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The little plot of ground, not less than 18 | front garden divided by a hedge or by pales and the road, should always be laid out for tic work composed of sapling oak branches flowers; and it is far better to leave it to the or soft fir-tops, which soon become the shabcottager's own taste than to call in the patro- biest of all fences. The window-plants may nizing head-gardener. Though the unedu- be of the tenderer sorts, but for the garden cated can seldom express the pleasure they itself nothing can be better than the hollyfeel in flowers, yet practically they do delight hock, the sunflower, gilliflowers in all their in cultivating what is within their power, and variety of stocks, walls, and pinks, --sweetthe presence of these flowers growing beside williams, London pride, and bachelor's buttheir paths and homes insensibly reacts upon tons, with daisy borders to the beds, and them for good. A lawn with shrubberies bushes of rosemary and old-man for the wedand geometrical borders of greenhouse plants ding or funeral posy. The beehive should before a group of cottages, such as is some- stand near the house in the angle furtimes seen in the neighbourhood of a great thest from the door. Woodbine and China honse, is offensive in its unreality, and insult- roses should cluster up the porch, and the ing to the liberty of the tenant. You see at vine and the apricot may sun themselves on a glance that the show is kept up from the the south wall; but ivy is only a fit mantle Hall. Each cottage should have its own for ruins. The cultivation of pot-herbs should
be encouraged, and the goodwife taught how to time introduced by the students of the several to use them in savoury messes for her husschools into the literature and practice of architec- band's supper. The vegetable garden, stanture in cities and mansions-continued by tradition dard fruit-trees, and potato ground should be and rule of thumb in uninterrupted, use in the behind the house, and if the whole allotment rural districts of England, imperatively decides the question of what is our National style, and so set
can be placed here, it is of double value to tles one point in the vexed controversy of the new the occupier. This is the secret of making Public Offices. Whether Palladian architecture the cottage pay. If a quarter or a third of can be said to have supplanted and successfully to have superseded the older English style in more each dwelling, the landlord, by the difference
an acre, never more than half, be attached to important buildings may be yet a matter of dispute; but in this nineteenth century it would be of garden over farm rent, may obtain a fair scarcely less absurd to build in the style of the six- return for his outlay. But this can only be teenth than in that of the fourteenth century, done generally by the large landbolders ; by What we want is a style thoroughly capable of using consistently all the inventions, and of meet
them, easily. ing all the requirements, of our own age; but this
The furniture of the cottage has quite kept cannot be invented for the nonce
, but must
, like pace with the greatly increased luxury of every fabric of ours, social or political, be based on every higher class of house. It is pleasant to the experience of the past. Is then Italian or
see how quickly a well-built cottage is filled English architecture the best basis on which to found and to develop? The failures in both with beechen chairs' and oak tables, with grounds have hitherto been lamentably equal pictured tea-tray and the bright fire-irons Still no one can doubt in which of the two schools hung up for ornaments. One of Sam Slick's in the present day the life and energy of art is most clocks, with a formidable view of the Capitol, apparent. We must explode the fallacy that Gothic is only suited to ecclesiastical architecture, for were
now generally replaces its long-cased ancient not the town-halls, exchanges, hospitals, as well as
cousin that ticked behind the door. It is the castles and manor houses of the middle ages as impossible always to admire the colours and good in their way as the churches themselves! patterns of the cottage paper ; neither do we, Religion has always claimed the first fruits of good in every case, approve those in the drawingart, and the success of the Gothic revival in church architecture, in the first instance, may be one sign
rooms of our fastidious friends. The modern of its truth. Mr. Scott's pai ar plan for the style of the Potteries, which blotches out Foreign and Indian Offices may or may not be what rather by colour than by form primæval shepthe nation reqạires, but he is at least the English herdesses and melodramatic sailors for the architect who has the highest European reputation mantel-piece, is at the lowest ebb of cheap to sustain ; and if he has in any particular failed to satisfy the wants of the public service, it must art; but the miserable daubs of pictures, be from other causes than want of capability of de religious and secular, which a few years ago velopment and adaptation in the style which he covered our cottage walls with bleeding hearts has chosen . At any rate we trust that the House and poacher-martyrs
, are now, by the aid of intrigue to mar the best prospect we have had for the book-hawker, giving way to coloured & long time of seeing a public building arise wor- prints of real excellence both in subject and thy of the expectations of the country, nor-what execution, mixed with which, some specimens has been too often the history of great architectu, of itinerant photography are not uncommon ral works-set aside the claims of acknowledged even in remote districts. The improved fittalent at the instigation of professional jealousy, which seems, more in this than in any other art, io tings of our cottages is one of the signs of stimulate the bitterness of inferior minde
the times. He who bas furnished his house well has given a pledge to his landlord and them dryness, air, and sunshine. They do to the state. He will shun county courts and not affect model perfection, but substantial socialist theories.
