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or miles away from the city, and their delays, it was not until five o'clock that commanding officer in his bed.
the troops were formed on College Green,
marched into Queen's Square, and formed The Suppression of the Riots.
up in front of the house of a Mr. Clayton, From before daybreak on the Monday which the mob was busily sacking. morning bands of country people had The reception which the troops met been pouring into the city on every road with from the rioters was such as might
men of the worst class, and many of have been expected from their knowledge them armed with heavy bludgeons. With of their previous inaction. A portion of in it parties of from ten to twenty had, the mob, indeed, withdrew; but the reduring the night, been going about de mainder crowded round the soldiers, beld manding money, breaking the windows, up to them bottles of liquor, and cheered and plundering the houses when their de. them as friends. Still Colonel Brereton mands were refused. At three in the was unwilling to use force. In his opinmorning the mayor, who had taken refuge ion, nothing could be done with so small in a friend's house, sent a peremptory a body of troops. He refused even to order to Colonel Brereton to take the attempt to drive back the crowd, and clear most decisive measures to save the re. away the mob, now much reduced in num. mainder of the city. Captain Warrington, bers, in the front of Mr. Clayton's house. to whom the order was delivered at the Six o'clock had struck, and as yet the quarters of the Dragoons near College colonel had done nothing but show the Green, in the absence of his superior offi. inob the troops. Happily for the city, at cer, hesitated to open the letter, and when this moment Major Mackworth, an aideat last he was persuaded to do so, and to de-camp of the commander-in-chief, inter. read the orders, declared that "he could lered, and by his unbesitating remon. do nothing without a magistrate, and strance overcame the colonel's hesitation would require one to go every step of so far as to get him to give orders for the way with him.". Nothing was done. the Dragoons to drive the rioters from Another hour passed, and then Alderman the wine-cellars. Convinced that further Camplin and some gentlemen came again troops were required, Major Mackworth to Captain Warrington, told him the state rode off to Keynsham, whither the Husof affairs in Queen's Square, and de- sars had been sent, and ordered them to manded the immediate aid of the military: mount and follow him to the city. IrriThe answer was, that the troopers and tated at the stigma that had been thrown their horses were too jaded to act with upon them, the men mounted with more efficiency — they had been in their quar- than usual alacrity, and followed the maters since 10 o'clock on the Sunday night. jor. On their road they were joined by Again said the captain he could not act the Bedminster troop of yeomanry, and, without a magistrate - there was one after a short halt at the stables, came on ready to ride with him. “ Troops," he the ground. Here they were soon afterthen said, “should not fire; he had re- wards joined by a yeomanry troop from ceived a letter from the mayor for Colonel Gloucester, under Major Beckwith, to Brereton, and could not find him.” The whom one of the expresses for assistance alderman volunteered to go in search of had been sent by the mayor. the missing colonel if the few dragoons Major Beckwith entertained a very dif(twenty-five in number), whom the captain ferent opinion of the character of the mob declared were all that he could spare, form Colonel Brereton. As soon as he had would go with him. “He could not turn obtained a written order from the mayor out the men,” said the captain, “ without to use force he ordered out his men, rode the colonel's orders.” At length, on the to the palace, where he learned that the urgent entreaties of the magistrate, Cap- rioters were again at work, and easily distain Warrington went with him to the persed them." Hence be was called to Military Office in search of the missing Queen's Square, where the mob were re. colonel. It was shut up. Recollecting newing their violence. Spreading his that the lieutenant of the recruiting staff troops across the square, be charged and lived hard by, in Unity Street, they went easily scattered the rioters, some dozen there, and found the colonel in bed. When of whom were cut down. It is needless roused, he seemed hardly to believe that to follow the charges of the troops in the riots were still going on, and at first other parts of the city. So quickly and peremptorily refused to call out "the jaded effectually was their work done, that in troops," as he called them. At last he less than an hour the reign of the mob was gave the orders, but, thanks to all these at an end. The more respectable citizens,
who had previously held back, now readily of the Academy, headed by the Prince de came forward to serve as constables; a Beauvau; these were succeeded by the civil force of nearly five thousand inen actors of the Théâtre Français, all in deep was soon formed and the troops withdrawn mourning on account of the recent death to their quarters.
