« ZurückWeiter »
call for an exceptional effort of private institutions and practices have a tendency charity; but workhouse relief has advan- to educate and encourage the poor, and to tages for dealing with the lowest strata promote their self-respect, are more useof poverty which private persons do not ful agencies "for the relief of distress," possess; and there need be no scruple than those which may hold out a deluabout leaving apparently destitute appli- sive hope to the improvident. A sober cants for help, when we can know no- and industrious working man, even of thing of their character or real circum- the poorest class, ought to be able to stances, to the relieving-officer.
stand against a fortnight's loss of work 3. Gentlemen of leisure and public without running a risk of starvation. We spirit may do much service by obtaining may all remember, for the spring and the a knowledge of our public relief-system, summer, the importance of sound efforts by watching its administration, and by to encourage hope, and knowledge, and offering themselves for election as guar- self-reliance amongst our poorer neighdians of the poor.
bours; and so, when the dangerous and 4. By far the best way of battling with irregular charity-work of this winter destitution and misery is to labour in is over, we may be labouring beforethose efforts which are likely to better hand most effectually to mitigate the sufthe condition of the poor. Whatever ferings of the next.
LETTER FROM PROFESSOR HENSLOW.
unworthy consideration. If it be faulty
in its general conclusions, it is surely a The manner in which my name is
stumble in the right direction, and not noticed in a review of Mr. Darwin's
to be refuted by arguments which no work in your number for December, is liable to lead to a misapprehension of to the speculations it contains.
naturalist will allow to be really adverse my view of Mr. Darwin's “Theory on
Yours faithfully, the Origin of Species.” Though I have
J. S. HENSLOW. always expressed the greatest respect for my friend's opinions, I have told himself
EXTRACT. that I cannot assent to his speculations “I see, in Macmillan's Magazine, you without seeing stronger proofs than he “are arranged with Lyell, Hooker, and has yet produced. I send you an extract “ others in the list of those who have from a letter I have received from my espoused Darwin's views. I was not brother-in-law the Rev. L. Jenyns, the aware you had become a convert to well-known author of “British Verte- “his theory, and can hardly suppose brata,” as it very nearly expresses the "you have accepted it as a whole, views I at present entertain, in regard “ though, like myself, you may go the to Mr. Darwin's theory—or rather hypo- “ length of imagining that many of the thesis, as I should prefer calling it. I “smaller groups, both of animals and have heard his book styled “the book plants, may at some remote period of the day," on more than one occasion “ have had a common parentage. I do by a most eminent naturalist; who is “ not, with some, say that the whole of himself opposed to and has written “ his theory cannot be true—but, that it against its conclusions ; but who con- “ is very far from roved ; and I doubt siders it ought not to be attacked with “ its ever being possible to prove it."
ERRATUM. By a mistake in the article on “ DIAMONDS” in the last number (p. 189), the weight of the Koh-i-noor in its cut state was given as 104 carats, instead of 1031.
VICTOR AMADEUS, THE FIRST KING OF SARDINIA,
BY GEORGE WARING.
