Mademoiselle solitude (Sueurs froides) (French Edition)

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Such bold oppression can scarcely be shielded by the omnipotence of parliament: and yet it may be seriously questioned whether the judges of the South Sea Directors were the true and legal representatives of their country. The first parliament of George the First had been chosen for three years: the term had elapsed, their trust was expired; and the four additional years , during which they continued to sit, were derived not from the people, but from themselves; from the strong measure of the Septennial Bill, which can only be paralleled by il serrar di consiglio of the Venetian history.

Its first operation secured the House of Hanover on the throne, and its permanent influence maintains the peace and stability of government. As often as a repeal has been moved in the House of Commons, I have given in its defence a clear and conscientious vote. My grandfather could not expect to be treated with more lenity than his companions. His Tory principles Edition: current; Page: [ 16 ] and connections rendered him obnoxious to the ruling powers: his name is reported in a suspicious secret; and his well-known abilities could not plead the excuse of ignorance or error.


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In the first proceedings against the South Sea Directors, Mr. Gibbon is one of the few who were taken into custody; and, in the final sentence, the measure of his fine proclaims him eminently guilty.

Alexandre Dumas (sr.)

The total estimate which he delivered on oath to the House of Commons amounted to one hundred and six thousand five hundred and forty-three pounds, five shillings, and sixpence, exclusive of antecedent settlements. Two different allowances of fifteen and of ten thousand pounds were moved for Mr.

Gibbon; but, on the question being put, it was carried without a division for the smaller sum. On these ruins, with the skill and credit of which parliament had not been able to despoil him, my grandfather, at a mature age, erected the edifice of a new fortune: the labours of sixteen years were amply rewarded; and I have reason to believe that the second structure was not much inferior to the first. He had realised a very considerable property in Sussex, Hampshire, Buckinghamshire, and the New River Company; and had acquired a spacious house, 1 with gardens and lands, at Putney, in Surrey, where he resided in decent hospitality.

He died in December , at the age of seventy; and by his last will, at the expense of Edward, his only son with whose marriage he was not perfectly reconciled , enriched his two daughters, Catherine and Hester. The former became the wife of Mr. Edward Elliston: their daughter and heiress, Catherine, was married in the year to Edward Eliot, Esq. A life of devotion and celibacy was the choice of my aunt, Mrs. Hester Gibbon, who, at the age of eighty-five, still resides in a hermitage at Cliffe, in Northamptonshire, having long survived her spiritual guide and faithful companion, Mr.

William Law, who, at an advanced age, about the year , died in her house. In our family he had left the reputation of a worthy and pious man, who believed all that he professed, and practised all that he enjoined. The character of a nonjuror, which he maintained to the last, is a sufficient evidence of his principles in church and state; and the sacrifice of interest to conscience will be always respectable. His theological writings, which our domestic connection has tempted me to peruse, preserve an imperfect sort of life, and I can pronounce with more confidence and knowledge on the merits of the author.

But these sallies of religious frenzy must not extinguish the praise which is due to Mr. William Law as a wit and a scholar. His argument on topics of less absurdity is specious and acute, his manner is lively, his style forcible and clear; and, had not his vigorous mind been clouded by enthusiasm, he might be ranked with the most agreeable and ingenious writers of the times.

On the appearance of the Fable of the Bees, he drew his pen against the licentious doctrine that private vices are public benefits, and morality as well as religion must join in his applause. His precepts are rigid, but they are founded on the gospel: his satire is sharp, but it is drawn from the knowledge of human life; and many of his portraits are not unworthy of the pen of La Bruyere.

Under the names of Flavia and Miranda he has admirably described my two aunts—the heathen and the Christian sister. My father, Edward Gibbon, was born in October at the age of thirteen he could scarcely feel that he was disinherited by Act of Parliament; and, as he advanced towards manhood, new prospects of fortune opened to his view. At Westminster School, and afterwards at Emmanuel College in Cambridge, he passed through a regular course of academical discipline; and the care of his learning and morals was entrusted to Edition: current; Page: [ 19 ] his private tutor, the same Mr.

