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Generally the lady is passive, ready to conceive is that recorded in “Hand and Glove," by Amelia love, but not prepared to take the initiative. Edwards. The gentleman asks the lady why she Some notable instances to the contrary, however, never married, and she makes the astounding are found among our novelists. In “The Bread answer that she never had an offer, and is now too Winners,” the lady renders material assistance, in old. He thereupon proceeds in the catechism by fact is as cool as the traditional cucumber, and, al asking how old she is. She replies, with a candor though Arthur pours out words “hot as a flood of rare among women, that she is thirty-two. He molten metal," she sings to him, accompanying thereupon reflects that he himself is forty-six, and herself without missing a single note in the bass; with the coolness of a life-insurance agent, proceeds in her song accepts his proposition, accomodatingly to make a calculation as to how long she will probleads him to the nearest sofa, seats him beside her, ably live, coming to the conclusion that they would puts her arms around his neck, pressing his head to better live together the rest of their probable lives, her beating heart, kisses him, and winds up by and the bargain is forthwith made. telling him how good she means to be to him.
In Mulock's “Mistress and Maid,” the gentleman Proposal by letters is not a favorable mode among begins his proposal by asking the lady an exceednovelists, since it does not afford the dramatic fea- ingly impertinent question, to wit, “Are you entures necessary to maintain the interest of a story, gaged ?” “No,” she replies, upon which he and there is good reason to believe that "popping piously rejoins “Thank God," and then, as calmly the question " at long range is no more in favor as a professor at the blackboard explaining a mathwith ladies than with novelists. Ladies love cour ematical problem, he proceeds to disclose the state age, also proposal by word of mouth, and the letter, of his heart, with a happy result. Occasionally a since it dodges the embarrassment of a personal in novelist, in arranging the proposal, makes a startterview, has about it something of cowardice which ling innovation. In “But Yet a Woman,” the makes it distasteful; yet no less a novelist than gentleman tells the lady, "Nothing can keep you George Eliot in "Middlemarch," makes Mr. Casau from me if you love me,” which is not so startling, bon propose to Miss Brooke in a pompous letter con particularly as the lady did not want anything to taining about three thousand ems which she an keep him from her, so he took her hand, a performswers in a letter probably half as long. Almost ance which she did not resist, then received her into as bad as the letter-proposal is the proposal vicarious his arms, where, we are told, “she lay quietly, her in which the lover gets somebody else to go through eyes closed. He drew her closely and kissed her the embarrassment on his behalf; yet even this plan lips. She opened her eyes and smiled," then springhas been made entertaining by Dickens through the ing to her feet, cried, “Kneel down and pray with proposal of the immortal Barkis.
Ladies sometimes refuse immediate Very differently is the subject handled by Lamar answer, because they do not know their own mind. tine in "Genevieve," who treats it in the French In Howells' “Silas Lapham,” the lady will neither fashion. An old man asks a girl to marry his son, promise nor refuse, and at last, hearing somebody and although it was a plain, business proposal, the coming, she''presses her cheek tightly against his and young lady's “heart felt like it had opened and as flashes out of the room by one door just as her father if something were poured into it, which, like eternal enters it by another.” To the ordinary man this happiness, would never dry up." Of course she would have been as good as an acceptance, and one consented; it would never do to let that happiness would think that if the gentleman did not know it be poured out again, and the old man went away he was not fit to have a clever girl for a wife. This vicariously happy with her “Oui, Monsieur, avec proposal was, however, without tangible outcome, beauconp de plaisir."
