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Feldborg would have called, “ the four naturalists. The persons appointwretched state of the world at that ed to accompany him were Mauge and juncture.” The reduced state of the Levillain, for zoology; Ledru, for bofinances, the depreciation of the funds, tany; and Reidley, gardener of the the cessation of foreign commerce, and Museum, a man of active and indefathe employment of every species of re- tigable zeal. venue and industry for the prosecu- Captain Baudin weighed anchor from tion of the war, “bella horrida bella,'' Havre on the 30th September, 1796. were serious hindrances to the project He was wrecked off the Canary Isles, of improvement. Painful contrasts but was furnished with another vessel were visible in all directions. Houses by the Spanish government, and shaped and lands of great value were annexed his course towards Trinidad. That to the Garden, and magnificent collec- island, however, had in the meantime tions were acquired; yet funds were fallen into our hands. The party, being wanting to pay the workmen, and thus unable to land, repaired first to your common potato was cultivated St Thomas, and then to Porto Rico, in beds destined for the rarest and where they remained about a year, and most beautiful of exotic flowers. Ere then returned to Europe. They enlong, however, some of the official ad- tered the port of Frecamp in June, ministrators of the Museum were call. 1798. The collections, forwarded by ed to situations in the government of the Seine, arrived at the Museum on the nation, and used their influence in the 12th of July following. favour of their favourite haunts,"lo- Never had so great a number of lic ving the spot which once they gloried ving plants, and especially of trees, in.
from the West Indies been received at At the end of the year 1794, the once; there were one hundred large Amphitheatre of the Garden was fi- tubs, several of which contained stocks nished in its present state, and in it from six to ten feet high. They had was opened, on the 25th of January, been so skilfully taken care of during 1795, the Normal School ; an extraora the passage, that they arrived in fuli dinary institution, but founded on an vegetation, and succeeded perfectly in unfeasible and visionary plan. It was the hot-houses. The two zoologists fancied that men already ripe in years, brought back a numerous collection of by a few lectures from eminent mas- quadrupeds, birds, and insects. That ters, might be rendered capable of ex- of birds, made by Maugé, was partitending instruction, and diffusing cularly interesting, from their perfect through the provinces the elements of preservation, and from the fact, that science, which very few of themselves the greater part were new to the Muhad been prepared by previous education to understand. Every reasonable In 1798, the Professors presented a man felt the impossibility of realizing Memoir to the government, exposing such a scheme, and the institution fell the wants of the Museum. The magof itself soon after. It had the good nificent collections which had been effect, however, of exciting the public received were still in their cases, liable attention and fixing it upon an esta- to be destroyed by insects, and comblishment, become, as it were, the paratively useless for want of room to type of all institutions that might be display them. There were no means formed for the study of nature. of nourishing the animals, because the
The most important event connect- contractors who were not paid refused ed with the history of the Garden to make further advances. The lions which occurred about this period, was became sulky for lack of food ; and the voyage of Captain Baudin. In 1796, even the tigers shewed symptoms of this gentleman informed the officers displeasure, and forewent their wontof the Museum, that, during a long ed cheerfulness.” The same distress residence in Trinidad, he had formed existed in 1799, which was the more a rich collection of natural history, to be regretted from the value of the which he was unable to bring away, recent collections. Of these the more but which he would return in quest important were the following :-In of if they would procure him a vessel. June, 1795, arrived the cabinet of the The proposition was acceded to by the Stadtholder, rich in every branch of government, with the injunction that natural history, and especially of 200Captain Baudin should take with him logy.' In February, al. Desfontaines
gave the Museum his collection of in- valuable of them, in order to provide sects from the coast of Barbary. In food for the remainder. Hen Pen herNovember of the same year, a collec- self was never in a greater scrape. tion was received from the Low Coun- The face of things, however, speedily tries; and that of precious stones was changed. The events of November, removed from the Mint to the Mu- 1799, by displacing and concentrating seum. In February, 1797, the Minis- power,established a new order of things, ter procured the African birds, which whose chief by degrees rendered himhad served for the drawings of Levail- self absolute, and by his astonishing lant's celebrated work. În 1798, the achievements cast a dazzling lustre on collection formed by Brocheton in the nation,
and suddenly created great Guyana, and the numerous objects of resources. The extraordinary man who animated and vegetable nature collect- was placed at the head of affairs felt ed under the tropics by Captain Bau- that his power could not be secured by din and his indefatigable associates, victory alone, and that, having made filled the hot-houses and the galleries himself formidable abroad, it was neof the Museum.
