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battle, when Bonaparte returned to Paris, he fuse a respectable office, with a salary of had not the least idea of being called upon 8000 louis, would certainly be considered as again to abdicate; but expected to obtain from fit for Bedlam: And in another place she obthe two chambers the means of renewing or serves, that it seems to be a fundamental continuing the contest. When he found that maxim in that country, that every man must this was impossible, he sunk at once into de have a place. We confess that we have some spair, and resigned himself without a struggle. difficulty in reconciling these incidental intiThe selfishness which had guided his whole mations with her leading position, that the great career, disclosed itself in naked deformity in majority of the French nation is desirous of a the last acts of his public life. He abandoned free constitution, and perfectly fit for and dehisarmy the moment he found that he could not serving of it. If these be the principles, not lead it immediately against the enemy-and only upon which they act, but which they and no sooner saw his own fate determined, than their advocates avow, we know no constitution he gave up all concern for that of the unhappy under which they can be free; and have no country which his ambition had involved in faith in the power of any new institutions to such disasters. He quietly passed by the counteract that spirit of corruption by which, camp of his warriors on his way to the port even where they have existed the longest, by which he was to make his own escape-their whole virtue is consumed. and, by throwing himself into the hands of With our manners in society she is not quite the English, endeavoured to obtain for him- so well pleased ;-though she is kind enough self the benefit of those liberal principles to ascribe our deficiencies to the most honourwhich it had been the business of his life to able causes. In commiserating the comparaextirpate and discredit all over the world. tive dulness of our social talk, however, has
At this point Madame de Staël terminates not this philosophic observer a little overlooked somewhat abruptly her historical review of the effects of national tastes and habits-and the events of the Revolution ; and here, our is it not conceivable, at least, that we who are readers will be happy to learn, we must stop used to it may really have as much satisfactoo. There is half a volume more of her work, tion in our own hum-drum way of seeing each indeed, -and one that cannot be supposed the other, as our more sprightly neighbours in least interesting to us, as it treats chiefly of their exquisite assemblies ?' In all this part the history, constitution, and society of Eng- of the work, too, we think we can perceive land. But it is for this very reason that we the traces rather of ingenious theory, than of cannot trust ourselves with the examination of correct observation; and suspect that a good it. We have every reason certainly to be satis- part of the tableau of English society is rather fied with the account she gives of us; nor can à sort of conjectural sketch, than a copy from any thing be more eloquentand animating than real life; or at least that it is a generalization the view she has presented of the admirable from a very few, and not very common exmechanism and steady working of our consti- amples. May we be pardoned too for hinting, tution, and of its ennobling effects on the char- that a person of Madame de Staël's great acter of all who live under it. We are willing talents and celebrity, is by no means well to believe all this too to be just; though we qualified for discovering the true tone and are certainly painted en beau. In some parts, character of English society from her own obhowever, we are more shocked at the notions servation ; both because she was not likely to she gives us of the French character, than see it in those smaller and more familiar asflattered at the contrast exhibited by our own. semblages in which it is seen to the most adIn mentioning the good reception that gentle- vantage, and because her presence must have men in opposition to government sometimes had the unlucky effect of imposing silence on meet with in society, among us, and the up- the modest, and tempting the vain and ambiright posture they contrive to maintain, she tious to unnatural display and ostentation. says, that nobody here would think of con- With all its faults, however, the portion of doling with a man for being out of power, or her book which we have been obliged to pass of receiving him with less cordiality. She over in silence, is well worthy of as ample a notices also, with a very alarming sort of ad- notice as we have bestowed on the other miration, that she understood, when in Eng- parts of it, and would of itself be sufficient to land, that a gentleman of the law had actually justify us in ascribing to its lamented author refused a situation worth 60001. or 70001. a ihat perfection of masculine understanding, year, merely because he did not approve of and female grace and acuteness, which are ihe ministry by whom it was offered ; and so rarely to be met with apart, and nerer, we adds, that in France any man who would re- believe, were before united.
