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roses; it seems as if Flora had here established her residence. It is terminated on one side by the Caille de la Reina, which means the Queen's street, or walk, and is the most pleasant and the most frequented promenade of Aranjuez; and on the other side by the Tage. On the banks of this river, in the garden, a little harbour has been formed, which gives one the idea of a sea-port. There are fortifications, cannons, a great number of sailors, a powder magazine, some frigates twenty feet in length, and two superb barges belonging to the royal family. When the King and Queen take the air in these barges, they are followed by several frigates, brilliantly illuminated, and filled with musicians and dressed sailors.
Circumstances occurred which obliged us to return to Madrid three weeks sooner than the court, and, to my great regret, prevented our witnessing this water excursion. The court are very partial to Aranjuez, and not without reason, for I think it the wonder of Spain. We remained three weeks at Madrid, and on the fourth of July set off on our return to France. My uncle and his family escorted us as far as the Escurial, which is about twenty-three miles from Madrid. There we dined, and visited the convent, which is the only thing worth notice, as there is no palace. The King has his apartments in the cloisters, and the noblemen have houses in the village. The Escurial is horridly situated, in the midst of rocks and sands, consequently it is frightfully dreary, as there are neither views nor walks. The convent is immense, and very magnificent; Philip II. erected it in honour of St. Lawrence, because he had made a vow to found a convent at Escurial, if he gained the battle of St. Quintin, and that it was fought on St. Lawrence's day. It is reported to be very wealthy; it contains an immense number of paintings of the most exquisite beauty. The apartments of the library are not very fine, but they possess many valuable manuscripts. The church is handsome. There is also in this convent a place called the Pantheon, where the Kings and Queens of Spain are interred. We descended the vault, the walls
of which are clothed with marble and gold; it is of a round form, and completely built of marble; from the top to the bottom there are tablets of this material, on which the tombs are placed; in these there are drawers, containing the ashes of those that are deceased. The princes have also here a sepulchre.
After having explored every part of the convent, we resumed our journey, and the following night slept at St. Ildephonso. This place is situ ated in a valley surrounded by mountains of a tolerable height; the country contains a great deal of wood, and many rural walks. The effect of this wild and rural scene, contrasted with the well-gardens, is very striking. The palace is rather handsome, and the garden is quite in the French style; there are some wonderfully fine cascades, that are even reckoned superior to those of Ver. sailles, because they are more limpid. The town is but small, and contains about five or six thousand inhabitants. There is here a considerable glass manufactory; we saw some glass melted and prepared; there is a looking-glass that was melted in the presence of the Count of A, of an astonishing size. The court is not partial to La Grange, which surprizes me, as it seems a delightful summer residence. From hence we took the road of Aranda, which is detestable, and entered the high road at Burgos. The cathedral at Burgos is very curious by its antiquity and magnificence. We also saw a bronze statue of Charles III. which is erected in the centre of the public square. After having traversed the mountains and rocks of Paucorvo, which are awfully tremendous, we arrived at Victoria, where we witnessed the most ridiculous spectacle called a nobilio; which is an amusement the people have of playing with, and being pursued by calves.
SHORT BIOGRAPHICAL NOTICE ON MADAME HELVETIUS,
MADAME HELVETIUS was born in 1719, in Lorraine, at the castle of her father, the Count of Ligneville. M. Helvetius became acquainted with her at the house of Madame de Graffigny, so well known by her Peruvian Letters. He was smitten with her beauty, and with her dignity in supporting her slender fortune. He offered her No. XVI. Vol. II.
At last, after having traversed Biscay, which in that season had a very picturesque appearance, we arrived safely at Bayonne, on the 14th of July. From Bayonne we took the road of the dismal hot-wells, where I have endeavoured to accelerate the time of my departure by writing this, and playing on the guitar. E. R.
his hand, and married her, after he had resigned his place of farmer-general.
Madame Helvetius loved him passionately; she loved him all his life. They had two daughters, who were afterwards married. She resided a long time on the estate of her husband. Her habitual employment then was to visit the poor
and the sick, accompanied by a surgeon, and a sister of the Hospital of Charity.
We know that Helvetius was persecuted for his book De l'Esprit. A person high in office wrote to his wife to engage her to obtain from the philosopher a disgraceful retraction. She rejected his proposal like a courageous woman, resolved to leave her country, if necessary, rather than persuade him to act against his conscience.
