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banks of the Volga. I marched to meet them at numbers, and raising piercing cries, surrounded the head of my veterans, the conquerors of me on all sides, seized, and bound me with cords, Sweden, and reinforced by the brave Tartars of and conducted me to the presence of their chief. Circassia, who had implored the protection of I was in the kingdom of Dahoney, which had Russia. Success was to all appearance certain; never before received the visit of a European. the Khan was far distant from the field, and I had "The great Dahomey,king of the country, seemed for opponents, not soldiers, but brigands, without himself almost frightened at my aspect; he recoldiscipline, commanded by chiefs without experi- lected, however, as I afterwards understood, that his encc. Nevertheless, I took every possible precau- grandfather, Trudo Audati, the Cid of this part of tion, and employed all the resources of Russian Africa, had often told him that men with white tactics; I annoyed and fatigued the enemy by skins had fallen into his power in the course of false marching and dispositions, and deceived them his conquests. This idea re-assured him, and proby false reports. I chose the most advantageous bably saved my life ; though for a long time it was point of attack, after having placed an ambuscade plain he regarded me more as a demon than a upon their flank, which was to make a diversion man. In a few months, thanks to the paucity of should they obtain any temporary success, or crush words and simplicity of construction of the jargon them in the retreat.
spoken by savages, I was in a condition to con“Would you believe it, my dear Count, I was verse with him. Initiated by me into the mystebeaten! In the middle of the action, when the ries of European civilisation, he accorded me his hostile battalions already staggered and prepared favour. A terrible malady from the fatal effeets for flight, a north-east wind arose, and bore into of which I saved him by cold water, diet, and deour ranks a cloud of dust so dense and tormenting pletion, strengthened his attachment. I became that every eye was blinded, and we could not dis- his intimate counsellor, and hoped to be regarded tinguish our allies from adversaries. Russians and one day as the beneficent legislator of a country Circassians went to loggerheads together; the by my means rescued from barbarism. This hope enemy, recalled to the combat by the advantage of rewarded me for my past calamities, and I exerted their position, vanquished us without trouble, after every means in my power to abolish in Dahomey having, heaven knows how ! destroyed the ambus- the bloody and atrocious superstitions that every cade which I had laid so cunningly. Thus the where prevail in the African continent. hope of a great name, the favour of an empress, and The King, endowed with good faculties and an the fruits of years of glory and peril, all were torn excellent disposition, entered largely into my profrom my grasp by-dust. The dust outweighed jects; but his preposterous faith in his fetishes the superiority of my troops, the wisdom of my opposed continual obstacles to my philanthropie measures, and the foresight I had displayed. But views. I prevailed, nevertheless. The immolajudge what was my horror and indignation when tion of slaves upon the tombs of their masters, togeI learned that these miserable vagabonds, my con- ther with their most faithful wives, ceased under querors, had been commanded during the action by my administration ; human victims were no longer that eternal Bernard, whom I ever encountered in offered up to senseless gods of wood and stone ; the hour of misfortune. I cannot explain to you error and crime were no longer confounded by by what chance he found himself in Asia, the chief punishments disproportioned to the offence; the of a horde of bandits ; indeed, I do not know. I armies were recruited without forcible abduction had little leisure to think of him at such a mo- of the industrious population; agricultnre, forment; and enough to do to take care of myself. merly left to the sole care of the women, feeble The government of Astrakan was lost to me for and oppressed, became the occupation of the men, ever; and fearing something worse than disgrace who ceased to consider the cultivation of the soil unif I returned to St. Petersburgh, I abandoned the worthy of their efforts, when they had once tasted army and made the best of my way to France. the wealth and luxury with which nature rewarded
"Here I arrived just in time to attach myself to their endeavours. a colonial company, then organising for the pur- “The best effects followed upon these changes; pose of exploring the coasts of Guinea from the the King candidly attributed to me the unwonted river Volta to that of Jakkim, and soon found my. prosperity and happiness of his subjects. He tesself on board the first vessel which set sail on that tified a wish to share with me the sovereign power; expedition.
