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distinguished, appropriated to him. Yet as the two characters in which men of high few which have admitted authenticity may intellectual endowments usually excel. He be mentioned, as showing the quality of his never attained, nor even sought distinction,
either as an orator or as an author. Of The following, given by Lord Brougham, parliamentary talent he had none. His may be considered as authentic :
works in literature would not fill a volume Being asked if a certain authoress, whom as large as that which the reader now holds he had long since known, but who belonged in his hand. Few, however, as are the writrather to the last age, was not “ un peu ings which he has left, they are marked, in a ennuyeuse ?"_“ Du tout,” said he, “ elle conspicuous manner, by the qualities which était parfaitement ennuyeuse.” A gentle conferred so great a charm on his converman in company was one day making a sation-a thorough familiarity with the somewhat zealous eulogy of his mother's best writers of his country, and the love of beauty, dwelling upon the topic at uncalled the most refined society, with the most for length—he himself having certainly in- absolute freedom from all pedantry. His herited no portion of that kind under the description of an American backwoodsman marriage of his parents. “C'était donc, has been cited as a happy specimen of his monsieur, votre père qui apparemment style. “Writers of a less severe school,” n'était pas trop bien,” was the remark observes Lord Brougham, “may envy its which at once released the circle from the poetical effect, and, perhaps, learn how subject. When Madame de Staël publish- possible it is to be pointed and epigrammaed her celebrated novel of “ Delphine,” tio without being affected, and sentimental she was supposed to have painted herself without being mawkish.” in the person of the heroine, and M. Talleyrand in that of an elderly lady, who is nothing; every sensible idea is banished from him ;
“ The American backwoodsman is interested in one of the principal characters. “On me these branches so elegantly thrown by nature, a dit,” said he, “ que nous sommes tous les fine foliage, a brilliant hue which marks one part deux dans votre roman déguisés en femme." of the forest, a deeper green which darkens another Ralpières, the celebrated author of the -all these are nothing in his eye; he bas no work on the Polish Revolution, having recollections associated with anything around him; said, “ Je n'ai fait qu'une mechanceté dans his only thought is the number of strokes of his “ Et quand finira-t-elle ?” was He has never planted; he is a stranger to the plea
axe which are necessary 10 level this or that tree. M. Talleyrand's reply. " Genève est
sures of that process. Were he to plant a tree, it ennuyeuse, n'est-ce pas ?” asked a friend. never could become an object of gratification to him, “Surtout quand on s'y amuse, was the because he could not live to cut it down. He lives
“Elle est insupportable” (said only to destroy: He is surrounded by destruction. he, with marked emphasis, of one well Hence every place is good for him. He does not known ; but as if he had gone too far, and love the field where he has expended his labor,
because his labor is merely fatigue, and has no to take off something of what he had laid
pleasurable sentiment attached to it. The work on, he added), “Elle n'a que ce défaut of his hands is not marked by the progressive là.” Nor ought we to pass over the only circumstances of growth, so interesting to the mot that ever will be recorded of Charles agriculturist. He does not watch the destiny of the Tenth, uttered on his return to France, what he produces. He knows not the pleasures in 1814, on seeing, like our Second Charles, of new attempts; and if in surrendering his home at a similar reception, that the adversaries be do not leave his axe behind him, he leaves no of his family had disappeared_“Il n'y a regrets in the dwelling in which he may have
a qu'un Français de plus." This was the passed years of his life."* suggestion of M. Talleyrand. He after- * "Le Bucheron Américain ne s'intéresse à wards proposed, in like manner, to Charles's rien; tout idée sensible est loin de lui; ces branches
si élégamment jetées par la nature, un beau feuilsuccessor, that the foolish freaks of the
lage, une couleur vive qui anime une partie du bois, Duchess de Berri should be visited with un vert plus fort qui en assombrit une autre, tout this Rescript to her and her faction—“Ma- cela n'est rien ; il n'a de souvenir à placer nulle dame, il n'y a plus d'espoir pour vous, vous part : c'est la quantité de coups de hâche qu'il faut
qu'il donne pour abattre un arbre, qui est son serez jugée, condamnée, et graciée."
