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by their recent losses and by their fears for 'Thoughtful and irresolute, I slowly the future; the tutor looked sad, careworn, retraced my steps towards the · Palais de pale, and haggard : Let us go to your Justice, dreading to get there, and hoping study,' he said, and leave the children in not to find those whom I was seeking. this room.' We did so. He threw him- I arrived before five o'clock. There were self on a chair. 'All is over, my friend,' no signs of departure. Sick at heart, I he said ; the ladies are before the Revo- ascended the steps of the 'Sainte Chapelle, lutionary Tribunal. I summon you to then I walked into the Grande Salle, and keep your word. I shall take the boys to wandered about. I sat down, I arose again, Vincennes to see little Euphémie.* While but spoke to no one. From time to time in the wood I shall prepare these unfor- I cast a' melancholy glance towards the tunate children for their terrible loss.' courtyard, to see if there were any signs of
“Although I had long been prepared departure. My constant thought was that for this news, I was greatly shocked. The in two hours, perhaps in one, they would frightful situation of the parents, of the be no more. I cannot say how overwhelmed children, of their worthy tutor, that youth- I was by that idea, which has affected me ful mirth so soon to be followed by such through life on all such occasions, and they misery; poor little Euphémie, then only have only been too frequent.
While a four years old, all these thoughts rushed prey to these mournful feelings, never did upon my mind. But I soon recovered an hour appear to me so long or so short myself, and after a few questions, and an- as the one which elapsed between five and swers full of mournful details, I said to M. six o'clock on that day. Conflicting Grellet: 'You must go now, and I must thoughts were incessantly crossing my change my dress. What a task I have be- mind, which made me suddenly pass from fore me! Pray that God may give me the illusions of vain hope to fears, alas ! strength to accomplish it.' We arose, and too well founded. At last I saw, by a found the children innocently amusing movement in the crowd, that the prison themselves, looking gay and happy. The door was on the point of being opened. sight of them, the thought of their uncon- I went down and placed myself near the sciousness of what they were so soon to outer gate, as for the previous fortnight it learn, and of the interview which would had become impossible to enter the prison follow with their little sister, rendered the yard. The first cart was filled with contrast more striking, and almost broke prisoners, and came towards me. It was my heart. Left alone after their depar- occupied by eight ladies, whose demeanor ture, I felt terrified and exhausted. My was most edifying. Of these, seven were God, have pity on them and on me!' í unknown to me. The last, who was very exclaimed. I changed my clothes and near me, was the Maréchale de Noailles. went to two or three places. With a A transient ray of hope crossed my mind heavy load on my heart, I turned my steps when I saw that her daughter-in-law and towards the ‘Palais de Justice,' between her grand-daughter were not with her; one and two o'clock in the afternoon. I but, alas! they were in the second cart. tried to get in, but found it impossible. I “Mme. de Noailles was in white; she made inquiries of a person who had just did not appear more than twenty-four left the tribunal. I still doubted the truth years of age: Mme d'Ayen, who looked of the news which had been told me. But about forty, wore a dress striped blue the answer destroyed all illusion and all and white. Six men got in after them. hope; I could doubt no longer. Once I was pleased to see the respectful distance more I went on my way, and turned my at which the two first placed themselves, steps towards the Faubourg Saint-Antoine. so as to leave more liberty to the ladies. What thoughts, what agitation, what secret They were scarcely seated when the mother terrors distracted my poor brain! I opened became the object of that tender solicitude my heart to a friend whom I could trust, for which her daughter was well known.” and who, speaking to me in God's name, In the heart-rending scene which folstrengthened my courage. “At his house I lows, the good priest was too far away took some coffee, which seemed to relieve from the carts containing the victims to my head.
be able to hear what they said; but whilst
gazing in his agony at the angelic Mme. * Their sister, Mme, de Vérac.
de Noailles, and happily catching her
eye, he was able, as it were, to see her had taken refuge in the shops and gatespeak, and nothing can be more touching, ways. There was less order in the proor more tenderly beautiful, than the words cession, both the escort and the carts havshe seemed to utter. Let us add that ing quickened their pace. They were close those words lose nothing by passing into to the Petit Saint-Antoine,' and I was the exquisite English in which M. de still undecided. The first cart passed. By Lasteyrie has translated them. We may a precipitate and involuntary movement I be unduly proud of our language, but quitted the shop-door, rushed towards the certainly we imagine that these words, as second cart, and found myself close to the rendered by M. de Lasteyrie, are even ladies. Mme. de Noailles perceived me, more touching than the original French. and, smiling, seemed to say: There you The narrative goes on :
are at last! How happy we are to see you ! “ I heard it said near me, 'Look at that How we have looked for you! Mama, there young one, how anxious she seems! see he is! Mme. d'Ayen appeared to revive. how she is speaking to the other one!' As for myself, all irresolution vanished For my part, I felt as if I heard all they from my mind. By the grace of God I were saying. Mama, he is not there.- felt possessed of extraordinary courage. Look again.--Nothing escapes me; I assure Soaked with rain and perspiration, I conyou, mama, he is not there.
