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THE CHRISTIAN PARLOR MAGAZINE.
family institution. An unkind word or feeling within this sacred enclosure should be regarded with similar dread to that which is created by mutiny in a ship or civil war in the state. And since the family organization came from God, and was designed ultimately to lead to God, all should feel the indispensableness of pure religion. A family without religion possessed, enjoyed, exemplified, is a temple without divinity or altar; a vessel without steersman or helm, that lies rotting on the sea.
Earth has no mo
more melancholy object than a family living, dying without a God. In the midst of a nation's stir
and bustle, it seems not so strange that God should be forgotten. But in the family circle, to find no God—to follow it through all the interesting and solemn phases of its historythrough health and sickness, joy and sorrow, life and death, and hear no prayer or praise, and find no God and no Saviour recognized in its ar. rangements, shocks a reflecting and serious mind. When such a family separates at the grave who will not mourn ?-when they reassemble in eternity, who will not be filled with amazement :
A VISIT TO GENERAL LA FAYETTE.
It is now eighteen years—it seems hardly as many months-since I visited the friend of Washington, the Hero of Three Revolutions, at his country seat, La Grange, about twenty miles from Paris. I had seen him, a year before, in his triumphal progress through our country. I stood amidst the thronged multitudes of my native city, when wealth, and learning, and beauty, came forth to do him homage ; and I seem even yet to see him with his animated gestures and his speaking countenance, at the moment when the populace, with a sudden burst of feeling, had taken the horses from his carriage, and were about to drag him through the streets themselves, how he begged, entreated, commanded them to desist from such a mode of testifying their respect, so unworthy of a free people. The pageant passed by: he left us in a few hours on his way to Boston, to assist in laying the corner-stone of the Bunker Hill monument; and I thought I had looked upon his venerable form for the last time here on earth.
In a few months, however, my health sunk under the duties of a laborious profession. As a last resort, I embarked for France, about the time of his departure for home in one of our public ships ; and arrived a few days after him, while the kingdom was still ringing with the news of his return, and of the reception he had met with among a grateful people. Passing into Italy, I found my constitution gradually renovated under the influence of its genial climate, and was again at Paris in the month of July, soon after the anniversary of our national independence. The Americans there had cele. brated the day by a public festival ; and LA
FAYETTE was invited in from his residence in the country, to grace the occasion with his presence. He was still in town, and I called on him in company with my friend, Mr. E., who had recently come out from America, to join me in a tour through Switzerland, Germany, and Belgium. The General, with that quick recollection of persons for which he was so much distinguished, instantly knew me; mentioned our having sat opposite to each other at a public entertainment in N- --- a year before ; and invited me to go out with him to La Grange, in company with Mr. E., to whom he felt under peculiar obligations for an act of delicate kindness during his visit to America.
The next day we left Paris, in company with his son, George Washington La Fayette. The General went before us in a low carriage which was built for him, while in this country, on account of his lameness : it was one of the numerous presents which drew the eyes of all classes upon him wherever he moved. After a pleasant ride of three hours, we arrived at Rosay, a town of about three thousand inhabitants, where we were to leave the high road, and cross the country a mile or two, through the fields. Here it was necessary to report our. selves to the police; and it was curious to observe the different treatment which La Fayette experienced from the agents of the government, and the people of the village. His recent visit to America had made him an object of jealousy and hatred to the King ; and it was therefore the business of the police to annoy and humble him, by every act of petty oppression in their power. For this very reason, the people of the
A VISIT TO GENERAL LA FAYETTE.
country, wherever he appeared, made double efforts to do him honor, for it gratified their resentment against Charles X., and their affection for the General. Though he had left them but a few days before, all the inhabitants of the place, young and old, came forth in a body from their dwellings to welcome his return. It was beautful to see with what calmness he endured the insolence of the police, and how he soothed the exasperation and checked the muttered curses of the people, to prevent them from being embroiled with the government on his account. After a short time spent in this way, our passports were ready, and the General took me into his carriage for the remainder of the journey.
We had proceeded hardly a mile, when in the midst of an animated conversation, he suddenly broke off, and pointing to what seemed a forest of about a mile in extent, exclaimed, Voilà La Grange! At an earlier period of my travels, I should have considered such a collection of trees, as a sure sign that we were far from the habitations of men. But I had already learned, that what in our country is the indication of an uncultivated tract in a state of nature, is in the north of France the indication of an extensive domain, in the highest state of cultivation. It is customary there to encircle a large estate with a deep ditch; and to plant the mound which is thus formed, with maples, elms, or apple trees, whose branches intermingle as the trees grow up, forming a dense enclosure, through which the eye of the traveller can scarcely penetrate. Such was the case with the farm of La Fayette. In a few moments we passed the belt of trees, and entering what had seemed a forest, found it to be a richly cultivated tract of about five hun. dred acres, spread out before us in one open field, with here a patch of wheat, there of rye, barley, oats, peas, &c., in all the variety of French tillage, without a fence or hedge to separate them, and bounded simply by their leafy enclosure of more than three miles in circuit, which shuts them out from the world.
