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From Chambers' Journal. present day have any notion of.* The scroll, BOOKSELLING BEFORE THE INVENTION OF when rolled up, was often a yard and a half long,
and the lines of manuscript consequently very litTHE PRESS.
tle short of that, across. When extended, each It has long been acknowledged that the book. volume was sometimes fifty yards long. A roll of selling business, from its very nature, requires a calico, such as is seen standing at linen drapers' greater amount of intelligence to be successfully shop windows, will give the reader some idea of carried on than any other branch of trade. Au- the external form of an ancient book, without its thors—who must be considered good judges of the umbilicus or roller. Each scroll was usually matter-have, as a body, testified in favor of this washed in cedar-oil, or strewn between each wrap view of bookselling; and although disappointed with cedar or citron-chips, to prevent it from rotwriters occasionally show an aptitude to decry ting or being eaten by insects. Ancient books did “the trade” and its professors, yet the most emi- not exclusively consist of scrolls. The Romans nent authors have seldom joined in such a condem- had also books of papyrus, or vellum, folded in nation. Dr. Johnson speaks of them only too square leaves like ours. These they called codices. highly, Tor he designates them “the patrons of Such were the articles which formed the stock literature," whilst in truth they are only the agents in trade of a Grecian bookseller. 'The trader was of its real patrons, the public. D’Israeli the elder also the manufacturer, keeping a number of tranremarks, that “ eminent booksellers, in their con- scribers to make copies of the works he sold. stant intercourse with the most enlightened class Diogenes Laertius mentions that there were at of the community—that is, the best authors and Athens public bookshops called Bibliopoleia ; nor the best readers-partake of the intelligence a- were these libraries solely devoted to the copying round them.” Booksellers are inseparably iden- and selling manuscript books, for it was the cus1.fied with literary history. Whoever, therefore, tom among the learned to meet in the shops to distakes an interest in that progress of civilization cuss the literary gossip of the day, to criticise, which has been helped on so materially by letters, possibly, a new comedy by Aristophanes, the tragwill find much to instruct and entertain him in edy of the last feast of Bacchus, or to dispute on tracing back, through the records of past time, the the latest philosophic theory. In those times rise and vicissitudes of the book-trade, and by when, from the extreme labor of producing them, finally looking round on the present condition of books were both dear and scarce, the shopkeeper things, and following its progress up to the state sometimes hired a qualified person to read a new in which it now exists. With this view we have manuscript to his learned customers, and to give busied ourselves in collecting various historical an exposition or lecture concerning it. This must polices and anecdotes concerning booksellers and have been an important branch of his business ; their craft, from the earliest down to the present for, from the high price of books, the sale of coptime.
ies must have been upon a very limited scale. The Before the invention of printing, the articles in works of Plato appear to have had an unusually which the booksellers dealt were manuscripts. large circulation, for concerning them history reThese were inscribed on some flexible material, cords one of the earliest instances of literary piramanufactured either from the inner bark of trees, cy: Hermodorus the Sicilian, a disciple of that (hence the Latin word liber, and the German philosopher, having turned his attention to bookbuche or book,) from the leaves of the papyrus selling, extended the sale of his master's works plant, or from leather or parchment. In one of not only throughout Greece, but as far as Sicily. the earliest forms of books, only one side of the This was done, however, without the consent of material was written on, and one sheet was joined the author. to the end of another till the work, or one section
