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I do not include his salary as Chancellor to the Duke of Orleans, afterwards King of the French,
July, 1808, after the Concordatum, as I may call it, of Napoleon with the Sanhedrim, then assembled in Paris, no Israelite was in future to bear a name derived solely from the Old Testament. The object was to remove this ostensible mark of distinction between Jews and Christians, always observable in Roman Catholic countries. It was thus that the famous Spinosa, on seceding from the Jews, changed his name of Baruch into Benedict. Amongst Catholics, no baptismal name was formerly allowed, except those found in the calendar of Christian saints. Thence in the Irish Brigade, difficulties of assimilation occasionally occurred, as in Diarmod, for instance, which, however, it was agreed to translate into Demetrius.
At one of the general elections of Deputies, it became a question of renewed controversy, whether M. Emile de Girardin, though triumphant in a previous similar contest, was still eligible, in default of a regular certificate of birth. When one of the editors of the leading ministerial paper-“Le Journal des Débats," he had, in January 1834, as previously mentioned, the misfortune of killing in a duel M. Armand Carrel, the editor of the "National." His wife, Delphine Gay, is an equally prolific writer. My early friend, Mr. James Hennessy, who died in April 1843, had long represented "La Charente Inférieure ;" but, his first election was opposed, because, though the son of an officer in the Irish Brigade, and himself originally in the same service, which conferred in unrestricted plenitude every native right, he happened to be born at sea, I believe, on board a British vessel. Even Massena, "the favored child of victory," the conquerer of Suwarow, but the defeated of Wellington, the saviour doubtless of France in 1799, was, on the Restoration, disallowed his title of Frenchman, because born when his native place, Nice, belonged to the King of Sardinia. But, when Ney was urged by his counsel to disclaim the jurisdiction of France, on his trial, as his birth-place, Saarre-Louis, had been transferred to Prussia, he indignantly rejected a plea, however sure of success, which involved the forfeiture of his most cherished title of honor, determined to die as he had lived, a Frenchman, "dans tous les éléments de son ètre," in every essence of his being. Our British laws are of much simpler and more certain construction on birth, or naturalization, possibly, indeed, over-liberal of admission, as in the case of Baron de Bode, and the residuous fund of the "British Claims on France," which this foreigner, virtually so at least, attempted to sweep away, to the injury of genuine British claimants, in compensation of forfeited feudal rights or estates in Alsace, under laws which never contemplated his suddenly assumed English character.
In the days of intolerant France, as in our own days at home, a relapse from the established to an original proscribed creed, involved civil death, or præmunire, and invalidated the delinquent's will; but, on Bayle's decease in 1706, when the parliament or courts of Toulouse, under whose jurisdiction the testator was born, was required to annul the document; No, was the
in his discharge of the duties of which office, some singular circumstances reached my knowledge, of a character which the banking correspondence of Lafitte with Coutts and Co., in 1825, would exhibit in rather a doubtful light-politically, I mean, and to the latter firm quite unconsciously.
In England, after Sir Astley, whose superiority of mind, or dexterity of hand, stood uncontested, another practitioner in that category of the faculty, of which it has been said, "periculis nostris, et experimenta per mortes agunt medici," the once famous St. John Long was, I believe, the most largely requited. I had some previous knowledge of him; and in 1830 he showed me his pass book with his bankers, Sir Claude Scott and Co., displaying a series of credits from July, 1829, to July, 1830, or a single year's operations, to the extent of £13,400. But the delusion soon vanished. One act of liberality, on his
decision-"Les savants sont de tous les pays; et il serait indigne de traiter d'étranger, celui que la France se glorifie d'avoir produit." The sum was, indeed, inconsiderable, only 10,000 florins, or about £2,000 of present value; but the principle of exception in favour of distinguished men, cannot be affected by the amount. (See Desmaiseaux "Vie de Bayle," tome ii. page 321, &c.) Would, I may demand, our British courts of the past century have paid this noble tribute to the memory of Pope, supposing that he had conformed to the authorised, and finally reverted to his paternal faith? A negative reply must be anticipated; and yet this homage to Bayle, a name certainly not superior to Pope's, was offered under the reign of Louis XIV., when England's fallacious boast was toleration and liberty! And this signal instance of liberality, it is not unworthy of notice, proceeded from a body, whose successors, half a century afterwards, condemned to death Calas, found guilty of the murder of his son for being a Catholic. This condemnation of the father has been ascribed to the same feeling attributed to himself for his imputed crime, "Religious antipathy or fanaticism;" and his memory was honorably restored; but the unhappy event is still far from clear in its cause and circumstances. At this moment the only intolerant kingdoms in Europe are the Protestant regions of the North-Denmark, Sweden, and Norway, with the anti-catholic Russia.
part, at that period, however, I think it fair to record. To a gentleman who had rendered him some literary aid, which his defective education made indispensable, he presented double, not only what he was assured would be an ample remuneration, but what exceeded four-fold the sum his friend would have been satisfied with, or had expected.
