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A better state than waking; death than sleep :
Feelingly sweet is stillness after storm,

Though under covert of the wormy ground. Or it is the horseman in Heine's ballad, whom the mountain echo teaches to forswear love and espouse the grave:

A tear there roll'd adown his cheek,

That cheek so worn and pale :-
“ If rest be in the grave alone,
For me the grave is well.”
Swift came the answering knell :
« The
grave

is well." Or it is one dying of heart disease, as in the same fantastic poet's seriocomic stanzas :

Love, lay thy hand on my bosom here;
List what a knocking and noise is there.
There dwells a carpenter strange to see;
He hammers a coffin that's meant for me.
He knocks and hammers both night and day;
He's driven already my sleep away.
Oh, master carpenter, hasten fast,

That I may slumber and rest at last. Byron was infinitely struck with an epitaph in the Certosa cemetery, or rather two: one was, “ Martini Luigi-implora pace;" the other, “Lucrezia Picini-implora eterna quiete.

That was all; but it appeared to him that these two and three words comprised and compressed all that could be said on the subject—"and then, in Italian, they are absolute music. They contain doubt, hope, and humility; nothing can be more pathetic than the implora' and the modesty of the request ;they have had enough of life—they want nothing but rest—they implore it, and 'eterna quiete.' . . . . Pray,” he asks of his correspondent, Mr. Hoppner, “ if I am shovelled into the Lido churchyard in your time, let me have the 'implora pace,' and nothing else, for my epitaph. I never met with any, ancient or modern, that pleased me a tenth part so much.”

Very frequent are the allusions in Southey's Correspondence to death as rest, and wistfully worded too. At five-and-thirty he writes to his brother: “Just now, Tom, it might have been happier for you and me if we had

gone to bed as early as John and Eliza,” who died in childhood : “My notions about life are much the same as they are about travelling—there is a good deal of amusement on the road, but, after all, one wants to be at rest." “ Almost the only wish I ever give utterance to is, that the next hundred years were over.” This was said to Grosvenor Bedford in 1809. And again he writes to Sharon Turner in 1816 during the illness of his darling boy, Herbert: “We are in great anxiety, and with great cause, but there is hope. My wish at such times is akin to Macbeth's, but in a different spirit--a longing that the next hundred years were over, and that we were in a better world, where happiness is permanent, and there is neither change nor evil.” And to Charles Wynn he writes in 1832, when they both were stricken in years, —“No doubt the desire to depart becomes, as you observe, under certain circumstances, a human feeling ; but it is by such feelings that Provi

dence brings about in us those changes that fit us for the great change. It is these losses which make us desire death as the passage to eternal life; among the ancients the desire was to be at rest, and where that desire is not counteracted by religious persuasion, I believe that the love of life is little more general, hardly so natural, and not so strong.”

In his delightful sketch of his Early Life, Southey had concluded some remarks on his first conceptions of death with this reflection: “Nature is merciful to us. We learn gradually that we are to die,-a knowledge which, if it came suddenly upon us in riper age, would be more than the mind could endure. We are gradually prepared for our departure by seeing the objects of our earliest and deepest affections go before us; and even if no keener afflictions are dispensed to wean us from this world, and remove our tenderest thoughts and dearest hopes to another, mere age brings with it a weariness of life, and death becomes to the old as natural and desirable as sleep to a tired child.” “C'est le sommeil,” sings Béranger, in one of his last chansons, “qu'on demande au soir d'un long jour." “ Lo, how I wanè, fleisch, and blood, and skyn," laments the old man in Chaucer's Pardonere's Tale: "alas ! whan schuln

my

boonès ben at rest ?" Shakspeare's Mortimer, “ Nestor-like aged,”-his eyes like lamps whose wasting oil is spent, his shoulders overborne with burdening grief, his arms pithless and drooping, -murmurs, as he is “ brought in a chair by two Keepers,”

Yet are these feet-whose strengthless stay is numb,
Unable to support this lump of clay,
Swift-winged with desire to get a grave,

As witting I no other comfort have. His sorrows are drawing to an end._Many they have been, and heavy, before and since his durance in the Tower :

But now the arbitrator of despairs,
Just death, kind umpire of men's miseries,

With sweet enlargement doth dismiss me hence. Death has two aspects, Cicero is made to say in one of Landor's Dialogues : “her countenance is old to the young, and youthful to the aged : to the former her voice is importunate, her gait terrific: the latter she approaches like a bedside friend, and calls in a whisper that invites to rest.” As Capricornus words it, in “The Palmer's Verses” of that sad fellow, Robert Green,

