Having minutely inspected the theatre, you can dare to live with a man who prothe party returned to the château, and fesses to have no religion whatever, or, Voltaire easily persuaded his visitor to if anything, is a stricter disciple of Constay for dinner.

fucius than you can be of your humble Among those who dined at Ferney, was master, then come to me.” a certain Duc de Villars, son of the fa- Under these circumstances, it is not mous marshal who had been called the surprising Father Adam was forced to Saviour of France. The noble duke had eat his pudding, and hold his tongue. come to Ferney in order to consult Tron. He became the butt of Voltaire, and lived chin a pupil' of Boerhaave. The repu- a comparatively happy dependant upon tation of Tronchin stood high in those his bounty. days. Voltaire believed in him, in spite Voltaire's dining-room presented a slov. of his incessant abuse of doctors in gen. enly, uninviting, appearance. Like the eral, and Tronchin in particular. It was Aulæ of classic times,* women of various a comfort to him to feel that by a careful age's were engaged at needlework all round study of the maladies incident to human the room. Their work, which was not life amelioration was possible, and he always of the most delicate kind, was gave Tronchin as much credit for perse never suspended during the repast. Volverance and intelligence as he thought he taire was in some things meaner than deserved. It is recorded that at the re. Harpagon. He declined to supply his hearsal of one of his own tragedies, Mr. servants with livery. It was the fashion Cramer, a bookseller at Geneva (and Vol- in those days to permit servants to retain taire's own immediate publisher), was fin- the livery they wore in service for the ishing his part, which was to end with rest of their natural lives. So that, when some dying sentences. Voltaire, object. those given by their previous masters ing to the manner in which the death became threadbare, Voltaire's attendants scene was played, cried out in accents of were reduced to the necessity of waiting burning scorn, Cramer, you lived like a at table in their shirt-sleeves. Nor was prince during the four preceding acts, but Voltaire more particular in his own attire, at the fifth you die like a bookseller." which generally consisted in a faded dress

Tronchin, being present, could not help ing.gown, an unpowdered wig, with knots in kindness interfering. " Monsieur Vol. in front instead of behind, crowned by a taire,” said he deprecatingly, “can you velvet cap, embroidered with silk by one ever expect to have gentlemen to be at or other of his female admirers. this expense of dresses, and fatigue of Being naturally waspish, and hasty in getting up such long parts, if you thus his manner, he was not unlike Lear as upbraid them? On the contrary, I think represented in a strolling company, whose they all deserve the greatest encourage wardrobe furnishes the same suit for the ment at your hands; and as to my friend insane king as for the Mahomet of some Cramer, 'I declare that, so far as I am a Turkish tragedy, incomplete at least, and judge, be dies with the same dignity he at best very shabby.” lived."

Sometimes he would throw aside his Voltaire contented himself with the dressing-gown, and in a spirit of rank cocool reply, “ Prithee, doctor, when youquetterie, encase himself from head to have got kings to kill, kill them your own foot in a suit of velvet embroidery, in way; let me kill mine as I please.". which he neither felt nor looked at his

To return to the dinner table. Among ease. But who will cavil at the dress of those present was a certain Father Adam, genius ?. All this banter is unworthy of whom Voltaire introduced to his visitor its subject. Voltaire was an excellent in the following words: “Il est père host. Like Pope, he was charming at his Adam, mais pas le premier des hommes own table; and not, like Pope, stingy with - a mode of introduction decidedly em- his wine. He had the rare gift of kinbarrassing to both parties concerned. It aling and sustaining general conversaappears that at the dissolution, and con- tion, which would effectually draw from sequent dispersal of the Order of Jesuits each person present the full measure of from France, Voltaire, out of pure audac. his wit and wisdom. ity — and not, as some writers have pre- On the evening of which we speak, the tended, out of pity - selected Father conversation turned upon the English, for Adam as boon companion, and fellow whose society he evinced a fondness. chess player. The invitation (which was promptly accepted) was couched in the

* Matres familiâs vestræ in atriis operantur domo. following highly characteristic terms:“If rum, industrias testificantes suas. — Arnobius.


