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source of the Weser to the seas of Gaul, bore the name of Franks. But when at the congress of Verdun in 843, under Charles the Bald, Germany and Gaul were separated, the name of Franks remained to the people of western France, which alone retained the name of France.

The name of French was scarcely known until towards the tenth century. The foundation of the nation is of Gallic families, and traces of the character of the ancient Gauls have always existed.

Indeed, every people has its character as well as every man; and this character is generally formed of all the resemblances caused by nature and custom between the inhabitants of the varieties which distinguish them. Thus French character, genius, and wit, result from that which has been common to the different provinces in the kingdom. The people of Guienne and those of Normandy differ much; there is however found in them the French genius, which forms a nation of these different provinces, and distinguishes them from the Italians and Germans. Climate and soil evidently imprint unchangeable marks on men as well as on animals and plants. Those who depend on government, religion, and education are different. That is the knot which explains how people have lost one part of their ancient character and preserved the other. A people who formerly conquered half the world are no longer recognised under sacerdotal government, but the seeds of their ancient greatness of soul still exist, though hidden beneath weakness.

In the same manner the barbarous government of the Turks has enervated the Egyptians and the Greeks, without having been able to destroy the original character or temper of their minds.

The present character of the French is the same as Cæsar painted the Gauls-prompt to resolve, ardent to combat, impetuous in attack, and easily discouraged. Cæsar, Agatius, and others say, that of all the barbarians the Gauls were the most polished. They are still in the most civilised times the model of politeness to all their neighbours, though they occasionally dis

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cover the remains of their levity, petulance, and barbarity.

The inhabitants of the coasts of France were always good seamen; the people of Guienne always compose the best infantry; those who inhabit the provinces of Blois and Tours are not, says Tasso, robust and indefatigable, but bland and gentle, like the land which they inhabit:

Gente robusta, e faticosa,
La terra molle, e lieta, e dilettosa

Simili a se gli abitator, produce. But how can we reconcile the character of the Parisians of our day with that which the emperor Julian, the first of princes and men after Marcus Aurelius, gave to the Parisians of his time?_“I love this people, says he in his Misopogon, “ because they are serious and severe like myself. This seriousness, which seems at present banished from an immense city become the centre of pleasure, then reigned in a little town destitute of amusements : in this respect the spirit of the Parisians has changed notwithstanding the climate.

The affluence, opulence, and idleness of the people, who may occupy themselves with pleasures and the arts, and not with the government, has given a new turn of mind to a whole nation.

Further, how is it to be explained by what degrees this people have passed from the fierceness which characterised them in the time of king John, Charles VI. Charles XI. Henry III. and Henry IV. to the soft facility of manners for which they are now the admiration of Europe? It is that the storms of government and religion forced constitutional vivacity into paroxysms of faction and fanaticism; and that this same vivacity, which always will exist, has at present no object but the pleasures of society. The Parisian is impetuous in his pleasures, as he formerly was in his fierceness. The original character which is caused by the climate is always the same. If at present he cultivates the arts, of which he was so long deprived, it is not that he has another mind since he has not other organs ; but it is that he has more relief, and this relief has not been created by himself, as by the Greeks and Florentines, among whom the arts flourished like the natural fruits of their soil. · The Frenchman has only received them, but having happily cultivated and adopted these exotics, he has almost perfected them.

The French government was originally that of all the northern nations,—of all those whose policy was regulated in general assemblies of the nation. Kings were the chiefs of these assemblies; and this was almost the only administration of the French in the two first generations, before Charles the Simple.

When the monarchy was dismembered, in the decline of the Carlovingian race, when the kingdom of Arles arose, and the provinces were occupied by vassals little dependant on the crown, the name of French was more restricted. Under Hugh Capet, Henry, and Philip, the people on this side the Loire only, were called French. There was then seen a great diversity of manners and of laws in the provinces held from the crown of France. The particular lords who became the masters of these provinces introduced new customs into their new states. A Breton and a Fleming have at present some conformity, notwithstanding the difference of their character, which they hold from the sun and the climate, but originally there was not the least similitude be· tween them.

It is only since the time of Francis I. that there has been any uniformity in manners and customs. The court, at this time, first began to serve for a model to the United Provinces ; but in general, impetuosity in war, and a lax discipline, always formed the predominant character of the nation.

Gallantry and politeness began to distinguish the French under Francis I. Manners became odious after the death of Francis II. However, in the midst of these horrors, there was always a politeness at court, which the Germans nd English endeavoured to imitate, The rest of Europe, in aiming to resemble them, were already jealous of the French. A character in one of Shakspeare's comedies says, that it is difficult to be polite without having been at the court of France.

Though the nation has been taxed with frivolity by Cæsar, and by all neighbouring nations, yet this kingdom, so long dismembered, and so often ready to sink, is united and sustained principally by the wisdom of its negociations, address, and patience; but above all, by the divisions of Germany and England. Brittany alone has been united to the kingdom by a marriage; Burgundy by right of fee, and by the ability of Louis XI; Dauphiny by a donation, which was the fruits of policy; the county of Toulouse by a grant, maintained by an army; Provence by money.

One treaty of peace has given Alsace, another Lorraine. The English have been driven from France, notwithstanding the most signal victories, because the kings of France have known how to temporise, and profit on all favourable occasions;—all which proves, that if the French youth are frivolous, the men of riper age, who govern it, have always been wise. Even at present the magistracy are severe in manners, as in the time of

Julian. If the first successes in Italy, in the time of Charles VIII. were owing to the warlike impetuosity of the nation, the disgraces which followed them were caused by the blindness of a court which was composed of young men alone. Francis I. was only unfortunate in his youth, when all was governed by favourites of his own age, and he rendered his kingdom more flourishing at a more advanced age.

The French have always used the same arms as their neighbours, and have nearly the same discipline in war, but were the first who quitted the use of the lance and pike. The battle of Yvri began to decry the use of lances, which was soon abolished, and under Louis XIV. pikes were also discontinued. They wore tunics and robes until the sixteenth century. They left off the custom of letting the beard grow under Louis the Young, and retook to it under Francis I. and only began to shave entirely under Louis XIV. Their dress is continually changing; and at the end of

the emperor

each century the French might take the portraits of their grandfathers for those of foreigners.

FRAUD. Whether pious Frauds should be practised upon the

People ? ONCE upon a time the fakir Bambabef met one of the disciples of Confutzee (whom we call Confucius); and this disciple was named Whang. Bambabef maintained that the people require to be deceived, and Whang asserted that we ought never to deceive any

Here is a sketch of their dispute :



We must imitate the Supreme Being, who does not show us things as they are.

He makes us see the sun with a diameter of two or three feet, although it is a million of times larger than the earth. He makes us see the moon and the stars affixed to one and the same blue surface, while they are at different elevations : he chooses that a square tower should appear round to us at a distance: he chooses that fire should appear to us to be hot, although it is neither hot nor cold: in short, he surrounds us with errors, suitable to our nature.

WHANG. What you call error is not so. The


such as it is placed at millions of millions of lis * from our globe, is not that which we see, that which we really perceive: we perceive only the sun which is painted on our retina, at a determinate angle. Our eyes were not given us to know sizes and distances : to know these, other aids and other operations are necessary.

Bambabef seemed much astonished at this position. Whang, being very patient, explained to him the theory of optics; and Bambabef, having some conception, was convinced by the demonstrations of the disciple of Confutzee. He then resumed in these terms :

* A li is 124


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