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He was their unswerving champion; the chosen chief; the incorruptible.
Between these two factions was the body of neutrals. The motley throng shrank from the sinister glances of the Jacobins, but were pot uniformly allured by the benevolent aspect of the Girondists. High over all appeared the illustrious Vergniaud, the pride of the Gironde; the most accomplished orator of the Assembly; destined to be a martyr to true liberty. Through all that troubled day he had maintained his equanimity. Serene amid the tumult, he calmed their rage and governed their course.
In a temporary enclosure on his right was a group which excited the attention of all, and the commiseration of many. There were the representatives of those imperial and royal houses which had survived centuries, and for two hundred years had been foes. But when at length their proud eminence seemed secure and confirmed by the union of Austria and Frauce, in the persons of Louis the Sixteenth and Marie Autoinette ; behold the issue! It was a sublime lesson upon the instability of human grandeur.
In that little narrow seat, which they were happy to be permitted to occupy alone, exposed to contumely and the object of pity, was Maria Theresa's daughter and the grandson of the Grand Monarque. She held in her arms the infant Dauphin. Unconscious of the horrors around him, the boy slept. Tears dropped fast upon his innocent face from his mother's eyes. She thought of the home of her ancestors, of her own shining court; she looked forward to the dark dungeon. She shuddered with strange forebodings. The mild and excellent Louis beheld his people with a benignant eye, for he felt that he had striven to be their father; and secure in the possession of a good conscience, he endured their ignominies with dignity, The demon phalanx of Jacobins laughed as they looked on him. He confronted them with calm and indignant severity. The majesty of his mien indicated his august lineage.
Such was the varied assembly which met Henri's view. When he entered, the house was comparatively quiet. There was a momentary lull in the storm.
The session, during the time that the result of the Battle of the People was doubtful, was indescribable. At the first discharge of musketry a profound silence prevailed; but when the stunning reverberations of the cannon, peal upon peal, shook the building to its foundations, consternation aroused them from their stupor. Some, in a paroxysm of fear, rose to flee; others awaited the conclusion with Roman firmness ; while the greater part sought to reassure their shaken spirits by indulging in frantic declamations. The mob soon burst the doors of the galleries, and came roaring in like the hoarse breakers of the sea. At intervals, deputations from the municipality, accompanied by squads of rough and brutal men, fresh from the strife, and grim with blood, crowded to the bar, demanding, with savage gestures toward him, the death of the king. Suddenly the firing grew louder and more sustained. All paused; it was the crisis of their fate. There was a sharp volley, and then
the firing ceased. Then came a rush at the gallery doors, and then the deafening voice of the people drowned all other poises, and proclaimed the fate of the monarchy. An hour had now ela psed since the determination of the strife, and as we have said, deputies had recovered their natural appearance, and the house was calm.
For a time, as if exhausted by the alarms of the day, they continued talking to each other, and seemed hesitating to act. But soon the distant and growing clamor of the rabble, who choked every avenue to the house, announced the approach of some new element of disorder. Reluctantly as Henri had entered, he had bardly done so, and looked around, before he became deeply interested. He now bent over the gallery and watched the proceedings with intense eagerness. Presently be saw the doors next the Jacobin side open, and preceded by a large concourse, fierce-looking, but less outrageous in their dress and deportment than their predecessors, appeared the monarch of the day. His form, gigantic in stature, athletic, gross, but commanding, loomed up amid the surrounding multitude, and provoked a rapturous welcome from the galleries, in which many on the floor joined. He came with the air and the words of a conqueror, to command the dethronement of the king and the calling of a national convention. A member rose to speak. It was the Girondist, Brissot. Danton raised his arm; in the name of the sovereign people he hurled forth the most audacious menaces against traitors; and even while the swell of his thundering voice yet smote upon their ears, the deputies dissolved the assembly.
Henri lingered behind the departing mob to avoid the crush. While watching the retiring Girondists, for he now felt a predominant sympathy with them, his attention was arrested by a familiar face, and he recognized his old companion Auguste. His first impulse was to call out to bim, but then bitter reflections crowded on his mind. He remembered all that had intervened during the years of their separation, and he would have left without addressing him. But Auguste, struck by noticing a man so intently observing him, on that day of suspicion, turned full upon him. In a moment he saw who it was. A smile of gratification passed over his features, and coming toward him in the warmest manner, he saluted Henri, and requested him to meet him in the base court. There in a few moments the friends met. They embraced, and as they walked slowly toward Auguste's hotel, the happiness of their meeting dispelled their cares and anxieties.
