to view the statue of the poet, whose face and attitude appeared in splendid relief amidst a blaze of light.

It is unnecessary further to describe the character of Jasmin. It is sufficiently shown by his life and labours-- his genius and philanthropy. In the recollections of his infancy and boyhood, he truthfully describes the pleasures and sorrows of his youth--his love for his mother, his affection for his grandfather, who died in the hospital, "where all the Jasmins die." He did not even conceal the little tricks played by him in the Academy, from which he was expelled, nor the various troubles of his apprenticeship.

This was one of the virtues of Jasmin--his love of truth. He never pretended to be other than what he was. He was even proud of being a barber, with his "hand of velvet." He was pleased to be entertained by the coiffeurs of Agen, Paris, Bordeaux, and Toulouse. He was a man of the people, and believed in the dignity of labour. At the same time, but for his perseverance and force of character, he never could have raised himself to the honour and power of the true poet.

He was born poor, and the feeling of inherited poverty adhered to him through life, and inspired him with profound love for the poor and the afflicted of his class. He was always ready to help them, whether they lived near to him or far from him. He was, in truth, "The Saint-Vincent de Paul of poetry." His statue, said M. Noubel, pointing up to it, represented the glorification of genius and virtue, the conquest of ignorance and misery.

M. Deydou said at Bordeaux, when delivering an address upon the genius of Jasmin--his Eminence Cardinal Donnet presiding-- that poetry, when devoted to the cause of charity, according to the poet himself, was "the glory of the earth and the perfume of heaven."

Jasmin loved his dear town of Agen, and was proud of it. After his visit to the metropolis, he said, "If Paris makes me proud, Agen makes me happy." "This town," he said, on another occasion," has been my birthplace; soon it shall be my grave." He loved his country too, and above all he loved his native language. It was his mother-tongue; and though he was often expostulated with for using it, he never forsook the Gascon. It was the language of the home, of the fireside, of the fields, of the workshop, of the people amongst whom he lived, and he resolved ever to cherish and elevate the Gascon dialect.

"Popular and purely natural poetry," said Montaigne in the 16th century, "has a simplicity and gracefulness which surpass the beauty of poetry according to art." Jasmin united the naive artlessness of poetry with the perfection of art. He retained the simplicity of youth throughout his career, and his domestic life was the sanctuary of all the virtues.

In his poems he vividly described filial love, conjugal tenderness, and paternal affection, because no one felt these graces of life more fervently than himself. He was like the Italian painter, who never went beyond his home for a beautiful model.

Victor Hugo says that a great man is like the sun--most beautiful when he touches the earth, at his rising and at his setting. Jasmin's rising was in the depths of honest poverty, but his setting was glorious. God crowned his fine life by a special act of favour; for the last song of the poet was his "act of faith"--his address to Renan.

Jasmin was loyal, single-minded, self-reliant, patient, temperate, and utterly unselfish. He made all manner of sacrifices during his efforts in the cause of charity. Nothing was allowed to stand in the way of his missions on behalf of the poor. In his journey of fifty days in 1854, he went from Orthez --the country of Gaston Phoebus--to the mountains of Auvergne, in spite of the rigours of the weather. During that journey he collected 20,000 francs. In all, as we have said, he collected, during his life-time, more than a million and a half of francs, all of which he devoted to the cause of philanthropy.

Two words were engraved on the pedestal of his statue, Poetry and Charity! Charity was the object and purpose of his heroic programme. Yet, in his poetry he always exhibited his tender-hearted gaiety.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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