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I feel may arouse the tenderest suscep- / who had made, who had shared that tibilities of your nature.”
happiness, had died on a stretcher in Laveriac looked at bim a moment, the street — no one beside her! She then signed to the waiter to bring an- who had so loved luxury, and care, aud other glass of the fashionable liquor. tenderness, and affection ! " Speak,” he said, “ Citizen Grégoire.”
He had an air of indifference, which Not many days later Laverdac was in disconcerted his visitor. “ The man,” the Forest of Mendon and walking he thought, " is clearly not prepared rapidly. Through the branches of the for what he is to hear,”!
trees, early losing their leaves that “It concerns the Citoyenne Laver- year, by reason of the great drought of dac," he began.
the summer, he caught sight of the Laverdac in one moment was all apple orchards of Vélizy, a place Maattention. He gave a sudden involun- nette had once described to him as a tary cry. He had not supposed Gré-spot she loved. There was red fruit goire could have anything to tell him still ungathered on the trees. He fol. about Emilie. The dear little crea- lowed a green lane which led him to ture! Had she happily escaped the the village ; on his right hand was the general fate ? Ah ! he was glad. He large farmhouse belonging to Manette, was thankful. What a weight was with all its out-buildings, on his left lifted from his heart!
the church. He soon saw where a Then he turned very pale. He lis- door pierced the white wall of the gartened in silence, with clenched teeth. den. It was there — within that wall There was not much to tell, but Citizen - in that quaint house, that he would Grégoire put it into many words. find her.
Emilie was dead. She had died on a He pushed open the door, it was not stretcher in the street as they were locked, and entered a flower garden. carrying her from the prison of La Citizen Andrey was sitting ou a bench Force to the National Hospital. No under a tree, but Laverdac did not obone was near her as she drew her last serve him. He looked only towards breath, poor, timid little creature, no the house, where on a porch sat the one but the men who bore her through figure of a woman, all in black, with the fog and darkness, and delivered some apples and some wild flowers in their burden to the doctor in charge. her lap. She seemed to be toyiny with There was no official record of her them with her thin, white hands. leath. She had died in no prison. Manette ! - but, ah ! how changed ! Her husband would have sought any how pale ! how wasted ! But the trace of her in vain, had not the kind greatest change was in her eyes, where physician, touched by the beauty of the bright light of intelligence had fled her lifeless form as it lay before him forever. on the stretcher, copied the écrou, or Laverdac came up to the porch. prison document forwarded with each Manette saw him, and gave a sharp sick prisoner. This had told him her cry. The fruits and flowers that had name, and her age. Her crime was been lying in her lap fell at his feet. that her father was an emigré. As She turned and fled into the house. Citizen Grégoire ended, Laverdac rose. He would have followed her, but CitA coll dew stood upon his forehead. izen Andrey was at his side and pre“Come and see me, citizen,” he said. vented him. “I lodge at the Hotel d’Aligre, ci- “Go, Citizen Laverdac,” he said. derant Rue d'Orleans. Excuse me; I “It is cruel to disturb by your prescan bear no more to-day.”
ence the calmer state into which our He left the café. The vision now care has brought her. She is as happy before him was one of only happiness ; now as we can ever hope she will be. 20 charming, so tender, so complete for She is here among her trees, and fruits, the period it lasted !
Little Emilie, and flowers. If you rouse her it will
only be to revive terrible reminis- | There were circumstances, too, which
Leave her in peace. In pity, -aided by that reciprocal indifference stay away.”
— might have kept these two distin
guished men separate forever. Though Laverdac, looking on events Emerson early became a hermit in from his own point of view, hated the the solitudes of New England — not to Revolution, he was a Frenchman, and escape from the sight and pressure of his country was at that moment imper- social ills, or in the presence of Mother illed by foreign invasion. He did what Nature to complain cynically of the in times of war and tumult most men ways of his brother men, as compared do who have lost heart, and hope, and with the grandly simple ongoings of all liome ties. He joined the army of the material phenomena around and the North under General Pichegru, and above him! for he had withdrawn shared in the brilliant campaigns of from human crowds and circles in perthe next two years, which drove back fect amity and sympathy. He first the Austrians. He had had previously slipped his pulpit-chain, and left the a slight acquaintance with his general, congregation which followed him as and won his way to his confidence and preacher and pastor ; he next retired his regard. When Pichegru was sum- from the groups that had been drawn moned to Paris by the Convention to to him by his magnetic talk ; and so break up the power of the sections, complete was the seclusion which then Laverdac was on his staff, and had the received him, that, stretching backhappiness of taking part in the street wards, it broke down and obliterated fights of the 12th Germinal (April, his former environments, clerical and 1795) when the sections were defeated, social, and gave to his whole life the and their power broken.
