Home
  By Author [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Title [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Language
all Classics books content using ISYS

Download this book: [ ASCII | HTML | PDF ]

Look for this book on Amazon


We have new books nearly every day.
If you would like a news letter once a week or once a month
fill out this form and we will give you a summary of the books for that week or month by email.

Title: Lausanne
Author: Gribble, Francis Henry
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Lausanne" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.



available by Internet Archive (https://archive.org)



      Images of the original pages are available through
      Internet Archive. See
      https://archive.org/details/lausanne00gribiala



LAUSANNE


      *      *      *      *      *      *

_UNIFORM WITH THIS VOLUME_


MONTREUX

    PAINTED BY J. HARDWICKE LEWIS AND
    MAY HARDWICKE LEWIS

    DESCRIBED BY FRANCIS GRIBBLE

    Containing 20 full-page Illustrations in Colour and a
    Sketch-Map.

    Square Demy 8vo., cloth, gilt top
    Price 7/6 net
    (_Post free, price 7/11_)

GENEVA

    PAINTED BY J. HARDWICKE LEWIS AND
    MAY HARDWICKE LEWIS

    DESCRIBED BY FRANCIS GRIBBLE

    Containing 20 full-page Illustrations and a
    Sketch-Map.

    Square Demy 8vo., cloth, gilt top
    Price 7/6 net
    (_Post free, price 7/11_)

PUBLISHED BY A. AND C. BLACK, SOHO SQUARE, LONDON, W.


      *      *      *      *      *      *

AGENTS

    AMERICA      THE MACMILLAN COMPANY
                    64 & 66 FIFTH AVENUE, NEW YORK

    AUSTRALASIA  OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS
                    205 FLINDERS LANE, MELBOURNE

    CANADA       THE MACMILLAN COMPANY OF CANADA, LTD.
                    27 RICHMOND STREET WEST, TORONTO

    INDIA        MACMILLAN & COMPANY, LTD.
                    MACMILLAN BUILDING, BOMBAY
                    309 BOW BAZAAR STREET, CALCUTTA

      *      *      *      *      *      *


  [Illustration: LAUSANNE CATHEDRAL FROM MONTBENON]


LAUSANNE

Painted by

J. HARDWICKE LEWIS & MAY HARDWICKE LEWIS

Described by

FRANCIS GRIBBLE



[Logo]

London
Adam and Charles Black
1909



Contents


                                                                  PAGE
    CHAPTER I
    THE RULE OF SAVOY AND BERNE                                      1

    CHAPTER II
    EMIGRANTS AND IMMIGRANTS                                        11

    CHAPTER III
    GIBBON                                                          15

    CHAPTER IV
    MADAME DE MONTOLIEU--DR. TISSOT                                 39

    CHAPTER V
    BENJAMIN CONSTANT AND MADAME DE STAËL                           45

    CHAPTER VI
    THE REVOLUTION                                                  61

    CHAPTER VII
    THE ENGLISH COLONY--THE EDUCATIONAL ADVANTAGES                  65

    CHAPTER VIII
    VINET AND SAINTE-BEUVE--JUSTE OLIVIER                           75

    CHAPTER IX
    NYON                                                            83

    CHAPTER X
    THE FRENCH SHORE                                                89

    CHAPTER XI
    HISTORY OF THE FRENCH SHORE--FELIX V                            95

    CHAPTER XII
    ST. FRANCIS DE SALES                                            99

    CHAPTER XIII
    JOSEPH DE MAISTRE                                              105

    INDEX                                                          109



List of Illustrations


     1. Lausanne Cathedral from Montbenon               _Frontispiece_

                                                           FACING PAGE
     2. Mont Blanc from above Morges                                 4

     3. Morges and the Lake from the Road to Vufflens                8

     4. Château de Vufflens, above Lausanne                         12

     5. The Spires of St. François, Lausanne                        16

     6. Château de Prangins                                         20

     7. Lausanne, looking East                                      26

     8. The Market Place, Lausanne                                  32

     9. La Tour de Haldimand--Ouchy--Lausanne                       38

    10. Lausanne from the Signal                                    44

    11. In the Forest of Sauvabelin, above Lausanne                 50

    12. Château de Blonay                                           56

    13. The Rhone Valley from Mont Pelerin                          62

    14. A Street in St. Saphorin                                    68

    15. The Dents du Midi and La Tour from "Entre deux Villes"      74

    16. Lutry                                                       80

    17. Cully from Epesse--Autumn                                   86

    18. Grandvaux from Cully                                        92

    19. The Rhone Valley from Chexbres                              98

    20. The Church of St. Martin, Vevey                            104



CHAPTER I

THE RULE OF SAVOY AND BERNE


Though Lausanne is so near Geneva, its history, in historical times,
has been widely different from that of the neighbouring town. Geneva
enjoyed a modified independence from an early date, and became
completely independent early in the sixteenth century. Lausanne,
until nearly 300 years later, endured the domination, first of Savoy,
and subsequently of Berne.

The early history is obscure and full of vexed questions as well
as unfamiliar names; but the central fact is that the Counts of
Savoy--they were not promoted to be Dukes of Savoy until later--took
possession of the Canton of Vaud, as well as of the Chablais and
the lower Valais, after the death of the last of the Zaeringen, at
the beginning of the thirteenth century. For the next 300 years
they exercised overlordship, limited by the charters of the towns,
and, in the case of Lausanne, by the jurisdiction of the Bishop--a
complicated state of things which the Swiss historical societies may
be left to unravel.

It seems clear, however, that the Savoyards were no hard taskmasters.
'The country of Vaud,' says its historian, Louis Vulliemin, 'was
happy and proud to belong to them. They exacted little from it, and
accorded it their powerful protection. The various States used to
assemble at Moudon, the central town, summoned by the Council of
Moudon, or by the Governor of Vaud, acting as the representative of
the Prince. There was no palace. They met in an inn, or in the house
of one of the citizens of the neighbourhood. Often they assembled in
such small numbers that, for lack of a quorum, no decision could be
taken.... No burdensome or unduly progressive measures were adopted.
As a rule, the good old customs were confirmed. When a departure
from them was resolved upon, it became law by receiving the sanction
of the Prince. The business of the herald was to see that it was
proclaimed, in the proper places, in a loud and intelligible voice.
The Prince had sworn an oath to impose no new legislation that was
not in accordance with the will of the nation as expressed by the
estates of the realm.'

The most notable of the Governors was Peter of Savoy--the same Peter
of Savoy whom we meet in English history, fighting in the civil wars
of the days of Simon de Montfort. His headquarters were in the Castle
of Chillon, where he not only dispensed justice, but also amended the
criminal law. It was the barbarous rule of the time that an offender
who had been fined for a misdemeanour should have his nose cut off if
he were unable to pay; Peter compelled even the Bishops to abandon
that cruel custom. For the rest, to quote Vulliemin:

'He received his vassals in the great hall of the Castle, where their
coats of arms hung on the wall around that of the House of Savoy.
The blowing of a horn announced that the meal was served. The ladies
arrived in their emblazoned best. The chaplain read the grace from a
volume bound in violet and gold--the precious depositary of Divine
law and ecclesiastical ritual. After the feast came the hour of merry
recreations. The Court fool and the minstrels took their seats by
the side of the Prince, and the nobility thus passed their lives in
junketing.'

This is the same writer's picture of the lives of the burghers:

'At Lausanne the three estates met in the month of May. In 1398 they
submitted to a fresh drafting of the "Plaid général," which defined
the respective rights of bishop, canons, and burghers. Three days
were devoted to the hearing of suits. On the fourth day the Plaid,
accompanied by elders, went the round of the streets, and ordered the
necessary repairs. All the citizens were required to follow, carrying
axes or stakes, so as to be able to lend a hand when required. The
Bishop regaled the artificers with bread, wine, and eggs. In return,
the blacksmiths had to shoe his horses, the saddlers to provide him
with spurs and bridles, and the coachbuilders to supply him with a
carriage. Three times a year the Seneschal passed in front of the
cobblers' shops, and touched with his rod the pair of boots which
he selected for his lordship. In time of war the prelate's army had
to serve the Prince for a day and a night without pay, and as much
longer as they might be wanted for wages. The Bishop's business was
to ransom prisoners, protect the citizens from all injustice, and go
to war on their behalf if necessary.

  [Illustration: MONT BLANC FROM ABOVE MORGES]

'Each district of the town had its special privileges. The fine
for assault and battery was sixty livres in the city where the
Bishop resided, sixty sous in the lower town, and only three sous
outside the walls. The Bishop could not arrest a citizen without
informing the burghers, or hold an inquest on the body of a dead man.
The citizens of the Rue de la Bourg sat in judgment on criminals
without assessors. Whenever they heard the summons, though they might
be at the dinner-table, glass in hand, or in their shops measuring
their cloth, they had to run off and give their opinion on the case.
In return, they were exempt from certain taxes, had the sole right
of placing hucksters' barrows in front of their shops, of using
signboards, and of keeping inns.'

It was the Reformation that terminated this primitive state of
affairs. A succession of weak Governors had allowed the hold of the
Dukes of Savoy over the country to be relaxed. It was impossible for
them to maintain their authority when the people were indoctrinated
with the new ideas. The end came when the Duke of Savoy threatened
Geneva, and the Bernese marched through Vaud to the rescue, captured
Chillon, delivered Bonivard, and kept the Canton for their reward.

From the capture of Chillon onwards, Lausanne, like the rest of
Vaud, was a Bernese dependency. Bernese governors (or baillis) were
established in all the strong places, and Protestantism became the
national religion.

The conversion of the inhabitants was chiefly effected by Viret, a
tailor's son, from Orbe, an excellent man, and a persuasive rather
than an eloquent speaker. In 1536, after the fashion of the times,
he, Calvin, and Farel challenged the Catholic theologians to a great
debate. The monks, recognizing him as a formidable antagonist, had
previously tried to get rid of him by surreptitious means. One of
them had assaulted him at Payerne, and another had attempted to
poison him at Geneva. At Lausanne they were obliged to argue with
him, and failed still more conspicuously. The argument lasted for a
week, and, at the end of the week, the populace, considering that the
Protestant case was proved, proceeded to the cathedral to desecrate
the altars and smash the images, while the governors confiscated
the Church property and offered it for sale. 'It was thus,' writes
Vulliemin, 'that Jost de Diesbach bought the church and vicarage of
St. Christophe in order to turn the one into a baking house and the
other into a country seat, and that Michel Augsburger transformed the
ancient church of Baulmes into a stable for his cattle.'

At the same time a disciplinary tribunal, somewhat on the lines of
Calvin's theocracy at Geneva, was instituted to supervise the morals
of the citizens; and absence from church was made punishable by fine,
imprisonment, or banishment. Viret, it is true, was driven to resign
his pastorate and leave Lausanne, because he was not allowed to
refuse the Holy Communion to notorious evil-livers, and fifty other
pastors followed his example; but the pastors who remained drafted
a new moral code of sufficient severity, consisting, in the main,
of a gloss upon each of the Ten Commandments, giving a list of the
offences which it must be understood, for the future, to prohibit.
Under the heading of Seventh Commandment, for example, it was
written: 'This forbids fornication, drunkenness, baptismal and burial
banquets, pride, dancing, and the use of tobacco and snuff.'

A number of Sumptuary Laws were also adopted, to check the spread of
luxury; and here again we cannot do better than quote Vulliemin:

'The regulations prescribed the dress materials which each class of
society might wear, and permitted none but the nobility to appear
in gold-embroidered stuffs, brocades, collars of Paris point lace,
and lace-embellished shoes. The women of the middle classes were
forbidden to wear caps costing more than ten crowns, or any sort of
false hair, or more than one petticoat at a time. One regulation
settled the size of men's wigs, and another determined how low a
lady's bodice might be cut. There was a continual battle between
authority and fashion, and fashion was always contriving to evade
the law. The purpose of the magistracy was not only to maintain
the privileges of the upper classes, but also to fortify domestic
morality against the imperious demands of vanity. A special
government department was instituted to stop the use of tobacco. The
baillis alone considered that the law did not apply to them; but one
day, when one of these officials opened his snuff-box in church, the
preacher interrupted him. "Here," he said, "one only snuffs the Word
of God." Above all things, however, morality was the object of the
jealous care of the magistrates of Vaud. So it was with an outburst
of holy wrath that they heard that there was at Vevey "a dancing
master, a Catholic, whose presence caused great scandals, at balls,
in the evenings, between the two sexes." The stranger was banished,
and the town was censured for its criminal toleration.'

  [Illustration: MORGES AND THE LAKE FROM THE ROAD TO VUFFLENS]

Such was the régime, and though, in externals, it resembled
the régime at Geneva, there was one very significant difference.
The Genevan discipline was self-imposed, and at least expressed the
will of a working majority of the people. The Lausanne discipline
represented the will of a conqueror imposed upon a subject race, and
the conqueror had a rough and heavy hand, and rigorously excluded the
subject people from participation in public affairs. The consequences
can be traced in their history, habits, and manners.

There was one poor feeble attempt at revolt. A certain Major Davel,
after whom one of the steamboats on the lake is called--a Pietist,
and perhaps a religious maniac--a soldier of fortune, whose merits
had attracted the attention of such good judges as the Duke of
Marlborough and Prince Eugène, mustered the militia of Cully and
marched into Lausanne, declaring that he had come to set the Canton
free. Asked for explanations, he replied that he had been guided by
direct inspiration from on high. The defence did not save him, and he
perished on the scaffold in 1723. The revolution at which he aimed
was not to be accomplished for another eighty years, and the event
constitutes almost the whole of the political history of Lausanne
during the period under review.



