« VorigeDoorgaan »
and executing against the liberties of the people. At length the plot was exposed; where we presumed ramparts, we found a flower-garden: the monarchy this time merely exposed itself to the reproach of bad taste; “ the charta insulted was the charta of le Notre;" and the chefd'ouvre' of Philibert De Lorme, too, has been defaced, but not with impunity. The young man yonder, stretching out his hand with vehemence and vociferating impetuously to his companion,- and the old man there, with arms folded and shoulders uplifted, regard the filling up of that colonade as something worse than a • fournée' of peers, and declare that“ in France the arts should be as inviolable as the laws.”
One peculiarity distinguishes these gardens, the last refuge of aristocratical pretensions, the people— the people without a hat and a coatare forbidden to appear in them. A custom will always survive a constitution, and the same population that in the three days of July stormed the Tuileries in defiance of an army, retreated of the monarchy and the church,-the edifice in which sat the constitutional assembly, the legislative assembly, and the coventional assembly.-Occupied by the Five Hundred during the Directory, it shared in the new changes, was destroyed with its masters, and afforded Bonaparte the space on which he built the Rue de Rivoli.
on the first of August before the solitary sentinel stationed at their gate.
The population of the Tuileries varies naturally with the hour and the heat. The morning is for the sedate and serious old gentleman; the noon for the bonne and the children; the afternoon for the more ambitious crowd, in whose midnight dreams yonder walks and orange trees are strangely mingled. There is the theatre of their glory!—the theatre on which a new bonnet is to be tried, a new compliment to be adventured; there is the stage where the elegance of a mistress is to be displayed, the reputation of rival to be destroyed. But if the Tuileries are remarkable, they are remarkable—not only as the lounge of nursery maids, and of that modern race of time-killers who go to these gardens, rather for the sake of being seen than of being amused: they are remarkable-as the birth of a new epoch, which they still represent,—the epoch of gallantry and of the arts,----of Catherine de Medicis, and of Marot---of Marot, who said with so much grace,
Si j'étais roi d'Asie,
Then wrote Rabelais and Montaigne, - then commenced the assemblies which intermingled the two sexes,—the royal and courtly assen)blies which Brantôme defends as a more honest system of libertinage than that which flourished under the Roi des Ribauds,*-then Lescot revived the science of architecture in the Louvre, and Goujon the graceful art of Sculpture,-and bishops proud of their disobedient beards, and ladies under the voluptuous sanctuary of the mask, filled the churches, loitered on the new
* Tu voudrais scavoir qu'estoit il plus louable au roy ou recevoir une si honneste troupe de dames et damoiselles en sa cour ou bien de suivre les erres des anciens roys du temps passé qui admettaient tant de ordi. nairement en leur suite, desquelles le roy des Ribauds avait charge et soin de leur faire despartir quartier et logis, et là commander de leur faire justice si on leur fesait quelques torts.
... Et que ces Dames étant trèz nettes et saines (au moins aucunes ne pouvaient, &c. &c.)-Vide Bran. tôme, t. v.
+ The custom of long beards, which commenced under Francis I., who allowed his beard to grow in order to hide a wound, became general. Adopted by the clergy, it was forbidden by the Parliament, the respectable magistracy of which manfully persevered in shaving.
# Masks, which came into fashion towards the end of the reign of Francis I., were intended to preserve the complexion, and persevered in for the sake of other conveniences.
quay, or circulated in the dark and narrow streets peopled with magicians, and sorcerers, and devils :*-epoch celebrated for the invention of silver forks and silk stockings,-epoch of necromancy, of idolatry, of pleasure, and of religion,-epoch when you might have seen the farce “ Du débat d'un jeune moine et d'un viel gend'arme par devant le Dieu Cupidon pour une fille" - epoch, when the imagination, still given to magic and devotion, was beginning to decorate debauch! and cruelty and lust, passions which nature seems to have intermingled, had each their horrible sacrifices, and their pompous and voluptuous fêtes ; while now the mistress of Henry II.,t now the mother of Charles IX., demanded holocausts for their revels, and mingled the accents of pleasure with the cries for protestant blood. And with the arts came the vices of Italy: robed in sackcloth, the chapelet at his neck, the sovereign of France paraded the streets of Paris; or, dressed as a woman, his breast open and bare, and adorned with neck
* De l'Estoile in speaking of a supposed magician, hung in the reign of Charles IX., says, that according to that magician, there were thirty thousand sorcerers then in Paris. f Diane De Poitiers.
Henry III.—De l’Estoile, vol. iv.
laces, his hair dyed, his eyelids and his face besmeared and painted, delivered himself up in the secret recesses of his palace to the infamies of his • Mignons;' amongst whom (wild mixture of debauch and devotion !) he distributed the relics and the blessed beads solicited from Rome. Lo! by the side of the bonfire, the banquet ! by the side of the temple dedicated to the holy worship of the meek Jesus, the column* consecrated to the impieties of profane astrology! And yet when Catherine from yonder height looked down on the masked and mysterious city at her feet, she saw the same people --here occupied with magic—there assassinating from superstition—she saw the same people that we see now -that we
saw but a very short time ago dressed in the costume of the Carnival,t and pulling down the palace of their archbishop.
July 4, 1548, the scholars armed, rushed fiercely upon the Abbaye St. Germain des
* Erected by Catherine de Medicis, for her astrological observations.
+ The most formidable, and certainly the most picturesque of modern 'émeutes.' Here you saw the mob pulling down the fleurs de lys,' and ransacking the episcopal palace ; here you saw the harlequin and the domino, and all the buffooneries of a Parisian masquerade.