nearly seventy years, nor the burden of
growing ill-health, had dragged down the In the year of grace 1729, on one of slight sinewy figure, or robbed it of that those golden days of the late Italian royal presence which stamps the man autumn, the court of Sardinia was who has wrought out great things in his gathered in the banqueting hall of the day. At intervals, as the door opened, palace, waiting till the chapel bell should and some fresh person joined the group ring out its summons to mass. The in the back-ground, the king would court was gay, after the fashion of that turn and sigh deeply—as who among time and that country, with velvets, us has not marked the old sigh when plumes, and jewels, though the king, one has thus sought a beloved preVictor Amadeus, who stood in the em- sence, forgetful for the moment that it brasure of a window conversing with the has vanished for ever? And, indeed, French envoy, presented in his own per- the monarch had cause for regret. From son a somewhat contemptuous contrast that assembly he missed the few whom to his glittering subjects. A little old he had ever really loved—the few of man, in his unvarying garb of plain whose affections he could feel secure. brown cloth ; his linen coarse, and un- Jeanne Baptiste of Savoy, the king's trimmed with lace; the hilt of the mother, had died in 1723, and his queen, sword, which had won him his kingdom, the good Anna of Orleans, who had was guarded with leather, that it might borne the rough humours and inconnog fray his coat. There was a parade of stancy of her lord with a patience worthy simplicity in his bamboo cane, in the her blood—she was grand-daughter to tortoiseshell snuff-box, not even inlaid, our ill-fated Charles-had followed her from which he was offering the count a during the past year ; but the deepest pinch. Only one piece of an old man's wound of this man's heart, a wound coxcombry showed out of keeping with which time was powerless to close, had the severely plain costume, and this was been inflicted when his eldest son, the a magnificent peruke, so full-flowing and idol and the image of his father, perished ostentatiously curled, as to rival, if not in the promise of his brilliant youth. to surpass, that of the Grand Monarque As the king's glance traversed the ashimself. Under that wig, brows, knotted sembly, it fell on his son Charles Emwith combinations, bent over an eye still manuel, now heir to his throne; but vehement and eager; an eye which had nothing like affection marked the cold never overlooked a weak point in an steady gaze, before which the prince enemy, nor a vantage ground for its quailed and shuffled awkwardly back master. The face was fearless, but not behind his wife, Polyxena, a princess posfrank; the lines of the thin lips secre- sessing far greater force of character than
The old man kept his her husband. Her Victor greeted respertsoldier's bearing; neither the weight of fully, and after a sharp survey of Charles's
paltry person, disfigured by a remarkably have either. With him Victor entered short neck, and an approach to a hump freely into details of his policy, which on the left shoulder-defects which his sound curiously enough in the present splendid attire only served to make more day—the means, for instance, by which conspicuous-his father turned again to he contrived to keep up ill-will among the window, with a gesture of impatient his ministers; saying that it was indisdislike, which he affected to conceal in pensable to a ruler that the servants of contemplation of the landscape before the State should not be on good terms him. From that window the eye looked among themselves, or they would join in on the palace gardens, and away over a deceiving their master. “If you would wide sweep of country, till it rested avoid being ruined,” he added, “get up where Lombardy showed on the horizon, a quarrel between your cook and your sunny and vague as a dream of ambition. steward.” More worthy of a king were The quick Frenchman, by the monarch's some words.spoken to the same man on side, following the direction of his gaze, a subsequent occasion. “I began to fancied that he held the clue to his reign in my raw youth," said the thought. “Those are the great plains monarch; “I found the resources of my of Lombardy," he said, with significant country drained ; troubles, and dangers emphasis. The old war-horse started
on every side, were my inheritance. to the echo of the trumpet; his eye Nevertheless, I have done something in flashed for a moment; but the gleam my day; I leave an army well-disciplined faded, and, after a pause, the king said and faithful, a flourishing treasury, a gravely, “I know your meaning, but you good name, and a kingdom to my sucmistake my desires.”
