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were water at all, it would be found. I took up / wild journey, were not yet ended, nor was the gun to proceed in that direction, while he his every day course of life without severe went in search of the horses, which we leared privation. might have been devoured by the lion. I ascended the rugged height to the spot where wa
We have been tempted beyond all due ter once was, but found it as dry as the sandy
bounds by this fascinating narrative, which plain beneath. I stood a few minutes, stretching combines beauty and interest of every sort, my languid eye to see if there were any ap- divine and human. One more isolated picpearance of the horses, but saw nothing; turn-ture, and we have done, sincerely hoping ing to descend, I happened to cough, and was that tens and hundreds of thousands may exinstantly surrounded by almost a hundred ba-Iperience the same delight and instruction boons, some of gigantic size. They grunted, grinned, and sprang from stone to stone, protrud
from the perusal of this narrative, that it has ing their mouths, and drawing back the skin of anorded to ourselves by a nappy sugges. their foreheads, threatening 'an instant attack. tion, the singing of hymns, which Moffat I kept parrying them with my gun, which was had composed or translated into the native loaded; but I knew their character and disposition language, was adopted, and it charmed the too well to fire, for if I had wounded one of natives. A distant chief, of mild and highly them, I should have been skinned in five min-linteresting character named Moshen.
ve min, interesting character, named Mosheu, had, utes. The ascent was very laborious, but I would have given any thing to be at the bottom
at different times, visited, the station, and of the hill again. Some came so near as even
had brought his family to be instructed; to touch my hat while passing projecting rocks. and while out on a tour, Moffat visited his It was some time before I reached the plain, village, where this animated scene occurwhen they appeared to hold a noisy council, red: either about what they had done, or intended doing. Levelling my piece at two that seemed The moment I entered the village, the huethe most fierce, as I was about to touch the trigand-cry was raised, and old and young, mother ger, the thought occurred, I have escaped, let and children, came running together as if it were me be thankful; therefore I left them uninjured, to see some great prodigy. . . . . I took perhaps with the gratification of having given my Testament and a hymn-book, and with such me a fright.
| singers as I had, gave out a hymn, read a chapJantye soon appeared with the horses. Myter, and prayed; then taking the text, “ God so looks, more expressive than words, convincing loved the world," etc., discoursed lo them for bim that there was no water, we saddled the about an hour. Great order and profound sipoor animals, which, though they had picked up lence were maintained. The scene (so well de. a little grass, looked miserable beyond descrip- picted in the vignette in the title-page) was in tion. We now directed our couree towards Witte the centre of the village, composed of Bechuana water, where we could scarcely hope to arrive and Coranna houses and cattle-folds. Some of before afternoon, even if we reached it at all, for these contained the caltle, sheep, and goats, we were soon obliged to dismount, and drive our while other herds were strolling about. At a horses slowly and silently over the glowing plain, distance a party were approaching riding on where the delusive mirage tantalized our feel-oxen. A few strangers drew near with their ings with exhibitions of the loveliest pictures, of spears and shields, who, on being beckoned to, lakes and pools studded with lovely islets, and instantly laid them down. The native dogs towering trees moving in the breeze on their could not understand the strange looking being banks. In some might be seen the bustle of a on the front of the wagon, holding forth to a mercantile harbor, with jetties, coves, and move gazing throng, and they would occasionally ing rasts and oars; in others, lakes so lovely, as break the silence with their bark, for which, 1 they had just come from the hand of the Di-however, they suffered the penalty of a stone or vine artist, a transcript of Eden's sweetest views, stick hurled at their heads. Two milk maids, but all the result of highly rarefied air, or the who had tied their cows to posts, stood the whole reflected heat of the sun's rays on the sultry time with their milking vessels in their hands, plain. Sometimes, when the horses and my as if afraid of losing a single sentence. The companion were some hundred yards in advance, earnest attention manifested exceeded any thing they appeared as if listed from the earth, or moy. I had ever before witnessed, and the counteing like dark living pillars in the air. Many a nances of some indicated strong mental excitetime did we seek old ant hills, excavated by the ment. . . . When I had concluded, my hearant-eater, into which to thrust our heads, in ers divided into companies, to talk the subject order to have something solid between our fe- over; but others, more inquisitive, plied me with vered brains and the piercing rays of the sun. questions. While thus engaged, my attention There was no shadow of a great rock, the shrubs was arrested by a simple-looking young man at sapless, barren, and blighted, as if by some blast a short distance, rather oddly attired.... of fire. Nothing animate was to be seen or The person referred to was holding forth with heard, except the shrill chirping of a beetle, re- great animation to a number of people, who sembling the cricket, the noise of which seemed were all attention. On approaching, I found, to to increase with the intensity of the heat. Not my surprise, that he was preaching my sermon a cloud had been seen since we left our homes. over again, with uncommon precision, and with
