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Maria Theresa so effectively, that she re- general body of Jesuits, and a vast number quested the ambassador to select the mas- of pamphleteers and anonymous writers, ters and professors for the young arch- have not scrupled to charge on the Duke of duchess, whom she wished to educate à la Choiseul, and his sister Madame de GramFrançaise.
mont, the poisoning of the prince. In 1758 Choiseul-Stainville entered on Not long after these events, the minister the duties of Minister for Foreign Affairs. who was made by one favorite, Pampadour, He soon obtained possession of the depart- was destroyed by another, La Dubarry. ments of war and marine, and the corres- | The king exiled both him and his uncle, pondence of Spain and Portugal. Yet a the Duke of Praslin--the former to Chauvery short time before this, his character teloup, and the latter to Praslin. The was so infamous, that a French writer says singular tone of the royal letter deserves to -"Je l'ai vu écarté de plusieurs maisons ; be recorded. Here it is, in extenso:il s'en falloit peu qu'on ne le regardait comme une espèce ; je l'ai une fois enten
“ Mon Cousin-Le mécontentement que me du défendre sur cette imputation qu'il n'a causent vos services me force à vous exiler à Chaujamais méritée, mais il était du moins fort teloup, où vous vous rendrez dans vingt-quatre
heures. Je vous aurais envoyé beaucoup plus humiliant pour lui que cela fit question.”
loin (and here was the sting), si ce n'était l'estime By the aid of the favorite, Madame de particulière que j'ai pour Madame la Duchesse de Pompadour, Choiseul obtained the rank of Choiseul dont la santé m'est fort intéressante. duke and peer, and shortly after secured Prenez garde que votre conduite ne me fasse prenfor his uncle, the Count of Choiseul-Pras. dre un autre parti. Sur ce je prie Dieu, mon lin, the titular rank of Minister for Foreign cousin, qu'il vous ait en sa sainte garde.” Affairs, the real power being enjoyed by himself. During this period he lived like a ties between him and the infamous Egalité,
The disgrace of the duke drew closer the prince, received the emoluments of three then Duke of Chartres, the father of that portfolios, the pay of Colonel-General of other virtuous and self-denying man, the the Swiss, of Governor of Touraine, and of
" Le duc de Governor of Haguenau, making a total present King of the French. revenue of seven millions of francs.
Chartres,” says one of the memoirs of the notwithstanding the rich marriage he time," força toutes les consignes et vint had made, his wife's dowry, and his own
se jeter dans les bras," de l'exilé de Chaufortune, amounting to a million of francs, teloup.
, yet he was obliged to call on the bounty of
" Sure a pair was never seen, the king to pay his debts, and he received
So justly formed to meet by nature.” of the monarch two millions of francs for At the commencement of a new reign, the .
Duke de Choiseul presented himself at the Thus, while he and the favorite governed court of Louis XVI., but the monarch reFrance despotically, he was himself govern-ceived him coldly, for nothing could pered by the Duchess of Grammont, qu'il suade him that he had not a hand in the amait plus que fraternellement. The extra- death of his father, and not all the efforts vagance, follies, and vices of this woman, of the queen, Marie Antoinette, who had destroyed his credit and his reputation, and known the duke in early youth, when he became daily more and more insupportable. was ambassador at Vienna, could remove Madame de Grammont obtained such an this impression. ascendency over him, that he was never a The duke died in Paris, in May, 1785; free agent, unless in those occasional jour- and within a few years after, his sister, the neys which he made into the provinces. Duchess of Grammont, was guillotined by The history and details of this influence a revolutionary tribunal. are frequently alluded to in the Memoirs of As the minister left no children, the tithe time, and may be found in the pages of tle descended to Claude Antony Gabriel,
Madame d'Epinay, Diderot, count de Choiseul-Beaupré, afterwards Saint Lambert, Madame Graffigny, Ma- Duke de Choiseul, cousin of the Duke Andame du Hausset, and others. One good, tony Cæsar, duke of Choiseul Praslin, fahowever, was effected by it, namely, the ther of the murderer. expulsion of the Jesuits, to whom the dau- The Duke of Choiseul-Praslin, father of phin had given himself corps et åme. The the last duke, early espoused the Revoludauphin soon after feil ill and died, and tionary party'; and, as he separated himthe cabal of the Duke de la Vaugyon, the self from the nobility to which he belonged,
never emigrated. He gave in his adhesion with any one, no matter how indifferent his to Buonaparte after the 18 Brumaire. In or her character, who can do him an honest 1805 he was named one of the imperial job in France, in Spain, or any part of the chamberlains ; and in 1811, President of world. Witness Sophie Dawes, Madame de the Electoral College of Seine and Marne. Feuchères, Muñoz, duke of Rianzares, and His cry then was, Vive à jamais le Grand Gonzalez Bravo of infamous repute. Napoléon. In 1813, he gave new proofs of Bred up by such a father, -patronised devotion, and on 6th January, 1814, was by the Orleanists,-visiting and living in named Chevalier of the Legion of Honor. the same society, -educated by the Jesuits, On the 31st March, 1814, when a number - descended of a race so self-seeking and of Royalists, in the Place Louis XV., unscrupulous, not to say infainous,--what raised the cries of “ Vive le Roi ! vivent les virtues could find a natural home in such a Bourbons !" the answer of the Duke de bosom? In 1819, 20, 21, 22, 23, and 24, Praslin, Colonel of the first legion of the when, if we mistake not, the duke attained National Guard, was, “ Nous avons un his majority, he must have seen his father ordre de choses établi!"
