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No. 2570. - October 7, 1893.
My fate each hastens to decide ; GREAT thoughts of mighty minds that They scent the battle from afar: crowned run
I'm sure not one is satisfied. The applauding ages' circle, and that I wish I had a single star!
blaze In the long glow of immemorial praise,
Oh, if the stars would smoothly run,
And still among themselves agree, Oft leave the heart, when custom's tribute's done,
Their peaceful aim a common one,
How different the world would be ! Cold as high snows unvisited by sun;
Man with a single star may cope – While some small singer's half-forgotten lays
A Venus, Mercury, or Mars
But luckless is the horoscope Unknown, unhonored all his obscure
Determined by too many stars ! days,
Longman's Magazine. MAY KENDALL. Voicing our secret souls, have entrance
won. So to the dweller of the plains appear Majestic mountain shapes that awful rear
THE LAST SERENADE. Strange far-off splendors that his gaze
THE moonlight sleeps upon the lake, oppress ;
And music on my heart. Dearer the dim low reaches of a land
O lady mine, awake, awake, By sluggish streams and shivering poplars
For love is where thou art. spanned
The ripple sobs below the boat, The charm of a familiar homeliness !
The swan sleeps on the castle moat,
And yet we are apart.
I'd like a planet of my own,
A steadfast planet calm and clear, To tell me what to leave alone
A.nd in what course to persevere. Ah, when the truth I'd ascertain,
So hopelessly their orbits mix, I think in my bewildered brain
There never can be less than six !
If Mercury my spirit fires
With art, with eloquence or song, Or Jupiter my will inspires
With purpose and ambition strong, Then darts the moon a chilling beam
The cadent moon, my deadly foeOr Saturn, with his evil gleam,
Enters my house to work me woe.
TO THE SEA.
know not rest?
THE FALL OF
From The Quarterly Review. on different conditions (although these
curious anomalies occurred. Though so much has been written The local legislatures (les états provinabout the French Revolution, its his
ciaux) of Hainault, Dauphiny, Franche tory has, every
now and then, to be Comté, Provence, and Languedoc had carefully re-studied from a novel point been suppressed by Richelieu or Louis of view; either on account of newly XIV., and numbers of municipal frandiscovered facts, or owing to the publi- chises had been abolislied. Yet in cation of fresh and luminous views, by Provence a democratic assembly still some listinguished writer. Such was
survived, and Béarn showed administhe case when De Tocqueville showed trative relics of the kingdom of Nahow much of what had been deemed novel in that movement was but the
The most striking difference between carrying still further of the principles France and England at the accession of and practices of the despotic monarchy. Louis XVI. in 1774 was in the tenure The works of M. Taine have also neces- of landed property, and in the position sitated the careful reviewing of that held by men of the most distinguished complex social transformation, in the class. Instead of large estates let out light furnished us by his elaborate for definite periods to farmers and labors.
others on rents agreed upon, an imThe first of the three works men
mense number of the nobility possessed tioned above will, we are persuaded, no freehold property (beyond a château have a permanent effect on the world's with its mill, wine-press, or public judgment. It describes many
oven), but they had vexatious rights hitherto unknown; and it demonstrates with respect to dovecots and sporting, an important factor in the movement various claims on labor, and some rewhich has hitherto been little noticed. ceipts and privileges in respect of the Unhappily, M. Aimé Cherest did not just mentioned ovens, mills, and winelive to finish his valuable work, and its presses. The rise of a class of nonlast chapter breaks off abruptly where noble land-owners was, except in the his hand was arrested by death.
case of the very rich, effectually barred The Revolution of France still re- by the mode of levelling the land-tax. mains very incompletely understood in The nobles who possessed estates paid England, owing to an insufficient ap- no such charge ; but if they sold any preciation of the vast administrative of their landed property to purchasers differences between the two countries who were not noble, then the land bewhich existed towards the close of the
came immediately subject
to heavy eighteenth century.
taxation. In spite (perhaps somewhat in conse
Notwithstanding the writings of De quence) of the despotic character and Tocqueville, it is still widely believed excessive centralization of the French that peasant proprietorship and the king's government, divergences existed
great sub-division of landed property between the political organization and in France are a consequence of the administration of thie various French
Revolution. Such a belief is quite provinces such as had not existed in
erroneous. The peasantry somewhat England since the Heptarchy. Dif- resembled our copyholders, but the ferent provinces having been succes- clain of French ords of manors sively annexed at different epochs and (seigneurs) were oppressive, though the
proprietorship of the soil by such '1. La chute de l'Ancien Régime. Cherest. 3 vols. Paris, 1886.
copyholders was distinctly recognized. 2. Histoire de Marie-Antoinette. Par Maxime They regarded themselves as the own
Second Edition. 2 vols. Paris, ers of the soil, subject to certain oppres3. L'Esprit révolutionnaire avant la Révolution. sive customs, claims, and dues ; and the Par Félix Rocquain. Paris, 1878.
seigneurs, though generally exacting
de la Rocbeterie, 1882.
the latter (often their only source of feudal burthens developed into a hatred revenue), never claimed the absolute of the whole system of which those proprietorship of the soil.
