« VorigeDoorgaan »
his body-he has joined in unhappy fractions the great substance and spirit of the universe-Heaven knows! I shudder to inquire-but on leaving him, I certainly felt far more impressed with pity for his situation than for that of the complaining ladies over whom he presided.*
The cry of this society, however, has found an echo even in the Royal Academy of Music, where you may see the “ Revolt of the women" spreading confusion amidst the vast and beautiful galleries of the Alhambra. But if you really wish to find female power in that proud situation of pre-eminence in which “ the Parisian philosophesses” wish to place it, go to the Ambigu Comique!... there you find
LE ROYAUME DES FEMMES.
Pièce fantastique en deux Actes. Two French travellers, carried rather farther in a balloon than they had any idea of journeying, arrive at this powerful and enlightened kingdom, in which, strange to say, the language of France by some miracle is spoken. Here every thing is changed which under an abominable tyranny has flourished elsewhere--and the Queen at the head of a very lady-like Garde Nationale reminds her brave sisters in arms that the fate of their country, of their husbands, of their children, is in their hands, and that it is for them to protect a sex feeble and without defence.t
* It would be unjust, however, not to acknowledge that there were many ideas just and reasonable enough in the written discourses with which the evening's proceedings commenced. The orators on this occasion were, for the most part, governesses, who, as I understand, under the pretext of addressing themselves to the subject of education, to which the room and the president are dedicated, give vent to their notions as to the pursuits and the occupations to which the society ought properly to devote themselves.
I will not dismiss the subject of this meeting, without mentioning one proposition made that evening by a lady, and with which I must say I heartily concur, viz., that the members of this sect should be distinguished by-as she expressed herself-“ a piece of red or blue ribbon, or some other badge of distinction."
“Fænum habet in cornu, hunc tu,” good reader, “caveto!” + Nellora entre en scène; son costume est dans le même style que les autres, mais beaucoup plus riche ; elle a une couronne sur la tête. Mouvement des femmes analogue à celui de nos soldats lorsqu'ils présentent les armes.
NELLORA, après un salut affectueux de Rodolphe, se tournant vers les femIn this island,
La femme est pleine de valeur,
De force et de science;
Lois, commerce, finance,
Et son amant ?
Près d'un garçon trop sage,
Parle de mariage;
And in fact the dignity of one's sex is somewhat shocked to find the Queen keeping her seraglio; an old dowager, a major of the Royal Guards, attempting to seduce the whiskered object of her affections by certain lucrative propositions; and a young
mes:-Mesdames et braves camarades, je suis contente de votre zèle, de votre bonne tenue. . . le sort de la patrie, celui de vos maris et de vos enfans est entre vos mains. . . c'est à vous de protéger un sexe faible et sans défense.
Air d'Adolphe Adam. (Introduction de Casimir.)
Guerrières de tous grades.
En avant, en avant ! (bis.)
Courageux et fidele
A la foi du serment,
Signal de gloire,
Faut-il courir aux armes ?
Nous sommes là. (Chour.) En ayant, etc.
man of this remarkable kingdom weeping over the disgrace he has fallen into from his weakness in favour of a young lady, who, after profiting by a promise of marriage, refuses to keep her word.