(February, 1816.) Alémoires de MADAME LA MARQUISE DE LAROCHEJAQUELEIN; avec deux Cartes du Théatre de la
Guerre de La Vendée. 2 tomes, 8vo. pp. 500. Paris: 1815. This is a book to be placed by the side of extraordinary incidents, unexpected turns of Mrs. Hutchinson's delightful Memoirs of her fortune, and striking displays of individual heroic husband and his chivalrous Independ- talent, and vice and virtue, than the more soents. Both are pictures, by a female hand, lemn movements of national hostility; where of tumultuary and almost private wars, car- every thing is in a great measure provided ried on by conscientious individuals against and foreseen, and where the inflexible subthe actual government of their country: -and ordination of rank, and the severe exactions both bring to light, not only innumerable traits of a limited duty, not only take away the inof the most romantic daring and devoted ducement, but the opportunity, for those exfidelity in particular persons, but a general altations of personal feeling and adventure character of domestic virtue and social gen- which produce the most lively interest, and tleness among those who would otherwise lead to the most animating results. In the have figured to our imaginations as adventur- unconcerted proceedings of an insurgent popuous desperadoes or ferocious bigots. There lation, all is experiment, and all is passion. is less talent, perhaps, and less loftiness, The heroic daring of a simple peasant lifts either of style or of character, in the French him at once to the rank of a leader; and kinthan the English heroine. Yet she also has dles a general enthusiasm to which all things done and suffered enough to entitle her to become possible. Generous and gentle feelthat appellation; and, while her narrative ings are speedily generated by this raised acquires an additional interest and a truer state of mind and of destination; and the pertone of nature, from the occasional recurrence petual intermixture of domestic cares and of female fears and anxieties, it is conversant rustic occupations, with the exploits of troops with still more extraordinary incidents and serving without pay, and utterly unprovided characters, and reveals still more of what had with magazines, produces a contrast which been previously malignantly misrepresented, enhances the effects of both parts of the de. or entirely unknown.
scription, and gives an air of moral picturOur readers will understand, from the title- esqueness to the scene, which is both pathetic page which we have transcribed, that the and delightful. It becomes much more attractwork relates to the unhappy and sanguinary ive also, in this representation, by the singuwars which were waged against the insur- lar candour and moderation--not the most gents in La Vendée during the first and mad- usual virtue of belligerent females—with dest years of the French Republic: But it is which Madame de L. has told the story of proper for us to add, that it is confined almost her friends and her enemies—the liberality entirely to the transactions of two years; and with which she has praised the instances of that the detailed narrative ends with the dis- heroism or compassion which occur in the solution of the first Vendean army, before the conduct of the republicans, and the simplicity proper formation of the Chouan force in Brit- with which she confesses the jealousies and tany, or the second insurrection of Poitou; excesses which sometimes disgraced the inthough there are some brief and imperfect surgents. There is not only no royalist or notices of these, and subsequent occurrences. antirevolutionary rant in these volumes, but The details also extend only to the proceed- scarcely any of the bitterness or exaggeration ings of the Royalist or Insurgent party, to of a party to civil dissensions; and it is rather which the author belonged ; and do not affect wonderful that an actor and a sufferer in the to embrace any general history of the war. most cruel and outrageous warfare by which
This hard-fated woman was very young, modern times have been disgraced, should and newly married, when she was thrown, have set an example of temperance and imby the adverse circumstances of the time, partiality which its remote spectators have into the very heart of those deplorable con- found it so difficult to follow. The truth is, tests ;-and, without pretending to any other we believe, that those who have had most information than she could draw from her occasion to see the mutual madness of conown experience, and scarcely presuming to tending factions, and to be aware of the traits pass any judgment upon the merits or de- of individual generosity by which the worst merits of the cause, she has made up her cause is occasionally redeemed, and of brutal book of a clear and dramatic description of outrage by which the best is sometimes deacts in which she was a sharer, or scenes of based, are both more indulgent w human which she was an eyewitness,--and of the nature, and more distrustful of its immaculate characters and histories of the many distin- purity, than the fine declaimers who aggraguished individuals who partook with her of vate all that is bad on the side to which they their glories or sufferings. The irregular and are opposed, and refuse to admit its existence undisciplined wars which it is her business in that to which they belong. The general to describe, are naturally far more prolific of lof an adverse army has always more tolera
tion for the severities and even the miscon- | Montmorin, who came to her from the King duct of his opponents, and the herd of ignorant late in the preceding evening, informed her, speculators at home;-in the same way as the that they were perfectly aware of an intention leaders of political parties have uniformly far to assault the royal residence on the night of less rancour and animosity towards their an- the 12th; but that, to a certainty, nothing tagonists, than the vulgar followers in their would be attempted till then. At midnight, train. It is no small proof, however, of an however, there were signs of agitation in the elevated and generous character, to be able neighbourhood; and before four o'clock in the to make those allowances; and Madame de morning, the massacre had begun. M. de L. would have had every apology for falling Lescure rushed out on the first symptom of into the opposite error, - both on account of alarm to join the defenders of the palace, but her sex, the natural prejudices of her rank could not obtain access within the gates, and and education, the extraordinary sufferings to was obliged to return and disguise himself in which she was subjected, and the singularly the garb of a Sansculotte, that he might min, mild and unoffending character of the be- gle with some chance of escape in the crowd loved associates of whom she was so cruelly of assailants. M. de Montmorin, whose disdeprived.