E. G. P.
CONSOLATION IN AGB: FROM THE SCOTTISE.
O WHEN We leave this habitation,
To a better home than this,
"WRAT commodious pump! The handle within reach of the smallest child !'
O Pump! that workest with an iron will,
(Thy well-forged handle justifies the phrase,)
Though late, in weaving stanzas to thy praise.
And oft have fondled thy familiar spout,
In unison with arms, red, bare and stout.
The prim, spruce maid who lives at number four,
The slattern wench who hails from number six,
And the pert lad who stops with Mrs. Mix;
The seedy hostler and the grocer's boy,
Nor humbly asks, but straight demandeth he,
And grasps thine arm as freemen grusp the free!
In dreary hat and uuregenerate coat,
And straightway sends it hissing down his throat.
Ye Naiad votaries of this frail machine,
Pause, and reflect upon its fallen state!
Which points no less to your impending fate.
That when life's sorrowing troubles all are o'er,
Where toil shall cease and pumps be worked no more.
You ask me for my opinion of the new American actress. I have had a good opportunity during the last two weeks of gathering the means of fulfilling your request. I have been in Boston wbile the boards of the two principal theatres have been occupied with the performances of Mrs. Mowatt, and our old acquaintance, Mrs. CHARLES Kean. I have seen them both repeatedly, and have watched the effect of the acting of each upon their audiences. Both have been playing to what is technically termed a 'good business. Both have had staunch friends and advocates among the leaders of fashion ; (yes, do not smile; there are such characters even in Yankee-land ;) and both have terminated their engagements with erlat. Mrs. Kean has been supported by her husband, who, although he holds a higher histrionic position at home than she has ever attained, is looked upon as a very secondary personage in this country. Mrs. Mowatt bas been associated with a young actor named DAVENPORT, who has his reputation yet to make.
I had frequently heard Mrs. Mowatt spoken of, in the emphatic phraseology of her western admirers, as a 'tall actress,' a screamer,' one who could do nothing else' bnt act. I set all this down as a specimen of American gasconade and exaggeration ; for the same journals that praised her performances imparted the information that she had been only sixteen months upon the stage; during all which time she had played 'star engagements' only. It is true that all this while she had sustained herself with brilliant success against the Keans in the same line of plays; but I had learned to distrust a public who could receive Mr. — as a great actor,' Heaven save the mark! I did not know how far a native American feeling might have operated in her favor ; for Mrs. Mowatt is a full-blooded native, being a great grand-daughter of one of those old “rebels' who signed the Declaration of Independence; one Lewis, of NewYork. I supposed therefore that there might be some national pride mingled with an affected admiration of her qualities as an actress ; although, as a general rule, the Americans disdain every thing in the way of acting that has not had a foreign stamp.
It was with these vague presentiments that I took my seat in the parquette of the Howard Theatre, or as it is absurdly called, Athenæum, to witness the first appearance of Mrs. Mowatt in Juliet. The house, which is a remarkably elegant one, was crowded in every part. What was my surprise, when the representative of Juliet came on, to see, instead of a 'tall actress,' a young, delicate, fair-haired creature, just the height of the Medicean Venus, slim, but well proportioned, and with a face which many would call • strangely beautiful,' while others would admit the strangeness but dispute the beauty. Her features are of a cast admirably fitted for the stage. The face forms a beautiful oval; the eyes are blue, but capable of great animation; the mouth and teeth are faultless; complexion clear and radiant; the nose Wellingtonian and prominent, but feminine, and in good keeping with the rest of her countenance. As she moved across the boards I was struck with the exquisite ease and grace of her carriage. You at once see the lady, and are prepossessed in her favor.
So far so good. But her voice— with a form so light and ethereal, can the vocal powers be such as to qualify her for a tragic actress ? •Madam, I am here !- what is your will ?' are her words on entering. Yes, it is a sweet voice; full-toned, clear and melodious; but will it be adequate to the terrible trials to which, as the tragic pathos of the scene proceeds, it must be subjected ?
.Go ask his name: if he be married
This was exquisitely rendered; and the utterance of the first four words showed abundant power; the fear now was that it would not be economically hoarded. The balcony scene showed Mrs. Mowatt to great advantage. The language here, though passionate and poetical, requires a level intonation :
Thou know'st the mask of night is on my face,
Her elocution was most admirable throughout this speech. There was an expressive mingling of archness and tenderness in ber tones; of diffidence and boldness, wonderfully significant of maiden bashfulness overpowered by maiden love. This must be a woman of genius,' I began to say to myself.