That very night he was invited to dine with his friend, and made his resolution to live by his pen. He commenced his articles in the journals, writing at first criticisms upon theatrical performances. He at once commenced his system of flattering those who paid him well either in praise or gold, and denouncing authors and actors who were independent of him.
His kind aunt now died, after having expended her last franc, and Janin took up a new residence. He soon acquired such fame in his critical writings, that he was at ease. He engaged with the Figaro journal, and contributed powerfully to its success. He was, of course, well paid for his services. He fell in love with a young girl in humble life. An artist did the same. The two men quarreled about her, and Janin wrote a book in which the woman was the heroine. But he was unsuccessful—the young woman married the painter and was happy. Janin rose to the highest position as a fashionable critic in Paris, and still he has never acquired beyond France the reputation of a profound critic and scholar.
In October, 1841, he was married, and instead of spending a pleasant evening, he celebrated his marriage by going to his room and writing a newspaper article, greatly to his prejudice amongst his friends. Of late it has been remarked, that Jules Janin is less imperious in his criticisms than he was formerly. He has been very severely reviewed by Dumas and Roqueplan, and has behaved more wisely since.
We have not sketched Jules Janin as a great man, but as a man who makes great pretensions, and who has long been acknowledged, in Paris and France, as the prince of critics.
PLACES OF BLOOD—PLACE DE LA CONCORDE.
Almost every fine square in Paris has a high-sounding name, For instance, that spot which has been the theater of so much tragedy, upon which so much human blood has been poured, is called the Place de la Concorde. It much more appropriately might be called the Place of Blood. So there are other, many other spots in Paris, which deserve a scarlet title, and when wandering a stranger through its streets, whenever I came to one of these, I was strongly inclined to stop and indulge in reverie. The past history of France and Paris arose before my mind, and I could not, if I would, away with it. The characters who acted parts in Paris and perished in those places were before me, and their histories lent a powerful interest to the spot upon which they suffered and died. The reader can have no adequate idea of the feelings with which a stranger visits these places of sad memories, unless he recalls them to mind, nor will it be out place for me to do so.