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every thing in his writings appears enclosed a bit of ground, thought proequally youthful and matured, vigor, per to say “ This is mine,' and found ous and polished.”
people simple enough to believe him, He was a slow composer-patiently was the true founder of civil society. meditating his fine passages_labori. How many crimes, wars, murders, ously reducing his matter into shape miseries, and horrors, would not the --striving in solitude to give his ideas human race have been spared, if some all the neatness, precision, and ele- one, tearing up the stakes, or filling up gance of expression of which they the ditch with which he had enclosed were susceptible. To the very last it, had called out to his fellows: he used to say, “ I am learning • Beware of listening to that impostor; every day the art of writing." " In you are undone if you forget that my later works there is infinitely these fruits belong to all, and the earth greater perfection than in my first." to none!'" Well might Voltaire, who And this estimate, Villemain adds, seems to have had the profoundest conis correct, at least in regard to the tempt for the practical judgment or Epoque de la Nature, which he wrote good sense of Rousseau, remark in re. at the age of 70, and which he had gard to this passage, " What is this recopied eighteen times.
species of philosophy, which dictates The most distinguished name which opinions which common sense repudi. alternately adorns and disgraces this ates from China to Canada ? Is it not period of French literature, is that of that of a beggar, who wishes to see the Rousseau-a being whose singular, rich robbed by the poor, in order the and in many respects antithetical better to establish fraternal union qualities, were at once the production among mankind ?” of his age, and yet contradictory to the A candid but somewhat too favourmain current of its opinions. In his able a criticism on the Emile and the very first writings we perceive a spirit Confessions follows. We can make of democratic vehemencema hatred of room, however, only for the conclu. the refinements and distinctions of so- ding remarks on Rousseau, in which ciety-an earnestness, an appearance Villemain compares the influence exof conviction, which mark a vast ad. ercised by Voltaire and Rousseau vancement in the progress of popular respectively on French literature. opinions, since Montesquieu advanced "On the 30th March 1778, Voltaire, the opinion that honour was the prin leaving the Old Louvre and the Aca. ciple and foundation of monarchy. demy, crossed the Carousel, amidst the “ They display the irritation of a man applauses of an immense crowd, on his of superior abilities who has been long way to the Theatre Français to witkept beyond the pale of society; we ness the sixth representation of Irene. perceive in them the recollections of Dressed in the ancient mode, with his the miserable apprenticeship of his large powdered peruke and long lace youth-his flight without bread or a sleeves, he wore also a magnificent home_his forced conversion-his em- cloak of sable fur—a present from that ployments of valet, seminariste, musi. guilty Empress to whom he has lent an cian, copyist, secretary, and lastly of undue celebrity. An uncommon fire clerk, at Paris, without ever advancing sparkled in his eyes; he poured out an further than merely sustaining life by unceasing flow of wit and ingenious hard labour."
remark. Irene, or rather Voltaire, Though Rousseau, however, was in excited a tumult of enthusiasm such as earnest, so far as a feeling of aversion had once greeted the Cid. The peoto the distinctions of rank and the re. ple applauded in the street; the men finements of society was concerned, of the court filled the pit; well-dressed it is extremely difficult to believe him women in the boxes joined in the deserious in some of his paradoxical opin- monstrations of applause : and when, ions—such as his eulogy of the savage after the close of the piece, the bust of state ; as to which Voltaire, with dry the poet was carried upon the stage, a irony, remarked, in thanking him for new delirium ensued. Voltaire was his essay-" That it was so seductively more intoxicated than a young author written, that it really tempted a man at his first successful play, and exs to walk on all fours after reading it." claimed with feeling, · Would you have Still more preposterous is his denun- me die of pleasure !' Two months ciation of the idea of property, “ The after this apotheosis, on the 30th May first person," says he, “who, having 1778, Voltaire had ceased to exist."
VOL. XLVI, NO. CCLXXXV.
Within a week after this brilliant basis of opinion in France, and is do. close of his career, the rival of Voltaire, if minant even over those by whom his he had one, Rousseau, who had scarcely name is rejected. completed his 66th year, terminated, Rousseau has exercised a less duraon the 3d of June, an existence, the ble influence over men's minds. Exburden of which he was suspected of cept during those times of social crisis, having voluntarily thrown off. These wlien his doctrines were commented on two spectacles thus brought together, by inflamed passions, he has remained seemed emblematical of what was in the class of speculative writers, and wanting in the philosophy of these of writers who are eloquent without two great writers. The one, passion, the power of persuasion. Though he ately fond of eclat, of the world, and has bequeathed a legacy of expresthe theatre, even to extreme old age, sions to our political writers, and even had hastened his death by declaring of forms to our institutions, his theothe verses of his last tragedy more ries have lost their absolute hold over feeble even than Irene. The other, the mind: after having convulsed the solitary, savage, with his reason dis political world, he continued to retain ordered, with a genius still full of an influence only over a literary school, vigour, perhaps committed suicide, which, however, it is true, exercises in or died consumed by anxiety with turn some influence on society. But out a causc, and pride that knew no at the commencement of the Revolu. bounds.
