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the risk of carrying fire and sword into The manner in which his own mother those hospitable houses which had so long received the news of the intended expedisheltered the fathers of Brittany? No, tion affords the strongest proof of the exbetter far were desertion and a savage life tent to which natural feeling may be subin the darkest forests ; better the ruin of dued by circumstances. She had seen her families, and the constant presence of gar- husband die a lingering death from injuries risons on the domestic hearth; better death received in the cause to which her son was by the carbine of the gendarmes, or by ex-now about to devote himself: she had felt haustion, or even by the steel of the guillo-a sabre pressed by turns on the child she tine, when taken with a weapon of any sort bore in her arms and the one she carried in in the hand.' Such was the universal cry her bosom: she divines at a glance the obamongst the rural population ; and so fre-ject of the interview, and sees in her mind's quent were desertions, that there were soon eye all, and more than all
, the impending fewer recruits in the imperial barracks than danger, whilst the lost father's image flits in the woods. Resistance became the rule, before her like a dream. Yet no passionand obedience the exception. The colle-ate entreaty, no weak womanly remongians not merely partook, they anticipated strance breaks from her. "Oh, my God! the feeling of their countrymen; but no she exclaims in a tone of mingled sadness favourable opportunity for a demonstration and resignation, it is true, then, that the presented itself till 1814, during the hun- most painful sacrifice still remained for me dred days, when they broke into open re- to make.' volt, formed themselves into a regular bat- * Many years after this crisis,' says M. Rio, talion, named a leader, and took the field. the son who had made her so wretched was The exploits of this chosen band form the relating in the presence of a mother tortured by subject of M. Rio's publication--quorum another kind of maternal agony, the tribulations pars magna fui—for he was one of them; through which his own had passed, and this reand nothing can be more affecting or spirit- lation was listened to not only with a religious stirring than their adventures. A set of attention, but with unequivocal signs of a pro
found sympathy, which added a charm the more boys engaged, not in the barring-out of a to the melancholy expression of the look veiled pedagogue, but the exclusion of an emper- by an unalterable melancholy. The halo of or-defying, not birchen rods, but bayonets happiness shone no longer round that head, -enduring the worst extremities of hunger though still resplendent with youth and beauty. and fatigue without a murmur, mounting But the resources of the heart and the imaginato the assault of a fortified town with the tion, although habitually turned back upon themgallantry of a forlorn-hope, and covering a selves, could still revive at need when a conge
nial chord was touched. This was precisely retreat like veterans. When we remember
the effect which the story of the Breton mother the defeat of Lord John Russell's friend, produced, if not by the similarity of the sufferMr. Frost, by Captain Gray and Sir ings, at least by the identity of the sentiment Thomas Phillips, or see a London mob re- which had rendered them so trying for both.'— coiling before a handful of life-guards, we p. 162. are puzzled to account for the exploits of We have here the history of the beautithe Parisian populace during the three ful little poem with which Árs. Norton has days ;' and a visit to Eton or Harrow would enriched M. Rio's work, and we must pause certainly enhance our wonder at the boy- to make an extract :patriots of Vannes. But all classes of
' It might not be!-his spirit Frenchmen are or were familiarised to
Was all too rash and bold; the use of arms from infancy; and perhaps His heart too young and fervent there was hardly one amongst this band of For vows so calm and cold : students whose feelings had not been seared
Yet think not that the widow and deadened to the ordinary run of youth
Her offering made in vain;
Heaven's unregarded blessings ful associations by some fatal remembrance, Come down on us like rain; whose infant imagination had not been And he may brave life's dangers kindled by some fearful vow, who had not
In hope, and not in dread,
Whose mother's prayers are lighting a father bleeding on the scaffold, a mother
A halo round his head : insulted by a brutal soldiery, or a brother In wheresoe'er he wanders perishing amidst the snows of Russia, to Through the cold world dark and wild,
There white-winged angels follow revenge. 'Our generation,' says M. Rio,
To guard earth's erring child. was too near to that which had supplied Go ! let the scoffer call it the victims of the revolution, for the idea A shadow and a dream; of a violent death by the hand of a soldier
Those meek subservient spirits
Are nearer than we deem: or executioner not to have long since be- Think not they visit only come familiar to us.'