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The English residing at Geneva had, on So saying, he led his young friend to a more than one occasion, been of practical spot from whence he pointed out the highservice to him. Thus, when he brought way to Geneva – a town he abhorred out his celebrated edition of “ Corneille," with Mont Blanc in the far distance. the little colony came forward liberally Close at hand stood the church, which with subscriptions. But that Voltaire once formed part of the quadrangle to the beld absurd prejudices against some of château. The young Venetian raised his our most approved authors is only too eyes, bewildered to find that the sacred evident from the tenor both of his writ- edifice had been sawn in two, an arrangeings and conversation. He admired ment which enabled the eye to survey Locke, Newton, and Pope, and evinced in 'twixt the rent walls the blue surface of his affection for the productions of the Lac Leman. The prospect was superb. latter something like paternal solicitude. Over the western portal stood the famous He claimed to bave suggested many of words: the best philosophical maxims embodied

" DEO EREXIT VOLTAIRE." in the “Essay on Man,” especially that portion of the third essay which relates On his arrival at Ferney, Voltaire found to natural governments. His opinions an old château surrounded by a few hovels. about Shakespeare are too well known to | The château was forthwith pulled down, require comment here. He admired our and in its stead be erected a noble couninstitutions; and was not insensible to try-house, only preserving some awkward the worth which foreigners, as a rule, fail gateways and turrets which he would have to perceive under that cold, external de cone wisely to raze also, for they spoilt meanor which keeps the stranger at a the general effect of this otherwise handdistance. With us he found a welcome some building. It is strange that in spite at a critical period in his life; and from of his long residence in England, and not. the English he received the magnificent withstanding his avowed admiration for sum of two thousand pounds for the our methods of planting, building, and “ Henriade.'_ No wonder then that he gardening, every nook and corner of his affected the English, with the most insig. little property was as essentially French nificant of whom he once expressed a as any plot of ground around Paris. His wish to exchange nationalities.

woods were cut into walks, star fashion, But while we digress the dinner is still their variety depending upon the size of proceeding at Ferney. Having noticed the several stars, and the number of their during dessert that his young visitor did rays.* not join in the conversation, Voltaire tried Ferney was the first territorial possesto destroy bis reveries by asking, in allusion of Voltaire — his first child

and sion to lis long absence from the Vene- he was proportionately proud of it. He tian republic, whether he were dissatis. never failed to inform his guests during fied with the patrician government there. dinner that every dish came from his own

His visitor endeavored to assure Vol property. The potence was his especial taire that no country existed where liberty pride. It was the distinguishing mark of - in the best acceptation of the term the lord of the manor. There were sevcould be better enjoyed.

eral at Ferney, and Voltaire declined to “ Ay, ay!" replied the great man, his have them moved. “I have as many galeyes twinkling,"provided always that lows,” said he one day, “as would suffice one is content to play the role of a mute.” to hang half the monarchs in Europe.

And then, quickly perceiving that the And half the inonarchs deserve no loftier subject was somewhat mal à propos, Vol. position.” taire took the young man's arm, and led Little or nothing Voltairian remains of him into the garden, of which he claimed the château. The founder of a prosperto be the creator. A lofty avenue led dious village, he who made of six hovels an rect to a rushing stream. It was a tribu-l arena for useful manufactories, and coltary of the Rhone - the swift, arrowy lected industrious workmen for the wealth Rhone, which cleaves its troubled course of a law-abiding community, has gone to through Tarascon and Arles until it loses a brighter world. Every vestige of a once its identity in the Mediterranean Sea. romantic habitation has become con

Voltaire glanced at the stream for a founded with the tastes and require. moment, and then said sadly: “It is my ments of an unsympathetic proprietor, messenger. I can trust it better than I can trust the best of men. It never fails

* It would repay the curious in these matters to refer me."

to the “ Nouvelle Héloïse," lettre xi., partic 4, note.