of Lekain, whose funeral had taken place Now, when the work had been done on the very day of Voltaire's arrival in done thoroughly by a comparatively small Paris. The latter, who had been kept force — by the order of government, troops purposely in ignorance of the event, and poured into the city from various quarters. who had counted on the co-operation of The activity of the government was al- the great actor for his new tragedy, looked inost amusing. A battery of artillery was anxiously around in search of his favorite ordered from Woolwich. Orders were pupil; upon which Bellecourt, the spokes. sent to march troops on Bristol from every man of the company, pointing gravely available depot, and some frigates were to his colleagues, murmured in a voice despatched to the Bristol Channel. The broken by emotion, “ This is all that rewidespread destruction had been effected, mains of the Comédie Française !” The and it only remained for the rioters to pay old man stood for an instant speechless, for it with their lives or their liberty, and then, overcome by the sudden shock, for the citizens by their purses to the fainted away. ainount of more than sixty.five thousand As might have been expected, the adpounds.*
vent of so illustrious a personage excited G. LATHOM BROWNE. an extraordinary sensation throughout the
city; crowds assembled daily round the • The settlement of the damages was eventually pro- hotel in the hope of catching a glimpse of vided by the Bristol Damages Compensation Act, 2 Wil. IV., cap. 83, enabling Commissioners to serve bim, and a constant stream of visitors, inthe claims and borrow the necessary amount from gov- cluding every celebrity in literature and ernment, to be redeemed by the poor rates by yearly art, vied with each other in presenting
The total amount assessed was 664,604, of which the costs ou both sides amounted to 27,423, and their homage to the patriarch of letters. the cost of the act £1,35S.
All were received by M. de Villette and Count d'Argental, by whom their respective names and qualities were announced in turn to Voltaire, who, attired in his
habitual costume of dressing-gown and From Belgravia.
nightcap, said a few words to each new VOLTAIRE'S LAST VISIT TO PARIS.
comer, generally responding to their comAMONG the many noteworthy episodes plimentary speeches in a similar strain. in the life of the author of “La Henriade,” When, as frequently happened, the flatthe closing one, relating to his return to tery heaped upon him was unusually exthe capital after an absence of more than travaga:it, he seldom failed to indulge in a quarter of a century, is not the least in some caustic rejoinder, in order to show teresting. He was then in bis eighty: the speaker that he accepted the adulation fourth year, and the infirmities of age had exactly for what it was worth and not an begun to tell seriously upon him. His iota more. menial faculties, however, were still unim. One of the most obsequious in his at. paired, and the natural desire to revisittentions was Fariau de St. Ange, the ihe scene of his early triumphs, and recall translator of Ovid and author of a forgot. bimself to the memory of the Parisians ten comedy and other equally mediocre by the last production of his pen, was too productions; he was inordinately vain, and powerful an incentive to be resisted by a previously to being admitted to the philos. literary veteran who, even on the brink opher's presence had prepared an ha. of the grave, retained his old insatiable rangue, the ingenious noveliy of which he yearning after the incense of popularity. imagined would glorify himself as much
Towards the beginning of February, as, if not more than, the individual to 1778, he left Ferney, and travelling by whom it was addressed. " Monsieur,” he easy stages reached his destination on began, as soon as the ceremony of intro. the roth of the same month, and took up duction had taken place, “ I come to-day his quarters in the hotel of bis intimate to contemplate Homer, my next visit will friend the Marquis de Villette, situated be to Sophocles and Euripides ; after that, on what now bears the name of the Quai I purpose returning in honor of Tacitus, Voltaire, at the corner of the Rue de Lucian, and ** Monsieur," quietly · Beaune. On the following morning he interrupted Voltaire, “I am very old and received a deputation of three members I feeble, as you see, so with your permission
we will consider the remaining visits you | Scarcely, however, had he touched it, mention as included in the one you are when he felt that Voltaire's eagle eye was good enough to pay me to-day."
upon him. Turning shortly round, and To another, who maintained that, as he transfixing the offender with a penetrathad already surpassed all his contempora ing glance, the owner of the peruke effecries in genius, he would also excel them iually put a stop to any further indiscre. by living longer than Fontenelle : "Ah, tion by saying in a blandly courteous sir !” he replied, “ you forget that Fonte tone, emplasizing every syllable so as to nelle was a Norman, and Normans cheat complete the confusion of his auditor : everybody, even nature."
