Графични страници
PDF файл
ePub

GOSSIP FROM PA RI S.

(BY OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT.)

PARIS, August 18. would say, belong to that body, has been the MY DEAR CM,

cause of bringing to light many facts connected

with the famous Cabinet Noir, the existence of Of course the topic of the day is the fête of which has often been questioned and contested, the 15th of August, though not a few murmured but this point is easily proved. Here are some at the immense expense his majesty Napoleon details on the matter. It is not positively known III. put the Ville de Paris, and the Etat to, when it was founded : some say it was under (700,000 fr., half of which is paid by the former, Fouché ; but it existed before his time, and it is, and half by the latter) in order to do honour to owing to the revolution of July that it was himself; and great as was the regret of the pious abolished. The persons employed in the Cabinet Roman Catholics at the idea of his majesty Noir were all of the same family; and when after usurping the honours due on that day to the the first revolution this bureau was re-estabVirgin, (for the 15th of August is the fête de lished, this family, like those of the moyen age l'Assomption,) yet all united in acknowledging who exercised secret functions, formed marthat the fête was magnificent; there was wanting riages entirelyamongst themselves-uncles marnothing to render its success complete. One ried their nieces, cousins married cousins; as, had immense advantage it had over the 15th of Au- they done otherwise, they must have entered ingust of last year was, that everything was fin- to explanations respecting the source of their ished in time; there were no calico and paste- income-both difficult and dangerous. Under board decorations ; in fact, it was quite different, the Empire and the Restoration, no change was and undoubtedly superior to any of the fêtes of made in the organization of the Cabinet Noir : late years seen here. I am afraid I can give you the salaries of those employed varied from ten but a very imperfect idea of the tout ensemble. to twenty-five thousand francs. The bureau was The Champs Elysees, the Place de la Con- situated near the cabinet of the Director-General corde, and the Tuileries Gardens, were orna- of the Post Office, and the employés arrived mented with walls, arcades, and porticoes, in the there at five o'clock in the morning, by a secret mauresque style; it was like an immense Al- entrance in the rue Coq-Héron. The Cabinet hambra, raised by a fairy's wand beneath the Noir was divided into two sections—that of the trees of the Champs Elysées and the Tuileries. décachetage and that of the récachetage, the

The architectural lines of this construction first to open the letters, the latter to re-seal were formed by lathes disposed in arabesques ; them; and here were furnaces, alembics, and prethe colonnades of the lower part were painted parations so skilfully mixed as to take the im. yellow; the arcades, rounding the upper part of pression of the most complicated seals, without the columns, were red; the cornices, green. omitting the smallest details, and which, hardenAbove the cornices rose dented battlements ing quickly, served to restore them immediately in the Arabian style; on this were placed small to the state in which they had been before they lamps in different coloured glass, which when had been broken; besides this, the measures lighted in the evening, presented the most bril- taken to defeat them in the way of wafers, gums, liant effect it is possible to conceive.

and pastes, were quickly and easily combated by The fireworks were most magnificent, for the continual improvements and discoveries those who were well placed to see them; unfor- carried on in this branch of the office. tunately for the mass, the effect was imper- To the other section was entrusted the examifect.

nation and the copying of the letters, which, Admission gratis was given at all the the though sent afterwards to those for whom they atres ; at the Français, Målle. Rachel played in were destined, contained matters which it was “Phèdre;" her success was perhaps even greater considered worth while communicating to the than usual; and on such an occasion it was the authorities, either police, judicial, or administra. more flattering, as being more sincere ;-the tive. real enthusiasm of the mass, not the paid ap- Under the Restoration, part of the result of plause of the claquers, and partial private friends. the examination of letters was communicated But I must close this, alas! poor and imperfect only to the king, personally, by the Directeurdescription, my dear C.; I hope you may have a Général des Postes himself: this functionary was better from eye-witnesses ; and so many of our thus the only one of the five director-generals compatriots came over expressly for the fete who acted immediately with the king, on this that you can hardly fail, I should think.

part of the service. Under the empire, NapoThe late affair of the Correspondants étran- leon, occupied with graver matters, and fregers, that is to say, their arrest and trial, which quently absent from Paris, did not require to has given rise to so much discussion, besides have an account rendered every day of the result the interest such a subject naturally possesses of the explorings of the Cabinet Noir ; however, for us, who in a “umble way," as Úriah Heep M. Lavolette, who had been an aide-de-camp of

وو

the Emperor, and whom he afterwards appointed has come to the notice of some antiquarian who Directeur Général des Postes, was authorized to has appreciated it as a treasure, rather than communicate with him personally, or to write that it has been sold as old iron, which alas ! to him when he had any important revelation to seems to be but too probable. make.