And how far these words were Before Count de Blondel had found a from an idle boast, a glance at the life reply, the court proceeded to the chapel, of the first King of Sardinia, through a where the great treasure of the reliquary reign of fifty years, will show. was a fragment of the Holy Winding- Until the close of the previous century, sheet. Stopping before this relic to give Savoy had been little more than a force to his words, the king whispered high-road for the French into Italy. to his companion, “ You all suppose me Louis XIV. kept an iron hand over the ambitious; but the world shall soon have Duchy, and his Cabinet imposed treaties a proof that all I desire is quiet and on its sovereign, which rendered him repose.” De Blondel bowed low, the much more the vassal than the ally of bow of mingled deference and humility, France. These were the relations of with which it behoves a courtier to re- Savoy with her powerful neighbour, ceive the confidence of a sovereign, say- when, in 1684, Victor Amadeus took ing meanwhile to himself, “So the Fox the reins of Government at the age
of of Savoy is trying to blind us; he is eighteen. The young prince possessed busy with some great project; he will those opposite qualities which mark the strike a blow yet for Milan.” And the man born for success rather than heroism; Frenchman thought over the probabili- -an eager ambition restrained by the ties in a quiet way, while he was upon coldest calculation, an impetuosity which his knees, rising from them fully de- was never suffered to overleap his prutermined to be on the qui vive, to note dence. Resolving from the first hour what way the royal designs might tend, of his reign to throw off the tyranny of and to despatch the very first informa- France, he yet appeared to accept the tion he could gain to his own master. part of vassal assigned him by her king,
This Count de Blondel was an espe- and kept his hand upon his sword, decial favourite with Victor Amadeus-his termined never to unsheath it till he confident and counsellor, as far as a man could strike a decisive blow. This attiwho never told a secret, unless it was tude he preserved until 1689, when one he wished to make public, nor took Louis, menaced by the league of Augsany counsel but his own, can be said to burg, demanded, in proof of his fidelity,
possession of Turin and. Verrua. At Verrua capitulated, Nice fell at the same this, for the first time, the duke turned time, and Louis seemed on the point of at bay, refused to give up the independ- fulfilling the oath which he had sworn ence of his country, and threw himself in his wrath, to annihilate the Fox' of into the camp of the coalition. More Savoy, and blot out his domain as an than seven years of battle and negocia- independent State from the map of tion followed. The spirit of the people Europe. But at this crisis the sympaof Savoy, and their ruler, remained un- thies of the allied powers were roused by broken through a series of disastrous their interests; they recognised the campaigns, till at length the tide of for- barrier which the duke's bravery had tune turned in their favour. Louis, opposed to the ambition of France in the finding the progress of his army in Italy Peninsula, and foresaw that, this barrier completely arrested, was fain to bribe overthrown, Louis must gain immense the duke, by the cession of Pignerol advantages. All considerations urged and Casale, to return to his old alliance; them to come with speed to the rescue ; and consequently, when the war of the England sent subsidies and promise of Spanish succession burst over Europe, in further help; Austria shook off her 1700, Victor Amadeus took arms on the apathy, and despatched an army under part of France. Louis would have been Prince Eugene, with whom, in spite of wise had he, at the outset of the war, great difficulties, Victor formed a juncshaped the duke's interests to his own, tion against the French forces, which at the same time shutting the Peninsula had well-nigh reduced Turin; and the to Austria, by the cession of Lombardy battle fought before that city, September for Savoy; an arrangement proposed by 7th, 1706, resulted in a decisive and Victor, and which, though only effected final overthrow of the besieging army, in our own time, has always been a and the subsequent weakness of the prime object of Piedmontese ambition. French king in Italy during the reBut Louis met the request with a mainder of the war of succession. How haughty refusal, and from that hour the that long struggle wore itself out through duke, while fighting with brilliant valour mere exhaustion of the belligerents, under the banner of the Bourbons, many readers know. During the negociadrew in secret nearer to the allied tions which preceded the Peace of powers.
Utrecht, Victor made a last effort to Towards the close of 1703, the French realize his cherished design upon Lomking discovered that a treaty between bardy; but Austria refused to relinquish Victor and the Emperor was actually so fair a possession, and the duke had to signed, by which the former engaged to content himself with rounding off his head the imperial army in Lombardy, States by an addition of all the territory with a force of 15,000 men, and was to promised in 1703, with the regal title receive a strong barrier on his Italian and Sicily—which island he exchanged, frontier as the price of his services. in 1720, for the securer realm of SarUnhappily for Victor, his treason had dinia. The struggle of Piedmont into been betrayed before he was prepared to a kingdom forms a striking episode in meet its consequences.
