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ment: the last books of the Confes when they met him ;-these are the sions appeared in 1788; since which serious complaints and miseries of a period, new accounts have been gradu. Watchmaker's son, who, after forty ally appearing, almost yearly, to throw years of indigence and vagabondism, is light on his character and actions. admitted into the first societies and
The Memoires of Madame d'Epinay, friendships of Europe-lodged by mar. and Grimm's Literary Correspondence shals, caressed by duchesses, served in particular, renewed the whole con- with game by the very hands of a troversy, some twelve or thirteen years prince of the blood, and sought after since. There have been no less than by royalty itself, which introduction
eleven different publications Voyages he was obliged to refuse, because his bez
to the Hermitage, which is not three debauched life had entailed on him a leagues from Paris. And to crown all, disease, that rendered him incapable of
a work has appeared the other day, remaining in the antichamber for an I which has for its scope, an utter annis hour without retiring. His refusal 4 hilation of all the antagonists of the was nevertheless attributed to his in, philosopher.
dependence. Any one that has heard of the fam The verdict of English juries on mous Confessions, would suppose that unfortunate suicides is much the same, a life of the author was needless. But, and produced by the same motive, as besides that the Confessions are a closed the public opinion of Rousseau. The volume, even for men who have any word insanity is allowed to cover and regard for decency and their own dig- excuse his sins ;- the worst that ang
nity, they convey little intelligence of enemy can do, is to apologize for him, w that part of literary life which would and this is the attempt of the anthor
be valuable to know. The first six of the Life lately published. The work books are mere annals of debauchery, is merely one of compilation and re. which the wretched old man, when he search, it contains some letters that
wrote, dwelt on, in spite of years and have not before seen the light, and its FT disease, with a fondness that is dis- attempts at exculpation are narrowly
gusting. He confesses, with deep con spiteful, and at times ignorant (espetrition, having forsaken his friend in cially in the case of Hume) without an epileptic fit, and having purloined producing the least effect. The his, a piece of ribband; but he details tory of the works of J. Jacques, with with a jocularity and enjoyment in which it closes, and which is the on, conceivable, and without the least ly part of the volumes worthy of atsymptom of shame, habits and actions tention, had appeared word for word so filthy, so horrible, so beastly-our some years back, prefixed to an edition
language, thank heaven! has no name of "Émile," &c. i for them. The six last books, with Jean Jacques Rousseau was born at the exception of his account of his pro- Geneya in the year 1712.
He was ductions, which is extremely interest- bound apprentice, first to a registering, are a kind of thermometer of keeper, then to an engraver, from friendship, containing an accurate me whom he ran away; Having turned morial of kisses given and received, Catholic for food, he became a cate visits, slights, huffs, quarrels, myste chumen at Turin, then a lackey; after ries, and suspicions Diderot misses having inspired a noble family with an appointment with him-Grimm sits interest for him, he was in the high down in his chair--the young Duke of road to preferment, and even one of Villeroi quizzes him
for calling his dog the sons of his noble benefactor took Duke, and then changing it to Turks upon him to instruct the little vagafor fear of giving offence;
and this, he bond. Jean Jacques, however, vaobserves, brought a scolding on the pished, and occupied various stations Duke from his mamma, which made in a few years,-interpreter to a Greek
poor Jean Jacques's enemy for life archimandrite, a music-master, -a --the Marechale de Luxembourg did tutor;--gentleman of the chamber to Ma. not hug him tight enough aţ partingt dame de Warens; till having hit upon his friends did not shed tears of joy what he thought a discovery—a new
• Histoire de la Vie et des Ouvrages de J. J. Rousseau, par V. D. Musset-Pathay,
+ " Madame la Maréchale n’embrassa plusieurs fois d'un air assez triste; mais je ne sentis plus dans ces embrassements les étreintes de ceux qu'elle m'avoit prodigues il avoit deux ou trois ans," - Confessions, Livre XI,
with a child, whic
rience not only in conversation, but not how to commence or finish my he take up even when alone, and occupied with letter is a long and confused verbiagts de laxembourg thing clearly, and cannot write a word nothing of what I see. I see nothing being
mode of noting music, he set off for “Hence comes the extreme difficulty then the knack of di Paris in the year 1741, being nearly with which I compose. My manu- mile t, ahat they thirty years of age.