It was by commercial or financial enterprise, in a great measure, that, like Dupuytren, Voltaire, whose patrimony did not exceed £160 a-year, as related in his article, acquired an income fully equivalent to ten thousand pounds of present value; though, no doubt, his literary labors, numerous as they were, and unhappily, too, of unexampled popularity, together with the munificence of more than one Sovereign, considerably forwarded the accumulation.*
No other man of letters was, in any comparable degree, so fortunate in France, nor, indeed, in England, unless we except Sir Walter Scott, whose direct literary emoluments have been seldom equalled. But the largest retribution derived from literature on record, was, I should think, that as reported by Mr. Prescott, so favorably known by his histories of the Conquests of Mexico and Peru, in his "Critical and Historical Essays," obtained, and principally too, from the public, by Lope de Vega, the miraculously prolific dramatic author. It is said to have amounted to no less than one hundred thousand ducats-which, adds Mr. Prescott, "estimating the ducat at its probable
An officer in our service, the son of one of Voltaire's publishers, "Les Frères Cramer," of Geneva, who, in 1768, printed the first large collective edition of his works, in thirty quarto volumes, assured me that he was far from scrupulous in the sale of his works to others, while under contract of exclusive appropriation to them.
value of six or seven dollars of our day, has no parallel, or, perhaps, not more than one." Here, I Here, I presume, Sir Walter Scott is alluded to; but, assuming Mr. Prescott's comparative estimate of the ducat to be correct, I believe that the Spaniard's remuneration will be found superior. All of it, however, was not the fruit of mere popular favor, for, from the Duke of Sessa, Lope is said to have received during the course of his life, states Mr. Prescott, more than twenty thousand ducats; and the Duke of Alva, the too celebrated nobleman of that name's grandson, proved also a generous patron to him. Both Lord Holland, in his life of the poet, and Southey, in reference to the matter, constantly confound, I may incidentally add, this duke with his grandsire.
Pope realised a comfortable income; but Prior was distinguished by diplomatic confidence in England, as was the dramatist Néricault Destouches, by his government. So, likewise, at a later period, was Hume, under our George III. But this historian, with Robertson and Gibbon, who form our great historical triumvirate, and many more, found generous patrons in their publishers, who, in former days, were far from being so liberal, as the miserable pittance doled to Milton and Dryden, for some of the noblest productions of the English muse, places beyond doubt. The magnificent donation of Octavia to Virgil, (£2725,) as reported by his old biographer, Donatus, is of classical notoriety; while the pathetic lines (Æneid. vi. 869, &c.) which so deeply affected the mother of Marcellus, forcibly impress their mournful appliance to the person, the fate, and stricken parents of the late amiable Duke of Orleans.
Augustus, Leo X., and Louis XIV., have stamped their names in golden characters on their respective ages; but the evidence of literary influence, considerable as it was under these Sovereigns, whose patronage of genius has associated some of its brightest emanations with their memory, is, at this moment, exemplified, beyond all precedent, in France. There, within these few years, several of the Ministers of State have been called into public notice by their literary renown, such as Messieurs Guizot, Thiers, Cousin, Villemain, and, from its influence, promoted to their high stations. The fact is an impressive illustration of the axiom, that knowledge is power, which it signally verifies in its most direct sense.* This inciting apophthegm, now of
* In reference, however, to the learned acquirements of M. Villemain, one of the French ministers, whose special department is Public Instruction, although author of a Life of Cromwell, they certainly are little apparent in English information, however eminent they may be in his native literature, of which, indeed, the high office of Perpetual Secretary to the French Academy, the late edition of whose dictionary he has enriched with a preface, may be assumed as a warrant. Thus, in a biographical sketch of Byron, which bears his subscription in the “ Biographie Universelle," though, with Moore's ample volume before him, he represents the noble poet as meeting in Greece, "le célébre voyageur Bruce," in 1810, full sixteen years after this traveller (who died in 1794, when Byron was scarcely six,) had been consigned to the grave; obviously confounding Bruce the traveller with the gentleman afterwards known as La Valette Bruce, from having aided in the escape of La Valette in 1815, with Sir Robert Wilson and the present Earl of Donoughmore, and who was then travelling with Lord Sligo in the Levant. And he classes among the poet's compositions those affecting lines on the death of Sir John Moore, which Byron was so far from claiming as his own, that he expressed deep anxiety to ascertain their author, since discovered to. be the late Rev. Charles Woulfe, (who died at Cove in this vicinage, in 1825,) and of which the " Arundines Cami" contain an elegant Latin version by Mr. Hildyard. Then, the gallant companion of Byron's fatal return in 1823, to the East, is termed "l'intrépide corsaire Trelawny,” a designation not less untrue in fact than derogatory to the character of this gentleman. M. Villemain has also attempted an outline of Shakspere's life and genius-with