Изображения страниц

that we would hide the legends from chil- | amount of book-writing or exhortation prodren. Quite the opposite. We hold that duce it? It is a social growth, springing a child should be - and we know that any from a certain set of social conditions, and decently intelligent child can be — taught unless you can reproduce the conditions, it is from the beginning the difference between hopeless to think of securing the result. legend and history. Children should be The grace of the salon is, to begin with, told the legends as legends ; if proper care hardly possible in a new society like that of is taken, they will enjoy them as stories America. The new society has a thousand without confounding them with the history, advantages of its own; it has roominess and and when, in later years, they find them freedom, and perhaps gives greater scope told as history, they will not be puzzled, for the development of original and indebut will be quite able to draw the distinction. pendent character; but then the prime conAgain it is absolutely necessary to teach a dition of this is a self-assertion, an habitual child from the beginning the phenomena of manifestation above all other things of races and languages, and the differences be- your own personality, that is absolutely fatween the geography of one age and another. tal to the ease, the well-mannered reserve, People who do not understand these things the polished compliance, of the salon. themselves at once cry out that a child could Brains are not enough to compose the spirit never understand all this. There never of a salon. They are essential, but they are was a greater mistake. A correct and scien- not more essential than gracious and vivid tific statement is really much easier to under- manners; and such manners cannot be acstand than an inaccurate and muddle-headed quired by direct effort, but spring up with a statement. The grown-up person: finds a certain spontaneity from a peculiar mental difficulty in understanding, because with him temper. Now this mental temper is not likely falschood must be cast out before truth can to find much foothold in American society for come in.

But the child's mind is white pa- a very long time to come. The go-ahead per, and it is just as easy to write truth on impulse, with which the needs of the Amerit as to write error. Miss Yonge always ican people will not permit them to diswrites so well and clearly that we wish she pense, is too strong, and an exceeding dehad undertaken something of the kind. At sire to go ahead in material things is deall events her book is a wonderful advance on structive of those tastes, and ways of thinkanything of the kind that has ever been at-ing and feeling about literary, social, æstempted before. It is, we repeat, the first thetic things, out of which the most gratime that competent knowledge and compe- cious and elevated intercourse grows. You tent literary skill have ever been brought cannot have a salon when everybody is to bear directly on such an attempt.

thinking of the great Pacific railroad; perhaps you cannot have one in a country of

vehement and rowdy party-polities. Still From The Saturday Review. it is an excellent sign that any American

should publicly avow the possibility of any. PORTRAITS OF CELEBRATED WOMEN.* The translator of M. Sainte-Beuve's well- It is a symptom that at all events the

thing in Europe being worth borrowing. known portraits of Madame de Staël, Ma- fine and gracious spirit of an old society, dame Roland, and other women famous in thoroughly cultivated, is more nearly within the history of French society, is an Ameri- reach than one would have been inclined to can lady, and she avows that among her ob- infer from the vulgar contempt with which jects in making such a book accessible to a such persons as Mrs. Stowe are wont to greater number of persons is the desire of talk about the worm-eaten fabric of effete infusing into American society some of the Europe. We should have been glad, by grace of the French salon; and beyond this, the way, if the translator had made a beshe hopes that “its graver biographies may ginning of good things in literature by abserve to remind some of the more gifted staining from certain American abominations among the “ anxious and aimless ' sisterhood in the way of spelling. Endeavor, sacor, of the possibility of sober and useful literary labor, gayety, and such words make one careers." Nothing can be more laudable ill. And what can describe the seusation than such an intention. But does she not of a man who knows the English tongue see that the salon cometh not by observa- when he hears of critics being ever eager tion any more than the kingdom of heaven, to offset one superior quality against anothnor by mere wishing for, nor will any er" Then to say that "I have not left

my unfortunate friend in all these days " is Portraits of Celebrated Women. By, C. A. French, not English. And why translate Sainte-Beuve. Translated by Harriet W. Preston. London. Sampson Low, Son, & Marston. mot by word, when it means a saying, or



