Obrazy na stronie



much noise in its day: Racine est un polisson." The Revue de Paris was a

"My dear Veron,-See how men of joint stock company, with a capital of

talent work. I send you a hundred and 80,000 francs, and Dr. Veron took 20,000

twenty pages of blank paper, have them francs of shares; he was presented to the

stamped by your servant in the corner wealthy M. Aguado, Marquis de Las Mar

opposite to the numbers. Return them to ismas, who took some shares in the enter

me Thursday morning by the first train. prise. We shall hereafter frequently find

You will find your volune commenced the Aguado family in relations with Dr.

when you come to dine with me Thursday Veron. Some of our readers may remem 14th, and I will return it to you finished ber that the latter years of the Restora

when I go to dine with you Thursday the 'tion saw the commencement of the famous


A. DUMAS. * war of the Romantics and the Classics, which excited a great deal of passion, and occupied the public, mind even in the “Monsieur, — You vex me extremely midst of the crisis, which lasted during the by asking for a novel a month earlier than last years of the Restoration and the first

our common engagements provide. It is years of the Monarchy of July. Victor a great inconvenience to my health, and a Hugo, Alexandre Dumas, and Alfred de great danger for the merit of the story to Vigny, were the leaders of this war waged work in this hurry, without having had on the dramatic unities enforced by Aris the time to mature my subject, and to totle, and which were defended by the make the necessary researches; for there French Academy, with a great deal more is no subject, however small it may be, bitterness than judgment. The foundation which does not require a great deal of of the Revue de Paris rendered a great reading and of reflection. I think you

treat deal of service to the Romantic school, and me a little too much like a stop-gap; my indeed to French literature, as it was in its

propre does not suffer by it, and I pages, and on the editor's annual budget of have too much esteem and friendship for 40,000 francs, that MM. Prosper Merimée, Eugène Sue to be jealous of all your preSainte-Beuve, Saint-Marc-Girardin, Casi ferences for him. But, if you give him. mir Delavigne, Arnault, Charles Nodier, the time necessary to develope fine and Jules Janin, and Eugène Delacroix com great works, time is also necessary to me menced, or increased their reputation. to arrange my little studies, and I cannot MM. de Lamartine, Victor Hugo, and engage to be ready whenever the suppresRossini were also among the contributors. sions of the Juif Errant may require it, Dr. Veron promises to speak in due time nor to have it terminated when the Juif of all the eininent writers and artists, with Errant is ready to commence his tour whom he lived in a daily intimacy, and to around the world. All that I can progive a great many of their letters, which mise is to do my best, because I sincerely will place in a new and a clearer light the desire to serve you : I pass by in silence secret history of French literature during the annoyance of setting again to work, the last twenty-five years. He gives us when I reckoned upon another month of a taste of these future revelations by these very necessary repose. I have already letters:

abandoned it; I have been working since


* This characteristic letter of the most prolific writer of this century will suggest to our reader's mind an incident the newspapers recently mentioned. M. Alexandre Dumas is at present living in Brussels; a forced expatriation, we believe, in consequence of the involved state of his pecuniary affairs. olfe engaged with the manager of the Theatre Français to deliver a five net comedy by an appointed day, and he received a large advance in money for the forthcoming work. Two days before the delay espired, Mlle. Petra Camera, an accomplished Spanish danseuse, who appears to have half-crazed Paris, came to Brussels, and M. Dumas gave her a Monte-Christo fête, at which every body cat, drank, danced, and sung until four o'clock in the morning, when, his guests having retired, M. Damas sat at his writing desk, and wrote the fourth act, and the fifth act in the course of the ensuing day. The Censors interdicted the comedy; whereupon he wrote this letter to the Manager of the Theatre Français :

"My dear Manager, -I have just come from Brassels, having received notice that the Censors have stopped La Jeunesse de Louis XIV. This is Tuesday, I ask leave to read to you next Monday. I will read you five acts. I don't know yet what I shall read you, for this news has taken me by surprise; but the five acts shall be called La Jeunesse de Louis XV. I shall take care that the scenery, &c. you have ordered, and which I am told is all ready, may be used in this play. I need not say that there will not be in La Jeunesse de Louis XV. a word or a situation from La Jeunesse de Louis XIV., which shall remain intact until it pleases the Consors to return it to you. If I am ready before Monday I will have the honor to inform you. Wholly yons

ALEXANDRE Dumas." Tuesday, 11 o'clock.- Exert a little diligence on your part and the picce may be represented in three weeks" Friday evening he wrote the following note to the manager :

"My dear Houssayé, -As I foresaw, I shall have finished the piece before Monday. So you may appoint the reading of La Jeunesse de Louis XV, for to-morrow, Saturday. Wholly yours, Friday Evening.