The bright enraptured eye
Of some pure sainted martyr
carried into effect with a degree of energy Prepared and glad to die; Or that the poet's fancy,
and perseverance which will be read with Or painter's coloured skill,
mingled admiration and astonishment. Creates a dream of beauty,
The entire number of students amounted And moulds a world at will:
to six hundred; but nearly half were neThey live! they wander round us,
cessarily excluded from the enterprise on Soft resting on the cloud; Although to human vision
account of their extreme youth, despite of The sight be disailowed ;
their animated and oft-repeated protest They are to the almighty
from Corneille :-
• Je suis jeune, il est vrai, mais aux âmes From the great supernal One:
La valeur n'attend pas le nombre des
About three hundred and fifty were
eventually declared fit for service, and to From earthly ties to part;
supply these with arms and ammunition was Unseen they dwell among us,
the first point. After clubbing the pocketAs when they watched below In spiritual anguish
money of the entire establishment, and The sepulchre of Woe:
mortgaging or selling every article of perAnd when we pray, though feeble sonal property they could spare, they could Our orisons may be,
only form a fund wofully disproportioned They then are our companions, Who pray eternally.'-p. 175.
to the purpose; and then came the difficul
ty of investing it without exciting suspicion. Madame de Stäel says that nothing is They succeeded in buying a few muskets more irritating than the resistance of the and fowling-pieces, but the greater number weak; and this is the only mode of account were obliged to rest satisfied with pocket ing for the useless indignities heaped on the pistols. The arms obtained, they were igcollegians. An attempt to make them do norant of the most effective mode of using homage to the imperial eagle nearly caused them, and were, moreover, unwilling to join an outbreak; but the crowning tyranny, the confederato army in the guise of an the drop which made the cup overflow, was awkward squad. But on what pretence an outrage perpetrated on a comrade, who, could they apply for so much as a single after being cruelly beaten and kicked by drill-serjeant, and how long would their the gendarmes, was expelled the college, proceedings be tolerated by the governor, and compelled to enlist as a soldier, for un- if they turned the college-yard into a paconsciously wearing a few white flowers in rade ? At length an expedient was hit
upon. There was a Gascon officer in the 'A stranger who mixed with the groups of disgust at the insults heaped upon them.
garrison who had made no secret of his scholars on the evening of the day when Leman- Secure of his sympathy, one of their comach had to endure such ill treatment would have stood astounded at all he saw and heard; all mittee repaired to him with a complaint of those beardless faces, pale with anger rather than broken health and failing constitution, for with alarm, -the peasants turning up their long which the regular exercise of the musket hair under their wide-brimmed hais, as if to pre- and sabre had been prescribed. The goodpare for a struggle-those whose hearts were natured officer readily fell into the trap, most swollen with indignation giving vent to it and gave up an hour every morning to before an audience who replied sometimes by expressive gestures, and sometimes by tears,
teaching him. Every evening the young which rage as well as pity for their comrade recruit became the teacher in his turn; the wrung from them; and during all this time the scene, a cellar or garret; the class, a dozen women of the lower class, ever watchful and de- of his comrades, armed with sticks, with voted sentinels, keeping an eye on every window which they made ready, presented, charg, which opened above our heads, in the sear that ed, and indeed did everything but fire and some spy might gather up our words, wliich, in stand at ease, until their instructor had got fact, were bold and uncompromising; for we hoarse with calling to them : forgetting, as and we spoke of it with the full and firm antici: M. Rio suggests, that what they might pation of the consequences which might fall learn in this manner would be utterly useupon our heads.'
less in the kind of warfare in which they
were most likely to be engaged. Next From this time an armed insurrection came the grand question, Where were was resolved upon, and the resolution was they to plant their standard ? In what di.
