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that is most detestable, all that virtue can pre- said that a woman's conceptions in romance are sent that is most elevating, alternately employ nothing but a picture of what has really passed their varied pencils. Life appears to them nei- through her own heart; if so, what an extraorther a scene of probation, in which suffering dinary one has her genius exhibited of her heart, must be endured, nor a period of enjoyment, in and the various crimes it has shared, the vicissiwhich gratification can securely be obtained; tudes it has experienced! It is painful to see a but a journey, in which alternate storms and mind in many respects so finely strung, and resunshine are to be experienced, altogether irresponding to some of the noblest feelings and spective of the conduct of the travelers. Their most touching emotions of our nature, so deepobject is not, like the Greek dramatists, to reply tinged by the prevailing passions and vices resent the picture of a heroio mind wrestling of the age as to have lost all sense of their real with the storms of fate, nor, like the best class character, and ready to represent them, in works of English novelists, to record the final triumph of imagination, as equally attractive with the of virtue over the machinations of wickedness. most dignified and honorable sentiments in What they aim at is to paint the human mind, awakening the sympathies of the human mind. stirred by every passion, yielding to every se- EUGENE SUE can not be assigned so high a place duction, and experiencing the alternate trans- as either of the preceding writers in ports and torments, gleams of sunshine and a lasting estimate of contemporary Eugene Sve horrors of the tempest, consequent on such a merit, though his present reputation concession to the impulses of wickedness. has been fully as great as that of either. It is im
Victor Hugo is the first and most graphic of possible to deny to the author of The Wandering 70. this school of novelists, in which Dumas, 1.Jew, or the Mysteries of Paris, a very powerful imVietor Eugene Sue, and so many others, have ac agination and creative fancy; but it is an imaginHugo. quired such brilliant contemporary repu ation so wild, and a fancy so distorted, that fortation. His works are extremely voluminous, eign readers, at least, can not appreciate them. and, considered as pictures of the manners and There is a natural appetite in mankind for scanideas of successive eras of French history, ex dal and pictures of hidden profligacy; and whotremely interesting. The author of Notre Dame ever lifts up the vail, whích so many are anxhas given an equally graphic account of many ious to peep under, is sure, for the time at least, other periods of French story, and mingled his to enjoy an extensive popularity. But it is for toric truth with all the interest which romance, a time only. Delineation of scenes of secret imagination, and licentiousness could communi- voluptuousness never can attain a lasting popucate to its pages. Deeply versed in antiquarian larity, if it was for no other reason than this, and historie lore, he has adorned his pages with that the sexes can not speak of them to each all the truthfulness and vivacity which the de- other, and thus a great charm of works of imlineation of nature and the representation of agination is lost. However much various pereality can alone confer. Unfortunately, he has culiarities in human nature, which fall too mingled with it the unbridled license and love prominently under the observation of the histoof excitement which the passions of the Revo- rian, may lead him to form an unfavorable estilution have rendered essential to present suc- mate of it, there are others which have a directcess in France. He has gone far to barbarize ly opposite tendency, and demonstrate how the language of his country; there is in his many elements of the noble and the generous writings as great a chaos of words as ideas; and are mingled with a selfish alloy in our fallen if Racine or Molière were to rise from their nature. Not the least of these is the fact, proved graves, they would find half the words unknown from every page of literary history, that no work to them. Gibbon has said with truth, that a of genius ever attained to great and lasting fame very curious and valuable work might be writ- which was not of a pure and elevating tendency; ten on the connection between words and things; and if the sin of genius devoting itself to works nor is it surprising it should be so; for what are of an opposite tendency is great, the punishment words but the expression of ideas? Judging by is still greater, for it is that of ultimate oblivion. this standard, the Revolution has indeed pro- | It is in this sense we are to understand the just duced a new world of thought in France; for observation of Sir Joshua Reynolds, not less apmost certainly it has all but created a new lan- plicable to literature than painting, “The preguage.