But it would not be fair, in ridiculing the absurdities of women who are too mad or too ignorant to understand the extent of their folly-it would not be fair to deny, that, in the idea, which some foolish followers of a ridiculous system have made contemptible, there is, as that idea was first conceived, much justice and much benevolence. In opening other careers to female ambition in making fame and fortune more easy of honest attainment, you would doubtless diminish that calamity which is engendered by necessity and ambition on the one hand, and the want of an honourable way to power and independence on the other. It would never enter into the head of any but a fanatic or a fool to dress up Mademoiselle Cécile in a judge's robes, or a field marshal's uniform; but it would be wise in a government to encourage and assist, as far as a government can encourage and assist, that development of intelligence and that habit of application which would give, in the various situations of life, every facility to the female who pursues a virtuous and useful avocation.*
"Much of the fate of females must depend on the instruction they receive. One dislikes to indulge in theories which seem to have no immediate chance of realization; and when we see the wild doctrines of female licentiousness that are abroad in France, it appears almost absurd to show what might be done by female morality—yet, if it be possible to breathe a higher and purer tone into, French society—and this is what French society wants—if it be possible to approach in peace the visions of St. Just, and to make virtue, honesty, and justice—the order of the day,—if it be possible to make that change in manners without which the laws which affect the surface of a nation will not penetrate to its core; if it be possible to do this
in a country where the influence of the sexes enters into al
* In a country where the division of fortunes rarely throws a woman upon the world in an utter state of destitution, there is little real necessity for the vices she may fall into; nay, that any clamour should have been ever so indistinctly raised, for perfect equality between the sexes--shows the very great equality that in France really exists !
most every crime, it must be by making that influence serviceable to every virtue.
How are you to do this ?— It is not so much the female mind that wants cultivating, it is the female character that wants exalting. The doctrine may be unpopular, but what you have to do cannot be done merely by the elegances of literature or the speculations of science. The education which you must give—to be useful must be moral: must be an education that will give a chivalric love-such love as women are prone to feel-not for the romantic depravities of life--not for the mawkish devilry and romance of a bourgeois Byron, but for what is great and noble in life—for the noble heroism of a Farcy, for the political integrity of a Béranger.
The sex most capable of rewarding public virtue, should be taught to honour and admire public virtue—should be taught to admire public virtue as it was formerly taught to admire accomplished vice; should be taught to feel for the patriot what it feels for the soldier, and what too often it feels for the roué. The female mind should be hardened and strengthened by logical notions of right, as well as filled with the fanciful theories which a smattering of letters and philosophy inspires.
I fear this can hardly be done by laws; much towards it, however, might be done by a court patronizing merit and honouring principle; much towards it might be done by a government which, extending by its nature into every position and relation of society, has an opportunity in every village of distinguishing merit and rewarding virtue. At all events, whatever the court or the government can do for this objectthat it ought to do; for there is no influence which should not be employed to elevate the morality of a people to whom Providence has denied the support of religion ;—and the influence of which I have been speaking, is an influence which the history and the character of the French ally to sanction, and which will be working deeply to the injury of the state, if it be not turned to its advantage.
France under Richelieu.-Under Bonaparte.- Now.-Military spirit of each
epoch.-The camp has entered into the city.—The duel of the Duc de Beaufort and of the Editor of the National.—The union between the sword and the tribune, impossible in England, may be possible in France.-The people who mourned Foy, Lamarque, Lafayette, mourned a type of themselves.
On a height which overlooked the plains of Roussillon,* and which commanded the dark ramparts of the city. he was besieging—a cuirass on his breast-his bald head, the scene and the centre of so many plans, great and terrible, covered with the red cap of the church-stood the Cardinal-profound minister, astute favorite, great captain. All eyes were fixed on him, and he could be seen every
and near him were the generals and the grand seigneurs of the monarchy, grand seigneurs whom he had made courtiers, and around him the chivalry and nobility of France. Never did a more loyal troop follow their sovereign, than that which galloped after King Louis, when, the eye bright, and the hand firm, he forgot the reveries of Chambord on the plains of Perpignan. Many and brave cavaliers were there. When was the oriflamme unfurled in olden times, and that a brilliant army was not ready to follow the white pennon? Yet, the army of France under Richelieu was not France. The priest who humbled the aristocracy had not ventured to open its honours to the nation.
Twenty-one years ago, in that palace which has since known more than one master, you might have seen a man, at once a prey to his ambitious follies and his reasonable fears--with the brow bent, and the lip curled—now pacing his chamber for hours-now stretched for a day together, in still and mute concentration of thought, over immense maps, to which his conquests had given a new surface—nervous, restless, agitated,