Obrazy na stronie

plucked some. They were pretty good. They said that they had three kinds of plums growing wild, blue, white, and red, the two former much alike, and the best. Also they asked me if I would have des pommes, some apples, and got me some. They were exceedingly fair and glossy, and it was evident that there was no worm in them, but they were as hard almost as a stone, as if the season was too short to mellow them. We had seen no soft and yellow apples by the road-side. I declined eating one, much as I admired it, observing that it would be good dans le printemps, in the spring. In the morn

ing when the mistress had set the eggs a frying, she nodded to a thick-set jollylooking fellow, who rolled up his sleeves, seized the long-handled griddle, and commenced a series of revolutions and evolutions with it, ever and anon tossing its contents into the air, where they turned completely topsy-turvey and came down tother side up; and this he repeated till they were done. That appeared to be his duty when eggs were concerned. I did not chance to witness this performance, but my companion did, and he pronounced it a master-piece in its way.


V HOEVER has been in Genoa will re of that marvellous day, his first sight of

member the Strada nuova, the street really fine and famous pictures. of palaces. It is one of the narrow, high If he were himself a son of the house, Italian streets in which the sunshine seems and in that Marquis proudly sitting to lie more softly, as if grateful for the upon his horse recognized an ancestor, picturesque and imposing buildings that how would his emotion differ from that men have reared for it to adorn. And of the admiring stranger ? Would he perhaps in no street of any city in the feel only a vague pride, and resolve never world are the buildings more beautiful to bestride à less aristocratic horse ? and striking. They are all palaces. Each Would he regard the nobility of mien of a different character of massiveness represented as an incentive to nobility of from the others, they yet, together, line action peculiarly incumbent upon himself? the way with so regal a grandeur, that Would he own a secret spring and start the eye of the stranger, when first it in his blood as it sprang to his cheek in penetrates the vista, looks to see nothing filial recognition ? Or would he only less than a crowned emperor advancing. stare and wonder, and, in the degree of He believes it to be a city of kings. He ex his perception and sensibility, enjoy the pects to see queens standing stately between great work of the master ? the huge, yellow urns overflowing with If a man says in any society, “my aloes that adorn the balconies, and some ancestor fell at Cressy," he is instantly “long-haired page in crimson clad” lean invested with a certain consideration. ing from the lofty windows. The impres- Yet he may be, individually, a very worthsion of this street is among the marked less fellow; and, undeniably, if Eden was memories of travel. If one comes to it, the beginning of sublunary things, Adam, fresh from the sea, as I did, with nothing the arch-grandfather of the race, takes but a brief glimpse of Marseilles between ancestral precedence of all medieval warthat range of palaces and Broadway, it is riors; in which case Jones, the cobbler at the like the sudden rising of the curtain upon corner, has as proud a pedigree as all the the great spectacle of Europe, of which Howards. That is, after all, the reductio at home he has so long and longingly ad absurdum. It is legitimate and fair. dreamed. And if, pausing and entering When our friend Jehosaphat asks us to at one of the magnificent portals he as step round and see the family portraits, cends the spacious staircase, circling a we always fortify ourselves before going, court paved with marble, and passes on with a glance at the Family Bible, in through an endless suite of apartments which Adam, Eve, and the patriarchs, named from the seasons and the virtues, are-indifferently well-represented. and tapestried with the fluted silk of This,”

,” he says with unction, “is Sir Genoa, he comes at length to a corner Solomon Sculpin, the founder of the faroom, upon whose walls hang two master mily." pieces of Vandyck, full-length portraits "Famous for what?" we ask respectof the Marquis and Marchioness Brig- fully. nole; then he blends with the memories "For founding the family."

"Ah! yes.



This," he says, pointing to a dame in ancestor Sir Shark fell in the great action hoops and diamond stomacher, “this is off Madagascar,-in those societies it matLady Sheba Sculpin.”

ters little whether he is born Smith or Famous for what?" we Jones-provided he be born white. He inquire.

makes his own mark. He wears his own “ For being the wife of Sir Solomon."