CHAPTER II

EMIGRANTS AND IMMIGRANTS


Forbidden to seek careers at home, most of the aristocracy of Vaud
went abroad to pursue fortune in the service of some foreign Power.
There was always a good opening for them, whether as mercenary
soldiers or as instructors of the young, and many of them achieved
distinction and rose to high positions. Haldimand of Yverdon became
a Lieutenant-General in the British Army and Governor of Canada.
Réverdil of Nyon was first tutor to Christian VII. of Denmark, and
afterwards his secretary. Amédée de Laharpe was one of Napoleon's
generals; the only General, it is said, in the Army of Italy, who was
not guilty of rapacity and extortion. Frédéric César de Laharpe held
high office under Alexander I. of Russia; Dupuget of Yverdon was the
tutor of the Russian Grand Dukes Nicolas and Michael; J. J. Cart was
with Admiral Hood in America; Glayre became Polish Minister at St.
Petersburg; Pache became Mayor of Paris; the list could be almost
indefinitely extended.

Most of these emigrants, moreover, suffered from the nostalgia which
is characteristic of the Swiss. It was not enough for them to come
home to die; they liked to return in middle age, and spend at home
the money which they had earned abroad. And when they did return,
they had, of course, no longer the homely wits of the home-keeping
youths. They were men of experience, men of the world, men of
polished manners and cosmopolitan culture. Their presence gave a new
and a broader tone to Lausanne society. They were not to be driven
to church like a flock of sheep, or forbidden to go to the theatre
like a pack of schoolboys, or stood in the pillory for playing cards,
or told by the preachers what they should eat or wherewithal they
should be clothed. So far as they were concerned the discipline of
the Consistory broke down, and the Sumptuary Laws did not apply to
them. Their example liberalized even the clergy. They insisted upon
making Lausanne a pleasant place to live in. Strangers found out that
it was pleasant, and came to settle there in large numbers. There was
already a foreign colony in Lausanne from quite an early date in the
eighteenth century.

  [Illustration: CHÂTEAU DE VUFFLENS, ABOVE LAUSANNE]

Geneva had had its foreign colonists from a still earlier date, but
they were exiles--Miles Coverdale, Bishop of Exeter, John Knox, John
Bodley, William Whittingham, and others, who fled abroad to escape
persecution by the Bloody Mary. With one accord they thanked their
hosts for the hospitality bestowed upon them, and departed as soon as
the accession of Elizabeth made it safe for them to do so. Some of
the foreigners at Lausanne were also exiles, it is true, but hardly
for conscience' sake, the opinions which had got them into trouble
being more often political than religious. But they selected Lausanne
as their place of residence because they liked it--not because it was
a 'perfect school of Christ,' but because the site and the society
were agreeable.

Voltaire himself lived there for a little while before he settled
down at Ferney, and encountered no theological objection to the
theatrical performances which he organized. Gibbon, who was there at
the time, living in the house of Pastor Pavilliard, declared that
the entertainments, to which he was sometimes invited, 'refined in
a visible degree the manners of Lausanne';[1] and the philosopher
himself paid a tribute to those manners in a letter to D'Alembert,
in which he wrote: 'All the amenities of society and sound philosophy
have found their way into the part of Switzerland in which the
climate is most agreeable and wealth abounds. The people here have
succeeded in grafting the politeness of Athens upon the simplicity of
Sparta.'

FOOTNOTE:

[1] Gibbon's acquaintance with Voltaire was only slight. _Vidi
tantum_, he writes.



CHAPTER III

GIBBON


Voltaire belongs to Geneva rather than to Lausanne. The most
distinguished of the strangers upon whom Lausanne has an exclusive
claim is Gibbon.

He was sent there, in the first instance, as a punishment for having
embraced the Roman Catholic faith, and was lodged in the house of
M. Pavilliard, a Calvinistic minister, whose instructions were to
educate his pupil if possible, but to convert him at all costs. The
desired conversion was effected, though it was more thorough than
had been intended. Gibbon was persuaded to receive the Sacrament
from a Protestant pastor, but never troubled himself with religion
afterwards except in the capacity of historian. But, though he was
at first treated like a schoolboy, and consoled himself for the
loss of his liberty by getting drunk, he soon fell in love with the
town--'Fanny Lausanne,' as he called it in a letter--and also fell
in love with Mademoiselle Suzanne Curchod. That is one of the most
famous of all literary love-stories, and one may properly pause here
to relate it at length.

Mademoiselle Curchod was the daughter of a country clergyman--very
well educated, very beautiful, and very generally admired. Her
earliest admirers were, naturally, the rising young ministers of the
Gospel.[2] It amused her to invite them to sign documents, composed
in playful imitation of legal contracts, binding themselves 'to come
and preach at Crassier as often as she required, without waiting
to be solicited, pressed, or entreated, seeing that the greatest
of their pleasures was to oblige her on every possible occasion.'
Her female friends, hearing of this, wrote to her expressing their
disapproval, and strongly advising her to turn the preachers out of
the house as soon as they had finished their sermons; but there is no
evidence that she acted on their advice.

  [Illustration: THE SPIRES OF ST. FRANÇOIS, LAUSANNE]

Visiting Lausanne, she extended the circle of her admirers. Her
bright intelligence enabled her to shine as a member of a certain
Société du Printemps, and also of a certain Académie des Eaux--a
debating club given to the discussion of such problems as 'Does
an element of mystery really make love more agreeable?' or 'Can there
be friendship between a man and a woman in the same sense as between
two women or two men?' Her conduct in this connection was such that
her friends warned her that her desire to make herself agreeable to
young men was too clearly advertised; but it does not appear that
the warning made any impression on her. At all events, she was very
successful in making herself agreeable to Gibbon, then a lad about
eighteen years of age. 'Saw Mademoiselle Curchod. Omnia vincit
amor, et nos cedamus amori,' is one of the early entries in his
diary; and we have a picture of Gibbon, at about the same date, from
Mademoiselle Curchod's own pen. In middle age--as we can see from his
portraits--he was an ugly, ungainly, podgy little man; but it is not
thus that he appears in the portrait drawn by the woman who loved him.

'He has beautiful hair,' Mademoiselle Curchod writes, 'a pretty hand,
and the air of a man of rank. His face is so intellectual and strange
that I know no one like him. It has so much expression that one is
always finding something new in it. His gestures are so appropriate
that they add much to his speech. In a word, he has one of those
extraordinary faces that one never tires of trying to depict. He
knows the respect that is due to women. His courtesy is easy without
verging on familiarity. He dances moderately well.'

So these two naturally--and rightly and properly--fell in love; they
must have seemed each other's ideal complements, if ever lovers were.
But they were not to marry. The story of their attachment, their
separation, and their subsequent Platonic friendship is one of the
romances of literature. Gibbon himself has told the story in one of
the most frequently quoted passages of his autobiography. His version
of it is inexact and misleading; but it must be quoted, if only in
order that it may be criticized:

'I need not blush,' he writes, 'at recollecting the object of my
choice; and though my love was disappointed of success, I am rather
proud that I was once capable of feeling such a pure and exalted
sentiment. The personal attractions of Mademoiselle Susan Curchod
were embellished by the virtues and talents of the mind. Her fortune
was humble, but her family was respectable. Her mother, a native of
France, had preferred her religion to her country. The profession
of her father did not extinguish the moderation and philosophy of
his temper, and he lived content with a small salary and laborious
duty in the obscure lot of minister of Crassy, in the mountains
that separate the Pays de Vaud from the county of Burgundy. In
the solitude of a sequestered village he bestowed a liberal, and
even learned, education on his only daughter. She surpassed his
hopes by her proficiency in the sciences and languages; and in her
short visits to some relations at Lausanne, the wit, the beauty,
and erudition of Mademoiselle Curchod were the theme of universal
applause. The report of such a prodigy awakened my curiosity; I
saw and loved. I found her learned without pedantry, lively in
conversation, pure in sentiment, and elegant in manners; and the
first sudden emotion was fortified by the habits and knowledge of a
more familiar acquaintance. She permitted me to make two or three
visits at her father's house. I passed some happy days there, in the
mountains of Burgundy, and her parents honourably encouraged the
connection. In a calm retirement the gay vanity of youth no longer
fluttered in her bosom, and I might presume to hope that I had
made some impression on a virtuous heart. At Crassy and Lausanne I
indulged my dream of felicity; but on my return to England I soon
discovered that my father would not hear of this strange alliance,
and that, without his consent, I was myself destitute and helpless.
After a painful struggle I yielded to my fate; I sighed as a lover,
I obeyed as a son; my wound was insensibly healed by time, absence,
and the habits of a new life. My cure was accelerated by a faithful
report of the tranquillity and cheerfulness of the lady herself, and
my love subsided in friendship and esteem.'

Such is Gibbon's story, which is also the accepted story. It is,
perhaps, a palliation of its inaccuracies that, at the time when he
wrote it down, he and Mademoiselle Curchod--then Madame Necker--were
on such pleasant terms of friendship that neither of them cared to
remember or be reminded that either had ever treated the other badly.
We shall come to that matter presently; here it is proper that the
inaccuracies should be noted.

  [Illustration: CHÂTEAU DE PRANGINS
  THE STEPS BY WHICH JOSEPH BUONAPARTE ESCAPED IN 1815]

Gibbon's story, it will be observed, gives us the impression that,
on getting home, he lost no time in opening his heart to his
father, and, having done this, lost no further time in acquainting
Mademoiselle Curchod with his father's views. M. d'Haussonville
tells us that he left Lausanne in 1758, kept Mademoiselle Curchod
waiting four years for a letter,[3] and then in 1762 sat down and
wrote, breaking off the engagement. One shrinks from the attempt to
picture the feelings of the poor girl who, after enduring suspense,
and trying to frame excuses for silence, broke the seal of the
long-expected missive, only to read:

'I do not know how to begin this letter. Yet begin it I must. I take
up my pen, I drop it, I resume it. This commencement shows you what
it is that I am about to say. Spare me the rest. Yes, Mademoiselle, I
must renounce you for ever. The sentence is passed; my heart laments
it; but, in the presence of my duty, every other consideration must
be silent....

'My father spoke of the cruelty of deserting him, and of sending him
prematurely to his grave, of the cowardice of trampling underfoot my
duty to my country. I withdrew to my room and remained there for two
hours. I will not attempt to picture to you my state of mind. But I
left my room to tell my father that I agreed to sacrifice to him the
happiness of my life.

'Mademoiselle, may you be happier than I can ever hope to be! This
will always be my prayer; this will even be my consolation.... Assure
M. and Madame Curchod of my respect, my esteem, and my regrets.
Good-bye. I shall always remember Mademoiselle Curchod as the most
worthy, the most charming, of women. May she not entirely forget a
man who does not deserve the despair to which he is a prey.'

Even this, however, was not the end of the story, though one would
think it was if one had only Gibbon's narrative to go by. In 1763
he revisited Lausanne, and his own story of his sojourn does not so
much as mention Mademoiselle Curchod's name. One would gather from
it either that he did not see her, or that love had already on both
sides 'subsided in friendship and esteem.' But when the Vicomte
d'Haussonville was given access to the archives of the Necker family,
he found letters proving that this was not by any means the case.

Mademoiselle Curchod's father was then dead, and she was living
at Geneva, supporting her mother by teaching. Some of her
friends--notably Pastor Moultou--tried to bring Gibbon to a sense of
the obligations which they felt he owed to her. Rousseau was brought
into the business, and expressed an opinion which led Gibbon to
retort, 'That extraordinary man, whom I admire and pity, should have
been less precipitate in condemning the moral character and conduct
of a stranger.' It is useless, however, to try to piece the whole
story together--the materials are inadequate. One can only take the
letters which the Vicomte d'Haussonville has published, and which, as
he points out, are by no means the whole of the correspondence, and
see what sidelights they throw upon it.

First we have one of Mademoiselle Curchod's letters. Whether she
wrote it because she had met Gibbon and found his manner towards her
changed, or was perplexed and troubled because he had not sought a
meeting, we have no means of knowing. But it is quite clear that she
wrote it under the sense of having been treated badly.

'For five years,' she writes, 'I have, by my unique and, indeed,
inconceivable behaviour, done sacrifice to this chimera. At last
my heart, romantic as it is, has been convinced of my mistake. I
ask you, on my knees, to dissuade me from my madness in loving you.
Subscribe the full confession of your indifference, and my soul will
adapt itself to the changed conditions; certainty will bring me the
tranquillity for which I sigh. You will be the most contemptible of
men if you refuse to be frank with me. God will punish you, in spite
of my prayers, if there is the least hypocrisy in your reply.'

The reply is lost. Mademoiselle Curchod presumably destroyed it
because it pained her. Apparently it contained a proposal of Platonic
friendship as a substitute for love. At all events, Mademoiselle
Curchod's answer seems to accept that situation, whether with
ulterior designs or not, for it begins:

'What is fortune to me? Besides, it is not to you that I have
sacrificed it, but to an imaginary being which will never exist
elsewhere than in a silly, romantic head like mine. From the moment
when your letter disillusioned me, you resumed your place, in my
eyes, on the same footing as other men; and, after being the only man
whom I could love, you have become one of those to whom I feel the
least drawn, because you are the one that bears the least resemblance
to my chimerical ideal.... Follow out the plan that you propose,
place your attachment for me on the same footing as that of my other
friends, and you will find me as confiding, as tender, and, at the
same time, as indifferent as I am to them.'

