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to dress fashionably. Her yearly income amounted to sixteen pounds, and before she had been a week in her new home, twelve of these had been exchanged for gowns and headgear a rate of expenditure which caused her no little anxiety.
pointed duty. She kept a note-book filled with good resolutions and rules of conduct, with a list of her besetting faults, "and the best means of avoiding them." She had been a year married when a visitor, whom she scarcely expected to see, presented himself in her drawing-room. It was Gibbon on his way home from Rome, where he had been gathering materials for his great work. The meeting must have been embarrassing for both at first; but good fortune had disposed Madame Necker to forget the wrongs of Mademoiselle Curchod. At the same time, a little quiet exultation on her part was quite pardonable.
Among the men who sought the society of Madame de Vermenoux was M. Jacques Necker, a partner in the prosperous banking-house of Thellusson. He was a Swiss, and came of a respectable middle-class family. His circumstances were affluent, and the character he bore beyond reproach. Though he had little grace of figure, his countenance was benign, his manners pleasing, and his conversation solid. Lastly, he was thirty-two years of age, and a bachelor. He had proposed to Madame I do not know if I told you [she writes to a de Vermenoux before her trip to Switzer-Swiss friend] that I have seen Gibbon, and it land, but she had given him an undecided has given me more pleasure than I know how answer; and on her return to Paris, she timent for a man who does not, I think, deto express. Not indeed that I retain any sencontinued to keep him in suspense. It serve much; but my feminine vanity could not may have been impatience at this treat- have had a more complete and honest triumph. ment that first caused him to turn his at- He stayed a fortnight in Paris, and came here tention from the widow to her companion. every day. He has become gentle, compliant, To Mademoiselle Curchod he soon di- unassuming-demure even, to a fault. rected his suit, and received every encouragement. However, before expressing himself decisively, he had to go to Geneva on business. In writing to her friends there, Suzanne calls the possibility of his espousing her notre brillante chimère; she feels sure that he will make inquiries concerning her, and rather fears lest the fact of her having been a governess may be detrimental to her interests. All doubts, all fears, dispersed when the banker reappeared. He proposed without delay, and was not rejected.
The news of Suzanne's engagement caused the utmost joy among her numerous well-wishers in Switzerland. Even poor Correvon, the lawyer, though conscious that he had been kept as a misérable pis-aller, found words in which to felicitate her. It is possible that Madame de Vermenoux was not quite so delighted at the turn affairs had taken, for the marriage was sudden, almost secret, and she was not present at it. The bride wrote affectionately to explain matters, ending with these words: "Ah! what a friend I am leaving; and what a task M. Necker has before him, if he wishes to compensate me for what I lose in you!
A fine suite of rooms over Thellusson's Bank in the Rue Michel-le-Comte-such was the home to which Suzanne was now introduced. She did not allow the change in her circumstances to alter her mode of life, which continued regular and methodical. Every hour in the day had its ap
was a constant witness of my husband's kindness, wit, and gaiety; and was the cause of my remarking, by his admiration for wealth, to that moment had only produced a disagreethe opulence I am surrounded by, which up able impression upon me.
In a letter to Lord Sheffield describing this same meeting, Gibbon speaks of Suzanne as a little puffed up by prosperity. He was enchanted, though, at renewing the acquaintance, and continued to correspond with her at intervals, sending her the volumes of his history as they appeared.
The salons of Paris were now flourishing in full vigor, that presided over by Madame Geoffrin being perhaps the most famous. It is said to have been in order to amuse her husband of an evening that Madame Necker first decided on starting a salon of her own. She soon got to know Madame Geoffrin, in whose good graces it was well to stand. They liked each other, though dissimilar in every respect. Madame Geoffrin was an elderly Parisian, whose strong common sense, knowledge of the world, and kindly disposition had (in spite of an imperfect education) gained for her the position she held. What a contrast to this good lady was presented by the unsophisticated daughter of the pastor of Crassier! In a year or two she managed to get around her a society which it had taken Madame Geoffrin twenty-five to assemble.
