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counsel and witnesses; but he might have enlarged this chapter with very great advantage, especially if he had drawn upon the Irish courts of justice. It is said of the celebrated joker, Lord Norbury, that he would at any time rather lose a friend than a joke. On one occasion he began the utterance of the sentence of death in this wise:"Prisoner at the bar, you have been found guilty by a jury of your own countrymen of the crime laid to your charge; and I must say I entirely agree with the verdict; for I see scoundrel' written in your face." Here the prisoner interrupted with, "That's a strong reflection-from your lordship!" Whereupon the judge, keenly appreciating the joke, commuted the sentence into transportation for seven years. A story is told of a victory achieved over Daniel O'Connell by a witness whom he was cross-examining. It was after he had won his celebrated sobriquet of "the big beggar-man." The witness was for the Crown, in a case of riot committed by a mob of beggars, and he represented the affair as very serious. "Pooh, pooh! Now, just tell the court how many there were,' said O'Connell. "Indeed, I never stopped to count them, your honor; but there was a whole tribe of them!" "A whole tribe of them! Will ye tell us to what tribe they belonged?" "Indeed, your honor, that's more than I can do at all, for sure I never heard; but I think it must have been to the tribe of DAN!" "You may go down, sir," cried O'Connell, in a rage, amid the irrepressible laughter of the court. A few years ago, we heard in Ireland a story concerning two eminent living Irish judges, one of whom was then a leading queen's counsellor. The latter gentleman was cross-examining a witness, who baffled all his attempts to elicit his evidence. At last the barrister threw down his pen, and the judge proposed to pursue the examination, to which a ready assent was given. But his lordship was not more successful, and soon abandoned the attempt. The witness, bursting with triumph, turned with a leer to the judge, and said, "Will I go down now, my lord?" To which his lordship answered, "Yes, sir, go down, and go to "smothering the naughty word with a cough, and
causing a general titter. The next witness was equally troublesome, but the judge did not offer to assist counsel in examining. When the rascal had foiled every attempt made to get the truth out of him, and had brought the court to a stand-still, he turned to the baffled and angry counsel, and, with a wicked sneer, repeated his predecessor's question, "Will I go down now, Mr. "Yes, sir," was the instant reply-"go down, and go to (a little cough)-to the place to which his lordship sent the last witness."
As a rule, the forensic brotherhood is composed of genial, hospitable, jovial men. There have been some notable exceptions. Lord Eldon is often accused of stinginess, and the accusation was too true; yet he gave good dinners, and was very liberal with his choicest port. Lord Kenyon was always penurious, and became excessively so as he grew older. It was said that his domestic servants justly complained "that they were required to consume the same fare as their master deemed sufficient for himself." One wit said, "In Lord Kenyon's house, all the year through, it is Lent in the kitchen, and Passion Week in the parlor." The wine-drinking habits of the eighteenth century, and the first half of the nineteenth, largely infected the legal profession. The brothers Scott (Eldon and Stowell) were occasionally very heavy drinkers of port wine; and it is said of the former that even in his extreme old age he never drank less than three pints of port daily, with or after his dinner. This, too, is among the vices once prevalent in "society," which the greater refinement and self-restraint of modern times have happily all but eradicated. It would be hard now to find a judge who could confess that on the first day of every term he had drunk more than four bottles of wine. This acknowledgment Lord Stowell made to his son-in-law, dismissing the subject with, "more; I mean to say we had more. Now don't ask any more questions."
Under the head of "Tempora Mutantur," our author dwells on the greatly improved social relations between the higher and lower branches of the profession. "Attorney," in the eighteenth century, and the beginning of the nine
teenth, was considered a synonyme for "pettifogger," and the rank and privileges of a gentleman were denied to those who bore the designation. As an instance of the change that has now taken place, it may be mentioned that only a little more than thirty years ago, attorneys were excluded from a newlyformed club, by no means intended to be aristocratic, whereas now, with a brighter reputation than it has ever before enjoyed, the same club has a very large number of attorneys on its books. Indeed there is practically no social difference between the higher and the lower functionaries of the law.