When literature, in its onward course, left the of it, was finished, when it was rolled up on a shores of Greece and fixed itself for a time at Alcylinder, or staff. The leaves composing such exandria, under the fostering encouragement of books were designated paginæ, from which we de- the Ptolemies, the bookselling business had berive our term " page;" the sticks upon which come of so important a character, that a regular They were rolled were cylindri, at each end of market was established for the sale of manuscripts. which was a knob for evolving the scroll. These "The trade” was chiefly composed of emigrant bal}s were called umbilici, or cornua, “horns,” of Greeks, who had by that period acquired a charwhich they were often made, though sometimes acter all over the civilized world for cunning and composed of bone, wood, or metal, either elabo- knavery. Hence we find Strabo bitterly complain-nitely carved, or richly inlaid with gold, silver, or ing that most of the volumes at the Alexandrian precious stones ; the edges of the scroll were market were “copied only for sale ;'' in other called frontes. On the outside of each scrol] was words, hastily, and without revision or comparison written its title.* In the earlier manuscripts, the with the originals. He also laments that ihe imwriting was not divided into words, but joined in pertinence of the transcribers introduced matter continuous lines. The Greeks read from right to which the author never penned. This scanty in-left, and from left to right alternately, the reader formation is all which exists concerning the bookcommencing the one line immediately under the termination of the line above. This was a highly were as follow :-"A reed cut like our pens ; inks of dif
* The implements used by a Grecian or Roman scribe necessary arrangement for the guidance of the ferent colors, but chiefly black ; a sponge to cleanse the reader, who, by adopting the modern plan, would reed, and to rub out such letters as were written by mishave been very apt to lose his place" on ac- take ; a knife for mending the reed ; pumice for a simicount of the extreme length of the lines : for those measuring the distances of the lines ; scissors for cutting
purpose, or to smooth the parchment; compasses for ancient volumes were much larger than we at the the paper ; a puncher to point out the beginning and end
of each line ; à rule to draw lines and divide the sheets * The ancients seldom numbered the divisions of their into columns; a glass containing sand, and another glass works as we do, but named them after some deity or pat-filled with water, probably to mix with the ink.”—Man. fon. Thus the books of Herodotus respectively bear the wal of Classical Literature: from the German of J. Ji names of the muses.
sellers of the old world. When, however, litera- of several classic authors. Occasionally, in old ture forsook the east, and, travelling westward, collections of manuscript books, a missal or copy set up a long rest in Rome, more ample details of the Gospels is to be seen inscribed on vellum, concerning their mode of doing business are at on which shines faintly the not-altogether obliterour disposal.
ated work of an ancient writer. We lately saw, The first mention of Latin books, as forming in the Bibliothèque Royale, or great public library regular articles of commerce, is made by several in Paris, a copy of the Gospels as old as the ninth writers who existed during the time of the Roman century, which had thus been written on the emperors. It is to be inferred that, previous to cleaned pages of a classic author. Whether on new that time, people of distinction borrowed works or old vellum, a great number of books were copied from their authors, and caused copies to be made and collected in England during the eighth century; either by professed scribes, (Ibrarii,) or by their the monks of that period having been exceedown slaves. Gradually, however, the demand for ingly emulous of attaining skill in writing and illubooks made it worth while for eertain individuals minating ; and at a later period, this was enumer.
devote time and capital to their purchase, and ated as one of the accomplishments even of so these tradesmen were designated, afier their Gre- great a man as St. Dunstan. They abandoned the cian brethren, bibliopola. Their shops were in system of writing on scrolls, adopting the form in public places : in, for instance, the well-frequented which books are now printed. Yet posterity had streets near the Forum, the Palladium, the Sigilarii, little benefit from these great assemblages of the Argilletum, and the temple of peace; but prin- books ; for, during the numerous inroads of the cipally, according to Gellius, in the Via Sandalina- Danes from the ninth to the eleventh century, ria. These shops being, as at Athens, much re- many of the richest libraries were committed to the sorted to by men of letters, were the chief sources of names, along with the monasteries which conliterary information; they formed what modern tained them.