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Error is inpossible ; a Aatterer could not persuade the greatest fool in this matter. A crowd of courtiers would lose their labour flattering a prince on the grace with which he had just washed his hands, if the ablution had not taken place. Behold the imprudence we have been guilty of in launching a shaft which had sped so unerringly to the centre of the butt, and the number of enemies we have made among the dirty-fingered: it is really frightful.”
However often M. de Girardin thought it expedient to change bis political creed, we have not been able to discover through the four volumes of his lady's passing observations, any views not consistent with rational liberty and good govern. ment, as we understand them on this side of the " sea sleeve." Her equanimity was frequently disturbed by the little street insurreetions so pleasantly described by De Bernard in L'Homme Serieux.* In the paper of March 6th, 1839, she thus speaks :
“The Emeute has not come to the gathering point; it has not proceeded yet to blows, it scolds. It abuses the people who pass in voitures. If it perceive a lady inside a coach, it cries, 'oh! you are at your ease; you will take no trouble you can avoid: can't you go on foot as we do?' And not a harness or coach maker has protested against this outcry. It is evident that the boot and shoe makers are in the majority. No more hackney coaches!' you say. Be it so. Let us go on foot for the benefit of the commonweal; but let the reform be adopted in its full rigor. Go on then, coachmen, grooms, footmen, hostlers, huntsmen, and prickers. We are the friends of the people--we will not indulge in a luxury which offends its delicate nostrils. Go on good people: make out your living some other way: we don't want you: quit the stables, and become good citizens.
« And now that we must go on foot, what shall we do with these useless ornaments? What good, for instance, in a gown of white satin or sky-blue velvet to walk the streets ? a woollen stuff will do quite well. Go to then, brave weavers of our old city of Lyons, quit your looms, you are free: we have no further need of your se
services. No more drudgery-be happy, and turn out good citizens.
“But if our ladies are no more to don these proud dresses, why should they use expensive lace? Down with all laces then, black and white, laces in relief, blonde laces, point de Paris, point de Alençon. Down we say with these humiliating ornaments! the women of the people will not have them. As a friend of the people we will not have the woman more bedizened than the man. No more the floating veill ridiculous net, so often torn, so often replaced. Lace merchants, close your shops ; give a holiday to your poor women : their eyes are injured by the delicate nature of their work. We are more generous than you, and will give them rest.
• See Irish QUARTERLY Review, No.
“We have suppressed horses, coaches, satin, silk, lace: why should we spare jewels, the insulting jewels worn for no purpose by the rich, but to excite the envy of those who cannot afford them? What is the use of diamonds for instance, but to tempt the thieves ? How can a lady crown her head with diamonds, and so many poor without bread! it is unjust. Jewellers, please to close your shops : we have no need of you, my friends: your art only serves to irritate the poor: you encourage vice in exhibiting all these treasures : go, do penance, and become good citizens.
« But the ribbons! Ah! they are so light, so graceful, so pretty! spare them. And why should we spare them? They fasten nothing, neither the hair, nor the dress: they are only ornaments, and orna. ments must not be retained. The useful, and nothing but the usefull the useful is now the ornamental: we need to be dressed, not orna. mented. What need have you of ribbons, Madam? To keep you warm ! eh! No. Tben renounce ribbons, and give rest to the thousands of arms that are now fatiguing themselves at St. Etienne to indulge your caprices. Leave these brave men time to occupy themselves with politics. Why should they spend the long day at labor? To support their wives and children--nonsense.
It is only to indulge your whims in the fabrication of cabbage heads, true love knots, and perfect contentments, charming fantasies to which your inconstancy adds a new name every year. No more ribbons, dear weavers ! you are all good citizens : cross your arms, and amuse yourselves with an excursion on your railroad.