great solemnity, imitating as nearly as he could The hardships of the missionary, on this lihe gestures of the original. A greater contrast
could scarcely be conceived than the fantastic to appreciate those tunes which are distinfigure I have described, and the solemnity of his guished for melody and sofinees..... The language, his subject being eternity, while he company at length dispersed ; and awaking in evidently felt what he spoke. Not wishing to the morning, after a brief repose, I was not a disturb him, I allowed him to finish the recital, little surprised to hear the old tune in every and seeing him soon after, told him that he could corner of the village. The maids milking the do what I was sure I could not, that was, preach cows, and the boys tending the calves, were humagain the same sermon verbatim. He did not ming their alphabet over again.... Moappear vain of his superior memory. “When sheu and his people made very pleasing advances I hear any thing great," he said, touching his in Christian knowledge, and so eager were they forehead with his finger, "it remains there." to benefit by the instructions of the missionaries, This young man died in the faith shortly after, that, at a considerable sacrifice of time and before an opportunity was afforded him of mak-comfort, they made frequent journeys to the Kuing a public profession.
ruman. It was an interesting spectacle to see In the evening, after the cows were milked, forty or fifty men, women, and children, coming and the herds had laid themselves down in the over the plain, all mounted on oxen, and bringfolds to chew the cud, a congregation for the ing with them a number of milch cows, that they third time, stood before my wagon. The bright might not be too burdensome either to the missilvery moon, holding her way through a cloud- sionaries or the people. Their object was to obless starry sky, and shining on many a sable tain instruction, and they would remain at Mosace, made the scene peculiarly solemn and im- tito and the Kuruman for more than two months pressive, while the deepest attention was paid at a time, diligently attending to all the opportuto the subject, which was the importance of re- nities afforded; and Andries, the brother of Moligion illustrated by Scripture characters. After sheu, being the more talented individual, was the service, they lingered about the wagon, soon after appointed schoolmaster, and under making many inquiries, and repeating over and his humble and devoted labors they made wonover again what they had heard. .. The derful progress. What they valued for themfollowing day, Monday, was no less busy, for selves they were anxious to secure to their though the wind was very high, so as to prevent children; and Mosheu left his daughter to the a public service in the morning, I was engaged care of Mrs. Moffat, for education, while Andries addressing different parties at their own dwell. committed his son to that of Mr. Lemue, at Moings, and teaching them to read. ... When tito, both of whom made most satisfactory pro. another deeply interesting evening service had gress, not only in reading and writing, but the closed, the people seemed resolved to get all out daughter in needlework, and in general domestic of me they could. All would learn to read there employments. and then. A few remaining spelling-books were sought out, and the two or three young people I had with me were each inclosed within a circle of scholars all eager to learn. Some were compelled to be content with only shouting out the names of the letters, which were rather too
MADAMÉ DE SÉVIGNE. small to be seen by the whole circle, with only the light of the moon. While this rather noisy
From the Edinburgh Review. exercise was going on, some of the principal | Madame de Sévigné and her Contemporaries. men with whom I was conversing, thought they Two vols. 8vo. London: 1842. would also try their skill in this new art. ... "Oh, teach us the A B C with music," every one MADAME DE SEvigne, in her combined cried, giving me no time to tell them it was too and inseparable character as writer and late. I found they had made this discovery
woman, enjoys the singular and delightful through one of my boys. There were presently
reputation of having united, beyond all a dozen or more surrounding me, and resistance was out of the question. Dragged and pushed,
others of her class, the rare with the famiI entered one of the largest native houses, which I liar, and the lively with the correct. The was instantly crowded. The tune of " Auld moment her name is mentioned, we think lang syne" was pitched to ABC, each succeed of the mother who loved her daughter ; of ing round was joined by succeeding voices, till the most charming of letter.write every tongue was vocal, and every countenance ornament of an age of license. who incurred beamed with heart-felt satisfaction. The longerne
none of its ill-repute ; of the female who they sang the more freedom was felt, and "Auld lang syne" was echoed to the farthest corner of
has become one of the classics of her lanthe village. The strains which infuse pleasura-Iguage, without effort and without inten. ble emotions into the sons of the North, were no tion. less potent among these children of the South. The sight of a name so attractive, in the Those who had retired to their evening slum-title-page of the volumes before us, has bers, supposing that we were holding a night made us renew an intercourse. never enservice, came; “for music," it is said, "charms the savage breast.” It certainly does, particu
tirely broken, with her own. We have lived larly the natives of Southern Africa, who, how
over again with her and her friends from ever degraded they may have become, still re- her first letter to her last, including the tain that refinement of taste, which enables them new matter in the latest Paris editions.