If his hands are not handsome, Then, in order, comes a gentleman in a they are strong. If his house is gaudy huge, curling wig, looking indifferently and his manner coarse, it is because in like James the Second or Louis the Four curing the meat he has had no time to teenth, and holding a scroll in his hand. look after the spices; and the curious eye

“ The Right Honorable Haddock Scul discovers that it was always the meatpin, Lord Privy Seal, &c., &c."

curing genius that founded the family, Á delicate beauty hangs between, a face while the family itself, taking the meat for fair, and loved, and lost, centuries ago granted, has quite uniformly devoted itself a song to the eye-a poem to the heart, to the elaboration of sauce. as youth and innocence and beauty always The last century has shown us upon a

colossal scale, this spectacle of family—its “ Lady Dorothea Sculpin, who married foundation and fortunes—in the career of young Lord Pop and Cock, and died pre the Bonapartes. Napoleon was a man of maturely in Italy."

consummate genius and decidedly, no Poor Lady Dorothea! whose great saint, who rose to the highest social po grandchild in the tenth remove died last sition, crowned himself upon one of the week, an old man of eighty !

oldest and most aristocratic thrones of Next the gentle lady hangs a fierce Europe; married a daughter of one of the figure flourishing a sword, with an anchor famous families of the earth-which was embroidered on his coat-collar, and thun founded by a rough medieval Baronder and lightning, sinking ships, flames reigned the only genuine king of modern and tornadoes, in the background.

history, and died dethroned and exiled. “ Rear Admiral Sir Shark Sculpin, who He was no gentleman, say the philosofell in the great action off Madagascar.” phers and critics, he listened at key-holes

So Jehosaphat goes on through the se -he treacherously murdered the Duc ries, brandishing his ancestors about your d'Enghien-the old nobles scorned him, head and incontinently knocking you into and when he wanted to learn the secrets admiration. And when we reach the last of foreign courts, he was compelled to portrait and our own times, what is the send a scion of the old régime to do the natural emotion? Is it not to put Jeho business. But the family whose secrets saphat against the wall, draw off at him he wished to learn, and to learn which he with your eyes and mind, scan him and was obliged to have recourse to a man of consider his life; and determine how pedigree, who was a free-mason of nobimuch of the Right Honorable Haddock's lity in full standing, was descended from integrity, and the Lady Dorothy's love precisely the same kind of man as Napoliness, and the Admiral Shark's valor, re leon himself-a man of stern, uncomproappears in the modern man? After all mising will, who was of the wild-boar class this proving and refining, ought not the of gentlemen, and would have listened last child of a famous race to be its flower under the bed, as well as at the key-hole, and epitome? Or, in the case that he to advance his ambitious aims. People does not chance to be so, is silence dis wax romantic over William the Conqueror creet, or is it not?

-who was a Norman robber—and think The question of the claims of ancestry the curfew very poetic, which was a suis interesting to us Americans only as a preme act of tyranny-and loudly conspeculation. In a society which recog demn Napoleon as an upstart and a trainizes family rank, and assigns to certain tor, and revile him for the murder of the of its members legislative and diplomatic young Duke, which we certainly do not functions because they are born Smith and defend, but which belonged to a class of not Jones, it is the natural desire of every actions to which every despot has more man enlightened as to the easy advance or less resorted. Most great men are upment of his interest, to proceed from the starts; and Washington was a traitor. Smith and not from the Jones stock. But Whenever a government becomes imbecile. in societies where a man's position is not it is then most foolishly tenacious, and hereditary, but self-derived, and who is whoever steps forward, in the interests of honored because he fights his own and society and the race, to overthrow it, is, his country's battles at home, in the Se by virtue of his rebellion against the esnate, at the bar, in the ware-room, in the tablished powers, a criminal and traitor. shop, or in any other place to which men History shows that genius, in every deare called to work, -and not because his partment, proceeds more from the poor


man's house than the noble's palace. If in her day, and the fair Dorothea lights genius were hereditary, the divine right for us, with pensive sunlight, those longwould be no fiction. In the present ar

vanished summers. The filial blood gushes rangement of society, and according to more gladly from our hearts as we gaze, human nature, the divine right is merely and admiration for the virtues of our a police regulation to secure order, it being kindred sweetly mingles with resolutions held in other countries than America, that of our own. Time has its share, too, in the welfare of the state is better secured the ministry and the influence. The hills by lodging the executive power in a single beyond the river, lay yesterday, at sunset, person, and holding it hereditary in his lost in purple gloom; they receded into family. “ Your Majesty is but a ceremony." airy distances of dreams and faëry; they

