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end of the fragment, and roots will be sent forth from its lower end; and ultimately a complete plant will be formed. These facts, which are well known to agriculturists, exhibit only the capabilities of vegetative power under circumstances which do not occur in the natural course of things, but have been the effect of human interference.
LOUIS LE GRAND.
Louis XIV. of France, whose subjects bestowed upon him the title affixed to this paper, was a monarch marked by so many striking points of character, and spent a long life in circumstances altogether so remarkable, that we have resolved to make him the subject of a brief sketch. Born in the year 1638, he succeeded his father in his fifth year, and thus may be said to have scarcely ever known any other condition in life than that of a sovereign. His long reign of seventy-two years, during which Britain was governed by no fewer than eight successive potentates, was spent in almost uninterrupted wars, the chief purpose of which was his own aggrandisement; and few periods of equal duration in the history of any country, have produced so many men eminent in arms, in arts, and in letters. But the expenses of this monarch impoverished his country ; his policy enslaved it ; and his own personal qualities, so far from being its honour, are in many respects its disgrace. The grand aim of Louis was to cause himself to be thought something abovo mortality-a kind of demigod; and in whatever way this end was to be brought about, whether by the extension of his dominions, or the cultivation of personal dignity, he was alike indefatigable. As a monarch, he was, or rendered himself, absolute; he had not even ministers, except of a merely subordinate kind. But on the death of his first wife, a Spanish princess, in 1683, he formed a secret matrimonial connection with Madame Maintenon, a beautiful woman, whose former husband was the celebrated Scarron, the novelist; and this person, in time, became a kind of prime-minister. The Duke de SaintSimon, in his memoirs, gives the following insight into the qualities and habits of Louis :
* Among the conditions necessary for these evolutions of organs are-first, the previous accumulation of a store of nourishment in the detached fragment, adequate to supply the growth of the new parts; and, secondly, the presence of a sufficient quantity of circulating sap, as a vehicle for the transmission of that nourishment. It has been found that when these conditions are present, even the leat of an orange-tree, when planted in a favourable soil, sends down roots, and is capable of giving origin to an entire tree. According to the observations of Mirandola, the leaf of the Bryophyllum, when simply laid on moist ground, strikes out roots, which quickly pene. trate into the soil. The leaves of the monocotyledonous plants often present the same phenomenon.
Though a young man and a king, Louis was not altogether without experience. He had been a constant frequenter of the house of the Countess de Soissons, the niece of Cardinal Mazarin, the resort of all that was distinguished, both male and female, that the age could produce, and where he first caught that fine air of gallantry and nobleness, which characterised him ever afterwards, and marked even his most trifling actions. For though the talents of Louis XIV. were in fact rather below mediocrity, he possessed a power of forming his manners and character upon a model, and of adhering to it, which is often more valuable in the conduct of life than the very greatest abilities. By nature, he was a lover of order and regularity; he was prudent, moderate, secret— the master both of his actions and his tongue. For these virtues, as they may be called in a king, he was perhaps indebted to his natural constitution; and if education had done as much for him, certainly he would have been a better ruler. He had a passion, however, or rather a foible—that was vanity, or, as it was then called, glory. No flattery was too gross for him— incense was the only intellectual food he imbibed. Independence of character he detested: the man who once, though but for an instant, stood up before him in the consciousness of manly integrity
of purpose, was lost for ever in the favour of the king. He detested the nobility, because they were not the creatures of his breath-they had their own consequence; his ministers were always his favourites, because he had made them, and could unmake them; and because, moreover, they had abundant opportunities of applying large doses of the most fulsome flattery, and of prostrating themselves before him, of assuming an air of utter nothingness in his presence, of attributing to him the praise of every scheme they had invented, and of insinuating that their own ideas were the creatures of his suggestions. To such a pitch was this intoxication carried, that he who had neither ear nor voice might be heard singing, among his peculiar intimates, snatches of the most fulsome parts of the songs in his own praise.
