started a regular campaign against man had ever worked for them as he

Renaudot, and called upon the State to put in force the law by which foreign doctors, i.e., those not holding Paris diplomas, were forbidden to practise in the city. The king, Richelieu, and the court were on Renaudot's side; the Parliament, the city authorities, and the great middle class were on the side of the medical faculty, and there was soon open warfare between the two parties.

was working. At the Sign of the
Cock there was help for all who stood
in need of it. The Relief Bureau dealt
out charity to the feeble; the Register
Office provided work for the strong;
while the free consultations were the
means of relieving much suffering;
and the Pawnbroking Office helped
many a poor family to keep the grey
wolf from the door. The doctor was
doing what he could too for all classes,
providing them with news, amusement,
and instruction; and he used even to
help the ministers by keeping them
informed as to what was passing in all
parts of the world.
Thus his power

The Paris doctors obtained a decree prohibiting the Montpellier men from practising. The king promptly annulled the decree, and advised its authors to show more toleration. They replied by summoning their rivals be- was felt throughout the state, and at fore the courts, and refusing degrees this time he had almost as many friends to Renaudot's sons. Then Reuaudot, as enemies. Unluckily for him, howstrong alike by his favor at court and ever, his friends were mortal, his enehis popularity among the masses, car-mies immortal. As Guy Patin once ried the war into the enemy's camp. remarked: "Tous les hommes particuHe held the antiquated ways of the liers meurent, mais les compagnies ne Paris doctors up to ridicule; taunted meurent point.” them with having slept for years on Father Joseph had died in 1638. Galen's bosom; and told them that the Then in 1642, at the very moment time was come when they really must when Renaudot's position seemed most wake up. They revenged themselves assured, just when the Parisian doctors by denouncing him as a charlatan and had decided that they must come to a poisoner; and by solemnly averring terms with him, Richelieu, his all-powthat they knew he had a compact with erful protector, was stricken with an the devil. The town was flooded with incurable malady. This was a terrible pamphlets, and the party spirit they blow to the doctor, and a cause of open engendered ran so high that Richelieu rejoicing to his enemies, who at once was obliged to interfere and stop all returned to the attack, with a change publications on the subject. Both the of tactics, though. No sooner was king and the cardinal were keenly alive Richelieu dead than they set to work to to the good work Renaudot was doing try to turn the king against Renaudot. among the poor; and they supported In this, however, they failed comhim against his enemies by all the pletely. Not only did Louis continue means in their power. When the to show the most lively interest in the Medical School refused to sanction the inventions, but he even, as a special study of chemistry, Louis allowed Re-mark of favor, granted Renaudot pernaudot to establish a public laboratory; mission to build a hospital on a piece and when the attack on the foreign of common land near the Porte St. doctors was continued, he threatened Antoine. This led to more quarrels, to establish a free school of medicine in Paris.

The struggle went on for years. From 1630 to 1642 Renaudot was victorious all along the line; and although the middle classes were to a man against him, he was much loved by the poor. And well he might be, for no

for the Parliament denied the king's right to give away the land; and the Duchesse d'Uzès, who owned a house in the neighborhood, brought an action against the doctor for damaging her property. But little he recked either of Parliament or of duchesse so long as he had the king at his back. It had

been the desire of his life to have a men stood face to face, hurling at each hospital under his own control; and other accusations, invectives, and all now that his wish seemed on the point forms of personal abuse. Amidst a of being gratified, his delight knew no storm of mingled groans, hisses, and bounds. Again all things were going applause, Renaudot taunted Guy Patin well with him; again he had put his with his poverty; declared that he enemies to confusion. Never was he hired himself out, at a louis the night, so exultant, so sure of himself, so sure to provide amusement at aristocratic of his power to carry all before him, as dinner-tables; and that his wife passed in that spring which followed Riche-off paper-covered sous as crowns at lieu's death. His triumph, however, church collections. Guy Patin retalwas short-lived; on the 14th of May, iated by holding up to derision his 1643, Louis XIII. died. Then Renau- rival's personal appearance; bringing dot knew that the fates themselves against him infamous charges; and, were against him, for all power in the oddest touch of all, by reviving the old State passed into the hands of Anne of story that it was from the devil he had Austria, his bitter enemy. obtained his inventions.