The slightest departure from this fic sank softly into night, the peaks of the tion is fatal. Therefore, the common sense delectable mountains. But I knew, as I of England retains the appearance, al gazed enchanted, that the hills so purple though it annihilates the fact. Victoria is soft of seeming, were hard, and gray, and Queen, wears a crown, and holds a sceptre; barren in the wintry twilight, and that in appoints and dismisses, is lodged in a the distance was the magic that made palace and sumptuously supported,

them So, beyond the river of time, was Elizabeth. But the fact of actual that flows between, walk the brave men power in the two Queens, while the ap and the beautiful women of our ancestry, pearance is the same, is as different as grouped in twilight upon the shore. Distheir genius. The popular feeling governs tance smooths defects, and, in gentle darkEngland, but the Prince of Wales will be ness, rounds every form into grace. It king, though he were twenty times a steals the harshness from their speech, Nero. The popular feeling has taken care and every word becomes a song. Far to draw his teeth, before he is permitted to across the gulf that ever widens, they open his mouth. It is from his sharp per look upon us with eyes whose glance is ception of this fact of the necessity of the tender, and which light us to success. We fiction of divine right in a Monarch, that acknowledge our inheritance; we accept Nicholas declines to call Louis Napoleon, our birthright: we own that their careers mon frère. How can he do it? A citizen have pledged us to action. Every old king, as Louis Philippe was called, is an Knight, before receiving his sword, passed absurdity. What the citizens make by a night of vigil, in a chapel. There he retheir votes, their votes can unmake. nounced and resolved; there he dethroned Royalty rests upon loyalty, and loyalty pleasure and crowned duty, and came out is given to nothing but original power, or with the morning to receive the weapon and to the hereditary and absolute—not con the symbol of his endless struggle. So paditional—descent of original power. A ces the heir of old renowns, the child of fanation loves a son for his father's sake; mous ancestors, along the gallery of porhis son, in turn, from the same gracious traits. They have an intimate and peand tender consideration, until the indivi culiar interest for him. Every great life dual is lost, and the sense of immediate is an incentive to all other lives, but when independence upon the great man is refin the brave heart that beats for the world, ed into the sentiment of loyalty for his overflows in private tenderness for us, family. In that loyalty, which, like all the example of heroism is more commandlove, is unreasoning, lies the strength of ing because more personal. royalty. And it endures until it is out This is the true pride of ancestry. It raged beyond hope, and the state falls is sometimes crushing ; it is often abused into a ruin whence a new man, and a --yet, by a singular providence, few very fresh power, rescues it. The true loyalty great men have left direct heirs. The reof France, since the commencement of the cent death of Ada Byron, Lady Lovelace, century, has been, and is at this moment, called forth a catalogue of eminent names, for Napoleon. No man who has known now, in the direct branch, extinct. It is Paris for the last six years, but under a sort of rough tenderness of Nature that stands Louis Bonaparte's success. The old has thwarted Sir Walter Scott's darling régime is a theory in France, not a fact. dream, that has, even now, ended his The one thought that strikes the universal family, and leaves him the sole fame of French heart

into enthusiasm, is the glory his house. It was sweeter to him to think of Napoleon and his empire.

that, centuries hence, some Lord of AbHere we have touched the mystery of botsford would gaze wistfully upon his the charm that consecrates the family portrait, as the founder of the house, than portraits. Sir Solomon was a respectable that the world would cherish his name as man, and Sir Shark a brave one, and the a general benefactor. It is in the tenderRight Honorable Haddock, a learned one; ness with which the child regards the the Lady Sheba was grave and gracious father, and in the romance that Time

sheds upon history, that the pride of an of Trumps, for whom they make kneecestry is founded. 6 Where be all the breeches and body-coats, or of their anbad people buried ?” asks every man, cestors ? They know simply that the with Charles Lamb, as he strolls among families of those gentlemen have been, and the rank graveyard grass, and brushes it are, great and influential in the state. aside to read of the faithful husband, and The homage of the tailors is not an acthe loving wife, and the dutiful child. It knowledgment of any thing but position. is because the human heart is kind : be It is place they delight to honor, and not cause it yearns with wistful tenderness persons. But the place must possess or after all its brethren who have passed into imply power.

