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will grin with good humoi , Le Sage dirty crowd we discover the fresh face smile like a diverted man; both will of a young girl, this artificial light pass by and think no more of it. Dick covers it with false and excessive lights ens muses over it for half a page. He and shades ; it makes it stand out sees so clearly all the effects of the against the rainy, and cold blackness wind, he puts himself so entirely in its with a strange halo. The mind is place, he imagincs for it a will so im- struck with wonder; but we carry our passioned and precise, he shakes the hand to our eyes to cover them, and clothes of the poor man hither and whilst we admire the force of this light th.ther so violently and so long, he we involuntarily think of the real couu turns the gust into a tempest, into a try sun and the tranquil beauty of day pr.rsecution so great, that we are made giddy; and even whilst we laugh, we § 2.—THE PUBLIC. feel in ourselves too much emotion and compassion to laugh heartily:
I. “* And a breezy, goose-skinned, blue-nosed, Plant this talent on English soil ; red-eyed, stony-toed, tooth-chattering place it was, to wait in, in the winter time, as Toby the literary opinion of the country will Veck well knew. The wind came tearing direct its growth and explain its fruits. round the corner -especially the east wind For this public opinion is its private as if it had sallied forth, express, from the confines of the earth, to have a blow at Toby. opinion; it does not submit to it as to And often times it seemed to come upon him
an external constraint, but feels it insooner than it had expected; for, bouncing wardly as an inner persuasion; it round the corner, and passing Toby, it would does not hinder, but develops it, and suddenly wheel round again, as if it cried : Why, here he is!' Incontinently his little only repeats aloud what it said to itseli white apron would be caught up over his head in a whisper. like a naughty boy's garments, and his feeble The counsels of this public taste are little cane would be seen to wrestle and struggle somewhat like this; the more power: unavailingly in his hand, and his legs would undergo tremendous agitation ; and Toby him- ful because they agree with its natural self, all aslant, and facing now in this direction, inclination, and urge it upon its special now in that, would be so banged and buffeted, and touzled, and worried, and hustled, and lifted off his feet, as to render it a state of things be such as may be read by young
“Be moral. All your novels must but one degree removed from a positive miracle that he wasn't carried up bodily into the air as We are practical minds, and we would a colony of frogs or snails or other portable not have literature corrupt practical creatures sometimes are, and rained down again, life. We believe in family life, and to the great astonishment of the natives, on some strange corner of the world where ticket- we would not have literature pain porters are unknown.".
the passions which attack famiiy life. If now we would picture in a glance served something of the severity of our
We are Protestants, and we have pre this imagination,-so lucid, so violent,
fathers against enjoyinent and passions. 50 passionately fixed on the object se. Amongst these, love is the worst. Be. lected, so deeply touched by little things, so wholly attached to the de. ware of resembling in this respect the
most illustrious of our neighbors. Love tails and sentiments of vulgar life, so is the hero of all George Sand's novels. fertile in incessant emotions, so power. Married or not, she thinks it beautiful, hal in ruusing painful pity, sarcastic holy, sublime in itself ; and she says raillery, nervous gayety,--we must fan.
so. Don't believe this ; and if you do :a London street on a rainy winter's believe it, don't say it. It is a bad ex night. The flickering light of the gas ample. Love thus represented makes dazzles our eyes, streams through the marriage a secondary matter. It ends shop windows, floods over the passing in marriage, or destroys it, or does forms; and its harsh light, settling without it, according to circumstances ; upon their contracted features, brings but whatever it does, it treats it as in out, with endless detail and damaging ferior; it does not recognize any holi force, their wrinkles, deformities, troubled expression. If in this close and it, and holds it impious if it is excluded.
ness in it, beyond that which love * The Chimes, the first quarter. A novel of this surt is a plea for the
heart, the imagination, enthusiasm, the betrothed, the tears of the mothers, nature; but it is also often a plea the tears of all the guests, the amusing against society and law: we do not and touching scenes of the dinner suffer society and law to be touched, table ; you will create a crowd of directly or indirectly. To present a family pictures, all touching, and alfeeling as divine, to make all institu- most all as agreeable as screer paint tions bow before it, to carry it through ings. The reader is moved; he thinks a series of generous actions, to sing he is beholding the innocent loves and with a sort of heroic inspiration the virtuous attentions of a little boy and combats which it wages and the attacks girl of ten. He should like to say to which it sustains, to enrich it with all them : 'Good little people, continue to the force of eloquence, to crown it with be very proper.' But the chief interest all the flowers of poetry, is to paint the will be for young girls, who will learn in life, which it results in, as more beauti- how devoted and yet suitable a manner ful and loftier than others, to set it a lover ought to court his intended. If far above all passions and duties, in a you venture on a seduction, as in Cop sublime region, on a throne, whence it perfield, you do not relate the progress, shines as a light, a consolation, a hope, ardor, intoxication of love ; you only and draws all hearts towards it. Per depict its miseries, despair, and rehaps this is the world of artists; it is morse. If in Copperfield and the Cricket not the world of ordinary men. Per on the Hearth you present a troubled haps it is true to nature; we make marriage and a suspected wife, you nature give way before the interests of hasten to restore peace to the marriage society. George Sand paints impas- and innocence to the wife; and you sioned women; paint you for us good will deliver, by her mouth, so splendid women. George Sand makes us desire a eulogy on marriage, that it might to be in love; do you make us desire serve for a model to Emile Augier. to be married.
If in Hard Times the wife treads on “ This has its disadvantages without the border of crime, she shall check doubt; art suffers by it, the public herself there. If in Dombey and Son gains. Though your characters give she flees from her husband's roof, she the best examples, your works will be remains pure, only incurs the appearof less value. No matter; you may ance of crime, and treats her lover in console yourself with the thought that such a manner that the reader wishes you are moral. Your lovers will be to be the husband. If, lastly, in Cop. uninteresting ; for the only interest perfield you relate the emotions and natural to their age is the violence of follies of love, you will rally this poor passion, and you cannot paint passion. affection, depict its littlenesses, not venIn Nicholas Nickleby you will show two ture to make us hear the ardent, gener. good young men, like all young men, ous, undisciplined blast of the all-pow. marrying two good young women, like erful passion; you turn it into a toy all young women; in Martin Chuzzlewit for good children, or a pretty marriage. you will show two more good young trinket. But marriage will compensate men, perfectly resembling the other you. Your genius of observation and two, marrying again two good young taste for details is exercised on the women, perfectly resembling the other scenes of domestic life; you will excel two; in Dombey and Son there will be in the picture of a fireside, family prat. only one good young man and one good tle, children on the kees of their mother, young woman. Otherwise there is no a husband watching by lamplight by difference. And so on. The number the side of his sleeping wife, the heart of your marriages is marvellous, and full of joy and courage, because it feels you marry enough couples to people that it is working for its own. You England. What is more curious still, will describe charming or grave por. they are all disinterested, and the young traits of women; of Dora, who after marman and young woman snap their riage continues to be a little girl, wksso fingers at money as sincerely as in the pouting, prettinesses, childishnesses, Opéra Comique. You will not cease
* A living French author, whose dramas an to dwell on the pretty shynesses of all said to have a moral purposco-Tr.
laughter, make the hcuse gay, like the habits of mind which have impressed chirping of a bird ; Esther, whose per- in him this primitive inclination, to fect goodness and divine innocence prove the necessity of its effects, to cannot be affected by trials or years ; lead it through all its stages, to show Agnes, so calm, patient, sensible, pure, the greater power which age and conworthy of respect, a very model of a tentment give, to expose the irresistible wife, sufficient in herself to claim for fall which hurls man into madness or marriage the respect which we demand death. The reader, caught by this reafor it. And when it is necessary to soning, admires the work which it has show the beauty of these duties, the produced, and forgets to be indignant kreatness of this conjugal love, the against the personage created. He depth of the sentiment which ten years says, What a splendid miser! and of confidence, cares, and reciprocal de- thinks not of the evils which avarice votion have created, you will find in causes. He becomes a philosopher your sensibility, so long constrained, and an artist, and remembers not that speeches as pathetic as the strongest he is an upright man. Always recol. words of love. *
lect that you are such and renounce “The worst novels are no: those the beauties which may flourish on this which glorify love. mau must live ez! soil. across the Channel to dare what the “Amongst these the first is great. French have dared. In England, some ness. A man must be interested in admire Balzac; but no man would passions to comprehend their full ef. tolerate him. Some pretend that he fect, to count all their springs, to de. is not immoral; but every one will scribe their whole course. They are recognize that he always and every diseases; if a man is content to blame where makes morality an abstraction. them he will never know them; if you George Sand has only celebrated one are not a physiologist, if you are not passion ; Balzac has celebrated them enamoured of them, if you do not make all. He has considered them as forces; your heroes out of them, if you do not and holding that force is beautiful, he start with pleasure at the sight of a has supported them by their causes, fine feature of avarice, as at the sight surrounded them by 'their circum- of a valuable symptom, you will not stances, developed them in their ef- be able to unfold their vast system, and fects, pushed them to an extreme, and to display their fatal greatness. You magnified them so as to make them into will not have this immoral merit; and, sublime monsters, more systematic and moreover, it does not suit your species more true than the truth. We do not of mind. Your extreme sensibility, admit that a man is only an artist, and and ever-ready irony, must needs be nothing else. We would not have him exercised; you have not sufficient calmseparate himself from his conscience, ness to penetrate to the depths of a and lose sight of the practical. We character, you prefer to weep over or will never consent to see that such is to rail at it; you lay the blame on it, the leading feature of our own Shak- make it your friend or foe, render it speare ; we will not recognize that he, touching or odious; you do not depict like Balzac, brings his heroes to crime it; you are too impassioned, and not sud monomania, and that, like him, he enough inquisitive. On the other hand, lives in a land of pure logic and im- the tenacity of your imagination, the agination. We have changed much vehemence and fixity with which you since the sixteenth century, and we impress your thought into the detail condemn now what we approved form- you wish to grasp, limit your knowl. erly. We would not have the reader edge, arrest you in a single feature, interested in a miser, an ambitious prevent you from reaching all the parts man, a rake. And he is interested in of a soul, and from sounding its depths. inem when the writer, neither praising Your imagination is too lively, too nor blaming, sets himself to unfold the meagre. These, then, are the charmood, training, shape of the head, and acters you will outline. You will grasp
• David Copperfield, ch. lrv. ; the scene be a personage in a single attitude, you tween the docto: and his wife.
will see of him only that, and you will
impose it upon him from beginning to though united, will continue effectu end. His face will always have the ally detached, and will not constitute a same expression, and this expression genuine collection, You began with will be almost always a grimace. Your essays, and your larger novels are only personages will have a sort of knack essays, tagged together. The only which will not quit them. Miss Mercy means of composing a natural and solid will laugh at every word; Mark Tapley whole is to write the history of a pas. will say “jolly'in every scene; Mrs. sion or of a character, to take them up Gamp will be ever talking of Mrs. at their birth, to see them increase, Harris ; Dr. Chillip will not venture a alter, become destroyed, to understand single action free from timnidity; Mr. the inner necessity for their develop Micawber will speak through three ment. You do not follow this devel. volumes the same kind of emphatic opment ; you always keep your char. phrases, and will pass five or six times, acter in the same attitude; he is a with comical suddenness, from joy to miser, or a hypocrite, or a good man to grief. Each of your characters will be the end, and always after the same a vice, a virtue, 'a ridicule personified; fashion: thus he has no history. You and the passion, with which you endow can only change the circumstances in it, will be so frequent, so invariable, so which he is met with, you do not absorbing, that it will no longer be change him; he remains motionless, like a living man, but an abstraction in and at every shock that touches him, man's clothes. The French have a emits the same sound. The variety of Tartuffe like your Pecksniff, but the events which you contrive is therefore hypocrisy which he represents has not only an amusing phantasmagoria; they destroyed the other traits of his char- have no connection, they do not form a acter; if he adds to the comedy by his system, they are but a heap. You wili vice, he belongs to humanity by his only write lives, adventures, memoirs, nature. He has, besides his ridiculous sketches, collections of scenes, and feaiure, a character and a mood; he is you will not be able to compose an accoarse, strong, red in the face, brutal, tion. But if the literary taste of your sensual; the vehemence of his blood nation, added to the natural direction makes him bold; his boldness makes of your genius, imposes upon you him calm ; his boldness, his calm, his moral intentions, forbids you the quick decision, his scorn of men, make lofty depicture of characters, vetoes him a great politician. When he has the composition of united aggregates, entertained the public through five it presents to your observation, sen: acts, he still offers to the psychologistsibility, and satire, a succession of and the physician more than one sub- original figures which belong only to ject of study. Your Pecksniff will England, which, drawn by your hand, offer nothing to these. He will only will form a unique gallery, and which, serve to instruct and amuse the public. with the stamp of your genius, will He will be a living satire of hypocrisy, offer that of your country and of your and nothing more. If you give him a time.” taste for brandy, it is gratuitously; in the mood which you assign to him, § 3.—THE CHARACTERS. aothing requires it; he is so steeped
1. In oily hypocrisy, in softness, in a flowing style, in literary phrases, in tender Take away the grotesque characters morality, that the rest of his nature has who are only introduced to fill up and disappeared; it is a mask, and not a to excite laughter, and you wisl find
But this mask is so grotesque that all Dickens' characters belong to and energetic, that it will be useful to two classes--people who have feelings the public, and will diminish the num- and emotions, and people who liave ber of hypocrites. It is our end and none. He contrasts the souls which yours, anš the list of your characters nature creates with those which society will have rather the effect of a book of deforms. One of his last novels, Hard satires than of a portrait gallery. Times, is an abstract of all the rest
“For the same reason, these satires, | He there exalts instinct above rea
son, intuition of heart above positive to nothing. Hypocrisy comes and knowledge; he attacks education built goes, varying with the state of morals. on statistics, figures, and facts; over- religion, and mind: we can see whelms the positive and mercantile how Pecksniff's suits the dispositions spirit with misfortune and ridicule ; of his country. English relię 20 is ng and the aristocrat ; falls foul of manu- very dogmatical, but wholl: facturing towns, combats the pride, Therefore Pecksniff does ont like harshness, selfishness of the merchant Tartuffe, utter theological phrases. towns of smoke and mud, which fetter expands altogether in philanthropio the body in an artificial atmosphere, tirades. He has progressed with the and the mind in a factitious existence. age; he has become a humanitarian He seeks out poor artisans, mounte. philosopher. He calls his daughters banks, a foundling, and .crushes be- Mercy and Charity. He is tender, he neath their common sense, generosity, is kind, he gives vent to domestic efdelicacy, courage, and gentleness, the fusions. He innocently exhibits, when false science, false happiness, and false visited, charming domestic scenes; he virtue of the rich and powerful who displays his paternal heart marital despise them. He satirises oppressive sentiments, the kindly feeling of a society ; mourns over oppressed na- good master. The family virtues are ture ; and his elegiac genius, like his honored nowadays; he must muffle satirical genius, finds ready to his hand himself therewith. Orgon formerly in the English world around him, the said, as taught by Tartuffe: sphere which it needs for its develop
“My brother, children, mother, wife might
You think I'll care ; no surely, no! not II.
Modern virtue and English piety The first fruits of English society is think otherwise; we must not despise laypocrisy. It ripens here under the this world in view of the next; we must double breath of religion and morality; improve it. Tartuffe speaks of his we know their popularity and sway hair-shirt and his discipline ; Peck: across the Channel. In a country sniff, of his comfortable little parlor, where it is shocking to laugh on Sun- of the charm of friendship, the beauday, where the gloomy Puritan has ties of nature. He tries to make preserved something of his old rancor, men “dwell in unity.” He is like a against happiness, where the critics of member of the Peace Society. He ancient history insert dissertations on develops the most touching considera. the relative virtue of Nebuchadnezzar, tions on the benefits and beauties of it is natural that the appearance of union among men. It will be impossimorality should be serviceable. It is ble to hear him without being affected. a needful coin : those who lack good Men are refined nowadays, they have money coi 1 bad; and the more public read much elegiac poetry, their sensiopinión declares it precious, the more bility is more active; they can no it is counterfeited. This vice is there- longer be deceived by the coarse im fore English. Mr. Pecksniff is not pudence of Tartuffe. This is why Mr found in France. His speech would Pecksniff will use gestures of sublimo disgust Frenchmen. If they have an long-suffering, smiles of ineffable com affectation, it is not of virtue, but of passion, starts, free and easy. move: vice: if they wish to succeed, they ments, graces, tendernesses which will would be wrong to speak of their prin- seduce the most reserved and charm ciples: they prefer to confess their the most delicate. The English in weaknesses; and if they have quacks, they are boasters of immorality. They * “ Et je verrais mourir frère, enfants, mére had their hypocrites once, but it was
Que je m'en soucierais autant que de when religion was popular. Since Voltaire, Tartuffe is impossible. Frenchmen no longer try to affect a piety in-law Cleante, are from Molière's Tortugal
These lines, said by Orgon to this brother which would deceive no one and lead I vi.