And the writer proceeds to take up the Platonic position at once, to
criticize Gibbon's first essay in literature, to offer him useful
introductions, and to ask him to advise her whether she would be
likely to be well treated if she took a situation as 'lady companion'
in England.

Even in this Platonic correspondence, however, Gibbon, with a
prudence beyond his years, seems to have scented danger.

'Mademoiselle,' he wrote, 'must you be for ever pressing upon me a
happiness which sound reason compels me to decline? I have forfeited
your love. Your friendship is left to me, and it bestows so much
honour upon me that I cannot hesitate. I accept it, mademoiselle,
as a precious offering in exchange for my own friendship, which is
already yours, and as a blessing of which I know the value too well
to be disposed to lose it.

'But this correspondence, mademoiselle, I am sensible of the
pleasures which it brings me, but, at the same time, I am conscious
of its dangers. I feel the dangers that it has for me; I fear the
dangers that it may have for both of us. Permit me to avoid those
dangers by my silence. Forgive my fears, mademoiselle; they have
their origin in my esteem for you.'

And he proceeded to answer her questions concerning the position and
prospects of 'lady companions' in England, expecting, no doubt, that
he would hear no more from her.

Even then, however, the story was not ended. The most passionate of
Mademoiselle Curchod's letters bears a later date. It is the letter
of a woman who feels that she has been treated shamefully. If it were
not that Mademoiselle Curchod made a happy marriage so very soon
afterwards, one would also say that it was the letter of a woman
whose heart was broken. One gathers from it that, while Mademoiselle
Curchod appreciated Gibbon's difficulty in marrying her while he was
dependent upon his father, she was willing to wait for him until his
father's death should leave him free to follow the impulse of his
heart. In the meantime she reproaches him for having caused her to
reject other offers of marriage, and protests that it is not true,
whatever calumnious gossips may have said, that, in Gibbon's absence,
she has flirted with other men. Above all, she protests that she has
not flirted with Gibbon's great friend, M. Deyverdun. Her last words
are:

    'I am treating you as an honest man of the world, who is
    incapable of breaking his promise, of seduction, or of
    treachery, but who has, instead of that, amused himself in
    racking my heart with tortures, well prepared, and well carried
    into effect. I will not threaten you, therefore, with the wrath
    of heaven--the expression that escaped from me in my first
    emotion. But I assure you, without laying any claim to the gift
    of prophecy, that you will one day regret the irreparable loss
    that you have incurred in alienating for ever the too frank and
    tender heart of

                        'S. C.'

  [Illustration: LAUSANNE, LOOKING EAST]

The rest is silence; and the presumption is strong that these were
actually the last words which sealed the estrangement. If it were not
for Mademoiselle Curchod's subsequent attitude towards him, one would
be bound to say that Gibbon behaved abominably. But, as we shall see
presently, her resentment was not enduring. Perhaps she was aware of
extenuating circumstances that we do not know of. Perhaps, in her
heart of hearts, she was conscious of having spread her net to catch
a husband who then seemed a very brilliant match to the daughter of
the country clergyman. The letter of the friend who begged her not
to advertise so clearly her desire to make herself agreeable to men
would certainly lend some colour to the suggestion. At any rate,
since she herself forgave Gibbon, it seems unfair for anyone else to
press the case against him.

It was nearly twenty years later--in 1783--that Gibbon decided to
make Lausanne his home.

A good deal of water had flowed under the bridge in the meantime.
He had written, and published, half of his History; and that half
had sufficed to make him famous. He had been an officer in the
militia and a Member of Parliament. He had been a constant figure in
fashionable society, and an occasional figure in literary society;
a fellow-member with Charles James Fox of Boodle's, White's, and
Brooks's; a fellow-member of the Literary Club with Johnson, Burke,
Adam Smith, Oliver Goldsmith, Sir Joshua Reynolds, and Sir Joseph
Banks. He had held office in the department of the Board of Trade,
and lost it at the time of the coalition between Fox and North. His
applications for employment in the Diplomatic Service--whether as
Secretary to the Embassy at Paris or as Minister Plenipotentiary at
Berne--had been politely rejected. And he had become a middle-aged
bachelor whose income, unless supplemented by the emoluments of some
public office, hardly sufficed for the demands of his social position.

In these circumstances it occurred to him to propose to his friend,
M. Deyverdun--the same M. Deyverdun with whom Mademoiselle Curchod
vowed that she had never flirted--that they should keep house
together at Lausanne. M. Deyverdun, who was like himself a confirmed
bachelor of moderate means, and had a larger house than he wanted,
was delighted with the proposal. All Gibbon's friends and relatives
told him that he was making a fool of himself; but he knew better.
He sold all his property, except his library, and 'bade a long
farewell to the _fumum et opes strepitumque Romæ_.' His first winter,
as he puts it in his delightful style, 'was given to a general
embrace without nice discrimination of persons and characters.' The
comprehensive embrace completed, he settled down to work.

His life at Lausanne is faithfully mirrored in his letters, more
particularly in his letters to Lord Sheffield. It was at once a
luxurious and an industrious life. One fact which stands out clearly
is that Gibbon took no exercise. He boasts that, in a period of five
years, he never moved five miles from Lausanne; he apologizes for a
corpulence which makes it absolutely impossible for him to cross the
Great Saint Bernard; he admits that, when he entertained Mr. Fox, he
did not go for walks with that statesman, but hired a guide to do so
on his behalf. He also drank a great deal of Madeira and Malvoisie.
His letters to Lord Sheffield are full of appeals for pipes of these
exhilarating beverages. He declares that they are necessary for the
preservation of his health, and appears to have persuaded himself
that they were good for gout. The consequence was that he had several
severe attacks of that distressing malady.

Gout or no gout, however, he freely enjoyed the relaxation of social
intercourse. He was never tired of pointing out to his correspondents
that, whereas in London he was nobody in particular, in Lausanne he
was a leader of society. His position there was, in fact, similar
in many ways to that of Voltaire at Geneva; though he differed from
Voltaire in always keeping on good terms with all his neighbours. To
be invited to his parties was no less a mark of distinction than it
had been, a generation earlier, to be invited to the philosopher's
parties at Ferney. One of the letters tells us how he gave a ball,
and stole away to bed at 2 a.m., leaving the young people, his
guests, to keep it up till after sunrise. He also gave frequent
dinners, and still more frequent card-parties. When the gout was very
bad, he gave card-parties in his bedroom.

Distinguished strangers often came to see him, and gave Lausanne the
tone of a fashionable resort. 'You talk of Lausanne,' he writes,
'as a place of retirement, yet, from the situation and freedom of
the Pays de Vaud, all nations, and all extraordinary characters are
astonished to meet each other. The Abbé Raynal, the great Gibbon,
and Mercier, author of the "Tableau de Paris," have been in the same
room. The other day the Prince and Princesse de Ligne, the Duke
and Duchess d'Ursel, etc., came from Brussels on purpose to act a
comedy.' And again: 'A few weeks ago, as I was walking on our terrace
with M. Tissot, the celebrated physician; M. Mercier, the author
of the "Tableau de Paris"; the Abbé Raynal; Monsieur, Madame, and
Mademoiselle Necker; the Abbé de Bourbon, a natural son of Lewis
the Fifteenth; the Hereditary Prince of Brunswick, Prince Henry of
Prussia, and a dozen Counts, Barons, and extraordinary persons,' etc.

From time to time he faced the question whether it would be well to
marry. Madame Necker dissuaded him from the adventure on the ground
that in order to marry happily it is necessary to marry young. It is
not certain that her advice was disinterested, but it was good advice
to give to a man who, after expressing his readiness to adopt 'some
expedient, even the most desperate, to secure the domestic society
of a female companion,' summed up his sentiments upon the subject in
this candid language:

'I am not in love with any of the hyænas of Lausanne, though there
are some who keep their claws tolerably well pared. Sometimes, in a
solitary mood, I have fancied myself married to one or another of
those whose society and conversation are the most pleasing to me;
but when I have painted in my fancy all the probable consequences of
such a union, I have started from my dream, rejoiced in my escape,
and ejaculated a thanksgiving that I was still in possession of my
natural freedom.'

  [Illustration: THE MARKET-PLACE, LAUSANNE]

This, however, was not written until after the History was finished.
Gibbon never felt the need of a female companion so long as he had
his work to occupy him. The fact that he began to feel it
acutely as soon as ever the work was done gives an added pathos to
this, the most famous and the most frequently quoted passage of his
memoirs:

'I have presumed to mark the moment of conception: I shall now
commemorate the hour of my final deliverance. It was on the day,
or rather night, of the 27th of June, 1787, between the hours of
eleven and twelve, that I wrote the last lines of the last page,
in a summer-house in my garden. After laying down my pen, I took
several turns in a _berceau_, or covered walk of acacias, which
commands a prospect of the country, the lake, and the mountains. The
air was temperate, the sky was serene, the silver orb of the moon
was reflected from the waters, and all Nature was silent. I will not
dissemble the first emotions on the recovery of my freedom, and,
perhaps, the establishment of my fame. But my pride was soon humbled,
and a sober melancholy was spread over my mind by the idea that I had
taken an everlasting leave of an old and agreeable companion, and
that whatsoever might be the future fate of my History, the life of
the historian must be short and precarious.'

The life of the historian was, in fact, destined to last only for
another six years--years in which he sometimes was desperately
anxious to relieve his loneliness, aggravated by the death of
Deyverdun, by seeking 'the domestic society of a female companion,'
but inclined, on the whole, to the opinion encouraged by Madame
Necker, that the remedy would be worse than the disease. We probably
shall not be wrong in conjecturing that the pleasure which he derived
from Madame Necker's correspondence and society assisted him in
coming to this decision. At any rate, we must admit that there are
few literary romances more remarkable than this story, of the renewal
of love some thirty years or so after a lovers' quarrel.

The lovers parted, as we have seen, with high-strung feelings--at
least upon the lady's side. They met again soon after Mademoiselle
Curchod had accepted the heart and hand of Jacques Necker, the rich
Parisian banker, destined to become Louis XVI.'s Minister of Finance.
Gibbon, coming to Paris, called, and was well received. We have
accounts of the visit from both of them. Madame Necker says that her
vanity was flattered because Gibbon appeared to be dazzled by the
contemplation of her wealth. Gibbon complains that he was not taken
very seriously, that M. Necker invited him to supper every evening,
and went to bed, leaving him alone with his wife. The philosopher
Balzac would have called him a fool, and classed him with the
_prédestinés_; but it does not appear that scandal, or occasion
for scandal, or anything worse than the interchange of sentimental
_persiflage_, resulted.

A gap in the history of their friendship follows, but in 1776 we
find the Neckers visiting Gibbon in Bentinck Street. Gibbon writes
patronizingly of the husband as 'a sensible, good-natured creature,'
and of the wife he says: 'I live with her just as I used to do twenty
years ago, laugh at her Paris varnish, and oblige her to become a
simple, reasonable Suissesse.'

We need not interpret this statement _au pied de la lettre_, but the
visit certainly marks a stage in the story of their intimacy. Gibbon
went to see the Neckers in Paris in the following year, and after his
return to London Madame du Deffand told him how she had talked to
Madame Necker about him. 'We talked of M. Gibbon. Of what else? Of M.
Gibbon--continually of M. Gibbon.' And Madame Necker herself wrote,
at about the same time, with reference to the publication of the
first volumes of 'The Decline and Fall':

'Wherever I go your books shall follow me, and give me pleasure and
happiness. If you write, too, your letters will be welcome and
appreciated. If you do not write ... but I refuse to contemplate this
painful possibility.'

Gibbon's migration to Lausanne and the Neckers' purchase of their
famous country seat at Coppet united them by still closer ties, and
one cannot help noticing that at this period of their lives--when
they were both something over fifty years of age--Madame Necker's
letters to Gibbon became at once more frequent and more affectionate.
Some of those letters, indeed, can only be distinguished from
love-letters by reading into them our knowledge of Madame Necker's
reputation for propriety. We have seen her dissuading Gibbon from
marriage on the ground that to marry late is to marry unhappily.
Another reason which she gives is that 'without a miracle it would be
impossible to find a woman worthy of you.' Of a contemplated visit to
Lausanne she says: 'I am looking forward with a delightful sentiment
to the day I am to pass with you.' And afterwards:

'Returning here, and finding only the tombs of those I loved so well,
I found you, as it were, a solitary tree whose shade still covers the
desert which separates me from the first years of my life.'

And in another letter, more sentimental still, we read:

'Come back to us when you are free. The moment of your leisure ought
always to belong to her who has been _your first love and your last_.
I cannot make up my mind which of these titles is the sweeter and the
dearer to my heart.'

What are we to make of it all? Nothing, assuredly, that entitles us
to cast a stone at Madame Necker, or to express for her husband a
pity which he never felt for himself. Yet one imagines that after M.
Necker, who kept such early hours, had retired to his well-earned
repose, there must sometimes have been certain sentimental
communings, in which the old note of _persiflage_ was no longer to
be heard. One listens in fancy to the regrets of these two who never
forgot that they had once been lovers--regrets, no doubt, not openly
expressed, but only coyly hinted--for the things that might have been.