And as the mass of men the cloud, and will only speak well of the are not very thoughtful, it is natural that departed. No offence is longer an offence the good Corduroy and his partner should when the grass is green over the offender. transfer to each individual of a class, that Even faults then seem characteristic and which is true of the class in general. Sir individual. Even Justice is appeased Bludgeon is a Field Marshal, and has when the drop falls. How the old stories whole Californias at command. Sir Gudand plays teem with the incident of the geon is a swell and has not a penny. But duel in which one gentleman falls, and, in they are both Sirs, and how is Check, dying, forgives and is forgiven. We turn busily cutting out trowsers, to reason the page with a tear. How much better further ? had there been no offence, but how well In America an illustrious ancestry sethat Death wipes it out.

cures no privilege from the state, but, exRepublican rage against this feeling of cept that, and really, it is worth to the ancestry is natural ; because, while we individual all that it is in England. The have been considering what the secret of Atlantic and the Revolution do not alienthis fact really is that constantly appears

ate blood. The son of Algernon Sidney, in history—where it is enough to admit in the last American remove, is heir to the Sir Bludgeon to honorable notice in every honors of his ancestry. The sentiment circle, that he is son of Sir Gudgeon-it of ancestral pride is an integral part of is the abuse of the feeling that is most human nature. Its organization in ingenerally presented to observation. No stitutions is the real object of enmity to derived or implied excellence can stand all sensible men, because it is a direct prefor a moment against original power. If

ference of derived to original power, imSole the cobbler meets young Gudgeon plying a doubt that the world at every Bludgeon, and discovers that the youth is period is able to take care of itself. Oliver inferior to him in size, strength, sense, and Cromwell is a good governor; but rather ability to grapple with the sharp points than submit to Richard Cromwell, who of life ; that he is in fact only a well is a bad one, it is much better to find dressed, small-footed, delicate - featured Oliver again, by appealing to the average man, somewhat cultivated, and with the sense of the world. Because, it is clear refined air of elegant social habits, Sole is that if Richard falls so far short of Oliver, to Gudgeon Bludgeon as a lion to a roe. his son may fall quite below endurance; Now if the young man, with all his fine and then, when affairs were much more ness, evinces force of any kind; if he can complicated, we should be compelled, at give Sole genuine information, or assist great disadvantage, to try to find Oliver him in any way, then Sole respects the once more, or a talent which would fill man, and likes him the more for his ele

his place. gance, which seems to him a mysterious It is not observed in history that famigrace, charming from its mystery. But lies improve with time. It is rather disif Gudgeon Bludgeon is only a better covered that the whole matter is like a dressed and softer-mannered man than the comet, of which the brightest part is the cobbler, then Sole despises him the more head, and the tail, although long and luminfor his elegance, which seems puerile ous, is gradually shaded into obscurity. weakness. Of course in countries where Yet, by a singular compensation, the pride society is organized upon a recognition of of ancestry increases in the ratio of distance. rank, and high descent is a positive social Adam was valiant, and did so well at advantage, there is a subservience to mere Poictiers that he was knighted,-a hearty, position, and a profound study of “The homely country gentleman, who lived Peerage,” which is repulsive and disgust humbly to the end. But young Lord ing. A Howard or a Russell is honored, Lucifer, his representative in the twentieth not on account of his ancestor's virtues, remove, has a tinder-like conceit because but for his own patronage. What do old Sir Adam was so brave and humble. Check and Corduroy, the eminent tailors, Sir Adam's sword is hung up at home, know of the real characters of the Duke and Lord Lucifer has a box at the opera, of Dice, or the Very Reverend the Ace in which he receives no one whose ancestor

is not known to have flourished with Sir the son; or because of the ease and eleAdam. On a thin finger he has a ring, gance and general social amenity produced cut with a match fizzling, the crest of by the training which hereditary wealth the Lucifers, and he is an amiable, gentle secures. For, it is to be noticed, that our manly, superficial youth, well known and social respect for family depends much welcomed in our best society. Lucifer upon this fact, that wealth has enabled it abuses the pride of ancestry.