unique idée. Il n'a point planté : il n'en sait point Considering the large space which Tal- les plaisirs. L'arbre qu'il planterait n'est bon à leyrand filled in the public eye for more rien pour lui, car jamais il ne le verra assez fort than half a century, and in all parts of the pour qu'il le puisse abattre : c'est de détruire qui le civilized world, it is remarkable that he est bon ; il ne tient pas au champ où il a pla
fait vivre et il détruit partout: aussi tout lieu lui
son accomplished almost nothing in either of travail, parceque son travail n'est que de la fatigue et
The succession of governments served by side of his character, it can scarcely be M. Talleyrand, acknowledging such various credited that any individual could be found and discordant principles; the Directory, to question its intellectual superiority. It the Consulate, the Empire, the Restora- requires an immoderate amount of selftion, and the Monarchy of July; each in esteem to produce the courage necessary to its turn receiving his oath of fidelity, have give expression to an opinion so utterly at supplied ground for the most serious charges variance with the judgment of all mankind, which have been made against his political as that Talleyrand's was a low, commonintegrity. That he was deeply conscious of place, vulgar intellect, incapable of comhaving rendered himself obnoxious to the prehending the political complications in criticisms of history, is most apparent from which he was himself called to take an the apology he has left behind him annexed active part. If such an opinion were proto his testament. Qui s'excuse s'accuse,” mulgated by one admitted to hold a high is an adage which will in this case occur to rank in politics or letters, or by one who, every mind. Yet he is not without de- having lived long and mingled much in fenders and advocates, who, if they do not affairs, could be supposed to possess expeexplain away these glaring indications of a rience whereon to found a judgment, it time-serving spirit, find many circumstances would be said to be singular and eccentric. to extenuate the unfavorable inferences But when this estimate of such a personage which they suggest.
as Talleyrand proceeds from the author of
the “Histoire de Dix Ang," it is simply 6. That such passages in the life of Talleyrand, ridiculous. When Lord Brougham wrote indicate a disposition to be on the successful side, what follows, he had but an inadequate idea without any very nice regard to its real merits," of the presumption to which youth and insays Lord Brougham, “can hardly be denied; and when facts so pregnant with evidence are before experience may sometimes be carried : the reader, he has not merely materials for judging “If the integrity of this famous personage be of the character to wbich they relate, but may the subject of unavoidable controversy, and if our almost be said to have its lineaments presented to opinion of it must of necessity be clouded with his view, without the aid of the historian's pencil some doubt, and, at best, be difficult satisfactorily to trace them. But the just discrimination of the to fix-upon the talents with which he was gifted, historian is still wanting to complete the picture, and his successful cultivation of them, there can both by filling up the outline, and correcting, it be no question at all, and our view of them is unwhere harshly drawn from imperfect materials. clouded and clear. His capacity was most vigorOther passages of his life may be brought forward ; ous and enlarged. Few men have ever been explanations may be given of doubtful actions; endowed with a stronger natural understanding, or apparent inconsistencies may be reconciled, and have given it a more diligent culture, with a view charges which at first sight seem correctly gathered to the pursuits in which he was to employ it. His from the facts, may be aggravated, extenuated, or singular acuteness could at once pervade every repelled, by a more enlarged and more judicious subject—his clearness of perception at a glance view of the whole subject. That the inferences unravelled all complications, and presented each fairly deduced from M. Talleyrand's life, can be matter distinct and unencumbered—his sound, wholly countervailed by any minuteness of exami: plain, manly sense, at a blow got rid of all the nation, or explained away by any ingenuity of husk, and pierced immediately to the kernel. A comment, it would be absurd to assert; yet it is cloud of words was wholly thrown away, upon only doing justice to comprise in our estimate of him; he cared nothing for all the declamation in his merits some things not usually taken into the the world-ingenious topics, fine comparisons, account by those who censure his conduct, and cases in point, epigrammatic sentences, all passed who pronounce him—merely upon the view of innocuous over his head. So the storms of pashis having borne a part in such opposite systems sion blew unheeded past one whose temper nothing of policy, and acting with such various combi. could ruffle, and whose path towards his object nations of party—to have been a person singular, nothing could obstruct. It was a lesson and a !y void of public principle, and whose individual study, as well as a marvel, to see him disconcert, interest was always his god.”
