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above all in defending his independence and perfect freedom from political bondage; and he had no respect for the leaders of the popular opinions. "Many of those gentlemen thanked me for the help which I had endeavoured to give,” he says. "I answered, 'Do not thank me for songs made against our enemies thank me for those which I have not made against you." But he was universally sought after in spite of the indomitable independence always good-humoured, yet quite immovable, with which he resisted the advances of the great. "I have a dictionary different from that which is used in your salons," he says to M. de la Rochefoucauld; and even speaks merrily of the château of his friend Lafitte, as a place which was insupportable save in the society of Manuel, Thiers, and Mignet, and cannot forget that he was never able to make a single couplet in it. "I was not born for the châteaux,” he adds. With all his great friends, his immense popularity, and the eager desire of partisans, too enthusiastic to be wise, to bring him likewise into office and power as soon as the Liberal party were at the head of affairs, Beranger's own perfect good sense and self-appreciation never faltered. His young friends would have had him receive the porte-feuille of the Minister of Public Instruction at the Revolution of July. turned it aside laughingly, with a favourite joke of his "Be it so; I will make them adopt my chansons as a schoolbook in the pensionnats de demoiselles ;" and though he heartily approves of Louis Philippe's election, republican though he is, being above alla patriot,nothing could ever induce him to present himself to the new king. It is in the same spirit that, considerably later, long after he had concluded his autobiography, he resisted with the most anxious pertinacity all the attempts which were made to draw him into public affairs in 1848. We can only refer to the extremely touching and beautiful letter to the electors who were so anxious to send him to the National Assembly, which is printed in the appendix to this memoir. It is but the reiteration of a senti
ment which has prevailed with him throughout his life. Singularly clearsighted, and full of a homely sense and self-command, nothing could induce Beranger to believe in the universality of his own powers. These powers, however, he had studied carefully, and became more and more thoroughly acquainted with during the course of his long life. He knew what he could do-a piece of knowledge which sundry other poets have attained to; but he knew at the same time what he could not do-a most rare and hardly-procured information. Knowing it, he cannot be persuaded to make experiments with his own fame; and his firmness in resisting all solicitations of the kind is very well illustrated by an anecdote of Lapointe upon this part of the poet's life:
"In the first days of the Revolution of 1830, when all the world lost its wits," says this commentator, "when the people raised barricades and fought, the poet held out against the storm, reassured some, fed others; the chansonnier had become a soldier." But when the tempest was over-when "the friends of the poet held the new power, the chansonnier retired-all the honours which they proposed to him he refused. This constant persistance in being nothing was the result of a profound calculation; without nobility, without fortune, having no other prestige than that of his songs, he felt that it would be difficult for him to maintain an elevated post. Je ne serai quelque chose,' said he, 'qu'à la condition que je ne serai rien."
And to this determination he remained faithful all his life, declining even to seek admittance into the Academy, which might have been supposed more tempting than political power, to a poet so jealous for the due honour of his genre as Beranger.
With the establishment of the Citizen King upon the throne, the autobiography of the popular poet comes to a conclusion; but we are not without details as to his after-life. He thought his work over and his songs done at this political epoch, and he went to seek tranquillity for his old age in the country, where he
does he?'-he does that which he always did-good works." And he certainly proves what he says.
