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accepted, she would prove the falsehood of the and Marcel appear; the former energetically takes calumnies raised against her. Her resolution the part of the victim, but Marcel does more; he taken, the days go by, and she thinks of nothing declares that in spite of everything he is still else. Often she trembles, for how much had she ready to marry her if she will but consent. And at stake on her success; still hoping, for she felt I too am ready," cries Pascal, to the confusion of sure her prayers had been heard. his rival; "choose between us, Françonette!"
There was little doubt how Françonette would decide, but the unhappy girl has herself almost come to believe that she would be fatal to any one who loved her. "Oh! no marriage," she replies; 'Pascal, I kill with my love-go-forget me and be happy without me!" But at length, as he insists, she yields. Pascal is enraptured, the crowd shudder, the soldier is thunderstruck. Pascal addresses him. "I am happier than you," he says,
The fourth and last canto opens with the arrival of Lady-day. Françonette's intention has been noised abroad, and there is much curiosity far and near as to the result. There is also some pity for her, and many wish that a miracle may be worked on her behalf: she sees the sympathy of the people, and takes courage. Her hopes increase as she sees near her Pascal, praying devoutly. With a beating heart, she lights her taper, presents herself in her place, and awaits" but you are a brave man; to conduct me to the the old priest, who is to hold to her the image of the Virgin. He comes, but just as he extends it, that she may kiss it, a loud clap of thunder breaks, resounds, and rolls away; her taper is extinguished, and with it three of those on the altar.
Cièrge escantit: prièro repoussado !
With a superstitious people this is decisive. Françonette is condemned by the ordeal she herself chose. "It is then true; she has been sold to the demon-Heaven has abandoned her!" A murmur of horror arises from the congregation, and when the unhappy girl, "breathless and with a vacant look rises to go out, all shudder and shrink from her touch."
tomb I have need of a bridesman-I have no longer a friend who will fill the office—do you!”
Marcel pauses; it is evident a great battle is waging in his heart; his eye flashes, his brow overcasts, he fixes his look on Françonette in silence, and becomes deadly pale. At last recovering himself, he laughs forcedly, as he replies, "Since she wishes it-she-I will."
A fortnight after a bridal procession descended the side of the green hill; a curious crowd, trembling for Pascal's fate, is assembled to see it pass ; Marcel leads the nuptial party, a secret pleasure in his countenance, an expression impossible to define in his eye. One would have thought it was his own triumph; the festivities on a grand scale are at his expense; everything rains in abundance, everything is at the will of the guests, except pleasure, for none either laugh or sing." It is more like a funeral than a wedding, for it is now too late to save Pascal, and all are sure as to the
The evening comes. Suddenly Pascal's mother enters. "Oh, my son !" she exclaims, "leave this place. I have been to the fortune-teller. The sieve has turned—your death is certain! Pascal ! if you enter your nuptial chamber, you are lost. You are lost if you remain here. And I, who love you so much, what will become of me if you die? Is a mother, then, nothing?" Pascal's eye grew dim, but in this last trial he remains firm.
Meanwhile the thunderstorm had fallen on her native village of Roquefort, the lightning had demolished the belfry of the church, and the haillot that awaits him. had destroyed the vintage of the year. The inhabitants are inconsolable and excited; it needs but a small spark to inflame their passions to madness; and thus, when a voice exclaims "Françonette's land remains unscathed!" the frenzied population cry with one accord, "Let us drive her out! let us burn her! woe to the accursed one!" The unfortunate girl, meantime, half dead with grief, has regained her home, and motionless in her little chamber gives course to her despair." Marcel," he says, "if any evil befall me, take "Poor bouquet!" she says to the flowers she had received with the consecrated bread from Pascal, "when I first had thee, thy perfume was happiness, and I breathed it. Relic of love! I have borne thee in my bosom, but now thou art faded, and with thee my happiness also. Brave Pascal, fare-bride is false. But thank your mother; for withwell! my wounded heart weeps at the word-but farewell and forever! Born in an ill hour, not to drag you down along with me I must hide from you my love, and yet to-day I feel that I love you more than ever-that I love you with a love that nothing can cure, with a love that in this world makes one live a queen, or die! Yet death is nothing if it spare you!"
But the mob arrives, they set fire to her farmyard and utter terrible threats against her old grandmother and herself. At this moment Pascal
care of my mother; but my love for Françonette is too strong."