I received your letter, but can I send you M. Etienne to compliment you on the in six weeks a work with which I am talents with which the Constitutionnel is satisfied, and with which you yourself written. Unluckily my letters have flown shall be pleased ? I do not think it is the to the department of the Meuse. I thereinterest of your paper to press me in this fore address my compliments directly to way. So I am rather angry with you, and you. I add two modifications to them. yet I do not refuse to do what is within You praise M. Molé too much, and you Fiuman possibility:

A thousand use Belgium ill. I know M. Molé has kind compliments, and some reproaches, more mind than his colleagues, but he is - GEORGE SanD." incapable of supplying their place; he has

not talents enough for that; their weak

ness which crushes them, crushes him “I have thought, my dear Veron, that

too. No one shines by the side of feebler Martin, l'Enfant Trouvé, would be a

colleagues unless he supplies their place; better title, and it is very important that but M. Molé knows how to do nothing, this rectification be made; you will see

but to elude; one may elude difficulties why. I shall send you, at the end of this

for a moment, but never for a long time. week, about a half volume. llave com M. Molé is weak in consequence of the posed for me a double proof on my paper. weakness of his colleagues and also of Read it and give me your opinion in notes, himself. At the same time I like him when you send me my two proofs. I well enough, I do not want to see him illthink I am in quite a good vein; however,

treated, but I don't want to have it you will judge, and you will tell me very

thonght that we have an understanding frankly, as always, what you think, for

with him. If your praises are designed the commencement is very important, as to excite difficulties between him and M. it is necessary the reader should be en

de Montalivet. I am sorry I am not in listed. · I am as happy as ten

Paris that I might tell you what praises kings; I have excellent dogs ; I work a

of that sort are worth ; it is lost labor. great deal; and my green-house plants Junctures of affairs embroil men; but are in full flower. I assure you, ten o'clock

praises given to one and against another at night comes with an incredible rapidity,

is a force given to them, without increasand at six o'clock, whether it is day or

ing their variance, which is always great not, I am up. But the great business

enough when the juncture of affairs leads with me is work; and when I am satis

to it; should we come to an understandfied with what I have written in the

ing with M. Molé to-morrow, we should morning. I ride or I hunt with a double

wait until day after to-morrow before pleasure. Isn't this a great life! Adieu, praising him. As for Belgium, it must my dear Veron; when the railway is estab not be forgotten that with its disagreeable lished you must come and see my house.

character it is nevertheless our ally,—that Believe in my very sincere, very affec

its dignity, its interests are ours,--that our tionate sentiments. Wholly and faith cabinet should not be weakened in a very fully yours,

E. SUE.*

difficult posture of affairs, -and especially " What do they say about the title of

that the Belgians should not be encourthe Memoires d'un Valet-de-Chambre?

aged to be feeble, by being maltreated.

Such are the homilies of an old parson; I Elysée, 11th December, 1951. repeat to you the paper is admirable, well “My dear Monsieur Veron, I wish written, very courageous; that I applaud to announce to you, myself, that, wishing it in every respect but two. I should like to show you all my gratitude for the to send you something, but I should like services you have rendered to the cause to know by a letter from you, what is the of order and of civilization, I have ap

exact situation, and what are your calpointed you an officer in the Legion of culations.-Adieu, je vous fuis

mille comIIonor. Receive this promotion as a proof pliments,

A. THERS." of my affectionate sentiments. Louis NAPOLEON B."

Doctor Veron made the Revue de Paris not only a brilliant review, but a source

of a considerable pecuniary profit to him“My dear Monsieur Veron, t-I charged self, and he found in the relations he there



*"I am glad," says Dr. Veron, “ to exhibit here, depicted by himself, one of our great and prolific writers, whose name will remain after him. Laborious and impassioned, a great philosopher, loving women, dogs, horses, and flowers, pro-eminently a gallant man, Eugeno Suo is personally no dangerous politician. May those true remarks about that distinguished writer ond his sad oxile." M. Sue was exiled from France immediately after the Coup d'Etut made the 21 Docomber, 1851,

