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he soon has an epic made for him. A of lofty Greek poetry; Beattie, a Scotsman, a man of wit, of too much metaphysical moralist, with a young wit, having published on his own ac- girl's nerves and an maid's hob count an unsuccessful rhapsody, wish-bies; the amiable and affectionate ed to recover his expenses, visited the Goldsmith who wrote the Vicar of Wake mountains of his country, gathered pic-field, the most charming of Protestant Luresque images, collected fragments pastorals; poor Collins, a young enthu of legends, plastered over the whole an siast, who was disgusted with life, abundance of eloquence and rhetoric, would read nothing but the Bible, we' and created a Celtic Homer, Ossian, mad, was shut up in an asylum, and in who with Oscar, Malvina, and his his intervals of liberty wandered in whole troop, made the tour of Europe, Chichester cathedral, accompanying the and, about 1830, ended by furnishing music with sobs and groans; Glover, baptismal names for French grisettes Watts, Shenstone, Smart, and others. and perruquiers. Macpherson display- The titles of their works sufficiently ined to the world an imitation of primi- dicate their character. One writes a tive manners, not over-true, for the ex-poem on The Pleasure of Imagination, treme rudeness of barbarians would another odes on the Passions and or have shocked the people, but yet well | Liberty; one an Elegy written in a enough preserved or portrayed to con- Country Churchyard and a Hymn to trast with modern civilization, and per- Adversity, another a poem on a Deserted suade the public that they were look- Village, and on the character of suring upon pure nature. Á keen sym- rounding civilizations (Goldsmith's pathy with Scottish landscape,so grand, Traveller); one a sort of epic on Therso cold, so gloomy, rain on the hills, mopyla, and another the moral history the birch trembling to the wind, the of a young Minstrel. They were nearmist of heaven and the vague musing ly all grave, spiritual men, impassioned of the soul, so that every dreamer for noble ideas, with Christian aspirafound there the emotions of his soli- tions or convictions, given to meditatary walks and his philosophic sadness; ting on man, inclined to melancholy, to chivalric exploits and magnanimity, he- description, invocation, lovers of abroes who set out alone to engage an straction and allegory, who, to attain army, faithful virgins dying on the greatness, willingly mounted on stilts. tomb of their betrothed; an impas- One of the least strict and most noted sioned, colored style, affecting to be of them was Young, the author of abrupt, yet polished; able to charm a Night Thoughts, a clergyman and a courdisciple of Rousseau by its warmth and tier, who, having vainly attempted to elegance: here was something to trans-enter Parliament, then to become a port the young enthusiasts of the time; civilized barbarians, scholarly lovers of nature, dreaming of the delights of savage life, whilst they shook off the powder which the hairdresser had left on their coats.

bishop, married, lost his wife and children, and made use of his misfortunes to write meditations on Life, Death, Immortality, Time, Friendship, The Christian Triumph, Virtue's Apology, A Moral Survey of the Nocturnal Heavens, and many other similar pieces. Doubtless there are rilliant flashes of imagination in his poems; seriousness and elevation are not wanting; we can even see that he aims at them; but we discover much more quickly that he makes the most of his grief, and strikes attitudes. He exaggerates and declaims, studies effect and style, con fuses Greek and Christian ideas. Fan

Yet this is not the course of the main current of poetry; it runs in the direction of sentimental reflection: the greatest number of poems, and those most sought after, are emotional dissertations. In fact, a man of feeling breaks out in excessive declamations. When he sees a cloud, he dreams of human nature and constructs a phrase. Hence at this time among poets, swarm the melting philosophers and the tear-cy an unhappy father, who says : ful academicians; Gray, the morose

aermit of Cambridge, and Akenside, a "Silence and Darkness! Solemn sisters noble thinker, both learned imitators Twins

From ancient Night! I Day's soft-ey'd

sister pay my court, (Endymion's rival!) and her aid implore; Now first implor'd in succour to the Muse."


