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reads like a leaf torn out of Gil Blas, and carries
one far far back, to Salamanca and the days
of duennas and waiting-maids and roving
youths out on adventures, soldiers without
a captain, and the whole loose jolly world of
that time. Cousin Jacques was next made
an abbé. It was his best guarantee for respectable
bread and meat; and was the fashion.
Whether the young priest kept the vows which
usually accompanied that coronal shaving, was
another matter. The world expected him to
break them, and the world was not disappointed
at least in Cousin Jacques's case. When
an abbé, he went to Ferney to read a little poem
to Voltaire: every writer went to Ferney then,
to read poems to Voltaire. The patriarch was
not difficult. " Monsieur l'Abbé," he said,
"you must give this pretty trifle to the world."
So, henceforth Cousin Jacques's career was
decided on, and he became a literary man.

He was, strangely enough, connected with
the Robespierres, at two points: he had been
Maximilian's schoolfellow, and had beaten him
in some boyish game, " for which he would
never be forgiven," said he, full of dread, when
Robespierre's name was the greatest power in
France: and he had been Augustin's tutor.
Indeed, he was strangely mixed up with the
Revolutionist party altogether; he, the gay timid
light-hearted Rabelais of the time, of all men
least fitted for such company. Before the evil
days came, Cousin Jacques made all Paris ring
with his inexhaustible wit and good humour. He
wrote his famous periodical, The Moons; he
wrote The Island of Cataplasms, The Comet's
Ball, The Two Parises, one on the top of the
other, the History of the musician Gobinchelli,
and a host of oddities of the like character. In
one of his Moons, he drew up the programme of
a certain menagerie which he desired to establish.
A wag took him at his word, and one day
half Paris ran at the heels of a magnificent ass,
which was paraded through the streetsred
ribbons floating at its tail, crape rosettes at its
ears, two moons of gilt copper at its nostrils,
and, on its forehead, a green paper with these
words in monstrous gilt letters: " Ass for
Cousin Jacques." He was the ancestor of
Charivari, of our Punch, and the modern
humorous almanacks; and once, when about to
translate his office from one street to another,
he published a minute description of his route,
and gave an inventory of the chairs and tables
he was going to carry with him, adding, " It is
not necessary to illuminate." He wrote one
pretty sentimentality, which was immensely
successful, called Les Ailes de l'Amour, and which
he applauded as loudly as any one; coming to
the foot-lights to receive the praises of the
audience, and looking so like an overgrown
schoolboy, that it was the mot of the day to say:
"Cousin Jacques makes better verses than
bows." In fact, he was quite one of the floating
notabilities of the time, one of the literary
powers, till the Revolution came and spoiled all.

Reason or none, Cousin Jacques, the popular
amiable light-hearted humorist, who cared for
nothing but love and laughter, must be made
into an earnest republican. The people who
loved him, and had everything their own way,
dragged him to the Hôtel de Ville, to write the
history of the siege of the Bastille. " I am a
song-writer, not an historian," protested the
poor poet; but they never heeded. So, he sat
down and wrote his history phrase by phrase,
repeating each sentence before he wrote it, or,
rather, giving a choice of several, and preserving
only those which were chosen by the majority.
Surely never was a history written in such
manner, before or since! Fifty-six thousand
copies of this history were sold for the benefit
of the besiegers' families; but all the good which
Cousin Jacques got out of the siege or the history,
was a couple of enormous bullets, and an
old cuirass weighing thirty-two pounds. He
was, however, made one of the company of the
Bastille Volunteers, and decorated with the ribbon
of the ordera tricolor, bearing a bastille
reversed. Also he received the visits of, at various
times, and had to entertain, seventeen thousand
of the conquerors: each of whom pretended that
he had been the principal actor on that hateful
day; and to all of whom Cousin Jacques had to
listen, and appear as if he believed. The earnest
work of the Revolution stopped poor Cousin
Jacques's play. His Moons suffered a perpetual
eclipse, and his affairs fell into sad disorder.
From comparative affluence he fell down to
indigence, grew sad and mournful, and overcome
with terror and terrible forebodings. At times
he scarcely seemed master of himself, and wrote
to André Dumont, to ask that representative of
the people " why he hated him so much?" His
tears and his terrors, his fears and his agonies,
at last wearied the not very patient executive.
He was arrested by the Committee of Public
Safetyto give him, as it were, something to be
sad for. It is not supposed that any harm was
intended this unnerved macaronic Jeremiah;
but he believed that every one was thirsting for
his blood, and he suffered horribly. He escaped,
and was pursued; finally took refuge with a
friend, who hid him in a cupboard, where he was
left for forty-eight hours without food, light, or
water, surrounded by people who would have
given him up to the police, and not daring so
much as to sneeze, nor yet to sleep, for fear he
should snore. He never quite recovered this
shock, and died in 1811, a mournful long-visaged
broken-down old man. Cousin Jacques was a
sad fellow. True to his beginnings, he was for
ever in love, though he was married to a woman
whom he declared he adored. He made no
provision for his daughters whom he idolised, and
took especial care that, during his lifetime, they
should not suffer by any one like to himself,
for he never allowed any man whomsoever to
enter his house. After his death they married,
and married well; and it is to be hoped
were less deceived than their mother before
them. Cousin Jacques was witty, gay, good-
natured, and good-hearted, but his habits and
morals were simplyuntranslatable. He was
the last of his school: and the world has

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