“ But as we have extinguished silks, velvets, manufactures of Lyons and manufactures of St. Etienne, why should we not render their liberty to the silk worms? The poor creatures ! they are literally stifled. They are kept in an intolerable atmosphere ; their fate is frightful. Poor insect! our luxury has kept you in durance vile, till now: bless this era of equality which restores you to liberty. The first century of our era saw the emancipation of the woman, the twelfth that of the slave, the eighteenth took the chains off the serf, the nineteenth will see the freedom of the silk worm. Burhere a disagreeable idea intrudes. What will the interesting reptile do with his independence ? To pass from the dense air of servitude to which he has been accustomed for ages,into the inebriating atmosphere of liberty, will be too abrupt a transition to a being so delicate. And then you cannot emancipate an entire nation of caterpillars without some anxiety for their future well being. What employment can we procure for the insect? Shall we make him a citizen, or allow him political rights ? he would not thank us for these privileges. Per. haps the place of butterfly in the royal gardens, or cockchafer in the crown forests might be secured for him.
“ The more we think, the wider spreads the economical field before us. Suppress rich dress and ornament: then will the women, particularly the ugly ones, give no encouragement to mirrors, toilettetables, or psyches. The manufacture of glass ceases, and the contented workmen will turn out the best of citizens. No longer caring to be seen by others, of course we go to no expense for crystal lustres or candelabras of gilt bronze. Ladies at a party in woollen
dresses, would not relish to be set in high relief by these artificial
Smash the chandeliers ! the lights of the understanding will suffice for us: behold thousands of workmen now metamorphosed into joyous citizens !
“And now figure to yourself, saddlers, lace makers, ribbon wea. vers, and workers in bronze, giving their arms to their wives, and followed by their children, hungry and on foot, but on foot like the rest of the world ; without money but equally without envy, without bread but without humiliation, without salary but without a tyrant master, naked but free, wretched but proud, and enjoying that greatest of luxuries, idleness.
“ There will be no longer a barrier between poor and rich; the strictest equality well unite the great and little, for all will be little. The dreams of our modern economists will be fulfilled, and themselves will be content. They will rub their hands,-perhaps they would wash thein, but for a long time, Windsor soap (inade at Marseilles), will have been suppressed as a most unnecessary fantasy; the reign of the people will be established, and the enemies of opulence triumphant."
“ After all, these very means will be the surest to establish aristocracy in time. Why were sumptuary laws enacted in former ages ? Why in Rome and Venice, did they forbid expensive displays ? Merely to prevent the nobility from impoverishing themselves by their follies, and enriching the inferior classes by their spoils. You say that the great are enriched by the sweat of the poor ; on the contrary the people are fattened on the prodigal follies of the rich nobles. It is because the Duke of-is ruined by his waistcoats, that his tailor has made a fortune ; the Marquis of and the count ofbave lost their estates on the race-course, and Cremieur and Hobbs are thereby enriched. And you desire that our young elegants should go on foot ! they ought to be thankful to you, for you save them from that misery which would make them your equals ; and you deprive the people who labor, of all the money they would gain by these young fools. Bravo gentlemen! you establish sumptuary laws which your opponents would not venture to tamper with, and which in the end will crush yourselves ; you protect accumulated fortunes in forbidding their owners to spend them, you stifle growing ones which might tend by rivalling them in time to preserve equality; in fine you work for the revival of the aristocracy, but the masses will pardon you as being ultra-democrats. *
* Notwithstanding all our Lady's keenness of penetration, moderate fortunes and little luxarious expenditure would make a happier state of things than our present boundless luxury and miserable destitution. It is a hard thing for a delicately nurtured lady, one gifted with a fine taste for literary and other luxuries. to see these things from the point of view of the struggling tradesman or labourer.
It would not be doing justice to our fair writer, if we omitted to give some specimen of her devotional thoughts and feelings. The reader will be struck with the religious element as seen through her poetic coloring.
“ Every one of us has some favorite festival. Some prefer the Fete Dieu, and regret the beautiful processions, which formerly traversed the city in every direction, with waving banners, young girls with downcast eyes, and adorned with white crowns and veils, and battalions of choir children exhibiting their scarlet robes in the sun. And then the rich tapestries hung out from balconies, the magnificent tabernacles, with their rich accompaniments of superb candelabras, and precious vases-fairest mansions that could be devised by the rich of the earth to receive the Lord of Heaven. It is the most poetic of ceremonies, the vapour of perfumes uniting ito self to the scent of roses, so as to intoxicate the senses of the devout worshippers.