We have seen her writing in her cabinet, Herbert of Cherbury, the Earls of Holland dancing at court, being the life of the com- and Ossory, the Dukes of Buckingham, pany in her parlor, nursing her old uncle Shrewsbury, and St. Simon, and others who the Abbé; bantering Mademoiselle du Ples- Aourished before and after her day? There sis; lecturing and then jesting with her is, it is true, a sprinkling of extracts from son; devouring the romances of Calpre. Madame de Sévigné's letters through the pede, and responding to the wit of Pascal greater part of the volumes; but even these and La Fontaine ; walking in her own green naturally fail us in many of the sketches, alleys by moonlight, enchanting cardinals, and of whole letters we have but two or politicians, philosophers, beauties, poets, de three; whereas, what the public looked for, votees, haymakers; ready to die with was a regular and satisfactory account both laughter' fifty times a-day; and idolizing of her writings and her life, a selection of her daughter for ever.
specimens of her letters, and some talk It is somewhat extraordinary, that of all about her friends; in short, about all of the admirers of a woman so interesting, not whom she talks herself ; not excepting Nione has yet been found in these islands to non, of whom there is here scarcely a word; give any reasonably good account of her and assuredly not omitting such a friend any regular and comprehensive informa- as Corbinelli, whose name we do not retion respecting her life and writings. The member seeing in the book. There is very notices in the biographical dictionaries little even about her son the Marquis, and are meagre to the last degree ; and not a syllable respecting her startling 'con'sketches of greater pretension have sel-temporaries,' Brinvilliers and La Voisin ; dom consisted of more than loose and brief while, on the other hand, we have a long memorandums, picked out of others, their account of the King and Queen of Spain, predecessors. The name which report has and a history of the very foreign transacassigned to the compiler of the volumes tions of Stradella the musician. It is much before us, induced us to entertain sanguine as if, in the print above-mentioned, Molière hopes that something more satisfactory was and his friends had been thrust into the about to be done for the queen of letter-background, and the chief part of the comwriting; and undoubtedly the portrait which position given up to a view of the courts of has been given of her, is, on the whole, the France and England. We need not dwell best hitherto to be met with. But still it is upon the contradictions between the 'ada limited, hasty, and unfinished portrait, vertisement and the introduction' respectforming but one in a gallery of others; ing the chief authorities consulted; or such many of which have little to do with her, as those in the opinions expressed about and some, scarcely any connection even Louis the Fourteenth, who is at one time with her times. Now, in a work entitled represented as the greatest monarch that 'Madame de Sévigné and her Contempora- had appeared in France previous to the ries,' we had a right to expect a picture times of Napoleon and Louis-Philippe,' and with the foreground occupied by herself at another as a man whose talents were and her friends, and the rest of the group below mediocrity. The work, in a word, at greater or less distances, in proportion is one of the jobbing, book-making expeto their reference to the main figure; some- dients of the day, with a dishonest titlething analogous to an interesting French page; and yet there are sketches and pas. print, which exhibits Molière reading one sages in it so good, and indicative of a power of his plays to an assembly of wits, at the to do so much better, that we speak of it house of Ninon de l'Enclos. The great thus with regret. It should have been called comic writer is on his legs—the prominent by some other name. At present it reminds object-acting as well as reading his play, us too much of the famous ode on Doctor ia a lively and salient attitude, full of French Pococke, in which there was something expression ; near him sits the lady of the about 'one Pococke' towards the middle house, as the gatherer together of the par- of the composition. ty; and round both, in characteristic pos- Proceeding to sketch out, from our own tures, but all listening to the reader, sit acquaintance with her, what we conceive Rochefoucauld, La Fontaine, Corneille, and to be a better mode of supplying some acone or two more. But in a picture of Ma- count of Madame de Sévigné and her writ. dame de Sévigné, and those whom an asso-ings, we shall, in the order of time, speak ciation of ideas would draw round her, what of her ancestors and other kindred, her have we to do with Cardinal Richelieu, and friends and her daily habits, and give a few Père Joseph, and Boisrobert? What with specimens of the best of her letters; and the man in the Iron Mask,' with Lord / we shall do all this with as hear olish of her genius as the warmest of her admir-est adherents of Henry IV.; and, indeed, ers, without thinking it necessary to blind the whole united stock may be said to have ourselves to any weaknesses that may have been distinguished equally for worth, spirit, accompanied it. With all her good-nature, and ability, till it took a twist of intrigue the charming woman' had a sharp eye to and worldliness in the solitary instance of a defect herself; and we have too great a the scapegrace Bussy. We may discern, respect for the truth that was in her, not to in the wit and integrity of Madame de Sélet her honestly suffer in its behall, when. vigné-in her natural piety, in her cordial ever that first cause of all that is great and partisanship, and at the same time in that good demands it.
tact for universality which distinguished Marie de Rabutin-Chantal, Baroness de her in spite of it-a portion of what was Chantal and Bourbilly, afterwards Marchio- best in all her kindred, not excepting a spice ness de Sévigné, was born, in all probability, of the satire, but without the malignity, of in Burgundy, in the old ancestral château her supercilious cousin. She was truly the of Bourbilly, between Semur and Epoisses, flower of the family tree; and laughed at on the 5th of February, 1627. Her father, the top of it with a brilliancy as well as a Celse Benigne de Rabutin, Baron as above- softness, compared with which Bussy was mentioned, was of the elder branch of his but a thorn. name, and cousin to the famous Count The little heiress was only a few months Bussy-Rabutin; her mother, Marie de Cou. old when the Baron de Chantal died, brave. langes, daughter of a secretary-of-state, was ly fighting against the English in their de. also of a family whose name afterwards be- scent on the Isle of Rhé. It was one of the came celebrated for wit ; and her paternal figments of Gregorio Leti, that he received grandmother, Jeanne François Fremyot, his death-wound from the hand of Cromafterwards known by the title of the Blessed well. The Baron's widow survived her hus. Mother of Chantal, was a saint. The nuns band only five years; and it seems to have of the Order of the Visitation, which she been expected that the devout grandmother, founded by the help of St. Francis de Sales, Madame de Chantal the elder, would have beatified her, with the subsequent approba- been anxious to take the orphan under her tion of Benedict XIV.; and she was canon-care. But whether it was ihat the mother ized by Clement XIV. (Ganganelli) in 1767. had chosen to keep the child too exclusively There was a relationship between the fami- under her own, or that the future saint was lies of Rabutin and De Sales ;-names which too much occupied in the concerns of the it would be still stranger than it is to see in other world and the formation of religious conjunction, had not the good St. Francis houses, (of which she founded no less than been the liveliest and most tolerant of his eighty-seven ;) the old lady contented berclass. We notice these matters, because it self with recommending her to the consiis interesting to discover links between deration of an Archbishop, and left ber in people of celebrity; and because it would the hands of her maternal relations. They be but a sorry philosophy which should did their part nobly by her. She was deny the probable effects produced in the brought up with her fellow-wit and correminds and dispositions of a distinguished spondent, Philippe-Emmanuel de Coulanges; race by intermixtures of blood and associa- and her uncle Christophe, Abbé de Livry, tions of ideas. Madame de Sévigné's fa- became her second father, in the strictest ther, for instance, gave a rough foretaste of and most enduring sense of the word. He her wit and sincerity, by a raillery amount- took care that she should acquire graces at ing to the brusque, sometimes to the inso- court, as well as encouragements to learnlent. He wrote the following congratula- Jing from his friends; saw her married, and tory epistle to a minister of finance, whom helped to settle her children ; extricated the King (Louis XIII.) had transformed into her affairs from disorder, and taught her to a marshal :
surpass himself in knowledge of business; My Lord,
in fine, spent a good remainder of his life Birth ; black beard; intimacy.
with her, sometimes at his own house and
sometimes at hers; and when he died, re. CHANTAL.'
paid the tenderness with which she had Meaning that his new fortune had been rewarded his care, by leaving her all bis owing to his quality, to his position near property. The Abbé, with some little irri. the royal person, and to his having a black table particularities, and a love of extrabeard like his master. Both the Chantals comfort and his bottle, appears to have been, and the Fremyots, a race remarkable for as she was fond of calling him, bien bon, a their integrity, had been amongst the warm-right good creature ; and posterity is to be
congratulated, that her faculties were al- a natural flow of wit, and a face and shape lowed to expand under his honest and rea- which, if not perfectly handsome, were al. ronable indulgence, instead of being cramp- lowed by every body to produce a most ed, and formalized, and made insincere, by agreeable impression. Her cousin Bussy the half-witted training of the convent. Rabutin has drawn a portrait of her when a
Young ladies at that time were taught young woman; and though he did it half in little more than to read, write, dance, and malice and resentment, like the half-vagaembroider, with greater or less attention to bond he was, he could not but make the books of religion. If the training was con- same concession. He afterwards withdrew ventual, religion was predominant, (unless the worst part of his words, and heaped it was rivalled by comfit and flower-making, her with panegyric; and from a comparison great pastimes of the good nuns ;) and in of his different accounts we probably obtain the devout case, the danger was, either that a truer idea of her manners and personal the pupil would be frightened into bigotry, appearance, than has been furnished either or, what happened oftener, would be tired by the wholesale eulogist or the artist. It into a passion for pleasure and the world, is, indeed, corroborated by herself in her and only stocked with a sufficient portion letters. She was somewhat tall for a wo. of fear and superstition to return to the bi. man; had a good shape, a pleasing voice, gotry in old age, when the passion was a fine complexion, brilliant eyes, and a proburnt out. When the education was inore fusion of light hair; but her eyes, though domestic, profane literature had its turn brilliant, were small, and, together with the the poetry of Maynard and Malherbe, and eyelashes, were of different tints; her lips, the absurd but exalting romances of Gom- though well-colored, were too flat; and the berville, Scudery, and Calprenede. Some end of her nose too square.' The jawbone, times a little Latin was added ; and other according to Bussy, had the same fault. tendencies to literature were caught from Ile says that she had more shape than grace, abbés and confessors. In all cases, some yet danced well; and she had a taste for body was in the habit of reading aloud while singing. He makes the coxcombical objec. the ladies worked ; and a turn for politics tion to her at that time of life, that she was and court-gossip was given by the wars of|too playful 'for a woman of quality ;' as if the Fronde, and by the allusions to the he- the liveliest genius and the slaidest convenroes and heroines of the reigning gallant. tionalities could be reasonably expected to ries, in the ideal personages of the romances. go together; or as if she could have writThe particulars of Madame de Sévigné's ten her unique letters, had she resembled education have not transpired; but as she every body else. Let us call to mind the was brought up at home, and we hear some playfulness of those letters, which have thing of her male teachers, and nothing of charmed all the world ;-let us add the her female, (whom, nevertheless, she could most cordial manners, a face full of expresnot have been without,) the probability is sion, in which the blood came and went, that she tasted something of all the different and a general sensibility, which, if too quick kinds of nurture, and helped herself with her perhaps to shed tears, was no less ready to own cleverness to the rest. She would hear die with laughter' at every sally of pleaof the example and reputation of her saintly santry—and we shall see before us the not grandmother, if she was not much with her; beautiful but still engaging and ever-lively her other religious acquaintances rendered creature, in whose countenance, if it conher an admirer of the worth and talents of tained nothing else, the power to write the devotees of Port-Royal; her political those letters must have been visible; for, ones interested her in behalf of the Fron. though people do not always seem what deurs ; but, above all, she had the whole they are, it is seldom they do not look what some run of her good uncle's books, and they can do. the society of his friends, Chapelain, Mel The good uncle, the Abbé de Coulanges, nage, and other prosessors of polite litera- doubtless thought he had made a happy tore; the effect of which is to fuse particu-match of it, and joined like with like, when, lar knowledge into general, and to distil at the age of eighteen, his charming niece from it the spirit of a wise humanity. She married a man of as joyous a character as seems to have been not unacquainted with herself, and of one of the first houses in Latin and Spanish; and both Chapelain and Brittany. The Marquis de Sévigné, or SeMenage were great lovers of Italian, which vigny, (the old spelling,) was related to the became part of her favorite reading. Duguesclins and the Rohans, and also to
To these fortunate accidents of birth and Cardinal de Retz. But joyousness, unforbreeding were joined health, animal spirits, Itunately, was the sum-total of his character.