his cap :
rection were they to cross the Rubicon ? | black eyes, full of fire, his firm and sonoThey could not revolt in the abstract ; and rous mode of speaking, and, above all, his every individual mode suggested to them wound, from which he still limped a little, seemed fraught with impossibilities of its had long made him a highly interesting own. The notion of assembling in the personage for those amongst us who had middle of a plain, and declaring war against heard speak of his exploits. He received the government, was soon rejected by the the deputation rather coldly at first; but as wildest. There were enough soldiers in soon as he was convinced of their real chathe neighbourhood to have eaten them all racter and intentions, he accepted their up bodily; and even when the bulk of these offer, gave them his full confidence, and had been drafted off to attend the emperor offered to communicate on their behalf to Waterloo, it was deemed prudent to with the superior council of which he was steal a march upon their enemies. It was a member. proposed to begin by a night attack on a They returned overjoyed, and the news neighbouring fort, garrisoned only by a few of their reception diffused a general feeling veterans, where they expected to find arms of hilarity; but three mortal weeks passed and ammunition enough to supply both away in the agony of hope deferred, and no their own body and the auxiliaries who were summons to action arrived from the chasure to be attracted by their suceess. Ateau. The chevalier was as impatient as leader, however, was indispensable, and his troop, but be felt the folly of acting they fixed on their friend, the Gascon offi- until the general movement had been comcer, as the finest person for the post. The bined. The hour arrived at last, precipisame lad who had excited his sympathy tated by the indiscretion of the authoriwas commissioned to make the offer; and ties. It was ascertained that forty or fifty unbounded, as may be imagined, was the of the more active students had been proofficer's astonishment.
scribed, and were to be shipped off as con
scripts to the colonies. This made further He remained at first utterly confounded, not delay impossible ; and the Wednesday folwith horror, which would have been more accord- lowing the receipt of the intelligence was ing to rule, but rather with admiration and pily; fixed for their departure. It is an affectpity for our youth, and admiration at our audacity. Without affecting to be hurt at our doubts of his ing part of the story, that, the grand point fidelity, he replied, with equal mildness and once decided, the first place of resort was frankness, that he was bound to the cause which the confessional. They thus prepared to we wished to combat by recollections he would meet death; and after receiving plenary never disown, and vows no teniptation should absolution at the hands of their spiritual induce him to violate. “You have done wrong, he added, in faltering accents, “ to make me this with the plot, they held a meeting in the
fathers, who necessarily became acquainted confidence: you ought to know that, in not de
loft of an obscure house, for the nouncing you, I not only betray my duty but ex
purpose pose myself to be ignominiously shot at the head taking an oath of fidelity. They here, one of iny regiment. Never mind; you have nothing and all, swore never to make terms with to fear from me, except upon the field of battle, the usurpation, and to die rather than abanwhere I shall have to execute the orders of my don their comrades. Some traits of boyish commander."
fun or malice contrast curiously with these
grave solemnities. Many students in rhe. So ended their hopes in that quarter- toric converted their alloited tasks in comand no wonder they were puzzled on whom position into bitter philippics against their to fix them next, considering the qualities professor, and actually placed them in his they demanded in a general:—We re hands, at the risk of compromising the sucquired that he should be at the same time cess of the undertaking at the last moment. enthusiastic and experienced ; that he At length the college clock struck four, the should have the heart warm and the head signal for each to make the best of his way cool; and above all that he should have a to the place of rendezvous beyond the soul sufficiently elevated to tell by our ac- walls. In the course of the next three cent alone that we were not traitors. They hours all of them managed to steal out unfound one, notwithstanding, in the Cheva- observed. It was no business of the elderly lier de Margadel, the occupier of a neigh- ladies with whom they boarded to reveal bouring château, who had served with how their suspicions, and the alarm was not nour in the wars of La Vendée, and had given until the next morning, when great commenced his military career in much was the surprise of the professors and the same manner in which they were anx-almost ungovernable the rage of the garious to commence theirs :- His martial rison. air, his almost gigantic stature, his large It had been arranged that they should act in concert with the principal body of suddenly upon a valley where the main Breton Royalists, now organized under body of Chouans was encamped.