and a proposition which he made to that effect After having sojourned some time in the fertile before the Grand Council of the nation, was recountry of Jonydah, perceiving that my compa-ceived with universal acclamations of joy. Nothing nions, whom I had too favourably considered as so remained but to proceed with my installation. many modern Argonauts destined to carry the From time immemorial the consecration of the benefits of civilisation to a barbarous people, con- sovereigns of Dahomey has consisted in promefined their whole attention to the traffic in slaves, nading them before the people and the army I resolved myself to ondeavour to realise the mounted upon a superb white elephant, one of the honourable intentions which I hail generously at- fetishes of the country, accompanied by the priests, tributed to them. I traversed the territory of who, judging according to the behaviour of the Ardra, and penetrated the region beyond. The beast, prognosticate the splendour and duration of first native Africans whom I discovered in this ex- the rising reign. Let my fate be a warning to cursion filed at my approach, plainly terrified at legislators! I had thought it right to respect the my appearance; but they soon returned in greater ancient prejudices of the people, and liad erected my new code upon the basis of the old one, and and lived in the quiet enjoyment of a high reputation just as I was on the point of reaping my reward, a as a warrior, legislator and philosophic traveller. paltry superstition overthrew the whole edifice. “Wishing to repair, as far as possible, my
“ An insondo, an insignificant insect about the theatrical disaster, I endeavoured to assemble at size of an emmet, but the redoubtable enemy of my house, on a certain evening, a party of literary the elephant, had insinuated itself into the trunk men who should bear and candidly judge the of the one which was to carry me in triumph. merits of my piece. Of course, on that identical The animal, irritated by its lively sting, showed at night, Bernard gave a grand soirée, at which all first certain marks of impatience, which excited the literati of any note found themselves engaged; the astonishment of the people; but an increase of the only auditor's I could muster were a few ignotorment soon roused his fury to the most violent rant young coxcombs, with a sprinkling of the old degree; he bellowed forth horrible cries, reared roues of the Regency, who, by dint of grimacing, and staggered with indescribable rage, and finished yawning and snoring, contrived to survive the by dashing out his brains against a rock. The lecture, the duration of which they avenged by attendants withdrew me from the danger, but a ratifying the decree of the public, and unanistill greater peril awaited me. The priests de- mously pronouncing the tragedy detestable. I reclared me not only unworthy of the throne, but of signed myself to the decree; but my ambition was life; that the prosperity of the state was compro- not yet extinct; and an epic poem was the fruit of mised; and that my innovations had aroused the my resignation. Not a bookseller could I find wrath of the dead hero, Trudo Audati, and the who was willing to publish it; and all I got by mortal gods of Dahomey!
my repeated solicitations to the tribe was the in“The king loved me; he owed me his life ; but formation from one of them that Bernard had the death of his fetish alarmed his superstition. been installed as a member of them academy, having He hesitated some time; but gratitude prevailed, no other literary claim upon that illustrious society and he commuted my punishment to exile, having than a single quatrain upon a certain plump dame, first administered a severe bastinado, as a salvo to whom Maria Theresa condescended to call her his conscience.
good friend and cousin. After having exer“ I learned afterwards that the people of Daho- cised all these professions with some talent and mey regretted my loss ; that they even sent to the unstained probity, I made the discovery that inneighbouring kingdom of Jonydah to endeavour triguing mediocrity stood the best chance of sncto recall me; but I had quitted the coast of cess. Had not a man of this stamp reaped the Guinea. Believing to replace me by a man of the fruits of all my endeavours in three quarters of same colour, they made a proposal to a European the globe ? I was now becoming old; I felt the whom they accidentally encountered, which the need of a provision for the future; I decided, not stranger accepted; the services which I had rendered without pain, to follow the common route. I were reckoned to him, and he reaped a harvest of became a fatterer, and frequented the antechamriches and honours. Of course, the stranger was bers of the great ; I wrote memorials for them, and
Bernard! If I had loved revenge, I should complimentary verses for their mistresses ; I made have rejoiced at the accident which placed my un- myself friends among the journalists, the ministers, grateful subjects in the power of an intriguing im- and even the chamberlains of the king; in a word, postor without capacity.