At one extremity, on a beautiful lawn, skirted with shrubbery, stood the family dwelling; and it was exactly such a dwelling as one would have desired for the residence of La Fayette. a large feudal castle, five hundred years old, orce a hunting seat of Charles IX., standing in the freshness of its age—an apt emblem of its owner
" Like some bold chieftain grey in arms,
And marked with many a seamy scar." Imagine a spot selected in the lawn mentioned above, two hundred feet long, and one hundred
feet broad. At each of the four corners a round tower is erected of massive blocks of limestone, thirty feet in diameter and sixty feet high, surmounted by a conical roof rising fifteen feet higher, and terminating in an iron point. These towers are united by a line of buildings filling up the space between, on each of the four sides, and forming an enclosed court open only to the sky above, and entered on one side by an arched gateway, fifteen feet wide and twenty feet high. Such was the castle as originally constructed ; and such it still remained, except that the court was laid open for the free admission of the sun and air, by demolishing, on one of the sides, the line of buildings which extended from tower to tower. As we drove towards the gate, the General pointed out an ivy which threw its luxuriant foliage along the walls of the castle, and hung in festoons over the entrance. It was planted three years before by CHARLES James Fox. In a moment we passed under the gateway, and a hasty glance showed us the court within, surrounded by buildings three stories in height, whose windows looked down from all the three sides on the enclosed area. The lower story was occupied by the eating apartments, the kitchen, and the numerous offices connected with the domestic establishment. The second and third stories were the residence of the family. The carriage drew up at a noble staircase, on the side opposite to the gate. Welcome,” said the General, as we alighted, “ welcome to my house, as every American is welcome to my heart.” He led us up stairs as rapidly as his lameness would permit, and in a moment were surrounded by his family. It was delight. ful to see the tenderness and veneration with which they all received him. His wife, indeed, was not there. She had sunk under a complication of diseases, produced by her voluntary confinement with him in the prison of Olmutz. But there was a widowed daughter, and the wife of George Washington, who was head of the family, together with a host of grand-children, all of whom crowded around him with the warmest expressions of affection and reverence. He introduced us as friends from America, and we were placed at once on the footing of old acquaintance.
It was nearly five o'clock, and time to dress for dinner. We were, therefore, conducted soon after to our apartments. Mine was in the third story of one of the towers described above, a circular room more than twenty feet in diameter, with tall, narrow windows, looking down through the massive walls five feet thick, on
the lawn below. Within less than an hour a servant came to conduct me to the Salle-d-manger, or Dining Room, on the ground floor, where the family were already assembled. It was a large hall sufficient for the accommodation of sixty or seventy persons; there were about twenty present. Dinner, in France, is always an important affair. It is, in fact, the only considerable meal of the day; and being taken just at evening when all business and care are over, it is considered as the chief season of social enjoyment, when the family assemble, quite as much for conversation, as to satisfy the wants of nature. Vive la bagatelle, is the motto. A thousand pleasantries enliven the scene, and the meal is rarely ended under two hours. We rose from table a little before eight, and as the evening was fine, the General proposed a walk round the farm. One of his grand-daughters, who had taken me under her special charge at dinner, gave me her arm, and we sallied forth just after sunset, in one of the most beautiful evenings of the year. She began by lamenting that she could not talk to me in English.
“ We tried hard to learn it,” said she, “ while grand-papa was gone. We made a law that nothing should be spoken in the family but Eng. lish: we meant to be a little colony of Ameri. cans in the midst of France."
And how did your colony succeed?" “Oh, it broke up after the second day, for it tied all our tongues.” “ A hard case for a Frenchman !"
What, then, do you say of a French woman? Besides, you know how natural it is to talk French. Don't you think it was always intended to be the common language of mankind ? Every other language is so hard, and French so easy."
I could see she was full in the faith, that French was the original speech of Paradise ; and that any one who talks any other language, violates the first principles of his nature.