I hear Mrs. Beecher Stowe was greatly disapPolitical interest was the first cause or pretext pointed in her visit bere; but this was through for the establishment of the Cabinet Noir ; but no fault of the Parisians, who fully appreciated the discoveries made were not confined to the “Uncle Tom," and desired exceedingly, to police and official authorities only; scandal prove their sympathy with, and admiration for profited not a little by them. Louis XV. took the efforts of, Mrs. Beecher Stowe in behalf of great delight in having every day repeated to her brethren ; but the announcement that, this him the scandalous adventures, love intrigues, distinguished authoress had arrived in Paris, and family secrets, which the operations of the and had quitted Paris, were known simultaCabinet Noir, which then existed, brought to neously. Many were the expressions of regret liglan. Louis XVIII. followed this worthy ex- that her presence had not been made known, ample with equal pleasure. Under the Restau- and an opportunity thus afforded of offering that ration, as many as five hundred letters a day, in- homage which Mrs. Stowe so fully merits. cluding all those of the ambassadors, were with- One of the directors of a journal, remarkable drawn; this was so well known, that, as these let- for its staunch adherence to the Napoleon printers were distributed an hour later, an individual ciples, was agreeably surprised, the other day, at remained at the bureau to dispatch what was receiving an invitation to St. Cloud, where the designated l'envoi des Ambassadeurs; these Emperor was then, and is now, I believe, stayletters were opened with such skill, that no ing; numerous were the conjectures which trace of their having been broken remained on arose in his mind as to what could be the object the seal; the ciphers, the armorial bearings, were of this gracious invitation, and visions of a new intact; it was impossible to guess from their rank in the Legion d'Honneur, of a Senatorship, appearance that they had been opened. It is perhaps, floated before his eyes. Not without a said, that sometimes political letters were kept certain degree of agitation he presented himself back twenty-four hours, in order to give time at St. Cloud. He is complimented on his talent to make copies of them.

in turning tables and invoking spirits, which In one instance, a member of the cabinet de- art it appears he possesses to a remarkable departed from the rule established, and married gree. It is natural to suppose the invoker of the daughter of a celebrated actor of the Theatre spirits was a little disappointed; however, he Français ; chance having led sometime after- had tact and esprit enough not to exhibit these wards to the discovery of the nature of his em- feelings, but contented himself with the exployment, the community of the theatre were hibition of his powers with the tables, which indignant at the alliance which the daughter of turned, and related more or less curious facts ; their comrade had formed, and considered it a the spirits also knocked their answers to the cause of regret for the honour of the Comedié numerous questions put to them, in a most Français.

amiable manner.

I hear that since the Eastern But their sec

was generally well guarded, question has occupied the public, the tables have for every reason. The proof of this is shewn in had no rest; and as they have no particular hour the instance of a learned director of the chemical for their audiences, or consultations, like the operations of the Cabinet Noir, during the last ministers and doctors, they are harassed mornyears of the Restoration, being elected membre ing, noon, and night, by questions on the subtitulaire of the Academie des Sciences, without ject of the tour, and there is a fall or rise at the one individual of this illustrious corps sus- Bourse according to the opinions which the pecting the nature of the functions of their new tables express. One of the clergy, the Abbé confrère ; when the discovery was made, it was Bautain some say, has just published a brochure impossible to annul the election, and it was not to prove the fact that it is the devil who gives generally known.

the answers which are attributed to the tables Animmense number of old houses, interesting and guéridons. from historical events connected with them, A railway library has been established here: have been pulled down in consequence of the it is only surprising that it has not been in exislate improvements, and demolitions going on in tence long ere this, as in England. I hear it Paris

