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endeavouring to re-establish monarchy and monarchical institutions. Count Ferrand was the man who suffered himself to be dislodged, like a blockhead, from his place of Directeur des Poster, and had the folly to ask his successor, Lavalette, (whose romantic deliverance is so celebrated,) for passports and post-horses before Napoleon had even entered Paris.
The third is M. de Boulogne, Bishop of Troye, who had acquired some degree of reputation for pulpit eloquence.
The Chamber of Deputies has lost three of its members, among whom the most conspicuous, and the most lamented, is General Foy. His death has given occasion to a display of noble and generous feelings, which, for their disinterestedness and simplicity, are perfectly unexampled in France. General Foy was indeed the perfect representative of the French character, with all its brilliant excellencies and dazzling defects.
Nor have literature and the arts sustained less heavy losses. Painting has been robbed of two of the men who had contributed the most to its advancement among us. Girodet, remarkable for the richness of his imagination, rather than for the sobriety of his composition, has left several pictures, among which the most celebrated, the Deluge, will be the soonest forgotten. But his beautiful studies of heads; his Hippocrates refusing the gifts of the King of Persia ; his Attala; his magnificent designs from Virgil; his sweet compositions from Anacreon, will be constantly perpetuated by the engraver, as models of the most fertile invention and the most refined taste. David, the founder of the French school, did not long survive Girodet. At the age of seventy-eight his imagination retained all its freshness; and his two last pictures, the dispute between Achilles and Agamemnon, and the parting of Eucharis and Telemachus, are full of indications of vigour and warmth of conception. Belgium afforded him an asylum in his exile, and the artists of that country paid him all the honours they could have bestowed upon a citizen.
Music has been deprived of Salieri, the learned composer of the Danaïdes ; and Geveaux, a composer of a very inferior class, but distinguished for grace and lightness. Astronomy has lost Burckardt; geography, Buache and Barbier du Bocage ; bibliography, the learned Barbier, author of the Dictionnaire des Anonymes et Pseudonymes, in which the new and amusing facts are, to say the least, as numerous as the blunders in the works of your Dibdin ; sculpture, Du Paty, an excellent citizen, but a very moderate sculptor; and natural history, Le Vaillant. Among those who adorned the other branches of our literature, Denon, Desfontaines, (the comic writer,) Fabre D'Olivet, Henry de St. Simon, Antignac, Courier, Peltier, and La Saune, have been successively swept off. La Saune was a very elegant didactic poet, of Delille's school. Antignac was one of the founders of the epicurean school of the Caveau moderne, so celebrated at the time at which Cambacérès and Grimod de la Regnière flourished. Peltier was better known in England than in France, from his French paper, the Ambigu, published in London, and from Sir James Mackintosh's splendid defence of him. Denon was equally well known to foreigners and to his own countrymen, for the captivation of his address and the exquisite tact of his conversation. It was he whom the Princess de Talleyrand mistook for Robinson Crusoe, and interrogated with such diverting naïveté as to the fate of his man Friday. She had heard that M. Denon was a great traveller and had written an account of his travels; and as her bookseller happened to send her Robinson Crusoe, she took for granted that must be the book. M. Henri de St. Simon was the founder of the school of Industriels, under whose auspices the Producteur comes out. He was worthy, by his eccentricities, to be a native of your free and happy shores. Only at his death was it known that he was a Marquis, a grand-nephew of the Duke de St. Simon, and a grandee of Spain of the first class. Fabre d'Olivet was a man of great learning. He was the author of a very curious work on the book of Genesis, in which he asserts that this curious piece of history has been hitherto misunderstood. He published the text in Hebrew, with a new translation, accompanied by a commentary whose claims to orthodoxy are not such as to make me venture to discuss its merits in your extremely biblical country.
Courier had, of late years, enjoyed a reputation popular beyond all example. Fifty thousand copies of his delightful anonymous pamphlets were sold within the first month of their appearance ; at the expiration of that time it was impossible to procure one. If he had lived a few years longer, he would probably have produced something not less powerful and effective than the letters of your celebrated Junius. M. Courier's style is, however, so distinguished by pleasantry, it is so tinged by local sentiments and allusions, that its success in any other country must be extremely inferior to that which it enjoys in France. He was assassinated in Touraine, just as he was preparing a work against the Jesuits. His murderer has not yet been discovered, and it requires no great skill in prophecy to predict that he never will.