tion, his double influence inspired. by Thus disappeared the two most influ. turns St Pierre and Mirabeau-the ential personages of the 18th century; man of contemplation and the tribune or rather their death displayed more of the people-- the elegant painter clearly the influence of their opinions, of nature, and the impetuous orator and the strength of the impression armed with genius and indignation. which they left behind them. We can. And soon after, amidst the social chaos not admit, in this respect, the terms which followed, it animated the wanof the parallel, such as they have been dering studies of a youthful French laid down. We are no believers in the officer (Chateaubriand), thrown first providential contrast which Bernardin amidst the savages of Louisiana, then de St Pierre supposes, and which back from the desert into the camp of makes him sec in Voltaire and Rous- civil war, and thence into the melan. seau, the embodied representations of choly isolation of a great foreign city ; the evil and the good genius of the it nourished, with mingled sorrow and time. For each of them in turn has hope, this fugitive then unknown, and had his share in this double part, and sustained him by the example of what this share, more or less equally distri- genius can do against obscurity and buted, is found in all the history of our misfortune. present society.
The influence of Rousseau is not The action of these two men less decidedly marked in the works of on the opinion of society, however, the great English poet of our age. was in some respects as different as But while strengthening, in Byron, the nature of their genius. Voltaire that hatred against society which is had more influence on common opinnever the judgment pronounced by ion; Rousseau on characters and the virtuous or the wise, it contracts talents. Voltaire had no pupils of any in him a still more fatal alliance with originality; he trained up no men of scepticism. Hence that poetry, mesuperior ability; he had no disciples lancholy and yet sensual, bitter withbut France, of which he was the organ, out being serious, borrowing the rich. and Europe, which he dazzled with the est colours from the spectacle of nature, ideas of France. By that sceptical kindling into enthusiasm at the physi. irony, and that zeal for humanity, cal beauties of the world, but never independence, and political well-being, carrying into them that moral emotion which he found or excited in his time, which should constitute their greathe has, more than any one else, pre ness and their life. The genius of pared the spirit of our own, and the Rousseau has not had a less share in singular contrast of our ideas and our the production of the poetical egotism manners. His admirable judgment, of the painter of Childe Harold and which one passion only had distorted Lara, than that of Voltaire has had upon the most important point of the on the philosophical education of the social problem, still constitutes the painter of Don Juan,
NOTES OF A TRAVELLER. NO. II.
Whene'er I take my walks abroad,
How many things I see
And ought exposed to be!
HAVING shown our number, the box, with the proud bearing of one who keeper smiles (we soon see why), and fcels his own importance, gives the bidding us follow, stops in front of a sign, and the first broadside strikes long receding box, which she opens the receding curtain ! stealthily, and in a twinkling we find A pause; crash the second! A seourselves keyed in with a double row of cond silence, and then-why then?male and female occupants. It is a party without any apparent motive, a frisky evidently unprepared for our recep. transition from adagio to jig, followed tion : accordingly, tawny and black by a love dialogue between flute and moustache are seen to rise vindictively clarionet. By degrees, and still you at our blameless intrusion; and even know not why, other instruments have the ladies, whose eyes are yet red with something to say in the conversation, the pathos of a double adultery and an which waxes general, not to say disincidental parricide, on which the cur- putatious. The smothered note of a tain fell a minute ago, scan our altitude lethargic bassoon, heard fitfully, makes reproachfully. We had got into the you, indeed, for the moment, fear a urong box indeed ; but it is too late new storm ; but he lies down again, to retreat, for the next piece is com- till a sudden swell of all the instrumencing, and the orchestra is no ments chafes him into the decided longer empty; already are some of growl of a chained mastiff ;-in short, the purveyors of noise in their places, each by turns wishes to make an umpire and at work. What a pandemonium of the public, and solicit a private of sounds to drive one mad, is an hearing, but luckily the wind instruorchestra getting itself into tune! ments must pause to take breath, and There they go !-scrape, scrape ; the fiddles are left in undisputed postweedle, tweedle ; grumble, grumble; session. Bravo, fiddles !