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let forms a curious episode in the lives of both ; and, however we may be disposed to believe the sympathy that attracts genius to its kindred genius, their peculiar characters compel us to admit the probability that theirs was an attachment formed more by vanity than affection: at least, so it appears to have been on her side; witness her liaison with Saint-Lambert. There is something approaching the ludicrous in the whole history of this affair; though her death, en couche, which forms the sequel to it, throws a sombre hue over this delectable tableau des mæurs françaises, which not even Voltaire's lamentations, comic as they are, can enliven. The philosopher of Ferney professed to look on Saint-Lambert as an assassin, who had destroyed the Marquise; and so robbed the world and him of its most brilliant ornament.
The discovery of Saint-Lambert's portrait in a ring which Voltaire had given her, and which originally contained his likeness, must have furnished a scene worthy the talents of a Molière. This ring had been constantly worn, and Voltaire, on the death of the Marquise, claimed it, stating that it contained his portrait. What must have been his surprise, on touching the spring, to discover that of his rival ! yet it prevented him not from honouring her memory by the following pompous epitaph :
“ L'univers a perdu la sublime Emilie;
Elle aimait les plaisirs, les arts, la vérité;
Ne se sont reservés que l'immortalité.” The “sublime Emilie's" memory, however, found more detractors than defenders. Among the countless mordans epitaphs her death occasioned, the subjoined forms a curious contrast with that of Voltaire, and proves that even the grave does not always disarm malice:
“ Cy-gît qui perdit la vie
Dans double accouchement
Literary men have rarely chosen bas-bleus for the objects of affection; and the few exceptions to this rule have not been fortunate. Among one of the many proofs of the truth of this assertion, the dénouement of the tendresse of Pope for Lady Mary Wortley Montagu may be cited. Are we to attribute this indifference to literary ladies, on the part of literary men, to jalousie de métier ? or is it, that ladies generally assume not heaven's cerulean blue, until the more attractive tints of the lily and rose have fled ? Certain, however, it appears, that men of genius seldom seek in the other sex those who are the most capable of appreciating them ; youth and beauty attracting their homage much more than talents or acquirements. Learned ladies must therefore console themselves with loving literature for its own sake, and expect not that excellence in it will obtain for them any other than “ its own exceeding great reward.” Madame de Staël felt this, to her, mortifying fact; and felt it more like a woman than a philosopher, when she declared that she would resign all her genius to possess the loveliness of Madame Recamier. Hear this, ye beauties, and exult in your empire, fleeting though it be!-exult, I say, until the arrival of that fearful epoch, known by the mysterious appellation of “a certain age," but which is just precisely the most uncertain age imaginable; the belle of the present day fixing it at twenty-five, and she of the past at, heaven only knows how many years later. But at this sombre restingplace, the isthmus between life and death, even in a protracted existence, ye must yield up your sceptres ; and then it is that literary ladies enjoy an advantage over you, as that is the period when, though beauty is faded, intellect is the most developed. The French, who understand such matters better than we do, have decreed that after thirty-five ladies should not wear rose-colour, but blue is allowed to all ages: and this being a very ancient regulation, has probably marked the epoch of “ a certain age,” as well as that too when the dynasty may be aspired to.
But to return to Geneva, and its beautiful environs; who can explore them without wondering that in such a region, and with such a view as Coppet commands, its gifted owner could declare her preference for the triste and filthy ruisseau of the Rue de Bac at Paris, to the blue Lake of Geneva. This it is to live for the world! whose artificial enjoyments render us incapable of tasting the pure and renovating charms of nature. Madame de Staël, by the power of association, had united the opaque ruisseau of the Rue de Bac with the brilliant circle of admiring listeners who
surrounded her at Paris ; until, in imagination, it not only lost all its disgusting attributes, but gained, by its proximity to that circle, a portion of its attraction.
was not the rose, but it dwelt near it ;” while the beautiful lake, reflecting only the heavens, or the fields and trees that bordered it, could recall no souvenirs of brilliant réunions and literary triumphs: consequently, the ruisseau was preferred.
17th.-Beautiful as is the Lake of Geneva by day, it is, if possible, even more so by moonlight. A silvery radiance bathes its smooth and limpid surface, broken only by the reflection of the lights from the windows of the houses on its shore, which fall on it like columns of molten gold. We this day visited the English burial-ground, to view the last narrow home of our poor friend G. Three years ago, I saw him in the possession of youth, health, and spirits.Little did either of us then imagine that it was to be our last meeting on earth! As I plucked the rank grass from his grave to read the incription on the marble that it had overgrown, the most serious homily or eloquent discourse on death could not have appealed so forcibly to my feelings. The tomb of a friend, at all times a melancholy contemplation, becomes still more so in a foreign land, far, far from the home that saw the friendship to the deceased bud and bloom. That solitary grave, where no kindred come to weep, where no fond hand plucks the wild weeds and this tles away; how many fond thoughts and tender regrets does it awaken!
Yet, though divided by seas, there are memories that often turn to this lonely tomb. Sisters, who have wept with bitterness him who sleeps in it, and who would fain shed those tears on his grassy bed, that have so often bedewed their own pillows ! How did the scenes of other days recur to my mind, as I perused the simple inscription! The blue mountains and bright river, the dark woods and green meads, where the dead and I passed our childhood, seemed to be again before my eyes; and the smiling faces and dear familiar voices of those long departed were again seen and heard. How strange, how inexplicable, is the human heart! I had heard of poor G.'s death with regret ; but the recollection soon passed away in the turmoil of that vain and busy world, in whose haunts the intelligence had reached me. Now, his loss was more keenly felt, more deeply mourned; and that deserted grave, in a strange land, awakened recollections that had slumbered for
years. It is good for us to accustom ourselves to scenes which compel us to reflect on the brevity and uncertainty of life, prone as we are to be all engrossed by the pleasures and pursuits that make us forget its insecurity. It is affliction that rends the veil which concealed the inevitable destiny that awaits us; but in disenchanting us, it robs death of his terrors, and we grow at length to consider “ La morte è fin d' una prigion' oscura.”
18th. Went to-day to see the house in which J. J. Rousseau was born. It stands in a street named after him; and is a small, mean-looking habitation, only distinguished from those around it by an inscription, stating it to be the birth-place of that un