and it is worthy of note that resultless proposals are Curiosities of novelistic proposing are numerous. generally so because of interruption. The father, In Tourgenieff's “Dimitrie Roudine,” the gentle the mother, the hostess, the ubiquitous small boy, man, after proposing, walks out, telling the lady if each and all occasionally lend a hand in spoiling the she loves him to send some one to call him, but tak young man's programme. ing the precaution to leave his hat. His foresight Thus far, with one or two exceptions, the cases is unnecessary, for she sends the servant. A fair have been those in which the answer was in the specimen of the roundabout proposal is given in affirmative. Another class must now be considered, “The Autocrat of the Breakfast Table.” The in which the lady regards it due to herself to dehero, walking with the heroine, suggests to her that cline the greatness her lover is anxious to thrust if she is willing to walk with him forever, when
It is a delicate matter to refuse a prothey come to the forks of the road she will take the posal, but according to the novelist, the ladies allong path and they will part no more. She takes ways acquit themselves with credit. It invariably the long path, and thus successfully gets rid of gives a lady much agony to refuse an offer, probaschool teaching
bly from the uncertainty of getting another, and One of the most matter-of-fact proposals on record they seldom refuse, save when either engaged or
tolerably sure of a second opportunity right away. after his rejection. As befitted the occasion, “his In Grace Litchfield's “Knight of the Black Forest," eyes were hot and dry, his voice husky.” He was the lady hesitated; "he was so good, so true, so conditionally accepted, however, upon which he safe. Could she?” She probably could, and would, piously observed, “Thank the Lord for all His merbut "just then another face came between them, a cies, and all that is within me bless the Lord.” face with more poetry, more romance, more passion From the instances given, the gentleman who has -a handsomer face." This second face was too proposal in mind and the lady who suspects somemuch. She decided she could not, and said so body is on the brink of popping the fateful ques“with great tears rolling down over her cheeks.” tion, have no doubt been able to cull much interest
Ladies never desire to hurt the feelings of the gen ing and valuable matter; interesting as showing tlemen they refuse. In “Newport,” the heroine de how the thing ought to be done ; valuable as giving clined to hear a proposal, declaring that she cannot pointers with regard to behavior when the awful explain, but that “he must not go on.” Of a dif moment arrives. It is well, however, to guard such ferent character is the lady in the “Fair Barbarian.” readers in one particular—that no matter how careWith a nice appreciation of her own gifts and graces, fully conceived the speech, or how well considered she tells her lover that she is not the person he wants the action, all will probably go for naught, for such at all; that he needs somebody weaker, but so far is the mutual embarrassment that preparation is from appreciating this kindly explanation is the gen useless; the choicely culled words are forgotten; tleman that he becomes “pale with wrath.” He the appropriately selected actions are unthought rises, so does she, and much to her credit, is "neither of; the victim blunders to his fate as exultant, confused, pale nor Aushed.” Sometimes awkwardly as though born with his hands in his the lady is represented as enjoying her triumph. pockets and his heart in his mouth. The flirt in “Upon a Cast” mortifies her suitor by The age is so scientifically exact, that, not to lose inquiring : “Does your mother know?” And upon the respect of the present generation for this treatise, his affirmative answer rejects him “with an unmoved four tables of conduct have, with infinite pains, been air, even cold and defiant." At last she bids him prepared, giving data drawn from standard novels, of leave her, which he does, “going out blindly," we the conduct of the gentleman when accepted, of the are assured, “with the cold winds rustling in his lady when accepting ; of the actions of the gentleears."
man when rejected, and of the lady when rejecting. When parting with a rejected lover, the lady is In the two first given, one hundred cases were represented as collected and dispassionate, a good taken, and the frequency of any particular phenomillustration of which is seen in "Through Night to enon in these, indicates the probability of its recurLight.” The gentleman proposed, but had offended rence in a similar number of actual proposals. For the lady, and they were to part.
instance, eighty-six per-cent of the gentlemen take “Farewell, Helen!”
the ladies in their arms after being accepted ; any “Farewell, Oswald !”
gentleman on being accepted, will, therefore, have “Forever?"
eighty-six chances in a hundred of finding the lady Forever!”
in his arms, sixty-seven chances that he will kiss A pleasing dialogue, impressive to the readers, her on the lips, and but one that his salute will be and delightful to the heart of the printer from the on the end of her nose. For further encourageamount of fat” contained in the lines.
ment, it may be stated that chances for a lump in The behavior of the lady on the occasion of reject the throat are only as fourteen to one hundred, ing a lover is more creditable than that of the gen while Buckle's “Doctrine of Averages” holds out tleman for, to tell the truth, the latter frequently the hope that only in three cases out of a hundred acts in a way that would be denominated by his fe will there be "qualms.” To the ladies it will afford male acquaintances “perfectly awful.” In “Our comfort to know that they have eighty-one chances Mutual Friend,” Headstone becomes angry when of "sinking into the gentleman's arms"; eighty-seven the lady hopes he may be happy, pounds the of being forewarned, which is to be forearmed; only stone wall until his knuckles bleed, and hopes fourteen of being "Aushed and warm," and but five he may never kill his rival; while in the “Queen of giggling and making themselves otherwise of the Regiment," the lover becomes furious with ridiculous. his lady for throwing sticks at a water lily while Cases of rejection are so rare that but fifty bona he is telling her a pretty fairy tale; "'Cease this fide refusals could be found among the standard folly,' he cried sternly, with angry, troubled eyes.” writers, and faint-hearted male lovers may take The lady was frightened and ceased, but on the spur courage on finding that in thirty-one cases out of of the moment, not knowing what else to do offered fifty, they can "rush madly away," while in only her friendship, which he did not want. Occasion seven will they probably “throw themselves on the ally, the proposal is renewed, as in “Zury," where grass,” etc., to be miserable in the presence of the the aged hero proposes again a considerable time obdurate object of their regard. The lady having
an ineligible lover will be pleased to know that in Lady is greatly surprised
4 forty-one cases out of fifty, she can rise calmly to giggles hysterically and otherwise .