--and now for tootle, tootle! Such a diapason of dis. those long and majestic sweeps of percord as only one other place on earth suasive horse-hair, riding in triumph can be found to match, that place, over the back of the purring cat.gut! reader, being the long ward of sick Soothed by the lengthened melody, you dogs in the hospital of Alfort. I won would gladly close your eyes in subder when those two brown bassoons mission if not in satisfaction ; but this will understand each other! Look at the Composer, the Maestro, wills not. those fellows, cheek by cheek, spitting Your thought is dislocated by the alternately into the side holes of hole animating waltz; the eye can no longer low cylinders, which distil water at discern the rapid evolutions of flying their nether end! Here a thorough fingers, nor the ear the sounds; when bass, grumbling minor discords into fairly dazzled, deafened, and done up, subjection ; there a clarionet modu- three more crashes, with their conlates something between wind and cat- clusive bangs, fortunately announce gut; there an incorrigible melodist sits the overture at an end, and up goes teaching his horn its horn-book, while the curtain. We glance from our half a score of fiddlers, barnacled and play-bill, which says “ Mariage de without barnacles, are twisting and Raison," to the boards. A coquetscrewing, lowering or tightening the tishly dressed young lady sits em. elastic fibre. All this dreadful note broidering; as soon as the curtain of preparation finds an end at last, and has cleared the plane of the last tier the leader of the band, who is to of boxes, she puts down her work, * ride in the whirlwind and direct the dove-tails her fingers, deposits the storm," stands erect! Hush! he double phalanges of her white hands points his chin at the central stage on her apron, and begins to tell you lamp, and after a hawk-like glance to of her youth, her inexperience, and her his myrmidons, right and left, and innocence (topics on which they are always communicative-ces dames ci, flare of the lamps, the patriarchal man, and never veracious). Presently a smiling now on her and now on him, young gentleman comes out of a side acquits himself of the said song with door, at which he surprises sua inno- prodigious success! But the object cenza listening! Suzette and he are of his visit is yet a mystery: he comes thus found (we suspect, not for the then, it appears, to propose to Suzette, first time, though so they instruct the not M. Edouard, of whose energetic pit) publicly. Presently she falls to and summary way of making love he talking again about her innocence, cannot be supposed to know any thing, when « le cher Monsieur Edouard” but a certain brave militaire, with a insinuates a liberal proposal to take wooden leg, who had been wounded the incumbrance off her hands at her in Spain, in his son's defence, and has own price-an offer which she very loved said mademoiselle, in secret, for decidedly declines in a song, partly two years odd! On this communicaaddressed to the polisson in question, tion, Suzette, a reasonable young woand partly to the pit,which, or man, first cries a little, but on reflecwhom, it now seems our Suzette in- tion consents, and the pit cries bravo! tends to make her confidant through. On fait les noces—and the evening of out. But the young Moustache is a the marriage ceremony arrives. Act soldier ; the song has no other effect 3d, Suzette comes alone, and is making than that of causing him to attempt up her mind to try to love her new hus. familiarities, which compel her once band on French philosophical princimore to remind him of her virtue. ples, and has nearly succeeded, when More empressement on the part of M. who should tap at her window (which Edouard, who appears quite incorri. she opens) at this hour, but that in. gible_his arm is round her waist-a corrigible Edouard ? Neither gods stage resistance follows selon les nor knockers should be invoked for regles ; in vain she invites him to be nothing, and certainly the dignus vin. reasonable; he upturns his head, and dice nodus does appear to be arrived. swears by the gods (in the gallery) Our old friend of hinged brass, “ good that But hark-at this new, at need," is a second time in exercise, touching, and unexpected proof of his and our gallant lies perdu, while devotion, the lady breathing at the admission is given to a female cousin, rate of forty inspirations per minute, who comes (at this unseasonable hour, and putting, we must think, to rather when every body is going to bed), to an unfair trial the laces of her corsets congratulate her on her mariage de elastiques-(you know, reader, that a raison; she finds occasion, in the brass knocker on the stage is often course of the conversation, to relato appealed to in the straits and difficul. many things to the advantage of the ties of female virtue)—a stormy dis. accepted spouse, and not a few of an charge of double knocks is directed to opposite kind, for the edification of one of the side doors, before the audaM. Edouard, who, becoming assured, cious youth has had time to under from behind the screen, of his own stand his advantage,-knock, knock, pretty character, takes the earliest knock, knock, knock! The where. opportunity to bolt. And now, no. abouts to hide has been vainly sought, thing hindering the mariage de rui. as in those cases, passim, between the son being consummated, a nuptial impracticable cupboard, shallow fire- dialogue takes place in public, coram screen, and a table that would not populo, in which the husband manages conceal a cat.-Come, come, sir, you his procemial part so well, that Suzette must really let the old gentleman (it is fairly birdlimed into a new affection, is his father) in, in common decency. - and, coming forward, assures the au. (Scene shifts.) The brown Suit enters dience, as the curtain modestly falls on accordingly, and a jolly old fellow he his marital privileges, that she has deis, and wherefore comes he? Not termined to live henceforth the blameto scold, or to talk big-wig morality, les3 spouse of her “brave Henri ;” and as you suppose, to the young people, the pit as instantly determining that, but merely, it seems, to sing to such being the case, she shall receive them and the audience! To do its most unanimous support, white which more majorum, he tucks an kid gloves are shaken in the boxes, arm respectively of Suzette and the and coloured cotton streamers wave gallant under his own, and leading from the gallery!—They call these them in front of the stage, full in the things Vaudevilles !