to maintain a certain education and proWith us, happily, there is no organiza cess of refinement. The theory of good tion of this natural pride. Those among descent is fine blood. It is true of other us who bear illustrious names, do not sit animals, why not of man? The condiany more softly for that fact. They must tion of fine blood is, however, the posesdescend into the street, and jostle and sion of every means of refinement. Ii push with the rest of us. If they stand they fail and there is no original power in apart, and announce that they are sons of the individual, he ceases to be honored for thunder, they are hustled until they prove the social grace and cultivation which he it. If they take airs in the omnibus, and has achieved, but simply for the genius of will not allow the driver to go on, pleading the founder of the family. Minim Sculpin that their ancestor fell at Yorktown, the belongs to “a good old family.” But if terrible nineteenth century roars to them Minim is a bad young man, he not only through the roof from the mouth of the shames himself, but that illustrious line driver, that if their ancestor fell in Eden, of ancestors whose names are known. he would not stop. It is only under cer Jones has no pedigree, and therefore stands tain artificial conditions of society that and falls to himself. When he reels from “family” has any weight with us Ameri the ball-room to the gambling-house, we cans. Fortunately we cannot emancipate do not suffer the sorrow of any fair Lady ourselves from the sweet pride, and we Dorothy in such a descendant, but we love our honorable ancestors, as parents pity him for himself alone. But genius the children that do them honor. "But it and power are so imperial and universal is equally fortunate that it is confined to that when Minim Sculpin falls, we are sentiment, and that in a country whose grieved, not only for him, but for that existence, as well as welfare, constantly eternal truth and beauty which appeared depends upon the action of the best genius, in the valor of Sir Sharp and the lovelino precedence is allowed to any thing but ness of Lady Dorothy. Now Jones's power. The most striking modern hom grandfathers in every remove may have age to the democratic theory is to be found, been quite as valorous and virtuous as after our success, in the permanence of Sculpin's, but we know of the one, and we do the British aristocracy. In no other coun not know of the other. So with the furious try does the nobility maintain its place by democrat, who asserts that the race of real worth and capacity. And why is it Smiths has been quite as good as that so in England, but because the traditions of the Percys, we have no quarrel. Cerof nobility are deserted, and the higher tainly it may be so. Certainly, the Lauclass is constantly recruited in vigor and reate of Timbuctoo may surpass him of genius by intermarriage with the middle England, but, except by that poetic fervor class? The grandsons of commoners sit which asserts that melodies unheard are in the peers. It is the part of wisdom, sweeter, we should say of Tennyson, for history shows that exclusive aristoc that he is a noble poet, and be unable, racies fall at last from internal decay. from sheer ignorance, to say

word of Napoleon laid his firm finger upon the the bard of Timbuctoo. Let no Smith, effete aristocracy of Venice, and it crum therefore, feel injured because we gaze bled like a mummy in a modern hand. so long and earnestly upon the fair Lady With us, the grandson of a President has Sculpin, and, lost in dreams, mingle in a no finer start in life, from that fact, than society, which distance and poetry imthe grandson of the President's baker. A mortalize. Nor should he flout us beman will not sooner succeed to the col cause we are conscious that, could we feel lectorship of a large port because his great our kindred to that lady, our lives would uncle was Governor, than because his gain by it, through the touch of imaginauncle was never heard of.

tion. The Colonnas are credentials for There is, as we have said, a certain every new born Roman bearing that purely social consideration with us based name. By his family fame the child is upon family. It is easy to trace its rea peculiarly related to the Past, and there son. It is because the great name has fore peculiarly pledged to the Future. been a stimulus leading to good results in It is a dangerous doctrine, however, the descendants, for which men are always nor much to be pressed. The Family honored; or because of the instinct Portraits have a poetic significance, and which seeks to honor a father by honoring he is a brave child of the family who

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