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plainly without seeking difficulties where every thing was clear. In trying to be profound, he has made a clumsy mistake. The fact was this : Voltaire, it was said, had requested that the ears of the Grand Inquisitor should be sent to him. The Pope on hearing of this strange demand, answered gayly ; “Make my compliments to Mr. Voltaire, but tell him his commission is impracticable, the Grand Inquisitor has neither eyes nor ears." The Pope's answer, says Voltaire, is very pretty, but he must, at the bottom, think the pretended request very indiscreet. I have written to Cardinal Bernis, begging him to inquire into the truth of this pleasantry, and how far it was carried. Timeo Danaos et dona ferentes, et Romanos ridentes. It is evident from the Latin itself and the French which precedes it, that this passage means I am afraid of the Greeks even when they make presents, and of the Romans even when they laugh. But the editor, to avoid doing like Lubin, who translates simply, Collegium, College, has rendered the passage thus: “I fear the Greeks when they make presents, and laugh at the Romans," which, in Voltaire's letter, would have no sense whatever. This mistake, it is true, does no harm except to the learning of the editor. But there are other notes less innocent, as where, without proof, a defamatory accusation is made against Mr. De la Harpe. Voltaire complains that some young man had stolen his manuscripts, and the editor puts in a note, “ It is asserted that this young man is Mr. De la Harpe. Who asserts it ? and even if it were asserted, would that give any one a right to print it? Let the editor make blunders, let him write nonsense. He has full permission to do so. But let him not, without proof, commit an outrage which even proof would not justify. What is the meaning too of this disrespectful and insulting style:“A man by the name of Moreau, author of The Cacouacs, a libel against the Encyclopædia, and of The Dutch Observer, another libel.” Mr. Moreau was an author too well known, and too honourably known, to be spoken of in this contemptuous way, as “A man of the name of Moreau.” The history of The Cacouacs is not a libel, but an agreeable essay full of keen irony against the Encyclopædia, which is itself often a libel; and The Dutch Qbserver was a political gazette written with moderation and propriety, against the enemies of France. The editor is not well informed in bibliography. He does not know well even the author whose works he publishes. He professes to give only letters hitherto unpublished, yet several in the supplement are already in print. That I believe is one in which Voltaire so nobly asks King Stanislas for bread and candle ; certainly that written on the subject of a prosecution at Lyons against some persons accused of robbery and parricide. I think he is mistaken in ascribing to the Abbe Duverne the letter of a divine to the Abbe Sabattier; it was, at the time, una
nimously attributed to Condorcet; he mistakes too, and it is much worse than a bibliographical error, when he asserts that the Duke of Nivernois is one of the decendants of Cardinal Mazarin. There should be no descendant of Cardinal Mazarin. But since he would make notes, he ought to have known the sources from which he might have obtained materials for more appropriate ones than those he has given. It would have been of service too to write them in French, or at least in a sort of French that should not be ridiculous. “He (the Abbe St. Pierre) was excluded from the Academy, to the shame of this company, on the occasion of the Polysinody." To the shame, on the occasion, Academy, company, Polysinody. The editor does not much vary his style, and is very fond of rhymes.
TRAVELS—FOR THE PORT FOLIO.
LETTERS FROM GENEVA AND FRANCE,
Written during a residence of between two and three years in different parts of those
countries, and addressed to a lady in Virginia.
Nearly opposite to the English Benedictines, stood the convent of the Carmelites, where Mad. de la Valiere retired from the torments of jealousy, and the struggles of a wounded conscience-you will see in one of Mad. de Sevigné's letters a description of those remains of beauty, which were still to be admired in this lady after so many years of austere devotion and self-denial. Her answer to Mad. de Montespan, who asked if she was really as happy at the Carmelites as the world pretended, is perhaps as good a definition of a convent life, as could be given. I will not pretend to say that I am happy, was the answer, but I am satisfied. A part of the ancient convent has been converted to a very good use ; it has been made to accommodate the abbe Sicard, of whose success in the instruction of the deaf and dumb, I will give you some account hereafter. A little higher up the street,
is the Val de Grace, a very handsome building, formerly a church, and erected by Anne of Austria, in gratitude to Heaven for the birih of a son, who was afterwards Louis XIV. The front is in a very magnificent style, but the handsome altar, the pavement of marble in different compartments, and the vaulted roof of inimitable sculpture, were what principally engaged the attention, and commanded the admiration of every traveller; it is now a magazine of stores for the army. Not far from the Val de Grace is the ancient abbey of Port Royal, formerly the retreat of many pious and distinguished men, and the very cradle of Jansenism, which, from an obscure dispuie whether certain propositions were, or were not, in a book which nobody read, assumed at length the appearance of a party, that Louis XIV thought infected by republican ideas. He had objected to some officer's accompa ying the duke of Orleans into Spain, on a report of his being a Jansenist, but withdrew his objection upon being told, that the officer, so far from being a Jansenist, was not even a believer in God. This abbey, like the convent of the Carmelites, has been applied to a very worthy use—it is the great Foundling Hospital of Paris, and there are annually upon an average, about six thousand children received there: no