My strength decayed, my grave already dressed,
life my loss, my

death True, there is something to be said on the other side. The following entry occurs, for instance, in Mrs. Jameson's Common place Book : “ Ewas compassionating to-day the old and the invalided ; those whose life is prolonged in spite of suffering; and she seemed, even out of the excess of her pity and sympathy, to wish them fairly out of the world ; but it is a mistake in reasoning and feeling. She does not know how much of happiness may consist with suffering, with physical suffering, and even with mental.” Nevertheless, the case of the vieillard, in general, is not misrepresented by Cabanis, when he says, “ Tout le ramène de plus en plus au repos, jusqu'à ce qu'enfin l'absolue impossi

I count my

my best.

bilité de soutenir même les faibles impressions d'une vie défaillante, lui rende nécessaire et désirable ce repos éternel que la nature ménage à tous les êtres, comme une nuit calme après un jour d'agitation"-which allusion to a repos éternel has been censured by many, but defended

as being a literal translation of a Church Prayer for the dead (though Dr. Cabanis, it must be owned, was about the last man to use it in the Church's sense). “But were death frightful, what has age to fear?” asks the poet Young.* Monica, in " A Man made of Money," reproves old Widow Blanket for talking “ like an aged heathen, as if she'd no fear of death,”—and the pauper widow's reply is : “ Fear, Miss! Oh dear! What a world would this be, special to folks like me, if there was no death! What a cruel prison, Miss! And now, after what I've seen, and what I've borne, what a comfort it is—like Sabbath after work—to think of rest in the churchyard. Ay, what a comfort to think of that long, sweet Saturday night in the grave.” Whatever Dr. Cabanis might think, this rustic widow shows, by speaking of Saturday night, that her notion of repos éternel does not exclude a Sunday morning to follow. Old Mr. Balwhidder, in Galt's “Annals of the Parish," at the close of his last sermon, after being fifty years minister at Dalmailing, and “there were few dry eyes in the kirk that day"-utters this valediction : “What can I say to you but farewell! Our work is done—we are weary and worn out, and in need of rest—may the rest of the blessed be our portion !-and in the sleep that all must sleep, beneath the cold blanket of the kirkyard grass, and on that clay pillow where we must shortly lay our heads, may we have pleasant dreams, till ... awakened to partake of the heavenly banquet.'

IMPERIAL PARIS.

WHEN future historians sit down calmly to discuss the merits and demerits of the Second Empire, it is quite certain that they must be unanimous in their praise of the improvements to which Napoleon III. has subjected the capital of his empire. It was the boast of Augustus that he found Rome of brick and left it of marble. The flatterers of our George the Fourth said the same thing about the conversion of Swallow-street into the Quadrant; but all such improvements pale into insignificance when compared with the alterations which the emperor has produced in Paris. Not alone that Paris has been adorned with magnificent buildings, but the streets have undergone a thorough renovation, and it is possible now to walk in comfort through the penetralia of the Cité. To the emperor the great credit is due that he has not sought merely to aggrandise his reign by the erection of stately building which will form an epoch in French history, but at the same time he ha ever kept in view the wants and wishes of the inhabitants. * And elsewhere he says, on the same subject

“ If fear we must, let that death turn us pale,
Which murders strength and ardour; what remains
Should rather call on

death than dread his call."

Our first acquaintance with Lutetia Parisiorum dates from the revolution of July, and on our last visit it seemed to us as if the city we remembered had disappeared from the face of the earth to make room for some gorgeous creation of John Martin. In those days Paris was essentially black, crooked, and uncomfortable, and the painters of the Romantic school had opportunities in abundance to represent mediæval Paris. At that time the city possessed its hills and its valleys; the bridges were admirable counterparts of the Montagnes Russes ; and, on the slightest suspicion of frost, the horses found it impossible to ascend the acclivities of the Pont Neuf and the Pont de la Tournelle, while the Boulevards and

quays were in a deplorable condition, fully justifying the remark that Paris was the inferno of horses. A smart shower rendered Paris inaccessible for the pedestrian ; water-pipes had not then been invented, and the rain poured down from the roofs through the gaping mouths of the stone spouts, and gave the passer-by a shower-bath. In a few minutes the gutters were converted into rivulets, for the present system of sewerage was a thing unknown; streets became lakes, and the tradesmen hurriedly closed their shops to keep the water out. When the rain had ceased, the doors were again opened, and the apprentices began removing the water by means of large sponges. The wayfarers emerged from the gateways in which they had taken shelter, and crept cautiously along the slippery trottoir. Then came some clever speculator to earn a few sous by laying a plank across the road, on which only a tight-rope dancer could keep his balance—but we seem to be only repeating in halting prose what Boileau wrote in mellifluous verse about the discomforts of Paris, and yet we are describing matters from nature. It is not our fault if Paris in 1834 too often resembled the Paris of 1693.