The regrets, we may take it, were tempered by the lurking
consciousness that things were really better as they were. The lovers
must have known that, if they had married on nothing a year, the one
would never have written his history and the other would never have
had her salon, but they would have been two struggling nonentities
whom the world would never have heard of. They must have felt, too,
that the success in life which they had achieved separately, but
could not possibly have achieved together, had meant much to them:
that in winning it they had fulfilled their destinies; that their
tempers would have soured if they had had to live without it. All
this they must have admitted to themselves, and even in their most
candid moments, to each other. And yet--and yet----

  [Illustration: LA TOUR DE HALDIMAND, OUCHY, LAUSANNE]

FOOTNOTES:

[2] Poems addressed to her by these young theologians may be found in
defunct magazines and annuals.

[3] This is not quite accurate. The letter which M. d'Haussonville
dates 1762 conveys a salutation to Pastor Curchod, who died in 1760.
It must have been written, therefore, not in 1762, but in 1758 or
1759.



CHAPTER IV

MADAME DE MONTOLIEU--DR. TISSOT


To us, as we look backwards, Gibbon in Lausanne society figures as
a Triton among the minnows, but to his contemporaries he probably
seemed less important. He certainly did to his contemporaries in
London. Boswell, as we all know, considered him the intellectual
inferior of Dr. Johnson; and there is the story of the Duke of St.
Albans accepting a presentation copy of his 'Decline and Fall of the
Roman Empire' with the genial remark, 'Hallo! Another two d----d
thick volumes! Always scribble, scribble, scribble, eh, Mr. Gibbon!'
No one in Lausanne took quite such a Philistine tone as that, but
it is doubtful whether even Lausanne would have voted him a higher
position than that of _Primus inter pares_. Lausanne, after all, had
its native notables, and was too near to its celebrities to see them
in their true perspective. It had, among others, Madame de Montolieu.

She was a beauty as well as a woman of letters, and Gibbon himself
admired her in both capacities. He wrote to Lord Sheffield that
there was 'danger' for him, and he was in danger of making himself
ridiculous if of nothing worse. The story is told that he fell
upon his knees to make a declaration of love to Madame Montolieu,
and being too fat to rise without assistance, had to be helped to
his feet by a domestic servant summoned for the purpose. He bore
no malice, however, but even persuaded the lady to publish a novel
which she had written 'to amuse an aged relative,' offering, when she
objected, to attest his belief in its merits by printing it under his
own signature.

The novel in question was 'Caroline de Lichtfield,' which has passed
through many editions--the first in 1786 and the last in 1846--and
been translated into English. Its enthusiastic reception launched
its author upon a career. Her collected works, including a French
translation of 'The Swiss Family Robinson,' fill 105 volumes; and a
host of imitators arose. 'Well! are they still turning out novels at
Lausanne?' was one of the questions that Napoleon asked the Council
of the Helvetian Republic; and Louis Bridel, brother of the more
famous Doyen Bridel, writing in 1787, drew a graphic picture of the
Lausanne ladies, all with one accord engaged in literary toil:

'The romance of "Caroline," and the renown which it has brought its
author, has caused such a ferment in our feminine heads that, jealous
of the reputation of one of their number, they cover an incredible
quantity of paper with ink. They pass their days in writing novels;
their toilette tables are no longer covered with chiffons, but with
sheets of notepaper; and, if one unfolds a curlpaper, one is sure
to find that it is a fragment of a love-letter, or of a romantic
description.'

Madame de Charrière, a rival craftswoman of whom we shall have to
speak, the author of 'Lettres de Lausanne,' did not like Madame de
Montolieu. She called her a 'provincial coquette,' and ridiculed
her 'pretentions,' maintaining that, though her countrymen were
attracted by her charms, 'the English who boarded with her stepfather
considered her a disgustingly dirty and untidy person.' But Gibbon,
who was not only English but a man of taste, thought otherwise, as we
have seen; and his judgment may be accepted as the less prejudiced of
the two. And Madame de Montolieu's literary success, at any rate, is
not to be disputed. She lived to be an octogenarian, and retained
her popularity until the last.[4] She and her only child, dying
simultaneously, were buried in the same grave, on which may be read
the inscription, 'Here I am, O Lord, with the son whom Thou hast
given me!'

Dr. Tissot, whom we have already met on the Terrace at Lausanne, is
another celebrity of the period who merits further mention. He and
Gibbon once danced a minuet together at an evening party--a penalty
imposed upon them in a game of 'forfeits.' They thus, says Tissot's
German biographer, Eynard, 'revived the innocent pleasures of Arcadia
of old'; but the great physician, is less famous for the way in which
he took his pleasures than for the way in which he did his work.
Tronchin of Geneva had been the medical attendant of the cosmopolitan
aristocracy, had anticipated Rousseau in exhorting mothers to nurse
their own children, and had ventured, with a rude hand, to open the
windows of the Palace of Versailles. Tissot of Lausanne aspired to
be the medical adviser of the common people. 'While,' he wrote, 'we
are attending the most brilliant portion of humanity in the cities,
the most useful members of society are perishing miserably in the
country villages.'

Obviously, he could not do much personally to cure the ailments of a
scattered rural population; but he did what he might to help them by
writing popular manuals of hygiene. Some of his advice is not even
now out of date. He denounced the vice of overfeeding the delicate:
'The more one loves an invalid, the more one tries to make him eat;
and that is to kill him with kindness.' He also spoke vigorous words
against excessive tea-drinking:

'These teapots full of hot water which I find on people's tables
remind me of the box of Pandora from which all evils issued--but with
this difference, that they do not even leave hope behind, but, being
a cause of hypochondria, disseminate melancholy and despair.'

These excellent pamphlets brought Tissot fame and the friendship of
the great. Joseph II. offered him a medical chair at the University
of Padua, which he occupied for two years. He was offered, but did
not accept, the posts of physician at the Courts of Hanover and
Poland. The Prince of Wurtemberg--he whom Rousseau addressed in the
famous letter beginning 'If I had had the misfortune to be born a
Prince'--settled at Lausanne in order to be near him; and many
interesting people sought his advice by correspondence. In particular
a certain young gunner wrote from Ajaccio to ask what his uncle, an
Archdeacon, had better take for the gout. The orthography is curious:
'S'il asseie de remuer les genoux, des douleurs égus lui font cesser
son accion.' The signature is 'BUONAPARTE, _Officier au régiment de
la Fère_.'

  [Illustration: LAUSANNE FROM THE SIGNAL]

FOOTNOTE:

[4] She sheltered Madame de Genlis in her flight from the Revolution.



CHAPTER V

BENJAMIN CONSTANT AND MADAME DE STAËL


Next, though they do not become interesting until a somewhat later
date, we may mention the Constants: Rosalie de Constant, the witty
little hunchback whose sentimental correspondence with Bernardin de
Saint-Pierre has recently been published, and her more famous cousin,
Benjamin Constant de Rebecque, the story of whose love for Madame de
Staël has recently been revived.[5] That is another story which will
be here in its proper place.

Benjamin was a man of many love-affairs; 'Constant the inconstant'
was the name that women called him by. He was the son of a Swiss
soldier of fortune, and had a cosmopolitan education at Oxford and
Edinburgh, in Belgium and in Germany. In his youth he held the
post of Chamberlain at the Court of Brunswick, where he acquired
distingished manners. He was brilliant, though shallow, and there
was something Wertheresque about him.

Born in 1767, he was married, in 1789, to the ugliest of the Duchess
of Brunswick's maids of honour. He said afterwards that he had
married her for no particular reason that he could remember, but that
his reasons for divorcing her were clear enough. After his separation
from her, he consoled himself by an intrigue with Madame de
Charrière--a Dutch lady, married to a Switzer, residing at Colombier,
near Neuchâtel, and known as the authoress of several sentimental
novels. It was an affair that could hardly have lasted long in any
case, seeing that the lady was twenty-seven years older than her
lover. As a matter of fact it came to a quick end when the lover met
Madame de Staël.

The details of that meeting are curious. Being at Lausanne, Benjamin
Constant set out to call on Madame de Staël at Coppet. His relatives
already knew, and he was interested to make her acquaintance. It
happened that he met Madame de Staël on the road, driving from
Coppet to Lausanne. He stopped the carriage and introduced himself.
She invited him to get in, and drove him back. Finding his company
agreeable, she pressed him to stay to supper with her. He did so,
and was farther rewarded by an invitation to breakfast with his
hostess on the following morning.

It was to Madame de Charrière herself that Benjamin Constant first
confided the impression that Madame de Staël had made upon him.

'It is the most interesting acquaintance that I have ever made,'
he wrote. 'Seldom have I seen such a combination of alluring
and dazzling qualities, such brilliance, and such good sense, a
friendliness so expansive and so cultivated, such generosity of
sentiment, and such gentle courtesy. She is the second woman I have
met for whom I could have counted the world well lost--you know who
was the first. She is, in fact, a being apart--a superior being, such
as one meets but once in a century.'

Having read that, Madame de Charrière knew that she had passed for
ever out of Benjamin Constant's life. His own writings give us a
glimpse of the early days of the new intimacy. Two passages from his
diary, the second supplementing the first, supply the picture. Thus
we read, on one day:

'I had agreed with Madame de Staël that, in order to avoid
compromising her, I should never stay with her later than midnight.
Whatever the charm of her conversation, and however passionate my
desire for something more than her conversation, I had to submit to
this rule. But this evening, the time having passed more quickly
than usual, I pulled out my watch to demonstrate that it was not yet
time for me to go. But the inexorable minute-hand having deceived
me, in a moment of childish anger I flung the instrument of my
condemnation on the floor and broke it. "How silly you are!" Madame
de Staël exclaimed. But what a smile I perceived shining through her
reproaches! Decidedly my broken watch will do me a good turn.'

And the next day we find the entry:

'I have not bought myself a new watch. I do not need one any more.'

For a time the affair proceeded satisfactorily, no serious cloud
appearing on the horizon until the death of M. de Staël. Then, of
course, Madame de Staël was free to marry her lover, and Benjamin
Constant proposed that she should do so. But she would not. One
reason was that she did not wish to change a name that her writings
had made famous; another, and perhaps a weightier one, that, though
she loved Benjamin, she had no confidence in him--'Constant the
inconstant' was inconstant still. Though he loved Madame de Staël,
he loved other women too. His intimacy with Madame Talma, the actor's
wife, was notorious, and was not the only intimacy of the kind with
which rumour credited him. Altogether, he was not the sort of man
whom any woman could marry with any certainty that he would make her
happy.

So Madame de Staël refused to marry Benjamin Constant, and with her
refusal their relations entered upon a fresh and interesting phase.
Henceforward the story is one of subsiding passion on his part,
and very desperate efforts on hers to fan the dying embers of his
desire. Again and again he tried to break with her; again and again
she overwhelmed him with her reproaches, and brought him back, a
penitent slave, suing for the renewal of her favour. The time when
these things happened was the time when her salon at Coppet was
at the zenith of its renown. The story is told for us by Benjamin
Constant himself, in his 'Journal Intime,' a diary not written for
publication, but published, long after his death, in the _Revue
Internationale_,[6] in 1887.

The tone, at first, is that of a man whom lassitude has overtaken
after elegant debauchery. Benjamin Constant is only thirty-seven,
yet he already feels himself an old man, whose powers are failing,
who is no longer capable of strong emotion, or even of taking an
intelligent interest in life. He writes, in fact, as if he were very
tired. When something happens to remind him of his old attachment to
Madame de Charrière, he writes thus:

'It is seven years since I saw her--ten since our intimacy ended. How
easily I then used to break every tie that bored me! How confident
I was that I could always form others when I pleased! How clearly
I felt that my life was mine to do what I liked with, and what a
difference ten years have made! Now everything seems precarious,
and ready to fly away from me. Even the privileges that I have do
not make me happy. But I have passed the age of giving up anything,
because I feel that I am powerless to replace anything.'

  [Illustration: IN THE FOREST OF SAUVABELIN, ABOVE LAUSANNE]

He describes--sometimes with a languid resignation, and sometimes
with a peevish resentment--Madame de Staël's repeated endeavours to
drag him, a more or less reluctant victim, at her chariot wheels.
This is a very typical entry:

'A lively supper with the Prince de Belmonte. Left alone with Madame
de Staël. The storm gradually rises. A fearful scene, lasting till
three o'clock in the morning--on my lack of sensibility, my
untrustworthiness, the failure of my actions to correspond with
my sentiments. Alas! I would be glad to escape from monotonous
lamentations, not over real calamities, but upon the universal laws
of nature, and upon the advent of old age. I should be glad if she
would not ask me for love after a _liaison_ of ten years' standing,
at a time when we are both nearly forty years old, and after I have
declared, times out of number, that I have no longer any love to give
her. It is a declaration which I have never withdrawn, except for the
purpose of calming storms of passion which frightened me.'

So is this:

'A letter from Madame de Staël, who finds my letters melancholy, and
asks what it is that I require to make me happy. Alas! what I require
is my liberty, and that is precisely what I am not allowed to have.
I am reminded of the story of the hussar who took an interest in the
prisoner whom he had to put to death, and said to him: "Ask me any
favour you like, except to spare your life."'