William Law. But the mind of a saint is above or below the present world; and while the pupil proceeded on his travels, the tutor remained at Putney, the much-honoured friend and spiritual director of the whole family. My father resided some time at Paris to acquire the fashionable exercises; and as his temper was warm and social, he indulged in those pleasures for which the strictness of his former education had given him a keener relish.

He afterwards visited several provinces of France; but his excursions were neither long nor remote; and the slender knowledge which he had gained of the French language was gradually obliterated. In a dangerous illness Mr. Gibbon was attended, at his own request, by one of his kinsmen of the name of Acton, the younger brother of a younger brother, who had applied himself to the study of physic. By an uncle, whom another stroke of fortune had transplanted to Leghorn, he was educated in the naval service of the emperor; and his valour and conduct in the command of the Tuscan frigates protected the retreat of the Spaniards from Algiers.

With them he gave many a vote; with them he drank many a bottle. I was born at Putney, in the county of Surrey, the 27th of April, O. From my birth I have enjoyed the right of primogeniture; but I was succeeded by five brothers and one sister, all of whom were snatched away in their infancy. My five brothers, whose names may be found in the parish register of Putney, I shall not pretend to lament: but from my childhood to the present hour I have deeply and sincerely regretted my sister, whose life was somewhat prolonged, Edition: current; Page: [ 21 ] and whom I remember to have seen an amiable infant.

The relation of a brother and a sister, especially if they do not marry, appears to me of a very singular nature. It is a familiar and tender friendship with a female, much about our own age; an affection perhaps softened by the secret influence of sex, but pure from any mixture of sensual desire, the sole species of platonic love that can be indulged with truth, and without danger.

At the general election of Mr. Gibbon and Mr. Dummer and Mr. Henly, afterwards Lord Chancellor and Earl of Northington. The Whig candidates had a majority of the resident voters; but the corporation was firm in the Tory interest: a sudden creation of one hundred and seventy new freemen turned the scale; and a supply was readily obtained of respectable volunteers, who flocked from all parts of England to support the cause of their political friends.

The new parliament opened with the victory of an opposition which was fortified by strong clamour and strange coalitions. From the event of the first divisions, Sir Robert Walpole perceived that he could no longer lead a majority in the House of Commons, and prudently resigned after a dominion of one and twenty years the guidance of the state In the year the throne and the constitution were attacked by a rebellion which does not reflect much honour on the national spirit; since the English friends Edition: current; Page: [ 22 ] of the Pretender wanted courage to join his standard, and his enemies the bulk of the people allowed him to advance into the heart of the kingdom.

Without daring, perhaps without desiring, to aid the rebels, my father invariably adhered to the Tory opposition. In the most critical season he accepted, for the service of the party, the office of alderman in the city of London: but the duties were so repugnant to his inclination and habits, that he resigned his gown at the end of a few months.

The second parliament in which he sate was prematurely dissolved : and as he was unable or unwilling to maintain a second contest for Southampton, the life of the senator expired in that dissolution. The death of a new-born child before that of its parents may seem an unnatural, but it is strictly a probable event: since of any given number the greater part are extinguished before their ninth year, before they possess the faculties of the mind or body.

Without accusing the profuse waste or imperfect workmanship of nature, I shall only observe that this unfavourable chance was multiplied against my infant existence. But the maternal office was supplied by my aunt, Mrs. Catherine Porten; at whose name I feel a tear of gratitude trickling down my cheek. Many anxious and solitary days did she consume in the patient trial of every mode of relief and amusement. Many wakeful nights did she sit by my bedside in trembling expectation that each hour would be my last.

Of the various and frequent disorders of my childhood my own recollection is dark; nor do I wish to expatiate on so disgusting a topic. Suffice it to say, that while every practitioner, from Sloane and Ward to the Chevalier Taylor, was successively summoned to torture or relieve me, the care of my mind was too frequently neglected for that of my health: compassion always suggested an excuse for the indulgence of the master, or the idleness of the pupil; and the chain of my education was broken as often as I was recalled from the school of learning to the bed of sickness.