We have also lost several very distinguished women. At their head I must place the celebrated Madame Krudener. She was the author of several works, among which is one of the most delightful novels in the French language ;-Madame la Marechale de Coigny, a perfect model of conversational wit and talent;-Madame du Fresnoy, author of several elegies, which breathe great tenderness of heart;-and, lastly, the beautiful Paulina Bonaparte, Princess Borghese. It is needless to enlarge on the captivations of the lovely Princess Paulina. They must be well known to your countrymen, whom she invariably received with peculiar favour and distinction. As for Madame Krudener, the institution of the Holy Alliance, and the mysticism of the Emperor Alexander, are sufficiently striking proofs of her influence and ascendancy.
I much fear that, with very few exceptions, the works published during the year 1825 will leave as slight an impression on the public mind as the death of Marshal Suchet, Duke of Albufera, or of any other person whose celebrity is puffed in a funeral oration, and forgotten the next day. The historical work of Thierry, on the conquest of England by the Normans, is perhaps the only one which will survive: it possesses originality and learning. I made a calculation the other day of the number of volumes published in Paris daily, and I discovered, to a perfect certainty, that they amount to from forty-five to forty-seven thousand. Nothing can be more easy of proof. The Journal de la Librairie appears twice a-week; each number contains near three hundred articles, that is to say, rather more than eighty per day. Of these articles, some are printed in editions of five hundred, others of from one to six thousand, copies. Taking one thousand as the average, we shall have eighty thousand; but in this number will be included pamphlets, prospectuses, advocates' bills, literary journals, numbers of Voltaire, Rousseau, and other voluminous writers, three of which go to make a volume. For these I make an ample deduction, by reducing the number nearly by one half. Well, of these forty-five thousand volumes a-day, what will survive ? If we judge by the past, we shall be alarmed-perhaps I ought to say consoled at the immense number of works which the waters of oblivion will speedily and utterly overwhelm, leaving not even their titles. But what does it signify? they have amused a few of our idle hours; fresh authors will have their turn, and not a single really valuable or productive idea will perish. One poet dies, another succeeds him, and clothes in a new garb ideas which have been current for ages; while additions to the stock of real wisdom and intelligence are made by every succeeding generation.
Twenty new volumes are now lying on my table ; let us open them at random, and see what we can find worthy to travel from one metropolis to another, and to divert our attention from the rumours of conspiracies at St. Petersburgh, and the triumphant and sanguinary elevation of the new czar.
Almanach des Gourmands! What an alluring title ! On opening it, I find it contains a very accurate gastronomic chart of France. It exhibits at one view the capons of Mans, the hams of Bayonne, the truffles of Perigueux, the mossy wine of Champagne, that, beloved of English lords, of Bourdeaux, the grapes of Fontainbleau, the patés of Strasbourg and of Limoges, the mutton of Pré-Salé, the oysters of Marennes. What riches! I beg to be excused from reading the kitchen style of the author, while I feast my eyes on the wonders displayed in his chart. I should be afraid of some disagreeable interruption to the course of my ideas.
But a professor of the gastronomic science next summons me to attend to his instructions. His title is vast and sublime-Physiologie du Gout, ou Meditations de Gastronomie Transcendante ; ouvrage théorique, historique, et à l'ordre du jour. Following the example of M. de Monteclos, that severe mathematician, who compiled a Dictionnaire de Geographie Gourmande, the author of the Physiologie du Gout, who is said to be a venerable and excellent judge of the highest court of France,* has amused his leisure hours by teaching the gentlemen of the bar how judges eat their oysters. This work is written somewhat in the style of your celebrated Walton's Angler; there is something of every thing; anecdotes, good, bad, and in
* M. Bryart de Savarin, Judge of the Court of Cassation--eighty years of age.
different; bits of history, chemistry, physiology; some serious, some jocose ; like one of those ambigus (cold suppers) which are given after a ball in the winter.
The most odd and incongruous materials are huddled together in M. Bryart de Savarin's two volumes. It might, however, be sometimes wished that, like those who figure at the balls and ambigus just mentioned, he had taken a little more pains to conceal or to decorate certain defects, which he exhibits in all their nakedness. The book is greatly inferior to Walton's in every respect, but it is not tiresome.
If you have the courage to attack a tiresome book, we must turn to a volume by the dull academician Quatremère de Quincy, entitled Histoire de la Vie et des Ouvrages de Raphael. M. Quatremère, who has taken upon himself the character of perpetual dictator of the fine arts, would think his dignity compromised by attempting any thing so light as to amuse his readers. He is a worthy disciple of the Austrian school; the firm advocate of repose,-or rather sleep,—in politics, in literature, and in civilization. Sleep he regards as the benefactor of the world ; and he does his best to shed darkness over the land, and to extend the empire of his favourite divinity.
