Beacon Lights of History, Volume 09 eBook

John Lord
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 265 pages of information about Beacon Lights of History, Volume 09.
Talleyrand uttered his concise and emphatic sentences; here Lafayette won hearts by his courteous manners and amiable disposition; here Guizot prepared himself for the tribune and the Press; here Villemain, with proud indifference, broached his careless scepticism; here Montlosier blended aristocratical paradoxes with democratic theories.  All these great men, and a host of others,—­Beranger, Constant, Etienne, Lamartine, Pasquier, Mounier, Mole, De Neuville, Laine, Barante, Cousin, Sismondi,—­freely exchanged opinions, and rested from their labors; a group of geniuses worth more than armies in the great contests between Liberty and Absolutism.

And here it may be said that these kings and queens of society represented not material interests,—­not commerce, not manufactures, not stocks, not capital, not railways, not trade, not industrial exhibitions, not armies and navies, but ideas, those invisible agencies which shake thrones and make revolutions, and lift the soul above that which is transient to that which is permanent,—­to religion, to philosophy, to art, to poetry, to the glories of home, to the certitudes of friendship, to the benedictions of heaven; which may exist in all their benign beauty and power whatever be the form of government or the inequality of condition, in cottage or palace, in plenty or in want, among foes or friends,—­creating that sublime rest where men may prepare themselves for a future and imperishable existence.

Such was the other side of France during the reign of the Bourbons,—­the lights which burst through the gloomy shades of tyranny and superstition, to alleviate sorrows and disappointed hopes,—­the resurrection of intellect from the grave of despair.


The History of the Restoration by Lamartine is the most interesting work I have read on the subject; but he is not regarded as a high authority.  Talleyrand’s Memoirs, Memoires de Chateaubriand; Lacretelle, Capefigue, Alison; Biographie Universelle, Memoires de Louis XVIII., Fyffe, Mackenzie’s History of the Nineteenth Century,—­all are interesting, and worthy of perusal.




Where an intelligent and cultivated though superficial traveller to recount his impressions of England in 1815, when the Prince of Wales was regent of the kingdom and Lord Liverpool was prime minister, he probably would note his having been struck with the splendid life of the nobility (all great landed proprietors) in their palaces at London, and in their still more magnificent residences on their principal estates.  He would have seen a lavish if not an unbounded expenditure, emblazoned and costly equipages, liveried servants without number, and all that wealth could purchase in the adornment of their homes.  He would have seen a perpetual round of banquets, balls, concerts, receptions, and garden parties, to which only the

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Beacon Lights of History, Volume 09 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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