As soon as the use of speech had prepared my infant reason for the admission of knowledge, I was taught the arts of reading, writing, and arithmetic. So remote is the date, so vague is the memory of their origin in myself, that, were not the error corrected by analogy, I should be tempted to conceive them as innate. In my childhood I was praised for the readiness with which I could multiply and divide, by memory alone, two sums of several figures: such praise encouraged my growing talent; and had I persevered in this line of application, I might have acquired some fame in mathematical studies.

After this previous institution at home, or at a day-school at Putney, I was delivered at the age of seven into the hands of Mr. John Kirkby, who exercised about eighteen months the office of my domestic tutor. Here I would amuse myself, one while in viewing at large the agreeable prospect which surrounded me, and another while confining my sight to nearer objects in admiring the vast variety of beautiful shells thrown upon the beach; some of the choicest of which I always picked up, to divert my little ones upon my return.

One time among the rest, taking such a journey in my head, I sat down upon the declivity of the beach with my face to the sea, which was now come up within a few yards of my feet; when immediately the sad thought of the wretched condition of my family, and the unsuccessfulness of all endeavours to amend it, came crowding into my mind, which drove me into a deep melancholy, and ever and anon forced tears from my eyes. His learning and virtue introduced him to my father; and at Putney he might have found at least a temporary shelter, had not an act of indiscretion again driven him into the world.

One day, reading prayers in the parish church, he most unluckily forgot the name of King George: his patron, a loyal subject, dismissed him with some reluctance and a decent reward; and how the poor man ended his days I have never been able to learn. Edition: current; Page: [ 25 ] John Kirkby is the author of two small volumes; the Life of Automathes London, , and an English and Latin Grammar London, , which, as a testimony of gratitude, he dedicated November 5th, to my father.

The books are before me: from them the pupil may judge the preceptor; and, upon the whole, his judgment will not be unfavourable. The grammar is executed with accuracy and skill, and I know not whether any better existed at the time in our language: but the Life of Automathes aspires to the honours of a philosophical fiction. It is the story of a youth, the son of a shipwrecked exile, who lives alone on a desert island from infancy to the age of manhood.

A hind is his nurse; he inherits a cottage, with many useful and curious instruments; some ideas remain of the education of his two first years; some arts are borrowed from the beavers of a neighbouring lake; some truths are revealed in supernatural visions. With these helps, and his own industry, Automathes becomes a self-taught though speechless philosopher, who had investigated with success his own mind, the natural world, the abstract sciences, and the great principles of morality and religion.

The author is not entitled to the merit of invention, since he has blended the English story of Robinson Crusoe with the Arabian romance of Hai Ebn Yokhdan, which he might have read in the Latin version of Pocock. In the Automathes I cannot praise either the depth of thought or elegance of style; but the book is not devoid of entertainment or instruction; and among several interesting passages, I would select the discovery of fire, which produces by accidental mischief the discovery of conscience.

A man who had thought so much on the subjects of language and education was surely no ordinary preceptor: my childish years, and his hasty departure, prevented me from enjoying the full benefit of his lessons; Edition: current; Page: [ 26 ] but they enlarged my knowledge of arithmetic, and left me a clear impression of the English and Latin rudiments. In my ninth year January , in a lucid interval of comparative health, my father adopted the convenient and customary mode of English education; and I was sent to Kingston-upon-Thames, to a school of about seventy boys, which was kept by Dr.

Wooddeson and his assistants. Every time I have since passed over Putney Common, I have always noticed the spot where my mother, as we drove along in the coach, admonished me that I was now going into the world, and must learn to think and act for myself. The expression may appear ludicrous; yet there is not, in the course of life, a more remarkable change than the removal of a child from the luxury and freedom of a wealthy house to the frugal diet and strict subordination of a school; from the tenderness of parents, and the obsequiousness of servants, to the rude familiarity of his equals, the insolent tyranny of his seniors, and the rod, perhaps, of a cruel and capricious pedagogue.

Such hardships may steel the mind and body against the injuries of fortune; but my timid reserve was astonished by the crowd and tumult of the school; the want of strength and activity disqualified me for the sports of the playfield; nor have I forgotten how often in the year forty-six I was reviled and buffeted for the sins of my Tory ancestors.

