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of disposing of some relic of his depart- clean cloth upon the table. Berenice ed splendour. But when he had rid- fetched a pot of cider. Onesimus den a league he remembered it was moored the horse in the shade ; then Sunday; the man he had to see they all sat down, taking care to give would not be at his shop, and he the best place to M. Malais, who must wait till the next day. He re- eagerly devoured a plateful of soup." turned to Beuzeval, and thence rode W e refer to the book itself those down to Dive. Berenice, who was who would know how the poor old lace-making at her door, made him a gentleman made a second fierce asgrateful curtsey, and he stopped to sault on the tureen, and an equally exchange a few words with her. Pél- determined one on the bacon and agie, who was preparing dinner, in- greens ; to what expedients he was quired after Pulchérie.
subsequently reduced ; how it fared "Madame la Comtesse de Mor with the Countess Pulchérie and her ville is well,' he replied; “I heard from scapegrace husband, and what were her the other day. My nephew, the struggles, sufferings, and ultimate Count de Morville, has promised to rewards, of the courageous and simplebring the countess to see me this hearted Alains. The book may safely summer.'
be recommended to all readers. This " Onesimus and his father were is more than we can say for the next close to shore. Pélagie begged M. de that comes to hand-Un Mariage de Beuzeval's permission to look to their Paris by Méry. This we should pitch dinner, as they were obliged to put to into the rubbish-basket after reading sea again as soon as they had eaten the first two chapters, did it not it. M. Malais got off his horse and serve to illustrate what we have often entered the house.
noted—the profound and barbarous " "Your soup smells deliciously, ignorance of French literary men on said he; it is cabbage soup."
the subject of England and the Eng" A soup you seldom see, M. de lish. Were this confined to the Beuzeval.' *
smaller fry, the inferior herd of Trans"Not for want of asking for it. canalic scribblers, one would not be I am passionately fond of cabbage surprised. It is nothing wonderful soup, but they never will make it at that such gentlemen as M. Paul Feval my house.
and poor blind Jacques Arago, should " I daresay not. It is not a soup take le gin and le boxe to be the Alpha for gentlefolk.
and Omega of English propensities Yours smells excellent, Pél and manners, and should proceed upagie; but you were always a good on that presumption in romances of
such distinguished merit as Les Mys16+ Ah, sir ! there is one thing that tères de Londres and Zambala l'Indien. helps me to make good dinners for But M. Méry is a man of letters our men !
esteemed amongst his fellows-a hasty 66 What is that, Pélagie ?
and slovenly writer, certainly, but " A good appetite. They put to possessing wit, and tact, and style, sea last night, and here they come, when he chooses to employ them; and tired, wet, dying of hunger : all that having, moreover, he himself assures us, is spice for a plain meal.'
in the pages of the singular production The fishermen entered.
now under dissection, been all through "Come along !' cried M. Malais, England-although this we apprehend you have a famous soup waiting for he effected by means of express trains, you. Upon my word, it smells too without stop or stay, from Folkestone to good; I must taste it. Pélagie, give Berwick-upon-Tweed and back again. me a plate ; I will eat a few spoonsful Even this much acquaintance with with you. Certainly, it is but a short the British Isles is denied to many of time since I took my breakfast-what his contemporaries, who evidently people call a good breakfast-but with- derive their notions of English habits out appetite, without pleasure.' and customs from the frequenters of
" Indeed! M. Malais, you will the English taverns about the Places do us the honour of tasting our soup?' Favart and Madeleine at Paris. M.
