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a combination of events, which was brought about by a variety of causes, rather than by the genius of the French monarch, had raised him to a station so elevated and commanding, as to acquire for him the title of LOUIS LE GRAND. The reputation of France for arms, arts, literature, and magnificence, admirably described by Lacretelle, as une magnificence dont le peuple 'alors sentait plus le poids qu'il n'en avait admiré les pro'diges,' was at its greatest height, although agriculture began to decline, and commerce languished. Ambition and intolerance usually keep pace with the extension of power and influence; and a monarch who had compelled the nephew of the Pope to come to Paris to request his pardon, and had inflicted a similar penalty on the doge of Genoa, grew too haughty and too fond of personal grandeur, to enjoy the gifts of fortune without injury to the other European powers. He had been humbled by successive leagues. That of England, Holland, and Sweden, which produced the peace of Aix-laChapelle, in 1668, and that of the German Princes, Spain, and the United Provinces, which terminated in the general peace of Ryswick, in 1697, had already checked the dangerous influence of the French throne. The greatness and pride of Louis were still more decidedly curbed at the opening of the Eighteenth Century under Marlborough.

The compassion which his political misfortunes scarcely deserved, is most forcibly inspired by the domestic calamities, with a touching picture of which Lacretelle interests his readers at the commencement of his work. Those to whom the Great Monarch naturally looked as the props of his declining years, were snatched away by the hand of death, and his domestic circle began to present to him a dreary solitude. The Dauphin was cut off by a sudden death; the amiable Duke and Dutchess of Burgundy, were carried to an untimely grave; their eldest son, at six years of age, shared the same fate, and the only surviving child, the Duke d'Anjou, was at the point of death. The character, and the premature death, of the amiable Duke of Burgundy, the pupil of Fenelon, is so beautifully touched, that we must not withhold it.

'Le Roi et Madame de Maintenon venaient visiter la Dauphine* dont ils avaient fait leur fille chérie; ils voyaient avec saisissement l'embarras et l'air d'effroi des médecins. Louis n'était pas moins inquiet de la santé de son petit-filst; rien ne pouvait arracher celuici de la chambre d'une femme qui remplissait seule son âme tendre et pure. Ses traits étaient dejà décomposés et flétris; mais il n'aper cevait et ne voulait sentir que le danger de son épouse ..

* The Dutchess of Burgundy. + The Duke of Burgundy.

Le

12 Février, elle expira........ La mort de la Dauphine éteignait les dernières lueurs d'esperance et de joie qui eussent quelquefois consolé la vieillesse de Louis XIV.

Le Roi se retira à Marly avec Madame de Maintenon, pour offrir à Dieu la soumission d'une âme brisée par la douleur. Le Dauphin, né pour les impressions violentes et les sentiments passionnés, contenait des plaintes qui lui eussent paru une révolte contre le ciel; et, par ce combat au-dessus de ses forces, il aidait à la mort qui s'approchait de lui. Il était resté enfermé avec son confesseur, avec son frère le Duc de Berry, et avec son vertueux gouverneur le Duc de Beauvilliers, malade lui-meme. Fénélon, exilé de la cour, manquait à son élève mourant. Les coups de marteau qui préparaient le cercueil de la Dauphine arrivaient déjà jusqu'aux oreilles de son époux ; il fallut le soustraire à ces apprêts déchirans; on crut qu'il aurait la force de se rendre à Marly, il s'y fit transporter. Le Duc de Berry était seul avec lui dans son carosse. Il arriva lorsque les courtisans attendaient le réveil du Roi........ Il vint se mêler aux seigneurs qui attendaient le Roi. Nul n'osait le consoler, tous gardaient une morne silence. Son air avait quelque chose d'égaré; son visage était couvert de marques rougeâtres. Il répondait au salut douloureux de ceux dont il connaissait le plus l'attachement, par des regards qui perçaient l'âme ..... Louis s'avance vers lui, il le serre dans ses bras avec tendresse; il observe, il détaille tous les funestes symptômes qu'avaient déjà remarqués les courtisans. Retirez vous, mon fils,' lui disait il, pendant qu'un médecin tâtait le pouls au prince et regardait le Roi avec des yeux effrayés; au nom de Dieu, retirez vous, veillez sur vous-même, j'attends tout du courage du mon fils. Que le ciel vous donne de la force; il en faut, mon fils, dans ces ❝ temps malheureux.' Le Dauphin, à qui jamais les accens de la tendresse paternelle n'étaient arrivés d'une manière aussi pénétrante, était comme accablé de cette effusion de sentimens, et cependant ne pouvait goûter le soulagement des pleurs et des 'sanglots. En se retirant, son salut, son regard, semblaient exprimer un dernier adieu.