improvement; and the result is physical and Hitherto it is chiefly the large proprietors moral amelioration, walking step by step with by whom any adequate exertions have been material reform and commercial success. made to increase or improve the cottage Their example is to be strongly recommended property of their estates ; but several local to the London Societies, who, by restricting associations have been successfully formed themselves for a time to the repair and reon the general ground of public benefit. In fitting of old buildings instead of erecting striking contrast to the unremunerative out- new, might undoubtedly, by judicions seleclay of the metropolitan associations, are the tion, recover the depressed state of their returns made by the Hastings Cottage Im- finances, and so, after a probationary season provement Society. Its five half-yearly re- of bumbler but not less useful work, go on at ports should be consulted by all proposing to length to the perfection at which they aim. carry out a like benevolent object. Their The like course might also be often most system is, not to build new cottages, but to advantageously adopted in our country vilbuy up old ones and improve them. The lages. It is at times a much greater kindremarkable features in their scheme are the ness and far more economical to add to or small sums spent on repairs and on law repair an old house, than to set up a bran expenses. Beginning with a capital of 850l., new one. Lord Palmerston never spoke with which is now increased to 67501.
, they have more sense and less flippancy than when he regularly paid interest at the rate of 61. per dilated upon this point in his late speech at cent., and have now a reserved fund of 1201. the Romsey Agricultural Society. The Such shares as these would naturally be at a special convenience of tenants can thus be premium; but by the rules of the society, much better met; and we should not find, the premiums accrue to the reserve fund, as is the case sometimes in model cottages, though in other respects the whole business some poor old body moaning over the viseis conducted on ordinary commercial prin- lessness of a large, cold room, or the desolaciples. A Benevolent Fund has been set on tion of unoccupied bed-chambers. Every foot for the occasional assistance of sick, poor, sort of accommodation, from one room to or unemployed tenants, but its sphere is per- six, is needed for a village population. No fectly distinct from the working of the society: one could be expected to erect new buildings There are visitors, and a lending library, and to meet all these contingencies; but a cona penny bank, also established in connexion siderate attention would easily find means of with the tenantry, but not interfering with satisfying all reasonable requirements, by the legitimate freedom of the occupiers, or repairing and altering existing houses. with the fair and even strict enforcement of the capitalists' rights of profit. The people We would give up,' says the writer we have generally appreciate the good-will of their already quoted, 'much of the regularity and landlords, and now with one exception pay dividual kindness and consideration.
trimness of a Martinet village for marks of in
While weekly in advance. There are few old arrears, and but 88. 4d. in bad debts. Thrice only place of those that are utterly decayed, we
new cottages, built here and there, take the the society has had to sue for rent in the should like to see this cottage patched up for county courts, and in each case the tenant Widow Toogood, where she and her old man refused from obstinacy, not from inability to have lived for more than balf a century that pay. The secret of the rare success of this bedroom added for poor Tom Longlegs increassociety has been in the heartiness, honesty, ing family that little shed knocked up for and sound sense of its promoters--perhaps to Dame Twoshoes, who takes in the washing
Jolter the carrieran extra bit of green allotted most in their heartiness; for they have not deputed the work to others, but done it old Master Creeper, who needs no house of his
-a little lean-to permitted, next his son's, for themselves, whereby they have avoided all own, and cannot hobble up-stairs. These things jobbery, ostentation, and machinery. Accord- show the real personal superintendence of one ing to Mr. Ruskin's formula, they knew what who cares for the people committed to his they had to do, and they did it. Other charge, and not the mere activity of an agent.' societies have been stranded by the ambition of having something to show for their money, Of this we may rest assured, that the inand have made their main object the erection terest now taken in this matter will not be of new and complete buildings. The Hastings allowed to flag. It would have astonished a Society has, according to its title, entirely macaroni of the last century to see an essay confined itself to improving existing buildings, by the Marquis of Westminster on a 'Drainer's buying up stacks and rows of ill-drained, ill. Dress’ side by side with the Duke of Bedventilated, and ill-lighted houses, and giving ford's plans for cottages in the same number of the · Agricultural Journal;' but the desire with means to make his new freehold respectto promote the welfare of the agricultural able, may be assured that in strengthening labourer by all who come into contact with the stake of his poor neighbour's property he him is universally acknowledged, and by no has not weakened his own. one more than by himself. We wish we could believe that as good days were coming for the poorer classes of the town populations.
