Jasmin's at Toulouse.

'Franconnette' Recited first at Toulouse-- Received with Acclamation-- Academy of Jeux-Floraux-- Jasmin Eloquent Declamation-- The Fetes-- Publication of 'Franconnette'-- Sainte-Beuve's Criticism-- M. de Lavergne-- Charles Nodier-- Testimonial to Jasmin-- Mademoiselle Gaze-- Death of Jasmin's Mother-- Jasmin's Acknowledgment-- Readings in the Cause of Charity-- Increasing Reputation

It had hitherto been the custom of Jasmin to dedicate his poems to one of his friends; but in the case of Franconnette he dedicated the poem to the city of Toulouse. His object in making the dedication was to express his gratitude for the banquet given to him in 1836 by the leading men of the city, at which the President had given the toast of "Jasmin, the adopted son of Toulouse."

Toulouse was the most wealthy and prosperous city in the South of France. Among its citizens were many men of literature, art, and science. Jasmin was at first disposed to dedicate Franconnette to the city of Bordeaux, where he had been so graciously received and feted on the recitation of his Blind Girl of Castel-Cuillé; but he eventually decided to dedicate the new poem to the city of Toulouse, where he had already achieved a considerable reputation.

Jasmin was received with every honour by the city which had adopted him. It was his intention to read the poem at Toulouse before its publication. If there was one of the towns or cities in which his language was understood--one which promised by the strength and depth of its roots to defy all the chances of the future--that city was Toulouse, the capital of the Langue d'Oc.

The place in which he first recited the poem was the Great Hall of the Museum. When the present author saw it about two years ago, the ground floor was full of antique tombs, statues, and monuments of the past; while the hall above it was crowded with pictures and works of art, ancient and modern.

About fifteen hundred persons assembled to listen to Jasmin in the Great Hall. "It is impossible," said the local journal,1 "to describe the transport with which he was received." The vast gallery was filled with one of the most brilliant assemblies that had ever met in Toulouse. Jasmin occupied the centre of the platform. At his right and left hand were seated the Mayor, the members of the Municipal Council, the Military Chiefs, the members of the Academy of Jeux-Floraux,2 and many distinguished persons in science, literature, and learning. A large space had been reserved for the accommodation of ladies, who appeared in their light summer dresses, coloured like the rainbow; and behind them stood an immense number of the citizens of Toulouse.

Jasmin had no sooner begun to recite his poem than it was clear that he had full command of his audience. Impressed by his eloquence and powers of declamation, they were riveted to their seats, dazzled and moved by turns, as the crowd of beautiful thoughts passed through their minds. The audience were so much absorbed by the poet's recitation that not a whisper was heard. He evoked by the tones and tremor of his voice their sighs, their tears, their indignation. He was by turns gay, melancholy, artless, tender, arch, courteous, and declamatory. As the drama proceeded, the audience recognised the beauty of the plot and the poet's knowledge of the human heart. He touched with grace all the cords of his lyre. His poetry evidently came direct from his heart: it was as rare as it was delicious.

The success of the recitation was complete, and when Jasmin resumed his seat he received the most enthusiastic applause. As the whole of the receipts were, as usual, handed over by Jasmin to the local charities, the assembly decided by acclamation that a subscription should be raised to present to the poet, who had been adopted by the city, some testimony of their admiration for his talent, and for his having first recited to them and dedicated to Toulouse his fine poem of Franconnette.

Jasmin handed over to the municipality the manuscript of his poem in a volume beautifully bound. The Mayor, in eloquent language, accepted the work, and acknowledged the fervent thanks of the citizens of Toulouse.

As at Bordeaux, Jasmin was fêted and entertained by the most distinguished people of the city. At one of the numerous banquets at which he was present, he replied to the speech of the chairman by an

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