Diderot, the deviser and starter of the
Encyclopædia, was perhaps the most re- | lady. "My beautiful, my delicious friend," markable literary figure in Madame Neck- says another.* Even allowing that some er's salon. With him came his brother of this was prompted by motives of selfencyclopædists, Grimm, D'Alembert, Mar- interest, much of it was doubtless sincere. montel, Thomas, and the Abbés Morellet and Raynal. These men were all freethinkers, and accustomed, elsewhere, to air their disbeliefs and philosophies unchecked. Her friends in Switzerland, learning by what dangerous folks she was surrounded, began to fear for her religious principles, and M. Moultou wrote to ex-a wilful, precocious child, with a nature postulate in their name and his own. was answered by the following reassur
I certainly entertain many literary people; but as I from the first allowed them to see what my religious principles are, they never touch on that subject in my presence. person of my age, who can make her house an agreeable resort, nothing is easier than to give, and adhere to, a certain tone of intercourse. I live, it is true, in the midst of a great number of atheists; but their arguments have never even ruffled my convictions, and if they had penetrated to my inmost heart, it would only have been to make it shudder with
In the second year of their marriage, there was born to the Necker couple a daughter, destined to become celebrated as Madame de Staël. She was christened Germaine, that being the name of her godmother, Madame de Vermenoux, Suzanne's former protectress. Germaine was
He that refused to be thwarted. A familiar description is that of the little girl sitting upright on a wooden stool by her mother's chair, taking her share in a discussion with the wits present; or else, when told to be quiet, following with her large, restFor a less eyes the countenance and gestures of those continuing the conversation. Madame Necker took anxious pains in forming the mind of her daughter; but she found it necessary to repress her overimpulsive disposition by rather chilling admonitions. There was indeed a lack of sympathy between them, which increased as time went on. Necker himself was amused by the girl's vivacity, and after a Marmontel, in his memoirs, describes hard day's work it was a pleasure for him Madame Necker as stiff and prim, without to unbend in her company. There is a ease of manner, and therefore without story that Madame Necker, having once grace. "Her over-emphatic way of talk- kept them waiting for dinner, surprised ing," says he, "would have excited ridi- them indulging in some harmless buffooncule, if it had not been clear that she was ery. They were posturing and bowing to new to the world. Everything with her each other from opposite sides of the table was premeditated; there was not a gleam with their napkins on their heads. Someof fancy or spontaneity in what she said times, in a difference between mother and or' did.' Of Necker, too, he has little daughter, he would take the part of the that is favorable to say. He wrote thus latter. The result may be imagined. when time and distance separated him Germaine transferred all her affection and completely from his old friends. It was most of her respect to her father, considotherwise when he was enjoying their hos-ering him the most perfect of beings. pitality and assistance. He was then the first to offer obsequious flattery to both. These indeed were days when flattery was administered in strong doses. Diderot, for instance, assures Suzanne that, had he known her earlier, he never would have written licentiously, but would have become like her, "a sort of angel." Marmontel lauds her sensibility (to her face) and declares her to be virtue and truth itself. "Divine person!" exclaims Buffon, you are all intellect, and yet all soul." Thomas (the most devoted of her disciples) refuses to conceive that such a soul as hers can cease to exist, because her body loses vitality. Bernardin de Saint Pierre (when asking a favor) compares her to Venus. With her own sex she had the same power of exciting enthusiasm. "My adorable friend," says one
When Germaine grew up, her parents began to think of finding a husband for her; but they would accept none but a Protestant suitor. On some distinguished foreigner of the same religion they were prepared to confer their daughter and her £14,000 a year. They had heard of young William Pitt, son of the great Lord Chatham. In spite of his youth, he was in the first rank of English politicians, and had every prospect of a brilliant career. Here was the very man they wanted, and Suzanne set her heart on promoting the alliance. It happened that Pitt, in the autumn of 1783, found leisure to make a trip to France in company with Wilberforce. It is believed that he was intro
That Madame Necker was in the habit of return
ing compliment for compliment, readers of the "Salon" will perceive.