scripts are scratched, scribbled, juma' ume ei him all the Rousseau has given us, in his con- bled, illegible, and attest the pain sate ras, that he fessions, ample details of the develope“ they have cost me. There is not one Puig of insulting ment of his youthful intellect--they which I have not been obliged to tran me retection areimpossible to relate; suffice it to say, scribe four or five times ere I sent it no beness on their that they are a disgrace to human na- to press. I could never do any things in, and he bu ture. With the help of his father, J. with pen in hand over a table and pa- mm. And in reffer Jacques exhausted a library of roman- per :-it is in walking through rocks seiztion, he was ces at seven years of age, an occupa- and woods, in the night, while in bed tentomistrust. tion not likely to improve his tenden- and sleepless, that I write in my brain, swirian received cies. While at Madame de Warens, and people may judge with what dif- fe ini, and that M she sent him to M. D'Aubonne, a man ficulty and length of time, since I am
pa bi bist inse of intrigue, and an adventurer, to see totally deprived of all power of verbal andet for shat he what he was fit for. “The result of memory, and never in my life could i bradeperdists, a his observation was, that in spite of an retain six verses by heart. There are an entralizes und animated physiognomy and pleasing ex- some of my periods that I have turn- aber det enterie, I terior, he was, if not quite a fool,at least ed over and over in my head for six biznis hümn, to bas a child of little spirit, without ideas or nights, ere they were in a state to it, to make him ! acquirements, of a very limited capa be put on paper. Hence it is, that di (rich we can city, and that the highest honour he I have succeeded better in those kinds of tha) they rea could look forward to, would be at of composition which demand labour, most, a village curacy at some distant than in those which require lightness, and to eat heating day." Rousseau confesses that his ap- as letters species of writing of the interest be alles unfavourable impression. His remarks the tone, and which puts me to the bake msher. Alle pearance and conversation justified the which I have never been able to catch inte bis commend on the opinion of D'Aubonne are wor- torture. "I never write a letter on the same
with remote thy of quotation :
most trivial' subject that does not cost au tra they had a * This langour of thought, united me hours of fatigue ; or if I write is on the listed as with this vivacity of feeling, I expé- what first comes into my head, I know reflection, My ideas, arrange them that scarce can be understool when we de ore ficulty. They circulate dully-fer “It costs me this trouble not only ment in my mind to distraction, put to render my ideas, but to receivethem. me into a sweat and palpitation; in I have studied men ; I think myself an the midst of this
acute observer, nevertheless í know -I must wait.* Insensibly the dis- well but what I recall, and have no traction subsides, the chaos dissipates; power but in my recollections. Of all each idea steps into its place, but slow- that is said and done in my presence, ly, and after long and confused agita- I neither can perceive, nor penetrate tion. Have you ever seen the opera the motive—it is merely the exterior in Italy? During the changes of the sign that strikes me. But afterwards scene there reigns a long and
disagree- the whole scene returns--the place, the able disorder-all the decorations are time, the tone, the look, the gesintermingled, pulled and hawled about, ture, the circumstance,-nothing es and seem ready to overturn. Never- capes me. Then I find the motives theless, in an instant every thing is set and the meaning of all that was said to rights and arranged, and one is sur or done; and rarely am I deceived." prised to see such a tumult succeeded Confessions, Livre 3. by a delightful spectacle. Thus it is This sottish stupidity at the time with my brain when I would write. that presence of miud was most wantIf I had known at first to wait, and ing, and this habit of recollective pethen render into beauty the images netration afterwards, were the princithat have presented themselves, fex pal causes of all the miseries of the authors would have surpassed me. philosopher. Happy enough when in
Hier hand conjectured,
. This is a complete key to the philosophy of Jesn Jacques, and to that of temperament in general.
e extrement company, he had the knack of disco- in musical composition, he becomes pose. vering when he left it, that they had secretary to the French embassy at , scribik been making game of him all the time Venice. In this respectable and deattest t - the consequence 'was, that he took licate situation, which he obtained There is the first opportunity of insulting his through the interest of Madam De en obligadi friends. A little more reflection, ac Broglie, Rousseau conducted himself mes ee li companied with kindness on their part, with great integrity and credit, and his ever dow again undeceived him, and he hurried quarrel with the Chevalier Montaign, er a tehes to a reconciliation. And in reflecting and subsequent dismission by that og thone upon this reconciliation, he was sure wrong-headed ambassador, forms one ht
, whi? to fall back again into mistrust. Thus of the very few exceptions of a conrrite in wil he complains that Grimm received him tention in which Jean Jacques was in € with us en empereur Romain, and that Madam the right. time, seu D'Epinay forgave his first insolence Soon after this commences the era
power er merely to lay a plot for what he calls of his reputation--the Discourse on in my life bis ruin. The Encyclopedists, and all the Sciences and Arts, which won the art. To those whom he stigmatizes under the prize of the Dijon Academy. This esat I lage name of the Holhachich coterie, merely say is the gèrmeof Rousseau's opinions y head a wanted to humanize him, to have him all his subsequent writings are but
in as amongst them, to make him happy, an extension, of the same paradox. ice it and an atheist, (which was certainly The question proposed is, Whether in the very kind of them) :they read lec- the sciences and arts have tended to iemand is tures' to him, like a child, which' hurt purify or to corrupt general morals?