I had found zealous protectors; all the steps ne"What more shall I say, my dear Count? I re- cessary to obtain the post which I solicited, were turned to France, and commenced anthor, hoping taken; the road to promotion was open before me; to find in the cultivation of letters that repose and it only remained that I should present my petition consolation for which I had long sighed. Now, to the king. It appears to me perfectly natural thonght I, my business is with posterity only. that the hand which should sign it is smitten with My contemporaries soon undeceived me. An in- impotence. I see my fate, and do not complain. teresting work which I composed upon the man- The shock of our carriages has without doubt ners, customs and policy of the barbarous states of overthrown all the result of my assiduities with Africa, was looked upon by the censor as a satire the great and my compliments to the ladies. But, upon the several sovereignties of Europe ; the for this once, I bear no gidge to my vile destiny; publication was forbidden, and the author had a it would be too painful for me to reflect that the narrow escape from the Bastile. I now resolved only condemnable action of my life should have to write for fame. Since I could not be renowned resulted in success. There is no misfortune from as a physician, a general, or a legislator, I hoped which good may not ensue if we regard it aright. for a place among the poets of my country. I If my numberless catastrophes have injured my brought forth a tragedy. At the cost of immense fortune and my reputation, fragile and perishable perseverance, and not a little expense, I succeeded treasures
, they have at least developed and enin getting it upon the stage. At the third scene, larged the sphere of my intelligence, in constrainere the plot was yet developed, a joker in the ing me to exercise my faculties in different ways parterre put an end to my hopes by a facetions and among different people; they have taught me parody of one of my couplets, which set the house never to lavish my esteem or my disdain, without in a roar. It was impossible to proceed with the a profound knowledge of men and things, and not representation, and a ballet supplied the place of | upon vain appearances; for there must exist in the the remainder. “At this period Bernard had returned to Paris,
* Madame Pompadour.
world many men of merit and ability whom un- Here M. Pigafet made a sudden movement, as favourable circumstances or untoward events have though he would interrupt the Count; but the thrown, as they have me, into the obscure ranks latter, imploring silence by a gesture, continued of the needy and the unknown. The éclat of thus: “I am going in my turn to make the regreat titles and great reputations no longer deceives cital of the principal events of my life; I shall be one who has so often experienced how trifling a brief, my history being but the completion of thing may suffice to erect or destroy them. Did your own. not the shape of Cleopatra's nose, as Pascal ob- It is well to follow one's natural vocation in served, make the glory of Augustus, the ruin of the choice of a profession; but as I never had any Anthony, and change the face of the world ? particular vocation for one thing more than anDoes not Duclos tell us that the vermin that infested other, I complied with the desire of my father, the Roman conclave, by expediting the votes of the and became an advocate to please him; but if I cardinals, have often defeated the grossest bribery was without eloquence I was also without conceit, and seduction, and placed on the papal throne and I soon perceived that the talents of an orator those who would otherwise never have filled it ? had been denied me by nature. From thence A child playing with a pair of spectacle lenses gives arose that timidity, anxiety and physical feeblerise to the discovery of myriads of new suns and ness which struck you so much in my first plea. systems. A falling apple demonstrates to Newton The accident to your wig caused me to take part the laws of the universe, and, further, reveals to in the general laugh. I was wrong, there can be him the extent of his mighty genius. A grain of no doubt; but one is not always master of one's sand in the glands of Cromwell changes the fate self, and your figure really was irresistibly comic. of England, and re-establishes the Stuarts upon The unexpected success which I obtained upon the throne ; a blow from a whip deposes James that occasion did not, however, blind me to my the Second; and did not the absence of a comma defects; for, some days after, one of my uncles, a decide the violent death of the predecessor of rich and fashionable physician, having proposed Edward the Third ?