cessary to gain admiration at home by The government manifested the favouring the progress of knowledge, most unceasing and lively concern for by encouraging the arts and sciences, the establishment, and did everything and by erecting monuments which in its power to promote its interests ; should contribute to the glory and prosbut penury repressed their noble perity of the “great nation." rage," and rendered it impossible to But, the proceedings of Buonaparte furnish the necessary funds for the in the bird and beetle line being less arrangement of the collections, the re- generally known than his floating at pairs of the buildings, the payment of Tilsit, or his sinking at Waterloo, the salaries, and the nourishment of their narration will afford materials the animals. These last-named gentry for another article, which, however, were indeed placed under very trying must be postponed till next month. circumstances; and, shortly after this We shall then bring down the history period, it was even deemed necessary to of this magnificent establishment to authorize M. Delauney, Superintend- the present times, and conclude by a ent of the Menagerie, to kill the least description of its existing state.
I do not care a farthing about any relled with any one. You are going to man, woman, or child, in the world. put me in mind of my duel with CapYou think that I am joking, Jemmy; tain Maxwell. I acknowledge I fought but you are mistaken. What ! you it, and fired three shots. What then? look at me again with those honest Could I avoid it? I was no more aneyes of yours staring with wonder, gry with him, when I sent the mesand making a demi-pathetic, demi-an- sage, than I was at the moment of my gry appeal for an exception in your birth. Duelling is an absurd custom favour. Well, Jemmy, I do care about of the country, which I must comply you, my honest fellow, so uncork the with when occasion requires. The ocother bottle.
casion had turned up, and I fought of Did you ever see me out of humour course. Never was I happier than in your life for the tenth part of a se- when I felt the blood trickling over cond?--Never, so help me, God!-Did my shoulders for the wise laws of you ever hear me speak ill of another? honour were satisfied, and I was rid Í might, perhaps, have cracked a joke of the cursed trouble. I was sick of -indeed, I have cracked a good many the puppyism of punctilio, and the such in my time at a man's expense booby legislation of the seconds, and behind his back ; but never have I was glad to escape from it by a scratch. said anything which I would not say I made it up with Maxwell, who was to his face, or what I would not take an honest, though a hot-headed and from him with treble hardness of re- obstinate man-and you know I was coil, if it so pleased him to return it; executor to his will. Indeed, he dined but real bonâ fide evil-speaking was with me the very day-week after the never uttered by me. I never quar- duel. Yet, spite of this equanimity, I repeat it, that I do not care for any nonsensical matters. But that fervour human being on earth, (the present is gone. I am still outside the same ; company always excepted,) more than but inside how different ! I laugh to I care for one of those filberts which scorn the nonsense I hear vented about you are cracking with such laudable me in the clubs which I frequent. assiduity.
The zeal about nothings, the bustle Yes it is true I have borne my- about stuff, the fears and the precauself towards my family unexception- tions against fancied dangers, the inably, as the world has it. I married dignation against writings which no off my sisters, sent my brothers to the decent man thinks of reading, or colleges, and did what was fair for my against speeches which are but the mother. But I shall not be hypocrite essence of stupidity; in short, the enough to pretend to high motives for whole tempest
in a tea-pot appears to so doing. My father's death left them me to be ineffably ludicrous. I join entirely to me, and what could I do now and then, nay very often, in with them? Turn them out ? That these discussions; why should not I? would be absurd, and just as absurd Am I not possessed of the undoubted to retain them at home without treat- liberties of a Briton, invested with the ing them properly. They were my fa- full privilege of talking nonsense? mily. My own comforts would have And, if any of my associates laugh inbeen materially invaded by any other side at me, why, I think them quite line of conduct. I therefore executed right. the filial and fraternal affections in a But I have dirtied my fingers with manner which will be a fine topic of ink, you say, and daubed other peopanegyric for my obituary:. God help ple's faces with them. I admit it. the idiots who write such things! They My pen has been guilty of various to talk of motives, and feelings, and political jeux d'esprit, but let me the impulses that sway the human whisper it, Jemmy, on both sides. heart! They, whose highest ambition Don't start, it is not worth while. it is to furnish provender, at so much My Tory quizzes I am suspected of ; a line, for magazine or newspaper. Yet suspected I say, for I am not such a from them shall I receive the tribute goose as to let them be any more than of a tear. The world shall be informed mere matters of suspicion ; but of in due time, and I care not how soon, quizzes against Tories I am no more that “ Died at his house, &c. &c. thought guilty than I am of petty a gentleman, exemplary in every rela- larceny. Yet such is the case. I write tion of life, whether we consider him with no ill feeling; public men or as a son, a brother, a friend, or a citi. people who thrust themselves before zen. His heart," and so on to the end the public in any way, I just look on as of the fiddle faddle. The winding up phantoms of the imagination, as things of my family affairs, you know, is, that to throw off common-places about. I have got rid of them all; that I pay the You know how I assassinated Jack good people a visit once a-month, and ****, in the song which you transcriask them to a humdrum dinner on bed for me ; how it spread in thoumy birth-day, which you are perhaps sands, to his great annoyance. Well, aware occurs but once a-year. I am on Wednesday last, he and I supped alone. I feel that I am alone.
