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over; and though Paris was still a city in a siege, the barricades were all demolished; and another struggle was for the moment crushed.
The streets next day were full of hearses; but even the number of funerals that took place were insignificant, in comparison to the stacks of corpses which were cast into deep trenches without shroud or coffin, and covered with quicklime. I went to the Morgue in the afternoon, and found that dismal charnel-house fully tenanted. Every one of the fourteen beds had a corpse ; some, dead with gunshot wounds; some, sabred; some, horribly mutilated by cannon balls. There was a queue outside of at least two thousand people, laughing, talking, smoking, eating apples, as though it was some pleasant spectacle they were going to, instead of that frightful exhibition. Yet, in this laughing, talking, smoking crowd, there were fathers who had missed their sons; sons who came there dreading to see the corpses of their fathers; wives of Socialist workmen, sick with the almost certainty of finding the bodies of their husbands. . The bodies were only exposed six hours ; but the clothes remained—a very grove of blouses. The neighbouring churches were hung with black, and there were funeral services at St. Roche and at the Madeleine.
And yet—with this Golgotha so close ; with the blood not yet dry on the Boulevards; with corpses yet lying about the streets; with five thousand soldiers bivouacking in the Champs Elysées; with mourning and lamentation in almost every street: with a brutal military in almost every printing-office, tavern, café; with proclamations threatening death and confiscation covering the walls; with the city in a siege, without a legislature, without laws, without a government—this extraodinary people was, the next night, dancing and flirting at the Salle Valentino, or the Prado,
lounging in the foyers of the Italian Opera, gossiping over their eau sucrée, or squabbling over their dominoes outside and inside the cafés. I saw Rachel in “ Les Horaces ;" I went to the Variétés, the Opéra Comique, and no end of Theatres; and as we walked home at night through lines of soldiers, brooding over their bivouacs, I went into a restaurant; and, asking whether it had been a ball which had starred the magnificent pier-glass before me, got for answer, “ Ball, sir !—cannon ball, sir !-yes, sir !" for all the world as though I had enquired about the mutton being in good cut, or asparagus in season !
So while they were shooting prisoners and dancing the Schottische at the Casino; burying their dead; selling breloques for watch chains in the Palais Royal; demolishing barricades, and staring at the caricatures in M. Aubert's windows; taking the wounded to the hospitals, and stockjobbing on the Bourse; I went about my business, as well as the state of siege would let me. Turning my face homeward, I took the Rouen and Havre Railway, and so, via Southampton, to London. As I saw the last cocked hat of the last gendarme disappear with the receding pier at Havre, a pleasant vision of the blue-coats, oil-skin hats, and lettered collars of the land I was going to, swam before my eyes; and, I must say that, descending the companion-ladder, I thanked Heaven I was an Englishman. I was excessively sea-sick, but not the less thankful; and getting at last to sleep, dreamed of the Bill of Rights and Habeas Corpus. I wonder how they would flourish amidst Liberty, Equality, Fraternity, and Musketry!
THE most remarkable man of any age or country, is
It is neither in family pride, nor in a gush of gratitude for overwhelming obligations in the nature of debts paid, or fortune inherited or expected; but it is on mature consideration, and with the light of Tooke's Pantheon, Lempriere, and the Biographie Universelle, beaming from my book-shelves, that I persist in the conviction that My Uncle is a very remarkable, and a truly great
Osymandes, the Egyptian conqueror (vulgarly called Sesostris), was a great man. Julius Cæsar was a great man; so (in spite of the Quarterly Review) was Napoleon Buonaparte. His late Royal Highness the Duke of York, Bishop of Osnaburgh, and Commander-in-Chief of the British Forces, was a great man.
Mr. William Cobbett, the implacable foe of princes, turnpike-keepers, bank-notes, and the Times newspaper, was another great man. Mr. Nathan Meyer Rothschild was also a great man.
But My Uncle is a concentration of all the different sorts of greatness by which these great men were severally distinguished: -he was born great; he has had greatness thrust upon him; he has achieved greatness.
That My Uncle was born great, his family tree will attest. The roots of his genealogy are so venerable, that I have dug in vain for them amidst the earliest traditions of the Western World; but, turning to the East, I have
discovered that My Uncle—like gunpowder, the mariner's compass, the art of printing, and the tread-mill—owes his origin to China. Considerably after (I now follow a respectable Chinese historiographer) —considerably after Yan (Heaven) was separated from Yin (Earth), and when Pawnkoo (who reigned forty-five thousand years) ruled the earth from its core and centre, to wit, the Flowery Land, My Uncle's ancestors were prosperous gentlemen. They have continued to flourish with unabated prosperity down to the present date under the enlightened Tao-Kwang.*
In regard to the first appearance of his family in Europe, My Uncle is fond of asserting that Charlemagne was, in early life, a cadet of the transplanted branch of his ancestors; but, I confess that none of the authorities I have consulted support him in that pardonable boast. The most I have been able to do for My Uncle in this wise, has been to trace his more immediate European progenitor to a physician who established a lucrative medical practice, somewhere about the beginning of the thirteenth century, at Florence, in Tuscan Italy. As he left an ample fortune, gained by the exercise of his medical skill, his grateful successors took their name from his profession-a name which illuminates the page of history, and gives lustre to the annals of Art-MEDICI. The offshoots of this illustrious race—from which My Uncle has been handed down in direct descent-removed, early in the fifteenth century, to Milan, took to trade, and were called, indifferently, when they travelled, “ Lombards.” It must be understood that these Lombards did not retain the family name; their name having since become Legion. But the heraldic insignia of the Medici, derived from their ancestor's calling, they have most rigidly preserved, unto the present hour. No change
* See Davis's “ Chinese,” vol. ii., p. 438. First Edition.
of country; no vicissitude of trade; no commercial crisis ; no persecution; no prosperity; has induced My Uncle's family to abandon their arms. Whether trading in Lombardy in the Middle Ages; or giving their name, at a later period, to the locality they inhabited in the City of London ; or finally distributed, as we now find them, over the street and amidst the necessitous populations of modern cities; the simple blazonry of the Medici, still denotes the abiding-places of My Uncle's race. It consists of three giant boluses, or, pendant, opposed—two to one.
Having shown that My Uncle was born great, I have next to show how My Uncle has achieved greatness. To the common-place virtue of minding their own business, not only the merchant princes of Italy, but those of the British capital must mainly owe their fortunes. This virtue My Uncle possesses in a degree the more remarkable, by reason of the temptations continually presented to him of intermeddling with the affairs of others. Although the daily depositary of commercial and pecuniary confidences, he is so far from abusing the trust reposed in him, that he never was known to divulge the secrets of a single client. While he seems to be a most mysterious old gentleman, My Uncle's mystery really consists in the art of keeping his eye steadily fixed on the main chance.
In London alone My Uncle conducts upwards of four hundred establishments, each trading on a capital varying from two thousand to fourteen thousand pounds. His gross metropolitan principal is two millions and a quarter sterling; not to mention an ever-flowing and constantly accumulating interest, averaging from fifteen to twenty per cent. per
Without taking into the present calculation his provincial business, the aggregate of My Uncle's immense variety of separate transactions in London alone during the year 1849 was twenty-four millions; the average at