tinued to walk by them. On the steps of “ They had evidently forgotten that I the church of Saint Louis I met a friend had sent them word that it would be who, filled with respect and attachment impossible for me to gain admittance into for the ladies, was endeavoring to give the prison yard. The first cart stopped them the same assistance. His countebefore me during at least a quarter of an nance, his attitude, showed what he felt. hour. It moved on; the second followed. I placed my hand on his shoulder, and, I approached the ladies; they did not see shuddering, said, 'Good evening, my dear
I went again into the Palais de friend.' Justice, and then a long way round, and " The storm was at its height. The wind stood at the entrance of the Pont-au- blew tempestuously, and greatly annoyed Change,' in a prominent place. Mme. de the ladies in the first cart, more especially Noailles cast her eyes around her; she the Maréchale de Noailles. With her hands passed, and did not see me. I followed tied behind her, with no support for her the carts over the bridge, and thus kept back, she tottered on the wretched plank near the ladies, though separated from upon which she was placed. Her large them by the crowd. Mme. de Noailles, cap fell back and exposed to view some still looking for me, did not perceive me. grey hairs. Immediately, a number of Mme. d'Ayen's anxiety became visible on people, who were gathered there notwithher countenance. Her daughter watched standing the rain, having recognised her, the crowd with increasing attention, but in she became the sole object of their attenvain. I felt tempted to turn back.' Have tion. They added by their insults to the I not done all that I could ? I inwardly sufferings she was enduring so patiently. exclaimed. Everywhere the crowd will be “There she is, that Maréchale who used greater; it is useless to go any further. to go about with so many attendants, drivI was on the point of giving up the at- ing in such fine coaches: there she is in tempt. Suddenly the sky became over- the cart, just like the others!' The shouts clouded, thunder was heard in the distance; continued, the sky became darker, the I made a fresh effort. A short cut brought rain fell heavier still. We were close to me before the arrival of the carts to the the carrefour, preceding the Faubourg Rue Saint-Antoine, nearly opposite the too Saint-Antoine. I went forward, examined famous ‘Force. At that moment the storm the spot, and said to myself, This is the broke forth. The wind blew violently; place for granting them what they so much flashes of lightning and claps of thunder long
for. followed in rapid succession; the rain “ The cart was going slower. I turned poured down in torrents. I took shelter towards the ladies, and made a sign which at a shopdoor. The spot is always present Mme. de Noailles understood perfectly. to my memory, and I have never passed Mama, M. Carrichon is going to give us abby it since without emotion. In one mo- solution, she evidently whispered. They ment the street was cleared: the crowd piously bowed their heads with a look of
repentance, contrition, and hope. Then have attracted notice if those around me I lifted up my hand, and, without uncover- had had time for observation. I pulled ing my head, pronounced the form of ab- my hat over my eyes without taking them solution, and the words which follow it, off her. I felt as if I could hear her say, very distinctly, and with supernatural at- Our sacrifice is accomplished ! We have tention, Never shall I forget the expres- the firm and comforting hope that a merciful sion of their faces. From that moment God is calling us to Him. How many dear the storm abated, the rain diminished, and to us we leave behind ! but we shall forget seemed only to have fallen for the furthe
Farewell to them, and thanks to rance of our wishes. I offered up my thanks you! Jesus Christ, who died for us, is our to God, and so did, I am sure, these pious strength. May we die in Him! Farewell. women. Their exterior appearance spoke May we all meet again in heaven! contentment, security, and joy.”
"It is impossible to give an idea of the Here, then, was absolution not preceded animation and fervor of those signs, the by any confession which can be called eloquence of which was so touching that “auricular," and given, besides, by the the bystanders exclaimed: "Oh! that priest whilst standing disguised in a crowd; young woman, how happy she seems, how but we believe it is not doubted in the she looks up to heaven, how she is prayRoman Catholic Church that the deviation ing! But what is the use of it all ?' And from the usual practice had a sound war- then, on second thoughts : 'Oh! the rasrant in the necessity of the case, and that cals, the bigots!' the absolution was valid. The narrative “ The mother and daughter took a last goes on:
farewell of each other and descended from “ As we advanced through the 'Fau- the cart. As for me, the outer world disbourg,' the rain having ceased, a curious appeared for a moment. At once brokenmultitude again lined the two sides of the hearted and comforted, I could only restreet, insulting the ladies in the first cart, turn thanks to God for not having waited Lat above all the Maréchale. Nothing for this moment to give them absolution; was said to the others. I sometimes walked or, which would have been still worse, deby the side of the carts, and sometimes layed it till they had ascended the scaffold. preceded them.