. ' A short time ago, amidst a heap of succeeds very well; certainly, the originator of planks, doors, window frames, and old iron the idea deserves the gratitude of such of his exposed for sale, was to be seen a balcony fellow-creatures as must spend a portion of their which had belonged to a house in the rue Bét- time in railway carriages, particularly if they hisy, and to which was attached a placard, on travel through an ugly, uninteresting country. which was written the following inscription, Les Memoires de la Baronne d'Oeber-kirch "Balcon de la fenetre fait tué l'Amiral de sur la cour de Louis XIV., et la Société FranColigny;" and this was perfectly authentic

. çais, avant 1789, has just appeared, and I at a treasure for an antiquarian! yet, here it venture to predict that the lovers of memoirs was, exposed for sale, not for its weight in gold, will be disappointed in reading them; there but for the price of its weight in iron, and for á having appeared so many interesting works on lung time it found no purchaser; let us hope it that period, that it has become very difficult to

satisfy the desire for detail, which forms the in- | living thing being found in this vicinity; when terest of works of this sort. It is not that the they perceive a fight of ducks alight on the Baronne's description shows want of observation, water, plunge, and in fact behave themselves just or of taste; but she did not live in Paris, or at as vulgar ducks in a vulgar duck-pond might the court. She appeared there three or four do. Beautiful insects in bronzed and golden times, and recounts what she saw; but that of colours were seen running about the rocks, and course was very little, particularly in comparison crows sailed and croaked around, without any with the authors of those memoirs who lived en apprehension of danger. Whether on this point tirely in this society, and who relate everything M. de Saulcy be right, or his opponents, I canthey saw and heard. Unfortunately, appearing not pretend to judge ; but this is what he states at this moment, the book is dedicated to his Im- in the 153rd page of his first volume. He perial Majesty, (not Napoleon III., the Baronne tasted the water, which he describes as having at had not the gift of prophecy) the Emperor Nicho- first no taste but that of common sea-water; las of all the Russias. The Baronne died in but that after having it for the space of a second 1803, so we must not blame her ; but it is in the mouth, he was obliged to spit it out : it a pity that her grandson, the Count de Mont- had a taste of salt, coloquintida, and oil, and left brison, did not either pospone their publication a burning sensation in the mouth-no fish can or suppress the dedication. Jasmin, the poet, exist in this water, and no animal can drink it. was invited to dinner at St. Cloud, a short The believers in somnainbules are anxiously time ago.

After having delighted and moved awaiting the result of a search which is being all those present by his teaching and poetical made under the direction of two somnambules recitals, he profited by the impression he had of St. Pavin, (Sarthe). It appears that they produced to demand the recal from exile assert that the figures in silver, representing of M. Bazel, which the Emperor granted the Twelve Apostles, which during the revoluhim unconditionally. Jasmin was known to tion of '93 were stolen from Saint Julien, are say, some time previously, that if he were ever buried in a certain spot which they have indicaadmitted to the presence of the Emperor, he ted. During the space of two months, workmen should not forget the poor proscribed children had been employed digging, to discover these of France; it is creditable to him to see that figures, when the spade of one of the diggers when the moment came he was as good as his came at length on a thick beavy plank; on word, and it is also gratifying to see that the raising it up, the following inscription was Emperor appears to be relenting, not only in found traced on it, M. I. S. T. I.; F. 1.; C. A. this instance, but I hear that numerous pardons T. I. O. N. Conjecturing that this inscription are about to be granted to those, syhose crime has bore reference to the place of concealment, the been that of differing in opinion from the govern- plank was carried to a savant, or learned man ment at present established in France.

