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nothing. Not one of the great measures which have really acted on society in France—not one important reform in government, legislation, or administration has emanated from the states-general: they never were a means of government, nor ever entered into a political organization; they never attained the object for which they were formed, viz. the fusion into one single body of the different societies which subdivided the country.”— (Lecture X, p. 58.)
We have introduced to you this rather lengthened, but most interesting, extract from M. Guizot, to show you the dreadful deficiency of the French constitution, and the great first cause of the French Revolution. What we have said on this division of our subject, we will sum up in a few words. The absence of a regularly-constituted representative system in a monarchy, and the prevalance in its stead of strictly feudal systems, is invariably followed by innumerable abuses, which cluster day after day round the fabric of the constitution. The increase of these abuses in the course of time, together with other concurrent circumstances, become so enormous, and so prominent, and so revolting, that at a favourable opportunity-at one of those national crises, which will surely open sooner or later—the whole disgust of the nation is thrown into one dreadful outbreak of fury which clutches every antagonist, and involves society in inextricable disorder. And this was the first cause of the Revolution of France.
B. K. (To be continued.)
GAIETIES AND GRAVITIES.
Why is Cold Weather productive of Benevolence ?—Because it makes people put their hands in their pockets.
Thinking leads Man to Knowledge. He may see, and hear, and read, and learn whatever he pleases, and as much as he pleases—he will never know anything of it, except that which he has thought over, that which by thinking he has made the property of his mind. Is it then saying too much, if I say that man, by thinking only, becomes truly man?- PESTALOZZI.
An Unsophisticated Witness. During the sessions at Wakefield, a witness was asked if he was not a husbandman, when he hesitated for a moment, then coolly replied, amid the laughter of the court, “Nae, sir, I 'se not married.”
Sam Slick on Steam.-By and by folks won't be of no use at all; there won't be no people in the world but tea-kettles ; no mouths but safety valves ; and no talking but blowing off steam. If I had a little biler inside of me, I'd turn omnibus.
Dr. Arnold on Conservatism. There is nothing so revolutionary, because there is nothing so unnatural and convulsive to society, as the strain to keep things fixed, when all the world is, by the very law of its creation, in eternal progress; and the cause of all the evils in the world may be traced to that natural but most deadly error of human indolence and corruption --- that our business is to preserve, and not improve. It is the ruin of us all alike, individuals, schools, and nations.
A shopkeeper the other day stuck upon his door the following laconic advertisement : “ A boy wanted.” On going to his shop next morning, he beheld a smiling little urchin in a basket, with the following pretty label: “ Here he is.”
Interior of the Earth. The increase of temperature observed in mines is about one degree Fahrenheit for every fifteen yards of descent; and should the same increase go on in the same ratio, water will boil at the depth of two thousand four hundred and thirty yards, lead melt at the depth of eight thousand four hundred yards, every thing be red hot at the depth of seven miles, gold melt at the depth of twenty-one miles, castiron at the depth of seventy-four miles, soft iron melt at the depth of ninety-seven miles, and, at the depth of one hundred miles, there must be a temperature equal to the greatest artificial heat yet observed-a temperature capable of fusing platina, porcelain, and indeed every refractory substance with which we are yet acquainted. These temperatures are calculated from Guyton Morveau's corrected scale of Wedgwood's pyrometer; and, if we adopt them, we find that the earth is fluid at the depth of a hundred miles from the gurface, and that even at its present state very little more than the soil on which we tread is fit for the habitation of organized beings.—Mechanic's Magazine.
The English are like fiddle-strings-the more you screw them the more you 'll get out of them.
The Life in an Oyster.—The liquor of an oyster contains incredible multitudes of small embryo covered with little shells, perfectly transparent, swimming nimbly about. One hundred and twenty of these in a row would extend an inch. Besides these young oysters, the liquor contains a great variety of animalculæ, five hundred times less in size, which emit a phosphoric light. Nor does the list of inhabitants conclude here; for, besides these, there are three distinct species of worms, called oyster-worms, which shine in the dark like glowworms. The sea-star, cockles, and muscles are the great enemies of the oyster; the first gets into the shell, when it opens, and sucks them out. While the tide is flowing, oysters lie with the hollow side downward, but on the return on the other side.—Journal of Natural History.
American Tombstone.—“Sacred to the Memory of Jonathan Thompson, a pious Christian, and an affectionate husband. His disconsolate widow continues to carry on the tripe and trotter business at the same place as before her bereavement."
Cowley on Liberty. The liberty of a people consists in being governed by laws which they have made themselves, under whatever form it be of government--the liberty of a private man in being master of his own time and actions, as far as they consist with the laws of God and his country.
A Sharp Retort.—A very ignorant nobleman observing one day at dinner a person eminent for his philosophical talents intent on choosing the delicacies of the table, said to him, “ What—do philosophers choose delicacies?” “Why not,” returned the other, “ do you think, my lord, that the good things of this world were made only for blockheads."
