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sieur de Narbonne, who stops in the fiercest of a duel to pick up the ruffled rose that had slipped in a careless moment from his lips, during the graceful conflict? You see no longer in France that noble air, that “great manner,” as it was called, by which the old nobility strove to keep up the distinction between themselves and their worse-born associates to the last, and which of course those associates most assiduously imitated.
That manner is gone; the French, so far from being a polite people at the present day, want that easiness of behaviour which is the first essential to politeness. Every man you meet is occupied with maintaining his dignity, and talks to you of his position. There is an evident effort and struggle, I will not say to appear better than you are, but to appear all that you are, and to allow no person to think that you consider him better than you. Persons, no longer ranked by classes, take each by themselves an individual place in society : they are so many atoms, not forming a congruous or harmonious whole. They are too apt to strut forward singly, and to say with a great deal of action, and a great deal of emphasis, “ I amnobody.” The French are no longer a polite people; but in the French nation, as in every nation, there is an involuntary and traditionary respect
which hallows what is gone by; and among the marvels of modern France is a religion which ranks an agreeable smile and a graceful bow as essential virtues of its creed.
Nor does the Père Enfantin stand alone. There is something touching in the language of the old seigneur,' who, placed as it were between two epochs, looking backwards and forwards to the graces of past times and the virtues of new, thus expresses himself:
“ Les progrès de la lumière et de la liberté ont certainement fait faire de grands pas à la raison humaine; mais aussi dans sa route, n'a-telle rien perdu ? Moi qui ne suis pas un de ces opiniâtres prôneurs de ce bon vieux tems qui n'est plus, je ne puis m'empêcher de regretter ce bon goût, cette grâce, cette fleur d'enjouement et d'urbanité qui chassait de la société tout ennui en permettant au bon sens de sourire et à la sagesse de se parer. Aujourd'hui beaucoup de gens ressemblent à un propriétaire morose, qui ne songeant qu'à l'utile, bannirait de son jardin les fleurs et ne voudrait y voir que du blé des foins et des fruits.”
The small piece called “ Pourquoi”—The French are
not to expect at the same time in their wives chas. tity and good-temper- What is to be said for England-In France there is not even a shocking or humiliating idea attached to sexual improprietiesMademoiselle de l'Enclos'observation_There is nothing of passion in French love-A poet irresisti. ble on the Banks of the Rhine-A lord on the Banks of the Thames-The Italian women, the English women, the French women-A courtship in France a series of "bons-mots'-Fate of unmarried ladies-Mariages de St. Jacques'-Number of illegitimate births in Paris–More libertinage in France than elsewhere, and leads less, perhaps, than elsewhere to other depravity--The gallantry and licen. tiousness of the French not sprung from the revolution-Saying of the mother of the great Condé. -The love which you find in France made for so. ciety-Gallantry national in France-The French cherish the memory, not only of their great men, but of their great men's mistresses.
There is a small piece now acting at one of the minor theatres called “ Pourquoi." It is
very popular; every body goes to see it, and says, “it is so true.” What tale lies under this mysterious title ?
There are two married friends living together. The wife of one is charming, always ready to obey and to oblige; her husband's will is her law. Nothing puts her out of humour. This couple live on the best of terms, and the husband is as happy as husband can desire to be.--Now for the other pair !
Here is continual wrangling and dispute. The wife will have her own way in the merest trifles as on the gravest matters-storms when contradicted, still tosses her head when humoured. In short, nothing can be so disagreeable as this good lady is to her grumbling but submissive helpmate. Happiness and misery were never to all appearances brought more fairly face to face than in these two domestic establishments. “ Why" is one wife such a pattern of good nature and submission ? “ Why” is the other such a detestable shrew ? This is the pourquoi.
The spouse whom you shrink from in such justifiable terror is as faithful as women can be. The
you cling to as such a pillow of comfort, is an intriguing hussey.
Hear, oh! ye French husbands ! you must not expect your wives to have at the same time
chastity and good temper: the qualities are incompatible. Your eyes must be picked out, or horns on your heads must grow. This is the farce which is so popular. This is the picture of manners which people call ‘so true.' Miserable man, if the lips you press to yours are chaste to such endearments ! Miserable man, if the wife of your bosom should be so singular as to be faithful! There is this to be said for England—if the poor houses of the country swarm with children without a fatherif the streets of the metropolis are almost turbulently infested with ladies of a most improper character—if Grosvenor Square and St. James's Square, and Hill Street, and Charles Street, are witnesses to some mysterious and unconjugal indecorums,—the crime of unchastity is still spoken of and considered as deadly and damnatory as any to be found on the Newgate Calendar.
It was but the other day that a poor woman charged, I think, a chimney sweep, with grossly ill-treating, i. e. beating her. What says the chimney sweep? Does he refute the charge ? No: but he asks the plaintiff at once whether she is not guilty of a criminal intercourse with a certain cobbler of her acquaintance; and when this unhappy fact is established-turning round triumphantly to the