tete-a-tete, and a jocular fellow he is. My politics--what then? I am, It was an accidental rencounter-he externally at least, a Tory, à toute was sulky at first, but I laughed and outrance, because my father and my sung him into good humour. When grandfather (and I cannot trace my the second bottle had loosened his genealogy any higher) were so before tongue, he looked at me most sympame. Besides, I think every gentleman thetically, and said, May I ask you should be a Tory; there is an easi- a question ?-A thousand, I replied, ness, a suavity of mind, engendered provided you do not expect me to anby Toryism, which it is vain for you swer them.--Ah, he cried, it was a to expect from fretful Whiggery, or shame for you to abuse me the way bawling Radicalism, and such should you did, and all for nothing; but, hang be a strong distinctive feature in every it, let bygones be bygones—You are gentleman's character. And I admit, too pleasant a fellow to quarrel with. that, in my youth, I did many queer I told him he appeared to be under things, and said many violent and a mistake--He shook his head---emp
tied his bottle, and we' staggered of one another. They vibrate not to home in great concord. In point of gether; they are ready to enter into fact, men of sepse think not of such the same communication, with any things, and mingle freely in society-passer-by. Nay, perhaps, Hassan's as if they never occurred. Why then plan was more social. He was relieshould I be supposed to have any ved from inquiries as to the characfeeling whatever, whether of anger or ter of his table-mates. Be they fair, pleasure about them?
be they foul, they were nothing to My friends ? Where are they? Ay, him. I am torm.ented out of my life Jemmy, I do understand what that by such punctilios as I daily must pressure of my hand means. But submit to. I wonder you keep comwhere is the other? Nowhere! Ac- pany says a friend-friend! well, no quaintances I have in hundreds matter--with R. He is a scoundrelboon companions in dozens fellows he is suspected of having cheated fifto whom I make myself as agreeable teen years ago at play, he drinks ale, as I can, and whose society gives me he fought shy in a duel business, he pleasure. There's Jack Meggot--the is a Whig-á Radical, a Muggleto-bestjoker in the world-Will Thomson nian, a jumper, a moderate man, a -an unexceptionable ten-bottle-man Jacobin; he asked twice for soup, he -John Mortimer, a singer of most wrote a libel, his father was a low atrenowned social qualities--there's torney, nobody knows him in good butwhat need I enlarge the catalogue? society, &c. &c. &c. Why, what is it You know the men I mean. I live to me? I care not whether he broke with them, and that right gaily, but every commandment in the decalogue, would one of them crack a joke the provided he be a pleasant fellow, and less, drink a glass the less, sing a song that I am not mixed up with his ofthe less, if I died before morning ? fences. But the world will so mix Not one-nor do I blame them, for, me up in spite of myself. Burns used if they were ingulfed in Tartarus, I to say, the best company he was ever should just go through my usual dai- in was the company of professed ly round-keep moving in the same blackguards. Perhaps he was right. monotonous tread-mill of life, with
I dare not try. other companions to help me through, My early companions I did care as steadily as I do now. The friends for, and where are they? Poor Tom of my boyhood are gone-ay-all- Benson, he was my class-fellow at all gone !--I have lost the old fami- school; we occupied the same rooms liar faces, and shall not try for others in college, we shared our studies, our to replace them. I am now happy amusements, ourflirtations, our follies, with a mail-coach companion, whom our dissipations together. A more hoI never saw before, and never will see nourable or upright creature never ex-again. My cronies come like sha- isted. Well, sir, he had an uncle, lieudows, so depart. Do you remember tenant-colonel of a cavalry regiment, the story of Abon Hassen, in some of and at his request Tom bought a the Oriental tales? He was squan- cornetcy in the corps. I remember the dering a fine property on some hol- grand-looking fellow strutting about - low friends, when he was advised to in the full splendour of his yet unspottry their friendship by pretending ted regimentals, the cynosure of the poverty, and asking their assistance. bright eyes of the country town in It was refused, and he determined which he resided. He came to Lon
never to see them more--never to make don, and then joined his regiment. All `a friend-nay, not even an acquaint- was well for a while; but he had al