Effects of Emphasis.-A writer on English grammar gives the following example of wrong eloquence. A clergyman, on reading 1 Kings xiii
. 27, generally placed the emphasis on the words denoted by italics : “And he spake to his sons, saying, Saddle me,
And they saddled him." Price of Tea in 1680.—These are to give notice to persons of quality that a small parcel of most excellent tea is by accident fallen into the hands of a private person to be sold; but, that none may be disappointed, the lowest price is thirty shillings a pound, and not any to be sold under a pound weight, for which they are desired to bring a convenient box. Inquire at Mr. Thomas Eagle's, at the King's Head, in St. James' Market.
London Gazette, Dec. 16, 1680. The World's Friend.- Fenelon says, “ I love my family better than myself; my country better than my family; but my whole species more than my country.”
An Americanism.- A briefless barrister ought never to be blamed; for it is decidedly wrong to abuse a man without a cause.
Love of one's Country.—An Irish gentleman entered a bookseller's shop in Dublin the other day with a valuable work, which he said was to be bound in a superior style. And how will you have it done,” said the bookbinder, “ in Russia ?” “In Russia! Čertainly not," was the reply; " if you can't do it here, I 'll take it to the bookbinder over
Mind your P's and Q’s. The origin of this expression seems to have been the practice of chalking on the walls of tap-rooms the pints and quarts ordered by the guests. Thus, when a man was becoming liberal towards either himself or his friends beyond his means, he was significantly cautioned to mind his P's and Q's, or he might order more than he Raising Rent.-A farmer in Gloucestershire was thus accosted by his landlord, “ John, I am going to raise your rent.” “Thank you, sir,” replied the farmer, “ I am obliged to you, for I cannot raise it myself.”
could pay for.
A Striking Likeness.-A capuchin, who wore a very long beard, when preaching in one of the churches in Italy had often observed a poor man weep bitterly during the sermon. Happening one day to meet the man in the street, he inquired what had made so deep an impression on him, “Oh, sir," says the man, “ every time I look on your face it puts me in mind of an old he-goat I lost last winter."
Facts worth knowing. In the reign of Edward I. gold was first coined, cannon need, turnpikes and clocks introduced, and the woollen manufacture first established ; Windsor Castle built, Trinity Sunday first observed, the first speaker of the House of Commons chosen, and the title of esquire given to people of fortune. In the reign of Henry IV. the Azores and Cape de Verde Islands were discovered, the Vatican Library founded, caps and jewels were first worn, and pumps invented. In Elizabeth's reign stops were introduced in writing, coaches and watches first common in England, and criminals first sentenced to transportation. The reign of Charles II. produced fire-engines, buckles, a gazette, and a penny-post.
Dean Swift's Definition of a Soldier.-A soldier is a being hired to kill in cold blood as many of his own species, who have never offended him, as he possibly can.
REVIEWS. Lives of the Queens of England (Henrietta Maria and Catherine of
Braganza). Vol. viii. pp. 478. London : COLBURN. The past has always some lesson for the present. How can it seem otherwise to us, when we consider that the past contained the elements of the present, just as the dead leaves of last autumn gave new life to the vegetation of this spring. But this lesson is too seldom learnt–is, on the contrary, too often withheld from the eyes of learners. In the life of Henrietta, which Miss Strickland has just given to the public, nothing made a more forcible impression on our mind than the two following sentences :
“ In after-life the Princess Henrietta lamented her ignorance of history to Madame de Motteville, declaring that she had had to learn her lessons of human life and character solely from her own sad experience, which was acquired too late, when the irrevocable past governed her destiny. "Marie Antoinette made nearly the same observation, when educating her children in the gloomy prison of the temple.”
From the fate of these two princesses let us derive some benefit-let us consider, now that we are able, in what Henrietta's ignorance of history injured her, and in what our knowledge of her history may benefit us. Surely we shall gain both entertainment and instruction from the life of a woman, who, though the daughter, wife, and mother of kings, could say, at the close of life, that her father had been murdered, that her husband had been beheaded, and that her son, exiled from his throne and kingdom, had been dependent upon charity for his bread.
