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tree, which, as it widens every year, beomes at once more visible and more weak. And so in the monarchy of July, the time which displays, destroys—which expands, obliterates its defects.
END OF THE SECOND BOOK.
BOOK II 1.
Est enim admirabilis quædam continuatio seriesque rerum, ut alia ex aliâ nexa et omnes inter se aptæ, colligatæque videantur.-Cicero, Procem. Lib. I. de Naturâ Deorum.
Influence of women—Talleyrand, Bonaparte, and Louis XVIII.
Female influence at the time of the Restoration-Madanie de Roland and Madame de Staël-Share of women in public affairs Their importance in French history—Their assumption of the masculine character-Female Aids-de-camp-A lady-duellistContrast between French women and English women-Influence of domestic habits-Moral Phenomenon-New doctrine of masculine obedience-Female disputants-Le Royaume des FemmesPolicy of encouraging the development of female intelligence, and the exaltation of female principle.
I HAVE just been speaking of influences, partly created by history, partly by national character—and which, rooted deep into the past, must extend over the future. One of these influences, I said, when I was on the subject of gallantry, that I should again speak ofI mean the influence of women. Not even the revolution of 1789—not even those terrible men who shivered a sceptre of eight centuries to atoms—not even the storm which overthrew the throne of the Capets, and scattered over Europe the priests and the proud nobility of France--not the excesses of the Girondists, the Dantonists, and the triumvirate—not the guillotine, not the dungeon, not the prison, not the scaffold, not the law—not the decrees which cut up the provinces of France into departments, and the estates of France into farms—none of these great changes and instruments of change affected an empire exclusive to no class, which had spread from the Tuileries to the cottage, and which was not so much in the hearts as in the habits of the French people. Beneath no wave of the great deluge, which in sweeping over old France fertilized new France--beneath no wave of that great deluge, sank the presiding landmark of ancient manners ;—and on the first ebbing of the waters, you saw -the boudoir of Madame Récamier, and the “ bal des victimes."
Monsieur de Talleyrand comes from America in want of employment; he finds it in the salon of Madame de Staël. Bonaparte, born for a military career, commenced it under the gentle auspices of Madame de Beauharnais. Even Louis XVIII. himself, that fat, and aged, and clever monarch, bestowed more pains* on writing his pretty little billets-doux than he had ever given to the dictation of the Charta.
There was a back way to the council-chamber, which even his infirmities did not close; and many were the gentle lips, as some persons have confessed to me, that murmured over “amo,” in its different moods and tenses, in the vain hope of rivalling Mesdames P *** and D *** in the classical affections of this royal and lettered gallant.
It was under this influence, indeed, that the unfortunate king succumbed : as it was with this influence that many of the faults, as well as many of the graces of the Restoration were combined.
“ In 1815, after the return of the king,” says a late author, “ the drawing-rooms of Paris had all the life and brilliancy which distinguished them in the old régime. It is hardly possible to conceive the ridiculous and oftentimes cruel sayings which were circulated in these pure and elegant saloons. The Princesse de Tremouille, the Mesdames d'Escars, De Rohan, and De Duras, were the principal ladies at this time who ruled in the Faubourg St. Germain. With them
you found the noble youth of the old families in France ; the generals of the allied armies; the young women exalted in their ideas of loyalty and loyal de
* When Bonaparte entered the Tileries, during the hundred days, he found many of these little billets, and a large collection of Louis's interesting correspondence. The Emperor would not hear of their being read or published.