Twelve years before this time, he The verdict was, of course, a forehad mortally offended the queen by gone conclusion. The provost forbade stating, in the Gazette, at the request Renaudot and all other foreign doctors, of Richelieu, that the king intended to under a penalty of five hundred crowns, divorce her. This, as she knew, was either to practise, or hold free consulonly the cardinal's way of giving her a tations, or conferences, within the prehint to stop her intrigues with the cincts of the city. Renaudot's only Spaniards; but she was not the woman resource, and it was a desperate one, to take such a hint in good part; and was to appeal against this decree to she never forgave the doctor for pub- Parliament. The greatness of the danishing it. Louis XIII. was hardly in ger which threatened him restored to his grave before she began to give him his old coolness. In his address proof of her enmity. When the med- to Parliament there is not a touch of ical faculty applied to her for permis- that personal rancor which had disfigsion to carry the dispute with Renaudot ured his speeches before the provost. before the provost of Paris, she readily For once, at least, he cast aside all granted it, although she knew that the thought of self, and pleaded only for ate king had repeatedly refused to do the poor. For their sake he implored $. Renaudot was well aware that he Parliament not to condemn him to had nothing to hope for from the pro- stand aside helpless and see them sufFost, who was his personal enemy; fer. Was their misery not great enough ill, he was resolved that his cause already, he asked, that men should should not be lost for want of fighting. combine to render it greater? Unfortunately for his reputation, how- appeal made a profound impression on ever, his temper and his nerve began all who heard it. Unfortunately for to fail him, just when he stood most him, however, the lawless element in in need of them. Moderation had never the city, with the Duchesse de Chebeen a characteristic of his; and at this vreuse at its head, had rallied around fime he cast all restraint to the winds, him; a fact which prejudiced against and wrote and talked with a reckless-him the law-abiding. Besides, Parlianess which alienated many who wished ment still bore him a grudge for the him well.


yeoman's service he had rendered its

When the case came before the pro-old opponent, Richelieu. It therefore Fost, the court was crowded, for it was known that Renaudot and Guy Patin would cross swords, and an encounter between such combatants was not a thing to be missed. For days the two

confirmed the provost's decree, and even increased its severity; for not content with pronouncing the free consultations illegal, it ordered the Bureau d'Adresse to be closed. It added, it is

true, a rider to its judgment, requiring | chance of paying off some of his ol the faculty of Paris to carry on the scores against the Parliament. S work the foreign doctors were doing completely did he throw in his lot wit among the poor, so far at least as it the cardinal, that when the queen fle related to attending them gratis when to St. Germain, he accompanied her ill. and took with him his printing-press Before he left the city, however, fear ing lest the Parliament should, durin his absence, start a newspaper of it own, he organized the Courrier Fran cais under the editorship of his tw sons, and placed it at the service of hier

Thus at one fell swoop, all the inventions Renaudot's life's work as it were were swept away. For the future it was to be imputed to him as a crime, if he attempted to relieve the sufferings of those around him! Truly, - evil days were come upon him. Finan-bitterest opponent.