single aim of communing with nature Later, when Pichegru became in- and his own soul, as the best interpretvolved in a conspiracy to restore the ers of humanity. In his fortieth year Bourbons, Laverdac was in his confi- he thus wrote to Carlyle : 66 Almost all dence, and shared his plans, and when my life has been passed alone ; but Pichegru was banished to Cayenne within three or four years I have been with twenty of his officers, Laurent de drawing nearer to a few men and Laverdac was one of them.
There he died of the climate. Had In old England, De Quincey — born he lived to escape with his commander eighteen years before Emerson he would, in all probability, have been both a more youthful and a more comconcerned with him and Georges Ca- plete specimen of the hermit, - for in doudal in the conspiracy of 1803 against infancy and boyhood he was selfNapoleon, and have perished on the involved, and sought to live, if not scaffold.
away, at least aside from the world
; and the juvenile solitary, after running off from school and home, grew into a
conscious alien, went to Oxford, where From Blackwood's Magazine. his “college residence," instead of beEMERSON'S MEETING WITH DE QUINCEY. ing an alternation of intellectual and
THE interview which took place at of athletic competition with the very Edinburgh, in the beginning of 1848, flower of young England for the unibetween the great American and — for versity honors that reward distinction variety of powers and acquirements, in study and sport, was solitary conand for versatility in their use the finement, in which his only companstill greater Englishman, was notions were books, and such books as had brought about by mutual attraction or never been handled or looked into by by the inclination of either. There students. And thenceforward, to the was in them as little of a bias to meet day of his death in old age, he coutinas there is in two parallel straight lines. Tued to lead an isolated and hidden life,
shunning human fellowship, giving no shared, along with De Quincey, in the beed to the admiration which his bril- tourist's neglect, those front - rank liant literature had won, or to the sym- heroes being deemed too mean to merit pathy which his sorrows had excited, a call from the stranger! Scotland and trusting, like a pariah, to find was then still warm with the footsteps chance shelter somewhere.
and all aglow with the memories of her Those two recluses, scheming to be greatest son, recently deceased ; yet lost — one in the recesses of the New there is nothing to indicate that EmerWorld, the other in those of the Old – son would have prized a meeting with how are they to come together ? Both Sir Walter Scott. The most original were universal, though not omnivorous, and valuable of De Quincey's writings readers, tasting rather than devouring ; must have been read by Emerson, yet set almost all the books which they he had no desire to know their author ! perused carefully, excited in them no Nor was De Quincey as yet deeply curiosity about the authorship. De impressed by his few glances at EmerQuincey's fertility of genius and of son's first essays, or affected by curischolarship, being coincident with Em-osity about his personality. He was erson's youth and manhood, might heard depreciating Emerson
as the have had a strong fascination for the palimpsest of a small Thomas Carlyle American, and constrained him to ask upon the Yankee copy of a Martin specially about the man who produced Tupper, and to say that the Tupper such extraordinary works ; whereas proverbs were often legible through De Quincey had reached his sixtieth the Carlyle pictures. The master of Fear before the first streaks of Emer- style was offended at the simple strucson's dawn were above the horizon, ture of Emerson's sentences such as might be hailed by young eyes, notonously short. In going through but miss the “ken” of sexagenarians them, he felt that he was crossing a who are engrossed in viewing the lights weary succession of stepping-stones, that bave already risen to fame. The and not marching along the