guise was less perfect, escaped as if by a She had some right, in truth, to be delicate miracle. After being insulted by the meb, and royalist, beyond the ordinary standard. he had taken refuge in the shop of a small Her father, the Marquis de Donnison, had an grocer, by whom he was immediately recog; employment about the person of the King; in nised, and where he was speedily surrounded virtue of which, he had apartments in the by crowds of the National Guards, reeking Palace of Versailles; in which splendid abode from the slaughter of the Swiss. The good the writer was born and continued constantly natured shopkeeper saw his danger, ard to reside, in the very focus of royal influence stepping quickly up to him, said with a fa. and glory, till the whole of its unfortunate in- miliar air, “Well, cousin, you scarcely exhabitants were compelled to leave it, by the pected, on your arrival from the country, to fury of that mob which escorted them to witness the downfal of the tyrant-Here, Paris in 1789. She had, like most French drink to the health of those brave asserters ladies of distinction, been destined from her of our liberties.” He submitted to swallow infancy to be the wife of M. de Lescure, a the toast, and got off without injury. near relation of her mother, and the repre- The street in which M. Lescure resided, sentative of the ancient and noble family of being much frequented by persons of the Salgues in Poitou. The character of this Swiss nation, was evidently a very dangerous eminent person, both as it is here drawn by place of retreat for royalists; and, soon after his widow, and indirectly exhibited in various it was dark, the whole family, disguised in parts of her narrative, is as remote as possible the dress of the lower orders, slipped out, from that which we should have been in- with the design of taking refuge in the house clined, à priori, to ascribe to a young French of an old femme-de-chambre, on the other side nobleman of the old regime, just come to of the river. M. de Donnison and his wife court, in the first flush of youth, from a great went in one party; and Madame Lescure, military school. He was extremely serious, then in the seventh month of her pregnancy, bashful, pious, and self-denying,—with great with her husband, in another. Intending to firmness of character and sweetness of tem- cross by west of the bridges, they fir per; -fearless, and even ardent in war, but turned into the Champs-Elysées. More than humble in his pretensions to dictate, and most a thousand men had been killed there that considerate of the wishes and sufferings of his day; but the alleys were now silent and followers. To this person she was married in lonely; though the roar of the multitude, and the nineteenth year of her age, in October occasional discharges of cannon and musketry, 1790,—at a time when most of the noblesse were heard from the front of the Tuilleries, had already emigrated, and when the rage for where the conflagration of the barracks was that unfortunate measure had penetrated even still visible in the sky. While they were to the province of Poitou, where M. de Les- wandering in these horrid shades, a woman cure had previously formed a prudent asso- came flying up to them, followed by a drunken ciation of the whole gentry of the country, to patriot, with his musket presented at her whom the peasantry were most zealously at- head. All he had to say was, that she was tached. It was the fashion, however, to emi- an aristocrat, and that he must finish his day's grate; and so many of the Poitevin nobility work by killing her. M. Lescure appeased were pleased to follow it, that M. de Lescure him with admirable presence of mind, by at last thought it concerned his honour, not to professing to enter entirely into his sentiments, remain longer behind; and came to Paris in and proposing that they should go back toFebruary 1791, to make preparations for his gether to the attack of the palace-adding journey to Coblentz. Here, however, he was only, “But you see what state my wife is in requested by the Queen herself not to go —she is a poor timid creature--and I must farther; and thought it his duty to obey. The first take her to her sister's, and then I shal] summer was passed in the greatest anxieties return here to you.” The savage at last and agitations; and at last came the famous agreed to this, though before he went off, he Tenth of August. Madame de L. assures us, presented his piece several times at them, that the attack on the palace was altogether swearing that he believed they were aristounexpected on that occasion, and that M. crats after all, and that he had a mind to have a shot at them. This rencontre drove them | its physical conformation, as in the state and from the lonely way; and they returned to condition of its population. A series of dethe public streets, all blazing with illumina- tached eminences, of no great elevation, rose tions, and crowded with drunken and infuri- over the whole face of the country, with little ated wretches, armed with pikes, and in many rills trickling in the hollows and occasional instances stained with blood. The tumult cliffs by their sides. The whole space was and terror of the scene inspired Madame de divided into small enclosures, each surroundL. with a kind of sympathetic frenzy; and, ed with tall wild hedges, and rows of pollard without knowing what she did, she screamed trees; so that, though there were few large out, Vive les Sansculottes ! à bas les tyrans ! as woods, the whole region had a sylvan and outrageously as any of them. They glided impenetrable appearance. The ground was unhurt