A lady of fashion said, speaking of Madame Helvetius and of her husband: "Those people do not pronounce the words-my husband, my wife, my children, as other people do."
After her husband's death, the estate which had been the scene of her benefactions passing into other hands, she removed to Auteuil, a little village near Paris, with an income of about a thousand pounds sterling. She then resolved to retire from the world, and to establish as agreeable a residence as her moderate revenue would allow. She was no longer rich enough to seek for pleasures from home, but she found she was more than rich enough to offer pleasures at home; she renounced a numerous acquaintance,|| and attached herself to her friends.
She bestowed her bounty very liberally on animals; to render a sensible being more happy was in her a want; her house was become for the last ten years an assemblage of petty republics of animals, of which she was the Providence. On seeing her converse with her dogs, her cats, and her birds, one would have thought she had some particular kind of intellectual intercourse with them, as was really the case between her kindness and their gratitude. When she talked about their eagerness, their caresses, and their expressions of love for her, ene might have fancied La Fontaine was speaking, perhaps with an additional charm; for he painted the character of animals, she painted whatever was good in their souls.
Whether from the abundance of her sentiments, or from the frankness natural to good people, she told every thing that came into her head; she was celebrated for her ingenuousness.
Although she knew nothing, and did not reflect upon any thing she said, she always pleased, and sometimes instructed; her house was always filled with dis inguished men; Laroche, Cabanis, and Gallois, closed her eyes; Dr. Franklin came every day to see her; the Abbé Morellet, during ten years, passed three days in the week with her; M. Turgot loved her greatly; Champfort, one of the most celebrated modern men of genius, took extreme pleasure in her conversation. Frequently in the midst of profound discussions to which she appeared to pay no attention, she ut ered exclamations and words from the heart, which shewed her own good principles, puzzled sophis ry, and at once established the question on its true basis.
ON EPISTOLARY STYLE, AND ON MADAME DE SEVIGNE.
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We shall give a specimen of her epistolary to terminate! Oh! a little longer time! I want talents, which may be understood by the English to humble the Duke of Savoy, to crush the reader, by quoting some passages selected at ran- Prince of Orange; another moment!-No, you dom from her Letters. shall not have a single moment more, not one."
After having given an account of the sudden death of M. de Louvois, she says:-"He is then no more; that powerful and haughty minister whose self occupied so much space, and was the || centre of so many things! How many interests to disintricate, intrigues to follow, negotiations
"The liberty which Death takes to interrupt Fortune, ought to console one for not being of the number of the happy; death appears then less bitter."
"Long sickness wears out grief, and long con tinued hopes wear out joy."
"Leave the human mind to itself, it will soon find its little comforts; it has a fancy to become Contented."
"The shadow is not taken for the body at the long run; we must be in order to appear. The world does not remain long unjust in its decisions."
"Death appears so terrible to me, that I hate life more for leading us to death, than for the thorns with which itself is filled "
"I find the conditions of life grievous enough; it appears as if we were dragged against our wili to the fatal point of old age: we perceive it; there we are, and we would wish not to advance a step farther in this road to infirmities, pains, loss of memory, and disfigurations which are ready to assail us. But we hear a voice which calls to us,-ye must march on, or if ye will not ye must die; which is another extremity that is repugnant to our nature."
"I was observing a clock, and pleasing myself in thinking; thus we are when we wish the hand to advance; in the mean time it revolves without our seeing the motion, and every thing attains to its end."
To express the diminishing credit and power of a minister, she said:" His star turns pale;" which is a happy and brilliant figure, without affectation
Her style is seldom simple, but always natural; which appears from a pleasing negligence, and a striking rapidity. In one of her letters she says: "I could write till to-morrow; my thoughts, my pen, my ink, all fly."
