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and set about repairing his household fortunes. A king of France died by way of portent when he was tearing up his floors, and Francis I. had been succeeded by his son, Henry II. In this year, 1549, Palissy was about forty years old, and his labour to invent enamelled ware had been spread over a period of some eight years. It cost him eight years more, but the worst portion of his toil was over. Time it was so. He had now only to learn the temper of his clays, and buy with experience a knowledge of those numerous mishaps which practical potters only can appreciate, and against which, in those days of rude appliances, incessant watchfulness was needed. He made vessels of different colours, which kept house tolerably; but he still kept losing the greater part of his more ambitious work by various mischances—so constantly recurring, that no one will peruse them and ever after see an enamel without thinking of Bernard's patience amid trials and perseverance in affliction. Different minds will look upon this history of endurance in different lights. To persevere under difficulties is always held up, as in the work before us, as the most praiseworthy and admirable manifestation of genius. But we have most of us social duties to perform, as well as to labour for distinction. In Bernard Palissy's instance, this was particularly the case. The enamel. maniac-for we can scarcely call him anything else—appears, by depriving his children of proper nourishment, to have been indirectly the cause of six little children being hurried to a premature grave.
Great strength of body must have enabled Palissy to endure, in addition to privation and distress, the intense toil to which he subjected himself in the prosecution of his struggles. But his physical frame bore strong marks of the contest. “I was for the space of ten years," he says, “ so wasted in my person, that there was no form nor prominence of muscle on my arms or legs ; also, the said legs were throughout of one size, so that the garters with which I tied my stockings, were at once, when I walked, down upon my heels, with the stockings too. I often walked about the fields of Xaintes considering my miseries and weariness, and, above all things, that in my own house I could have no peace, nor do anything that was considered good. I was despised and mocked by all.” More than once breaks out this yearning for domestic love, so simply, with so quaint a pathos that we sometimes half wonder how a man so loveable could be denied the consolation of domestic sympathy. But it is nothing strange; it would have been more strange had he been mated with a wife as capable as he himself was of endurance.
She was afflicted with more grief than I have named ; her family was large, but death had removed six of her children. In one of his treatises, speaking of wormwood, Palissy says : “ Before I knew the value of the said herb, the worms caused me the death of six children, as we discovered both by having caused their bodies to be opened, and by their frequently passing from the mouth, and when they were near death the worms passed also by the nostrils. The districts of Xaintonge, Gascony, Agen Quercy, and the parts towards Toulouse are very subject to the said worms."
We do not mean to say that the perseverance with which the potter of Saintonge laboured to succeed] is not praiseworthy; we mean, that he carried his zeal too far ; so much so, as to forget his social duties, and none can do this with impunity. He is, at the same time, much to be pitied; for he is not like an alchemist, who works for a phantom ; he wrought for that which would have benefited himself, his family, and his country. But an untaught man, it occupied him for fifteen or sixteen years to teach himself, by his own genius, that which could have been
learnt by a few years' study. One-half of science and art is now traditional, and such is the perfection almost every branch has attained, that, possibly, no man could now reach even mediocrity untaught. But the first difficulties got over, as in other arts, the perfection attained in the moulding and enamelling of ornamental pottery was the gift of Palissy's own genius. He had also that other useful yet ambitious gift of genius-he was never satisfied; and even when he had brought his art to great perfection, still he wanted to produce shells, and flowers, and lizards, and other of the most delicate and variable productions of nature in all the perfection of nature herself. And to effect this, he toiled on, as may be expected, to the end.
The search for enamel was, however, the great episode in the life of Bernard Palissy. Not that his career was wanting in very various polemical and philosophic interest, as we find more particularly recorded in his works, some of the more remarkable of which have been incorporated by Mr. Morley in this biography, as illustrative of the life and character of this singular man; nor was his career wanting in incident and adventure ; he was an Huguenot, and he lived in the times of Catherine de Medicis—that is saying enough; but these are incidents that belong to the history of many besides himself; his experiences, sufferings, and
trials, prolonged through so many years, under such great privations, · and with such bad success, to discover the art of enamelling, are unique, and constitute within themselves a great psychological phenomenon.
We may, therefore, be excused following his biographer in his details of the sturdy potter's firm adherence to the doctrines of the Reformed Church, and his bold advocacy of those doctrines in times of open persecution—the history of Palissy becomes then mixed up with the history of a whole nation, and of its factions and its rulers - or the same biographer's discussion on Palissy's first work, which appears to have been a desultory attack upon the art of medicine as then practised, and more particularly against the use of gold as a remedial agent, and which is now a lost work.
