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Right-hand party more irritated than ever, and the Left evidently inimical, although through decency it lent to Government a precarious support-suddenly turning round, however, and attacking the Ministry with eager malevolence, when an opportunity offered. The doctrinarians, who, in co-operation with M. Decazes, had defended the law of elections, energetically supported him and his Cabinet, in which they were brilliantly represented by M. de Serre. In December, 1821, M. de Villèle became the head of affairs—thanks to the qualities he had displayed and the importance he had acquired in the Chambers, as leader of his party, which he brought in with himself. The opposition to his Government comprised three sections united against it, but differing materially in their views and in their means of hostility. M. de La Fayette and M. Manuel acknowledged and directed the conspiracies. Without ignoring them, General Foy, M. Benjamin Constant, and M. Casimir Perrier, disapproved of their proceedings, and declined association. M. Royer-Collard and his friends were absolutely unacquainted with them, and stood entirely aloof. As long as he had M. de Chateaubriand for an ally, M. de Villèle had only to encounter, as adversaries within his own camp, the ultra-royalists of the extreme Right, M. de la Bourdonnaye, M. Delalot, and a few others, whom the old counter-revolutionary spirit, intractable passions, ambitious discontent, or habits of grumbling independence kept in a perpetual state of irritation against a power, moderate without ascendancy, and clever without greatness. But when M. de Chateaubriand (insultingly dismissed from office in June, 1824) and the Journal des Débats threw themselves into the combat, there was then seen to muster round them an army of anti-ministerialists of every origin and character, composed of royalists and liberals, of old and young France, of the popular and aristocratic throng: *

In this manner M. Guizot traces the varying position of parties, from the rise of the Richelieu to the fall of the Polignac Ministry. His estimate of the latter will be read with deep interest. He discusses with equal animation and calmness—for with him the two qualities are not incompatible—the unhappy policy of 1830. In a moment of extreme danger, he argues, a nation may accept an isolated coup d'état as a necessity, but cannot, without dishonour and decline, admit the principle of such measures as the permanent basis of its public rights and government. “Now this was precisely what M. de Polignac and his friends pretended to impose on France. According to them, the absolute power of the old Royalty remained always at the bottom of the Charter ; and to expand and display this absolute power, they selected a moment when no active plot, no visible danger, no great public disturbance, threatened either the Government of the King or the order of the State. The sole question at issue was, whether the Crown could, in the selection and maintenance of its advisers, hold itself entirely independent of the majority in the Chambers, or the country; and whether, in conclusion, after so many constitutional experiments, the sole governing power was to be concentrated in the Royal Will. The formation of the Polignac Ministry had been, on the part of the King, Charles X., an obstinate idea even

cry of alarm, an aggressive challenge as much as an act of

more

than a

* Cl. pp. 195 sqq., 205, 211-12, 213, 224, 228, 259.

suspicion.” The position Charles thus assumed was, accordingly, one of defiance rather than defence. In May, the Chancellor, M. Courvoisier, together with another of the most moderate members of the Cabinet, resigned his seat in the Council; and before doing so, he happened-as we find in a letter of his to M. Guizot—to be in conversation with M. Pozzo di Borgo on the perils of the monarchy, and was asked by the latter what means there were of opening the King's eyes, and of drawing him from a system which might once again overturn Europe and France ?

“ I see but one,” replied the Chancellor, "and that is a letter from the hand of the Emperor of Russia.” “He shall write it,” rejoined the diplomatist ; "he shall write it from Warsaw, whither he is about to repair.” M. Guizot "much doubts" whether the Emperor Nicholas ever wrote himself to the King, Charles X. But he adds, that what the Imperial ambassador at Paris had said to the Chancellor of France, Nicholas himself repeated to the Duke de Montemart, then French ambassador at St. Petersburg : “If they deviate from the Charter, they will lead direct to a catastrophe; if the King attempts a coup d'état, the responsibility will rest on himself alone."

On the last page of this volume we read that the Russian ambassador, Count Pozzo di Borgo, had an audience of the King, a few days before the Decrees of July. “ He found him seated before his desk, with his eyes fixed on the Charter, opened at Article 14. Charles X. read and re-read that article, seeking with honest inquietude the interpretation he wanted to find there. In such cases we always discover what we are in search of; and the King's conversation, although indirect and uncertain, left little doubt on the ambassador's mind as to the measures in preparation.” And at this exciting crisis the present livraison of the Memoirs breaks off-leaving the reader with an excellent appetite for more, and with the hungry hope that it will soon be ready. We must not forget to observe that Mr. Cole, the translator, knows well how to serve up a French dish on an English table—few better.