to make me his legatee, with the proviso that I As for me, who seem to have been cast upon should put myself in a condition to inherit at once the world to prove the influence that the most his fortune and his profession, I became a medical contemptible causes can exercise upon the destiny man to please my uncle as I had become an advoof man, a false gesture, a nick-name, the pip of a cate to please my father. I knew just as much of grape, a worm, the dust of the earth, an insect, a curative science as it was necessary to know to censor of the press—have not these arrested my assume the doctorial robe. I knew just what I steps in the various roads that lead to wealth and had learned by books, nothing beyond ; and all honour ? I might have been a fatalist, but that I innovation appeared to me as sacrilege. Judge abhor the doctrine of fools. Wretched indeed is how indignant I felt at beholding you doing that folly which refuses to recognise infinite wis- violence to the sacred routine! I launched my dom in things minute, the imperceptible ma- prediction of death like an anathema; the pip of chinery of a grand work. The harmony of the the grape caused me to triumph. But even that universe is upheld by the power of apparent gave me no relish for the calling; and my uncle irregularities. I will not complain; all is right; dying just then, I inherited his fortune, abdicated nothing is useless or contemptible. A single his profession, and resolved to pass my life in the atom, like the cipher in arithmetic, may assume dolce far niente, the sole object of my lazy amimportance from its position ; everything has its bition. period of action, and may become å lever in its “My steward, who was well versed in comturn; everything has been created to sustain the merce, prevailed upon me to invest a part of my eternal reaction of good and evil, which alone gives funds in a particular article. I complied with his motion and life to the world."
request, and had no cause to complain. The worm Here M. Pigafet concluded. The Count de which destroyed your cargo contributed to the M— having listened with gravity to his long sale of mine. There being no question of comnarration thus replied :
plicity, I need say no more on this head. As the “Your history has much interested me, and has years rolled on I began to be tired of doing surprised me far more than you can imagine. nothing, and resolved to travel for amusement. Your philosophy, nevertheless, my good friend, I had learnt from the marvellous accounts of the does not appear to have taught you that, though poets that the East was the empire of roses and unmerited misfortune may overtake a man without of beauty: so being always an admirer of fine disgracing him, yet the blind goddess often smiles flowers and beautiful faces, I set out for Persia, upon men unworthy, perhaps, of her favours, but having re-read my poets and the Thousand-andincapable, also, of seeking them through the chan- One Nights, that I might not be ignorant of the nels of baseness or intrigue. I am Bernard—that manners and customs of the country I was going Bernard who profited by your disasters without to visit. having caused them; who was sometimes your “I saw there few roses, and not a single fair rival, but never your enemy; who obtained a wide face; but, on the contrary, general misery, terror, reputation without having sought it; who arrived and massacre. Kouli Khan, otherwise Nadir at honours without ambition; and who has no Shah, was then in the éclat of his glory, and I was cause to blush either for his own prosperity or compelled to fly before his bands, which ravagei your misfortune."
the country. I took refuge among the indepen
dent Tartars, who at first were going to cut off became the best friends in the world. He loved my nose and ears; but having found upon my left you sincerely, and charged me to revise your code side a little mole, regarded by them as the certain of laws, which had fallen into some discredit presage of fortune and success, they changed through the accident of the insondo. I had nothing their intention, and named me general-in-chief of to do but to alter the arrangement, and published the troops which were then assembling to second them again under the new denomination of the Code the efforts of the Nadir against Russia.
Bernard, or berr-nahr, which gave entire satisfac“My dear Pigafet, you know as well as I how tion to the people, who conceived the best opinion the affair proceeded; but you do not know that, of me. At length, having profited by my repuhaving nothing warlike in my composition, at the tation to amass a very considerable amount of gold, very commencement of the action I began to which the king freely bestowed, I quitted Africa, provide for my own safety, and put spurs to my escorted by the benedictions of the people, and horse in a contrary direction to the fray. A part overwhelmed with riches and honours—and of my troops, full of confidence in my mole, fol- returned to France. lowed my movements, and entered with me a little "Upon my return to Paris, I became the object wood of palms, where, by the greatest chance, we of general curiosity. I was the modern Cicero came upon your superb ambuscade, who not being and Hippocrates, the hero of the Volga, and the prepared to receive us, laid down their arms at Lycurgus of Africa, because—my fortune was our unexpected appearance. A cloud of dust, known to be immense. My vanity was soothed which then arose, compelled us to retrace our with the incense of flattery; my genius and talents steps. We found your forces in the greatest dis- were on every lip: and patrons abounded because order, and fighting against each other; quietly I stood in no need of any. My friends persuaded witnessing the contest for time, we me that the ex-King of Dahomey should at least had no difficulty in putting you to the rout. I be a Count of France, and to please them I purwas led back in triumph by my Tartars, who chased the dignity. They assured me that it was were enthusiastic in praise of my valour—and in good taste to cultivate the society of literary my mole.