intriguing with a prince of the blood But no sooner was this ordre de choses against his own relations; and these were destroyed, than M. de Praslin turned not scenes calculated to give him very high round volte face. On the 6th of April, six or lofty notions of social or political moraldays afterwards, he gave in his adhesion to ity. In these days he must, too, have freall the acts of the senate, which pronounced quently come into contact with the father the downfall of Napoleon, whom, in Louis- of his future wife, General Count SebasPhilippian phrase, he called l'ordre de tiani, a man who, in the session of 1819, choses-acts, too, which recalled the Bour-played the part of a tribune of the people bons by name. Not content with these à l'eau rose, with a vehement desire to demonstrations, which somewhat surprised obtain power.
On the name of the unRoyalty, he placarded the walls of Paris fortunate father of the late duchess, we with a proposal for a statue of Henry IV., may be allowed for a moment to dwell. in which, amidst other fustian and fanfaro- Scarcely a name is better known in the nade, were these words :-“ Oui, sublime capitals of Europe than that of Horace Henri, c'est toi, ce sont tes traits chéris qui Sebastiani ; but few there are in England, doivent charmer nos regards. La statue de though he was for a considerable time amnotre bon Henri va nous être rendu : bon bassador in London, acquainted with the Henri, nous reverrons ton image ; elle nous details of his particular biography. dira, etc."
Sebastiani was born some seventy-two or On the 29th of the month, the duke was seventy-three years ago, in Corsica, where admitted to the presence of Charles X., his father exercised the very useful, but not then Monsieur, with a fulsome address. a very distinguished, trade of a cooper. On the 4th June he was created a peer. The Sebastianis alleged that they were alBut on the following year, when" le petit lied to the family of Buonaparte ; but, be caporal" appeared, he did not hesitate to this as it may, young Horace entered the rejoin his banner, and was made one of his army in bis 17th year, in 1792. By his peers. Such flagrant conduct as this was brilliant conduct at Arcola, he obtained the unpardonable, and by an ordonnance of rank of chef d'escadron; and at Verona, Louis XVIII. of the 25th of July, 1815, that of colonel, from Moreau. Buonaparte, M. de Choiseul-Praslin ceased to form a on his return from Egypt, was powerfully portion of the Chamber of Peers. From seconded by Sebastiani. With the regithat period, the duke, whether in or out of ment of dragoons he commanded, he greatFrance, became a Frondeur ; and, as an ly influenced the fortunate issue of the 18 ostentatious dinner-giver and patron of Brumaire, and from that moment did not newspaper writers, he was not without in- cease to enjoy the favor of the emperor. fluence in Paris in directing attention to the His master was prompt to see that he posDuke of Orleans, now Louis Philippe. sessed not the science for a great tactician, Hence the intimacy between the families of such as Davoust, Suchet, Soult, or St. Cyr, Orleans and Praslin. The Praslins were the genius or coup d'æil of a great capdoing the work of the younger branch of the tain, such as Massena, Hoche, or Ney. Bourbons; and that good father of a fami- He was also aware, that he was as little ly who now reigns and governs in France, likely to shine as a great politician, like has always been the man to be intimate Cambaceres or Talleyrand. "But there was a sort of middle career-half military, half dames who then gave the law in the Rue diplomatic-in which he wisely judged that de Bourbon, de Grenelle, de Babylone, de he might do good service. Endowed with St. Dominique, de Varennes, &o., looked cleverness and Corsican finesse, Horace re-coldly on her because of the legislative caceived from nature a handsome face, a reer of her father. The Duchess de Berri, well-shaped and graceful figure. His ges- who was then in the ascendant, and her tures and attitudes were dignified and clique, detested and despised the Sebastiagraceful; and, though not exceeding the nis, and considered them in the light of middle size, he had the air and look of a personal enemies. Nor was this wonderparfait cavalier. The malicious wits of ful. For some time before the death of that day used to say he would preserve his Foy-indeed, from the beginning of 1824 graceful dignity if sewed up in a sack, and -Sebastiani sought to rival that military his agility if chained to a wash-tub. His tribune, not with the desire of benefiting long hair gave a poetic harmony to his Ra- his country and France, but for the purpose phaelesque head, and it was impossible for of serving the interests of the House of Orwoman to resist so sentimental and seducing leans. a dragoon. The Bishop of Malines, né Mdlle. Sebastiani is understood to have malin, the Abbé de Pradt, used to say, that early felt an attachment to a gentleman of if Buonaparte were the Jupiter, Massena Royalist opinions, i. e. Royalis“ “ par the Mars, and Soult the Vulcan, of the sang ;" but this predilection is said to have Revolution, Sebastiani was assuredly