THE life of a contemporary man of letters, a simple minister in the church of Geneva, can, of course, afford no spirit-stirring events. Nor, in default of materials for political or historical interest, is the biographer at liberty to reveal those secret chronicles of the mind, to record those mighty, mysterious strifes and triumphs on the heart's silent battle field, the narrative of which is often more thrilling far, and more instructive, than a nation's annals or the doom of heroes; discretion must draw her veil over the bosom-feelings of one who lives amongst us. Yet, when works have fascinated the attention, a natural desire is felt to know something of their author; curiosity and gratitude are alike excited respecting one who has increased our intellectual store; soothed, perhaps, the languor of disease, or charmed our grief away; and, if fact be not at hand to show the moral portraiture we demand, fancy will do her sober sister's task, and embody our vague conjectures and presentiments in a form of her own. The present slight sketch offers, therefore, no apology for its meagreness and monotony; it comes in response to a pressing appeal for correct information respecting the author of "The Preacher and the King," "The Priest and the Huguenot," works which have captivated a public not often seduced to bestow its favor on foreign candidates for literary fame.

LAURENCE LOUIS FELIX BUNGENER was born at Marseilles, the 29th of September, 1814, the eventful year which, by banishing the Corsican to Elba, was to begin for France a new era of peace and prosperity. Though his cradle was thus set on one of the high places of voluptuousness and bigotry, happily for him it was rocked by parents, whose



Protestant principles and purity of life guarded him from such noxious influences; and the young Provençal, soul-inspired but not soul-subdued, drew unharmed his witching natal air. From his father, a native of Heddesdorf, near Neuwied, in Rhenish Prussia, he has inherited the contemplative habits, the depth of feeling, the steadfastness and honesty of purpose eminently German; from his mother, a Swiss Vaudoise, the shrewd sense and contempt for conventionalities which characterize her countrymen.

"The child was father to the man," and, doubtless, many interesting indications of the early bias of his mind might be gathered, did not the silence of death sit on his parents' lips, and modest reserve seal his own. This much, however, is known, that the poetry of nature was not unfelt, and that the voice of the deep, whether heard in the hoarse roar of the surge, lashing the shore in its fury, or in the gentle murmur of the wave dying at his feet, had more charms for the meditative boy, than the gay sports of his comrades. The wild rock scenery of Marseilles was also his delight, and to the remembrances of his long, solitary rambles amid its drear magnificence, may surely be ascribed some of the finest passages of "The Priest and the Huguenot."

The consecration of a new Protestant church in 1825, was the spark which finally kindled into flame the latent energies of the eleven years old lad; he composed a sermon on 1 Corinthians, viii. 6, One God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him. It providentially fell into the hands of his pastor, M. Mouchon, of Geneva, whose discerning eye hailed in it the premature spring of a fruitful and glorious year. That venerable man strongly urged upon the Protestant consistory, the duty of enabling a youth of promise so rare to prosecute the studies from which he would otherwise be debarred by his parents' scanty means. The consistory accordingly resolved on defraying young Bungener's expenses at the College of Marseilles, and thus, to their honor be it said, laid the foundation-stone of the noble Protestant beacon and bulwark since erected by this able controversialist.

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