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whose dreams are haunted by visions of even as Muratori did by his treatise on hero-worshippers clamorous for a glimpse Italian poetry:” at the relics of Voltaire.

Voltaire held up the book in question, Time and man have made a clean and said: “At all events, you must allow sweep of much that might well have been that his learning is profound." preserved. A similar fate has befallen "Est ubi peccat," rejoined the Venetian, the famous acacia walk at Lausanne. and the conversation dropped. Love of greed has triumphed over his. The moon's pale light fell upon the toric associations; and the exigencies of paths around Ferney as the young Venea wave of illiterate, unromantic, time-tian rose to depart. Voltaire, gracious to pressed tourists, have swept away the the last, placed an arm round his neck, summer-house and the acacias, in whose and cordially invited him to repeat the vicinity on a bright summer night Gibbon visit. But fate ordered it otherwise. In put the last strokes to his immortal his. spite of every assurance and every intentory.

tion to the contrary, they never met again. But nature has proved kinder than That night was passed by the traveller, in

In the garden at Ferney may still an hotel at Geneva, writing a faithful be seen a berceau walk, arched over with record of his adventures, and thinking of clipped hornbeam, a veritable verdant all that had happened at Ferney. When cloister, admitting here and there peeps the sun rose next morning he was on the of the rich prospect afar. Here the bug- road for Bâle, his mind occupied by recbear of tyrants and kings, the dauntless ollections of the events of the previous champion of liberty, paced to and fro on day, and his heart throbbing with natural balmy summer nights. Here, perchance, pride at the distinction which had been the great Edward Gibbon conversed with shown him by the most celebrated man in Helvetius and D'Holbach, in the awful Europe. presence of Voltaire, on Julian's apostasy. A little yet remains of this enchanted ground. There is just enough of the shadow the magni nominis umbra - to suggest the substance, and the genius of

From The Cornhill Magazine. the spot has not entirely vanished.

THE COLORS OF FLOWERS. As the stars began to twinkle in the BEFORE me, as I write, stands a small cloudless sky, the great man led his visit- specimen vase, containing a little Scotch ors into the château. Passing through bluebell

, picked upon a bleak, open moorthe hall, they entered the sacred study. side, yet wonderfully delicate and fragile The floor was strewn with books, papers, in stem, and leaf, and bud, and blossom. and letters.

For the bluebells of Scotland, the blue" Behold my correspondence," quoth bells of Walter Scott and of all the old Voltaire.

ballad poetry, are not our stiff, thickThen taking up a book "The Rape of stemmed English wild hyacinths, but the

“ the Bucket," by Tassoni — he said, “ This same dainty, drooping flowers which we is the only tragio-comic poem of which in the south call harebells. The word Italy can boast. Tassoni was something ought really to be heather-bell; but the more than a monk, he was a wit, a savant, corruption is quite in accordance with a a poet, and a man of real genius.” common law of English phonology, which

" That he was a poet cannot be denied,” | has similarly degraded several other early said the young man," but that he was a words by dropping out the th between two savant 1 dispute, for in deriding the vowels. Harebell or heather-bell or blue. Copernican system he betrayed his igno- bell, the flower is one of our prettiest and rance.”

most graceful native forins; and the ex“Where did he deride that system?”quisite depth of its color has always made inquired Voltaire.

it a prime favorite with our poets and our * In his academic lectures."

children alike. How it first got that beauI do not possess a copy, but will cer- tiful color is the problem which I wish, if tainly procure one,” said Voltaire, as be possible, to settle to-day. made a note on the fly-leaf of the book he I am not going to inquire at present held in his hand. “ But Tassoni has why the harebell is colored at all. That criticised Petrarch with considerable acu- question I suppose everybody has now men," he continued.