duced to the Neckers while in Paris, otherwise it is likely that she would have though neither he nor his companion oftener appeared in print. After her death, makes any allusion thereto in their pub- he found among her manuscripts material lished letters. The story that they offered for some interesting volumes. They conhim the splendidly dowered Mademoiselle tain matter original and borrowed-euloNecker, but that Pitt declined the honor, gistic portraits of her friends, brief essays, declaring theatrically that he was "already and a smooth translation into French prose married to his country," is most improba- of Gray's "Elegy." There are jottings, ble, and has been rejected by no less an too, from the conversation of Buffon, Maauthority than the late Lord Stanhope. dame Geoffrin, and other of her contemCertain it is that neither the youthful poraries. The writer and Buffon, it seems, statesman himself, nor the notion of set- were rather puzzled how to define genius, tling in England, at all attracted Ger- but came finally to the conclusion that maine, who obstinately refused to par- patience, and patience only, deserved the ticipate in the scheme. This so upset name. For Buffon Madame Necker had Madame Necker that she fell ill and fan- the profoundest veneration. She and he cied she was nearing her end. In a letter often talked together on the immortality containing some last solemn injunctions of the soul; and it pained her to find that to her daughter, she says: the perfect faith she felt on this point was I was anxious that you should marry Mr. not shared by him. She nursed him, howPitt, and become the wife of a man of un-ever, in his last illness, and heard him blemished character. I should have rejoiced then make a full Christian profession. in possessing a son-in-law who could appreciate your father, and undertake the care of him when I am gone. You have refused to afford me this satisfaction. Be it so. I will forgive everything if you endeavor to supply to your father and yourself the benefits I expected to result from this union. Multiply yourself, so to speak, in order to provide him found in his connection with England, and the career of a distinguished son-in-law.
with sources of interest such as he would have
Candidates for the hand of Mademoiselle Necker were of course not wanting, a pauper prince being among the number; but, in the end, the Baron de StaëlHolstein, newly appointed Swedish ambassador to France, carried off the prize. Necker had been appointed by Louis XVI., in 1777, director-general of the royal treasury, and thus had exchanged a purely business life for a political post of the highest importance. After five thorny years of office, he had felt himself compelled to resign; and at the time of Germaine's marriage he was leading a life of studious retirement. His wife's salon was more in vogue than ever, but she soon ceased to be its directress. Her place was taken by the brilliant Madame de Staël, who imparted a more political flavor
to the conversation. She devoted herself rather to works of charity and philanthropy. Owing to her exertions, the disgraceful mismanagement of the hospitals of Paris underwent reform. She wrote pamphlets embodying her opinions on this and other subjects. Her husband considered authorship undesirable for women;
Prince George of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, brotherin-law of George III.
Although the reforms set on foot by Necker during his five years of office met with fierce opposition, he was generally popular. Among all classes, even the most privileged, he found supporters. When his resignation was announced, he was deluged with letters of sympathy and admiration. In one of these his wife is alluded to as la digne et respectable com pagne de vos travaux. When at length he was restored to office, the Revolution was making rapid strides. Bitter attacks were made on him in anonymous pamphlets; he was the victim of every sort of misrepresentation and calumny. Against him was directed the hatred of the court party, headed by the Comte d'Artois and the Polignacs. It is said that Madame Necker, while passing through the garden at Versailles, some days before the destruction of the Bastille, was hissed by a crowd of courtiers on the terrace.
Dismissed, and as promptly recalled, by the perplexed Louis XVI., Necker maintained for fourteen months a struggle against overwhelming odds; but Mirabeau's efforts to ruin his credit, and thwart his plans, succeeded. He resigned, and quitted France amid the hootings of the fickle people whose idol he had been but a year before.