"And Pélagie hastened to put a Méry is above this. He draws entirely
upon his imagination for the manners, Sem, Cham, and Japhet invented on morals, and topography of the country their escape from the Ark, to amuse in which his scene is laid. He has themselves a little after a year's dilugot a few names of places, which he vian captivity on the summit of Mount jumbles together in the most diverting Ararat. It is only in London such manner. His hero, Cyprian de May- collections are to be met with; and ran, a Paris exquisite of the first the foreign naturalist has the gratuiwater, saddened by a domestic cala- tous enjoyment of them. The capital mity, comes to London in quest of of England is sometimes generous dissipation and oblivion. He has and disinterested in its zoological some acquaintances there, dating exhibitions." from a previous visit, and amongst Amidst these dingy exotics, Cyprian, them is the popular singer Sidora “with his Parisian elegance, his fresh W---, a lady, we are told, “whose complexion, his hair of a vivid autalent would have been very contest- burn, waving like that of the Apollo able at Paris, but was venerated in Belvedere," appeared like a swan London, the city of universal tolera- amongst gray geese; and, seating himtion. When, in Norma, or Fidelio, self between two equinoctial beings she kept only tolerably near to the not classed by Buffon," he soon enintentions of the composers, changing grossed all the attention of the fastheir notes into false coin, a phalanx cinating Sidora, to the suppressed but of admirers rose like one man, and a violent indignation of Prince Rajabtriple round of applause rent thirty Nandy, and her other copper-coloured pair of yellow gloves. The name of admirers. One of these waylays Sidora W-had great attraction, the the handsome Frenchman on his reitalics are M. Méry's,) and when dis- turn home. Whilst passing over played on gigantic placards, before Highgate Bridge, Cyprian's horse Mansion-house, or Post-office, as well starts violently, and an “equinoctial as on the modest gray circulars of the gentleman, with nothing white about grocers, at night whole squadrons of his whole person, except a pair of noble equipages were seen manæuy- yellow gloves, (a Gallo-Irishism,) ring between Long Acre and the peri- springs from amongst the brushwood, style of Covent Garden, and the and plants himself in the middle of theatre of Drury Lane was invaded.” the bridge, like a satyr in the poem of The nightingale who thus, in 1845, Ramaiana." A duel is arranged, to filled to suffocation the walls of take place at Cricklewood Cottage, and Drury, (a fact Mr Bunn may have Cyprian gallops into London by Totdifficulty to remember,) had a rural tenham-Road. Having no male acretreat at Highgate, where she re- quaintances in London, except two ceived a motley company. “The sobersided bankers, he is at a loss for garden of reception was like a vast seconds. Finally he prevails on two flower-basket inhabited by a woman, of the opera chorus, in consideration and surrounded by a dark fringe of of a new coat and a sovereign, to mute adorers. There were all the accompany him to the field of danger; faces of the English universe : retired and, after duly gloving and dressing Calcutta nabobs; ex-governors of them in Saint-Martin-Court, he packs unknown Archipelagos; colonels whose them in a hackney-coach and starts defunct wives were Malabar widows, for Cricklewood, which we now learn snatched from the funeral pile of their is on the summit of the mountain of Indian spouses ; admirals bronzed Hamstead. “There, in a pavilion de. by twenty cruises under the equator; corated Chinese- fashion, three men of nephews of Tippoo Saib; disgraced tropical physiognomy awaited De Mayininisters from Lahore ; ex-criminals ran. ... Opposite the cottage from Botany Bay, who, having grown there stretched out, to an immense rich, were voted virtuous ; princes of distance, over hill and over valley, Madagascar and Borneo ; citizens of gloomy forest, which served as duelNew Holland, (naturalised English- ing ground in the quarrelsome days men, notwithstanding their close affi- of the Roundheads and Cavaliers. In
nity to orang-outangs,)-in short all a level glade, bare of trees, the Anglo· the human or iphuman types that Indians paused. It was a wild and solitary place; nevertheless, here and It is related of M. Méry's friend Duthere, on the fir trees, were seen enor- mas, that he once resolved on a mous electioneering placards, bearing visit to London, posted to Boulogne, the words, “ Vote for Parker!” This steamed to London bridge, and reachis rich, particularly if we bear in ed St Paul's, but there turned back, mind that the author is perfectly anathematising fog and sea-coal, and serious, and devoutly believes he is never stopped till he found himself giving a very curious insight into the in the Chaussée d'Antin. Without local usages and characteristics of vouching for the truth of this tale, we semi-civilised England. M. Méry's must admit its probability when told hero has other adventures, equally of the eccentric Alexander. Mr Méry's true to life, - makes new acquain- knowledge of this country is just what tances on board a river-steamer; he might have obtained by an hour's dines with them at Sceptre and Crown conversation with his friend, upon the at Greenwich, and at Star and Garter return of the latter from his journey at Richmond; and falls violently in to St Paul's. But it is a crying sin love with Madame Katrina Lewing, a of French writers, when they get upon beautiful Euglishwoman. M. Méry foreign ground, that, in their anxiety makes merry on the river Thames, to give to their books a tinge characwhich he affects to believe rises in the teristic of