“I can hold out no longer!" cries the soldier, wiping away a tear; "your mother has disarmed me- -be happy, Pascal. All the tale about your
out her you should nevertheless have perished— and I as well. Listen!" Marcel then tells him how, exasperated at Françonette's preference for Pascal, he had bribed the sorcerer to invent the calumny, so singularly seconded by chance; how, when his rival was finally accepted, he undertook the office of bridesman only the more easily to work out his revenge; and how, under the chamber prepared for the married pair, he had placed a barrel of gunpowder, which, at the moment they entered he would have fired, and so have destroyed
all three together.
recalled to my mind my own, whom I have lost -live for yours; from me you have nothing more I have now no one. to love, and I return to the wars." He disappears, and all breathe again. Pascal retires joyously with his bride.
"But your mother, Pascal, | in the neighboring town of Tonneins the drawing for the conscription is going on, Martha and her friend Annette are awaiting anxiously the result, for each has a lover whose lot is now being decided. The girls, equal in fate as in fortune, are, however, of very different characters, and their anxiety is very differently deep. Martha, of a delicate beauty, rare amongst peasant maidens, is also of such tenderness and of affections so profound, that her love is her life or her death. Annette, a gay and somewhat frivolous creature, is one of those " on whose heart sorrow passes and takes no root."
The next day, so strong was their superstition, the people were still anxious about his fate. Some had heard strange sounds in the air during the night; others had seen shadowy shapes upon the wall. They doubt if Pascal lives; but when at last his door opens, and he comes out all safe and sound, with Françonette all blooming and blushing, fear gives place to shame and repentance. The bliss of Pascal makes all the young men envious; " and the poor fellows, badly cured of their passion for the fairest of the fair,' say, as they see her looking like a blowing rose, so happy and so lovely, Ah! never more will we believe in sorcerers!'
Annette has just had her fortune told on the event which so much interests them; the cards have been favorable, and she now proposes to play the sibyl for her friend, who, with fond and hoping superstition, allows her to do as she wishes. The excitement of the two as the divination proceeds is admirably depicted. All goes on in very favorable augury to almost the last card. Jacques' good fortune is all but assured; Martha breathes again and smiles, when, ❝ like a skeleton at a banquet,” the Queen of Clubs, the most unfavorable sign in the pack, appears. At that moment is heard the noise of drum and fife, mingled with joyous songs; it is the young men who have drawn fortunate numbers returning home in triumphant procession. But the cards had given a true prophecy-Joseph, the lover of Annette, was amongst the exulting
A fortnight after, from the village church the
Such is a sketch of Jasmin's "Françonette," many fine passages of which we have been obliged, from our limits, to pass over without notice; in particular, we have had to omit numerous striking and faithful details of local usages, manners, and superstitions; for these, though serving materially to the completeness and embellishment of the poem, would probably be unintelligible without explanatory notes. It is possible, that with all its band-Jacques was absent. beauties, Françonette may read somewhat coldly to many; if so, it will arise from the plot mainly thoughtless Annette came out in all her nuptial turning on a superstitious feeling which no longer exists, and the extent of which we cannot readily understand. The choice of such for the mainspring of the action is certainly scarcely to be considered judicious; and we believe that however admirable "Françonette" may be considered as a work of art and genius, it will never become by any means so generally popular as other works of Jasmin, which depend for their interest on more universal and eternal sympathies, such as "Maltro l'Innoucento," for instance, to which we
Last year, every evening at the smiling hour, when in the shade, all alone, I can dream and sing, I saw grow white before me the graceful shade of the poor idiot girl, who for so many years in Agen lived on charity, and whom we children were accustomed to torment when she left her home to fill her little empty basket. And all was recalled to me. Her virgin elegance under her coarse garments of serge, her fear when a soldier passed, made me think that the gentle Martha once had enjoyed her reason, and that she was the victim of her love. My muse went in search of her story, on every side, across vines and over daisies. I had not deceived myself; plaintive she reäppeared to me, and to-day I am about to tell you all that she then told
This is the introduction to the poem, which itself thus begins :
By the banks which the Lot is ever noiselessly kissing with its fine clear water, stands, half hidden among the bushy elms, a little cottage; and in this cottage one fair April morning, at the time when
glory; and in a house of mourning, an unhappy
"It is the pleasant month of May" when the second canto opens; all is cheerful and fresh in the country, and all the population pass the time afield. Only, a sweet voice is heard in the little cottage on the banks of the Lot, saying mournfully in its solitude :