+ This letter bears no date; it was written thu 24th Juno 1888. Count Molo was then Prime Minister.

who may

formed some very efficient aids when he force of their talents. M. Veron betrays assumed the managership of the Grand the secret of his success: Opera, or the Opera, as we believe it is the • While I was manager of the opera,

I fashion in Paris to call it, while the guide enjoyed the most delicate perfumes of books inform us that its official name is praise; all the newspapers celebrated with L’Academie Imperiale de Musique. warmth my great administrative talents,

In 1831, Dr. Veron solicited and ob and my intelligent passion for arts and for tained the privilege of the Grand Opera. letters. The members of the then governHe owed this place, in a great measure, ment, whom I saw a great deal of either to the footing on which he stood with at their houses or in my house, often said Count de Montalivet, then the Minister of to me: “Ilow do you manage to make the Interior, and who was under some the newspapers such good friends of obligations to Dr. Veron for the kind re yours ? they praise you so much, we feel ception he had given to the former's lucu jealous of you. I was merely cordial and brations, while he was the editor of the polite to cvery body; and I paid courteRevue de Paris. M. Aguado seconded ous attentions to every one.

I never sent M. Veron in this enterprise with a great a box to a literary man, without writing deal of zeal: he placed two hundred thou him, myself, å note, and reproaching him sand francs in his hands as a portion of for not coming to the opera more frethe collateral security the French govern quently." ment always requires from the manager We presume M. Veron will give us of the Grand Opera ; and, in return for further confidences in his art of seducing this favor, besides paying the legal rate the press of Paris, " the most fearful wild of interest for the use of this money, M. beast llying,” into unanimous and unvaried Veron gallantly insisted that M. Aguado applause. We have reason to believe M. should take the best box of the theatre Veron ascertained that dinners and sup(and which is now, we believe, the Em pers are as powerful friends as M. Carème peror's box) and occupy it during his urges they are to all difficult enterprises. whole administration. We would remark, We believe the tradition of his entertainfor the benefit of those read

ments still fresh in Paris; certain it is, be surprised at this zeal on the part of N. distant as we are from the scene of his Aguado, that the purse-holder of a Paris triumphs, we have heard of them. One theatre is reported to hold a very cnviable day after Mlle. Fanny Ellssler had fulfilled position (and to whose mysterious advan a brilliant engagement, M. Veron gave a tages, we hope M. Veron will, in time, grand dinner in her honor; at the dessert a initiate us); it is certain that from 1831 basket full of jewelry was handed around to the present day the members of the to all of the lady guests. Mlle. Ellssler Aguado family have found it so agreeable modestly took a small ring worth perhaps a position, they have not ceased to occupy a louis d'or, but a Mlle. Adeline from it at some theatre or another. Rumor some of the minor theatres, whose face alleges they are now the purse-holders of was her fortune, and who was invited to the Italian Theatre. M. Veron made a the dinner to ornament the table, impugreat deal of money at the Grand Opera; dently seized a bracelet of some five hunand he promises us some very piquant dred louis d'or, and which was destined details touching his managership. They to the celebrated danseuse. She is said cannot well be otherwise: he was thrown to have been shown the door immediately into almost hourly communication with afterwards: Frenchmen do not relish Hérold (sometime maître de chant jokes, whose cream is gold out of their during his administration), Halévy (who pockets. And a supper given by M. succeeded Hérold in his functions, and Veron has been so famous as to reach brought out during his management La even our ears: he assembled around him Juive), Cherubini (who also brought out the most brilliant literary men of Paris, there" Ali Baba)Meyerbeer (whose and the most beautiful actresses; after a Robert le Diable then coined money for luxurious supper, card-tables were brought the opera), Rossini and Auber, and espe out, and after groups were formed around cially during the three or four months of each of the tables, a valet in livery handed rehearsals of their operas, during all of around a silver waiter filled with louis which " they are incessantly agitated by d'ors; some of the vaudeville actresses joy, or by fear, or by despair.” And helped themselves plentifully; the gaming during his management Mme. Cinti went on briskly; Mlle. Page [an actress of Damoreau, M. Nourrit, M. Duprez, Mlle. the Variétés Theatre, as remarkable for Falcon, Mlle. Taglioni, Mlle. Fanny her beauty as she is notorious for the use Ellssler, were in all the beauty and the she makes of it] won a great deal of money,

and then lost more than she had won; bates in the Chambers; he kept in intishe took the silver waiter and emptied its mate relations with all the deputies of his contents in her lap; which made M. party; he consulted with M. Thiers every Veron so angy, that he gave her a sharp morning, and he admitted or rejected all lecture, and instantly retired to bed. political articles. Although M. Veron had,