the country, (couleur locale immediate vicinity of Richmond, and they call it,) they outstrip the limits concerning whose origin and exiguity assigned to them by their real knowhe is very facetious. He also dis- ledge of the land and its inhabitants, plays his acquaintance with English and, meaning to be effective, become literature by quoting “the great poet simply ridiculous. And England is Pope's famous drinking song in honour the country, of all others, whose ways of the Thames, 'I you like, little they apparently have most difficulty stream!'" Then Cyprian prevails on in rightly comprehending. On a Katrina to elope with him to Port more southern soil they are less apt Natal, (of all places in the world!) and to run into absurdities, but sin chiefly realises his fortune as a preparatory on the side of overcolouring. This measure; but Katrina proves a mere may be alleged, although to no viodecoy-duck, and the amorous French- lent extent, of a pleasant little romance man is stripped of his bank-notes, and by Paul de Musset, La Chèvre Jaune left in the dead of night in the middle - The Yellow Goat-intended as an of a field. In vain, at daybreak, does illustration of Sicilian life, particuhe seek a shepherd to question, be- larly amongst the lower orders. The cause, as M. Méry testifies, English hero of the tale is a precocious peasant peasants do not inhabit the fields; boy, dwelling in the mountains with shepherds are scarcely known in the his mother--a fierce old lady who owns country; and the only one he, the afore- rifle, and detests the Neapolitans. said Méry, ever beheld, during his This boy, who herds goats, pets one extensive rambles in England, was a of them, and trains her to dance ; well-dressed young gentleman, with by which means, and by his own gloves on, reading the Morning Chro- good mien, he gains the affections of nicle under a tree. Then we have a a notary's daughter, whose papa, disthieves' orgie, where the liquors in approving of the attachment, has the demand aro claret and absinthe, no- peasant taken up on a false accusation thing less–M. Méry not condescend of theft. The boy escapes, turns ing to the gin, so much abused by his bandit, and is accompanied in his contemporaries. And, finally, a mur- forays and ambuscades by his goat, der having been committed, its cir- who dances tarantellas on the mouncumstances are investigated on the tain-tops, and plays so many queer spot, by a Queen's proctor, assisted antics that she finally is held uncanny, by two policemen, a barmaid, and a and becomes an object of fear and vephysician. We might multiply these neration to the ignorant Sicilians. The literary curiosities; but we have given story is prettily and pleasingly told, enough to prove their author's inti and is just the sort of reading for a mate acquaintance with the country lazy man on a hot day. But, like about which he so agreeably writes. most of the same author's works, it wants vigour and originality. Paul ing a country walk one evening, when de Musset is a careful and a polished her companion accuses her of making writer, and whatever he executes con- her rustics speak the language of cities. veys the idea of his having done his She admits the charge, but urges, in best; but his best is by no means first- extenuation, that if she makes the rate, and he labours under the great dweller in the fields speak as he really disadvantage of having a younger speaks, she must subjoin a translation brother a far cleverer fellow than him for the civilised reader. Her friend self. Nevertheless, he is not to be still insists on the possibility of elespoken of disrespectfully. Slight as vating the peasant dialect, without most of his productions are, they are depriving it of its simplicity; of writoften graceful, and sometimes witty. ing a book in language that a peasant One of his recent bluettes, Fleuranges, might employ, and which a Parisian although a thrice-told tale, is distin- would understand without a single guished by its charming vivacity and explanatory note. To professors and lightness.
amateurs of literary art, the discussion We turn to François le Champi, by is of interest. Madame Sand agrees George Sand. We need hardly say to attempt the task; and takes for her that Madame Dudevant is any thing subject a tale she has heard related but a favourite of ours. Whilst ad. the previous evening, at a neighbourmitting her genius and great literary ing farm-house. She calls it François talent, we deplore the evil application le Champi, but her critic cavils at the of such rare powers,—the perversion very title. Champi, he says, is not of intellect so high to purposes so French. George Sand quotes Monmischievous. And we cannot agree taigne, to prove the contrary, although with M. de Lomenie, who, in his the dictionary declares the word out sketch of her life, asserts the perni- of date. A champi is a foundling, or cious influence of her books to be child abandoned in the fields, the degreatly exaggerated, maintaining that rivation being from champ. And " the catastrophe of almost all of them having thus justified her hero's cognocontains a sort of morality of misfor- men, she at once introduces him, at tune which, to a certain extent, re- the tender age of six years, boarded places any other." This is a specious, by the parish with Zabella, an old but a very hollow argument. How woman who dwells in a hovel, and many of those who read George lives on the produce of a few goats Sand's books have ability or inclina- and fowls that find subsistence on the tion to strike this nice balance be. common. Madeleine Blanchet, the tween virtue and vice, and do not pretty and very young wife of the rather yield themselves captives to the miller of Cornouer, takes