The swallows have come again, I see mine in their nest up there-they have not been separated as we have been! They fly down, here they are, almost at my hand. How glossy and pretty they are-they have still on their necks the ribands that Jacques tied round them on my birthday last year, when they came to pick their food from our united hands. They loved Jacques; already are they looking for him all about. Ah! you may flutter round my chair, but Jacques is no longer here, poor birds! I weep for him, alone, without friends, for friendship soon grows tired of tears. ye, my birds, my room is sunny; I will do all, all can to make you attached to me-stay, birds beloved of Jacques, I have so much need to speak of him to some one. They caress each other, poor little creatures! Long may ye caress each other, I love them, for they your happiness pleases me. are faithful, and Jacques is like them. Faithful! Oh, Jacques is faithful! But no one kills swal
lows, and men are killed by each other! Why | foundling and no one but Martha cared for the does he not write? Who knows where he is? I poor abandoned son. Meanwhile, the loving girl, think I am ever about to hear it said "he is dead," happy in her hope," her future gilt with honey, and I am always shuddering at the thought. My and her thoughts weaving dreams of cloudless heart throbs with fear of this, and the fever of the tomb burns within me-I am perishing. And yet days," gains her living by her thimble and her I would fain live if Jacques lives-where are ye, wheel. Her conduct, however, has been noised pretty swallows? Ah! I have complained too about, and the whole country round is full of adloudly and I have frightened you; return, and I miration of her: each night it was a succession of will speak gently, so that ye may become attached rustic serenades in her honor, and perpetual garto me; return, birds beloved of Jacques, I have so lands suspended round her door; by day it was a much need to speak of him! continued offering of choice presents, which the other girls, and Annette among the foremost, brought her in token of their sympathy and friendship.
So every day mourned the orphan, and in spite of her efforts to resist it for the sake of her old uncle, who loved her well, her despondency undermined her health, and her life ebbed fast; till at last, one day, the solemn words were heard from the priest at the altar, "Death is hovering over a young sufferer; good souls, pray for the departing Martha." But she was not to die. A few words whispered to her by her uncle unexpectedly revive her, and she is saved. Restored to health she seems actuated by a new passion, by another love, by the love-who would believe it?-of money. Money, the amassing of money, now alone seems to excite her, and she makes money fast.
A year passes in happiness and toil; and if at times her arm falls, and her eyes grow dim, at the news of a battle, her courage quickly returns if the report does not mention a regiment she well knows. The secret of her recovery and her renewed strength is the discovery she has made from her uncle's saving whisper, that it is possible to buy Jacques' discharge, and it is to this point that all her energies are now directed. She has already saved a great portion of the necessary sum, when her old relative dies; upon which event, unable to wait any longer, she resolves to sell all the little property she had inherited from him—not without a struggle, for the good uncle had been much attached to his humble house and modest vineyard, and Martha loved what he had loved, and reverenced his memory too much to part lightly with any object of his affection. But the priest of the village approves of her design; all is soon disposed of, except a little gilt cross and the rose-colored dress with blue flowers on it, in which Jacques used to like to see her."
At last, one day the priest hastens to Martha, radiant with joy, "trembling as much with happiness as with age," and holding in his hand a letter.
Jacques has been found-he was at Paris-it is done he is free-he will arrive on Sunday. He who have at last acknowledged him. But, oh! has guessed nothing, he thinks it is his parents let him come! When he knows all he owes you— all you have suffered for him, he will love you better than anything on earth, better than everything except God! My daughter, the day of your reward approaches-prepare your heart for it. I will have you beside me when he comes, that I may make him feel before all the country what is his happiness to be loved by an angel like you.
The Sunday comes. The news has spread, a great crowd is assembled to see Jacques arrive, and to share his and Martha's joy. Noon strikes; the old priest appears leading the blue-eyed, purebrowed orphan; she is timid and silent, but she is very happy. The people close round them, and then all leave the village and station themselves at the opening of the highway. Nothing is visible, nothing but the shadows lying across the long stretch of road. Suddenly a black speck appears -moves-there are two-it is two men-two soldiers-the tallest, that is he. Both come onwho can the other be? he has the appearance of a woman-it is a woman-a stranger, young, handsome, dressed as a cantinière. A woman with Jacques! What can it mean? Martha's eyes are fixed on them with a deathlike sadness, and so are those of the priest, and so are those of all the crowd-all tremble-all are dumb. The two companions approach; they arrive, the man troubled, ashamed, hesitating. Then the good priest, containing himself no longer, demands in his full, strong voice, Jacques, who is that woman ?" And the soldier, sinking his head like a criminal replies, "It is my wife, sir-I am married!” A shriek is heard; the priest, terrified at the expression of the cry, turns to Martha: "My daughter," he says, "here in this world below we are born to suffer." But Martha does not seem to suffer, she In the third canto we find the worthy priest is on the contrary cheerful! She looks kindly on making every endeavor to ascertain where Jacques Jacques and laughs-laughs as if she were mad was to be met with no easy matter, "when our—alas! mad she is; at the words of her faithless soldiers, in a foreign land, only stopped for breath lover, reason had fled forever.