* In the thirteenth century, books newspapers call an “excellent advertising me- were, from these destructions, extremely scarce, dium :") announcements of new works were con- and ihe few that existed were exclusively in the :stantly exhibited not only outside the shops, but hands of the monks ; for they were almost the only upon ihe pillars of ihe interior. Depôts for the persons who could read them. “Great authors," sale of manuscripts woje also to be met with in says D’Israeli, “occasionally composed a book the provincial towns. A mongst the Roman book- in Latin, which none but other great authors cared sellers originated the praci.ce of purchasing copy- for, and which the people could not read.” For rights, and it has been clearly ascertained that these reasons, the small amount of bookselling several of the most celebrated Latin works were the which took place in the middle ages was solely oxclusive property of certain bibliopolæ. The conducted by monks; and works, being scarce, names of several of these booksellers have been fetched prices which would astonish the modern handed down 10 posterity, chiefly on account of bibliomaniac. It is well authenticated that the their excellent mode of doing business, and for homilies of Bede, and St. Austin's psalter, were five care which they took in insuring the correct- sold in 1174 by the monks of Dorchester (Oxfordness of the manuscripts they sold; frequently go- shire) to Walter, prior of St. Swithin's, (Winches
ing to the additional expense of employing the ter,) for twelve measures of barley and a splendid authors themselves to examine and compare the pall, embroidered in silver with historical reprecopies made from their works. The Tonsons, sentations of St. Birinus converting a Saxon king. Longmans, Cadells, and Murrays of the times of At a later period, a copy of John of Meun's “ RoHorace, Cicero, Martial, and Catullus, (who men- mance of the Rose” was sold before the palace tion them,) were the “ speculative" Tryphon, gate at Paris for 40 crowns, or 331. 6s. 8d. A
prudent" Atreetus,' Tul. Lucensis “the learned lady, the Countess of Anjou, gave for the freed man,” the brothers Sosiu6, Q. P. Valerianus homilies of Haimon, bishop of Halberstadt, the Dicius, and Ulpius. We are informed by Galenus unheard-of exchange of two hundred sheep, five that less respectable bookdealers took dishonest quarters of wheat, and the same quantity of rye : advantage of the fair fame of these magnates in and millet. Among these instances of the high the “trade, by forging the imprints of those prices sometimes set on anprinted books, we can. celebrated publishers upon imperfect and ill- not exclude mention of an extraordinary work, written copies.
which was executed in a singular manner. It conWith the fall of the Roman empire the book- sists of the finest vellum, the text cut out of, inselling business not only declined, but was for a stead of inscribed on each leaf, and being inter
time swept away from the list of trades. Litera- leaved with blue paper, it is as easily read as print. · ture and science, ingulfed in the monastic system, The title involves one of the paradoxes in which · were hidden in the cloister. The monks became authors of that age so much delighted : it is “ Liber the transcribers of books, and in this laborious passionis Domini Nostri Jesu Christi, cum figuris occupation the learned Benedictines are known to et characteribus nulla materia compositis"
have particularly excelled. The works produced (The book of the passion of our Lord Jesus I by these religious men where almost exclusively Christ, with_figures and characters composed of
missals, or books of devotion ; copies of the Scrip- nothing.) For this singular curiosity the Emperor tures were also produced by thiem, though to a Rodolph II. of Germany offered 11,000 ducats. less extent. There was, however, at this period, As the book bears the royal arms of this country, a great difficulty in procuring material on which to it is thought to have been executed by some inge
write books, and the device, more ingenious than nious and patient English monk. We mention .. commendable, was resorted to of deterging the the work to account in some measure for the high
writing of old classics, and then using the cleaned prices adverted to, which Robertson, in his history i parchment for the works required. This practice of Charles V., adduces as a proof of the scarcily . is understood to have caused the loss to the world of manuscripts. The truth is, that some copies * History of the Book-Trade and the art of Book-Print
were intrinsically valuable for the beauty and rich: ing. By Frederic Metz. Darmstadt: 1834,
Biographia Britannica Literaria, pp. 35 and 107.