Palissy had prospered in his art, and had fulfilled his utmost expectations of success. His beautiful designs in pottery completed with much labour, and sold at a price which only the rich could pay, presented a new luxury to the great people of his neighbourhood.
Antoine Sire de Pons, the Count of Marennes and his wife Anne de Partenay, Baron de Jarnac, and the Governor of Rochelle, became acquainted with his skill, and supplied him with commissions. The Seigneur de Burie and the Count de Rochefoucault, men of much influence, became his patrons. The Constable Montmorenci, who filled up seasons of forced leisure in the luxu. rious employment of his vast wealth, found out the Frenchman who had learned to stamp his genius indelibly on clay, and soon established himself as head patron of Palissy the Potter. Bernard was bidden to employ himself on behalf of the great constable in the adornment of his Château d'Ecouen, about four leagues from Paris. Among all the business that flowed in to keep his furnace active and his wits at work, the decorations of the Château d'Ecouen took the first place.
But Palissy was not only a persevering man, he was also a very blunt and even rude critic, and that, according to his own showing, not only in polemical and philosophical matters, but even on such slight topics as dress. Indeed, he was constantly, in his few days of prosperity, attacking the vices and follies of his times. This created him many enemies, and his house was at length broken into, his pottery was trampled under the feet of an infuriated populace, and he himself was hurried to a dungeon at Bordeaux—the waiting-chamber to the scaffold. Bernard was saved, however, by the interference of his first great patron, Montmorenci, and he was appointed inventor of rustic figurines to the king and to the constable. Thus saved from the power of the parliamentary party, Bernard returned to his family, repaired his house, and once more set up his penates in the half-depopulated town of Saintes. But the obstinate potter, instead of learning wisdom by his near escape from death, employed the first months of recovered liberty in writing a work, in which he did not scruple to utter his opinions as a Huguenot with the utmost freedom, and which work he actually first intended to dedicate to the constable and the queen-mother!
Many of Palissy's free speeches became, at last, to be humoured as the eccentricities of a simple-minded man, more especially when he was known as poor Bernard the Potter at the Tuileries. For it appears, that when Catherine was at last driven, by her intrigues, from beneath the roof of the king her son, she, resolving not to travel far from the Louvre, laid the foundations of a new palace in the adjacent tile-fields, and Bernard was, through the interest of the architect, employed on this new undertaking. During the ten years that followed his settlement in Paris, he laboured with his sons as a potter, at the same time that he exercised his genius as a naturalist among the men of taste and learning in the capitol. His philosophy thus grew yearly deeper and wider, and the knowledge displayed in his early publications was left far behind as he fought his own way forward to maturer views.
We must leave it to Mr. Morley to elucidate the science taught by the self-educated Bernard, and to compare it with existing knowledge—it constitutes a laborious but most curious and interesting page in the history of progressive taste and philosophy. The old man escaped the massacre of St. Bartholomew. Two years afterwards, on the accession of the new king, Henry III., the poor potter, Master Bernard of the Tuileries, was sixty-five years old. He was regarded by all men as a very honest man, and he was admired for his clear-sighted philosophy by some of the first scientific men in Paris, among whom may especially be enumerated Buffon, Haller, and Jussieu ; but he was as usual despised by another clique as a mechanic ignorant of Greek and Latin, and, worse than all, he was vindictively watched by his opponents in religion. The triumphant progress of Henry of Navarre was the signal for the last acts of violence on the part of the Romanists. The Council of Sixteen became clamorous for the death of all unsentenced Reformers, and Matthew de Launay especially pressed the execution of the old potter, then seventynine years old. But Henry III., who knew Bernard as an old servitor of forty-five years' standing, would not yield to the clamours of the bigots, backed as they were by the Guises in this instance ; and Bernard died in the Bastille the same year that his royal protector fell by the hand of Clement the Regicide.
YOUNG TOM HALL'S HEART-ACHES AND HORSES.
CHAPTER XXXIX. SCARCE had Angelena finished waving her lace-fringed kerchief adieus to the cantering away old lord through the window, ere mamma stood behind her in the room.
“And what d'ye think !” exclaimed the quick, artful girl, turning short round on her inquisitive parent.
“ Nay, I don't know !" replied Mrs. Blunt, reddening up. “ Guess,” said Angelena, in a significant tone..
“Nay,” replied mamma, not venturing on the speculation women usually indulge in.
“ That I'm to be a lady, then,” said Angelena, spreading out her arms and hands on either side, and dropping a very low curtsey.