number of words? Would the translator both exceedingly well worthy of the atteninterpret bons mots by the English good tion alike of an English and an American words? Probably not. The translator is public. Those who are so unfortunate as not very consistent in her adoption of not to be able to read the original are all French words into English. In the same the more in a case which makes it desirable page we find hauteur standing as untrans- that they should read a translation like the lateable, and yet doctrinary greets us as present; for in M. Sainte-Beuve's portraits good English. Surely one would have we find many of the best qualities of French thought it much easier to find a perfect literary art — an art which in all its secondequivalent for the first word than to be con- ary forms is consummate beyond comparison. tent with so uncouth a phrase as the second. The combination of infinite delicacy with A person who is too much of a purist to be infinite precision which marks these nine satisfied with doctrinaire, which is an ac- pictures is worthy of the highest admiration, cepted term with a technical and specific as the finest product of laborious and keenly meaning — while doctrinary conveys hardly intelligent workmanship. Somebody has any meaning at all — should not leave hau- said, and with justice we think, that the teur, rôle, and so on, which may be per- reason why French people have better dinfectly well reproduced in English. Why ners than we have is that they begin their leave coterie, and yet speak of Septembrist? preparations for this great meal as soon as And why use the questionable inedited, they get up in the morning; while our when unpublished is to her hand? The cooks and housewives leave everything until translator in one place makes a bold essay a quarter of an hour or so before the time to render the impossible word bête, but she of serving. We cannot help thinking that can scarcely be counted happy. “You something of the same secret lies at the botcan't reproduce a smile and an accent on tom of the superiority of the French seconpaper," says Sainte-Beuve; “paper is bête” dary literature. There is an air of patient _ brutish,” says

the translator; but“ brut- and conscientious toil about M. Sainteish” will not do at all. Here perhaps we Beuve's writing, to anybody who knows are in presence of the one French word how writing is done, but which may escape which cannot be reproduced in our own the reader who does not greatly concern language, and which has a right in many himself how effects are produced.

The, cases, if not quite in all, to stand untrans- ease of a good performer on the trapeze lated. However, on the whole, the trans- may delude the spectator into the idea that lation is very fairly executed, and if people the feats are as easy to do as they are to complain that they do not find the exquisite look at. Experts know better. The grace flavour of Sainte-Beuve's style, they are and finish and apparent absence of effort sighing after what cannot possibly be got, are results of intense effort at one time or which, under the circumstances, is the most another, and M. Sainte-Beuve's ease has stupid and graceless of all proceedings. been secured by arduous exertion. Light We can conceive the original delicacy of as his papers may seem, they are filled with such a passage as this, that “Amid much thoroughness of knowledge, and thoroughthat is sorrowful, there is at least this con- ness. however gracefully it may be veiled, solation about surviving one's illustrious is not to be had without toilsome and procontemporaries, when one is illustrious longed search. It is a simple matter to one's self and reverent of human glory; pile up words of vague delicacy, which seem leisure and opportunity are afforded to to breathe a delightful ndoc; this is a style crown their pictures, to repair their statues, in which any puniest scribe may win a to sacrifice at their graves.” Sainte-Beuve measure of sounding success. In manners, is talking of the greater justice which Cha- elegance is a small thing without manliteaubriand eventually rendered to the fame ness; and just in the same way delicacy, and genius of Madame de Staël. But, alas! when it is simply a curtain for inexact and the terrible on was too much for the trans- half-shaped impressions, is the worst of imlator, and we flounder inelegantly in ugly postures. talk about “one's being illustrious one's In these portraits, as in most of his other self,” which is pardonable perhaps, but is work, M. Sainte-Beuve's task is definite not what an English Sainte-Beuve would be characterization, the true function of the likely to write.

critic. Nothing can be more happy, for he We can scarcely imagine any book in has a sympathy for the fulness and depth contemporary French literature better worth and disinterestedness of women's emotions translating than this of M. Sainte-Beuve's; that seems to shed discovering rays over both the subjects and the manner do the his' analysis. The motto prefixed, as the fullest justice to the writer, and they are translator reminds us, to the French edi