sent and future times are two rivals; he who Victor Hugo's mind is essentially picturesque courts the one must make up his
1 Lectures 71. and pictorial; he has considerable pow. mind to be discountenanced by the on
on Painting. George ers of the pathetic, but it is not his na- other.” 1 Sand. tive bent. Very different is the case with Perhaps the most remarkable branch of the highly-gifted female writer whose works French literature, during the Res. No
73. appear under the name of GEORGE SAND. She toration, and unquestionably that Periodical is endowed with powers in that respect which which has exercised the most power- literature or never were exceeded either by man or woman. fulinfluence on contemporary events, France since
the RevoluShe has all the strength of passion which char- is the PERIODICAL. This mighty enacterizes the former, and all the tenderness gine, which has now come to exerwhich is the most beautiful feature of the latter. / cise so powerful an influence over the fortune Strange phenomenon! that the exquisite pathos both of France and England, and which, for and romance whieh distinguish her finer pas- good or for evil, appears to be omnipotent, has sages and more perfect works, should be com- acquired even a greater ascendency in the bined with the open profligacy and undisguised former country than the latter. At least the Licentiousness which are equally conspicuous in journals have done so; for it is a remarkable them; nay, that the same characters should al- fact, eminently characteristic of the different ternately present the one and the other. It is temperament of the people of the two countries,
that while the Newspapers are more powerful We are not to ascribe this importance merely in France, the monthly or quarterly literature to the greater excitability, and lia- 5 is more influential in Great Britain. There are bility to immediate impressions, of Causes of no Reviews or Magazines in France, which the French than the English. At this differ sway so powerfully the opinions each of their least, as much was it owing to the
struction own sections of the community, as the Edin- absence of those influences to the of the inburgh Review, the Quarterly, the Westminster, south of the Channel which on the fluence of and Blackwood's Magazine. The Revue des north of it still exercised a predom- property. Deux Mondes is a most able periodical; but it inating influence. The nobility were still erect deals more with science and literature, and in England, not only in their hereditary homes, with past than present events. It would ap- but in political weight; the country gentlemen, pear that the sober-minded English, though though much curtailed of their importance, still they all read the daily press, often distrust its lived, dispensed hospitalities, and enjoyed inviolence, or dread its misrepresentations, and fluence on their estates. It was in these two reserve the moulding of their opinions for the bodies that the ruling power in the State was more deliberate articles of the higher periodical still to be found; the inhabitants of cities, literature; while the French, ardent, hasty, though daily rising in political consequence, and impetuous, yield an instantaneous assent had not yet become the rulers of the empire. to the effusions of the daily press, which fall in | It is on the inhabitants of cities, however, or with or inflame their preconceived impressions, those whose habits have been formed there, and are often prepared to act on the most that the daily press acts with its principal violent of their suggestions. It is well known force; the comparatively secluded life, rural that nearly all the revolutions which have con- occupations, and intellectual slowness of the invulsed France during the last sixty years have habitants of the country, always render them been prepared and brought on in this way; more tenacious of old habits and ideas, and and it was this which made the Duke of Wel- less amenable to modern influence. In France lington say, that in Paris they conspired in the this class was entirely awanting; the division public squares.
of the landed estates among the peasantry had From this unbounded influence of the daily extinguished the land as the seat of political 74.
press on general opinion, and, through influence, or of peculiar and influential thought. Different it, on the measures of Government, Every thing depended on the opinions of the class of and the fate not only of administra- inhabitants of towns, the very class most liable writers in tions but dynasties, has arisen an to be swayed by the daily press. Thus the the daily press in important difference between the arena and rewards of composition for the pubFrance and character of the journals and the lic journals were different in the two countries: England. class of men who write in them in in England, the country was the seat of influthe two countries. In England, till very lately, ence, the House of Commons the theatre of the highest class of writers very seldom wrote contest; in France, Paris and the chief towns articles in the daily press; and if, on particu- were the ruling power, the disposition of their lar occasions, and to serve a special purpose, citizens determined the fate of parties, and they they did so, they endeavored to conceal their were almost entirely directed by the daily names, and were often not a little ashamed if press. Hence the difference in the class of they were found out. Even in the monthly men who at that period in the two countries and quarterly literature, though they con- engaged in its animated and varied pleadings. tributed largely, they endeavored to keep up! Add to this, the citizens of the metropolis the incognito, and the essays were not collected had discovered a more summary 76. and published, with the author's name, till his and effectual method of asserting Owing also success in his avowed publications rendered it and securing their political su- to facility of probable that they would be favorably received premacy than by the slow method
in France. by the public. În France, on the other hand, of parliamentary influence. The not only were the leading journals on the Revolution had taught them on many occasions Liberal and Royalist sides regularly and daily that, by means of a well-concerted urban tusupported by the very highest writers both in mult, especially if aided by any considerable point of talent and reputation, but, so far from defection on the part of the military, not only being ashamed of, they gloried in it, and con- might the legislature be overawed, and the exsidered it their best passport to present influecutive subdued, but the dynasty itself might, ence and lasting fame. Chateaubriand, Guizot, if necessary, be changed. The work of reBarante, Thiers, Lamartine, Eugene Sue, Dumas, peated conflicts, during a long series of parliaVictor Hugo, and, indeed, all the popular writ- mentary campaigns, might be done in three ers of the age, contributed almost daily to the days. If victorious, the claims of the leaders public journals, and their collected articles form of the daily press, by whom the minds of men not the least interesting, and perhaps the ablest had been prepared for the revolt, were at once part of their whole compositions. It is to this recognized; the editors of newspapers became cause that the extraordinary ability of the ministers of state. No one need be told that public press during the Restoration, and the M. Thiers, M. Guizot, M. Lamartine, and a vast influence which it had on general opinion, great proportion of the statesmen who have is to be ascribed. Men of philosophic minds, ruled France since the fall of Napoleon, were and possessing stores of information, seldom borne forward to power in this was a thing write so well, at least for the time, as when to this day altogether unknown on this side of under the influence of political excitement; for the Channel. It is not surprising that the that gives fire to thoughts matured by study, I greatest talent in France put into the news. and based on previous reflection.