We have next an affecting chapter on the death of certain great lawyers, who had attained the highest honors of their profession. The contrast between "grandeur and death" is very impressively put, and in a way fitted to make the most ambitious and successful hunter of earth's prizes pause and reflect upon the worthlessness of the baubles that allure him; and upon the time, when, like Talfourd, or Watson, or Wightman, within these just-passed years, his own death in the fulness of his hard-won honors, may serve to "point the moral, and adorn the tale" of the vanity of all earthly greatness. But we must bring our notices of this interesting and instructive book of legal gossip to a close. A chapter or two on the changes which have taken place in "Legal Haunts," especially in Westminster Hall, and on the relations of lawyers to literature and general culture, complete what Mr. Jeaffreson has to tell us. We can assure our readers that the book abounds with curious and out-of-the-way information, which nothing but great research and industry could have collected; that it sparkles through all its pages with racy anecdote, and polished wit; and we cannot doubt that whoever may read it will be thankful to the author for the clear insight he gives us into the ways of a profession, which, however some may dislike it, is one of the greatest necessities and blessings of civilization, and discharges invaluable offices in all the chief relations and principal crises of our earthly story.
THE REIGN OF LOUIS XV.*
Continued from page 145.
THE death of Madame de Châteauroux affected the king with less grief than that of Madame de Vintimille; nevertheless he appears to have endeavored for three or four months to wean himself from all immoral connections, and to return to the society of the queen. But Maria Lecszinska, now thirty-five years of age, had quite subsided into a life of monotony and retirement; after tears and some anger at her husband's first infidelities, she had made no effort to recover her position. The king had treated her from time to time with marked neglect, even omitting to request her to be seated before the courtiers, and neglecting to provide her with sufficient money for her daily necessities. Hopeless of redress she betook herself to the privacy of her apartments, and confined herself chiefly to the society of the Duke and Duchess de Luynes; she had become prematurely old and sad, incapable of amusing and enjoying amusement. She passed her days in morning prayer, in reading good books, in attending mass, in the etiquette of the dinner-table, in embroidery and needle-work, and in little works of charity which became the serious occupation of her life. She considered herself, in fact, a sort of dowager queen. All the lighter amusements of her youth were abandoned with her guitar and harpsichord. Regularly after supper she allowed her attendants to betake themselves to the gayer apartments of the château, while she retired to the rooms of the Duchesse de Luynes, where she spent the rest of the evening in a favorite arm-chair by the fireside with the duchess and three or four elderly
friends, among whom were the Cardinal
*Madame de Mailly passed the last years of her life in practices of an exemplary penitence-spending all her time and money on the poor. She visited the prisons and the sick, and publicly washed the feet of the poor; she reserved for herself scarcely enough for her own necessities. She died in 1751, with hair-cloth next her person. On one occasion, as she entered the church of Saint Paul, and some person gave way to her, a bystander said, "Voilà bien du train pour une femme perdue!" She replied, "Puisque vous la connaissez, priez Dieu pour elle."
de Luynes and the President Hénault; and night by night the older members would fall asleep to the snoring of an invariable member of this drowsy party -Tintamarre, an old dog of the Duchesse de Luynes.
It was impossible that the king should find relief for his ennui and lassitude in such a circle; and ere long he was delivered into the hands of an intriguante of the most finished character -one who had been from her cradle reared and educated with the view of becoming a sort of royal Aspasia, and who succeeded in filling for nineteen years the anomalous position of queenmistress of France.
In the financial world of Paris, headed by the twelve intendants of the provinces, who were, Law said, the true governors of France-in the salons of the fermiers generaux, adorned with all the luxury and display which their immense wealth enabled them to supply, moved at that time a young beauty of twenty-three years of age, who had from her childhood been styled by her mother un vrai morceau de roi, and educated in all the arts of a Greek courtesan of the time of Pericles; she could act, she could sing, she could dance, and exercise all the arts and witchery of a siren to perfection. She was the nominal daughter of a M. Poisson, a fraudulent and bankrupt subordinate of Paris Duvernai, who had been hung in effigy, but her real father was supposed to be a fermier general, who had adopted her and married her to his nephew Lenormant d'Étioles. In the immoral atmosphere of her early home her brilliant qualities had received the precise training which befitted a royal courtesan, and by the introduction of her adoptive. father she had gathered around her the most noted of the men of letters of the day, and lived in familiar intercourse with Fontenelle, the Abbé de Bernis, Maupertuis, and Voltaire.