The choice of these authors is not injudicious. The Lives of Cornelius Nepos, the friend of Atticus and Cicero, are composed in the style of the purest age: his simplicity is elegant, his brevity copious: he exhibits a series of men and manners; Edition: current; Page: [ 27 ] and with such illustrations as every pedant is not indeed qualified to give, this classic biographer may initiate a young student in the history of Greece and Rome. The use of fables or apologues has been approved in every age from ancient India to modern Europe.

They convey in familiar images the truths of morality and prudence; and the most childish understanding I advert to the scruples of Rousseau will not suppose either that beasts do speak, or that men may lie. A fable represents the genuine characters of animals; and a skilful master might extract from Pliny and Buffon some pleasing lessons of natural history, a science well adapted to the taste and capacity of children. But his fables, after a long oblivion, were first published by Peter Pithou, from a corrupt manuscript.

The labours of fifty editors confess the defects of the copy, as well as the value of the original; and the schoolboy may have been whipped for misapprehending a passage which Bentley could not restore, and which Burman could not explain. I was too young to feel the importance of my loss; and the image of her person and conversation is faintly imprinted in my memory.

The affectionate heart of my aunt, Catherine Porten, bewailed a sister and a friend; but my poor father was inconsolable, and the transport of grief seemed to threaten his life or his reason. I can never Edition: current; Page: [ 28 ] forget the scene of our first interview, some weeks after the fatal event; the awful silence, the room hung with black, the mid-day tapers, his sighs and tears; his praises of my mother, a saint in heaven; his solemn adjuration that I would cherish her memory and imitate her virtues; and the fervour with which he kissed and blessed me as the sole surviving pledge of their loves.

The storm of passion insensibly subsided into calmer melancholy. At a convivial meeting of his friends, Mr. Gibbon might affect or enjoy a gleam of cheerfulness; but his plan of happiness was for ever destroyed: and after the loss of his companion he was left alone in a world, of which the business and pleasures were to him irksome or insipid. After some unsuccessful trials he renounced the tumult of London and the hospitality of Putney, and buried himself in the rural or rather rustic solitude of Buriton; from which, during several years, he seldom emerged.

As far back as I can remember, the house, near Putney Bridge and churchyard, of my maternal grandfather, appears in the light of my proper and native home. Three months after that event, in the spring of , the commercial ruin of her father, Mr. James Porten, was accomplished and declared. As his effects were not sold, nor the house evacuated, till the Christmas following, I enjoyed during the whole year the society of my aunt, without much consciousness of her impending fate. I feel a melancholy pleasure in repeating my obligations to that excellent woman, Mrs.

Catherine Porten, the true mother of my mind as well as of my health. Her natural good sense was improved by the perusal of the best books in the English language; and Edition: current; Page: [ 29 ] if her reason was sometimes clouded by prejudice, her sentiments were never disguised by hypocrisy or affectation.

Her indulgent tenderness, the frankness of her temper, and my innate rising curiosity, soon removed all distance between us: like friends of an equal age, we freely conversed on every topic, familiar or abstruse; and it was her delight and reward to observe the first shoots of my young ideas. I should perhaps be astonished, were it possible to ascertain the date at which a favourite tale was engraved, by frequent repetition, in my memory: the Cavern of the Winds; the Palace of Felicity; and the fatal moment, at the end of three months or centuries, when Prince Adolphus is overtaken by Time, who had worn out so many pair of wings in the pursuit.

The verses of Pope accustomed my ear to the sound of poetic harmony: in the death of Hector, and the shipwreck of Ulysses, I tasted the new emotions of terror and pity; and seriously disputed with my aunt on the vices and virtues of the heroes of the Trojan war. Where a title attracted my eye, without fear or awe I snatched the volume from the shelf; and Mrs. Porten, who indulged herself in moral and religious speculations, was more prone to encourage than to check a curiosity above the strength of a boy.