From Chambers' Journal.
ness of the binding; and a few others were ren. The learned were incredulous; but a few dered almost beyond price, from having the relics years afterwards their doubts were silenced by the of saints inserted in them. At a visitation of the appearance of a Bible in Latin-printed from metal treasury of St. Paul's cathedral, in the year 1295, types. This wonder was effected by a machine by Ralph de Balduck, (afterwards bishop of Lon- which has since done more for the advance of don,) there were found twelve copies of the Gos- civilization than all the other expedients of ingepels, all adorned with silver, some with gilding, nious man to save his labor, or to promote his welpearls and gems, and one with eleven relics, which fare—THE PRESS. were ingeniously let in to the plates of precious metal that surrounded each page.* We cannot find that bookselling awoke from its
MADEMOISELLE LENORMAND. monastic torpor till the establishment of universities in various parts of the continent. But in The French have been accused of incredulity 1259, sellers of manuscripts, chiefly on theological and want of faith in matters of high and weighty subjects, became so numerous in Paris, that special import. How far this may be true we are not regulations were instituted regarding them. Pierre now about to inquire ; but the sum of 500,000 de Blois mentions that they were called librarii or francs, amassed by Mademoiselle Lenormand, the stationarii. The former were brokers_or agents celebrated fortune-teller, testifies strongly to the for the sale and loan of inanuscripts. By station- credulity of the nation in subjects on which a arii (so called from having stations in various parts want of faith might justly be defended. And that of cities and at markets) were meant sellers and credulity, strange to say, was manifested at a time copiers of manuscripts, like their Roman proto- when what were called the fetters of ancient types. It appears that at the time the above laws superstition were cast aside by a large portion of were made, there were in Paris twenty-nine book- society. Moreover, in the character of this farsellers and book-brokers, two of whom were famed prophetess there does not seem to have females. The enormous prices they demanded for been any remarkable elevation, or any great distheir books became a public scandal, and one object play of intellect. A few fortunate coincidences, of the new law was 10 regulate their charges. an unbounded self-confidence, and considerable Taratores Librorum, or book-taxers, were em- shrewdness, were the groundwork of her fortunes, ployed to determine the price which every manu- and served to call forth, in a singularly striking script should be charged, that, on the one hand, form, the weakness of many of the most celethe stationarii should have a reasonable profit, and brated characters of the last half century; though that, on the other, the purchaser should not pay it must be acknowledged that her own countrymen too dear.f But the most profitable branch of the alone were not the dupes of her imposture. trade appears to liave been lending books, which The father of Mademoiselle Lenormand was of were generally so valuable, that for their safe re- Falaise ; but having married a Mademoiselle Guilturn security was taken. When Louis XI. bor- bert of Alençon, he established himself in the rowed the works of Rhases, the Arabian physician, latter city, where the celebrated fortune-teller was he not only deposited, by way of pledge, a large born, besides a younger sister, and a brother who quantity of plate, but was obliged to find a noble-entered the military service. M. Lenormand died man to join him as surety in a deed binding him young, and his widow, who re-married, did not long under a great penalty to restore the book un- survive her second nuptials. The second husband harmed. Some books were so highly prized, that also soon-consoled himself for his loss, and took they were conveyed or pledged as security for another wife ; by which event Mademoiselle Leloans, as estates are mortgaged. It is recorded normand, her brother and sister, became dependent that one Geoffrey de St. Lieges deposited the on the care of a father and mother-in-law ; who, to Speculum Historiale in Consuetudines Parisienses be quit of a young family which did not belong to (Historical Mirror of the Customs of the Parisi- them, placed the daughters in a convent of Beneans) with Gerrard de Montagu, king's advocate, dictine nuns in the town; from whence, when as security for a sum equal to about 101.
they had learned all that the good sisters could From these facts, it would appear that book- teach, they were removed to that of the Visitaselling was in Paris—then the chief seat of learn- tion; and so on through all the convents of ing—a profitable calling between the twelfth and Alençon in their turn, after which the future fifteenth centuries. They were not, however, the prophetess was apprenticed to a milliner. It was only members of the trade existing in Europe. in the house of the Benedictines that MademoiWherever universities were established, book- selle commenced her vocation, by predicting that sellers also resided, especially in Vienna, Palermo, the superior would soon be deprived of her office; Padua, and Salamanca. Gradually, “ the trade”' for which ill-boding the young lady was subjected spread itself over less learned places; and by the to punishinent, and underwent a penance; but the time printing was invented, both librarii and sta- event soon justified the prediction. She continued tionarii exercised their vocations in most of the the career she had begun by announcing the name, Jarger European towns.