And this:

'A fearful scene this evening with Madame de Staël. I announce my
intention of leaving her definitely. A second scene follows. Frenzy:
reconciliation impossible; departure difficult. I must go away and
get married.'

And this:

'Madame de Staël has won me back to her again.'

Until, finally, their relations gradually going from bad to worse, we
reach this striking piece of eloquence:

'Yes, certainly I am more anxious than ever to break it off. She is
the most egoistical, the most excitable, the most ungrateful, the
most vain, and the most vindictive of women. Why didn't I break it
off long ago? She is odious and intolerable to me. I must have done
with her or die. She is more volcanic than all the volcanoes in the
world put together. She is like an old _procureur_, with serpents
in her hair, demanding the fulfilment of a contract in Alexandrine
verse.'

It was in marriage that Benjamin Constant gradually decided to seek
a haven of refuge from these tempestuous passions. But, though he is
continually touching on the subject in his diary, he generally refers
to it without enthusiasm. Marriage is 'necessary' for him, but there
are objections to every particular marriage that suggests itself.
Sometimes the objections are expressed in general terms:

'Went to a party, where I met several agreeable women. But I am very
unfortunate. In the women whom I might be able and willing to marry
there is always a something that does not suit me. Meanwhile my life
advances.'

Sometimes the objections are particularized:

'Trip to Geneva; called on the Mesdemoiselles de Sellon; saw Amélie
Fabry again. She is as dark as ever, as lively as ever, as wide awake
as ever. How I should have hated her, if they had succeeded in making
me marry her! Yet she is really a very amiable girl. But I am always
unfortunate in finding some insuperable objection in every woman whom
I think of marrying. Madame de Hardenberg was tiresome and romantic;
Mrs. Lindsay was forty, and had two illegitimate children. Madame de
Staël, who understands me better than anyone else does, will not be
satisfied with my friendship when I can no longer give her my love.
This poor Amélie, who would like me to marry her, is thirty-two,
and portionless, and has ridiculous mannerisms, which become more
accentuated as she grows older. Antoinette, who is twenty, well off,
and not particularly ridiculous, is such a common little thing to
look at.'

But Benjamin Constant finally decided to marry Madame Dutertre.[7]
He bought her from her husband, who, for a sum of money, was willing
to divorce her; but it was not without a violent struggle that he
tore himself away from Madame de Staël. Let us trace the story of the
struggle in his diary. Madame Dutertre was an old friend:

'Called on Madame Dutertre, who has improved wonderfully in
appearance. I made advances which she did not repel. The citadel is
to fall to-night. Two years' resistance is quite long enough.

'Off to the country with Charlotte. She is an angel. I love her
better every day. She is so sweet, so amiable. What a fool I was to
refuse to have anything to do with her twelve years ago! What mad
passion for independence drove me to put my neck under the foot of
the most imperious woman in the world!

'We are back in Paris. Joyous days; delights of love. What the devil
is the meaning of it? It is twelve years since I last felt a similar
emotion. This woman, whom I have refused a hundred times, who has
always loved me, whom I have sent away, whom I left eighteen months
ago--this woman now turns my head. Evidently the contrast with Madame
de Staël is the cause of it all. The contrast of her impetuosity,
her egoism, and her continual preoccupation with herself, with the
gentleness, the calm, the humble and modest bearing of Charlotte,
makes the latter a thousand times more dear to me. I am tired of the
_man-woman_ whose iron hand has for ten years held me fast, when I
have a really womanly woman to intoxicate and enchant me. If I can
marry her, I shall not hesitate. Everything depends on the line M.
Dutertre takes.'

M. Dutertre, as has been stated, took the line of offering to consent
to a divorce provided it were made worth his while to do so. Madame
de Staël was more difficult to deal with. The first entry which gives
us a glimpse of her feelings is as follows:

'Madame de Staël is back; she will not hear of our relations being
broken off. The best way will be not to see her again, but to wait at
Lausanne for orders from Charlotte--my good angel whom I bless for
saving me. Schlegel writes that Madame de Staël declares that, if I
leave her, she will kill herself. I don't believe a word of it.'

Followed by:

'Unhappy fool that I am; weakness overcomes me; I start for Coppet.
Tenderness, despair, and then the trump card, "I shall kill myself."'

He fled to Lausanne, but--

'What was the good of coming here? Madame de Staël has come after me,
and all my plans are upset. In the evening there was a fearful scene,
lasting till five o'clock in the morning. I am violent, and put
myself in the wrong. But, my poor Charlotte, I will not forsake you.'

Yet he had hardly written these lines when he was false to them.
Madame de Staël came a second time to Lausanne to fetch him, and we
read:

'She came; she threw herself at my feet; she raised frightful cries
of pain and desolation. A heart of iron would not have resisted. I
am back at Coppet with her. I have promised to stay six weeks, and
Charlotte is expecting me at the end of the month. My God! what am I
to do? I am trampling my future happiness under my feet....

'I receive a letter from Charlotte, who is more loving and more sure
of me than ever. Would she forgive me if she knew where I am
and what I am doing? How slowly the time passes! Into what an abysm
have I not hurled myself! Last night we had a dreadful scene. Shall I
ever get out of it all alive? I have to pass my time in falsehood and
deceptions in order to avoid the furious outbreaks which so terrify
me. If it were not for the hopes which I build upon Madame de Staël's
approaching departure to Vienna, this life would be unbearable. To
console myself I spend my time in picturing how things will go if
they go well. This is my Castle in Spain. Charlotte finishes her
arrangements, and makes her preparations secretly. Madame de Staël,
suspecting nothing, sets out for Vienna. I marry Charlotte, and we
pass the winter pleasantly at Lausanne.'

  [Illustration: CHÂTEAU DE BLONAY]

Though this was not exactly how things happened, the marriage was
nevertheless speedily and safely celebrated. But alas! poor Benjamin!
It was now his turn, in the midst of his domestic bliss, to feel the
pangs of unrequited love. Having fled from Madame de Staël, he sighed
for her. His diary is full of his regrets. It is:

'Charlotte is good and sweet. I build myself foolish ideals, and
throw the blame of my own folly upon others. At bottom Charlotte is
what women always are. I have blamed individuals where I ought to
have blamed the species. But for my work, and for the good advice
that I need, I regret Madame de Staël more than ever.'

Or it is:

'A letter from Madame de Staël, from which I gather that, this time,
all is really over between us. So be it. It is my own doing. I must
steer my course alone, but I must take care not to fetter myself with
other ties which would be infinitely less agreeable.'

Or again:

'I have lost Madame de Staël, and I shall never recover from the
blow.'

And the truth was, indeed, that Madame de Staël had ceased to care,
and that another had succeeded to Benjamin Constant's place in her
heart.

His name was Albert de Rocca, and he was a young French officer who
had been wounded in the Spanish wars. His personal beauty was such
that a Spanish woman, finding him left for dead upon a battle-field,
had taken him home with her, and nursed him back to health, saying
that it was a pity that such a beautiful young man should die. His
age was twenty-three, and Madame de Staël's was forty-five. But the
affection that sprang up between them was deep and genuine. 'I will
love her,' he said, 'so dearly that she will end by marrying me.'
And when she protested that she was old enough to be his mother, he
answered that the mention of that word only gave him a further reason
for loving her. 'He is fascinated,' Baron de Voght wrote, 'by his
relations with Madame de Staël, and the tears of his father cannot
induce him to abandon it.'

So she married him, though, for reasons of her own, she insisted that
the marriage should be kept a secret. It seemed to her that a young
husband would make her ridiculous, but that a young lover would not;
very possibly she was right according to the moral standard of the
age. At any rate her husband posed as her lover, and in that capacity
quarrelled with Constant, with whom he nearly fought a duel, and
travelled with her to Russia, to Sweden, and to England, and lived
with her in Paris and at Coppet. But it was at this period, when her
fame was at its zenith, that Madame de Staël wrote: 'Fame is for
women only a splendid mourning for happiness.'

But the end was drawing near. Madame de Staël had lived all her
life at high pressure, and her health was undermined. A lingering
illness, of which the fatal issue was foreseen, overtook her. She
struggled against it, declaring that she would live for Rocca's
sake. But all in vain. She died in Paris in 1817. Rocca himself, who
only survived her a few months, was too ill to be with her. Benjamin
Constant spent a night of mourning in her death-chamber. They buried
her at Coppet amid general lamentations.

FOOTNOTES:

[5] By the present author in 'Madame de Staël and her Lovers.'

[6] It has since been republished separately.

[7] Madame de Hardenberg, divorced and remarried.



CHAPTER VI

THE REVOLUTION


At Lausanne, as at Geneva, the thunders of the French Revolution
echoed. Gibbon heard them, and was alarmed, as if at the approach of
the end of the world. The patriots of Vaud heard them, and rejoiced
at the hope of a new era about to be begun. Their Excellencies of
Berne felt the edifice of their dominion crumbling about their ears.
The burghers of Morges began the trouble by disinterring from their
archives an old charter, on the strength of which they refused to pay
for the mending of the roads, while a pastor named Martin exhorted
his congregation to withhold the tithe that was levied on potatoes.
Then a fête was held at Rolle to celebrate the anniversary of the
fall of the Bastille, and 6,000 Bernese invaded the country, arrested
the ringleaders, and compelled the magistrates to swear allegiance at
the point of the bayonet. César Laharpe and J. J. Cart appealed to
the French to intervene.

At first the French hesitated. Robespierre was not ambitious of
foreign conquests, having his hands full enough at home, but the
Directorate took larger views. Switzerland was reputed to be
rich--and _was für plunder_! A division of the army of Italy crossed
the lake on January 28, 1798, and took possession of Lausanne. For
a space there was civil war. Vaudois volunteers fought under their
green flag, while a certain Loyal Legion, under Colonel de Rovéreaz,
distinguished itself at Fraubrunnen, in defence of Berne. The French,
however, were so much stronger than the Bernese that the issue could
not long remain in doubt. It was the Swiss money that the French
wanted, and the gold found in the vaults of the Treasury of Berne was
carried off to Paris, while the Canton of Vaud was accorded a new and
independent constitution.

  [Illustration: THE RHONE VALLEY FROM MONT PELERIN]

There were other revolutions, and revisions, and reconstructions to
follow. When the Holy Alliance remodelled the map of Europe in 1815,
the fate of Vaud, like that of so many other minor nationalities,
hung in the balance. The Bernese fully expected to be allowed to
re-establish their dominion; but Alexander I., prompted by Laharpe,
prevented them. 'You have done a great deal for me,' the Emperor
is reported to have said to the Liberator. 'What can I do for you?'
And the Liberator's answer was: 'Sire, all that I ask is permission
to speak to your Majesty of my country whenever I wish.' He spoke
in 1815, and the Emperor listened; and the claims of Berne were
rejected; and Laharpe took a house at Lausanne, and looked down on
the scene of his triumphs, and fought his battles over again, and
frequented Madame de Staël, whom in more stormy days he had written
of as 'une infernale gueuse,' and was reverenced by all as the 'Grand
Old Man' of the Canton.

There were further political changes in 1830, in 1845, and in 1861;
but of these we need not speak. Their interest is no more than local.
What the English traveller chiefly sees in the Lausanne of the
nineteenth century is an increasing English colony, and the loudly
vaunted educational facilities.



CHAPTER VII

THE ENGLISH COLONY--THE EDUCATIONAL ADVANTAGES


Of the English colony there is not perhaps a great deal to be said,
except that it fills two churches on Sundays, and at all times
monopolizes the Ouchy road. It has never consisted of distinguished
persons like the English colony at Florence; on the other hand, it
has never included so large a proportion of disreputable persons
as the English colonies at Brussels and Boulogne. Gibbon cannot
be said to have belonged to it, since, in his day, it did not yet
exist; and it can hardly claim Dickens, since his sojourn there
was of comparatively brief duration. In the main it is composed of
very young and rather elderly members of the respectable middle
classes. There is an English club, and there are opportunities of
playing bridge. The life is inexpensive, not because commodities are
specially cheap, but because there are no wealthy residents to set
extravagant standards. A small income goes a long way there; and the
climate is salubrious for all those whose bronchial tubes are in a
condition to resist the _bise_.

These are conditions which please a great many people--notably the
wandering spinsters who 'live in their boxes,' and the retired
officers and civil servants who have to subsist upon their pensions.
At Lausanne they can economize without feeling the pinch of poverty,
and without feeling envious--or perceiving that their wives
feel envious--of more prosperous neighbours. The sunshine costs
nothing, and the amusements cost very little; they can go about in
knickerbockers and wear out their old clothes without fearing that
their solvency will be suspected. There is no need for them to learn
a foreign tongue, since they form their own society, and mix very
little with the Swiss who accept them, but do not pretend to like
them. They live lazily, but healthily, and, on the whole, contentedly.

Of course, there is another side to the medal, and a price to be
paid for the advantages. The colonists are exiles who have severed
old ties, and have a difficulty in forming new ones. Their existence
is rather animal than human, and rather vegetable than animal. They
lose their energy and their intelligence; they are like plants no
longer growing in a garden, but uprooted and flung upon the grass. A
stranger finds it difficult to converse with them, and fancies that
they must be terribly bored. Perhaps they are; but perhaps, too, it
is better to be bored in the sunshine than busy in a London fog.
So they linger on, persuading themselves that they do so for their
children's sake rather than their own, and referring the stranger, if
he happens to question them, to the wonderful educational advantages
of the town.