Here General de Sol de Grisolles; and to effect the young auxiliaries are received with the a diversion in his favour, a party of the warmest sympathy, and though occasional youngest and worst-armed of the students misgivings are almost involuntarily expresswere directed to leave the rest, and show ed on the score of their tender years, these themselves in a different quarter, where only serve to make them pant the more eathey might be mistaken for an independent gerly for an opportunity of verifying the force. This manæuvre was entrusted to an maxim expressed in their favourite couplet aspirant for the priesthood, named Quellec, from Corneille. They did not wait long. who was suffering from a dangerous mala- The very day after the junction they learnt dy, requiring the greatest care. "A la that a strong column had left Auray in search garde de Dieu !' was his exclamation as he of them, crying • Mort aux Chouans,' and tore a blister off his breast before his pity- promising to return shortly each with one of ing and admiring comrades.
the scélérats at the point of his bayonet. The main party assembled at M. de Mar- An attempt at surprise was disconcerted by gadel's château, where a beautiful little the vigilance of the Chouans, but an action girl of fifteen, his daughter, put them in was inevitable, and their dispositions were their own eyes on a level with the preux made accordingly. chevaliers of the best age of chivalry, by In the front, heading two or three hunadorning them with cockades made with dred peasants, marched Gamber, a Chouan her own fair hands. During the perform-chief of reputation and experience. Promotance of this ceremony, the sun was shining ed to the rank 'of brigade-general during as he shone at Austerlitz, and they began the Breton insurrection of 1799, Gamber their march in the highest possible spirits, had treated both with the republic and the which were not diminished by finding empire for the submission of his followers, smiling faces, a good surper, and good but he would never consent to be included beds at the château where they halted for in the capitulation, and, traced from lurkingthe night. But the morning had hardly place to lurking place like a wild beast, ho broke when they were obliged to prepare had escaped as if by miracle. Such was in good earnest for the hardships and dan- | the terror he inspired, that four gendarmes, gers of the field. Their supper had been who had tracked him to a cottage where he interrupted by the arrival of an express to was quietly eating his dinner, could not say that a hostile detachment was approach- pluck up heart to lay hold of him. What ing, and the two youngest of the band were is to be done ?!-so ran their conferenceimmediately posted on the look-out about a 'he has a double-barrelled gun between his musket-shot from the château :
legs, and a pair of pistols on the table ; we 'One of them, Emile Rado, had hardly attained might as well have to do with four devils.' the required age, and had not figured in the cere- Thereupon they beat a hasty retreat. Gammony of the oath; but he was bound to us by a ber was now broken by age and infirmities, tie equally sacred to him, the family recollections but his eye brightened and his form expandwhich had marked out for him beforehand the ed at the thought of again encountering line he had to take: his maternal grandmother his old enemies. He moved backwards had perished by the guillotine, as guilty of having and forwards repeating his favourite given birth to two emigrant sons, and her daugh. harangue— Dan, dan, tan ra ar nélié, poter imprisoned with her was on the point of undergoing the same fate. She had related to tred,'which, for aught we know to the her son all the details of this lamentable history; contrary, may equal Henri de Larochejaand now the turn of this son was come. His quelein's famous address, or · Up, Guards, comrade, [the author] ‘nearly of the same age, and at them!' had nearly the same wrongs: the republican The battle began by a close and unexsteel had 'struck down the head of his grand-pected fire upon the part of the line in father, threatened that of his father, and grazed which the students were posted. The Blues the neck of his mother. And all these unatonedfor crimes came back upon us on seeing the
were concealed by the nature of the ground, members of the revolutionary tribunals who had and suffered their opponents to approach ordered them re-appear upon the political stage.' within pistol-shot before they fired. - The
student who commanded the advanced They watched all night in vain, but with guard, though he had received a severe in an hour after they had been relieved, the wound and saw his friends falling round enemy was upon them in overwhelming him, continued to give his orders, leaning force, and the utmost they could do was on his carbine, with a coolness which into make their escape into the woods. Af- spired his little party with fresh confidence, ter some hours of wandering they came and they gallantly returned the fire. Gam
