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time in his sixty-ninth year, and was when Madame de Tencin appeared beone of the most querulous hypochon- fore the world as an authoress. She driacs of the age.
published four romances, of which After the death of Dubois, Madame is The Pains of Love" is the most re. de Tencin devoted all her energies to markable, 'since it describes her own securing the promotion of her bro- feelings in early life. No one has de. ther ; she took an active part in the picted, with equal power, the effects Jansenist controversy, and wrote se- of conventual seclusion on a sensitive veral pamphlets in defence of the papal mind, and the severe struggles of a supremacy over the Gallican church, heart divided between the emotions of while her brother, under her direc- love and the sentiments of devotion. tions, exercised all her influence as From the moment of her first appearArchbishop of Embrun to crush the ance in print, Madame de Tencin's saprelates who resisted the claims of loons became the rendezvous of the leadRome. For these services he was re- ing philosophers and writers of the age. warded with a cardinal's hat, and the Montesquieu, Fontenelle, Marian, Asarchbishopric of Lyons. Cardinal true, Helvetius, and many others, were Fleury was compelled by the Pope to her daily guests; and she applied all her admit him into the cabinet, but he energies to extend their fame and the took good care to allow the Tencins no circulation of their works with the real share in the administration.
same ardent boldness which she had Such a situation suited not the in- previously displayed in more ques. clinations of the Cardinal de Tencin, tionable pursuits. “ The Spirit of or his sister. Claudine had resolved Laws" appeared under her patronage; that her brother should be premier, she purchased two hundred copies of and was bitterly mortified to find that, the work to distribute among her acafter Fleury's death, he was passed quaintances; and as no one was admitover for Maurepas, Argenson, and An- ted to her saloons who had not studied celot. She sought for an ally in a new the works she patronised, her recomlover, and fixed her choice on the ce- mendations had all the force of the lebrated Duc de Richelieu.
despotic edicts of fashion. Several bleman was then in his thirtieth year, other ladies followed her example, and and was equally famous for his gal. for some time the patronage of literalantries and his valour. Madame de ture became almost the rage in Paris ; Polignac and Madame de Nesle had but no saloons ever rivalled those of fought a duel on his account with Madame de Tencin, because nowhere pistols in the Bois de Boulogne; and, else was so much discrimination shown as Voltaire said, “it was deemed an in the selection of guests. An invihonour to be dishonoured by him.” tation to Madame de Tencin's supRichelieu was attracted to Claudine
pers soon became an object of ambi. more by her political abilities than by tion in Paris ; literary merit was the her personal charms. Ambition was only passport to these assemblies; with them a more powerful bond of rank and fortune were of no avail, union than love, and their intrigues when this great requisite was wantagainst the successive ministers of ing. She called the wits gathered Louis XV. would furnish materials for round her “the beasts of her menamore than one volume. More than
gerie," and compelled them to submit to ten times power eluded their grasp her whims and caprices. One of these when success seemed most certain, un. was very singular; she presented each til at length Claudine resolved to aban- of her favourites annually with a pair don political life, which she did with of black velvet breeches, and insisted the same suddenness of decision, and they should be worn as her livery in inflexible firmness, which she displayed the evening assemblies. Proud as M. in entering and quitting the convent, de Montesquieu was, he had to receive and in breaking off her connexion with this strange boon like the rest ; the the Regent. Richelieu and his mis- Gazette de France avers that more tress parted on the most friendly terms. than eight thousand yards of velvet had Her farewell was given in the signifi- been thus used by the amiable cacant words, “ We have lost the power
She was the first who introof being useful to each other." duced Marmontel into public life, and Great was the astonishment of Paris
her patronage was of great service to
him in his early struggles. « Madame notorious in Paris, and the absence of de Tencin,” says he, “made me recite intimacy was frequently made the subthe history of my childhood, she en- ject of reproach to both. Some wri. tered into all my interests, sympathised ters assert that Fontenelle had a large with my vexations, reasoned with me share in producing and continuing on my hopes and prospects, and seem- this alienation, dreading that the taed to have nothing in her head but my lents of D'Alembert might endanger cares.”. He was not very grateful for his ascendancy in Madame de Tencin's such kindness, which he unjustly at- saloons. This, however, is not very tributed to a spirit of coquetry, rather probable, for while he sought to take than to generosity.