She now possesses the requisite amount in money; with a light foot, that scarcely touches the earth, she hastens to carry it to the priest, and arrived at his "silent tranquil house," she thus addresses the venerable white-haired man :"I bring you, Monsieur le Curè, all I have. Now you can write-buy his liberty-do not say who it is that saves him-O! he will readily guess-do not name me yet. And as for me, have no fear; I have strength to work, and I shall easily earn my bread; but in mercy, Monsieur le Curè, restore to me my Jacques!"
to run on further still." Jacques, besides, was a
Jacques, when he knew all, left the country,
figure with Jasmin, and he wields it with great success. The grandeur of the following example is not to be surpassed; it is the beginning of the short poem on the death of Foy, the orator and soldier.
and returning full of remorse to the army, threw | have mentioned, is remarkable for the magnificent himself, it is said, one day before a cannon as it prosopopoeia with which it opens; this is a favorite was discharged, and so ended his life by suicide. But the poor idiot girl long survived. She escaped from her native village and reached Agen, where for more than thirty years she lived on charity, liked by all, but her sad story known to no one. Only the children, who, like all children, have His limbs were feeble, painful was his breath— little pity and much mockery, used to call to her," Strike him!" cried Slavery to attentive Death"Martha! there is a soldier!" and Martha, who He is the only man resists my swayfeared soldiers, would flee away. "Now you Strike! and the future 's mine if thou hast him toknow," says Jasmin in his concluding lines, “why day!" she trembled at these words. And I, who, with the other children, so often frightened her by them, now that her touching life has been told me, would gladly, if I could, cover the hem of her tattered garment with kisses!—would fain ask pardon of her on my knees!—I find nothing but a tomb-I
cover it with flowers."
Such is the tribute the poet has paid to the devotion of Martha. poor Hers is a sad and a too true tale. She died in 1834 at Agen, in extreme poverty, and with no one to close her eyes. Little did she ever imagine that one day her sorrows were to be so touchingly told, and that tears would be shed for her memory far from her humble grave, and by those who had never known her.
Two short extracts must close our quotations. The first is an illustration of what is very common in Jasmin's poetry-the conveying of a sarcasm, a lesson, or a truth, under a homely, or even comic form of expression. Describing the pleasure to be derived from the simplest sources, he says that to
In everything enjoyment 's hid.
Was followed by more dust than I.
The following are two lines which Nodier justly admires and criticises; they are from a description of a winter morning.
Our space compels us, notwithstanding their
Quand l'Auroro fourrado en raoubo de sati,
"When Aurora, in robe of satin clad, unbars,
The great clear-flowing stream of the Adour,
The image of thy life might be
Did ever pure its waters glide
But, flowing to the troubled sea,
It mingles with the yeasty tide;
But look, the morn, in russet mantle clad, Walks o'er the dew of yon high eastern hill. Such is Jasmin. Lively in imagination, warm in temperament, ardent, humorous, playful, easily made happy, easily softened, enthusiastically fond of his province, of its heroes, of its scenery, of its language, of its manners, he is every inch a Gascon, except that he has none of that consequential self-importance, or of the love of boasting and exaggeration, which, falsely or not, is said to characterize his countrymen. Born of the people, and following a humble trade, he is proud of both circumstances; his poems are full of allusions to his calling, and without ever uttering a word of disparagement against other classes, he everyHe stands where sings the praises of his own. by his order; it is from it he draws his poetry, it is there he finds his romance. And this is his great charm, as it is his chief distinction. He invests virtue, however lowly, with the dignity that belongs to it-he rewards merit, however obscure, with its due honor. Whatever is true, or beautiful, or good, finds from him an immediate
Whilst thou, even far in the world's wide ocean, sympathy; the true is never rejected by him because Midst all its sand and foam and motion,
Preservest in thy honor's truth,
The crystal clearness of thy youth!
it is common-place, nor the beautiful because it is everyday, nor the good because it is not also great. He calls nothing unclean but vice and He sees meanness in nothing but in the
The poem of "The third of May," which we crime.
sham, the affectation, and the spangles of mere outward show.
