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time the frightful claws of fanaticism, and make it hold its infernal voice.” When labouring in a good cause he did not care whom he addressed. One day it was M. de Jaucourt, another M. de Trudaine, one day Madame de Pompadour, another Madame du Barry; and he did not care even if he was deemed importunate.
There is reason to believe that he received substantial aid in his colonial projects from the Empress of Russia, the Kings of Prussia, Poland, Denmark, and Sweden, as well as from France (except Louis XV., who never liked him), great names, to whose countenance he always appealed when attacked by fanaticism. When these resources were exhausted, he directed his indomitable energies to advancing the interests of the watchmakers, who we have before seen constituted a large portion of his "colonial” population. To the Duchess of Choiseul and to Madame the Countess d’Artois, he wrote: “May we take the extreme liberty to send
you from our convent the six watches which we have just made at Ferney? We deem them to be both very pretty and very good; but all authors have that 'opinion of their works-a colony and a manufacture are terrible things." To Marshal Richelieu he wrote : « The artists of my colony, my lord, who have supplied, by your orders, a watch with diamonds, for the marriage of the Countess d'Artois, cast themselves at your feet.” To Madame du Barry he wrote: “You protect the arts in France ; may I hope that you will protect our efforts ? I shall deem myself well rewarded for having established a colony of industrious artists, for having acquired to his majesty more than six hundred new subjects from foreign countries, and for having changed a poor and unhealthy little hamlet into a kind of little town, sufficiently pretty, if my labours should meet with your approbation. The watch which I have the honour to present you is unfortunately not à répétition.” So far for solicitation. Another moment he was up in arms.
That with him was inevitable in all matters. The correspondence now before us exhibits him fighting for communal rights, for draining privileges, against imposts, against the intolerance of the clergy, and the edification of his church. It was the same with his watches : he declared that an army of alguazils, enemies of mankind, were engaged in impeding their sale. It was not only an unheard-of system of violence and robbery, it was insufferable. “If I have not justice done to me,” he wrote,
“I shall shut up Ferney and my other domains, and I shall go and die in my “ Délices," without ever again placing my foot on French soil. I have sought for liberty and repose in my old age, they have taken them away
I would rather eat black bread in Switzerland than be tyrannised over in France."
Another moment he was disturbed, or simulated to be disturbed, by the idea of bandits. One of his letters speaks of a troop led by the sister of Mandrin; another, of the mysterious appearance of individuals, smugglers or thieves, the description of whose persons and their traces, he said, could be indicated. He actually threatened to assume the defensive. “Father Adam,” he says, in one of these letters,
handle a gun with effect, and I have a little bayonet, about four inches and a half long, which I shall not fail to use. We will put even the boys under arms." With Voltaire, all the petty details of life invariably assumed the magnificent proportions of national interests, and his fears became so
exaggerated that he actually demanded that a battalion should be quartered at Ferney!
He had, however, his moments of consolation and rejoicing. He wrote, in 1776, to M. de Rebecque: “Our little territory of Gex is much changed; we are now almost as free as you are: we have driven away seventy-two rascals, who devastated the country, and robbed us in the name of the farmers-general.” (Were these the kind of robbers against whom he was going
to arm, and to subdue whom he asked for the aid of a battalion ?) “ They no longer come to pillage the houses of the inhabitants ; fathers of families are no longer sent to gaol for having put a handful of smuggled salt into their pots. The country is drunk with joy. This great revolution has cost me much hard work; I have been obliged to get sometimes out of my bed to write, but public happiness renders all fatigues light.”
There is no doubt that Voltaire had much to congratulate himself upon. The little territory of Gex, “ geographically separated,” say MM. Evariste Bavour and A. F., " from France by Mount Jura," had been depopulated by the repeal of the Edict of Nantes, and could no longer respond to the exigencies of the farmers-general, who employed a ruinous and vexatious army of tax-gatherers to exhaust the already unfortunate inhabitants. Voltaire advocated the substitution of a regular and normal impost to these forced levies, and by his perseverance he obtained his point with the minister Turgot.
