surest and safest plan, then, is to keep one's conscience in such a healthy condition that it may be interrogated with impunity. That of my husband and my own never reproached us. The entire loss of his fortune, experience and the march of events, a moderate and lawful desire for comfort and ease, induced Monsieur de Rémusat to seek in 1802 a position of some kind.

To enjoy the repose given by Bonaparte to France, and to confide in the hopes which he permitted us to conceive, was to commit a mistake undoubtedly, but it was a mistake shared by the rest of the world.

The gift of foresight is rare; and who at that time could have imagined that Bonaparte, who after his second marriage had maintained peace, and employed that portion of the army which he had not disbanded in protecting our

frontiers-who, I say, could have doubted the duration of his power and the strength of his position? Bonaparte reigned over France with her own consent. This is a fact which only blind hatred or private vanity and pride can today deny.

He had reigned over France to our misfortune and to our glory-the connection of these two words is only too natural whenever the question arises of military glory.

When he reached the consulate a breath of relief was drawn. At first he inspired entire confidence; later certain anxiety was felt. But the die was cast. He caused generous spirits who had believed in him to shudder; and by degrees true citizens desired his downfall at the risk even of the losses and disasters they foresaw for themselves. This was the case with Monsieur de Rémusat and myself. In this avowal there is nothing humiliating, for it is honorable to have breathed freely when the country was reassured, and to have desired its deliverance and welfare before all else. No one will ever realize what I suffered during the last years of Bonaparte's tyranny. It is impossible for me to depict the disinterested good faith with which I panted for the return of the King, who in my opinion was to bring with him peace and liberty.

I foresaw all my personal deprivations, and Monsieur de Rémusat foresaw them even more clearly than I. We both of us realized that the fortune of our children would be lost; but this fortune, which we could only retain by the sacrifice of all elevated sentiments, never caused us a sigh. The wounds of France were at that time too recent, and cried too loud, "Shame to those who would not hear!"

It costs me nothing now to avow boldly that we served Bonaparte faithfully. We loved and admired him. It seems to me that it is never humiliating to admit a real feeling. I am never embarrassed by finding that my opinions at one time of my life have differed entirely from those at another.

In beginning these memoirs, I shall touch as briefly as possible on our personal history preceding our introduction to the court of Napoleon.

From no woman can a recital of Napoleon's political life be expected. He was always mysterious to those about him, and to such an extent was this the case that those persons in the salon next his own were often ignorant of things with which Paris was acquainted in some degree, and which were thoroughly well known out of France.

Thus it is that I, who was so very young when I was first received at Saint-Cloud, have

been able to snatch in some instances at isolated facts occurring at long intervals.

I shall simply state what I believe myself to have seen, and it will not be my fault if my representations are not always as faithful as sincere. I was just twenty-two when I was appointed dame du palais to Madame Bonaparte. I was married at sixteen, and had been happy despite the terrors of the Revolution. The death of my father in 1794 under the revolutionary axe, the loss of our property, and the tastes of my refined and cultivated mother, had kept me out of the world, of which I was utterly ignorant, and for which I cared nothing.

Taken suddenly from this peaceful solitude to be thrown upon the strangest possible stage, without having known the intermediate ground of society, I was naturally extremely struck by the violence of the transition; and my character has always retained the impression it then received.

With my husband and my mother, both of whom I tenderly loved, I had formed the habit of yielding to the impulses of my heart, and later, with Bonaparte, I was accustomed to interest myself only in that which most strongly excited my sympathies. All my life long I have known nothing of the indolence and indifference of that which is called “le grand monde." My mother brought me up with the greatest care, but my education was solidly finished by my husband, who was sixteen years my elder, and extremely cultivated. I was by nature rather serious, which disposition is generally accompanied by a certain amount of enthusiasm. Consequently, during the first years of my sojourn near the persons of Madame Bonaparte and her husband, I was not lukewarm in the sentiments which I believed it to be my duty to feel toward them.

