Зображення сторінки

affecting the whole of France. I for the gone, or one calculation for mean the undue proportion between the future. I was soon installed in the number of the population and my new post ; and though what I the quantity of employment. Where gained was barely enough for the the fault lies, I must not presume necessities of life, yet it sufficed; to say, but that there must be a and there was always a dear warm great fault somewhere is evident ; smile in the eyes I loved best, which otherwise every man who is willing cheered and supported me whenever to labor, would find occupation." I felt inclined to despond or give

It has struck me since, that there way. must often be causes for want of It is true, I often regretted that I employment, which no government could not procure for Mariette those could either control or remedy; but, comforts and those luxuries which I at the time, his reasoning seemed little valued myself; but she seemed excellent ; and all I felt was renew- to heed them not, and every privaed disappointment, and a touch of tion appeared to her a matter of despair, which I believe showed it- pride to be borne rather as a joy self very plainly in my face, for the than a care. Six months thus passeditor began to ask me some farther ed; and they were the happiest of questions which soon led me to tell my life, for though I labored, I him my precise situation.

labored in the sunsbine. I had perHe mused and seemed interest- fectly sufficient time, also, to make ed; but for a moment replied no- myself thorougbly acquainted with thing. At length, looking at me the whole art of printing, and to with a smile, he said, “ Perhaps, fit myself for the task of a composiwhat I am about to propose to you, tor, which, though more mechanical

, may be very inferior to your expec- was more lucrative ; and it became tations ; nevertheless it will afford necessary that I should gain more, as you some occupation.”

a change was coming over Mariette The very name of occupation was which promised us new cares and renewed life, and I listened with new happiness. Strange, that when eagerness, while he offered to re- I looked upon her languid features, commend me to a printer, as what and her altered shape, she seemed is called a reader, or corrector of to me a thousand times more lovely, the press. I embraced his proposal than in all the fresh graces of exwith unutterable thankfulness; and panding womanhood ! And when having ascertained that I was capa- fears for her safety mingled with ble of the task, by some proof-sheets the joy of possessing her—when her that lay upon the table, he wrote a calm sweet eyes rested long and note to Monsieur Manson, the fixedly upon me, as if she strove to printer, and put it into my hand. I trace out the image of her future could almost have knelt and wor- child in the looks of its father-a shiped him, so great was the new and thrilling interest appeared change from despair to hope. With to have grown up between us, the letter in my hand, I few to the which was something more than printing-house, was tried and re- love. ceived; and, though the emolument At length, one of the compositors held out was as small as it well having gone to conduct a printing could be, my walk home was with office at Rennes, my object was acthe springing step of joy and inde- complished ; and I obtained his vapendence ; and my heart, as I cant place. Still the emoluments pressed Mariette to my bosom, and were infinitely small, for the book told her my success, was like that trade was bad, and of course the of a great general in the moment of printers suffered. Sometimes there victory, before the gloss of triumph was plenty of work, and sometimes has been tarnished by one regret there was none; and the whole of

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

my companions murmured highly at and what with the expenses of Mathe government, whose imbecility riette's confinement, a long illness and tyrannical conduct, they said, which she underwent after, and a had destroyed the commerce of the fit of sickness which I suffered mycountry, and done everything to self-before the end of March my ruin and degrade the press. There stock of money was reduced to fifty was many a busy whisper amongst francs. us, that nothing could save the na Work was by this time sufficient tion but a new revolution ; and as and regular, so that I could mainwe all felt more or less the sharp tain myself, Mariette, and our boy. tooth of want, we madly thought we had, indeed, no superfluity; we that no change would be detrimen- knew no luxury; and the external tal to us. I doubted some of the enjoyments which I saw many posopinions that I heard ; but one of sessing, far less worthy than ourmy comrades worked at the Globe, selves, were denied to us. which had now become a daily pa

Mariette bore it all with cheerper, and he used often to give us fulness, but I grew gloomy and dislong quotations, which convinced contented, and the continual murus all that the government was op- murs at the government, which I posed to the wishes of the whole heard amongst my companions, nation, and that any change must wrought upon me. I gradually bebe for the better.

gan to dream that everything unDuring the autumn, I contrived pleasant in my situation was attributo save some little portion of my table to the state of society in wages; but the rigor of the winter, which I lived. Every political and the quantity of wood we were change now seemed to irritate and obliged to burn, soon consumed all affect me. Whereas, before I that I had laid by ; so that the pro- heard a word of politics, I used to vision for Mariette's confinement work on with hope and activity became a matter of serious and encountering hardships boldly, and dreadful anxiety. One morning, feeling them the less, because I did however, I received a letter from not let my mind rest upon them.-I my brother, telling me that my fa- now dwelt upon every uncomfort, ther had died suddenly on the pre- and magnified it in my own eyes, ceding night. I will not rest upon for the purpose of making it a all that I felt. I had always been greater reproach to the government, the slave of my imagination : and it whose evil measures, I thought, had been one of my favorite vanities caused it. I would pause long in to think how proud my father's my work to read scraps from a heart would be to see me raise my- newspaper, and to comment on the self high in the world, and how folly and tyranny of our rulers ; and confortable I should be able to ren- thus I met several reproofs for my der his old age, when the smile of slowness and negligence. The fortune should be turned upon me, fires in Normandy I heard of with But now he was dead, and those indignation and horror, and I attridreams all broken.