could at least be free from the solicitations which were so disagreeable to him. He tried Passy, Fontainebleau, and Tours in succession; but though he loved the country, he was entirely a man of the town, and did not remain long out of Paris, where all his friends and all his associations were. A lively account of his life and habits, in this last stage, is to be found in the work of Lapointe, who never tires of repeating tales of the kindness, the inexhaustible benevolence, and the abounding sympathies of the poet, whom he calls Mon maître. But that it is almost impossible to choose among so many, we should have been glad to quote some of these stories. They show kindly old age in one of its most beautiful aspects. Beranger cannot go about the streets without meeting a hundred little adventures. It does not appear that he can see any creature poor or in suffering, without pausing to ascertain how he can help them; and in these Parisian streets, which the popular poet has studied all his life, and to the lively and diversified animation of which he owed much of his power over the sympathies of his countrymen, he is continually repaying to some desolate widow or blind workman, or other unfortunate, the gain which he has derived from this busy book of life. The modest little income, and the much greater influence which his works have gained for him, he spends in an overflowing and inexhaustible charity. It is impossible to say that what he has is fightly won, after his own statement that he seldom produced more than fifteen or sixteen songs in a year. But it is splendidly spent; and his poor compatriots come to him from all quarters, confident in the open heart which is never shut against them, seeking every kind of benevolence, from substantial benefits of money, or recommendation still more potent, to the perfectly French and superlative petition of the old concierge who prays to be permitted to embrace him. At that time they used to question me," says Lapointe, Does Beranger do nothing what is it that Beranger does? What
In those days the life of the old poet was of this fashion : went out usually about two o'clock, to visit those of his old friends whom death had left to him, now become few, or to solicit in some of the public offices, perhaps, employment for a young man without occupation; perhaps help for a family without bread; sometimes he went to the Bois de Boulogne, which he loved much before they spoiled it. At six he returned to dine, and did not go out again. He had always one, two, or sometimes three persons to dine with him. He loved not to dine alone. 'La compagnie oblige,' he said. On one day of the week he gave a great dinner. I have seen as many as sixteen persons in his little salle-à-manger. And what gaiety, what amiability was in his bearing! Sometimes they sang, and he sang himself. They talked of everything. This pleasant sketch is supplemented by various individual traits, and by witty or rather shrewd and humorous sayings. He had always a great appetite, and esteemed men who had an equal gift in this respect, and who were good laughers. "Les bonnes pensées viennent d'un bon estomac," he said pleasantly. He had no patience with the melancholy and blasé youth. "Ils ont toujours l'air de s'être tués la veille,” he remarks upon these young men, and he thinks it a bad symptom. With all his benevolence, he was seldom in the crestfallen condition of the good Mayor of Gatesboro'; it was not very easy to deceive him, and he treats with sarcastic politeness what he calls "mendicité en carosse," the advantage which some people of wealth would have taken of his well-known charity. Indeed, in the midst of his gaiety, his liberality, his freedom of speech and action, the most striking feature in the character of Beranger is this admirable good sense, which never forsakes him. From the time when Maman Bouvet, in the little inn at Peronne, takes counsel with the young sage of twelve years old, until the period when he
sits, at seventy, cheerful, independent, and untrammelled, giving shrewd opinions upon all the passing events, this sagacity never forsakes him. It is not abstract wisdom, it is not wit; it is a shrewd, homely, practical insight into human affairs and motives, rarely mistaken, but never ill-natured, and often full of a happy and kindly humour. He is a patriot and a republican, but he is no theorist he wants to see his country safe and happy, without insisting that she shall be happy in his way. Great plans do not deceive him, and he remains undeluded even by the enthusiasm of a revolution. "What divides you," he says to Armand Marrast in 1848, "is less the diversity of your opinions, than the similarity of your pretensions." For himself he pretends nothing, save the sole and simple dignity, of which alone he is jealous-the rank of poet. The position which he chooses for himself, and reserves, in spite of all temptations, with this unerring sagacity, throws a singular light of contrast well worth observation upon the more usual pretensions of men of literature in France. He is almost the only one among them who sees through the false philosophy of this strange result of literary fame; and even then he makes no brag of the principle, and condemns none of his confrères, who believe that they must be able to govern because they are able to write. He judges for himself clearly, simply, and with the most just perception of natural fitness and propriety; but, in spite of the moral with which the old man, as he grows old, loves to point the tale which he tells to youth, his natural wisdom always preserves him from any attempt to impose his own conclusion as a yoke upon the neck of others.
This autobiography of Beranger is not, however, a political work; it is his own life, naturally and simply told; and it is only when the events of his life become fewer, and his position is established, that he turns aside to tell stories of such historical names as Bernadotte, Talleyrand, and Fouché. During the times of the Revolution and the Empire, he
is more engaged with the personal thread of his own experiences-those experiences which came to fruit in later times. But though the political reader may be disappointed to find so little record of the parties and discussions of State in this volume, no one who wished to make acquaintance with the man-no one interested in the real history of the people-will find reason to share this feeling. Beranger himself stands clear on a sunshiny background of lively observation and tender goodness. A man of steady good sense and humbleness, marvellous in a Frenchman-full, notwithstanding, of French sensibility and enthusiasm, which gives to his shrewd and kindly bonhommie the individual traits of his country; and not less clear are his surroundings, his humble relatives, his volatile father, his ambitious companions, and the crowd which adored him. For the under-current of history, always so interesting and full of instruction-for a delightful picture of the poet, and many pleasant side-lights thrown upon the principal incidents of the period, this little volume will be found as valuable as it is interesting. The charm of its naïve and natural story cannot be given in any resumé, however full; but we do not doubt that the English translation, which has appeared almost simultaneously with the French original, will convey to a great many English readers, who at present know little of him, some sympathy with the popular love and regard which surrounds the name of Beranger among his own countrymen.