age, and various other particulars respecting the Such was the condition of the trade up to the successor of the deprived abbess. There were at year 1440, when it felt the effects of a revolution the time many candidates for the office, and the which shook far more important professions and ultimate decision remained in doubt and abeyance. institutions to their base. About the year 1430 it Verifying at length the truth of the oracle, it conwas whispered in Mayence that one John Gutten-firmed the pretensions of the damsel 10 a superberg had invented a process by which he and an natural power of revealing the events of futurity. assistant could produce more copies in one day But the town of Alençon was too confined a than two hundred and fifty of the most expert pen- theatre for her aspiring disposition, and the needle * Dugdale's Monasticon, iii., p. 309–324.
too ignoble an instrument for one who aspired to + Annals of Parisian Typography. By the Rev. Parr wield the wand of prophecy. She persuaded her Greswell London : 1832.
mother-in-law to send her to Paris, where her
stepfather was then residing; and at fourteen | at the same time; it cannot be that I should be years of age Mademoiselle Lenormand started for the first victim, and receive such splendid honors ihe metropolis, with no other worldly possessions after death, whilst the people shall heap your last than the clothes on her back, and a piece of six moments with every possible insult.” " She francs in her pocket, given to her by her maternal slanders the citizens, and should answer for it at guardian.
the tribunal,” observed the youngest of the party. Arrived in the great city, her father-in-law " Bah!" replied the third ; “the dreams of obtained for the young adventuress a place in a prophecy are never worth regarding.” The shop, where she soon gained the good-will of her death of Marat, one of the inquirers, soon after, employers, and la grosse Normande became a uni-confirmed the first part of the prediction ; and the versal favorite. One of the clerks undertook to completion of the second alone saved the prophetinstruct her in arithmetic and book-keeping, and ess from destruction, she being incarcerated when gave her some knowledge also of mathematics. Robespierre and St. Just, the other two visitors, Pursuing her studies with great industry, she met the destiny she had foretold them. How it soon surpassed her instructor, and resolved, after chanced that the science of Mademoiselle did not a time, to gain the means of subsistence by her guard her against the danger in which she was own exertions, and in a manner congenial to her involved, is nowhere recorded. Occupied, we habits and inclinations. To this end she estab- must suppose, with the destiny of others, she lished in the Rue de Tournon a bureau d'ecriture, seems to have neglected to read her own, and fell which succeeded well, and where she continued to into perils she might otherwise have avoided by exercise her vocation as a prophetess till the time examining the lines in her own fair palm, or of her death in 1813. Her success enabled her, dealing out the cards for once for her own inforafter a time, to get her sister married as she mation and instruction. Yet that she really had desired, and to promote her brother in his military faith in her own power of divination, seems to be
It was towards the end of the reign of proved by her conduct with regard to her brother, Louis XVI. that Mademoiselle Lenormand com- who, as has been stated, was in the army. Remenced practice. She found the troubles of the ceiving intelligence that he was severely wounded times, which unhinged the minds of all around in an engagement, she never ceased seeking, by her, and filled them with alarm and anxiety, very means of the cards, to know the state of his propitious to her views. The unfortunate Princess health; and at length, after having passed a night de Lamballe, whose untimely fate she predicted, in various cabalistic researches, she was found in was one of her frequent visitors; and she pos- the morning by her attendant bathed in tears, and sessed a letter from Mirabeau, written from his gave orders for mourning, having ascertained, she prison at Vincennes, in which he intreated her to said, that her brother was dead; which was soon tell him when his captivity would cease. The afterwards confirmed by the arrival of letters. revolution followed, and applicants for the benefit After the reign of terror, the celebrity of the of her oracular powers increased. Alarmed at prophetess continued to increase. Barrère was the rapid progress of events, and rendered super- one of her constant visitors. Madame Tallien stitious by their fears, crowds of anxious inquirers seldom allowed a week to pass without availing flocked to the Rue de Tournon under various dis- herself of her supernatural powers. Barras freguises, which it required no great shrewdness or quently sent for her to the Luxembourg. From talent to discover. It was at this time that two the access she had to the leaders of all parties, it French guards who had joined the crowd in the required no great skill in divination to predict attack on the Bastile visited the celebrated reader many of the events which took place at that time. of futurity: to one she predicted a short but glo- The empire was, however, the season of her rious military career, and an early death by poi- richest harvest. Josephine, as is generally known, son ; to the other the baton of a marechal of France. was a firm believer in auguries and proplietic intiThe former was afterwards General Hoche, whose mations. The early prediction of her future untimely fate fulfilled the augury; the other the greatness, and its termination, has been so frecelebraied Lefebvre. The Comte de Provence, quently repeated, without receiving any contradic(afterwards Louis XVIII.,) on the night of his tion, that it is become a fact which no one quesflight from Paris, sent to consult the sybil of the tions, and would easily account for the firm faith Rue de Tournon, "en qualité de voisine," previ- she reposed in the oracles of Mademoiselle Lenorous to his departure.