with a look of bis keen eye, or a motion of his Whatever may be the differences of the chin,
a whole piece of wordy talk and far-fetched
and fine-spun argument without condescending to estimates which may be made of the moral
utter, in the deep tones of his most powerful voice,
so much as a word or an interjection, far less to qu'aucune idée douce n'y est jointe. Ce qui sort overthrow the flimsy structure with an irresistible de ses mains ne passe point par toutes les croissances si attachantes
pour le cultivateur; il ne suit pas la remark, or consume it with a withering sarcasm. destinée de ses productions; il ne connait pas le Whoever conversed with him, or saw him in plaisir des nouveaux essais, et, si en s'en allant, il conversation, at once learned both how dangerous n'oublie pas sa hâche, il ne laisse pas de regrets là a thing it was to indulge before him in loose prosoù il a vécu des années."
ing, or in false reasoning, or in frotby declama
tion; and bow fatal an error he would commit, perfect than these. If it be true-which is, howwho should take the veteran statesman's good- ever, more than questionable that a life of public natured smile for an innocent insensibility to the business hardens the heart; if this be far more cer. ludicrous, and his apparently passive want of tainly the tendency of a life much chequered with all effort for permanent indolence of mind. There various fortune; if he is almost certain to lose his are many living examples of persons not meanly natural sympathies with mankind, who has in his gifted, who, in the calm of his placid society, have earliest years tasted the bitter cup of cruel and unbeen wrecked among such shoals as these.” natural treatment, commended to his lips by the
hands that should have cherished him; if, above These were, properly speaking, the traits all, a youth of fashionable dissipation and intrigue, of his character as developed in the ordi- such as M. Talleyrand, like most of our own nary intercourse of private society. It is great men, undeniably led, has, in almost every
instance, been found to eradicate the softer domes. scarcely needful to say, that one who played tic feelings, and to plant every selfish weed in the so important a part on the stage of politics cold soil of a neglected bosom ; surely it is no for so long a period of time, was not less small praise of his kindly and generous nature, eminent in those great qualities which such that we are entitled to record, how marked an ex: a position demanded.
ception be formed to all these rules. While it
would be a foolish and a needless exaggeration to “ His political sagacity," says the same authori- represent him as careless of his own interest, or ty,“ was above all bis other great qualities; and ambition, or gratification, at any period of his life, it was derived from the natural perspicacity to it is, nevertheless, quite true that his disposition which we have adverted, and that consummate continued to the last gentle and kindly; that he knowledge of mankind; that swift and sure tact not only entertained throughout the tempest of the of character ; with which his long and varied ex. revolutionary anarchy the strongest abhorrence of perience had matured the faculties of his manly, all violent and cruel deeds, but exerted his utmost yet subtle, understanding. If never to be deluded influence in mitigating the excesses which led to by foolish measures, nor ever to be deceived by them in others; that his love of peace in all its cunning men, be among the highest perfections blessed departments, whether tranquillity at home, of the practical statesman, where shall we look or amity and good-will abroad, was the incessant for any one who preferred stronger claims to this object of his labors; that in domestic life, he was character. But his statesmanship was of no vul- of a peculiarly placid temper, and full of warm gar cast. He despised the silly, the easy, and, and steady affections. His aversion to all violent false old maxims which inculcate universal dis- courses was, indeed, in some instances, carried to trust, whether of unknown men, or of novel a length which prevented his wonted calmness of measures, as much as he did the folly of those judgment, and his constant and characteristic love whose facility is an advertisement for impostures, of justice, even when an adversary was concerned, or for enthusiasts to make dupes of them. His from having their free scope. He never could speak was the skill which knew as well where to with patience of Carnot, for having continued, give his confidence as to withhold it; and he during the Reign of Terror, to serve and to save knew full surely that the whole difficulty of the his country by directing the war which defended political art consists in being able to say whether her against Europe in arms-forgetting how much any given person or scheme belongs to the right less could be urged for his own conduct under the class or to the wrong. It would be very untrue profligate and tyrannical Directory of 1797 and to atfirm that he never wilfully deceived others; 1798, under the conscriptions of Napoleon, and but it would probably be still more erroneous to under the military occupation of the Allies even admit that he ever in his life was deceived. So admitting his predominant desire to prevent anhe held in utter scorn the affected wisdom of those archy and conquest--than might most fairly be who think they prove themselves sound practical offered in desence of that illustrious Republicanos men, by holding cheap every proposal to which inflexible and uncompromising, though stern and the world has been little or not at all accustomed, undaunted, virtue.” and which relies for its support on principles rarely resorted to. His own plan for maintaining the peace of Belgium may be cited as an example A MATRIMONIAL NEWSPAPER.Every commuof a policy at once refined and profound. He would nity, class, and profession has its literary organ; have made it the resort of the fine arts and of let-and, not to be behind the rest of the world, the ters, with only force enough to preserve its do- keepers of matrimonial offices in Paris have started mestic peace, and trusting for its protection to the a. journal under the alluring title of the Harem. general abhorrence which all Europe must have, tween persons who want to get married. Ladies in
It is to serve as the medium of communication bein these times, of any proceeding hostile to such want of husbands (says a correspondent of the a power."