in St. Pavin, to see if he could aid them in A work as different in style, and in subject, discovering the mystery, and after some search as can well be imagined, from the memoirs of and reflection, he deciphered the inscription, to the Baronne d'Oberkirch, is the “ Voyage au- which he attributed the following meaning :tour de la Mer Morte et dans les Terres Bib. Mortel, ici sont tresors inconnus ; fouille intre liques, by F. de Saulcy. The descriptions he gives piedment; car Apôtres t'attendent, just paces of this land, so full of serious and interesting ouest-nord. Mortal, here are unknown treaassociations, are worthy of the subject. Speak- sures; search bravely; for the Apostles wait for ing of the appearance of the Dead Sea, he does you, lying north-west. not describe it as having that sinister aspect l' On this indication, the direction of the search attributed to it by so many travellers, but as was changed from the north-east to the northhaving the appearance of a beautiful lake. west; but as yet there has been no result, or at Through the water, he remarked a whitish tinge, any rate it is not known. But the soinnamı. which bordered the edge of the shore, and which bules excite but little interest comparatively, is produced by the salt, becoming chrystal- since the tables have become so communicative. lized beneath. Descending the mount, M. de And now I must say farewell, till next inonth, Saulcy and his companions find themselves on the my dear C., always shore of the Dead Sea; they wish to acquire the

Yours faithfully, proof of what they had so often heard, of no

P

HONEYCOM B.

TRUTH.-There are some faults slight in the indignation which we profess to fecl at deceit absosight of love; some errors slight in the estimate of lute, is only at deceit malicious. We resent calumný, wisdom ; but truth forgives no insult, and endures | hypocrisy, and treachery, because they harm us, no stain. We do not enough consider this; nor not because they are untrue.

Take the detracting enough dread the slight and continual occasions of and the mischief from the untruth, and we are little offence against her. We are too much in the habit : offended by it ; turn it into praise, and we may be of looking at falsehood in its darkest associations, | pleased with it. And yet it is not calumny, nor and through the colour of its worst purposes. That treachery, that does the largest sum of mischief in