“ Other spirits, we should say other hearts affect the day of the ASSUMPTION. For them the BLESSED Mary is the heavenly load. star: from her radiates the effulgence of beanty, purity, and love. She rules by every claim and right; she unites the chastity of the young Virgin to the august dignity of the Mother; she is powerful by her grace, absolute by her sweetness, awful in her innocence ; and yet it is to her intercession we sue, to obtain pardon of offences against this spotless virtue.
“ To young wives, the festival of CARISTMAS is a welcome solemnity. The lovely new-born INFANT captivates their eyes : they feel for him devotion blended with maternal love. To the hearts of women, the Saviour of the world scarcely speaks as powerfully as the INFANT Jesus. This festival is of so affecting a character, that it once made a poet of a friend of ours, wbo was very ignorant of verse, till one morning, when on returning from early mass she improvised the following stanzas,"
Then follow some beautiful lines, which we would most gladly translate, had the poetic gift been among our birth-day presents. They are the aspirations of a childless mother for that very doubtful blessing, a child. We pray some lady on whom the divine afflatus bas breathed, to open the fourth volume at page 10, and send us, either prepaid or unpaid, a. worthy transfusion of the sweet poesy they will there find. Delphine was then a young childless wife, and there is an indescribable melancholy charm about the lines, that may be well attributed to this circumstance.
“ TWELFTH DAY is also an imposing festival from the prevailing sentiment which it brings with it." These proud kings prostrate before the lowly crib, human power humbling itself before the divine, the crown lost in the encircling glory, all these images, grand and
gracious at the same time, strike the soul by their deep meaning, and charm the eyes by their vastness. Along with this the EPIPHANY is a household festival. It brings together a joyful group animated with sportive contests, and childish merriment. It is celebrated with joy while the family reunion is complete ; but alas, where a seat is vacant, the festival is only a day of mourning.
“But our own favorite solemnity is Palm SUNDAY. The very sight of a bit of blessed palm (box wood) still affects us as when a child. At Rome they have the genuine palm brought from the environs of Genoa. God knows how we love the palms ! and with what profound respect we are inspired by this tree of the Scriptures ! these waving branches embracing in themselves all the poetry of the East; and yet the memories of our childhood are so strong, that the sacred palm blessed by the Pope himself, had a weaker effect on us than a little branch of Parisian box wood.
“ Last Sunday the inhabitants of this great city seemed to sympa. thise strongly with us. The drivers of the public vehicles had the collars of their horses ornamented with branches of palm, and the women returning from church had their hands filled with a provision of the blessed shrub. Every one attached an idea, a belief, a souvenir to this sacred ornament, which he or she was going to fasten over some revered object-one over the portrait of his mother, ano: thor (it must be confessed) above the bust of Napoleon, a third over the holy-water vessel, a fourth over the image of her patroness. . What folly,' cry the philosophers, 'to pay such reverence to a dwarfish little shrub, which scarcely requires an inch of soil, and is only fit for making combs and snuff boxes !' Ah, what fine people the philosophers are ! they never have the slightest distrust of them. selves: their proud revelations, their lofty thoughts are ever at com. mand ; and they have no need of exterior objects to recal them from a distance. What use can the image be to him who is never without the idea, or the guardian recollection to him, whom a defect of memory has never led into a fault? We acknowledge that we have not this strength of soul. We have need in our hours of prostration of a holy image, of a sacred souvenir, to come to our assistance. when our souls are in trouble, consolation and counsel enter again through our eyes; and we make this acknowledgment the more readily, as we have seen minds of a very superior order subject to the same weakness."
The longest article must have an end, but in this instance it is not for lack of material, as our selections have scarcely extended beyond the first volume. For an exact picture of the period over which the papers extended, as to fashions, public feeling, state of the line arts, groupings in private and public life, they will be of the greatest value to the future historian of those things which are neglected by the setters up of the skeletons of past national events. We scarcely know a book better adapted to fill up hours spent in railroad carriages,