[ocr errors]


tion, discloses the secret of his skill in these and, in her own words, to disentangle, all pictures :

the allusions — treat her, in short, as we

treat Clarissa Harlowe when we have a “ Avez-vous donc été femme, monsieur, pour fortnight of leisure and rainy weather in prétendre ainsi nous connaitre?”

the country.” We can understand M. “Non, madame; je ne suis pas le divin Tirésias; je ne suis qu'un humble mortel, qui vous of him as spending a leisurely fortnight in

Sainte-Beuve's style better after thinking a beaucoup aimee.”

disentangling the manifold points of ClarAnd this is true. M. Sainte-Beuve has a issa. warm love, in itself eminently feminine, for the fine emotions, the tenderness, the generosity, the high impulse, of women

From The Economist. when they are at their best. Women like

PROBABLE RENEWAL OF THE RECIPRODe Staël, Roland, Madame Krudener, throwing their warmth and impulse into concerns which in the hands of men only

A PRACTICAL LESSON IN PROTECTION. appear cold, hard, and not very human, possess an irresistible attraction for him. In 1854, a Treaty for the mutual exIt is really a kind of love with which he change of commodities was settled between looks at them, reads their works, meditates the United States and the Provinces of on their memory, and writes about them. British North America, acting, of course, Madame de Sévigné's passion for her daugh- through the agency of the Imperial Govter, and Madame de Staël's passion for her ernment. At that time separate treaties, father, in all their feminine intensity, strike a as it were, had to be settled with each of vibratory and responsive chord in the breast the Provinces of Canada, New Brunswick, of the painter of their portraits. A short and Nova Scotia. At the present time, any time ago M. Guizot published some papers revived negotiation would be with the new on Madame Récamier, Madame de Rum- Dominion in which all these separate Proford, and others. Excellent as they are in vincial Legislatures are merged. Few their way, they have an astonishing rigour diplomatic acts have ever answered more or coldness of tone compared with the completely the objects sought than this Rewarm and tender appreciativeness of M. ciprocity Treaty of 1854. During the Civil Sainte-Beuve. They serve by contrast to War, however, the Northern States chose point the distinguished skill and feeling to be angry with what they called the symwhich M. Sainte-Beuve brings to these ex- pathy displayed by a certain part of the cellent portraitures, and which, it should be Canadian population with the Confederates. said, he never brings with such heartiness Other sections of the more ardent American as he does to women, or else to men, like public persuaded themselves that Canada Maurice de Guérin, for instance, with a de- was ripe for secession from British rule, cisively feminine fibre in them. Nothing and would be precipitated into union with stirs him so much as that intense and elo- the States provided the facilities afforded quent sensibility which is most common in by the Reciprocity Treaty were at once gifted women, but yet which M. Sainte- withdrawn. And a third part, holding the Beuve's own case forbids us to describe as extreme Protectionist views of the Morrillan exclusively feminine property. Even ites, were anxious to apply to Canada the the second-rate romances of some of his regimen of exclusive duties pretty well uniheroines he analyses with the patience of a versal in all parts of the fiscal legislation devotee in presence of saintly relics. One of Congress. In March, 1866, therefore, or two good things in a whole volume are the Treaty was put an end to rudely and ample recompense to him. He reads obstinately. The Canadians did all they Madlle. de Meulan's earliest romance, could by negotiations and argument to which seems to be passably thin, and is avert the change, but they met with very quite happy in culling from it a couple of scant civility. sayings but a little removed above commonplace. His patience is matchless, only it The repeal has now been in operation for hardly ought to be called patience, because two years and a half. The Canadians have it can scarcely be said to involve strain wisely concerned themselves in consolidaor effort, but is only a kind of prolonged ting their own resources. They have carbrooding. He talks of Madame de Sé- ried to a successful issue the great internal vigné's letters. Let the reader, he says, measure of a single Dominion Executive and “ take