the world; they are continually crushed, and are of letters,' for which each felt a real, not fictitious felt only in being conquered. But it is the glisten- filial devotion, seem to have been held sufficient ing and softly spoken lie, the amiable fallacy, the grounds for commencing and continuing a friendly patriotic lie, of the historian, the provident lie of correspondence between those who had never met, the politician, the zealous lie of the partizan, the save on that common field of intellect." merciful lie of the friend, and the careless lie of LITTLE CHILDREN.-I am fond of children. I each man to himself, that cast that black mystery think them the poetry of the world—the fresh over humanity, through which any man who pierces, Howers of our hearths and homes-little conjurors, we thank as we would thank one who dug a well in with their "natural magic,” evoking by their spells the desert; happy, in that the thirst of truth still what delights and enriches all ranks, and equalizes remains with us, even when we have wilfully left the different classes of society. Often as they bring the fonntains of it. It would be well if moralists with them anxieties and cares, and live to occasion less frequently confused the greatness of a sin with sorrow and grief, we should get on very badly withits unpardonableness. The two characters are alto- out them. Only think, if there never was anything gether distinct. The greatness of a fault depends anywhere to be seen but great, grown-up men and partly on the nature of the person against whom it women! How we should long for the sight of a is committed, partly upon the extent of its conse- little child! Every infant comes into the world quences. Its pardonableness depends, humanly like a delegated prophet, the harbinger and herald speaking, on the degree of temptation to it. One of good tidings, whose office it is “to turn the class of circumstances determines the weight of the hearts of the fathers to the children,” and to draw attaching punishment; the other, the claim to re- “the disobedient to the wisdom of the just.” A mission of punishment. And since it is not easy child softens and purifies the heart, warming and for man to estimate the relative weight, nor possible melting it by its gentle presence; it enriches the for them to know the relative consequences of crime, soul by new feelings, and awakens within it what it is usually wise in them to quit the care of such is favourable to virtue. It is a beam of light, a nice measurements, and to look to the other and fountain of love, a teacher whose lessons few can clearer condition of culpability, esteeming those resist. Infants recal us from much that engenfaults worst which are committed under least temp- ders and encourages selfishness, that freezes tho tation. I do not mean to diminish the blame of the affections, roughens the manners, indurates the injurious and malicious sin, of the selfish and delibe- heart; they brighten the home, deepen love, inrate falsity; yet it seems to me that the shortest vigorate exertion, infuse courage, and vivify and way to check the darker forms of deceit, is to sustain the charities of life. It would be a terrible set watch more scrupulous against those which have world, I do think, if it was not embellished by little mingled, unregarded and unchastised, with the cur- children.- Rev. T. Binney's Both Worlds." Fents of our life. Do not let us lie at all. Do not EQUITABLE WAGE QUESTION. - There lived think of one falsity as slight, of another as harmless, and died at Bristol, within the last half century, a and another as unintended. Cast them all aside; merchant of most Quixotic notions and eccentric they may be light and accidental; but they are an ugly habits. He thought fit to set at defiance “ordinary sort from the smoke of the pit, for all that; and it is trade ideas,” and practically reversed the commerbetter that our hearts should be swept clean of them, cial maxim — Every man for himself. Oddly without our care as to which is largest or blackest. enough, he determined to draw a distinct line beSpeaking truth is like writing fair, and comes only tween duty and iuterest. He pursued this strange by practice; it is less a matter of will than habit, course so far as actually to treat his men as indeand I doubt if any occasion can be trivial, which pendent and intelligent co-operators in the work of permits the practice and formation of such a habit.life; and where he did not find them so, he left no To speak and act truth with constancy and pre- means untried that might make them so. He cision, is nearly as difficult, and perhaps as merito- traded not with their necessities, but liberally suprious, as to speak it under intimidation or penalty; plied the wants of the indigent. He educated their and it is a strange thought, how many men there children, threw around their homes all the beauties are, as I trust, who would hold to it at the cost of and attractions of social life, and by shortening the fortune or life, for one who would hold to it at the period of labour, sent them home early to enjoy and cost of a little daily trouble. And seeing that, of improve their evenings with their families. There all sin, there is perhaps no one more fully opposite is an anecdote that shows the consistency with which to the Almighty, no one more “wanting the good of ho carried out his peculiar course, and it represents virtue and of being,” than this of lying, it is surely him every Friday evening stationed at a certain a strange insolence to fall into the foulness of it on door by which the labourers made their exit, with light, or on no temptation; and surely becoming an a basket in his hand, filled with iniuute packages honourable man to resolve that, whatever sem- in paper. As the men passed, a package was slipped blances or fallacies the necessary course of his life into the hand of each, and one would find that he may compel him to hear or to believe, none shall dis- had a present of five shillings, another of three, turb the serenity of his voluntary actions, nor another of half-a-crown, and so on, each discerning diminish the reality of his chosen delights.”-in his gift an estimate of his diligence. Men who Ruskin's Seven Lamps of Architecture.

mentioned to him improvements that had occurred INTELLECTUAL FRIENDSHIPS.-“How very de- to them for any part of the business, he would thank lightful it must have been,” says the biographer of and reward handsomely. And then, at stockOlympia Morata, “ to live at a period when ties not taking, he invariably made gifts. Every sign of of a mere congeniality of pursuits, but of positive industry and of sincere interest in the establishinent good will and affection, seem to have united in one gave hiin satisfaction. When the year wound up common bond the members of what might really well, the pleasure was not all with the principal ; for then with propriety (as constituting a distinct com- those whose diligence and talent had a share in munity) have been styled the literary world. Kindred gaining the result, found also that they had a share studies, the power of drinking at the same classic in the reward. Stock-taking became to them a matfountain, zeal for the advanceinent of that. republic I ter of personal interest, and they would often in