There is yet one matter in which our landed proprietors might most serviceably aid in cottage-insprovement. In many par- Art. II.- Souvenirs et Correspondance de ishes the manorial tenure is often the sole Madame Récamier. 2 vols. 8vo. Paris. obstacle to better dwellings, where encroach- 1860. ments on the waste have given uncertain ownership, and the parish, the lord of the “Je ne me suis peinte qu'en buste' was the manor, and the occupier dispute rather whose well-known reply of Madame de Staal, née property it is not, thar whose it is. This is Delauny, to those who asked her why in her the most hopeless case, for even repairs are autobiography she bad passed silently over not effected, much less improvement; and various well-known and interesting passages too often the tenement, which none think of her life. Far be it from us to compare, worth an outlay, becomes, when the blood of except by way of the most innocent illustraproprietorship is once up, a bone of conten- tion, the case of that clever gamine of former tion between parties who can little afford to days with that of the decorous and distinbe at variance. The end is that the poor guished queen of fashion of whom the “Souman is either heartlessly swept away from venirs' are now before us. But autobiography the home of his fathers, or gains the short and memoirs by near relatives are apt to be lived and disastrous triumph of retaining the equally misleading, whether by misstatement paltry prize in the teeth of those to whom or omission; while the latter have nothing he must look for his bread. Few parishes of the fresh and truthful vivacity of the are without some of this bitter experience, former. The Souvenirs before us, though but in many the nature of the soil and preva- published anonymously, are well known to lence of copyhold have made it the rule. have been compiled by Madame Récamier's These buts and bovels take the place of niece, the favourite companion of her latter houses, and, like the mother's pet, are clung years, Madame Lenormant, herself the into all the more for their weakness and worth- heritress of no common share of the characlessness. No kinder act could be done to teristic beauty of her family, since in her the rural poor than the compulsory commuta- youth she reminded Madame d'Abrantes of tion of these questionable tenures into free Gérard's exquisite figure of Psyche.* Maholds. Often it would be better that the dame Lenormant has proved that she inherits landowner should have them, sometimes it other family qualities of a high order, by the would be fairest to assign them at once to continued friendship 'which unites her to the tenant; but as there is no root of revolu- some of the most illustrious surviving memtion so deep as the agrarian one, it would be bers of her aunt's society. And yet, with well to cnt off, before it has too widely spread ample power to do justice to her subject
, and itself in the social soil, an evil which is daily possessed of abundant materials, she has fostering discontent and defiance among the thought proper so to tone down her performtillers of the land, and for wbich they might ance in order not to shock a single sensibility, fairly expect the law to find an easy and or jar. the nerves of any reader of quality, equitable remedy. When the work of landed that the result is almost purely negative. accumulation is going on so fast, a few thou- We are compelled, at the end, to ask oursand additional small freeholds would be a selves the question, could the placid, vapid, political gain, not to the landed interest only, uninteresting creature, whose life is detailed but to the whole state. But the jealousy in these somewhat monotonous pages, have which is felt towards the cottage-freeholder been that famous enchantress who had the by the farmer
, and still more by the steward, leading men of French society, literature, and can only be appreciated by those who have politics, at her feet for half a century; who lived among them. Legislation is not likely saw royalties and republics flourish and fade, to be speeded in this direction. It is a gen- while she continued to reign unquestioned by tleman's question to be taken into his own right of beauty and gracefulness? whose hands; and be that can have the heart peculiar and crowning quality it was, that, to abate the jots and tittles of his feudal claims, and not only enfranchise his copy-, mier we shall presently notice, terms this lady the
M. Rondelet, whose Memoir of Madame Récaholder, but, if the case requires it, set him up original' of Gérard's Psyche; a strange mistake.