buted them all to the ministers, The little patch of ground which whose wickedness I thought was we possessed was of course divided capable of any baseness, till one between me and my brother; and day I heard one of my republican my portion was instantly sold to companions observe, that the incenprovide for the occasion which was diaries were very much in the right, so near at hand. The depression to burn down the barns and destroy of all property, and the haste with the grain, as by making the great which I was obliged to effect the mass of the people as miserable and sale, rendered it the most disad- pennyless as themselves, they would vantageous that can be conceived; force them to bring about a revolu

tion, wbich would set all things to We had not money to go by the rights. Besides, he asked, what Diligence; but we were both good right had a rich man to corn, when walkers; and the baby, being the poor were starving ?

brought up by band-and that upon The elections for the chamber of the simplest food-would prove but deputies was another great source little encumbrance. of anxiety to me ; and when I found This determination was taken on they were all liberal, I felt nearly as Sunday the 25th of July, and the much satisfaction as if I had been next day I gave my employer Doelected myself. At length the meet- tice that, at the end of the month, I ing of the chambers approached; should quit him. In the meantime and many a warm discussion took we determined to save every sous place amongst the journeymen print- that was possible, in order to provide ers, on the questions likely to be for our expenses by the way ; for brought under consideration. Eve- which we had hitherto made no rery one said that the ministers must serve. On the Monday following, go out, or dissolve the chambers; I joined the rest of the printers, and and many observed, with a shrewd we worked through the day in tranglance, that neither the dissolution quillity. At night, however, as I of the chambers, nor the resigna- was returning over the Pontneuf, I tion of the ministers, would satisfy met one of my companions, who the people. “We must have a grasped my hand, asking, with a change, they said—“a complete look of intense eagerness, “If I change; ” and several began to had heard the news ?The sudtaik boldly of revolution.

denness of the question, and his The continual irritation and dis- look of anxiety, alarmed me. I content I felt, had their effect on knew not well what I dreaded, but my countenance ; and Mariette at all events, my fears were all pergrew anxious about me. She did sonal. His tale soon relieved me all she could to soothe me-sat with of my apprehensions for Mariette her arms round my neck, and en- and our child; but raised my indige deavored to persuade me that I nation to the highest pitch against should be happier if I did not think the government. The king, he of politics. "Kings and govern- told me, had violated the charter, ments,” she said, and said truly, struck at the liberty of the press, “could only provide for the general altered the law of election, and regood; and that there must always duced the people to a nation of be many in every country whese slaves. fate destined them to labor and live Distant shouts met our ears as hard. She could not but think,' we were crossing the Rue St Hoshe added, “ that the way to be hap- noré ; and hurrying on in the dia py, was for every one to try, by his rection from which they proceeded, own exertions, to improve his own we came upon an immense multicondition ; and neither to envy his tude, who were breaking the lamps, neighbor nor to meddle with affairs and yelling execrations against the in which he was not well practised.” government. She sought to induce me, too, to re I was well enough inclined to turn to Bonnières. We had never join them ; but remembering Mabeen so happy since we left it ; and riette, I returned home, and told so sweetly, so perseveringly did she her all that had occurred. As I urge a request which I saw was spoke, a paleness came over her made for my sake more than her beautiful face, so universal, so ghasta own, that at length I consented to ly, that it made me start. It seemed go, and, quitting all the vain dreams as if some warning voice had told her which had led me to Paris, to re- that every happy dream was at an assume the class and occupation of end-that the eternal barrier had my fathers.

fallen between us and joy forever,

The next morning everything seem- producing that tumult which we ed to have passed by which had were warned to avoid. disturbed the tranquillity of the town I soon after found, that it was not on the previous evening--the streets alone the printers who had been diswere quiet, and the people engaged charged, but that almost all the in their usual' occupations. Ma- workmen in the city had been sudriette's mind appeared somewhat denly thrown out of employment. calmed; but still she looked at me As Í returned home, there was a anxiously, as she saw me about to sort of ominous silence about the depart, and made me promise more town that had something fearful in than once, that I would go straight to it. Not ten persons were to be my work, without mingling with any seen upon the Quais, which are mob I might see. I kept my word; usually so crowded ; and it seemed and, though I saw several groups as if the whole population had been of people gathered round the cor- concentrated on particular points. ners of the streets, where the obs To my great surprise, on entering noxious ordonnances were posted up, my lodging, I found my brother sitI did not even stop to read, but hur- ting with Mariette, and holding our ried on to the printing-house with infant on his knee, while the child all speed. The scene in the work- looked up in his face and smiled, as rooms was different from any I had if it knew that those were kindred ever beheld. All the presses were eyes which gazed upon it. My standing still ; and the workmen, brother soon told ane the occasion gathered into knots, were each de- of his coming to Paris, which was claiming more violently than the to buy seeds and plants for the hotother on the infamy and folly of house at the Chateau ; and about the government ; and, with furious three o'clock, as everything was gestures, vowing vengeance. The quiet, I went out with him. As we overseer came in soon after, and passed onward, we soon saw that with some difficulty got us to our all was not right. The shops were work ; but, about twelve o'clock, closed-the gates of the Palais Roythe proprietor of the establishment al were shut-groups of gloomy himself appeared, and told us to faces were gathered at every corleave off our labors. “My good ner-and the whole town wore the friends," said he," the government dull, heavy aspect of a thunderhas annihilated the liberty of the cloud, before the storm bursts forth press. The type of several of the in all its fury. A few gens-d'armes journals has been seized this morns were to be seen, but no extraordi