We have left ourselves no space to consider the Dernières Chansons, a volume which has not very long preceded this memoir. But Beranger's graces and peculiarities are already so well known that it seems scarcely necessary. The poetry of old age never was expressed more exquisitely than in some of these last songs; and we cannot refrain from quoting an example or two of the old man's gravity and gaiety, each in its way so admirable and so true to nature. For the latter, see the humour, whimsical, yet not without a semi-tone of pathos, in which he celebrates, having attain
ed to it, the birthday of the Septua- chanson was still safe in his hands. genaire:
Je t'ai chantée avant de savoir lire;
Et quand la mort me tient sous son épieu,
Demi-couché, je me vois dans la tombe,
It would be too tempting to go further, but there is abundant evidence that the old chansonnier had lost nothing of his gift, and that the
Let us find room yet for one of the
Une idée a frappé chez nous,
It would be easy to cite many passages from these songs illustrative of the life which is now fully before us, what we have already said, that we but we can only pause to repeat have nowhere seen the poetry of old age, peculiar as it is, expressed with greater sweetness and power.
Beranger died amidst such popular expressions of regard and anxiety, as we sometimes, but very rarely, bestow upon the end of a very popular statesman, but which no poet yet has attained in this country. Is the fault with the people or the poet? among his This singer lived fellow-citizens, thought like them, sang for them, met them in a hundred little rencontres of social life, and was never slow to acknowledge his origin and sympathies, which were entirely with them. The crowd preserved with French fervour as sacred relics the immortelles which had covered his pall, and which they divided among themselves; and public honours attended his funeral. So lived and so died the chansonnier.
THE FIRST BENGAL EUROPEAN FUSILIERS IN THE DELHI CAMPAIGN.
[A short history of some of the doings of the 1st European Bengal Fusiliers, formerly known as Lord Lake's "dear old dirty shirts"; taken on the spot in spare moments during the Delhi campaign.]
"Historic pride clings to masses as much as to individuals, conducting to
On the 13th May 1857, Major Jacob rode into Dugshai from Simla, with orders from the Commander-in-Chief for the 1st European Bengal Fusiliers to march to Umballa without delay; and accordingly a reference to the Regimental Order-book will show, that at 4 P.M. the regiment was directed to parade in shirtsleeves, with sixty rounds in pouch, and food in havresack. The corps marched, full of health and spirits, a little before five, only anxious not to be too late, and little anticipating the work to be done ere the brave fellows should again return to the Hill station of Dugshai.
Colonel Welchman was unable to accompany the corps, as he had a few days previously undergone a severe surgical operation.
The evening was cool in the station, yet no sooner did we begin to descend the shoulder of the hill, than the heat began to make itself unpleasantly felt; and this, added to the continual steep descent, almost uninterrupted for twenty-five miles, which necessarily occasioned the men's feet to be driven forward against the hard leather of their ammunition boots, caused so many to become foot-sore and exhausted, that before we reached Kalka at least half the regiment had fallen out.
Near Kalka we halted for four hours, but avoided any stay in the town, cholera being prevalent there.
The order to move from Dugshai being urgent, and no coolies or means of carriage being available, or procurable at that place, nothing for men or officers could be brought with the column, beyond what the private servant of the officer, or the regimental servants of the soldiers could bring; so that when, after a
SIR C. NAPIER.
twenty-four mile march, we reached our halting-place, all we could do was to go to bed camp fashion, i. e. on the ground, with our clothes on. After we had been lying there for some time, and I had nearly succeeded in falling asleep, I heard Wriford sing out, "Here's my servant at last. Who wants bread and beef?" Of course there were plenty of wanters, and then, strange to say, those who, when they had nothing, were quite contented, could not be satisfied, after the beef, without pushing on to Baines' Hotel, about a mile ahead, where we found a good supper laid out, and above all tea, so that we got on famously.
We started again at half-past 1 A.M., but so many men had not come up that Captain Wriford was left to bring on the stragglers. We marched till daylight, halting at Pinjore, where we did not delay long, but pushed on to Chundeeghur, which we reached about half-past six, and the sun being very hot, we there rested for the day; the men in the serai, the officers under some trees, where the time passed pleasantly enough. In fact, though all ought to have been tired, none seemed to be disposed to sleep. One, the Indefatigable, absolutely set to reading the Military Regulations; of course, such a thing could never be permitted, and a shower of artificial snow, invented out of feathery grass expressly for the occasion by Master Frank, and poured on the Indefatigable's head, caused the military code to be shut up amid roars of laughter. Here we dined, and a more light-hearted party never sat under those old mangoes; for had we not heard how that the gallant Rifles and Carabineers had re-taken Delhi, and treated the muti