This year , the twelfth of my age, I shall note as the most propitious to the growth of my intellectual stature. Her noble spirit scorned a life of obligation and dependence; and after revolving several schemes, she preferred the humble industry of keeping a boarding-house for Westminster School, 1 where she laboriously earned a competence for her old age. This singular opportunity of blending the advantages of private and public education decided my father. After the Christmas holidays, in January , I accompanied Mrs.

Porten to her new house in College Street; and was immediately entered in the school, of which Dr. John Nicoll was at that time head-master. I shall always be ready to join in the common opinion, that our public schools, which have produced so many eminent characters, are the best adapted to the genius and constitution of the English people.

A boy of spirit may acquire a previous and practical experience of the world; and his playfellows may be the future friends of his heart or his interest. In a free intercourse with his equals, the habits of truth, fortitude, and prudence will insensibly be matured. Birth and riches are measured by the standard of personal merit; and the mimic scene of a rebellion has displayed in their true colours the ministers and patriots of the rising generation.

But these schools may assume the merit of teaching all that they pretend to teach, the Latin and Greek languages: they deposit in the hands of a disciple the keys of two valuable chests; nor can he complain if they are afterwards lost or neglected by his own fault. The necessity of leading in equal ranks so many unequal powers of capacity and application will prolong to eight or ten years the juvenile studies which might be dispatched in half that time by the skilful master of a single pupil.

Yet even the repetition of exercise and discipline contributes to fix Edition: current; Page: [ 32 ] in a vacant mind the verbal science of grammar and prosody; and the private or voluntary student, who possesses the sense and spirit of the classics, may offend, by a false quantity, the scrupulous ear of a well-flogged critic. For myself, I must be content with a very small share of the civil and literary fruits of a public school.

In the space of two years , , interrupted by danger and debility, I painfully climbed into the third form; and my riper age was left to acquire the beauties of the Latin, and the rudiments of the Greek tongue. Instead of audaciously mingling in the sports, the quarrels, and the connections of our little world, I was still cherished at home under the maternal wing of my aunt; and my removal from Westminster long preceded the approach of manhood. The violence and variety of my complaints, which had excused my frequent absence from Westminster School, at length engaged Mrs.

Anthologie des poètes français contemporains/Tome troisième - Wikisource

Porten, with the advice of physicians, to conduct me to Bath: at the end of the Michaelmas vacation she quitted me with reluctance, and I remained several months under the care of a trusty maid - servant. A strange nervous affection, which alternately contracted my legs, and produced, without any visible symptoms, the most excruciating pain, was ineffectually opposed by the various methods of bathing and pumping. From Bath I was transported to Winchester, to the house of a physician; and after the failure of his medical skill, we had again recourse to the virtues of the Bath waters.

During the intervals of these fits I moved with my father to Buriton and Putney; and a short unsuccessful trial was attempted to renew my attendance at Westminster School. But my infirmities could not be reconciled with the hours and discipline of a public seminary; and instead Edition: current; Page: [ 33 ] of a domestic tutor, who might have watched the favourable moments, and gently advanced the progress of my learning, my father was too easily content with such occasional teachers as the different places of my residence could supply.

I was never forced, and seldom was I persuaded, to admit these lessons: yet I read with a clergyman at Bath some odes of Horace, and several episodes of Virgil, which gave me an imperfect and transient enjoyment of the Latin poets. It might now be apprehended that I should continue for life an illiterate cripple: but, as I approached my sixteenth year, nature displayed in my favour her mysterious energies: my constitution was fortified and fixed; and my disorders, instead of growing with my growth and strengthening with my strength, most wonderfully vanished.

I have never possessed or abused the insolence of health: but since that time few persons have been more exempt from real or imaginary ills; and, till I am admonished by the gout, the reader will no more be troubled with the history of my bodily complaints. My unexpected recovery again encouraged the hope of my education; and I was placed at Esher, in Surrey, in the house of the Reverend Mr. Philip Francis, in a pleasant spot, which promised to unite the various benefits of air, exercise, and study January The translator of Horace might have taught me to relish the Latin poets, had not my friends discovered in a few weeks that he preferred the pleasures of London to the instruction of his pupils.

