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She was charged with two missions; one
from the prisoners, and the other from the
emigrant population.

Fifteen years previously, the prisoners had
received an official promise that, if well-
conducted, they should have their wives sent
out to them. In the first instance, the
promise was performed; but the objection then
raised by the squatters against wives and
children living on their stations, put a stop
to a measure of no less policy than justice.

Among the emigrants were numbers who
had been compelled, by the management of
the agents of the Emigration Commissioners,
to leave children behind, to the extent of
some hundreds, cared for by their respective
parishes. Armed with precise statements of
the facts of these cases, the friendly missionary
travelled, day by day, backwards and
forwards, in a hard snowy winter, between her
lodgings and the Home Office, and the
Emigration Commissioners' Office, until, at length,
the orders were given for the sending out of
all these wives and children.

The idea of family colonisation naturally
arose out of successful efforts for the
reunion of families. The Society started from
a single subjecta discontented Chartist
carpenter, whose mother was in the
workhouse. He was taught (and his wife with
him) how to save two shillings and sixpence
a-week, how to get his mother out of the
workhouse, how to pay, with the aid of a
loan, their passage to Australia. To ascertain
whether self-supporting emigration could
exist in the face of Government free passages,
the crowds who, in 1848, the year of famine,
besieged the Emigration Commissioners' Office,
were closely observed day after day. In
time, a body of emigrants was collected; a
few influential names of patrons and
promoters were got together; and a little money
was raised. Thus, then, it has come to pass,
that since the scheme of family colonisation
was announced, in May, 1850, by loans,
varying from one to six pounds (averaging
less than three pounds)—without any of the
usual expensive machinery of Colonising
Societiesone thousand emigrants, of narrow
means and independent spirit, have been
forwarded to Australia.


"TIME and chance," as King Solomon says,
"happen to all; " and this is peculiarly the
case in the matter of fame and reputation.
Many who have done much, and have enjoyed
a fine prospect of a name that should survive
them, have scarcely earned an epitaph; whilst
others, by a mere accident, have rolled
luxuriously down to posterity, like a fly on the
chariot-wheels of another's reputation. "The
historic muse " is a very careless jade, and
many names with which she has undertaken
to march down to latest times, have been lost
by the way, like the stones in the legend that
fell through the Devil's apron when he was
carrying them to build one of his bridges.
The chiffonniers of literature pick up these
histories from time to time; sometimes they
are valuable, sometimes only curious.
Mademoiselle de Gournay's story is a curiosity.

Marie de Jars, Demoiselle de Gournay, was
born at Paris in 1566. She was of a noble
and ancient family; her father, at his death,
left what in those days was a handsome
fortune; but Mademoiselle de Gournay, his widow,
had an unfortunate mania for building, which
devoured it. When she took her place beside
her husband in his grave, she left little but
mortgages behind her.

Judging from the portraits prefixed to her
works, Marie de Jars must in her youth have
possessed some personal attractions, in spite
of her detractors: her figure was of middle
height, her face rather round than oval, but
with a pleasing expression, and adorned with
a pair of large black eyes and a pretty little
mouth. Her own account of herself, in a
copy of verses, addressed to her friend
Mademoiselle de Ragny, is, that she was of a very
lively and obliging disposition. That she was
obliging and kind-hearted, many circumstances
of her life could prove; but for liveliness, we
are inclined to think that she flattered
herself: nothing can be further removed from
liveliness than her worksthey are
pompously serious.

Her father died when she was very young,
leaving five children: two elder and two
younger than Marie. The eldest daughter
married; the son entered the army; and Marie
the eldest of the remaining three, seems to
have been left pretty much to follow her own
devices. From her earliest years she had a
passion for reading, and showed a wonderful
sagacity in the choice of books: her favourites
were Amyot, Ronsard, and Montaigne; to
these authors she afterwards added Racan.
She was so faithfully exclusive in her taste,
that she never cared to read any others. It
was in 1580 that Montaigne published the
two first volumes of his Essays. Marie de
Jars was scarcely fourteen when they fell
accidentally in her way, and her admiration
amounted to enthusiasm: she sent a friend to
tell Montaigne, who was then in Paris, how
much she admired him, and the esteem in
which she held his book. This proceeding
from so young a person, who was moreover
"fort demoiselle," flattered Montaigne very
sensibly. He went the very next day to pay
a visit to Mademoiselle de Gournay: her
conversation and enthusiasm won the heart of
the philosopher. In their first interview
Montaigne offered her the affection of a father
for a daughter, and Mademoiselle de Gournay
proudly assumed the title of the adopted
daughter of Montaigne; and in a letter
addressed to him, which is still to be seen, she
says, " that she feels as proud of that title as
she should be to be called the mother of the