The letters now before us furnish sufficient proofs of how much the poor people of Gex were really indebted to the philosopher who took up his abode among them. Numerous as are the letters and works already published as emanating from the same inexhaustible fountain, it is remarkable that such a sketch as that we have just given of his life at Ferney could not have been written without the additional light derived from the correspondence eliminated by the laborious researches of MM. de Cayrol and Alphonse François, and again by MM. Evariste Bavoux and Alphonse François. They are as complete, in regard to Ferney, as the correspondence with the President de Brosses was with regard to that most singular and strange episode in his life, the acquisition of Tournay. Voltaire, shut up in his study at Ferney, or in his park; Voltaire, as he himself expressed it, in the midst of his vassals, enriched, enlightened, emancipated by him; Voltaire lord of his village, and liberal, or philosopher, as he was then called, is here presented to us under a peculiarly local and curious aspect: it is not, as the editor of the correspondence justly remarks, a full-length portrait, but it is a very characteristic medallion.
A COQUETTE'S CAMPAIGN.
FANE COMES DOWN FOR THE SPRING MEETINGS,
DEAR old Brazenbricks! how often I think of its “hall dinners and infernal port;" its grey walls and pleasant banks ; its roistering wines and jolly good fellows ; of its skating from Cambridge to Ely; and the rattle cross country to see the Two Thousand run ; of our billiards and beer at Brown's, and our hard hits with the Oxford Eleven;
flirtations with Cherryhinton barmaids and King's-parade milliners, and the raw chops we swallowed, and the many pipes we abjured with such Spartan stoicism when we were getting ourselves in that prime training which ultimately produced the bumping of King's and Corpus, and the glorification of the Brazenbricks Eight. Those were jolly days; what college man will not say the same, save those saps to whom life is one vast lexicon, and green tea all the Falernian they know? They were jolly days, though when we were gated, and lectured, and rusticated for a lark at some défendu public, or a few rounds at a Town and Gown row, we used to swear that we were kept as strictly as little chaps in petticoats at a preparatory academy. A preparatory academy in its own way we certainly were at; and with all due deference to those individuals who fill the journals with complaints that the much-abused young men of England” (who, I do not expect, are much worse than their respected governors were in the Regency time) are not quite as quiet and orderly as school-girls when their governess's eye is on them, I fancy those vigorous pulls up the Cam; that cheating through thick and thin to which we fell a prey from wine-merchants and livery-stablekeepers ; that rub against all styles and orders of human nature, good, bad, and indifferent; that waste of some little tin, that gain of much more expe. rience, that spending of hot young blood and wild young spirit (which have made the most venerable Moses knock down his Egyptian, take my word for it, some time or other in his fiery youth), prepared us more efficiently for the mills, both great and small, for which we should have to buckle on the belt in the great world, than if we had been imprisoned as carefully as they could wish with Scripture prints in lieu of Derby favourites on our walls, temperance champagne instead of bishop, and disputed passages of authors dead and gone for many a thousand years in the place of our Times, our Punch, and our Bell's Life, with which we are kept au courant with the living and breathing world in which we were to take our share when we departed from the academic shades of Granta. Dear old Brazenbricks ! of all the many men on whose heads our beloved Mater places her distinguishing mortar-boards, there were not a better nor a faster set of fellows than those in my year.
We never, that I know, took any remarkable honours to be spoken of, except, perhaps, when little Pilchard, by a special providence, squeezed himself among the Optimists, as his governor had vowed to disinherit him if he did not do something before he left; or when Larky Levison got the wooden spoon, with an idea it might propitiate a crusty old guardian, on whom, unluckily, it had quite a contrary and unanticipated effect, but I can tell you we helped to beat the Oxford Eight at Putney, and aided in thrashing the Lord's men and All England, too, and in a Town and Gown row, or when the rascally rabble came down upon us when we were playing golf, Brazenbricks always held its own, and held it high and proudly too. They were a jolly set of fellows: there was Mortimer Calvert, the tenth scion of Lord Fashingcheque, who, in common with many of the pillars of the British aristocracy, had not a shilling to help himself with, but managed to drop a good many cool hundreds over the Spring Meetings for all that ; and there was Jimmy Dashaway, the wickedest little imp that ever wore a fellow commoner's gold lace ; in to-day's paper I see he is appointed to the living of Boshcum-Bumble, in the western counties. Heaven help his parishioners ! their fields will be ploughed by his hunter's hoofs, but I do not fancy their souls will get much tilling; however, the Church is the only one left of the good old sinecures, and if brain were needed for preferment in that line, Heaven knows