" Allow me, monsieur, to remind you that He was speaking one day in terms of pages' tricks are not in fashion here. At high commendation of a literary colleague Ferney, it is the custoin to respect a wig who had just taken leave of hin, when a for the sake of what is underneath it.” bystander casually remarked that such “ After this,” says Fleury, "thinking that sentiments were the more creditable on he bad punished me sufficiently, he took his part inasmuch as the person in ques- me by the chin, made me look bim full in tion had attacked him violently in a re the face, and graciously dismissed me cently published work. “Ah, well!” with the flattering prophecy that, scapecoolly answered Voltaire, who had bith grace as I was, I might hope some day to erto been unaware of the fact, “it is quite be a comedian.”. possible that neither he nor I meant pre. On the second visit of the actors to the cisely what we said.”
Hôtel Villette, we are told by the same Elated beyond measure by the respect anthority, a complimentary address was universally manifested towards his distin. spoken by Bellecourt and responded to by guished guest, M. de Villette conceived so Voltaire with a great display of emotion. exaggerated an idea of his own importance When all except Fleury had retired, La as to assume an air of patronizing conde. Harpe, who was present, remarked that scension naturally resented by the visitors Bellecourt's delivery had appeared to him to the hotel. This ridiculous pretension more than usually pathetic and effective. did not escape the notice of the satirical - Yes," replied the patriarch with his writers of the day, as may be seen by the wonted cynical smile, “we both played following widely circulated epigram: - our parts uncommonly well.”
Madame du Deffand visited him twice, Petit Villette, c'est en vain
and alludes to their second interview in Que vous prétendez à la gloire; Vous ne serez jamais qu’un nain
the following lively style: “Yesterday Qui montre un géant à la foire !
(the twenty-first), I went again, accompa
nied as before by M. de Beauvau; but this Many curious details relating to this expedition was by no means as agreeable period of Voltaire's life may be gleaned as the preceding one. We were received from the letters of Madame du Deffand, by the piece Denis, the best creature in and from the autobiographical memoirs of the world, but certainly the greatest slatthe actor Fleury: the former, for a long tern; by the Marquis de Villette, an insiu. series of years, bis constant correspon. nificant stage-caricature, and his young dent, having been among the first to wel. wife, who is said to be amiable and is come his reappearance in the Parisian called belle et bonne by Voltaire and the world; and the latter, figuring repeatedly rest. When we came to the salon, alter in the deputations from the Comédie Fran- passing through several rooms in all of çaise, having specially attracted the aged which ihe windows were wide open, Vol. poet's, notice as his quondam pupil at taire was not there, but shut up with his Ferney. At the epoch alluded to, Fleury secretary in another room. We were rewas a mere novice in the art in which he quested to wait, but the prince (De Beauafterwards excelled, and member of a vau), who had an appointment, strolling company performing at Geneva unable to stay, so I was left alone with
- whence they were summoned to give a niece Denis, the Marquis Mascarille, and few representations at the château for the belle et bonne. According to them Vol. amusement of the guests. With all his taire was half dead with fatigue, bavtraditional veneration for his host, the ing read his piece from beginning to end young actor, as full of mischief as lads of to the actors that afternoon and heard seventeen generally are, could not resist them rehearse their parts. I wanted to the temptation of surreptitiously handling go, but they would not hear of it; and in the ill.combed and dishevelled wig bobo order to induce me to stay, Voltaire sent bing up and down on his patron's head. me four lines he had written on the sculp
tor Pigalle, who is at work on a statue or affirm that, if Fréron had not died two bust of him. After I had waited a good years before, he would have been one of quarter of an hour, in came Voltaire, say the warmest admirers of “ Irène." ing that he was completely exhausted and Voltaire shook his head in dissent. could hardly speak. I rose to take leave, “ No,” he said, “it was always war to the but he detained me and began to talk of knife between us, and would have been so bis play, begging me repeatedly to come still. But, althougb we hated each other and hear the final rehearsal, which is to cordially, I never denied that he had taltake place in the hotel. His mind is full ent- of a certain sort. Nay, when a of it, and his sole motive for coming to German prince on his way bither for the Paris is to have it performed. If the first time asked me whom I could recompiece has not a great success it will kill mend as the most capable person to give bim.”