cially he was ruined, for every farthing The Parliament, only too glad to he possessed was invested in the bu- have a journal ready to hand, entered To add to his troubles, too, his into the arrangement most cordially | wife, to whom he was devotedly at- During the civil war, Renaudot war tached, died about this time; and what practically the inspirer, manager, and was peculiarly trying to one of his director of the organs of the rival par temperament, his splendid physique ties. In the Gazette he denounced the began to show signs of weakness. Still Frondeurs as traitors of the deepes he was not the man to sink down un- dye, and swore that hanging was to der defeat. Before his enemies had good for them; whilst in the Courrier well begun their hymn of triumph, old, he hurled threats at the queen and he weary, and poor as he was, he was at ministers, and called upon the people work again. He had still his Gazette. to rally around the Parliament. The Why that too had not been confiscated Fronde affords many odd spectacles it would be hard to say, unless, indeed, but none odder, surely, than that of the the Parliament thought it more dan- editor of the official organ of a govern gerous to deprive the rich of gossip ment acting also as the editor of the than the poor of help. His paper was official organ of a party in rebellion his only instrument, and he resolved to against that government. Aristocratic use it vigorously. He threw himself Frondeurs found the combination of heart and soul into his work as a jour- rôles amusing, but the populace failed nalist, straining every nerve to win to see the joke. They were furious. back his old position in the city. As too, that their old favorite should, as the editor of the only authorized news- they said, have donned the livery of paper, he could still make his influence the foreign gang; and when Renaudot felt; and before many months had returned with the court to Paris, he passed, he was again a personage to be was received with an outburst of popureckoned with. Mazarin entered into lar anger. No blow he ever received an alliance with him, and made the touched him so keenly. When the queen understand, for the time at least, great had turned against him, he had the folly of indulging in petty spite at given them back scorn for scorn; but the expense of the smartest pam- when the rabble, for whom he had phleteer in the kingdom. In 1646 he done so much, hissed and hooted him, was appointed royal historiographer, it was otherwise. and a few months later he was allowed to reopen his Labor Bureau.

Renaudot had to pay a heavy price for Mazarin's support. Frondeur of Frondeurs as he was by instinct, he had to fight tooth and nail against the Fronde. Perhaps, though, he did this the more readily, as it gave him the

From that day he was never quite the same man. A certain Ishmaelitish feeling took possession of him, and he secmed for the first time to realize how completely he stood alone in the world. But he had no time for mourning, for troubles were crowding in upon him from every side. Mazarin did not dare

to return to Paris, and the queen, tak- | Then it was evident the end was drawing advantage of his absence, began ing near. He passed away quite sudagain to show her ill feeling to Renau- denly on the 25th of October, 1653. dot. She refused to repay to him the money he had spent transporting his printing - press to St. Germain, she stopped the State subsidy to the Gazette, and even forbade the ministers to continue supplying its editor with official information. He had his revenge, though, speedily; for when Anne was obliged again to retire to St. Germain, in spite of her threats, persuasions, and entreaties, he refused to go with her. She had better start a journal of her own, he told her. In the crowd which surrounded her she might possibly, though he doubted it, find some one with brains enough to act as editor. Meanwhile the constant strain under which he was living had overtaxed his strength, and in 1649 he had a paralytic stroke. He soon, however, threw off its effects, and was once more to the fore.

To the last he retained his mental vigor, and continued editing the Gazette to the day he died. Some of his best work, indeed, as a journalist was done when death was within hail, as it were. The article he published when Dunkirk was captured, is a model in its way. It is an appeal- vehement in tone, yet not lacking in dignity - to his countrymen to cease their petty wranglings, and unite before it be too late for the defence of the Fatherland. Nor is the exhortation less admirable which he addressed to the Parisians, when Louis XIV. returned to the city at the conclusion of the civil war. A somewhat pathetic interest is attached to this article, for it was written when things were at the very worst with him, when he was alone in the world, in suffering, gueux comme un peintre, as Guy Patin sneers, and, cruellest touch of all, when he was being held up to the town as a laughing-stock. Yet, far from bearing any traces of gloom or despondency, his words ring with gladness and hope. He bids his fellow-citizens be of good cheer, for all their troubles are at an end, and bright days are coming, days of glory and prosperity.