These things struck us at once while pursuing our researches in new Paris—the absence of the gutter running through the centre of the causeway, the disappearance of the trottoirs, and the abolition of reverbères, of revolutionary notoriety. In the time we first saw Paris, the paving-stones formed a hollow along the centre of the street, which, though not an actual gutter, retained the moisture even through the summer, for the sun found it impossible to force its way between the bulging houses and lick up the water. Even the broader and more convenient streets in the middle of the city were always either wet or covered with a black layer of mud, less offensive when it rained than when the sun had imparted to it a degree of consistency. However active you might be, you could not for any length of time continue your peregrinations through the streets of Paris ; for while you were soon fatigued by incessantly slipping off the greasy trottoirs, the stench emanating from the filth which was being continually stirred up by passing carriages made one sick at the stomach. In winter, again, the pedestrian ran considerable danger of being injured by the carriages, for, owing to the greasiness and high pitch of the streets, the wheels persisted in making eccentric revolutions, which inevitably brought them on to the trottoir.

It must be borne in mind that we are not writing of barbarous times, but of a recently passed lustre, of a blessed time of peace, of elegant manners and civilisation : but the pedestrian was not taken into account. The small space

left him by the vehicles he could only attain in the sweat of his brow. Now, broad footpaths are his property, which no coupé or

cabriolet dare invade. He can now walk firmly with clean boots, even if it have been raining furiously for hours. So soon as the storm ceases the population of idlers and fâneurs reappear and lounge along the asphalt pavement ; while, though their noses may be unpleasantly affected by the gutters running along the pavement, at any rate their stomachs are no longer upset. But the greatest change has taken place in the night of Paris. Formerly, it is true, the streets were not quite unilluminated, but the reverbères could hardly be regarded as lighting, although they produced a remarkable change, and lengthened the daily traffic of the city by six hours. In the reign of Louis XIV. commercial Paris closed its doors at nine in summer and five in winter ; but the introduction of the reverbères effected an alteration, more especially as, with the revolution, they were lighted every evening. Under the monarchy, the lighting of Paris being farmed out, the good citizens had often to wade home through a sea of mud in the dark, or hire a boy at the corner of the street to light them to their houses. Paris of to-day and Paris of yesterday are as different as light from darkness. The light destroys those places and schemes which depend on darkness for success, and shun any illumination. Light kills like the Delian Apollo destroyed with his golden arrows the dragon Python, the father of the Gorgon and the Hydra. When Boileau writes that the most dangerous and desolate forest was a secure place as compared with Paris, it was no witty exaggeration. In any rich city, where the night is longer than the day, there is an endless succession of crimes, and murderers and robbers find certain shelter. Even at the close of the seventeenth century there were in Paris twelve publicly privileged robbers' dens, known by the name of “ Cours de Miracles," of which Victor Hugo gives us such an admirable description. Unfortunately, our prosaic age cannot tolerate the romance of robber-life, and the Courts of Miracles have been put down by the strong arm of the law. Still, so long as Paris exists with its startling contrast between unbounded riches and the extremest poverty, it must be a prey to the dangerous classes that war against society. So late as 1836, these rogues regarded the night as their exclusive property. With the twilight, the veriest scum of Paris congregated on the Place de la Concorde. No honest man ventured among them, except under the most pressing necessity, and he might esteem himself fortunate if he escaped with only the loss of his watch and purse. After dusk no one ventured to walk along the Boulevard des Filles du Calvaire, or the Boulevard of the Bastille. Paris ended with the extreme verge of the Marais. On the other side was the town wall, with a prospect across the Rue Basse of wood-yards, fields, and nursery-gardens. Further along the Boulevards you came to the remains of Beaumarchais's splendid house and gardens, a half-finished basin in which stood the column of July, and a plaster model of an elephant, designed for a fountain, but never completed, and which eventually became a colony of rats. Round about these a spacious open quadrangle indicated the spot where the Bastille had formerly stood. Not a trace was to be seen of the once terrible building ; the moat, & pestiferous swamp, with a green covering of festering weeds and some blocks of stone which peered out from the dank vegetation, were the only visible proofs of the existence of the Bastille. The long walk along the Boulevards ended as it began : in desolation and uncompleted monuments.

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