We could not have joined in prayer while “ At last we reached the fatal spot. II gave, and they received, this great blesscannot describe what I felt. What a mo- ing; as we had been enabled to do in the ment! What a separation! What an af- most favorable circumstance possible at fliction for the children, husbands, sisters, such a time. I left the spot where I was relations, and friends who are to survive standing, and went over to the other side, those beloved ones in this valley of tears! while the victims were getting out. I There they are before me full of health, and found myself opposite the wooden steps in one moment I shall see them no more. which led to the scaffold. An old man, What anguish! yet not without deep con- tall and straight, with white hair and a solation at beholding them so resigned. good-natured countenance, was leaning
“We came in sight of the scaffold. The against it. I was told he was a fermiercarts stopped, and were immediately sur- général. Near him stood a very edifying rounded by the soldiers. A ring of nume- lady, whom I did not know. Then came rous spectators was soon formed, most of the Maréchale de Noailles, exactly oppowhom were laughing and amusing them- site me, dressed in black, for she was still selves at the horrible sight. It was dread- in mourning for her husband. She was jul to be amongst them!
sitting on a block of wood or stone which “ While the executioner and his two as- happened to be there, her large eyes fixed sistants were helping the prisoners out of with a vacant look. I had not omitted to the first cart, Mme. de Noailles's eyes do for her what I had done for so many, and sought for me in the crowd. She caught in particular for the Maréchal and Marésight of me. What a wonderful expression chale de Mouchy. All the others were drawn there was in those looks! Sometimes up in two lines, looking towards the Fauraised towards heaven, sometimes lowered bourg Saint-Antoine. From where I stood I towards earth; her eyes, so animated, so could only perceive Mme. d'Ayen, whose atgentle, so expressive, so heavenly, were of- titude and countenance expressed the most ten fixed on me in a manner which would sublime, unaffected, and devout resignation.
She seemed only occupied with the sacri- had happened to the mother also happened fice she was about to make to God, through to her: the same pain in the removal of her the merits of the Saviour, His divine Son. cap, then the same composure and the She looked as she was wont to do when same death. Oh! the abundant crimson she had the happiness of approaching the stream that gushed from the head and neck! altar for holy communion. I shall never How happy she is now! I thought as her forget the impression she made on me at body was thrown into the frightful coffin. that moment. It is often in my thoughts. “May Almighty God in His mercy beGod grant that I may profit by it! stow on the members of that family all the
“ The Maréchale de Noailles was the blessings which I ask, and entreat them to third person who ascended the scaffold. ask for mine! May we all be saved with The upper part of her dress had to be those who have gone before us to that hapcut away in order to uncover her throat. py dwelling where revolutions are unknown I was impatient to leave the place, but yet to that abode which, according to the I wished to drink the cup of bitterness to words of Saint Augustine, has Truth for its the dregs, and to keep my promise, as God King, Charity for its law, and will endure was giving me strength to do so, even in for Eternity.' the midst of all my shuddering horror. Six The moral we draw is, that neither men ladies followed. Mme. d’Ayen was the nor women should be brought by priests or tenth. How happy she seemed to die be- deacons into that state of mind which fits fore her daughter! The executioner tore them to be trampled upon without resisoff her cap. As it was fastened by a pin tance. Charlotte Corday was the superb which he had forgotten to remove, he exception; but in general, both by nature pulled her hair violently, and the pain he and habit, the Frenchman has always been caused was visible on her countenance. iut too well inclined to meet the ap
“The mother disappeared, the daughter proaches of tyranny with a shrug and“ que took her place. What a sight to behold voulez-vous ?” and it seems perverse in the that young creature, all in white, looking extreme to aggravate this baneful weakness still younger
than she really was, like a gen- by applying to those who were only “victle lamb going to the slaughter! I fancied tims,” the grand appellation of “ martyrs,” I was witnessing the martyrdom of one of and confusing the idea of submission to the young virgins or holy women whom we Heaven with that of submission to scounread of in the history of the Church. What drels. [From Blackwood's Magazine.
ART AND MORALITY.