continuity Englishman of sixty might, without of a well-laid road. He ridiculed those blame, be slow and cold in appreciating sentences as having the structure of the literary first-fruits of the compara- worms, and not of nobler organisms. tirely young American, who was not Thus Emerson's apparent insensibilthen acknowledged by his own country- ity to De Quincey's genius met with men; but it was less excusable for that “ a tit for tat” in the slighting criticism American to fail to recognize the bril- which De Quincey passed on the Amerlinnt veteran, and to be interested in ican's early “Essays " and“ Orations.” bis many remarkable productions. This criticism only came out in his
Emerson occasionally modified his talk, and though uttered in the interval bernit habits, exchanging them for between Emerson's first visit Scotthose of a pilgrim. In summer and land in 1834 and his second visit in winter he gave some of his secluded 1848, it was yet after Carlyle, in an hours to the writing of lectures which, claborate preface, had introduced to in the following winter and spring, he the “ British Public” his American publicly read
in several American friend, Ralph Waldo Emerson, as havcities; yet in a lecture-room he seemed ing, amid the “universal babblement" as impersonal as a book, while hearers sounding in our island, “the voice of and committee-men were kept aloof the one truth-seeker” and “the one from his individuality. He ventured truth-speaker !” De Quincey had a in 1834, when he was thirty years of special glee in pricking such a swollen age, on a longer pilgrimage, crossing claim as this. He treated the message the Atlantic to see Wordsworth, Lan- of that 6 voice
as consisting of asthdor, and Carlyle; but Thomas De matic sayings worthy of a place in the Quincey was not in all his thoughts. gossip round the “historic teapot of A company of unequivocally great men Boston!” “Carlyle,” he said, “ we
can tolerate as Elijah ; but until his years, and with William Robertson for second become his successor, and re- a much longer time, and as he had often ceive bismantle, we delay to hail met De Quincey, and in 1848 was daily Elisha.” As it turned out, the elder in the company of Emerson, who, durprophet was so slow to depart that the ing his sojourn in Edinburgh for weeks younger had become an aged man who in the beginning of that year, was the could make no use of the bequeathed guest of Samuel Brown, he thinks it mantle !
better, in the narrative, to make use of It is pertinent here to say that there what De Quincey called the “ perpenis no record or floating rumor that dicular pronouu”. taking care that Emerson ever met, or sought to meet, this egotism will not grow into a forest his own brilliant countryman, Edgar of I's. Allan Poe, or that he ever spoke or There were, at the time, none who wrote a word about the strange poems, had such a knowledge of, and control tales, and essays, and the still stranger over, De Quincey's erratic movements history, of that gifted but unfortunate as the pair named. Brown's rare gift
Once an intimate friend ven- of talk had a special charm for the tured to put a question to him about silver-tongued Englishman, whom he Poe. 6. Whom do you mean ? " asked called “the Confessor." Still earlier Emerson, with an astonished stare ; was Robertson's friendship. De Quinand on the name being repeated with cey long resided, with many
brief extreme distinctness, " Ah, the jingle absences, in the house of one of Robman !” returned Emerson, with a con- ertson's relatives, and a casual meeting temptuous reference to the “refrains” | led to the formation of a strong, muin Poe's sad lyrics. We shall not try tual attachment, and brought on an to imagine what equally offensive extended course of frank interviews. method of detraction Emerson may Well do I remember with what a trihave adopted when De Quincey's name umph Robertson, on the day after his was pressed upon his notice. Silence first evening with De Quincey, and in about a great contemporary is better the class-room during a professor's lecthan a nickname.
