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friend Lebras_“ The curtain shall be lifted so that we may precipitate the dénouement.” On
* LE SUICIDE.
SUR LA MORT DES JEUNES VICTOR ESCOUSSE ET AUGUSTE
LEBRAS, Fev. 1832.
Quoi, morts tous deux ! dans cette chambre close
Pauvres enfans ! l'écho murmure encore
Pauvres enfans ! calomnier la vie !
the receipt of this theatrical little billet, M. Lebras goes quietly to M. Escousse's lodgings, and sits with him over the charcoal that had
Ils répondaient : C'est le rêve d'un ange.
Pauvres enfans! mais les plumes venues,
Pauvres enfans ! quelle douleur amère
de saints devoirs remplis?
been duly prepared for precipitating the dénouement.' M. Escousse did not, however, pass away from the world without leaving behind him, both in prose and poesy, a record of his sentiments. “I desire," said he, “ that the journals which announce my death, will add to their article this declaration:
“ Escousse killed himself because he felt that
Pauvres enfans! de fantômes funèbres
Dieu créateur, pardonne à leur démence.
L'humanité manque de saints apôtres
his place was not here—because he wanted force at every step he took before him or behind him --because the love of glory did not sufficiently animate his soul, if soul he have.”—“ Madman," says the journalist who obeys his wish ; " you die-- non pas parceque la gloire vous manque, mais parceque vous manquez à la gloire." But M. Escousse left also poetry behind him—“ I desire that this be the motto of
“ Adieu, trop inféconde terre,
L'air manquait, j'ai fermé les ailes--Adieu !” The air of the world was too heavy for the poetical wings of this unfortunate vaudevillisteand ....*
Thus did these two young gentlemen perish, victims of a vanity which left them in their dying hour no more solemn thought than that of their puny reputation. Every one will reecho me when I say, “the French are the vainest
* A young man who killed himself not long ago, left behind him a variety of articles which he had written upon his suicide and himself, and which he begged his friends to get inserted in the different papers.
people in the world;"— but I do not know whether every one will treat their national vanity in the same manner, or take the same view of it that I do.
That vanity is not only ridiculous; it contains a power which many more lofty and serious qualities would fail to supply. With that vanity is combined a capability for great things; a magnificence of design and a daringness of execution, rare amongst the calm and frigid nations of the north. In that vanity is security to France; for in that vanity is-union. That vanity it is which concentrates and connects a people different in their manners, different in their origin, different in their climate, different even in their language. That vanity it is, which gives to thirty-three millions of individuals—one heart and one pulse. Go into any part of France, some districts of Brittany perhaps excepted, and let any body of persons be assembled ! address them to soothe or to excite! Say “vive la liberté !” there are times when you will not be listened to—"Vive le roi !
- vive la charte !-vive la république!” these are all rallying cries which will now be hissed, and now applauded: but cry “ Vive la France"-“ Vive la belle France, songez que vous êtes Français!” and almost before the words are out of your mouth, your voice will be drowned