mand, to whom she constantly sent to ask, amidst During the reign of terror, Mademoiselle Lenor- other questions, explanations respecting the dreams mand continued for some time undisturbed in the of Napoleon ; and when the laiter projected any exercise of her divination, and was visited one new enterprise, the empress never failed to conevening by three men, who demanded with smiles sult the reader of futurity as to its results. The of evident incredulity to learn their future destiny. disasters of the Russian campaign, it is said, were On examining their hands attentively, she became clearly predicted by Mademoiselle Lenormand ; greatly agitated, probably knowing the parties she and it was from her also that Josephine received had to deal with ; they encouraged her, however, the first intimations of the divorce which was in to speak without fear, as they were ready, they contemplation, which premature revelation, unforsaid, to hear whatever doom she should pro- tunately for the authoress, procured for her an
For some time she remained silent, and interview with Fouché, who, on her being introcontinued to examine the cards apparently with duced, inquired, in a tone of raillery, if the cards great attention, but evidently under considerable had informed her of the arrest which awaited her? excitement; yielding at length to their encourage- “No," she replied; “I thought I was summoned ment, she foretold their destiny, and, tragic as it here for a consultation, and have brought them was, her visitors received the prophecy with with me;" at the same time dealing ihem out shouts of incredulous laughter. " The oracle has upon the table of the minister of police without ailed for once," observed one of them ; “if we any apparent embarrassment. Without mentiontre destined to destruction, we shall at least falling the divorce, Fouché began to reproach her
with many of the prophecies she had lately ut-1 her visitors and exercise her vocation, without tered; and which, notwithstanding the kindness giving offence to the prefect de police or his she had received from the empress, had been em- agents; and, under the title of librarian, her name ployed to flatter the hopes of the royalists in the is inscribed in the royal and national almanac. On Faubourg St. Germain. Mademoiselle Lenormand ringing at the door of the oracular abode, a servant continued to deal the cards, repeating to herself in appeared, and you were introduced into an apartan under tone, " The knave of clubs! again the ment in which there was nothing extraordinary. knave of clubs !” Fouché continued his repri-So well was the character of Mademoiselle estabmands, and informed her that, however lightly lished, that no additional means of imposture were she might be disposed to regard the matter, he requisite to support it. Some thirty or forty was about to send her to prison, where she would volumes were arranged on shelves against the probably remain for a considerable time.
wall, chiefly consisting of the works of the lady "How do you know that?" asked the proph- herself—" Les Souvenirs Prophétiques." “ La etess. "Here is the knave of clubs again, who Réponse à Mon. Hoffman, journaliste," "Les will set me free sooner than you expect.'
