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Auous. The root of the matter lay with them, as with Boetius and Montaigne—they loved each other because the one was Tocqueville and the other Ampère. The nervous historian even trusted the soundness of his friend's literary judgment as much as that of his heart. The sheets of the Démocratie' underwent Ampère’s revision before going to press; and one of the four first copies, as Tocqueville expresses himself, 'avant la lettre,' was reserved pour l'amitié. You under• stand that under that title it can only go straight to your ' address. Accept it, I beg, not for the book's sake (you know that by heart already), but as the pledge of a tender ' affection.'
The allusion to the politics of the day are not frequent in these letters, though when they occur they are of no small significance. The three days' revolution of July 1830 found Madame Récamier and Jean-Jacques together at Dieppe. But neither of them were of a sort to continue in safety while friends were in danger. The lady accordingly returned immediately to Paris, and was escorted by Jean-Jacques in a walk both of difficulty and peril over the barricades, from the chapel St. Denis to her own home. The fidelity of M. de Châteaubriand to Charles Dix, and his retirement from all political activity, is one of the few events recorded. This act helped to give Ampère a juster measure of that distinguished man, who was truly great in great things, though infinitely disagreeable in small ones; and in concert with other
young members of la jeune France, he addresses the ex-minister a letter, earnestly entreating his return. Châteaubriand's answer is remarkable. He fears that Liberty is not a plant that can grow in French soil. “L'Égalité, our national passion, is a magnificent idea in
great hearts; but in narrow minds it simply means envy, and * in the mob, murders and disorders.' Again, a conversation Jean-Jacques held with M. La Fayette preserves these words of no common foresight at that period, - What I fear most is · Bonapartism, for that is the only thing that will favour des
potism. And to look eighteen years forwarder still, when the spectre was at hand, Jean-Jacques thus writes from Dijon, June 1848:
"It is impossible for me at this distance to comprehend what is doing in Paris. One thing only is clear, which is that the revolution of Pebruary has miscarried. The Assembly does nothing, wills nothing, is capable of nothing. The same kind of thing is going on in Germany . . . It is evident that we are to be made over to a pretender of some sort. Order having been re-established, and without the excuse of material disorder, we are to pass under the yoke of a Dictatorship. It is said that Madame Salvage's young man * (Louis Napoleon) has the chance of the moment. But, is the Republic to merge into this parody of l'Empire! What a caricature of the past that would be. I hope Thiers is not in it. I would rather he were President himself, he or another. But to return to princes when they are no longer principles, to bring about a restoration of illegitimacy and usurpation, c'est vrciment par trop réculer.'
A name coeval with Jean-Jacques Ampère's in French estimation, and better known to fame and friendship in England ——that of M. Mohl, the great Orientalist—often occurs in these pages. The sturdy young Wirtemberger, and the mercurial Lyonese, each the archest type of his race, made early acquaintance under the roof of M. Cuvier. With endless tastes in common, that of the study of Chinese first drew them together. As with Tocqueville, their very differences were provocative of friendship. The one judicial, cynical, and systematic—the other impulsive, genial, and erratic; each whetted his appetite for knowledge on the mind of the other. The relish for each other's contrasting natures---ever a fertile source of mutual satire and epigram-even led to their keeping house together. This took place very successfully for some years in the Rue du Bac, before M. Mohl's marriage; he, wisely, undertaking the charge of the ménage and the audit of the accounts. There is perhaps no omission in this correspondence more to be regretted than that of M. Mohl's letters-(unless it be that of Madame Mohl's), which the amiable editress in vain solicited permission to include. The two that have escaped the interdict are singularly calculated to sharpen the appetite for
But we must return to one, never forgotten or neglected by
The health of Marie-André had already compelled him, accompanied by Jean-Jacques, to spend a winter in the south of France. Neither of their geniuses, as a friend remarks, understood how to combine two ideas concerning la 'plus innocente speculation d'argent.' How to provide funds for that necessary
absence is dwelt on with infinite zest by JeanJacques, who owns to having sown his own small fortune inherited from his mother' d'un bout de l'Europe à l'autre.' But • le Dieu des ivrognes et des distraits,' according to Tocqueville, watches over both, and the chair of Scandinavian poetry at Marseilles, for exactly the three months required, falls most opportunely to Jean-Jacques' lot.
* Madame Salvage was companion to Queen Hortense, and ardent partisan of Prince Louis Napoleon.
A few years
later (1836) the same necessity for a milder climate recurred, and Marie-André, this time alone, repaired again to Marseilles. Jean-Jacques was to follow; but the end was nearer than was supposed." There was but time for a last letter of paternal tenderness, when the great physiologist, and the guileless, loving man, departed from this scene. He was buried at Marseilles with every sign of honour and affection; and in lieu of a Latin inscription, or pompous French panegyric, these words of pure truth alone, from the depth of his son's heart, were engraved on his tomb: “Il fut aussi bon, aussi simple, que 'grand.'