Edinburgh Weekly Register) are to write letters to We shall close this sketch by the ob- it, setting forth their personal charms, and the
amount of their fortunes, together with any other servations of the same writer on the private particulars they may think likely to enhance their character of this eminent person :
value in the matrimonial market; and gentlemen
are to write similar communications. It is, in fact, “Of his temper and disposition in private life to be an advertising paper for would-be-wives and it remains to speak ; and nothing could be more would-be-husbands.
Fron Fraser's Magazine.
A GROUP OF PARLIAMENTARY ODDITIES.
COLONEL SIBTHORP, MR. MUNTZ, MR. PETER BORTHWICK, MR. BLEWITT, AND MR. JOHN
One of our fair novelists observes," In, But their abilities, their patient resigyour youth secure the reputation of being nation ever, avail as nothing against their an oddity, and it will seat you in an easy oddities. It is their misfortune to have chair for life.” This remark, partially been afflicted with, or their folly to have true as regards private society, embodies assumed, some peculiarity which touches very bad advice to a public man, and more the sense of the ridiculous ; and the unespecially to a member of the House of mannerly crowd, each unit of which thinks Commons. Wo to the man on whom to hide his individual rudeness in the geneNature has inflicted, or who allows himself ral tyranny, are merciless in their coarse to acquire any peculiarity of voice, manner, and thoughtless laughter. or mode of thinking, or who adopts any
Not that we would cover all these genoutré style of dress, if it be his vocation or themen with the shield of justice. Some bis ambition to speak in public. Even there are who deserve compassion, others genius can scarcely contend against the contempt; while of one or two it may be disqualification produced by such habits. said, that they are in all other respects so
The readers of debates in the House of sensible, that their obstinate perseverance Commons will, of course, have long since in their self-assumed oddities deserves only perceived that the discussions of that as- indignation. But from whatever cause sembly are not always heavy and dull, but their ludicrous conduct may spring, one (according to the parenthetical statements thing is certain, that the exhibitions they of the faithful reporters) that there are re- provoke do often reflect great disgrace on peated bursts of merriment, as some mem- the House of Commons; that the jealous bers of the House say or do things which multitude who are excluded from direct enliven the proceedings. But the accounts participation in constitutional rights, conof the reporters are by no means satisfac- stantly murmur why those whom they would tory on this head. They are not de- choose-true, earnest men-should be exscriptive : they afford no means of judging cluded in favor of property-chosen mounteat what all this merriment proceeds, unless banks; and that foreign readers and spec-which unhappily is seldom the case --the tators of our parliamentary debates are joke is so good and obvious that the reader atterly astonished and seandalized at the involuntarily supplies the laugh which the scenes which sometimes occur in that body report attributes to the House. The same which they have heard so proudly claim the word“ (laughter)” follows the ablest title of an assembly of the first gentlemen point of a Peel or a Russell, a Disraeli or a in Europe. And superficially regarded, Buller, that is appended to the dullest such complaints are only too well founded. platitade of a Borthwick or a Sibthorp. Yet some of the gentlemen who are thus You are absolutely at a loss to discover martyrs to their own peculiarities do not whether the House are laughing with the fairly deserve to be held in such very low speaker, or at him.
estimation. Although their escapades are The difficulty is easily explained. There sometimes ridiculous, they often have their are certain gentlemen who, often with great lucid intervals. Many a solemn dullard, injustice, are made the “butts" of the many a sententious observer of proprieties, House of Commons. One or two there are stands far below them in shrewdness and who cannot rise in their places, especially common sense. They often redeem their if the subject discussed be a grave or im- absurdities, and at times deserve and obportant one, without being met by a roar of tain respect. laughter; the indulgence in which is the In justice alike to them, to the House of more reprehensible, because the parties Commons, and to the constituencies which have till then said nothing, and also be- have sent them to parliament, we will recause, when they do speak, they utter very call a few, and endeavor to fix their real sensible, and even very witty suggestions. character.