our pulpits would be empty through the land. There was Bitter Butts, too, as we called him, because he was son and heir of that princely individual who, having made two millions at the manufactory of that famous beverage Butts's Bitter Beer, had set to work to make his son a gentleman, a thing not done in a day, but wanting something like the thirty descents that the French army, in aristocratic times, used to exact ; and there was dear Charlie Cavendish, and Gore, and Buller, and little Johnny Fortescue-poor little chap! he was shot inside the Martinière—and scores of others whose cheery voices and hearty laughs used to ring through the clouds of filthy bird's-eye-that pretty Fanny Thompson, of Petty Cury, used to sell us—in my old rooms at Brazenbricks, in those jolly days in Granta. Ten years before my time my cousin Fane had been prominent in the annals of Brazenbricks ; so prominent, that stories were still current of his exploits, how he had been stroke of the Cambridge Eight, how he had been such a shot, seat, and oar as no Cambridge man had ever been before or since; how he had been the most brilliant debater at the Union ; and how, finally, he had had his cross taken away for a reckless defiance of their laws, which the big-wigs neither could nor would overlook, especially as Fane had given them more trouble than all the other men put together, and they were most heartily and thankfully glad to get rid of him. It did not break Fane's heart: he took it very philosophically, and, as he was tired of Brazenbricks, and impatient to get free of it, said he was immeasurably obliged to them; and now, having plenty of money of his own, chambers in the Albany, a moor up in Perthshire, and a shootingbox between Cambridge and Newmarket, where he invariably came every spring and autumn for the Two Thousand and the Cesarewitch, and being voted by the women the greatest darling, and by the men the very best fellow that ever waltzed a deux-temps or won a steeple-chase,
managed to enjoy life considerably, and to bear very equably the disgrace of having been expelled from Brazenbricks.
I had been beating Softest, of Corpus, one morning at Brown's, a victory so very easy, seeing that the young muff didn't scarcely know a fluke from a cannon, that I did not care to repeat it, and had just come back to have a quiet pipe and a draught of audit (by-the-by what a power one learns at Cambridge of absorbing beer, no matter of what nature or what brew), when somebody sang out from m; inner room,
“ This the new love, Frank? Why she's thirty if she's a day, and has red hair, mon garçon. I grant the beau sexe in all sorts and all styles is adorable, but thirty, and red haired! Positively, I think none at all would be better than that !”
It was Fane's voice; and there he sat, confound him, as much at home in my rooms as if he'd never left Brazenbricks, smoking his own pet pipe, which never left his pocket save to reside in his mouth, and looking through a stereoscope at the picture of a presiding governess of a glove shop, who cost me at that time no end in lavender pseudo Houbigants, and who had presented me in return with a daguerreotyped portrait of her not over-fair self. There sat Fane, who, having the previous year taken a long yachting trip with one of his friends over to Ceylon or Japan, and Heaven knows where, had not been down to his box since I. had been on the rolls of Brazenbricks.
"By Jove! so you have my old rooms,” he began, throwing open the window, and leaning out to look at the backs, with their fine old trees and graceful bridges, and the white pinnacles of the distant colleges rising against the sky; " ten years, as I live, since I left them. 'Pon
my life, I feel horribly old when I come across any of the Brazenbricks men. They're most of 'em gone to the bad, i.e. the respectable family man, member-of-society-line; when the world's awake, vowing they never touch anything but plain water, and when the world's asleep, going down their cellars and tapping their best XXX and uncorking their finest Lafitte. I met Hay the other day, the wildest dog that ever drove four-in-hand to Newmarket; he's a dignitary of the Church now, and talks against the Turf and for the Tractarians. His sermons are beautiful, they tell me; but I know he don't pay his debts one bit better than he used to do, and he'd have been sued long ago if he wasn't one of the Chapter.' There's Tandem Levison, too, who was rusticated for fastening a proctor to his own door-knocker; he's taken the head-of-the-family gowith-society line, has widened his phylacterics to hide his cloven foot, and is very great on platforms and in board rooms, at meetings for the prevention of Everybody's Evil but his own, as is the practice now-a-days. I verily believe, of all the old Brazenbricks men, I am the only one who hasn't sowed his wild oats and set up in their stead a goodly crop of humbugs; the only vaurien left; and the only one not a hypocrite! Well, I enjoy life, that's more than those fellows can say who can't speak their minds at their own dinner-tables because a bishop is present; and can't drop into the coulisses, or a pleasant petit souper, without explaining to their lady wife, ‘I was kept late at the House, love; it was a field night;' or, I couldn't get away, my dear; I had to take the chair for Lord Paul Pry at the Regenerated Ballet-Girls Association. I wonder if Lord Paul Pry and he never lift their lorgnons at the ankles