After M. Veron had made a fortune at after three years of editorship, increased the Grand Opera, he became ambitious. his subscription list to 25,000 subscribers, Ile had enjoyed so intimate a social com his losses had amounted to 290.000 francs, merce with political men, he felt a longing and consequently no dividends had been to be of them as well as with them; and divided among his stockholders, who naperhaps a tribune surrounded by an ap turally were dissatisfied, and compelled plaudling audience occupied a large hall in him to limit his editorial expenses to one of his castles in the air. “In 1837, I 110.000 francs ; they were in reality set out for La Bretagne; I purchased 160,000 francs. It may be curious to estates there; I sent to them valuable glance at these details of the domestic stallions, I improved the land, I laid out

economy of a French newspaper. M. Vemoney on them, to improve the condition ron announced to his editorial corps that of the laborers, le tout, pour ne pas être he intended to diminish their salaries. M. nommé «leputé à Brest extra muros. Merruau replies by telling him that the M. Veron was unsuccessful. The passage party he represented (i.e. M. Thiers) had we have quoted is none the less curious as determined to place 100,000 francs in his, showing the preliminary steps deemed M. Veron's hands, and which would renecessary under the reign of Louis Philippe main his property so long as the Constito reach the Chamber of Deputies. Bun tutionnel followed the line of policy purcombe is in France as well as in regions sued by the Centre-Lest Party, of which, with which we are more familiar.

as our readers will remember, M. Thiers The 12th March. 1838, M. Veron at the was the leader; taking the care, however suggestion of MM. Thiers and Etienne pur (and this artful precaution is eminently chased two shares of the Constitution characteristic of N1. Thiers's astuteness), to nel, for which he paid 262,000 francs. provide that M. Thiers alone should be the That paper then reckoned 6,200 subscrib arbiter to decide whether and when the ers; its property was divided into fifteen Constitutionnel deviated from the policy parts. He was immediately admitted to of the Centre-Left Party, and consequently the editorship of the paper ; but, as he was to decide when M. Veron should return not the principal editor he soon saw him the 100,000 francs he was allowed to use. self unable to enforce the measures he From the 12th March, 1838, until the 9th deemed necessary ; the number of sub November, 1849, never had any public scribers daily diminished, notwithstanding man so devoted á servant as Mi. Thiers the public and the avowed patronage of V. found in the Constitutionnel. To borrow Thiers ;

and it became so involved it was a low, but expressive phrase, it defended set up at public auction, and sold the 15th him through thick and thin: the 13th March, 18+. We have omitted to men May, 1839, the morning after the émeute tion that M. Aguado purchased from M. of Barbes, the Moniteur announced that Veron the hall of one of his shares when the King had framed a new cabinet, the the latter purchased the two shares of the party of M. Thiers had reached power, but Constitutionnel: and that before M. Ve he was ostracized; yet the Constitutionron became an editor and proprietor, M. nel even then remained faithful to him. Aguado proposed to him to become the Hippolyte Royer Collard had taken the editor of two newspapers he then owned. pains, at no inconsiderable expense of

M. Veron purchased the Constitution time and labor, to assemble all the nel, at auction, for 432,000 francs. A new grammatical faults, and the mistakes stock company was formed ; a deed made of events and of dates in the first volumes M. Veron absolute master of the political of Thiers's History of the Consulate and conduct of the newspaper; he abandoned the Empire; M. Thiers heard of it, this power to M. Thiers, and contented and was alarmed; and, at his entreaty, himself with being the administrator of the the Constitutionnel engaged M. Royer paper; indeed, he so completely abandon Collard to suppress his criticisms. But ed all influence touching the politics of the the 9th November, 1849, M. Veron paper, he received the sobriquet of le wrote, and published, in the Constitutionpère aux écus. M. Thiers appointed M. nel, notwithstanding the resistance of M. Charles Merruau (now the Secretary Gene Merruau, a leading article, approving the ral of the Prefecture of the Seine) the chief message addressed by the President of editor ; and he regularly reported the de the Republic to the National Assembly

