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THE LEVITE OF EPHRAIM.
A Levite travelling with his wife, stopped in the city of Gabaa, he there received hospitality at the house of a man who like himself, was of the tribe of Ephraim; but the inhabitants of this city, giving themselves up to an abominable debauchery, came by night to seize on the Levite of the Lord. He contrived to make his escape, but his wife remained in their hands, and became their victim. « In the morning, her husband being arisen, opened the door to continue his journey, and found his wife lying on the ground, with her hands extended on the threshold of the door. He at first thought she was asleep, and said to her : Arise, and let us be gone, but she not answering, he knew that she was dead. »
Such is the painful scene which M. Couder has represented in his picture, that was exhibited at the saloon in 1827 and which was then admired with so great reason. The body of the young woman is thrown down at random, it his however full of grace, although death has taken possession of it. The head, the neek, the arms, the feet, are skilfully painted, and the whole figure is full of senti ment. That of the unfortunate Levite, is also remarkable, the head is of the most beautiful expression, and the drapery reminds us of the stile of Le Sueur.
This picture is now at the palace of the Luxembourg, and has been engraved by Toussaint Caron, for the society of the of the arts in 1829.
Heigth 13 feet 2 inches; breadth 9 feet 10 inches.
MORT DE BRISSON.
Pendant les guerres de la ligue, le premier président de Harlay étant à la Bastille, plusieurs autres membres du parlement ayant quitté Paris, le président Brisson avait consenti à remplir les fonctions de premier président, espérant, ditil dans sa protestation du 21 janvier 1589, qu'on pourrait avec le temps profiter de quelque chose pour la réconciliation et réduction dudit peuple avec le roi, quand l'occasion se pourra présenter d'en parler, dont à présent on n'oserait ouvrir la bouche à peine de hasarder sa vie. »
De semblables ménagemens ne sont presque jamais honorables, ni profitables à ceux qui les emploient, souvent même ils finissent par être victimes de l'un des deux partis. C'est ce qui arriva au malheureux président, dont la conduite ambiguë donna quelques doutes aux Seize, qui, le 15 novembre 1591, le firent arrêter à neuf heures du matin; puis conduit dans une des salles du Petit-Châtelet, il y fut jugé à dix heures, en présence d'un religieux qui le confessa, et du bourreau qui le pendit à onze heures dans la salle même.
Ce tableau est un de ceux qui décorent la grande salle du Conseil d'état au Louvre; il fait honneur au talent de M. Gassies. Il n'a jamais été gravé.
Haut., 9 pieds 6 pouces; larg., 8 pieds 4 pouces.
DEATH OF BRISSON.
During the wars of the league, the chief president de Harlay being in the Bastile and many other members of the parlia ment having quitted Paris, president Brisson consented to fill the office of chief president, in the hope, as he said in his declaration of january 21, 1589, «that they might, in time, be able to bring about the subjection, and the reconciliation of the said people with the king, when an opportunity should allow them to speak upon a subject which could not be alluded to, at present, without running the hazard of destruction.»
Such conduct proves scarcely ever honourable or advantageous to those who exercise it, and it often ends by their even becoming the victims of one, or other of the parties; as befel the unfortunate president, his ambiguous conduct made him suspected by the Sixteen, who, on november 15, 1571, arrested him at nine o'clock in the morning, conducted him into one of the chambers of Petit-Châtelet, where he was condemned to death at ten o'clock, in the presence of the priest, who confessed him, and of the executioner, who hung him at eleven o'clock, in the same room.
This picture is one of those which decorate the grand Coun. cil chamber of the Louvre, and is honourable to the talent of M. Gassies. It has never been engraved before.
Height, 10 feet; breadth, 8 feet 10 inches.