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of vanity, there indeed Age comes, a thrice unwelcome uest. Put him off. Thrust him back. Weep for the early days:
you have found no happiness to replace their joys. Mourn for the trifles that were innocent, since the trifles of your manhood are heavy with guilt. Fight to the last. Retreat inch by inch. With every step you lose. Every day robs you of treasure. Every hour passes you over to insignificance; and at the end stands Death. The bare and desolate decline drops suddenly into the hopeless, dreadful grave, the black and yawning grave, the foul and loathsome grave.
“But why those who are Christians and not Pagans, who believe that death is not an eternal sleep, who wrest from life its uses and gather from life its beauty,—why they should dally along the road, and cling frantically to the old landmarks, and shrink fearfully from the approaching future, I cannot tell. You are getting into years. True. But you are getting out again. The bowed fraine, the tottering step, the unsteady hand, the failing eye, the heavy ear, the tremulous voice, they will all be yours. hopper will become a burden, and desire shall fail. The fire shall be smothered in your heart, and for passion you shall have only peace.
This is not pleasant. It is never pleasant to feel the inevitable passing away of priceless possessions.
If this were to be the culmination of your fate, you might indeed take up the wail for your lost youth. But this is only for a moment. The infirmities of age come gradually. Gently we are led down into the valley. Slowly, and not without a soft loveliness, the shadows lengthen. At the worst these weaknesses are but the stepping-stones in the river, passing over which you shall come to immortal vigour, immortal fire, immortal beauty. All along the western sky flames and glows the auroral light of another life. The banner of victory waves right over your dungeon of defeat. By the golden gateway of the sunsetting,
* Through the dear might of Him who walked the waves,' you shall pass into the cloud-land, gorgeous land, whose splendour is unveiled only to the eyes of the Immortals. Would you loiter to your inheritance ?
“ You are getting into years.' Yes, but the years are getting into you,—the ripe, 'rich years, the genial, mellow years, the lusty, luscious years. One by one the crudities of your youth are falling off from you,—the vanity, the egotism, the isolation, the bewilderment, the uncertainty. Nearer and nearer you are approaching yourself. You are consolidating your forces. You are becoming master of the situation. Every wrong road into which you have wandered has brought you, by the knowledge of that mistake, so much closer to the truth.
You no longer draw your bow at a venture, but shoot suprint at the mark. Your possibilities concentrate, and your partty. cleared. On the ruins of shattered plans you find your vantageground. Your broken hopes, your thwarted purposes, your defeated aspirations become a staff of strength with which you mount to sublimer heights. With self-possession and selfcommand return the possession and the command of all things. The title-deed of creation, forfeited, is reclaimed. The king has come to his own again.
Earth and sea and sky pour out their largess of love. All the past crowds down to lay its treasures at your feet. All that the ages have of greatness and glory your hand may pluck, and every year adds to the purple vintage. Every year comes laden with the riches of the lives that were lavished on it. Every year brings to you softness and sweetness and strength. Every year evokes order from confusion, till all things find scope and adjustment. Every year sweeps a broader circle for your horizon, grooves a deeper channel for your experience. Through sun and shade and shower you ripen to a large and liberal life. The possible tomorrow has become the secure yesterday. Above the tumult and the turbulence, above the struggle and the doubt, you sit in the serene evening, awaiting your promotion.
“Come, then, 0 dreaded years! Your brows are awful, but not with frowns. I hear your resonant tramp far off, but it is sweet as the May-maidens' song. In your grave prophetic eyes I read a golden promise. I know that you bear in your bosom the fulness of my life. Veiled monarchis of the future, shining dim and beautiful, you shall become my vassals, swift-footed to bear my messages, swift-handed to work my will. Nourished by the nectar which you will pour in passing from your crystal cups, Death shall have no dominion over me, but I shall go on from strength to strength and from glory to glory."
AN ANGELIC VISITANT TO MARGUERITE DE LA VALOIS QUEEN OF VALOIS.—“One night, in the Autumn or Winter of 1549, whi e she was asleep, a beautiful female, clothed in white, and bearing in her hand a crown composed of every kind of flowers, appeared to her in a dream. The apparition approached her, and held up before her the crown, muttering at the same time the word "Quickly!' The queen was deeply impressed by the vision, as being a supernatural intimation of her speedy removal, and the crown as a symbol of eternal life. She ma e preparations for her death, which occurred December 21, 1549. ' It should be stated that her health had been for ome time failing.–Ladies of the Reformation, p. 377.
THE BARONESS BARBARA JULIANA VON
By William HowITT.