But what is the sober truth about those educational advantages? That
is another branch of the subject which seems to be worth a passing
word.

Assuredly the Swiss have a great reputation as educators, and that
reputation stands nowhere higher than in the Canton of Vaud. Yverdon
is in the Canton of Vaud, and it was there that Pestalozzi kept his
school. Moreover, just as it has been said that every citizen of
Ticino is by nature a hotel-keeper, so it has been said that every
citizen of Vaud is by nature a professor. Professors, as we have
already seen, were among the Canton's chief 'articles of export'
during the Bernese domination, and kings preferred the Vaudois
professors to any others. Yet a sufficient number of professors--and
perhaps the best of them--have always remained behind, so that
teaching and learning have continued to be great native industries.
The question which is left is, How do the Swiss systems of education
compare with ours?

The answer is commonplace, and sounds platitudinous: they are better
than ours in some respects, and inferior in others. Let us elaborate
and particularize.

Scholarship, in the accepted English sense of the word, hardly exists
in Switzerland. A Swiss Jebb is almost unthinkable, and if anyone
proposes to find a Swiss Bentley in Casaubon, the answer must be that
Casaubon was not really Swiss, though he was, for a time, a professor
at Geneva. In the matter of the classics the German scholars have
always been more learned than the Swiss, and the English scholars
have always been both more learned and more graceful; indeed, in
the sort of scholarship which enables a man to speak and write his
own language properly the Swiss have always been sadly to seek.
Swiss French is atrocious, and the French of Lausanne, though a
shade better than that of Fribourg, is worse than that of Geneva or
Neuchâtel. When the French themselves wish to say that a man's style
is clumsy, they liken it to 'a Swiss translation from the Belgian.'

  [Illustration: A STREET IN ST. SAPHORIN]

Nor have the Swiss ever made any notable contribution to original
philosophic thought. Their principal metaphysicians, like Charles
Bonnet, have been merely theologians in disguise, who have started
by assuming the points which they undertook to prove, and have
been unable to keep their metaphysics and their theology apart,
as did, for example, Bishop Berkeley and Dean Mansell. The great
names in the history of speculative thought--such names as those of
Spinoza, Locke, Hume, Kant, Hegel, Comte, Herbert Spencer, and T.
H. Green--have been English, or German, or French, or Dutch. One
does not find a single Swiss name among them. The great Swiss names,
when we get away from theology, all stand for something scientific,
practical, concrete. Lavater, Gesner, Saussure, Jomini--such are a
few of the instances that may be cited to point our moral and lead us
up to our generalization, which is as follows:

Elementary education is excellent in Switzerland; but the higher
education is too technical and utilitarian to satisfy those who
consider that the function of education is to cultivate the mind. The
elementary schools of the Canton of Vaud are probably better than
those of the County of London; but the Universities of Geneva and
Lausanne are a poor substitute for those of Oxford and Cambridge.

Let us by all means give praise where praise is due. The Medical
Faculties of Berne and Lausanne have a European reputation; and it
is said that engineering is nowhere taught better than at the Zurich
Polytechnic. The practical side of the Swiss character is also well
exemplified in the various schools for waiters, for watch-makers, and
for bee-keepers. But it is possible--or it seems so to an English
University man--for education to be too practical; and the Swiss
have surely committed that excess in devising that educational
abomination, the School of Commerce. Nothing is ever taught in
a School of Commerce that a man who has been properly educated
elsewhere cannot pick up in six weeks; and the curriculum, though it
may sharpen the wits, can only, at the best, produce a superior kind
of bagman.

Swiss education, therefore, has its drawbacks even for a Switzer;
and, for a young Englishman of the better class, it has other
drawbacks in addition. It is not merely that he learns less than he
would in England because an unfamiliar language is the medium of
instruction. He also acquires the wrong tone and the wrong manner,
misses opportunities of making useful friends, and finds himself,
when he grows up, a stranger in his own country--a stranger not
only to the people, but to the ways and modes of thought. That is
a disadvantage which was pointed out as long ago as the eighteenth
century, by Dr. John Moore, when a nobleman who had thought of
sending his son to the University of Geneva asked his advice on
the subject. 'The boy would return,' said the doctor, 'a kind of a
Frenchman, and would so be disqualified for success in English life.'

The same criticism still applies. We are better cosmopolitans
nowadays than were Dr. Moore's contemporaries, but the differences
between the nations still subsist; and, just as each nation has
the system of education which it deserves, so it has the system of
education which best prepares a man to fight the battle of life in
his own country. In England, more than in any other country, success
depends comparatively little upon book-learning, and very much upon
character and the possession of certain qualities which, in our
insular pride, we vaunt as specially 'British.' These qualities are
not to be acquired in the Swiss schools. The qualities that are to be
acquired there may, in some respects, be better and more solid; but
they are not so useful in Great Britain. An English boy educated in
a Swiss school is, as a rule, when he leaves, rather a clumsy lout,
with a smattering of bad French, emancipated from certain prejudices
which might be useful to him, but steeped in other prejudices which
are likely to stand in his way. One always has the feeling that more
might have been made of him at home: not merely at Eton or Harrow,
but at Clifton or Marlborough, or even at St. Paul's or the Bedford
Grammar School.

On the whole, therefore, the educational _raison d'être_ of the
English colony at Lausanne disappears under investigation--at any
rate, so far as the boys are concerned. The girls, from a certain
point of view, may be better off there; for the Swiss girls' schools
are good, and the snobbishness which is the vice of English girls'
schools is discouraged in them. For the girls, difficulties only
arise when they reach a marriageable age. There are no husbands
for them at Lausanne, or anywhere in Switzerland, unless it be at
Montreux, where Anglo-Indians sometimes come on leave, since all the
men whom they meet--one is speaking only of their own countrymen--are
either too young or too old--mere students, or else superannuated
veterans. They know it, and lament their lot aloud; and the Swiss
know it, too, and make remarks. The English colony at Lausanne, they
say, is _une vraie pépinière de vieilles filles_.

But this is an excursus. We must return to Lausanne, and take another
look at its social and intellectual life.

  [Illustration: THE DENTS DU MIDI AND LA TOUR FROM "ENTRE DEUX
  VILLES"]



CHAPTER VIII

VINET AND SAINTE-BEUVE--JUSTE OLIVIER


The centre of the intellectual life was always the University. It
could not be otherwise in a country in which every man is born a
pedagogue. In England the view has come to prevail that literature
only begins to be vital when it ceases to be academic. In the Canton
of Vaud the literature is academic or nothing, and even the poets
are professors, unbending in their hours of sentimental ease; while
the literature of revolt is the bitter cry of professors who have
forfeited their chairs on account of their religious or political
opinions. As the result of each revolution in turn we see a company
of professors put to flight. The casualties of that sort are at least
as numerous as the broken heads.

The detailed relation of such professorial vicissitudes belongs,
however, to the native antiquary. Here it will suffice to recall a
few more notable names.

A Swiss historian would doubtless say that the greatest of the names
is that of Alexandre Vinet. In his hot youth he wrote riotous poetry:

    'O mes amis, vidons bouteille
      Et laissons faire le destin.
    Le Dieu qui préside à la treille
      Est notre unique souverain.'

Afterwards he became austere, and played a great part in theological
controversy. He hated the Revivalists, whom he described as 'lunatics
at large'; but he insisted that religious liberty should be the
heritage of all, and, while opposing established churches, exercised
a profound spiritual influence. He was a great Broad Churchman, and
we may class him as the F. W. Robertson or F. D. Maurice of the
Canton of Vaud. Sainte-Beuve blew his trumpet, and he, on his part,
almost persuaded Sainte-Beuve to become a Protestant.

Sainte-Beuve, it is hardly too much to say, came to Lausanne in
search of a religion. St. Simonism had disappointed him, and so had
the Liberal Catholicism of Lamennais. Lamennais, in fact, had gone
too fast and too far for him--had, as it were, he said, taken him
for a drive, and spilt him in a ditch, and left him there and driven
on. None the less, he earnestly desired to be spiritually-minded
and a devout believer, feeling, in particular, an inclination
towards mysticism, though unable to profess himself a mystic. 'I
have,' he wrote to a friend, 'the sense of these things, but not the
things themselves.' It seemed to him that he might find 'the things
themselves' at Lausanne, if he went there in the proper spirit and
sat at Vinet's feet.

His Swiss friend, Juste Olivier, a professor who was also a poet,
procured him an engagement to deliver a course of lectures at
the Lausanne Academy,[8] and he embarked upon his errand with as
much humility as was compatible with professorship. Left free to
choose his own subject, he decided to treat of Port Royal and the
Jansenists--the most spiritually-minded of the Catholics, and those
who had the closest affinity with the Protestants. By means of his
lectures he thought to build himself a bridge by which to pass from
the one camp to the other.

His elocution was defective, and his lectures were not quite such a
success as he could have wished. The students used to meet in the
cafés to parody them in the evenings. On the other hand, however,
serious people eagerly watched the developments of the spiritual
drama. Not only did it seem to them that the fate of a soul was in
the balance--they were also hoping to see Protestantism score the
sort of triumph that would make a noise in Paris. So they asked daily
for news of Sainte-Beuve, as of a sick man lying at death's door,
and asked Vinet, whom they regarded as his spiritual physician, to
issue a bulletin. And Vinet's bulletin was to this effect: 'I think
he is convinced, but not yet converted.' But Vinet, as he was soon to
discover, was only partly right.

That Sainte-Beuve was not converted was, indeed, obvious enough,
seeing that he was making violent love to his neighbour's wife
at the time--between him and 'conversion' stood the obstructive
charms of Madame Olivier. But it is equally true that he was not
convinced; and, by a crowning irony, he found his faith evaporating
as he got to close quarters with the subject, through the study of
which he had expected to achieve conviction. The great history of
Port Royal, begun by a believer, was finished by a sceptic. 'Moral
bankruptcy,' is M. Michaut's description of his condition, and there
is a sense in which it might be applied even by those who desire to
dissociate morality from creeds. It was the end--at any rate, for
Sainte-Beuve--of all emotion which was not either purely sensual or
purely intellectual. He could not be a mystic, as he could not be a
poet, because he lacked the necessary genius; and forms of religion
which depended, not on intuition, but on authority, were repugnant to
his sane intelligence. So he said a sad farewell to Christianity, and
sought no substitute. 'I am mournfully looking on at the death of my
heart,' he wrote to Vinet; and he went away and resigned himself to
become a materialist, a voluptuary, and a critic.

And now a word about that Juste Olivier to whom Sainte-Beuve owed
his appointment, and to whose wife Sainte-Beuve made love. The poet
and the critic had met at Paris, where Olivier had gone to prepare
himself for the Chair of Literature at Neuchâtel. He was promoted,
three years later, to the Chair of History at Lausanne, which he
occupied for twelve years, acting also, during part of the time, as
editor of the _Revue Suisse_, to which Sainte-Beuve contributed.
The Revolution of 1845 unseated him. He went to Paris, where he
achieved no great success, and was homesick there for five-and-twenty
years. The Swiss forgot him, and the Parisians did not understand
him. But, in 1870, when there was no longer a living to be made in
Paris, he came home again. One may quote the pathetic picture of his
home-coming, drawn by M. Philippe Godet:

'He had to live. For three winters the poet travelled through
French Switzerland, lecturing, reading his verses, relating his
reminiscences, with that melancholy humour which gave his speech its
charm. The public--I speak of what I saw--was polite, respectful,
and nothing more. Olivier felt almost a stranger in his own country.
But he consoled himself, in the summer, at Gryon, "the high village
facing the Alps of Vaud," which he has so often celebrated. He was to
sing, at the mid-August fête, his song to the Shepherds of Anzeindaz.
And there they understood him and applauded. He had his day of
happiness and glory among these simple mountaineers. He was, for an
hour, what it had been the dream of his life to be, the national
singer of the Vaudois country.'

But the end is melancholy. He died in a chalet at Gryon in January,
1876, a broken and disappointed man, reluctant even to speak of his
work or hear it spoken of. There is a deep pathos in one of his last
letters which M. Godet quotes:

'It is a melancholy history--that of our country. It did nothing for
Viret or Vinet; and, though I do not rank myself with them, I
too know what neglect means. "Come and have a drink"--that is their
last word here. I had hoped for better things. What a beautiful dream
it was! At least I have been loyal to it, even if I have not, as I
fancy, done all that it was in me to do. Since the day when, in one
of my first printed poems, I wrote, "Un génie est caché dans tous les
lieux que j'aime," I have obstinately sought out that genius, and
tried to make it speak. It has answered me, I think more often than
its voice has been heard.'

  [Illustration: LUTRY]

FOOTNOTE:

[8] It was not made a University until later.



CHAPTER IX

NYON


Lausanne, for the purposes of this volume, must be taken to include
such neighbouring lake-side towns as Morges, and Rolle, and Nyon.
Morges we have already seen distinguishing itself by refusing, on
principle, to pay for the mending of the roads, and so paving the
way for the subsequent insurrection. Nowadays it is the seat of an
arsenal, and is said to have an aristocratic population, interested
in literature. Rolle was the home of the Laharpes, and boasts a
statue of César de Laharpe by Pradier. A colony of French and Genevan
political exiles once flourished there, and Madame de Staël was a
frequent visitor. Voltaire once proposed to buy an estate in the
neighbourhood--the Château des Menthon--but the Bernese would not
let him do so, alleging the curious reason that the philosopher was
a Roman Catholic. Nyon is the dirtiest town on the Lake--or would
be if Villeneuve were not dirtier. But it is also one of the most
picturesque--the castle being nobly situated and in a fine state of
preservation--and it has its interesting memories.