Spinosa says somewhere that our pas- which inspired it, that we should abandon sions all imply confusion of thought ; and ourselves to a blind glow of pleasurable of course he proves this with all the parade emotion and lose sight of the vivid train of geometrical method which is so satis- of clear, articulate images which set our fying to some and so tedious to others. hearts on fire at first. And there is anothBut everybody can verify the aphorism er safeguard to morality ; perfect art must for himself by observing that he becomes be more than adequate, it must be satiscalm as soon as he can attend to what it factory ; it is condemned by its own is that has disturbed him. And this sug- standard till it can produce a type which gests that passion and art must be enemies, can be contemplated upon all sides and so far as passion is a temptation, and so throughout all time. The situation of far as art is perfect ; for certainly every- Maggie Tulliver in the boat with her one would agree that it is a perfection of cousin's betrothed, has many elements of art to present, and therefore to conceive, artistic beauty; it is romantic, intense, and its subject as clearly and as adequately as elevated; but it is not satisfactory ideally may be. The subject of the Epithala- because it is not satisfactory morally": mium of Mallius, or of the Vigil of Venus, like Maggie, we cannot forget the beginis full in one sense of danger to morality, ning, we cannot but look forward to the but the langer is that our feeling for the end. It is well that the dream should be subject should be too strong for the poetry broken ; though the voyage on the flood to Tom and to death has less charm, it must always be conceived as holy, just, has more peace; the imagination can and good, though it is not always condwell upon it. The new pagan treatment ceived as giving life and peace. of the Tannhäuser legend seems capable The art which is always claiming to be of a more musical intensity than the tradi- emancipated from morality is not the abtional Christian treatment, yet it can solute art; perhaps the morality which it hardly be doubted that Heine was right on rebels against is hardly the absolute mopurely artistic grounds in giving up this rality. The practical question has to be intensity, and following his own temper, discussed on a lower level, but it is not to and turning all to irony. Mr. Swinburne be dismissed as though the art which has to undertake the impossible task of comes into conflict with morality were reconciling us to the thought of a Hell, spurious because it is not the highest. too intensely realized to be poetical ; the True, the perfections of art are its safeknight has to promise that he will remem- guards, but art may be so much without ber and rejoice in Venus there—we could being perfect. Its perfection exists rather not have believed it of a saint. Perfect for itself than for us, though we rejoice in art does not deal in paradoxes. This it afar off; what we need is that it should carries us a step further. In order that be stimulating, and this too is what the art may be adequate and satisfactory it artist needs, for he too is of the same clay must be sane and rational, it must be the as we. Like us, he desires fresher emoexpression not of revolt but of harmony, tions than the ordinary round of life supit must assume and reflect an ideal order plies, though this too has a satisfaction of in the world. The impulse of revolt is its own for those who cherish its affecstrong both in Byron and Shelley, and they tions. And the craving which is occasional are among the greatest of poets, but the with us is habitual with him. He refuses law holds good in them. The grandest the false gratification that might be found canto of Childe Harold is the last, where for it if he would make virtue always culdespair and disdain are passing into a minate in some kind of Lord Mayor's calm that at least is half-resigned. Shel- Show; life loses such flavor as it has in ley's anguish for himself and for mankind the attempt to make it just a little better, goes off incessantly into mere shrieking and a little easier, and a little prettier. If whenever it takes the form of a revolt the artist will not idealize ordinary life by against the tyranny of kings and priests, it falsifying it, and cannot idealize it in the becomes musical again when it blends light of the higher law, or sustain himself with the mute sorrow of “the World's upon the level of ideal action, it remains Wanderers," and becomes a voice in the for him to go beyond the world since he universal chorus of the whole creation that cannot rise above it. He tries to escape groaneth and travaileth in pain together. It from the hackneyed routine of domestic is not required of art to be cheerful, nei- duties and felicities into an unsatisfactory ther is it required of morality as such. fairy-land of extreme passions, of untried Marcus Aurelius and George Eliot present desires, of unfettered impulses, working “ altruism" under a form that makes the themselves out within the exciting comEpicurean burden—“Let us eat and drink, plexities of abnormal situations. Since he for to-morrow we die”-glad tidings of cannot have the true ideal, and will not great joy to flesh and blood. But though put up with the false, he demands the George Eliot's fascination is painful, it is whole range of the real, and chooses to complete, there is nothing to disgust and be always gleaning on the outskirts of emancipate us ; for her art rests upon the possibility. The lust of the flesh and the acknowledgment of an order to which all just of the eye and the pride of life are must be subject whether they will or no, not really ideal, but they have their ideal though the order exists for other ends than moments (or they could not tempt us), the happiness, or even the perfection, of and there comes a time when art finds it the creatures under it. We need not in- hard to part with one of these. The quire whether such a morality is enough only justification that has yet been put for life, but, in its obedience, art finds per- forward for the persistent attempt to pluck fect freedom. Or rather, absolute art is the “flowers of evil” is that the artist shares not subject to absolute morality, but both the general dislike to their fruit, and that, are expressions of one ideal order which whether he plucks or no, the world is sure