"I have been received with open arms by Madame de G, and with so much gladness, tenderness, and gratitude, that it appeared to me that I was not come soon enough, nor far enough
It may be looked upon as invidious to remark any defects in such an amiable woman, but the
| truth must be told. Madame de Sevigné, notwithstanding her wit and good sense, was liable to all the follies of her rank, and of the age in which she lived. She was enraptured and proud of her high birth even to puerility, and full of admiration at the genealogy of the house from which she descended; and she fancied all Europe would feel interested in the history of her family which was then compiling. She was, as almost all the French were, intoxicated with the grandeur of Lewis XIV. The King spoke to her one evening at St. Cyr, after the representation of Racine's play of Esther, by the young ladies who were educated there; her vanity on this occasion was shewn with a childish delight. The passage in her letter is curious:-" The King addressed himself to me, and said, 'Madam, I am sure you must have been satisfied.' I, without being alarmed, replied: "Sire, I am charmed; what I feel cannot be expressed by words.' The King then said to me, Racine has much wit.' I answered, Sire, he has certainly a great deal, but truly those young ladies have likewise great talents; they enter into the subject as if they had never done any thing else' "Ah! as to that matter,' rejoined he, it is very true;' then his Majesty retired, and left me the object of envy. The Prince and Princess then spoke a few words to me, and Madame de Maintenon another word; I answered them all, for I was in luck."
THE CAPTAIN OF BANDITTI.
COUNT L, a man of courage, genius, and fortune, was once travelling through a tract of the Spessart Forest in Germany. He had just reached the thickest and least frequented part of this lonely district. A single domestic was his only attendant; the season was cold, the day short and gloomy. Neither the Count nor his servant had ever been in this country before. It was therefore no wonder that, when it began to grow dark, they lost their road, and involved them
Here the woman of sense and talent, is eclipsed for a moment by the gossip. One evening Lewis XIV. danced a minuet with Madame de Sevigne. After it was concluded she said to her cousin, Count de Bussy :-"It must be owned we have a great King." "Oh! without doubt, cousin," replied the Count, "what he has just been doing is really heroical!" It must be owned, that of all human follies, there are none more foolish than those of vanity.
A TRUE STORY.
selves more and more in the forest, notwithstanding all their endeavours to find their way out.
At length they beheld a distant, glimmering light. The Count considered this as a sign of a human habitation; his servant concluded it to be a ghost. The one expected to find a cottage where he might obtain shelter, the other was apprehensive lest they should the next moment be plunged into a bog. The one was pleased, the other was terrified. The servant proposed to
pass the night under the next tree; the Count laughed at him and made towards the light. The more courageous of the two was, as usual, in the right; for on their arrival they found it to be a public house. No sooner had they knocked, than the door was opened; they were promised every possible accommodation for the night, and the Count was shewn into an apartment more decent than could have been expected in such a situation.
The satisfaction of our traveller was not of long duration. He was walking to and fro in his room, waiting for his repast, when his servant entered. In his looks, in his erect hair, in the trembling of his limbs, in short, in his whole appearance, he was a living personification of terror.
The following dialogue succeeded :-
His supper was soon afterwards brought, but the Count had scarcely any appetite. Some surprize was expressed at the manner in which the table was placed and the appearance of the wea"Ah! Sir, we are children of death-verily || pons, but the Count coldly replied, that was his and truly children of death."
"Like all the rest of mankind I should imagine."
way in houses of public entertainment. He was informed that his bed in the adjoining room was ready, but he answered that he was not going to bed just yet. At length he was left by himself.
"O! no, no!-Now, this very night we have got into a den of murderers."
"Are you romancing?"-asked the Count, at the same time seizing with commendable precaution, a pistol which he had carelessly laid upon the table. "What have you got into your head? Some fancy I suppose like that which took you on the way hither!"
It was not long, however, before the door of his apartment suddenly opened, and six or seven men entered. They were all dressed like gamekeepers with guns hanging at their backs, and large pouches by their sides;-fellows tall, robust, and of savage aspect. The Count grasped his pistols; but they saluted him with much civility, and seated themselves at a table in the other corner of the room, where they began to drink and sing. He who entered first, and who, from his dress and behaviour seemed to be their chief, instead of joining his companions, kept walking to and fro, sometimes approaching very near to the Count and looking stedfastly in his face.
The situation of our traveller was certainly not the most agreeable. He expected an attack every moment and was at a loss to conceive why it was so long deferred. Still his presence of mind did not forsake him. At length the man whom he took for the leader, coming closer and closer to his table and once appearing as though he would stoop over it, the Count plainly to d him, he must request him not to come too near.
"And why so?"
But what is the matter
"Would to heaven it were! But I only tell what my own eyes have seen."
"Your eyes! Tell me then immediately what you have seen without any of your interruptions or foolish stories."
"They had given me too little hay for our horses. I looked about in every corner for more, and found another stable with a truss lying in it. I was going to take it away, when I perceived behind it a door that was not fastened. Where must this go to? and why is it concealed in this manner? thought I. peeped in first, and at length crept into the place; but, good God! how my blood was chilled at the sight!" "Of what?"