The volume is rich in political portraiture—sometimes elaborately finished, never slovenly, or reckless, or tawdry. Royer-Collard is there, in bold relief-characterised as eminently liberal, highly cultivated, brilliantly imaginative-a spiritualist in philosophy and a royalist in politics --the prevailing desire of his unobtrusive life being, to restore independence of mind to man, and right to government. Fontanes is there earnest in philosophic inquiry, but passive in political action; disposed to be satisfied with tranquil life, in the unshackled indulgence of thought and speech. Lainé, whose gloomy exterior belied a warm and sympathetic heart; Maine-Biran, scrupulously conscientious, unconnected with party or intrigue; l'Abbé de Montesquiou, open, frank, immovably faithful to the Royalist cause, but perpetually recurring to the traditions and tendencies of the old system, and endeavouring to carry his listeners with him by shallow subtleties and weak arguments, which were sometimes retorted on himself; Blacas, moderate through coldness of temperament, and remaining at the Tuileries what he had been at Hartwell

, a country gentleman, an emigrant, a courtier, and a steady and courageous favourite, not deficient in personal dignity or domestic tact, but with no political genius, no ambition, no statesmanlike activity, and almost as entirely a stranger to France as before his return. Then again we have the Baron Louis, than whom M. Guizot declares himself never to have met

with any one more completely a public servant, or more passionately devoted to the public interest; M. de la Bourdonnaye, energetic, enthusiastic, independent, with great political tact as a partisan, and a frank and impassioned roughness, which occasionally soared to eloquence; M. de Marbois, one of those upright and well-informed men, but at the same time neither quick-sighted nor commanding, who assist power by opinion rather than force; M. Decazes, a stranger to all party antipathies, penetrating, fearless, as prompt in benevolence as in duty; Marshal Gouvion St. Cyr, endowed with a powerful, original, and straightforward mind, with no great combination of ideas, but passionately wedded to those which emanated from himself, and advocating them at the tribune with the manly solemnity and disciplined feeling of an experienced warrior, at once a sincere patriot and royalist ; the Duke de Richelieu-rare example of a statesman, who, without great actions or superior abilities, achieved universal and undisputed respect, by the uprightness of his character and the unselfish tenor of his life; M. de Villèle—the distinctive feature of whose career was, that he became minister as a partisan, and retained that character in his official position, while at the same time endeavouring to establish, among his supporters, general principles of government in preference to the spirit of party—holding power for six years, and saving his followers, during that period, from the extreme mistakes which, after his sece

ecession, led rapidly to their ruin ; the Abbé Frayssinous, sensible and moderate, prudent and dignified; Count de Montlosier, the so-called “ feudal publicist,” in whom the early French spirit reappeared, free, while respectful towards the Church, and as jealous for the laical independence of the State and Crown, as it was possible for a member of the Imperial State Council to show himself-though no one could be less a philosopher of the eighteenth century, or a liberal of the nineteenth ; M. de Martignac, easy, amiable, generous-of a just, quick, cultivated mind- and gifted with natural, persuasive, clear, and graceful eloquence*—faithful to his cause and his friends, but destitute of that simple, fervent, and persevering energy, that insatiable desire and determination to succeed, which rises before obstacles and under defeats, and often controls wills without absolutely converting opinions-on his own account, more honest and epicurean than ambitious, holding more to duty and pleasure than power. Such are some of the public men brought before us in these Memoirs.t For the larger portraits, of still more prominent statesmen—Talleyrand, for example, and Chateaubriand, and La Fayette—we must refer to the original --whither, beyond doubt, a goodly concourse will throng to study them, fresh from the master's brush. To the original, also, we must refer the reader for many an interesting passage illustrative of the author's experiences as littérateur and lecturer-not overlooking one or two charming fragments of what we may call personal picturesque, especially the description of his retirement at the Maisonette, Madame de Condorcet's country house, near Meulan, with which the seventh chapter, entitled “ My Opposition," so gracefully and refreshingly opens. We would further direct attention to the Historic Documents at the end of the volume, as well worth a careful perusal.

* "I have heard M. Dupont de l'Eure whisper gently from his place, while listening to him, "Be silent, Siren!'” (Guizot, p. 317.)

† See pp. 17, 21, 38 sq., 43, 113, 119, 135, 137, 166 sq., 203, 214, 229, 250, 264, 271, 317, 334, &c.

GLIMPSES OF HAREM LIFE.