5 her feet and bid him go in peace, and that there are sneezes (a) eleven chances to hope that she will find another. refers gentlemen to papa
3 The incredible labor bestowed on these tables of kisses gentleman first
6 “Proposal-phenomena," as Kant would say, leads fumbles at gloves, fan, flowers, etc.. 27 to the hope that while as guides of action they may
hides face in hands prove worthless, as sources of consolation they will struggles not to be kissed (b) be priceless.
is pale and agitated
8 is flushed and warm
14 TABULAR STATEMENT OF THE BEHAVIOR OF GEN
says “Let us pray” TLEMAN (PROPOSAL ACCEPTED).
says “Yes, but don't be a fool ” (c) Number of Cases from Standard Novels, 100.
(a) A girl under sixteen, not a precedent. Gentleman takes lady in arms
(b) A maiden forty to forty-five years old, not a precedent.
(c) A widow, not a precedent. kisses lady on lips.
TABULAR STATEMENT OF PHENOMENA OF REJECbangs
TION-GENTLEMAN'S BEHAVIOR. eyes .
Number of Cases, 50.
31 top of head
13 nose, by mistake
for a soldier edge of shawl
4 holds lady's hand
to the devil
6 weeps to some extent
9 has lump in throat
puts hands in pockets, his own
3 says "Thank God!" aloud
3 is deliriously happy.
and blows nose, his own says he is too full for utterance 5
wrings hands, his own
5 declares he cannot live without her 81
scratches head, his own . makes formal prelude
declares he will marry another
7 fidgets, pulls handkerchief, etc.
up his collar stands on one foot
down his vest two feet
throws himself on grass .
13 sits on chair, sofa, etc.
15 lies on grass, that is, reclines
4 goes on one knee
rubs his chin two knees
refuses to let her be a sister
7 TABULAR STATEMENT OF THE BEHAVIOR OF LADY
4 (PROPOSAL ACCEPTED).
be prayed for
pounds a stone wall with fist.
17 Lady sinks into arms of gentleman .
brushes dust off trousers from kneelI ing
1 rests head on gentleman's shoulder. 26
67 TABULAR STATEMENT OF PHENOMENA OF REJECknee
TION-LADY'S BEHAVIOR. clasps arms round gentleman's neck
Number of Cases, 50. weeps tears of joy, silently 6 Lady rises to her feet
41 not specified, presumweeps with gentleman
7 ably aloud
becomes sick and faint from being obliged has eyes hot and dry
4 moist and limpid
laughs in scornful derision
17 rushes from room to tell somebody .
26 knows something is coming
leaves the room in anger (pretended) 2
Lady is sorry she cannot love him
9 THE POEMS OF FRANCOIS VILLON. hopes he will find another
Although the poems of Francois Villon have been always be happy
closely studied, beautifully translated, and remain asks him if his mother knows
"the observed of all observers," it is to be doubted promises to pray for him
if they have yet been fully understood. Clément takes gentleman's hand to explain .
Marot, in his edition of 1533, declares that a man collar
should have lived in Paris in the days of Francois is calm, cold and unmoved
Villon if he would understand the full scope of his is much agitated at necessity of rejecting 7 wishes she could accept (a)
legacies and his verse (l'industrie de ses lays). And
4 tells him she must work (can't support
the father of Marot, who himself was a poet, and
learned his art at the school of Villon, was born him) tells him he is too young for her
during the lifetime of our poet. So the memory of
these things had so quickly flown that one generhe is acting like a donkey
ation did not understand allusion to people of the she loves another
8 she is engaged to another
former generation. The commentator Le Duchat 3
(whose posthumous notes were printed in 1742) tried she is unworthy of him
to point out a few facts; but till the "Biographic he wants some one that will obey him, and she is not that
Study" of M. Longnon came out in 1877, nobody kind of person
had thrown a real light on the sense of the poems. (a) Probably an omission of the novelist. This should
Even this bundle of documents, however interesting,
did not unravel much of the mystery. We learned *
a few events of the life of the poet, and the positive RUSSIA'S NATIONAL LIBRARY.