burthens formed a part. This feeling But the great subdivision of the land made the peasantry bad laborers even existed even in the Middle Ages. The when paid for their labor, though they land so famous for the production of were never tired of cultivating their Chablis was, as early as the year 1328, own. parcels of land; for they were divided among no less than four hun- continually called upon to labor for dred and fifty small proprietors of both nothing by their seigneur for reasons sexes ; all inhabitants of a single par- which, however just originally, had ish. It is doubtful whether that land long lapsed from the memory of their is as much subdivided in the present generation. day. There were only two large pro- In the eighteenth century, while prietors. One was the Chapter of St. many of the nobility had little land, Martin of Tours, and the other was all of them had lost their ancient functhe Abbey of Pontigny. M. Cherest tions. Royalty had deprived the seignhimself has carefully studied the rent-eurs of powers which might interfere roll of the Abbey of Vezelay as it with and inconvenience the direct local existed towards the end of the fifteenth action of the central government; and century. In a volume of nearly eight it had perverted such powers as it had hundred pages, bearing date 1464, he permitted to survive. found 1 that the abbey possessed the Originally the seigneur was a little freehold of but a small part of the ara- king in his seigneurie, which he govble land, all the rest being divided erned with the help of his court of jusamong small, or very small, proprie- tice. In the eighteenth century he no tors. Even the humblest inhabitant longer governed anything; and though held something. On the list are to be his local “ court” continued to exist, it seen the plots belonging to the shoe- was but a vexatious survival, superflumaker, the barber, etc. ; and of the ous beside the royal courts of justice. part which formed the vineyards there The seigneur had become merely a were almost as many proprietors as troublesome creditor, possessing certain inhabitants.
vexatious claims, made doubly offenDuring the sixteenth and seven- sive by a proud superiority of caste. teenth centuries the multitude of peas. The nobility were no longer a political ant proprietors increased, as a larger power, but to the enormous majority of quantity of land was brought under Frenchmen merely a source of social cultivation. The attachment to the vexation. soil which the peasantry seem to have The term l'ancien régime is used by felt for ages, no doubt constantly in- M. Cherest in a special sense ; namely, creased, and during the eighteenth to denote the period which elapsed becentury, owing to the increasing luxury tween the death of Louis XIV. and the and expense of life, many nobles were Revolution. In fact the social and glad to sell their lands and even their political state which existed from 1715 manors ; and they could, for the most to 1789 was in many respects different part, sell them only to the peasantry, from that which prevailed during the
the middle class being restrained long reign of the Grand Monarque ; from doing so by the before-mentioned and, of course, from that of mediæval system of taxation.
France, when a multitude of local Thus on the eve of 1789 multitudes franchises existed, when nobles and of the French peasantry had become ecclesiastical dignities fulfilled many proprietors, and the desire for the pos- important political as well as social session of land became a passion. At functions, and when the States-Genthe same time their natural dislike to eral, however inefficient and irregu
larly convoked, were a recognized and 1 Vol, ii., p. 536.
still living institution. That period
a period of relative freedom – may be times. They came to the throne at a distinguished as the mediæval régime; moment which gave them wonderful and this led, through the Valois and opportunities. Henri IV., to the period of despotism, On the 24th of January, 1771, three or the especially regal régime, made years before his death, Louis XV. had ap of the reigns of Louis XIII. and prepared the way for his successor by Louis XIV. During the remaining the memorable coup d'élat of his Chanperiod of the old monarchy the royal cellor Maupeon, by which the Great omnipotence continued to be asserted, Council was created, in the place of and was, till towards its close, theo- that ancient court, alternately the ally retically admitted. Privileges and ex- and the opponent of royal despotism emptions were maintained, and even the often factious Parlement of Paris ; became exaggerated. It was a period and by the end of the year the various during which a prolonged struggle took Provincial Parlements were also supplace between a more or less insurgent pressed. In spite of the excitement nobility, a feeble regal absolutism vainly which ensued, France, from a habit of striving to maintain itself, and the obedience during two centuries, was gradual awakening of the modern spirit still so docile that her discontent for of “equality before the law," and of the most part only showed itself in political and social freedom. This state witty sayings in the salons, and in some of things is, as we have said, what M. pamphlets ; so that till the death of his Cherest means by l'ancien régime. . Its master the chancellor was confident end may be considered as having taken and triumphant. place in November, 1789, when the an- The condition of France was then in cient division of the French people into many respects admirable ; and if only the three estates of clergy, nobility, that which was good could have been and the tiers état was formally ended. retained, while crying abuses were reIts spirit, however, survived during the formed, a solid advance in civilization Emigration, and was still vigorous un- might have been secured, and might der the Restoration, nor can it be said possibly have been imitated by the to have entirely vanished till the death whole of Europe. The refinement of of the Count de Chambord.
Versailles and of the salons of Paris M. Cherest assures us that he began was such as the world had never seen, his researches full of prejudice in favor and probably will never see again. Talof the system, the fall of which he de- leyrand said that he who had not known picts. As a strong Conservative, he society before 1789 had not known the would have been glad to vindicate it sweetness of life. In spite of the disfrom the blame so generally heaped orders of the court, of the regent and upon it. Nevertheless, at the end of Louis XV., and of the worldliness, corhis studies he felt bound to declare ruption, and infidelity of fashionable bimself in the words of Mirabeau : abbés and some other ecclesiastical dig: 1 “A Conservative indeed, but a Con- nitaries, the great mass of the clergy servative of that which the Revolution and laity were essentially sound in has created, not of that which it justly faith and morals. De Tocqueville has destroyed.” Though the sufferings of shown the general excellence of the Louis XVI. and Marie Antoinette must clergy, both as parish priests and citiinduce a reluctance to judge them se- zens ; and the troubles of the Revoluverely, even pity should not blind us to tion served afterwards abundantly to the fact that they were guilty of grave demonstrate their sincerity and devofaults and of actions impossible to jus- tion. As to the laity, a singular proof tify. Yet it is no less certain that, had of the moral sentiments of the middle their faults been far greater and their and artisan classes has been curiously morality and weakness much less, they
1 It is better to use the French name for French might have become the most powerful judicial bodies. Parliament, with all its English and despotic sovereigns of modern l associations, seemis a singularly unsuitable term.