and read in course the ten vol. Parliament, and they have worked assiduumes of her correspondence, to follow out, lously to free their Tariff and their Excise from impediments and imperfections. They traversed by American trade in a confused have left the Americans to themselves, and and critical state — and it has certainly exthe Americans have already profited by cited in Canada a spirit the reverse of their own observations and reflections, for friendly to the Washington Government. one of the closing acts of the Congress just prorogued has been to instruct the Foreign As regards the navigation of the St. LawRelations Committee to institute negotia- rence, Mr. Brega’ e language is marked by tions for a new Reciprocity Treaty. the stilted exaggeration in which his coun

trymen almost always speak of the capabiliIn February last, Congress directed ties of their Continent. In substance, howMr. George W. Brega to inquire into ever, it is true, as he alleges, that the rapid the facts of the case. Mr. Brega pre- growth of the North-Western region is rapsented a first report at the end of March idly converting the St. Lawrence Valley and a second report in May, and Congress into the predominant route to the Atlantic has considered both documents of sufficient shore, — and it is the progress of this change importance to be made the subject of a sec- which in a few years will render the Interond official edition of five thousand copies. colonial Railway between Halifax and Que

bec an essential link in the chain of commuMr. Brega goes at length and with suffi- nication between East and West. “The cient industry and intelligence, but not with free navigation,” says Mr. Brega, 6 of the any striking ability or force, into the merits St. Lawrence is a matter of necessity to the and facts of the problem, and he finds them immense growth of the great North-West. in the main to be sufficiently simple. Can- Already the various channels of communiada, he finds, produces certain kinds of cations for the produce of that vast territory commodities — for example, particular kinds to tide-water, where it seeks the markets of lumber and grain, which the United of the world, are crowded beyond their caStates does not produce within itself; and pacity at certain periods. No artificial the only effect of the repeal of the Treaty communications, no matter upon how liband the imposition of high duties on the eral a scale they may be constructed, will Ainerican side of the Border has been to be sufficient for the almost immediate fucompel the American public to bear all ture. Apart from the question of direct these additional burdens itself.

trade between the upper lakes and Europe, * It cannot be denied”, says Mr. Brega, the existing communication even with its " that whatever amount of these products limited Canals is of the last importance. It were purchased for consumption in the is not exaggerating its consequence to asUnited States since March, 1866, were pur- sume that even a war for the possession of chased at as high prices in the Canadian the right to the natural outlet of our great markets as before the abrogation of the Lakes and the fertile teeming territory they Treaty: and that the American consumer drain would be less costly to us in its conwas compelled to pay the American duty in sequences than the loss which the closing of addition,

that outlet to our products would entail.” Mr. Brega also finds that the Smuggler - Everybody interested in Canada will be that most active and useful instructor of delighted to read this high official appreciamediæval political economists — has been tion of the St. Lawrence Route, and to hear vigorously at work on the Canadian fron- that an “ immediate future” is upon us tier, redressing with eminent success the when it will be taxed to the limit of its blunders of Mr. Morrill and his friends. capacity. But Mr. Brega is needlessly exIt would be easy to produce many amusing cited when he suggests a resort even to war stories of the triumph of Contraband inge- in order to maintain the international charnuity over official requirements — but it is acter of the River. He may depend upon enough to say that the boundary line is a it that the Canadians understand too well thousand miles long, the duties 30 per cent., the causes which are rapidly raising Montand the Custom House officers badly paid; real into rivalry with New York, to be at all and the imagination must be dull indeed desirous to hinder in the smallest degree which cannot fill in the picture.