uire list him severely, and used very unwar- Rousseau chose the field for eloquence, of WÊ
rantable means, it must be allowed, to and supported the opinion of their ben able wi separate him from his commandantes ing the causes of corruption ; his sucits met
Therèse and her mother. All this was cess pointed out paradox to him as the leurs at first carried on with very kind in- easiest road to fame, and he failed not les Hy tentions, but when they had deserted to make good use of the discovery. rii him, and found that instead of beco- The author himself has confessed this Thed, I ming, as they had conjectured, utterly discourse to be void of all merit, not
forsaken, he was taken up by the withstanding, as Diderot observed,
Marechale de Luxembourg and the « it took above the clouds;" he has stod i grandees of the court; then no oubt recapitulated and summed up his opi
their hate grew black, and their hosti- nions on the subject many years after. letat lity treacherous.
-when he had had full time to con When Rousseau arrived in Paris, sider what he at first put forward has he presented his scheme for" noting tily--in the preface to “Narcissus." music to the Institute it was not con- He there allows the validity of the obsidered worthy of being followed up. jection, that literature, because it is He had also with him his comedy of attended with corruption, does not neNarcisse, for which he could gain no cessarily produce it; but then, says attention ; nor did it merit any. His he, books are produced by idleness, knowledge of music gained him the "and the desire of distinction, &c.~-hé acquaintance of Diderot, whose con- confesses the argument to be unanversation awoke his dormant predilec- swerable; and, as if he had never tions for literature. These were evin- heard of it, runs on, addle-headed, in ced by a curious occupation for a young the same strain. The controversy, on enthusiast. “Every morning," says either side, is not worth one moment's he, “about ten o'clock, I betook my- consideration, but it is a sample of the self to walk in the Luxembourg, with logic of Jean Jacques. There is a doubt a Virgil and a Rousseau in my pocket, whether he espoused in this case the and there occupied myself till dinner, side hostile to letters, of his own acendeavouring to learn by heart an ode cord, or by the suggestion of Diderot. or a burlesque, without thinking what Rousseau asserts, that the idea arose I learnt to-day was forgotten to-inor- in his mind, during a walk to see his tow.” At length he is introduced to friend, who was confined for his “ LetMadam Dupin, a lady of the first rank tres sur les Aveugles,” in the Donjon and fashion in the capital, and here he of Vincennes, and ushers it in with makes his debut by writing to the lady great effect, as they do the entrance of a declaration of love-he is forbidden heroes on the stage, with all kinds of the house. After-spending some time thunder and trumpets. " At the in
shades of intimacy which are so dis- pardoned me," says he, « for having a lavarburg
stant," says he," I saw another uni- materialists, who would belie their
"Enile” of summer, from Paris to Vincennes. a promise of any romantic attachment
. w opleted af Diderot tells another story, and quite The sentence of the latter, "none but *** Alekose." The as circumstantial, that Jean Jacques the wicked love solitude,” or some silts
, and both had determined on the same side of thing to that effect, was the commence-tytish which i the question, but that he shewed ment of the quarrel ;-mark the so "The men of the advantage of paradox-I induced phism by which Rousseau replies:- *a pinion conc him to take the part he did ;-the * If a man be alone, what harm can be unteer, and they question is not worth deciding. he offer to any one?" as if wickedness betsepto set it done
The discourse was written in 1749, consisted solely in our relations with sak Kichardon. and Rousseau quitted Paris for Monto others. But this was evidently his 138, "is Clarissa, morenci in 1756. These seven years morality: the least harm to another is ' Il Nusset-Patil may be considered the first epochs of marked by deep contrition in his Con- detail the origin his literary life ;-during it he professions, while the aboininable sins sa this imputatio duced the “ Devin du Village," and that he committed against himself are the Essay “. Sur l'Inégalite des Condie told without the least remorse. It was the net in which tions." This latter is a sequel of his at this period that Rousseau, who ta de primeipkes o first paradox, which he subsequently could not meet his friends without being sure berros carried to its extent in the Contrat So- tears in his eyes, packed off his five amending
. An act cial. The literary connexions which children, one after another, to the aid end with en had such influence on his future tem- foundling establishment at Paris ; the emelied to the « per and actions, and concerning which first was sent with a cipher, but even idées de l'E there have arisen so many subjects of that precaution was not thought worth eas Patarque
