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in accordance with certain strict conditions,
his little Rocket won the prize: how the
fulfilment of his utmost assertions raised
Stephenson to the position of an oracle in
the eyes of the public: how he nevertheless
went on improving the construction of both
rails and locomotives: how the great railway
system, of which the foundations were laid
patiently by him, was rapidly developed:
how, when success begot a mania, he was as
conspicuous for his determined moderation
as he had before been for his determined zeal:
how he attained honour and fortune; and
retired from public life, again to grow enormous
fruits or vegetables in his garden
pineapples instead of leeksagain to pet
animals and watch the birds' nests in the
hedgeswe need not tell in detail; Mr.
Smiles's excellent biography tells it all.

One of the chief pleasures of his latter days
was to hold out a helping hand to poor
inventors who deserved assistance. He was a
true man to the last, whom failure never drove
to despair; whom success never elated to
folly. Inch by inch he made his ground
good in the world, and for the world. A
year before his death in eighteen hundred
and forty-eight, somebody, about to dedicate
a book to him, asked him what were his
"ornamental initials." His reply was, "I
have to state that I have no flourishes to
my name, either before or after; and I think
it will be as well if you merely say, George


writer of biographies and novels, who lived
and worked during the first half of the
eighteenth century. He prospered sufficiently
well, as a literary man, to be made secretary
to the French Academy, and to be allowed
to succeed Voltaire in the office of
historiographer of France. He has left behind him,
in his own country, the reputation of a lively
writer of the second class, who addressed the
public of his day with fair success, and who,
since his death, has not troubled posterity to
take any particular notice of him.

Among the papers left by Duclos, two
manuscripts were found, which he probably
intended to turn to some literary account.
The first was a brief Memoir, written by
himself, of a Frenchwoman, named
Mademoiselle Gautier, who began life as an actress
and who ended it as a Carmelite nun. The
second manuscript was the lady's own account
of the process of her conversion, and of the
circumstances which attended her moral
passage from the state of a sinner to the state
of a saint. There are certain national
peculiarities in the character of Mademoiselle
Gautier and in the narrative of her conversion,
which are perhaps interesting enough
to be reproduced with some chance of pleasing
the reader of the present day.

It appears, from the account given of her
by Duclos, that Mademoiselle Gautier made
her appearance on the stage of the Théâtre
François in the year seventeen hundred and
sixteen. She is described as a handsome
woman, with a fine figure, a fresh complexion,
a lively disposition, and a violent temper.
Besides possessing capacity as an actress, she
could write very good verses, she was clever
at painting in miniature, and, most remarkable
quality of all, she was possessed of
prodigious muscular strength. It is recorded
of Mademoiselle, that she could roll up a
silver plate with her hands, and that she
covered herself with distinction in a trial of
strength with no less a person than the
famous soldier, Marshal Saxe.

Nobody who is at all acquainted with the
social history of the eighteenth century in
France, need be told that Mademoiselle Gautier
had a long list of lovers,—for the most
part, persons of quality, marshals, counts,
and so forth. The only man, however, who
really attached her to him, was an actor at
the Théâtre François, a famous player in his
day, named Quinault Dufresne. Mademoiselle
Gautier seems to have loved him with
all the ardour of her naturally passionate
disposition. At first, he returned her affection;
but, as soon as she ventured to test
the sincerity of his attachment by speaking
of marriage, he cooled towards her
immediately, and the connection between them
was broken off. In all her former love-affairs,
she had been noted for the high tone which
she adopted towards her admirers, and for
the despotic authority which she exercised
over them even in her gayest moments. But
the severance of her connection with Quinault
Dufresne wounded her to her heart. She
had loved the man so dearly, had made so
many sacrifices for him, had counted so fondly
on the devotion of her whole future life to
him, that the first discovery of his coldness
towards her broke her spirit at once and for
ever. She fell into a condition of hopeless
melancholy, looked back with remorse and
horror at her past life, and abandoned the
stage and the society in which she had lived,
to end her days repentantly in the character
of a Carmelite nun.

So far, her history is the history of
hundreds of other women before her time
and after it. The prominent interest of her
life, for the student of human nature, lies in
the story of her conversion, as told by
herself. The greater part of the narrative
every page of which is more or less
characteristic of the Frenchwoman of the eighteenth
centurymay be given, with certain suppressions
and abridgments, in her own words.
The reader will observe, at the outset, one
curious fact. Mademoiselle Gautier does not
so much as hint at the influence which the
loss of her lover had in disposing her mind to
reflect on serious subjects. She describes
her conversion as if it had taken its rise in a