Keeley, enters upon the stage; nay, even
when his well-known voice is heard at the To Colonel Sibthorp belongs the dis-wings-it is the signal for an universal roar tinction of being, without exception, the from the delighted audience. They are greatest oddity in the House of Commons. grateful in their pleasure, their laughter is He is also now the “father” of the droll a mixture of memory and expectation, and personages of that assembly, dating his they greet him as much for what he has empire over the general risibilities from a done as for what they know he will do. period far anterior to the parliamentary ex- And he, too, who is the object of all this istence of any of the gentlemen whose oc- involuntary flattery, how well he knows his casional absurdities now enliven the de- footing! He smiles, bows, executes some bates. Many times his supremacy has favorite antic, and then another roar! been temporarily threatened; but the There is a perfect harmony, a thorough unoriginality and perpetual fecundity of his derstanding, between them. From that humor (which is not always involuntary, be moment the actor may say and do almost it known) have carried him through tri- whatever he likes, and still is sure of a kind umphantly against the most audacious of interpretation. Now, the influence of Colohis competitors. Many a meteoric oddity nel Sibthorp over the house of Commons is has he seen laughed into a brief notoriety, not very unlike this of the favorite Dictaonly to be laughed down again into oblivion tor of a Haymarket audience. Let us supby his own superior power of absurdity. pose that the political feelings of a crowded His reign may have been turbulent, but his House kave been swayed during many hours empire over the risible muscles of his five by the artistical debating power of a Peel, or or six hundred auditors is henceforth se- their imagination stimulated by the brilcure. For who could hope to vie with liant oratory of a Macaulay, or that they Colonel Sibthorp?
have been wrought up to the highest pitch We have often endeavored to account of passionate excitement by the spirit-stirfor the peculiar reception he meets with, ring appeals of a Shiel. To a multitudifor the patience and even satisfaction with nous roar of cheering has succeeded for a which he is listened to by a crowded House, few instants that quiet which awaits a new often at the most critical and exciting mo- orator, or a confused low murmur of approments of a debate ; for, be it known, his bation at the speaker who has just sat imperial pride is sometimes not to be satis- down. Suddenly another sound, one the fied with a less distinguished field for dis- least expected, assails the ear, play. Is it his ogre-like appearance ? walls shake under that shout of laughter That alone would not be enough ; for the which resounds from five hundred voices House boasts among its members some far throughout the building; not exactly the more formidable persons. Is it his cou- laughter of mere ridicule, but a convulsive rage, in standing up so bravely to battle expression of delighted amusement. for his crotchets at the most inopportune look around for the cause. Lo! far up the moments ? No; for there are other bores mountain of benches, close by one of the who do the same, and are ruthlessly coughed pillars of the side-gallery, there stands a down. Is it his humor ? No; for it only figure which defies classification. It is Aashes out occasionally in any shape to en- unique. It would, at first glance, merely able you to separate it from his other od-excite ridicule; but, at a second, you perdities. Then is it his dauntless frankness ceive a something indicative of strength, of in speaking of public men, or his strong manliness, of self-possession, which minsubstratum of
sense ? We gles a kind of involuntary respect with suspect it is a little of each, and that the your laughter. It looks like the debris of latter element of interest predominates ; what must once have been a magnifico. A for Colonel Sibtherp speaks mere unadul- majestic air of tawdry grandeur reminds you terated truth in a week than is heard from of how King Joachim might have looked others in the House of Commons in a when he found that the game was up at twelvemonth. He is a licensed jester, and Naples, or of the exaggerated despair of utters grave censures from under his cap that most magnificent of modern potentates, and bells.
King Bland. This spectre-like form When a favorite comedian, who is more breaks on you in detail, but still defying all especially a physical actor, not to say a efforts to fix it as of any known order of buffoon-when a Liston, a Buckstone, almen. The costume is a perfect kaleido