Henrietta, the sixth and youngest child of Henry the Fourth and Marie de Medicis, was born on the 25th of November, 1609. Her principal god. father was Cardinal Barbarini, afterwards Pope Urban the Fifth, who at a subsequent period had to give his unwilling consent to that most important of all her actions--her marriage. On the 14th of May, 1610, when Henrietta was but six months old, her father was murdered. Even at her tender age, she assisted at the ceremony of his funeral, being carried in her nurse's arms to the church of St. Denis, and there made to sprinkle the royal corpse with the holy water which she carried in her little hand. Thus, even in extremest infancy, her plaything was a corpse ; thus was the outset of her young life marked by horror, just as men bathe the roots of the spring-flower in blood, that the colour of its blossoms may be changed. Over the period of education we pass hastily, merely remarking that she was a proficient in painting, music, and dancing. In the year 1624, the articles of marriage between her and Charles were, after a somewhat protracted negotiation, definitively settled. To this match Pope Urban gave his most unwilling consent, being of opinion that the union of a Catholic princess to a Protestant King of England could bring no good to either party. From this wise and just opinion he was only turned by the fear that the match would take place whether he sanctioned it or not; in which fear we think he erred. Better had it been for his reputation and his conscience, if he, the head of one church, had given no sanction whatever to a match which was at once opposed to the feelings of his heart and the reasoning of his judgment. In the marriage articles great latitude was allowed to Henrietta. Attendants and priests of her own religion were expressly provided; and one other clause, still more important, secured her the management of her children until they were thirteen years of age. The superabundant wisdom of the men who drew up these articles will be more apparent, when we reflect that two of her children lived, and three died, the Catholic offspring of a Protestant father. As she went towards the French coasts, from whence she was to take ship for England, the nobles flocked around to entertain her with pageants, historical and otherwise. Was it by accident or design that they represented, in mimic show, all the French princesses who had preceded her on the throne of England ? Was it by accident or design that Isabella the wife and murderess of our second Edward, Isabella the mourning widow of the murdered Richard, and Margaret the high-spirited and hapless bride of the feeble Henry passed before her youthful eyes ? Shall we not see in this the hand of a kind Providence lifting up the veil which hung over the past, that the royal victim might thereby gain some glimpses of the future? The warning was not taken, and such warnings never come twice. Of her conduct during the first years of her marriage we cannot speak in terms of praise, though we might say much in extenuation of her actions. Her quarrels with her husband were somewhat too frequent, and often groundless; but we can feel for her situation. She, a sincere Catholic, surrounded by busy priests and light-headed women, had to deal with Charles, a sincere Protestant, passionately fond of her, but fearful of irritating a rather puritanic nation, which remembered, not without anger, the persecutions of Mary and the intrigues of Guy Fawkes. In favouring the Catholics and their creed, Henrietta only acted up to her belief. Shall we blame her for this ? In repressing these Catholic partialities, Charles but did what he deemed right; let us not blame him for it. Marie de Medicis, who wrote a letter to her daughter, pnjoining her to observe the Catholic creed strictly, did no more than she had been taught from her youth up, and did not therefore deserve such severe treatment as she has received from the pen of Miss Strickland. What Protestant mother, sending her beloved daughter into a land of Catholics, would have done less ? The opinion which we hold let us always speak, for the opinion which may not be spoken is not fit to be entertained. He will never be saint or hero who dares not say that which he truly thinks. Charles, Marie de Medicis, and Henrietta, being all three of bold, open dispositions, spoke their opinions freely. Hence, the opinions being different, arose much discord; but shall we blame them? Not in their open speech did the evil lie, but in the fact that they, holding such different opinions upon so important a matter, were so closely bound together. Charles should never have married Henrietta, nor should she have married him. Either party should have been averse to any such union. Possibly Charles hoped to convert Henrietta, as indeed he did attempt; possibly she hoped to convert him. But, in either case, such conversion should have been effected before marriage. After the ceremony there existed no hope or probability of any such conversion. This marriage was a false step—a perilous error: it sharpened, for one, the headsman's axe; for the other, the sting of conscience. Its ill effects were but too soon apparent, for one-half of England hated Charles because he loved Henrietta. But in this world compensation is the law of nature; to every hollow there is a corresponding elevation ; to every ill there is an adequate good attached; turn the cup of life which way you will, its contents will still find their level. Thus was it with Charles. With this hate on the part of his people, there sprang up a love on the part of his wife, which strengthened as his difficulties increased, and cheered even the darkness of his prison with a ray of joy. The soul of the heroic Henry still lived in the bosom of his child, and made her cling firmly and devotedly to the man who was assailed on all sides by misfortune.
Her intrigues with some of the leaders of the parliament remind us again of Marie Antoinette, who had gained Mirabeau over to her cause, just when his death deprived her of his services. But Henrietta was not so successful. The parliamentary leaders only availed themselves of her disposition to talk, and gleaned all her husband's secrets from her, whilst they pretended to espouse her cause. In the February of 1641 she sailed for Holland, ostensibly to carry over her little daughter, who was affianced to the Prince of Orange, but really to raise money on her jewels for the service of the king. She was allowed to quit the kingdom without molestation, upon condition that a certain Act of Parliament should receive the king's consent. But the house, nevertheless, sent Walter Strickland, as ambassador, to hinder the Dutch States from lending her money. However, he was no match for Henrietta: her beauty, wit, and fascinating manners won the hearts of the rude burgomasters ; Walter Strickland was dismissed ; and she, in the February of 1642, sailed from Holland, with money, stores, and ammunition, whilst her fleet was convoyed by the Dutch admiral, Von Tromp. A storm came on, to the great terror of her attendants, who fell to confessing their sins in fear and trembling. “ Courage !” cried the daring Henrietta; Queens of England are never drowned ;” and the frightened crowd, after pondering on this singular historical fact, became somewhat more calm. She landed in Burlington Bay, after eighteen days sail, but had soon to brave new dangers; for the parliamentary admiral sailed along the coast, and cannonaded the house in which she was.
She and her ladies quitted the house to seek safety in the fields; but when she had gone half way down the street, she recollected that an old, ugly, favourite dog was in the house, and actually ran back alone through the falling balls to save this petted animal.