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No. 1199. Fourth Series, No. 60. 25 May, 1867.
SHORT ARTICLES : American Breech-Loading Rifles, 508. Cheap Beef, 508. Pay of Maga
zine Writers, 508. Lord Eldon's Will, 522. Pitch in Music, 522. Japanese Odes Translated into English, 544. Tennysonia, 544.
Just Published at this Office
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Far better ask Salome's prayer
For those, the heirs of light, When thy Lord's kingdom comes, to share
The thrones to left and right :
Will He not list the suppliant's pray'r? Will He not take the sting from care ? Will He not lift me from despair ?
From the Edinburgh Review. Memoirs may be divided into two great
classes — those which are really contempoMémoires du Comte Beugnot, Ancien Minis
rary, with all the fluctuations and contraIre (1783 — 1815). Publiés par le Comte dictions of current opinion, and those which ALBERT BEUGNOT, son petit-fils. Deux are recast afterwards when the events to tomes. Paris : 1866.
which they relate are terminated. A writ
er with the graphic powers of a Saint-SiTHE rer scences of a man of spirit and
may by the latter process. leave to intelligence, who had seen the condition of posterity a more complete picture of a French society before the Revolution of great reign, or may, with the sedate wisdom 1789 — who shared and survived the dan- of Count Mollieu in his invaluable records gers of 1793 — who took an active part in of the First Empire, raise his personal remthe Imperial administration under Napole- iniscences to the dignity of history. But in on — and a still more active part in the res- point of vivacity and reality nothing can toration of the Bourbons and the establish- make up for the freshness of a recent imment of constitutional monarchy in France, pression. We feel in the present tense, are amongst the most instructive and enter- though we reflect in the præter-perfect. taining memorials of modern history. We And the nearer a writer can bring us to opened these volumes with high expecta- the scenes he is describing, the more comtions, which have not been disappointed. pletely does he master our sympathy and They are really a valuable addition to the
our interest. literature of the French Revolution; and
M. Beugnot was born in 1761 at Bar-surthey supply many of those happy touches Aube, where his family belonged to the noand characteristic incidents which serve to blesse de robe of the province, and he himcomplete the picture of that extraordinary self was brought up to fill a legal office beperiod. Portions of these memoirs had al- fore the Revolution. He gives us no details, ready appeared in the · Revue Francaise ? however, as to his early life, and the narof 1838, and the · Revue Contemporaine' rative of his adventures begins with a relaof 1852; indeed the additions now made to tion of his curious acquaintance with the nothese fragments are not large, and it ap- torious Madame de Lamotte. It seemned pears that the remainder of M. Beugnot's extremely improbable that anything more autobiographical papers, to which allusion
remained to be said of the affair of the Diais frequently made by himself, are no long- mond Necklace — that scandalous intrigue er in existence. The memoirs therefore retain their fragmentary character, and, for Montagu, and with the sanction of the illustrious once, we are assured that we possess them House of Noailles. The facts and details were statin their true form. This can so rarely be tagu herself, or from her correspondence with her said of the French memoirs of the day, that sisters. On ne peut
avoir,' say the editors, • d’éléwe must express our gratitude to the Beug- la vie de quelqu'un, et pour se faire une idée de ce not family that they have not allowed any qui la compose et de ce qui l'entoure.' We know hired hand to make up'or mutilate their from the best authority that these statements are literary inheritance. They have published cerned; but unfortunately they were placed in the whatever had come down to them, without hands of a person who grossly abused the confidence
of the Noailles family. any attempt to supply gaps or invent tran- It wonld be incredible if the fact had not been sitions. These volumes appear under the proved in an action at law brought against the Duc sanction of the highly respectable name of de Noailles to recover an additional payment, that the author's grandson ; and although the hireling named Auguste Callet, who by his own highly epigrammatic and dramatic style in showing is as great an impostor as is to be met with which they are written might awaken some Tribunal Civil de la Seine on the 7th July 1865, that suspicions, yet we believe in their authen the book in question was composed and written by ticity and credibility. *
himself; that the journal kept by Madame de Montagu had been destroyed, and was only represented
by fragments of an imperfect copy, and that the au*A recent example of this most reprehensible thentic materials in existence were insufficient to practice of dressing up memoirs has come under our produce more than a few pages of biography: that, notice, which is so extraordinary that we feel bound accordingly, M. Callet had been reduced to conjectto comment upon it. A volume appeared not long ure, and had invented many of the most striking
Callet failed ago in Paris, entitled Anne-Paule-Dominique de and affecting incidents in the book. Noailles, Marquise de Montagu,' purporting to be in his action, for the Court held that he had been an authentic memoir of that amiable woman, the already sufficiently paid for his fraud, and that his fourth daughter of the Duc d'Ayen, and a sister of object was to extort money to which he had no Madame de Lafayette. Nothing could be more in legal claim, by making it known. But this circumteresting and affecting than this narrative of her stance has materially sbaken the confidence with blameless and heroical life. It was originally print- which the book was received, and we regret that ed as a 'recueil de souvenirs qui n'était point des- these statements have not been publicly confuted by tiné au public,' by the children of Madame de the Noailles family.
