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further worn by poor curly-headed Robert's
pitiful wail.

This is not poverty under its worst aspect; it
is very very far from that. There is no drunken
husband or lazy wife to waste the earnings of labour;
there is industry, thrift, cleanliness: a
successful struggle to be good, honest, pious,
decent, orderly, under very hard conditions. There
is no special want; there are regular wages, and
not bad wages; there is the father toiling night or
day; there are two boys at constant work, and a
good mother, able and willing to make them a
good home; yet all the possibilities of health,
and natural growth, and every-day comfort, are
defeated in a dwelling which the most scrupulous
care can never render what a dwelling of human
beings ought to be.

Instead of sun-bonnets for Central Africa,
could any fund be raised to enable penurious or
indigent landlords to put kitchen ranges in the
kitchens of their labouring tenants, and to bribe
them to pull down their pest-houses, and erect
dwellings in which fever will not always be at
war with youth and strength, and always getting
the victory?


THERE they lie, like buried leaves, or dead
twigs without buds or roots; things which
have had their uses and their hour, but which
have gone down now to eternal forgetfulness.
Who thinks of them? Who knows even the
names of Dorat, of Cubières, of Olympe de
Gouges, of le Cousin Jacques, of De la Morlière,
of Grimod de la Reynière? Who takes note of
the fret and fever of their lives, or marks the
spot where their feet slipped, or where they
grasped firmer hold of the great ladder of their
fortunes? Yet they were personages in their
day; they represented certain forms of popular
life, and the thoughts that then governed
society; they were giant weeds flung up on the
top of the floating scum: unluckily for themselves
and humanity, some of them drifted into
the pastures where the good food lay, and for
a time were classed with things wholesome,
sweet, and sound. Lately, M. Charles Mouselet
has uncovered their dust-hidden tombs, and
read us the secrets they enclose. They are sad
secrets, some of them; and the saddest are
those where the laughter is loudest.

The group of Despised and Forgotten which
he has given us belong to the end of the
eighteenth century; just when the old was
passing into the new, when the florid follies of
the shepherdesses and the loose undress
of the goddesses of the Renaissance were
being merged in the tricolor of the Convention
and the red woollen of the Carmagnole.
The mixture of court frivolity and republican
fervour which they display, is beyond
measure wonderful.

Take the life of the poet Cubières as an
example. What a strange story that was!
Strange in the excessive levity, want of self-
respect, and universal shoe-blacking which it
showsstrange, in the sudden change from
Doris and Chloe to Brutus and Virginia, from
Dorat to Marat, without an apparent thought
that coat-turning was a dishonouring employment,
or that a man's life had any nobler aim
than that of swimming with the stream, and
feathering his nest from all sorts of birds.
Cubières was one of the least worthy of his
class: and his class was a bad one. One morning,
Dorat, the greatest love poet of that time,
was at his toilet dressing for an appointment.
A young abbé was introduced. He had
a small scroll in his hand, and came, he said, to
solicit the great man's literary patronage, and to
read to him some verses, " the children of his

'' Where do you come from?" says Dorat,
powder-puff in hand, leaning over the mirror.

"From Saint-Sulpice " smirks our young
abbé of twenty, " whence my love poetry procured
me the honour of an expulsion only
yesterday evening."

"One recommendation," says Dorat, smiling.
"And now, what will you do?"

"Make verses," says our abbé, with a satisfied

"Good. And then?"

"Make verses, Monsieur Dorat."

"You are from the south?" says Dorat, with
a slight sneer.

"I am."

"Your name?"

"Michel de Cubières."

By this time the poet-mousquetaire was
powdered. While buckling on his sword he
rapidly gave his young companion three bits of
excellent advice: the first was, to exchange
that vile black coat of his for one in silk with
rose-coloured spots; the second, to be openly
favoured by women of condition; the third, to
study his, Dorat's, works, " models of perfumed
grace and delicacy," after which he could not go
wrong. He then sent him away; giving him a
commission to do some fluttering little trifle for
the Almanach des Muses.

In due season, the young abbé returned to the
master's house, this time in a coat all laced and
embroidered, and with the curliest of tresses
covering his recent tonsure. He was an apt
scholar, and Dorat had very little trouble with
him. This first lesson in tailoring and hairdressing
had been admirably learnt; the next,
on the good graces of the women of condition,
had to come. It was not difficult, and took
even less time than the former. Madame Fanny
de BeauharnaisDorat's own especial Fanny
undertook this part of the young abbé's
education: and Dorat was too well-bred to
complain. M. de Beauharnais counted for nothing
in the question; the contest resting only
between the two lovers, by whom it was carried
on in the most gentlemanlike style of the
period. Finally, Madame Fanny settled the matter
by publicly installing the disgraced priest as
her favourite, in the room of the verse-making
soldier; but Dorat got secret indemnification,

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