the lead in her assemblies, he was still Cold and selfish as Fontenelle was, more anxious to be the literary hero he evinced a strong attachment to at the dinners of her rival, Madame Madame de Tencin, never forgetting Geoffrin. the dangers into which she had been Claudine de Tencin died in 1749, led by the study of his “ Pastorals.” unjustly calumniated by the Parisian On the other hand, though she showed public; it was her fate to be believed warm friendship for the philosopher, innocent during the period of her passhe never would permit him to speak toral intrigues, to be accused of excesof a more tender attachment. Once, sive gallantry when she was exclusive. when he professed the most devoted !y devoted to politics, and to be cen. attachment, she, smilingly, placed her sured for ambition when she had abanhand on his left breast, and said- doned all other pursuits for the enjoy
“ It is not a heart that you have ment of a literary life. She was deeply there, but a lump of brains, such as is regretted in her own circle ; she left in your head.”
legacies to her chief favourites, all of l'or some unknown reason, she never whom went into mourning as for a sought any intimacy with her son, the near relation. Even Fontenelle grievcelebrated D'Alembert, though not ed for her, and thus characteristically insensible to his growing fame and re- expressed his sorrowputation. He, too, showed no anxiety The loss is irreparable ; she knew to frequent his mother's saloons, pro- my tastes, and always provided for me bably because he felt keenly the ne- the dishes I preferred. I shall never glect with which she had treated his find such delicate attention paid me at childhood. Their relationship was the dinner-table of Madame Geoffrin."
AN ODE OF HAFIZ.
I can't but think you much in the wrong, Prophet,
When you cursed the swine and the wine-grape's juice.
Every thing pleasant has its use.
I will maintain it against a host.
Here his wise head against a post.
Great in all his divine affairs ;
More, believe me, than his prayers.
Myself to say which is most to mine ;
I'd " go the whole hog," and give up the wine!
* This poet was, in the early part of his life, a page in the palace of the Sultaun Sinnaidjee Deervaneeh, but, towards middle age, abandoned, like St. Anthony, the court for the desert. His death occurred a.d. 1529.
† Ma allaha Shabasi Hasreti dawer Kalender. The Falcon is here supposed (as I suppose) to symbolise some attribute or attributes of the Deity.
The son-in-law and successor of Mohammed in the Khalifate. § Satan's.
The origin of the sect of the Soffees, or Sūfees, dates from the tenth century: They wear but a single woollen blue garment, and are accounted the austerest of the Eastern ascetics. They usually dwell in monasteries, differing in this respect from the Kalenders, whose habits, like those of the Fakeers of India, are essentially migratory and vagabond.
Abandoning court, and seeking a port
From the storms of Life in the true Religion,
Hu! Hu! Allah hu !
I am Allah's Falcon's Kalender.
Vain world, farewell ! The Powers of Hell
I defy from the peak of this Bhairb-ridge,*
Hu! Hu! Allah hu !
Mother and Son.
(FROM THE FRISIAN OP HANDRIC TZVELK.)
“Hie to the wood, and seek thy sister,
Son for ever gay !
Son for ever gay!"-
Golden mother grey!
Golden mother grey!"
_“Fare to the mill, and seek thy brother,
Son for ever gay!
Son for ever gay!"
* The Bhairb Mountains in Guzzerat, from whence the Kalender is supposed to speak.
† Another name for the Soonites, who opposed the doctrines of Ali, and advocated those of Omar. My readers are, of course, aware that the Mohammedans were formerly divided into two sects, the Soon-ites and the Shyites; but the Soonites, alas ! disappeared too soon, and the Shy-ites are now so shy, that they decline to hold controversy with any but their wives; who, in Persia at least, can" bandy syllables with their lords and masters after a manner that might astonish some European ladies.