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only reply, “ Bush, is that you ?" and, ly met the Major at the latter place on when a sleepy boy came in with a light,' the 22d of February. The Major had he was astonished to find a man dressed explored the whole north coast of the in heavy frosty furs embracing another Okhotsk ea, alone, and had made a who was clad only in a linen shirt and visit to the Russian city of Yakootsk, drawers.
six hundred versts west of Okhotsk, in There was a joyful time in that log- quest of laborers and horses. He had house when the Major, Bush, Macrae, ascertained the possibility of hiring a Arnold, Robinson, Dodd, and I gath- thousand Yakoot laborers in the settleered around a steaming“ samovar," or ments along the Lena river, at the rate tea-urn, which stood on a pine table in of sixty dollars a-year for each man, the centre of the room, and discussed and of purchasing there as many Sibethe adventures, haps, and mishaps of rian horses as we should require at very our first arctic winter. Some of us reasonable prices. · He had located a had come from the extremity of Kam- route for the line from Geezhega to tchatka, some from the frontier of Chi- Okhotsk, and had superintended genna, and some from Behring's Straits, erally the whole work of exploration. and we all met that night in Geezhega, Macrae and Arnold had explored nearly and congratulated ourselves and each all the region lying south of the Anaother upon the successful exploration dyr and along the lower Myan, and had of the whole route of the proposed gained much valuable information conRusso-American Telegraph, from Ana cerning the little-known tribe of wandyr Bay to the Amoor river. The dif- dering Chookchees. Dodd, Robinson, ferent members of the party there as- and I had explored two routes from sembled had, in seven months, travelled Geezhega to Anadyrsk, and had found in the aggregate almost ten thousand a chain of wooded rivers connecting miles.
the Okhotsk Sea with the Pacific Ocean The results of our winter's work were near Behring's Straits. The natives we briefly as follows: Bush and Mahow, had everywhere found to be peaceable after leaving the Major and me at Pe- and well-disposed, and many of them tropavlovski, had gone on to the Rus- along the route of the line were already sian settlement of Nikolaevsk, at the engaged in cutting poles. The counmouth of the Amoor river, and had try, althougb by no means favorable to entered promptly upon the exploration the construction of a telegraph, preof the west coast of the Okhotsk Sea: sented no obstacles which energy and They had travelled with the wandering perseverance could not overcome; and, Tongoos through the densely-timbered as we reviewed our winter's work, we region between Nikolaevsk and Aian, felt satisfied that the enterprise in which ridden on the backs of reindeer over we were engaged, if not altogether an the rugged mountains of the Stanavoi easy one, held out, at least, a fair prosrange south of Okhotsk, and had final- pect of success.
MADAME DE LAFAYETTE AND HER MOTHER
A BEAUTIFUL volume, recently publish- margin of these engravings, with the ed at Paris, has especial interest for toothpick dipped in the Indian ink, that American readers. The grandchildren Madame de Lafayette scratched down of General Lafayette have allowed to be this beautiful life of her mother. This printed two brief family memoirs, both rude but touching MS. is still preserved highly interesting not only from the in- by the family, in its original condition. dividual lives they record, but also from And through those faded brown chartheir close connection with events of acters, on that yellow paper, bearing a high historical importance, and from the look of antiquity beyond the actual date, glimpses they offer of a state of society there are gleams of a halo of saintly now passed away for ever. The first of beauty lingering about the names of these brief but most interesting sketches, both mother and daughter. The second is the life of Madame la duchesse d'Ayen, sketch, the life of Madame de Lafayette the mother of Madame de Lafayette, herself, has been also given to us by the written by the latter lady. Every hand of her own daughter, Madame de American knows already that while Lasteyrie, a lady borne in affectionate and General Lafayette was suffering all the respectful remembrance by many Amehardships of a prisoner of state at the rican families. The touching simplicity, fortress of Olmütz, in Austria, his the faultless veracity, the conscientious noble wife, with her two daughters, fidelity of these memoirs of two women travelled through Europe to implore of so truly noble, render them indeed rarely the Emperor Francis the permission to precious. become a prisoner with him. It was To prepare for the American reader while shut up in the cells of Olmütz, translations of some of the many inthat Madame de Lafayette beguiled some teresting passages of these memoirs has tedious hours by writing the life of her been a labor of love. And we undermother, now published. No pens or take the task with additional pleasure as ink or paper were allowed to the pris- 'it assumes, in a certain sense, something oners, excepting when brought in at of the form of an act of justice. The long intervals, by the officer on duty, for English-speaking world in general often the purpose of writing brief business carelessly hold the most cruelly unjust notes, or, more rarely still, a short family opinions of domestic life in France. If letter. All that was written at such you believe a large class of Englishmen, moments was put on paper under the moral worth has no existence whatever official eye, and forwarded, open, through in France. We Americans, it is true, many official hands, to its destination. are not so prejudiced; from early alliance But one of the young ladies was very skil- with the nation we are kindly disposed ful with her pencil, as may be proved by towards them. Still, we have not yet the painting she made of the jailer at done them full justice in this respect; Olmütz, a picture now hanging on the English prejudices, filtering through their walls at Lagrange ; and among her treas- literature, still partially color our opinares there was a bit of Indian ink. A ions. We are not aware how many toothpick was also found.