ture, informed me of his splendid luck How, then, were the two recluses, in getting free access to the very imEmerson and De Quincey — separated personation of reason, learning, and by the Atlantic, and mutually indiffer- genius. Robertson, like Brown, could ent, if not repellent — to be brought at any time discover the wanderer's together ? The meeting was to be whereabouts ; and the sound of his effected by a young Scot, Dr. Samuel voice, with the pleasant burr, was a Brown, who was held by many to have sesame which opened the door from given abundant promise of gaining the within. Willie Robertson and Samuel highest reputation either in science or Brown were the most skilful and loving literature, though he had hitherto been “ detectives” for pouncing upon the mainly devoted to chemistry ; and he shy one, who was subject to imaginary was aided in his plan for the meeting scares, and to start up into flight by another brilliant young Scot, his “when 110 man pursued.” friend Willie Robertson, afterwards One evening which I spent with Dr. well known as the Rev. Dr. William Samuel Brown (wlio had apartments Robertson of Irvine, the poet-preacher. for himself and his occasional guests in Of those two distinguished Scotsmen, Edinburgh, while his laboratory was at one of whom, Samuel Brown, died Portobello) towards the close of the when still young, tliere have been biog- summer of 1847, was memorable for raphies and critiques ; but much that is two reasons. First, he then read to new might yet be told, if this were the me his tragedy of " Galileo,” which he place and time. As the writer of this had finished writing that day ; and he paper had already been in close inti- read it in a way which Bellew could macy with Samuel Brown for several scarcely have surpassed. His voice
gave to the dramatis personce a vitality | the view and into the fellowship of and an individuality which I afterwards Emerson, that, face to face, they might failed to find on a perusal of the printed know each other — and this one was work. Next, exchanging his impas- Thomas De Quincey. He communi. sioned tones for such as were pleas- cated his purpose to William Robertson, antly familiar, he yet startled me with who was by this time a clergyman in the unexpected intelligence : "Emer- Irvine, and who entirely assented, and sou is coming here to be my guest, and promised the most cordial co-operation. will take up his quarters in these Assistance was proffered by another rooms, though there are stately abodes friend, John Nichol, the Glasgow pro– belonging to Calvinists even - - that fessor of astronomy, to whose house in would readily open to accommodate the the observatory De Quincey occasionPantheist. Mine, however, was the ally retreated, saying, “I seek a refuge first offer of hospitality, given some among your stars !” though he was years ago when he was asked to the oftener found on the library floor with Burns Commemoration in Ayr, and a heap of curious French books beside lately repeated when it was proposed him than on the “specular mount," that he should extend into Scotland his whence, through the large telescope he lecturing tour in England. Yes; Em- could look into the stellar spaces. erson will stay with me in February, February came, and also the evening when he reads four lectures to the on which Emerson was to give the first ‘Edinburgh Philosophical." ".
of his four lectures in Edinburgh. The Brown had learned that the secre- Queen Street Hall was packed with an taries of some institutes in Lancashire audience that had an unusually large Tere negotiating with Emerson that he sprinkling of distinguished citizens, should lecture in several large English whose presence obviously deepened towps during winter and spring; and the general hush of expectation. Eight Brown at once corresponded both with o'clock struck, and instead of the lecEmerson and those secretaries, ex- turer an official appeared, who intipressing the desire of Edinburgh to mated that, according to a telegram share the privilege of hearing the lec- just received, the train in which Mr. turer. The desire was to be gratified, Emerson travelled from Newcastle was and Brown's hospitable invitation was some minutes late. But before the analso accepted.
He was quick in devis- nouncement could be weighed, Emering ways and means for enabling Em- son himself stepped upon the platform. erson to get the most varied pleasure His person was tall and comely, but from a visit to the Scottish capital, and neither plump nor lath-like ; and his also for allowing his own large circle of eyes, though large and clear, were not friends to have opportunities of seeing flashing. All that had been said by the eminent American. The chief enthusiasts about the “spiritual exquestion which he had to consider was, pression,'
,” the "supernal radiance, Who were the men to whom Emerson and the effusion of the over-soul” should be introduced ? And who were that transfigured his face, was unverithe men who might be introduced to fied. It was not a “fulgent head” Emerson ?
Who were the great men and countenance which suddenly came to whom Emersou should be taken, into view! In audible, clean-cut tones both to see and to be seen by them? Emerson gave forth his opening senAnd who were the less notable and tence - a shining proverb — and easy-going friends who might be in continued to the end, - a lecture of his vited to come and see Emerson ? being altogether like one of his essays.
Among all the great men who ever His reading neither marred his compoůccurred to Samuel Brown's mind as sition nor helped it. His voice was eligible for a meeting with Emerson, simply to the ear what good print is to there was one whom he was invariably the eye. There was in his lectures, as anxious, nay, resolute, to bring within'in bis essays, a general want not only