CHAMPS ELYSEES-ON A FETE,
It is a crowd of people amongst the vels which are related by the man of trees, some of whom, at the rate of that wonderful wheel l-of wasting five centimes per shock, per person, muscles restored to strength and size; are about to take a dose of electricity of sightless eyeballs filled with instanin public, whilst others, detected by taneous light; of ears that never heard the keen-eyed owner of the apparatus before becoming avenues of sound ; contriving to filch a little of it on the of palsy, touched by that life-givsly, are informed that his wheel does ing spark, starting up to run after an not brew electricity without materials. omnibus ! Such are his themes, and Walking round his ring of bystanders they are, of course, backed by a suitwith electric cord in hand, he offers able display of electric power, well it liberally, to all and sundry, for a calculated to make the hair stand on farthing a shock, while many a brave end, and extort for the peripatetic exmoustache, not afraid of gunpowder, hibitor as many sous as there be fools turns away his head from the un. or philosophers to hear. known agent, not exactly feeling the Near this monopolizer of so much of courage to accept, till some curiosité the public money, but out of his danfrom the country steps forward, and gerous atmosphere, roulette tables ratasks boldly for a whole sous worth tle away to the wooden ball, or small of the product of the wheel-him the metal discs ring upon a copper floor, “ physicien" salutes with courteous over which knives, candlesticks, and bow, and, presenting the magic string, cork-screws hang as prizes for the nods to his attendant. When a suffi. successful discobolus. Plaster cats, cient accumulation to stun an ox has stuck upon skewers, fall victims to been produced, "touch,” says the man ambitious archery-a yielding cushion in black to his hob-nailed customer, measures the strength of your foreand “go" says Electricity, as she arm—the Gondole, confronted by a fiings him back in terror amidst the mirror, clicks your weight, and shows admiring crowd! He is now offered, you how you look, for the same penny. with becoming gravity, another charge Here is the facile princeps of puppet. without further expense ; but, thinking shows, in which, pull but the string, the amusement rather overcharged, be you may say your prayers in St Peter's, slinks away, with aching shoulders, to or fight at Eylau or at Wagram. But pastimes better suited to his physical make way for a troop of young schæand intellectual capacities. A hundred nobatists ; and don't mind that stentorsuch shall not be missed from that gay voiced tooth-extractor who wishes you arena, where tinfoil and gold leaf, for a customer. To refuse the syrens and brass-knobbed phials of different who sell the bad gingerbread called dimensions, the enchanted house, the “plaisir" is no great act of virtue or dancing paper, the horse-shoe mag. frugality, but the indefatigable chairnet, the pith balls (now rubbing letters are not to be resisted. The shoulders, now standing aloof, from tinkling limonadier's bell may be a each other, like dear friends in diffi. cheerful sound to the thirsty ; but dare culties), and many other marvels, we here affirm proler Mey üdwp, or trust afford their thousand attractions! But that his lemons ever had a peel upon when the ' physicien,” emboldened by them? The turbaned venders of the an increasing auditory, flocking from date of Egypt or the fig of Smyrna, all sides, begins to tell of the medical want not their customers; but for those virtues of the agent to which he is whose whole commerce is the smoul. Agent, then, not Punch himself, in any dering pastille of many a detestable act of his brief and eventful career aroma, one is at a loss to conceive how not even when it comes to his " last they get on ;-in short, go where you squcak," when the battered head of the will, it is the same scene; every body hero leaning over the stage of his agon- looking merry but one's self, and that istic exploits against the “ Adversary," affrighted cur that yelps at his advenexbibits all the symptoms of incurable turous master carried round and round concussion-not even then can he com- on ship or wooden nag. But who can pete for public attention with the mar- put down a tithe of the provisions