while she yielded her heart to none, she in- result, as far as poor Truth is concerned, is spired through life, in the strongest minds of pretty much the same) a complete change both sexes, passions of friendship as exclusive, has come over the taste of the externally dejealous, and overmastering, as those of love corous circles of literary fashion. As if in itself?
permanent protest against the degradation of It is, we fear, undeniable, that plain truth the sex in such bands as those of George of fact, in history or in biography, has no Sand and Balzac, they seem to have estaattraction at all for our clever neighbours. blished an ideal grounded on Madame de Every narrative must have its moral
, or Genlis's maxim, that, while 'il a fait parler de burden, or idea.' Mere undraped truth soi’ is always a compliment, elle a fait parler neither meets with popularity, nor expects it. d'elle' is always the reverse. Nay, more Not that there is any deception practised on than this; the perfect heroine, to suit the the public in this permitted dalliance with taste of such readers, must be something of a facts. The readers are as much partners in saint; her biography must have a vaporous, the imposture as the writers themselves. ethereal touch of hagiology about it-piety, They do not expect truth; they expect an. sweetness, humility, charity, these must be article made up for the market-made to suit the features prominently brought forward, the preconceived opinions of the philosophi- almost to the effacement of all others; lovely cal democrat, the legitimist, the freethinker, features doubtless, but no more representing the pious, as the case may be. They accept the full character and perfections of the sex, works under the title of history or biography, than the seraphic but monotonous countebut they know them to be either romances nances of Fra Angelico represent the faces of or pamphlets ; they treat them as such, and actual womankind-of those who have been criticise them as such. They make up their sent not as angels, but as the companions, and minds to find certain classes of facts distorted at once the teachers and the scholars, of imto suit certain views, and they would scarcely perfect man. consider that the author fulfilled the promise There appeared last year a little work, of his name and antecedents, or the under- under the title of Madame la Duchesse d'Ortaking of his preface, unless this object were léans;' a short memoir of that lamented accomplished. They know the value of his princess. It was beautifully written, and was torical accuracy quite as well as others, and for the time in all the fair and fashionable attain to it, in the end, quite as nearly. But hands of Paris, and very popular among the they consider it as something to be arrived like classes here. Yet of life-like reality it at by every man for himself
, through the was absolutely destitute. It had not a single process of comparing and analysing the vari- characteristic feature of that noble-minded ous accounts set before him by the apologists, woman. The Duchess, as is well known, had advocates, satirists, panegyrists, who, with that in ber character as well as her fate, the full approval or connivance of the public, which, in rougher days, would have made one call themselves historians and biographers. of Shakspeare's historical heroines. Devoted
Nowhere has this increasing tendency of to her husband, devoted in after days to her French literature more strongly manifested children, high principled and resolute, she itself than in the memoirs of celebrated combined no small amount of masculine women, both of our own time and some ge- energy with something of feminine self-will. nerations back, of which these latter years Her straightforward unmanageable ways were have been peculiarly prodnctive. If it be the despair as well as the admiration of the true to any extent, that most women have crafty but singularly unsuccessful school of no characters at all,' this renders only the politicians with whom she was associated. more easy the task of the popular biographer, And to add one more trait to her character, who, in order to please the fashionable taste which in this country, at least, is not without of the day, must round off all angles, and its interest, young as she was when married, efface all characteristics, and produce a result she remained firmly attached to the Protestant fashioned as nearly to order' as the case religion in which she was educated, resisting will allow. The leading women of the last uniformly all the seductions of the tenderest century were witty and immoral. This was love and kindness, more powerful than perthe prevailing ideal of womnankind; and any secution over a nature like hers, and extorting, one versed in the literature of that era will by her firmness, the admiration of those who, notice the amusing endeavours of biographers in the strength of their own persuasion, to give to quiet, commonplace ladies, who would have rejoiced the most over her connever said a clever thing, nor did a naughty version. Now, in the biography to which one, something of the sparkle and piquancy we refer, this very woman, in her strength as of an Arnould or a d'Epinay. Now (and in her weakness, comes out from the clever certainly to the credit of the age, though the refiner's crucible a mere negative compound full of sweetness and purity, without one par- rently acquainted with her family. We can ticle of more worldly savour-a kind of mar- but cite, in addition, the literary notices of ried sister of charity, or Saint Elizabeth of this distinguished lady by Madame de Genlis, Hungary. Of the struggles of maternal love, Sainte-Beuve, Guizot, and others, and the and queenly policy, and disappointed ambi- thousand little traditions of her celebrity which tion, not a single word--and (unless our me- still haunt her much-loved metropolis. mory deceives us) it is not even mentioned Mademoiselle Bernard (whose full style throughout the book that the Royal lady was and title was Jeanne-Françoise-Julie-Adea Protestant at all!
