Obrazy na stronie

The major was, I said, a brave man; and when he found that he really was not dead, he soon rallied and stood upon his feet.

But, to a brave man, honour is dearer than life; and to the major, his whiskers were dearer than honour itself!

His whiskers did I say? Alack ! he had no whiskers ! He had a part of one whisker, most atrociously singed and discoloured. But its fellow was gone for ever.

Not the foliage-the branches--the trunks merely; the very roots were gone!

Had they been only shorn—no matter how close to the skin time would have done his work : they would have grown again. As it was, the major was in the predicament of Othello, after he put the light out :

" He kuew not where was that Promethean grease

That could their life relumine.” It would be trifling to dwell on the comical expression of a man's face, when one whisker was taken off clean, and the other was left standing, but browned and crisped like a fox's tail dipped in aqua-fortis. Not to laugh, was Roman rmness

Major Crowbar was a doomed man, and he felt it. He said nothing. He walked off the ground in a worse pickle than be walked on it, but he was as dignified as ever.

He never saw Dorothy more. It was useless. She loved him for his whiskers—and his whiskers were gone !


THERE is not an inhabitant of Paris, or its environs, within a day's journey, who has not heard of the promenade to Longchamps.* Male and female artistes of fashion have, for months prior to Passion week, been racking the invention of themselves and their assistants to discover some new cut, some fresh trimming, some hitherto unheard-of ornament in the thousand.. and-one vagaries of female costume; and thrice happy is he, she, or it, that has hit upon a novelty to be sported for the first time at Longchamps ;-it is the season for fashion to renew its follies, every one dreams of change and fancied improve

* Promenade in French has three applications ; promenade à l'eau, à cheval, and à pied, and possibly a fourth may now be added by the science of aërostation, promenade en l'air; but they may all be rendered correctly in English, by the term excursion as walking in the water, or in the air, are feats not yet brought to perfection.

ment in dress, or expense. A certain air of mystery is assumed by the artist, lest his idea should be stolen and rendered valueless by being made public, through a more vulgar medium, or that he should witness the fruit of his midnight vigils gathered by other hands than his own. Not less anxivus is the Parisian belle to be the first to possess this new flounce, or fanciful furbellow, for the excursion to Longchamps. At the first dawn of spring, Of course you go to Longchamps,' is in every one's mouth; it is not, the not knowing why one takes that course, but the not going, that argues oneself unknown in the Parisian world of fashion. As a stranger, and anxious of course to see all that could be seen in foreign parts, I went to Longchamps ; was bewildered with the crowd of equipages, men, women, and horses, and returned, broiled with heat and choked with dust; asking all my friends what the excursion to Longcamps meant :-was it merely a day consecrated to the display of luxury and human vanity ? or had it a higher object in view ? In vain I asked the question: no more satisfactory reply could be obtained, than that every one, who was anything at Paris, went of course to Longchamps, during passion week. Convinced, however mentally, that a custom of such great antiquity must have been founded on something more solid than a mere exhibition of fashion, I mentioned the subject to my learned friend, the Abbe Dubois, who very kindly furnished me with the following legendary and historical facts, but little known even in France, and still less so in England; they may, however, prove interesting to many who seek for general information, and an useful moral may be drawn from the perversion of first causes in this, as well as too many other events of daily occurrence in our own country.

Isabella of France, the sister of St. Louis, was a princess, in whom great piety and extreme modesty were united to every female virtue In the spirit of the age in which she lived, she had long entertained an anxious desire to found a holy house; and having one day mentioned her design to the king, her brother, who tenderly loved her, he presented her with thirty thousand livres to expend in carrying her plan into execution. At that period the sum was immense and equivalent to more than four hundred thousand francs of the present day. After returning thanks to God for having inspired her brother with such generous feelings, Isabella consulted Agnes d'Harcourt, who, though younger than herself, equalled her in piety and was her bosom friend, on the best use to which the king's munificent donation could be put. Isabella wished to found a Hospital; Agnes preferred the enaowment of a convent–they therefore determined to seek Hemerie, Chancellor of the Chapter of Notre Dame de Paris, and ask his opinion whether a 'convent or an hospital would prove the most acceptable in the eyes of God. The good monk solemnly assured them that God loved convents much the best. In consequence of this assertion, the princess purchased a piece of land, longer than it was broad, whence it was called Longchamps, situate on the right bank of the Seine, at the first bend that river makes beyond Paris ; and here the Royal Abbey of Longchamps was founded with great magnificence in 1260, under the name of l’Humilite de Notre Dame. Agnes d'Harcourt became abbess of it, and the Princess Isabella retired to it from public life, as soon as she could with propriety do so; for the affection of her brother and the ties that bound her to her family for some time restrained her ardour to devote herself entirely to the service of Heaven. She did not, however, long enjoy the happiness she had promised herself in this peaceful asylum, dying there in 1269. The Abbess Agnes, her friend and counterpart, wrote the life of the princess. In a work now extant, and most remarkable for the naïveté of the style and the honest simplicity of the feelings that are expressed, she informs us that, “St. Louis overwhelmed with grief at the decease of his beloved sister, was anxious to assist at her funeral. The princess was in the first instance inhumed in the cloister of the convent; but scarcely had the body touched the tomb, than a great many miracles were wrought, the fame of which quickly spreading, a crowd of devout persons flocked to Longchamps, in order to approach the holy tomb; and the influx was so great that it became necessary to disenter the body of Isabella, and place it in a marble tomb, partly within the nave and partly in the body of the church."