the covering of the St. Lawrence with the

ships of all nations — and pre-eminently of In every department of their relations his own. What the lower courses of the with Canada the repeal of the Treaty has Rhine have been and are to Holland, such done harm to the States. It has disorgan- are the lower courses of the St. Lawrence ised their fishing trade - it has left the ar- to Montreal and Canada. In the long line rangements under which the St. Lawrence is of traffic between Europe and the interior of North America, there must be depôts and sailed northwards as far as latitude 814 deresting places - points where the two grees on the open sea between Greenland streams dissolve into each other - popu- and Spitzbergen; and, before his time, lous busy cities, inhabited by shrewd men Cabot had penetrated so far north on the of capital, forwarders, exchange dealers, same track, in the search for a north-westbrokers, and the like, who thrive vigor- ern passage, that he formed the design of ously by facilitating the passage of the tide making a journey to the North Pole (a lo of merchandise to and fro. It is the last del Polo Arctico) at some future period. thought of these men to go to war with their Scoresby found that the North Atlantic best customers — and so Mr. Brega will Ocean is exceedingly deep in these parts. find when he comes to negotiate the New Unless our memory deceive us, he could Treaty with the Ministers of the Dominion not reach the bottom with a mile and more at Ottawa.

of line when far to the north of Spitzber

gen. In 1827 Sir Edward Parry attempted In the meantime, the confessions of this to reach the North Pole over the ice-fields useful American State Paper are one lesson which had hindered the progress of IIudson more to the pyramid of examples which and Scoresby: Sailing as far north as he have already taught a large part of mankind could from Spitzbergen, he landed his crew that the best thing which Governments can on the apparently solid ice-fields, and comdo for Trade is to leave it untouched either menced his celebrated “boat-and-sledge" by Treaties, Tariffs, or “ intelligent super- expedition towards the North Pole. A intendence” of any kind whatever.

large reward had been offered to the party if they should succeed in reaching the par

allel of 85°. Everything seemed to promise From The Spectator.

success, and they had already attained with

in about 160 miles of the last-named latiTHE NORTH POLAR EXPEDITIONS.

tude, or within 850 miles of the North Pole, We have probably received the last news when Sir Edward Parry began to notice a we shall have for many months to come re- singular and disheartening circumstance. specting the Expeditions which have been He found that the northerly progress of his sent from Germany and Sweden to the Arc- party by no means corresponded with the tic Seas. The German expedition sailed rate at which they were traversing the ice. under the command of Captain Köldewey Gradually the deficiency increased, until at in the Germania. After an unsuccessful length he found that although they were attempt to make the eastern shore of Green- travelling fifteen miles a day over the iceland in latitude 75o the Germania sailed field, they were actually making no progfurther north, and finding the shores of ress whatever towards the North Pole of Greenland encumbered with enormous ice- the earth. The whole ice-field was being fields compacted together by long continued steadily carried southwards, like an enoreasterly winds, she would seem to have mous ship, before the northerly winds which pushed her way round the fields in a north- had for several days opposed the advance easterly direction, since the last intelligence of Parry and his crew. we have respecting her describes her as The modern theory respecting the Arctic having attained north latitude 805 degrees, regions is that there extends for many dein east longitude 5 degrees. Reference to grees on every side of the North Pole a sea a map of the North Polar regions will show which is almost free from ice in summer. that she is now some 120 miles from the It is supposed by some that this sea comnorth-western extremity of Spitzbergen. municates with the North Atlantic Ocean, She was sailing in a northerly direction while others imagine that enormous barriers when last spoken.

of fixed ice, if not even of solid land, surThe Swedish expedition has been some- round the Polar Sea on every side. In what less successful. It arrived at Bear 1851-5 Dr. Kane traced Kennedy Channel Island seventeen days after the German as far north as 81° 22'; and to the northexpedition, and remained there five days. east he saw an open sea extending as far as When last heard of the Swedish ship was the eye could reach. " Its waves," says in north latitude 80 degrees.

Captain Maury, were dashing on the The two ships are following a course beach with the swell of a boundless ocean. which many of the old Arctic navigators The tides ebbed and flowed in it, and I appursued unsuccessfully, but which yet ap- prehended that the tidal wave from the Atpears, on the whole, to present a more fa- lantic could no more pass under the icy vourable prospect of success than any other barrier to be propagated in the seas beyond which could be devised. In 1607 Hudson than the vibrations of a musical string can

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »