In a late number of The Tribune a correspondent corrects the statement made under this head as to the expulsion of the Jesuits from France. He places this concession in such a light as to make it amount to nothing, and asserts that the public journals have exaggerated it to favor their own views and purposes. He speaks as one having authority; we have none beyond those journals. Yet it is strange indeed if they can much exaggerate on a subject of such importance and notoriety. Are we to understand that nothing has been done which deprives the Jesuits, at least in name and form, of tolerance in France?—We find the following statement in the correspondence of the Courrier des Etats Unis, bearing date July 16th.
“Many vague and confused rumors are heard in various directions where the name of M. Rossi is joined with that of the Jesuits. The Jesuits go, say some; the Pope has yielded. He will not yield, cry others; we shall have trouble to drive them away.—But now the Messager and Moniteur have put an end to all doubts by positively declaring that in consequence of the negotiations conducted at Rome by M. Rossi in the name of the French Government, the Jesuits go.—But will they go? They will remain hidden among us, isolated, disguised, secret and more than ever active agents of the Order.” Such a statement as this appears irreconcilable with the assertion that only “the three great Jesuit establishments of Paris, Lyons and Grenoble are to be reduced, all the other Jesuit houses remaining precisely as before.” It is strange indeed if a false impression can be given throughout France on a matter of such vital interest.
Marshal Bugeaud assumes the responsibility of the fatal event of Dahra, and it is defended officially on the grounds which we are glad to see thus detailed, as they are well adapted to give a lively feeling of the horrors of war in general. It is very true that “the most prompt and efficacious way of fighting must in the main be esteemed the most humane mode of making war;” it is also true that “by many other ways as many lives are sacrificed at once.” Let us the more rejoice to see that Man, though, made callous by custom, is not at heart so barbarous as he seems, and that such facts, when realized, can cause a lively thrill of indignation and pity. Even the commanding officer, says the mild extenuation of the Manifesto, at last, “moved by a lively pity,” had bade them stop and examine the caves, but they found the inmates nearly all suffocated. The Colonel, firmly attached to duty and of a nerve and decision we must still believe or hope to be uncommon, was “moved” too late.
The Duke de Montpensier and Prince Constantine of Russia are visiting to get experience. The King of Holland has been in London, where, says the print, he has been so impolitely received, probably because of an old grudge as to the marriage of Princess Charlotte. There is something very droll in the supposition of a long-standing pique of this kind: for such hereditary majesty, the world would seem now somewhat too much of the Esprit Fort. The Queen of England travels to be met in Germany by some of the Queens of Genius. It is the fashion for princes to travel, but they do not do it in a way to learn much. The Czar Peter the Great from choice, Louis Phillippe from necessity, traveled to some purpose. Peter in his small house in the ship-yard, Louis Phillippe indebted to the kindness of a friend for a nice pair of new stout shoes, were in circumstances to spell out some precious lines in the book of the world.
There seems to be a natural affinity between France and Russia, the coldest, (and, if the crowd of translations give anything like an adequate idea of the Russian genius,) the dullest region of the world, and the most mercurial. The Russian nobles are always trying to steal away to Paris, the Czar always recalling them; often just when they have made all the arrangements that would insure their pleasure in remaining. Sometimes, however, they succeed in tricking his Imperial Majesty, as lately, a Prince who saw his term of absence draw to a close, got himself thrown into prison for a debt of six hundred thousand francs, induced the Czar to have a part of his patrimony sold and remit this sum to him, and having thus secured sufficient funds to live in la belle France, joyfully abandoned the remainder for the sake of a more joyous existence than the climate of Russia and the shadow of the Autocrat permit.
The Czar, who has to stay at home, consoles himself by luring to his capital all the talent he can to amuse him in his hours of recreation with the Spectacle. Long he kept Taglioni far from her adorers; now he has persuaded a leading actress of the Theatre Francais to break her engagement there, which throws the play-loving Parisians into consternation.
However, though such amusements be a part of the habitual life of the French citizen, they can bear the loss better than the crowned head could. Princes rely much on theatrical entertainments for pleasure; indeed these are to them the only genuine source of social pleasure, for the game of society, so fascinating where the attractions and repulsions, checks and balances alternate through a sufficient number of Peers, scarcely exists for them. We are told in the memoirs of Queen Hortense that the Emperor Alexander, like the hero of Marmontel’s tale, always was longing to be loved for himself, and always disappointed. Neither can they be listened to, or looked at, even, for themselves alone, and it must be pleasanter to share the thrill of sympathy with an audience than to play a part one’s self when it is impossible to know whether it is the acting, or rank and trappings of the actor, that calls up applause.
Madame Castellan, whose beautiful voice enchanted our ears, though the absence of genius from her song left the heart untouched, is thus mentioned in the Commerce of Paris, as quoted by the Courrier:
“Pointing out lately to the director of the Opera prima donnas of sufficient distinction to relieve Madame Stoltz and share with her responsibilities and homage at the Royal Academy of Music, we mentioned Madame Castellan Giampietri. We knew that, two years ago, she would have received with gratitude honorable proposals from the director of the Opera; she was in hopes by her success in giving concerts to incline him to make them, but others had the field at that time, and the young aspirant was let go. This fault should be repaired, but not at any price that might be asked. Madame Castellan is little known at Paris; she deceives herself in supposing that the noise of her triumphs has made any impression there that would justify the Royal Academy in offering her carte-blanche to secure her services. She has made through a friend these extraordinary propositions to the Academy. Madame Castellan would consent to engage herself to our first lyric theatre on condition, 1st, of occupying without a rival the place of prima donna; 2d, of a part to be given her at once in an opera of Meyerbeer or Donizetti; 3d, to have two months’ leave of absence allowed her, and all this for the trifling salary of 100,000 francs a year. These incredible pretensions, it may well be believed, were received with a roar of laughter. What vanity! what impudence! one must, indeed, be a lyric artist to escape the madhouse after such extravagances.”
Great preparations are making in Germany for the celebration of the uncovering to the public the monument to Beethoven. The greatest musical geniuses now living, among others Spohr, Meyerbeer and Liszt, will assist in the celebration of honors to the demi-god of musical art. The Queen of England and King of Prussia are expected to be present.
The absent editor of the Courrier writes from Paris some interesting particulars of the last days of Artôt. He made, the year previous, a journey into Italy for the benefit of his health, and, finding it somewhat reestablished, was anxious to go to Madrid, hoping there to add a flower to his crown. He was, however, full of sad presentiments, and receiving on the eve of his departure the order of Leopold from the King of Belgium, said to his friends, after expressing his pleasure at the unexpected distinction, “It is a crown upon a coffin.” At Madrid he had a brilliant success; the Queen wished to hear him, but at one of his last concerts he was exposed to a current of freezing air, and the cold thus caught brought on a mortal illness. Seeing his end approach, the poor artist wished, at least, to die in France, and was, though with great difficulty, transported thither.
There is something in these details which harmonizes with the feminine delicacy and refined sentiment that distinguished the playing of Artôt.
M. Gaillardet tells the following story to account for the departure of Mlle Plessy, which has caused many romantic stories to be circulated: one was that she was going to Russia to marry a man she loved, and to whom she would not be united in France. But in this edition of the story the sweet of the romance is all turned sour by that worst of leaven, a woman marrying from pique.
“The elopement of Mlle Plessy, one of the youngest and prettiest actresses of the Théátre Français, continues to be the object of infinite talk and conjecture. This affair of the scene has well nigh become an affair of state. Many versions have been circulated, but this is the true one. Her heart had been touched by a man of much talent, and one of my good friends whom I have been very glad to meet again, Emmanuel Arago, son to the great astronomer, and himself an advocate of distinction.—Mlle Plessy hoped that he would marry her, and he would not, perhaps, have refused to do so, as he loved her, but family considerations and the wishes of relatives opposed the union. Wounded and mortified, she resolved to show that, as to husbands, she had but to choose. A man of letters, Arnould, one of the authors of “Straensée,” had long ago offered her his heart and hand. She refused, naturally, as Arnould, though very witty, is equally ugly, and an old bachelor beside. Now she accepted, on condition that he would leave France, hateful country, which she wished never more to see. Arnould swore to follow her to the end of the world! Meanwhile they took refuge at Gretna Green, where is the altar for improvised marriages. The last news is that the act of despair is accomplished, and the marriage celebrated. Now it remains to see if the Théatre Français, which has sent both officers of the law and ambassadors, can get her back.”
The Queen of Spain has made a very discreet little speech, not unworthy her namesake, that Queen of discretion. A part of the council opposing vehemently her journey into the Basque provinces, where Carlist influence has been predominant, her physicians gave their opinion, in writing, that her health absolutely required that she should go thither to drink the waters. The Queen sent for the President of the council, and giving him this written opinion, said, “You see that the physicians think that my health and that of my sister requires that we should go into the Basque provinces; but if you and your colleagues think that I had better return to Madrid, I wish to do what will be most for the good of the State.”
“But the ministers,” says El Heraldo, “considering the noble frankness with which Her Majesty submitted to the opinion of her counselors the most personal act of her existence, and fearing to undertake so grave a responsibility as to contradict the advice of the physicians, wished that the journey should take place without delay.—The future regent of France, the Duke of Nemours, and his wife, will cross the frontier to visit the Queen while on this journey.
Von Raumer’s work on the United States has appeared, and its table of contents is of great promise. A translation may be expected to appear here shortly.*
“Items of Foreign Gossip.” New-York Daily Tribune, 27 August 1845, p. 1.