His love of sieges and reviews was only another form of this his only enthusiasm-his passion for himself. A siege was a fine opportunity for exhibiting his capacity; in other words, for attributing to himself all the talents of a great general. Here, too, he could exhibit his courage at little expense of danger, for he could be prevailed upon, as it were with difficulty, to keep in the background, and by the aid of his admirable constitution, and great power of enduring hunger, thirst, fatigue, and changes of temperature, really exhibit himself in a very advantageous point of view. At reviews, also, his fine person, his skill in horsemanship, and his air of dignity and noble presence, enabled him to play the first part with considerable effect. It was always with a talk of his campaigns and his troops that he used to entertain his mistresses, and sometimes his courtiers. The subject must necessarily have been tiresome to them, but it was in some measure redeemed by the elegance and propriety of his expressions : he had a natural justness of phrase in conversation, and told a story better than any man of his time. The talent of recounting is by no means a common quality: he had it in perfection.
*If Louis had a talent for anything, it was for the management of the merest details. His mind naturally ran on small differences. He was incessantly occupied with the meanest minutiæ of military affairs: clothing, arms, evolutions, drill, discipline - in a word, all the lowest details. It was the same in his buildings, his establishments, his household supplies : he was perpetually fancying that he could teach the men who understood the subject, whatever it might be, better than anybody else, and they, of course, received his instruction in the inanner of novices. This waste of time he would term a continual application to business. It was a description of industry which exactly suited the purposes of his ministers, who, by putting him on the scent in some trivial matter, respecting which they pretended to receive the law from him, took care to manage all the more important matters according to their own schemes.
"A circumstance which deserves attention, is the residence of this monarch at a distance from his capital. It was not without its design or its influence in the establishment of the absolute sovereignty, which was the favourite project of Louis XIV. From Paris he had been driven in his youth, and the memory of his flight was a bitter subject : there he never considered himself safe, besides being exposed to the observation of spirits of every description. At a court separate from the capital, he had his courtiers more immediately under his eye; absences could be easily marked, and cabals crushed in their infancy. Then came the ruinous taste for building, which it was more easy to indulge at Versailles or Marly than in the immediate neighbourhood of a crowded capital. His changes of residence were chiefly made for the purpose of creating and maintaining a number of artificial distinctions, by which he kept the court in a constant state of anxiety and expectation. It was the fashion to request to accompany him, to desire apartments near him; and according as these boons were granted, so was the courtier humiliated or exalted. When he resided at St Germain, Versailles served this purpose; when at Versailles, Marly; and though at Trianon the whole court were at liberty to present themselves, yet even
there a distinction was made—that ladies might there eat with the king; and particular ones were pointed out to receive the honour as each meal arrived. The schemes of this kind were infinite, and kept his court in a state of perpetual excitement and anxiety to please.
The just-au corps à brevet was an invention of the same kind: it was a uniform of blue, lined and turned up with red, and red waistcoat, embroidered with a grand pattern of gold and some silver. A small number only were permitted to wear this dress: it was one of the highest favours, and every means of interest were set on foot to obtain it. They who wore it, were alone permitted to accompany the king from St Germain to Versailles without being invited.
One of his perpetual cares, was to be well informed of everything that was passing everywhere-in places of public resort, in private houses, the facts of ordinary intercourse, and the secrets of families. He had spies and reporters everywhere, and of all classes: some, who were ignorant that their information was meant for him; others, who knew that it ultimately reached him; a third set, who corresponded directly with him; and a fourth, were permitted to have secret interviews with him, through backstairs. Information conveyed in this form was the ruin of many a man who never knew from what quarter the storm came. It was he who first invested the lieutenant de police with his dangerous functions, and which went on increasing: these officers were the most formidable persons about the court, and were treated with most decided consideration and attention by every one, even by the ministers themselves. There was not an individual, not excepting the princes of the blood, who had not an interest in preserving their good-will, and who did not try to do it. The opening of letters was another of the shameful means of procuring information. Two persons, Pajoute and Roullier, farmed the post, and apparently on this condition, for no efforts could ever succeed in displacing them or in augmenting their rent. This department of espionnage was performed with a most