compassion seductive eloquence with which the on the poor infant, and finds means poetess depicts and palliates the im- to supply him, unknown to her brutal morality of her characters! Her earlier husband and cross mother-in-law, works gave her a fair claim to the with food and raiment. The child title of the Muse of Adultery, which grows into a comely lad, gentle, insome uncivil critic conferred on telligent, and right-hearted, and deher. The personages were invariably votedly attached to Madeleine. He husband, wife, and lover, and the enters the service of the miller, a former was by no means the best rough dissipated fellow, given up to treated of the three. After a while the fascinations of a loose widow, she deviated from this formula-em- Madame Sévère, a sort of rural Delilah, ployed other types, and produced oc- who tries to seduce the handsome casionally books of a less objection- Champi, and, failing of success, instils able character; but, upon the whole, jealousy into the ear of the miller, they are ill to choose amongst. In who drives François from his house. the one before us there is no great The young man finds occupation in a harm, but neither is there much to distant village, and returns to the mill admire. As a literary production, it of Cornouer only when its master is is below the average of its predeces. dead and Madeleine on a bed of sicksors. It is a story of peasant life in ness, to rescue his benefactress from western France. George Sand is tak- grasping creditors, by means of a sum
of money his unknown father has her country, to live with Watelet. transmitted to him. George Sand The world cursed them; then, as they makes every woman in the book fall were poor and humble, it forgot them. in love with the Champi; but he re- Forty years afterwards there were pulses all, save one, and that one never discovered, in the neighbourhood of dreams of loving him otherwise than Paris, in a little house called Moulinas a mother. At last one of the fair Joli, an old man who engraved in ones who would fain have gained his aquafortis, with an old woman whom heart, generously reveals to him, what he called his Meunière, who also he himself has difficulty in believing, engraved at the same table. The that he is in love with Madeleine Blan- last plate they executed represented chet; and, further, compassionating Moulin-Joli, Margaret's house, with his timidity, undertakes to break the this device, Cur valle permutem ice to the pretty widow. It requires Sabina divitias operosiores! It hangs a talent like that of George Sand to in my room, above a portrait whose give an air of probability to all original no one here has seen. Durthis. There are at most but a ing one year, he who gave me that dozen years' difference between Ma- portrait seated himself every night deleine and the Champi, but the with me at a little table, and lived on reader has been so much accustomed the same labour as myself. At dayto look upon them in the light of break we consulted each other on our mother and son, that he is some work, and we supped at the same what startled on finding the boy of table, talking of art, of sentiment, nineteen enamoured of the woman of and of the future. The future has thirty. The love-passages, however, broken its word to us. Pray for me, are managed with Madame Sand's O Margaret Lecomte !" usual skill. As a picture of peasant It is no secret that Madame Dudelife, the book yields internal evidence vant's Watelet was Jules Sandeau, a of fidelity. The grand-daughter of French novelist of some ability, whose the farmer-general of Berri has called name still makes frequent apparitions up the memories of her youthful days, in the windows of circulating libraries, passed in happy liberty upon the and at the foot of newspaper feuillesunny banks of Indre, and of the tons. Let us see what M. de Lomenie years of connubial discontent that says of this period of her life, and of went heavily by in her husband's her first appearance in the lists of Aquitanian castle, when country rides literature, in his brief but amusing and the study of Nature's book were memoir of this remarkable woman. her chief resources. It was from this “Some time after the July revolucastle of Nohant that the Baroness tion, there appeared a book entitled, Dudevant fled, now nearly twenty Rose et Blanche, or the Actress and years ago, to commence the excep the Nun. This book, which at first tional existence she since has led. passed unnoticed, fell by chance into We may venture to take a page from a publisher's hands; he read it, and, her Lettres d'un Voyageur-a page re struck by the richness of certain plete with that peculiar fascination descriptive passages, and by the which renders her pen so powerful for novelty of the situations, he inquired good or evil.
the author's address. He was referred "It grieves me not to grow old, it to a humble lodging-house, and, upon would grieve me much to grow old applying there, was conducted to a alone; but I have not yet met the small attic. There he saw a young being with whom I would fain have man writing at a little table, and a lived and died; or, if I have met young woman painting flowers by his him, I have not known how to keep side. These were Watelet and Marhim. Hearken to a tale, and weep. garet Lecomte. The publisher spoke There was a good artist, called Wa- of the book, and it appeared that telet, who engraved in aquafortis Margaret, who could write books as better than any man of his time. He well as Watelet, and even better, had loved Margaret Lecomte, and taught written a good part, and the best part, her to engrave as well as himself. of this one ; only, as books sold badly, She left her husband, her wealth, and or not at all, she combined with her