which had so disastrous an effect on the for- 1 young persons of quality, invited them to tunes of Marie Antoinette. But, as Madame her house; they stayed there a year, and the Campan observes, of all the enemies of the eldest young lady, who might have sat for Queen, this Lamotte was destined to be the the moral traits of Mr. Thackeray's ' Becky worst; and a cabal which originated in Sharp,' began her operations on mankind by vanity, lust, and avarice in which Marie making her ascendency felt in the house of Antoinette had no part but that of a victim this hospitable protectress; and marrying her
was more injurious to her than her own nephew, M. de Lamotte, who was then sersocial failings or political errors. Madame de ving in the gendarmerie of the department. Lamotte was probably the authoress of the The happy pair had nothing to live on but whole plot, unless indeed she was aided in their wits; and while the bride dispatched ‘it ly the sinister genius of Cagliostro. By a her husband to reclaim the missing estates strange series of accidents, M. Beugnot, of the house of Valois, she lost no time herself himself one of the most honest of men, was in repairing to Paris. The portrait of this in the company of this woman at the most terrible adventuress is not îll drawn by M. critical moments of her life, and might, on Beugnot. less evidence, have been thought to be implicated in her villany.
Madame de Lamotte was not what is called It must have been about the year 1765, beautiful; she was low in stature, but wellthat M. Beugnot's father, going his rounds to formed; her eyes were blue, full of expression, levy the taille in the country near Bar-sur- and shaded by dark rounded eyebrows. Her Aube, was entreated by the curé of the par excellent teeth ; and the peculiar stamp of her
face was rather long, with a good mouth and ish of Fontete to relieve three children who kind — a bewitching smile
. Her hand was were starving in a wretched hovel by the good, her foot small; her complexion remarkroadside. These children, a boy and two ably fair. She had learnt nothing, but she had girls, were the last descendants of an illegi- plenty of talent and penetration. As she had timate branch of the House of Valois, been contending from her birth against the through a Baron de St. Remi who was a whole order of society, she set its laws at denatural son of King Henry II. Their father, fiance and those of morality as well. She passed in spite of his high lineage, was no better clean over them all, as if she never suspected than a tramp, who lived by poaching and their existence. A character such as hers is a robbing orchards. But his pedigree was in- frightful spectacle to an observing eye, but secontestable and had been accepted by Ché- do not look at things so closely.' (P. 12.)
ductive enough to the coinmon run of men who rin, the court genealogist of Louis xv. Moved by the extreme distress of these children, an effort was made by Beugnot, the
Meanwhile young Beugnot had come up elder, to provide for them in the neighbour-ceived a visit from this interesting client.
to Paris for his legal studies, and he soon rehood. He himself gave them some money. He looked up for her the old patent of The Bishop of Langres protected them. The of 1,000 livres, and an admission to the Na- morial in support of her claims, paid a bill King at last bestowed on the boy a pension Henry II. in the archives which had settled
these estates on her ancestor, wrote a meval School of France. The girls were put for her several times over at the Hotel de to school at the Abbey of Longchamps near Paris
, and so the last descendants of the Reims, and prevailed on her once or twice Valois were brought back to civilised life. a week to dine with him at the Cadran Bleu. The boy, called the Baron de Valois, enter- which generally ended in a café.