ance; but to sit, according to the cus- ways an unfortunate itch for play. In tom of the East, by the way-side, and our little circle it did him no great invite to his board the three first harm; but his new companions played passers-by, with whom he spent the high, and far too skilfully for Tom night in festive debauchery, making perhaps there was roguery, or perhaps it a rule never to ask the same per- there was not-I never inquired. At sons a second time. My life is almost all events, he lost all his ready-money. the same-true it is that I know the He then drew liberally on his family ; exterior conformation, and the pecu- he lost that too; in short, poor Tom liar habits of those with whom I as- at last staked his commission, and lost sociate, but our hearts are ignorant it with the rest. This, of course, could
not be concealed from the uncle, who I guessed it was himself. When the gave him a severe lecture, but procu- time came, which he had put off to a red him a commission in an infantry moment of almost complete darkness. regiment destined for Spain. He was I opened the door to his fearful rap. to join it without delay; but the infa- It was he—I knew him at a glance, tuated fellow again risked himself, and as the lamp flashed over his face-and, lost the infantry commission also. He uncertain as was the light, it was now was ashamed or afraid to face his bright enough to let me see that he uncle, and enlisted (for he was a splen- was squalid, and in rags; that a feardid looking young man, who was in- ful and ferocious suspicion, which stantly accepted,) as a private soldier spoke volumes, as to the life he had in the twenty-sixth foot. I suppose lately led, lurked in his side-looking that he found his habits were too re- eyes ; those eyes that a year before fined and too firmly fixed to allow him spoke nothing but joy and courage, to be satisfied with the scanty pay, and that a premature grayness had coand coarse food, and low company, of vered with pie-bald patches the once an infantry soldier. It is certain, that glossy black locks which straggled over he deserted in a fortnight after enlist- his unwashed face, or through his tatment. The measure of poor Tom's de- tered hat. gradation was not yet filled up. He I had that he asked,—perhaps more had not a farthing when he left the -in a paper in my hand. I put it twenty-sixth. He went to his uncle's into his. I had barely time to say at an hour when he knew that he “O Tom !” when he caught my hand, would not be at home, and was with kissed it with burning lips, exclaimed difficulty admitted by the servant, who “ Don't speak to me-I am a wretch !” recognized him. He persuaded him at and, bursting from the grasp with last that he meant to throw himself on which I wished to detain him, fled the mercy of his uncle, and the man, with the speed of an arrow down the who loved him,—everybody of all de- street, and vanished into a lane. Pure grees who knew him loved him,-con- suit was hopeless. Many years elapsented to his admission. I am almost sed, and I heard not of him-no one ashamed to go on. He broke open his heard of him. But about two years uncle's escritoire, and took from it ago I was at a coffee-house in the whatever money it contained -a hun- Strand, when an officer of what they dred pounds or thereabouts--and slunk called the Patriots of South America, out of the house. Heavens! what were staggered into the room. He was very my feelings when I heard this—when drunk. His tawdry and tarnished I saw him proclaimed in the newspa- uniform proclaimed the service to pers as a deserter, and a thief! A thief! which he belonged, and all doubt on —Tom Benson a thief ! I could not the subject was removed by his concredit the intelligence of my eyes or versation. It was nothing but a tisa my ears.
He whom I knew only five sue of curses on Bolivar and his asmonths before--for so brief had his sociates, who, he asserted, had seduced career been-would have turned with him from his country, ruined his prosscorn and disgust from any action de- pects, robbed him, cheated him, and viating a hair's-breadth from the high- insulted him. How true these «rea est honour. How he spent the next proaches might have been I knew not, six months of his life, I know not; but nor do I care, but a thought struck me about the end of that period a letter that Tom might have been of this arwas left at my door by a messenger, my, and I inquired, as, indeed, I did who immediately disappeared. It was of everybody coming from a foreign from him. It was couched in terms of country, if he knew anything of a man the most abject self-condemnation, and of the name of Benson.“ Do you?"the bitterest remorse. He declared he stammered out the drunken patriotwas a ruined man in character, in for- “I do," was my reply.--"Do you care tune, in happiness, in everything, and about him?" again asked the officer. conjured me, for the sake of former “I did—I do,” again I retorted. friendship, to let him have five guineas, “Why then,” said he " take a short which he said would take him to a stick in your hand, and step across to place of safety. From the description Valparaiso, there you will find him two of the messenger, who, Tom told me feet under ground, snugly wrapt up in his note, would return in an hour, in a blanket. I was his sexton myself,