| the slave of the period: Dr. Johnson, who was at once the La Harpe and the Boileau of his age, explains and imposes on all the studied, balanced, And a few pages further on he invokes irreproachable phrase; and classical heaven and earth, when mentioning the ascendency is still so strong that it resurrection of the Saviour. And yet domineers over nascent history, the .he sentiment is fresh and sincere. Is only kind of English literature which t not one of the greatest of modern was then European and original. deas to put Christian philosophy into Hume, Robertson, and Gibbon were verse? Young and his contemporar- almost French in their taste, language les say beforehand that which Chateau- education, conception of man. They briand and Lamai tine were to discover. relate like men of the world, cultivated The true, the futile, all is here forty and well-informed, with charm and years earlier than in France. The an- clearness, in a polished, rhythmic, susgels and the other celestial machinery tained style. They show a liberal long figured in England before appear- spirit, an unvaried moderation, an iming in Chateaubriand's Génie du Christ- partial reason. They banish from hisianisme and the Martyrs. Atala and tory all coarseness and tediousness Chactas are of the same family as The write without fanaticism or preMalvina and Fingal. If Lamartine judice. But, at the same time, they read Gray's odes and Akenside's re-attenuate human nature; comprehend flections, he would find there the mel- neither barbarism nor loftiness; paint ancholy sweetness, the exquisite art, revolutions and passions, as people the fine arguments, and half the ideas might do who had seen nothing but of his own poetry. And nevertheless, decked drawing-rooms and dusted linear as they were to a literary renova-braries; they judge enthusiasts with tion, Englishmen did not yet attain it. the coldness of chaplains or the smile In vain the foundation was changed, of a skeptic; they blot out the salient the form remained. They did not features which distinguish human physshake off the classical drapery; they iognomies; they cover all the harsh write too well, they dare not be natur- points of truth with a brilliant and al. They have always a patent stock uniform varnish. At last there started of fine suitable words, poetical elegances, where each of them thought himself bound to go and pick out his phrases. It boots them nothing to be impassioned or realistic; like Shenstone, to dare to describe a Schoolmistress, and the very part on which she whips a young rascal; their simplicity is conscious, their frankness archaic, their emotion formal, their tears academical. Ever, at the moment of writing, an august model starts up, a sort of schoolmaster, weighing on each with his full weight, with all the weight which a hundred and twenty years of literature can give his precepts. Their prose is always

Yoang's Night Thoughts. Night the First: On Life, Death, and Immortality. ↑ Ibid. Night the Third Narcissa.

up an

unfortunate Scotch peasant (Burns), rebelling against the world, and in love, with the yearnings, lusts, greatness, and irrationality of modern genius. Now and then, behind his plough, he lighted on genuine verses, verses such as Heine and Alfred de Musset ave written in our own days. In thos .ew words, combined after a new fashion, there was a revolution Two hundred new verses sufficed. The human mind turned on its hinges, and so did civil society. When Roland, being made a minister, presented him. self before Louis XVI. in a simple dress-coat and shoes without buckles, the master of the ceremonies raised his hands to heaven, thinking that all was lost. In reality, all was changed.





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sprang up.

The preceding age had done its work. Perfect prose and classical style put within reach of the most backward and the dullest minds the notions of literature and the discoveries of science. Moderate monarchies and regular administrations had permitted the middle class to develop itself under the pompous aristocracy of the court, as useful plants may be seen shooting up beneath trees which serve for show and ornament. They multiply, grow, rise to the height of their rivals, envelop hem in their luxuriant growth, and obscure them by their dense clusters. A new world, a world of citizens and pleheians henceforth occupies the ground, attracts the gaze, imposes its form on manners, stamps its image on minds. Towards the close of the century a sudden concourse of extraordinary events brings it all at once to the light, and sets it on an eminence unknown to any previous age. With the grand

applications of science, democracy ap pears. The steam-engine and spin ning-jenny create in England towns of from three hundred and fifty thousand to five hundred thousand souls. The and agriculture becomes so perfect, population is doubled in fifty years that, in spite of this enormous increase of mouths to be fed, one-sixth of the inhabitants provide from the same soil food for the rest; imports increase threefold, and even more; the tonnage of vessels increases sixfold, the exports sixfold and more. Comfort, leisure, instruction, reading, travel, whatever had been the privilege of a few, became the common property of the many. The rising tide of wealth raised the best of the poor to comfort, lence. The rising tide of civilization and the best of the well-to-do to opuraised the mass of the people to the rudiments of education, and the mass of citizens to complete education. In 1709 appeared the first daily newspaper, as big as a man's hand, which the editor did not know how to fill, and which, added to all the other papers, thousand numbers in the year.

did not circulate to the extent of three


See Alison, History of Europe; Porter, Progress of the Nation.