the been combated. The Cupid of the ConsuCupid. His countrymen, and, as Sebasti- late, the Adonis of the Empire, though ani says, his relatives, determined to turn born in the humblest sphere, always aped this Corsican comeliness to account. But, the airs of a grand seigneur, and was desirfirst, it was necessary to marry the envied, ous that his daughter should marry into an but unacred, Colonel ; and a rich heiress of historic family. The young heir of the one of the most illustrious houses of Nor- house of Choiseul-Praslin, intimate with mandy, which had given two marshals and the house of Orleans, whose interests Senumerous lieutenant-generals to France, bastiani was serving, was chosen, and the the only daughter of the Duke of Coigny, nuptials took place in 1825. was selected. Malle. de Coigny was wooed As Sebastiani's opposition to the minisand won after the battle of Austerlitz, and ters and system of Charles X. was fiercer in soon after their nuptials, General and Ma- that year than it had ever been as the dame Sebastiani set out for Constantinople, “ Comédie de 15 Ans," which was to end where the fortunate countryman of the in the tragedy of 1830, was drawing nearer emperor was appointed ambassador. At to a close, the Faubourg St. Germain, then Constantinople, Madame Sebastiani died, the arbiter of fashion, took little note of in the flower of her age, in 1807, in giving the marriage of a great heir and a great birth to the unfortunate lady whose sad heiress, both considered “ des êtres mal fate has been recently deplored. Deprived pensants,” to use the jargon of the time. in early life of the fond care of a mother,
-Those, however, who intimately knew the deprived, till her eighth year, of even the bridegroom, lamented the fate of the bride, superintending care of her father,-Made- for he was then considered, by those who moiselle Sebastiani was placed with her had been brought up with him, to be a conmaternal relatives. But these, however temptible profligate and degraded being. kind and considerate, can never supply the From the period of 1825 till 1830 M. mental aliment and instructions flowing and Mme. Choiseul-Praslin were certainly with such eloquent force from the lips and little seen in the society of the Faubourg heart of an affectionate mother. Of an age St. Germain. The political conduct and to enter into the world, Mademoiselle Se-associations of the father of the duchess, bastiani perceived herself completely in a and of the father of the duke, effectually false position.
In the year 1823, when shut against them the doors of what the she first appeared in the grand monde, she select set then called “ la bonne compagfound, notwithstanding her accomplish-nie.” The father of the duchess is said ments and grace of mind, but a lukewarm to have felt this acutely; but Madame de reception in the salons of the Faubourg St. Praslin felt it not to any extent, for she Germain. Notwithstanding the position had become the mother of a numerous and and rank of her mother's family, her own yearly increasing family, lived in a small merits, grace, youth, and fortune, the great l circle, and was daily occupied in the minute
yet engrossing duties that devolve on ma-l children his mistress, is a turpitude nearly ternity even in the highest rank. As to unparalleled in the annals of France. We the husband, he must have felt that, under must go back to the friend of his relative no combination of circumstances, could he and kinsman, the prime minister of France, have been a favorite in any circle. With- for such an exemplar, and we find him in out any of the natural cleverness of the the person of that Duke of Chartres, afterroués of the Regency, he was distinguished wards Egalité, who visited Choiseul-Stainby all their moral degradation. He was ville in his exile, and who subsequently invain, avaricious, avaricious, sensual, suspicious, stalled Madame Genlis Sillery simulta
, haughty, narrow-minded, ignorant of the neously as his own mistress and his son's value, indifferent to the existence, and neg- instructor. Fortunately the virtuous dislectful of the practice, of truth. In all the positions of the youth were proof against the ramifications of his private affairs no hu- contagion of parental example and goverman being could depend upon him; and ness practice ; for the prince (now Louis while he was equally profligate and promis- Philippe) was an incarnation of virtue in cuous, he was penurious even to meanness. youth, and is a model of innocence, simpliNeither of sentiment, nor romance, nor of city, generosity, guilelessness, and purity moral truth, did he possess a particle. He in old age. had no friends, for he was gloomy, morose, Madame de Praslin was not a singular and unsocial; and with the instruments of wife in the sense in which our clever weekly his degraded pleasures he did not, accord contemporary, the Spectator, calls her so. ing to report, unbend or compensate by She had Corsican blood in her veins on one generosity for the suspicion and arrogant side, and on the side of her mother some of haughtiness which were his chief character- the highest and best blood in France. That istics.