I paper lottery when such prizes were in the
wheel. And, accordingly, the class of men who thick; his countenance unexpressive; his voice, wrote in the public journals in Great Britain when raised high, degenerated into a scream. has been sensibly changed since their influence But all these disadvantages were more than on political change has been rendered more compensated by the energy of his mind, and direct; and it is sometimes now supported by his wonderful power in the representation of the leading statesmen and first writers of the passion: he acted with magical effect because age
he felt strongly, and was thoroughly in earnest However clearly we may perceive that this the best, perhaps the only security for suc
7. change is unavoidable, and that the cess, whether in literature or art. Nothing Danger of influence of the public journals on could exceed the thrill of horor which ran this state general opinion, and through it on through the audience in his representation of of things. the measures of Government, in all the more impassioned scenes. Those who have free countries, is daily becoming more decided, experienced a similar sensation from the perit is impossible to contemplate the change with formances of Mademoiselle Rachel can alone out apprehension. The great danger of the form a conception of it. To English spectators daily press is, that it is led to inflame the pas- the principal fault of his acting appeared to be sions of the moment; its profit, its fame, often that his vehement gesticulation began too early, its existence, depend on doing so. Whatever and went on too long; the demands on the veis the prevailing inclination of the public mind, hement sympathies of the audience were too that the great majority of the daily press is incessant. That peculiarity, however, belongs sure to increase. But as the prevailing inclina- to the whole French school of acting, and arises, tions are just as often wrong as right, and partly from the animated manners of the peofounded in error as based in truth, it is impos- ple, and partly from the experienced necessity sible to contemplate without apprehension the of supplying, by the intensity of the representgrowth of a power in the state capable of ation, for the measured language and stately rendering any one of these errors omnipotent voice of the poet. for the moment, and precipitating the nation, Contemporary with Talma, and, like him, with the general concurrence of the influential one of the last stays of the legitimate 79. masses, into a course of measures which may drama in France, was MADEMOISELLE Madlle. eventually prove its ruin. The well-known GEORGES. She was gifted with far Georges. inability of the vast majority of men to con- greater natural advantages. Dark hair, a template or give long consideration to remote splendid bust, and commanding countenance, consequences, however obvious to the thinking a fine figure, and majestic air, gave her, like few, renders this danger only the greater as Mrs. Siddons, that command of the senses the institutions of the state become more demo- which, on the stage, is so important an elecratic: and the ultimate and certain triumph ment in general and lasting success. Her menof truth over falsehood, of reason over delusion, tal qualities were on a level with her physical affords no security whatever against these dan- advantages, and rendered her, during nearly gers; for though that may enlighten future twenty years, the most admired actress on the ages, it will not prevent the errors of the pres-boards of the Théâtre Français. She was not ent from working out their natural result; and so vehement in her representation as either Talif the state is destroyed, it is poor consolation ma or Rachel, but she was, perhaps, on that for the victims in it to discover that they have account only the more pleasing; the mind was been ruined by the consequences of their own less worn out, from the outset, with violent folly.
