« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »
became exhausted, and finding compensation for growing age in the increased facilities of travel.” In this series of journeys he visited not only every capital of Europe, most of them repeatedly, but made eight voyages to the United States, four journeys in the East, three in Algeria, two in Russia, one voyage to the West Indies, with visits to the Canary islands, Dalmatia, Iceland, and other regions out of the ordinary routes of travel.
Contrary to the opinion of his friends, he found this scheme of travel in no way injurious to him professionally, while it was in every way beneficial to both mind and body. “On the day, or even hour, of reaching home from long and distant journeys, I have generally
I resumed my wonted professional work. The new methods of intercommunication since steam and electricity have held empire on the earth, often enabled me to make engagements for the very moment of my return. I recollect having found a patient waiting in my room when I came back from those mountain heights - not more than 200 miles from the frontiers of Persia - where the ten thousand Greeks uttered their joyous cry on the sudden sight of the Euxine. The same thing once happened to me in returning from Egypt and Syria, when I found a carriage waiting my arrival at London Bridge to iake me to a consultation."
Sir Henry's affectionate study of the ancients - though he speaks very modestly of his classical acquirements – was of great service to him in his explorations in classic lands, and gave him, at least in one instance, that crowning pleasure of the antiquarian tourist, the identification of an important site, hitherto unknown. He says, speaking of his researches for the locality of Dodona,
“The hope of future success here is somewhat encouraged by my having discovered, through similar traces, the site of the ancient oracle of Nymphæum, near Apollonia. This too was described as a fountain of fire; and under a general direction to the locality, derived from Strabo and other writers, I was further guided by finding an extensive and thick deposit of asphaltum near the presumed spot, telling me at once the probable origin of the fire of the oracle. This was speedily confirmed by observing in close vicinity numerous fragments of sculptured marbles, lying on the margin of a small circular pool of water, which seemed as if boiling, from the large volumes of gas escaping through it. Knowing well the nature of this gas, I struck a light and applied it to some of the bubbles, kindling a flame which speedily spread itself over the pool, to the great admiration of my Albanian guards; - a flame which disclosed immediately the secret as well as the site of the oracle of Nymphæum."
But bis reminiscences of persons are far more numerous and interesting than those of places. His position as physician in attendance to the Princess of Wales, gave him the entrée of the most distinguished society of the time, and the associations then formed have been continued. He knew the ex-Empress MariaLouisa, and many of the distinguished men of the first Empire, some intimately; was consulted professionally by the royal family of Spain, and Prince Godoy; had long conversations with the kind
hearted Louis, ex-King of Holland, and attended his son, Louis Napoleon, the late Emperor, while suffering with gastric fever in London. Of the royal, or otherwise distinguished personages of whom he has anecdotes to relate, probably the most uncomfortable was Ali Pasha, who tried to coax the doctor to teach him the art of secret poisoning, and failing in this, requested him to read an intercepted despatch from the British Ambassador to Lord Castlereagh, in in which, as may be supposed, he was equally unsuccessful. sented his guest with a Damascus sabre, which had been largely used in decapitation, sent him to look at the remains of 700 men massacred by his orders, and crowned his barbaric hospitalities by robbing his guest of his journals and sketches.
Of the more strictly professional recollections, some are curious. Sir Henry was once called on for advice by a gentleman of good social position, who had been seized with an insane desire to kill Mr. Canning, then Foreign Secretary, and had taken rooms near Mr. Canning's residence for the purpose.
A remarkable instance of medical judgment is indirectly connected with Mr. Canning. During a severe illness of this gentleman, Sir Henry attended him, and on returning from his patient called on Lord Liverpool to report. After closing their conversation, the Premier asked Sir Henry to feel his pulse, which he found “such as to lead me to suggest an immediate appeal to his medical advisers for careful watch over him. The very next morning Lord Liverpool underwent the paralytic stroke which closed his political life.”
An instance of political prognosis as acute as the medical we have just cited, is related of M. Thiers. Sir Henry is speaking of a breakfast at which he met him in London, in the latter part of the year 1851. “A French newspaper came in, containing the report of a speech by the Prince President on the opening a new line of railway. Thiers started up, declaring that some speedy mischief was meant — wrote an excuse to Lord Aberdeen with whom he was to have dined, and set out for Paris the same afternoon. His prevision was verified. This speech was in fact the close precursor of the Coup d'Etat.”