The name of André-Marie Ampère needs no further tribute in these pages. It has taken its place among its few illustrious compeers, and was heard still in living accents in the late address of M. Dumas, on the part of the French Academy, over the remains of the lamented Sir Charles Wheatstone. But one phase of his genius has been beyond the power of his works or of his letters to preserve; namely, the marvellous range and power of his eloquence, when invoked on a subject congenial to him. André-Marie was no glutton for talk in general society. He never claimed, like Humboldt, the lion's share in conversation; but when with a few congenial friends, or with his son alone, he would open the vast storehouse of his knowledge, and pour forth a stream of new ideas, suggestions, and combinations, till the hearers remained spell-bound. Walking once, in 1830, on the road to Polémieux, with Lyonese friends, one of them suggested that he should give them an idea of Cuvier's discoveries. Accordingly there ensued a lec. ture on Palæontology, which neither the walk, nor the dinner, nor the drive back to Lyons interrupted; and which only broke off at a particular point in Lyons where he set down his friends, ' all overpowered with the extent and beauty of what " they had heard and learned; having had no conception of ' the force of such a brain, or the poetic wealth of such an 'imagination. His son also describes how on his first journey for health to the South, propped up by pillows in the carriage, and cautioned not to fatigue the vocal organs, he would enchant him for hours together with a dissertation on the classification of the sciences, till, as he pithily remarks, ‘my anxiety • and my admiration were equally without bounds.'
In editing the posthumous works of his father, in a page of introduction to the Philosophie,' Jean-Jacques relates that André-Marie was wont to dwell on three things which had made the deepest impression on his youth; namely, his first
VOL. CXLIII. NO. CCXCI.
communion, celebrated with an intensity of devotion which never left him during life; the · Éloge' of Descartes by Thomas, which first kindled his ardour for science; and the taking of the Bastille, which, heard from afar, sounded only like the explosion of liberty, and decided the political bias of his life. Four and twenty years after that, Jean-Jacques would say, “in the sombre latter days of the Empire, I remem• ber as a boy-walking with him in the streets of Paris-the • accent with which he would inveigh against the tyranny, • which lay, as he said, like a weight on his breast.'
The death of his father left Jean-Jacques virtually without any family ties, and yet with heavy responsibilities. The income of the great physicist died with him, but not so the charges he had undertaken. His daughter Albine had made an unhappy marriage-perhaps one of good André-Marie's own arranging ; her husband's vices had brought him into a madhouse, and her own reason had given way under the pressure of sorrow. Jean-Jacques had to provide for both; and also for a vaurien cousin who had preyed on the father's kindness, and preyed on that of the son to the last. Jean-Jacques' means were principally derived from the Professorship of the History of French Literature at the Collége de France,' to which he had been appointed by M. Guizot in 1833. His merits were now further and most opportunely recognised by the adjudgment to him of • le prix Gobert,' one of the numerous
purses,' or foundations held by the Institute, and awarded to special literary claims. These occupations and distinctions, far from repressing rather incited that restless ardour for travel which characterised Ampère. The same principle that made him study the Roman history at Rome, he applied in working at Greek poetry in Greece; in studying Egyptian hieroglyphics in Egypt; and these and every other ancient science in the libraries and museums of Italy. The Egyptian journey, in which he exposed himself as recklessly to the dangers of the climate as if he had been born on the other side of the Channel, left his health so shattered as to entail many months of confinement on his return to Paris.
Meanwhile, though surrounded with friends, courted by men of the greatest eminence, and by women of the highest rank and charm, the Abbaye-aux-Bois remained his one polar star. The longer she lived the more did Madame Récamier succeed in uniting her friends-whatever their dissimilarities or prejudices --and the fewer these became the closer was the union. The hated Châteaubriand had turned into a paternal friend and mentor, whose letters to Ampère when on his travels, giving him tidings of the lady'par qui nous existons encore,' are some of the choicest morsels of this collection. It was time for the youngest of the band to return, and open his stores of interest, with the sprightliness and vivacity peculiar to himself, for the benefit of those on whom age and infirmities were now weighing. Never was the romance of friendship-its pathos and beauty—so realised as in this narrowing circle. Madame de Récamier was blind; M. de Châteaubriand lame, and failing in mind; and Ballanche, the type of unexacting fidelity--who, if not lodged in the same house with the mistress of his heart, was sure to be in the house opposite—had been carried off by sudden illness, holding in his the hand he loved best, and his last words pointing to the union beyond. The charge of the two aged friends now devolved almost entirely on Jean-Jacques. No son could have better fulfilled these duties-few real sons fulfil them so well. Every morning a note from him inquired how Madame Récamier had passed the night-every afternoon he came to escort her from the Abbaye-aux-Bois to No. 120 Rue du Bac, where Châteaubriand lived. There in the lonely room, between the blind woman and the paralysed man, Ampère would sit for hours, drawing inexhaustibly upon his mind and memory for their entertainment; or submitting to them the sketch he was compiling of the life and works of the neverforgotten Ballanche: sure of giving pleasure to the one, if by any means he could interest the declining powers of the other. In July 1848, as our editress expresses herself, · M. Château'briand acheva de mourir.' Jean-Jacques, as representative both of Madame Récamier and the French Academy, presided at the solemn and picturesque occasion, when, with all the pomp of the Roman ceremonial, the remains of the illustrious writer were deposited, by his expressed wish, in the hollow of a rock on the coast of St. Malo, his native place. On his return to Paris-redoubling his tender care of one who, as she owned, only held ' à la vie du caur' by him-he accepted the Librarianship of la Bibliothèque Mazarin' at the Institute, in order to be nearer her.
But we must close this touching and unique chapter. Madame Récamier died of cholera in May 1849. Jean-Jacques says little for himself at this time, but the letters from friends of all kinds show the respect with which this now broken tie had been viewed. M. Thiers writes : ‘I sympathise strongly with ' your sorrow, which must be profound. Car je sais que Madame Récamier était pour vous toute votre famille. At our
age these griefs are bitter. There is no longer that infinite ' future before us in which we place so many things when we