Without preparation or delay he carried me to Oxford; and I was matriculated in the university as a gentleman-commoner of Magdalen College before I had accomplished the fifteenth year of my age April 3, The curiosity which had been implanted in my infant mind was still alive and active; but my reason was not sufficiently informed to understand the value, or to lament the loss, of three precious years from my entrance at Westminster to my admission at Oxford.

Instead of repining at my long and frequent confinement to the chamber or the couch, I secretly rejoiced in those infirmities, which delivered me from the exercises of the school and the society of my equals. As often as I was tolerably exempt from danger and pain, reading, free desultory reading, was the employment and comfort of my solitary hours. At Westminster, my aunt sought only to amuse and indulge me; in my stations at Bath and Winchester, at Buriton and Putney, a false compassion respected my sufferings; and I was allowed, without control or advice, to gratify the wanderings of an unripe taste.

My indiscriminate appetite subsided by degrees in the historic line: and since philosophy has exploded all innate ideas and natural propensities, I must ascribe this choice to the assiduous perusal of the Universal History, as the octavo volumes successively appeared. This unequal work, and a treatise of Hearne, the Ductor Historicus, 1 referred and introduced me to the Greek and Roman historians, to as many at least as were accessible to an English reader.

The cheap acquisition of so much knowledge confirmed my dislike to the study of languages; and I argued with Mrs. Porten, that, were I master of Greek and Latin, I must interpret to myself Edition: current; Page: [ 35 ] in English the thoughts of the original, and that such extemporary versions must be inferior to the elaborate translations of professed scholars; a silly sophism, which could not easily be confuted by a person ignorant of any other language than her own.

My first introduction to the historic scenes which have since engaged so many years of my life must be ascribed to an accident. In the summer of I accompanied my father on a visit to Mr. To me the reigns of the successors of Constantine were absolutely new; and I was immersed in the passage of the Goths over the Danube, when the summons of the dinner-bell reluctantly dragged me from my intellectual feast. Mahomet and his Saracens soon fixed my attention; and some instinct of criticism directed me to the genuine sources.

Simon Ockley, an original in every sense, first opened my eyes; and I was led from one book to another, till I had ranged round the circle of Oriental history. Such vague and multifarious reading could not teach me to think, to write, or to act; and the only principle that darted a ray of light into the indigested chaos was an early and rational application to the order of time and place. The maps of Cellarius and Wells imprinted in my mind the picture of ancient geography: from Strauchius 1 I imbibed the elements of chronology: the Tables of Helvicus and Anderson, the Annals of Usher and Prideaux, distinguished the connection of events, and engraved the multitude of names and dates in a clear and indelible series.

But in the discussion of the first ages I overleaped the bounds of modesty and use. In my childish balance I presumed to weigh the systems of Scaliger and Petavius, of Marsham and Newton, which I could seldom study in the originals; and my sleep has been disturbed by the difficulty of reconciling the Septuagint with the Hebrew computation. I arrived at Oxford with a stock of erudition that might have puzzled a doctor, and a degree of ignorance of which a schoolboy would have been ashamed.

At the conclusion of this first period of my life I am tempted to enter a protest against the trite and lavish praise of the happiness of our boyish years, which is echoed with so much affectation in the world. That happiness I have never known, that time I have never regretted; and were my poor aunt still alive, she would bear testimony to the early and constant uniformity of my sentiments. It will indeed be replied that I am not a competent judge; that pleasure is incompatible with pain; that joy is excluded from sickness; and that the felicity of a schoolboy consists in the perpetual motion of Edition: current; Page: [ 37 ] thoughtless and playful agility, in which I was never qualified to excel.

My name, it is most true, could never be enrolled among the sprightly race, the idle progeny of Eton or Westminster,. The poet may gaily describe the short hours of recreation; but he forgets the daily tedious labours of the school, which is approached each morning with anxious and reluctant steps. A traveller who visits Oxford or Cambridge is surprised and edified by the apparent order and tranquillity that prevail in the seats of the English muses. The use of arms is banished from our English universities; the uniform habit of the academics, the square cap and black gown, is adapted to the civil and even clerical profession; and from the doctor in divinity to the undergraduate, the degrees of learning and age are externally distinguished.