"Of weapons of all sorts, cutlasses, pistols and guns; great heaps of clothes, and blood upon almost all of them."
of the yard; the gate is locked. To see whether that was open was my first thought."
"Bravo! and to leave me in the lurch, your second. Well, if nothing else can be done, I must take my precautions like a prudent man, and defend myself like a brave one. Adopt what measures you please, while I, for my part, shall consider what is to be done."
The Count was somewhat startled. "Blood!" he repeated within himself, taking a contemplative turn or two in the reom, and again asked his servant, whether he was sure his eyes had not deceived him. He then ordered him to lead the horses as quickly and as softly as possible out of the stable.
"Ah! Sir," replied the man, 66 out of the table they may be got easily enough, but not out
The servant was now obliged, though much against his will, to return to the stable. The Count placed his chair in the corner exactly op posite the door, a table before him prevented the too near approach of any person in front, and the wall covered him in the rear. Before him, on the table, he laid two loaded pistols and beside him a drawn cutlass.
"Because every thing does not seem to be quite right in this place. Any one therefore, who approaches too near me shall most certainly receive the contents of my pistol."
"Would that be of much use here? Are not my people provided with fire-arms? And what could one do against so many?"
"Sell his life dearly, at least."
"Do you take us then to be murderers or robbers?"
"That is not the question now. Every one has a right to think what he pleases. Suffice it that I declare this pistol shall dispatch the first that lifts a hand against me."
enough. You know what situation I was in during the last war; and you know also I hope, that I acquitted myself well in it. One thing only I could not do, and that was, to unite the courtier
The stranger smiled, continued to walk about, with the soldier. On this account my Colonel and soon stooped again over the table.
"Upon my soul, Sir, I shall keep my word;" exclaimed the Count, applying his finger to the cock of his pistol.
was never fond of me, though he employed me
"For God's sake!" exclaimed the Count,
lord kept for his sole use in the most private corner of the house. Our traveller, who perceived that he was already completely in his power and had been inspired with additional confidence by the scene which had just occurred, passed through the midst of the robbers, but still armed with both his pistols, and followed his friend.
denied. Ah, Count! to what scoundrels of chamberlains have I often in vain given a good word, on what vile shoe-blacks have I spent my last shilling! Both, alas! in vain! I had no prospect of employment and my pay. But I am silent on that subject.
"And is it possible, Count," said the other abruptly laughing, and in a different tone,-" is it possible that you do not know me? At any rate I am glad to find that your heart is in the right place."
The astonishment of the traveller at this address is not to be described. He looked more attentively at the face of the adventurer, and recog- || nized in him one of his most intimate college friends, who had afterwards been a Captain in the army, during the Bavarian succession war;-a man of tried courage and unspotted reputation, who, at the conclusion of the war, suddenly disappeared, so that nobody knew what had become
They went first up stairs, then down. At length they reached the above mentioned room, and the Captain in the most friendly manner shook hands with the Count. "Now," cried he, 66 now give vent to your surprize at finding me in this character. You are sure of not being overheard, and still less of receiving any injury. It is but two evident what kind of people you are among, and who is their leader. But rely upon it, I am still what I always was. And that they, who certainly violate the laws of society and honour with regard to many others, have behaved, and still conduct themselves better towards me, than what is called the honourable class of men, is equally certain."
"I burn with impatience to hear your history and to learn the occasion of your present course of life."
"O! the one is short, and the other, though not perfectly voluntary, is, however natural
"Under these circumstances my resolution was the resolution of despair. France, as you know, had already taken a part in the disturbances in the English Colonies. My intention was to go to Strasburg and there to seek employment.Should I prove unsuccessful in this application, thought I, we will see whether the new world is more favourably inclined towards me than the old. It has sufficient of war, and of deserts but too many; in the one I will attempt to retrieve my fortune, and should this last anchor fail, in the other will I terminate my misery. I sold all that I had, paid what debts I could, kept my plan a profound secret and departed. The lightness of my purse obliged me to travel on foot. I came to this Spessart Forest, where I lost my way, as you probably have done. Five sturdy fellows suddenly rushed from behind a thicket; two of them clapped their pistols to my breast, and in a menacing tone, demanded my money. I felt calmly for it; but in the twinkling of an eye,