, however, through this horrible assem- mostly in pasturage; and the landscape had, blage; and crossing the river by the Pont for the most part, an aspect of wild verdure, Neuf, found the opposite shore dark, silent, except that in the autumn some patches of and deserted, and speedily gained the humble yellow corn appeared here and there athwart refuge in search of which they had ventured. the green enclosures. Only two great roads
The domestic relations between the great traversed this sequestered region, running and their dependants were certainly more nearly parallel, at a distance of more than cordial in old France, than in any other coun- seventy miles from each other. In the intertry—and a revolution, which aimed profess- mediate space, there was nothing but a laby. edly at levelling all distinction of ranks, and rinth of wild and devious paths, crossing each avenging the crimes of the wealthy, armed other at the extremity of almost every field the hands of but few servants against the lives -often serving, at the same time, as channels or liberties of their masters.. M. de Lescure for the winter torrents, and winding so caand his family were saved in this extremity priciously among the innumerable hillocks, by the prudent and heroic fidelity of some old and beneath the meeting hedgerows, that the waiting-women and laundresses and ulti- natives themselves were always in danger of mately effected their retreat to the country by losing their way when they went a league or the zealous and devoted services of a former two from their own habitations. The countutor in the family, who had taken a very try, though rather thickly peopled, contained, conspicuous part on the side of the Revolution. as may be supposed, few large towns; and This M. Thomasin, who had superintended the inhabitants, devoted almost entirely to the education of M. Lescure, and retained the rural occupations, enjoyed a great deal of warmest affection for him and the whole leisure. The noblesse or gentry of the counfamily, was an active, bold, and good-humour- try were very generally resident on their ed man-a great fencer, and a considerable estates; where they lived in a style of simorator at the meetings of his section. He was plicity and homeliness which had long disapeager, of course, for a revolution that was to peared from every other part of the kingdom. give every thing to talents and courage; and No grand parks, fine gardens, or ornamented had been made a captain in one of the mu- villas; but spacious clumsy châteaus, sur. nicipal regiments of Paris. This kind-hearted rounded with farm offices and cottages for the patriot took the proscribed family of M. de labourers. Their manners and way of life, Lescure under his immediate protection, and too, partook of the same primitive rusticity by a thousand little stratagems and contriv. There was great cordiality, and even much ances, not only procured passports and con- familiarity, in the intercourse of the seigneurs veyances to take them out of Paris, but with their dependants. They were followed actually escorted them himself, in his national by large trains of them in their hunting expeuniform, till they were safely settled in a roy- ditions, which occupied a great part of their alist district in the suburbs of Tours. When time. Every man had his fowlingpiece, and any tumult or obstruction arose on the journey, was a marksman of fame or pretensions. M. Thomasin leaped from the carriage, and They were posted in various quarters, to inassuming the tone of zeal and authority that tercept or drive back the game; and were belonged to a Parisian officer, he harangued, thus trained, by anticipation, to that sort of reprimanded, and enchanted the provincial discipline and concert in which their whole patriots, till the whole party went off again in art of war was afterwards found to consist. the midst of their acclamations. From Tours, Nor was their intimacy confined to their after a cautious and encouraging exploration sports. The peasants resorted familiarly to of the neighbouring country, they at length their landlords for advice, both legal and proceeded to M. Lescure's château of Clisson, medical; and they repaid the visits in their in the heart of the district afterwards but too daily rambles, and entered with interest into well known by the name of La Vendée, of all the details of their agricultural operawhich the author has here introduced a very tions. They came to the weddings of their clear and interesting description.
children, drank with their guests, and made A tract of about one hundred and fifty miles little presents to the young people. On Sun. square, at the mouth and on the southern days and holidays, all the retainers of the bank of the Loire, comprehends the scene of family assembled at the château, and danced those deplorable hostilities. The most inland in the barn or the court-yard, according to the part of the district, and that in which the in- season. The ladies of the house joined in the surrection first broke out, is called Le Bocage ; festivity, and that without any airs of conde. and seems to have been almost as singular in scension or of mockery; for, in their own wie, there was little splendour or luxurious refine- | resident gentry, no doubt, for the most part, ment. They travelled on horseback, or in favoured that cause; and the peasantry felt heavy carriages drawn by oxen; and had lit- almost universally with their masters; but tle other amusement than in the care of their neither had the least idea, in the beginning, dependants, and the familiar intercourse of of opposing the political pretensions of the neighbours among whom there was no rivalry new government, nor, even to the last, much or principle of ostentation.