To become the mistress of the king had been the earliest dream of Mademoiselle Poisson, of which a curious proof is afforded by the list of pensions granted by her after her elevation; among them was one to a certain Madame Lebon, thus inscribed :—“600 livres à Madame Lebon pour lui avoir prédit à l'âge de neuf ans qu'elle serait un jour la mai
tresse de Louis XV." Having become Madame d'Etioles, she lost no opportunity of endeavoring to attract the king's notice. After many manœuvres, after fluttering before his eyes in a blue dress and in a pony phaeton at various hunting parties, she contrived to gain the marked attention of the monarch at a masqued ball at the Hôtel de Ville, at Paris, and by the mediation of Binet, one of the king's valets, the first interview took place. On the occasion of the second, the lady, who was a consummate actress, simulated such fear of her husband in case of a return home, that the king kept her concealed for some days in apartments above his own, and a little later gave her the assurance that she should be publicly installed as his mistress at Versailles. Her presentation at Court was delayed by the absence of the king, who went to be present with the army, and to be a spectator of the victory of Fontenoy; but even in the hurry of battle and the flush of victory, the amorous monarch found opportunity to write her daily letters. Madame d'Étioles took advantage of the delay to ingratiate herself with the queen, who, convinced of the futility of endeavoring to regain the king's affection, concluded from the demeanor of the adventuress, that she would be perhaps as humble a mistress as any other, and on the king's return from the campaign the new favorite was publicly presented to both king and queen, with expressions of favor from the latter which excited the astonishment of the courtiers; and in a few days her humble extraction was concealed by the title of the Marquise de Pompadour, taken from an extinct family.*
The history of Madame de Pompadour for the next twenty years is the history of France. The new mistress was more than a female prime minister
she was, in fact, the concubine-queen of the country; and, in the name of an apathetic monarch, incapable of any
initiative, she exercised an ineffaceable influence on the destinies of France and of Europe. It was not at once, however, that she reached such a height of ascendancy in the king's councils; she had to win her position step by step with all the arts natural to an intriguante of her condition, and to assert her position day by day against the torrent of scandal, lampoons, called Poissonades, and bons mots about herself, her manners, her name, and her family, which daily flooded the palace.
When Madame de Mailly became the king's mistress the journalist Barbier declared there was nothing to be said against it, as the Nesles were one of the first names of the monarchy, but the smallest bourgeois in Paris felt it a national dishonor to have a Mademoiselle Poisson raised to such a notoriously bad eminence. But no woman other than one of the new mistress's birth and education could have filled the place she did for twenty years. Louis XV. was the most complete representative of the time in all its weakness; neither as man nor as king had he any notion of duty. The Abbé Galiani said of him "qu'il faisait le plus vilain métier, le métier du roi le plus à contre cœur possible.' The duties of a king were to him something incomprehensible and insupportable, and the common duties of man still more so. He was afflicted with the great malady of the age, ennui, to an incalculable degree; his heart and soul were eaten up and devoured by it, and the history of his amours is in fact the history of his ennui. The talent of Madame de Pompadour consisted in observing this, and to the unwearied skill which she displayed in alleviating the moral malady which devoured all the energies of the royal egotist was due the secure dominion which she exercised for so many years over the king's mind. Every device the wit of a scheming woman could invent was employed by turns to lessen the weight of apathy and gloom which lay heavy on the monarch's mind. She sang, she played the harpsichord, and like a new Scheherazade she invented or discovered a thousand and one stories to dissipate the royal listlessness. Every amusement public and private, which she could imagine, followed one after the other in brilliant succession;
and she kept him in constant movement from fêtes at Paris to fêtes at Fontainebleau, from fêtes at Belle-Vue to fêtes at La Celle, and from fêtes at La Celle to fêtes at Compiègne. The skill for which she had been celebrated in private theatricals here stood her in good stead. She began by turning the holy week into a series of operatic performances, in which she took a leading part. Then the Duc de Richelieu, who had seen her act before her appearance at Versailles, whispered to the king what a fund of amusement lay buried in the talents of his mistress. A royal theatre was organized; she assumed the principal part in a hundred different plays, supported by court seigneurs and their ladies in subordinate characters; she appeared by turns as Venus, as Hero; as the Herminia of Tasso; as the shepherdess Églé, or Galathea, or as Urania in a dress spangled with stars. Her fine voice, her grace and affected simplicity, and the brilliant series of costumes in which she appeared night after night, renewed continually the charms of her first impression in the royal eyes. The ballets were especially magnificent, and the costumes were of the richest and most fairylike character." To obtain an entrance into the royal theatre was one of the supreme ends of ambition of the courtiers, and the favorite at times gave herself the pleasure of refusing her door to a Maréchal de Noailles or a Prince de Conti. But in spite of every effort the royal ennui was sometimes incurable-as once at La Celle, when the marquise, after having surprised the king with a splendid ballet festival which filled the whole park of her château, came up to the monarch for a few words of compliment, but received for all thanks a yawn and the reply "j'aurais mieux aimé une comédie!"