men, and to please them I gave soirées and sup"I had a good share of the booty ; but, tired of pers, at which all the world attended. They furwar, as I had been of doing nothing, I secretly ther insisted that a man of my vast genius ought quitted my brave Tartars, and returned to Europe. to become a member of the Academy ; and upon After a short period of relaxation, I had again the strength of a single quatrain, which I had need of excitement; and hardly knowing why, I made, heaven knows how, upon the Marchioness joined that colonial society whose projects so de Pompadour, I was received into the academy. amazingly deceived you. This time I travelled “You see, my dear sir, how, without intrigue, in search neither of roses nor beauty, but of some- without cabal, led on step by step, by fortune or thing more substantial, which we expected to find chance, impelled by the secondary causes which on the Guinea Coast. I voyaged to Africa as the created your calamities, seconded by my mole, my principal director of the speculation. Our affairs name, the colour of my skin, my soirées, and my were prosperons, and promised to be still more so; suppers, I have honestly arrived at such a state of for we had certain information that immense mines prosperity; always at your heels, to collect the of gold existed in the interior of the country. spoils of your shipwreck, and always inclined But the difficulty arose how to obtain a footing nevertheless to succour and console you had I been among these barbarous nations, who mostly had aware of your existence and your misfortunes. You the reputation of cannibals. I was revolving this were racing in pursuit of wealth and reputation, possibility in my mind when I was suddenly which were both running after me; let us hope accosted by the deputation from the Grand that henceforth their favours will be more equally Dahomey, who upon inspecting the colour of my bestowed, and, that far from injuring you, I may visage, proposed that I should return with them. be present at the goal of your desires to remove I took care not to lose so good an opportunity. the stumbling-block from your path-at the port, The descendant of Trudo Audati received me with to rn you from the rock." the most lively demonstrations of joy and friend- The speakers embraced each other warmly, as ship; he offered to immolate a thousand slaves if to reconcile their contrary destinies; and M. in token of his respect, and to give me six hundred Pigafet felt ashamed of the unjust opinion he had black wives for my domestic felicity. I thanked formed of a man so polite and sympathising as the him for his good intentions; told him that to spare Count. life, not destroy it, would do me most honour; What motive brought you to Versailles ?" at and assured him that he had far too great an length said his new friend. opinion of my merits if he estimated my con- "I have the promise of the minister," replied nubial establishment on so extensive a scale. He M. Pigafet, “ for the appointment of counsellor of replied, with much politeness, that my humanity state, now vacant." and modesty pleased him; yet, nevertheless, he At these words Bernard started. “The appointhad two thousand wives, and they gave him no ment of counsellor of state !" cried he, “why, it concern. He asked my name, and when he heard was given to me this morning by the minister it I thought he would have prostrated himself himself !” before me ; for berr-nahr, as you know, in the M. Pigafet replied coolly, “I ought to have language of the country signifies most divine. We expected it; it is quite according to rule."
THE GOVERNMENTS OF CONTINENTAL
Fertile soils, abundant raw materials, rivers,' zambique, and Angola, the small settlements of harbours, healthy climate, and an industrious Goa, Macao, &c., in the East, are considered, at people, are the prime natural elements of national present, as of little benefit to Portugal. The popuprosperity, wealth, and power. The natural dis- lation, in 1798, is stated to have been 3,683,000, advantages of some countries, such as Holland, exclusive of Madeira and the Azores. By the are often overcome by the skill, wisdom, and in. census of 1844, the population of Portugal proper dnstry of the inhabitants. Other countries, again, is stated to be 3,412,500; Madeira, 116,200; the with every natural advantage, and the elements Azores, 214,300; colonies in Africa and the East, of wealth, remain in an unimproved and uncivilised 139,640 ; total, 5,134,640. But this census was state, from the folly, the ignorance, the govern prepared from the most loose and absurd estimates. ment, and the religion of the people.