ber and the other leaders hastened to take in him, and hardly regards aš his equal the part in the combat, which raged with great credulous countryman who goes to demand of fury for about twenty minutes. The young- God, by an intercession deemed all-powerful, the er Cadoudal (the son of George) was seen
strength necessary to endure wretchedness and fighting at the head of his division with no
pardon injuries. There were many of these reaother weapon than a club, and as none of help feeling a malicious pleasure at seeing the
soners amongst our captives, and we could not the royalists had above ten or a dozen car- amazement into which they were thrown by our tridges at the utmost, they were all obliged to them incomprehensible generosity.' to come to close quarters without delay. Determined not to throw away a shot, they rushed up to the very teeth of their enemies, Vendeans so long invincible, was after
This spirit of piety, which had made the and seldom fired till their muskets were on wards neglected by the Chouan leaders, the point of crossing. This desperate mode of fighting confounded the Blues, who at
The peasants were more than once shocked length gave way; but the conquerors were
by being compelled to march on a day set too much crippled to follow up the victory: Rio complains that their only attendant
apart for the services of religion, and M. and most of those who attempted a pursuit chaplain was a kind of Friar Tuck, who were checked by the wish to possess
threatened all who talked to him of conselves of the muskets and cartridge boxes of the slain. As for old Gamber, his strength his umbrella or his fist, and, with a bottle of
fession before a battle with the handle of failed after a quarter of an hour's chase, brandy in one pocket to balance the breand he was found seated on a rising ground, with feet naked, breast bare, and face inun- attention to his exclusive preference for the dated with perspiration and tears of rage, bottle. groaning over the impotence to which his
After a short time spent in collecting infirmities had reduced him, and hardly capable of being consoled by the victory. Redon. The students requested to be al
arms, it was resolved to attack the town of The General of the Blues was taken, and pected to be put to death immediately. On
lowed to form the advance-guard, but the his tremblingly asking Cadoudal what they perilous honour was refused to them, on the intended to do with him— There is only recruit the priesthood should be spared.
ground that the young blood destined to one thing for us to do,' was the reply to They were notwithstanding the first to ensend you home; but tell me frankly, if you ter the
place amidst a shower of balls from had been the conquerors, would you have the houses, upon which the main body of treated us in the same manner ? It was my intention, rejoined the other, casting horrors of the ensuing night are thus
the defenders retreated to the tower. The down his eyes--but I dare not say it would have been in my power.'
His portrayed by M. Rio : wounds were dressed with the greatest care by the Chevalier de Margadel, who only so
During the whole of this long night the infar indulged his triumph as to repeat these tervals of silence were short and rare. Although
we were under cover from their shots, they kept verses from Alzire :
firing in all directions wherever the light and the • Des dieux que nous servons connais la différ- noise led them to suppose there were Chouans.
Sometimes they appeared to agree to fire toLes tiens t'ont commandé le meurtre et la ven- gether, and then the tower and town-hall were geance;
momentarily lighted up like furnaces in the midst Et le mien, quand ton bras vient de m'assas- of darkness, and we roused ourselves with a siner,
bound at the sound of these terrible explosions, M'ordonne de te plaindre et de te pardonner.' which we took for the prelude of a sally, and we
cried “To arms!" and this cry, repeated by our Their next step was to repair to the neigh-patrols, reaching to a distance in the obscurity, bouring chapel of Saint Anne to offer up a came to interrupt the repast of some, the prayer thanksgiving for their victory, and to obtain or the sleep of others; in the uncertainty whetha renewed absolution from their sins. The er the danger approached from within or from
without, whether the matter in hand was to remanner in which this proceeding, was pulse the garrison, or make head against a reinviewed by their prisoners calls forth the forcement from Nantes or Rennes, our people following just reflection from M. Rio : ran at all risks towards the spot where there was
most noise-made their way as they best might More than one bourgeois philosophe (a char- across dark and cumbered streets, provoking the acter occasionally not less comic than the bour-cries and threats of those who were bearing the geois gentilhomme) believes he adds something litters of the wounded—then, when the alarm to his small stature by loudly expressing the was over, the sleepers and eaters resumed their contempt all these acts of popular piety inspire occupation with so much the more ease from its VOL. LXX.