questions are asked of the persons who bring them, and after having been taken care of for ten days or a forinight, they are sent into the country to nurses hired for that purpose. I have heard a Frenchman compare, with exiltation, the facility of reception at the foundling hospital in Paris. with the difficulties which the wretched mother would experience in similar circumstances in London. But I question whether the custom in Paris does not, to a very great degree, promote the evil that it is meant to alleviate. The matron of the institution is a very sensible and well-behaved old lady; she told me, that she had for more than fifty years, fulfilled the same duty at the former foundling hospital and here, and that upwords of 300,000 children had passed through her hands. It would be a melancholy fact to ascertain how few of the 300,000 are alive at this moment, and interesting perhaps to trace the destiny of some of them. Formerly, children were brought here from all parts of the kingdom, but the matron assured us, that the capital alone had furnished for some years past as many as the hospital could receive, and that during the last year the number had
amounted to nearly 7000—a sad proof of the increasing libertinism in Paris, or of increasing poverty, or perhaps of both. There was something extremely affecting in this assemblage of our little helpless fellow-creatures ranged along in their cradles, or on their beds, with neatness and apparent comfort, treated as members of the great brotherhood of mankind, and receiving that succour without which they must have perished. In the chapel of the hospital is the statue of the founder, St. Vincent de Paul, and surely if the rank in heaven of any individual mortal after death is to be presumed, it may be his: the first services of St Vincent were in his character of preceptor in a noble family of Paris, sometime in the commencement of the century before the last, and during the reign of Louis XIII, but he was soon, by his na tural activity, carried into scenes more suited to that strong benevolence of soul, which animated all his actions; and as a slave at Tunis, was made to endure for a time, the worst perhaps of all situations that man is exposed to from the cruelty and violence of his fellow creatures. Having for some years afterwards officiated as chaplain general to the gallies, he returned to Paris, and found means to establish three different orders of charitable persons, devoting themselves to the service and assistance of the unfortune, and making it the employment of their lives to penetrate those retreats where modest poverty conceals itself, or, as Johnson expressed it, “where lonely want re:ires to die.” But his great work was the establishment of the Foundling Hospital. It had been long customary to sell such new-born children as had been left exposed by their parents and seemed likely to live, at 20 sous a piece, in the Rue St. Landry, and these were purchased either for purposes of deception in rich families, where a child was required to effect the descent of property, or to relieve some unfortunate or some diseased mother from the inconveniencies of milk. His first step was to found a Hospital for twelve children, and he was soon afterwards able by his zealous exhortations, conveyed in the most affecting eloquence, and by the sacrifice of all he possessed, to save such as were found at the porches of the different churches. Perceiving, however, that the warmth of that charity which had procured him the co-operation of so many persons at first was beginning to abate, that the children he had saved would be again deserted, and those outrages to humanity,
which he had so successfully resisted, would soon re-con mence, he called a meeting of all who had ever approved of his proposals, and assisted his pious views; by far the greater part of the company consisted of persons of your sex, and I am sure you will easily conceive their feelings, when the good St. Vincent, having ordered a number of the children that had been rescued from destruction, to be placed in the midst of the church where the meeting was held, ascended the pulpit, and concluded a very affecting address in something like the following words.-Behold then these little creatures, whom their own cruel mothers had for. saken, and whom you, ladies, have adopted as your own; forget pow for a moment, the tender tie which unites their destiny to yours, and do all of you conceive yourselves called upon to act as their judges, and to decide their fate. If that pity, which has hitherto preserved these helpless objects be withdrawn, they must all perish--their lives, then, depend upon your decision tell me therefore, sisters, shall these children live, or must they all die? They could answer him only with their tears, but so powerful were the effects of this happy moment, that the means were immediately furnished for establishing a Foundling Hospital, and for endowing it with a perpetual rent of about 20001. sterling. It is a circumstance which ought to be known, for the honour of human nature in its worst moments, that amid all the devastation of pictures and of statues, which took place during the Revolution, those of St. Vincent were always respected. In the statue which I now allude to, he is represented as descending the steps of some public building with a new-born infant wrapt up in his cloak and against his bosom, and the sculptor has very happily expressed a degree of joy in the good man's countenance, at having saved a fellow creature, mingled at the same time with a sentiment of regret at the appearance of another infant who lies lifeless at his feet. I cannot conceive how people should crowd about the Apollo, or the Laocoon of the Louvre, and leave such a statue as this unnoticed. Relurning down the Rue St. Jaques, you pass the Val de Grace, the Carmelites, and the English Benedictines, and arrive immediately after at the Pantheon; this was originally intended as a church, and it was meant that it should receive the shrine of St. Genevieve, who, from a humble shepherdess on the banks of the Seine, had become, after a lapse