“ What! has he offered ?” exclaimed Mrs. Blunt, now in full flutter. .“ Offered !" replied Angelena, with another curtsey.
“Oh, my dear child! oh, my duck! oh, my angel! my beloved !" ejaculated mamma, hugging her daughter to her bosom, and then giving her a volley of kisses.
“ But don't tell pa," said Miss, with an ominous shake of her head.
“ Why not, my beloved ?" asked mamma, feeling it would be the death of her to keep it.
“Oh, because you see, my lord—that's to say Lord Heartycheer-and I-I mean, Lord Heartycheer, I think, would like-indeed, I know he would prefer to-to come over to talk to papa about it himself, as soon as he and I have got matters a little further arranged, and he's "
"Well, but you're sure he offered,” interrupted Mrs. Blunt, who well knew her daughter's imaginative powers.
,“ Sure!” retorted Angelena, with a sneer. “Sure,” repeated she, “as if there could be any mistake about it.”
“Why, you should know as well as any one,” replied mamma, thinking of the number of offers she had had.
“I think I should, indeed,” simpered Angelena ; adding, “it's only for girls who've never had beaus to make mistakes about it."
- Well, you do 'stonish me," continued mamma, now regaining her breath with her confidence, as she thought of what she saw and heard through the crevice. “ You do 'stonish me," repeated she.
“I saw it was coming," observed Angelena. “I believe he'd have offered out hunting if it hadn't been for the servants."
“What, he was very sweet, was he ?” asked mamma.
“Oh, very,” replied Angelena ; " quite rapturous, in fact.” · “You didn't tell me," observed mamma.
“No,” mused Angelena; adding, “ you see-you see, I thought it mightn't come to anything, and then you would only laugh at me, and p'r’aps feel disappointed, so I thought the best thing was just to wait and see if he took any steps.”
" It was love at first sight, then," observed mamma.
“I should say it was,” replied Angelena," I should say it was. He was remarkably courteous and respectful as soon as I came up, and stuck
to me the whole day, showing me the country, and getting me over the hedges and ditches, and awkward places."
“ He's a fine, handsome man," said Mrs. Blunt, thinking what a triumph it was for her daughter.
“Oh, he's a charming man,” rejoined Angelena, thinking how severely he had kissed her.
“People talk of his age; I don't believe he's half as old as they say,” observed Mrs. Blunt.
“They wouldn't think him old if they could get him,” replied Angelena.
“No more they would, my darling," asserted Mrs. Blunt, who was an ardent advocate of the doctrine that men are never too old to marry. “I always say,” continued she, “that a man of fifty is infinitely preferable to a boy of twenty, or five-and-twenty, who falls in love with every pretty face he meets, and whom no woman can be certain of till she's got him through the church. Then they get tired of their wives, and their sons come treading on their heels before they know where they are. It's an awkward thing when father and son want top-boots at the same time. That'll not be your case—and you'll be a countess, whatever happens. A countess ! my w~0~r—r—d, but it will make some people stare,” Mrs. Blunt thinking over a select list of friends whom she would astonish with the great intelligence.
“And what will you do with Tom Hall ?” asked mamma, after a meditative pause.
“Oh, Tom may offer his fat hand to some one else ; Jug says he's gone after Laura Giddyfowle, or whatever they call that great, staringeyed girl the men are all raving about.”
“Ah, and Jug too," suggested Mrs. Blunt.
“Oh, Jug and I will go on as before ; my lord'll arrange that boys of his age are never jealous of those they consider their seniors. Jug's to be cat’s-paw for the present-my lord's gone to see him about it, and Jug's to chaperone me over to the castle on Wednesday, after which, I make no doubt, his lordship will see pa, and arrange matters. See, his lordship has left his cards upon you,” continued she, taking them up; “so now," added Angelena, as she heard the well-known cough outside the back door, admonitory of her father's approach, “whatever you do, don't tell pa, if you please, for the present.” So saying, she whisked out of the room, just clearing the landing with her smart dress as the colonel's great stomach pioneered the way for his body.
CHAPTER XL. “ Don't believe it don't believe a word of it, (bad word) me if I do!" exclaimed the colonel, who came in in a very bad humour, having lost three-and-sixpence at quoits, when Mrs. Blunt whispered him in the strictest confidence the great event of the day. “ Not likely that hoary old rascal's goin' to be caught at his time o' life,” continued he.
“ Well, but I assure you it's the fact,” replied Mrs. Blunt, now speaking rather above her breath. .
“ Hoot, the divil! you women are always fancyin' these things," growled he, stamping heavily with his plated high-low.