The Portuguese fleet consists of only one ship The geographical position of Portugal is even of the line of 80 guns, 5 frigates of 41 to 50 guns, superior to that of Spain; and in point of situation, 8 corvettes, and il gun-brigs; 7 schooners and 7 extending along the ocean, is exceedingly inconve- to 10 steam-ships. The regular army is stated to nient to the latter ; the principal rivers of which consist of a total force of 28,000 men. find their way to the sea only through the former. Portugal, after the decline of the feudal power, The physical aspect of Portugal closely resembles and her subjugation under Philip II., became an that of Spain; the mountains, like the rivers of absolute arbitrary government. The tyranny of the one, intersecting the other kingdom. The pre- the monarchy and the most corrupt intrigues have vailing features that present themselves in the con- long overruled all other considerations and infiguration of the former are, a sea-coast occasion- terests. The Marquis of Pombal chiefly, and a ally irregular, but not deeply indented ; rivers, few others who held places in the ministry, enmountains, and rich valleys ; two great plains, one deavoured, with partial success, to rescue the south of the Douro, the other south of the Tagus; kingdom from tyranny and degradation. Corrupluxuriant vegetation; the most slovenly husbandry; tion, however, prevailed; justice was polluted. dirty habitations, scarcely any roads, and gene. The judges, with wretched salaries, were influenced rally a naturally rich soil and picturesque country. by bribery; and the nobles, who are divided into
The soil of Portugal yields, or should yield, all two branches, the Titulados and the Hidalgos, the productions common to France, Spain, and held the peasantry in slavish subjection. Italy. It is admirably adapted for the growth of The shameful state of misgovernment and inthe best vines, which forms the principal branch of justice continued until the French, under the agricultural industry; wheat, maize, and other Empire, entered the country, and until the Bragrains grow in the greatest perfection; yet the inha- ganza family were restored; when Portugal, bitants of the sea-coast have for centuries depended imitating Spain, compelled her king to grant a chiefly on other countries for bread. From the representative constitution. A counter-revolution want of roads and the means of transport, it has established absolutism. Don Pedro separated been found cheaper to buy corn grown in foreign Brazil from Portugal, reserving the former to countries and import it by sea, for consumption himself, and granting to the latter a charter. The in Lisbon and Oporto, than to bring grain usurpation of Miguel and despotism followed. from the interior of Portugal. Although equally Don Pedro finally expelled the usurper and rerich in minerals as Spain, scarcely any mines stored the charter, leaving the kingdom to his are worked. The salt of St. Ubes (exported daughter. in great quantities) must be considered, in respect By the constitutional charter, the Legislature to labour, as manufactured by the sun. The Tagus, consists of a House of Peers and a House of Douro, and other rivers of Portugal, open a most Representatives. The eligibility of deputies and important inland navigation, susceptible of im- electors can scarcely yet be defined in the still provement by the formation of roads and canals, unsettled state of the Government. The legislaneither of which can scarcely be said to exist. The tive proceedings and the acts of the Executive harbours have sand-bars at their entrances, which Government are distinguished neither by profound render their channels intricate. Lisbon, however, deliberation nor judicious policy—which, consiwhich is commodious and safe, will admit the dering the long misgovernment and degradation largest ships. Oporto has water over the bar for of the kingdom, may be easily accounted for. vessels of 300 to 400 tons; the other harbours are, The kingdom is divided, according to the deVianna, Aveiro, Figueira, Setubal or St. Ubes, cision of the Cortes in 1823, into twelve provinces, Faro, Lajos, and Tavira.
twenty-six comarcas, and numerous ingaldos, or The Madeiras and Azores are important, as pro- cantons. But, as yet, these are little more than ducing, in great abundance, grapes, oranges, and projected divisions. other fruits; and having harbonrs, or rather shelter The Council of State is composed of seven or for shipping. The Cape de Verd Islands, Mo- more members. The ministerial department con