him a correct idea of the literature of the Shortly after Walpole writes as follows: day, I told him plainly that I knew no one “He (Voltaire) thinks of nothing else (but so likely to answer the purpose as that his play), except of being received by the scoundrel, Fréron.” king and queen, which Madame du Def- “What would you have done,” inquired fand, who has paid him two visits, thinks La Harpe, “if the terrible critic had rung he will not obtain. I should like to have at the gate of Ferney, and solicited hosbeen present at this interview of the only pitality ? ”. two surviving lilies of the siècle de Louis | “Done !” exclaimed Voltaire, his old Quatorze; yet he is more occupied with resentment blazing forth at the idea of the dandelions of the present age.” such a possibility, “I should have”.
On March 15 his tragedy of " Irène,” here he paused, and after a moment's re. the title of which was originally intended fection replied — “I should bave invited to be “ Alexis Comnène,' was performed him to sup at my own table, and placed at for the first time at the Comédie Fran- bis disposal the best bedroom in the châ. çaise, Madame Vestris, one of the best teau.” tragic actresses of her day, personating “ He would probably not have occupied the heroine. The theatre was crowded to it so long,” suggested Madame Denis, excess, and the excitement prodigious; as the Italian who came for a night, and the court, with one notable exception remained with us three months.” his Majesty Louis the Sixteenth, who de. “Ah," said Voltaire, chuckling faintly tested Voltaire — being present in grand at the recollection; "contrary to Don gala, and the flower of Parisian society Quixote, who mistook inns for castles, mingling with the most distinguished rep. that gentleman evidently mistook castles resentatives of literature and the arts. for inns." It was, however, soon apparent that the On March 30, after attending a sitting piece possessed little intrinsic merit, and of the Academy in his honor, the author that neither the plot nor the characters of " Irène,” in compliance with the gen. were sufficiently interesting to rank beside eral desire, visited ibe Théâtre Français the previous productions of the same in order to witness the sixth performance writer; but not a word of discontent or of his tragedy. Everything had been unfriendly criticism was heard. People arranged beforehand to insure him a brillistened in respectful silence, and at ihe liant reception; and his appearance, sur. conclusion the name of Voltaire was rounded by a bodyguard of satellites, was greeted as enthusiastically as if this pale greeted with loud acclamations from all and feeble effort of his expiring genius sides of the house. When the curtain had been a “ Mérope "ora " Zaïre." It is had fallen on the last act of “ Irène,” the needless to say that at the Hôtel Villette important part of the ceremony began; coogratulations poured in from all sides; the poet's bust was placed on the stage, more than thirty members of the leading and displayed to the audience, the actors families in France repaired thither after and actresses standing grouped around it. the performance, and inscribed their | This was the signal for a burst of enthunames in a register kept for the purpose; siasm, which lasted more than a quarter and it was easy to persuade the old man of an hour; the ladies rising spontane. that his latest' work had achieved a suc. ously from their seats and waving their cess equal 10 that obtained by any of its handkerchiefs, while every eye was dipredecessors.