It was in 1784 that Necker purchased the estate and château of Coppet on the Lake of Geneva. It is a plain edifice of great antiquity, in much the same condition as it was two hundred years ago, when in possession of the Saxon Counts
"During this period," says Madame Necker, in a letter written afterwards to Gibbon, "I did not enjoy a single hour of repose or of liberty."
I am weary of words that perplex and de
Ah! too often their sound they belie;
Let me hear it and, hearing it, die.
Dohna. It forms three sides of a square, | that towards the lake being flanked by towers. From the balcony over the central gate there is a delightful view. Geneva lies to the right; in front rise the mountains of Savoy, their lower slopes clothed with forests of fir interspersed She expired gently on the 6th May, with grassy tracts. To the left spreads 1794, and was buried in a handsome mausothe widening lake, with many a sail dot-leum she had had constructed close to the ting its changeful surface. Such was the château. It was only opened twice afterretreat to which Necker now retired. wards to admit the remains of Necker When summoned back to France the pre- himself and, later on, those of Madame vious year, he had exclaimed, "I feel as de Staël. The trees and shrubs planted though about to replunge in a whirlpool." around it have now grown so densely as to From that whirlpool he had escaped, and conceal the monument entirely from view. was in sure waters; yet the very calm surrounding him soon became oppressive. He secretly pined for the scene he had left, his work undone, his intentions unfulfilled. With his wife it was different. For her the change was more welcome. Her shattered nervous system needed rest. But what sorrowful recollections crowded BY THE AUTHOR OF "MEHALAH," on her as she gazed around! She was back amid the scenes of her childhood and youth, but the friends of those days had all passed away. There was indeed one person not far off with whom she could travel back in memory, and him she now called to her side. This was Gibbon, who had for long made Lausanne his home. In a pressing invitation to Coppet, she assures him,
When I came here, and found only the graves of those I have loved, you appeared to me like a tree standing alone and flinging its shade on the desert which separates me from the early years of my life.
From Chambers' Journal. RICHARD CABLE,
A ROLLING STONE.
RICHARD CABLE started homewards. He had ridden his cob to Exeter, and brought him on thence with the cattle by train. Now he drove him all the way back from Somersetshire to St. Kerian, but not with the van full of calves the whole way, for he sold them all before he had reached Launceston. Then, instead of going on, he bought up young cattle in Devon, to the north of the road, where is also a wide tract of very poor clay soil, worthless except for rearing stock. In the north of As her health failed, Madame Necker Devon the soil varies to such an extent was assailed by strange fancies and fears. that one field may let for five times the She dreaded the possibility of her hus- price of the field next to it. Where the band's dying before her, and leaving her red soil runs, there anything will grow; to face the cold world alone. Against this where the white clay líes, there nothing she constantly prayed. Another ever-will thrive. Now, after the old Roman present fear was of being buried acciden-road from Exeter to Launceston passes tally alive, for she had known instances North Tawton, it leaves the red soil forof people being laid underground while in ever. On the south of the road is good a trance. She left lengthy instructions in her will to provide against a like accident in her own case. During the last months of her life she suffered much. She could get no sleep. Wearied out she would sometimes fall into a troubled doze with her head pillowed on the shoulder of her husband, who would remain (says Madame de Staël) for hours together without moving a muscle, lest he might disturb her. She liked to listen to music, which soothed and rested her; and her favorite pieces were often played in an adjoining room. Her pleading eyes seemed to say:
land-crops wave, and trees grow to stately dimensions; for there limestone and volcanic tufa break out and warm and enrich the soil above. To the north of the road is clay, and clay only, to the ocean, where crops are meagre and trees are stunted. Cable's eye had been sharpened, and he learned and took in much as he went along the road. Having bought young stock from the poor land, he turned his back on the west, and drove them to Exeter, and trucked them on to Somersetshire again; but not this time to Bewdley and Bath, but to the neighborhood of
Wells. He sold these readily enough; | appeared with his van and cob! Little and then he bought more calves and Bessie struggled in her grandmother's trucked them to Exeter, where on this arms and clapped her hands; and Mary, occasion he had left his cob and van; and his dear Mary, came to him with exthen drove them to Launceston, dispos- panded arms, scudding along like a seaing of most of them before reaching gull, and dived into her father's arms, home. clung about his neck and heart, and buried her face in his. Never would he forget that moment, that spasm of pride, that rapturous leap of his heart in his breast as he saw her coming on, and shouted: "No!-not in Somersetshire, not any. where, is there such another little Mary !"