One of its interesting associations is with the Waldenses. These
persecuted Protestants had fled, or been driven out, from their
mountain home above Turin. Switzerland received them hospitably, but
they were homesick. They resolved to go back; not to slink back in
twos and threes, but to march back, with their flags flying, like
courageous Christian soldiers. They mustered at Nyon, and thence
crossed the lake under the leadership of the fighting pastor,
Henri Arnaud, and marched across the mountains to effect their
'glorious re-entry.' It was a great military feat, and no less a
judge than Napoleon has paid his tribute to the military genius of
the commander. The returning exiles defeated the soldiers of Savoy
in more than one pitched battle. One thinks of them generally as
the 'slaughtered saints, whose bones' inspired one of the finest of
Milton's sonnets, but theirs were not the only bones that whitened
the valleys during that notable expedition.

Nyon again recalls the memory of Bonstetten, who governed it for a
season on behalf of Berne. If all the Bernese Governors had been
like him, Vaud would have been a contented country, though he is
chiefly remembered as a wit and a man of culture, who lived to be
eighty-seven without ever seeming to grow old. In his youth he
travelled in England, and was the friend of Gray; in his old age
he lived at Geneva, and was the friend of Byron. In the meantime
he had been the friend of Madame de Staël, and a pillar of the
cosmopolitan society at Coppet. He wrote some books, but they are
dead and buried. What lives is the recollection of the genial old
gentleman whom everybody liked, and who proved--what needed a great
deal of proving--that it was possible for a Bernese to be gracious
and frivolous, and to have a sense of humour. He detested the society
of his native city, and wrote a delightfully sarcastic description of
its daily life in a letter to one of the Hallers:

'We are living here, as we always do. We sleep, we breakfast, we
yawn, we drag through the morning, and we digest our food. And then
we dine, and then we dress, and then we swagger in the Arcades, and
say to ourselves: "I am charming and clever, for the spelling of
my name makes me capable of governing and illuminating two hundred
thousand souls." And then we accost a lady with a pretty figure
decently enveloped in a mantle, and then we go to a party and circle
round a dozen turtle-doves, and deliver ourselves of platitudes with
the air of saying something clever. Then we have something to eat,
and, finding our intellectual resources exhausted, amuse ourselves
with paper games; and then we go to bed, feeling satisfied with
ourselves--for we have been delightful.'

Out of sympathy with Berne, Bonstetten had a good deal more sympathy
than Berne liked with the revolutionary party. It is said that
his sympathies lost him his post; but before that happened he had
time to render a useful service to one of the most eminent of the
revolutionists. He was at supper one day with a considerable number
of guests when his servant whispered in his ear that a mysterious
stranger was without, asking to speak with him. He stepped into the
garden, where a man, miserably dressed, was waiting for him in the
summer-house. He inquired his errand, and the answer was: 'I am
Carnot, and I am perishing from hunger. I implore you to give me
shelter for the night.' Bonstetten not only gave him shelter for
the night, but, on the following morning, gave him a passport under
an assumed name. One can understand that his superiors at Berne did
not regard him as a model functionary, but Carnot never forgot his
kindness. When he became Napoleon's War Minister, he invited him
to Paris, introduced him to the Emperor, and heaped proofs of his
gratitude upon him.

  [Illustration: CULLY FROM EPESSE: AUTUMN]

Perhaps it is also worth noting that, in the days before the
railways, Nyon was on the highroad from France to Switzerland. The
track descended there from Saint-Cergues, where it crossed the Jura;
and by it travelled Madame de Staël, and Benjamin Constant, and
Voltaire, and many another whom we have met in the course of this
rambling narrative. There is a new road now, with wide, sweeping
curves, and a gentle gradient; but enough of the old road remains to
show us how shamefully bad it was--a narrow road, of uneven surface,
plunging headlong through the pine-forest. The lumbering old coaches,
with their six horses, must have had a very bad time there, and it is
no wonder that Napoleon ordered a road to be made over the Col de la
Faucille to supersede it.

But enough of Nyon and the Canton de Vaud! We must cross the lake
to the French shore; and, as first impressions are always the most
graphic, permission has been obtained to print here the writer's own
first impressions, contributed a few years since, to the columns of
the _Pall Mall Gazette_.



CHAPTER X

THE FRENCH SHORE


What strikes the holiday traveller about the French shore is that
it is so much better managed than the Swiss shore. Its natural
advantages are fewer--they are, in fact, very few indeed. Evian--and
when one speaks of the French shore one is principally thinking of
Evian--stands with its back to the high mountains instead of facing
them. Consequently it has no views to compare with the views from
Lausanne, Geneva, and Vevey. Its hinterland is commonplace, except
for those who make a great effort and go up the Dent d'Oche. The
mouth of the Dranse, hard by, is a dreary collection of detritus.
There are hardly any literary landmarks, except the few that recall
the memory of St. Francis de Sales. Whence English travellers
have, almost with one accord, drawn the inference that it is not
worth while to go to Evian. But they are wrong. The French think
otherwise, and the French are right. They do not go there, as some
suppose, because they are crippled with diseases and need the waters
to wash poisons out of their blood and their organs: the Evian water
is the sort of water that the whole, as well as the sick, can drink
by the bucketful without feeling a penny the worse for it. Their
purpose in going to Evian is to live a life of luxury and leisure.
No doubt they pay through the nose for the privilege. Inquiry at one
hotel elicited the statement that the worst rooms were let at eight
and the best at eighty francs a day--with service _à la carte_ on the
same scale. But other hotels are cheaper, and it is also possible to
hire a villa, a flat, a lodging; and, in any case, it is right that
Evian should be introduced to the English tourist as the one place
on the Lake of Geneva in which the life of leisure and luxury is
possible.

There is no real luxury at Geneva itself, though there are high
prices and immense hotels. Instead of having good music at fixed
hours, they have indifferent music all day long. The whole air is
full of a continual tinkle-tinkle; louder than the tinkle-tinkle
rises the hooting of the steamers and the trams; louder still are the
voices of the trippers, mostly Americans, inquiring the prices of
things, or complaining that they have lost their luggage. The society
at the boasted Kursaal is an unpolished horde, mainly composed of
the Geneva clerks and shop-assistants losing their salaries at
_petits chevaux_. Nor are things much better elsewhere on the Swiss
shore. Nyon, for instance, is by nature an earthly paradise, and
they have formed a society for developing it. What they really want
is a society for cleaning it, since it is the present practice of
the inhabitants to empty their dustbins over their garden walls into
the lake, with results appalling to the nostrils of the stranger. At
Lausanne, or Vevey, or Montreux--other earthly paradises--you escape
this nuisance; but even there, in the season, you have the feeling
that the place is one vast hotel, and that everybody is waiting with
packed boxes for the omnibus. But cross to Evian. The town is a
little smaller than Montreux, but just as full. Yet it never seems
to be crowded. There is no hurrying or bustling. You are in nobody's
way, and nobody is in your way; which means that Evian is properly
managed.

They do not encourage you to come to Evian in the capacity of
tripper. On the contrary, they try to arrange things so that you must
sacrifice your lunch in order to get there, and your dinner in order
to get home. But this is a part of the secret of good management,
as you will appreciate if you stay there. No knickerbockered army,
headed by a polyglot guide in a straw hat with a label on it, will
invade your peace, but you will be free to live your lotus-eating
life in your own way. You will probably live most of it in the
casino, which is a proper casino, differing from the Geneva Kursaal
as cheese from chalk. There is so much shade that it is always cool
there, even on the hottest day. You will lunch there on a shaded
terrace, assisted by a sympathetic waiter, who understands that a
good lunch is an end in itself, and not merely a device for keeping
body and soul together until the evening. You will linger long and
agreeably over the coffee and liqueurs, without feeling that someone
else wants your seat. Nor will you be bothered, as in Geneva, by
the squeaking of a futile fiddle, or by hawkers offering picture
postcards. But, at the appointed hour, there will be a proper concert
with a programme, and a well-behaved and well-dressed audience:
beautiful French ladies looking as if they had stepped out of fashion
plates; beautiful French children looking as if they had been cut out
of Aunt Louisa's picture-book; fantastic Frenchmen, looking as
if they were dressed for amateur theatricals. Then, when the evening
comes, and you have dined as well as you have lunched, there will be
a performance in the little theatre, given by artistes from Paris,
who come on to Evian from Aix-les-Bains: Réjane, Jeanne Granier,
Charlotte Wiehe, or others. Or there will be a ball in the grand
style--not in the least like the balls in the Hall-by-the-Sea at
Margate--given in as good a ballroom as the heart of a dancer could
wish for. But no hurrying, or hustling, or excitement. At Evian, if
nowhere else on Lake Leman, life is a leisurely pageant.

  [Illustration: GRANDVAUX FROM CULLY]

For the rest, there is little enough for you to do--nothing, in fact,
except to stroll up and down the long avenue of linked plane-trees by
the lake-side, observe how clean they keep the water, and gaze across
its calm surface to the Swiss shore where the trippers make a noise.
But this has always been a favourite occupation of the dwellers on
the French shore, whether in fact or works of fiction. From Meillerie
St. Preux gazed across at the _bosquet_ of Clarens. From Thonon
St. Francis de Sales gazed across, pondering plans for working the
Counter-Reformation in the Canton de Vaud. From Evian itself, Madame
de Warens gazed across, regretting the home of her youth to which
she could never return, because, when she left it, she had abandoned
her religion, and taken with her certain goods and chattels which her
creditors were about to seize.



CHAPTER XI

HISTORY OF THE FRENCH SHORE--FELIX V


The history of the French shore, which has only recently belonged
to France, may be told in briefest outline. In the earliest times
of which we need take cognizance it belonged to the Dukes of Savoy,
whose domains continued for a considerable distance up the valley of
the Rhone. Then came the war of 1536, of which we have spoken more
than once, in which the Bernese took the territory away from them.
Part of it was recovered by Duke Emanuel Philibert in 1564, and the
whole was reassigned by treaty in 1593. The inhabitants had, in the
meantime, been converted to Protestantism, and the first task of
Savoy was to reconvert them. A mission for that purpose was led by
St. Francis de Sales, and the principles of the Counter-Reformation
quickly triumphed. The French Revolution brought a French army to
Savoy, but the expelled rulers came to their own again when the Holy
Alliance resettled the map of Europe. Nothing further happened until
the war which resulted in the consolidation of a United Italy. Savoy
(together with Nice) was then Napoleon III.'s reward for ejecting the
Austrian garrison from Italian territory. The country had long been
French in its language and its sympathies, and the people were quite
willing, if not actively anxious, to change their allegiance; and
the history of Savoy has, since that date, belonged to the history
of France. Its extreme Catholicism, like that of Brittany, gave
trouble at the time of the expulsion of the Religious Orders, but
that is a question of modern politics into which it is unnecessary to
enter here. We will search instead for the historical and literary
landmarks.

Our first interesting name is that of Duke Amadeus VIII. The death
of his eldest son caused him profound grief, and 'in 1431,' says
Bishop Creighton, 'he retired from active life, and built himself
a luxurious retreat at Ripaille, whither he withdrew with seven
companions to lead a life of religious seclusion. His abode was
called the Temple of St. Maurice; he and his followers wore grey
cloaks, like hermits, with gold crosses round their necks and long
staffs in their hands.' But though Duke Amadeus dressed as a
hermit, he hardly lived as one; and as for religious seclusion, he
interpreted it after a fashion of his own. 'Vitam magis voluptuosam
quam penitentialem degebat,' is the statement of his biographer,
Æneas Sylvius; and his jovial proceedings added to the French
language the new expression 'faire Ripaille.'

Those were the days, however, when the Council of Basle accused Pope
Eugenius IV. of heresy and schism. An Opposition Pope was wanted, and
the Council decided to offer the dignity to the ducal hermit, who
was living a voluptuous rather than a penitential life. A deputation
was sent to wait upon him at Ripaille. Amadeus, with his hermit
companions, advanced to meet the visitors, with a cross borne before
him, and discussed the proposal in a thoroughly business-like spirit.
'What,' he asked, 'do you expect the Pope to live on? I cannot
consume my patrimony and disinherit my sons.' He was promised a grant
of first-fruits of vacant benefices, and that satisfied him, though
he made the further stipulation that he should not be required to
shave. As a matter of fact, however, he was presently shamed into
shaving by the respectful amazement of the devout; and he took the
name of Felix V. and entered Basle attended by his two sons--'an
unusual escort for a Pope,' as Creighton justly remarks--and was
crowned by the Cardinal of Aries, the only Cardinal present, on July
24, 1440.