Instead of being scattered in a town, the students of Oxford and Cambridge are united in colleges; their maintenance is provided at their own expense, or that of the founders; and the stated hours of the hall and chapel represent the discipline of a regular, and, as it were, Edition: current; Page: [ 38 ] a religious community. The eyes of the traveller are attracted by the size or beauty of the public edifices: and the principal colleges appear to be so many palaces, which a liberal nation has erected and endowed for the habitation of science.

In my fifteenth year I felt myself suddenly raised from a boy to a man: the persons whom I respected as my superiors in age and academical rank entertained me with every mark of attention and civility; and my vanity was flattered by the velvet cap and silk gown which distinguish a gentleman-commoner from a plebeian student. A decent allowance, more money than a schoolboy had ever seen, was at my own disposal; and I might command, among the tradesmen of Oxford, an indefinite and dangerous latitude of credit. Such was the fair prospect of my entrance April 3, into the university of Oxford.

A venerable prelate, whose taste and erudition must reflect honour on the society in which they were formed, has drawn a very interesting picture of his academical life. I enjoyed all the advantages, both public and private, which that famous seat of learning so largely affords. I spent many years in that illustrious society, in a well-regulated course of useful discipline and Edition: current; Page: [ 39 ] studies, and in the agreeable and improving commerce of gentlemen and of scholars; in a society where emulation without envy, ambition without jealousy, contention without animosity, incited industry, and awakened genius; where a liberal pursuit of knowledge, and a genuine freedom of thought, was raised, encouraged, and pushed forward by example, by commendation, and by authority.

I breathed the same atmosphere that the Hookers, the Chillingworths, and the Lockes had breathed before; whose benevolence and humanity were as extensive as their vast genius and comprehensive knowledge; who always treated their adversaries with civility and respect; who made candour, moderation, and liberal judgment as much the rule and law as the subject of their discourse. And do you reproach me with my education in this place, and with my relation to this most respectable body, which I shall always esteem my greatest advantage and my highest honour?

It may indeed be observed that the atmosphere of Oxford did not agree with Mr. The expression of gratitude is a virtue and a pleasure: a liberal mind will delight to cherish and celebrate the memory of its parents; and the teachers of science are the parents of the mind. I applaud the filial piety which it is impossible for me to imitate; since I must not confess an imaginary debt, to assume the merit of a just or generous Edition: current; Page: [ 40 ] retribution.

Enlarge cover. Error rating book. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Preview — Mademoiselle Solitude by Bill Pronzini. Mademoiselle Solitude by Bill Pronzini. Get A Copy. Hardcover , pages. More Details Original Title. Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Mademoiselle Solitude , please sign up. Be the first to ask a question about Mademoiselle Solitude. Alors il se fit un grand silence.

Cependant mon avocat arriva. Et mes yeux revenaient se fixer sur la jolie fleur jaune au soleil. Une sueur froide sortit de tous mes membres; je m'appuyai au mur pour ne pas tomber. There are incidents even in the life of the prison. How beautifully, amidst the gloomy despairing reflections of the prisoner, breaks in the following vision of youth and innocence! In My Memoirs Dumas writes of his father that his "free colonial life had developed his strength and prowess to an extraordinary degree; he was a veritable American horselad, a cowboy. I, translated by E. A genuine republican, who believed in democracy and liberty, he fell out of favor after Napoleon's failed expedition to Egypt.

He was denied pension and Napoleon never replied to his letter of complaint: You are aware of the state of my purse! You remember the treasure of Cairo! By family tradition, Dumas could have become a Bonapartist, too, but he had an ambiguous view of Napoleon. In his youth, Dumas worked for a period as a notary's clerk and then escaped to Paris to find a better future. With Marie-Catherine Labay, a seamstress, he had an illegitimate son called Alexandre Dumas fils ; he was born in Dumas also found his place in theater and as a publisher of some obscure magazines.

From early on, he had been an omnivorous reader. Especially he was interested in plays.