existence of the persons whose names occur in the One of the great libraries of the world is to be “Great Testament" was proved by authentic papers found in Russia, a country which is generally cred of the Record Office. But what did Villon mean? ited with being backward in education and civiliza Why did he name these persons and why did he
But the imperial library at St. Petersburg is hate them? Where lies the "point" of the farce? something of which Russia may well be proud to What was the reason of the extraordinary success make her boast. So far as outward appearances are
of the work in its time, so great that, although concerned the imperial library is a big, plain, sub Marot could not understand it, many old people stantial-looking building, with little to recommend whom he knew could quote by heart the tedious deit. The interior, however, is most excellently tails of the bequests in the "Testaments”? adapted for the purposes of a national library, and All this remained a puzzle. It could only be has good features which might advantageously be solved by a careful study of Paris and the Parisians copied. The books are extremely well arranged in the middle of the fifteenth century. An attentive and the cataloguing of them is superior to that of scrutiny of the registers of the Tax Office, of Civil the great French library or of some others one could
Parliament, of the churches, etc., has yielded quite mention. Russia's imperial library dates back to the year
interesting results. 1700, and has to-day about 1,155,000 works in it, as The first fact that strikes the patient student when well as over 26,000 manuscripts. This cannot be
he comes to know accurately the set of victims of considered bad for a "benighted country." And it is noteworthy that every facility is given for the
the poet's raillery is that half of them were more or use of these by the people of St. Petersburg, who less connected with money business. For instance : do use the library in no small measure.
Bailly, or Jehan de Bailly, was Purveyor of the Coland czarina take much interest in its increase and lege of the King's Secretaries. Blaru, or Jehan de progress, and often give their advice and help in
Blaru, was Secretary of the King, and had married connection with it. So advanced has Russia become under the benefi
the daughter of a rich changer of the Treasury. cent reign of the present czar, in respect to such
Pierre Bobignon was brother to Jehan Boubignon, educational projects as this library, that there is a Surveyor of the income of the Seal, and himself a regulation that the imperial library is to be open to clerk's clerk in the Treasury. Mademoiselle de any boy over the age of 12 years who may wish to avail himself of its help. Even the British Museum
Bruyeres was a rich old woman, the widow of a has not so far arrived at this stage of encouragement
Secretary of the King, and her daughter, Isabelle and trust for youthful students.
de Bruyeres, married, first, Regnault de Thumery, The most famous treasure of the great St. Peters who succeeded the famous Jacques Caur as Masterburg collection is the "Codex Sinaiticus," which is not
General of the Mint, and secondly, Thomas Coronly priceless, but is practically unique. The im
neille, one of the greatest Parisian bankers. Guilperial library takes the greatest care of it and guards it jealously, not even the highest officials
laume Charruau was Surveyor of the King's Salt in being allowed to remove it from its case without a
Etampes. Guillaume Colombel, “a rich and powerspecial order.