But beneath the brilliant exterior which the life of the reigning favorite offered to the world, there were daily inward agonies of heart and mind which
*In a manuscript preserved at the Library of the Arsenal, all the theatrical costumes of Madame de Pompadour can be studied. Among them we colored satin trimmed with ermine, a petticoat may note that of Herminia, a dolimant of cherry.
of blue satin embroidered with gold and starred with gold.
would have moved to something like pity her bitterest enemies, had they been aware of them. Of feeble health -her visage was pale and thin, and she had expectoration of blood in her youth -the charms of person which had first enslaved the king vanished in the course of three or four years, and she speedily became a mistress of mere form and ceremony. A succession of younger beauties gratified the passions of the monarch, while Madame de Pompadour had to rely for the maintenance of her ascendancy on the power of habit, which was all-engrossing over so feeble a nature, and to the inexhaustible devices which intrigue and her accomplishments in the arts of pleasure and amusement afforded her. To sustain herself on that slippery summit she had need of daily and hourly anxiety and care. The secret pangs and fears of such a life were incalculable. She was obliged to be on the watch for every change of the king's humor, to keep constant watch on all his actions, to divine all his thoughts and wishes, and to be ever on her guard against both male and female conspirators and their jealous contrivances. Envied by all the light women of the court, despised and set at naught by the ministers in the early part of her reign, hated by the whole nation, and vilified day by day in countless lampoons and pasquinades, which passed from mouth to mouth, her life was exhausted in a continual struggle to maintain her position. And the smiling sultana, the mistress of a dozen châteaux, the insatiable channel of the king's prodigality, would retire from public view exhausted with the efforts which her histrionic position required, to the privacy of her apartment, throw herself down on her seat before her waiting-maid, and let loose a torrent of complaints on the bitterness of her destiny. Her strength failed her under the severity of the daily ordeal which was the necessity of her position; and when her life had thus been expended as a slave of royal caprice, she was, as D'Argenson says, as much forgotten by the king and all Versailles a few days after her death as though she had never existed.*
The remark which Louis made on the day of the funeral of Madame de Pompadour is well known:-"La Marquise a bien mauvais temps pour
As long as she lived, however, she held supreme control over home and foreign politics. Shameful as is the history of the ascendancy of Madame de Pompadour, her influence was great in controlling the bigot party at court, at the head of which were the dauphin and the king's daughters. The me moirs of the Duc de Luynes reveal the immense part which the latter played in the life of the king; their intolerance and that of their adherents, and the direction which they attempted to assume in church matters, might have made the history of France still more gloomy at this period, had the party which attached itself at the commencement of her career to Madame de Pompadour, which consisted indeed of most of the men of merit in France, such as D'Argenson, Machault, Duvernai, Quesnay, and the Encyclopedists, not had the advantage of her domination over the character of Louis. She made and unmade ministers, was all-powerful in internal affairs, held a balance between the clergy and the Parliament, directed the foreign policy of the country, and decided on war or peace. In addressing ministers and ambassadors, she spoke for herself and the king as "nous." She renewed the traditions of the etiquette of the court of Louis XIV. When she received, a single chair gave notice to all to stand in her presence. Her carriage had such armorial bearings and hammercloth as dukes only were ⚫ allowed to use, and a gentleman of one of the oldest families of Guienne carried her mantle on his arm, walked by the side of her sedan-chair, or waited for her in the ante-chamber when she took an airing. Her maître d'hotel, Collin, presented the mistress her napkin with a cross of Saint Louis on his breast. In the midst of this life of splendor she endeavored to raise her family in some degree to the level of her own fortune. Her mother was dead, but she purchased the family vault of the Créquis, and placed her body in a princely mausoleum. Her daughter died prematurely, but she had previously, though in vain, twice endeavored to make a splendid marriage for her; once with the
son voyage" This was all the regret he was heard to express for the mistress with whom he had lived twenty years.