good qualities, even of the more solid among the books allowed to the im- kind, are often found beneath that graceprisoned family was a large volume of ful manner, so charming to all. No Buffon's Natural History, with engrav- doubt that with the French silks, and ings of animals and birds. It was on the laces, and wines, and pâtés de foies gras,
As for paper,
that enter our ports, there is also unhap- for eleven years, according to the custom pily too much of frivolity, and of vice, of that day. The germs of a fine charcrossing the Atlantic from the same quar- acter appear to have been early developter. But it is more of a rule with France, ed, althongh the atmosphere was not than with other nations, that, owing to entirely favorable. We translate a pasthe external graces thrown around them, sage: “From her earliest years natural their follies and vices are more widely good sense and honesty of heart proved spread abroad, the world over, than an excellent foundation for her instructhose of other nations. It is in this light tion. All the impressions she received that the majority of our people see the were serious, and real. A volume conFrench. They are as yet little aware taining the lives of the monks of the how many noble elements there are in desert having fallen into her hands when French character. They are generally she was only five years old, instead of quite ignorant of the fact that in their being amused with all their visions, she best fainilies—we use the phrase as in- was terrified by them, and very fearful cluding those in which the moral tone of becoming too great a saint, lest she is most pure, whether of high or low should suffer in the same way—a cowdegree-home-life is in every way ad- ardice which troubled her childish conmirable. They are a very warm-hearted science, however. Her grandfather, the people; they are, as every one knows, Chancellor d'Aguesseau, was in the habit naturally cheerful, pleasant, and grace- of writing to her little letters, which ful iz manner; and when to this you add have been printed in his life. Even at the influences of a high-toned, sound, that day it was her first object to seek and healthful Christian morality, such God, and His righteousness. Nothing as are united in many households where of the littleness of convent life (aucune foreigners rarely cross the threshold, petitesse de convent) appears to have there you find the reality of a most tainted her piety. Even when very beautiful family life. There are
young, she had the faculty of close applibetter homes on earth than the very cation, and became very fond of the best class of homes in France. It is game of chess; but perceiving that when with peculiar pleasure, therefore, that she played on Saturday, her thoughts we offer the American reader two brief were disturbed in church the next day sketches of French homes, from the by the game, she gave up her favorite authentic memoirs before us. In the amusement on Saturday.” first the principal figure is that of Mme. At the age of fourteen she was taken la Duchesse d'Ayen, the mother of Mme. from the convent and removed to her de Lafayette, belonging, of course, en- father's house, under the care of an tirely to the last century.
affectionate stepmother, to whom she Anne Louise Henriette d'Aguesseau became strongly attached. A most was born in 1737, and left a motherless worthy woman, Malle. Aufroy, who infant a few days after her birth. Her became a devoted and faithful friend in father was the son of the Chancellor later years, was closen as her personal d'Aguessean, revered for his wisdom and attendant. And the good nurse was virtues. A foster-mother, a peasant still with her. It is a pleasant picture, woman, was provided for the child. At this family group, all wearing the costhe age of three the little girl was sent tumes and tinged with the mental colorto a convent at St. Denis, the good nurse ing of the past century; the kind father, accompanying her little charge, while the affectionate stepmother, the aged both were placed under the direction of grandfather, venerable from his virtues, an excellent nun, a lady of rare merit, and, included in the same framework, and endowed with an especial talent for the waiting gentlewoman and the peasthe education of children.
ant nurse, both faithful and loving, while especially happy in their moral training. moving among them the young girl In this convent the little girl remained appears passing to and fro, in the stately
Parisian hotel of that period. She
She removed to the Hôtel de Noailles, in the remained at home during four years, rue St. Honoré, near the Tuileries. completing her education in different Here all the married children - and ways. The tone of the house was grave, the married grandchildren of the aged at a distance from common amusements; Maréchal de Noailles, an important hisstill the frank gayety of her lively nature torical character of those times-were led her to take pleasure in whatever had gathered about him, according to a the charm of novelty. During those pleasant and patriarchal French custom, years her maternal grandfather, M. forming a numerous family-colony in Dupré, died, leaving her a vast fortune, the vast hôtel. None but an amiable and among other property the château people could have adopted such a cusof Lagrange-Bleneau, which became at a tom. The young wife, owing to the later day the home of the Lafayette very retired life of her mother-in-law, family. The thought of all this wealth went little into the gay world. She was, terrified the young lady, and she earnest- however, taken to Versailles to be prely entreated that the amount might be sented at Court, when she doubtless took diminished by as many legacies as pos- her seat among the duchesses, on the sible. “ This feeling,” continues the much-coveted tabouret, or seat without memoir, “was entirely sincere, as were a back, allotted to ladies of that rank, all the feelings of my mother. And it none others being allowed to sit in the was not confined to her youth; through- presence of royalty. Madame de Pomout her life she always looked upon padour was all powerful in France at riches as an actual burden. With child- that time, making and unmaking minlike simplicity, she never could be con- istries, declaring war and proclaiming vinced that wealth entered, in the least, peace, according to her caprice. Those into the nature of a true happiness.” two women, so widely different in their Of this wealth she always considered lives and natures, probably never exherself as only the steward.