She went on to tell me, how thankful they all were to the good Americans, for their kind treatment of her dear grand-papa. think,” said she, “we did not expect anything of the kind. We thought he would get into the diligence at New York like other people, and travel quietly on to Boston, and then round by Kentucky (she was not very deep in our geography), to Philadelphia. and Washington. But to think of a procession of steamboats going out to meet him, and conduct him into port; of tens of thousands standing ready to receive him on the wharf ; of his passing from town to town
and city to city, amidst the joyful acclamations of a great and generous people-oh, it was too much”--and her eyes began to fill with tears.
And then,” said she, “we got the atlas as the letters arrived, and followed them on their journey from place to place; and oh, how we did laugh to think of little fat Levasseur (the General's secretary) tumbling over into the water, on the Ohio river! I asked him, when he came back, how he felt. Oh, said she (mimicking his English), he said it was very in-con-veni-ent.'
“And then the kindest thing of all was, when grand-papa had been to a town called Connecticut, just after his arrival, and had been writing letters all night on his way back in the steamboat, to send us by the Havre packet, do you think it had sailed only an hour before he reached New York ; and when he felt so bad, and knew we all should feel so bad to have no letters, a kind gentleman sent the steamboat out to sea after the packet, that we might have our letters !"
“Do you know who that gentleman was ?" « No."
“ There he is before you, walking with your mother on his arm."
“Oh, I must run and tell him how much we love him for his kindness ;” and in a few moinents she contrived that her mother took my arm and she had Mr. E. entirely to herself.
The wife of Washington La Fayette had a seriousness and depth of feeling, not commonly manifested by French ladies. She spoke of religious subjects with interest and solemnity; and I could not but hope, that the misfortunes of the family might have been made the instrument, under divine grace, of imbuing her mind with true spiritual feeling.-Our walk ended about nine, and after an hour of general conversation, each one retired to his own apartment; and by the time when the splendid saloons of Paris were filling up with their glittering throngs, all was buried in repose at the quiet residence of La Fayette.
The next morning, the General took us round his farm, to exhibit his stock and improvements in agriculture, of which he was justly proud. In the course of conversation, I asked him what history of the French Revolution he would recommend as best. Mignet's, he said, was brief, comprehensive and correct. The only error he mentioned, was a false theory-a kind of FATALISM, in respect to the atrocities of the reign of terror, as if they were a necessary part of the re
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volution. “It is not so,” said La Fayette, with much strength of feeling, “ there was no need of' waling through slaughter to the establishment of free institutions.”
· But the sufferings resulting from those atro. cities,” I replied, “ will at least furnish a salutary caution against plunging again into such scenes. France will not see a second revolution."
France will see a second revolution," said the General, in a deep and solemn tone.
“ She will see one."
• Do you think it possible that the French people will incur the danger of a new reign of terror?"
“ There is no such danger. The people hate the government-they hate the Jesuits, who completely govern the king. A revolution must come; perhaps not in my day-certainly not under my direction. But the people have arms concealed by thousands throughout the country. Those arms will come forth, and a few days will decide the conflict.”
I confess I was utterly unbelieving, and regarded these remarks as a proof of that credulity with which Lafayette has been often charg. ed. But in less than four years, his prediction was fulfilled. The people of Paris, maldened by oppression, flew to arms, and in three days the revolution was completed. La Fayette was called to Paris to organize a new government. He might have placed himself at the summit of
power; but he preferrel to call Louis Philippe to the throne. For a time his opinion had the force of law. But he was destined again to experience the ingratitude of those whom he had raised to power. He retired from Paris, carrying with him only the blessings of the people, and the increasing admiration of every lover of virtue.
The day passed away in varied and instructive conversation. It was delightful to follow La Fayette through the momentous scenes of his life, and to listen to his remarks so full of wisdom and benevolence. At evening, the car. riage was announced that was to carry us to the nearest large town on our route to Geneva. La Fayette accompanied us to the extremity of his estate ; and throwing his arms around us, with the warmth of a true Frenchman, gave us his parting embrace.
“ Farewell, General,” said I, “we part at last to meet no more.” “Say not so," he replied with great quick
“ In France we never speak of a last farewell. We always hope to meet again."
May that hope be realized! May the trials of his eventful life have prepared hiin, through divine grace, for an inheritance in the kingdom of God; and may he who traces these lines, be training up through the same grace, to join him in those mansions of rest, where no enemy shall ever enter, and whence no friend shall ever depart.
C. A. G.
BY MRS. L. H. SIGOURVEY.
" There failed not aught of any good thing, which the Lord had spoken into the house vf Israel."
JOSHUA, 21. 45. “ Fail'd not !” How could it fail?
Thou who didst bid
In the wan features of the pale-fac'd moon,
Anon, he speaks
Yea, some there are,
He is not as a man, that he should lie,”
Who cometh on,
Behold, an awful Seer,