heard answered a dozen times over at “ Yes, but in so doing he has dishon. least. We all know nowadays that the ored his taste and his literary reputation, i colors of flowers are useful to them in attracting the insects which fertilize their enlarged and flattened stamens, which embryo seeds; and that only those powers have been set apart for the special work possess bright hues which thus depend of attracting insects. It seems likely that upon insects for the impregnation of their all flowers at first consisted of the central ovules. Wind - fertilized blossoms, in organs alone — that is to say, the pistil, which the pollen of one head is carried which contains the ovary with its embryo by chance breezes to the stigma of an- seeds; and the stamens, which produce other, are always small, green, and com- the pollen, whose co-operation is necesparatively inconspicuous. It is only those sary in order to fertilize these same plants which are indebted to bees or buto embryo ovules and to make the pistil terflies for the due setting of their seeds mature into the ripe fruit. But in those that ever advertise their store of honey plants which took to fertilization by means by bright-hued petals. All this, as I say, of insects -- or, one ought rather to say, we have each of us heard long ago. So in those plants which insects took to vis. the specific question which I wish to iting for the sake of their honey or pollen, attack to-day is not why the harebell is and so unconsciously fertilizing the colored, but why it is colored blue. And, flowers soon began to produce an outer in getting at the answer to this one test. row of barren and specialized stamens, question, I hope incidentally to answer adapted by their size and color for attractthe wider question why any given flowering the fertilizing insects; and these barwhatsoever should be blue, let us say, or ren and specialized stamens are what we red, or lilac, rather than orange, yellow, commonly call petals. Any flowers wbich white, or any other possible color in nature thus presented brilliant nasses of color except the one which it actually happens to allure the eyes of the beetles, the bees, to be.

and the butterflies would naturally receive Briefly put, the general conclusion at the greatest number of visits from their which I have arrived is this: all flowers insect friends, and would therefore stand were in their earliest form yellow; then, the best chance of setting their seeds, as some of them became white; after that, a well as of producing healthy and vigorous few of them grew to be red or purple; offspring as the result of a proper cross. and finally a comparatively small number in this way, they would gain an advantage acquired various shades of lilac, mauve, in the struggle for life over their less forviolet, or blue. So that, if this principle tunate compeers, and would hand down be true, the harebell will represent one of their own peculiarities to their descendthe most highly developed lines of de- ants after them. scent; and its ancestors will have passed But as the stamens of almost all flowers, successively through all the intermediate certainly of all the oldest and simplest stages. Let us see what grounds can be flowers, are yellow, it would naturally fol. given for such a belief.

low that the earliest petals would be yelIn the first place, it is well to observe low too. When the stamens of the outer that when we speak of the colors of flow-row were flattened and broadened into ers we generally mean the color of the petals, there would be no particular reapetals alone. For in most cases the son why they should change their color; stamens and other central organs, which and, in the absence of any good reason, form, botanically speaking, the really im- they doubtless retained it as before. Inportant part of the blossom, are yellow, deed, I shall try to show, a little later on, or at least yellowish; while the petals that the earliest and simplest types of may be blue, red, pink, orange, lilac, or existing flowers are almost always yellow, even green. But as the central organs seldom white, and never blue; and this are comparatively small, whereas the in itself would be a sufficient ground for petals are large and conspicuous, we nat- believing that yellow was the original urally speak of flowers in everyday talk color of all petals.* But as I am per. as baving the color of their petals, which form by far the greater and most notice- * In a part of this article I shall have to go over able part of their whole surface. Our ground already considered in a valuable paper read by question, then, narrows itself down to York last August, and I shall take part of my examples

Sir John Lubbock before the British Association at this — Why are the petals in any par- from his interesting collection of facts as reported in ticular blossom of one color rather than Nature. But, at the same time, I should like at the sonally somewhat heretical, in believing, | seems to me, that they mark the transicontrary to the general run of existing tion from one form to the other, any more scientific opinion, that petals are derived than we can say that Gothic architecture from flattened stamens, not fron simpli- marks the transition from the Egyptian fied and attenuated leaves, I shall venture style to the classical Greek. I do not to detail here the reasons for this belief; mean to deny that the stamen and the because it seems to me of capital impor- ovary are themselves by origin modified tance in connection with our present sub leaves — that part of the Wolffian theory ject. For if the petals were originally a is absolutely irrefutable — but what I do row of stamens set apart for the function mean to say is this, that, with the light of attracting insects, it would be natural shed upon the subject by the modern docand obvious why they should begin by be-trine of evolution, we can no longer regard ing yellow; but if they were originally a petals and sepals as intermediate stages set of leaves, which became thinner and between the two. The earliest flowering more brightly colored for the same pur- plants had true leaves on the one hand, pose, it would be difficult to see why they and specialized pollen-bearing or ovuleshould first have assumed any one color bearing leaves on the other hand, which rather than another.