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At his best, Dumas' popularity surpassed even that of Victor Hugo, who was his friendly rival as Romantic dramatist. The stage actress Sarah Bernhardt bought the theatre in When Hugo lived in exile in Guernsey, and his works were banned in France, Dumas visited him in ; it was the last time they met. Its success prompted Dumas to continue with additional plays, of which La Tour de Nesle , The Tower of Nesle is considered the greatest masterpiece of French melodrama.

The action centeres around the doomed Queen Marguerite de Bourgogne, who has ordered her illegitimate sons to be killed, but who appears into her life twenty years later. Mademoiselle de Belle-Isle had performances. From the beginning, Dumas' abilities as a writer were under dispute, but he is fully credited with revitalizing the historical novel in France. Being able to write 14 hours a day, Dumas produced a steady stream of plays, novels, and short stories.

Before he had already created fifteen plays. Historical novels brought Dumas an enormous fortune, but he could spent money faster than he made it.

Mademoiselle Solitude

He produced some books with his 73 assistants, especially with the history teacher Auguste Maquet, whom he wisely allowed to work quite independently. That's what Dumas does. But afterwards I have to correct them ten to twelve times, which Dumas doesn't do. Authorship, Profit, and Power by Marilyn Randall, , p. Whatever he read or heard he could remember it. His works were not faithful to the historical facts, but blend skillfully history and fiction.

Once at a gathering, in which Dumas described the battle of Waterloo, a general complained, "but it wasn't like that; I was there! Dumas earned roughly , francs yearly and received an annual sum of 63, francs for , lines from the newspapers La Presse and the Constitutionel. Returning from Elba, Dumas spotted an island in Tuscany, the deserted Montecristo, which fascinated him. When his publisher wanted him to write a novel, instead of a nonfiction work on the city of Paris, Dumas decided to use the island as an element in the book.

He is framed by three enemies as a Napoleonic conspirator, shortly before Napoleon's dramatic return from Elba in He flees to the island of Monter Cristo, and locates a fabulous treasure, hidden since the time of Renaissance. Perhaps your love will help me to forget all I do not wish to remember! As a master dialogist, Dumas developed character traits, and kept the action moving, and composed the all-important chapter endings - teaser scenes that maintained suspense and readers interest to read more. Dumas himself claimed that he only began writing his books when they were already completed in his head.

Many times his characters were based on real life people. Ever since the early silent film days, Dumas' great swashbuckling heroes have inspired Hollywood filmmakers.

However, the story itself was problematic for some decades due to the Production Code, which proclaimed: He whose game is the eagle takes no heed of the sparrow. The screenplay, written by George MacDonald Fraser, adhered closely to the original story, but also added a lot of satire and slapstick humor.

According to the legend, the face of Philippe, imprisoned in Bastille, was covered with an iron mask to hide his true identity. He was " clothed in black and masked by a visor of polished and steel soldered to a helmet of the same nature, which altogether enveloped his whole head. The fire of the heavens cast red reflections upon the polished surface, and these reflections, flying off capriciously, seemed to be angry looks launched by this unfortunate Only Aramis manages to stay alive.

The true identity of the Man in the iron mask has remained a subject of speculation for centuries. An often-mentioned candidate is Eustache Danger, a valet; this theory has been supported, among others, by the French historian Jean-Christian Petitfils in L'homme au masque de fer Historians have rejected Dumas' idea; moreover, the events in his novel occur well before the real life incarceration took place. Dumas' role in the development of the historical novel owes much to a coincidence.


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  • The lifting of press censorship in the s gave rise to a rapid spread of newspapers. Editors began to lure readers by entertaining serial novels. Everybody read them, the aristocracy, and the bourgeoisie, young and old, men and women. Along with Balzac and other writers, he also contributed to Emile de Girardin's weekly, La Mode , which became the voice of the chic and wordly tout-Paris.

    As the heroes of his books, Dumas lived as adventurously. His way of life created a number of anecdotes. When he was asked to contribute 25 francs to bury a bailiff he gave 50 francs and said: He married in his mistress Ida Ferrier, an actress, but he soon separated after having spent her entire dowry. In the middle of the political struggle for freedom is Cornelius van Baerle, a young man who has devoted himself to tulip-growing.



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