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around us. Who, therefore, would think more of the storm? At present, all goes on well; the free people love and obey their king, and he reveres the laws.”
A long and loud thunder of applause succeeded this speech.
In the seventh scene, Epimenides expresses his surprise that the news-writer, Gorgi, not having the fear of the Bastille before his eyes, should venture to put forth false intelligence. How great his astonishment, when he learns that this fortress is levelled with the ground! “How!” he exclaims, “those walls rased which great Condé besieged three months in vain ?”
Josephine answers him very smartly, “ We order these things better now! Two or three hours are sufficient for the purpose.
A number of brave citizens took upon themselves the task of freeing the nation from that abode of horrors—that receptacle for the vengeance of tyrants, the suspicion of mini. sters, and the caprice of mistresses."
The eighth scene is very curious. Madame Brochure is selling various papers and handbills, no longer songs and like productions, but all politics-nothing but politics. Epimenides enquires after the celebrated poet of his time, Molière ?
Madame Brochure.—“Oh, his day is entirely gone by.”
Epimenides.—“How! are such admirable writings no longer esteemed ?"
Madame Brochure.--"His plays are sometimes per. mitted at the theatre. But those are always considered as meagre days."
Madame Brochure.—“Is no longer read. Every century has its peculiar folly. For ten years the Encyclopedia was all the rage”.
Josephine.-" To which succeeded chemistry, and at length, a whole train of economists appeared in the state, but no economy. Now politics have their turn; every one assists in conducting the important business of government; and even the coquette has the * Rights of Man' lying upon her toilet."
In the tenth scene, monsieur Rature, ex-censor to the king, appears, whose place has been abolished and no pension allowed him, which naturally sets him very much at variance with the new order of things. He is advised to endeavour to get into such or such a service. These he rejects, and at length confesses, that, though he may perhaps have condemned Voltaire or Jean Jacques, he never in his life could write. “ How! and what did you do then?” it was asked.
Condemn,” he replies, and runs off. Epimenides observes, that he thinks the abolition of the censorship a very great benefit to the nation. “ It has answered no other purpose,” says he, “than to surround the king with miserable mutes. It has been the instrument of tyrants for chaining the powers of the mind, that the multitude might be the more easily oppressed.”
In the fourteenth scene, a nobleman appears, meeting a farmer, whom he asks, why he is come to Paris? whether he has a suit to carry on?
“ the united peasantry of France have been carrying on a great suit, which, heaven be praised! they have gained. We were formerly stupid and ignorant as beasts, the strongest had made the laws, and we were compelled to submit to the bit and bridle, the Lord knows why! But now things are otherwise. We respect the worthy nobleman who is assiduous to promote our happiness, and labour for him willingly, but we will not be trampled under foot by a scoundrel. We are not ignorant of the natural Rights of Man.'”
The nobleman returns, that to hear a fellow talk in that way, it should seem as if al men were equal. Formerly France was a country worth living in. The marquis bowed to the duke, the courtier to the mar.
quis, the country nobleman to the courtier, and so on in regular gradation. He concludes with the resolution of seeking some corner in the wide world, where the taste for slavery still flourishes in full vigour, and if no such spot could be found, as a last resource, he must throw himself into the next river.
In the fifteenth scene, a singing abbé warbles forth a lamentable ditty upon the loss of his benefice, and declares that, contrary to his inclination, he had been constrained to make the nation the heirs of his wealth, even during his life. “For my part,” he proceeds, “I can live upon anything, but what will become of those who were maintained at my expense. I have always supported suffering beauty, aud gave a thousand dollars monthly to my poor female relations."
D'Harcourt.-" To your female relations? Why to them only? Why might not those of the other sex share your bounty?”.
The Abbé. I have no relations save two fair cousins, lovely amiable orphans. And what aggravates the distress of our order is, that while our money is en away, our duties remain the same."
D'Harcourt.“ But, my good sir, every rank has experienced a change ; 'tis but just therefore that the ecclesiastics".
The Abbé.-With all my heart, if the process had only been reversed.”
D'Harcourt." As how?"
The Abbé.—“ If they had released us from our duties, and left us our money!"
In the seventeenth scene, a dancing-master laments the decline of his business. “ France is degenerated," he exclaims in despair : “the people no longer dance they write! they write! Everybody is now a soldier, and even the young courtiers are become statesmen. How many men are lost to the noble art of dancing; all my friends have taken refuge among the Sarmatians!”
Nota bene.—My worthy countrymen in Germany
are the people honoured with the title of Sarmatians. “ Among the aristocrats,” he proceeds, best scholars, and they, alas ! are compelled to fly.' He concludes with announcing an entertainment according to the fashion of the times—a national ballet, which he is going to prepare, and then dances off the stage.
D'Harcourt observes on this, that times will be better. He confesses, that through the pressure of circumstances, the cheerfulness and amiable urbanity of the French have, for the last five or six months, been somewhat banished froin the nation, but declares that he has no doubt of their being soon restored in full perfection.
I indeed could not help secretly asking myself, why he confined it to within five or six months, and only allowed them to be somewhat banished.
In the eighteenth scene, a furious democrat appears, who thunders vehemently against all aristocrats, and even suspects Epimenides of planning a conspiracy. He is told that Epimenides has been asleep for a hundred years.
“ So much the worse," he exclaims impatiently. “ He must then have lived under Louis the Great, whose court was not popular ; and who knows but he may be even a secret emissary”.
“ From the other world,” Josephine replies, with a sarcastic smile.
“ Hold !" cries Aristus; “ these eternal suspicions furnish evil-minded persons with pretences to scoff at the laws, and give them but too plausible reason to exult in those disgraceful actions, at which France will long have cause to blush. Liberty does not give us a right to affront our neighbours, nor must its abuses be confounded with the thing itself.”
In this scene many other good things were said, to which 'tis much to be wished that the French may pay attention.
In the twentieth scene, appear an officer and two soldiers of the national guard.
Epimenides.-"What do these people want?” Aristus.—“ You desired them to be sent for." Epimenides.—“Heaven forbid ! I wanted a taylor.” The Taylor.—“Behold him, as a fusileer.” Epimenides.—“And an attorney."
The Attorney.—“Here, at your service, as a grenadier."
Epimenides.—“And a notary.”
D'Harcourt. “ We are all soldiers. The king has as many warriors as subjects.”
The piece here closes with a finale, in which the following strophe was loudly encored, and repeated with long and eager bursts of applause.
J'aime la vertu guerriere
De nos braves defenseurs ;
Je déteste les fureurs.
Soyons libres à jamais !
Et gardons l'esprit Français.
That our brave defenders fires,
That a bloody race inspires.
Here let freedom ever reign,
French urbanity retain. Next followed a ballet, danced by national guards, and smart lively girls. The latter ornamented the hats of the former with national cockades. A whole company of the national guards appeared, presented their arms before the public, flourished a white standard, on which was inscribed the word “ Libertas," and the curtain dropped.
I think this piece excellent in its way, and likely to