Page images


at last that causa deterrima belli! -who has so often set philosophers and heroes by the ears, introduced an indecent and irreconcileable controversy into the council of these preachers of universal union.

"The world," said Enfantin, "has hitherto been divided into two powers, or two families" -the power temporal-the power spiritualthe feudal family, and the papal family.

The one reposing on the succession of power by the descent of blood; the other on the succession of power by the election of merit.

The world, in its present state of intelligence, will no longer tolerate the first; but the second, founded on celibacy, though possible for a class, is impossible for a community.

The new family should neither be the feudal family, nor the papal family; but a family comprising the advantages of both.

In the papal family, incapacity could not arrive at place; in the feudal family the ties of blood connected the superior with the inferior,

-the father with the child.

Now listen to St. Enfantin's admirable device!

The ceremony of confession, however tised in the Catholic church, was in theory, at all events, a mental or spiritual process. This

christianity being the religion of the spirit according to the St. Simonians-was as it should be. But St. Simonism was the religion of the flesh as well as of the spirit; the ceremony of confession was therefore to partake of the nature of the faith, and be somewhat in harmony with the flesh also..

In short, as the confession in catholicism was the communion of mind with mind, the confession of St. Simonism was to be the communion of mind with mind through the medium of the body; and all that we mean now by saying that a lady is going to the devil, we might, in the St. Simonian era, have expressed by saying that she was going to the confessional.

The sovereign pontiff then would be, by duty, bound to confess all the ladies whose superiority entitled them to such a distinction; and the sovereign priestess would have an equal obligation to perform to the eminent men whose piety led them, and whose genius entitled them, to her couch.*

But what the Priest-King and the Priestess

* It is needless to observe that no tie could be invented which would so closely bind the chief with the community, and render that term-now so frequently misapplied-strictly correct, viz.

That sovereigns are the fathers of their people.

Queen did for people of the very first distinction, the priests and priestesses of different degrees were to do for persons of less pretensions; and certainly, when one considers that the priesthood was to be the government, one must confess that no other constitutional system ever provided for so close and constant an amalgamation of the governors and the governed.

By this ingenious contrivance, vice was to be banished from the world; there was to be no profligacy, no prostitution.

For a prostitute was honored as a priestess, and a profligate, venerable as a priest: while the St. Simonian family became, as it was intended, united by ties of consanguinity, and distinguished according to merit.

Still there was one injunction upon the priesthood, which it would be right to mention, since it must be confessed that it threw a serious impediment in the way of their duties. Those duties were to be performed with a perfect calm.

Was it from this that High Priest Bazard dissented? -he did however dissent; - not having, in the words of the more enlightened, a mind sufficiently great and elevated to comprehend the necessity and the sublimity of

this political and philosophical and sexual system of connexion.

The defection of such a man as Bazard was important; but more so, was a vast diminution in proselytes-upon the announcement of those doctrines, which few, for the honor of France, were capable of appreciating.

Funds ceased to fall in, and disciples consequently increased falling off, until the sacred Enfantin, gathering his most devoted about him, retired to the solitudes of Menilmontant, where he was daily falling into a neglect and contempt, under which he would have ridiculously perished, if the government had not kindly invested him with some kind of importance by its prosecution.


The personal ascendancy which this impostor exercised was certainly of an extraordinary description. One of his followers, now sufficiently ready to ridicule his former master, has nevertheless told me a most marvellous tale of the fascinating manner with which the father' was known to have converted two avaricious old advocates who poured, at his bidding, their hard earned and dearly prized gold into the common purse; and such an impression has he left upon some of his disciples, that many still profess to consider

that there was nothing ridiculous in his trusting his defence to-his regard.*

There were upon the jury, however, men with hearts impassible';-and our modern Mahomet was condemned, as we have seen, to a year's imprisonment; at the end of which he set out for the region whence the sages of old came from, and embarked-with St. Simonism and a plan of cutting through the isthmus of Suez-for the East.

* When called upon for his defence, Enfantin rolled his eyes round the room, and fixing them on the jury, said: "Que su défense était dans son regard."

« PreviousContinue »