she was, therefore, warm, impassioned, senThough at one time austere and appa- sitive, and high-minded, may be conceded ; rently superstitious in the practice of the but these qualities ought to have secured ceremonies of religion, he was without re- her the affection and esteem, and not the ligious or moral principle of any kind, murderous hate, of her monster husband. without liberality, and without propriety. There always have been, and now are,
Such a man could not comprehend the many such wives in France as the murdered exalted feeling, the enthusiastic devotion, Madame de Praslin; but we believe it were the excess of virtuous passion, the ecstatic difficult to find in any country, however joy, the excruciating sorrow, the poignant barbarous, another such husband. Since grief, of his doting and distracted wife. the beginning of the world we have no acAll that was good and gentle in her nature count of any man, whether husband or was unknown to him, for the excess of de- lover, hacking, hewing, and stabbing the mopravation renders men insensible to all en-ther of his ten children in pieces. This joyment. It is well said by the author of unparalleled crime had never taken place the Considérations sur les Maurs, that this had the demand of the duchess for that seexcess is to be deprecated, even in the in- paration which she was entitled to by law terest of unlawful pleasures : “ Car il ap- been acceded to, and they who interfered partient à l'excès de la dépravation de dé- by meddling in the business, if they have truire tous les plaisirs."
any proper sentiments, must now feel pangs Much may be, no doubt, pardoned to of bitter anguish. The French people have the ardent impetuosity of youth, but there been stigmatized by a writer in a daily pais not one redeeming trait in the errors and per, who evidently knows nothing of France, crimes of Choiseul-Praslin. The pursuit of for being suspicious of the intentions of the pleasure may, perhaps, to a certain extent, French government, and unjust to men in be palliated, in a young man of nineteen or power, in reference to the Duke de Praslin. twenty; but the promiscuous pursuit of But French men and French women well debasing amours in a man close upon his know that in the case of the President d'Enforty-fourth or forty-fifth year, the father trecastcaux, a young man of a distinguishof ten children, six of them daughters, ed family of the robe, a president of the is infamous, and shows that the delin-parliament of Aix, and who murdered his quent was deprived of all the purer wife with circumstances of peculiar atrocifeelings of human nature. To have ty, that the government ostensibly demandmade his own house the scene of his ed the delivery of the culprit wherever he profligacy, and the instructress of his might be found. He was detected and see cured at Lisbon, when a private letter to ence to the house of Orleans; and it was the French minister desired his release, and because some of the people of France were permitted his escape from further punish- aware of this that the wicked thought came ment.
into their heads that the best of RepubThe Duke de Praslin and the members lics” might desire the release and permit of his house were, and Marshal Sebastiani the escape of the vilest murderer that has is, in possession of many secrets in refer-lever appeared in France.
I WOULD be thine!
Of being first a deity enshrined,
I would be thine!
A sunny atmosphere of joy to breathe ;
Failing when needed most.
I would be thine!
In the sole thought of thee, far dearer one!
The music of my heart.
I would be thine !
My life's best joy.
I would be thine !
To show thee, fitful as the changing wind;
For this would I be thine!
The grave is deep and stilly,
Fear round its brink abides,
An unknown land it hides.
I would be thine! When sickness doth oppress thee
With love's unwearied vigilance to watch. Waking—to soothe, to comfort, to caress thee; Sleeping—to list in dread each sound to catch,
Thy slunabers that might break.
Its silence is unbroken
By the sweet night-bird's song;
Fades on the moss ere long.
And wring their hands in vain;
Pierce not that dark domain.
I would be thine !
To cheer thee with affection's constant care,
Most so in thy distress.
I would be thine !
To bear with thee, when chased and spirit-worn,
Of steadfast love alone.
Yet, there alone can mortals
Their rest, long wished-for, find;
A home for all mankind.
Through storms to reach the shore,
Where it can beat no more.