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La maladie du Dauphin se déclara de la manière la plus effrayante...... Le 18 Février, il mourut, ce Prince dont l'âme ardente et noble avait embrassé toutes les vertus que Fénélon lui avait montrées. Il mourut loin des regards d'un tel ami qui, résigné, mais détaché de tout sur la terre, n'eut pas long temps à lui survivre. Si le Dauphin eût regné, on eût vu ce que peuvent sur le trône le plus sincère amour de l'humanité, et le difficile accord des sentimens religieux avec les qualités politiques. La force et la prévoyance n'eussent point manqué à toutes ses vertus: quelle prodigieuse énergie ne devait-il pas y avoir dans une âme qui s'etait si opiniâtrement travaillée elle-même.'* Tom. I. pp. 19-26.

*The King and Madame de Maintenon came to see the Dauphiness, who was become their darling daughter: they beheld with deep emotion, the embarrassment and consternation of the physicians. Louis was not less alarmed for the health of his grandson: nothing could tear the latter from the chamber of a wife, who alone

The Regency of the Duc d'Orleans cannot fail to fix the attention of the historical student, as having been marked by the greatest profligacy of manners. That the Duc d'Orleans was a man of first rate talents cannot be denied; but the licentiousness of his character was such as to divert his attention from the cares of the state to the unrestrained indulgence of the most debased passions, and even to counteract the influence of those measures which were really founded

a wise policy. Wo to the prince who excites the disgust and the contempt of his subjects, by throwing aside the restraints of morality; who squanders away the resources of his people, in promoting the splendour of a dissolute court,

engrossed his pure and tender affections. His looks were even then discomposed and faded: but he saw nothing, would suffer himself to feel nothing, but the danger of his wife. On the 12th of February she expired: and her death extinguished the last beams of hope and of joy which had at times irradiated the old age of Louis the Fourteenth.

The King retired with Madame de Maintenon to Marly, to offer to the Almighty the submission of a spirit broken with grief. The Dauphin, who was naturally of extreme susceptibility, and ardent passions, suppressed complainings which he would have considered as rebellion aga nst Heaven; his strength was unequal to the struggle; and it only served to hasten the approach of death. He shut himself up with his Confessor, with his brother, the Duke de Berry, and with his excellent tutor, the Duke de Beauvilliers, who was himself an invalid. Fenelon, banished from court, could not attend 'his dying pupil.

The strokes of the hammer occasioned by nailing the coffin of the Dauphiness, fell on the ear of her husband. It became necessary to tear him away from these agonizing preparations: it was thought that he might have strength enough to repair to Marly, and he ordered himself to be carried thither. The Duke de Berry was alone with him in the carriage. He arrived just as the courtiers were waiting for the King's rising.He mixed with the noblemen who were in attendance upon the King. No one ventured to offer him consolation: all kept a melancholy silence. There was something of distraction in his air; his face was covered with red streaks, He replied to the mournful salutations of those whom he knew to be the most strongly attached to him, by looks of heart-piercing expression. Louis advanced towards him: he pressed him in his arms with tenderness: he observed, he distinctly noticed, all the fatal symptoms which had been already remarked by the courtiers. Retire, my son,' he said, while a physician was feeling the Prince's pulse, and looking at the King with consternation, for God's sake, retire; watch over yourself. I expect every thing from the fortitude of my son. Heaven grant you strength; there is much need of it in these unhappy times.' The Dauphin, in whose ears the accents of paternál tenderness had never sounded in tones so penetrating, was almost overwhelmed by this effusion of sympathy, and yet was unable to enjoy the relief of tears and of groans, As he retired, his words, his looks seemed to bid a final farewell.

The Dauphin's illness assumed the most formidable appearance. On the 18th of February he died,a Prince whose ardent and noble mind had embraced all the virtues which Fenelon had inculcated. He died at a distance from that invaluable friend, who, resigned, and dead in affection to all earthly things, had not long to survive him. If the Dauphin had lived to be king, we should have seen what the most sincere love of mankind and the difficult combination of religious principles with political talents could, when upon the throne, effect. Strength of mind and foresight would not have been wanting in aid of all his other virtues. What prodigious energy they must have imparted to a mind which had so perse yeringly laboured in the cultivation of itself!

and in gratifying his own vices, instead of labouring to advance the happiness of those for whom alone he sways the sceptre! It is easy to trace the germe of the French Revolution, to the period of which we are now speaking. The mind shudders at the contemplation of those scenes of debauchery and of sensual excess, which marked the career of this profligate statesman:-the very page of history is contaminated with the bare recital of the scandalous manners which disgraced the court of the infamous Duc d'Orleans.