laide, but who was known through life by her We are bound to say that it is in very simi- first nom de caresse as Juliet) was born at lar style that Madame Lenormant has exe- Lyons in 1777, the daughter of a notary of a cuted this pious tribute to the memory of her good citizen family of that place. Her edurelative. She has smoothed away everything cation was that of the convent, and she loved salient and characteristic—for fear of offence, to dwell on the tranquil image of her schoolwe suppose—and left behind nothing but a days. "Elle me revient quelquefois, cette kind of shadowy portrait, unreal and feature- époque,she says charmingly in one of those less. Yet her subject was a woman of for- extracts from her memoirs which Châteautunes so very remarkable, that it is impossible briand has preserved, and perhaps poeticised, not to believe that her character likewise · Elle me revient quelquefois, comme dans un must have been of no ordinary type. Her vague et doux rêve, avec ses nuages d'encens, empire in society was more decided and more ses cérémonies, infinies, ses processions dans deeply rooted than that of any contemporary les jardins, ses chants et ses fleurs. But, -perhaps even than those of her brilliant from her earliest girlhood she was distinpredecessors of the former century; and she guished among her companions by her extraseemed peculiarly to possess the secret of ordinary beauty. Whatever might be said exercising her power without display or pre- as to her superiority in other respects
, in this tension. She held on, without effort, the it was incontestable, and continued so for a even tenor of her course, offering to the far longer period than is usually allotted to world no point of weakness or inconsistency. this kind of supremacy. The homage paid And yet, internally, her life was all the while to it was of an almost unexampled character, a riddle and a contradiction-inexplicable but reminding us of the extravagances into perhaps to herself, and certainly tasking the which our phlegmatic ancestors were betrayed ingenuity of her strongest admirers to afford for the sister Gunnings a hundred years ago, a reasonable explanation.
and of the more decorous homage paid in Madame Récamier was not by habit a later times to the Sheridans. She had been writer. She was not fond of the employ- duly prepared for it from her earliest years. ment, according to her niece, and disliked She used to recount how, when she was a even the trouble of composing a long letter. little child, a wrathful neighbour, who caught Nevertheless, we are informed that in the lat- her in the fact of climbing his fence with, a ter part of her life she found amusement in comrade to steal his fruit, was so subdued by compiling a memoir of herself; that this her charms as she sate crying on the top of work was partially communicated to her by the wall, that he let her go with her apron her friend M. de Châteaubriand, and has been full instead of taking summary vengeance. used by him in long fragments, in his “Mé- At twelve years old Marie Antoinette, in her moires d'Outre-Tombe.' But her niece is simple fondness for childhood and beauty, ignorant how far she may have proceeded in picked her out from the crowd of strangers this task; for she ordered by will the destruc- assembled to gaze on royalty at Versailles. tion of the manuscript, which was religiously She was made to stand back to back with obeyed. The present volumes have, there her contemporary Madame Royale,' afterfore, the revelations already made public by wards Duchess of Angoulême, whose pride Châteaubriand as their basis, together with was mortified at finding the little plebeian at Madame Lenormant's own narrative of the once a trifle taller and a great deal handlatter portion of her aunt's life, many letters somer than herself. When the churches of her friends, and a few of her own. We were reopened after the Revolution, and she, can but use the materials thus placed before being then comparatively unknown, collected us, though with a full consciousness of their alms as 'quêteuse' at Saint Roch, the presinadequacy, and eke them out with such ad- sure of the crowd was so great that her ditions as we can find. The little book of friends were compelled to extricate her by M. Rondelet, Madame Récamier, ouvrage force. When she drove along the pavement at couronné par l'Académie de Lyon,' is an ora- Longchamps in the summer of 1801, she was torical panegyric; but it is of some value as publicly saluted by the spectators as • la plus proceeding from one of her townsmen, appa- belle, å l'unanimité.' The same intoxicating VOL, CVII.