Our liberties are at an end nary military force appeared ; and without we secure them by our own gradually the same sort of yelling force. Far be it from me to coun- shouts came upon our ear, that I sel tumult or bloodshed the law is had heard the night before. quite sufficient to do us justice. As we approached the Rue St. However, I have determined, as Honoré, the cries became louder ; well as Monsieur Didot and all the and turning down the Rue des Bons other printers, to cease business, Enfans, we found ourselves sudand discharge my workmen.” We denly in the crowd froin which they were then paid the small sum owing proceeded. It consisted of about to each, and dismissed, with a cau- five hundred men and boys, all untion to be quiet and orderly, and armed. Some had stones in their to trust to the law; though the very hands, and some had sticks ; but fact of turning out a number of un more deadly weapon could I employed and discontented men, up- discern amongst them. on such a city as Paris, seemed to proportion of the mob were disme the very best possible way of charged printers, and I was instant



A great

ly recognized by several of my fel- stones upon the advancing cavalry, low-workmen, drawn into the crowd which struck more than one horsewith my brother, who was very will- man from his saddle, and afforded ing to go, and hurried on towards time for my brother and myself to the Place Vendome, whither the join the rest, which we did amidst rioters were directing their steps, great cheering and applause, as the with the purpose of attacking the first who had actively resisted the house of Monsieur de Peyronnet, military. Elated by the cheers, one of the obnoxious ministers. my brother entered with enthusiasm The numbers in the Rue St. Honoré into the feelings of the multitude, were in no degree tremendous ; but, while I felt as if I had committed a as we entered the Place Vendome, crime, in injuring men who were I saw an equal body coming up the but doing their duty. Rue Castiglione, and another ap A temporary cessation of hostiliproaching by the Rue de la Paix. ty now occurred between the peoA large force of mounted gens- ple and the soldiery.

The gensd'armerie was drawn up in the d’armerie established themselves in square ; and shortly after, a party the Place du Palais Royal, some of the guard, and the troops of the troops of the line took possession of line, appeared. There seemed to the Rue St Honoré, and the mob be considerable hesitation on both occupied the end of the Rue de parts to strike the first blow ; and Richelieu, and the corners of the as long as we kept to shouts, the Rue Montpensier, where the new military remained passive. What and incomplete buildings afforded took place towards Peyronnet's plenty of loose stones, which were house, I could not discover for the soon again used as missiles against heads of the people, but there seem- the gens-d'armes.

I would sain ed a considerable tumult in that di- now have got away and returned rection ; and a moment after, a lad home, but my brother would rebeside me threw an immense brick main ; and my companions, rememat the head of the officer of gens- bering the affair of the barrel, put d'armerie, crying, A bas le Roi ! me forward as a kind of leader ; so Vive la Charte !

that vanity joined with enthusiasm The missile took effect, knocked to make me continue, while the off the officer's hat, and covered his thought of Mariette came from time forehead with a stream of blood. to time across my memory with a That instant the word was given thrill of dispiriting anxiety. The to charge ; and in a moment we next two hours passed all in tumult. were driven down the Rue St Ho- The soldiers charged us several noré in confusion and terror. My times, and we fed, but still returnbrother could not run so fast as I ed to our position as they reassumed could, and at the corner of the Pa- theirs. Many shots were fired, but lais Royal, I found that he was left few fell, and muskets, fowlingseveral yards behind, while the pieces, pistols, and swords, began to horses were close upon him. ) in- appear amongst the crowd, while in stinctively started back to assist him, one or two places I discerned the and seeing no other means, I seized uniform of the National Guard, and a wine cask that stood at one of the two or three youths from the Polydoors, and rolled it with all my technic School. Darkness soon afstrength between him and the sol- ter this came on ; the multitudes diers. The nearest gens-d'arme's opposed to the soldiery were inhorse, stopped in'full course, stum- creasing every minute, and a cry bled and fell over the barrel. A began to run through the crowd, loud shout of gratulation and tri- “To the gunsmiths shops! To the umph burst from the people ; and gunsmiths shops !” Instantly this turning in their flight, they dis- suggestion was obeyed. We discharged a shower of bricks and persed in a moment. Every gun

« НазадПродовжити »