Tout a pris un nouvel aspect á la cour....le libertinage qui, auparavant, avait cherché le mystère, brave le scandal; .... Les blasphemes, les sermens souillées des images de la débauché, sont substitués au ton noble et réservé de Louis XIV.: l'impudence les prefere, la bassesse y applaudit.. ... Les soupers du Régent étaient école d'une corruption qui tendait à se répandre dans tout le royaume. L'impiété était l'assaisonnement le plus recherché de ces débauches; & les jours que la religion consacre aux plus imposantes solemnités, étaient signalés par des excès d'une invention nouvelle.* I. pp. 144-147.

We have just remarked, that the profligacy of the manners of the Court sowed the first seeds of moral and political disorder in France. To this we may add another cause, which, at this time, began to bring the institutions both of religion and of social order, into contempt;-the elevation of undeserving, nay, of infamous persons, to the highest stations in the Church. This is well marked by our Author.

Beaucoup de personnes recherchent aujourd'hui les causes de l'incrédulité qui a toujours été en s'accroissant pendant le 18 siècle. Elles sont nombreuses, mais on s'obstine à les réduire à une seule, et à n'accuser que les productions d'écrivains célébres. L'histoire dénonce, avant tout, les actes des grandes, et ceux même des chefs de l'Eglise. Bayle ne produisait qu'une impression mé. diocre quand Bossuet, Fénélon, Arnaud, Nicole, existaient.' VI. p. 543.

Every thing assumed a new appearance at court. Libertinism, which had bitherto sought concealmeht, now braved opinion. Blasphemies, oaths polluted with the images of debauchery, were substituted for the noble and reserved manners of Louis the Fourteenth. Effrontcry preferred them; baseness applauded them. The suppers of the Regent formed a school of corruption, the influence of which extended throughout the kingdom. Impiety was the most favourite seasoning of these revels; and those days which are consecrated to the most awful solemnities of religion, were signalized by novelties of excess which invention was taxed to furnish.

Many persons in our days have sought for the causes of that infidelity which was constantly on the increase during the eighteenth century. Those. causes are numerous, although some persons persist in reducing them to one, and in charging all upon the productions of celebrated writers. History de

It required all the impudence of Dubois, to think of oecupying a see which had so recently been illustrated by the virtues of Fenelon'; and all the immorality of the Regent, to advance to the Episcopacy the most infamous of men.

From such scenes we turn aside with disgust; nor shall we stop to notice the intolerant administration of the Duc de Bourbon, which is here justly called the second Regency. We pass on to that of Cardinal Fleury, none of whose measures, however, have the character of grandeur or of vast utility, which arrest the attention of the historical reader. Disinterestedness and economy are the only qualities which his greatest admirers can point out as praise-worthy in the character of the Bishop of Frejus. His manners partook of patriarchal simplicity; but there was a timidity in his counsels, a want of energy in his measures, which deprive him of the character of an enlightened minister. During the period of national tranquillity which prevailed from 1726 to 1733, his attention was prudently directed to the improvement of the finances, and the encouragement of agriculture and commerce. Fleury was fitted to rule in time of peace; but the approach of external commotions betrayed his want of intellectual vigour.

Europe had now enjoyed repose for a series of years; but the death of Augustus II. furnished an occasion for a sanguinary contest, by leaving the succession to the crown of Poland undecided. France espoused the pretensions of Stanislaus Leczinski, the father-in-law of Louis XV. This prince, one of the most amiable and unfortunate of monarchs, had been placed on the throne of Poland by Charles XII. and hurled from it by Peter the Great. Russia and Austria maintained successfully the cause of the Elector of Saxony, son of Augustus II. The attentive reader cannot fail to draw a comparison between the fate of Poland-as subjected to Russian influence-in 1734, and in 1815. To those who are curious in tracing such political analogies, we can promise abundant materials in this part of Lacretelle's work. We quote but a single sentence:

La Russie voulait dominer seule sur un état qu'elle considérait déjà comme tributaire. L'Autriche aurait dû s'alarmer de cette ambition de la Russie, et cependant elle la secondait*!' II. 138.

nounces, as the most efficient cause, the conduct of the higher orders, of even the heads of the Church. Bayle produced but a slight impression while Bossuet, Fenelon, Arnaud, and Nicole, were living.

*Russia was anxious to obtain the sole dominion over a state which she already considered as her tributary. Austria ought to have taken alarm at the ambition of Russia, instead of which, she seconded her project.

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