M. Moreau de Jeunes is not as yet an academician in form, and has the only rank of correspondent; notwithstanding which he assumes the privilege of being as soporific as a real academician, and to prove to the satisfaction of every body his right to be admitted to the sanctuary, he multiplies his publications, and exhibits himself in every direction and in every aspect. I must, however, make one exception in favour of a work he has just published Sur le Commerce du Dixneuvième Siècle. It is by no means remarkable for large or profound views, but it has the merit of containing a considerable number of interesting facts. Do not, however, trust to what the French papers say about it. All their encomiums are collusive, and those who frequent the pit of this great theatre find no difficulty in recognising the performers, in spite of their masks and disguises, but foreigners may be imposed upon, and may believe all they read to be genuine and sincere.
The approach of the opening of the Chambers now brings new actors on the stage. The hostile parties are measuring their weapons. The death of General Foy leaves a chasm in the left side which it is impossible to fill. The whole struggle this session will, therefore, lie between the opposing factions of the right side. Already has the head of the absolutists, M. de la Boudonnaye, asked an audience of the King, to lay before his Majesty the course which his party intends to pursue, in case M. de Villèle continues at the head of administration. He told him that the ultra party, discontented at being paid in three per cents for measures antecedently taken, had determined to refuse the minister their votes. Well,” said the King, “ you mean then to vote with the Jacobins."- -“ We shall do,” replied M. de la Boudonnaye, “ as we did five years ago, when, by your Majesty's desire, we joined the Jacobins, for the purpose of overthrowing the Duke de Richelieu's administration.” The King, who is not happy at replies, said nothing, and left M. de la Boudonnaye rather mortified at his reception. There is not a spring that the ultras have not set in motion to displace M. de Villèle; but the King, who believes that the French Revolution would never have taken place had not Louis XVI., contrary to his advice, dismissed M. de Calonne, will not open the door to a fresh revolution by dismissing the man whom he calls his Calonne. Sosthenès himself, Sosthenès, so celebrated for his reforms in the morals of the opera house, and for his exploits against the independence of the public press, lost all his Deinosthenian eloquence on this occasion. The Abbé Latil, Archbishop of Rheims, intimated to him, that a certain great personage desired the removal of M. de Villèle, and that he was selected to give the minister to understand that his resignation would be extremely well received. Thereupon, our delighted Sosthenès, in the full belief that this great personage was the King, went to Villèle, and announced to him, that, in his tour through his province, he had found him universally detested ; that he had no support to hope from any party; that the court hated him as heartily as the city, the clergy as heartily as the court, and lastly, that the King himself was desirous of his removal from office. Villèle instantly went to the King, and declared that if such were his Majesty's wishes, he would instantly resign his portfolio. The King could not conceive what he meant, and learned with astonishment that Sosa thenès had led him into this blunder. He immediately sent for him. Sosthenès confessed that the Archbishop of Rheims was the person who had intrusted him with this commission. “ For the future," said the King, “ I beg you not to undertake such negociations. I don't understand the people of my household (as a citizen says to his footman) meddling in political matters.” Sosthénes retired, and the King said to M. de Villèle: “ What can be the matter with poor Sosthenès ? he seems to me quite altered.”—“ Indeed, sire," answered Villèle,“ he is so altered, that I can hardly believe him to be the same
He returned from his journey so strangely changed, that I really fear his brain is affected.” « The devil!” said the King, that may
he dangerous." “ He seems to me rather mad,” added M. de Villèle, “ from the language he held to me.” “If that be the case,” said the King,“ he must be kept a little at a distance. Besides, he is not a minister; let him keep to his own functions. I shall -always like him, but he must not meddle in politics ; that would completely craze him.”
Here, my friend, you have a little sketch of a late conversation. You may depend on the fact. I have still a great many things to tell you, among others, the scandal caused by some of our great ladies, two of whom have been forbidden to appear at court ;-the appearance of Madame Fodor, whose failure was complete, and of Madame Pasta, whose success was most triumphant, successively, in the part of Semiramis;—the success, not dramatic but patriotic, of the tragedy of Leonidas, and other matters equally grave and important; but this letter is already too long, and the patience of your readers is probably tired before my hand.-Yours,