But this volume is not a mere budget of anecdotes. Some of the most interesting passages in it are the comments of its author on the changes that have taken place in society, manners and politics during his long life. He takes some shame to himself that he has never exercised the inestimable privilege of voting, though he has had the right for more than half a century. In fact he has no great faith in the ballot as "executing the freeman's will." "My personal experience of elections," he says, “curiously enough, has been greater in the United States than in England; and I am bound to say that that experience (embracing the preparatory stages both of Presidential and municipal elections) has not contributed to reconcile me to them. If any method could be discovered for sustaining the life and liberties of a great people, whether England or England's progeny, without having recourse to these periodical popular appeals, I for one should hail the discovery.”
Of his visits to America, not very many particulars are given. He seems rather to admire Mr. Seward, whom he calls his friend, and speaks forbearingly of Mr. Lincoln's "racy anecdotes " in "the broadesi form of American speech.” He speaks of Mr. Jefferson Davis, at one time a patient of his, and remarks how much he was impressed by his demeanor and conversation. But on the whole, his references to American celebrities are rather tinged with reserve.
But we must not unreasonably prolong our notes of this interesting book, and leave unnoticed what is perhaps the most interesting, in which he speaks of old age, and notes its phenomena, mental and physical, from his own experience. This we must leave our readers to see in the book itself, the interest of which we have but barely indicated.
W. H. B.
Niemoirs of Madame Desbordes-Valmore. By the late C. A. Sainte
Beuve. Translated by Harriet W. Preston. Boston: Roberts
Brothers. 1873. HERE is a very tender and graceful sketch of a woman's life, reproduced from the causeries of the most subtle of French critics. The small dainty volume, with its clear liberal type, its ivory-like paper, its luxurious borderings, is all about a pure, noble, patient, suffering, self-sacrificing actress; who lived all her life in the fifth story of lodging-houses in Paris, or the provincial cities of France; who died honored and admired by all that is most reputable in French literary circles, yet poor as she had lived. A poetess of the minor feminine sort, who weave their personal sufferings and experiences into pretty, plaintive rhythms, and sing pathetic little songs over the needle and by the cradle. Some of these songs are translated here - elegies, lullabies — plaints — full of tender touches, corroborating the claim which Madame Valmore's contemporaries made for her, that she had “the gift of tears.” Her letters, which are liberally quoted, show her to have been a modest, kindly, sensible, unaffected woman, generous in sympathy, keeping her pride and self-respect in all the straits of poverty ; beautiful in her religious faith, still more beautiful in her charitable heart, which never permitted her to feel herself so poor as to be unable to do something towards relieving the distresses of those whom she thought still poorer. Her life was truly a hard one, harassed by an ever deepening poverty, and wrung by domestic aftlictions. She was peculiarly devoted to her family, and it was her peculiarly hard lot to survive them all, parents, children, husband, sisters, and brothers. She was partly compensated, however, by the active sympathy of many friends, whom she drew to her by a certain magnetic attraction characteristic of her. She conquered the hard, boisterous skeptic de Balzac ; she was greatly esteemed by SainteBeuve, Lamartine, Hugo, Béranger, Michelet, Vinet, Dumas, de Vigney, etc., and the great rude heart of the irreconcilable republican Raspail was completely melted in contact with her.
Sainte-Beuve never fails to write gracefully, and the translation saving the poetry — is pretty well done. The translator's preface, however, is a mistake, although it is well written. There was really no occasion for it, in the first place; in the second, it pronounces an absurd culogy upon Sainte-Beuve, crediting him with a "refined spirit” and a “knightly soul,” because he is supposed to be the only writer who has done full justice to woman. Sainte-Beuve certainly was a subile critic, a master in his art, and he found it suited his purposes to flatter women to the full extent of his keen and cultivated knowledge of their characters. There is evidence, however, that he had anything but a knightly soul, and that his chivalrous attitude towards the sex was exclusively pen-service.