MADAME LA PRINCESSE BELGIOJOso is certainly a very bold lady; not from the mere fact that during the Russian war she wandered about, an unprotected female, through Asia Minor and Syria, winning the hearts of impracticable Arab sheiks, à la Lady Hester Stanhope, but because, in the book she has put forth of her wanderings,* she has made a deliberate attempt to destroy that halo of romance which we have all striven to keep up about the fabled East. In our hearts, any of us who had visited Turkey and seen with our own eyes the present state of the domestic institutions, perfectly agreed in the opinion the lady has formed, but we had not the courage to express it. After all, there is something peculiarly fascinating in the idea of dark-eyed houris, and all the sensual charms the Muhammadan paradise contains, of which the foretaste the true believers enjoy here is but of the earth, earthy; but even the last lingering trace of this sentiment Madame la Princesse sets strenuously about effacing. Just as with Peter Bell,

The primrose on the river's brim,
A yellow primrose was to him,

And it was nothing more; so the princess persists in regarding henna as a dye, and rouge and blanc as the foundation of Turkish beauty. She even goes further: she strips off every external attribute which should distinguish the feminine sex, and bids us. regard woman in Turkey as a mere toy for man, a being peculiarly adapted to please his fancy, but perfectly unable to play the more elevated part of a wife. But why should we delay with our own prosy remarks, when we have so much piquant matter in store for our readers, from which they can form their own opinion without reference to ours ? We propose, then, to treat more especially with those parts of the lady's book which refer to harem life; not that the rest is not equally amusing, but because it is not so novel. In fact, who could write anything new about Asia Minor and Syria, as regards the scenery and country?

The princess had been residing for some time in the valley of the Ciaq-maq-Oglou (Son of the Flint-stone) at some days' distance from the important town of Angora, when, apparently, a great lady's fantasy assailed her, and urged her to travel to Jerusalem. She set out, in con. sequence, accompanied by a numerous escort, and the first day's journey terminated at the town of Tcherkess, where the lady descended at the house of a mufti, whom she had cured some months previously of intermittent fever. (It seems that she has been playing the Lady Bountiful on a considerable scale.) Here, of course, she was received with open arms, and takes occasion to speak very sensibly about Turkish hospitality, on which subject considerable delusions still exist. As she truly observes, those authors who have praised the hospitality accorded them in Turcoman villages are perfectly wrong, for in those villages the worst recep

Asie Mineure et Syrie: Souvenirs de Voyage. Par Madame la Princesse de Belgiojoso. Paris : Michel Lévy frères. 1858.

at you.

tion is offered you. But with a Turk hospitality is the sole Christian virtue he thinks himself bound to exercise. A Mussulman would be inconsolable were he to fail in the laws of hospitality. You may turn him out of his house, leave him to kick his heels in the rain or sun; you may upset his carpets and pillows, eat him out of house and home, founder his horses if you will, and he will not utter a word of reproach; he regards you as his Muzafir, or guest; Allah has sent you, and whatever you may do, you are and ever will be welcome. All this is admirable : but if a Mussulman can contrive to perform the strict letter of the law of hospitality without the outlay of a farthing, or even by gaining money in return, then good-by to virtue, and long live hypocrisy! Your host will overwhelm you with attentions as long as you are in his house ; but if, on your departure, you do not pay him twentyfold the worth of what he has given you, he will wait till you have quitted the house and put off the sacred character of guest, and be the first to throw stones

The mufti's house, like all the better class residences in this country, was composed of a corps de logis, reserved for the women and children, and an exterior pavilion containing a winter and summer room, and some sleeping dens for the servants. The winter room was warmed by a capital chimney, covered with thick carpets, and decently furnished with divans, covered with silk and woollen stuffs, arranged around the apartment. The summer saloon contained a fountain, round which cushions and divans were arranged, when necessary, on which to sit or sleep. The mufti, a man of ninety years of age, still in possession of several wives, the eldest of them thirty years of age, and children from the nurses' arms up

to the sexagenarian, professed an extreme dislike for the noise, confusion, and dirt of the harem. He went there during the day, just as he visited the stable to admire his horses; but he always slept in one of the outer rooms, according to the season. This was fortunate for the princess, for the old gentleman argued, à fortiori, that if he who had been used to it all his life could not stand the harem, much less could a lady fresh from all the delights of Franghistan. He therefore offered her his own room, which she gladly accepted, while he retired to the summer saloon, preferring the frozen fountain, the damp floor, and the draughts of air, to the warm but impure atmosphere of the harem.

Possibly I may destroy some illusions by speaking with so little respect of the harems. We have read descriptions in the Arabian Nights and other Oriental stories : we have been told that these places are the abode of beauty and love: we are authorised in believing that the descriptions written, though exaggerated and embellished, have still a foundation of truth, and that in these mysterious retreats all the marvels of art, luxury, magnificence, and voluptuousness are combined. How far we are from the truth! Imagine walls blackened and cracked, ceilings with the beams gaping and covered with dust and spiders' webs, sofas torn and greasy, portières in tatters, traces of tallow and oil everywhere. When I entered for the first time one of these charming places I was disgusted, but the mistresses of the house did not perceive it. Mirrors being very scarce in these countries, the ladies bedizen themselves in the strangest possible guise. They thrust a number of bejewelled pins into printed cotton handkerchiefs and then roll them round their heads. They pay not the slightest attention to their hair, and only the very great ladies who have visited the capital possess combs. As for the many-coloured paints, of which they make an immoderate use, they can only regulate their distribution by mutual assistance,

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