Memoires Historiques,” and five or six other " Ah, the knave of clubs will have the credit of works chiefly on cabalistic subjects. Mademoiit, will he?"
selle soon made her appearance—a short fat little “ Yes, the knave of clubs represents your suc- woman, with a ruddy face, overshadowed by cessor in office—the Duc de Rovigo."
the abundant curls of a flaxen wig, and surThe fall of Napoleon brought fresh credit and mounted by a semi-oriental turban, the rest of honor to Mademoiselle Lenormand. She had her attire being much in the style of a butterforetold the restoration of the Bourbons, and received the rewards of divination. The Emperor “What is your pleasure ?" she demanded of her Alexander visited and consulted her; and her old visitor. patron, Louis XVIII., again availed himself of her Mademoiselle, I come to consult you." science and advice. But it was not the monarchs " Well, sit down ; what course of inquiries of Europe alone that gave their support to this do you wish to make? I have them at all singular woman. Prince Talleyrand, with all his prices; from six, to ten, twenty, or four hundred incredulity, and with all his knowledge of man, francs.". and Madame de Staël, with all her boasted talents “I wish for information to the amount of a and wisdom, both were carried away in the gene- louis-d'or.” ral delusion.
“Very well ; come to this table ; sit down, and It was during the consulate, when Madame de give me your left hand.” Then followed several Staël returned to Paris, after a lengthened ab- queries—" What is your age? What is your sence, that she allowed herself to be persuaded to favorite flower ? To what animal have you the make a visit to the Rue de Tournon. In the greatest repugnance ?” During the course of her course of conversation, Mademoiselle Lenormand questions she continued shufiling the cards ; and observed, “You are anxious about some event at length presenting them, desired you to cut them which will probably take place to-morrow, but with your left hand.
She then dealt them out from which you will receive very little satisfac- upon the table one by one, at the same time protion.” On the succeeding day, Madame de Staël claiming your future fate with a volubility that was to have an audience of the first consul, who rendered it very difficult to follow up all she said, well knew her pretensions, and was but little dis- and as if she were reading with great rapidity posed to yield to them. Madame, however, flat- from a printed book. In this torrent of words, iered herself that the power of her genius, and the sometimes quite unintelligible, occasionally occurcharms of her conversation, would overcome the red something which particularly struck the inprejudice she was aware he had conceived against quirer, whose character, tastes, and habits, she her. The lady was received in the midst of a sometimes described very accurately, probably in numerous circle, and fully expected to produce a part from phrenological observation. Very often brilliant effect upon Bonaparte, and all who sur- she mentioned remarkable circumstances in their rounded him. On her being introduced, the con- past life with great correctness, at the same time sul abruptly asked, “ Have you seen la pie voleuse, predicting future events, which many of her visiwhich is so much in fashion ?"'* Surprised at the iors found to be afterwards realized. Of the failunexpected question, Madame de Staël hesitated a ures, probably innumerable, nothing was heard. moment for a reply. " On dit,” he added, "we In justice to the lady, it must however be are soon to have la pie sedilieuse also.” The observed, that her natural shrewdness and obsersecond observation completed the lady's confu- vation frequently enabled her to give advice which sion; and the first consul, not wishing to increase was of considerable advantage to the inquirer. it, turned and entered into conversation with some Mademoiselle Lenormand, notwithstanding the more favored visitor. After this memorable audi- favors she received from the emperor and Joseence, Madame de Staël called to mind the obser- phine, was a steady and devoted adherent to the vation of Mademoiselle Lenormand, and from that elder branch of the Bourbons; and, after the revotime had great confidence in her skill, paying her lution of July, retired very much from her usual many subsequent visits.
business, both in consequence of her age, and from The residence of the prophetess for forty years the diminution of her visitors ; passing much of was at the extremity of a court, (No. 5, Rue de her time at Alençon, where she purchased lands Tournon,) and over the door was inscribed, and houses, and built herself a residence which she “Mademoiselle Lenormand, Libraire." The
“ La petite maison de Socrate.” Rememfession of a prophetess not being recognized by the bering the liule honor a prophet receives in his code, she took a “patente de libraire,” to receive own country, she refused to exercise her vocation * The Thieving Magpie, a play so called ; the same,
in her native town, saying that she came to we presume, as that called in English the Maid and the Alençon to forget that she was a devineresse,” Magpie.
and only calculated horoscopes at Paris.