serious hope of effecting any revolution in the From all this there resulted, as Madame de general state of the country. The first moveL. assures us, a certain innocence and kindli- ments, indeed, partook far more of bigotry ness of character, joined with great hardihood than of royalism; and were merely the rash and gaiety,—which reminds us of Henry IV. and undirected expressions of plebeian resentand his Bearnois, and carries with it, per- ment for the loss of their accustomed pastors. haps, on account of that association, an idea The more extensive commotions which followof something more chivalrous and romantic, ed on the compulsory levy, were equally withmore honest and unsophisticated, than any out object or plan, and were confined at first to thing we now expect to meet with in this the peasantry. The gentry did not join until modern world of artifice and derision. There they had no alternative, but that of taking up was great purity of morals accordingly, Ma- arms either against their own dependants, or dame de L. informs us, and general cheerful- along with them; and they went into the ness and content throughout the whole dis- field, generally, with little other view than trict ;-crimes were never heard of, and law, that of acquitting their own faith and honour, suits almost unknown. Though not very well and scarcely any expectation beyond that of educated, the population was exceedingly obtaining better terms for the rebels they devout;—though theirs was a kind of super- were joining, or of being able to make a stand stitious and traditional devotion, it must be till some new revolution should take place at owned, rather than an enlightened or rational Paris, and bring in rulers less harsh and sanfaith. They had the greatest veneration for guinary. crucifixes and images of their saints, and had It was at the ballot for the levy of St. Florno idea of any duty more imperious than that ent, that the rebellion may be said to have of attending on all the offices of religion. begun. The young men first murmured, and They were singularly attached also to their then threatened the commissioners, who somecurés; who were almost all born and bred in what rashly directed a fieldpiece to be pointthe country, spoke their patois, and shared in ed against them, and afterwards to be fired all their pastimes and occupations. When a over their heads :-Nobody was hurt by the hunting-match was to take place, the clergy- discharge ; and the crowd immediately rushman announced it from the pulpit after prayers, ed forward and seized upon the gun. Some
-and then took his fowlingpiece, and accom- of the commissioners were knocked downpanied his congregation to the thicket. It their papers were seized and burnt-and the was on behalf of these curés, in fact, that the rioters went about singing and rejoicing for first disturbances were excited.
the rest of the evening. An account, probaThe decree of the Convention, displacing bly somewhat exaggerated, of this tumult, all priests who did not take the oaths imposed was brought next day to a venerable peasant by that assembly, occasioned the removal of of the name of Cathelineau, a sort of itinerant several of those beloved and conscientious dealer in wool, who was immediately struck pastors; and various tumults were excited by with the decisive consequences of this open attempts to establish their successors by au- attack on the constituted authorities. The thority. Some lives were lost in these tu- tidings were brought to him as he was kneadmults; but their most important effect was ing the weekly allowance of bread for his in diffusing an opinion of the severity of the family. He instantly wiped his arms, put on new government, and familiarizing the peo- his coat, and repaired to the village marketple with the idea of resisting it by force. place, where he harangued the inhabitants, The order of the Convention for a forced levy and prevailed on twenty or thirty of the boldof three hundred thousand men, and the pre- est youths to take their arms in their hands parations to carry it into effect, gave rise to and follow him. He was universally respect. the first scrious insurrection ;-—and while the ed for his piety, good sense, and mildness of dread of punishment for the acts of violence character; and, proceeding with his troop of already committed deterred the insurgents recruits to a neighbouring village, repeated his from submitting, the standard was no sooner eloquent exhortations, and instantly found raised between the republican government on himself at the head of more than a hundred the one hand and the discontented peasantry enthusiasts. Without stopping a moment, he on the other, than the mass of that united and led this new army to the attack of a military alarmed population declared itself for their post guarded by four score soldiers and a associates; and a great tract of country was piece of cannon. The post was surprised, thus arrayed in open rebellion, without con- ihe soldiers dispersed or made prisoners,cert, leader, or preparation. We have the and the gun brought off in triumph. From testimony of Madame de L. therefore, in ad- this he advances, the same afternoon, to dition to all other good testimony, that this another post of two hundred soldiers and three great civil war originated almost accidentally; pieces of cannon; and succeeds, by the same and certainly not from any plot or conspiracy surprise and intrépidily: The morning after, of the leading royalists in the country. The while preparing for other enterprises, he is