outset to point out that I venture to differ on two points another?

from his great authority. In the first place, I do not Now petals, as I have more than once think all flowers were originally green, because I believe already explained to the readers of this altered sepals or bracts, and that modern green flowers

petals were first derived from altered stamens, not from magazine, are in all probability originally are degraded types, not survivals, of early forms. And

latter are what we call stamens and carThe accepted doctrine as to the nature pels; but they had no petals at all, and of petals is that discovered Wolff and the petals of modern flowers have been afterwards rediscovered by Goethe, after produced at some later period. I believe, whose name it is usually called ; for of also, they have been produced by a modcourse, as in all such cases, the greater ification of certain external stamens, not man's fame has swallowed up the fame of by a modification of true leaves. Instead the lesser. Goethe held that all the parts of being leaves arrested on their way toof the flower were really modified leaves, wards becoming stamens, they are staand that a gradual transition could be mens which have partially reverted totraced between them, from the ordinary wards the condition of leaves. They leaf through the sten-leaf and the bract to differ from true leaves, however, in their the sepal (or division of the calyx), the thin, spongy texture, and in the bright petal, the stamen, and the ovary or carpel. pigments with which they are adorned. Now, if we look at most modern flowers, All stamens show a great tendency such a transition can undoubtedly be ob- easily to become petaloid, as the technical served ; and sometimes it is very deli botanists call it; that is to say, to flatten cately graduated, so that you can hardly out their filament or stalk, and finally to say where each sort of leaf merges into lose their pollen-bearing sacs or anthers. the next. But, unfortunately for the truth in the water-lilies - which are one of the of the theory as ordinarily understood, oldest and simplest types of flowers we we now know that in the earliest flowers now possess, still preserving many anthere were no petals or sepals, but that tique points of structure unchanged primitive flowering plants had simply can trace a regular gradation from the leaves on the one hand, and stamens and perfect stamen to the perfect petal. In ovules on the other. The oldest types of the centre of the flower, we find stamens flowers at present surviving, those of the of the ordinary sort, with rounded stalks pine tribe and of the tropical cycads (such or filaments, and long, yellow anthers full as the well-known zamias of our conser- of pollen at the end of each; then, as we vatories), have still only these simple ele- move outward, we find the filaments growments. But if petals and sepals are later ing fatter and broader, and the pollenin origin (as we know them to be) than sacs less and less perfect; next we find a stamens and carpels, we cannot say, it few stamens which look exactly like pet

als, only that they have two abortive an. in the second place, I think yellow petals preceded thers stuck awkwardly on to their sumwhite petals in the order of time, and not zice versa: mits; and, finally, we find true petals, I may also perhaps be excused for adding that I had already arrived at most of the substantive conclusions broad and flat, yellow or white as the case set forth in this article before the appearance of Sir may be, and without any trace of the anJohn Lubbock's paper, and had incidentally put forward the greater part of them, though dogmatically and thers at all. Here in this very ancient without fully stating my reasons, in an article on the flower we have stereotyped for us, as it Daisy's Pedigree," published in the Cornhill Magagine, and in another on the " Rose Family," published were, the mode in which stamens first de. in Beigravia, both for August, 1881. At the same veloped into petals, under stress of insect time, I must express my indebtedness for many new selection. details to Sir John Lubbock's admirable paper. Of course this vote is only appended for the behoof of

"But how do you know,” some one may scientific readers.

ask, " that the transition was not in the



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