In 1651 Renaudot was guilty of an act of folly, of the sort which those who knew him best were least able to understand. No man had jibed and jeered more mercilessly than he at the weaknesses of his contemporaries, and his cruellest sneers had always been reserved for those whom love led astray. Yet, in his old age, at a time when he could hardly plead passion as For them yes, perhaps, but not for an excuse, he married a young and him, for he was face to face with death, beautiful woman, Louise de Mascon by and he knew it. And tant pis pour The marriage proved a most moi, he seems to call down to his felunhappy one; the husband was jeal-lows from his Mount Pisgah, shrugging us, and lacking alike in tenderness his shoulders as he does so. "At least,



and consideration; while the wife was I can rejoice that your lines are cast fond of pleasure, and none too careful in pleasanter places than mine have f her good name. Before long their been." There is always a touch of quarrels supplied gossips with endless heroism in the man who, worsted in piquant stories, which were speedily the fight himself, can still rejoice with put into verse for the very boys in the those who rejoice. street to sing and whistle. The knowledge that he was being thus exposed to public derision drove the old man vild; and scenes of such violence occurred between him and his wife, that mutual friends were forced to step in ad arrange a separation. But this as not done until he had been stricken for the second time with paralysis.

From The Contemporary Review.

A GREAT deal of attention has been given of late in English papers and


reviews to the condition of the inhab-ants, whose means do not allow their, itants of the rural districts in France. sons to learn a trade. For the most It is alleged that their condition, owing part they work on the farms; the to the parcelling out of the land, which wages they get, and the number of dates from the Revolution, is better hours they work, vary according to the than that of the rural population in seasons, which one may designate the England. The question is an impor- fine and the bad seasons. The fine tant one, because on its solution will, season begins in February; then the perhaps, depend new laws fostering work consists chiefly of hedging and the establishment of la petite propriété | ditching, the hours of labor lasting in England, with the consequences en- from dawn until sunset, and the labortailed by it. It appears to me that ers earning about 1s. per day. many of the writers of these articles April the wages rise to 1s. 3d. and 1s. draw their conclusions from obser- 8d. With the hay harvest the work vations made during a residence in increases; labor commences at 4 A.M. France, of more or less short duration, and lasts until sunset. If one deducts under favorable circumstances. They the time taken up by the four meals, also seem somewhat biassed by their one finds that they work twelve hours, political opinions, which tend to make and are in the field no less than sixthem see the subject from their own teen. At this time the wages have inparticular point of view. It is my creased; the men earn between 2s. 6d. endeavor to cast a true light on this and 4s. a day. During the corn harpoint; careful data, gathered from vest the wages are still high, the maximany districts situated in different mum being 5s. parts of France, form the basis of this article; moreover a stay of more than fifteen years in the country in France will, I think, enable me to interpret rightly the facts which fell under my notice, and, at any rate, not to be onesided on a many-sided question; besides, as I am myself to a small extent a landowner, I can speak from personal experience on that head. As the material condition of the French rustics is not the only one which ought to interest us, I will try to give here a complete picture of country life in France, such as the Revolution has mostly made it.

[ocr errors]

After the harvest comes the thrashing of the corn, with the steam-engine as the days shorten, the wages lessen 4s., 2s. 6d., and 1s. 6d. In November begins the bad season, which lasts unti February. These are bad days for the laborer, he thrashes oats with the flai to provide the cattle with fresh forage and straw. He commences his day's work by having breakfast at the farn at 5 A.M. (for in France, in adaition to his daily wage, the laborer receives his food),1 work begins at 5.30 A.M. and lasts till 6 P.M., as a rule till the "An gelus." Then he earns only 10d. o 1s. a day. Some are employed i ploughing during October and Novem ber. They breakfast at 5.30, and plough until 2 P.M. when ploughing with oxen; if with horses these ar I. Economical Condition. The pop-unharnessed at 11 A.M. to rest unti ulation of French villages is mainly 2 P.M., when ploughing recommence composed of day laborers, farmers, and and continues until sunset. small landowners. With the country squires, the few belonging to the learned professions, and those following handicrafts, we need concern ourselves only as far as necessary.

The economical and intellectual condition of French country people, their political and religious opinions, will each be successively dealt with.

At the bottom of the social scale are

The meals which the laborer receive are very frugal in winter soups, vege tables - i.e., potatoes and haricd beans, bread and cheese in the mori

1 At present there commences to be a tendend in some parts of France to discontinue feeding th

the day laborers ; they are recruited laborers at the farm; instead a small increase from the families of the poorest peas-wages, about 6d. a day, is given.

« ElőzőTovább »