emotions, and therefore better fitted to feel The decline of the drama in France since the them in their full intensity in the latter scenes,
A Revolution, has necessarily drawn af- for which they were reserved. Nothing could The stage ter it the degradation of the stage; exceed the magnificence of her declamationsin France. for how can the powers of a mighty the voice, the manner, the intonation were perTalma. actor be exhibited in delineating a fect. It was the spirit of Corneille embodied succession of murders and adulteries, of in- in the person of a splendid and fascinating wocests and poisonings, of hairbreadth escapes and man. atrocious deeds, such as form the staple of the Very different was the character of MADEMmodern or romantic drama in France? The OISELLE MARS, who reigned as supreme 80. great performers, whether male or female, have in elegant comedy as Mademoiselle Maddle. been confined, as a matter of necessity, to the Georges did in the severer walks of Mars. legitimate drama. But although it with diffi-tragedy. Her countenance was charming, and, culty maintained its ground against the surg-without regular beauty, in the highest degree ing waves of the romantic school, yet it was expressive; but her figure was large, which, not without a violent struggle it was over- but for the vivacity and youthfulness of her come; and perhaps the brightest histrionic disposition, would have disabled her from the genins of France shone forth in the days which performance of those juvenile parts in which immediately preceded the fall of that noble art. she so much excelled. This circumstance, howAt the very head of them all we must place ever, as is often the case, made her appear young Talma, a performer so great that he has ac- when she really was no longer so. She died at quired a European reputation, and is worthy the age of sixty-three, and her passport to the to be placed beside John Kemble and Mrs. Sid last assigned thirty as her age. Her appeardons, whose genius then threw an expiring lus ance on the stage, however, did not belie this tre over the English stage. He had not their flattering delusion. If the love of admiration great physical advantages; he had neither the is, par excellence, the great characteristic of Roman profile of the former nor the majestic French women, Mademoiselle Mars was the inbeauty of the latter; his figure was short and carnation of their temperament. She was coquetry personified. Never did it appear in a | Place Louis XV., the Pantheon, the Madeleine. more graceful and fascinating form, and never the Bourse, the Hôtel des Invalides, the Pillar did it command a greater number of devout of Austerlitz-indeed, were completed by the worshipers. Without ever being low, she was magnificence of Louis XIV., or projected by the always attractive: hers were the charms of genius of Napoleon; but it is no slight proof of high-bred beauty, not the hoidenish romping the sustained purity and elevation of the publie of village maidens. She could descend to re- taste that the stately style, begun by the first present their festivities, to personify their char- of these great men, and followed up by the acters, but it was always with an air of ele- second, has been continued by their successors. gance. She was often on the verge, but never No changes of government, though they may passed the limits of decorum, and the most re- have for the time suspended, have been able fined taste could find nothing to except to in permanently to interrupt the progress of their her most animated performances.
magnificent edifices. The perpetual charm Last in this bright band, MADEMOISELLE RA- which these afford to the eye is not the least
81. CHEL is perhaps the most powerful, and of the many attractions which permanently atMadlle. in her genius the most gifted. She is tract strangers in such numbers to the French Rachel. the very reverse in personal appearance capital. of Mademoiselle Georges or Mademoiselle Mars; If modern French architecture is remarkable her figure is fine and commanding, but it is for the imposing effect which it 83 thin rather than the reverse, and charms the exhibits, and the purity of taste Modern French eye by the grace of its movements, the lofti- by which it is distinguished, the school of paintness of its height, not the fullness of its propor- same can not be said of its paint- ing. tions. She seems to have been worn away by ing. Here the meretricious influence of artithe intensity of her own feelings. But they are ficial society is very conspicuous. It is not so vehement, that she sweeps every thing be- nature which the modern French artists have fore her when she gives them vent; it is like a studied, but operatic nature: the gestures and torrent of lava issuing from the summit of Ve expression of the theatre are conspicuous at suvius. In the delineation of jealousy, in par- every step; the glare of the stage lamps is ticular, she is unrivaled; every fibre, every seen in every light and shade. The attitudes limb, every muscle, quivers with the intensity in their historical pieces are all taken from the of the emotion: her whole soul, like the Py-opera, and exhibit that vehemence and contorthoness in the moment of inspiration, seems tion of figure by which their theatrical reprethrown into the writhings of her figure. It is sentations are distinguished, and which is so these wonderful delineations of passion, in its much at variance with the calm and severe most fiery moods, which have given her the simplicity of the old Italian school. So great colossal reputation she enjoys in every part has been the influence of the stage on the modof Europe. Strong deep feeling speaks a lan-ern French school of painting, that it may be guage which is understood in every clime. She regarded as omnipotent, and has forever prehas little of the tender in her composition, and cluded its artists from taking an elevated place seldom aims at its delineation; it is the violent, in the pantheon of modern genius. the scornful, the indignant feelings, which she The painter among them who is distinguishrepresents with such marvelous effect. Hered by the greatest simplicity, and who, Phedre, Hermione, and Alzire, are master-pieces therefore, has attained to the greatest Le Gros. which those who have witnessed can never for- excellence, is LE GROs. Such is the get, It is melancholy to think that, as she is strength of his genius, and the severe masculine the greatest of French actresses, so she is the character of his mind, that it has caused him LAST; and that after she is withdrawn from the to surmount in a great degree the artificial and public gaze, not a vestige will remain on the meretricious taste by which he was surrounded, stage which Corneille and Racine have immor- and revert to the truth of nature and the severe talized, of the genius which so long added fresh simplicity of ancient art. His great piece of charms to the representation of their dramas. "Napoleon riding over the Field of Eylau the Of all the fine arts, ARCHITECTURE is the one day after the Battle,” is worthy to be placed
89 which, since the Revolution, has made beside the finest battle-pieces of Le Brun, both Architec- the most decided progress in France. for grandeur of thought, chasteness of coloring, ture of Nothing strikes a stranger so much, on and generality of effect. There is no contenParis his first arrival in France, as the com- porary historical painting by any British artist bined magnificence and pure taste of their pub- / which can be compared to it. The other hislic edifices. Built always of beautiful freestone, torical painters of France are all stained by the which, easily cut at first, becomes hard by ex- great defect of the French school that of imiposure to the air, they present, in their simplic-| tating, not nature, but the stage. There is not ity and elegance, a striking contrast to the in the world, a few brilliant pieces excepted, combination of meretricious taste and perish- more stupendous exhibition of accumulated bad able materials which are so conspicuous in most taste and unnatural gestures than the great colo of the modern edifices of London. It is prob- lection of Versailles now presents; it is worthy ably the very durability and hardness of their to be placed beside the marble monuments of materials which have contributed to the chaste- Westminister Abbey, as a collection of the corness of the style in which they are built. A ruption and perversion of taste in an age boastfantastic or ill-regulated taste works with much ing its civilization and refinement. more difficulty on granite or freestone than on To the general condemnation of the modern plaster-of-Paris. Simplicity and chasteness of French school of painting, another ex- 85 taste become in a manner a matter of necessity. ception must be made in the pictures of vernet. The finest buildings of Paris--the Louvre, the HORACE VERNET. He is great, because
he has studied, not the theatre, but nature-1 Such is a brief, and, from the magnitude of because he has imitated, not the figurantes of the subjects embraced in it, most
SC 86. the opera, but the habits and forms of actual | imperfect survey of the literature Conclusion existence. Like Landseer, he is one of the and genius of France during and greatest painters of animals that ever existed; subsequent to the Restoration. Feeble as the bat, unlike him, he has in general represented picture is, it is, however, instructive; it dethem, not in their own peaceful and happy re- monstrates how powerfully the general mind treats, but in connection with the excitement, had been stirred in that great country by the the pursuits, and the animation of war. Biv: Revolution-how many errors bad been abjured ouacs of the Old Guard, pickets of cavalry, by its suffering—how many illusions dispelled night-scenes of the Arabs in the desert, charges by its results. The survey in some respects is of horse, evolutions of artillery, have alternate melancholy, in others cheering. If it demonly occupied his skillful and practiced pencil. strates on what erroneous premises, and what The African campaigns, in particular, with | delusive expectations, former opinions had been their desperate passages-at-arms, picturesque | formed, it teaches us not less clearly that an incidents, varied costumes, and collision of Eu overruling Providence can educe good out of ropean with Asiatic military force, have fur evil even in the darkest and most melancholy nished equally striking and favorite subjects period of the moral world. It tells us, still for his brilliant genius. He is essentially a more, that the evil, however poignant and widemilitary painter; but in the choice of his sub- spread, is transitory, but the good educed, the jects, and the figures which fill his canvas, he genius elicited, the truth evolved, is lasting in has availed himself of every accessory which its effects. However bitter may have been the the battle-field, the night bivouac, the march, suffering in that great and guilty country durthe rest at noon, the watering-places, the pre-ing the last sixty years from the passions of its paration for action, the fall of the hero, the an- inhabitants, it has come to an end with the guish of the wounded, could afford; and these generation which endured it. But the genius varied subjects are delineated with a truth and I of Chateaubriand, the philosophy of Guizot, the fidelity of drawing, as well as simplicity of imagination of Lamartine, the thought of De effect, which proves that he has studied in the Tocqueville, will prove a lasting bequest to the only school of real greatness—the school of na- species, and never cease to instruct, elevate, ture.
and delight the future generations of men.