, da debate, were formed, or at least esta- taking with the others. Of this his coa Lanke, trois av blished, during this period. His chief enemies made a fertile subject of acintimacy was with Grimm, who was, cusation in the sequei; and, as may be peset out the at best, a worthless puppy; and with be supposed, all his attempts at excula Diderot, whose literary fame, already pation but aggravated his crime. established, did not allow him to meet After the success of his little opera,
Rousseau's friendship on an equality, in which Madame de Pompadour even
The very same omission is one beauty and retirement of the spot. of his chief complaints against David Madame d'Epinay made no remark on Humę, who, in one of his letters, as, the occasion, but immediately 'emserts, that he was much affected :- ployed workinen to fit up the resiRousseau, however, was not satisfied, dence, and leading Rousseau one day he wanted tears, and that from two unexpectedly to the place," My
belia the bear," says she, “ behold your asy- or the defects of the Heloise is need
less; it was written for a certain class .“ Emile" and " La Nouvelle Heo of society, and for certain manners and oinpizt loise" were produced in the solitude modes of living, now out of fashion leret read of the Hermitage. “Emile" was un even in France. For them it was a tache dertaken first, but completed after the moral work; for Mesdames d'Epinay, * mene de publication of “ Heloise." The latter d'Houdetot, and the circle around
was published in 1759, and nothing can them, it was a sermon; to us it move OMDEE equal the fury with which it was resembles an insult. We may conceive
sought after. '“ The men of letters an idea of the morals of the time from replia:
were divided in opinion concerning a passage in the Confessions-he is it," writes the author
, and they are so speaking of the success of this novel; ickeins yet
. The philosophes set it down as a « So inebriated were the women with ions mere imitation of Richardson. “He the book and its author, that there endly Siloise," say they, “ is Clarissa, Claire, was scarce one female, even of the
Miss Howe.” M. Musset-Pathay, in highest rank, of whom I could not his le attempting to defend the originality of have made a conquest, had I wished
Rousseau from this imputation, con- it. I have proofs of what I write," &e. zself nr: firms the opinion beyond a doubt, by And this is from a man of fifty, an old sto mentioning the note in which Rous- debauchee, “ revered and ruptured,"
seau combats the principles of Rich- as Canning says. wichert ardson-people always borrow under The “ Heloise" insured the success his fe
the name of amending. An accusation of “ Emile,” which, had it been pube of the same kind, and with equal jus- lished first, would most likely not tice
, was applied to the “ Emile ;" have produced many of the wonderful "Que le fond des idées de l'Emile est effects it has. All the people to whom tout entier, dans Plutarque, dans Mon- he read it in manuscript, fell fast taigne, et dans Locke, trois auteurs qui asleep; and he complains that St Lamétoient constamment dans les mains bert took ample vengeance of his treade J. J.” To point out the beauties son by snoring while the author read
Montmorenci had long the honour of giving its name to the proud family of the Constable of France. By one of the daughters of that house it passed into the posses. sion of the family of Condé, who changed its name to that of Anguien--the title that was borne by the unfortunate victim of Bonaparte. It is about four leagues north-west of Paris, situated on the declivity of a hill ; between it and the wood of Montmorenci & the valley of the Hermitage. Southward of the town was the chateau of the Marechale de Luxembourg, so often mentioned by Rousseau ; it was destroyed during the Revolution, but the celebrated terrace, described in the Confessions, yet exists, and presents the same splendid view lie loved to contemplate. The chateau Chemette was purchased after the death of Madame d'Epinay, by M. Sommeriva ; it is at the back of Ja Barre, facing the hill, and looks as gay as if it was yet inhabited by Madame d'Epinay and her various favourites.
The Hermitage is a great object of attraction for travellers; and an Auberge Anglais, on the little road that leads from the town to it, witnesses what country is most assia doeus in paying its respects. The house and garden passed, after Rousseau's death, into the hands of Grétry, the composer, whose bust and pillar, containing his heart, Kland in the garden, rather impudently rivalling the manes of Rousseau. There also stands in a niche, a very characteristic bust of Jean Jacques, surrounded with pencil acribbling, and beneath it is inscribed the reproachful tribute of Madame d'Epinay :
“ Toi dont les plus brûlants écrits Purent créés dans cet humble Hermitage,
Rousseau, plus éloquent que sage,
Pourquoi quittas-tu mon pays ?
Je te vois, je te lis, et tout est pardonné.” This was written when she was in dread of the Confessions, and is unjust, for she turned Rousseau out of the Hermitage.
The house at present belongs to Mr Flammand Grétry, who las written a thick poem on the subject of his habitation-we can speak as to nothing but its thickness Malf the mansion is at present occupied by a Scoich gentleman of the name of Camp