ful man," writes Jehan de Roye in his Chronicle,
was Payer of the wages of Parliament. Jehan le but that he has his own petty reason for doing it. Cornu was Secretary of the King and connected And here the documents help us to that very conwith the Treasury. Guillaume Cotin, Dean of the clusion. We know that quite early, when he was a Chapter of Notre Dame, was a most wealthy old young boy, Villon entered the house of Guillaume man, and Counsellor of the King's Exchequer held de Villon, the chaplain of St. Benedict, and that he once a year in Normandy. André Courault was became there the intimate of a young nobleman, Counsellor of the Exchequer of René, King of Sicily Regnier de Montigny (probably the nephew of anand Duke of Anjou, and Counsellor of the Justice of other chaplain of St. Benedict). The father of the Treasury under Louis XI. Michault Culdoe Regnier had been an elect in the matter of the taxes was a rich banker who made much profit of the con for Paris, and had married Colette de Canlers, sister fiscated goods of Jacques Cour. Jehan de la Garde to Charles and Jacques de Canlers, both clerks in was a wealthy grocer, and particular grocer to the the Exchequer. The Canlers were a noble famliy, College of the King's Secretaries. Girard Gossouin, with many high relations. After the death of Regsurveyor of the King's salt at Rouen, later became nier's father, the uncle of the boy, Charles de Cana powerful speculator on salt in Paris ; Denis Hesse lers, took him to his house; and among the friends lin elect in matter of the taxes in Paris; Jacques of this family, where Regnier was brought up, we James, the son of the wealthy Master of the Works find Pierre de Saint-Amand, Jehan de Blaru, and of the City of Paris and of the church of Notre Jehan de Cornu, who were all connected with the Dame; Michel Jouvenel, a very rich man, one of the Treasury, and who played an eventful part in the elect in matter of the war-taxes for the diocese of life of Villon. (Their names occur already in the Clermont, and brother to the Chancellor of France; “Little Testament," anno 1456.) Young Villon Nicolas Laurens, a powerful merchant of salt and came to know all these masters of the Treasury, of money-changer; Nicolas de Louviers, Receiver of the Exchequer of the Taxes, in the house of Charles the Taxes in Paris and Counsellor of the Exche de Canlers. And the mention of some clerk's clerk, quer; Pierre Mairebeuf, a dealer in cloth, probably as of Robin Trascaile (the true name of Robin associated with the business of Nicolas de Louviers; Troussecaille), or of Pierre Baubignon (the right Jehan Marceau, Dean of the Grande Confrérie aux spelling of Bobignon), points to the fact that FranBourgeois, a very powerful usurer and money cois Villon was their comrade, and started in life as lender, who had dangerously meddled in things of a clerk's clerk in the Treasury. We know particumoney and jewelry with Henry VI., King of Eng. larly that Pierre de Saint-Amand kept a number of land, with Charles, Duke of Orleans, and with
young clerks; and Villon had a grudge against his
wife, an old woman, who, as he says, treated him Louis XI., King of France; Ythier Marchant, Mas
"as a beggar.” So we may fairly admit that Villon ter of the Private Treasury of Charles, Duke of was for a time the clerk of master Pierre de SaintGuyenne; Merle, or Jehan de Merle, the greatest Amand. changer and banker in Paris, who dealt for the Duke Much as this does to account for the precise of Brittany and the Duke of Orleans, also controller
science of legal and technical words which is dis
played in the "Testaments," it still better explains of the King's Exchequer; Jehan and Francois Perd
the knowledge that the author had of many a Paririer, the sons of Guillaume Perdrier, changer and sian banker, and also the hatred he felt for them, clerk of Antoine Raguier, Treasurer of the Wars ; poor and despised "beggar-clerk' as he was. Jehan and Jacques Raguier, of the family of An
the age when the body is brimming with life, and toine Raguier, Treasurer of the Wars ; Guillaume
the soul overflowing with aspirations to everything,
the unhappy boy thought he could be an Alexander, du Ru, a rich grocer and chandler in Paris; Pierre
or conquer Dido, queen of Carthage, for his wife. de Saint-Amand, clerk of the Treasury; Charlot But not a groat had he in his pocket. And beside him Taranne, a wealthy old man, son of Jehan Taranne, Jeahn Marceau, or Jehan de Merle, or Thibault de changer under Charles VI.; Robin Troussecaille, a
Vitry were summing accounts with master Pierre de clerk's clerk of the Treasury; Robin Turgis, mes
Saint-Amand, and weighing full bags of gold ducats.
poor Villon went astray. If he fell into senger of the Treasury (he also kept the tavern of
the temptation, surely he was led to it. This conthe “Pine Apple''); Guillaume Vollant, a specu nexion with the maternal family of Regnier de lator in salt; Thibault de Vitry, brother to the Montigny explains both the errors of his life and the Master-General of the Mint, uncle of the Chancellor,
sarcasms of his book.
When the “Great Testament" came to be read at himself general of the Justice of the Taxes, a most
large, the people thought it vindicated their own powerful old man: Jehan Balue, who later became
wrongs. There was a universal hatred in the latter Cardinal Balue, was his clerk, and we read in the part of the fifteenth century against surveyors of the “Journal de Jehan Maupoinct” that Thibault de King's salt, bankers, collectors of the taxes, and Vitry introduced him to the favor of Louis XI.
usurers. In a few days the verses of Villon, who
abused many of these, were popular. And so the Now arises the question, How did Francois Villon
poet who had only put his own grief into words unknow all these high masters ? For we may be cer wittingly achieved the summum of art: he had also tain that they played some part in his life. Villon put into words the grief of the people. is an egotist among poets, and never names a man
MARCEL SCHWOB, in Literature.