quire, “Hope you find things satisfactory, sir ?" | men, broken down in heart on account of the death Surely it must be far more cheerful for a master to of their master! There is a lesson to be learnt in feel that those around him have some pleasure in this fact. Such a monument as this above a mau's his success, than to know that it is indifferent to grave, it has been well remarked, costs a price, and them; because they are aware that, however large it must be paid for in a man's own life-time, and the cake may be, he will eat it all alone.” His men by his own hand. In business this man was keen all testify to the truth of these statements. One, -deliberately, consistently, methodically keen. He with a fine glow of good feeling, said, when ques- could buy as scarcely any other man could buy; and tioned, “ He never had a good year but I was the sell as scarcely any other man could sell. “He was better for it when stock-taking came. Another, a an Athletes on the arena of trade"-conquered he young man with whom he had taken great pains, would not be. And yet, with all this sagacity, and said—“At stock-taking he has sometimes given me tact, and knowledge of mankind, we find him lenda hundred pounds at a time.” The same young man ing himself to promote such extraordinary practices told also of the strange conduct of his master when as those I have mentioned. Yes, we behold a great calling on him one evening-“Seeing the three man actuated by a high sense of duty, and justice, children, he said he would like to make them a and worldly wisdom; he throws away the advan. present, and when he went home gave him a ten tages that accrue to the man who acts upon the spipound note for each of thein.” Curious, good reader; rit of our received commercial maxims—who makes was it not? Little Miss Flirt might probably press self his duty; and in their place maintains that her finger on her lips, and whisper softly, as Mr. “humanity, like honesty, is the best policy," and Budgett passed, “ Rather, m- ; rather, m—." “liberality is the truest economy.”-F. R. S. “ Well, but of course," you say,

“ this man died insolvent!" Remark the sequel. From a very TAB STARS.—When I gaze into the stars, they humble rank he rose rapidly to become one of the look down upon me with pity from their serene and most affluent and respected citizens of Bristol-in silent spaces, like eyes glistening with tears over the fact, one of the order of merchant princes. The little lot of man. Thousands of generations, all as tears of those whose interests he had so carefully noisy as our own, have been swallowed up by Time, considered, fell thickly upon the receptacle of his and there remains no record of them any more. mortal remains, testifying to all beholders that in | Yet, Arcturus and Orion, Sirius and Pleiades, are him, the departed, his people had lost a friend in- still shining in their courses--clear and young as deed. “Rarely,” says the Bristol Times of that when the shepherd first noted them in the plain of week, “has a neighbourhood suffered a greater loss Shinar! What shadows we are, and what shadows in the death of a man.” Upwards of two hundred we pursue !--Carlyle.

OUR LIBRARY TABLE.

Life of Benjamin Haydon, Historical brought up; possessed from childhood with a Painter; from his Autobiography and Journals. taste for drawing, the “discourses” of the Edited and compiled by Tom Taylor. 3 Vols. eloquent President of the Royal Academy de(Longman and Co.)— The Atheneum pronounces cided him on making this art his profession; this work a more sterling and interesting ad- and while yet a mere boy, he started for London, dition to English biography than the life of to study painting at his father's cost. Even in Moore. It is full of anecdote, character, and this act the fierce I will ! which seems to have instruction, and richly repays the reader for the been the watchword of his impetuous nature, time occupied in its perusal. “From his boy- evidences itself in scorn of all consideration of hood upwards [to quote the language of the his father's circumstances, which were greatly above authority) poor Haydon was one of those embarrassed at the time, and further jeopardized who fall perversely wrong in life ; who are reso- by the absence of a young, active assistant, calute to break fate and circumstance in accordance pable of reviving the decaying business. Yet we with their own will and pleasure, without having can sympathize with the ambitious dreamings ever considered that though there are things of infelt genius, conscious of latent power, which can be broken, there are others that resolute to make it felt, though we miss resist the most arrogant determination. * * the noble self-sacrifice and endurance that, in so Conscious of his own energy-hot with admira- many instances have gone hand-in-hand with it, tion of his own purposes-aware that he had and converted, for the time, the man into a no common strength in attack, in persistence, martyr-only, however, to crown him in the in aspiration-never was man less sufficient to future with the double chaplet of virtue and himself than Haydon-never was man driven to success. Haydon early won the friendship of greater abasement in the vindication of his Fuseli, of his first meeting with whom he gives Aaming and fiery independence.” The son of a a laughable account:-"| deliberated a minute bookseller at Plymouth (for his family, though or two,” he says, “and at last, making up my an old and honourable one in Devonshire, had mind to see the enchanter, I jerked up

the fallen off in worldly circumstances), young knocker so nervously that it stuck in the air..! Haydon received his education at St. Mary's looked at it, as much as to say 'Is this fair?' School, where Reynolds had likewise been and then drove it down, with such a devil of a

and

[ocr errors]
« ПредишнаНапред »