In the new the history of the past century. The year of 1704, he found himself shut into policy of Victor Amadeus, whom we his Duchy as with a ring of iron from have seen always ready to change his the troops of the coalition, by Vendôme camp, but never swerving from his endand Tessé. Vercelli and Susa were whose kingdom rose from the downfall already in their hands; the fall of Bard of Gallic power in the Peninsula, with
the by treachery had opened the valley of rise of Austrian preponderance-offers Aosta to the enemy; the gripe of the a strong contrast, yet not without points French king was on the heart of Savoy. of close resemblance, to that of his Then, after six months of unsurpassed famous descendant, born to widen the heroism and suffering, the garrison of
circlet on his brow into the crown of Italy, through the humiliation of Aus- no means sighed in vain, for her charms; tria, and the aggrandizement of Imperial till his mother, interfering, put an end France.
to the intrigue, and cooled the scandal
by a well-timed marriage between the CHAPTER II.
frail beauty and the Count St. Sebastian,
on whose death, in 1723, the king, in Up to the point we have reached, the consideration of the widow's narrowed life of the first King of Sardinia forms a circumstances, gave her an appointment page in European history; but the details about the person of his daughter-inof its tragical close have, till within the law. This the princess, to whom last few years, been buried in the secret Theresa's history was not unknown, archives of the house of Savoy. After secretly resented; and from that time the Peace of Utrecht, Victor Amadeus the lady-in-waiting and her mistress bent his energies to the execution of hated each other as only women, and those plans for
the welfare of his king- women of the south, can hate. Theresa dom which he had long meditated, but St. Sebastian was now in the autumn of found himself unable to carry into effect her charms—a period when, if we may during more troublesome times.
To- believe the Italian historian, they are wards 1730 his work seemed accom- dangerous alike to a very young or an plished. No more fortresses remained to elderly admirer. She boasted a fine be built on his French frontier ; his complexion, a noble figure, the stately treasury was overflowing; both people presence and the royal hand of a great and army were broken into strict sub- lady, the eye of velvet and fire of a jection ; even the perpetual squabbles Piedmontese beauty. Until the death with Rome, in which of late years this of Queen Anna she had kept completely somewhat undutiful son of the church aloof from the king, but after that had found his chief interest and excite- event she threw herself more in his ment, had for the present come to an way, and through her talent and subend.
And now the demons of pros- tlety, joined to her personal attractions, perity began to vex the monarch; the soon succeeded in making an impression satiety of power, that sad monotony of on the royal widower, who felt the existence which awaits those who live flame of his youth revive in her preto accomplish all their aims, aggravated
But the veteran widow was by the burden of growing ill-health, and no means to be won on the same easy goaded a restless spirit whose natural terms as the girl of sixteen ; in proporelement was change, as its natural em- tion as the lover waxed eager, the lady's ployment was the secret elaboration of virtue grew more severe, till the king some project whose unravelment should was fain to hint at the position occupied take the world by surprise. At the
At the by Madame Maintenon in the court of date of the conversation with Blondel, Versailles. The countess caught at the which our readers will recal, in the proposal of a private marriage-not that autumn of 1729, the king's mind was she purposed to content herself with busy with a double design-a design, as the role of Madame Maintenon; but he had truly said, not inspired by that step once taken, she trusted all to ambition, for he meditated an abdi
her power over the king. In the June cation in favour of his son Charles of 1730, Victor, without giving the Emmanuel, and a second marriage with names of the parties concerned, procured a lady about the court.
a dispensation from Rome, permitting a The beautiful Theresa Canale di Knight of St. Maurice-of which Order Cumiana, a daughter of one of the noblest he was grand-master-himself a wihouses of Savoy, had been thirty years dower, to marry a widow ; and on the before maid-of-honour to the Duchess 12th of August, his marriage with Dowager. There were rumours that in Theresa St. Sebastian was solemnised in those days the duke had sighed, and by strict privacy at the church of Valentino,