rected towards the hero of the evening, In the circle of bis intimates there was wbo sat trembling with excitement and of course but one opinion on the subject, emotion in his box. Mlle. Lachassaigne and M. de Villette even went so far as to then stepped forward, and deposited a
laurel crown on the bust,* the other mem- were evidently inclined to join in the upbers of the company imitating her ex- roarious manifestation, but without any ample; while Madame Vestris recited the very distinct idea how to begin. To them following lines composed for the occasion Voltaire's literary celebrity was a matter by M. de Saint-Marc:
of indifference; in their eyes he was a Aux yeux de Paris enchanté
philosopher, or, according to their interReçois.en ce jour un hommage
pretation of the term, an enemy to priest. Que confirmera d'âge en âge
craft, and as such alone they regarded La sévère postérité !
him. While they stood undecided how to Non, tu n'as pas besoin d'atteindre au noir express their sympathy with what was rivage,
going on, Fleury, who had divined the Pour jouir des honneurs de l'immortalité ! cause of their embarrassment, adroitly Voltaire, reçois la couronne
hinted to one of the foremost that the Que l'on vient de te présenter :
popular idol's real claim to their admiraIl est beau de la meriter
tion being his hatred of injustice and opQuand c'est la France qui la donne !
pression, an allusion to his defence of Meanwhile, Mlle. Fanier (Dorat's old Calas and Sirven would be at once appro. love) embraced the bust, as did her col. priate and gratifying to him. leagues one after another; and more than gestion was eagerly adopted, and during one occupant of the pit made an attempt the slow progress of the carriage along to climb on the stage and bestow an acco-the quay, shouts at first isolated, then lade on the marble. As a fitting termina- quickly taken up by a thousand voices tion of the spectacle, “ Nanine,” also by ot" Long live the friend of the people, the Voltaire, was then performed, the bust defender of Sirven and Calas !" rent the and its laurel crowns not being removed air, and impressed Voltaire, as be afteruntil the final descent of the curtain. By wards confessed, more forcibly and far order of the king, the court alone was not more durably than any other episode of officially represented; the Count d'Artois, the eventful day. however, contrived to slip away from the Early in April he visited Madame du royal party at the opera, and alter witness- Deffand for the first and last time. " He ing incognito the latter part of the pro- remained an hour with me," she says, ceedings sent bis aide-de-camp with a " and was in a most amiable mood. He flattering message to the venerable poet, has just purchased a house in the Richeexpressing the pleasure he felt in joining lieu quarter, and intends passing eight his congratulations to those of the nation. months of the year in Paris, and the other
Deeply affected by the excitement le four at Fleury. Every possible honor has had undergone, and overcome by fatigue, been shown bim here, the court alone de. the recipient of all these honors had barely clining to receive hiin. He is eighty-four, strength to acknowledge the plaudits re- and positively I am inclined to regard him peated again and again as, borne on the as almost immortal, not one of his facul. shoulders of a dozen enthusiasts, he left ties being in the slightest degree impaired the theatre, and was escorted in triumph by age.” to his carriage. The adjoining streets Her next mention of him briefly records were lined with a mixed multitude of all his death, which took place on May 30, classes, eager to participate in the delirium and is alluded to as follows by Walpole in of the hour, and augmented every instant a letter to Mason: “All my old friend by freshi arrivals from various quarters of|(Madame du Deffand) has told me of Vol. the city. Amid deafening cries of " Longtaire's death is, that the excessive fatigue live the author of “ Mérope,' • Brutus,' and be underwent by bis journey to Paris, and *Zaïre'!” the state equipage of M. de by the bustle made with reading his play Villette proceeded at a foot's pace in the to the actors and bearing them repeat it, direction of the quay, accompanied by an and by going to it, and by the crowds that immense concourse of people; until on flocked to him : in one word, the agitation arriving at the Rue du Bac an unexpected of so much applause at eighty-four threw incident occurred, which owed its origin him into a strangury, for which he took so to a “happy thought” of the “scape much laudanum that his frame could not grace" Fleury. A group of workmen, resist all, and he fell a martyr to his van. stationed at the corner of the street comity. Nay, Garrick, who is above twenty manding a good view of the procession, years younger, and fully as vain, would
have been choked with such doses of flat. * This scene forms the subject of a charming engrav. ing ly Gaucher after a drawing by Moreau the younger, tery; though he would like to die the entitled the “Apotheosis of Voltaire."