But while it is in exalting lowly excellence that Jasmin takes especial delight, he is not blind, as some are, to excellence in high places. All he seeks is the sterling and the real. He recognizes the sparkle of the diamond as well as that of the dewdrop. But he will not look upon paste.
cause of your non-progress lies in the genius of your nation. Your governors were French gentlemen, hating and despising commerce ;-wealth, commerce, and strength, are inseparable. Your We shall soon break with England, for commercial commerce with us ought to be free and unfettered. reasons. "" On this Montcalm observes-"Let us beware how we allow the establishment of manufactures in Canada; she would become proud and He is thus preeminently a poet of nature; not, mutinous, like the English. England made a great be it understood, of inanimate nature only, but of mistake in not taxing those colonies from the first, nature, also, as it exists in our thoughts, and In another letter, written to M. de Berryer during even ever so little. If they now attempt it-revolt. words, and acts-of nature as it is to be found the siege of Quebec, he foretells that the British living and moving in humanity. But we cannot power in America shall be broken by success, and paint him so well as he paints himself. We well that when the dread of France ceases to be felt, the remember how, in his little shop at Agen, he de-colonists will no longer submit to English control. scribed to us what he believed to be the character- Montcalm was quite right. When Canada ceased istic of his poetry; and we find in a letter from to be a thorn in their sides, the colonies had no him to M. Léonce de Lavergne the substance of longer an interest in preserving a semblance of loyalty to the mother country. The catastrophe,' says the author, "was inevitable; the folly or wisated or deferred it. The child had outlived the age dom of British statesmen could only have accelerof pupilage; the interests of the old and the young required a separate household. But we must ever that three quarters of a century has hardly yet remourn the mode of separation; a bitterness was left moved; and a dark page remains in our annals, that tells of a contest begun in injustice, conducted with mingled weakness and severity, and ended in defeat."-N. Y. Jour. of Com.
what he then said to us :
I believe, (he says,) that I have portrayed a part of the noble sentiments which men and women may experience here below. I believe that I have emancipated myself more than any one has ever done from every school; and that I have placed myself in more direct communication with nature. I have let fall my poetry from my heart. I have taken my pictures from around me in the most humble conditions of men, and I have done for my native language all that I could.
We have seen no new work of Jasmin during the last three years. He is still comparatively young; we are sure he is not idle; we expect, therefore, even still greater things from the modern troubadour.
We had intended, in reviewing the writings of the hairdresser-poet, shortly to have noticed those of others in similar, and even humbler ranks of life among his countrymen-such as Moreau, the type-founder; Roly, the carpenter; Festeau, the watchmaker; Eliza Fleury, the embroideress; Lapointe, the shoemaker; Ponty, the mason; Reboul, the baker; and several others. Their productions possess no inconsiderable degree of interest, more especially when they are considered in connection with the present state of things in France ; but fails us, and if we pursue the subject it must be at another opportunity. As it is, we may say that all of them fall far short of Jasmin.
A WORLD LOST.-The agitation of the Canadian annexation question naturally revives in the mind of England the remembrance of those errors which led to our Revolution. A late London paper says:
It never occurred even to Pitt, still less to Walpole, that, with no more worlds to conquer, there might be a world to lose. Our North American colonies contained at this time a population of 1,300,000, and even while they were exposed to the attacks of the French and their Indian allies, they nourished hopes of independence. In the lctters of Montcalm, published in London in 1777, one of the merchants of Boston thus addresses (A. D. 1757) the Canadian Governor-General :-"The
THE MAGNETIC TELEGRAPH.
BY JANES G. LYONS, LL.D.
Nor summer's heat, nor winter's hail,
They meet unmoved the fierce wind's rage-
In the long night of rain and wrath,
They rush, with news of weal or woe,
To thousands far away.
But, faster still than tidings borne
On that electric cord,
Rise the pure thoughts of him who loves
Maintains high converse here on earth
Ay! though nor outward wish is breathed,
The sighing of that humble heart
Is known and felt in heaven;
But Faith's least word shall reach the throne