The question then arose, Which Pope would be recognized by the other
European Principalities and Powers? By degrees it was found that the
balance of opinion was against Felix V., and in favour of Eugenius
IV. and his successor Nicolas V.; and Felix V. then discovered that
he did not greatly care about his somewhat shadowy honours. He had
had much anxiety, and only a small and irregular stipend. So, on
April 7, 1449, he was persuaded to resign the Papal office, and less
than two years afterwards he died. 'He was more useful to the Church
by his death than by his life,' says Æneas Sylvius. But that is as it
may be. He was, at all events, an interesting figure and a better man
than Æneas himself, seeing that Æneas, afterwards Pius II., candidly
confessed that he was 'neither holier than David nor wiser than
Solomon,' and actually wrote love-letters to help Sigismund, Count
of Tyrol, 'to overcome the resistance of a girl who shrank from his
dishonourable proposals.'

  [Illustration: THE RHONE VALLEY FROM CHEXBRES]



CHAPTER XII

ST. FRANCIS DE SALES


A greater figure--perhaps the greatest of all figures in the history
of Savoy--is that of St. Francis de Sales. It is a little difficult
to speak of him without appearing to stir the embers of theological
disputation. But the effort must be made, since he is much too
notable a man to be passed over; and the task may be made easier
by the fact that he is a Catholic of whom Protestants speak well,
even though they have to recognize in him one of the most damaging
of their opponents. They respect his character even in the act of
examining his propositions; they perceive that it was just because
his character was so admirable that he was able to do the cause of
the Reformation so much harm.

He combined qualities which, in that age, were rarely found
conjoined, being at once a gentleman and a scholar, a man of saintly
humility, and yet of energy and courage. Such men were scarce in
both religious camps. The Reformers had their share of virile
vigour, and the best of them were among the most learned men of
their time; but, on the whole, they lacked good manners and 'sweet
reasonableness.' Their methods were often violent, and their speech
was often coarse. They upset altars and smashed stained-glass
windows, and threw sacred images into the rivers, and, as we
have seen, 'crowned Roman Catholic priests with cow-dung.' Their
vocabulary, too, was scurrilous, as was natural, seeing that many of
them had risen to eminence in their church from some very humble rank
in life. They lacked the grand style in theology, and one could find
excuses for calling them vulgarians.

No doubt there was more of the grand style among their Catholic
opponents, but they also fell short in many ways of the Christian
ideal. Many of them were dissolute debauchees. The case of Æneas
Sylvius, already cited, shows that the most cynical immorality was
not incompatible with the highest ecclesiastical advancement, and,
indeed, it is notorious that the loose lives of ecclesiastical
dignitaries did more than their unscriptural doctrines to discredit
the Church of Rome and make the Reformation possible. There were
prelates of whom it could truly be said that they spared neither men
in their anger nor women in their lust; and even among those whose
reputation was sweeter, there were a good many who would have passed
a very bad quarter of an hour if haled before Calvin's Consistory
and cross-examined. Even if they had passed the moral standards,
they would have been found guilty of luxury and arrogance. They were
unduly addicted to purple and fine linen, and made no pretence to
live a simple life.

On each side, however, there were exceptions, exempt from the
characteristic faults of their parties, and these, even in that age
of vehement polemics, were able to recognize and appreciate one
another. On the Protestant side there was M. de Bèze--the 'gentleman
reformer,' as he has been called--who, drawing a useful inspiration
from the memories of his unregenerate days, was able to speak affably
with his enemies in the gate. On the Catholic side there was St.
Francis de Sales, whom the study of the Humane Letters had indeed
humanized, who was transparently sincere, and who, by the charm of
his character, disarmed antagonism. In an age in which men of all
religious opinions (and of none) lived in daily peril of torture
and the stake, each of these two men believed that the other was
honestly mistaken, and would have liked to be his friend.

Judged by the historical results of his principal achievement, St.
Francis can hardly escape condemnation as a maker of mischief and a
stirrer-up of strife. To him, and to him alone, was due the triumph
of the Counter-Reformation in Chablais. If he had declined that
missionary enterprise, or failed in it, the Duke of Savoy would not
have been encouraged to make the treacherous attempt upon Genevan
independence known as the Escalade. That plot was actually laid at
Thonon, at a meeting held to celebrate and rejoice over St. Francis
de Sales' apostolic achievements. He must have known of it; he was
in a position to protest against it; he does not appear to have
done anything of the kind. It went forward, and Spanish soldiers
were hired to cut Genevan throats in the name of the Church of St.
Peter. There we have cause and effect--a saintly man interfering with
freedom of thought, and so bringing, not peace, but a sword.

That is the summing-up of the matter which impartial logic
compels; but, somehow or other, it does not much interfere with
the friendliness of one's feelings towards St. Francis de Sales.
The rude logic of events did not correspond to any syllogism in
his mind. The narrowness of his outlook was that of his country
and his age; the sweetness of his temper was his own. He loved his
erring brothers, as he considered them, and his concern was for
the salvation of their souls. He did disinterestedly, and at great
personal sacrifice, the duty which he conceived to lie nearest to
him; he did it like a soldier, who must not reason why, and with a
serene and lofty courage.

The courage of missionaries has often, it is true, been the subject
of exaggerated eulogy. Courage is no uncommon human quality; and it
is doubtful whether good men are, on an average, any braver than
bad men. It is not only the soldier who, as a matter of course,
takes risks quite equal to those of the missionary. The brigand, the
highwayman, and the beach-comber, to say nothing of the terrorist,
who is generally an atheist, also do so; and, these things being so,
much of the talk about the heroism of Christian heroes is almost
indecently vainglorious. Yet, even when all the necessary deductions
have been made, there remains something singularly fascinating in the
courage of St. Francis de Sales.

He was not by nature pugnacious, as was, for example, Farel, who
took an Irishman's delight in a row, and considered that it was all
in the day's work when he was fustigated by women, or dragged up and
down the floor of a church by the beard. His tastes, on the contrary,
were refined, and his inclinations were for the life of the cloister
or the study. He went into the wilds of Chablais--and it was really
a wild country in those days--because he had been called and chosen,
and because there was work to be done there which he was considered
specially capable of doing. Men with guns took pot-shots at him in
the dark places of the forests; and he once spent a whole winter's
night in a tree-top, while a pack of hungry wolves howled at him from
below. Such adventures were repugnant to his gentle and sensitive
nature; but he faced them and persevered, year after year, until at
last his pertinacity was rewarded. More as a tribute to his unique
personality than to his arguments--which, of course, were only the
commonplaces of Catholic apologetics--Chablais surrendered to the
Church. Even though one wishes that Chablais had held out, one cannot
help regarding its evangelist as a sympathetic figure. Pope Alexander
VII. canonized him in 1665.

  [Illustration: THE CHURCH OF ST. MARTIN, VEVEY]



CHAPTER XIII

JOSEPH DE MAISTRE


St. Francis de Sales, was not only a missionary, but also a man of
letters, and--especially--a patron of letters. Thirty years before
Richelieu founded the French Academy, he founded the Florimontane
Academy--with the motto _Flores fructusque perennes_--in Savoy, and
thus forged one of the links between the literature of Savoy and
that of France. More than one great writer, whom we carelessly class
as French, was really of Savoyard origin. Vaugelas, described by
Sainte-Beuve 'as the first of our correct and polished grammarians,'
was the son of the Vaugelas who helped St. Francis de Sales in the
formation of his literary society at Annecy. St. Réal, the forerunner
of Montesquieu, was also a Savoyard; and so were Count Xavier de
Maistre, author of the widely-read 'Voyage Autour de ma Chambre,' and
Count Joseph de Maistre, his more distinguished brother.

Joseph de Maistre, indeed, is the greatest of the literary sons of
Savoy, and a worthy inheritor of the traditions of the saint, his
predecessor. An aristocrat, and a senator, he was a man of forty when
the revolutionary storm burst upon his country. For a season he took
refuge in Lausanne, where he often met, and argued with, Madame de
Staël, whom he regarded as a woman with a good heart but a perverted
head. His discussions with her, he said, 'nearly made the Swiss
die with laughing, though we conducted them without quarrelling.'
Afterwards he was sent to represent his sovereign at the Court of St.
Petersburg, where, he complains, he had to get on as best he could,
'without a salary, without a secretary, and without a fur-lined
overcoat.' Both there and at Lausanne he wrote.

His date and his circumstances class him with the literary
_émigrés_--with Madame de Staël, Châteaubriand, and Sénancour;
but he lacks their melancholy and their sentimentalism. He and
Châteaubriand, indeed, resemble one another as two champions of
the Catholic religion; but they support that religion from widely
different points of view. Châteaubriand is before all things the
religious æsthete. He deduces the truth of a creed from its beauty,
and is very little concerned with its bearing upon moral conduct.
Joseph de Maistre, on the contrary, seems to believe in the authority
of the Church because he believes in authority generally. He is an
Absolutist who hates all Radicals, and regards the schismatic as
the worst kind of Radical. He makes a religion of the principle of
'keeping people in their place,' and he supports his religion with
epigrams. The epigrams are very good, though the religion is very
bad. The French, like the sound critics that they are, have proved
themselves capable of enjoying the one while refusing to have very
much to do with the other.



INDEX


    Alexander I., 62
    Amadeus VIII., Duke, 96
    Arnaud, Henri, 84

    Bèze, M. de, 101
    Bonivard, 5
    Bonnet, Charles, 69
    Bonstetten, 84, 86
    Bridel, Doyen, 40
    Bridel, Louis, 40
    'Buonaparte,' 44
    Byron, 85

    Calvin, 6
    Carnot, 86
    Cart, C. C., 61
    Casaubon, 68
    Charrière, Madame de, 41, 46, 47, 50
    Châteaubriand, 106
    Constant de Rebecque, Benjamin, 45, 47, 48, 49, 54, 58, 59, 60, 86
    Constant, Rosalie de, 45
    Coppet, 49, 56, 59, 60, 85
    Curchod, Mademoiselle Suzanne, 16, 17, 18, 20, 22, 23, 24, 26, 27

    D'Alembert, 13
    Davel, Major, 9
    Deffand, Madame du, 35
    Dent d'Oche, 89
    Deyverdun, 26, 29
    Dickens, 65
    Dutertre, Madame, 54, 55, 56, 57

    English Colony, 65, 73
    Eugenius IV., Pope, 97, 98
    Evian, 89, 91, 93

    Farel, 6, 104
    Felix V., 97, 98
    Florimontane Academy, 105
    Fox, Charles James, 28, 30
    Fraubrunnen, 62

    Gesner, 69
    Gibbon, 13, 17, 18, 20, 22, 23, 25, 26, 27, 29, 30, 34, 35, 36, 39,
        40, 41, 42, 61, 65
    Godet, M. Philippe, 80

    Hardenberg, Madame de, 53
    d'Haussonville, Monsieur, 20, 21, 22, 23

    Jomini, 69

    Knox, John, 13

    Laharpe, César, 61, 62, 83
    Lavater, 69
    'Lettres de Lausanne,' 41
    Ligne, Prince and Princesse de, 31
    Lindsay, Mrs., 53

    Maistre, Count Joseph de, 105, 106, 107
    Maistre, Count Xavier de, 105
    Meillerie, 93
    Mercier, 31
    Michaut, M., 78
    Montolieu, Madame de, 39, 40, 41
    Moore, Dr. John, 71
    Morges, 61, 83
    Moudon, 2
    Moultou, Pastor, 22

    Necker, Jacques, 31, 34, 37
    Necker, Madame, 20, 31, 32, 34, 35, 36, 37
    Necker, M., Madame, and Mademoiselle, 31
    Nyon, 83, 84, 86

    Olivier, Juste, 77, 79
    Olivier, Madame, 78

    Pavilliard, Pastor, 13
    Peter of Savoy, 3
    Pestalozzi, 67
    Philibert, Duke Emanuel, 95

    Raynal, Abbé, 31
    _Revue Suisse_, 79
    Ripaille, 96, 97
    Robespierre, 62
    Rocca, Albert de, 58, 60
    Rolle, 61, 83
    Rousseau, 23
    Rovéreaz, Colonel de, 62

    Sainte-Beuve, 76, 77, 79
    Saint-Cergues, 87
    St. Francis de Sales, 89, 93, 95, 98, 101, 102, 103, 105
    Saint-Pierre, Bernardin de, 45
    Saussure, 69
    Schlegel, 55
    Sénancour, 106
    Sheffield, Lord, 29, 40
    Staël, Madame de, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56,
        57, 58, 59, 63, 85, 86, 106
    Staël, M. de, 48
    Sylvius, Æneas, 97, 98, 100

    Talma, Madame, 49
    Thonon, 93, 102
    Tissot, Dr., 31, 42, 43

    Vinet, Alexandre, 76, 77, 79, 80
    Viret, 6, 7, 80
    Voght, Baron de, 59
    Voltaire, 13, 30, 83, 86
    Vulliemin, Louis, 2, 3, 6, 7

    Waldenses, 84
    Warens, Madame de, 93
    Wurtemberg, Prince of, 43

    Zaeringen, 1


    BILLING AND SONS, LIMITED, PRINTERS, GUILFORD





*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Lausanne" ***

Doctrine Publishing Corporation provides digitized public domain materials.
Public domain books belong to the public and we are merely their custodians.
This effort is time consuming and expensive, so in order to keep providing
this resource, we have taken steps to prevent abuse by commercial parties,
including placing technical restrictions on automated querying.

We also ask that you:

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Doctrine Publishing
Corporation's ISYS search for use by individuals, and we request that you
use these files for personal, non-commercial purposes.

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort
to Doctrine Publishing's system: If you are conducting research on machine
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a
large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of
public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.



Home