The abbess relates in full faith, forty miracles performed by the holy princess after death.

In 1521, Pope Leo the Tenth declared Isabella beatified, but not canonized; and Cardinal Boissy, Legate in France, permitted the nuns to celebrate her Fête on the 31st of August. In 1637, the ladies of Longchamps obtained leave to enclose the body of their foundress, which was performed in the presence of Jean de Gondy, the first archbishop of Paris.

Blanche, daughter of Philippe le Long, also became a nun at Longchamps. This prince tenderly loved his daughter, and not only frequently visited, but voluntarily remained some time with her in the convent, especially on the eve of the great annual religious ceremonies.

In 1320 he fell dangerously ill there ; and on the monks of St. Denis being made acquainted with it, they came barefooted in procession to Longchamps, caused the sick king to be touched with a fragment of the true cross, a holy nail, and an arm of St. Simon, which ceremony greatly relieved Philippe.

In 1321, Philippe having again fallen ill, he was conveyed to Longchamps, and there died on the 3rd of January.

To the names of Isabella, Blanche, and Jeanne, might be added those of a host of other illustrious females who passed their lives in this house. Its being a royal foundation, its delightful situation, and its proximity to the sovereign's court, caused this convent to be selected in preference to all others, by ladies of high rank, whom a pious vocation, or family arrangements, induced to embrace à religious life. In more modern times, noblemen of the highest rank sent their daughters for education to l'Humilite de Notre Dame, and no one could obtain admission who could not certify by authentic documents their very ancient and most illustrious titles.

It would appear that even under Louis the Fourteenth, the idea of making Longchamps a general promenade during passion week, was not then entertained. Madame de Sevigné observes, that Madame so-and-so was gone to Longchamps to pass the holy week in retirement, and she would not have failed to have detailed to her daughter, some of the fashions she had seen, or to have mentioned the names of some of the persons who had shone most conspicuously, if it had been only a party of pleasure. Whatever may be the origin of the excursion, the following is all that can be collected respecting it.

During the period that the young king Louis the Fifteenth, still thought Marie Leckzinska the most beautiful woman of his court, that queen, who was extremely devout, expressed a desire to pass some days of the holy week in the calm retirement of Longchamps Abbey. The separation by no means pleased the king; but as the queen remained firm.in her intention, it was decided that she should go there on the Tuesday, and that the king should attend divine service on the Good Friday, and afterwards return with the queen. Friday having arrived, the king heard the service at the convent, and the lamentations of Jeremiah were chaunted with so much soul and unction by such blooming, lovely, and pure nuns, that the monarch was profoundly touched; he not only warmly expressed his delight to the abbess, but could not cease speaking of it on his return to court. The following year the king was importuned by the families of the abbess, and the ladies of Longchamps, to repeat his visit during Passion Week; he accordingly went with the queen, and all the court followed. Melodious voices chaunted the lessons, and each one exalted the beauty of the sacred music, in order to please and edify the king; who frequently repeated, “ Did I not promise you a treat ?".

From that day it became the custom of the court to go to Longchamps on the Tuesday, Thursday, Friday of Passion Week, to hear the service chaunted. The citizens determined to participate in this pleasure, but they went principally to see the court; they soon, however, discontinued wearing their plain modest clothes, as upon ordinary days of worship. Feathers, flowers, diamonds, rich embroidery, costly stuffs, with magnificent equipages, and superb horses thronged the road, and dazzled the eye in every direction. In the first days of spring, when all nature is excited by fresh vigour and warmth, every feeling is called into play. Duchesses, marchionesses, countesses, the wives of magistrates and ministers rivalled each other in brilliancy, expense, dress and beauty; while the wives and mistresses of bankers and merchants entered the list of competition, with a magnificence and fracas, frequently most scandalous. Duthé was seen there drawn upon a car, whose wheels and ornaments of highly polished diamond-cut steel reflected the sun's rays with such intensity that the eye could with difficulty support their brilliancy. Dubarry was there also, in a carriage, whose whéels and ornaments the most eminent jewellers of Paris had lavished all their skill to decorate with silver. What shall I say? This annual excursion at length became so celebrated, that its fame spread far and near. Wealthy Englishmen crossed the sea to sport their splendid equipages during the holy week, vieing with the French in prodigality and expense ;—their horses above all were the finest in the world, and these superb animals were frequently seen performing the promenade shod with silver.

Nevertheless, the Abbess of Longchamps always considered herself the Heroine of the Fête, and consequently, left no effort untried to sustain the vocal reputation of her nuns in their sacred music ; and to this vanity, sometimes, even that of high sounding titles was sacrificed. Nuns without fortune, or ancient descent, were received in the Royal Abbey, and, oh! unheard. of event, it was one day whispered in Paris, that the daughter of a Vinegar Merchant was received into the sanctuary of the noble dames of Longchamps; but then she possessed the voice of an angel. The progress of vanity cannot be arrested, and even in the holy site, beneath the veil of chaste novices, the

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