On other days they took a walk together, ed the navy, and honourably lost his life in action. The girls were destined to take religious vows; but their vocation was so small, beer came amiss to her. She would eat, out of
• The lady had a singular love of beer, and no that when the subject was broached they pure inadvertence, two or three dozen tartlets ; ran away from Longchamps, and found their and these inadvertences were so frequent that I way back with six livres in their pocket in could not but perceive she had dined very ligbt1782 to Bar-sur-Aube, where young Beug- ly, if at all.' not was then just beginning to make a figure in the world. It is evident that he was not However, this state of depression soon a little taken with the elder of the young came to an end. She announced one day ladies, to the great alarm of his father, who that Madame de Boulainvilliers had obtainregretted that he had ever dug them out of ed for her the honour of an audience of the the hovel by the roadside. Å benevolent Cardinal de Rohan, and Beugnot lent her lady of Bar-sur-Aube, Madame de Surmont, his carriage to go there. “I must have it,' shocked at the destitute condition of these said she, "for in this country there are but
two ways to go begging, either at the church | everybody round the table bowed assent. When door or in a coach and pair.' The results of he began a subject he raised his voice as if he that visit were memorable in all history. were inspired, and then dropped into a tone of The Cardinal, himself a profligate and an gallantry and ludicrous compliment. This last adventurer in his way, was completely sub- that the hero had been talking of the sky, dued by the grace and address of the fair the stars, the Grand Arcanum, Memphis, the supplicant. It is certain from a collection hierophant, transcendental chemistry, giants, of letters from him to the Lamotte, which big beasts ; of a city bigger than Paris in the were luckily destroyed by Beugnot after his interior of Africa, where he had numerous corarrest, that he was madly in love with her; respondents ; of our ignorance of a thousand and from that moment her progress in the things which he had at his fingers' ends; and of path of vice, guilt, and success was rapid. the charms of Madame de Lamotte, whom he She therefore smilingly informed her friend called his dove, his gazelle, his swan, &c. After Beugnot (still at the Cadran Bleu) that he supper he honoured me with a round of quescould no longer be of any use to her. But tions, but as I contented myself with humbly exin this she was mistaken. For a time, how- assured by Madame de Lamotte that he had con
pressing my own ignorance, I was afterwards ever, he withdrew from her society, and she ceived the most favourable impression of my transferred her operations to Versailles, person and my attainments. where she succeeded in making the ac- • I returned home on foot and alone. It was quaintance of persons about the Court who one of those nights of spring, when the moon had already practised on the Queen. It soon seems to lend the softness of her light to the became evident that she had made her for- promise of the coming year. The town was tune and lost her character ; but with sin- quiet and solitary, as it commonly is in the Magular impudence she and her husband came rais after midnight. I stopped in ihe Place Roy
ale to meditate on the scene which had just back to pay a visit to their old friends at passed before me. I thought with bitterness of Bar-sur-Aube, (who received them at first mankind, when I saw to what depths of extravvery coldly) with a splendid equipage, a pro- agance men sated with all the gifts of fortune fusion of money, and all the luxury of a and society may descend. I thought with com great lady accessories which speedily led passion of that wretched Cardinal de Rohan, people to take a more favourable view of whom Cagliostro and the Lamotte are, I sce, their condition.
driving to the abyss. But is my own curiosity Madame de Lamotte's house in Paris in so venial? What have I to do in this gilded the following year was not less brilliant and cavern of people whom I despise and whom I agreeable ; and there Beugnot, at his own the early impressions of my father's house and
ought to abhor? I contrasted these scenes with request, met Cagliostro a worthy mem- of my studious years; and condemning my own ber of such a company.
weakness, I resolved to separate myself from
Madame de Lamotte and her band without a . The great mountebank seemed cut in the rupture, but altogether.' (P. 62.) very mould of Signor Tulifano-(the Dulcamara of that day) on the Italian stage — short, stout,
A more illustrious victim than the Carolive-coloured, with eyes half out of his head, dinal de Rohan was threatened by these and a broad turned-up nose. He wore that day machinations, and by a curious accident an iron-grey single-breasted coat embroidered Beugnot was again tbrown into Madame de with gold, a scarlet waistcoat with rich lace, Lamotte's company at a most decisive mo' red breeches, his sword under the tails of his
ment. He had gone to call one evening on coat, and a broad hat with a white feather looking very like those drug-sellers and tooth- dame de Lamotte had made her companion.
a person from his own province whom Maraised the character of his dress by his lace ruf. That lady herself was out, but as the evenfles, sparkling rings, and shoe-buckles looking ing wore away she returned, accompanied very much like diamonds. I still looked as- by her husband, her secretary, and a rekance at him, hardly knowing what he was markably handsome well-grown girl of about like, but in spite of myself, the whole aspect of twenty-five. They were all in the highest the man had something imposing about it
, and spirits, the unknown beauty as well as the I wanted to hear him talk. His language was rest; and as supper was served and the a strange mish-mash of Italian and French, wine went round, she became noisy. Vilwith numerous quotations, which he gave us to lette (the secretary) said that it was not true understand were Arabic, but which he did not that people were always betrayed by themtranslate. He alone talked – he could touch
selves; that everybody betrayed you; and on as many subjects as he pleased, as no. body else had anything to say about them. that'- Here Madame de Lamotte, next Every moment he looked round the table, and whom he was sitting, put her hand to his - begged to know if he was understood ; at which mouth, and exclaimed, • Hush! M. Beug