From Exeter he brought with him seven pairs of new shoes, with perfectly clean smooth soles, of a pleasant brown; and ever and anon, as he drove in his van, with the calves bleating behind him, he opened the bag that contained the shoes, and took them out and counted them, and kissed the soles, thinking of the little feet they would clothe when brought to St. Kerian. Richard had to halt continually on the road and buy milk for his calves, dip his fingers in the milk and let the calves suck them. It was tedious work; but it would have been less tedious to another, for no other was drawn homewards by such strong fibres from his heart. At length he arrived within sight of St. Kerian, and drove through the village street. The innkeeper came out to ask what luck he had had. "Middling," answered Dick; but he did not halt at the inn door. Then out of his smithy came Penrose the smith with a cheery salute and his big black hand extended.
What a happy evening that was, with his children clustering round the calves, dipping their hands in the milk and laughing, but first shrinking at the mouths of the young creatures sucking their hands! Little Bessie must pat the calves, and she quite fell in love with a young dappled Guernsey. What a pleasant supper when they all sat round the table, but not before there had been a slight scuffle which should sit beside their father! Was there ever so dainty a dish served up at Hanford Hall whilst Richard dined there, as that great bowl of potatoes and turnips that now steamed in the midst of the table black-round which the bright and happy faces smiled and shone? Then, when supper was over, came the trying-on of the new shoes; and each in turn sat on her grandmother's lap, whilst Richard knelt on the slate floor and fitted the covers on to the dear little feet he loved so well. For Bessie there was a pair of glazed patent leather that shone like sticking-plaster, and they had rosettes with steel buckles and beads over the instep. Bessie laughed and danced in her grandmother's arms, and then cried to be held by her dada; and clung fast to him, and would not be put down or go to bed till he undertook to undress her, wash her, comb her hair, hear her prayers, and sit by her till she fell asleep.
Well, Cable, glad to seey' back. The little uns be all peart [bright]."
Richard nodded. He held the reins in one hand and the whip in the other; he did not accept the offered hand, but drove
"What, Mr. Cable!" exclaimed the parson, who was on his rounds. "You're home again. I'm glad to see you have a carriage. Your mother is fairly well, and the children-blooming rosebuds."
"Thanky', sir!" Richard put the handle of his whip to his cap, and drove on.
Dicky!" shouted Farmer Tregurtha over the hedge, "so you're home with your pockets lined with money. I must look out for Summerleaze, or you'll snap away from under my feet."
"I take nothing for which I cannot pay," anwered Richard; then he turned a corner and stopped the van, whereat the calves, thinking it meant milk and a suck at his hands, began to bleat. But he was not thinking at that moment of the calves. He saw before him the cob cottage, the limewashed walls gleaming white in the sun, and before the door stood Mrs. Cable with little Bessie in her arms, and about her the rest, looking down the road with eager eyes.
What a cry of delight when their father
The happiness was of short duration. Next morning, Richard went farther with his van and cob and calves, to the Magpie, to give an account to Jacob Corye of what he had done, how he had succeeded, and what he proposed to do.
"There, now," said the landlord of the Magpie, when he heard the results and saw his money. "I be glad, I be, to handle the cash; but I be main better pleased to know that what some say are the maggots in my head have turned into butterflies, and not blue-bottles."
After that, of course a second venture was agreed upon. Richard was to remain a week at home, make what arrangements