MADAME VON KRUDENER was at one time, the end of the great French war-the woman who excited the greatest attention in Europe. In her earlier years (she was now about fifty) she had been a greatly distinguished person in the most fashionable circles of Paris, Berlin and St. Petersburg. Her rank, her beauty, her talents and fascinating manners had given her a prestige which almost eclipsed the fame of her friend, Madame de Stael ; but at the time of the congregation of the Allied Monarchs and their armies and ministers in Paris, after the final defeat of Napoleon at Waterloo, she appeared in a new character,—new at least to those who were not well acquainted with the history of her later years. She appeared as a preacher of religion, displaying a zeal, an eloquence, an apostolic dauntlessness in singular contrast to the gaiety and freedom of her former life. She had splendid apartments in the Champs Elysée, near to the quarters of the Autocrat of all the Russias, and held prayer meetings several times in the week, which the Allied Dronarchs and their ministers and generals, the astute Talleyrand and the obstructive Metternich amongst them, attended, in which she and M. Empeytas, who might be considered her chaplain, delivered discourses or engaged in prayer, in French or German. A thousand speculations on the causes of this extraordinary influence were quickly afloat in Paris; amongst which stories of her prophecies of what had recently come to pass, and her consequent conversion of the Emperor Alexander, and her influence over his allies, the Emperor of Austria and the King of Prussia, were uppermost. It was soon confidently asserted that Madame von Krüdener dictated to the Monarchs their course of action; that she was the originator of the Camp of Virtue, and of the celebrated Holy Alliance. From that time for a long while afterwards, not only was she held to be the founder of that most unpopular alliance, but she became the subject of articles of the press throughout Europe, and especially in England, in which the wonder of the writers was amusingly mingled with a desire to make themselves merry over her reported powers of inspired eloquence and divination. In our magazines of that period, many such articles are to be found. 1 One of the most impartial and rational is that of the Gentleman's
Magazine of ten years later; and one of the most elaborate and pretentious is that of the very clever journal of its day, the London Magazine, in which Charles Lamb, Hazlitt, Bowring, Leigh Hunt, &c., wrote, and whose unfortunate editor, John Scott, was shot in a duel at Chalk Farm, originating in his severe retort on Lockhart for his most offensive personalties towards the writers of the so-called Cockney school.
On the Continent the biographical and critical notices of Madame von Krüdener have displayed the same conflicting features——the excess of partizan eulogy on the one hand, the excess of misrepresentation on the other. We have at length, I believe, obtained a just and authentic estimate of her character and actions in a handsome volume published at Bern in July of the past year, 1868, under the title of Frau von Krüdener ein Zeitgemälde. The author, of this “ Picture of the Time," I regret to say, has not favoured us with his name, probably having sufficient reasons for withholding it in the religious jealousies still existing in Switzerland in the clerical mind in connection with the very home-thrusting Christianity of Madame von Krüdener, and the expulsion of her and her minister and friends from that country. But the author, it appears from the work, is a descendant of Madame von Krüdener's, and as he has
, not only based his narrative on the best works, German and French, concerning his distinguished ancestress, but has added many private letters and facts known to the family, we may feel satisfied that this is the most complete work that we are likely to have on the subject. The writer appends a list of his printed authorities to his book, amounting to twenty, with the exception of Eynard's Vie de Madame Krüdener, in two vols.; and Empeytas's Notices sur l'Empereur Alexander I., chiefly in German. He seems very impartially to have weighed these authorities, and displays no desire to veil the faults of his heroine, nor to overstate her merits. If to the references of the author we add Brescius und Seiler, Beiträge zu einer Characteristic der Frau v. Krüdener, Berlin, 1818, and Wraxall and Wehrman's Memoires of Queen Hortense, we have the
chief memoirs and criticisms on this lady, a mass of writing which demonstrate the great interest which she excited in her day.
Let us then endeavour to sketch a brief history of this extraordinary woman, who not only preached openly and from land to land the most bold and unequivocal principles of the Christian religion, but announced to the astonished and incredulous ears of kings coming events, which at the moment appeared the mere dreams of an enthusiast, but which quickly proved themselves the most startling realities, shocks of a political earthquake which had awoke not the slightest foreboding in the acutest diplomatic minds.
Madame von Krüdener was born at Riga, on the 21st of November, 1764. She was the second daughter of Privy Counsellor von Vietinghoff, who though generally called Count Vietinghoff, had refused all titles offered to him, unvaryingly saying, “ I am Vietinghoff!” Her mother was the daughter of the celebrated Prussian diplomatist, Marshal Münnich, General Director of the Baltic harbours; a man who through his independent spirit had seen many ups and downs in his career, being at one time before a Court-martial, at another banished to Siberia, and again seen occupying the highest posts. The eldest daughter of Herr Vietinghoff was deaf and dumb, and was placed in a home for such unfortunate individuals of the aristocratic class. On this account all the more attention was bestowed on the education and social advantages of Juliana. During her early years her parents took her with them to the fashionable resort of Spa, to Paris, Rome and London. Music and dancing were taught her to the utmost perfection, and she acquired French, German, Italian and English with the correctness and
Auency almost of a native of each of these countries. French became her habitual tongue. In Paris not only the chief Russian families but also many of the most distinguished French literati frequented her father's house, as Buffon, D'Alembert, Diderot, &c. When they returned to Riga in 1779, Fraülein Vietinghoff was but fifteen, but her beauty, accomplishments and the reputation of a great heiress, made her the object of general attraction. Her appearance at that period is thus described :“She possessed an enchanting
countenance; an elegant and ready wit, with flexible features, which always expressed mind and sentiment. She was of the middle stature, beautifully formed; her blue eyes always displayed serenity, with an animation which, as Diderot expressed it, traversed the past and the future. Her brown hair fell in ringlets on her shoulders, and there was something in her person and manner that seemed new, singular and striking.”
Her high accomplishments, and the distinguished society into which Juliana von Vietinghoff had been thus early and habitually introduced, had naturally given her a keen taste for refined pleasure, and must, of necessity, greatly have fostered in her no little vanity and love of admiration. Under such circum stances almost everything tending to the happiness or wretched ness of her life's career would depend on the real engageme of her affections in her married life. This matter does not the least seem to have been considered by her parents. The attempted to bestow her on a man of great wealth and statio without troubling themselves about her consent. Her aversii to the match, however, produced so violent an illness that
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