A French Verb Book, embracing a comprehensive Analysis of the Conjuga
tions, with a new method for the Formation of the Tenses ; to which has been added a complete Paradigm of all the Verbs. By Ernest Lagarde, A. M., Professor of Modern Languages and English Literature in Mount St. Mary's College, Md.; late Professor of
Modern Languages in Randolph Macon College, Va. The author of this little work, “believing that in the present system of French grammar the greatest difficulty in its acquisition lies in the want of fixed principles and laws in the classification of the verbs,” divides them into “the conjugations of the verbs avoir and être,” eight "regular," eight "irregular conjugations," seven divisions of verbs which, " although unclassified, seem to follow general rules," and six divisions of those which “from their irregularity it was impossible to classify." "To this list must be added all the defective and impersonal verbs proper."
While this classification has certainly the merit claimed by its author, viz: that of novelty, and will be interesting to scholars already acquainted with the French language, still we doubt whether a division of the French verbs into thirty-one conjugations, besides several irregular verbs, etc., is calculated to facilitate the acquisition of a knowledge of the French verbs as well as the simpler classifications of Bolmar, etc.
Another peculiarity of this work is that a "table of terminations of verbs” precedes the regular “table of conjugations." We are at a loss to understand why the author should have deemed it necessary to devote twenty-eight pages to that table, as these terminations are printed in italics in the "table of conjugations,” and can therefore be distinguished from the stem at a glance. Not only do we not believe that it is casier to learn the conjugations by first committing to memory the terminations unconnected with a stem, but we hardly believe they can be learned at all in that way. We doubt whether the author himself, if asked the termination of the third person singular of the past definite of verbs in “indre," would be able to answer without saying mentally, "il joignit."
The chapter on the use of the French tenses is good, and a study of it will repay those who have not yet mastered
of the greatest perplexities which surround the learner of French."
The exercises are rather meagre, and instead of being crowded at the end of the book, ought, in our opinion, to have been put at the end of the chapters to which they respectively belong.
On the whole the work shows considerable acumen, and a thorough knowledge of the French language. As we have already stated, it will be found very suggestive by French scholars; but, as a school-book for beginners, it is not superior to some works which we had before.
Homes and thospitals ; or Two Phases of Woman's Work. New York:
Hurd & Houghton. 1873. The problem which is fast growing to be, if it is not already, the most important that presses upon the attention of modern legislation, is the adjustment of the social condition of the masses in accordance with the revolution, springing from modern ideas, that has taken place in their estate. Democratic principles are now in the ascendant throughout the whole of Europe ; and the overthrow of the autocratic and despotic governments that still exist there is merely a question of time, to be settled probably in the near future. The moral power of Europe and America will doubtless secure the farther triumph of free institutions throughout Asia, and wherever else they may now be wanting So that it is probably a fair presumption that the masses throughout the world will, before many decades have passed, be entirely emancipated from the political and social servitude under which they have existed in all past ages. What shall be the results of so mighty a liberation cannot be predicted. When we conceive the irresistible power that shall then accrue to the millions, and consider the small amount of intelligence and self-control there will be present to guide it, and further remember their galling sense of the injustice that has been done them by those who have so long lorded it over them, and what distorted views will spring from their ignorance, it is impossible not to be overcome with the gloomiest foreboding for the future of society and human governments, unless we have hope that some adequate agency shall be brought to bear to counteract these evils. Such an agency is Christianity, if carried out in the spirit of its Founder - the only theory of human life that brings each individual soul under sanctions sufficiently strong to restrain it from doing harm to itself or to others; and while being the perfection of liberty, is the destroyer of every form of license. Upon the universal diffusion of this, the only true form of religion, is dependent the salvation of human society. And the great effort of every Christian now should be to bring himself and the whole body of believers in Christ to a full realisation of this momentous fact. Great and extensive as are the present philanthropic schemes of the Christian church, they are as nothing in the face of the great field of spiritual destitution that covers the world. Probably four-fifths of the population in countries nominally Christian, live without any practical recognition of God in their lives; and the general prevalence of the most atrocious crimes in such communities is enough to appal the most hopeful heart. Is there not then every incentive to Christians to bring their lives into more full accord with the divine law of love and self-sacri. fice ; to engage diligently in personal endeavors to bring men and women in all grades of society to a recognition of the claims of Christ