changed a word; and yet the King's misDuring those four years the young tress was at that moment deep in the inlady appears to have passed a very trigues of the Seven Years' War—the happy, though not a gay or brilliant forerunner of the Revolutions in America girlhood. She was the centre of a and in France, in both of which the fate group by all of whom she was fondly of Mme. d'Ayen became so closely involloved. And never was there a more ved. true and loving heart than that which At the end of two years the first beat in her own bosom. The strongest child, a son, was born. We quote a traits of her character through life, were
passage from the memoir. “God had perfect uprightness united to the most made her to be a mother. In that opingenerous
and devoted affection. At ion all who have ever known her must the age of eighteen she married. This agree. The force of her first maternal was later than usual, in great French feeling-or rather passion-was greater families of that day. Possibly she may than one can imagine. She lost this son have been awaiting until her young has
at the end of a year.
He died after band should assume something of a only twenty-four hours of illness. The manly air, for he was a mere lad, more grief of my mother equalled her tenderthan two years younger than herself. Supported only by Faith, and Jean Paul François de Noailles, Duc dwelling on the eternal happiness of her d'Agen, was not sixteen at the time of child, she was at times so absorbed by his marriage. He had, however, many these thoughts that, as she told me, she fine qualities, and the young couple surprised herself thinking of her little became strongly attached to each other; child as of one of the greatest saints in they were alike in generosity of natare, Heaven." A year later a little girl was and in a frank uprightness of opinion born, the first of five daughters, all of and conduct. After the marriage they whom lived to fill honorably their high
social position as thoroughly Christian face of a beloved mother; and, to
The eldest, Louise, married many, the feeling lasts through a long her cousin, the Vicomte de Noailles. life. Within a year was born Adrienne, who The little boy, born under circum became Mme. de Lafayette, the writer stances so alarming, lived but a few of the memoir. These two of that ad- months; and, from a feeling which we mirable band of sisters, so near in age, must consider as akin to superstition, appear to have loved each other through the mother, strange to say, scarcely de life with the tenderness and close sym- sired its life prolonged, so fearful was pathy of twins. We gather, from little she of the temptations to which her son touches in the narrative, that the elder, might be exposed in later years. Other Mme. de Noailles, was a peculiarly lovely mothers, we believe, have partaken of person, endowed with an especial charm this feeling ; but is there not a lack of of intelligence, grace of manner, and faith here? It is, unhappily, but too warmth of feeling. Four years passed, true that sons, yielding early to the and another daughter was born, a gentle, many temptations which assail them, loving nature, with great purity of dis- too often swerve from the right path in position, who died early, though twice which the daughters of the same housemarried. Then again, after an interval hold walk safely through life; and, as of three years, appeared two little girls, they swerve from rectitude, they wound, who, like their elder sisters, were almost they lacerate, they torture the heart of in the cradle together, and in twin-like the mother who bore them, mourning, association through life—Pauline, who as she does, over their ruin here and became Mme. de Montagu, and Rosalie, hereafter. But the Christian mother who married M. de Grammont.
should assuredly not allow herself to "Like the wives of the patriarchs, become overpowered by fears like these. instead of murmuring at a fruitfulness If the Roman matron could be proud which left not a moment's repose to her of her sons, how much more may the health, my mother blessed God for this faithful Christian mother be humbly increase of her family, looking upon it hopeful for hers! There is, for her, an as an especial blessing from Heaven, as hourly appeal to the arm of Omnipoa means of drawing closer the precious tent Love. bonds of conjugal union, and received “One day," writes Madame de Laeach new child with new thanksgiv- fayette,“ on a Holy Thursday, as she ings."
returned from praying in church, she The seventh child was a son, ardent- said to Malle. Aufroy: 'I have just ly desired by the father, and born at killed my son, and I have some fears for the moment when the mother was my daughters also. If one of my chilseized with small-pox. Madame d'Ayen dren were to be ill now, I should be was very ill; her life was in great dan- frightened. I have just offered them ger; but at length the anxieties of her all to God, that He may restore them husband were relieved. She was de- to me in eternity. I hope He will leave clared convalescent, and the little band me my daughters; but I believe He of daughters were allowed to see her will take my son, and that I shall not from the garden as she sat at the closed keep him.'" window of the sick-room. Great was Soon after, the little boy died. The the grief of those little hearts at be- lady had now five daughters, the eldest holding the beloved face so fearfully ten, the youngest three years old. It is disfigured. The anguish caused by that a very interesting glimpse that we have painful sight was never forgotten, we in this brief sketch, of the education are told, even amid greater sorrows of those little girls, belonging to a pewhich followed in later years. There riod and a state of society so far apart is certainly no object on earth so pre- from our own. They were not sent to cious to a loving, childish heart as the a convent. They were educated at