In the Fourth Esta e, by F. Knight Hunt 2 vols. 1840, it is said (. 175) that the first dail and morning paper, he Daily Cone ani, ap peared in 1709.-TR.

1844 the Stamp Office showed that 71 | million newspapers had been printed during the past year, many as large as volumes, and containing as much matter. Artisans and townsfolk, enfranchised, enriched, having gained a competence left the low depths where they had been buried in their narrow parsimony, ignorance, and routine; they made their appearance on the stage now, doffed their workman's and supernumerary's dress, assumed the leading parts by a sudden irruption or a continuous progress, by dint of revolutions, with a prodigality of labor and genius, amidst vast wars, successively or simultaneously in America, France, the whole of Europe, founding or destroying states, inventing or restoring sciences, conquering or acquiring, political rights. They grew noble through their great deeds, became the rivals, equals, conquerors of their masters; they need no longer imitate them, being heroes in their turn: like them, they can point to their crusades; like them, they have gained the right of having a poetry; and like them, they will have a poetry.

In France, the land of precocious equality and completed revolutions, we must observe this new character-the plebeian bent on getting on; Augereau, son of a greengrocer; Marceau, son of a lawyer; Murat, son of an innkeeper; Ney, son of a cooper; Hoche, formerly a sergeant, who in his tent, by night, read Condillac's Traité des Sensations; and chief of all, that spare young man, with lank hair, hollow cheeks, eaten up with ambition, his heart full of romantic fancies and grand roughhewn ideas, who, a lieutenant for seven years, read twice through the whole stock of a bookseller at Valence, who about this time (1792) in Italy, though suffering from itch, had just destroyed five armies with a troop of barefooted heroes, and gave his government an account of his victories with all his faults of spelling and of French. He became master, proclaimed himself the representative of the Revolution, declared, "that a career is open to talent," and impelled others along with him in his enterprises. They follow him, because there is glory, and above all, advancement, to be won. "Two

officers," says Stendhal, "commanded a battery at Talavera; a ball laid low the captain. So!' said the lieuten ant, François is dead, I shall be cap tain.' 'Not yet,' said François, who was only stunned, and got on his feet again." These two men were neither enemies nor wicked; on the contrary, they were companions and comrades, but the lieutenant wanted to rise a step. Such was the sentiment which pro vided men for the exploits and carnage of the Empire, which caused the Rev olution of 1830, and which now, in this vast stifling democracy, compels men to vie with each other in intrigues and labor, genius and baseness, to get out of their primitive condition, and raise themselves to the summit, of which the possession is given up to their rivalry or promised to their toil The dominant character now-a-days is no longer the man of the drawing-room, whose position in society is settled and whose fortune is made; elegant and careless, with no employment but to amuse himself and to please; who loves to converse, who is gallant, who passes his life in conversation with finely dressed ladies, amidst the duties of society and the pleasures of the world: it is the man in a black coat, who works alone in his room or rushes about in a cab to make friends and protectors; often envious, feeling himself always above or below his station in life, sometimes resigned, never satisfied, but fertile in invention, not sparing his labor, finding the picture of his blemishes and his strength in the drama of Victor Hugo and the novels of Balzac.*

This man has also other and greater cares. With the state of human so ciety, the form of the human mind has changed. It changed by a natural and irresistible development, like a flower growing into fruit, like fruit turning to seed. The mind renews the evolu tion which it had already performed in Alexandria, not as then in a deleterious atmosphere, amidst the universal degradation of enslaved men, in the increasing decadence of a disorganized society, amidst the anguish of despa

To realize the contrast, compare Gil Blas and Stendhal's Julien Sorel (in Rouge and Ruy Blas, Marivaux's Paysan Parvenn Noir).

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