Page images

will take a page as a specimen. It is at others we could almost cry, and a apropos of the fragrant rocket or third class we are apt to treat condames-violet, which, in French, has temptuously, as trivial and nonsenthe prettier name of julienne.

sical, until it occurs to ns to ask “Here is the white julienne with its ourselves if we have not sometimes long sprays of flowers : you must read much greater nonsense under stoop to enjoy its perfume; at night a far duller form. Read letter xxiii. only does it exhale its fragrance afar. on board a Swiss steamboat, and This was one of the favourite flowers say if it does not, although no imiof the unfortunate Queen Marie An- tation, smack of the quaint tendertoinette. She was shut up in the ness and graceful fancy of Lawrence worst room of the Conciergerie, a Sterne. See, two chapters later, how damp room that smelt badly. There, many interesting things are suggested in the same chamber, a gendarme, to the author by an old wall, and how separated from her only by a screen, well he says them; and read—without quitted her neither by day nor by a smile, if you can—the quiet satire night. The queen's sole garments of letter xxxiv. It is very shortwere an old black gown, and a pair only a few pithy lines—and we will of stockings which she mended her- translate it. self-remaining with bare feet the “There is something haunts me of while. I know not whether I should late. I have spoken to you of the have loved Marie Antoinette, but house,covered with moss-grown thatch, who could help adoring so much and crowned with flowering iris, that misery and misfortune! A woman- one discovers from a particular part her name is less known than it de- of my garden. For several days it serves to be devised a joy and a remained constantly closed. I asked luxury for her whom it was forbidden my servant if the woodcutter no longer to name otherwise than as widow dwelt there. Capet. Madame Richard, portress “No, sir, he has left these two of the prison, daily brought her nose- months. He has grown rich; he has gays of the flowers she loved : pinks, inherited six hundred francs a-year ; juliennes, tuberoses, thus changing he is gone to live in the town.' into perfume the putrid miasms of “He has grown rich! the prison-house. Thus the poor “That is to say, that with his six queen had something to gaze at, other hundred francs a-year he has gone to than the damp walls of her dungeon. live in a little room without air and Madame Richard was denounced, without sun, whence he can see neither arrested and put in prison; but they sky, nor trees, nor grass ; where he dared not persecute her further for breathes a nauseous atmosphere, and her pious transgression,-and they set where his best and only prospect is her at liberty.

a dirty yellow paper, embellished with "Subsequently, Danton, in his dun- chocolate-coloured arabesques. geon, exclaimed, "Ah! if I could “He has grown rich! That is to but see a tree !!

say, he has been obliged to get rid of “The julienne remains Marie An- his dog, which he had had so long, toinette's flower; to the two others because it annoyed the other lodgers still older souvenirs were already at- in the house. tached; the great Condé, a prisoner “ He lives in a sort of square box ; at Vincennes, cultivated pinks. The he has people on his right and on his scent of the tuberose was formerly left, above and below him. believed to be mortal to women in " He has left his pretty cottage, childbed. Mademoiselle de la Val- and his beautiful trees, and his rich lière, still a maid of honour, found her- carpets of green herbage, and the self in that predicament; upon the mor- song of the birds, and the scent of row the queen, who had her suspicions, the oaks. would pass through her apartment, "He has grown rich! Poor man!" where she had pretended an indisposi- To us, who have almost as great a tion in order to remain. She had her foible for flowers as M. Karr himself, bed-chamber filled with tuberoses." the pages of his Journey round my

We laugh at some of his letters, Garden offer most attractive pas

sages. His rambling digressions half gone, and that he had left Geneprevent the least monotony. He vieve without money.

He thought wanders hither and thither with or of that he had just refused, and he without pretext. A magnolia takes cursed the vanity that led him to him to China, a caprice carries him refuse it ;-he cursed himself for forto Peru, thence he steps across to getting his sister. And he went to the Brazils, and tells a story of a his friends the painters, who had prince who, on his return from dis- often had recourse to his purse, intant travel in savage lands, was re- tending to borrow money of them. proached by a pretty cousin with not On reaching the painting room, he having brought her some outlandish found the joyous, reckless artists in costume. He repelled the charge of high glee and full conclave. The neglect, and declared he has brought execution of the sentence pronounced home the complete costume of an against the offending landlord had Indian queen, which was much at her commenced. The culprit's bell-rope service if she liked to wear it. The had been cut, and was to be recut as lady was delighted; evening came, often as renewed ; his caricature had and the travelled prince came also, been painted on his door, on the bringing a box, whence he took a common staircase, and on sundry very pretty and very odd necklace. walls; a number of different persons It passed from hand to hand, and had called at his house in the course of everybody admired it. The princess the day, to inquire, with grave faces, put it on, and all present were in “if it were true that poor M. Vasseraptures to see how it became her. lin had gone out of his mind," &c. She turned to the traveller :

After waiting some time for an op** Well ? " said she.

portunity to take a friend aside and " What?"

ask a loan, Leon left the atelier with “ The next thing."

his purpose unaccomplished. He had " What next thing ?

a new idea. He fetched his violin, “Yes; the remainder of the cos- which he had left at a pupil's house, tume."

and hurried to a pawnbroker's. But “ There is nothing else. That is it was Sunday, on which day, the the entire costume of the queen in Mont-de-Piété closes early. Leon question."

was too late. Weary and despairing, The princess blushed crimson, and and again reproaching himself for the took off the collar as if it burned her ridiculous vanity that had made him neck.

refuse money of which he had so We should like to extract the very great need, he bent his steps homecharming chapter suggested by the wards. death of a blackbird, the leader of "As he crossed the Champs Elysées, the author's garden choir, slain by a he saw a number of persons collected troublesome friend, whose pointer has together. They formed a dark comalready ravaged the flower-beds; but, pact mass, but a fitful light shone upon the whole, we think it better to between their feet and legs. At that return to Genevieve, and complete moment Leon's thoughts were the sort of outline we have com- gloomy that, by a sort of instinct, he menced of that interesting novel. joined the crowd in order not to be We left Leon in Madame de Dréan's alone. He then discovered the cause music-room, engaged in a wordy skir- of the assemblage - it was a man mish with M. Rodolph de Redeuil, playing on the violin, and the light which subsequently became so bitter he had seen from afar proceeded from -although veiled' by courtly terms four ends of candle, which burned upon ont of deference to the lady's presence the ground in front of the musician. -that when the two young men left At the moment when Leon joined the the house together they exchanged a circle, the man put his violin under challenge almost before reaching the his arm, and with hat in hand made street. They then parted, and Leon's the tour of his audience. Leon first thought was to seek a second walked away, for he had nothing and a pair of swords, but he remein- to give, and entered the dark shabered that the day was more than dow of the trees. "That man,' said

[ocr errors]

he to himself, 'has just received 6. What a pity !' &c. money which would make me very “A pretty woman, first of all, happy; he is going to take his wife stooped down and placed—without and children their supper. And I- throwing it - a five-franc piece in and Genevieve!'-A sort of shudder Leon's hat. She rose again, blushcame over him at a thought which ing, and beautiful with a divine just then presented itself confusedly beauty. Ah! dear lady,--if the man to his mind, and which he dared not of your heart beheld you at that attempt to fix before his eyes ;-he moment, you will be recompensed ;= walked on with hasty steps,--then all his life long he will repay your he stopped short. Again he con- charity with love and adoration, as tinued on his road,—then turned God repays it you in grace and in back again ; he could not quit the touching beauty. Champs Elysées. Once more he “ Several persons followed the exstood still and said to himself :— ample shown them. One man pressed ' Have I not done enough cowardly through the crowd, and fumbled in things for one day? What am I his pocket; but he looked at the more than that man? Is not he, on musician, and exclaimed, · Leon!' the contrary, more than I am; he Anselmo !' cried Leon. And who, for his family, conquers his they fell into each other's arms. pride and plays in the street? What • The crowd pressed curiously do I fear?—to be despised ?—Is it around them. Anselmo picked up more contemptible to beg than to let Leon's hat. "Give me this money, one's sister suffer? And what do I he cried, 'good and noble young man; do each day of my life? Do I not give it me, that I may hoard it as a play upon the violin for money ?- precious relic! Fain would I treasure Shame ?-it is pride I ought to feel it in my heart!' in playing to get money for my sister. “ Anselmo called a hackney coach, In my whole life I shall never have and got into it with Leon. As they done anything so great and so noble; drove along, Leon told Anselmo all —so much the worse for him who de- his misfortunes. Before going home spises me; he will be a man without they purchased what was wanted for feeling, and what matters to me the Genevieve. scorn of such a man?' Again he "I am very late, my poor Genestrode along in great agitation.—Oh! vieve,' said Leon. my God! he exclaimed, 'I thank "I did not notice it,' said Genethee for the talent thou hast bestowed vieve, who had passed four hours on me! Oh! my sister, forgive me weeping. 'I have been asleep; my for having hesitated!

eyes are still quite heavy.'» “Leon's eyes flashed; he felt him- Anselmo has just returned from self great and strong; his heart was one of his long journeys. After seekbig with a noble pride. He took his ing his cousin Albert in vain, Leon violin from its case,-rested his back asks Anselmo to second him in his against a tree, and played a sacred duel with Rodolph.

His friend and beautiful melody, to which angel egrets the necessity for the meeting, might have listened with

ut ultimately consents, and repairs wings and humid eyes

appointment, early the next suggested itself to life

morning, to Rodolph's house, to settle the divine music of

preliminaries with his second, a bow had iner

young officer, who proposes swords astonisheit

as the weapons to be employed. Ten

Swords let it be,' replied Anselmo, since M. de Redeuil desires

it; although the choice of arms betlongs to M. Lauter.'

You appear very expert in such affairs, sir,' said the officer.

I, sir! I never fought but once in my life, and that was breast to breast, one pistol loaded, no witnesses, on the bank of a river, into for the generous, unselfish, and couwhich the survivor was to throw his rageous Leon, is all along in no way antagonist's corpse. It was not an less strong than that inspired by the ordinary duel.'


mild, patient, self-denying Genevieve. " At what hour the meeting ?' And Leon's happiness consoles the

Ah! that is the question,' said reader in some degree for the untimely Rodolph. 'I am compelled by a fate of his sweet sister. Rose and most important affair to call this Leon are of course married, but Genemorning upon the envoy of a German vieve-poor Genevieve, heart-stricken court. It is already late, I should in her bloom, droops and falls like a like to put off the affair till to-mor- frosted flower. The air of the world row.'

was too chilly for her tender soul. "I have no instructions to object To the last she was unaware of her to such delay.'

approaching death, and sweet smiles “To-morrow, then, at seven in decked her wasted features as she the morning.""

fondly anticipated the joy of embraAnselmo's reference to his duel cing her brother's child, as yet unborn. confirms suspicions previously excit- Before the infant saw the light, the ed, that the benevolent old German is flowers grew fresh and fair upon the father of Leon and Genevieve. Genevieve's grave. The reader is not equally prepared to The reperusal of M. Karr's works, discover what is soon afterwards re- some of which we had not opened vealed; namely, that Anselmo Lauter, since their first appearance, many the widowed husband of the erring years ago, has confirmed our previous and unhappy Rosalie, is identical with conviction, that few French writers of Baron Arnberg, the wealthy minister the present day, even of the more and confidential friend of a German refined and less wilfully-mischievous sovereign. At the baron's house in class, can be unreservedly recomthe Champs Elysées, that same day, mended to English readers. Few all the chief personages of the tale even of the best of them can always. are assembled-Leon to wait upon a avoid the introduction of offensive new pupil, Genevieve to seek some sentiments and descriptions. With needlework which the poor suffering the majority the propensity to occagirl had begged M. Anselmo to pro- sional levity and irreverence, and cure for her, M. Chaumier and Rose sometimes to profanity and indecency, to hand over the title-deeds of the is quite irresistible. We are disposed house and garden at Fontainebleau, to acquit M. Karr of any deliberate and sold to a stranger, who has tempted intentional evil tendency. He writes M. Chaumier by a high price. Thanks according to his perceptions, and for to his own and his son's extra- a French public, and there is nothing vagance, Rose's father is a poorer in his books likely to shock his counman than before he won his famous trymen, most of whom would doubtlawsuit. Albert too appears at the less laugh heartily at the Britannic house in the Champs Elysées—the prudery, that could take exception to same concerning whose decoration the highly coloured and revolting Genevieve and Leon were consulted - narratives of the dissolute Stephen, in custody of bailiffs who have arrested and of the feeble' and unprincipled him on the suit of Baron Arnberg for Maurice. On the other hand, with non-payment of a bill of exchange. some of his tales and sketches, only And Rodolph de Redeuil comes, his the ultra fastidious will find fault, ordinary assurance greatly abated, and some will be deemed harmless humbly to crave a favour of the noblé even by the most rigid. If we have and influential ambassador. We weighed upon his defects, it has been have not room for further details. to neutralise the too favourable imThe dénouement is good, and the pro- pression that might be conveyed by babilities are throughout well sus- our extracts, which are all specimens tained. In the termination of the of his happier manner. Examples of book, the cheerful and the sad are his worst style would not suit our happily blended. The interest felt pages.


If we apply to literary commodi- in one month we have three authors ties the general mercantile rule, that in the field. Captain Cavenagh, demand creates supply, we are bound whose work preceded those of these to believe that the British public is in three gentlemen but by a few months, a fever of curiosity concerning Nepaul is a Bengal officer, writing from Dum and the Nepaulese. Such is the in- Dum, and publishing in Calcutta. ference naturally to be drawn from His successors are persons of very the almost simultaneous appearance various professions and social posiof four works relating to that country tion. A highborn naval commander, and people, at least two of which are whose life has been divided between manifestly mere speculations on the Belgravia and the quarterdeck, claims popular avidity, real or supposed, for precedence by rank, although the further information concerning the latest to appear. Just before him history, circumstances, and peculiari- came Mr Oliphant, a young lawyer ties of one of the most remarkable from Colombo, who in his turn had neighbours of our Anglo-Indian em- been anticipated by Captain Thomas pire. It is now just two years since Smith. We learn from the titlethe meteor-like apparition of the bril- page of this last-named writer that, liant Nepaulese ambassador and his from the year 1841 to 1845, he was showy suite flashed for a few weeks assistant political agent at Nepaul. through the tepid atmosphere of a From him, therefore, we had a right London season, causing a pleasurable to expect infinitely the best account excitement amongst used-up fashion- of that country, seeing that he passed ables and languid belles. The tawny, in it almost as many years as each jewel-bedecked strangers from the of the three other writers passed distant East, with their strange habits days. How far he profited by his and profuse expenditure, their ru- opportunities, and will bear commoured crimes and exploits, produced parison with his cotemporaries, we so great a sensation here, and were shall presently attempt to show. so evidently suggestive of scribbling At foot of this page we have placed to any one possessing a slight per- the names of two old but excellent sonal knowledge of Nepaul, and suffi- works upon Nepaul—those of Colonel cient literary skill to fabricate a book Kirkpatrick and Dr Hamilton. This concerning it, that we cannot but may at first seem superfluous, seeing wonder that, with the exception of that the two respectable quartos were Captain Cavenagh's meagre and un- published as long back as 1811 and satisfactory volume, no books upon 1819 ; but upon examination we have the subject have appeared until two found that some of the four moyears after the period of the Nepaul. dern works we have taken in hand ese mission to this country. Now, are so very largely indebted to the however, they come in crowds. With- colonel and the doctor, that we are

An Account of the Kingdom of Nepaul, fc. By Colonel KIRKPATRICK. London, 1811. 4to.

An Account of the Kingdom of Nepal. By Francis Hamilton, M.D. Edinburgh, 1819. 4to.

Rough Notes of the State of Nepal, its Government, Army, and Resources. By Captain ORFEUR CAVENAGH, 32d Regiment, Bengal Native Infantry. Calcutta, 1851.

Narrative of a Fire Years' Residence at Nepaul. By Captain THOMAS SMITH. London, 1852. 2 vols.

A Journey to Katmandu with the Camp of Jung Bahadoor. By LAURENCE OLIPHANT. London, 1852.

Journal of a Winter's Tour in India ; with a Visit to the Court of Nepaul. By Captain the Hon. Francis Egerton, R.N. London, 1852. 2 vols.

« PreviousContinue »