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the 31st October, 1849. That very day most odious libels were forged, and were M. Thiers declared he would cease all con applied to M. Veron: his character was nection with the Constitutionnel, and he attacked in every way ; and none were demanded the return of the 100,000 francs. more ardent and none were more embitterThey were returned. We understand the ed in these attacks than the press of which Count de Mornay (who played so active he had long been a faithful r presentative, a part in the events of December, 1851), and the literary men to whom he had alif indeed his name was not a mask of ways been a friend. Besides, M. Veron Prince Louis Napoleon himself, then ad had never allowed his paper to stoop, and vanced M. Veron 100,000 francs, and the he has never stooped himself to any man; Constitutionnel became the most zealous he has always preserved his dignity, and supporter of the Bonapartist cause. A the dignity of his paper, even when in comletter we have quoted shows how those merce with Prime Ministers, in the days services were rewarded. From this time when Prime Ministers were all-powerful forth M. Veron took an active part in the in France: he obliged the haughtiest and cditorial department of the Constitution the most powerful to treat him as their nel ;- and his editorials were always re peer; and, under his management, the Conmarked (our readers are aware the French stitutionnel was never a slave, potent aid law on the press requires writers to sign as it might have been to its party.-It their articles), and they were rudely at would seem to an impartial observer that tacked by the pen and by the pencil ; it is these reasons alone, were none else wantthe fashion among certain circles in Paris

ing, would have, at the least, made writers constantly to hold up M. Veron to ridi so cautious as to examine the foundation cule. Another newspaper, Le Pays, was of the charges made before they reported founded, and which, after wavering a very them. long time between the republic of N. But it is one of the most curious traits Lamartine, and the republic of General of French society, that envy is so promiCavaignac, and the republic with Prince

nent in every member of it, both in the Louis Napoleon as the president, as soon capital and in the most secluded village. as it was very evident the coup d'état of No country in the world offers such bitDecember was completely successful, be terness of feeling between the different came a zealous supporter of Prince Louis

classes, nor such obsequiousness of the Napoleon, and one of the loudest petition lower to the higher classes, when they are ers for the re-establishment of the Empire. brought immediately in contact. The It injured the subscription list of the Con habits of French life afford ample opporstitutionnel a great deal : in six months

tunity to envy, as, apart from the national it lost 10,000 subscribers; and the Con obtuseness to all those principles of delistitutionnel determined to break down the

cacy which with us flow from hospitality, rival paper; to do this it reduced its sub

the life on “flats,” the custom of resorting scription price from 40 francs to 32 francs to cafés and to restaurants, the frequenta year—a measure which added to its sub

ing of other public places, or, in a word, scription list twenty thousand new sub

the excessive publicity of even the humblest scribers, at a loss not only of all its pro- particular life, and the absence of a confits, but of 80,000 francs of its reserved sorious public opinion—that national confund. Tired of this unsuccessful and costly science which avenges outraged laws, and warfare, M. Veron proposed to the pro outraged decorum, in those delicate cases prietors of Le Pays to purchase it from for which the statutes cannot provide punthem; or to agree to a common rate of ishment, except at the risk of opening the subscription. This was declined; but the door to graver offences—which encourages proprietors of Lc Pays proposed to pur to post connections, which elsewhere men chase the Constitutionnel for 1,900,000 conceal in some obscure alley, and even francs; of this amount M. Veron received from their nearest friends, advertises to 776,000 francs. The sale, and its condi the world one's tastes, and fortune, and tions, was no sooner made public, by ru character, with an abundan of details mor, than the Aguado family (thé M. A which startles our home-keeping, privacy. guado who hitherto figures in the preceding loving notions. Few of our readers, bepages died some years before these events; sides those who have resided abroad for a and we are now speaking of his widow and long time, are aware of the gossiping in his sons) brought a suit

against M. Veron which the French newspapers indulge, and to recover more money than they received, the ruthlessness with which they lay their as shareholders, on the ground that M. hands on the most delicate details of doVeron had received more than his share. mestic life, and blazon them to their readThe suit was no sooner instituted than the At this moment we have several


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