Jasmin enrolled Maitre-es-Jeux at to toulouse--crowned by Agen

Jasmin invited to Toulouse-- Enrolled as Maitre-es-Jeux-- The Ceremony in the Salle des Illustres-- Jasmin acknowledgment-- The Crowd in the Place de Capitol-- Agen awards him a Crown of Gold-- Society of Saint Vincent de Paul-- The Committee-- Construction of the Crown-- The Public Meeting-- Address of M. Noubel, Deputy-- Jasmin's Poem, 'The Crown of My Birthplace'

Shortly after the return of Jasmin from Paris, where he had the honour of an interview with the Emperor and Empress, as well as with the members of the French Academy, he was invited to Toulouse for the purpose of being enrolled as Maître-ès-jeux in the Academy of Jeux Floreaux.

Toulouse is known as the city of Literary Fêtes, and the reception of Jasmin as Maître-ès-Jeux will long exist as a permanent record in her annals. The Academy of Jeux Floreaux had no prize of 5000 frs. to bestow, nor any crowns, nor any golden laurels. She hides her poverty under her flowers, and although she would willingly have given all her flowers to Jasmin, yet her rules prevented her. She called Jasmin to her bosom, and gave him the heartiest of welcomes. But the honour was there-- the honour of being invited to join a brotherhood of illustrious men.

The title of Maître-ès-jeux is a rare distinction, awarded only to the highest celebrities. The ceremony of installing Jasmin took place on the 6th of February, 1854. The great Salle des Illustres was crowded long before he made his appearance, while the Place de Capitol was filled with a vast number of his admirers. The archbishop, the prefect, the mayor, the magistrates, and the principal citizens of Toulouse were present, with the most beautiful women in the city. Many of the southern bishops were present, having desired to enjoy the pleasure of assisting at the ceremony.

After an address of congratulation, Jasmin was enrolled amongst the members, and presented with his diploma of Maître-ès-jeux. Though it was only a piece of parchment, he considered it the rarest of distinctions. It connected the poet, through five centuries, with the last of the Troubadours, whose language he had so splendidly revived. Jasmin valued his bit of parchment more highly than all the other gifts he had received. In answer to his enrolment, he said:

"I have now enough! I want no more! All things smile upon me. My muse went proudly from the forty of Toulouse to the forty of Paris. She is more than proud to-day, she is completely happy; for she sees my name, which Isaure blessed, come from the forty of Paris to the forty of Toulouse,"

After his enrolment, the poet-barber left the salon. A large crowd had assembled in the court, under the peristyle, in the Place of the Capitol. Every head was uncovered as he passed through their ranks, and those who accompanied him to his lodging, called out, "Vive Jasmin! Vive Jasmin!" Never had such a scene been witnessed before.

Although Jasmin had declared to the Academy of Jeux Floreaux that he wanted nothing more than the diploma they had given him, yet another triumph was waiting him. The citizens of Agen capped all the previous honours of the poet. They awarded him a crown of gold, which must have been the greatest recompense of all. They had known him during almost his entire life--the son of a humpbacked tailor and a crippled mother, of poor but honest people, whose means had been helped by the grandfather, Boé, who begged from door to door, the old man who closed his eyes in the hospital, "where all the Jasmins die!"

They had known him by his boyish tricks, his expulsion from the Academy, his setting up as a barber, his happy marriage, and his laborious progress, until the "shower of silver" came running into his shop. "Pau de labouro, pau de salouro," No work, no bread. Though born in the lowest condition of life, he had, by the help of his wife, and by his own energy and perseverance, raised himself to the highest position as a man of character. Before he reached the age of thirty1

"Who at twenty does nothing; who at thirty knows nothing; who at forty has nothing; who at fifty changes nothing: for him there is no hope." he began to show evidences of his genius as a poet.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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