We had had certain relations with Madame Bonaparte during the expedition to Egypt, after which we lost sight of her, until the time that my mother, having formed a project of marrying my sister to one of our relatives whose name was on the list of émigrés, applied to her to obtain permission for his return to France. The affair was quickly terminated. Madame Bonaparte, in all kindness, cleverly saw the wisdom of drawing persons of a certain class about her husband, and appointed an evening when my mother and Monsieur de Rémusat should call upon her to thank the First Consul. Of course, this was equivalent to a command. We therefore one evening repaired to the Tuileries;* it was shortly after the date on which Bonaparte had established himself there, when he—as his

* It was on February 19, 1800, that the First Consul took possession of the Tuileries.

wife subsequently told me with her own lipshad said with a laugh just as they were about to retire the first night that they were to sleep under that roof, "Come on, little creole, come on, and take possession of your master's bed."

We were shown into the grand salon in the Rez-de-Chausseé: he was seated upon a sofa; at his side was General Moreau, with whom he appeared to be deep in conversation. Both men at this time were eager to establish cordial relations between themselves.

A mot of Bonaparte's was at this time in everybody's mouth—a mot which was more amiable than was habitual to him. He had ordered a pair of superb pistols made, and had engraved upon them in letters of gold the names of all Moreau's battles.

"Pardon me," said Bonaparte, as he presented them to him-"pardon me that they are not more ornamented; the names of your victories took up all the room."

In the salon were ministers, generals, and young and pretty women: Madame Louis Bonaparte,* Madame Murat, who was just married, and struck me as very charming, Madame Maret, who was paying her bridal visit, and was then very beautiful.

Madame Bonaparte held her reception with perfect grace, and was carefully dressed in a style that approached the antique. This was the fashion of the time, when artists had a great influence over society.

Bonaparte rose to receive us, and, after a commonplace word or two, reseated himself, and paid no further attention to any of the women in the room. I must admit that on this occasion I paid less attention to him than to the luxury and magnificent elegance on which my eyes rested for the first time. After this we fell into the way of making an occasional visit to the Tuileries. By degrees we received the impression that it would be desirable for Monsieur de Rémusat to fill some position which should restore to us some of those comforts and amenities of life of which we had been deprived by the loss of our property. Monsieur de Rémusat, having been a magistrate before the Revolution, would have liked a similar office. The fear of giving me pain by separating me from my mother, and taking me from Paris, induced him to ask for a place in the Council of State, rather than for any of the prefectures. But we knew little or nothing of the workings of the Government at that time. My mother had spoken of one situation to Madame Bonaparte, who had taken a great fancy to me; she also professed to admire my husband's manners, and

suddenly conceived the idea of having us both about her.

About this time my sister, who had not married the relative of which I had spoken, wedded Monsieur de Nansonly, general of brigades, a nephew of Madame de Montesson, and a man who was highly esteemed in the army and in society.

This marriage involved us more closely with the consular government, and a month later Madame Bonaparte said to my mother that she hoped it would not be very long before Monsieur de Rémusat would be nominated préfet du palais.

I will pass over in silence all the excitement caused in our family circle by this intelligence. I was much startled. Monsieur de Rémusat was resigned rather than pleased, and soon after his nomination—which quickly followed these words of Madame Bonaparte-he applied himself with his usual conscientiousness to mastering the minutest details of his new position.

Not long after this I received the following letter from General Duroc, governor of the palace:

MADAME: The First Consul has designated you as dame du palais. The personal knowledge which he has of your character and of your principles gives him the assurance that you will acquit yourself with the courtesy which distinguishes Frenchwomen, and with the dignity which befits the Government. I am happy that I was intrusted with the pleasant duty of announcing to you this evidence of his esteem and confidence.

Accept, madame, my respects, etc.

Thus it was that we were installed at this most

singular court. Although Bonaparte showed excessive anger at this time if any one appeared to doubt the sincerity of his words, which were then absolutely republican, he nevertheless made daily changes in his manner of living which were calculated to impart to his surroundings, and to the place he inhabited, much of the air of the palace of a reigning sovereign.

His taste led him in this direction so long as his personal habits were not encroached upon; and he intrusted to those about him all the responsibilities of the various ceremonies. Besides, he was convinced that the French are always influenced by pomp and splendor. Simple in his own dress, he nevertheless exacted from his officers great extravagance in the matter of uniforms. He had already placed between himself and the other two Consuls a marked difference; and even on all the government documents, after having 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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